Saturday, January 28, 2006


Gandhi’s favourite bhajans: Ishwar Allah Tere Naam (Times Music)

The Father of the Nation swore by the power of prayer. In fact, he gave credit to praying for enabling him to maintain inner peace. "In spite of despair staring me in the face on the political horizon, I have never lost my peace. I have found people who envy my peace. That peace, I tell you, comes from prayer. I am not a man of learning; but I humbly claim to be a man of prayer," he once wrote.

In an audio presentation timed to coincide with Republic Day, as also Gandhiji’s martyrdom day, Times Music has compiled some of his favourite bhajans which inspired him and helped him tread an unusual path of truth and courage. As in real life, this album too includes recitations from all religions and faiths. That much is clear from the title of the two-CD premium pack itself. The album opens with an introduction by Harish Bhimani. Then follow bhajans like Vaishnav Jan To, Hey Jag Trata, Man Lago Mero Yaar, Utha Jag Musafir, Payo Ji Maine, Shree Ram Chandra, Mere To Giridhar Gopal and Janaki Nath Sahay Kare.

These have been rendered by Kavita Krishnamurti, Shankar Mahadevan, Jagjit Singh, Shubha Mudgal, Suresh Wadkar, Hema Desai, Ashit Desai, Pandit Ajoy Chakravarty and many more.

The jacket bears a typical khadi look. This presentation is in a two- CD format, priced at Rs 390 and in the two-cassette format, priced at Rs 150. It includes a booklet of Mahatma Gandhi’s quotations and archival photographs. Also included are excerpts from prayer speeches in English and Hindi by Mahatma Gandhi.

Akh Da Nishana (Ting Ling)

Music is modern. Dancing in the video of the album is 21st century too. But as far as the lyrics and the sentiments expressed in them are concerned, they belong to the rural Punjab of a bygone era. Certain words like gizha too are rarely used today by city-bred people (for the benefit of those who have lost touch with it, let it be stated that it stands for a pocket).

So we have girls in hot pants dancing to the tunes of typically dehati songs. It may sound incongruous but that is what today’s Punjabi scene is all about.

Most of the albums coming out today are male dominated. This is a rare one featuring women, Mallika and Jyoti. Their voices complement each other and leave a good impact. I have not heard them singing solo; so I cannot really say how good they are individually.

Music has been composed by Karamjit Bhatti and the lyrics are by Meet Majri, Hakam Bakhtriwala, Lali Dorahewala and Buggi Sidhwanwala. — ASC