If we search for the origin of any product, we will find that from potatoes and onions to coconut and tapioca, everything has a foreign origin. Civilization has kept evolving, and kept moving from one place to the another, so we have relics of Mesopotamia in Mohenjo daro and vice versa.
Do we need to criticise someone, and brand them copycat, if their Indian work looks like a copy of an Arabic work or a Western work. During a discussion of his book ‘The Country of First Boys’, Amartya Sen says that there was constant borrowing, quoting and referring to each others works in the ancient cultures by the Indians, Greeks and Arabs. Hence no culture can be said to be bred is a vacuum, on the other they have been nurtured by borrowing and adopting the good things from other cultures.
Today our lifestyle is a subtle mix of the oriental and occidental, very difficult to decipher where the influence of one culture ends and the other begins.
The art of borrowing from other cultures and making it suitable and enjoyable for the Indian Soil comes quite naturally for us. Some of our great artistes were so effective at translation and adaptation that the copy sounds better than the original. Now with the advance in technology public is getting copies of the original works, which makes them doubt the authenticity of the Wonderful Bollywood Hit Song they enjoyed for decades.
A great music composer was criticised for copying foreign music; an allegation which was hard to digest for the fans. In this age of social media, proving the allegation right, the original song by Demis Roussos which inspired Mehabooba Mehbooa in Sholay, is viral especially on whatsapp.
After listening to the original song ‘Say you love me’, by Demis Roussos, I was left in a confusion which was the original and how to decide which was better. Both musicians have left a mark of originality and essence of their culture in the songs. To be more precise, Demis Roussos, ‘Say you love me’ was not his top work, on their other hand Mehbooba Mehbooba is an all time hit of Bollywood.
Interesting, Demis Roussos composed the music based on a Cypriot folk Song.
Listen to all the three songs shared below, and may be you can find a connection this song has with another culture, proving that the world is round, and we have always been borrowing and sharing our cultural values with others.
Mehbooba Mehbooa, in the Sholay, picture in 1974, was composed by Bappi Lahiri, and sung by RD Burman. Bappi Lahiri, according to some articles, has said he has sometimes borrowed music.
This is a video of an artiste, singing, Ta Rialia, which is said to be the original folk song, which was used by Demsi roussos for ‘Say you love me’. Cypriots are Greeks, who settled in Cyprus.
Demis Roussos was a Greek Musician, influenced by the Cyrpriot music. Though ‘Say you love me’ which is believed to be released in 1972, may not be his best works, Bollywood lovers cannot ignore the similarity with the Bollywood hit song Mehbooba, Mehbooba.