Monday, April 11, 2016

I – Idea of Item numbers !

I initially thought of writing ‘ I for ideas’ …I wrote the post, too. But after re-reading that one , I thought it was too tame. Who wants to know about from where I get my post ideas ? ….I am no JKR….I knew then….I wanted something sizzling , shimmering and spicy !

Then then this idea came….The Idea of Item numbers… 

Item numbers…. an integral part of our bollywood movies…

I don’t know who coined this term “ Item number”…but hats off to that individual ! And salute to that person too , who actually started incorporating the item numbers in our films !

What is actually an item number ? It is a song and dance sequence in a bollywood movie , which has no connection with the plot. They are incorporated simply to increase the commercial value of the movie . ( And they often feature a top actress wearing skimpy ( so called designer!) clothes ,making energetic , sometimes provocative dance moves! – In a very few cases , you may have a male actor ,making similar kind of dance moves – but fully clothed ! ….) . These songs are in fact big hits and are the USP of the film.

Is this a new invention? Well , I think item numbers were always there , but those songs were picturized on so called vamps. Cuckoo & Helen were our item queens of 50s and 60s. Then came Aruna Irani ,Padma Khanna , Bindu and Jayshree T. ..... .

These songs were mostly shown as a stage performances or as  cabarets in hotels , sometimes also as banjara songs. The music was peppy & toe tapping ,contributing to the success of such films. R.D.Burman was a prominent name in such  songs. But I think the trend was started by O.P.Nayyar and Laxmikant Pyarelal in 50s and 60s.

Note : This is not a scholarly ,well researched article ...This is written purely out of my love and fondness of hindi film music !


Here are a few of my favourites -





1. Dilbar dil se pyare - ( Caravan , R.D.Burman ) - Included as  this is my personal favourite and also as a representative of Banjara songs ,a subtype of Item number.

2. Aa jane ja ( Inteqaam , Laxmikant Pyarelal ) - Included here because , this is supposedly the only so called Cabaret song sung by Lata Mangeshkar. ( But I remember now ,Dil se milake dil pyar kijiye from the movie Taxi driver (1954).... is probably in a similar category ! )






3. Piya tu ab to ( Caravan , R.D. Burman ) - Love this song...love how Panchamda has utilised the asthmatic ,breathing sounds ( wink , wink !...don't know what else to call them !!) in a melodious way !

Another note : I am not including the latest ones...'beedi jalaile ' and all...they are anyway very well known...

So,what are your favourite 'Item oldies'?