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Posts Tagged ‘Songs’

ashokbhatia

With the advent of spring, the fancy of our young ones would lightly turn to thoughts of love. Mother Nature would wholly approve. In the upper reaches, snow would have just started melting. Plants and shrubs would have started springing back to life. Green shoots would have started becoming visible. Flowers would be in full bloom. Birds and bees would be going about their daily chores. Sun would be shining through, albeit a little gently. A pleasant breeze laced with the sweet fragrance of flowers would be caressing our physical frames. Streams would be flowing with their gentle murmur. God may or not be in Heaven but a clear sky would be providing a perfect backdrop for the couples who happen to be in love.

In Ritusamhara, Kalidasa mentions that during this season, women are more enchanting. Sandal paste and other substances are often used to contain the spring…

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Here is a listing of some of the lesser known songs featuring Madhubala, the Marilyn Monroe of Bollywood!

My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

The very mention of Madhubala’s name brings to our mind her dazzlingly beautiful face, her enticing smile and her charmingly sensuous persona. Acknowledged by fans and industry people across all generations as the most beautiful face to have graced our industry, she has rightfully been accorded the title of ‘Venus’ of Indian cinema!

Veiled behind this beautiful face was also a brilliant actress, who could do both light-hearted as well as intensely emotional roles with equal ease. However, most of the time her beauty did not allow her to get the appreciation she deserved as a superlative actress of the ‘Golden era’ because of which she was mentioned only after Nargis and Meena Kumari…

Though articles on her invariably focus on her on-screen and off-screen- romance with Dilip Kumar and her comedy roles opposite husband Kishore Kumar, what is overlooked is her superb chemistry with her other…

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Bollywood playback singer Mahendra Kapoor has rendered songs of all genres. Here is an exhaustive look at his duets, many of which have an immortal quality to them.

My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

Mahendra Kapoor with his distinct robust vocals carved a unique niche for himself as a superb singer during the Golden era of Hindi cinema. He was adept at singing all kinds of songs which included bhajans, ghazals, qawaalis, romantic numbers, sad songs as well as patriotic songs. His voice was immortalized on the small screen also when he sang the title track of director B R Chopra’s magnum opus TV serial Mahabharat. He was loved by his fans across all age-groups not only for his style of singing but also for his soft-spoken, friendly and humble demeanor.

For his outstanding contribution to the world of Indian film music, the Government of India bestowed upon him the coveted Padma Shree in the year 1972. He also won the prestigious Filmfare trophy for the ‘Best Male Playback Singer’ three times in his career (1964, 1968,1975) and the National Award…

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When it comes to playback support, some actors-singers get typified. Some actors have a diversified back up from different singers.

Fans of Shammi Kapoor would love this well-researched blog post!

My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

The moment we think of Shammi Kapoor, a variety of songs flash across our mind with Rafi’s inimitable energetic vocals matching Shammi’s unique and exuberant dancing . So deep was Rafi Saab’s understanding of Shammi Kapoor’s personality that he would modify some parts of the song to add that crucial ‘X-factor’ in anticipation of Shammi Kapoor’s on-screen movements. The result was sheer magic…and over the years this magic has remained intact and has only added to the high recall value of Shammi’s songs. Indeed it is difficult to imagine the actor without the singer…

…and yet a careful observation brings to light the fact that not only have ten (10) other singers sung for Shammi Kapoor apart from Rafi, but he probably holds the record of having maximum number of singers-eleven(11)- who have ever sung for an actor in Hindi films!!!

On Shammi Kapoor’s birth anniversary today…

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Purists might scoff at the use of classical music based compositions to connect with Hindi movie buffs, but such endeavours do have the singular advantage of popularizing such uplifting ‘ragas’ amongst the masses.

Here is an interesting post which elaborates on the use of one of the better known ‘ragas’ of Hindustani classical music in Bollywood songs.

Enjoy!

My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

The repertoire of our century old Hindi film music boasts of a wide range of songs based on a variety of classical Hindustani raagas. Instead of composing these songs in a typical classical style which may appeal only to true music aficionados, our music directors use the raag to compose semi-classical songs and at times touch upon the raag lightly to include subtle modifications in the raag which makes it easier for the general public to enjoy them. Such compositions not only help to enhance the appeal and reach of these raagas to the large base of film-viewing populace of our country, but also exposes them to our unique heritage.

In this blog, I have chosen to explore the raag ‘Shivaranjani’, an ancient raag which derives its name from the words ‘Shiva’ = Lord Shiva and ‘ranjani’ = to please.  It is said that when Lord Shiva was performing his ‘taandav’ (cosmic dance)…

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With the advent of spring, the fancy of our young ones would lightly turn to thoughts of love. Mother Nature would wholly approve. In the upper reaches, snow would have just started melting. Plants and shrubs would have started springing back to life. Green shoots would have started becoming visible. Flowers would be in full bloom. Birds and bees would be going about their daily chores. Sun would be shining through, albeit a little gently. A pleasant breeze laced with the sweet fragrance of flowers would be caressing our physical frames. Streams would be flowing with their gentle murmur. God may or not be in Heaven but a clear sky would be providing a perfect backdrop for the couples who happen to be in love.

In Ritusamhara, Kalidasa mentions that during this season, women are more enchanting. Sandal paste and other substances are often used to contain the spring fever. The earth shines like a well decked bride in a red bridal costume. Those who happen to be lonely suffer the most in this pitiless season, as they happen to be missing the company of their beloved.

Bollywood celebrates the spring season with much ado and fervour. Dashing heroes, on their way to a new destination, would be soaking in the grandeur of nature. Sprightly heroines would be becoming aware of their own flawless beauty, often comparing it to different elements of nature. 

Madhumati (1958, Bimal Roy)

Shagird (1967, Samir Ganguly) 

Elsewhere, lissome heroines would be getting wooed by ardent heroes who would be praising their charms no end. Lovers would be teasing each other, running around trees and shrubs. Couples would be busy romancing in lush green valleys and gardens.

Suraj (1966, T Prakash Rao)

Buddha Mil Gaya (1971, Hrishikesh Mukherjee)

Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayee (1971, Mohan Kumar)

Here are some couplets from the Sixth Canto of Ritusamhara, and some Bollywood songs which these remind us of.

“Oh, dear, vernal trees are full with flowers, waters filled with lotuses, breezes loaded with their fragrances blowing agreeably, thereby both the eventides and daytimes are pleasant with those fragrant breezes, whereby the women are with concupiscence, and thus everything is highly pleasing now. [6-2]

Mamta (1966, Asit Sen)

Aradhana  (1969 Shakti Samanta)

Abhinetri (1970, Subodh Mukherjee)

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998, Karan Johar)

“The impassioned male koel, black singing bird, gladdened on savouring the invigorative essence of just grown mango flowers is now kissing his love passionately; so also this honeybee, abiding in lotuses savouring their nectar, is passionately mating with his love to her complaisance, sequestered in the petals of lotuses. [6-14]

Jewel Thief (1967, Vijay Anand)

Ghar (1978, Manik Chatterjee)

Chashme Baddoor (1981, Sai Paranjpye)

Chandni (1989, Yash Chopra)

“Passion is surging out in male kokila -s, singing birds, as they obtained jollity in this springtime on chewing mango flowers, thus they are singing inexplicably; honeybees, when drunk with the flowery nectar of those flowers, they are also droning hums murmuringly as their drinking song; with these hums and drones the hearts of new brides are flustered in a trice, even if they are in the service of their in-laws, where certain docility and prudishness are in demand.  [6-21]

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955, V Shantaram)

Guide (1965, Vijay Anand)

Chupke Chupke (1975, Hrishikesh Mukherjee)

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…! (1994, Sooraj Barjatya)

“These days the pleasure gardens are brightened up with whitely jasmines similar to the toothy grins of sprightly brides, and hence they are heart-stealing even for saints or sages that have neutralised their materialistic indulgences long back; as such, these gardens must have stolen the hearts of youths that are already tainted with seasonal sensualities. [6-23]

Teesri Manzil (1966, Vijay Anand)

Bobby (1973, Raj Kapoor)

Mausam (1975, Gulzar)

Chitchor (1976, Basu Chatterjee)

 

“On seeing a flowered mango tree, the frame of mind of any itinerant is overly woebegone, for he is dissociated with his ladylove; thus he shuts his eyes unable to behold that ladylike mango tree with her hairdo overlaid with flowers; obstructs his nose, for the fragrance of this ladylike mango tree is akin to that of his ladylove; thus he goes into a state of woefulness, and even he bewails and shrieks loudly… thus pitiless is this season, vasanta , spring, for singletons. [6-26]

Saranga (1961, Dhirubhai Desai)

Mere Mehboob (1963, H S Rawail)

Mehbooba (1976, Shakti Samanta)

Filhaal (2002, Meghna Gulzar)

 

“Delightful is this flowery month with the racketing of lusty honeybees and kokila-s around; with flowered mango trees that fruit sweet mangos; with karniakra flowers; each of which is becoming as though an acute of arrow of Love god, that ecstasies and even cleaves the hearts of self-respectful women, who cannot explicitly explain their pangs for love, nor can suffer them, implicitly… [6-27]

Akhri Khat (1966, Chetan Anand)

Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam (1962, Abrar Alvi)

Anand (1971, Hrishikesh Mukherjee)

Khushboo (1975, Gulzar)

 

Just before the spring season ends, Holi, the delightful festival of colours, comes about and heralds the onset of summer. Kalidasa does not speak of this, but Bollywood loses no opportunity of showcasing this festival. Here are some of the ways in which it depicts the playful splash of colours.

Mother India (1957, Mehboob Khan)

Silsila (1981, Yash Chopra)

Darr (1993, Yash Chopra)

Baghban (2003, Ravi Chopra)

 

There is no doubt as to the evocative manner in which the poet has captured the affairs of the heart across all seasons. The manner in which he has captured the beauty of nature in all of his works, let alone in Ritusamhara, is exemplary.

Our dream merchants also follow the romantic affairs of love birds with equal alacrity. However, over the past few decades, the importance attached to nature has declined. Just as the social mores have changed, our lyricists have tried to keep pace with the commercial demands placed on them. The role of poetry has regrettably declined, leading to soulless and inane songs which have limited shelf life.

Hopefully, this is part of a cyclical phenomenon, just like all our seasons happen to be. A renaissance of sorts and a meaningful evolution is what one looks forward to.

Post Script: 

Throughout this series of posts on Kalidasa, movie buffs could be excused for lamenting the overbearing presence of old songs and a relative absence of recent songs. This has possibly come about because of the manner in which the presentation techniques of our directors and cinematographers have evolved over the years.

In the older songs, the camera used to be relatively stable and the whole song presented against the backdrop of a single season. At the most, the dresses worn by the main protagonists would keep changing from one scene/stanza to the next.

In recent times, with crisper editing and a far more dynamic camera, the hero and the heroine often get captured in different seasons and at different locations in a single song, thereby making the task of identifying a song with a single season rather challenging.

[Note: Translation of ‘Ritusamhara’ courtesy Mr. Desiraju Hanumanta Rao: http://www.sanskritdocuments.org/sites/giirvaani/giirvaani/rs/rs_6.htm]

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-summer

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-monsoon

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-autumn

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-pre-winter-hemanta

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-winter-shishira)

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In Ritusamhara, Kalidasa uses the season of winter to give his readers a sneak peek into the inner chambers of houses where couples are eager to get reunited. Given his flair for romance, he does not disappoint. He touches upon the use of intoxicants and the amorous intentions of women of age. He speaks of the agony of the air trapped between intimate body parts of a couple who are in a tight embrace. He talks of the dressing behavior of women in the mornings after they have experienced intense love-making during the preceding night.

Bollywood is not far behind in giving its viewers a sneak peek into the private moments of a couple. In fact, with each passing year, the envelope only gets pushed further and bedroom scenes become bolder and steamier. But to do so, our dream merchants do not necessarily depend upon the winter season alone. For them, any season is good enough for passionate love-making. In fact, they capitalize on the winter season by capturing the scintillating outdoors on celluloid. A vast snow-covered landscape forms the perfect backdrop for a scantily clad heroine and a well-groomed hero to profess their love for each other.

Here are some of the couplets from Canto Five of Ritusamhara, followed by few songs which come to one’s mind.

 

“Sandal-paste cool like moonbeams, building tops pleasant with immaculate moonshine, or sleet chilled dense breezes…  presently none of them is delightful for the people. [5-3]

Aman (1967, Mohan Kumar)

Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973, Manmohan Desai)

Phir Kab Milogi (1974, Hrishikesh Mukherjee)

Roja (1992, Mani Ratnam)

 

“Taking betel leaves and their enclosing material like lime, areca-nut parings, and other fragrant material for chewing, besides handling body creams and tassels of flowers, for it is cool to wear them on, women folk with their lotus-like faces that are fragranced with delightful recreational drinks are enthusiastically entering their bedchambers that are desirably fragranced with the fumigation of aloe vera resin. [5-5]

Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne (1964, V Shantaram)

Chandni (1989, Yash Chopra)

Parineeta (2005, Pradeep Sarkar)

 

“On entering bedchambers seen are the irritant husbands irritating for the arrival of their wives; but these husbands were at fault once for which they were daunted repeatedly earlier, for which they are now wavery as hesitation ciphered their hearts; on looking at such husbands who are now longing for lovemaking, the lustful women overlooking their faults are joining them, lest time and opportunity fritters away… thus this season unites couples, though they are at loggerheads… [5-6]

Suhagan (1964, K S Gopalakrishnan)

Anubhav (1971, Basu Bhattacharya)

Mausam (1975, Gulzar)

Darr (1993, Yash Chopra)

 

“With their discoid faces just cleansed with water looking more like golden lotuses, on which wide and medially whitish eyes whose edges touch the edges of ears, and with just cleansed hair dangling and clasping their shoulders, those women of age that are snugly in the heart of their houses in these days, appear to be many a personified prosperity, goddess Lakshmis, amidst her golden lotuses. [5-13]

An Evening in Paris (1967, Shakti Samanta)

Saudagar (1973, Sudhendu Roy)

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995, Aditya Chopra)

Fanaa (2006, Kunal Kohli)

 

“In this season, new sugar-candies and their modified sweetmeats will be abundant, new rice relishable, new sugar-cane juice delightful, disport of lovemaking intensified for the hauteur of Love God occasions anew, but this season alone will be the cause for scorching the hearts of those that are devoid of their loved ones; however, let this winter season be always bring propitiousness to you all.  [5-16]

Junglee (1961, Subodh Mukherjee)

Sangam (1964, Raj Kapoor)

Maachis (1996, Gulzar)

Veer-Zaara (2004, Yash Chopra)

 

Here is a medley of Bollywood winter songs entitled ‘Bollywood’s Winter Wonderland’ which some of you may like.

Writers and poets enjoy much greater degrees of freedom in expression when they decide to depict romantic affairs. Their vision can touch intimate spaces where even sun rays cannot aspire to reach.

Kalidasa is often referred to as the supreme poet of the senses and of aesthetic beauty, and rightly so.

Over the past few decades, Bollywood has willy-nilly evolved into a money-making arena, where style often rules over substance, where glamour invariably overrides content, where a loud orchestra often dominates inane lyrics and where raw displays of an erotic nature mostly take precedence over a depiction of refined sensuousness. The ‘success’ of a movie is now measured in terms of money and not in terms of either its content or its artistic orientation. Once in a while, one does come across some sensible and exceptional movies, but these remain mere exceptions.

One hopes that Bollywood would soon come out of this phase of its thematic and lyrical winter and enter into an exciting new spring of fresh ideas, richer content, soulful lyrics and soothing music.

 

(Note: Translation of ‘Ritusamhara’ courtesy Mr. Desiraju Hanumanta Rao:http://www.sanskritdocuments.org/sites/giirvaani/giirvaani/rs/rs_5.htm)

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-summer

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-monsoon

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-autumn

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/the-six-seasons-of-kalidasa-in-bollywood-pre-winter-hemanta)

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