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Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Ye Shehar Hai Bambai, Bam Bam Bai

Posted on: April 3, 2016


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan – 9
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

सच्ची, बहुत दिन हो गए बंबई गए। चलिए, फिर एक बार चलते हैं, मायानगरी में, एक बहुत ही अनूठे और अनसुने गीत के साथ।

Really, many days now since the last visit to Bombay. So I take you there once again today, along with a very rare, almost unheard and a very out of the ordinary song.

OK, so, prior to the news report on the Bombay gangout (which is the post “O Bambai Waali Chhokri Tu Ruk Jaa Vallah”), in one of the previous episodes (which is the post “Main Flora, Rang Mera Gora”), I was recounting my experiences as an outsider, with the housing situation in this city of Maaya. The place in sequence where we had last talked about it, I had finally settled with my colleague, Puneet, in the Avinash Apartments in Versova area, right across the road from Jyoti Apartments, where dear Arun ji resides. Interesting part is that he used to reside there, even then too).

I had promised in the earlier post that the story of how we were able to “break free” of the Bombay based project, is still to be told. Today, I am bringing this tale to you, an episode that quite changed my life.

Staying at Avinash Apartments, our routine was to be up early, because we had to catch the company bus from the east side of Andheri station, between 8:10 and 8:25 am. Generally, we used to take the bus from the main bus stop at Versova, get off at the Andheri station, take the footbridge across to the east side, and take the company bus. Getting across the bridge through the station meant that I had to have a valid railway ticket or railway pass. And so that added to one more small part of the Bombay experience – ‘पास निकलवाने का’. Yes, that is the phrase used in Bombay – not ‘बनवाना’ but ‘निकलवाना’. 🙂

Anyway, coming to the work at office, and how I was able to extricate myself out of Bombay, and straight to the US. That is a very interesting episode in itself.

The Tata Burroughs (later Tata Unisys) was famous (notorious?) for the image that one joins them and within three months or less, one is on a plane to the US. That is the dream that every new recruit had when he or she walked through the doors for the first time, at this organization. When I entered, I found that this was not so much of a myth. In reality, a major percentage of employees did get to travel almost immediately, as ‘body shopping’ was the main line of business. By ‘body shopping’, I mean, making available trained software engineers to the parent company in the US and its clients, without really having any stake or responsibility in the project itself. So all new comers were quite excited about it. It was something like a very low scale IPL auction, wherein resumes were floated to different departments of the parent company, and they would select individuals suitable for their project requirements.

When I entered these esteemed hallways, I was put into training with rest of the group joining in that cycle. However, within two days, I was taken out of the training and asked to have a conversation with the HR manager. I was informed that since I came in with some experience (I had worked with HCL in Delhi already prior to that), I was not required to attend the training, as the management has something else in mind for me. For a short while, my hopes were flying really high. Wow, being experienced, they are going to put me immediately on a project overseas, probably in a senior position. I wallowed in this self admiration (sic) for some days, as I waited for the specific ‘something else’ that the HR manager would inform me. After about 10 days of ‘वेलागिरी’ (whiling away my time), I was invited to join a meeting. There were about 20 people in the room, and a senior looking lady was at the head of the table. The bombshell was about to explode and crash land my flights of fancy.

The lady informed us that we are all experienced, with excellent track records. So we have been chosen for a very special assignment. The management requires our skills and experience for a very vital project. Name of the project – ‘Easydeal’.

Springtime evaporated. Horror descended on our faces. All hot air balloons got deflated. There was silence around the room as I turned my gaze – all of us were shell shocked and speechless. We were the ‘chosen few’ who were now to be led to the gallows. The word ‘chosen few’ now started to sound like ‘sacrificial lambs’.

Let me explain. The project ‘Easydeal’ was a Bombay based project. It was also called the ‘Black Hole’, because it would suck you in and then never let go. Joining Tata Unisys and then getting assigned to a Bombay based project was the worst kind of punishment imaginable by the young minds who were already planning their shopping in Chicago and Los Angeles. Given the corporate ambience, shocked silence was the best response we could give. Everyone wanted to screech and tear out the eyes of the management, and destroy furniture and what not !!! Ok, ok, not so violent, but. . . you get the picture I am sure.

With shattered dreams, we trooped out of the conference room.  In reality, this group of twenty young ones had met that day for the first time. A calamity of this magnitude had a fantastic effect on this group. It is not just that politics makes strange bedfellows; a shared calamity generates a camaraderie that is unmatched, unparalleled. With the management as the common and vital enemy, this group of twenty, we became real fast friends in the shortest possible time, since cursing and name calling the management, and also regretting our common fate and complaining to God, was the immediate pastime we got into.

This phase lasted for a couple of days. The management, with its unaffected and detached aloofness, simply informed us about the special short training program we were supposed to take, ticked off another item of their list. And bemoaning our collective destinies, we complied. We knew we were in for at least 18 months if not more. At that time, the dreaded ‘promise’ of 18 months seemed like the end of life.

The moaning and mourning continued for days. It was a bitter pill to swallow. Seeing others getting US assignments, flying out, then returning, resting, and then getting another assignment, and flying out again – the heartburn was so real that one could boil potatoes. Everyone, including the support staff and admin etc. knew of this plight. Some even gloated the plight of the ‘Easydealers’, as we members of this project team were called. One incident is really very vivid in my memory. Shetty was the name of the manager at the small tea room on campus. We Easydealers were easily his most regular and longest lasting customers, as the rest of the engineering staff rotated very frequently. Even he could not resist picking on us unfortunates. One day, I and another colleague from the same project went to the tea room, and my companion asked for buttered toast with tea. Apparently the toaster was broken, and Shetty had the guile to respond with an almost a cruel quip – “Buttered toast nahin hai. Toaster project par gaya hai.” (“Sorry, no buttered toast. Toaster has gone abroad on a project”). Now when we sometimes recall this incident, we (the group of Easydeal friends) are all over the floor laughing. But at that instant, we got burnt worse than toast, and wished we had a machine gun in hand. :D) :D)

Let me tell a little bit about the project. The project was concerned with a very critical process in banking – deal making in the foreign exchange markets. In the international markets, the rates of currency exchange fluctuate by the minute. Sometimes these fluctuations are tiny. But with the magnitude of funds involved, these fluctuations matter a ton to the fund managers in leading banks who deal in foreign exchange. All large banks have huge funds that they maintain in multiple currencies, in holdings that are spread across the world. As they see changes happening in the rates of currency exchange, they have to make quick decisions to convert their holdings from one currency to another, so as to make a profit. These transactions and these decisions are very time sensitive, and sometimes a delay of even a couple of minutes could be a significant loss of opportunity.

With the advent of computers and networking, the banks and their funds managers look towards this new tool, to help them quickly assess the current fluctuations. There is a plethora of factors that need to be taken into consideration, and good funds managers are people with a high stress job of keeping abreast both with the financial markets and other social/political/natural phenomena. Keeping in mind all the impacting scenarios, they are driven to decision making which really needs to be split second. And in that, a good software program will come very handy to them. Banks are ready to pay premium prices for software that will help assess, analyze and recommend, towards making quick decisions in the fluctuating currency markets, and to make a profit.

So, our company had done two projects in this area, one for a bank in New Zealand and another for a bank in Switzerland. These projects were highly successful and got tons of praises from the two clients. Sensing an opportunity here, the company made a decision to use these two projects as a basis, and develop a more generic tool that can be marketed to multiple banks. In other words, the plan was to convert the successful projects developed for individual clients into a product that could be sold to many clients. That was the ‘Easydeal’ project.

There are many arguments and wheels within logic wheels about the pros and cons of this decision by the management, but I will not dwell on that at this point in time. I will pick up the narrative from the point when the specific role assignment for me was defined. I got designated as the Quality Assurance manager for the project, with the responsibility of ensuring that the work being done on developing this software product was being done correctly, and that the software that is built by this team works well and as per the defined requirement specifications. I must admit that for the first two to three months I was all at sea myself. There was a huge disconnect between me and the other sub teams within the group. Mainly because I myself was not sure how to implement a quality assurance function for this kind of a project. It was a new learning for me too.

So I started by focusing on the process to test the software. Within some weeks I realized that I was jumping the gun, since the software testing phase of the project was still many months into the future. My manager then directed me towards the review process, by which my responsibility was defined as to ensure that the design specifications being developed by the technical design team, are as per the stated functional and technical requirements of the project. In simpler terms, I was tasked to ensure that the technical team was designing the software program which will address all the stated requirements for this product.

I studied up some more about the review process for software projects. I consulted with some seniors in the company. And then I planned for a very detailed review of the technical design. Without getting into technical details, I will present some highlights. After the review was done, I got commendations from many quarters that this was a very well thought out and a very well executed formal review exercise, the like of which had never been attempted before in the company. The entire proceedings of the review process were recorded on tape. It was a difficult task to engage and coordinate, but finally I was successful in getting all the key technical people together for a dedicated review meeting that lasted full three day. The difficult part was to get the involvement of some senior technical people who did not belong to the project, and were outsiders. The benefit would be that they will have a very critical but a very objective and unbiased view.

Let me explain one very important aspect of Quality Assurance (QA). Contrary to the intuitive understanding, QA is not to establish that the product is successful in doing what it is supposed to do. Rather the effort of the QA team is to determine whether the product is doing what it is not supposed to do. In other words, the objective is to make the product fail. By attempting to do so, the QA team uncovers problems and lacunae in the product, and by removing these problems and lacunae, the quality of the product is improved. That is the value add proposition of the QA team.

Cutting through the chase (as we would say in filmy parlance) I will share the results. It took me as long as the meeting itself to listen through the entire recordings, summarize and prepare my report. As expected, multiple problems were discovered in the design. But there was one problem that stood out as the most significant.

The most important requirement for this product was the time to execute the decision. The timing was very sensitive an issue. The time that the computer would take to respond back to the person initiating a decision, was required to be 2 seconds or less. This is because the currency rates are fluctuating so rapidly, that any delay more than 2 seconds would mean a missed opportunity or a loss. During the review process, I planned and attempted something that had been unheard of. With the help of some senior technical people, I conducted a virtual simulation (in a time when even I myself was not aware of this terminology) on how much time the proposed design would take to execute the decision making request of the person sitting on the computer console. And the result of our simulation – in the face of a requirement that said that such a transaction should be completed and the response back to the user should happen within 2 seconds, the time that the design was actually predicting was SEVENTEEN seconds.

The design – it was a disaster. And the rest – it was history.

The review results were stunning. The review report made it to the very top of the organization. I was called in to present and defend the review results at a meeting in which many decision making big-wigs were sitting. After the meeting, I am sure the management went into a huddle. All we know that after about a couple of days, there was a quiet announcement of significantly reducing the staff on this project. The writing was on the wall. The management never said they will close the project, but eventually they did, more quietly and many months later. A large part of the team was taken off the project. A tiny core group was retained to continue with the redesign for this software (which of course really did not go anywhere).

And then, the fun started. I mean, literally. The one hundred plus staff who “won their freedom” from the ‘Black Hole’ – they went into celebration. And inadvertently, and literally overnight, I became a hero, the “savior of the downtrodden masses”. Practically each and every member of the team personally came to my desk and thanked me for ‘granting them freedom’. Some even went as far as to humorously and in a mock gesture, touch my feet. They promised me all good things, ‘blessed me’ and profusely thanked me. In hindsight, I think about it and laugh. But at that point in time, I was timidly unsure as to what I had achieved. I was secretly suspicious that they were making fun of me. In later conversations with some of them, I now realize that they were really, seriously thankful. Most seniors assured me that I had achieved a good thing. The head of the division also thanked me that I had helped to stem a significant loss making investment. In comparison to the disaster that would have happened many months hence, once they tried to go to market with this flawed product, this was a very small price to pay. But at that time, I myself was overawed with this outcome, that I was responsible to shut down a major project of the company. Single handedly. And that – being just the first assignment in the company. 😉

And I still cannot get over the scenario as the hundred plus team members trooped to my desk to thank me.

And me. Of course, I too got released from the project. And guess what, an immediate assignment to Minneapolis (USA). As what? Guess? Yes. As the QA manager of the Unisys team on a major client project. Goodness, I could not believe it myself. That Easydeal assignment propelled me into the direction of software Quality Assurance, eventually leading me towards corporate quality and process management, making for a satisfying career for me. Breaking the ‘Easydeal’ made a good career for me. 🙂

Thus ended my semi-permanent stay in Bombay. Both Puneet (who was also one of the ‘chosen’ on the same project) and I packed our bags, headed to Delhi, and then on to US. I continued to be with the company for another decade or so. But almost all the time was spent on assignments in the US. For the subsequent visits later, in between projects, the acco was arranged by the company. And I did not have to again look for accommodation in Bombay.

I still continue to visit Bombay occasionally. But now, the Hindi filmi connection comes handy, as there is a good number of very close and dear friends, at whose place I am welcome to stay. 🙂

Today’s song – I would call it a surprise song. It is from an unreleased film from the 1950s – ‘Do Dost’. The fun lyrics are from the pen of Bharat Vyas and the catchy music is from the mind of S Mohinder. Rendition – ah well, it has to be Rafi Sb, doing more than ample justice to the singing. I discovered this song in the recordings that my dear friend Zafar Bhai, gave me, from a set of unreleased films. I have shared it with some close friends, and they also expressed surprise at hearing this obscure and almost lost gem of a song. Another celebration of the enigmatic city – Bam Bam Bai.

Song – Ye Shehar Hai Bambai, Bam Bam Bai (Do Dost) (UR) (1950s) Singer – Mohammed Rafi, Lyrics – Bharat Vyas, MD – S Mohinder

Lyrics

arre ye shehar hai bambai
bam bam bai

ye shehar hai bambai
raunaqen nai nai
usne mazey
ho mazey
ho mazey loot liye
jiski yahaan jam gayi
ye shehar hai bambai
bam bam bai

roop ka hai jaal kahin
katey katey baal kahin
dank maarey
o pyaare dank maarey
lambi lambi chotiyaan
tirchhi nazar daal
leven jaan bhi nikaal
in ki aankhen hain ya
haaye. . . aankhen hain ya
jaadu ki hain gotiyaan
gori jahaan jam gayi
duniya wahin thham gayi
usne mazey
ho mazey
ho mazey loot liye
jiski yahaan jam gayi
ye shehar hai bambai
bam bam bai

tu mazey se ghoom yahaan
hotlon ki dhoom yahaan
log aate
o bandhu log aate
ghar ka khaana chhod ke
jaat ho ya laat
chaate chaupaati ki chaat
aji dhandhe karen
o gorakh dhandhe karen
laakh ke karod ke
arre lakshmi kahin kam gayi
kahin chhamaa chhamm gayi
usne mazey
ho mazey
ho mazey loot liye
jiski yahaan jamm gayi
ye shehar hai bambai
bam bam bai

jhooth ka vyopaar yahaan
matlabi hain yaar yahaan
kaam banaa
o beta kaam banaa
jhat se nazar pher len
dhandhe chalen zor se
to bande chaaron or se
phir chaacha mamma haan
phir chaacha mamma taau keh ke gher len
ye toli jahaan jam gayi
to doob wo faram gayi
usne mazey
ho mazey
ho mazey loot liye
jiski yahaan jamm gayi

ye shehar hai bambai
raunaqen nai nai
usne mazey
ho mazey
ho mazey loot liye
jiski yahaan jam gayi
ye shehar hai bambai
bam bam bai

———————————————————-
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————-

अरे ये शहर है बंबई
बम बम बई

ये शहर है बंबई
रौनकें नई नई
उसने मज़े
हो मज़े
हो मज़े लूट लिए
जिसकी यहाँ जम गई
ये शहर है बंबई
बम बम बई

रूप का है जाल कहीं
कटे कटे कहीं
डंक मारे
ओ प्यारे डंक मारे
लंबी लंबी चोटियाँ
तिरछी नज़र डाल
लेवें जान भी निकाल
इनकी आँखें हैं या
हाय॰ ॰ ॰ आँखें हैं या
जादू की हैं गोटियाँ
गोरी जहां जम गई
दुनिया वहीं थम गई
उसने मज़े
हो मज़े
हो मज़े लूट लिए
जिसकी यहाँ जम गई
ये शहर है बंबई
बम बम बई

तू मज़े से घूम यहाँ
होटलों की धूम यहाँ
लोग आते
ओ बंधु लोग आते घर का खाना छोड़ के
लाट हो या जाट
चाटें चौपाटी की चाट
अजी धंधे करें
ओ गोरखधंधे करें लाख के करोड़ के
अरे लक्ष्मी कहीं कम गई
कहीं छमा छम गई
उसने मज़े
हो मज़े
हो मज़े लूट लिए
जिसकी यहाँ जम गई
ये शहर है बंबई
बम बम बई

झूठ का व्योपार यहाँ
मतलबी हैं यार यहाँ
काम बना
ओ बेटा काम बना झट से नज़र फेर लें
धंधे चलें ज़ोर से
तो बंदे चारों ओर से
फिर चाचा मामा हाँ
फिर चाचा मामा ताऊ कह के घेर लें
ये टोली जहां जम गई
तो डूब वो फरम गई
उसने मज़े
हो मज़े
हो मज़े लूट लिए
जिसकी यहाँ जम गई

ये शहर है बंबई
रौनकें नई नई
उसने मज़े
हो मज़े
हो मज़े लूट लिए
जिसकी यहाँ जम गई
ये शहर है बंबई
बम बम बई

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6 Responses to "Ye Shehar Hai Bambai, Bam Bam Bai"

Dear Nitin ji

Thanks for the link. I had tried to search for this song online before I posted it, but had missed.

I need to do better checking. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

Thanks Sudhirji,
I had sent in the song few years ago.
There is one song where Rafi yodels a la Kishore>>mat samajh mujhe tu kangala
tujhe banwa du ek bangla
and a marathon story of Do Dost by Manna Dey>>
chup zameen aasmaan aaaa
kahe sake na ye zubaan aaaa
dil hilanewali do
dosto ki daastaan

Dear Sudhir ji
Wow ! That was a fascinating recount of your stay in my hometown – Mumbai!! Thanks for sharing.
I am glad your colleagues showed their appreciation – you were their hero. I am glad everything worked out for the better – when one door closes another opens !
Regards and All the Best.
Manju Das

Dear Manju ji
Thanks for your note of appreciation. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

Sudhir-ji, A very interesting account of your stay in Bombay. About Rafi and Bombay, I do not have add. Wow!!

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What is this blog all about

This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TEN years. This blog has over 14900 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 3800 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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