Posts Tagged ‘Mukesh’

Happy Birthday Mukesh!

July 22, 2011

When I had done a post on Mukesh last year for his death anniversary, I had listed some of his most popular songs. And though I had said I would be doing more posts on him, I’ve hardly had time to do any posts at all after that.

On this Birth Anniversary of his, I’m listing 3 not-so-very-popular (at least I had not heard them earlier until recently) songs that I have come to love immensely. I wish I had the time to do a longer post, but unfortunately I dont. So here goes my list –

1. Pukaro mujhe naam lekar pukaro (Bhool Na Jaana, 1965) : I’m addicted to this song ever since I discovered it. A friend of mine who’s a big-time Gulzar fan had posted this on his wall on facebook about a month ago. And hardly a day has passed without me listening to it since then. It’s the simplicity of this song that I like the most – beautiful lyrics by Gulzar, awesome music by Daan Singh (I’ve become very fond of this man these days) and superb and heart-felt rendition by Mukesh. As this movie was never released, I doubt if we will ever find out how this song was picturized. But the audio is just so perfect, I would rather settle down with it than have the song spoiled by some inappropriate caste or silly picturization (as is the case with some of the best songs).  At the moment, I find this song totally heavenly –  It’s so melodious and poetic and romantic that it’s combined effect makes me heady everytime I listen to it. And I just cant get enough of it –

(Pukaro mujhe naam lekar pukaro 
Mujhe tumse apni khabar mil rahi hai) 2

(Kahin baar yoon bhi hua hai safar mein
Achanak se do ajnabee mil gaye ho) 2
Jinhe rooh pehchaanti ho azal se
Bhatakte bhatakte wohi mil gaye ho

Kunware labon ki kasam tod do tum
zara muskura kar baharein sanwaron

Pukaro mujhe naam lekar pukaro
Mujhe tumse apni khabar mil rahi hai

(Khayalon mein tumne bhi dekhi toh hongi
Kabhi mere khwabon ki dhundhlee lakeeren) 2
Tumhari hatheli se milti hai jaakar
mere haath ki yeh adhoori lakeeren

Badi sar chadhi hai yeh zulfen tumhari
Yeh zulfen meri baazuon mein utaaro

Pukaro mujhe naam lekar pukaro
Mujhe tumse apni khabar mil rahi hai

*Azal  means from the beginning of creation.

2. Hiya jarat rahat din rain (Godaan, 1963) : This song has such a rustic feel to it. I  love the prelude- the sitar and the flute. It sets such a happy note to it, even visually – a cow and a calf tied to a tree infront of the house, a hen pecking on something on the ground. A kid with a mother goat, puppies sucking milk, chics following the mother hen – all marking a new life coming into existence, spreading happiness and Raj Kumar savouring the sight around him. When the mukhda begins, in Bhojpuri, it just add to the rustic-ness that’s already set by the prelude .  Raj Kumar looks very convincing as a farmer and seems to be in a total bliss with his life and surroundings. But even admist all these, there’s an impending sadness in Mukesh’s voice, which reaches it’s peak in the last antara where a decaying skeleton is shown depicting death – Aas adhoori, pyaasi umariya…I had always loved the audio of this song. Saw the video today for the first time and must say I’m impressed with it. Hats off to Pandit Ravi Shankar for this wonderful composition, Anjaan for lovely lyrics and Mukesh for completing the traingle with his soulful rendition.

(Hiyaa jarat rahat din rain
O rama, jarat rahat din rain)2

(Ambuwa ki daali pe koyal bole) 2
Tanik na aawat chain 
O rama, jarat rahat din rain

(Baswaree mein madhur sur baaje) 2
Birahee papihara bolan lage
Madhure madhura madhu bain,
O rama, jarat rahat din rain

(Aas adhuri, pyaasi umariya) 2
Chhaye andhera sooni dagariya
(Darat jiya bechain)2
O rama, jarat rahat din rain

Hiyaa jarat rahat din rain
O rama, jarat rahat din rain

3. Kaise manaaun piyava (Char Diwari, 1961) : Haunting is the word that comes to my mind when I think of this song. When I had first heard this song, I thought it was too sad for my liking but there still was something very hauntingly beautiful and intriguing about it. And then I saw it’s video and I was mesmerized. From the lyrics I could make out that it had something to do with newly weds and probably the girl was in love with somebody else before she got married to this guy. In such situations, it’s usually just the song playing in the background, if it’s not sung by the people involved – ie the guy or the girl or the betrayed lover singing out all his wrath on bewafai. But the fact that it’s a third person singing this song and the husband confirming that it’s a kashti-waala who often sings this song as he sails across the river outside their house is what I found very interesting. I haven’t seen the movie, so I’m not sure who exactly the person singing it is, could be Nanda’s ex-lover. But I started liking this song  more after I saw it’s video. If only the sound in the video was little clearer.

The emotions are so beautifully described and rendered – the anxiety (ghabraana), shyness (sharmaana), short conversation in between and the confusion (or rather fear of not being able to accept or love the person). The last antara leaves the song on quite mysterious note.

The folk touch to the lyrics with words like “piyawa”, “ekhu” gives the song a desi feel. Everytime I listen to it I keep wondering what context is “Goon mere ekhu naahin” referring to. Whether it’s because she was in a relationship with somebody else before getting married and thinks she’s not worth all that she’s getting now. Also, the second antara that goes –

 

Saajan mere aaye, dhadkan badhti jaaye
Naina jhukte jaayein , ghunghat dhalta jaaye
Khudse hi sharmaaye, aaj teri parchhaayin

Though the first two lines have a romantic note to it, is the third line in continuation to that or is it something about her being ashamed of herself? I have to get hold of this movie somehow and watch it soon.

Salil Da’s music is awesome and so are Shailendra’s words. Heart-rending singing by Mukesh and must say a very well picturized song!

Kaise manaaun piyava 
Goon mere ekhu naahin
Kaise manaaun piyava 

Kaise manaaun piyava 
Goon mere ekhu naahin

Aayi milan ki bela 
Ghabraaun mann maahin
Kaise manaaun piyava 
Goon mere ekhu naahin

Kaise manaaun piyava 

(Saajan mere aaye 
Dhadkan badhti jaaye) 2
Naina jhukte jaayein 
Ghunghat dhalta jaaye
Khudse hi sharmaaye 
Aaj teri parchhaayin
Kaise manaaun piyava 
Goon mere ekhu naahin

(Main anjaani paraayi
Dwaar tihaare aayi) 2
Tune mujhe apnaya 
Preet ki reet nibhayi
Haye re mann ki kaliyaan
Phir bhi khil na paayin
Kaise manaaun piyava 
Goon mere ekhu naahin

Kaise manaaun piyava

A heart-felt thanks to all these maestros for creating such classic gems. Wonder what and how our lives would haven been without these vintage songs. Like the dialogue from Anand – “Anand mara nahiAnand marta nahin”, all these people are immortal. They’ll live forever in the hearts of millions of people. We have loved you and we will always love you. Happy Birthday Mukesh!


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!

Chaar Dil Chaar Raahein (1959)

April 2, 2011

The idea of seeing the Kapoor brothers share the same screen space was what first prompted me to buy this movie. But inspite of it having my Shammi darling, I somehow kept postponing watching it for a long time. The picture on the cd cover always managed to demotivate me from watching it – the trio of Meena Kumari, Raj Kapoor and Nimmi give such a depressing look, that every time I took the cd, I just ended up keeping it aside, till now.

As always, it was a song that finally made me watch the movie. I had heard Stella o stella from Return of  Mr. Superman, and I sort of liked it for the humour in it. One fine day, somebody had posted this song on facebook and one of my friends had commented on it saying that this song was first picturized on Shammi Kapoor and Kumkum in Char Dil Char Rahen in 1959 and then was used again in Return of Mr. Superman in 1960!

The movie opens very beautifully, with Raj Kapoor making quite  an entry into the village and a conversation that leaves one wondering….

Chavli (Meena Kumari) recognizes Govinda (Raj Kapoor), and though he finds her familiar he can’t exactly place her. So he heads home. Govinda is Chaudhary’s son. And he had been sent to the town to study when he was a little boy. Now he has finished his schooling and has come back home.

When he inquires about the girl he had met on his way, he finds out that she’s Chavli –  who is an achhoot and a bal-vidhwa (an untouchable and a child widow).

As soon as he finds out who she is, he goes to meet her. He finds her sitting beside a stream.

Govinda : Pehchana mujhe? (Did you recognize me?)

Chavli : Hmmm

Govinda : Pata hai kitne baras ke baad mile hai? (Do you have an idea after how long we have met today?)

Chavli : Hazaron baras (Thousands of years)

Govinda : Bas? (Just thousands of years?)

Chavli : Isse aaghe ki ginti mohe naa aave (I can’t count beyond that) – I love the way she says this…it’s just so cute!

Next, we are taken to a flashback where two little kids are playing. And the entire village gossiping about an Ahir guy playing with a Chamar girl which is not acceptable in the society.  (The Ahir are a caste of cowherds, milkers, and cattle breeders. Chamar (“tanner”; from the Sanskrit Charmakara) is a prominent occupational caste in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Chamar is a Dalit sub-caste. Traditionally, their social status was low in the Indian caste system because of the association with tanning and thus were considered as untouchables, but in modern days they are one of the progressive castes in India – Courtesy wikipedia). It happens that little Chavli (Baby Naaz) has been expelled from the local school. When Govinda comes to know of this he voluntarily drops off saying that he wont go to a school that doesn’t let his Chavli study. So they spend their day playing and running around the village together.

When Choudhary comes to know about it, he sends his son to the town to study, as a punishment. And now, he has finally returned after so many years. He tells Chavli that he will stay back now, he wont go back to the town.

Chavli : Yahan rehke kya karega? Sheher jaayega toh baabu banega,  coat patloon pehnega, bungla mein rahega, motor gaadi mein pon-pon karta phirega. (But what will you do here? If you go to the town, you’ll become a gentleman – wear coat and pant, live in a bunglow, roam around in a car)

Govinda : I will look after my father’s cattles and will teach in the school here. But I am not going back.

He goes back home and tells his father of his decision to stay back. Choudhary is very happy to hear that and says his mother will be happier than him. He reveals that his wife has gone to Choudhary Malkan Singh to ask his daughter, Lajjo’s hands for Govinda.

Govind :  Baat meri karne gaye hai aur mujhse poocha tak nahih. (She’s gone with a proposal and she didn’t even ask me about it?)

Choudhary : Arey bhala..Ladka-ladki se poochkar koi unka biha kare hai?  Aur phir ladki ka baap koi mamooli aadmi nahin…60-70 bhains hai unke paas. (Does anybody ask the guy and the girl and get them married? And Choudhary Malkan Singh is not an ordinary man…he has 60-70 buffaloes.)

Govind : Uski beti bhi toh koi bhains se kum nahin hai baba! (His daughter is not less than a buffalo herself!)

Chodhary : Beta, shareef ladke aisi baat nahin karte (That’s not how a gentleman talks, son)


Govinda tells his father that he won’t marry Lajjo but will marry Chavli instead. He doesn’t believe in caste and religion. And he cares a damn about what the others would think of his decision.

He takes Chavli and goes to the temple and asks the Pujari (Nana Plasikar) to get them married.

But the Pujari suggests that if he’s rebelling against everybody and getting married to an achhoot, then why do it quietly in the temple without any witness. He should go to Chavli’s house dressed as a proper groom with proper band and baaja, marry her and bring her home. Govinda sees sense in this and goes to all his friends in the village inviting them for his wedding. But all of them refuse to be a part of such a disgraceful alliance except for one. So the two of them set out for Chavli’s place.

This causes agitation among the Ahirs and Chamars in the village. But as both groups are against the marriage, they unite and decide to stop the wedding. Choudhary goes to meet Chavli and offers everything he has to her –

Choudhary : Mere paas 14 bigha zameen, 14-15 bhains, 100-200 nagad hai…maang, kya chahye? (I have land, buffaloes, cash…what do you want. You name it and you’ll have it)

Chavli : Aapka aashirwaad (I only need your blessings)

When Govinda arrives, he sees that Chavli’s hut is on fire. He runs to save her, but all he can find there is an anklet of hers. He sees all the Ahirs and Chamars there and reaches a conclusion that they have burned his Chavli to death.

He announces – Aaj se mera koi baap nahin, ghar nahin, gaon nahin, jaat-biradari nahin, koi dharam nahin…yeh sab is aag mein jal gayi. Aaj se main akela hoon.  And he sets off. He walks for days together mourning and finally reaches a crossroad. He finds an anklet there, which is exactly the same as the one he had found at Chavli’s house. The thought that Chavli might be alive brightens him up but he doesn’t know which way to go from there. He sees a car coming and he asks the driver, Dilawar Khan (Ajit) if he has seen a girl passing by. When Dilawar says no, he decides to sit right there and wait for Chavli.

Dilawar is Nawaab Saab’s (Anwar Hussain) driver. His Munshi (Rashid Khan) tells Nawaab about Pyaari (Nimmi), a new tawaif in town who sings very well. Nawaab sends for Pyaari and she sings for him. He’s very pleased with her and is ready to bestow her with all his wealth but she refuses.

Dilawar hates her because he thinks she’s of the kind who would rob his master of all his wealth. But when he learns that she refused to take any of it, he develops a soft corner for her. And before long Pyari and Dilawar are in love. One fine day Nawaab loses all his power and riches and decides to go to Bombay to start a new life. He offers to take Pyari and her mother with him and promises to look after them lifelong. But Pyari chooses Dilawar over  Nawaab.

Dilawar and Pyari soon have a misunderstanding between them because Dilawar, though is in love with Pyari and wants to marry her, he doesn’t want the extra responsibility of looking after her mother. And Pyari refuses to leave her mother alone. She says, other women have  families, so the daughters can leave them when they get married, but a prostitute doesn’t have a family, all that she has is her daughter. And now that she has found love, she cannot be so selfish and leave her mother all alone. At the same crossroads, they part ways and go in different directions.

Johnny (Shammi Kapoor) makes an entry next (finally).  Rastogis – Mr. and Mrs. Rastogi, their little kid along with their aaya, Stella (Kumkum) are on their way to  Hotel Parbat on a vacation when their car breaks down right at the crossroads. Johnny offers to fix their car and in return they give him a lift till Hotel Parbat.

Johnny is in search of a job. So he goes to meet Mr. Ferreira (David), the Manager. He doesn’t have to work too hard to impress Mr. Ferreira and he soon gets the job of a waiter cum dishwasher at the Hotel.

Johnny being Johnny, is smitten by Stella at first sight and he doesn’t waste much time in getting his feelings across to her. And with all his cute ways of trying to impress her, Stella cant resist his charm for long either. Before long, the two are madly in love with each other.

One day Johnny asks Stella –

Johnny : Tumhara bachcha kaisa hai? (not to be confused…she’s an aaya after all)

Stella : Na toh eat-ta hai, drinkta hai saara din weepta weepta hai. Usko daant aa rahe hai.

Stella gets a letter from her mother one day saying that her father has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and will have to be sent to the sanitarium immediately, which would cost them Rs. 500. Johnny takes up the responsibility of earning that amount required for his would-be father-in-laws treatment.
There’s this sweet sequence where Johnny and Stella talk about their dreams, their future.

Johnny goes and asks Ferreira for extra work. He confides in him that Stella’s father is not well and he needs to earn extra money for his treatment.

In our films no love story can go smooth, unless it’s a Rajshri film, without a third person forming a traingle and plotting cunning ways to create misunderstandings between the two lovebirds. And this one’s no different. Ferreira, who also has an eye for Stella sees this as an opportunity and comes up with a plan to land Johnny in trouble.  He gives Johnny the charge of supplying the guests at the hotel with alcohol, which is legally prohibited in the premises of Hotel Parbat. Johnny blind in love doesn’t see the danger this task imposes, he sees it as an opportunity to make quick money and promises to himself that he’ll quit the job once he earns 500 bucks.

Stella is quite disappointed when she learns what Johnny is upto. She catches him red-handed when he goes to deliver Rastogi’s order of  Whiskey. He somehow manages to convince her that he’ll avoid trouble and he won’t do it for long. Just when he manages to manaofy her and all’s well between them, Ferreira gets Jhonny arrested!

He gets released after three months and unaware that Ferriera was behind all this, he first goes to Ferreira to collect his money. He asks him if he knows where Stella is. That’s when Ferriera introduces Stella as Mrs. Ferriera. Poor Johnny is heart broken. Angry and murderous, he tries to kill Ferriera.

He wanders around for sometime and then starts up a garage at the same crossroads to keep himself occupied. At one point of time, Johnny sings one line of the sad version of my song, Stella o stella o stella, tera johnny ab tak hai akela…


At this point, Nirmal (P Jairaj) makes an appearance. He is a well-educated man and reaches just in time to help all the protagonists of the story. He himself being a socialist, spreads awareness among people on what socialism can do. He makes speeches on exploitation of the poor by rich, lower castes by higher castes in the society etc…these are things that ordinary people can relate to. Thus, he manages to attract lots of people with his socialist theory. He comes up with a proposal of  building a proper road that would connect all the 4 destinations that the crossroads leads to.

There are lots of Contractors fighting for that contract, including Nawaab saab and Ferriera. But it’s Nirmal and his battalion of ordinary people who win it and start building the road.

Will they be successful in achieving their goal and proving the the so-called-rakhwales of the society that given a chance nothing’s impossible for them? With people like Nawwab and Ferriera in the opposition what are the challenges they will face? How is this mission connected to the earlier love stories? Will any of those 3 stories have a happy ending? Are any of these stories interconnected?

Frankly speaking, I don’t know how to rate this movie. It ended so abruptly, in fact the ending itself was missing from the cd. I could kill eagle videos for this! As though deleting the song, and lots of other parts of the movie was not enough, they had to compromise with the ending as well 😦
It was as if I was watching the movie on tv and kept having frequent power cuts. There were so many missing links that I had to use my own imagination to put all the pieces of the story together.

But having said that, I did enjoy watching this movie. To start with, it had been so long since I saw one that it was nice to see such a power packed performance. Everybody was fabulous! K Abbas has done a good job as a director. There were so many social issues addressed in the movie – caste system, religions (the 3 couples in the movie belonged to 3 different religions), power, money, corruption etc.  And the best part was, none of the stories were dragged for too long. Though there was a little bit of  rona-dhona, it was just for sometime and the story quickly moved to the next couple. Except for Nirmal’s speeches, which were a little preachy at times, must say it was quite fast-paced. I guess, I must give a little bit of credit to Eagle videos as well for wiping away so many scenes 😛

I don’t know how many songs were there originally in the movie, the only ones that I got to see were few Lata Numbers that Pyaari sings for Nawaab saab (Koi maane na maane, Intezaar aur abhi , Jab main kehti hoon), one Meena Kapoor (Anil Biswas’s wife)  song picturized on Chavli (Kachchi hai umariya) and the last song, which the entire crew sings as they build the road (Saathi re bhai re). I won’t say I loved the music of this movie, I found it pretty average. Anil Biswas was the Composer and Sahir Ludhyanvi the lyricist. Except for Saathi re bhai re, I dont even remember having heard the rest of the songs. And I was too disappointed that there were no songs picturized on Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor to be able to appreciate the rest 😦

Kathputli (1957)

August 24, 2010

It was Vyjayanthimala’s birthday on 13th August. So I thought I would watch and review a movie of hers. Of late I have been doing too many posts on songs and have actually been missing reviewing movies. So I sat down to search for a Vyjayanthimala movie in my collection and this was the only one I had.

The name sounded pretty interesting, and with a starcast of Vyjayantimala, Balraj Sahani I was so excited about watching it. But alas, the excitement ended after the first half an hour. I thought Guru Dutt movies had self-deprecating heroes. But his movies are well made, thought provoking and have lots of substance in them. The story and characters linger in your thoughts and disturb you long after the movie has ended. This was a self-deprecating movie with niether any justification nor any substance. It has amazing songs, but again unfortunately they don’t contribute towards the story.

Ok, let me start with the story without discouraging you any further 😛

 The movie begins with a puppet-show in a village, which I thought was a very relevant beginning.

Among the audience, is Pushpa (Vyjayanthimala), an innocent village belle. She is apparently mesmerized to see the puppets dancing. In between she peeps up and manages to catch a glimpse of the puppeteer.

She goes back home and dances in puppet style to the title track, a happy Bol ree  kathputli dori.  Shivraj (Jawahar Kaul), the puppeteer sees her dancing and is of the opinion that her dance was superb : it looked like someone had put life into his puppets. They start a conversation and she tells him that his show was very good.


Pushpa : Kahan rehte ho? (Where do you live?)
Shivraj : Sadkon par. (On the streets.)
Pushpa : Sadkon par? Ghar nahin hai? (On the streets? Don’t you have a home?)
Shivraj : Kabhi ghar ki zaroorat hi nahin padhi (No, never felt the necessity to have one.)

She feels sad for him and decides to help him. She takes him to a huge bunglow and tells Manohar (Aagha) about her idea – that they need a job. Shivraj would make the puppets dance and paralelly there would be few girls doing exactly the same steps as the puppets on the other side of the stage. They even do a live demo of it. But Manohar is not impressed. He is showing them the way out when Loknath (Balraj Sahni) comes and stops them. He offers Pushpa a job but she refuses and walks out saying people who work on stage/theaters are not considered good and she had come there to help Shivraj find a job, not for herself.

Pushpa goes back home and finds out that her sister Chandni is scared to go to school because she hasn’t paid her fees for three months and she may not be allowed to enter her class. She somehow manages some money but Chandni refuses to go to school. According to her, her education is taking up all Pushpa’s hard-earned money. But Pushpa is adamant about educating her and sends her to school.

Shivraj comes to their house later and says that Loknath has offered them a job at a salary of Rs. 200 each. But she sends him away saying she deosn’t need Loknath’s job. Chandni feels that was insulting. Shivraj had come to help them and Pushpa was so rude to him. So Pushpa goes to him to apologize. Just as they make up and admit their fondness for each other and promise to work together, Shivraj gets hit by a car and gets crippled. The hands that made the puppets dance and jump, skid and fight are no longer capable of doing the same again.

It’s then that Pushpa decides to work and earn, help Shivraj recover and also work towards fulfilling their dreams. She goes to Loknath’s house asking for a job. She meets Manohar and asks him for a job.
Manohar : Khana banana jaanti ho? (Can you cook?)
Pushpa : Haan (Yes)
Manohar : Bawarchi hai.(There are cooks)
Bartan dhona jaanti ho? (Do you know how to wash dishes?)
Pushpa : Haan
Manohar : Naukar hai (There are enough servants to do that)
Kapde dhona jaanti ho? (Can you wash clothes?)
Pushpa : Haan
Manohar : Dhobi hai (There are laundry men)
Boot polish karna jaanti ho? (Do you know how to polish boots?)
Pushpa : Nods her head
Manohar : Woh mera kaam hai (That’s my job)
Do me one favour, I’ll give you Rs. 50 per month, food and accomodation for free but never come here asking for a job again.

When Loknath finds out that Pushpa had come in search of a job, he calls her and immediately starts training her. She’s already a good dancer, he helps her polish her skills.

He sings Manzil wohi hai pyaar ki (Subhir Sen) and she dances to it. This song, undoubtedly a lovely number, but has nothing to do with the story. Loknath launches her on stage. Her first dance on the stage is Itne bade jahan mein ae dil . She becomes a superstar overnight.

She’s offered a plush flat in an apartment and she moves in with Shivraj (I guess Chandni was included by default, though they don’t show her). 

Pushpa does a lot of stage shows. Her next performance is Mini mini chi chi, a lovely duet by Lata and Mukesh picturised on Pushpa and Manohar.

When she doesn’t find Loknath around after the show she enquires after him. Manohar tells her that his little son, Bhola is a sickly child and his condition has gone from bad to worse. That’s why he had to rush home.

She goes after him. Bhola is very happy to see her. She feels sorry for him and promises to come and see him everyday.  She even sings a lori Soja re soja mere raj dulare and puts him to sleep.

 Pushpa and Shivraj get married. Shivraj, however, doesn’t like Pushpa bonding so much with Bhola. And the fact that he’s incapable of earning and that she’s the bread-winner hurts his ego all the more.

Her next performance is Bakad bum bum baje dumaroo. It’s a fun number with a peacock dance.

At the end of it, she faints and Loknath summons a doctor. When Shivraj finds out that Pushpa fainted he comes and accuses Loknath of trying to kill her. According to him Loknath was always in love with her. When he couldn’t win her with his love, he  used his son to attain Pushpa. But even that didn’t work because Pushpa got married to Shivraj. So out of jealousy Loknath wants to kill her! Now that was a very ridiculous logic! After delivering all this nonsense, he slaps Loknath. Just then doctor comes and announces that Pushpa is pregnant.

Pushpa gets engaged in her family life and she takes a break from stage. She delivers a baby and it’s only in the hospital that Chandni is shown again (wonder where she was all this while).

In the meanwhile Loknath retires from the stage giving Manohar and Co. all the responsibilities of running the shows. They are not happy with his decision but he’s adamant about it. Shivraj’s slap and accusations hit him too hard.

Now that Pushpa has stopped working, they find it hard to meet ends. Shivraj makes some toys and takes them to a local dealer. But he says nobody buys handmade dolls but lightens Shivraj’s disapppointment saying he knows a man in Patna who deals in such toys and gives him the man’s address. Shivraj, with a hope of finding employment sets out for Patna immediately.

That’s when Pushpa finds time to visit Loknath. She doesn’t have any money left even to pay the house rent and she’s almost finished selling all her jewels. She’s desparately in need of a job. So she goes to his mansion seeking a job but is shocked to see him.  He’s still recovering from the misery of Shivraj’s accusations when Bhola passes away leaving him all alone. She feels the best way to bring him out of his loneliness and despair would be to get him back to work. Left alone there are high chances of him going insane. So she tells Manohar about getting him back on stage. It’s then that Manohar reveals the truth about the incident with Shivraj. She’s devastated to learn how rude her husband was to the person who did so much for her and her family.

She takes it as a responsibility to bring Loknath back to normal. She leaves her baby, Munna with Chandni and helps Manohar find a good dancer. Their plan is  to get a very good dancer and present her to Loknath. He would spot the talent and focus on training and presenting her on stage. They find one such girl, Kamla Lakshman. She dances to Haye tu hi gaya mohe bhool re, and Loknath is thoroughly impressed. Her dance was awesome. I found it better than Pushpa’s. He takes her under his wing and works towards doing a show with her. But her greedy uncle demands more money just before the show and threatens to stall the show if he doesn’t give in to his demands.

 Pushpa comes to his rescue and does the show  herself dancing to Bol ree  kathputli dori. Now, as expected, Shivraj comes back. His journey to Patna goes in vain and returns home disappointed. Finding only Chandni and Munna at home he asks for Pushpa’s whereabouts. When he learns that she’s gone back to Loknath and stage, he takes Munna and goes away.

Pushpa is heartbroken and the grief of losing her child is too much for her to bear. Loknath again comes to her rescue and helps her find Shivraj. She falls down at his feet and pleads with him but he refuses to give the child back.

What happens next? Will she ever get her child and husband back? Why does Loknath go out of his way to help Pushpa?

The movie started on a very good note but went haywire after the first half an hour. So I googled for found out – This was supposed to be produced and directed by Amiya Chakrabarty, who had made classics like Daag, Patita, Badshah and Seema  but unfortunately Amiya could not complete Kathputli as he passed away while making the movie and Ajit Chakrabarty and Nitin Bose completed the film. Wonder if that’s why the movie is so vague.

Shankar-Jaikishan’s music is fabulous. Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri (Soja re soja mere raj dulare, Bakad bum bum baje dumaroo by HJ, all the others were by Shailendra) had penned the lyrics. Songs are good but except for few, the others look like they’ve just been put in to fill the gaps.

Story is very predictable. I’m extremely fond of Balraj Sahni but found him every theatrical most of the time here. Except for the scenes with is son, he was just ok rest of the times. When Pushpa goes to meet Bhola the first time, he says,
Bhola : Papa kehte hai aap bahut achhi hain. (Dad says you are very nice)

That moment of uneasiness is portrayed extremely well by Balraj Sahni.

There was no chemistry between Vyjayanthimala and Jawahar Kaul. And even when Vyjayanthi was in distress, I just couldn’t feel sad or feel at all for her. The soul…the essence was missing in the story and in the performances was well. None of the actors looked convinced of what they were doing or even interested in it except for Agha. If I could sit through this movie it was just  for Balraj Sahni and Agha. I know it was a wrong choice for the lady’s birthday. But that was the only movie of hers I had. So couldn’t help it.

P.S : For a change I’m giving the credit to Doordarshan this time. I was watching Rangoli on 8th morning and the entire episode was dedicated to Vyjayanthimala. But inspite of learning about her birthday so much in advance, I couldn’t watch the movie until 15th and complete this post till now.

Couldn’t find the videos of Mini mini chi chi, and Soja re soja mere raj dulare. Am uploading them on youtube. Will put share the link once done.

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 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!

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.
 

Singapore (1960)

January 29, 2010

I accidentally came across a song Tum lakh chhupana chaho on youtube few months back and with Shammi in it I had to watch this movie. Till then, I didn’t even know that a movie named Singapore existed. I had Bigflix (Movie Rental) subscription back then, so I ordered for it and sat down to watch but there was some problem with their DVD and I couldn’t watch the whole thing. And it being a pretty mysterious movie, I was too restless till I got hold of it and watched it fully.

Directed by Shakti Samanta, it’s an Indo-Malaya production.

Ramesh (Rajan Kapoor) and Shobha (Shahikala) are in love. They meet at a club for dinner where they are followed by two men – Chang (Madan Puri) and his aide, who eavesdrop them. Shivdas (K.N. Singh) even taps their table to find out what they are talking about.

We learn that Ramesh is in charge of the Singapore office that deals with Rubber export. He was planning to sell the firm and come to India, as per Shyam’s (Shammi Kapoor)  advice. Shyam is his friend cum employer who lives and takes care of the rest of the business in India. But now he says he has come across something and he might change his mind about leaving Singapore. He also mentions that he might even call Shyam there to Singapore. But he changes the topic when Shobha enquires about what he’s upto, saying he doesn’t want to talk business over dinner.

As it turns out, Shivdas is Shobha’s father. And when he sees Ramesh and Shobha leaving the club he says that Lata (Padmini), his neice is alone at home waiting for Shobha. He invites Ramesh to join him after Shobha leaves but Ramesh says he has booked a call to Bombay at 9 and goes to drop Shobha home.

Lata is worried because it’s so late and tells Shobha to keep track of time when she goes out in the night. Shobha tells her that Shyam, whom she introduces as Ramesh’s boss, is very good looking and is coming to Singapore. And she worries Lata saying once he comes and she meets him, she also might lose track of time.

Ramesh goes back to his office to take the call. He tells Shyam that he’s convinced about  some hidden treasure in their estate and he has also found a map that would lead them to it. Shyam is rather surprised. He thinks Ramesh is drunk and is talking rubbish. When Ramesh asks him why he didn’t reply to his letters, Shyam says he never got any letters from him.

It looks like it’s a trend between them that Ramesh always records his conversation with Shyam. This entire thing is getting recorded when Ramesh sees shadow by his door. He puts the map in his musical cigarette case, the VAT 69 bottle on his table and hides it in the drawer. Then he gets up and goes to the door. He’s hit on his head by two faceless men making him unconscious and then Ramesh disappears.

Shyam, unable to understand what happened to Ramesh who left the call abruptly and went, gets worried. He decides to go to Singapore and check it out for himself when he’s not even able to reach Ramesh again.

He meets Maria (Maria Menado) in the flight to Singapore and they become friends.

One of Shyam’s employees Cha Choo (Agha) comes to the airport to receive him, takes him to his office and gets him introduced to all the other employees. Cha Choo takes him around and they sing and dance to Yeh shehar bada albela.  Next, they go to police and report Ramesh’s disappearance.

On their way back, Cha Choo tells Shyam about a girl named Shobha, who Ramesh was in love with, thinking she might know of his whereabouts. But he doesn’t know where Shobha lives. All he knows is that she is Shivdas’s (proprieter of another Rubber estate) daughter. And on a second note he adds that she’s a very good dancer and is performing at New India Club that evening. So, off they head to New India Club. Unfortunately or fortunately, it’s Lata performing at the club that night and not Shobha but Shyam is unaware of this fact. She dances to Aane laga jeene ka mazaa.

Shyam follows her to the greenroom after the dance and after learning who he is she invites him home. After a lot of confusion he finally figures out that she’s Lata and not Shobha. And he sees Chin Chin Choo (Lilian), one of his employees with Shivdas just as he’s leaving.

He summons Chin Chin Choo to his cabin the following morning and tries to find out indirectly where she was the previous night. She makes up a story and Shyam is convinced that he was mistaken and it was someone else who he ad seen with Shivdas.

He’s still confused about it when he gets a call from Maria who wants to meet him. After noting down the address, he leaves. Maria reveals her feelings for him (I’ve added that part also in the video) and then they sing to Dekho ji dekho sunlo yeh baat.

They go to Maria’s house for dinner and somebody attacks Shyam there – he’s shot at. He’s more surprised than worried thinking about why anyone would want to kill him.

He comes back to his office and narrates everything to Cha Choo. They find the tapes of his conversation with Ramesh and play it. With its help they find the musical Ciagarette case and hence the map.

He meets Lata, and offers her a lift one evening. They are attracted to each other (how could they not be?). They flirt a little and end up singing Hat jao deewane aaye.

He suspects Shivdas is upto something, so he makes a copy of the map to find out his intentions. The next day, he sets out on a picnic with Shivdas, Lata and Shobha. But before leaving he shows the map (duplicate) to Shivdas, puts it in a file and takes it along saying he’s going to the police station with it directly afterwards.

Shobha leaves the two lovebirds together and goes on her own. Shivdas tries to steal the map from Shyam’s file, which he has left in the car and Shobha witnesses this.

Shyam and Lata, on the other hand, are busy singing  Tum lakh chupana chahoge. This is followed by lots of twists and turns. Shivdas is shot dead, Shobha goes missing and Chang and his men are behind Shyam’s life.

Running from them, Shyam reaches a village where the villagers are dancing. Disguised as one of them, he joins lovely Helen and dances to Rasa sayung re rasa sayung sayung re. He somehow escapes from them and goes home.

Lata is desparately waiting for him, unaware of what happened. She asks him about Shivdas and Shobha. She’s grief stricken to learn that her uncle is no more.

At this very moment police come to arrest Shyam. They are informed that it was he who had killed Shivdas. They search the house and find Shivdas’s deadbody in the bathtub. Lata is so shocked that she passes out. She is convinced that Shyam killed Shivdas and asks the police to take him and go.

Maria comes just in time to hear and see Shyam accused of Shivdas’s murder. He’s thus arrested. When police start investigating the case, they find Cha Choo locked in office washroom, gagged and tied. Even the original map goes missing!!!

Cha Choo is taken to the police station where he narrates how few people locked him up in the washroom and raided Shyam’s cabin.  Even police find everything fishy and suspicious. Maria comes to Shyam’s rescue and bails him out.

There’s one more number which Lata dances to Tu kahan kho gaya.

Maria manages to bail him out, but is he really innocent? How did Shivdas’s deadbody end up in the bath tub? What happens to Ramesh and Shobha? Who is Chang? Who does he work for? Who’s Chin Chin Choo? Was it really her with Shivdas that night? Why is Lata so much against Shyam? Is she also a part of the conspiracy? And who’s Maria? What’s she actually upto?

What I liked the most about the movie –  Shammi, of course!!! He was such a feast to the eyes 🙂 This must have been one of his best looking roles.  Shankar Jaikishan’s music – though it sounded a little wierd listening to Mukesh singing for Shammi in Yeh shehar bada albela.

Helen…in the little role she has, it’s not even a role, she’s there just in that one song, but she looks so gorgeous and adorable! And the song Rasa sayung re rasa sayung sayung re is such a catchy number.

Pretty and elegant Padmini, charming Shashikala,  mysterious Maria, K.N. Singh and Madan Poori (in chinky getup), wonderful Agha, missing Rajan Kapoor and lovely Lilian 🙂

Not to forget, the lovely and petite ladies dancing in the background (if only I could have been one of them…*sigh* ) clad in such beautiful attires. I loved their dresses.

Most of the characters are well sketched and significant, but the story goes haywire, especially towards the end. I didn’t like the way they reveal the mystery, in fact, it’s not even kept a big secret in the first place. It could have been done better. Not something that would keep one on the edge but it’s a fun watch.

on the whole, it’s an entertaining package. If not for anything else, I could watch this movie again for Shammi and one glimpse of Helen.