Chalka chalka re

The phenomenon of the various regional language film industries feeding material to the Hindi film industry in Bombay, and vice-versa, has been going on for a long time. In a country so diverse in its cultures and languages, it was always been natural to translate what works from one market into another market in the hopes of recapturing its success. In the early 90s, A. R. Rahman‘s music made it to a wider audience through very much this same process, of Tamil films being dubbed for a Hindi audience. By the early 2000s, while A.R. Rahman was still being translated to Hindi on occasion, there was a small surge of remakes instead of the dubs. The Hindi film industry was going through a small resurgence and the larger budgets meant remaking a film with more recognisable cast and in recognisable settings for the Hindi audience was a viable and attractive option. Chalka chalka re from the 2002 film Saathiya was one such song translated into Hind in a remake of a Tamil film (Alaipayuthey).
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Tum se kuch kehna hai

The reason the Indian film industry, as a collection of all its many regional language industries, has been the most prolific producer of cinema for a large chunk of film history, is because it is a very deep creature. There are the popular blockbuster films staring big-name stars and top-flight talent, but the vast majority of the iceberg is made up of low budget films, made with second-tier stars, unknowns, lower budgets, and much less media attention or publicity. This has always been true, especially considering the relatively lower budget profiles of Indian films. In 1959 Guest House was probably such a film, which may not have lasted much in cultural memory as a piece of cinema, but its songs live on, and Tum se kuch kehna hai is on of its best remembered gems.
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Mahi ve, mohabattan sachiyane

There are some films that are a huge deal when they are released, and fade away into obscurity over time. Sometimes it’s because of the marketing machine and sometimes the film is something different enough for people to take notice, but there are always ever shinier trinkets to pay attention to and their time in the limelight passes. The 2002 film Kaante is one such film, whose large star cast and novel execution for the time made it an important milestone. It still is a milestone in some ways, part of which is the piece of the film that most survives in present memory, the song Mahi ve.
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Abhi na jao chod kar

Heroes and heroines dancing between trees has been an oft repeated cliché for the tropes of Hindi film songs. Like all clichés, it has some basis in fact, even if not as iconic as it has come to be portrayed. At some point, dancing between the trees started as a simple walk between the trees, because in the history of Hindi film, actual synchronised dancing to the music is a relatively recent development. Before such things came to be, matters were slower and simpler for the most part, and a great example of just such walking between the trees is Abhi na jao chod kar from the 1961 film Hum Dono.
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Inteha ho gayo intezaar ki

By the 1980s, Amitabh Bachchan was at the height of his stardom. While the decade was not the most vibrant for the Hindi film industry in general, Amitabh went on to do some of his most iconic movies at the time. Their success can in no small part also be ascribed to some of the great songs that came out of them, because this was a time not all that far back in the past, and yet Kishore Kumar was still around to sing songs. In spite of the slightly downbeat trend in film music at the time, some happy gems did come out of it. Inteha ho gayo intezaar ki from the 1984 film Sharaabi, manages to be both by changing its mood half way through its length.
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Tanhayee

Dil Chahta Hai will remain a landmark film in the world of Hind cinema for many reasons. While it didn’t have the sheer bravado of something like Lagaan from earlier that year, this 2001 film included a change in what was possible within the old tropes, it introduced some important players, and it re-introduced some old hands. The songs in the film were all very good and grew to a popularity much bigger than the film itself in some ways. Of those, I’ve always had a soft spot for Tanhayee. It’s not usual for me to like the sad emotional song over more upbeat ones, but I think in the realm of sad songs too, this one acted as a milestone, of a change of mood.
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Laaga chunari mein daag

Raj Kapoor is most often remembered for working on and in his sometimes lavish, opus-like home productions, but he did plenty of other films in his time, like any other star at the prime of their career. Laga chunari mein daag is a song from Dil hi to hai, one such movie, released in 1963. It is not often associated with Raj Kapoor, perhaps because he is wearing a sort of joke beard throughout the song, quite contrary to his regular image, or perhaps it is because not much attention is paid to what is going on screen as compared to the absolute magic wrought upon the listener by Manna Dey with his singing.
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Tinka tinka, zara zara

Karam, released in 2005 would certainly qualify as unconventional for a Hindi film, even though it subscribes to all the tropes of its genre. A noir film about an assassin wanting to leave the business for love isn’t exactly standard Hindi film fare, and while it was a decent film, it pretty much sunk without a trace at the box-office. On the plus side, however, the song Tinka tinka, which introduces Priyanka Chopra‘s character in the film, will likely be remembered for a long time to come.
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Woh chand khila woh taare hanse

By the time the 1959 film Anari came along, Raj Kapoor was a well established presence in the Hindi film world, as was his his slightly-awkward and naive Chaplinesque on-screen persona, made famous by such films as Awaara (1951). So perhaps in some ways he was playing to type in this mix of romance and intrigue. Along with co-starring the effervescent Nutan, the film did give us some very memorable songs, chief among which is the chirpy well-remembered Woh chand khila woh taare hanse.
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Omkaara naadaanu

While my family is originally being from South India, besides speaking a language and seeing my grandmother’s Kannada books and newsletters lying around on occasion, I didn’t have a lot of regular exposure to strictly South India culture as a kid. I might have casually watched the odd film shown on Doordarshan, but only casually, since I was a lot more interested in other things. From that time, Sankarabharanam is the only film I clearly remember seeing, and the title song of sorts, Omkaara naadaanu has always remained in memory, even if the words are indecipherable to me.
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