[Order] [Order in the courtroom]
In the case of ‘Sweets Vs Wooden Toy’, I plead not guilty, your honour!
Let me present my case:
India is a complex nation. If you cross a state border in India, you will be in a different culture altogether- different language, cuisine, festivals and traditions. It should actually be called ‘Indian Federation’. We are a cauldron of flavours and texture like a stew rather than the uniform sliced bread.I get carried away by food, sometimes. Please bear with me.
I am a tamilian from South India and had had very little exposure to Hindi, which is a common language spoken in many parts of North India (north Indian languages have some common roots). Bollywood movies, for example, are in Hindi and for a South Indian, not always easy to follow, if the words are not something you hear everyday.
I learnt Hindi in school as my third language – after English and my mother tongue Tamil. My proficiencyin Hindi can be summed up thus: I can read nursery rhymes in Hindi but cannot understand poetry.
20 years later…..
I live in Goa now where the state language is Konkani but almost everyone speaks a smattering of Hindi. I can converse in Hindi and I was mighty impressed with myself as I could pick up the language after being away from the country for 13 years during which there was absolutely no chance to practise it at all. So I try and keep in touch via Hindi movies.
Now I have realized, learning Hindi from Bollywood movies is a bad move. I shall tell you why. Remember my post on ‘Yeh Jawaani hai Diwani‘? Well, I enjoyed the movie thoroughly and then forgot all about its songs. My Zumba instructor picked one of the songs for our class, recently. While we were all taking a break from sweating it out, one of the girls sang the song aloud and I told her not to think about food while working-out.
She was surprised : ‘what food?’
Me : ‘the laddoos, of course’
She : ‘what laddoos?’
Me : ‘the one that aunty is making in the song’
(Silence and then peals of laughter)
It was carefully explained to me in simple words (in English) that the lyrics says ‘lattu’ which is a top (something like a beyblade for you young people) and not ‘laddoo’ which is a famous Indian sweet that features as the spinach-equivalent in the cartoon series ‘Chotta Bheem’.
I call upon the non-prejudiced people to make a pronouncement on whether I was wrong in assuming that they are singing about balls of sugar and flour as opposed to a wooden top, which is a plaything. The below translation was provided by a friend.
Dear beloved person, when you assaulted me with a stream of water from a liquid projectile launcher, an ostensibly normal and balanced female became alcoholic
When you wore denim and oscillated your pelvic girdle in one direction, the adjoining resident’s sister-in-law began showing symptoms of an obsession-driven psychological disorder
(Balam pichkaari jo tune mujhe maari
Toh seedhi-saadhi chhori sharaabi ho gayi
Jeans pehenke jo tu ne maara thumka
Toh lattu padosan ki bhaabi ho gayi)
Now any reasonable human would assume from the way the song is shot and the dance moves, it is about the neighbour’s sister-in-law making laddoos as part of the celebration while ‘you’ (the hero/heroine in this case) are dancing around wearing jeans. I do not, of course, understand the cosmic implications of wearing jeans but lazing around when the next-door neighbour is labouring away making baskets of laddoos- sounds like the moral of the song. And as you can see, there was even alcohol in play. Need I say more?
Here is the video:
So members of the jury, what say you? Guilty or not guilty? I leave you to your judgement!
ps: I do not know if the translation was done by our esteemed friend ‘Google’ but seriously ‘pelvic girdle’?!?