My ten favourite Meena Kumari songs
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 , Miss Mary , Azaad  and Kohinoor .
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.
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 »
Tags: 31st March, 41st death anniversary, aaj ham apni duaon ka asar dekhenge, aaj to meri hansi, ajeeb dastan hai yeh, Akeli Mat Jaiyo , Asha Bhosle, Ashok Kumar, Bahu Begum [1967, Baiju Bawra , C Ramchandra, chalo dildaar chalo, chalte chalte, Chitralekha , Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai , Dil Ek Mandir , duniya kare sawaal to ham kya jawab de, Durga Khote, Edwina Violette, Geeta Dutt, Ghulam Mohammad, Gomti Ke Kinare , ham tere pyar me saara aalam, Hasrat Jaipuri, Hemant Kumar, inhi logon ne, Kaajal , Kamal Amrohi, kitni jawan hai raa tkoi yaad aa gaya - Azaad , Lata Mangeshkar, Madan Mohan, Majrooh Sultanpuri, mausam hai aashiqana, Meena Kumari, mohe bhool gaye sanwariya, My ten favourite Meena Kumari songs, Nadira, Naushad, Pakeezah , piya aiso jiya me samay gayo re, Raaj Kumar, Rajendra Krishna, Rajendra Kumar, Ravi, Roshan, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam , Sahir, Sahir Ludhianvi, sansar se bhaage phirte ho, Sawan Kumar Tak, Shailendra, Shakeel Badayuni, Shanker-Jaikishan, thade rahiyon, tora man darpan kehlaye, woh jo milte the kabhi
Seeing no new post from me on my blog, my readers got concerned about it. Pacifist just couldn’t tolerate this utter neglect and came again to my rescue. thank you, dear Pacifist. This is her third post on this blog and with it she is showing her business acumen. Bravo, Pacifist! More power to the small businessmen and -women!
Pacifist’s choice of 10 songs of small business
Thank you Harvey. I’m quite pleased at having this opportunity of posting 10 songs on a subject I have often thought about. People selling stuff, doing business. It was a wonderful time of economic opportunity, letting the small fish survive. Today they have been eaten up by the big fish. I don’t mean to imply that they all sold stuff in the filmi manner, but sell, they did.
So in memory of those small dying/dead businesses, here are 10 such songs.
I do have more than 10 songs with a different product being sung and sold, but I’m such a sucker for melody, tunes which are pleasing to my ears that I left some and took some even though the product got repeated. Boot Polish was one such, Tel Maalish another 🙂
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Tags: aaj ki taaza khabar, Asha Bhonsle, baman ho ya jaat, Bhagwaan, boot chappal sandal- Karigar (1958), C Ramchandra, channa chor garam babu, Chitragupt, dev anand, Dhumal, ek aana boot polish do aana tel maalish, Film Pyaasa (1957), Ghar ki Laaj (1960), Guest Post, Jaan Nissar Akhtar, Jadoo , Johnny Walker, Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala (1958), Karigar (1958), Kishore Kumar, lelo choodiyan main laya nirali, lelo lelo do phool jani lelo, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Maya , Meena Kumari, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Nalini Jaywant, Naushad, Naya Andaaz (1956), O. P. Nayyar, OP Nayyar, Pacifist, Prem Dhawan, Rajendra Krishan, Ravi, Sahir Ludhianvi, Sajid Khan, Salil Choudhary, sar jo tera chakraye, SD Burman, Shakeel Badayuni, Shamshad Begum, Shanti Mathur, Sheikh Mukhtar, Son of India (1962), surma mera nirala, Tel Maalish Boot Polish (1961), This Singing Business, Usha Mangeshkar, zindagi hai kya, Zorabai
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 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 , 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  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 , 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  and Nastik .
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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Tags: abhi shaam aayegi niklenge taare, ae ri main to prem deewani, Ajit, Asha Bhosle, Ashok Kumar, beimaan balama man bhi jaa, C Ramchandra, chand madham hai aasman chhup hai, dev anand, dil laga ke kadar gayi pyaare, Dilip Kumar, ghayal hiraniya main ban ban, Hum Sab Chor Hain (1956), jab nain mile nainon se, Jadoo , Kala Paani , kanha bajaye bansuri aur gwale bajaye manjire, kare badra tu na jaa, Lata Mangeshkar, Madan Mohan, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Meerabai, Munimji , My ten favourite Nalini Jaywant solo songs, Nalini Jaywant’s second death anniversary, Nastik , Nau Bahar , Naujawan , Naushad, O. P. Nayyar, Pradeep, Premnath, Railway Platform , Rajinder Krishna, Roshan, S. D. Burman, Samadhi , Shailendra, Shakeel, Shammi Kapoor, Shamshad Begum, Shankar-Jaikishan, Shikast , Shishir Krishna Sharma, Sunil Dutt, Suresh, thandi hawayein lehra ka aaye
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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Tags: Aawaz, Ajit, Aka baaka chidi chadaka, Asha, Asha Bhosale, Ashok Kumar, Aye Ichak Beechak Churr, Aziz Kashmiri, Bawre Nain, Bhagwan Sinha, Bimal Roy, C Ramchandra, chhupa chhupi agad bagad, Cuckoo, Denewala Jab bhi deta, dev anand, Dhitang Dhitang bole, Dholak, Do Bigha Zameen, Eena Meena Dika, Ek Do Teen, Ek Thi Ladki, Funtoosh, geeta bali, Gupchup gupchup pyar Karen, Halla Gulla Layilla, Haryala sawan aaya, Hemant Kumar, Hyderabad State, k. n. singh, Kidar Sharma, Kishore Kumar, Lara Lappa, Lata, Majnu, Manna Dey, Meena Kumari, Meena Shorey, Mehmood, Nimmi, Prem Dhawan, Rafi, Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Krishna, Roshan, S. D. Burman, Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Sailesh Mukherjee, Salil Chaudhary, Sandhya Mukherjee, Satish Batra, Savera, Sazaa, Shailendra, Shamshad Begum, Sheila Ramani, Shyamsunder, Vinod, Vyjayantimala, Zanana Class
Arunji has been a loyal follower of this blog and has always been very much encouraging. With this post he makes his debut 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 makes this post more dear to me. Now, without much ado I give the microphone to him.
It is said, that Indian Films represent the life in India. There is, however, a section of people who believe that the society emulates what is shown in films. So, what is the truth?
When the Talkie came to India and films were made, only one thought was there in the minds of the producers and that was to make films based on Mythological and Historical stories.
This went on for first 5-6 years, but then film makers realised that people will like their films if they could relate their lives with it. So, films based on stories with village background, the caste system, dowry, the moneylender and the farmers were made. These became popular. The urban and the city viewer who was educated were looking for something different. Thus, films were made on love stories set in cities and bigger towns.
Those days middle class was growing in India by leaps and bounds and these were the people, who could spend the money. Now these were the people the films were aimed at.
In the 40s and 50s, the most common transportation vehicle was CYCLE. Almost everybody knew how to ride a cycle. Few people had cars and motorcycles had not yet become popular. Scooters were yet unknown.
I remember, I got my first Cycle when I was in school. My school was 3-4 miles far and I used the cycle to go to school in the morning and to go to friends in the evening. There were many cycles on the road and there was a Traffic rule that every cycle must have a Lamp on the Cycle’s handle as a caution to other vehicles. These lamps were kerosene and Cotton-batti lamps in the night. Sometimes, the lamps got extinguished due to wind. Unaware of this, the police used to catch us. On hearing our plea about the lamp, wind etc, the police would touch the glass of the lamp. if it was still warm, we were let out with a warning only. This was the life in late 40s and early 50s, when I was in Hyderabad State.
It was natural that now cycles too should feature in films. Imaginative Directors used cycles for the heroes when they chased the heroines and for the heroines when they went on a picnic with sahelis. In many films, the village affluents would be shown as cycle owners and the city people using it for moving about.
Up to the 70s, cycles were part of many films. Slowly, cycles were replaced by scooters, Mopeds and motor cycles in films and by 80s, it was only cars and fancy Mobikes for the heroes. Poor cycles were reduced to be shown, only used by the doodhwalla bhaiyyas (milk-men).
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Tags: Aas Ka Panchhi , Agra Road , akela hoon main, Ameeta, Arunkumar Deshmukh, Arunkumar Deshmukh’s 10 favourite cycle songs, Asha Bhsole, Baat Ek Raat Ki , C Ramchandra, dev anand, dil mera ek aas ka panchhi, Ek Hi Raasta , G. M. Durrani, Geeta Dutt, Ghulam Haider, Guest Post, Hasarat Jaipuri, Hemant Kumar, Hum Sab Chor Hain (1956), humko hansate dekh zamana jalata hai, I. S. Johar, inse rippy tippy ho gayi, Johnny Walker, Kalyanji-Anandji, Kavi Pradeep, Khan Mastana, Khazanchi , Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, main chali main chali, Majnu, Majrooh Sultanpuri, manaa janaab ne pukara nahin, Meena Kumari, Mehmood, Mohd. Rafi, Mukesh, Nutan, O. P. Nayyar, Omprakash Bhandari, Padosan , Paigham , Paying Guest , Prem Dhavan, pyaase panchhi neel gagan ke, Pyaase Panchhi , Qamar Jalalabadi, R. D. Burman, Rajendra Krishna, Rajendra Kumar, Roshan, S. D. Burman, saanwale salone aaye din bahar ke, Saira Bano, sawan ke nazare hain, Shakila, Shamshad Begum, Shankar-Jaikishen, Subir Sen, Sunil Dutt, suno re bhaiyya hum layen hain, Vijay Anand, Wali Saheb
My ten favourite songs on clouds and separation
Mid-June, the rains used to arrive in Bombay when I was a kid. The black clouds would hold the promise of change. This would mean relief from the heat and dust of the preceding summer months and a burst of new life. The dreary plain near our house would promise to turn into a pond with lots of small streams arising and emptying in it. These small streams would then become alive with small and big crabs and tadpoles! Coinciding with the arrival of the black clouds, the new school year would also arrive. This would mean new textbooks! The dark messenger would also bring the hope, that I would share the class room with my friends from last year, but at the same time also the anxiety if I would again have to spend this new school year with class bully.
These dark water-bearers of sky, who brought so many emotions in my being were and are also the bearers of hope over the centuries in India for separated lovers. The earliest mention is found in Meghduta (the cloud messenger) by Kalidasa (most probably 4th century CE). It tells the story, how a yakṣha (a supernatural being), after being exiled, asks a passing cloud to take a message to his wife. In Hindi cinema though, we find mostly women singing to the clouds. They call upon them to be their messengers, to take a message to their far-off beloveds, asking them to return back.
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Tags: Ameeta, Anil Biswas, Asha Bhosle, Azaad , Bahana , Bharat Vyas, C Ramchandra, Chashm-e-Baddoor , Chhote Nawab , clouds, D. N. Madhok, Dar Laage Garaje Badariyaa, Deepti Naval, Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke , Dilip Kumar, Gaban , Ghar Aaja Ghir Aaye Badaraa Sanvariyaa, Gulzar, Haimanti Shukla, Indu Jain, Ja Re Kare Badra, Jaa Re Badara Bairi Jaa Re, Jaa Ri Jaa Ri O Kaari Badariya, Jab Kaari Badariyaa Chhaayegi, Jeetendra, Kahan Se Aaye Badaraa, Kalidasa, Karan Deewan, Lajawab , Lata Mangeshkar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Madan Mohan, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Meena Kapoor, Meena Kumari, Meghduta, Mehmood, Mohammed Rafi, monsoon, My ten favourite songs on clouds and separation, Namkeen , Nanda, Naushad, Of Clouds and Separation, Phir Se Aiyo Badaraa Bidesi, Prem Dhawan, R. D. Burman, rain, Rajinder Krishan, Rajkamal, Ram Rajya , Rattan , Sadhana, Sawan Ke Badalon Unse Yeh Jaa Kaho, Shabana Azmi, Shailendra, Shankar-Jaikishan, Sheila Vaz, Sunil Dutt, Swarnlata, the cloud messenger, Tum Bin Sajan Barase Nayan, Vasant Desai, yakṣha, Yesudas, Zohra Bai
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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Tags: Aa Jao Mere Pyaare, aajaa sanam madhur chandani me hum, Aasra (1966), Anand Bakshi, Ankhen (1968), Anpadh (1962), Asha Bhosle, Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966), Bahurani (1963), C Ramchandra, Chitragupta, Chori-Chori, Gairaon Pe Karam, Hai Isi Mein Pyar Ki Aabroo, Hamlet (1954), Hasrat Jaipuri, Jaa Re Ud Jaa Re Pancchi – Maya (1961), Kahe Jhoom Jhoom Raat Yeh Suhani, Lata Mangeshkar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Love Marriage (1959), Madan Mohan, Mai Jagu Saare Raat Sajan Tum, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Mala Sinha, Mala Sinha songs, Meri Aankhon Se Koi, my 10 favourite Mala Sinha songs, Neend Kabhi Rehti Thi Aankhon Mein, O. P. Nayyar, Ophelia, Patang (1960), Pooja Ke Phool (1964), Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Rajendra Krishan, Ramesh Naidu, Rang Dil Ki Dhadkan Bhi, Ravi, S. H. Bihari, Sahir Ludhianvi, Salil Choudhary, Shailendra, Shankar-Jaikishan, Woh Hanske Mile Ham Se
My Ten Favourite Telephone Songs From Hindi Films
The research for the fruit expose has been needing me to call lots of people on phone. This lead me to the idea of making a telephone song list. Okay, I didn’t come up with it in the last few days, but have been collecting them over the last few months. And the fact that, that I love Jalte hai jiske liye just drove me to make this list. Not all of the songs are sung completely on the telephone. Some just start with it and end up with the characters cavorting around the trees, but telephone songs they are.
So, give me a ring!
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Tags: Aadesh Srivastav, Alka Yagnik, Amitabh Bachchan, Anand Bakshi, Anhonee (1952), Anil Biswas, Anjaan, Asha Bhosle, atulsongaday, Baazi 1968, Baghban (2003), Bombay Ka Chor (1962), C Ramchandra, Chand Zard Zard Hai Mere Dil Mein, Ek Nanhi Munni Ladki Thi (1970), Ganesh, Gope, Hello Hello Ji, Hema Malini, Jaali Note (1960), Jalte Hain Jiske Liye, Jidher Dekhoon Teri Tasveer, Juari (1968), Kahan Gaya Mera Sanam, Kaho Kya Hai Ji, Kalyanji-Anandji, Kishore Kumar, Krishna Bose, Mahaan (1983), Main Yahaan Tu Wahaan, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Mala Sinha, Mere Dil Ki Dhadkan Kyaa Bole, Mohd. Rafi, Mr. Naidu, Mubarak Begum, Mumtaz, Nanda, Nargis, Neend Ud Jaye Teri Chain Se Sone Wale, Nigar Sultana, Nutan. Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon, O. P. Nayyar, Patanga (1949), Pyar Ki Yeh Batein Humko Na Samjao, R. D. Burman, Rajinder Krishan, Ravi, S. D. Burman, Sameer, Samshad Begum & Chitalkar, Shailendra Raj Kapoor, Shakeel Badayuni, Shashi Kapoor, Sujata (1959), Suman Kalyanpur, Sunil Dutt, Talat Mahmood, Talat Mahmood & Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mohammad, Tanuja, Telephone songs, Waheeda Rehman