'MY VEIL IS GETTING WET, MY BODY IS GETTING WET' is a 1987 HINDI FILM RAIN SONG from 'MAASHUKA'. The SONG seems surprisingly 'VULGAR' for 'indirect' BOMBAY CINEMA of the 80s...but BENGALI ACTRESS: MOON MOON SEN had a 'reputation' for being 'UNINHIBITED' and ACTOR: ARUN GOVIL was happy to go along!
'MAASHUKA' was a 'B'-grade film at best with a cast of 'B'-fame actors like ZARINA WAHAB and SHOMA ANAND plus the MUSIC CREW with RK ARUN as SONG COMPOSER and 'new' [at the time] PLAYBACK SINGERS: SURESH WADKAR and ANURADHA PAUDWAL* [*it could be ALISHA CHINAI? There is no accurate information on the female vocalist for the film?]. So, all in all the film was a LOW-BUDGET AFFAIR that NEEDED 'something' to make it SELL...so VULGARITY is always an OPTION...
Indeed, in 1982 SHEETAL 'The Worlds Fastest Film Maker' made the ICONIC LOW BUDGET 'HONEY' with virtually only HERSELF, HER SISTER and a few others...She SANG, ACTED, DANCED both DISCO and MUJRA, and EVEN OPERATED THE CAMERA with sandwich in hand when not in shot!....And 'HONEY', apart from being as KOOKY and WEIRD like an INDIAN 'JOHN WATERS' FILM...was a SURPRISING SUCCESS...and made 3.5 CRORE RUPEEs [maybe equivolent to $3million today?]...and HOW? Well...SHEETAL in TINY SHORTS and HAIR IN BUNCHES with lashings of 'VULGARITY'.
"Honey's success depends on vulgarity and exposure with low class men sitting in the front rows" was how the movie press reported the relatively high box office returns on 'HONEY'...
So, 'VULGARITY' SELLS?...Well, it depends. Most certainly the exposure of SRIDEVI in the BHAPPI LAHIRI films of the 80s did ASSIST the films BUT the songs were STUNNING and not purely 'VULGAR'.
Whereas if we look at the LAHORE PUNJABI CINEMA, the 'VULGARITY' under MUSHARRAF'S liberal 1990s regime was the KISS OF DEATH for PAKISTANI SCREEN as that 'VULGARITY' was the dominating feature that made CINEMA to ROWDY and 'SHAMEFUL' to go to [although people may have watched privately at home on disc without obstacle]. GLOBALISATION was already chaffing at PAKISTANI SOCIETY and further breaks with SOCIAL ETTIQUETTE in the CINEMA was the final straw that turn the masses against the LAHORE FILM INDUSTRY. However, the PUSHTO FILM INDUSTRY in PESHAWAR continues with EXPOSURE with surprising success from the PAKISTANI and AFGHANI audiences...But they are using more MODERN APPROACHES to the CINEMA and not stuck in the old MODES that PUNJABI FILMS were already mired in...So again, the 'VULGARITY' is not the only VARIABLE.
DOES this 'VULGARITY' work in 'CHUNARI BHEEG JAAYE'?
Yes, if it is 'VULGARITY' which is always a dangerous and sometimes PIOUS and HYPOCRITICAL term to use [hence the speech marks!] then it works. There is little actual EXPOSURE of FLESH and the clothing is WET but not exactly TRANSPARENT...HOWEVER, the deciding feature may also be that THE SONG IS A DAMN GOOD, CATCHY and MEMORABLE NUMBER that has great REPEAT VALUE...so in hindsight, maybe the 'VULGARITY' wasn't actually necessary at all?
'MY VEIL IS GETTING WET' has a GREAT ENERGY about the MELODY and ARRANGEMENT but with quite a LOW-KEY and comparatively SLOW PERCUSSION SECTION but that makes the MELODIC FEATURES STAND OUT.
There are a number of PROGRAMMATIC FEATURES...that being musical sounds that are NOT PURE MUSIC, they are chosen to SUPPORT and ACT out DRAMA in the MUSICAL PREMIS or LYRICS. PROGRAM MUSIC indicates things like HORSES HOOVES or THUNDER CLAPS being PLAYED by the INSTRUMENTS as sort of SOUND EFFECTS:
PROGRAMMATIC EFFECTS in 'CHUNARI BHEEG JAAYE'
- Opening with a THUNDER CLAP sound effect
- Vocal PANTING to ESTABLISH MOOD of the song
- PERCUSSION PATTERNS replicate 'HEAVING BREATH' and 'RIB CAGE' of 'PASSION'
- Use of isolated 'TIN' sound on the centre of TABLA drum with index finger giving a RAIN DROP sound
- Heavily REVERBED [electronic echo] DRUMS to give SPASHING WATER sound
- SANTOOR [hammer hit zither] sounds like RAIN FALLING
- VIOLIN passages are quite 'DIRECTIONLESS' indicating EMOTIONAL DISORIENTATION FELT in situations of SUDDEN PASSION
- VIOLINS are heavily REVERBED to give a RUNNING WATER/RIVER feel
- The VIOLINS also have SWIRLING upward and downward SCALIC PASSAGES that INDICATE movement of energy...These ENERGY SWIRLINGS of STRINGS were CRITICISED in the 1980s by some ELDERS of the HINDU COMMUNITY in INDIA indicating that they were aware of, "The attempt to corrupt youth by the use of simulated sexual excitement and orgasm suggested in violin writing, particularly of composer BHAPPI LAHIRI"... So PROGRAMMATIC INTENTIONS were INTERCEPTED even by UNINITIATED MUSICIANS from the RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY.
- The VOCALS apart from the PANTINGS are filled with small INFLECTIONS that INDICATE some 'SENSUAL STIMULATION' from TOUCH and SPASHINGS of RAIN and WATER...Again, heighening the MOOD and also SUGGESTIVENESS of the SONG.
- SURESH and ANURADHA added NAIVITY to SOFTEN 'VULGARITY'
'Bushes' have been superimposed on he vulgarity for VHS transfer!