O Womaniya explained (Meaning, Music and Singers behind the gem)

womaniya Gangs of Wasseypur changed many things. One among them was the way songs are written, recorded and sung in the mainstream Bollywood. While we got to listen to many weird gems in Gangs of Wasseypur I (including Hunter and Bhaiyaa -The Musahar of Sundarpur), There was this song which registered itself as an altogether different anthem, by the sheer tune, words and music of it.
O Womaniya.

While we keep waiting eagerly for the release of Gangs of Wasseypur II, I can’t resist myself from digging deep into the way this bubbly song has been written and sung. It incidentally is the first song review at aS.
Meaning: This song is sort of a mischievous teaching from the elder women to the younger women, regarding how to handle their men. And it gets naughty. When you read the literal meaning of the lyrics below, do read between the lines. :)

तारे  जो  बबुना , तरती  बबुनिया  | When the boy stares, the girl stares back too.
बाबुना  के  हाथे  न  चढ़ती  बबुनिया  | But the girl doesn’t get in the hands of the boy.
ओ वूमनिया
आ हां वूमनिया
(from here the actual teaching begins)
मांगे  जो  बबुना  प्रेम  निसनिया  | If he asks for a sensual favor (a love bite)
बोले  जो  थोड़ी , कट्टी  हो  कनिया  | then lean over and just nibble his ear.
बदले  रुपिया  के  देना  चवन्निया    |  If he asks for a rupee, give him a quarter.
सैयां  जी  झपटे  तो  होना  हिरनियाँ  | And when he lunges,  flee  like a deer
रह  रह  के  मांगे  चोली  बटअनियाँ   | Your man would ask for your blouse’s buttons again and again
जी  मे  लुकाये  लोट   लोटनियाँ  | And in his heart he would have a bigger plan.
चाहे  मुह -झौंसा  जब  हाथ  सेकनिया   | When the bastard tries to warm his hands, (Incidentally, Muh-jhaunsa is a very crude but adorable way of swearing at a male in Bihar; it literally means the one with a charred face)
कन्धा  में  देना  जी  दांत  भुकनिया  | Dig your teeth in his shoulders
बोलेगा  बबुना , चल  जयइहो  पटना , | He will offer you a ride to Patna,
पटना  बहाने  वो  चाहेगा  सटना , | and with this excuse, he would want to get real close.
दैइहों  ना  पहुना  को  टिकेट  कटानिया … | Don’t let him buy the ticket all the way (to Patna)
पटना  ना  जाना  चाहे  जाना  सिवानिया … | Don't go to Patna, even if you choose to go to Siwan. ( Both the districts are nothing but metaphors. Think about it. ;))
ओ वूमनिया
आ हां वूमनिया

Music: Sneha Khanwalkar has used traditional folksong (lokgeet) of Bihar. I still wonder how did she manage to make a Bollywood song out of something which is fast getting erased from a population so clueless and largely ashamed (Sad, but true) of its traditional culture that it has been fast adopting anything and everything (including Beiber’s and Gomez’s songs, for God’s sake).
To understand another side of what I wrote above, type in ‘Bhojpuri songs’ and see what you get on youtube. Bland vulgarism with busty-babes-chasing-crazy-fast-heavily-aututuned-excuse-for-a-music. Gone are subtle naughtiness of words and playfully soothing music. Or not. Listen to Womaniya. Though not actually bhojpuri, you get all the regional flavors correct.
The beats of dholak go wild after every paragraph while the weak harmonium continues in the base and chorus women sing along the lead. It creates an environment unparalleled while you keep on musing at the naughty lyrics and giggling all the way. The chorus giggles with you, for sure.
Singers: Both Rekha Jha and Khushboo Raj are underdogs in the world of Bhojpuri songs with some songs here and there. While you would succeed in finding some other songs of Khushboo Raj, Rekha Jha seems more of a fresh discovery by Sneha and her team. Sneha herself admits that Rekha had come for the audition in Patna to sing in chorus. Her voice was of a different genre altogether, perfect for the type of song they were having the auditions for. Hence the lead.
Overall, the Songs of Wasseypur including O womaniya, Bhiayaa, Hamni ke chhodi ke, Bhoos etc. have opened some new doors for the folk songs of the Bihar and Uttar Pradesh belt (Khushboo Raj is from Benaras). In the Bollywood industry where a folk song is essentially a Punjabi song or a hindi song with some Punjabi words (no offences to the Punjabis!), songs like these are like a breeze of freshness.
And Sneha Khanwalkar, kudos to your efforts in generating the music for GoW. I understand that your music is heavily ‘inspired’ from the traditional folksongs and is nothing new or of your own but how many music directors of Bollywood do some actual research before deciding the music of their own?

Alok K.

9 Comments:

raghu said...

clear explanation thank you

Anonymous said...

Nice Explationtion, Gud work.

Pratik Shinde said...

I loved many songs from Gangs of Wasseypur & Gangs of Wasseypur 2. But Womaniya just stands out like The Sun amongst the rest of the planets. It has this amazing old time yet a very contemporary feel to it. Its just awesome. I don't like most Bollywood songs except for the legendary A.R. Rahman's. And this song reminds me of the maestro's feel good awesomeness. What can i say.....i give Womaniya 10/10. And the explanation for the song's meaning above is just perfect....i couldn't have put it any better! Alok k has said exactly what i would wanna say about this song! Great job by Alok k & team & above all Sneha Khanwalkar, Rekha Jha & Khusboo Raj! Keep making history with such masterpieces!!!

Saurabh Raj Sharan said...

wat a copy paste you did from my post
http://saish746.blogspot.in/2012/06/o-womaniya-explained.html

Alok K. said...

Dear Saurabh,

Before throwing the serious allegation of plagiarism to this article, open your eyes and read for yourself the two articles. I would like to point out two things to your notice:
1. First of all, this post is about explaining the meaning of the lyrics of a song. If two meanings sound same, it doesn't mean they are copy-pasted; it means they have been rightly interpreted. Otherwise every dictionary would be a copy paste of the other.

2. I wish you had read this article before going ahead and slamming this offending comment. I leave it to the readers to judge whether this article is a 'copy-paste' of your wretched thing or not.

Lastly, I don't see any 'copy-paste' work between the two articles, except the title. It was a very obvious one that came to my mind. Now that people like you have claimed your right over that, I wish I had used a different one and spare you some peace.

Alok K.

trisha nagu said...

Thank you soo muchh for the detailed study about the music of Gow. Even i was curious to knw about the base of the songs.. thanks

Rituraj Borthakur said...

Thanks for providing the background of the song "womaniya".But it has occurred to me that the original tune of the song is perhaps not taken from Bhojpuri Lokgeet..but from a ditto tune used in the lower part of Assam for a kind of folk song known as "Moh Kheda Geet"meaning songs sung to drive away mosquitos in the rural areas of lower Assam districts.These songs are known as "Moh-ho-ho" geet.These were sung by groups painting weird colors in the faces and performed by visiting the households in a village I would be happy if somebody delves deep into my claim.
Yours musically
RITURAJ BORTHAKUR,from Dibrugarh, Assam

Rituraj Borthakur said...

Dear all,
Thanks for the meaning explained for "Womaniya". I have found a striking similarity of the tune of the song with one of the age old folk songs of Assam. These songs were called Moh-Ho-Ho" geet or MOH KHEDA GEET
( meaning songs performed to drive away mosquitos) and they were sung by groups where the performers with weird paintings in their faces perform by visiting the households mainly in the villages of lower Assam. I would like somebody to delve deep into my claim which I m sure is the tune of age old folk tune of lower Assam.

Basha Usman said...

Iska Matbal Aisan Hai Kaa, Ab Jaake Gaana Kahin Samajhma Aaitrahi!!!

Nice Song!!!