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The sound of Mumbai

By: Moses Navgire, IndiaFM

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

As we know, the name Bollywood is an amalgamation of Bombay's 'Bo' and Hollywood's 'llywood'. Therefore, it is obvious that our Hindi film industry has a unique bond with this city. Mumbai is one amazing city full of varying features. It may have some of the most expensive and posh hotels on one side and also the biggest slum on the other. People from all over the country come here to make their dreams come true. Mumbai is therefore often called 'the city of dreams'. Famous or unknown, rich or poor, the city houses everyone and therefore people who come here get addicted to the place.

Bombay is also the hub of the Indian film industry. The Hindi film industry has therefore continued to pay homage to its birth land. Many Bollywood filmmakers have paid their tributes to Mumbai by including a song about the city and it lifestyle in their films. The latest to do so is Madhur Bhandarkar who has added a song about the city in his upcoming film Traffic Signal. The song called 'Hat Bhai' is a tapoori number which speaks about Mumbai city. Lyricist Sameer who has written the song says that it has all the elements of Mumbai. Music director Shamir Tandon says that the song is about celebrating the spirit of Mumbai.

Taxi No.9211 which released early this year opened with the track 'Boombai Nagariya'. The term 'Boombai' is an outcome of a blend of the old and new names of the city - 'Bombay' and 'Mumbai'. The song that became a rage among the audiences also marked the comeback of Bappi Lahiri. Bappi sang the number brilliantly and Vishal-Shekhar's music was just commendable. The song talks about how life goes on in Mumbai.

The film Bombay Boys may have not worked at the Box Office but the promotional track 'Mumbhai' sung and performed by Javed Jaffery is still one of the best tapoori numbers of all time. The film was based on Mumbai city, the film industry and gangster of the city. Keeping up with the theme of the film, Javed Jaffery sings this absolute tapoori number about how the Bhai (meaning goon in this context) rules Mumbai and how things work here the way Bhai wants them to. The song has extremely raw lyrics coming from the streets of Mumbai. Though the lyrics are loaded with abuses and expletive language it is very real and mumbaiya and that's the essence of the track. Javed has sung it brilliant using excellent mimicry to imitate different types of 'characters' you'll meet in this city. The song therefore seems very humorous yet realistic, especially to Mumbaiites who relate to it instantly.

Similar is the case with the film Badmaash. The film which had Jackie Shroff in the lead role didn't make a mark at the Box Office. However, the song from the film called 'Aamchi Mumbai' became extremely famous. Picturized on Jackie who roams around Mumbai city with his gang in a truck decorated with disco lights, this song also has a tapoori touch to it. Sung by Bali Brahmabhatt the song is about how this city never sleeps and even the nights are so lively. The song also describes different features of the city like the famous film industry and the beaches of Mumbai. The list goes on at the end of which Jackie takes pride saying, this is 'Aamchi Mumbai' (our Mumbai). The song apparently has become like the anthem of the city with the words 'Aamchi Mumbai' becoming very famous and being used most often even today in Mumbai city.

'Bam Bam ....Bambai, Bambai Humko Jumgayi' from the film Swarg is picturised on Govinda, a young man from a small town who sings about the joy of living or feeling at home in this city. Govinda who back then was known for his disco dancing, in this song as well, dances on the streets of Mumbai city. This song is mainly about the excitement and joy of the people who come to this city with big dreams.

'Yeh Bambai Sheher Haadason Ka Sheher Hai' from the film Haadsa was one catchy number. Sung by Amit Kumar, the song talks about how this city is a place where shocking and deadly incidences keep happening. A young Akbar Khan, now known as the maker of Taj Mahal, was scene dancing across monuments of Mumbai in the 80's in this song. This film was based on crime and criminals in Mumbai and so was the song.

'Ei Hai Bambai Nagariya tu dekh Babuwa' from Amitabh Bachchan starrer Don is another track dedicated to the city of dreams. The song picturized on Big B shows him as simple man from North Indian village who comes down to Mumbai and sings on streets to earn his bread. The lyrics of the song are more like a narration about this city and its elements by an outsider who is new to the place. Amitabh is amazed at the same time confused about the people and lifestyle of Mumbai and therefore goes singing lines like 'bin paani ka dhobi talav dekho........church ka gate hai par church hai lapata'. Kishore Kumar's remarkable singing style and Kalyanji Anandji's music has made the song an all time hit.

'Yeh hai bambai meri jaan' is probably the most famous and top of the mind recall when we talk about the songs made on Mumbai city. The song from the B&W film CID was picturized on Johnny Walker walking on the streets of Mumbai singing about this mysterious place and how one needs to be careful when living in this city. He mainly represents the people near or below the poverty line in this city who live their lives hand to mouth. The lyrics go saying one will find all the riches and luxuries here, but this place can also be very deceptive. Hence, one needs to be very careful in Mumbai.

Besides those mentioned above, there are also some other tracks about Mumbai city mentioned below which are comparatively less known.

'Yeh Hai Mumbai' plays during the title credits of Mumbai Matinee and is about power of Mumbai city and how people come here to make their dreams come true.

'Bam bam bam bambai Meri Hai' from the film Rakhwaala shows Anil Kapoor so much in love with Mumbai that he claims it to be his city.

'Bombay Bombay' from the film Krodh has Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dutt roaming around the city on a bike, singing praises to Mumbai city. 

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