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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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Look! It Is A Bungalow!

My ten favourite bangala (bungalow) songs

A dream of one’s own house/cottage in the suburbs has been and is the motor of many middle class households all over the world. Maybe it is the security it offers or the need for privacy, to have a garden and the cosy life which one associates with it and thus to achieve ultimate goal of every human being to be happy. If one really ‘achieves’ all these things with the acquisition of this cosy house is secondary. I think the dream in itself the best part of it.

Like many of the dreams and aspirations of the common man (whoever or whatever he/she is), even this aspect has not been neglected in the Hindi film songs. Here are my favourites!
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Pacifist’s Ek Gaon Ki Kahani (A village story)

Dear Pacifist has agreed once again to honour this blog with a post of hers. Thank you, Pacifist!

10 beautiful village songs

Poos ki sard raat thi…, chilchilati dhoop mein nange paon…, (it was a freezing winter night…, bare feet in the blistering heat…,) are phrases I associate Munshi Premchand with. Though we used the term chilchilati dhoop , poos ki raat was new. Village life in the north, as depicted in his novels, was very harsh as these two terms indicate. My interest in his novels branched into reading some of his short stories too, so when Harvey asked me to write a post I thought of Munshi Premchand and villages.

Now we all know that the village life as depicted in our films is nothing like the real thing, but some of the older films did manage to get some sort of realism, simplicity, though in some cases burdensome (Mother India). Whatever the case they always give me a feeling of being purified. Blame it on the pollution inducing contemporary films. Dilip Kumar, Balraj Sahni, even Raj Kumar made convincing villagers. The heroines all looked good enough. Not only that, but the folksy songs were great. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Bollywood, Guest Post, Lists

 

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Happy Birthday Nutan!

My ten favourite Nutan romantic-duets

Comes 4th of June and it is Nutan’s birth anniversary again and also that of bollwood deewana and Richard’S sister. It is turning fast into a tradition to celebrate Nutan’s birthday on this blog. This is her third birthday here. Last year I listed my favourite solo songs of hers. This year it is the turn of duets.

As usual I have taken only one duet per film. What really surprised me was that in her three most famous films, Seema [1955], Sujata [1959] and Bandini [1963], she doesn’t have any duets with her love interest! They are also missing in her Nagina [1951] and Hum Log [1951].
Well, here are my favourite Nutan duets. Enjoy them!
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Posted by on June 4, 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!

Well, here are the answers! Read the rest of this entry »

 
104 Comments

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

 

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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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Flower Power

Ten of my favourite flower songs

Blame it on dustedoff! Yeah, she asked me to do this post. And since I always do what I am asked to. Here it is.

Flowers and love go together. Flower codes abound as to what flower to send as secret message. In Hindi film songs, the flowers have been mostly used as similies or metaphors for the heroine. Gulabi hooth (rosy lips) being one of the common comparisons.

In my list I have again used some criteria to boil my list down to ten:
1. Songs with flowers used as adjectives have not been taken (so, no ‘gulabi aankhen jo teri dekhi’)
2. One different flower pro song (i.e. if I like two songs, both with rose in it more than the song with jasmine, than I had to choose between the two rose songs)
3. One song pro film (that was very easy)
4. When the name of the flower is the name of a character in the film, it has been rejected (so no ‘ghar jayegi, tar jayegi

So here are my 10 favourite solo songs featuring ten different flowers.

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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