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Souvenirs from Shanghai

The hotel we were staying at in Shanghai, had this peculiar ritual of leaving a small, painted, Plaster of Paris Beijing opera mask, glued neatly inside a little papier mâchè box, at the edge of our bed. Each evening, we’d arrive in our rooms to find these small colorful souvenirs, along with a playing-card size note wishing us a good night’s sleep in Chinese and English. I had collected five in all and didn’t quite know what to do with them besides putting (a picture of) them on my blog [I’ve already misplaced one of them :-(]:

One of the things I definitely wanted to purchase in Shanghai was the original Chinese score of Warriors of Heaven and Earth. I scoured several music shops but either it was not available with them or, on occasions, I failed miserably to communicate the name of the album that I wanted… Finally a colleague spotted it on way to office, in a mall far away (40 minute drive) from our hotel. I picked it on the penultimate day of our stay in Shanghai. All this for the second track in Chinese, the Hindi and English dubs of which (versions released in India) have not even been a patch on the original.

This is not the first time Sony Music has released versions of an album targeted at different geographies. The North American version of Vande Mataram had two additional tracks (Musafir, Masoom) which haven’t made to India till date – a little ironic for an album commemorating anniversary of Indian Independence. While I can understand the commercial justification for not releasing a Chinese album in India, I fail to comprehend why Indians should be deprived of two Hindi (Masoom is Hinglish) tracks that too in an album which is a celebration of all things India!

posted: 29.2.04

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