THE GUITAR SOCIETY-21st July2011
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Babam Bam: The Top 10 Kailasa Songs
Founded by singer-lyricist-composer Kailash Kher and brothers Naresh Kamath and Paresh Kamath, Kailasa is one of India’s finest bands. They have film soundtracks and their own albums, including a record released by Cumbancha Records in North America, to their credit.
Known for putting together extremely soulful compositions which combine absolutely profound Sufi-mystical poetry along with classical, rock, folk and jazz music elements, Kailasa have created a large and loyal fan base globally. Here are 10 of their best compositions:
10. “Albela Sajan” from Kailasa
“Albela Sajan” is the perfect example of fusion gone right – folk and traditional elements meshed with techno sounds, the classical guitar also joining in on the fun, and, of course, the man with a voice that will make the most talkative person shut up and listen attentively: Kailash Kher. Most of Kailasa’s songs present love the Sufi way, as a spiritual journey, that is. Thus, the lyrics describe a person who worships her lover so much so that she’d like to die in his love, “Kyun pyaar mein naa marr jaaon jab ishq anokhaa meraa?,” sees his face as God’s face, “Teri surat rab di surat hai,” and is united spiritually with him to such an extent she can’t see any difference between him and her, “Tujh mein mujh mein koi farak nahin, Jab tu nahin toh main kaisi?” Special mention also goes to “Yaar Sajan” from Aawargi, not only for fusing together classical instruments such as the tabla and harmonium with techno sounds and violins, but also for lyrics that present love as a fulfilling emotion, as a way to discover yourself: “Mere dil mein aa kar le thikaanaa, kyaa hoon kyun hoon mujhe bataanaa” (Come live in my heart, what am I and why am I, tell me). The Kailasa concept of love sure is serious business!
9. “Kaise Main Kahoon” from Kailasa
“Kaise Main Kahoon,” offering a rustic, village-like ambience, reveals Kailasa’s playful side, and even the lyrics are spunky, “Unko paddi hain kya main jeeyun yaa maroon? Kaise main kahoon ki mujhe ishq huaa hai?” (What do they care if I live or die? How do I say that I’ve fallen in love?). One of Kailasa’s lesser-known numbers abroad, it certainly deserves space in this list, and likewise “Jhoban Chhalke” from Kailasa Jhoomo Re, “Tauba Tauba” from Kailasa and “Rang Rang Ma” from Kailasa Chaandan Mein deserve special mention, for being a few of the rare playful numbers by the band.
8. “Mumma” from Dasvidaniya
“Mumma” is the perfect Mother’s Day song from the film Dasvidaniya. Sung very sweetly by Kher, accompanied by simple acoustic guitar riffs, the song is an ode to all moms: “Haathon ki lakeerein badal jaayengi, Gham ki yeh zanjeerein pighal jaayengi, Tu duaaon ka hai ghar, meri maa” (These lines of destiny upon my palms will change, these chains of sadness will melt, You are a home of prayers, my mommy).
7. “Piya Ghar Aavenge” from Kailasa Chaandan Mein
“Piya Ghar Aavenge” is a very unique composition as it juxtaposes lyrics about being eager to meet one’s beloved (which technically speaking is a happy thought), as well as extensive use of an upbeat flute, with a very pathos-filled rendition and melody—later it was revealed the song is dedicated to Kher’s father who passed away. Other compositions from Kailasa Chaandan Mein which didn’t make this top ten list yet are still worth a listen include “Kar Kar Main Haara” and “Bheeg Gaya Mera Mann.”
6. “Chhap Tilak” from Kailasa Jhoomo Re
An adaptation of Khusaru’s poem, “Chhap Tilak” once again links love to religion and spirituality. The sound of the rain towards the beginning will grab your attention, the vocal percussions will make you tap your feet, the flute will make you smile with bliss, and Kher’s voice rendering deep such deep poetry will make you contemplate the beauty of love!
5. “Daulat Shohrat” from Aawargi
Now for whatever reasons, Aawargi is an album most Kailasa fans do not know about, which is a shame. Starting off with a piano and strings, later followed by the acoustic and electric guitars, percussions and techno sounds, “Daulat Shohrat” takes a no-nonsense approach to love with Kher’s vocals breathing life into profound lyrics: “Jaan bhi tu anjaan bhi tu…Paisa vaisa kya karnaa mujhe teraa nazaaraa kaafi hai” (You are my life yet you yourself are unaware of this…What shall I do with money? For me just the sight of you is sufficient).
4. “Saiyyan” from Kailasa Jhoomo Re
A beautiful love ballad with lovely use of the harmonium and tabla, “Saiyyan” is a favorite of most Kailasa fans. Kher sings the song with pathos and longing, and the lyrics present the concept of loving someone as losing yourself—“Tujhe jeet jeet haaron”—a concept that not only resonates with you but makes you revisit the song again and again.
3. “Tu Meri Jaan Hai” from Kailasa Jhoomo Re
“Tu Meri Jaan Hai” really helped increase Kailasa’s fan following as the music video was incorporated in an episode of the popular television series Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin. The piano, violins, tablas and flute all come together with Kher’s pathos and honesty-filled voice to create a winner of a composition. The lyrics tell the tale of a lover who is celebrating attaining love and is asking God that no evil eye be cast upon the love she has found after so many prayers: “Rabba mere pyaar ko nazar lag jaave naa, Mangiyaan duaavaan lakhaan, dukh hun sataave naa.” It’s interesting how in most of Kailasa’s love songs, there is an underlying layer of pathos linked to being in love, as if even in the pain that comes with love bliss can be found.
2. “Teri Deewani” from Kailasa
This has got to be one of Kailasa’s most popular and well-known songs. They initially would perform this composition while touring, and after noticing the extremely positive response from audiences, ended up including it in their album Kailasa. Another gorgeous Sufi presentation of love, “Teri Deewani” starts off almost a capella, later more instruments are added including an acoustic guitar and flute, the composition celebrating being madly in love and presenting love as God’s will: “Ishq ka jaadu sar chhadd ke bole, Khoob lagaa lo pehre raste rab khole. Yehi ishq di marzi hai, Yehi rab di marzi hai” (When love’s magic reaches its heights, try to stop lovers as much as you want, God creates paths. This is love’s will, This is God’s will).
1. “Babam Bam” from Kailasa Jhoomo Re
The best Kailasa composition thus far has got to be “Babam Bam.” Presenting an interesting dialogue between the Hindu deities Parvati and Shiva, with Parvati trying to woe Shiva – “Tumhe jo chhoddon toh marr jaaoon” (If I leave you I will die)—and Shiva trying to change her mind—“Iss jungle mein kyaa paayegi?…Tu raani ban ke baith mehel” (What will you find in this jungle?…Go sit comfortably in a palace after becoming a queen”) – “Babam Bam” literally transports you to the dark caves of Shiva, with kick-ass percussion arrangements, interesting use of the conch shell, flute and electric guitar, also. It’s absolutely impossible to resist swaying to this song, which is simply spellbinding and intoxicating!
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