Planet Bollywood
Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar
Producer: Mahesh Bhatt
Director: Tanuja Chandra
Starring: Amisha Patel, Jimmy Shergill, Nafisa Ali, Gulshan Grover
Music: Daboo Malik & Sajid-Wajid
Lyrics: Salim Bijnori, Anwar Sagar, Faaiz Anwar & Nasir Fa
Singers: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Jaspinder Narula, Sonu Nigam, Hariharan & Shraddha Pandit
Audio On: Universal    Number of Songs: 8
Album Released on: October 2001
Reviewed by: Vikas Bhatnagar  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
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Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar is one of those albums that may not find patronage by all and sundry, but will certainly be appreciated by classes who believe in a mellow, quality score. It has some melodious music by Daboo Malik (Anu Malik’s brother), but the major highlight of the score is in the lyrics department by Salim Bijnori, Anwar Sagar, Nasir Faraaz and Faaiz Anwar.

The movie, released in 2001, was directed by Tanuja Chandra (of Dushman & Sangharsh fame). Too bad the movie did not do well, and some real gems faded into obscurity because of that. If the movie had carried the weight of some big-name stars (the movie starred Amisha Patel, Jimmy Shergill, Nafisa Ali) and a tighter script, perhaps the music may have benefitted largely too. But anyway, since we are here for the music, let’s us concentrate on that. Considering that some of the songs in this movie were quite soulful, I wonder what happened to Daboo Bhaiyya after this movie ... he composed for very few movies after this … some insipid, and some a-little-less-insipid (Maine Dil Tujhko Diya (2002), Wrong Number (2003), Hawas (2004) and Girlfriend (2004)). But wait…he seems to have also composed for the very recent Kisaan (2009) and Team: The Force (2009) … hence my point about the insipidness!

The opening number is “Dil To Kehta Hai” sung by Alka Yagnik. This is a nice melodious number and the piano is used very well in the interludes. Full marks to the lyricist here, considering how well it gelled into the movie situation. When you hear the lyrics “Tum Hamein Chaho Na Chaho … Ye Tumhara Dil Hai; Hum Tumhein Paake Rahenge …. Ye Hamara Dil Hai; Meri Ummeed Koi Toota Sitara Bhi Nahin”, you feel that the song is being sung for the beloved. Actually, in the movie it is being sung by Amisha for her mother Nafisa Ali, who has not acknowledged Amisha as her daughter. The beauty is that the same set of lyrics are then used in the male version by Kumar Sanu – in this case, the song is being sung by Jimmy for his beloved Amisha! So the lyrics worked very well here. The tune is very soulful and the rendition is near-perfect by both Alka and K-Sanu in their respective versions.

“Aye Chand Khoobsurat” is my favorite from the album! Sonu Bhaiyya, aap to mahaan hain! Essentially in the song, Sonu Nigam is requesting the moon and stars to spend some time with him, to help him get over his loneliness. The lyrics are by Nasir Faraaz and combined with Daboo's music, the song creates a mesmerizing effect! The part at the end of the antara, where Sonu trails off with a Ho-Ho-Ho and goes back to the mukhda is indeed mention-worthy. The instrumentation is thankfully not too heavy, just perfect for the song.

“Ahista Ahista, Milte Hain Dil Sanam” , another Sonu song (Music: Sajid Wajid, Lyrics: Faaiz Anwar) appears later in the album, but since I'm on a 'Jai-Ho-Sonu' trip, I decided to include it here. Shraddha Pandit lends her vocals for a la-la-la kind of humming in the background, and sounds sweet as usual. This is a beautiful romantic number, the style of which Sonu Nigam has mastered over the years. As far as I remember, in the movie, Jimmy is taking Amisha on his bike (a la Dev Anand/Mumtaz “He, Maine Qasam Li” style from Tere Mere Sapne) and breaks into this number.

NUGGET: Tanuja Chandra used the same Sonu-Shraddha-La-La-La combo in “Sangharsh” to create another hot favorite ("Mujhe Raat Din, Bas Mujhe Chaahti Ho").

Udit Narayan sings “Nikal Padi” – I think he was just wasted here. What was the point of this song? Just to make it to the obligatory 6-7 numbers in a soundtrack? Forwarrrrrrrrrrd! It doesn’t add to the mood of the album at all, instead just takes away from the melody. Perhaps this song was created to capitalize on the success of the then recent “Main Nikla Gaddi Leke” from Gadar?

All you hardcore Kumar Sanu fans, I have to apologize to you in advance. There are songs he has sung extremely well as in Aashiqui (1990) and 1942 – A Love Story (1994), but for the most part, I have always referred to him as “Hawa Singh” amongst my friends. All the long-drawn Heyyyyy! Heyyyyyy! in every song and the deep breathing?? Case in point … “Haalat Na Poochho Dil Ki” – the next number. I have to admit, it is a lilting tune though with some beautiful lyrics but it has a very 90’s feel to it. Just an obligatory romantic number, nothing great to write home about.

“Zamane Mein Sabhi Ko Milte Hain” , sung by Hariharan is in a ghazal style, something that Hariharan is very comfortable with (you should try his “Ajeeb Sanihan” from Gaman, or his non-film album “Jashn”?). I really admire the clarity of his diction in these kind of songs – the one distinguishing factor from his contemporary SP Balasubamanyam! The song has a very inspirational feel to it because of the lyrics (Salim Bijnori). A very soothing and well-sung song; it falls in the same category as “Ek Andhera, Laakh Sitaare” from Aakhir Kyun.

Jaspinder Narula (where are you these days?) sings “Main Kaun Hoon” , the next number. The tune is nothing to write home about, but the lyrics are powerful – the song apparently depicts what Amisha is going through in the movie vis-a-vis her relationship with her mother. Well sung by Jaspinder, but very situational …. I can’t recall it making anyone’s favorite playlist or being sung in a music gathering.

Overall, the whole mood of the album is very melodious with two particular gems sung by Sonu. It was a great effort by Daboo Malik and an honest effort. Instead of falling into the trap of conventional mainstream Hindi movie score, he went by his own sensibilities and delivered something different.

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