February 02, 2006

Charming, tiptop, beautiful beautiful ..

Some may remember how the rapid growth of satellite television in India in the early nineties resulted in the proliferation of numerous nondescript channels dedicated to repeatedly broadcasting, of all things, film trailers.

The general lack of things to do in those days meant that one let oneself be subjected, at that impressionable age, to a continuous medley of aforesaid trailers. Trailers which were, naturally, full of phillum-songs. The effects, not surprisingly, linger to this very day. When one encounters blogposts that recall old advertisement-jingles and reminiscences like this one by heh heh, a few carefully-suppressed memories barge their way out of the subconscious and beg for an audience.

So let us discuss one particularly compelling phillum-song memory today, if only to achieve a sort of catharsis. For, as the Planthrin Borgess said, disturbing memories should not be bottled up within – they must be confronted.*

‘Tis the heady summer of ‘95. The young One is spending a vacation at the grandparental home, which happens to be located near a drive-in theatre. ‘Tis eleven o’clock at night, and the young One, having watched enough WWF for the day, prepares to curl up with a few Mandrake comics. Suddenly, he hears faint but bloodcurdling wails emanating from the aforementioned theatre. He listens, scared but fascinated.

A man’s voice, declaiming with much vigour:

We want girl, beautiful beautiful,
Charming, tiptop, beautiful, beautiful ..

And then a shrill, doubtless feminine retort:

We want boy, handsome handsome,
Dashing He-Man, Superman, Phantom ..

The young One covers his ears. He plugs them with cotton wool. He shuts the window. He burrows into the pillow. But nothing seems to help. He can still hear it. He considers drowning out the sound by playing something louder, but people are sleeping. He is in a most woeful predicament. He can do nothing but wait for it to finish.

And every night, at a few minutes past eleven, the young One is subjected to the aforementioned lyrics. By the end of the week, these lines are indelibly etched into his tender psyche. The young One is scarred for life.

The years pass. The young One becomes a Big Boy. He leaves the comforts of the beloved Desh and journeys to strange lands, meeting new people, seeing new sights, thinking new thoughts. But wherever he may go, every once in a while, when he least expects it, the lines return to haunt him. “Charming, tiptop, beautiful beautiful .. Dashing He-Man, Superman, Phantom ..”

And that, gentle reader, is the end of that particular phillum-song memory. One hopes that catharsis has been achieved. If the song does not haunt one any more, if the nightmares do not recur, one shall be thankful. ‘Nuff said.

* One does not have the faintest idea who the Planthrin Borgess might be, but then neither do you.

Update :

It seems people do not believe that such a song has ever been sung in Bollywood. While one is suitably outraged at the implication that this blog takes liberties with the truth (perish the thought!), one shall now go about the delicate business of Clearing One’s Good Name.

The lines in the post are from a song entitled Saawan Ka Mahina, Shaadi Bina Mushkil Hai Jeena. Phillum Hulchul. One cannot find the song on the web, unfortunately, but the reader might recall another song from the same film (a marginally better one) that went Pehli Dafaa Is Dil Mein Bhi Hulchul Si Hone Lagi.

So there.

Update the second :

S. (May She Blog For Ever) has given us this link. The gentle reader shall click on it and play the song in question.


Brown Magic said...

This post has triggered the memory of various songs dubbed in hindi -
the "nahin chahiye pharmacy" and "Telephone dhun mein hasnay waali" variety. Thanks a lot, one.

Casablanca said...

Either the Young One was having a particularly bad nightmare that night and therefore imagined up these lyrics, or The One's friendly neighbourhood theatre was not exactly a PG rated one. Because this blogger has never heard lyrics this outrageous ever, and she claims to be a Who-Knowing-A-Little about hindi music ;)


One in a Billion said...

BM : Ah, yes. Entire posts should be dedicated to how telephone-dhun mein hasna is achieved.

Casablanca : One swears this is true. God promise and all that. Please to see footnote.

S. said...

Found this. Thought you may find it interesting.

*still splitting sides laughing at the song*

Casablanca said...

The One seems to have taken great offense to the insinuations that One might have taken poetic liberty with the lyrics of the song ;)
Yet, the footnote seems still unable to jog my memory for the new song mentioned.
However, I will take your word for it. No promises and all that :D

S. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
One in a Billion said...

S. : That's the one! One shall now subject you to repeated thanks. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

Casablanca : Thankee for trust ;) And now there's a link too .. do take a peek.

Anonymous said...

there should have been a warning! I opened the link a university in the middle of a crowded cafe totally not expecting to hear that and all these brown people were giving me the weirdest looks

*slinks to the floor and hopes to melt and be mopped away while she continues laughing*

Primalsoup said...

Charming! And one did think that Kajol was slightly classier than that! Not to suggest that the song you quote wasn’t classy enough! Two different issues that.

But isn’t it much simpler to remain bad movies/ bad songs/ bad advertising? Making the required leap, no wonder they say, ‘Nice guys finish last…’

m. said...

LOL... thanks, One made the weekend!

@ s. - you bloody vetti specimen! :))

shakester said...

of course this song exists! of course. those days are gone though....:)

One in a Billion said...

Dee : Glad you liked :) Yes, headphones advisable.

Primalsoup : Yes, one has the sneaking suspicion that jointly suffering this song was what brought the lead pair together in real life.

And .. nice guys don't always finish last, right? :(

m. : Any time :)

AKR : Indeed .. they just don't make 'em like that anymore, do they? *sigh* Those were the days ..

tara said...

Ohmigosh! I hadn't even got to the footnote and i was already (much against my will, let me assure you) humming the song in question. And worse...i remembered Ajay Devgan rotating his hip with that HUGE plastic smile on his face!

You have really brought back memories dude!

the Monk said...

might the One have been hallucinating? thanks for the link, btw, it was helpful... ;)

tara said...

Oh, by the way, I've linked to this post.

As an aside, Anjali (Urban Junkie) and I decided to open this link that you had put up together. I decided to join in despite the fact that i probably knew the entire song by heart.

Her reactions (for your amusement) are as follows:

"Oh my God! He (The One) was right...he was right...he was right!" (First time incredulously, second time with horror, third time with a glazed look).

"You mean these guys are actually singing this to EACH OTHER?"

All i could say (amidst peals of laughter) was:

"Ya, that was courtship in the nineties"

Anjali said...

Absolutely riveting lyrics. One has been wise to put up the link to the song. I am ashamed to say that I am one of the many who doubted One's credibility with respect to this remarkable composition.

By the way, it is probable that One has not had occasion to actually view this song. I am told (by Informed Sources who know the song by heart and have watched it avidly at an impressionable age) that it consists of Ajay Devgan gyrating in a particularly frightening manner. One must be warned to stay clear of this, traumatized as One has already been in his formative years.

DeepBlueSea said...

Lol... I could swear that in the same movie, the pair cavorted in the rain to another... ermm.. endearing song that went I am sixteen, you are seventeen, dil kyun na dhak dhak kare. I wonder if it is too obscure to be listed.

Primalsoup said...

Sheesh! Re-read my comment and it should have been remember and not remain!
Oh and nice guys don't finish last I am told, they are usually not even part of the race! :)
A trauma inducing song as means to true love? Hmmm, time to get some music into my life I suppose.

One in a Billion said...

Tara : Courtship in the nineties this certainly was .. what’s frightening is the fact that it seems to have worked, in real life too! And his look in that song deserves a separate post, come to think of it.

Thanks for the link.

Monk : One wishes it were a hallucination, really.

Anjali : Ah. Your warning, kind as it is, has come a decade too late. For, shortly after the happenings described in this post, one did happen to view the song as part of a trailer (that’s why one began this post with a brief discussion of trailers, actually .. one seems to have lost that thread midway. Closely argued pieces have never been one’s strong point.) One might inform you that not only did Mr. Devgan gyrate with alarming gusto, he also sported what looked like an undergarment wrapped around his head.

It was a difficult childhood, as you may well imagine. But one prefers to view it as a sort of immunization process – nothing can faze one anymore. Horror flicks, knock-knock jokes, Tusshar Kapoor .. one takes everything in one’s stride.

Deepa : Yes, that Sound of Music ripoff. One does remember it, albeit vaguely .. but it wasn’t in this film, was it? And it’s surely, surely too obscure to be listed anywhere on the net .. but then that’s what one thought about Saawan Ka Mahina too. Let’s keep the ol’ eyes peeled.

Primalsoup : Right .. one did think there was something unusual about the previous comment. And, well, music is what all our lives need, it would seem.

aristera says said...

HAHAHAHA. hillarrrious!

One in a Billion said...

Aristera : Glad you liked!

Anonymous said...

The one to show my confidence in you, I urge you to enlighten us with the 'formula for courting' in the 90's film inspired of course!

you could do a series!

heroine's look [plastic earrings et al], hero's look, setting, gaana bajaana, the wind that only blew the heroine's hair......

csk said...

All's well but why this venture into the realm of the past without any apparent reason? What made you nostalgic enough to recall this? A sunday afternoon?

One in a Billion said...

Dee : One thanks you kindly for the vote of confidence. However, one might confess that one's understanding of such matters is somewhat inadequate, and that there are people who, one is sure, can do that sort of thing far better. You, for instance?

CSK : Something like that, amigo. Something like that.

Anonymous said...

hmmm *pushes glasses up her nose nerd style and frowns in concentration* I think I can do it *nods head seriously* And you shall give your seal of approval, no?

In the meantime I continue to be traumatized with the "zeher hai ki pyar hai tera chumma" :|

One in a Billion said...

Dee : Of course. Consider it approved already.

And there's no need to be traumatized, really. Just chill, chill .. just chill.

Ph said...

LOL. We are disappointed at not having found Phanthom when we were looking. We would have been the pherfect Ph couple. So cute no?

One in a Billion said...

Ph : Hmm .. the Ph-Ph thing would've been cute, no doubt, but generally one would not recommend the Ghost Who Walks. A little overrated, that chap, in one's humble opinion. Not a patch on our Ph.

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