AR Rahman's Vande Mataram might have earned him unprecedented fame and glory while Jai Ho might have earned him the ultimate - Oscar. However, both these pieces of music have failed to impress celebrated singer Manna Dey.
The 91-year-old celebrity, who ruled his genre of traditional Hindustani music for nearly seven decades, feels: "Rahman's redefinition of Vande Mataram does not go with the ethos behind the song, which is a salute to your mother."
The singer was in Lucknow recently for a private performance at a leading local club on Sunday evening.
Mimicking Rahman, he said: "I fail to understand what did he mean by stretching 'Vande' too long; Vandeeeeeeeey makes no sense to me because that is not the way one would pay respect to one's mother."
"Melody has simply been compromised in re-creating Vande Mataram which is not done, at least where I am concerned."
Lest he be misunderstood about being prejudiced against Rahman, he hastens to clarify: "I have nothing against Rahman; there is no doubt that he is a great musician who has created brilliant music for films like Roja, Bombay and Lagaan."
As for Jai Ho, Manna Dey asked: "What is there in Jai Ho? I do not see anything more than just another commercial twist, that has paid dividends."
He was strongly of the view that much of the modulations and twists given by Rahman were simply aimed at commercialisation of music.
"There is no dearth of talent in the country but often such talent does not get the right opportunity," he said. He does not deny that reality shows have proved to have gone a long way in affording that opportunity to the young talent.
Replying to a query on the change that he perceives between modern music directors and those belonging to the bygone era, he said: "In a nutshell, the whole process has gone haywire."
He goes on to add: "In those days, it began with conceptualising a situation, that was followed by writing the lyrics, before the music director came into the picture; but now it is the other way round, with music being created in the first place and lyricists being asked to fit words into it."