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Posts Tagged ‘Anand Bakshi’

Awaargi (1990) is a little tale about a prostitute with a heart of gold who is rescued from the brothel while she’s still chaste, by a goonda who also possesses  a heart of gold under his rough exterior.   This picture rolled at the film’s start and aren’t we all grateful to Hema for something?  Allow a moment to reflect…

The lead Meena (Meenakshi Shishandri) never actually becomes a full-fledged prostitute, but I like to write prostitute with a heart of gold, so let’s just leave it like that, instead of the more clumsy nearly became a prostitute with a heart of gold.  That sounds too awkward, doesn’t it?  Here’s a nice little collection of screen captures of Meenakshi/Meena as a nautch girl before the lovable scoundrel Azaad,  played by a well-mulletted Anil Kapoor, saves her from that fate.

I just loved Meenakshi and can’t believe I hadn’t seen her in more films.  I now would love to see her entire filmography and was able to find a mutual love for her at Nicki’s Hmong Chick Who Loves Indian Cinema’s blog and also at Bollywooddeewana.  Meena’s innocent past included singing at the mandir and studying music under the guidance of her music teacher father.  After a near miss at a prostitution career, Meena is catapulted toward super stardom and is half of the singing and dancing duo.  How does that happen you may wonder?  Well as it so happens, pop star Dhiren  (Govinda!) sees Meena performing in a hotel lounge singing gig that Azaad secured for her and is immediately enthralled by her.  Govinda is very luscious in this film.  How would YOU like to be the focus of Govinda’s gaze here?

Doesn’t that make your heart skip a beat? He invites her to become his song and dance partner and to go on tour with him.  She’s so nervous!  But look how he helps encourage her to go!I didn’t realize that Bollywood invented flamenco dancing until I saw this film and the song Ae Mere Saathiya featuring playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Aziz, with music by Anu Malik, and lyrics by Anand Bakshi.  This is proof:

This wonderful flamenco inspired number includes an impressive backdrop of chandeliers that Apni East India would covet.  It’s so hard to capture the fluid and graceful Govinda in the dance, but despite the blurred focus, these are still something to behold. Govinda and chandelier:

Meena stays with Azaad, and he begins to fall in love with her and dream of a life away from the one he’s lived as a goonda.

Ever since Azaad  has lost his drive for the goonda lifestyle,  his don, played by Anupam Kher, notices this change and tries to encourage Azaad to not lose his focus on crime.

And if this isn’t enough trouble for Azaad, now Meena realizes that she’s falling in love with Dhiren, and the Bollywood love triangle begins!Meena is aware that Azaad is the one who saved her from the fate of being a nautch girl/prostitute, so she is indebted to him and thus rejects Dhiren’s love to fulfill her perceived obligation to Azaad.   Eventually she lets Azaad know her feelings are conflicted.


Azaad finds out about the feelings Meena and Dhiren have for each other and to stop their love from blooming rushes ahead with a marriage proposal.  Dhiren falls into a sea of despair, thinking he’s lost his chance with  Meena.  Normally I see Govinda as a jolly good time guy, dancing and prancing about, but  behold the deliciously rare emo-Govinda!

At a party to announce his engagement to Meena, Azaad becomes drunk and decides to deal with his jealousy over Dhiren and Meena’s love by telling everyone that he bought Meena from a brothel.  Now that  somehow did not help smooth things over.

Dhiren is at the party, and witnesses Azaad humiliate Meena and can’t understand how she could agreed to marry Azaad.

So *spoiler alert* Dhiren goes to comfort Meena after her public humiliation and ends up (as we say in the USA) going all the way with her during the time that Azaad is sleeping off his drunkness.  When Azaad wakes up, his friends tell him about what an idiot he was at the party and he goes to look for Meena to apologize.  Remember, Azaad is a goonda, savvy to the ways of the world, so when he sees a clue like this…

Now you are most likely not a goonda, and perhaps a bit more naive than Azaad, so I’ll help you out with a clue.  Look beyond that bottle of Johnnie Walker on the table, and take a closer look at what Azaad sees…

That’s right! Lipstick on the glass, a glass that is emptied of its Johnnie Walker red liable whiskey! Which can only mean *spoiler alert* that Meena and Dhiren went all the way! Meena tells a Azaad something like, yeah I slept with Dhiren, and!  Then of course the fight begins over her love and a love triangle Bollywood brawl begins.

How does it end?  I’ll let you guess!  The entire movie has been uploaded to YouTube with English subtitles HERE so if you need to know who ends up with who, give it a watch.  Have you already seen this film?  If so, tell me what you remember.  Now before I leave, I have to share with you that Awaargi had so many instances of Johnnie Walker bottles, that felt obliged to make a visual record of it.  Some bottles are red label, others are black label, but they all show up in scenes here that warn of trouble brewing. Let this be a lesson to you: When you see a Johnnie Walker bottle in a Bollywood film, trouble is not far behind.

Now just LOOK and how lucky this shot is!  It includes BOTH the Johnny Walker bottle and a threat of the tight slap in the same shot!  These of course are two of the things I track in all Bollywood films, so for this reason, I say Awaargi is a classic, because I really don’t take a Bollywood film seriously until I see a tight slap, or at least the threat of one, and a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

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As part of Beth Loves Bollywood‘s international mandate,  7 days of 70’s, a week-long festival of any and all things 70’s from Bollywood, I offer to you my readers, Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1970) somehing I like to call Sholay Lite!  
 


This film is a delightful mix of  some of the 70’s most delicious masala staples: orphans, dacoits, bandits, dancers, damsels in distress, amputated limbs, music by Laxmikant-PyarelalAnand Bakshi as lyricist,  playback singing by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi, and starring Dharmendra, Asha ParekhVinod Khanna, Laxmi Chhaya, and Jayant.

Now let me take you on a visual walk through Mera Gaon Mera Desh.  We start with Ajit (Dharmendra) as a pick pocket, caught and put on the stand, explaining his fate to the judge and jury…

Ajit gets a chance after serving a light sentance to start over in a small village to where he’s been summoned by  a one armed Hawaldaar-Major Jaswant Singh (Jayant).  Ajit carries a coin that he flips to help him make major life decisions, and it flipped to the side that made him agree to go to the little town. But why?  Why would the one armed man want orphan?

Maybe to help him with some farm work.  That seems to be the reason. Then Ajit hangs out partying with the villagers, and Jayant’s character doesn’t like this and dekh what happens:

Such ugliness! Such mean words!  That’s the limit!  So he tells Ajit to leave, but then has to change his mind:

Enter bad guy, dacoit, and bandit extrodinaire, Thakur gone bad, Jabbar Singh! I’m telling you Vinod Khanna was delicious in this part.  Look at the sideburns and the scoul on his face. Hot!

So as it turns out, the one armed guy sought Ajit for the village (gaon) not for farming alone, but instead to take the lead in fighting off the band of dacoits who have long been terrorizing the villagers. Luckily Ajit finds a double agent in Munnibai (Laxmi Chhaya) who was sent by Jabbar to find out about Ajit, but ends up falling for him instead.

Munni does her spy duty, finds out what’s going on in Jabbar Singh’s dacoit camp and reports back to Ajit.

Ajit informs the authorities, Munni’s mom get’s upset at her indiscretion because like all villagers she rears the wrath Jabbar Singh and his bandits.

In the song, Hai SharmaonLaxmi Chhaya‘s character alerts Ajit to what disguises the bandits are wearing to the fair so that he can catch them.


After some of his men are captured by police at the full moon fair, Jabbar Singh suspects a traitor among his flock and conducts a threatenging interrogation fitting a bandit.

Thing get a wee bit misogynistic.


Meanwhile, back in town, Asha Parekh’s character, Anju, freaks out when Hawaldaar-Major Jaswant Singh (one armed guy) is killed by the bandits. I love it when Asha breaks down. She of course needs a tight slap to the face in order to get a hold of herself.  To make matters worse, now poor munni is thought by Ajit to be responsible for the bandits’ attack on the gaon village.  So she’s once again subject to some man handling, and once again, things get just a tad mysoginistic.

Oh no he didn’t!  Ajit can verbally abuse her, choke her, shake her, and shove her down into the river two times, but what sets her over the edge is that he doesn’t understand that she did not betray him, and that she loves him!  He pushed her over the edge in so many ways, and now look at the face of a woman scorned! DEKH! LOOK AT IT!

Jabbar Singh cointinues with his dacoitery and kidnaps Anju to lure Ajit into his evil den, where he proceeds to tie them up for torture.  Any chance I get to screen cap a scene with the word enmity in it I do, so here:

NOW here is the scene and song that compelled me to see this film in the first place: Maar Diya Jaaye Ya Chhod Diya Jaaye, Bol Tere Saath Kya Sulook Kiya JaayeRaj and Pablo, the charming and lovely radio hosts of BBC Asian Network’s Love Bollywood,  posted this video from the film on their Facebook page. It starts off with Dharmendra tied to a pole getting slapped in the face, and that was only the beginning of this outlandish number, featuring him, Laxmi Chayya and Asha Parekh.

Spoiler moral message ending alert! In the end the lesson is learned: The village must take responsibility to self govern and not rely so heavily on the government, meaning it’s a joint effort, but this effort must first begins at the grassroots level.  As it’s said it takes a village to raise a child, and in this movie, it takes a village to eliminate a dacoit. So now that title makes more sense: Mera Gaon Mera Desh = My Village My Country.

EXTRA CREDIT:  Here’s why Mera Gaon Mera Desh can be called Sholay Lite

Since Asha freaks out so beautifully, I shall end on this note:

Check out all the other groovy 70’s week posts HERE and HERE.

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Dosto, I recently watched Namak Haaram (1973). Fabulous! Here are the basics:

Namak Haraam (Devanagari: नमक हराम, Nastaliq: نمک ہرام, is a 1973 Indian Hindi film directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The music is by R.D. Burman and the lyrics by Anand Bakshi. The film stars Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. The film also stars Rekha, Asrani, Raza Murad, A.K. Hangal, Simi Garewal and Om Shivpuri . The film focused on two friends ( Rajesh and Amitabh) and how Rajesh tries to infiltrate the trade union of his friends. (wikipedia)

For a more coherent and substantial review of the film, check out rediff.com and Memsaab Story. I will of course deal with the superficial. I like to eat the frosting more than the cake, so first feast your eyes on this screen capture of our beloved Amitabh from the film which should be titled state of the art:

All starts out well with rich Vikram (Amit-ji) and super BFF, Somu (Rajesh Khanna) hanging around, wearing matching outfits, living the good life. They visit hot nautch girls and drink whiskey. Looking at Jayshree T. here it’s understandable why these guys would like to just hang out and be entertained.

But people in town talk, (haters!) and they are starting to call Somu Vikram’s spoon. Say What? I had never heard this phrase before, and I love when something like this comes up in a movie. I start to wonder is it: a.) a term I’ve just never heard of in English?; b.) Is this a British English term?; c.) Is this a Hindi figure of speech translated directly into English? Whatever it is I LOVE it. I ain’t nobody’s spoon! I take that being someone’s spoon means to be their flunkie, stooge, yes man, or dare I say, as used in the streets, their bitch? Anyway, the point seems to be that a spoon blindly follows someone who has more perceived power than the spoon does. Hindi speakers, please, I welcome your corrections to my interpretation of the term spoon if I’ve got it wrong. Somu’s sister tells him about what people are saying and he sets her straight!

Oh snap! Oh no he didn’t say that! So fast forward, Vicky has to go manage his father’s factory and his spoon, I mean Somu, tags along. They cook up a plan that Somu will infiltrate the factory, first posing as a worker and then eventually working his way up to, you’d never guess, a union organizer. Tricky! Somu eventually understands the struggle of the factory workers.

I adore seeing Johnnie Walker in these Bollywood films, and here it is, the extra fancy black label used to symbolize the good life, and its potential for arrogance. Somu tries to tell Vicky that it’s useful to try and call the low caste workers by their names:

Somu becomes so touched by the day to day struggles of the common worker that becomes a traitor, or as was written in the movie’s subtitles, namak haraam, to his friend Vicky, switching his loyalty from his friend to the workers. Namak haraam literally seems to translate to food/salt that’s not OK to eat, not sanctioned, not clean, not pure, not halaal, but figuratively the term means traitor. Once again, over some whiskey, Somu tries to make rich Vicky understand:

I know, I know, I already used this photo in yesterday’s post, but it’s so great I had to use it twice.  Can you blame me?

These socialists are such buzz kills! Eventually Vicky learns the wisdom of Somu’s ways. When Vicky finds out of Somu’s trouble, which you’ll have to watch the movie to find out about, he shows a delicious taste of angry Amitabh:

Namak Haraam is art imitating life as evidenced here. Doesn’t this sound a bit too familiar now:

Well since elections are coming soon here in the U S of A, here’s a timely song from the film titled Woh Jhoota Hai Vote Na Usko Dena, picturized on Asrani and a hot young Rekha, with music by R. D. Bruman. You can check it out HERE.

And speaking of voting…I’m so excited to present my first poll on the blog! So here I ask you the impossible question: Would you rather be a Namak Haraam or a spoon?

extra credit:

When looking up Namak Haraam online, I came across Arun Krishan’s clever podcast on his site, Cutting Chai, Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies, since in it he credits a tune from the film in the music credits. You will certainly enjoy this, as well as all his other great podcasts:

Episode 47. Alcohol. Is alcoholism such a bad thing?

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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

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Like Nandini described in yesterday’s post, I’ve also had a blockbuster week of watching Bollywood movies. In the past week I’ve seen, Debshishu, King Uncle, Haathi Mere Saathi, Amar Akbar Anthony, Cheeni Kum, Guide, Seeta aur Geeta, and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. It’s a rather bizarre mix of flicks. I’m drunk on this Bollywood binge, so today’s video fits the bill: “Haan Ji Haan Maine Sharaab Pi Hai” from Seeta aur Geeta. seeta_aur_geeta_1972_film_poster.jpg

Seeta aur Geeta (सीता औरगीता) is a 1972 Hindi film directed by Ramesh Sippy. The story is by Salim-Javed and the music by R.D. Burman. The story is about identical twins (played by Hema Malini) who are separated at birth and grow up with different temperaments. The twins then swap places (like The Prince and the Pauper). Hema’s two partners in the movie are played by Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar. Manorama excels in her role as the evil aunt who changes her tune after her arm is twisted (literally). (wikipedia)

Filmi geek has a nice write up on the movie. “Haan Ji Haan Maine Sharaab Pi Hai,” is sung by Lata Mangeshkar, with music by R.D.Burman, and lyrics by Anand Bakshi.

UsherRed‘s YouTube video is dubbed in Russian, which adds another layer to its already great appeal. In this clip poor Geeta, is set to get married, and is scheming to get out of it because she’s guilty that her fiancé mistakenly thinks she’s really Seeta. She trys to imagine the worst case senario, which involves a tight slap to the face, and wiggles her way out of that situation, or does she? Here’s how she figures she’ll be able to sidestep the shaadi:

I’m particularly fond of this scene because I had a pair of white patten leather go-go boots I wore when I was about five years old, just like Hema is sporting here.   It’s also impressive that she never spills even a drop of her sharaab in this scene.

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amarakbar25rishi.jpg Dosto, today I present you with the songPardah Hai Pardah from the 1977 film, Amar Akbar Anthony. I enjoyed this song so much I added 4 versions for you. At the Bollywood Food Club, we don’t really do true film reviews; why bother when there are already so many great bloggers out there doing it so well? So I refer you to Bollywood 501, Filmiholic, Filmi Geek, and Philip’sfil-ums for some great insights into Amar Akbar Anthony. I will simply deal with the more superfical and say that any movie that starts out with Pran and a suffering Nirupa Roy instantly wins my heart. I have to add that I liked the patches Anthony wore on his clothing and Akbar’s array of sheer colorful shirts. Amitabh’s Anthony made me proud to be a Catholic, and Vinood’s Amar made me yearn to be a Hindu, while Rishi’s Akbar had me praising Allah. I LOVED this movie. And in particular I loved Rishi Kapoor‘s performance in Pardah Hai Pardahas well as the voice of its playback singer, Mohammed Rafi.

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This is the kind of suffering I’m talking about! A blinded mother, not realizing she’s touching her very own son! Nirupa Roy suffers so well.

 

amarakbaranthony.jpgAmar Akbar Anthony (Devnagari: अमर अकबर एन्थोनी) is a 1977 Bollywood film about three brothers separated during their childhood who grew up in three different homes, adopting three different religions. The film was directed by Manmohan Desai and starred three actors, of them included Amitabh Bachchan (as Anthony Gonsalves), Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor. Each of the three heroes had an affilitian with a heroine, which included Parveen Babi, Shabana Azmi and Neetu Singh. Nirupa Roy, Pran and Jeevan were supporting actors. The music was written by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Kishore Kumar sang for Amitabh Bachchan, and Mohammed Rafi sang for Rishi Kapoor. The soundtrack was one of Mukesh‘s last soundtracks with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Anand Bakshi was the was the lyricist. A ex-convict must flee his mob boss, leaving his family to fend for themselves. The ex-convicts wife in a fit of bad luck turns blind and inevitably his children are abandoned. They are adopted by a Hindu policeman (Amar), a Muslim tailor (Akbar), and a Catholic priest (Anthony). The Hindu raised son becomes a policeman in his turn; his Muslim-raised brother becomes a singer; and the last brother, played by Amitabh Bachchan, becomes a happy-go-lucky Catholic who lives on the edge of law. The boys meet again and their lives become entangled in an incredible twist of unlikely coincidences and furious action sequences interspersed with songs. (wikipedia)

So here are the video clips of the addicting tune, Pardah Hai Pardah:

 

1. Original version starring Rishi Kapoor, with playback singer Mohammed Rafi. It’s fun to know that he’s singing to Neetu Singh, who he married a couple years after this movie. I mean who wouldn’t marry him after this performance, hain na?:

Thanks to sikkbreman for the video. Makes me want to rush to a mosque!

 

2. Here’s a crowd favorite, from SaReGaMaPa Challenge, Amanat Ali. I especially like how he substitutes his own name in the “Akbar” part of the song:

I’ve already posted about my favoritism for the Indian singing talent search shows, so click here to see that and some more of Amanat. Thanks to shesthebest for the YouTube video.

3. Here’s Vinit Singh, another contestant from SaReGaMaPa Challenge:

Thanks to sachinscs for the YouTube video.

4. Here’s Irfan, from Star Voice of India. Not only is he great but how fun to see the movie’s real stars, Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh (I think that’s her) judging along with playback singers Alka Yagnik & Abhijeet:

Thanks to AmulStarVoiceOfIndia for the video.

 

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From Taal (1999),  Ishq Bina”taal.jpg sung by Madhushree, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sonu Nigam and A.R. Rahman, Composed by A. R. Rahman, and lyrics by Anand Bakshi. Our bad guy in yesterday’s video of the day, Amrish Puri,  also played a bad, bad man in Taal.

Akshaye Khanna‘s character shows he can get down on the Muslim tip, impressing Aishwarya Rai‘s character.

Anil Kapoor plays a P. Diddy music producer role in the movie.

What is significant here comes at the clip’s end: a very hot, sexy scene involving sharing a coke and a smile. Very hot!

Read Philip’sfil-ums great write up about Taal  HERE.

 

 

 

Ishq Bina” lyrics in Hindi with English translation

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