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Manoj Bajpayee narrates plight of migrant workers in this viral 6-minute Bhojpuri rap song

The song is titled ‘Bambai mein ka ba’ (what is there in Mumbai). The video features an English translation, and has been directed by filmmaker Anubhav Sinha.

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New Delhi: Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha and actor Manoj Bajpayee have got together to produce a hard-hitting Bhojpuri rap song titled ‘Bambai mein ka ba’, which has gone viral since its release on 9 September.

The title literally translates to ‘What is there in Mumbai?’, and the six-minute song highlights the plight of Bhojpuri-speaking people who have to migrate to big cities in search of livelihood. The lyrics have been penned by Dr Sagar, while the music composer is Anurag Saikia.

The song has been released at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown have put the lives and struggles of migrant workers from UP and Bihar in sharp focus.

For those who don’t understand Bhojpuri, the lyrics have been translated into English by journalist Sankarshan Thakur, and run on the screen with the song.

Also read: Salman, China, corona craze over, Bhojpuri singers now hurl all profanity at Rhea Chakraborty

Insight into a migrant’s life

The lyrics to the song narrate life from the viewpoint of a migrant worker, who has left everything behind — including parents, wife and children — to go to the big city and eke out a living working a double shift as a security guard. The song speaks of the dwindling light of their lives, and asks in a constant refrain — what is there in Mumbai?

It goes on to dig further at why migration occurs in the first place — lack of basic amenities and infrastructure like hospitals, schools, roads, and above all, jobs.

At the beginning of the lockdown, migrant workers such as those described in the song walked thousands of kilometres back to their villages, enduring many hardships, because of the loss of livelihoods. But now, the same people are returning to cities to take up work again, which highlights the conditions they face in their home states, which led them to migrate in the first place.

Reception on social media

The song has been well received on social media by Bhojpuri speakers and others too.

Ministry of Culture Joint Secretary Nirupama Kotru appreciated the song on Twitter and wrote that she had learnt something new from it.

Radio Mirchi’s RJ Sayema called it “the best thing on Twitter”.

Also read: In nepotistic Bollywood, outsiders Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao live in our hearts


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