Happy 420 Day!

(this is an updated and reposted post from last year) I think this might be just an American thing, but 4/20 is traditionally a day to celebrate Marijuana.  There are a whole bunch of different versions of where it came from, but just accept that “420” in general is slang for marijuana, and therefore the date 4/20 has become a marijuana holiday.  Which means, I get to do a post of my favorite songs in which people are high!

1. First, an recent song in which they actually smoked marijuana, not just drank marijuana milk.  So modern and western!

2. In complete contrast, here’s a very traditional version of this genre.  Innocent village girl Madhuri, and innocent village children, get high by stealing and drinking the bhang from the temple.  Nothing western, nothing “adult”, just sweet Indian heritage and Hindu religion, and their associations with drugs.

3. I find this song fascinating for many reasons, but in terms of bhang, isn’t it interesting that it is set in Singapore?  Making the enjoyment of bhang part of a diasporic attempt to reclaim their Indian identity?  Through getting really really high?

4. Of course, I can’t include that one, without including the other.  Which was less about reclaiming an Indian identity while abroad, and more about reclaiming a non-Westernized Indian identity.

5. All of those songs were voluntary enjoyment, but of course Bhang songs can also be a bit of a lowkey date rape situation.  For instance, in this song from Manzil Manzil when Sunny has tricked Dimple into drinking a ton of Bhang and, for unrelated reasons, she is dressed up as a bride.  (sorry for the poor video quality, for some reason this is the best option available.  Internet!  You have failed me!)

6. Speaking of getting women drunk on Bhang, supposedly Prabhudeva tricked Sonakshi into drinking Bhang before they shot this song, so she would loosen up.  I don’t know if I exactly approve of the methods, but I love the end result!

7.  Of course, male characters can also be tricked into drinking bhang.  For instance, Ali Zafar here.  I’ve watched this movie twice, and I’m still not quite sure why it was important to their plan to trick him into getting drunk, but it’s a fun song, isn’t it?

8. And then there’s those times when they are both tricked, and we get a nice little duet of drunkness.

9. All of these songs have had the fun light-hearted part of drug use, the nostalgic old fashioned kind.  But recently there’ve been a string of movies about “ooo, drugs, bad!”.  Dum Maro Dum isn’t a terribly good movie, but it is notable for taking a traditional old-fashioned song about drug use, and repurposing it for modern India.

10. Although actually, now that I re-watch it, the originally was already a little dark.  Especially when you have the long version, so you have not only Zeenat’s verse, but Dev’s response, in which he contradicts her whole lifestyle (I wish there were subtitles so you could really appreciate it!). End lesson being: don’t spend your whole life smoking marijuana!  It’s not Indian!

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13 thoughts on “Happy 420 Day!

  1. Of course in India “420” refers to section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, the laws dealing with fraud and other related crimes. Hence Raj Kapoor’s Shri 420 (a direct reference to the statute). So in India “420” is associated with fraud, cheating, or shorthand for saying something is not quite right.

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    • I thought about changing it up this year and doing posts on that, but it was a lot easier to find “high” songs than “trickster” songs.

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    • Ya and we also have shivratri and holi and the whole month of savan plus the four month from the start of savan, family get togethers, weddings, birthdays, summer holidays, Christmas, new years, weekend getaway in the hills/beach town to indulge. Why would we ever need to celebrate 420? Who wants to smoke weed during the beginning of the heatwave with the dust and 45 degree C temp unless you’re already on your summer holiday in the hills???

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