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The Next Big Bollywood Musician!

Oriental Magpie-Robin, Coorg -

We all know what it took some of our reigning deities to arrive on the Bollywood music scene: a little talent, and the not-so-little ability to be ‘inspired’ by others’ compositions. I mean, how many times have we seen narcissistic composers lapping up all the credit for a hit song without even batting a false eyelash or allowing a tremble to show on one of their multitudinous chins, when asked about their inspiration? They talk, with a straight face, about moments of epiphany, even when the original source of the inspiration is blatantly evident. All this, however, must be music to the ears of the Oriental Magpie-Robin of Coorg. While this crooner has, over time, been feted for his tuneful melodies, the increasing volume of Chinese whispers in the woods seem to suggest that his compositions do what the Chinese do best: Copy! Sought after as cage birds for centuries, these singers fill the woods with a medley of tunes that they compose on the wing, often shamelessly incorporating the calls of other species into their own songs. Tasked with the job of nest defence, the male Magpie-Robin spends a lot of his time pretending to look for sites while actually looking for ‘inspiration’ from his neighbours. It isn’t only songs that they ‘lift’, but also call tunes, much like their Bollywood brethren who moonlight with advertising jingles that sound familiar most times. These call tunes are used as mood signals, and find expression as roosting calls, threat calls, begging calls and distress calls, all available as free downloads to any other tribesman in the vicinity (plagiarism is free, right?). And so, while these artistes wait for their big call from the Bollywood studios, one can quite understand why the one number they all hum under their breath, is Adnan Sami’s ‘Zara sa ‘lift’ kara de…’

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