Tag Archives: Jaya Bhaduri

Listening to: Sholay (1975)


The first time I saw this film in 1985, it was already ten years old, a legend even then. What at impact it had! Sometimes, very rarely, different facets of a movie come together and magic happens because the movie becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Sholay is one such film.

Today I watched it 26 years after I saw it last.  It still had tremendous  impact. People who know my dislike of bloodshed would wonder at my statement about a film which has so much violence. Yes, I cringed in places and hid my eyes in quite a few others but in spite of that I say emphatically – if you haven’t watched it, do.

A Wild-West story Indian-style, it seems to be inspired by films such as the Magnificent Seven, except the odds are even worse, there are only two to defend the village. Yet the movie is 100% Bollywood Masala – there is a great mix of action, violence, tragedy, emotion, drama, comedy, love. Its a buddy movie, an action movie, a romance and a drama. And it has nice music too!

There are funny little cameo roles by Asrani, Jagdip and Keshto Mukherjee but its Dharm, Hema and Amitabh who provide the best comedy. Dharm is a natural, his performance in the water-tank suicide attempt scene had me in giggles. Amitabh is no less when he goes to speak on Dharm’s behalf to Hema’s aunt. Even though I am not a big Hema fan, I think she’s great here; she has a definite flair for comedy. Jaya’s performance is understated but excellent. I did not much like Sanjeev’s take of the avenging Thakur. His teeth-clenching to show anger in every other scene quite tired me. I would have a preferred a colder, more controlled performance. The supporting cast have done a commendable job.

Dharmendra and Amitabh carry the film with their contrasting styles. But I give the award to the superbly evil Amjad; he is just unbelievably good.  His eyes, his dialogue delivery, his smile – everything is as evil as can be!

There are, of course, holes in the script. Why don’t they organise better defences? Why spend so much time drinking and romancing instead of keeping lookouts? Why would Hema plan to meet Dharm  in so lonely a place when they know they are surrounded by villains? Is it still important to capture the enemy alive when one’s life is in danger? Why do they attack the enemy with so little smarts and so much emotion? And isn’t the idea of a handless Sanjeev beating up Amjad quite ridiculous? And really, does it have to be SO long? There are many whys but we shall ignore them because its still a good film.

R.D.Burman weaves his magic wand for the music with good lyrics by Anand Bakshi.

  • Yeh Dosti – Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey. This is THE buddy song of that era. Is the sidecar a metaphor for friendship? Smile
  • Holi Ke Din – Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar. There are better Holi songs but its not too bad. Smile
  • Mehbooba – R.D. The song is so famous that it is difficult to make an unbiased judgement. Helens gyrations and RDs gruff voice made an impression the first time I saw it, and it still remains startlingly good. I don’t have the qualification to critique RD of all people, but sometimes the voice seemed to be getting ahead of the beat..it disturbed me, so no dil. Open-mouthed smile
  • Koi Haseena – Kishore Kumar. This always make me smile; the song suits Dharm so very well! The picturisation is very amusing too. Open-mouthed smile
  • Haan Jab Tak Hai Jan – Lata Mangeshkar.  Hema’s big dance number is very good, Lata does a good job. Smile

Leave a comment

Filed under Bollywood 70's Music

Listening to: Piya Ka Ghar (1972)

This is a charming film based on a slender storyline – the difficulties of communal living in a Mumbai chawl (tenement) for a newly married young couple.  Written and directed by the talented Basu Chatterjee, this movie managed to keep me interested in the fate of these two likeable leads and the equally likeable supporting cast. That I think is the charm of the film; they are all likeable! However difficult their situation, they have a certain something in that household which one longs to have.

I remember the songs well from the old days, I even remember the words to a couple of them! It was the memory of those songs which drew me re-watching this film on youtube today. I am glad I did, its a gentle little story and it suited my tired mental & physical state. And the music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal is very pleasing, gently so. The lyrics by Anand Bakshi are adequate.

  • Yeh Zulf Kaisi Hai – Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar. Rafi’s voice is gentle and soothing in this very beautiful song. Open-mouthed smile
  • Piya Ka Ghar Hai Yeh – Lata Mangeshkar. Lata emotes well in this song, giving voice to a young woman’s dream of her own home. Smile
  • Yeh Jivan Hai – Kishore Kumar. A rather sad song, it is about acceptance and Kishore does a wonderful job. This is song I remembered best. Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Bambai shahar ki – Kishore Kumar. I was surprised by this song as I don’t remember ever having heard it before! Didn’t make any impression on me.Sad smile

Instead of offering my favourite song, which is rather sad and contemplative, I present instead the rather charming duet by Rafi and Lata. Yeh Zulf Kaisi Hai indeed – Jaya’s long and beautiful tresses made me quite envious!

Leave a comment

Filed under Bollywood 70's Music, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi

A Song for Jaya’s Simplicity

I confess. The moment I think of Jaya Bachchan (Badhuri), I know exactly which song I want to feature in this blog! Still, I sift through the considerably impressive list of her movies and remember them with great pleasure.

It strikes me now that I have a very strong sense of identification with Jaya. I was a young school girl in plaits when I saw her as a school girl in Guddi (1971). I loved ‘Bole re Papihara’ which my sister used to sing so beautifully. My mother loved ‘Main ek raja hoon’ from Uphaar (1971); I can clearly remember her singing the song in a strong Tamil accent as she pottered in the kitchen.  But in these movies Jaya was yet to mature to her full skills as an actress. Jaya grew up just ahead of me, it seems to me, and as I matured in life, so did she in her films.  When she did her matronly and motherly roles, I played the same role in real life.

Bawarchi (1971) was more of a Rajesh Khanna film  so I skip to Parichay (1972) in which I love ‘Beeti na Bitai Raina’, especially Bhupinder’s voice.  I am reminded of ‘Patta Patta Boota Boota’ in Ek Nazar (1972), a personal favourite.  The songs which please me from Shor (1972),  Anamika (1972), Zanjeer (1973), Kora Kagaz (1974) are of male voices. In Chupke Chupke (1975), a movie I adore, her songs don’t stand out, nor do they in Sholay (1975) or in Koshish (1972).

As I sift through her movies, I am amazed at how many excellent movies she has starred in within a short span of time. Did she ever sleep? Overall she leaves us with an impression of simplicity and strength.  In Silsila (1981), the song ‘Sar Se Sarke Chunariya’ is a serious contender and as I watch it now, I am impressed by her ability to emote with every fibre of her being. It also strikes me that Shashi Kapoor was indeed nice eye-candy material! However, I never found any dance numbers, not something in her core-competency I think. The song-and-dance numbers being integral to the success of an Indian film, her achievements without being able to dance well is a testimony to her acting skills.

And so I come to the all time favourite songs I had selected as soon as I thought of Jaya, featured in a brilliant movie in which she gave an outstanding performance.  Now, does that sound like too many superlatives in one sentence? I say no, not for this movie.

Album : Abhimaan (1973)

Music : S.D.Burman

Lyrics : Majrooh Sultanpuri

Singers : Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi


Tere Bindiya–Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd Rafi


In the clip above, Amitabh impresses me even more than Jaya. But that is for another day. Nobody who has seen the movie could go without mentioning the other equally brilliant song, ‘Tere Mere Milan’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. On hearing it now, I fall in love once more with Kishore Kumar’s voice, which I think is simply peerless.

Tere Mere Milan–Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar


For those who have not seen the film, I strongly recommend it. You can watch it here. Enjoy!


Filed under Bollywood 70's Music, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi