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For movie buffs who are also tuned to ‘ragas’ of Hindustani Classical Music, here is yet another delectable offering from ‘My Views on Bollywood’.

Enjoy!

My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

Music directors of our film industry have skillfully woven the basics of classical ragas from our rich musical heritage in a simple form and given us outstanding film songs that could reach out to a much wider section of the audience and thus find mass appeal. Instead of strictly adhering to all the technicalities of the raga which can be appreciated only by a few, the essence or the flavour of the raga is maintained in the song to give us the right feel and emotion associated with the scene or mood of the character. Sometimes the raga is only lightly touched upon and at other times the raga is mixed with other ragas to highlight its beauty.

Lyricists, music directors, singers and finally the actors and actresses have all contributed by adding their own magic to enhance the appeal and reach of these songs to the…

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The world can now be said to be inhabited by at least three kinds of Bollywood fans. These are newer communities emerging the world over, irrespective of their age, sex, religion, caste, wealth, political leanings and nationality. This is one of the several boons being granted to a despondent humanity by the dreaded Corona virus. A macro-level restructuring of the entire planet is already on its way.

One tribe is that of those who are blissfully unaware of the consequences of suffering from this virus. Members of this tribe keep going around in a carefree manner, possibly believing themselves to be far different than the hoi polloi, a cut above the rest and invincible. Experts would label members of this tribe as Covidiots. They pose a serious threat to most of us.

Another kind are the ones who are clueless, suffering a deep sense of anxiety and dreading its arrival on their doorsteps. They keep twiddling their thumbs trying to figure out as to when it would strike them. Either out of fear or a desire to keep themselves and their near and dear ones safe and healthy, they try to follow as many do’s and dont’s which keep popping up on their smart screens with a frequency which could put an atomic clock to shame. One may call such obedient persons as Covidients.

Yet another tribe comprises die-hard optimists who believe they are watching a horror film, tucking into their favourite snack and occasionally sipping some atrociously-priced coffee, waiting for the last reel to unfold, hoping for a happy ending. Had they been watching it at home, they would have preferred to watch the same in a fast forward mode. They might be labelled as Covimists.

For succour, members of all these tribes can readily turn to some songs dished out by our Bollywood flicks over the decades. Here is a random sample of the same.

 

Songs which are best avoided by Covidients

 

Abhi na jao chhod kar

(Hum Dono, 1961)

 

Mujh ko apne gale laga lo

(Hamrahi, 1963)

 

Lag jaa gale

(Woh Kaun Thi, 1964)

 

Choo lene do

(Kaajal, 1965)

 

Rut hai milan ki

(Mela, 1971)

 

Baahon mein chale aao

(Anamika, 1973)

 

Jaane do na

(Sagar, 1985)

 

Jumma chumma de de 

(Hum, 1991)

 

Ang se ang lagana

(Darr, 1993)

 

Dhiktana

(Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…!, 1994)

 

Maiyya Yashoda

(Hum Saath Saath Hain, 1999)

 

Chupke se lag ja gale 

(Saathiya, 2002)

 

M bole to

(Munna Bhai MBBS, 2003)

 

Yeh tara woh tara 

(Swades, 2004)

 

Tere haath mein mera haath ho

(Fanaa, 2006)

 

Songs which might motivate Covidiots to mend their ways

 

Mere piya gaye rangoon

Patanga, 1949

 

Jalte hain jiske liye

(Sujata, 1959)

 

Chalo ek baar phir se 

(Gumrah, 1963)

 

Songs which may suit the Covimists

 

Saathi haath badhana

Naya Daur, 1957

 

Hum honge kamyab

(Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, 1983)

 

Aye mere humsafar

(Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, 1988)

 

Human ingenuity knows no bounds. Fashionistas are devising women’s headgear incorporating a noise and mouth, keeping viruses and those with amorous intentions at bay, cheering up the Covidients.

Behavioural Scientists are burning the proverbial midnight oil to come up with therapeutic packages which can help the Covidiots improve their ability to realize the limits of their own – rather limited – abilities. Human resource consultants are busy dishing out programs which would assist managements to instill a better sense of equanimity and resilience among their employees, something which was recommended by Lord Krishna more than 5,000 years back.

Covimists, delighted at the environment bouncing back to the pink of its health and noticing a trend towards better sustainability, await the day when many of the perks of the pandemic would truly get appreciated and acted upon so the human race can continue its relentless journey towards evolution.

And here is a tribute to Mother Nature:

Yeh kaun chitrakaar hai

(Boond Jo Ban Gayi Moti, 1967)

 

 

(The following inputs are gratefully appreciated:

  1. Suggestions for some of the songs listed here, courtesy Sanjana Bhatia.
  2. Terms like Covidiots and Covedients courtesy The Economic Times).

 

 

 

 

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One often wonders as to why nature has stopped playing an important role in Bollywood songs. Perhaps, themes have come to represent the urban lot, and are no longer village-centred. Moon no longer gets compared to the face of the beloved as frequently as it did in the past. The gentle rustling of soothing wind has all but vanished from our soundtracks. Shimmering waters of a sea or a lake no longer excite our lyricists. Snow-covered mountains make a rare appearance. The soothing sounds of nature have got replaced by metro screeches, car honkings and trains trudging along.

Not to fret, though. Here is a brilliant post from Dusted Off, which takes us back in time, right into the warm embrace of nature.

Dustedoff

Several years back, poet, friend and fellow Sahir Ludhianvi fan Karthika Nair and I were discussing Sahir’s poetry. After a while, we arrived at the conclusion that, while everybody acknowledges the brilliance of Sahir’s more revolutionary poetry—of the Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye or Chini-o-Arab hamaara—and some of his more angsty and emotional lyrics (Chalo ek baar phir se, anyone?), many people tend to overlook the fact that Sahir was also one of those poets who could describe nature brilliantly.

When I mentioned having studied Pighla hai sona in school (it was in our school textbook), Karthika remarked that, in that song, “nature became an active agent, not a landscape.” That reminded me of a theme I’d been toying with for a long time, for a song post. Songs that celebrate nature, songs that appreciate the beauty of nature. Nature or an aspect…

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My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

Our rich repertoire of films boasts of many kinds of unique song picturizations which have kept the songs as well as the artistes associated with them alive in our hearts. Take for instance the innumerable songs picturized on different modes of transport- from bullock cart and horse cart to cycle, car, jeep, bus, train, plane and even helicopter- the vehicle in all these songs imparts a special character to the songs and thus help the actors in conveying their emotion in a distinctive manner in the concerned situation .

The very conception of such ideas requires tremendous imagination that definitely needs to be lauded. The director who thinks of the apt situations to insert such songs in the narrative, the dance director or choreographer who translates this idea into reality, the lyricist who writes the words, the music director who turns them into catchy songs and finally…

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When the brow is furrowed and the pangs of separation from one’s beloved have dethroned reason from its coveted seat, the mood turns a shade of deep blue.

Like all other strands of emotion captured by Bollywood, separation from the beloved has also not escaped the attention of our dream merchants. There are several songs which depict the intense feeling of desolation experienced by someone when the soul mate has gone missing. Whereas some herald the end of doom, so to say, few others are easier on the frayed nerves, laced as they happen to be with uplifting optimism and point to the possibility of a rosier future.

There is a beauty to sad songs which cannot be captured in words. These tug at one’s heart-strings and provide solace to a tormented soul. First off, let us relish a composition which celebrates the genre of sad songs.

The beauty of sad songs

(Patita, 1953, Shankar Jaikishan)

When the heart pines away for the missing soul mate

Here is a random selection of songs which capture the pangs of separation effectively.

(Hemant Kumar, Non-filmi song, Kal Teri Tasveer Ko)

 

(Dulari, 1949, Naushad)

 

(Baiju Bawra, 1952, Naushad)

 

(Navrang, 1958, C Ramchandra)

 

(Bandini, 1963, S D Burman)

 

(Arzoo, 1965, Shankar Jaikishan)

 

(Khamoshi, 1969, Hemant Kumar)

 

(Hero, 1983, Laxmikant Pyarelal)

 

(Ijaazat, 1987, R D Burman)

 

When the sense of separation has attained a state of permanence

(Mera Naam Joker, 1970, Shankar Jaikishan)

 

(Anand, 1970, Salil Chowdhury)

 

(Shor, 1972, Laxmikant Pyarelal)

 

(Parichay, 1972, R D Burman)

 

Songs with a dash of hope

(Mera Saya, 1966, Madan Mohan)

 

(Prem Pujari, 1970, S D Burman)

 

(Chhoti Si Baat, 1976, Salil Chowdhury)

 

(Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, 1988, Anand Milind)

These songs represent different shades of separation. Some are rendered in a mood of despondency, with nary a ray of hope lighting up the heart which pines away in a state of intensive sadness. Then there are some which reflect a sense of finality and fatalism, coming in when a realisation has dawned that there is absolutely no hope of a reunion. Some are sung in the fond hope that the two hearts torn asunder by the harsh slings and arrows of Fate would soon get reunited.

Which are your favourite songs of separation from Bollywood?

 

(You may also like to visit:  https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/an-illusory-search-for-the-perfect-soul-mate-bollywood-style)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, occupies a very prominent place in the minds of its citizens. Given the propensity of Bollywood producers and directors to cash in on events which touch the audience’s lives, one would presume that the festival would have had a major role to play in many of the flicks churned out by our dream merchants.

In quite a few story lines, Diwali does form the background of some events of major importance in the lives of the principal characters. The villain and his henchmen decide to massacre an entire family just when the latter happen to be celebrating the festival together. However, they willy-nilly leave behind a survivor who grows up with the single aim of identifying the villain and liquidating him even as the law enforcing authorities take their own sweet time to troop in.

But when one starts looking around for songs which are inspired by this magnificent festival, one is likely to be disappointed. These are few and far in between.

Here is a small collection which was recently brought to my attention by an elderly cousin who has a personal collection of movies and songs which could beat any museum professing to represent the best that Bollywood has to offer.

Aayi Diwali Deep Jala Ja: Pagdi (1948)

 

Deep Jale Ghar Ghar Mein: Lata: 1955

 

Deep Jalenge Deep Diwali Aayi: Paisa (1957)

Kaise Diwali Manayen Lala: Paigham (1959)

 

Mele Hein Chiragon Ke: Nazrana (1961)

 

And here is a famous song from the movie Guide (1965) where an entire stanza is devoted to Diwali.

 

Happy Diwali: Home Delivery (2005)

Perhaps, there are several reasons for Diwali songs being very few.

One could be that the joint family system has given way to unit families. Main protagonists in Bollywood movies have become more self-centred, pushing the broader family into the shadows. Over time, the importance attached to a family-focused festival like Diwali has gone down. We still get to see it, but merely as a backdrop to the small part of a song where the hero and the heroine are shaking their legs and limbs with much gusto.

Another could be the fact that Diwali was earlier considered a private family affair, with sweets getting distributed amongst neighbours after the traditional puja had been performed. But the current trend is that of a socializing event where those who could assist us in fulfilling our ambitions receive gifts much prior to the festival. In other words, if it was a single transaction between a family and the Goddess of Wealth in the past, it has now taken the shape of a multi-dimensional event of a transactional nature where one’s circle of influence plays a far more important role.

It is remarkable that Holi, the Festival of Colours, has found better attention from our film makers. Bollywood specializes in glorifying eve-teasing and this is one festival which provides ample scope for amorous advances to be showcased on the silver screen.

Here is wishing all of you a great Diwali!

(Note: Yours truly is grateful to the senior cousin who facilitated this post.)

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ashokbhatia

The departure of the rainy season leaves us with a weather which is hot and humid. The sky is a clean blue. The sun tends to get merciless yet again but is unable to catch up with the ferocity it displays during summers. Rivers and lakes are full to the brim, but are relatively quieter.

In ‘Ritusamhara’, Kalidasa captures this season as evocatively as he does all others. All the natural features of autumn get compared to either some activity or some ornament of the delicately nurtured. Immaculate moonshine is often said to be veiled by clouds. Twinkling stars get alluded to as jewellery of the autumnal night. Affairs of the heart invariably take centre stage.

Bollywood does not refrain from showing us the beauty of this season in all its glory while the hero and the heroine profess their love for each other. But there is a…

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ashokbhatia

After a long spell of a harsh summer, the monsoon ushers in a season of joy and relief. The aroma of the scorched earth touched by the first torrent of rains is intoxicating. Birds and beasts are equally delighted. The whole nature changes its texture.

This is indeed the season where Bollywood outdoes itself. Farmers rejoice. Those who are lonely go about dancing in the rain, hoping that a beloved would be discovered soon enough. Lissome heroines prance about in their fully drenched attires, performing dance steps which could put an Olympic gymnast to shame. When it gets pitch dark, lightning helps young ladies to locate their lovers.

Courtship reaches a higher level of intensity. Hormones run amok. Sounds of thunder make the heroine cling closer to the hero. Those who have lost their beloveds to the harsh workings of Fate fondly recollect their lady-love in this season. Perched on…

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Dustedoff

Sometime back, blog reader Anup remarked that some songs had a major singer not really doing much singing. Duets, he pointed out, where one singer does almost all the singing, while the other one just does a supportive ‘la-la-la-la’, or something along those lines. Anup suggested I compile a song list of duets like that. Of what I call ‘technically duets’: not songs in which both singers play an equal part in making the song what it is, but in which the ratio is somewhat skewed.

Then, only about a week after Anup made this suggestion, yet another blog reader, Bhagwan Thavrani, sent me an e-mail with pretty much the same suggestion. He was rather more precise: songs in which one singer only hummed, while the other did the singing.

Two readers, both requesting songs of the same basic type? I decided I had to take up the…

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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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