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The Raja Babus of modern India

A lot of 90s kids like me would have crooned and danced for“ Aa aaa eee..Uu uu uuu…Mera dil na thodo..” – the popular song of Govinda’s hit Hindi movie “Raja Babu”.

As the protagonist in the movie is literally treated as “Raja Babu” who is like a king at his home, the concept has still not changed even in the year 2023. More often than not, sons are not taught to cook or do any household work by their parents and in fact asked to stay away from especially cooking right from a young age. As an example, my daughter could set up her own store with the number of toy kitchen sets that were gifted to her in all materials, colors and sizes. Her friend who is a boy only got cars and trucks as gifts, but he really enjoys

playing more with the kitchen set along with my daughter with their make-believe hotel than the cars. Of course, that will not matter and he will not get a kitchen set despite him asking for it. No wonder that we have more famous men chefs than women today since they can be easily identified and picked out.

Now, what about the “Rani Beti” in the family? They never engaged in household work either and went into the kitchen only to fetch something to eat. Now, does this mean the marriage of Raja Babu and Rani Beti results in a size zero family? That could be a good plan for a crash diet! But in reality, Rani Beti learns to cook and Raja Babu, who is not inclined for cooking, starts to support in cleaning, washing and doing all the other stuff for the family. This is the perfect match, then, what is the catch?

The catch is when Rani Beti is not feeling like cooking and asks Raja Babu to help. Raja Babu steps in and manages to save the day, but this is when the camera moves and freezes in different angles and directions on the mother of Raja Babu who takes the stage, drops her metaphorical ‘pooja thali’ dan dan dan dan! and screams “NAHI……!!!”. She portrays the same anguish shown by the Bollywood mothers because her king-like son had to cook once in few months! Oh my god! How could this happen indeed?

The scene is very quiet and tense as in the final over of any IPL match and Raja Babu has to decide to either continue supporting RCB or CSK. That would have been so simple! Because we already know the outcome of a RCB vs CSK match before they play. Raja Babu & Co. decide to introduce a third scenario which is issuing several awards for Powerplay, Fastest 50, Fastest pace, Best 45 degree angle of swing, Best jersey, etc to the losing team and continuing to support the winning team happily with cheers. Now, Raja babu & Co. feel very guilt-free like having a sugar-free laddu and not realizing that it can never taste the same as a normal laddu.

Can this be avoided by supporting the losing team and cheering them openly to give that miracle support that was most needed at that time? I understand this is not easy, it would involve peace pacts being torn up, melancholic songs, and even dialogues of being a bad son. However, change is necessary, and one must do the right things. As the protagonist from my favorite Tamil movie “Anniyan” says – “Mistake is mistake..there is no small, medium, large sizes associated with a mistake”, Raja Babus & Co. can lead a happier life if they follow this principle and fight the thought process to give a better path for the new generation since they are upbringing Rani Betis too.

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