What better way to describe the flaying inflation than Mehngai Dayan, a song made famous by Aamir Khan’s film Peepli [Live], which is directed by debutante Anusha Rizvi and tells a tale of the plight of farmers. Though the song is a folk number from rural India sung by Raghuvir Yadav and villagers of Badwai, Madhya Pradesh, it’s got a universal appeal. Music knows no boundaries and since the track is about inflation, any commoner can relate to it.
It seems the makers of Peepli [Live] were not keen on giving the film a Bollywood tinge, that’s why the songs are uniquely fresh, unlike the other rustic numbers that are commonly used in Hindi films. Nageen Tanvir (daughter of the famous theatre person Habib Tanveer) who has sung Chola Mati Ke Ram track in the film, is quite happy with this attempt by the team. The song Chola Mati Ke Ram is based on a Gond tribal tune from Chattisgarh. It is written by the notable folk artist Gangaram Siwar and is used in plays by Habib Tanveer. Kudos to the Peepli [Live] team for their effort to present the audience, most of who are unaware of India’s rich folk music, something which is decades old and tells the story of how incredible India is.
In the past, A R Rahman too borrowed from a Chattisgarhi song to come up with the hit Sasural Genda Phool in Delhi 6. Unfortunately, the song was quite unlike the original.
Peepli [Live] also features songs by Indian Ocean, a band which is recognized as a contemporary fusion rock band and is unique and way too different because of their approach to music. Des Mera Rangrez Ye Bab with the extensive use of ektara and tabla is a dynamic song about our nation and amazes listeners with its percussion and lyrics. That’s what Indian Ocean stands for, creativity and originality.
Zindagi Se Darte Ho, another gem of a song by the band like Bandeh from the movie Black Friday, makes you take notice of life and its ups and downs. The song, for sure, haunts. Reality could be scary, after all. The song carries forward the revolutionary refrain which is typical of Indian Ocean.
At last, would especially like to mention the Mehngai Dayan remix version by Ram Sampat; in the new-age Bollywood full of remixes, we can say this track is one of the well-created remix. Can’t get better than this; fusion ka zamana hai.