If you visit Kolkata, there’s one “saying” that you will hear quite a few times while your stay—“what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”. Well, to bring out the truth in this statement, you don’t have to bury yourself in history books—a simple glance over the old Bollywood songs would be enough as most of them were originally Bengali romantic songs! You don’t seem quite convinced; so, let’s take a look at a few such melodious, romantic songs.
For all the Hindi film buffs, especially those who’ve a fair love for the old classics, romantic songs would be synonymous to a Rajesh Khanna – Kishore Kumar number. And, what better songs to cherish about than those from his blockbuster film, “Kati Patang” opposite the suave Asha Parekh. The music director of this film was Rahul Dev Burman who had previously given the same music (as this song) to “Aaj Goon Goongoon..” from the film “Rajkumari”. This film starred the Bengali “Mahanayak” Uttam Kumar and the beautiful Tanuja. The Bengali version was sung by Asha Bhonsle.
While deciding the best romantic singer ever, our big, fat Bollywood clan seems like playing a tug-of-war between Md. Rafi and Kishore Kumar. Since we wish to escape from this dilemma, our next choice of song is “Tum Bin..” sung by both the maestros, in different versions, though. Well, this song has been extracted from the Bengali song “Ekdin Pakhi Ure Jabe Je Akashe..” sung by the legendary Kishore Kumar. The Bengali lyrics was penned by Gauri Prasanna Majumdar while the music was given by Rahul Dev Burman—if you love songs and poems, go through the translated lyrics, you’ll be mesmerized.
Another evergreen hit from the Kishore Kumar – Rajesh Khanna “Jodi”, Yeh Shaam Mastani remains a favorite to every soul who has fallen in love, over the ages. This song is from the super hit film Kati Patang, and its Bengali predecessor, “Akash Keno Daake”, was also sung by Kishore Kumar. The effortless style, the easy tune and the deep lyrics is definitely going to sweep your heart away for one more time!
The Sanjeev Kumar – Jaya Bhaduri starrer film, Anamika, was appraised for many reasons—one of them being the melodious songs: like this one, “Meri Bheegi Bheegi Si..” sung by Kishore Kumar again. Its original source was “Mone Pore Ruby Ray” sung by the famous music director, Rahul Dev Burman. Well, if you haven’t heard any other song by this maestro, other than the groovy “Yamma Yamma”, then do listen to this one—we promise you’ll love it!
Amidst all these “pure” romantic songs, this one’s something ticklish and teasing—and definitely one of our favorites. Its Bengali original version was again a R. Dev Burman hit, sung by the magician, Asha Bhonsle. Just listen to this song with eyes closed, and you’ll find yourself giving a sly smile. Why? Well, the answer lies within you!
This song from Abhimaan seems to be in the lips of anyone who’s committed for life to his/her love. In this film, the song was sung by the king of romantic songs, Md. Rafi. However, this song is originally a Rabindra Sangeet—music and lyrics by the maverick Rabindra Nath Tagore. Among all its versions, we present to you the one sung by Hemant Kumar:
Does this song take you to the magical and blingy atmosphere a la the one in the film Yaarana? Well, naturally, that’s the power of a Rabindra Sangeet—yes, this song too is a Rabindra Sangeet descendant. But due to plagiarism (the producers apparently didn’t buy the copyright), this song was banned in Bengal—“Tomar Holo Shuru” is a favorite to every Bengali soul! So, here’s the link to heavenly happiness—
Well, if you thought that borrowing Bengali songs into Bollywood films were limited to the evergreen-era, you’re wrong. Bappi Lahiri, too, recaptured the essence of Bengali songs and transliterated (literally!) into Hindi. This particular song’s original version was called “Chirodini Tumi Je Amar…” (sung by Bappi Lahiri) and is still popular among the Bengali folks in love. However, with the Hindi version’s popularity, we prefer to keep mum!
The “copying” continues even today; and, we have chosen, among many, the latest hit from “Ashiqui 2”, “Milne Hain Mujhse Aayi”. The Bengali version was derived from the film, “Awara”, starring Bengali star Jeet and newbie Sayantika, and was quite popular in Bengal. In both the films, the music director was Jeet Ganguly. However, nowhere does it stand in the league of the evergreen songs!