Friday, July 31, 2009

The A-Z of Mohammed Rafi

Mohammed Rafi Think old Hindi songs and you think of Rafi’s voice! For over three decades, he was the singing voice of generations of heroes. His melodious voice could soar into high notes for a passionate song or dip down into the low notes for a ghazal, adapt itself equally well to a qawwali, a classical song, a Rock-n-Roll number, or a bhajan. It wasnt just his vocal range and melodious voice that made him such a popular singer. There was also that elusive quality – Charisma with a capital C - in his voice (a quality that onscreen stars had cause to be grateful for!). And then of course, as Filmi Girl points in her awesome podcast, he was also a consummate actor. He could make you laugh and cry, tug on your heartstrings, make you feel blue, or ready to dance. 29 years after his death, his voice is still fresh and charismatic as ever!

So, here’s a post dedicated to my favorite singer on his 29th Death Anniversary. Since its impossible to do a list of my favorite Rafi songs or even favorite Rafi solos/duets, (those lists would run into the hundreds), I’ve decided to do a Rafi song for each letter of the alphabet.* Just to make things more interesting, I decided to restrict myself to his duets or group performances from B/W films. So here goes…(The songs are all in a youtube playlist at the end of the post.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Amar Deep (1958) – of anti-smoking campaigns and tangled love affairs

Long before cancer studies woke up governments to the harmful effects of tobacco, there was one person who, singlehandedly and tirelessly, crusaded against smoking. This wise person is none other than my favorite comedian, Johnny Walker. What? You dont believe me?!! All ye doubters, check out Amar Deep for proof of this great man’s war against smoking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kinare Kinare (1963)

Dev Anand and Meena Kumari? Really?!! Even after seeing this video on youtube, I couldnt really believe those two were in a film together. A quick search on imdb, however, revealed not one but FOUR movies where they are credited together! Clearly, they werent a hit pair as I hadnt heard of any of their films (this one included) before. Well, I was determined to hunt this one down and happily, I did! As it turns out, its worth watching more for historical reasons (Chetan Anand, Dev Anand and Meena Kumari in the same film!) than any real entertainment value.