Jim loved the full moon, but Kate didn't. 'Love and the moon,' she said, 'so obvious and banal!' Probably moonlight had bad associations for her.
Kate had an interesting take which, some would argue, holds true in Bollywood films too. While concurrent references to love and the moon might be obvious and banal, they are justified and still appreciated by movie-watchers, as they always have been. When I came across these couple of sentences, I stopped reading for a few minutes and searched my iPod for songs with the word 'chaand' or 'chanda' (moon) or 'chaandni' (moonlight) in the title. Also thought of songs which effectively used the moon as a visual and not in the lyrics.
Here are the results, narrowed down to my top seven favorites (in chronological order). The only filters are that none of the songs is a lori (lullaby), and the 'chaand' or 'chaandni' being referred to is the moon and not a character in the film.
Thoughts on the list? Sure I've missed some good ones. Which songs would you add?
-- Dekho Woh Chaand from Shart (1954)
Singers: Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Hemant Kumar
Watch this beautiful duet at this link, in which the moon appears in a wonderful open-ended context. The reference to the moon is hence made all the more appealing.
-- Chaudvin Ka Chaand from Chaudvin Ka Chaand (1960)
Singer: Mohammad Rafi
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
The champion of all Bollywood songs featuring the chaand. No introduction needed to this song (watch it below -- the music is digitized, but the original vocals and visuals are retained in this particular piece). One of Bollywood's all-time best. If asked to pick one song from the bunch, this would be it. Stunning.
-- Yeh Chaand Sa Raushan Chehra from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)
Singer: Mohammad Rafi
Music: O. P. Naiyyar
An immortal song is Taareef Karoon Kya Us Ki (watch it here). I have not yet seen the film (shall, soon), the soundtrack to which offers song after wonderful song. The collective impact of this is a fantastic music album that has retained its freshness over decades.
-- Gali Mein Aaj Chaand Nikla from Zakhm (1998)
Singer: Alka Yagnik
Music: M. M. Kreem
Watch it at this link. This is one of my favorite Alka Yagnik songs. The poem is fantastic.
Tum aaye to aaya mujhe yaad, gali mein aaj chaand nikla
Jaane kitne dinon ke baad, gali mein aaj chaand nikla
When you came I remembered that the moon appeared in the lane
[Don't] Know after how many days the moon appeared in the lane
-- Chaand Chupa from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
Singer: Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik
Lyrics: Mehboob and Sameer
Music: Ismail Darbar
Watch the song at this link. Starting to believe this film had a bit of everything. The song is lovely and is used as purposefully as can be expected.
-- Mitwa from Lagaan (2001)
Singers: Udit Narayan, Sukhwinder Singh
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Music: A. R. Rahman
Watch it here. The moon makes an important appearance at the beginning of this song, as the 'apna ambar hai re' (the sky is ours) follows 'dharti apni hai' (the land is ours).
-- Chaand Sifarish from Fanaa (2006)
Singers: Shaan and Kailash Kher
Music: Prasoon Joshi
Since its release, this song (watch it here) seems to be the anthem of every Indian/Pakistani wedding video I have seen. Starring arguably two of the best actors in Bollywood today, Chaand Sifarish is an iconic izhaar-e-ishq (expression of love) of this decade.