Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 31 ENTERTAINMENT August 5, 2022 The Interesting History Behind Mohammed Rafi’s Re-Creations M ohammed Rafi, who passed away 42 years ago o n July 31, remains the most recorded male playback singer in Hindi cinema. Ever since he left this world, a plethora of voices—Anwar, Shab- bir Kumar, Mohammed Aziz and Sonu Nigam leading the list—have earned their living and given chartbusters by emulat- ing his singing style because of their vocal resemblances. Udit Narayan, another frontline singer, has openly admitted to following Rafi’s footsteps in terms of singing style despite having a different and distinct voice. Javed Ali, Jaspal Singh, Debashish Dasgupta, Vipin Sachdeva, Gurcharan, Mangal Singh and even big names like Roopkumar Rathod and Sukhwinder Singh have fol- lowed on the Rafi terrain for decades after his death. And there have been umpteen Rafi sound-alikes in every stage orchestra worth its name. But there is another piquant shade to everlasting fame nowadays, and that is songs that are re-created and used in new films. It is here that Rafi has 10 of his stun- ners under four different composing enti- ties re-done, each with a different history behind them. And it is this unique facet of Mohammed Rafi, Hindi cinema’s finest and most revered singer (who has sung for artistes from Prithviraj Kapoor to Raj Babbar and even for Govinda and Kishore Kumar!) that I will focus on. Aaj mausam beimaan hai (Music: Laxmikant- Pyarelal Lyrics: Anand Bakshi) This Rafi classic for Dharmendra from the 1973 Loafer was taken in toto for Mira Nair’s 2001 crossover hit, MonsoonWed- ding and filmed as a background number on the then-unknown Vijay Raaz, shown as a lovelorn wedding caterer. The song was used with permission from copyright holders Saregama (as HMV is known now). Main jat yamla pagla deewana (Laxmikant- Pyarelal / Anand Bakshi) This iconic 1975 Dharmendra hit was to be used by the three Deols in their 2011 home production Yamla Pagla Deewana. But because the music rights for the new film were with T-Series and not with the original’s rights holders Saregama, the song had to be re-created by Sonu Nigam under the baton of RDB, who added his own two-bits of “creativity”. Of course, license had to be taken from Saregama again, and for the first time ever in a re-creation, the original music directors and lyricist got top billing over the other names in the film’s music inlays and hoardings. Dard-e-dil (Laxmikant-Pyarelal / Anand Bakshi) This song was not re-created, but composer-singer-turned-leading man Himesh Reshammiya was seen reciting the mukhda of this 1980 all-timer in his acting debut film, Aap Ka Surroor (2007). Himesh, quite frequently, has declared that his inspirations are L-P (and Shankar- Jaikishan) and this was an open tribute to their genius. Taiyab Ali pyar ka dushmun (Laxmikant- Pyarelal / Anand Bakshi) This 1977 Amar Akbar Anthony super-hit was filmed on Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha in Milan Luthria’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara. It was sung by Javed Ali with modified words in the antara. The music was by Pritam, then reeling under the allegations of being a habitual copycat. So the song was credited to Anupam Amod, Pritam’s assistant, as well as L-P! Khoya khoya chand (S.D. Burman / Shailen- dra) This 1960 Kala Bazar and Dev Anand gem was literally marauded and mur- dered in the deviant 2015 film Shaitan. It was…Er…’re-created’ by Mikey McCleary and ..Um…Aah!…‘rendered’ by Suman Sridhar. Yes! Not deterred by its meaning- ful and poetic lyrics and their meaning, the song underwent a sex-change, and the atrocious singing as well as situation (the main characters are running from the cops instead of the intense romantic mood of the original!) did the rest. Ouch! O haseena zulfon wali, Yaadon ki baraat &Tum bin jaoon kahaan (R.D. Burman / Majrooh) These three R.D. Burman classics, the first a Rafi-Asha duet fromTeesri Man- zil, the second a Rafi-Kishore duet from Yaadon Ki Baraat, and the third a lovely solo from Pyar Ka Mausam (all coinci- dentally movies made by hit filmmaker Nasir Husain), found their way as three of the 14 re-creations that made up the complete score of the 2002 potboiler, Dil Vil Pyar Vyar, directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan. This re-creation “pioneer” of a film (billed as a “retro-musical”) incredibly had these lovelies sung, minus any change in lyrics and in totally incongruous situa- tions, by Abhijeet with Sunidhi Chauhan, Kumar Sanu alone for the all-male duet, and Hariharan respectively. The spurious “novelty” never caught on. The music was credited to Babloo Chakravorty, who had been one of R.D.’s musicians and arrang- ers. Badan pe sitare (Shankar-Jaikishan / Hasrat Jaipuri) The Shammi Kapoor chartbuster from the 1969 Prince was tepidly re-created in the 2018 Anil Kapoor flop. With a cosmetic change in the lyrics at a point or two and a flat metamorphosis of a forceful compo- sition into a dullish track recorded with ridiculous musical and vocal “improvisa- tions” from Sonu Nigam, the re-creation was credited to Amit Trivedi. O meri mehbooba (Laxmikant-Pyarelal / Anand Bakshi) The third Dharmendra mega-hit, this time from the 1977 Dharam-Veer, was used with a difference: technology was harnessed to re-create the song in part in Fukrey 2 (2017). Neha Kakkar, Raftaar and Yasser Desai sang this Kumaar-written, Prem-Hardeep creation, titled simply as Mehbooba. Samples of the original song’s mukhda and a musical riff in the end were blended at crucial points in this new party song, with Rafi sitting vocally pat on Pulkit Samrat! By RajivVijayakar Photo:VideoTrailer Grab Photo:VideoTrailer Grab Sunny Deol, Dharmendra and Bobby Deol all enacted the iconic Main jat yamla song in Yamla Pagla Deewana. The original Main jat yamla song from Pratiggya. ‘Ali & Ava’: Love Blooms For Two Immensely Likable Lonely Hearts S he’s a little bit country and he’s a little bit rock- and-roll, and those musical tastes are hardly the only things that separate the title characters of “Ali & Ava.” British writer-director Clio Barnard’s unromanticized romantic drama observes the tentative relationship of two people who have little in common save loneliness and their hometown: Bradford, the ethni- cally diverseWest Yorkshire city where Barnard has set all her films. Of South Asian descent, Ali (Adeel Akhtar) is a former DJ with vague musical ambitions and a day job managing the modest houses his family rents out. Born in Britain to Irish parents, Ava (Claire Rushbrook) is a financially strapped classroom assistant who has four children and five grandchildren. The two meet when Ali brings Sofia (Ariana Bodorova), the daughter of two of his tenants, to the school where Ava works. They bond over their shared affection for the little girl, a member of Bradford’s large Slovakian community. Both Ali and Ava are more or less single. Ali shares a house with his estranged wife, Runa (Ellora Torchia), but she’s planning to move out. Ava’s physically abusive husband is dead, although she has a home full of kids and grandkids. Her son Callum (Shaun Thomas, who appeared in Barnard’s 2013 “The Selfish Giant”) is a major impediment to the potential romance. He’s first seen dancing to Bollywood music on a TV exercise show, but he reacts with fury when he finds his mother with Ali. Ali and Ava are based on real people Barnard met while making earlier movies, and their characters were devel- oped in collaboration with the actors. Equally naturalistic is the drama’s documentary-style cinematography. Ole Bratt Birkeland shot the film with handheld camera in available light, giving it an impromptu feel (and a lot of scenes that are literally very dark). Also documentary-like is the movie’s soundtrack, whose everyday ambient sounds are unsweetened by a score. Yet there’s lots of music, most of it illuminating the main characters. Ali is introduced while dancing atop his car to Sylvan Esso’s electro-pop “Radio,” which recurs throughout the movie. Later, Ava and her daughter visit a karaoke bar to sing Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town,” a folkie tune associated with the Pogues. The two songs are very different in style, but Ali’s and Ava’s musical tastes sometimes converge: They both delight when the Buzzcocks’ “Boredom” blasts from a car radio, and Ali is teaching himself Bob Dylan’s “Mama, You Been on My Mind.” For all its concern for authenticity, “Ali & Ava” does share something with glibber, more glamorized movie romances: It takes the attraction between the two par- amours for granted, and never really establishes why they’re so drawn to each other. What’s most satisfying about the movie is getting to know Ali and Ava separately. They’re endowed with warmth, depth and believability by Akhtar and Rushbrook, veteran supporting actors who are rarely cast in leading roles. Ali and Ava may not be entirely convincing as lovers, but they’re both exception- ally likable as individuals. Three stars. Unrated. Available Aug. 23 on Amazon and Apple TV Plus. Contains strong language, threats of violence and hints of sex. 94 minutes. -Special To TheWashington Post By Mark Jenkins