When it comes to the defence of Indian culture, Pahlaj Nihalani ‘khada hai’. Following the outrageous Spectre controversy, the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification, Pahlaj Nihalani, responded to protests against the reduction of the kissing scene sequences with the following statement. In an interview with the Mumbai Mirror, he said, “This means you want to do sex in your house with your door open. And show to people the way you are doing sex.”
He further said that if he had a free hand, he would want a wider range of parameters when it comes to certifying films. “I recommend new categories: 12, 12+, 15, 15+, A, A+ and A++. That way even parents come to know exactly what kind of films their child is watching,” he said.
With the baton of ‘Indian culture’ in hand, we take a trip down memory lane to revisit a few of Pahlaj Nihalani’s cinematic masterpieces. Specifically, a few songs from his most famous films, songs filled with double meanings and choreographed erotica. At all times, there is a heavy dose of sexual referencing, the kind that puts a little harmless kissing to shame. And when Anil Kapoor talks about begging producer Nihalani to not include a particularly raunchy song, we can’t help but remember Pahlaj Nihalani’s words,
“But what is the modern generation watching? We are giving them the license to see anything. How is this projecting our culture?”
First on the list is Main Maal Gaadi from Andaz (1994)
Talking about ‘doing sex in your house with the doors open’, it doesn’t get more literal than this honeymoon scene between Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla. Set in a railway station set, Andaz has lyrics like “Waqt hai kam aur lamba safar hai / Tu raftaar bada de, manzil tak hame pahunchade” (There’s little time, and the journey is long / You increase the speed, and make me reach my destination) to which Anil Kapoor replies “Kabhi kabhi hum tez chalenge, kabhi kahin dum lenge, / Hum dono jo chahe karenge” (We will go fast sometimes, we’ll rest in between somewhere, / We will do whatever we want).
Of course, they meant the train journey. What did you think?
O Lal Duppatte Wali – Aankhen (1993)
What could be dubbed as an anthem for stalkers, this song sees Govinda and Chunkey Pandey harassing the lead actresses on the road, who in turn raise the hemline of their already short skirts as they sing “Har Ajnabee ke liye yeh khidki nahi khulti“(This window doesn’t open for every other stranger). After the stalking and shoving around, it’s the heroines turn to respond. How does the ‘dialogue’ end? With the women (unwillingly) kneeling before the men (1:08), arms trapped between the heroes legs. The heroes proceed to thrust their pelvis in time to the ‘oy hoy’ music. The women look beseechingly at the men. The men look up at the sky in seeming nonchalant joy. Indian sanskriti 101, folks.
Kuku Kuku – Andaz
Pristine meadows, women dressed in flashy, skimpy clothes. Anil Kapoor and Karisma Kapoor (in a teacher-student romance) sing about how they want to ‘Kuku Kuku’ every day. What the term ‘Kuku Kuku’ means, we leave to your creative interpretation. Fair warning: the dance movements leave little to the imagination.
Angna Mein Baba- Aankhen
Shilpa Sirodhkar invites Govinda into her home with the lyrics “Khet Gaye Baba, Bazaar gayi Maa, / Ghar pe hoon aklei, tu aaja baalma” (Father has gone to the farm, mother is at the market, / I am home alone, you can come, dear).
Well, if that doesn’t convince Govinda, what will? Pelvic thrusts and dance steps involving plenty of skirt lifting. So Govinda finally enters her home. What happens next? We wouldn’t know. The doors were closed.
Khada Hai Khada Hai – Andaz
An amorous, lungi-clad Anil Kapoor urges his newly-wed wife Juhi Chawla to open the door with innuendo-filled lyrics ‘Khada Hai…Darwaza khol’. With an unnecessarily high level of physical shoving, he frequently pulls her to him, throws her on the cot at one point, and yanks her arm around from a window. Of course, a coy smiles here and there lets the audience know that Juhi Chawla is only shamming in withholding affection from her new-husband. It’s the kind of song that subtly justifies marital rape, because it makes – literally – such a song and dance about a woman saying ‘no’ to her husband. In fact, onlookers watching the scene gape in wonder, and even indulge in an impromptu group dance performance on the streets. A wife denying her husband access is just titillation, after all.
Nobody hates this song more than the lead pair, Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla. Kapoor went on to admit that this song was the biggest regret of his film career! And how he ‘pleaded with the producer’ against the song.