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Insights from an (Un) Scientific Study and Practice of Bikram Yoga

By: Saidas M. Ranade++

I have been taking Bikram Yoga (BY) off and on (but mostly off) at a Yoga Studio on Fountainview in Houston, Texas. I started doing BY several years ago.  Here, I document insights gained to date from my study and practice of Bikram Yoga. The findings may be of interest to Bikram Yogis trying to deepen their practice.

I attribute my youthful good looks to Yoga. One day I was doing the Dead Body pose (Shavasana) and the voice in my head said “Color your hair.” I am hoping with deepening of my practice the inner voice will someday suggest a nose job.

The BY teachers keep reminding the students to breath. As a  fellow yogi pointed out, it is difficult to breath when all you are doing is trying to survive.

On October 8th this year, I reached a milestone in my BY class. I did my 500th sit up. Thank you for the applause. I started doing sit ups in the ’90s. I have now done at least one sit up each year.

The Half-moon pose (Ardha Chandrasana) is very useful. It develops your ability to check out two separate isles by standing in one position.

One instruction I comply 100% with is during the Locust pose (Salabhasana) when they ask you to kiss the towel. That is the most action I get all day. My towels feel loved. I think they last longer.

I put myself through the challenging poses for 90 minutes for the three seconds of blissful nirvana an hour after the class is over. This is a better return on investment than from my misadventures in my love life.

The pose I enjoy a lot is not officially listed in the 26 Bikram Yoga poses. It is called “the Breeze from the Himalayas (Himalaya Samirasana)” It is performed by the instructor when they open the classroom door right during or prior to the first Shavasana. I admit I yearn for that cool front from the door to gently sweep over my body.

The Standing Head to Knee pose (Dandayamana Jhanushirasana) is very useful in a shoe store. [Yes, I know this is the weakest one. They can’t all be winners! Can they?]

I have modified my hand writing to reduce the stress in the BY class. I curve the horizontal stroke when I write the letter “T” so it looks like a broken umbrella. That way the BY Balancing Stick pose (Tuladandasana) matches my “T” to a “t.”

My Triangle pose (Trikonasana) usually is more like a Polygon pose (Bahukonasana) and for me the Standing Bow pose (Dhanurasana) is the most beneficial pose.. to watch!

Here is my advice. If the Camel pose (Ustrasana) makes you want to throw up, throw up on someone else’s mat; Not yours! It teaches them how to control their anger.

BY is also good for the GNP. It is wonderful for sales of water and detergents. BY practice has changed my life. Now, I spend most of my spare time doing laundry.

Enjoy your BY Yoga Practice!

Namaste.

[++ Dr Saidas M Ranade is a Houston-based engineer and standup comedian and a fan of the BYCI Fountainview Studio (www.bikramyogahouston.com). Joani and Mike own and run two wonderful BY studios in Houston. I thank Joani for her guidance and wonderful sense of humor. For more about me, visit: www.mirthmystic.com or www.surensol.org]

T24 HFS of All Time: Lucky winners and alternate 12 songs

Saidas M. Ranade, Houston, Texas

For the final round I had given each respondent an opportunity to enter their name in the drawing for a prize worth US $50.00. On January 7, 2013, I did a drawing for the three prizes. Here are the lucky winners:

  • Sanjeev Deshpande, Houston area
  • Mahesh Biradar, NY, USA
  • Sandeep Joshi, Mumbai, India.

The check is in the mail for the three winners. Mahesh opted to donate $25 from his winning amount to PrathamUSA.org. So, based on the initial commitment we made and based on the number of completed ballots, PrathamUSA received $180 from my friend Prakash Lakshmanan (Thanks Prakash for your generous support) last year (2012) and will receive $45 from me and $25 from Mahesh Biradar this year.

And finally, a friend of mine posed an interesting question. How many of my own favorites made it to the final 24? Well, many of the songs I voted for did not make it to the final 24 or the 12 honorable mentions.  So, just to reach that magic number of TOP 50 songs, I have listed 12 additional songs that I voted for that came close to the top songs in the initial rounds and in my opinion may have ended up in the final round depending on the sample of respondents who voted during the earlier rounds of this project.

This new TOP 50 list truly represents the best of Bollywood music from 1931 to 2012. So, next time a person asks you about Bollywood music, you can with confidence and a smile send him the link to this blog.

Here are the alternate 12 songs that along with the previous 38 (Click on this link to learn more)add up to the Top 50 Bollywood Movie (Hindi Film) Songs of All Time:

Jummaa chummaa de de, Sudesh Bhosle, Kavita Krishnamurti, Hum, Dj farokh, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Anand Bakshi

Suraj hua maddham, Sonu Nigam, Kabhie Kushi Kabhie Gham, Jatin – Lalit, Aadesh Shrivastav, Sandesh Shandilya, Sameer, Anil Pandey

Ruk ja ai dil diivaane, puuchhuunto main zaraa, Udit Narayan, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Jatin – Lalit, Anand Bakshi

Tauba Tumhare, Alka Yagnik, Chalte Chalte, Jatin Lalit, Javed Akthar

Masakali, Mohit Chauhan, Delhi – 6, A.R. Rahman, Prasoon Joshi

Pani pani re, Lata Mangeshkar, Maachis, Vishal Bharwaj, Gulzar

Jahan Dal dal par sone ki chidiya, Mohammad Rafi, Sikandar-E-Azam, Hansraj Behl, Rajinder Krishan

Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi, Sonu Nigam, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Javed Akhtar

Ruk jana nahin tu kahin har ke, Kishore Kumar, Imtihan, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Majrooh Sultanpuri

Ho pardesia, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Mr Natwarlal, Rajesh Roshan, Anand Bakshi

Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Lata Mangeshkar, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Pt. Narendra Sharma

Chand sifarish, Fanaa, Shaan, Kailash Kher, Jatin Lalit, Prasoon Joshi

This blog post officially brings the project to find the top 24 Hindi Film Songs of All time to an end. Please share your comments in the space below this blog post and thanks for allowing me this privilege of doing this project!

Top 24 Bollywood Movie (or Hindi Film) Songs of All Time: Results, Observations and Lessons Learned

Saidas M. Ranade, Houston, Texas

Since the release of Alam Aara in 1931 Bollywood has by one count produced more than 40,000 songs.  On January 7, 2012 I launched a project to find the Top 24 Hindi film songs of all time. I gathered data from various sources such as Binaca Geetmala, Filmfare awards, Plant Bollywood’s top 100, Outlook India.com jury’s top 20, etc. and narrowed the list down to 600 songs. Each week, I presented a selection of songs and the public voted online for their favorite songs. About 100 songs made it to the final round which began on December 8, 2012. The final round ended on December 31. And I am pleased with the results.

Cross tabulating the results using a person’s age as the basis, as expected, showed as shift in the songs selected. In general, with a few exceptions, younger respondents selected newer songs. To improve the validity of the results I decided to include the songs selected by the younger folks (35 and under) as well as songs that were too close in votes tally to be excluded from the top 24 in a separate Honorable Mentions list. To view the top 24 and honorable mentions list visit:http://mirthmystic.com/witscript/?p=72

Here are a few interesting insights and observations about the songs that made it to the top 24 list:

  • Seven of the top 24 songs were also picked by a high profile jury assembled by OutlookIndia.com in 2006.
  • I had often heard 1960s being referred to as the Golden Age of Hindi Cinema. Eleven songs in the Top 24 are from the 60s. Seven are from the 70s. These results are not an aberration or an accident. The top 24 songs list reflects the history and evolution of Bollywood. Shakeel Badayuni, Anand Bakshi, Rajinder Krishan, Kaifi Azmi, Hasrat Jaipuri, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Sahir Ludhianvi were born around the year 1920. Majority of these writers got their first break around the year 1950. And, they were the most prolific during the 60s and the 70s. This period of 1960s and 70s also coincided with the time during which Bollywood’s film production technologies, crafts and skills became more refined.  Today visual elements of a movie are very important during its pre-release and launch phase. Until the late 70s, radio was the main medium of publicity for Bollywood. Hence music and songs were considered to be critical to the success of a movie. It was also the time during which Indian classical music played a bigger role in composition and rendition of songs.
  • This is purely a conjecture.  Either because the field was saturated with already established lyricists or because song-writing was not considered as glamorous as the actors and actresses, new lyricists did not enter the field until the 90s. In addition passing away of Jaikishan, S D Burman, Vasant Desai in the 70s and Salil Chowdhury and Shankar in the 80s may have contributed to the lack of good quality songs in the 80s and 90s.
  • I suspect that the recent passing away of Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna may have had some impact on how people voted for their favorite songs. Only time will tell if this claim in true.
  • People are either good at or are more comfortable picking the top song rather than the top 5. In most of the categories (Love, Romance, Funny, Cabaret, etc.) the vote count for the number one choice far exceeded the tally for the second choice.
  • The right combination or collaboration leads to success. Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar, Aishwraya and Madhuri, RD Burman and Anand Bakshi, SD Burman and Majrooh Sultanpuri, AR Rahman and Javed Akthar.
  • In the United States they speak about Christopher Cross as a one hit wonder. One would naturally expect some songs written by Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, and Hasrat Jaipuri to be in the Top 24. What is surprising is that the list also includes songs written by less prolific lyricists like Bharat Vyas, Shahryar, Gulshan Bawra and Yogesh. One would expect any top songs list to include songs composed by music directors like Shankar Jaikishan, RD Burman, etc. Again what surprised me is that the Top 24 list includes songs composed by less well-known composers such as Ravi, Jaidev, Ismail Darbar, Khayyam and Vasant Desai.  My conclusion is that quantity of output helps in achieving excellence but there may be exceptions to that rule.
  • I am not familiar with the classical Hindustani or Carnatic music but I was expecting that one or two classical ragas would stand out in the top 24 list. While this did not happen six of the top 24 songs were based on either raga Piloo, raga Pahadi or raga Khammaj.
  • One would have expected more songs with AR Rahman as the music director to be in the Top 24. I think AR Rahman’s musical talent and composition skills are amazing. Unfortunately the songs for which he has been the music director, with some exceptions, do not seem to be memorable or hummable. I think his music overshadows the lyrics in songs.
  • As far as the future goes I believe that we (Indians and Indo-Americans) need to encourage young people to study liberal arts, languages and poetry.  Majority of the influential lyricists in Bollywood had early training (or talim) in Urdu and Persian. I recommend training for young students in Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu and other languages. The beauty and uniqueness of India is in its languages, traditions, dance and music. Rather than getting caught up in sales and marketing gimmicks, and using the actors as “brands,” Bollywood has an opportunity to leverage and represent the true essence of India as its brand. This is what the rest of world  and the Oscars are waiting for. While the sameness of technology and material objects may be helpful for efficiency and convenience the sameness and homogeneity of arts, culture, language, dance and traditions is a recipe for a boring and depressing future.

Since the project lasted one whole year, along the way I also learned a lot about the people, technology, marketing, and myself.

  • For me the first lesson was: Just because you think something is important does not mean it is important to everyone. At first it was hard to accept this but with time I realized that not everyone is going to be as excited about this project as I am.  I realized that people have other important priorities. I was reminded of an advice from a book called The Four Agreements by Miguel Angel Ruiz: “Don’t take things personally.”
  • Some members of my own alumni organization members from ICT in Mumbai, India (excluding the BChemE batch of 1980) insinuated that I was abusing my access to their network for some sort of selfish gain. A few especially Maharashtrians and Tamilians were clear in their wishes to not receive any further e-mails from me. I think part of their reservations also stemmed from the fact that Bollywood is seen by many as a “big money” business that lacks artistic values and caters to the lowest drives in human beings.  While there may be some truth to that assertion, Bollywood has produced lasting visual art, created wonderful songs and music and along with cricket put India on the world entertainment map. I simply cannot imagine a life without Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar.
  • When everything is said and done, more is said than done: Majority of the people told me that they would vote and never did. I think for most people it is important to appear to be nice or to be seen as respectful rather than to either speak the truth or support words with actions. Again, the lesson for me is one of the four agreements from the book The Four Agreements by Miguel Angel Ruiz: “Keep your word.”
  • We have destroyed the potential and the future of the Internet by making it mainly an arena for commerce. We are so sensitive to sales and marketing ploys that very few people believed my assertion that there was no catch in the project. Due to fear of viruses, hackers, and other scams many people probably did not even open my e-mails. After I sent out my first e-mail blast about the project, a Professor of ethnic music studies at Colombia University sent me threatening and degrading e-mails because I asked for his vote and he did not want to receive any more e-mails from me.
  • In the US everyone seems to be totally booked and does not have time. Time has become money for most Indo-Americans. Many Indo-Americans feel that they are wasting time if they are not making money. A newspaper editor told me that putting anything in a newspaper about the project would not be of any help. A close friend of mine from the Sugarland instead of offering help told me that this project was for young people. The biggest surprise was that with a few exceptions, I did not get any collaboration or support from my friends and acquaintances in the US who are supposedly fans of Bollywood and who are in the media business related to Bollywood. Radio station DJs who are supposed to make their living off Bollywood music were the worst about either participation or support. Lesson for me: When someone asks for help for a good or an interesting cause do my best to help even if there is no short term gain from that exercise.
  • I had been informed by others and seen in the past the low rates of civic participation from young people. However I did not believe that until I worked on this project. I sent countless e-mails to India Student Associations (at UH, Rice, Texas, etc.) and organizations like NetIP and got minimal response. Some of this may be because we are sensitive to Internet scams. Another reason might be that they did not believe that there was no gimmick or catch in the project. However, as hard as it may be to accept, there may be one other simple reason: Since the project did not include money, sex, fame, food or booze, they simply didn’t give a damn!

The Top 24 Bollywood (or Hindi) Film Songs of All Time

Saidas M. Ranade

Houston, Texas

On January 7, 2012, I launched this research project to find the top 24 Bollywood Songs of All Time. The main motivation was curiosity and the goal was to have fun along the way. Today is December 31, 2012. The voting for the final round is now closed and I am very happy with the outcome.

I am indebted to Prakash Lakshmanan, Sanjeev Deshpande, Tej P Kabra, Gauri Joglekar, Sandeep Joshi, Professor Patrick Hogan, Professor Philip Lutgendorf, Srinivas Krishnamachari, Mahesh Biradar and Pradeep Gavankar for their unwavering support for this project.

In  case of a tie, I used validation from other sources to break the tie. The songs that almost made it to the top 24 are listed below as Honorable Mentions. I will post my complete research findings soon. Until then, as promised, it gives me great pleasure to announce the list of TOP 24 BOLLYWOOD MOVIE SONGS OF ALL TIME (in no particular order).

TOP 24 HINDI FILM SONGS OF ALL TIME ARE (drum roll please!):

Yeh dosti, Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Sholay, R.D. Burman, Anand Bakshi

Mere desh ki dharti, Mahendra Kapoor, Upkaar, Kalyanji Anandji, Gulshan Bawra

Mainzindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya,  Mohammad Rafi, Hum Dono, Jaidev, Sahir Ludhianvi

Dola Re, Kavita Krishnamurti, Shreya Ghosal, Devdas, Ismail Darbar, Nusrat Badr, Sameer, Pandit Birju Maharaj

Piya tose naina lage re, Lata Mangeshkar, Guide, S.D Burman, Shailendra

Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan lijiyeâ, Asha Bhosle, Umrao Jaan, Khayyam, Shahryar

Abhi na jao chhod kar, Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Hum Dono, Jaidev, Sahir Ludhianvi

Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko, Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Yaadon Ki Baarat, R.D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri

Ek chatur naar karke singar, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Mehmood, Padosan, R D Burman, Rajinder Krishan

Aage bhi jaane na tu, Asha Bhosle, Waqt, Ravi, Sahir Ludhianvi

Dum maro dumAsha Bhosle, Hare Ram Hare Krishna, R D Burman, Shibu Pintu, Anand Bakshi

Piya tu ab to aaja, Asha Bhosle, Caravan , R D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri

Raat akeli hai, Asha Bhosle, Jewel Thief, S.D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aataa hai, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Kabhi Kabhi, Khayyam, Sahir Ludhianvi

Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai, Mohammad Rafi, Guide, S.D Burman, Shailendra

Teri meri prem kahani hai, Rahat Fathe Ali Khan, Shreya Ghosal,  BodyGuard, Himesh Reshmaiya, Pritam, Shabbir Ahmed

Kuch to log kahenge logon ka kaam hai kehna, Kishore Kumar, Amar Prem, R.D Burman, Anand Bakshi

Pyaar kiya to darna kya, Lata Mangeshkar, Mughal-E-Azam, Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni

Jaane kahan gaye who din, Mukesh, Mera Naam Joker, Shankar – Jaikishan, Hasrat Jaipuri,

Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye saanj, Mukesh, Anand, Salil Chowdhury, Yogesh

Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, Geeta Dutt, Kagaz Ke Phool, S D Burman, Kaifi Azmi

Aane waala pal jane wala hai, Kishore Kumar, Golmaal, R D Burman, Gulzar

Zindagi kaisi hai paheli, Manna Dey, Anand, Salil Chowdhury, Yogesh

Aye Malik tere baande hum, Lata Mangeshkar, Do Ankhen Baara Haath, Vasant Desai, Bharat Vyas

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

The list below includes songs that almost made it to the top 24 list. And, could in principle, occupy one of the top 24 songs slots along with a song from the list above.

O Saathi re, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Kalyanji – Anandji, Anjaan

Aye mere pyare watan, aye mere bichchde chaman,Tujhpe dil qurban, Manna Dey, Kabuliwalla, Salil Chawdhury, Prem Dhavan

Chammak challo, Hamsika Iyer, Akon, Ra.One , Vishal Shekar, Vishal Dadlani , Niranjan Iyengar

Ek pal ka jeena, Lucky Ali, Kaho Na Pyar Hai, Rajesh Roshan, Vijay Akela

Ay meri Zohra jabi, Manna Dey, Waqt, Ravi, Sahir Ludhianvi

Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga, Kumar Sanu, 1942 A Love Story, R.D. Burman, Javed Akthar

Gumnam hai koi, badnam hai koi, Lata Mangeshkar, Gumnaam, Shankar Jaikishan, Hasrat Jaipuri

Hoton pe aisi bat, Bhupinder, Lata Mangeshkar, Jewel Thief, S.D. Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri

So gayaa yah jahaan so gayaa aasamaan, Nitin Mukesh, Shabbir Kumar, Alka Yagnik, Tezaab, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Javed Akthar

Choli ke piche, Alka Yagnik, Ila Arun, Khalnayak, Lakshmikant Pyarelal, Anand Bakshi

Munni badnam, Aishwarya, Mamta Sharma, Dabangg, Sajid Wajid, Lalit Pandit, Lalit Pandit

Jo wada kiya woh nibhana, Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Taj Mahal, Roshan, Sahir Ludhianvi

Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi, Kishore Kumar, Khamoshi, Hemant Kumar, Gulzar

Musafir hoon yaro, Kishore Kumar, Parichay, R D Burman, Gulzar

THANKS:

I am grateful to all those who supported this fun project, allowed my weekly e-mail intrusions and cast their ballots.  I am eager to hear your comments and feedback. Your writing here will mean a lot to me. Thanks.

Top 24 Hindi Film Songs of All Time: Final Round Voting starts December 7, 2012

FINAL ROUND HAS ONE HUNDRED SONGS. THE OBJECTIVE>>24 SONGS!

Since the release of Alam Ara in 1931 Bollywood has, by some estimates, produced over 40,000 songs. On January 7, 2012, I launched a project out of curiosity to find the top 24 Hindi film songs of all time (to be precise until November 30, 2012). Each week I presented on the Internet a selection of songs and the public voted for their favorites.  I had researched the Binaca Geetmala records, Filmfare awards data, Planet Bollywood’s Top 100 information, top 20 songs picked by a panel assembled by OutlookIndia.com and I had narrowed the starting list to about 600 songs. Over a course of 48 weeks the song list was narrowed down to top 100 songs. The final round began on December 7, 2012. The goal of the final round was to select the top 24 songs of all time. The results will be announced on December 31, 2012.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE HINDI FILM SONGS AND QUALIFY FOR A PRIZE!

STATE AS OF DECEMBER 8, 2012

After  48  weeks of weekly voting, the final round commenced on December 8, 2012.  The results will be analyzed after December 28, 2012. The final results will be published on January 1, 2013.

In the final round there are two groups of songs. The first group is called BLUE-GREEN and includes songs about love, dance, devotion, suspense, philosophy, etc. THIRTEEN TOP songs will be selected from this group. The second group, called ORANGE-RED, includes songs that are funny and songs about romance, seduction, defiance, etc. ELEVEN SONGS will be selected from this second group to make a total of 24 songs!

VOTING GUIDELINES – VERY IMPORTANT

One remembers certain songs at certain times. Unfortunately no one seems to remember what Calculus problem they were working on when they experienced something unique and beautiful. Music clearly has the ability to transport us to a different time and place.

Yet, we are now faced with the task of voting for our favorite songs. In the initial rounds I noticed that the videos were having a much bigger impact than what I had expected. The other factor may have been our emotional attachment to the actors who passed away recently. In the final round I would like you to not weigh the actor-factor that heavily. The best homage to the Indian and other artists we can pay is to pick what we see as the BEST songs with the highest long-term musical value (a phrase I heard from Pradeep Gavankar).

For songs related to DANCES, CABARET and HUMOR (FUNNY) visual images inarguably play an important role in the impact of songs. I would like you to judge the songs in the categories called FUNNY, DANCE and CABARET/SEDUCTION using the following metrics:

  • Words or lyrics = 25%
  • Voice or singing = 20%
  • Music = 25%
  • Images or video = 30%

For all the other song categories (Love, romance, philosophy, loss, defiance),  I suggest you simply close your eyes and listen to the audio portion only. Please use the following general guidelines.

  • Words or lyrics = 30%
  • Voice or singing = 30%
  • Music = 30%
  • Other (Context-dependent) = 10%

Ok, for those who see things ‘holistically,”  I want you to ask the following questions:

  • Is this song hummable?
  • Does the song evoke an emotion?
  • Has this song come to my mind in the past?
  • Does the song transport me to another time and/or place?
  • Does the song have an eternal quality about it?
  • Is the song saying something important and universal?
  • Does the music speak to my heart?
  • Is there something creative about the whole song and the video?
  • Do I see myself listening to this song say 5 years from now?

If your answers to most of the above questions are YES or affirmative, VOTE for that song.

INCENTIVE: A PRIZE WORTH US $50.00

Since the final round surveys are long, I am offering an additional optional incentive  to respondents. Three lucky winners one from each region will be selected from a random drawing from the first 100 respondent’s names. The three regions are: Outside the United States, Houston and the Surrounding area; and, The Rest of the United States (excluding Dallas…just kidding!)

Each winner will receive a prize worth US $50.00. The winners will be announced after January 1 but before January 15, 2013. . The winners will be informed via e-mail.  So, please vote for your favorite songs. Here are the links to the two surveys: BLUE GREEN; ORANGE RED I wish you the best!

 

 

List of Top 24 Hindi Film Songs of All Time (As of June 7, 2012)

Project Director: Saidas M. “Sai” Ranade

On January 7, 2012, I undertook a project to find, by the close of 2012, the top 24 Hindi film songs of all time.  With ample support from my friends and other folks interested in Hindi Film music, we have successfully completed 22 weeks of the project. I want to convey my sincere appreciation to all those who have stuck around and are voting each week.

Along the way, I got positive feedback on at least one set of songs (Philosophy) from Sunil T of Music Masala radio in Houston. I have known Sunil T for many years. He is a very energetic, entrepreneurial and creative person. He is already famous and does not need this plug. But here it is: Please visit his web site: www.masalaradio.net to find out more about his adventures.

Another friend who has followed  and supported this project is Ram Seetharam. I have known Ram also for many years. Even before the internet and iTunes, Ram had developed a database of songs. He has been at it for a long time. He is a very positive and creative person. His creation called Gaana Pehechana is now online. Please click on www.gaanap.com to view his exiting application.

The T24 project will continue through the end of 2012. If you wish to vote for your favorite songs, please CLICK HERE. For every vote cast, we will donate a small amount to PrathamUSA.org

We have completed 22 weeks. The survey respondents have included men and women in several age groups ranging from 18 to over 75. Categories still to come include Love, Defiance, Patriotic, etc. Drum Roll, please! Shown below is the list of songs that have risen to the top in several categories and will be included in the Voting for the Final 24.

I would like to hear your feedback and comments on the winners, categories, etc.

Thanks –  Saidas M. “Sai” Ranade, Houston, Texas

Funny Songs

  1. Ek chatur naar karke singar, Manna Dey, Mehmood, Padosan, R D Burman, Rajinder Krishan
  2. Eena mina dika, Kishore Kumar, Aasha, C Ramchandra, Rajinder Krishan
  3. Baboo smajho ishare, Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Chalti ka Naam Gadi, S D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri

Romantic Songs

  1. Abhi na jao chhod kar, Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Hum Dono, Jaidev, Sahir Ludhianvi
  2. Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga, Kumar Sanu, 1942 A Love Story, R.D. Burman, Javed Akthar
  3. Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko, Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Yaadon Ki Baarat, R.D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri
  4. Bahon me chale aaon, Lata Mangeshkar, Anamika, R D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri
  5. Ek ladki bheegi bhagi si, Kishore Kumar, Chalti ka Naam Gadi, S D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri
  6. Ay meri Zohra Jabi, Manna Dey, Waqt, Ravi, Sahir Ludhianvi: Ay meri Zohra Jabi

Dance (Male)

  1. Ek pal ka jeena, Lucky Ali, Kaho Na Pyar Hai, Rajesh Roshan, Vijay Akela

Seduction/ Item Number

  1. Raat akeli hai, Asha Bhosle, Jewel Thief, S.D Burman, Majrooh Sulatnpuri
  2. Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan lijiye, Asha Bhosle, Umrao Jaan, Khayyam, Shahryar
  3. Piya tu ab to aaja, Asha Bhosle, Caravan , R D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri
  4. Beedi Jalaili, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Omkara, Vishal Bhardwaj, Gulzar

Devotion

  1. Allah tero naam, Lata Mangeshkar, Hum Dono, Jaidev, Sahir Ludhiyanvi
  2. Aye Malik Tere Baande Hum, Lata Mangeshkar, Do Ankhen Baara Haath, Vasant Desai, Bharat Vyas
  3. Palanhare, nirgun aur nyare, Udit Narayan, Lata Mangeshkar, Lagaan – Once Upon A Time in India, A R Rahman, Javed Akthar

Dance (Female)

  1. Dola Re, Kavita Krishnamurti, Shreya Ghosal, Devdas, Ismail Darbar, Nusrat Badr, Sameer, Pandit Birju Maharaj
  2. Kaanto Se Kheech, Lata Mangeshkar, Guide, S.D. Burman, Shailendra

Dance (Group)

  1. Pretty woman, Sonu Nigam, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Javed Akhtar
  2. Bole chudiyan, Sonu Nigam, Amit Kumar, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Kabhie Kushi Kabhie Gham, Jatin-Lalit, Sandesh Sandilya, Aadesh Srivastav, Sameer, Anil Pandey
  3. Mahi ve, Sonu Nigam, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Javed Akhtar

Philosophy

  1. Aane waala pal jane wala hai, Kishore Kumar, Golmaal, R D Burman, Gulzar
  2. Musafir hoon yaro, Kishore Kumar, Parichay, R D Burman, Gulzar
  3. Zindagi kaisi hai paheli, Manna Dey, Anand, Salil Chowdhury, Yogesh
  4. Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi, Sonu Nigam, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Javed Akhtar

T24 HFS: Comments on Week 2 Songs

This is week two of the project to find, by the end of 2012, the top 24 Hindi film songs of all time. The results from last week are on the web page: Click here.

This week’s song category is “fun songs.” The list contains 13 songs. Here are my brief comments about each song on this week’s list:

  • Shayad meri shadi ka”:  Like the part : “Chai pe bulaya hai.”   Rajesh Khanna looks like Elvis.
  • **** “Hal kaisa hai janab ka?”: Kishore Kumar pretending to be sick and Asha’s voice. A combination of innocence and fun.
  • Suno na”: Bulldog. The words just flow. Rani Mukherjee’s reactions. I may also include the song under romance category.
  • Paan Khaye sayan hamaro”: Check out Waheeda Rehman describing how to eat a paan. The mischief in her eyes is fun.  A warning to all paan addicts!  And, that little laughter in the song (sung by Asha Bhosle) is priceless.
  • Baki jo bacha tha mehengai mar gai”: The idea that increasing prices inflation killed us. War, separation, yearning for love, religion, and of course inflation.  The singer prompting the dancer for the next verse is funny. Of course, Qawaali style makes it upbeat.
  • Aaj main upar”: The state of confusion due to love clearly upbeat. The idea that you are up and sky below is interesting.
  • ***** “Masakali” This has to be my favorite song in the set. The funny word combination. The goat and  Sonam Kapoor with the pigeon on her head. Sonam spitting on Abhishek is hilarious. Funny, funny song. We know what happens when a song gets stuck in our head.
  • Angrezi me kahate hai”: Well, finally a Amitabh number in thelist of songs. Combination of languages especially choo, choo, choo. Check our Parveen Babi playing the straight man.
  • **** “Dum dum diga diga”: That sudden onset of rain can be funny is shown in this song. Watch out for the rooster trying to get away from the rain. Raj kapoor stealing umbrella, plus the “dum, dum” sound are very funny.
  • Chup  chup khade ho”: Old movie song. The humor is subtle about a couple not revealing that they are in love. Facial expressions of the dancer conveying the various emotions.
  • Jhumka gira re” Sadhana dancing and singing about an ear ring fallen in a Bazaar. The mischief in the song is great. Upbeat song. I will also include this song in the dance category.
  • **** “Ek chatura naar”: Again Kishore Kumar lip synching for Sunil Dutt to impress Saira Banu and Mahmood as the South Indian coach also trying to impress Saira Banu. Amazing! Mahmood, Kishore Kumar unbeatable.
  • *** “Dayaa re dayaa me kahan phasi”: Song from caravan is funny because we all have been in a situation where we are totally unprepared.  Love the part where Jeetendra asks Asha Parekh to try a different song “Nahi chalega, ” while still dancing.  And facial expressions of Asha Parekh are humorous.

To vote for your favorites, please click here

Project “Top 24 Hindi Film Songs (HFS) of All Time” Launched (T24)

No one ever remembers what page of a specific math book they were reading when they first saw that special someone or first arrived at a special location but many remember the exact song they were listening to at that moment.  If only we could switch to episodic memory linked to math problems may be we could alleviate the math education challenge facing many nations.

Several months back a question came to my mind: “What is the top Hindi film song of all time?”  I realized that the question was interesting because the answer was not obvious. I began wondering if there was a way to find that answer. But before I started the quest, I shared this idea with my friends Prakash Lakhsmanan (SAP Guru), Ram Seetharam (Gaana Pehechhana fame), Pradeep Anand (author of “An Indian in A Cowboy Country”) and S K Srinivas (www.analysciences.com) and they all agreed that the question was “interesting.” Having received positive input from my friends, I decided to explore the issue some more.

I did what any professional person does these days. I googled different search terms. (My apologies to English teachers who still refuse to accept Xerox as a verb.)  I discovered that there have been many good attempts at finding the answer to a similar question. I also realized that not only is music very subjective but also it has different “moods” or emotions linked with it.  I concluded that a better question was: “What are the top “x” Hindi film songs of all time?”

Next, I analyzed the various moods evoked by different Hindi Film Songs and concluded that a set of 24 songs could in principle include all the various “moods.”  Purists will argue about the choice of 24. To be honest, this being 2012, I picked 24.  I have reviewed many different lists on the Internet and iTunes, etc. and compiled a source list of close to 600 songs. Any one of these songs could end up being in the top 24. Individual preferences can be affected by many different factors. Ten years ago, it may have been purely based on audio or words. Today, with the posting of hundreds of videos on YouTube, the selection can now be based on video or audio or video and audio, etc. I decided to launch this project called “Top 24 Hindi Film Songs of All Time.” The idea is simple. Each week, fans of Hindi film music will be given an opportunity to vote on their favorite songs. The selection process will go through a few rounds and by the end of 2012 we will narrow the list down to top 24 Hindi film songs of all time.

The project was initiated by curiosity. It is being executed to generate fun, joy and a sense of community.  There are no hidden agendas or things to sell or buy. It is a simple inquiry. Along the way we will learn about music, songs and may be about ourselves.  To those who are young this will give them an opportunity to check out the classics. To those older this might expose them to some really good new music.  I have also decided to donate 10 cents for every valid vote cast (up to first 3000 votes) to Pratham USA (www.prathamusa.org) a charity dedicated to education of the underprivileged in India.

Go to the web page: T24 HFS of All Time. Examine each week’s song selection. If you do not know a song, click on the link to view its YouTube video. Once you examine all songs, note down your top four or five favorites from that list. Then, go to the second step. Click on the “Vote” link. A survey will open up. The survey is anonymous and you will only be able to do one survey per IP address. All questions are of multiple-choice type. Initial questions are demographic simply to cross tabulate the results and eventually remove noticeable biases.  If you have time you can check out this week’s quiz and if you have comments on the songs selected or any other comments about the contest, you can join an online discussion forum. You do not have to register to view the contents of the forums but will need to register to share your opinions. Speak with someone under the age of 21 and they will show you how to join an online discussion forum. If you like the advice given by this young person, forward their name to me and may be this person can educate the rest of us. Click on other links on the page to contribute quizzes and articles.

Since it is the beginning of a new year, the first song category or type is what I call “fun songs.”  These are songs that either have funny sounds, words, type of music or images.

Remember, this is a fun project with an unknown outcome. Visit Top 24 HFS of All Time today and every week to check results and new features. Let’s play!

Memories of Mr. Mac

I was deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of Mr. Ed McMahon. I was overseas when he died. I met Mr. Mac almost ten years ago at the Universal Studios in Orlando. We were taping the final round of Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star Comedy Contest. He later invited me as the winner of the contest to be his guest on KTLA in Los Angeles and got me a guest appearance that evening at the Hollywood Improv.   Several of his unique qualities stood out clearly during those two brief meetings. The first time we met he asked me my name several times and wrote it down phonetically so he could introduce me correctly on the show. I also distinctly remember his smile and his laughter. As we walked to our set in the Warner Bros building at KTLA, he said hello to several support staff members and I recall him calling some by their first names.  For me being introduced by Ed McMahon in his classic style “Here is Sai Ranade” is indeed a dream come true. I am sure heaven needed him to be there to sit with Johnny Carson to introduce Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett on the special divine edition of the Tonight Show. So long Mr. Mac.