Shooting film songs

Picture the song: Witness the quintessential Govinda magic in ‘Pak Chik Pak’

The dancer extraordinaire pays his tribute to Michael Jackson in the song from David Dhawan’s 1994 comedy ‘Raja Babu’.

Apart from showcasing his phenomenal talent to the world, June’s viral Internet star and college professor Sanjeev Srivastava raised an important question: which song best showcases actor Govinda’s dancing talent?

Reports suggest that there is no clear winner. Srivastava has reminded everyone of the track Aap Ki Aa Jaane Se from Khudgarz (1987), in which Govinda takes charge of the snow-capped Alps through his talent. In the previous year, Govinda had danced his way onto the screen with Esmayeel Shroff’s Love 86 and Ilzaam.

There is a remarkable variety too from the No.1 film series, whether it is the vigorous Husn Hai Suhana (Coolie No.1, 1995) or the breezy Ande Ka Fanda (Jodi No.1, 2001). Hero No. 1 (1997) on its own has two strong candidates – Main Toh Raste Se Jaa Raha Tha and Saaton Janam – that establish Govinda’s ability to own any environment he is in, especially the street. After all, “I am a Street Dancer,” Govinda had declared in his debut year in Ilzaam (1986).

Where would this leave other hugely popular, trademark Govinda songs such as Kisi Disco Mein Jaaye (Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan, 1998) and Neeche Phoolon Ki Dukaan (Joru Ka Ghulam, 2000)? Not to forget the impossibly addictive Soni Di Nakhre from Partner (2007)?

The best option is to embrace the sheer diversity of numbers that Govinda has blessed us with. Take Pak Chik Pak from Raja Babu (1994), in which Govinda pays tribute to dance god Michael Jackson while also making the song his own.

Raja Babu was a remake of Tamil filmmaker K Bhagyaraj’s Raasukutti and the fifth collaboration between Govinda and David Dhawan. Govinda plays the spoilt son of a rich landlord (Kader Khan) who, egged on by his overly doting mother (Aruna Irani), is in no hurry to make anything of himself. Raja’s main hobby is to assume a different avatar every day – a doctor, policeman, a lawyer – and get himself photographed in a studio. When in a naval officer’s costume, he chances upon the portrait of Madhu (Karishma Kapoor). He tells his sidekick Nandu (Shakti Kapoor) that he will marry Madhu. The realisation, understandably, prompts a song, but when did Raja shed the naval threads and acquire a Michael Jackson’s costume?

It all becomes clear once Pak Chik Pak begins. Like Raja, if Govinda had to adorn an avatar, wouldn’t Jackson make a good choice?

Govinda and his ensemble of dancers break into a blend of seamlessly interwoven dancing styles against the Bangalore Palace and Karnataka State Central Library. The pelvic thrust-dominated and overtly sexual choreography (which includes outrageous frames of Govinda in between a woman’s legs) is a distraction from the resemblance between the Anand-Milind composition and AR Rahman’s Chikku Bukku Raile from Gentleman (1993). The dance style too is borrowed, but Govinda offer his own take on the subject. His body responds to every beat, whatever be the pace; his attitude is emphatic; the swag unmistakable.

Raja Babu (1994).
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People who fall through the gaps in road safety campaigns

Helmet and road safety campaigns might have been neglecting a sizeable chunk of the public at risk.

City police, across the country, have been running a long-drawn campaign on helmet safety. In a recent initiative by the Bengaluru Police, a cop dressed-up as ‘Lord Ganesha’ offered helmets and roses to two-wheeler riders. Earlier this year, a 12ft high and 9ft wide helmet was installed in Kota as a memorial to the victims of road accidents. As for the social media leg of the campaign, the Mumbai Police made a pop-culture reference to drive the message of road safety through their Twitter handle.

But, just for the sake of conversation, how much safety do helmets provide anyway?

Lack of physical protections put two-wheeler riders at high risk on the road. According to a recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. Nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are ‘vulnerable road users’ – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. According to the Indian transport ministry, about 28 two-wheeler riders died daily on Indian roads in 2016 for not wearing helmets.

The WHO states that wearing a motorcycle helmet correctly can reduce the risk of death by almost 40% and the risk of severe injury by over 70%. The components of a helmet are designed to reduce impact of a force collision to the head. A rigid outer shell distributes the impact over a large surface area, while the soft lining absorbs the impact.

However, getting two-wheeler riders to wear protective headgear has always been an uphill battle, one that has intensified through the years owing to the lives lost due on the road. Communication tactics are generating awareness about the consequences of riding without a helmet and changing behaviour that the law couldn’t on its own. But amidst all the tag-lines, slogans and get-ups that reach out to the rider, the safety of the one on the passenger seat is being ignored.

Pillion rider safety has always been second in priority. While several state governments are making helmets for pillion riders mandatory, the lack of awareness about its importance runs deep. In Mumbai itself, only 1% of the 20 lakh pillion riders wear helmets. There seems to be this perception that while two-wheeler riders are safer wearing a helmet, their passengers don’t necessarily need one. Statistics prove otherwise. For instance, in Hyderabad, the Cyberabad traffic police reported that 1 of every 3 two-wheeler deaths was that of a pillion rider. DGP Chander, Goa, stressed that 71% of fatalities in road accidents in 2017 were of two-wheeler rider and pillion riders of which 66% deaths were due to head injury.

Despite the alarming statistics, pillion riders, who are as vulnerable as front riders to head-injuries, have never been the focus of helmet awareness and safety drives. To fill-up that communication gap, Reliance General Insurance has engineered a campaign, titled #FaceThePace, that focusses solely on pillion rider safety. The campaign film tells a relatable story of a father taking his son for cricket practice on a motorbike. It then uses cricket to bring our attention to a simple flaw in the way we think about pillion rider safety – using a helmet to play a sport makes sense, but somehow, protecting your head while riding on a two-wheeler isn’t considered.

This road safety initiative by Reliance General Insurance has taken the lead in addressing the helmet issue as a whole — pillion or front, helmets are crucial for two-wheeler riders. The film ensures that we realise how selective our worry about head injury is by comparing the statistics of children deaths due to road accidents to fatal accidents on a cricket ground. Message delivered. Watch the video to see how the story pans out.


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