Planet Bollywood
Kai Po Che!
Producer: Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Starring: Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar Yadav, Amit Sadh, Amrita Puri
Music: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire
Singers: Amit Trivedi, Shruti Pathak, Divya Kumar, Mili Nair
Number of Songs: 3
Album Released on: February 2013
Reviewed by: Atta Khan  - Rating: 9.5 / 10
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After such a good start to 2013, we have our first contender for soundtrack of the year, Kai Po Che! and it’s no surprise that it’s produced by a formidable young talent. In fact I would go as far as to say that no other composer since A.R. Rahman has given us such fresh and authentic music than Amit Trivedi and now he delivers another outstanding effort albeit one that is short-lived. How does he achieve it? Well first and foremost the music doesn't contain the usual silly item numbers, punjabi tracks or jingles that Bollywood is currently obsessed with. There is just pure, authentic and traditional sounds present. He is also aided by some extraordinary lyrics by Swanand Kirkire that are award worthy. Finally he is given freedom by the director to express himself in a manner only he knows best. The rest is history.

First up is “Manjha” where an esraj (sarangi sounding instrument) lightens up your spirit and fills your heart with a warm glow reminding you of the wonders of rural India (be that Gujarat, Rajasthan or any other location). For this beautifully composed piece that is brimming with authentic instrumentation, Trivedi adds a masterstroke with intermittent beats that echo softly in your ears. The effect is simple but stunning. Just as the music begins to mesmerise your senses, you begin to take notice of the exceptional writing...Swanand Kirkire’s talents do not require any introduction but even he has outdone himself with some extraordinary poetry that is an ode to life and friendship:

Roothe khaabon ko mana lenge
Kati patango ko thaamenge
Haa haa hai jazba
Ho ho hai jazba
Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha
Hmm ka manjha, hmm ka manjha...

Soyi taqdeere jaga denge
Kal ko ambar jhuka denge
Haa haa, hai jazba
Ho ho, hai jazba
Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha
Hmm manjha...

Ho ho barfeeli, aankhon mein
Pighla sa dekhenge hum kal ka chehra
Ho ho pathreele, seene mein
Ubla sa dekhenge hum lawa gehra
Agan lagi, Lagan lagi
Toote na, toote na jazba ye toote na
Magan lagi, Lagan lagi
Kal hoga kya keh do
Kis ko hai parwah
Parwah... parwah...

With such fantastic lyrics how can you blame Trivedi for wanting to sing this himself and in reality he does a solid job. Manjha lifts you off your feet and warps you into rural India giving you a taste of the authentic flavours you are missing. It makes you want to be there, to share your passion, to be inspired and to inspire others, and ultimately to live life to the full. Exceptional!

After an inspirational ode on life we have an utterly dreamy romantic song that will have you flying around in the breeze like a free kite! Check this out for a truly escapist opening verse:

Kuch lamhe thhe
Alsaaye se
Bharmaaye se
Fiza mein
Kabhi sehme se
Jaana kidhar
Na Jaane...

If that hasn’t got you all dreamy and carefree then nothing will! “Meethi Boliyan” has a soft mesmerising tune with a simple classy acoustic guitar, percussions and drums. Add to this another master-class in song writing by Swanand jee and you are closing in on perfection. And just while we are on the subject of nature, Mili Nair is another breath of fresh air. Her laid back style and natural sweet voice is a perfect foil for Trivedi’s own contribution to this song where, as a backing singer he amplifies Mili’s verses and takes the song forward superbly:

Aye zindagi hamen sohbaton ka nasha hai
Yeh sohbatein yaaron ki
Aye zindagi hame hosh ki na tu dava de
Dua de, dua de...

Wow you will want to devour this song forever! Just close your eyes and put your hands out to your side as if to fly…then let “Meethi Boliyan” lift you up and away on a dreamy path towards bliss...stunning effort!

The final song is a superb garba (traditional Gujarati song) titled “Shubhaarambh” . Amit Trivedi’s fusion of traditional folk music, shehnai and thumping drums is a delicious treat on the ears! The singing styles between Shruti Pathak and Divya Kumar is another masterstroke. She sings the antara parts with soul and melody and he sings the mukhda in a rustic avatar just like you would expect with a garba. The lyrics by Swanand jee are out of this world again and need to be rejoiced :

(Shruti Pathak)
Rangi par ud aavee
Khushiyon sang laavee
Harkhaye haiyo haaye haaye...
Rangi par ud aavee
Khushiyon sang laavee
Harkhaye haiyo haaye haaye haaye

(Divya Kumar)
Haan maza hai zindagi
Nasha hai zindagi
Dheere dheere chadhegi ho
Duaa de zindagi, bata de zindagi
Baat apni banegi ho

Khwaabon ke beej
Kachchi zameen pe humko bona hai
Aasha ke moti saanson ki mala
Hume pirona hai
Apna bojha ha mil ke saathi humko dhona hai
Shehnai, shehnai, shehnai..

(Hey rang lo mhara naa... aye thayi thayi)

Hey shubhaarambh
Ho shubhaarambh
Mangal bela aayi
Sapno ki dehri par
Dil ki baaji re shehnai

Kai Po Che might be a short soundtrack– the director (Abhishek Kapoor) only requested three original songs for his super trimmed film but what gems they are, truly inspiring pieces both musically and lyrically and each and every single one capable of invigorating your soul and making you rediscover music won't hear anything like it again this year. So do yourself a favour by listening to the soundtrack and remember to shout Kai Po Che from the depth of your hearts! Overall a wonderful ode on life and friendship.

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