Stung by critics, Rahman re-mixes CWG anthem to make it ‘sportier’

Updated: Sep 17, 2010, 09:00 AM IST

Spicezee Bureau

New Delhi: After having come under flak for not being up to expectations, Oscar winner AR Rahman has re-mixed the Commonwealth Games (CWG) theme song ‘Swagatham’ to make it ‘sportier and livelier’.

After a meeting of the GoM on Commonwealth Games, Sports Secretary Sindhu Shree Khullar said: "There will be more music, particularly instrumental, in the opening theme song of the Games."

Asked whether the tweaked version will be like Shakira's 'Waka Waka', the World Cup Football song, he said: "Waka Waka was more commercial. Ours will be like Chake De."

Confirming the development which comes 16 days before the Games begin in Delhi, lyricist and CWG cultural committee member Prasoon Joshi told a TV channel that the song, in its new avatar, would make everyone jive.

“The song will have more beats, it will be peppier. The composition will be tighter and the listeners will stamp their feet with it,” Joshi said.

Joshi said Rahman was known to make changes to his songs and it would be unfair to take this development negatively.

“Rahman is a musician who believes in constantly improving his product. That`s the way he works. He does it all the time with his music in films. In creative work there is always scope for improvement Catch phrase remains the same,” he said when pointed out that the changes were made when the Games were round the corner.

The song composed by Rahman goes: `Oh Yaaro, Ye India Bula Liya…’

Joshi acknowledged that Rahman’s music takes time to grow on people and the current anthem will also become popular. Rahman had promised his song will be better than FIFA World Cup anthem ‘Waka Waka’ sung by Shakira.

The composition reportedly took six months and Rahman was paid a whopping Rs 5 cr for it. But it did not excite either the Organising Committee members of the public, with reports suggesting OC chief Suresh Kalmadi urging Rahman to take a re-look at the song.

It was openly criticised by CWG Organising Committee`s executive board member V K Malhotra for "falling short of expectations".

Yet another CWG composition of Rahman was later rejected by the maestros of Indian classical music. His ‘Aao Balam’ was supposed to be the introductory track to an eleven minute sequence in the opening ceremony. However, Pandit Birju Maharaj (Kathak), Saroja Vaidyanathan (Bharatnatyam), Raja Reddy (Kuchipudi), Sonal Mansingh (Odissi), Guru Singhajit (Manipuri) and Bharati Shivaji (Mohiniyattam) rejected it as it was not ‘going with the aesthetics of Indian classical dance.”

A Vedic chant will now do the job instead.