Evergreen, after all

OLD WORLD CHARM Yesteryear Bollywood melodies are popular with youth

OLD WORLD CHARM Yesteryear Bollywood melodies are popular with youth   | Photo Credit: Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Old Bollywood songs are gaining currency with yuppies, not in a remixed form, but appreciated in the original avataar

If you think old Bollywood tunes are dead and gone, making way for racy and raunchy music for Gen-X, think again! They are coming back with a vengeance. Music stores and the MP3 pirated CD scene are stormed with numbers from Bollywood oldies.

And no it’s not the remix variety of music but pure oldies in their original avatar. Its not the pot-bellied grey-haired kind demanding this music in nostalgia, but the young yuppies who move on snazzy bikes with iPods glued to their ears.

Those romantic duets sung busy circling trees, holding hands, drenched in the rain, or even making a dash on the slopes of the hills of Kashmir or Ooty — all this the current brood of youngsters maynot have had the chance of seeing on screen. But the songs with their amorous lyrics and mellow instrumental back up have hooked them.

Abhijit, a techie, who is 20 years old, says that though he was not aware of the beauty of the oldies till about two years back, is now hooked onto them. Listening to an FM radio station in one of the buses he takes to work, Abhijit says he was struck by the song the station was playing. He remembered it was Lata Mangeshkar’s “Yeh shaam ki tanhaaiyan, aise mey tera gham”. He could not however remember the film but that was the day he decided he would explore the world of old Bollywood numbers.

Songs from that era are a perfect way to open your heart out to that someone special, says Mukund, a third year BA student in one of the city’s upmarket colleges. “Nobody could sing love songs like Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi,” he says. Humming a number from the film “Taj Mahal” — “Paanv choo lene do phoolonko inayat hogi” —Mukund says he had presented an MP3 player loaded with old love songs to his girl friend who is a die hard Led Zepplin buff. One special song he had recorded in that was the “Agar mujhse mohabbat hai” which really moved his girl, Asha. He says, “ I have expressed myself through those songs.”

The sad part is that the films with these songs are not in circulation anymore and videos of these songs are in great demand. There are very few clippings available, but they sell like hot cakes, says a video store owner. At the same place, youngsters also come to load their iPods and pen drives with old songs.

Asha Bhonsle’s cabaret numbers are also in great demand. Abdul Rauf says he has sold not less than 500 copies of cabaret songs of the 1970s, and the demand is going up by the day. But the best ever analysis of why youngsters swear by these numbers comes from Ragini Jalan. She says there is happiness, love and passion, the pain of separation and heartbreak in Bollywood oldies. Ragini says Bollywood songs are so melodious and cool that you can hum them a million times and still love them.


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