Saturday, May 24, 2008

An anthem for the ages

Or "Why interspersing English words in non-English songs is the best thing since water"

In this age of rapid industrial progress and fast-paced cricket, no one has time for writing songs which reflect the sensitive nature of the poet, or the time to listen to such songs. But once in a while, along comes a composition that makes you stop all you're doing, sit up, take notice and feel, really feel, the poet's sensitivity. You connect instantly with the words, becoming engrossed in the way the writer pens a conversation between the characters in his song, and lose yourself in his magical spell of lilting verse.

"Bangari yaare nee bulbul," the title track from the hit movie "Gaja," is one such.

The lyricist...nay, it would be far too demeaning to call him a mere lyric-writer. The poet pens this song as a conversation between the hero, the protagonist of this film, the eponymous Gaja, and the heroine who, we hope, is not named Gajini. Though there is no indication in the initial few musical bars of the song about whether or not the two characters know each other, the poet clears this up soon enough.

"Bangari yaare nee bulbul?"
(Golden maiden, who are you, bulbul?)

The poet thus makes the hero make the first move, enquiring of the maiden her name. However, in fear that such a simple query might not drive the point home, he makes the lead character ask the question again:-

"Singari yaare nee bulbul?"
(Bedecked maiden, who are you, bulbul?)

The repeated references to the nightingale-like avian creature, in these lines, harks back to the old days of poetry, when poets would often resort to such repetitions of words. Perhaps influenced by yesterday greats such as Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti, Omar Khayyam and Alberuni, the poet here uses the word 'bulbul' in each line, emphasising the dulcet tones of the heroine.

Now, the young lady responds, albeit immodestly:-
"Bengali beDagi naa. Chingari hudugi naa."
(I am a Bengali beauty. I am a flaming, passionate girl.)

While this may seem self-flattering, it is, in fact, indicative of the self-confidence of today's youth, many of whom have a disproportionate amount of command over the Kannada language and wear earrings in their eyebrows. These lines also employ a clever device. Though she is a Bengali woman, by making her say these words in Kannada, the poet cleverly establishes that it is possible for 'outsiders' to be well-integrated with the local soil and language and adapt to the local customs, thus dealing a cleverly-veiled blow to Raj Thackeray's hypotheses.

Immediately after these lines, though, some words are uttered that are difficult to understand. Although it may seem this is because of this reviewer being hard of hearing, I suspect it is a smart way of indicating that once introductions have been made and eyes have met and hearts have connected, no words are necessary for lovers to express their emotions. After this line of incomprehensible ululation, though, the hero firmly establishes his identity for all to see:-

This is immediately followed by the English words(uttered by the heroine):-
"Come on, boy, let's jump in joy."

The poet moves us with this example of how the young man and woman will literally jump in joy, after expressing a very clear desire to do so. Mere words cannot express my admiration for his simplicity in this line. However, the tour de force of the song is yet to come.

"Rock, rock, rock, rock, Gaja."

By making repeated references to one of igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary formations deposited on the earth after the cooling of erupted, pre-historic lava and deftly following it up, albeit rather unexpectedly, with the hero's name, the poet....well, I don't know, but he does something(perhaps there is an inherent desire within the poet to increase geological awareness among the listening populace.). That magical something makes me want to weep with ecstasy. For, never have rocks been so exalted and extolled in song as to share the same lyrical stage as the protagonist of a big-budget movie. Never, either, have the vernacular names of elephants been so hallowed on celluloid that they have come to share the same spot in the firmament as rocks and cinema stars. The heroine, in her admiration too, I am sure, adds able chorus to this figment of genius with one of her own:-
"Let me feel your body of steel"

Such open, frank expression of sexual desire! Such a swift, brutal and efficient destruction of taboos and social mores and prudishness! Truly, this is a man of progressive, forward-thinking genius that writes such words.

The next four lines follow much the same pattern, with the heroine changing her words:-
"You're the man, my Superman."
"Rock, rock, rock, rock, gaja."
"Let's go around to the brand new sound."

In just a few (erudite) lines, the poet has established a deep, lasting bond, a connection, between the hero and the heroine. What takes others entire songs or even movies to show or depict, this man has done in a few lines. These are words that hold true for possibly every love story on the planet. Kudos, sir, kudos for capturing the essence of good love. These lines may be sung by every couple in love, for ever.

Thank you for this treasure.


Harish said...

neevu oLLe reviews koDtira. odu song-ge ishtondu detailed aagi, ishtondu vyangyavaagi review koDoru ee samaajakke beku. Neege neevu barede mele, ododu Kannadigaraagi namma katavya.

Anonymous said...

Absolutley Hilarious!!!

Anonymous said...

soooper dooper.. as usual..

Anonymous said...

Brilliant composition and an even brilliant summary!

Muttu ratna-gaLigu saaTi illandantiruva ee haaDannu rachisiruva punyatma yaarendu heLuvanthavaraagi !


Karthik[:)] said...

mind blowing!!!!
as usual...its hilarious from the first till the last word...a super ridicule of the sad state of affairs for the sandalwood industry!!!!!

Spunky Monkey said...

And to think MY next post was going to be about this song, a most favored ringtone in the village I live in.

Now I shall laugh loudly and withdraw the idea.

a million different people said...

"Rock, rock, rock, rock, Gaja." is my favourite line. I love.

Also, who knows, the "Gee-ay-jay-ay-Gaja" is to clarify spelling. See? Indirect reference! Lyricist making fun of people who are inclined towards numerology. Who wants to have Gajja and Gajha and Gajaa as names when one can have it as Gaja? And make it intrinsically rhyme also! Aye, whatte!

This is atleast less risqué than the "Wham bam, wham bam, thank you Sam" in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna's Rock and Roll Soniye.

Arjun Sharma said...

[harish] Houdu, nimma kartavya. Odi. Kaliyiri. KonDaDi. Yaarna? Nannanna.

[anonymous] Thank you!!


[Cheeku] Olle (s|d)oopers-u.

[snippetsnscribbles] It is a brilliant composition. Dude named Nagendra Prasad V is the lyricist, I think.

[karthik] It's not ridicule!! It's an awesome song! I like it very much. As also "I-thalakadi." I just picked this song randomly for analysis. The sudden hiphop-like English by the female lead singer is a little WTF, but the song is nice.

[spunkymonkey] Dude, you can write about the other song, Aithalakadi. Heck, you can write about this one and make it funnier too(albeit longer, much longer.)

[a million different people] I also louve that line. It's awesome to say.

He he, gajha, gajja, gajaa. Olle numerology. I bet V Nagendra Prasad hadn't thought of this angle when he wrote it. Never thought of explaining the advantages of the simplicity of the normal spelling to gullible people. Neenu ittidiya, thought process-u. Next Einstein aagbodu. Athava next V Nagendra Prasad aagbodu.

WTF? Does Rock 'n' Roll soniye have that? I've never heard that bit. I should pay more attention to that silly song. I like risque. Where's all the risque? Why don't have more risque?

Anonymous said...

macha she is not the heroine no?
I saw the movie, which i think you have not. anyway there is this other song, "jinke something" which has made move "waves" than mungaru male is seems..
need to see that movie man..

Parisarapremi said...

ಕ್ಯಾಕರಿಸಿ ಉಗೀಬೇಕು ಈ ಥರ ಹಾಡ್ ಬರ್ಯೋರಿಗೆ...

ಈ ಹಾಡಿನ ಮಧ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ "ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ" ಹೀಗಿದೆ: "ನಾನ್ ಹೋಗೋ ದಾರೀಲಿ, ಸಚ್ಚಿನ್ನು ಗಂಗೂಲಿ, ಹಾಕ್ತಾರೆ ರಂಗೋಲಿ.." "ಹೌದೇನೇ ಚಂಗೂಲಿ...." ಹೀಗೇ ಏನೋ ಬರುತ್ತೆ. ಕರ್ಮಕಾಂಡ.

ಆದ್ರೂ ಒಳ್ಳೇ ಮಜ ಇರುತ್ತೆ ನೋಡಿ, ಇಂಥಾ ಹಾಡುಗಳು.

"ಜಿಂಕೆ ಮರೀನಾ..." ಕ್ಯಾಟೆಗರಿ!

a million different people said...

My bad, ok? It's "Sexy Sam, Sexy Sam,Wham Bam Wham Bam Sexy Sam..."

In my defense,

1. I didn't think there would be a quickie, ever, in Karan Johar's movies.
2. I expected minimum courtesy standards to be adhered to.
3. You cannot expect me to pay a lot of attention to such songs. We like Gaja songs, not Sam songs. Plus, that song is ditz as ditz.

Vijaya said...

abbaaa ... nakku nakku saakaytu ... super review!! ee thara haadgaLu ilde idre, oLLe saahityada bele hEg gothaagbeku!

NyTyne said...

Arjun, need a review for the song 'neenu jinke marri na ' . :)

Srikanth - ಶ್ರೀಕಾಂತ said...

ನಿಮ್ಮ point of view ವಿಭಿನ್ನವಾಗಿಯೂ, ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿಯೂ ಇದೆ. ಮೆಚ್ಚಬೇಕಾದ್ದೇ.

ಆದರೆ ಅದೇ ಹಾಡಲ್ಲಿ "ನಾ ಹೋಗೋ ಹಾದೀಲಿ, ಸಚ್ಚಿನ್ನು-ಗಂಗೂಲಿ... ಚೆಂಗುಲ್ಲಿ... ನಾ ಪೋಲಿ" ಅಂತೆಲ್ಲಾ ಇದೆ ನೋಡಿ. ನನಗಂತೂ ಇದು ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಕೊಳಕು ತುಂಬುವ ಕೆಲಸದ ಪರಮಾವಧಿ ಎನ್ನಿಸಿತು.

El said... hold hold me, kiss me kiss me whatever in that godawful race song.

P S said...

Reminds me of our famous Dactar Rajkumar song, Tick Tick Tick!

"If you come today,
you are too early,
if you come tomorrow,
your too late"

The Kannada Film industry has not lost its touch in coming up with innovative songs atleast!

Arjun Sharma said...

[anonymous] She is not the heroine? I don't know, man, I haven't watched the movie, you're right. Sorry about that. "Jinke mari-na?" has certainly caused waves, but not to the extent of "Mungaru maLe." It's an awesome song, though. "Nanda loves Nandita."

[parisarapremi] Arun, ee thara haadu irlebeku. Road-alli hogo naanu, Harisha ella nintu "Hoovu cheluvella tandenditu" anta khandita haadalla. Ee thara colloquial lingo-ne upayogisodu. Haage anta "Mujhe kuch kuch ho gaya. Ede chuchcho chuchcho vishaya" anta yaaru haaDalla. So idanna ashtagi khandisodakkagalla.

Haage anta bari intha haaDe barta iddre tale keDatte. Olle sahitya iddre appreciate maaDe maaDtare jana. 'Anisutide' is a great example.

[a million different people] No, I expoect there are quickies only in his house. And they are ditzy, his movies, yes.

[vijaya] He he, houdu. Aadre idu antha ketta haaDu enalla. Alli illi ondu prasa kanDu barutte. And, leaving aside the unbecoming hiphop imitation, the tune is also good.

[nytyne] :) maadona, enante? "Are you a fawn? Are you a fawn?" Channagide.

[Srikanth] DhanyavadagaLu, odiddakke. Idakkinta koLaku tumbive, haaDugaLu. Arun-rige mele naanu heLiruvante, "Mujhe kuch kuch ho gaya" muntada haaDugaLiginta idu eshto vaasi. Naanenu ee haaDina foremost votary aagbeku antilla. But idanna ashtu easy aagi dismiss maaDabaradu annodu nanna abhipraya. Prayadalli abhipraya sahaja, alve?

[el] Dude! That song has Katrina Kaif saying "Hold me. Kiss me. Touch me." to me. I LOVE it!

[p s] Yes, we are at the forefront of innovation. Namdu tale-no tale.

Anonymous said...

Three words.. I love it!