Music: Tapas Relia
Singers: Kailash Kher, Suchi and Ankita Josi, Papon, Monali Thakur
Lyrics: Manoj Yadav
Nagesh Kuknoor’s Lakshmi is a real life-inspired story about a 14-year-old village girl forcefully pushed into the flesh trade in Mumbai. The music of the movie is a whole buffet of emotions, where a song can make you feel miserable, helpless, sad, angry, happy…every emotion in the book and then some.
Hai rehem hai karam: This one begins with the chorus Maula… maula… humein tera noor udhar de maula… and it grabs attention almost instantly for the genuine fervour that resonates in the voices of the singers. Tapas Relia has done a commendable job at bringing out the strengths of the song – the lyrics and Kailash’s voice – and has backed these with subtle music, forming a wonderful camaraderie of notes, beats and vocals. A typical Kailash Kher qawwali-inspired track, Hai rehem takes you away from your surroundings to think about the miserable conditions in society today. Ilaa hai yahin, mariyam yahin hai… Sab me radha kahi, sita kahi hai Par kisi me wo ram, krishan kyu nahi hai…
Sun Suguna re: The track takes time to sink in, because it’s not just another run of the mill track. Sun Suguna is fairly slow, with lyrics that are difficult to understand owing to the dehati (rural) accent. But once you realise what the movie is about, the track brings in a sense of melancholy that cannot be shaken off. The soulful and rustic voices of Suchi and Ankita Joshi cast a spell that makes you want to hear the song on loop. Manoj Yadav has woven magic with the words- Sun Suguna re, amma k leja laado balaiya re… The song is about how a mother is wishing her daughter well in her husband’s home; that the mother wishes to take away the daughter’s balaayein (hardships), beautiful, no? But once the song plays and you picture Lakshmi’s struggle – it takes irony to a whole new level.
Sun ri baavli: Remember the magical voice of Papon in Dum Maaro Dum’s Jiyein kyun? He goes a step ahead and makes you fall in love with this number. The track starts with his signature humming that instantly makes you shut your eyes so that you can slip into his world without being disturbed by your surroundings.
What stands out is the juxtaposition of the song’s soft and slow paced rhythm with the borderline harsh lyrics. Words like Sun ri baavli tu apne liye khud hi maang le dua, koi tera na hona…bezaar sa nazar aaye jo tere saamne tera masiha, wo tera na hona…make you flinch, but the flute and tabla soothe the pain, much like a mother bandaging a wound. The flute plays the hero, tying all the segments of the song together. Towards the end, the piece becomes motivation for those who feel defeated. The journey of the song is a full circle starting in pain and ending in relief.
Aa ghar chalein: Monali Thankur steals the show. There may be a reason for the song to be the last in the album – it aims to spread happiness after a difficult journey. The song is like the first ray of dawn after a difficult night. The sound of the rawanhattha (a Rajasthani folk music instrument) is a pleasant surprise and sets the tone of the song. Ae mann pankh lagaa de mohe, kar de riha udd jaane de… Wo ghar ka angnaa aaye hai yaad re… Kaahe tu siske mann, aa ghar chalein hum… Makes you feel warm and happy, doesn’t it?