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21 June 2012

My Favourites: Sensuous Songs

I had meant to continue my Raj Kapoor series, just so I could convert fellow-blogger dustedoff into being an RK lover like me, but I haven't had the time to re-view the film I wanted to write about next. (Never mind, I shall persevere.) In the meantime, I was having a (heated) discussion with a friend about song picturisations today; and about how the meaning of the word 'erotic' or 'sensual' has changed from what it originally meant to being vulgar, raunchy, and in most cases, just involves getting the heroine wet.

'Hot' does not equal 'erotic' in my opinion, nor is 'erotic' synonymous with exposure. Our heroines from the not-so-permissive age were able to smoulder with just a flirtatious glance and a toss of the head (Waheeda in Jaane kya tune kahi, for instance) or twinkling eyes and a full-blown smile (Madhubala as she crooned Acha ji main hari chali). One of the most erotic scenes in Hindi films involved a fully-clothed Madhubala and Dilip Kumar and a white feather. So also the train sequence in Pakeezah.  While Rajendra Kumar only needed to see Sadhana's eyes to write a romantic ode  -
Maine ek baar teri ek jhalak dekhi hai, 
Meri hasrat hain ke main phir teraa deedar karoon
Tere saaye ko samajhkar main haseen Taj Mahal, 
Chaandni raat mein nazron se tujhe pyar karoon.  
Similarly, it's not only Guru Dutt who swooned over Waheeda's beauty with Chaudvin ka chaand ho ya aaftaab ho... 

Raj Kapoor and Nargis heated up the screen just looking at each other. Shammi Kapoor only needed to quirk an eyebrow to evoke goosebumps, and Dev's lopsided grin coupled with Nutan's megawatt smile lit up not only the screen, but also the audience. 

I agree that this is very subjective, and that one man's 'erotic' is another's 'raunchy'. Perhaps I err on the old-fashioned side of the meaning of the word 'sensual' - appealing to the senses - without it having to be explicit.  To me, sensuality lies in what is concealed, not what is revealed. It lies in the mystery, the implied promise, the hint of what is to come. It is very much a part of love and romance and I will separate it from songs of seduction, which, to me, are a completely different genre altogether. So, based on my description of what 'erotic' or 'sensuous' mean, here are my selections.

1. Dum bhar jo udhar munh phere (Awara / Lata Mangeshkar-Mukesh)
This is definitely one of the 'it has to be seen to be believed' songs. The romance between the characters, the chemistry between the actors, the lyrics, music, picturisation - if you want raw sensuality that sets the screen on fire, well, you got it. Without as much as a kiss or the heroine dropping her clothes. It is amazing how much can be said, or not, as the case may be, with just a look. The lyrics hint at it though, when she pleads Dum bhar jo udhar munh phere, o chanda, main unse pyar kar loongi. Yet, it is not the ubiquitous - and to me, personally, rather icky - shot of two flowers waving in the breeze. The passion is hinted at, not caricatured; it is barely contained, yet it is not on outright display. 

2. Aaj sajan mohe ang laga le (Pyaasa / Geeta Dutt)
Just when you think song picturisations cannot get any better, Guru Dutt comes along to show you how wrong you are. This song is, on the face of it, a bhajan, sung by an itinerant mendicant. On one level, it is the love of Meera for her Krishn Bhagwan. On the other hand, it also exemplifies the yearning of Gulabo, a prostitute, for Vijay. Take a look at the expressions that flit past her face as she is drawn, almost unwillingly, to the man she has come to love above all else. Listen closely to the lyrics, and see how it could fit both ituations. Each step Gulabo takes upwards, each breath she draws as she comes closer to her dream - it's an amazingly powerful performance. And yes, she, too, is quite decorously clad. 

3.  Aaiye meherbaan (Howrah Bridge / Asha Bhonsle)
She is a nightclub singer, crooning to make patrons spend more than they can, or should. Madhubala smoulders in a ghagra choli, but it is her dazzling smile and exquisite ada that make the difference. She is uninhibited, lost in her own song, as she stands in front of the microphone, moving almost languidly - just a few steps, and all the while, one can hardly take one's eyes off her. From the first notes of the instruments, (music by OP Nayyar), the lyrics (Qamar Jalalabadi) and Asha Bhonsle providing the vocals, the stage is set for Madhubala to work her magic.  And she matches up to expectations and more, making every member in the audience feel she is singing for him alone. Amazing.

4. Aur kuch der thehar (Aakhri Khat / Mohammed Rafi)
One of Chetan Anand's lesser known films, this certainly deserves much more attention than it has garnered. The film also saw the debut of the man who went on to become the first 'superstar' of Hindi films - Rajesh Khanna. And you realise how much talent this man really had, and just how much his mannerisms overshadowed, and later killed his performances. This song is much more explicit than the others I have listed so far, in that the lyrics (Kaifi Azmi, music by Khayyam) and the picturisation make it very clear that they have just made love. He doesn't want her to leave yet - Raat ab baaki hai - and he hasn't had his fill - Paake tujhko tujhe paane ki hawas baaki hai.  He doesn't shy away from lust (though it embarrasses him too, a little bit), as honest an emotion as love, but then the Anand brothers definitely did not back out from showing passion in all its hues.

5. Dil jo na keh saka (Bheegi Raat / Lata Mangeshkar)
For the mindblowing picturisation. It's not just Pradeep Kumar who will find his scarf a tad tight around his neck. Meena Kumari looked absolutely stunning, mingling mischief and sensuality, and her character does not shy away from saying exactly what her feelings are, even if in verse. (Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri, Music: Roshan) Ab tak dabii thi ek mauj-e-armaan, lab tak jo aayi ban gayii hai toofaan... Dil jo na keh saka, wohi raaz-e-dil kehne ke raat aayi... Lata Mangeshkar's voice had just the right tinge of seduction, and the fire in the scene had nothing to the flames of passion that are ignited between the leads. 

6. Tumhe yaad karte karte (Amrapali / Lata Mangeshkar)
There is a story, possibly apocryphal, that Lata Mangeshkar was so tired of being told that she couldn't sing sensuous songs like her sister, that she asked (forced) Laxmikant-Pyarelal to compose a 'seductive number' to prove she could match and even beat Asha at her own game. (It is one of her rare cabaret numbers.) However, this was one song that beat the cabaret number hollow when it cames to sensuousness, and the picturisation of the latter bore no comparison to Vyjayanthimala at her seductive best. Caught in the throes of love for a man she rescues after the war, she sings of separation and yearning. Birha ki is chitaa se tum hi mujhe nikaalo / jo tum na aa sako to mujhe swapn mein bulaa lo / mujhe aise mat jalaao meri preet hai kunwari / tum le gaye ho apne sang neend bhi hamari...  Shankar-Jaikishen's music used Lata voice and minimal instrumentation to great effect to capture the sensuality inherent in love.  

7. Roop tera mastana (Aradhana / Kishore Kumar) 
It's the lure of the forbidden. Somewhat similar in picturisation to Dil jo na keh saka, the most important difference perhaps was that this was not an expression of yearning, but a desperation almost, to stop from giving in to feelings that are as yet nascent. Rok raha hain humko zamana / Door hi rehna paas na aana / aise magar koyi dil ko samjhaaye... Their rising desire, the hesitation to give in to it, the storm outside mirroring the storm inside, the faceless singer... all add to give us one of the finest erotic song sequences ever filmed. While it is from a period later than I usually choose for my songs, the picturisation of this song is brilliant. RD's music (yes, I know it was Burmanda who was credited for the score, but this is RD), Kishore Kumar's vocals, and the simmering intensity between Sharmila and Rajesh made this an absolute winner.

8.Tumse kahoon ik baat (Dastak / Mohammed Rafi) 
A much more explicit song - both lyrics and picturisation - than any of the others, including Roop tera mastana, it is still shot aesthetically, and by today's standards, almost conservatively. A rare gem, this had Mohammed Rafi at his sensuous best; soft, erotic, and complemented by the tune from a master musician. Dastak  won Madan Mohan his first (and only) award - the National Award for best music director.  It's an incredible song, musically, and the lyrics matched the 'adult' theme of the film. 
Hain bheega sa jism tumhara in haathon mein
Baahar neend bhara panchhi bheegi shaakhon mein
Aur barkha ki boond badan se dhalki dhalki
Tumse kahoon ik baat paron se halki halki

Who better than Shammi Kapoor to put the innocence back into sensuality? A lift of his eyebrow, a shake of his head, a glance, and Mohammed Rafi's soft vocals - which girl can resist?  It's romantic, it's innocent, it's playful, it's sensuous. The picturisation, early in the morning, with swirling mists, a handsome Shammi and a tremulous Asha Parekh --- if I do not stop now, I will gush. For some reason, I cannot find a video with the full song. The film version was longer with a verse in the middle:
Beqaraar se ho kyun hum ko paas aane bhi do
Gir pada jo haath se woh roomal uthane bhi do
Ban-te kyun ho jaane bhi do
Hum aur tum aur yeh sama kya nasha nasha sa hain
Boliye na boliye sab soona soona sa hain  

10. Yeh raat yeh chaandni phir kahan (Jaal / Hemant Kumar)
It seems impossible to make a list like this and not include Dev Anand. Just as impossible as it is not to have Shammi. This is one song, at once sensuous and seductive, that has made many of my lists. It is, quite possibly, one of the most erotic song picturisations ever. The hero, the heroine, a guitar, the beach, a storm. And Hemantda's voice. The camera lingers on her face as he sings, capturing her inner struggle as she wavers between ignoring him as she knows she should, or giving in to her heart's desire. He doesn't make it easy for her, either.
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... he sings.

The tempest outside is nothing compared to her inner turmoil; the screen crackled with the intensity of her emotions and the camera captured the sexual awakening of a young girl, without a hint of vulgarity.

To me, these songs were far more erotic and sensuous compared to heroines in the skimpiest costumes mouthing lyrics which drip with innuendo. Which songs would you  add to this list?


  1. My 'sensual song' list over the course of growing up - I don't know whether or not, or how you will appreciate.

    6th grade - Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Aaja, Aaja, Aaja
    8th grade - Hum tum ik kamre mein bandh hon, aur...
    10th - Woh subah kabhi toh ayegi
    12th - Aapki najron ne samjha, pyar ke kabil....
    College - Vada karle saajna, na honge judaa...
    20s - Jalte hain jiske liye...
    30s - Tumne kabhi kisi se pyar kiya hai?

    I must say that the 70s heroines roaming around in pants had a healthy sub-conscious influence, so the 'motherly faced' 50s and 60s heroines don't impress me much.

  2. Agree with all your choices, except for roop tera mastana.
    It doesn't do much to me!

    As for my fav sensual songs
    aaja re aa zara: It is on the audio level a totally sensuous song. But the picturisation fails!
    bahon me chale aao would also fall in the same category
    thehriye hosh me aa loon toh chale jaayigaa

    chori chori solah singar karungi (audio as well as video), although the hero is fast asleep

    And quite an unusual one
    saba se yeh keh do ke kaliyan bhichaye

  3. This is one hell of a great post !!!
    All song are apt, and are among my favorites.
    a) I will admit to having liked (and still liking sometimes even now) some of those
    wet-heroine songs when I was an adolescent/teenager in the 70's. However, now I support the
    gist of your argument Perhaps I am finally maturing :).
    b) I believe showing honest nudity (no gimmicks no chalu) is much better than the current
    set of songs. A great example is Kate Winslet in "The Reader" &
    Ronit Elkabetz in "Late Marriage".

    There are several songs I would like to add :-

    1) Shammi, Sharmila & Paris in "Raat Ke Humsafar".
    I cannot say better things about going alone in Paris at night, nothing is more romantic,
    nothing is more sensual. Shammi does not do any of his regular dancing steps, Sharmila is not
    the coy/shy person in Aradhana; both are covered from head to toe, and yet they make sparks fly.


    2) You probably wanted to add this, and I will do it for you. Maybe the closest 70's competition to
    "Roop Tera Mastana", would you say Smita Patil is actually the initiator, if not an
    extremely willing participant.


    3) A Marathi song from "Jait Re Jait", again with a smoking, smoldering, intense Smita Patil.

  4. I had to laugh. I'm sorry. I find Aap ki nazron ne samjha, jalte hain jiske liye and Woh subah kabhi to aayegi romantic, not sensuous. Tumne kabhi kisise pyar kiya was foot-tapping, and I loved the energy and Rishi Kapoor dancing. I'm afraid your first two choices leave me cold. :) But then, where would we be if we all liked the same songs?

  5. Decided to put up the links to your choices: :)




    My problem is that that I didn't find any of them particularly sensuous, but then this is a very subjective choice, no? Loved the Madan Mohan composition - it is not one I have heard before, so that was nice too.

  6. Thank you, Samir.
    1) Laughing at your first point. :) I guess the male-female differences show here, no? Amit was saying something similar. And you (and he) get full marks for honesty.

    2) I'll take honest nudity over the slimy depiction of sex - any day! With *one* caveat - it has to be done aesthetically, not to titillate. My point is that one could be sensuous *without* nudity. For instance, Kaate nahin kat-the was a wet-sari sequence. I thought Sri smouldered in it. Now, *that* was totally sensuous, and sexy. (She, of course, ensured that her sari pallu didn't move one inch off her body.)

    3) Love, love, love Raat ke humsafar. That was absolutely sensuous, I agree.
    The second one - a very different Amitabh, no? *grin* But the poor chap looked so embarrassed in the love-making scenes. You could see his discomfort.
    Smita Patil was one actress who oozed sensuality. There was something about the way the camera captured her expressions. And Jait re Jait was an incredible film.

    Thanks for the additions.

  7. Fantastic idea for a post, Anu. I remeber having posted the Pakeezah at Greta's in the Raj Kumar thread as one of the most erotic scenes.
    I love 9 songs of your choice. Don't care for the Aradhana song. It could be because of Sharmila
    The song chalo dildar from Pakeezah is also my choice of an erotic song. It could be because of Raj Kumar :-D The context here is important. What goes before the song. Then the song leaves it to us to imagine what's going on on the boat. The use of sails is really a good idea for that one scene that the pair is shown in the whole song. Later Raj Kumar's expression. Ummmm.

    This song from Tarana with Madhubala and Dilip Kumar is another one. Their expressions, Dilip's slight smile, playing with Madhubala's hair, all add up to grand sensuality.


  8. Thank you, pacifist. :)

    *Palm to forehead* How could I not have remembered Beimaan tore naina? When I had reviewed the film? It was an incredibly sensuous scene.

    And I agree with you about Chalo dildaar chalo too... it is what is left to your imagination that is so much more powerful, no?

    It does seem that you and I have a similar idea of what 'sensuous' can mean. But I think we are going to see a male /female divide here. :)

  9. Good list. All the songs would be on my list too. I completely agree with your view that sensuality is not about skimpy clothes, or raunchy steps.

  10. Thanks, Banno. :) Glad you enjoyed the song choices.

  11. Great list, Anu - and I totally agree with not just your definition of what is erotic, but also the songs you've picked (with one exception: Roop tera mastaana. There's something about it that just doesn't appeal to me, despite the fact that Rajesh Khanna is drop-dead gorgeous. :-) But Hum aur tum aur yeh sama, Aaiye meherbaan and Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo - and Tumhe yaad karte-karte: bang on! (pun unintended).

    I can see Harvey's mentioned Aa jaa re aa zara aa - that was one I'd meant to put in too, but unlike Harvey, I actually like the picturisation. (and Love in Tokyo did have some moments that were pretty erotic).

    Another song I'd put in this category is Is rang badalti duniya mein. The music, the lyrics ("tumse na sharaarat kar baithe... he even warns her against himsel!) and Rafi's voice are perfect, and the Shammi-Sadhana combination is awesome.

  12. Great post, Anu! I also find the skimpily clad heroines and heroes in wet, transparent shirts clinging to their bodies leaving me cold, while a song like Hum aur tum aur yeh sama .. seems so much more sensuous. Daphne du Maurier nailed it when Maxim says in Rebecca that a fully bloomed rose is like a woman who has already bared all her secrets, while a rose bud is like a woman who is still shrouded in mystery and hence more attractive and appealing (I will have to go upstairs to check on the actual wording, but I think I got the gist right!).

  13. "Dev's lopsided grin coupled with Nutan's megawatt smile lit up not
    only the screen, but also the audience."

    I forgive you. I won't flay you or shoot you or flood your blog anymore. :DDD You know the song, "Uff Kitni Thandi Hai Yeh" from Teen Devian is also kinda sensous, but it isn't very much remembered nowadays. But great post! I won't use the word "erotic" (I mean, come on, I just had my breakfast. Don't make me throw up.) or go into... that kind of stuff, but, yeah. :P


  14. I rather like this one...

    but then I also like this because when I first heard it in my teens it was quite amazing with those manic guitars playing tri-tones... and these lines
    Now the first day that I met ya
    I was looking in the sky
    When the sun turned all a blur
    And the thunderclouds rolled by
    The sea began to shiver
    And the wind began to moan
    It must've been a sign for me
    To leave you well alone
    I was born without you, baby
    But my feelings were a little bit too strong


  15. Thanks, Madhu. I'm glad to find that I'm not the lone (prudish) voice crying in the desert about how a little bit of mystery is more sensuous than leaving nothing to the imagination.

    I was thinking about Is rang badalti duniya mein only yesterday. And I was thinking about how he sings Imaan ki neeyat theek nahi. I completely forgot about it. :(

    I have Aa jaa re aa zara in mind for a sister post, which is why it didn't make this list. :)

  16. Lalitha, I'd forgotten that quote. Rebecca was never one of my favourite books growing up, and I have never been tempted to revisit. But this quote is so apt.

    I think it is the difference between men and women - the former are more visual. I'm glad you enjoyed the songs.

  17. And this one... can't think of Kaifi Azmi writing in the vernacular
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzcAYQNNVEs such lovely compositions by Jaidev..

  18. I'm glad I redeemed myself. But I should have remembered to put a disclaimer saying 'No one under 18 should read this.' But at least my choices you can sit and watch with your grandmother. :)

    I like that song from Teen Deviyaan but it didn't make my list because there are so many other songs that fit the post better. (Dev's songs itself.)

    But, but, but I *liked* Rajendra Kumar in Jogan, Kanoon, Mere Mehboob..... :)

    C'mon, pet, you can't expect everyone to like the people you do, the way you do - otherwise, I would make it mandatory for everyone to bow down and pay obeisance to Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.

  19. I don't know about tri-tones, but the guitar in the beginning was wonderful. :) I liked the lyrics too, but the singer sounded like Sonu Nigam being angsty, no?

    As for Raat piya ke sang - meh, it didn't do anything for me - perhaps because there is no video? I mean, the lyrics were rather explicit but it didn't have that certain quality that, to me, (only to me) implies sensuality.

  20. I had never heard this song before. Such a beautiful number. Thank you. It's a very earthy song, but do you really think it fits the parameters of the post? (Of course, the comments section is open to sneaking in our own choices, so that's fine, actually. :))

  21. Ashok Vaishnav22 June 2012 at 12:53

    All other songs are so sublime that Roop Tera Masatana ssems to be the odd one in.
    How would you like:
    Tu mere Samane Hai, Teri Zulfen Hai Khuli, tera Ancal Hai Khula, main bhala hosh men rahun kaise - Rafi - Madan Mohan - Suhagan - http://youtu.be/Zmw9NgluAlw

  22. Ashokji, you are right - since everyone is picking on Roop tera mastana, I can see how it is the odd one out amongst all the other songs. :)

    And the song you posted - Rafi's voice is sheer magic, and with Madan Mohan's music - 'sublime' doesn't begin to describe it. Thank you for posting that song.

  23. Ashokji, I just watched the video gain, and take back that comment - the lyrics are very sensual indeed, but the picturisation - she seems to be an unwilling participant. :)

  24. Ashokji, I just watched the video gain, and take back that comment - the lyrics are very sensual indeed, but the picturisation - she seems to be an unwilling participant. :)

  25. I have read Rebecca so many times that I can practically quote whole chunks of it!

  26. Ummm.. I'm looking at sensuous as in affecting the senses.. and these lyrics ..
    paayaliya dole chumak chumak
    badli hain chaal jawaani ki..
    chunari sarke idhar udhar
    besarmi dekh diwani ki...etc..

    apna mukhda naya lage
    hum jab jab dekhe paani me
    gaalo pe laali aa gayi
    haye kisne yeh aag lagaayi re..

    Plus the music with its rhythmic motion forward as the girls walk through the desert...even walking can be sensuous...

  27. Mala Sinha is an unwilling participant because she's terrified about the fact that if their marriage is consummated it will lead to most probably a heart attack and death of Guru Dutt as he suffers from a weakness he doesn't know about, which he suffered from after an accident.
    Telling him about it would have been more sensible, but no! Nobody tells him and Mala Sinha is warned. LOL

  28. >I'm looking at sensuous as in affecting the senses..

    I like the response :)

  29. Oh, definitely. Not quibbling with that at all. What I should have said instead was that since most of the songs evoked passion, this wasn't quite the same. I still loved it, the song, the picturisation and the lyrics.

  30. Hoist with my own petard, right? :)

  31. Lalitha, I was forced to read it for my junior college literature course - it cured me of any liking for gothic romance. Besides, if you want someone to hate a book, make it a text. :)

  32. Pacifist, thanks for that background. I haven't seen the film so I was wondering why he kept importuning her when she was so clearly unwilling. LOL

  33. Arre these people are numbair one anti R D Burman peeples, this dustedoff and Harvey et al... All snobs , they don't like fauji bhai Anand Bakshi either..They want polished Urdu... not Jack and Jill like lyrics... .-)

    Roop tera mastana.. (Jack and Jill)
    Pyaar mera diwana ( Went up the hill)
    Bhool koi hum se na ho jayee (To fetch a paaiiil of waaater..)

    Roop tera Mastana is a an absolutely corking sensuous song...It makes even Kaka and LaTa Gore bearable. The camera focusing on the flames, the light entry of the accordion which changes into a percussive chording along with the rhythm guitar along with the vibraphone, KK's entry and the soft cymbals, the high notes of the saxophone and then the congas come in and just after the first flash of lightning, Manohari Singh's deep saxophone...
    Just look at the part where KK singsRaat nasheeli, mast sama hain....

    LaTa Gore is a bit overmade-up I'll admit but still there is one shapely shoulder...she is not even looking at him at the begining of the antara and then she looks at him and smiles and then KK starts the verse...Smashing...
    This Harvey is not worth a D minor chord.. -)
    Interestingly there is a little discussion with Kersi Lord here about when he played the accordion for this song... It starts at 16:37 but the whole clip is well worth watching.. You'll have wait for sometime to get to Kersi Lord..I love that Parsi accent.

  34. Yeah, you should! I'll be flayed if someone finds out I'm reading this. (Not that it's really BAD BAD BAD, but... My stomach says otherwise. You can give Dustedoff the award for messing up my stomach. She's trying to instigate me against Rajendra! :( And I crumpled at the climax of Suraj (No, really, I did!), so how am I supposed to go watch those... scary 70's movies? Rajendra - Waheeda made me fall off my chair. Then I had to listen to "Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamana Hai" at least ten times.)

    Really? Like what? I don't know, not many of his songs strike me as sensous. And no 70's songs, please. I already had a bad enough shock this morning. Not another one. My stomach won't be able to handle it. (I was falling asleep, so I put some Starbucks down it, but I am now sleepier than ever...)

    AND. GOOD. :D I liked him in Kanoon too, but seriously, breaking glasses in court? Rajendra? o_o I have to see Mere Mehboob (Rajendra - Sadhana! :)) too.

    Aww. I'd happily wander into Raj Kapoor fan-land, but keep the 70's away from me, please. Too scary for me, too scary. (Though Gol Maal was very very funny!)

  35. Roop tera mastana.. (Jack and Jill)
    Pyaar mera diwana ( Went up the hill)
    Bhool koi hum se na ho jayee (To fetch a paaiiil of waaater..)


    Sorry for not introducing myself! Hahahahahahaha! I'm Sasha, by the way. :) Niceta meet you. I like R.D. Burman, he's awesome! Really awesome! :D I love Roop Tera Mastana - in fact, it was the first song I thought of when I saw this post! :)

    But you did an awesome job describing the, uh, music. Y-eah, I love good music, but I can't play any to save my life. (Though I really want to learn the piano! All those beautiful piano songs! I can't sing though, but I can write! And I think I'm a little crazy. See, I nearly flooded Anu's blog because she wanted to shoot Raj Kapoor and Rajendra. So mean, right? :()

  36. Gosh, I didn't know my post was that bad that you would be flayed for reading it. I didn't even write anything inappropriate *going away and reading post again - anxiously*. Go away, child.

    The 70s did have some nice movies, but you had to search for them. It was the 80s that truly went haywire.

    I'm not going to give you any more songs from this genre - I do not want to be accused of leading you astray.

  37. Laughing at 'jack-and-Jill' lyrics. At least give credit to the lyricist for writing such simple lyrics that are still so evocative.

    I think Roop tera mastana is incredibly sensuous -
    perhaps it doesn't fit in with the rest of the songs on the list - which is why everyone is picking on it.

    I will leave dustedoff and Harvey to defend themselves. :) Though I think you gave yourself away with the 'D minor' crack.

  38. Join the club. I love music, but am tone deaf, and can't play any instrument to save my life either.

    And Sasha? I don't think you're slightly crazy; I know you are fully crazy. I wonder how your grandmother deals with you. :)

  39. Hi Anu, It's been a long time since I've been around your blog and I see you have posted many, many articles. I have been busy travelling and dealing with my father's illness. He's been in and out of hospitals for the past few months, and we brought him back home two weeks ago. He passed away on the morning of the 14th. Just wanted to let you know that he was listening to the songs on your Shamshad Begum post when he died. He would have wanted you to know that.

  40. Oh, my! I'm so sorry to hear that, Sridhar. I did enjoy his comments as and when he made them, and I was very glad that my posts made someone so happy. Please accept my sincere condolences.

    Thank you for letting me know that he was listening to the Shamshad songs again. I'm touched. That was very thoughtful of you. Take care.

  41. LOL! Sorry if you took it in the wrong way, I was kidding! Come to think of it, none of the songs actually strike me as sensous except Roop Tera Mastana. Aaiye Meherbaan is more of a... club song to me. And Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni I like because... because of Dev! ;)

    I agree, the 80's were a mess. Once there was an episode of this talk show thing about films, new ones, and they started talking about... extremely inappropriate things. By that I mean... stuff from this genre, but raunchy dance sequences and a very inappropriate scene from a movie. Since no one seemed to have any intention of changing the channel, I just pulled out my laptop and started blasting songs. :P

    Your blog is magical, Anu. 4-5 days ago when you did the post on Chori Chori, "Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi" started in my head for 4 days. :P And now "Roop Tera Mastana" is playing in my head over and over again.

    Also, Anu, if I won't shoot you, CAN YOU HELP ME?!?!!?!? Dustedoff seems hellbent on killing me or driving me mad.

  42. Oh, Anu, you know, I don't show my crazy side to my grandma. :P I save it for my friends, and for online! But if she asks a movie name or something, I can rattle off the main actors, director, music director and lyricist offhand. :)

  43. After being for years in R. D. Burman camp, am glad to see being thrown out from there! Happy to have new avatars! Snob!!!!! :-D
    thank you SSW!

  44. Don't know if you will agree with this, but here's one which I absolutely adore.....

  45. One from me too - but I don't know if you will agree with me or not....

  46. Sorry to hear that your father passed away, Sridhar! I had been following your comments here and know that your father was a keen follower and avid lover of old songs posted in this blog. I know how it feels because I lost my father last month and am still missing his voice calling me for some murukku or snack or banana!

  47. I think it depends on the teacher - I became a Thomas Hardy reader after doing Far from the Madding Crowd as a text for two years! I also studied (??) Macaulay and thought he was the most boring guy ever, besides I didn't like his snooty views on Indians. Animal Farm, Maneaters of Kumaon, The Ugly American, On the Beach, Paradise Lost, Heart of Darkness ... I can still quote passages from them after all these years, even if I can't remember the recipe I made last week! A good teacher can make the most boring book seem like an adventure, and vice versa.

  48. His response is good, but come on, Anu, defend yourself - you did say "erotic" as in "sensual", not "sensuous" at the start! Unfortunately for you, you used the word "sensuous" in the concluding paragraph!

  49. Oops, You have also used the word "sensual" in the title, so he is right, after all!

  50. Harvey...

    Lest this be a defend RD Burman post , I will say that he is not my favourite music composer, though I do like his work. There are others I hold in higher regard. But this particular song is quite interesting in the way I look at it and I might be talking complete hogwash...
    You see from the begining, the notes of accordion as it alternates between the long notes and the percussive rhythm emphasising the rhythm guitar builds up a tension that is quite electric...When KK starts up you can hear the soft cymbals maybe a brush stroke on the drums, the accordion is muted in the background, then the tenor saxophone plays its measure..followed by the lightning flash. The musical interlude that follows is interesting because of the preceding scene. RK has pulled ST towards him , she moves away and then though the protagonists do not speak the instruments do it for them. I see the tenor saxophone playing the male part here, it begins softly on a questioning note and is softly replied to by the accordion, this happens in two measures and then the accordion plays a more dominant measure just before she smiles and moves towards him.. At this point the strings play one measure and the accordion emphasises the last portion with its chord and this chord signals the end of that musical interlude.
    Then as KK sings "raat nasheeli" the strings in the background lead the singer, initially laying a stable bedrock of notes and then moving upwards adding a tension to the song, because as the strings complete their movement , KK is still moving towards completion, you can see how the strings climb just before he sings "aaj nashe mein , saara jahan hain" and ST has that slight hesitation/unsureness. Then as the verse is repeated and as they sink down together and KK sings "bhool koi hamse naa" the accordion plays a single note echoing KK, and then takes up the chords again.
    I find the musical interludes leading the words throughout, it creates an indefinable tension, and the accordion alternates between playing the melody and supporting the rhythm.
    The best part is that the music and the singing is in the background, the main protagonists use their eyes and hands. the music speaks for them.

    This is not done that often, at least I feel so, but then again I do not watch a lot of Hindi films. And somebody else has called me a snob more often than you, on this very blog.. -)

  51. Hello Ms.Noir, pleased to meet you, myself SSW wonly..!!
    At the risk of sounding fatherly please don't introduce yourself to strangers on the net, our hearts may be as black as our deeds.

  52. none of the songs actually strike me as sensous except Roop Tera Mastana.

    Sigh. So, so young, Sasha. I know this is something young 'uns hate to hear, but you will understand when you are older. :)

    As for dustedoff driving you mad, girl, you are too involved in the actors you like. You have to accept that we can like some, dislike some (as actors, not as people) and even dislike some roles that our favourites do.

  53. Thank heavens! I was beginning to feel sorry for the poor woman. :)

  54. @harvey - Good for you for coming back to respond! :) I hoped you would. It's ironic that you should be called snob. LOL

  55. @SSW - what an analysis! When do you get to enjoy the music? ;)

  56. It's a very nice song, but no, I don't find it particularly sensuous. But as I said, this is a very subjective thing, so I'm glad you posted it.

  57. *hugs* Lalitha. I won't say 'It'll get better' but one day you will remember the same things without grief being the overbearing emotion.

  58. No, I had a damn good teacher - I think it was a combination of hating the book itself, and then having to stick to analysing motives. I hate literary analysis with a passion. It spoils a lot of good literature for me.

  59. No, I specifically stated sensuous as in 'appealing to the senses' so I have no leg to stand on. :)

  60. @Bombaynoir - yes, that is something I should have said myself. Consider it said - well, reiterated - now.

  61. May I put up "Raat Bhi Hai Bhigi Bhigi, Chand Bhi Hai Madhan Madham, Tum Aao To Aankhen Khole, Khoyi Hui Payal Ki Chham Chham" - Lata - Jaidev - Mujhe Jine Do. http://youtu.be/WcpgDEeFHHM

  62. The situation is not exactly what I had in mind, but the song is truly sensuous. Thank you for posting this.

  63. Talk about an irresistible list theme... And by the way, I agree regarding the song from Awara about the voyeuristic moon. Yes, that one needs to be seen to be believed. But my pick for the most sensuous/erotic Raj Kapoor film did not include Nargis.


    And here are a few others that occurred to me.

    This is really steamy, though a bit corny (but that just increases the charm). I hope it's OK, though, that it's not in Hindi:

    This next one is in Hindi, and I think it's pretty sensuous:

    And along related lines, but in a later film, there is this other singing star, and this great poem (which I have seen translated) and this song and dance (but never mind the rest of the clip)...

  64. Thanks, Anu! I am also looking forward to that day when the pain is dulled and I think of all the fun times only. Even replying to all the condolence messages leaves me in tears, so I am doing just two or three at a time. Music and friends give me comfort at such times, which is why I turn to the Internet and the blogland at such times.

  65. Thanks, Richard. :) Glad you liked the theme. I agree about the song from Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai - Padmini was an incredibly sensuous woman.

    Songs in any language are welcome in the comments. :) Corny, yes, but rather cute.

    Awaaz de kahaan hai to me is very romantic; I must confess I had not looked at it as being particularly 'sensual'. I love the Mirza Ghalib song. And Suraiyya was very pretty, even if not a particularly graceful dancer.

  66. One day at a time, Lalitha. And if that is what it takes, each hour at a time. Lots of love and good thoughts your way.

  67. RIchard
    The voyeuristic moon brings to mind a song which I find extremely sensuous ... The moon here is the main actor in the song.. and the lyrics are lovely..the lovers are the moon, the waves, and the clouds playfully draw a veil over the face of the moon.

    dekh Ghata Ghanghor
    dekh Ghata Ghanaghor
    chaand Ke Mukh Par Ghunghat Daale,
    khel Rahi Jo Khel
    chipa Liya Aanchal Mein Mukhdaa,
    dekh Ghata Ka Khel
    khel Khel Mein Dekh Mussafir, Bandi Preet Ki Dor
    dekh Chaand Ki Aur...

    And finally the consummation...

    dekh Lehar Ki Aur
    dekh Lehar Ki Aur
    tadap Uthi Jo Dekh Chaand Ko,
    chipa Na Payi Preet
    milna Hua Chanda Laharon Ka,
    guunj Utha Sangeet
    jhoom Uthe Hain Dekh Mussafir, Chandaa Aur Chakora
    dekh Chaand Ki Aur.
    The camera work is lovely here..


  68. Aww, Lalitha told me the same at Dustedoff's blog too. :P Am I really going nuts over the actors I like? Well, Dev's really awesome and Rajendra's really cute, Joy's so attractive and Shammi is drop-dead handsome. But I think you're kinda right. On YouTube if someone insults someone that I like, I take it personally and insult them back so hard. Like there was once this idiot who was whining about how Rafi should've sung "Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni" and Hemant shouldn't have, and he said it was a crime... well, I hit back at him quite easily. Stupid fool.

    D'you think I took it too far? :P I laugh a little at the comment where she says, "But you called him cute! Go watch those films and see how cute he is!". Well, errrrr, he was really cute in Jhuk Gaya Aasman. :) And Sangam too.

  69. Aww, a first name never hurt anyone, did it? :D What's with everyone
    calling me Ms Noir lately? I'm... Sasha, I guess. Or Bombaynoir. :)

    But c'mon, everyone here seems nice enough! :D They put up with my
    insanity and make me laugh so hard! Hey, do you like Dev too? I mean,
    his songs are awesome awesome awesome! :D Who are your favorite

    And sorry it's up here, I couldn't reply down there. I blame this new Disqus. Darn you, darn you, darn you! The old one was okay, now my OpenID won't let me in.

  70. Now that is something I can understand - I joined a book club and we were doing British mystery writers, and Rebecca and The Scapegoat were the two choices for Daphne du Maurier. Analysis of the characters robbed them of a lot of their mystery. On the other hand, we analysed and critiqued the very life out of Gabriel Oak and Fanny Robin and Bathsheba Everdene and Francis Troy, but I am still in love with the characters and remember huge chunks of the book and I studied it in the years '65 and '66! How do you explain that? And we had three different teachers in those two years, well, two in the first year and one steady, consistent teacher in the second. I guess the second teacher did the trick, even though she wasn't my favorite.

  71. Yes, you are going nuts. They are actors and you can like them all you like but to go around insulting people who do not think the same as you is silly. And sort of childish, don't you think?

    Yes, you do take it a bit far, with the crying and running away, and getting irritated because people do not think the same way you do. I mean, you can tell us you like so and so and think he is cute, but in return you must agree that we need not think the same way.

  72. I don't know. :) I can discuss books with like-minded friends and argue the merits and demerits without losing any enjoyment of the work itself, but put it as a textbook and I begin to hate it with a vim and a verve.

  73. Oh, yes, I love that song for the music and singing, too. (Interesting, because this movie is pre-SJ; it's Ram Ganguly, and yet, it is one of my favorite soundtracks in RK films.)

  74. Yes interestingly the 78 rpm record had Shamshad Begum but in the film track it was Meena Kapoor. The music is different from the standard SJ genre. Ram Ganguly seems to be more influenced in my opinion by Rabindra Sangeet and some of Nazrulgeeti. There is not a lot of chordal variation, the instruments follow the voice. I like the camera work , the play between the light and shade , the picturisation of the moon as shakti or ying and the turbulence of the waves representing the shiva or yang . The musical interludes, the use of the pakhawaj in the percussion followed by the single flute in the first interlude and then the emphasis with the piano in the second and only the strings in the third is very different from a SJ composition.

  75. Agree! Sensuality is subtle, steamy, intense. And it has nothing to do with display of skin or overt gestures. The song from Dastak fits right in! The picturization, not so much. Sanjeev Kumar appears highly stilted, unnatural. If I'd heard the song by itself, I would have classified it as sensual, oh yes! Another song that suffers from the same problem (well, not the same exact problem) is 'Aise na maujhe tum dekho.' I loved the song - it made me blush every time! Finally saw the video today - aaaaah, anti-climax! My romantic notions surrounding the song are forever shattered... :(

  76. Lakshmi, I think Sanjeev was stilted in the intimate scenes, though in this one, he seems to have made an effort to be less so.

    But gosh, I didn't need the visual of that song you posted! Dev making a fool of himself. :( I have deliberately kept myself away from Dev Anand movies post-70s. I'd much rather remember him in his black and white avtar.

  77. Okay, forgot to pepper that reply with lots of smileys. C'mon kid , cheer up. The world isn't going to come to an end if everyone doesn't genuflect at the altar of the same chaps you (or me, for that matter) like.

  78. Btw, excellent pick with 'Aaj sajan more ang lagaa lo!' If that isn't raw emotion, what is? 'Deh ki agni sheetal ho jaaye..." wow, those lyrics make my cheeks hot! Never thought I'd say this... Guru Dutt is brooding sexy incarnate!

  79. Definitely! That one made me blush when I first heard the song. And I was gobsmacked when I learnt it was a bhajan! The picturisation was spot-on, too! Waheeda just simmered with passion there. LOL, but I agree with you about Guru Dutt.

  80. Bhajan, yes. Dedicated to the ever-playful Lord Krishna, who else? Take 'Aaja saanwariya, tohe garwa lagaa loon," an old composition by Hira Devi Mishra that finds a place on the "Monsoon Wedding" soundtrack. Isn't Krishna the quintessential 'Saanwariya?'

    Anyway, another song comes to mind. 'Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par' featuring Shammi Kapoor and Saira Banu. Ooh, it's sensous, alright!

  81. Yeah, I know it was to Krishna, but still... :) Meera's bhajans were pretty much the same way, no?

    In Junglee what I found more seductive and sensuous and absolutely crackling with sexual chemistry was the scene in the log cabin when they are caught in the snow storm. He recites poetry, she is looking over his shoulder, and you can almost feel the air crackling.... 'Oooh!' is right! :)

  82. Haven't watched Junglee but I can imagine the chemistry... :) There is a Malayalam song I have on my iPod titled "Kaamini mullakal kaathorthu ninnu." Composed by Johnson Master (as he used to called on the music show Gandharva Sangeetham), this song spells P-a-s-s-i-o-n! It is a lovely composition, and although I don't understand the lyrics completely, I think I can guess most of it. Couldn't find the video online but I am positive that it will not be a patch on the one that my mind conjures... Hehe.

  83. Isn't that from Paavakoothu? I remember having watched the movie, but no, I think your imagination trumps the picturisation, if my memory serves me right. :)

  84. Isn't that from Paavakoothu? I remember having watched the movie, but no, I think your imagination trumps the picturisation, if my memory serves me right. :)

  85. Isn't that from Paavakoothu? I remember having watched the movie, but no, I think your imagination trumps the picturisation, if my memory serves me right. :)

  86. Right. How about a blogging exercise? I had done this some years back with another blogger where we exchanged emails, each one with the name of a dream destination and a short description of the place explaining why it was one of our respective choices. Finally, after 9-10 emails, I published it as a common post on my blog. It was good fun.

    We should do this with Malayalam songs that suggest sensuality and don't deliver! Although, there are some songs that deliver and very well, too... :)

  87. @LJ, you have a blog? Where? What? and other such good questions which should have been asked before....

    I have to think about your question :) You see, ask me about Hindi songs, and it will trip smoothly off the tip of my tongue. I know of two songs at least that would fit your criteria, but I can't remember the beginnings. :) Also, the songs I remember will probably end in the early eighties. :)

  88. That dream destination post is an old one on Sulekha. If you search for username 'lockslocks,' you may find it. Along with a few other ruminations on life in the USA as a young bride... :) Good old days.

    My current blog is www.locks.livejournal.com. Not been writing as much as I should but the intention is all there... :)

    I am probably a bigger fan of Malayalam cinema than I am of Hindi cinema... Hmmm.

  89. I took a quick look. :) Will check it out later in detail. I don't get to see as much Malayalam cinema now, and honestly, the M-M combo turned me off quite a bit. So my point of reference is all the earlier years.

  90. Aasheesh Kumar26 June 2012 at 00:54

    Aradhna's "Roop Tera Mastana " takes the cake. I would have loved a song from Satyam Shivam Sundaram too.Sensuous Zeenat Aman was a sight to watch.

  91. Ohh, how can you not adore the Lalettan of "Chithram," "Naadodikattu," "His Highness Abdullah" and like? He is awesome!

    Btw, another song that deserves a mention on this list - "Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho" featuring Navin Nischol and Priya Rajvansh. That song+video spells hip/cool in a way that the current breed of movies cannot even begin to imagine... The 70s were such a cool decade for Hindi cinema. Should write about it sometime.

  92. I didn't find Zeenat 'sensuous' in SSS. :)

  93. Oh, I liked Lal in movies like Bharatam, His Highness Abdullah and a lot of his earlier films. I hated him in the horrible Priyan comedies that he churned out like a bubblegum factory.

    I do like Tum jo mil gaye ho but on the whole, I stick to the 50s and 60s as a reference point for good cinema. I liked *some* films of the 70s. But they began deteriorating alarmingly, and honestly, the worst excesses began then, continuing with the 80s.

  94. Oh, I liked Lal in movies like Bharatam, His Highness Abdullah and a lot of his earlier films. I hated him in the horrible Priyan comedies that he churned out like a bubblegum factory.

    I do like Tum jo mil gaye ho but on the whole, I stick to the 50s and 60s as a reference point for good cinema. I liked *some* films of the 70s. But they began deteriorating alarmingly, and honestly, the worst excesses began then, continuing with the 80s.

  95. Aasheesh Kumar28 June 2012 at 18:43

    Madhuri Dixit's song in Sailaab-" koi aaye leke pyaar"." is also real sexy !

  96. Yes, that is a very sensuous number. But my choices are restricted to the 50s and 60s, with some overlap into the 70s - simply because the songs were definitely better in those decades. I mean, Koi aaye is in the same class as the melodies above. You are free to disagree. :)

  97. Aasheesh Kumar30 June 2012 at 18:32

    I felt Madhuri oozed raw sexuality in that number.None of the above heroines come remtely close.The entire number has an electrifying feel to it.

  98. Yes, the picturisation did. Definitely. But since I was choosing *song* for their musical quality, just as much as for their picturisation, the number simply does not fit. It is one of those songs that can be enjoyed *while* watching the film; to listen to it purely on audio - for me, at least, there are a thousand other songs to which I would rather listen.

  99. chitrapatsangeet9 July 2012 at 10:25

    Another superb composition by Ravi-


  100. chitrapatsangeet9 July 2012 at 10:27

    The lyrics carries the cake here. Rajinder Krishen,

  101. chitrapatsangeet9 July 2012 at 10:31

    Anu, how would you put "Raat Bhi hai kuch bheegi bheegi"? Sunil's lusty looks and Waheeda's inviting gestures.

  102. chitrapatsangeet9 July 2012 at 10:36

    How'd you rate "Raat Bhi hai kuch bheegi bheegi"? Waheeda's inviting gestures and Sunil's lusty looks.

  103. Lovely, lovely song. You're right about the lyrics, but Rafi's voice also should get some credit, along with Ravi's music. The combination is fantastic. *Stray thought* For a trained dancer, Rajshree is particularly graceless.

  104. Umm... lovely song, but it doesn't fit here because Waheeda is not singing particularly to Sunil Dutt. She's a nautch girl, and she's singing at a wedding. Sunil Dutt can get all lusty as he wants, but that is his problem. :)

  105. chitrapatsangeet9 July 2012 at 16:59

    See? You mistook Mahendra for Rafi. I have had this heated discussions that Mahendra could be very good when he wanted to. His voice so silky here.

  106. chitrapatsangeet9 July 2012 at 17:03

    You said it. Rajshree is terribly graceless.Well said!

  107. But I like Mahendra Kapoor's voice! Cannot believeI mistook him for Rafi, though. :)

    Did you know that Rafi himself refused to sing duets with Mahendra Kapoor, because he did not want the latter to be unfairly compared to him? And that whenever Mahendra Kapoor had a difficult song to sing, Rafisaab would make it a point to telephone him and listen to his rendition. And he would patiently correct his junior... There was an interview with Mahendra Kapoor's son, Rohan, where he shared many such incidents about his father's relationship with Mohammed Rafi.

  108. chitrapatsangeet10 July 2012 at 08:08

    This lovely song from Kaajal

    Ravi and Sahir. Let me help you-Mahendra again! :-)

  109. chitrapatsangeet10 July 2012 at 08:16

    Yahaan kya ho raha hai? Biswajeet is busy reciting verses, Rajshree is busy pallu giro-fying.

  110. Meanie! I do recognise Mahendra Kapoor's voice! I do! (Yesterday was an aberration.) It is interesting to see Dharmendra with Padmini, when Meena Kumari is the 'heroine' so to speak.

  111. Well, he did tell her Na jhatko zulf se paani then what is a woman to do? Besides, I find it interesting that it is raining, she is drenched, but he is completely dry. Maybe he had an invisible umbrella or something? (That means he is totally unchivalrous, as well!) Rajshree must be one of the most unappealing heroines ever. To me, at least. She looked rather sweet, but she couldn't act for toffee, and was totally graceless to boot.

  112. Today seems to be the day for me to catch up with your old and new posts. Pardon me for not scanning through the 111 comments to see if the songs I am going to mention have already been cited by someone. There are two songs with very similar settings, both featuring Madhubala and a haystack (!) along with her hero: 'Main soya ankhiyan meeche' from Phagun, and 'Beimaan tore nainwa' from Tarana. I think both of them fit very well in this theme. I would also include 'E ri jaane na doongi' from Chitralekha - although the mood is spoiled somewhat by the dancers.

    Among recent songs - normally out of the range of this blog - my favorite is 'Zara zara bahekta hai' from 'Rehna hai tere dil mein'. It is best not to see the video - it completely spoils the sensuous effect of the audio!

    'Dam bhar jo udhar munh phere' rightly deserves to be at the top of your list. I love the contrasting approaches of the heroine and hero - she wants the moon to look away because she is shy, while he wants him to look towards them so that he can bear witness. Thanks for choosing a lovely theme and doing it so well.


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