Archive for the 'indian music' Category


A R Rehman’s CWG Song Debacle

There’s a big outcry over Rehman’s composition for CWG. My take: the song is decent, with some good parts and the hook of the song might just catch on. Lyrics is not great. But what I am not able to figure out is why on earth did he charge 5cr for the song? I tried to read up and see if it is really true..but nobody is clarifying why any sane person will charge that much for one song for a event of national pride. May be it was a combo deal because he also apparently composed another song for 6 classical dancers doing a grand dance theme, but too bad those guys rejected the song too! And now there is news that Rehman has refused to re-do the tune because he doesn’t have time (he is touring US).

At the same time a whole bunch of bands -Parikrama, SEL, Kailash etc. have signed up to perform live for lot less than they usually charge for their shows.

Well  being a SEL fan, I can’t help but say SEL – Gulzar could have done a great job. Rahman’s singing is no match for Shankar’s powerful vocals.  At least they could have got Gulzar to write the song.

Unfortunately the whole thing just ends up reflecting rather bad on Rehman – A greedy MD who charged obscene money and took half a year to compose a dud, and is not ready to change it either! Well I hope someone clarifies this and also hope that like his other songs, this one will eventually catch on.


Asheem Chakravarty

I am really ashamed that I read the news only recently.  It is a great loss for Indian music lovers. I can never forget the first time I heard an Indian Ocean album. I picked up this cassette from a rusty little corner in a Oak tree road store with little expectations.  Once I played it on my car stereo, I just got zapped. The fabulous rythm pumped by Asheem’s tabla interspersed with beautiful unique style of Sushmit’s guitar playing was magic. I kept listening to the cassette for a few years till it got worn out. I got inspired to learn tabla after hearing Asheem.

I saw them in concert twice – once in a large hall and second time in much smaller BBKing bar. Amazing performance. It was here that I noticed Asheem’s contribution to the band more closely. For the first time I saw someone playing tabla and singing at the same time. Mostly it is Rahul doing the singing, but then there were those special Asheem parts in their songs. His powerful voice and singing was unique. In the large hall concert, his mic stopped working and he still filled up the hall with his voice without the mic! Such was the might in his singing.

It is really hard to imagine an Indian Ocean concert without Asheem sitting on the right side with his drum assortment. He was the founding member of the band along with Ashmit. I can’t imagine how much his band will be missing him now, and really accolade their decision to move on and continue doing shows. Indian Ocean is the oldest Indian rock band and I am happy to see the saga continue. I wish them all the best and hope to catch them when they are in NYC.

We will miss you Asheem. RIP.