Fruits arise from flowers. Well not really, they arise from the ovary of the flower, but you get the drift of what I want to say, right? Thus, this post was supposed to be the successor of the loved-by-all flower post – flower power. Dear readers, I wanted to give you such a wealth of knowledge about fruits and their origins and uses and the stuff. But alas, I couldn’t find enough songs to really inspire me. But, still I collected some songs with fruits in it. I won’t say they are all good, most of them are outright bad and could be used as weapons of torture. Still, be my guest and go through them and maybe lament with me for a while.
The best song of the lot is Bangle ke pheeche teri beri ke neeche from Samadhi (1972).
Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal in their Pancham Biography “R.D. Burman – The Man The Music” write “Pancham turned the Asha-Lata pair inside out, giving Asha the soulful ‘Jab tak rahe tan me jiya’ and Lata the raunchier ‘Bangle ke peeche’”. I in my eternal naivety was asking myself, what is so raunchy about the song, till I listened to the song again and it was like Ooooooh! Sometimes I wonder in which world I live. Thank God, I read this before I wrote an article on ‘The cultural significance and economic impact of jujube thorn pricks and scorpion bites and their reflection in the Indian film music’. The authors of the above mentioned biography also provide the information that the ‘interesting beats (were) created by using sticks on leather with the central rhythm maintained by Devichand Chauhan’. The significance of this was lost on me, but love the beats all the same.
A song in a similar vein is O meri beri ke ber mat todo from Anokhi Raat (1968). Most probably this one is also full of sexual innuendos and I don’t get them.
Another ber song, which is quite okay, if you don’t mind Asha doing acrobatics with her voice with no extra pleasant effect, is Ber lo,ber lo from Paisa ya Pyaar (1969)
Here one sees Tanuja prancing about in her ghaghra-choli and selling jujubes. If she is really selling them or just distributing it is a question on which one can debate for long. But this song does the character she plays loads of good, because the lecheorus old man, whom we see following her at the end of the song, turns out to be a benefactor and adopts her, saving her in the course from a life-long career as a ber saleswoman.
Jujubes are orange in colour and so are oranges, which derive their name from the name of the colour of the fruits in Sanskrit Naranga.
The only song which I found for this fruit is from the old film with Madhubala in it is the song Narangi le lo ji- Bahut Din Huwe (1954). And it is Bahut din Huwe that I saw the movie. The only thing I remember of this movie is that snakes are responsible for Madhubala’s birth in the film and also for the whole plot. Great special effects! If you want to watch it, you can try your luck at you tube.
Mango the king of fruits (at least in India) hardly finds a mention in the songs, when it is always it’s bough (sounds more poetic than branch!) and almost always the koyal sitting on it. Three good mango songs from pre 50s films are Ambuva Ki Dari Pe Bole Re Koyaliya from Dahej (1950),
Ambuva ki dali jhoom rahi from Vidyapati (1934)
and Ambuva pe Koyal Bole from Moorti (1945)
A symptomatic song for the deteriorating music in the Hindi films of the 80s is the mulberry song Tuutak Tuutak tuutiya, I love you – Ghar Kaa Chiraag (1989)
The pomegranate seeds which Proserpine ate in the underworld are do not find a mention in Anaar dana – Henna (1991), but I don’t have the faintest idea what Lata is croaking about in this song.
Another song which mentions Pomegrante and thus warning the younger generations of the dangers of polygamy is Ek anar do bimar – Baazi (1968). The song begins at 3:05
Deviating from Aesop’s fable of sour grapes is Yeh Jeena Hai Angoor Ka Dana from Khatta Meetha (1978). Now this is a hummable song and very much of an ear-worm too!
If listening to Kanchan bleating like a goat is more up your line than you should listen to Main Kachhe Angoor Ki Bail from Chori Mera Kaam (1975)
The above two songs sound like the beckoning of the Sirens if you listen to Angoor Ka Dana Hoon from Sanam Bewafa (1991)
In the same league as the above song is the guava song, Bagiya ke amruud kahe from Mere Sapnon ki Rani (1997)
If you have read till here, you must also be wondering why this step-motherly treatment towards fruits, which we relish every day. This question would lead me on a journey spanning two continents and lead me to lanes and by lanes of murky streets in Bombay through the beautiful parks of Bangalore to bohemian alleys of West End in London. I am still sorting out the details of this investigations, which will appear here as the next post.
Watch out this space for more!