Shooting film songs

Picture the song: ‘Dafatan’ from ‘Delhi-6’ transports Chandni Chowk to Times Square

East meets West in spectacular fashion in Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s 2009 movie.

Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi-6 is a sprawling love poem to the city of his birth, specifically the neighbourhood where he grew up. Delhi-6 is set in Chandni Chowk, imagined here as the thumping heart of the capital, teeming with colours and flavours and people of all faiths living in perfect harmony.

Into this warm and welcoming zone that is presented as the authentic Delhi comes New Yorker Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan). Roshan is accompanying his grandmother Annapurna (Waheeda Rehman) back to her ancestral home. He is befuddled by the quirky characters he meets, but eventually embraces them as his own. The extent of his domestication is indicated by the woman he falls for – his neighbour Bitoo (Sonam Kapoor), who lives a sort of double life and changes out of her traditional clothes into trendier threads as soon as she has left home.

The movie proposes several such East-West encounters. Chandni Chowk, as per Mehra’s imagination, is neatly balanced between tradition and globalisation, Indian values and modern technology, Delhi then and now. The soundtrack by AR Rahman, one of his best, perfectly matches Mehra’s ambitions. It includes sufi, jazz and folk sounds, and plays a vital part in moving forward the movie’s numerous ideas.

One of the best tracks is also the most well shot. Dafatan (Suddenly), written by Prasoon Joshi, begins with the words “Dil mera” that careens off into a high-pitched warble before singer Ash King settles down into the melody. My heart has fallen someplace suddenly, but you know not where it has gone, King sings in the background as a fantasia of globalisation unfolds. Visual effects locate the Statue of Liberty towering over the criss-crossing wires of Chandhi Chowk’s narrow lanes. A door opens onto Times Square in New York City, where Bitoo, clad demurely in a virginal white salwar kameez, stands alongside the other denizens of Chandni Chowk. The neighbourhood’s roadside food stalls are there, along with the auto rickshaws, the resident cow and the Ramleela performers. Suddenly, Roshan is at the top of a building with the Monkey Man, who has been terrorising Chandni Chowk, but then the mask falls, only to reveal…

From one tourist trap to the next, the journey is seamless. The song depicts Roshan’s divided heritage – one leg in New York, the other in Delhi – as well as reflects the Indian capital’s changing geography. The faultlines that are hidden by the happy exterior will soon emerge, but at this point in the movie, Roshan is enjoying the fruits of globalisation, which allow him to travel without leaving his rooftop.

Play
Dafatan, Delhi-6 (2009).
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Can a colour encourage creativity and innovation?

The story behind the universally favoured colour - blue.

It was sought after by many artists. It was searched for in the skies and deep oceans. It was the colour blue. Found rarely as a pigment in nature, it was once more precious than gold. It was only after the discovery of a semi-precious rock, lapis lazuli, that Egyptians could extract this rare pigment.

For centuries, lapis lazuli was the only source of Ultramarine, a colour whose name translated to ‘beyond the sea’. The challenges associated with importing the stone made it exclusive to the Egyptian kingdom. The colour became commonly available only after the invention of a synthetic alternative known as ‘French Ultramarine’.

It’s no surprise that this rare colour that inspired artists in the 1900s, is still regarded as the as the colour of innovation in the 21st century. The story of discovery and creation of blue symbolizes attaining the unattainable.

It took scientists decades of trying to create the elusive ‘Blue Rose’. And the fascination with blue didn’t end there. When Sir John Herschel, the famous scientist and astronomer, tried to create copies of his notes; he discovered ‘Cyanotype’ or ‘Blueprints’, an invention that revolutionized architecture. The story of how a rugged, indigo fabric called ‘Denim’ became the choice for workmen in newly formed America and then a fashion sensation, is known to all. In each of these instances of breakthrough and innovation, the colour blue has had a significant influence.

In 2009, the University of British Columbia, conducted tests with 600 participants to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue. While the red groups did better on recall and attention to detail, blue groups did better on tests requiring invention and imagination. The study proved that the colour blue boosts our ability to think creatively; reaffirming the notion that blue is the colour of innovation.

When we talk about innovation and exclusivity, the brand that takes us by surprise is NEXA. Since its inception, the brand has left no stone unturned to create excusive experiences for its audience. In the search for a colour that represents its spirit of innovation and communicates its determination to constantly evolve, NEXA created its own signature blue: NEXA Blue. The creation of a signature color was an endeavor to bring something exclusive and innovative to NEXA customers. This is the story of the creation, inspiration and passion behind NEXA:

Play

To know more about NEXA, see here.

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