There is lust. There is like. There is love. And, then there is the love that feels like it transcends time and space, life and death; the love that does not always speak its name – but is there like an eternal light. The love that is depicted in Bollywood. The love that may never find a physical manifestation; where lovers may never come together – but it is the strongest love of them all. Sometimes it is a love that feels close to the idea of being in love with God, where God is personified as the lover, which is expressed in Bhakti rasa, or in the qawallis sung by the Sufis. In this, there is no ego with God. As it is with this feeling expressed for God, so it is with the love songs I am going to list here. In these, there are no issues subsuming your own identity and self in that of your lover. A love so purely intense, that just hearing about it makes my heart smile.
1. Mora Gora Ang Laile (Bandini)
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and picturised on Nutan, the song is Gulzar’s first outing as a lyricist. The song can be interpreted either way. A woman telling her lover to take her fair body, and give her his dark body. Or it can be seen how the music director SD Burman saw it: a Vaishnava song that celebrates the love of Radha and Krishna.
2. Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujhpar (Junglee)
There are two versions of this song - one sung by Mohd Rafi and picturised on Shammi Kapoor, the other by Lata Mangeshkar, for Saira Banu. While both are excellent, I am partial to the Rafi version Written by Hasrat Jaipuri, and music composed by Shankar Jaikishen, the song, in both it’s versions, endures. When he sings, in the last stanza “Chaahe bana do, chaahe mita do/ Mar bhi gaye to denge duwaaen/ Ud ud ke kahegi khaak sanam/ Ye dard-e-mohabbat sahane do…” my heart does a little back flip.
3. Chupa Lo Yu Dil Mein Pyaar Mera (Mamta)
Fellow feminists have had issues with me, everytime I have shared this song. I don’t see it as being anti-woman, or a reinforcement of patriarchy though. I see it as a love so strong, that it transcends everything. And, if you have seen the film “Mamta” with Ashok Kumar and Suchitra Sen, you will know what I mean. Heman Kumar’s minimalist music direction just makes the song that much more sublime. “Ye sach hai jina tha paap tum bin/ Ye paap mainne kiya hai ab tak/ Magar hai man men chhabi tumhaari/ Ke jaise mndir men lau die ki” - these rapt lyyrics are by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
4. The Ishq Ishq Hai Ishq Qawali (Barsat Ki Raat)
The mother of all love songs. A 9-minute qawwali that talks about the nature of love, written by Sahir – who else could write about love in such a nuanced manner? I am fairly sure, that song if released today, would attract mobs that shout ‘it is insulting our culture and our faith’. When Rafi takes off in the last stanza to sing, this super music composition by Roshan – you get a glimpse of what that kind of love is supposed to be.
“Allah Rasool Ka Farmaan Ishq Hai, Yaane Hafeez Ishq Hai, Quraan Ishq Hai
Gautam Kaa Aur Maseeh Ka Armaan Ishq Hai, Ye Kaaynaat Jism Hai Aur Jaan Ishq Hai
Ishq Sarmad, Ishq Hi Mansoor Hai, Ishq Moosa, Ishq Koh-E-Noor Hai
Khaaq Ko But, Aur But Ko Devta Karta Hai Ishq, Intaha Ye Hai Ke Bande Ko Khuda Karta Hai Ishq”
5. Mein Benaam Ho Gaya
Narendra Chanchal singing a very underrated song from the film “Benaam”. With lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri set to music by RD Burman, the song is the most direct description of this immersive love. Ever since I fell in love with you, I have no identity of my own, sings the singer.
“Yaaraa o yaaraa, Ishq ne maaraa, ho gayaa main to tujh men tamaam
De rahe sab mujhe, teraa naam, main benaam ho gayaa”
Is this love real, or is it a creation of poets and romance writers – one can never be sure. A love so powerful that nothing matters except being in love, and the person you are in love with. Not work, not money, not friends, not self, not family – just the lover. It is a good space for films and film music, but I dare say, it is a terrible space for real life. But, as an idea, a concept, it is something wonderful to aspire for. But, we should be glad that most of us have rather more mundane love stories to tell.
Tune in to the playlist of all of Harini Calamur's Sexy Saturday Songs here.
Harini Calamur is a writer, film maker, and teacher. Her current interest area is the intersection of culture, technology, and society. She is insatiably curious about people, and what drives them. She is currently tinkering with digital media. She is also the main slave to a cuddly dog(ess).