You will not only get to see Chitrangada Singh in Prakash Jha Productions’ gangster romance,
Yeh Saali Zindagi
, gearing up for a February 4 release, but also get to hear her. She has, for the first time, turned singer to render the title track of the film with composer-singer Abhishek Ray.
The track was composed partly in Nepal, where Ray had gone with actor Irrfan to inaugurate a theatre festival. “From Kathmandu we went paragliding to Pokhra and one day, while reflecting on the rushes Sudhir (director Sudhir Mishra) had shown me, the melody just came to me and I hummed it for Irrfan (Khan) who was walking with me. That’s why the song has an impromptu street flavour,” reminisces Ray.
Ray took the tune with him to Goa and the International Film Festival from where he coordinated over the phone with lyricist Manvendra who was in Delhi to come up with a quirky take on love that is at once romantic, dark and self-mockingly comical as the hero looks into the mirror and asks himself why he’s risking his life that includes being beaten by bandits, being thrown off a roof and hit by bullets, for a girl who’s not even his to love.”
For the female vocals, Ray auditioned a number of singers but wasn’t happy. It was Mishra who suggested he try out Singh. “And she was an apt choice because she had the right attitude befitting a snooty woman who, when asked to wait forever, retorts that she doesn’t even wait for the bus,” laughs Ray, admitting that he needed just an evening’s rehearsal with the actor to make her “musically correct” for the recording.
The song ends with the profound philosophy that both smoking and love
sehat ke liye hanikarak hai
(are injurious to health) delivered by Ray. “I needed guitar strumming with a Bob Dylan-like approach, and that is why I went with my grainy baritone instead of a more mellifluous playback voice for this song, streaked with shades of gray,” says Ray.
The film’s soundtrack was released by T-series but the title track was held back and will be promoted this week followed by ‘live’ performances by Ray and Singh. Says Ray, “Both Prakashji and Sudhir loved it on first hearing and the song has gone into recording unchanged.”