Crime and the Hindi film song: Ten examples

I attended an interesting Conference on Crime Fiction at St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, last month (for more on that, click here). During a couple of the less-engrossing sessions, I found my mind wandering a bit – but not too far: only to crime in cinema. And from there, to songs about crime.

Also, over the past several months, I’ve been wracking my brains over what post to dedicate to friend, blog reader, fellow-blogger and participant in the Classic Bollywood Quiz, Raja. For the other prize winners, deciding a post was fairly easy: some had requested particular posts in the past; some had voiced interests in a way that made me fairly sure of what they’d like. But Raja? I was flummoxed.

Then I remembered that Raja, besides sharing my love for old Hindi cinema (and its songs), also has a fantastic sense of humour. And a strong sense of justice, of what’s right and what’s not. This post, therefore, is dedicated to you, Raja. I hope you enjoy it.

Here it is, then: a list of ten film songs – as always, mostly from pre-70s films that I’ve seen – that talk about crime. To leave no room for doubt, they’re all actions that are illegal under the Indian Penal Code (or Acts of Parliament). And yes – no crimes are repetitions.

1. Sexual harassment

Inhi logon ne le lina dupatta mera (Pakeezah, 1972): As anybody who’s familiar with Hindi cinema would know, it’s quite acceptable for the hero to harass the heroine; that, somehow, doesn’t count as sexual harassment.

But this certainly does. This woman has had her dupatta – the symbol of her modesty – snatched by a roadside Romeo. Thankfully for Indian womanhood, she’s not keeping quiet about it. In fact, she’s got her witnesses lined up: the bajaj, who sold her the dupatta (for an asharfi a yard! – daylight robbery; another crime?!); and the dyer, who coloured it. The naïve woman even cites the culprit – a sipahiyya (sipaahi, ‘soldier’) as her witness, since he was the one who snatched her dupatta in the bazaar.

This sipaahi, unless he can bribe his way through, is probably going to be in trouble under Section 354 – ‘assault with intention to outrage the modesty of a woman’. And if (since police constables were also known as ‘sipaahis’ back then) he was a cop – well, that’s even more disgraceful.

2. Assault

Mohe panghat pe Nandlal chhed gayo re (Mughal-e-Azam, 1960): This one’s similar to the previous case. Here, though, the accused happens to be divinity, so it’s a little tricky. However, the victim’s gone to the Emperor himself for redressal, so perhaps she has a chance.
No witnesses, unfortunately, but lots of counts on which Nandlal can be accused. He:
(a) threw a pebble at her
(b) …thus smashing her waterpot
(c) … which resulted in her clothes getting drenched
(d) twisted her wrist, spraining it

Yes, a case there, I think.

3. False claims

Nafrat karnewaalon ke seene mein pyaar bhar doon (Johny Mera Naam, 1970): We’ve heard tall claims about sweethearts being the sun, moon and stars, or an entire catalogue of flowers. But while that can be dismissed with an indulgent smile at the silliness of romance, this is not.
This man claims he’s a moth (?!) who can change stone into wax. Huh? So, theoretically, if I today decide to destroy the Red Fort (or the Taj Mahal, or thousands of other old monuments), all I need to do is employ him to melt it into wax? I have my doubts.

The Consumer Protection Act is here to help, thank heavens (and our lawmakers).

Incidentally, the accused also lays claim to some bizarre surgical procedures: transplanting a heart into iron, for example. Or replacing the hate in people’s chests with love. Shouldn’t the Indian Medical Association be also investigating this?

4. Hunting of wild animals

Ghaayal hiraniya main ban-ban doloon (Munimji, 1955): Or, if you want to be even more precise, the hunting of females of wild animals – which, according to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, is an especially heinous offence.

While Nalini Jaywant puts a brave face on it all and tries to attribute her ‘scared-stiff’ness to other factors (in particular, having found true love), the sad truth keeps emerging every now and then: she’s a poor ‘ghaayal hiraniya’ (a ‘wounded deer’) who’s wandering the forests, struck by God knows whose arrows. Well, perhaps she knows too, but she isn’t telling. Or can’t.

P.S. So is it implied that Dev Anand is some sort of precursor to Salman Khan?

P.P.S. Do watch the video; at approximately 3:03, when our heroine’s singing “Jab se yeh naina balam sang laage(“Ever since I locked gazes with my sweetheart…”), the camera focuses on a rather cute but dim-witted-looking monkey. Hmm. So is the balam equated with a bandar?
If he’s been taking pot shots at her, I’m not surprised at the angst.

5. Terrorist activities

Aji tum aur hum hon saath-saath (Marine Drive, 1955): This is one of those shockingly blatant songs where there’s crime being plotted right under the noses of dozens of cheerful innocent onlookers – and they’re not catching on. The dancer, Nilofer, is ostensibly singing and dancing to entertain the diners at this club, but anyone with eyes and ears should’ve cottoned on to the fact that all is not as pretty as it seems.

(a) The very fact that the only man she singles out to sing a verse to is K N Singh, looking his most ruthless self.
(b) The brief preview of how the accomplices will make a getaway – by changing guises. One minute the dancer’s in a long gown; then, after vanishing behind a pillar, she re-emerges in something that looks out of The Arabian Nights.
(c) The little demo of the explosion: one pinprick, and a balloon goes phut. That bomb can be dangerous in this woman’s hands, methinks…
(d) Last (but most important), the lyrics. “Aji tum aur hum hon saath-saath aur mast raat, duniya ko maar do bumb!” (“You and me, together in this intoxicating night – let’s drop a bomb on this world!”) This leaves all the terrorist outfits way behind. Dropping a bomb on the world?! That’s what I call scary.

The Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) is called for here, definitely.

6. Obscene Acts, Rioting, Cheating

Dekh tere sansaar ki haalat kya ho gayi bhagwaan (Nastik, 1954): That actually counts as three separate and very different crimes, according to the IPC, but since this song is such a litany of complaints, I decided I might as well list them all at one place. Kavi Pradeep, who wrote and sang this song, addresses it supposedly to God, and it’s just one appeal after another against the world, which is guilty of:

(a) Obscene acts (“naach raha nar hokar nangaa” – “Man dances in the nude”).
(b) Rioting. In the same verse, there’s a reference to “kahin pe jhagda kahin pe danga” (“fighting in one place, rioting in another”). I’m guessing there’s space here to accuse someone of rioting (under Section 146 of the IPC)
(b) Cheating. In the second verse, the singer actually comes right out and accuses particular people of cheating. “Ram ke bhakt Rahim ke bande, rachte aaj fareb ke phande” (“The devotees of Ram and the followers of Rahim, today weave webs of fraud and deception”). Ah, finally a chance to book someone under a section which has become, in Hindi, a synonym for cheating: Section 420.

If I were a judge, I wouldn’t want to be faced by such a whiny litigant. He’s complaining about everything.

7. Rough/rash/negligent driving

Baaboo samjho ishaare horan pukaare (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, 1958): With their fairly virtuous words in the later verses of this song, the Ganguly brothers try to project an image of being utter goody-goodies. But that’s all hogwash. All you have to do is listen to the beginning of the song, and watch the song, and you’ll know what I mean. Their car is a shambles (“tooti-phooti sahi, chal jaaye theek hai” – literally, “no matter if it’s broken, as long as it moves, it’s fine”), and you can see the result: they go swerving all over the road. No concept of lane driving, and a number of pedestrians escape by the skin of their teeth.

Then there’s the refrain: “Aadi-tirchhi chala chala ke jhoom” (“Drive it crooked, and dance all the way”). What?!

And yes, while I do know that seatbelts were pretty uncommon back then in cars – at least in India – that’s no excuse for sitting on the hood, or leaping about like a maniac in the back seat. Or, worst of all, actually leaving the car to drive itself. Which it does in circles.

These guys are breaking every rule in every book of Traffic Laws. Incidentally, all that honking (“Horan pukaare, pum-pum-pum”) is certainly a contravention of the noise pollution laws.
Where are the cops?!

8. Theft

Jaane kahaan mera jigar gaya ji (Mr & Mrs 55, 1955): This one, I must confess, was a toughie, simply because there’s such a glut of Hindi film songs that talk about theft. Everybody in filmdom seems to be stealing something from others: sleep, the world, a heart – and just about everything else you can think of.

I could have chosen one of those, but picked Jaane kahaan mera jigar gaya ji, because there’s more to this than just the crime: it has the discovery of a possible crime, dawning suspicion, and accusation. Our hero begins by talking about how his liver (literally; though jigar has poetically come to be equivalent to the heart) has gone a-missing. He describes what happened – how he’s looked everywhere for it – but all he gets for his pains is a scold for having brought it along needlessly.

Our liverless man then tries to employ a private investigator (“Le-le do-chaar aane, jigar mera pher de”). The proposed PI suggests that it would be much more useful to file an FIR with the jamadar at the thana, but the injured party doesn’t listen.

And the result of all that? He starts suspecting the might-have-been-PI of being the culprit herself (“Tune toh nahin hai churaaya mera maal re?”). She’s not letting on, which seems to point to guilt.

9. Not fulfilling obligation of person enjoying benefit of non-gratuitous act 

Main sitaaron ka taraana (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, 1958): For a film that is largely remembered as a comedy (though it did have an element of crime), Chalti ka Naam Gaadi had at least two songs that indicate violations of law. This one, for instance, is a clear violation of Section 70 of the Indian Contract Act:

“Where a person lawfully does anything for another person, or delivers anything to him, not intending to do so gratuitously, and such another person enjoys the benefit thereof, the latter is bound to make compensation to the former in respect of, or to restore, the thing so done or delivered.”

Well, our lady here has definitely enjoyed the benefits provided by the poor mechanic who’s now having to chase her for his 5 rupees and 12 annas. He not only repaired her car, he even gave her shelter in his nice cosy garage – out of the pouring rain – and he entertained her with a good song. She was certainly obliged to pay up. And not just out of decency, but out of the implied contract between the buyer and the seller.

But what does this ingrate do? When he comes asking for payment, she fobs him off. By trying to distract him with how beautiful she is, and why he should devote himself to loving her. Or to his art – this, after he demonstrates what a great singer he is – or how this money-minded world is but an illusion.

It just so happens that our hero is too besotted to take his erring debtor to court, but still: this is just not done, even if you’re Madhubala.

10. Murder

Kajra mohabbat waala akhiyon mein aisa daala (Kismat, 1968): Murder is rampant in Hindi film songs –especially the romantic ones, in which people are constantly killing each other with everything from eyes to hair. (And the victims are extremely happy to be killed off).
This one’s also one of those ‘thank you for killing me’ songs, but the great thing about it here is that the murderer (murderess? Biswajit in drag) seems to carry around an entire arsenal of weapons with which s/he’s been merrily murdering the ardent lover, Babita dressed as a man.

(a) There’s kajra (kohl) for a start. (Actually, if the kajra, put in the lover’s eyes, had killed him/her off – which is what the first two lines of the song of the song could indicate – I’d have probably said this was a case of adulteration of the kajra. It would’ve then been a case under the Consumer Protection Act, I believe).
(b) The Bareilly-waala jhumka (do they really make such murderous jhumkas in Bareilly?)
(c) The jaali-waala (net) kurta

This case is actually really rather confusing, because midway the accused starts accusing the victim of having killed her/him off. Some poor judge is going to have a very hard time deciding this one.

176 thoughts on “Crime and the Hindi film song: Ten examples

  1. Oooooh!!!! Love it, love it, love it, love it, love it!
    What an absolutely fantastic post, Madhu. Had me in splits – this is SO funny. And SO creative. Each one of them. What a superb subject to pick for a post!

    I am totally humbled and honoured. Thank you SO much!

    To be honest, I was thinking that you may have forgotten my prize post since you mentioned in an earlier post that you had just one more to do. I assumed it was for somebody else. This comes to me as a lovely, lovely surprise.

    Come to think of it, it is probably poetic justice that my post is the last of the prize posts, considering my quiz answers were also sent at the very last moment. In typically filmi style. ;-)

    I had no idea you had such a good knowledge of various sections of the law. But then, when you write about crime – even if it is fiction – I guess it always help to know the law. In fact, if more people knew the law, less people would be able to exploit others’ ignorance.

    I love the choice of songs too – but especially the way you’ve linked each of them to a crime. :-) There’s one song I’m hearing for the first time – the Marine Drive (1955) song.

    I quite liked it when I heard it just now. Reminds me of “aaiye meherbaan” from Howrah Bridge (1958). Since Bombay and Calcutta were in major competition in those days for India’s premier city status, maybe Howrah Bridge was a riposte to Marine Drive. But by then, Bombay had also hit Calcutta with “Gateway of India” so it ended 2-1 for Bombay. Though Aparna Sen made a late attempt to save Calcutta with “36 Chowringhee Lane”, in “our” timeline, I guess it remained 2-1. Unless somebody made a “Victoria Memorial” that I’m not aware of. ;-) Pity, considering the number of Bengali film directors we’ve had. So can anybody think of an equaliser for Calcutta?

    While on this, looks like Delhi did made a start with Lal Qila (1960) but that’s where its challenge seems to have ended. With its embarrassment of riches in the monuments space, what a waste of title potential! They may have equalised if they’d just twisted Raj Hath (1956) to Raj Ghat! ;-)

    Ok, I’ve completely hijacked this post (not the first time – and I suspect it won’t be the last). Just thrilled that you’ve come up with such a fantastic post as my prize post. Thank you very, very much once more.

    As is my wont, I’m throwing in a song that’s come top of mind to me on the main topic of this post. It’s from Patang (1960) – it’s about the not-so-honest village shopkeeper and the equally dishonest temple priest. Just love Rafi saab’s voice in this – the insouciant style! (is that the right word here?).

    And oh, before I forget, apropos your song no.9, if you’re Madhubala, you can get away with anything. Yes, ANYTHING. Maybe we should relax it a bit and just say it extends to anybody called Madhu. ;-)


    • You have a full right to completely hijack this post if you wish, Raja – it’s all yours! :-) I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I can’t match your sense of humour, but I decided I’d give it a try, anyway.

      And, oh no. How could you even imagine I’d have forgotten you in the prize posts? Never! (Incidentally, let me honest: I put everybody’s answers down, with date and time received, in a spreadsheet, as soon as they began coming in. That xlsx became the basis for what prize posts I would do for each person – I put in an idea next to each person’s name, and as soon as the prize post was done, I’d tick it off. I finally deleted the xlsx today).

      My familiarity with law has almost nothing to with the fact that I write crime fiction, sadly. Because the crime fiction I write is all set in the 17th century, I am more conversant with laws and punishments in Mughal India than in modern India. But the fact that my father used to be in the IPS, and my brother-in-law is an advocate, probably has a lot to do with it… plus, I did loads of research for this post. I trawled through an index of the IPC, plus a list of the Acts, and stayed up some nights because I was stuck with thinking there must be some song whose lyrics could be interpreted in a ‘criminal’ way.


    • Besides Lal Quila (which I hated) Delhi’s been part of another old film: Chandni Chowk, starring Meena Kumari. I just checked on IMDB, and it seems there’s an earlier film too, by the same name. No familiar names in the very limited cast and crew credited.

      Liked that song from Patang – it’s the first time I’ve come across it.

      And thank you for that carte blanche! You don’t know how good it makes me feel. :-D (When I read it, the first thought that came to mind was: “Cool! Now this khuraafaati dimaag can get up to all the mischief it wants!”)


  2. Hahahaha!
    This has to be one of the most original ideas for the 10 best. What an honour raja :-)

    You’ve covered most crime. Another one comes to mind, that of jadugari.

    Witchery (masculine form, wizard=jadugar) used to be considered a crime in the west.
    In India Jadugars abound/abounded. People are/were in awe and scared of them.
    He’s pretty harmless and entertaining, normally, ** but** when the jadugar wants to harm/steal/kill and disguise himself to commit a crime then he’s surely a criminal.

    Here he’s disguised as a shehnai player, where the shehnai is an instrument to kill, piercing through the victims ‘liver’ (LOL).
    Before that he does all kinds of jadu tona, and causes insomnia to set in.

    The victim of course, like all innocent villagers, is superstitious and is rather in awe and doesn’t realise the danger of all this, even though her friends are pointing them out.


    • When you wrote about witchery in the West, I was reminded of all those medieval tales about women being burnt at the stake and whatnot. It gives one the shudders. I am currently reading a manuscript that a friend who wants to be a writer gave me for feedback, and that too talks about witchery in India – I won’t say where, since my friend may not want that, but it’s about malevolent jaadugari, not benevolent.

      I like the song you’ve chosen! Such a nice song, and just the correct twist from you to make it a ‘crime’ song. I don’t know whether the IPC has a specific law dealing with this sort of stuff, but there must be something.


  3. Oh my God, Dustedoff, you’re a genius!!! Do you have sixth sense or what?

    I’ve been thinking of all those 6 songs just today! My friend asked me how much she owed me. I told her, “paanch rupiaya baara aana”! And I swear, “Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji” was running through my head today! And I had taken a line from “Babu Samjho Ishare” for my class cheer. And of course, two of Dev’s songs – I’m ALWAYS thinking about him some way or the other. :D

    Incidentally, (is that spelled right?) today they showed Gumnaam on TV, and I had just finished watching it on YouTube the other day! Also, when I got home after debate practice, they played “Aankhon Hi Aankhon Mein” on the radio, and I am currently addicted to it.

    So many strange coincidences!


        • Thank you, pacifist! Yes, I’ve not been too well – have been prescribed a course of heavy antibiotics combined with hormonal treatment, so I spend a good part of the day feeling dizzy and headachy and generally very sorry for myself. :-(

          But I perk up during the latter half of the day, so things aren’t as bad as all that!


          • Sorry to hear that you have not been well, Madhu! And I am floored to see the kind of stuff you produce when you are dizzy and headachy and not well! This post of yours is absolutely amazing! I haven’t yet read through the post, but the little I saw had me grinning and thinking of all the punishments that should be meted out to such criminals for performing these dastardly acts. What a fertile imagination you possess – I am awed! And such a terrific knowledge of law, coupled with a knowledge of songs that match these crimes – hats off to you!


            • Thank you so much, Lalitha! And let me make one little clarification: this post has been written mostly over the past month – I only added the last two songs this weekend. And I’ve been feeling like death warmed up only for about a week. So no brownie points there, really!

              All the good wishes of my friends must be really working. I’m feeling better already. Thank you! :-)


        • Welcome! I hate antibiotics – the one my family doctor always prescribes is some white (and horrible-tasting) liquid with tiny little things floating inside. Really horrible! -shudders-

          Yeah, exactly. What’s with ripping his shirt off at every little thing? It used to take a LOT to make Dev take off his shirt, and in his later movies he even did the collar button. (I do that every day in school, for obvious reasons!)


          • When did Dev Anand take his shirt off? Do tell me, this is something I would love to know.
            Dev Anand and others of his generation did not take their shirts off because they belonged to a different generation – in fact, they did not dance much, either, with Shammi Kapoor being a notable exception. We watched those movies for their acting, but evidently, the current crop of actors feel their acting prowess is less important than their six-packs, where their fans are concerned. I am glad to see that you, at least, are more discerning and selective about your likes.


              • Yes, you are right – I had forgotten about that one, and even there, there is no obvious display of his muscles, lean or otherwise. It is just a scene where his batman helps him into his shirt, done in a very matter-of-fact manner. I saw this as a teenager and it doesn’t seem to have made a big impact so it couldn’t have been much (and I have seen it countless times in the last few years, but of course, now my eyes are older!). I was a little horrified when I attended my one and only show done by these film stars, in Texas, and this Salman Khan ripped his shirt off and the crowd went wild (and I had no idea who this guy was at that time, I had only heard his name and hadn’t seen any of his movies). Oh well!


            • >When did Dev Anand take his shirt off?

              Lalita, I’m sure bombaynoir meant Salman taking his shirt off.
              He’s prone to do that – all the time.


            • Oh, well he did in “Main Zindagi Ka Saath”, as Anu has pointed out, and he did in Baazi and Jaal too. Funtoosh too, but that’s it. No more. And no showing off of muscles either. I like my heroes with their shirt on. :D Besides, Dev has scarves! -goes starry eyed-

              And… that’s completely true! Dev simply CANNOT (take me seriously, he CANNOT dance!) dance. Thank God he didn’t dance too often. I like it when he does all that tender romance thingy. And his stalkerish songs are kinda cute. I hate the current generation of actors – that stupid SRK! They’re only good for remaking old films and ripping off of Hollywood. What the heck do they want to achieve by killing “Dum Maro Dum” and “Khoya Khoya Chand”? That Ajay Devgn guy even had the gut to go to Dev and ask him if he could remake Guide. WHAT AN IDIOT/ Thank God Dev turned him down. For all his idiotic movies in the 70’s and after, Dev did have the good sense to say no. I, for one, don’t want to see an actor playing Raju Guide… with a six pack. No, just no. :P


              • :-D

                Anyway, they tend to mostly restrict themselves to remaking 70s stuff like Sholay or Don, which is all very well with me, since I’m not devoted to those films. Now, if they tried remaking Junglee, Professor, Aankhen, CID or Nau Do Gyarah, I might just begin an online petition…


                • Me too, but that god darned Khoya Khoya Chand remix was crossing the line. Do it once more, and…

                  If they tried to remake Nau Do Gyarah, I swear, I’ll pick up a gun, go right to Mumbai (No, that place right now doesn’t deserve Bombay) and blow all the film stars’ heads off. NO ONE touches my favorite movie and gets away with it. NO ONE.

                  And what annoys me is the song that goes, “chhod ke apne Salim ki gali, Anarkali disco chali”. THIS is called making a mockery of Hindi cinema.


          • It’s not just Salman Khan’s ripping off his shirt that irritates me, but just him, generally – I don’t like his face, I don’t like his way of talking, I don’t like (except for Andaz Apna Apna, which is hilarious) any of his films.


            • Okay, now this is getting really uncanny. They’re showing Andaz Apna Apna on TV tonight. O_O

              And “O Mere Sona Re” is on the radio. And earlier they were discussing thriller movies. (Goldie’s name was inevitably brought up! ^_^)

              I hate how he went and killed those animals. Dev (or any other actor of the Golden Era, for that part), would NEVER EVER do that. NEVER. :P


    • Welcome to the ‘coincidence club’, Sasha! Anu and I have shared so many really uncanny coincidences – not just blog-related, but also personal- and professional-life-related that now we’ve stopped getting excited when there’s yet another coincidence. :-D

      But 6 out of 10 takes some beating!


      • I get excited over every little coincidence – it took me a bit to calm down when I found out Gumnaam was on TV! I really have a little story between every song of Dev’s I love – For example, when I heard “Aankhon Hi Aankhon Mein” on the radio for the second time, I thought it was Dev’s song, and I was right! When I heard it a few weeks later again, I jumped into the hall and had such a hard landing that my feet hurt – but who cares? It’s Dev’s song, time to get up and sing along! And there was this time when I was reading about Madhubala, and the next day, “Aaiye Meherbaan” was on the radio.

        And yeah, I was about to leap up from my chair when I saw the latter half of your post. BTW, I’ve posted my review of Gumnaam! :D


        • Aaiye meherbaan is Madhubala at her gorgeous best. She’s simply ethereal. :-)

          Yes, I know you’ve posted a review on Gumnaam – I’ve subscribed to your blog, so I got an automated notification. Am off to read it soon! (The review, I mean, not the notification).


          • I agree! And what’s not to love about Madhubala and Ashok Kumar?

            Oh, that’s cool. I didn’t know. I hardly check my e-mail, that’s why! ;)


            • Yes, Madhubala is my absolute favourite when it comes to sheer watchability. She’s glorious. I wish she’d gotten more roles that allowed her to show off her acting skills, other than just Amar or Mughal-e-Azam (and a couple of other films).


  4. Madhu, hands down the best idea for the prize posts! (Which means, my dear, you also win the prize for creativity since you’re the one who came up with the theme.) You’re amazing! I haven’t laughed so much in ages. And I needed that too. Thank you.

    This must be the first post (with songs) of yours where the songs are incidental. Lovely, lovely songs, too. I’ll be sure to listen to them later. :) :) :)


    • Thank you, Anu! *BIIIIIGGGG grin*.

      In a way, I think the songs aren’t just incidental here – because, as in my Sahir post, the lyrics are what put each song in the list in the first place. ;-) But yes, I couldn’t resist the urge to make sure the songs were good to listen to, as well.


  5. Coersion is the unlawful act of;
    **compelling a person to do, or to abstain from doing, something by depriving him of the exercise of his free will,**

    And here we have the hero exercising it, chasing her, blocking her way, forcefully stopping her by holding her arm.


    • Hehehe. What a coincidence! After reading your comment with the link to the Goonj Uthi Shehnai song, I was thinking of this one.

      Okay, here’s another one. According to the IPC, a theft committed by five or more people working together qualifies as a dacoity. If we assume that the beauties in Humein toh loot liya milke husnwaalon ne are at least five, this is a case of dacoity:

      (Incidentally, in the second half of the song, there are exactly five women, so that stands). :-)


  6. This has to be the funniest thing I have ever read. I was expecting something quite different, direct crime instead of innuendos of crime, but this is way way way more fun. Congratulations Raja, on such a whammy prize post.

    Here is another crime being reported by Johnny Walker


    • This has to be the funniest thing I have ever read.

      That IS quite a statement, Ava! My ego has just gone up a million notches. Thank you.

      I don’t think I remember hearing this song before, but it’s fun, despite Johnny Walker’s awful wig. The lyrics are a good ‘investigation’ in themselves – and she seems to be not just a thief, but a murderess too!


  7. Sorry to hear about your illness, Madhu. Anitbiotics are a bigger pain that whatever it is that it is fighting. Get well soon. As Lalitha says, if this is the sort you can come up with when you’re ill and dizzy, God save the rest of us!

    ps: I’m a bit sad that I seem to be the only one who has a soft spot for Salman. :( (If I make puppy-eyes enough, will someone take pity on me?)


    • Thank you, Anu – and I’ll repeat what I wrote in my reply to Lalitha: that most of this post was written over the past month, so I can’t really lay claim to have done all this while in this state of ‘dizziness-plus-more’.

      Oh, I’m sure there are millions of Indians out there who adore Salman Khan, so you’d have plenty of company. Only, don’t – whatever you do – make puppy-eyes; what with his penchant for killing off animals, you just might find yourself in the same boat as those poor chinkara gazelle.

      …on the other hand, what better way to die than to be killed by your hero? :-D


    • I see the paucity of replies to this request of Lalitha’s… and it tells me something.

      Honestly, of the older actors, there’s nobody I hate unreservedly. I liked Rajendra Kumar in Mere Mehboob, for instance. And to some extent in Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan, but it wasn’t so much his looks I objected to, but the terribly melodramatic roles he mostly chose. If he’d stuck to something serious (I actually hate to see him grin) but not OTT, I’d have liked him in more films.


      • I didn’t see this. Sorry Lalitha. Okay, I liked Rajendra Kumar in Mere Mehboob, Jogan, Kanoonand even in Sangam. He looked much better when he was young and his lips weren’t so prominent. By the time he grew older, they stuck out like Baba Yaga’s and colour didn’t do him much good. :( Sorry, Lalitha. Qualified liking for him will have to do.


        • I haven’t seen Jogan, but yes: I agree about Sangam and Kanoon. He was good in both. But Geet, Suraj, Saathi, Aarzoo (despite the awesome songs in that)… oh, the less said about them, the better.

          By the time he grew older, they stuck out like Baba Yaga’s

          :-D :-D


    • I like rajender Kumar’s younger films, and those mentioned by Anu from his older man list. I agree, colour didn’t do him good.

      So, I do like him. :-)


      • Thanks, pacifist, for the support! I was referring to his early movies like Mother India (not a big role), Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan, Goonj Uthi Shehnai, Dhool Ka Phool, Gharana, Mere Mehboob etc., and even Sangam. I didn’t care for the movies where he was prancing around with a much younger heroine and a waistline that was too wide.


  8. LOL! What an ingenious and funny post. Thanks, Madhu! I badly needed the laugh after an expectionally hard day’s work.

    The first song that popped into my head after I read the post was this fabulous Geeta Dutt number dealing with a litany of crimes and criminals. :-)


  9. What a simply brilliant idea for a vlog post theme, superbly done! And I love that my favourite bit from one of my least favourite films makes the list. The explicit endorsement of wife-beating, along with the general chauvinist misogyny of its second half make Mr & Mrs 55 a film I’ll never watch again right through, but the first half is a delight with the Johnny Walker subplot, and Jaane kahaan mera jigar gaya ji is unadulterated joy. It’s criminal how much pleasure those two give in that song. Well-done, too for blending your work and your hobby – my copy of The Eighth Guest arrived yesterday, so I’m off to make a start on it. Thanks again!


    • Thank you, Stuart – both for that emphasis on ‘brilliant’ (you can’t imagine how much happiness all the comments on this post have brought me), and for that very heartening enthusiasm that you’ve received The Eighth Guest. Book Depository certainly seem to have cleaned up their act (or, I guess Hachette India have cleaned up their act about exports).

      Yes, the second half of Mr & Mrs 55 irritates the hell out of me too. Kumkum’s character is simply frightful and made me want to hit her, and that scene on the staircase – where Madhubala tells Lalita Pawar off – is another one that makes me cringe. I have rewatched the film a few times, mainly because of Madhubala, the Johnny Walker-Yasmin jodi, and the songs – the music is fantastic.


  10. @bombaynoir: Yes, I’d read about that in the newspaper the other day. I have this creepy feeling that all the people I really like will probably not feature on it, unless someone had the forethought to get their handprints or whatever years ago. Madhubala, for instance. Or Meena Kumari. Ashok Kumar. Guru Dutt. Even, come to think of it, those who’ve passed away in the past year.

    This article anyway seems to think having the ‘Khans’ and the ‘Kapoors’ (I’m guessing they’re thinking of Ranbir and Karishma, besides Kareena, whom they do mention…) – is enough for a Walk of Fame.

    But let’s me optimistic. Dilip Kumar, Saira Banu, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Mala Sinha, Sadhana, Shashi Kapoor, Helen, Manna Dey, Manoj Kumar, Nanda, etc, etc – are all (thank goodness) still around, and will hopefully be part of it.


    • I dunno. O_O Come to think of it… -gets jittery- They won’t have Kishore or Rafi or… or… S.D. Burman or… Shankar-Jaikishan? No star for Goldie… Raj Kapoor… AND NO SHAMMI KAPOOR OR DEV? SERIOUSLY? And Joy Mukherjee? And Ravi? Or O.P. Nayyar? T_T -on the verge of tears right now-

      Somehow I have the feeling that that idiot SRK will be the first one over there. So… so… this will be more like a new-age Bollywood thingy? :O


      • My worries, exactly. Since they say they’ve been working on it for a few months now, I hope they had the prescience to get the handprints of Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Joy Mukherji, and Ravi… who knows. I have a creepy feeling too that the Khans really are going to dominate this.


        • I don’t know… my heart is racing now. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE don’t be a darned new-age Bollywood thing that fails to pay tribute to the stars of yesteryears. They said about 60 handprints will be installed. I made a list (got to 31, then I took a break) of whom I think should be included.


  11. P.S. @bombaynoir, in response to another comment of yours:

    “chhod ke apne Salim ki gali, Anarkali disco chali”.

    No! I’ve never heard this, thank goodness! Yikes. Where’s that from?

    (By the way, it’s a mockery of Mughal history, not just Hindi cinema) ;-)


    • I don’t know, seems to be a new song that’s played endlessly on the radio. But you’ve come to expect that in this age of nonsense, right? ._.

      And that’s completely true. I should go call Salim right now and tell him that in the future, they would be mocked at. :P


    • Yeah, that’s supposed to be funny! Just about as funny as Sajid Khan is, which is to say not funny at all. It’s from a film called ‘Housefull 2’ (and no, I haven’t misspelt ‘Houseful’). Which, considering the trailer I saw when I went to see Kahani is worse than the trailer of Housefull which I saw some years ago.

      Avoid anything by Sajid Khan like a plague.


      • Thank you for warning me off. Not that I would have ever even thought of watching a film called Housefull, but still… it’s good to be forewarned. I have never seen a Sajid Khan film (I just had a look at his filmography, and breathed a sigh of relief when I realised I hadn’t seen anything there).


      • Just had a look at the Wiki page, and there’s even a hyper mix version of the song?!

        As if the original wasn’t bad enough.


  12. An interesting theme and I should admit that I do envy Raja for this beautiful post for him, although I also had a very flattering post. :-)
    It is such a befitting post for him and his sense of humour. Thanks to him we also get to enjoy it.

    Inhi logon ne
    An asharfi a yard is indeed a very proud price for uncoloured dupatta. It is a clear case of usury!
    Here is another case of sexual harassment, but this time it is not a human being but the wind.
    dekh ke akeli mohe barkha sataye from Baazi [1951]

    Mohe panghat pe nandalal
    The Nandalal can be accussed of many crimes. He is a thief as well! He steals not only the butter but also the mind (Chitchor). I think his devotees love him for the latter crime the most.
    This girl also accuses him of dacoitery. neend churaye chain churaye daka dale teri bansi from Anuraag

    nafrat karne walo ki
    Dev Anand at that time could have turned my legs into melting wax.
    I have to defend the poor guy.
    Your honour my client never claimed that he can transplant a heart into iron. He said he can put fire of love in the heart of iron/steeel. Since the metal in concern doesn’t have a heart he can in no way be accused of the above crime, since it was never his claim that the metal would ever have such an organ.
    I beseech you milord my client is innocent and he e set free and his honour reinstated! ;-)

    ghayal hiraniya
    no dev is no salman! SURELY NOT!!!!!!!!
    I think the monkey doesn’t look at all angsty, it just looks stupid to my eyes, maybe that is what she means although she is ghayal from his love, he is a complete bhuddhu!
    Another song where a deer is hunted is: pyaasi hirani ban ban dhaye from Do Dil

    aji tum aur hum saath was completely new for me
    Nilofer looks as involved in her dance as a vegetarian with eating a rare steak.
    I wonder if nepotism is involved here.

    I always found that dekh teri sansar ki halath to be a very pessimistic song.
    Very much into rioting is also yeh mahalon yeh takthon yeh taajon ki duniya from Pyaasa

    I would have loved to be a witness to the process of making the songs of Pyaasa or for that matter all Guru Dutt songs.

    babu samjho ishare
    “Incidentally, all that honking (“Horan pukaare, pum-pum-pum”) is certainly a contravention of the noise pollution laws.”
    In India? Can one drive in India (or for that matter in S Asia, SE Asia, Latin America or most parts of AFrica) wihtout honking?
    This and other on the road songs surely don’t confirm wiht the traffic rules

    jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji
    I have never understood the transferring of the properties of the heart to the kaleja and jigar (both are I presume, synonyms of liver). Do you know by any chance how this came about?
    The petition not to steal doesn’t get sweeter than this:
    chura liya hai tumne from Yaadon Ki Baarat

    The paanch rupaiya bara anna song is a song, which elates me always. Love it!

    Real threatening to kill is going on in this song
    maar diya jaiye ke chhod diya jaiye

    Sorry if I have repeated any songs, but I didn’t have any time to go through the comments properly.
    Enjoyed reading the post as well as writing the comment to it!


    • Didn’t know the hirani song you suggested! That was a new one for me.

      Oh, and I didn’t mean the monkey looked angsty. I meant that the song’s lyrics – levelling charges of hunting against someone – were angsty, and my explanation for those particular lyrics+visual (equating the bandar with the balam, so to say) was that maybe it was because the monkey had been taking potshots at her. She has a right to be annoyed.

      I had thought of Yeh mahalon yeh takhton too, but in connection with arson, not rioting. I gave it up eventually because I thought it was a little farfetched. (plus, I’ve been putting that song into every other list post I do!)

      By the way, re: honking? Yes, in Delhi there’s been quite a drive on to reduce honking. I don’t know if anybody’s actually been fined for it, but I think the roads are a whole lot quieter now.

      P.S. More in the next comment. :-)


  13. Harvey, you are absolutely wonderful! Thank you – I love the amount of effort that you put into writing your comments. Believe me, I appreciate it a lot.

    And for somebody who hasn’t read the comments, you’ve certainly managed to come up with songs nobody’s mentioned (though I think this post has been such an odd one, very few people have been able to think up stuff to contribute). I had really wanted to post Chura liya hai tumne too (it’s a lovely song), but of course since it’s out of my timeline. it had to be sadly omitted. I’d thought of Maar diya jaaye too, but skipped it, because it’s too literal. I didn’t want to include songs that were obviously of criminal intent. ;-)

    Re: Nafrat karnewaalon ke seene mein pyaar doon… sorry, Your Honour, but my learned colleague seems to have forgotten that the counts on which his client had actually been indicted were of his false claims to:

    (a) being a moth – which it will be obvious even to my learned colleague (who I am sure would not have taken on this case on behalf of a moth, who would be highly unlikely to be able to pay any fees)
    (b) being able to melt stone

    The client’s boasts of being an impossibly adept surgeon (which is what my learned colleague seems to be trying to defend) – have been suggested as possible clauses that the Indian Medical Association may wish to investigate.

    :-D :-D


  14. A wonderfully innovative post, spent a lot of time ROFLing. Now having got up, let me see if this works.
    “Phool Tumhe Bheja Hai Khat Mein, Phool Nahin Mera Dil hai”

    It depends upon what was actually sent in the letter :-
    1) Phool — Breach of Contract, Mail Fraud (promised Dil but sent Phool)
    2) Dil — Possibly Murder, since that “Dil” would have to be procured from elsewhere. If said “Dil” belonged to the writer, then she could be charged with attempted suicide. In either case, I am sure laws involving improper handling/transportation of human organs would be broken.


    • Hehe!!! Samir, you’re awesome. Loved that – the ‘breach of contract/suicide/transportation of human organs’ thing is pure brilliance. :-D

      She does, however, actually send a flower – you can see her put it into the envelope, and he then pulls it out. So condition (1) doesn’t stand.
      If she’d actually sent him her heart, it would have been so much more fun – suicide, and improper transportation of the organ.

      Okay, here’s one my sister had suggested when I’d mentioned this post to her. Considering homosexuality is still technically illegal in India, …Aadmi hoon aadmi se pyaar karta hoon from Pehchaan is rather flamboyant about breaking the law:

      And there’s more in it – possible about sexual harrassment, molestation, etc (Koi khele bheed mein, koi akele mein) and so on. I’d almost certainly have put this into the list, if I’d seen Pehchaan.


      • Your sister has a wicked sense of humor !!!, absolutely loved it. I am surprised the Indian Censor Board allowed so many “illegal” songs to appear on screen.
        An unfortunate side effect of this post is that instead of enjoying a song, I spend time trying to discover irregularities. I should stop reading this post :)


        • :-))

          Can you imagine, this guy is blatant enough to admit that it’s an ‘apraadh‘ and that he’s doing it again and again? Quite a boost for the decriminalisation of homosexuality movement. (Which, actually, is one reason my sister may have come up with it in the first place; her husband practises at the Supreme Court, and at the time I was discussing this post with her, this issue was being discussed at the Supreme Court, who were due to pass judgement on it).


  15. Salute for the tongue-in-cheek descriptions And your encyclopaedic insights of the IPC. Enjoyed the post immensely. Thanks to Raja too.
    Hope you are better now. Take care.


    • Sexual harassment (which is what eve teasing is) and assault are two separate sections under the IPC. I think Chhedo na meri zulfein would come more under sexual harassment than assault, because he’s not injuring her in any way (which would be assault):



  16. Another fine post, and I like many of these songs. But when I read the post title, the following song was the first that came to mind – a theft song, but it stands above all the others, because it is an all-encompassing theft song!


    • That’s a good one, Richard! Yes, there are occasional songs that literally deal with actual crime – especially in the movies with a rather more ‘social awareness’ bent. Ainwe duniya deve duhaai is one of favourite examples of a song that focuses largely on corruption (which is very extensively covered under the Indian Penal Code, plus subsequent acts):


        • I can believe it! We both like this song a lot, don’t we? :-)

          By the way, when I was creating this post, I was reminded of another good Raj Kapoor song, Dil ka haal sune dilwaala, from Shree 420:

          Some references to corruption – especially among the cops – there. (That bit about “boodhe daroge na chashme se dekha… bole yeh kya kar aaye ghotaala, yeh toh hai thanedar ka saala” – “the old sub-inspector looked from behind his spectacles, and said, what’s this blunder you’ve made! This is the inspector’s brother-in-law!“)

          And I am all in support of that “Aadhi raat ko mat chillaana varna pakad lega policewallah” – “don’t shout in the middle of the night, or the cops will catch you.” Delhi has – at least on paper – strict anti noise pollution laws. No cops go about catching offenders on their own, but filing a complaint has brought us very quick results! :-D


    • Ah, why didn’t that song occur to me when I was thinking of literal songs about crime, or that feature crime? Especially kidnapping – I couldn’t think of a single one that had anything to do with abduction.

      Lovely song… Naushad was at his best in Baiju Bawra.


    • If you start listing eve teasing songs, there’ll probably be no end to them, really! :-) But since Richard reminded of songs that are literally about crime, here’s a Dev Anand song sung in the aftermath of a crime (specifically forgery), the song being all about his dishonesty. Mose chhal kiya jaaye, from Guide:


      • Aww, that song and “Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya” always make me cry because of what Raju did. It really wasn’t his fault, and he was stuck, but then again, Rosie wasn’t in the wrong either! The time I watched Guide on TV, I disappeared into the room for 15 minutes to wipe my tears. A few days later, I was like, “Darn, it wasn’t his fault (it is NEVER his fault whenever I watch a movie), but I can’t blame her either.”


          • How? Because he drinks and smokes (I like him when he smokes, although, IF IT COULD HAVE MADE HIM LIVE LONGER, THEN, DEV, NO MORE CIGARETTES. :P), and he looks down upon Rosie’s friends? I don’t really blame him for forging that, it was kinda desperate (Only Waheeda could have made that desperate, only Waheeda!), and a last-ditch attempt to save his love.


  17. @bombaynoir:

    Who would blame him for drinking or smoking or looking down on Rosie’s friends? That’s his business, really.

    I’m only talking in the context of this post. Forgery is a crime, like it or not. It is his fault, irrespective of why he did it. Nearly all criminals have a damn good reason (at least they’ve convinced themselves it’s a damn good reason) for whatever they do. Desperation is a very common motive for just about anything from theft to murder.

    Believe me. I write crime fiction for a living! ;-)


    • You sound more like him in Baat Ek Raat Ki now. Sorry. -cannot stop making references-

      I think that she changed though – you know, a little while after she gets unhappy, and then she won’t even hug him. But it is his fault that he goes and drinks and smokes and takes her money for gambling (Seriously Dev, have you NOT learned from Baazi?), and that’s why he went and forged it.

      Not that I blame him for it. (I NEVER blame Dev for anything, not for doing black marketing in Kala Bazaar, not for telling that big lie in Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, etc) Besides, this time, he didn’t just convince himself that it was a damn good reason, but Goldie made me convinced that it was a damn good reason.

      And wow, you’re GOOD. You sound like a lawyer, seriously.


  18. Some one made a comment up there that you are a genius, well that is an understatement but for want of a better word I will second that comment. Now you have got me all charged up, can you find out what is the section for extortion for in this song Helen appears to be threatening dad with murder for she says Ek nazar main chahoon halki halki, and then she goes on to say yehi keemat hai meri dil ki and you see her henchmen throwing knives at a statue, that is a definite threat, isn’t it? HA! HA!


  19. There is no law in India, yet, against Harassmant of husband by the wife (memsaab has just reviewed Angoor where the wife harasses her husband for a necklace :-)

    So here is a song for a futuristic crime committed by the wife of harrassing her husband.

    Some complaints may not amount to much I think, but these certainly should be cognizable offences — *both ways* (me being no feminist but a great believer in equality :-)

    malhar na gaake dekha kabhi bas deepak raag alaapa
    Khud to bahar naache, ghar mein mujhe nachaati hai
    chowkidar banake mujhko saari raat jagati hai

    What Johny walker advises at the end is an act of conspiracy – unlawful too :-D


    • Hehe! That was a good one, poor henpecked Om Prakash! :-D
      Now I’m curious to watch the film and find out what Johnny Walker advises.

      Even though a wife harassing a husband may not be outright illegal according to the IPC, there just may be some clause in the marriage acts that prevents it – and anyway mental cruelty is illegal.


  20. Abetting suicide is an offence under section 306 & 107 of Indian Law (I just googled and found these numbers, don’t know much about law otherwise)

    In this case the culprit (Kishore Kumar) goes to great lengths in encouraging suicide;

    Kuein mein kood kar mar jaana, par shaadi mat karna.

    There is a song of Mehmood where he wants to hang himself and sings about it while his beloved tries to stop him.
    I just can’t remember the film or the song – just the scenes.


    • Oh, this was hilarious! Thank you – my husband happened to come by shortly after I started playing the video, and even though he isn’t that keen on old Hindi films, he stood by and watched, and both of us laughed at Kishore’s antics. :-) Good one.

      I seem to remember the scene with Mehmood too. I have a feeling it was Gumnaam, or maybe Humjoli


  21. Dear DustedOff,
    If your ‘sick’ body can generate such stupendous ‘mind’boggling post, then when your ‘adda’ has full quorum, one can only expect Gunahon Ke Devataa.
    SJ has composed a heavily orchestrated Mukesh song – Chaaha Tha banu …mujhko bana diya hai Gunahon Ka Devataa – .
    But this post can easily beg this title of Gunahon Ka Devata.


      • I agree. It has to be Gunahon Ki Devi, who is also [pleasuarbaly] “Hunterwali” [Nadia and John Kawas – the greatest pair of “action” movies].
        A ‘gunah’ may leave a taste of remorse too, like “Yaad Aayee Aadghi Raat ko, Kala Raat ki Tauba” [Kanhaiyaa], But this reminscences of ‘gunah’ has left a lingering taste of ‘wah, kya baat hai!’


          • WOW! What a great Coincidence [ not your shared birthday, but my remembering “Fearless Nadia’ while complementing ‘Always refreshing’ DustedOff]!


  22. what should i say that others haven’t said before about this post.I know it sounds repetitive but if i don’t say it,then i myself would commit a crime of intentionally not appreciating a fabulous post,which given your knowledge of law,could lead me into serious trouble.(You may take me to court for that!).So to save me from any such sort of trouble,i would just say it-THIS WAS A DAMN GOOD BRILLIANT AWESOME WRITE-UP.

    PJ’s apart,What i said about this post is very true.Trust me.This coming from someone who is fondly called ‘Satyakam’ by many of his friends.I am short of words to describe this marvelous post.And i am not kidding about it.(Anyways,I can’t do kidding anymore as I am a grownup now and unfortunately not a ‘KID’ anymore who could go on kidding!)

    With this post,you have achieved the distinction of being a supreme blogger.I doubt if any other blogger can beat this post.If anyone does,i would sue him for committing the ultimate crime-The crime of surpassing or trying to surpass something which can’t be surpassed.

    L.P.S-I don’t think the idea of getting fingerprints of our erstwhile bollywood celebrities is a very bright idea considering that many of them are dead long time ago.And it’s just not about the likes of Ashok Kumar,Meena Kumari or Madhubala. What about the pioneers of bollywood like Himanshu Rai,Devika Rani,K.L.Saigal,Ruby Myers,Pankaj Mullick,Sohrab Modi,Kanan Devi etc.They definately deserve a mention.

    I think that a far better idea would be to make a Bollywood Museum,where the statues or portraits of all our great men and women from Bollywood,which should include directors,producers,Screenwriters,Musicians,actors-both major and minor,singers,technicians,lyricists etc.This is quite achievable considering that photos of most such people are available.In contrast,i doubt if the fingerprints of many of our Bollywood greats have actually survived till now.

    I just hope that they do so what i have suggested here.And I also hope that when they do so,they credit me for giving them the idea.Otherwise,I would have to take them to Court.Can’t tolerate any kind of crime committed after reading this post of yours!

    And another thing- Get Well Soon.


    • Raunak, my goodness. So much praise! You have sent my ego soaring through the roof. Now I’ll be sitting on cloud nine all week long, unable to get any work done in the real work because I’m so busy preening myself. :-) Thank you so very, very much. Really, it is such words of encouragement – and everybody has been so wonderfully sweet about this humble effort of mine – that keep me going and wanting to do more with my blog.

      *Acceptance speech over for the time being. DustedOff blows kisses to fans, holds aloft award and bursts into tears*

      I really, really think the idea of a Bollywood museum is fantastic – because that could accommodate so much more than just handprints and stars for people. Photos, stills, clips, biographies… so many delicious possibilities there. I wonder if the National Film Archives at Pune (a place I’d love to visit) have something along those lines?

      (By the way, was that a deliberate change, or an unintentional but post-related error? – the rest of us were talking about ‘handprints’, which is what is part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame – as opposed to fingerprints. Considering fingerprinting is a very common forensics tool used in crime investigation, I have a feeling that slip had something to do with the post itself)!

      P.S. Thank you so much for your wishes for my health.


      • well, i actually meant handprints but unintentionally and mistakenly wrote fingerprints in its place.i think this slip happened because of the impact that your post had on me!

        As i said before i am not much in favour of handprints of great Bollywood men and women because i have doubts whether the handprints of many bollywood legends have actually survived till now.Having Stars dedicated to the legends of Bollywood though is a nice idea,in my opinion.

        The National film archives at Pune has a huge number of original film prints,film books,film scripts and photographs.But they don’t have statues or portraits of Indian film legends.That’s precisely why i mentioned about statues and portraits and not about photographs.Also the idea of getting statues and portraits made of Bollywood legends has some added economic benefits.A lot of people would get employment by making these statues and sketching these portraits.Also the talent and artistry of these statue and portrait makers will come in the limelight.

        P.S. In my opinion,not just Bollywood Legends but other Legends of Indian Cinema from various other regional film industries, too should be honored in some way or the other.


  23. @raunak: Yes, I agree about some way of honouring people not just from Hindi cinema, but also regional – in fact, I’d been thinking about that very thing when I wrote my last comment, even though I never got around to mentioning it.

    Personally, I am a little wary about portraits/statues: I have seen too many museums in India which are chockfull of these – ‘dioramas’ seems to be the buzzword. While they may provide work for artisans (which is a very noble cause, no doubt), the end result is, more often than not, terribly tacky. I am also a travel writer, and have visited and written about a vast number of museums all across North India, and some more. I am yet to come across one that had good quality portraits or statues used in a creative way. The Gandhi Smriti has a good multimedia section that includes unusual installation art, but as for the statues… they made me wince.

    What would impress me would be if a team of good museum designers could be brought together to make a museum that is innovative, informative, and entertaining. Whether it’s about art or stamps or textiles or whatever.


  24. “Kali Palak Teri Gori” from “Do Chor” (1972) will surely make its way in my list. Not just the song, even the film name contains a crime :-)

    The song makes references to theft, murder (chori, kataari), strangling etc.,


  25. A delightful post. Your selection and the comments cover almost all the crime songs I could think of. I am adding one which is a direct declaration of intent to commit suicide:


    • Yes, you can’t get more blatant than that, can you?!

      Hadn’t heard this before, and sorry – but just couldn’t bring myself to listen to more than the first few lines. ;-) And it’s the last kind of song I’d expect you to post! Heh. That ‘music’ must have made you squirm – thank you for going through the trouble of listening to that.


      • You are right – this is not a song in my line. But anything for you. :) But seriously, among the new songs I take notice are the item songs. Page 3 was a terrific movie, and the setting of this low brow song at a party of high society people was a very neat stroke of director’s creativity. Another reason to notice this song was that this is converse of the iconic item song Beedi jalaile. If the former talks of drowning oneslf in the well because of the unbearable heat, the latter talks of the other weather extreme. Incidentally it is another brazen crime song – exhorting someone to just get anyone’s quilt because it is so cold. What would that poor guy cover himself with, the cold would also be biting him! Obviously the intention is to steal it making it punishable under section 379/380 of the IPC. As if the quilt was not enough, the call is also to steal fire from the enighbour’s chulha. Now someone can argue that one can borrow fire with the neighbour’s consent without affecting his ability to warm himself. But it is not that simple. Have you taken Fire Department’s permission to transport it safely? If not, the act is punishable under section 285 of the IPC.

        285. Negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter

        Whoever does, with fire or any combustible matter, any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or to be
        likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person,

        or knowingly or negligently omits to take such order with any fire or any combustible matter in his possession as is
        sufficient to guard against any probable danger to human life from such fire or combustible matter,

        shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which
        may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.


        • Hehehe!! Delightful explanation of a song that I’d always thought of as pure trash inserted just to titillate. ;-)

          Never realised there was such a medley of underlying evil intentions (and punishable ones at that) there.


  26. I have been desperately intending to write a long comment for about a week since I read your post, but WordPress in their new security protocol would not accept my comment under my usual name AK which I have been using for about two years on the blogosphere (and which is my short name among my friends). I did not know how to get around this glitch. With a great deal of struggle and trial and errors I could post a comment under my blog name, which was actually a short trial to see if it works. I am a little disappointed that WordPress has forced me to change my identity, but you knew me also as Songs Of Yore. This is just to say that I would have been among the first but technology has forced me to appear late to join others and say it is a wonderful post.


    • That’s really weird. I hadn’t realised WordPress had changed their security protocol – I wonder why they did that. What’s wrong with using an acronym? I know a couple of other people too who are known almost exclusively by their initials, to family, friends, colleagues – everybody.

      Thank you for the appreciation for this post!


  27. Kya baat hai!! You really are too much, i love this innovative post. No prizes for guessing which one of the crimes was my favourite, come on by now you should know the one that had me in gags of laughter ;)


    • Which one? I am really rather lost, but I have a feeling it might be either Kajra mohabbatwala or Inhi logon ne. Tell, please! :-)

      P.S Thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed the post!


  28. 20 minutes prior to below linked scene, the lady was begging to God for:

    Bhej Roti, Bhej Halwa, Bjej Daal

    Financially, things haven’t improved much. There is still No Roti,
    No Makaan, beating up poor hero became a priority, as he was trying
    to run away

    SHABNAM (1949) – Mera Dil Tadpa Kar Kahan Chala / Geeta Roy
    On-Screen: Kamini Kaushal + Dilip Kumar, Direcor: B. Mitra

    Aug 13, 2015


      • Sorry, I pasted the wrong link. The coorect one is a Geeta Roy solo


        Aug 14, 2015

        p.s.: the cinematic theme is similar to: Mana Janab Ne Pukara Nahin
        (both films were produced by Fiilmistan and had music by
        Sachin Dev Burman)

        The prior posted link, which is a duet, appears in the film as a
        a staged act, to help Kamini Kaushal get back her lost memory.


  29. Ooo this is even better! Thank you so much for sharing the link to this post. I can only hope you write more of such posts! Not only did the post make me laugh out loud but I was happy too because it has some of my favouritest songs- Jaane kahan mera jigar makes another appearance and then two songs from a movie I absolutely adore. But I have to say, the first song you choose, though an absolute love of mine, does reflect a lot of Bollywood songs which completely normalise harassing women. A more serious blog post could be about that.
    PS: is it because you write about crime that you have so much knowledge of law or did you google? :-P
    PPS: When are you writing the next book?
    Final PPS my sister in US has become addicted to Muzaffar Jung but the local library doesn’t stock Indian authors- she’s working on them to get your books!


    • “A more serious blog post could be about that.

      Unfortunately, just far too many songs. :-( And far too many films that denigrate women horribly. So many that one could write an entire book about how Hindi cinema of the 50s and 60s depicted women. In fact, I’m pretty sure there already are some books about that…

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I enjoyed writing it a lot, too! I had to do all the research, because the crime fiction I write about, being historical and pre-IPC, has nothing to do with this. Google helped!

      “PPS: When are you writing the next book?

      Depends on which book you’re talking about. ;-) One book is already with the publisher for editing – this is a collection of women-centric short stories. Another book, a historical, is currently with a friend who’s editing it. And I am right now writing a book set in 1962, which centres around a woman and her connection with food. After that’s done, there’s a period romance to be written, followed by (hopefully) the next Muzaffar Jang. Lots of writing happening. :-)

      Oh, do please thank your sister (and an equal amount of thanks to you) for being so kind! Bless you both.


      • Oh boy! Can’t wait for all the books, Madhu. I don’t know how you do it- all this writing must be needing a lot of research and fact-checking, na? Do you visit archives and libraries? Which ones? Do suggest a few places, if you know. Do you also keep yourself abreast with historical works?


        • For me (since most of what I write is from the pre-British period), the archives, at least, aren’t of much use, because much of the documentation is only from the British period onwards. I’ve spent a good bit of time in the Delhi Archives and some at the National Archives doing research for a freelance project, and all the documentation is from about the first decade of the 1800s onward. In any case, even if the archives had material from the Mughal period (or before) it wouldn’t be much use to me, since all official documentation was in Persian, which I can’t understand. I can barely spell my way through Urdu, and flounder quickly with that. :-(

          I don’t visit libraries, but I have a fair number of books collected over the years that I find extremely useful. My sister, who’s a historian, is also a huge help – the latest book I’ve written has been checked by her for historicity, and she keeps lending me books and passing on useful nuggets of information. :-)


  30. oh god!
    i couldnt control my laughing, reading this post!
    it is too humorous!
    such an application of law to the songs!
    oh, i felt like being killed with laughter!
    Haas hass ke maar dala!
    i was in a bad mood, and even after reading the kasauli post, those flowers and trees, my mood didnt elate.
    but this made me forget all my mood swings.
    and now i am in a cheerful mood!
    thanx a lot for this post!
    i really enjoyed it a lot!
    i dont have a song to add to the list , at this moment,
    but will add soon


  31. Madhu G , i wondered how U thought such a different nd extra – ordinary post.
    Hats off 2 U !!!

    Poor lyrics writers !!! they wrote the songs simple mindedly nd just see how we r finding the crimes out of them.

    U have poured so much humour in the post that I was unable to control my laughing.
    Somebody watching me wud hav said ” Ye PAAGAL to nahi ho gaya ”

    Let me add something

    ” Attempting SUICIDE ”
    Chal dariya mein doob jaye / Prem Kahani


    • Thank you, Pramodji! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. :-D

      And, thank you for this song – yes, perfect fit. Ironically enough, just the other day, I watched Cheeni Kum, where Amitabh Bachchan’s character tries to have Paresh Rawal’s character arrested on charges of attempting suicide.



    Farooq Sheikh is nt paying attention to Anita Raj. She ( emotionally ) blackmails him by threatening that she wud get herself cut – off under the train.

    ” Gaadi ke neeche jaake cut jaoongi ” / Film – Ab Aayega mazaa.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.