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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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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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