In 2010, when Udaan released, it won over the audience with its nuanced storytelling, and powerful performances. To date, it remains one of Bollywood's finest coming-of-age dramas.
However, it wasn't just the story that struck a chord with the audience. Composer Amit Trivedi and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya, created a soundtrack that immediately became a crowd favourite because of its soulful, melodious, and meaningful tracks.
Trivedi had already caught the attention of the industry and hard-core music lovers with Dev.D and Wake Up Sid, and Bhattacharya was fast rising the charts as a notable lyricist.
But, with Udaan, the duo gifted a soundtrack that literally became the soul of the film, and gave a voice to the anguish and struggle of a 17-year-old facing an abusive childhood.
However, the true win for the album is how, each song is not only an expression of the protagonist's thoughts and emotions, but also resonates with any and every individual who has fought the circumstances and emerged a winner.
Geet Mein Dhalte Labzon Pe
This track captures with unerring accuracy the sense of excitement and happiness that Rohan experiences, when he is given a chance to just be a teenager with his friends, away from his controlling father. Because, when you've spent a lifetime stifling your dreams and desires, then even a little sip of freedom can leave you intoxicated.
One of the most powerful tracks from the movie, Naav plays at the exact moment when a disheartened Rohan tries to save his poems from the notebook his father cruelly lights on fire, after shattering his hopes to stay with his uncle.
It appears that Rohan's will has been defeated, but the song takes the story forward by indicating that this is when, with nothing left to lose, Rohan prepares, mentally and physically, for the ultimate fight - breaking the shackles of his father's abuse.
Aazaadiyan (Pairon Ki Bediyan)
This song is an indication of a new phase in Rohan's life. The lyrics talks about the hard-earned freedom that Rohan has won for himself with grit and determination, but without the loss of love and compassion that his father lived with his whole life. This is why he lends a helping hand to his stepbrother, vowing to provide him a childhood better than his own.
Kahaani (Aankhon Ke Pardon Pe)
Right at the heels of Rohan's last letter to his father, barely a minute after Aazadiyan plays, Kahaani becomes the film's ending song. It paints the picture of the future Rohan and his brother are stepping into - a future that may be unknown, that may bring them hardships, but that still appears to be brighter and better than the past they've left behind.
Udaan (Nadi Mein Talab Hai)
The film's title track sums up the spirit of the film. It surpasses age, gender, relationships, etc. to embody the courage, determination, and hope that anyone fighting for a better life will relate to.
Written by Anurag Kashyap, Motumaster isn't as popular as the rest of the songs. But its satirical take on India's socio-political climate, using verses similar to children's poems, was an unexpected stroke of genius from Kashyap. He recently recreated this style in a song for his film, Choked.
The music of Udaan captured the spirit of hope and rebellion that is synonymous with youth and yet, gave due attention to the harsh reality of an abusive childhood. The fact that the music continues to resonate with the audience is proof that this remains one of Trivedi and Bhattacharya's finest works.
Design credits: Nupur Agrawal