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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The song template

Bollywood songs, especially those written by individuals lesser than the inimitable Sahir or the often unfathomable Gulzar, have often followed a template throughout the song. The concept goes like this: a template is laid out in the mukhda (sthayi), and the same template is followed in the antaras.

Consider a template using the following variables:
Problem variable: X
Problem activity caused by variable: P
Solution variable: Y
Solution offered by variable y: S

Now that we have defined our variables in the template, let us define the template:
If x causes a problem P, then Y offers the solution S.
If Y causes a problem identical to P, then who offers a solution identical to S?

Now, let us assign values to the variables:
X=chingari; P=bhadakna (agan lagana, which is synonymous); Y=saawan; S=bujhana

So we get
Chingari koi bhadke, to saawan use bujhaye
Saawan jo agan lagaye, use kaun bujhaye?

Then again,
X=patjhad; P=baag ujaadna; Y=bahaar; S=khilana

We get
Patjhad jo baag ujaade, wo baag bahaar khilaye
Jo baag bahaar mein ujde, use kaun khilaye?

Now, the antaras are somewhat more descriptive. They also contain a couple of lines each that basically act as an introduction to the situation. So, in essence,each of the antaras contains two lines of set-up and two lines of template:

Antara 1:
Humse mat poochho kaise mandir toota sapnon ka,
Logon ki baat nahin hai, ye kissa hai apnon ka.
(X=dushman; P=thnes lagana / ghaao lagana; Y=meet/manmeet; S=jiya behlana / ghaao mitana)
Koi dushman thnes lagaye, to meet jiya behlaye
Manmeet jo ghaao lagaye, use kaun mitaye?

Antara 2:
Na jaane kya ho jaata, jaane hum kya kar jaate?
Peete hain to zinda hai, na peete to mar jaate.
(X=duniya; P=pyaasa rakhna/pyaas lagana; Y=madira; S=bujhana)
Duniya jo pyasa rakhe, to madira pyaas bujhaye
Madira jo pyaas lagaye, use kaun bujhaye?

Antara 3:
Maana toofan ke aage nahin chalta zor kisi ka,
Maujon ka dosh nahin hai, ye dosh hai aur kisi ka.
(X=majhdhaar; P=naiya dolna / naao dubona; Y=maajhi; S=paar lagana / bachana)
Majdhaar mein naiya dole, to maajhi paar lagaye,
Maajhi jo naao duboye, use kaun bachaye?
See how easy this is? Just define the template, define the variables and run it again and again.

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  1. Amazing! I don't know whether its one of his great posts or not but I think its one of the great ideas that he has conceived- its not easy at all!
    Appreciate the humor.

  2. durr...ek ta gaaner example dile hobe...eta easiest gaan to formalize.