Mera Juta Hai Japani

Last night I wisely skipped the presidential debate to watch Raj Kapoor’s 1955 Bollywood classic Shri 420, whose opening song, “Mera Juta Hai Japani,” has been running through my head off and on for a good decade. The song, like the film, is a fable of modernity, urbanization and globalization: what do we make of a world where everything around us comes from somewhere else? What’s lost, what’s gained, and what can we hold onto?

Mera Juta Hai Japani,” from the film Shri 420, performed and directed by Raj Kapoor, music by Shankar-Jaikishan, playback singing by Mukesh

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