Nakal ki akal

So what if it’s a copy? I’ve never been happier to discover an “inspired” song. All I care about is that I get to hear this awesome tune in Mehdi Saheb’s amazing voice. Listen to the antara to figure out the original. Lata’s rendition has always been one of my all time favorite songs. If you’ve ever wondered how this would sound in an equally awesome male voice, this is it! Keep your musical righteousness aside for a few minutes, ignore the lyrics, the visuals, and let your ears delight in the voice of the genius jinke gale mein bhagwaan bolte hain.

Nakal ki akal

Moh moh ke dhaage

I never expected this to be an Anu Malik creation. I just don’t associate him with this kind of sound. Lesson learnt, with pleasure. I’m glad he picked a classically trained singer for this. Monali’s voice is sweet and strong at the same time. There is a Papon version too, but to my ears, this song sounds better in the female voice. The humming in the beginning is so calm and not rushed at all.  Hai rom rom ek tara gives you a hint that this is going to be quite different from those typical 90s Anu numbers.

The antaras are where the vocal somersaults really take off.  Tu hoga zara paagal, tune mujhko hai chuna. I feel like a child who’s been let loose in a playground without adult supervision, going up and down the slides. The melody takes unexpected turns. Kaise tune ankaha – now I am on the see saws, sometimes high, sometimes low. Then it’s back to the slide. The third time around tu hoga zara paagal comes around, I am sitting at the bottom of the slide, catching my breath, trying to decide, what to get on next. The unexpected variation in how the line ends surprises you. I imagine the composer chuckling to himself.

Tu din sa hai. More antics. Delightful ones. And then slowly the antara merges into the mukhda and I am back to being the shy kid standing by myself.

The words are all right but I found myself longing for some Gulzar-esque poetry. The lyrics didn’t move me as much as the music did. Oh well, you can’t have it all.  If this is how Anu Malik’s creations are going to sound from now on, I won’t be complaining.

P.S. This two year old movie is a delightful watch. Not just for this song, but also for overall execution. And, if you grew up in middle class North India, you will identify many things that will bring a nostalgic smile to your lips.

Moh moh ke dhaage

The Ledbury

This summer, we were lucky enough to get a reservation at the Ledbury. It has two Michelin stars, and came in at #14 in the world’s 50 best restaurants in 2016.IMG_0500

As always, Hobbes opted for the standard tasting menu, and I asked for the vegetarian version. This strategy helps us sample a lot of food between the two of us 🙂

We started with 2 courses of amuse-bouche.

The vegetarian version.

The bread. The goat milk butter was to die for!

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The first course. Chilled Yellow Tomato Soup with Langoustine Jelly and Mustard Sorbet

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(V) Spring Vegetables – Pea and Lovage Cream, Parmesan, and Hazelnut Oil

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The second course. White Beetroot, Baked in Clay, Caviar Salt, and Smoked Eel

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(V) White Beetroot, Baked in Clay, Goat’s Cheese and Walnuts

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The third course. Warm Pheasant’s Egg, Celeriac, Arbois, Dried Ham and Truffle

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(V) Warm Pheasant’s Egg, Shaved Celeriac, Truffle Vinaigrette and Arbois

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The fourth course. Roast Scallops, Elderflower, Liquorice, and Fennel

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(V) Trompette Courgettes, Basil and Lemon

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The fifth course. Jowl of Pork, Apricot and Carrot Joice

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(V) Carrots Baked in Juniper, Apricot and Cracked Wheat

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The sixth course. Aged Pigeon, Cherries, Red Leaves and Vegetables

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(V) Roast Cauliflower, Jersey Royal Cream Cream, Girolles and Almonds

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Pre-dessert

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Desserts. Brown Sugar Tart, and Stem Ginger Ice Cream

And, finally, the mignardises.

The service was great. The staff compared notes so they could all carry a conversation forward from where their colleague left off. We found this very charming 🙂 Like all fine dining establishments, the portion sizes were small – but big enough to allow the flavors to explode in one’s mouth. We were quite full by the third or the fourth course and had to walk around to make room for more food.

The food was delicious, and the taste and the presentation were apt for their rating. The Ledbury was certainly one of the highlights of our London trip!

 

The Ledbury