There is no state capital except Chandigarh which has found a mention in regional songs in such numbers. In recent times, the trend to mention Chandigarh in Punjabi songs has gone viral. Every budding singer makes it sure that his music album carries at least one song on Chandigarh and if the theme of the song is not on the City Beautiful, at least there should be a mention of it. Singers demand Chandigarh songs from lyricists and in most cases, lyricists are more than ready to oblige them. After all, it’s Chandigarh which has taken many Punjabi singers to the heights of popularity.
There are different shades of the City Beautiful in Punjabi songs. Though most of the songs revolve around beautiful girls of the city, there are many hotspots and hangouts that find a mention in lyrics, including Panjab University, Sukhna Lake, local colleges, geri route, Sector 17, Rose Garden and Rock Garden. The famous song “Ni Chandigarh waliye, hun ni murrne yaar ni” has mesmerised every age group. This song made the singer a star overnight. Many singers tried to copy him and succeeded in their Chandigarh mission. The desire to study in the City Beautiful is also expressed in many songs. It is a fact that a large number of students from the Malwa and Majha regions of Punjab study here and the singers try to cash in on this trend and often succeed. Some songs talk of the well-to-do boys who come to study here but indulge in romantic activities, waste money and end up returning emptyhanded to their villages. The famous song “Chandigarh de nazareyan ne patteya” tells the story of these modern Ranjhas. The song on Chandigarh is not considered complete if it does not talk about the famous geri route and the Sector-17 market. The bhangra scenes filmed at the Sector 17 Plaza or around Sukhna Lake form an integral part of the video.
On the other side, this trend has raked up some dirt too. Some so-called cultural champions say the singers have defamed the City Beautiful by saying indecent things about it, especially comments about city girls. They say there is more to the city than beautiful girls. To counter this trend, a singer has added a song in his album that goes like, “Gaun waleyo, aiven Chandigarh nu na badnam karo” (singers, stop defaming Chandigarh). One such song offers an alternative: “Ludhiana vi kuriyan naal bhareya peya” (Ludhiana is also full of girls). Recently, Haryanvi singers have also jumped on the bandwagon and some singers have made it mandatory to have at least one song on Chandigarh in music albums.