The gori extras of “Kismat Konnection”

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Sometimes there are those movies where you just have to look for the enjoyment, since it might not really happen to be there. Kismat Konnection (2008) was one of those movies where I just had to give up at the start and make my own fun.  Even super Shahid supporter, Ajnabi at Paisa Vasool–Or Not, was able to determine that Kismat Konnection perhaps wasn’t the greatest time pass as evidenced in her entertaining review of the film.

Before this unremarkable easy listening tune started in the movie, I had spied this very suspicious group in the background, and my Bollywood intuition told me that they were more than your typical gori extras.

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ddljI thought Why are they standing in a group like that ? Why the mandolins? Well yes, I know Bollywood films have mandolins, but still, I wondered, why?  So check out this tune from the film, Is This Love (Kahin Na Laage) with playback singers Shreya Ghosal and Mohit Chauhan, picturized on Shahid Kapoor and Vidya Balan. Pay attention to the gori extras please.  And darn it if this song didn’t stick in my head, despite me trying to shut it out!

Playing a bit bigger role than is typical, this group of long blond haired, mandolin playing, acid washed shorts wearing gori extras (and one supposed to be Jamaican guy) really stole the show for me.

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It’s the kind of extra work that I’d be proud to do!  Wouldn’t you?  Who are these gorii?

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So the joy of Bollywood, as you already know since you’re here, is that even a weak movie has a few strengths, and sometimes I really have to reach for them, as is this case, where I found the subtitles unintentionally homoerotic:

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I made some more fun for myself when I noticed that Boman Irani’s character in Kismat Konnection looked like a Hasidic Jew, minus the ear locks, so I just added some here to complete the picture.

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kismiatKonnection.functionI also enjoyed the use of the word function in the film.  To many this may not seem so great, but I love it.  I noticed on my trip to India the liberal use of the term function for many different events.  Here in the US, we’d more likely just say what the actual event is, e.g. a party, a wedding, a concert, a lecture, etc., but it seems in India they just keep it simple and say function. I do like it though, and have been working steadily to use it as often as I can now.  It’s really a lot more mysterious to go to a function and just let people wonder what that function is.  There really are so many functions that we all have to attend each day.  In fact I have to wrap up this post since I’m going to a function. (function = I’m going to put a movie in the DVD player and watch it.)

“Mujhe Rang De” A. R. Rahman + Asha + Tabu = Fantastic!

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Sometimes there’s just one song that makes a movie for me and that’s the case with “Mujhe Rang De” from Thakshak (1999). I don’t want to seem like a Tabu fanatic, so I will try and be a bit discrete and post all the screen captures I took from the movie in the miniturized gallery form. If you want to indulge your own Tabusiasm (Tabu enthusiasm), please click on the smaller gallery pictures below to get a better look at them.

Here’s the fantastic, hypnotic “Mujhe Rang De” picturized on Tabu, dancing to the choreography of Ganesh Acharya, with playback singer Asha Bhosle, and music by A. R. Rahman. I wish I could also give credit to the wonderful back up dancers, and the set and costume designers. Enjoy!

And since I am a fan of Indian talent shows and contestant Anwesha Datta Gupta, check out her version here, with one of my favorites, Shreya Ghosal, on the judging panel:

Tabu speaks very well about our relationship with Bollywood here:


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Bally Sagoo is a nice guy.

 

My blog dosto, I have missed you! I have been ignoring this blog since my last post about Bally Sagoo coming to Minneapolis. I attended the show with blog poster Brahmanadam, who was kind enough to purchase VIP tickets. With the fancy VIP tickets came a meet and greet with babuji Bally Sagoo. Since the picture was less than flattering of me and my friend, I had to do a little bit of subtle editing. Bally Sagoo looks cool, as expected.

So what does one say at a meet-n-greet? Well first off, we all had a drink of Johnnie Walker in celebration of the occasion, then I wasn’t sure what to say, so I said this:

Sita-ji: Sat Sri Akaal Bhai Sahib!

Bally Sagoo: Hi.

Sitai-ji: So you must really hate this part.

Bally Sagoo: No I love it, it’s great! (said with sincerity)

Sitai-ji: So do you have any questions about Minneapolis that I can answer?

Bally Sagoo: No.

Sitai-ji: Hey I saw on the internet that you and your wife do feng shui. That’s cool.

Then we moved on and the next people had their picture taken with Bally Sagoo, and so on, and so on. Now that I reflect on this awkward event, I think that maybe you’re supposed to be quiet and smile and have your picture taken. Next time I’ll do that if I ever have to participate in a celebrity to civilian meet and greet. Had I known that Bally Sagoo was in a movie, Sajna Ve Sajna, out now on DVD, I would have brought a copy to sign. Here’s how his website describes the film:

Bally (Bally Sagoo) lives the life as the spoiled Grandson of Multi-millionaire Kartar Singh (Dalip Tahil). His aspirations are to conquer the world with his band Desi Fever and marry his long-term girl friend Charlene (Zoë Szypillo) Will Charlene be able to fit in as a daughter-in-law within a respected Panjabi family? What about Manpreet who sacrificed her own love so that Bally could have his way? Can the two different cultures meet eye to eye?

Yes, two different cultures can meet eye to eye. The show was very melodious and funky and Bally had a sidekick Sikh hype man next to him all night. Who was this guy? Was he a friend? A relative? Bodyguard? Maybe he was all of those things, but whoever he was, he sure seemed to have fun and enjoyed Bally’s expert Djing, as did the hipster desi crowd. There even was the required groupie gracing the stage all evening.

You can see more images from Bally Sagoo’s 9.19.08 Minneapolis show HERE.

Now let’s check out a little bit of Bally Sagoo’s work.  Thanks to Richard over at Rough in Here for reminding me of Shree Sagoo’s remix of Reshmi Salwar Kurta Jaali Ka, that is titled Gori Gori Kudi, and performed by playback singer Shreya Ghosal in his movie Sajna Ve Sajna. The song was originally found in the 1957 film Naya Daur that you can’t help but love, and here it is reworked by Sagoo:

And here’s a bit more from Shree Sagoo:

Sorry for neglecting this blog, I got a bit sidetracked with work and with my new blog on swan towels, or should I say towel swans?

Bollywood meets NASCAR? Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007)

Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007) starring Saif Ali Khan -n- Rani Mukerjee (or Mukerji if you feel like spelling it that way) is sort of NASCAR meets Bollywood. In my commitment to watch all Hindi movies available through my local library system, I forced myself to watch TRRP. I also forced myself to write about it in order to a.) warn you and b.) remove the yolk of this movie from my mind. So let’s begin! Chalo dosto! I’m not sure if you’ve figured this out yet, but in case you haven’t, I’ll let you in on a little secret: some, okay, most every Bollywood films have two mismatched people who are thrown together. TRRP is one such tale. It’s the story of a guy and a gal from two different worlds: one is poor, one is rich; one is very honest and plans everything, the other likes to bend the truth and is more fancy free; and one is a classically trained pianist, the other a race car driver. So different, yet love binds these two together. That’s Bollywood!

I don’t like my Bollywood set in the USA. I prefer India, and will accept New Zealand, Thailand, parts of Greece, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius, but I really don’t like the USA for a setting since I’m already here. Strike one! I’m not into auto racing. Strike 2! But what saves this movie from a strike out for me was the rather sick twists TRRP took, even more sick when you consider it’s mostly aimed at a kids’ audience. More on that later! Rani (Radhika Shekar Roy Banerjee Singh a.k.a. Shona), against her rich business tycoon father’s wishes marries Saif (Rajveer Singha.k.a RV ), a successful race car drive, who becomes increasingly successful in the first years of their marriage. They havea little girl and a little boy and they live in a fancy Frank Llyod Wright-esque home. Happy? Yes! But for how long? Not too long! Tragedy strikes and their happy family is challenged with super hard times after Saif/RV gets in a crash during a race.

Bummer! He’s not only suffers physically, but mentally too. How can he be a man if he can’t support his family? What is his worth? Saif tries to make his race car driver comeback but just keeps losing! The former star loses 10 races in a row. During these tough economic times it was fun to see commentary on frivolous spending, and the danger of spending beyond one’s means. Dad loses his job, the family goes into debt.

Before:                                                     After:

As a result they must leave their fancy Manhattan haveli and move to “cabbie row” which apparently was dangerous, since immediately upon arrival the kids witness a knife wielding robber barreling down the street. The parents have decided not to tell the kids that they’re now suddenly poor, but instead that they’re on a reality show called “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and that there are hidden cameras around. The parents lie to the kids and say if the fake show’s hidden cameras” see that they are seen frowning and not smiling they will lose the challenge, lose the lucrative prize and fame. How do they explain their new dangerous neighborhood with the robber and the knife, well it’s a toy knife and all part of the reality TV show. SMILE! No matter what, struggle, after struggle, you must smile.

At this point this make believe is sort of cute and acceptable since it’s done to protect the kids. Then they discover the apartment has no pani, I mean water, and the parents again cheer the kids up and have them swim in a fountain to bathe. Is this just a subtitling quirk, or do Indians really say “swimming costumes” instead of swimsuit?

For no reason there’s a scene with RV doing push ups. Why? Maybe to show that even in their new meager surroundings he’s still going to work out, despite not havig a treadmill and other fancy workout equipment.

In one of the film’s first sick twists, Saif/RV decides to give away the cherished family pet by setting it free in a park. This is supposed to save some money.

Saif/RV has to become a cabbie to earn money, despite being freakishly opposed to that idea. I thought he liked to drive cars, but maybe he just likes to drive them really, really fast. The kids figure out that they really are poor so they secretly skip lunch to save money to put toward their “school fees,” so I’m lead to believe it must be a private school or that these NRIs didn’t understand about free public schools available in the U.S. of A.. So the kids are quietly starving. Saif/RV lies to fellow cabbies that his daughter is sick to get money for a “hospital” bill. The cabbies are generous and give him a couple thousand dollars. RV’s a LIAR! His beti is not sick! But instant karma gets him within hours when the same kind cabbies see him out with his “sick” daughter:

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The wife figures out his lies and then goes and breaks the truth to the kids, waking them up urgently from their sound and peaceful sleep. I love how sick this is, especially since it was a movie for kids. They want to protect the kids’ innocence, yet Rani/Shona was so stressed, disappointed, hungry, and exhausted from her new found poverty that she had a mini breakdown and forgot about the “Don’t Worry Be Happy” game and had to tell the kids the truth. I always thought concert pianists were a little more stable than this until now. As they say in Bollywood, she has tension. Here’s some poor parenting, not that she’s sharing the truth, but that she’s hysterical, and exaggerating, and does it by waking them in the middle of the night!

She tells the girl her dad is a liar and will do whatever he can for money, and then tops of her announcement with some more kid friendly news:

“OK sweetie, now go back to sleep.” :) And then there’s the second shot of instant karma: When Rani/Shona wakes up Champ in the middle of the night to tell him how bad his dad is, the boy is found with blood leaking from his mouth.

That’s usually not a good sign. Why was he spitting up this blood? Poor kid was starving, so he had to scavenge for food in the garbage, and he ate glass at lunch, either out of starvation or from a stupid mistake. Remind your children NOT to eat glass! So he has to have a $65,000 operation and Saif/RV must get the paisa, I mean money, somehow to save his lad (spoiler alert: a professional car race). I couldn’t stop smiling during this part. Am I sick or is Bollywood sick to have a family movie showing kids tumble from their high life to one where they are starving and eating glass? Boy I wish I had my own kids to show this movie, so I could sweetly threaten them, “Well, you may not like dinner tonight kids, but at least you don’t have to eat glass like that poor little Indian boy had to in TRRP. Now finish your dinner!” NOW Finally, this cute and macabre film (yes I’m using those words together) seems to achieve something that I didn’t think Bollywood could do: appeal to the NASCAR demographic. Bollywood just doesn’t quit!

I did really like the title track by playback singer Shreya Ghosal , music by Vishal-Shekhar, and maybe you will too:

Extra Credit!

I love learning new tidbits and this was a new one for me from TRRP: If you’re lying your tongue is black, if you’re telling the truth it’s pink. The little boy in the film, Champ, was know to fib, much like his dad, so he’s asked to stick out his tongue so his honesty can be checked. Apparently this is something children are told in India. I like it! Have you ever heard of this?

Video of the day: “Dum Maro Dum” from Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) and my thoughts on those glasses

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Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) tackles lots of evils floating over from Montreal to Kathmandu: drugs, short skirts, hippies, smoking, drinking and the effects of divorce. I prefer the Hindi word for divorce: talak! Sounds so much more harsh and final than the word divorce. Say it: Talak! Doesn’t that sound more like divorce than divorce? Zeenat Aman‘s little Jasbir is told by her maid that her mom and brother are really dead, in order for her to better understand their disappearance from her life after the talak. How thoughtful of her. But I’m getting ahead of myself! What caused the divorce, I mean the talak? The philandering father (Kishore Sahu) is the cause and he flips the whole script on his wife (Achala Sachdev), blaming her. He asks for the divorce after downing some Johnnie Walker, then slaps his wife. In the first few minutes I had a scene combining a tight slap to the face AND drinking Johnnie Walker! Observe these serious parenting errors:

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So back to what I was saying about the maid. I loved how the maid broke the news to Jasbir that her mom and brother were dead, except for they weren’t really dead. I guess the maid thought it would be easier on the kid to explain their absence by telling her they were dead. See those ugly glasses on the nightstand?

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And if those images don’t show just how harsh things were for little Jasbir, take a look at what she has to tolerate from her new step mom in a pink negligee:

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Isn’t if easy for to understand why Jasbir wants to change her name to Janice and become a hippie after all the trouble she faced in Montreal?

When I watched Hare Rama Hare Krishna I just couldn’t stop focusing on Zeenat Aman‘s character’s glasses. Jasbir/Janice was such a mess as a kid. I know she needed those glasses to see, but did they have to be so ugly? I don’t blame her for not wanting to wear them both literally and metaphorically. The glasses were obviously used to symbolize her not wanting to have to “see” her disruptive home life, right?

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Skip ahead to her time in India and she sports groovy glasses, rose colored glasses. With that turbulent past Janice needs to see her world through rose colored glasses or not at all. It made me wondered if the saying rose colored glasses exists in Hindi. Zeenat Aman wearing those big round rose colored specs reminded me of my Malibu Barbie. Both the movie and the Malibu Barbie came out in 1971. Janice wore those pink glasses on top of her head a lot, just like Malibu Barbie did.

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Hare Rama Hare Krishna is a 1971 Indian film directed by Dev Anand starring himself and Zeenat Aman. The film was a hit and a star-making vehicle for Zeenat Aman, who played a westernized hippie, and won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award, as well as the BFJA Award for Best Actress. The movie dealt with the decadence of the Hippie culture. It aimed to have an anti-drug message and also depicts some problems associated with Westernization such as divorce. The film is about a Montréal-based Indian family, the Jaiswals. The brother Prashant (Dev Anand) and sister Jasbir (Zeenat) have a good relationship as children. However, the parents quarrel and separate leaving Prashant with the mother and Jasbir with the father. Jasbir is repeatedly told that her mother and brother are dead and she eventually believes that she will never see Prashant again. She is ill-treated by her step mother and she runs away from home. Prashant grows up to be a pilot and he learns that Jasbir is in Kathmandu, Nepalwith a group of hippies. To reunite with his sister, Prashant travels to Kathmandu and meets Shanti (Mumtaz) who was to later marry him, and also Janice who in reality is his sister Jasbir with a new name and identity. She has forgotten her childhood and Prashant too. Prashant has to get his sister back amongst other events which include his being suspected as a thief in Kathmandu and fearing for his life. (wikipedia)

Philips Filum’s has an excellent synopsis of the movie, and Nandini already posted the most excellent song from the movie, Ho Re Ghungroo Ka Bole, featuring Mumtaz, who like Aman sported those fat yarn ribbons in her hair.

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Janice’s western ways and messed up childhood results in her drinking beer from a can:

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So finally, here’s the video of the day, “Asha Bhonsle won Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the song Dum Maro Dum, which was a huge hit. The music of the film was composed by Rahul Dev Burman and the lyrics were written by Anand Bakshi.” (wikipedia)

Thanks to organicjerk for the video.

Since I love the talent shows, watch Shreya Ghoshal on Amul Star Voice of India’s Chhote Ustaad introduce Anwesha Dutta Gupta who covers the movie’s title track “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”

Video by dJabhik

Video of the Day: And the Filmfare goes to…Shreya Ghoshal for “Barso Re” from Guru (2007)

shreya3.jpgWhen reading about the recent 53rd Annual Filmfare Awards at SRK place, this stood out:

A. R. Rehman wins the award for the Best Background Score. The music director has come himself to take the award which is being presented by Abbas-Mustan. He says, “The Filmfare Award is like an ornament for a lady; the more you have, it enhances the charm.”

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I didn’t get to see the show, (here‘s clip of that part) but learned from SRK place that the award for best female playback singer went to Shreya Ghoshal for the song “Barso Re” from Guru, written by the extraordinary A. R. Rahman.

Read a nice interview with Shreya Ghoshal by Dr. Mandar in Cinema Sangeet. We’ve posted about Guru before here at Bollywood Food Club, but have to do it again in light of the filmfare awards! So enjoy the award winning vocals of playback singer, Shreya Ghoshal in A. R. Rahman’s “Barso Re” from Guru, picturized on the lovely Aishwariya Rai.

Barso Re, Megha Megha Barso Re

do rain, o clouds rain please

Thanks to BollywoodFX for the video.

This was also the Filmfare winner for Best Choreography.

Lyrics in Hindi and English.

And because I LOVE the Indian talent singing shows, I had to add adorable Anwesha Dutta Gupta’s version from Star Voice of India’s Chhote Ustad. LOOK at Shreya-ji join in!

Thanks for the video looking4u84.

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Video of the Day: “Munbe Vaa” from Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (2006)

Today’s video is the song “Munbe Vaa” from the movie Sillunu Oru Kaadhal starring Surya, Jyothika Saravanan and Bhoomika Chawla.

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Right from childhood Kundavi has been brought up in a small village called Ambasamudram. She has two good friends right from school and one day both of her friends got married and leave. Kundavi’s father then fixes up her marriage with Goutham (Surya). Both look gloomy and dull during the wedding. Then the scene drifts to a period after six years in Bombay where they have 5 year old daughter and live as a happily married couple. Goutham works as a chief mechanic and he designs a new function for the car and he gets to go to New York for a short period. During this time, Jyothika somehow catches hold of Goutham’s old diary during his college days and the story goes back showing Goutham as a college wiz kid. In college, he was the popular guy who gets attracted to Aishu (Bhoomika Chawla), a local MP‘s daughter. Gautham and Aishu fall in love and they decided to get married. At the registrar’s office after Gautham ties the thali, Aishu’s father and his men beat him up and takes Aishu away. At the end of the diary, Goutham had written a note that basically said “if I have one wish, it would be to live with Aishu happily at least for one day.”From flashback, the scene now turns to the present as Goutham comes back from New York and finds his wife changed. She works late and avoids him. At this point, Kundavi goes and finds out Gautham’s lost love Aishu. Aishu has changed to a western clad modern girl in contrast to the salwar kameez girl in college. Kundavi tells Aishu to come over to her house and she tells her husband that he should live happily with Aishu for a day. Half heartedly though, Kundavi leaves her husband and goes. What happens in this one day forms the rest of the story. (wikipedia)

I’d sure love to see this movie! Any English subtitles? This is my Christmas wish: Tamil speaking people of Kollywood, I beg you, please subtitle your movies in English, like the kind people of Bollywood do! Must I learn Tamil to partake of your movies?  (Yes, I know some of the Tamil movies DO have English subtitles, but not as many as Bollywood.)

I LOVE this song! I love Shreya Ghoshal‘s voice!

Music composed by A.R. Rahman, with lyrics by Vali, playback singers, Naresh Iyer & Shreya Ghoshal. (Selected as Best Song of The Year 2006)

Thanks to rajhanish for the YouTube video. Lyrics in Tamil, sorry no English translation yet. Here’s a good blog about the movie.

p.s. It’s August 30, 2008, and I finally watched Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, and of course easily found an English subtitled version at Netflix. I really enjoyed it!

Video of the Day: “O Saathi Re” from Omkara (2006)

Omkara (Hindi: ओमकारा, Urdu: امکارا) is a 2006 Hindi film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello directed by Vishal Bharadwaj. It starred Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in lead roles, supported by Vivek Oberoi, Naseeruddin Shah and Konkona Sen Sharma with a ‘’special appearance’’ from Bipasha Basu. The director Vishal Bharadwaj himself composed the entire music for the film, including the background score, with song lyrics by Gulzar.  (wikepedia) 

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Saw this film for the second time tonight, and thought this song is as lovely as Saif Ali Khan  is bad ass in the movie.“O Saathi Re” with playback singers  Shreya Ghoshal & Vishal Bharadwaj, composed by Vishal Bharadwaj .

Video courtesy of  NurseM4U 

LYRICS

Video of the Day: “Dola Re Dola” from Devdas (2002)

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Are you excited to see Madhuri Dixit again on screen in Aaja Nachle opening this weekend? As part of our Madhuri Dixit countdown, watch “Dola Re Dola” with playback singers Kavita Krishnamurthy, Shreya Ghoshal, and Kay Kay from Devdas (2002).

AISHWARYA RAI as PARO, MADHURI DIXIT as CHANDRAMUKHI:

A peerlessly beautiful courtesan, Chandramukhi ironically made the world dance at her feet. She revelled in the gravitation of admirers and wealth galore. Indeed, she had everything until she met Devdas (and then she got peace) She gave it all up for the love of a man who could never be her’s and yet feels enriched with the legacy of loving him. Here is an actress who was born to be one! Hindi Cinema became richer as it got bedecked by the intense performances, stunning looks and plethoric expressions of Madhuri Dixit. Saluting her talent, author-backed roles were written especially for her. For her winning awards has graduated from being a happening to a habit. Her expertise in classical dance holds her in good stead as she gets all set to dazzle as Chandramukhi. Giving her role the same devotion that Chandramukhi gave Devdas. (Devdas website)

Thank you BollyWHAT? for LYRICS in Hindi and English.

Video of the Day: “Main Agar Kahoon” – Om Shanti Om, 2007

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“Main Agar Kahoon”Om Shanti Om, 2007. Playback singers, Sonu Nigam & Shreya Ghoshal, picturised on Shahrukh Khan & Deepika Padukone.

 Video provided by youtube’s  Brishkey36

Click on LYRICS to sing along!