Come the twenty first century and we know what to expect from the Gen-X that believes in experimentation to bring out the latest fab. We have had, till date Bhangra- pop, Rock, fusion, funk and what not, each becoming more popular than the last. We have not only adhered to our basic music fundaes but have, in a way, revolutionized western styles too.
As is quite obvious, I can blabber on endlessly about what our music essentially means to us, but I seem to be deviating from the crux of the text. Here I hope a chronological order would perhaps be the most suitable for the readers to get my view point.
As I have mentioned earlier, Indian music is a single entity of variety of styles, and in each of them we have had stalwarts playing pivotal roles in making them popular. Here, the most ancient guy in filmy music I can remember is K.L. Sehgalji. The deep resonant voice, brimming with a plethora of emotions and split into equal amounts to be delivered through the buccal and nasal cavities respectively, took the avid listeners to a world of their own, each of whom had their ears glued to the colossal gramophone speakers.
The next in line is an ardent fan of his named Mukeshji. A man who has rendered innumerable hits with biggies such as Lataji, Ashaji and likes, Mukeshji too had a tendency to pour out his hearts elations and emotions through his nose. Critics at large have flayed him incessantly for his nosy tunes, but Mukeshji has continued to be a role model for many singers and saw his heydays during the advent of Raj Kapoor as an actor, for whom he used to be a regular playback singer owing to similar intonation.
Here a singer worth just a mention is Mika. Though the bloke broke out into the news recently for his canoodle with Rakhi Sawant and isn’t much credited with his singing ability, yet his foot tapping numbers have become ephemeral crazes among the youth.
Next in line has been a sensation, essentially a migrant singer whose popularity soared following his success with ‘Aadat’. Aatif Aslam crooned his way to fame with ‘Wo lamhey’, ‘Aadat’ and ‘’Tere Bin” and is synonymous with the type of singing that features breaking into forceful nasal ejaculations at the zenith of a stanza, which seems to have become his characteristic style.
However , the Nasal Revolution in the early 21st Century has, howsoever much I may hate to admit it, been stirred by the undisputed ‘Nasal Monarch’- Himesh Reshammiya. It never really fails to amaze me how the
Indian plebian simply goes gaga over his nonsensical tunes, the jarring high-pitched music and to top it all, the crass cacophony of unrefined nasal voice as it blares forth from the speakers ripping it apart. This unusual trend began when Himesh mustered the courage to do what he had not attempted in the last ten long years that he had been in the induatry – sing in the film ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’. The title song became an instant hit. After that, the heavily bearded and fancy capped Gujju has never looked back, striding ahead with his one man army of fultoo nasal music, rendering them all with the mike held perpendicularly to the heavens. The Himesh addicts range from tiny tots to greybeards. At this juncture, I urge the readers to srain their memory a little bit and recall those days when we had a slew of kids present Himesh songs in Little Champs and then being rebuffed by Abhijit for being copycats. My aunt, a zealous fan, had once remarked that Himesh looked sober behind all that inferno of facial hair and was the ultimate crooner of heart breaking songs.
‘Tis an entire falsification, according to me. Only god knows how much his songs break more of my patience than my heart. At certain times, I am left flabbergasted and gasping for breath when a particular friend from the peer reckons “Hey Sourabh, you heard that ‘blah-blah’ song? Got a raunchy tune, hasn’t it?” Sometimes the pity for Himesh sours and I go on a rampage, criticizing everything of his, but only within the safe confines of my bedroom.
Whoa, do I hear the enthusiasts of Himesh go berserk over my rave reviews against him? Maybe I have gone a bit overboard. Now I urge you to consider the two songs ‘Kahin Door’ by Mukeshji, and ‘Tanhaiya’, the latest stint from Himesh, in a fully egalitarian way. Got the difference? One fills your heart with nostalgic, reminiscent memories causing tears to well up on their on, the other makes you wonder as to why you were born on this earth to be allowed to be tormented by the song. However, the situation isn’t as bad as it used to be. Many of my friends and even my parents expressed their disappointment when Ashaji refrained from thrashing Himesh publicly.
Finally, I think Himesh deserves the cake for comparing his likes to R.D. Burmanji, before whose colossal omnipotence Himesh is comparable to a toenail. I say so because it is indeed him who has spearheaded this ever-growing movement of nasal singers. It is him who has had the guts to blow his own trumpet, generating a hullabaloo about his new film and is currently engaged in making the ‘British dance to his tunes’. Hat’s off to Himesh, for doing what our nationalist leaders in the pre-independence era had failed to!!!