Today, my 4 year old son stepped out of his school bus singing Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pum Pum Pum. He was in his elements and completely oblivious to the surroundings. The bus driver and his lady assistance couldn’t help laugh listening to E’s antics. It didn’t stop there. E continued with his shenanigans whilst our society watchman and other mum’s (who were waiting for their school kids to arrive) reveled in the song, recollecting the lyrics. When my boy finished his half rehearsed song, everyone cheered and clapped. E, who is otherwise generally unabashed, acted coy and ran away to join his friends for a game of Hide & Seek. I stood there; my heart full of joy and pride.
Now, my boy has heard a couple of Hindi songs, but “Mannu Bhai” is the only song which he truly enjoys singing. If you haven’t heard this song I strongly recommend that you listen to it (attached is the link from YouTube: Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pum Pum Pum (Song Video). It is from the 1978 movie – Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan. The song is sung by Kishore Kumar and Asrani. Rishi Kapoor is the lead actor lending his boyish charm to make the song amusing and entertaining. My son listens to this song on loop. YouTube provides him a visual pleasure leaving him fascinated by many fun elements throughout. All his favorite things such as Car, Colorful Balloons, Chowpatty Beach, Music instruments, Traffic Signal, Horse Cart, the streets of Mumbai and an Aerial advertisement using a huge Red Balloon are covered in this 4:34mins video clip. He even noticed that Traffic Police officer back then wore short pants for uniform. These are the things which I have never noticed in the song before until my son started pointing them out to me. It amazes me knowing how kids have keen eyes for details.
You wonder how E has come to love this song? Well, it’s my favorite song or rather it used to be when I was a kid. I have fond memories of my summer vacations at my aunt’s home where her daughter (my cousin), who is elder to me by 10 years would sing Mannu Bhai song to all her little cousins. I remember our evenings at the Johnson & Johnson garden in Mulund, when she would buy each one of us Bhel Puri’s and we would huddle together on the greenest patch of grass and sing Mannu Bhai with our loudest voice. This is 25 years back, but those memories are precious and I know will stay with me forever. When E came into our world, unconsciously, I often sang this song to him. Even as a baby he would giggle and react at Pum Pum Pum. However, it’s just lately that he took a great liking to it. I realised that this song is synonym to Fun and Peppy for him. If he is in a cranky mood, all I got to do is hum this song and he soon joins in. You should watch him sing. He is absolutely adorable with his childlike pronunciation of words, hand movement and his facial expression. I know I am biased, but then I am a Mother – I get to be one
P.S: If you notice closely, you will spot Mithun Chakraborty in the song. He is the one in the green shirt, and this cameo is before his superstar status.