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The Tragedienne

My ten favourite Meena Kumari songs

Meena kumari1
Meena Kumari, a face, which launched thousand tragic films. A thousand might be a bit of exaggeration, but she alone on her star-power helped tragic films to great success. In the 50s and even in the frolicking, colourful 60s, people would flock the cinema halls (to different degrees) to see her suffer. She was also an adept comedienne, in which she also excelled and was quite successful as seen in Magroor [1950], Miss Mary [1957], Azaad [1955] and Kohinoor [1960].
Pakeezah Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari at a certain time in my childhood played a big role in shaping the image of women in my psyche. Exposed to a slew of films, where she played a neglected wife, a suffering daughter-in-law, a sacrificing daughter, a caring sister-in-law, a protective sister or ‘simply’ a tormented woman between two men, she moulded an image of women being forever doomed to suffer at the hands of men in life. It is true that even other leading ladies like Mala Sinha (Anpadh) or Nutan (Khandan, Chhota Bhai) played such roles but it was as if they were impersonating Meena Kumari in these films. Meena Kumari remained always the original and the one to which others had to match to.
The presence of strong, independent and liberal women in my family and surroundings though would rectify the image in my mind; Meena Kumari would nevertheless always remain special.
Meena kumari3
On 31st March it was her 41st death anniversary. To commemorate it here are ten of my favourite songs filmed on her. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Happy Birthday Sadhana!

My ten favourite Sadhana songs

Today on your 71st birthday, wish you a happy birthday and many more to come, dear Sadhana! Thanks for the beautiful films and moments, which you have gifted us!
Sadhana, one of the Hindi screen’s beautiful leading ladies. She was a trend-setter in fashion, when nobody even knew this word. She was glamorous, beautiful and more importantly talented actress. Given the trend of the 60s, where the frothy musicals reigned supreme, she got ample scope to show her acting talents in variety of films. Bimal Roy, the ace-director cast her in Parakh (1960) and Prem Patra (1964). Raj Khosla made a trilogy of films with her in central roles Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967).

Her thyroid problem led to an eye ailment, which led to her going on a long treatment in the USA, due to which she was missed on many films. Her come-back films were Intequam (1969) and Ek Phool Do Mali (1969) were hits. The 70s even saw her don the cap of the director for Geeta Mera Naam (1974). The changing trends of the 70s saw her take retirement from the silver screen, though the 70s saw the release of delayed films like Amanat (1975), Vandana (1975) and Mehfil (1981). Her last film Ulfat ki Nayi Manzilein, whose music was released in 1968, got released in 1994. In the song here, we see how the film must have been completed with doubles, in the song, baharon se kahenge nazaroon se kahenge, we see only the back of the character played by her.

I have chosen only solo songs from her films and I have restricted myself to one song pro film.
Enjoy!
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Bollywood, 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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Happy Janmasthami

My ten favourite Krishna songs


Today is Krishna Janmasthami, Krishna’s birthday. Krishna is the most favourite of all the Hindu deities in Hindi films and is sung about in many ways. Today while discussing with Madhu on Facebook, I started listing some Krishna songs, which came into mind and thus this list happened. It was made in a hurry, so pardon any mistakes made.

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Posted by on August 10, 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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Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol… (Raise the veil and behold…)

My ten favourite hindi film bhajans

Hindi film bhajans are not my cup of tea. They are mostly preachy and weepy, and in worst cases, also very demanding. God give me this and god give me that, as if God is a servant to be ordered around. 😉 That is why I thought this will be any easy list to make. In fact dustedoff and I spoke about it some 2-3 years back.
While collecting songs for this list I did find some soulful music going with some good bhajans with content.
So as to boil the list down to 10, I had to make some rules. Well, in fact only one rule that the songs/bhajans must be sung by person(s) sitting/standing in front of an idol of a god or goddess (or something equivalent). Songs of wandering monks, ascetics or mendicants will constitute a separate list.

So, here is my list of 10 favourite Hindi film bhajans
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Posted by on July 13, 2011 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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