Thodi si jagah has fantastic Carnatic-style strings by Finix Ramdas amidst the lively rock sound! Arijit is in his effortless, Amit Trivedi-mode. Arijit’s other song, Dhundlo tum is a soaring, soulful melody that expects a lot from the singer, and he, expectedly, delivers! Yeh mera man captures the Calypso’ish joie de vivre in Ash King’s winsome singing, while the blues’y title song is Shalmali’s impeccable show. Yeh jo pyaar is the soundtrack’s most mainstream, with a simple EDM base and the surprising choice of Nandini Srikar to sing it. Amartya Rahut gets his mojo back again, after Band Called Nine!

Keywords: Tu Hai Mera Sunday, Amartya Rahut

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

The generic Middle Eastern sounds and familiar rhythm are downers but Nickk’s tune in Fashion queen is catchy, and works pretty well in Raahi’s vocals. Jeet Gannguli’s Thoda aur is left to Arjit Singh and Palak Muchhal to salvage given the melody’s extremely generic sound – it does have a throwaway pleasantness. The desi hiphop mix works perfectly in Tony Kakkar’s Helicopter! Tony and Neha Kakkar vocals, with the edgy accent, add to the song’s appeal. Bobby-Imran’s Godfather is the soundtrack’s most pointless song, aptly sung by Mika Singh. The Kakkars fly high with their Helicopter in Ranchi Diaries’ soundtrack.

Keywords: Ranchi Diaries, Nickk, Jeet Gannguli, Tony Kakkar, Bobby-Imran

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

An early scene in Arjun Reddy categorically portends to what the man is all about. In what is an episode that Arjun and his friend Shiva briefly discuss much later in the film, Arjun doesn’t get what he wants and is literally in heat. He walks out to a flabbergasted ‘Darling open the door’ husband and tries to see if he can get any other woman to quench the heat, so to say. When all else fails, including a call to Shiva who calls him a ‘lout’, Arjun shoves ice down his groin and gets into an auto.

The point here is, Arjun picks ice from a roadside sugarcane juice vendor. He doesn’t seek permission from the bewildered vendor. He just sees the ice box, inserts his hand into it and takes whatever he wants. Much like how he sees Preethi walking with other girls for tea, in St.Mary’s Medical College and just announces to everybody that she is his.

That’s the kind of man Arjun is. A lout. An uncouth, irreverent, violent, short-tempered, entitled, incorrigible, privileged… and, as the film helpfully frames it, unconventional idiot. He is also pampered and spoilt by everyone around him, perhaps owing to the ‘talent’ he is supposed to have that has him conducting 200+ surgeries, all while fully drunk.

The most interesting thing about all this is that the film is still a riveting watch! Like watching a film about a miserable anti-hero with an unusual amount of hero-level posturing and swagger built into him by the script.

There are times when Arjun’s behavior gets him what he truly deserves. Like coming to Preethi’s house after she is married. He gets beaten up royally and it is a stroke of genius from the director that Shiva manages to avoid further bloodshed. But mostly, Arjun gets his way, awkwardly so – and that is the most problematic part of this film.

He gets away with beating up another football team. He gets away with all the drunk surgeries (except one, thankfully). He gets away with ‘owning’ a girl without her consent. Heck, he even gets away with being the ‘hero’ of this film despite his boorish bad behavior all through!

In what seems like a grown-up child with a severe anger management and a drinking problem, Arjun throws a tantrum while wallowing in self-pity for almost 75% of the film – that’s the classic Devdas template anyway, made more prominent by Radhan’s consistently exhilarating music and Harshavardhan Rameshwar’s background score, on the Dev.D template. He is berated constantly by his friends and family. He is called names. He is thrown out of places. He is beaten black and blue. He loses his medical license. It is fantastic to find a hero… or anti-hero, getting pummelled to this extent by himself and life and wonder what would happen to him ultimately. You end up feeling like his friend Shiva… you keep giving up on him only to come back the next day to check on him.

The denouement is clearly aimed for a surprise, shock moment. But it goes well with the film’s momentum… the opposite of, ‘you’ve gone so high that the only way now is down’.

The plethora of fresh faces really help make it all completely real. But, of course, it is Vijay Devarakonda who is astonishingly convincing as the hopeless, drunken lout. Vijay simmers through most of his scenes while bursting out in the rest… always volatile and impatient with things around him even as the people around him try their best to make him understand that the world doesn’t work to please him. Shiva, as Vijay’s friend, gets some of the best lines in the film including berating his useless friend the most while also not giving up on him.

Preethi, the object of Vijay’s affection, is in a constant state of looking like a helpless puppy. She barely gets a dialog for most of the film’s initial portions and gets to show that she has a mind of her own too only when she accepts Arjun as her man.

Sandeep Vanga, the director, has a really keen eye on people and their surroundings and interestingly chooses to focus on little things. Like Shiva’s father asking about Arjun at least on 3 different occasions with 2 of them ending up in a brief discussion about diarrhea. Or the brief discussion between Shiva and Arjun outside his hospital about ‘Darling open the door’.

It’s these slice-of-life moments peppered all through the film that keeps the film consistently aloft, despite a miserable, self-pitying lead character trying to pull it down at every moment. That balance—of the lead character going from bad to worse to miserable versus the people around him pulling him up for some air—is the film’s most interesting dynamic.

If you don’t keep asking why people are so considerate to this disgusting lout, the film remains a phenomenally interesting watch. It doesn’t take much though – we’re used to suspending disbelief when a hero single-handedly fights 20 goons; here he fights 20 of his inner demons with a little help from his friends and family.

Rajini’s Muthu quip in Yechacha is clever, but the tune+rhythm combo is so predictably Imman! Sophia is no different, with—awkwardly enough—a banal Harris Jayaraj sound. Aei arakka‘s racy sound is excellent though, with pulsating rhythm and superb vocals by Benny Dayal. Imman also scores beautifully in Aram seyya virumbu, roping in Hariharan to sing Vairamuthu’s poignant lines with a lush retro-style melody on a mod, ambient background. The soundtrack’s delightful best, Rail aaraaroo, is reserved for Shreya Ghoshal and Pradeep Kumar, with Imman invoking a Raja’ish flourish in the gentle melody and the horns. Stock Imman material with occasional highs.

Keywords: Nenjil Thunivirunthal, D.Imman

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

World of Shiva
Masala Coffee’s interpretation of Aalayal thara venam remains consistently enjoyable, with that lovely Anandhabhairavi-raaga base, Krishnaraj’s scintillating violin, and Sooraj Santhosh and Varun Sunil’s vocals. The reprise is highly interesting as well, stripping the energy of the original, but letting the melody’s inherent beauty come to fore. Aigiri Nandini gets a searing heavy metal interpretation by Thaikkudam Bridge, with an intriguing phrase straight from MS Viswanathan’s Engeyum eppodhum interlude! Govind Menon also expertly adapts Ragini Bhagwat’s Basant-raaga based Shiva Tandav. Saylee Talwalkar handles the singing part admirably, set to pulsating fusion-rock.

World of Shekhar
Abhinav Bansal’s Kandu nee has a breezy ballad vibe, with the melody shining impeccably in Vijay Yesudas’ vocals. Singa kutty is appropriately sub-titled ‘Bring On The Chaos’, given how Tamil percussion, Nadaswaram and Madurai Chinna Ponnu’s exuberant folk outburst uncomfortably coexists with Sez On The Beat’s (Sajeel Kapoor) other elements. Agam revisit their Boat Song, from their debut album, as Oru vaanchi paattu – pulsating progressive-rock-meets-Thonipaattu. Agam score spectacularly in Thaalolam, roping in Shashaa Tirupati for a serene melody that segues off beautifully from Oru vaanchi paattu, ending on that sonorous Thithithara thithithai note!

World of Rudra
Roshomon is eclectic! Prashant Pillai produces a heady and addictive song that dives straight into its lively tune that skirts around a Central Asian sound wonderfully. The Filter Coffee produce a formidable encore with their brand of scintillating ethnotronic, picking up the Jog-raaga Sajan more ghar aaye! Jahnvi Shrimankar’s singing is top notch and the duo adorns it lovingly with Govind Menon’s violin! Sooraj Kurup’s Sita Kalyanam rounds off the set on a high. It layers the traditional Sita Kalayanam on an ambient fusion sound featuring vocals by Renuka Arun and Sooraj.

World of Trilok
Separation, with music by Govind Menon takes Ashita Ajit’s dreamy voice accentuates the mild pathos in its hauntingly beautiful melody, along with that solo violin. The Reprise of Sajan More (Unchained) that strips the original (from World of Rudra) of its effervescent rhythm and konnakol and adds Aditya Rao and Filter Coffee’s Shriram Sampath join Jahnvi Shrimankar in the decidedly more minimal and ambient version. The other track that gets a similar treatment is Shiva Omkara, a variant of Shiva Tandav (from the World of Shiva), with Bindu Nambiar’s ethereal voice reverberating Basant-raaga beautifully in the spartan backdrop. The rest is completely Gaurav Godkhindi’s show! The instrumental piece The Cyclist Theme has that undercurrent of pathos too. Karaiyaadhe/You is a pleasant rock ballad evoking a classic Bryan Adams sound, sung very well by Sidharth Basrur. The use of the ‘karaiyaadhe’ seems interesting since it could mean ‘Do not cry’ in Malayalam, while meaning ‘Do not melt’ in Tamil 🙂

Bejoy Nambiar’s diverse and vibrant army of composers deliver a phenomenal soundtrack yet again!

Keywords: Prashant Pillai, Thaikkudam Bridge, Govind Menon, Masala Coffee, Agam, Filter Coffee, Abhinav Bhansal, Sooraj S. Kurup, Sez On The Beat, Sajeel Kapoor, Ragini Bhagwat, Gaurav Godkhindi 300, #300

PS: Please don’t ask me if this is the very first 400+ word review on Milliblog 🙂 Intent-wise, this is a 300 worder, and if Bejoy keeps increasing the number of songs like this, I’ll gladly lose track of words.

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:
World of Shekhar – Malayalam Jukebox

World of Shekhar – Tamil Jukebox

World of Rudra – Jukebox

World of Shiva – Jukebox

World of Trilok – Jukebox.

Single Saavn playlist of (almost) all the songs (except ‘Pallikkalachante Mole’ from the Malayalam film, Sherlock Toms that’s not available on Saavn – please listen to it via the YouTube link below):


Shugal laga le and Darmiyaan – Chef (Raghu Dixit)

Piya aa – Haseena Parkar (Sachin-Jigar)

Chalti hai kya and Oonchi hai building 2.0 – Judwaa 2 (Sandeep Shirodkar and Anu Malik)


Nee paarkum and neenda naal – Thiruttuppayale 2 (Vidyasagar)

Karuva karuva payale – Karuppan (D.Imman)

Kaadhal Project and Yavvana – Sathya (Simon K. King)

Rathina katti, Meghamo, Nee mattum and Enna naan – Meyaadha Maan (Santhosh Narayanan, Pradeep Kumar)

Saaregaama Padhaneesa and Engada/Engadi Pona – Abhiyum Anuvum (Dharan Kumar)
A generally likeable tune gets better with the ‘Neeyum naanum’ EDM hook! And in Engada/Engadi Pona, Dharan showcases, all over again, the spark of brilliance he had shown back in Sivi.


Boom boom and Ciciliya ciciliya – Spyder (Harris Jayaraj)

Nuvve naa adhrushtam and Allari pillagada – Ungarala Rambabu (Ghibran)

Rendu kallu, Title song and Kiss Me Baby – Mahanubhavudu (Thaman S)


Minunundae mullapolae (both versions) – Tharangam (Ashwin Renju)

Kasavu njoriyumoru pulari, Unarukayaano, Kaattil ila, Kanakku and Ethu mazhayilum – Udaharanam Sujatha (Gopi Sundar)

Nenjil nenjil, Ormakal, Pagalin vaathil (and most of the background pieces) – Parava (Rex Vijayan)

Kandittum – Villain (4 Musics)
The Mohanlal House Band, 4 Musics hasn’t been that good a composing entity, going by their past output. Kandittum, thankfully, breaks that perspective with its charming, old-worldly melody that could have easily been Bijibal’s! That Yesudas sings it (and sung by Sithara Krishnakumar in the female version equally well) really helps!

Ayyapante Amma – Lava Kusha (Gopi Sundar)
Neeraj Madhav could easily claim the title of being the Dhanush of Malayalam Film Industry! He writes hilariously silly kuthu lyrics and dances enthusiastically too… both like Dhanush! Gopi plays along with his brand of manic, catchy kuthu music.

Ekayaai Nee – Kaattu (Deepak Dev)
Deepak ropes in the long-in-hibernation Unnikrishnan for this delightful Reetigowlai-raaga based melody. Unni’s voice seems withered and somewhat tired, but the nuance is all there to cherish. Deepak’s tune is easily and instantly likeable that traverses through the raaga’s usual flow in all its glory.

Pallikkalachante Mole – Sherlock Toms (Bijibal)
Bijibal mixes lively and rhythmic Kerala folk with another of Kerala’s preoccupation – alcohol! The mix is pretty good, in Udayan’s drunk shenanigans!


Sanje hothu – Tarak (Arjun Janya)

Early morning and Ishq dishq – Dalapathi (Charan Raj)

Iduvarege Badukiddella – April Na Himabindu (Bharath B J)
Bharath ropes in Raghu Dixit over to voice a breezy bluegrass’y tune and the combo works pretty well.


Vanava Petala – Ghuma (Hrishikesh-Saurabh-Jasraj)
Sung by Ajay Gogavale of Ajay-Atul fame, and with that expansive folk rhythm, it could easily be mistaken as a song by the duo, instead of the talented trio. The tune is ebullient and Ajay’s lively singing takes it to a new level!

Hich Amuchi Praarthana and Title song – Ubuntu (Kaushal Inamdar)
Hich amuchi, in the audio-only version, sounds like a beautifully resonant prayer (given that I don’t understand Marathi). I then looked up the song video and was happy to see it was a prayer in letter and spirit – a school prayer, at that! The lead actor, Sarang Sathaye, looks like the Marathi equivalent of Tamil director/actor Ram (Thanga Meenkal, Taramani) and is as earnest in the way he sings the prayer along with the students. Ajit Parab and Mugdha Vaishampain’s singing is as flawless as Kaushal Inamdar’s perfectly pitched music that accentuates the prayer feel. The title song is a great listen too, with the chorus (Mugdha Vaishampayan, Anurag Inamdar, Vidhit Patankar and Vedant Chimmalagi) pitching the title hook really well amidst the jaunty music.

I found Season 9 middle-of-the-road. In comparison, Season 10 is no better; in fact, I thought season 9 was significantly better when compared to season 10. But a season of Pakistani Coke Studio always has something interesting and worthwhile, at the very least. They are middling only in comparison to earlier, superior seasons. So, here’s my top 10 from Coke Studio Pakistan Season 10.

YouTube playlist of all the 10 songs:

Saavn playlist of all the 10 songs:

01. Chaa Rahi Kaali Ghata – Hina Nasrullah & Amanat Ali
In my view, Chaa rahi kaali ghata embodies the true spirit of Coke Studio. Not only does it present a modernized, but still authentic enough variant of the thumri made popular by Begum Akhtar, but it also, with the help of Sahir Ali Bagga’s original, additional melody, enhance the source it so lovingly adopts. The mix is fantastic when sung so well by Hina Nasrullah and Amanat Ali.

02. Sayonee – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Ali Noor
Two of Junoon’s iconic songs gets a heady melange here – Saeein and Sayonee. But, the song also includes snatches of Meri awaaz suno and Ghoom, to take the mix to an interesting high. Mixing a very-similarly styled Saaein on top of Sayonee is a great idea, particularly when it powers the ecstatic and frenzied ending where the Guitar mavens come together and the song reaches a fever pitch that is almost hypnotic! I hear Pakistani fans are outraged over this song’s interpretation, particularly Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s vocals! I love it, though.

03. Baazi – Aima Beg & Sahir Ali Bagga
The charm of Siraiki dialect and the immensely catchy rhythm layered on top of the mandolin aping the iktara! And Aima Beg’s vocals… uff! Sahir Ali Bagga’s music kicks in so much swag particularly towards the middle when he gets the singers into a face-off mode, amping up the rhythms!

04. Dam Mast Qalandar – Jabar Abbas & Umair Jaswal
This song hardly requires any introduction, given the incredibly powerful original from Pakistan and the extraordinarily entertaining stolen Indian film version by Viju Shah. But the tune’s magic remains intact. Umair Jaswal and Jabar Abbas offer wonderfully spirited vocals with the guitars acting almost like the 3rd voice!

05. Naina Moray – Javed Bashir & Akbar Ali feat. Amir Zaki
One can seldom go wrong using a raag like Bhairvi and when you have 2 fantastic singers like Javed Bashir and Akbar Ali as lead singers, you can only get better! Their vocal dexterity takes the song to a new high, particularly Akbar Ali who gets to showcase his incredible range as he plays with the raag’s flow wonderfully.

06. Allahu Akbar – Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan & Ahmed Jehanzeb
This is yet another example of spirituality coexisting with art, here in the form of music. The pop prelude paves way for a highly lush sufi sound that we have all come to love since it has been aped ever since so many times. The way the chorus picks up the thread from the lead singers and offer their counter-point and backing is absolutely brilliant!

07. Jindjaani – Ali Hamza & Nirmal Roy
Much like Chaa rahi kaali ghata, Jindjaani sees Ali Hamza acing a mix of the old and the new. He picks up the lilting folk melody of Jhanjar Phabdi Na and finds it an apt compliment in his own new melody. Getting Nirmal Roy is a super decision because her sweet voice enhances the mix manifold.

08. Kaatay Na Katay – Aima Baig, Humera Arshad & Rachel Viccaji
This song is a great showcase of 3 women – Aima Baig, Rachel Viccaji and Humera Arshad. Humera, in fact, is handed over the semi-classical original made popular by Runa Laila in Umrao Jaan Ada (among other versions), and Ali Hamza layers in the pulsating, and often distracting rock parts quite confidently. The handover from Humera, to Aima and Rachel is the song’s stunning highlight.

09. Ranjish hi sahi – Ali Sethi
Tonally, Ali Sethi is a far cry from Mehdi Hassan, but he no doubt makes it his own, bringing his own brand of melancholy to the beautiful melody. His voice is calm and goes so well—particularly in the longer stretches—with the piercing pathos in the lyrics, while Jaffer Zaidi keeps the music aptly basic to evoke the modern-day ghazal feel, along with a nuanced and appropriate backing chorus.

10. Julie – Ali Zafar feat. Danyal Zafar
The find of this season is easily Danyal Zafar, Ali Zafar’s brother! The man was excellent with his singing in Muntazir (with Momina Mustehsan, in episode 1), but here he lets his flamboyant brother take center-stage with the vocals while he’s content playing the guitar alongside… and aces it! Ali Zafar, on his part, completely showboats the song with his incredible singing, complete with a superb falsetto towards the end and full-on drama in terms of taking off his jacket! The reggae-blues infused tune is perfect for the brothers, and Ali almost recreates his Rockstar vibe from Season 9.

Shugal laga le and Banjara are heady melanges! Raghu mixes racy Celtic-sound with rhythmic desi folk; the former, with its Kerala folk mix works flawlessly! Darmiyaan is Raghu’s trademark – intimate and engaging rock ballad, with a melody reminiscent of Happy New Year‘s Preetiya hesare neenu, but with higher guitar quotient. Nikita’s fantastic singing props the catchy, brass-laden Tan tan, while Khoya khoya has an affable pathos that sometimes gets bogged down by Shahid Mallya’s whiny vocals. Amaal’s lone composition, Tere mere is a harmless, predictable melody at best. Less inventive than Bewakoofiyaan, but likeable album nevertheless by Raghu Dixit.

Keywords: Chef, Chef Hindi, Raghu Dixit, Amaal Mallik

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Anabelle Pei is Santhosh riffing on familiar gaana couplets, but Ka.Ka.Bala’s Area gaana mixes Villuppaattu-style with gaana’s raw energy impressively. S.Madhu is a funky TASMAC song espousing everything about S.Madhu, including her address! Rathina katti is interesting despite its Irudhi Sutru hangover, thanks to Dhee’s vocals. Santhosh’s best is Meghamo, with a splendid melody that Pradeep aces. Pradeep’s debut* is top notch! Nee mattum‘s reggae-soaked lilt segues into rock imaginatively, with Sid Sriram and Darshana’s beautiful singing. Enna naan is the soundtrack’s highlight, with its delightful rock-ballad sound and incredible singing by Pradeep and Kalyani. The Santhosh-Pradeep combo wins again.

Keywords: Meyaadha Maan, Santhosh Narayanan, Pradeep Kumar

*Tamil composing debut. His Telugu composing debut is brilliant, btw!

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

Nenjil nenjil‘s prelude, with that digitally processed child singing snatches of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’s iconic song is an intriguing misdirection to what comes next! Rex’s tune has a dreamy quality with imaginative, consistently thrumming background. Ormakal has Dulquer singing on a cool Gangsta rhythm (amplified in Imran Intro and significantly spruced up in The Revenge), with a splendid Clarinet phrase by Nathan. Nathan joins Arun Sudhara on Dilruba in Pagalin vaathil, with Rex concocting an energetic build-up to the tune sung by Sreenath Bhasi. Ichaapi and Haseeb Intro‘s (and its variant Chaandal) bluesy sound segues into the punchy brass-led sound in style, while in Ichaapi Becomes Leader, he features Neha Nair’s vocals to add a more meditative note and a significantly vaudevillian waltz in the short Ichaapi’s Love Theme. Parava Theme comes beautifully alive amidst the searing guitar and the occasional Middle Eastern elements, and Neha’s humming lifts the already pleasant Shane’s Love Theme to a new high. Stealing Back Myna Praavu builds intrigue through its stammering strings while Clash is wonderfully edgy and dark. Rex does a spectacular job with the 3 songs and the 16 background pieces to produce a memorable soundtrack that, like the title, soars!

Keywords: Parava, Rex Vijayan, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on Saavn:

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

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