Holi Aaye Re! That's one of the oldest songs one can recollect from the film of the same name - Holi aaye re (1970).
But my first memoir of the Holi festival in Bollywood goes way back to the film Mother India (1957) where Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt get in the Holi mode in the song Holi aaye re kanhayee. The song terminates to twist the tale when Sunil Dutt is accused of getting unruly with a village girl and is exiled from the village.
One of the most interesting songs based on the Holi festival, Arey jare hat natkhat comes from the film Navrang (1959). The uniqueness of the song lies in actress Sandhya's inimitable dance steps where she plays the role of both the male and female characters by just turning through a swift 180 degrees.
Cut in to the early 70's when Rajesh Khanna symbolized many a Holi songs. In Kati Patang (1971) he wooed Asha Parekh, who played a widow leading a colorless life, to forget everything and get into the Holi mode in the song Aaj na chodenge bus humjoli.
In Namak Haram (1973), he was out of his senses after boozing liberal doses of the special Holi drink bhaang in the song Nadiya se dariya. Jai jai Shiv Shankar from Aap Ki Kasam (1974) was not exactly a Holi number but depicted the aftermath of the bhaang. The intoxicating track is still played on Holi to get along with the bhaang hangover.
Move over to 1975, where Gabbar Singh yells Holi kab hai? and there opens the song Holi ke din dil mil jaate hai in the open grounds of Ramgarh village in the blockbuster hit Sholay. The song terminates with Gabbar Singh's first interaction with Jai and Veeru and gives the film its first climax.
Also the same year saw another Holi song in the film Zakhmee where Sunil Dutt in a revolting temper crooned Zakhmi dilo ka badla chukane.
In 80's, the festival of Holi made an entry into the Chopra filmdom and formed a strong bonding in their major films.
Needless to say, the most popular Holi number to date is Rang barse from Yash Chopra's Silsila (1981). Amitabh Bachchan's exemplary dance movements and power-packed rendition of the song has qualified this number as the ideal Holi song ruling the festival of colors since the past two decades. Any music lover cannot imagine a Holi without Rang barse!
With his on and off-screen wife Jaya Bachchan taking the backseat in the song and Amitabh matching his dance steps with the ravishing Rekha, this song did play a major role in igniting the Amit-Rekha-Jaya controversy post Silsila.
Then there was O Holi Aaye from Yash Chopra's Mashaal (1984) and Ang se ang lagana from his obsessive love story Darr (1993). The latter one even had an interlude of Rang barse lipped by Shah Rukh Khan who lands up at Juhi Chawla's house camouflaged in Holi colors and scares Juhi at the end of the song. The song is followed by Sunny chasing Shah Rukh but in vain.
In the recent past, Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein (2000) illustrated the Holi song Soni soni akhiyo wali wherein the master Shah Rukh guided his youthful pupils to play Holi with the girls. And then last year we had Amitabh Bachchan once again dipping into the Holi aura self singing Holi khere raghubeera with the gorgeous Hema Malini in Ravi Chopra's Baghban (2003) and proving that when playing Holi 'Age does not matter'!
10 Other Holi Songs:
|Tan Ranglo Ji Aaj Mann Ranglo||Kohinoor (1960)|
|Phagun Aayo Re||Phagun (1973)|
|Aao Re Aao Khelo Holi Biraj Mein||Balika Badhu (1976)|
|Garibon Ki Holi||Ek Aur Ek Gyarah (1981)|
|Jogiji Dheere Dheere||Nadiyan Ke Paar (1982)|
|Mal De Gulal Mohe, Aaye Holi Aaye Re||Kaamchor (1982)|
|Apne Rang Mein Rang De Mujko||Aakhir Kyon (1985)|
|Har Rang Sacha Re Sacha||Dayavan (1988)|
|Aachal Ke Andar Kya Hai||Khalnayikaa (1993)|
|Rang Di||Krantiveer (1994)|