New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) They may be a couple in real life, but on screen Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor are about to clash over item numbers in the film "Agent Vinod". Who does it better?
Many are asking if Kareena's mujra song, "Dil mera muft ka", will be overshadowed by Saif's "Pyaar ki pungi". The latter is described as a number that catches your attention in the first 20 seconds because of its comic, cheeky notes and free footsteps.
When asked about the song, Saif told IANS: "There is a sequence in the film where Agent Vinod is being watched by CCTV cameras...and he is behaving in a certain way, so we thought we should do an extension to that and we did the song."
Composed by Pritam Chakraborty, "Pyaar ki pungi" has been written by lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya and choreographed by Jasmin Oza. Mika has sung it.
Since "Agent Vinod", a sleek spy thriller, is full of actions and thrills, director Sriram Raghavan didn't give much attention to the songs as it can shift people's interest and the essence of the movie.
So "Pyaar ki pungi" has been especially created and used as a promotional number. The song plays in the background during one of the scenes in "Agent Vinod" with a punchline saying, "Catch the other side of (Majnu) Vinod."
If you are wondering who taught such funny steps to Saif, it's none other than Jasmin Oza, who worked with Saif on an ad for Amul innerwear. She wanted to make the dance moves the actor's signature steps.
"It's a song full of naughty steps, I call it Indian contemporary tapori steps. This song is full of groovy steps, full dhamaal song with a high energy. These are the fresh and unique steps which are never done by Saif. Overall steps and the choreography were taught to Saif, but at the same time he added his own steps," Ojha told IANS.
"My job was to make him comfortable and to get him into that different kind of funny dancing style. When any actor does such steps, people start thinking about stars like Govinda. To make it exclusive and Saif's own style, we put his steps while making the song," he added.
"Pungi" is a word derived from the snakecharmer's instrument - known as 'been' in Hindi and 'pungi' in Marathi.
Usually item numbers are associated with actresses and their 'jhatkas' and 'matkas'. In fact there is a mujra number picturised on Kareena Kapoor and it was the first one to hit the screens. But "Pungi" has become more popular.
Lyricist Bhattacharya says the definition of item numbers is changing and added: "It's difficult to explain the phrase. Usually any song that stands out in a movie or a song where a female protagonist performs in a different manner is called an item number. I feel a song that attracts viewers' attention towards a movie and rises on the popularity chart is called an item number."
Bhattacharya is the man behind the unconventional lyrics of "Emotional atyachar" in "Dev D".
" 'Emotional atyachar' was a big hit and was an item number for the movie. It had such power that they ran a campaign over this song which really helped in the opening of the film.
"So, the song that catches the whole focus of the movie is an item number. There is not any compulsory rule that an item number should be performed only by a female protagonist."
The "pungi" word has caught on with youth.
The song's popularity has been bogged down by rumours of plagiarism, but Pritam said: "Melodically and lyrically it's no way similar to the song ('Soosan Khanoom' by Iranian pop band Barobax) in question, and I'm not even bringing up the element of creative coincidence which is largely prevalent in the day and age we exist in."
(Amit K. Lal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)