The Undead

Why this album of cover versions of some of Hindi cinema's most ironic songs has' 'hauntology' written all over it

01 November 2011

WITH MY CAB WAITING OUTSIDE, I hopped into Rhythm House; I was looking for The Bartender: Classic Bollywood, Shaken not Stirred (Sony Music). Rhythm House, a music store established in the 1940s, is something of a Mumbai institution but torrent(ial) reigns (puns intended) these past few years have no doubt shaken the Kala Ghoda landmark.

Since magazines are all I’ve purchased on my recent visits, I was certain I’d be cartographically clueless when it came to locating the album, so I sought the help of the staff. After a couple of sharp turns around the corners of heavily stacked shelves, he promptly held out The Bartender. I thanked him and began rushing to the cash counter—thinking of my ticking taximetre—when he directed me to Prem Joshua’s CD, Prem Joshua and Band, on the next shelf, and suggested with some authority that I also consider the German Indophile. A personalised and offline, albeit entirely misguided, ‘similar products you may like’ service.

Mikey McCleary, who has conceptualised and produced <em>The Bartender</em>.. PUNEET CHANDOK/HT PHOTO Mikey McCleary, who has conceptualised and produced <em>The Bartender</em>.. PUNEET CHANDOK/HT PHOTO
Mikey McCleary, who has conceptualised and produced The Bartender.
PUNEET CHANDOK/HT PHOTO

Gitanjali Dang Gitanjali Dang is an independent curator and critic based in Mumbai.

Keywords: album Hindi cinema lyrics movies songs Mohammed Rafi Shailendra Sahir Ludhianvi Kaifi Azmi Majrooh Sultanpuri poet-lyricist Jacques Derrida classics hauntology
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