Think of Kishore Kumar and one of the first songs that comes to mind is his unforgettable number, Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). The song, which is close to four minutes long, has been nominated to the list of Cinema @ 100, a Fever and Hindustan Times initiative that celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema.
Composed by S.D. Burman and written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, the hit song has passed on from generations to generations, who can’t get over Kishore Da's antics and Madhubala's beauty in the number.
Kishore Da liked Western songs a lot and not many would know that Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si was inspired by western tunes according to his wishes. His voice is full of mischief and boyish charm in the song.
The song starts with a garage setting and dramatic story behind it. A stage like three-point lighting style was used to etch the actors against the dark background, particularly to show them wet from the rain and after having just pushed a car through.
Actor Madhubala plays hide and seek behind tinted car windows and Kishore da acts in an impish manner— singing, dancing, jumping— and all this while fixing a car sheer innocence and lost magic not found in contemporary cinema.
Noteworthy is Kishore da got playful with his vocal chords in the song and set the foundation of his magical voice for decades to come with alternating changes of pace and tempo in his voice to a beat by beat dash into the next lyrical note.
Tune in to Fever 104 and listen to these all time favourite hits. You can also log on to cinema100.com and cast your vote to make your favourite song win the top song of the century.
Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si..
Kishore Kumar, Madhubala
Chalta Ka Naam Gaadi
Did you know?
Singer-actor-filmmaker Kishore Kumar produced Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi in 1958 alongside a Bengali film, Lookochuri in the hope that both will flop and he will save himself from the income tax department. But both the films turned out to be huge hits in their respective languages and regions.
Kishore da, as he was popularly known, was so disgusted with this that he gifted Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and all its rights to his secretary Anoop Sharma, who retained the copyright. The income tax case on Kishore Kumar kept troubling him for his entire life but was not solved even after 40 years.