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Imtiaz Ali's fascination with Punjabi music from 'Socha Na Tha' to 'Tamasha' - A musical analysis By Bobby Sing

29 Dec, 2015 | Articles on Music, Poetry and Life / Articles on Cinema

Saif in Love Aaj KalImtiaz Ali’s entire repertoire as a director (comprising 6 films) has its own share of ups and downs with his last three films both being slammed and praised together by various sections of viewers. So keeping aside the ‘hot debate’ over the off-beat, thought-provoking themes of his recent films, here is an interesting account of director’s visible fascination with Punjab, its culture and its rich traditional music right from the days of ‘Socha Na Tha’ till ‘Tamasha’.
1. The director’s debut film, 'Socha Na Tha' (2005), had a short sequence where one could hear traditional Punjabi wedding songs being sung in the backdrop. It also had a song unusually forming the climax with a Punjabi-based mukhda saying, ‘O Yaara Rab Russ Jaane De’.
2. His most successful venture 'Jab We Met' (2007) completely revolved around a Punjabi Sikh family with the leading lady coming from Punjab. It had immensely popular tracks such as ‘Maujan Hi Maujan’ and ‘Nagada’ having their basic roots in Punjab’s folk rhythm, songs and popular phrases used in the region’s local vocabulary.
3. Imtiaz’s 'Love Aaj Kal' (2009) again had a major part of its story-line and some key characters based in Punjab. Plus this time he even had his leading star playing a proper Sikh character wearing the turban too. Besides, the songs as usual had a heavy Punjabi flavor using phrases such as ‘Raunak Shaunak’ and the hugely famous ‘Nagin Tune’ superbly incorporated in the track 'Twist’ that is repeatedly played in almost all Punjabi wedding ceremonies ‘on special demand’.
Another of the film’s popular track ‘Aahun Aahun’ began with the lines of ‘Kadey Ta Hass Bol Ve’ - a cult Punjabi song of singer Shaukat Ali from Pakistan, ‘Ajj Din Chadheya’ used the opening lyrics inspired from the famous poem of Punjab’s legendary poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi and then ‘Thoda Thoda Pyar’ had a strong influence of traditional folk songs of Punjab sung at sangeet or mehndi ceremonies. 
4. The title of director’s ‘Rockstar’ (2011) can also be taken as synonym to the Punjabi phrase ‘Saada Haq’ as it unarguably gave the film an amazing push right from the release of its first look with Ranbir singing ‘Saada Haq Aithey Rakh’. But apart from it, the film also had ‘Katiya Karun’ again having its strong base in the traditional Punjabi folk music.
5. Imtiaz’s experimental 'Highway' (2014) had its most famous song finding both the content as well as singers from Punjab as ‘Pataka Guddi’ using the reference of traditional ‘Jugni’ in a unusually fresh style and another had the title phrase yet again in Punjabi as ‘Maahi Ve’.
6. Coming to his latest offering 'Tamasha' (2015), Imtiaz continued following the set pattern and again used a Punjabi-based song to show the transformation of his characters with some innovative lyrics as ‘Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai’ shot in a typical Punjabi style showcasing pure traditional attires of Bhangra performers. Plus the song 'Wat Wat Wat' also had a rhythm strongly giving you a feeling of a Dhol-based song from Punjab.
Hence it seems, Imtiaz surely has a strong Punjabi influence on his creative expressions that always finds a place in his films without any exception to the rule.
This article of BTC was published at IBNlive.com on 28th December 2015 with the heading :
‘Socha Na Tha’ to ‘Tamasha’: Imtiaz Ali’s fascination with Punjabi music. - by Bobby Sing

Tags : Imtiaz Alis fascination with Punjabi music from Socha Na Tha to Tamasha, A musical analysis By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema, Articles on Cinema at BTC, Punjabi Music and Imtiaz Ali, Punjabi Culture and Characters in films of Imtiaz Ali
29 Dec 2015 / Comments ( 3 )
Nice article. I too have always felt that Imtiaz Ali has a strange fascination with Punjabi music and culture, so it feels good to see someone echoing similar sentiments. That said, i would like to point out that NAGIN Theme music has nothing to do with Punjabi music or culture.
Bobby Sing

Dear RJ,
Thanks for appreciating the article.
But as you have pointed out I would like to clarify that if you go through the lines talking about the NAGIN TUNE then it says.

"hugely famous 'Nagin Tune' superbly incorporated in the track 'Twist' that is repeatedly played in almost all Punjabi wedding ceremonies on 'special demand'.

To explain further, If you have been to Punjabi weddings in North India and even abroad then must be knowing about this fact and how people like to dance on this particular tune.
Moreover it was never written to be a part of Punjabi culture or tradition anywhere.

With thanks once again,
Keep Visiting and Writing in.


Pritpal Panesar

Nice Article Bobby Bhaji👍

Bobby Sing

Thanks Pritpal.
Glad that your liked it.
Keep Visiting and Writing in,

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