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Magical ‘Nagri Nagri’ song from Manto strikes a chord

Acting like the film's theme song, 'Nagri Nagri' introduces the romantic, witty and successful Saadat Hasan Manto.

Keyur Seta

Very rarely does one come across a song that excels both in its audio and video. ‘Nagri Nagri’ track from Manto falls in this very category. The trailer of the Nandita Das film has generated quite an interest for the film. Needless to say, this song adds to it. The film is a biopic on the celebrated writer Saadat Hasan Manto. 

‘Nagri Nagri’ is the film's theme song that narrates the life of Manto (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and the trials and tribulations that he faces. ‘Nagri Nagri Fira Musafir, Ghar Ka Rasta Bhool Gaya’ translates to ‘He roamed around so much that he forgot the way to his own house’. So, we see Manto going around doing his work and also finding some time for romance. The lyrics become more relevant in the end when Manto is forced to migrate to Pakistan after Partition. 

Just like he did in the trailer, Siddiqui looks perfect as Manto here. This song also shows Manto's wit and sense of humour with a few dialogues. Apart from Rasika Dugal, who plays his wife, we get to see a host of good performers like Tahir Raj Bhasin, Saurabh Shukla, Neeraj Kabi, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Inaamulhaq and Shashank Arora. 

The manner in which Shankar Mahadevan has sung the song is quite interesting. He has purposely given a nasal tone which makes the song sound like a yesteryear composition, perhaps, to place it in the era in which the film is based. Mahadevan doesn’t make it sound forced either. However, he sings in his normal voice in between. Though this doesn’t feel like a flaw, its reason might get clear once the film is released. 

Composer Sneha Khanwalkar (of Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012) fame) has come up with pleasurable soft tune. Horse-drawn carts were a popular mode of transportation back then and she has woven the sound of the vehicle into the song. 

Manto is all set to be released on 21 September.

Watch the song below:

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