Some old melodies hold a special place in listeners’ minds and filmmakers cash in on this popularity by incorporating these tunes in their soundtracks.
However, it’s rare that two directors come out with three different versions of the same song for their films. Bangladeshi singer Runa Laila’s popular
number Dama Dam Mast Qalandar, is reportedly being remade by director Nikhil Advani for his next directorial venture D-Day and director Bejoy Nambiar’s next, David, has two versions of it.
“We are done with the two versions of the song. In fact, the song was part of my script for the last two years,” says a surprised Bejoy, after learning that Advani is also working on the same song for his film. Bejoy has already shot the song sequences as well.
For Bejoy’s film, the two versions of the song have been composed by Mikey McCleary, whose rendition of ‘Khoya khoya chand’ from Shaitan (2011) was quite a hit. “The song has been sung by Rekha Bhardwaj for Neil Nitin Mukesh’s part of the story and it features Sarika in a cameo. The second version of the song features someone else but I can’t reveal the name so ahead of time,” says Bejoy.
However, he hopes that he won’t end up competing with Advani for the best adaptation. “My film will come out earlier,” he says since he is expecting to release by year-end, whereas Nikhil has just started shooting his film.
Ask him if it’s possible for two people to acquire the rights to the same song, and he says, “This is an old folk song. No one actually owns the rights to it. Many versions have come out before too. The most famous were Runa Laila and Avida Parveen’s renditions of it."