Don’t shoot the messenger.Don’t blame Sunny Leone for the atrocious gyrations to the sound of Madhuban mein radhika nache re. She is
only doing what she has been asked to.

The words originally written by the great poet, the bade dinon ke bard, Shakeel Badayuni for the film 1960 film Kohinoor, instantly evokes fond reverential memories of the great Mohammed Rafi singing for the mighty Dilip Kumar as Kum Kum danced on the elegant rhythms of maestro Naushad’s composition.

I remember Dilip Saab talking at length about this monumental musical odyssey. “I’ve done some really difficult songs on screen. I even dared to sing with Lata in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Musafir(Lagi nahin chhute rama , composed by Salil Chowdhary). But nothing compares with Madhuban mein radhika. It was the most difficult song I ever performed on screen.”

The difficulty eventuated mainly in the illuminating passage on the Sitar, performed by Ustad Halim Jaffar Khan in the song. It was that sublime Sitar passage in Madhuban mein radhika that gave Dilip Saab sleepless nights. He took Sitar lessons for six months before facing the camera to perform convincingly on screen. The
end-result was magical.

That is Dilip Kumar actually playing the Sitar in Madhuban mein radhika , and not faking it like his better-half Saira Banu did in the Lata Mangeshkar melody Apne piya ki prem pujaran in the film Aman.

How much did Sunny Leone rehearse before doing her own thing to Madhuban mein radhika ? The video has incited a storm of rage and outrage among Hindus , specially the priests of Mathura who have accused the song of hurting religious sentiments. This once, I have to agree that the referential arc of the song is most uncalled

Why Madhuban mein radhika nache re when the offensive video has nothing to do with Madhuban or Radhika? This is just a girl in a club joined by another girl as they swing together to the raunchy beats of a song that has no bearing on Radha dancing her love ecstasy the way Madhubala danced to Lata Mangeshkar’s Mohe panghat pe
nandlal chhed gayo re in Mughal-e-Azam or decades later, Manisha Koirala dancing to Bansi bajegi radha nachegi in the same iconic voice in Subhash Ghai’s Saudagar.

More than disrespectful , this version of Madhuban mein radhika nache re is vexing. What were Shaarib and Toshi known for their distasteful upbeat cover versions , and choreographer Ganesh Acharya thinking? Why would a girl dancing in a club be singing about Radhika dancing in her Madhuban? Why not Jannat mein Jameela ? Or
Bandra mein Sandra?