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 ( 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 ( 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!

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