Saturday, 30 June 2018

Taxi Driver -The Film Very Closed To Dev Anand's Heart

After the debacle of “Aandhiyan” and “Humsafar”, Navketan was in deep financial crisis. To save the company from doldrums, Uma Anand, the wife of Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand, the youngest of the Anand brothers wrote a script which was an ideal quickie. Dev Anand produced the film on a shoe-string budget shooting almost the entire film on the streets of Mumbai. Chetan Anand wrote memorable scenes for “Taxi Driver” and introduced newcomer Sheila Ramani as Silvy, the pub singer.
Dev Anand in an interview said “Taxi Driver remains very close to my heart as it was an objective film with subtle nuances and because the entire Anand family worked in it. I got married to the film’s female protagonist, Kalpana Kartik during the shooting of Taxi Driver.”

The film was released in 1954 and was one of the biggest hit of that year.It was the first Hindi film that was shot outside the studio.After this film the trend of outdoor shooting started.A camera was strapped to the bonnet of a car to shoot the film.

 Dev Anand's taxi in the movie was the British made Hillman Minx, a black car with the number 1111. Such became the popularity following the film, that the British made Hillman Minx became a vehicle of choice as a taxi in Bombay until the 1970s.
Speaking about the script of the film, Vijay Anand said, “I never was able to write another screenplay like “Taxi Driver” which was original and portrayed the working class of Mumbai with real dignity.” Uma Anand, Chetan’s wife who collaborated with Vijay for the script says: “The film set various trends. It was humorous as well as an emotionally satisfying venture. For the first time the impact of the mafia on the film industry was shown in Taxi Driver.”
The music of the film was super hit.In fact S D Burman got his first Filmfare Award for the best music director award.

Mohan Churiwala, Dev’s close associate, remembers the song 'Jaayen to jaayen kahan' recorded separately by Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mehmood. “Talat saab was an unusual choice for Dev saab, but Dada (SD Burman) insisted on recording the male version with him and the song won him the Filmfare Award for Best Playback (Male).
Song from Taxi Driver 1954

Song from Taxi Driver 1954

Song from Taxi Driver 1954

Song from Taxi Driver 1954

Song from Taxi Driver 1954

Friday, 29 June 2018

70s - The Decade Of Masala Movies

Bollywood has long been synonymous with all-singing, all-dancing, melodrama and masala. Masala means a spice mix of everything from action to romance, drama, comedy, and pathos thrown in one film.In Bollywood every decade has some thing special so the 70's was a decade of Action packed films.This was the decade when Amitabh Bachchan emerged as the King of Bollywood.This was the decade of blockbusters like Sholay, Amar Akbar Anthony, Deewaar,Zanzeer,Don and Yaadon ki Baaraat.
It was a time of some of the most fantastic Stories and Screen plays,over the top costumes (not to mention set design, makeup, art direction, and more), and a cinema that was, in every way, much larger than life. There was loads of action, lots of dhishoom-dhishoom
The first half of this decade(upto 1974) was about love and Romance but after Zanzeer the action took over the romance.In 1969 after the release of Aradhana Rajesh Khanna emerged as Super star and became the new heart-throb. From1970 to 1972 was his Peak time,he gave one hit after another. In 1973 emerged Amitabh Bachchan with the release of Zanzeer. This year Bobby also released.The film began the phase of Teenage romance which was over shadowed by the action after the release of Deewar and Sholay in 1975.
In this period Indian film industry was introduced by the angry young man The Great Amitabh Bachchan who became a Living Legend. • While Dev Anand , Rajesh khanna,Jitendra and Dharmendra continued to bask in the glory of back to back hits , the actresses were not far behind.Right from the time of,Vyajanti Mala,Nargis,Sharmila Tagore to Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman,Sridevi, Rekha, Smita Patil became the main attraction of Indian film industry.
Dharmendra was another actor who gave many action films in this decade.Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971),Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973),Jugnu (1973),Sholay (1975),Charas (1976) and Dharamveer 1978 were few of the hit action films in this decade.
This decade saw the rise of Manmohan Desai who was known for his family-centered, action-song-and-dance films which catered to the tastes of the Indian masses and through which he achieved great success. His movies defined a new genre called masala films. A common theme in his films were the lost and found plot where family members would be separated and reunited. He was one of the directors who had a special working relationship with Amitabh BachchanHe had a string of hits with Amitabh Bachchan in the 70s and early 80s which helped cement Bachchan's status as a superstar of Indian cinema. He worked with Amitabh on Amar Akbar AnthonyParvarishSuhaagNaseebDesh PremeeCoolieMard and Ganga Jamuna Saraswati; all but the last were box office successes.
The decade had such stalwarts like Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Manoj Kumar and Shashi Kapoor operating at their peak while Rishi Kapoor and Amol Palekar but this decade was of Amitabh Bachchan who single-handedly bulldozed his way to the top. So final and enduring was his domination that he was dubbed “one man industry.”
Since the masala genre burst onto the scene in the 70s, it has evolved a great deal. The various elements portrayed in a masala film have enthralled audiences from various movie genres. Every age group in India has taken a liking to Masala films, and that’s the reason filmmakers love to get creative with this genre.
 The success rate of masala movies has been exceptional. Many movies that belong to this genre have become blockbusters and superhits. This trend continued in 80s and even in 21st century Masala Movies like Dabang, Dhoom and many more like these films rule the Box Office.
While there has been criticism of masala movies being a mishmash of too many genres, the masses in India have enjoyed watching the variety of masala flicks over the years.
Song from Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971),

Song from Yaadon Ki Baraat 1973

Song from Bobby 1973

Song from Jugnu (1973)

Song from Sholay (1975)

Song from Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Song from Parvarish 1977

Song from Suhaag 1979

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

For Dev Anand,flirtation was an innocent pastime

Dev Anand was the heartthrob of millions. Women swooned over his toothy smile, rakish charm and incredible sex appeal.In this blog I will discuss the girls whom Dev Anand loved or had an Affair. In his autobiography Romancing with life unhesitatingly he reveals his affairs. According to him, he was not a skirt chaser in real life. It was the women who took the initiative and Dev simply responded.
One of his earliest loves was the daughter of a History professor of the collage where he was studying.. Though he deeply admired her, he never dared to propose to her and let his crush remain untold. After completing graduation with Honours in English from Government College, Lahore, he decided to move to Bombay to pursue a career in films.
There was a beautiful young girl named Usha who frantically ran onto the Lahore railway platform trying to board the Frontier Mail that was taking Dev Anand to Bombay on his journey of no return. “Hold my hand! Hold my hand! I want to come with you!”, she was shouting in vain as the train moved faster and faster, leaving behind the hapless girl crying. Then there was one Florence in Gurdaspur who one evening literally chased Dev and thrust a passionate kiss on his lips. He then, as also later, was too shy in expressing his love; he blushed and ran into her mother’s kitchen for a hot meal. They were not the only heartbroken girls whom Dev left behind; there were many more yearning for him. 
After reaching Bombay he struggled for 3 years to get his first film.In between he took a job in a govt office Bombay which provided Dev Anand a much larger canvas to fine-tune his art of flirtation. There were more women than men in the Censor office in Bombay where Dev Anand had found a temporary job as a clerk during World War II. There too, he practiced his art of flirtation albeit with greater finesse and received instant response from his female colleagues. For Dev, flirtation was an innocent pastime, nothing more and nothing less; a playful game sans any serious intention.

His first break was a Prabhat Studios production P.L. Santoshi's Hum Ek Hain, a film on Hindu/Muslim ties. The film was being shot in Pune. Since he was based in Bombay, he often travelled by train to reach Pune. During one of the journeys at night, he had a memorable encounter. He was alone in his compartment. At one station, an attractive woman in her mid-thirties, along with a fair-skinned man, entered the compartment. Both of them climbed the upper berth and became intimate. Soon the man left but the woman stayed on. She then seduced Dev.

The first Real Love of Dev Anand was with Suraiya. He had made his mark as a romantic lover-boy with his affair with Suraiya.The duo acted together in seven films in the following three years; all the pictures were big hits. In the year 1949 alone, they had co-starred in three movies. With each movie, the two came closer and closer despite the watchful and suspicious eye of Suraiya’s granny. However, due to the staunch opposition from her orthodox family, the affair soon came to an end and Dev was left heart-broken. Not for long though. While casting for his next film, he met Kalpana Kartik and the pair signed up for several films together. Soon they started dating. Kalpana was smitten by Dev and made him forget the pain caused by his relationship with Suraiya. She was a very playful girl and turned out to be just as romantic as Dev, so the two got along very well.

Dev in his Romancing with Life says "Mona (Kalpna Kartik) became an important part of my life. She started conquering me, and I willingly let myself be conquered,”.They starred together in a few successful pictures, and finally after the roaring success of “Taxi Driver”, the two tied the nuptial knot in a secret marriage in 1954.
 He even had an on-off relationship with an Irish student at Cambridge while she worked as a cleaner in his Swiss hotel.

 While filming Hare Rama Hare Krishna he was besotted by Zeenat Aman. Dev confesses to developing feelings for her as well. When the newspapers reported their link-up, he didn’t seem to mind it! “Whenever and wherever she was talked about glowingly, I loved it; and whenever and wherever I was discussed in the same vein, she was jubilant. In the subconscious, we had become emotionally attached to each other," Dev Anand wrote in his autobiography. He further stated, “Suddenly, one day I felt I was desperately in love with Zeenat and wanted to say so to her! To make an honest confession, at a very special, exclusive place meant for romance.” Apparently Dev wanted to propose to his gorgeous co-star and asked her on a date. 
Zeenat, however, did not want to be tied down either professionally or romantically. She ditched Dev for Raj Kapoor and made “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” under his banner. Dev Anand was once again heartbroken and desolate, his self-esteem severely dented.
But Dev Anand being Dev Anand, he continued with his flirtatious games both in India and abroad whenever he found an opportunity. He unabashedly flirted with Allena, a Czech interpreter in Prague. Later in his hotel room, Mona confronted him about her. 
My 10 Favourite Romantic Songs Of Dev Anand
Song from Hum Dono 1961

Song from Tere Ghar Ke Samne 1963

Song from Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai 1961

Song from Kala Bazar 1960

Song from Maya 1961

Song from Paying Guest (1957)

Song from Asli Naqli 1962

Song from Asli Naqli 1962

Song from Guide 1965

Song from Kala Pani 1959

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Shyama- Sun Sun Sun Zalima,

Shyama was born as Khursheed Akhtar in Lahore on June 7, 1935. She made her debut as a teenager in a qawwali in Shaukat Hussain Rizvi’s Zeenat (1945). She was renamed Shyama by the filmmaker Vijay Bhatt, and appeared in numerous films in the 1940s and mid-’50s.She was the impish girl in dungarees in Aar Paar (1954) and the qawwali singer in Barsaat ki Raat(1960).
She has been filmed in some wonderful songs in the 50s. An early song where Shyama first made an impact is the second version of the main love duet, ‘Tu Mera Chand Main Teri Chandni’, from A.R. Kardar’s Dillagi (1949) starring Suraiya and Shyam. The original version was filmed on the stars, but this version on Shyama voiced by Geeta Dutt is less known.
There was magic whenever Geeta Dutt lent her voice for Shyama. This vibrant singer and exuberant actress complemented each other perfectly through several films be it Shrimatiji, Aar Paar, Musafir Khana (1955) or Chhoo Mantar (1956). But if one song truly stood out in their collaboration, it has to be the beautiful ditty from Bhai Bhai composed by Madan Mohan, Ae Dil Mujhe Bata De
Shyama also made a popular team with filmmaker M. Sadiq, comedian Johnny Walker and composer O.P. Nayyar in several films – Musafir KhanaChhoo MantarMai Baap (1957), Duniya Rang Rangeeli (1957) and Johnny Walker (1957). In the last, Walker played an alcoholic who pretends to abstain from alcohol making Shyama fall in love with him. The film had two lovely duets by Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt, filmed on Sheila Vaz and Shyama including the fabulous Thandi Thandi Hawa. Asha Bhosle, by now becoming Nayyar’s main singer, lends her voice for heroine Shyama.
Shyama started her career from the bottom of the ladder but soon worked with the Top Heroes Of Golden Era with Dev Anand in Sazaa 1951 , Tarana with Dilip Kumar ,Raj Kapoor in Sharda and with Guru Dutt in Aar Paar.
She acted a serious character in Bimal Roy’s Maa with equal ease. Came Shart, another acting triumph of hers. Since then she played all sorts of roles in all sorts of pictures. Her notable films include Chandan, Sharda, Mirza Sahiban, Aar Paar etc. She topped her acting triumphs by her memorable double role in Do Behnen. Her work in Sharda brought her the 1959 Filmfare award for best supporting role.
In later years, her memorable roles came in films of Rajesh Khanna such as Masterji and 'Ajanabee (1974 film) and others such as Sawan Bhadon and Dil Diya Dard Liya.She was married to cinematographer Fali Mistry in 1953. The couple had three children, two sons, Faroukh and Rohinton, and a daughter Shirrin. Fali Mistry died in 1979, thereafter she continued to stay in Mumbai.
Shyama died on 14 November 2017 due to a lung infection at the age of 82. She is buried at BadakabarastanMarine Lines.She was given Dada Saheb Phalke Award.
Song from Dillagi (1949)

Song from Shrimatiji (1952)

Song from Aar Paar 1954

Song from Aar Paar 1954

Song from Shart 1954

Song from Bhai Bhai 1956

Song from Bhabhi 1957

Song from Sharda 1957

Monday, 11 June 2018

Bombay in songs

Bollywood, India’s largest and one of the world’s largest film industries is synonymous with Mumbai earlier known as Bombay. The city has accordingly established itself as the film capital of India. It is where many Bollywood story lines are based. Mumbai can be an extremely challenging city, but this city of dreams has an enduring spirit and a never-say-die ethos. This underlying energy of the city and its forward-looking attitude is best captured through many songs.
In this Blog I have selected those songs  which have references to Bombay / Bambai. As I search, I continue to find good, unheard and un-posted songs that fit the reference criteria.  

Song from Do Dost (UR)(1950s)

Song from Miss Chaalbaaz 1961

                                                  Song from Holiday in Bombay 1963

Song from "Piya Ka Ghar".1972

Song from Yeh Bombay Hai 1959 

Song from CID 1956

Song from Pathan 1962

Song from Don (1978)

Song from Aap Ki Khatir (1977 film)


Song from  Haadsa 1983

Sahi Hai Re - Jhankaar Beats

                                                             Song from Taxi No 9211

                            Yeh Hai Mumbai Nagri ~ Rare Song ~ Ft. Udit Narayan




Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Popularity Of Bollywood Songs

Hindi, in all its various dialects, is actually one of the most popular languages in the world after Chinese and English.Hindi films are now very popular in throughout the world.Bollywood Dance and Music is becoming popular everywhere. The popularity of Indian films has impacted fashions as far away as Nigeria, and new releases frequently enter the top 10 lists of popular films in European regions, including the United Kingdom.
Hindi film songs are present in Hindi cinema right from the first sound film Alam Ara (1931) by Ardeshir Irani which featured seven songs. This was closely followed by Shirheen Farhad (1931) by Jamshedji Framji Madan, also by Madan, which had as many as 42 song sequences strung together in the manner of an opera, and later by Indra Sabha which had as many as 69 song sequences. 
In the 30s Radio was a luxury very few households had a radio,so the songs were not reaching to the majority of the people.The music was not popular among the masses. The first few songs to hit the nation as a whole may well have been from ACHHUT KANYAA and some contemporary Sagar Movietone productions. 
The nation wide popularity of hindi songs started with the music of Khajanchi in 1941.. Master Haider consciously broke away from the dull and monotonous delivery of the ’30s songs. KHAZAANCHI has gone down in history as the movie that defined the very structure of the modern Hindi song, much in the style of Von Neumann.The ’40s witnessed some of the quickest changes in the way the industry operated.The days of stable employment were coming to an end. 
Artists, young and old, high and low profile, from all walks of the industry, were now on their own. New studios emerged notable among them being the one founded by Abdul Rashid Kardar. His musical soulmate, Naushad Ali, injected a new sound into the spirit of the young Indian movie. Mehboob started his productions with a flourish. Bombay Talkie brought in Anil Biswas and brother-in-law Pannalal Ghosh. New singers, better sounding and accomplished than those of the previous decade, suddenly appeared in the recording studio. Parul Ghosh, Kanan Devi, Amirbai Karnataki, Arun Kumar, Snehprabha, Zohrabai Ambaalewaali, and to be complete, Noorjehan, were all household names already.
After Independence  most of the movies were based on social and political issues, even their songs were restricted to such issues. Gradually, other forms of songs like ghazals, romantic songs, instrumental and wedding songs came up.  Over the years, the Western elements have increased significantly and there have been a lot of changes in the pattern of the Bollywood music. In the 50s and 60s Caberet songs were popular and later Disco music was popular in the hindi films.
The music belonging to the golden era of films had two main achievements to its credit; one, popularizing various raags in the Indian as well as the Carnatic classical music among the masses, and two, allowing the music directors from various states, who had come down to Mumbai, to use the folk music from their native place, for films.” Today anybody who is over the age of 40 can easily make out that the film music is greatly based on the commercial aspects of the same.
In the 50s a radio Programme started from Radio Ceylone Binaca Geetmala started It was the weekly countdown programme which increased the popularity of Hindi film songs throughout the world.
Today theSatellite television, radio, internet sites, mobile phones, music has lost its approachability. Gone are the days when people used to throng and wait for hours outside shops for records and cassettes to be the first ones to buy their favorite songs which they heard on the radio from the latest film.  
It’s almost impossible to choose just fifteen great songs from over seven decades of popular Hindi cinema, so here my fav songs of each decade.
.The 1930s:
The first decade of Hindi film songs was the decade of composers like RC Boral, Pankaj Mullick,K L Saigal and Hindi cinema’s first female music director, Saraswati Devi (of Main ban ki chidiya fame).
Song from President 1937

The 1940s:
The 1940s saw the rise of Rafi, Lata, Noorjehan, Suraiya, and Mukesh. Among the music directors, there were Anil Biswas, Khemchand Prakash and Naushad. 

Song from Mahal 1949

The 1950s:
The 50s were the golden age, the names associated with the songs of this period a veritable who’s who of Hindi film music:  Manna Dey, Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum, Lata, Asha, Suraiya, Talat, Mukesh, Hemant, Kishore… and, among the music directors, greats like SD Burman, Salil Choudhary, Roshan, Madan Mohan, Naushad, O P Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan.

Song from Shree 420 (1955)

Song from Taxi Driver (1954)

Song from Sujata 1959

The 1960s:

Song from Taj Mahal (1963)

Song from Guide 1965

The 1970s:
 In Hindi film music, too, there was a new wave—with RD Burman, despite the presence of Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal, being the undisputed king.

Song from Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1972)

Song from Kabhi Kabhie (1976)

The 1980s:
The 80s saw the nadir of Hindi cinema, both in terms of stories and music. ‘disco’ songs that became the hallmark of 80s Hindi films. There were some films having different music like Umrao Jaan

Song from Umrao Jaan 1981

Song from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)

The 1990s:
The 90s saw some hit romances and Govinda type of songs and dances.The emergence of A R Rehmaan was also beginning of new music.

Song from 1942 A Love Story 1993

Song from Rangeela 1995

The 2000s 
The new style of music was the trend. Bhanra Pop and Hip hop style of dance became the craze.

Song from Murder 2004

Song from Fanaa 2006

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Rajendra Krishan-The Lyricist who gave us many Immortal Songs

Those who love Bollywood songs are not unknown to the great Rajendra Krishan.He gave us many immortal songs like "Chup chup khade ho zaroor koi baat hai" (Badi-Behen), "Man doley mera tan doley" (Nagin), "Ai dil mujhe bata de,tu kis pe aa gaya hai" (Bhai-Bhai), "Main chali main chali dekho pyaar ki gali" ( Padosan)."Chal ud ja re panchhi ki ab yeh des hua begaana..." and penned such stirring lyrics as "Suno suno ai duniya waalon, bapu ki yeh amar kahani..."
He was born on June 6, 1919 to Parvati and Jagannath Duggal in Jalalpur Jattan of Gujarat district (now in Pakistan). 
When he was studying in the eighth class he was attracted towards poetry. In his early work life he had a clerk's job in the municipal office in Simla, where he toiled up to 1942.In the mid-1940s, Krishan shifted to Mumbai to become a screenwriter. His first screenplay was Janta (1947). His first film as a lyricist was Zanjeer (1947). He was first noted for the script and lyrics of the Motilal-Suraiya starrer Aaj Ki Rat (1948). After the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, Krishan wrote a song Suno Suno Aye Duniyawalon, Bapu Ki Yeh Amar Kahani. The song was sung by Mohammed Rafi and composed by Husnlal Bhagatram, and was a great hit. He also tasted success as a lyricist with the films Badi Bahen (1949) and Lahore (1949).
with Raj Kumar 

When he was active the great 4 lyricists of Bollywood  Sahir LudhianviMajrooh SultanpuriShailendra, and Shakeel Badayuni were also there.He was an equal amongst giants like them.He gave lyrics to a wide variety of songs, ranging from Ghazals to Bhajans, Geets to Nazms with great flair. His songs are simple, inventive and full of meaning. He could write a swinging song like Mr John, o Baba Khan and in the same film Barish (’57) a philosophical song, Dane dane pe likha hai khanewale ka nam, lenewale karod, denewale ek Ram. The songs he wrote for Anarkali (’53), Yeh zindagi usiki hai and Jaag dard-e-ishq jaag have attained legendary status. His Nagin (’54) songs Man dole mera tan dole and Mera dil ye pukare aja are reverberating in our hearts even today. Apart from the three music directors mentioned above, he also wrote for other great composers like Sajjid Hussain (Saiyan ’51, Sangdil ’52), SD Burman (Bahar ’51, Sazaa ’51, Ek Nazar ’51), S Mohinder (Papi ’53), Chitragupt (Bhabhi ’57, Kangan ’59), Salil Choudhry (Chaya ’61), Laxmikant-Pyarelal (Intaqam ’69). He could pen love-ballads and comedy songs with equal ease and effect. In the first category come the standards like Ye hawa ye raat ye Chandni (Sandgil), Koun aya mere man ke dware payal ki jhankar liye (Dekh Kabira Roya ’57), Mera Qarar leja mujhe beqarar kar ja (Ashiana ’52) and Ai dil mujhe bata de (Bhai Bhai ’56). As the whole world knows C Ramchandra and Madan Mohan put a special ingredient into the songs they gave to Lata. One can not remain unmoved when listening to the following songs Rajendra Krishan wrote for her: Ham pyar me jalnewalon ko chain kahan aram kahan (Jailor ’58), Sapne me sajan se do bate ik yad rahi ik bhool gayen (Gateway Of India ’57), Dil se bhulado tum hamen (Patanga ’49)), Balma bada nadan re (Albela ’50), Ai chand pyar mera (Khazana ’51) and Wo bhuli dastan lo phir yad agayi (Sanjog ’61). 
Rajendra Krishan won Filmfare Award for best lyricist for the movie Khandan (1965) for the song "Tumhi mere mandir, tumhi meri pooja".
Rajendra Krishan knew Tamil language and wrote 18 scripts for AVM Studios films.He wrote dialogues for more than 50 hindi films like Bari Behen ,Nagin,Shaadi ,Bharosa,Khandan,Pyar Kiye Jaa ,Padosan,Bombay to Goa,Naya Din Nai Raat
Besides literature he had the hobby of Horse race.In fact he won a Jackpot in the 60s winning a huge amount which made him the richest Lyricist.He died on 23 September 1987 in Mumbai. After his death, HMV brought out an LP containing 12 of his songs.
Song from Badi Bahen (1949)

Song from Albela (1951)

Song from Anarkali (1953)

Song from Nagin (1954)

Song from Bhaabi 1957

Song from Adalat (1958) 

Song from Jailor 1958

Song from Chhaya ( 1961)

Song from Khandan (1965)

Song from Sikandar-E-Azam 1965

Song from Black Mail 1973