the greatest song in the world

"Kehne Ki Nahi Baat" (
Mohammed Rafi singing Laxmikant-Pyarelal) from Pyar Kiye Jaa, 1966

This song has everything! Big band brass! Surf music and Chuck Berry influences! Social protest lyrics! Groovy head-shaking choreography! Beatlesque harmonies! Animal noises! A marching band! Shashi-shimmy!

This is the most exuberant Shashi dancing I have ever seen, and it is a thing of beauty. He hops and skips barefoot down the sidewalk, leading a ramshackle conga-ish line of backup fellows, he twists again like I wish I did last summer, and he even gets his Elvis on for a moment, thrusting his hips this way and that. He gets his proto-SRK on too, eyebrows working overtime. He does not yet have his 70s masala curls, but his hair is long and loose enough that it dances too, easy breezy in the beachfront sunshine. In short, he is Shammi - yet with all his magical Shashi powers too.


Update to post (May 27, 2008): Thanks to reader Sumanth, I've just learned of the Tamil version of this movie - or rather, the Tamil original (if imdb's date for Kadalikka Neramillai is to be trusted). Watch that movie's version of this song here and be amazed at how much the Hindi version copied! Same location! Some of the same dance moves and props! Whoa.


OMG! Memsaab reviewed this movie back in the day, and the PPCC has already catalogued this song as being FREAKING AWESOME. I especially like when Om Prakash's ladies start dumping buckets of water on them, LOL. And Shashi! He's so camp and hilarious!

The PPCC just re-watched Jab Jab Phool Khile with a Friend of the PPCC, and I was just admiring 1960s mod Shashi dancing. Especially that whole thing about crouching down and twisting. It's a bit West Side Story. FAB.
OH YEAH. And this is the movie that has that other great song, the one where Shashi's car is broken, and the two ladies are all huffy, and he follows them and teases them. Yet more camp!

Clearly I need to see this movie.
Katrin said…
Oooooooooooooh - definitely the most shashitastic song I've ever seen! YAY ! I guess that means I have to spend some money. NOW!
Anarchivist said…
I'm particularly enamored of the part where he jumps in the air, the big blue sky behind him. Actully, I want to live inside this dance number. Is that too much to ask?
PPCC - It really is freaking awesome. The end is great too - loved the buckets. And you will be glad to know that that other song follows almost immediately on the heels of the first one, so as I was finally able to tear myself away from repeating it over and over and letting the movie progress, I was promptly rewarded with another piece of fabulousness!

The Shashi and Asha romp over Bombay is definitely the best part of JJPK!

Katrin - Buy it now, Katrin! Buy it!

Anarhavist - that's exactly what I thought too! I've already thought about moving to the town in Koi Mil Gaya, and I think that might be more my speed long-term, but I will certainly vacation in "Kehne Ki Nahi Baat."
Anonymous said…
Everybody in the world should own this movie. And this song is one of the (many) highlights...he IS so Shammi-like :-) Love it!

Fie on Ramlal! Hail to the food!
Todd said…
Bow wow, meow, indeed! I'm sold in a big way. Reminds me of my own youth, back when we used to throw on our tam o'shanters and set out to freak out the older generation with our strangely confrontational interpretations of the "Mashed Potato".
Todd - Clearly you ran with a hep crowd. Do post some childhood pictures!

It's just...the best thing ever.
Filmi Girl said…
Clearly I must also own this movie - if just for Shashi sticking his butt out at the camera. Win!

circe said…
This is fab, mod, groovy...all 60s adjectives apply.

After watching this, I sense a lack of tam o' shanters in my life. I must rectify this!
FG - Aaaaabsolutely! I'm glad you said it, because it needed to be said :) It's so winky!

Kirsten - Yes! Short of going back in time to the set of this film to dig up what other slang was being used at the time, I am fresh out of adjectives that are actual words and not just sound effects.
Bollyviewer said…
Absolutely looooovvve this song. Had to watch it several times before I could proceed with the movie and have lost count of the number of times I've played the DVD just for the song alone! :-) Its too bad 70's dances changed too much to allow for such gyrations to be seen with the becurled Shashi...
Magpie Ima said…
Thanks so much. That made my day :-)
bollyviewer - yes yes! I want more like this! There must be others.

magpie - :)
--Sunrise-- said…
.......... and this is why you GOTTA love Bollywood! Fantashashistic! Thank you for showing and sharing.... :)
Anonymous said…
Here is the Tamil version,

See if you like this song,
sumanth - I LOVE IT! :) Thanks for the finds!
from reader Kamla Bhatt via email:
Thanks Beth...this song made my day and brought back memories although the Tamil version of the song. I remember watching the song on black and white TV with Ravi Chander dancing around in his drain pipe trousers!

Now that I am old I can hear the various musical influences: Beattles, samba, the 1960s music....etc.


Stella_1 said…
Hi Beth you are right about Shashi dancing. I don't know why he did not dance in films more often? I love this video and the Tamil version as well. Thanks for the link!
Hey Stella! I'm so glad you came by and liked the videos! You ask a good question - let's hope someone around here can come up with an equally good answer!

Interestingly, a very recent rediff column talked about dance in films a little bit. "Naach Basanti Naach" by Sukanya Verma can be found here.
Anonymous said…
"if imdb's date for Kadalikka Neramillai is to be trusted"

Yes. The Tamil version is the original. Both films have the same director(C.V. Sridhar).

Here are two other similar scenes,


gebruss said…
I showed this to a friend of mine. Half an hour later she was off looking for Shashi-movies to buy. It is a very powerful missionary tool. :)
gebruss said…
I hate to convey bad news and maybe you know already, but the video is gone from youtube. Such a shame!

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