The soundtrack to my life (with Shammi)

Ramsu issued me a challenge to post the soundtrack of my life’s events using only music from Shammi’s black and white movies. I have done my level best, but plizz to remember that 90 percent of my life (so far) had passed by before I discovered any Hindi movies, let alone dear Shammi. So I did cheat a little bit.

And if the lyrics don’t seem to fit the occasion, well, what do I know? I don’t speak Hindi. I have included links to YouTube videos where there is one! Update: I’ve added audio files where there’s no video available. Enjoy!

Opening credits: “Baharon Ki Kahani” (sung by Asha from Pyar Kiya To Darna Kiya, 1963; Ravi). Picturized on the lovely Helen, whom I want to BE in my next life.

Waking up: “Chunni Munni Tunia” (sung by Asha & chorus from Mem Sahib, 1956; Madan Mohan). Young pretty Meena Kumari at her happy, chirpy best.

Average day: “Jawaaniyaan Ye Mast Mast” (sung by Rafi from Tumsa Nahin Dekha, 1957; OP Nayyar). Just a happy, happy, happy song.

First date: “Chham Chham Lo Suno” (sung by Lata & Manna Dey from Ujala, 1959; Shankar Jaikishan). Long time since I had a first date but I like this song and Mala Sinha enthralls Shammi with her dancing.

Falling in love: “Salaam Aapki Meethi Nazar Ko Salaam” (sung by Rafi from Boy Friend, 1961; Shankar Jaikishan). Shammi at his most heart-meltingly romantic gazing longingly at a beautiful sleeping Madhubala.

Love Scene: “Mujhe Kitne Pyaar Hai” (sung by Rafi and Lata from Dil Tera Deewana, 1962; Shankar Jaikishan). A beautiful duet picturized on Shammi and Mala Sinha.

Fight Scene: I don’t fight, I just get even!

Breaking up: “Gham-e-Hasti” (sung by Rafi from Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962; Roshan). Shammi seems so sad in this one.

Getting back together: “Aigo Aigo Aigo Yeh Kya Ho Gaya” (sung by Rafi & Aarti Mukherjee from Boy Friend, 1961; Shankar Jaikishan). Cute flirtatious song with Shammi and Madhubala, who keeps just out of his reach.

Life’s ok: “Dil Deke Dekho” (sung by Rafi from Dil Deke Dekho, 1957; Usha Khanna). I don’t think I need to explain this one!

Mental Breakdown: Shammi just didn’t have mental breakdowns (although I have) so there’s nothing much to choose from for this one. If I weren’t restricted to Shammi I’d choose “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd from their great album “The Wall.”

Driving: “Chali Chali Kaisi Hawa” (sung by Shamshad Begum & Usha Mangeshkar from Bluff Master, 1963; Kalyanji Anandji). I chose this song because I could drive for hours listening to qawwalis and this is one of my favorites.

Learning a lesson: “Zulph Ke Phande Mein” (sung by Rafi from Mujrim, 1957; OP Nayyar). Picturized on the hilarious Johnny Walker in jail.

Deep thought: “Sar-e-Mehfil Jo Jala Parwana” (sung by Rafi & Suraiya from Shama Parwana, 1956; Husnlal Bhagatram). A poetry competition between Shammi and Suraiya sparks their ill-fated romance.

Flashback: I don’t have enough history with Shammi for a flashback. I’ll choose “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire instead.

Partying: “Baar Baar Dekho” (sung by Rafi from China Town, 1962). So much fun!!!!

Happy Dance: “Mehfil Mein Jo Aaye” (sung by Asha from Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962; Roshan). The quintessential 50’s-style dance tune. Love it!

Regretting: “Zindagi Kya Hai” (sung by Rafi from Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, 1963; Ravi). Very intense song.

Death Scene: “Alvida Alvida O Jaan” (sung by Suraiya from Shama Parwana, 1956; Husnlal Bhagatram). *Sob* this song makes me cry whenever I hear it. So mournful!

Closing Credits: “Ab Kahaan Jaaye Hum” (sung by Manna Dey from Ujala, 1959; Shankar Jaikishan). This sounds like a funeral processional to me. If I picked something outside of Shammi songs though, it would have to be Mozart’s Requiem, the most majestic funereal music ever.

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36 Comments to “The soundtrack to my life (with Shammi)”

  1. Great list! I’ll be checking out these songs. None from Kashmir Ki Kali?! Really like your ‘Average Day’ song…it’s one of my favorite Rafi tracks of all time! :)

  2. Looking forward to listening to all these songs when I have time to enjoy. Just wanted to say I love your picture collage- three beauties in one. Those eyes…

  3. No, bollywoodfan, I wasn’t allowed to use color films, only Shammi’s black and white :-) But yes, that is a great song. I love all the songs here…

    Awww, thanks Marta, although I think you are biased ;-)

  4. WOWIE! I am going to convert this into a tag and get tagged by you. :D I’ll watch the songs later on. Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Kanan, please do make your own list and come back and give us a link to it when you post it!

  6. Holy smokes, and I’ve not seen ANY of Shammi’s black and white films. I’m not sure I’ve seen any of Shammi’s films at all! Obviously, I need to get a move on.

  7. I am blown away! There are very few people I know whom I would even issue that challenge to, and fewer still who would do it so wonderfully. Awesome list, memsaab!


  8. Brilliant list! I wonder what you’d come up with if you were allowed to pick only from Shammi’s color films…? BTW, Mehfil jo aaye tum is one of my favourite dance numbers too – and Shammi looks so gorgeous in it!

  9. wow…whatta list…its been real long since I heard Aigi Aigo & many other gems…thanks to your list m listening to them again and loving’em even more…Thanks a ton…(BTW I am lil disappointed to see no song from Rajkumar ;)) Brilliant list Memsaab..aapne dil jeet liya and inspired me to post something on Shammi Sahab on my blog…D’u know his son will be acting in a film soon, to become the oldest Kapoor Debutant at the age of 50 :)

  10. anarchivist: What?????? Run, run to the nearest DVD store. Get Dil Deke Dekho or Tumsa Nahin Dekha. Then let me know what you think!

    Ramsu: It was difficult (took me two weeks, right?) but lots of fun too. Many hours of Shammi gazing *sigh flutter flutter* Thank you :-)

    madhu: Maybe one day when I’ve recovered from this I’ll give the color ones a try. Plenty of good songs to choose from with my Shammi, black/white or color.

    Alok: My DVD of Rajkumar is in color (although it’s not very good color) so it was disqualified. I have read that his son Mickey is debuting soon! Glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I enjoyed watching them all (and listening) too…

  11. Hey there. I see you on a lot of my blogger friend’s site so I thought I’ll stop by and say hi. I did this post too! I haven’t seen too many older Bollywood films. I’ve grown up with it in the 80s and I have seen a handful from the 70s. Great picks!

    Here’s my list here –

  12. I REALLY dig ur “Baar Baar dekho” pick- it IS utterly fun. I wish I could run back home and watch the movie again like right now :). Also love “Aigo Aigo,” and “Comfortably numb.”

  13. Classy job with such a limited range of songs. A++++

  14. Hi Nicki, I know you from Bollywhat? too :-) Thanks, actually I did see your list earlier and it along with Shweta’s and Veracious’ posts on the same subject galvanized me into action!

    Shweta: Yes Baar Baar Dekho is a great song from a good movie! thanks for helping to push me along in this…

    Veracious: I think maybe it was easier having my choices whittled down a bit. But if I did it with western music it would be a snap!

  15. I know you weren’t supposed to use color films, but songs from “Professor” would’ve been apt too, no?

  16. It would have been much easier if I could have used his color films too :-P

    I realized how many Shammi film songs I’ve absorbed into my everyday life, though. Also he’s so associated with Shankar-Jaikishan (and rightly so), but he did work with a lot of music directors!

  17. What a great selection of songs! Some of them I’ve loved without knowing that Shammi was involved. :-) And didnt Shammi do mental breakdown in Pagla Kahin Ka? Guess it was color and has no place here. I just realised that apart from Bluffmaster and Chinatown I havent seen any of his B/W ones. Basant is in line for watching but so far I havent got past Chori chori ek ishaara – its so lovely I just keep replaying it! :-)

  18. Many of his b /w ones are from his “male starlet” (as he puts it) days. I haven’t seen Pagla Kahin Ka *mournful* because it’s not on DVD. And anyway, “Comfortably Numb” is a genius mental breakdown song.

    Black and white Shammi IS so dreamy though. Especially once he got rid of the pencil mouche (thank you Geeta Bali!) :-)

  19. Baar baar dekho is such a fun song! It was the first Shammi song I performed, back when I was part of a band in college, and even rehearsing it used to be the high point of the day. I love how Rafi simply lets it rip when he sings for Shammi — he rarely does that for other actors.


  20. What’s your username in Bollywhat? BTW – added your blog in my blog roll so I can see when you updated. Take care.

  21. Ramsu, have you given up the band? Too bad. I would love to see you performing Baar Baar Dekho, it’s one of my favorite Shammi songs. Rafi and Shammi had a great singer-actor rapport and relationship, they worked hard on the songs together…

    Nicki, it’s memsaab! what else? :-) I don’t visit as often as I used to (I am stuck on here instead ;-) but I try to stop by and see what people are talking about when I can.

  22. Guh–I am so impressed! I can’t even come up with a list taking into account *all* the Bollywood films I’ve seen. LOL I’ll just have to wait another year and try again.

  23. Memsaab, I’m truly impressed–I find that my favorite songs (and films) generally have no direct connection to my daily life (and in many cases, an inverse connection). Brava!

  24. ajnabi: we’ll wait a year for your list :-)

    Pessimisissimo: bet you could do it with opera music!

    I’m a pretty happy person, and Shammi is too (at least in his films) so that helped.

  25. Just wanted you to know that, based on your influence, I’ve started watching Shammi movies. In fact, I’ve watched 3 in the past week. You really ought to get a commission for the DVDs people buy based on your recommendations. :)

  26. Cindy, which 3 did you watch? Did you like them? If more people feel the Shammi Love then memsaab khush hua.

  27. I watched Brahmachari, Dil Deke Dekho, and Professor. I really liked all of them. So, thanks for the recommendations and reviews.

  28. Ah those are wonderful films :) glad you liked them! I need to do a post on Professor, it’s so funny.

  29. wow, that’s amazing, great!! i don’t have enough english words for it….sorry….
    thanks for that! i’m enjoying the songs…while listening to them i think about my soundtrack… :roll:
    the next one is with color films? ;)

  30. Glad you like it Anja :-) German superlatives are welcomed here too!!! I somehow thought you would enjoy it as a fellow Shammi fan.

    Why don’t YOU do one with his color films?!

  31. mmmhhh..challenge…i have a big exam coming up in october but after that…why not?
    for now i linked you in my blog with this wonderful “total genial angefahrenen” article!

  32. “Total genial angefahrenen” is FAB. I will use it on my sister :-)

  33. memsaab navin nischol saira banu

  34. Please see my Shammi photos uploaded to flickr. Just do a search on Shammi Kapoor and the photo stills from China Town including a rare bathtub scene will surface.

    Notice he is wearing his briefs in the bathtub. I guess in those days they were more afraid of censors than reality….ho hum….Just tell me if I am going crazy.

  35. Waah, waah, this post is a good one to give me ideas for quite a few songs to post.

  36. I was looking for anywhere that had a review/storyline from Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya. I didn’t know until I googled “Zindagi kya hai” today that it was sung for Shammi. Haven’t you seen it either? I will delve into your archives to see if perhaps you have. I think it must have been a remake of a South Indian film, going by the credits.
    During the summer I was on holiday in Hyderabad and fell in love all over again with Shammi (and Shashi, a little bit) through watching old songs late at night on three or four Hindi music channels. And Rafi too. I hadn’t realised he sang so many good songs for Shashi too.

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