For those of us who revere, Lata Mangeshkar’s Chalte chalte yuhi koi mil gaya tha the mellow Mujra melody composed by the great Ghulam Mohamed for the mythic Meena Kumari’s swan song Pakeezah, the new version of the song by Pakistan’s Atif Aslam for a Bollywood film titled Mitron is a shocker.
It takes the delicate notes of the original tune, wrenches them out of context and leaves us with a sickening spill-over version of the original which no one can identify as the memorabilia from Pakeezah except those responsible for this despicable duplication.
Worse still, the composition is credited to Tanish Bagchi. Poor Ghulam Mohamed. He died in penury.
Singer and BJP minister Baabul Supriyo, no fan of Atif Aslam’s singing says, “Today, even the ‘Poetic’ term ‘Artistic Liberty’ is at the verge of extinction. With due respect (and disrespect) to Atif Aslam, as a singer myself, I will observe a 2 min silence to mourn rather than offering a comment.”
Lataji, the living legend the icon beyond icons who sang the song in Pakeezah to immortality has luckily not heard Atif Aslam’s desecrated version of the original. “And I don’t want to hear it. This trend of remixing old songs saddens me. Where is the creativity in simply lifting acknowledged beloved classics and shuffling the notes around? I’ve even heard that the lyrics are changed in the remixes. By whose consent? The original poets and composers wrote what they had to. Nobody has the right to tamper with the creativity of these great composers and lyricists.”
Adds singer Alka Yagnik whose song Dilbar dilbar in Biwi No 1 was recently re-mixed in Satyameva Jayate, “Arrey why don’t they make a new song and make it a super hit if they can… instead of picking up an already super hit song, distorting it, and releasing it again… then saying. See, it’s become so popular!!! Chalo humaare gaanon ke saath ye zulm kartey hain… but their audacity is increasing by the day!!! Now they’ve started doing this to Lata Didi’s song as well!! Gunaah ki INTEHA hai !!!”
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Pahlaj Nihalani the former chairperson of the CBFC wonders why Bollywood is looking towards Pakistan for music. “Every day there is an incident. Our soldiers are being killed. We can’t say artists are immune to politics. At the end of the day, they are citizens of their country first, artistes later.”