Master of puppets

May 26, 2009

Ye desh hai veer jawano ka,
albelon ka, mastano ka
is desh ka yaaron kya kehna,
ye desh hai duniya ka gehna

Not sure what Sahir Ludhiaanvi had in his mind when he wrote this song, probably a desh bhakti geet? Or when OP Nayyar was composing the music for this song, they probably thought that this would actually shake the whole nation. Yes, it actually did and is still “shaking” us since last five decades. The other contemporary melodies mellowed down soon, but, none of them ( barring ‘aaj merey yaar ki shaadi hai‘ ) could match the charisma associated with this classic. When other baraat songs were mostly ephemeral and remained seasonal, this Sahir-Nayyar combo remains the hot favorite in any north Indian baraat even after eons.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending one of the Rajasthani wedding where the great “Master band” of Udaipur was called for the baraat. For all those who are unaware of this bliss, I can bet, you too will forget all your salsa classes or those Latino dances or the basic synchronized dancing steps, and would move your bums and dance like weirdos when this song plays. The whole moment is so magical, complete in itself and if you’re on booze, the world sounds so platonic 😉

Well the usual tussle between the hyper excited blokes and the band members continued. The band members were pulling the chariot in the forward direction and the baraatis, determined to prove Newton’s third law, pulled it back in the opposite direction. To keep baraat moving with a steady pace, different colored currency notes were flashed. The guys struck a deal. One currency note, and the song would go on and on. By the time the baraat reached the bride’s place, this Ganga-Jamuna masterpiece had completed its sixth iteration 🙂


A happy ending to a great baraat, the baton at bride’s place was passed on to “baharon phool barsao, mera mehboob aaya hai“.