Chane ke Khet mein – chickpea field chronicles

Dear Madhuri Dixit Ma’am,

How are you? Long time.

While I was glancing through your Wikipedia profile, I gathered all the great stuff you’ve been part of. I read that you have been actively involved in promoting children’s education and the safety of women. You also worked towards the social causes such as finding homes for Orphan kids, child trafficking, saving & empowering the Girl Child, etc. There was even a slogan you had popularised – Girl Rising: Woh Padhegi, Woh Udegi. Well done there. If all these were true, which I have no reason to doubt, you might find this post very interesting for weekend reading.

In short, I have a bone to pick with you on the exact topic. This is about a song, one of your most famous one. I hope you remember “Chane ke Khet mein” from the movie Anjaam (1994). Of course, you do. It was a super-duper massive blockbuster song. I remember it was played perpetually by every Autorikshah-wallas, wedding bands, school events and most importantly, middle-class kitchens and living rooms. Kids of our generation used to recite this song by-heart and housewives hummed this while they cooked daal. The Legacy continues to this date, you can see YouTube is filled with its cover performances, including the dance classes. Little girls in their pre-teens perform to this in tictok.

The regrettable part of whole Chickpea field song is, Mrs Madhuri Ji, none of your fans ever tried to understand the lyrics! If they did, it would not be so famous as much as it was or is. I believe you know what I am talking about. The lyrics of this summarizes a few of our society’s most prominent evils, in a celebratory tune!Let me know if you want me to list it down.

  1. It reinforces our obsession with the fair complexion of the skin.
  2. background of the premise is a teen going out into the fields for open defecation!
  3. The most problematic part is that the core concept is unfortunate roughing up of a teenage girl.
  4. And somehow, this song has is a celebratory context and expressed in a for a marriage/wedding event?
  5. How is this a bridal shower song?

Does it even make any sense to you? I can see you dance with your whole heart invested in this song, it’s one of your best dance performances. This indicates what happened to that girl was something to be amazed about, and she is privileged to have gone through it? How appropriate is this?

I believe you were fully aware that these questions will we asked you at some point in your career. And you must’ve been prepared with justification. Why don’t you go ahead and explain yourself? If you get a chance, can you ask Poornima how she felt singing it?

Thanks, Not a fan. – The Bach

P.S.. For the benefit of the readers who do not understand Hindi, here is a translation of the song only for the first few lines.

(I ) was eighteen, innocent and unmarried
(I ) had gone out with (my) face veiled
But (I) got caught and trapped in the chickpea field.
It was a straight-up robbery of (of modesty) in the chickpea field.

First, that evil (guy) caught me by the wrist.
Then he slowly pressed down the finger.
Roughing up and fighting followed in the chickpea field
It was a straight-up robbery (of modesty) in the chickpea field.

I was surrounded by a group of hunters.
Sitting there, were, of known to loot the youth.
I gave up after calling out.

And so on….

21 thoughts on “Chane ke Khet mein – chickpea field chronicles

  1. Okay, wow. I feel sorta embarrassed to say that I’m and Indian and didn’t know that this song existed, especially when you say that it is so popular.

    It feels really cliched commenting on this kind of post, coz I haven’t written something like this in a long time, and my username is even ‘thefeministwriterwhogoesmeh’, but I’m a feminist and I write. I don’t do both at the same time (is doing feminism a thing?). I find that writing about feminism leads to a wide variety of negative feelings, especially because feminism is a widely misconceived notion. Most humans don’t know the difference between misandry and feminism, and tend to group the former with the latter’s name. It ain’t fair, but then again, what is?

    But once I read this, I got pretty triggered. Thank you for writing this, and what you’ve said here is very accurate. Everything about the song is ridiculous, I can’t believe someone had the guts to write something like this.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey, thanks for dropping by. You have quite a long name, shall I call you “meh” for my convenience? 🙂

        Regarding, the popularity, it depends. were around in India when Madhuri & Shah Ruch had Midas touch? It was the era when everything they touch, however problematic that was, turned into gold. Anyways, you can search “Chane Ke Khet Mein” in youtube and see little kids happily dancing.

        Regarding Feminism. I managed to follow your train of thoughts, and you are correct. Also, you are correct in stating Feminism is widely misconceived, I would argue that the reason behind it is mostly to do with how it was advertised.

        Thanks for dropping by and your comment, appreciate it. While you are here, do you mind reading another post of mine on a similar topic, and let me know if you come across those songs?
        https://bachodi.in/2020/10/11/bollywood-and-its-exploitation-business/

        Cheerios Meh, have a nice rest of the weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahaha, sure. In fact, you can call me M.

    Wow wow wow. I’ve gotta be honest, I didn’t know about the ‘Midas touch’ of Shahrukh khan and Madhuri Dixit, that is rather loathsome and disgusting. I’m more of a 2000s bollywood gal.

    Yes, it also has to do with the timeframe and the thought processes of all the people. I suppose that before the 2000s, feminists needed to do something to change society. Most of the things they were subject to included a gross inequality in daily life, unnecessary force and objectification, etc. I suppose the misandry-angle of pseudofeminism (or at that time, feminism) developed. This continued into our age and is subtly taking a turn into the better.

    Absolutely, I enjoyed reading your post. I’d like to share an article (rather the only article) I harshly wrote about feminism : https://thinkawesome.home.blog/2019/12/09/what-is-india/ (I rashly named it and with remorse renamed it later. Unfortunately, the old name is still visible in the link, eh.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M, I know what you mean. 2000s is when I stopped watching Bollywood and been extremely selective about what I watched. I grew up watching 90s , it was the era when underworld used to call for shots, both figuratively and literally.

      Stay tuned for interesting posts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. On point Sir, totally on point. Disgusting lyrics and the popularity level of such songs is bothersome. There are few more such as “roop tera mastana, choli ke peeche kya hai”..
    good post, was a good read 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agreed, but there is a slight difference, The disgraced Munni or Sheela’s Youth is designed to cater a specific demographic and the creators are outrageously straight about. However non-family these song may be, they don’t have dangerous lyrics.

      Like

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