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).
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.
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