Saara jahan hua ek re, India mein lag gaya mela re. The lines above are from the song Come out and play, Balle Balle, composed and sung by Anand Raj Anand, for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
The fifth in a long line of compositions, Anand’s is another example of how the sports extravaganza is spawning a virtual mela of songs.
Quite literally, there seems to be a new song for and about the Games, every other day.
Sample the four previous Games songs: Oh yaaro, yeh India bula liya by A.R. Rahman, Dilli Meri Jaan by Palash Sen of Euphoria, Khel Le by Daler Mehandi and Chak De Shera (a trilingual song) by singers Shibani Kashyap, Vikramjit Singh Sahney and Milind.
Anand’s album, titled ‘Common Man’s Tribute to Commonwealth Games 2010’ is the latest addition to the list. The singer, whose songs were unveiled on Monday, said the songs were his tribute to the Games and he will be performing both numbers at the opening ceremony.
“No one told me anything, I composed the songs on my own. It is a very prestigious event and I felt we needed songs that the common people could connect to,” he said.
Making a veiled reference to the recent controversy surrounding the theme song composed by Rahman, which was widely criticised and later tweaked and made peppier, Anand quipped, “Jis film ka gana hit nahi hota, who film chalti nahi.” However, in the race for composing songs for the Games, what has instead ensued is cacophony.
“I really cannot understand which is the real song for the Games. The Football World Cup had one peppy song — Waka Waka — which everyone was humming,” said Nida Khan, a student.
“But with so many songs being composed for the Games, I am confused,” she lamented.