Priceless Parodies

This is going to be my last post for a couple of weeks: I leave on Friday for a two-week jaunt through Switzerland and Alsace, so film watching and reviews are going to take a back seat. But before I go, I decided to do one last post, on parodies. I am providing translations, but they’re rather slipshod. Sorry!

Hindi film songs offer plenty of scope for parodying. In fact, I’ve come across songs that actually parody earlier film songs. My favourite is Suno suno kanyaaon ka varnan (Haseena Maan Jaayegi, 1968), with a madcap Shashi Kapoor singing Mere desh ki ladki sona nigle, nigle heere-moti (“The girl of my country swallows up gold, diamonds and pearls”) instead of the more patriotic Mere desh ki dharti sona ugle, ugle heere-moti (“The land of my country produces gold, diamonds and pearls”), from Upkar (1967). Amusingly enough, the song includes a parody of a song which was originally filmed on Shashi Kapoor: Pardesiyon se na ankhiyaan milaana (Jab Jab Phool Khile, 1965). Best of all? He’s in drag through most of the song. Awesome!

Suno suno kanyaaon ka varnan, Haseena Maan Jaayegi

Then there’s another medley of parodied songs in the otherwise ghastly Ek Phool Do Maali (1969). Brahmachari, pushed along by Shabnam, Manorama and David, goes off on a comic quest egged on by the strains of Chal chal re naujawaan and sundry other tunes.

Chal chal re naujawaan, Ek Phool Do Maali

But these are fairly rare instances; after all, what lyricist worth his salt wants to be known merely as one who gives the words of others a humorous twist? So, on to what this post is about: popular parodies of songs from the 50’s and 60’s. I grew up with these: many were common knowledge, giggled over by everyone.
Among the best-known was Mere saamnewaali khidki mein ek phata pyjama latka hai—i.e, “A torn pyjama hangs in the window opposite mine” instead of the more romantic Mere saamnewaali khidki mein ek chaand ka tukda rehta hai (“A piece of the moon lives in the window opposite mine”) from Padosan (1968).

Mere saamnewaali khidki mein, Padosan

Pyjamas seemed to fascinate most people; another popular rendition afflicted the refrain of the soulful Mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam (Mere Mehboob, 1963). Instead of Mera khoya hua rangeen nazaara de de (“Give me back the colourful views I have lost”), we gleefully sang Mera khoya hua rangeen pyjama de de—“Give me back the colourful pyjamas I have lost”.

Mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat, Mere Mehboob

And somehow Chaudhvin ka chaand ho (Chaudhvin ka chaand, 1960), one of the most beautiful paeans to the pulchritudinous Waheeda Rehman loses all its charm when someone changes it to Chowdhury ka chaand ho (“You are the moon—i.e, the bald pate—of the Chowdhury”), or even worse, Chowdhury ka saand ho (“You are the Chowdhury’s bullock”). Okay, the charm goes for a six, but the revised lyrics are a whole lot lot funnier, I think.

Chaudhvin ka chaand ho ya aaftaab ho, Chaudhvin ka Chaand

Then there are the sometimes inadvertent, sometimes deliberate parodies thought up by family and friends. A servant at my grandparents’ house in Calcutta always sang Le gayi dil budhiya Japan ki (“An old crone from Japan stole my heart”) instead of the more loving Le gayi dil gudiya Japan ki (“A Japanese doll stole my heart”), from Love in Tokyo (1966).

Le gayi dil gudiya Japan ki, Love in Tokyo

My father and his siblings gave full rein to brotherly affection by changing Bhaiya mere raakhi ke bandhan ko nibhaana (“My brother, stand by the relationship bound into the raakhi”) from Chhoti Bahen (1959) to Bhaiya mere chhote se bandar ko nehlaana (“My brother, bathe a little monkey”). What the—!

Bhaiyya mere raakhi ke bandhan ko, Chhoti Bahen

And then there was a little boy who was once a schoolmate of my husband’s. To him goes the credit of providing a hilarious alternative to the melancholic Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye (“Somewhere, far away, when the day comes to an end”) from Anand (1970). He made it Kahin door jab karela tal jaaye (“Somewhere, far away, when a karela—a bitter gourd—is fried”).

Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye, Anand

But what I really, truly admire are the people who don’t restrict themselves to a single funny line, but come up with an entire verse of pure joy. My earliest memory of a parodied verse is of a funny version of the song Sau saal pehle from Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai (1961). The original goes:
Sau saal pehle mujhe tum se pyaar thha
Jiya bekaraar thha
Aaj bhi hai, aur kal bhi rahega

(“A hundred years ago, I was in love with you; my heart yearned for you. It is the same today, and it will remain the same tomorrow.”)
We never knew who first came up with this parody, but it was very popular when I was in school:
Sau saal pehle Dev Anand ganwaar thha
Gadhe pe savaar thha
Aaj bhi hai, aur kal bhi rahega

(“A hundred years ago, Dev Anand was a rustic mounted on a donkey. He’s still one, and will remain the same tomorrow.”)
Yes, well. That’s what I call evergreen.

Sau saal pehle mujhe tumse, Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai

Then there’s one which my sister recited with great relish; she’d learnt it at boarding school. The original, from Brahmachari (1968) has Shammi Kapoor serenading his lost love in one of the most poignant piano songs in Hindi cinema:
Dil ke jharokhe mein tujhko bithaakar
Yaadon ko teri main dulhan banaakar
Rakhoonga main dil ke paas
Mat ho meri jaan udaas

(“I will seat you in the window of my heart. I will make a bride of my memories of you, and will hold them ever close to my heart; do not sorrow, my love.”)
The version my sister told me is somewhat less sentimental:
Koode ke dibbe mein tujhko bithaakar
Jhaadoo ke, ponchhe ki, dulhan banaakar
Rakhoonga naali ke paas
Mat ho meri jaan udaas

(“I will seat you in a dustbin. I will make you the bride of the broom and the mop, and keep you near the drain; do not sorrow, my love.”)

Dil ke jharokhe mein, Brahmachari

Kinda male chauvinistic, I think. But here’s a fitting female rejoinder, also provided by my sister. I love this one; I can just imagine one of those harridan-like females portrayed by Manorama, singing this to perhaps a henpecked Om Prakash!
The original is a philosophical song from Teesri Kasam (1966):
Sajan re jhooth mat bolo
Khuda ke paas jaana hai
Na haathi hai na ghoda hai
Wahaan paidal hi jaana hai

(“Beloved, do not tell lies; for you will have to someday face God. There will be no elephant and no horse to take you to him; you will have to walk there.”)
And this is the jazzed up version:
Sajan jhaadoo lagaakar ab
Tumhe bazaar jaana hai
Na aatta hai na chaawal hai
Tumhe sab kuchh hi laana hai

(“Beloved, after doing the sweeping, you have to go to the market. There is neither flour at home, nor rice. You have to go fetch it all.”)

Sajan re jhooth mat bolo, Teesri Kasam

And lastly, a contribution from bollyviewer. The original song, sung in Mahender Kapoor’s throaty voice, is from the suspenseful Humraaz (1967). Raj Kumar and the unbelievably wooden Vimmi bill and coo through the hills of Darjeeling, with a beautiful song playing in the background:
Hey neele gagan ke tale
Dharti ka pyaar pale
Aise hi jag mein aati hain subahen
Aise hi sham dhale

(“Under the blue sky, the love of the earth abounds. This is how the morning dawns; this is how the evening draws to a close.”)
Which some very witty person has converted deftly into a song straight from a village where inhouse bathrooms are a rare luxury:
Hey neele gagan ke tale
Subah ke paanch baje
Haathon mein lota
Lote mein paani
Dariya ki ore chale

(“Under the blue sky, at five o’clock in the morning. With a lota in hand, water in that lota, off to the river we go…”)
For what purpose, one may well imagine.

Hey neele gagan ke tale, Humraaz

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28 thoughts on “Priceless Parodies

  1. haha .. I remember the unmentionable parody my brother made of Aapki Yaad aati rahi raat bhar. Try some phonetic equivalents of Yaad.. ugh !

    Dil ke jharokhe me tujhko bitha kar became – Cycle ke dande pe tujhko bitha kar.

  2. DELIGHTFUL!!!!
    have a nice time in switzerland and alsace!
    You’ll love straßbourg!
    which places are you visiting?

  3. Ava: Oh no, oh no…I can guess what your brother came up with. Reminds me of a friend of my sister’s who changed the second line of Kaisi khushi leke aaya chaand Id ka to Mujhe mil gaya bahaana teri [something very nasty rhyming with deed] ka!. Horrible, horrible.
    I like the Cycle ke dande pe tujhko bithaakar :-). Any more to that? Sounds promising!

    harvey: Thank you so much! I’m really looking forward to Strasbourg in particular – from everything I’ve read about it, it seems like the sort of place I could very easily fall in love with. We’ll be staying near Lausanne and will do day trips to Bern, Geneva, the Jungfrau and Fribourg – short trip, I know, but my husband and I are both very good at packing in lots of great experiences in very short periods!

  4. Lovely post! Some of these parodies actually ruined some good songs for me (the Dev Anand gavaar tha for example). So, I am glad I hadnt heard of Chaudhary ka chand ho before! And your translations are beautiful.

    Have a great trip to Switzerland, enjoy the Alps, and do come back to your blog soon! :-)

  5. If you have heard Rabbi Shergill’s hit “Bulla Kee Jaana Mein Kaun”

    you may enjoy this hilarious rural version, complete with video

  6. memsaab: Thank you! (Though I’m hoping the snow will only be at Jungfrau – I lived three years in Srinagar, and saw enough snow to last me a lifetime ;-)). Would welcome some lovely cool weather, though. Delhi, despite the hailstorm we had on Sunday, is still very hot.

    bollyviewer: Thank you! And thank you, too, for Hey neele gagan ke tale: it’s hilarious!

    bawa: Hehehehe: thank youuuuu! You’re a gem; this is just so funny, I’m still laughing my head off. It’s especially appealing to me, because right now I’m reading James Herriot’s books of his life as a veterinary surgeon in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930’s and 40’s – and he kept getting kicked and butted by bulls and cows at every turn!

  7. Have a good trip. Switzerland and Alsace sounds a lovely combinations.

    I have a question concerning the parody song from Haseena maan jayegi: What is the fourth song they use? Thanks to you I now know the first; I worked out Jab Jab Phool Kile, and the one from Devdas, but the fourth still escapes me. And they all match the types of women he describes before the song starts; it’s so much fun.

  8. RDB’s Raaton Ka Raja(1970) had Mahendra Kapoor and Shamshad Begum singing a very interesting parody of Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya too.
    Check it out here:
    [audio src="http://99.198.111.218/~files2/music/Raton%20Ka%20Raja%20(1970)/Pyar%20Kiya%20To%20Darna%20Kya.mp3" /]

  9. I’ve heard about the film Raaton ka Raja but haven’t seen it – and had never heard this song before. Funny! Though I think RDB could probably not take any credit for this one: the music’s almost completely true to the original. The lyricist put in a good bit of work, though. :-)

  10. Safe Journey the only parody i’m aware of again is one i saw over at bollyviewer, it goes like this

    ‘Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye to BAAT ban jaaye (If someone like you entered my life, it would be great) as Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye to BAAP ban jaaye (If someone like you entered my life, he’d become a father)!!’

    There’s also a Mughal e azam one from Chameli ki shaadi and another one in Raaz titled Pyar kiya to marna kyu

  11. Thanks, bollywooddeewana! Yes, I remember seeing the Aap jaisa koi comment on bollyviewer’s blog. Very cute!

    I love the Raaz song – I’d forgotten all about it (God knows how – I like I S Johar a lot)! Thanks for reminding me again. Now someone should make a list of all the parodies of Jab pyaar kiya toh darna kya… ;-)

  12. I hope you had a nice vacation and could refuel your batteries!
    Did you have a nice weather?

    Looking forward to further discussions!
    :-)

  13. Hey harvey! Yes, I got back yesterday morning and am still feeling a little jetlagged, but I did have an awesome holiday. The weather was good, except for one day when we were in Strasbourg, headed back for Lausanne… that was the only day it rained. Otherwise, it was warm and sunny, even uncomfortably hot in Colmar!

    Will begin posting soon.

  14. Hehehe… good one! :-)

    Yes, I recognised Kaise aaoon Jamuna ke teer, but I think the rest of the song is original. Johnny Walker is, as always, so entertaining – and Rafi manages to sing for him so perfectly!

  15. The films made by the old peoples were so great that it will give the inspiration to the nowadays peoples also. The classic films are not made todays as they dont have powerful stories like old films also. these films are the one good happned thing for India. Even I also watches old movies, it gives a lot fun, masti, learning things, & much more.

  16. Hey there,
    have been an avid reader of the blogosphere.. but am recently trying to get into the habit of commenting..
    wonderful wonderful post there!!
    Was thinking, a great set of parodies were made by Jaspal Bhatti for this flop show series:
    Like this one, for Hoke Majboor mujhe usne bulaya hoga:

    or: this one, for Jo tumko ho pasand from Safar:

    There are quite a few of these :)

  17. Heheh! For a lot of songs, the version I remember best is the one Jaspal Bhatti and gang created for Flop Show. The only reason I actually watched the film Dil-e-Naadaan was because it had the song Zindagi denewaale sun, which Bhatti parodied in an episode about hospitals.

    Brilliant! :-) Thank you for reminding me of these.

  18. The great mood of film always desides how the great film is. Always the remembered thing of old classical film is that the hero/heroin are in the great Indian look of our culture & asking the real buty of Indian wooman. The film which shows the reality with great or unforgettable efforts taken by film makers gives the Indian film like ‘MOTHER INDIA’ & ‘WAQT(1965)’
    & ALL OTHER bLACK & wHITE FILMS also. The creativity of a film is the creativity of describing the two or more lifes with music & story within 3 to 3.5 hours of film………

  19. Terrific! You definitely had more fun growing up than I ever did! By the way, this reminds me of my dad mangling Chaudhvin ka chand ho .. to Chowdhury ka chaat ho … (there was Chowdhury Chaat House in Lucknow, where we lived) and singing Jeena ya jeena ram ke instead of Jeena isi ka naam hai in the song Kisi ke muskurahoton pe ho nisar … from Anari and main kya karun Ram main buddha ho gaya instead of mujhe buddha mil gaya! I have tried to correct him time and again, but he still sings them this way and unfortunately, one of my sons thought these were the actual lyrics. He had just started college, met a group of Indian guys who were singing Hindi songs, so he told them he also knew a few and sang these! He came home for the holidays and wanted to know why we taught him songs with the wrong lyrics. I told him to go check with his grandpa!

    • Your father seems to have a sense of humour very similar to my father’s! My father also sings “Awara hoon, ghasiyara hoon, bhatiyara hoon…”. Fortunately, though, both my sister and I were well aware of the actual lyrics of the songs Papa’s been mangling, so we never got conned the way your poor son did! :-)

    • Glad you enjoyed that! :-)

      Someone else on another blog had told me about a childhood friend or relative (I don’t recall whom, now) singing Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye toh baap ban jaaye, too. So, not as uncommon a mistake as one would imagine!

      By the way, here’s another parody someone submitted in a comment on one of my recent Shammi Kapoor posts: a parody of Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche. The distorted version goes Aajkal tere-mere naap ke kachche har dukaan par, sab ko maaloom hai aur sabko khabar ho gayi :-D

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