Video of the Day: “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from Dil Se, 1998

Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, and Preity Zinta star in Dil Se, worth watching if only for its fantastic song Chaiyya Chaiyya,” by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Gulzar! I remember reading somewhere that this was filmed without the use of safety harnesses, which makes it all the more impressive if it’s true. Once again, a Bollywood film without a train scene?  Never!

Chaiyya Chaiyya“not only reached the charts in India, but also became popular in England. The song is sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi, with lyrics by Gulzar. It is featured in the opening of the second act of the musical Bombay Dreams. Remixes of the song were used in the opening and closing credits of the 2006 film, Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee and produced by Brian Grazer. The opening credits have the original version by A.R. Rahman with additional trumpet accompaniment and the closing credits feature a hip-hop-inflected remix featuring Punjabi MC (Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint). The song was also featured in the pilot episode of the television show Smith. A cover of this song was performed in episode 5 of season 5 of CSI: Miami. The video was filmed on top of the Ooty train in mountainous southern India while actor Shah Rukh Khan dances with Malaika Arora and other dancers. Along with the thrill of dancing atop a moving train, the scenery around the train is equally stunning and beautiful. This music video also started a popular dance called the “Bombay Clap”. The cinematography of the film was handled by Santosh Sivan. The choreography by Farah Khan is considered among the most difficult ever done; a few dancers sustained minor injuries. The film was shot in Kashmir, Assam, Delhi and other parts of India and Bhutan over a period of 55 days. Its cinematography won a National Film Award for cinematographer Santosh Sivan. The film’s score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman. A. R. Rahman received a Filmfare Award for the music. The film became the first Indian film to reach the Top 10 in the UK Box Office Charts, when released in 1998. (wikipedia)

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