All those W(AK)OW moments – Asha Bhosle in concert!

Ashaji’s birthday today – so I am bumping this one up!

On the spur of the moment I made the decision to try my luck at the Flint Center where Asha Bhosle was supposed to be singing, along with Sudesh Bhosle. We rushed madly through traffic, arrived late, were told only cash could be used for ticket purchase and the ATM was out of money please! After everyone turned their wallets and pockets inside out we had enough money to get middling good seats, and walked in to see Asha ji on stage, spotlighted, in a baby blue bejewelled saree, talking of how RD Burman asked her to sing a song, which she was unsure of ever being able to do. It was for a Nasir Hussain film, and a bet was on between Nasir and RD about whether Asha or Rafi would do a better job! RD won and the song was a lusciously mad number Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyaar Tera with the signature hyperventilation in the mukhda. She started to sing and the clapping and dancing in the seats and out of the seats began! Magic was ON stage and I was viewing it. (Thankfully NO male accompaniment, just pure Asha magic!!). We were told to not do any video photography – so to invoke the magic of Aaja Aaja, I post here the original version from Teesri Manzil:

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Kishore Kumar – musical genius

It is the birth anniversary of Kishore Kumar, a day worth remembering for all lovers of music. Born 4th August 1929, Kishore was never a trained singer. His biopic mentions that he once got badly injured as a child, cried very loudly for several days, and that “opened” up his vocal chords! It is one of those injuries that changed Indian music forever! Continue reading

Celebrating the birthday of a musical genius – SD Burman

Sachin Da was born in the family of the then Raja of Tripura, and after his BA did extensive training in music.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about his training:

He started his formal music education by training under the famous musician K. C. Dey from 1925 to 1930; thereafter in 1932 he came under the tutelage of Bhismadev Chattopadhaya, who was only three years his senior. This was followed by training from Kahifa Badal Khan, Sarangi player, and Ustad Allauddin Khan [2]. Eventually he got K.C. Dey, Ustad Badal Khan and Allauddi Khan into Agartala, noted Bengal poet laureate, Kazi Nazrul Islam also spent time in their family home, Comilla House, in Agartala.

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Padosan through the songs!

Beautiful heroine, Bindu by name (Saira Banu) – fun loving, cute, lots of sakhiyaan, as it happened in Bollywood of the 60s! People are actually cycling! I am not sure if the sakhiyaan disappeared after this or had any other role in the film.

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The Neighbor – Padosan!

What happens if you see someone beautiful in the window across from your house?

Not just any neighbor – Padosan! This film, directed by Jyoti Swarup and produced by NC Sippy, had a few leading names associated with it. The music was by RD Burman, and in the cast were notables like Sunil Dutt, Saira Banu, Mehmood and Kishore Kumar. Sunil Dutt played the simpleton Bhola was was infautated with his neighbor, the beauteous Bindu (Saira Banu – Bindu re Bindu, meri pyari Bindu!!). His guru Kishore Kumar decides to help him woo the lady and this song will forever and ever be associated with the word neighbor:

Mere Samne wali khidki mein

Ek Chand ka tukda rehta hai!

(A beautiful piece of the moon,

resides in the window opposite my house!)

Full of hilarious moments, this is one Bollywood film that is a must watch. It is peppered with comedy and romance, interspersed with the most amazing music!

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Who was the voice? Bollywood of the bygone era

Absolutely fantastic collection of song clips – each one unique and a piece of history! See and figure who was the early voice of Kishore on screen, and when these unique playback singers actually came on screen!

Kishore Kumar and his insanely funny songs

Yes, the man was a genius who died before his time. He was a comic par excellence and if you have not seen films like Chalti Ka Naam Gadi, Padosan, New Delhi then do yourself a favor and watch them immediately. Of course he sang romantic melodies, sad songs, and rod songs and children’s songs and sung them all with unmatched talent. BUT today I need to laugh and will focus on his uproariously funny songs. To start with I want to include songs in which we saw Kishore both on screen and off screen as the voice. But of course many a comic song was done by him in playback mode.

Let us start with the gem of a number from Chalti Ka Naam Gadi:

Kishore is woken up by a rain drenched Madhubala who has car troubles (this one is mildly funny and full on melody – do not worry, the comedy will only ramp up in a bit):

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