Jagjit Singh, whose Bollywood compositions have been few and far between, has just recorded a song for Anil Sharma’s My Friend Hitler. The song, Har or tabahi ka manzar, garja vinashak ka baadal hai, kahin sehma sehma bachpan hai, kahin rota maa ka anchal hai… will play in the background in the film. It describes the last days of Adolf Hitler’s reign.
“With the Red Army at his door and defeat staring at him, the dictator ordered the destruction of Germany from his bunker. As I read the script, the words, tabahi and vinashak, floated into my mind and the first two lines came together instantly,” says lyricist Pallavi Mishra.
She could only think of the ghazal king because his voice is full of sadness. But Singh is choosy. In recent times, he has only sung for Makrand Deshpande’s first Hindi film as a director, Shahrukh Bola Khubsurat Hai Tu. He turns 70 on February 8, 2011, and is planning 70 concerts and seven albums with 70 songs that leave him with little time for such assignments.
But touched by Mishra’s words, he gave the nod to Sharma. Daler Mehndi has also sung a Holi song for the film, ‘Aaya phagun ka tehwar, lekar neele peele rang hazaar, par yeh teen rang hai sabse badhiya, hara, shwet aur kesariya…’.
The film that claims to reiterate Gandhi’s stand of non-violence during the first World War, has invited criticism from Jewish groups and American human rights activists. Anupam Kher was replaced by Raghuvir Yadav, who, according to scriptwriter and co-producer Nalin Singh, walks, talks and behaves like Hitler.
“We shot at Noida’s Film City and Delhi’s Barakhamba Road during the CWG and escaped detention,” says Singh, who plays Goebbles, Hitler’s friend and the man responsible for many decisions. Neha Dhupia plays his lover, Eva Braun.