The Day The Sur Died

January 27, 2010
a traveller

If you haven't seen the "new" version of Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, you clearly haven't been on Twitter or Facebook all day. Both sites have been full of updates lambasting Zoom's attempt to modernise the classic we grew up watching on DD 1 on a regular basis.

I sat through it, all 16-and-a-half freaking minutes of it (which is nearly thrice as long as the original), and have the following thoughts on it:

1. In the original one, you felt you were watching Indians sing about their country. In this one, you never, for one second, are allowed to forget that these are the stars of Bollywood you're watching. I mean, did anyone look at Priyanka Chopra in that suit with the kids and think, "awww, look how sweet and loving she is"?!? And what the heck were Shahid and Deepika doing?!?

2. Some of the acts were truly cringe-worthy. I love Aamir Khan, but his whole act with the kids was totally uncool. And SRK at the end, with his trademark spreading arms out. Really? What was this, a promo for your next movie?

3. The original had mixed India's two passions, movies and cricket. This one, being made by Zoom, naturally focussed on move stars and movie stars alone (with a few musicians thrown in for fun). For some reason, however, they decided to then also throw in a few sportspersons at the end, all people who've made it to the papers in recent times. Firstly, the way it was shown seemed utterly patronizing and there-for-the-heck-of-it. Secondly, and interestingly, not one from cricket. What happened, was Lalit Modi not entertaining their calls?

4. The singing, oh, the singing. The original had Lata Mangeshkar's gorgeous voice for all the actresses. I know she's not singing anymore, but really, could they have at least tried to match the singer to the face? And didn't someone tell Shiamak Davar years ago that he should never, ever sing in public again?

5. The original had managed to show glimpses of India, the country. This simply couldn't. This was nothing but a bunch of actors being taken to a bunch of scenic spots, and asked to smile at the camera.

See the new version, and tell me you didn't feel like a little piece of your childhood died.

Here is the old version for comparison.

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