So with everyone bashing the new Phir Mile Sur video, I decided to watch it. And I was surprised that I didn’t hate it.

Yes, there is a lot of Bollywood. Though it could just be that the Bollywood elements seem even more overwhelming because they are the most recognizable. For me what was more interesting was identifying the people I didn’t recognize – like the south Indian film stars and some of the singers. I think the makers tried to get well known faces from each community in India and so the Bollywood faces might have not been meant to represent Bollywood but just the place they were from.

Also, there were sports stars, except they weren’t cricketers, which is not a bad thing. It’s kind of mean to ask “where are the sports stars?” as many people who commented on news reports of the video have done as if Baichung Bhutia and the others don’t count.

My main grouse is the treatment of the North East. It was really pathetic. You’d think that a video that aims at national integration would give more play to the states where there are problems with integration.

What I did like was the different styles in which the song was interpreted – Sivamani and the rock version. I can so see this tune being remixed and played in the discos.

I watched the old video and it’s still charming. Though that could be because it holds sentimental value. I wonder what the generation who did not grow up on that video think.

Finally, even those who hate the new video cannot deny that it succeeded in making the song heard. Because of the strong reactions to the remake even those of us who don’t have access to Indian TV channels googled it. So it reached a wider audience than it may have even intended, creating a lot more talking points and can anyone really say it left them completely cold?

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