Badi Baatein, Vada Pav Khaatein, a song from the upcoming Hindi-Bhojpuri short film Paanch Ankhen, could well be Hindi cringe-pop’s latest candidate after Dhinchak Pooja’s contributions. Fashioned as a tribute to the delicious and ubiquitous street snack of Mumbai, the song, composed by D Sushant and produced by Mica Music Company, is truly bizarre.
A man carrying a bunch of vada pavs walks up to a group of men to ask them if they’d like to eat one. All of them refuse. A woman walks up to him and says “De na.” That moment seems enough for the man and the woman to launch into Badi Baatein Vada Pav Khaatein.
Using poorly created computer graphics, the makers of the video try to show the couple doing a vada pav dance in front of popular Mumbai landmarks. The men who refused the snack appear again as the song progresses, only to make a pass at the woman: “You make a spicy snack like vada pav taste sweet.”
A press release from the makers describes Paanch Aankhein, directed by Mannu Kumar Shah, as a short film that “focuses on the problems of eve-teasing with different point of views on the subject”.
This is not the first time the snack has featured in a song. Prayag Raj’s Hifazat (1987) gave the world the hilarious Batata Vada. Featuring the film’s lead pair Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, the song, sung by SP Balasubrahmanyam and Asha Bhosle, was a far better tribute to the potato snack. Anand Bakshi’s lyrics and RD Burman’s composition capture the irresistible lure of the dish quite accurately: “Dil nahi dena tha, dena pada.”