Category Archives: Bollywood 80’s Music

Listening to : Saagar (1985)


Who can resist a comeback film? Here was an actress who made only one super-hit picture when she was 16 and was coming back after 12 years to the industry,  having been married, a mother of two children and divorced in this span of time. There was so much hype surrounding this reappearance that we were all impatiently awaiting its release. (Edit: My thanks to my friend who has pointed out that Saagar was not the comeback film, there were a couple of films in 1984 that Dimple acted in. But I have no recollection of them, nor, I think, do the general movie-watchers in India. Saagar remains the comeback in my mind).

The film did not disappoint. At 28, she looked more beautiful than she did at 16 and her life experiences made her a better actress. The male leads, Kamal Haasan and Rishi Kapoor, were both convincing in their roles. Dimple and Kamal Haasan went on to win Filmfare awards for their performance.  There were some good performances by supporting actors too,  Nadira, Hangal and Saeed Jaffrey in particular.

I was pleased to see that Sippy Films (the producers) now have a Youtube channel and have uploaded a number of their films. I settled down to re-watch the film after more than 25 years. Love triangles in films always makes me take sides (not necessarily at sync with the story!). Did you see Its Complicated and thought at the end ‘yeah Meryl, the better choice but he is so BORING!’? I did. Now here are three talented actors, all of whom I like individually. Who is going to make me take their side, I wondered..

My impressions :

  • Kamal Haasan’s  performance was very good but I found his accent and intonation disturbing. I am a great fan of his older films in Tamil but dialogue is very much part of a film, and when that disturbs….
  • The older Kapoors were all blessed with a natural charm and screen presence. A good many of them were also cursed with a weight problem The two men are just a couple of years apart. While Kamaal looks young and athletic, Rishi is already starting to look podgy, poor fellow!
  • Is male bonding always over alcohol in Hindi films? I call in the name of good health for some Nimbu Paani bonding!
  • Again and again we see Hindi films showing the rich as horrid people and the poor as saints. I am so tired of it. For a change, can we not see lovely rich people and rather horrid poor people? Surely the law of averages would offer us a similar number of each type?

But as to taking sides, I found it difficult. Kamaal has some good dialogues : इनसान बनना सब के नसीब नहीं होता, कुछ लोगों को देवता बनना पड़ता है  and यह प्यार नाकाम हुआ है, ख़त्म नहीं  . Wah Wah Akhtar sahib!!  But I hate how in Indian films with a love triangle, the guys try to ‘give’ the girl to each other as if she were a thing and her choice didn’t count. And anyway there was so much melodrama towards the end that I was annoyed with the lot of them and didn’t much care who got the girl!!

The music by R.D.Burman was good and the lyrics by Javed Akhtar was very nice in places.

  • O Maria – Asha Bhonsle, S.P.Balasubramaniam. A lively enough tune with Kamal and Dimple doing some nice steps. Much as I love SPB singing Tamil or Telugu songs, his Hindi accent bothers me….hmmmmm…..I don't know smile
  • Saagar Jaisi Aankhon Wali– Kishore Kumar. I loved the song when I heard it first and I love it still. Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Yoohin Gaate Raho – S.P.Balasubramaniam and Kishore Kumar. Great opportunity to take sides. As far as I am concerned, Kishore outsang SPB and Kamaal outdanced Rishi! But the song doesn’t appeal that much to me. I don't know smile
  • Saagar Kinare – Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. Its a aaaaah moment when Kishore sings तू जो नहीं तो मेरा कोई नहीं है .. Kishore won the Filmfare award for this song. Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Saagar Kinare (sad) – Lata Mangeshkar. I do prefer the happy version. The cinematography in the dusk is simply lovely! The film won an award for cinematography too.Smile
  • Jaane Do Na – Asha Bhonsle, Shailendra Singh. Shailendra sounds good, pity his career went nowhere. The song..I can pass. I don't know smile
  • Sach Mere Yaar Hai – S.P.Balasubramaniam. Not to my taste. Sad smile

If you want to hear the whole album, click here.

My pick of the day is Saagar Kinare sung quite beautifully by Kishore and Lata. Enjoy!

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Filed under Bollywood 80's Music, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar

Happy Holi !

Happy Holiहोली है !! Happy Holi everyone!! How can I go without marking this day in my blog? Bollywood delivers, as usual, and provides us with many wonderful songs for this occasion. But I know what I want so I shan’t even go through the motions of reviewing the Holi songs from different films. Holi is about spring and colour, about joy and sensuality. Holi is about the visual. So I’ll go by scenes rather than the music . For me, there are only three serious contenders – Rajesh Khanna colouring up the world of the bereft Asha while singing Aaj na Chodenge in Kati Patang (1970).  Rajesh again but with Mumtaz in Bhang induced singing of Jai Jai Shiv Shankar in Aap ki Kasam (1974). And then there is Rang Barse from Silsila (1981).

For those in India, I know you are being bombarded with the same songs on all the TV channels but I am not there, and I will celebrate with my own little channel here.

As far as I am concerned, nothing can beat the erotically super-charged Rang Barse from Silsila. The combination of on-screen and off-screen stories, the drama of Jaya and Sanjeev’s dawning realisation of their partners’ infidelity, the earthiness of Amitabh which contrasts so strongly with what we know to be his real life mien, the caress of Rekha’s long braid on her body, the dehati tone of Amitabh singing in his own voice, the suggestiveness of the lyrics which match all this – its a perfectly put together screen event! For me this is THE Holi song. I know there are many of you who would consider the scantily clad figure of a nubile and lissom young thing gyrating to a fast beat to be sensuous, but in my opinion this song sequence gets the prize for on-screen sensuality in Bollywood.

Rang Barse–Amitabh Bacchan


Filed under Bollywood 80's Music

Listening to : Nikaah (1982)

I remember Nikaah (Marriage) very well; I too was married in the same year!  The popular genre of Muslim social dramas had been very popular in the 50s and 60s but hadn’t been made for some time when this film was released so it created quite an interest. It was also often in the news because it starred a Pakistani actress who sang for herself. All these memories flit through my mind as I pick this album today with lots of nostalgic pleasure.

As I hear the music, I am charmed anew. I so love the music of yesteryears where attention was given to the lyrics and melody rather than orchestration as is popular today. I love many of music director Ravi’s albums. The thing that grabs me today are the lyrics by Hasan Kamaal.  How well he expresses the emotions of a woman hurt in the past and afraid to take a risk again –

हमने उदासियों में गुजारी है ज़िन्दगी
लगता है डर फरेब बेवफा से कभी कभी
ऐसा न हो कि ज़ख्म कोई फिर नया मिले
अब तक तो जो भी दोस्त मिले बेवफा मिले

All the competitive verses of the Qawwali Chehra chupa liya hai with the man vs woman perspectives are so very cleverly written !

इक परवाना जला किस क़दर शोर मचा
शमा चुप-चाप जली लब पे शिकवा न गिला
क्या है जलने का मज़ा हुस्न से पूछो ज़रा
क्यों कि
परवाने को जल जाना हमने ही सिखाया है…

The second thing which catches my attention is the unusual combination of Salma Agha’s nasal and rather plaintive voice with the deep and well modulated voice of Mahendra Kapoor. A very pleasant combination.

So here are the songs, with my recommendations :

  • Dil ki yeh arzoo thi – Mahendra Kapoor, Salma Agha Open-mouthed smile
  • Fazaa bhi hai janwan janwan – Salma Agha Smile
  • Beete hue lamhon – Mahendra Kapoor Smile
  • Dil ke armaan – Salma Agha Open-mouthed smile
  • Chupke Chupke – Ghulam Ali Open-mouthed smileRed heart What a fantastic ghazal! This is one of Ghulam Ali’s ghazals and I believe the lyrics are by Hasrat Mohani.
  • Chehra Chupa Liya Hai – Mahendra Kapoor, Asha Bhonsle, Salma Agha Open-mouthed smileRed heart

To listen to the whole album, here’s a link. For this post, I wanted to present the Qawwali Chehra Chupa Liya hai – I so love qawwalis! Unfortunately I couldn’t find a good video online. Ghulam Ali’s song is his own, so not a credit to the music director or the lyricist.  So I offer for your viewing pleasure Dil Ki Yeh Arzoo..enjoy!

Dil ke yeh arzoo–Mahendra Kapoor, Salma Agha

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Filed under Bollywood 80's Music, Mahendra Kapoor