ZOOM has come up with a new version of Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, the original of which was launched by the I&B ministry many years back to promote Brand India & highlight its national integration. The newer version runs almost twice the time & isnt half as effective as the older one. Maybe this once the Government work is more commendable than a pvt sector thing. As most will agree who have seen the new version, what it lacks is INDIA. They have all the temples, caves, rivers....but somehow they have pictured the commercialized versions of them. The tranqulity of the Ganges at dawn was missing, the innocence on the faces of village girls wasn't there, untamed nature in the Kerala backwaters was sorely missed, the beauty of the unending deserts could have been captured in a better way. Instead all that was thought worth recording was Amitabh reciting his poems as usual, Aishwarya spared everyone & for a change felt it appropriate to play a wife & not the daughter-in-law, SRK was fake as usual with his arms raised heavenwards....and why did the Bandra - Worli sealink behind him appear as it does on my desktop...very fake & far - off?? Couldnt Mr. Khan find time to shoot at Mumbai. He has no such worries when he is cavorting on the Golden Gate Bridge singing duets. The most disappointing of the lot was Aamir Khan; for the rest can be excused for just being their usual sick self, but this man just cant stop promoting himself even for a second. He lent the "aati kya khandala" tapori tune to a perfectly respectable song!!! And how do Deepika Padukones long, shapely legs depict India.....that I guess I need to ask the Director, whoever this man is. Shahid was nothing short of a pop star, Shaimak Davar was blending the east & west once more. Juhi Chawla singing in the subdued voice of a 50+ woman was convincing noone with her long lost acting skills. Amongst all actors Salman Khan was the only one who didnt seem to be acting...but well he is a convict! I am surprised Sanjay Dutt & Shakti Kapoor were excluded!!!Are these the only people left to represent India. Is India only a land of actors, convicts, people who take up dual citizenship to avoid taxes...what of the masses... the middle class??
In the older version after a host of faces comes Lata Mangeshkar & somehow you are forced to sit back & admire the purity a person can lend even to a TV screen..such is the impact of her presence in the song....calm, peaceful, dressed in white with the tricolour on her shoulder. She was the most missed alongwith Bhimsen Joshi who started the older version. Important people & pieces like Sachin Tendulkar, APJ Abdul Kalam, Bandra - Worli Sealink [for real, not a mural], Taj Mahal, Metro,etc were missing. Bollywood isnt India, its just a part of it...or rather a part of urban India to be more precise. The real India is more than its film stars.There wasn't a single politician [not all are bad, some have worked a great deal] or an industrialist [Tata, Birla] nor a social worker!!! If they planned to show a developing nation these would have been the ideal people to picture for they are taking India slowly but steadily towards a better tomorrow. However whats most irritating is that Indian music in the song is in bits & pieces, while a major chunk of it is the aglicised, or to put it bluntly copied western tune. Need to watch the older version now to soothe a very disturbed mind!!!