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Tag Archives: Madan Mohan

Of Clouds and Separation

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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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Drunken Quiz and Clever Answers

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!

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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists, Quiz

 

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blind women songs

My ten favourite blind women songs

I got the idea for this post when I read Yves’ review of the Sparsh [1980]. Blind people abound in Hindi cinema mostly as some blind chachas (uncles) in slums or are poor sisters or mothers, for whose eye-operation the hero commits some crime. Then there are the female leads, who are blind, where the story follows one way or the other the plot of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Of course there are stories, where the story follows a different path altogether. All the stories have one thing in common that mostly the curing of the blindness plays a central role in the story. Exceptions as usual confirm the rule.

In my post Mala Sinha song list, while commenting the song from Patanga. I wrote that the species of blind heroines became rare in the 80s. I didn’t know that they had become so abundant in the last decade. My favourites though, as you would guess, are not from the last decade but earlier. Well, here they are! Enjoy!
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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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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