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blind women songs

My ten favourite blind women songs

I got the idea for this post when I read Yves’ review of the Sparsh [1980]. Blind people abound in Hindi cinema mostly as some blind chachas (uncles) in slums or are poor sisters or mothers, for whose eye-operation the hero commits some crime. Then there are the female leads, who are blind, where the story follows one way or the other the plot of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Of course there are stories, where the story follows a different path altogether. All the stories have one thing in common that mostly the curing of the blindness plays a central role in the story. Exceptions as usual confirm the rule.

In my post Mala Sinha song list, while commenting the song from Patanga. I wrote that the species of blind heroines became rare in the 80s. I didn’t know that they had become so abundant in the last decade. My favourites though, as you would guess, are not from the last decade but earlier. Well, here they are! Enjoy!
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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The Sister Act

My ten favourite Asha-Lata duets

Happy Women’s Day! Today on the occasion of Women’s day, I would like to focus on two ladies, who have influenced Indian cinema in a way, which hardly anybody has done till now. The two ladies in question are Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

(by Gautam Rajadhyaksha, from: http://forbesindia.com/slideshow-big/recliner/gautam-rajadhyaksha-the-pharaoh-of-faces/28732/1)
Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle dominated the female playback singing in the Hindi film industry from the 50s to the 80s. Their art and artistry still influences the singing of the female singers in India. Each of them has allegedly sung more than 4000 songs, but it is said that they recorded only 75 songs (duets, trios, and quartets) together in Hindi films. Their first duet was recorded for the film Daman [1951] under the baton of K. Dutta and the song was ye ruki ruki hawaiyen.

(from: http://withfriendship.com/user/neeraj/Asha_Bhosle.php)
While Lata has that virginal, untouched, sweet voice, there is this dark, seductive tone of Asha’s. For me Lata’s voice is like a thandi hawa, which refreshes and cools, while Asha’s voice is one which though it might be outwardly calm brings a whirlwind bringing all my feelings and emotions in a chaos. What really strikes me about Asha’s voice is her phenomenal width. She seems to go from one octave to the other like a lift and bridge it with a effortlessness, which takes my breath away. Both of them have a phenomenal technique, which has assured them a long career.
Making a 10 favourite list for Lata or Asha is a futile task. I won’t even attempt it, thus I have taken an easier way out and listed my ten favourite Asha-Lata duets. In the duets their rivalry or let us say healthy competition can be seen in how the lines of the song are divided among them. It is also interesting to note that if the duet was between the leading lady and her friend, then Lata always gave playback to the heroine and Asha got to sing for the sakhi.
I will stop analysing and present my ten favs. Hope you like and enjoy them.
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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Sun Mere Bandhu Re… !

My five favourite S. D. Burman sung songs

Either I am just too indecisive or I love all his songs, which makes a list of 10 favourite S. D. Burman songs so difficult. That is why I took the easy way out and went off to make a list of 10 favourite songs sung by him. That in turn would have been too easy, because I found only around 13 songs where he has lent his voice and only eleven of them were solos.

The first song sung by him for a Hindi film I found was for Eight Days [1946]. (Anu informed me later that he sang for the film Taj Mahal [1941] under the baton of Madhavlal Damodar. The song was ek prem ki pyaari nishani.) After that it looks like he took a 12 years break and lent his voice to Dev Anand in Kala Pani [1958] for the song dil laga ke kadar gayi pyaare. He sings dhin ta ta between the stanzas. The first Hindi solo of his after Eight Days is most probably sun mere bandhu re for Sujata [1960]. After this nearly all of his songs appear as background songs. Mere saajan hai us paar, although sung by a waysider, the camera stays on this character only at the beginning of the song, giving it a feeling of background song. While compiling this list, I realised the big impact this singer has left on us. He sang around ten solos in Hindi films and still one has at least five songs of him at the tip of the tongue.
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Of Winds and Breezes

My ten favourite thandi hawa songs


It is very cold here now. At night it goes down to  -20° C. When I ride my bicycle to work and back, the wind freezes me to the core. Yesterday, as I was returning back home the thought about the discrepancy between the European and Indian attitude towards cold and heat arose again in my mind. In Hindi film songs the cold breeze works like an aphrodisiac, while in Europe it is mostly the hot and sultry summer days, which turn the people on. While Meena Kumari in Pakeezah wishes her lover that the sunshine (coupled with heat) may never touch him (suraj kahin bhi jaaye tum par na dhoop aaye), while the gondoliere even in sunny Italy calls his lover o sole mio (my sun). Of course the temperature difference plays in this attitude a big role. This brought my thoughts to the various thandi hawa songs in Hindi films and resulted is this list.
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Men, who are not afraid to be a woman

My ten favourite men-in-drag songs

Men in drag has me always in splits. It is one thing, which guarantees a laughter from my side. I know it doesn’t show much of a depth for my character. Yeah, how to put it much better than: I am like that only!

Men wearing women’s clothes is nothing new. In the early films of the Indian film industry boys would often take up female roles. Men in drag is all the same a more ancient phenomenon. The reasons behind it can be different ranging from transvestism to transgenderism. I can imagine that during times or in societies when and where homosexuality was looked down upon, it was one of the ways for men to approach men. For heterosexual men, I can think, it is a means to make fun of women and in this way digest the rejection by them. At the same time it can also be seen as a rebellion against the society and attempt to break away from the roles imposed by the society based on gender. All the same, it is not these deeper thoughts that go through my mind, why I love these songs.

Here are my favourite 10 songs from Hindi films with men in drag. Since it all is supposed to be fun, no rules this time, except for the quite obvious ones like one song pro actor. 😉
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Happy Birthday Nanda!

My ten favourite Nanda songs

It is not only Nanda, who has birthday today (Jan. 8) but also fellow-blogger Madhu-Dustedoff. Happy Birthday to you as well, Madhu! Many of the films mentioned here in this post (and others) are linked to Madhu’s excellent reviews on her blog. Incidentally, Nanda is also one of Madhu’s favourite actresses, so it fits in quite well.

Nanda had a sweetness about her, which one hardly sees nowadays. She had something about her, which made men and women feel all protective about her. She was the girl-next-door of the 60s. Even the glamour of the later 60s didn’t affect this image. Unfortunately, such were also the roles, which came her way. Ittefaq changed it, but till then a new crop of actresses had arrived. All the same, just like she helped Shashi Kapoor’s career start, she helped through out her career other leading actors like Sanjeev Kumar, Sanjay Khan and Deb Mukherjee.

Now she lives away from the glamour of the Hindi film industry and still looking good. The last I heard of her was in August in Times of India gossip columns, where it was mentioned that she was a generous tip-giver. That is nice to hear, that she doesn’t live secluded somewhere unattended, but living and enjoying life. May she celebrate more such merry birthday celebrations!
The rules for choosing the songs were
a. solo songs
b. one song per film
and blah, blah, blah! 😉
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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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My ten favourite Hindi film loris (lullabies) and Merry X’mas!

For Christmas, I was thinking of doing a Christmas song list. But I could come up only with aao tumhe chand pe le jaaye from Zakhmee [1975]. But then I thought Mother Mary and Joseph must have also sung some lullabies to baby Jesus, so why not a list of my ten favourite loris (lullabies).

Lullabies have not always been my favourite songs. Once when a 6 year old child at a friends place asked me to sing an Indian lullaby to him, I realized that I knew only few authentic lullabies in my mother tongue and soon I ended up singing filmi loris!  The child must have been pretty deaf or a great fan of off-tune singing. More evenings followed and made me realize how sweet basically loris are.

Some rules, which I followed for my list:
a) The person singing must be singing it to a child and not to a grown-up person
b) Only one song pro film

Well here they are! Try not to fall asleep while reading it! Yawn! 😉
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Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Belated Birthday Wishes to Dharmendra

My ten favourite Dharmendra songs

Dharmendra had his birthday on 8th December, but unfortunately it was shadowed by Dev Anand’s demise. Happy belated Birthday, Dharmendra!

So much has been written about Dharmendra’s good looks. What shall I add to it? When I think of his fine appearance, the song that comes to my mind is:
chaand aahen bharega (the moon will sigh)
phool dil tham lenge (the flowers will clasp their hearts)
husn ki baat chali to (when the talk is of good looks)
sab tera naam lenge (your name will be mentioned)
What I find enchanting about him is his dazzling smile. When he smiles it has an assurance of ‘everything will be fine’ and one just melts away. He was not only good looks; he also made some splendid movies, till he went into the kutte-kaminey mode.

Choosing songs from his films was not easy, since many good songs by Mohd. Rafi have picturised on him. So to make things easier for me I had to put in some rules
a) One song pro film
b) Only solo songs
c) Songs to which he lip syncs, i.e. no background songs,that is why pal pal dil ke paas from Blackmail [1973] is conspicuous by its absence.
After the correction by Samir, I’ll put another clause:
d) Songs, where he is not “in Rakhee’s imagination, or just floating around”, that is why pal pal dil ke paas from Blackmail [1973] is conspicuous by its absence. 😉

Ten favourite Dharmendra songs is not a very original post. Sunehriyaadein and Greta have also done a similar post some time ago. Here is my take on it. So, here we go…

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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Happy Birthday Mala Sinha!

My ten favourite Mala Sinha songs


Mala Sinha is an actress, who shaped Hindi film history in the late 50s and 60s with her portrayal of diverse roles, which ranged from a princess to a fisher-woman, from a spy to a blind flower-girl. In my childhood, I saw  her a lot in the Chitrahaar and Chhaaya Geet programmes and also in the Sunday evening film. We children, used to make fun of her quite often, but were also in awe of her all the same. Even now, although she makes me laugh unwittingly at times, I do have a soft corner for her and a big one at that!

Choosing songs from her films was not easy. That is why put in some rules
a) One song pro film
b) Only solo songs
c) Songs to which she lip syncs, i.e. no background songs

Madhu, here is to your Mala Sinha, tujhko rakhe ram, tujhko allah rakhe

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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Na Jaa… ! (Don’t leave… !)

My ten favourite songs on not wanting to let go.

As I was humming abhi na jao chhodkar few days back, I realised that, not wanting to let the lover go is an oft-repeated motif in Hindi film songs. Well, from this thought to the thought of making list was a short hop.

Letting go, is a difficult task in life and not only the lover but also many other things in life. So here is to the process of relinquishing and surrender!

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Posted by on October 29, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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