This one’s for all those wanting a break from Holi Ke Din (Sholay, 1975), Rang Barse (Silsila, 1981), Holi Khele Raghuveera (Baghban, 2003) and Let’s Play Holi (Waqt, 2005) this year. I certainly have had enough of them. So, here’s an alt-playlist for this Holi. Six Hindi film songs that don’t show people playing Holi but celebrate the turn of the season and urge you to the embrace the water, the colors and that special someone. Peppily.
1. Rut Aa Gaye Re (1947: Earth, 1998)
If ever someone wonders why Holi happens in the first place, this is the song to turn to. Javed Akhtar peddles the charms of spring – the bright colors and the lilts it induces in creatures big and small – beautifully. A. R. Rahman deploys the earthy voice of Sukhvinder Singh to do the rest.
2. Rangeela Re (Rangeela, 1995)
Holi is as good an occasion as any for this exhortation to relish life in all its hues. So, play this for the friend who isn’t into Holi! Rahman does a fine job with the orchestration but the kick that makes the song a must-listen comes from Asha Bhosle. The duo more than covers up for lyricist Mehboob Alam Kotwal’s above average effort.
3. Barso Yaaron (London Dreams, 2009)
Prasoon Joshi wants us to dunk – and get dunked – in love but the words work for plain water too! Roop Kumar Rathod and Vishal Dadlani’s energetic vocals are just what Shankar-Ehsan-Loy would have wanted as they returned to their rock roots.
4. Lal Lal Gaal (Mr. X, 1957) and 5. Hum Kaale Hain to Kya Hua (Gumnaam, 1965)
Red on the cheeks? Yellow on hair? Blue in the eyes? A blackened face? Doesn’t matter. In fact, your charms may just have been enhanced. At least that’s the way to read these songs on Holi. The lyrics (Majrooh Sultanpuri and Shailendra, respectively) are wacky and the rhythms pacy (N Dutta and Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi, respectively) but the reason why we have these 1950s and 1960s songs on a 2017 playlist, is Mohammad Rafi. An eye opener for those who dismiss the great man as a weepy type.
6. Pani Da Rang (Vicky Donor, 2012)
This one’s for the end of the day. When you are drained from the wet-dry cycles, exhausted with joy, feeling a little contemplative and missing or wanting to be some more with the beloved. Simple tune (Rochak Kohli), simple words (Kohli and Ayushmann Khurrana), simply executed (Khurrana). Which is never as easy as it seems.
Enjoy. Happy Holi!!