CWG lyricist fights criticism, says not reworking song
New Delhi, Sep 3 : A.R. Rahman’s theme song for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) “Jiyo Utho Badho Jeeto” has been widely panned as just average, but lyricist Mehboob defends his work and says people forget it’s an anthem and not a commercial Bollywood song.
“We have not received any intimation as far as rework on the song is concerned and I don’t think we need to rework on it,” Mehboob told IANS.
It took Mehboob and Rehman six months to finish the CWG song, which involved a bit of travelling as Rahman sits in Chennai and Mehboob in Mumbai.
“The song is getting mixed reviews but the negative side is being blown out of proportion. People are forgetting it’s an anthem and not a commercial Bollywood song,” said Mehboob.
“Rahman’s song are usually slow to pick up but have a mass appeal to them when they reach the peak. His music is like sweet poison it starts from the ground level and then reaches heights. I’m sure this song will grow, but the public needs to realise it is not a film song.
“Just because it has Rahman, people expect it to be a fast, peppy number but this has serious sentiments attached to it. The song is not based on a particular game, it is for all of them and we are the host, we are inviting 53 countries to our nation. People need to focus on the lyrics and visualise it.”
According to a recent report, former sports minister Shahnawaz Hussain has demanded a re-composition of the theme track.
“I respect Rahman for what he has achieved but the track simply does not excite me. No one in the Organising Committee (OC) likes it except perhaps Suresh Kalmadi. It is nowhere close to ‘Waka Waka’ (Shakira’s hit song for the football World Cup) and has failed to lift the sagging spirits of the CWG,” Hussain was quoted as saying.
“Either it is good music or bad. There is no middle way to evaluate the appeal of a Rs.5 crore (Rs.50 million) track, he can surely re-compose it,” he added.
Many disappointed fans have also posted their reactions on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
“No way near to ‘Waka Waka’. We don’t want classical wizards to compose for sports event. Five crore rupees went down the drain, time also wasted,” a fan posted on Rahman’s Twitter page.
Another fan wrote: “Very average song..Definitely not worth Rs.5 crores.. Poor music is… well…. poor music… irrespective of where it comes from.”
“I love your approach to music and creativity you bring about in the Indian sub-continent. But this composition was for the nation and miss the ‘deep love’ depicting the true soul of India and its rich diverse culture. I dont understand why elements of Rap had to be here at all. It has got nothing to do with the true soul of India,” read another post.
Rahman and Mehboob have earlier collaborated on projects like “Rangeela”, “Bombay”, “Doli Saja Ke Rakhna”, “Daud”, “Yuva” “Thakshak” and “Dil Hi Dil Mein”.