Monday, 26 October 2009

Eena, Meena, Deeka


To arrive at a musical conclusion, I thought long and hard over ‘Eeena Meena Deeka’. THIS song will now be the official anthem of the CCC (Chowq Cheering Club) whose deeply spiritual members have nothing better to do than keep my spirits up.

Film: Aasha (1957)
Music: C. Ramchandra
Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan
Actors: Kishore Kumar, Vijantimala, Pran, Om Prakash
Singers: Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle (two different versions)

As you view or listen to the song, there is absolutely no need to remain solemn, or rise from your seat wearing a silly uniform to salute a fluttering flag or a muttering personage. Men may sing it as they avoid work at the office and women may hum it as they chop vegetables or their husbands’ cheque books.

This song also possesses the magic of curing many serious diseases that afflict some at Chowq. What listening to it will do to the Chowq ed-eaters is beyond the perception range of my wide-screen crystal balls (I do have a spare crystal ball, just in case).

Notice the name of the band: Rock Hitters. And what would you boys say about the trumpet-playing darling who appears at the beginning? The piano sounds very Jerry Lee Lewis like, the violin reminds one of Stephane Grappelli’s with Django Reinhardt in the 1930s, and the clarinets sound wonderful playing their parts in two-part harmony. No wonder the song became a hit Indian rock and roll number, and that listening to it as an infant I never cried over spilled milk.

The symbolism embedded in the song is overwhelming and I encourage all of you CCC members and non-members to come up with your own twisted interpretations.

The male actor prancing about, sometimes wearing artificial flowers over his head and at times see-sawing, is actually the singer: Kishore Kumar. Our politicians keep trying but fail to be funnier than Kishore; they cannot even get the plot right while plotting with Mrikans to rid us of Tall Ebans whom the Mrikans created in the first place; only Kishore’s dancing to the tune can be surpassed by our leaders who dance well to the sound of Mrikan Predator drones and cave-buster bombs.

Here is the film’s plot: Partly made in colour, this love story and crime drama is a comic variation of the Hamlet theme. The story revolves around an old landowner Hansmukhlal (Om Prakash), his son Kishore (Kishore Kumar) who is accused of murder, and the villain Raj (Pran) is Kishore's cousin. The object of desire is Nirmala (Vyjayanthimala), the niece of a millionaire coveted by Raj. Kishore, masquerading as an Arab, launches a theatre company and resolves the conflict by performing a play in front of the real life character to whom the fiction is addressed.

The song `Eena Meena Deeka' sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle exists in two different versions. In the coloured version sung by Asha Bhosley, the scene opens with the visual announcement of Kumari Nirmala and Rock Lovers! I love the tap-dancing and Kishore’s burqa-clad modesty. The song ends with an act of fiery terrorism.

It goes to Kishore’s credit that he managed to lure the heart-breakingly beautiful Madhubala (yes, she was a Muslim) into marrying him when Yusuf Khan (Dilip Kumar) turned away from her. Not the voice but Kishore’s sense of humour convinced everyone that jesters can indeed sometimes surpass princes in the game of laaahve.

It is claimed that the lyrics of the song came about by a stroke of luck when children playing outside composer C. Ramchandra's music room were heard chanting ‘Eeny, meeny, miny, moe’. Ramchandra and his assistant, John Gomes, cleverly turned that into ‘Eena Meena Deeka, De Dai Damanika’. Gomes, who belonged to Goa, further spiced it up with ‘Maka naka’ (Konkani: I don't want) and the two kept on adding more gibberish until they arrived at ‘Rum pum po’.

Incidentally, the title of the David Dhawan film ‘Eena Meena Deeka’ (1994) comes from this box office hit film’s song. Furthermore, the JWT agency of London prepared an advertising campaign for the HSBC bank in October 2008 using this song as background music.

Kishore Kumar’s version:

Asha Bhosley’s version:

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