Art & Entertainment

Huma Qureshi On Recreating ‘Piya Tu Ab To Aaja’: No One Can Even Match Helen Ji

Actor Huma Qureshi on Monday said the new version of the iconic song "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" in her upcoming feature “Monica, O My Darling” is an ode to the original song.

Huma Qureshi

The neo-noir crime comedy film is directed by Vasan Bala from a script by Yogesh Chandekar.

For the film, the makers have recreated Asha Bhosle's popular dance number "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja", from the 1971 Hindi film “Caravan” and featuring veteran star Helen.

The dance number plays in the backdrop in the trailer and Qureshi said the song is a tribute to the original track.

"We got the rights to the original song and I don’t think any actor should attempt Helen ji’s number, it is too iconic a song for us to attempt because we would not have been able to do justice to it.

"It is a new composition and it is our ode to the music and that kind of song. We didn’t want to touch the original because that would have been wrong (galti ho jati),” Qureshi told reporters here.

Bala said the aim was to be "reverent" with the track and “not remix it or spoof it”.

"The idea is to showcase love. We needed a retro number. We heard a lot of Shankar-Jaikishan songs to get that kind of song,” he said.

"The legacy that (the old songs) have left for all of us, is to listen, enjoy and pass it on to other generations. There is a tight cap by Saregama so that no one else uses it, so they send a huge bill. We have thoughtfully used this song so that it remains in its legal capacity and we don’t tamper it as well,” he added.

"Monica, O My Darling" is a dark comedy and follows a young man desperately trying to make it big with some unlikely allies and a dastardly diabolical plan to pull off the perfect murder.

The filmmaker said the journey on the film began four years ago when the writer Yogesh Chandekar approached him with the story.

“It is based on a Japanese novel and Yogesh has been toiling with it for the past four years before it came to me, so he already had everything set for me.

"And from here we had to build it on with the producers, get the right cast and let everyone believe in it and dive in and hope for the best,” he added.

In addition to Qureshi, “Monica, O My Darling” also features Rajkummar Rao, Radhika Apte, and Sikandar Kher, Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Sukant Goel, Zayn Marie Khan, and Tamil actor Bagavathi Perumal of “Super Delux” fame.

Bala said working with an ensemble cast turned out to be a thrilling and maddening experience. 

Apte plays the role of a cop and she said the character is different from her earlier projects.

“ACP Naidu is a part that I have not played before, I am grateful that Vasan thought of me because no one would have thought of me. She is smart, sharp and you will discover more of her when you see the film. It is a different and challenging part. It is not in my comfort zone,” she added.

Reflecting back on the work that he did in 2022, Rao said he would like films that he believes in.

The actor said he is elated the way 2022 has turned out for him as he got the opportunity to explore diverse films.

“I feel very fortunate to start my year with such a special film like ‘Badhaai Do’. In ‘HIT’, for the first time I was doing an action thriller. ‘Monica…’ is such a beautiful film where I got the chance to work with Vasan, Sriram (Raghavan) and Netflix. I am very happy with the way it's going,” the actor said.

He further said he will continue to do films that he believes in and be part of films that both he and the audience will enjoy and be proud of.

“Monica, O My Darling” is set to arrive on Netflix on November 11.