The 30-Day Bollywood Song Challenge! part 1
1. A song that makes you happy
"Tera Mujhse Hai Pahle Ka Naata Koi" from Aa Gale Lag Jaa. Shashi in loverboy mode with a dopey scarf draped over his head. Sharmila with sparkle and fun and the good sense to stop resisting his charms. Wintery Simla. ROLLER SKATES. It is very silly and I adore it.
2. A song that makes you sad
"Ek Ladki Ko Dekha" from 1942 A Love Story often makes a few tiny tears well up. I think it's the reminder that my life is wildly un-filmi. When you surround yourself with filminess every day, it's hard not to notice the lack in your own life, even if you, like I, don't actually want to be like a movie character or live their unrealistic and dramatic lives most of the time.
Even though I don't particularly care for or about poetry and would probably giggle if someone said these things to me in real life—or worse, sang them—this is a gorgeous melody and the lyrics make the singer seem so full of thought, so open to considering his love in many different ways. Who doesn't want to be a huge string of lovely or life-giving things? The comparisons that pang my dil are "winter sunshine" and "a slowly growing feeling of intoxication" (if you trust this translation).
3. A song that you like driving to
These days it's pretty much any filmi disco song. "Om Shanti Om" from Karz gets repeated a lot on my ipod, partly because I a harbor a silly hope that some day a passer-by desi will hear it from my open window, flash me a big thumbs-up, and sing along. And then we'll start a dance party right there on the street and the whole university will join along. What? I work on a campus with a 2,000-member Indian student association. It could happen! [Editor self: weren't you just saying you didn't want real life to be filmi?]
4. A song that you like walking to
Trickbaby's "Sabse Bada Rupaiya" from Bluffmaster. No contest. STRUT!
5. A song that reminds you of someone
Ooooh this is hard. Most everything reminds me someone. These days it's fun to think how "Main To Beghar Hoon Apne Ghar Le Chalo" from Suhaag reminds me of Post-Punk Cinema Club and Indie Quill and our shared love of hilarious Shashi Kapoor and Parveen Babi (and our admiration of her Shashi-getting techniques).
6. A song you can chill to
"Chill" isn't really in my nature—I'm happiest when I'm doing things—but the very concept makes me think of the (literal) breeziness and vacation attitude of the title track of Dil Chahta Hai.
7. A song you like dancing to
Three of my favorite dance-along songs are in Kal Ho Na Ho, a movie I don't actually like that much. Mine is a crazy heart, so "It's the Time to Disco" at my house anytime (look out when the bookish girl demonstrably cuts loose, especially with imitable moves like these). My friend Abby and I saw this film pretty early in our descent into filmi madness and kicked ourselves out of glum moods quite regularly with "Maahi Ve". And resistance is utterly futile in the presence of the ebullient "Pretty Woman" with its over-the-top KJo-ified version of modern urban America in song. Hit it!
And yes, Shahrukh is a sure-fire, though not essential, ingredient that inspires me onto my feet.
8. Favorite item number
"Kajra Re" from Bunty aur Babli: it may not be the sexiest picturization in the world, but hiii hiiiiii is it fun to watch—and join in. A tragi-comic love triangle, zillions of sparkles, and a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. I do find this song harder to watch now that all the participants are family—there's something a little squicky about pretending to lust after your father-in-law, understandable as it may be in the case in question.
9. Favorite song from a Yash Raj movie
"Dhadak Dhadak" from Bunty aur Babli: I love the song on its own, I love how it works within in the movie, I love how well it introduces the main characters and tells us a lot about them, I love the colors, the energy, the train, the locations, the bystanders and backup dancers, Abhishek's in-character goofy movies, Rani's zest and sparkle, and the reference to Fearless Nadia. It's a mini-movie! Not to mention that bit when Rani twirls in a petal-coated pool to unfurl a huge blue skirt spangled with mirrors like she's the night sky (4:08 in the link).
"Kiss of Love" from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom: it's fun to sing and has those snazzy Chicago-ish outfits and I miss the good ol' days when Preity Zinta was in movies. And when presented with it right in my face, I cannot deny the joy of Bobby Deol's silver velvet suits.
"Ainvayi Ainvayi" from Band Baaja Baaraat: duh.
10. A favorite song that is often played at Indian weddings
Ummmm.... Having never been to an Indian wedding, I have no idea. I do love the "girls vs boys" choreography and vocals that happen a lot in wedding-related scenes in films, like "Number 1 Punjabi" from Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.