My Favorite Film Qawallis

I love filmi music. I've said it before, but it's just amazing the range of styles of music that our beloved musical directors give us in our favorite films. Ask a lot of people what their favorite type of music is and you'll usually get one genre, but Hindi film music offers us so many different flavors, sometimes all in a single film.

I'm so glad that qawalli's continue to find their place in cinema, even if it's rare to find one that bares much resemblance to what a traditional qawallis are suppose to sound like nowadays. Because the majority of the films I've seen are from the last 20 years, the songs I know and enjoy are mostly techno-based with a ton of Western influence, but I figure you have to start somewhere!

In no particular order, here's my list.

Kajra Re - Bunty Aur Babli
One of the funnest films I've seen, I loved the interaction between Amitabh and Abhiskek in this one, plus Aishwaria just glams up the bar bucket loads. Pop queen Alisha Chinai does such a good job with Javed Ali and Shanker Mahadevan, that she won her one and only Filmfare award for best female playback.

Khwaja mere Khwaja - Jodhaa Akbar
The most traditional sounding qawwali on my list I think, Khwaja mere Khwaja is so beautiful and ARR does an amazing job. It's soulfull, it's inspirational, what else do you want. Plus it's against the wonderful backdrop of Akbar and Jodhaa's marriage ceremony. Just perfection.

Tumse Milke Dilka Jo Haal - Main Hoon Na
Immensely colorful, instantly catchy and it has Shah Rukh! What else do I need to say!? Sonu Nigam, Aftab Sabri and Hashim Sabri do a wonderful job with the vocals, but it's the chemistry of the couples that really grabs me. Zayed and Amrita; Sushmita and Shah all look fantastic. It's like an explosion of beauty in every sense of the word.

Al Maddath Maula - Mangal Pandey - The Rising
Set in a mosque, we see Pandey and his men exchanging glances that we know are going to culminate into something big. ARR, Kailash Kher, Murtaza and Kadir lend their voices to what is definitely the most devotional song on my list.

Maar Daala - Devdas
While I can't say that Devdas is one of my favorite films, one of the highlights for me is this mujra probably because it features the ever beautiful Madhuri Dixit. Sung by Kavita K. Subramanium and K.K. (who doesn't really show up until close to the end of the song), it has a very nice combination of Indian instruments to lend a classical touch to it.

Jhoom - JBJ
One of the best movie openings I've seen as far as setting the mood for the rest of the film is involved. I actually really dig Amitabh's look in this and I have practised and practised the moves to pretend I'm part of the group of dancers! Incidentally, I also absolutely love Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which is a more Western sounding dancy extenstion of the title song.

Baawre - Luck By Chance
Definitely a fusion track, the team of S-E-L give us an instantly catchy song that encompasses both a rustic touch to a folk tune and then compliments it with a hint of Western flavor. Hrithik looks amazing dancing amongst the chaos that is a three ring circus. It's incredibly colorful and fun to watch. Best of the best!

Kyun Hota Hai Dil Deewana - Shortkut - The Con is On
I haven't seen this film yet (thought it patiently waits in the wings), but it kind of reminds me a little of Kajra Re. The picturization looks fun, Arshad and Amrita look like they are filming their own song for a movie within the movie. Am I right? Anyway, Amrita looks stunning as usual and it's interesting to see Arshad in the role of romantic hero (interesting yes, believable I'm not so sure). Shreya Ghoshal and Javed Ali are fantastic in it. Definitely one of the more fun and peppy songs. Makes me want to see a movie I haven't heard many good things about.

Aaya Tere Darr Par Deewana - Veer-Zaara
The last on my list of fav's, Ahmed and Mohammed Hussain give us a powerful song picturized at one of the film's more affecting scenes. Again, a pretty traditional sounding qawalli that provides us huge impact as we see Zaara emote dispair to relief as she sees her love has come for her, as futile as it is.

I hope I've understood what makes a qawalli, but, of course, I am still learning, so any corrections or additions are always welcome. What are some of your favorites?

12 Response to "My Favorite Film Qawallis"

  1. dink213 says:
    February 4, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    There are 1500 songs on my ipod 1000 of these are filmi music and I love all off them.
    Have just seen wus so currently they are my favorites.

  2. shell says:
    February 4, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Wow, you have way more music than me. I think I 200 songs and I thought that was a lot. I just ordered the cd for Wake Up, Sid - I loved the music in it. Am anxiously awaiting it's arrival.

  3. Tady Rox! says:
    February 4, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    What?!?!? U didn't LOVE Devdas!?! Blasphemy I say! lol... That is one of my all time favorite SRK films...everything in it was pure perfection...except for maybe the first 5 mins...but other than that Perfection...

  4. shell says:
    February 5, 2010 at 7:07 AM

    I didn't say I hated it, it's just not one of my top fav's. However, it is definitely a very pretty film from start to end.

  5. rhilex says:
    February 5, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    Baawre, Maar Daala, Kajra Re... All are AMAZING, but, imo, nothing can compare to the utter awesomesauce that is Tumse Milke Dil Ka Jo Haal!! <333 Nice list! =)

  6. Jules says:
    February 5, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Funny you should post this because I was jst thinking in my car listening the music "All redit to the musical directors, composers for this genre, I LOVE it!!!" And then you go and post this! Nice post! I'll listen to these all sometime soon.

  7. Reema says:
    February 5, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Tumse Milke is my all time favorite song (along w/ Chaiyya), and I love everything about Aaya Tere Dar Par. Nice choices. :D

  8. shell says:
    February 5, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    rhilex - So many good ones to choose from but Tumse Milke Dil Ka Jo Haal is definitely a favorite! Check that!

    Jules - Yes, you should. I think you've probably heard all of these while watching the movies, but a refresher is always good.

    reema - First off, welcome to my little bloggy world. Glad you could come by and thanks. I also love Chaiyya Chaiyya very much - I never ever tire of it. It seems that Tumse Milke Dil Ka Jo Haal is certainly a favorite! Wicked!
    ps added you to my blog roll. Will check out your fab blog shortly.

  9. Filmbuff Says:
    February 9, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Khwaja a mere Khwaja is a sufi song - i don't think it could be categorised as a qawwali - melodious and enjoyable though

    Like wise, I think Maar Dala is also a song (geet) and not a qawwali.

    Jhoom Bara Bar song too could be classified as a chorus song rather than a qawwali

  10. shell says:
    February 10, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    Interesting. I think I found all of these listed as qawwali's at various websites. Also, I found 2 spellings for qawwali (hence why I spelt is qawalli). The internet is so unrealiable sometimes.
    Anyway, thanks for the input. I was under the impression, however, that a qawwali was a form of sufi music, so I think khwaja mere khwaja would still qualify, would it not?

  11. Darshit says:
    February 20, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Yes, Khwaja is a qawaali, a praise to God. So it can be classified sufi qawali.

    My most fav from your list is 'tumse milke dil ka hai....' such a wacky crazy modern qawali. Love it for SRK's madness.

    Also, you need to see the original 'Qawwaal' Rishi Kapoor. when the era of Qawwalis was on-in 70's.

    Parda hai Parda :

    the immortal devotional song : Shirdi Waale Saaibaba [a holy man]

    Hum kisi se kum nahi:

  12. shell says:
    February 21, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Awsome Darshit! Thanks for those links, I can't wait to check them out. Tumse milke dil ka hai seems to be everyone's favorite. It is definitely a very fun fun song! I'll let you know what I think of the linked songs after I give them a listen.