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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014
The best Bollywood songs of all time (part I)
Shreya Sethuraman, Brunch Team, Hindustan Times
August 31, 2013
First Published: 16:35 IST(31/8/2013)
Last Updated: 17:43 IST(31/8/2013)

We chased them for days, weeks. Our esteemed jury comprised 15 fabulous people from the music industry - singers, music composers and lyricists. Bringing them together was not an easy task. What was tougher still was for them to nominate what they thought were the top 10 Hindi film songs, ever. (No, they couldn't choose the songs they were involved with). But they came up with interesting, refreshing, sometimes surprising choices.

What emerged through the weeks of putting this story together was a wonderful look at our film history. Old songs sounded as fresh as those composed yesterday, forgotten melodies made us stop and hum along, lyrics made us re-examine the nature of life itself. So what are your favourites? Are they in here?


KAVITA KRISHNAMURTHY's list. This singer has sung songs like Hawa hawai (Mr India) and Maar dala (Devdas)

1. Poochho na kaise maine rain bitayi (Meri Surat Teri Aankhein, 1963). Singer: Manna Dey. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Shailendra
"Manna Dey is one of the greatest singers and is like my father. There's a great sense of spirituality in this song. No one could have sung it the way he did."

2. Ye nayan dare dare (Kohraa, 1964). Singer: Hemant Kumar. Music: Hemant Kumar. Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
"Hemantda introduced me to Manna Dey. I love the composition - it's simple and straightforward."

3. Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi (Khamoshi, 1970). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Hemant Kumar. Lyrics: Gulzar
"Everything about this song is perfect. It seems tailor-made for the voice of Kishoreda."

4. Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye (Anand, 1971). Singer: Mukesh. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Yogesh
"It has beautiful lyrics and composition. Plus, this was Mukeshji singing for Rajesh Khanna, making it even more special."

5. Saathi na koi manzil (Bombai Ka Babu, 1960). Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"It's a sad song, but Rafi saab puts in so much more in his voice, you sense that he feels much deeper than what he sings."

6. Jaane kyaa tune kahi (Pyaasa, 1957). Singer: Geeta Dutt. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"Despite the tragedy in the movie, there's a kind of mischief in her voice."

7. Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam (Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959). Singer: Geeta Dutt. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
"This is an immortal and perfect song!"

8. Allah tero naam (Hum Dono, 1961). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"Sung so beautifully by Lataji. The best part is that it can be sung anywhere, any time, at any religious function. It's spiritually unifying."

9. Jaayie aap kahaan jaayenge (Mere Sanam, 1965). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: OP Nayyar. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"The collaboration between OP Nayyar and Ashaji is very well known. Listen to the song and you'll know no one else could have sung the song but Ashaji."

10. Phir wohi shaam (Jahan Ara, 1964). Singer: Talat Mahmood. Music: Madan Mohan. Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan
"It's very Lucknowi and difficult to not like. That's just so typical of Madan Mohanji."
- as told to Shreya Sethuraman 

PIYUSH MISHRA's list. A lyricist, music composer and actor, Mishra gave the music for Anurag Kashyap's Gulaal

1. Cheel cheel chillake (Half Ticket, 1962). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Shailendra
"Nobody could have sung this song other than Kishore Kumar. It's a beautiful song, very impactful, even though there's no in-depth meaning in the lyrics. That's what makes this so special."

2. Yeh dil aur unki nigaahon ke saye (Prem Parbat, 1973). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Jan Nisaar Akhtar
"After listening to this song, one feels so peaceful and full of love. It seems you are someplace where there's a waterfall."

3. Dhanno ki aankhon mein hai raat ka surmaa (Kitaab, 1977). Singer: RD Burman. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Gulzar
"Those days, there wasn't any concept of an item number, but if there were, this would have been a fantastic one. The feel of this song is so different from the songs of the time. It's a love and sex song. The words are also very different from those of today."

4. Namak isak kaa (Omkara, 2006). Singer: Rakesh Pandit and Rekha Bhardwaj. Music: Vishal Bhardwaj. Lyrics: Gulzar
"It's a suggestive song, poetically written. 'Zubaan pe laga laga re haaye, namak isak ka,' is so lyrical, yet fully loaded."

5. Ek shahanshaah ne banvaa ke hasin Taj Mahal (Leader, 1964). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi. Music: Naushad. Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
"It's sung in raag Bhairavi, hence the music is brilliant. It sings praises of the Taj Mahal, and does so in a very romantic manner."

6. O sajnaa barkha bahaar (Parakh, 1960). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Shailendra
"The sound of this song is so unique that you want to frame it and keep it in your house. It's pure melody!"

7. Abhi na jaao chhodkar (Hum Dono, 1961). Singers: Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"It's filmed on a beautiful starry night and epitomises romance. No other song can put into words the yearning of a lover."

8. Tere bachpan ko jawaani ki dua (Mujhe Jeene Do, 1963). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"The lullaby style in this song is praiseworthy. The tempo goes up and then softens again. It's pure melody."

9. Raat ke humsafar (An Evening In Paris, 1967). Singers: Asha Bhosle and Mohd Rafi. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
"The song is filmed at the Eiffel Tower, and both Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore create beautiful magic, making this one of the most romance-laden songs I've heard."

10. Raat akeli hai (Jewel Thief, 1967). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"It's a very sexy song. The lyrics don't imply too much, but are laden with sex. It's an ultra-modern song."
- as told to Parul Khanna

SHANTANU MOITRA's list. Former adman and full-time composer, he is the man behind the fantastic music of 3 Idiots and Parineeta

1. O sajnaa barkha bahaar (Parakh, 1960). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Shailendra
"This is a great monsoon song, though not a typical rain song. It never shows rain directly, but it is a great expression of the era when it was sung, a time of shyness and coyness. Bimal Roy did a great job and this is composed by my favourite, Salil Chowdhury."

2. Naa, jiya laage naa (Anand, 1971). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Yogesh
"It is one of the greatest Hindi film songs and you see Salil Chowdhury at his innovative best. It is a very tough song to sing but Lataji did a wonderful job."

3. Badi sooni sooni hai (Mili, 1975). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Yogesh
"I love this combination of Amitabh Bachchan and Kishore Kumar. Amitabh is standing by a window as he sings. So much is said without actually saying anything."

4. Aaj kal paanv zameen par (Ghar, 1978). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Gulzar
"Gulzar's lyrics and RD Burman's music are a deadly combination. Pure poetry."

5. Chaudhvin ka chaand (Chaudhvin Ka Chaand, 1960). Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: Ravi. Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
"So romantic, especially the line 'Jo bhi ho tum khuda ki kasam lajawaab ho.' It is a classic in every way."

6. Aye mere pyare watan (Kabuliwala, 1961). Singer: Manna Dey. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Prem Dhawan
"This song not only invokes a sense of patriotism but also talks about longing for home and loved ones. It always brings out nostalgia in me."

7. Mora gora ang lai le (Bandini, 1963). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Gulzar
"This song is very special. It is the first song Gulzar wrote. He penned the entire number in one go and every time I hear it, I fall in love with it again."

8. Suhana safar aur ye mausam haseen (Madhumati, 1958). Singer: Mukesh. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Shailendra
"This song is like a travelogue. Dilip Kumar is at his charming best and the song is so exciting - like something interesting is about to happen."

9. Kehna hi kya (Bombay, 1995). Singer: Chithra KS. Music: AR Rahman. Lyrics: Mehboob
"I was in advertising when I saw this song. Beautiful lyrics and lovely picturisation. It is beautifully composed."

10. Kuch na kaho (1942 A Love Story, 1994). Singer: Kumar Sanu. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
"This is special because it was RD Burman's last song. Every time I meet Vidhu Vinod Chopra, we just break into this soulful number - a great composition."
- as told to Veenu Singh


SUNIDHI CHAUHAN's list. Singer. She shot to fame with her powerful singing in Mast. She also sang Sheila ki jawani (Tees Maar Khan)

1. Aaj socha toh aansu bhar aaye (Hanste Zakhm, 1973). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Madan Mohan Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
"Everything about this song, right from the composition to the way Lataji has sung it, is beautiful. It takes you someplace else altogether and does something to me that I cannot describe."

2. Phir wohi raat hai (Ghar, 1978). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Gulzar
"The pain and joy in this song is so clear and comes across so naturally and effortlessly - not only because of the lyrics, but also the composition."

3. Tere mere sapne (Guide, 1965). Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Shailendra
"It's sung so smoothly. There's a certain bliss and comfort that this song brings. It almost sounds like a lullaby."

4. Tum jo mil gaye ho (Hanste Zakhm, 1973). Singers: Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Madan Mohan. Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
"It's a beautiful song with a haunting melody by Madan Mohan. When Lataji sings, it's as if a cold wind has blown in. When Rafi saab sings, it's as if it's begun to rain."

5. Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahi (Milan, 1967). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"The silence, which is followed by the words 'magar ro pade' does something to you."

6. Daiyya ye main kahan aa phasi (Caravan, 1971). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"It's physically impossible to sing this song. It's a crazy number. And to be able to sing the way a person thinks, nobody could have done it, but Ashaji. There's complete madness in this song!"

7. Tere mere milan ki yeh raina (Abhimaan, 1973). Singers: Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"The situation at which this song comes in the film, it's not possible to do anything other than just stop and listen to it entirely."

8. Ae babua yeh mahua mehkaane laga hai (Sadma, 1985). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: Ilayaraja. Lyrics: Gulzar
"It's a beautiful composition by Ilayaraja and Ashaji takes you by surprise. The way she has controlled her voice in singing this number, it makes you really like the character."

9. Nafrat ki ek hi thokar (Reshma Aur Shera, 1971). Singer: Manna Dey. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Balkavi Bairagi
"I heard it for the first time on a cassette. This song was on the B side, and after hearing it, I wondered how it was possible to create such a song! The best part about this is that it doesn't sound like a film song at all."

10. Kabhi khud pe, kabhi halaat pe rona aaya (Hum Dono, 1961). Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"This sounds like a ghazal and it's so subtly sung. Rafi saab sounds so raw, fresh and it seems like he didn't think too much when singing this song... he just sang it."
- as told to Shreya Sethuraman


ANU MALIK's List Music composer. Known for giving hits in films like Baazigar,
Viraasat, Asoka and Main Hoon Na

1. O haseena zulfon wali (Teesri Manzil, 1966). Singers: Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"This was the first time I heard a guitar sequence in the beginning of a song and it has stayed with me ever since."

2. Dil hai chhota sa (Roja, 1992). Singer: Minmini. Music: AR Rahman. Lyrics: PK Mishra
"Rahman changed the face of music with this song. The sound production was pathbreaking. I'd never heard anything like this before."

3. Pyaar kiya toh darna kya (Mughal-e-Azam, 1960). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Naushad. Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
"This line, 'Pyar kiya koi chori nahi ki' is immortal. The character is defying authority and tradition. And the sheer passion with which Dilip Kumar looks at Madhubala - that passion cannot be matched."

4. Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisaar (Anari, 1959). Singer: Mukesh. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Shailendra
"This song says everything - every emotion is depicted so beautifully. 'Kisi ka dard mil sake to le udhaar, kisi ke vaaste ho tere dil mein pyaar, jeena isi ka naam hai'. It's madness!"

5. Ye ishq ishq hai ishq ishq (Barsaat Ki Raat, 1960). Singer: Mohd Rafi, Manna Dey, SD Batish, Sudha Malhotra. Music: Roshan. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"This is my all-time favourite qawwali. It's outstanding, especially since it's so tough to pull off."

6. Jaanejaan dhoondhta phir raha (Jawani Diwani, 1972). Singers: Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"This was an unusual composition that used a high and a low octave. It's a one-of-a-kind song."

7. Naino mein badra chhaaye (Mera Saaya, 1966). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Madan Mohan. Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
"I love the phrase 'garwa lagale', which means gale lagana. You don't get to hear that these days. The song is soulful and you can see that Lataji has felt each and every word and sung it."

8. Saaranga teri yaad mein (Saaranga, 1960). Singer: Mukesh. Music: Sardar Malik. Lyrics: Bharat Vyas
"Raag Yaman was used beautifully in this song and was rendered so well by Mukesh. And since it's my father's composition, this will always be my favourite."

9. Jaayie aap kahaan jaaenge (Mere Sanam, 1965). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: OP Nayyar. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"Somehow, I feel OP Nayyar has been neglected. The sheer melody of this song, the way the mukhda blends into the antara, is beautiful and magical."

10. Aye zindagi gale laga le (Sadma, 1983). Singer: Suresh Wadkar. Music: Ilayaraja. Lyrics: Gulzar
"It has melody. The mukhda is beautifully written and the beats that accompany the antara are something I've not heard before."
- as told to Shreya Sethuraman

 

AMITABH BHATTACHARYA's list. Lyricist-singer. He rose to fame after he wrote Emotional atyachaar (Dev.D)

1. Rehna tu (Delhi-6, 2009). Singer: AR Rahman, Benny Dayal, Tanvi. Music: AR Rahman. Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
"I heard this song and met a girl around the same time. Both grew on me and I fell in love with both."

2. Dil hai ki manta nahin (Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, 1991). Singers: Kumar Sanu & Anuradha Paudval. Music: Nadeem-Shravan. Lyrics: Faaiz Anwar
"A much loved song from my school days, when I dreamed of being a singer. I still stop and listen to the whole song whenever and wherever I stumble upon it."

3. Phir wohi raat hai (Ghar, 1978). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Gulzar
"A rare gem from the Pancham-Kishore-Gulzar trio. It's so timeless - it still sounds like a song that was written just this morning."

4. Kabhi palkon pe aansu hain (Harjaee, 1981). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Nida Fazli
"A bittersweet take on the beauty and futility of human life. It leaves me pensive whenever I listen to it. I wonder if it's the lyrics or the melody, singing and orchestration that express it better."

5. Kuchh toh log kahenge (Amar Prem, 1972). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"From the day I first heard it, until today, the honesty in the lyrics, music and Kishoreda's singing capture me. It sounds as if Bakshi saab spoke his heart out to Panchamda and he just composed whatever he said."

6. Kahin door jab din dhal jaye (Anand, 1971). Singer: Mukesh. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Yogesh
"Through my growing up years, I could never make out the phrase 'hai meethi uljhan' in the second antara as the audio lacked clarity. One day I bumped into Yogesh saab, held his hand like an inquisitive child, took him aside and asked him. He laughed, patted my shoulder and shared it with me."

7. Tum pukar lo (Khamoshi, 1970). Singer: Hemant Kumar. Music: Hemant Kumar. Lyrics: Gulzar
"This one is an all-time winner mainly because of Hemantda's rendition. It sounds like a voice coming from heaven."

8. Tere mere sapne (Guide, 1965). Singer: Mohd. Rafi. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Shailendra
"I don't think I have ever heard a better love song. I'm sure this is what someone would sing and this is how they'd sing it when they were truly in love."

9. Waqt ne kiya, kya haseen sitam (Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959). Singer: Geeta Dutt. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
"A masterpiece. It's impossible to imagine the song without anyone else on the melody, lyrics and vocals. And so haunting…"

10. Aapki nazron ne samjha (Anpadh, 1962). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Madan Mohan. Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
"Just one of the gems by the blessed combo of Madan Mohan, Lataji and Mehdi Ali Khan saab. Such work inspires one to be a better artist."
- as told to Veenu Singh


ALKA YAGNIK's list. Singer. Alka Yagnik sang hit songs through the '80s-'90s, including the superhit Ek do teen...

1. Raaton ke saaye ghane (Annadata, 1972). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Yogesh
"It's an inspiring song. It's very positive and reminds us that after every dark night there is a beautiful morning."

2. Awara ae mere dil (Raat Aur Din, 1967). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Shailendra
"When I listen to this song, I relate to it. I identify myself through this song."

3. Tum bin jaoon kahan (Pyar Ka Mausam, 1969). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"It's a very romantic track and I can listen to it over and over again."

4. Mere mehboob qayamat hogi (Mr. X In Bombay, 1964). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"The music, the singers and the lyrics were just perfect. A beautiful song that still gives me goosebumps."

5. Oh hansini (Zehreela Insaan, 1974). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"This is something I can never get over. I used to have a huge crush on Rishi Kapoor and when I'd watch this song, I'd believe he was singing it for me."

6. Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezar (Phir Kab Milogi, 1974) Singers: Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"The song is sung by my favourite singer Lataji. After Mukeshji, when Lataji starts singing the mukhda, it's just mesmerising."

7. Jana tha humse door (Adalat, 1958). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Madan Mohan. Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan
"A very soulful number. It has a lot of positivity."

8. Chain se humko kabhi (Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye, 1974). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: OP Nayyar. Lyrics: SH Bihari
"With Ashaji's sweet voice and OP Nayyar's music, this is one of the best songs I have heard."

9. Tip tip barsa paani (Mohra, 1994). Singers: Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. Music: Viju Shah. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"I have always been a fan of Lataji but this song of mine is a fantastic piece of music. I will pick this any day over all the other rain songs."

10. Mera chand mujhe aaya hai nazar (Mr Aashiq, 1996). Singer: Kumar Sanu. Music: Jatin-Lalit. Lyrics: Indeevar
"I just don't have words to describe for this song. I find it very beautiful."
- as told to Shreya Sethuraman


PRASOON JOSHI's list. Lyricist. He has penned songs for movies such as Rang De Basanti, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

1. Rasik balma (Chori Chori, 1956). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
"It's a beautiful composition with Lataji's mesmerising voice. It captures very bit of your imagination."

2. Sur na saje kya gaoon main (Basant Bahaar, 1956) Singer: Manna Dey. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Shailendra
"Manna Dey has sung this very difficult melody with such ease and so naturally that it has become immortal. Shankar-Jaikishan's mastery rendered mellifluously."

3. Jyoti kalash chalke (Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan, 1961). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Sudhir Phadke. Lyrics: Pandit Narendra Sharma
"The use of Urdu was dominant in Hindi film lyrics. At that time Pandit Narendra Sharma's use of chaste Hindi in made this song like a breath of fresh mountain air. Sudhir Phadke's lovely composition and Lata's amazing voice presented the words so beautifully."

4. Yeh mera deewanapan hai (Yahudi, 1958). Singer: Mukesh. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
"Mukesh's voice had a certain spotlessness. He rendered this simple melody with so much innocence and simplicity."

5. Aaj gaawat mann mero jhoom ke (Baiju Bawra, 1952). Singers: DV Paluskar and Ustad Amir Khan. Music: Naushad. Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
"What do I say in praise of this song? Pandit DV Paluskar and Ustad Amir Khan are my most revered and favourite classical musicians. This song is a competition between Baiju Bawra and Tansen where the former has to win. All songs in the film were composed by Naushad and sung by Mohd Rafi.
"But such was the awe and respect for Ustad Amir Khan, that Rafi declined to 'defeat' his voice for Tansen. Then Khan suggested that Pandit Paluskar be called on as he had no issues getting 'defeated' by this great singer and they both breathed life into this unforgettable jugalbandi."

6. Jo tum todo piya (Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje 1955). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Vasant Desai. Lyrics: Meerabai
"Meerabai's pious feelings were set to tune with such affection by Vasant Desai and sung wonderfully by Lata."

7. Yeh mehlon yeh takhton ye tajon ki duniya (Pyaasa, 1957). Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"The voice of a thirsting heart has been portrayed by Ludhianvi fittingly. The feelings of a true poet are reflected so well in this song."

8. Mora gora ang lai le (Bandini, 1963). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Gulzar
"Gulzar's song has magic. The words reflect the thoughts so beautifully and the song is portrayed like a ghazal. One of my absolute favourites."

9. Vande mataram (Anand Math, 1952) Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Hemant Kumar. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
"Hemant Kumar's composition is as difficult as it is unique. The best of singers pale at the thought of rendering it. But Lata has sung it so well. Wah!"

10. Kuch toh log kahenge (Amar Prem, 1972). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"The song is essentially a man consoling a prostitute saying 'Kuch reet jagat ki aisi hai, Sita bhi yahan badnam hui'. It's a message Anand Bakshi gives out to all. It's simple and touches the hearts of all people."
- as told to Veenu Singh


SACHIN-JIGAR's list. Music composers. Sachin and Jigar are behind hit songs like Slowly Slowly (Go Goa Gone) and Saibo (Shor in the City)

1. Akele akele kahaan (An Evening In Paris, 1967). Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
"Shammi Kapoor, Shankar-Jaikishan and Mohd Rafiji - a great combination. The echo adds a magical touch."

2. Chhookar mere mann ko (Yaarana, 1981). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Rajesh Roshan. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"A sweet song which will always be remembered."

3. Yeh mera dil (Don, 1978). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: Kalyanji-Anandji. Lyrics: Indeevar
"Whenever anyone tries to hum this song, they inevitably start with the music part! Also the way the sitar is used in the Western form is amazing."

4. Teri mehfil mein kismat azma kar (Mughal-e-Azam, 1960). Singers: Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum. Music: Naushad. Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
"No song can match this one."

5. Mere saamne wali khidki main (Padosan, 1968). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan
"Burman saab brought Bengali sweetness into his songs. And each song introduced a new flavour to the industry."

6. Lag ja gale (Woh Kaun Thi, 1964). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Madan Mohan. Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
"The best part about this song are the lyrics. It brings out the best in Lataji and Madan Mohan. Plus it's an evergreen favourite."

7. Dil gira dafatan (Delhi-6, 2009). Singers: Ash King. Music: AR Rahman. Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
"One of AR Rahman's best songs. We especially like it for the arrangements and sounds."

8. Dil ne tumko (Jhankaar Beats, 2003). Singer: Shaan. Music: Vishal-Shekhar. Lyrics: Vishal Dadlani
"Again, a song which is straight from the heart."

9. Pehla nasha, pehla khumar (Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, 1992) Singers: Udit Narayan and Sadhana Sargam. Music: Jatin-Lalit. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"A song that makes you remember your yesteryears. The freshness in Udit Narayan's voice is amazing."

10. Beedi jalaile (Omkara, 2006). Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh. Music: Vishal Bhardwaj. Lyrics: Gulzar
"It's a classy item song. No one will be able to forget it."
- as told to Shreya Sethuraman


AMEEN SAYANI's list. Radio host. Anchoring the radio show Binaca Geet Mala made him a household name

1. Mann re (Chitralekha, 1964) Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: Roshan. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"One of the most emotionally stirring songs I've heard. It portrays totally unselfish love, often resulting in sorrow, beautifully conveyed by the lyrics and melody."

2. Piya tose naina (Guide, 1965) Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Shailendra
"This is classical music at its simplest best. And it was so beautifully portrayed on the screen that the scene is embedded in my heart."

3. Poochho na kaise (Meri Surat Teri Aankhen, 1963) Singer: Manna Dey. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Shailendra
"This is one of the saddest and most beautifully rendered songs in Indian film music. The heart-wrenching tragedy of a painful night that never seems to end."

4. Tere bachpan ko (Mujhe Jeene Do, 1963) Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"As the world moves deeper into many dangerous situations each child will have to face, this song becomes more pertinent every time one hears it. I hope the song will one day become an incentive for the people to rise and prevent the world from further progressing towards irreversible disaster."

5. Jaanejaan dhoondhta (Jawani Diwani, 1972) Singers: Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"What a wonderfully romantic situation! The loved ones we seek to find and hold are actually always close by. We just have to reach out for them at the right place and right moment!"

6. Rasik balma (Chori Chori, 1956) Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
"Maybe I'm more sentimental than what is evident from my 'dhoom-dhaam' broadcasting career, but this song of another broken heart is one of my all-time favourites."

7. Koi humdum (Jhumroo, 1961) Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Kishore Kumar. Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
"I must mention the singer-cum-composer in this case. It was the king of comedy, Kishore Kumar, who proved that he also had a heart, that he that could keep the fun and frolic aside and felt lonely sometimes too."

8. Aye mere pyare watan (Kabuliwala, 1961) Singer: Manna Dey. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Prem Dhawan
"If you travel abroad, this song always comes to your mind when you start missing your motherland. It is also one of the finest examples of the depth of an Afghan melody beautifully mingled with an Indian style."

9. Hai duniya usiki (Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964) Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: OP Nayyar. Lyrics: SH Bihari
"This is romance at its very best. Soon after the release of this film, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the beautiful valley of Kashmir where it was shot. People also told me about the real-life 'hungama' that the stars managed to stir in between the shoots. All this and more has created a special, indelible niche for this song in my heart."

10. Saaranga teri yaad mein (Saaranga, 1961) Singer: Mukesh. Music: Sardar Malik. Lyrics: Bharat Vyas
"This song makes me remember the musical grandeur of an age gone by. It is one of the finest examples of soft and heart-warming melodies and expression that prevailed in the somewhat earlier part of the 'golden period' of Indian film songs."
-as told to Parul Khanna

 

EHSAAN NOORANI's list. Music composer. Guitarist Ehsaan Noorani of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy became popular with Dil Chahta Hai

1. Kuch dil ne kaha (Anupama, 1966). Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Hemant Kumar. Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
"This has to be my favourite Hindi song ever. Hemant Kumar's usage of the Bhim Palasi raag is super. His orchestration is at the minimum, giving Lataji's voice the correct space. And her voice is heavenly."

2. Tum pukar lo (Khamoshi, 1970). Singer: Hemant Kumar. Music: Hemant Kumar. Lyrics: Gulzar
"This has to be one of the most unique compositions. Again Hemantda's singing and orchestration gives the song a certain haunting quality."

3. Aage bhi jaane na tu (Waqt, 1965). Singer: Asha Bhosle. Music: Ravi. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
"A very simple but very melodic song from composer Ravi. I was surprised when I found out that it was filmed as a ballroom dance sequence."

4. Kora kaagaz tha ye mann mera (Aradhana, 1969). Singers: Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"The most memorable song from the film. SD Burman's folkish, ethnic orchestration and use of flute and tabla tarang made this song's interludes special."

5. Musafir hoon yaaron (Parichay, 1972) Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Gulzar
"Apparently RD Burman composed this song in a moment of melancholy solitude. The emotion completely translates in the song and its lyrics."

6. Raat ke humsafar (An Evening In Paris, 1967). Singers: Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
"A truly romantic composition by Shankar-Jaikishan. Apart from a lovely melody, it is filmed in Paris with Sharmila Tagore and Shammi Kapoor, which gives you the feeling of intense love."

7. Aap ki kasam (Aap Ki Kasam, 1974). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"You can see SD Burman's influence on Panchamda here. The melody of the antara has a lovely gentle quality."

8. Khilte hain gul yahaan (Sharmilee, 1971) Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Neeraj
"Another song in my favourite raag Bheem Palasi. This song has a super melody."

9. Jis gali mein tera ghar (Kati Patang, 1971). Singer: Mukesh. Music: RD Burman. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
"Rajesh Khanna rows a boat and sings to Asha Parekh. The song has a lovely pace and a really sensitive melody."

10. Dil kya kare (Julie, 1975). Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Rajesh Roshan. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi & Harindranath Chattopadhyay
"Arguably one of Rajesh Roshan's best compositions. This tune had a pop-like quality and stood out from all the music at the time."
- as told to Veenu Singh


From HT Brunch, September 1

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