Upon relocating to Delhi, I was very quick to adapt to the spoken local lingo; a prerequisite to social acceptance among tweens. At school however, I saw myself turn from a star student in Hindi (since in Kuwait I faced slight or no competition) to a stressed new student. That was a whopping jolt to my parents who took great pride in their appreciation of the language and disliked the frequent embellishments done by the “Dilliwalas”. I guess what they found detrimental to the language was fast becoming my staple diet especially in my school assignments.
Amazingly, the innocuous and should I say the only radio/cassette player at home turned out to be the cure. Since that contraption was turned on most of the time at home, our ears and minds were constantly fed Hindi film music (HFM). This led us to memorize the songs since they came with hummable melodies and learning by rote was my strength… now I know better.
Seeing my indiscriminate use of the local parlance, I was suggested a recovery strategy by my father: “Think of the numerous melodious Hindi film songs”, he said; ”They have handsomely fashioned sentences with a rich word bank “.
The mid-term test paper found me sweating in Delhi’s December on reading the essay topic, ‘Prakriti ke Vardaan’ (Bounties of Nature). I decided to put Papa’s formula to test and the first song that came to my mind was Yeh Kaun Chitrakaar Hai sung in an effortless style by Mukesh from “Boond jo Ban Gayi Moti”.
Haree haree vasundhara pe neela neela yeh gagan
The sky got me to Neele gagan ke tale dharti ka pyaar pale from the film “Humraaz” naturally followed by the mountains from “Shagun”! Parbaton ke pedo par shaam ka baseraa hai, suramayi ujaala hai, champayee andhera hai.
Moving from dawn to dusk, I borrowed lines off the song Ye Raat Ye chandni phir kahan from “Jaal”, Lehron ke hontho pe dheema dheema raag hai, Bheegi hawaaon mein thandi thandi aag hai…
Then thought of “Dilli ka Thug” Ye Raaten Ye Mausam Nadi Ka Kinara Ye Chanchal Hawa.
Finally to give a delicate edge and a touch of romance, threw some words from “Bees Saal Baad” .
Dekhiye gulaab ki vo daaliyaan, badhke choom le na aap ke qadam,
Thank you Shri Sahir Ludhianvi, Shri Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shri Shakeel Badayuni and Shri Bharat Vyas, you came to my rescue and made my journey so cool!
Call it plagiarism, but I thank HFM for helping my grades and ever since being with me as a trustworthy and esteemed companion for life…