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The customary list at the end of the year. Here are songs that were my personal favorites from 2013. They are listed in no particular order of liking.

Legend :Movie Name – Song – Music Director – Singer(s) – Lyricist

Kai Po Che – Manja – Amit Trivedi – Amit Trivedi – Swanand Kirkire

Kai Po Che is a movie about growing-up, about boys becoming men, and above all – friendship. The spirit of the three protagonists and the overall theme of “optimism” portrayed in the movie is represented very well in Swanand’s simple poetry:

“Roothe khaabon ko mana lenge
Kati patango ko thaamenge……suljha lenge ulajhe rishton ka manja…”

Amit Trivedi sings these words with a lazy abandon which almost sounds like someone is singing these words casually and not in a purposeful manner – like how a youngster would hum a song while doing other chores. 

Go Goa Gone – Babaji ki booti – Sachin,Jigar – Anand Tiwari, Kunal Khemu – Amitabh Bhattacharya

Is this the first true stoner song to feature in a Hindi movie? The entire song is a trip – the lyrics, the steady rhythm, the singing, and the way its shot.

David – Tere Mere Pyaar Ki – Prashant Pillai – Naresh Iyer, Shweta Pandit – Gopal Dutt

While it’s an ear-pleasing melody, this song features on this list primarily because of the perfect lighting in every frame of this song. I know, it’s got no relation with the musical aspect of the song, but it’s my list, so deal with it! Prashant Pillai showed his technical chops in his debut film “Shaitaan” (which I quite liked) and continues to display his flair with the camera, lighting, and the overall composition of a shot with his second outing as a director.

David – Yun hi re – Anirudh – Anirudh, Shweta Mohan – Turaz

Yes, this is the same Anirudh of the Kolaveri sensation.  If these two songs are a sampling of his talent, then I am optimistic he has a long career ahead of him. After all, he is only 23!!

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – Ilaahi – Pritam – Arijit Singh – Amitabh Bhattacharya

YJHD had at least three songs that I warmed up to big time – badtameez dil, kabeera, and ilaahi. I picked Ilaahi over the other two because it gave me a sense of wide open spaces and an unapologetic nomadic freedom. The way Pritam uses voices of children in the chorus is quite delightful and works very well to lend an innocence to the lost soul of the protagonist. And what do I say about the poetry? It describes the state of the nomadic existence quite succinctly:

“Meraa falsafaa kandhe pe mera bastaa

Chalaa main jahaan le chalaa mujhe rastaa

Boondon pe nahin, Boondon ke samandar pe…..”

Amitabh has clearly proven himself as a prolific poet – he has written beautiful poetry to a number of situations & emotions with elan –  YJHD, Go Goa Gone, and Lootera – all in the same year. Bravo!

Fukrey – Fuk fuk fukrey – Ram Sampath – Ram Sampath, Yash Divecha, Amjad Bagadwa, Vrashal Chavan – Vipul Vig, Munna Dhiman

Paradoxical that there is such a zany energy in a song about vellas and vella-ness. The composition and singing are brimming with masti and mischief, but it’s the lyrics that make you grin:

“Bhaga bhoot langoti leke chaddar taan ke tu chhup re”,

“Ban gayi fukron ki toli
Utthi kangalon ki doli
Ek pant hai ab bhi pehni
Doosri dho rahi hain mummy”

And is this the first time I hear the use of dubstep in a Hindi song?

Fukrey – Ambarsariya – Ram Sampath – Sona Mohapatra – Munna Dhiman

An instantly ear-pleasing melody sung with a delicate twang by Ram’s wife, Sona Mohapatra. The minimal use of instruments not only enhances the simplicity of the tune, but allows us to focus on Sona’s delicate singing.

Raanjhanaa – Tum tak – A R Rahman – Javed Ali, Keerthi Sagathia, Pooja Vaidyanath, Irshad Kamil

After a mediocre 2012, Rahman struck back with this stellar soundtrack. I have already written much about the central character and the importance of this song to this character here. Rahman uses many traditional Hindustani musical instruments: shehnai, sitar, mridang, temple bells, taals, etc. to create an immersive experience. Listen to this song on a good pair of headphones to really hear each instrument complimenting the other. And tall above the composition, stand Irshad Kamil’s luminous words, which are nothing short of a devotional ode to the idea of love itself:

Nainon ke ghaat le ja, nainon ki naiyyaa. Patwaar tu hai meri, tu khewaiyya!

Raanjhanaa – Banarasiya – A R Rahman – Shreya Ghoshal, Anwesha Datta Gupta, Meenal Jain – Irshad Kamil

Irshad Kamil has written a perfect song for all things Banarasi: the famous banarasi paan “gaal mein jab yeh paan chabaye, paan banarasiya“, the banarasi tashan- “teen taal mein chalti jaaye chaal banarasiya“, the colors, the bhaang, the music, the ghaats: “ghaat kinaare umar guzaari, ghaat banarasiya“! While all the girls do a swell job in the singing department, Shreya obviously steals the show. This is a song meant for a young Lata, and Shreya did not make me miss the young Lata.

D-Day – Alvida – Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy – Nikhil D’Souza, Shruti Hassan, Loy, Sukhwinder Singh – Niranjan Iyengar

This song packs a gut-wrenching emotional wallop in it’s melody, singing, and above all its poetry. Especially, these two lines:

Umr bhar ka saath de jo, Kyun wohi pyaar ho!
Kyun na mit ke jo fanaa ho, Woh bhi pyaar ho!

Nikhil and Shruti sing it with the required pathos, but I personally feel Sukhwinder’s part is slightly out of sync with the rest of the song.

Lastly, a special mention to the director, Nikhil Advani, for the creativity in the way this sequence has been shot. Watch it below:

Lootera – Zinda – Amit Trivedi – Amit Trivedi – Amitabh Bhattacharya

If I had to pick a personal favorite of the year, this is my favorite soundtrack. Every song is a gem and only grows with repeat listening. Of all the songs,  I have realized I have become very fond of this one song for some intensely personal reasons. Amitabh’s words may have a casual conversational feel – “zinda hoon yaar, kaafi hai“, but you can peel the layers to reveal some great wordplay in poetry related to existentialism:

“Hawaaon Se Jo Maanga Hissa Mera
To Badle Main Hawa Ne Saans Di…”

Lootera – Manmarizyan – Amit Trivedi – Shilpa Rao, Amit Trivedi, Amitabh Bhattacharya – Amitabh Bhattacharya

Shilpa Rao completely owns this one! It’s no secret that I am deeply in love with her singing and her vocals. Aside from her singing, Amitabh once again shines in his simple poetry:

Hosh khoya, par sambhale…Manmarziyan!



Soundtrack of the year: Lootera

Male singer of the year: Javed Ali – Tum tak

Female singer of the year: Shreya Ghoshal – Banarasiya

Composer of the year: Amit Trivedi – Lootera, Kai Po Che

Lyricist of the year: Amitabh Bhattacharya – YJHD, Go Goa Gone, Lootera