Bollywood Boulevard

Mohammed Rafi is a god. About this, there is no question. And YouTube is a little slice of heaven in which this god resides, a paradise before which my jones for retro Bollywood dance numbers was never so easily sated. Now, however, with a few clicks of the mouse, I am swiftly delivered to Bollywood glory where I float in immeasurable bliss.

I love everything about Bollywood dance numbers—the music, the staging, the absolutely mad dancing, which is nothing short of total happiness on two feet. One can’t help but feel good after a brilliant Bollywood number; their energy is irresistibly infectious. I tend to favor the 1950s-1970s era, but there’s plenty of great modern stuff, too. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite Bollywood numbers. (And one Kollywood number, too.)

1958: "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu" from Howrah Bridge, starring one of the great Bollywood legends, Helen Richardson.

1966: "Jaan Pehechan-Ho" from Gumnaam, featuring Mohammed Rafi as a playback singer. Sheer genius. I can’t believe these dancers didn’t get concussions from this madcap choreography. The character Enid, played by Thora Birch, was seen watching this number in the great film Ghost World.

1973: "Dil Jalon Ka Dil Jalake" from Zanjeer. I adore this song, even though I have no idea what she’s saying or what’s going on. I love the tres unimpressed dude in the glasses. (Who totally looks like Eddie Izzard.)

2002: "Dola Re Dola" from Devdas. Just all kinds of awesome.

And here’s an added bonus—this is a Kollywood (the Tamil equivalent of Hindi cinema) clip that is really just the greatest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Praise be to Kamal Hassan.

1981: "Solla Solla Enna Perumai" from Ellam Inba Mayam.

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