Friday, July 12, 2013

Pran Songs

Pran, a veteran actor of the Hindi movie industry, and a recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke award in 2013, died on the 12th of July, 2013. While he portrayed negative characters in the initial part of his career, he turned to character roles in the late 1960s, and continued acting well into the 1980s and 1990s, till he retired from movies with the release of Mritudata in 1997, at the age of 77.

While character actors do not tend to get many songs in Hindi movies, there are still some memorable songs that Pran acted in. Here is a list of some of those songs that are also my favourites.

Aake seedhi lagi

Perhaps the funniest song in Hindi cinema from one of the madcap comedies of its times - Half Ticket, though the competition duet from Padosan is a strong contender. Both songs have Kishore Kumar, and here, Kishore Kumar's character is on the run from Pran, and in an uproarious scene, a reluctant Kishore Kumar dressed in drag is serenaded by an equally determined Pran.

Daroo ki botal

A lovable thief, Michael, is what Pran plays in this gripping thriller - Majboor.

Kasme Vaadey

This movie, Upkar, was perhaps the first in which Pran moved away from his trademark negative roles and forayed into character roles. As a maimed war veteran lamenting the fate of promises and vows as mere words, this song had a soulful Manna Dey backed by an equally powerful performance by Pran.

Hum Bolega To

This is a movie from the early years of Amitabh Bachchan - Kasauti - that seemed to be inspired from a Sidney Sheldon novel, but I am not sure. Pran plays a Nepali in the movie, and Kishore Kumar modulates his voice to a perfect T.

Jeena To Hai Usi Ka

This song on Pran is a qawwali, and sung by Mohd Rafi.

Raaz ki baat

A recalcitrant Bindu refuses to be cowed down by Pran, and thus the qawwali progresses, with each wanting to outdo the other.


Ok, so this last song is not really a Pran number, but he is there in the song nonetheless, and adds his unique presence to it. And what's there to not love in this song? A debutante Sharmila Tagore, a jolly Shammi Kapoor in pursuit of his love, dressed in a burqa, while Anoop Kumar drives the getaway truck, in Kashmir.

© 2013, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.