Innovative Soundscapes: A.R. Rahman’s Pioneering Work in ‘Taal’

Taal first released on the 13th of August 1999, coinciding with the Independence Day weekend and proved to be a major commercial success at the box office. It became the first Indian film to reach Top 20 on Variety’s Box office list. The movie received a lot of critical acclaim and was showered with praise for the story, screenplay, music, dresses, dialogues, performance, dance sequences etc.


Let us find out about the songs from the album that most of us have been listening to over the decades and why it is one of A.R Rahman’s best works till date?


Taal Se Taal Mila

How many of you remember this one of a kind masterpiece that brought tears to your eyes? Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik can still be heard humming to this beautiful song at various interviews. It is a well acclaimed composition by A.R Rahman with lyrics beautifully written by none other than Anand Bakshi ji. The soulful lyrics about a restless girl dancing in sync to the music will make you dance to your heart’s desire. The beats and music by Rahman are unique and you won’t come across such compositions easily. It is a once-in-a-lifetime melody.


Ramta Jogi

This song celebrates the joy and intoxication of love. The lyrics express the experience of being captivated by love and the deep joy that it brings about. The continuously repeating phrase “Ramta Jogi” means that the protagonist is a wandering lover, absolutely absorbed in his emotions.

 Sukhwinder Singh and Alka Ysgnik’s voices appropriately justify the transcendental and divine nature of love. A.R Rahman’s music will make you feel in complete synchronization with the song as you sway your body to its beats.


Kahin Aag Lage

This one is another mind blowing song from Taal. It’s a golden hit from the 90’s. A.R Rahman has used lots of wind instruments and unusual sounds for this track. Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are about a person’s feelings who does not care what is happening around in the world as he finds it  difficult to bear the pain of heartbreak. Asha Bhosle, Aditya Narayan and Richa Sharma’s beautiful voice modulation and singing style made this song rule over so many hearts for years.


Ishq Bina

If you watch the video of this song, you’ll realise that Aishwarya Rai’s facial expressions express a lot in this track. Rahman’s musical arrangement and composition is absolutely on point. Anand Bakshi describes the emotions of a lover who has left her true love behind. He compares the sweet and sour taste of love to jaggery and tamarind and who else other than Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sukhwinder Singh could have made this song stand out? The change in the orchestra and rhythm is awesome.

There is another version of this song in the album. The other version is almost same with some minor differences. The picturization is different and we get to witness a beautiful qawwali dancing sequence by Aishwarya Rai in the version sung by Anuradha Sriram, Sujatha, Sonu Nigam and A.R Rahman.


Kariye Na

Kariye Na depicts the harsh truth and reality of this world. The video will keep you glued to the screen but A.R Rahman’s music will make you tap your feet like never before. The music is appropriate for the wordings of the song by Bakshi Sahab. He says my friend, please do not ever make a promise to anyone, but if you ever do, please do not break that promise. Sukhwinder Singh and Alka Yagnik’s singing coordination is superb. They bring the melody to life.


Ni Main Samajhh Gayi

Ni Main Samajhh Gayi is a super duper track that exudes a rustic feel and makes you feel connected to the soil. Rahman’s work is worth appreciating and Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are about someone understanding the seriousness of certain deep meaning words but Sukhwinder Singh and Richa Sharma’s voices, their notes and throw is mind blowing. Richa Sharma rocks in this track.


Final Thoughts

At a press conference, Ghai stated, “I credit the name of this film to composer A. R. Rahman. This film is a romance and I could have named it something like Dil, Pyaar, Hum Bhaag Gaye, but it was Rahman’s presence in the movie that gave him the confidence to call it Taal. Taal means music and music means Taal.” The entire credit goes to A. R. Rahman and Anand Bakshi. Rahman kept him awake many nights, but after listening to the songs, he felt it was worth all the trouble. If you haven’t heard these songs before, give them a try and don’t forget to install the Gaana Pehchaana app (Playstore/ Appstore) to play your favourite Bollywood musical games, enjoy live musical gaming events and a lot more. It’s the wedding season and Gaana Pehchaana live can help you host a fun musical games event on your sangeet or mehendi night.

-by Arunima Gupta