Monday, April 07, 2008

Himessed 'em up!

So I am utterly bitterly in love with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. I never liked his uncle Nusrat too much, mainly because just like many English songs, I couldn’t really figure out what he was singing. Someone once commented on my blog that they thought the Afreen afreen song went something like “Uske nana ki taareef mumkin nahin”. Sheesh. But it proves my point. However, Fateh Ali Khan Junior has me completely bowled over. I had not watched Aaja Nachle or heard the album, and it was only by accident that I recently came across this mind-blowing song 'O re piya'. The rest, as they say, is history. Except that this song refuses to be history. For the last few months, it has not only been playing on loop on my ipod, but in my head as well. All the frikkin' time. The obsession grew to an extent where if I found no one me, I'd start singing it ALOUD in the middle of the road or in the bus... which could actually be the reason why there was no one around me. Ahem.

When I realised that this obsession is greater than any of my previous ones I decided to cure myself by swearing off the song and the singer for a while. So I looked for other songs I could obsess over. And I came across Main jahan rahoon from Namaste London. (I know I know it’s also sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, but there’s only so much control I can exercise over my Rahat-ki-chahat.) And I sat down and marvelled at this guy’s talent at modulating his voice and bringing out the depth in the song that perhaps even the lyricist hadn’t intended.

The more I listened to the song, the more I wondered – what the heck is wrong with Himesh Reshammiya? Why doesn’t he stick to composing such beautiful melodies? Why the heck does he insist on singing his own songs? I can understand that a music director may sometimes feel that no one else do justice to his composition. Even Rahman sings many of his songs himself, in spite of the heavy accent. But he picks songs suitable for his voice and doesn’t sing every song in the album. Subhash Ghai appears in each of his movies, no matter how out-of-place he looks sitting in a boat wearing his cowboy hat, but at least he doesn’t insist on playing the lead. These people may surface every now and then to show themselves, but they do know their real place. Why does Himesh then insist on singing and acting and end up annoying us instead of letting us appreciate what he is really good at – composing?

Years ago, Bhagyashree tried a similar stunt and refused to work in movies if her hubby was not hired as the leading man. We saw the outcome of Qaid Mein Hai Bulbul (Sheesh. I actually watched that movie. *hangs head in shame*) and in time, Bhagyashree’s career.

Come to think of it, Aashiq Banaya Aapne was a horrible movie, saved only by the two songs - the very catchy title song and Aap Ki Kashish. Of course, I still wonder why the lyrics could not establish his respect level for the girl in the title song (he switched from Aashiq banaya aapne to tere bin raat katti nahin hai without pausing) but I guess that’s forgiven in an age where lyrics go Kaindi ponn. Anyway, so there was Himesh Reshammiya singing his own compositions, which was I admit were really catchy hence became huge hits and all that.

I had no problems with that part - of Himesh singing a song or two for Emraan Hashmi. It was novel for the audience who had never seen such a combination - a guy who used his lips too much and a guy who used his nose too much.

It was only when he started singing for my regular guys, Akshay Kumar, Abhay Deol, etc. that I sat up and yelled STOP! From what I have heard so far, bad lyrics aside (that would be a whole new post. Love you unconditionally? Oh puh-lease!), the man’s got talent. His songs are catchy (even though he likes to use a ‘formula’) and almost always successful. Of course, most of his songs sound the same, but then even the great Rahman likes to copy himself (*ducks to avoid shoes*). It would be unfair to say that Himesh is besura – music directors probably can’t away with that. He just needs to accept that he’s not singer-material. He either cries or yells, and it achieves quite the opposite effect of what he intended. It takes away all the feeling out of the song and makes it sound like a quarrel between two neighhhhhhbours.

But to be fair to the over-criticised bloke, some of his non-Himessed songs are very melodious.

I came across a number of his songs that would have been masterpieces if he hadn’t exercised his nasal chords, and got someone else to sing it instead. An example would be the song Veeraniyan (Namaste London). It’s a classic example of how talented a music director he is, but I can’t get myself to listen to it as often as I would like to. Even though he sings in tune, he kind of ‘throws’ his words at the listener – sometimes like a dog barking (anyone who has heard him sing the words “Saans jab luun toh” line from the song would know exactly why I described it like that). I really really wish someone like Roop Kumar Rathod had sung it. I thought of Sonu Nigam initially, but I feel no other song about loneliness has the right to dilute the magic Sonu created with Tanhaayee from Dil Chahta Hai. Roop Kumar would probably ghazalofy the song a bit, so a contemporary alternative would be KK. Yehi Hota Pyaar would sound fab in Shaan’s voice. Kailash Kher would have done ample justice to Allah kare. Kitne pyaar karte hain would have sounded divine in Sonu’s voice.

I am totally totally against remixes, but I strongly believe that some of Himesh’s songs really need to be sung properly by other people, rerecorded and re-released. For the sake of the songs themselves. To do justice to them. He is being unfair to his songs by singing them himself.

My advice to Himesh, if he would just pause his oooinnng and aaainggg for once, would be this.

Don’t listen to anyone.

Listen only to yourself.

Maybe then you’ll get what I mean. :P


Shivani said...

I soo agree... Raahat Fateh Ali Khan is class & Himesh is crass. Nice post !! And hey, how about Rahat ki Chaahat for your next "home production" ;) ;)

Aathira said...

Gold!! :)

U are not alone... even I have watched Qaid main hain Bulbul (ewwwwwww... jus got reminded of it!! :P)

Shweta said...


:)first 'medal' ever!

DesiGirl said...

If you like Rahat, then have you heard Jiya Dhadak Dhadak from Kalyug? Movie sucks but this song is simply sublime. Big time lurve type song.

Bivas said...

SImply loved the movie and that song 'Main Jahan Rahoon'...It is quite haunting...
Waise Himesh himself admits to his nasal one of the episodesof SaReGaMaPa he joked that participants agar 'uske Naak mein dum karenge to woh gaayega kaise!'
But then thats Himesh...if Music Directors shudn't be singers (including Annu Mallik!) then they shudn't be actors as well...Really dont know how Karzzzz is gonna turn out...liked the music though (filmfare mein jhalak mila) :-)

manju said...

How can you compare ARR with Himesh ???? ARR has proved himself as a good singer time and again. Just listen 'Yeh jo des ...' from Swades... and it makes you feel to go back to India immediately. And its just not this song alone, Maa Tujhe Salaam made the youth of India more patriotic than anything else. Tere Bina from Guru is another classic. There are so many other songs not only in hindi but in tamil too, where no other singer could have been better. And as a contrast to Himesh, ARR always avoids singing... He is most of the times forced to sing by the director or anybody else. And ARR tries to give life to the song even though he might have thought of any other singer to sing the same song.

Stone said...

when every other music director refused to compose another 'pyaar kiya to darna kya' he stepped up and did a fine job.

sunshine said...

Thanks for the song reference "Main jahaan" from Namastey London... I have been listening to that song in a loop since the last few hours :)

The Mad Girl said...

I agree I agree!! He's a pretty good music director and that song main jahan rahoon is a beautiful is janabe ali.So are a few others.

Sayesha said...

Hahaha! I think I was still in my last post's mood when I wrote Rahat ki Chahat! :P

Hehehehehe! I still remember Himalaya walking through the Qaid and the bulbul Bhagyashree in a cage! ROFL! :P


Yeah I've heard the song, but didn't like it all that much... found it a bit monotonous. :P I watched Kalyug though, just to see the Chutku from Hain Hain Raahi Pyaar Mein! :)

Yeah lately he's been jovial about it... but he's seriously being unfair to his own songs by singing them himself. :(

Sheesh. I did not compare ARR with Himesh. If I had, I'd have said ARR should also not sing his songs.

//And its just not this song alone, Maa Tujhe Salaam made the youth of India more patriotic than anything else.

Really? And how did you find that out?? :D

//And ARR tries to give life to the song even though he might have thought of any other singer to sing the same song.

I did mention that Rahman picks the songs he sings, songs that suit him. :)

Oh man! I remember that movie! Bhaiya ko tu khatke! Hahahahah! :D

Awesome yeah? :)

#The Mad Girl,
Yeah! He really should do more justice to his beautiful compositions. :)

Directhit said...

OMG - SHOCKED - you mention Mr.Himesssss and ARR in the same post - faint!!!

Urv said...

Arre see, Himesh is just making it simple for others. There are so many people who have a burning desire to make movies, but don't have the resources, or talent, or finances.. So all these people need to do is go to Himesh.. and the rest will be history. Himesh will do all it takes - compose, sing, act, direct, produce (and also buy the tickets n watch the movie to fill in the audience) - to make their dream come true. All one needs is a Movie-ki-chaahat. :D

Vaijayanta Chattoraj said...


We have a thing in common. I too can't figure out some of the English songs and what people are singing.

Very true, Himesh annoys each one of us for his over doing in hindi films. He makes people laugh at him instead of seeking appreciating for composing. In fact Himesh ans Emran Hashmi looks the same from all angles. Initially I could not differentiate between the two. Later I discovered the cap on Himesh's head. LOL.

Sometimes Himesh also sounds like the dogs barking or better weeping on the road at night. (ref to the song "OOOOO Hooojooooor". His initial days composition when singers like Udit sang his songs are really fabulous.



Lavs said...

I so agree with you on Himesh. Though he composes well, he kills his songs by singing them.

Wish he gets to read this post and spare us from future tortures.

Sanchit said...

mere himmm-ass ka bura bol.a

sob sob... *sigh*

Inder said...

true... i think himesh is actually a good composer. but then he decides to sing a lot of them... sad. still, he sings much better than anu malik. about rahaman, i think he is improving as a singer. eg - 'tere bina' from guru; 'new york nagaram' from sillunu oru kadhal

rt said...

great post..
actually like vaijayanta(comment above) I cudnt differentiate between the xcessive lip and nose user initially and then one day...Eureka.. I saw the cap..;)
namaste london wasnt a great movie and at that time I did miss the songs...but now I love the songs...main jahan bhi rahooon....main kahin bhi rahooon....yahi kuch songs gungunati hoon ;)

Adorable Pancreas said...

Coming to more superficial things, the cap. I have always wondered about the cap. Perhaps he's an alien from Pluto and he wears the cap to hide his antennae. Definte possibilities there, starting with the out of this world voice.

Kiran said...

100 years from now, ppl would remember Himesh but not Rahat...just like we more often than not, tend to remember Hitler and not Winston Churchill ;) :)

So, Himesh is the al Supremo!! Don't you evver ever insult Himesh again! :D

Sayesha said...

Hehehe! I did! *proud grin*

//(and also buy the tickets n watch the movie to fill in the audience)



Hehehe! I should send him this 'fan mail'. :P

Wah kya pyaar hai! Aankhen bhar aayi meri! Tum Jignes ho na? :P :P :P

//still, he sings much better than anu malik.

I totally agree!
ps: Sheesh now that song is playing in my head "Oonchi hai building..." Oh nooooooo! :S

Hahaha! I think a lot of people thought Hashmi and Himesh were the same person! :D

#Adorable Pancreas,
Arre you have to watch Karzzzz (did I get the numbers of zzzs right??). He takes off his cap in the movie!!!! :O :O :O

//100 years from now, ppl would remember Himesh but not Rahat...

Depressing but true... :'(

Ravi said...

"Don’t listen to anyone.

Listen only to yourself.

Maybe then you’ll get what I mean."

That had me in splits.Wonderful!!
BTW listen to the GURUS OF PEACE by A R Rahman n Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Soulful Album.I m a big fan of Himesh the composer and to a lesser extent,Himesh the singer,but please dont compare him with Rahman.

Sayesha said...

Thanks. :)
Yes I have the album you mentioned. :) And I did not compare Himesh and Rahman. I just said that both sing their own songs at times. Dunno why people are so touchy about this. :)

Nitin Bagla said...

Also listen to title song of "Apne".(music by HR-the only one)... a lovely song..very nostalgic...similar to 'Mai Jaha Rahu'