A Guide to the Instruments of Old Bollywood Film Music: from Hindustani to Western (and everything in-between)

Ever find yourself listening to Bollywood film music and feel like your brain is exploding in ecstasy from the rainbow of instruments striking your tympanic membranes? We know the feeling. The history of Bollywood film music goes much deeper than … Continue reading

Who Is Minoo Purshottam? Appreciation from a Former Student

Minoo Purshottam was an acclaimed Bollywood playback singer of the 1960s and 70s. She lived in the era dominated by the famous soprano sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle, fighting for the ground they couldn’t cover—and scoring! Continuing our slant … Continue reading

Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana Padega Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day 2014, we continue our series on Taj Mahal (1963) with the lyrics and English translation to the film’s most popular song: jo vaadaa kiyaa. For our previous posts on this film, please see our translations of khudaa-e-bartar, … Continue reading

Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Our next lyrics and English translation is of the ageless song “Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya” from Shahjehan (1946). Known widely as early playback singer K.L. Saigal’s swansong, “Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya” is a song close to my heart … Continue reading

What is Eastmancolor?

No, really, what the heck is Eastmancolor? When you look closely at title screen of each of your favorite classic Bollywood films, you find the simple, but bold little phrase, “EASTMANCOLOR” conspicuously splashed across the screen. It’s gnawed quietly at … Continue reading