Nag Panchami… 5 'Saanp opera' you cannot afford to miss!

This Nag Panchami we bring you a collection of hit 'snake songs' from Bollywood that you must listen to

Sridevi (Still from  Main teri dushman dushman tu mera song)
Photo Courtesy: Social Media
Sridevi (Still from Main teri dushman dushman tu mera song) Photo Courtesy: Social Media

Subhash K Jha

1. Mann dole mera tann dole in Nagin: The original naag-anthem composed by Hemant Kumar and filmed on the beautiful Vyjanthimala had the been music performed by Kalyani, one-half of the Kalyanji-Anandji duo, on the clavioline. The song was such a hit it broke open the charts. Says Vyjanthimala, “It was creepy to dance with all those snakes. But I think Mann dole mera tann dole is the biggest song of my career. Audiences threw coins on the screen when it came on.”

2. Snake dance in Guide: Waheeda Rehman’s mesmerizing performance as she danced in a hypnotic frenzy to Sachib Dev Burman’s brilliant 4-minute been-music piece ranks as a heart-stopping moment not only in the classic film but also in the history of snake-dance specials in Hindi cinema. Waheedaji’s eruption on screen is so unexpected and electrifying I don’t know who was more taken aback: her co-star Dev Anand or the snake. Waheeadji recalled, “It was definitely the most challenging dance I’ve ever performed on screen. There was snake on the set and (choreographer) Hiralalji’s dance steps were very difficult. But my director Vijay Anand made it look so simple.”

3. Tere sang pyar main nahin todna (Nagin): Reena Roy in a very badly choreographed number did the snake dance to Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s enchanting tune. Who was to know the snake dance would be the film’s highlight?! It turned Reena Roy into an A-list actress. Says Lataji, “Tere sangg pyar mein nahin todna was a big success. It was a wonderful tune composed by Laxmi-Pyare and I think it was the first big snake dance since Mann dole mera tann dole in the old Nagin.”

4. Main teri dushman dushman tu mera (Nagina): Sridevi’s saanp song turned her into the biggest female superstar of her time. Bizarrely this Laxmikant-Pyarelal song made the potboiler film an all-time blockbuster. Commenting on the song Sridevi had said, “That Icchadhaari dance where I perform in front of the sapera Amrish Puriji was such a hit , audiences kept coming back to see it again and again.”

5. Ae naagin jaa bass apne dware (Naag Panchmi): A far less known naag-et though a gem of a composition by Ravi Sharma. It has actress Jayshree Gadkar pleading with the nagin in Lataji’s exquisite voice to not snatch away her husband. Barring Mann dole mera tann dole this is the most plaintive saanp opera on screen. Recalls Laaji, “I didn’t sing too many songs for Ravi Sharmaji. But whatever I sang was very beautiful. This number is largely forgotten because it came in a less-known film and had less recall-value than my other snake songs.”

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