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Review

Patriotism in the age of Pepsi

It's a romance starring two TV news anchors, and Aziz Mirza, maker of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and Nukkad, takes a look at what patriotism means in the age of globalisation


Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani
Sony Music
Rs 55

Aziz Mirza looks at the paradox that's IndiaJust after Independence Raj Kapoor defined patriotism for us: our shoes were Japanese, trousers English, hats Russian, but our heart, for all that, was Indian.

In the years that followed, we tried, in the spirit of the song, a mixed economy that would bring together the best of Soviet socialism and American capitalism. We will continue to debate to what extent we succeeded and failed. India is now a liberalised economy, and well-known director Aziz Mirza takes a look at the paradoxes we now face.

The first film by Dreamz Unlimited, a company floated by Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Aziz Mirza, takes its title, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, from Raj Kapoor's cult song.

On 1 December, Sony Music launched the title song and remixed versions by Akbar Sami and Bally Sagoo.

Udit Narayan sings the title song. Do what you may, drink Pepsi and Coke, dress like the Americans, eat pizzas, but keep the heart Indian:

MTV, Channel V cool hain, bhool gaye Akashwani...
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani,
Kapde hain amriki, gaadiyan hai japani...
Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani.
Aziz Mirza, who earlier made the comedy Jane Bhi Do Yaaron, is known for his sharp satirical eye, and Javed's lyrics match this mode perfectly. The story is about two news presenters from rival channels, and that is sure to give him enough scope to rip apart media.

Shankar Mahadevan sings a heavily orchestrated Vande Mataram take off. Electric guitars twang in the bits, pistols are fired, violins sway in a frenzy, while Shankar calls upon the motherland to witness the disturbed times we live in.

Jatin-Lalit try to move away from their romantic tunes in Pyar to hona hi tha, or Dil to pagal hai, and come up with a more varied orchestra arrangement, as in Banke tera jogi(Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik) and Aur Kya (Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik) where the bits are stylishly phrased on ragas. But then they don't experiment enough, which explains why the score is not as wild and whacky as the story idea itself.

Jatin Pandit (the music director himself?) sings Aao na aao na. The cello back up on the song is dignified, but unfortunately, the song is the shortest, just about a minute long.

I am the best is sung separately by Abhijeet and Jaspinder Narula and reminds you of Papa kehte hain, from Qayammat Se Qayammat Tak.

If the heart remains essentially Indian, Jatin-Lalit too remain essentially themselves, giving you ice-cream melodies -- light and fluffy.

Amritamati S




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