Published on: Dec 01 2008 @ 11:49 am
Years ago when i was writing Paanch, there was a moment when i thought that what if these guys are not a rock band but a brass band. I rejected the idea. The idea of a brass band is not original. I saw a film, much revered , rarely seen back in 1995. Om Darbadar by Kamal swarup.
Meri Jaan A..aaaaaaa Meri Jaan B..bbbbbbb
There is a sequence there, which i don’t remember exactly but a band is playing on the streets and the protagnist is walking through it. Song was in semi english and hindi. The singer was wearing glasses in the night. That visual, that moment stayed with me. I wanted to recreate it. Always. Watching the films of Emir Kusturica strengthened my resolve.
Opening scene from \"Underground\", by Emir Kusturica
The brass band sound is a very indian sound rarely used in the main stream.
I met Amit Trivedi through Shilpa Rao, the singer. I was shooting No Smoking at the time. I roughly told him what I wanted to do with Dev.D and gave him a situation. Eight months later when i met him he had not one but seven songs ready for me. All of them are in the film. He became the reason why Dev.D is a musical. His music inspired me to rewrite and rethink my film. One of those songs was “Pardesi”, and one of the lines in the song went, “Ib ke hovega re agge Yaar”. The first time I heard the song,”Agge Yaar” sounded like “atyachar”, and I loved it. On the second hearing I realised it wasn’t “atyachar” and I was disappointed. I told myself that I will tell him to change it to “atyachar”. But somehow the same song from Om Darbadar, flashed. The word “Emotional” occured to me. “Emotional Atyachar”, I knew it would catch on. Together they had great effect. I mentioned it to Amit. He liked it, but didn’t know initially what to do with it. I showed him the sequence from Om Darbadar. He went back, him and Amitabh , the lyricist got back with the rough version of the song. It rocked. We knew Amit had cracked something. The song was recorded.
Now came the part where we had to shoot it. We got a local band from Chandigarh. Harish Band. Made them part of the portion of the story that was to be shot in the village. Initially I wanted to shoot the song on Amit and Amitabh, but they were busy with Aamir. Then I turned to my associate director, Nitin and my assistant Vasan. I told them I am shooting the song on you. They agreed . I told Shubra , my costume designer the look i wanted, slightly vernacular Elvis presley. Vasan Came up with the name “Patna ke Presley” , I had another idea. I bounced it off first Ashish Shukla, he preferred Vasan’s name. Others too. We stayed with “patna ke presley”. A day before the shoot, Nitin developed cold feet. That too after the costume test. He thought he looked funny in the costume and no one will take him seriously after the song comes out. I was upset. I called Gautam, my casting director. I told him can you get me Nowazuddin on the first flight to Chandigarh. Nowazuddin is this extraordinary actor, who played Asghar Mukadam in Black Friday, the first guy who gets arrested. He flew in. By then Nitin was feeling horrible, he consented too. So we got them both as PKP and poor vasan became the trumpet player in the front. And we shot the song , in one night.
The true heroes of the song are the performers, Amit and Amitabh and Band Masters Rangila and Raseela who sung it. Entirely improvised.
A song that I, we and everybody at UTV loves and is proud of. This is the story behind it.