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Posts Tagged ‘Mohammed Rafi’

Let me start off by announcing it is my birthday today so it’s fitting to share with you my favorite birthday scene (so far) in a Bollywood movie.

Ram Aur Shyam (1967) stars Dilip Kumar in a double role-playing identical twins separated at birth who know not of each other until they unwittingly switch parts and their worlds collide. Kumar’s Ram is  a  timid dimwit, reminding me a lot Anil Kapoor’s  parts in Beta (1992), and  Yuvvraaj (2008); and Shah Rukh Khan’s part in Koyla (1997). Here’s Dilip playing his special needs Ram part.  Can you tell he’s slow here?

Ah, they’re all confused by Shayam acting so much unlike Ram, and we all know the cure for this, the tight slap, as suggested by Mumtaz here:

OK, let’s get the synopsis out of the way so I can get to the good stuff.

 Ram Aur Shyam is a 1967 Indian Hindi feature film, directed by Tapi Chanakya. Its producer B. Nagi Reddy previously produced Ramudu Bheemudu, a Telugu film starring N.T. Rama Rao, in 1964; Ram Aur Shyam is Nagi Reddi’s Hindi version. Ram Aur Shyam has music by Naushad and lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni, it stars Dilip Kumar (in his first dual role), Pran, Waheeda Rehman, and Mumtaz. The theme owes its origins to Alexandre Dumas, père’s story The Corsican Brothers: twins separated at birth who grow up with very different temperaments and then exchange places, leading to the villain being taught a lesson. Like The Corsican Brothers, which has been adapted into several feature films, Ram Aur Shyam has inspired remakes in Hindi movies too, with Seeta Aur Geeta (featuring female twins, played by Hema Malini) in 1972; Chaalbaaz (starring Sridevi) in 1989; and Kishen Kanhaiya (starring Anil Kapoor) in 1990. (source)

I have a filmi friend who jokes about Hindi movies saying, “and there was a wedding,” which is funny because isn’t there a wedding in 75% or more of all Indian films?  The Indian social system is glued together by marriage,  from the joint family system, to the industries that profit from the actual wedding functions themselves, so of course weddings are part of the movies because they’re so much a part of the culture. Yet nearly as often as the weddings are part of the films, I’ve noticed there are a lot of parties in general, and in particular birthday parties, the singing of  huppy burdhay tew ewe, and birthday cakes!  I love a good birthday cake!  Since it’s my birthday today, please indulge me and allow me to focus on the birthday section of this film, complete with some Bollywood balloons.

The Dramatic Birthday Party of Ram Aur Shyam go like this: The party for Shyam’s  niece, Kuku (Baby Farinda) begins, (except it’s Ram pretending to be Shyam): giant birthday card, huge cake, many guests…

Enter deliciously evil daddy of birthday girl, Pran, demanding silence. Khamosh!

Cute daughter approaches him and offers him some of her birthday cake:

It’s Pran, so you can guess what he does, right?  He slaps that plate right out of her hand on her birthday, in front of everyone! Look at her cry!

Oh no he didn’t!  Oh yes he DID!  Enter fake docile Shyam, lekin it’s really badass Ram:

Ram/Shyam picks up the cake from the floor…



then shoves it in Pran’s mouth! Can it get anymore dramatic and filmy than that? YES IT CAN! Because DEKH!  In this photo there is a Bollywood hat trick of:

  • a chandelier
  • grand central staircase
  • Bollywood balloons

Technically it’s even better than the hat trick, since it’s also a birthday party, with Pran, and a cake. Start watching at the 6 minute mark in order to see this wild scene take place.

Is the birthday ruined from this drama? Nahin!!! Enter Ram/Shyam with some more balloons and a happy song.

All is saved by a fantastic song and all the kids dancing to Aaye Hain Baharen Mite Zulmo Sitam by Mohammed Rafi.

Here’s one more Bollywood chandelier from the film for chandelier specialist, Shweta at Apni East India Company:

OK, the party is over, so I’ll just add that all the wacky mix ups and drama end with a double wedding ceremony for Ram aur Shyam, but this isn’t quite a spoiler alert, because I bet you can’t tell Ram from Shyam in these photos.

Wandering around the web, I found this great blog review of the film at Ranranbolly as well as one by the intellectual gold standard of all things filmy HERE at Philip’sfilums.

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I had originally tried to order Aaina (1977) from Netflix, but got the 1993 version of Aaina instead, which I reviewed HERE.  I eventually did get the 1977 version of Aaina that stars Mumtaz and Rajesh Khanna.  I would not be tricked by Bollywood’s duplicate titles and miss out on my original plan to see the 1977 version!

Shalini (Mumtaz)  is a poor yet happy brahmin girl who spends her time laughing and smiling, despite her  family’s poverty.  Ashok (Rajesh Khanna) and Shalini like each other but are from different castes.  They tease each other and have a lot of fun, but ultimately they come to understand that society’s norms will keep them apart.

When Ashok notes that Shalini’s only sari is worn to the point of having holes, he buys her a new one.  Shalini’s mother (Nirupa Roy) lets her daughter know that she can not accept this sort of gift from a man because it would be shameful for the entire family.  I love how this lesson of  family honor is filmed with the characters on either side of the worn sari:

Things continue to worsen for the family when the dad’s evil sister, Janki (Lalita Pawar) comes with her daughter to live with the already financially stressed family.   Janki doesn’t do a thing to help out, in fact she just spends time going to frivolous Bollywood  movies and gossiping.  When Janki finds one of her starving nephews begging for food she fails to understand that her taking money to go to the movies has caused the problem since that money would otherwise go for food for the children. Then Shalini finds her mother one night mixing poison in with the food so the she can poison the family out of their misery.

The next obstacle is that one of Shalini’s brothers wants to go to medical school, so in an attempt to get a recommendation to insure his entry to the program, Shalini travels to the big city. She stays with some friends of the family in the a home with a large central split staircase, so often seen in Bollywood films, hai na?

Shalini’s connection to try and get the recommendation for her brother’s entry to medical school is a fraud, and the situation ends with her being raped, as represented by a mirror aaina being broken.  She then hears of another person who can help her get the medical school recommendation, who invites her home to meet his wife.

But the wife is not there, only her picture is on the wall, and this powerful man has the same nefarious interests in Shalini as the man who first violated her.

So this is how Shalini, a young Brahmin girl, eventually turns to prostitution to support her family. One night she’s enjoying the company of a client, and he discovers that she’s Brahmin like him.  Note the symbolism of the mirror aaina on the wall saying hey, why don’t you look at yourself first yaar, before you point any fingers.

Shalini points out the ridiculousness of his hypocrisy and returns his tight slap to her face with one to his face.  Ironically, later in the movie when Shalini returns home to pay for and attend both her sister and brother’s weddings, who turns out to be the groom for her sister?  Not to spoil things, but it’s this creep here!

I learned from Suhan, a commenter on my 1992 Aaina post, that Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007) pulled from the 1977 Aaina.

This one comes out smelling of mothballs, like a wedding dress stored for decades in an attic trunk. Not surprising, since the plot is vintage 1977 from Aaina, and the 1995 Marathi film Doghi. (Hindustan Times).

If you’ve seen LCMD, perhaps like me you remember once Rani Mukerji became a high class call girl, she lived in a super deluxe apartment in Mumbai.  This was the only shot of that apartment I could find, but you get a general idea of its sleek, modern look.

Like Rani Mukerji’s character in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag,  Shalini also gets a fantastic place to live thanks to her profession.  I’m not saying it’s a good trade off, but it sure is a cool place.  One of my favorite parts of the film was when Shalini got a visitor, she would push a buzzer on the table and a curtain would automatically pull open, revealing the client behind the door. Check it out:

Sometimes it was a shock just who would stop by, like in this case, her friend Ashok from back home who told everyone he died in the war.  After knowing he could never be with Shalini, Ashok faked his own death, but eventually years later fate brought him right to her door!

Is that double lucky kismat at work or what?  Not only does he get a prostitute, but she’s also the woman he loves!   What are the odds of THAT happening!?  Alas, Shalini is shocked and ashamed.  Don’t you love that torpedo/bullet bra she must be wearing under her shirt?

Despite her circumstances, Ashok understands and more importantly accepts her as she is, and wonders what could have been between the two of them and life hadn’t taken them on different paths.

Shalini returns home to give her family money and pay for her siblings weddings. A cute part of the movie was the film within the film where the village  watched stars Dharmendra and Neetu Singh film a song sequence to Jaane Kya Ho Jaye with playback singers Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar.  This is scene cuts back and forth being picturized on filmi film stars and the “real” young couple in the film, Shalini’s sister and that scoundrel she’s engaged to, Shalini’s former client:

Shalini sacrifices herself to fund her family and is disgusted to return home only to  find her mother pregnant again!  There are already about 8 kids in the family. Of course her mother has no idea just what Shalini has done to earn money.

Seems word has gotten out around town about Shalini’s new job and her little sister points out how her music teacher (paid for by Shalini) was staring at her. Shalini flirts with idea of suicide to answer the question of her eternal suffering, but when she’s about to jump, she hears the sounds of her siblings calling to her.

So how do you think it all ends? If you’d like to know more, please go to see the plot summary by rAjOo.

I’d love to hear your impressions of Aaina too.

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I’m thinking about flying to India on a bunch of balloons.

hum-kisise-kum-naheen2

humkisise

I’ve already declared my love/fascination for the balloons I’ve seen in Bollywood movies.

While watching Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (1977), I was delighted to see Bollywood balloons playing a huge part in the Yeh Ladka Hai Allah number.

hkknballoons hkknballoons2

hkknballoons3 hkknballoons4

Enjoy the  music by R. D. Burman, lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri and playback singers Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi, and picturized on Tariq and KiranKaajal:

I’m leaving tomorrow for my first trip to India!  I’ll be in Delhi, Ludhiana, Agra and maybe Amritsar too, but not Bollywood. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to see a movie being filmed. I’m taking a plane but in my heart I’m flying to India with those balloons. I’ll see you in a couple weeks blog dosto! Phir Milenge!

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You may be wondering like I am, “Sita-ji, why aren’t you in Chicago tonight enjoying Amitabh and everyone else in The Unforgettable Tour?” You see there was a time not too long ago when one could fly from Minneapolis (blog headquarters) to Chicago for $100 or $200 round trip. Now with the poor economy, the airline troubles, and many of the charters that serviced the MSP-Chicago route being shut out of service and our poor corporate citizen airline, NWA somewhat monopolizing the route, flights now routinely cost between $500-$800! I could fly to NYC for less! NWA, did you forget the state of Minnesota graciously bailed you our with millions and millions of dollars($245 to be specific), I mean lakhs and crores of rupees? You forgot to pay us back NWA! I digress, let me swallow that bitter pill and move on, teekay? But you see, we are all related and everything is connected to everything and I choose to partially blame NWA for me missing this show. 🙂 So I had some tentative plans to make a spur of the moment driving pilgrimage to Chicago with a Bollywood buddy pending on how the vibe felt this morning. It was not vibing, so we settled in to watch the next best thing to seeing Amitabh performing on stage: we watched Abhimaan (1973) instead, where Amitabh plays a singer who performs on stage before the masses. Sort of the same thing, without having to make the 12 hour round trip drive.

Amitabh seemed to be speaking to me throughout the film, asking Sita-ji what she wanted (to see The Unforgettable Tour, duh!) and then trying to comfort me by showing he understands the disappointment:

Thanks Amitabh! Here’s the lowdown on the film:

Abhimaan(Devanagari: अभिमान, Nastaliq: ابھمان, translation: Pride) is a 1973 Bollywood film starring Amitabh Bachchan; his real-life wife, Jaya Bachchan, Asrani, and Bindu. It was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.The film is perhaps best remembered for its songs, composed and arranged by the late S D Burman, written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, and sung by famous playback singers Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mohammed Rafi. The movie takes inspiration from A Star Is Born(1954). When it was released, audiences found similarities between real-life couple Amitabh and Jaya and the couple they portrayed on-screen—as Jaya’s career was stronger than Amitabh’s at the time. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for Abhimaan. Subir (Amitabh Bachchan) is a professional singer whose career is soaring. He does not plan to marry—until he meets Uma (Jaya Bhaduri), a sweet village girl who also sings. Subir falls in love with Uma and marries her. He returns to Mumbai with his new bride. Subir continues as a singer and also fosters Uma’s singing career. His career falters, however, just as Uma’s singing career begins to thrive. Eventually, she becomes more famous than her husband, sparking jealousy from Subir. His pride and jealousy tear the marriage apart. The question becomes whether Subir can overcome his jealousy? (wikipedia)

For a nice blog review of the film, I direct you to The Bolly Blog. And now on to my more shallow reflections of Abhimaan! Amitabh (Subir) and Jaya (Uma) look fabulous in this film. Her saris are gorgeous! In nearly every scene she wore a new, more lovely sari! Amitabh’s shirts were just are beautiful, with a funky 70’s twist. I said to myself, “Costume designer? Kaun hai?” So let me give a shout out to whoever found the beautiful fabric and made it into those outfits and got those guys looking so great:

Shalini Shah, Ramlal, Farida and Shyam Khandekar, nice job! I like your style! I think Amitabh even looks smokin’ hot smoking and drinking:

One thing that surprised me was the sexual tension portrayed between Amitabh and Jaya. Since I am a good Hindu-Catholic-Muslim-Buddhist-Sikh-Jain and sometimes Parsi girl, I was a bit embarrassed by Amitabh tugging on Jaya’s hair and pointing to his lips for a kiss. Bachchans, keep that sexy stuff behind closed doors please! See! Bas!

The movie taught me some new things like this. Who knew men were jealous of women?

Another delightful part of the movie for me was seeing Bindu, who gave a great line said with confidence and love, that we all should consider using if ever dumped. So classy, dekho:

Bindu’s character drops some bollywood wisdom on Amitabh’s Subir. I love it!

Well he’s not ready to hear all that, nor her urging him to lighten up on the whiskey, since he’s trying to drown his sorrows vs. facing them head on. His retaliatory statement:

Snap! Oh no he didn’t! If what Subir says here makes no sense to you, go see Devdas!

For me this was a movie about they style and the music, since that’s what I enjoyed most, rather than the story itself. Not my favorite Amitabh movie, but a great one to see nonetheless, especially as a cheap subsitute to missing seeing him live in Chicago tonight. But I think the Chicago show of The Unforgettable Tour may have been a bit like this tonight; from Abhimaan, Kishor Kumar singing for Amitabh, Meet Na Mila Re Man Ka, with music by S. D. Burman, who won the filmfare award for his work here:

Here’s the remix, from Dr. K Chaudry, who is very devoted to Bollywood.

If you’d like to hear yet another marvelous tune from the film, take a detour to TheBollywoodFan’s great blog to hear Tere Mere Milan Ki.

Really how lucky we are to live in a time where we have these films at our disposal, hai na? No this isn’t a photo outside of The Unforgettable Tour, it’s from Abhimaan, showing that then and now, Big B as an actor and as himself is filling the house!

Chicago Unforgettable Tour attenders, post your review here. I’d love to hear about what I missed! Mr. Bachachan reported the following on his own blog: I have to say it. . Chicago was amazing.. Everyone was just awesome and the audience to die for. . Sold out stadium. . And India just won a gold in shooting..  Read more at his blog about this on day 109.

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Here at the Bollywood Food Club, we LOVE Dr. K. Chaudhry.  He has uploaded many (500+!) fine videos and leans toward covering Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar tunes. We haven’t posted one of his cover tunes in a while, and stumbled upon this tonight.  Obviously others in the USA have a love for Dr. K. and started a fan club.  How do I sign up?  Where was this dinner? Here’s what Dr. K. Chaudhry says:

Hi friends in USA
About 310 of you inauguated fan club on April 5, 2008 with a musical evening. Parnav, Varun, Mathews and you all have always been sacrificing their sleep to call me during my day time. Just after 17 days you are celebrating dinner meet at a restautrant.That cannot be described just as a sentimental relationship between a man in Delhi and some hundreds in America. That is a carry forward relationship from some past lives. I remained away from you for 63 years. Now we shall remain together until we live together.

 Enjoy Dr. K Chaudhry:

Video thanks to drkchaudhry

More of Dr. K. Chaudhry from BFC here.

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fftrophy.jpgCheck out Shahrukh Khan at Filmfare 2005 awards tearing thru many hits, including “Chura Liya Hai”—from Yaadon Ki Baaraat with Zeenat Aman. He also performs with Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, and Rekha. Watch how Amitabh Bachchan looks on as Rekha dances and wife Jaya Bhaduri politely applauds. Classy.

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Here’s the title song from Yaadon Ki Baaraat. Sing along to R.D. Burman’s song with playback superstars Kishore Kumar & Mohammed Rafi.

Yaadon Ki Baaraat Nikhali” courtesy of Hindi Lyrics:

Kishore: Yaadon Ki Baraat Nikjli Hai Aaj Dil Ke Dwaare, Dil Ke Dwaareyaadonkibaaraat.jpg

Yaadon Ki Baraat Nikjli Hai Aaj Dil Ke Dwaare, Dil Ke Dwaare

Sapnon Ki Shehnaai Beete Dinon Ko Pukare, Dil Ke Dwaare

Ho Chhedo Taraane Milan Ke Pyare Pyare, Sang Hamare

Badle Na Apna Yeh Aalam Kabhi

Jeevan Mein Bichhdenge Na Hum Kabhi

Ho Badle Na Apna Yeh Aalam Kabhi

Jeevan Mein Bichhdenge Na Hum Kabhi

Rafi: Badle Na Apna Yeh Aalam Kabhi

Jeevan Mein Bichhdenge Na Hum Kabhi

Ho Badle Na Apna Yeh Aalam Kabhi

Jeevan Mein Bichhdenge Na Hum Kabhi

Yoon Bhi Jaaoge Aakhir Kahan Hoke Hamare

Both: Yaadon Ki Baraat Nikjli Hai Aaj Dil Ke Dwaare, Dil Ke Dwaare

Sapnon Ki Shehnaai Beete Dinon Ko Pukare, Dil Ke Dwaare

Rafi: Aage Bhi Hoga Jo Uska Karam

Kishore: Yeh Din To Manaayenge Har Saal Hum

Rafi: Apne Aangan Nachen Gaayenge Chanda Sitaare

Both: Yaadon Ki Baraat Nikjli Hai Aaj Dil Ke Dwaare, Dil Ke Dwaare

Sapnon Ki Shehnaai Beete Dinon Ko Pukare, Dil Ke Dwaare

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