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Discernment. Online






'Why didn't Vani become singer #1 in the South -- it was P Susheela all the way and then Janaki'
My mom loves the new CD by Pankaj Udhas called Jaaneman and she wants me to get the lyrics 

'Vani Jairam lost here'

The southern singer was never in Lata's league, so where's the question of politics, asks UVW Krish

It is a gross exaggeration to say that Vani staked a claim to topple Lata or Asha with Bole re papihara. One song cannot topple two unparalleled geniuses like Lata and Asha. And why didn't Vani become singer #1 in the South -- it was P Susheela all the way and then Janaki. Face the fact -- even I love Vani's Tamil, Telugu and Kannada songs but almost all her songs in all North Indian languages are very accented. That's where she lost. And Vani is great -- but comparing her to Lata or Asha is bad.

That's like comparing A R Rahman to Ilaiyaraja. ARR is a great person but IR -- oh no, he is just far better -- like Lata and Asha far surpass Vani in all respects of singing. So I feel this 'joke' that they played unfair politics is indiscrete.

UVW Krish

(Read interview with Vani Jairam)

'Lagaan' is a must-see

Thank you for your very interesting review of Lagaan. It is a must see for
me as it seems from your review that it is a quality production (the use of
sync-dubbing and Bhanu Athaya designing the costumes).

I have just discovered The Music Magazine and think it is simply excellent. I look forward to be informed with India music news.

Imtihaz Hussein

Calling critics

An autonomous, non-profit team of three persons, we hope to help critics
in India know and communicate among themselves more productively by
conducting and publishing a survey of the practices and opinions of all those in India who, using any of the Indian languages, including English, have
published a relevant book or several articles, reviews, etc., in the past 10
or so years. We are especially eager to get help contacting critics who use
other languages than English, if you can offer any suggestions, names and
addresses, etc., in that direction.

A complete list of our aims, methods, funding, distinguished advisory
panel, and the survey questionnaire can be found at which we hope you will visit.

After informing yourself more fully, we hope you will respond to the questionnaire soon, citing your publications and other qualifications, explaining your critical practice and offering your opinions on crucial issues for criticism in India today. I am sure you will enjoy this!

John Oliver Perry

for the Indian Critics Survey team:  Prof Makarand Paranjape (JNU, New Delhi), Dr S Sreenivasan (ed of Journal of Literature and Aesthetics, Kollam, Kerala 691 021),  and Prof (retd) John Oliver Perry  (Email: )

What's the right tune?

I believe that the Gayatri Mantra has to be sung in its traditional classical Vedic glory. But it has been my struggle to find an audio tape or even a WAV file somewhere so that I can download and recite it. Can I get some help in locating a WAV file or an MP3 file of the Gayatri Mantra sung in its classical Vedic style? I would really appreciate that so much.

Krish Mahadevan 

Recite it in five parts

Dear Krish,

The Gayatri Mantra is not to be recited in public. That means when one is
chanting it none should hear it. That is why in the upanayanam (thread ceremony) during Brahmopadesam (i.e. when the boy is introduced to Gayathri Mantra by the Guru) he is covered with a silk cloth so that none else hears it. And Brahmopadesam forms the core of the Upanayanam ceremony.

There is no tune in which it is supposed to be recited. Only that it has to
be recited in five parts as below:

1. Om
2. Burbhuvassuvaha
3. Thatsavithruvarenyam
4. Bargo Devasya dimahi
5. Dhiyo Yo naha prachodayath

How each of these words are pronounced you can find it on the Net easily -- about which letter is to be given a higher pitch, which lower and so on.

Though there are some cassettes available of the Gayatri Mantra, they do not have any religious approval or validity.

S R V Subrahmaniam

Dikshitar and dhrupad?

Kindly let me introduce myself as Prasad K Sundar, a rasika interested
in classical music and a Dikshitar fan to say the least. I read with
much interest your interview of Fariduddin Dagar.

In his interview, Mr Dagar says that Dikshitar was a Dhrupad singer. I
would like to know where he got this information from and if he could
throw some more light in this regard.


Just one song

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Minute61: one of the most emotional, and energetic live shows you will ever see... bringing you music that was
written out of hearthaches, hate, happiness, and depression, for
themselves, only in hopes to bring fulfillment... Minute61... just one song, get ready to be blown away.


Looking for Janeman

Hello! My mom loves the new CD by Pankaj Udhas called Janeman and she wants me to get the lyrics to all the songs. I am wondering if you would be able to help me by emailing me the lyrics if possible.

Thank you so much. Email to

Mehandi Sandhu

More for the word hunter

Hi Dastagir,

I am ardent fan of this site:
It has a lovely and exhaustive collection of Hindi songs sorted out in different fashions, no frills. A must for all Hindi film music lovers... check it out!

I am sure you will enjoy this!

B N Latha

(This follows a recent exchange of letters where reader Dastagir discovered the words for a song thanks to a newsgroup. -- Ed)

But that's an older site...

That's an older site.  A new site with many more songs was launched on NBCi.  Unfortunately, NBCi went down and has only just been resurrected.  The lyrics site will eventually be loaded there.  In the meantime, one can
look up just the ASCII text of song lyrics at the homepage site given below.  The following is an excerpt from a message on RMIM by Vijay Kumar who maintains these pages.

Ashok Dhareshwar

Let me refer you to the ISB page at
Not only does that give you thousands of more lyrics files to play around
with, it also might give you some ideas on the kind of interfaces you can build. Now that NBCi appears to be back online (all the ISB files are
lost, however. I need to reload the entire site. I am hoping I can do that
with a new release), we will then have three alternatives for ISB,
Avinash' with Devnagari support and NBCi and with ASCII only versions.

The Zip files containing the ISB lyrics are available on the ISB site (click
on the link to Zip files). I am not sure what is the input format you use to
generate the Devnagari display on your site. ISB is intended to be fully
ITRANS 4.0 compliant and achieves that objective in substantial measure.


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