Bollywood song: "Aaj Ki Jhunli Raat Ma" (1969)


Thanks for blogging this David! Such a fun, beautiful, and for the most part, forgotten song (composed by S.D. Burman)… Hundreds of dancers in colorful clothes, brandishing spears, and dancing madly in a circle is always a good thing…

Sharmila Tagore (the leading actress in this film) started her acting career at the age of 15 in Satyajit Ray’s Apu Sansar- aka The World of Apu. I met her after she spoke at the Kennedy Center a few years back! The co-star here was Rajendra Kumar - one of several very successful actors of this era.

In the film (according to Wikipedia - i havent seen this one in its entirety), “Raju Rajendra Kumar leaves his little town to work in Mumbai” …

The contrast between modern (westernized) city folks and rural/tribal/village people is one that was often highlighted in these old films… and continues to pop up in many modern films as well. I don’t know enough about indigenous tribal village cultures in India (there are a total of 645 distinct tribes officially recognized in India) but I know that many of the outfits (including all the colorful jewelry) seen in these old films are often based on traditional clothing from rural village tribes.


Thanks for the additional background, Carl! I appended your comment to the post.

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