A Mahendra Kapur-Sahir Ludhiyanvi-Ravi classic

Thumbnail image for A Mahendra Kapur-Sahir Ludhiyanvi-Ravi classic December 20, 2010

Chalo ek baar phir se ajanabi ban jayen hum dono If ever there was a song that could be described as the defining song of a singer, Mahendra Kapur’s Chalo ek baar phir se ajanabi ban jayen hum dono is one such song. Mahendra Kapur, who came to the film world through a singing talent […]

Read the full article

Mohammad Rafi versus Kishore Kumar

Thumbnail image for Mohammad Rafi versus Kishore Kumar November 14, 2010

An era changes with Aradhana (1969) When Aradhana unfolded in 1969 with the heroine sitting by the window of the hill train, tentatively browsing a book, and the hero being driven in a jonga by his friend on the hilly road alongside the toy train, with an innocent smile, a wink in his eyes and […]

Read the full article

Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar duets

Thumbnail image for Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar duets October 21, 2010

The Ultimate in Melody Hemant Kumar in his voice brought the beauty of Bengal and melody of Rabindra Sangeet. When he joined with Lata Mangeshkar the effect was magical. Easily the best duets of Hindi films are of Hemant-Lata. One can also safely say no song of Hemant Kumar was pedestrian. With his deep resonant […]

Read the full article

Suman Kalyanpur outshines Lata Mangeshkar

Thumbnail image for Suman Kalyanpur outshines Lata Mangeshkar October 4, 2010

Haal-e-dil unko sunana tha sunaya na gaya Suman Kalyanur had to remain in the shadows of Lata Mangeshkar because of her uncanny similarity to Lata’s voice. Many of her songs are indistinguishable from Lata’s style, either because she was subconsciously imitating her style or the music directors were viewing her essentially as Lata’s replacement. Yet […]

Read the full article

Lata Mangeshkar vs Noorjehan

Thumbnail image for Lata Mangeshkar vs Noorjehan September 14, 2010

Would Noorjehan have survived the 1949 Lata tornado? Noorjehan’s migration to Pakistan in 1947 left behind the enduring question – if she had stayed back in India, would Lata still have reached the commanding heights as she did in the following three decades? As Lata’s early songs had a distinct Noorjehan tinge, the suggestion is […]

Read the full article

Remembering Mughal-e-Azam’s Music

Thumbnail image for Remembering Mughal-e-Azam’s Music August 22, 2010

Travesty of missing the Filmfare award This is the Golden Jubilee year of Mughal-e-Azam (1960), and the media, both print and electronic, is rightly full of the movie. Everything about the film was superlative – its lavish production, awesome battle scenes with thousands of camels, horses and soldiers (there were no computer generated imaging those […]

Read the full article

Chitragupta – Magic Maker with Lata Mangeshkar

Thumbnail image for Chitragupta – Magic Maker with Lata Mangeshkar August 13, 2010

When I try to compile the most melodious, the most beautiful songs of Lata Mangeshkar, the following songs invariably come to my mind: Song Film Kare kare badra ja re ja re badra Bhabhi (1957) Na to dard gaya na dawa hi mili Kali Topi Lal Rumal (1960) Sajna sajna kahe bhul gaye re pukar […]

Read the full article

Twin songs: A front runner and a laggard

July 31, 2010

We all remember the following evergreen songs: Song Singer Film Music director Ae mere dil kahin aur chal Talat Mahmood Daag (1952) Shankar Jaikishan Dil matwala lakh sambhala Talat Mahmood Bewafa (1952) AR Qureshi Chali Radhe rani Manna Dey Parineeta (1953) Arun Kumar Mukherji Mera qaraar le ja Talat Mahmood Ashiana (1952) Madan Mohan Na […]

Read the full article

Door Papiha Bola

Thumbnail image for Door Papiha Bola June 18, 2010

Your relationship with songs that moved you, that brought tears to your eyes the first time you heard them and every time you hear them, is deeply personal.  How can others relate to your experience?  And no matter how well you write it would be less than what you felt.  Nida Fazli famously said: Yun […]

Read the full article

Well Done Abba: Mainstreaming of the ‘Muslim’ in Hindi films

Thumbnail image for Well Done Abba: Mainstreaming of the ‘Muslim’ in Hindi films June 7, 2010

You would be hard put to recall a mainstream film whose hero bore the name Salim, Javed or Asghar – unless it was a ‘Muslim’ film.  You might think of the student-poet Anwar (Rajendra Kumar in Mere Mehboob, 1963) plaintively singing Mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam in the college farewell function, which was […]

Read the full article