Next Sunday is Valentine’s day, but how can we celebrate it when BJP chief ministers have fallen head over heels in laws branding love as anti-national? Jihad is declared on all forms, bar Hindutva’s authorised missionary position. Hate is the new love. Romeo squads have become desi Shakespeares, adapting and enforcing the line, ‘Parting is such (non) sweet sorrow’ as they violently tear couples apart.
Since love’s labours are lost on heartless goons, I too am going to upend the Bard, and reverse Duke Orsino’s command: ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’ Here’s my play on the words of memorable love songs using food imagery. Voluntary disclosure: In keeping with that Twelfth Night quote, I might ‘give (you) surfeit of it’ and your ‘appetite may sicken and so die’.
If Jeo Baby’s much slurped-over film, The Great Indian Kitchen, uses mundane housework to chomp on male entitlement, i too am entitled to use lowly onions and potatoes in place of lofty love. Saudagar’s ‘Ilu Ilu’ can be twisted to ‘Alu-Alu’, and Anarkali’s defiance to ‘Pyaz kiya toh rona kya?!” Lion King’s hits can easily use apli Marathi. ‘Hakuna Batata’, because the original is Swahili for ‘No worries’, and potatoes are the saviour of every cook, no? Arre bhau, ‘Kanda feel the love tonight?’
Other lowly veggies can be added to the (legal) pot. What if a Rajkumar Rao, stricken by Sonam Kapoor, blabbered ‘Ek lauki ko dekha to kofta laga’? And would a Bryan Adams cover be ‘Everything I doodhi, I dhoodhi it for you.’? He could even sop up the gravy with ‘Every bread I take’. A Jainified Elvis might ooze, ‘Love me tinda, love me true’, and Sinatra croon, ‘Fly me to the Moong’.
Vyjayanthimala would have sliced up Raj Kapoor if he persisted with ‘Bol Radish bol, shalgam hoga ki nahin’. The Bengali spice, ‘Radhuni’ sounds even more like the original song’s ‘Radha’.
‘Love, sex and dhokla’ might sum up the steamy-within Gujarati. Switching methods, we could travel along ‘Yeh Roaste Hain Pyar ke’. Other oldie-goldies could be revised to the cautionary ‘Chulha jalaa kar, attaon milaakar, chali nahin jaana’, or the dieter’s refrain, ‘Aaj khaaney ki zidd na karo.’ Trying your hand at the Parsi Sunday staple, you might despair ‘Ae dal hai mushkil/ Pakana yahaan./ Zara teekkha/ Zyada meat ka,/ Yeh hai Dhansak, meri jaan.’
Forward wind to the 90s. Kumar Sanu and Kavita Krishnamurthy could as easily demand ‘Kya cheese hai mohabutter, yeh zara hume bhi samjhana.’ Don’t skewer the singer of ‘Chalo Chelo’.
See, it’s easy to make food the music of love. Do it ‘Dill se’ and, like a lover’s promise, ‘till the end of thyme.’
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Alec Smart said: “The BJP woos Bengal, but, closer to Delhi, the agri mantri isn’t crooning ‘Tomar amar bhalobasha’.”
This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.
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