Archive for the ‘Ten of my Favourite Songs’ Category

Ten of my favourite Shyama songs

June 11, 2011

Shyama was one of the most beautiful actresses to have graced the screen. She was charming, gorgeous, lively, expressive and there was something very refreshing about her.

It was her birthday on 7th June. Though a little late, here’s wishing her a very Happy Birthday!!!

Her real name was Khurshid Akhtar. Shyama, her screen name, was given to her by Guru Dutt.

I haven’t seen many movies of hers, apart from Bhabhi. Chhoti Behen and Sharda (And she has a bit of grey shade to her character in all these movies). But I love most of the songs picturized on her.

Shyama and Geeta Dutt  – This is one deadly combination. Geeta’s voice suited Shyama’s vivacious-ness so well. Not that I am restricting my list only to this jodi but couldn’t help mentioning it.

1. Ae dil mujhe bata de (Bhai Bhai, 1956) : I didn’t want to include this song in this list as it had already featured in my Geeta Dutt special post. But I couldn’t help it, simply couldn’t move ahead without this one. It’ one of my all time favourites! Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kispe aa gaya hai, woh kaun hai jo aakar khwabon pe chha gaya hai…They say you are in love when kuch kuch hota hai… Hmmm, let me rephrase that – they say you are in love when somebody walks into your life, starts being a part of your every dream, when your every thought begins revolving around him/her and changes your life forever without you even realizing it and you dont mind when you do. And it’s also believed that love makes life beautiful. Filmy symptoms of being in love – You don’t feel hungry, you turn into an insomniac, you’ll suddenly start finding friends in stars and the moon, you smile to yourself, you day dream, you sing songs and dance like noone’s watching.  Well, this song has all of these ingredients and a lot more. The joy of feeling that attraction towards somebody…a tug at the heartstrings is so beautifully expressed in this song. Shyama, bright and glowing, her expressive eyes dreamy and dancing along with her – her happiness  so obvious. Geeta sounds equally happy, even in her plight of not knowing who exactly has taken over her heart. They are in such perfect sync with each other.  I thoroughly love listening to this song and watching it. And Ashok Kumar’s amused expressions are to die for!

2. Dekho woh chaand chhup ke (Shart, 1954) : This movie had very nice songs. After debating over Na yeh chaand hoga and this, I finally chose this one. Very very romantic. Shyama and Deepak pledging their love for each other under the moonlight. Though the video is little melo-dramatic, especially the beginning where Deepak is so nervous,  the song is very sweet – Hemant Da’s voice renders the soothing and subtle effect to it. I love the way Lata sings “Hum ho gaye tumhare….” and Shyama’s response to “Aisa naa ho ke humko raste mein chhod jao, Jaa kar kahin kisi ki duniya nayee basao” …her denial, the brief shake of her head, so brief that one would almost miss it and the smile that follows with the last antaraa. …

3. Lehraaye jiya balkhaye jiya (Shaarda,1957) : Well, Shyama was definitely very fond of dancing all around the house. She uses the space (covers the stage) very well while dancing and I find her pretty graceful as a dancer. She in fact flows with the song…in a state of joyful exuberance.  She’s singing with joy when she gets to know that she’s getting married to Raj Kapoor, who she’s always been in love with. I think I am not wrong about the plot. I went into a shock after watching this movie, so dont remember things very clearly. It’s Asha singing for her here to Chitalkar’s composition.  Shyama also won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in this movie.

4. Yeh  lo mai haari piya (Aar Paar, 1954) : Though Shyama is confined to a car here and can’t dance,  her priceless expressions and her eyes do such complete justice to the picturization of this timeless classic and Geeta Dutt’s flawless rendition. Guru Dutt is great playing hard to get…but for how long can he resist the magic?  It was so difficult to choose just one song from this movie…it’s a true musical treasure house.  I almost chose Jaa jaa jaa bewafaa, though sad it’s such a beautiful song. But finally I settled for this one. It’s very entertaining and one of it’s kind. All of them – OP Nayyar, Geeta Dutt and Shyama are at their stunning best!

5.  Do naina tumhare pyaare pyaare (Shrimati ji, 1952) : Here we have dashing Nasir Khan and young Shyama dancing to a peppy and a romantic duet. I recently came across this song and fell in love with it. Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar sound so good together in this. And Jimmy’s composition is awesome  – it’s a simple, sweet and a catchy song. Geeta Dutt’s singing suits Shyama’s chulbulapan so perfectly.

6.  Achha ji maaf kardo (Musafir Khana, 1955) : OP Nayyar’s composition again, rendered by Rafi saab and Geeta Dutt for Karan Diwan and Shyama. Shyama is dancing again in the garden, doing her trademark steps. I especially like the way she actually counts on her fingers to  “Dil par jo teer chalaye unka hisaab kardo” at 1:20 and the way she pats his arms to the same line at 2:56. The last antara would have been so much fun to watch if Karan had shown little more attitude. Everytime I see this song, how I keep wishing it had Shammi Kapoor or Dev Anand or Guru Dutt in it. There’s one more track in the movie Dil de daala which I am very fond of.

6. Mujhe mil gaya bahana teri deed ka (Barsaat Ki Raat, 1960) : Simple and a delightful song. Shyama dancing yet again singing her gratitude to the moon for bringing her so much happiness. She looks so radiant, like a chaand-ka-tukda herself. I had seen this movie very long ago, during the good old Doordarshan days. I don’t remember much of the story, apart from Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolenge and a part of Madhubala-Bharat Bhushan love story. I need to watch this movie again, at least for its songs and for Shyama and Madhubala. Phew, there are so many movies to watch and so many to re-watch!

7.  Saiyan pyaara hai apna milan (Do Behne, 1959) : A very beautiful romantic song picturized on Shyama and Rajendra Kumar. I love the sets, it’s such a beautiful room. And Rajendra Kumar and Shyama make a very wonderful couple. The song, it’s picturization is so serene. And it somehow reminds me of Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko and Ek tera saath hum ko do jahan se pyaara hai.

8. Tumse hi meri zindagi (Apna Ghar, 1960) : Pretty Shyama and handsome Premnath pledging their love for each other. Geeta Dutt and Mukesh sing for them. The prelude is pretty fast and peppy but the song slows down once the mukhda begins. I just realized that all the songs so far have been extremely romantic. It wasn’t intentional but I’m a sucker for romantic songs, so can’t help it. Let me try, at least, try to end the post with two not-so-romantic songs 😉

9.  Tabiyat thik thi aur dil bhi bekraar na tha (Mirza Sahibaan, 1957) : Tabiyat thik thi aur dil bhi bekraar na tha, yeh tab ki baat hai jab kisi se pyaar na tha. Such a melodious song, though a little sad. Sardul Kwatra’s composition is awesome and Lata’s rendition flawless, as usual. For a change Shyama is not dancing with joy. This song is a true example of being helplessly in love. If only they had shown a glimpse of Shammi darling…sigh!!!!

10. Tumhe husn deke (Jabse Tumhe Dekha Hai,1964) :  I hadn’t set any rules for choosing the songs for this post, I just went with the flow –  flow of listing down which ever song came to my mind but I was still focussing on solos and duets.  And now, since I couldnt get a glimpse of Shammi Kapoor in the previous song, I had to include this one. Few days ago I had mentioned in dustedoff’s post that anything with Shammi Kapoor would qualify for my every post. So, here it goes! A terrific qawali picturized on Shyama, Kumkum, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Om Prakash, Bhagwan and many more.  – one of the most flamboyant qawalis I have ever come across. Fabulous song, glamorous starcast, great dance and all wonderful people…aur kya chahiye, hai na? 🙂

Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko and Oh Chaand jahan are two of my favourite songs but they are not a part of this list as I had already included them in my earlier posts.

There’s one more song that I recently heard on radio and have been dying to get my hands on it’s video. Dil unko utha ke de diya from Baap Bete. I am head over heels in love with this song, but as the video is not available, I decided to put it in the extras. The first 2 lines of the song is sung by Madan Mohan himself and then Lata follows. I hope somebody uploads its video soon on youtube. Log kehte hai dhoondne pe toh bhagwaan bhi mil jaate hai aur hum hai ke yahan ek video ke liye taras rahe hai.

And here’s one more not-romantic performance that I couldn’t list above.

Here’s wishing her good health and lots of happiness. To one of the most stunning and vivacious actresses!

Ten of my Favourite Mukesh Songs

August 29, 2010

When dustedoff had done a post on Mukesh on his Birth Anniversary, this is what I had said :

“I don’t know how exactly to put my feelings for Mukesh in words….it’s kind of confusing. Not that I dislike him…he has a wonderful voice and he has sung some of my favourite songs. But I’ve never been a great fan of his either.
1. Majority, at least the most popular songs of his, are usually so sad and full of despair that I try avoiding them.
2. My dad is a big big fan of Mukesh….and he has some of the saddest songs ever in his collection
3. A cousin of mine had once told me that when someone gets hooked on to old songs, it usually begins with Kishore, then gets into Rafi mode and eventually ends up liking Mukesh better. And when I initially started listening to Hindi songs, it was Kishore Kumar’s. Now I’m in Rafi phase but I never want to get over Rafi. 🙂 Since half of his prediction came true, I guess I am scared of getting into the final phase.

Frankly speaking, I never gave it much thought, but looking back, I have been subconsciously avoiding Mukesh’s songs. Though I would like to believe that it’s because most of his songs are sad, I’m yet to figure out the real reason behind it. I agree that just because I like Rafi so much doesn’t mean I shouldn’t like any other singers. And that’s never been the case, in fact. I am extremely fond of Talat, Hemat, Manna Dey etc. Anyways, more thoughts on that later. When I discovered it was Mukesh’s Birth Anniversary today, and started thinking of his songs, I realized that I love quite a lot of them. I really wanted to do a post but was very very busy. I was kind of feeling guilty about it and was hoping somebody else would so that I could at least list down my favourite songs here in the comment section. But now I have changed my mind…like you quoted And for all those years I failed to recognise your genius : I am also going to dedicate a post to Mukesh Chand Mathur.”

It’s over a month since I said that and I have been listening to a lot of Mukesh’s songs since then. And before long I found out that  there are hundreds of his songs that I really really adore. Like dustedoff rightly said,  Mukesh is one of those voices that grows on you –  it has definitely grown on me. I have learnt to appreciate his singing better now.

I can completely relate to what Harvey had said :  “I started off as a Kishore fan, went through Rafi phase, came back to KK and then again to Rafi and now I luv both! Have turned bigamist 😉 and am regularly unfaithful to them with Talat, Hemant, Manna and Mukesh and not necessarily in this order!” And this is a blisfful state!

I just realized I am a polygamist and it’s indeed a blissful state! 😀 😀

After having consciously explored his songs regularly for over a month, it’s very tough to list just 10 songs of his. So, as usual I have put some filter criteria to make my job easier. As Mukesh was the voice of Raj Kapoor and Manoj Kumar, I am intentionally ruling out their songs. Or else I will end up listing only 10 RK songs or 10 MK songs.

With my newly found fondness for him, there’ll be many more posts dedicated to Mukesh in the months to come. Will cover some of his rare gems in my later posts. For this one, my focus is on songs he sang for the actors who were generally associated with other singers.

So, on his Death Anniversary (27th Aug), in fond memories of Mukesh, here are my ten favourite songs of his –

1. Kahin door jab din dhal jaye (Anand, 1971) : This is one of my all time favourite songs from my all time favourite movie. Out of the few songs that Mukesh has sung for Rajesh Khanna – Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho (Kati Patang), Maine tere liye hai saat rang ke (Anand), Haan toh main kya keh raha tha (Raja Rani), Kahin door jab din dhal jaye etc, this one tops my list. When he sings tabhi machal ke pyaar se chalke, chhue koi mujhe par nazar na aaye – I can actually feel the song caressing me. The deep longing in mere khayalon ke aangan mein koi sapno ke deep jalaye and the sense of loss in  kho gaye kaise mere sapne sunhere…yeh mere sapne yehi toh hai apne…is simply mindblowing. Touching lyrics (Yogesh), beautiful picturisation, soothing music (Salil) and sensitive and poignant rendition makes this song a masterpiece. Only Mukesh could build this atmosphere of a deep longing. I never tire of listening to this song.

2. Phool tumhe bheja hai khat mein (Saraswati Chandra, 1968) : It was the songs that tempted me into watching this movie. Had it not been for Nutan and the songs, I would never have seen it. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I would rather forget about it…it was a torture. But I still love the songs – this, Chandan sa badan and Main toh bhool chali. Another iconic chitthi song picturised on Nutan and Manish…it’s very sweet and overflowing with love. Penned by Indeevar, composed by Kalyanji Anandji and rendered by Mukesh and Lata, it’s beautiful in every sense,  one of my favourite romantic duets. Sweet lyrics, music with just the right ambience and listening to it one can feel the nervousness, anticipation and love in it. This shows the level of involvement that everybody has put in creating this gem.

 3. Yaaron surat hamari pe mat jao (Ujala, 1959) : A delightful Mukesh-Rafi duet brimming with bromance – both in singing and in picturisation. It’s the carefree attitude with which these two dashing dudes – Raj Kumar and Shammi Kapoor run around and jump and dance and sing to this song that it scores over Duniyawalon se door for me from the same movie. Shailendra’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s tunes are simple and sweet. It’s an absolute delight listening to and watching this song!

4. Kisi nargise nazar ko (Main Nashe Mein Hoon, 1958) : The fun quotient in this song is simply superb. Maruti dancing to Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s music, this lovely song somehow reminds me of Lakhon hai nighahon mein. I first heard this song on Vividh Bharati. And was pleasantly surprised to hear Mukesh singing a fun song!

5. Chal ri sajni ab kya soche (Bombai Ka Babu, 1960) : Picturised on Dev Anand, Suchitra Sen, Nasir Hussain and Achala Sachdev, it’s one of the most emotional songs ever. Mukesh has never been more suited to a song…there’s so much emotion in his voice – it looks like the song was tailor made for him. Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics, SD Burman’s composition, Mukesh’s rendition and the vidai scene…everything is just perfect!

6. O jaane wale  ho sake toh laut ke aana (Bandini, 1963) : Very rarely did SD Burman use Mukesh. But when he did, the affect was truly magical and soul-stirring. Chal ri sajni and O Jaane wale are two such live examples. I love Mukesh’s voice here. Shailendra’s lyrics is touching and SD Burman’s music is classic. This song has something extremely melancholy and a sense of deep longing about it – something which only Mukesh could create. It takes me into a trance. Picturisation is equally beautiful.

7. Aaya hai mujhe phir yaad woh zaalim (Devar, 1966) : Another gem of a song picturised on my favourite jodi – dashing Dharmendra and enticing Sharmila. His rawness and her sophistication – simply an amazing combination. And Mukesh’s pathos leaden voice adds to the magic. When I first saw this film, it was Kaajal wale nain that stole my heart away but the next time I saw it, it was this song that captivated me. Fabulous composition from Roshan. Anand Bakshi’s childhood beckoning lyrics , Mukesh’s rendition, Dharmendra and Sharmila’s story in the movie everything put-in together, really takes me back to those carefree childhood days.  

8. Sambhal ke karna jo bhi karna (Ek Phool Char Kaante, 1960) : Each song in this movie is a masterpiece. And I had a real tough time choosing one. But the Shammi-Rafi-sque feel of this song just wins over the rest for me. A beautiful flirtatious melody picturised on Sunil Dutt and Waheeda Rehman. You can feel both Mukesh and Sunil enjoying the song to the fullest singing and portraying it.

9. Tu kahe agar (Andaaz, 1949) : Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen, Dil tadap tadap ke and Yeh mera deewanapan hai are more popular Mukesh songs picturised on Dilip Kumar. And I do love all these songs. I haven’t seen Yahudi yet, and the Madhumati songs are too popular. So my vote goes for Tu kahe agar.  Mukesh’s voice brimming with love and Dilip Kumar’s expression singing it onscreen as Nargis leans over his piano, it’s just amazing! Also, it’s one of those few compositions of Naushad that has Mukesh as the playback singer. Majrooh’s lyrics is very sweet and romantic.

10. Dil jalta hai toh jalne de (Pehli Nazar, 1945) : This is a historic song…historic as in, it brought Mukesh to limelight. It was his first hit song. It’s a known fact that it was Motilal who first noticed Mukesh and brought him to Bombay. He got his break as a playback singer in 1945 with the film Pehli NazarDil jalta hai toh jalne de was composed by Anil Biswas and lyrics penned by Aah Sitapuri. It was incidentally picturised on Motilal himself. He was such a big fan of K. L. Saigal that in his early years of playback singing he used to imitate his idol. He does sound so much like Saigal here. In fact, it is said that when K. L. Saigal first heard this song, he said “That’s strange, I don’t recall singing that song”.

It’s ten songs already. And I had so many other songs in my mind 😦

Dekho mausam kya bahar hai, khayalon mein kisike,Tumse hi meri zindagi, waqt karta jo wafa aap hamare hotey, Mein to har mod par thujko doontha chala, Gardish mein ho taare, Yeh sehar bada albela, Mile na phool, Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein, Jinhe hum bhoolna chahe, Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar, Tere hothon ke do phool pyaare pyaare, Oh re taal mile, Yeh kaun chitrakar hai, Hum toh tere aashiq hai, Aye dil na mujhse chhupa, Mujhe raat din yeh khayal hai, Jaaoon kahan bata aye dil, Tum ruthi raho main manata rahun etc….

For someone whom I have subconsciously ignored all these years, I spents hours devoted to him on the eve of my birthday. And now that I have finally done a post on him, I am feeling really very happy! 🙂

May your soul rest in peace Mukesh Chand Mathur! Though quite late in life, I have finally realized how much I love your voice.

Ten of my Favourite Saira Banu Songs

August 23, 2010

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!

Ten of my Favourite Manoj Kumar songs

July 24, 2010

As this veteran actor celebrates his 73rd birthday today, here’s wishing him a very very Happy birthday!

He started his career as a romantic hero. Manoj Kumar’s image as the patriotic hero started with the 1965 film Shaheed, based on the life of Bhagat Singh. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri asked him to create a film based on the popular slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kissan. The result was Kumar’s magnum opus and his directorial debut, Upkaar (1967). Upkaar was a hit and won Kumar his first Filmfare Best Director Award.  He then went on to direct and act in lots of other movies which earned him the name of  Mr. Bharat.

Harikishan Giri Goswami, better known as Manoj Kumar, was a big admirer of  Dilip Kumar,  so much that he decided to name himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip’s character in Shabnam (1949).

He was blessed with good looks and an ability to act and direct well. I have been very fond of him but have always liked him more in his pre-patriotic era. That doesn’t mean I have anything against his patriotic movies. They were all very good but I’m making it a point not to include many songs from those movies, and even if I do, I will leave out the patriotic ones for now. Will do a separate post on patriotism some other time, may be around Independence day. For now, I’m concentrating only on romantic songs of his that I like the most with one single exception – the first song below.

1. Mera rang de basanti chola (Shaheed, 1965) :  When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice –  this song just illustrates the saying. Manoj Kumar as Bhagat Singh has etched such an indelible impression in my memory that I just can’t find anybody else as good as him in the role. May be it’s because it’s one of the first movies of Manoj Kumar that I saw and the very first one of Bhagat Singh, during the good old Doordarshan days when they used to telecast patriotic movies on Independance Day and Republic Day. Everything about this song gives me goose flesh…esp the part where Manoj Kumar says : Hum gale milna chahate hai, ab ke bichde na jaane kab mile. And the way they embrace each other is so touching. Having said earlier that I like him better in romantic roles, I would have loved to list down Jogi hum toh lut gaye tere pyaar mein which I totally love, but I didn’t for 2 reasons – 1. I couldn’t help myself from not including Mera rang de basanti, 2. It doesn’t have enough of Manoj Kumar to classify it as his song. Each song of this movie, be it Sarfaroshi ki tamanna, Aye watan, Pagdi sambhal is absolutely brilliant and very emotional as well.

2. Gore gore chand se mukh par (Anita, 1967) : How could I not like Manoj Kumar sitting on a branch of a tree singing this paean to one of my favourite actresses, Sadhana. Though I don’t like her make-up much in this particular song, I love the room she is in! A beautiful song. Mukesh has sung some very nice and very romantic songs for Manoj Kumar. I could actually have done a combined post for Mukesh and Manoj Kumar but for all these years I have ignored him and failed to recognise his genius, Mukesh deserves a separate post just to himself, which is coming up soon.

3. Chodkar tere pyaar ka daaman (Woh Kaun Thi, 964) : This movie had some amazing songs, majority of  them rendered by Lata. But when we come to Manoj Kumar, where even he gets to lip-synch some of the song, this song tops my list. He was a very good-looking man. And this song is such a delicious treat to the eyes – Manoj Kumar and Helen both looking their best!  Manoj Kumar in black-n-white movies, I just can’t get enough of him. Lag ja gale is and will always remain my favourite from this movie and as I already had it in one of my recent posts, I am skipping it for the moment. And Naina barse is something I am saving up for some other occasion.

4. Door reh kar na karo baatein (Amanat, 1971) : One of the main reasons behind me doing this post. Ok…that’s not entirely true, I didn’t actually need an excuse to do this post. The fact that I actually like Manoj Kumar was more than enough  in itself and to add to it  that he featured in some of my favourite songs. This is a very passionate song,  one’s of my all-time favourites – simple lyrics, soft music, flawless voice and picturised on two very good looking people whom I am very fond of.

5. Chaand si mehbooba hogi (Himalaya Ki Godh Mein, 1965) : I will never forget Mala Sinha’s name in this movie – Phulwa! Thanks to the flower Manoj makes and writes “wa” beside it on the stone in the beginning of this song. It’s a lovely song – beautifully written, rendered and very well composed.  I am not very fond of the movie itself as such, inspite of Mala Sinha and Manoj Kumar but I love this song – probably the best thing in the movie. Manoj Kumar finds his dream girl in Mala Sinha, the innocent (though loud) village belle. And he  looked very cute in it, not just in this song but in the entire movie…a doctor educated abroad who lands up in a village and is in complete awe of the rural superstitions initially but eventually decides to stay back there and help healing the villagers instead of going back to in the city and setting up a clinic.

6. Main na bhoolunga (Roti Kapada aur Makaan, 1974) – An unforgettable melody…..
Samay ki dhara mein umar beh jaani hai
jo ghadi jee lenge, wahi reh jaani hai
main ban jaau saans aakhri tu jeewan ban jaaye
Jeewan se saanso ka rishta main na bhoolungi….

Maang se sindoor ka rishta…Mandir se pooja ka rishta….
Mesmerising lyrics…very touching. Beautifully and emotionally sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar and amazingly portrayed by Zeenat and Manoj and Shashi. And it fits so well into the story, it more or less sums up a part of the story. This movie won Manoj Kumar his second Filmfare Best Director Award.

7. Bol mere taqdeer mein (Hariyali Aur Raasta, 1962) : I watched this film when I was 15 and I don’t know what I liked so much about it…I somehow could never forget this story of Shankar, Shobhna and Rita. Waise toh all the songs are good – Yeh hariyali aur yeh raasta, Teri yaad dil se bhulane chala hoon, Ibteda ishq mein hum, Lakh taare aasman mein but Bol meri taqdeer mein kya hai has always remained my favourite. One of the most romantic songs ever…and that too with quite a philosophical note to it – jeevan ke do pehlo hai hariyali aur raasta. After Shaheed, this was the second movie of his that I saw, followed by Dus Numberi. No wonder I ended up liking him so much!

8. Paththar ke sanam (Paththar Ke Sanam, 1967) : A hunk with two lovely ladies and a couple of great songs….I had to see this film. Though I didn’t like the film much, I totally love the songs – Mehboob mere, Tauba yeh matwali chaal, Ki nahin hai, Bata doon kya laana or the title track – all of them are amazing! I don’t think Rafi has sung many songs for Manoj Kumar but the few that he has are superb! Be it this or Door rehkar na karo baat.

9. Ke duniya ek numbari to main dus numbari (Dus Numbari, 1976) : It’s such an entertaining film. Though it’s been a quite some time since I saw this film, I remember liking it when I saw it. This used to be Sony entertainment Televisions favourite movie a decade ago, they used to air it almost every fortnight.  And for once I saw Manoj Kumar so stylish (love his shades and his outfits in it) and it was so refreshing to see him do a role like this for a change.

10. Zindagi ki na toote ladi (Kranti, 1981) : I grew up listening to this song and watching it almost every week on Rangoli and Chitrahaar. This song itself was intriguing enough and the curiosity of seeing both Diliip kumar and Manoj Kumar together was too much to resist. So when this movie was finally aired on Doordarshan I just couldn’t afford to miss it. Though sad at times, from what I remember it was an entertaining package – action, drama, emoshun, good music, suspense, brothers separated in childhood, princess being kidnapped and what not. Un aankhon ka hansna bhi kya jin aakhon mein paani na ho, woh jawani jawani nahin jiski koi kahani na ho….lakh gehra ho saagar toh kya pyaar se kuch bhi gehra nahin, dil ki deewane har mauj par ho aasmano pehra nahin….amazing lyrics. Apart from Raj Kapoor Mukesh sang quite a lot of songs for Manoj Kumar. It’s interesting to see his son, Nitin Mukesh singing for Manoj Kumar here with Lata Mangeshkar.

There are so many other songs of his that I like from Upkaar, Do Badan, Shor, Aadmi, Neel Kamal, Purab Aur Paschim, Saawan Ki Ghata, Phoolon Ki Sej, Banarasi Thug etc….hopefully I’ll get to include all these songs in some list or the other over a period of time.

Thinking of his movies, I just can’t get Clerk out of my mind – few scenes in particular…For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, check this out –

One of the most ridiculous movies and one of those few movies which I couldn’t sit through the whole way. But there were quite a few scenes like this in it. Such scenes are entertaining and good to laugh at, esp when you can just see them instead of having to put up with the entire film! 😉

Here’s wishing Manoj Kumar health and long life on this day and always!!!

Ten of my Favourite Geeta Dutt Songs

July 20, 2010

Geeta Dutt was launched in a chorus song in Bhakta Prahlad (1946), where she sang only two lines. But her rendering of those two lines stood out. She rose to fame with her next major assignment – as a Playback singer for Do Bhai. Initially she was typecast into singing bhajans and sad songs, but it was S.D Burman who recognized the magic in her voice and brought out a new facet of Geeta’s singing in Baazi. It’s believed that no female singer has better articulated the spirit of Burmanda’s music in its early years than Geeta.

Apart from S.D Burman, she worked a great deal with O.P Nayyar who developed the side of Geeta which had emerged with Baazi. Under his baton she turned into a really hep singer who could belt out any number – soft, sultry, happy, snappy, romantic, teasing or tragic.

Quoting him on Geeta: ” ……….Who will deny there is a unique quality to her singing. Give her a blatantly westernized tune this momentand a complex classical composition the next, and she will do equal justice to both with an ease of expression which a singer can only be born with. She is particularly good for songs accompanying boisterous jamborees. With that tantalizing lilt and fascinating curves she puts into her singing,she is the ideal choice if it is seductive allure you want in a song……..Geeta Dutt is an asset to any music director.”

Remembering Geeta Dutt fondly today, 20th Jul, on her Death Anniversary,  here’s a tribute to this great singer – some of her songs that I like the most.

1. Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kispe aa gaya hai (Bhai Bhai, 1956) : I must say that this is a Madan Mohan hangover 😉 It’s such a playful number filled with so much of innocence. It conveys the feeling of a first teenage crush, so unsure and so happy at the same time. Am not a teenager any more but given a situation like this, I would love to dance to this tune myself  – though very filmy, I am not as creative as the people in fims to sing a song of my own (so I would adjust with this) . Madan Mohan’s melodious composition, Rajendra Krishan’s lyrics, Geeta’s magical voice and the glow in Shyama’s face and the twinkle in her eyes – it’s such a mesmerizing blend!

2. Tadbeer se bigdi hui  (Baazi, 1951) : It’s S.D Burman’s jazzy musical scores in Baazi that demonstrated a new facet of Geeta’s singing. She had this ability to breathe life and emotion into any song she was singing. Take this one for example – at times I wonder if this really had two Geetas in this song – one onscreen and the other one behind the screen singing for her. Both are so vibrant and lively. Every emotion that Geeta Bali displays on screen can be felt in the voice. Sahir’s lyrics are quite meaningful and inspirational which inspite of the jazzy music stands out.

3. Arey tauba yeh teri ada (12 O’Clock, 1958) : Be it this or Tum jo hue mere humsafar, Aji ho suno toh, Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara….each song is a gem. Early in the morning, I had heard Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara in Bhoole Bisre Geet on Vividh Bharati, and I was humming it the whole day. I was so definite that I would include it in the list here but then I thought of Arey tauba yeh teri ada and I changed my mind. There’s quite a lot of similarity between Ae dil mujhe bata de and Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara – they both have the same feel to it where as Arey tauba is different in every way and it has HELEN in it!  Aji ho suno toh is quite different too, it has an unique lilt to it, quite different from other songs sung in restaurants and clubs but Arey tauba wins for me. This song does look and sound like a precursor to Mera naam chin chin chu  – the ending music of this song was the starting music of  Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu.

4. Babuji dheere chalna (Aar Paar, 1955) : This is Geeta Dutt’s trademark song. The first thing that strikes one when you hear Geeta Dutt sing is that she never sang. She just glided through the tune. This song just goes on to prove this! Be it Geeta’s rendition or Shakeela’s moves, they just flow with the music. Amazing! This song demonstrates the sexiness in Geeta’s voice and her easy adaptation to western tunes. Though it’s inspired by Perhaps perhaps perhaps, I find Babuji breathtakingly sensuous. Geeta Dutt’s breathy and sultry singing, the brilliant music and picturisation: all of it make it a superb example of what an inspiration should be!

5. Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji (Mr. and Mrs. 55, 1955) : This song is such a fresh breath of air. An all time favourite of mine. Beautiful and mischievious at the same time with the  right amount of teasing flirtatiousness. Rafi and Geeta Dutt’s rendition for Johnny and Yasmin is so perfect. I love everything about this song. Saw the video after quite a long time today and this reminds me that I had wanted a dress like Yasmin’s when I had first seen this video. By the way, long ago I had heard on tv/radio that Johnny Walker married the girl in this song. But Yasmin and Noor are two different people, right? He was married to Noor (Shakeela’s sister).

6. Aaj saajan mohe ang laga lo (Pyaasa, 1957) : An amazing movie with lovely songs. We have discussed quite a lot about the movie and the song when harvey reviewed the film followed by the musings on the film. As he rightly puts – “The song itself evokes memories of “Aan milo, aan milo shyam saanware” from Devdas. Common to both songs is the origin in the Bhakti. In Bengal and Orissa it is heavily influenced by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The ‘aim’ is to be in love with God so much that one dissolves in the divine. This is the emotion in the song as well. When the song begins placidly Waheeda is shown downstairs. She listens to the song with suspicion and wariness. As the song moves ahead she is shown climbing the stairs symbolising her slow transition and moving to higher levels. She is so overcome with love for Guru Dutt that tears well up in her eyes. And as the mridangs beats rise to a crescendo the emotions swell and she is about to hug him. She raises her arm up and then she moves back and runs to her room. And in this moment there is such clarity as if everything dissolves in the present.”  – truly fantastic and mindblowing! Be it Jaane kya tune kahi or hum aap ki aankhon mein, each song is a beauty (am only talking about the songs that have Geeta’s rendition) but Aaj saajan mohe is not just beautiful, it’s divine.

7. Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam ( Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959) : This song is a result of Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics, Burmanda’s music, V. K Murthy’s cinematography, Guru Dutt’s direction, Geeta Dutt’s voice and Waheeda’s onscreen presence.  It’s such a  haunting melody – a heart-touching rendition, which has left an indelible impression in my memory. I first heard it on radio and it was only after few years that I actually saw the picturisation. And it took my breath away! I usually prefer playful and romantic numbers but this is one of those few sad songs that I simply adore. Geeta Dutt’s voice lingers in my heart long after the song is played. She makes every word throb with meaning – what an intensity of expression!

8. Piya aiso jiya mein (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962) : A gem of a song! It just can’t get any better than this. Marvelous singing and incredible performance. When Geeta sings the lines more angan me jub purvaiyya chale, the windows in your brain will open to admit the air full of love. This is a very beautiful & happy song, with traces of a subtle pain, floating deep within the heart….Both Geeta and Meena have no match – they are stupendofantabulouslyfantastic!!! While each of the performances are spot on, if there is one person who is the heart and soul of the film, it is Meena Kumari. Her portrayal of Chhoti Bahu is perhaps the greatest performance ever seen on the Indian Screen. The sequence where Chhoti Bahu dresses for her husband singing Piya Aiso Jiya Main is a poignant exploration of a woman’s expectations.

9. Mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan (Anubhav, 1971) : This is probably the last recorded song of Geeta Dutt.  It’s such a great song,  something mystically romantic about it.  Exotically crafted – be it Gulzar’s lyrics, Kanu Roy’s haunting music, Geeta Dutt’s seductive voice,  Tanuja’s performance or the cinematography (esp the raindrops sliding through the window and the plants outside dancing to the breeze and trying to hold the raindrops on their leaves – amazing piece of work!), it’s simply mindblowing – An unmatched classic! It has that lingering effect too….tugs at my heart strings every time I listen to it and it stays with me long after I have heard it. Honth jhuke jab honthon par, saans uljhi ho saanson mein (note the way she breaks the flow and takes a breath while singing saans uljhi ho) and that laughter while singing Meri jaan at the end!

10.  Nanhi kali sone chali hawa dheere aana (Sujata, 1959) : A lovely lullaby – what a soothing rendition! This song speaks a volume about the movie – a mother putting her baby to sleep and  an adopted girl child sleeping in another room. A very well written and executed tale, not to forget absolutely fabulous music by SD Burman. It’s raining outside and there’s a cool breeze coming in from the window…how I wish my mom was here too, I would have asked her to sing this for me. I’m going to play this song to put myself to sleep tonight.

Geeta Dutt, with no formal training in singing of the type of songs that were in vogue at that time, introduced her own brand of appealingly fresh and free flowing style of singing. Her singing was based on instincts and spontaneity, guts and feelings, and love and pensiveness that resulted in breathing life and emotion into each song she sang.

To quote Raju Bharathan, Music Critic…

“Geeta Dutt was thandi hawa and kaali ghata rolled into one. The moment she came, you got the refreshing feeling of aa hi gayi jhoom ke. There was a rare swing in her voice. She hit you like a thunderclap……….This made Geeta Dutt the one singer that Lata Mangeshkar really feared. In training and technique Lata was way ahead but neither training nor technique was of much use when pitted against Geeta in the recording room……..

Truly love her. She will always remain alive through her songs!

May her soul rest in peace!

Ten of my Favourite Madan Mohan Songs

July 14, 2010

Madan’s music was characterized by his immense ability to meld elements of Indian and Western classical music into a new style of Hindi filmi song. He had a keen and sensitive ear for the nuances of Indian classical tunes, and combined them with elements of Western music such as harmonies to produce a style of music that could be appreciated by both classical music aficionados and the common person alike.

As this day, 14th July 2010,  marks 35th Death Anniversary of this Music Director, here are some songs of his that I adore the most. Majority of Madan Mohan’s songs were sung by Lata mangeshkar and all these songs have a certain magic and sweetness to them that few music directors, if any, have been able to recreate. And though I am more of an Asha fan (not that I don’t like Lata, it’s just that I like Asha more), I love all the songs of Madan-Lata duo. 

1. Hoke majhboor mujhe usne bhulaya hoga (Haqeeqat, 1964) : It’s such a beautiful composition – touching lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, haunting music, amazing rendition and  picturization that would bring tears into your eyes. A true masterpiece!  This song also happens to be the only song in which four top-rated male playback singers – Rafi, Talat, Manna Dey, and Bhupendra have put their voices together.  Bhupendra appeared on the screen in this song as well for the first time. This song is believed to be the inspiration behind another Bollywood hit, Sandese aate hai from the film Border. Each song of this movie is a beauty in itself – Kar chale hum fida, Masti mein chhedke tarana, Zara si aahat hoti hai but Hoke majhboor remains the most special one.

2. Lag jaa gale ke phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho (Woh Kaun Thi, 1964) : Madan Mohan’s most successful venture was Raj Khosla’s Desi version of Woman in White, titled Woh Kaun Thi?. This film has three Lata solos Naina barse rim jhim rim jhim, Lag ja gale and Jo humne daastaan apni sunayi and a duet, all of which have transcended time and are still heard and applauded with the same enthusiasm today. This is such a divine song – awesome lyrics, mesmerizing music and beautiful voice. Truly amazing! And then Sadhna and Manoj Kumar. I have always  loved Sadhna but I feel  she looks her best here – stunning and enticing. Sadhna, to me, is the epitome of beauty, charm and grace. She is my all-time favorite actress. And Manoj Kumar in the movies prior to the patriotic era has a different appeal altogether…a very handsome man!

3. Main toh tum sang nain milake (Man Mauji, 1962) : This is one of my dad’s favourite songs. When I watched this movie I had no clue as to what songs it had. I had heard the songs but never knew the name of the movie. So I was delighted to hear Zaroorat hai zaroorat hai, Chanda ja re ja and Main toh tum song. I don’t remember the story but I had liked it back then just because of the songs and Sadhna! Personally I like Chanda ja re jaa (it’s such a beautifully executed song) much better but this one’s for dad. 

4. Maine rang li aaj chunariya (Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, 1967) : Being an ardent Rafi fan, I  love Ek haseen shaam ko the best from this movie but I had already included that in Dharmendra special post. So here’s another lovely number from the same movie, this time in Lata’s voice. Nutan’s another favourite actresses of mine. I had seen this movie (not the full movie though) long ago and I had read Thomas Hardy’s Tess also almost over a decade ago, so don’t remember much of both but ever since I read yves’s take on it and the parallels drawn between the movie and the book, I’m dying to re-read the book and re-watch the movie. I actually don’t remember seeing this song while watching the movie. But as always I later on heard it on Vividh Bharati and liked it. It’s a very cutely composed song. Though it goes little beyond my liking lyrically with charano mein piya tere swarg basaye teri daasi part, I love this song for it’s music and vocal delivery and then the rest of the lyrics.

5. Betaab dil ki tamanna (Hanste Zakhm, 1973) : This is another movie with nice songs. Be it Aaj socha toh aansu bhar aaye, Beetab dil ki, Tum jo mil gaye ho, Yeh mana meri jaan – all are very different from one another but they share one thing in common that they all are very beautifully written, composed and sung. Inspite of the rather funny green outfits that both Priya Ranvansh and Navin Nischal are wearig and Priya’s  gold jewellery that doesn’t quite go along with her costume, I like this song a lot. There’s something very mystic and haunting about it. Hanste hanste rode hum itna bhi toh hansao na – is my favourite line.

6. Nainon mein badra chhaye (Mera Saya, 1966) : Jhumka gira re, Tu jahan jahan chalega, Nainon mein badra chhaye, Aap ke pehloo mein aa kar …. each song is a timeless classic, each with a charm of its own. This song is eeirie yet soothing and calm but yet can give you goose bumps. What a beautiful beginning and the magic just continues throughout!!! And it’s so beautifully shot. This film was unique because of Madan Mohan’s  music, Lata’s divine voice and Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s phenomenal lyrics. Madan’s favourite lyricists were Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Kaifi Azmi, and Rajinder Krishan, but Sahir Ludhianvi and Majrooh Sultanpuri also collaborated with him on a few movies. The Madan-Raja pairing in particular produced the classic Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha from the movie Anpadh. Among the many admirers of the song was the legendary Naushad who reportedly said, “Let me have this ghazal and take all my compositions in return” upon hearing it.

7. Milo na tum toh (Heer Ranjha, 1970) : The film is unique in the fact that the entire film and its dialogue is in verse, Kaifi Azmi, the man behind the verse dialogue. But somehow I didn’t like the movie much. May be it’s because I had heard so much about it that I had set my expectations too high. I find other movies of Chetan Anand more remarkable (read Haqeeqat and Aakhri Khat). But I like this song a lot – the sweetness and innocence clubbed with the Punjabi flavour – amazing combo and not to forget Raaj Kumar’s dance!

8. Yehi hai tamanna (Aap Ki Parchhayian, 1964) : This is another movie I want to watch again. When I first saw it as a kid, I hadn’t heard any of the songs before, so I didn’t really care for it. And back then there was no youtube to explore the songs. But now that I have fallen in love with all the songs, I want to see the movie again. Even if the story isn’t all that great, I would be happy just looking at Dharmendra. Again, I had included Main nigahen tere chehre se for Dharmendra special post. Hence it’s another song this time. This has a Lata number too – Agar mujhse mohabbat but I love Dharmendra’s dance in Yehi hai tamanna…it’s  so very cute that I couldn’t resist myself from choosing this and it’s Rafi singing for Dharmendra! There’s another peppy and cute song in this movie – Kabhi ithlake chalti ho which is a Rafi-Asha duet.

9. Har koi chahta hai (Ek muthi Asmaan, 1973) : Madan did not usually employ Kishore Kumar, as his tunes were complex classical-based compositions and Kishoreda had a singing style of his own. But there are few songs they have done together and this is one of them. This song appears 3-4 times in the movie. One part of it is picturised on legendary Pran saab and that happens to be my favourite part. Vijay Arora spoils it for me. He’s cute to look at but the way he jumps around and tries to dance to this song is pathetic. If only he could emote and act a little better! It’s a very sweet song and philosophical at the same time. It never fails to soothe me. By the way, how many songs did Pran get to lip-sync? I can only think of Hum bolega toh bologe ki bolta hai, Yaari hai imaan mera and this at the moment.

10. Do pal ruka (Veer Zara, 2004) :  In 2004, Madan’s unused tunes were recreated by his son, Sanjeev Kohli, for the Yash Chopra blockbuster Veer-Zaara. The lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar, and Lata Mangeshkar was invited to once again sing the majority of the melodies composed by her dear friend. Not that I ran out of oldies but I am including this song just to show that Madan Mohan’s music, composed more than 30 years ago is accepted and applauded by the crowd with the same enthusiasm even today.

Madan Mohan was also called the King of Ghazals. If any composer had utilised the ghazal andaz of Mohammad Rafi to the best of his potentiality it is Madanmohan.  Aap ke pehloo mein aa kar, Teri aankhon ki siwa duniya mein, Ek haseen shaam ko, Tumhari zulf ki saaye mein shaam kar lunga etc are the few among them. But for a change I concentrated more of songs sung by Lata today. Saving Rafi’s gems for some other day 🙂

He aspired to becoming an actor but ended up directing music! Hats off to this great man for the lovely tunes he composed. May his soul rest in peace.

Today also happens to be the Birth Anniversary of Roshan. It’s already too late to do another post now. So here are few songs of his that I can think of at the moment – Ek toh surat pyaari, Jo baat tujh mein hai teri tasveer mein nahin, Paao choo lene do, Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat, Baaharon ki manzil rahen, Laaga chunri mein daag. Oh re taal mile nadi ke jal mein, Rahe na rahe hum.

 

Ten of my Favourite Rajendra Kumar Songs

July 12, 2010

I know I was supposed to do a post on Neetu Singh but was busy yesterday the whole day. And though none of the teams I was supporting reached the World Cup finals, I ended up watching the finals as an obligation. So didn’t have time. And today, being Rajendra Kumar’s death anniversary, I wanted to dedicate this post to him.

He neither had the good-looks, nor a great physique….he’s not the typical hero material from any angle, but there’s something very charming about him that I adore.

Wikipedia states : The 1960s saw Rajendra Kumar rise like no other star had risen, and the voice of Mohammad Rafi played biggest role in it. That doesn’t take away the fact that he was a very good actor. But the songs of his film in Mohammed Rafi`s voice used to become mega hits giving movies a fine opening, and there was a time when every film starring him was a silver jubilee hit. There were times when he had six or seven films running in their silver jubilee weeks at the same time. It was a success that was unbelievable and Rajendra Kumar was soon known as “Jubilee Kumar”. He was considered a golden boy for the movie producers in the sense that he was the actor who could recover the producers’ money in a matter of few weeks.

When Rafi and Rajendra Kumar combination had such beautiful meoldies, how could I resist from not doing this post. So here are my ten favourite Rajendra Kumar songs, all from the movies that I have seen and in no particular order –

1. Aye nargise mastaana (Arzoo, 1965) : I like this song more for Sadhna than for Rajendra Kumar. But when it’s Rafi singing, it doesn’t really matter who’s on screen. What a way to flirt!!! Love his “shikayats” and Rajendra Kumar looks cute reciting them. It’s a very beautifully shot song with great lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri and music by Shankar-Jaikishen.  All the songs of this movie were very popular and very romantic, be it,  Chhalke teri aankhon se sharaab aur jyada, Ae phoolon ki raani, Aji rooth kar ab kahan jaiyega. These songs give a different meaning to love all together, hai na? And compare them to the songs of today… truly Love – Aaj Kal.

2. Tumse izhaar-e-haal kar baithe (Mere Mehboob, 1963) : This was another movie with such amazing songs. I know Mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam is more popular but I somehow like this and Ae husn zara jaag tujhe ishq jagaye better. Sadhna looks drop-dead gorgeous…no wonder he keeps singing one lovely song after another for her! All these songs are so full of emotions which one can feel as well as see. The onscreen pair – truly lajawaab and the voice very intoxicating. It’s so subtle and sweet. Love Rajendra Kumar in it. Though I mentioned above that he wasn’t blessed with good looks, but I do find him pretty handsome at times, like in this song.

3. Bura maan gaye (Aayee Milan Ki Bela, 1964) : I love each and every song in this movie…each one is a gem – be it Tum kamseen ho, Main pyaar ka deewana, O Sanam tere ho gaye hum, Tumko hamari umar lag jaye or the title track itself. And to choose one song from this one album is extremely difficult.  There’s something very innocent (and romantic of course!) about all the songs in this movie. And this song has the playful factor to it as well. Listen to his complaints – they are so sweet…plight of an aashiq!

4. Teri pyaari pyaari surat ko (Sasural, 1961) : What an amazing song!!! And the way he sings Chashme Baddoor is simply awesome! This song never fails to brighten up my mood – it has such lovely lyrics that you can’t help but smile, beautiful music that compliments the feel of the song, the rendition is priceless and it’s picturised so beautifully. But in addition to this there’s a funny incident associated with this song. My friends had given me a CD of Rafi’s songs for my birthday during my college days. One Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in my room in hostel and  listening to it. One of my Telugu speaking friends came to my room (she couldn’t understand Hindi) and asked me : You are in a different world altogether when you listen to these songs…What’s so special about them? I started raving about the lyrics, music,rendition, picturisation, situation in which the song is sung in the movie, blah blah….I went on non-stop for a while, I was kind of marketing the song. After listening to me for so long, even she wanted to listen to it. And she wanted me to translate the lyrics for her. This song was playing then. Yun na akeli phira karo…., dekha na karo tum aaina….., nikla na karo tum raho par…At the end of it she got up and said : “He’s forbidding her from doing everything…what the hell does he want her to do???!!!” and walked out.

I didn’t know how to react to it for a while and then I was literally rolling down with laughter. But I didn’t have an answer to her question even after I recovered.  So everytime I hear this song, I think of that afternoon.

5. Yeh mera prem patra padh kar (Sangam, 1964) : This is one of Rajendra Kumar’s signature songs. It’s still a rage to this day, I can only imagine how popular this must have been back then. I somehow didn’t like the movie much – had seen it long ago, don’t know if I will feel differently about it if I watch it now. But I like this song. It was a part of my Dad’s collection and have literally grown up listening to it. So it has that nostalgic feel to it.

6. Chehre pe giri zulfen (Suraj, 1966) : Again, Baaharon phool barsaao is more popular. Not that I don’t like it but I like this better esp the way Gustakhi maaf is sung. Dad had a cassette that had Suraj songs on Side A and Sasural on Side B ( I think it was a T-series). He had lots of them but these were among his top favourites and used to play them more often. So these songs somehow manage to take me back in time. Rajendra Kumar does live upto these songs in his own way. He has a funny way of dancing but it kind of suits him.

7. Madhuban khushboo deta hai (Saajan Bina Suhagan, 1978) : I haven’t been able to figure out what exactly it is that I like about it song. But somehow, I feel good listening to this song – must be the inspirational lyrics! And oh yes, I do like Yesudas’s voice as well.

8. Dheere dheere bol koi sunna le (Gora aur Kala, 1972 ) : After battling a lot over Ek na ek din yeh kahani banegi and Dheere dheere bol, I finally chose the latter to add more vareity to the post. I have been concentrating mostly on songs sung by Rafi so far. I think I should give a chance to other singers as well. So it’s Mukesh this time singing for Rajendra Kumar. Both Hema and Rajendra look so good and so royal in this song. And they share a great chemistry as well. All in all a very romantic duet.

9.  Palkon ke peeche se jo tumne (Talash, 1969) : A very pretty song filmed against a beautiful backdrop. I had first heard this song on Vividh Bharati. It was much later that I actually saw the video. There’s this innocence and sharmila-pan about it which I adore – something that one could sense just listening to the song without even having to see the video.

10. Kaun hai jo sapno mein aaya (Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan, 1967) : Kaun hai jo sapno mein aaya, Kahan chaldiye idhar toh aao, Sachcha hai gar pyaar, unse mili nazar, Meri aankhon ki nindiya, Mere tumhare beech mein…..once again, all the songs are superb. Though I like Elvis Presley – the man himself and his songs, I find the Hindi version of this song more lively than the original Marguerita. Thanks to Rafi’s singing and Rajendra Kumar’s onscreen presence! This was the first Rajendra Kumar movie that I saw. And I had really enjoyed it as a kid.

RIP Jubilee Kumar!

Ten of my Favourite RD Burman Songs

June 26, 2010

This day, 27th June, marks the birth anniversary of Rahul Dev Burman, aka Pancham da. Here a special post in fond memories of Pancham da. 

He belonged to a genre that Indian music lovers were unaware of back then – he is credited with revolutionizing the filmi music in Hindi films, and his style and techniques continue to be followed by the composers of today. Burman also did playback in few movies he composed. He was famous for unique, grunting bass singing style. He also acted in the film Bhoot Bungla and Pyar Ka Mausam.

RD Burman was India’s most popular composer in 1970s, famous for his peppy tunes. Though Pancham Da is known for introducing western style in Bollywood music, he has some truly Indian classical compositions as well. These are some of my favourite  RD Burman songs, I am sure I will  miss out on some of the most popular songs of his, but these are the first songs that came to my mind. I have tried restricting one song per actor as much as possible but am not sure if I’ll be able to follow it till the end and except for Libaas, all the others from the movies that I have seen .

1. Aanke chali baanke chali  (Namkeen, 1982) : When Gulzar, R.D Burman and Sanjeev Kumar get together, they always have something different and something very beautiful to present. Namkeen is one such movie. Beautiful story, amazing performance laced with such colorful songs, each one very different from the other. Raah pe rehte hai is a beautiful number but I like this the best, because of the folk touch that it has.

2. Kya hua tera vaadha (Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, 1977) : This movie was a musical blockbuser where each song was better than the other. And it was extremely difficult to choose just one song but thanks to Rafi saaf, at least I could make up my mind about this song. This song is also known to mark Rafi-saab’s come-back. I personally don’t believe that Rafi ever needed a come-back – he has always been there. But Nasir, it would be interesting if you could throw some light on this.


3. Khamosh sa afsaana (Libaas, 1988 ) : I fell in love with this song the very first time I heard it on Vividh Bharati and have been searching for this movie ever since, but haven’t been able to find it yet. Beautiful lyrics blended with such soothing  music, that it creates a very sweet and subtle effect.

4. Tujhse naaraz nahin zindagi (Masoom, 1983) : Anup Ghoshal at his best!! One of my all-time favourites and I am sure I’m not the only one in the league. It’s such a touching song. In fact, the song says it all….I guess it’s the masoomiyat in it that makes it so beautiful. Be it  Lakdi ki kaanti  or Huzoor is kadar bhi, love all the songs!

5. A aa e ee master ji ki aa gayi chhitti (Kitaab, 1977) : An unusual film with a full-on masti song! Reminds me of my childhood days and all the classroom pranks. And oh how I miss those days now. Again Gulzar and RD at their best. RD had actually taken real  desks to the recording studio for the desk-tapping part. “VIP Underwear Baniyan”,   “Magarbatti-Agarbatti”, “sharmila cheetah”, and at the end, “center of gravity miss ho gaya tha!”- what an awesome lyrics! 😀

6. Aaja aaja main hoon pyaar tera (Teesri Manzil, 1966) : How could I do a post and not include a Shammi Kapoor number. Initially when I started with this post I had sat down with the intention of including songs that are not very popular…but I couldn’t really follow that. There are so many songs to choose from…This was Pancham Da’s first hit movie. Burman gave credit to lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for recommending him to Nasir Hussain, the producer and writer of Teesri Manzil.Vijay Anand also said that he had arranged a music session for him before Nasir Hussain. After hearing his music, Nasir Hussain made him the music director of Teesri Manzil. Nasir Hussain went on to sign RD Burman and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for six of his films including Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) and Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973).

And as a kid I have fallen down so many times trying to imitate the steps in this dance…what energy level it has!

7. Is mod se jaate hai (Aandhi, 1975) : Another lovely movie with amazing music! Can’t imagine Aandhi without  Is mod se jaate ho, Tum aa gaye ho, Tere bina zindagi se koi. It has a strong story, not doubt about it but without the songs, I don’t think Aandhi would have been such a big hit and labelled a classic.

8. Piya tu ab toh aaja (Caravan, 1971) : This is another Pancham Da’s signature song, part of it in his own voice. This song is still a sensation, I can only imagine what rage it would have created back then. Sizzling Helen dancing to RD’s tunes and Asha Bhosle’s sensous voice…what a deadly combination!

9. Muthukodi Kawari Hada (Do Phool, 1973) : A catchy composition with South Indian flavour and it has Mehmood at his best. I actually wanted to include Padosan song but since I had already included Ek chatur naar in my Manna Dey special post, I changed my mind. I’m following mutually exclusive rule…so that I get to accomodate more songs that way. 😛

10. Meri soni meri tamanna (Yaadon Ki Baarat, 1973) : Meri soni meri tamanna, jhoot nahin hai mera pyaar, deewani se ho gayi galti jaane do yaar…I love you – this is all that I have to say to and about this song. This was another Nasir Hussain, RD Burman pairing and as expected a Musical blockbuster again. I actually saw a part of it on Set Max few minutes ago.

There I go again….I’m done even before I started, yet again! Few other songs I had in mind were Ruth na jaana tumse kahoon toh, Hume tumse pyaar kitna, Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata, Raat kali ek khwab mein aayi, Kiska rasta dekhe, Aane wala pal jaane wala hai, Mere saamne wali khidki mein, Kali palak teri gori, Sun sun sun didi, Kasme vade nibhayenge hum, Ek din bik jayega, Mehbooba mehbooba, Ek ajnabee haseena se, Roop tera mastaana, Saagar kinare, O mere dil ki chain, Biti na biai raina, Kanchhi re kanchhi re, Bahon mein chale aao, Jaan-e-jaan dhoondta phir raha, Chingari koi bhadke….

Pancham was comfortable with all types of music, be it the romantic Raat kali from Buddha Mil Gaya, the sexy cabaret Piya tu ab toh aaja from Caravan, the ultimate hippie anthem Dum Maro Dum from Hare Rama Hare Krishna  or the classical Raina beeti jaaye. It is said that Dev Anand did not include the complete version of Dum Maro Dum in Hare Rama Hare Krishna, as he was worried the song would overshadow the film.  His most famous song as a singer was Mehbooba from Sholay.

Pancham Da was a very creative person. His percussion included a spoon against a glass (Chura liya hai from Yaadon Ki Baaraat), desks (Masterji ki aa gayee chitthee from Kitaab), a bamboo whistle with a balloon (Abdullah) and bottles filled with water at different levels (O maajhi re from Khushboo).

My Tribute to Raj Kapoor

June 1, 2010

Raj Kapoor, also known as the show-man of the millenium, was a legendary Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi films. As 2nd June marks his death anniversary, this is a small tribute to this great man from my side. May his soul rest in peace!

Raj Kapoor was a canny judge of filmi music and lyrics. Many of the songs he commissioned are evergreen hits.  I had heard somewhere that Raj Kapoor still remains an Institution for Directors, an Inspiration for Music Directors and an Idol for all the actors.

I have mixed feelings about his portrayal of a tramp-like figure in many of his movies, who, despite adversity, was usually cheerful and honest (I adore his character in Anari, but then it gets on to my nerves as well at times coz it’s so out-of-this-world and I find it pretty repetitive too). I love him better in other roles like Chori Chori, Bewafa, Sharda etc.

With all due respect, and like I always keep saying, no matter how much I like and respect Raj Kapoor as an Actor and a film-maker, I avoid re-watching his movies. They hit me too hard emotionally, morally and socially.

But he really had a taste in music. All his movies had fantastic songs. And without getting into further details, let me list some of his songs that I like the most – there are many but these are the first ten that came to my mind :

1. Mera joota hai japani (Shree 420, 1955) : Raj Kapoor produced, directed and acted in this blockbuster. All the songs from this film were big hits  esp. Dil ka haal sune dilwala, Ichak dana beechak dana, Mud mud ke na dekh, Pyar hua ikraar hua, Ramaiya vastavaiya. Raj Kapoor’s display about the corruption in society with the adaptation of mannerism of Charlie Chaplin amused the viewers. And this is one of his signature songs.


2.  Aawara hoon (Awara, 1951) : This movie was based on the theme that human being is a victim of circumstances. It’s not necessary that a barriseter’s son grows up to become a barrister and a theif’s son a theif. I like the Dum bhar jo udhar as well, but this is another signature songs of his.

3. Woh chaand khila woh taare hanse (Anari, 1959) : All the songs in this movie are amazing. Kisi ki muskurahaton pe and Sab kuchh sikha humne are more of typical Raj Kapoor songs, but I somehow like this one better. The way he stands with the flower in his hand, trying to put it on Nutan’s hair, the innocence on his face and dont know what to do next expression. – simply superb!!!Only the opening verse has Raj singing just one line, the rest of the song is Nutan’s but he’s still so dominantly present throughout the song.

4. Ae sanam jisne tujhe (Diwana, 1967) : One of my favourite songs…there’s something very innocently true and cute about this song. The lyrics, music and perfect rendition  go hand in hand so well.

5. Jaane kahan gaye woh din (Mera Naam Joker, 1970) : Though Jeena yahan marna yahan and Aye bhai zara dekh ke chalo were more popular, it’s this song that gives me goose-bumps everytime I listen to it. What a great composition this was! It more or less summarizes the story of the movie. I usually end up with tears in my eyes when this song ends.

6. Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum (Chori Chori, 1956) : My all time favourite movie of Raj Kapoor and the only movie of his that I love watching again and again. This was another musical blockbuster – all the songs were superb.

7. Dil matwala lakh sambhala (Bewafa, 1952) : This movie is one of my recent discoveries and I have fallen in love with this love-triangle. I am usually not very fond of movies with tragic endings…I prefer light-hearted, romantic,  timepass movies, but this one’s an exception. Serious as it is, it’s a very beautifully handled story laced with pretty songs – and it feels rather good to hear somebody other than Mukesh and Manna Dey singing for Raj Kapoor. Talat Mehmood was amazing in this one.

8. Sajan re jhooth mat bolo (Teesri Kasam, 1977) : This is a gem of a song from the awesome fivesome – Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, Shailendra, Shankar and Jaikishen. These five have given us so many unforgettable numbers,  this being one of them – with a spiritual touch.

9. Jap re preet ki mala (Sharada, 1957) : This movie had a power-packed performance and I liked most of the songs – O chaand jahan woh jaye (which I had mentioned about in Meena Kumari special post), then this one where Raj Kapoor tries to woo lovely Meena Kumari and there’s one more cute song in this film – Lehraye jiya, picturised on gorgeous Shyama. But guess I’ll keep that for Shyama special post. But storywise, I actually didn’t know how to react to this movie, I have been in a state of shock ever since I have seen this film. Had wanted to do a post on it for Meena Kumari’s death anniversary but couldn’t. Let me see if I can review this film some time soon.

10. Masti bhara hai samaan (Parvarish, 1958) : This is such a care-free romantic duet. I love everything about this song – Raj Kapoor, Mala Sinha, Lata and Manna Dey’s rendition, Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics, Dattaram’s composition and it’s picturisation.

I have this thing for the Kapoor men, no matter how much I try (not that I want to) but I just can’t dislike them. I simply love all of them – right from Prithvi Raj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor!
 
It happens to be Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s death anniversary today. Thanks to Vividh Bharati and Yunus Khan  for bringing it to my notice. I was tuned into Vividh Bharathi on my way back home and when Awara hoon played on Aaj Ke Funkaar (@ 9:30), I was wondering why they were doing a Raj Kapoor special program today itself. And then Yunus said that this episode was dedicated to a writer, this made me think it was probably dedicated to  Shailendra and then he finally revealed that it was Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, who he was talking about. Though unknowingly, I had already included songs from some of his films (films that he has written) in my list – Awaara, Shri 420, Mera Naam Joker. And I am glad I had done that.
 
 
And it was Prithviraj Kapoor’s death anniversary on 29th May but I couldn’t do a post on him  😦 That’s on my to-do-list for this weekend.
 

Ten of my Favourite Manna Dey Songs

May 1, 2010

I’ve been away from the blogworld for quite sometime now. Lots of other things kept me extremely occupied – I was looking for a change in job, so to start with, I was busy attending interviews. When I got a new job, I resigned from my previous company and was serving notice period for a month, and that just flew away in giving trainings. And now that I have finally joined the new place, I’m trying to get used to the atmosphere here.

So, I hardly had time to watch movies or post something here for the last one month. Now that life has come back to normal again, when the weekend approached I was glad that I could watch movies and get back to blogging again. Thanks to Vividh Bharati that I came to knnow it’s Manna Dey’s birthday today. So here I am with some of my favourite Manna Dey songs.

Born on 1 May 1919, Prabodh Chandra Dey is better known by his nickname, Manna Dey. As he celebrates his 91st birthday today, here’s wishing him a very very happy birthday and a wonderful year ahead!

1. Laaga chunri mein daag (Dil hi toh hai, 1963) :  This is a real masterpiece, one of my all time favourites and one of the most popular Manna Dey songs. Roshan’s music, Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics, Manna Dey’s voice, Priyadarshini’s dance and Raj Kapoor’s screen presence – everything is just so superb. And this song has such a spiritual feel to it.

2. Yeh raat bhegi bheegi (Chori Chori, 1956) : Along with Mukesh, Manna Dey was also Raj Kapoor’s voice in many movies. And this movie is one of my favourite Raj Kapoor films. Raj Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the finest actors we’ve ever had and a great director too, with an amazing sense of music – all his films have such lovely songs. But his movies are usually so socially awakening that they leave me emotionally, morally and socially depressed. So I don’t re-watch many of his movies but this is an exception. It’s such a fun movie and has wonderful songs (Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s music) – be it Jahan mein jaati hoon, Aaja sanam or Panchhi banoo udti phiroon.

3.  Gori tori baanki (Aadhi Raat Ke Baad, 1965) : Manna Dey had a very strong classical base and was usually roped in to sing semi-classical songs. And this song, penned by Prem Dhawan and composed by Chitragupta is a semi-classical song set on Western music – a fun number picturised on Aagha where he tries to impress girls with his magic tricks.

4. Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo (Mera naam Joker, 1970)  : One more Manna-Raj duo and Manna Dey won the Filmfare best Playback singer award for this song.  This movie marks the debut of Rishi Kapoor. Raj Kapoor spent so much of his own fortune in making this movie, that when it flopped at the box office, Raj came close to being totally bankrupt. I had watched this film on Doordarshan during my school days but they had to cut it short to fit in the allocated 3 hours. But my dad says that this was almost 5 hours long and when he had watched it in a theater, it had 2 intervals.

5. Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge (Sholay 1975) : IMDB’s tagline for Sholay reads : “The greatest star cast ever assembled…….The greatest story ever told”. I doubt if there’s any Bollywood fan who has not seen this movie but I wont get into the details of the movie, let Raju Shrivastav do that. This Manna Dey-Kishore Kumar duet is one of the most popular songs on dosti – be it any occasion/event…this song is always played/sung.

6. Ek chatur naar karke (Padosan, 1968) :  A musical battle where both Mehmood and Sunil Dutt lip-sync to Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar respectively as they try to win over Saira Banu. The singing by both the artist is sheer madness at its best.

As per wiki –  “Reportedly the song ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ (a duet by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey) was partly improvised by Kishore Kumar at the time of recording and Manna Day, determined to show Kishore Kumar how he would sing the duet better (since Kishore had not been trained classically), got into the mood of the song and immortalized ‘Ek Chatur Naar’. Legend also has it that Manna Dey was upset by the fact that in the picturisation of the song, the singing competition between the two heroes (Dutt and Mehmood) was won by Dutt, for whom the background singing was done by Kishore. Dey didn’t like the fact that a classically trained singer like himself would have to lose, though only on-screen, to an un-trained singer (Kishore). In the song, at a couple of times Mehmood had to say “sur gadbad jee” against Sunil Dutt where Kishore was singing hence Dey refused to say those words so Mehmood gave his own voice for the same.”

But this is what Manna Dey had to say about this song in – “Memories Come Alive: An Autobiography” :
“I was especially cautious when asked to sing for Mehmood in Ek chatur naar with Kishore Kumar. The latter had a unique and unaffected style of singing which tended to eclipse the subtleties of classical music, and place his singing partner, in a duet, at a disadvantage. To be put in the shade by Kishore’s flamboyant style of singing was a distinct possibility and, to counter the risk, I decided to work with Pancham, striving to build on my strengths and find a way of holding my own.”
“On the day we were to record Ek chatur naar, the entire staff at the studio stood outside the glass-door to watch Kishore and me sing. For the two of us, the session had taken on the magnitude of a duel. It took us 12 hours – the recording started at 9 am and ended at 9 pm – to complete it, and I must admit, Kishore was in his element that day. Out of this tough battle to outshine one another, would emerge a new star in the world of music.”

7. Ae meri zohra zabeen (Waqt, 1965) : Another gem of a song – picturised on one of my favourite actors, Balraj Sahni;  sung by one of my favourite singers, Manna Dey and from one of my favourite movies. This is just amazing! 

8. Pyaar hua hai ikraar hua (Shree 420, 1955) : Yet another Raj Kapoor-Manna Dey duo. I think of Raj Kapoor and Nargis and this song is the first thing that comes to my mind. I think of a rain song, I think of this song. I remember reading that this song is one of the top ten romantic songs in Bollywood.

9. Tum bin jeevan kaisa jeevan (Bawarchi, 1972) : There are some songs which I just cant imagine anybody else singing, and this is one of them. Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Rajesh Khanna playing the All-rounder Bawarchi is one of my favourite films too. And this film had a different music altogether, not the usual romantic numbers, as per the prevailing trend.

10.  Jhanak jhanak tori baje payaliya (Mere huzoor, 1968) : Its a great song, great composition and great singing by Manna Dey – simply superb.

And there I go as usual, I was just getting into the flow and I have reached 10 songs already. There are so many other songs of his – Chalat musafir (Teesri Kasam), Jeewan chalne ka naam (Shor), Door hai kinara (Saudagar), Na maangoo sona chandi (Bobby), Kaun aaya mere mann ke dware (Dekh Kabira Roya)…….to name a few.