Music Review: Gangs Of Wasseypur

Album: Gangs Of Wasseypur

Music Director: Sneha Khanwalkar

Lyrics: Varun Grover and Piyush Mishra

The soundtrack of Gangs of Wasseypur is simply awesome and gives you sparks of Bihar’s folk forms from celebratory fun-filled songs to the reciations at chaupals in the evening to the mourning of a women after her son/husband dies to the words that are used to thump one’s authority over others.

One album can’t represent the whole folk culture of any area but it is the best attemp by mainstream cinema. An audacious attempt by the director and music director in the commercial age. The whole album has songs that are different in nature, be it use of Dholak and Jhaal (primary musical instruments of folk songs in Bihar) or the unpolished rusticity of half of the vocalists.

This album has some songs which are unique mix of gibberish, swear phrases, mourning cries to romantic and teasing words. This makes it much more likeable.

Jiya tu Bihar ke Lala: It is unarguably established that manoj Tiwari’s voice carries the typical tone and the sweet pitch in which Bhojpuri is spoken. When you hear him sing this song, which is an encouragement to the general culture of Biharis and sons of Bihar, you suddenly feel good about being a Bihari. More so, the lyrics is written in a way to sing the praise and the humility of Biharis who are generally looked down at by the so called ‘high class’ metro residents. (sorry for generalising, but you people have generalised whole population!) The music is typical popular Bhojpuri folk music which reminds you of several superhit songs of the singer in last decade.

Ik Bagal: Piyush Mishra sings with an intensity similar to a hitting poem. Being the lyricist and the singer, the song pleases you if you are a thinking individual. This song is a celebration of fearlessness and compassion at the same time. The music takes the back seat to his recital/singing, whatever you call it.

Bhoos: This is a song which brings the practical aspect of life and suggests you to not to go for impossible endeavours. The music is rustic and the instruments are all folk. Minimal instruments have been used to create a glimpse of the Bihar’s traditional folk singing. It says that it’s no avail going to search a mustard seed in a heap of husk.

Keh ke Lunga: Now the album gets a track which is ‘daring’ in lyrics and physicality. The words, ‘keh ke lunga‘, are perhaps inspired from the day-to-day expressions used to express your masculinity to your opposition. It is one of the most often used phrases in Bihar: ‘jahan bologe wahin marenge’, ‘time aur jagah batao, wahi ghus ke marenge’, ‘kah ke marenge aur itna marenge ki agli saat pushtein yaad rakhengi’ (translates to: wherever you say, I will hit you there; you tell the time and place, and I will enter and get you from anywhere; I will let you know and then hit you hard, and that beating will be so gruesome that next seven generations will remember it.)

The singing and music is jolly and casual in nature as if reminding Bharat Muni’s theory that one can take pleasure from ‘bibhats rasa’ as well. The singing teases to the adressed individuals and is mocking their pride and celebrates speaker’s machoism and over confidence.

O Wumaniya: The song is funny in style and witty in words. The singing is nice and it depicts the general nature of a lady- how she is not an easy catch, the way she teases and makes herself hard to catch, why you should not take her lightly as she knows all your tricks (Patna ke bahane chahega satna). The voice is rustic and playful. It will give you a joy to listen to the words which you might not have heard if you are not from this region. Dholak and Jhaal’s use makes it lively.

O Wumaniya Live: The live version is a pacy and much more livelier.

Hunter: This is the most popular song of the album and has been liked by a larger population. May be due to the promo or the inuendo it carries with it, it has certainly struck a chord with the popular culture. I tried hard to make out any ‘deeper’ meaning that it might carry but could not reach it. The song is erotic in nature as the Hunter pulls out his gun and women starts to run. Still the tune and unique singing style mixed with some vocals in a raw tone make it a pleasure to listen. You might laugh on this song and you might sing it to your girls, this is an entertaining song.

Loonga Loonga: This track is basically a remixed version of two tracks, ‘kah ke loonga’ and ‘Ae Jawano’. This is an enjoyable one if you love remixes.

Manmauji: This song brings out the desires and sensibilities of a lady waiting for her lover (generally husband). She knows that the shirt is not in right condition and the buttons are broken and so, she should be ready for what comes next. The music sets the mood of the song and words ride on it. An enjoyable track.

Ae Jawano: This song has been performed by ‘Ranjeet Baal Party(Gaya) ‘ which gives you a glimpse of another form of musical tradition (less music actually) where someone recites funny couplets to a group of friends in evening to make the environment light. This also brings to the fore the generally-cosidered ‘sadak Chaap’ shayari found on stickers in auto, taxis, buses and other vehicles on Bihar’s roads. Some of them are:

Chalti ahai gaadi udti hai dhool, jaltey hain dushman khilte hain phool (when the vehicle moves it makes the dust particles fly around, and when enemies feel jealous of you somewhere flowers start to bloom)

Patta hoon taash ka joker na samajhna, aashiq hu tere pyaar ka naukar na samajhna (I am a card from the deck and not the joker, I am your lover not the servant)

Generally, you won’t find any relation between the two lines of these couplets. However, the two couplets used in this particular track have certain meaning to it.

Soona kar ke gharwa: This song has been sung by Sujeet from Gaya (Bihar) and it’s not a playback voice. This song is about the lady who has been left by her husband and went to ‘pardesh’. She awaits his message but he is not sending any, She is lamenting that you went away and whole house is lonely.

Tain Tain To To: The music director herself has given her voice to this song. This song has no lyrics but the vocals are recitation of the tune without words. It’s just tain tain, to to, ti ti… This song proves why the language of music is universal. The strumming of base guitar and the high paced song will make you tap your foot on the floor. You will enjoy it despite it has not meaningful words.

Bhaiyaa: The singer is a Musahar (the caste which hunts mouse, kills it and eats it) from Sundarpur village. This song again is a typical village track and you won’t find it amusing unless you have heard this ‘kind’ before. The raw voice is the soul of the track and the ltrics, and the music makes it haunting. It starts with a rawness in vocals and catches up with the beatings of drums.

It is a song mourning a death and the rawness of the voice is similar to that which is used in real mourning of a death in Bihar. People, generally the affected woman, cries in a set tune, it won’t have the poetic words but she will be recalling what he/she had done for the mourner and what will be the life after he’s gone. If you are from a village from Bihar, this song might move you to tears.

Overall, it’s a treat to ears be it variety of lyrics, of voices, of instruments, of singing style or of rusticity.


4 thoughts on “Music Review: Gangs Of Wasseypur

  1. Being from Bihar, this is going to be a must watch for me. You have described the music quite nicely. The best review so far. I would like the opportunity to invite you to join YouBihar. I would still like you to join even if you are not Bihari and voice your concerns. I am sure you writing will be appreciated.

    Thank you
    Shalu Sharma

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