Sing a song

Being a child of the 90s, I have had no great illusions about the quality of songs back then. Infact I will be the first to admit that the only reason they are still played today is because people from my generation are currently high spenders and if a little nostalgia is required to humour us, so be it. Hence, the cheesy ‘Saath Samundar Paar Kiye’ at all discs without fail every time there is a Bollywood night.

However, as anyone from then knows, Saath Samundar Paar Kiye was not the worst of them.

In the last couple of weeks, I have discovered more gems.

Has anyone seen/heard the title song from ‘Chandni’?

It has a middle-aged, pot bellied Rishi Kapoor wearing the signature loose sweater he began to wear in his downturn years. It has an approaching-middle age Sridevi doing the cute-as-a-button act. However it is not because of either that the song is unbearable. That credit goes to Sridevi’s singing which somehow never manages to cross over from tuneless to melodious. I am not sure who had the inspiration to get her to sing but singer she ain’t. A ‘trying really hard to be girlish’ voice tries desperately to grapple with the pitch. In the end, the pitch runs miles ahead, leaving the female voice just plain screechy. Viewers who sit down to watch such songs without a remote control on hand can only be pitied. Like me.

The next song is from my favourite nominee for the ‘most nasal voice’ award. Kumar Sanu spawned an entire generation of singers, reaching a zenith with Himesh Reshmiyya, who figured that if he could, so could they.

However, having digested Kumar Sanu’s voice a long time ago, I could focus on the visual of the ‘Nazar ke Samne’ song. Anu Agarwal looks very tense and stressed as a supportive Rahul Roy leads her to the exam hall. One would have assumed that she was going to write her GRE or IAS exams. Turns out not. Anu Agarwal is appearing for a typewriting exam. Not to demean typists but honestly woman, a typewriting exam? Surely that can be done without much eyelid-batting and whimpering.

Finally, the ‘gazab ka yeh din’ song from QSQT. Juhi and Aamir both looking deliciously young, wander through a forest with a couple of lightly loaded rucksacks. The song itself has always been a favourite and years later, it still retains its melody and freshness. It is the run up to the song that had me gasping in astonishment. Juhi turns out to be a spirited girl, who goes out of her way to keep chasing and flirting with a shy Aamir Khan (gasp. Where is the modesty for a 90s girl!). Then she manages to lose herself in the forest, get chased by a bunch of baddies looking to rape her, runs through the jungle replete with wild animals and just when you think she is going to come to a sticky end, manages to meet Aamir Khan. One would have been traumatized to say the least after the fairly biblical tragedies. But nay sir. She is up and about the next day singing the famous song and darting coy looks at Aamir.

It may not be the most real version of life as we know it. Still, it is a lovely contrast to the whimpering Anu Agarwal and cutesy Sridevi


Mum's delight said...

I notice how Khabutar Ja from MPK has not made it to your list, you Salman loyalist.
The songs from Hum Apke hain kaun are the worst...
btw I really like Ghazab ka hai din from QSQT, its really refreshing even 20 + years later.

Rohini said...

Ha ha. Good post. The Chandni song was truly painful to listen to. Her singing was comparable to the feeling one gets on hearing squeaky chalk on a blackboard...

Anita said...

Mum's delight - I had a whole post on MPK. http://royalvilla.blogspot.com/2006/03/review-of-maine-pyar-kiya.html

Rohini - Ah. 'Squeaky Chalk on the board' describes it perfectly.

Entropy said...

Woman, you watched too many random phillums. Don't think anybody but you and third-rate DJs at the clubs you frequent remembers the 'Saat Samundar Paar Kiye' Divya Bharati number. Was it really as famous as the other songs you mention ? Did you really pay for a ticket and watch a Divya Bharti movie in a cinema hall ?

Anita said...

Entropymuse - Ahem...may I point out that unlike certain other people I stopped watching random phillums in my teens (or atleast early twenties).

Unfortunately (or rather fortunately) I never watched any of these movies on big screen since there was no parental approval or funding back then for such activities. But yes, the 'Saath Samundar' song was pretty famous, though the movie was unbearable even on TV.

Jasmine said...

'Saat Samundar Paar- i like this song, though i must admit i don't know which movie it is from

Anita said...

Jasmine - It was vishwaatma. A movie that flopped so spectacularly that the only reason it is remembered today is because of the song.