Rahman Rising and The Ballads of Mangal Pandey


It starts like DDLJ’s Thujey dekha to hai jaana sanam and becomes a best qawwali I’ve heard in recent times. Ofcourse, I’m not a hunter of qawwalis but this was truly a magic. On many more hearings, I am not sure if this is can be classified as a qawwali or a dance-katha song, mujra. Some might say, every time Rahman excels in the Sufi music but I think it isn’t intentional. I knew Kavitha Subramaniam could sing well but not so well. With those distant claps accompanying, the tabla setting the perfect tone alongwith the semi-frequent strings, Rahman’s Main Vari Vari could be in the race for the best song of the year. I know there are number of them but this one just grabs a place for itself. As Main Vari Vari lines is repeated a number of times, the ending is just so blissful. Listen, Listen and Listen.

For once there is something modern about this period film. Rasiya has a very modern tune to it. Rasiya rendered by Richa Sharma and Bonnie Chakraborthy. I think it is Richa Sharma’s voice that has a good depth and gives a fantastic feel. At once, I thought it was the Choli Ke Peeche types but as it proceeds I understand it’s just Richa’s voice that was mis-leading me. It starts with just too many instruments and becomes a nice melody.

Rahman seems to be on a singing trip. His recent vocal renditions are exciting like never before. Al Maddath Maula has similar feel and Sufi singing in the background like Alahhoo of Bose. Though Rahman layering vocals one upon another and starting on high pitch has started a bore a little, the song has sensational moments.

I started to like the dhumchik dhumchik Takey Takey rendered by Sukhwinder Singh but not any more. After listening to it and Holi Re, I’m starting to like the Holi number. Though somewhere in the middle, the tune of Holi Re reminds of Dhandiya Attam from Kadhalar Dhinam and ends predictably, Holi Re can be enjoyed just for the spirit of the song. Mangal Mangal song has three version with enough variations to each other. I like the Aatma version sung by Kailash Kher is my choice. Similar to the Vaanam Thottu Pona of Devar Mahan this song resembles the death of a hero and has ironically a ‘soulful’ number.

Rising songs may not be commercially viable but proves yet again the versataility of Rahman to provide rich variations in songs. The Rising will be one of the best bets for this year but the unsettled anger is still there somewhere.

18 responses to “Rahman Rising and The Ballads of Mangal Pandey”

  1. wonderful music by ARR who always gives the best for such kinda films…… I felt that Bose though being a great album didnt get its recognition probably coz the movie wasnt a hit :-(…… i loved those songs and am feeling the same with Rising songs… ARR rocks…………


  2. Kailash Kher has a unique voice.. there is an element of distinctness.. and so much so as Rahman! Especially this part in “Mangal Mangal”

    the prelude ends with..

    jaagi jaagi hai dharthi sari.. aur jaaga jaaga hai ambar
    jaagi jaagi hai nadhiyan sari.. aur jaaga jaaga hai saagar.. jaagooo…

    and then the beats begin… and then…

    mangal mangala mangal mangala mangal mangala ho……

    The transition is Absolute Beauty!!!


  3. Nithya / Arjuna, I always have liked Rani. Especially in those calcutta shots of Hey Ram. This one looks like some Begum or Shairabanu. Gorgeous.

    Keerthi, I am not sure if you would like the album. But i am sure if you would enjoy Main Vari Vari and Rasiya.

    Anoops, True Bose was much better. And it got lost along the way because the movie didn’t perform commercially.

    Nilu, Bang on. I agree. Even the Rasiya tune is anachronistic. I am not sure why. Prbably they are taking a chance.

    Kishore, Truly this is the first song I’m hearing from Kailash Kher. He has a great voice. I am sure he is going to be around in Rahman’s albums.


  4. I don’t think Kavitha Subramaniam did full justice to Me wari wari. Usually she sings with a lot of ‘Jeevan’. Her better ones are Pyar hua Chup kaise – 1942 Love story, Katrey en wasal vanthai – Rhythm, Sunta hai mera Khuda – Pukar. I’m wondering How Rahman was satisfied with this effort of hers. She could’ve done better.


  5. Lazy, Don’t tell me you haven’t heard “Yuhin chala chal rahi” from Swades!! That was by Kailash Kher!!

    And doesn’t Rani’s costume in the pic look a touch like Ash in Choker Bali?


  6. Yuhi Chala was by Hariharan right. Or I probably forgot to register his name.

    Yep !! but anyday I would prefer Rani than Ash in this dress and I think its a bias.


  7. Hmm.. Actually its like this.. Hariharan sang the pallavi. Udit Narayan sang the Shahrukh’s part, Kailash Kher sang the nomad’s part and those humming. Listen to the part “Har sapna sach lage..” in that song, Kailash’s voice would be very evident there.. I fell that moment.. 🙂

    If you’ve listened to “Kisna”, he has sung “Chilman utegi nahin”.. To me, there ‘is’ something infectious about his voice! I want to listen Kailash Kher and Shubha Mudgal together sing in a song.. wonder how it would be…


  8. The unsettled anger.. thats what they call the used-apple policy.. Wait till someone takes the first bite. If it seems good, u finish it off. 🙂


  9. Hi LG, I live in the UK and have discovered that 2 popular local film magazines (Empire & Total Film) have already come out with reviews for ‘The Rising’ (the film, not the music) in their latest issues.
    Both have given it a middling 3 star rating (5 star is unmissable, 3 star is good), praising ‘the ambition and scope’ of the film besides the Khan’s performance though Empire has some curious observations to make on Aamir.
    You can check out the Empire review at http://www.empireonline.co.uk/site/incinemas/ReviewInFull.asp?FID=11335.
    I think Total Film has a subscription only site and you may not be able to access their review online. If you want, I can type out their entire review on this forum!


  10. To be honest, I didn’t find The Rising soundtrack to be that good. Among all the tracks, I liked Main Vari Vari. The visuals accompanying the song was also good. Small wonder why A.R.Rahman has quit working on soundtracks for period films!