10 philosophical ideas perfectly expressed by Lollywood songs

Published: January 11, 2015

Lollywood gets an unreasonable amount of flak for being the stepsister of Bollywood.

Lollywood gets an unreasonable amount of flak for being the stepsister of Bollywood; the one that was sent to the village as a child, and says her ‘o’s as ‘a’s – McDonalds becomes ‘MaacdAnalds’ and Ostrich becomes ‘Asstrij’.

However, these people fail to realise the deep philosophical ideas expressed by Lollywood songs. Here are some examples of why Lollywood is on par with the greatest philosophers the world has ever seen.

1. Cartesian doubt

Philosophical version:

The Cartesian doubt is a method of questioning one’s own beliefs; of being sceptical about all that you hold to be true.

Lollywood version:

Sanu Nehar walay pull tay bula kar sohnay mahi kithon reh gaya?” – Noor Jehan

(Where did you get caught up after calling me to the bridge on the river?)

2. Classical conditioning

Philosophical version:

A subject learns to respond in a desired manner to an activity which the subject was previously neutral to; through conditioning this neutral stimulus has been associated with an unconditioned stimulus to elicit a desired response – Pavlov’s dogs salivating after listening to the bell – associating the sound with the food.

Lollywood version:

Thand paway gee kailajay dildaar, Pyaar dee gandheri chup lay” – Naseebo Lal

(You will feel cold inside after slurping on the bamboo of love)

3. Behaviourism

Philosophical version:

Behaviourism rejects the dualism of the mind and body, hypothesising that love is both observable and quantifiable.

Lollywood version:

Cheekhain marta badan mera tu jis walay neeray yaara, jadu maim aahi tay neeray ho manji de vich dhaang pherda” – Naseebo Lal

(My body shouts when you are nearby, whenever I am near you the bed makes a noise.)

4. Plato’s allegory of the cave

Philosophical version:

Plato’s allegory of the cave suggests that people in caves only exposed to the shadows of the light from the sun have never seen the sun and take the shadows to be the complete truth, even though they are mere reflections.

Lollywood version:

Kal jab dekha mai nay chand jharokay mai, usko kiya salaam tumharay dhokay mai” – Waris Baig

(Yesterday when I looked at the moon, I said hello to it thinking it was you)

5. Martin Luther King

Philosophical version:

“I have a dream that one day, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

Lollywood version:

Kameez teri kali tay sohnay phoola wali” – Ataulllah Esa Khelvi

(Your shirt is black, full of flowers.)

6. Schrodinger’s cat

Philosophical version:

The paradox based on the scenario of a cat, which may be both dead and alive.

Lollywood version:

Adhi raat sottay meri laat hilli, lagta hai jiway koi billy shilly hai

(My leg moved while sleeping at night, it felt like there was a cat there.)

7. Kant’s metaphysical of morals

Philosophical version:

In the doctrine of virtue, Kant shows how humanity ought to behave.

Lollywood version:

Ama dekh aah dekh tera munda bigra jaye” – Munda Bigra Jaye

(Look mother, your son is losing all morals.)

8. Hegel’s phenomenology of the spirit

Philosophical version:

Hegel’s discussion of self-consciousness focuses on how the subjects view other subjects also as objects; the dialectic of the spirit is between this self-consciousness and the need for self-recognition.

Lollywood version:

Manji ek tay jawaniyan do… teri lataan day vich pair mu phasana paiya” – Guddu Badmaash

(The bed is one but teenagers two, I have no option but to put my foot with your legs.)

9. Freud’s Id

Philosophical version:

The ID is the part of Sigmund Freud’s philosophy that is the compulsive psyche that operates on the pleasure principle.

Lollywood version:

Sexy meri shirt, sexy meri pant, mujh ko rakh lay permanent.

(My shirt is sexy, my pants are sexy, you should keep me forever.)

10. Communism

Philosophical version:

The system of governance based on common ownership where there is no social class, and everyone is equal.

Lollywood version:

Tumharay aur meray ghar kay beech mai Larri Ada, yahan sunay ga nahee koi pukaar ye hai larri ada larri ada larri ada

(There is a bus station in between our houses, nobody listens to anyone here this is the bus station.)


Shehzad Ghias

A graduate from the LUMS Law School and is running his own theatre production company, Cogito Productions.He works as a theatre teacher at various schools. He tweets @Shehzad89 (twitter.com/Shehzad89)

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