Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo Olympics Playlist: Sports anthems to get you charged up for the Games

Bollywood sports anthems are big mood-lifters and to tune you up for the Tokyo Olympics - we've a guest who has curated the ideal playlist for the mega event.

Sports Anthems Bollywood Songs Tokyo Olympics

Stills from Toofaan (left), Dangal, Chak De! India and Mary Kom 


Sohinee Basu

Updated: 22 July 2021 7:54 AM GMT

In the climactic final minutes of Shimit Amin's Chak De! India, during the nail-biting penalty shoot-off against the Indian women's hockey team and the Australian side - the nerves are taken for a ride. Quick auditory memory montages, followed by close-ups of Shahrukh Khan in the avatar of coach Kabir Khan play out while the background score fades to near-silence in the crucial moment - only to pick up a little later with an overly emotional 'Maula Mere Le Le Meri Jaan' filling up the scene as the tricolour flutters after the win. Phew, what a rush it was, no?

Few can raise an eyebrow at the power held by songs and especially in the gambit of movies, a simple strategic placement of it can work wonders - make your blood hot and course through the veins, make you cry in puddles or simply, toy with your emotions and give that extra push. Acting as the perfect companion to every mood and always just a 'Play' button away from rescuing, promoting and empathising with your emo status - songs come with their own charm.

Emotionally charged, packed in with the right ingredients - an incredibly jaunty pace mostly to very dynamic lyrics urging action, sports anthems are rousing and how! If at this juncture, you can hear the lines of 'Kuch kariye, kuch kariye, nas nas mera khole' or a 'Zara nazaar utha ke udaa dikha ke, Zameen se falak hata de o veereya' - then we are on the right, er, track, no worries.

With the Tokyo Olympics, wait, you no longer need to use your fingers to count the days remaining to it anymore - as we have come down to the eve of the Games, it's time to settle down in front of the television or the phone where Sony will be broadcasting the live events while we tune up your Olympic playlist.

Speaking to The Bridge in a candid chat, Abhay Arora of thatmusicproject, an Instagram page known for curating wholesome, mostly Bollywood music content, spent some time fanning over the Indians heading to the Tokyo Olympics - from PV Sindhu to Mary Kom to the Indian hockey team, while talking about the role of sports anthems in Bollywood movies.

Bollywood bole toh formula

Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Source: ROMP Pictures/Hotstar)

For someone whose go-to song is Siddharth Mahadevan's Zinda from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag every time he heads to the gym, Bollywood sports anthems hold a special place for Abhay Arora. A close observer but mostly a dedicated fan of the Indian music industry, Arora has heard the strains - both of similarities and differences spanning from a Lagaan to a Toofaan.

"Watching Farhan Akhtar's Toofaan recently felt like an old-school Bollywood movie. The whole album had that vibe because it was Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Javed Akhtar pairing up again," Arora begins.

Delving a little deeper into the role of such songs in movies like Mary Kom, Saina, Dangal or even, a Soorma, Arora says, "The sports anthems used in movies are based on the upbeat factor of the film and are accordingly composed - giving the much-needed motivation and also, a sort of reality check. In these songs - they will tell you that 'You HAVE to reach the mountain or the cloud!' and give an extra boost in motivation."

"The main logic behind any sports anthem is to lift the mood," Arora stresses, pointing to the injecting and infectious power these tracks tend to possess - inevitably making you want to make a move and tow you out of your low moods.

But Bollywood has seen so much success in using the standard template of a sports movie that it does not bother to experiment and so doesn't its Original Sound Track (OST) tread into stranger sands - in formula, we trust.

"I want to really thank Bollywood for this as in this genre of music, they haven't really changed much. They have stuck to that OG songs vibe. First the song takes off slowly and then after a bit, the song picks up - all the rock, metal sections of it come in next. Bollywood has stuck to this formulaic pattern of composing sports anthems and it works greatly," the budding Instagram content creator breaks it down.

Time for Olympic cheer

Manu Bhaker (left), Neeraj Chopra and Vinesh Phogat

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la and bring in the Yuletide, er, Olympic season because the Tokyo Games are going to begin in 3….2...1! The excitement is feverishly high and the adrenaline is simply stocking up - waiting for the moment when the Indian athletes take stage at the Tokyo Olympics - ready to soar, asking themselves - 'Main parinda kyun banu, mujhe aasman banna hai' firing them up.

Since we are down to a less-than-24 hours countdown already, there is no better time than this to set the mood for the Tokyo Olympics than by listening to these gripping songs that will, guaranteedly, ensure that you are ready for the 'dangal's about to unfurl on the screens as a medal-hopeful tribe of Manu Bhaker, Vinesh Phogat, Mirabai Chanu, Amit Panghal and Neeraj Chopra venture to do 'Kar Har Maidan Fateh', come July 23rd.

We've let Abhay curate the perfect Olympic playlist for you to get you into the zone for the Tokyo Olympics. Happy listening and happy cheering for India - let the Games begin?

Next Story