EK DO TEEN – MADHURI DIXIT, ALKA YAGNIK, TEZAAB DANCE SONG

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This is one of the few songs performed by Madhuri Dixit that I like. The song with male voice was added later, when the original song with the female voice became popular. Besides, the choreography is by my favorite choreographer Saroj Khan. That is why I chose the original song. The movie itself is known by this Ek do teen… song.

Movie: This song is featured in the 1988 movie Tezab (Acid). Produced and directed by N Chandra, this is a typical Bollywood masala action movie promoted as a violent love story released in 1988. This movie was Madhuri Dixit’s first big hit and consolidated the star position for Anil Kapoor. Besides, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, the star-cast includes Anupam Kher, Kiran Kumar, Annu Kapoor and Chunky Pandey among others.

The beginning of the movie shows someone pouring acid on a plant. I winced at the scene the very first time I saw it because I love plants and thus I did my post-graduation in Botany.

The next scene shows Shyamlal (Anupan Kher) being threatened by Lotiya Pathan’s (Kiran Kumar) henchmen to return his money. Shyamlal is Mohini’s (Madhuri Dixit) father and he compels her to dance for money. Though she does not like it, she complies with his wishes. Shyamlal is made to come to Saxena’s (Tej Sapru) home for 50000 rupees, in whose shows Mohini performs and once he sends off Mohini for the rehearsals, the father is detained there. It is at that moment in the movie that this song appears. Shyamlal is then dumped by Saxena’s goons backstage.

Song: Music is by Lakshmikant-Pyarelal (LP) and lyrics are by Javed Akhtar. In an interview, Javed Akhtar had said that he was given the beats by LP in the form of numbers and they decided why not use them to write the lyrics as well.

The chorus shouts, “Mohini, Mohini, Mohini. Ho ho ho ho ho!”

The singer then greets them with a Namashkar. The chorus reciprocates the same. She asks, “Tell me, what you would like to hear.”

They ask a counter-question, “Where were you?”

She replies, “I was waiting for someone.”

They again ask, “Who is that?”

She replies, “He is the one whom I love. And I beg for his attention repeatedly.”

They ask, “How?”

She replies, “This way. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. I wait for you counting the days. Come Beloved. Spring has come. On the 14th, I received your message. The message read that you would come on the 15th. You neither came on the 14th nor 15th. What did you get by making me suffer? On the 16th also (expecting you would come) I had been decked up. Come Beloved. Spring has come. On 17th I thought our relationship was over. My heart broke on the 18th. I cried the whole of 19th. On the 20th my heart broke into 20 pieces. Then also your love stayed in my heart. 21stpassed, 22nd passed, 23rd passed, 24th passed. 25th and 26th killed me. I suffered our separation. Now there are just 4 days remaining in the month. Come Beloved. Spring has come.”

Video: Director of Photography is Baba Azmi. Saroj Khan had once said in an interview that Madhuri Dixit imitates the choreographer. Also in certain scenes and sequences Madhuri tends to imitate Sridevi as well not only here but also in other movies.

The song opens with the audience inviting Mohini to the stage by repeatedly calling her name. After there are questions and answers between her and the audience, she begins her dance. She is wearing a dress made of many colored pieces of cloth. The extra dancers wear dresses similar to those worn for traditional events in Goa.

In between there are shots of Kiran Kumar and his men in bikes traveling rapidly towards the show venue. In the meantime, Madhuri has changed her dress to a pair of jeans and shirt. In between she undulates like a snake within a circle that has been made on the stage. Then she is shown again wearing the patched up dress.

Again she has changed her dress, this time it is another designer dress. The dress is a short one so she has tied a cloth over her hip. Kiran Kumar is shown to have reached the venue now. Then Tej Sapru is seen moving in tune to the song.

Then while blowing a trumpet, she again is shown to have changed to a short pink dress. Here, she is shown walking the ramp like in a fashion show.

Artists: Alka Yagnik sings the song, while Madhuri Dixit performs it onscreen. (In the male version Amit Kumar sings and Anil Kapoor performs onscreen.

Cultural Influence: I don’t understand the Bollywood attitude towards dance. On the one hand, they create such beautiful songs and dances. On the other hand, they consider dancing as a deplorable activity as mentioned via dialogues in this movie and others. It doesn’t make sense. School and college students perform this dance wearing ghagra choli. The song is also thought-provoking. If a song can be made with numbers, then a lyricist can write songs with anything in mind.

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