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20 November 2011

My Favourites: Well-Picturised Songs

My list of ‘favourite songs’ keeps changing with my mood. And I can make hundreds of lists of such songs – sad songs, romantic ones, duets, party songs, songs of heartbreak, songs of waiting… On the whole however, most of these songs are pleasure to the ears and suffer from a humdrum existence on screen. They are there to provide the mandatory romance, or party scene, and do not seem to stretch the directors any. Not much thought seems to go into really ‘directing’ a song, or even integrating it into the narrative.

I’ve firmly believed that directing a movie, and directing a song sequence are two completely different talents. Out of the many good, even great directors in the Hindi film industry of the 50s and the 60s, there were three directors who, in my opinion, were past masters of the art – Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Vijay Anand (in no particular order). Therefore, it’s no surprise that my list is populated by songs from their films. No one, but no one, visualised a song just like they did. Sets, movement, music, extras, camera angles –  all came together on screen to give us some mind-blowing sequences that have weathered the vagaries of time and taste. These are songs that are remembered whenever one talks of the classics. 

And so, this list. Of songs that are not so much about exotic locales or heroines’ costumes or even choreographed steps. Of songs remembered as much for, if not more than, the films in which they were taken from.  

1. Awaara / 1951 / Raj Kapoor / Shankar-Jaikishen / Tere bina aag yeh chaandni + Ghar aaya mera pardesi  
This double-sider is less of a ‘dream’ sequence as it is a nightmare. Raj is torn between his mentor, Jagga, and his love, Rita. He is trapped, as much by his own lies of omission and commission as by his chosen ‘profession’. And his dream / nightmare shows him the fork in the road – on one side, is Rita, high above him, both literally (she is the foster daughter of a wealthy judge) and metaphorically (she stands for redemption); on the other, way below, is Jagga, demonic, and toward the end, towering over everything. It’s heaven and hell, paradise and purgatory, the quest for redemption and the failure thereof. 

It’s a director’s vision that enlarges the scope of a double-sided song; it is only with Rita’s help that Raj will be able to escape and she does try; she even comes down from the heavens to lead him out of his misery. Only, Raj finds that Jagga is more powerful – as he looms over them, Raj slips and falls and Rita escapes into the mists. There is no salvation for Raj, no way out of his misery.

This was the first dream sequence picturised in Hindi films. (Richard pointed out (over at Harvey’s blog) that there had been dream sequences before Awaara, but upon searching, all references point to Tere bina aag yeh chaandni being credited as the first dream sequence. So now I'm confused.) The song took three months to shoot, and was almost derailed because Raj Kapoor was not satisfied.  

2. Tere Ghar Ke Saamne / 1963 / Vijay Anand / SD Burman / Tere ghar ke saamne 
A frothy comedy that paired Dev Anand with his favourite heroine, Nutan for the third time after Paying Guest and Baarish. They were Rakesh and Sulekha. Beleaguered lovers whose fathers are always at each other’s throats. Rakesh is beginning to see Sulekha everywhere, including inside his glass of whiskey. What’s more, she is even singing at him! And shivering when his friend (Rashid Khan) drops in an ice cube, until a besotted Rakesh picks it out.

3. Kaagaz ke Phool / 1959 / Guru Dutt / SD Burman / Waqt ne kiya 
*A rejuvenated masterpiece that was a commercial failure when it first released, it was years ahead of its time in the way it was shot. VK Murthy, a Guru Dutt regular was responsible for the play of light and darkness that shadows the film throughout. Waheeda Rehman plays Shanti, ‘discovered’ by film-maker (Guru Dutt) whose fame eclipses that of her mentor. This is at the beginning of their association, however. Suresh (Guru Dutt) has come in to the deserted studio early in the morning. As he walks in, and sits in the director's chair, he hears something clatter behind him. Turning to look, he spots Shanti knitting away. He is amused and curious - why is she here so early? She smiles: so is he. But then, he always comes early, he says, and she nods wisely. She knows. What?, he laughs. Everything, she says. He moves away. She follows. It's a piquant situation. They are both alone in the world. They are attracted to each other. But he is married. She knows that too.

A lone ray of sunshine falls through one of the ventilators and intermittently lights them up as they move back and forth.

In VK Murthy’s own words (in a 2004 interview with Rediff.com): “He asked me to use sunlight. So we brought two huge mirrors and kept one outside the studio in the sun, that reflected the light onto another mirror, kept on the catwalk, and opened the balcony door to the studio. Light reflected from one to the other and the beam was created. We added some smoke to it, and that scene became a phenomenal craze in the history of cinematography!”

(*Edited in connection with Harvey's comment below.)

4. Bandini / 1963 / Bimal Roy / SD Burman / O maajhi, mera saajan hai us paar 
Lovers do part to meet again sometimes. Here, in the climax of the film, a tea-seller is singing a folksong of a woman who is pleading with the boatman to take her to her beloved on the opposite shore. And Kalyani, on the cusp of a new beginning, is conflicted. She has recently met her long-lost love Shekhar (Ashok Kumar) who is now TB-ridden and in need of care. As the song continues, all her doubts and fears dissolve and she turns her back on the young doctor and the promise of a new life, jumping into the ferry as it lifts anchor. The warden who is accompanying her tries to stop her but she is unheeding. And as the song wafts by Mein bandini hoon piya ki, mein sangini hoon saajan ki she the steamer pulls away and only its smoke lingers in the still air. Perfect. 

5. Guide / 1965 / Vijay Anand / SD Burman / Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai
Rosie has finally taken her first steps toward freedom, having shaken off the shackles of her suffocating marriage. Suddenly, she doesn’t seem like a middle-aged matron, she seems to be on the cusp of adulthood, with a joie de vivre that had been missing from the dutiful wife. As Raju takes her away, she dances her exhilaration, on the most precarious of ledges even as Raju looks on anxiously . There is an edge to her movements, as she seems to challenges life and death.

6. Shree 420 / 1955 / Raj Kapoor / Shankar-Jaikishen / O jaane wale mudhke dekho zara 
This is a song that examines the dichotomy in a woman’s soul – as love wars with a strong morality. Vidya (Nargis) has watched Raj’s (Raj Kapoor) upward rise with dismay as it corresponds with his moral downfall. And now as he comes to her, rich, drunk, morally bereft, she can no longer withstand the call of her own integrity. Broken-hearted at what she sees as his betrayal, she bids him to leave, her self-respect refusing to have anything to do with him as he is. She loves him still, however, and her pain manifests itself in song – look back just once, she pleads, the ghostly twin image in distress, eyes brimming over as she gestures back to her rigid alter-ego, who stands mute.

7. Mughal-e-Azam / 1960 / K Asif / Naushad / Prem jogan ban ke
Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s rendition of the semi-classical number plays in the background as Anarkali, drawn by the soulful notes hurries down the corridors of the palace in search of Salim. When she reaches him, she is overcome by shyness and lowers her eyes, only to look up again as Salim caresses her face with a feather. Her eyes are filled with desire, then quickly, she hides her face behind her veil. Not a word of dialogue breaks the tension of the scene as the camera moves to leave the two lovers alone in a quiet cocoon of their own even as Bahaar, beautiful, jealous Bahaar burns inside.

 8. Awaara / 1951 / Raj Kapoor / Shankar Jaikishen / Ek do teen aaja mausam hai rangeen 
This is not the first time there has been a song set in a bar in Hindi films. This is the first time, though, that the background was captured realistically. Patrons are smoking, playing cards; there’s ribald laughter and raucous remarks, which sometimes drowns out the song. (No one’s sitting at well-laid out tables watching the dancer or even paying attention to the song.) In the dark, smoke-filled room, Cuckoo is sensuous, come-hither, and the object of the patrons’ (drunken) desire.

9. Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam / 1962 / Guru Dutt / Hemant Kumar / Koi door se awaaz de chale aao 
The haunting notes trigger the reminiscence after the opening scenes, and cameraman VK Murthy shrouds the screen with his trademark light and shade heightening the effect. This was, in my opinion, the crowning jewel in a score that boasted some wonderful melodies. Koi door se… sets the mood for the turn the story is going to take; its pathos and mysteriousness heighten the suspense: What really happened to Choti Bahu? The song is played in bits and pieces right through the movie until the horrifying denouement.

10. Jaal / 1952 / Guru Dutt / SD Burman / Yeh raat yeh chandni phir kahaan
This would top my list of well-picturised songs. For the absolute simplicity of the picturisation. Two people, a guitar, the beach, a tempest, and Hemantda’s voice. (This song was one of Hemantda’s earliest Hindi successes.) Maria (Geeta Bali) has learnt that Tony (Dev Anand) is not who he purports to be. She is determined to end the relationship. Yet, when she hears him singing, she is drawn to him despite her misgivings. The strong breezes swaying the coconut trees reflect the tumult in Maria’s breast. And it’s interesting that while the song is a male solo, the camera rests lovingly on the heroine’s face, chronicling her inner struggle, and when she finally gives in to his call (Is haseen aag mein tu bhi jal ke dekh le, zindagi ke geet ki dhun tu badalke dekh le, sun le ab dil ki dhadkano ki zubaan, sun jaa dil ki dastaan) , the tempest outside is nothing compared to her turmoil. It’s a masterful depiction of sexual awakening with nary a hint of vulgarity.

102 comments:

  1. Wow, a great list.
    Agree with you that they are all great picturisations.
    If you allow some nitpicking:
    The situation for the song waqt ne kiya is not as you have described, dear Anu.
    The song plays when they discover there love for each other but also realise at the same the futility of it all.
    They are still shooting Devdas, that is why Waheeda is in Chandramukhi's costume. And thus the fall of the director has not started as yet.

    I just can't think of any songs to add now, but maybe tomorrow!

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  2. Aargh, aargh, aargh! Thanks for catching that, Harvey. I will change it at once. I messed this one up with Dekhi zamaane ki yaari, Bichde sabhi baari baari.

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  3. Oh, how come I didn't think of this song at once. For me this song would stand first on my list of best picturised song. :-) (But o re maanjhi would give it a tough competition)
    No dance, no big movements, just glances and then the climax. Bang!
    The resurrected Christ of Pyaasa.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RoYqVde4MM&feature=related

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  4. bade bade blogosphere me, aise chhoti chhoti baate hote rehti hai!

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  5. Yeh mehlon, yeh takhton was on my list, Harvey, but it got knocked off in favour of Waqt ne kiya - mainly because of my mood at the moment. :)

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  6. Aur sirf aap hi ek shaks hai jo Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor aur Bimal Roy ke beech Shahrukh ko laa sakte hai! :)

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  7. Lovely list (as usual), Anu. I think I would also add Raj Khosla to the list of directors who knew how to picturise songs. After all, he was Guru Dutt's assistant; he must have imbibed something from the master.

    My list would include this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XOi1GzOgfc

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UDyPRYiSfw

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  8. Anu, last night I suffered from one of my frequent bouts of insomnia - couldn't sleep till nearly dawn. And as I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep, I remembered Accha ji main haari chalo maan jaao na from Kaala Paani, and thought, "That's one of the best picturised songs I've seen." Then, "How about doing a post on the songs whose picturisation I like most?"

    There is something very weird going on here.

    But: wonderful post. The sort of songs I'd have put in my list would've probably been the more frothy, romantic ones, but I actually think yours work better - bringing forth a greater range of emotions and skills (cinematography, subtext, and so on).

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  9. Isko grounding kehte hai! ;-)
    Jab badlo me hum phirte hai to zameen ko bhulna nahin chahiye! ;-)

    BTW, My mistake: It should read Paro's costume and not Chandramukhi.

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  10. Thank God, we all have different (good) tastes!

    BTW, do you know I went to sleep with your post and woke up with it? :-)
    I should get a life!

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  11. My poor Madhu!
    Insomnia is awful!

    Anu and you. I'm sure, will burst into a song, when you personally meet each other!

    Madhu, it would be great if you could make a list of good picturised romantic frothy songs, although that would have a lot of competition!

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  12. Dear Harvey, you're now responsible for the smile on my face!

    Thank God, we all have different (good) tastes!

    Ha, ha, ha. Definitely GOOD taste, Harvey.

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  13. :) I actually liked the earlier Shahrukh. When he first came in to movies, he was earnest, had talent and was not afraid of going against type.

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  14. I agree with you about Raj Khosla, Ruhi. He did some great picturisations too. In fact, I really like the one from Solva Saal. I'd Jeena Yahan, Marna Yahan down on my list, but cut it out in favour of Ek, Do, Teen because of the sheer innovativeness of the latter's picturisation. The bar below the street, the smoke-filled atmosphere, the patrons not really caring about the song but looking at Cuckoo lasciviously when she comes near their tables, the ribald comments that overpower the song - that was very real.

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  15. I can't even blame medicines for my insomnia! I think the 'same mind with a single thought' is really getting weird now. :) It's going beyond coincidence! Or we are channelling each other somehow. :) But do, do a post on what you think are well-picturised songs.

    We're all the better for having more and more songs brought to the forefront of our memories, no?

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  16. Anu and you. I'm sure, will burst into a song, when you personally meet each other!

    My husband is back from India, Harvey, and I've commissioned him to write 'our' song. Once we learn it, we're all set to be separated. :)

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  17. Anu, I have been playing these songs over and over again since the morning (I'm working from home). I leave it to you to decide just how much work is getting done! I absolutely love 'Waqt ne kiya'. Waheeda looks wonderful (when does she not??). My list of well-picturised songs would have these:

    I love the way the song is 'carried' from one to the other thus explaining why so many different people can sing the same refrain:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fOlNZjsWSw&feature=feedrec_grec_index

    and this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03DXW_rV54U

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  18. Wonderful list of songs, esp the ones from Kaagaz ke Phool, Guide, Tere Ghar ke Samne and Jaal. I am reminded of the unknown person who lived in the flats next door to our house, who would be whistling these songs late at night, somewhere around 9 or 9:30 p.m. I never did find out who it was, since I didn't know any of the people in those flats, but I used to enjoy listening, esp when he was whistling "Yeh raat yeh chandni ...".
    "Waqt ne kiya ..." is a masterpiece, I have no words to describe it - not that I have words to describe the others!
    Keep these lists coming! I love to read them!

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  19. Thanks, Lalitha. It's encouragement from readers like you that keeps me going. Such wonderful songs out there; and Harvey and I are trying to convince Madhu to do a post on the same theme too. :) (Madhu, are you listening?)

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  20. I saw this yesterday, but I was rushing off somewhere and didn't get around to commenting. Lovely list of songs, Anu, and I concur about song direction being different from directing scene. I don't know enough about the directors to know who was good or bad, but now I'll keep an eye out for films by the directors you mentioned. :) I'm watching the songs again now (I'm at late lunch.).

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  21. I never liked him in the earlier films, he reminded me too much of an uncle, whom I didn't like much.
    And now I am sort of indifferent to him, though I liked him in Swades.
    He is good when he he doesn't do the SRK act.

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  22. No, no, no. Once we LEARN the song, THEN we will be separated!

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  23. I'm glad you enjoyed them, Tina. A good film song is so much more than the audio part of it, no?

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  24. Laughing at SRK reminding you of your uncle, Harvey!

    He is good when he he doesn't do the SRK act.
    True. Too, too, true! He was also good in Chak De! (where he wasn't doing the SRK act either!) But those roles are so few and far between that I want to go up and smack him! So much potential.... sigh.

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  25. I am one of those who cannot always appreciate the difference between a great director & a great song sequence director, and so a little more elucidation would help.
    However, I do instinctively agree with several of your selections, especially the songs from Guide & Tere Ghar Ke Samne. Another great song picturization from TGKS would be "Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar", imaginatively shot inside the Qutub Minar.
    Incidentally, Guide is one my all-time favorite movies; here is my take on it
    http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Guide-FilmFare-Award-1966-review-trnmosolom
    And I did mention Vijay Anand's skill at shooting song sequences :)

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  26. Samir, a good song director knows how to set up a scene to lead up to the song; the song, even if it is the mandatory romantic duet is not there just to provide the requisite number of songs, it's also there to move the narrative along.

    One great example would be Tumne mujha dekha from Teesri Manzil. The hero has given the heroine a message confessing 'all'. He signs off saying if she forgives him, she should come to his show in the evening. She comes. And is given the letter just as she sits down at the table. A fact that the hero is not aware of. So he sings, love and gratitude mingling in an outpouring that is as poignant as it is beseeching. We, the audience, know the truth. And so the denouement does not come as a surprise to us, as it does to the hero.

    A well-placed song is a great tool in the hands of a great director. And not all directors have that talent. Think of the great Bimal Roy - no one would deny his mastery over his craft. Now think of Jungal mein mor naacha kisine na dekha hai. Nice song (I love it!); but what the heck was it doing in that story? You needed that, why??

    Or think of all the (great / good / awful) songs you have seen that are 'fillers' where you really like the song, but go 'Huh? What? Why is this here?'

    Sorry for the treatise. :)

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  27. I tried leaving a comment your review of Guide. Unfortunately, neither am I on MouthShut nor do I do FB. :(

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  28. No problem about that comment.
    And I liked your explanation, I sort of had an inkling, but it is good to see concrete examples like Bimal Roy etc.

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  29. It's a fabulous list. Like you rightly say, a lot on the list also depends on your mood at the time. But Nutan shivering in the glass when an ice cube falls in, is always, always a favourite moment with me.

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  30. Nutan shivering in the glass is my favourite too, much more so than Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar (though I do like it as well). The other song I like from the same movie is actually Tu kahan, ye bataa - I absolutely love the way the mists roll in and Devsaab goes toodling along until Nutan throws open her window; her smile lights up the whole night, and I can't blame Noddy for having that silly goofy grin on his face!

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  31. I couldn't sleep half the night again. :-(

    Have been feeling very sorry for myself all morning... until now! Anu, harvey: your comments have really perked me up and pasted a great big Premnath grin (read 'goofy grin' - this is a harvey patent, by the way - he was the one who came up with that thing about Premnath having a goofy grin) on my face.

    I'm so looking forward to that song! ;-)

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  32. I really, really liked him in Chak De! too. He's such a good actor, but so stereotyped - he IS the star, no longer the actor. Sad... but now I'm wanting to rewatch Chak De!.

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  33. I haven't seen Chak De as yet.
    Itne sare film aur itna sara kaam par itna kam time!

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  34. @ Madhu: You poor thing! Hugs and lots of them to you!
    If my comments have put a Premi grin on your face them mission accommplished!

    Now if you both have a song, then I need a role as well!
    Like that of a villain, who kidnaps one of you and teaches you some evil trade like pick-pocketing or boot-legging.
    *Shame on you, Harvey! Think BIG!*
    or Banker! ;-)

    Yeah, that would be it! One of you will become a banker and the other a Occupy-Wall-Street activist.
    The climax: Meeting on the square. The banker passing by, whistling the tune to your song. The activist hears it despite the noise and starts singing. And then you both wiggle your way through the crowd and hug each other and sing thro your tears, while I look down from an high-rise building through my office windows and sharpen my knife, no i-phone!

    Kaho kaisa raha?

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  35. I agree, Anu. In fact, Tu kahan yeh bataa ... is my favorite song in the movie, and just for the last part where Nutan opens the window and smiles, and DA has that grin on his face - their happiness brings an equally goofy grin to my face!

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  36. I knw, Lalitha. It is very difficult to remain untouched by such happiness, no? Nutan had this absolutely glowing look, and I absolutely loved Devsaabs self-deprecating grin!

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  37. Poor you. Insomnia is the very devil, isn't it? Have yout tried Acupuncture to help you with it? I like 'Premnath grin'! As for the song, I'll tell him to buck up. :) We need it soon, especially after reading Harvey's scenario below!

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  38. Bilkul badhiya! Harvey. Bonus points for being topical. :))

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  39. Madhu, that's his own fault! It's amazing what insecurity can do to an actor. He's in a position where he can write a film the way he wants it; he can direct its narrative, and commission good scripts - there are plenty of good writers out there who are just looking for that one break, for crying out loud! And what does he do? Come up with Ra.One. Seriously? He's not unintelligent. He does not lack for talent. He has the money - much more than any one man can spend. Why does he feel the need to alienate everybody in the industry? His 'acts' on the Filmfare stage have become a bad joke. Why is he squandering all the goodwill he earned so far? And when will he learn?

    Aargh! Sorry. Rant over.

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  40. harvey, may be we should all band together and find out if someone will employ us to watch movies and write about them - sub-titling thrown in for free?

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  41. If you find such a job, could you please let me also join in? Of course, once they read some of my comments, they will realize that I am a nitpicker and not give me a job, but if I promise to be very, very good?

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  42. Lalitha, if you promise to be very, very good. Which means, no wondering how the heroes support themselves, no wondering how heroines manage to have matching accessories and the latest in fashion, or even how Dara Singh can get ruffled shirts on a pirate ship (God, that comment made me laugh so much!!). Once you prove yourself a worthy acceptor (is that even a word?) of all things masala, then, and only then, can you join the merry band. :))

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  43. Yes, that would be something! When I watch certain Hindi films, I have this ability to listen to the dialogues, understand without the expectancy to understand them.

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  44. You can join in as an apprentice! ;-)

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  45. It is so lonely up there, Anu, and not to forget the air is thin! Have pity on him!

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  46. Ear-Worm since yesterday: Tere bina aag yeh chandni, tu aaaaaajaaaa!

    I was talking to my boss with this song in my head as accompaniment. My encounters in blogosphere will cost me my job.

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  47. LOL, harvey! As it is, you go in late (after reading posts). Did you also sing to him?

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  48. He made it lonely himself, says she adamantly! No pity at all. (So there!

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  49. Yes, and once she proves herself to be worthy of masala-hood, then she gets to be equal partner!

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  50. Thank you for graciously accepting me into this elite club! (Yeah, and just wait till you start regretting the day you made this offer!)

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  51. Equal partner? More likely, I will end up being the ringleader, or at least, chief nitpicker!

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  52. Anu, you forgot the embroidery on the shirts - it was that which first caught my eye!

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  53. After reading your threat to become chief nitpicker, I'm afraid already! :)

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  54. Hey, only one of us is the Wall Street Banker; the other is on the side of the good chaps. So what ringleader? Whose ringleader?

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  55. Thank heavens you didn't ask where Dara Singh found an embroiderer on ship! As it is, I spewed coffee over my keyboard when I thought of Dara Singh going on board and shouting for a darzi!

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  56. @Harvey: ROTFL!! You are hilarious. And your ideas... my goodness, what a fertile imagination you have. :-D

    But we need to remain as true to our real selves as we can, no? We're not doodh-peeta bachchas that we can be taught how to smuggle and do boot-legging (or banking) at this stage. I know my brain at least has had enough, and can now only think about writing... so give me plagiarism as a crime, instead.

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  57. "Which means, no wondering how the heroes support themselves, no wondering how heroines manage to have matching accessories and the latest in fashion, or even how Dara Singh can get ruffled shirts on a pirate ship"

    What?? How on earth can I write a decent review without all of that?! This isn't fair. :-(

    BTW, let me know when you find that job. Maybe you should write to Induna and ask them if we can submit our reviews to them!

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  58. :-D
    There will be no regrets, dear!
    Anu and I can be very convincing missionaries. Youwill be converted in no time.
    Naturally, there is always the danger of being over-zealous, but lots of neo-converted have that. It subsides! ;-)

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  59. In the eyes of our lord/lady of masala cinema, everybody is equal, except for the pay cheques! ;-)

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  60. Now, seriously!
    What is so strange in Dara Singh getting yellow ruffled shirts on a pirate ship. After all he is pirate king (queen?) and he is been pillaging and looting left, right and centre. And while looting a ship of garment delivery from the sweat shops of Tirrpur, he got himself some ruffled shirts and few of them were yellow. Don't forget, his main aim in life now is to avenge his father/mother's death or just get to the throne, if on the way to that he has to wear some ruffled shirts, he doesn't care! He is Dara Singh!
    What intrigues me more, is where did he get the drag for himself and his gang and that also costum-made? Did he go to the darrzi and said "Three sets of ghagra-choli each for me and my men. And mind you, I get the colourful ones."

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  61. "This isn't fair. :-("
    That is why you will get paid for the job and not do it for free, like on your blog.
    Ab samjha? No sweet, without sweat!

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  62. don't get your masalas mixed up. This is a different plot! Yeh to doosra fillum hai bhai, sorry behen!

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  63. *in my bessst possible bambaiya acccent*

    Ae beh'n, tu to hamare Manmohan Desai fillum me poora Satyajit Ray leke aa raheli hai. Me abhi directich boltai, humse yeh alternative cinema nahin parvadneka.

    *returning back from my tapori avatar to normal (?) self*

    What you need is french cinema. ;-)
    But anything to keep you happy!

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  64. You are right plagiarism is nothing new for hindi cinema. It would be something like Naya Zamana.
    But are you sure you want to play Pran to Anu's Dharmendra? Think it over.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvLDjxJa084

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  65. Brilliant theme.
    I think Nutan in the glass is universally appreciated (including me), also the Bandini song. Excellent songs *and* picturization. The others are great too.

    I find this song from Dekh Kabira Roya very interestingly picutrized, in the sense that it shows Shubha Khote and Anita Guha marching onwards without a break in the camera shot except 3 times I think. And we see a whole stretch of Marine Drive...then. How different it looks!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96iP00GSoiU

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  66. No, I didn't sing it to HER. Anyway, it wouldn't have changed her opinion about me. I'm the Mr. Loony of the office.

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  67. Anu, not only did those pirate ships have darzis and embroiderers on board, they also had presswallahs - note the neat creases on Dara Singh's yellow sleeve! In other words, they had all the perks I yearn for - a darzi, someone to do exquisite embroidery and someone to do the ironing (and presumably the laundry, too)!

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  68. Anu, I apologize for digressing and talking about Lootera instead of discussing these wonderful song sequences you have listed! Talking of Kaanton se kheenchke yeh aanchal, I love the part where Waheeda kicks off those gorgeous sandals and DA picks them up at the end of that stick, and then they show her framed inside one of those balcony openings in the palace - wonderful way to show her liberated frame of mind! And here I am, slaving away at this apple pie!

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  69. Lalitha, don't even bother apologising! (Besides, I brought that up!) I haven't had so much fun in a long while. I've been laughed so much yesterday (and today when I read harvey's responses.)

    Back to the topic (you're a slave driver, my dear) : yes, I loved that shot, and the look on DA's face when he realises what he has unleashed. To me, that song embodies freedom.

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  70. LOL. Yes to the Mr Loony, but think - if you could also serenade her, she might think you're a very valuable employee (even if loony) and not fire you at all!

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  71. Thanks so much, pacifist. And thank you for the song too. I'd seen Dekh Kabira Roya a very long time ago, and must confess that I'd completely forgotten this song.

    And thank you even more for that burst of nostalgia - Marine Drive looked so pristine, no? I used to take every chance I got to walk down its stretch when I was working at Nariman Point.

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  72. harvey, harvey, you'll be the death of me! Madhu, it's true though - we can't go against the director and the script - so we'll have to learn banking and activism.

    And I get to play Dharmendra?? *swoooon*

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  73. Lalitha, I always yearned to be 'poor' like in Hindi films - they all had houses with courtyards (in Bombay, even!), the most wonderful of traditional dresses with lovely accessories (they couldn't be poor wearing western clothes), and they all had 'maa' making gajar halwa. (Me want! I would also like some of your apple pie - can't make any this time with one hand out of commission.)

    And yes, I definitely want someone to iron (oh god, please!) for me... :( See, I am deprived!

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  74. No, no, no, you misunderstand. We are different (like Maggi tomato sauce) - we are reviewers and can wonder about all that. See, that's when we are being rational. She is not allowed to do so while we wallow in the masala-ness of the film. (When we decided to suspend disbelief, belief, surprise, reason....)

    Induna, Eros, anyone will do. But they should pay us enough to let us quit our day jobs. ;)

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  75. harvey, you're wonderful! Now that would never have occurred to me. But you didn't take your rationale to the only possible conclusion - the garments included women's clothes. He just found one XXL that fit him.

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  76. Oops, sorry, she said, head bowed in shame. Guilty as charged, me lord. This is fultu masala film ('diferent' plot? she says - there are no different plots in masala films!)

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  77. Cue evil laughter. Mwahahahahaha. I can see Lalitha now, accepting every twist and turn in a masala plot with eyes wide open in anticipation. Her husband will thank us with tears in his eyes....

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  78. I see this whole bunch of comments on the post and come to see if any more songs have been posted, and I come across the plot for a new film instead! Thanks for making me cackle like a demented witch (in office!) while at lunch! My colleagues now think I've to be officially certified! You people are hilarious! harvey's scenario SHOULD be sold to some producer - think of what a great movie it would make! I would suggest Dev Anand, but then instead of Madhu and you, he would cast himself as one of the protagonists - probably the activist.

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  79. We aim to please. :)) Laughing myself at the thought of selling the script to Dev Anand; and yes, I can see how he would cast himself.

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  80. Ah, you didn't get it. She considers me valuable because I'm Mr. Loony. At least that is what she was telling me when the song was ringing in my ears. Polite as she is, she didn't mention the loony thing.

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  81. Thank you, Ruhi!

    Knowing Dev Anand he would cast himself as both of them and get himslef a blond bimbo to kiss.
    How we all miss Manmohan Desai!

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  82. Oh my poor future self, watching masala films with no chance to comment and criticize and nitpick - I am shedding tears at the thought of that sight! Hubby had better think twice before thanking anyone - he may have to starve for the rest of his life, or live off Subway and Taco Bell!

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  83. You do have that "bambaiyya accent" down to the last syllable! I am busy wiping off the tears rolling down my cheeks as I write this!

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  84. The apple pie got some good reviews at home! Yes, I also want a press wallah! What happened to your hand?

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  85. *almost crying* Me want some! I'm willing to sponsor an isthriwala if he will solemnly promise to iron all my family's clothes for eternity.

    My hand? Long story short - I was changing the spare tyre of my car; the jack slipped.

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  86. Actually, I take that back - there are some films that are bearable only if we have conducive company with whom to nitpick plotholes and lapses in continuity mercilessly. But you do need to have some suspension of disbelief, so really, no wondering how heroes support themselves or how they get ruffled shirts on pirate ships - in Malayalam, there is a saying 'Kathayil chodyamilla' - you're from Palghat you said? You should understand that. :))

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  87. I wrongly read that as "he would cast himself as the blond bimbo"!!! :-D

    Knowing Dev Anand, he would probably cast a bevy of bimbos, and himself as a college student... honestly, 'evergreen' is one thing, but 'refusing to face reality'?

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  88. I don't want to play Pran. :-(

    But if it means sharing screen space with Dharmendra... well, maybe. I'd better polish up my villainous instincts!

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  89. Madhu, if Devsaab could get away with it, he would have cast himself as the bimbo, the banker, the activist and the villain. One must admire the man's chutzpah though.

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  90. You were too late! I called dibs on Gram Dharam. :)

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  91. You were too late, Madhu! I called dibs on Garam Dharam. :)

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  92. Sorry to hear about your hand "accident" - right or left? I imagine it is in a cast - definitely not fun - so here's an offer - come down to my place, it is much warmer than yours, and I love to cook and you can watch all my DVD's, with me doing my favorite thing - nitpicking in the background!

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  93. Sounds wonderful! And with the offer of you nitpicking, how can I refuse?? :)

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  94. Just Stumbled upon your blog and wow....,what a nice write-up.Although my choice of most well picturised songs would have been a little different,I still liked your choice of songs a lot.One small glitch [please forgive me for this]-Koi door se awaaz de from Sahib Biwi Aur ghulam has Music by Hemant Kumar,not S.d.Burman.

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  95. Well, I lived in Bombay for nearly 50% of my life.

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  96. Arre baap re! My leading heroines are quarelling over the leading man. This is what good-looking handsome men do to good scripts!
    But Gharam-Dharam is all mine! At least on my blog and very soon! ;-)

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  97. Aargh, another glitch! And I knew that Hemantda had used the male solo that was cut from Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam for Anupama. *scurrying off to correct that at once! Thanks, Raunak.

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  98. What to do, harvey. It's Garam Dharam after all. :) But looking forward to reading all about him on your blog.

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  99. Also, Raunak, feel free to post your choices here; you'll find most of the blog readers love to be reminded of other good songs.

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