Yeh tumhari meri baatein

In 2008, when the creative flair of the early 2000s Hindi cinema had all but died down, Farhan Akhtar once again brought us an unexpected film in Rock On!!. Only this time he was not directing, but acting on screen and singing and it was all quite enjoyable. True to its name, the film had a strong soundtrack of rock music, and while they are all good songs, some excellent, the one that always stands out to me is the exquisitely lounge Yeh, tumhari meri baatein. Maybe the religious musical taxonomist would call it ‘soft rock’ or some such. Whatever it qualifies as, it’s beautiful.
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Jahan teri yeh nazar hai

The 1981 film Kaalia was a big commercial success. It cemented the status of Amitabh Bachchan as a popular star, and his increasing identification as the ‘angry young man’ of Hindi cinema with a stream of similar roles. Director Tinu Anand‘s first outing with the star, but not his last, would include many popular songs in its repertoire, including the romantic Tum saath ho jab apne. But the song that would remain the iconic hit from this film and this era of film music is the mischievous Jahan teri yeh nazar hai.
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Aye kaash ke hum

In Hindi cinema, the early 90s had a lot of staple giants in the field, and many of the names that would go on to become major forces in Hindi films and music in the following two decades, started off in this era. The 1994 film Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa was an important juncture for many things that were to come, and crucial stepping-stone towards many changes that would happen in the near future. In the film the simple and romantic song, Aye kaash ke hum remains one of my favourites.
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Falak tak chal saath mere

When the film Tashan was released in early 2008, it had everything going for it. Produced by Yash Raj Films, who had been on a roll for quite a while at the time; Some of the biggest, most dependable stars available, Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan; An interesting plot; Music by Vishal-Shekhar, who were just coming off the success of their music for Om Shanti Om. In spite of all that, the film mostly proved to be a disappointment in everything but the music department. Almost all the songs in this film are memorable, but the utterly romantic Falak tak chal saath mere stands out the most.
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Poocho na kaise maine rain bitai

When the film Meri Surat Teri Ankhen was released in 1963, the already venerable Ashok Kumar had been a leading man in Indian cinema for nearly three decades. He would go on to act for an equal number of decades after this point, so this could be seen as a middle point in his career. This was a classically melodramatic film with all the sufferings and tragedies you could throw at the protagonist, and the songs were accordingly heart wrenching. Not the least of these was the song Poocho na kaise maine rain bitai, which remains one of singer Manna Dey most well-loved renditions.
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Dil chahta hai

In 2001, the film Dil Chahta Hai was at least a minor revelation. Made with a technical skill and a disregard for many common Hindi film wisdoms, it set the bar for the many youthful movies in the following decade and beyond. At the time, one of the major reasons it caught the attention of movie watchers, before word-of-mouth made it a true hit, were its catchy and mostly music-montage trailers. These trailers were various scenes of three friends enjoying each other’s company in Goa. Those early trailers were pretty much shorter edits of this, the title song, Dil chahta hai
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Afsana likh rahi hoon

The film Dard was released in 1947 and proved to be an important milestone for many involved. The music composer Naushad Ali knew much success after the songs of this film were a big hit. The singer Uma Devi Khatri would become a known name, and while her name would not carry her too far in the realm of music, she would reappear on screen in a very different guise in later decades and have a very long career as a comedic actress. But at this point, the burgeoning music of Naushad and the clear singing of Uma Devi brought us the still memorable song Afsana likh rahi hoon.
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Kya ada kya jalwe tere Paro

In 1996, Sunil Shetty had more than half a dozen film releases. They were all likely action/revenge/angry-young-man pot-boilers of various kinds, and Shastra was one of them. I’ve never seen the film, from what I can remember, and it is difficult to remember because so many of these very similar products were released in the mid-90s that telling them apart does become a challenge unless you’re a die-hard fan. Shastra was very much a revenge plot, peppered with all the other comedic and romantic elements as a requirements rather than a necessity. Thankfully one such requirements were songs and it gave us the very memorable Kya ada kya jalwe tere Paro.
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Hawaon pe likh do hawaon ke naam

Do Dooni Char was a film made in 1968. It was based on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, a source that would be referenced by Hindi films on several occasions in the future. Speaking of mistaken identities and doubles, a film of the same name, but with a mildly different spelling, would also be made in 2010. The two were not connected in any way, except that an actress appeared in both these films, decades apart; Doubles everywhere. This 1968 film starred Kishore Kumar and while I’ve probably only seen pieces of it, the song Hawaon pe likh do hawaon ke naam has always been a favourite of mine.
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Dum dum

Band Baaja Baaraat was a movie that came out of nowhere. Sure, it was produced by the ever eminent Yashraj Films, but it had little else going for it. Released at the very end of the year, a fresh director (Maneesh Sharma), a fist time actor in the main role (Ranvir Singh), a second time actress (Anushka Sharma) whose first outing (Rab Ne Banaa Di Jodi) was very commendable and a huge hit, but then it did star Sharukh Khan. Also, a mainstream romantic comedy set in Delhi? Unheard of in 2010. But the movie did come and left quite an impression. Musically, it is known for the much more colloquial song Ainvayi Ainvayi, a great song, but Dum Dum holds a special place in my heart. For in the unexpectedness of Band Baaja Baaraat, the song Dum Dum also manages to come out of nowhere and leave you joyous.
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