Fragrance of soil in melody and words

Veena music company has earned a great name in the line of promoting folk music. This Rajasthani music company has been a pioneer in this line and has been active for around two decades. Amidst the noise of fast paced songs full of beats and the loud effect of instruments, Veena has stood by melody and the fragrance of the soil (Indian in general and Rajasthani in particular) and also given breaks to lesser known young talent. Whosoever wants to listen to Rajasthani folk songs in melodious voices of Rajasthani singers with the percussion and the instrumental impact too rendered by the Rajasthani artists should look forward to the presentations of Veena only. However this company has issued music albums of Hindi romantic songs too. Today I am reviewing one such album only whose romantic songs contain the innocence of the loving heart on one hand and the fragrance of our soil on the other. This album is Laal Dupatta (red mantilla).5986982014_12-54-15_2004laal_dupattaI had bought the cassette of  Laal Dupatta in 2006 from a local cassette-cd-dvd shop at Rawatbhata (Rajasthan) because I had got sick of listening to filmy songs and all of a sudden this cassette caught my attention when I was doing window watching in that shop. The shopkeeper who was well-known to me, (naturally) recommended the cassette to me but even without his recommendation, I had made up my mind to buy and listen to Laal Dupatta because the words of different songs as given in the cover of the cassette (in fact, the complete versions are given in the inner side of the cover) had fascinated me and even without listening to them, I had got the message from my instinct that it’s a heart-conqueror. And my instinct did not betray me. I got simply won over by most of the songs sung by two Rajasthani singers and two playback singers of Bollywood. Amidst the noisy and suffocating cine-music coming from all the directions, this album came just like a gust of fresh air to me.

The A side of Laal Dupatta contains four songs. The first one is Kaanta Chubha Mere Paaon Mein, Bedardi Tere Gaaon Mein which has been sung by Bollywood singer – Shreya Ghoshal in her enchanting voice. Despite the softness of the words, this song maintains a fast pace.  The second one is Yeh Badi Pyari Ghadi Hai Is Saal Ki sung by Soumya Mathur. This is a very lovely song containing the sentiments of a girl who has got her first crush. The next one in this side is the title track – Laal Dupatta Sar Se Sarka Jaaye Re in the voice of Bollywood singer – Sunidhi Chauhan. Personally, I found this song as the weakest one in the album, mainly because of its lack of originality. The composition is a complete copy of a very old Rajasthani folk song – Udiyo Re Udiyo Aado Tedo Jaaye Re. In my humble opinion, using the composition of folk songs to fit newly written lyrics in them is not in line with the spirit of the folk-music (besides, it is plagiarism). Sunidhi has sung it nicely but it’s not something extra-ordinary. The last song in this side is in the voice of well-known Rajasthani singer – Seema Mishra – Main Sapne Tere Dekhoon which is a heart-conquering song containing the tender feelings of a girl visualizing her beau in different shades of the nature.

The B side of the cassette also contains four songs. The first one is Khanaki Choodi Chhanaki Paayal which is a song full of frolic and romance. Seema Mishra has sung it with utmost jollity. The second song again sung by Seema Mishra is Din Ab Chhote Hone Lage Hain Raaten Lambi Lambi which refers to the season of winter in a romantic way with the lady longing for the union with her beau / husband.  The next one is in the voice of Shreya Ghoshal. It is Saawan Ki Aati Hai Phuhaar linking the rainy season with the romance in the lady’s heart. And the album ends with a fast, jolly Punjabi song in the voice of Soumya Mathur. It is Munde Haay Nee.

Since the mood of the album is related to the romance in the hearts of the females, all the songs have been kept in female voices only. This is an album which fills the heart of the listener with tender feelings and lovely romance and lifts his / her spirits. Four songs have been penned by Tauqeer Zaidi and four by Rakesh Nirala. All the lyrics are touching and contain romantic feelings sans any vulgarity. Despite usage of simple words, the lyrics are pretty impressive and worth remembering. The colours and the fragrance of Indian soil can be seen and sniffed in them. The music has been composed by Saagar Sen. The composer has kept the melody intact while preparing the tunes while the arranger (Y.S. Moolky) has restricted the sounds of the instruments to the minimum. Instruments like clarinet, Sitar, mandolin,  flute, Swarlin, guitar, Dhol, tabor etc. have been used but their sounds amalgamate with the voice of the singer concerned and generate an ear-soothing effect.

In addition to the Bollywood celebrities like Shreya and Sunidhi, the low profile Rajasthani singers like Seema Mishra and Soumya Mathur have sung the respective songs with utmost passion, virtually pouring their hearts in singing them. Several good voices have been used for the chorus supporting the lead voice.

Laal Dupatta is an album of light romantic songs. Though the compositions and instrumental music throw the fragrance of Rajasthani soil (with the last song containing Punjabi flavour), the overall impact is Indian as the lyrics are in Hindi. This non-filmy album may not be considered an outstanding one but it is definitely a treat for the music-lovers who are tired of beat-loaded filmy songs meant to arouse foot-tapping only. Any music-lover will cherish the experience for long after listening to Laal Dupatta and will love to listen to it many times as I have been listening to it for the past ten years.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
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