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9 songs by composer MM Kreem that soothe the soul — 57th birthday special

Making some memorable music in the Telugu film industry since the 1990s, MM Kreem has also rendered some of the most melodious and heartbreakingly beautiful songs in Hindi.

Suparna Thombare

He has many aliases - from MM Keeravani and Marakathamani to MM Kreem. Essentially known for his contribution to the Telugu film industry, composer MM Kreem also dabbled in Hindi cinema from time to time in his 28-year career. And whenever he did, he gave us some brilliant music worthy of repeated hearing.

The composer's work in Hindi films has been defined by the inherent melancholy and romance in them. His melodies are haunting and their smoothness has a certain sensuality to them.   

On his 57th birthday today (he was born on 4 July 1961), we take a look at 9 of MM Kreem's Hindi songs that soothe the soul.   

1. 'Tum Mile Dil Khile' — Criminal (1995)

The Hindi version of this Telugu composition by MM Kreem  was sung beautifully by Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik. MM Kreem's first Hindi song, 'Tum Mile Dil Khile' is steeped in romance and speaks of that forever kind of love. The haunting melody remains one of his most-loved songs in Hindi cinema. 

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2. 'Chup Tum Raho' — Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996)

MM Kreem lends his voice to this easy-on-the-ear song, and he is joined by the sweet voice of Chitra. Some beautiful lyrics by Nida Fazli like 'aankhon me kho jaye aankhein, bole haath se haath' make this a deeply passionate love song.

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3. 'Gali Mein Aaj Chaand Nikla' — Zakhm (1998)

This song, sung with a lot of emotion by Alka Yagnik, speaks about the overwhelming happiness a woman feels when her lover returns to her after a long time. Anand Bakshi's lyrics and MM Kreem's music, a combination of santoor, voilin and tabla, marry each other beautifully in this song which has both the heartache of longing and the inexpressible joy of reunion.

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4. 'Aa Bhi Jaa' — Sur: The Melody Of Life (2002)

Kickstarting with a brilliant violin jugalbandi, this song from Sur, sung by Lucky Ali, became an instant hit when the film was released. Once again MM Kreem and Nida Fazli collaborate to create a heart-touching song expressing a lover pleading his sweetheart to return to him.

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5. 'Awaarapan Banjarapan' — Jism (2003)

Jism had an album that was full of brilliant compositions, and one of MM Kreem's biggest hits. From the sensous, 'Jadu Hai Nasha Hai' to the romantic 'Chalo Tumko Lekar Chale', MM Kreem is at his best. But there is something deeply heart-breaking about the song, 'Awaarapan Banjarapan'. The desolation is palpable in the lyrics like 'jaane ye kaisi aag lagi hai, isme dhua na chingari' and KK's intoxicating voice.

6. 'O Saathiya' — Saaya  (2003)

A rare purely happy romantic song from MM Kreem, 'O Saathiya' from Saaya relies on good old traditional melody with tabla, violins and alaaps, and easy lyrics by Anand Bakshi. Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik navigate the simple tune with a lot of ease and love.

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7. 'Maine Dil Se Kaha' — Rog (2005)

KK once again dives into pain for 'Maine Dil Se Kaha', where Neelesh Mishra very simply and beautifully talks about a person asking his heart to find happiness, but making peace with sorrow instead.

8. 'Dheere Jalna' — Paheli (2005)

This Indian classical composition is perhaps one of the best works of MM Kreem. The song goes from a soft tune accompanied by tabla to a crescendo with heavy dhol beats in the mukhda. And then the sitar interludes followed by flute solos before each antra takes the song a notch higher. Add Gulzar's lyrics to the track and this song becomes a treat for the ears.

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9. 'Jiyo Re Baahubali' — Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)

This is one of the most power-packed songs from MM Kreem. The orchestration with a combination of many instruments lends grandeur to the track. The chorus, which sounds like an anthem — Heyssa… Rudrassa… Hesarabhadra Samudrassa — is the highlight in this composition.