The first technicolor Indian film was Dilip Kumar, Nimmi and Nadira starrer “Aan” released in 1952. Since then, Hindi cinema has always been perceived and accepted as the kaleidoscopic, colorful and vibrant extravaganza by movie viewers around the world. Add to that, melodious music, soulful songs with beautiful lyrics and the spectacle stands complete.
Amidst all the beautiful colors and iconic songs, there is one common thread. The presence of the color orange. Some of the biggest musical hits over the years had the heroine donning an orange saree. Orange is a vibrant color that has so many moods. Playful, flirty, sensual and downright seductive if it comes to that. It also looks absolutely gorgeous on the Indian skin tone and therefore from Mumtaz to Madhuri, Vijentimala to Katrina Kaiff, all have draped six yards of orange and set our hearts flutter.
The first song that comes to mind is definitely, “Tere husn ki kya tareef karoon” from the movie “Leader” 1964. The young Vyjayanthimala draped in a sheer orange saree looks breathtakingly gorgeous. Her hair pulled back to display her very quintessential Indian features with those big almond eyes absolutely justify the lyrics of the song.
The other song that flashes in my mind is “Aajkal tere mere pyar ke charche” from the movie “Brahmachari” 1968. This iconic song picturized on vivacious “Mumtaz” not only lets her rock that orange saree but also introduced the new way of draping it. Etched in our collective memories, the “Mumtaz” style of draping a saree is still a huge hit in the retro theme parties and weddings. There is another memorable song picturized on her where she clad in orange playfully disturbs Rajesh Khanna’s study session. “Bindiya Chamkegi” is sweet and melodious and our heroine teaches us how to get those trademark Bollywood hip shakes right. Can I also mention “Jai jai shiv shankar” an absolutely fun number where again “Mumtaz” in her orange saree made the song memorable with her expressions.
The heroines of 60s sure loved their orange saree and it will be blasphemous if I move on without mentioning the passionate “Roop Tera Mastana”. “Sharmila Tagore” with her orange saree tastefully draped over her bare shoulders redefined sensuality.
“Rakhi’s” innocence captured in the song, “Oh meri Sharmilee” again had her flaunting an orange saree with beautiful black embroidery. “Zaheeda Hussain” looked equal measure glamorous and chic in the song “Choori Nahi Ye Mera Dil Hai” and teary eyed “Rajashree” was tragically beautiful in “Dil ke Jharokhe mein tujhko bitha ker”.
Come 70s and Zeenat Amaan taught us that the right way to get wet in the rain is in an orange saree. The iconic “Hai Hai Ye Majboori” sees her channeling her inner desi girl.
The legacy was carried on when “Madhuri Dixit” set the screens on fire in “Dhak Dhak Kerne Laga” and the 90s redefined Hindi Film heroine who was now bold enough to embrace the sexual aspect of relationships. Close on the heels of this number came the anthem song of 90s on screen sexuality. “Raveena Tandon” took a leaf out of Zeenat Amaan’s book and decided to do a rain dance in an orange chiffon. It sure was enough to melt our Khiladi boy like candle wax.
I have always been a fan of Sushmita Sen, a graceful actress and a dancer who makes the most horrible of bollywood choreography look elegant. The song I want to mention is “Laga laga laga re laga Prem Rog”. Her dual shaded orange saree and fun dance steps on a fast paced number is a delight to watch. Befittingly, she too gets drenched in a sudden downpour, keeping the trend alive.
Last but definitely not the end of list, when Kareena Kapoor had to recreate the love as it happens in the movie, she chose to wear an orange saree off course and get wet in the rain. The song in question is “Zubi Dubi Zubi Dubi Pampaa” from 3 Idiots if you haven’t guessed already. There can be no better tribute to the importance of orange saree and hindi film heroines and this is the point where I rest my case.
Leave a comment if you think I missed out on any other iconic song.