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Tag Archives: Ashok Kumar

The Tragedienne

My ten favourite Meena Kumari songs

Meena kumari1
Meena Kumari, a face, which launched thousand tragic films. A thousand might be a bit of exaggeration, but she alone on her star-power helped tragic films to great success. In the 50s and even in the frolicking, colourful 60s, people would flock the cinema halls (to different degrees) to see her suffer. She was also an adept comedienne, in which she also excelled and was quite successful as seen in Magroor [1950], Miss Mary [1957], Azaad [1955] and Kohinoor [1960].
Pakeezah Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari at a certain time in my childhood played a big role in shaping the image of women in my psyche. Exposed to a slew of films, where she played a neglected wife, a suffering daughter-in-law, a sacrificing daughter, a caring sister-in-law, a protective sister or ‘simply’ a tormented woman between two men, she moulded an image of women being forever doomed to suffer at the hands of men in life. It is true that even other leading ladies like Mala Sinha (Anpadh) or Nutan (Khandan, Chhota Bhai) played such roles but it was as if they were impersonating Meena Kumari in these films. Meena Kumari remained always the original and the one to which others had to match to.
The presence of strong, independent and liberal women in my family and surroundings though would rectify the image in my mind; Meena Kumari would nevertheless always remain special.
Meena kumari3
On 31st March it was her 41st death anniversary. To commemorate it here are ten of my favourite songs filmed on her. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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In Remembrance, Nalini Jaywant

My ten favourite Nalini Jaywant solo songs

If I ask my niece who is Nalini Jaywant, she will most probably say that she must be one of my innumerable aunts. In fact, I do have a distant aunt with the name of Nalini. But the actress Nalini Jaywant seems to have faded into the oblivion. When one reads discussions on Hindi film actresses of the 50s, her name hardly appears. Maybe the reason is her self-imposed exile, otherwise it is hard to understand, why she should disappear from public memory. In her heydays she was considered the most beautiful actress and as a talented actress by her colleagues.

She started her career in her teenage years, playing sister (the title role) to Sheikh Mukhtar in Mehboob Khan’s Bahen [1941], where she sang all her songs in her own voice.. Her films in the 40s were nothing to write home about, till she made a splash with Anokha Pyar [1948] as the all-sacrificing part of the triangle, showing Dilip Kumar once again between two strong ladies, the other being Nargis. After that there was no looking back for her, acting in hit films like Samadhi, Naubahar, Rahi [1952], Shikast, Munimji, Nastik and Kala Pani. Like many of her contemporaries she couldn’t carry her success streak into the 60s and retired from the silver screen. She appeared only in two films in the 80s Bandish [1980] and Nastik [1983].

More detailed writing on her career can be found at Upperstall and by Shishir Krishna Sharma on his blog. The first and last photo in this post are from his collection. Thank you Shishirji for the loan!
Here are my ten favourite solo songs of this beautiful and talented actress. Enjoy!
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Anokhe Bhol!

Arunji has been a loyal follower of this blog and has always been very much encouraging with his comments and suggestions. This is his second post here on this blog in the role of an author. It is an honour for me that he agreed to do this post. His personal reminiscences as usual makes this post more dear to me. Thank you Arunji!

Arunkumar Deshmukh’s ten favourite songs with “interesting” lyrics

Words like ‘Dumbak dumba’ or ‘chidi chapata ‘ or Ding dong etc always attracted me in Hindi songs. In the early 50s I was an avid listener of Radio Ceylon. They used to have a weekly programme of ‘ Anokhe Bol ‘ for 15 minutes. I waited thru the week for this programme. it was my favourite programme. Songs played in this programme had odd words in it and those songs haunted me for the entire week till the next programme, when next set of songs took over.
From my early childhood i was very fond of seeing films and enjoying its music. We were in Hyderabad State. This being a Muslim ruled state; there were many peculiar things in those days. For example, in most Theatres, there used to be a class called “ZANANA “(Ladies Only). This was like a balcony. It was meant for those Burkha-clad Muslim women who wanted to see the films, without being seen by the men folk. A huge cloth curtain was dividing the Zanana Class and the rest of the Theatre. A She-male or a He-female (I don’t know which! ) was appointed with the exclusive duty of removing the huge curtain once the film started and closing it before or as soon as the Interval or the end of the film, so that the women could see the film and still not get exposed to the prying eyes of the men folk in the theatre.
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Bollywood, Guest Post, Lists

 

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Pacifist’s ten favourite mad-cap songs

You all know Pacifist. She has been a loyal follower of this blog since its conception. While corresponding with her for the quiz, I happened to ask her if she would like to do a guest post for the blog and she kindly agreed. The topic of her debut post must reflect her opinion about me. If that is true, I won’t defend myself, because it is true. Thank you, dear Pacifist for this post. I am sure the readers will enjoy this post as much as we did.

Thank you Harvey for inviting me to write a guest post on your popular blog. I feel quite overwhelmed. Being no writer the safest topic that came to mind was the 10 favourites
Not that I had to think about the subject, one’s always toying with this or that idea. I had a few in mind already. So here are my 10 favourite funny songs.
The most important point (LOL, point reminds me of Kelerk) was not to fall into the trap of – drunken songs, comedian songs, men dressed as women songs, though I have one of each, but will explain why they were chosen in spite of it.

I have selected songs which made me go *hehe* or *snort* or outright *guffaw* at some particular moment in the song. *just smiles*were excluded. Some have funny lyrics or are slapstick , but what is common is they are all madcap songs – some more than the other.
*No just smiles* leads me to the next point or even a ‘Disclaimer’.
Sense of humour varies from person to person so these songs may not raise even a smile on the faces of some listening to them, who might wonder what was wrong with me Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Bollywood, Guest Post, 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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Songs of Bandini (1963)

This post is on the same lines like Dustedoff’s ‘Some thoughts on the songs of Pyaasa‘. Bandini is a classic film, about which much has been written and said. It is always a treat for the eyes and the soul to watch it. As I was returning from Germany last Sunday, I was humming O jaane wale ho sake to laut ke aanaa and the thought crossed my mind to write up on the songs of the film, since they are so much like companions for me.


The music is by S. D. Burman and the lyrics by Shailendra and Gulzar (Mora gora ang lai le) It is interesting, that of the seven songs only two are picturised on the main character of the film. The two male protagonists don’t get any songs. Of the remaining five, four songs are sung by junior artistes and one is a background song.
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Flower Power

Ten of my favourite flower songs

Blame it on dustedoff! Yeah, she asked me to do this post. And since I always do what I am asked to. Here it is.

Flowers and love go together. Flower codes abound as to what flower to send as secret message. In Hindi film songs, the flowers have been mostly used as similies or metaphors for the heroine. Gulabi hooth (rosy lips) being one of the common comparisons.

In my list I have again used some criteria to boil my list down to ten:
1. Songs with flowers used as adjectives have not been taken (so, no ‘gulabi aankhen jo teri dekhi’)
2. One different flower pro song (i.e. if I like two songs, both with rose in it more than the song with jasmine, than I had to choose between the two rose songs)
3. One song pro film (that was very easy)
4. When the name of the flower is the name of a character in the film, it has been rejected (so no ‘ghar jayegi, tar jayegi

So here are my 10 favourite solo songs featuring ten different flowers.

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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