When singer-composer Abhishek Ray was brought in to come up with a quirky title song for Sudhir Mishra’s recently released Yeh Saali Zindagi
that offered a wonky take on love, little did he imagine that he was to go about setting a trend. While the rest of the songs have been scored by Ustad Nishat Khan, who makes his Bollywood debut with this film, this particular number was added after the film and its soundtrack were complete.
Composed while walking the streets of Pokhra in Nepal with the film’s lead actor Irrfan Khan, Ray’s track incorporates three significant lines from the screenplay— 'Chutiya aashiqui ke chakkar me mara gaya aur laundiya bhi nahi mili
…’, ‘You wanted me to wait forever, I don’t even like waiting for the bus…’ and ‘Ishq ho ya
smoking, dono sehat ke liye hanikarak hai...
’. The use of typically North Indian street lingo, including a few ‘gaalis
’, though in this case the C-word means fool and is comparatively tame compared to some of the other words that needed to be beeped out, adds to the film’s raw appeal.
Both producer Prakash Jha and director Mishra instantly approved of the song and have used it thrice in the film. The first and second times are pre-interval and the third is post-interval when it is almost aspirational, mocking Irrfan’s attempts of jeopardising even his life for a woman who he has no hope of getting. “It eventually culminates in the Irrfan-Chitrangada (Singh) love-making scene, followed by the end credits, and is constantly being played on FM radio channels these days,” exults Ray.
His next release in March is Shaagird
, a dark tale of lust, greed and corruption featuring Nana Patekar, Rimmi Sen, Mohit Ahlawat and director Anurag Kashyap as the principal villain. A song by Kunal Ganjawala, ‘Umber kaisi talab hai jo marke bhi bujhti nahin saali…
’, has already found a following.
“And now suddenly, producers are approaching me to come up with tracks that incorporate the traditional local street lingo. The use of terms like foongi
(flying projector) helps the aam janta
(common man) connect with the song and the film,” reasons Ray, admitting that censors willing (and they did let him get away with the C-word recently), we could hear a lot more ‘gaali saalis
’ in songs now.