Kangna steps into Babita's shoes for Kajra... | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Kangna steps into Babita's shoes for Kajra...

Kangna Ranaut performs Shamshad Begum’s Kajra mohabbatwala for her upcoming flick Tanu Weds Manu. The iconic track featured Biswajeet dressed up as a woman and Babita as a man in Manmohan Desai’s Kismet (1968).

bollywood Updated: Jan 19, 2011 17:59 IST
Hiren Kotwani

Remember the song

Kajra mohabbatwala

rendered by the legendary Shamshad Begum who was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2009?

The iconic track, which featured Biswajeet dressed up as a woman and Babita as a man in Manmohan Desai’s


(1968), was recently picturised on Kangna Ranaut for her forthcoming romcom,

Tanu Weds Manu

, with R Madhavan.

However, what is most interesting to note is that the original OP Nayyar composition won’t be remixed for the Anand Rai-directed film that also features Jimmy Sheirgil. At a time when cult classics like

Mehbooba mehbooba




Apni toh jaise taise



) and

Dum maaro dum


Hare Rama Hare Krishna

) are being remixed, the use of

Kajra mohabbatwala

in its original form comes as a breath of fresh air.

Kangana Ranaut

And interestingly, Ranaut is stepping into Babita’s role in the song, now choreographed by Saroj Khan. Initially, Rai considered getting music director Krsna to compose a new tune for one of the wedding ceremonies in the movie.

“Maddy is also present at the function and Kangna asks him to join them in the dance. He declines, saying he doesn’t know how to. She teases him that only watching others dance is not much fun and proceeds to show him some Kanpuriya moves,” says the film’s director, explaining the song setting and adding that he felt the


number had the romantic intensity and flavour required.

He adds, “I thought that something nostalgic that would render that feeling of


(teasing) by today’s small-town modern woman. And

Kajra mohabbatwalla

had that flavour, making it the best song for the situation.” On his suggestion, the producers proceeded to acquire the rights of the original Shamshad Begum rendition from HMV-Saregama.

Asked why he opted to retain the original composition instead of remixing it, Rai says, “I required a feeling of nostalgia in the song. If I wanted to remix it, I’d have gone for a new composition.

Kajra mohabbatwalla

is fantastic in its original form. So why should I tamper with it?”

As for Ranaut doing a Babita, Rai says, “Kangna is playing a small-town tomboy. So some of those manly moments are also there in the song sequence. It’s a performance-oriented song and she’s got all the nuances right.”