I’m a feminist. My fatal flaw is my undying love for Bollywood. I’m of the variety that cries not just during the sad scenes, but in anticipation of the sad scenes, hours later and would have cried in my sleep too, if it was possible. My one and only quest in life is to learn all the dance steps of all the songs of all the movies. In short, Bollywood is my problematic favourite.
As if creating uni-dimensional female characters wasn’t enough, Bollywood’s other favourite technique to undermine anyone who isn’t the lead hero is — sexist lyrics and it doesn’t seem to be dying out any time soon.
Really, Bollywood? Why must you do me so dirty?
Anyway, here is, crafted with love, disappointment and the hope that you’ll mend your ways, a list of the most cringeworthy, misogynistic lyrics that really, really made me feel like breaking up with you. (See how you’ve made me? So dramatic.)
“Kabhi kabhi mere dil me khayal aata hai
Ki yeh badan yeh nigahe meree amanat hain”
There are a lot of intersecting love stories at the centre of which is this song. “Kabhi kabhi mere dil mei khayaal aata hai, ki jaise tujh ke banaaya gaya hai mere liye.” This is the first line of the song. If you still feel like continuing with it, the entitlement is repeatedly emphasised with the many ‘mere liye’ lines. He further reiterates that her eyes, her lips and her arms too are his property. ’70s romance, really? You disappoint me.
No, NO. Maybe she was sent to earth to make pathbreaking scientific discoveries. Maybe she was sent to earth to ensure that ugg boots go out of fashion. But hey, what were you sent to earth for other than reciting blatantly patriarchal poetry to your wife in the name of romance?
“Are tu boli thi pichhle jumme ko
Chumma dungi agle jumme ko
Aaj jumma hai to aaja aaja
Aaja aaja aaja aaja”
Can you imagine 500 odd men screaming for you and asking you to kiss some man? This is exactly what poor Jumma had to go through in this song. They splash water on her, repeatedly surround her and ask her to kiss a man because she had promised to kiss him on Friday. And it’s Friday. So, sorry Jumma, we don’t make the rules. We’re going to harass you till you kiss him. Well, hey. Maybe Jumma changed her mind. Ever thought of that? Poor Jumma repeatedly refuses that she isn’t interested in exchanging any saliva with this man. But, refer to the Bollywood 101 formula I had mentioned before. No = harass me to convince me.
“Tu kisi aur ki ho na jana
Kuch bhi kar jaaonga main deewana
Tu haan kar, ya naa kar
Tu hai meri… Kiran”
This film (“Darr”) is about a stalker played by Shah Rukh (The name of whose character I cannot recall. Feel like betting it’s Rahul though.) who has pictures of Kiran (Juhi Chawla) all over his house and, while I don’t blame him for that, she is quite beautiful, his other passtime is tattooing her name on his body with blood. Creepy? Nah, it’s love. At least, that’s how he defines it. And to express his undying love for Kiran, he sings a song for her saying whether or not she agrees to it, she belongs to him. On her part, Kiran is visibly excited at having a secret admirer. Ah, sixth grade memories.
Umm, Rahul (?) instead of making all this effort, simplify it and call the song rape & entitlement. Okay?
PS: My mother tells me his name actually was Rahul. I have won the bet (against myself.)
“Tu cheez badi hai mast mast tu cheez badi hai mast”
Fun fact, this song came out a year before I was born. So mom, dad, I’m glad you wanted to bring me into the world at a time when it was telling women that tu cheez badi hai mast mast. Also, ableism and eve teasing rox.
“Yeh usaka style hoinga, hontho pe na dil me han hoinga
Aaj nahee toh kal bolegee, ai tu tension kai ko leta hai re”
Anyway, she tells him to take her out to hotels and buy her some food, and then ask her again. Everything is fair in love and war. So why not try bribery? Also, ladies, take the free food and run.
“Ban mitra di whore
I mean mitra di ho”
This song is from a film about two male escorts Rocco and Hunter, who turn to this profession due to monetary problems. In true Bollywood hero style, they make their entires shirtless, and throughout the song are shown in the company of many women fawning over them. Not only does the song promote an unhealthy body image and ideas of masculinity for men, but also shows hoards of women as, what Bollywood thinks they do best – arm candy.
“Hun moti da viah hogiya, tu rehe gayi kanwaari
Dieting karke hogi mari”
Not you too, Diljit. Not you too.
So, 2011 was a really, really bad year for us, wasn’t it?
“Naina hum ladayenge baby doll se
Ho laundiya patayenge miss call se”
Bonus: For a minute, imagine the act of using fevicol to stick pictures of someone on your chest.
“Hai tujhpe right mera, tu hai delight mera
Tera rasta jo roku, chaukne ka nahin”
Also, girl, we all notice your subtle blushing. It’s not a compliment. Actually, you might want to call the police. The Shahid – Mika combination returned with the song Gandi Baat. And you don’t need me to tell you what’s wrong with that one, do you?
In conclusion, this article gave me more pain than that time when Himesh Reshammiya decided to become an actor. Bollywood, you break my heart.But just like Anjali and Rahul, Leela and Ram, Aditya and Geet, I too will give you another chance. But if you’ve lost count, we’re already at about your 57th, so fix yourself already, please.