Friday, December 06, 2002

prime video

One of the ongoing efforts on RMIM has been transcribing film songs (and the occasional non-filmi song) into ITrans. The latest addition is a rather interesting one. It's a transcription of a Jagjit Singh song...the lyricist being the current PM of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee (henceforth to be referred to as ABV{P}). Wow! A talented Prime Minister ... and a poet at that. Well, the album is titled Samvedna Sensitivity, which is dumb tautological redundancy (patented worthless phrase there)... Samvedna means Sensitivity, so this is like saying major major major major, halved of course... Chuckles aside, the lyrics aren't earthshattering either ... this transcription also includes the translation and there's a three course serving of clichés buried therein. And they didn't even stop at releasing this aural assault on current media (tape, CD?). They even made a music video featuring the budding (wilting?) lyricist, the unfortunate reliable voice (and face) of Jagjit Singh and Indian hoagie Shah Rukh Khan.

Flashback to 1998 when "swarachandrika" (sound of the moon/moon of sound/the silver-voiced one ... all bunk) Padmaja Phenany Joglekar (who before this tragic politically tainted musical foray could have lived life as a talented respected singer) decided to record an album of songs written by ABV{P}, who was a PM in stealth mode, unofficial but not official. Following the recording (and here I quote from a can of vitriol by Varsha Bhosle) "she moved the courts to restrain the Election Commission from including the cassette costs in Hajpayee's poll expenditure -- even before the cassettes hit the stands. Then, "the day after Atalji's album was released," Padmaja presented VP Singh a copy, who gave her his book of poems, and then "I set it to music, sang it for him over the phone and he said, 'Aapne meri kavita ko dulhan jaise sajaya hai'." ". That last part meant "you have decorated my poetry like a bride-to-be" (sigh!). Considering the rather mundane childish[sic] quality of the verse, shouldn't this be as illegal as child marriage? By the way, in case anyone's interested, the album's called Geet Naya Gata Hoon (I Sing a New Song). Yeah yeah... new my gluteus.

If it isn't already clear, the only reason we are subjected to this aural deluge of premiere sludge is because shri ABV{P} is the PM of the nation. It's like Bill Clinton inflicting SACDs of his saxophone performances on the US of A. And Ma'am Joglekar is now a Padma Shri only because her lyricist was such a big wig {pun?}. Pity.

I'm sure you're really really keen on reading fragments of premiere poetry and I won't disappoint you. As a sample, here's what the nation's old man had to say about his poem hum jang na hone denge (We won't allow a War): ``You must be thinking that on one hand I wrote anti-bomb poems and on the other hand made the bomb. There is a dichotomy in this,'' he said. The poems, he added, were real and written after seeing the devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ``These lines were written with the colour of my blood.''. You said it, Atoll.

As a sidenote: ABVP also happens to expand as Akhi Bharatiya Vidyaarthi Parishad (All India Student Council), which is the "world's largest student organisation" in India. Relish any irony you can find here ... yet another organisation with its own modular agenda.

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