Padman, R Balki’s latest offering, has Akshay Kumar riding his public awareness horse, taking a crack at being a crusader yet again. The film is based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Tamil Nadu-based social entrepreneur who revolutionised menstrual hygiene by enabling rural women to manufacture low-cost sanitary pads. For the soundtrack, Balki has ace composer Amit Trivedi and delightful lyricist Kausar Munir at the helm.
Out of the five compositions that has generated much buzz (actors posing with sanitary pads think it will help the cause and alleviate the pain), some are pleasant, while some are completely forgettable. But what really hits the mark, is the careful and sharp play of words by Munir, who shines more than Trivedi in some pieces.
The album opens with a shehnai played by Omkar Dhumal, paired with a dholki that seems to emanate from a rural ladies’ sangeet session. To contemporise the folk orchestration, Trivedi has melded it with mandolin riffs. Arijit sings this catchy Bhimpalasi-based composition, which becomes delightful around its stanzas. Munir writes Meri khushiyon ka samandar, mere pincode ka number, aaj se tera ho gaya to highlight a sense of home. Trivedi uses beatboxing and hand claps to the existing beats, in turn making the hook addictive along simple declarations — Aaj se meri saari sadiyan teri ho gayi, aaj se mera har pal tera ho gaya strikes quite a chord.