By Jayshree K
Are the 1960s the sexiest decade of Hindi cinema? There’s a palpable sense of foreboding and a feverish desire that seem to hang over the entire decade, and everything – from music, vocals, set-designs and cinematography – helps create this heady sense of romance. Here is my pick of 7 songs from the decade:
1. Chaudhvi ka Chaand Ho (Chaudhvi ka Chaand, 1960)
From the delicate set design to Guru Dutt watching his bride Waheeda Rehman lying asleep, his deep sigh before his musings begin – every detail and each gesture within this song is suffused with such pleasure. Waheeda Rehman once discussed with great amusement how the censors objected to the colour version of the song because of the manner in which she turned her head and looked at the camera with such an expression of eroticism, they felt it needed to be held back.
2. Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu (Waqt, 1965)
The faint sound of the fountain in the background, Sunil Dutt’s fingers gently tapping the glass held in his hand as he and Sadhana stand there looking deeply into each other’s eyes, fearful of what they might lose if they turn away even for a moment. Shashikala’s back, Raj Kumar holding her in a tight embrace as they dance, the many-hued lights shining in the muted evening background as Erica Lal, crooning in Asha Bhosle voice, implores young lovers with a sense of prophecy, “Jeene wale, soch le/Yehi waqt hain, karle poori arzoo.”
3. Rut Jawan Jawan (Aakhri Khat, 1966)
Khayyam’s music, Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics and singer Bhupinder’s drizzled-with-honey voice make this song stir “dull roots with spring rain”. The despondency, silence and tumultuous sense of longing make this song from Rajesh Khanna’s debut film Aakhri Khat an absolute gem. So sensuous and tender.
4. Kuch Dil ne Kaha (Anupama, 1966)
Lata Mangeshkar’s voice drops to a hushed whisper in this soft, lilting song as Sharmila Tagore ambles through the thicket, singing to herself while Dharmendra delicately tiptoes, just beyond the periphery of her vision, so he can listen in on her thoughts.
5. Sochta Hoon ke Tumhein (Raaz, 1967)
The wistfulness in Mohammad Rafi’s voice and a very young Rajesh Khanna looking hurt, anxious and then aroused make this underrated song from the mystery film Raaz really sexy.
6. Tumhe Yaad Karte Karte (Amrapali, 1966)
Vyjayanthimala’s Amrapali is sleepless, aching with desire and heaving with anticipation. From her nude make-up, to her hair hanging over her bare shoulders Vyjayanthimala is dripping with sex appeal as she teases herself with memories of a man she has encountered recently.
7. Roop Tera Mastana (Aradhana, 1969): Before the decade could wind up, Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna turned the heat up a few notches with this erotically charged number. She with a bare shoulder, him with an unbuttoned shirt loosely tied at the waist; the two of them drawing closer towards one another and then moving apart, the many pleasures of looking at and looking away and looking into each other’s eyes – this fabulous song by director Shakti Samanta has got to be one of the sexiest ever.
Jayshree loves watching old Hindi films to recover from life. She’s also pursuing a Master’s in Social Work.