Symbolically, setting context wise, quality and aesthetics perspective, whichever angle one can consider, I find this master piece by Allah Rakha Rahman to fit the bill. The very first song I heard from the movie was “Ishq Bina” from the trailer. Guess Windows 95 OS was the rage then and I couldn’t recollect any desktop not having Aish’s pic from the movie as the wall paper. In fact collecting Aish’s pics for wallpapers was a raging hobby for many of my friends, who even visited browsing centers to download the pics. NetCafe’s where pretty expensive then and still the craze over Aish trumped the cash. With her world famous eyes, she made “Ishq Bina” impossible to ignore and “Taal bina Aish” impossible to imagine. It was a while after the movie got released that I bought the audio (got it recorded from one music store, which was thriving business then) and immediately fell in love with Sonu Nigam’s voice. He is our generation’s Rafi and Kishore Kumar and every great singer from Hindiwood. When he croons “Phoolon ka Gulshan” with “ishq ishq” chorus at the background, you don’t have to know what the heck those words meant. You felt the meaning in your heart. Add to the mix ARR’s magical tune, its divinity at your ear step.
Next song, which to me is the best ever recorded by ARR is “Nahin saamne”. If at all I can write a will for songs to be played before I die, this would be right at the top of that playlist followed by “Kal ho na ho” title track. There have been many songs that I’ve fallen in and out of love. But this one and “Ae zindagi” from “Sadma” are eternal favorites of mine. The picturisation of the song takes it to a whole new level, at least the starting portions with, if I remember right” the hero, with a set of people, coming out of a foggy road. You can feel the wind breezing through and rustling your hair when you hear this song with full volume in headsets. You really do need to keep the volume high to hear out the low notes and be right on the button when it peaks out to higher notes. The tune of the song is such that, it’s like a smoke forming its own trail and the music of ARR with the soothing voice of Hariharan swirling in parallel with it, rising higher and higher. My only peeve about that song is that, it has hardly ten lines. Wish it went in an never ending loop.
“Ramta Jogi” doesn’t get due justice as an audio, as Aish would’ve literally blazed on the screen with her sensuous dance moves. Sukvinder singh, I guess, got his first big break with this song (Not sure though). If not for its aural qualities, the director sure made it a visual delight and is a must for fans of Aish!!! Guess the pose of her from this song adorned the movie posters as well. “Kahin aag lage” was a choreographer’s delight and I remember this song being featured on almost every single award show on stage. Be it the remix or as the original version “Taal se Taal mila” was a topper in its own right. For so many years, in many dance reality shows, this song either featured with lyrics or just by its beats alone or as a remix/rehash. It was an irresistible piece from a dancers point of view. My last favorite of this album is “Kariye naa”. There was a time when I knew this entire song by heart. Somehow, even without knowing the lyrics, this song felt very philosophically catchy. And probably one of the best folklorish song by ARR, a genre which he messes up big time in Tamil.