Film: 1920 London

Label: T-Series

Music: Sharib-Toshi and Kaushik and Akash

Lyrics: Kunal Verma, Sharib-Toshi, Kalim Sheikh, Azeem Shirazi and Prashant Ingole

Perhaps it’s only right that a horror film’s soundtrack should start with a terrible horror of a song!

This is the so-called re-creation of Shankar-Jaikishan’s classic “Gumnaam Hai Koi” from “Gumnaam” 50 years ago. The song is guaranteed to make its original creators turn in their graves and singer Lata Mangeshkar wash her ears with strong soap. Kaushik and Akash ‘fashion’ fresh antaras to the horrifying modern version of a ‘mukhda’ belted out expressionlessly by Antara Mitra, while Jubin Nautiyal goes through the motions. Kunal Verma’s lyrics are ho-hum.

The duo’s other track, “Tum Rubaroo,” actually wastes KK criminally in a lyrically-stereotyped duet with Mitra. The lyrics (Prashant Ingole) seem to employ every current cliché in the book, and a nonsensical line goes, “Jab tu hanse mere vaaste / Main bichha doongi wahaan meri jaan,” loosely translating as “Whenever you smile for me / I will lay down my life wherever I am!” Now this one’s so loopy that it offers endless nutty possibilities in its ‘meaning!’

We next come to music duo Sharib-Toshi, who, being Muslims from a musical family, should know much better compared to what we experience here from them in the name of melodies, poetry and singing. They first yield the maudlin “Aaj ro len do (semi-Punjabi for ‘Let me cry today)” sung by Sharib, penned by him with Kalim Sheikh. Nothing to waste your tears or smiles on — this one!

The other songs are supremely unmemorable. In “Rootha Kyon,” Mohit Chauhan mispronounces “Honthon” with a Western enunciation of the Hindi phonetic syllable “Thon” while Payal Dev is merely pleasant. The words (Azeem Shirazi) touch new highs in confusing sentiments and words with the lines “Rootha kyon mujhse itna / Khafaa na hona itna tu / Saansein bhi tere bina main na loon / Jaane kyun bewajah (no translations puh-lease!). Try to decipher the meaning, and, if you do not get dizzy, do write in!

We then come to the most confused song on the track, “Tujhko Main,” warbled by Shaan. Azeem Shirazi, our local Kalidas-rolled-into-Urdu-Shakespeare attempts another try at writing meaningless verse and actually fares better at the feat compared to other songs here. “Tujhko main aankhon mein chhupa loon (I will hide you in my eyes!),” he sings and adds, “Main chahoon jab dekhoon / Tere bin na ho subah (Whenever I want I will see you / Without you day will never break).” Oh, really?

In the later lines, he suggests that she is one with him like a prayer on his lips. Clearly, the lady has migrated down a bit. Having sent her there, he returns with the determined “Tujhko main aankhon mein chhupa loon!”

He then addresses her as “Palkon ka sitara” (the star of his eyelashes (!!!) and that’s where, he declares, his heart, soul and life now reside — anatomy and imagination be damned! In the very next sentence, he tells her that the moment she touched him with her lips he has come back to life— please believe him!

And then of course, she is back to being hidden in his eyes, and of course, the sun cannot rise without her! Somewhere in the early segments of this…er, song, the writer even says, “Dekhoon kabhi na main khwab aisa / Jis mein tu na ho kasam se ba-khuda.” Yechh! That’s the giddy limit of word-fitting, that too to a crappy tune and meter!

Sheesh! Forget who green-lights such unadulterated crap, complete with grammar and gender blown to smithereens. WHO allows such charlatans to flourish under the sacred garb of being ‘lyrics writers’ — ba-khuda?

Rating: */5 (and we are being kind!)

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