Ten of my favourite Waheeda Rehman songs
Waheeda 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.
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.
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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Ten of my favourite Waheeda Rehman songs
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 »
Arunji, whose anecdotes and memories of the good old times we adore and whose filmi knowledge, we admire, springs in the arena once again to fill up the empty time space here. Thank you Arunji! Without much ado, I pass the mike to him.
Arunkumar Deshmukh’s ten favourite inspired song-pairs
EK DIL DO JAANE- EK TUNE DO GAANE
The other day I was reading a book in my Drawing Room,when I heard my college going grandson telling a small boy,” you don’t know,but in our times,things were not like this…”
I smiled. Every generation thinks that their times were better that the present one.
I wondered whether if I tell today’s children that in my college days,Petrol was costing only 5 Rupees a Gallon (around 3.7 Litres) or that a car driver could be hired on a salary of Rs.150 pm, will they believe it ? We never believed when our elders told us that Gold was bought by them at 10 Rs. a Tola (about 11.4 Gms.),because at the time of my marriage Gold was costing 150 rupees per Tola(about 11.4 gms).Today when Gold has crossed the barrier of rs.30000 for just 10 gms,these stories look like Arabian Night stories,indeed !!
Sometimes I keep thinking if old times were better or the present times are better.I have not been able to come to any conclusion so far.
Read the rest of this entry »
Today, on the occasion of Nanda’s birthday, here is a different kind of post; Nanda and her eight different voices. If you were a leading actress in the 60s and 70s, like Nanda, you could spend your entire career without having had lip-synced to anybody but Lata and Asha’s voice. Since Lata had that tiff with Rafi, it could be possible that Suman Kalyanpur also lent her voice to you in a duet with him. Thus, it is amazing to see that Nanda moved her lips to eight singers in her short career.
First of all I would like to thank everybody for their good wishes to my/our blog on its birthday.
The quiz got a nice response. Shashi and Samir sent me the answers the very next day. They had some sophisticated techniques to get to the answers. Samir in his feedback to the quiz elaborated on it. Samir, would you be so kind to post it also in the comments section below? It is very enlightening!
Lalitha was very industrious and worked till the last hour and sent me her answer four hours back.
Totally eight persons sent me their answers and it was fun going through them. Lomo and Andi were new for me. They told me that they usually read my posts and the comments by the readers and that they enjoy it a lot and at times more the comments than the post itself (so says Andi).
Here are the scores
Archana = 128,5
Pacifist = 126
Shashi = 124
Samir = 106
Lomo = 100
Lalitha = 93
Andi = 93
Anu = 55
Congratulations Archana for scoring the most points and thanks to all participants! The email communication with you regarding the hints and clues was a source of great pleasure for me!
Well, here are the answers! Read the rest of this entry »
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  under the baton of K. Dutta and the song was ye ruki ruki hawaiyen.
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.
Read the rest of this entry »