Aao Twist Karein (Bhoot Bangla)
If I tell you the name of a film is Bhoot Bangla, won't you want to avoid it (thinking its a Ramsay Brothers film)? Would you be interested if I told you it stars Mehmood in a lead role? No? How about the fact that it is one of RD Burman's earliest compositions? Still no?
Okay then, listen to this song (especially the last one minute, which has some really cool moves). And jive!
My father tells me that when Manna Dey used to sing this song at Pujo pandals in 1960s Calcutta, teenagers used to get up on rickety folding chairs and dance. Whether it was the Twist, he isn't too sure of!
O meri maina (Pyaar Kiye Jaa)
While on Mehmood, you can hardly miss out on Pyaar Kiye Jaa, usually famous for a fantastic monologue in which he describes a horror film scene to entice Om Prakash into producing his film. But the film also had this lovely (?) number filmed on him and Mumtaz. They dance for the benefit of an unbelievably cherubic-looking Shashi Kapoor and Kishore Kumar (who probably had to be tied to the sofa to refrain from joining in) - in an apparently melodious number filled with words like ai ai o, gutar goo, mombatti et al.
Shing nei tobu naam tar shingho (Lukochuri)
In the previous posts, there were several comments pointing out C.A.T. Cat maney billi probably deserves an entry into the Oddballs list. It does - but somehow I don't find that song very anarchic enough. And I wondered why?
I mean, Kishore Kumar and Nutan screaming the alphabet primer to each other, asking meanings of three-letter words (not four-letter ones!) should be something I must be in love with. But it isn't. And it is because of this song.
It is a Bengali song but its charm is certainly not restricted to natives of the language. Though it is indeed a bit of a dampener if you are unable to figure out the meaning of the line which is being sung when KK points towards a picture of Madhubala on screen (E barir Khnedi chai bhuru knuchkey...)
Guncha (Main, Meri Patni aur Woh)
A very under-rated, under-exposed film about a not-so-handsome, not-at-all-tall man's (Rajpal Yadav) insecurities about his beautiful wife (Rituparna Sengupta) and handsome neighbour (Kay Kay Menon) had this wonderful ballad.
The film had Kay Kay Menon singing the song but I have chosen to upload the music video, which is wonderfully shot (and had better audio). A supposedly normal ghazal becomes a lovely oddball when sung sans music and by Mohit Chauhan.
The film had another wonderful - and probably better - song. But that doesn't qualify as an oddball.
Maro gaam katha parey (Manthan)
I still remember my sense of bewilderment when I saw the first titles of Manthan - "500,000 Farmers of Gujarat Present" - which was because the film was funded by small contributions (Rs 5 each) from the members of the Gujarat Milk Marketing Cooperative.
And as the very short titles go past, I was even more surprised by the folk song that played - and several times during the film. Preeti Sagar - of nursery rhyme fame - performed this tremendously energetic number and the orchestration sounded exactly as if it was being played under a tree in rural Gujarat.
Bade achhey lagtey hain (Balika Badhu)
Why is this an Oddball? Huh huh? Why? Because this was one of Amit Kumar's earliest songs? Or is it because of the cute "...aur?" which precedes every "... aur tum"? Could it be because of the wondrous bhatiyali interlude in between the song? Or is it generally because I like the song?
The answer is (D) All of the above, I guess.
To pacify all purists, I will throw in a piece of trivia - the voices of the adult Amal and his badhu were done by Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman respectively. Happy now?
Sigh... this Oddballs list is slowly degenerating into a sly favourites list from YouTube! But what to do?