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Pacifist’s ten favourite mad-cap songs

You all know Pacifist. She has been a loyal follower of this blog since its conception. While corresponding with her for the quiz, I happened to ask her if she would like to do a guest post for the blog and she kindly agreed. The topic of her debut post must reflect her opinion about me. If that is true, I won’t defend myself, because it is true. Thank you, dear Pacifist for this post. I am sure the readers will enjoy this post as much as we did.

Thank you Harvey for inviting me to write a guest post on your popular blog. I feel quite overwhelmed. Being no writer the safest topic that came to mind was the 10 favourites
Not that I had to think about the subject, one’s always toying with this or that idea. I had a few in mind already. So here are my 10 favourite funny songs.
The most important point (LOL, point reminds me of Kelerk) was not to fall into the trap of – drunken songs, comedian songs, men dressed as women songs, though I have one of each, but will explain why they were chosen in spite of it.

I have selected songs which made me go *hehe* or *snort* or outright *guffaw* at some particular moment in the song. *just smiles*were excluded. Some have funny lyrics or are slapstick , but what is common is they are all madcap songs – some more than the other.
*No just smiles* leads me to the next point or even a ‘Disclaimer’.
Sense of humour varies from person to person so these songs may not raise even a smile on the faces of some listening to them, who might wonder what was wrong with me Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Bollywood, Guest Post, 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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Sun Mere Bandhu Re… !

My five favourite S. D. Burman sung songs

Either I am just too indecisive or I love all his songs, which makes a list of 10 favourite S. D. Burman songs so difficult. That is why I took the easy way out and went off to make a list of 10 favourite songs sung by him. That in turn would have been too easy, because I found only around 13 songs where he has lent his voice and only eleven of them were solos.

The first song sung by him for a Hindi film I found was for Eight Days [1946]. (Anu informed me later that he sang for the film Taj Mahal [1941] under the baton of Madhavlal Damodar. The song was ek prem ki pyaari nishani.) After that it looks like he took a 12 years break and lent his voice to Dev Anand in Kala Pani [1958] for the song dil laga ke kadar gayi pyaare. He sings dhin ta ta between the stanzas. The first Hindi solo of his after Eight Days is most probably sun mere bandhu re for Sujata [1960]. After this nearly all of his songs appear as background songs. Mere saajan hai us paar, although sung by a waysider, the camera stays on this character only at the beginning of the song, giving it a feeling of background song. While compiling this list, I realised the big impact this singer has left on us. He sang around ten solos in Hindi films and still one has at least five songs of him at the tip of the tongue.
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Posted by on February 29, 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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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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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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Happy Birthday Mala Sinha!

My ten favourite Mala Sinha songs


Mala Sinha is an actress, who shaped Hindi film history in the late 50s and 60s with her portrayal of diverse roles, which ranged from a princess to a fisher-woman, from a spy to a blind flower-girl. In my childhood, I saw  her a lot in the Chitrahaar and Chhaaya Geet programmes and also in the Sunday evening film. We children, used to make fun of her quite often, but were also in awe of her all the same. Even now, although she makes me laugh unwittingly at times, I do have a soft corner for her and a big one at that!

Choosing songs from her films was not easy. That is why put in some rules
a) One song pro film
b) Only solo songs
c) Songs to which she lip syncs, i.e. no background songs

Madhu, here is to your Mala Sinha, tujhko rakhe ram, tujhko allah rakhe

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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Sailaab (1956)

The Lost Flood


Everytime when one talks of Guru Dutt, one remembers his classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool, Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam and Chaudvin ka Chand. Then in further conversation one talks of Mr. & Mrs. 55, Aar-Paar and Baazi. One even remembers Jaal and Baaz. But Sailaab is one movie of his, which is mentioned only in few biographies. Nasreen Munni Kabir’s famous documentary on Guru Dutt also fails to mention it and jumps from Mr. & Mrs. 55 to Pyaasa. Abrar Alvi also doesn’t refer to it in Sathya Saran’s book “Ten Years With Guru Dutt – Abrar Alvi’s journey”. It is listed there at the end in Guru Dutt’s filmography, where only the film title, year of release and the main cast is mentioned. As you might have observed, I was also oblivious of its existence, while I did the Guru Dutt Series on my blog. Not totally oblivious, I just thought that it was a shelved project like Gauri.
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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Aanewaalaa phal, jaanewaalaa hai… (The fruits, they come and go… )

Fruits! Delicious, luscious fruits! One would say everybody loves fruits. They are nutritious, taste good and are attractive for the eye. Well, they have to be, after all the plant wants it’s children to travel far and wide. Why then this step-motherly treatment to these fabulous creations of nature in Hindi film songs?

Fruits were and are associated with lust. Offering of the apple by Eve to Adam is often cited as an example of this partnership in sin. The Indian censors were very strict about this and only let small and insignificant fruits be sung about in the film songs. As you must have noticed in my post Fruit cake, even if they allowed some fruits to slip through, they saw to it that they had the ugliest melodies possible or it is was done indirectly like ambua ki dali (a mango branch) or beri ke neeche (below the jujube tree). Not the fruits themselves but the tree was in the focal point. Lots of lyricists still wrote lyrics mentioning the fruits of their taste or which suited the scene and occasion. All these attempts were brutally suppressed and the words changed beyond recognition.

During my stay in India in July, in London in August and the last week’s stay in the Black Forest, I could meet witnesses and activists in exile. They told me stories of suppression and oppression of artists and poets of the Bombay film industry by the censors. They told me stories of how works of art where mutilated on the grounds of decency and morality.

I can only write about ten such songs. After reading this article, you, my dear intelligent readers will surely see through many other songs, which we sing every day and have been racking our brains why a certain word doesn’t quite fit in.
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Songs of Bandini (1963)

This post is on the same lines like Dustedoff’s ‘Some thoughts on the songs of Pyaasa‘. Bandini is a classic film, about which much has been written and said. It is always a treat for the eyes and the soul to watch it. As I was returning from Germany last Sunday, I was humming O jaane wale ho sake to laut ke aanaa and the thought crossed my mind to write up on the songs of the film, since they are so much like companions for me.


The music is by S. D. Burman and the lyrics by Shailendra and Gulzar (Mora gora ang lai le) It is interesting, that of the seven songs only two are picturised on the main character of the film. The two male protagonists don’t get any songs. Of the remaining five, four songs are sung by junior artistes and one is a background song.
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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