Here’s wishing Saira Banu a very very Happy Birthday! (23rd August). I am not a big Saira Banu fan. I find Saira Banu very screechy most of the time – but that doesn’t mean I don’t like her at all or don’t watch her movies. I liked her in movies like Shagird, Aayi Milan Ki Bela, Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan etc. And she has some great songs picturised on her….such good songs that I couldn’t resist myself from doing this post (knowing that it’s her Birthday).
So, here are few songs of hers that I like the most, not in any particular order.It’s a random list of first 10 or rather 15 songs that came into my mind.
One more thing before I start with the songs. How could I not mention Vividh Bharati? I was listening to VB in the afternoon and they played all Saira Banu’s songs in one of their programs. It was then I checked and confirmed her birthday.
1. Aap naraaz khuda khair (Pyaar Mohabbat, 1966) : This is one of my all time favourites and I love everything about this song. Rafi’s singing goes without saying. Shankar-Jaikishan’s music is amazing. Dev Anand is great but it’s Saira who steals the show for me. She looks very beautiful, charming and elegant. Her expressions are simply awesome!
2. Main chali main chali (Padosan, 1968) : Rendered by Lata and Asha, this is a very masti-bhara number! It has something very refreshing and carefree about it. Rajendra Krishan’s lyrics and R.D’s music is very very cheerful and pleasing. Bhai batur is another typical Saira Banu song, in her signature style. And I really like it but there’s another signature song coming up next. So this was showcasing a different mood of Saira. I like her chilled out character here – that carefree and eco-friendly attitude.
3. Unse mili nazar (Jhuk Gaya Aasman, 1968) : This is what I call Saira Banu’s signature style. Penned by Hasrat Jaipuri, composed by Shankar-Jaikishan, sung by Lata and picturised on our B’day girl, this is one of my all-time favourite songs. It’s such a catchy song – everything about it is lovely – the tune, lyrics, singing and Saira looks gorgeous. Picturisation is very very cute, romantic and sensuous. Saira’s expressions of self-confession are so innocent and sweet. I find this and Bhai batur pretty similar – picturisation wise.
4. Kanha kanha (Shagird, 1967): This has Saira in a different avtaar altogether. I initially thought of including my favourite number from this musical blockbuster – Woh hai zara khafa khafa, but felt Dil vil pyar vyar and Ruk ja aye hawa are more like typical Saira Banu songs. But this one is different from other songs of hers, spiritual and magical at the same time. I find her extremly beautiful here. Lata is terrific and Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s music is fantastic!
5. Kashmir ki kali hoon main (Junglee, 1961) : My favourite song from this movie is Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par, but I like the Rafi version more than Lata version. Saira’s expresssions are not all that great in it. It’s Rafi’s voice topped with Shammi Kapoor’s expressions and eyes that has made the song what it is. Ja ja ja mere bachpan is sweet but it’s Saira, looking like a Kashmiri doll in Kashmir ki kali hoon main that makes it to this list - her looks, the Kashmiri attire, angry and khadoos look of Shammi Kapoor (with a pout)…everything about this song is so lovely in a typical Hindi Film style. Again, this song reminds me a bit of O mere sona re from Teesri Manzil.
6. O sanam tere ho gaye hum (Aayee Milan Ki Bela, 1964) : Another musical blockbuster. Each and every song in this film is a masterpiece. I had thought of including Tum kamseen ho first and then realized that I hadn’t put a duet (with a male singer) yet and I’m already half-way through. And also, I have already included a paean to her above and there will be few more by the time I reach the end of this post. So here goes one of my favourite Lata-Rafi romantic duets. Lovely tune from SJ camp and highly romantic lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri. I like Rajendra Kumar-Saira Banu pairing, they look good together and they share a good chemistry. And I love everything about this song, including Rajendra Kumar’s dance
7. Unki pehli nazar kya asar kar gayi (April Fool, 1964) : Talking about musical blockbuster, here’s one more. After battling between Tumhe pyaar karte hai, Mera naam rita chirstina and Unki pehli naazar ka, I chose this over the other two – Tumhe pyaar karte hai is a lovely song, no doubt about it but didn’t want to put two romantic duets in a row (if that can be called an excuse). Mera naam rita christina - everytime I see this song, I keep wishing it had Helen in it. It definitely portrays Saira in a different avtaar again but I like this song better. It does sound like a sober and more Bolly-Bharatiya-Naari version of Unse mili nazar. Lata is mindblowing in it and so is Saira. Truly amazing song!
8. Tum akele toh kabhi baag mein (Aao Pyaar Karen, 1964) : I find songs and movies more charming and fascinating when they are in Black & White than in color. May be because all the people whom I like so much looked much better in B&W days. Both Joy Mukherjee and Saira look so gorgeous in this one. This movie again has some lovely songs - be it Tum akele toh kabhi, Dil ki aaine mein, Yeh jhuki jhuki or Tammannao ko khilne do. Tum akele toh is very entertaining. Hats off to the lyricist for penning down this duet – a true battle of words. Usha Khanna’s music as always is lively and peppy. Lata and Rafi are at their best. Saira looks very young and pretty. Though the set looks artificial, I love the song. It’s such a lovely song and with Joy and Saira on screen, I just can’t complain about anything. The full song’s video is not on youtube yet. The link above has only half of the song. However, the audio is available.
9. Hum bhi agar bachche hote (Door Ki Awaaz, 1964) : I almost put Husn se chaand bhi sharmaya hai but as this is a Birthday special post and it’s Saira’s birthday, here’s this all-time favourite birthday song dedicated to her. Not a great movie, but Joy-Saira pairing always promised some great songs.
10. Husn chala kuch aisi chaal (Bluffmaster, 1963) : Not a movie that I remember fondly, except for few songs and this happens to be one of them. What an eye-candy! Now that I have seen Shammi Kapoor in his true Shammiesque style, (unlike the one in Kashmir ki kali hoon main, though he looks cute there as well) I can sleep peacefully. Ok, I shouldn’t be changing focus. Saira looks very pretty and like I keep saying, B&W movies have a different charm. With Shammi on screen, it’s difficult to concentrate on somebody else. So I better end it here.
Here’s wishing the lady a great year and a healthy life ahead!