5 January 2013

My Favourites: Village Songs

A few months ago, pacifist wrote a guest blog over at Harvey's blog listing her favourite village songs that depicted the various aspects of village life. It was a novel post, and a unique idea. I already had a list of village songs that I had meant to post, as I mentioned in my comments to her post, and was relieved to find that only a couple of songs were the same on my list and hers. So I heroically (or selfishly?) refrained from listing my favourite songs there. 

Folk songs were always an integral part of Hindi films, but somewhere along the line, as our films shifted their focus from villages to towns and cities, folk songs lost their charm. Today, it is rare to hear authentic folk tunes in Hindi film music. There are exceptions, of course, as there always are, but again, the exceptions very rarely make it to the top of the charts.

So, to hark back to a more innocent (or stereotypical) time, when villagers were all very good and city dwellers were all very bad, when villagers danced to the beat of the dhol and the city slickers grooved and jived in clubs (Bad City People! Very, Very, Bad!), and the village women were all Bharatiya naaris  and the city women were all arrogant shrews until they fell in love with the hero, and turned over a new leaf and learnt to wear saris while their hair grew astonishingly  long and thick overnight...

I must confess that the stark black and white characterisations were sometimes welcome. You knew from the outset who was good and who was bad, and so there was no doubt at all whom you had to cheer for. Of course, there was nary a hope that the bad guy would have some good to leaven the evil, or that the good chap could actually be human enough to have some frailty of his own. Black was black and white was white and that was that! Of course the good guy won, and the bad guy either died or was suitably repentant. Bad girls always died. Redemption, for them, only came after death.

Yet, there were  a few filmmakers who attempted to present a slightly more realistic version of life. The songs were great, lyrics and music melding to make a harmonious whole. It is a treat to hear the folk beats, so, putting aside the films and their stereotypes and generalisations, here are my picks.

Madhumati (1958) 
Music: Salil Choudhary 
Lyrics: Shailendra 
Artistes: Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey
I first saw this song when I saw Madhumati, first row in the stalls, with each song being accompanied by the totally besuri pardanasheens who occupied the second row. Even from that, umm, 'vantage' point, the song struck a chord. I loved the imagery that just hinted at its sensuality, fell in love with Vyjayanthimala and was in awe of her dancing skills especially towards the end when the pace of the music picks up. Salilda also used a Nepalese folk song (Kancha le kanchi lai lajo) and a Kumaonese folk song (Zulmi sang aankh ladi) in this tale of a mountain lass, reincarnation and revenge.

Do Bigha Zameen (1953)  
Music: Salil Choudhary 
Lyrics: Shailendra 
Artistes: Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey
One of the most realistic of 'village' films, the story (Rickshawaala) was scripted by Salilda who offered it to Bimal Roy on condition that he also score the music. And what a score it was! From Ajab tori duniya to Dharti kahe pukar ke to Aaja re nindiyaeach song was inserted by a master director at a point where they added to the narrative. I like Hariyala sawan dhol bajata aaya for its sheer imagery. (Just think of ek agan bujhi, ek agan lagi, man magan hua ek lagan lagi if you want to know what I mean.) There is the anticipation of rain (so important for an agrarian economy), a rejoicing in the village at the sight of the clouds, and the people, poverty-stricken as they are, gather to welcome the rains that will bring new life to the parched earth

Teesri Kasam (1966) 
Music: Shankar-Jaikishen 
Lyrics: Shailendra 
Artiste: Manna Dey
Shailendra's dream, and his swansong,  Teesri Kasam boasted of a great musical score, and great performances. It was indeed sad that Shailendra did not live to see its success. From the many, many wonderful songs in this film about an unusual romance between a nautanki dancer and an innocent cart driver, this particular song is the perfect 'village' song, sung as it is by a group of villagers on the fair grounds as they wait the night out for the nautanki to begin. Like most folk songs, the language is rustic, the song is raw and the enthusiasm is contagious. A bit of inspired singing by Manna Dey for Krishan Dhawan, while Raj Kapoor joins in with a daph. The song sings of a traveller who is entranced by a caged bird; when he lets her loose, she visits the various shops in the village (the halwai, the cloth trader's, the paan seller's) - the allegorical song plays as Heera Bai (a caged bird) listens in appreciation. 

Godaan (1963) 
Music: Pt. Ravi Shankar 
Lyrics: Anjaan 
Artiste: Mohammed Rafi
Based on a Munshi Premchand novel of the same name, Godaan dealt with the trials and tribulations that a villager often has to undergo. The song, picturised on Mehmood (who plays a negative role in the film, being the brother who forces a partition of the land on his elder brother (Raj Kumar)) comes at the beginning of the film, when, after a year of working in the city, he begs leave to go home for a while - he had been romancing a village belle (Shubha Khote) and wants to go home to meet her. Bhojpuri has never sounded so entrancing before, and Mohammed Rafi exerted such control over his voice that, even knowing he was a singer par excellence, one sits spellbound! The joy of going home, the sheer exuberance of knowing one is going to meet one's love, Rafisaab sang it with such gusto that it never fails to bring a smile to my face. (It is probably one of the few light moments in a film that is heavy on tragedy.) It's my favourite song from the movie.

Naya Daur (1957) 
Music: OP Nayyar 
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi 
Artistes: Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle
A slightly more filmi village, a dashing, rustic Yousefsaab with twinkle-toed Vyjayanthimala for company; with OP Nayyar's rousing songs to add lustre, what was not to like about Naya Daur?  Like almost all of BR Chopra's films, the commercial venture still had its heart in the right place, and a serious topic (that of nation-building) underlay all the gloss. OP Nayyar's score for this film had a very strong Punjabi-folk base, and while folks say that he was inspired by composer Vinod's tune for a Punjabi film called Bhaiyyaji, the truth probably is that both composers were inspired by the same folk song from their homeland. Ude jab jab zulfein teri is a light-hearted song, as the village folk unwind after a long day.

Mother India (1957) 
Music: Naushad 
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni 
Artistes: Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi
I know this film is considered a classic, but count me in among the minority who could not understand what there was to like in a film that glorified martyrdom under the guise of motherhood. And I never did like Dukh bhare din. So that was two strikes against me. Much later, I heard this song and loved  it, especially the chorus. I loved the cadences of the words, the way the chorus rises and falls. A harvest song, this was one of the few happy  moments before everything goes wrong for the protagonists. 

7. Ghir ghir ke aasman par   
Baawre Nain (1950) 
Music: Roshan 
Lyrics: Kidar Sharma 
Artistes: Rajkumari, Asha Bhosle
While Baawre Nain  was not a great movie (too much contrived tragedy for me to like it), we have Kidar Sharma to thank for giving Roshan another chance, one that the latter grabbed. We were the lucky ones, for if Roshan had indeed left after his debut film crashed at the turnstiles, we would have missed a fine composer and some classic compositions. There is a muted joy in this song, one that is sung by a woman who drives a tanga (Kidar Sharma was always much ahead of his time in his representation of women characters), and one of her passengers.

Ganga Jumna (1961) 
Music: Naushad 
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni 
Artiste: Mohammed Rafi
Another rollicking number from the Master's baton, it had the added pleasure of watching Dilip Kumar relax enough from his angst to dance with his compatriots in the village. The man was certainly a graceful dancer, and along with Raj Kapoor, managed to fit in completely in both a rural milieu and an urban background, exchanging dhoti-kurtas for tailored suits and ties with amazing ease. Perhaps that is why my list is so skewed in their favour. (The third member of the triumvirate deliberately stayed away from a rural milieu; the one time he tried it (Insaaniyat) he stuck out like a sore thumb.)  What I liked about Ganga Jumna was that it stuck exclusively to the lingua franca of the region in which the film was set, and the film's south Indian heroine trained hard to get her dialect and accent just right. 

Do Boond Paani (1971) 
Music: Jaidev 
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi 
Artistes: Parveen Sultana, Meenu Purushottam
It is from a later period than my go-to period for songs, but my husband introduced me to this beautiful composition by the under-rated Jaidev. The film, set in Rajasthan, deals with water scarcity that is the underlying reality of those who live in that scorching desert state. As the girls make the long trek to the communal well, they are happy at the thought of bringing water back in their brass pots, and so they make light of the trek, laughing and teasing each other. The song ends with a thud (literally) as the pot hits the dry, stony bottom of the well. Lovely, lovely music, and it deserves to be better known than it is.

Ek Gaon ki Kahani (1957) 
Music: Salil Choudhary 
Lyrics: Shailendra 
Artiste: Lata Mangeshkar
Another village, another village woman going to fetch water, but she is luckier, there is plenty of water. There are all the usual accoutrements of village life - trees, winding paths through the forst, a river, birdsong, and the village belle. It's a happy song, and I love the way the music trills along in accompaniment. This film had some lovely Talat numbers as well, Raat ne kya kya khwaab dikhaaye probably being the most popular. 

All the songs I listed had a simple, very realistic background in terms of plot, story and setting. Even the costumes were simple with only the Mother India song looking out of place with the bright red lipstick and the patchy make-up - I wonder if that is the fault of the the cleaning up? It was only towards the 70s and the 80s that 'village belles' meant the women had to look like they had just stepped out of a beauty parlour, complete with long, manicured and polished nails, ethnic wear with enough mirrors or sequins to blind you at ten paces, a whole tube of lipstick that still did not glue their lips together, enough jewellery to make them look like over-trimmed Christmas trees or walking advertisement for silver jewellers, and immaculate braids complete with parandis. I remember a cousin remarking that it must be very nice to be 'poor' in Hindi films.

I write about newer films (and songs) very rarely, but I have seen, and liked, both the films I mention below. I have also liked the songs. It is interesting that of the present triumvirate ruling the roost in Hindi films, all three can switch pretty easily between urban and rural 'heroes' without looking or sounding out of place. So, two new 'village' songs that I have liked very, very much to round off my list.

Lagaan (2001) 
Music: AR Rehman 
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar 
Artistes: Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Udit Narayan, Sukhwinder Singh,  Shankar Mahadevan, Kishori Gowariker
It was such a pleasure to watch a 'modern' film where sets and 'villagers' looked real. The film touched our collective consciousness, and it helped that the songs, courtesy a certain Mr AR Rehman were a great hit. I speak of Lagaan. (The only song I did not like was O re chhori - Farhan and Zoya Akhtar should cease and desist from writing poetry. The English parts of the song were an assault on poetry.) The anticipation of rain, the collective joy upon seeing the clouds gather, the underlying anxiety - if the rains do not come and the crops fail, how will they pay the taxes? - the dawning hope when the black clouds cover the sun, the excruciating disappointment that follows - beautiful!

12. Laaga re jal laaga
Paheli (2005) 
Music: MM Kreem 
Lyrics: Gulzar 
Artistes: MM Kreem, Sonu Nigam, Shruti Sadolikar
A delectable fable that raises questions about the rights of women to own their own sexuality, the film was lavishly mounted and sensitively directed (Amol Palekar). Once Shah Rukh Khan came on board as the producer, the film's scale went up, and the crew picked up MM Kreem as music director and Ravi Chandran as cinematographer. It was probably one of the finest screen palettes that one had seen in a very long time - the vivid colours of the costumes and the arid landscapes of Rajasthan were lovingly shot, and the music, thanks to Amol Palekar's vision, were not just there to add colour. I dithered between Kangna re and Laaga re jal laaga, finally pitching on the latter for the insight it offers into the story. 

So. My dozen 'village' songs that run the ambit from celebrating the coming of rain to the welcoming of a new life. What songs would you add?

45 comments:

  1. Ohhhh. I like this. Really, really like this - especially the first five songs, and Nain lad jayee hain. Somehow (and I'm part of the same minority as you, Anu - no surprises there), I dislike Mother India to the point of never even being able to remember which songs figured in it. This one's nice, though.

    I like Ghanan ghanan a lot, too: such a pleasure to hear a good 'gaon ka gaana' in a relatively recent film.

    I find something very endearing about the way the village children run behind the cart in this song, Laali-laali doliya mein. The very simple pleasures of life, which perhaps city children wouldn't have had much time for, even back when Teesri Kasam was made:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWLnk3BcxmU

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  2. This is a fabulous post, Anu.  I love the theme/setting (and miss it sorely in today's films) and your picks save "matwala jiya" and "nain lad jaye he."  I confess, I don't much care for Naushad and outright hate "Mother India." :-(

    To atone here are two fantastic songs by the great Ani Biswas showing two very different sides of village life:

    Ek kali do pattiyan - Rahi
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNrPNWvfhxw

    Phool ban bagiya - Sautela Bhai
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvQ5RAWvhLI

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  3.  Why am I not surprised that you don't like Mother India either? :) I'm very glad I'm not as alone in that dislike as I thought.

    The songs from Teesri Kasam were really nice. All of them. This one is lesser known, though, and I'm glad you posted it.

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  4.  Thank you, Shalini.

    outright hate "Mother India."
    You too? :) Thank you!

    I'd not heard either of the songs you posted, Shalini, so thank you so, so much - your atonement is much appreciated!

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  5. Oh, drat. No Dev or Shammi songs! Well, that's only to be expected! But Dilip Kumar's good! He's cute! Remember the discussion at Dustedoff's blog? I watched Mother India... meh, too much melodrama for me! Way too much! The whole reason why I sat through that was because of Sunil and Rajendra... kept waiting for their entry.

    And am I bad for cheering when Sunil killed the moneylender? Also, should I watch Pyaasa? I'm not in the mood for a sad film right now, so is it sad? My grandma says it was my grandpa's FAVORITE! And she also says it was very slow-moving. And Kaagaz Ke Phool.

    Also, do you remember all those eons back about that Filmfare poll I asked you guys to vote in? SRK and Kajol were voted the best. Oh, I swear, f- you, Filmfare!

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  6.  Dev looked totally out of place as a villager, Sasha, which is why he never did those roles.

    Should you watch Pyaasa? At some point, you should. :) But I don't know if you should right now, especially if you are not in the mood for a sad movie. Actually, it is not a 'sad' movie so much as a serious one. It is very slow moving, and Kagaz ke Phool is even slower. :))

    What did you expect from Filmfare? They cannot see beyond SRK.

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  7. Dilip Saab dominating this post is not a surprise at all for me. I know Dev Anand's 'Gaon' Songs though :
    from 'Prem Pujari' , if given a choice I would watch this not-so-good film over Mother India, so add me to the ones who don't care for that classic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZIqJ4VTVJs
    from 'Roop ki rani choron ka raja'
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vef7MdJ94FA
    from 'Des Pardes' (I think Kishore is copying Dev's mannerisms while singing this and some of his other songs of that time)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7HTBH0ju9M
    songs of 'Tere mere Sapne' - wasn't Dev a doctor in a 'gaon' in that?
    others
    from 'Mera gaon mera desh'
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvbEMwB_AnQ
    from 'Samadhi 1972'
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNKqH49BENg
    from 'Adalat'
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMpZ01gOwdo

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  8. contd.
    from 'Prem Rog'
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AZbwR6152U
    from errm.. well 'SSS' , I like the music and this song and Zeenat Aman CAN act.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzxbJUY87Ig
    from 'Swades'
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UzvpM3IwwY

    and finally,
    from 'Woh 7 din'
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzxbJUY87Ig
    I hated the 'disguised' remake of this film starring Sallu-Ash in 1999. I used to like Salman till then (still prefer the young Salman) and have never liked Aishwarya after that.
    I know woh 7 din was also a remake but Anil Kapoor is only actor in the last 30 odd years whose 'remakes' I have liked. like Virasat,Beta,etc. Well he is probably is my favourite actor post 80s. I even like Roop ki rani choron ka raja 1991 (lol.) and the award for worst remakes goes to unfortunately Amitabh (geraftaar,aakhri raasta,Sooryavansham,etc.)

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  9.  Sorry, that last line about Amitabh was not offend you.

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  10. Here are a few of my additions to the list:
    Ho Umad Ghumad Ke Aayi Re Ghata – Do Aankhe Barah Haath - http://youtu.be/Tin-3Ihvm4s
    And another one from the same film – Saiyan Jhuthon Ka Bada Sartaj Nikla - http://youtu.be/wDXoqAUca98
    Jeevan Se Lambe Bandhu – Aashirwad - http://youtu.be/KbhwaNm09oY
    Chhoti Si Ye Zindgani – Aah - http://youtu.be/ngO9SDllyCw (A trivia: The coachman is Mukesh)
    Hai Sharmaoon – Mera Gaon Mera Desh - http://youtu.be/_iv0YBeNAPA
    And I am sure whether this one would qualify, but nonetheless I would place it for your review (I like the tune so much!) – Theme Song from CARAVAN http://youtu.be/NAmGz_avPu4

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  11.  Chris, none of Devsaab's songs are 'village' songs because he is not a villager in *any* of them. (I confess to liking Shokhiyon mein gola jaaye a whole lot, though.) Just being picturised in a village is not enough. :) I think I would put the Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja as a village song, since apart from Dev, they seem to be villagers anyway. Dev never acted as a villager; donning ethnic clothes (and a moustache) in Insaaniyat cured him of that pretty soon, I think. In Tere Mere Sapne he is a city doctor who relocates to a village and then comes back to the city. Amitabh is another person who was better off in an urban milieu, though he did do quite a few 'villager' roles.

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  12.  No worries. :) I hated both Suryavansham and Geraftaar. In fact, in those days, I only liked him in Aakhri Raasta, especially as the father.

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  13. Village songs from films are a genre by themselves. Their appeal is timeless. You have done us all a great service by listing these gems.

    My additions to the list would be 'Hiya jarat rahat din rain' from Godaan. Although the words indicate sadness, the scene from the movie is of rural idyll. http://youtu.be/vE6-PqX6jhA

    Another gem of idyllic bliss from Hira Moti. Makes you believe that 'Chakki peesing' can actually be fun if one is not a 'budhiya' a la Sholay! http://youtu.be/vS_dvtK0nGk

    My top favorite from Mukesh's folk tune based film songs is this one from Chardivari, although the setting in the film does not appear to be rural - the lyrics and mood carry the clear imprint of folk: http://youtu.be/3jtl3lAIaqU

    Bichhua from Madhumati is rightly famous and its inclusion in your list is fully merited. Zulmi sang aankh ladi is less known but equally good: http://youtu.be/PEqixOEVuDM

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  14.  Like all the songs here, especially the songs from Prem Rog and Swades. Your link to the Woh Saat Din song is going back to the song from Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

    Let's agree to disagree on Zeenat. In my opinion, she couldn't act for toffee. :)

    I agree about AK. I think he is a fine actor, though his remakes of Kamal Hassan movies always fell short of the original. But kudos to him for trying out very different roles even when he was slated to be the 'next superstar'.

    The only thing I liked about HDDCS was Salman Khan and the songs. Ajay Devgan made me want to get up and punch him.

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  15. Ashokji, I think Jeevan se lambe bandhu and Chhoti si ye zindagani re would better qualify as transit songs. I couldn't see the theme song from Caravan - is this the one with music by RDB? The video said that it was prohibited in my country. :(

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  16.  Subodh, I love both Hiya jarat rahat din rain and Kaun rang mungwa - yes, chakki pees-ing was actually fun provided we didn't have to do it every day. :)) My folks had one in our hometown, along with a mortar and pestle which we used to pound chillies and such, and water for the kitchen and the bathroom was drawn from the well. Or you went to the pond to bathe. It was great fun when we were kids and went home for the holidays. I don't know if I would think it fun if I had to do it every day. :))

    Kaise manaoo piyawa does have a very clear folk imprint, but as you so correctly pointed out, neither setting nor characters are rural.

    I love Zulmi sang aankh ladi especially the bamboo dance at the end, but I think musically, O bichchua is far superior. Salilda is one composer whose compositions I usually like, though my complaint is that sometimes, he made things unnecessarily complicated.

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  17. This is the right link,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XENV_WjQpk

    I should have said 'south' remakes post 80s , where Amitabh's remakes were worse than the ones Jeetendra did.  'Sooryavansham' did have one good thing , Rekha's dubbing for Soundarya and the other actress playing Amitabh's mom . I still can't believe it, did she and AB dub seperately? I obviously 'like' their pair AND Rekha. Rekha also did a female version of 'Don', and I think was the only actress who could have done that. http://bollywooddeewana.blogspot.in/2011/06/madam-x-ko-mera-salaam.html. (It is different in that the Don doesn't die in this and returns later.)

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  18. No, this is not that from RDB's Caravan. It has some songs that have been positioned in Mela , but do not at all appear to be having rustic touch.

    This one is a titles music  of a Hollywood film where the desert is at its full glory.I had heard this piece when I was collecting Title songs of "western' Hollywood films for my collection.

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  19.  Post-80s, Amitabh's films were horrible, whether they were remakes or not. This was the age of Toofan, Jadugar, Mahaan and so on. Aakhri Raasta came as a breath of fresh air amidst all that rubbish. Bemisal, Barsaat ki Ek Raat, Shakti, Main Azad Hoon, etc, were some of his more decent movies during that period.

    Yes, Rekha did dub for a lot of heroines opposite AB during that period - rumour had it that she wanted to remain close to him. Yes, they dubbed separately.

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  20. Yeah, that is what I thought too (about RDB's Caravan); I should have realised when you said 'theme music' that you were referring to a Western movie. Thanks for trying to post that link; it's sad that it cannot be viewed here.

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  21. A few from my side..

    1. Phir Si Aaiyo Badraa Bidesi from Namkeen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMQzIew4NH8

    2. Yaara Sili Sili from Lekin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz7nJErmsbE

    3. Ohre Taal Mile from Anokhi Raat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ab9Sa628_8

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  22. I know! xD I watched a bit of Insaniyat and died of laughter at least 3 times. Oh, GOD Dev! Cardboard helmets DO! NOT! suit you! Stick to cute Tere Ghar Ke Samne hats, no? :(

    If "Sar Jo Tera Chakraye" was the only happy moment in the film, then no, I couldn't do it. Oh well, let's go watch Mr and Mrs '55 and Aar Paar instead. Kaagaz Ke Phool's ending's so sad. I mean, no one likes death at the end!

    I KNOW! I just wish that they had some of that epic 60's-ness left in them, but apparently not!

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  23.  Wasn't yaara seeli seeli a ghost song? :) Love, love, love the cinematography in O re taal mile. Loved Namkeen, the film as well.

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  24.  I actually sat through Insaaniyat, so I wonder what that says about me. :)

    Pyaasa is serious, so yes, there is very little lightness in the film. Kaagaz ke Phool is sad. If I'd to choose, I would pick Aar Paar over Mr and Mrs 55 - cinematically, the former is a far better film, though the latter had Madhubala.

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  25. Ghost rural song, maybe:) Namkeen - too good; a Gulzar film any day...

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  26. I didn't read ALL the comments but did anyone mention "Gori tera GAON bada pyara" from Chitchor by the legendary Yesudas? 

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  27. I liked Lekin you know, though the film confused me when I first watched it. 

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  28.  No, nobody did. :) And yes, it is a lovely village song.

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  29. Poor Dev. :-)  I feel compelled to defend these aspersions on his um rural credentials and point out two movies where he does play a villager - Ferry (1954) and Milap(1955).  Interesting Geeta Bali was his co-star in both films and it is true that Dev's urbanisation from "dehati ganwar" to "shehri babu" in the latter film was the speediest ever such transformation on screen. :-D

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  30.  *Grin* Yes, I bet he would have become Shehri babu as quickly as possible. :) He didn't have the face, or the mannerisms, or the inclination to be a villager. Poor Dev indeed. :))

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  31. ooo that's beautiful song and I love it too! Love Bichua and Ude jab jab anu! And a lovely idea for a post :D

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  32. Thank you, Neha. Where have you been, woman? Husband keeping you from blogging? :)

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  33. Thanks Anu for the beautiful post, it made an amusing reading, particualrly the comparison between the rural and urban folks!

    O bichchua is such a lilting song! So danceable! Didn't know the origin of the song, thanks for the info!

    Hariyala sawan is wonderful! Agree with you about the imagery in the lyrics and also the rhythm and rhyme!

    Chalat musafir is rural as rural can be. This reminds me of the dudhwala bhaiyas in our vicinity in Bombay.

    Don't like pipra ke patwa as much as the other songs but love with what spirit Rafi sings it.

    Ude jab jab zulfein teri is good, but would never have thought of it as a strictly rural song. For me it has a pseudo-rural touch, like a stage performance.

    AGREE completely about your opinion about the film Mother India.

    *sigh* at ghir ghir ke aasman par. Such a wonderful song! So much full of life and such a imagery!

    I wonder at times if Ganga Jamuna  is really a Bhojpuri film! ;-)

    I'm so happy you included pital ki mor ghagari and ghanan ghanan!

    Bole peehoo was new for me!

    Paheli was a film set in rural settings, but the songs for me had a sort of pseudo-rural feeling. but the film was great. A pity it didn't run well.

    Thanks Anu again for the wonderful post!

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  34. I am glad to see that there are people who dislike Mother India as much as I do. I've so often looked at like something from outer space for saying so. Actually I do not see why anyone should go on about sacrifices, there are millions of young widows in India who have brought up their children single-handed without making a song and dance about it. But your collection was great. My favourite, Pipra ke Patwa and the Teesri Kasam songs.

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  35. hey anu.. no that's not it! I've been just having a bit of hard time for the last year or so; it's a big sob story so i don't want to bore you with it. everytime i decide to start blogging again, it just pulls me back down :( and the worst part is I miss it, I really do! But I haven't been able to start :(
    I do remember however, that you had asked me if you could contact me provately; remember? what was that about? Let me know, you have my mail id :)

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  36.  Thanks for your detailed comment, Harvey. I always look forward to that. I agree about the pseudo-rural feeling of Paheli. But still, apart from the costumes, the heroines were not all heavily made up like the usual gaaon ki gori in Hindi films. The film was really good, wasn't it? I haven't forgotten my promise to review it. :)

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  37. Everyone who hates Mother India should unite under the banner of Conversations Over Chai, then. :) I'm really, really glad that there are more people who dislike it than I suspected. As Shalini said about something else, I think it is a case of 'The Emperor has no clothes.' Who is going to be the first to dare to say the truth? (That it was an over-hyped, over-melodramatic film?)

    Thanks for reading.

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  38.  Just wrote to you on email, Neha. I wish you would come back with a corking old song. Oh, do.

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  39. This is lovely Anu. I was away, and missed it.  I'm glad I found it while exploring your posts.
    Fabulous collection of songs. :-)
    I love film songs with classical and folk tunes very much.
    From among the modern songs I love the one from Paheli. In fact Paheli was itself based on a folk tale, so was very folksy indeed. :-)
     This song from Milan hasn't been mentioned.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFwNA79OViw

    From the same film this is a lovely one too. I didn't include it in my list because I had only those showing some village activity, where as here she just dances :-)
    It seems like a folk tune, but might not be, but a village song it certainly is, since it is being sung by a gaon ki gori.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hQb5-jC1bY

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  40.  Thank you, pacifist. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Now you know why I didn't post any songs under your post. :)

    From your selections, I would definitely think of  Tohe saawariya as a 'village song'. (You could definitely have posted it as 'Village girl enjoying nature'. :))

    Somehow Saawan ka mahina doesn't have the same rural ambience.

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  41. Am not much of a fan of the rural songs; also a particular Dilip Kumar, who incidentally did most of the 'dhoti gamcha' songs. Having said that, like your curated list, worth a listen for sure. Duniya Banane Waale, Teesri Kasam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaOd84Z2s7s happens to be my lone suggestion. 

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  42.  Snob, you! : ) The songs are beautiful, though, and I like folk tunes anyway. So.

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  43. Actually in the film Milan starring Nutan and Sunil Dutt, this song was sung by Nutan at a folk song competition at college. :-) 
    It seems to be an awadhi folk song, so also are the lyrics.

    >You could definitely have posted it as 'Village girl enjoying nature'. :))

    Hahaha. No dearth of such songs. Actually i had limited myself to 'village activity' with emphasis on 'activity' including harvesting, winnowing, pounding of grain, carrying food to the field, collecting 'ras' from coconut palms, collecting water from the well, hoping for rain, despair when it fails, wedding celebration etc etc.

    I must say 'village' has a lot of possibilities. :-)
    Thank you once again for a wonderful post.

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  44.  Singing on stage does not count as 'village' song. :) Folk song, may be, but not village song. Besides I hate, hate, hate Pawan kare so-o-o-r so I'll probably think of many reasons to exclude it. *grin*

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  45. I have two additions to the list, Anu although I'm "cheating" a bit with both.  Cheating because neither are actually from a Hindi film.  But both are such wonderful songs that I'm sure you'll forgive me. :-D


    Ja Ja re sugna ja re - Lagi Nahi Chhute Rama
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRLq3elHJCs

    More naina sawan bhadon - Vidyapati
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTaUAQVaTAg

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