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Dangal's 'Haanikaarak Bapu' — the big daddy of all songs this year


New track from Dangal reveals just how tough a taskmaster is Mahavir Singh Phogat.

Mayur Lookhar

He's known to be a perfectionist, but ruthless taskmaster is a new description for Aamir Khan. As real-life Mahavir Singh Phogat trained his daughters with an iron hand, why should Khan's portrayal of the great man be any different? 

Khan and Disney India unveiled the ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ song that reveals the arduous and hilariously torturous training methods young Geeta and Babita Phogat had to go through at the hands of their disciplined father Mahavir Singh. 

Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar, who play the young Geeta and Babita Phogat, had to give up on all good things in life to fulfil their dreams, which at their age seemed cruel. They have to don traditional Indian men’s shorts, give up on sweets, are forced to drink milk, and much more. Pleas to their mother bear no fruit either. To them, this grind is like preparing for a war. As the song goes, all this labouring at a tender age is ‘haanikaarak’ (detrimental) to their health. The poor girls even mock their father for being Mogambo from Mr India. The girls believe even Hindi film villains are better than their haanikaarak bapu.

Penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya, the lyrics perfectly describe the plight of the girls. How many of us struggled with poems at school? Just listening to the lyrics of 'Haanikaarak Bapu' will give you that feeling of struggling to mug up that classic brain drainer poem or tables. Perhaps, Bhattacharya has experienced the same pain at school. Chaste Haryanvi words are avoided, thus making the song appealing to all audiences.

The well-defined lyrics are matched by equally joyful music by Pritam that is both traditional yet contemporary in nature. In fact, the music will also give you a sense of a rapturous qawwali. It also has western instruments, appealing to those who love desi pop. The various desi and western instruments used make 'Haanikaarak Bapu' add to its appeal. 

Children will often be flawed when they sing, and that's why it is important that children sing like children. Gauging from their voice and names, both Sarwar Khan and Sartaz Khan Barna are young boys and you understand why Pritam used boys' voice for a song picturised on two girls. But aren’t the girls stepping into a sport that’s traditionally been male-dominated?

The ordeal of the girls seems laughable to audiences, but Wasim and Bhatnagar only affirm why Khan and Nitesh Tiwari chose these child artistes.

Listen to ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ here: