Fruit cake

11 Sep

Fruits arise from flowers. Well not really, they arise from the ovary of the flower, but you get the drift of what I want to say, right? Thus, this post was supposed to be the successor of the loved-by-all flower post – flower power. Dear readers, I wanted to give you such a wealth of knowledge about fruits and their origins and uses and the stuff. But alas, I couldn’t find enough songs to really inspire me. But, still I collected some songs with fruits in it. I won’t say they are all good, most of them are outright bad and could be used as weapons of torture. Still, be my guest and go through them and maybe lament with me for a while.

The best song of the lot is Bangle ke pheeche teri beri ke neeche from Samadhi (1972).

Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal in their Pancham Biography “R.D. Burman – The Man The Music” write “Pancham turned the Asha-Lata pair inside out, giving Asha the soulful ‘Jab tak rahe tan me jiya’ and Lata the raunchier ‘Bangle ke peeche’”. I in my eternal naivety was asking myself, what is so raunchy about the song, till I listened to the song again and it was like Ooooooh! Sometimes I wonder in which world I live. Thank God, I read this before I wrote an article on ‘The cultural significance and economic impact of jujube thorn pricks and scorpion bites and their reflection in the Indian film music’. The authors of the above mentioned biography also provide the information that the ‘interesting beats (were) created by using sticks on leather with the central rhythm maintained by Devichand Chauhan’. The significance of this was lost on me, but love the beats all the same.

A song in a similar vein is O meri beri ke ber mat todo from Anokhi Raat (1968). Most probably this one is also full of sexual innuendos and I don’t get them.

Another ber song, which is quite okay, if you don’t mind Asha doing acrobatics with her voice with no extra pleasant effect, is Ber lo,ber lo from Paisa ya Pyaar (1969)

Here one sees Tanuja prancing about in her ghaghra-choli and selling jujubes. If she is really selling them or just distributing it is a question on which one can debate for long. But this song does the character she plays loads of good, because the lecheorus old man, whom we see following her at the end of the song, turns out to be a benefactor and adopts her, saving her in the course from a life-long career as a ber saleswoman.

Jujubes are orange in colour and so are oranges, which derive their name from the name of the colour of the fruits in Sanskrit Naranga.

The only song which I found for this fruit is from the old film with Madhubala in it is the song Narangi le lo ji- Bahut Din Huwe (1954). And it is Bahut din Huwe that I saw the movie. The only thing I remember of this movie is that snakes are responsible for Madhubala’s birth in the film and also for the whole plot. Great special effects! If you want to watch it, you can try your luck at you tube.

Mango the king of fruits (at least in India) hardly finds a mention in the songs, when it is always it’s bough (sounds more poetic than branch!) and almost always the koyal sitting on it. Three good mango songs from pre 50s films are Ambuva Ki Dari Pe Bole Re Koyaliya from Dahej (1950),

Ambuva ki dali jhoom rahi from Vidyapati (1934)

and Ambuva pe Koyal Bole from Moorti (1945)

A symptomatic song for the deteriorating music in the Hindi films of the 80s is the mulberry song Tuutak Tuutak tuutiya, I love you – Ghar Kaa Chiraag (1989)

The pomegranate seeds which Proserpine ate in the underworld are do not find a mention in Anaar dana – Henna (1991), but I don’t have the faintest idea what Lata is croaking about in this song.

Another song which mentions Pomegrante and thus warning the younger generations of the dangers of polygamy is Ek anar do bimar – Baazi (1968). The song begins at 3:05

Deviating from Aesop’s fable of sour grapes is Yeh Jeena Hai Angoor Ka Dana from Khatta Meetha (1978). Now this is a hummable song and very much of an ear-worm too!

If listening to Kanchan bleating like a goat is more up your line than you should listen to Main Kachhe Angoor Ki Bail from Chori Mera Kaam (1975)

The above two songs sound like the beckoning of the Sirens if you listen to Angoor Ka Dana Hoon from Sanam Bewafa (1991)

In the same league as the above song is the guava song, Bagiya ke amruud kahe from Mere Sapnon ki Rani (1997)

If you have read till here, you must also be wondering why this step-motherly treatment towards fruits, which we relish every day. This question would lead me on a journey spanning two continents and lead me to lanes and by lanes of murky streets in Bombay through the beautiful parks of Bangalore to bohemian alleys of West End in London. I am still sorting out the details of this investigations, which will appear here as the next post.

Watch out this space for more!


Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

50 responses to “Fruit cake

  1. thandapani

    September 12, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Ber, mangoes, shehtot and even amrud. well well. This is a nice fruit basket. I am sure there is a kelewale song somewhere, but cant recollect it.

    • harvey

      September 12, 2011 at 8:50 am

      Yeah, there is a kelewala song somewhere and I also can’t recollect it.
      A nice fruit basket, but very much of a frustrating one. Hardly any songs, which I would say I like them!

  2. dustedoff

    September 12, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Well done! This was certainly a tough theme to choose. Even as I was reading the first paragraph (I still hadn’t gone through the list) I was mentally trying to figure out what fruit songs I knew – and the only one I could think of was Meri beri ke ber mat todo. After the first few songs you’ve listed, the others were mostly new to me – that amrud song, for instance, or the second and third ambua song.

    By the way, limes are fruit, aren’t they? (I can see them – or lemons – in your fruit basket! ;-)) So here’s one:

    (nimbooda nimbooda from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam:

    • harvey

      September 12, 2011 at 8:56 am

      Of course they are fruits. And since juice is extracted from them, they could even go through as dessert fruits. Thus, this song is valid. And it is sort of nice, isn’t it?
      I was also thinking of taking le lo re le lo babu, pi lo nariyal pani, but rejected it, because then I wouldn’t have much to complain! 😉
      The old ambua songs are good aren’t they. Richard surely know them, I’m sure! I didn’t know them either!

      • dustedoff

        September 13, 2011 at 6:08 am

        Yes, I do think Nimbooda isn’t bad. I’m not an Aishwarya Rai fan, but she’s fine here!

        Oh, and yes – those old ambua songs are good. By the way, last evening I was watching (on Rajshri’s Youtube channel), the Shyama-Rajendra Kumar starrer Do Behnen. And I came across this song in it:

        (Badan Mora Lachke – Do Behnen:

        Quite a coincidence, isn’t it? 🙂

        • harvey

          September 13, 2011 at 10:22 am

          Hey, that is some discovery!
          Had never heard this before.
          Is this the movie, where Shyama has a double role of an evil and a good sister?
          Must have been quite nice ot see Shyama getting such a broad canvas.
          It has some good songs, I remember, but I can’t recall any!

          • dustedoff

            September 14, 2011 at 7:22 am

            Yes, Shyama acts as two sisters – one a good woman, the other not evil, but too willful and careless for her own good. (It reminded me to some extent of Rakhee’s role in Sharmilee, but in that the ‘evil sister’ is actually pretty vile – she will do anything to get her hands on the hero). This one wasn’t bad. In any case, I’m very fond of Shyama – just love that smile and those vivacious eyes!! 🙂

            Do Behnen has some nice songs. This one’s one of my favourites:

            (saiyan pyaara hai apna milan – Do Behene:

            • harvey

              September 14, 2011 at 9:22 am

              Hmm, such a melodious song! So nice and soothing!
              I like Shyama too, but somehow she is not tooconvincing in her goody good roles. She suits roles where she is a bit naughty, like in Aar-Paar! But she was also good in bad Bahu, Saas and Nanand roles, but on the other hand I try to avoid such movies, thus have seen her only in few such roles. I also like her expressive eyes and her bright smile!
              I also like to watch the bad and good sister duet form this film to ‘admire’ the black and white portrayal of the characters! 😉

  3. Banno

    September 12, 2011 at 7:38 am

    That is a tough list, Harvey. Yes, any further posts on the neglect of fruits in Hindi film songs is going to need thorough investigation. Look forward to the results.

  4. harvey

    September 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Thank you dear Banno! It surely was a dangerous time and still is, what with the results strewn about in my room and i going through every slip of paper twice or thrice and the phone ringing incessantly. I have deposited all the important proof in a railway station locker, whose number is deposited in the hollow of the third oak tree on the left side of the park overlooking my kitchen balcony and whose code is… No, I can’t say anymore. It is not safe here, it is not safe here!

  5. Anu Warrier

    September 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Harvey, “Ichak dana, bichak dana” has both anar and bhutta – though I guess the latter would fall into vegetable category.

    And here is one – it fits in well with your ‘lamentable’ songs:

    • harveypam

      September 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks, Anu!
      Didn’t know that ‘Ichak Dana, bichak dana” from Shri 420 had anaar in it. And it is surely very melodious. And it not onlymentions Anar, but Nargis draws it as well.
      Love it!

      The amrud song from Mere Sapnon ki Rani is the last one on my list!
      As you say ‘very lamentable’!

      • Anu

        September 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm

        Oye Harvey, I ‘m sorry I chased you away with the Aa Gale Lag Jaa post 🙂 To make amends, there’s a Raj Kapoor one waiting for you.

        • harvey

          September 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

          That’s a good one!
          Well, to be truthful, it wasn’t you, but Manmohan Desai!

  6. sunheriyaadein

    September 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    There’s one kelewala song Do Hawaldaar –
    There’s some other song that I know but cant recollect it now.

    Ambuva songs were new to me, had never heard them before and they are the only ones that I liked.
    Such a pity that fruits are shown such sautela behaviour as compared to flowers.

    The other fruit songs that I can think of are :
    Imli ka boota beri ka pedh from Saudagar
    And Angoori banad, which is a pure torture from Jaanwar :

    • harveypam

      September 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks for the kelewali song from Do Hawaldar! Although the lyrics itself is inane, the beat for the mukhda is quite nice. I remember that it used to be played on Vividh Bharati, but it losed very soon on popularity.
      It seems to have taken some inspiration from a Dada Kondke Marathi film, whose songs were very popular in Maharastra at that time
      Sautela behaviour towards fruits has a system, my dear! I will expose this in my next post, insallah!

      I had ‘imli ka buuta, beri ke ped’ from Saudagar on my list, but it slipped away, without a trace. It is botanically totally inappropriate. It is imli ka ped. Tamarind grow on a tree, the habit (form) of a tamarind plant is always a tree. As for the ber, one can say it is a big shrub (buuta)!

      Angori badan from Jaanwar sounds like something which has its origin Guantanamo!

  7. pacifist

    September 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Difficult but challenging. Result of investigation eagerly awaited.
    Meanwhile here are two clues.

    Nariyal is a fruit isn’t it?
    (le lo re leo babu piyo naryal paani – Apna Desh:

    • harvey

      September 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Of course coconut is a fruit!!
      And I like this song!
      Mumtaz dancing is always a treat!

  8. pacifist

    September 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Angoor ki beti (sharaab)
    Unfortunately there’s no video, only the song.

    (Chadh gayee chadh gayee – Do Jasoos 1975:

    • harvey

      September 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

      My first reaction was: Premnath looks good in there!

  9. pacifist

    September 14, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Well, it would be unfair to deprive this qawaali a mention. It made ‘angoor ki beti’ phrase known to me.

    The phrase comes at about 2.32.

    (jhoom barabar jhoom sharabi:

    • harvey

      September 14, 2011 at 9:11 am

      In the 70s, Jhoom barbar jhoom was so famous it was played nearly in every street (hyperbole) in Bombay.
      Understood the meaning much much later!

  10. pacifist

    September 14, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Just one more for tonight.
    I like this song. It could be because I love Rehman 😀
    (kali anaar ki itna na satao – Chotti Behen:–E_Yfl8M)

    • harvey

      September 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

      This was on my list and it is a nice hummable song, isn’t it?
      It was in fact on my list, but took it out, since it says ‘kali anar ki’ and not ‘phal anar ke na itna satavo’ and if I had included it I wouldn’t have much to complain about!

  11. pacifist

    September 16, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Oh, they’ve removed the nice song above.
    I thought since apple is accepted as a fruit why not a ‘ganna’ 😉

    Of course this song is a true representative of the deteriorating standard of lyrics and dance.
    Such stepmotherly treatment of fruits which give us good health.

    (chal ganne ke khet me – Taraazu:

    • harvey

      September 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

      Sugarcane cannot be accepted botanically as a fruit, but from the culinary point of view, of course! 😉
      it hurts, it hurts! The sense organs are all crying SOS!
      I can’t bear this cruel treatment of fruits in hindi lyrics! This has to exposed!

  12. Richard S.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Harvey, thank you for another unusual theme list. There are some juicy items here, especially among the early songs. You know I like the song from Anokhi Raat. I have also actually listened fairly often to the Kanan Devi mango song. I love her voice! (More than Asha’s… Kanan Devi is definitely in my top five list for all-time favorite female voices from Indian cinema.)

    And certainly, there is a variety of fruits represented here. (I wonder how you managed to dig all of these up…or pluck them, as the case may be.) But like you and Ava, I was also lamenting the scarcity of banana songs. The closest thing I could come up with was a song that is BASED ON a banana song – but, then, it is probably the most internationally famous banana song of all time…


  13. Richard S.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

    P.S. Since WordPress failed to embed the second one, and to make it clearer… Song BASED ON the most famous banana song, above…


  14. harvey

    September 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

    My Mum was much into any kind of western music, but on day when I was playing the banan boat on my small tape recorder, she asked me what the person was singing about and it sounded good!
    Well, what could I answer what he was singing about. I said it is a kelewala (banana seller) from the carribean. Nice kelewalas, she smirked.

    Helen looks so good here and I love the look of the men, around whom she dances there!

  15. Richard S.

    September 18, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Harvey, it’s nice to see that my selections brought back fun memories. 🙂 And that you didn’t mind my taking this off into a somewhat different direction…

    Regarding that word “kelewala”… Well from my so-far elementary understanding of Hindi, I knew that “kela” means banana, so that’s how I knew that you and Ava were lamenting the lack of banana songs (or, I guess, banana seller songs).

    Regarding that film clip… Yes, Helen looks great here, and so do the men she dances with. But neither of them had as much impact for me as those brief glimpses of Nadira. 🙂

    • dustedoff

      September 18, 2011 at 3:11 am

      Probably one of my first crushes ever was Harry Belafonte. 🙂 I remember being about 10 years old when we went to Calcutta (where my mother’s parents lived) for Christmas, and one LP record we listened to nearly everyday while we were there was a Belafonte Calypso collection. His voice was out of this world, and his photo on the LP cover was fantastic!

      But if we’re moving off slightly on a tangent, let me shove my foot in the door and get in another song that’s an old favourite of mine. English language, and lots of fruit. Strawberries and cherries in particular:


  16. Karthik

    September 18, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Here is a brilliant composition by Roshan, lovely Bhojpuri by Majrooh.

    (ham gavanwa na jaibe ho bina from Mamta:

    • harvey

      September 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      wow, karthik! A fabulous song! Thanks for that!Although I have seen the film, I coldn’t remember this one!

  17. Karthik

    September 18, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Lovely song picturized on my favorite lady in Hindi cinema (no references to fruit in the song, but the apples are so beautiful)

    (koi nahin hai phir bhi hai mujhko – Patthar ke Sanam:

    • harveypam

      September 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      One just has to love waheeda rehman and I think I was always so entranced by Waheeda, that I never noticed the apples, thanks for bringing them to my notice!

      A whole sea of apples to be seen is in the song dariya kinare ek banglo go pori from ‘Sabse Bada Rupaiya’ after 2:00

  18. Prakashchandra

    September 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    There is One cabret song which was picturised on Helenji, Kiran kumar, Radha saluja from Aaj ki tazaa khabar:1973.:”Khilta hua shabaab”

    In that song Helenji wears a big hat which is decorated with grapes, apples and other fruits.
    I hope that song fits into this category.

    • harvey

      September 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      I was hoping that you would be sending me a whole list of songs with fruits in it! 😉
      The song which you mention is very Helenish isn’t it! Poora paisa vasool Helen gaana!

      • Prakashchandra

        September 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm

        Sorry about disappointing you,
        I am thinking about fruits and the related songs day and night,
        but believe me,
        not one song came to mind related to fruits.
        This time I have gone bankrupt regarding fruit related hindi movie songs.


        • harvey

          September 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

          oh am so sorry about pressurising you so!
          but am so glad that I have such devoted readers!
          you know, it is not your fault. fruits just have a bad position in hinid film songs!

  19. Prakashchandra

    September 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Just remembered on song from LAMHE:-lata and hariharan:music by Shiv hari
    “Kabhi main kahoon, kabhi tum kaho ke maine tumhe ye dil de diyaa,”

    In that song sridevi and anil kapoor sing song and and while singing one stanza of the song they are amidst of purple/black grapes-stepping on it and enjoying their process of wine making.

    That`s all I can remember about the fruits related hindi movie songs for the moment .

    sorry and regards

    • harvey

      September 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      I remember that!
      and always thought that is must be very romantic to squash grapes with your feet I tried it once and it just squishy!

  20. Prakashchandra

    September 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    “Coolie” got one song:”Dono jawaani ke masti mein choor….accident ho gaya rabba rabba”
    shabbir kumar, Asha bhosle:Laxmi pyarelal

    In that song Rati agnihothri and amithabh bachchan were shown singing song on lorry or truck
    full of oranges or moosambies(thrown on roads of ghat section)

    • harvey

      September 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      coolie, eh!
      I try to avoid watching the songs! 😉

  21. pacifist

    September 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Yes, harvey you’ve given us sleepless nights with worrying about fruit songs. The helplessness of not getting enough of them is annoying. So I’m having to bring in vegetable.
    Even Gobi had the honour of being mentioned, but no, no kharbooza/tarbooz/amrood/luquat/chikoo/shehtoot/.

    After all a fruit is just a sweet vegetable.

    (main ka karu ram mujhe buddha mil gaya – Sangam:

  22. harvey

    September 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I love the line
    ‘sab jo laye phool bhooda gobi leke aagaya’

    yeah, fruits can also be used as vegetables, for e.g., pumpkins, thus logically vegetables ae fruits! 😀
    BTW, in Fall I often make a apple-cinnamon soup!

  23. Karthik

    September 25, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Imlee/Kharbooza/Neembu. Not sure how this got missed out!! 🙂

    (didi tera devar deewana – Hum Aapke Hain Kaun:

    • harvey

      September 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Hey, these are three fruits in one stroke! do you know that this is the first time I listened to this song completely! 🙂


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