Finally, the speculation on how much Aamir Khan paid the Badwai Village Mandali for the song Mehangaai daayan.. can be put to rest. Gaya Prasad Prajapati from Badwai village near Bhopal, where director Anusha Rizvi shot Peepli [Live], was reported to have said that his troupe had got a raw deal.
However, everything is sorted now and the actor-producer maintains that he gave the Mandali a fair deal.
After the music launch, Prajapati asserted that the troupe was very happy with the Rs 6 lakh they got for the song, even though they had reportedly demanded Rs 11 lakh. “We’re very pleased with the love and respect we have got here,” he said.
Since technically they were still to be paid, this became a media-created controversy," he explained, adding that he gave Prajapati and his troupe a fair idea about how much other composers and lyricists on the film were being paid.
Struck a chord
Khan recalls, “I asked them to quote a figure that would make them happy. Whatever they quoted, I agreed to immediately. There were no negotiations from my side. These guys are the highest paid in this film.”
Mehangaai daayan... has struck an instant chord not just with people but also with politicians. While Laloo Prasad Yadav felt that this was the best song on inflation that he’s ever heard, LK Advani of the BJP approached Khan to buy the rights. On being asked if he anticipated the song would become such a rage, the actor-producer said, “Manoj Kumar’s Roti Kapda Aur Makaan had a song, Baaki kuchh bacha toh mehangaai maar gayi… which became a rage too. And in the 50 years since, the problem of rising prices continues across states and parties.”
However, he denies selling the rights to any political party. “We’re filmmakers who write songs for entertainment,” he says. “We are not in the business of selling them to political parties.”
Speculation is rife about his creative differences with Anusha Rizvi, the debutant director of Peepli [Live], following her conspicuous absence from the film’s first press conference. Khan rubbishes the rumours saying, “Anusha couldn’t come to Mumbai because a family member was seriously unwell.”