Hmmm. Things have been noticeably – and predictably – quiet on the filmi front now that it’s all kirkit all the time, no? The elections were supposed to fulfill the pyrotechnic requirement and the odd politician has tried his or her best but as it turns out, the Great Quest for an Indian Obama is not exactly the thriller that was promised by the trailers – mainly because that mythical beast does not exist.
But phikar not! Ram Gopal Verma is back and, baby, does he have plans for you! Look what he hatched up: an creative update on the national anthem. Why? Because he loves to see The Crazy go up in flames just like the rest of us. Not that he said so, of course. Those crazies might want to take in a movie with the missus sometime and you don’t want to piss off the people with the lovely monies in their pockets! No, the official line is that it was, er, integral to the integrity of the interpersonal nitty-gritties of his movie or something like that.
You figure it out. It’s actually a pretty entertaining little interview – the person asks him the same question five different ways (“Hey! How come you did this dumb thing here that’s getting you burned in effigy all over town, RGV?”) and he finds five different things to say (all of which boil down to, “Coz I’m RGV bitches!”). What? You expected the guy who made RGV ki Aag to be broken down by some kid on MSN?
However, I have to say I didn’t have any idea that people needed to get clearance from the Law Ministry before they could so much as look sideways at the national anthem. I mean, Bharat Bala needed permission?! This Bharat Bala? What kind of kooks are they fostering at the Censor Board these days? Did they feel all tingly inside when they saw A. R. Rahman’s luxurious locks flowing in the oceanside breeze? Or were they having naughty thoughts watching Hari Prasad Chaurasia play the flute? The most bizarre part of that story is, that video was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture! What the hell?
It almost makes me want to cheer for Rann. Almost. Well, it’s hard to get 100% behind a song that wants to bludgeon you to death with cast iron anvils like these:
Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha
Ek Doosre Se Ladd Ke Mar Rehein Hain
Is Desh Ne Humko Ek Kiya
Hum Desh Ke Tukdey Kar Rahein Hain
Which roughly translates as:
Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha
Are all fighting each other to the death
This country made us One
We’re cutting it up into pieces
Yes, it’s basically a “clever” song that has all the finesse and elegance of a burning man belting out a soulful ballad about how he’s on fire, delivered with all the conviction of a man in the throes of terrible constipation because patriotic angst will jam up those bowels something terrible. Why do you think Gandhi was so interested in everybody’s bowel movements? It’s how he ferreted out the British sympathizers, fool!
It’s also doubly depressing when you’ve heard the version of Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna that Piyush Mishra wrote and performed in Gulaal – a snippet of a song that was about a hundred times more genuine and clever but got about a fraction of the publicity this assault on poetry is about to get. But that’s beside the point.
Which is this: Indians should own their national anthem. Even if it gives you, me or Rabindranath Tagore a massive tummy ache when he listens to the remix.