The Inexplicable Allure of Himesh Reshammiya

There are those who argue that Himesh Reshammiya can sing. It is my humble suggestion that he cannot. He can compose a hummable ditty that will linger in the memory for precisely one and a half week; and he can carry a tune, but to say that he can sing, is a something of an over statement.  Then there are those who say he can act. I disagree. He can only pout.

From time to time, musicians in the Hindi film industry seem to get bitten by the acting bug. Stalwarts such as Talat Mehmood were no exception, the lure of the silver screen had proved rather too attractive for him to be able to eschew its temptations. It wasn’t enough that is beautiful tremulous voice graced many unforgettable songs, (jalte hai jiske liye, intna na mulhse tu pyar badha and phir wohi sham wohi gham, are just some of them) he had to act too, and this was part of the reason that that his singing career was thought to go into decline.

Several singers in more recent times have also been bitten similarly by the acting bug; Talat Aziz the personable ghazal singer from the 80’s and Sonu Nigam (arguably the best singer in India today), their forays into the sphere of acting have been mercifully and wisely limited. After all it is a rare singer who has the acting talent, the kind of screen presence and personal charisma that Kishore Kumar had; the reason why he succeeded as an actor unlike any singer before or after him. Happily Sonu Nigam seems to have realized that he is a marvellous signer and perhaps not such a marvellous actor and that singing is what he should be doing; albeit while trying out different hairstyles and facial hair experimentations, some of which have been frankly disastrous, but that is by the way.

Such wisdom however has not dawned upon Himesh Reshammiya who is perhaps better known for his hair, headgear and nasal intonation than actual vocal talent. For a while in the near past, it seemed that every time one walked into Big Bazaar bent upon monthly purchases, Aashiq Banaya Aapne or similar Reshammiya track would assault the shell like and every auto rickshaw you pass would inevitably be playing another of his strictly ordinary compositions. I learnt to live with it; I have seen that simple melodies of no great compositional merit seem to catch people’s fancy (witness the popularity of Pankaj Udhas and his very limited vocal abilities simply because he sang uncomplicated songs about booze).

Himesh Reshammiya

But for Reshammiya to foist his dubious histrionic ability on the unsuspecting public is a bit much. Having to see the petulant pout with its injured expression staring at you from a hundred movie billboards is also difficult to take. If only this musician would take his surprising musical success and rejoice in it, rather than think that his is a face that will launch a thousand hits…. But often wisdom is an elusive quality to those who are addicted to seeing their face in the act lights.

Reshammiya's last release Kajraare sank without trace

We were forewarned of an impending onslaught of a newly bewigged Reshammiya who was to inflict his “unconventional face” upon us in his film Radio (2009) and Kajraare (2010); which however passed us by without troubling either the movie viewing public or the box offices too much.

One wonders if Reshammiya has learnt his lesson that he is better heard than seen, and sometimes not even that. He should, ideally, have accepted that the modest success of Aap Kaa Surroor – The Real Luv Story as the accident that it was and that any other deliberate attempts that he may make in the acting department are doomed to failure.

But alas we are we are reliably informed that Reshammiya has made and continues to make attempts to prove his mettle as an actor and that we shall shortly be witness to releases such as Ishq Unplugged, A new love Ishtory, Mudh mudh ke na dekh mudh mudh ke, Tere bina jiya jaye na (clearly he likes the golden oldies) which are currently being filmed and A* is Killed which is in the post production stage. We can but wait and watch.

All Images courtesy Wikipedia


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  1. Kapil Singh says

    Dear reena,
    I appreciate your critic towards the above cited theme. But, to your kind information, when himesh sings, most of the so called great singers begin to feel the complex nature of his notes. they begin to feel insecured..Himesh sings from the bottom of his heart..may be your other stated talents like acting really doesnt suit him..his really makin wild goose chase….Anyways i believe thats upto him to think , you and i have got nothing to do for what he cook food at your place so does your husband or your children’s friends need to comment that reena better doesnt suit as a home maker..wil that make you happy..i dont think so..wats botherin in u about himesh..just learn to bother yourself and stop brooding in others lives…this is mentality of every other indian rascals…learn to be a good home maker 1st n den u speak about others…bye

  2. Kapil Singh says

    And you talk about personalities like Talat aziz, mahmood, pankaj udhas….etc……Hmmm i will not speak much here except that you have little known things about talents people have got..everybody is here to serve one small purpose and thats it….each of these have taken there birth to just sing one or more songs which i believe none other on earth can sing, let how much ever one is talented…but jus because his profession is singing n he has to support his livelyhood, he needs to keep singing, you are suppose to understand the ground reality rather jus blabbering…Listen to pankaj udhas song – AAP JINKE KAREEB HOTE HAI, ABHI GHAR NA JAANA, CHANDI JAISA RANG HAI TERA….None other person on this earth can sing as to what he did…am a art lover too, so jus b4 you make some silly and funny statements, just think twice or if you are just there to raise the adrenals of the people who read your blog then you are fooling out of your ownself….
    People will laugh at your immaturity, limitedness, KUYA KA MAINDEK is wat v call in DESI……..ANyways il wait for your rave and ranting speech..hahhahhas…lOl

  3. Jaskunwar Kohli says

    Now now… not so rude, Reena, there was a time that Himesh was everything. But yeah… Karzz and beyond has been a disaster. Is it true that he stated “I will only sing for films that will have me as the lead actor”, or something along the lines of that?

    • Reena Daruwalla says

      Pardon the rudeness, but any singer who uttered the fateful line “I will only sing for films that will have me as the lead actor” was doomed! And if we no longer hear or see as much of the Reshammiya, all i can say is thank goodness for small mercies…

  4. kapil singh says

    Ms Reena, i would be glad to hear you, your understanding for what a talent is and also what does singing mean to you…please extend your views…

    • Reena Daruwalla says

      @ Kapil Singh – I am actually a Sangeet Visharad or music graduate, and have trained for many years in vocal Indian classical music from some really fine performing artistes, so my views are based on very sound knowledge of the finer nuances of music. You are entitled to your views about Himesh – many obviously (but mysteriously) share them, but the limitations of this particular singer are plain to see.

  5. Mahe Talat says

    That’s a nice one Reena. I love your writing style.. but honestly, what were you thinking wasting several hundred words on a non entity like HR? IMO his singing skills are ordinary (though a wee bit irritating) and his acting skills are horrendous.

    But yes, just like we have the right to criticize him, he has the right to come up with more and more of his silly offerings. Like they say,… everybody is free in free India 🙂 So let’s just ignore this one too and hope that his acting and singing bug dies down pretty soon.

    @kapil – no body questions what you cook at your home or if you are bad singer, cricketer or cook. But when you put your skills in the public domain you leave yourself and your talent open to critique and criticism…..If HR is a bad bathroom singer we don’t care, but if he takes it upon himself to bring his questionable talent in front of the audience and the average music lover, he can’t complain if he is being criticized… and neither can you. Cheers!

    • Reena Daruwalla says

      Thanks for that spirited defence Mahe, and may i return the compliment about your writing style as well :). In any case i know how popular Reshammiya is, and was expecting at least some invective against my views.

  6. kapil singh says

    Reena, there is no vehemence here as such…ur only trying to
    assume things…. now that this discussion is growing quiet interesting and in a way captivating too….lets discuss on pankaj udhas, “he became famous jus coz he sang uncomplicated songs on booze….reena”, hmm i know he is subtle in his profession…..but b4 i head, ur comments are important..plz put on substantial arguments to support ur views on pamkaj udhas….after which i shall comment….bye for now….

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