Saturday, December 02, 2006

Crazy hua re !



Riding back from Pune on a crisp November morning. The illusory suspension of the Volvo bus, belying the terrible condition of some parts of the Pune Mumbai expressway. Fresh after a non seasonal shower of rain, the sun intermittently flashing in through the loosely covered bus window, shining on to the pages of a book I am trying to read. Various cell phones ringing around me, giving me a sort of profile introduction to the owner.

Mustachioed neta types, whipping out their cell phones, just as "sare jahan se achcha" concludes the 'hindosa-tan hamara" part; then talking, out of habit , in lecture mode. Mother types, having bid farewell to a gaggle of relatives who earlier climbed into the bus to situate all the various bags, totally unconcerned about ringtones, speaking into their phones, giving their detailed locations, putting all wordly GIS's to shame.

Daily Pune Mumbai types, with ringtones that provide free advertisement for the latest senseless blockbusters. And then some folks, who think it is important that their ringtone is an exact replica of the chantings that are conducted during Maharashtraian wedding ceremonies: "tadaiva lagnam.... " etc, you get the feeling you are in a karyalaya , albeit, improperly dressed.

In this cacophony, we emerge from one of the biggest tunnels in the ghats and the bus radio sort of signs in with a vengeance putting all these cell phones to shame. There is this song that plays again and again and again.......

After a lot of listening , i figure out that the lady has something to say about "becoming crazy"; "Crazy kiya re" to be precise.

Grey cells , whatever is left of them, working furiously.

Someone or the other has always gone crazy over someone else in Hindi movies. Thats the soul of the whole thing. And over the years , we have had some very hummable music from some great musicians, dedicated to these events. There have been gardens, waterfalls, Himalayas, the Ganges, Europe, Asia, Australia and more, all as a backdrop to some great songs. Every hero-heroine had their typical style, hugely enjoyed and imitated .

Seems to me that in the so called progress towards globalised smartness, all the charm of these things is totally lost. Hardly any melody; even less facial expressions. but a HUGE amount of physical drill, as I percieve.

Earlier movies had forays into gardens, smelling the flowers, palloos getting stuck in the thorns, slippages in the snow, shivering in the ice, rocking boats in the water with excitement, and leaning/sleeping/sitting over a piano to get your so called point across.... WHAT a varety !

There is, now, the heroine, dressed in clothes that a cheer leader would baulk at , hinting at budgets running out while purchasing fabric, performing some kind of aerobic stuff, combined with certain acrobatic manoevres along with the leading man, (and a cast of hundreds behind her), that would scandalise a prospective mother-in-law as well as a professor of anatomy. And I have always wondered if the heroines mother knew where her daughter was, and what she was up to.

The lesser the clothes , the more the degrees of freedom, the lesser the atoms of wisdom.

And she continues to 'exercise' saying "crazy kia re " ?

Unlike in my childhood, youngsters today emulate such heroes and heroines, be it in their clothes, accessories, language, and attitudes. Vast amounts are spent on such dance shootings in movies, and folks even fly to various countries to do that. ( maybe I am a real fool that i havent managed to visit , even the bank in the neighbourhood, for some necessary work due to some household reason). Dhoom skirts and Krish masks are marketed in a frenzy, and some guys go laughing all the way to the bank.

Maybe life has changed.

I can just see my household helper bai, having bought a new TV after months of saving, rolling pin in one hand, bucket in the other, hitching up her nine yard saree, breaking into a 'ago bai, dhoom" dance to express her joy. Or the guy who comes to sweep our building staircase, ecstatic over acquiring the family's first cell phone, trying to convince his neighbour to give him a speedy ride on his motorcycle, complete with leaping over dividers, standing pillion, whizzing past girls at bus stops and what have you, all the while singing "crazy kia re". (All the while, his brother who tries to call him gets a "this number is not available; please try later" message, and becomes an ardent admire of the Hutch lady).

Maybe the old Bhajiwala, who now has to contend with an increasing monkey population where I live, will try and work out ( pun intended) how to save his merchandise from a family of monkeys, in the form of some acrobatic steps, waving a lauki (bottle gourd) in one hand, Karela (bitter gourd) in the other, after having lobbed a cabbage at the father monkey.... and maybe it will be the monkeys who will have the last word, shaking their heads, scratching their stomachs, grinning and baring their teeth , all to the tune of 'crazy kia re" .

I know. The bus has just reached Chembur, and I need to to get off.

As usual the rickshawallahs crowd the bus steps, blocking the exit for me. There are shouts of Mulund ! Mulund !, Bahndup! , Hiranandani! and Powai....! The last guy, gets the nod, and he hurries my bag to his ricksha, me rushing behind, traditionally suspicious of someone hurrying with MY baggage. I get in, he starts the 3 wheeler with a flourish of his electronic ignition.

I settle in, trying to rearrange stuff , turning to see if I can put some of my stuff in the rack behind the seat.

There is no rack. just two immense speakers.

And just as I sigh, and lean back, bag in my lap, there is a burst of music, nay cacophony, and she bursts forth, accompanied by some real traffic, buses, taxis, swirling in clouds of diesel fumes, and hungry petrol smells, all the whiile, oblivious to all, singing , what else, but "crazy kia re".....

I agree. Maybe i should start singing "Crazy Hua re...!".

As a song where the only actions are , (a) a neck extension to see if the signal has changed, (b) a glare at the adjoining vehicle (where the biker thinks he is in dhoom 2), and (c) a wave of the hand to two eunuchs ( who insist on precting dire things for me if I dont open my purse), I am sure my song will be a HIT.

Maybe the rickshawalla can do some drill at the red lights.

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