f7375-milesurmeratumharaRemixes or remakes of music albums have never appealed to my senses – auditory or visual. I somehow managed to gulp down spoilt versions of good old film melodies. As if this torture was not enough, over-enthused musicians ventured into patriotic songs – the rich compositions that rest at the heart of our national pride. A.R.Rehman’s techno-take on “Vande Mataram”failed to make its mark. With due respect to the music maestro, the remix only proved that over-straining vocal cords does not invoke greater nationalism.

Just when I thought Mother India is now spared, another calamity has struck. This time it is our much loved “mile sur mera tumhara” – the song my generation grew up with. Its lyrics, its music, and its video, so deeply entrenched in our memory. The album – based on national integration – is probably one of the best patriotic videos produced in modern India.

Zoom TV has now produced a remake of this treasured piece. Not to mention – it is a complete disaster. Unlike the original video, which features local population as well, the new video is only a celebrity ensemble. Besides, the actors’ expressions are extremely artificial and exaggerated. It is hilarious to see some of them pose in designer outfits and croon for the unity of the country. How simple yet graceful was the appearance of the otherwise gorgeous Sharmila, Hema and Tanuja in the original video? The remake appears more like a fashion show shot in different parts of India.

To add to the mess, the altered music is a complete disappointment. While the tune is unnecessarily stretched for Hindi lyrics, the music director falls back on the original tune for certain regional notes. Not to mention the never-ending track, (16 mins) which attempts to accommodate the whole galaxy of today’s stars. You really need a strong heart to sit through the complete video.

India’s entertainment industry is currently enjoying the best of talent, at both artistic and technical levels. Financing and marketing has also become more structured. In such thriving conditions, why is precious talent and money being wasted on re-makes? Why not produce something original and even better? Why not make a new anthem which casts the same magic on the younger generation, as mile sur mera tumhara did for us.

If you still have the courage to watch this remake here is the link