An inspiring tale of Dr Ranju Sinha who has penned down the song FanAnthem into Bhojpuri.
By Shillpi A Singh
In the sweltering heat, a FAN that is scorching the charts will cool the heart and soul of Bhojpuri music lovers
If you are a die-hard Shah Rukh Khan FAN from the eastern part of India where Bhojpuri is the native language, chances are that you would love to see the superstar groove to a Bhojpuri song. Lo and behold, it has happened sooner than expected. The FAN Anthem from upcoming Shahrukh Khan-starrer has also been recorded in Bhojpuri among other languages. The peppy version has been sung by versatile Manoj Tiwari. It has been penned by none other than Dr Ranju Sinha, a noted lyricist, producer, director, and story writer of Bhojpuri cinema.
It is Sinha’s first outing in the Hindi cinema, and she has managed to create waves with her lyrics. Retaining the essence of original FAN Anthem in Hindi, she has peppered the song with her nuanced choices of frequently spoken Bhojpuri words which has helped the Jabardast fan song strike a chord with Bhojpuri speaking youngsters, making it a big hit in Western Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
A renowned name in the Bhojpuri cine circuit, life is a beautiful coincidence for Sinha. Born in a middle-class family in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on March 15th, 1962, she was married off at the age of 16 to Neelmani Kumar Sinha, a Bihar government official. “I was married off soon after Class 10 exams. I thought marriage meant the end of my academic and creative pursuits. But my parents-in-law and husband proved me wrong. They ensured that I continued my studies and finished my Class 12th, Bachelors, Masters and even got a doctorate,” she said with a lot of pride.
Armed with a doctorate, she joined Raj Narain Singh Inter College, Muzaffarpur, as lecturer in home science department in 2002. By then her two children — daughter Pooja Priyanka and son Pancham Priyam — had been packed off to New Delhi for schooling.
In 2005, her daughter moved to pursue an undergraduate program in audiology and speech therapy at Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai. “My daughter was all alone in Mumbai. She was homesick, so I thought it would be a good idea to move to Mumbai; Pooja would get to stay at home with me and would be able to focus on her studies.”
A homemaker who mostly spent her days and nights taking care of her home and family in Muzaffarpur, Sinha shifted base to Mumbai only to give company to her daughter. She had planned to return home after Pooja completed her studies. As they say, man proposes, God disposes. “Initially, I did not know what to do with a lot of free time in this city. But it made me discover the creative side of my personality which has been the biggest takeaway of being in Mumbai.” She was fond of writing, and for the first few months, all that she did was to contribute articles for magazines and newspapers in Mumbai. Her penchant for writing made her explore options as a lyricist in the film industry. A movie buff, Sinha enjoyed watching the latest releases but she had zilch knowledge about the craft of film-making as she admits today. But she was destined to be part of the film industry.
She said it was her elder brother, Mumbai-based businessman Raman Kumar Bachchan, who helped her in settling here and then in looking for a meaningful creative engagement in the Bhojpuri film industry. “I started my career by penning devotional songs in Bhojpuri for ‘Chhatt Maharani’ for T-Series.” Dhananjay Mishra had composed the music and songs were sung by Manoj Tiwari and Anuradha Paudwal. “It was a good start for a newcomer. Renowned singers such as Manoj Tiwari and Anuradha Paudwal lent their voices to my words. I was overwhelmed.”
There was no looking back for Sinha after her debut as a songwriter for this devotional album. Buoyed by the success of this venture, she went on to pen devotional songs for two more albums — ‘Chalo Re Sai Dham’ and ‘Sai Base Hain Kan Kan Mein’. Today she is a sought-after lyricist and story writer in the Bhojpuri film industry, having penned songs for hit movies such as Sautan, Ajab Devra ke Gazab Bhaujai, Niruha Banal Don, Rangbaaz and Jai Ho Jagdamba Mai. But that’s not all. She successfully forayed into film production and direction under her home banner, Gauri Shankar Arts Private Limited. She has produced half-a-dozen movies, notable among them being Jai Ho Jagdamba Mai, Chandrika, Preet Bada Anmol, Paro Patna Wali and soon-to-be-released Hindi movie, Raazdariyan.
“In a way, I am in the best phase of my life. My children are doing well. Pooja is married to Dr Shashank Kumar, a dentist here in Mumbai, and the couple has a two-year-old son Dhwanit. My son Pancham is currently working as Project Manager in NIIT Technologies in London.” So does she intend to leave Mumbai and return to her roots? “As of now, my hands are full. There is so much to do that I can’t even think of doing so by any means. I can’t even afford to take a break from work.”
Recalling her long association with Tiwari, Sinha said, “We go back a long way. His voice has the Midas touch. It did wonders to my just launched career way back in 2006. I am blessed to have him lend his voice for the Bhojpuri version of FAN Anthem.” Lauding his contributions in promoting the language across the world and making it popular even among the non-Bhojpuri speaking population, Sinha said, “Manoj is a talented person. He can sing, dance, act and not just that, he is an active Parliamentarian too, representing BJP from North East Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha. He is doing a lot for making Bhojpuri popular, both among the masses and classes.”
Tiwari, whose “Jiya Ho Bihar Ke Lala” for Anurag Kashyap’s critically acclaimed Gangs of Wasseypur was his first Bhojpuri song for a mainstream Hindi movie, seemed quite impressed with Sinha’s style of writing. He said, “Ranju has entered Bollywood with a bang. She has used catchy words, which have an instant connect with youngsters, and that is what will help catapult Bhojpuri songs in the big league,” adding, “Her words show her intellectual depth and command over the language. Ranju has managed to carve a niche for herself in this industry in a short span of time, and that is quite commendable. She has brought credibility and respect to Bhojpuri with her songs, something which was lost over the years, thanks to vulgar, double-meaning songs penned by some lyricists.”
Like Tiwari, Sinha too is proud of her roots and said, “I owe my success to my language. I am what I am because of Bhojpuri.”
However, the call from Yashraj Films was quite surprising for both artistes. While Sinha initially dismissed it as a prank call, Tiwari couldn’t believe that he had actually got a call from YRF for singing a song for their upcoming movie. “When I checked with the production house, I realized it was indeed true. I was over the moon,” he said.
Both Tiwari and Sinha are self-proclaimed fans of SRK. The Bhojpuri FAN Anthem is popular among the masses. Nowadays, Tiwari is flooded with requests to sing the FAN Anthem during his stage shows. He said, “People start screaming, ‘E dilwa tohre jabardast ab toh fan ho gayil’, on seeing me. The crowd goes berserk. I am just cashing in on this popularity.”
Talking about her FAN moment, Sinha said, “It is a dream come true for someone like me to write a song for the superstar. SRK’s forthcoming movie is about how a fan makes a star. In my case too, I would say, FAN has made me an overnight star.”
The author can be contacted at email@example.com