I was chatting with a friend of mine, and it was Jan 26th in India. She goes off for nearly 20 minutes and returns, asking me to check out the new version of  ‘Mile Sur Mera Thumhara’ (Old & New). I was about to end my work shift, and being halfway across the globe and no TV – my quick search for the video on youtube/google ended with me getting 1 minute clips. She confirmed that the song was nearly 15 minutes long (turns out its 16+ minutes long).

The first of the 1 minute clips had one by a singer unknown to me – it sounded ok. The next had Deepika Padukone in a new-age bollywood *cough cough* dress doing something like a rain-song singing ‘msmt’ (shortened it :P) in an (for lack of a better word) erotic tone, and evidently lip-synced video. I wasn’t sure if this really was the song my friend was talking about: it sort of didn’t reflect the ‘spirit’ of the song. I checked further – Priyanka Chopra doing something that looks like a song bit from a cliched … i mean, bollywood… movie. Totally out of place, with kids – out of place because of her lack of sync with the song, the setting and the emotion (if there were any). Then I realized the ‘Zoom’ channel logo towards the end. I had a dread growing in my mind that it was a hostile-bollywidiot (not my original) takeover. But I thought to myself  – “hey, this is just 3 out of 16 minutes” and I left my workplace.

The next day (when it was 26th where I am), I check my facebook to see posts by atleast 2 people who said it was awesome and one by my schoolfriend who completely detested it. I got a couple of 8-minute-each links to the new ‘revived edition’ of ‘Phir MSMT’. It took me atleast the rest of the day to get a link to the entire song. It started off with traditional AR Rehman playing what I understand if a ‘Fingerboard’. In a post I shall link to, towards the end, the blogger doesn’t really put that instrument at par with other music-machines. Anyways. About 1 minute through what sounded really soulful, here comes Big B with the Taj setting. Now I was beginning to form some sort mental image about this video (combining it with what I saw the previous night).

I am going to keep this short and not detail what the other singers did. It was what can be put mildly as crass, narcissistic bollywood piffle. Those ratbags of bolly-morons have made what is being elevated as ‘The Song of India’. They have tried to make Bollywood the face of India. Which it isn’t. These bunch of actors who are just the clay for those, rarely creative and even more rarely original, directors and script writers have been hoisted as the new face of our country. Only if I had dictatorship for just one day…

I do not want to reiterate this excellent review of ‘pmsmt’, but I want to, just, highlight the lows of this disgraceful rendition of the original:

1.) Bollywood overkill

2.) Disappointing editing – with plenty of lip-sync issues, clear-as-day-with-sun mismatch between the bollyacting (read: overacting) and the setting and lyric.

3.) Failed attempt to add the armed forces towards the end to wither out of all the inanity that preceded it. (This is the last one minute).

4.) Just the movie stars? Where is everyone else?

5.) Specifically – the Salman bit – is he selling his brand? The children in the background are only hearing impaired. He is mentally impaired, well – so it seems are many others in that video.

6.) I am developing this new found disrespect for Aamir Khan for his part.

7.) There is no ‘Soul’ in this song, no life to it. It looks like a marketing gimmick, and confirms that once the ‘z00m’ logo comes up at the closing. (Now that’s one retarded channel, imo).

8.) Shahid Kapoor doing the singing bit. Come to think of it – every thing that an actor in this song does is replication of what they did in one of their movie. Damn, they copied their own actions as well. Not that those ‘stunts’ have any coherence with what the song is all about, its that they (of course, the director’s involvement as well) can’t be original. how hard they try, they just can’t. And Shah Rukh Khan really has to stop the arms-wide-open stunt.

I have been thinking, how did this come about to being? Our media is now almost free-for-anything.Maybe we should reconsider our opinions and support for this industry. Perhaps reminding the bollywidiots that they are just actors. That would be a start.

Directors/Produces/Actors/whoever-related, perhaps it was done with all ‘your’ real interest in mind, but it didn’t reflect on anything that the rest (majority) of the sane nation has to display. This remains a marketing gimmick and I hope its soon forgotten. The 1988 version still remains the only one. And there no need for revival – it is still timeless. As for this – it ain’t in phase with me or almost anyone I know nor with almost anyone that anyone, I know, knows!

Really, “Mile Apasur Mera Thumara”.

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