Gone are the days when Punjabi words like ‘balleballe’, ‘hadippa’, ‘shava-shava’ or ‘burraa burrra’ were uncommon entities in Hindi songs. Just like the typical South Indian dosa has been customised to tickle Punjabi tastebuds, similarly, Bollywood is also cashing in on Punjabi songs which were already popular among masses up North. Such songs are being modified for a more eclectic audience, which not only enhances the success of the film’s music but also draws a large number of viewers to theatres.
Many hit Punjabi songs from popular albums that have been around for decades are making a sudden comeback thanks to their global reach.
Picked by Bollywood
‘Monsoon Wedding’, which released in 2001, featured the popular track, ‘Aaja nach le’, by Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans, which he had sung in 1997.
Originally sung by Malkit Singh in 1986, ‘Gur naalon ishq mithha’ later created waves in Indipop music with its remixed version. This one was also included in ‘Monsoon Wedding’ later.
At many Punjabi weddings, one can see people dancing to the tunes of, ‘Mera laung gawacha’ which was originally sung by Mohd Sadiq and Surinder Kaur years ago. The song has been revived quite a few times and has sold like hot cakes. It was later used in the Hindi film, ‘Naagmani’.
Tushar Sharma, 29, from Bilaspur said, “I got a chance to attend a Marwari wedding and it was fun to see that even people from Rajasthan were dancing to ‘Gur naalon ishq mitha’. I was wondering whether they understood even a single word, but Punjabi music makes you groove anyway.”
Groove to Punjabi music
Foot-tapping Punjabi numbers are ruling the charts in the Hindi music industry too. Yo Yo Honey Singh’s song, ‘Angrezi beat’ was part of his album, ‘International Villager’, that came out in 2011. The song was later featured in Imtiaz Ali’s blockbuster, ‘Cocktail’ (2012). Kangna Ranaut’s movie, ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ (2011), received a lukewarm response at the box-office but the highlight of the film was the song, ‘Saadi galli aaya karo’, which was originally sung by Lehmber Hussainpuri in 2008.
The most recent Punjabi number, topping all music charts is ‘Saturday Saturday’ from the yet-to-bereleased film ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya’ featuring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt grooving to the song. The song originally came out in 2012 and was sung by Indeep Bakshi featuring Badshah.
Indeep Bakshi, composer and singer of ‘Saturday Saturday’, said, “It’s a dream come true for me, as the song is not only gaining popularity in Punjab or Delhi, but people in Hyderabad and Chennai are loving it too. As part of a Bollywood film, the song is reaching a wider audience. Punjabi culture is getting a major boost as Bollywood is purchasing Punjabi songs and such songs connect with the youth easily.”
Even listeners are happy with songs making comebacks as Bollywood numbers. Gagandeep Singh, a 28-year-old businessman from Ludhiana said, “Ludhiana is in the limelight because of ‘Saturday Saturday’. I heard it two years ago and it is still topping charts.”
Decoding the trend
Vandana Sharma, 26, working with Infosys, IT park Chandigarh said, “Revival of old songs is great and Punjabi tracks are quite peppy and electrifying. In a way, they connect with the youth instantly.”
It is not only dance numbers, that are being showcased in Hindi movies, but slow and romantic songs like, ‘Main tenu samjhawan ki’, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, has a new version sung by Arijit Singh.
Malkit Singh’s Bhangra song, ‘Jind mahi’, was part of ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ (2002), a crossover indie film by Gurinder Chadha. Even Dr Zeus’s, ‘Kangna tera ni’, which came out in 2003, later featured in the Hindi film ‘Chaar Din Ki Chandni’ (2012), starring Kulraaj Randhawa and Tusshar Kapoor.
Going by the trend, Punjabi songs keep making great comebacks. Now people with two left feet have nothing to worry about. On Punjabi beats, ‘Anybody Can Dance.’