Song launch for Raksha Bandhan an emotional ride

The film’s team at the song launch of Tere Saath Hoon Main from Raksha Bandhan. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

The song launch of ‘Tere saath hoon main’ from the forthcoming Aanand L. Rai film, Raksha Bandhan, held June 29 at The Lalit, Mumbai,was an emotional ride in many ways. For one, the song, written by Irshad Kamil and composed by Himesh Reshammiya, was an emotional rollercoaster, a stunner of the level of melody not heard for eons in Hindi cinema. The dholak­-based number has the kind of caliber of music and words that has almost become extinct in the last decade of Hindi cinema.

Every line resonated with feelings in this song rendered, as Himesh revealed to me at the event, by a new singer named Nihal Tauro. “If we don’t introduce good new singers, who will?” he asked.

Lyricist Irshad Kamil quipped, “I have seven siblings. But my relationship with my elder sister was the most ‘powerful’—whether coaching me in Mathematics or otherwise, she would hit me so hard that it was a ‘power’ful relationship! You can imagine the effect on my cheeks!” On a serious note, he added, “Basically, every line is drawn from my memories. Yeh ehsaas mein dooba hua gaana hai, where you love and fight, and are always there for each other!”

Himesh added that Akshay Kumar and he had a great record with Aitraaz, Phir Hera Pheri, Khiladi 786 and Namastey London (both Akshay’s home productions) and he said that the superstar takes his music to the next level. “There was immense pressure to compose music that matches our past hits, and I must say that I am very happy with my songs here. The filmmakers have all worked from their heart and helped me make seven songs that will justify the film, suit the actors and have audio value too!”

The composer also said that while his father, composer Vipin Reshammiya, who was trained under Pandit Onkarnath Thakur, had taught him the formula that a song he makes must suit the actor, he still felt that the formula is broken when it is Akshay Kumar. “Every song suits him!” he said. “This film is about Indian emotions and values and, without being dated, gives out a big social message.”

Akshay Kumar added, “God knows how much the film will run, but I got great ‘aanand’ (joy, and a pun on producer-director Aanand L. Rai’s name!) during its making.”

Aanand L. Rai decided to keep the event’s high tea very “Delhi’s Chandni Chowk”-like, because, while he came to Mumbai in 1993, he still missed the food from there. “I wanted to give my friends here that world, and bring Delhi here!” he said. The ambience too waa straight out of Delhi’s streetside eateries and festivities.

Also present on the occasion were the four girls who play Akshay’s sisters: Sadia Khateeb, Deepika Khanna, Sahejmeen Kaur and Smrithi Srikanth. Each raved about their on-screen brother, stating that Akshay never came across as a superstar, was very protective and supportive, and was also a prankster who made the entire shoot a laughter-fest. “We tried to prank him too, but fell flat!” confessed Sahejmeen.

Writer Himanshu Sharma (also the co-producer) stated that he had drawn a lot from his memories. Co-writer Kanika Dhillon, who has usually written dark-hued, twisted films, confessed that Raksha Bandhan gave her the chance to “reform myself.” As she put it, “The emotion was clean and simple. A brother-sister bond was one in which you do not have to say, ‘I love you’ or ‘Sorry’. There is an unspoken bond where there is no breakup, but you are ever there for each other.”



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