The songs of the film Pancharangi have more than satisfied Yograj Bhat fans

The audio market has lost its sheen thanks to the Net making songs downloadable hours after CDs are released. Producers have lost out on the obscene amounts of money they received from music companies who would bid for the rights. Now a pittance is being paid and producers accept without as much as a whimper. Nevertheless, the songs of a film serve as an invitation and give a glimpse of what to expect. If they catch on, the expectations skyrocket and could even fetch a better price from the fast disappearing tribe called distributors.

Two highly expected films had their music release in a span of a few days. Ironically “Pancharangi” is directed by guru Yograj Bhat while “Jackie” is directed by sishya Suri. The media thronged the hotel where the audio of “Pancharangi” was launched probably because the guests of honour were the reclusive crooner Sonu Nigam and the very down to earth Puneet Raj Kumar. Yograj with his baritone introduced his guests succinctly in chaste Kannada. Sonu, the cynosure, spoke about the special bond he shared with Yograj, Jayant Kaikini, Mano Murthy and Kannadigas. Everyone was unanimous in the opinion that a Yograj Bhat film has become an event to look forward to. The songs are catching on with the very hummable “Life Ishte Na” topping the charts. “It could well become a teen anthem,” said a youngster.

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A few days later the vast hall at Le Meridian had people tripping over cables to catch a glimpse of the Raj Kumar clan. The occasion was the audio launch of “Jackie” starring Puneet and directed by Suri. The film is hot property and distributors have lapped it up for a record price. The unit is just back from a shooting stint in Italy, Austria and Namibia.

Raghavendra Raj Kumar welcomed the gathering with an invocation song sung sonorously. He praised Suri and his team for their hard work and also Puneet's quest in taking Kannada cinema a couple of notches higher. “We haven't compromised with this film. Puneet is very clear that any film we produce should not look tacky,” said Raganna as he's affectionately called. Suri called Parvathamma Rajkumar's energy “infectious”. He also thanked Yograj for penning all the five songs in his inimitable, colloquial style. “It's an honour to work for this banner which provided me everything I asked for,” said the reticent director. Shivraj Kumar looking dapper in a suit was humility personified as he declared he was a fan of Puneet right from the time he was a child artiste. “I still am and look forward the release of ‘Jackie',” said the star.

A slickly shot promo and snatches of the songs were aired to loud applause. The CDs were released by Puneet's daughters at Suri's insistence. “They will do it with clean hearts,” said the director. The songs of both these films have captured the airwaves. It's to be seen whether the films match up to the gargantuan expectations.

sshivu@yahoo.com