Oscar-winning maestro AR Rahman, who has drawn widespread flak and criticism for his Commonwealth Games (CWG) theme song, has declined to rework it citing a busy schedule.
The song, Oh Yaaro, Ye India Bula Liya, received an underwhelming response, and the blogosphere has been critical of its quality.
Rahman, who flew to Los Angeles, informed the CWG organising committee about his refusal to recompose the song. “There is no change as far as this song is concerned,” Priya Paul Singh, additional director-general (communications), CWG, told DNA.
Rahman was paid over Rs5 crore for the work.
The song has been panned by all and sundry. “I really didn’t like it. Especially after Waka Waka, one would expect the bestest ever from our very own musician,” wrote a disappointed fan. “AR Rahman is overrated. Most of his music is the same,” ranted another.
Some comments were uncharitable. “The lyrics lack punch. Rahman has churned out a rather mediocre score, a far cry from the Bollywood stuff he is used to creating,” wrote a fan.
The CWG organisers insist the 4.16-minute song is just a part of the hour-long opening ceremony. To ensure that the opening ceremony is not reduced to a flop, the organisers are looking at bringing in a Bollywood component.
“There might also be a performance by Shah Rukh Khan or some other celebrity,” Priya Paul Singh said.
She said no names have been finalised yet and the CWG culture committee, comprising Javed Akhtar and Shyam Benegal, among others, is still making the final plan.
The CWG is not having any better luck with another song that was meant as an introductory piece in an 11-minute classical dance sequence to be performed by over 400 dancers on the opening day.
The dance, which will now begin with Vedic chants, takes the audience through six seasons using six different Indian traditions - Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri and Mohiniattam.
Says Shashwati Sen, in-charge of the kathak choreography under Pandit Birju Maharaj: “The old song was changed around 10 days ago since all the six singers disliked it. It did not look like a traditional classical song,” Sen told DNA.
All six dancers gave their inputs and composed a song in coordination with Birju Maharaj. The song will be out in three to four days.