The musical journey of the exotic Priyanka Chopra

G Khamba

Jul 16, 2013 12:20:01 IST

Priyanka Chopra has done many great things in her life. Winning Miss World, telling the world she hated the chip-chip and most importantly, Shah Rukh Khan. However, the Indian cultural-industrial complex that aims to satisfy our wanton desires has now found a new drug to peddle through Ms Chopra — music.

I am not averse to Ms Chopra’s desires to be an international pop star. We have in the past adored a hedgehog with gold teeth in the form of Jazzy B, gareebon ka gymnast Shiamak Davar and the ironically-titled band that survived only one album, The Aryans. It is only fair that Ms Chopra too gets a chance at making her management more money. What sets her apart from the millions standing in queues waiting to be berated by Anu Malik, however, is access.

Even before her first single released, we were told by white record label executives – whom no one knew but must be important because they were from the United States – that “PC” would revolutionise the Indian music industry. They tried to make us believe that Ms Chopra’s talent would lead to millions denouncing, and force Anuradha Paudwal to move to Fiji, grow dreadlocks and switch to reggae out of fear. Will.I.Am was hired to add credibility and play the role of popular hip-hop artist who intermittently shouts “unh” and “ahaan” and “thasright”.

The musical journey of the exotic Priyanka Chopra

Even before her first single released, we were told by white record label executives that “PC” would revolutionise the Indian music industry. PTI

The same audience that talks down to Rakhi Sawant for being a self-promoting pompous bombast, merrily drank the Kool-Aid owing to PC’s cultural capital. What did we get? A song about how everyone was welcome to her city where no one has any worries. Predictably, one did not see many Biharis in Mumbai humming that tune.

Fun fact: You can sing the song in the same tune even if you replace the original lyrics “You ain't never had a party till you come to party in my city”, with “I’m out of ideas and the lyrics to this song are very sh**ty”.

The cycle has now repeated itself with PC’s brand new single “Exotic”. After replacing Will.I.Am with a man who refers to himself by a canine breed, ie Pitbull, Ms Chopra has returned with a song with lyrics that are even more spectacular. My personal favourites are “Mumbai Cuba baby let’s go” – making her the first person outside the CPI(M) to willingly want to go to Cuba. Also, “I’m feeling so exotic, I’m hotter than the tropics” – an earnest attempt if there ever was one at teaching her young fans geography.

I am told Javed Akhtar’s reaction to the song was stabbing his left eye with an ink-pen. Luckily for us, even if we dislike the song we can always go to Hollywood Boulevard and try the Priyanka Chopra “Exotic” milkshake which tastes of mediocrity and Harman Baweja’s tears.

Ms Chopra is an exceptional actress. However, her corporation-fuelled attempt at being an international singing sensation has become one big circle jerk between stakeholders for whom millions are on the line. What does the consumer do, stuck between this barrage of milk products and bikini shots? My advice: go back to the classics. “What is your style number what is mobile number”, “Aa pappiyan japphiyaan paa lein hum” and my personal favourite, “Chadh gaya oopar re atariya pe lotan kabootar re”. At least they were, and still are, honest.

Updated Date: Jul 16, 2013 12:20:04 IST