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….

Scam 1992 and OTT platform debate


Online streaming platforms (OTT) had a good run of generating quality products, which is almost over now. After producing gems of original content for about half a decade, they are giving up now. They, inevitably have opened the doors to production houses of both Hollywood and Bollywood to crap all over them. To be brutally honest, we saw this coming. Why wouldn’t powerful and nepotistic mafias, which are fueled by political propaganda, not claim of the pie of profit? They certainly would not want to sit behind and watch the lockdown to be lifted and the cinemas to open again.

Take these for example; we get to see Bobby Deol on Netflix, Yay ! remember him? The actor with three wholesome expressions in total!. Abhishekh Bachchan is coming in Series called ‘Scam’; calling him an actor itself is a scam! Netflix thought that we are missing them. The Princess Sonam Kapoor is also making a comeback. We all have seen this trailer of AK vs AK. She is apparently a hostage to Anurag Kashyap in some parallel universe. Her father, with his evolutionary advantage that is only relevant for a 15th-century pirate, runs around the city badmouthing which has already spilt over on my Twitter feed!. Soon we will have rest of the Kapoors and Khans and adopted families of Johar unloading buttload of stuff on an unsuspecting audience. In fact, We already have a show by king Karan based on mundane life events of Bollywood wives of yesteryear non-actors.

Hollywood is not much behind. During this December the Disney spoiled your childhood favorite movie ‘Mulan’ for good. What a BS reproduction of 90’s gem!. The Borat sequel was probably the most disappointing one. Borat was one of my favorite characters in this century. They’ve spent an entire move on political propaganda with the sole intention to contribute to the US election. Now, we’ll see Netflix and Amazon prime religiously bending over backwards to fulfil the socio-political fantasies and ideologies of a spectrum. E.g. Jack Ryan saves Venezuela from capitalism

This is very depressing. Many of TV viewers, such as me, had cancelled their DTH connection with the hope of weekend entertainment needs by OTT, only to find the history repeating itself.

While all these, few exceptions like Sony LIV are operating slightly differently. That, at least for now. They have released a couple of guiltfree, binge-worthy original content. One of such I am a big fan of is the “Scam 1992 – the Harshad Mehta story”. It’s a 10 episode short series, based on the book of Sucheta Dalal & Debashis Basu and directed by Jay and Hansal Mehta and steaming on Sony live.

I would recommend you stop doing whatever you are doing this Sunday afternoon and grab a popcorn bucket and binge this show. It’s that worth your time. This, especially if you have watched and loved two great movies, “the wolf of wall street” and “the big short”, although they are not prerequisites. This has a flavour of the game of throne as well, a pinch of it.

I will not spoil the plot for you. Still, the basic premise of the Series is a ‘rags to riches’ of Harshad Meta who was famously known as the Amitabh Bachchan of the stock market. He goes on to manipulating the equity market through the money market if India. The story covers a wide array of topics, including but not limited to: the loopholes of markets, regulatory shortcomings, political corruption, monopoly of big foreign players and in short ‘way things ran’ back then.

Trust me, you will enjoy it thoroughly. It’s probably the best OTT series since Chernobyl on Disney platform.

What went well

  1. The Story. If you did not live under the rock during the ’90s, you already know what the story is. If you were tasked by your parent to go through specific stock prices and business news of the dailies, you will 100% relate to this. Even if you did not know the back story, Series is presented in a manner that anyone can comprehend it without the knowhow of the stock or money market.
  2. The Casting. “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” – Food critic Anton Ego, Ratatouille. Most actors who cast in this Series came from a modest background but known to put heart into their performance. Let me take an example, Anjali Barot, who plays Mrs. Mehta, was known for the advertisement of vacuum cleaner, mattresses. I am not undermining them. It’s just that Hansal did cast her here, the nepotism infested industry would continue to cast her in the advertisements of 30 sec. There are 100s such characters in the Series, all of them have brought A level artistry as actors.
  3. Pratik Gandhi is the star of the show, I do now know anyone else could pull this off. I must confess that I do not have sufficient words to explain him.
  4. Direction, attention of details, narrations, period part of period drama, the design of characters. All spot on!
  5. Historical accuracy. The story had sent shock waves across the nation, was talk of the town and it even shattered glasses all the way till Delhi. The historical events, the depiction of big shots, characterization all depicted spectacularly. BTW, I still remember some of the scams authored by then government, the Hawala scam, St Kitts scam and this, are its myriad achievements. In fact, you must wait to fit another two decades for UPA2 to come back to power to have such a list of scams.
  6. The Script: the dialogues are so excellent and witty you will continue to think about it for a while. The dialogue delivery is even brilliant. Written brilliantly, delivered even more spectacularly.

They have designed an almost perfect OTT series – a hands-down winner.

As you know me, I cannot help but nit-pick some of the shortcomings. There were few.

  1. Due to the obligation to dumbing down the technicalities of the scan, Sucheta role takes a hit. For or most episodes Sucheta Dalal is portrayed as a glorified stenographer. For most of the discoveries, all she has to do is wait for that phone call or wait for a file to fall into her laps. I do not think that was the case in reality.
  2. One of the critical indicators of period drama is the altitude of the belt buckle and side slit of salwar kameez. If you get that right, you do not even need to indicate the era/year you are narrating. In 80s belt buckle was on diaphragm and slit of sales was on a knee. Over the decades, one descended and other ascended. I think the movie got it wrong.
  3. Mrs Mehta and Sucheta and few more characters did not age through the episodes.
  4. One of the most concerning fact is, did this Series whitewash the scam-ster? Agree that the show does call the spade as a spade for political, regulatory and banks and other government bodies. But when it comes to Harshad, they are a little less harsh.

Here’s the trailer for you.

Translation: Hands up – Avane Srimannarayana


It’s deplorable that in the land of Kuvempu and Bendre, the Kannada movie songs exceedingly obsessed nothing more than morning hygienic routines. Or it’s evening routine if you chose to take a bath at night. Don’t get me wrong – these are beautiful songs with great original tunes, it’s just that their poetic value is abysmal. This is not something I could tolerate easily with the unfortunate reason that I happen to know the language. Sometimes, it seems like producers never provision a budget for a lyricist and instead choose to get it done by their kindergarten kids.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

Exhibit 1: A foot-tapping item song with 61 million views translates as “Female: Planning for a Disco, I donned self payal. I used Lux branded soap and just took a bath. Male: I was relaxing after a large meal of Onions !! I washed my hands just to shake your hands.”  

Exhibit 2: another viral song translates as “Put soap, scrub body, close the door and take a bath, then put on powder … “

I can go on and give you more examples, but you get the point. To make it absolutely clear, I am not an anarchist to dislike songs about human hygiene and its importance. But I am absolutely convinced that we don’t need legends, songs and epics on what we should do in the bathroom.  

Generally, it could take up to a for a single fantastic song to come out of this industry with both good tune and lyrics. One of such rarities I liked very much is “Hands up” from Avane Shrimannaraya. A very classy song in all aspects. The Originality, choreography, direction, cinematography, lyrics, tune. It’s an all-round entertainment. I am sure you have seen it as it had gone viral a few months ago.

Unlike the typical Kannada movie songs, this song is actually written in Kannada, not with English vocabulary. You would definitely require a translation to understand the context. However, unfortunately, the entire Internet does not have a translation. That would be a criminal injustice!

So, I thought, why not do that service.

Disclaimer: I do not call myself a poet, or even a translator. I have tried my absolute best to do this, Hope it helps.

Note: Singer switches the roles between Narrator and Protagonist. Careful about that, please…

[Narrator] ಕೇಳಿ ಕಾದಿರುವ ಬಾಂಧವರೇ, ಭುವಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅವನ ಅರಿತವರೆ, ಯಾರಿಲ್ಲ ಬಿಡಿ, ಮುನ್ನುಡಿ, ಇದ್ದರದೊಂದು ದಂತಕಥೆ
Keli kadiruva bandhavare, Bhuviyalli avana aritavare, Yarilla bidi, munnudi, Iddaradondu dantakathe
Listen, patient Ladies and Gentlemen, and those who think who comprehend him, He is not that. What you heard of him is a pure urban legend.

[Narrator]ನಾಕು ದಿಕ್ಕಿನಲೂ ಬೇಕವನು, ಬಂದೂಕು ಹಿಡಿದ ಮಾನವನು,, ತಲೆಮೇಲಿದೆ ಕಿರೀಟ, ತೀರಾ ಹಠ, ಗುರಿ ಬೆನ್ನತ್ತೊ ನೇತಾರನು
Naalku dikkinalu bekavanu, Banduku hidida manavanu, Talemelide kirita, thira hatha, Guri bennatto netaranu
He is ‘most wanted’ in all directions, flaunting his gun, sporting a crown, a stubborn and very focussed on his goal.

[Chorus] ಗಾಳಿಮಾತಿನ ಬಜಾ಼ರು, ಸುದ್ದಿ ಸಾರಿದೆ ಸುಮಾರು, ಪಾತ್ರದ ಪರಿಚಯ ಇರೋರು, ಆ ಬಂದೂಕಿಗೆ ಇದೆ ಘನಹೆಸರು
Galimatina bajaru Suddi saride sumaru, Patrada parichaya iroru A bandukige ide ghanahesaru
You know the Rumour mill, has spread this news, Only those who know the character, must know, his gun has a reputation to keep

[Protagonist, Chorus] ಹ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್ ಅಪ್‌, ಅದು ಅನವರತ , ಹ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್ ಅಪ್‌, ನಾ ಅಜ್ನಾತ, ಹ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್ ಅಪ್‌, ಇದೆ ವೇದಾಂತ
Hands up, adu anavarata , Hands up, na ajnata , Hands up, ide vedanta
Hands up, that’s infinite, Hands up, am in disguise, Hands up, its a philosophy

[Narrator] ಇದು ಚರಿತ್ರೆ ಸೃಷ್ಠಿಸೊ ಅವತಾರ
Idu charitre srusthiso avatara
This character meant to write history

[Narrator as Protagonist] ರಂಗೇರಿದೆ ಮಾಯಜಾಲ, ಅನುಭವಿಸು ಓ ಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಕನೇ, ದೃಷ್ಟಿ ನನ್ನೊಬ್ಬನ ಮೇಲಿಡಿ, ತಪ್ಪದು ನಿಜ ಮನರಂಜನೆ
Rangeride maayajala , Anubhavisu o preksakane, Dristi nannobbana melidi, Tappadu nija manaranjane
The stage is now set, experience it oh Audience. Keep your eyes on me, and I promise you entertainment

[Protagonist] ನನ್ನ ಗೆಲ್ಬೋದು ಅನ್ನುತ ನಿಂದನು ಓರ್ವ ರಾಕ್ಷಸ, ತಪ್ಪಲ್ಲ ಆದರೆ ಅದುವೆ ಊಹೆಗು ಮೀರಿದ ಸಾಹಸ
Nanna gelbodu annuta nindanu orva raksasa, Tappalla adare aduve uhegu mirida sahasa
An evil man will face me thinking to defeat me, It is not wrong, but it’s a dare beyond imagination.

[Chorus] ಅನಿಸುತ್ತೆ, ಬಂದ ಹಾದಿಗೆ ರಚಿಸಲು ಹೊಸದೇ ಶಾಸನ, ಮೆರೆಯಲಿ ಗಗನದಲಿ ನಿಮ್ಮದೆ ಲಾಂಛನ
Anisutte, banda hadige racisalu hosade sasana, Mereyali gaganadali nimmade lanchana
It’s evident, has come here to write new rules, and to take your pride to the sky.

[Chorus] ಯುದ್ಧ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು ಓದಬಾರದು, ಕಟುಕರ ಮುಂದೆ ಭಗವದ್ಗೀತೆ
Yuddha madabeku odabaradu, Katukara munde bhagavadgite
Let’s fight the war and let’s not preach Bhagavat Geeta in front of butchers.

Okay, I had previously written about the plight of the Kannada movie industry and its literary bankruptcy, especially the lyrical value it brings to the table. You can consider this post is in continuation of that.

How to write lyrics for Pop/movie songs


One of my super-duper blockbuster hit posts was “How to write lyrics for Bollywood movies“. The post was written during the previous incarnation of this blog, that was back in 2007. Although I am not immensely proud of it, this post escaped culling during my clean-up program. 

Please do read the comments section if you could.

That post went viral in 2007 and eventually flooded with hundreds of comments at various levels of LOL/FOFL/LMAO. I was literally hounded with email addresses and phone numbers asking me to consider them for a chance to write lyrics in an actual Bollywood movie!. Few of them used this opportunity to talk about their love life as well. 

Anyways, I was wondering, why not follow it up with my expanded horizon. Evidently, I am good at it anyways. So here it goes:

Warning: Rest of this post is extremely sarcastic, have a good laugh, it’s good for the heart. 

How to write lyrics for Punjabi pop songs

  1. Always write lyrics in the first person – male. (main, mennu etc.)
  2. Acknowledge that she has seizures inducing level of fair complexion or even Golden (!?!) 
  3. Apparently, Pakistani beauties are so spectacular that explaining it will be blasphemous. Say that.
  4. Tell her you to take her to a Euro-trip.
  5. Tell her you are filthy rich like Scrooge McDuck and can afford to rent expensive transport such as Lamborghini.
  6. Tell her how much alcohol your liver can metabolise per hour. 
  7. Don’t worry; Director/choreographer will create an unmistakable gold digger model character.  

Alright, here it goes :

Oh Soni kudiye , Goriye ..
Tu inna soni hai.. tu India da ni , tu Peshawar do lagdi
Tu inna soni lagdi, the Pakistan do bhaslpany lagdi
Tu menu red flag lagdi , me yahanse jawangi
Tennu London ghumawanga , tennu Paris ghumawanga
Tennu assi Lamborghini dilawanga, ni chahida to Porsche dilawange
Duss tennu ko chahida ..
Mennu Gucci Zara dilade Prada lolui Vuitton dilade
Assi tussi Lamborghini main, aur papa ko no batayenge.
Hongi dope shope , pilavunga 15 bottle vodka. London Police pakdega etc.

How to write lyrics for a Kannada movie song

  1. Again, go for the first-person male unless you are writing super romantic songs, which are not in fashion.
  2. List mundane stuff you do in lyrics. (Use Soap, scrub well, Take a bath, brush teeth and so on. I am not kidding this is an actual song, rather famous one] 
  3. Every alternate word has to be English, and a third should be in Hindi. 
  4. Throw in some double meaning; the second meaning has to be profanity. 
  5. Compare her to barely edible junk food which would like to swallow. (e.g. You look like Schezwan Noodles) 

I do not have written lyrics for you yet. Do let me know if you want me to write one, would take only five min to write industry-standard lyrics. 

How to write lyrics for Bollywood songs.

One of Bollywood lyrical masterpiece !!!!

The 80s and 90s songs had a different pattern which was entirely revered in the last couple of decades. But from last two decades, the lyrical landscape is entirely changed. 

  1. More 40% of Bollywood songs still are Punjabi. I got you covered there in the above section. 40% are remixes of 90s songs. So follow below rules for the remainder 20%.
  2. Be deeply spiritual. Throw in a few Dua, which you asked with your khuda
  3. Go ahead with plagiarism of folk songs and be unapologetic about it.
  4. If you chose not to talk about liquor metabolism, you could always talk about the stuff from Manali.
  5. Naina is the most used the word. Khamoshian stands at a remote second. Understandably, the Pakistani singers pronounce these words rather conveniently, and hence lyrics get tailored as well.

Get someone spit some rap about why are you a better rapper than others and why you owe it to your mother who burnt some roti while you were a kid.

The Last Samurai, Taranaki Maunga and Mangaluru


Question : Do you recognize this mountain? Name and location please..

Yes, it’s the same one in the backdrop of the legendary movie – The Last Samurai. This is supposed to be Mount Fuji where Tom Cruise and other ancient Japanese’s warrior tribes fought their last battle and perish.

However what you are looking at is not Fuji, It’s Mount Taranaki! In fact, It’s not even in Japan. This is located thousands of miles away, in middle earth. I am not kidding, it’s apparently true. A mountain played Body-double for another mountain for its striking resemblance with other. I wonder what did Hollywood show as body-double for the Himalayas? Mongolia?

Like any mountain, Mount Taranaki has a history, let me cover the “its name” part of it. The indigenous native Māori people had called it as Taranaki for centuries. When European explorers came down, their first natural instinct was to rename it. They named it Mount Egmont. Then the colonizers arrived, and unsurprising stuff followed. They claimed the country with the cunning use of Flag . As usual practice a lot of things were formally renamed, including Taranaki – as Mount Egmont.

For about a century it is called by both names in official records. Let me fast forward the story to the current century. Almost a year back, authorities and legislators finally resolved to have one and only one name for the mountain. It’s now called Taranaki Maunga. So well done there. It’s a sentiment that matters, and I fully agree with them. Why should anyone call themselves or places with a name their colonisers or comfortable to pronounce with? It should always reflect the roots.

However, a section of society finds this kin of renaming very hard to swallow. To this date, some people prefer to call themselves as they are from Bombay. It’s the name their colonizers gave while breaking fingers of their cotton Weaver’s. In comparison, Chennai has caught on better. I hear no one is calling it Madras any more. Prayag for previous Allahabad is yet to catch up, I wonder what Amitabh Bacchan answers now if you were to ask about his roots. It’s all about the collective self-respect of locals.

Anyways, the thumb rule is a name that should be devised by local. There could even be multiple names as long as they all are all local. I have seen numerous local names co-existing. For example, let’s take a city of Mangaluru, it has/had at least 13 titles – mostly regional. FYI only, Mangaluru has very diverse cultural deviation, perhaps next only to Northeastern states.

  • Mangaluru in Kannada, the state language and language of education
  • Kodial in Konkani, a language spoken by Saraswats and Catholics refugees emigrated from Goa to avoid Portuguese persecution and Inquisition. A language is closer to Marathi than Kannada.
  • Kudla in Tulu, mother tongue of Aishwarya Rai and Shila Shetty. A local transactional language. Widely spoken in the region, but has no script. Vocabulary is closer to Tamizh than Kannada.
  • Kodeyaala in Havyakka, a dialect of Kannada sounds very poetic and closer to medieval Classic.
  • Its Maikala in Beary, a language spoken by local Muslims, which is closer to Malayalam than Kannada.
  • Its Mangalapuram in Malayalam, Keralites who share a border with Mangaluru.
  • Its called Kaudal in Urdu

Historic references. These names faded away due to its number of speakers reduced in the region.

  • Manjarun in (Samskrut) Sanskrit exists only in books
  • Nitra (Greek Ptolemy – based on the river Netravati)’
  • Manjarour/Manjiloree (Arabic), traders named it.

Finally, Let’s come to two names given by Colonisers/invaders :

Mangalore in English. This is no longer a standard spelling.

Jalalabad – Tippu Sultan, temporarily renamed it – this did not get caught on.

P.S. The producers of The Last Samurai may have their own reasons to shoot a Japanese Legend in New Zealand. Bollywood does it too. It did shoot most of its 80s and 90s dance sequences in Europe, mostly Switzerland. They did this even when Kashmir was peaceful primarily, and Insurgency did not start.

P.S.2 Hollywood gets the ethnicity of actors wrong as well. More often than not, an Indian character role is fulfilled by an English actor with a Pakistani or Srilankan descent. I have seen vice-versa as well. For example, the Arab princess jasmine in the movie Aladdin (2019 – Disney) was half Indian Naomi Scott.! The protagonist was played by Egyptian-Canadian and Genie was played by African-American. To remind you, the story was about Arabian nights in 14th century Iraq. Its a discussion for another day