Monday, 4 February 2019

Bollywood Song of the Week: Bharat / Manikarnika

Bharat - Shankar Mahadevan / Prasoon Joshi / Shankar Ehsan Loy 

Patriotism has been bandied about
in loud, thumping beats in Bollywood songs, so when Shankar Ehsan Loy bring a toned down simmer to the feeling, it is more than a welcome change.

Prasoon Joshi returns to lyric writing, though in a tad persuasive manner. The song borders on propaganda, but goes with the movie's tone.

Meri nas nas taar kar do aur bana do ik sitaar
Raag bharat mujhpe chhedo jhhan jhhanao baar baar
Desh se ye prem aankhon se chhalakna chahiye
Main rahoon ya na rahoon bharat ye rehna chahiye

Now it may sound almost horrifying that someone wants their nerves to be made into a sitar and played. That the love for the country must splash from the eyes is another strong slogan here, what Joshi is referring to is the need for sheer intensity.

Shades of Raazi 
Distant echoes of the lines in Shankar Ehsan Loy - Gulzar's "Main jahan rahu jahan mein yaad rahe tu" (Ae Watan/Raazi) apart, Bharat build up pleasantly to a high scale encore and ends without any extended frills.

From the heart
Shankar Mahadevan sounds pure, connected and straight from the heart conveying the message across. Moving seamlessly from low to high, there is a clarity and cleanness to the rhythm. The chorus is also judiciously used, no loud culmination here.

Despite the whiffs of propaganda, Bharat is an impressive song for a period movie soundtrack, showing the music director trio's subtle talent and skill. The Manikarnika soundtrack is worth a listen too.