Top Ten Songs by Udit Narayan

Indian cinema (Bollywood) has many song and dance sequences integrated within the storyline of the films. Most actors don’t sing but lip sync the songs, therefore, playback singers lend their voices in song for this purpose. The amazing thing with a select few singers, like Udit, is that they have learned to impersonate the actors’ voices so closely that it seems like the actors are the ones doing the actual singing. Udit is renowned for impersonating Aamir Khan’s and Shah Rukh Khan’s voices perfectly. He has sung almost 700 songs for 370 films.

Here are my top ten songs by Udit Naryan. The translation from Hindi into English does take some of the beauty away but you can still get the essence of the lyrics.The film titles are in bold type.

1. Udit sings my favorite song of his, Main Yahaan Hoon (I Am Here) from Veer Zaara in such a sexy voice perfectly pictured on Shah Rukh Khan (Veer) and Preity Zinta (Zaara) “Darling, look around; the distance between us is dispelled. I’m here, I’m here, I’m here, here! What borders are there now? What obstacles? I’m the secret that you can’t hide; I’m the impulse that you can’t forget. When I echo in your heart, why are you surprised? I’m your heart’s very voice. If you can hear it, then listen to the language of your heartbeat. Now I and only I occupy your thoughts; I’m in the answers you receive and the questions you ask. I’m at the center of every one of your dreams; I’m the light that shines from your eyes. Wherever you look, you see me; I’m here, I’m here, I’m here, here.”

(See the song video here

2. Pehla Nasha (First Intoxication) from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (He who wins is the conqueror) is a duet that Udit sings with Sadhana Sargam, picturized on Aamir Khan (Sanju), Pooja Bedi (Devika) and Ayesha Jhulka (Anjali). Anjali imagines singing it with Sanju while Sanju imagines singing it with Devika. “First intoxication, first spirit. This is a new love, a new longing. What do I do with my state? Oh restless heart. I feel like soaring in the breeze; or maybe I will swing in these clouds. I will make the sky and the earth one. Tell me friends, what should I do?”

3. Hai Mera Dil (This is My Heart) is a song from Josh (Youthful Spirit/Strength). Udit and Alka Yagnik are together to sing this duet picturized on Aishwarya Rai and Chandrachur Singh (Rahul). “How lovely is this love; so very precious. It’s happening for the first time; it only happens once. This won’t happen again. O my heart! She stole it away; the thief is my assassin (slaying me with love)! Beginning, beginning, my heartache has begun. Waking and sleeping we both have lost ourselves. This season is perfect for love! May the blissful nights never come to an end! Help me endure my longing; let me dwell in your eyes.”

4. Humko Humise (Steal Me Away) from Mohabbatein (Love Stories) is sung by Udit and Lata Mangeshkar and picturized on Shah Rukh Khan (Raj) and Aishwarya Rai (Meghna). The solo crying violin in the introduction to the song tears at your heartstrings, especially when you know the story behind it all. “Steal me away from myself; hide me somewhere in your heart. May I not get lost alone! May I never stray far from you! Come to me; embrace me! Let your heart pound; let your hair down. Blush and let your scarf fly. Let it rain! There are so many things we must discuss. I adore you; I would die for you. Everyone says this, but I’ll do it for real. Perhaps not everyone approves, but my heart approves, and so does God. Come to me; take me in your arms! Steal me away from myself; hide me somewhere in your heart.”

5. Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko To (Love happened to you) is from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (The Brave of Heart will get the Bride). Udit and Lata sing this duet that is picturized so beautifully on Shah Rukh Khan (Raj) and Kajol (Simran), when the two friends part ways after a group trip and realize they are in love. “Who knows what happened to my heart! One moment it was right here, the next it was lost. Love happened to you, sweetheart, though you deny it a hundred thousand times, sweetheart! My charming sweet, this is love, dear heart! You didn’t even turn back to look at me. I paused too late; when my heart finally wanted to stop you, you’d already left. Who knows what happened, why this heart (went) mad!”

6. Chand Chupa Badal (My beloved puts the moon to shame) is from the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Straight from the Heart) Udit and Alka once again, picturized on Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai. “My beloved puts the moon to shame. Wind yourself in my embrace, my love. It’s quiet, intimate, intoxicating, still. This moment is unparalleled Let our proximity increase! Spread your hair across me! You tell me how in the world I can be patient! This moment is unparalleled.”

7. Ae Ajnabi (Hey Stranger) from Dil Se (From the Heart) is a haunting melody and very soulful. It features Udit along with Mahalaxmi. The lyrics are beautiful and the vocals enchanting. “Hey stranger, you too are calling out from somewhere. Here I am, living in pieces – somewhere you’re living in pieces, too. Each day, as it comes and goes, the silken wind says, “tell me!” The one who is like a pale, innocent flowerbud – that girl, where, where is she? Where is her light? The one who is my very life – where is she? I am incomplete, and you’re only half-alive.”

8. Tu Mere Saamne (You’re facing me) in Darr (Fear) has Udit singing this song for Rahul, the obsessed lover (Shah Rukh Khan) to his beloved Kiran (Juhi Chawla), whose part is sung by Lata Mangeshkar. “You’re facing me; I’m facing you; shall I look at you, or shall I make love to you? How did this happen, that you became mine? How shall I trust this miraculous development? I will play with the locks of your hair; I will take you in my arms. All lovers give their hearts; I will give you my life as well. This is a love story for the ages. This bloom of youth is ageless. These four seconds of your love are like one hundred years of ordinary living.”

9. Papa Kehte Hain (Papa Says) from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (From the beginning of the world to the end) is picturized on Aamir Khan (Raj) and is a fun song about a young man who doesn’t know what his future holds (until he falls in love of course) and sings about it. “All my friends are gathered together here; in all their hearts is this desire. What will they make of their tomorrows? Everyone’s got some dream in his eyes: one will work as an engineer; another will make his name in business. But what no one knows is where my exact destination lies. Dad says, “He’ll make a great name for himself!”

10. Pele Kabhi (Never before) is from Bagbhan (The Gardener). Udit and Alka sing the duet that is picturized on Salman Khan and Mahima Chaudhry. “Never before, yes, yes, never before have I been in such a state. My sleep’s gone; I’ve lost my peace. Something’s started here, yes; something’s started to happen. Now, no distance remains between us, darling; I’ve started to sleep beneath the locks of your hair. Something’s started here, yes, something’s started to happen.”
And those are my top ten songs by Udit Narayan.

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