>The album that I review here is out of my love for the city I was born in – Lucknow.

1. Sapnon ka shehar ho – a metallic flute welcomes you accompanied by humming children. Slowly the music stops to give way to Alika Yagnik who prays for an ideal city with no fears and only joys floating around. She hands over the baton to the flute again only to pick up the note again…all the while slowly accompanied by the flute in background. Sehar means – Morning and Shehar means a city. The subtle comparison between the these two touches all the right chord, and the kids in the background, as if humming a school prayer make you ponder what has come out of a paradise where people wait for a morning with no bad news in the papers…

2. Force – An instrumental piece dominated by Saxophone and violin. If you have seen the film you will understand why the flute comes in aggressively and leaves you shaken and stirred the moment it ends…along with a saxophone reeling in pain. Someone said ‘what is in a name?’ well if you hear this piece without knowing the name, you would not be able to think a better title than – FORCE.

3. Prayer – A voice long lost – Shobha Joshi comes behind the microphone to recite the ‘namamai shamishan’ mantra. The treatment to this musical piece will tell you how much the director got involved even in the music score of this film. The piece is almost haunting and leaves you long after it ends. Hear how it ends.

4. Palkein Jhukao na (part 1) – The song starts with a sound that can only come from brand new guitar…and then gradually lets itself loose in the arms of Adnan sami who sings as if the words will break if he emphasizes more on them…delicate rendition at its best! A saxophone gently peeps in gives way to violins occasionally. Towards the end of the song comes Alika Yagnik as if she is flying with the wings of love, although you will feel that her rendition is somewhat typical of her but then she is a pro and it reflects. Lovely lyrics…check it out yourself!

5. Palkein Jhukao na (Instrumental) – Totally dominated by saxophone and guitar with gentle thaap of bongo. This is a perfect piece to play late night on the terrace with wine and your beloved…you won’t remember when you took her in your arms and started doing a slow salsa (even if you don’t know how the damn thing is done in the first place!). There is a small moment when a lovely female voice comes and goes without saying a word….she is meenal jain…more of her below

6. Nakhredar Banno – There is a genre of wedding folk songs in Rajasthan and it is called Banna-Banni. This one is a Banni song (i.e.) a song wherein the bride is praised. Her words are compared to the clink of bangles…so on and so forth. Shubha Mudgal is way too experienced to sing all this in her sleep and she comes out brilliantly here with a very supportive chorus.

7. Palkein jhukao na (Part 2) – Gentle notes on piano are accompanied by the beautiful voice of Meenal Jain. Her tone is submissive, yet aggressive…ah! The ironies music can draw! She is soon joined by Swananad Kirkire who has sung so many of different songs (be it the title song of Khoya khoya chand or the recent Shehar song in Gulaal). A special version of the lyrics here. I wish I could tell more but would leave it to those who actually experiment with this song. It conveys the same feeling which you get when you hear the song ‘thehra hai ye sama’ from Auzaar. The difference being – there is absolutely no music in this song as compared to the one in Auzaar. A bloody romantic song!!!

8. Sacrifice – A slow, almost pale flute gently ruffles up your soul with the quiet display of a sacrifice that an army of utmost dedicated law personnel has made in order to safeguard their territory from corruption and greed. If you have seen this film, you will like it more.

9. Faiz – Swanand kirkire calls out in pain as Pankaj kapoor goes behind the microphone to accept that this is not the morning for whom everyone was waiting for. He just says the first line of the poem and the piece ends. The original poem belongs to the legendary poet Faiz. I must put this on the record that Naseer ud din shah has recited the entire poem (as against just one line by Pankal kapoor in this case) in the soundtrack of Firaaq and if you hear both, you will like the version of Pankaj kapoor much much better than Naseer saab! The pain in Kapoor saab’s voice and the insightful tone will keep you thinking for long!

Composed by Daniel B George (the same guy who has contributed a lot in the music track of Johnny gaddar and some ad gingles), this album should have been lauded a bit more than it was. Ah! Gems and where they are hidden!

Keep this album with you to experience the pain of a city (Lucknow) caused by the long wait for redemption from crime.

Peace and equanimity