A beloved piece of music has high emotional stakes and reusing it for sole commercial purpose is sad, says “Masakali” lyricist Prasoon Joshi while commenting on the controversy over the remixed version that has angered the original team as well as song lovers.
The original track, penned by Joshi and scored by AR Rahman, featured in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s 2009 film Delhi 6 and was sung by Mohit Chauhan.
On Wednesday, Bhushan Kumar’s T-series launched the remix of the song, dubbed “Masakali 2.0”, from composer Tanishq Bagchi and singers Tulsi Kumar and Sachet Tandon. The track’s music video features Sidharth Malhotra and Tara Sutaria.
Joshi, who coined the word “Masakali”, said the row should raise questions about the need to protect original music and poetry from such attempts.
“Things created with heart and painstaking craft reach out and make a genuine difference. So when they are simply reused with sole commercial purpose, it is indeed sad,” Joshi, who is the CBFC chairperson, told PTI.
Music companies have been remixing original songs for a while now but many celebrities, including the original team, have reacted sharply to the recreation of “Masakali”.
Asked about the reactions, Joshi said, “I guess everything has a tipping point. When a song or a piece of work gets the share of heart and music lovers co-own it, the emotional stakes are high.”
This is why, the lyricist said, there should be some accountability towards music lovers and one should not be allowed to tamper with the soul of the song.
“There is a larger point here and that is ‘who will protect the sanctity of original music and poetry?’ Is there any accountability to the music lovers here or whoever feels like can tamper with the soul? A song or poem has a unique narrative and we need to protect the minute threads of this intricate fabric,” Joshi added.
Recalling how he came to coin the word “Masakali”, Joshi said Delhi 6 will always have a special place in his heart with its iconic album.
“‘Masakali’ has no meaning and it’s not part of any language. I tried to intricately infuse meaning in it through imagery which painstakingly and masterfully AR Rahman composed and singer Mohit Chauhan added many more dimensions to it.,” Joshi said.
“Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, cinematographer Binod Pradhan and of course, Sonam, made it visually come to life,” he added.
Joshi recalled getting a call from a young girl when the song came out.
“She was fighting a life-threatening illness and in her journey of recovery, the song and especially the words ‘Udiyo na dariyo (fly, don’t fear)’, gave her constant strength,” he further shared.
The lyricist-poet’s disappointment was echoed by Rahman earlier in his social media posts.
The normally reticent composer shared the link for the original song, urging fans to listen to it as it was composed without any short cuts and over many sleepless nights, writes and rewrites.
“Over 200 musicians, 365 days of creative brainstorming with the aim to produce music that can last generations… A team of a director, a composer and a lyricist supported by actors, dance directors and a relentless film crew,” the music composer said.