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Old Bollywood songs are a treasure for every mood, every occasion, every relationship-Entertainment News, Firstpost




Even when I was just five years old, I could sing verbatim several songs by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, RD Burman and Asha Bhosle. I didn’t know what they meant, what movies they were from, or who was playing them, but I knew them by heart.

When the going gets tough, we turn to our favorite guilty pleasures. But when it comes to entertainment, is there even guilt in what makes you happy? In our new Guilt Free Pleasure series, we take a look at pop offerings that have been decried by the culture police but continue to endure as beacons of pure fun.


The only lullaby my mother sang to me to fall asleep when I was a baby was’Mere Ghar Aayi Ek Nanhi Pari, ‘a song from Yash Chopras 1976 filmKabhi Kabhie.Years later, when I left home to go to college and couldn’t sleep in this strange new environment for the first few nights, I listened to the song Lata Mangeshkarsong on headphones and in in no time, I would be snoring peacefully.

We are a family of five. We are as different as the members of any family. The only thing that unites us all is music. Although in our different ways, we all seek refuge there, we draw inspiration from it, find answers and joy in it. Our personal tastes in music differ, but we all love old Bollywood songs. My siblings and I grew up listening to them all the time, thanks to our parents, who are great admirers.

For us children, it is first and foremost the songs. Films followed much later. Whether it’s raining, whether it’s a family reunion or a weekend or whether we are traveling or killing the weather during a power outage, we always invariably find ourselves turning to old Hindi movie songs. To this day we, as a family, are invincible toantaksharis.

Old Bollywood songs are a treasure for every mood every occasion every relationship

I remember, even when I was just five years old, I could sing verbatim several songs by Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, RD Burman and Asha Bhosle. I didn’t know what they meant, what movies they were from, or who was playing them, but I knew them by heart.

Old Bollywood music is my way of communicating, it’s my way of laughing, crying, living and loving. It forms the backdrop for most of my best memories, friendships and relationships.

I will never be able to forget a party before the marriage between cousins. We were on the terrace sitting around a bonfire and playing mat. When I walked out I was asked to say how I felt for the person sitting to my right through a song. To my right sat a distant and much older cousin brother, someone to whom I had a reverent attachment. We shared a formal but close bond. Growing up, he nurtured me in his calm and modest ways. He always made himself available and gave me support whenever I needed it, even when it was difficult or inconvenient for him. But I never had the opportunity to thank him for his many kindness. So that cold January night three years ago, I looked at it and sang,Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi, yu hi nahi dil lubhaata koi. Jaane tu ya jaane na, maane tu, yaa maane naa.When I was done, I saw his eyes moisten. Everyone around us fell silent. He stood up and did something he had never done before hugging me.

Old Bollywood songs are a treasure for every mood every occasion every relationship

When I was in Delhi at the start of my journalistic career, I was often assigned to night shifts. Anyone who left the office after 11 p.m. was able to travel home by taxi. Often, during the long journey, the taxi would fill up with melodies from a bygone era, thanks to the late-night radio. Once, a senior illustrator, a known connoisseur of old Bollywood music, was seated in the front. Madhubalas’Aaiye Meherbaan ‘was playing on the radio. Listening to him, he lamented that the younger generation knew little about ourvirasat,and what a tragedy it was.

To make his point clear, he then asked if anyone in the cab knew which movie the iconic song was from. Nobody said anything. He was about to launch into another tirade when, sitting right behind him, I said: “Howrah Bridge. “He turned around. And smiled. He asked me my name and the team I was on. The next afternoon he came to my office and said hello to me. from there it became a ritual. If we were in the same cab, he would ask me about a song playing on FM. It would get us into a heated and nostalgic conversation. We would discuss untold stories, about anecdotes, our favorites, etc. Those midnight conversations with him, coupled with the heartwarming melodies playing in the background, made those commutes back home a little less sad and a lot more fun.

Old Bollywood songs are a treasure for every mood every occasion every relationship

When I had just started dating my boyfriend, the energy between us was electrifying. We were about a month into the relationship and barely held hands. I knew he was waiting for a signal from me but I didn’t know how to go about it. So I made a playlist. Next time we drove, after about half an hour, I put it on. First played ‘Dekha Ek Khwaab ‘from the movie Yash Chopras 1981Silsila.Next follow-up ‘What is Ghazab Karte HoOf’from the 1981 film by Kumar GauravLove story.By the time ‘Bahon Mein Chale Aao ‘from the 1973 Jaya Bachchans filmAnamikacame, he stopped the car and was smiling from ear to ear.

I know countless people who, like the character of Rahul Khannas inWake up Sid, despises old Bollywood songs and the people who listen to them. They find it too massive, too populist. However, just like the character of Konkona Sensharmas, I love them, not only because they are easy to sing and tell, but also because they are incredibly therapeutic and poetic. Jazz and the Beatles are all awesome but nothing compares to playingLamhes’Megha Re Megha ‘every time it rains or Julies’Ye Raatein Nayi Purani ‘in the weeks leading up to the new year.

To learn more about the Guilt Free Pleasure series, click here.

When not reading books or watching movies, Sneha Bengani writes about them. She tweets to @benganiwrites.




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