For those who revere Lata Mangeshkar's Chalte chalte yuhi koi mil gaya tha, the mellow 'mujra' melody composed by the great Ghulam Mohammed for the mythic Meena Kumaris swan song in Pakeezah, the new version of the song by Pakistan singer 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 spill-over version of the original which no one can identify as the memorabilia from Pakeezah, except those responsible for this duplication.
The composition is credited to Tanishk Bagchi. Lata Mangeshkar, the living legend who sang the song in Pakeezah to immortality, has luckily not heard Atif's version. "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."
Singer and BJP MP Babul Supriyo, no fan of Atif's singing, said, "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-minute silence to mourn rather than offering a comment." Singer Alka Yagnik, whose song Dilbar Dilbar was recently remixed for Satyameva Jayate, said" "Why don't they make a new song and make it a super hit they can, instead of picking up an already superhit song, distorting it, and releasing it again... and then saying, 'See, 't's become so popular'!
"Chalo humaare gaanon ke saath ye zulm kartey hain (They do this with our songs)... but their audacity is increasing by the day. Now, they've started doing this to Lata Didi's song as well." Pahlaj Nihalani, the former Chairperson of the censor board, wonders why Bollywood is looking towards Pakistan for music. "Every day there is an incident. Our soldiers are being killed. We 'an't say artistes are immune to politics. At the end of the day, they are citizens of their country first, artistes later."