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Dancing Grace

Ten of my favourite Waheeda Rehman songs
Waheeda Rehman3Waheeda Rehman! Just spelling out that name conjures a vision of great beauty for me. Beauty yes, but not coquette, not of a siren, very down to earth beauty, which radiates warmth. A smile, which brightens up your day. Grace, which mesmerises you. Eyes so expressive, that they could show a whole kaleidoscope of emotions and of a depth that one could lose oneself in it. An ethereal beauty! You would say how do a down-to-earth and ethereal go together. Well, that is what Waheeda Rehman is all about. Bringing together contradictions like truth always is. And truth is beautiful and divine. No wonder Guru Dutt sings and describes her a chaudhvin ka chaand (the full moon) in the film by the same name.
Waheeda Rehman4
There was and is more to Waheeda than her beauty. A versatile actress, she proved her acting prowess again and again in different films. She showed their highs and lows, their dark and brighter sides, but what she gave them all was a human quality. A vulnerability, which made them connect to you. It might be the street smart hooker of Pyaasa or the career-oriented Rosie of Guide or the repentant Shanta waiting for her husband in Phagun. You could relate to all of them. You might not agree with them, but you could empathise with them.
Waheeda Rehman1
Choosing ten songs from her films was not easy. Thus I laid some criteria for choosing them.
a. The film must have her in a main role.
b. It must be a solo song
c. Waheeda must be lip-syncing to the song.
Dustedoff and Sunehriyaadein have already published a post of their favourite Waheeda Rehman songs and Anu of her favourite Waheeda roles. This post began as a comment at Sunehriyaadein’s post. Over the years it has changed indeed! Enjoy!

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Happy Birthday Sadhana!

My ten favourite Sadhana songs

Today on your 71st birthday, wish you a happy birthday and many more to come, dear Sadhana! Thanks for the beautiful films and moments, which you have gifted us!
Sadhana, one of the Hindi screen’s beautiful leading ladies. She was a trend-setter in fashion, when nobody even knew this word. She was glamorous, beautiful and more importantly talented actress. Given the trend of the 60s, where the frothy musicals reigned supreme, she got ample scope to show her acting talents in variety of films. Bimal Roy, the ace-director cast her in Parakh (1960) and Prem Patra (1964). Raj Khosla made a trilogy of films with her in central roles Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967).

Her thyroid problem led to an eye ailment, which led to her going on a long treatment in the USA, due to which she was missed on many films. Her come-back films were Intequam (1969) and Ek Phool Do Mali (1969) were hits. The 70s even saw her don the cap of the director for Geeta Mera Naam (1974). The changing trends of the 70s saw her take retirement from the silver screen, though the 70s saw the release of delayed films like Amanat (1975), Vandana (1975) and Mehfil (1981). Her last film Ulfat ki Nayi Manzilein, whose music was released in 1968, got released in 1994. In the song here, we see how the film must have been completed with doubles, in the song, baharon se kahenge nazaroon se kahenge, we see only the back of the character played by her.

I have chosen only solo songs from her films and I have restricted myself to one song pro film.
Enjoy!
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Happy Janmasthami

My ten favourite Krishna songs


Today is Krishna Janmasthami, Krishna’s birthday. Krishna is the most favourite of all the Hindu deities in Hindi films and is sung about in many ways. Today while discussing with Madhu on Facebook, I started listing some Krishna songs, which came into mind and thus this list happened. It was made in a hurry, so pardon any mistakes made.

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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Sailaab (1956)

The Lost Flood


Everytime when one talks of Guru Dutt, one remembers his classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool, Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam and Chaudvin ka Chand. Then in further conversation one talks of Mr. & Mrs. 55, Aar-Paar and Baazi. One even remembers Jaal and Baaz. But Sailaab is one movie of his, which is mentioned only in few biographies. Nasreen Munni Kabir’s famous documentary on Guru Dutt also fails to mention it and jumps from Mr. & Mrs. 55 to Pyaasa. Abrar Alvi also doesn’t refer to it in Sathya Saran’s book “Ten Years With Guru Dutt – Abrar Alvi’s journey”. It is listed there at the end in Guru Dutt’s filmography, where only the film title, year of release and the main cast is mentioned. As you might have observed, I was also oblivious of its existence, while I did the Guru Dutt Series on my blog. Not totally oblivious, I just thought that it was a shelved project like Gauri.
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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Chatri na khol…

Hidden umbrella passions in ten Hindi film songs

Umbrellophily, a phenomenon not spoken sung about in the Hindi film industry. The author of these lines like many other fans of Hindi film songs was not aware of this shocking fact either. During his search for a list of his 10 favourite umbrella songs (since rain-song lists have been beaten to death), he stumbled over this taboo topic in the Hindi cinema. While he was searching, he could unearth only three songs, which mention an umbrella  and two-thirds of them were not even melodious. Why this step-motherly treatment towards this ‘protector against rain’?

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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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O re maanjhii…

My 10 favourite ‘maanjhi’ songs from Hindi cinema


To say that I love the maanjhi songs would be an understatement. Particularly “O re maanjhi” from Bandini takes me to a different dimension. Maanjhi (also pronounced as maajhi) is a boatman. In songs and poems they are often pleaded to by lovers (mostly women) to take them across the river to meet their beloved. In devotional songs he is the spiritual master who is being begged by the seeker to give him/her that shift in consciousness, which will take him/her from the body consciousness to brahman. These two different levels give the songs a certain spin.

So here are my favourite 10 ‘maanjhi’ (in chronological order) songs from Hindi cinema. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Thoughts on Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam

Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam has so many facets to it. that one can hardly cover it up with one posting. Moreover, there are so many thoughts and ideas, which come into the mind while watching it, but I just couldn’t find words for it. I think one can surely write a doctoral thesis on it. I could leave mine and start with this one! 😉

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Posted by on June 21, 2010 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (1962)

It is nearly three days since I saw Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam and I just don’t know how to start with the description. The story has so many layers, so many details. The whole picturisation is a revelation. In every angle there is something to be discovered. And I wanted and want to include everything, which is impossible. And of course I have to follow my day job as well. Thus, I’ve planned to go the Pyaasa way. I’ll post the synopsis and something about this and that. And then will arrive the Musings on… part. By the way a wonderful synopsis of the film has written by dear dustedoff, who is so much better with the language and has an art of expressing herself. She and this film are by the way also responsible for this blog. Richard has written in his expressive explosive manner on his reaction to the film. The Third Man at Upperstall gives many insights into the film and the big fan of Guru Dutt Philip Lutgendorf at his wonderful site has also written about this film.

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Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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Chaudhvin ka Chand (1960)

This one was for me Guru Dutt’s less interesting films. In my teens I just couldn’t warm up to it as I had for Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool or Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam or for that matter even Aar-Paar. Although nearly everybody loves the title song, even that didn’t much to me. All this changed completely when I read Cory Creekmur’s  notes on the film on Philip Lutgendorf’s site. I cursed myself for being blind and re-watched it. One thing is to be said of it: this film created more waves of contradictions in my heart than any other film ever has.

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Posted by on June 11, 2010 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

My earliest memories of Kaagaz ke Phool is the song “Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam”. It was quite a favourite with the producers of Chaaya Geet and later on Chitrahaar. The beautiful cinematography and Geeta Dutt’s melancholic voice, S. D. Burman’s haunting music made a big impression on me. My resourceful aunt, who would otherwise always provide us with the plots of the movie, would also be very quite. I never could fathom if it was because of the captivating sound or because of the extra-marital affair going-ons. There were regular screenings of the movie in the morning show, but I never thought of ‘bunking’ (that is the word used for skipping classes in Bombay/India) classes to watch it. Thus it was in my late teens that I watched it on DD’s late night movies.

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Posted by on June 6, 2010 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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