This piece is in continuation to the ‘Best of Swanand Kirkire’ lyric series.
7. Pashmina (Fitoor)
‘Pashmina’ which literally translates to ‘soft gold’ packs some the most elegant lyrics of all time. It beautifully describes the romantic relationship Noor (Pip) and Firdaus (Estella) share.
The vehement obsession and raging hormones are celebrated with words like:
Pashmina dhaagon ke sang
Koi aaj bune khwaab aise kaise
Kaliyon ne badle abhi ye mizaaj
Ehsaas aise kaise
Palkon ne khole abhi naye raaz
Jazbaat aise kaise
The relationship organically evolves into love which cannot be obstructed with distance or class difference.
Shabnam ke do qatre yoon hi Tehel rahe
Shaakhon pe wo moti se khel rahe
Befikr se ik dooje mein khul rahe
Jab hon judaa, khayaalon mein mil rahe
It is in these lines that Swanand creates a sense of royal poetry missing in most Bollywood songs today. The words belong to each other. They aren’t just strung together to make a song, but instead compliment the situation, the music and passion of the creator.
8. Aashiyan (Barfi)
The responsibility of painting a mute and an autistic couple’s emotion with words lies solely with the lyricist. Swanand takes this challenge and weaves words that make you overlook their disabilities. He presents an adorable picture of the life led by this unusual couple.
Dabe dabe paon se
Aaye haule haule zindagi
Hoton pe kundi chadha ke hum, taale lagake,
Chal gumsum taraane chupke chupke gaayein
The lyrics emphasize lack of sound in the couple’s life. They don’t see this as an impediment. Neither do they feel the need to experience or ‘sense’ life, like everyone else. And that is deftly captured in Swanand’s lyrics:
Na ho chaar deewarein
Phir bhi jharoke khule
Baadlon ke ho parde
Shaakhi har pankha jhale
Barfi and Jhilmil’s life is challenging, to say the least, but it isn’t incomplete in any way. Their love and friendship for each other is the source of contentment. Either of them did not get this from the outside world. They created a world of their own. Swanand’s lyrics bring out this organic relationship Barfi and Jhilmil share. Neither can survive without the other.
9. Dhak Duk (English Vinglish)
A mother’s anxiety on leaving her family for a distant land is rendered beautifully by these lyrics. But peel the layers off and you find it is as much about fear of the unknown as affection for her family.
At one point in the song, she is jealous of the fact that her absence might result in being forgotten by the family.
Kabhi dil dhadke,
Baayi aankh phadke
Tuna hume bhool jaaye re
In another stanza, she remembers all the imperfections and frailties of her family.
Tere taane waane
Choone ke bahane,
Dil ko bada sataye re
Kyun na hame roke,
Ik baar toke
Every Indian family or at least a homemaker/mother can identify with this feeling of constant worry. We ridicule her nervousness and fears. She too understands and knows her fears are unfounded. But a woman’s heart sees no reason in such circumstances. Swanand’s lyrics are a perfect ode to the love and care of the woman who turns the house into a home.
10. Manjha (Kai Po Che)
Kai Po Che is primarily about relationships. Be it the friendship the three protagonists share or the mentor-student relationship between Ishaan and Ali. Manjha underlines the importance of long lasting relationships and the work they need to develop and nurture strong bonds.
Rishte pankhon ko hawa denge
Rishte dard ko dawa denge
Jeet kabhi, haar kabhi
Gham to yaaron honge do pal ke mehman
Rishte dehleezein bhi laanghenge
Rishte lahu bhi to maangenge
Aansu kabhi, moti kabhi
Jaan bhi maange yaaron kar denge kurban
The second stanza is the unmistakable faith our three young boys have in their dreams and ambitions. It is not just hope but an inner voice that drives them to succeed despite every obstacle.
Ruthe khwabon ko mana lenge
Kati patangon ko thamenge
Ha ha hai jazba, ho ho hai jazba
Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manja
Swanand knows the setting of the song perfectly well and imbues the beauty of Gujarat into the song with the word Manjha (a fine rope that connects the kite to its holder). He manages that perfect balance by keeping the Gujarat reference subtle rather than going all out with Gujarati words.
11. Piyu Bole (Parineeta)
This song made Swanand Kirkire the nation’s darling. The lyric structure is reminiscent of the good old days of Hindi cinema. The song opens with:
Dil ki jo baate hai, baate jo dil ki hai
Dil hi mein rakhna piya
Lab to na kholu main, kholu na lab to par
Such active voice-passive voice lines were the hallmark of 1960s music and is a deliberate nod rather than the lyricist’s laziness.
The simple rhyming of words, playful, innocent romance, and yet the progressive thoughts create the perfect post-independence era. Look at how Swanand conveys Vidya’s character’s ambition through these words.
Sagar se milne ka uska to sapna tha,
Teri hi taraha piya
The heroine isn’t a damsel in distress or portrayed as one. She harbours the same dreams and ambitions as the hero. These are refreshing lyrics in times where we objectify women (Sheila ki Jawani, Munni badnam hui etc).
Swanand keeps it simple and in sync with the film’s message to cultivate an evergreen song. People unfamiliar with the song might believe it belongs in the 60s. The authenticity is mesmerizing.
12. Bawara Mann (Hazaro Khwahishe Aisi)
Bawara Mann is one of those songs that relies heavily on poetry. It sort of reminds me of ‘ek ladki ko dekha‘ wherein the tune is really simple and doesn’t waver much. The entire song relies on words.
The lyrics celebrate various aspects of an unconventional personality. Thoughts like crazy ambitions, trying to hide behind the veil of craziness and finding a partner equally dissimilar in this sane world resonate strongly with the listener.
The words stay with you long after the song ends. It grows on you. And your subconscious finds new meaning in the lyrics each time.
Swanand created this song with a childlike enthusiasm in his theater days. The simplicity and innocence of an artists’ early creation is hard to replicate or recreate. Which is what makes this song an eternal, timesless fan favorite. It tugs the strings of the purest parts of our heart.
Bavre se is jahan main bavra ek saath ho
Is sayani bheed main bas haathon mein tera haath ho
Bavri si dhun ho koi bavra ek raag ho
Bavre se pair chahen baavron tarano ke
Bavre se bol pe thirakna
Bavra mann dekhne chala ek sapna
By Shridhar Kulkarni
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