Sometime back I got chatting with an ex-colleague who thought that the recent hit number "munni badnam hui darling tere leeye" was a rather cheap number. (Just to divert a little from the topic. As Niranjan Bhushan points out in one of the comments to this blog, the original from which munni badnam hui has been copied is "Launda, badnam ho GAI naseeban tere liye" and NOT "Launda badnam ho GAYA..." as mentioned in the press. It is "Naseeban"(girl) addressing the guy "LAUNDA" and lamenting that she became "badnam" for him.)
Of course I did not agree with her rather 'grotesque' description of what I think is a good fun song.
The reason for not agreeing with her was very simple. Anyone who was growing up during the late eighties and the early nineties, and is familiar with the kind of songs Bollywood produced during that period, will definitely vouch for the fact that "munni badnam hui" is a rather tame number in comparison to the kind of stuff that was produced back then.
So here is a list of what I think are the famous double meaning and raunchy songs that the Hindi film industry has managed to produce over the years, and the multiplex generation has never heard of. Of course this is not a complete list, so please feel free to add to it.
It all started with the pelvic thrusts of Madhuri Dixit in choli ke peeche kya hai. Now don't ask me what Neena Gupta was doing in that number. But this Anand Bakshi song, sung by Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun had the front benchers absolutely in raptures.
Immediately after this Varsha Usgaonkar tried to match Madhuri Dixit pelvic thrust for pelvic thrust in the rather more direct "choli ke andar kya hai." Of course, the song did not get anywhere, one Varsha was no Madhuri and two it was a tad more direct with lines like "choli ke andar tabahi hai tabahi tabahi", leaving nothing to imagination.
Mithun "Ooty" Charkborthy soon latched onto the trend and starred in the mega hit "chadh gaya upar re attarya pe loutan kabootar re", more famous as "gutur gutur". Govinda and Karishma Kapoor really cashed in on this market. Govinda even went to the extent of singing "mere pant bhi sexy meri shirt bhi sexy...". The censors let this one go, but would have none of "sexy sexy sexy mujhe log bole" starring Karishma, which was eventually toned down to "baby baby baby mujhe log bole". Of course the movie Khuddar (which also starred Govinda) tanked.
But nothing matched the brilliance they achieved together in "sarkaye lo khatiya jaada lage" from the movie Raja Babu. I remember watching the movie at Sujata Cinema in Ranchi. The crowd which had come to watch the first day first show was in fact disappointed. This is not what they expected from the David Dhawan-Govinda combination on a roll with a string of hits in the early nineties.
And that was till the last song of the movie "Sarkaaye leeyo khatiya jaada lage", started. Sujata had never been so loud. Every time, Karishma Kapoor lifted her red lungi to expose, the crowd simply went berserk. Miss Kapoor during those days was climbing the popularity charts and was willing to expose, if the script so demanded.
Of course such brilliance and titillation had never been achieved before nor would be achieved after this.
David Dhawan tried repeating it with Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla in Eena Meena Deeka with the song "saiyyan ke saath maddaiya main bada aaye rajjeyya main". The movie also had another song called "towel main bahar jaogi to hulla mach jayega". Both the songs did not work. Well Rishi Kapoor was no Govinda and Juhi no Karishma.
Dhawan tried this again with Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla in Andaz. It had two songs. One was main maal gaadi tu dhakka laga dhakka laga bhai dhakka laga and the other was khada hai khada hai khada hai, dar pe tere aashik khada hai khol khol khol, darwaza khol. Both the songs were cleared by the censor board, but the stunt did not work for Dhawan and the movie flopped. Guess by this time, people had already started to tire with such songs.
Ajay Devgan tried to mix cricket with a double meaning song. "Kal saiyyan ne aisi bowling kari, ek over bhi main khel payi nahi, chouthe hi gend mein out huyi, paanchava gend main jhel payi nahi" was a song in the movie 1994 release Vijaypath. Well the Intermediate Science Classes at St Xavier's College were empty the day the movie released, everyone having gone to watch the song at Sandhya Cinema. Much to their disappointment the censor board did not let the song go and had it cut from the movie L. So that was that.
Akshay Kumar and Mamta Kulkarni had their share of fun with "bholi bhali ladki khol de re dil ki pyar waali khidki" and "bharo......maangh meri bharo" in the super hit Sabse Bada Khiladi (which was in fact written by Hindi pulp fiction writer Ved Prakash Sharma).
Mithun Chakraborthy sitting in Ooty could not afford to lose the race. So he sang "Mirchi re mirchi kamal kar gayee, dhoti ko phadke rumaal kar gayee"
Govinda and Shilpa Shetty together sang LML Baba LML Baba where LML stood for Lets Make Love Baby for the movie Hathkhadi. It need not be said the song was a huge hit. When Shilpa Shetty was asked why did she agree to star in this song? She said something to the extent of "I earlier starred in this movie called Aao Pyar Karen, which when translated into English means Lets Make Love." Now you know why they say that some people should just keep their mouth shut.
And then there were songs like "Din Mein Leti Hain Raat Ko Leti Hain" and "Daloonga Daloonga" from the movie Amanat.
Of course the entire double meaning song industry picked up after "choli ke peeche kya hai" became a huge hit in 1993. But there were some good double meaning songs that hit the market even before that.
Take the 1991 movie Lakshman Rekha. It had a song called "Kya number hai, kya gaadi hai, kya bumper hai kya body hai, aage se dekho, peeche se dekho, upar se dekho, neeche se dekho, kahin se dekho ji...hai kya baat hai...uff kya baat hai..." Now talk about being subtle.
Or take Subhash Ghai's 1982 movie Vidhata which had a song called "saat saheliyan khadi khadi fariyad sunaye ghadi ghadi." Now in the face of it there is no double meaning.
But of course when you get into the detail like "ek saheli ka miyan tha dakiya, raat bhar mohe sone na de, thappu lagaye ghadi ghadi," it leaves nothing to imagination.
So in comparison to all these songs "munni badnaam hui" is rather sedate and harmless. And wait till you hear a few Bhojpuri songs. As Avijit Ghosh writes in his recent book Cinema Bhojpuri "In Pyaar Ka Bandhan, singer Rekha Rao croons to the lyrics of Vinay Bihari, 'Tani lahe lahe dheere dheere dala kamsin ba dukhala raja ji' (Put it in slowly, darling, I am very young, it hurts'), while on screen Sambhavna Seth dances to the tune and as she gyrates, a launda(a man dressed as a woman) tries to slip bangles into her arms. That is double-entendre at its best."
In fact Bhojpuri movies have a tradition of double meaning songs. As Ghosh writes "In the family drama Ganga Se Nata Ba Hamaar (1991) well-known music director Ravindra Jain not only provided the score, but also penned the lyrics for a couple of songs. In one of them he wrote, 'kahin nimbua to kahin be anaar sajni, nimbua bechari kisi ginti main na aaye, yeh zamana hai anaron ka beemar sajni'('There is a lemon at one place and a pomegranate in other. Nobody spares a second thought for the poor lemon, this is the age where everybody is mad about pomegranates'). It is obvious the composer-lyricist is not talking about the different sizes of fruit."
Or take this song from Bambai Ke Laila Chhapra Ke Chhaila "mamla garam ba, kahe ke saram ba, loha garam ba, chala da na hathoda' ('Everything is hot. Why are you shy? The iron is hot. Why don't you just bang, the hammer?')."
Oh, and how about the recent song "babu rao mast hai" from Once Upon A Time in Mumbai. What can get more double meaning than that? I rest my case. In comparison to all the songs listed above "munni badnaam hui" is as good as a bhajan.