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Let it be said, Holi is the best of all festivals. “Why”, you ask?
Well, let’s see. There’s Diwali, which is a definite eye-pleaser, with shimmering lights everywhere. There’s Eid, which impresses the tastebuds with all the yummy food around. There’s Christmas, with the atmosphere of festive cheer and fresh Christmas trees.
And then there is Holi, where all our vital senses are showered with goodness. Its colours are a treat to the eyes. The fragrance of sweet-smelling gulal engraved into the memories of every child who ever played Holi, truly a treat to the nose. The variety of food (often combined with fascinating bhang or thandai) make our taste buds happy. The sense of touch is a bonus because Holi heralds the summer season, and jumping into tanks of colourful, cold water on a hot summer’s day is definitely a treat.
And finally, we come to the ears, and thanks to Bollywood, this sense is also taken care of. Almost every Holi scene is accompanied by a song in Hindi cinema, giving it a vibrant and exhilarating festive feel. That’s why I have a specially curated Holi playlist combining evergreen songs and the latest releases, have a listen and enjoy! HOLI HAI!
1. Rang Barse from Silsila
Was there ever a chance for any other song to be #1 on the Holi playlist? Of course not!
Rang Barse Bhige Chunar Wali…. is the song that created Holi. It is the anthem of the festival. Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha and Sanjeev Kumar show us how to really celebrate Holi. It is the most popular Holi tune, from young to old. There is a masti to this song that is unique and always refreshing. How can you not agree?!
2. Arey Ja Re Hat Natkhat from Navrang
This is a magical song! It’s not just one of the oldest, but also one of the most popular of Holi songs. There is art in this song that entices one, till you are completely submerged into the spirit of this crazy festival! The dancing and the acrobatics are a class apart.
3. Gori Tu Lath Maar from Toilet Ek Prem Katha
Here’s a classic Holi education for Gen Z. This song is a traditional peek into the pratha (tradition) of wives hitting their husbands with laathis in the northern parts of India during Holi!
4. Holi Aai Re from Padmavat
A beautiful Rajasthani folk rendition with the visual opulence of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ratan Singh (Ranveer Singh) and Padmavati (Deepika Padukone). Can’t ever go wrong with this one… (sighs lovingly).
5. Holi Aayi Re Kanhi from Mother India
This was one of the best of its times. A song with the classical touch, it shows happiness and merriment of poor villagers as they celebrate the festival. One can silently visualize its beauty. A huge screen reflects the magnificently-shot song sequence, which contributed to the larger-than-life element in Mother India featuring Nargis, Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar.
6. Aaj Na Chhodenge Bas Humjoli from Kati Patang
Rajesh Khanna tries here to infuse some colour into Asha Parekh’s rather pallid life. A mix of sadness and excitement, the song is still treasured during the festival.
7. Lahun Munh Lag Gaya from Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela
Oh God! Ram and Leela sure know how to make all the singles feel the FOMO of not having prner on Holi. This Deepika and Ranveer song is
8. Holiya Me Ude Re Gulaal by Ila Arun
It is said that no real Holi celebration could skip this traditional Rajasthani song by talented personality Ila Arun. Her raspy voice and the lyrics together take you back to the good old days. It’s a definite addition to any Holi songs playlist!
9. Go Paagal from Jolly LLB 2
Looks like Akshay Kumar just like Big B loves Holi! Aside from Waqt’s classic contribution ‘Do me a favour and let’s play Holi’ (included below in this list) this relatively recent song features Huma Qureshi alongside Kumar in a sweet yet spicy song.
10. Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
OMG, no Holi songs playlist incomplete without this bop! Heartthrobs Ranbir and Deepika’s guide to a cheeky celebration coupled with a catchy tune is sure to make everyone stand up and dance!
11. Do Me A Favour, Let’s Play Holi from Waqt
Oh, how I love Anu Malik. He has consistently given us divine songs which sound like audio gifts from the heavens. They have to be cherished and respected, which is why Do me a favour is one of our very favourite Holi songs. It isn’t just a melodic angel, but also a cinematic dream come true. The set is created for fun and adventure, with colour and water everywhere! Of course, the presence of Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra is always a welcome one.
12. Holi Khele Raghuveera from Baghban
The Big B should really be named the King of Holi. Three decades after giving Bollywood it’s most unforgettable Holi song (we won’t say which one yet, but yes, it’s on the list), a 62-year-old Amitabh Bachchan croons and moves, with his leading lady Hema Malini. The song is a BIG hit with BIG families.
13. Holi Ke Din from Sholay
This is definitely one of Bollywood’s gifts to the festival of Holi. It is filled with an air of joy and peace. Real-life couple Dharmendra and Hema Malini sing and dance to their heart’s content while spreading the message of spiritual and social harmony.
14. Ang se ang lagaana from Darr
This song is the cutest little tutorial on how to put colour on your premika. In the craze of playing Holi, boys tend to forget that girls don’t like to be pushed and pulled, tugged and pinched, picked up or thrown down. This song teaches guys that instead of jumping on a pretty girl and attacking her with colour, gently dabbing colour on her cheeks is a better bet. Instead of picking her up and chucking her into a tub of coloured water like she was one of his mates, he could try playing tag pichkari with her in the garden.
Ang se ang lagana, sajan humein aise rang lagana is the one you should heed, guys!
15. Gali Gali from Pataakha
This beat features Sanya Malhotra, Radhika Madan, Sunil Grover and Namit Das. It is set against the backdrop of Holi, where Sanya, Radhika and Namit and their family are seen celebrating the festival of colours. Over the coloured powders and bhang everybody makes merry as they dance in joy.
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