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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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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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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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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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Happy Birthday, Nutan!

My 10 favourite Nutan songs

Yesterday, June 4, was Nutan’s 75th birth anniversary. Nutan was a great actress and she was good-looking too. She had a career of 20 years in leading romantic roles and even in her third decade of her career, she got plump roles, which is quite uncommon in the Hindi film industry. In the 80s eventually she started taking up mother roles for leading heroes. And she did what in the 50s it seems was quite common, she worked even after getting married and childbirth.

Fellow-blogger and a big fan of Nutan, Yves, has put up a monument for Nutan. So if anybody wants to know more about her, just visit this. Bollywood deewana, who also shares his birthday with Nutan (Happy Birthday, Bolly Deewana!) has put up scans of an article with interviews of her relatives.


Nutan’s films were mostly with very good music, which makes choosing 10 songs a bit difficult. That is why the list is of solo songs only. Nutan herself had a beautiful singing voice though she never put it into practice for the films.

So here are my 10 favourite solo songs featuring Nutan (in chronological order).

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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Lists

 

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Chandaa re…

My ten favourite moon songs

IMG_5227

Tomorrow is full moon and we all know what it does … ahem…, to the lovers. No wonder that the moon features in so many songs. It also has different roles in it. The moon is at times the messenger, at times it is an intruder, sometimes it is a catalyst or also be addressed as the beloved him or herself. It can be different things, but one thing is for sure, it doesn’t leave the lovers cold and nor it does me.
The moon songs genre belongs to one of my favourites. There are so many songs with chaand in it, that it is really very difficult to choose ten. So I had to use the following criteria:
1. The songs have to blatantly call out to the moon.
2. Not included are comparisons with moon (so, no chaudhvin ka chaand ho),
3. nor indirect allusions to the moon (no o jaanewale chaand…),
4. nor mere confirmation of its presence (no chaand akela jaye sakhi ri),
5. nor be a lullaby (no chandaa o chandaa kisne churayi).

So here are my favourite 10 ‘chaand’ songs (in chronological order) from Hindi cinema.

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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