Now for ten Uma Devi songs in videos/film clips…  Not ranking them this time; let’s just say they’re almost all equally good…

From Dard, a catchy, upbeat kind of song that occurs near the beginning, long before we see Suraiya, who people might be inclined in retrospect to consider as the star of the film…  It is picturized on Munawar Sultana – the Indian actress, not to be confused with the Pakistani playback singer (thanks to frequent commenter Mr. Jinx for clarifying that).  And it is delightfully addictive to watch and listen to… “Machi Hai Dhoom” is one of those songs that, every time I hear it, really gets stuck in my head…

But when Suraiya finally does show up, she does a duet with Uma Devi, the results are even more splendid!  I think this is my favorite of the songs from Dard

Of course, Uma Devi also has another big solo classic from Dard (one which I’ve noticed, for some reason, has been subject to a few contemporary remixes)…

From Chandralekha…  All of her songs in this are lovely sounding, but I like this one in particular because I like T.R. Rajakumari’s little dance.

Though for the sheer sweetness of Uma Devi’s voice, maybe this one is even better…

Come to think of it, maybe it’s impossible to pick a favorite among the songs from Chandralekha…  I like this one a lot too, and the picturization at one point kind of reminds me of some songs in a later Gemini movie, Mr. Sampat

The same year that Uma Devi sang all these great songs in Chandralekha – i.e., 1948 – she also did those two fine songs for Anokhi Ada.  Let me re-post the video for “Kahe Jiya Dole”…  In addition to the delightful music (which is by Naushad, just like all those soundtracks that she starred in with Suraiya), I am very fond of the picturization for its unmistakably unglamorous qualities.  Seeing that this was a Mehboob Khan film, was this a “dress rehearsal” for those famous scenes of mud-covered Nargis that would hit the theaters nine years later?   Unfortunately, though I don’t think much is known about this particular actress and her earthly charms.  (In comments the other day, Mr. Jinx pointed out that it’s Zeb Qureshi, Shyam’s mysterious sister-in-law…)   But in any event, it should be  obvious that I’m becoming fascinated by this picturization.  Don’t you just love those eye movements?  And Uma Devi’s voice seems just right for her!

And here’s the scene for the other Uma Devi song from Anokhi Ada…  I don’t really like the sound of this song as much, but I realized, I love the look of the sets.  Maybe I will try to find the entire film sometime.  (Looking at the plot summary, I see…  Oh, this is another one of those accident-causing-memory-loss-leads-to-love-triangle films…with Mehboob Khan-ian references to the harshness of poverty. Looks OK…)

And now back to the Suraiya films… This item is “cheating” a little, because it’s not a film clip. There were no film clips available for the movie, Natak (1947). But this is a nice slideshow, starting with a picture of Uma Devi herself, after which. there is a series of very attractive film stills, though some of them have nothing to do with the movie. (Geeta Bali was definitely not in this film!) But among the slideshows availabe for the song “Dilwale Jal Jal Kar Hi Mar Jana” (and there are quite a few, actually), this one is still the best.

Now… How many times have I posted the next clip? However many, I’m happy to do so again. I’ve emphasized this as a Shamshad Begum song, but there’s that other voice – Uma Devi’s, of course – which complements Shamshad’s so well, in this very unusual song that is one of my all-time favorite numbers by Naushad.

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