Listening to: Anarkali (1953)

Anarkali holds a special place for me as all during my childhood I had heard my mum humming these songs to herself. She must have been eighteen or nineteen when this film came out; she learnt the songs then and remembered them for a lifetime. And left me with this beautiful inheritance.

Remembering the songs but not the movie, I sat to watch it recently. Oh, I wish I hadn’t! Bina Rai looks beautiful in the scenes where she smiles. Unfortunately there are only two such smiles hidden within 2 hrs and 28 mins of on-screen misery for her. And Pradeep Kumar, was there ever a more unlikeable or un-admirable protagonist?  Our prince Salim is cowardly at the start, mean when he rescues our heroine from a slave market and then tortures her by pretending to be someone else, unkind when he – at last – is firm with nautch girl Gulnar, petulant when he declares his love and starts a rebellion, and spineless almost all of the time! Now if it were Dharmendra looking like a Greek God in his heydays, I could have sympathised with Anarkali…… As it stands, I would advice Anarkali to wash her hands off this prince and take up a job as a playback singer, she could have gone places!!

Joking aside, the music by C.Ramachandra is indeed beautiful, my mother chose well.  The music is like a showcase for Lata’s talents. What a wonderful find she was to the Hindi movie industry!!

  • Yeh Zindagi Usi ki Hai – Lata Mangeshkar. This was the iconic song of Anarkali, very touchingly sung by Lata  Open-mouthed smile
  • Aa jane wafa – Lata Mangeshkar.  I don't know smile
  • Aaja ab to aa ja – Lata Mangeshkar. Good picturisation, when the heroine is being sold off on the slave market. Beautifully rendered by Lata. Open-mouthed smile
  • Mujh se mat pooch – Lata Mangeshkar I don't know smile
  • Dua kar ghame dil – Lata  Mangeshkar.  I love the Arabic touch to this music!!  Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Jag darde ishq jag – Hemand Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar. Hemant Kumar is not a personal favourite  and I dislike his pronunciation in this song but the music is good enough to earn a smile  Open-mouthed smile
  • Mohabbat aisi dhadhkan hai – Lata  Ah….so beautiful! The lyrics by Shailendra please me especially.Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Zindagi pyar ki do char ghadi – Hemant Kumar I don't know smile
  • Zamana yeh samjha ki hum pee ke aye –  Lata Manageshkar Sad smile
  • O Aasman wale – Lata Manageshkar Sad smile

For those who want to listen to the whole album, here is a link. I could not make up my mind as to which of my two favourites I should show you, so I present for your viewing pleasure both songs below. Happy viewing!

Dua Kar Ghame Dil–Lata Mangeskhar
Mohabbat Aisi Dhadkan–Lata Mangeshkar

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Filed under Bollywood 50's Music, Lata Mangeshkar

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