Saturday, 27 July 2013

Challa from Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Song in topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a4izd3Rvdw

The most played song on my iTunes has 310 hits. The second has 142. Today is my 21st birthday and a celebration of my graduation, which was 2 days ago; as a commitment to my blog which is still in its baby stages, I want to write a small post on the song Challa from Jab Tak Hai Jaan. When it was announced that the late Yash Chopra was going to collaborate with AR Rahman and Gulzar for his final directorial venture, excitement was understandably abuzz. The first glimpse of Challa was in the following teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB0aLEzngf8 (00:53) and I remember when I was constantly replaying the video just to hear the guitar intro of the song. The intro has a magically stripped back effect which only Rahman is capable of creating. Most people know exactly how much I love Shahrukh Khan. Most people also know how much I love London, my city. When the trailer for Challa came out and I saw SRK running around the Trafalgar Square and Southbank with his guitar, I was blown away at how beautiful the two [London and SRK] look together. The lyrics of the song, the loca
Screenshot from JTHJ on vimeo.com
tion of the video and the charm of SRK have left a permanent mark in my heart.

The content of the song is plain and simple: “Challa ki lab da phire?” (Translated as “What does this crazy wanderer seek?”) is the opening line of the song and it comes with great irony. London is a city of ranging culture and ethnicity. Thousands upon thousands of people grace the city every day with their presence. Amongst so many people, Samar (SRK's character) is still searching for something. His busking is received well by the tourists’ around him and he feels at home in London; yet he’s still missing something and this song is a charming form of search for SRK’s character. Gulzar saab has penned a beautiful set of lyrics and has given full poetic justice to them by writing them in Punjabi.  Challa is not just a song for me but a form of motivation, inspiration and escapism. It’s a song that promotes London’s beauty, culture and opportunistic nature. Challa has taught me that whenever I'm feeling lost, a great option for relief is to grab a bag, jump on a tube and head to London. If all goes down the drain, then come to London and enjoy being part of a crowd that doesn't care who you are, where you’re from and what you do. You never know what you might find. You see, I've never really felt a part of a specific friendship group or clique. Instead, I try to think of everyone around me as one friend; even strangers. I guess I also feel like I belong to everyone, but no one belongs to me (Tu sab da…Tera koi nahi) and I say that with a huge smile and no regrets. These feelings are testament to SRK's amp portrayal in the video. It’s way too soon to call it, but the way it’s going I wouldn't be surprised if these lyrics determine Challa as my favourite song of all time.


Whoever I've come across in life has made a conscious or subconscious contribution to making me what I am. Every family member, every friend and even every stranger I've ever spoken with has made a contribution and because of these, I will forever be a people person.

My theatrical version of Stan

My theatrical version of Stan