Posts Tagged ‘Aasha Bhosle’

Ten of my Favourite Meena Kumari Songs

March 31, 2010

31st March marks the death anniversary of  Mahjabeen Bano aka Meena Kumari aka the Tragedy Queen of Hindi Film Industry, who not only portrayed tragic roles in movies, but led a tragic life in real as well. With very fond memories, here is a list of songs through which she flirts, romances and cries—just, generally, keeps me glued to the screen admiring her but wondering about her fate at the same time.

1. Ajeeb daastaan hai yeh (Dil Apna Preet Parai, 1960) : This must be one of the most popular songs even till this day.  The picture of Meena Kumari singing this lovely number when she realizes that the man she loves is committed to someone else, is forever etched into my memory. And it has gorgeous Nadira in it too 🙂

2. Koi pyaar ki dekhe jaadugari  (Kohinoor, 1960) : A romantic duet filled with excitement, thrill and magic of being in love where she lip-syncs with her Knight in Shining armour after he rescues her from the clutch of wicked Jeevan.

3. O raat ke musafir (Miss Mary, 1957) :  I saw her in a light-hearted role for the first time ever in this movie. For a change she’s showing attitude and not crying her heart out…and I personally feel that she’s enchanting in this avataar. Wish she had done more roles like this.

4. Koi bata de dil hai jahan (Main Chup Rahungi, 1962) : This is such a sweet, innocent and romantic song. As the name of the movie suggests, it’s weepy Meena again, but it had some wonderful songs – Koi bata de, Chaand jaane kahan kho gaya, Ae dil kabhi toh koi aayega. Apart from the story, which gets highly melo-dramatic at one point of time – but thankfully doesn’t get boring because of the child, this movie had such a strikingly good looking couple, amazing performance and like I said before, very melodious songs.

5. Chalte chalte yunhi koi (Pakeezah, 1972) : Though I like Yeh mausam hai aashiquana better, this song finds its place in this list because this is one of Meena’s signature songs. And apart from the songs and Meena’s performance in this movie, there’s one more thing that became very popular with this movie- Aap ke paon dekhe, bahut haseen hai. Inhe zameen par mat utariyega maile ho jayenge

In 1952, on the sets of one of her films, Meena Kumari fell in love with and married film director, Kamal Amrohi. Soon after marriage, Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari produced a film called Daera (1953), which was based on their love story. They also planned another film, Pakeezah. However, it took sixteen years (1956 to 1972) before Pakeezah reached the silver screen. (The scenes in Pakeezah’s popular song, Inhi logon ne, were originally filmed in black and white, and were later reshot in color.)
Initially, after its release in February 1972, Pakeezah opened to a lukewarm response from the public; however, after Meena Kumari’s death less than two months later, people flocked to see it, making it a major box-office success.

6. Na jao saiyaan (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962) : This is another signature song of hers. There’s actually a tie between this and Piya aiso jiya mein. The role of Chhoti Bahu, an alcoholic wife, is one of her best performances ever.

Upperstall wrote about her performance in Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam :

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 and sexual desire. And later on when she has become a desperate alcoholic, you cannot help but cry with her in the sequence where she pleads with her husband to stay with her and then angrily turns on him to tell him how she has prostituted her basic values and morals to please him. However the common factors between the actress’s life and Chhoti Bahu are too dramatic to be merely coincidental – The estranged marital relationship, the taking of alcohol, turning towards younger male company, the craving to be understood and loved – all elements evident in Meena Kumari’s own life

7. Kabhi toh milegi (Aarti, 1962) : Its such a haunting melody! Lovely composition, inspiring lyrics, great voice and Meena’s screen presence – it has such a lingering effect, it just keeps playing in my mind over and over again long after I listen to it.

This song always reminds me of Rahe na rahe hum from Mamta and vice versa…saw somebody else’s comment on youtube stating the same. I’m feeling good to know that I have a company here.

8. O chaand jahan woh jaye (Sharada, 1957) : One of my favourite Lata-Aasha duets picturized on serious Meena and playful Shyama. Love their expressions…I find Shyama more dominating here, her lines and expressions are better. But since this also features Meena, I just needed an excuse to put this song here 🙂

9. Tu ganga ki mauj main jamna ka dhara (Baiju Bawra, 1952) : Though she had done few movies as a child artist followed by some mythological movies, it was this film that gained her fame and established her as an actor.  When I had first seen this song during my school days, I almost couldn’t recognize her, she looked so young!

10. Rang aur noor ki baaraat (Gazal, 1964) : I couldn’t possibly end this post with everything happy and romantic and sweet…I had to include a number that had the sorrow factor and this tops my list! Though the song is in a male voice, Meena remains the primary focus throughout…one look at her – those eyes brimming with tears, all my heart goes out to her.

When Meena Kumari was born her family was going through a financial crisis. She was forced to act in movies at the age of 7 to support the family due to which she lost out on her carefree childhood days. Later in life she fell in love and got married to Kamal Amrohi, but that didn’t last for long and they got divorced which led her into a depression. She craved for love and care all her life and this is very evident in her poetry. She found solace in heavy drinking. Her health began deteriorating and at the age of 40 she died of liver cirrhosis.

May her soul rest in peace!!!!

I just realized that I have 2 songs referring to Chaand (O raat ke musafir, O chaand jahan woh jaaye) in my list already….and the other two with Meena-Chaand combo that come to my mind are : Chaand jaane kahan kho gaya, Ruk jaa raat theher jaa re chanda….any other songs you can think of?

10 of my Favorite Waheeda Rehman Songs

February 3, 2010

Waheeda Rehman, one of the most beautiful and versatile actresses , was born on this day. Here’s wishing her a very very Happy Birthday! Here are few songs of hers which I truly love :

1. Chaudhavin ka chaand (Chaudhavin Ka Chand, 1960) : The song says it all! One of my all time favourites, amazing composition, beautiful picturization and lovely Waheeda.

2.  Zara nazron se kehdo ji (Bees Saal Baad, 1962) : What expressions! The gait with which she walks, the faces she makes, the way she leans against a tree branch chewing the sugarcane, the way she gets up after falling down from the swing (again, the first thing she does is to pick up the sugarcane!), her smile, her attitude, her innocence – an ‘ada’ of her own.  There’s something very very cute about this song.  Everytime I hear this song (which is almost everyday), I have a broad smile on my face, esp  when ‘Yeh bholapan tumhara, yeh shararat aur yeh shaukhee, zaroorat kya tumhe talwar ki, teeron ki, khanjar ki…nazar bhar ke jise tum dekhlo woh khud hi mar jaye’ comes. And last but not the least what an amazing usage of the prop – sugarcane!!!


3.  Khuda bhi aasman se jab (Dharti, 1970) : Should I say everything about this song is heavenly? (except for Rajendra Kumar’s shirt ;-)) Great poetry, fabulous rendition and ever”green” Waheeda.

4. Na tum hamen jaano (Baat Ek raat Ki, 1962) : Both Hemant da’s (Naa tum hamen jaano) and Suman Kalyanpur’s version of this song are great. I chose Sumanji’s rendition here because Waheeda looks better in this one. I had actually thought of making a list of ten songs in male voice, but couldn’t help including this  one.

5. Kaanton se kheench ke yeh aanchal (Guide, 1965) : My dad used to watch Rangoli on DD when I was a kid. And I always used to get confused as to who is who…esp the actresses – back then, they all looked the same to me. This song was pretty popular and used to come very often. It was through this song that I started recognizing Waheeda. And it was this song that led me to watch this movie.  I love Piya tose naina lage re as well,  but Kaanton se kheench ke yeh aanchal holds a more special place in my heart.

5. Paan khaye sainyaan hamaro (Teesri Kasam, 1966) :  I’ve always liked this song – it’s so simple and so sweet. And post dustedoff’s comment, I think of this song as a dessert in the ‘musical menu’ of bollywood songs.

6. Raat bhi hai kuch bheegi bheegi (Mujhe Jeene Do, 1963) : This  is such an expressive performance…simple and yet sensuous.  Beautiful, in every way – lyrics, music, Lataji’s voice and Waheedaji’s grace.

7.  Bhanwra bada naadaan hai (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962) :  Simply love the way Waheeda scratches her head and sticks her tongue out. 🙂 Very innocently picturised and it’s its simplicity that adds to it beauty.

8.  Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam (Kaagaz ke Phool, 1959) : This is such a hauntingly melodious song – so beautifully sung and portrayed.

9. Jaane kya tune kahi (Pyaasa, 1957) : She looks so young and so pretty in this song. Terrific combo of Geeta Dutt’s voice and Waheeda’s screen presence.

10.  Kahin pe nigahen kahin pe nishaana (C.I.D, 1956) : Innocence and beauty personified, though her role has a grey shade in the movie, not all that innocent.

Like I said earlier, I had initially thought of listing all 10 songs in male voice but suddenly thought of Guide and all the other songs just followed. There’s quite a lot I want to write but am too tied up with work at the moment. Lots of things to be added and updated here but I want to publish this post before the day ends.  So, will update it as and when I get time.

The original list had –  Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi,   Yeh nayan dare dare , Apni toh har aah, Phoolon ke rang se, Parbaton ke pedon par (she shares the screen with her husband),  Gaata rahe mera dil (one of the most popular duets featuring Waheeda).

It wasn’t possible to include all her songs here and I know I have missed quite a lot of her popular songs.