Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Hindi is not my mother-tongue and as a subject I studied Hindi till 8th grade though I believe and as my wife (a Hindi speaker) says, I speak good Hindi for someone who has learnt it from secondary sources. Be what it may, the point is, despite my almost no knowledge of Hindi literature, I have been fortunate enough to read some of the works by greats like Premchand and Harivansh Rai ‘Bachchan’. Majority of Premchand I have read was in form of Assamese translation; but for ‘Madhushala’, though I knew it would take me some time, I read it in Hindi because poetry is very prone to be lost in translation.

But why out of the blue it occurred to me that the soul of this great poet is in pain? Like all of us know, the deeds of the children are directly proportionate to the happiness and sorrow of the parents. And of the two children of the deceased poet, it is the most famous of them who has caused their father the pain this time.

Have you seen the song from ‘Bhoothnath Returns’ where Amitabh Bachchan collaborates with Yo Yo Honey Singh? I heard of it and thought of never listening or watching it. But the sheer shock of how-could-Mr Bachchan-do-it led me to the notepad and just because I did not want to write on my preconceived notions, I landed on Youtube.

… Wish I had stuck to my decision of not watching it. What was I expecting – Bachchan turning Honey Singh into a Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash?

The craze of sequels among filmmakers is catching up in the film industry, be it Indian mainstream cinema or Hollywood. So who bothers about how ‘Bhoothnath’ (2008) fared at the box office; we have the money, let’s make a sequel. Okay, we got it, but why Honey Singh- just because his songs are playing everywhere these days?

And had it been someone like Shahrukh Khan or Akshay Kumar, things are still under the area of comprehension. But NO, not with Amitabh Bachchan! It is not that I am a big fan of the actor, but yes, he is one of the last ambassadors of Indian cinema on the international platform and I am not counting Cannes here, people like Sonam Kapoor and Mallika Sherawat also get an invite there. And Mr Bachchan is at least presentable.

However, what made him do the song is not the question here- contract clause, his liking for Honey Singh’s artistry or whatever; the point is, he actually did that!

A few days ago, at an award show, Asha Bhosle discarded Honey Singh on his face saying she does not know who he is. This was after ‘Lungi Dance’ and ‘Party All Night’ when the rapper was almost sure that he is India’s reply to Eminem.

Ma’am, by now you must have known the singer who has shared screen space with the star of the millennium. ALAS!

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