Friday, April 8, 2011

What's in a Name?

Since I was walking around singing "My Name is Sheila" from Tees Maar Khan all week, I started thinking about songs that reference names and all of a sudden a list started developing in my mind (because I am insane and these are the things I think about). And so of course as the list in my head grew and grew, I realized a blog post was a-brewing.

So here's my list of Hindi movie songs that either state "My Name is ..." or "Naam Mera ..." or "Mera Naam ..." or the like:

1. My Name is Sheila - Tees Maar Khan (2010)
My obvious starting off point. This started my entire thought process because I was wondering why this girl can't freaking remember her own name. Katrina Kaif is not my favorite working actress, and this video is an example of why. She just is so ... awkward and lifeless. Not a natural dancer at all, and I can practically see her counting in her head. And her expression always drops in transitions. Still, she obviously worked really hard, so I'll give her credit for that. I hate the English parts of this song, but the rest is so damn catchy.

2. Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo - Howrah Bridge (1958)
One of my favorites! Helen is so fabulous, and the song is so super fun. We have a picture of my mom performing this onstage in 1950s Bombay -- before stage performances of Bollywood dances were a popular thing. Also when my sisters and I had a band in the early 90s, this was always one of our biggest hits on the dance floor! (I love the sudden, magical costume changes in the 2nd verse! And isn't Ashok Kumar so devastatingly handsome and brooding?)

3. Naam hai mera Fonseca - Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
Augghh! I used to HATE this song from JJWS - especially cause I thought Pooja Bedi was so annoying (and tranny looking, honestly)! But then her "Sorry old dear" verse used to get stuck in my head too. Deepak Tijori is awesome though. I'm bummed that I didn't go to a college like Model that had these kinds of competitions. The CLOTHES are reason enough to watch this video (which I couldn't find on YouTube, but here it is in some language I don't recognize!).

4. My Name is Anthony Gonsalves - Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
All I have to say is "The coefficient of the linear ... is juxtapositioned ... by the hemoglobin in the atmospheric pressure of the country!!!!"

5. Naam Kya Hai Pyar Ka Mara - Yeh Dillagi (1994)
I was obsessed with this mid-90s Bollywoodized version of Sabrina starring Kajol and the very mullety pair of Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. I could still watch this movie a million times. And it's one of the few movies where I could actually tolerate Akki. But anyway, Kajol's frilly sleeves and poofy skirt are wonderful. This was back when Saif was seriously a TERRIBLE actor too. He has crazy improved!

6. My Name is Lakhan - Ram Lakhan (1989)
What can I say about this song? It's so much more than a song. It's an ANTHEM. Songs like this make me want to be a guy so I can THROW DOWN and do this kind of robust, joyful dancing without trying to be pretty and graceful. Anil Kapoor is ADORABLE as Lakhan, and check out the super young Madhuri too!

7. Mera Naam Hai Jamila - Night in London (1967)
This is one of my more recent discoveries. Helen is fabulous, as always, doing her cabaret thing. Biswajeet and Johnny Walker sure seem to appreciate Jamila! I'm trying to figure out if her shirtless backup dancers are in blackbrownface or not. Anyway, Jamila is everything Sheila WISHES she could be. Helen is so expressive!

8. Naam Mera Premkali - Chaalbaaz (1989)
I always kind of hated this song although I loved the movie. Sridevi is practically dressed as Michael Jackson. I mean really, they went a little crazy on the Soul Glo here. And then she turns into Linda Ronstadt or something. I don't even think they were trying to make the picturization suit the song. Because nothing suits the disco-light-up-dance-floor like a giant tulle ballet skirt! Still with all the craziness, Sri is so uber-cute! And she always works it, no matter what they throw at her!

9. Naam Mera Mango Dolly - Quick Gun Murugan (2009)
I have no idea what is going on here, but clearly I need to see this mess. And Rambha honey? Blonde is not your color.

10. I am Krishnan Iyer MA - Agneepath (1990)
I still can't believe they are going to try and remake this movie. What the heck. Can you remake awesomeness like this??? It's not possible! Mithun is too amazing, and I love Neelam! Also, this is what people used to sing to me when I told them I was South Indian. I also miss SPB's voice.

11. Main Hoon Jhumroo - Jhumroo (1961)
I love this song soooo much. We used to perform it with our band and there was a guy who sang EXACTLY like Kishore Kumar. It was uncanny. And he was a great yodeler too.

12. Main Hoon Khushrang Henna - Henna (1991)
Such a lovely song sung by Lata. I haven't seen this movie since 1991, because it was so sad and traumatic for me at 14 years old, but this song has always stuck in my head, along with many others from this soundtrack. Gorgeous. Whatever happened to Zeba Bhaktiar and Ashwini Bhave anyway?

13. Ya Ali Ya Ali Mera Naam Hai Ali - Ajooba (1991)
Oh, Shashi Kapoor's directorial venture ... poor dear. But I liked the Rishitabh bromance in this movie!

14. Naam Abdul Hai Mera - Shaan (1980)
I love this song. Mazhar Khan is just so joyful rolling around town with his back projection. And the subtitles on our VHS copy of Shaan was awesome: "My name is Abdul What? Oh, my name is Abdul, I keep news on everything!"

15. Mera Naam Hai Chameli - Raja aur Runk (1968)
This adorable number by Kumkum is definitely memorable, but always reminds me of the medley from Mr. India ("Mera Naam Hai Calendar ...")

16. Romeo Naam Mera - Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993)
Ah another expensive flop! It had some great moments that are totally not PC in retrospect ("Chini Mini Ching Chong") but that we loved at the time. This song was Anil Kapoor's chance to show off. Sridevi also had a solo item "Mein Hoon Roop Ki Rani" ...

So I'm going to stop here because that's all I could think of off of the top of my head! And these endless song lists have got to be annoying. I just LIVE for making song lists. Seriously. It's a weird obsession to have, I know. But really, my themed mix tapes were famous.

Did I miss any fabulous iconic ones? Or just one of your favorites? Let me know!!!


  1. Nice list. How about "My Name is Ali" from Dhoom 2? Not a favorite of mine, but fairly famous, I think.

  2. @cindy Ha ha ha!!!

    The first one that came to my head is "Mera naaa~aaam hai... SHABNAM!" from Kati Patang.

  3. Quite a few songs you found here... I don't know most of them, but off course, I've seen TMK - and who hasn't ever stumbled upon "Mera Naam Chin-Chin-Choo"... I love it.

  4. Aaah. Mera Naam Chin-Chin-Chu... lovee it! One of my favs. :)

    Helen was a true "item-number girl".

  5. I once did a 2 hour radio show ENTIRELY from songs featuring names. Obviously the one that came into my head as well was 'Mera Naam Hai Shabnam' and 'My name is Rishi'.

    But you've got so many on here that I didn't think of at the time :D

  6. Nayika - 2 HOURS??? I'm dying to know your playlist! That's so cool!

    Siham/Limette - I love love love Chin Chin Choo!

    Cindy - great suggestion! I think I was just trying to block out memory of Uday.

    FG - See, I had totally forgotten about Shabnam until you mentioned it! :-)

  7. Bijli giraney main hun aayi, Kehtey hai mujhko 'Hawa Hawaii' :-)

  8. Oooh, EXCELLENT one Jattin! I can't believe I forgot Hawa Hawaii!

  9. Lovely post but the first that jumped on my mind was Mera naam hai chameli i love that song so much and KumKum was plain awesome in the clip, i love that video of you and your sisters in the band, is that you by the piano, you guys look awesome, do you still do shows

    here are the mera naam songs i know

    Mera naam Rita , Christina yah yah yah from April Fool

    Pyar mera naam from Hoshiyaar (I pray this dvd is released soon with eng subs, i'm dying to watch)

  10. Oooh #My name is Anthony Gonsalves...# I'm still quoting Amar Akbar Anthony to this day! Daresay I have quoted it in my film...

  11. 1)Bebo main Bebo
    2)Main Bipasha
    3)Chikni chameli
    4)Bum-chick-bum Raja Babu