Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bollywood Music - A Treasure more precious than Wealth

If the greatest tresure of all be one that never depletes,  irrespective of how many keep consuming it for ever, then Bollywood Music must rank as one of the most precious treasures ever created by mankind!

From the days radio became popular in India, it is the single biggest medium of entertainment for the common Indian. Its reach transcends boundaries of religion, barriers of language and differences in social and economic status. While there was a time when everything related to movies was frowned upon by elders in the family, those days are long over, since the elders of today have grown up enjoying the fruits of this treasure. Tastes may be different and so may be the choices, but few can shun or keep away Bollywood music alltogether from their life today.

In the seventies and eighties, Binaca Geetmala (which later became Cibaca Geetmala) was broadcast from Radio Ceylon on shortwave, and those who care would know that it was a rage among all common connoisseurs of Bollywood music. The longest running program on radio, it gave a list of popularity charts of Bollywood songs, anchored by Amin Sayani, who became a legend in his own right.

While the movie stars were a cult, cine music was even better. It became a part of common man's life. We got up in the morning with a dose of news and bollywood music, be it religious or classical or otherwise, and that is what we went to bed with, right from our childhood. Often the parents would put it off, to make you focus on more important things at hand, like studies. Yet, it was so entrenched in everyday life that it was impossible to keep it away.

Come late eighties and the cassette revolution was there. Earlier, LPs and records were the privelege of the few who could afford them. For everyone else it was radio and radio alone, apart from that odd CHITRHAAR (a medley of Bollywood songs) that was featured twice a week on DOORDARDHAN (the national TV).

With twenty-first century, CDs and DVDs were there too, but more important was the FM radio, which was always switched on in metro cities to give you an update of traffic. The bread and butter of FM radio is still Bollywood music, and that is how it is going to be. There is much more now on Television channels. As Bollywood completes its hundredth year, there is a hard-fought competition among channels for showing reviews of Bollywood music. Switch any channel on Sunday morning and some program based on Bollywood songs will be there!

That is why I say it is a tresure that is more precious than wealth !!!

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