Bitchy ballads | Cover Story | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Club hits
    July 13, 2013
    Despite their restrictive membership rules, colonial trappings and archaic dress (and gadget) codes, India's private clubs haven't lost…
  • Finer tastes
    July 13, 2013
    It is the culinary tradition and its grand interiors that Bengal Club is justifiably proud of.
  • Movers and shakers Inc
    July 13, 2013
    Insiders say the Gymkhana is a way of life — quite literally.
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
Whiplash of humour

Bitchy ballads

|



Amarsar de papad ve main khandi na/ Tu kardayen aakad ve main saindi na/ Chhadachadak teri bodi mere haath/ Meri gut tere hath/ Je tu rakhna hai rakh/ Je tu chhadna hai, chhaad

I don't eat Amritsar's papads, I don't take your attitude either. And if you have my plait in your grip, I have your top knot in my hand too. If you want to stick with me, do so or else go, take a walk. ' That is a Punjabi bibi sharply berating her philandering husband. If you thought only an urban woman could take digs at misogyny, it's time for a rethink.
Indian folk songs have a long tradition of laying on the sarcasm thick and strong. Songs sung on a range of ocassions from weddings to harvest were remarkably full of subversive stuff and allowed festive license.

Jagori activist Jaya Srivastava, who grew up in the Bundelkhand region, says that folk songs are far more blunt and funny about stating the woman's point of view. "Laughter has always been an integral part of folk culture, " she says. "And there is a lot of subversion in this humour. "

In the Bundeli song, Dil gare atta pe kay thaari, to the question 'why do you stand forlorn in your yard', the singer says the answer is neither that her husband has ignored her nor that her mother-in-law is giving her grief. It is that Maike ke yaar mohe sapte mein dikhe, khaye hilore, chhaati phate (I am dreaming of my old lover, and my heart heaves with longing). "It can't get more irreverent than that, " says Srivastava.

Many folks songs of UP, Rajasthan, Bihar and Punjab also have powerful lyrics that help women vent their angst against the saas, sasur, devar, jethani, bhabhi. They also portray the wives as bright but stuck with moronic husbands in repressive clans.

"It is temporary catharsis and then the next day they are back at doing chulha-chakki, " says Kamla Bhasin who has often used these songs, sometimes remixing them with urban messages, in her work with feminist groups.

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service