EUPHORIA !!! The word itself fills my thoughts with splashes of colours and happiness. And that’s how Euphoria’s music is - vibrant, melodic, beautiful and very Indian, and not in a dumbed-down way. And along with the upbeat songs of the folk genre, they have also some really heartwarming love ballads and even Qawwalis. Euphoria’s spectrum of music genre is spread wide and can be defined only as what Palash calls it – Hind Rock! And each of their videos has a story to tell, a proper story, like a mini-movie of sorts.
For the uninitiated, the band line-up as of now is :
Back row: Palash Sen (lead vocalist, standing)
Front row L to R: Ashwini(drums), Benny (Keyboard), Irshad(dholak and percussions), DJ Bhaduri (Bass Guitar),
Reshu (dholak and percussions), Hitesh (Guitars).
I, personally, have seen them perform live once at my college campus (NIT Silchar), and there is only one thing which I want to say bout it. Man, they performed for almost 3 hours straight. And what a flawless set. They sing their favorites from the albums released so far, and apart from that do covers as well such as – Another One Bites the Dust, Every Breath You Take and Smoke on the Water. It has been almost 4 years now since that concert, and I can still vividly remember the wild fun that I had. And so, in memory of that awesome one wild night, here I list down 10 of my favourite Euphoria songs.
10. Raja Rani
This begins with a high pitched Palash belting out a Rajasthani folksy lyrical syllable. The instruments used are also reminiscent of Rajasthani folk. And so is the video, which is filled with beautiful deserts, puppets, colorful turbans and a cutesy love story. And the lyrics has elements of national integration – Multani, Bangaali, Dogra. How can you not love this?
Just sheer fun. Right from the intro clinging of the metal ring, to the catchy chorus catch-phrase – Tak Dhina Dhin. In a picturesque video directed by Pradeep Sarkar which highlights his signature desi style. So there’s the hustle-bustle of a dulhan-walle ghar with the pandals, the light arrangements and garlands strewn across. And then there’s Vidya Balan playing the coy and shy bride who almost gets married to the greedy family. But our hero Palash dude gets to the rescue and saves the day. Guru phataphaati!! Yep, one of the catchy phrases generated by this song. The playful lyrics are a delight e.g. Kya karegi tu Kashmir Jaake, Swarg tera yaha..
8. Sha Na Na
One of the overlooked and underappreciated songs from their first album, Sha Na Na is a solid pop rock song replete with guitars, bass and rolling drums and contains a very funky chorus line which you can sing all day long. And yes, that’s Neha Dhupia in the video before her Miss India, and then Julie days.
Pyar ka Jadoo Chal Gaya…
Main Deewana ho gaya..
Ooo yeah! Chodo tum satana..
Ooo yeaah!! Mat karo tum na na na na..
Sha Na na Na ..
7. Ab Na Jaa
The first ballad on this list. Let’s forget the video for a bit. And lend our ears to the lyrical words which are woven beautifully to Benny’s piano melody.
Aankhen Bandh kar lu jo main..Dekhu bas tumhe
Khwabo Mein hi keh sakta hu, Apna tumhe
Rehne de, Mera ye Vehem pe hi Yakeen
Na jaa abhi..
Pyar ki ye raat hai, ab na jaa
Chhoti si ek baat hai, ab na jaa
Pal do pal ka saath hai, ab na jaa
Jaadu si ye raat hai, ab na jaa
I close my eyes and I can only see you
Its only in my dreams that I can say you're mine
Let me keep on believing in this misbelief
Don't go now
Its the night of love, don't go now
There's something I want to say, don't go now
This togetherness is short, don't go now
Its a magical night, don't go now]
When Gulzar saab teams up with Euphoria, the result is no lesser than perfection. Mehfuz is one of Euphoria’s masterpieces because of its melancholy tone perfected by the musical arrangement – the flute and the slow bass tune which haunts even after the song is long finished.
And the lyrics – sigh! Have a go at this.
Phir bhi banke nishaan tere honthon ke kisi konon main hasi ki tarah main mehfuz hoon
[Translation: Even then, as a mark, like a smile on some corner of your lips, I am safe. ]
Ok, this one is hands down the best ballad written in Indipop. The video is quite tragic like most of Euphoria videos which involve the death of the female protagonist ( on more than one occassion). I guess Palash or one of the band members has suffered from such a loss. Bless! Coming back to the song, the lyrics are just top notch. Check this out -
Pehli saas, Mere din ki pehli dhoop
Tum Chand ki pehli kiran
Pehla Geet, Baarish ki pehli boond,
Tum sheet ki pehli kampann
Usne Bheja tumhein mere liye
Suune dil ki tum dhadkan
Saanso mein jo mere khwabo mein jo, wo ho tum
Yaado mein jo, meri aankho mein jo, wo ho tum
The first breath, The first sunshine of my day
You are the first ray of the moonlight
The first song, The first droplet of the rain
You are the first shiver of winter
He sent you for me
You are the beat in my lonely heart
The one in my breath, the one in my dreams, that's you
The one in my memories, the one in my eyes, that's you]
The one that started it all. And I love everything about it. The folk elements juxtaposed brilliantly with the heavy sliding bass of DJ Bhaduri, and the awesome jugalbandhi with Shubha Mudgal’s bengali Majhee song. SD Burman would have been very happy if he heard this. And to top it all, Pradeep Sarkar’s opulent presentation set in Banaras filled with Gulal, the Ganges and gorgeous model -
Love it..to bits. Sujoy = Dhoom pichucked!
3. Waise Hi
Now this is what I would call stuff of geniuses. It starts off with a crunchy guitar solo and you’d expect a rock song to come out of it. But then it mellows down and before you know it, voila, its a Qawwali. And not just any random one. The solo on this song was performed on Abida Parveen’s Dumadum Mast Kalander when Euphoria collaborated with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. And I wish they had included at least a section of this song.
This has all the elements to make it an awesome qawwali, needless to mention the gradual picking up of the tempo and the mood of the song. And to top it all, Palash in a naughty way blurts out – So does this surprise you baby? Hehe!
This has no video unfortunately, but for your listening pleasure, I have embedded the audio file below.
Saanse chah kar bhi rukti nahi,
Aise hee jeena hai to, yahee Sahi..
Dil to dhadakta hai aise hi
Muskurata bhi hu main, waise hi..
The first single to be released in the history of Indipop. And this one pretty much defines what Euphoria is all about. The lyrics are reminiscent of every rock number and yet they do not sound like a cheap copy/translation of an English rock song. Its positive, ambitious and most importantly smart. And also, Hitesh’s guitar solo after the second verse is one of the most awesome guitar pieces on any Indian album.
But what makes this track on no.2 is the solid intro instrumental which is an awesome jugalbandi between the guitars, drums, the tabla and Palash Sen’s screaming vocals.
And the inspirado lyrics go something like..
Jeet kya aur haar kya
Gham aur khushi ke paar kya
Hai Megh ke aasar kya
Toofan kya, Majhdhaar kya
Hai Baadlo ke paar kya
Gham aur khushi ke paar kya
Bas jan lo hai pyaar kya
Ye mera Mantra…
I don’t think any of you will disagree with the choice of this song as the no. 1. And over the years, it has become almost the anthem of every desi college lover.
The intro lyrics – Teriya Meriya Poool Gaya
Pool Gaya Haar de jeet
Hee Maaye, Main Jeetnu
Hove naa je Meet
I have forgotten about you and me
I have forgotten about loss and victory
Oh mother, what victory is a win
If I don’t have my love with me
Reemi Sen’s earthy looks do wonders to the video. The toothpaste on the nose, the railway-track pressed coin, the station tea shop, and the busy compartment in a train rattling through the foggy villages – all visuals which depict so much in each and every frame than most movies can possibly can. And the story of love kurbaan-ified by the zaleem duniya aka Ladki ke Mummy Daddy. I tell you, they should be mummified with a ‘lep’ (layer) of Mirch Achaar (Chilli Pickle).
So there you go. Those are my top 10 pick for the Euphoria playlist. I know a lot of you will be disagreeing to this, and questioning and possibly pelting stones at my window for excluding – Phir Dhoom, Bewafa, etc etc. C’mon people, only 10 spots. But you do have the comments section to let your outburst get out there. But please, behave.
Band Image courtesy: Dhoom.com
And because I am so awesome, here’s a grooveshark playlist with 6 of the 10 songs (couldn’t find the rest).