It would not be an exaggeration if it’s said that Hindi cinema has been a mother-driven cinema or obsessed with the sentiments of a mother. The thought process was perfectly explained by Anand Bakshi in his song “Baap ki jagah maa le sakti hai, maa ki jagah baap le nahin sakta” in Dard Ka Rishta. The poetic lines beautifully presented a fact that cannot be denied.
However, this continuous feature of songs devoted to mothers in Hindi films also led to a myth that there aren't many tracks conceived from the father’s perspective. The notion isn’t true, and the fact needs to be looked upon with a fresh and novel approach in terms of ‘variety of emotions’.
In reality, we not only have a long list of songs talking about fathers in Hindi cinema, but also have a unique feature related to them that has rarely been quoted or discussed before. Making it clear, where the ‘mother songs’ remain more popular and accepted, they also have a monotonous kind of feel in their expressions.
On the other hand, if you consider the songs devoted to fathers, you will be surprised to notice that they represent an amazing variety of emotions, inserted in different situations of a script. This is indeed a unique feature that deserves to be studied and applauded by all. Supporting the statement, here is a brief description of different ‘father-songs’ incorporated in our stories we rarely talk or think about.
The upbringing songs
These are mostly included in the scripts showcasing a single parent being responsible for the upbringing of the child. Some of the most popular tracks among these are ‘Tu hindu banega na musalmaan banega’ (Dhool Ka Phool), ‘Mera naam karega roshan’ (Ek Phool Do Mali), ‘Ae mere bete sun mera kehna’ (Aa Gale Lag Ja), and more. Similar songs were also recently seen in films such as Heyy Baby and Chhichhore.
The loving interaction between the father and the kids
Beautifully-written and composed, these are the famous tracks with catchy words and tunes targeting the kids in particular. The ones you recall at once are ‘Sunlo sunata hun tumko kahani’ (Andaz), ‘Papa jaldi aa jaana’ (Taqdeer), ‘Hey Raju, hey daddy’ (Ek Hi bhool), ‘Rote rote hasna seekho’ (Andhaa Kaanoon), ‘O Yaara’, ‘Phool yeh kahan se aaye hain’ (Kaash), ‘Oh! I love you daddy' (Akele Hum Akele Tum), ‘Mere papa ko gussa jab aata hai’ (Shool), and more.
Children praising their father
The category includes many popular songs led by ‘Papa kehte hain bada naam karega’ from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. The list goes on with insertions like ‘Mere daddy kitne pyare hain’ (Pyar Ke Do Pal), ‘O mere papa the great’ (Papa The Great), ‘Papa mere papa’ (Main Aisa Hi Hoon), ‘Papa ki pari hoon main’ (Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon), and more.
The light-hearted, comic songs focusing on fathers
This unique feature can only be seen in the songs revolving around fathers, adding to the fun element of the script. The most popular ones in the list are ‘Papa main papa ban gaya’ (Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain), ‘Daddy cool cool cool’ (Chahat), ‘Hamare papa aur hum’ (Yaara Dildara), ‘Papa to band bajaaye’ (Housefull 2) and the recent ‘Hanikarak Bapu’ in Dangal.
The Doli/Bidaai songs
Though related to both the parents, the tradition of Doli/Bidaai mostly remains devoted towards the father and hence we have the lyrics always addressing him in particular. Some of the most famous creations in this category are ‘Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko babul’ (Bandini), ‘Babul ki duayen leti ja’ (Neel Kamal), ‘O babul pyare’ (Johny Mera Naam), ‘Babul tere baagan di main bulbul’ (Jheel Ke Us Paar) and ‘Babul ka yeh ghar behna’ (Daata). The ‘Doli songs’ were also seen in the new millennium films such as Baabul, Raazi, Jawaani Jaaneman and Angrezi Medium.
The Lori/Lullaby songs
Again being the essential part of films revolving around a single parent, these include the sweet Lories (Lullabies) sung by fathers for their kids making an instant connection with the viewers. The most famous ones among these are ‘Aaja ri nindiya’ (Kunwara Baap), ‘Surmayi akhiyon mein (Sadma), ‘Ghar ke ujiyare so ja re’ (Daddy) and more.
‘Pitah Se Hai Naam Tera’
Defying the typical format of Hindi cinema, this exceptional song from the film Boss specifically talks about the father’s contribution to the upbringing of a child and his moral values. Unfortunately, the track didn’t get the praises it truly deserves.
To conclude, hope the above study in brief is able to break the myth about the lack of ‘Father Songs’ in Hindi cinema. Thankfully, we have many well-conceived tracks devoted to fathers in our films and the amazing variety in their expressions is certainly worth praising.
(The writer is a critic-columnist, an explorer of cinema and author of ‘Did You Know’ series on Hindi films also active at bobbytalkscinema.com)
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