Here comes a girl looking like a lemon, hey baalu ……(from the film Prem Loka * kannada)

Akhila Vasan made sure I saw this film. Akhila works for an NGO called the FRHS and has been involved in primarily research studies with young people on gender, sexuality and popular media. Akhila has been part of Blank Noise since 2005/2006

She writes about Prema Loka, a film made in the late 80's:

Prema Loka was a huge hit and inspired many a real life love stories. It was perhaps the first time that an actress was ‘imported’ from the Bombay film industry who wore ‘bold dresses’ with a kind of casual nonchalance.

This was a time when there was a crucial change in mainstream ‘good and chaste’ heroine and ‘club- dancing’ vamp morphed into one in mainstream movies. The female lead now was both the vamp and the ‘good’ woman - she wriggled and writhed on the dance floor on some pretext while being the ideal ‘bahu’ or the wifely material on the other.

Prema Loka became popular for its several nearly explicit kissing scenes. However it is the songs that continue to hold sway over the public even today. With this film, ‘crazy star’ Ravichandran created a niche for himself as someone who made ‘sexy films’.

In this clip the heroine is introduced to the audience for the first time. And it is not surprising that she is reduced to several body parts- hips, lips, breasts….. the lyrics of the song is a description of these various body parts, comparing them to different things- vegetables, fruits - much like the food list here on the blog- a girl like nimbu, lips like tondehannu, breasts like balloon… legs like bale dindu (banana stem)… something that is to be consumed…. And that is what the camera does… titillate and tantalise them with close- up visuals of the woman’s breast, lips, waist and hips.

The men in the song say they are happy to give away things for free to the woman….. because they have already got their money’s worth of ‘free show’.

The song is replete with sexual innuendo…. The first line of the song goes somewhat like this:

Here comes a girl looking like a lemon, hey baalu ……

By ‘Baalu’ one is supposedly referring to one of the men there but the visual shows a man squeezing balloons and in Kannada the English word ‘ball’ is pronounced as ‘baalu’.

We showed this clip to a group of young college –going men and women in a peri- urban town. Girls were outraged that a girl could walk around a local market dressed like that. And they were quick to distance themselves from her and turn her into the ‘other’- she was the typical rich, spoilt girl from a place like Bangalore where such things are ‘common’… she was the kind who likes to attract boys’ attention…. With a bad reputation…. She was also a threat to girls like themselves….

Boys’ response also focussed on the girl and made her responsible for the kind of attention she was attracting in the clip:

‘What do you expect if you wear tundu batte (tattered clothes) like that?’

‘She wants boys to tease her. That is why she is dressed like that?’

Some even unabashedly shared what they felt like:

‘I feel like raping her with my eyes’



I am not your apple, chamcham, coconut, butterchicken, makhan ki tikiya, bajji, doodh factory, narangi, mosambi, nimbu.... or whatever else you might want to eat. Blank Noise has created this food chart as an attempt to revise the relationship between- image, word and meaning.

Here's a compilation of words/food names sent in by over 70 women. While this list is out today it proposes to build istelf further with new participation. If you have more food names to add to in based on your experiences , please email us at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com, subject titled "excuse me?"

This is also an attempt to define 'street sexual harasment' through each person that has witnessed or experienced it.

We would also like to emphasize on the tone/ the adjective versus the noun - looking versus how one is looking.

The 70 + participants of " excuse me?" have been referred to as the following by random male strangers:

  • text edited by Hemangini Gupta.
Don't miss Salon's discussion about food and street sexual harassment.

  • The posters are up at Payal Kamat's office in Hyderbad! Email us and tell us if you have put them up in your neighbourhood/ college/ office/ marketplace!

street tales of love and lust

food name , statements, words of love , film songs,


'Eve Teasing' Food Chart. Excerpt 1 from Tales of Street Love and Lust

Aam ras -Aam Ras/Keri No Ras mango pulp of Gujarat origin. It is prepared with two kinds of mangoes Kesar and Haphoos (Alphonso).

Aloo- (hindi) potato The potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a perennial plant of the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family, commonly grown for its starchy tuber.
Nutritionally, potatoes are best known for their carbohydrate content (approximately 26 grams in a medium potato). Starch is the predominant form of carbohydrate found in potatoes

Apple-The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family Rosaceae. It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. Apples contain Vitamin C as well as a host of other antioxidant compounds, which may reduce the risk of cancer by preventing DNA damage

'bajji'/pakoda-Indian evening snack. Deep fried with gram flour coating. The bajji/ pakoda could contain onions/ potatoes/ pumkin

cham cham- Bengali (east Indian) sweet. Sweet, spongy and soft patties made from milk, flavored with saffron, in a sugar syrup.

butter chicken/ murgh makhani is North Indian dish popular in countries all over the world that have a tradition of Indian restaurants. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice.

Bhindi : ( Hindi) vegetable. also known as ochra or lady's finger.

Chatpati Papri- Indian street food.
Chatpati- (Hindi) adjective for a combination of sweet sour and spicey.
Papri- crispy fried dough wafers made from flour and ghee.

Chaat (Hindi: चाट, Urdu: چاٹ) is a word used across India, Pakistan and the rest of South Asia to refer to small plates of savory snacks, typically served at the side of the road from stalls or carts. Most chaat originated in North India, but they are now eaten across the country.
Papri Chaat the papris are served with potatoes, chilis, yoghurt and tamarind chutney.

Coffee widely consumed beverage prepared from the roasted seeds—commonly called "beans"—of the coffee plant. Coffee was first consumed as early as the 9th century, when it appeared in the highlands of Ethiopia

chicken fry fried chicken. deep fried tender chicken.

chaashni- sugar syrup. prepare chaashni by putting sugar in boiling water and stirring it until a thick consistent solution is attained

Doodh factory : doodh- milk ( hindi) is an opaque white liquid produced by the mammary glands of female mammals (including monotremes)

The exact components of raw milk varies by species, but it contains significant amounts of saturated fat, protein and calcium as well as vitamin C. Unfortunately the vitamin C is destroyed by the heat in pasteurization process

Egg: oval shaped with white shell. source- chicken. Contains yellow yolk and transparent fluid.

hari mirchi green chilli ( hindi)
hot vegetable used in India, Thai, Indonesian,Mexican cooking.Available fresh, dried, powdered, flaked, in oil, in sauce, bottled and pickled. It gives spiciness to all the vegetables.
Rich source of vitamin C. Also used to ward off evil spirit.

Jalebi -sweet commonly sold in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. made from deep-fried, syrup-soaked batter and shaped into a large, spiral shape. Jalebis are mostly bright orange in colour but are also available in white. It can be served dripping warm.

Juice drink made from fruits. rich in vitamins. popular indian juice- orange, pomegranate, pineapple, apple, lemon, watermelon, carrot

Kaai- vegetable (tamil)

Lassun (hindi) garlic :is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. Garlic, like onion, contains compounds that inhibit lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase,

kela (hindi) banana :cultivated throughout the Tropics. Bananas are a valuable source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and potassium.

Lollypop is a candy pop/ suckers.
hard sweet sugar candies with a stick. type: Dum Dum , Tootsie Pop, Blow Pop21.

makhan ki tikiya: butter - the fatty portion of milk, separating as a soft whitish or
yellowish solid when milk or cream is agitated or churned.
tikiya (Hindi) - Roughly translated as 'cutlet': 1706, from Fr.
côtelette, from O.Fr. costelette "little rib," from coste "rib, side,"
from L. costa (see coast), infl. by Eng. cut.

Malai ("cream"): Rich portion of milk which rises to the
surface when the liquid is allowed to stand unless homogenised.

Maavinkai (Mango in Kannada): The fruit of a tropical tree,
Mangifera indica, of the cashew family, eaten ripe, or preserved or

'Mirchi' - ("spice"): Any of a class of pungent or aromatic
substances of vegetable origin, as pepper, cinnamon, or cloves, used
as seasoning, preservatives, etc.

Mishti Doi:Mishti ("sweet" in Bengali) - Producing the one of the four basic
taste sensations that is not bitter, sour, or salt.
Doi ("yoghurt" in Bengali) - A prepared food having the consistency of
custard, made from milk curdled by the action of cultures.

Masala Dosa: South Indian crepe lightly cooked with a filling
of potatoes, fried onions and spices.

Mosambi: Lemon tree having fruit with a somewhat insipid sweetish pulp.

Mother dairy: Mother Dairy - Delhi was set up in 1974 under the
Operation Flood Programme. It is now a subsidiary company of National
Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

Narial ("Coconut") - The edible white flesh of the coconut,
often shredded and used in food and confections or for the extraction
of coconut oil.

Narangi/ oranges: Any white-flowered, evergreen citrus trees of
the genus Citrus, bearing this fruit, as C. aurantium (bitter orange,
Seville orange, or sour orange) and C. sinensis (sweet orange),
cultivated in warm countries.

NIMBE KAAYI (means nimbu/lemon) nimbe hanu (lemon): The
yellowish, acid fruit of a subtropical citrus tree, Citrus limon.

Onions/ pyaaz: A plant, Allium cepa, of the amaryllis family.

Pacha Manga: (Malyalam) raw mango. Also known as kairi. sour tasting summer fruit. Can be eaten in salad, or with salt and pepper. Also used to make pickle/ achar.

Pushnikaa (pumpkin), kaddu: 1647, alteration of pumpion "melon,
pumpkin" (1545), from M.Fr. pompon, from L. peponem (nom. pepo)
"melon," from Gk. pepon "melon," probably originally "cooked by the
sun, ripe," from peptein "to cook." Pumpkin-pie is recorded from 1654.
Pumpkin-head, Amer.Eng. colloquial for "person with hair cut short all
around" is recorded from 1781.

Pakaa Bel : Egg-shaped tropical fruit of certain passionflower
vines; used for sherbets and confectionery and drinks.

Panjamittaai (Cotton Candy): Czech: cukrová vata, Danish:
sukkervat, Dutch: gesponnen suiker, Estonian: suhkruvatt, Finnish:
hattara, French: barbe à papa, German: die Zuckerwatte, Greek: μαλλί
της γριάς

Rasberry: Any of various shrubby, usually prickly plants of the
genus Rubus in the rose family, such as R. idaeus var. strigosus of
eastern North America and R. idaeus of Europe, that bear edible fruit.

Rass malai: Rasmalai originated somewhere in the coastal parts of
the Indian state of Orissa. Sometimes shown as Rassmalai or Ras Malai.

Rasgulla: A dessert from Orissa and Bengal consisting of balls of
unripened cheese or cottage cheese (chenna) soaked in a syrup.

Samosa: popular South Asian snack. Triangular shape. Deep fried. Crispy dough crust with potato stuffing.

Son papri : Indian sweet prepared with gram flour. popularly sold at KC Das

takkaali, tomato, tamatar : The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Red pulpy fruit with seeds. Rich in vitamin C and A

Teekhi chaat: spicey chaat
chaat- indian street food
teekhi- spicey ( hindi)

Topa kool : (bengali) plum. used to make chutney/ sauce.

Tadka : Indian cooking. consists of onions, spices, curry leaves, green chili, tomatoes. The sauted ingredients are added to any Indian cooking.

Watermelons: green and red citrus food. produced in Japan in cube size , rest of world in a spherical shape. Excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, with one serving containing 14.59 mg of vitamin C and 556.32 IU of vitamin A. Watermelon also provides significant amounts of vitamin B6 and vitamin B1

Source: bloggers/ emails in response to "excuse me". Blank Noise event.


Tales of Love and Lust

Tales of Street Love and Lust were compiled after bloggers/ blank noise members/ supporters/ blank noise agents emailed us lists of words that they had heard on the street.

We have several lists now divided in the following categories-

1.Food- to be called or referred to as food/ fruit/ vegetable etc
2. statements/ comments
3. objects-
body parts literally referred to as objects
4. names
for miss bijli (lightening)
5. songs- about being courted on the street by random men singing verses from popular film songs being
6. other/ sounds/ behaviour/ gestures

On the 20th-21st we will publish the list of food names.




The responses for ' excuse me' are being delayed by 2 days.
Please bear with us and don't forget to keep checking!!

Yes you can still send the words, if you've missed out/ or thought of something new. blurtblanknoise@gmail.com

Thankyou for participating, every word you sent in - matters :)

in spirit!

Blank Noise Team