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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we all know that no film industry is as romantic as Bollywood!
Whether you love or hate some of the often over-the-top “pyaar ki kahaanis,” it is hard to not sing along to your favorite Bollywood love songs. So, while this is nowhere close to an exhaustive list of the most romantic filmy songs, read ahead to find your Bollywood-themed Valentine’s Day playlist for this year.
1. “Subhanallah” from “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”
Deepika, Ranbir, and Manali—what more could you want as the backdrop for this Sreeram and Shilpa Rao song about falling in love for the first time?
2. “Tu Chahiye” from “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”
It took me a few listens to really love this song, but between Atif Aslam’s voice and Pritam’s catchy music, you too will soon have this stuck in your head.
3. “Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Main” from “Raja Hindustani”
What could be more romantic than your taxi driver with a secretly magical voice serenading you on a picturesque drive to Palankhet? Circumstances of the song and the rest of the movie’s unbelievable plotline aside, Udit Narayan nails this number.
4. “Mast Magan” from “2 States”
Easily my favorite Bollywood love song from the past few years, “Mast Magan” is, hands-down, the best Arijit Singh and Chinmayi duet ever.
5. “Jab Koi Baat” from “Jurm”
As I have been told before, no list of Bollywood love songs is complete without this 1990 Kumar Sanu and Sadhna Sargam duet.
6. “Agar Tum Saath Ho” from “Tamasha”
How is this 2015 song the first and only Alka Yagnik and Arijit Singh duet on file? Given how perfectly they’ve both complemented each other’s voices in this hauntingly beautiful A.R. Rahman song, I can only hope that we will be hearing many more Alka-Arijit duets in the future.
7. “All of Me/Main Tera Hero” by Vidya Vox
This is not exactly a filmy song, but Vidya Vox brings the romance of John Legend’s “All of Me” to Bollywood hit “Main Tera Hero”— and the resulting song is wonderful.
8. “Bahut Pyaar Karte Hain” from “Saajan”
Bollywood “pyaar” in the 90s involved many Salman Khan and Madhuri duets—but this song from “Saajan” is one of my personal favorites. Somebody bring S.P. Balasubramaniam back into my life.
9. “Pyar Kar” from “Dil To Pagal Hai”
A Valentine’s Day Bollywood song that is telling you to fall in love —what more could you ever want?! (Oh, and I should mention, it is pre-ripped abs era SRK telling you to fall in love. Swoon.)
10. “Nazar Ke Samne” from “Aashiqui”
My last Valentine’s Day playlist had “Aashiqui’s” “Tu Meri Zindagi” on it—but this year, I opted for “Nazar Ke Samne.” Truthfully, though, the entire “Aashiqui” album is worthy of this V-Day roundup.
11. “Gerua” from “Dilwale”
If you buy that “Gerua” (which means the color of saffron) is truly the color of love, then this song is for you. Otherwise, just entertain yourself with the crazy visuals in this SRK-Kajol music video.
12. “Janib” from “Dilliwaali Zaalim Girlfriend”
I am a huge sucker for all Arijit Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan duets, and this song is no exception to my rule.
13. “Ishq Bina” from “Taal”
Because really, what is a life without “ishq”? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Farah Naz Khan is an internal medicine resident at Emory University. After graduating from college in Boston, she returned to her Alabama hometown to attend medical school, and was reunited with the mix of Southern hospitality and South Asian culture that had shaped her childhood. Follow her on Twitter @farah287 or read some of her thoughts at farah287.blogspot.com.
March 20, 2023March 21, 2023 4min readBy Nida Hasan
If you are a South Asian, born in the ’80s or the early ’90s, chances are your ideas of love and romance are heavily influenced by Hindi films — that first gaze, the secret love notes, that accidental meeting somewhere in Europe, over-the-top gestures and dancing around trees. While reality may have been far from what was promised on reel, you still can’t stop pining over a hopeless romantic, with chocolate boy looks, chasing you across the earth and many universes; in the life here and the ones after. Somewhere deep down, you still dream of that possibility despite your husband sitting and sipping his morning coffee right next to you. And much of the credit for weaving this dreamland, that we can’t resist happily sliding into, goes to the legendary Yash Chopra. Award-winning filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s docu-series, “The Romantics,” that released on Netflix on February 14, chronicles Chopra’s prolific career; offering an illuminating look into the highs and lows of his journey, his unblemished vision for Hindi cinema and sheer love for filmmaking.
I wanted to look at Indian cinema through the lens of it being a major contributor to the global cinema canon and Yash Chopra seemed like the perfect lens to explore that because of the longevity of his career and the fact that he had worked across so many different genres. His films, for so many of us, defined what Hindi cinema is.
— Smriti Mundhra
As “The Romantics” unveils, in a mere episode — a challenging feat in itself — Chopra did experiment with multiple genres as a budding filmmaker, initially under the shadows of his elder brother B.R. Chopra. From the religiously sensitive “Dharamputra” and the trendsetting “Waqt” to the action-packed and iconic “Deewaar.” It wasn’t until later on in his career that he set a precedent for a Hindi film having a wholly romantic narrative; though “Waqt” did offer the perfect glimpse into what would go on to become Chopra’s cinematic imprint. And then came “Chandni” which ushered in a new era for Hindi cinema; defying the formulaic approach to box office success and making love stories the golden goose.
In the words of more than 30 famous faces, a host of archival videos and interviews, and personal anecdotes, audiences get an extensive insight into the life and career of Yash Chopra and the evolution of his vision through the business acumen and genius of his polar opposite son and a famous recluse, Aditya Chopra. “The Romantics” is not a fancy portrait of a legendary filmmaker but an exploration of what goes into making a successful film family and a path-breaking production house. As viewers, we not only get a peek into the making of a fantasy creator but also learn of the many failures, hurdles and uncertainties that the business of filmmaking comes packaged in, the impact of socio-political shifts on the kind of content being produced and demanded, and just how much control we have as an audience over the fate of the film and the filmmaker.
For both the uninitiated and fanatics, there are some interesting revelations like Shah Rukh Khan’s lifelong desire to become an action hero as opposed to a romantic one and the creative conflict between Aditya Chopra and his father Yash Chopra on the sets of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” — a project that, surprisingly, did not seem too promising to the latter. Mundhra penetrates deep into the family’s history and industry relationships evoking some really candid conversations; almost as if these celebs were eagerly waiting for their moment to speak. With one appraising interview after the other, it’s a panegyric that does border on being a tad tedious but there is enough depth and fodder in there to keep one hooked. Kudos to Mundhra for managing to achieve cohesion despite there being more than enough material to chew on. In the process of bringing this project to life, Mundhra also ends up achieving a number of milestones: one that the series features the last of actor Rishi Kapoor’s interviews and two, it brings Aditya Chopra, who, it appears, can talk a blue streak contrary to popular belief, to the front of the camera after almost two decades. The moment when he puts the nepotism debate to rest by referring to his brother’s catastrophic attempt at acting is quite the show-stealer.
At some point during the four-episode series, you might question if it’s fair to credit the Yash Raj family for being the only real changemakers of the Hindi film industry and for picking up the baton to get Hindi cinema the global recognition that it has. But then there is no denying the Chopra clan’s body of work, their ability to understand what pleases the crowd and their commitment towards growth and progress amidst changing times and technology — Yash Raj Studios is in fact the only privately held and one of the biggest, state-of-the-art film studios in India. Chopra’s career and legacy are in no way under-lit that Mundhra can claim to throw new light on with “The Romantics.” But what she really has on offer here are sheer nostalgia, some fascinating discoveries and an ode to a cinephile and his art with a bit of fan service.
In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Mundhra discusses why it was so important for Chopra to be the subject of her docu-series, her own learnings during the series’ research and creative process and her accomplishment of getting Aditya Chopra to talk, and that too, at length.