Antyaakshari (or Antakshari as many would prefer to call it) is a combination of two words "Antya" (last) and "Akshari" (letter). In its current form, Antyaakshari is a music event (or game) where two or more teams (comprising of any number of players) sing songs one by one, following a certain sets of rules. In its simplest form, the two teams just sing songs starting with the last letter of the previous one.

Since its inception, Antyaakshari has changed its forms and the process hasn't been over yet. It has become so popular with the audience that plethora of TV channels have been running programs on Antyaakshari for almost a decade or so!

In its most recent form, Antyaakshari consists of several rounds, which are flexible and may vary from place to place. I'll try to put a few rounds below. Click on the links to see the details.

1. Normal Antyaakshari

2. Male solo

3. Female solo

4. Duet

5. Double word

6. Tune-Ah!

7. Antara-Mukhda

8. Sing the entire mukhda

9. Sing antara from mukhda

10. Combination

11. Song from movies with the same name

12. Inspired from non-Indian songs

13. Video round

14. Identify the singer from aalaap

15. Music collage

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1. Normal Antyaakshari (Antakshari)

This is the most basic form of Antyaakshari where each team sings a song starting with the last letter of the previous song. There are a few rules, while starting the song viz.:

Example:

Team 1: Jab bhi ye dil udaas hota hai, jaane kaun aas paas hota hai (last letter "Ha")

Team 2: Hai isee me pyaar ki aabroo, wo zafa karen hum wafa karen....(last letter "Ra" and NOT "ae")

Team 1: Ruk ruk ruk ruk..ruk jaana oh jaana humse do baaten karke chali jaana..

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2. Male solo

This round is similar to the normal antyaakshari round except that only male solo songs are allowed to be sung. Any duet or female solo may not be considered in this round. Normally chorus are allowed in all types of solo or duet rounds.

Example:

Team 1: Hamen tumse pyaar kitna ye hum nahin jaante.......bina (last letter "Na")

Team 2: Nafrat karne waalon ke seene me....

            but NOT "Naino me badra chhaaye" (female solo) or "nazar ke saamne jigar ke paas" (duet)

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3. Female solo

Again, this is similar to the male solo round except that only female solos are allowed. This is somewhat a tougher round compared to male solo or the duet one.

Example:

Team 1: Sayonara sayonara vaada nibhaaungi......sayonara (last letter "Ra")

Team 2: Rula ke gaya sapna mera..

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4. Duet

This round is also in the same pattern with the previous three rounds and only duets (not triplets!) are allowed to be sung. The catch here is: duets could be male & female, both male, or both female.

Example:

Team 1: Ye dosti hum nahin todenge.......chhodenge (last letter "Ga")

Team 2: Gaata rahe mera dil......din

So, team 1 sang a male-male duet and team 2 sang a male-female!

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5. Double word

This is not a very common round in general antyaakshari. Here, teams sing songs that have their first word of the mukhda repeated twice. E.g., bade bade, yamma yamma, ruk ruk etceteras. In other words, the first two words of the mukhda must be the same.

Example:

Team 1: Yaahoo yaahoo, koi chaahe mujhe jangli kahe.....karen (last letter "Ra")

Team 2: Roz roz aankhon tale....jale

            but not "ruk ja oh jaane wali ruk ja".....

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 6. Tune-Ah!

This is my favorite round. This could be the toughest round or the easiest one depending upon how familiar you are with the preludes, interludes and postludes of the songs. In this round, prelude, interlude or postlude is played and the players are supposed to identify mukhda of the song. This could be a pass round or a buzzer round depending on the convenience. The tunes could be as easy as those of songs like "roop tera mastaana" or as tough as those of the ones like "tere bina jiya jaaye naa". If you are a stud, you would prefer to have a buzzer round and a pass round if you are in the other category. Some famous tunes are:

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7. Antara-Mukhda

In this round, the antara of a song is played and the teams are asked to identify the mukhda. Looking pretty easy, songs might be deceptive sometime. Most of the songs could be easily identified by their antara but there are exceptions like "duniya kare sawaal to hum..", "maana ho tum behad hansi..." and many more!

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8. Sing the entire mukhda

Well, this definitely isn't an easy round. For example, how would you feel if someone asks you to sing the full mukhda of "jaana suno hum tumpe marte hain.." or for that matter "logon naa maaro ise.."? If you do feel good then you have aced it! There are plenty of songs, which have long and somewhat difficult to remember, mukhdas (one such I feel is, "tere baap ko maine dekha bandra station..").

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9. Sing antara from mukhda

This is even tougher and normally isn't included in most of the Antyaaksharis. Here, teams are supposed to sing one antara of the song whose mukhda has been played.

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10. Combination

This is also fun part of antyaakshari! In this round, people are supposed to sing songs with the combinations given to them. Combinations could be of several types, e.g., actor-singer, music director-lyricist, actress-singer etc.

Example:

Actor - Dilip Kumar, Singer - Mukesh: "Suhana safar aur ye mausam hansi.."

Actor - Amitabh Bachchan, Singer- Manna Dey: "Ye dosti hum nahin todenge.."

As can be seen, this round requires some knowledge in depth of indian music. Well, if you want to try your knowledge, here are a few ones.

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11. Songs from movies with the same name

In this round, a song is played and the players have to identify the movie of that song and then sing a song from another movie with the same name.

Example:

Song played: "Aye maine kasam lee.." (Tere mere sapne)

The player can sing: "Aankh maare..." or "Kuchh mere dil ne kaha.." or any other song from the same movie

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12. Inspired from non-Indian songs

This round is a real fun! Many of you might be aware that a handful of Indian songs are inspired/copied from non-Indian sources. The original song (the source) is played and the players are asked to sing the inspired one. This as well, could be a buzzer round or a pass rund.

Example:

Song played:         "Bring the wine.."

Inspired version:   "Jaana suno hum tumpe marte hain..."

There are many more!

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13. Video

This is a relief to the audience who are tired of listening to unheard songs! In this round, video of some song is played and the audio of some other song is played! The teams are supposed to identify the song whose audio is being played. One common example is the video of "Tujhe dekha to ye jaana sanam.." and the audio of "ajnabee mujhko itna bata...".

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14. Identify the singer from aalaap

This is again not so common round. The players hear the aalaap (just aalaap) of some song in male or female voice and they are supposed to identify the singer (s) as well as the song. E.g., the aalaap of "naa to karvan ki talaash hai".

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15. Music collage

This particular round itself could be a full event but sometimes its part of antyaakshari. In this round, one team starts with a song and the other team (s) are supposed to sing a song with the first word (except the word with which, the song started) they know in the mukhda. This is a buzzer round.

Team 1: "Dekha hai pahlee baar.."

Team x (can sing with any word other than "dekha"): "hai agar dushman dushman zamaana..."

Team y: "dushman na kare dost ne..."

In general, this round is very fast and more than 40 songs can be sung (partly) in a minute! Believe me, this round is hell lot of fun if judges are knowledgeable and know well how to conduct such events.

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Mukhda:  The part of the song that repeats itself, is called mukhda. In general, its the first few lines of the song.

Antara:   The parts of the song, which come after mukhda, is called antara (also called stanza).

Prelude:   Music before the mukhda of a song

Interlude: Music between the mukhda and the antara or two antaras of a song

Postlude:  Music towards the end of the song (i.e., after all the antaras)

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