World overboard!

Better love your daughters more!

Raise your sons to lay down swords!

Steer this city back on course!

The winds are changing…

Dear Fellow Tribes of The Other.

Please find a link here to DEEP BLUE SHE, from my album Bombay Spleen (songs based on my novel Bombay Blues). Scroll down for the lyrics.

This song–a female-POV modern-day take on “A Sailor Went to Sea”–was written for these daughters and sons, and all who gloriously inhabit the infinite in-between. Us.

DEEP BLUE SHE was selected for the #VogueEmpower playlist for Vogue Fest, Vogue India’s social awareness initiative for women. My intention with it was to write a modern-day female/human empowerment-themed dance track, a kind of call to rise up: to love our daughters more. Raise our sons to lay down swords. Stand up for ourselves and each other. Love who we want to love. Be who we want to be. Make room for and celebrate each other.

And create safe spaces for that embrace. East, West: All the world round. All things—necessities–that feel increasingly urgent to counterbalance (and hopefully dissolve, transform) the opposing forces that seem to have flexed in many parts of the world.

The winds are changing. And now is not the time to give up, fellow tribespeople/dreamers/doers—but rather, gather our forces for the good fight ahead. Turn that heartbreak to heartmake. We Are Here. And You are You– and that’s muscle, mind, heart, soul…and a very strong, steady light in the darkness indeed, one not to be underestimated.

Our hurricane lamps are bright, will not be blown out.

In memory of Nirbhaya:“Six thousand Darjeeling guitars strum ‘Imagine’ for a much-missed girl gone too brutally, too young, so many miles from home. A dreamer’s dying declaration (echoing from the New York Dakota pavement): Would we someday live as one?” –from Bombay Blues, page 524



Words by Tanuja Desai Hidier. Music by Tanuja Desai Hidier & Marie Tueje. Produced by Dave Sharma.


Blackout across the bay

Except where the pretty party people stay

Paying for their ship to come in

Bottom’s up to sunup at Lands End


Eye to the telescope

Marauders all around me grope

Yet my lover ain’t allowed to dive in

Antiparty posse turn you in:


You blew me.

Blue me.


All quiet on the eastern cun(try)

Bolo how the West was won if 3-

-77 say we won’t escape

‘Less you wedded, then by all means rape!*


Got no permit for a long stiff drink

How a girl supposed to think?

Bar bala bleach and barter her skin

Motherland, turn to friend!


And they don’t want our hurricane lamp on


Mumbadevi can you tell me

Why they how who can be?

This city still divided now

That Reclamation be?

Devadasi, make me crazy

Dowry, sati, serve tea

If you the goddess, why the girl

Not safe upon your streets?


And they don’t want our hurricane lamp on

Walk the plank; won’t keep the blindfold on!



Staring out to sea

Y-U-N-I M-T?

Crumbles beneath our feet


A sailor went to sea!

To see what he could she!

And all that she could see see see

Was the bottom, the bottom!

(Her bottom, her bottom!)

He bought her, he pawed her!

(We caught him, we caught him!)


Hands on deck,

From this wreck,

Fortress we seizing!

We will rise

Still entwined

With who the frock we please!



Lookout for the enemy

Y-U-N-I M-T?

He’s sitting on top of me

Dressed in a suit and tie!

Morality police

21st century?



M- (uh-oh)-N-E-Y

Driving their SUVs

Down a village street…


World overboard!

Better love your daughters more!

Raise your sons to lay down swords!

Steer this city back on course!


The winds are changing!

The winds are changing!

The winds are changing!

The winds are changing!


U-N-I: U-N-I-T-E!


*This song was catalyzed by Nirbhaya/the 2012 Delhi gang rape. Please note, to state what is hopefully the obvious, that this line is an unequivocally anti-rape/rape culture reference to and criticism of sections of India’s penal code which do not recognize marital rape as a crime. DEEP BLUE SHE is also Bombay Spleen’s most direct anti-377 track (Section 377, which criminalizes homosexuality in India, was declared unconstitutional in 2009…but reinstated in 2013) and stands by LGBTQ rights. Which are, of course, HUMAN rights.