|A still from Piya Basanti|
Back during my school-days, the musical phenomenon known as Indipop had really taken off and I remember being unusually quite into music during that time, eagerly buying the audio cassettes of favorite artistes and musicians (how retro it sounds to refer to audio cassettes...and yet it was not *that* long ago, sigh!)Yet, to once more state the obvious, interestingly conceptualised music-videos created to market the songs were the ones that ensnared my attention first and subsequently made me familiar with the songs - and there were some well-thought out ones produced at the time. In my opinion, though, the advent of remixing Bolly songs in the early noughties pretty much killed Indi-pop and sucked the soul from the videos as well.
Sung by the late renowned singer, Ustad Sultan Khan and South-Indian chanteuse, Chitra and directed by Pradeep Sarkar (who happened to make a lot of great music videos at the time - his movies, though, barring Parineeta, such as Laaga Chunri Mein Daag and Lafange Parindey, I am not such a fan of), the music video, Piya Basanti became hugely popular, both due to Sandesh Shandilya's music as well as the beautifully-conceived and directed music video itself. Unsurprisingly, I became more drawn towards the song due to repeatedly viewing the video and I recalled eagerly awaiting to catching a glimpse of it whenever it appeared on the music video channels in that innocent pre-YouTube era:)
Apart from its super cute couple, Naheed Cyrusi and Donovan, I loved the video's story arc and the way Sarkar presented literally-love-at-first-sight narrative between an innocent mountain-village girl and terrorist (I think?) without overdosing on the saccharine factor*- plus, the landscape (I believe it was shot in the northern Indian mountain state of Himachal Pradesh) and weather play a major role in the video as well: the thick, swirling clouds, the rain-washed green, the smell of rain, and the cold of the mountains add so much atmosphere. I know, I know, I conceded that I am more of a beach gal than a mountain one...but seeing this video always makes me want to race off to the hills!
I also loved the little details embedded in the narrative, such as that of the seemingly innocuous daisy:
As seen in the visual above, Naheed is wearing an aubergine-hued Himachali outfit and I remember purchasing a similarly hued kurta around that time (trust me to remember outfits!)
The video also built up much hype for a second installment, driving the narrative forward, which I thought was an interesting concept at the time. I especially love the beginning of the video which used the haunting track, Yeh teri surmayi aankhen... I also liked the fact that there were layers to the narrative - the music was undoubtedly integral to the video yet the narrative was equally compelling on its own...it wasn't merely just showcasing the music.
Listening to songs favorited from your past is akin to biting into chocolates of nostalgia: when you hear those songs, you are once more transported to a specific time-period of your past, remembering how your life was then, remembering how you envisioned your future then, reliving that present. While listening to the song, you become that person once again. But what happens when the song finishes playing? Would you ever want to return to being that person again?
Perhaps, this quote sums it all:
"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently over there."
The Go-Between, L.P Hartley
*Indipop music aficionados, does anyone recall the unbearably cloying and cheesy 'Chui Mui Si Lagti Ho' series of music videos starring Preeti Jhangiani and Abbas? I wouldn't be surprised if the term, cho-chweet originated after seeing those videos:P