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Blast from the past

Chitrangada Singh picks up Madhuri Dixit’s Sailaab hit, Humko Aaj Kal... for inspiration, Kareena Kapoor takes cues from Rekha’s super hit sequences for her mujra in Agent Vinod.

bollywood Updated: Feb 11, 2012 14:46 IST
Prashant Singh

Remember Madhuri Dixit’s hit song, Humko Aaj Kal… from 1990’s Sailaab? Twenty-two years later, the dance number has inspired Chitrangada Singh’s item song, Kaafirana.. from Joker.

“Yes, Farah (choreographer Farah Khan) wanted sensually understated dance movements. So the reference definitely was Humko Aaj Kal…. But our attempt was not to do a Madhuri. The idea was to inculcate the same effortlessness and beauty,” says Chitrangada.

Farah feels the Madhuri number “is easily one of the best item songs” ever. The chorepgrapher adds, “Since I am a big fan of Madhuri and the song, we kept it in mind. Chitrangada’s hair and make-up is similar too, but that doesn’t mean we have copied the whole thing in any way.”

“Like Madhuri’s song, ours is also not the ‘in-your-face’ kind of sexy number. It’s portrayed in a covert way, Chitrangada has a million-dollar face, so we didn’t have to work hard on making the song sexy,” Farah says with a smile.

Ask the choreographer what she loves most about Madhuri’s song, and she says, “I am a big fan because of the simple yet sexy way in which it was shot by Madhuri and Sarojii (choreographer Saroj Khan), using just a painted background.”

Chitrangada did the rehearsals and costume fitting in just a day. “In fact, she sprained her ankle too during the song. But she completed the shoot without any complaints,” says Farah, whose husband, Shirish Kunder, of the slap-gate fame, has directed the Akshay Kumar-Sonakshi Sinha starrer.

Kareena does a Rekha
More than three decades ago, Rekha charmed cinegoers with classic mujra numbers like Salaam-e-ishq meri jaan… (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, 1978) and Dil Cheez Kya Hai… (Umrao Jaan, 1981). Years later, Kareena Kapoor has taken cues from the yesteryear actor for her mujra act in the upcoming Agent Vinod.

“Kareena has worked really hard on the song, Dil Mera Muft Ka…. Like others, she too has been a big follower of Rekhaji’s classics. She went through a lot of her songs, including the above-mentioned two, since she feels Rekhaji was the best in them,” says a team member of Kareena’s entourage. “Kareena was also very excited about the song. So, she did whatever was required to do justice to it. She discussed it in detail with all of us, including Saif before shooting it,” says director Sriram Raghavan, who also watched a few mujra songs before the shoot.

According to him, the song — set in Karachi — also becomes special because Bollywood films haven’t had mujras in a long time now. Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan has designed the track that was shot with Kareena non-stop through a day.