Favorite Wedding Songs

This post is dedicated to our good friend Darshit (Dunkdaft), who's getting married *today*! Please join me in congratulating him, his bride, and their families, and in welcoming the bride to our extended family of Bollywood bloggers and geeks (because that's what we surely are, by osmosis)!

Here are some of my favorite wedding songs, defined as songs that are great to play during (Indian) weddings, especially during music parties that many weddings devote an evening to. (They are often combined with the Mehndi/Henna night.) The term 'shaadi ka pavitra bandhan' (the immaculate institution of marriage) is ubiquitous in the movies, and many of these songs deliberately include interesting, and often amusing, commentary on it.

The vast majority of these are from films released in my lifetime. The only other filter is that the songs involve dancing. This is partly because the choreography in each case captures the essence and color of the Indian wedding. This is also because I'd rather not get into the mandatory bidaai (farewell) song on behalf of the bride. :)

As always, please add your favorites. Such a universal theme means there are literally tons and tons of good songs all over the place. All videos are accessible on YouTube as of the publication of this post.

- Ghoonghat Ki Aad Se from Hum Hain Raahi Pyaar Ke (1993), with music by Nadeem-Shravan, lyrics by Sameer, and vocals by Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik. The first song I mention is an outlier in this list. Good luck dancing to this at the next wedding you attend. But every wedding needs a bride and a groom. And Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla (haaye Allah!) are a filmy couple second to none. (PS: Did you really think this wasn't going to make it? :P)

The following are listed in order of their release:

- The fabulous Antakshari song from Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) is not essentially a wedding song, but what's a wedding without a few good bouts of antakshari? It aligns well with the theme of togetherness and celebration, and it's from one of the most insanely popular films of all time. Lyrics by Dev Kohli, music by Ram Lakshman, and vocals by S.P.Balasubramaniam, Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar, Shailendra Singh.

- Didi Tera Devar from Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994), with music by Ram-Lakshman, lyrics by Dev Kohli, and vocals by Lata Mangeshkar and S. P. Balasubramaniam. Dear God: I miss Madhuri Dixit. Many more beautiful wedding-themed songs in this film, Wah Wah Ramji being my favorite.

- Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna from Dilwaale Dulhania Le Jaayenge (1995), with music by Jatin-Lalit, lyrics by Anand Bakshi, and vocals by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan. Of course.

- Banno Rani (link to audio) from 1947 Earth (1998), with music by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Javed Akhtar, and vocals by Sadhana Sargam. The film didn't contain the song in its entirety, but the bits that were included were enough to showcase the sparkling chemistry between Aamir and Nandita Das. If you haven't seen the film, please stop the video 2:20 in.

- Yeh Ladki Haaye Allah from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), with music by Jatin-Lalit, lyrics by Sameer, and vocals by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. I have a confession to make. In a movie starring Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, and Kareena Kapoor, I came away appreciating Simone Singh the most! This is beautifully choreographed. As is the Simone-less Bole Chudiyan.

- Chhalka Re and Naina Milaike from Saathiya (2002). Vocals by Richa Sharma and Mahalaxmi Iyer, and Sadhana Sargam and Madhushree respectively. Music by A. R. Rahman and lyrics by Gulzar. I want my Rani back!

- Maahi Ve from Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), with music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, lyrics by Javed Akhtar, and vocals by Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan, and Madhushree. Fun, fun, song, which has the festive December vibe all over it.

- Mujhse Shaadi Karogi from Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004), starring Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Priyanka Chopra, and with music by Sajid-Wajid, lyrics by Jalees Sherwani, and vocals by Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, and Sunidhi Chauhan. Is there a better way to pop the question? Check. Is there a better way to pop the question in a film starring Amrish Puri? Probably not. Also refer to the song Mujhse Shaadi Karogi from Dulhan Hum Le Jaayenge (2000), starring Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor.

- Mele Chaliya from Yahaan (2005), starring Jimmy Shergill and Minisha Lamba, and with music by Shantanu Moitra and vocals by Shreya Ghosal. It's a beautiful and authentic song, and the film it's in is quite good too.

- Nagada Baja from Jab We Met (2007), starring Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, and with music by Pritam, lyrics by Irshad Kamil, and vocals by Sonu Nigam and Javed Ali. The tempo to this song is unbelievable, and its choreography is probably among the best of the decade. (Shahid's easily the best dancer of all current actors, but you knew that.) Pritam couldn't possibly have plagiarized the tune -- the roots to the song lie in Indian folk music. :) Seen and heard Asha Bhosle and Sonu Nigam perform variants of this song live, the energy levels in those situations were even better.

- Tenu Leke (I'll take you along) from Salaam-e-Ishq (2007), starring Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra, with music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, lyrics by Sameer, and vocals by Sonu Nigam and Mahalaxmi Iyer. This, like the soundtrack it belongs to, is a personal favorite. From the weddings I've attended in the past couple of years, I sense it's an overwhelming favorite. It's also particularly good for live bands. And it goes really well with the title song of the film. One of my favorite December albums.

- Mastam Mastam (dedicated post here) from Yuvvraaj (2008), starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, with music by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Gulzar, and vocals by Sonu Nigam. I simply love this song! The lyrics, the sounds, the choreography, and oodles of heart.

- Thoda Thoda Pyaar from Love Aaj Kal (2009), with music by Pritam, lyrics by Irshad Kamil, and vocals by Sunidhi Chauhan. Going by his track record, chances are good Pritam has plagiarized here, but this one makes it for the vocals and lyrics, nonetheless.

- Gunji Angna Mein Shehnaayi from Life Partner (2009), with music by Pritam, lyrics by Javed Akhtar, and vocals by Sunidhi Chauhan and Kirti Sagathiya. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone. First of all, there are bits to this song from an all-out comedy that are as authentic Gujarati as Bollywood gets (the Gujarat connection is important here -- that's where this wedding is taking place). Secondly, on a more selfish note, Genelia D'Souza looks absolutely, sensationally, and stunningly beautiful! I started with a haaye Allah, and I'll end with one: haaye Allah!!! She is the one woman (at least for now :D) who makes me like mehndi!

Okay, so there is only so much room in one post. Do share your favorites -- there are so very many more. Again, let's send our best wishes the way of Darshit and his bride, for a happy and healthy life together. And since you've attended this virtual party of sorts, here is a Bollywood present (a free Bollywood mp3 compilation at Amazon.com) for U.S. visitors, courtesy Saavn.

I almost want to sing Mera Yaar Bana Hai Dulha from Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), but shall stick to Jawaniyaan Yeh Mast Mast from Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957).

Another one bites the dust... =P


Anonymous said...

Congrats Darshit, badaai ho!

Joss said...

@ Darshit
It seems only yesterday that you announced your engagement, Darshit. Someone somewhere has been very busy the past few months. I hope everything went according to plan and you enjoyed every minute of your wedding day.

Wow, what a list! I think I shall have to devote a whole evening to following up all those links. What a wonderful time I'm going to have. Thank you for putting the list together. I'm afraid most of the movie weddings that I remember were the ones with dramatic interest, where she nearly marries the wrong man, and it was never meant to be right from the start. I can't remember a single one right now, but their names are legion. It's just as well, however, as Darshit definitely wouldn't want to be reminded of such things on a real wedding day.

theBollywoodFan said...

Anonymous: Badhai ho to Darshit, indeed!

Joss: Thank you for your comment, and I'd love to know your thoughts on these songs. Wish there were more with subtitles, most of them are really quite fun lyrically, as well. (Not to mention the visual treat.) I was amazed at how many of my favorites featured the Salman Khan-Sonu Nigam duo.

Must have been a crazy but fun time for our friend. And yes, we hope not near as dramatic as the plots surrounding most of the songs of the genre! =) I'd say 'Wah Wah Ramji' is my favorite, with that in mind.

Rashmi said...

Congratulations and All the Very Best to the Newlyweds!

I quite enjoyed listening to and watching most of the songs.

Not sure if this qualifies, since it's a bit somber in parts, but I LOVED Jogi Mahi from Bachna Ae Haseeno.

And a guilty pleasure, Mast Kalandar from Heyy Babyy :)

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Rashmi, long time! Thank you for your comment, and glad you enjoyed the songs. Jogi Mahi will have to do, then :) And Mast Kalandar, of course! Cheers.

Darshit said...

OMG! I 'm flattered. :-) thanks a lot lot lot for the post. Can't get better than this, i am proudly showing this post saved on my mobile to all ppl around me. 'look, my dear friend has dedication 4 me' . U know wht, while returning from Bidaai, i was trying to cheer her up by showing wishes from all over the world, on Twitter- your this post made her smiling. :-)

and thanks to all for the wishes !

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit! I'm so happy and proud. :)

Thanks so much for your comment, totally made my day yaar. Really glad you enjoyed this little virtual present, baaqi ka asli present udhaar raha, of course.

Try to take a break from everything and have fun for at least a week or two, you all deserve it.

More later.

Darshit said...

forgot to add a thing. 'Tenu Leke' is on my mind since last three days! My Tweets shows that. And more fun is, I even danced to it in Baraat. Will send photos of it later. Its one really Great song by Style bhai.

Meanwhile all can check out some pics posted at TwitPic Here and Oh, Yes. I will be off for few days now. :)

shell said...

Late as usual to the party! Wonderful dedication post! There's nothing like a great wedding song to get your spirits up and your feet dancing. There's lots on the list that I haven't heard, but several rank very highly on my scale of fav tunes including Maahi Ve, Yeh Ladka Hai Allah, Tenu Leke, and Mastam Mastam. I'm going through the rest of the songs as we speak.

And though I am after the fact, best wishes to Darshit and his bride!!!

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: That's a great, great song. I think it was at the IIFA's in 2007 that Salman performed it on stage with Amitabh Bachchan (might be wrong on the occasion, so please don't quote me on this), just a fun song. Remember your tweets on it too! Thanks for the lovely pictures! All the color and flair...must've been magical! Have fun!

Shell: Never late! Completely agree on the wedding songs and their influence on spirits. Always a cause for celebration in Bollywood, eh?! Did you like any others from the list in particular? As always, thank you for your comment.

Pessimisissimo said...

Congratulations to the happy couple! And what a wonderful gesture, BollywoodFan.

You've made some great choices and already named many of my favorites, so I won't presume to add to the list. But I've definitely got some viewing to catch up on...



bollywooddeewana said...

Sridevi won't forgive you for forgetting this


Here's another favourite of mine


Congratulations to the Happy couple

kk said...

Truth be told, the shock of Banno Rani works much, much better in isolation than in the context of the film. I had Earth running in the background on the TV, half paying attention, started paying full attention when Banno Rani started and was SHOCKED to see the child-bride. A wonderful cinematic moment. Next time, I saw the film, unfortunately Deepa Mehta had made no secret before the song of the fact that the bride sung about in Bano Rani is a mere child. Still, a great, great movie and I pity the fools who think of it as an Aamir Khan flop. :)

Joss said...

Lovely to be reminded of some of these, particularly the songs from DDLJ, Kal Ho Na Ho, K3G and Jab We Met as they are all big favourites that I haven't seen for a long while. Oh and definitely not forgetting Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, which took my breath away the first time I saw it. If this was my list I would have dropped Tenu Leke, because not one of those goris dancing in my home town is me, and because conversely I don't like the way they are dancing. I really don't like to see that sort of thing ...

But thankyou for including clips from Life Partner and Love Aaj Kal. I think I will give those films a look-over now as they seem quite promising.

It's time to get ready for Christmas here now. It will be all very traditional, including the latest tradition, the new Bollywood dvd! This year it will be Wake Up Sid! unless the post is further delayed by the heavy snow. Konkona, Ranbir and Anupam, such favourites of mine and maybe soon of the inlaws as well.

Anonymous said...

Belated congratulations to you Darshit and your bride. Sweet post theBollywoodFan. :)
All the best,

JJC said...

aw so cute..i actually love all these songs too (also from my lifeline..)

Darshit said...

Thanks a lot 4 wishes. :-)