What the tunes of "Dum Laga Ke Haisha" managed to do for music lovers hasn’t happened in Hindi filmdom for a long time – they have enlivened the aura of romantic, lyrical and meaningful songs of the 1990s. Singers and composers of that era hope that the "melodious times" will some day return to filmdom.
During the 1990s, Bollywood composers came up with some memorable romantic tracks. "Mujhe neend na aaye", "Tu meri zindagi hai", "Dekha hai pehli baar" and "Maine pyar tumhi se kiya hai" are cases in point.
But in current times, the music charts are topped by the likes of rap numbers and songs with double entendre lyrics. In such times, the music of "Dum Laga Ke Haisha" came as a clutter-breaker.
Kumar Sanu, one of the post-romantic voices of 1990s and the voice of songs like "Tu" and "Dard karaara" from "Dum Laga Ke Haisha", feels that it’s time to give listeners some "good music".
"We are missing meaningful and lyrical songs nowadays. There are many reasons for the lack of it, and one of it is lack of confidence. Producers have no confidence on directors; directors have no confidence on music directors; and music directors have no confidence on singers. This is the reason why we are going through such a bad phase (in music)," Sanu told IANS.
"All teenagers are enjoying 1990s music. The audiences are not so useless that they’ll listen to songs like ‘Chaar bottle vodka’. We force people to hear such songs and when people hum it, we say it’s a hit. It’s time to think what are we giving to society with such meaningless songs," he added.
The story of "Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is set in the 1990s, just when audio and video cassettes were going out of fashion. Its tunes, composed by Anu Malik, are thus rightly suited for its setting.
Altaf Raja, another singer who has created ripples in the music industry with his album "Tum toh thehre pardesi", calls the resurgence of 1990s inspired songs a "cycle".
"Change is a constant and after every 15 years, there is recycling of the songs. India is a vast country when it comes to lyrics. I feel that if we have so much to give to the world in terms of shayari and all, why don’t we utilise it?" Raja told IANS.
Veteran singer-composer Bappi Lahiri, who has always had a pulse of the listener’s taste, says "melodious tracks are always appreciated".
"Melody is good and it brings freshness. I feel that in today’s time, wordings of songs need to be changed, as young generation is in love with the old style of melody," Lahiri, who has lent his voice for a song in forthcoming film "Hunterrr", told IANS.
For Salim Merchant of music composer duo Salim Sulaiman, hip-hop and EDM (electronic dance music) genres are mainly heard in metro cities, but in places like Ghaziabad, Jaipur, Rourkela, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and other small cities, they prefer more ‘desi’ tunes.
"They love our own Indian music, whether it’s Bollywood or classical. They are more used to it. I don’t feel that Indian classic can ever deplete from the music industry. The problem is that most Indian filmmakers and record labels are not trying to promote music, which is made classically," Salim told IANS.
The music duo always make sure to create songs with a classical touch — be it "Rasiya" for the film "Kurbaan" or "Aayo ji" in "Satyagraha". However, Salim rues that these "songs are not promoted like item songs".
"For that we have to fight against the system (in filmdom), but Indian cinema is very passionate about promoting our culture and our country," he said, adding that "the Indian music industry is being ruled by a couple of…music labels".
Without taking any names, he added: "They are not giving people a choice to listen to other genres. They are promoting a stereotypical kind of music, which is working. But that is unfortunate, because whatever people listen on the radio and channels is actually directed by them."