October sets in… oh yes, Happy Birthday Asha Parekh…

October is a big month. The festive season in India has started.  The Navratris are on in full swing. The east is celebrating Ashtami today while the South celebrates Saraswati Pooja. Tomorrow is Vijayadashami (Dussehra/ Dasara) – the Hindu festival of the triumph of good over evil. It is the day when according to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama (the seventh incarnation of Vishnu killed Ravana). Id-ul-Zuha or Bakrid (the Muslim festival that commemorates Ibrahim’s faith and piety as he was ready to sacrifice of his elder son Ishmael for God) will be celebrated on October 6th in India. The rest of the Muslim world is celebrating it tomorrow. Then we have the Karva Chauth in the north (The Hindu festival where the womenfolk fast for the prosperity and well-being of their better halves) either on the 11th or the 12th of October – depending on the sighting of the moon. Also, we have the Chhath Pooja sometime; followed by the Kali Pooja (both in the East) And then the pan-Indian festival of lights, Diwali on October 23rd.  The month then ends with Halloween – an American festival which now is celebrated with much fervour in Gurgaon at least! We just need an excuse to party and feast, dont we?

So wishing all of you a very Happy festive season and happy feasting!

Today (October 2, 2014)  is a big day too. Apart from the religious festivities associated with today, the nation is commemorating Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birth anniversaries. The media has been abuzz with the PM’s new Clean India or Swachh Bharat Initiative – a pledge to clean up the nation by 2019.

I like this season and I dont like it too. Its a love-hate relationship! The festive season means opportunities for my fledgling business and there are just that many things to do. And add to it, a long holiday weekend means more distractions from the people at home resulting in lesser things achieved and higher stress levels. I fall back on eating popcorn and watching a cheesy Hindi movie whenever I am very stressed.

And thats what I did this afternoon. We recently moved home and are yet to connect our DVD player. So in the absence of an active, working DVD player, I had to fall back on an old hard drive that has just a handful of movies.

The movie I landed up watching was “Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon” (1963).

I love the Nasir Hussain movies of the 60s. With brilliant music, they are easy on the eye (shot in beautiful locales) and have the same comfortable, predictable storyline. And most of them had Pran (love love him!)  Total entertainment!

Tumsa Nahin Dekha is a movie I have watched n-number of times for that man – Shammi Kapoor… Yes, I like watching Sunil Dutt and Dev Anand and some others… but the closest I have come to behaving like a fan-girl (in my younger days) was for Shammi Kapoor! His birthday is later this month and I shall gush then!

Shammi Kapoor once is said to have quipped that Nasir Hussain came to Bombay with 1 story and rehashed the same story into 11 Jubilee movies. True; And most of these 11 movies starred Asha Parekh. Asha Parekh was a very successful star in the 1960s; She was beautiful; a good dancer and an okay actress. Confession – I am not too fond of most of the sixties leading ladies – be it Asha Parekh, Nanda or Mala Sinha or Saira Banu.  But I have watched most of Asha Parekh’s movies ONLY because of the songs! She had the good fortune to have some of the best songs to be picturised on her!

Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon is a typical Nasir Hussain movie. The story is similar to Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai. It stars Joy Mukherjee, Asha Parekh, Rajendranath and Pran. It also stars a very young Tabassum as Asha Parekh’s friend. Like all those who grew up in the 80s and 90s, I know Tabassum from that program she used to host on Doordarshan (Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan? Was that what it was called?) So when I saw this movie again sometime in the 2000s, Tabassum was a revelation. She does look pretty – though a bit head-mistress like! Or maybe it was the preachy kind of role here…

The highlight of the movie for me is the music by O.P. Nayyar – Simply, simply amazing music. All the songs of the movie are great. I remember reading that Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon was a superhit of its time. Wont be surprised if the music was what contributed majorly to its success.

Asha Parekh looks absolutely lovely and does a decent job. As it happens to be her 71st birthday today, why not watch her in the songs of this light, sweet movie?

1) Aankhon Se Jo Utri Hai Dil Main, Tasveer Hai Ik Anjaane Ki:

One of the best songs ever sung by Asha Bhosle. Asha Parekh looks lovely and the result is Mashallah!

2) Lakhon Hai Nigah Main, Zindagi Ki Raah Mein :

The hero is looking out for the one; wondering who and where she is. Mohd Rafi is at his best. All his solo songs from this song are fabulous.

This song is in the same vein of the wonderful Jawaniyan Yeh Mast Mast Bin Piye  from Tumsa Nahin Dekha. The same context; same kind of picturisation; same music director and singer (but what variety)!

Both songs are favourites though I prefer to watch the Tumsa Nahin Dekha song and listen to Lakhon Hai Nigah Mein!

3) Naazneen Bada Rangeen… Humdum Mere Khel Na Jaano 

I LOVE this Mohd Rafi – Asha Bhosle duet. This is a happy, cheerful and a playful song – with trademark O.P. Nayyar beats and music (the claps, sarangi).

Other songs of this movie are equally good! Aanchal Mein Saja Lena in Raga Kedar sung by Rafi saab is extremely melodious; so is the title track Banda Parwar Tham Lo Jigar… Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon

Lovely songs!

Happy Birthday, Asha Parekh ji!

5 thoughts on “October sets in… oh yes, Happy Birthday Asha Parekh…

  1. Nasir Hussain – Aamir’s grandfather? Or is it great-grandfather?

    A big fan of Shammi Kapoor, it’s a wonder you didn’t kill me for calling him Dev Anand a few days ago, lol.

    Neat blog entry Harini – enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you, Pri! Nasir Hussain is Aamir’s uncle and Imran Khan’s grandfather.

      I didnt kill you for calling Shammi Kapoor Dev Anand that day. I was reeling in shock and thinking – “wow, Pri knows of an actor called Dev Anand! Isnt that amazing?” 🙂 Yes, I am a huge Shammi Kapoor fan – charming charming guy!

  2. I am a huge Shammi Kapoor fan, too. In fact, he happens to be the only film actor/actress whom I’ve ever sent fan mail to – e-mail, and I got a reply. 🙂 One particular song of his which he sings to Asha Parekh and which I like very much is the lovely Hum aur tum aur yeh sama:

    1. Hum aur tum aur yeh sama is such a romantic number – gives me goosebumps each time I hear or see it and Shammi Kapoor looks yum! (too short a song though!) Wow, you got a reply from Shammi Kapoor!!! Thats nice 🙂 I became a fan when I saw Kashmir Ki Kali – was 12/13 then… and was completely mesmerised. Barring a couple of his movies from the 1970s, I have seen most of his movies more than once since! He so did light up the screen whenever he was on it…

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