Should GullyBoy sing ghazals?

“Tujhe gaana hi gana hai to ghazal kyon nahin gaaata, tere mamu ko bohot pasand hai..”, says the innocuous mami of Murad in Gullyboy the latest sensation by Zoya Akhtar.

So I am not a movie critic and neither am I qualified to comment on the stalwarts of the film industry but I do enjoy the cinema a lot. Besides entertainment, I love it because it is a reflection of our society and gives me the freedom to experience numerous lives that I would not be able to live in just this one lifetime.
So with that angle and of course because Ranveer Singh had made so much noise about ‘apna time aayega’ I had to go watch Gully boy. Yes, it is a great movie about a small-time college student, Murad, who loves to rap and how he silently overcomes the many hardships of his life.

However, there was a particular scene that got me, the MasterNi thinking. Murad is being properly rebuked by his Mamu for being on stage and singing rap and thereby bringing a bad name to the family! To cool down the situation the mami intervenes with dinner and stealthily suggests to Murad – if you must sing, why don’t you sing ghazals, your mamu will like it better.
Now, most people would have missed this simple line but to me, it became a sore that robbed me of my sleep because it showed the deep stigmas we hold towards all things new.

I am not debating whether ghazals are better or worse than rap or hip-hop. But it hurts me when we as adults impose our choices and revel in it when our children comply but go berserk if they dare to think differently.

Why should Murad sing ghazals? To please the mamu? Or the society or so that the father who has a new bride as young a Murad can feel better?
What is it with our love for known and sheer derision for all concepts foreign except foreign goods. Educated parents believe that they support their children in their choices. But I have seen so many of them covertly brainwashing their children into believing that the adult’s worldview is better.

Such covert operations are even more dangerous because they rob the child of any original thinking. In cases like Murad’s at least Murad was left alone until he found his love for rap and made a video that reached an audience. In a relatively well-off educated family, this love for rapping would have been discovered well before and the parents would have very delicately weaned the child off music to engineering because that would ensure a better future. No, it is not better to be born to uncaring parents but it is better to be able to make our own choices.

And as schools too, we need to shed our cloaks of righteousness and go where our students are. If they are rapping and you are singing shlokas or reading a kalima there are millennia of difference amongst you and trust me the students won’t listen to your preaching.

They will listen to it if you change the tone and open your ears. If you listen to their rap songs, they too will listen to your prayers. Its a partnership with today’s generation. Gone are the days of police-like discipline and obedience. It does not work. The sooner we realize it, the better it is.

So, have you experienced this imposition or lack of choice? Have you been Murad or the mami? Have you as a school experienced synergy or issues of discipline with your students? If you have please do share your views with us!

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Musings of a MasterNi

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