Big Gora Learns Hindi

Big Gora Learns Hindi

Monday, July 29, 2013

The pain of disco, the joy of Hindi

One of the सब से अच्छी चीज़े दुनिये में [sab se acchi chize duniye mein/best things in the world] is Bollywood films! And Om Shanti Om is among the best! Bollywood was a major factor in my wanting to learn Hindi. "Dard-e-disco" reverses the typical gender setup, giving us an "item boy" rather than an item girl. Shah Rukh Khan plays it up hilariously. The context is amusing, too: the number is supposed to be a dream sequence in a terrible-sounding "serious" movie with SRK's character blind, armless, and confined to a wheelchair.
This was one of the first Hindi film songs I discovered I enjoyed more because I was beginning to understand the language a little. As you may know, there are a few commonly used rhymes with "disco" in Hindi, particularly इसको [isko/oblique form of यह + the ever-present को]. So several times in the song you can see the writers straining humorously to create these rhymes, specifiying that the heartbreak happened "on the 26th (of last month)"--"छब्बीस को" [chabbis ko]--and throwing in the city name "San Francisco."
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Shah Rukh Khan in "दर्द-ए-डिस्को"!

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