Monthly Archives: September 2004

Why 42?

Most people reading this blog will find it useless. But some people have asked (which is a good way to put it when you cannot think of any one person who asked) what the 42 in my Musical Ramblings series is all about, so this blog is for those souls.

(Potential plot spoilers ahead)

42 is a concept taken from Douglas Adams‘s series of books — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a ‘trilogy in five parts’ as the author describes it. It is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. The supercomputer Deep Thought is built to answer this, and after seven and a half million years of computing it gives the result : forty-two. The relevant lines from the book go something like this —

“Forty-two!” yelled Loonquawl. “Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million years’ work?”
“I checked it very thoroughly,” said the computer, “and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is.”

The creators of Deep Thought realize that they really don’t know the question. At this point Deep Thought offers to design an even more powerful computer — the Earth, to figure out the question. However, after ten million years of calculation and five minutes before the computation is completed, the Earth is destroyed by Vogons. So now, we’ll never know.

Interesting sidenote — Google has a calculator built into its search engine, which contains a formula for the question — answer to life the universe and everything. Try it and see what it returns!

Musical ramblings (Part 4/42)

Come September, I am back. What? You thought I was kidding about the 42? Aw, such naiveté. So here goes — opinions and rants about a movie recently on the charts — Dhoom.

(Music links on musicindiaonline.com)

Dhoom (Pritam Chakraborty) — This being a Yash Raj film, one might expect the heroine in a white saree, foreign locales, mist covered mountains, santoor playing in background.. *screeeech of brakes* Wait. Dhoom is kinda a desi cops-and-robbers story, The Fast and The Furious and Torque all rolled into one. This cinematic theme change is also apparent in the music. This album is about pace and general catchiness so the sarees will have to remain in the costume cupboard for this one. Three songs of this soundtrack are worth mentioning —

  • Dhoom machale dhoom‘ — The energy of this song and Sunidhi Chauhan’s spirited singing work in its favor, although it gets noisy in parts. It falls flat in the antaras at times, but the mukhda picks up the pace once again. Though I don’t really care for the ‘do you want more.. are you sure? oh-kayyy‘ in the middle of the song, it is fortunately short-lived so I can tune it out. Incidentally, this is the song that plays in the promos, with bikes, cars and trucks falling over each other and dutifully exploding into flames.

  • Shikdum‘ — A playful and catchy composition (which at times, sounds suspiciously like some other song i’ve heard, although I cannot place it) that is further enhanced by the singing chemistry that Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal share. Their voices have been altered a lil, to give it a synthesized feel. The Soca/Calypso influence is apparent throughout the song, even more so in the interludes (steel drums et al). What in the world does ‘shikdum‘ mean, you wonder? Don’t. Sameer is the lyricist. Watch the movie and figure it out.

  • Dilbara‘ — This song started out sounding average, but Abhijeet’s singing, a rather interesting chorus and an assortment of percussions (especially at the start of the song) have made it worthy of more listens. Sowmya Raoh joins in the latter half of the song. This song is definitely better for its music/interludes than its singing though. Nice breezy number this.

The soundtrack isn’t one to stay in your head for long, but it fits in well with the mood of the movie. The movie itself — a timepass flick that has plenty of eye-candy for all. Bad boy John Abraham on a bike. Abhishek Bachchan, period. Hmmmmmm. And for those who want to know — Rimi Sen and Esha Deol. Well, we all know what I think of the latter, so i’ll be nice and not say a word. Uday Chopra, who so far has excelled in roles that annoy you, finally seems to have found his niche as the tappori-dude-with-a-heart-of-gold. (A role Aamir Khan redefined in Rangeela but its best not to compare.) All in all, paisa vasool.

Sidenote — If you’re suffering from withdrawal symptoms from the lack of the mountains and sarson ke khet in Dhoom, not to worry. The trailer for the upcoming Yash Chopra Diwali venture Veer-Zaara, shown along with Dhoom more than makes up for it. Indo-Pak love-fest this is gonna be, it seems. Veer Pratap Singh (Shahrukh Khan playing a desi fighter pilot, good grief) falling in love with Zaara Hayaat Khan. (Preity Zinta playing a Pakistani cutie) Doomed love and all that goop. Not to fikar though. Yash Chopra has a solution to your problem is the form of Rani Mukherjee — ‘a lawyer who fights to bring the lovers together’. Hm, we’ll see. Love and justice ek saath? Bhai wah. Gotta watch out for the music though. The late maestro Madan Mohan’s unused tunes being arranged by son Sanjeev Kohli. Sounds promising.

The love and justice thing reminds me of an Utpal Dutt dialogue from Rang Birangi, in which he plays a cop (with a zabardast name like Dhurandar Bhatwadekar) and is yelling at some paploo who has just been arrested for selling movie tickets in black. He goes — Cinema ke ticket?! Woh bhi black mein?! Yaani ki paap bhi aur jurm bhi! Utpal Dutt ROCKS!