Rasia Tailor House Haw

“Dhartiputra” Radheshyam Rasia is in the house.

The undisputed king of Bhojpuri music, he is not just a great singer, entertainer and a total ladies man but the voice of the marginalized, those who when they hear a tune on radio can never say “They are playing our song”.

People like tailors—those misunderstood people forever berated for getting the measurements wrong, delivering months after delivery dates and sometimes of even letting their fingers linger for a second too long while taking measurements.

Well not any more. In “Rasia Tailor” , Radheshyam Rasia paints an evocative picture of the tailor’s life through a ballad highlighting the difficulties that he has to surmount every day in the performance of his duty. [Watch the video here]

Firstly he has to cope with severe labour problems. The subordinate tailors are always dancing. And throwing half-sewn blouses about with gay abandon. Very little work and all play.

But Rasia Tailor, Radheshyam’s alter ego, still manages to keep his customers satisfied. And that is some challenge.

Cause they are a varied lot, each with their own little idiosyncrasy.

As an example, some women are buxom which, as any tailor would tell you, poses its own problems–something poetically expressed in the following lines:

Bhari bodon tumhar ba
Maap le le chute paseena
Dahiye chote hamar ba
Pohuche na paaye jo pheeta lagaiyi
Upar se dahiye mutail ba

In other words, her body is so heavy (especially her upper torso) that the tailor is sweating and finding it troublesome to reach her with his tape.

And then there is that other kind of woman. Those that just cannot stand still and keep moving their bodies seductively under the influence of the tailors’ strong electromagnetic mojo. This kind of swaying, needless to say, causes immense discomfort to the tailor who is concerned that when the dress is ultimately found to be off-specification, he will be shouted at and noone will remember the sensuous wringing of the lustful woman when her measurements were being taken.

The tailor’s solution to each problem is simple. “Suth ja suth ja” he exhorts as he makes his woman clients lie down on the bench promising them “Maap le le hum photaphot. Time laage dus minote”. In other words, a solemn promise to measure quickly and do it all in 10 minutes (like most Indian men) is his level of commitment to customer satisfaction.

The song concludes with a message of hope as the beautiful clients dance around with the tailor while he puts his long tape to good use. The tailor in the process becomes one with the dress he has sown, elevated from being a faceless cog in society’s machine to become a vital part of our well-being.


Then of course is the eternal Radheshyam favourite “Aayo na aayo na, lagayo na re” where in his own inimitable style, he exhorts the hoi polloi to “lagao-fy” those whom they care for. [Watch the Video here]

Performed in front of a live audience, the atmosphere among the audience is electric as they sway to “khatiya pe chador bichao na re”(spread the bedsheet on the bed) testifying to Radheshyam Rasia’s fingers on the pulse and other throbbing parts of the masses.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak once asked: “Can the subaltern speak?” where the word subaltern was defined as: “a person rendered voiceless by his/her social status”.

Well now they can not only speak but speak mellifluously with attendant jhatkas and matkas.

And you can thank Radheshyam Rasia for that.

[Acknowledgements to Anirudhb for introducing me to the work of Mr. Rasiya]

34 thoughts on “Rasia Tailor House Haw

  1. accha likhe ho bhaiyya greatbong.
    Liked the contrast between the rustic Radheshyam and the “aantel” (intellectual) Gayatri Spivak.

  2. Who is this chap? how on the net did you find him??

  3. More subaltern speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoIvHlIxB2s

    And there are some comedy/musicals in dialectical Bengali/Oriya on sale in Jharkhand villages that would make Ms Chakraborty-Spivak sit up — these are locally produced VCDs depicting what could only be called “(semi?)rural chic”. None of them on Youtube, though 😦

  4. Should we care about this?

  5. How the hell do people come to know about these videos? Greatbong’s blog is treasure of “subaltern” Indian culture 🙂 Thanks a lot for educating the masses.


  6. Exquisite.

  7. boring post!

    disappointing 😦

  8. GB,

    This post was a great let down.

    Writing about a funny video doesnt make a funny post… maybe u shud have just asked us to watch the video rather than making an entire post out of it.

    Ur talent lies in ‘creating’ humor… and thats what keeps bringing us back.


  9. GB,

    One more thing…

    If I click ‘Bollywood’ from the categories link, I get to see a list of only 5-6 articles out of 39 odd which shud b there…

    Aisa kyun?

  10. Hi GB,
    Wondering why you wrote on this topic? Kuch zyada hi randomwa ho gya hai bhai. Topic nahi mil raha hai koi?

  11. So why now our moral police is not staging a demonstration?
    Maybe because not much mileage can be achieved from this local-low profile thingy !

  12. Thanks oh Greatbong…!!!!

    and thanks again for reminding me to upload the one song that, perhaps, made Lucky Ishtar Radheshyam Rasiya out of Radhe Tailor, titled ‘Mile Te Maari Warna Baal Brahmachari’ :

  13. contrary to some comments here, i found this post really amusing.. and it has the GB signature of commentary on changing conditions with a comical undercurrent.. this also follows very the GB economics-defying principle of “it is so bad that it is good”.. posts on Mithunda and bollywood is in similar vein..

    so keep up GB, i thoroughly enjoyed this post.. look forward to read more on latest happening in India (UP election, ex-minister burning files etc) with your typical twists

    Though, i think the title “The subaltern has spoken” 🙂 might be apt

  14. Very good post, greatly enjoyed reading it.

  15. Lol!! Cant get this tailor song out of my head now…has been running in my mind the whole day…argh!!

  16. Thanks GB for introducing this tailor, I have seen the vedio many times in last 2 days. It made my weekend special.

  17. I was disappointed to see one more of your take on some hapless video which deserved no attention whatsoever. Surely you could have found more topics around.

  18. I agree with Roopa

  19. @GB
    I did not like the post ‘coz of its subject.

  20. GB, having watched the Rasiya Tailor video at least 4 times in half as many days, my personal expression of gratitude to you for introducing me to such a breath-taking talent. Even the concept is absolutely exquisite; I can, without a shred of doubt, dare any music/drama company (I frequent some of the foremost ones in East coast myself) to set a musical production, naughty or otherwise, in sartorial splendor nearly as candidly and enjoyably as this. Thanks.

  21. GB

    I think it’s time for a GreatBong (Other) World Music Awards.

    You already have a few nominees…Doyal Baba, Radheshyam Rasia and the other breakout talents you have previously featured on ‘Channel Bh’.

    In a world where pop music is dominated by singers with chronically gyrating hips that can talk (and lie too!), singers who are so hard up that they cannot invest in a proper wardrobe, the GreatBong (Other) World Music Awards will recognize new talent who have pushed the frontiers of popular (and unpopular) music.

    What say?

  22. Great Bong, long time no post — whassup? Checking your blog everyday, but getting disappointed everyday — got so used to it now! So many things are happening that deserve your comments e.g. Mayawati, Tararumpum, Indian team in Bangladesh etc. etc….

  23. Great video. Do you know spidey – 3 in bhojpuri is running to packed house? Lines like – jaal phekat ba, lagat nahi – to convey spidey’s angst at his waning powers, makes the experience memorable. Radheyshyam Rasia, etc, shows the growing clout of the subaltern which found political expression in Mayawati’s stunning victory in UP.

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