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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

Hum matwale naujawan

In the black and white Hindi films of the 1950s, it was fairly common for them to shoot a scene or two, or at least a song, on the streets of Bombay. Part of it was probably the relative ease of taking over a little piece of side-street in some suburb for the shooting while keeping away crowds, and the other was likely newer and more portable equipment that made it more practical. The crowds were not a problem, however, if your song incorporated them, like Hum matwale naujawan from the 1959 film Shararat.
Continue reading