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23 February 2017 | Last updated 05:59 PM
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Yin For Change
Rest of Maha
Pinga: All that song and dance
Pinga song, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bajirao Mastani, Bajirao Peshwa, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Remo D’Souza, movie, Bollywood
I happened to watch the Pinga song on a news channel and was taken aback. I instantly switched off my TV set. We are contemplating legal action against Sanjay Leela Bhansali production. We will also return all the mementos they gave us on Bajirao’s birth anniversary in August,” says V V alias Udaysinh Peshwa, a descendant of Bajirao Peshwa on whose life Bhansali’s film Bajirao Mastani is based.
The Peshwas are upset because the much-talked-about song shows Bajirao’s two wives Kashibai and Mastani, dancing together in a very ‘inappropriate manner’. “Kashibai had a limp, she couldn’t possibly have danced. More than that, women from good families never came out so often in those days, let alone dance,” Peshwa says.
His wife Jaymangaladevi informs that they were neither told about the movie being made nor consulted during the scripting. “For Bajirao’s birth anniversary on August 18, we were invited to the sets in Mumbai but since we celebrate it here, we told them it was not possible. So the celebration was kept on August 17 there. I, along with my daughter, son, nephew, went there. We were shown around the sets and interacted with Bhansali. I told him that all we wanted was that the Peshwa name is not tarnished in any way. And now, this song is showing a lady from our family dancing. Did they even know that women in those days wore a shela (stole), over the pallu of their nauwari saree?,” she wonders.
Pune historian Mandar Lawate seconds her thoughts. “So far, we have only seen the song but the representation of women in it does not seem right. Women from ‘wealthy’ families would never dance in the 18th century. In fact, they never came out in public which is why one doesn’t find their paintings anywhere. If this is a historical movie, the producers should just tell us what they have based it on,” Lawate says.
Pandurang Balkawde, another city historian says that one can’t comment on the entire movie based on just one song but says there are many things that are not going with the records found on the Peshwa family. “We have to watch the movie to comment on it but as far as the song is concerned, it is true that more than 250 years ago, no lady would dance. The social system prevalent then was very different from what it is now.”
THE PEOPLE SPEAK
I will go for the movie, because somebody has taken a step to make a film on Shrimant Peshwa and his era. It’s a proud moment for all Maharashtrians. Let’s welcome it in the right spirit and support the art.
— Rohan Deshpande, Associate Attorney
According to books on Bajirao, Kashibai and Mastani never shared a cordial relationship. This song is just like an item number, which is giving a wrong picture to the younger generation.
— Priya Malvadkar, Process Specialist
Yes, we agree that Bhansali has not depicted the traditional Marathi dressing and dance form. But films are a work of creativity and not an exact depiction of a life story like a documentary. My reaction to the song was WOW! The two actresses look beautiful.
— Nikhil Jawale, Marketing Professional
I am not going to watch the film, because it looks like it has nothing to do with the Peshwas, except probably their names. I believe authenticity and creative liberty should be balanced.
— Saurabh Kulkarni, Financial Analyst
There is no Bollywood movie or TV serial based on history exactly the way it happened; imagination does play a role in it. So I guess people should watch the movie and enjoy themselves. If they try to draw historical references, it will be a waste of time.
— Mrunmayee Shinde, Fergusson College, MSc Second Year
I have heard of Mastani only in stories narrated by my grandfather. He used to say she was so fair and beautiful that when she ate paan, her neck would become reddish. I am surely going to watch the movie. I like the Pinga song and I don’t think the controversy is such a big deal.
— Antariksh Lodhi, Engineer
The song was pretty ‘meh’ actually. The two of the actresses danced gracefully but it didn’t interest me much and it seemed shockingly similar to Dola Re Dola song from Devdas. I may go for the movie if someone paid for my ticket.
— Meera Govindan, Banker
I will go for the movie because it looks promising. Movies are a source of entertainment and I’m sure not every part of the film will be true because it has to appeal to the audience. There have to be fictional scenarios to keep the viewers engaged.
— Akshata Srivastava, Marketing Professional
Ever since Sanjay Leela Bhansali Production and Eros International released the Pinga song from Bajirao Mastani featuring Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, social media has been inundated with comments on it which range from scathing attack to overwhelming testimonial. The song is a blend of Lavani, Maharashtrian folk dance, Mangalagaur, a ritual for married women in Maharashtra and dance steps. Bajirao Peshwa’s descendants are upset because his wife Kashibai (played by Priyanka) is shown to be dancing in the song while historians are saying that the attire and the moves are incongruous with the social system prevalent then. For a few viewers though, it’s a visual treat to watch the two leading heroines dance to some peppy tunes.
For family honour: Udaysinh and Jaymangaladevi Peshwa pose in front of a painting of Bajirao Peshwa at their Prabhat Road residence on Friday
‘I just executed Bhansali’s vision’: Remo D’Souza
Remo D’Souza who has choreographed Pinga says that he had followed Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s vision. “The entire film was Sanjay’s vision and I just executed it. It was his idea but on my part, I had researched on what kind of dance was followed during those days. I did not research on Kashibai or Mastani though.”
The whole idea was to keep the choreography as authentic as possible, he says. “That’s why there’s a mix of Lavani and the steps from the dances women performed during Mangalagaur. Also the film is shot in 2015 and it’s for today’s audience, so we had to give it a contemporary touch.”
The choreographer says that he has personally not read about the controversy revolving around the song but has been informed by his wife.
(Inputs by Vrunda Juwale, Debarati Palit Singh, Prajakta Pandhare, Juili Eklahare and Hussaina Wardhawala)
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