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Anuradha SenGupta's Sexy Saturday Songs

I am chuffed to make my own list of Sexy Saturday Songs. It’s taken longer than I had thought, partly because too many songs were clamoring, quite legitimately, to get in, and partly because I had to keep unravelling romantic from sexy. But it’s ready, finally. Promise you will hear the music and not see it, unless, I specify that you must.

1. Yeh Ishq Hai (Female Version)

This smoky rendition by Rekha Bharadwaj plays on the end credits of Rangoon. It’s rare these days to get to hear an entire OST, or fall so wholeheartedly in love with it, as I did with Rangoon. Rekha and Vishal’s ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ is Sufi, qawaali, quixotic. It’s about sensibility wooing and winning over sense. And then there’s Gulzar who continues to write about eyes, that do so much more than just see. ‘Resham si nazron ko ankhon se sunta hai.’ Sigh.

2. Shape of You

My pre-teen niece introduced me to Ed Sheeran’s hit. The lyrics are sexy but it’s the sound, so insidious, hypnotic, it plays in your head, long after it stops running. It makes you want to move, to gyrate, to dance, to be joyous.

3. Dheemi Dheemi

This is from the movie 1947 Earth. I remember nothing of the film, but Hariharan’s searing voice and AR Rahman’s soothing melody have had me in thrall for a long time. I keep coming back to this song.

4. Zara Zara

I discovered Zara Zara one afternoon on the radio. It may have been a Saturday. I didn’t know then that it was from that massive Madhavan hit, ‘Rahena Hai Tere Dil Mein’. It’s almost the archetypal sexy Hindi film song – lyrics that leave little to the imagination coupled with a sublime voice and music. In this case Bombay Jayshree and the flute.

5. Caramel

‘So goodbye sweet appetite no single bite could satisfy……’ Go on hear it.

‘Tom’s Diner’ was my introduction to Suzanne Vega, but this song, ‘Caramel’  tinged with regretful and resolute good sense is haunting.

6. Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni Phir Kaha

Growing up, Dev Anand provided the face and persona to my dream lover. And nowhere more so than in Jaal where he uses Hemant Kumar’s (my all time favourite male singer)sonorous voice to seduce Geeta Bali into siezing the night. Holding out the promise that being  a ‘bad’ girl would feel very very good.

7. Stay and Hey Baby

My gang of girls had spirited away a parent’s car to Sterling cinema, to see Dirty Dancing. I know all the words to all the songs. Multiplexes were not in vogue then but Jennifer Grey’s crimped hair was. Today Patrick Swazye is dead and I am not a teenager, but the primeval mood of the songs is intact.

Hey Baby:

8. Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein

So obvious. So blatant. So filmi. So sexy.  And to think that I heard it first on a Balaji soap! A version of this song played in the background, everytime the hero, Sujal Sir and heroine, Kasish clashed and then smouldered at each other. My short-lived addiction to the show was a guilty embarrassment but it did give me this song.

9. Teri Meri Baatein

I am not a sucker for Average Joes. Infact I am blind to them. But everytime Irrfan Khan plays one, I wonder, a lot, of all the possibilities I may have missed out on. This song is an ode to everyday sexy.

10. Ei Path Jodi Na Shesh Hoy

Two beautiful people flash ‘ak gaal haashi’ at each other, the wind is in their face as they snuggle on a bike, singing about a journey they hope, will never end. It promises to be a very sexy Saturday for these two. This song you need to see.

11. Ankhon Mein Tum Dil Mein Tum Ho Mano Ki Na Mano

Uff. Being silly together is so sexy. This Madhubala-Kishore Kumar caper song is an all time favourite. It makes me smile, giggle, swing, dance and feel happy.

12. Mausam Hai Ashiqana

I love bird sounds in songs. I know all the songs of Pakeezah and at one point I even knew some of the dialogues. This song of lilting anticipation is one of the few moments of happiness Meena Kumari is allowed in the film. And film songs, one of the few places, where women are allowed to express themselves freeely. Ironically barring a handful, most lyricists have been men!

13. Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Laga Lo

Geeta Dutt singing for Waheeda Rehman longing for Guru Dutt. I saw a restored version of Pyaasa at the MAMI film festival a couple of years ago and this angst ridden film about art and artist, the muse and the patron, of selfish and selfless love has such a luminous, timless quality about it.

14. Quizas Quizas Quizas

Or Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps. Nat King Cole’s beautiful voice snatches of which you hear in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love.

15. Me and Mrs. Jones

In the mid-70s my father came back from a training program in London with a suitcase full of audio casettes. This song of illicit love was on it. I didn’t know the word sexy then, but I recognized its sound.

16. Loving You is Easy Cause You’re Beautiful

On that same audio tape tucked in between Me and Mrs.Jones and You Sexy Thing was this song.  Thanks to YouTube I now know who sings it. I am delighted to say that she matches the voice so perfectly. My mother and I sang along, when I played this recently. My father said he couldn’t remember it. But that’s another story.

Tune in to the playlist of all of Anuradha SenGupta's Sexy Saturday Songs here.

Anuradha SenGupta is Consulting Editor with CNN NEWS18. A fresh episode of her conversation series, `Off Centre’ is available online and on the channel every weekend.

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