Monday, February 07, 2011

On Sheila, Munni and other things

Singing is one thing I just cannot do, even to save my life. I have absolutely no musical inclination whatsoever. I can paint, I can make extremely realistic portraits, I can write, I can play basket-ball, I can bowl a leg-spin  and even do a perfect chakrasana in Yoga.
chakrasana or urdhva dhanurasana Pictures, Images and Photos

But when it comes to singing--I'd rather run a mile. Or perhaps that  statement should be slightly altered to say, those around me would rather run a mile :-)
I swear I don't sing badly at all. After all, I have taught at a pre-school (for children in the age group 2-4) where I sang nursery rhymes all the time. There is a certain grace and poise in singing "People in the bus bounce up and down" while jumping up and down, without looking like a complete moron. :-))  You have to jump elegantly and sing loudly enough so that the child in the back row doesn't fall asleep. The children loved it, I swear! They always asked me "Preeti aunty, can we please sing 'up and down'?" And I obliged. It is hard to resist cute little 3 years olds asking with great hope in their eyes. Besides, I had an absolutely adoring audience who hung on to every word I said like it was gospel. They would even throw in a free hug afterwards. 

We hardly heard any of the latest Bollywood songs when we were in the UK. After we have relocated to India, however, Sheila and Munni seem to be making as many appearances in my home as the ironing wallah who comes to collect clothes. My daughter (who is nine) asked me the other day "Mummy, what does  main zandu balm huyi, darling tere liye' mean?  That was the first time I tried to poetically interpret an item number. Don't laugh, I swear, there is such deep meaning in those lyrics. :D Especially when you try to explain them to a nine year old who has been exposed mainly to Pendulum, Katy Perry and Iyaz.

And then of course, there is no escape in India  from the famous Sheila ki jawaani. My children very well understood what 'I'm too sexy for you' meant. After all they are 13 and 9, which is equivalent of what we were at the ages 24 and 21. Yeah, today's children are the google-x-box-kinect generation, unlike us who were the doordarshan-cable-TV-video-game console kids. I had to explain what "main tere haath na aanvi' meant and what 'jawaani' meant too.

My English friends can watch the two songs (which have almost become anthems in India) mentioned in this post by clicking here and here (and boy  am I glad I do not have to explain the lyrics to my English friends in the UK! I would not be able to even if I tried!)

I must admit, the tunes are quite catchy. The other day I found myself humming (mind you, I said humming, it was not even singing, my voice was so low) 'Sheila ki jawaani'.

Both my children said in unison "Maaaa--please please STOP. Please do not sing."

"Why children, it is such a nice song," I teased them and sang a little louder.

"Maaa--please STOP ma. Even a person who has no intention to commit suicide will do so if they hear you sing. STOP," implored my son.

These days it is very easy for me to make my children obey me, as soon as I tell them something
"Go clean your rooms, otherwise I will sing sheila ki jawani."
"Go finish your homework, else I will sing Sheila ki jawaani"
"Better drink your milk.If not--'my name is sheeeeeeeeela...sheeeeeeela ki..."


The chipmunks version  embedded above has made my task even more easier. All I have to do is say in a squeaky voice "My name is............"

The children run and finish whatever they have been asked to do :-)
A thank you to Munni and Sheila :D

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ps: See  this page for a chance to win a signed copy of BOTH my books. Or scroll down and read the previous post. Some amazing discussions with superb insights have been taking place there.



23 comments:

  1. LOL:D. So now a days, you become a scary Mummy ;). Lovely post.
    Yeah now a days children are much more intelligent and brisk than we used to be :P

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  2. Got tired of these 2 songs in India and glad I don't have to listen to them here :)

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  3. Shachi: I kinda like those songs :P :D

    Vipul: :D :D thanks :) Glad you saw the humour :) (it was meant to be a funny post) :)

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  4. Thank you. Now I know exactly what I have to do to get the kids to toe the line. Loved the chipmunk version

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  5. Hahaha! Awesome Idea...only in my case I dont think it will work..my 2.5 year old sings it right along with me!!!

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  6. Ha ha! Can't stop laughing! :D

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  7. Hahaha. I'm finding it hard to stop laughing!
    Funny FUNNY post! I swear munni and sheila have taken the nation by a storm.. And it is so apalling to see little children (read my 5 year old cousin) sing 'I'm too sexy for you!'. The song IS catchy!

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  8. i knew the intensity of sheela and munni wave is quite large in india.. your post proved a point and even gave new dimensions to it.. my landlords son also goes bit funny face when ever he sees that song and points out that it has a word s-e-x-y in it.. and pointed out to her mom when it came on television..



    p.s.on a kind note.. a typo in 3rd sentence.. "cam" instead of "can".. though does not matter.. still thought of pointing it out.

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  9. I know exactly how you feel... my German colleagues all know Sheila Ki Jawani well by now.

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  10. hahaha...same here, somehow i find myself humming/singing....

    funnnnnnny post! :D

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  11. You probably have not heard the song 'Darllling Aankhon Se' from Saat Khoon Maaf yet then! It is quite catchy too :)

    And It will take some effort to bring Sheila down from the top of the item song charts :)

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  12. Haha...I agree, the tunes are quite catchy. The song was stuck in my head for a long time!! Love the chipmunk version. Lol

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  13. At least something good came out of those songs;)

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  14. LOL..good one Preeti. Wish I find out one such scary thing which will make my Prince listen to me..It was nice reading this. Have a good day.

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  15. You must post every day else I will sing sheila ki jawani :)

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  16. good one, preeti!LOL...Even I love humming the sheela song and I try to stop with the first two lines but my 7-yr old sings (in the top-pitch voice) most of the lines. Like purvi, she also asked me to explain the words in it. :o
    I am sure you are just being modest enough and the children are playing along...when u say you cant sing!!! But at least it did make them complete their chores.;) :D

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  17. Ha ha :) Chipmunk version..I did not know something like that existed! But I guess the video is not really made for the song, right?

    Nevertheless, the vocals are good enough to make anyone complete their chores ;)

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  18. Aathira: Which video? Chipmunks?

    SK: I truly cannot sing :)

    Ramesh: Heh heh heheh..Will you sing on phone? :P :)

    justbecause: :) It was just a light hearted post :)

    Prathima: You bet ;-)

    Nandana: heh heh--many do!

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  19. Varun: In fact, just a few days back I had sent the video of that song (darling ankho hi..) to one of my closest friends. I liked that song a lot.

    Suma: Was meant to be :) Gald u saw the humour :)

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  20. sruoloc: Nice! :) may be they can translate to German!

    Mihir: typo corrected :) You should have edited by second book!

    Sucheta: Yeah--my friend hadn't heard the song till her 3 year old sang it! She learnt from school. (and my friend does not let them watch any television, so you can imagine her reaction)

    Vidya: i take that as a huge compliment. Thank you :)

    R's mom : :) Maybe you don't sing as badly as me ;-) :D

    Ritu: heh heh :)

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  21. And the radio just won't stop playing those two :(

    Nice post! BTW, do let us know how you explained Purvi what 'main Zandu balm hui' means!

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  22. Akanksha: Thanks :) Told her its basically a whole load of nonsense :) and ir probably means just like when you have a head ache you use a balm, she probably means she will soothe the person she is singing for..Really--i have no clue, hence poetically interpreted an item number :D

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  23. LOL never seen this song before but i loved the chipmunks version...

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