Baba Deewana

In my book “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss” (first edition sold out in a month–thanks for buying) I had talked about five iconic movies that had defined me as a person.  However I forgot to doff my cap to the personalities and artists who have had a similar deeply emotional effect on me. So today, I present you one of those persons. Hopefully in the future, I shall also acknowledge my other inspirations.

When you were called to the senior teacher staff room in South Point High School on the orders of the legendary ADG (Anjan-babu) you knew immediately that a few things might have happened—-that you had been spied upon smoking (which I did not), you had been found out going to private coaching classes (which I did) or you had been discovered to be going out with a girl (which I tried to do but without much success)

So imagine my surprise when ADG asked me, in that booming voice of his old South-Pointers so love to reminisce about,—–“So Quiz do you like Baba Sehgal?” (His name for me was Quiz because I was on the school quiz team, an activity he thoroughly disapproved of because to him “quizzing” was for pseudos who hid their lack of depth of knowledge by “chaliyati” [oversmartness]).

I knew the answer that was expected from me—-I was supposed to look vacant as if I had never heard that name. However unlike Peter I did not want to deny my Christ.

“Yes I do. He is pretty good.”

ADG turned to Subhendu-babu and raised his hand in exasperation.

“Somehow I had figured out that Quiz here would love Baba Sehgal. The moment I saw that….. on TV the first person I thought of was Quiz” he said, pointing an accusatory finger at me.

I of course felt proud at the association between us. In the early 90s, when DD Metro was revolutionizing the entertainment landscape in India with Superhit Muqabla (a show he was the DJ of till he moved to ATN with Superhit Hungama), Baba Sehgal had come into my life. It was actually on Superhit Muqabla that I had first seen him, in the Ken Ghosh-directed music video  “Dil Dhadke” [Video] which had caught my eye based on the oomph provided by the then-scandalous Pooja “Bodi” (Her Kamasutra ad and her Monroe-style blowing skirt in “Pahela Nasha” had firmly imprinted her in the consciousness of high-school kids like yours truly). However on multiple listenings, I became more and more drawn to the artistic talents of the man standing near the industrial fan baring his pigeon-like chest, his white shirt open, showing the world that you dont need strong pectoral muscles but just attitude to strut your stuff.

And what lovely music was that ! Yeh koi naheen bolta hai , main bhi naheen bolunga, yeh tune kaisa jana mere yaar, He He….dekho dekho kaisi chalti hain woh haseena jaise chale dekho hirnee ki chaal. Soon I found myself sitting during Statistics paper 1 class, shaking my head and whispering the lyrics to myself as the teacher droned on about standard and mean deviation.

As an aside, a few days later after that interaction with ADG, he brought me a bunch of pictures of Baba Sehgal as a “gift” and I was officially rechristened from “Quiz” to “Baba”.

Coming back to the topic, most artists find it difficult to live upto a sensational debut. Not Baba Sehgal. I bought “Main Bhi Madonna” purely because of the cassette picture which had Baba Sehgal dressed in drag. The video of “Baba Deewana” [Audio] ,which showed him trapped in a TV trying to look at a girl taking a bath, got enormous playtime, though I accept that it was the beautiful words especially the reference to “mera figure 36 24 36” that was specially pleasing for the scientist in me. I can remember, as clearly as yesterday, coming back from Prithwish-Babu’s mathematics tuition at night singing  happily “Shopping karne main jaati Hong Kong, Mathematics mein main kabhi naheen wrong” (I dont know whether these were the actual lyrics though, since the genius of Baba’s fast rapping was that the song lyrics appeared to be different every time you heard it) after a particularly satisfying problem-solving session.

Maybe it was just that time in my life, buried upto my neck in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics for engineering entrance exams which forged a direct connection to my heart with Baba’s mellifluousness. If he gave me a voice in Mathematics, he also blessed me with one for Chemistry. Baba Sehgal’s song “Manjula” from his album “Dr. Dhingra” had a video wherein a mad scientist makes a beautiful girl come in a chemistry experiment, through a combination of dry and wet tests. That became my anthem song for Chemisty practicals and much merriment resulted when dressed in a white lab coat like Dr. Dhingra, I vocalized lustily the innocent lyrics—-“Danda pakadke khada hua hai Manjula”, “Dudh peeyega Raja aja Manjula”, “Khol de tu darwaza aaja Manjula”  with a nudge and a wink (of course when the chemistry professor had left the lab).

This was the golden age of Indian private albums, an age where Poornima and Sonu Nigam sung “Mera Payon Bhari Ho Gya” and Mandakini had “I am sorry Handsome there is no vacancy”. Needless to say, in this plethora of artists there were people trying to copy the great Baba.  There was the Vodoo rapper whose lame trick lay in always wearing a mask in his videos and of course Style-Bhai whose song I never quite internalized in the same way I did Baba Sehgal’s because I was too eager following the trajectory of the golden key tied around Ashwini Bhave’s waist in the video. In any case, with the amount of original material he was producing (in one of his songs Sehgal had defensed having copying Ice Ice Baby as Thanda Thanda Pani because even Ice Ice Baby had been copied from Under Pressure—-a logic of transitiveness if there ever was one), it would only be a matter of months before he caught the attention of mainstream Bollywood.

Most people’s exposure to Baba Sehgal has been through the song “Rukmani Rukmani” where the sensual way he pronounces the “khatiya pe dheere dheere khat khat hone lagi” was what I think led A R Rehman to select him as playback. It was an inspired choice—few other people would be able to put that feeling behind those words, definitely not Hariharan. However it was in Akashdeep’s great movie “Miss 420”  where Baba Sehgal appeared as a hero and playback that his talents as an actor and artist were given proper room to play. Rarely has been the act of picking up women in cars as beautifully depicted as in “Aja meri gadi main baith ja” [Video] with its sinisterly-meaningful “Pom Pom” squeezing of horn or the simple joys of “keeping it up” as in “So gya to khada hona hoga mushkil” from “Gora chehra, kala til” [Video]

However times were changing and the golden days of Indipop were coming to a close. Horrendous servants of Sauron were remixing classic oldies and pure talent like Baba Sehgal gradually became side-lined. The last really great song from Baba Sehgal I remember was “Tora Tora” [Video], a very clever tribute both to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour (“Tora Tora” being the code message transmitted to denote the success of the surprise attack) as well as to well-endowed women (kudiya maalamaal hai yaaron) before he vanished into marginality, occasionally popping up on reality shows or in soundtracks of movies like 13B with songs like “Oh sexy mama wont you do the saregama”.

And today when we have Babas like Baba Kamdev Swami Nityananda who truly brings to life words like “Aage aage ladki peeche main siyana, duniya kahe Baba ho gya hai deewana” and Baba Ramdev who prescribes the death penalty for adulterers [Link] and considers homosexuality a a genetic disorder  that can be cured through proper breathing [Video], then one does truly miss the innocence of the greatest Baba of them all, whose only crime, one could say, was his wicked rhyme.

Baba I love you.

107 thoughts on “Baba Deewana

  1. First… YOU BET… thank u twitter… haha

  2. I still remember the fancy cassette packaging that Magnasound had with the Baba Sehgal cassettes. Shamed to admit I actually knew the lyrics to thanda thanda paani.


  3. Well, what about his greatest rival, Apache Indian? And you forgot Shaan in “Roop tera mastana” along with his saucy elder sister, whom I thought for a long time was his GF !!

    Anyways, typical great post as usual. Looking forward to the other “inspirations”. 3rd to post btw !

  4. Laughing out loud 🙂
    Brought back all the memories as your book did… just a trivia..baba sehgal worked with Delhi Vidyut board or DESU (Delhi Electical Supply) before he quit the job and started rapping.
    That’s probably the reason why all his performances are electric 🙂

  5. Hilarious. Laughing out loud. Oh the memories.

  6. Arijit Sengupta May 3, 2010 — 2:16 am

    I honestly think that Baba Sehgal had a better singing voice than most of the chumps we see on TV today.

    BTW howlarious post.

  7. You are the BEST when it comes to the 90s. Looking forward to your other inspirations.

  8. These days The Baba can be seen on “Jugni Chali Jalandhar” on Sab Tv. Wonder whether you have not seen that show or you have deliberately ignored him as he is almost devoid of that GB-factor in there you so cherish. But if you have not, give a look in; you might discover something which my ordinary eye could not.

  9. Wasn’t there an amazing album called Ummmrika mein Indian Dhaaba? Long live Baba Sahgal!

  10. That masked rapper was Blaze I guess. The guy who sings for AR Rahman.

  11. Bong da,

    Baba sehgal is doing well in telugu movies ,he is not yet forgotten here
    please listen to ‘jalsa’ title song in youtube.

  12. I loved him too. I could sing dil dhadke and thanda thanda paani. Was popular among friends/ cousins for this talent. 🙂 Thanks for bringing back those memories.
    And yes, even I thought Baba Sehgal had talent, contrary to what most people thought at the time. And I loved Superhit Muqabla. Never watched any other countdown ever.

  13. It took me years of boos and catcalls, but finally it took your blog to find soul to share those “saath mein Humpty Dumpty laao” days. There are two things I’d like to remind everyone, though:
    1. The song “Jatt Ludhiane ka”, which had rapped versions of “kitne aadmi the?” and “saara shahar ke log mujhe Loin ke naam se jaante hain”.
    2. To top Miss 420, there was a masterpiece called Double Gadbad in 1999, starring (no, I’m not faking it) Baba in a double role. It had a song that went like this:
    “Ab bhi koi chehra aankhon ke paas aata hai
    Ab bhi wohi chehra aankhon se door jaata hai
    Aankhon ke paas, aankhon se door at the same time
    Haaye zamaana ye kaisa gadbad ghotala hai
    Ye hai double gadbad” etc.

    And just in case, well, I’m proud or ashamed (not sure which) of the fact that I STILL know the Superhit Muqabla jingle to heart.

  14. Sharmistha Guha May 3, 2010 — 3:41 am

    Great…..brings back old memories of Superhit Muqabla. I remember even our Biology teacher in the sixth grade ridiculed us and said that we never saw the UGC science programmes on doordarshan and wasted our ‘valuable’ time watching ‘crap’ on superhit muqabla.

  15. Baba actually starred in a straight to video movie called Double Gadbad directed by Ken Ghosh (with Sheeba) 😀

  16. @Jimmy: Double Gadbad had Navneet Nishan. Sheeba was a part of the more popular Miss 420.

  17. Good ol’ times!! I think I was one of the few in my town who had Vanilla Ice’s “To The Extreme” cassette and when I heard Baba’s “Thanda Thanda Paani”, I thought it was an outrage!!! But then I heard gems like “Dil Dhadke” and “Chor” and of course, if you remember, “A Load of Bull” which was the funniest stuff I had ever heard!!! I had soon learnt the songs by heart and I think I still can rap a mean Thanda Thanda Paani! 🙂

    A small correction, the lyrics of “Manjula” are not “Dudh peeyega Raja aja Manjula”, but “Juice peeyega Raja aja Manjula”!!! Thanks for posting this, anyway! 🙂

  18. Mandar,

    I heard it as dudh. Blame it on my mind. Or maybe you heard it as juice. Blame it on yours.

  19. I used to love Baba Sehgal myself. I hate to admit I was quite crazy about the Dil Dhadke song, and I quite enjoyed those weeks in Superhit Muqabla that saw that song on top! Although I did have to suffer a lot of bullying from my older cousins because of my love for Baba Sehgal.

  20. Ohh..and remember Ayesha whatever’s Oh Baba kisssu me..Oh baba touchu me…?
    And I cant imagine that there was a time when the ‘Sexy Sexy; song from Khuddar actually had to be changed to ‘Baby Baby’ to restore the collective innocence of the country…
    And now…AB calls a six year old baby ‘sexy’ and calls himself ‘sexy sam’ at 60….whaatay change over the past decade….

  21. Baba was my hero. my brother said he found the words “God please make me a great singer like Baba Sehgal” on the back of my notebook. Bombay to Bhatinda, Mehbooba, MKC, Jat Ludhiane Ka. then Baba got too big, he wasn’t my personal underground discovery anymore.

  22. That was Alisha chinai…not Ayesha whatever…in the comment above..

  23. Awesome post! You even mentioned “Voodoo Rapper” 🙂 I always used to wonder who he was, Javed Jaffrey maybe,mad about being dethroned as the unchallenged king of DDs- New Year- Rap- Break Dance thingies….

  24. While the Indian youth reveled in the aural delights of Baba Sehgal, the unfortunate and unintended victim was my Hindi teacher Mrs. Manjula, she who was not blessed with the good looks of the model in the video. She actually had a unibrow..

  25. Dude you missed my favorite Baba Sehgal love song… “Kapurthala se aaya hoon… Tere liya laya hoon…. Orange Kurta Peela Pyjama”…. It’s a cinematic classic and warrants a mention 😛

  26. That was a great post!
    Now, I am unable to take out ‘Dil dhadke mera dil dhadke’ out of my head 🙂

  27. raja banerjee May 3, 2010 — 4:54 am

    hi greatbong

    read your book and did not know where to post comments so going ahead and posting them here:

    a) first of all, it is a very good first book and it delivers on exactly that it promises…there are lots of “lol” moments in the book and it definitely is a fresh change for people (especially those who do not know anything about greatbong

    b) as a regular reader of your blog, i found quite a few chapters straight out of the blog (like Gunda analysis, hotties, kasai, marriage, etc) – which was a bit disappointing because i enjoy reading what you write and for me 20% of the book got skipped. however i do appreciate that this is meant to cater to everybody and not to your blog-visitors only.

    c) your “acknowledgments”, “epilogue” and “prologue” were innovative, which i liked

    d) there were some printing errors (spellings, etc) in the first two chapters, which i am sure you will rectify in the next edition

    e) some chapters were a bit monotonous like the NRI section and the humour was a bit forced.

    now i would look forward to a full story from your side which incorporates your views/commentary/humour in a seamless interwoven manner.

    cheers and all the best for more success

  28. U make me cry GB. remember there was this song..MKC taka UKP…had fun coming up with words 🙂

    1. and the end of d sng was…. yeh MKC MKC kya hai

  29. Brilliant post GreatBong 🙂
    Brought back a lot of Baba Sehgal video memories. Truly a golden era for indipop.

    Thought I should add on a Baba Sehgal incident that some of you may have seen. Salma Sultana, the DD News anchor (Wearing her typical colour-matched Rose on her hair), did an interview with Baba on DD -some summer vacation early morning LIVE show. In her very own style she asks “Baba aap humarein darshakon ko batayiye ki yeh Rap music hota kya hain?”. Innocently waiting for an answer. Baba for what he was jumped on to the question “Rap is Rape without an ‘e’ bus Rape without an ‘e'” – repeated a couple of times. Now this was a time when Saala was a cuss word on screen, so you can imagine her squirming in her seat. Baba unaware of the fact that he had said something wrong continued in the same tone only to be stopped by someone waving at him (this is something I imagine, but I am sure it would have happened). Hilarious to say the least.


  30. raja banerjee May 3, 2010 — 5:43 am

    brought back memories of school days and my affection for baba – in fact, i went for his live performance at netaji indoor…and his eve-teasing coaching classes “main to pakdoonga, chedoonga, bolegi woh na na na na….”

    also remembered ADG – he was a gem of a guy…a guy with total disdain for physics problems and dutta pal chowdhury (and joint entrance) – a guy who only believed in teaching physics the way one should learn it and not the way one should study to crack exams…his disapproval of guys getting friendly with girls was also hilarious…in fact one “have-not” from my class once told him about me “sir, raja class-e ja kore meye der shathe its difficult to sit and watch (you know why – “have not syndrome”)”. needless to mention, he called me to staff-room and said “raja, tor ki jibone ambition koli-r keshto howa” – a sentence which killed my libido in a second 19 years back !!!

  31. O baba segal …i surely do miss him, this was the same time when alisha chinoys “made in india” came out.

    “Chiki chiki tai chi ka ka toi… ” A line from baba’s song.Don’t remember which one.

    1. oh yes it was like…tiki tiki taye ta taye taye ta tum tum, pakchiki paye pu paye paye pa phum, tap tap tipa tatripa, tikachi tugchim pum pum

  32. Good one..I remember having my first crush on Pooja “Body” from that video and also the Pehla Nasha song..This was followed by a major crush on Anupama Varma from the Biddu song..The crush on Anupama Varma persists till today :).Man those were the days..Baba sure ruled the roost!!He’s a civil engineer btw(wonder if construction site noise inspired his rap)..

  33. A friend of mine who plays clarinet for a symphony orchestra here once made a mixed tape for his sister that had rap songs from around the world. Later he asks me: “Who’s this Baba Se-gaaaaal? He’s pretty good”

    In other things that make you go wtf, Baba’s wife Anju Sehgal is an art curator. Wonders never cease.

  34. Baba gave music to a film starring. The main song of that film was “orange kurta, peela pyjama”. One cannot be more orignal than this.

    Baba started out in 93. The song “mera paon bhaari ho gaya” and “No vacancy” were late 90s material when Baba had already lost form.

  35. Oh Great B, this is absolutely the LAST TIME I’ll read one of your posts in office!

    Didn’t have the hots for Baba like you did, but somehow post reading this, am mentally stuck with a totally unrelated song…dardi rab rab kardi.

    Guess Daler M. and his humpty dumpty act is my thanda thanda paani and Baba S.

  36. the magic of baba lies in his snippets like:
    – ‘bande ko vai vai singh kehte hain…
    – “chikpak chikbam…chikpak chikbam…(i do not find this song on the net, have been trying since last 2 years!)
    – “choli..choli…choli..choli” in the Manjula song..
    – MKC – Mahanagar kross connection..
    – My mother was born in year BC
    – the press interview in the madonna song: “batao na, bataao na..please… ok..ok..ok..”

    truly original.

    last Baba was seen acting in a SAB TV serial: Jugni chali jalandar…

  37. BalalSangh Parivar May 3, 2010 — 7:41 am

    Infidels. None of you mentioned “Miss Loomba Loomba” directly inspired from Shaggy’s “Mista Lova Lova”. Well, at least someone should have remembered the model with long legs all the way to heaven.
    Worse…. there are those classic “Peecha Karo” & “Ladkiyon Ke Peeche” songs from Double Gadbad. I believe he plays twins on both sides of the law in that movie.

    Oh the 90s….. I can’t believe my old objects of lust prolly got 10-15 yr old kids now.

  38. Veerendra Meel May 3, 2010 — 9:02 am

    Years ago went to see my first live performance, it was the awesome BABA on stage.

    What stayed with me, more than even the booming vocals was this incessant baba sehgal fan screaming at the top of his voice through out the show – baba i love you, baba i love you

    was that you gb 😀

  39. remember the baba song “haan keh de, ya naa keh dein, matlab paheliyon mein” from miss 420?
    Soulful ballad, classic baba raunchiness underlying mellifluous cootchie-coo lyrics…
    great to reminisce.
    Thank you for the post!

  40. Great post, GreatBong (did i just productize your name with the intercapitalization ;)! However, aren’t we all forgetting the great ‘Meri Marzi’ from the equally great movie ‘Gambler’?

    I wonder how you escaped being ‘influenced’ by the Great Govinda!

    Keep them posts coming 😉

    P.S. Halfway through your book so earnest apologies in case you have spoken about Govinda beyond my horizon of MIHYAP 😀

  41. gr8 post… moreover, loved the SPHS reference…. brings back so many fond (and otherwise!!) memories of my beloved institution!!!

  42. Baba Sehgal is good, but I am better! Bappi Lahiri & Baba Sehgal are recording a love duet together!

  43. Hey GB, Love reading your post, have made a few Non bengalis your fans who didnt know the Gems they were missing and also getting them hooked to Gunda – i cant believe people had missed this gem – even though i have been criticised for my evil love for B grade, love to laugh with them, there is no better comedy than these B grades. See the interview of Sajid Khan and Ritesh Deshmukh in Filmfare – they are bitten by the same Bug

  44. Man! This is a top post. Finally someone has written about the real Baba.

    1. Baba Sehgal is really a kind person as i met him 2-3 time…he is really down to earth person….now days he is busy with his telugu projects.. gr8 man, Gr8 personality

  45. dear gb,

    i was waiting in a lawyers outer chamber, surrounded by dour litigants, worried over property and other matters which gladden a lawyer’s heart and emptieth his clients’ purse.

    only, i had your book with me.

    so, i was the only one who was having a rollicking time.the clerk glared at me but i pretended not to see him. he sighed dramatically and disappeared into the inner chamber.

    then, wonder of wonders, i was called into the sanctus sanctorum, jumping over at least 3 men in dark glasses and clutching sheaves of legal mumbo-jumbo.

    the lawyer glared at me, handed over an affidafvit, and charged me 200 extra.

    for destroying the atmosphere of legality, i suppose.

    it was a heavy price i paid.
    but i will do it again.
    and again.

    on a another note,

    my mother likes baba sehgal ‘cos he is an engineer. she, herself had passed out of b.e college in’63.
    one engineer is always willing to hear another out. whether explaining a blueprint or rapping.
    dilbertish, huh ?!?

  46. Dear all,
    Some of you mentioned Baba Sehgal’s show at Netaji Indoor (end-1993 if I remember right). I was there as well, and an absolutely, totally, HILARIOUS moment was when Baba steps on stage, the crowd is going berserk and he shouts on the mike “Hello, Calcutta! Are you reeeaaaaddddyyyy????” Crowd response: “YAAAAAAAAAAAA”. “Do you love Baaaabaaaaa!!!!” Crowd response: “YAAAAAAAAAAAA”. “People say I copy songs, Am I a thief???” Crowd response: “YAAAAAAAAAAAA”!!!!!!!!! I swear it took him a minute to recover!!!
    Another gem from that show: People say I copied Thanda Thanda Pani from Ice Ice Baby. But Ice Ice Baby was itself copied from a Queen song and Queen was an Indian band (I swear he said that, obviously referring to Freddie Mercury’s India origins). Aur kisi Indian band ke gaanon se inspire hone mein mujhe KOI SHARM NAHIN!! Crowd response (you guessed right): “YAAAAAAAAAAAA”!!!!!!!!!
    Arnab, love your blogs, do keep up the good work and all the best for your book.

  47. Bababababa Sehgull May 3, 2010 — 5:44 pm


    Please admit it…

    When I left my previous comment on the “Fall of Modi”, my compelling “name/handle” reminded you of Baba Sehgal, brought back old memories and inspired you to write this rocking post.

    Please accept it and give me credit for being your muse for this post.

    Warna, I will sing – “Bola baba copy kiya, mere ‘Ice Ice Baby’ to Thanda kiya” . 😉

  48. There are were Baba fans vs Apche Indian fans, hardly anyone knew what Apache was singing…. I guess Sheba also had her album cut.

  49. Was your meeting with ADG around “tiffin-time” when he would dip a banana (i guess a cameo for a spoon maybe???) into a cup (bhaar)of mishti-doi before slowly proceeding to lick the doi off the fruit with great vigor? I swaer I am not making it up. Subhendu, Archan and Subhashis would do their best not to laugh. I could not stop myself from cracking up, in the teachers’ room across from XID no less. I was a marked man from that point on. What an a-hole that dude was and all his little minions. It was like a bad 2-year nightmare for me.

    Anyway, who is #2? You need to write a blog about Rajnikanth. That stuff coming out in the late 80s from him rivaled any product coming out from Prabhuji for a while.

  50. ahh this is another chapter which has hardly been touched upon by the nostalgia seekers .. i remember that bombay vikings song, then there was that group singing jaana hai mujhe bollywood, falguni pathak, anaida and who not .. and you are right on when you say the remix brigade slowly stifled all the talent out and now there is hardly any solo singer left .. just endless loops of film songs on the music channels .. no innovative videos nothing .. we are probably one of the few countries whose TV related media has regressed to stone age from a very good position ..

  51. Bababababa Sehgull

    Sorry to rain on your parade. Post was half-complete in Drafts section for some time now. Only thing is the Modi scandal came out midway.


    Sorry to hear that. But glad to hear my book having such an effect.

  52. Brilliant article Arnab_da, I guess it was the year 1992 when TTP was released. I was in the 6th standard, which means you must have already taken ICSE. Well, I actually bought the cassette and I remember it was in a shock-proof case unlike others. I could not afford to buy a CD with my 6 months worth of pocket money let alone a measly player to put it into …

  53. I have heard many stories about Anjan babu from many of my SPHS teachers who were students under him. They never told me about this side of his about gifting students baba sehgal pictures. Interesting anecdote and as usual great post.

  54. Wow, some people had cd players and pocket money in 1994. Ami adhpeta kheye thaktam. Jak ge … Baba Chhagol was a waste – he had a decent voice and had the guts to bring rap to Indian mainstream music. But like most Indians, he concentrated on fast lyrics rather than the style of music that is rap.

    This post is more fun because of references to ADG – of course to ex-South Pointers. I last met him 2.5 years back, here in Pune, at his home. Few knew what I found out, that he is Konkani on mother’s side and Bengali on father’s side.

  55. GB, I think Mandar is right. I remember it as juice too, and not dudh (not that it would’ve made a difference either way to the larger philosophical premise of the song). But I think it went something like

    Leke aaya hoon main baaja Manjula
    Baaja bajake banoonga raja Manjula
    Juice piyega raja aaja Manjula
    And so on…

    Priceless… Babaji ki jai ho

  56. @ Bababaaba Sehgull

    Well, you two-(you and GB), seem to have some telepathic connection.
    Great men think alike, so do….

  57. Great Bong, Baba was a truly a sensation when he arrived on the telly scene. I was very young at that time but can still recall the funky Thanda Thanda paani, before realizing it was lifted from Ice Ice baby which was quite late after the release. He was definitely a linchpin that made me look into other genres totally different from bollywood, and rap in particular. His voice is also good and manly, not like the chicken voice of Sonu Nigam, the man you refer to as “Pagal-e-Azam”! I think he is totally under-rated and deserves more than some random spots on Big Boss and “Jugni Chali Jalandhar”. He introduced rap music in India, and that too hindi rap, as far as my memory stretches, before any one else (his contempories being Gurdas Mann, Hemang Patel and Style-Bhai, among others). Too bad he couldnt capitalize early on.

  58. Good Post. I was introduced to Baba by my cousin who used to buy every casette coming out in the market. I became popular in my school becuase i could sing Main Bhi Madonna to the T and gave the class (and teachers) a free concert during free periods. I think Jat Ludhiane Ka was his best creation ever (of course i could sing that too :)).

  59. Nachiketa! I hope he is in the list of the artists who shaped your youth-

    “Mon deye porashona kore jai jon…”, “keu bole buro bham… keu bole paji..”
    and of course the unforgettable “Nilanjana” were one of the few constant hymns chanted by us, the “chokra bangali”s, echoing the loudspeakers next to some kaku’s window as they played the songs for any celebration, be it Saraswati pujo aur Bishwakarma.

  60. whatever it is Baba was high on entertainment quotient… No tension, full maza,. no logic, all fun. ‘Jat Ludhiyane Ka’ rap of ‘Kitne Admi The’ was lot of fun.

  61. “as the teacher droned on about standard and mean deviation.”
    I suppose it was mean and standard deviation? Or was that Baba’s influence that made you hear statistics terms all jumbled up?

    GB, our generation will be forever grateful to Harish Thawani and Nimbus for bringing such unfathomed joy into our lives through Superhit Muqabla and Baba’s golden anchoring. This tribute was long due and most welcome. “Baba aaya, kya laaya, yo!!!”

  62. Waiting for a write up on Nandana Sen….

  63. Oh! Wonderful memories!
    I think I had a man-crush (or boy-crush, i was 8-10 years old) on Baba Sehgal rapping Dil Dhadke with his white shirt flapping around in front of that gigantic fan!
    Good to know he stole only from “Indian songs” :P. That should show up ppl like Anu Malik and Pritam!

  64. Hey u forgot about
    “Abb main Venga Boy” which came arnd 1999.

    It had lyrics like :
    Cheer up cheer up everybody
    My favorite comics Laurel Hardy
    Hasinao mat niklo sadak par
    Venga Boy hai Sholay ka Gabbar..

  65. Remembering my school days. We were busy remembering the Aaja Meri Gari Me Baith Ja and Thanda Thanda Paani rap. Those immortal lines: “Long Drive jayenge full speed jayenge kahi rukenge na hum. Gaana bajana khaana peena gari me hoga sanam. Pom Pom.”
    and also the Thanda Thanda Pani rap: “Manager bole baithiye please sir kuch farmaiye. Aap ke seva me main hazir hu. Boliye kya aapko chahiye.” And then Baba says: Thanda Thanda Pani

  66. Ha Ha Ha Ha, ROFL, priceless this one “Style-Bhai whose song I never quite internalized in the same way I did Baba Sehgal’s because I was too eager following the trajectory of the golden key tied around Ashwini Bhave’s waist in the video”.
    i saw the video twice to just check the key and her waist. Too good, when are you writing about this talented guy? i’m sure he can be called as the Gen-next Baba. Check out his official video.

  67. Very nice Greatbong! Here is Baba singing a qawali

  68. Great Post.
    BTW, here is the link to Manjula song on Youtube. It is not dootdh but juice

  69. Gosh ‘Ladkiyon Ke Peeche” had lyrix like Ladkiyon Ke Peeche jaane wale hai bahut..1 ladke ki baat hai alag..alag…errr…does tht ‘Bahut’ include gals also?Baba surely knew of ipc 377 way back in the 90s lol

  70. Greatbong went to a school called South Point High (and so did some of us) – where we did come across both mean deviation (weighted average of the sum of absolute values of differences between sample points and mean) and standard deviation. Some people get good education and a few among them even remember it.

    The rest find faults (without even googling).

  71. That was for Mr Skeptic.

  72. I just saw Baba in a Hindi soup. Don’t know the name. Was playing on a TV in the gym. On mute.

  73. Hindi ‘soap’ not soup. Sorry

  74. Bababababa Sehgull May 4, 2010 — 9:14 pm

    @Rishi Khujur

    No telepathic connection between GB and moi, dude….Just empathic connection. Still GB didn’t give me credit for subtly reminding him to complete his long-written draft of this article.

    I’m a Sehgal in real life too…And no, Hollywood action star Steven Segal is not my relative. Thanks to our Gandharan roots, we Sehgals are known to be quite musically/artistically inclined – from dancer Kameshwar Nath Segal to playback-singer K.L.Saigal to rap-singer Harjeet Singh “Baba” Sehgal.

    Since you are a well-known history buff, did you know that we Sehgals trace our ancestry back to Gandhara (Kandahar) which was once the land that was known for its artists, dancers and musicians (Gandharvas) for many centuries. (Look at the irony: Dance, Music and Art are banned there today!). My ancestors were forced to leave the Kandahar/Kabul region during the Turkic invasions (7th to 11th century) and settled down in Jhelum in the West Punjab plains [where we were persecuted by the Mughals]. Many of my kinsmen converted under pressure (they are called Saigols today) and stayed behind in Pakistan after partition. My grandparents finally came to present-day India after 1947 as refugees.

    Still, all is not lost. As you can see – Dil dadke mera dil dadke, koi nahin jane baba kyon dadke !

  75. Anindita Ghosh May 4, 2010 — 9:30 pm

    Brilliant article mate.

  76. Surprised that you still remembered these stuff particularly payong bhari ho gaya was an outrageous hit. I was in school then and though I did not have cable at home (only a few channels no music channels though), I came to know about the song from my friends who would just sing this song all the time. Mandakini’s No vacancy was ok. You did not mention some genuine hit artists like Shaimak Davar, Peeyush Chopra ( Chokra), Colonial Cousins etc. But after a couple of years around 2000, the pop music scene was flooded with recycled old stuff comprising a lot of dumb remixes.

    Great post man You surely have the ability to appreciate stuff from Kanti Shah’s Gunda to Baba Sehgal rap melodies and meanwhile you touch sensitive topics from Indo-pak political scene to cricket controversies. No wonder you are a succesful author. Hope your effort becomes a best seller.

  77. Some Nostalgic Moments May 5, 2010 — 4:41 am

    How could you just remember everything from childhood days….You really make me so nostalgic……Hey, Sir do you have any memories of “Purani Jeans” that Ali Hader’s song…..

  78. Yes I do. Bas yaadein yaadein yaadein rahe jaati hai, bus choti choti baatein rahe jaati hai

    1. hey do you people listen Baba’s yaad Aati hai… its amazing…

  79. @Dhananjay that film had Raman Trikha (of “Banegi Apni Baat” fame) in it!!

  80. One quick trivia about Baba Seghal. He is a sardar and had a beard but he shaved it during the 1984 anti-sikh riots because he was terrified for his life as he used to get threatening calls.

  81. greatest baba was desi baba. 2nd place go to baba sehgal

  82. Great to know someone shares the same passion about the “Baba”. ” Oya Oya Baba Aaya Kya Laya”.
    In fact i did a post one him some years back. Here’s the link

  83. Ohh, I was moved to comment- I love him! And yes, more than you do 😉
    I have been worshipping him -and his crazy lyrics – since high school. Though I do miss his zaniness.
    He did do a great job woth Sexy Mama though- esp. the “tere bin zahar ya beer piyoon”
    And though this is the most redundant thing I can say- you’re an incredible writer 🙂

  84. Oh gosh! I used to hate him for that song that had my name and those stupid senior school boys would sing that!!!
    But I did have his ‘Baba Deewana’ cassette and liked him until he came up with that song!!

    Nostalgic post 🙂

  85. LOL! How do you remember all this, after so many years? 😀

  86. AND does anyone remember Jugni Mast Kalandar, and some comeback shows on NDTV Imagine

  87. Hilarious! Absolutely ROTFL! And yes, I have to admit, I know the lyrics to Dil Dhadke too! 😛

  88. one song was MKC taka UKP

  89. must say i remember the lyrics for Manjula, thanda thanda pani ,dil dhadke et al…

    what was Baba sehgal’s opening line on superhit muqabla
    “chiki chiki tai tatai tatai tum tum pucky pucky pai papai papai pum pum ”

    aaja meri gaadi mein baith ja
    aaj meri gaadi mein Baith ja
    long drive jayenge
    full speed jayenge
    kahin rukenge na hum
    Gaana bajana khaana peena
    gaadi mein hoga sanam
    hey aaja meri gaadi mein baith ja
    baija baija baija
    ..and then same line in some other regional language (ni majhe gadi te watno..)

  90. some other names i recall

    bali brahmbhatt
    shweta shetty (jhony joker)
    Mehnaz (banungi main miss india)

  91. Don Ayan de Marco May 8, 2010 — 6:54 am

    Talking of Indipop of the ’90s this was a song which was banned in my house at that time….

  92. Big fan of Baba Sehgal May 11, 2010 — 3:36 pm

    I think, Baba is a youth icon, he is the guy who brought rap music to India, he should be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award

  93. I can relate to your thoughts so much so that It seems you are speaking my mind. I used to be a diehard fan of Manjula song 😀
    Manjula manjula

  94. HormoneCrazed May 16, 2010 — 2:19 pm

    Shalader ghaate jabar boyesh hoye gelo ekhono magi dekhle nola shok shok kore.

  95. GB,

    Mahesh Manjrekar is remaking his Marathi film ” Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy” in Bengali with Mithun-da, better known as Prabhuji, in the lead. Your comments.


  96. yuP, even i have one of his albumn with me- Main bhi maddona. Some songs they were.

    He was truly India’ first rap star. Lately saw him on a sitcom at sabtv..some punjabi stuff.

    Miss him. he was very funny on screen.

  97. I just baba recently and o my god, he still looks dashing and are you aware he is growing his hair. also, he opening his hip hop academies all over india

  98. I stumbled upon your blog 3 months back while searching for bhojpuri song :). I started reading it and liked your sense of humor. Can connect with your writing ( which might be your limitation too)as I grew up in nineties and also was poor graduate student in USA (also it helps that, funnily enough, I studied business managemnt in calcutta ). I try to write too – name of my blog, coicidently looks inspired by you by virtue of your being more popular :).

    Few things about baba. I went to same engg college as him, and he is electrial engg. not civil. Lot of acronym he used in his songs were popular engg college shorties, and could be, as it is, very veggy. We all thought he was maverick, and if you listen to his rendering of Kishore da songs you realize how good his voice is. I true icon of ninceties.

  99. The Big Fan of Baba Sehgal August 26, 2011 — 10:46 am

    hey friends
    to know more about Baba Sehgal
    Join Baba Sehgal’s Official Page

    this Page is 101% created by Baba Sehgal
    so join now to know more about Baba.

  100. Mandar Dadegaonkar December 6, 2011 — 6:23 am

    Arnab da and all the other Baba fans on this forum. Glad to report that the video for “Manjula” is available on

    Scroll down to view this surreal video, where Baba squirts an injection into a gramophone horn and tries to create a girl!

  101. hey you people can also join him on his official facebook page

  102. who is the model in the song of baba sehgal deewana baaba (aage aage ladki)

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