Saturday, February 24, 2024

Somy Ali: Celebrating the Timeless Music of Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna

Somy Ali: My mom was a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan, and I loved Rajesh Khanna, put these two legends together and you’ve the best collection of songs one can ever imagine

World Poet Rabindranath Tagore once said that music “Gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”. Truly life without music is meaningless. Actor turned humanitarian SOmy Ali, who now runs her NGO No More Tears, speaks on the importance of music in her life.

“I will begin answering this with this wonderful quote: “How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations?” Thus, without music life is equivalent to an existence without air, leading to suffocation,” she says, adding how her day begins and ends with music.

“I have a daily routine to wake up and first express gratitude to the universe for another day to bring forth change in the lives of those who are suffering. Then with my coffee I listen to the songs I grew up listening to since the age of four from Kishore [Kumar] da, [Mohammed] Rafi Saab, Mukesh [Chand Mathur] ji and of course Lata [Mangeshkar] ji. My mom was a huge fan of Amit ji (Amitabh Bachchan) and I loved Rajesh Khanna. So put these two legends together and you have the best collection of songs one can ever imagine,” she adds with a smile.

Ask if she has ever learnt music and she answers in negative. “But I take pride in being an excellent bathroom singer. The acoustics are award worthy at least in my shower. Also at this point in life I have no plans of taking any vocal training or learning music because my NGO takes a huge priority over all else and keeps me on my toes due to the unpredictability of when and where there is a crime,” she shares.

So what’s that one Bollywood song you love to listen to when you are sad? “There are actually two— Zindagi ka safar hai yeh kaisa safar, koi samjha nahi, koi Jana Nahin. The lyrics couldn’t be more meaningful and the depiction of pain in Kakaji’s [Rajesh Khanna’s nickname in the industry] eyes in that song fails in comparison to any actor even today. My second favourite is Tum itna Jo muskura rahe ho, Kya gham hai jisko chupa rahe ho. This is from one of my favourite films, Arth, and Raj Kiran was perfectly casted for that specific role. Additionally, he did an amazing job playing that caring character. Also, it has a deep meaning for me because for the past 21 years I have hired three private investigators to find out where he is in the US. It’s literally like the earth sucked him up. My last conversation with the late Chintu ji [Rishi Kapoor] was about my trying to locate him and he said not to give up. So I am still trying and won’t stop till I get some comfort in just knowing that wherever he is, he is doing okay,” she says.

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