Listening to Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi

What a hoot this film from 1958  is!! During my last trip to India, I picked up a DVD  for a princely sum of $2 – an official copy too! A very well spent $2, if I may say so. I really enjoyed revisiting it with my husband a couple of weeks back.

I’ll recommend however that you pack up your left brain and leave it safely in cold storage while you watch this film, that will make your experience ever more pleasurable. You will then not wonder why Ashok Kumar’s ex can so easily escape to call for help at the end of the movie but couldn’t for, what was it, 10 years? Or why Madhubala doesn’t just tell her dad that this fellow whom he introduces to her is not quite the thing?

But let us pass all that because the film is truly rib tickling!  I haven’t yet seen the follow-on film called Badthi Ka Naam Daadi (the title is intriguingly hairy, to say the least!). The character development for each of the three brothers has been done very well, creating three distinct and interesting personas. I am a Madhubala fan and she is winsome as ever; charming even in men’s clothes when she goes a-adventuring with Kishore! What a charmer! कभी कुछ कहती है,  कभी कुछ कहती है, ज़रा नज़र को संभालना  How apt for a girl whose eyes, her whole face speaks volumes! On that topic, Kishore Kumar has done a fantastic job and his face is equally expressive. I am not sure why he was not more respected as an actor.  I am happy to strongly recommend this film to anyone who wants to cheer themselves up!

The music is pure fun and has a can’t-get-it-off-my-mind quality which helped make it a hit. But more than that, it shows off Kishore’s genius for comic singing, if there is a category such as that. Who can forget him yodelling his demand for पांच रुपैया बारा आना ? Or him strutting to हम थे वोह थीं और समाँ रंगीन समझ गये ना .  S.D.Burman’s music is fantastic. The lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri are very good too. I can never forget Anoop Kumar going ओ मन्नू तेरा हुआ अब मेरा क्या होगा  –  that will get a smile out of anyone!

Check out these great songs :

  • Babu Samjho Ishare – Kishore Kumar.  Title song, catchy as it should be.Smile
  • Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si – Kishore Kumar. Excellent is the only word for it.Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka – Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle. Kishore is out of the world. Asha purrs like a satisfied kitten. Superb. Unforgettable.Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Hum the woh thi – Kishore Kumar.  Interesting, very different composition by SD Burman, with Kishore jumping from scale to scale in effortless ease. A showcase for Kishore’s talent. And he is not a bad dancer either! Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Main Sitaron Ka Tarana – Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar. Very good, will get a smile out of you for sure! Smile
  • In haathon se sab ki gaadi – Kishore Kumar. Didn’t make an impression.Thinking smile
  • Hum tumhare hain – Asha Bhonsle, Sudha Malhotra. A lovely song for the talented Helen and Cuckoo to do their dance number. Smile
  • Ruk jaao na ji – Asha Bhonsle. Ordinary. But Madhubala is great.  Disappointed smile

You can find the whole album here. I am going to indulge myself and present two songs to you. The first for the superb singing by Kishore and Asha and the visual delight of the supreme Madhubala. I can’t take my eyes off her face!!! Just listen to Asha’s teasing voice at 3:35, what a singer!

And the song below to showcase Kishore’s mad genius.

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Filed under Asha Bhonsle, Bollywood 50's Music, Kishore Kumar

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