The Ballad of D K Bose

For the poetic genius please listen to the ‘Bhaag DK Bose Aandhi Aayee’ song from the movie Delhi Belly

Bose is a very common and popular surname in these parts of the world. One is quickly reminded of the great Indian Revolutionary and founder of Indian National Army, Subhash Chandra Bose.Another famous name is  J C Bose-an eminent Indian scientist, with notable contributions to radio and microwave optics, and also to plant science. In the west, Bose is the name associated with probably the best kind of speakers you can find. And here comes D K Bose, who beats the popularity of all those boring sounding names I rattled on before.

I will not attempt to write the full name, or even guess what gender this name belongs to. For simplicity, and since everything inexplicable in this world like ‘God’ or ‘Satan’ is a male, let DK Bose be so too. So who is DK Bose, or you may ask ‘What’ is DK Bose? The answer is simple, you, me, we all are DK Bose.

For years, Mr. Bose has been the quintessential expression of our own identities; albeit the suppressed ones. He has come to our rescue whenever we are in a pickle, and helped us channelise our frustrations-with society, relationships, academics, sports anything your poor soul can be easily tormented by. Originally belonging to the Northern Part of the country despite having a Bengali surname, DK  Bose has seen his presence grow to the length and breadth of the India. It is still not sure in which century he did originate, but one thing is for sure that his legacy is going to remain timeless.

In the popular culture (by which I only mean Bollywood), DK Bose mad quite late an entry-Kya Kool Hain Hum in 2005. In this movie D.K. Bose lives in a bungalow in Malabar Hill and owns a Mercedes. But nothing can be farther away from such a whimsical portrayal. In reality, DK Bose is a beat down, neglected and looked down upon creature invoked only when a situation is so shitty that his presence becomes inevitable.

“Isn’t he Omnipresent”, would be a natural question as I claimed earlier that he is in all of us. I’d refrain from saying that, as it would end up comparing him to Him. The worrying fact is that today he seems to be on the lips of everybody, bachhce budhe aur jawaan in the form of an immensely popular Bollywood song. I remember as a kid we were forbade to sing some of Govinda’s songs because of certain ‘words’ in the lyrics. It was rather confusing- the parental censorship, and now just over a decade later the same words are part of our general vocabulary.

What this does is threaten the exclusivity with which we used to invoke DK Bose. What Bollywood and the Censor board are doing together is taking the sting away from all such unbridled expressions  which used to convey our emotions in an unadulterated fashion. First Dharmendra took away the ‘Kutte’, then Vishal Bharadwaj generalised ‘Kaminey’ and now DK Bose.

All I can say now that it’s in our hands to preserve our Heritage. The loss of D K Bose is huge and the void will be difficult to fill. We must keep our MBCs (don’t ask, don’t tell) close to our heart, and not let the blood sucking -corporate lobby of film-making (Aamir Khan and his cronies) make crores out of exploiting our culture and heritage.


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