The dahi handi tradition is an integral part of Janmashtami celebrations. And no dahi handi is complete without foot-tapping, chart-busting tunes to keep the rhythm and tempo going.
Here's a handpicked list, containing songs from Hindi films over the past 50 years, which encapsulate the spirit of the zestful dahi handi tradition on Janmashtami.
Govinda Aala Re - Bluff Master (1963)
Shammi Kapoor is peerless in the song 'Govinda aala re' from the Manmohan Desai-directed Bluff Master. It's a class act that no one has been able to surpass in the past 53 years. The opening shot has Kapoor rolling up his sleeves and then jumping down a flight of stairs, setting up the tone of this robust song composed by Kalyanji Anandji and sung with vim and vigour by the inimitable Mohammed Rafi.
Shot on the narrow, crowded streets of Mumbai's Thakurdwar, the realistically picturised song with actual crowds thronging their balconies to see Kapoor break a matki with gay abandon, has been perspicaciously penned by Rajendra Krishan. Revellers dunk Kapoor to the bone with buckets of water but he is unperturbed and belts out, 'Bheege jitna bhi ang, thandi ho na umang' with infectious fervour.
Shor Mach Gaya Shor, Dekho Aaya Maakhan Chor - Badla (1974)
Shatrughan Sinha has two left feet but in the Kishore Kumar crowd-pleaser, 'Shor mach gaya shor,' he manages to hold you captive with his characteristic boisterous mannerisms and bulging eyes act. Bhagwan Dada (the veteran of Albela fame) provided a perfect foil with his famous dance steps.
Along with his senior Sunil Dutt, the actor tried to recapture the success of 'Shor mach gaya shor' with the song 'Teen battiwala Govinda aala' in Muqabla (1979) but the song proved to be a weak competitor to the Badla number which remains a festival favourite.
Mach Gaya Shor Sari Nagari Re - Khuddaar (1982)
Amitabh Bachchan, in a tapori avatar with a black tee shirt and a red scarf, is very light on his feet in this foot-tapping song from Khuddaar and keeps you riveted. He channels the sheer joie de vivre and sparkle of the revellers. The normally westernised Parveen Babi looks like a dream in a red nau-vari (Maharashtrian sari), and a nose ring.
Vocal virtuosos Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar are at that ebullient best in this Rajesh Roshan composition. Just before breaking the matki, Amitabh falls from the human pyramid into Parveen's lap - a cute touch.
Chandi Ki Daal Par Sone Ka Mor - Hello Brother (1999)
The 1990s would have passed by without the mandatory dahi handi-breaking hit but at the end of the decade, a spry Salman Khan, donned a white netted ganji and pink trousers to break the handi and win Rani Mukherjee's heart in Hello Brother. At first hearing, the song doesn't strike you as a dahi handi song. When you watch the film, you realise that the chandi ki daal refers to the rope on which the matki is tied, and the sone ka mor is the matki with a wad of notes attached to it.
Go Go Go Govinda - OMG ... Oh My God (2012)
Embellished with a contemporary beat, this song also has shades of the original 'Govinda aala re' from Bluff Master besides also doffing its hat to the 'Hum hum' refrain in Rafooo Chakkar's 'Chuk chuk chak chak Bombay Se Baroda tak.' Despite Prabhu Deva's stupendous, cartilage-defying moves, Sonakshi manages to hold her own in a knotted blouse worn over a tee shirt and knee length torn jeans.
For the first time, and hopefully not the last, a jubilant heroine (Sonakshi), clambers over a human pyramid and confidently breaks the handi ... and shatters with it, the stereotype of the actress remaining a mute spectator to the hero's hi- jinks.
-- Sourced from Dinesh Raheja, Editor, Bollywood News Service