Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Salman! - Bollystalgia Podcast Episode 3

After a long delay, I'm back with a podcast episode of my favorite Salman Khan songs from the 90s to 2010. I go extra gaga in this episode because I had a massive crush on Salman when I was 14, and yes, I still have residue from that crush remaining in my heart, especially after seeing his awesomeness in Dabangg this year.

Still, my fondest memories are of his early songs - so here's a trip down memory lane of my favorite Salman songs - right in time for his birthday today (December 27th, 2010). You can listen to the episode here:

Or you can download it here:
Download this episode (right click and save)

You can also subscribe on iTunes.

Again, I'm still learning here so please be kind about technical/sound editing issues - I'm still working on these skills and mostly do this when my husband and toddler are sleeping. Also some of these songs are sort of difficult to find online and so the sound quality isn't always fabulous, so I apologize for that.

Again comments and constructive criticism are always appreciated, and particularly if anyone has a thought or comment that they'd like to share on-air for the next episode, I'd love to make this more interactive. You can submit questions/comments via email, on twitter or send me an mp3 of your voice.

I also made a playlist on YouTube of all of these songs, so you can check them out to see Salman in all his glory! The transformation over the years is quite remarkable!

Thanks for checking it out - and Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a wonderful New Year! See you all in 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Song of the Day: Maaahiyaaaaaaaaaaa (Ghayal - 1990)

Today's Song of the Day is one my favorite romantic songs from the 90s - from the Rajkumar Santoshi hit film Ghayal (1990), which was produced by Dharmendra and starred Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Seshadhri. The film won a bunch of Filmfare Awards, including Best Director and Best Story Writer for Rajkumar Santoshi, Best Film for Dharmendra, and Best Actor for Sunny Deol. (source: Wikipedia)

I don't remember much of the soundtrack besides Sochna Kya which lifts its tune from the Lambada song, and Mahiya Teri Kasam, sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Pankaj Udhas.

This particular song was picturized on Sunny and Meenakshi and featured beautiful shots of misty landscapes, lots of walking and running between trees in the forest, and gratuitous close-ups of Meenakshi's gorgeousness. When I was younger I wasn't very fond of Sunny Deol ... I never liked his style, his looks or his stoic acting. Now as an adult, I have a new appreciation for him! His acting I've definitely developed a liking for - particularly in this film and in Damini (another great Rajkumar Santoshi-Meenakshi Sesadhri film). Looks matter much less for me as an adult -- I am more charmed by his shy demeanor. And in watching this song again as an adult, I find myself really moved by his romantic gazing into her eyes -- he's really quite good at looking like he's deeply in love with the object of his affection. It kind of made me fall for him a little bit!

This song is one of those intense love songs -- one that has that feeling of epic romance. I absolutely love it, and hope you will too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Favorite Filmi Qawwalis

It's time for another list! Because I've had qawwalis on the brain lately (or perhaps it was Rishi Kapoor who RE-stole my heart in Do Dooni Chaar?), I decided to immortalize my favorite Filmi Qawwalis on the blog!

Now first to define a Qawwali ... my quick take on it would be a traditional song performance traced back to Islamic and Sufi poets and artists. Originally devotional in nature and thought to have elements of Persian and Turkish music, the qawwali is thought to be a link to the divine through song. Some more detailed descriptions of the qawwali are available on Wikipedia and Chandrakantha's websites.

The Qawwali has been brought to the international scene due to the popularity of artists such as the late, great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Sabri Brothers, as well as it's prominence in Bollywood films!

The scene is a familiar one: An elaborate stage set with elegant curtains and several platforms, a variety of musical instruments including (but not limited to) a sarangi, harmonium and dholak/tabla, a chorus of background singers clapping dramatically in rhythm, and a dynamic main singer who opens the entire presentation with a beautiful vocal alaap (melody).

This scenario was very popular in early decades of Hindi cinema, but not so prevalent anymore (sadly). There are a few exceptions, but I for one would LOVE to see a resurgence of qawwali items in Bollywood! I miss them!

I'll go out on a limb and say that the obvious KING of the Filmi Qawwali is none other than my darling heartthrob Rishi Kapoor. His qawwalis were immensely popular in the late 70s and early 80s. He exuded so much charisma and passion when performing them that I highly doubt I was the only one besotted with him! For me, Filmi Qawwalis and Rishi Kapoor go hand-in-hand.

But there are plenty more fabulous numbers besides Rishi's - so I thought I'd share my personal favorites. Obviously I think there are PLENTY more than what I've got here ... I've missed many of the qawwalis from the 60s and 70s, and certainly from earlier decades, but I threw this list together from what I could remember and most of my favorites are from the era I was growing up - the 80s and 90s.

So here's my list of favorite Filmi Qawwali songs - what's your favorite?

Filmi Qawwali Playlist includes the following songs:
  1. Parda Hai Parda - Amar Akbar Anthony (1979)
  2. Hum Kisise Kam Nahin - Hum Kisise Kam Nahin (1977)
  3. Pari Ho Aasmani Tum - Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai (1981)
  4. Aadhi Raat Ko - Parampara (1992)
  5. Tumse Milke Dil Ka Hai - Main Hoon Na (2004)
  6. Nahin Hona Tha - Pardes (1997)
  7. Aaja Aaja Tu Aaja Aanewale - Rajkumar (1996)
  8. Der Na Ho Jaye - Henna (1991)
  9. Koi Jane Koi Na Jane - Aur Pyar Ho Gaya (1997)
  10. Teri Jawani Badi Mast Mast Hai - Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (1997)
  11. Ae Mere Zohar Zabhi - Waqt (1965)
  12. Aaya Tere Dar Par - Veer Zaara (2004)
  13.  Dulhe Ka Sehra - Dhadkan (2000)
  14. Yaari Hai Imaan Mera - Zanjeer (1973)
  15. Dekh Lo Ishq Ka - Charandas (1977)
  16. Pal Do Pal Ka Saath - Burning Train (1980)
  17. Jeena To Hai Isika - Adhikar (1971)
  18. Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat - Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
  19. Mehenge Mar Gayi - Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974)
  20. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Sharabi - 5 Rifles (1974)
  21. Tum Nahin Ya Hum Nahin - Karmayogi (1978)
  22. Eid Ka Din Hai - Deedar-E-Yaar (1982)
  23. Tumhe Husn Dekhe - Jab Se Tumhe Dekha (1963)
  24. Haal Kya Hai Dillon Ko Na Poocho - Anohki Ada (1973)
  25. Wallah Re Wallah - Tees Maar Khan (2010)

EDITED TO ADD: I discovered after I posted this whole thing that MemsaabStory has a wonderful, comprehensive post on her 10 favorite qawwalis that is far superior to mine - so I had to provide a link! Check it out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Song of the Day: Oh Silver Penny!

I've had this song in my head for AGES, and was terribly frustrated because I had no idea what it was from or even who starred in it ... I don't think I ever saw the movie Prem Geet (1981), which starred Anita Raaj  and Raj Babbar, and therefore had nothing to go on in finding the song. I didn't have the lyrics to go on ... when I was little I thought the words were "Oh Silver Penny" ... something my sisters found hilarious and sang constantly. But then I couldn't remember the beginning lines of "Tere Geeton Ki Mein Deewani, Oh Dilbar Jaani" which would have led me to this song.

This song kept popping into my head at random times and I knew it was going to bother me until I figured it out. Finally, I messaged my sister on Facebook with a plea to help me find the Dilbar Jaani/Silver Penny song, and I tell you, the woman is a genius. Or a Bollypedia. She immediately messaged me back that it was from Prem-something and starred Raj Babbar and Anita Raaj. A little googling and voila! Here it is in all it's glory! A genie-costumed Anita Raaj (lovely, ain't she?) writhing about (not easy, especially in silver lame hot pants), bellydancing backgroundies w/ tambourines, fancy sets, etc. And wow! Does that say "Introducing Anita Raaj"? I believe it does! Her debut! Very exciting. It's also sung by the fabulous Asha Bhosle, my favorite playback singer by far.

Another hint from the genius sister was that the music for this film was by Jagjit Singh (of Jagjit and Chitra fame, yes). Very cool - that led me to check out the other songs from Prem Geet and they are indeed lovely.

So now I finally know the REAL words to this song and what it's from! And since it's a Bolly song from my earliest memories, I had to share, of course ...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Song of the Day: Rishi SQUEE!!!

Today's song of the day is another repeat offender ... one of my favorite songs from the 80s. It's no secret that I had a massive crush on Rishi Kapoor while growing up, and frankly I am completely unashamed about it. He is freakin' adorable, as evidenced by this fabulous song from Yeh Vaada Raha. There is just something about the way he looks at a girl when he's singing to her ... the slight eyebrow lift, the toss of the head and then the 1000 watt smile. What recipient of that smile wouldn't melt away into a puddle of goo?

Yeh Vaada Raha was a strange and somewhat traumatizing film for me ... I saw it when I was quite young and though I was totally entranced by the romance, yes even at age six I was a total romantic ... there were also some frightening scenes that still affect me today.

For example I CANNOT drive behind a truck full of logs, or lumber, or steel poles or whatever. I start freaking out whenever I find myself on a highway behind one of these trucks and have to get away immediately. And it's no wonder. In Yeh Vaada Raha our hero (Rishi Kapoor) and heroine (Poonam Dhillon) are driving behind one of these trucks when there's a horrible accident and all of the logs go crashing straight onto our beautiful heroine's face. She has to undergo extensive plastic surgery to restructure her face, and in the meantime her hero Vijay's evil mother (Rakhee) tells him that she died, since she didn't approve of her anyway. Let me tell you, when you are six years old, this is most disturbing:

Photo courtesy of the lovely Nicki from

Luckily for our heroine Sunita, the kindly doctor (Shammi Kapoor) works hard and constructs a new face for her, as well as supports her as she forges ahead with her new life.

I used to look like this ...
But now I look like Tina Munim!
Now of course our hero never got over his first love Sunita, so you can bet their lives will cross paths at some point and they will feel a strange pull. I always thought Sunita (who strangely changes her name to Kusum) was being stupid for not telling Vikram who she is, but hey, these things are complicated I guess.

Anyway, all of this is secondary to the MOST IMPORTANT THING ... yes even more important than squeeing about how cuuuuuute Rishi is and how much I luuuuurve him. The songs!

This soundtrack by R.D. Burman is AMAZING and I absolutely love every single song. It features my favorite combo of Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar. The most popular and timeless song from the album is of course the title song "Yeh Vaada Raha" which goes on my list of Top Romantic Songs of All-Time. "Mil Gayi Aaj To" and "Jeene Ho To Jeete Hai" are fun and catchy, and "Aisa Kabhi Hua Nahin" is a soft, romantic solo by Kishore (I always want to sing "Su-ni-ta Su-ni-ta Su-ni-ta" when I meet someone with that name). When I was seven years old I played Tina Munim's part in a Bollywood dance performance to "Ishq Mera Bandagi" (I have to find that video somewhere), so of course I love that song too because of all the memories.

But the one that gets stuck in my head most often is the romantic duet "Maine Tujhe Kabhi Kuchh Kaha Tha" which features Rishi with the Poonam Dhillon version of his lady love. It is sweet, lilting and has that addictive almost bongo-esque beat that R.D. Burman is so brilliant at using. This song is so ultimately 80s and yet it still gets to me (so does Rishi's smile and head toss).

So here it is ... enjoy ... oh and remind me to make up some sort of secret handshake with my husband in case my face ever gets totalled and I need him to recognize me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Song of the Day: Amitabh croons, Waheeda weeps, and my heart melts

Mahaan  (1983) is one of my favorite movies, and I only recently got a copy of the DVD and will be getting around to reviewing it at some point soon ... but as I was making my coffee this morning, I started humming this song to myself and the next thing I knew, I had tears in my eyes. That's how powerful this song is. And this is actually my FAVORITE song that Amitabh sang himself ... yes, I love it even more than Nila Aasmaan.

So enjoy the musical genius of R.D. Burman and Amitabh's wonderful voice:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

REKHATOBER: Song of the Day: When Rekha's doppelganger gets cozy w/ Raj Babbar

Today's Song of the Day is one of my absolute favorites and a constant earworm of mine since the 80s. Agar Tum Na Hote was a strange and sad movie starring Rekha and Rajesh Khanna and Raj Babbar.

Rekha and Rajesh Khanna play a married couple and then their lives take a tragic turn with the birth of their daughter and Rekha passes away. In a complicated turn of events that can only happen in Bollywood, there is a Rekha-doppelganger out there in the world that falls in love with and marries photographer Raj Babbar. When he is hurt in an accident, Rekha 2.0 goes out to find a job and comes to work for Rajesh Khanna as a nanny for the little girl, who is completely scarred by growing up without a mother. Not knowing she is married, Rajesh Khanna falls for her, especially seeing how she manages to charm and turn around his daughter's behavior. Raj Babbar is trapped by his injury and his failure to provide for his wife and begins to doubt her fidelity. There's a lot of guilt and suffering and misunderstanding tossed around before they finally come to a conclusion.

I do remember this movie, and I found it incredibly sad. Rekha's acting was particularly good in this film, I mean it HAD to be if she was portraying someone in love with Raj Babbar (I mean, seriously!). But the best thing by far was the soundtrack. Most well-known is the title song "Humein aur jeene ki chaahat na hoti, Agar tum na hote ... Agar tum na hote" (gorgeous song!), but I also remember the random songs like "Kal to Sunday ki chutti" (in which Rekha lent her voice!), "Sach Hai Yeh Koi" (Rajesh Khanna's drunken song) and "Hum to hai Chui Mui" (a delightful song in which Rekha is dressed up to play a puppet in a stage show).

My absolute favorite was the very sensual, sweet, melodic number "Dheere Dheere Zara Zara" sung by Asha Bhosle. This song really draws you in with the stirring guitar work by Ramesh Iyer -- the chord progression in particular really gets me. It's an unusual tune, something haunting and beautiful that is truly a work of art by R.D. Burman (my all-time favorite Music Director). Together with the tropical, palm-tree dotted setting, the bonfire on the beach, Asha-ji's crooning (as only she can do) and Rekha's stunning expressions, this song has stuck in my mind for MANY years and is probably the source of my burning desire to have a romantic bonfire on the beach.

I definitely wanted to share it for Rekhalicious October, especially today being the final day, because it is probably my all-time favorite Rekha song and I think she's incredible in it!

Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Song of the Day: Oh Vanthathu Penna - Aval Varuvaala (1998)

Ahhhh - this song. I was addicted to this song when it came out. It's so soft and dreamy and romantic! And I was also battling a major crush on the puffy-haired, super-moustached Ajith Kumar at the time. This is the Ajith that I loved ... the lover, not the fighter! In more recent years he's become an action hero ... probably because he packed on pounds when he married Shalini and couldn't play the young lover boy anymore. But I found him totally adorable back in the day. Of course, he always played the "nice guy" (except for maybe the evil brother in Vaali and the rough-exteriored role in Amarkkalam), so it was easy to fall for him.

And then of course there's my girl Simran! She's rocking the 90s outfits in this and looking super-glam. She's one of the few South Indian actresses (ok I know, she's not really South Indian, but she was a Tamil movie star!) that could really, truly ACT. I mean REALLY ACT. Check her out in Kannathil Muthamittal if you don't believe me. She's phenomenal! But back in the day, she was the glam queen of Tamil Cinema. And correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't she the one that started the trend of (relatively) slim actresses in Tamil movies?

Anyway, this song from the movie Aval Varuvala (based somewhat on Sleeping with the Enemy, remade in Hindi with Esha Deol as Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche) was one of my absolute favorites in the late 90s. Of course the picturization is not at all what I had in mind. I was thinking paavadai-thaavanis and sarees, but hey, it's Simran, and she looks great in whatever.

Music was done in a typical tamil style by S.A. Rajkumar, and the song was sung by my absolute favorite singer Hariharan ...


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My favorite CLASSICAL dancers in Indian Cinema

The lovely Nicki of Hmong Chick Who Loves Indian Cinema and I were tweeting back & forth about our favorite dancers in Indian Cinema, which got me thinking about my favorite CLASSICAL dancers in Indian Cinema ... and since list-making is my favorite thing EVER, of course I had to compile a list and share it!

Now though the people on this list have legitimate Classical Dance training, it's rarely represented in their films. There's Classical Dance, and then there's FILMI Classical Dance, which is usually a slightly grotesque version of the real thing with exaggerated movements and expressions. Filmi Classical also always has a generous helping of hip-shaking and unnecessary hand/finger flourishing. I get annoyed by it, and yet, I seek it out. It's always nice to see Classical Dance represented in films, but then when it gets tarnished or cheapened I get angry.

Still, there are some Actors and Actresses that always show that little extra skill in dancing, and it is indeed because of their Classical Dance training. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Kamal Hassan
He's definitely my #1 favorite because he was SO compelling and strong when he danced. Also Bharatanatyam is made for a male body (Nataraja was the Lord of Dance after all), and it falls more naturally on the male structure. Kamal Hassan definitely made it look effortless and graceful yet 100% masculine. Here he is in a gorgeous item from Sagara Sangamam:

2. Shobhana
I think Shobhana is one of the most spectacular classical dancers from films. She is utterly elegant and beautiful. I do have ONE problem with her and that's that she doesn't complete her movements, but I fault the choreographers and film directors that try to make her dance so fast. Her dance style is also REALLY different from the kind I learned - hers is more flowy and influenced by ballet, but one of my best friends also learned from Smt. Chitra Visheshwaran (Shobhana's Guru) in Chennai and she dances with this same style, so I gained a great appreciation for it. Shobana won the National Award for her performance as the possessed dancer in Manichitratazhu (the Malayalam original of Chandramukhi and Bhool Bhulaiya):

3. Vyjayanthimala
I gained my love for Vyjayanthi from my mom who was an uber-fan and used to prance around Mumbai spouting her dialogues at 'roadside romeos' that tried to tease her and her friends. But she is indeed a spectacular dancer and unbelievably gorgeous in full Bharatanatyam costume. She is also incredibly versatile and has one of the most expressive faces in Indian Cinema! Check out her display of dances from all over India, ending with the Thillana in Bharatanatyam from Ladki:

4. Vineeth
I haven't seen a TON of Vineeth, I'll admit. I remember him from Kadhal Desam, most famous for the Rehman song "Mustafa Mustafa Don't Worry Mustafa". It wasn't till much later that I realized he was a classical dancer! As well he should be, since he's related to late Actress/Dancer Padmini and Shobhana as well. He's a student of Dr. Padma Subramanyam and has that more flowy style associated with the Vazhavoor style of Bharatanatyam. You might recognize him from the Rajnikanth blockbuster Chandramukhi and it's Hindi remake Bhool Bhulaiya. I get an instant crush on any man that can do classical dance and maintain the masculinity of it (it's rare these days). And he also looks like a young Kamal Hassan. Whenever I mentally choreograph classical-based film duets, I always picture Vineeth as my partner. Here he is strutting his stuff in a live performance:

5. Madhuri Dixit

I don't even need to explain Mads. Everyone knows that she is one of the most brilliant dancers in recent Bollywood years. Her Kathak training is evident in every kind of dance she does, but she has also had ample opportunity to show off her Classical Dance skill. I always remember her joy and exuberance in the Kathak practice scene from Dil To Pagal Hai, but I think her Magnum Opus is definitely her grand scale performance in Devdas said to be composed by the great Pandit Birju Maharaj:

6. Padmini
Padmini Aunty was a regular visitor to our house in my childhood as my mother was very close with her family. My mom is always saying that I remind her of Padmini or her sister Ragini when they were young. Since I'm the youngest of three sisters, my mom used to often call us her own Lalitha/Padmini/Ragini. But before she was the gravelly-voiced, laughing Aunty at our house, she was a featured classical dancer in many, many films. I always feel that the choreography they gave her was absolutely ridiculous, but she certainly gave it her all! A student of the famous Vazhavoor Ramaiah Pillai, she had some very solid training behind her. One of her most famous roles was in the Tamil movie Thillana Mohanambal in which she played a noted dancer (*the video below does not feature the original singer) -- points if you spot Manorama as "Jillu Jillu Ramamani":

7. Meenakshi Seshadhri

I miss the 80s. And Meenakshi was an actress that actually had a strong background in Classical Dance but very, very rarely had an opportunity to showcase it. One of the moments where she got to show off what she could do was her Tandav Dance from the amazing movie Damini. Incidentally, she currently runs a dance school in Texas somewhere. Here she is performing "Madhuban Mein Radhika" at a live performance in Dubai:

8. Waheeda Rehman
Waheeda Aunty was another friend/colleague of my mom's and I of course love her dancing because she learned from our same Gurus in India - the one and only Gurus of Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharata Natya Kalamandir in Mumbai, particularly Guru Mahalingam Pillai who I was lucky enough to study under in the early 90s. Though my favorite performance of hers was much later (Mahaan - 1983), her earlier films have wonderful displays of dance that really show her talent. You can see her dance training shine through in items from Neel Kamal, Guide, and Teesri Kasam. Here she is in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961):

9. Komal Mahuvakar
She's virtually unknown, but I totally LOVED this girl. She couldn't have been more than 15 when she starred in the Rajshri film Payal Ki Jhankar which was ALL about dance (and therefore is one of my favorite movies of all time). I never saw her in much after that, though she had a small role as one of the household children in Khusboorat (she briefly dances in "Piya Bawri"), and I vaguely remember her in Nagina. I guess she moved down South later and starred in Tamil films like Michael Madana Kamarajan under the name "Roopini". But Payal Ki Jhankar is definitely her career highlight. The dancing is filmi-classical for sure, and often sloppy or odd-looking, but there is some definite training behind it. I loved her in "Dekho Kanha Nahin" (she's not the girl dancing at the beginning, you have to forward a bit to get to her part), and you can see her schooling her co-star in the Jugalbandi Dance-Off "Kar Singar". Check her out, looking extremely pretty in pink:

10. Hema Malini
Hema Malini may be a bit of an obvious choice, being well-known for being one of the best classical dancers in Bollywood. I've seen her classical dance productions on stage when they toured in the U.S., and I have to say I was less than impressed. However she's done enough beautiful work on-screen for me to appreciate her, and I also appreciate the work she does to promote Classical Dance. She also got some of the best classically-based songs in Indian Cinema,in movies such as Mrig Trishna, Mehbooba, Abhinetri, Kinara, Lekin and so many more. Here she is dancing with her daughters in a live stage performance (does anyone else think Esha looks like Deepika Padukone in Odissi costume?):

11. Aishwariya Rai
Ash is also slightly obvious, though I don't necessarily LIKE her as an actress or consider her one of my favorites otherwise. I do always appreciate her dancing. She is trained in Bharatanatyam and I remember reading somewhere that she had trained up to arangetram level (professional debut) but didn't complete it. She is a natural dancer and lovely to watch! I always love seeing her dance and wish they would really showcase her full ability like they did for Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit. Umrao Jaan gave her a great opportunity to show her classical training, as evidenced by many of the clips in this fan-made video on YouTube (v. well done!). Here she is in my absolute favorite Aishwariya movie, the Tamil film Kandukonden Kandukonden (inspired by Sense and Sensibility):

12. Prabhu Deva
Prabhu Deva may seem like an odd choice, but he IS indeed trained in Classical Dance and quite skilled at it. It's probably what gives him such an edge over other amazing dancers like Lawrence and Vijay. We almost NEVER see it, although there is the number "Saravanabhava" from the HILARIOUS movie Kadhala Kadhala (also starring Kamal Hassan) - which I can't find anywhere on YouTube unfortunately. But here's a clip from Kadhalan in which his character is trying to learn Bharatanatyam to win over his ladylove:

Of course I should mention that there are many more famous Classical Dancers in Cinema, such as Kamala Lakshman, Gopi Krishna, Bhanupriya, Jaya Prada, Anjali Devi, Bombay Meenakshi etc. They certainly deserve credit for their brilliant work. My mom particularly loves Kamala Lakshman, and she performed with Gopi Krishna all over India and North America. But I just had to list my personal favorites!

For more on Classical Dance in Indian Cinema, I definitely recommend you visit the fabulous Minai's blog - her stuff is just brilliant!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

REKHALICIOUS OCTOBER: Queen of the Mujra Dance!

Mujra Dance is a style that stems from the courtesan dancers of the Mughal Empire, who mixed poetry, music and motion together to entertain wealthy nawabs and their guests. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Rekha is the ultimate Queen of the Mujra Dance in hindi films. Many actresses have attempted it (No, Rani Mukherjee, No. And poor, tragic Smita Patil too), and some have done a great (Hema Malini, Aishwariya Rai) or brilliant (Madhuri Dixit) job of it. But no one was ever able to do it with the finesse, the ease, the grace, the majesty and the seductiveness of Rekha.

Umrao Jaan always comes to mind first when you think of Rekha and dance ... and then of course Salaam-E-Ishq from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. But there are MANY, MANY more fabulous numbers in this style by Rekha, so she easily wins the crown from me.

Here is a playlist of 20 of her beautiful Mujra numbers from films, not in any particular order but just as I found them on YouTube - she is absolutely exquisite!

Song List
  1. Idhar Bhi Bijli - Kasam Suhag Ki
  2. Bhool Bhulaiyya - Amiri Ghareebi
  3. Mere Ghungroo Mujhe Dedo - Maati Maange Khoon
  4. Jaan-e-Mohabbat - Yatra
  5. Salaam-E-Ishq - Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
  6. Jaana Jaldi Kya Hai - Deedar-E-Yaar
  7. Marne Ka Ghum Nahin - Deedar-E-Yaar
  8. Chup Ja Chand - Maati Maange Khoon
  9. Lo Sahib Phir Bhool Gayi - Maati Maange Khoon
  10. Pyar Ke Rang Se - Kasme Vaade
  11. Jao Ji Karoon Na Jhooti Batiya - Yatra
  12. Dil Cheez Kya Hai - Umrao Jaan
  13. In Aankhon Ki Masti - Umrao Jaan
  14. Yeh Kya Jage Hai Doston - Umrao Jaan
  15. Mein Hoon Dulhan - Jaal
  16. Beechwale Saiyaan - Sazaa (a must see!!)
  17. Tum Nahin Yahan - Karmayogi
  18. Kisi Bazaar Se - Maang Bharo Sajna
  19. Kitna Hai Khubsoorat - Daasi
  20. Rekha performs LIVE at the 1997 Filmfare Awards

Enjoy more REKHALICIOUS OCTOBER goodness at this link. And please do let me know if there's any other fabulous mujra numbers by Rekha that I've missed!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

REKHALICIOUS OCTOBER! - My favorite Rekha songs!

So it's time to celebrate REKHALICIOUS OCTOBER (thanks to Sujoy from One Knight Stands)- or Rekhatober as we've been calling it on Twitter! And I can't praise this lovely lady enough. She is one of the few Bollywood stars I actually had the opportunity to meet, back when she came in concert to Detroit in 1982 (she was the headliner, Anil Kapoor and Meenakshi Seshadhri were her opening acts). A photographer found out my then 7 year old sister Anjali was Rekha's biggest little fan. Anj had been performing Rekha's "Dil Cheez Kya Hai" at various community events for the past year and the photographer recognized her and took us to meet her. I tell a bit more about this story in my Sridevipalooza preview post. The highlight was definitely getting to dance the Alarippu (Bharatanatyam dance) for her, and she was so excited she jumped right up and posed in Alarippu position with us for a picture (I have no idea where this picture is today).

I was only 5 at the time, so my memory of this experience is limited, but I DO remember her being incredibly effusive, sweet and hyper. She was very excited that two little girls in paavadai-chokka (South Indian style skirt/dress) were there to see her, and seemed really eager to speak Tamil with us. I was totally charmed by her, and no matter what she does, I always feel a fondness for her based on this experience.

I'm not terribly on top of Rekha's filmography - there's definitely a huge chunk of her early movies as well as the mid-to-late 80s and 90s movies that I missed. Well, I can't totally say I MISSED them (cough cough, Madame X).

Anyway, Rekha is most certainly the queen of the Movie Mujra dances, but those aren't the only songs of hers that I love! As I was trying to think of and narrow down all my favorites, I created a YouTube playlist of MY FAVORITE REKHA SONGS - I was unable to locate a few of my favorites, like "Jaane De Gaadi Tere" from Aanchal, "Gokul Ke Galiyon" from Raaste Pyar Ke or the female version of "Mata Saraswati" from Alaap, and some movies had MULTIPLE favorites, like Khubsoorat (not included: "Sun Sun Sun Didi" and "Saare Niyam Tod Do"), Mr. Natwarlal ("Tauba Tauba"), Silsila ("Dekha Ek Khwab", "Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum" and "Nila Aasmaan") and Agar Tum Na Hote ("Hum To Hai Chui Mui" and the title song). Still other movies starred Rekha but the best songs were given to other co-stars (like Faasle and Baseraa).

But I did identify 15 songs that I always think of when I think of Rekha, and here they are!

Detailed Listing of Songs:
1. Ghum Hai Kisi Ki Pyar Mein - Raampur Ka Lakshman (1972)

2. Dil Machal Raha Hai - Khalifaa (1976)

3. Tere Bina Jiya Jayen Na - Ghar (1978)

4. Kahe Manva Naache - Alaap (1977)

5. Salaam-E-Ishq - Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978)

6. Pardesiya - Mr. Natwarlal (1979)

7. O Sheronwali - Suhaag (1979)

8. Piya Bawri - Khubsoorat (1980)

9. In Aankhon Ki Masti - Umrao Jaan (1981)

10. Yeh Ladki Hai Ya Shola - Silsila (1981)

11. Dheere Dheere - Agar Tum Na Hote (1983)

12. Ankhiyon Mein - Nishaan (1983)

13. Man Kyun Behka - Utsav (1984)

14. Pyar Do Pyar Lo - Janbaaz (1986)

15. Maine Tujhe Khat Likha - Mera Pati Sirf Mera Hai (1990)

Hope you enjoy! Now that I mentioned it, I think I AM going to have to compile Rekha's Mujra dances into a mother list. Will try to do that when I return home from vacay (this is my rushed vacay post for Rekhatober!).

Have a Rekhalicious day!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Rajnikanth Entry Song - A Genre of it's Own

So we're one day away from ENDHIRAN's release here in the U.S. and I for one am super excited. There's somewhat of a rush going to a new Rajnikanth movie, a feeling of exhiliration when sitting in the theatre with a bunch of rowdy Tamilians who will no doubt whistle, stomp and cheer for Rajni's entry ...

... which brings me to my list of Favorite Rajni Entry Songs. Tamil movies consistently have a 'Hero's Entry Song' - usually a fast-paced, all-male dance number that uses the lyrics or setting to tell you about the Hero's background and character. It usually shows the Hero in the streets with a gang of friends (and extras!) having a jolly time, making passes at girls (the girls usually stop to dance along for a while too) and generally being charming and exciting.

Rajni's Entry Songs are even more powerful because it's simply the first moment you see him on-screen - which of course HAS to be loud and thrilling! Often times the song will echo into his next film somewhere because they are so beloved by his throngs of fans. He usually walks/leaps/turns into his first shot and gives some sort of recognition to the audience - either a smile, namaste or wink - and the masses go WILD. It's freakin' awesome.

So after creating my list of favorite Rajni movies yesterday, I found myself humming some of his most popular tunes and decided I had to make a list, and as long as I was making it, why not share it? So here is my list of favorite Rajnikanth HERO'S ENTRY songs:

Vanthenda Paalkkaaran - Annamalai

Naan Autokaaran Autokaaran - Baasha

Oruvan Oruvan - Muthu

Athanda Ithanda - Arunachalam

Singanadipottu - Padaiyappa

Dippu Dippu - Baba

Devuda Devuda - Chandramukhi (re-peeeaaatuuuu!)

Balailakka - Sivaji

I can't remember if this is the first song in Kuselan (the tamil predecessor of Irrfan Khan & SRK's Billu), but it certainly is the best! This awesome song features tons of familiar faces and is a tribute to the 75th anniversary of the Tamil Film Industry:

Cinema Cinema - Kuselan

These aren't necessarily my favorite songs from these movies, just the ones that best exemplify the "Rajni Entry". I am waiting to see what happens when Rajni is first shown on screen in Endhiran. I can't wait! I am going to be on a family vacation during the release weekend, but I'm trying to figure out a way for all of us to go see it together.

I hope you enjoy these classic Rajni songs! Check back soon for @SujoySingha's Rekhatober Celebration!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shivaji Rao Gaekwad/SUPERSTAR Rajni's Top 12 films (according to me)

So with the release of Endhiran this Friday causing so much buzz, I thought it was time to do a little primer on Rajnikanth (similar to my post on Vikram) ...

Most people can't help but be charmed by the story of Rajnikanth, a man from a poor background who had worked as a coolie and a bus conductor, who eventually became the 2nd highest paid actor in Asia (the first being Jackie Chan, naturally). He's an institution in Tamil Nadu, a star that the masses won't let fade, because they love him too much. What can be said about Rajnikanth? He's almost universally loved. Even though he's done a limited number of Hindi movies, he's always recognized for his style. He's been called the Baadshah of the Box Office - it doesn't matter what the subject is, who the director is, or who his co-star is ... Rajni's presence will drive fans to the theatres in droves. He is so beloved that the audiences of Tamil Nadu will reject any movie in which he dies! did this nice Rajni 101 article that I appreciated ... it wonderfully describes Rajnikanth this way:
This is Rajinikanth, and he is no mere actor—he is a force of nature. If a tiger had sex with a tornado and then their tiger-nado baby got married to an earthquake, their offspring would be Rajinikanth.

That's pretty epic. As is the man it's written about. Here's another article about Why Rajni Rocks!

Yet another great article published in the PR flurry of his latest release Endhiran (co-starring Aishwariya Rai Bachchan) lists some of the most popular Rajnikanth jokes (in the vein of the Chuck Norris jokes). CLICK HERE to check out the entire article, but here's some of my favorites:
  • Rajnikanth doesn't move at the speed of light. Light moves at the speed of Rajnikanth.
  • Rajnikanth never wet the bed as a child. The bed wet itself in fear.
  • There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Rajnikanth lives in India.
  • Google won't find Rajnikanth because you can't find Rajnikanth. Rajnikanth finds you.
  • Rajnikanth doesn't need a visa to travel abroad, he just jumps from the tallest building in Chennai and holds himself in the air while the earth rotates.
You can check out some more Rajni jokes here. So obviously Rajnikanth is an institution and a legend in Tamil Nadu (and also in Japan!) ...

There's even an app for Rajnikanth:

An Australian fan created an iPhone app for Rajni fans!
If you've never seen a Rajni movie, you definitely need to. Just don't start with Padaiyappa, you may not come back to us. However once you are sucked in, Padaiyappa can be fun! Especially the lines Abbas delivers in praise of Rajni - "What a man!" and "Illai, ungalakku vayasu ahallai!" (No, you haven't gotten old!)

He zoomed to popularity in films from the late 70s such as Moondru Mudichu and 16 Vayathinile, playing the baddie with such panache that you were drawn in despite the negative character. Even in Hindi films he was popular for his antics with sunglasses and cigarettes (flipping and flicking them with fabulous sound effects!), as well as his kick-a$$ mojo.

He's everyman, yet he's Superman!
He also became famous for his one-liners ... dialogues that he uses several times in his films until they become cult-classics ... much like the way Salman Khan used the line "Hum tumri jaan mein itna ched karenge itna ched karenge ki confuse ho jaoge ki..Saas kaha se ley aur pade kaha se" in the movie Dabangg (2010). However Rajni's lines were a regional craze! The image below from Forbes India showcases some of his best ones:

So EVERYONE who's ANYONE will probably be checking out what Rajni (at age 60) has got in Endhiran, which releases tomorrow, October 1, 2010. But here's a list of some of my Top 12 favorite Rajnikanth movies:
1. Billa (1980) - an almost scene-for-scene remake of Amitabh Bachchan's Don, but it's an incredible ride because it's RAJNI man!

2. Thillu Mullu (1981) - another remake, this one is of Amol Palekar's popular comedy Gol Maal (1979).

3. Geraftaar - Hindi (1985) - the combo of three of my favorite actors, Amitabh, Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth, is too killer! And gratuitous cigarette flipping by Rajni also features prominently.

4. Guru Sishyan (1988) - great blockbuster comedy with Rajni and Prabhu. This hit was remade by Director Shakti Chidambaram in 2010 with Sathyaraj of all people, which I think is a travesty.

5. Chaalbaaz (1989) - obviously I love Sridevi, who is the ultimate star in this movie, but Rajni's taxiwallah character was really memorable and hilarious, especially his little sing-song "Aaj Sunday hai, to kya? Aaj hamare daaru peene ka day hai!"

6. Hum (1991) - Again this wasn't Rajni's movie - Amitabh was the star through and through, but it also had a powerhouse combo of Amitabh-Rajni-Govinda which made the movie AMAZING.

7. Thalapathi (1991) - again an amazing star cast, but the only one I really remembered was Rajni. And of course the awesome song "Raakamma Kai Thattu" featuring the beautiful Shobhana. How could they take such a great song and turn it into "Tu Tu Tu Tu Tu Tara"???

8. Annamalai (1992) - I think this is my ultimate favorite Rajni movie. It is HILARIOUS, and features Rajni with Khushboo (who had such a huge fan base in Tamil Nadu I heard they built a temple for her). We still use running jokes from this all the time ... such as "Prince?" "YES!" ... you just have to see it. I also LOVE the scene where there's a snake in Khushboo's bathroom and Rajni is terrified but has to save her. Just couldn't stop laughing!

9. Veera (1994) - I'm not sure why I loved this one so much, it could be because I totally love the actress Meena or the song "Madathile" ... the story takes a weird turn at some point and I absolutely CANNOT reconcile the end AT ALL, but I still enjoyed this movie in general. It was remade in Hindi by David Dhawan as Saajan Chale Sasural but Gharwali Baharwali also had that awkward, WRONG ending that Veera had. Veera also had a line-play on one of his earlier films ... a one-liner that my husband and I always say ... "How iiiis iiiiit? Suuuuuuuuper!"

10. Muthu (1995) - Another mega blockbuster that featured Rajni with Meena (who is just such an amazingly gorgeous lady, but god, do they ever stuff her into the most ridiculous outfits). Directed by one of my favorite comedy directors K.S. Ravikumar and featuring music by A.R. Rehman (the first time he did music for a Rajni blockbuster!), this movie was most memorable for the lavish song picturizations, especially "Thillana Thillana"  (yes, I know they sampled that bit from Deep Forest). This movie was apparently dubbed for Japanese audiences and made Rajni a sensation in Japan!

11. Arunachalam (1997) - a kind of version of Brewster's Millions, but Rajni-fied! I tend to get the storylines of Annamalai, Muthu and Arunachalam mixed up, but honestly who cares? They're all awesome! Once you start watching you will get sucked in and love every sunglass-twirling, towel-flourishing second. Rajni was paired with Rambha and Soundarya in this one.

12. Chandramukhi (2005) - most everyone knows this one as the remake of the Malayalam hit 'Manichitrathazhu' or the inspiration for the Hindi 'Bhool Bhulaiya' ... this was a really over-the-top and yet perfectly intriguing film. Is it a ghost story? Is it a psychological drama? It seems even most reviewers aren't sure. One thing it has in common with Rajni blockbusters is a point where a character does an entire soliloquy about how amazing Rajni's character is. All Hail Rajni! Jyothika was also given a very prominent role, though she is opposite Prabhu instead of Rajni. Rajni is paired with then newcomer Nayantara (who hasn't looked the same - or worn as much clothing - since. I suppose it worked in her favor since she's now Prabhudeva's ladylove). Interesting how Jyothika had such a great run in Tamil Cinema before marrying Surya Sivakumar but never paired with Rajni! Then again, nor did Simran who was one of the top Tamil actresses in the mid to late 90s and early 2000s. Anyway, I don't know who would EVER consider Akshay Kumar to take on a role played by Rajni ... he simply couldn't carry it off.

Also very memorable was that when I went to see this film at the theatre, there was an aunty there wearing a nightie. Awesome.

So there are definitely some honorable mentions that didn't make my personal top 12, such as Andhaa Kanoon, Gair Kanooni, Padaiyappa, Baasha, Ejjamaan, Kuselan and many of his earlier films that have merits. These are just my favorites, the ones that I can watch over and over!

I am definitely excited for the release of Endhiran, even if I do think a Rajni-Ash pairing is absolutely ridiculous ... I have high hopes that this film will erase the disappointment of Sivaji and Baba. I will probably be shelling out for that $20 ticket, because when push comes to shove, I love me some Rajni.

I'm going to try and quickly throw together a post of the best Rajni-Entry-Songs from his films. It's a genre of it's own.

I hope you check out some of Rajni's films ... if you don't know where to begin, I'd recommend Annamalai and Muthu!

Also coming up in October - it's Rekhalicious October, spearheaded by @sujoysingha over at Definitely check out his blog for some great stuff, and I'll be doing some special Rekha posts as well!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Neetu Singh-Along: The "Misseries" of "Ksiehn" - Parvarish (1977)

Because it is too, too hilarious, I have to post here EXACTLY what is written as the summary of this movie on the back of my DVD of Parvarish (1977), grammar, punctuation (or lack therof) and all. I will highlight the particularly good parts:

An encounter between the banit Mangal Singh Police Officer Shamsher Singh ended with arrest of Mangal Singh. Mangal Singh's wife delivered a baby boy and breathed her last. Police Officer Shamsher Singh brougth the new born home. A suggestion of handing the new born to an orphanage distributed his emotion as he had gone through the misseries of being brought up there. Shamsher Singh wife decided to take over the upbringing of the child alongwith her own son Kishen, the new arrival was named Amit. Mangal Singh was informed to take over the upbringing as per the wish of his late wife that both she andfree his brohter Devsingh informed him that his son was alive for fourteen long years in the prison walls, as he was set his wishes to Kishen whom he thought was his son. Kishen and Mangal Singh decided upon the downfall of Shamsher's family.

Time lapsed and Mangal Singh and Ksiehn jointed the under Supremo. Amit grew upto be a promising Police Officer of he ciountry. Neetu and her sister Shabbu lived on witts. their entanglement with Amit and Kishen led to happy romance. Then one day Neetu discovered that Mangal Singh was the Killer of her father, he planned to murder Mangal Singh with Shabbu's help. Amit one day learnt that he was only an adopted boy in the house, the real son was to rteturn his file incomplete. Shamsher Singh was a duty bound officer,everything in the world came next to his duty. He refused to accept Amit's file. At the risk of their lives Amit and Shamsher Singh decided to expose the Supreme and bring could hold back Amit, Kishen realised his misunderstanding that he was the son of Mangal Singh, he jointed hands with Amit and thus put an end to the world of Supreme.

WHAT? Oh my god. I was laughing SO HARD reading the back of my DVD. My 2.5-year-old son thought I was having an attack or something.

If you have any idea what this movie is about based on that then you deserve a prize or something. But this movie, which came out the year I was born FYI, is one of my absolute favorite Bollywood movies. It is such a nonsense masala film. The star cast is absolutely perfect, and though Vinod Khanna is not one of my favorite heroes (*ducks from thrown chappals*) this is probably my favorite film of his (besides Chandni, which really can't be called HIS film now can it?). Of course I'm a die-hard Amitabh Bachchan fan, and the added bonus of Neetu Singh and Shabana Azmi? Awesomesauce! (Incidentally, has anyone ever done a list of actual commercial/masala films that Shabana Azmi starred in? I am curious)

It's an AME - Amitabh Masala Entertainer!
But it's HPK FTW with his angsty, conflicted performance!
Since this movie has been recapped so fabulously by other BollyBloggers such as Beth Loves Bollywood, Filmi Geek, Post-Punk Cinema Club, The Bollywood Fan, Filmi Girl and I'm sure many more, I won't go through the entire storyline (which is masala-fabulous, btw). I'll just highlight my favorite things about the movie.

1. Double Hero and Heroine
If you read my post about Jaani Dost, you know that my sister and I used to play a game we brilliantly called "Nothing" so we could honestly answer when our grandfather asked us what we were playing. And this game almost exclusively required the soundtrack of a movie that had multiple heroes and heroines, so that we could each choose a character to be. Though our double heroine movies usually involved Parveen Babi, who my sister liked to be, occasionally we'd have random characters (for example she was Aradhana and I was Rajni from Satte Pe Satta). Anyway, movies like Parvarish were perfect for our game. I believe that she got to be Neetu and I was Shabbu for this one.

Group Hug!!!

But the multi-starrer Bollywood movie is something I generally look forward to ... there's just something more FUN about it, especially when the chemistry between the heroes is really good (not TOO good though, like not so good that you think the heroines are unnecessary ... I'm looking at YOU Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan!). The more the merrier, you know?

2. The Fashion
Why can't it still be the 70s? I absolutely love the bell-bottomy, print/patterned blousey goodness this movie provides. There's also a good assortment of costumes or disguises in this one! Vinod as the stuffy schoolteacher for the blind, Neetu as the Euro-Maid, Amitabh as the Strawberry-Blonde Gentleman, The girls going from street urchin to sari-clad and then mujra dancers to nagins ... there's some craziness going on here!

Patchwork chic!

Full tan suit, or full denim?
Check out that collar!
VK's partial to the all denim ensembles
Bellbottomy Goodness!
Cleans up pretty well!
Pretty in Pink!
Fancy dress competition, Bearded Man Amitabh vs. Swiss Miss Neetu
3. My two favorite cuddly Uncles - Shammi and Amjad
I think I've already professed my love for young Shammi, but dare I say he's one of my favorite "Uncles" of Hindi Cinema? He's adorable and still has those bright, sparkling eyes. He'd make one hell of a Santa Claus. And as for Amjad, I have a deep-seated love for Amjad that sparked somewhere around the time I first saw Yaarana. Even when he's the bad guy, he always manages to make me feel sorry for him. I wish there were more movies of him in good guy roles, I really do.

4. Neetu Singh
Obviously. I mean, I AM participating in a whole blogging week dedicated to her.

5. Awesome Chicas
 Neetu and Shabbu are really fun, interesting heroines. They do far more than just sparkle and shine. They go after what they want, even going for the guy and then approaching his parents to take it to the next level. They have a storyline of their own really ... Mangal Singh is the bad dude that murdered their parents, so they have a score to settle with him. They don't just sit back and wait for the heroes to avenge their parents, they create an entire stage show, hire sidey dancers, create giant gun sets and choreograph a whole dance routine to try and off him (oh, and when I saw Zoolander, the ending scene with the Prime Minister of Malaysia TOTALLY reminded me of this song!). They're also clever and sneaky - not your typical sharmili ladkis. Though they DID need to get men to go see it, so of course the guys have to save the girls at the end of the day. BOOOOO!

6. Crazy Villains and Wacky Lairs
Let me just say that I love when villains in movies have crazy names. Does it get any better than "Supremo"??? I think not! And this is one hell of a lair ... Beth can tell you all about it! But not only is there a fabulous lair, there's a SUBMARINE. And a Submarine Chase Scene!!! Let Beth tell you about that one too. 

Stalactites! Buffet table draping! Stick on leaves! Random statues! Railings for the lines waiting to get on the rides?
Danger around every corner!
For realsies, you could get hurt here. It's the Quicksand Pit of Doooooom!

7. The Songs, Arre Wah, the songs
So many fabulous songs on this soundtrack by Laxmikant Pyarelal I don't know which one is my true favorite! The first one that comes to mind when I think of this movie is the scandalous number with Neetu dressed as Heidi and Amitabh as Sir Redbeard:

And then of course the AWESOME Sab Janta Ka Hai number where we are introduced to Neetu and Shabbu's wily ways:

And the Double-Hero/Heroine number posted before, Jaate Ho Jaane Jaana, which I think of as a pre-cursor to my favorite song of this type (two heroes chasing after the two heroines, that are mad at them), Jaanu Meri Jaan from Shaan.

But the two that make me laugh the most are what I consider lasting memories from this movie ...

8. Memories
Clearly I was not the only one taken with this movie. Two songs from this movie proved to be especially popular with the Indian population of Metro Detroit. We used to have a 3-day India Festival every summer in downtown Detroit, and people would come from all over to participate in the dance competitions. Sometimes we had some "special items" (like the guy named Dimple that used to dress up every night to dance to Disco Dancer. I'm still scarred from his lusty dance moves).

One year two girls managed to either find or create the EXACT pink and green costumes that Neetu and Shabbu wear in this number, and performed it on stage carrying little WATER PISTOLS. It was awesome. Awesome as in hilariously bad. That's taking your inspiration from the film a little beyond the necessary.

But even MORE memorable were the two guys that decided they wanted to perform to Hum Premi Prem Karna Chahe. What they ended up doing was pretty much walking around the stage through the whole song, except for the part where the Amit character (wearing a white suit) KICKED the Kishen character (wearing a black suit)'s injured leg JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE. On stage. While walking around in circles. They also got some of their friends to come in to be Shammi Kapoor and the Maa's characters. They just walked on for a little while, arm in arm. There was absolutely no context for anyone who hadn't seen the movie. We had by then, many times, so when the guy got kicked in the knee, we were CRACKING UP. I don't think anyone else in the audience was. But I will never, ever forget these two guys and their "performance".

My sister and I still enact the kick in the leg part every time we hear this song.

Ohhhh I love this movie so much. Seriously, it is action-packed, fun, exciting and the entire ending fight scene has this really happy, peppy music in the background that is totally incongruous. There's angsty Vinod, honest policeman with something to prove Amitabh, and a Matryoshka Doll of Villains (is it Mangal Singh? Nooo it's Supremo!). What's not to love??? Don't you want to see Vinod Khanna "jointed his hands" with Amitabh Bachchan to "put an end to the world of Supreme"?

Highly Highly Highly Recommend for some excellent dishoom-dishoom and fun, unique heroines.