A Decade of Item Numbers

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Item numbers puzzle me. They’re so simple — just a star shaking a leg on screen, yet they are sometimes so intoxicating that you can’t help but want to jump up and dance yourself (Hint: Lock your door first.). As silly as it may seem, a five-minute song can often lift your spirits and make a three hour film worthwhile. These are songs that are so brilliantly composed that they make you want to get up and bust a move. And when you add a foot-tapping song to a spellbinding dance on celluloid, the impact increases tenfold. Bollywood is undoubtedly an industry run by star-status and watching your favourite star groove to a tune on screen can be an extremely enjoyable experience. On the other hand, sometimes there are unknown actors and actresses who catch your eye in a song and skyrocket from there.

Let’s cut to the chase. With Helen epitomizing the concept of ‘item numbers’ back in the day, years later they are extremely familiar to Bollywood and very often create a rapidly contagious rage across fans. In this article, BollySpice takes you through a decade of delicious dances that have literally set the screen on fire.


It’s hard to believe Karishma Kapoor danced all the way to box office with Le Gayi Le Gayi in the Yash Raj production Dil To Pagal Hai an entire decade ago. Asha Bhosle crooned this peppy number composed by Uttam Singh. The inimitable moves by Shiamak Davar worked perfectly with the song and Karishma’s charisma (pun intended!) sent shock waves down our spines.

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