I am sure I could draw a line and split the entire Indian community into two halves — one half that embraces the new Mile Sur video-song and another that doesn’t.

In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed the Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara video-song, mostly because I viewed the two versions independent from each other — for the first version offers a unexplained nostalgia and the second version is a reverence to the original version and stars today’s stars. New or old — the song itself is rich in the feelings it evokes — unity, language diversity, patriotism and the Indian-ness.

Obviously, the most telling difference between this and the original version is the list of people that take part in it. But other than that, I see the following thematic changes:

  • More languages covered
  • Many instances of artist generations (like that of L Subramaniam or Amjad Ali Khan or Louiz Banks)
  • Inclusion of sign language (what Salman Khan sings)
  • Focus on kids
  • Focus on technology and alternate energy source
  • Westernization

I saw clips of people like Ambani and Mallya singing, but could not find them in the main song. Got edited out?

My favorite part? The very first — the soothing sound of the continuum fingerboard (a keyboard with no keys, you get a sound pretty much wherever you touch, gives a bent effect without using pitch bender) played by AR Rehman.

Amitabh gets the privilege of appearing in both the 1988 version and this. I had great fun identifying the people. I could identify all musicians, but missed several actors and sportsmen (esp from recent days cricket). If you don’t know somebody from this video, please comment — may be you will get an answer from me or somebody else.

Bottomline — if you quit judging and comparing with the childhood version, you will have fun.

1988 version