Item Numbers

These are the hot numbers in a Hindi movie, which at one time used to be called cabaret songs. The come-hither types performed by suitably clad female actors (sometimes with male accompaniment)- Jayashree T., Mumtaz, Helen, Padma Khanna were some who became the face of the 'items.' Helen, in particular, became known for these, and she was one of the best. Her number in Don appears a classic when you see Kareena's pathetic imitation in the remake. Here is a list of a few good ones I remember. Of course, along the way, the vamp has disappeared, and the heroine now fills in when needed.

1. Husn ke lakho rang, kaunsa rang dekhoge..Johny Mera Naam
2. Zindagi ittefaq hai- Aadmi aur insaan (Mumtaz)
3. Mehbooba, mehbooba- Sholay
4. O haseena zulfon wali jane jahan- Teesri Manzil
5. Piya tuuu, ab to aaja- Caravan
6. Aa jaane jaan- Inteqam
7. Raat akeli hai- Jewel Thief (Tanuja is the actor)
8. Main kya karoon ram mujhe buddha mil gaya-Sangam (Vyjayantimala!)
9. Jab chhaye mera Jadu- Lootmaar (Simple Kapadia did this)
10. Maar diya jaye, ke chhod diya jaye - Mera Gaon Mera Desh (Laxmi Chhaya, I think)
11. Aaiye meherbaan- Howrah Bridge (it's Madhubala playing a club dancer with a dapper Ashok Kumar and K.N. Singh of the evil eyes in the audience)

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