The soundtrack of my trip to Nepal can be summed up to the following lyrics: Ooh La La, Ooh La La.
I had no clue what they meant the entire time I was there but I heard the “Ooh La La” song almost every time I rode the 30-minute micro up and down the village where I was staying. I guess with every trip you take, you come to associate one song to it, and for me (not really by conscious decision), that was it.
A few days before leaving Kathmandu, my friends and I walked into a music shop on a mission to find that track to bring back home. For souvenir’s sake, mostly. After exactly one second of singing it out loud in front of the sales clerks, consisting of three college-age boys who thought I was completely nuts, they pull out a CD for us. Turns out “Ooh La La” is the title (not just the main chorus) of a Hindu pop song by Bappi Lahiri and Shreya Ghosha that’s featured in the equally controversial film “The Dirty Picture“.
Watch the video clip for the song and tell me it won’t be stuck in your head after a few plays:
We grabbed a copy of the movie itself as well as we heard from the clerks it was a big hit, but facing several negative reactions from the more conservative audiences. Don’t be fooled by the title – it’s not a porn flick! It’s actually based on the story of the famous Indian actress Silk Smitha who became notorious for being more sensual so-to-speak on-screen than her fellow actresses and using her sexuality to build a successful career. Think Marilyn Monroe, but instead the Indian version and with lots of dancing along the way.
It was the first Bollywood movie I’ve ever watched but absolutely loved it and couldn’t take my eyes off the screen the full 144 minutes. I haven’t stayed fixed watching one movie that long since Avatar and Titanic. Vidya Balan, the main actress portraying Silk, was stunning in her performance and reminds us that curves can be very sexy. I won’t reveal any more about the film to not spoil it for you.
Turns out “Ooh la la” wasn’t the only good song on that soundtrack. “Ishq Sufiyana” is a romantic song from the film as well with a nice video that includes women dressed as whirling dervishes (to represent the “Sufiyana” part I guess).
Now join in with me: Ooh la la, Ooh la la.. !