Is it Indian At All ? Phir Mile Sur, A Critical Opinion

As a kid I remember I could sing in 15 languages, understand that in the same country I lived, there was a woman, who dint wear the Saree the same way my mother wore it, was amazed by the fact that there can be so many musical instruments. As I grew up, the same song taught me some subtle concepts of Unity, Diversity, Differences and most importantly how although with these differences, we were still a single country.

The whole concept of kids running and making the Indian flag was so captivating that my mom reminds me that I, in my bear essentials, ran singing this very song with a plantain leaf as a my fluttering tricolour  flag. This song captured the hearts of all Indians in one stroke, taught them all that the constiution speaks of, gave the underprivileged ones who could not travel a glimpse of the beautiful Country we live in. this song Mille Sur Mera Thumara was nothing but a well designed piece of Art.

Why a new one then ? My mind does not stop asking me this. What ever went wrong with the old one ? During the days when we dint have internet, I would wait watching Doordarshan just to get glimpses of what I experienced as a kid. On the local trains every time I heard this tune announce a call, I never missed those few, but regular smiling faces. What was wrong with the old one ( as much as I hate calling it that!) that a decision to make a newer one seemed necessary ? I cant figure it out.

The new one ( gosh!) does no of the things the old one did. It speaks not of Uniting the country but is a showcase of the so called beauties India is produced. No doubt they are beautiful but their beauty can never be compared to the “true Beauty” of the old one. Indian Culture which we are so heavily trying to smoke out thinking the honey lies in “westernizing” things. The new one has tried so hard to kill patriotism and in my opinion has succeeded very well in doing so.

I remember this one time while I was travelling, a foreigner asked me if it was possible to experience all of India in a single lifetime. To that my only answer was to watch this clip and his understanding of this phenomenon called India would be a little more clear. This older one was perhaps the only piece that one could show to a foreign audience, explain to them what Living a life so tied with culture meant.

The new one is perhaps the greatest disgrace, a black mark on what India truly is.  Lets not get into asking what kind of an audience Zoom caters to.

The original one.

you can find the link to the new one here.


15 Responses to Is it Indian At All ? Phir Mile Sur, A Critical Opinion

  1. Anonymous says:

    dude, you should take up writing more seriously… you have it in you…

  2. Sajan says:

    Liked the critical picture which you have presented…!!

  3. Pingback: Is it Indian At All ? Phir Mile Sur, A Critical Opinion … | Indian Today

  4. Laxmi says:

    I agree! I was disgusted when i saw the new version. The old one actually meant something. It was a part of growing up. It’s sad how the new version is full of faces from bollywood including karan johar(!!!!!).The whole thing is shoddy to say the least.

  5. ravishankar says:

    hi shankar
    i missed it all today, dint watch tv today, but i read in the comment that there was karan johar in the nu version… that sacrilage.
    i agree with u why keep changing the song!

  6. Mickey Haldia says:

    shankz ..that was very good… but i don’t think so that it is a black mark on the original one! it was just a creative effort put in by the channel to recreate a classic…. now if you read some of the comments on the link that you have given for the new video, some people actually liked it…also if some one is saying that they have shown a lot of bollywood celebrities, then even the old one had got a lot of them. also, i don’t see the new video smoking out the indian culture … they are just showing the things in a different perspective, albeit, in a more glamorous fashion. but, whatever one says, the old one was any day better than this one. even i can keep listening to that song for hours.

  7. gunjan says:

    They have a lot of Bollywood celebrities and tollywood and all the other Indian Woods I guess. There are a lot of expectations they are dealing with but if they decided they were going to make a sequel to a legend they should have done their homework better and instead they did some major screw ups..
    1) doesn’t represent all the states… like one of my forums on facebook pointed out that the northeast is completely wiped off except bhaichung for 30 secs..
    2)there are no cultural ambassadors except the most popular ones( Zakir Hussain, amjad ali khan clans.) and they are somehow linked to the film industry again..

    3) no painters or scientists..

    4) well.. considering our people are anyways glitz hungry.. the media is showing them that.. or vice versa..
    What do you expect from a channel like Zoom.. who anyways promotes the film industry…if news channels can show stupidity like search for a minister’s lost dog as breaking news.. do you expect these channels to promote socialism or equality ..
    for them probably north east or remote places would be documentary material..
    And anyway for the new generation, I wonder if there are more people who are interested in knowing and listening more to Anoushka Shankar
    whose claim to fame is that she is Pandit Ravi Shankar’s daughter
    or she is one of the pretty faces
    or she is a woman musician

    OR Niladri kumar for his contribution to the evolution of the Indian classical Sitar music and his innovation the ‘zitar’..

  8. gunjan says:

    and besides to show unity in diversity.. why do u need only celebrities.. there is common man! R K Narayan! I guess your cute baldie would be just stuck in that frame in a corner of the newspaper who no one even bothers to read now!

  9. hemang says:

    I love that song .. brings back so many memories 🙂

    But as far as the new one goes, my views are closer to Mickey’s. I don’t think the issue is that black and white. Nostalgia has a way of making everything seem extraordinary. I try to keep that in mind whenever judging anything for which I have strong and fond memories.

    I do think that the new one was an effort to make the old song more relevant to the current generation. Their choice of idols might not be perfect, but it’s quite representative. As Mickey mentioned, the old one also had quite a few film stars as well. Though, what I liked more about the old one was that it was as much about the common man as about the film stars. The new one is missing that aspect.

    Why bother doing this? …. Why does anyone bother doing anything?

    I also think the new one could have given more focus on regions that are torn with conflict these days. Kashmir, and Assam being two examples. This song is about unity. It was the perfect opportunity to show people inside the country as much as outside that we are united, that we are one.

    Like any other work of art, the new song is opinionated. The creators chose to focus on somethings and not others. It may not be perfect, but I did enjoy it.

    I also enjoyed reading your passionate, eloquent and critical opinion. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Suruchika says:

    Well.. clearly the new version has lost on the vocals and its melody, it almost misinterprets the old message of diversity in the country.. misses to feature most of the maestros from various fields (just an eg: Tendulkar,A.R.Rehman was missing). And their sole concentration was on the film industry (well – since it was a zoom initiative)..still i watched it quite a few times the whole day ..i mean some silly ‘in the making’ clips as well.. n they even tried to reason the tampering with the tune for Aamir.. since the ‘kya bolti tu’ was a major turn of his career! ..WTH!
    In all.. its a disappointment. More effort could be put to recreate the magic.. though the old version was excellent..but we definitely need a new one, with a better vision to bring out the message.

  11. Rajath says:

    Well, I think the new one was required. It might not be perfect, it was a bit westernized and a little bit too glamorous…. Its not replacing the old one as the original will always remain special. But think about what it has brought, it reminds people of old days, it reminds people of India and that it is full of life. It doesn’t matter if a song is like this or like that, what really is important is that if it can ignite a feeling of India then it has achieved a greater task than what can be achieved by just arguing about it. I agree that the new one was made for show biz, if you like it, see it again, otherwise you can always listen to the old one. It’s still a free country. How many of us before writing this saw the old one to compare. Did that not make this song special? It’s not like all of us listen to this song everyday. I think the new song is just a reminder of the old one, the message which has to be conveyed was told in the old one itself, this is just a reminder. People want the same thing told in a different way everyday and that is what the media gave them.

  12. Rajath says:

    But what I can say is that it should have been better than this. Kids today wouldn’t have seen the old one, so atleast for their sake it should have been like the old one.

  13. Outre Me says:

    Maybe the belief that globalization is resulting in a monoculture & the decrease in the total sum of knowledge is very true.

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