Because I want you till the end

With the IPL circus coming to town, Bollywood is all set to take a backseat. All big stars will now be spotted in plush VIP boxes at various stadiums, chugging beers, and cheering their favorite teams on, instead of chewing fingernails on Fridays. As a mark of respect to my fraternity, I feel it’s my responsibility to spread the word about the last BIG release of this season- 2 States, which opens this Friday. 
Now, I’m a picky, and somewhat elitist, reader. Anything that is TOO popular doesn’t interest me. 2 States, therefore, doesn’t figure in the list of books I’ve read. That, of course, in no way means that I haven’t been exposed to any of Chetan Bhagat’s (author of 2 States) works. I’ve read Five Point Someone and One Night At The Call Center. But in my defense, I read the former before it became a bestseller, and the latter to see if Bhagat had managed to live up to the mammoth expectations created by the former. Whether I liked the books is beyond the scope of this column. What, though, is of relevance, is the fact that I haven’t read 2 States. And, I was far-from-impressed by the trailer of its celluloid adaptation. How many students at IIM-A serenade their partners? Forget serenade, I’m not sure if singing and dancing is really up their alley. And, even if they try, we know it turns out so great that the video has to be taken off within 24 hours of it being uploaded! I’d dismissed the film as yet another typically Bollywood boy-meets-girl story. 
But, that was before I’d heard 
‘Chaandaniya to barse
Phir kyun mere haath andhere lagde ne’
Such lovely poetry I hadn’t heard this year. And, the melody was the most soothing I’d heard in a long, long time. This was Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Amitabh Bhattacharya at their best!  It’s been 2 weeks since, and I’m still humming the song. Such is its magic. And, K Mohan’s rustic voice gives it a sort of depth that no other contemporary singer could have managed to! This film deserves a chance just for this one mesmerizing song! Chaandaniya deserves to be experienced at a theater! All of us have seen films for an actor/actress/director we like. It’s time we saw a film for its music. The IPL takes place every year. But, Chaandaniya, is once-in-a-lifetime. So far, it’s been a party year full of Vodka and Entriyaan. But, what happens when the party is over? We pause, take a deep breath, feel our heart beat, look around, and smile because we’re happy (not a Pharrell pun), don’t we? That’s Chaandaniya for you! Go on. Live the magic this weekend!
The 61st National Film Awards were announced on Wednesday. While Lunchbox’s missing act has raised eyebrows across film circles, what has made musicians smile is the fact that true talent, wherever/however late it might be, has been rewarded. Bela Shende, former Sa Re Ga Ma winner and one of the best female playback singers today, won for her rendition of the Ahirani song Khurkhura from the Marathi film Tuhya Dharma Koncha. The song, sadly, isn’t available on Youtube, and can only be downloaded from pirated music websites. The awards for best male singer and music director have gone to Rupankar Bagchi and Kabir Suman, for the Bengali film Jaatishwar. While Rupankar is one of the most popular Bengali singers today, Kabir Suman is, perhaps, Leonard Cohen’s Bengali counterpart. Generations of Bengalis have grown up listening to, being inspired by his poetry and music. While he might be an active politician now (he’s a Trinamool Congress MP), but for his legions of fans he’ll always be one of the brightest stars of Bengali contemporary music. That the nation has finally sat up and taken notice of this 65year old stalwart is certainly a step in the right direction. It gives us hope, that there is a world beyond Bollywood. That honest, soulful music isn’t about to die a premature death. While we may want to get high on Chaar Botal Vodka, we’ll still want to come home to Prothomoto ami tomaake chai, ditiyoto ami tomaake chai Tritiyoto ami tomaake chai, shesh porjonto tomaake chai
(Firstly I want you, secondly I want you
Thirdly I want, I want you till the end).

Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy.
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