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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Jadu hai, tera hi jadu

The 1998 film Ghulam will be remembered for many reasons. It remains director Vikram Bhatt‘s best film (from what I’ve seen), Aamir Khan sang a song in it, in some ways it marked the beginning of Aamir Khan moving away from his popular romantic hero image to being considered a serious actor, and while it was not her first film, it introduced the World with sufficient fanfare to Rani Mukherji. While Aati kya Khandala will remain the iconic song for which this film will be remembered, Jadu hai, tera hi jadu is the one I always think of when I remember this movie.
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Dil kabootar khana hai

In the early 2000s, there was a rash of films that were either made by film-makers of India origin living in other parts of the world, or by Indian film-makers about the Indian diaspora, and clearly targeted at that audience. Even if they were in Hindi, they were not quite Bollywood films, and in fact they varyingly paid homage to or outright ridiculed popular Hindi cinema tropes within their story. Inevitably, some of them attempted to incorporate the traditional bundle of songs that are part of any Hindi film into the proceedings, in subtle and sometimes less subtle ways. Dil kabootar khana hai, from Deepa Mehta’s 2002 Canadian production Bollywood/Hollywood is one such song that stands out in memory.
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Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam

In Hindi films and songs, like in many other things, there are the popular, there are the highly regarded and lauded, and then there are all the rest, some of whom grow in status over time and come to be recognised as ignored gems. While the song Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam had its share of popularity when it was first released in 1959, the movie it was from, Kaagaz Ke Phool, and its singer Geeta Dutt can be considered to be among those few that we can now think of as gems in retrospect, and were mostly ignored in their time.
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Gum hai kisi ke pyar mein

As a director, Manmohan Desai will always be known as the one who took the Hindi masala movie to its pinnacle from the 1960s to the early 1980s. He had a dream run of mostly successful films, all depending on a cornucopia of drama, a focus on mass entertainment above all other considerations, and a list of tropes that made his moves near-formulaic while also being very separate entities. He was most prolific in the 1970s and the 1972 film Raampur Ka Laxman was one of his early hits during that era. In an utterly rollicking smorgasbord of a movie involving long lost brothers, crime, conspiracies and romance, to name a few elements, the song Gum hai kisi ke pyar mein is a quiet little happy moment of romance acknowledged.
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Mujhe mil jo jaye thoda paisa

If the great golden run of Indian pop music peaked during the mid 1990s, by the end of the the century and into the new millennium it was pretty much dead. A few established acts were still releasing the odd song video, but gone were the crazy over-the-top productions and the songs that truly took chances. The promise of satellite television, arguably the instigator of the popularity of pop in the 1990s, had come through in some ways, but not in the explosive creativity department. By this time, Hindi cinema was truly starting to become slick and impressive, not only in the visuals and concept department, but also in the songs they introduced into the entertainment ecosystem. The audiences returned to their comfortable teat of Hindi film music and pop was lost. But there are always a few hold outs, and in 2002, seemingly out of nowhere, came the band Agosh with their song Mujhe mil jo jaye thoda paisa.
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Ajeeb daastaan hai yeh

Songs stick in our memory and become important to us for various reasons, often coloured by our associations with them, rather than the songs themselves. In my case, there are a whole range of old Hindi songs that have childhood memories for me, to do with when I first heard them or how. from the 1960 film Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai is one of these songs. Not only is the song itself about memories and how things have changed in some ways, but to me the song will always be associated with memories of my Mother singing it, either to herself, which she did often, or on stage on quite a few occasions.
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