It’s been six months since I posted my yearly review post of the 1990s. While I was preparing for the post a few months ago, the sad demise of composer Shravan left me shaken. He was an important part of the 90s music. After that I got busy with other posts and I left the draft unfinished. The last couple of posts published were totally unplanned, but I was planning a post on Sunidhi’s songs for a long time and I came to know about her birthday just a couple of days prior to it. But I wasn’t ready to wait for a year, so I did it.
Anyway, let me present my favourites from the year 1997.
The year brings fond memories of the first year of MBBS. I used to travel by public transport, the city bus, to college with my friend, who lived near my home. One of our classmates would catch the bus at one of the previous bus stops and wave at us from the bus, so that we would all go together. The college would start at 9 am with a couple of lectures back to back till 11. Then practicals would continue till lunch time. The afternoon sessions would have body dissection at the department of Anatomy till 5 pm. Many times, we, a group of localites, would walk up to a nearby city bus stand and catch the bus to return home. We used to follow the same routine in monsoons as well. Except carrying an umbrella or a raincoat, the other things would be the same. We never feared blocked or submerged roads, floods or any other calamity. These things used to be extremely rare. And now, with a marginally heavy rainfall of half an hour, the roads get flooded, with overflowing open roadside gutters. Daily routine of many people gets affected. Things are getting worse every year, with floods hanging over our heads like a sword of Damocles.
Anyways, life was still much simpler back then, with no internet or mobile phones. Even two wheelers were far and few between, most of the people still opting for public transport.
The television industry was also much simpler, even with the addition of new satellite channels. If I remember correctly, Zee TV was very popular, so was Sony TV. I remember a few television series which were popular in those days. Banegi Apni Baat was a very popular serial, though it dragged on a bit too long to end in 1997. It was the same story for the much popular series, Tara, which ended in 1997. Besides these ‘finally’ finished series, Zee TV also aired a comedy series, Ghar Jamai, featuring Satish Shah, Mandira Bedi and R Madhavan. It was quite popular and really funny too. Sony TV’s ‘Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zaroorat Hai’ was popular too. I think some of the popular American series were dubbed in Hindi and were telecast on various channels around the same year. Small Wonder, Bewitched, Silver Spoons etc. The other channels were still quite new, and there was no direct to home or satellite TV. The cable operator soon became an important member of our lives. In the absence of mobile phones, the only way to reach him for any complaint was his landline number. The number would always be busy, and people would curse him from their homes until he or his helper visits home to correct the fault. He used to collect monthly rental charges door to door. The cable TV very soon took over and slowly Doordarshan obliviated. And, if I look back, I get tears in my eyes, when I remember about our on the spot plans of catching a movie or lunching at a hotel. Not to mention ‘offline’ lectures and practical hours, the overcrowded city buses, crowded single screen theaters etc. Corona has made everything impossible. Anyways……
I digress as usual! Let’s come to the point. I should start with the post.
The first part deals with the prominent debutants of the year 1997,
Aishwarya Rai (Bollywood debut) in Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
Mahima Chaudhary and Apurva Agnihotri in Pardes
Pooja Batra (Bollywood debut) in Viraasat
Akshaye Khanna in Border and Himalay Putra
Anjala Zaveri in Himalay Putra and Betaabi
Arif Zakaria in Darmiyaan
Kamal Sidhu in Aar Ya Paar
Popular lyricists, singers and composers of the year –
As far as the composers are concerned, I won’t call it any single composer’s year. While Nadeem Shravan scored a super hit with Pardes, their other two films, Judai and Mohabbat also had popular songs. Anu Malik was at the front with Border, Virasat and Ishq, while his peppy numbers in Judwa were popular with the masses. Anand Milind was not at all in the race, as they hardly delivered a hit, though Mrityudand had good music. Viju Shah actually offered quite good songs whenever the opportunity struck, but wasn’t counted among first rung composers. His songs from Gupt were hugely popular, and he was nominated for the Filmfare awards. His other release, Aar Ya Paar also had good songs, and were popular too. Jatin Lalit also scored successful music for Yes Boss. The main surprise was of course, Uttam Singh, who carried away the best composer Filmfare award for Dil To Pagal Hai. The songs were fabulous no doubt! and the songs had a clear imprint of a Yash Chopra movie, who must have meticulously heard and approved the songs. Veteran duo, Laxmikant Pyarelal scored good songs for Deewana Mastana.
Among the lyricists, Anand Bakshi had penned songs for the three major musical hits of the year, Dil To Pagal Hai, Pardes and Gupt. His songs for Deewana Mastana were popular too. While the rest of the hit songs were penned by Javed Akhtar. Sameer had his usual collaboration with Nadeem Shravan, but for the first time in the 90s decade, he wasn’t nominated for the best lyricist category at the Filmfare awards. In short, the music awards were limited to Dil To Pagal Hai, Virasat, Pardes, Border, Gupt and Yes Boss.
Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Abhijit were at the top of playback singing, Chitra was also popular and had a couple of hits that year. Sadhna Sargam was not popular, though she was a regular singer with Anand Milind and Viju Shah. Sonu Nigam was becoming popular slowly. He was the host for the talent show, Sa Re Ga Ma, and was a very popular anchor. Very soon he was among the first rung playback singers. Sunidhi Chauhan though debuted in 1996, had no popular releases in 1997.
The best playback singer Filmfare award was won by Abhijit and Alka Yagnik, for Yes Boss and Pardes respectively.
And, now the interesting segment of the post, where I overview the prominent films of the year, excluding the films on the final song list. The year was very eventful, as a number of good and critically acclaimed films made their appearance on the silver screen and the majority of the popular actors and actresses had one of their bests in the year.
I’ll start with David Dhawan films, the ones I watched much later on television. Out of his prominent releases in the year, Judwa is there on the list. Out of the remaining three movies, Hero No 1 and Deewana Mastana were super hits, while Mr and Mrs Khiladi was declared a semi hit. All the films are still popular, I guess!
The film, Deewana Mastana, brought together Salman Khan and Juhi Chawla in one scene and it was the only occasion they worked together. I do remember a couple of songs from the movie, though not my favourites. Johny Lever received the best comedian award at the Filmfare, for the film Deewana Mastana.
‘Sona Kitna Sona Hai‘ from Hero No 1 was hugely popular and used to top the countdown shows. As I’m not at all a Govinda fan, I didn’t care much for the movie, but it was a superhit. A couple of songs from Mr and Mrs Khiladi were popular too, but I wonder if anyone listens to them by choice today.
Juhi Chawla was the female lead in Deewana Mastana and Mr and Mrs Khiladi, and it was a good year for her as a couple of her films were hugely popular, Yes Boss and Ishq, though Arvind Swami starrer, Saat Rang Ke Sapne wasn’t successful at the box office.
Akshay Kumar had a mixed year, some of his films were popular and though he was also a part of Dil To Pagal Hai, his supporting role had very less footage.
His other films, Tarazu and Aflatoon were average at the box office. Still ‘Ye Khabar Chhapwado Akhbar Mein’ from the latter was popular. After the grand success of Rangeela in 1995, Urmila Matondkar was again acclaimed for her intense but controlled portrayal of Jahnavi in Judai. Her other releases, Daud and Aflatoon couldn’t fulfill the expectations the sensible audience had from Urmila as an actress.
A R Rahman’s songs for Daud were popular, especially the Asha Bhosle – Yesudas duet, O Bhanware. A couple of other songs did stir the air for a while, but are now forgotten. Urmila’s unnecessary skin-show was also criticised a lot in Daud. Though she looked glamorous in Rangeela, some of her dresses in Daud were criticised for vulgarity.
Among the other films, Kamal Haasan’s Chachi 420 was very popular and l like it. It was based on ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ and had good comedy. I didn’t include it on the final list as I don’t remember it as a musical hit. But I do remember a song, Gori Jago which includes the word Macarena. The latter was a popular song and that reminds me of another film, Auzaar. The film wasn’t successful at the box office, but the song, Dil Le Le Lena was inspired by Macarena. Incidentally, another song I Love you was also criticised for being lifted from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s song.
Nana Patekar, Raveena Tandon starrer, Ghulam e Mustafa was a commercial success. I don’t remember watching it, the crime-action genre, not my cup of tea. Kajol, Saif Ali Khan, Aditya Pancholi starrer, Hamesha was a story of reincarnation and barring a couple of songs, nothing that I remember about it.
Amitabh Bachchan’s Mrityudata was also hyped a lot, but other than Daler Mehndi’s song, I don’t remember much about it. It was ABCL’s production. Madhuri Dixit had a blast with Dil To Pagal Hai and also received critical acclaim for Prakash Jha’s Mrityudand. I think Koyla wasn’t a blockbuster movie, nor did it receive critical acclaim.
Sanjay Dutt, Manisha Koirala, Vivek Mushran starrer Sanam was finally released in 1997, though its songs were popular during the initial song release in 1993. I remember, ‘Aankhon Mein Neende Na Dil Mein Qarar’ was very popular. The film however couldn’t create magic after the release.
Jackie Shroff, Deepa Sahi starrer, Aar Ya Paar was directed by Ketan Mehta. The songs, composed by Viju Shah, Pyar Kar Deedar Kar, the title track and Dil Diya Pyar Kiya were popular, though not as favourite as other songs on the list.
As a tradition, I end the overview with off-beat films, which may not have succeeded at the box office, but need to be mentioned. I’ll begin with ‘Tunnu Ki Tina’ featuring Sunil Barve, Renuka Shahane and Rajeshwari Sachdev. I watched it later on television, it was a light hearted comedy and depicted reality more than most of the unrealistic Bollywood films do. Rekha’s portrayal of a married woman falling into prostitution in the film, Aastha, was obviously received with criticism. It was directed by Basu Bhattacharya. Lastly, Darmiyan, an off-beat film by Kalpana Lazmi, talked about the world of eunuchs. Arif Zakaria was into theater and television already, he debuted in Bollywood with this film. I’ve not watched it, but it must have been presented in a sensitive way. Kiron Kher also played an important character in the movie.
It’s time now to end the much prolonged overview.
Let’s start the list, my favourites from the Hindi movies released in 1997, in no particular order.
1. Chand Ne Kuchh Kaha – Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan & Chorus / Uttam Singh – Anand Bakshi
Madhuri had a bad year in 1996, but the Diwali of the year, 1997 brought success, when DTPH was released. The songs of the movie were already very popular and the film was a musical superhit. Though the story wasn’t new, it was presented in a fresh way. Shaimak Dawar’s choreography proved to be a boon to the film, as the dance steps in ‘Le Gayi Le Gayi Dil’ were never seen before. Karishma Kapoor danced wonderfully. The other dances were very presentable and fresh. In all, the dances, the songs and the star cast together with Yash Chopra’s magical touch, made the film popular. It was reflected in annual Filmfare awards; it won 8 awards out of 11 nominations. Among them were the best actor, the best actress, best supporting actress, the best film and of course the best music composer awards. While the majority of the songs are my favourites, I chose the one I like the most. But I do want to mention the title track and Bholi Si Surat. By now, the costume designer assumed an important position to become an integral part of a movie team. Manish Malhotra designed costumes for the ladies while Karan Johar for Shah Rukh Khan. But I seriously doubt if the general public can wear these costumes ever.
2. Sandese Aate Hai – Border (1997) Sonu Nigam & Roopkumar Rathore / Anu Malik – Javed Akhtar
While the best film award went to DTPH, the best Director award went to J P Dutta for Border. The film received critical acclaim as well as a very good response from the masses. Javed Akhtar received the best lyricist award at all the popular film award functions, including Filmfare and National awards. The four stanza long song is still considered one of the best Hindi film songs and surely it is. Mainly the last verse always makes me tearful, very touchy rendition by Sonu Nigam. The song talks about the feelings of army personnel, who fight for the country, away from their families and how badly they miss their homes, family members and friends. Really hats off to the soldiers of our country. The multi starrer film had a few more popular songs, To Chaloon by Roopkumar Rathore and a beautifully composed romantic duet, Humein Jab Se Mohabbat Ho Gayi Hai, by Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam are among my favourites.
3. Mere Khwabon Mein Tu – Gupt (1997) Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu / Viju Shah – Anand Bakshi
Gupt was a suspense thriller, which also had good songs and good performances by the actors. Nearly all the songs were very popular and were shown (actually bombarded) on various music channels and countdown shows. I was so irritated by these promotional activities that at one point I had decided not ever to watch the movie, or to buy a cassette. Ultimately I went against both the decisions. Kajol’s excellent performance in a negative role was cherry on the cake. She proved herself once again. Viju Shah always experimented with fusion music, Indian and western, with very good and melodiously rhythmic songs. While slowly pop beats were overpowering the songs, he successfully intertwined melody and beats. Unfortunately he never received the desired acclaim in my opinion.
4. Thoda Sa Pagla Thoda Deewana – Aur Pyar Ho Gaya (1997) Asha Bhosle / Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Javed Akhtar
Aishwarya Rai’s Bollywood debut wasn’t a hit, though songs of the movie were popular. The maestro composer himself also had a song in his own voice. Udit Narayan’s fresh voice was for the main lead. This dance number by Asha Bhosle is however a class apart for me. The tune is good, and the words come in rapid succession making it a breathless composition. But Asha’s flawless rendition along with Aishwarya’s dance make it an audiovisual treat. And I must mention, Meri Sanson Mein Basa Hai by Udit Narayan, which is also a favourite till date.
5. Tum Bin Man Ki Baat Adhuri – Mrityudand (1997) Sadhna Sargam & Kumar Sanu / Anand Milind – Javed Akhtar
I was about to choose the more popular, Keh Do Ek Baar Sajna, when I remembered this soulful forgotten gem from the movie. While Anand Milind were not so popular those days, they could still compose the melody so well. It’s my most favourite song of the movie. Another less popular song, Raat Maheke To Yun Bhi, is also very melodiously sweet. It’s a pity that these soothing and soulful melodies were overshadowed by the peppy and catchy Keh Do Ek Baar Sajna. The other two songs were never promoted well on TV. Along with the songs, the power packed performances by Madhuri Dixit, Shabana Azmi, Ayub Khan and other crew members were also appreciated by the audiences. The film portrayed liberation of women in the male dominated society. It’s considered one of the best performances of Madhuri Dixit. The film was a sort of link between art film and a commercial film.
6. Don’t Break My Heart – Mohabbat (1997) Kavita Krishnamurthy & Abhijit / Nadeem Shravan – Sameer
The song was extremely popular and used to be played throughout the day at some place or the other during its release. It was an inspired song, and was picturised beautifully along the picturesque landscapes and gardens. The dance steps were popular too. Alas! The popularity of the song couldn’t save the movie, which was very average and ultimately flopped.
7. Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaaoon – Yes Boss (1997) Abhijit & Alka Yagnik / Jatin Lalit – Javed Akhtar
Yes Boss was a good movie, and all the songs were popular too. Abhijit was prominently noticed for his couple of songs picturised on Shah Rukh Khan. The latter was really very good in the movie. You can notice in the song his facial expressions when he secretly watches Juhi and turns on his clown like expressions when Juhi looks at him. In my opinion, he had innocence and sincerity in his eyes, which he lost later, once he became King Khan. Juhi Chawla looked fresh as usual and was spontaneous and natural. In all the movie was a complete entertainer. The year was very successful for Shah Rukh Khan, as a couple of his movies were superhits.
8. Taare Hai Baarati – Virasat (1997) Jaspinder Narula & Kumar Sanu / Anu Malik – Javed Akhtar
Despite the other popular songs of the movie, I’ve chosen the one which proved to be a memorable one over the years. The tune is good and Jaspinder Narula’s unconventional voice adds a different charm to it. Anu Malik was a dark horse, he proved his creativity in the 90s and became a tough competitor to every composer. Listen to Udit Narayan’s prose-like verse from the song, Dhol Bajne Laga. Difficult to sing the lines, needs a lot of ठहराव and patience. And listen how seamlessly it merges with the main tune of the song. Though he didn’t get the best music director Filmfare award that year, he had a number of superhits to his credit. The film was directed by Priyadarshan, and was a remake of Thevar Magan. Anil Kapoor, Tabu, Amrish Puri and the debutante Pooja Batra all were praised for their performances. The film was showered with awards at prominent award functions, including the best film, the best female playback singer, best actor and actress critics award, etc. Farah Khan was awarded the best choreographer award for the song, Dhol Bajne Laga, while Chitra received the National award for best female playback singer for Payalay Chunmun. Please follow the lnik to watch the song on YouTube.
9. Mujhe Ek Pal Chain Na Aaye – Judai (1997) Hariharan, Alka Yagnik & Jaspinder Narula / Nadeem Shravan – Sameer
I love the film, excellent performances by Sridevi, Anil Kapoor and Urmila Matondkar. The story is a little unbelievable, but you accept it as the story flows smoothly. Sridevi’s greedy Kajal was cute and natural. She was brilliant as usual. Urmila as Jahnavi, Anil Kapoor’s second wife, was very competent too. She was glamorous, yet very believable and natural. Except for Johny Lever’s comedy side plot, which was at times very irritating, the film was a delight to watch. The songs were popular and in addition to the songs on the list, Pyar Pyar Karte Karte and Haan Mujhe Pyar Hua were popular too. Sridevi had married Boney Kapoor in 1996 and I think it was her first release after the marriage. I still can’t believe Sridevi is no more. She is of course very much alive in the memories of thousands of her fans.
10. Ishq Hua Kaise Hua – Ishq (1997) Udit Narayan & Vibha Sharma / Anu Malik – Javed Akhtar
The film was a romantic comedy directed by Indra Kumar. It was one of blockbuster movies, third top grosser of the year. The film was full of funny moments, and some of the comedy scenes have achieved iconic status. The songs of the movie were hugely popular including one of the inspired songs, ‘Neend Churayi Meri’. Performances by all the lead and supporting actors were appreciated. Not only the comedy timing of Amir Khan, Ajay Devgan and Juhi Chawla, but the negative performances by Dalip Tahil and Sadashiv Amrapurkar were popular. During the making of the movie, there was a rift between Amir Khan and Juhi Chawla. It resulted in their fallout, where both were not on talking terms for almost six years. Anu Malik introduced a new playback singer, Vibha Sharma, who sang for Juhi Chawla. Her voice reminds me of Alka Yagnik’s voice in the late 80s, during QSQT. It’s sweet and that made the song very popular.
11. Zara Tasveer Se Tu – Pardes (1997) Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu / Nadeem Shravan – Anand Bakshi
The film was 4th top grosser of the year and the songs were popular. It’s counted among one of the best scores by Nadeem Shravan. The film marked the debuts of Mahima Chaudhary and Apurva Agnihotri, the former getting the best female debut of the year Filmfare award. Having watched Subhash Ghai’s earlier films with a lot of melodrama and a tiresome climax, I gave the film a miss. And I don’t think I missed something significant. After the grand success of DDLJ, the NRIs became a hot topic of Bollywood. Suddenly every director became aware of Indian traditional values, culture and heritage. I think that’s why Subhash Ghai also opted for the plot. The patriotic song, Yeh Mera India was popular too. However I still love the songs of the movie, even after 24 years of its release. Chitra’s high pitched, Jahan Piya Wahan Main, was popular too, but for me, Kumar Sanu’s Do Dil Mil Rahe Hai was the most memorable song. It was commendable that Nadeem Shravan had a completely different style of compositions than their usual. Sonu Nigam’s Yeh Dil Deewana also brought a fresh wave of air. The Filmfare best female playback singer award was grabbed by Alka Yagnik for the song I’ve added to the list.
12. Tum Mere Ho – Betaabi (1997) Suresh Wadkar / Vishal Bhardwaj – Sameer
It’s a forgotten film, but I remembered the song at once, when I started recollecting the yearly hits. It was Vishal Bhardwaj’s subsequent film after Machis. Though he was not yet there with commercial success with Betaabi, the song, sung by Suresh Wadkar to portray the passionate emotions of a lover, was quite popular in those days. It’s time now to revisit the gem.
13. Na Woh Inkaar Karti Hai – Himalay Putra (1997) Alka Yagnik & Abhijit / Anu Malik – Nida Fazli
Though the film performed averagely at the box office, I still remember it for this song. A cute romantic song, the couple secretly wishes to meet each other, at least to have a glance at each other. They however do not openly admit it. The lyrics are very cute and so is the tune. Enjoy! The song has picturesque landscapes.
14. Tanhai Tanhai Tanhai – Koyla (1997) Udit Narayan & Alka Yagnik / Rajesh Roshan – Indeevar
I didn’t like the movie, it was too loud for me. Such an unrealistic villain and cliché situations. And Shah Rukh Khan’s hairstyle was very irritatingly bad. The film also had nothing new to offer. But I like the song and it’s musical arrangement. Very fresh voices of the singers.
15. Chalti Hai Kya Nou Se Barah – Judwa (1997) Abhijit & Poornima / Anu Malik – Sameer
The film was quite popular and so were the songs. Though I’m not a fan of the movie, the song was extremely popular with the masses. Our yearly gathering also had a dance performed on the song. Folllow the link to watch it on YouTube.
Please add your favourite from 1997.
Visit my Facebook page.
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.