Asha Bhosle’s comments on the growing trend of vulgarity in Bollywood songs has started a virtual war between old- timers and the Gen Next, as we call them.
Asha in particular, has taken offence to “Halkat Jawani” saying that she was offended by this song because Halkat in Marathi is a Gaali (abuse).
The readers are targeting Asha Bhosle for singing “Piya tu ab to aa jaa’’ which was picturised on Helen which established Asha as a star on par with her sister Lata Mangeshkar and other singers of her time. After that song Asha Bhosle has been known for lending her voice to numerous cabaret numbers (now replaced by item numbers) and people have lapped up all her songs as trend- setters.
Then why this protest by the legendary singer who claims that she remains in demand because she understands the feelings of the youth. I do not understand the motive for this sudden outburst of Asha Ji against ‘Halkat Jawani’ but I would certainly say that she protests too much and too late.
Coming to Asha’s song in question it goes on to say “Shola sa tan behke aa ke bujha jaa, tan ki jwala thandi kara jaa.”
The only equivalent of this hit song I can think of is “Jigar mein badi aag hai” from Omkara. Correct me if I am wrong.
If you listen carefully you will notice that the basic feelings (or instincts if you prefer) remain the same whatever the period. The obvious difference is that when Asha sang the song the character on screen felt her body getting hot. But today with comforts like ACs everywhere in rooms, cars and homes the Aag (shola) has to be inside, in the Jigar. It’s all a matter of climate change, nothing too serious to be worried about Asha JI!
On a serious note, the decline in the standards of lyrics have worried a lot of sensitive people. Well -known poets like Gopal Das Neeraj who went to Mumbai to try their luck in Bollywood came back disappointed because they could not adjust to the commercialization there.
On the other hand, an eminent writer and poet like Gulzar remains there because he feels nothing in penning a songs like “Dil sa Koi Kamina Nahi”. I am sure he must have heard another definition of Dil because I remember the lyrics even today which went “Yeh Dil ek Mandir Hai”. So it depends on how much you are willing to protest.
In fact Kamina has become a sort of endearment term today. As far as I know Kamina is also a Gaali not only in Marathi but in any language of the world. But we are quite happy to accept songs like ‘Har ek dost Kamina Hota hai.’
Finally it is a cliché buy worth repeating that when we talk of cinema it is not just the words that matter so much as the picturisation of the song.
I would like to point out in particular to the song “Jumma Chumma de de” pictured on Amitabh Bachchan where the hero, along with a whole gang of workers are chasing an unwilling Kimi Katkar asking for a kiss. The song went to attain the status of almost a National anthem that year.
In real life if someone did that today he would be booked for eve-teasing and stalking.
By: Amitabh Srivastava