Now that I've heard the atrocity that is The Humma Song, I have to ask...
What have any of the classics ever done to you, Bollywood, except to add nuanced emotional layers to their movie and go down in living Indian memory as soulful, impossible-to-imitate pieces of art?
CLASSICS. Do you know what that word means, Bollywood?
This music made up the majority of my mother's music collection. It is the soundtrack to a huge chunk of my childhood.
These songs don't deserve what you've done to them.
Dum Maaro Dum gained cult status because it was a powerful, psychadelic, insanely catchy explosion of music. It was rebellious. It was sexy.
It did not need the addition of an eerily recited children's nursery rhyme, the mental image of someone sitting naked on a commode or of someone else grabbing at Deepika Padukone's skirt, or a weird, slow rap that couldn't be saved no matter how husky Anushka Machanda's vocals are.
So many other songs that should've been left the fuck alone went through the same party-fication.
Apni Toh Jaise Taise, the new one, starts with a frankly blasphemous spoken refrain, in an annoying high-pitched voice no less: "People on the floor. Come and get some more."
No, Jacqueline Fernandez' lips! No, I do not want to get some more!
Here's another song I don't want more of:
Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le's new version trying and failing to be a rock ballad.
Just compose a whole new song with weird polyphonic tones and discordant beats for Alia to sing (while she videos herself dancing under fireworks...wut), instead of butchering this sweet, simple, soulful, beauty:
I also do not want more of The Humma Song.
Andha Arabi Kadaloram was the song I danced to on School Day with thirty other 7-year olds; the song I listened to Rahman perform live at the Global Citizen Festival and had full-body chills.
I don't want more of it after it's been turned into gyrate-y, club music. I am not "on the floor", Jacqueline Fernandez' lips, I do not want more, or any, of Badshah's weirdly sensual rap shoved into a song that's undeniably iconic.
None of these songs needed shitty remixes. They're timeless. There's no need to "update" them with the fresh, new voice of Mika.
Here's a truth bomb for you, Bollywood:
A modern song isn't just an old song with a random rap verse in the middle.
Bachna Ae Haseeno's remake tried, I'll give it that. It had the same opening trumpets and was even sung by Kishore Kumar's son.
But what's the point when you replaced the soul of the song with dance beats and rapping? A rap, mind you, that says,
"Baby when you see me coming
Yeah, you better run for cover
'Cuz you know when I find you
Yeah, I'm gonna be your lover"
A modernized version! Wah! Such immense, progressive understanding of consent! Amazing!
And Honey Singh clearly did nothing to improve Dheere Dheere Se.
"Teri meri story jaise Big Bang Theory
Main sunaun chori-chori ye sab ko"
Tu mujhse door main yahan pe majboor
Shikva karun main ye Rabb ko"
Those lyrics are a dishonour to the fantastic original.
Please stop, Bollywood. We love you, and we try to love your eccentricities, but we can't take any more of this. Enough with the remakes. Enough with the rip-offs.
If you want to reclaim the magic of your yesteryears, step outside your comfort zone and try for some originality the next time you want a hit song, 'kay?
P.S.: This is tangential, but Bollywood is still to blame for allowing it: Will. I. Am. Did. Not. Need. To. Remake. Urvasi Urvasi.
IT IS NOT YOUR BIRTHDAY WILL. I. AM.