If I recall correctly, it was Shahryar, the lyricist of Umrao Jaan, who lamented that modern songwriters load their pens with urine rather than ink. The master said this some years ago, but when he listens to the Delhi Belly track, Bose DK, I can only imagine the euphemism Shahryarsahab would use to describe the degradation. I’d wager that it shall not smell very pleasant.
Bose DK has further pushed the envelope on obscenity. Hindi film songs, in general, have brought the mawaali street lingo into the multiplexes. Character dhila hai, Main hoon taaza mutton mutton, Potty pe baitha nanga are some recent gems, though I suspect Subhash Ghai set the ball rolling with Choli ke peechhe kya hai in the early ’90s. This was a period that saw a number of films go the raunchy song way, but these were few and far between and didn’t start a trend. But it’s different now. So much so that even Mr ‘Nice Family Man’ Aamir Khan has come to believe that a little vulgarity is good for his films.
However, despite aggressively incorporating the four Ps of marketing into their PowerPoint presentations, despite assiduously plotting out various segments of the cinema going public across the four quadrants, over 90 per cent of their films go slithering down the tube. Which explains the desperation to cast one of the top 10 mega stars to guarantee a good opening (read: money made on the first weekend and advance TV rights, before the audience has a chance to discover that the film is absolute trash). But even that strategy has met with little success. Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan guarantee disaster from the first show.
So then, what else can be done? A quick-fix solution is to get some testosterone pumping in at least one song. So that it creates a wicked pre-release buzz, the salivating media frantically discusses and ‘disses’ the lyrics (I assure you Aamir Khan must be pretty pleased to read this article), and beguiled viewers rush to park their bottoms into multiplex seats to quickly suss what all the fuss is about. Rather than wait for the pirates to decode the mystery (which is why it’s so very important to tweet or put out a Facebook update immediately after the first show). In short, Bose DK is another P poured into the marketing mix. The ‘Piss’ ingredient, as Shahryarsahab might term it.
Since forced censorship is not a solution in these days of Youtube videos, the only question that remains to be asked is: What impact does this drivel have on our kids? That’s for us broke columnists and bitter PIL (public interest litigation) filers to worry about. Movie studios don’t give a rat’s ass about such minor details. Well, I guess you have to live with it, hope that it’s a passing fad, and quietly accept that your school-going child(ren) could well be humming these chartbusters in public. On Holi this year, I tentatively stared down my tenth floor apartment to see what the more exuberant building society residents were up to. A five-year-old girl was grooving to Sheila Ki Jawani, with the same gusto and body thrusts as Ms Katrina Kaif. Her parents had downed many glasses of bhaang and were looking the other way. That’s all you can do really. Ignore. Pretend. Duck. The suits appear to have won the sleazy battle. The piss ingredient has worked its odious magic.
Many years ago, I started my career as a trainee with an advertising agency. There was a very senior executive in the organisation who went by the name of D.K. Bose. I believe he’s retired now, and that’s good for him. Else, the poor gent would be standing in a very long queue to file a name-change affidavit. Under the tatkal scheme, of course.
(The writer is a non-state actor of the Indian media. A freelance journalist, in clichespeak.)
I think Anil Thakraney has gone overboard in classifying Bose DK as a song with tasteless lyrics and compared it to obviously terrible ones (Duck Mr Bose, Duck!, June 13). The basic difference between Bose DK and the rest is that this one is irreverent to the core—an expression of absurd humour. The others (Choli ke peechhe, etc) aim only to titillate. With Bose DK, the lyricist has had loads of fun and Mr Thakraney has obviously not listened to the whole song.
Vijay Shankar, Bangalore
The song Bose DK is, of course, vulgar and coarse, but also radiates an energy, which is chiefly why it is popular. The music video lacks a counterpoint that balances the energy...on the whole, Bose DK heralds the arrival of grunge rock in Bollywood.
Gul Ramani, Dusseldorf
I remember working alongside a gentleman named D.K. Bose in a famous ad agency a few years ago; I can understand Thakraney’s irritation. But really, it’s futile to look for any higher standards in Hindi film music. Like all commercial products, it’s designed to cater to the lowest common denominator. In our times, when it’s difficult to distinguish between an ad and an editorial, between true news and propaganda, between a public servant and a highwayman, it is no surprise many hear music in Bose DK.
Ashutosh Kaul, Toronto
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
No other medium has degenerated the society as much as the audio visual medium.There is absolutely no bar now.No wonder with these rampant immorality, they elect film poeple to rule them.One day Rakhi Sawant will be our President and Katrina Kaif our PM!Salman Khan will be our home minister.Every other politician wants to taste power having done with all other pleasures of life.One need to only look at the current politicians in TamilNadu.
While I want to agree with your column and its comparison of the old and the new times, I would like to say that the column is coming in very late and is criticising the wrong song.
My first question for you is; where was your column when Sheila, Munni and Character Dheela were/are being aired for our kids to watch and learn?
My second question is; albeit the music of the song DK Bose has a jingle feel to it (huge reason for it becoming so popular), the lyrics per se are very clean and very very tongue in cheek. I am sure you have a problem with songs of Dev D as well, but there were no vulgar words in any of that movie's songs, so what exactly is your problem? I think you are against popular music as a whole ....
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