Best Bollywood Songs: Piyush Mishra's choice

Piyush Mishra is a lyricist, music composer and actor. He also gave the music for Anurag Kashyap's Gulaal. He tells Hindustan Times his 10 favourite all-time Bollywood songs.

1. Cheel cheel chillake
Movie: Half Ticket (1962)
Singer: Kishore Kumar
Music: Salil Chowdhury
Lyrics: Shailendra

Piyush's take: "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
Movie: Prem Parbat (1973)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Jaidev
Lyrics: Jan Nisaar Akhtar

Piyush's take: "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
Movie: Kitaab (1977)
Singer: RD Burman
Music: RD Burman
Lyrics: Gulzar

Piyush's take: "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
Movie: Omkara (2006)
Singer: Rakesh Pandit and Rekha Bhardwaj
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics: Gulzar

Piyush's take: "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
Movie: Leader (1964)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi
Music: Naushad
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Piyush's take: "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

Movie: Parakh (1960)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Salil Chowdhury
Lyrics: Shailendra

Piyush's take: "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
Movie: Hum Dono (1961)
Singers: Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle
Music: Jaidev
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi

Piyush's take: "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
Movie: Mujhe Jeene Do (1963)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Jaidev
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi

Piyush's take: "The lullaby style in this song is praiseworthy. The tempo goes up and then softens again. It's pure melody."

9. Raat ke humsafar
Movie: An Evening In Paris (1967)
Singers: Asha Bhosle and Mohd Rafi
Music: Shankar-Jaikishan
Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

Piyush's take: "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
Movie: Jewel Thief (1967)
Singer: Asha Bhosle
Music: SD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Piyush's take: "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


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