No More Running Around The Trees

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   (2012-07-17 00:00:00)

NEW DELHI:As Indian cinema completes 100 years of its existence next year, films-makers are moving away from conventional themes and emphasising more on content. The traditional song-and-dance routine around the trees may well become a thing of the past.

However, keyboardist Loy Mendonsa, who composes music for Bollywood films along with Shankar Mahadevan and Ehsaan Noorani, looks relaxed. “Change is a good thing. You and I may not like it, but our opinions are irrelevant. Our values and ethos have undergone a change. As far as music is concerned, we cannot say that our film-makers are aping Hollywood because film-making was never an Indian concept in the first place. A century ago we had no cinema, only a strong theatre and folk music. Initially, our films were influenced by theatre and folk music.”

Though Loy composes predominantly for Hindi films, he is all for giving a fillip to singers who can do justice to non-filmy music. That is the reason why he is one of the producers for Coke Studio. “It offers a platform to singers and musicians.”

He is also composing music for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s biopic Bhag Milkha Bhag, based on legendary athlete Milkha Singh. “There is still a long way to go, so I can’t divulge much. Shankar and Ehsaan are involved in this film since we work as a team in every movie. We work on an individual basis only on non-filmy projects. It is important to listen to the film’s script and understand the story, including its emotional graph. However, for an item number, which is isolated from the basic plot, one does not need to hear the film’s plot.”

Before jumping on to the Bollywood bandwagon, Loy wrote songs for plays produced by eminent theatre practitioner Barry John, whose most famous student is Bollywood super star Shah Rukh Khan.

Then television happened. Quizmaster Siddharth Basu gave Loy his first break on the small screen with Quiz Time. “Later, I produced music for Prannoy Roy’s The World this Week. It was groundbreaking music. I did a serial called Fauji [starring Shah Rukh].”

Loy started working with Ehsaan on jingles. “We had so much work that we would even work on Sundays. Slowly we started cutting down on jingles. We did music for Mukul Anand’s Dus. Then we did Shool and the song Main aayi hoon UP, Bihar lootne became a rage.”

In 2001, Farhan Akhtar’s directorial venture Dil Chahta Hai became a big hit and its music, composed by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, was lapped up by cinema lovers. “A musician himself, Farhan has a good understanding of music. He knew our potential and how to get the best work done from us. The music struck a chord and everyone could relate to it.”