Main kya janu kya jadu hai

The clichéd ‘running around trees’ Hindi film song was made possible by that other strange practice that’s quite unique to Indian cinema, playback singing. As long as some much more talented singer was sitting in a studio singing their heart out, it allowed the actors to get up to all sorts of antics on screen to the pre-recorded music. There was a time though, when such pre-recorded music was either technically impossible or simply too expensive an option. In that era, actors needed to also be singers, as songs were recorded live on sets as the cameras rolled. Ashok Kumar started his acting career during that era, but the undisputed star of the time was Kundan Lal Saigal, and Main kya janu kya jadu hain from the 1940 film Zindagi is just one of his gems.
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Farishton ki nagri mein main

I vaguely remember watching Hamari yaad aayegi in a scratchy video copy when I was younger, and only minor impressions remained. One was that there were a whole set of actors I didn’t recognise, and the other was this extremely idyllic song, Farishton ki nagri mein.
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