AR Rahman's crowdsourced version of the 'Urvashi' song asks us to live life unplugged

Devansh Sharma

Jan,12 2017 18:46:46 IST

Take it easy, AR Rahman fans! Not every remix of an iconic Rahman composition is as disastrous as 'The Humma Song' (though we must admit, it's not that bad). Rahman has rehashed his immensely popular song from Shankar's 1994 film Kandhalan, 'Urvashi', and spruced it up with a fine share of contemporary and evergreen issues that plague individuals and society at large.

A still from the crowdsourced version of the Urvashi song. Twitter

A still from the crowdsourced version of the Urvashi song. Twitter

Last month, Rahman had invited suggestions from his fans for the lyrics of the new version. While the original one addressed everyday issues like working on a Sunday and not having a pretty woman sitting next to you in a bus, Rahman wanted to crowdsource the lyrics of this one.

The first stanza of the song addresses burning issues at the macro level, Donald Trump outrunning Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House and the lost relevance of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes thanks to demonetisation. Since Rahman had asked the fans to refrain from these two issues, we were pleasantly surprised to see them being incorporated in the song.

The second stanza lends an empathetic shoulder to daily issues like torn jeans as a fashion symbol and the phone running out of battery while you are flirting. The lyrics could not have been catchier and Rahman has his fans to thank for.

As far as the music is concerned, it matches up to the standards of the original. It has a distinct Arabic touch to it, given the liberal use of bongo throughout the song and the intro by Rahman. While the intro transports the listener to a different zone, it is the xylophone that gives out the familiar tune which takes us back to 1993.

Besides the musical instruments, there are a few more elements that make this one stand apart from its original. The beatboxing inputs by Suresh Peters, Rahman's fellow singer of the original, and composer Ranjit Barot add the much-needed punch to the song which was delivered by the gravity defying moves of Prabhudeva in the visuals of the original.

Also, the claps by the choir towards the end of the song lends this version a feel of what it really is - a song for the people, of the people and by the people.

Published Date: Jan 12, 2017 18:46 PM | Updated Date: Jan 12, 2017 18:46 PM