I had never been an ardent fan of Punjabi music owing to the fact that I was born and brought up in Bengal, a land where the ‘Shordarjee’s’ and their ‘mujeek’ does not really soothe one’s senses the way Robindro Songeet does. My year-long tryst with Delhi, however, helped me explore things that I never thought I would sample before. Yo Yo Honey Singh was one such example. Little did I know that instead of merely dancing and humming on to his catchy tunes, my cynical brain would be forced to analyse the significance behind the words that make up his songs, which may otherwise easily come across as inconsequential.
The first time I was introduced to the wonderful fare that Mr Singh had to offer was by virtue of a song titled ‘Choot’. I was of the opinion that the name of the number was enough to scandalize me but had no clue as to what the lyrics had in store. The horror that was unleashed upon my being once Yo Yo Honey Singh started belting out profanities that I had almost never heard of before was unparalleled. All I remember was screaming, asking my friend to stop playing the ordeal of a song. The sheer explicitness of the composition was as disturbing as it could possibly be and was nothing but an insult for the XX chromosome. If the power of music was gradually being reduced to such low levels, I might as well look for a different source to elevate my mood, I thought to myself.
I only earnestly hope that Mr Singh gets to read this rant of mine and it is only this tiny bit of hope that has compelled me to address the rest of my piece to the man himself.
So Singh ji, I fail to understand why you portray women in such bad light. Females in your songs are nothing but sex objects where you raise questions about their characters and try to teach them a thing or two about morality. A particular song of yours made me believe that no boy would ever look at me because the colour of my skin was not exactly brown while another almost forced me to think of myself as a total loser because I am someone who can easily be taken for a ride (both ways). You have no qualms in labelling the woman as ‘desperate’ and asking her the price that she would demand for a romp in the bed with your esteemed self. Why is it that the man is always right and the ‘kudi’, a whore?
No I am not trying to say that all what you preach reeks of your hatred towards the fairer sex. You do seem to have been making efforts to ask girls to do away with their obsession with fairness creams and drugs. You sure have instilled a sense of Indian-ness, a sense of belonging in the minds of those who listen to your music. But really Mr Singh, do you consider yourself to be a prophet of sorts? Why is it that you always glorify yourself in all of these productions of yours? You doubt if the girl gets her daily supply of the newspaper only because she refuses to recognize you. You predict with a lot of confidence that the girl who dumped you will end up marrying a loser and her future will only involve washing his undergarments and doing the dishes. Where does the anger stem from? I would be more than obliged if you could let me know and satisfy my curiosity.
In all honesty, it breaks my heart when I see girls my age moving their bodies to your tunes, without ever realizing the enormity of whatever it is that you are trying to convey. I pity those women who might have faced body image issues only because you believe that the perfect woman is one who weighs 47 kilos and has a waist that measures 28 inches. Your fan following is another element that never fails to amaze me. I sometimes feel like I belong to a society that is extremely gullible and cannot think for itself. Your male followers treat women the way they would treat a pile of dung only because you inspired them to do so. You seem to have made ‘frandsheeping’ and breaking hearts cool. But tell me something Mr Singh, would you teach your child the same thing?
Being raw, unpolished and exuding a rustic charm is one thing Yo Yo ji, being blatantly sexist is another. You might call yourself an International Villager Mr Singh, but don’t let that Trinity School of Music degree go waste by forcing people like me to question your talent. But at the end of it all, what really is the point of all my ranting? I am merely an old-fashioned pessimist, right Honey ji? You may just write another song about my attitude and my rage; after all I am just another girl who’s high on ‘angreji weed’.