Sunday, February 24, 2008

Band baja

Hindu weddings (more so north indian weddings) have a lot of peculiar traits. They are so illustrious and tiring for the couple to be wed; it puts their patience, tensile strengths and all kinds of fitness to such a test that they realize its going to be something really big. Apart from typical rituals, it’s the band-baja which is yet another attraction. Led by painfully cacophonous male singers and a team of trumpet & drum players, it provides a walking dance ramp for the baratis with a DJ. The visit from the barat staying place janwasa to the pandaal is the most entertaining for an onlooker as the guests dance with the quality varying from okay to the most shamelessly terrible one. The DJ sings song in both male’s and female’s voice. Here are a few popular songs being played for the ages.

“Aaj mere yaar ki shadi hai” – The song from movie Aadmi Sadak Ka is the most popular among all the barats. You get the people dancing in typical bhangda style with mostly the groom’s friends being participants. The song does get you to dance. If not the effect of the occasion or appeal from the song, the sacred effects of divine liquids will surely get you one footed with arms thrown in the air. In case you ever had hots for the bride, you can dance with the lines “Aaj mere maal ki shadi hai”. Had munnabhai Sanjay Dutt gone for a normally traditional marriage with her recent wife, Trisha Dutt would have been the first to dance on the lines “Aaj mere baap ki shadi hai”.

“Man dole, mera tan dole” – No movie in the history has created as many myths and a superstition as Naagin has done. Right from ikshadhaari naag-naagins to “kill a snake and your photo get captured in his/her eyes”; the movie has been a trendsetter in terms of awareness about the snakes. I have never been able to understand the popularity of this song in the baarats. But as soon as the song is played, you would immediately get snake charmers with their hankies in their mouth and naagins sitting on its knees. More the naagin is drunk, more the drama in the dance.

Yeh desh hai veer jawano ka” – As soon as the song from Naya Daur is sung, the ugliest versions of bhangda is back. The speed of dance can put your fitness to real stress. Often people sing the censored version of the song pretending others don’t hear it but making sure that they do.

Most recent additions to the list are Kajraare, beedi jalai le and the master of nasal imperfections – himesh bhai’s songs. The funniest part is the male singer aping in female voice. But if you are just an outside viewer to the procession for the sad ending of yet another bachelor’s life just because the baarat happens to pass through your shelter, I wish you luck.

But there are a few songs you would not like to be played though I have heard them being played in some of the marriages I have attended –

“Aye meri johra zabeen, tujhe maloom nahi” ­– The moment the song was played, I went to check if I was in a marriage party or golden jubilee celebrations of a marriage anniversary. Imagine yourself on your wedding night and telling your partner – “Too abhi tak hai haseen aur main jawaan”. Do so and get ready for a lonely honeymoon.

Ek kunwara, fir gaya maara” – True and fit for the occasion but do you always need to speak it out? The marrying couple are anyhow tortured to the extreme by the never ending rituals. To add to the woes, imagine you being ridiculed by your friends while this song is played and all this when you have been standing on the stage for hours with the most heaviest of garlands around your neck, atrociously expansive but painfully uncomfortable sherwani, shoes which have been biting all this while and you have a turban on your head which causes so much of itch that you feel like peeling your skin off using your nails.

Monicaaa....ab to aa jaa” – Come this song and some obese uncle will come running to you shaking his ever so bulging tummy while trying to imitate Helen’s seducing shakes. And you would try your best to run away from there without letting him realize how hard you tried to conceal teeth. Anyhow, the song is a complete misfit for a family function and the occasion.

There would definitely lot more songs you would like to be played or not like to be played on the occasion. But I am sure you would like to avoid a few singers as well like Mahinder Kapoor as he reminds you of only one song – “Mere desh ki dhartiiiiii...” I am sure you would like to put aside your patriotic side aside with the words “Bailon ke gale mein jab ghunghroo”. I am sure you would like to avoid Poornima because he seducing voice immediately sends you back to the vulgar mid 90s with the songs like “Sarkaay leo khatiya jara lage” or “kal saiyyan ne aisi bowling kari” or surely you wont like the kinds of Devang Patel or Mika.

But, more than the songs it’s the way the band singer sings. So next time you go for a marriage, do listen to the band singer. You might actually get to listen to some interesting songs in more interesting manners.


Saumyajit said...

The dancing is not a part of Bengali marriages. It does have shehnai though.

vineet said...

Good description Vibhash. Is it because you are completing one year of your own marriage :-)

Spiff said...

Nothing can beat the intensity of Bhangra in "Ye desh hai veer jawano ka" me goosebumps everytime :)

Kirtan said...

You ain't heard nothing yet. Here are a couple more examples which could work wonders for the baaratis

- Hum kis galli jaa rahe hai...
- Kar chale hum fida jaano tan sathiyo... (this I plan to keep)

Great post

myghteeatom said...

Just got back from a friend's wedding in Kanpur. The band-baaja had some fairly 'interesting' bhojpuri songs, and I'm listening to some atrociously remixed marathi songs being played at a wedding just beyond my window. Wonder if you've noticed the local flavour?

The highlight of my friend's wedding was when the DJ was nearly lynched (well, he deserved it) for singing 'Ae mere watan ke logon...! :)

LoonyTalk said...

Wonder if you have attended the rather ugly 'farm-house weddings' in or around Delhi. Trust me, you'd crave for the normal band-baja again just at the sight of item-girls urging the guests to dance! :(