Saturday, August 20, 2011

My 10 Favourite Madhuri Songs


I follow only two stars on Twitter – the only two who still get me all excited when I watch them on-screen. One of them tweets religiously (@SrBachchan) while the other almost never (@MadhuriDixit1). The former is still all over the place playing sharpshooters, college principals and quiz masters in consecutive outings. The other is settled in happy domesticity in some corner of obscure Denver.

When I first saw Notting Hill – especially this scene – I remember wondering how fantastic it would be if someone remade the film in Hindi with Madhuri in the lead role. Who else has a smile more luminous than Julia Roberts’?

Since I don’t get to see her that often except for fleeting appearances in dance reality shows, I thought of going back in time and listing my favourite Madhuri Dixit songs. A classmate of mine asked me to post about our college days. This post – if you think about it – is about our college days only.
(Subtle plug: Another list ahead of The Book of Bollywood Lists. *nudge wink*) 

So, here is the list in increasing order of my passion…

It is a standard practice in all Subhash Ghai films that there is always at least one crowd-pulling song and at least one ‘melody’ song. This song probably falls in the second category and Madhuri lights it up – making up for the ugly visage of stubbled, eye-patched Sanjay Dutt and the portly Ghai.
As a village belle, she looked the kind that could make a million Swades-es happen!

This was another Sanjay Dutt (and Jeetendra in the film, for good measure) song that got totally redeemed by Madhuri. There was a lot of controversy about the originality of this song (which released just ahead of Jumma Chumma in Hum) but that just paled into the background as Madhuri made an appearance as a dancing silhouette to Bappi Lahiri’s tunes.

In a setting reminiscent of her earliest hit, Madhuri danced on a stage that went right into the audience, which – in turn – clapped as if Madhuri Dixit was dancing live in front of them. A Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan tune found new meaning with Madhuri’s signature mix of energy and grace. 

Ever since I saw Anil Kapoor give Mandakini a lift on his cycle, it was my teenage dream to do so with Madhuri Dixit. I sat around doing nothing about it (I learnt cycling, though) and when I saw Ayub Khan achieve that dream of mine, I was shattered. But I recovered from this trauma over time and started liking this lovely song where Madhuri brought a hitherto unseen rustic charm.

RD Burman’s dulcet melody was like a gossamer backdrop to a love story which was set in a film that called itself ‘the most powerful film ever made’. Madhuri and Anil Kapoor waltzed in the drawing room to the accompaniment of colour coordinated dupatta, t-shirt, soup and salt shaker. And the only thing brighter than the yellow was Madhuri’s smile.     

In one of her last roles, Madhuri signed off her Bollywood career in a blaze of glory as Chandramukhi and her best moment was the one invented for this film. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s rather audacious departure from the classic deserve to be forgotten for this amazingly choreographed sequence – where two of Bollywood’s divas pulled out all the stops. 

This is my wild card entry. In Punkaj Parashar’s chaotic but good-looking Robin Hoodesque caper, Madhuri performed this song in a shimmering chiffon saree. Her svelte figure slithered around in what seemed to be a shipwreck as Anil Kapoor balefully looked on. Sensuality was never so subtle and yet so rampant.

If there has been one person who has managed to match Madhuri step for step in a dance sequence, it has been the India Rubber Man – Prabhu Deva. In a film where Anil Kapoor secured his place in the Ignoramus Hall of Fame by choosing Namrata Shirodkar over Madhuri, Prabhu Deva choreographed and danced in this sequence supposedly at an army get-together. If they advertised this more, Army entrance tests would see more rush than Indian Idol auditions!

- Namashkar!
- Namashkar!
- Kahiye, kya sunege aap?
- Pehle yeh kahiye kahan thi aap?
- Main? Main kar rahi thi kisi ka intezaar…
- Kaun hain woh?
- Woh jisse main karti hoon pyaar!
- Haiii…
- Aur jisse main karti hoon minnatein baar baar
- Kaise?
- Aise! Ring rong ring…

What can I say about this song in a disaster of a film in which an amnesiac hired gun is treated by his intended victim - Dr Dixit. You would be within your rights to ask what was the good doctor doing in that yellow, midriff-glorifying fisher-woman outfit? Well, would you rather have her dance in a white lab coat and stethoscope? (Actually, she was performing in a function of her hospital.)
BTW, all the size zero heroines should observe how her midriff moves in this song and die.

Yes, there’s no Dhak dhak in the list. I feel it was a very ordinary song. Don’t agree? Make your own list then…
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