Gangs Of Wasseypur

Gangs of Wasseypur I’m a Hunter features Chutney Music Singer Vedesh Sookoo


Here is the song “I m Hunter” from the upcoming Bollywood movie Ganga of Wasseypur. The starcast includes Manoj Bajpai, Reema Sen and Huma Qureshi. The music is composed by Sneha Khanwalkar.

Song : I m hunter
Singer: Vedesh Sookoo, Rajneesh, Shyamoo, Munna
Movie: Gangs Of Wasseypur
Music Director: Sneha Khanwalkar
Lyricist: Varun Grover
Music Label: T-Series

am a hunter and she want to see my gun /When I pull it out boy de woman start to run/Hum hain sikaari, paackit mein lambi gun/Dhaayen se jo chhoote tan-mann howe magan…” These are lines from the song Hunter featured in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, an example of the ‘chutney’ music genre, a dazzling, foot-tapping mixture of calypso beats spiced up with lyrics from English, Hindi, Bhojpuri and Caribbean Creole. This music originated in the Caribbean region after a mass exodus of Indians from Bihar, UP, etc. to the West Indies.

For Gangs of Wasseypur, the makers wanted a sound, which would combine Bhojpuri argot with contemporary sensibilities. The essence was to bring a touch of the exotic without losing out on the accessibility of the music. Varun Grover, the lyricist for Hunter explains, “Our music director Sneha Khanwalkar wanted to bring this genre to Bollywood music, and she travelled to the Caribbean in search of songs and voices that would sound authentic. Vedesh Sookoo, one of the singers for Hunter is one such voice.”

Hunter has already soared to the top of the charts, riding high on its in-your-face, bawdy lyrics. The sexually charged nature of the lines draw from the Hindu tradition (still observed by the Hindu Indo-Caribbean community) called matikor, an exclusively female ritual where women instruct the bride-to-be about sexual matters in a playful, satirical manner through song and dance. Chutney music, which began as an expression of protest against colonial oppression, thus later became a powerful medium for women’s rights as well.

As Drupatee Ramgoonai, one of the most successful artists in chutney music puts it, “In my own story as an artist, it was a form of liberation for Indian female singers, especially in my country where music was a male-dominated sphere. I was able to break all racial, ethnic and even sexual barriers.”

The sexually charged nature of the lyrics is inspired by the Hindu tradition called ‘matikor’, an exclusively female ritual where women instruct the bride-to-be about sexual matters in a playful, satirical manner
The other song in Gangs of Wasseypur where the chutney music influence can be seen is called Womaniya (the female suffix –iya is a typical Bhojpuri affectation). Written and picturised as a typical matikor ditty, with the raw, uninhibited voices of Rekha Jha and Khushboo Raj lending it a robust, earthy flavour, the lyrics are cheerfully naughty and catchy. Lines like “Badle rupaiya ke dena chavaniyaa/Saiyyan ji jhaptte, to hona hiraniya/O Womaniya” refuse to get out of your head.

“In Bihar, each caste has its own different dialect, different style of music and so on. We knew that for a song like Womaniya, we had to be liberated with the lingo; it couldn’t have been a nudge-wink affair. In reality, when women from this part of the country gather before a wedding, their songs even include abuses showered upon their in-laws. Of course, we couldn’t include all that because of the Censors,” opines Grover, who says writing this song required the least amount of research for him.

“I studied at an engineering college, IT-BHU, and had a lot of friends from Bihar, UP, etc. And of course, the first things which you learn about a new language are all the cuss words,” says Grover with a chuckle. With artists like Khanwalkar and Grover, who are unafraid of stepping out of the usual Bollywood mould, one can hope to see a lot more of these exciting, experimental tracks. For now, we can all revel in the heady taste of Caribbean chutney, cooked a la Wasseypur.


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