Kuch mere dil ne kaha

Tere mere sapne, released in 1996 was not a super-hit movie, but it still stands out in memory if you lived through the time, because it was memorable in various small ways. For one it was produced by Amitabh Bachchan’s on again, off again production house ABCL. It also introduced into the Hindi film world a handful of brand new actors who went on to have very varied careers. They were not all completely fresh, but a project with so much buzz behind it was their ticket to broader recognition. Arshad Warsi went on to have a healthy career as comic actor, which continues. Simran went on to become a South-Indian super star in multiple languages. Of the main cast, the two actors in the song Kuch mere dil ne kaha, Priya Gill and Chandrachur Singh, are the ones who had an interesting bunch of films that followed and then faded mostly into obscurity.

Visually, Kuch mere dil ne kaha is quite a beautiful song with an unbelievable range of scenes and settings within its length. Cinematographer Dharma Teja does an admirable job in capturing scenes in natural light, artificial light and even extreme situations like shooting against a sunset, while giving it all a cohesive look and mood. There is the distinct whiff of the kind of slick camera work that only South Indian films demonstrated in the late 1980s and early 1990s now creeping into Hindi cinema and it would be the better for it over the next decade.

Priya Gill and Chandrachur Singh are earnest and convincing in their acting and are a refreshing change to the very model-like and highly crafted faces we see in the films today. In comparison, these two look much more like normal people, making the song-inspired antics even more believable in some ways. Director Joy Augustine makes this an interesting combination of incidental music-montage scenes and actual actors singing on screen situations. Makes for a much richer addition to the film, I’m sure.

The music is an interesting mix of North and South. Music director Viju Shah, previously known for such quintessential 1990s songs like those from Mohra and Vishwatma, seems to have reigned in his heavy handed style in this case with a bit of a South Indian twist. By this time the spectre of A.R. Rehman and other similar talent from the South would have been looming large and that was bound to lead to a shift in musical tastes. It makes even more sense in this film and this song as the female character is meant to be a South Indian girl and a music teacher to boot (from what I can glean). A perfect excuse for a bit of fusion, which is done very well, going so far as to have both regular and the uniquely South Indian style of violin in the very same song in different sections. The fusion is taken even further by the singers with Hariharan from the South and Sadhna Sargam with a more regular Hindi tone of voice. All in all, it forms an adventurous and melodious amalgam of sounds.

All of this is carried forward on the shoulders of perfectly solid poetry by veteran lyricist Anad Bakshi:

Tujh se, mil ke jaanaa, kitni tanhaa thee, main tere bin
Pal pal, kaisee halchal, jindagee mein hai ab raat din
Main kahoon aur kyaa, bas tera shukriya


Meeting you made me realise how alone I was before
Every second of every night and day is now exciting and more
What can I say except ‘Thank you’, from my very core

Kuch mere dil ne kaha is a melodious and interesting song, for its strong visuals, for its adventurous mix of music, and for being a throwback to the last time in Hindi cinema where such normal looking people could be introduced as serious contenders into the acting arena. What has followed is over a decade of models and strange rarefied creatures in well-planned designer clothing. It might be some time before we see the likes of this again.

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