Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 19, 2005 07:17 hrs

Taj Mahal — If ever one has to mention an eternal love story, it has to be about Shajahan and Mumtaaz. The world knows about the legend and will relive it once again with Akbar Khan's magnum opus Taj Mahal — An Eternal Love Story . Rumored to be made at the phenomenal budget of more than Rs. 50 crores, Taj Mahal has been in making for about two years and is now ready for release. Starring Zulfi Sayed ( Pyaasa, Chupke Se ), Kabir Bedi, Manisha Koirala, Kim Sharma, Pooja Batra and Arbaaz Khan, ' Taj Mahal ' is a historical costume drama with music by none other than Naushad saab and lyrics by Naqsh Lyallpuri & Syed Gulrez. With Naushad saab's name on the credits, one does expect some timeless tunes to be created for the movie.

' Apni Zulfein ' by Hariharan is for the ghazal lovers. One can sense a rich aroma around oneself while the composition plays. Time holds still and one just looses himself to the wonderful music by Naushad saab and rendition by Hariharan. Now this is what one calls an absolute quality number.

Talented but sadly neglected Preeti Uttam joins Hariharan for the duet ' Ajnabi Thehro Zara '. Obviously different from a routine ' dil-vil-pyaar-vyaar ', ' Ajnabi ' is another soothing track about the call of love and revolves around traditional Indian melody. Yes, the number cannot be hummed around but that's mainly due to a genuinely different tune that is based on classical music. This is one of the tracks that just need to be heard in peace, that's it!

Another love duet that follows soon is ' Mumtaz Tujhe Dekha Jab Taj Mahal Dekha '. With the lead pair of Hariharan and Preeti Uttam being repeated, it is a nice addition as a slow'n'sober lyric heavy track that speaks of quality. Mainly for the classes, it again cannot be hummed around but can be an enjoyable hearing in isolation. So far, all the numbers have mainly been class oriented, primarily for the audience who want to listen to some soft music and ghazals. Looking out for a naach-gaana or typical love duets? Sorry, that doesn't find a place in the album ' Taj Mahal '. And rightly so because of the theme and the period of the movie. Theme track that follows next is a couplet ' Tareef E` Meena Bazaar ' that stars off with appreciation of ' Meena Bazaar ' and then continues as an extended musical piece.

If the movie belongs to the Mughal era then how is it possible not to have a qawalli added to the musical score. ' Ishq Ki Dastaan ' by Kavita Krishnamurthy and Preeti Uttam fill up that vacant slot in the album and sing a beautiful qawalli with simple lyrics that can be easily followed by a common man.

' Dilruba Dilruba ' is the third duet in row for Hariharan and Preeti Uttam and turns out to be the most ordinary so far. It becomes a drag after some time and one starts searching for the next song.

A classical number by Ajoy Chakraborthy — ‘ Yeh Kaun Mujhe Yaad Aaya Hai ' — follows next, that is based on the ragas and would be followed and liked by the minuscule fraction of listeners who have a penchant for such music. A sad track about pain and separation, it a ' dard-e-judai ' number of the Mughal period.

' Taj Mahal (Crescendo) ' marks the end of the album and is mainly a fusion of the earlier tracks ' Mumtaz Tuhe Dekha ' and ' Dilruba Dilruba '.

The music is classy - Yes!
The music reflects the era it belongs to — Yes!
There is an honest attention of recreating the period to which the legendary love story belonged to - Yes!
There are at least a couple of tunes that do mesmerize you on the first hearing itself - Yes!

It is just that towards the latter half of the album, it all starts sounding like a repetition and something that would cater only to classes. Select gentry of audiences would want to have the music of ' Taj Mahal ' added to their collection of quality music.

Rating: **

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