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Taal tales

Care for a dance, Hrithik?

Hrithik Roshan with Neha in Fiza The expectations had to be high. After all, Fiza's music has many firsts to its credits. The hit-churning machine - what else will you call him after the hat-trick of Josh, Refugee, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega? - Anu Malik is teaming for the first time with that wizard of words called Gulzar. A R Rahman, having invented and reinvented film music, is finally composing his first-ever qawwali. Film critic and writer Khalid Mohammed turns director, and it's his turn to face the music this time.

And yes, the expectations were indeed high, but for a different reason altogether. Fiza was Hrithik Roshan's - the guy who catches victims at the flick of a cellphone button in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai - second film. Gulzar? Khalid Mohammed? Anu Malik? None of those names mattered so much. As Fiza's music roars its way to the top of the charts, the unequivocal reason for its success remains Hrithik dancing in a blue shirt to Aaja mahiya. Who wants to wait to hear Rahman's masterpiece Piya haji ali, or even remotely appreciate Gulzar's poetic brilliance in words like Ahista pukaro, sab sun lenge/ Bas labon se chhoo lo, lab sun lenge…?

The phenomenon takes one back to the early 1980s, when another man, now busy asking 'Computerji' to lock answers, ruled the roost. Songs were written and created for Amitabh Bachchan, and worked for precisely the same reason. What else do Mere angne mein, Rote hue aate hain sab, Jahan char yaar, Thodisi jo pee lee hai… have to their credit except that face on the screen? And that sure did some harm to film music in the 1980s, for when music becomes subservient to the agents other than its makers, there is a cause for worry. No wonder one can't think of too many memorable film albums in early 1980s, except may be Silsila, Arth and Qurbani.

Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai Therefore, while Hrithik walks the ramp of glory and is there to rock and roll like nobody's business for the next two to three years, a true music lover is tempted to ask: "Will we see another early 1980s? Will that jig in Ek pal ka jeena, that overshadowed Lucky Ali's entry into films, continue to resurface just the way it has in Aaja mahiya?"

And with films with Vinod Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Karan Johar on the cards, one can't rule out that possibility. Though an optimist might contest that Hrithik's first two films have given out music better than most Amitabh-starrers with Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra and the likes, one can't but keep one's fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Till then, keep jigging.

Shailesh Kapoor

Music Music

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