Making lover out of a bedbug!

Sudhirendar Sharma

Clouds, rains, birds and bees have had a significant share of poetic expressions. Bollywood music has captured these elements in nature to reflect connectivity to human emotions of love, romance and longing. From Bheegi-bheegi raton me, meethi-meethi baton me to Kabutar ja-,ja-ja and from Ek ladki bheegi-bhagi see to Bhanwra bada nadan haai, there are numerous musical renditions that continue to capture soft and sensitive  moments, and enhance their emotive value. 

Need it be said that everything in nature has a purpose, subject to how we relate to it or are made to perceive such inter-species relativity. No doubt, Pigeons are undisputed love messengers, and Bumble Bee is an incorrigible lover. But there could be other species that humans have yet to explore relationships with? Invoking such roles for animal species reflect human ingenuity in drawing possibilities of new relationships with other critters. 

Even though some creatures may not be human-friendly, there exist possibilities in poetic imagination of exploring positive vibes in co-existence. Poetic ingenuity was at its peak when well-known poet Neeraj replaced भँवरा with खटमल (bedbug), and produced a similar romantic effect. It could be beyond anybody’s imagination to have such a replacement work with equal esteem. Could खटमल ever be a lover, other than being a natural blood sucker? Poet extraordinaire Gopal Das ‘Neeraj’ had other thoughts though!

We have continued to co-exist with bedbugs for centuries at a level of extreme discomfort, but the fact is that these tiny suckers are not going away. Their infestation has grown in countries like the UK, US, Australia and Canada in recent times, and some researchers have called for tolerance towards this profoundly misunderstood insect. If you can’t get rid of them learn to live with them, seems to be the key message. Neeraj could imagine it long before others could even start thinking on these line, comparing its stealthy existence to that of a lover. Hats off!     

Mark this verse क्यों छुप छुप के प्यार करे तू बड़ा छुपा हुआ रुस्तम है तू – equating खटमल with भँवरा. On screen, it seems to work even if it may never work in reality. By the way, the original non-film song धीरे से जाना बगियन में भंवरा was sung and composed by legendary Sachin Dev Burman.

Burman had teamed up with Kishore Kumar to compose the improvised version for screen adaptation by evergreen Dev Anand. Mark my words, no one else could have performed better on this naughty song than Dev Saab. Important for me is the new-found relation with a lowly creature which only revives memories of itching sensations for most of us.

Preview YouTube video YouTube – Kishore – Dheere Se Jana Khatiyan Mein – Chhupa Rustam _1973_.flv

*Sudhirendar Sharma is a environmental journalist and a development professional. His interest in music is related to his childhood that lay immersed in musical memories.