1. “Jadugar Saiyan” from Nagin (1954).
I’ve played this half a dozen times in the past 36 hours or so. I’ve also listened to the whole album a couple of times. I’m ready to call this the best soundtrack ever! I fell alseep with it going into my earbuds yesterday morning, and I felt as though i was drifting off into some sweet dreams. I don’t specifically remember any dreams with a young Vyjayanthimala dancing around (too bad), but it was still all very nice. Also very soothing for troubled times.
2. “Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya” from Mahal (1949)
I played this song about four times in a row while riding the subways late Friday night into Saturday morning. (And I didn’t even know that Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday was coming up – a rather spooky coincidence. :) I’ve also played this soundtrack recently for people who have no inclination to listen to filmi music, and everybody seems to like it. I think it’s timeless. It’s almost hard to believe it came out in 1949… In many ways it would fit right in with a lot of “dark wave”/goth kind of music, or at least goth-associated rock. (I can easily see Kate Bush singing this.) It looks like such a goth movie, too. Especially with that cute young goth girl in the film clip (I believe her name is Madhubala)…
3. “Unchi Ediwalo Ne” from Bedard Zamana Kya Jane (1959).
Visually, it’s a delightful black-and-white Helen number, one of my favorites, although it is also (I would assume) kind of obscure. I was pleased, after I mentioned this in comments to Memsaab’s now-famous ten favorite Helen songs post, to find a number of people coming over to my blog to check out this song – not only because I always want to lure people over to my blog, but also because it is such a good song, I want to share it with people who might not know about it.
I didn’t arrive at this one looking for a Helen number. In fact, I landed here on a search for more Geeta Dutt. And Geeta here does a duet with Mohammed Rafi, which is always good. The song borders on a rock and roll piece, and you know both these singers can get really good when the music rocks. (Although they’re really good in other kinds of music also.) Altogether, I find this one hard to resist, or to get out of my head.
4. “Mera Saajan Phool Kamal Ka” from Tere Mere Sapne (1971)
Aside from the fact that I can associate this song with a Jayshree T. dance, I think the song is very pleasurable all by itself. Every time I encounter it (and you know that I play that clip pretty often), it gets stuck in my head. It’s hard to describe what about the song appeals to me so much; you can’t classify it, really (except, well, it’s melodic, a little poppy, kind of with some more traditional Indian folk influences?). Let’s just say that there’s great singing by Asha Bhosle, and great music S.D. Burman. That should tell you most of the reason why it turned out so good.
5. Perhaps the strangest of the bunch (especially to get stuck in your head)…
That, of course, is “Tadbeer Se Bigadi Huee Taqdeer Bana Le” from Baazi (1951). It is a catchy and laid back kind of number that might naturally get stuck in your mind even if you just hear it, especially with that singing by Geeta Dutt . However, in my mind, I can’t separate it from the visuals and from the context. Geeta Bali and Dev Anand both look great in this. And the context around it make this song pretty funny, in a strange way. Right before she started singing, we saw some character getting slapped around in this rather unpleasant gambling gangster’s den. And the lyrics that she is singing here are about how you should take a chance in life, gamble a little, have a little faith… Meanwhile, the character herself meets a rather unfortunate fate further down the road. So, as I was saying, kind of funny, and ironic, and dark.