Shelf Life

Friday, March 13, 2009

“Papa, why is Bipasha Basu STILL dancing to this song (Bachna Ae Haseenon)?” asked Krtin, my son…

We were watching the Idea Filmfare Awards on Sony last Sunday… and Krtin used a tone condescending enough to send me a strong signal which when transcribed, read like – ‘Bugger – go get yourself a life – move on – don’t get time warped’…“So, what’s wrong with that Krtin? This is a live awards show for all the films from the last year and Bipasha is dancing to a song which was in one of her movies released last year”, I replied…“But Papa that was almost 6 months ago”, said Krtin…

I stepped back… I called Manoj, one of my very good friends from childhood… one with an immense knowledge of Bollywood music and happenings… and one, whom we worshipped as a living Bollypedia… and whose advancement, like mine, of all empirical evolution of the Bolly world stopped in the early eighties… when Bolly stooped to absolute lows with the new emerging southern pelvic thrusts by a Jitendra and a Sridevi or a Jayaprada amidst a bunch of clay earthen pots and the nine yard sarees flowing in mid air… Tohfa Tohfa Tohfa Tohfa… dancing to the D Rama Naidu or a Dasari Narayana Rao dramas… or when Amitabh Bacchan went abysmal with his Toofan, Jadugar, Coolie, Mard combine along with a host of other ‘most forgettable’ films of his career during the late eighties… when a Shabbir Kumar or a Mohammed Aziz sang for Amitabh… imagine Mohammed Aziz… for Amitabh… Main Hoon Maerrrd Taangewaala… or… Sun Rubiya – Pyaar Ho Gaya… eeks…

Manoj, my friend, would still be able to recall with micro-sonic precision, all the Rafi, Lata, Kishore or a Mukesh numbers… and after a few you know what… would also sing for you a Saigal or a Chitalkar number… he would be able to tell you who wrote the lyrics, who composed the music, the director of the movie and the production houses too…In fact, come to think of it, I can too… to a certain extent…

I guess, it doesn’t have anything to do with Manoj’s or my ability to remember the classics… it was the power of ‘shelf life’ that these classics carried…

Barring, of course, an occasional bright spot in the Hindi film music world, the eighties and the nineties can best be shelved for what they were worth… a lack of brilliance and longevity… a lack of an instant capture of your mind or heart space… an ability to churn rot after rot for your listening pleasure… an Anu Malik who lamented about only ‘saat sur’ (7 notes) in music and he shouldn’t be blamed if he plagiarized others’ music… worse still… his own music later… and of course, for a lack of shelf life…

But I guess, 911 changed a lot of things for me… with the turn of the millenium and with Krtin coming home on 9.11.2001… OK – 9th November – about a couple of months after the Towers fell… things changed… hindi film music of the day again became a part of my life… I could see beyond a Kishore, a Rafi or a Lata and acknowledge that Bolly music was taking a positive turn… to please my ear buds…

Not that from Day 1 on his way from the neo-natal centre to home, did Krtin force me to tune in into Radio Mirchi – 98.3 FM – It’s Hot… but I realized that, truly, mobility – in life in general – and music went together… and that’s probably one of the very few ways that I discovered, I could carry out some commonsensical, contemporary communication with my son… and my daughter who was to follow him into the family a couple of years later…

What with an Ismail Darbar’s music in Devdas… which incidentally was Krtin’s first movie in the movie hall… and with AR Rahman coming of age – well until about just before Slumdog… and with Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy building a block upon another right from ‘Dil Chaahta Hai’… it has been a great going for some extended shelf life in the Bolly music world…

Incidentally, last Sunday Smita (my wife) was with Mata (mother)… not her mother… but at Vaishno Devi (a divine shrine in the north of India)… and as such, I was missing her… not at the Filmfare Awards ceremony… but generally as a habit (trust me, after 12 years of staying married, your spouse does turn into a beautiful habit – of course the adjective is relative)… a habit of watching TV together on a Sunday evening… and I tried recalling what would shelf life mean to Smita…
And of course, as Mata would ordain it, my phone buzzes… and Smita tries correcting me of my behavior of excessive watching of TV with Krtin… despite my loud protest of – ‘hey – this is the ‘Mata of all Film Awards’ – and both Krtin and I deserve to watch the celebration of the magic of movie making in the country in the last one year – with all its hysteria and histrionics of a Ranbir Kapoor and an Imraan Khan to go with it’…

I realized, I was protesting in vain… the only thing that still has a shelf life in my 12 year matrimony is Smita’s unrelenting resolve to rid me of my petty pet pleasures…

As for Krtin, I guess he will grow up with Hindi film music that would sound dated after a week of it’s release…

And I think I would still need to change… to be able to rid myself of this week’s releases and adapt fast to what’s coming next… the only way for me to enjoy a longer ‘shelf life’ with him…

BTW – Gulaal – Anurag Kashyap’s next after Dev. D – released this week… has some nice music… I just heard it… lyrics and music by Piyush Mishra…

Have a Great Week ahead…

Ravi Kodukula…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s