I wanted to write this listicle for a long time and finally I decided that I will tell you about my top-ten semi-classical songs. Semi-classical is known as the mix of classical singing and commercial music, mostly by the music directors of the film city.
There aren’t only ten, Bollywood has a repertoire of such songs. The ten songs which I am going to write about are the top ten for me and, of course, they are not very old. You must have listened and enjoyed them and while reading this listicle, you would agree with me to some extent that they are great. I have tried to enlist only soft-slow-smooth songs, so, if you try to listen any of these, use a headphone and close your eyes and let your mind free to feel the magic of music.
It’s really hard for me to decide which song is the first and best, but I have to name at least one. All songs are great, however.
The first song is-
1-Wada Tumse Hai Wada, Janmo’n Ka Pyar Ka
Singer- Pt. Jasraj
Music- Adnan Sami
Like the movie, the song, too, will haunt you if you listen it once carefully and feel the melody of it. The music is as soulful as the singing of the classical vocalist Pt. Jasraj. He has not sung many songs in Bollywood and I had never listened him before this song. He has just filled it with life, romance and heavenly love. In fact, this song is more than a semi-classical but less than a pure classical. Listen it, if you haven’t yet.
2- Hamri Atariya Pe Aaja Re Sawariya Dekha-Dekhi Tanik Hoi Jaye
Movie- Dedh Ishqiya (2014)
Singer- Rekha Bhardwaj
Music Director- Vishal Bhardwaj
The movie, Dedh Ishqiya is a gem and so is the song mentioned above. Hamri Atariya is basically a Thumri song, first sung by Mallika-e-ghazal, one of the greatest singers of Hindustani classical music, Begum Akhtar. Thumri is a vocal genre, or, you can say, a genre of Hindustani music that is connected with dance, dramatic gesture, mild eroticism, evocative love poetry and folk songs, especially from Uttar Pradesh. Well, the above mentioned song has been modified by the lyricist and music director and it’s sung in purely different style by the singer to appeal the new generation. A few words about Rekha Bhardwaj: I am her fan since I listened ‘Namak Ishq Ka’ from Omkaara (2006), a song of great symbolism and deep meaning, sung in a quite deviant way. And, since then I have noticed that she is quite cautious while choosing her songs, you just pick up any, Sasural Genda Phool from Delhi6 (2009) or Ghaghra from Ye Jawani Hai Diwani (2013) or Darling from 7 Khoon Maaf (2011). She is a versatile singer. So, just listen this song, that is imbued with the Nawabi and Awadhi touch, and watch also, as displayes the great dance of Madhuri Dixit and Huma Quraishi.
3- Maula Mere Maula Mere
Movie- Anwar (2007)
Singer- Roop Kumar Rathod
Lyricist- Sayeed Quadri
Anwar was a romantic thriller, a movie with a message, but if it is, or will be, remembered by something within it, these are the two songs- Maula Mere Maula and Javeda Jindagi. Maula Mere Maula is such a song that takes you in some other world and you have to agree then that music really has a healing power. You just want to listen it limitlessly. The music and the lyrics both are entreating, and the singing of Roop Kumar Rathod, unquestionably, is the best. This song has a Sufi touch.
4- Javeda Jindagi- Tose Naina Laage Piya Saanware
Movie- Anwar (2007)
Singer- Kshitiz Tarey and Shilpa Rao
Lyricist- Hasan Kamal
The best thing about this song is its music. The running water sound blended with an alap in the very beginning touches your soul. It is an eight minute song and all the time while listening it, you will feel yourself in a trance. Recitation of simple sargam between the lyrics has made it more endearing. This song has a devotional touch also.
5- Aaoge Jab Tum Saajna, Aangna Phool Khilenge
Movie- Jab We Met (2007)
Singer- Ustad Rashid Khan
Music- Sandesh Shandilya
Lyricist- Faaiz Anwar
YouTube LInk- https://youtu.be/WPwTPhFMm3k
Well, I think Jab We Met was among the best romantic movies of the last decade. But like the tradition is, in India, there is no romance without song and music. All the other songs of this movie were great, no doubt, but this one, I believe, was fitted somehow in the script. Because all the other songs were written by Irshad Kamil and the music was given by Pritam, but this one was the only song that got special treatment. And it did deserve that. Ustad Rashid Khan is an Indian classical vocalist about whom Pt. Bhimsen Joshi once remarked that he is the assurance for the future of Indian vocal music, and after listening this song or another song ‘Poore se Zara Kam Hai’ in Mausam (2011), you would have to agree with Joshiji.
6- Kun Faya
Movie- Rockstar (2011)
Singer- A. R. Rahman, Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan and Nizami Brothers
Music- A. R. Rahman
Lyricist- Irshaad Kamil
Of all the sufi songs in Bollywood that are sung in group, Kun Faya is the best concerto I ever listened, variation of sur on every antara, strains of different scales after every two-three lines, and the soulful music of A. R. Rahman, all these made this song magnificent. Overall, what I observed in this song was that singing had more weightage than the music and it seemed a tough song to sing, but listening it, is absolutely spiritual. The lyrics are quite philosophical.
7- Mere Dholna Sun/Ami Je Tomar
Movie- Bhool-Bhulaiya (2007)
Singer- Shreya Ghoshal, M. G. Shreekumar
YouTube Link- https://youtu.be/lL0ULDPCqIA
This song is sung by my favorite Bengali beauty and great female singer of our times, Shreya Ghoshal. There are so many other songs of Shreya Ghoshal that I can count as my favorite, but this song is full of classical beats, and, half of the song is only sargam. She and the male singer M. G. Shreekumar just recite for more than three minutes with great tempo and you just want to be lost in it. If you watch this song, you can enjoy watching Viddya Balan, another Bengali beauty, doing classical dance and if you just listen it, you will like it the same.
8- Tu Jo Nahi Hai To Kuchh Bhi Nahi Hai
Movie- Woh Lamhe (2006)
Singer- Glenn John
Lyricist- Sayeed Quadri
This song is one of my all time favorites and I can listen it more than ten times in a day. I don’t have much knowledge about the singer, Glenn John, but I really appreciate his talent, the way he sang. The music of this movie had faced some plagiarism issue, but I think the music of this song is original. But, it’s said that the lyrics were inspired by a Pakistani ghazal. Well, I think this is one of the greatest love-song of the last decade. Listen it, and feel the longing of a lover.
9- Tere Bina Beswadi-Beswadi Ratiya
Movie- Guru (2007)
Singer- Chinamyi, Murtaza Khan, Qadeer Khan
Music- A. R. Rahman
YouTube Link- https://youtu.be/9JDSGhhiOwI
I can recall the first impression I had when I listened this song first time. It was the first line of the lyrics, ‘tere bina beswadi-beswadi ratiyaa’, means, ‘darling, nights are just tasteless without you.’ Wow! What an imagination! That’s why I love Gulzar Sahab. Apart from the lyrics, the singing is just great and it’s not an easy song to sing. A. R. Rahman is undoubtedly great. Indians must be proud of him.
10- Kuchh Na Kaho
Movie- 1942: A Love Story
Singer- Kumar Sanu
Music- R. D. Burman
Lyricist- Javed Akhtar
Kumar Sanu was the first singer whom I started calling as my favorite, in my school days. I have listened almost every famous song sung by him, and, for me, he is easy to copy, but I don’t think if I sing the above mentioned song, I will be able do justice with the melody he created. This movie was a musical hit and every song was great. I really had to go through an inner conflict as which should I put as the semi-classical in the list. “Ye safar”, and “Ek Ladki ko Dekha”, both are equally great. But this song is quite unique in itself. If you listen the instrumental only, you will like it the same way. Kumar Sanu himself said in an interview that this tune should be listened by every ear.
P. S. The pics are borrowed from the internet and I give full credit to the original creator/owner
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Ravi is basically a Teacher and Reader. He loves to read interesting and thought-provoking books. On an average, he reads 80 to 90 books per year. He is much into realistic, political, historical and philosophical works, but occasionally he likes to read Poems, Short-stories, Fantasy and Romance. His other hobbies are Singing, Photography, Movies, and Travelling. Ravi started his writing by writing poems and book-reviews and he has written more than one hundred fifty poems in English and more than three hundred book reviews; some of his poems have been published in various online journals like : Indian Periodical, Mad Swirl, Borderless; in Print, his poems have been published in Oxigle Media Publications’ anthology “Whisper of Hearts” and Evincepub Publications’ anthology “Rubaroo”. One of his Short-stories has been published in TheUNIverse Journal and one of his articles has been published in Indian Periodical. Ravi has also published his collection of Hindi Poems “Vo Baat Un Dino Ki Thi” on Amazon Kindle.
Ravi is planning to publish his collection of short-stories and poems in near future, and working on his first novel right now.