Shooting film songs

Picture the song: ‘Hawa Hawai’ from ‘Mr India’ will always survive its remixes

Sridevi is a doozy in the dance number choreographed by Saroj Khan for Shekhar Kapur’s science fiction adventure.

Sridevi is back on the screen in the upcoming vendetta thriller Mom. From a parallel universe comes news that one of her most popular film songs, Hawa Hawai, will be remixed for Vidya Balan’s December release Tumhari Sulu.

The supremely enjoyable dance number from Shekhar Kapur’s science fiction adventure Mr India (1987) has been previously massacred in Bejoy Nambiar’s Shaitan (2011). Will the makers of Tumhari Sulu be kind and rewind, or will they end up reminding us of the pleasures of the original?

Mr India, in which Anil Kapoor gains the power of invisibility through a magic bracelet, was a huge hit in its time. Kapoor is perfectly cast as the everyman with superpowers, but his contributions are equally matched by Sridevi. Some journalists even suggested that the film should have been titled Miss India.

Hawa Hawai is both the temporary name of the intrepid journalist Seema (Sridevi) and an expression of the je ne sais quoi that characterises the song. Many forces have come together to make the track a doozy: Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s foot-tapping music, Javed Akhtar’s breezy lyrics, Saroj Khan’s magnificent choreography, Shekhar Kapur’s direction, and Sridevi, who owns every frame.

Hawa Hawai is a pastiche of the nightclub song, all the way down to the use of blackface dancers. Seema, a journalist straight out of an American screwball comedy, is hot on the trail of a bunch of smugglers. A cross-connection on a telephone (one of many in a movie that makes hilarious use of the landline) alerts her to the arrival of Mr Wolcott (Bob Cristo), a smuggler of Indian antiques. She poses as an exotic Hawaiian dancer who sings in Hindi and tries to uncover Wolcott’s secrets through three costume changes and nifty footwork.

Hawa Hawai characterises the Hindi film song at its peak: it is woven into the story and also works as a standalone number. Akhtar’s lyrics start with a nonsense stanza before segueing into the assertion that “My hair is made up of clouds and lightning is in the stretch of my limbs”. Mr India was made at a time when filmmakers didn’t chop up songs with unnecessary cuts and permitted them to be viewed from a frontal viewpoint. The simple camerawork and editing in Hawa Hawai let Khan’s achievements shine through and give Sridevi’s natural comic timing the platform it deserves.

Khan’s polka-meets-jiving choreography matches beats with Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s upbeat tune. The choreographer’s lengthy collaboration with 1990s star Madhuri Dixit produced several breast-heaving numbers, but with Sridevi, every thrust and twirl is innocent and graceful.

Hawa Hawai is quoted in Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988) and inspired the title of Amole Gupte’s Hawaa Hawaai (2014), about a skating prodigy. The remixes are a given, but good luck with trying to replicate the sheer fun of the original.

Hawa Hawai from Mr India (1987).
We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

The ordeal of choosing the right data pack for your connectivity needs

"Your data has been activated." <10 seconds later> "You have crossed your data limit."

The internet is an amazing space where you can watch a donkey playing football while simultaneously looking up whether the mole on your elbow is a symptom of a terminal diseases. It’s as busy as it’s big with at least 2.96 billion pages in the indexed web and over 40,000 Google search queries processed every second. If you have access to this vast expanse of information through your mobile, then you’re probably on something known as a data plan.

However, data plans or data packs are a lot like prescription pills. You need to go through a barrage of perplexing words to understand what they really do. Not to mention the call from the telecom company rattling on at 400 words per minute about a life-changing data pack which is as undecipherable as reading a doctor’s handwriting on the prescription. On top of it all, most data packs expect you to solve complex algorithms on permutations to figure out which one is the right one.


Even the most sophisticated and evolved beings of the digital era would agree that choosing a data pack is a lot like getting stuck on a seesaw, struggling to find the right balance between getting the most out of your data and not paying for more than you need. Running out of data is frustrating, but losing the data that you paid for but couldn’t use during a busy month is outright infuriating. Shouldn’t your unused data be rolled over to the next month?

You peruse the advice available online on how to go about choosing the right data pack, most of which talks about understanding your own data usage. Armed with wisdom, you escape to your mind palace, Sherlock style, and review your access to Wifi zones, the size of the websites you regularly visit, the number of emails you send and receive, even the number of cat videos you watch. You somehow manage to figure out your daily usage which you multiply by 30 and there it is. All you need to do now is find the appropriate data pack.

Promptly ignoring the above calculations, you fall for unlimited data plans with an “all you can eat” buffet style data offering. You immediately text a code to the telecom company to activate this portal to unlimited video calls, selfies, instastories, snapchats – sky is the limit. You tell all your friends and colleagues about the genius new plan you have and how you’ve been watching funny sloth videos on YouTube all day, well, because you CAN!


Alas, after a day of reign, you realise that your phone has run out of data. Anyone who has suffered the terms and conditions of unlimited data packs knows the importance of reading the fine print before committing yourself to one. Some plans place limits on video quality to 480p on mobile phones, some limit the speed after reaching a mark mentioned in the fine print. Is it too much to ask for a plan that lets us binge on our favourite shows on Amazon Prime, unconditionally?

You find yourself stuck in an endless loop of estimating your data usage, figuring out how you crossed your data limit and arguing with customer care about your sky-high phone bill. Exasperated, you somehow muster up the strength to do it all over again and decide to browse for more data packs. Regrettably, the website wont load on your mobile because of expired data.


Getting the right data plan shouldn’t be this complicated a decision. Instead of getting confused by the numerous offers, focus on your usage and guide yourself out of the maze by having a clear idea of what you want. And if all you want is to enjoy unlimited calls with friends and uninterrupted Snapchat, then you know exactly what to look for in a plan.


The Airtel Postpaid at Rs. 499 comes closest to a plan that is up front with its offerings, making it easy to choose exactly what you need. One of the best-selling Airtel Postpaid plans, the Rs. 499 pack offers 40 GB 3G/4G data that you can carry forward to the next bill cycle if unused. The pack also offers a one year subscription to Amazon Prime on the Airtel TV app.

So, next time, don’t let your frustration get the better of you. Click here to find a plan that’s right for you.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Airtel and not by the Scroll editorial team.