Sorry folks, the uproar over the reworked ‘Humma Humma’ in ‘OK Jaanu’ is misplaced

The mega-hit song from composer AR Rahman’s repertoire should not be clubbed with other mindless remixes.

The verdict on the remix The Humma Song that features in the January 13 release Ok Jaanu, the remake of Mani Ratnam’s OK Kanmani, was swift. Two days after the song was released, Remo Fernandes, who had sung the original chartbuster Humma Humma in the dubbed Hindi version of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Bombay (2005), voiced his displeasure in an interview: “It is but a pale, insipid version of the original. Vocally, instrumentally and arrangements-wise, it seems to be a hurried, uninspired job.”

Old fans of the original tune agreed, new listeners clicked away, and at last count, the song had reached 20 million views on YouTube. While The Humma Song is certainly not a patch on the original, the recreated version is neither a remix nor a cover. But is anyone listening?

The new track by Badshah and Tanishk Bagchi introduces a rap segment and breezy vocals by Jubin Nautiyal and Shashaa Tirupati. Badshah raps, “Jo galti karne waala hoon, main uske liye pehle se hi maangta hoon maafi” (I am seeking mercy for the mistake I am about to commit). It sounds as though he is conscience-stricken as the on-screen character lip-syncing his words.

‘The Humma Song’.

The Tamil original Humma Humma , sung by Rahman, Suresh Peters and Swarnalatha, was an all-out dance number, juxtaposed with the goings-on of a newly married couple (Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala). The revamped version does not try to better the original and only wants to introduce the tune in a slow, sensuous groove befitting the situation in Ok Jaanu. Live-in partners Aditya (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Tara (Shraddha Kapoor) are shown marking their territories in a shared bedroom. Ratnam’s OK Kanmani (2015) featured a similar song sequence through the AR Rahman composition Parandhu Sella Vaa.

The real question to ask is: why did the filmmakers not dub Parandhu Sella Vaa in Hindi? The Humma Song borrows equally from Parandhu Sella Vaa as it tries to combine two entirely different elements: the playful mood of the narrative song sequence from OK Kanmani to the funky beats of Rahman’s Humma Humma hit from Bombay.

Are the two parts blending seamlessly? It’s not that they aren’t. It’s just that our collective conscience as music connoisseurs is pricking our ears at the thought, how could they meddle with a classic like Humma Humma?

‘Parandhu Sella Vaa’.

The director of Ok Jaanu, Shaad Ali, appears to be attempting an act of homage to Ratnam, the film’s co-producer. Ali has worked as an assistant director on Ratnam’s Dil Se (1998) and as an executive producer in Raavan (2010). Ali remade Ratnam’s Tamil film Alaipayuthey (2000) in Hindi as Saathiya (2002).

The outrage over Ali’s attempt does raise the question: should a classic number be touched at all? Many make that error, remixing and rewording great old numbers in promotional videos and oddly placed sequences where they have no business existing.

In the upcoming Kaabil (2017), the heavily synthesized remix Haseeno Ka Deewana sticks out sorely as a standalone music video for the film’s promotion. The original tune is from Yaarana (1981). Rajesh Roshan is the composer of the original as well as the remix.

There is no formula of what works and what doesn’t. The recent appearance of Sunny Leone in the recreated version Laila Main Laila (Raees, 2017) is a fine example of taking the popular number Laila O Laila (Qurbani, 1980) and repackaging it with great sounds. Composer Ram Sampath replaces the drums and string instruments from the original’s overture and replaces it with trumpet and claps, leaping off from the stage setting of the original into the raucous crowd shown in the remixed version. He hasn’t changed the tune or altered the rhythm. He amplifies the chorus and makes the score grander. The music video suggests that the song is integrated in the film’s narrative.

‘Laila Main Laila’ from ‘Raees’.

In 2016, there were plenty of misfires concerning the recreation of old melodies. Ilayaraaja’s beautiful Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le (Sadma, 1983), sung wistfully by Indian classical vocalist Suresh Wadkar, was orchestrated with electronic beats and rendered in the soporific voice of Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi. Composer Amit Trivedi went with two versions of the classic, one in Arijit Singh’s dependable voice. Singer Suryaveer Hooja had also attempted a version Aye Zindagi in Prague (2013).

The music label T-Series, which holds the copyright for several old tunes, recreated not one but three popular tracks, Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (Blackmail, 1973), Aise Na Mujhe Tum Dekho (Darling Darling, 1977) and Mahi Ve (Kaante, 2002) in the film Wajah Tum Ho (2016). Singer Arijit Singh was quite vocal about the auto-tuning of his voice in the recreated track Dil Ke Paas.

Kala Chashma (Baar Baar Dekho), originally a non-film bhangra pop tune, worked twice as much despite the film’s poor reception. Another ’90s pop hit, Nachange Sari Raat by Stereo Nation, was revamped in the film Junooniyat (2016). The composers Meet Bros Anjjan took the hook line and Kumaar provided additional lyrics. The original still fares better.

Bombay Rockers’ Rock The Party was remastered in Rocky Handsome, keeping the original voices intact, which makes the song work.

Unlike some of these songs, which were not part of the film’s plot, DJ Chetas recreated Oye Oye, originally from Tridev (1989), in Azhar. The revamped version was inspired by true events from the life of cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, but the song did not have the desired effect.

Like the title track of Dhoom (2004), which always makes a return for the better in its sequels, Jagjit Singh’s pathos-laden ghazal Koi Fariyaad (Tum Bin, 2001) returned as Teri Fariyaad with additional vocals by Rekha Bhardwaj in the sequel Tum Bin II. Composer Ankit Tiwari did a credible job with the original tune by Nikhil-Vinay.

The trend of tinkering with sacred melodies is unlikely to fade away in 2017. Commando 2 is reportedly recreating Hare Krishna Hare Ram from the 2007 film Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Do the math. A ten-year-old popular song is a classic worth revisiting for the next generation.

‘Hare Krishna Hare Ram’ from ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’.
We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?

The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.

In 2010, Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.

For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.

Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:

Cover your basics

Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.

Size matters

The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.

Machine intelligence that helps save time

In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.

The green quotient

Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.

Customisable washing modes

Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.

Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.


To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.