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The Dil Lootne Waale Tomboys – AOI’s Sexy Saturday Songs

Bollywood has long celebrated the boisterous, adventurous, gender-bending tomboys – sometimes in complete songs, and sometimes in hard-to-forget glimpses

Hindi cinema is full of tomboy figures. Kabhi indulging in cross-dressing and seemingly queer pleasures, toh kabhi masti mein beckoning their audience to come closer.

Kabhi joyfully tousling the hero’s hair and being the scene-stealer and also dazzling in self-reassured swagger. Enjoying the tomboys on screen changes how we think of the heroine, and by extension –ourselves!

This month’s Sexy Saturday Songs is inspired by the carefree enthusiasm and rebelliousness that on-screen tomboys unlocked in us.

Gaana bajaao, aaj nakhra bhool jao!

1.  Gore Gore O-Baanke Chhore (1950)

Nalini Jaywant and Kuldeep Kaur have fun performing for the Indian National Army in this song from the 1950’s movie Samadhi. Seated in the audience is a young and handsome Ashok Kumar who is watching, blushing and falling in love.

But girls just wanna have fun. Who cares for serious soldiers when more playful (tom)boys are around? The flirtation is only between the two women, and there’s plenty of coy glances, shy beckoning and bad boy eyebrow raises.

2.  Love Ka Matlab Hai Pyaar (1960)

Sadhana was the proud mohalle ka ‘dada’ in real life.

She “made the best maanja and would fly kites while a chamcha held the firki.”  Sadhana (playing Sonia) brings that energy to this song through her pant-clad, bespectacled, brash character, rolling her eyes at the coy roles girls are supposed to play in love because it’s B-O-R-E booore!

3.  Yeh Ladka Hai Deewana (1998)

The short haired, athletic Anjali defined the Bollywood tomboy for a full generation. Girls (well, tomboys only) could be best friends with guys and partake in all the joyful gundaagardi of friendship – from arm wrestling and head tousling to giving taplis on cycles. And even though Anjali undergoes a transformation later in the film – complete with straight silky hair, new feminine adaas and chiffon sari – many young tomboys saw themselves on screen for the first time in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Even today, the Anjali we love is the Anjali with the tomboy swag.

4.    Sharmaye Kahe Ghabraye Kahe (1951)

Geeta Bali, was known as the tomboy of the ‘50s, through her image of a total mastikhor. She often played the naughty and vivacious heroine. Her lively performances and comic timing screamed ‘No way, yaar!’ to the simpering and weeping characteristic of the women leads at the time.

She whistled her way into classrooms with Johnny Walker and smugly admitted her moneyed ambitions to Dev Anand. She even asked audience mein baithe hue ‘rajas’ to neither sharmao-fy nor ghabrao-fy when approaching her in this 1951 song.

Tum bulaao, aur hum na aaye Geeta?

5.  Dekha Maine Dekha (1972)

In - Victoria No 203, the Padosan aka Saira Banu disguises herself as a man. She takes the ‘reins’ to participate in a diamond heist . (Move over Oceans 7-13!) Navin Nischol, we feel you. If Saira Banu drove an Uber (especially with that kerchief around her neck), we would be dekho-ing her too!

6. Banno (2015)

In "Tanu Weds Manu Returns," Kangana Ranaut takes on the role of the spunky Haryanvi athlete, Datto. In the song, she swishes her bob cut, hoists up her salwar kameez, totally owning the dance floor, and throws in a few thumkas for good measure.

Thus was born the ever-green sweater with the swagger. Datto’s jalwa makes us want to dance as unabashedly. No makeovers please, I’m a tomboy.

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