The big, booming voice of Daler Mehndi, the superb sufi and bhangra singer, no longer rocks pubs, clubs and dinner parties. Bollywood has moved on to his brother Mika Singh, and Daler’s own legal tangles with alleged human trafficking have cast a dark shadow over him.
But, Holi Hai!
In an interview to Seemi Pasha of the world’s only English news channel with a Hindi name, Tiranga TV, Daler Mehndi has revealed the mystery behind the hit song Tunak Tunak Tun which, oddly, doesn’t feature famished Punjabi kudiyan dancing around with clothes held up by hope.
“There used to be a journalist called Pritish Nandy. Unka ’90s main bahut chaltha tha (he used be well known in the 1990s). I don’t know why, but he wrote that my songs were hits only because of the women in them. So, I decided to make Tunak Tunak Tun without any women. Producers refused to back me. They thought it wouldn’t work. So, I made it myself. It is still a huge hit in South Korea.”
Pritish Nandy, of course, was Editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India, and publishing director of The Times of India group, before he became a Shiv Sena MP.