Materialistic And Demanding Girls: The Secret Ingredient For Success In Mainstream Punjabi Songs

Bollywood Music, especially mainstream Punjabi music portrays women as ‘demanding’ and ‘gold diggers. Women are never interested in the love that the hero has to offer, all they want is fancy cars, phones, bags, jewellery, clothes, etc. Brands like ‘Gucci’ and ‘Prada’ are used as common nouns or to fill the void in a sentence. The success formula of these songs is an exotic location paired with expensive cars and materialistic women. In these songs, men are often portrayed as financially stable with the potential of buying all luxury items. However, women are showcased as a damsel who needs to be taken care or a juvenile and materialistic gold digger.

The lyrics of the popular song “Prada” are very problematic and are hidden under the music beats and the charm of the Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt. The lyrics say ‘Aaj Kar Le Tu Vada, Pehle Laa Ke De Prada, Nahi Tu Dooro Dooro Tak Da Rahi, Mai Hor Koi Labh Lu Tu Jaa… Heel Paris Ton Leke, Handbag From LA, World Tour Tere Naal Karna, Varna Gussa Hojaungi Mai Sajna’. These lyrics can be loosely translated as ‘promise me today that you will buy me Prada or else stay away from me, I’ll find someone else, you may leave… Buy me heels from Paris and handbags from LA, take me on a world tour or else I will be mad at you.’

In the song “Jaguar”, the ‘Kudi’ or woman says firstly buy a Jaguar then you can get all the love you want. In the song “Wakhra Swag” the woman checks the tags of the brands before wearing any clothes. The song “Love Dose” not only completely rejects the concept of consent of the girl for the marriage. It also depicts that factors affecting any girl’s notion of ideal life partner are ‘Ghar’, ‘Paisa’ and ‘Gaadi’ or house, money and car.

Songs like “Lehenga” and “Naah” entirely revolve around the female demanding expensive lehengas or shoes from the singer but the only thing that her male counterpart has for her is love. The Bollywood song “Pinky” openly says ‘Mumbai Ki Na Dilliwalo Ki, Pinky Hai Paise Walo Ki’ (Pinky belongs to those who have money).

These are few of the many examples showcasing women as gold diggers. All of these songs have hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. Young boys and girls who just memorize the lyrics without analyzing their meaning are likely to form the notion of women being ‘demanding’ when they become adults. We don’t realise but these lyrics we don’t learn consciously but they become an inherent part of our narrative and normalize toxic attitudes. Since songs aren’t something that we make a conscious effort of learning, this and it is scary we don’t even realise that we have learnt such a thing.