Kyun Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara???

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara - The golden oldie that kept an entire nation glued in front of their TV sets inspite of its antenna-serviced grainy video footage, bridged gaps between entire generations and generated (still does!) a feel-good national integration message has been hijacked, Bolly-Ass-phyxiated and reduced to a pale and largely out-of-sync mess. If Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara was intended to send the same messages of Unity in Diversity and communal harmony that the original masterpiece did so effectively, then it has failed miserably. An Epic Disaster of 2012-esque Proportions is the phrase that springs to mind when one watches this blatant tribute to Woods (NOT the Tiger variety) - Bolly, Molly, Colly, Tolly and any other 'ollys' that I may inadvertently have missed.

The video begins with A.R. Rahman standing on the roof of his house and playing what is labelled a Fingerboard. This instrument bears a striking resemblance to a red carpet, and seems to be a directorial touch highlighting Rahman's frequent traipses down its Oscar counterpart. It is only at the very end of Rahman's piece that the tune starts vaguely resembling Mile Sur Mera Tumhara.

At this point, the limelight shifts to the Big B of Bollywood, lending his characteristic deep throated vocals to the opening lines. Strangely we have some dhik-chik-dhik-chik beats in the background that make Bachchan Saab sound slightly like a rapster.

The scene moves to a white sandy beach with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy belting out a verse that goes from an aalap to a resounding crescendo - entertaining, but misplaced at the beginning of the video...
Anoushka Shankar (or is this the other Grammy nominated one?? I always get confused between the two) plays the sitar, her nails suitably painted to match the exact colour of the sitar. At least this one delivers a much needed New-Gen-Yuppie-With-Traditional-Indian-Values message.

Next we have our very own Surya from Namma Tamilnaad (also known as Rajnikant-Land to ignorant North Indians) thumping his chest and waving his hands about for all he's worth.

While Shreya,with her melifluous voice, adds sur to the proceedings, the footage rolls over to a needlessly demure Aishwarya who refuses to meet the camera eye-to-eye till the last second, at which point hubby Abhishek joins in with Sonuu Niigaammm (he numerologically changed his name) providing the background pipes. They stroll down hand in hand, presenting a strong family front, putting to rest all rumors of unreported break-ups.

Telugu Superstar Mahesh Babu is seen in the company of a clutch of octogenarians. He seems incapable of not smiling long enough to mouth the lyrics even. He strolls firmly towards the camera, ignoring the expectant grandma on the bottom left hand corner of the screen, and hogs all the screenspace by himself.

We see Pandit Shivkumar Sharma with an overeager-beaver son (?) in front of the Qutub Minar. Aal-ij-still-well at this point, till we suddenly see the J&K ambassador - hold your breath don't - Rohit Bal, reclining on a shikara and buying paalak from the local folk.

The usually loud and over-the-top Punju brigade come up with the most sober piece in this mish-mash, with Gurdass Mann and Juhi Chawla bringing a soothing note to the proceedings.

Ustad Zakir Hussain and his colleagues pump up the tempo with zesty beats and the well-known Waah-Ustad-Waah head banging that made him so lovable and popular. Tabla rocks!

Aamar shoor moder shoor.... and Bhupen Hazarikaji with a trembling timbre..

Shilpa Shetty representing Rajasthan (Royals) makes for a bang-your-head-against-the-wall moment...

Shirtless and Practically Pantless Salman (you can count the rips and holes in his jeans) plays with hearing-impaired children, and takes a snap at a tiny tot in the end...

Ustad Rashid Khan (here again I need confirmation) gives a beautiful rendition of Mile-Sur-Mera-Tumhara, among the few (way too few) high points of this why-did-you-remake

Sivamani beats water, Kavita Krishnamurthy and family sync up on the violin....

Deepika Padukone serenades like a siren, standing on a stone near a waterfall, wearing a micro dress that is totally uncalled-for, Priyanka is given a folksy voice that doesn't suit her...

Some random footage of Orissa beaches and crowded streets... Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and sons on the sarod...

Yesudas + Boat Racing + Elephants = Kerala - Mamootty

Some guy on a bus (pardon my ignorance of obscure Gujju singers)... Maharashtra and Goa pieces follow..

Next we have a skilfull and graceful Kuchipudi (?) performance by Shobana, interspersed with some inane and unimaginative hand waving by Shiamak Davar..

Aamir Khan does a Taare-Zameen-Par-Aate-Kya-Khandala mix that somehow manages to look cute...

Horror of horrors, we have Sonuu Niigaammm who has come out of hibernation from an obscure Himalayan cave and now closely resembles a bright blue bearded bear, singing 5 second long words in what is supposed to be a Gen-Now style of wo-ho-hooooo music... Shahid making a fool of himself... Ranbir looking almost as unkempt as Sonuu.. winding up with K-K-K-King Khan in his arms-wide-open Kal-Ho-Na-Ho pose in front of the Bandra-Worli Sealink...

The final chorus led by none other than K. Jo. without whom no Bollywood extravaganza can be complete..

As we move to the last 60 seconds of this long drawn seemingly hours long B/C/M/T-ollywood tribute that lasts more than 15 minutes from end  to end, a sudden realization dawns upon the bright bulbs who made this that they had somehow managed to sideline anything of actual value to India - sports and soldiers.. and so a hasty-pasty literally last minute hodge-podge with Vijender Singh and Sushil Kumar and Abhinav Bindra in one frame, Baichung running and singing at the same time and thankfully Mary Kom with some well deserved footage, Saina Nehwal in a blink-and-you-miss-it appearance and less than 30 seconds given to our soldiers, with no footage of how they defend our borders in the numbing cold of Kashmir or even the Amar Jawan Jyoti...

Missing - Sachin, Dhoni and the rest of the cricket team, Lata Mangeshkar (who alone would have taken this to the next level), the Indian hockey team (men and women), industrialists and entrepreneurs like Azim Premji, Ratan Tata and the Ambanis, today's young politicos like Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Omar Abdullah and others (NOT Sadhu Yadav, Babu Yadav, Hooda shooda and the like).. I could think of tons of other folks who should have been featured but weren't...

This could have been so much better.. and yet....What a wasted opportunity!


  1. no need for such a long post.... in short sucks !! :)

  2. Ashu - you know how verbose I get when I'm passionate about something :P

    My apologies to anyone who read thru this whole thing when "It sux" actually describes it just as well :D

  3. @meenakshi

    do hold back the apologies, i had some nice laughs reading through your description of the video. nice nice :)

  4. @srav - thanks for the vote of confidence :)

  5. Ohh dear!! Can't I just leave you guys alone for a while? Look what happened while I was not there.

    However much I would like to despise the idea of a P-M-S-M-T I can't stop laughing over this post :D! Go girl

  6. @ suds - what with the first three letters of the acronym itself spelling P-M-S, we should have guessed it would be painful... wotsay ?? :D


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