When we say ‘Indian cinema has a song for every occasion’ we truly are not exaggerating. You may think that we’re talking about occasions such as weddings, birthdays, festivals etc…however what we truly mean is that Indian cinema has a song for every emotion and every moment in life. Be it something as grand as a wedding or something as common as travelling. Indeed, travel numbers have been quite a hit over the years with choreographers showing their flare in various innovative and creative ways. Trains, cars, buses and even planes, as usual Bollywood has it all covered. So come take a journey back in time with us to recall those memorable travel numbers that we all love.
‘Chaiya Chaiya’ — Dil Se
There are no winning prizes for guessing that this A R Rehman composition and Farah Khan number from Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se would end up on this list. ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ was a musical phenomenon that left audiences gob smacked. There had been nothing quite like this or nothing quite like it which King Khan had attempted for sure! Rahman’s magical number ensured that this track was pure perfection onscreen, with a bit of help from the sizzling Malaika Arora who caught everyone’s attention. Farah Khan swept awards across all awards shows for her choreography in this track and till date it remains to be one of her most acclaimed pieces. The location in which the track was shot adds the extra magic to the track. All in all this travel number is sheer perfection!
‘ABCD’ — Hum Saath Saath Hai
If you combine the songs from all Rajshri films you’ll be sure to end up with a track for each and every family function, be it small or big. This happy-go-lucky number ideal for family trips from Hum Saath Saath Hai put a smile on everyone’s faces with its melodious composition and adorable chemistry amongst all characters. Choreography by Jay Baroda was sensational as it utilized the set of the bus very effectively whilst creating brilliant character interaction. Lyrics by Mitali and Shashank were spot on in describing all the characters and music by Ram Laxman was so catchy and tuneful that every kid on the street was singing along! Saif Ali Khan shined exceptionally in this number with his immaculate comic timing as the mischievous and loveable Vinod. A truly memorable number when it comes to travel songs!
‘Pyaar Ki Kashti’ — Kaho Na Pyaar Hai
Even though Hrithik came and took the industry by a storm with his debut, we’re glad the cast and crew of Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai didn’t encounter any storms whilst filming this number featured on a cruise boat. Farah Khan packed up her favorite extras and brought the Bollywood dance party to the middle of the ocean with this track from the 2000 blockbuster. ‘Pyaar Ki Kashti’ was a travel number right from the begining with even the song starting off with the sounds of a ship ready to leave the dock! The girls are draped in casual sarongs whilst the guys are ready to be by the water for the entire day. Even the moves are appropriate for the seas with Farah even using somewhat ‘hula’ moves every now and then (read: hand waves and swinging hips).
‘Ho Gaya Hai Tumko Toh Pyaar Sajna’ — Dilwale Dhulaniya Le Jayenge
It’s impossible to leave out a track from one of the biggest blockbusters Indian cinema has witnessed, DDLJ! ‘Ho Gaya Hai Tumko Toh Pyaar Sajna’ is an out and out travel piece as it features the two characters, Raj and Simran, making their way from the station to their respective homes after the journey of a life time! The travel song is beautifully utilized to bring about their realization of love for each other. Even though no real and specific form of transport is used, the song remains essentially a travel number and so makes it way on our list!
‘Jee Lee’ — U Me Aur Hum
Who would have thought that two actors who’re not deemed to be the best and most enthusiastic dancers in the industry would be seen setting the screen on fire to a Salsa number! Ajay and Kajol Devgn surprised just about everyone when they pulled off the amazingly choreographed ‘Jee Le’. They proved that its only sizzling chemistry that is required onscreen and the rest simply follows. Adnan Sami’s ‘Jee Le’ was the it track from the album and the song that everyone was simply dying to see on the big screen. Featured on a cruise boat this track was choreographed by B-town’s newfound Salsa specialist Ashley Lobo (‘Behke Behke’ — Aisha).
‘Kasto Mazaa’ — Parineeta
The beautiful locales of Darjeeling played host to this equally beautiful number from Parineeta composed by Shantanu Moitra, who is now better known for the super duper hit ‘All Iz Well’ from 3 Idiots. The song was magical in its essence and presentation. Whilst Sonu’s voice is a delight to the ears, the scene in front of you is as much delight to your eyes. As Shekhar (Saif Ali Khan) travels away from home for work he imagines his dear Lolita (Vidya Balan) accompanying him on the journey. The song is a travel number to the core with the sound of an old-school train throughout the track used almost as an instrument. Of course the track is even more adorable thanks to the children’s voices in the chorus. A perfect example that beautiful locations for a memorable travel number need not be found across the seven seas in a foreign country but instead in the beautiful India itself.
‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani’ — Aradhna
We rewind time to the yesteryears when Saif’s mum was all the rage. Yes, indeed this Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore number from Shakti Samant’s blockbuster Aradhana simply cannot be left out of this list of memorable travel numbers. The track is memorable for so many reasons, only some of which we’ll have the time and space to share. SD Burman’s composition and Kishore Kumar’s magical vocals are undeniably the biggest reasons. In addition it is so beautifully pictured on Arun and Vandhana’s characters. Picturisation is so that Arun is crooning to the song in his stylish jeep whilst Vandhana curiously glances from above her novel as she travels in a train moving parallel to Arun’s jeep. The surrounding scenery and Khanna’s iconic expressions leaves this song etched in our memories forever.
‘Do Mastaane’ — Andaz Apna Apna
If there was to be only one word to describe this travel number from Raj Kumar Santoshi’s cult comedy it would be ‘insane’! The film in general is pretty insane and filled with fun to a level that is seriously unhealthy, but this song in particular is even more fun! Who knew a crowded bus which we all hate in real life, could make for such an interesting set. Lyrics in particular truly describe the journey that Amar and Prem have begun. The various travelers on the bus make for interesting extras and simply add to the crazy fun that the song is!
Shammi Kapoor Numbers — Kashmir Ki Kali and An Evening in Paris
When it comes to talking about songs shot in crazy situations and bizarre ways then Shammi Kapoor tracks have to make the list as this man didn’t leave a single stone unturned when it comes to going all out for his songs. The magical voice of Rafi and the Shammi’s endearing onscreen persona was a combination like no other! Both songs are one of a kind and shot in a way that no one has dared to replicate them till date. ‘Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra’ from Kashmir Ki Kali features the exquisite beauty, Sharmila Tagore, and is shot in the lakes of Kashmir with a traditional Kashmiri boat, shikara, being the chosen mode of transportation. Ofcourse no questions asked that even the boat and water didn’t stop Shammi Kapoor from being his hyper self! On the other hand ‘Hoga Tumse Kal Bhi Saamna’ from An Evening in Paris is much less-Indian and explores the modes of transportation even more. Try a scooter, cable car and even a helicopter all in one song! Paris is home to this beautiful number and you can be sure that the highlight of the song is Shammi Kapoor’s entertaining screen presence! Both these numbers are classics in all aspects.
‘Main Chali Main Chali’ — Padosan
Everything about this classic comedy is irreplaceable. Be it the stunning Saira Banu, the uber funny and talented Mehmood-Saab, the innovative script or the beautiful songs! ‘Main Chali Main Chali’ is one of those tracks that has been remixed time and time again. The 21st century musical technology and singers have never been able to replace the original. Picturised on Saira Banu as she travels on a bicycle with a bunch of gal-pals, this one is a truly ‘girly’ travel number. As she travels further on her bicycle she imagines herself going deeper into the paths of love and thus drawing a beautiful metaphor between the picturisation and lyrics. No real choreography is present in the track but rather Saira Banu’s expressions do the magic!