Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Those" Punjabi songs

In January, 2006 came a punjabi singer by the name of Gurinder Kaur Kainth and she became a sensation named Miss Pooja. Her stardom reached a stage where songs in the same genre came to be known as the "miss pooja type songs" even if she was not one of the singers. Off late I have had extensive access to such songs thanks to my dad's chauffeur who aparently has a new CD of her songs every 3 months I go home. 1500 songs in 4 years, how else can you justify that? Because of this exposure, I have had a new look at this genre of songs and my views have changed significantly, and in a positive way. Judge me if you want to, but wait till you read it all.

The so called miss pooja songs have done something which no other singer or genre of songs could do before that-Bringing to light the comtemporary issues faced by the people in Punjab. When I say people, I am not talking about people like you and me but people who are staying in the interior towns and villages of punjab.

Babbu Mann might have sung "Mittran Di Chattri" to exemplify the "married off to Canada" concept but the shayari and nicely written lyrics might make a lot of sense but it really doesnt hit the problem of girls being married off against their will. But when one of "those" punjabi songs come up with the lyrics , "maape kende vihah k kudi torni caneda vicho munda aayuga", it makes a point. Its simple, its straight and hits the issue on the head. If we actually look at the problem and its roots, its more apparent at the lower/mid strata of the society and people from that strata can easily relate to such "desi" lyrics.

Another category of songs which are famous/infamous have been songs related to conversations of lovers and the problems arising from that. There have been innumerable songs where the girl is trying to explain why she can't talk while at home as her mother can listen to the conversation. A lot of us might not have faced this problem but in a society where the concept of girlfriends/boyfriends or rather just guy and female friends is not accepted, it is a genuine problem. When such people hear such songs, they easily relate to them and enjoy these songs at the same time. There also have been some songs where wives complain about the excessive drinking nature of their husbands. It is a big problem and is being addressed through this medium.

Another issue these songs have been able to address is the problems faced by the farmers of punjab. There was an entire series of songs named Jhona in which the songs specifically talked about rice growing in Punjab and problems related to it. This issue is of utmost importance in a state which is one of the highest rice and wheat producing states in the country.

Chandigarh is arguably one of the most overused word in punjabi music. I guess only Bullet & Mobile can compete with it. I often joke with my friends that there is not any other city about which so many songs have been written. But, Whats the reason for that? In marketing terms, I would say ASPIRATION. Chandigarh is an aspirational location for youth living in different parts of punjab and this aspiration is being targetted through the songs which, to me, makes perfect sense. In similar songs, the abuse of power in Punjab has also been well depicted like in one of the songs the protaganist sings " chandigarhon phone aaju wadde saab da, fer marde saloot vekhin sare." This is a very mocking take at the power of "approach" in Punjab.

In all, I think Miss Pooja and other fellow singers have played a major role in bringing forward such issues and at the same time making sure that the common man understands the idea. There are ofcourse non-sensical songs that come along but where not? Or How else do you justify the success of "Munni Badnam Hui" & "Sheila ki Jawani."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Those 15 men!

Come Feb 19, 2011 and the whole of India would be glued to their TV sets for the next 40 odd days. The reason-World Cup of Cricket is back and this time in India alongwit Sri Lanka & Bangladesh. India went out in the semis both in 1987 & 1996, the other editions of the WC that were held in the subcontinent. Can we do two steps better this time around??

The team on which the onus lies to win back the World Cup for us after a gap of 28 years has finally been announced, and those 15 men are:-

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yousuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin

Most of the players actually picked up themselves either on the basis of performance or image. These are the ones in bold. The rest of the players were dependent on what balance the slectors and Dhoni wanted in the side. Some of the major names that missed out despite decent performances would be Rohit Sharma, Sreesanth & Pragyan Ojha.

So, there might have been some discussion about Yousuf or Rohit but Yousuf's explosive style and bowling abilities must have taken things into his favour. The thing that confuses me the most is Why our selectors have gone with 3 spinners. I know its the Sub-Continent and the ball will spin but 2 spinners with Sehwag, Yuvraj and Pathan as more than average part time spinners would have been a good combination. Taking an extra spinner at the cost of poor Rohit Sharma has been a bit harsh on him

Sreesanth performed very well in South Africa and deserved a call up but in place of whom? His biggest positive has always been the ability to pick wickets and the biggest problem has always been his ability to ball bad deliveries in every over. The selectors must have thought his as a high risk-high gain proposition so they decided to hedge their risk by taking a Munaf Patel who can contain the batsmen after the field is spread out.

The third major name to miss out- Prayan Ojha has been a bit undone I feel. He has virtually done nothing wrong whenever he has played for India and his performances in the IPL for Deccan Chargers have also been exceptionally well. Maybe his inability to bat and provide some useful runs played into the hands of Piyush Chawla who can bat decently.

Overall, I feel there is noone in the side who didn't deserve it, but some surely have missed out who deserved it a bit more. Will this side win the world cup for us? Let us hopse so!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And Sold...IPL Auction Day 1

IPL is back or atleast the auction is. After months of speculations and legal battles, all the 10 teams made it to the auction table but there was the last surprise in store with Rajasthan's total budget being reduced to $7 mn instead of  $9 mn as it is for everyone else. The reason is still a bit uncertain.

If we have a look at the teams building up, one thing is for sure-A lot of player and team loyalties are going to be tested as besides Chennai, very few teams have brought many of their ex team members. Chennai, though went all out to buy who were there own-Ashwin,Badrinath,Boullinger & Hussey. To this, they have added Dwayne Bravo and Wridhiman Saha. And remember; they had retained Dhoni,Raina,Vijay and Morkel. So this looks to be a great team with a good mix of domestic players & foreign players,bowlers & batsmen. They will again be one the favourites, like in the previous editions.

Mumbai Indians were the other side who had retained the maximum allowed limit of 4 players which were Sachin, Harbhajan, Pollard & Malinga. Neeta Ambani bid aggresively for Rohit Sharma which was a great buy but extremely affected the overall budget. The other buys were James Franklin, Andrew Symonds & Davy Jocobs. This looks like an interesting side developing here but MI will have to just fill around the other spots because they don't have a lot of money left. But, SRT is known to have a good eye for youngsters and a knack of backing them so that may not be a big problem as they have the master tendulkar who seems to running the show(aggresive bidding for rohit sharma being a proof). Will be interesting to see though, how Bhajji and Symo get along after "Monkey"gate!

Deccan Chargers seemed to be the team who did the smartest bidding. They didn't go too hard, but stole some gems at a bargain. They now are home to Steyn, Sangakkara, Cameron White, Pieterson, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Shikhar Dhawan & JP Duminy. A perfect mix of bowling,batting, domestic, foreign, stability and firepower. To add to this, they are still the team which maximum amount left in their exchequer. Great Work Chargers.

The schewd and smart Vijay Mallya was calling the shots for Bangalore with some smart advise from Kumble being a bonus. RCB knew the players they just needed to have and went all out for them. Be it Saurabh Tiwary or AB Devilliers. They now have a deadly pace attack with Zaheer and Dirk Nannes, one of the smartest spinners in the world-Daniel Vettori, A dependable and destructive Dilshan,young and talented Chiteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli being the one they retained. Just too good a side to have. But with the budget dwindling, they will have to make smart choices to build the bench strength.

Delhi Daredevils made a slow start to the day with no bids early on. They got aggressive with Irfan Pathan for whom they fought ferociously with Kings XI Punjab. After that they concentrated mostly on foreign players with David Warner coming back to revive the Veeru-Warner deadly partnership. Their other buys were Morne Morkel, James Hopes, Aaron Flinch and Naman Ojha. They still have a lot of money to spend and they will be very aggresive on day 2.

Kolkata Knight Riders were the ones who started the day with a frenzy and paying a whopping $ 2.4 mn for Gambhir, who certainly is worth it. A proven performer and an ODI captain with 100% winning rate(I know it was New Zealand but still-statistics). Gauti can certainly turn the ship for KKR provided he has good company which we now know is being provided by Yusuf Pathan, Jacques Kallis, Shakib Al Hasan, Manoj Tiwary, Brett Lee, Eoin Morgan & Brad Haddin. This is a great side but a bit lacking in the bowling department as Lee's fitness is always a concern. They will be looking for some steals in the bowling department on day 2. Gambhir and Pathan were incidentatlly the two most expensive players today. SRK always goes hard for whom he wants.

Kings XI Punjab would have been pleased just to be sitting there after all the drama surrounding them in the last few months. They were unlucky that whichever players they pursued were wanted badly by someone else as well so they missed on Pathan as a case but Preity Zinta didn't lose that pretty smile despite, which was good to see. KXIP bagged the services of Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey, Dinesh Karthik, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Abhishek Nayyar, Stuart Broad & Ryan Harris. They seem to have gone a bit overboard with Nayyar as he is not really a T20 specialist but he is a stable batsmen and someone who can be banked upon. Whats lacking in this side are big names which seems to be a hige shift from the earlier strategy where Yuvraj, Lee, Pathan being the marketable faces(besides the talent) in the side. A couple of real good buys in Praveen Kumar & Hussey in this side. They need to focus on some domestic players now as they have plenty of foreign talent in the side now. They will be the darkhorse in IPL 4, I guess but I hope they do a Rajasthan Royals(IPL 1). Go Kings XI!!

Rajashthan Royals didn't have the presence of Shane Warne on the table but his word was certainly important in what they did. With the budget being 7 against 9 for others, they needed some smart buys which came in the form of Paul Collingwood and Ross Taylor. They only brought Johan Botha and Rahul Dravid besides these two. They paid $950 mn for Botha which is strange as they already have a world class spinner in Shane Warne. Besides Warne, they have retained Shane Watson. They will be heavily relying on Shane Warne's eye to spot some really good domestic players as otherwise $2 mn deficit will surely be a disadvantage.

Sahara Pune Warriors were one of two new teams entering the fray but they had done their homework well. They bid heavily for Robin Uthappa and Yuvraj Singh, who are explosive when it comes to T20. Yuvraj seems to have been paid well for his capability and allround abilites because his batting in the earlier editions has just not been upto the mark. Kings XI tried to get him back till a point but then they backed off against the aggressive Pune. Angelo Mathews, Ashish Nehra, Grahme Smith,Calum Fergusson, Tim Paine and Nathan Mcullum were the other buys. There strategy was similar to KKR's-Bid heavy for a couple and try to get some cheap buys.

Kochi are the other new team into the IPL, who still havent decided on a name. They were involved in a lot of bidding wars, winning a few and losing a few. Their prized posessions are Mahela Jayawardene and Murali. They also have one of the best opening bowling combos in RP Singh and Sreesanth, who will be the hometown boy. They will also be having Ravindra Jadeja, Brendom McCullum, Brad Hodge, VVS Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Steven Smith and Ramesh Powar at their disposal. They have build a good roster here but they lack some dependable players. Sreesanth, Jadeja, McCullum & Jayawardene can all be amazing on their days but just fall away on others. But they still have decent money left with them so lets see whom they buy on day 2.

These are the teams and all of them look competitive but today will be remembered for the players who weren't bid for i.e. Ganguly, Lara and Gibbs. There were many more but these are names who would have been part of most World XI's a few years back and now noone even wants them. With Lara, its understandable as he has played no cricket for the last 3 years and failed badly in his brief ICL stint but Ganguly and Gibbs must have been more shocked. But, there is till hope left as they come back for auction when all the players available have been put up on auction once.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What could have been

So, the much talked about India-SA test series has finally come to an end and as most would agree, to a fair end. India were thrashed by South Africa in the first test and India came back strongly in the second match to show what they can do, even on green tops.

However, differenciating the 2 sides in the 3rd test is next to impossible.While kallis anD Steyn were out of the ordinary throughout the match, India had the services of SRT,Sreesanth,Harbhajan & Gambhir to thank at different points in the test match. I have been reading a lot in the last few hours about how some people felt that India didn't play as a true champion and how India should have gone for the win etc etc. I, on the contrary, have a new found respect for the Indian side after today's display. I am not a strong believer in the No.1 or No.2 debate. So, I don't feel as a "No. 1" team, India had to try and win the game at all costs. Wouldn't we all have loved to see India winning? Ofcourse we would have, atleast here in India! But being realistic, When was the last time a team scored 340 on the last day to win a test match? When was the last time India did something like that? Infact, India have a very poor reputation when it comes to batting on the final day or the last innings. So, going for the victory is great as it sounds but it invariably means taking the risk of losing. If that had been the case, the same people who feel India should have gone for the "win" would have been writing about how India can't play to save a match.

I feel the entire Indian batting showed a lot of class and composure in the way they batted today. At tea on the 4th day, everyone in the Indian dressing room would be looking forward to a series win but the way Kallis and co batted in the last 2 hours on the 4th day, they just took the match away from India. India knew they had let the opportunity slip away but rather than doing something extravagant and going on a blitzkrieg, they did what was sound and logical-They tried to play for a draw on a pitch where scoring freely was not really an option. But, the way they played to save the match was what caught my imagination. Similar attempts have been made in the past by our national team but invariably they have had to bite the dust as we have never been good at being extra defensive. But the way each and every batsmen applied himself on the field today was admirable. Gambhir did a Kalllis for India when he carried on with an injury to take India to safety, Sehwag did what we thought he just cant-control himself, Dravid was a rock solid wall, Sachin showed that his class is not just in the runs and centuries he has scored but in his capability to adjust according to situations and VVS showed he is what he is.

So, I dont see this as having let go of a possible win because we did that on the 4th day. I see this as a beautiful display of craft by what is often defined as the best batting line up on paper.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Amplifier-English Version!

Sometime back I posted the lyrics of a Punjabi song-Lock Up in an English Avatar, which was highly appreciated by all you guys. So, another attempt in the same league and this time we have arguably the most popular Punjabi song in the last decade-AMPLIFIER!!

Original Punjabi Lyrics

Kaaliyan baariyan ve gaddiyaan nu mein lawaan
Speed mein do sau bees (220) di chala Police de samne mein nai rukhda
I am a knight rider

Breakaan maar maar tardi mein chiekh kad da
Sari loki takde we ki hogeya lagda we injh mera dil ruk gaya
Onu mein puchda

Ni gaddi sadi beja ni jattiye
Ni door tenu lehja ve adiye
Ni woofer tu meri meri
Mein tera amplifier fire

Gaddi meri tenu ve awaaz mardi
Black leather seetaan uttey aah bendi
Tenu ve main sair karawanga ni
Puri duniya di

Kehndi garmi we lagdi ve seeney ni
Pijh gai weh kurti paseeney di
Challi degree c di tooph pendi
On karan AC


Jaandi eh club das tere ki iraade
DJ nu puch ki lawawa main tere gaane
Lehja main lehja tenu jithe bhi tu chaave
Ik vaari aawe moodh banawe
Jaandi eh club das tere ki iraade
Dj nu puch ki lawawa main tere gaane
Lehja main lehja tenu jithe bhi tu chaave
Ik vaari aawe moodh banawe


Mein tera amplifier, fire, fire (*5)

Now, the English Version

Black doors my car is having
At 220 speed I am driving
I don’t give a damn to the police officers
I am a knight rider

Applying brakes to make the tyres shriek
All heads turn to see
Seems today my heart has stopped
So her I stalk


Please sit in my car you beauty
I will take you far away you sweetie
You are my woofer, mine
I am your amplifier, fire

My car is calling your name
So come sit and be a game
I will take you on a world ride
Take the leather seat on my side

She said she is feeling the heat
Clothes getting wet because of the leather seats
The temperature is 40 degrees
I said, “Shall I turn on the AC!”


Are you in a mood to go to a club
Whichever you say-A disc or a pub
I will make the DJ play your songs
Just life my spirits and come along

Are you in a mood to go to a club
Whichever you say-A disc or a pub
I will make the DJ play your songs
Just lift my spirits and come along


I am your amplifier, fire,fire
I am your amplifier, fire,fire
I am your amplifier, fire, fire
I am your amplifier, fire, fire

P.S.- I have tried to stick to the original lyrics as much as possible but have taken creative liberty at points to make it rhyme