Thursday, 14 July 2011

Vividh Bharti ki Adelaide Sewa

Among the many things that I miss about India is Vividh Bharti. OK, and a little bit of radio mirchi, radio city and so on and so forth. I also miss music generally playing about - in shops, in autos, the diversity of ring tones and caller songs.
To get around this deficiency, I turned to youtube and started making playlists. I was eventually faced with a dilemma that I have since learned is classic filer's dilemma - fat files or thin files? That is, should I just put in all kinds of songs in one playlist or should I make separate ones for different composers, different time periods? Since I was trying to replicate the experience of listening to the radio, but still didn't want A R Rehman to follow Rafi, I have come up with the following playlists, though I keep shuffling things around.
So here are my playlists, in strict alphabetical order (drums roll, trumpets sound)

1. Angrezi - As the name suggests, all the English songs are here. This playlist is a bit of a mess, because if you turn the shuffle button on, 'Wouldn't it be lovely' could follow 'Riders on the Storm'. I've been recently toying over the idea of diving this list into Angrezi phillum and angrezi gaane, but have not really done it yet. This is the playlist that I listen to the least. Its a nostalgia thing - I like these songs, but whenever I want to listen to music, I want to listen to the music that I cannot hear on radio, tv etc. here.

2. Bhasha - This is the first playlist I made. The various languages are some of my fondest memories of friends. There are Gujarati songs, but I didn't grow up listening to Gujarati songs. It was only when I had shifted to Delhi that I missed hearing Gujarati spoken, and discovered Gujarati songs on the internet. And as mom got more involved with Gujarati cultural societies, she would take me to concerts whenever I visited Gandhinagar. The Assamese songs remind me of Prachi, the Bhupen Hazarika ones of Saumya, the Oriya songs of Rakshi and Anubhuti and the Bengali ones of Arunima, Monjita and Dr. Basu. The Punjabi songs on the playlist work at two levels - there are the Rabbi songs, i.e. the good songs, but the others are courtesy Delhi car drivers! Finally, the Telugu and Tamil songs are courtesy Vipul. He introduced me to Telugu and Tamil movies, and I have come to enjoy them a lot. I find their movies frequently more realistic, and some of their actors totally charming. (Siddharth, I mean you!) So here is one video from the playlist with subtitles, and a relatively easy one to get started on - since it talks of friendship.




3. Contemporary choices - The name is pompous and a mistake, since I started this playlist in 2009 and so it keeps getting less contemporary each day. This is the one where all the new songs go in, though new is debatable since it has songs from Dahek (Saawan barse tarse dil) and Rules Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula (Uljhano ko de diya hai tumne jo mera pata, waise pyaar ke naam pe toh yaaro sab hua hai and chodo na mujhe yun bekraar sa). It also has songs from Euphoria, Indian Ocean and Strings.

4. Learning - This one is the smallest playlist, with only an Urdu alphabet jingle and some interviews, some introductory lectures and so on.

5. Melodies - This is where the line between this one and contemporary songs gets blurred further. This one has songs from Bazaar, Gharonda, Mausam, Aandhi and a lot of Gulzar songs. At the same time, it also has Amitabh Bachchan songs and Rishi Kapoor songs and songs of the 90s that don't seem as good when heard in such august company but are still dear to me nevertheless. The better songs from the 90s include Kareeb, Zubeida and QSQT, but putting them in the same playlist as Jhuki jhuki si nazar and tu chanda main chandni teri tempts me to break the playlist by decades or something. Here is one song that I had completely forgotten but remembered courtesy youtube:




6. Nostalgia - This is the biggest playlist of them all. All the old songs, especially the black and white ones, go here. There are just so many songs that I love in this playlist that listing or embedding one or two seems impossible. Here's one anyway:



7. Saadho - This is the one with songs from Kabir, Ghalib, Harivansh Rai Bachchan's Madhushala sung by Manna De, the Kabir dohas from Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhe Se and a few classical Indian songs. This is a recent playlist and I'm enjoying the music that I am discovering through it a lot. Papa gave me a CD of the first song on this playlist, and I often listen to it over and over again. It is Kumar Gandharva singing Kabir's Ud Jaayega Hans Akela and is beautiful:



8. Shlok - The title is self explanatory. This one has shloks sung by Pandit Jasraj and a few bhajans from films. Am I an atheist or a believer? I have no idea. I do have this playlist though, that I play once in a while, about the only religious thing I do.

9. Tempo - This is the title that I'm proudest of! Tempo has all the dance numbers, but it also has all the songs one would hear in a tempo, in a DTC bus etc. But all my secret pride at this name was shattered when I discovered that Vipul has a playlist called 'Gheuntak' which has all the Govinda-Karishma songs! I think that is a better title than mine.

So these are my playlists. Do I sound like I have too much time on my hands and nothing better to do with it? Probably. However, on most mornings I switch the computer on, select a playlist, put it on shuffle and then open my eyes. That is what makes a good day!