Sharada Iyer

In the recently released film Begum Jaan starring Vidya Balan, singers Arijit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal have tried to recreate in their voices the popular Mukesh-Asha Bhonsle number ‘Woh Subha kabhi toh aayegi…’ from the 1958 film Phir Subha Hogi . Though they are good singers, their version is not a patch on the original and fails to evoke any kind of emotion in the viewer’s heart and mind. The much needed pathos seems missing in their voices and they are unable to do justice to Sahir’s thought-provoking lyrics.

The reality of this hits us even more because the original was sung by Mukesh, a master of poignant songs! After all, how can a meaningful song written and composed for a different situation of a different film from a different era and for a different generation of audience have the same effect in any random film of today? In Begum Jaan which deals with prostitutes, the song comes at the end of the film and they have even tampered with the lyrics by changing the words ‘Woh subah kabhi toh aayegi…’ to ‘Woh subah hami se aayegi…’!

Remix – (Begum Jaan)

Original – (Phir Subha Hogi)

-This year seems to be particularly standing out for the record number of remixes that have hit the music scene so far. In March, directors Abbas-Mastan launched Abbas’s son Mustafa in a film called Machine which flopped badly but the only thing which caught the public eye was the remix version of the popular dance number from Mohra- Tu cheez badi hai mast mast…



-The upcoming Sonakshi Sinha starrer Noor has a remixed version of Mohammed Rafi’s popular song ‘Gulabi aankhen jo teri dekhi…. from Rajesh Khanna’s 1970 thriller- The Train. It has been composed as a party song  by taking the first few lines of the original song and a lot of new lyrics have been added. We will have to wait and watch how popular this song becomes for the audience response has not been flattering so far!


Earlier in 2012, in Alia Bhatt’s debut film Student Of The Year, there was a remix version of the same song with a lot of brand names in English added to the lyrics.

Remix- (Student of the Year)

Original-(The Train)

-In the film Kaabil which released in January this year, singer Jubin Nautyal’s version of ‘Dil kya kare jab kisise kisiko pyaar ho jaaye…’ (Kishore Kumar’s song from Julie ) sounds so weak and diluted and if Hrithik and his father thought that they would win any brownie points for remixing this song for their film, they were clearly mistaken! And after all this trouble the song never made it to the film . Maybe it was deleted from the final cut or was made only as a promo video.



-The same film boasts of another remix song. This time the Kishore Kumar number ‘Saara zamaana haseenon ka deewaana…’ from the film Yaarana has been sung by a female singer- Payal Dev and the song is picturized as an item number. While the choreography in the original was funny the remix version somehow looked vulgar.




-In the remix version of the above song  while Kishore Kumar’s number was remixed in a female voice, we have a number from the film I Me aur Main where Kavita Krishnamoorthy’s song ‘Na jaane kahaan se aayi hai… from Chaalbaaz was rendered by a male singer and sung from a male perspective-‘Kisike haath na aayega yeh ladka…’



-The 2013 film Boss starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi had the remix version of the song Har kisiko nahi milta yahan pyar zindagi mein…’ from Jaanbaaz.



The film Student of The Year had another song in remix version included as part of college fun:

‘Ye chaand sa roshan chehra…’  


Remix as enjoyable as originals?

-In some cases like the songs of Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, Queen and Raees, the remixed songs had a pulsating energy of their own and thanks to some imaginative choreography, these remixes managed to garner a popularity on their own merit. But that cannot take away the credit from the original compositions.

In the remixed version of ‘Laila main laila…’ newcomer Pawni Pandey’s spirited rendition coupled with Sunny Leone’s electrifying dance moves and SRK’s fight sequence, managed to capture the magic of the original song to some extent. Since both are picturized as club dances, the effect was not diluted.

Remix (Raees)

Original (Qurbani)

In case of ‘Tamma tamma loge…’, the situation is a club scene where this retro number is being played. This seems to justify the inclusion of the remix version of the original and our current stars get to dance and pay a ‘tribute’ to the original song. In fact, after watching Varun Dhawan’s pleasing moves, Sanjay Dutt’s awkward dance movements in Thaanedar do look funny.

Remix (Badrinath ki Dulhaniya)

Original (Thaanedar)

-The signature line from the song ‘Chalat musafir moh liya re… from Teesri Kasam , which itself is said to be inspired from a Bihari folk tune, has been used to compose the songs ‘Thaana mein baithe on duty…’ in Dabangg 2 and the title song of the film Badrinath ki Dulhaniya. The remixed versions are  a rage no doubt due to the extremely catchy  beats and lively picturization … and yet can the composers really take much credit?




-Another song which became a rage was the remixed version of the Asha Bhonsle number ‘Hungama ho gaya…  from the film Anhonee which was included in the 2012 super-hit Queen. The remix song has some lines from the original song and  soon became an instant hit when released.



Remixes included to show a particular era:

-Sometimes remixes are included under the pretext of recreating a particular era and time-frame of the story in question. For instance the biopic Azhar, based on the events of cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin’s life, had the remix version of the superb song from TridevGajar ne kiya hai ishaara…’. As he had had an affair with actress Sangeeta Bijlani, a song picturized on her was conveniently lifted and remixed. But the remix was bad both in terms of rendition and picturization.



The film Once Upon a Time in Mumbai showcased the life-story of a fictional character based on the lines of the underworld Don- Haaji Mastaan who was very popular for his crimes in the seventies. What better way to recreate the era then to have a cabaret number reminiscent of Helen-R D Burman combination which dominated the film scene at that time! The makers attempted to capture the magic of Helen by combining tunes of two popular songs!

‘Parda Parda…’



Combination of two famous songs- ‘Duniya mein logon ko…’ from the film Apna Desh and ‘Piya tu ab to aaja…’ from the film Caravan.

-Bombay Velvet was a period drama set in the sixties and dealt with the world of crime and jazz clubs in Mumbai at that time. Once again filmmakers felt justified to include the remixed version of an old song- a Geeta Dutt classic from CID this time…

‘Jaata kahaan hai deewaane…’



Full original song but sung by a different singer:

In the film Bombay Talkies, a small beggar girl is shown to sing old film songs and beg at a railway bridge. So director Karan Johar included two evergreen songs of the unbeatable duo of ‘Lata Mangeshkar-Madan Mohan’-‘ Ajeeb daastaan hai yeh…’ (film: Dil Apna aur Preet Paraya)  and ‘Lag ja gale…’  (film: Woh Kaun Thi) in the voice of a young singer Rashi Harmalkar.






Original songs- new picturizations-

There are some songs where the original track of the old song is kept intact but picturized on the current stars:

‘Kajra mohabbatwaala….’

Full original song but picturized on Kangna Ranaut in the film Tanu weds Manu

Original (Kismet)


‘Aapki nazron ne samjha….’

In the film Aligarh based on the real life story of a gay professor, Manoj Bajpai plays the title role. He is shown to be fond of old Hindi film songs and this classic song from the film Anpadh is shown to be played on the radio with the professor enjoying the song. It is okay to show a man enjoying a song but to have the full song picturized on his face was a tad too much to sit through in the film…


Incidentally this song had a remixed version which appeared in the Hollywood film Mistress of Spices starring Aishwarya Rai

‘An evening in Paris…’

The song ‘An Evening in Paris…’ in Mohammed Rafi’s original voice from the film An Evening in Paris is played in the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and the scenes showed Ranbir and Anushka dancing on the streets of Paris listening to the song on their ipod! But when this film had such original gems composed by music director Pritam, where was the need to include his song in the album? But it sure managed to create a justifiable reason(!) to include an old classic. The funny part is this was not included in the film when it released.


‘Inhi logon ne le li na dupatta mera…’

There was a dance situation in the film Naya Andaz, where Rekha lip-syncs to the entire original song from Pakeezah.


You Tube videos:

It is common knowledge that remixed versions of old songs are continuously churned out as D J remixes everyday with new faces. But a new trend seems to be to make these YouTube videos with established stars. It is one thing for young entrants and newcomers to indulge in such videos but it is weird to see stars like Hrithik Roshan and Sonam encourage remixes by acting in such videos.



Doing remixes of old film songs is not a new thing in our music industry. This has happened before in earlier times also. Ashok Kumar’s rendition of ‘Koi Humdum na raha… from the film Jevan Naiyya (1936) was sung again by younger brother Kishore Kumar in Jhumroo in 1960. It is not just a question of which version was better. The song was composed by Saraswati Devi and Kishore Kumar gave it a more melodious twist but the work of the original music director was not acknowledged.

There is also the case of the song ‘Inhi logon ne le li na dupatta mera…’. Though this song is remembered for the Lata Mangeshkar version, there were two more versions before this:

The original version was sung by Shamshad Begum in Himmat in 1941. Only the audio of this song is available but that has wrongly been superimposed on a dance sequence from a different film. One can still hear the audio clearly. The 2nd version is sung by Yakub in the film Aabroo. Did the original lyricist get credit for the words which were later altered a little bit in the newer versions?

Even if the acknowledgement is given, sometimes it robs the identity of the older stars on whom the song was picturized and the new generation starts associating the song with the new faces which is not morally correct. For instance, the ‘Hungama ho gaya… song from Anhonee is like a signature song of Bindu’s yet today people associate it more with Kangna. Similar is the case with Tamma Tamma loge…’. How then is the inclusion of the remixes justified?

In some cases the argument offered is that the old number had been long forgotten and it is only due to the popularity of the remixed version that the old song also came into limelight once again. So this way awareness is being increased in the younger generation who have otherwise no time to go back and hear the original old songs… Could this be true?

Instead of giving the new singers time, space and opportunity to leave their own footprint, why are they made to croon already popular old numbers? Neither the singer nor the composer nor the lyricist can take any credit…

Honestly what is the point of rehashing and re-recording the old songs which are now part of our heritage? They belonged to a different time and represent a different era and they need to be preserved in their original state. Respecting our legacy is important. Recreating old tunes in the name of ‘tribute’ does not spell progress or advance creativity.

Long after the artistes, song writers and all others associated with a song pass away all we have left to remember them is these songs… Take the case of the song ‘Gulaabi aankhen…’. If we pause to think, none associated with the song are around today- hero Rajesh Khanna, heroine Nanda, singer Mohammed Rafi, music director R D Burman, lyricist Anand Bakshi, director Ravikant Nagaich and producer Ramesh Behl- and yet they all will continue to live through this song which is a culmination of all their efforts.













  1. Awesome . This is truly very very good. Shows extraordinary talent & research to cull these songs out . I liked the ending wherein you have given your nice piece of mind to the Bollywood biggies. Originality seems to have disappeared. Brilliant work. Cheers Shyamu

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Boy!What a compilation! As for the old timeless melodies, the trashy remixes seem to show that even eternal treasures can be trashed to have expiry dates. As for remixing songs which were anyway not great….It doesn’t make too much of a difference. But why touch anyone else’s composition anyway? Bollywood is known to not care much for these sentiments….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Mala… 🙂 Indeed morals and ethics seem missing in our Industry… I feel whether the original is an outstanding one or an average one, remixing should be avoided, there should not be any differentiation… If it was not for YouTube we would have never known about the original ‘inhi logon ne’ or ‘koi humdum’. There are others like ‘ek Chatur naar’ in Ashok Kumar’s voice and a thumri by singer Indubala which has been copied verbatim in the Mughal-e-Azam song ‘mohe panghat se…’ and yet the earlier work never got acknowledged…


  2. Yet again, a well-researched post which leaves one craving for more. If there is a way it can find its way to such eminent lyricists of our times as Gulzar saheb and Javed Akhtar saheb, there is a possibility that their views might get noticed by our present day producers and directors.

    I agree that these show the intellectual bankruptcy we keep running into while watching films. Same can be said to apply to our story lines and so many other facets of Bollywood flicks. Laughing all the way to the bank appears to be the only target of our dream merchants. Creative juices invariably play second fiddle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much AKB! Yes agree with you on the bankruptcy of ideas… And sad to see industry people tampering with their own heritage just because many of them are not here to defend or voice their opinion…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a research with so much interest Hat’s off dear Superb Original has got its own charm.U can hear the original songs many times.Remix some songs can’t hear even once!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s