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Kisme kitna hai ‘Dum’!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011
By Chaitanya Padukone

Will it be a Pritam versus Pancham musical muqabla?

Today (January 4th) is legendary Bollywood composer-singer Rahul Dev Burman’s (nicknamed Pancham-da) 17th death anniversary. Had he been alive, he would have completed 50 years of his musical career, as he had made his debut as a ‘sangeetkar’ in 1961 with ‘Chhote Nawaab’. Even as his legion of loyal fans, RJs and DJs will observe the day (today) listening to or playing his evergreen chartbusters, a controversy of sorts has cropped up. Relating to a “remixed version” of the cult hippie anthem ‘Dum Maro Dum’ (DMD) which has been composed by Bollywood composer-singer Pritam Chakraborty for the upcoming Rohan (Ramesh) Sippy movie titled ‘Dum Maro Dum’ which has the dreaded drug-mafia as its theme. 

Apparently, a section of purists and die-hard RDB fans are upset and angry, because they feel that a classic cult song like ‘Dum Maro Dum’ should not be tampered with. “We always listen only to original sound-tracks of chartbusters from Panchamda’s movies and we are not in favour of remixed versions,” insists Raj Nagul founder-member of Pancham-magic (a large Pune-based passionate R D Burman fan club).

Incidentally, Bollywood producer Barkha Roy whose mega-hit musical ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ fetched RDB his first-ever Filmfare Award in 1983, has been specially invited to attend a special ‘Panchamda’ memorial event in Pune. “Its really distressing there is a dearth of original creativity. All my songs from ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ have been ‘remixed’ so badly that I almost tear my hair in agony when I listen to those cheap versions. As far as ‘DMD’ is concerned, trying to be ‘one-up’ on it is like spoiling a painting by Picasso by making an imitation,” counters Roy.

Noted trade analyst and connoisseur of filmy music Amod Mehra sees a positive streak. “The very fact a cult song is being remixed after 40 years (!!) is a huge honor and compliment to the awesome talent of R D Burman. Times are changing and we have to move with the gen-next flow. All the same, personally as a music-lover, I feel, most remixes generally end up murdering the original song.  Instead of a ‘one-upmanship’ clash against an iconic song like ‘Dum Maro Dum’, I feel the remixed version should be distinctly different,” asserts Amod.

Meanwhile, Pritam who recently re-mixed ‘yet another RDB cult song ‘Duniya Mein’ (Apna Desh) in his recent Hindi movie ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’ reportedly claims that his “‘DMD’ version has original and more hard-hitting lyrics and that his version is more gritty and hardly bears any resemblance to the original song”. However, with the title lyrics ‘Dum Maro Dum’, comparison with the original masterpiece trance number from ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ (1971) is inevitable.

Only time will tell, as to, ‘kisme kitna hai Dum’!

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