Sunday, March 29, 2015


The poem Chull, penned in the early years of the twenty-first century, is a descriptive commentary on the social injustice faced by women in the India of the post modern era. The poet, Fazilpuria, places himself in the shoes of the haves, the have-nots, the observers and the culprit, and brings forth the varied perspectives that are prevalent in such a patriarchal society. The title aptly describes the feeling of uneasiness felt by the poet and remains the central theme of the poem.

Yeah! Yeah!
Re Fazilpuria in the house.
Arey ladki beautiful kar gayi chull.
Arey ladki beautiful kar gayi chull.

The poem begins with words of affirmation without stating the matter or substance for which such approval is granted, thus laying the foundation of the social background in which the poem is set. It signifies a social construct where collective approval of the society is given precedence over any individualistic or logical thought and reasoning. The point is further reiterated when the poet refers to himself with the pseudonym “Fazilpuria” that shows his desperate attempt to be identified as a resident of Fazilpur and have no individual identity of his own. He finds comfort in being just another face in the crowd as standing out from the mob could bring him dire consequences. The third and fourth lines of the poem are repetitions, which again, stand evidence to the interpretation stated above.

Dekh tera rang saanwla, hua baawla.
Ladki nahi hai, tu hai garam maamla.
Bolti bandh meri, kahoon kya bhala,
Kuchh bhi kaha nahi jaaye.

In these lines, the poet addresses a girl by telling her about how the society is “mad” at her for her dusky skin color. She is told that she is not a girl, but a topic for a heated discussion. These lines shed light on the society’s disapproval for both the girl and a dark complexion. Thus, the poet states that a dusky girl is synonymous with a matter that gives rise to heated emotions. He, therefore, states that it is better to stay mute about such an issue because there is nothing that can be said on the matter, which would result in a positive outcome.

Re re re re, kanya kunwari, adbhut naari,
Badshah ki matt tune maari.
Chadh ke tere pe karun ghud sawari
Chance jo ek mil jaaye.

Here, the poet comments on the “king” or the presiding government of the country, which seems to lose its mind over any opportunity to take advantage of a situation of women oppression. The poet states that regardless of the oppressed being a young girl who has the potential to grow into an extraordinary woman some day, the government is only concerned about how it could use the situation to establish a vote bank in a democracy. The fact of the king’s loss of sense and wisdom at each such opportunity is substantiated by incidents from the India of the early twenty-first century, when the ruling Parliamentarians would make sexist comments on one hand and announce promises of women emancipation on the other. The metaphor of the king’s horse-riding of every oppressed lady is a mark of brilliance in brevity on part of the poet.

Meri jaan naache tu Dilli, hile hai London,
Matak-matak jaise Raveena Tandon,
Aag lagaane aayi hai ban-than,
Goli chal gayi dhaayein.

In these lines, the poet very subtly comments on a specific episode from the social media uproar of that time. He reminds us of the time when the law makers of the Indian sub-continent were dancing over a landmark event of crime against women in the capital, and then hypocritically expressed their dismay when a media channel based out of London decided to broadcast the matter globally. This stanza tries to bring the reader’s attention to the irony that the residents of Fazilpur enjoy objectifying women at one moment, salivating at the seductive movements of a lady, and then go forth to killing them in the name of vulgarity at another. The onomatopoeia at the end of the stanza signifies the noise that the issue makes in the society, bereft of all action.

Teri akhri jawaani,
Karti hai manmaani,
Teri daaton mein ungli,
Mere munh mein hai paani,
Mere samajh ishaare.
Tu lagti siyaani, baby!

The poet now puts himself in the shoes of the culprit, whose excuses for his crimes are on the lines of blaming the victim, by stating that it was her will and desire (manmaani) that the culprit put her through physical abuse. He explains that the victim had put her finger between her teeth, which was a non-verbal sign, inviting him to molest her. The last line of the stanza shows how the culprit does not even care for the age of the girl and many a times makes a baby his victim.

Arey daayein, baayein,
Kaise kamar tu jhulaaye?
Physics samajh nahi aaye!
Arey ladki beautiful kar gayi chull.

Arey jaaye jaaye,
Dekh raha nahi jaaye.
Saanp sa jaise dass jaaye,
Arey ladki beautiful kar gayi chull.

Koi bacha lo, mujhe sambhalo,
Arey ise utha lo,
Arey ladki beautiful.
Koi to roko, Chhori nu toko.
Arey ladki beautiful kar gayi chull.

Here, the poem continues to depict the mentality of the culprit, who finds illogical and unreasonable excuses for inappropriately touching the victim by stating that he did so because he wanted to understand movements in the human body. His ignorance is displayed by the poet through an intentionally incorrect reference to biology with the word “physics”. The succeeding lines also state that the most common excuse reckoned by society is that the criminal cannot contain his emotions on exposure to such venomous actions on part of the girl, who is equated with a serpent that bit the culprit; the latter having acted only in a manner of self-defense.  The matter ends with the culprit trying to present himself as the victim and demanding the society to stop women from engaging in such adulterous and indecent activities, for which they should be killed.

To sum, the poem is a true reflection of an uncivilized and grossly uneducated society, which is capable of spelling the word “beautiful”, but not educated enough to understand its true meaning.

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  1. A particular Funny Singh once made a song called Bhoot vol. 2 which is much more derogatory than this song. The funny thing is that we've welcomed him with open arms and he continues to make such songs. Even I am the culprit to some extent for encouraging him. I repent listening to his songs and thinking that such songs are so cool. THEY'RE NOT!! Objectifying women seems fun only until we imagine other girls. Try visualizing your wife/gf/sister/friend in such songs. Then everyone will realize how gross these songs are

    1. Thanks for your comment, Pulkit. I agree with the sentiment.

  2. Man, the early twenty first century sounds like a messed up time in the history of India. Thank heavens we got past all that bullshit!

    Seriously, though, it is well past time that we realised how very flawed our thinking is. We can all yell about how sexist these songs are, but at the end of the week we are the ones who go and shamelessly dance at such songs and contribute to their success. The most pathetic argument I've heard is, "but you have to admit, the song is catchy."
    The fucking plague is catchy, that doesn't make it good.

    This made me laugh out loud, but it also made me shake my head and grimace. Because, WHEN are we going to get over ourselves and leave mysoginy behind as a part of the Dark Days? HOW LONG is it going to take us? I'm presonally not very hopeful about the near future.

    But I suppose we've got to keep pushing against the barriers; we can't just resign ourselves to a loathsome society. And I'm glad people like you are trying, Sarthak. Because this counts. THIS is your bit, and you've done a great job at it. Seriously, this is amazing. Just keep writing.
    Oh, and here are your well-deserved jalebis: @@@@@@@@@

  3. When disgust falls short, use sarcasm! (y)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This one definitely deserves many jalebis!

    It's sad how most of the people just enjoy these tracks without putting much thought to the crass lyrics and shitty objectification of women Stated in these songs. Despite the present state of affairs it feels good to have educated class of men who are openly taking a stand towards these issues. :)

  5. This one definitely deserves many jalebis!

    It's sad how most of the people just enjoy these tracks without putting much thought to the crass lyrics and shitty objectification of women Stated in these songs. Despite the present state of affairs it feels good to have educated class of men who are openly taking a stand towards these issues. :)


If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D