Archive for August, 2010

There are a few guys in our office, who are die-hard fan of RD Burman, Pritam, and even HR?? (Our beloved Himmessh Resshaammiya, no offence please). I also like RD Burman and tolerate Pritam to some extent but I was never a fan of them. I’ll not discuss whether I like Himesh or not, because to like someone’s music, 1st you have listen to them. I forbid myself from listening to Himesh’s songs, however good composer he is or whatever soothing songs he sings. For me listening to Himesh is like watching Inception in Hindi and come out and comment “What a crap, I haven’t understood it for a minute!!!” Hmm, doesn’t it seem to be an over the top comment? Let’s try another: For me, listening to Himesh’s song is like hitting my head with my own guitar. Sounds more appropriate :-). But, let’s forget Himesh for now and come to the point thinking of which I started this post.

I’ve taken the above few names of music directors (there are lots more, these three has just come to my mind in a whip) in the context of music plagiarism and the frequent friendly arguments that occur between me and some of my friends and colleagues. I will and can never argue or utter any doubt on the talent of RD Burman in the context of Indian music. But, yes, I will definitely say that he was not honest with some of his compositions. There are examples flooded in the Internet showing how blatantly he copied some of his numbers from other songs (mostly western), which become chart busters in Bolywood. At his time, may be most of the people were unaware or even indifferent about the western music industry. So, if there were plagiarism, they were oblivious and were happy to enjoy some good new music. However, nowadays, we become more curious and concerned regarding what we are getting. So, it becomes harder for a music director to copy music and get away with flying colors :-). Even Pritam couldn’t get away after lifting a Korean number for one of his songs in a Hindi movie (such an innovative idea, he should next go for Hebrew, Mandarin, and the road is open). So, my advice to music directors of today: “Look (Think) before you lift”.

Wow, so much bak bak (post Raavan effect), but haven’t reached the main point yet. I think I will be a good media artist, especially in India where one can to talk on and on and on on something that has not much to talk about. Yawnnnnnnnnnn. Let’s come to the point directly. Suppose, a music director copies someone else’s music/tune in his song and the song become a huge hit and also gets added to your favorites’ list. Now, what will be your reaction after knowing that your favorite song is a shameless copy of some other song? Mine is plain and simple. I will continue to listen to the songs, but will definitely lose respect for the music director. If possible I’ll try to get the original song and if I like the original then definitely discard the hit number from my list. One such common example is the song Woh Lamhey from the movie Zeher sung by Aatif. When I first heard this song, immediately I loved it. But after a few days, I heard the origin number by Jal and believe me I never listened to the Aatif’s number thereafter and Woh Lamhey by Jal undoubtedly remains one of my favorite numbers till today.

However, many of my colleagues/friends have other opinions. They believe the plagiarism issues, but then go on to justify them making comments like “it’s inspired”, “we like it and for us that was the prime”, “this is common in Bolywood, everybody copies”, “there’s no harm in copying if it is good to our ears”, blah blah. But suppose one of them is the original composer, then, will s/he comment the same way. It’s too easy to be in the side of majority, but it’s no harm to be with and support the right.

I am not endorsing myself as a saint or someone always with the right. But I try. Even, I’ll too justify and term such songs inspired if the music director gives credit to the original composer. OK, don’t give credit, at least mention that it is inspired from this or that number. I don’t know the legalities of plagiarism, but in India, people can easily get away without giving credit (Remember 3 Idiots, Aamir khan???). So, what’s the big deal in giving the credit? Don’t give money, just give the name. At least people like us will have some respect for such music directors then.

Note: The above content is purely my personal view and doesn’t intend to hurt anybody’s sentiment. So, please read it lightly and take it sportingly.


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