By Narendra Kusnur
Pankaj Udhas has always specialised in ghazals, and hasn’t really explored devotional music. So it was a surprise to see him post a video of his latest song ‘Jai Ganesh’ (‘Sukhakarta Tu Dukhaharta Tu’.)
Both musically and visually, the song is a treat, filled with the fervour and energy that goes with the Ganesh festival. It’s very uptempo and filled with driving rhythms, shown between shots in the recording studio and the Parel Lalbaug area. A group of chorus singers adds to the vigour.
As Udhas admits, this is something very different from whatever he’s done before. The idea stemmed from a casual lunch chat between him, his daughter Nayaab Udhas, music director Vishal Dhumal and lyricist Aalok Shrivastav.
The instruments include the keyboards, conch shell and shehnai (played by Omkar Dhumal), besides a range of percussion instruments including Ojas Adhiya’s tabla played in a dholki style. Avi Lohar’s sound arrangements, Ashish Choubey’s recording and Aftab Khan’s mixing are perfect.
The video directed by Rajesh Sethi is a delight, using outdoor shots taken by Sanjay Kumar and Rajesh Singh last year. Lokesh Lohar’s smooth editing moves from studio shots of Udhas and the musicians to street crowds to images of Lord Ganesh.
Udhas says his faith in the Elephant God and blessings from Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi inspired him to take up this project. The song, presented by his company Velvet Voices in association with Hungama, is available on digital platforms besides CDs costing Rs 99 that can be acquired from online stores like Amazon.
Worth a listen, worth a watch, worth playing now and even after Anant Chaturdashi.
About Sukhakarta, Dukhaharta with Pankaj Udhas
Worth a listen, worth a watch, worth playing now and even after Anant Chaturdashi, writes Narendra Kusnur
Posted on Sep 17, 2018
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Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Narendra Kusnur is one of India’s best known music journalists. Born with a musical spoon (okay, doesn’t fit, but you get the drift), Naren, NK, Kusnur, Narender, Kaansen, Jahanpanna… however else many call him, is a late bloomer in music criticism. He was (is!) an aficionado first, and then strayed into writing on music. But in the last two decades, he has made up for most of what he didn’t do earlier. If ever there is an Ustad given for music writing, NK, would be among the first to receive one. Narendra Kusnur writes weekly on Xyngr. Don’t ask us when.