Some of you will recognize the song quickly enough… And the video slide show also includes a current picture of Nimmi (at 2:54-56). By the way, she’s living in Chicago!
Yes, today is Nimmi’s birthday (79th, to be exact, and she’s still around…somewhere…). And for her birthday, I wanted most of all to post some favorite Nimmi songs. I had actually planned to do a bit more, but it took a lot of time just choosing the songs, because she was in so many songs that were beautiful or delightful.
I guess a big part of the reason most of those songs were so good was another woman, named Lata Mangeshkar (although a couple the songs I picked sound stunning because of male singers such as Manna Dey and Mohammed Rafi). And Nimmi benefited from a truly fine list of composers… But give Nimmi credit, too, as she definitely did help to make a pretty picturization. And though some might question her dramatic acting skills (especially in Aan), she certainly did have a compelling screen presence. As some YouTube commenter pointed out regarding one of these songs, even when accompanied by a great classical dance by Cuckoo, a seated “singing” Nimmi seemed to take the spotlight. (Though in another clip, you will find that she was out-danced by Kumkum – but even there, Nimmi held her own…)
And Nimmi really did know how to be expressive. Many would say it was because of those adorable eyes… And maybe also those big “unkissed” lips. (The village girl with the unkissed lips – what a refreshing image, especially in light of most of the stuff we see today!) But for whatever reason, it was a real pleasure to put together a post of ten songs (or, really, nine songs and one pure dance) starring or co-starring Nimmi.
P.S. For some good text from someone who’s been aware of Nimmi for a long, long time – and some good links also – go to my last post and read the comment from Gaddeswarup.
P.P.S. Today is also the birthday of one of our favorite music directors, Khayyam. But I had to make a choice, and it’s not as though I haven’t paid attention to Khayyam lately. And, unfortunately, I could not find a song starring Nimmi that was composed by Khayyam. If anybody is aware of one, please let us know!
This is Part 1 of a video of a presentation given at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and I think I like it almost as much for the explanations given in English (thank you) as for the performances themselves. Dhanashree Pandit Rai did some fine singing here, but she also did some fine translation and history telling. And I was very amused by the part of her explanation in which she talked about the instruction that the courtesans learned from the Kama Sutra, “Bol Banana”…which she translated as “How to make a fool out of a man.” And then when she translated the first line of the thumri as “Your killer looks are driving a dagger into my heart,” many movie mujras flashed through my mind. How many variations of that line have we heard? That was perfect.
This clip does not include the kathak dancing, but it is still my favorite of the four parts. I might post some or all of the rest, but I felt that this deserved a post of its own.