A peculiar version of anguish, the Hyderabadi style
On a rainy afternoon of August 2014, Anuj Gurwara , while drinking garma-garam, kadak Irani chai, he wrote some lines in his notebook. The first lines he wrote were something like this: Amma bawa sahi bole, thookengi teruku use karke ... The following lines flowed effortlessly over the notebook, all in typical Hyderabadi. but Anuj did not think much then. Fast forward five years to August 2019 and Anuj has released Amma Bawa, with catchy background music and a peculiar video, such as Hyderabadi's first pop song. We met the successful creator of Panchadara Bomma a few minutes after he released the song, and he went crazy as usual, refusing to answer any questions directly and making us laugh in his typical Hyderabadi mood. Excerpts
So what made you release this song after five years?
When I wrote it initially, a friend from Mumbai tried to find a tune for it. but it went into cold storage after that. Last year, however, my friend Sanket Sane composed his music and Pranabesh Sarkar and Gautam Bhattacharyya made some fun illustrations and this is how the video came about. It was not a very planned process to be honest. Aise baithe baithe likh diya tha bas ...
The song revolves around a Hyderabadi boy whose girl has broken his heart, has Anuj broken his heart and why this song?
Paanch saal ke timeline mein, kayi ladkiyan mera dil todke chale gaye. So, in five years, the amount of anguish I've had, woh saara kuch nichod ke gaane main dal diya hai. Itna ki, merely paas MBA for nahi hai, but I have MBH (Master of the broken heart) (laughs). Well, it's just a simple heartbreak song in the typical Hindi Hyderabadi. Not exactly autobiographical. But I am sure that many people will identify with the song.
Looks like another abandoned guy's story with a Kolavari Di
syndrome, although with a hyderabadi twist ...
Ab kya karu ... I am a Hyderabadi pakka at heart, and this is a Hyderabadi guy whose heart is broken ... now he doesn't know any language other than Hyderabadi, so he sings it in that language. Unfortunately for him, the language itself is fun, so even a heartbreaking song will make you laugh.
You say this is the first Hyderabadi pop song from India ...
Yes, and the fact is that nobody has explored this genre before. It is an amalgam of what Hyderabad really is: it even has the quintessence of chicha and mamu. Many people in Hyderabad believe they speak Hyderabadi, but in reality they do not. It is Telugu mixed Hyderabadi or Hindi mixed with certain other jargon. Real Hyderabadi, in its pure form, is the language spoken in Charminar or for the old Hyderabadis I grew up with ... that's what I tried to incorporate into my song and I hope people like it.
The illustrations in the video are extravagant and super Hyderabadi. So what was the inspiration behind that?
Well, because I was launching the song nationally, I needed to have visually identifiable elements of Hyderabad in the video. So, the brief that I had given them (Gautam and Pranabesh) was that I wanted the opening of the video with a visual of Charminar. So, if you are in any part of the world, the moment you see the iconic building, you know it’s about Hyderabad. Then, they added all the other visuals accordingly. It is all their creative genius that has found way into this fun video. And about the chicha or mamu, wo sab random hai. I should actually put out a disclaimer saying ‘any resemblance to anybody living or dead ispurely coincidental’ (laughs). I just wanted the video to represent the diversity of Hyderabad - so from a khala in a burqa to a sardarji walking on the street, the video has every element representing the city.
The whole concept of calling a girl who left a boy chalu potti who used it may seem quite misogynistic ...
Absolutely not. This song is about a girl who has broken a boy's heart and I am not abusing anyone, I am not saying anything about femininity or the feminine gender. These are two characters that did not have a good love story. While reliving this song, I overlooked it with many of my friends, who are passionate about the fact that women should not be misrepresented. Everyone has given their approval and they have really loved the song. And, let me clarify, I am a feminist. I will do nothing to disrespect any gender. In fact, all my ex-girlfriends are sharing the song on social networks while we talk.
I'm friends with all my ex and everyone has been waiting for ki yeh gaana kab aayega ...
What are your hopes for the song?
Well, my friends and my family are really excited, but I am eager to know how the people of the country react. I want to see how far our Hyderabadi dialect can travel across the country. It is not a different language, if you only understand basic Hindi, you will understand. Therefore, its appeal will be pan-Indian.