Ten of my favourite romantic serenades

This blog has been in existence ten years, and I suppose you can tell how important (or not) Valentine’s Day is over here by the fact that in all these years, I’ve dedicated a post to this day only twice—once, with a list of love songs in ten different moods, and (more recently) with a list of romantic duets.

So here we are, jumping on to the bandwagon yet again. This time, it’s a list of romantic serenades, of people singing in praise of the person they’re in love with (or, as in the case of a couple of fraudulent characters in this list, pretending to be in love with). There are serenades to others (Hindi cinema is full of serenades): to mothers and their near-divine maternalism; to the motherland and to the bond between siblings. None of these, I think, are as ubiquitous and as common as the serenade to a loved one. The praise in honour of his/her beauty, charm, sweetness, simplicity, virtues: going by the way Hindi songs serenade a love interest, you’d think the realm of Hindi cinema was crammed with utter paragons.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Ten of my favourite Ravi songs

This was not what I’d planned as my next post. But I learnt this morning that Ravi – the man who composed some wonderful tunes from the 50s and 60s – is no more. He passed away yesterday, the 7th of March, just four days after his 86th birthday. Ravi (born Ravi Shankar Sharma) also had a teeny-weeny link with my family. Like my uncle, he too sang part of the chorus for Vande Mataram!

More importantly, though, Ravi made a name for himself as a composer of songs that ranged from dreamily romantic to peppy, madcap to devotional (Ravi himself learnt how to sing by listening to his father sing bhajans when Ravi was a child).


Continue reading

Priceless Parodies

This is going to be my last post for a couple of weeks: I leave on Friday for a two-week jaunt through Switzerland and Alsace, so film watching and reviews are going to take a back seat. But before I go, I decided to do one last post, on parodies. I am providing translations, but they’re rather slipshod. Sorry!

Hindi film songs offer plenty of scope for parodying. In fact, I’ve come across songs that actually parody earlier film songs. My favourite is Suno suno kanyaaon ka varnan (Haseena Maan Jaayegi, 1968), with a madcap Shashi Kapoor singing Mere desh ki ladki sona nigle, nigle heere-moti (“The girl of my country swallows up gold, diamonds and pearls”) instead of the more patriotic Mere desh ki dharti sona ugle, ugle heere-moti (“The land of my country produces gold, diamonds and pearls”), from Upkar (1967). Amusingly enough, the song includes a parody of a song which was originally filmed on Shashi Kapoor: Pardesiyon se na ankhiyaan milaana (Jab Jab Phool Khile, 1965). Best of all? He’s in drag through most of the song. Awesome!

Suno suno kanyaaon ka varnan, Haseena Maan Jaayegi

Continue reading