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5 Most Relevant Patriotic Songs

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  1.  Ae mere watan  ke logon:  Lataji  speaks on  the most beloved  patriotic   song  of the  country: “Kissko pataa tha yeh gaana logon ko itna pasand ayega?(who knew the song would be so much liked by people?).When Ae mere watan ke logon was being created we never thought it would become such an imperishable patriotic anthem.I recall vividly that cold winter evening in Delhi when I sang the song as part of the Republic Day celebrations in front of an audience that comprised President S. Radhakrishnan, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and so many other distinguished guests. It was Pradeepji,the poet who wrote the immortal lyrics , who came to me and asked me to sing the song. I declined because there was no time to rehearse and prepare to sing it in front of so many distinguished personalities.You see,at that time I was working round-the-clock. To give special attention to one song seemed impossible.We had very little time to get Ae mere watan ke logon ready.Rather than do a rush job I wanted to opt out. But Pradeepji said if I don’t sing Ae mere watan ke logon he would scrap the idea. I agreed. But I suggested we format  the song into a duet with me and Asha. But Pradeepji wanted it to be a solo.I insisted that we do it as a duet.In fact Asha had even rehearsed for  the song. But then days before we were to fly to Delhi she came to me and said, ‘Didi. I’m not coming to Delhi.’ I tried to convince her to change her mind arguing that her name had even been printed in the newspapers as one of the singers for Ae mere watan. But she was adamant.I told composer-singer Hemant Kumar who had actually orchestrated the whole Ae mere watan ke logon project about Asha’s decision to not accompany us to Delhi to perform the song. Hemantda also tried to convince Asha. Lekin woh nahin manee. Then it was left to me to rehearse alone for the song.Pradeepji told C Ramachandra who was composing the tune for Pradeepji’s words,about my predicament. C, Ramachandra informed us he had to be in Delhi at least 4-5 days in advance before our performance. So he was unable to rehearse  the song with me. Instead he gave me a tape of the number.I picked up the tune from the tape and flew to Delhi on 26 January with all the big names from the film industry. Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan, Shankar-Jaikishan, Madan Mohan…we were all in one aircraft. I was listening to the tape with  C Ramachandraji’s rendition of Ae mere watan ke logon all through the flight from Mumbai to Delhi.I was accompanied by my best friend Nalini Mhatre.When we reached Delhi in the night I had a stomach ache. I asked Nalini how I’d sing in my condition. She told me not worry, everything would be fine.On 27 January we reached the venue. I sang two songs. The Bhajan Allah tero naam followed by Ae mere watan ke logon. I was much relieved to get it over with.After I finished my two songs, I went backstage to relax with a  cup of coffee unaware what an enduring impact the song had created. Suddenly I heard Mehboob Khan Saab calling for me.He caught hold of my hand and said, ‘Chalo, Panditji(Jawaharlal Nehru) ne bulaya hai’. I wondered why he wanted to see me.When I went out everyone including Panditji, his daughter Indiraji, Radhakrishnanji stood up courteously to greet me. Mehboob Khan Saab said, ‘Yeh rehi hamari Lata.Aapko kaisa laga usska gaana?’  Panditji said, “Bahut achcha . Mere aankhon mein paani aa gaya’.  They all complimented me. Then we were all invited to Panditji’s  home for tea.Some of us from the film industry including Shankar-Jaikishan, Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan, Dilip Kumar proceeded to Panditji’s residence. While the rest of the entourage spoke eagerly with Panditji I stood in a dark corner by the corner hesitant to make my presence felt. Suddenly I heard Panditji say, ‘Lata kaha hai?’. I kept standing where I was. Then Mrs Indira Gandhi came and took my hands saying, ‘I want you to meet two of your little fans.’ She introduced me to little Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi. They did Namaste and ran away.Then Panditji again asked for me. Mehboob Khan Saab came and took me near Panditji . Panditji asked, ‘Are you going to go back to Mumbai and sing Ae mere watan ke logon?’  I replied, ‘No, it was meant to be a one-off thing’. He wanted a picture with me. We posed for a keepsake and then I quietly left .I had to rush back because it was my sister Meena’s wedding in Kolhapur. When I returned to Mumbai the next day with my friend Nalini I had no idea that Ae mere watan ke logon had already become a rage. When we reached Mumbai the city and the media were buzzing with the impact that the song had made in Delhi, how Panditji broke down,  etc, etc. I attended a film premiere for a Marathi film where I had composed the music and the following day left for Kolhapur for my sister’s wedding .Away in Kolhapur I had no idea that the song was taking over the nation’s psyche. Who was to know that the song composed for a Republic Day function would have such an enduring impact? Only Pradeepji had faith in the song. He had prophesied to me, ‘Lata, tum dekhna yeh gaana bahot chalega. Log hamesha ke liye issey yaad  rakhenge.’ I didn’t take it that seriously.Since it was not part of a film I thought it would have a limited impact.Ae mere watan ke logon became my signature tune. No show of mine, no concert or event is complete until I sing Ae mere watan ke logon.I give full credit to Pradeepji for writing such powerful words. He wrote words that reverberated across the nation. We had just come out of a war defeat with China. Ae mere watan ke logon triggered emotions of great patriotic pride in every Indian.My regret is that Pradeepji had not been called for the Republic Day function where I sang the song to immortality.If he was there he would have seen with his own eyes what impact Ae mere want ke logon had created.”
  2. Kar chale hum fida  jaan-o-tann saathiyon(Haqeeqat): Kaifi Azmi wrote this   song for  the  soldiers  who lost their lives in the 1962  Indo-Chinese war. Jiyo Kaifi Azmi. Jiyo Madan Mohan. Jiyo Mohd Rafi! Haqeeqat director  Chetan Anand wanted  a  patriotic song  that  mankind would  remember  forever.He got it. Mohd Rafi poured his soul into this paean to patriotism written by Kaifi Azmi for Chetan Anand’s war film Haqeeqat. The long song is still so strong on sentiments, it moves listeners to tears every time.Madan Mohan loved composing desh bhakti songs. His other Rafi salaam to the nation was Meri awaaz suno in the film Naunihal composed when Pandit Jawharlal Nehru passed away.Says Kafi Saab’s daughter Shabana Azmi, “It is my favourite patriotic song. Kar chale hum fida jaan-o-tan saathiyon is the most definitive of all the patriotic songs. It gives me gooseflesh every time I hear it.My father  and Chetan Anand were  part of the same  likeminded  circle of friends . They believed  cinema  could change  society.”
  3. Mere desh ki dharti (Upkar): Manoj Kumar who directed and starred un Upkar recalls, “Meri desh ki dharti (‘Upkar’) happened when lyricist Gulshan Bawra  and  I  gone to a shrine to pay our respects. When we returned from the shrine in the car, Gulshan  was singing Mere desh ki dharti sona ugley… jawanon bhar bhar lo jholiyan… khushi se bolo boliyan?. I kept quiet as he hummed these lyrics.Two-three years later when I made Upkar, I went to music composer Kalyanji and narrated the script. I called Gulshan home and told him the situation. I recalled the lyrics I had heard him hum near the shrine?. It had stayed in my mind? I saw it as a great idea that needed to be improvised.But I didn’t like the lines Jawanon bhar lo jholiyan, khushi se bolo boliyan.I removed it from my Upkar song. Instead we had Meri desh ki dharti sona ugley ugle heere-moti. Both Kalyanji and Gulshan were hesitant. They said the ‘mukhda’ of a song couldn’t be of one line. But I was adamant.An hour later Gulshan, who was sitting in the next room jumped and said, ‘This is great’. Every filmmaker while writing a screenplay comes to a landmark point in the plot where he thinks a scene can be narrated musically. That situation is given to the lyricist and explained. That was how ‘Mere desh ki dharti’ happened.I always had the lyrics first, then the tunes. Gulshan had written another song Har khushi hai wahan in Upkar. He couldn’t write the whole song because he had to take my brother to  college in Ajmer. Gulshan himself told the media that the second stanza of Har khushi hai wahan was written by Aziz Kaifi and Manoj Kumar. Gulshan Bawra and I   were from the same village near Lahore (now in Pakistan). My chief assistant Sikandar was Gulshan’s cousin. So we bonded much beyond cinema. Filmmaker Kewal Sharma, cricket player Manmohan Sood, Gushan and I? we were good friends. Gulshan has only gone away physically. He was a wonderful man. He was a friend to everyone, never gossiped.,” Manoj Kumar recalled.Concludes Manoj, “Gulshan  Bawra  alive in every word of Mere desh ki dharti.That song is imperishable. When Mahendra Kapoor-ji, who sang Mere desh ki dharti, expired our former  prime minister Manmohan Singh said he would always be remembered for Mere desh ki dharti. It hurts to know so many people connected with that song – Kalyanji, Mahendra Kapoor and Gulshan Bawra – are no more.”
  4. Jo samar mein ho gaye amar(non-film) : Every Indian knows Lataji’s Ae mere watan ke logon. How many know this equally beautiful peerless paean to patriotism composed by the great and underrated Jaidev? Jo samar mein ho gaye amar , written by Narendra Sharma , one of the most favourite poet-lyricists of Lataji,is a profoundly moving tribute to our soldiers who give up their lived to keep us safe. Narendra Sharma writes, “Laut kar na aayenge vijay dilane wale veer/Mere geet anjali mein unke liye nayan neer..” Wah! Lataji sings the words with emotions that cannot be gauged in words. In my opinion, this is a superior patriotic number than the rightly celebrated Ae mere watan ke logon.Why? Because the words are sharper and more devastating. The tune to this non-film song is exceptionally elegant. And Lataji has seldom sounded better.There is one more reason why this immortal Jaidev  number  is exceptionally special.Both  the illustrious Mangeshkar  sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle have  sung separate versions of  the same Jaidev composition. Take your pick.\
  5. Mere  Dushman Mere Bhai(Border): J. P. Dutta’s post-glasnost song of Indo-Pak unity sung with immense affection and anguish by Hariharan had Anu Malik pulling out all stops to create the perfect tune for Javed Akhtar’s outstanding poetry on across-the-border brotherhood.Says JP, “It wasn’t easy writing a song in Border that pleaded for sanity and amity between the two countries at a time when politicians were baying for blood. But I believe we needed a voice of sanity.  I certainly didn’t project anti-Pakistan sentiments in Border. The film was born out of my anguished comprehension of a complicated and tangled relationship between India and Pakistan. We’re brothers and yet we’re enemies.”
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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother In Pathaan

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Aamir Khan’s Sister Plays Shah Rukh’s Mother

Ever  since Pathaan released on Wednesday, audiences  have been  curious to know who  is the woman who plays Shah Rukh Khan’s adoptive mother in Afghanistan. The stately lady  with  royal looks is none  other than the late producer  Tahir Hussain’s daughter and  Aamir Khan’s elder  sister Nikhat Khan.

 Nikhat has been  closely  associated with the  film industry  and has helped her father in the production of his  films like Dulha Bikta Hai and  Tum Mere  Ho.

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Nikhat has  acted earlier in the Akshay Kumar starrer Mission Mangal ,  Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji and  in Sandh Ki Aankh(as a Maharani).

For Pathaan, it was Shah Rukh Khan who suggested Nikhat Khan should play his foster-mother in  Afghanistan who names him ‘Pathaan’. It proved to be  an inspired  piece of casting, as  audience have  loved Nikhat  Khan’s cameo.

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It is  heartwarming that  all three Khan superstars  are  associated with Pathaan in one  way  or the other.

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Anurag Kashyap’s New Film Is About Love Jihad

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Love Jihad, whatever  that means, is  the theme  of  Anurag Kashyap’s new film Almost Pyaar  With D  J Mohabbat.

Debutant Karan  Mehta plays a Muslim boy  in an intense relationship with  Alaya F who plays  a Hindu  girl.Kashyap has spared the  audience none of the ugliness that  such a relationship generates  among  social-media  bouncers, the self-styled  guardian of morality .

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In the hardhitting powerful and pertinent film  a  bigot is heard commenting snidely, “These people first talk about Mohabbat. Then  they talk about Mohammed.”

Happily and  surprisingly,  the Central Board Of Film Certification gave the  film a ‘UA’ certificate  with no  cuts: a  rare non-‘A’ film of Kashyap.

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So far  Kashyap and his  team have kept the Love Jihad part  of  the plot  out of all media interaction.

But the  cat is  now  out of the bag.

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu to Star Alongside Varun Dhawan in Prime Video’s Indian Original Series , Samantha Speaks

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu

Samantha Ruth Prabhu will be starring alongside Varun Dhawan in the Indian installment of the Citadel universe, the global-event series from Prime Video and the Russo Brothers’ AGBO. The untitled Citadel series based out of India is being helmed by renowned creator duo Raj & DK (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK), who are the showrunners and directors.

 The local installment is written by Sita R. Menon, along with Raj & DK. The streaming service also confirmed that the production is currently underway in Mumbai. After this, the unit will head  to North India and then onwards to international locales like Serbia and South Africa.

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  Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas will star in the first-to-launch series within the Citadel universe, which comes from the Russo Brothers’ AGBO along with David Weil (Hunters) and is set to premiere in 2023. Alongside Madden and Chopra Jonas, the first-to-launch Citadel series will also feature Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games saga). Additional local-language Citadel productions are also in the works, including an Italian Original series starring Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing).

  Speaking on  her participation in  The Citadel  franchise for  the  first time,Samantha says, “When Prime Video and Raj & DK approached me with this project, I decided to take it up in a heartbeat! After working with this team on The Family Man, it is homecoming for me.The Citadel universe, the interconnected storylines between the productions across the globe, and most importantly, the script of the Indian installment really excited me.”

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   Samantha  says she is  looking forward  to working with Varun Dhawan  .  “I am thrilled to be a part of this brilliant universe conceptualised by the Russo Brothers. I am also looking forward to be working with Varun for the first time, on this project. He is someone who is full of life and cheer when you’re around him.”

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Bollywood’s Achche Din Have Come

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 Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

All you doomsday  prophets, the  booms-day  profits  are here.  Pathaan  has  opened the floodgates again for Bollywood’s  bumper  bonanza at the  boxoffice.And now there is  only the achche din ahead  for  Hindi  cinema.

In the  next   two months there are  three sureshot  blockbusters coming up, beginning with Shehzada.  An astute devilishly impish  adaptation  of  Allu Arjun’s  2020 Telugu   blockbuster  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo.The super-popular Kartik  Aaryan gives  his own  spin to the  character. This  performance will take   Kartik to the  next level of stardom. Kartik’s version of  Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is  radically different  from  its Telugu  version. Shehzada  takes  the core idea of  the Telugu original  and turns it into a  something  completely different. Kartik’s  co-star in Shehzada  is  Kriti  Sanon with whom he earlier shared superhit space in Lukka Chuppi.

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 Then there  is Luv Ranjan’s ravishing rom-com   Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar. The director’s   male viewpoint on the chaos  of love relationships  crests to a comic  high in his latest. Ranjan  for  the first time, collaborates with Ranbir Kapoor for the  first time  collaborates with Shraddha  Kapoor  who badly needs a hit.This film should do the  trick. The winsome  lead pair tries  to do one  another  in a  game of Luv This is Luv Ranjan’s Hum…Aapke Hain Con. Ranjan  has in the past used  the romcom  space to  entertain his audience  to the hilt, he  says this  time the stakes are different. It is  not something we’ve seen before.

 Finally  it is   Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.  Karan  Johar’s first directorial in six years(not counting the one segment each  in Ghost Stories and  Lust Stories). This time he has assembled a dream star-cast  of Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh and  the  boxoffice darling(s) Alia Bhatt.  But trust me, this one is  not about assembling stars  into a complacent plot. The writing in this  zany Romeo & Juliet is so crisp  and engrossing, the experience  is  likely to be   the visual version of a multi-flavour icrecream cone. Colour, choler and karma collide in this tragic-comic love story . Let the  box office dhamaka  begin  from the house  of Dharma.

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