Tuning in: Journeying with Side A/ Side B

Posted on 21 March, 2017 by Team Wishberry


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Living in Mumbai can be a daunting task. There is nothing that I can say about this thriving beast’s pace that hasn’t been already said… it is quick, it takes your breath away, it makes you want to run away on some days and embrace it with all your love on others. This daily tussle and grind can get to the best of us. For me, the biggest escape from this self-inflicted madness (no one asked me to move to Mumbai) is music. I don’t leave my apartment without my music and nearly tattered headphones (the headphones are a sentimental relic from a past long-abandoned).

 

Now, once I got listening to Side A/Side B by Ankur & The Ghalat Family, I fell for the music… hard.

 

Side A

 

Sitting in an autorickshaw and waiting for the snail-paced traffic to at least move a frigging inch on Western Express Highway (I was already late to work) I tuned in to ‘Wagairah Wagairah (Feat. Ghalat Family)’. Trust me on this one and listen to this song. The simple tune, the simple lyrics, the easy-breezy approach, 'wagairah wagairah' (etc., etc.), will make you feel love… even in the time of ‘traffic jams’. And, after a difficult day and a difficult time with a difficult cat, when all I wanted to do was bury my face in my mother’s lap, I tuned in to ‘Hmmm (Feat. Yoad Nevo)’. The song is all about nostalgia. For some it is about lovers lost and for displaced migrants like me, the song is about being home, at home. Finally, what better way to say ‘hello’ to a lazy Sunday than listening to ‘Jhoom (Feat. Zoe Viccaji & Sandunes)’. It is easy on the ears and one needs to put in a word about Zoe Viccaji. She has lent her voice to Jhoom and her voice is like the cold-yet-soothing wind that hits your face. It stings, but only in the most melodious way.

All the tracks on Side A are beautiful. Aa Jaao (Feat. Grain & Blackstratblues), has for sometime, been a favourite of music enthusiasts. And, Harkat (Feat. Ghalat Family) and Mohobbat Zindabad (Feat. Karsh Kale) are both tracks that balance the ‘side’ well.

 

Now for Side B

 

If Side A was a reflection of the artist’s contemplative mind, then Side B is the realisation of that intense contemplation.

 

I will begin with ‘Teri Yaad’. This one is about the cycle of being ‘ok’ about it and then spending sleepless nights thinking over it… the little details… I am talking about perhaps the most equalizing factor that ties all lovers — the break up! While Teri Yaad is about reminiscing, Dil Haare is all about imploring that special someone. The mood though isn’t depressing… this is not a request… this is blatant admission of loving and perhaps, losing. This is a break-up song after my heart!

 

While it may sound like Side B is all about breaking up but fret not for Tu Hee Hai will change that. This is a melody that is about confessing love — love that shakes you from the inside — love that makes a lover scream from rooftops… only in Ankur Tewari’s case it is similar to an ad in the newspaper (listen to the song and you will know)! Now, that we have admitted to love, it’s time for some fair warning about love: Har Kissi Ne is an ode to unheeded warnings when helplessly in love. If you are a fool in love (I sure am), then this is your song. Listen to the wise words and stay away (not really!).

Yaaron on Side B talks about the love that friends share. Growing up, KK’s ‘Yaaron’ was like an anthem for my friends and I. This Yaaron seems perfectly suited to today’s janta that may be into ‘chillum and ghum and rum’, but it is also a janta that understands the importance of friendships. It also underlines something that all of us have been feeling in today’s day and age — it is time to hold on to what makes us human and alive and free without giving into shackles that threaten our very freedom to exist.

 

I am so thankful that albums like Side A/ Side B exist. After getting bombarded with ‘dulhaniyas of Badris’ who party on ‘Saturday, Saturday’ with lasses in ‘Kala Chashmas’ (yep, can do this all day)..., this album makes one want to listen to Hindi gaanas in an unabashed and unapologetic manner.

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