Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day reflections

Today is Valentine’s Day.

I was not aware about the day as a kid.

I got to know about Valentine’s Day when I was in college, in the mid-nineties.

‘You can give a rose to the girl you like and propose to her on Valentine’s Day,’ my friend had said.

I liked the idea but could not give shape to it. I liked many girls in the college and could not have afforded a rose for each of them. Also, most of the girls I liked only frowned at me. I was not sure whether Valentine’s Day or a rose would have changed their heart.

Still, I would reach college on time on the day and hang around in the campus and corridors. I would see students attending lectures and taking notes in their classes.

Thanks to satellite television, Valentine’s Day became more popular as years passed.

Flower, gift and card shops would be decorated ahead of the day. Restaurants would put up roses and heart-shaped red balloons on the walls.

Shivaratri once coincided with Valentine’s Day, in 1998 or 99. A friend went to a Shiva temple and unexpectedly found a long queue. He visited the temple and then dashed to meet his girlfriend in a restaurant. The girlfriend had waited for him for over an hour and was fuming. But lord Shiva helped my friend. The girl stopped cursing and started giggling.

And then the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists started attacking Valentine’s Day celebrations. They said the celebrations polluted Indian culture. I am happy that the self-appointed guardians of the Hindu culture have failed to dampen the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Love may not be the strongest element of Hindi cinemas but it is definitely one of the strongest elements.

Bollywood has given us numerous songs about love.

I may be wrong but I can remember only one song dedicated particularly to Valentine’s Day. Chali chali phir chali chali, chali ishq di hawa chali…- one song – but the best Valentine’s Day song, from the movie Baghbaan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKeQ6WEMJZo.

Love is generally linked with the young. But can anything be more romantic when the fatherly but young-at-heart Amitabh Bachchan is telling younsters about love?

Amitabh places his hands on his heart and sings – ‘…Apne dilbar ko diwana dhoondta dil gali gali.’(Somebody passionate about love is trying to find his love).

Amitabh was an angry young man and action hero.

But he also acted in some of the most popular and memorable love songs of Bollywood.

Who can forget http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJSLtJKEfco? The movie - Muqaddar ka Sikandar. Amitabh Bachchan is in love with Rakhee since childhood but cannot express his feelings. Rakhee, on the other hand is in love with Vinod Khanna. A story about unrequited love.

Rakhee on a windy night plays the piano and sings ‘Dil to hai dil, dil ka aitbaar kya kijiye, aa gaya jo kisi pe pyar kya kijiye.’(You can’t trust your heart. What if it falls in love?)

Amitabh and Vinod Khanna are listening to the song. Amitabh wrongly feels Rakhi is in love with him. Vinod Khanna rightly thinks Rakhee is singing for him.

Amitabh was the any young man. But Vinod Khanna was macho.

Vinod Khanna is not going down on his knees while proposing to Shabana Azmi in Lahu ke Do Rang. Rather, he is too flamboyant when he sings ‘Chahiye thoda pyar, thoda pyar chahiye…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L87lUKv5764. A quintessential Bollywood song of the seventies.

If Vinod Khanna was too flamboyant, then Amol Palekar was too plain. He makes a great pair with Bindiya Goswami in Golmaal.

In the movie, Amol Palekar is Bindiya Goswami’s music teacher. Amol Palekar sings ‘Aane wala pal, jaane wala hai…’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn033dvhujY . Bindiya Goswami’s father Utpal Dutt also hears Amol Palekar singing and after the song rightly comments, ‘awaz mein mithhaas hai’ (there is sweetness in the voice). Rightly because Kishore Kumar was the playback singer.

Bindiya Goswami falls in love with Amol Palekar and croons ‘ek baat kahun..’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viCENSO8KXA. A perfect song when love is blooming.

The songs of Golmaal were written by Gulzar.

Talking about Gulzar, the song ‘Tere bina zindagi se koi…’ from his movie Aandhi stands apart.

If there is love, there can also be separation. There can be nothing better if the relationship ends with a reunion.

Sanjeev Kumar and Suchitra Sen meet after nine years and sing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWBf31lD5FA&feature=fvst .

You can always sing a Hindi song to express your love.

You can rely on Hindi songs if your love is upset with you. You can try to please and flatter her by singing ‘Koi haseena jab rooth jati hai toh hai http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HJMAC_Y4JM like Veeru in Sholay.

Or you can sing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SpduGlN3Ag


  1. i read ur latest blog, all the songs u mentioned. fantastic, chahiye thoda pyaar... classic man

  2. A very well-written post. I read and liked the post and have also bookmarked you. All the best for future endeavors
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