Mogambo Prasann Hua: This Art Project Reimagines Bollywood Without Urdu


Urdu in Bollywood is omnipresent. We all know how much lyricism Urdu has added to the Bollywood songs we know and love, but have we ever stopped to consider how drastically different many iconic dialogues and film titles would be without it? The folks over at Ishq Urdu took on a project (spearheaded by creative advertising professional Nasheet Shadani) to demonstrate what some of our favourite Bollywood phrases would sound like without the use of Urdu words.

Their Behance page offers a deeper insight into the project. “Most people don’t know that many of the words spoken in Hindi films or news channels are Urdu… many Hindi film titles are in Urdu, like Mohabbatein, Kurbaan, Dil, etc. Most Hindi film singers and actors take classes in Urdu diction… “khush”, “aadmi” and “khoon” are Urdu words. And here is the flipside to the Hindi-Urdu marriage.”

Urdu has so often been used in Hindi cinema — which is a good thing — that Urdu words are now mistaken as Hindi — which is a bad thing.

“Hindi has helped Urdu grow in popular culture, but in the process, it has stolen (for lack of a better word) many Urdu words and added to its lexicon…Some people, thankfully, call this mixed lexicon “Hindustani”, thus acknowledging the frequent use of Urdu in Hindi…it would be great to see if praise for Urdu is not limited to just its poetry, but also extends to its simple, humble words that we use in our everyday lives. Ummeed hai hamari khwahish poori ho.”

This creative art project, by offering a glimpse into Bollywood without Urdu, really highlights how much we need to appreciate Urdu.







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Check out Ishq Urdu on Facebook for some more creative humour!


All images courtesy of Ishq Urdu

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