It is different - but not different like some tomato ketchup where the difference cannot be described.
The music album of Taare Zameen Par is different because it doesn’t have the usual tired and clichéd duets and solos in which ‘Tera Deewana’ serenades ‘Meri Jaan-e-Mann’. It doesn’t have that almost mandatory content free “item song” that tries desperately to entertain the public at the cost of coherence. This album doesn’t have songs with such frantic tempo that it seems the songs are trying to run away from themselves or where the meaning of the words, if any, is crushed under the heavy boots of cacophony. The music of Taare Zameen Par is at peace with itself. Here is a music album that carries some heartfelt, sincere, very fresh and extremely original songs. Today when most Hindi film songs are mere assembly line products, this album comes like sunshine on a rainy day and for that one feels like thanking Shankar Ehsaan Loy and lyricist Prasoon Joshi.
Since only a different kind of film can offer different musical situations to the music director and the lyricist and only different kind of situations offer room for different kind of songs, I have no doubt in my mind that a lot of credit goes to producer and actor Aamir Khan who is also wearing the director’s cap for the first time. Need one say that such songs could not have been possible in “Zinda Jala Doonga” or “Pyar Hua Too Much”! The songs of Taare Zameen Par are windows to a different story; even as an actor Aamir Khan has never hesitated from exploring the unchartered oceans of narratives and each time has discovered a new continent of success.
The very first song of the CD sets the mood of the album ‘Kho Na Jayein Yeh Kahin’ is an extremely moving and effective song. There is an honesty and simplicity in the composition and its rendition by Shankar Mahadevan, makes you trust the song. Prasoon Joshi, who is at his creative best, makes a fascinating collage of similes. The song does not ask you to analyse each simile separately. What matters is the ambience these similes create. The song forms a rainbow of many shades of love, tenderness and compassion and Prasoon Joshi introduces many new similes such as “Meethi si Jhapki.”. The song doesn’t end with a bang but slowly fades out, making you feel that even if you can’t hear it any more, it is still resonating somewhere.
The second song, ‘Kholo Kholo’ is another interesting and wholly unpredictable composition. The tune is like a happy, healthy and naughty child who just can’t sit still and again Prasoon makes his presence felt with some unusual images like “Khootay se bandhi hawa”.
The other songs of the album maintain the high standard but the one that strikes the deepest chord in my heart is ‘Ma’. Since Alam Ara, hundreds of songs have paid tribute to the mother and yet this song manages to tug at your heart strings by the sheer simplicity of its emotions. The words, the composition and the sincere, guileless singing by Shankar make it so effective. All I can say is that when I finished listening to the song my eyes were not dry.
Shankar is a trained classical singer. Such singers tend to exhibit their vocal prowess and in the process, often kill the real emotion. Shankar has refrained from any such indulgence.
It is not only the rendering of ‘Ma’ but the music of Taare Zameen Par on the whole has a minimal quality that only Masters of their art with tremendous self confidence can afford. They know how much is enough; you find this minimal quality in the performance of actors like Brando, in the couplets of poets like Meer and in the paintings of artists like Rothoko.
So, here is a music album that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your lips and a tear to your eyes. Here are some songs that tell us that in spite of all the calamities, life is beautiful... I think all of us want to believe that, don’t we?