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5 must-have songs for your Holi playlist: Amitabh Bachchan’s Rang Barse to Ranbir-Deepika’s Balam Pichkari

These songs feature stars like Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone

Saikat Chakraborty Calcutta Published 07.03.23, 09:08 AM
A still from Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.

A still from Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. YouTube

Holi is here and it is time to get your playlist ready for the festivities. From Kishore Kumar’s evergreen classics to Vishal Dadlani’s foot-tapping numbers, here are five Bollywood songs that have become synonymous with the festival over the past decades.

Aaj Na Chhodenge from Kati Patang (1971)


Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar’s Aaj Na Chhodenge song from the 1971 musical drama Kati Patang is one of the greatest Holi numbers of all time. Composed by R.D. Burman, the foot-tapping number, featuring Rajesh Khanna, Asha Parekh and Bindu, captures the essence of Holi by bringing people from all walks of life together. The music video shows a rural set up in which Bindu and Rajesh Khanna dance and smear colours on each other as other villagers indulge in celebrations. Asha Parekh watches from a distance, while Khanna tries to involve her in the festivities.

Rang Barse from Silsila (1981)

Amitabh Bachchan’s famous baritone gave us a Holi song for the ages in this Yash Chopra film. Composed by the musical duo of Shiv-Hari and penned by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Rang Barse alludes to the heady atmosphere that this festival can evoke. The song features Bachchan, Rekha, Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bachchan at a Holi party. Two ex-lovers — Bachchan and Rekha — meet each other at the event where they had come with their spouses. Sparks start to fly, causing discomfiture to their partners and creating awkwardness.

Hori Khele Raghuveera from Baghban (2003)

Amitabh Bachchan’s love affair with Holi songs continued with the song Hori Khele Raghuveera from Ravi Chopra’s 2003 family drama Baghban. Sung by Alka Yagnik, Sukhwinder Singh and Udit Narayan, this catchy number became the first big Holi song of the 21st century. Composed by Aadesh Shrivastava and penned by Sameer, Hori Khele Raghuveera traces the mythical origin of the festival with a modern interpretation. The video also features Hema Malini dancing alongside Bachchan at a Holi party with friends and family.

Do Me A Favour Lets Play Holi from Waqt- The Race Against Time (2005)

Anu Malik’s unconventional voice and Sunidhi Chauhan’s youthful exuberance make Do Me A Favour Lets Play Holi a crowd favourite at every Holi party. Composed by Malik for Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s 2005 comedy-drama film Waqt- The Race Against Time, this peppy song featuring Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra was picturised on an elaborate set. The chemistry between Akshay and Priyanka is palpable as the two play Holi with water guns and smear colours on each other. The second half of the song shows Akshay and Priyanka raindancing in the backdrop of hills.

Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

Pritam’s Balam Pichkari from Ayan Mukerji’s 2013 romantic comedy film Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani became the Holi anthem for Gen Z. Sung by Vishal Dadlani and Shalmali Kholgade, this fun-filled song, featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin, is the go-to Holi song for the youngsters. In the song, the lead cast of the film celebrate the festival in a small town while returning from their trekking adventure in Manali. A carefree Deepika starts the celebrations, inviting Ranbir to join. The four friends —Deepika, Ranbir, Kalki and Aditya— drink thandai and dance.

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