Om Shanti Om Soundtrack rocks!

November 2, 2007

It has been almost a month since I first heard the soundtrack from Om Shanti Om and I’m still listening to it. The soundtrack has kept me company mostly while unit testing my code or writing those mundane DAO classes at work, so I feel obliged to write (or should I say croon) about it here. Interestingly, I unwittingly chose to write about OSO today, it being Shah Rukh Khan’s birthday. Happy Birthday Shah Rukh!

Alright, about the music, I think it a good mix a soft-sweet songs and racy item number. Of the 12 songs, 4 are remixed (faster pace with disco-ish feel), and one is the instrumental theme. In the version I received, Ajab Si is the first song, a very sweet, pleasantly haunting number rendered by KK. It is the kind of song you can listen to with your eyes closed and feel at peace. One refreshing thing about this song that I feel obliged to comment on is that there isn’t much of that distracting electronic music. I will guarantee you that listening to this once will have you humming it endlessly. Another tidbit I can’t resist holding back, it was this song that featured in the Headlines Today segment (speculating about the MS Dhoni and Deepika Padukone link) that I wrote about earlier.

In total contrast to Ajab Si is Dard-e-disco, a racy one by Sukwinder Singh; after the title song in Chak de India, he makes magic again with this song. I loved this one and its remix. Dewangi is a happy number full of energy and has woken me up from a good number of naps at my desk in the afternoons :); here again the ‘original’ and the remix don’t fail to please. Mein Agar Kahoon and Jag Soona Soona (the next two songs) are more of the wistful-sounding ones; my only issue with the latter is with the beginning where the female lead seems to drill through your ears; the rest of the song is worthy of listening a good number of times. What follows is another happy number Dhoom Taana. Here again the blaring instrumentals that are used at the beginning seem to ruin the rest of a good number. Song number 7 Daastan-e Om Shanti Om, is a moderately paced darkish song by Shaan is also done very well. My guess is that this features when the Om played by Shah Rukh from the 70s gives way to the one from the 90s. The remix numbers of Dard-e-disco, Dewangi, and Daasthan all impressed considerably in that order with Daasthan-remix being a distant third. The mother-of-all-remixes appears under the name of ‘Om Shanti Om Medley‘. This is basically a mix of all the songs (except Ajab Si) with a disco-ish feel to it. The concluding piece is the ‘Om Shanti Om theme’ which is an instrumental version of the medley mix with a few variations thrown in.

In summary, a very good soundtrack album, in fact the best I’ve heard since Dhoom 2; having said that, I must add that I think this one is way better than Dhoom 2 with the balance and variety it offers. I will give it a whopping 95 out of 100. If you haven’t heard it, you’re missing out!


The T20 World Champions prevail: India beat Australia by 7 wickets

October 21, 2007

The Bradbourne stadium came alive as India, the T-2o World Champions took on Australia in the much anticipated 20-20 clash between the teams. The South African atmosphere was replicated here with the hip music and dancing girls which added spice to the already curry-hot up series. If one needed more, yes there was: starting from cricket veterans like Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavasakar, and living legend Sachin Tendulkar, to Bollywood’s best and “lucky-charm” Shah Rukh Khan who came with Deepika Padukone in tow (if media reports are to be believed, she was the captain Dhoni’s guest).

With Australia winning the toss and batting first, I was wary: the only match in the T20 World Cup that India lost (against New Zealand) was one in which they chased. Although that match included Ajit Agarkar, the run gift-giver, and this one did not, anything could happen in a 20-20 match. However, that was not to be. The first over was full of excitement, with Gilchrist slamming 3 fours and R P Singh bagging his wicket with a beauty of a yorker. More Aussie action followed with in form Ponting flourishing and runs flowing, but Harbhajan pulled some back when he struck early to send Mathew Hayden back to the dug-out. The manner in which MS Dhoni handled the bowlers here must be lauded; that, and some good fielding restricted the Aussies to 166-5. Although the Indian fielding did not live up to the high standards that they set from themselves in the South Africa during the T20 World cup, some brilliant efforts like that of Yuvraj/Harbhajan running out Andrew Symonds and a few saves from Uthappa and Yuvaraj made the difference. Everybody did their part: the bowlers bowled well, the fielders for the most part did well, and the batsmen mauled the Aussie bowling.

There are many good things for India to take from this victory. Most importantly, it proves, as captain Dhoni said in the presentation, “… that World Cup victory (in South Africa) was not a fluke”. There was energy in the field, the fielders were pumped up applauding each others’ efforts, the batsmen belligerent, and the captain bravely innovative. Secondly, they played as a team and beat the opposition comprehensively; I’m tempted to say that they pulled an Australia (although this is 20-20 and India are ruling at the moment): when Sehwag failed, Gambhir and Uthappa shone, when Sreesanth struggled, Pathan, RP Singh and the spinners compensated. Attitude was key. In the batting, although Gambhir set the foundation and Yuvraj helped see India to through, for me, Uthappa was the pick of the batsmen; the way he danced down the track to hit out speaks volumes of the confidence that he and this Indian outfit share. When Dhoni hit the winning stroke for six, I felt a rush of happiness, pride, and awe. In Mahendra Singh Dhoni, I think, India have found a great captain: he is not fearful of the unconventional yet is capable of pulling out some almost boringly traditional stuff (like his innings from the Lord’s Test earlier this year) and most importantly, his game strategy is as fearless as his words. With some patience from the selectors, the media and the fans, this man could turn out to be one of the most successful Indian cricket captains.

Here’s to the new victorious India and to many more victories!


From Chappell’s words of wisdom to the abysmal Vadodara ODI

October 11, 2007

Save them from the media! That was something Greg Chappell had said during his tenure as coach; I couldn’t agree more. There are some things that we, as TV/cricket watchers really don’t have to know. There are other things that need not be blown out of proportion.

On the eve of a interestingly poised Ind-Aus match, what do we hear in the news? Dhoni is smitten by Deepika Padukone. The headlines today segment yesturday made a great promo for a soap-opera. “Bollywood and cricket are the two things that sell..” sang the host. With a romantic number from “Om Shanti Om” playing, we were shown images of MS Dhoni walking the runway walk with his 1000 watt smile , followed by images of Deepika from the runway and from the new movie. MSD had apparently asked Shah Rukh Khan for a special screening of the movie and that was part of what the fuss is about. I won’t go into the details of the news segment. So what if he wants to see the movie? So what if he’s drooling over her?

Moving on, the segment before this was screaming about Sachin. “Its Sachin’s 400th ODI…” yada yada. Too much hype over all of this.

In case you haven’t heard, India performed abysmally in today’s match: partly due to umpiring errors, partly due to India’s own complacency. Right from Ganguly’s run out, disaster was written all over the scoreboard.

I’m pretty sure the media will have their stories circulating about this. People are already suggesting (here) that Dhoni should be chasing Deepika, not the cricket ball; that the Big three should retire and so on.

Cricket is a game and must be treated like one; one day we win, and a couple of days we lose. Why can’t we just leave it at that and cut down the hype?