Monday, February 9, 2015

Roy — Of White Wrists and Selfishness

I love the songs of Roy. Each song of the film has something different about it. I listened to Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan and instantly, it became like a repeat song. It is not a great song but some songs have a quality that forces us to re-listen, like Baby Doll from Ragini MMS 2 or for that matter any Himesh Reshammiya song. In fact, the singer of this song and Baby Doll is the same, may be that is why. It made me think about the Indian fascination with white skin. India is one of the most racist countries in the world, there is no doubt about that. Our films provide a mirror to our society. From songs such as Hum Kaalein Hai Toh Kya Hua Dilwale Hai to Gore Gore Mukhre Pe Kala Kala Chashma to white only background dancers to this latest chartbuster from Roy, white skin is the ultimate prize. Where the nation's newest political party called the Aam Aadmi Party leads a mob to beat African women because of their color, where the nation's top-ranked star sells men's fairness cream, where the idea of humor in something called All India Bakchod roast is to make fun of a person's blackness, and where Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) in the national award winning film Fashion cleans herself after sleeping with a black man, it takes a much controversial singer Yo Yo Honey Singh to appreciate the beauty of 'brown rang'. Whatever other issues with his allegedly misogynistic lyrics, at least he is not obsessed with white skin. It is also worth mentioning that one of the few Hindi songs that has only black background dancers is from a film produced by a production house that is often accused of producing hackneyed films and that song is Chhaliya from Yashraj-produced Tashan. 

There is another great song in Roy that I like called Sooraj Dooba Hai. The song's first line struck me. It says matlabi, ho ja zara matlabi advising the listener to become selfish. It is a very rare song that openly says to become selfish. Our films glorify the principle of sacrifice. Of late, coming of age cinema always has a song or two about listening to your own heart. But a song that says to become selfish is very interesting. There might be others but I cannot recall anyone in particular. Two years ago, Kabira from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani blamed the protagonist's khudgarzi or selfishness as the cause of his misery by saying kaisi teri khudgarzi, na dhoop chune na chhaanv, which is why I feel the song from Roy is a fascinating one. It is a song for a new aspirational India.

Matlabi ho ja zara matlabi,
Duniya ki sunta hai kyun,
Khud ki bhi sun le kabhi.

Selfish, be a bit selfish, 
Why do you listen to the world, 
Sometime listen to yourself, too.

Kaisi teri khudgarzi,
Na dhoop chune na chhaanv,
Kaisi teri khudgarzi, 
Kisi thaur tike na paanv.

 How is this selfishness of yours, 
that you don't take the sun, nor take the shade,
how is this selfishness of yours, 
that your feet don't stay anywhere.

Dialogue of the Day:-
"Pata nahi yeh badal kab hatenge."
— Raj, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

P.S. — Again a short post as have been writing on something else, though very slow. Wrote some more this weekend. Also, wanted to write a small post on Fashion, but will save it for the next time.

1 comment:

  1. Waiting for the Roy review Pankaj.
    I watched the movie yesterday. I loved it. Disappointed to see such a low ratings and reviews for a movie like Roy.
    Please do watch and do write..


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