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Mithoon’s recreation of the timeless melody is endearing – Beyond Bollywood

Udit Narayan is fortunate to re-sing his own melody, a novel experience for both the singer and the crores of listeners.

Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel in Gadar 2 [2023]

By Mayur Lookhar

The mere announcement that Gadar -Ek Prem Katha [2001] would have a sequel had sent fans into a frenzy. Then the first film was re-released few weeks ago. Apart from nostalgia, it was also a smart marketing initiative to build the right momentum for Gadar 2 [2023].  Now, as expected, producers Zee Studio and director Anil Sharma were going to tap into its great music. Naturally, Udja Kale Kawan, which had few versions, was the first track to be recreated.

Ah, there we go again. The purists will moan. However, this is not a remake by any stretch of imagination. Why? Because as opposed to the usual practice, the Udd Jaa Kaale Kaava recreation is crooned by the original singer himself. How fortunate is Udit Narayan that he gets to re-sing his original timeless melody. Even the fans are lucky to hear the recreation in his voice.

The original song was penned by Anand Bakshi and composed by Uttam Singh. Udja Kale Kawan became a love anthem for years to come. 22 years later, it is no remix specialist, but the well-respected Mithoon who was entrusted with the task of recreating the timeless melody. We come to the music later, but first, the singing

The legend Udit Narayan is very much there, but he too will admit that this recreation is a novel experience for him too.  The tone is mellow almost slow-burn like but equally mellifluous as the original. Udit Narayan romantic songs usually reflect the excitement of the popular singer. Often one can visualise that infectious Narayan smile, the hand movements in his songs. The recreation is not poignant at all, but Narayan has curbed that excitement in favour of a more still tone.  How can one not surrender to the magical voice of Narayan?

Alka Yagnik is credited but we don’t hear her tone. In all likelihood, she will have version, duet in the upcoming weeks.

Another hallmark of the recreation is that there is no change in the lyrics. Many a times, new age remake specialists tend to keep only a gist of the original, but fail to create any magic with their new words. Mithoon is wise in not tinkering at all with Bakshi’s original pearl-like lyrics. 

The sheer simplicity of the words and Uttam Singh’s soothing music had made Udja Kale Kawan such a fine number. Mithoon pays respect to his seniors, but also adds his flavour by composing an equally endearing music. Before the sarangi weaves its magic, the preceding note has a tiny Ranjha-like [Shershaah] nostalgia to it. The moment you see Tara Singh [Sunny Deol] play the sarangi, you are transported back to 2001. Much like the original, the recreation, too, has minimal music with the quality of Narayan making it a blissful experience. Mithoon’s recreation is much lighter.  The slight strain of matka to the hook line is simply mesmerizing. The succeeding music increases the tempo with the matka beating again in the antara. Also, the original perhaps had just one particular sarangi note. Mithoon plays with more vibrant sarangi notes. The crescendo arrives courtesy the chorus but without undermining Narayan’s tone.  This is as unique as it gets. It would be wrong to even term this as a recreation. This is Mithoon’s soulful tribute to Udja Kale Kawan.

In terms of visual appeal. The closing image of a crying Tara Singh suggests that Sakina [Ameesha Patel] is perhaps no more and he is simply reminiscing the glorious time he spent with his beloved. Mind you, at the moment it is just an assumption. 

The final image leaves us teary-eyed too but the preceding images are an absolute bliss. Sunny Deol is now 65. But he still has the charm on his face. Ameesha Patel had become the heartthrob of the nation in 2000s. She’s seen more lows than ups post Kaho Naa Pyaar… Hai and Gadar – Ek Prem Katha [2001]. Yes, the vagaries of life do take a toll, but as one who still crushes over her, this reviewer is delighted to see those gorgeous eyes and soul-soothing smile of Patel. Tara playing the Sarangi gets Sakina nostalgic as we then relive those moments from the first film. Deol’s child-like blushing is a reminder that there is more to him than just aggression, power.

Tara placing a turban on Sakina is the wow moment of the song.  The production designer then shows his/her class by placing memories into the mirror. It’s also a sad moment to see Vivek Shauq, who is no longer with us. Later, Tara holding the lantern to the antara verse is so befitting. The blissful, tender moments make Tara and Sakina so adorable.

Phew, we can’t wait for the other version of Udd Jaa Kaale Kaava. And we certainly can’t wait for Gadar 2 [2023]. The film is set to be released in theatres on 11 August.

Watch the Udd Jaa Kaale Kaava song below.

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