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Music directors facing the music

It's no longer the monopoly of themes, storylines or titles that hog headlines, Bollywood music directors too are in the news for wrong reasons.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2008 07:33 PM IST

It's no longer the monopoly of themes, storylines or titles of Bollywood flicks that hog the headlines. Bollywood music directors too are in the news many times for wrong reasons, the latest being the Krazzy 4 case.

If it was the Choli ke peeche kya hain song that had the judiciary intervening, the use of the title Sholay too reached the corridors of courts for justice, along with plagarism which is as old as the industry, but now it is the increasing boldness in use of suggestive words and slang that for sure will keep Bollywood music in the limelight for reasons other than melody, feel experts.

The lingo of Indian music industry is changing. While this new phraseology is inevitable, there is a line of difference between being classy and crass, feels expert.

While words like mirchi, bidi, daru etc are being used, suggestive words like 'kiss me', 'touch me', 'craving for your body' etc are also being extensively used nowadays in Bollywood music, especially in item songs.

"There is a clear demarcation between what is contemporary and what's crass. I'm all for experimentation but certainly there should be no allowances for undermining the diginity of a language. If the intent itself is wrong or undiginfied then that will get reflected in the language the lyrics the expressions and the entire song," says Prasoon Joshi, lyricist of Fanna,Rang de Basanti and Taare Zameen Par

Agrees lyricist Neelesh Misra. 'Mukhdas or the opening verses are sometimes peppered with such words to make them catchy -- and, perhaps, because there might be a view that shock value might work better for the song," he says.

Ehasan of Shankar-Eshan-Loy trio says, "In item songs anything goes so people make use of different catchy and provocative words at times to catch the attention of the audience but still I feel it depends on the usage," he says.

Pyarellal of Lakshmikant-Pyarellal, who composed the song, Choli ke Peeche kya hai in Khalnayak says, "At times such provocative music or lyrics are being used in a song because the character or the script might demand so. A film is a director's baby, he is the person who knows about the subject.

For example in Khalnayak, the character of Sanjay Dutt was very cheap and Subhashji felt it needed such lyrics and composition and so we did the song accordingly."

Moreover along with suggestive words shockingly even some regional slangs are now making its way into the Bollywood lexicon.

Songs like Ganpat chal daru la from Shootout at Lokhandwala, Dum Laga from Dil Dosti Etc and the background score of One two three are some examples were certain offensive words were used.

"It is important to know the line which divides cheap from classy. It is all about being intelliegnt without sounding crass. I feel by making such compositions they are actually ruining the song, which otherwise would have been greater hits," says Pritam, the composer of Metro,Jab We Met and Race.

Neelesh Misra says, "Even if such words are not often offensive as in offending people on racial or religious grounds, they are certainly tasteless in many songs."

But are such offensive words unavoidable? "It is certainly not unavoidable. A bad song never writes itself. We write it. And we have the choice of not writing it," says Misra.

"It depends on the execution of the song, how one uses it that matters. Even in the past in songs like jaane do na... from Sagaar, the music had sexual overtones but they were executed in such a way that you do not feel cheap," says Pritam.

"There is nothing wrong in being experimental but It should be proper used. For example, we have given music in Don, but there was nothing provocative or offensive in that," says Ehasan.

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