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Celebrating M M Keeravani – A look back at his popular Hindi songs

Everyone these days seems to be dancing happily to the Golden Globe award-winning Telugu song ‘Naatu Naatu’ (Dance, Dance). The exuberant song composed by National Award winner M M Keeravani, featured in the mega hit ‘RRR’ in 2022. M M Keeravani is a true pan Indian composer, he is well known as Maragathamani in Tamil cinema, and as M M Kreem when he composes for Hindi movies.

Most of his songs for Hindi movies are cult classics even today. His songs are diverse, yet distinct for the use of melody, and uncommon instrumentation. His songs blend in seamlessly with the scenes in the movies they are a part of, evoking the situational mood.

Here’s a list of his chartbusters, that still feature on the all-time favourite lists of Hindi songs:

Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla – ‘Zakhm’
This song, in the movie ‘Zakhm’ featured Pooja Bhatt, Nagarjuna, and a young Kunal Khemu. Penned by Anand Bakshi, sung by Alka Yagnik, this lilting song captures the joyous happiness on meeting the love of one’s life, after a long period of time. The song almost qualifies as a ghazal-geet, in its treatment, and is a well -loved song, years after its release.

Jadoo Hai Nasha Hai – ‘Jism’
A beautiful song, it captures several nuances of the lyrics written by Neelesh Misra and Sayeed Quadri; innocence, love, desire. The song featured Bipasha Basu and John Abraham. Not to be missed in this album, is another masterpiece ’Chalo Tum Ko Lekar’. These songs are considered some of the best songs of Shreya Ghoshal. M M Kreem has played stunningly with the vocals and the music in both songs.

Tum Mile Dil Khile – ‘Criminal’
A popular love song that was a commercial hit across languages, it had Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik rendering the Hindi version, with lyrics by Indeevar. K S Chithra sang the familiar humming that introduces the song, and appears at regular intervals, giving the song a distinct pathos, in sync with the theme of the movie. The song featured Nagarjuna, Manisha Koirala and Ramya.

Chup Tum Raho Chup Hum Rahe – ‘Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin’
K S Chithra and M M Kreem himself sang this unusual song, penned by Nida Fazli. It features Nirmal Pandey, Tara Deshpande, Smriti Mishra, and in a surprise appearance; R Madhavan who actually sings the song with Smriti in the movie. Its unique tempo is the hallmark of this song; with elegant instrumentation and soft vocals, it blends easily into the situation on screen.

Dheere Jalna – ‘Paheli’
This underrated, romantic song rendered by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal, with lyrics by Gulzar, features Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee. One of the best songs of the album, the song is almost semi classical in its treatment, and yet, unveils an elegant opulence as it progresses.

Every song listed above is unique. This is the hallmark of M M Kreem songs. A few more of his gems; ‘Aa Bhi Jaa – ‘Sur’, Mujh Me Tu – ‘Special 26’, and the songs of Baahubali. With the recent international recognition, all his songs are being revisited and recognised for the sheer beauty of the music.