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'Ae Zindagi fitted into Gauri's film like a hand in a glove'

November 23, 2016 11:08 IST

Balki can't think of his cinema without two things: Amitabh Bachchan and Ilaiyaraja's music.
Is that why he included Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le in his wife's film?
Subhash K Jha finds out.

Why does Gauri Shinde's Dear Zindagi feature Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le, a song composed more than 30 years ago?

To celebrate life -- which is what Dear Zindagi is about -- Gauri has included the Ilaiyaraja song Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le from the Kamal Haasan-Sridevi 1983 starrer Sadma.

Gauri's husband, the incredibly gifted filmmaker R Balki, has a deep connect with Ilaiyaraja.

All his directorial ventures from Cheeni Kam to Ki Aur Ka have Ilaiyaraja's music.

Balki convinced Gauri to incorporate the poignant song ruminating over the vagaries of life from Sadma.

"I cannot think of my cinema without two things," says Balki, "The presence of Amitabh Bachchan and the music of Ilaiyaraja."

"Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le is one of Raja Sir's finest Hindi songs so beautifully written by Gulzarsaab," Balki explains. "It fitted into Gauri's film like a hand in a glove."

Amit Trivedi, who composed the film's score, is known to react strongly to musical intrusions in his soundtrack, but he is fine with Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le's inclusion in Dear Zindagi.

"Not only Balki and Gauri," he says, "even I am Ilaiyarajaji's biggest fan."

Subhash K Jha