Friday, September 03, 2010

The CWG Theme... My Take on all the BS

The commonwealth games theme song is out. With all the controversy shrouding the games, it is but natural that Mr.A.R.Rahman would not be spared either. Hasn't it always been characteristic of our sensationalist media to pull attention to shy, non controversial, rather subdued yet iconic people like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahman into controversy given the slightest opportunity? And that despite being world beaters at their respective professions, they have time and again managed to come out unscathed, only to silence critics to kingdom come!

What seems to irk people is the price quoted for the song. While the veracity of this amount still remains to be established, I personally feel there is nothing wrong if the song indeed came at such a price. After all you are hosting an international event, and more importantly you are signing up an international music icon to represent your country. You are signing up the brand that is A.R.Rahman. And brands come at a price. Any Tom Dick and Harrish could have been roped in to compose the theme song. The song would've still worked. But when you're hosting an international event in your country, it becomes imperative to show up in your best dress. With everything else about the cwg going haywire and corruption rearing its now familiar head with an extra smirk on its face, A.R.Rahman is the only positive buzzword. But no, we don't want to let him be either!

Coming to the song itself, I personally like it. Yes there are songs by the maestro in recent times that I have liked better, but this song is still very good. For a sports theme, I think this is more than sufficient. If at all I would pick out one sore aspect, it would be the lyrics. But what exactly were the critics expecting? Another Vande Mataram? Had that happened they would've said the song sounds repetitive. If ARR had done this song free of cost I'm sure the same people bickering now would've had different opinions. Maybe they would've even liked the song!

Success makes people jealous. Other people's success I mean. I read a rather surprising article in a newspaper asking people about the song. The "people" being questioned were supposedly singers and composers no one had heard of (and hopefully wouldn't want to hear or hear of), and everything from the tone of the article to the opinions expressed was utterly negative. Almost as if someone at the newspaper decided to launch a personal tirade against the composer.

To these people and others who think Rahman didn't deserve what he got for this song, I have some questions. Would you rather have composed this theme? Who are you? Did you slog your butt off and win the country two Oscars, Grammys and some hundred other awards and still remain composed and firmly grounded? Having said that, I'm sure A.R.Rahman's goals weren't winning awards. They came to him, and not the other way round. When the Oscars came there were people who said he didn't deserve them. Funny it wasn't them that were part of the jury but much more qualified musicians instead.

I am not saying you shouldn't dislike the song. Everyone has a right to like or dislike the song and express it. But dislike it because it doesn't appeal to you musically, not because your mind is conditioned to dislike everything about the Commonwealth, thanks to corruption and media hype, or because Rahman allegedly got paid an amount you wouldn't be able to charge in your profession because you aren’t half as good in what you do as he is in music.

For those who like it, enjoy the music. My sincere appeal to true fans of the legend to not feed this controversy with angry retorts and to avoid arguments that you know you can't win with logic. Because our icon is not someone whose reputation we should be damaging by cheap fanboy-ism. Nothing irks bad mouthers like silence and patience. I have seen genius at work, and trust me, his genius combined with inhuman mental equilibrium is something we can only dream of achieving! A.R.Rahman is beyond all this, and he will be back with some great music. And that is all we should be looking forward to!

Ever a true Rahman fan.


  1. Great post! I really agree with the last paragraph. ARR surely is above such things and is going to emerge unscathed as always!

  2. "A.R.Rahman is beyond all this, and he will be back with some great music. And that is all we should be looking forward to!"

    Exactly, and his latest Jootha hi Sahi promo is testimony to this fact.

  3. Agree with you Vijay. Media is sensationalizing anything related to CWG and the theme song has not been spared. I have stopped watching these TV channels and reading stupid reviews on the web, for at least the last 2-3 years.

    IMO, the most irksome words that I hear in media is "ARR has become greedy. Money has gone into his head. Now he is chasing laurels in Hollywood and not giving attention to India".

  4. Because our icon is not someone whose reputation we should be damaging by cheap fanboy-ism. Nothing irks bad mouthers like silence and patience - Isn't your post actually negating the whole thing ? just being mean :D ! well, I didn't like the song but with everything else going on at the CWG I thought this was more than enough since noone's going to worry abt the song when no participants show up !

  5. @Sg: This post is intended for the general audience, and not for the bad mouthers. Hence it does not negate the whole thing :) And this isn't cheap fanboy-ism either. The negative aura surrounding the games has engulfed this song and ARR with it. Hope this passes soon

  6. maybe the wrong place to discuss abt this -- the link you had posted in some SNS is not related at all -
    This is some other Swarnalatha and not the great swarnalatha who has passed away ! Please check before posting :).... and ya .. nice post !!!

  7. @Varun: Yes I realized that just a while ago. Sorry for the wrong link. Bit of a confusion

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  9. I did not like the song initially. Perhaps I was preconditioned to expect something not up to the mark. But now after listening to it scores of times, I can say that it is not AR Rahman's best imo. But the last part with drums is really good. And as far as personal criticism of AR Rehman goes - it is uncalled for. Let us not blame him just because the West liked a composition of his many Indians feel - is not his best. He is a God fearing affable human being , who excels in his profession and who has changed the definition of music time and again. May there be more like him. Also Music is priceless. The joy and peace brings cannot be measured in crores or millions....