Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Growing Up With Movies

This tweet inspired a thought or two that led to the post. As I went through the responses, I realised I needed to put a framework (Shit, what an MBA I am!) to arrive at a favourite director of my growing up years.

First, what were my growing up years?
My definition for them is the period between when I turned a teenager (1987) to my graduation from college (1997). My busiest, most passionate movie watching happened in these ten years and the movies I watched were the ones that ended up shaping my life, my choices, my taste. (I am just glad I watched all the Ray movies in this period along with others.)

Second, how to decide on a favourite director in a given period?
One way is to just remember the highest emotional boost of that period and just go with the director who provided that. By that logic, Mansoor Khan deserves to win for giving me Veer bahadur ladke kaun? Rajput! Rajput! But tragically, he gave us just three films and the third of those was a rather direct lift from a Hollywood classic, that too not made too well.
I looked at a few filmmakers who churned out a slightly higher number of movies in this 1987-97 period
I also put Yash Chopra out of contention by putting him in the Hall of Fame because my favourite films of his were made much before this period, when I was a toddler. This period saw him making Lamhe - which again is that one emotional high that justifies his inclusion but then Parampara and Dil To Pagal Hai are hardly 'glorious childhood memory' material.
I am going by the number of favourite films a director has churned out in this period to figure out that one man who has entertained me the most while I was growing up. Quite obviously, each of these directors had a movie that created a tremendous first impression, followed by a blow-your-mind-to-smithereens period before he did a heartbreak movie that ended his spell.

We should start with Subhash Ghai, the much touted showman of the industry.
At the edge of this period, he made Karma that had a super-high moment for me ("Thappad ki goonj...") but ended with a laughable sequence in which Dilip Kumar drew a map of India around Anupam Kher with machine gun bullets. Nevertheless, it was a rousing movie and it seemed to be a promising  start.
He followed it up with Ram Lakhan that was a never-ending buffet of Bollywood masala served by memorable characters like Ram, Lakhan, Deodhar and Kesariya Vilayati urf BAD MAN. Even before I could finish burping, there came Saudagar with the most high-octane dialogue I had heard in a long while. And then he gave us Khalnayak. What Sanjay Dutt's stylised retardation took away from the movie, Madhuri Dixit gave back in bountiful measure and made it a memorable experience.
At the end of 1997, he made Pardes - which pushed SRK towards stardom but I wasn't impressed by it. For me, it was the beginning of the slide that eventually led to Kisna and Yuvvraj.  
Adrenaline Shots: 4

That brings us to the other Subhash, who had such a rollicking run in the late 1980s that his movie has now been in immortalised by Anurag Kashyap in his history of Wasseypur.
B Subhash had made his grand entry into Bollywood big league with Disco Dancer (though that was in 1982) and followed it up with Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki in 1984. Both were instrumental in making Mithun Chakraborty a all-singing-all-dancing-all-shining superstar. After that, he made a superstar out of Kimi Katkar with Tarzan. In my mind, these three movies are notionally part of my growing up years though they are out of the ten years I just defined.
What he did make in that ten year period was Dance Dance, which was probably a bigger hit than Disco Dancer and has spawned crazy commentary like this. He repeated his lead cast (Mithun - Mandakini) in Commando, which seems to be a huge hit only in my mind.
He abandoned Mithun after that and tried to hitch his fortune to the teeny-bopper romance bandwagon that was chugging all over Bollywood. He signed The Hottest Pair in town - Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla - for Love Love Love that failed almost before it released. He tried to make a comeback on a sleaze trail with Divine Lovers and Classic Dance Of Love (with Mithun) but the light had gone out of our lives.
Adrenaline Shots: 2 (real), 5 (cheating)

Rajkumar Santoshi occupies a huge part of my memory during the growing up years but strangely, his output during the defined years is limited.
He burst on to the scene with Ghayal (BALWANT RAI KE KUTTE!!!) and grabbed my attention with a second half that was the tighest and the fastest in Bollywood of that period. I remember reading somewhere that a song was inserted on distributor insistence and that song was the only false note in the second half. His infatuation with Meenakshi Shesadri led to Damini, where Sunny Deol stole the show as the Super Lawyer Govind. Again, Damini had very little song and dance but was memorable enough to have rape victims in 2012 being named after that (though erroneously). After this serious social exploration, Rajkumar Santoshi directed Andaz Apna Apna - of which no more needs to be said. I am inclined to count AAA as two films because it is almost criminal that I had so much enjoyment from a single movie.
After that, he directed Bobby Deol's debut - Barsaat - known only for Kumar Sanu's nasal hits (Hnumkon snirf tnumkon pnyaar hainnn...) and Ghatak (the biopic of eccentric Bengali filmmaker, Ritwik) starring the voluminous Sunny. China Gate (in 1998) was only a partial redemption.
Adrenaline Shots: 3 (logical), 4 (emotional)

Rajiv Rai revived his father's illustrious banner (Trimurti Films, which produced some of Yash Chopra's best films) with Tridev. Starting from the echoic opening announcement ("Paap se dharti phati phati phati...") to the eve-teaser anthem ("Oye Oye...") to the elaborate plotting to a villain called Bhujangg, Tridev was the masala movie teenagers lived for. He followed it up with a 'spiritual sequel' - Vishwatma, almost an identical plot mounted more lavishly (read: extensive overseas shooting). But despite the grandeur and Divya Bharti, it did not match its predecessor's punch. 
Quite improbably, Rajiv Rai broke his own record with Mohra that was a mega-hit (and the first major hit in Raveena Tandon's reasonably extended career till then). While everyone sang Tu cheez badi hai mast mast (a more literal commodification of women hasn't happened in Bollywood), connoisseurs would remember Mohra for the Hottest Rain Song Ever Filmed. Don't tell me your consciousness wasn't engulfed by the yellow when you first saw THAT song. After Mohra, came Gupt - of which much has been said but nothing encapsulates the craze around the movie better than those four words... 
After that, Rajiv Rai received death threats, married Sonam and (presumably) lost interest in filmmaking. His later films (after 1997, though) were far from memorable. 
Adrenaline Shots: 4

Mukul S Anand made a lukewarm entrance with Mahasangram, whose name was quite hyperbolic and over-promised on the potential of the Govinda-Vinod Khanna starrer.
His next film - Agneepath - was not. For the first time, Amitabh Bachchan threw away the superstar mask and showed us what a great actor he could be. I have wasted kilobytes after megabytes of space describing the emotional highs of the film and I will desist from repeating them. Just when we thought Mukul Anand was likely to become an offbeat director, he directed Hum - the slickest superstar vehicle, that was almost too good to be true.  And he completed his Grandeur Of Amitabh Trilogy with Khuda Gawah, whose opening Bouzkashi scene was worth the price of admission.
With such a dynamite CV, he went on to direct a film produced by Subhash Ghai. Trimurti - starring three of the biggest stars of the industry - flopped miserably and (people say) aggravated the director's heart troubles. He passed away in the middle of shooting Dus, a terrorist saga (which had no connection to the movie of the same name that eventually got made).
Adrenaline Shots: 3

That brings me to the man with the maximum number of indescribable highs during my growing up decade - Ram Gopal Verma. Younger fans of Hindi cinema would find it almost unbelievable that for a decade, RGV could do almost no wrong and even his follies turned out to be hugely enjoyable.
RGV burst on to the scene with Shiva - the ultra-violent tale that started with college politics and zigzagged into vigilante justice. Even Nagarjuna's deadpan non-existence of acting skills did nothing to diminish the impact of the film. He followed it up with a horror film - Raat - that had the distinction of creating horror out of regular people and regular settings. Eschewing the layers of gory makeup, the dark nights and creaking doors (actually, he did use these), Ramu brought horror to our doorsteps.
One forgettable action flick (Drohi) later, RGV gave us a love triangle. Probably his most out of character movie, Rangeela showcased Urmila's oomph, Aamir's panache and Jackie's muted charisma so brilliantly that it is still etched in my mind.
Officially, Daud was a flop but the zaniness of the film transcended box office statistics. With a villain called Pinky, a sidekick called Chacko-ji and a heroine whose shapely hot pants-encrusted derriere was exhibited with childish glee, Daud was a laugh-riot. His next movie was Satya, acknowledge almost universally as the definitive gangster movie of Bollywood. It established RGV as a force to reckon with and gave him the muscle to work on really offbeat themes with debutant directors and writers. In short, Satya was the benchmark of cult classics.
Adrenaline Shots: 5

Interestingly, RGV's winning streak continued well beyond this period as he made Kaun (very different), Jungle (flawed but interesting), Company (a gangster classic) and Bhoot (a decent horror thriller). I feel he hit his first major disaster as late as 2004 with Naach but still redeemed himself with a brilliant Sarkar immediately after that. It is a crying shame that he hasn't even come remotely close to making a brilliant in the ensuing eight years.

So - ladies and gentlemen - that brings us to the end of my pseudo-intellectual ramblings to arrive at the conclusion that the filmmaker I enjoyed the most while I was growing up was Ram Gopal Verma.
Maverick. Mentor. What a pity he couldn't become a Moghul.

Friday, January 11, 2013

1990: Still A Love Story

A long time back, I had written about all – well, almost all – the films released in the year I turned 18. The sequel (prequel, to be precise) was a long time in the making but a lot of fun!
Here are all the films of 1990 – the year I turned 16, a two decades in the making blockbuster. Like the earlier time, I have depended on my memory only and that explains the large holes in the narrative. Please feel free to add your tidbits.  
  1. Aaj Ka Arjun – Amitabh Bachchan was on bit of a soft wicket as he never managed a real superhit after Shahenshah in ’87. And KC Bokadia’s tale of a village simpleton turning into a vigilante against Amrish Puri did not look like a winner. But it turned out to be a sleeper hit as AB serenaded Jaya Prada to Bappi Lahiri’s tunes and leaped off rooftops as screams broke out in theatres. 
  2. Aaj Ke Shahenshah – I don’t know what you say. I don’t know what to say.
  3. Aashiqui – Mahesh Bhatt crossed over to the ‘dark side’ with his first unabashedly filmi love story starring two newcomers who were as wooden as an Ikea store. What a comedown it would have been from Arth. Read all about Mahesh Bhatt’s films here.   
  4. Agneepath – One of the many movies I love to death. Illogically. Don’t tell me you haven’t read this post.  
  5. Amba – Shabana Azmi played Anil Kapoor’s mother in this tale about simple villagers trying to fight for their survival in the big, bad city. What else?
  6. Anjali – The dubbed version of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil tearjerker classic had Raghuvaran and Revathy angsting over their youngest daughter’s terminal illness. The film was loaded with precocious children on a rampage and the three main ones won National Awards for their roles. 
  7. Apmaan Ki Aag – Can say this with a fair degree of confidence: This movie did not release in Calcutta.  
  8. Awaaragardi – This was a love triangle involving Kimi Katkar. I know this for certain. The rest, even Kimi doesn’t know.  
  9. Awaargi – Who better than Govinda and Anil Kapoor to play roles in a film called Vagabonds? Add a love triangle with Meenakshi Sheshadri and you have an eminently forgettable Mahesh Bhatt film. Ho gaya? Chalo, ab aage badho. 
  10. Awwal Number – A classic of the ‘so bad that its actually good’ genre has made repeated appearances on this blog (and my book), most notably as an iconic sports movie as well as a relic from Aamir Khan’s pre-ponderous age. It had him, Aditya Pancholi and Dev Anand battling terrorists, Australia and each other. They could have called this movie – with no irony – 3 Idiots
  11. Bahaar Aane Tak – A person by the name of Tariq Shah followed illustrious filmmaker-actors like Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor as he directed himself in this film, also starring Moonmoon Sen and Roopa Ganguly. He also had a sidekick in the form of Sumit Saighal. Sigh! I would give a lot if somebody could erase these memories from my brain and create some free space. 
  12. Bhabhi – Bhanupriya was Govinda’s bhabhi in this movie. Or was it Madhavi? Then what was Juhi Chawla doing in this film? Could she have been the title role? Oh – fuggedaboudit! 
  13. C.I.D. – Long before Inspector Pradyuman came on to the scene, we had CID Inspector Vinod Khanna taking up arms against underworld dons like Kiran Kumar. Juhi Chawla and Amrita Singh were both in the film but I forget who the heroine was and who died in the crossfire. I only remember Aftab Shivdasani as a child actor.      
  14. Deewana Mujhsa Nahin –In Aamir Khan’s only bespectacled role, he was fashion photographer who did a bloody good job of stalking supermodel Madhuri Dixit good-naturedly. While she was oblivious of his presence, he was convinced of their eventual marriage. Yawn! 
  15. Dil – Another Aamir-Madhuri starrer, which brought back Aamir from the dead! Box office death, I meant as he explained to Madhuri – since it is topical now – the difference between ‘fake rape’ and ‘real rape’.   
  16. Disha – An arthouse film about villagers moving from poverty in the village to poverty in the city. One character (Nana Patekar?) had two sons called Jeetendra and Amitabh!
  17. Drishti – Govind Nihalini’s film about a woman’s (Dimple Kapadia) extra-marital affair also starred Shekhar Kapur and had mind-blowing music by Kishori Amonkar. A bit slow in development of plot but quite interesting all the same.    
  18. Dushman – Long before Kajol, Mithun starred in a movie called Dushman. And to kill all the dushmans in the world, his name in the film was 
  19. Ghar Ho To Aisa – Actually, koi bhi ghar aisa nahin hona chahiye. Bindu the evil mother-in-law gave her docile daughter-in-law (Deepti Naval) hell while her son (Raj Kiran) looked on balefully. The younger son (Anil Kapoor) – when not romancing Meenakshi Sheshadri – tried to correct the injustice, with limited effect. When we said ‘social’ in the 1990s, we meant silly movies like this one.   
  20. Ghayal – This film proved two things about Sunny Deol. One, he can carry off revenge roles very well. Two, his nostrils are wide enough for Frontier Mail to pass through. Rajkumar Santoshi’s first major hit had Sunny Deol shifting from a Lambada-singing youth to a muscle-flexing retributionist. A role, which Filmfare felt, was a better display of histrionics than Amitabh Bachchan in Agneepath. Sigh!
  21. Gunahon Ka Devta – I haven’t seen this film and the next one. I don’t remember anything about them either. But if they don’t star Mithun, I will change my name to Himesh.  
  22. Humse Na Takrana – see above.
  23. Izzatdaar – Dilip Kumar was falsely implicated in a murder and sent to prison by his son-in-law Raghuvaran. He came out and started to take revenge, was assisted by a general tapori (Govinda). Govinda also romanced Madhuri Dixit in his ample spare time.  
  24. Jamai Raja – Just when Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit were being touted as the It Couple, came this film where the masala became Anil’s super-filmi verbal duel with his mother-in-law, Hema Malini. I don’t remember anything except the film except this hilarious exchange where the entire dialogue was constructed out of films starring Anil and Hema!    
  25. Jawani Zindabad – Aamir Khan with Farah, Javed Jaffrey and assorted college-goers. An anti-dowry message in the mayhem.   
  26. Jurm – One more from Mahesh Bhatt’s assembly line copies of Hollywood, this one also had a copy of the 500 Miles song. Meenakshi Sheshadri coped with Vinod Khanna’s shenanigans with Sangeeta Bijlani while murders happened all around them.
  27. Kafan – If anyone can prove conclusively that this movie released in Calcutta, I will change the name of this blog to Calcutta Kafan. (*terms & conditions apply)
  28. Kali Ganga – Dimple was a wronged woman, who became a dacoit. Suresh Oberoi was a police officer but fell in love with her. They sang a song in the rain. Is this that movie or am I confusing with something else?  
  29. Karz Chukana Hai – While this movie starred Govinda and Juhi, it actually belonged to Kader Khan. He played a crooked, kaamchor alcoholic who spent his entire life living off others but eventually reformed to chukao his karz and die a valiant death. Yeah, I know – crap!
  30. Kasba – In a vague bid to enhance his reputation, Shatrughan Sinha (in the late 1980s and early 1990s) acted in a few art films like Gautam Ghosh’s Antarjali Yatra and this one. And for all his efforts, we only remember that Mita Vashisht had a topless scene in this film!    
  31. Kaun Kare Kurbani – Who cares who starred in this movie? I know – with 100% confidence – that this was directed/produced by Arjun Hingorani who took Rakesh Roshan and Karan Johar’s K fixation to the third degree. His other movies are Kab? Kyon? Kahaan?, Kahani Kismat Ki, Katilon Ka Katil, Khel Khiladi Ka and Kingkong Ka Karnama. (Snigger.)  
  32. Khilaaf - Poor boy (Chunky Pandey) falls in love with rich girl (Madhuri Dixit) who was about to married off to some villainous brat by her father. Ho hum. 
  33. Kishen Kanhaiya – Yet another film about long-lost twins growing up to be diametrically opposite characters. The aggressive Anil Kapoor wooed Madhuri Dixit in filmi style. The docile one stared at Shilpa Shirodkar’s cleavage with a hangdog expression. And don’t forget the hit song – Suit boot mein aaya Kanhaiya band bajaane ko!  
  34. Krodh – You have two musclemen (Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dutt) pummeling goons, escaping from prisons and hanging from the chassis of trucks and all I remember is Amitabh Bachchan singing (in Mohammed Aziz’s voice!) – Mohammed Rafi tum bade yaad aaye!
  35. Lekin – Gulzar wrote the lyrics for the haunting music by Hridaynath Mangeshkar in a film produced by his elder sister. Vinod Khanna was the surveyor who ran into an ethereal beauty (Dimple Kapadia) in some ruins and went into history with her. When you realize that Dimple never blinked during the entire movie, you also wake up to the fact that the ethereal beauty is not real. 
  36. Mahasangram – Mukul Anand directed this supposed big budget saga. But then, how big budget can you get with Govinda and Vinod Khanna?
  37. Nakabandi – For fans of adrenalin, I give you this. Dara Singh was the father of Dharmendra. And they were truck drivers. And their sworn enemy was Amrish Puri. Kaboom!  
  38. Paap Ki Kamaai – Screw it. I am getting Govinda vibes from this one. Or am I confusing this will Halaal Ki Kamaai? Oh, screw it.
  39. Pati Patni Aur Tawaif – This is one of the worst films I have ever watched. Enough said. Read about it here.   
  40. Patthar Ke Insaan – WTF? WFT? FWT? FTW? TWF? TFW?
  41. Patthar Ke Phool – Everything Salman touched at this point was supposed to turn into gold. Add to that a brilliant discovery called Raveena Tandon and you had a sure-fire winner. SP Balasubramaniam screamed out hits like Tum ko jo dekhte hi pyaar hua kabhi Linking Road, kabhi Peddar Road but somehow this film never hit box-office gold as it was expected. And Ravi + Veena Tandon’s daughter had to wait till Mohra for her first superhit!
  42. Police Public – Raaj Kumar was a CID officer, who travelled to murder locations with his Alsation perched on his car’s roof! Naseeruddin Shah was the corrupt, local cop. A politician’s daughter-in-law had been murdered and there was bombastic dialogue all around. If you want high-quality detection, go read Agatha Christie.   
  43. Pratibandh – Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi debuted in Hindi as the foul-mouthed, orphaned police officer who was brought up by an idealistic school-teacher (who went on to become the Chief Minister). The film was an orgy of violence starring the Most Unexpressive Villain in Cinematic History – Rami Reddy playing Spot Nana. Juhi Chawla tried to bring in a bit of cheer but she died as did everybody else.    
  44. Pyar Ka Devata
  45. Pyar Ka Karz
  46. Pyar Ke Naam Qurban - Pyaar, pyaar, pyaar… chahiye thoda pyaar, thoda pyaar chahiye! Three killer movies of which I have no recollection. So I tried to bring in a bit of a musical interlude.
  47. Raaizaada - Okay, make that four killer movies of which I have no recollection. 
  48. Roti Ki Keemat – What Vijay is to Amitabh and Raj/Rahul is to SRK, Shankar is to Mithun. Mithun was again Shankar who provided roti for street kids by stealing, ably assisted by the considerable assets of Kimi Katkar till he was disturbed by the ever-dependable-in-these-circumstances Sadashiv Amrapurkar. Adding masala in the fray was Police Commissioner Pran who was the separated-at-childhood father of one of the three characters mentioned above. Guess who?     
  49. Sailaab – A contract killer with amnesia. A doctor who treats him. And Madhuri Dixit in a yellow fisherwoman’s costume. What would you rather remember? 
  50. Shandaar – One nos. rocking movie with Mithun-da in which Yaadon Ka Baaraat met Deewaar met Ilaka met 90s cookie-cutter. While this movie will not qualify as a multi-starrer under any circumstances, it would be worthwhile to note it had THREE heroines – Mandakini, Juhi Chawla and Meenakshi Sheshadri – in a triveni sangam of Barbie meets Savitri emotions.  
  51. Sher Dil – Dharmendra. Was this one of those movies in which Dharmendra just looked for an excuse to get cosy with Anita Raaj?  
  52. Swarg – Much before AB did Baghban, Rajesh Khanna got thrown out by his kids after his business tanked and there was only a servant (Govinda) who helped him. And to give Govinda a legitimate reason to dance, he was turned into a filmstar (who managed to do that with his master’s help) wearing shiny pants, silver shoes and Juhi Chawla on his arm.   
  53. Taqdeer Ka TamashaMemory Ka Tamacha. Kuch yaad nahin aa raha hai.
  54. Thanedaar – One of the last milestones of the brothers-separated-at-birth theme, this had Jeetendra and Sanjay Dutt as the two brothers. Just in case the story felt a little too thin for the three-hour running time, they added a mistaken identity twist as well. To get cover pages of filmy mags, the affair between Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt was leaked. And in one final twist, Bappi Lahiri cried blue murder when Hum (to be released next year) also copied the same song as he did. He had to be explained “I copied it first” was not going to be a valid reason to stop Jumma Chumma. Anyhow, Tamma tamma loge turned out to be quite a chartbuster by itself! 
  55. Thodasa Rumani Ho Jaye – Amol Palekar directed this film about a stranger (Nana Patekar) who comes to a town and starts performing miracles. He romances Anita Kanwar and is all milk and honey but there is a niggling doubt that all is not well about him. Is this the real story or am I making it up?
 Okay, I am done. There are so many movies I could not remember. Any takers for them? 

Saturday, January 05, 2013

13 Burman, Mera Burman

A man died on this day, nineteen years back. I sometimes feel India wouldn't have dance parties or maybe even FM radio stations if not for Sachin Dev Burman's son. To remember Boss on his death anniversary, I thought I will list down thirteen of my favourites. How did I arrive/stop at thirteen? It is 2013, silly. And I cut off my fingers after thirteen. How else?

No explanations. No reasons. In no particular order. Here are my favourites from Rahul Dev Burman. Enjoy!

Aap ki aankhon mein - Ghar
Quite tragically, this song is from a movie about a woman who was raped on her way back from a movie. And her eyes held fragrant mysteries.

Aanewala pal - Golmaal
A fleeting moment is about to leave and it is up to us to create a memory out of it, before it is gone forever.

Aao twist karein - Bhoot Bangla
The classical wizardry of Manna Dey was given a 'twist' by Sachin-karta's 'modern' son. And there was no looking back.

Deewana mujhsa nahin - Teesri Manzil
Teesri Manzil is a perfect album. And in between the jazz and rock'n'roll, there was this dulcet, romantic number. Dreamy.

Ek ladki ko dekha - 1942 A Love Story
A beautiful girl was described in twenty-one lines. Actually, the girl wasn't described. Her lover's feelings were. And we all fell in love with him, all over again.

Humne tumko dekha - Khel Khel Mein
Sometimes I think if there has to be a face of RD's music, it is Rishi Kapoor.

Kya hua tera vaada - Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin
I wish marketers understand that 'youth' is not always happy. Sometimes, the young are sad. And sometimes, even a middle-aged Mohd Rafi can be the voice of the young.

Mera kuch saamaan - Ijaazat
One hundred and sixteen moonlit nights. Some false promises. The scent of wet henna. One genius composer. Please return them to me.

Pyar humein kis mod pe - Satte Pe Satta
There comes a time in every (male) college hostel when a newcomer feels unbearably lonely and homesick. Only five words can bring him back from the brink - "Chalo, ladkiyonko leke aate hain!"

Pyar karne waale - Shaan
Doston, zindagi haseen hai. Lekin sirf unke liye jinho ne pyaar kiya hain. Kyunki pyaar karne waale jaante hain aan baan aur shaan se jeena kisse kehte hain...

Masterji ki aa gayi chitthi - Kitaab
I know of no other lyricist who can weave words like VIP underwear baniyan and kachhua chhaap agarbatti in a film song. I know of no other composer who can use a school desk as the main (only?) musical instrument in a film song.

Tere bina zindagi se - Aandhi
Even without you, I have no complaints about life. But without you, can you call it a life. Sentimental fans can say these words truthfully about RD.

Tujhse naraaz nahin - Masoom
I am not angry with you, Life, merely baffled. Why did you let RD go when he was only 54?