If rocking music can substitute for crude lyrics, we do not need poets.
I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard my close friend’s four-year-old humming loudly a song that I had detested for many days now. Yup, the one Deepika is swaying her hips to the item song in ‘Dum Maro Dum’. I casually asked Sneha the little one, if she knew what the line in the song meant? Pat came the remark “Aunty it is potty pe bethe nanga’, don’t you know what it means?
Purvi her mom laughed loudly as she gave me a hug to calm my stunned expression and said, “C’mon it is this generation song what is there to feel so bad. The question left me wondering if the lyricist wrote the song actually in the studio or elsewhere. Wherever he wrote I am sure people like me would never appreciate language to be diluted so much that it causes me to be ashamed to spell it out.
It is not the first time that vulgar lyrics have been prompted in large scale mediums like films. One such song was the Karishma-Govinda starrer song ‘Sarkhai lo khatiya jada lage’, though popular made my parents to switch of the television sets in case little guests had come home or worse watch those movements danced to the dance number. I am sure Karishma now would never think of this song and she would get amnesia if someone mentioned that she had danced to this song.
Forget 2000 onwards; if one thinks of the era of great lyricists like the 50s-70s, I wonder if lyricists like Majrooh Sultanpuri or Shailendra would ever find a job of writing even one song in the current lyricist’s generation. Could they attempt to write in their wildest dreams lines like ‘Shaam ko daaru, Raat ko ladki’ from ‘Shoot out at Lokhandwala’ or ‘Kal meri skirt keechega’ from ‘Dum Maaro Dum’?
If people argue that rocking music can substitute for nonsensical or crude lyrics then we do not need poets. Obviously the need of the hour then is those who can write songs which are controversial and blend it with foot tapping beats. Better sill write songs that can make children and teenagers smirk when parents try to switch off the radio or TV set. Another opportunity for children to show they can rebel by listening or lip-syncing to such songs!
As I left my friend’s place in my car, the RJ on the radio announced the top 10 songs and the one that had been on my mind however much I detested all morning came back again. This time however I decided to accept it as a phase that will soon pass as I thought one needs such songs to cherish good from bad.
This was written for right in the middle column on editorial page.