Call it the price of recognition, but Pritam Chakraborty has no choice!
When this Bengali makes music, India sits up and takes notice. To the eternal optimist, Pritam Chakraborty has been bringing the music of the world to the consoles of Bollywood. But for the well-informed optimist, he is India’s most appreciated plagiarist.
Pritam has music in his blood and gene. Born to a father who ran a music school, he completed his education in Kolkata before migrating to Mumbai, the city of ambition, in pursuit of the great Bollywood dream.
Making a living off ad jingles for a while, he got acquainted with co-wannabes such as Shantanu Moitra, Rajkumar Hirani, Sanjay Gadhvi and Chandrajeet Ganguly(Jeet).
Pritam Chakraborty got his first break in the movie, ‘Tere Liye’, directed by Sanjay Gadhvi. Though the film turned out to be a box office dud, the music was fairly well-received. Then ‘Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai’ happened, catapulting Pritam into the big league.
That most of Pritam’s compos remind one of heard-and-lost tunes is too obvious a song to sing. ‘Copy Cat’ is no more a derogatory usage in Bollywood, thanks to Anu Malik and co. It is an epithet that has to be won by the Indian music director. Especially since a Box-office medal accompanies the citation!
However, the ability to hoodwink the reviewer is a must. It seems Pritam Chakraborty never counted on the reviewing hounds catching up with his blatant plagiarism. But as unflinching as ever, the man takes it all in his stride.
“People have been copying since ages. Anybody who says he didn’t, is lying. People don’t accept it due to the laws”, the ‘Lucknow Times’ quotes Pritam. He doesn’t miss a beat before adding that charges are very difficult to prove, thanks to the blurred line between “inspiration” and “plagiarism”.
For once, here is a musician who is a lawyer’s delight. While Rakesh Roshan is probably still smarting from the thought of paying Rs 2-crore to settle the lawsuit for his ‘Krazzy 4’, Taiwanese singer Lee-Hom Wang and recording label Sony BMG Music Entertainment Ltd. are in the process of suing Tips Films for a whopping $320,000. The crime: ‘Deep in the Bamboo Grove’ (Chu Lin Shen Chu) magically transformed into ‘Zara Zara touch me…’ in the film ‘Race’, set to tune by……….yes, Pritam Chakraborty!
He may have been caught in the act, with no chance of redemption, Still, Pritam’s hands are full of new and “challenging” projects. He has his own explanations: “Honestly, I’m a better music designer than a composer. I work hard to make even an inspired song sound good. Otherwise sources are available to everybody.”
And so, we declare Pritam Chakraborty Aaj Ka Fankaar.
For his audacity.
For his play of words.
For his “lifting acumen”.
And for making India dance to his tunes!