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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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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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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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Happy Birthday, Nutan!

My 10 favourite Nutan songs

Yesterday, June 4, was Nutan’s 75th birth anniversary. Nutan was a great actress and she was good-looking too. She had a career of 20 years in leading romantic roles and even in her third decade of her career, she got plump roles, which is quite uncommon in the Hindi film industry. In the 80s eventually she started taking up mother roles for leading heroes. And she did what in the 50s it seems was quite common, she worked even after getting married and childbirth.

Fellow-blogger and a big fan of Nutan, Yves, has put up a monument for Nutan. So if anybody wants to know more about her, just visit this. Bollywood deewana, who also shares his birthday with Nutan (Happy Birthday, Bolly Deewana!) has put up scans of an article with interviews of her relatives.


Nutan’s films were mostly with very good music, which makes choosing 10 songs a bit difficult. That is why the list is of solo songs only. Nutan herself had a beautiful singing voice though she never put it into practice for the films.

So here are my 10 favourite solo songs featuring Nutan (in chronological order).

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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Lists

 

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Chatri na khol…

Hidden umbrella passions in ten Hindi film songs

Umbrellophily, a phenomenon not spoken sung about in the Hindi film industry. The author of these lines like many other fans of Hindi film songs was not aware of this shocking fact either. During his search for a list of his 10 favourite umbrella songs (since rain-song lists have been beaten to death), he stumbled over this taboo topic in the Hindi cinema. While he was searching, he could unearth only three songs, which mention an umbrella  and two-thirds of them were not even melodious. Why this step-motherly treatment towards this ‘protector against rain’?

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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Chandaa re…

My ten favourite moon songs

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Tomorrow is full moon and we all know what it does … ahem…, to the lovers. No wonder that the moon features in so many songs. It also has different roles in it. The moon is at times the messenger, at times it is an intruder, sometimes it is a catalyst or also be addressed as the beloved him or herself. It can be different things, but one thing is for sure, it doesn’t leave the lovers cold and nor it does me.
The moon songs genre belongs to one of my favourites. There are so many songs with chaand in it, that it is really very difficult to choose ten. So I had to use the following criteria:
1. The songs have to blatantly call out to the moon.
2. Not included are comparisons with moon (so, no chaudhvin ka chaand ho),
3. nor indirect allusions to the moon (no o jaanewale chaand…),
4. nor mere confirmation of its presence (no chaand akela jaye sakhi ri),
5. nor be a lullaby (no chandaa o chandaa kisne churayi).

So here are my favourite 10 ‘chaand’ songs (in chronological order) from Hindi cinema.

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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