Monday, November 23, 2009

Bhelpuri: Musical Medleys from Bollywood

With no mutton and no Youtube, there would have been no need for Sundays. And of course, that I have a hyper-active son means that I need a Saturday as well!
All of Sunday, I searched a million things on Youtube and decided to compile some of the best medley songs in Bollywood. You know, the ones in which there is either a college competition or a family problem that can only be solved with the help of songs - either original or parodies of Bollywood classics!
As I had mentioned briefly here, I have a great weakness for such medley items and felt compiling all my favourite songs in one post is a very constructive way of spending this Sunday. My wife feels that I should have taken my trousers for alteration but don't listen to her! I didn't.

Maine Pyar Kiya Antakshari
Q: How do you say 'I love you' to the man you love?
A: You open your mouth and...
Q: No, I mean if he is sitting in a crowd?
A: You still have to open your mouth, you know...
Well, one of the biggest problems of staying in a joint family and having a Satyanarayan pooja at home (which is attended by about 840 women in ghagra-cholis) is that you can't say 'I love you' to your boyfriend. However, that problem can be easily solved. All you need is a resourceful Manohar bhaiyya and a encyclopaedic knowledge of Hindi film songs.
The biggest draw of this medley is it is actually framed like a conversation - for most part. So, when Bhagyashree sings Jahan main jaati hoon, wahin chale aate ho / yeh toh batao ke tum mere kaun ho?, Salman replies by singing, Hum toh tere aashiq hain sadiyon purane...
And it covers the whole gamut of Hindi music from Jewel Thief to Himmatwala, from Dus Numbri to Sharaabi, from Prince to Mr India.
To my mind, this song was the biggest draw of the film and it was a very satisfying mix of nostalgia, topicality and Huma Khan (in what was her - probably - only non-B-grade role)!

Hum Saath Saath Hain Family Intro Song
Buoyed by the tremendous success of MPK and the horrendous success of Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Sooraj Barjatya made Hum Saath Saath Hain, which gave millions of viewers diabetes and hundreds of distributors bankruptcy!
The only bright spot of this film is the point where Tabu (can't believe she also did The Namesake!) enters Saccharine household and she is introduced to the entire clan through a series of songlets performed by Saif & Karishma and introduced by Ajit Vachani & Himani Shivpuri. And in a completely immodest gesture, there are at least two songs that are drawn from MPK and HAHK!
HSSH is the most re-run movie on Indian television, having made - by now - several times in television royalties than theatrical receipts. And by some cosmic twist, every single time I surf through Zee Cinema where it is usually running, this is exactly the sequence that is on. Which makes it my single-highest watched sequence in Hindi film history. Gosh- what hyperbole!

Mr India Football Medley
What did you do as a kid when an irate neighbour confiscated your football? You pleaded with her. You asked your parents to buy you another. You pooled money to get another. You played badminton instead. Right? Well, that's why movies were never made on you and you did not have an uncle who went invisible! And - most importantly - your neighbour did not work for The Crimes of India.
Whenever I hear this sequence now, I can almost imagine the twinkle in Javed Akhtar's eyes as he wrote Na maangoo sona chandi, hum mange maafi didi or Topiwaale, ball dila. Everybody - on-screen and off-screen - was clearly having a ball as Laxmikant Pyarelal's old albums were rummaged to string together a sequence in which a gang of precocious kids (including Aftab Shivdasani and Ahmed Khan), Anil Kapoor and Satish Kaushik pleaded with Sridevi to return their football. The southern siren - about to become Hawa Hawaii in the film - returned their entreaties with high dose of creativity and energy!

Lamhe Bollywood Medley
A medley must have a theme - be it an antakshari, introduction or begging (see above). And it must serve a purpose - be it saying 'I Love you', getting diabetes or a football (see above).
The medley in Lamhe - Yash Chopra's best film that did the worst at the box-office - did not have a theme but had a vague motive. Sridevi and Anupam Kher were trying to make the ultra-serious Anil Kapoor laugh and they did so by singing Hindi film songs because the NRI was apparently fond of them (as are half the world and their landlords).
So, you had Pamela Chopra and Sudesh Bhonsle doing the female and male voices, the former doing an okay job while the latter brought the house down with his mimicry of Hemanta, Mukesh, Rafi and most notably - SD Burman. I remember laughing my guts out as Sudesh Bhonsle sang O majhi, mere saajan hain uss paar and Anupam Kher floated around in a swimming pool.
Towards the end of the medley, the duo was joined by Waheeda Rehman doing a brilliant reprise of her Guide dance (Kaanton se khnichke yeh aanchal) and it ended reasonably satisfactorily. Only if Sridevi danced to the Ta thaiya ta thaiya song!

Chashme Buddoor Courtship Medley
How do you brag to your friends on how great a time you had with a babe? If you are DU student? If your father is a small-time producer of Hindi films? And if you never really had a great time but only had to make things up?
Ravi Baswani shows you how.
Rather violently ejected from Deepti Naval's house by her karate-expert brother, he passed three hours in a cinema hall after getting bandaged at a clinic. And then, went back home to tell his room-mates the beautiful songs they sang from Dev Anand to Feroze Khan, from Meena Kumari to Asha Parekh. The hilarity gets compounded manifold as you see Ravi Baswani doing the Dev Anand swagger (Chhod do aanchal zamana kya kahega), the Dilip Kumar scowl (Pyar kiya to darna kya), the Feroze Khan shrug (Aap jaisa koi) and the Sunil Dutt sway in front of a piano! Helpfully enough, the screens changed from colour to B&W to sepia as the songs merged from one to the other.
Oh - but how did he explain the bandages? Simple. He got injured fighting goons while his lady love sang Logon, na maaron isse, yeh to mera mehboob hain!

Hum Kisise Kum Nahin Competition Medley
In medleys, boys do spoofs. Men do real songs.
Naseer Hussain never did teeny-bopper romances without at least one musical face-off between the two leads. And for that, he needed a rockstar composer. He had Anand-Milind in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which did not have a medley. He got Jatin-Lalit for Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar and colleges jived to the medley. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Manjeet (Rishi Kapoor) - who came all the way from London - out-sang and out-danced several sissy competitors as his girlfriend (Kaajal Kiran) simpered coyly in the first row. Just when the judges gave just 15 seconds for the next competitor to turn up, Tariq Hussain strummed his way on to the stage and sang Chaand mera dil, chandni ho tum. And what a contest it turned out to be!
An unknown female in tight and sleeveless clothing ran on to the stage to give Tariq (musical) support. Kaajal Kiran commandeered her bevy of bimbette friends behind Rishi. Guitars, trumpets, white shoes, bandannas, RD Burman's voice were all called into action as the two maharathis sang to our heart's content and the whole thing stopped only because a heartbroken Tariq conceded the contest.
Why? See the sequence, no?

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar Competition Medley
When Rajput and Queen's combine forces to participate in a college musical competition, can pajama chhap Model School ever hope to defeat them? Never. Not even if Model's star performer is one Sanjay Lal Sharma.
Probably one of the best college films ever made, JJWS just rocked the scene with amazing music, brilliant acting performances and an achey-breaky-love-story borrowed from Archie Comics. And to build momentum for the climax, the first set-piece was the inter-college music competition featuring three separate songs performed by the three main colleges.
Xavier's + Anne's performed a peppy youthy number, Hum se hain saara jahan. Rajput + Queen's performed a hip, pseudo-Goa number - Naam hain mera Fonseca. And the underdog Model came up with Jawaan ho yaaron, yeh tumko hua kya? Naturally, the best song was the last (but only just!) and even more naturally, the snooty judges gave the winning scores to the snootier Rajput. I still remember the gasp my sister gave when one judge reduced his score for Model School.
And if you think this was exciting, then you haven't seen the climax!
Tragic Update: I could not find the complete medley anywhere on Youtube. So, linking only the Aamir Khan song. Would be grateful if someone locates the full thingie.

Ahem... don't miss very cool nominee list of Indibloggies 2008. Thanks to the very gracious offices of Priya Venkateshan, Calcutta Chromosome has been nominated in two categories - Most Humourous Indiblog and Best Entertainment Indiblog.
Just looking at the other nominees is enough to make me feel delirious!


Yayaver said...

I bow to your encyclopediac knowledge of bollywood.. really loved this blog post Superb writing :)

bollywooddeewana said...

Congrats on your nomination, hope you win it. It's always a pleasure coming here, you've provided me with much bolly entertainment & knowledge. The first day i stumbled upon your blog i read all your bollywood posts it took about 3-4hrs+ to get through them all.

If you could please put your bollywood guru knowledge to use and help identify the songs and film the tunes in The Hum saath saath hain medley is from

by the way There was a medley in Mujhse dosti karogee

and another one in Ek Phool Do Mali

shilpi said...

The medley from 'ankhiyon ke jharokhey se' based on couplets from kabir and rahim?

bollywooddeewana said...

oh and here's another one from 'Imtihan'(1974) we need bollywood badshaahs to identify all songs and films they're from, i only managed about 3

maxdavinci said...

was checking out the other nominees and I must say, you are a worthy competitor. Congrats!

Feels good to be in some neat company...

clytemnestra said...

loved this post checked out all of them, in fact remembered MPK and Hum saath saath hain ones, bt the competition medley's from HKSKN was a revealation, didn't think of it to be in the same vein as the others medley's like dat frm MPK. In fact these are all original songs aren't they?
I can think off one more, the medley from Mujhse Dosti Karoge featuring Rani Kareena n Hrithik its part of a family celbrations...

See it here

ASR said...

If i remember correctly, 'Jawan Ho Yaaron' was filmed on Jatin of 'Jatin-Lalit' duo..

Awesome write-ups sir...

Hats off to you..