This week on Flashback, we take a look at the songs which are every bit the ‘Hero’ as the actors, the plot and cinematography. And in Bollywood, there is a song for every mood – romance, tragedy, celebration, melancholy, heartache and even to woo the one you love. But raunchy numbers have always had a special place and why not! They have the capacity to make people want to shake a leg, stand up in theatres, blow whistles and bring out their wild side. These songs and dances with their free dance movements have naughty or risque lyrics and mostly all add up to adoring– mostly the female form. Back in the 60s, Helen’s name on film posters used to be magnified and got more space than the heroine’s and a dance number by Bindu or Aruna Irani was like an insurance policy for the film’s success. Be it the 1960s or 2012 -Raunchy numbers have always been seen as the X-Factor of Hindi films from Helen and Bindu to Aruna Irani and Mumtaz; from Zeenat Aman and Praveen Babi to Mallika Sherawat, Malaika Arora down to Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan and Katrina Kaif- they have all sexed up the screen and charmed the viewers with their sensual moves and sultry adas. These songs have been a part of the Bollywood tradition. And it all started with club songs way back in the 1950. The sizzling nightclub dance number—the ‘club songs and the cabaret had now been reconstituted and it had evolved into a specialised category and topping the charts with her songs only appearances in Hindi films is Malaika Arora Khan.
Specialists item number girls may have come into being but that has not stopped from top actresses to also do these spl short appearances in dance numbers. The emergence of the raunchy, rambunctious song performed by a lead actress, usually in a special appearance and inserted in a film has also drawn comments like – sexists and exploitative and this has resulted in lead actresses thinking twice about doing such songs. Be it the 1960s or 2018- Club or cabaret – Raunchy numbers have always been seen as the X-Factor of Hindi film and protest or not the genre is not ending anytime soon.