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Tag Archives: Mehmood

Anokhe Bhol!

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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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Bollywood, Guest Post, Lists

 

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Arunkumar Deshmukh’s 10 favourite cycle songs

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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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Bollywood, Guest Post, Lists

 

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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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Men, who are not afraid to be a woman

My ten favourite men-in-drag songs

Men in drag has me always in splits. It is one thing, which guarantees a laughter from my side. I know it doesn’t show much of a depth for my character. Yeah, how to put it much better than: I am like that only!

Men wearing women’s clothes is nothing new. In the early films of the Indian film industry boys would often take up female roles. Men in drag is all the same a more ancient phenomenon. The reasons behind it can be different ranging from transvestism to transgenderism. I can imagine that during times or in societies when and where homosexuality was looked down upon, it was one of the ways for men to approach men. For heterosexual men, I can think, it is a means to make fun of women and in this way digest the rejection by them. At the same time it can also be seen as a rebellion against the society and attempt to break away from the roles imposed by the society based on gender. All the same, it is not these deeper thoughts that go through my mind, why I love these songs.

Here are my favourite 10 songs from Hindi films with men in drag. Since it all is supposed to be fun, no rules this time, except for the quite obvious ones like one song pro actor. 😉
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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My ten favourite Hindi film loris (lullabies) and Merry X’mas!

For Christmas, I was thinking of doing a Christmas song list. But I could come up only with aao tumhe chand pe le jaaye from Zakhmee [1975]. But then I thought Mother Mary and Joseph must have also sung some lullabies to baby Jesus, so why not a list of my ten favourite loris (lullabies).

Lullabies have not always been my favourite songs. Once when a 6 year old child at a friends place asked me to sing an Indian lullaby to him, I realized that I knew only few authentic lullabies in my mother tongue and soon I ended up singing filmi loris!  The child must have been pretty deaf or a great fan of off-tune singing. More evenings followed and made me realize how sweet basically loris are.

Some rules, which I followed for my list:
a) The person singing must be singing it to a child and not to a grown-up person
b) Only one song pro film

Well here they are! Try not to fall asleep while reading it! Yawn! 😉
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Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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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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Musings on Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa

The Story

The plot of Pyaasa though unique, lends heavily from two sources. One which is quite evident is Saratchandra Chatterji’s Devdas and the other is the story of Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2010 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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