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KK - THE MESMERIZER View topic - Beyond Reasonable Doubt



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 Post subject: Beyond Reasonable Doubt
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:45 pm
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Facebook will verify that the first thing Cain said after the boards finished was Imtehaan sab de chuke...ab to de de silaa! XD

Since then, several Events have occurred - events like the AIPMT (without coaching, incidentally, so believe me it's a write-off), and the *ahem* reorganization of my computer (who went in for hard drive expansion and ended up reformatted with all that extensive software gone *melodrama*). Anyhow, I'm back now and back, I hope, for good (until college entrances and, you know, stuff like that) - and this time I'm writing a special about a track that has, by almost everyone except Cain, simply been ignored.
Ignored and dismissed, probably, for the very same reason that drew me to it in the first place.
Its effect on me, however, is to make me rave about him even more than I already did. As ye shall see.

I am here to speak in defence of (gasp) Kaun Hai Ajnabi.
I can see the jury is scandalized - I'll begin at the beginning.

It's from Game, music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy - who, as we'll all agree, are not exactly known for giving KK his due. (Some opinions changed about this after Jaane Ye Kya Hua, but mine did not: the song was definitely not out of the ordinary, and if it sounded so to some, it was only by virtue of his voice that it did.) The lyrics are by Javed Akhtar - who, as we'll also all agree, almost never fails to deliver.
When I heard the original version, all I did was bemoan the tragic loss of a song that could have been; however, when I got hold of the remix, I was hooked immediately. It is, therefore, the remix that I'll focus on; I suggest you listen to it at least once - - before reading the rest of this.

You hear his voice at the beginning, which, even metallicized, is intense and wonderful and a mere forerunner of what is to come.
What strikes one at once is that the extremely irritating catchtune of the original has been relegated to the background. This is an improvement beyond imagination; so is the fact that the frivolous rhythm of the original has been replaced with a marginally faster, infinitely more solid beat. With this version, you're not gyrating mindlessly - you have an intellectual anchor from which to strike out, find your way around its depths, and you feel it immediately. They've also removed most of the extremely lame backing vocals, and another catchtune has been inserted - a haunting, repetitive piano segment which sets the mood for the song far more effectively than the other. Especially when you consider that amid all my electric-guitar fetishism, I secretly have a major thing for KK and techno. A major, major thing.

I'll always love his solo tracks best - don't we all? - but I admit I'm a sucker for a good duet in which the female is not a passive partner. Like Martabaa and Chaahoon Tujhe and even Dus Kahaaniyaan (which I really, really love and will tell you the reason why sometime), Kaun Hai Ajnabi makes no secret of being one of these.
In an extension of the same theme, I will always be drawn to a good song which is not about love. Love is so ubiquitous a theme in the film industry that it's extremely rare to find a song that doesn't deal with it in one form or another - Kaun Hai Ajnabi makes no secret of being one of these either. (It also does not come under any of the usual broad categories of songs-that-do-not-deal-with-love, which to Cain is absolutely marvellous; I will explain this at a later date.)
Another thing about this song - I was surprised to find that I actually like Aditi Singh Sharma. She's not exemplary in terms of voice, but she's got the spirit and the style to sound like an intellectual equal to KK, and I cannot begin to tell you how important that is. It's the same reason I fell for Yashita of Martabaa, and the same reason I've always wanted a KK/Anushka or a KK/Monali track. Suffice it to say that it serves the song's purpose, and you don't grudge her presence, which is quite frankly amazing.

Tu hai saazish ke ghere mein...
Dekh toh zaraa andhere mein...
This is the girl singing; she's beginning to warn the listener.
(Second-person songs are another thing I enjoy very much and can't tell you exactly why.)
(I removed the tiny annoying interlude here.)
Tu hai saazish ke ghere mein...
Dekh toh zaraa andhere mein...

Kya hai jo hone ko hai - kya hai jo khone ko hai -
Kaise ye khatre hain jo chhaaye hain -
Koi kuch kehta hai kya, chhupke koi rehta hai kya -
Deevaaron par ye kiske saaye hain -
Enter KK - to sweep you off your feet.
The sweeping off one's feet isn't done with the usual surge of power, but with a quiet rush of intensity the like of which I've only heard before in Jalte Hain, and a little in the beginning of Jab Kabhi. It's somewhat similar to the intensity of Kaisa Ye Raaz Hai, except that in KYRH he is in power; here, he is not. He doesn't know what exactly the danger consists of, but he knows that it's there, which is more than the listener knows - and he's got to warn whoever will dare to pay attention.

Kisi chehre ke peeche koi chehra chhupa hai - tu ye dekh le dekh sake toh!...
Kaun hai...ajnabi...
This is the chorus, and it's breathtaking in its pure simplicity. It's actually stated - You don't know who your friends are. You're alone; everyone's alone - and now is the only time you have to get your act together and stay on your guard. These two informants are working together here to get the knowledge to someone - anyone.
The surge of pure power comes now. He's in his element, telling you to beware, which suggests that he's a little more certain now of what exactly the danger consists of, and his kaun hai...ajnabi implies that there's one traitor in particular. Someone you know is a stranger.
You're in the midst of a conspiracy - everyone in the presence of this track is at a crossroads with far too much at stake. Traces of the insanity follow you wherever you tread - they're across your path, behind your mirrors, on your walls.
Danger lurks in the shadows. And KK knows it.

I took out the dee-si-re segment here, because it reminded me of SX4s.

Sun zaraa, ke aa rahe hain kiski ye aahatein...
Kaun hai, pataa chalegaa - ye andhere toh ghate...
Vo jo bhi hai, dushman hai vo; karna hai kya, zaraa soch lo...
Ye khooni panjaa hai jo, kaisa shikanjaa hai vo - khanjar ye kaise lehraaye hain...
The stanza is all the girl, and I can't tell you how much I grudge her the verse. It's full of Urdu words, for one, and they're damn effective ones too. I had to look them up, so I'll tell you - shikanjaa is the grasp of those bloodstained claws, and khanjar is a dagger.
To put it with all the eloquence at my command...Damnit!
This is basically just elaborating on the theme, but it's done so damn beautifully that I'm desperate to hear him sing it - just imagining it gives me the shivers. Hats off to Javed Akhtar; I don't know about you, but I think these lyrics are beautiful. There is no other word.

I like to think that while the girl sings the stanza, KK is off gauging the situation - finding out more. On the other hand, the way the chorus picks up instantly, perhaps he was right behind her. Or perhaps both happened - who knows?

Kisi chehre ke peeche koi chehra chhupa hai - tu ye dekh le dekh sake toh!...
There are three layers to these lines - his voice, hers and his at a lower pitch. The latter was hardly audible at all during the first chorus, but it grows in intensity now, almost literally swells to the music, and you get the feeling he knows more, that he's more sure of himself than he was before. This only strengthens my belief that he was covering the bases during the first stanza.
It also makes the kisi chehre ke part seem a little, just a little, more devious, as though he's casting a sidelong look at you and wondering if you understand something he's only just beginning to understand himself - as though he's finally coming into his own and can't quite believe it.

Tu hai saazish ke ghere mein... he begins, then continues dekh toh zaraa - and she finishes andhere mein. They're still working together, but they're completing each other's sentences now - the symbiosis is getting closer and ever more difficult to break. There's something sensuous about the two of them, something that unites them and is gradually deepening.
Kya hai jo hone ko hai - kya hai jo khone ko hai -
Kaise ye khatre hain jo chhaaye hain -
(this is the girl)
Koi kuch kehta hai kya, chhupke koi rehta hai kya -
Deevaaron par ye kiske saaye hain!
This is him again. I love that he got these lines both times, because no one could carry this off with the perfect, suave certainty that he does.
And this time it's like he's informing you and taunting you at the same time - and how many do you think have travelled these corridors before you? how are you certain? how can you tell? how far can you run?

How - far - can you run?

Kisi chehre ke peeche koi chehra chhupa hai...
There's a change in his aura now, a consolidation. You feel the subtle increase in his strength, his self-assurance - feel the way the two of them are increasingly, inextricably meshed - and you suddenly realize he's speaking from experience - that it's himself the lines refer to. He's not as innocent and eager as he once seemed - he may not be the danger itself, but he's a formidable force to contend with, and he could definitely be a danger - if he so chose.
With relation to her - they've found out more together than they knew individually before, they're each a force individually that neither knew how to be before, and it's now their very closeness that threatens them.

It ends with KK saying Kaun hai...ajnabi... in a sort of tuneful sultry whisper that is so hot it could kill. There's no music during or after the last ajnabi, which is yet another distinct improvement on the original version (it has some creaky music segment at the end which is just strange). It's a delightfully ambiguous ending, stressing once more that you don't know who the traitor is - and that you don't know whether KK's character's newfound power means that the old threat is neutralized...or a new one added.


A few notes to end the analysis that's probably left you gaping by now -

1. I still think the music could have been one hell of a lot better. The theme could have been elaborated upon - and KK could've got a stanza to himself. I mean, KK doesn't get a stanza? Are you freakin' KIDDING me?! The whole thing could have been so much better if there'd only been another stanza sung by him. Also, if they'd only given him the khooni panjaa line, my life. would. have been. complete. Complete, I say! (Yes, I'm kinky.)

2. I've seen the official movie video of this song, and it is the worst video ever. There is an aura of sensuousness to the whole song, but have they seriously no clue that there's a difference between that and vulgarity? And the vaudevillian walking sticks, and the high contrast and goddamn glaring white? The song practically begs for low contrast and black outfits merging with the shadows, and the subtlety of perhaps concealing one's face for a fleeting instant behind a gun - instead of planting it behind your hand. Hell, they could've done this so well with KK himself as the subject. What idiots. CAIN IS ANGRY.

3. If my metaphors / interpretations / flights of fancy are completely beyond your grasp - I apologize. Put them down to the ramblings of a deliriously happy, deliriously devoted fangirl.

4. On reading this over:
It's actually stated - You don't know who your friends are. You're alone; everyone's alone - and now is the only time to get your act together and stay on your guard. These two informants are working together here to get the knowledge to someone - anyone.
Someone you know is a stranger.
You're in the midst of a conspiracy - everyone in the presence of this track is at a crossroads with far too much at stake. Traces of the insanity follow you wherever you tread - they're across your path, behind your mirrors, on your walls.
Danger lurks in the shadows. And KK knows it.
I can't tell you how much this sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel. No wonder I like this song. XD
As a matter of fact, I might even turn this into a story or something. Who knows? XD

5. Also, this track is barely three and a half minutes long, but as witnessed above it has an incoherent and eminently removable backing segment about desire and fire. Seriously, a lame interlude like that in a three-minute song? You want your sound surgeon to be able to work, you give her some damn room to move her hands!

6. KYRH is one of the next posts on my list.

7. The defence rests.


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 Post subject: Re: Beyond Reasonable Doubt
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:45 pm
Posts: 166
Okay, here's a coda - something that makes me incoherent with pure glee, and that i just had to share with you guys.
The other day my earphones gave out, and I decided once and for all to get myself a decent pair; one that would last me a good while before it proceeded to give out. I happened to be at this shopping centre place which had a computer store, so I went in and stared at their 'phones. They had a phenomenal number of them, but I was drawn to one sleek black pair in particular, so I picked the case up and examined them and they looked damn good - infinitely better quality than any I'd owned before. I was extremely gleeful and promptly paid for them, and then - just as the cashier was slipping them into a bag - I noticed the brand name.

Sennheiser.

Cain is so pleased with herself, you can't even imagine. XD

Also, their sound quality is freakin' fantastic. I'll say the gentleman has damn good taste. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Beyond Reasonable Doubt
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:11 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Beyond Reasonable Doubt
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Chembur, Bombay
Para, you've embarrassed me, is the least I can say at the moment. Though it's more to do with the fact that I haven't spent much time with this one.
Let's see how I can reply to this. I haven't a goddamn snowflake's idea in hell of replying right now. :/ :P


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 Post subject: Re: Beyond Reasonable Doubt
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:45 pm
Posts: 166
@Kuldeep
You're welcome, and thank you. ;)

I dare to compare the intensity with that of KYRH because they're similar in quality - I never said anything about the degree of it, remember? Therein lies the difference, and it's audible to all. It was Kaun Hai Ajnabi that was my focus, and therefore I didn't have to point that out. :P

Heehee, yes I am crazy. XD

@Sukhi...:P
I have only one word to say in reply to that: TECHNO. XD


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