- Meenaxi (soundtrack)
Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman Released 24 January 2004 (India) Recorded Panchathan Record Inn Genre World Music Length 39:52 Label Sony BMG Producer A.R. Rahman A. R. Rahman chronology Lakeer - Forbidden Lines
Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities
Meenaxi is the soundtrack to the 2004 bollywood film Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities, directed by famous artist M. F. Husain and starring starring Tabu, Kunal Kapoor and Raghuvir Yadav. A.R. Rahman is the music director of this film. Rahat Indori, M. F. Husain, and Sukhwinder Singh were the lyricists. The music was released on 24 January 2004 creating great controversies regarding the song Noor-Un-Ala which had lyrics directly adapted from the Koran. However, the soundtrack of the movie got high appreciations from the critics. Rahman composed some of his career best songs for this movie.
Going by initial lines of Chinnamma Chilakamma, anybody gets duped that the song would be a typical South Indian peppy number but as Sukhwinder Singh picks up his lines, one gets the Hyderabadi accent in its full flesh. The beautifully penned lyrics is also by Sukhwinder Singh. Rang Hai is like a rustic mysterious cry of a woman. Alka Yagnik is the main vocalist whilst Lebanese singer Dallinda provide additional vocals. Dhuan Dhuan is a sultry and seductive number sung by the famous Indian singer Asha Bhonsle. Additional vocals is by Kunal and percussions by Rahman's usual assosciate Sivamani. A. R. Rahman said about recording of this song at the filmfare: "For one song, we started with no tune and no lyrics either. One afternoon I bumped into Lataji and Ashaji in London. I asked Ashaji if she'd do a song with me the next day. She had to go to Scotland the next day. But she returned in a few days and we finished the track Dhuan Dhuan in four hours in London." Yeh Rishta is a typical melody by Rahman and sung by young singer Reena Bhardwaj who had already worked with Rahman in a chartbuster song for the Tamil movie Baba. This is the only song of the album that was well promoted. It was later reused by Rahman in Tamil movie Sakkarakatti as Naan Epodhu with the same singer which then became a chartbuster. It was picturised as Tabu's solo entrance piece in the film. Do Kadam is highly regarded as one of Rahman's best compositions. This song is beautifully sung by Sonu Nigam with lyrics provided by Rahat Indori. Planetbollywood referred to this song as the best from Sonu Nigam. The controversial song Noor-Un-Ala-Noor is a Sufi style song sung by Murtaza Khan and Qadir Khan, together called Khan brothers. Lyrics for the song was by M. F. Hussain which slightly adapted the Koranic verses honourung Allah to honour the lead character Meenaxi. M. F. Hussain wrote in The Hindu about this song, "There is a qawwali written by me and sung by classical musicians Ustad Ghulam Mustafa and his son for which Rahman has tuned unusual music. The film opens with this qawwali, the picturisation of which is a major highlight...The qawwali is exultant about the presence of the light and what a light it is! It is a Sufi thought, a thought that keep us going even when there is pitch darkness."
Cyclist's Rhythm and Potter’s Village were instrumentals composed by A. R. Rahman with percussions by Sivamani and flute by Navin Kumar in the former and percussions by Hossam Ramzy and strings by John Themis in the latter.
Track # Song Singer(s) Lyrics Length Notes 1 Yeh Rishta Reena Bhardwaj Rahat Indori 4:40 Strings by John Themis
Reused in Sakkarakatti as Naan Eppodhu
2 Chinnamma Chilakkamma Sukhwinder Singh Sukhwinder Singh 5:45 Reused in Sakkarakatti as Chinnamma Chilakkamma
Partly sung in Telugu
3 Do Kadam Sonu Nigam Rahat Indori 5:58 Strings by Rashid Ali
Flute by Navin Kumar
4 Dhuan Dhuan Asha Bhosle Rahat Indori 5:42 Additional Vocals by Kunal
Percussions by Sivamani
Additional Grooves by James Asher
5 Rang Hai Alka Yagnik Rahat Indori 5:21 Additional Vocals by Dallinda
Percussions by Hossam Ramzy
6 Noor-Un-Ala-Noor Murtaza Khan, Qadir Khan M. F. Husain 6:55 7 Cyclist's Rhythm Instrumental - 3:01 Percussions by Sivamani
Flute by Navin Kumar
8 Potter’s Village Instrumental - 2:28 Percussions by Hossam Ramzy
Strings by John Themis
The background score for the film was also composed by A. R. Rahman. The story plot features three cities - Hyderabad, Jaisalmer and Prague. Rahman emerges as a clear winner in giving life to all these 3 cities with his background score. Rahman goes completely into Qawwali rhythms for Hyderabad, a rustic ,earthy, Arabic rhythms for Jaisalmer and a rich lavish strings for Prague and brings out the essence and cultures of all the 3 cities through his enticing scores.
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Planet Bollywood  Smashits  Bollywood Hungama 
The soundtrack for the movie has received positive reviews from critics and fans. Since the film bombed at the box office due to controversies created, the soundtrack too remained unnoticed. But the tracks such as Yeh Rishta and Chinnamma Chillakkamma became chartbusters when they were reused in 2008 Tamil movie Sakkarakatti. Do Kadam is highly regarded as one of A. R. Rahman's and Sonu Nigam's best works.
The audio was released on 24 january 2004 creating great controversies regarding the song Noor-Un-Ala which had lyrics directly adapted from the Koran. Subsequently the movie was pulled out of movie theatres a day after some Muslim organisations raised objections to the song. The All-India Ulema Council complained that the Qawwali song was blasphemous. The council was supported by Muslim organisations like the Milli Council, All-India Muslim Council, Raza Academy, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind and Jamat-e-Islami. Husain's son stated that the words were a phrase referring to divine beauty that were being sung by the central character played by Tabu. He said there was no intention to offend. Following the wave of protests the enraged artist pulled off his movie from the theaters.
- ^ a b c http://ibnlive.in.com/news/does-mf-husain-love-controversy/9569-8.html
- ^ a b c http://www.mumbai-central.com/nukkad/apr2004/msg00244.html
- ^ Do Kadam, The best from Sony Nigam
- ^ Planet Bollywood review
- ^ Smashits review
- ^ Bollywood Hungama review
- ^ Husain pulls Meenaxi out of theatres - The Tribune
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