HAWA HAWAI – MR. INDIA

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Among the female actors I love Sridevi. Her acting makes me crazy. There are 2 more songs from one of my favorite movies, Mr. India (1987) that make me go crazy – the parody song and Karte hain hum pyar Mr. India se. But I chose this song because of the fantastic comedy that Sridevi has perfomred in it. Besides, she is an investigative reporter (which I always aspired to be but never became) investigating a crime when she sings this song. Also the singer is one of my favorite – Kavita Krishnamurthy. I had personally been to her place to interview her at the beginning of my career. While leaving her home I told her, “Hawa Hawai. Tu cheez badi hai mast mast.” The second line is from another of her songs. She was so surprised that she actually came for me with her hand raised. I thought she would hit me. But she brought down her hand in a friendly pat on my back! And last reason but not least is that the dance has been choreographed by my favorite dance choreographer Saroj Khan.

Movie: Produced by Boney Kapoor and directed by Shekhar Kapur, this movie is a superhero science fiction movie. Background information is that Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan were offered this role. But they declined it because they could not place themselves in the role of an invisible hero. The star-cast includes Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, late Amrish Puri, late Ashok Kumar, Satish Kaushik, Sharat Saxena, Ajit Vachchani and Bob Cristo.

Mogambo (Amrish Puri) is an intelligent but mad General, who wants to overpower India. He keeps an eye on the evil-doings of his henchmen. “Hail Mogambo” is a formal salute all his minions have to say when they visit him and otherwise.

Arun Verma (Anil Kapoor) is an orphan and plays violin in the streets to earn a living. He rents a large but old house, where about a dozen orphaned children reside. He and his cook Calender (Satish Kaushik) take care of them. Arun lives below the poverty line and owes money to the grocer Roopchand (Harish Patel) and he hasn’t paid his dues to the landlord Maniklal (Yunus Pervez). Despite these issues in his life, Arun tries to keep a positive attitude.

Eventually, Calender reminds Arun that expenses of running the house were rising. Thus Arun goes to the local newspaper office to run an ad to rent out a room in their home. There he meets Investigative Reporter Seema Sahni (Sridevi). Seema decides to rent the room. Initially, there are tiffs because of the presence of too many children. But then Seema becomes friends with everybody.

One day, Arun receives a letter from a family friend, Dr. Sinha (Ashok Kumar) with a mysterious message. The letter says that Arun’s late father had manufactured a gadget, which could make the user invisible, with the directions to find it. Arun goes to his father’s laboratory with his ward Jugal and finds the gadget. The gadget is in the shape of a gold watch to be worn on the wrist. When activated, the wearer becomes invisible to the naked eye. There is only one flaw in it. The wearer is visible in red light. Arun and Jugal decide that they would keep the gadget a secret between them.

One day, Seema finds a party being organized by Mogambo’s henchmen Daaga (Sharat Saxena) and Teja (Ajit Vachchani) and performs this song and dance sequence there disguised as a Hawaiian dancer.

Song: The song has Javed Akhtar’s funny lyrics and catchy music by Lakshmikant Pyarelal.

The first few words are nonsensical except the name of the Hawaii Island. The song goes with, “I am the princess of dreams. I am everybody’s favorite. My hair is akin to clouds. I stretch my body and the lightening falls. I have come to throw a lightening (on you). People call me Hawa Hawaii. Did you understand you naïve people? Don’t think that I am immature. I am the queen of snakes. If I bite someone, the person does not ask water (the person dies). I steal pearl from the sea. I steal the flame from the lamp. I will light fire on a rock. I will steal the secret from your heart. I know the secret that you are hiding.”

The reference to the snake is because Sridevi has acted in the then recent movieNagina (1986) where she had played the role of a snake. Then she continues, “I have brought colorful stories. You also listen, madman. Come, let me create a flutter in your heart. Come, let me make you crazy. There is magic in my eyes. There is fragrance in my breath. When this body of mine undulates, nobody can escape. I have such a (beautiful) face.”

Video: Saroj Khan in one of her interviews has said that Sridevi’s dancing talent is impressive. The actor would learn what the choreographer taught her and then put in so much of her own efforts that not only she would excel in her efforts, but also the song becomes very popular. Cinematography is by Baba Azmi.

At the beginning of the song, Sridevi wears a golden halter neck gown, which makes her look like a fish. She also wears a crown like a queen. She stands smiling on the swing in which she has appeared from above the stage. The extra dancers pull her out of the swing and bring her into the main area of the stage. Her facial expressions are funny. Her eye movements are like a frightened deer. She leaves a good impression at the beginning of the song itself. All her mannerism resembles a deer, which usually were tamed and bred in Siddha Ashramas in ancient India.

Here cinematic liberty is taken and while the villains speak to each other, she has already changed her dress into a white designer gown that resembles the dress of a mountain-based tribal community in India. The extras are also clad in tribal costumes.

When she says, “I will steal the secret from your heart,” Sridevi actually removes a paper with some secret in it, from the inner jacket pocket of Bob Cristo. In that part of the song her alertness as a reporter and her cunningness are seen.

As Bob Cristo joins her in the dance, she changes her dress again, this time a white, black and red dress. Then, Bob Cristo and Sridevi do some tap-dancing. The entire song brings out her investigative nature. Being a versatile artist and a fantastic dancer, she has danced very gracefully, which is worth seeing again and again. Everybody will like her performance.

Artists: The singer is Kavita Krishnamurthy. Visually Sridevi dances to the tune of the song as Sharat Saxena, Ajit Vachchani, Bob Cristo and others look on.

Cultural Influence: The song became so famous that Sridevi came to be known thereafter by the name of Hawa Hawai girl. This song and dance sequence is to be seen for entertainment. Teenage girls would definitely prefer to perform this dance on the stage in different functions.

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