RaagTime Episode 7 – Movie Songs Part 1

Chaiyya Chaiyya was an iconic song from the Hindi movie Dil Se. The song picturised actor Shah Rukh Khan dancing with Malaika Arora Khan and others on a moving train. The AR Rahman number sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Aasthi, became an instant hit when it was released. What was remarkable was how the song was shot by the movie director Mani Ratnam.  As Malaika Arora Khan mentioned in an interview, “the Chaiya Chaiya song was shot exactly as you see it on the screen: No camera tricks, no back projection, no post-production special effects!”

Movie music is by far the most popular music genre in India. The Hindi movie industry, or Bollywood as it’s referred to, produces the most number of movies in the world. Episodes 7 and 9 of RaagTime take listeners on a tour of movie songs from different parts of India beginning with Karnataka.

Karnataka is home to sandalwood, elephants, high-tech cities and much more. The movie song tour of India begins with a Kannada song Anisuthide Yaako Indu sung by Sonu Nigam for the movie Mungaru Male. The hero of the movie ‘Golden Star’ Ganesh became a superstar following the success of the movie and song.

Ayurvedic massages, beaches and coconut oil – what do these three have in common? Kerala or God’s own country. When one thinks of the Malayalam film industry, two names pop up instantly – Mammooty and Mohanlal, two actors who continue to rule the roost since their debuts more than two decades ago. Music directors of Malayalam movies have come up with beautiful songs, many of which have a classical feel to them. Here’s one such popular song Pramavadanam Veendum from the movie His Highness Abdullah starring Mohanlal and Goutami. The song based on Hindustani raag Jog (resembling Carnatic Nattai) was rendered by Jesudas.

Jasmine flowers wilt in the sweltering heat as temperatures rise in Tamil Nadu with the onset of summer in India. Hot piping coffee or “kaapi” as the Tamil folks call it, never looks more inviting than in this weather. The romantic song Khajuraho Kanavilo sung by Hariharan and Shreya Ghosal for the movie Oru Naal Oru Kanavu has a naughty connotation but everything’s fair game in matters of the heart.

Just when Tamil folks constantly wipe off the sweat glistening on their brows and reach out for their deodorants, the land of chillies breaks all records with its own high temperatures. Andhra Pradesh famous for the temple town of Tirupati and luminescent Hyderabad pearls, has a dynamic movie industry. The sultry weather can make people do crazy things such as break into a jig for the peppy song Charuseela sung by Yazin Nizar and Devi Sriprasad for the movie Sreemanthudu.

This RaagTime episode comes full circle with a garba song (after all Indian movies are much about song and dance) with Deepika Padukone dancing  to Nagada Sang Dhol sung by Shreya Ghosal and Osman Mir for the Hindi movie Goliyon ki Rasleela Ramleela.

Click here to listen to RaagTime Episode 7 – Movie Songs of India Part 1.


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