Gems, simply gems...

MANY, MANY summers ago, Mohammed Rafi, the greatest playback singer that Bollywood has seen, had sung a lovely song in Dev Anand's Love Marriage - Tin Kanastar Dibba Kaali, Gala Phadkar Chillana, Yaar Mere Mat Bura Maan, Yeh Gana Hai Na Bajana Hai. Rafi had rendered it in a typically laid-back voice that the song deserved. But more than the singer, the lyricist who penned the words deserved praise, for the man had a premonition of shape of things to come in the music world.

And his words still ring true when we see the scourge of remix songs plaguing the film industry. Singing in `be-sur", guttural voice to the accompaniment of violent beats of drums and what not and with lyrics like Teri Nani Mari To... or Ding Dong Dole interspersed with needless "ho, ha and hmmms", doesn't make for good music. Like the dreaded disease of cancer, which slowly but surely decimates its victim, the sickening virus of crazy remix numbers will one day take its toll on the music world. And pretty soon quality music could be a thing of the past.

Gems, simply gems...

There is something pure, something sacrosanct about good, original music. But then, who cares! We have even seen a sacrilegious remix variant of Lata Mangeshkar's venerable song Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, Patita Pavana Sita Ram.

The final denouement, however, comes when our own children, fed on staple remix diet, keep humming the terrible rehash of that delightful song Saiya Banke Aana Re, Raja Banke Aana Re..., and says "Us zamane ke gaane itne bure nahin hai" (the songs of those days are not so bad!). Well, in this despondent scenario if someone still tries to preserve the sanctity of music, he deserves a great deal of respect. Kudos to Sa Re Ga Ma-Music Today, which has recently come out with the top 10 songs of Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh - all original songs. Fortunately Sa Re Ga Ma-Music Today have managed to withstand the remix onslaught. Each cassette, priced at Rs. 50, has 10 songs of the artiste and though they may not be the top ten of his, as claimed, they are all nice songs that could be heard any number of times. Kishore Kumar's selection curiously has none of the rip-roaring stuff that he is so famous for, O Saathi Chal from Seeta Aur Geeta, being the exception. Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina, Aapki Ankhon Mein Kuchh and Ruk Jana Nahin are some of the more popular songs in this cassette. One thing that stands out in all the numbers is the man's rich, baritone voice.

Gems, simply gems...

The selection of Mukesh's songs has been done sensibly and almost all the 10 songs have been runaway hits. Right from Pyar Hua Iqraar Hua, Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe, Suhana Safar, Kabhi Kabhie to Ek Din Bik Jaayega, all the songs bring out the best in Mukesh. The best of the lot is Sawan Ka Mahina in Milan. This cassette is a must-buy for Mukesh fans. The presenters could have come out with better songs of the incomparable Rafi. Agreed it is difficult to pick the top 10 from Rafi's collection but this cassette hardly does any justice to the great singer.

Except for the songs Yeh Dunia Yeh Mehfil, Khoya Khoya Chand and Tareef Karoon Kya Uski, all other songs are passable and do not truly reflect the range of the genius. Come to think of it, the remix guys have even poached the song Diwana Hua Badal from Kashmir Ki Kali. Luckily, Tareef Karoon... has remained untouched.

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