Music: Sandesh Shandilya
Ratings: * * *
Kya Dilli Kya Lahore brings us back the musical talent Sandesh Shandilya of Piya Basanti fame. Kya Dilli Kya Lahore, the film, is about the tragic Indo-Pak partition post-Independence. And who could have done justice to this topical film with the lyrics other than Gulzar Saab (He's also presenting the film).
Gulzar Saab's association with Aman Ki Asha (an Indo-Pak peace project, that had one of the best compilation albums ever) is hugely acknowledged. A line from that campaign song: "utho kabaddi kabaddi khelein sarhado par" finds an inspired version in the Lakeerein track that starts with the crisp and cozy voice of Gulzar himself. A very 'indie-band' kind of arrangement follows with standard drum beats and guitar accompanied by vocals of Papon, who sounds like anything between K.K. and Atif Aslam in this one.
The terrain of Kisse Lambe is very promising with Sukhwinder Singh behind the microphone and powerful Punjabi lyrics. But its production is so mediocre that it makes the tabla-guitar arrangement sound dated.
Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, stunningly effortless, as usual, is allowed to take the center-stage in Jo Dikhte Ho where an elaborate arrangement is subdued to render the song the calming effect and let Gulzar Saab's words fill your heart with that anguish love in it: "Padh loon na dil ka dard kahin, alfaaz badal lete ho tum; aankhon mein nami aa jaaye to aawaaz badal lete ho tum... Jhoothe Ho Tum!"
Gulzar follows amusing antithesis in Kaleje Mein ("Bina dushman, akela reh gaya hota"). Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, from across the border, gives a slow burning rendition to this very Vishal Bhardwaj-esque song.
With only 4 songs in the soundtrack that runs for some 16 minutes, and musical talents from both the countries in collaboration, Kya Dilli Kya Lahore is a sweet little delight for Gulzar's fans. Sandesh Shandilya too remains true to the spirit of the album but we deserve more from the man who has given us albums like Chameli and Socha Na Tha.