30 years of Khal Nayak: Whenever Ila Arun was called for a show, people would tell her to not sing Choli Ke Peeche
Ila Arun reflects on how the song Choli Ke Peeche gave her an identity as a singer, despite facing criticism. The song featured Madhuri Dixit and Neena Gupta.
For Ila Arun, Choli Ke Peeche from Khal Nayak (1993) is one of those songs that gave her an identity as a singer in the film industry. The 69-year-old recalls how the song’s composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyricist Anand Bakshi were not sure if she would agree to sing it. Also read: Alka Yagnik says she was initially shy about singing Madhuri Dixit's iconic song Choli Ke Peeche
“They thought I’d reject it because of the nature of the lyrics,” says Ila Arun, adding, “But I had been a theatre person and was exposed to folk music. This, too, was one that had both innocence and naughtiness.”
Ila on why Choli Ke Peeche worked
Just like Alka Yagnik, Ila also feels that the only reason why the song, which was Madhuri Dixit and Neena Gupta in the Subhash Ghai film, is still etched in people’s memories is because it was composed tastefully. “Its orchestration, lyrics and picturisation was so beautiful that it became timeless,” she adds.
On the song receiving flak
However, despite its legacy, the song received a lot of flak. “Whenever I was called for a show, people used to say, ‘Aap woh wala gaana nahin ga sakte (You cannot sing that song)’, and I would jokingly ask what song they meant while being completely aware that it was Choli Ke Peeche,” she quips.
Her mother too, didn't approve of the song initially. “She told me, ‘Yeh Kya gaana gaya hai, apna star itna mat girao ki kuch bhi gana ga do ?' (What have you sung? Don’t fall down so much that you have sing anything). Later, she realised that it was a good song and praised me, but initially she didn't like me singing the song,” says Ila Arun.