Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mela songs - Mere wala favorite

The urban mela (fair) is blatantly commercial and is put up with the intent of the stall-keepers making the maximum profit.  When I was younger, and lived in a small town (Jamnagar) the sole Janmasthami Mela was more for the local craftsmen.  There were food stalls and several small merry-go-rounds and wheels for rides.  We walked about in dust, admiring the show, stopping to buy a bauble or a toy.  The fair ended at the gates of the Krishna Temple.  There were no dacoits or female dancers around, maybe just a few impoverished pickpockets looking for a salary hike.  The only romantic encounter I had was when my heart beat fast as I watched the object of my affection (then) walk by.  But our movies provide a lot of masala in shape of lovely songs and dances in the center of a mela.  Here go some of my favorites.

Bikaner ki chunri odhe - Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye :

Jayashree T dances to this peppy song in a lovely colourful petticoat.  I have not seen the movie, but she is apparently distracting the villagers while her gang members are setting something up while she boasts of wearing the best India has to offer in clothes and accessories.

Pyara hindola mera - Us Paar

Moushami Chatterji sings this cute song as Jalal Agha and Vinod Mehra stand by.  She sings about her lovely 'hindola' a merry-go-round while the two smitten men look on.

Hai sharmaon kis kis ko bataon - Mera Gaon Mera Desh :

Laxmi Chhaya sings this beautiful song,  through which she drops hints to the police (and more importantly - Dharmendra) about the whereabouts of the dreaded dacoit Vinod Khanna.

Le de Saiyyan odhni - Pavitra Paapi

Tanuja, Parikshat Sahni and Neetu Singh watch delightedly as Madhumati dons a red ensemble and dances to this lovely song.  Madhumati begs her beloved to buy her a pretty sparkly odhni while he promises to sell everything he has, just to see dance.

Jhumka Gira Re - Mera Saaya

Sadhna distracts the villagers while her gang-mates go about robbing the crowds transfixed by her jhumka woes. Sadhna apparently has naughty reasons for having lost her earring.

Sajna sajna O sajna -  Ek Phool Do Maali

Sadhna again, this time she sings unabashedly of her love looking pointedly at Sanjay Khan.  There are no pickpocket mates around looting the onlookers.  Just a girl telling a boy she likes him.

Ja re ja o harjai - Kalicharan

Reena Roy makes eyes at an unkempt Shatrughan Sinha in an attempt to let him know that she is 'willing'.  Such a melodious song and Reena looks so lovely!

Tu raat khadi thi chat pe - Himalaya ki God Me

This is one of the two songs on my list where the hero also jumps into the fray.   Manoj Kumar woos the girl, Mala Sinha with fulsome praise while she pretends to rebuff him.

Hai re Hai - Kashmir ki Kali

Shammi rocks a bhangra get up of a shocking pink lungi with a white kurta and sings about his feelings, his lady love Sharmila lets down her guard and lets him know she loves him too.

Ni me yaar manana ni - Daag

Padma Khanna and an unknown dancer do the honors in this scintillating song while Sharmila, Rajesh Khanna and Rakhee watch.  The song is about a woman who wants to wrest her beloved away from her rivals.  I don't know the name of the singer who accompanies Lata in this song - she is so good.

Chadh gayo papi bichua - Madhumati

Here is an oldie (thank god there are songs that are older than I).  Vyjayantimala uses the folk euphemism of 'bichua' for love, while Dilip Kumar enjoys her unique way of admitting her love for him.

I am sure there are many more 'Mela' songs out there, but I adore these and can listen to them all the time.  In these songs the women are unabashed about expressing their sexuality and flaunting themselves (except Maushami Chatterji in Us Paar - who is just being cute).


  1. I will in end test my knowledge how many I knew and which all were first time for me.

    Bikaner is ok. Pyaara Hindola was wow, never ever heard or saw anywhere. Hai sharmaoon is of course well known (just ok for me like Bikaner) Balma ki teen nishaniyaan is cheeky line... so far that...

    Abt rest in sometime.

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  3. Le de saiyaan odhni is another which I did not know but now like it. Punjabi moves.

    Jhumka and Sadhna; inseparable. Sajna, Harjai. Bahut dino baad suna.

    Reena Roy reminds me of how Sonakshi is spitting image of hers. Especially the 'FOREHEAD' Don't you think she could be love child of Shatru n Reena; of course their romance n affair was well known then.

  4. Ya ya so hero jumps but this couple is so boring. Mala with Manoj is what you call in today's times Aish with Abhishek. Maha-boring.

    Hai Re Hai is one of the best amongst your list; mazedaar.

    Ni mai yaar and Chaddh gayo is not at all my type but yes I do know them

  5. So only 2 were new to me from this list.Not bad. I am proud of myself. Most of my age including my brother would fail to cross 5 , I bet.

    the best thing is most of 70s born would fail too.

    Love it Love it.

  6. I adore Hai sharmaon and Ni me yaar manana ni, Vee. Maybe its a girl thing ;)

    You should check out Us Paar and Pavitra Paapi movies too. Simply fabulous. Dono pics ke saare gaane lajawab hain.

    Shammi really knows how to bring raunak to the songs.

    But I did feel that Le de saiyyan odhni was the 'proper' mela song, with dust flying under the dancers' feet.

  7. Jab se you have mentioned about Sonakshi's forehead lookingjust like Reena's I tend to agree that she is more Reena than Poonam. Kya jaane, maybe she is the love child of Shatru-Reena. If he did 'adopt' their baby, he is great.

    Haven't you heard that Dimple was the love child of Nargis and Raj Kapoor? We used to hear that all the time when we were younger.

  8. Ah, what a fun theme, Ava! As soon as I saw the title of your post, I thought "Jhumka gira re" and the Madhumati songs. Some of the other ones - the Reena Roy one, and the Kashmir ki Kali song - are also great.

    And two contributions from me: Dekhiye sahibon from Teesri Manzil, and Chunri sambhaal gori udi chali jaaye re, from Baharon ke Sapne.

  9. Yes yes, of course. And that is why she could not see or date Rishi. I did believe it initially; but now I doubt it. Anyways, who knows, ho bhi sakta hai.

  10. Wah wah!!! Lovely list, Ava. In fact, I was having lots of mela songs on my mind the moment I saw the title. And the wickets kept falling as I went through your list. ;-) And the one that survived your list was picked up by Madhu (dekhiye sahibon). :-)

    Anyway, I've gone back to basics and found one from the movie Mela (1970) itself. Gori ke haath mein (Sanjay Khan and Mumu).

    Let me rack my brains a bit more - I'll probably be able to come up with some more. Or so I think. :-)

  11. Lovely :-) Here's another mela one from a later vintage than the ones on your list. It's RD Burman's "Paise ka kaajal" from 'Aanchal' (1980) with Rajesh Khanna, Rekha and Raakhee.

  12. Madhu, Thanks dear, if you will you were to adopt this theme, I am sure you come up with some really good ones. Chunri sambhal gori is amazing. In fact, there are many many lovely mela songs.

  13. Raja, I shall keep that Mela song in mind for Tom's list. Though I love love Rut hai milan ki saathi mere aa re more.

    Maybe a song or two from Caravan? But they are not really mela songs, more like gypsy songs. They deserve a separate category :D

    Thanks Raja.

  14. Suhan, Such a lovely song. This is proper mela scene.

    Thanks for posting this pretty song. I tried embedding, but it does not seem to be allowed :(

  15. Great list! It is as you say, songs of unabashed sexuality! I enjoyed lsitening to the songs!
    What can I say? All the songs that I had thought of have been mentioned by you or the readers. Raja aka aur mera hal ek jaisa ho gaya hai!
    I will have to do more research.

  16. Isn't there this song from jugnu jab bagon me jugnu chamke aadhi rrat ko. I think it is picturised on Jayshree T.
    I couldn't find the video to it.

    Do you think o re ghunghroo ka bole re from Hare Ram Hare Krishna qualifies as a mela song?

  17. Harv.. Aaiye Meherbaan!

    O re ghungroo is surely a 'field song', its lovely too. Lemme chk out jab bagon me. Haan thoda gypsy types hai, but it could be added to this list.

    See this is why I wanted you guys here. Now I am reminded of the lovely movie - Jugnu - want to see again. What pretty songs it had. Dharam and Hema looked so so good in it. Sigh..

  18. or ghunghroo ka bole a field song? How that? Or did you use the term field in a different manner than kheti-badi? :-)

  19. A Goan mela song
    chori chori mere gali aanaa hai buraa

  20. Harv: I meant a song that is sung in an open field, not indoors. paon ke neeche mitti udti ho.

    This song from Jaal. Thanks Harv. It was such a wonderful movie. I wish I could see it once more.

  21. My favourite mela song , if one can call it that is this one from Madhumati, Julmi sang aankh ladi, I do not know whether it fits the mela theme but it is outdoors and has that village ambience.

  22. Shilpi,

    Oh yes, I love Zulmi too. Thanks for adding it here. For some reason the songs don't show in the comments section :( But everyone has added so many lovely songs here. It makes my list richer.

  23. In sweet anticipation of the thrills of the mela is the song: aagre se ghaagro manga de rasiya from Chor Machaye Shor

  24. danke Harvey. This song has been playing over and over in my head.

  25. Oh I just realised why the song was on my mind - I translated it for Tom.

  26. How about Dev & Kalpana in Teen Deviyaan with "Are Yaar Meri"
    Or Mumtaz & Rajesh in Dushman "Dekho Dekho Dekho Bioscope Dekho"
    Great list of songs.

  27. Yes Samir, so many lovely songs. Blogger does not seem to allow embedding songs in the comments section like wordpress does. :( Or we would have lovely selection here as well.