Within the circles of my network, a debate on Facebook with a southward bound series of comments is ensuing regarding the quality of the ICC Trophy 2014's official theme song and video.

The spark: Why is the song so formulaic, so typically bollywood-ish, and so on; why couldn't we have created something more original?

Fire and smoke follow this surely,  inciting  arguments such as:
  • What is art? 
  • Being high-brow,  
  • Reaches and pangs of commercialism, and demands of our corporate sponsors, 
  • Where is creativity? Are we creative? 
  • How many Bangladeshis does it take to change a lightbulb? 
  • etc.
After finally having seen the video, I can see where its coming from. The 'pop' elites are visible, and the conscious effort to make a connection with the rest of the country, which are mostly villages and small towns and swayed more by bollywood than hollywood or dhaliwood (which is recently trying hard to emulate bolly); or any movie with sexually provocative posters.

I am beginning to see the point of view of the makers, whose arguments are similar to the makers of hit films like "Baba keno Chakor" (Why is Dad a Servant? Not a film with a  serious political narrative as you might think), or "Jiddi Mama"(Stubborn Uncle)* - to reach the masses. If we consider "Chorompotro", which was live on radio keeping up the spirits of the fighters during '71's war of independence, the language was not the pure form of Bangla, but a more 'rural' version of it if you will. That definitely made it more accessible to the masses. Is that to say, today's newspapers don't reach the masses if they're not using a similar tone?

* I love how specific we are with our movie titles!

Movie makers have used the common man scapegoat for years to justify their films which made 0 efforts to alleviate the art of storytelling, but stubbornly held their grounds of being artists, and producing art. Its quite an age old dilemma for societies such as ourselves and India where there is so much class divide, where each class' reality is unfathomable to the other. A similar trend is noticeable in the music industry, which is also partly competing with Bollywood (item number and all), and partly keeping time for the sentimental garbage that feeds the new middle class, who wants to listen to something 'romantic' and wear something 'gorgeous'.

Art has always needed its patrons, and there lies the tragic core of this issue, as corporations hungry to reach the masses take that place and with no forethought or afterthought than profit. Meanwhile, go watch that video. Dhak dhol (traditional drums) was always part of our rhetoric and culture, but we just had to learn how to glamorise it from our neighbours a little with a mix of Yo and us.

As there are 30 year old rockstars who can write anthems for 16 year olds, surely there can be those who pay at least 30,000 Taka just in rent who write music for those who earn 3,000 Taka a month. Cricket, like war, is the only event that can bring those two to the same level.