6 comments on “My Favorite Diwali Song of All Time

  1. I think I’ve run across this one on your site before, or on youtube, because the set (with so many lit up cut-outs of “buildings” in the background) is really memorable. I think I liked the dance at the end best of all–and Ashok Kumar’s jolly reaction to it.

    I was at a Diwali festival last weekend in Cali, and at the very end there was a dance with a similar gathering of women holding trays of lights around a single figure–only in this case, it was a person dressed as Ram (I believe anyway)–and unfortunately, he or she couldn’t quite stand still in the difficult pose required. However, it was all still gorgeous.

    I’m really surprised I haven’t seen more depictions of Diwali in Hindi films, given the fact that you can’t go wrong with a picturization that includes so many candles and strings of lights. The one that stands out the most to me is Zanjeer (’73), in which the holiday marks both the beginning and the climax of the narrative.

  2. Hi, Miranda. I’m glad you like my favorite Diwali song! If you scroll down one month here, you’ll see a screen cap from that song, in the middle of my review of Kismet. Moreover, I just did a search in this blog, and I see that I actually picked it as my Diwali song of 2011. (But that was a different clip, of lesser quality, and it didn’t have subtitles – though Harvey was kind enough to translate some of it in the comments…) And it has popped up a couple of times on my Facebook wall – but I don’t think you are seeing that. :)

    If you haven’t been able to find Diwali songs, maybe you’re in the wrong decade? :) I know you watch a lot of films from the ’70s… But as someone whose been hooked on the 1940s and very early ’50s, I’ve seen a ton of them. It wasn’t my intention to dig up videos in a big list this time; I just wanted to post that one clip. But I can name a bunch where you can find Diwali scenes: Khazanchi (1941), Khandan (1942), Kismet (above – 1943), Ratan (1944), Sheesh Mahal (1950)… Well, those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head,

    I also recall a Diwali song that I know I posted here, starring Vyjayanthimala and Raj Kapoor, from the early 1960s.

    I think the holiday most portrayed in Hindi films must be Holi. But I don’t think Diwali is that far behind…

  3. I thought I might be barking up the wrong decade, lol :) I swear, I do watch films from NOT the 70s . . . I finished the rather moving Awaara today, and saw five or six films from the 60s this last month. But, yes, I guess cannot deny where my heart truly lies ;)

    I’ve certainly seen a few Holi songs in my chosen “era” ( if you will) but after seeing the fabulous electrically lit costumes in Khazanchi (on top of the usual multitude of lamps), I wonder if the reason the Diwali song seems to have faded in popularity by the 70s is simply due to the risk of fire hazard . . . hmmmm (I have no idea if safety standards had changed by then or not). During a Holi song, the set might end up a bit of a mess, but at least it would stand a good chance of still existing after the director yelled “cut.” Or oerhaps the holiday just wasn’t as prominent in the more well known films.

  4. I just remembered, after I wrote my last comment, that there were two Khazanchis with Diwali songs. The one with the electric-light costumes that you’re talking about has to be from the 1958 Khazanchi; I don’t think there’s much electricity in the 1941 film. But the ’41 film certainly has lots of candles. And now though I said I wasn’t posting more videos here, I guess I will…

    1958:

    1941:

    I much prefer the one from 1941. But either one could have been a fire hazard. :)

  5. Thanks, Ann. But that looks less like Diwali than it looks like Hawaii. :) (Kind of reminds me of a song or two from Albela (1951)… Bhagwan trying to build upon his older hit?)

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