May 12, 2010

Melodies of Mumtaz

Mumtaz, the beautiful and bubbly actress from the golden 60s and early 70s is often remembered by today’s generation for the scintillating song and dance numbers she performed in her movies. Her mesmerizing appeal lay in her sparkling eyes and dazzling smile and of course, in the oodles of oomph she possessed! To quote Shobhaa De, “she was in the Marilyn Monroe mould- every man’s fantasy woman”! Even though she won filmfare best actress award, Mumtaz was by and large typecast for eye candy roles probably due to her infectious charm and inherent joi de vivre. She was offered fewer performance-oriented roles than her contemporaries like Sharmila Tagore. However, she was eventually recognized for her contribution to Hindi cinema by a Lifetime achievement award in 1996. For the last few years, Mumtaz has been battling cancer in her life with the same indomitable spunk and never-say-die spirit which had once made her the heartthrob of millions. Here’s wishing Mumtaz a very happy and healthy long life!

Enjoy my top dozen picks from her vast repertoire of brilliant songs!

1. Super-energetic Shammi, gorgeous Mumu, crazy music, and twist dance….need i even say more?

2. A gem from Lakshmikant Pyarelal ! Lata’s voice has a mischievious quality in this song that used to be Asha’s trademark style!

3. The iconic number from the magical duo of RD Burman and Asha superbly picturized on screen by the awesome pair of Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz. Just wish Mumu’s damned wig wasn’t so yellow and Kaka wasn’t such a pathetic dancer!!

4. When Lakshmikant-Pyarelal, Anand Bakshi and Mohd. Rafi come together, what else can one expect in a song other than perfection….and perfection it is in this romantic poetry! Mumtaz looked stunning in this one!

5. An absolute masterpiece duet by RD Burman ! The beautiful rendition by Kishore and Lata, scorching chemistry of Rajesh-Mumtaz and brilliant picturization- What more could one ask for?

6. I don’t think the festival of Holi goes by any year without this number being played everywhere! The crazy abandon of Rajesh-Mumtaz after a shot of bhaang...beyond awesome!

7. A brilliant song by Rafi! A handsome Dharmendra steals the show here from Mumtaz- but that could clearly be my bias speaking! Confession- I absolutely adore Dharam Paaji….according to me, he is the most good-looking star we have ever had in Bollywood!

8. The seductive voice of Asha and a sexy Mumtaz playing a vamp and trying to seduce Biswajeet with her beguiling charms- Deadly combo!!

9. An unforgettable classic by Lakshmikant Pyarelal! Mumu dancing in rain in those tight churidars with a young Rajesh retro 60s and yet so cool !

10. The super-glamorous Mumtaz dances with gay abandon here... What a presence! She literally burnt the screen here with her shimmering sensuality and owned the scenes completely inspite of the presence of heavyweights like Dharam, Feroz, and Saira!

11. Soft and melodious- penned by the poet Neeraj, such profound lyrics and soul-stirring music!!

12. A terrific romantic duet by Kishore and Lata! A personal fave of mine!

Enjoy these golden classics and I look forward to your choices !!

P.S. I apologize for flooding this post with Rajesh-Mumtaz duets, but before I get accused of die-hard romanticism here, I think most of her unforgettable songs are romantic duets with Rajesh Khanna!