Indian Ocean brings music to Mumbai blasts

By Hindol Sengupta, IANS
6/29/2004 12:00:00 AM
Folk-fusion band Indian Ocean has given music for a movie for the first time - "Black Friday", a film on the 1993 Mumbai terror blasts. 

"It was a brilliant experience," Indian Ocean lead singer Rahul Ram told IANS. "We had spoken of giving music to a film for a long time and this was like a dream come true."

"Black Friday" is being made by director Anurag Kashyap, whose first film "Paanch" was India's first rock-n-roll film but has failed to see the light of day yet.

The band said Kashyap gave it a free hand in composing the music.

"We don't do traditional Bollywood music which uses a lot of orchestration," said Indian Ocean singer and tabla player Asheem Chakraborty.

"We are more folksy, gritty and powerful. And that's exactly the feel they wanted in the film. They wanted the music to have edges of pathos and rawness."

Indian Ocean is known for mixing traditional Indian folk sounds with jazz and rock to produce a completely innovative genre of music that has mesmerised audiences across the world for more than a decade.

The band uses poetry in Hindi and local dialects, still managing to retain a huge fan base in the major English-speaking metros in the country.

For "Black Friday", it created four tunes, three of which were selected.

"All the songs are topical and happen in the background, completely immersed in the mood and what's happening on screen," said Ram.

"No one sings anything."

"Black Friday" traces the mafia-terrorist nexus behind 11 blasts that rocked Mumbai, the business capital of India, on March 12, 1993. Mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, prime accused in the crime, is still on the run and was last believed to be in hiding in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

The film is based on a book by S. Hussain Zaidi of the same name and stars Arbaaz Khan, Kay Kay, Pawan Malhotra and Aditya Srivastav.

Indian Ocean has also composed the background score of the film. The band is made of Sushmit Sen, Rahul Ram, Amit Kilam and Asheem Chakraborty. Its popular albums have been 'Indian Ocean', 'Desert Rain' and 'Kandisa'.

Now the dream of the band is perform at Wagah on the western border between India and Pakistan.

"That'll be the day when all differences between the countries end. It'll be like the fall of Berlin Wall," said Ram.

"We shall sing and Pakistanis shall sing and we'll become one," said Ram.