Unarguably, the most romantic Bollywood number of the year, made all the more special by the presence of real-life couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, Kesariya from Brahmastra was not only a soul soother but also a sight for sore eyes. Composed by Pritam, who teamed up with frequent collaborators Arijit Singh, whose voice powered Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lines, Kesariya that was shot in Varanasi, was composed of colourful and happy visuals. Ranbir and Alia’s chemistry shone through in every frame, with the remix version of the number ensuring its longevity on the music charts. And, of course, ‘love storiyan’ also ensured that Kesariya became a meme favourite.
Film: Gangubai Kathiawadi
Weaving her magic again, in a very different way, was Alia in this exquisitely shot song. Wholly framed within the confines of the back seat of a car, the song features Alia, playing the titular character, with newcomer Shantanu Maheshwari, and depicts the two in the throes of new love. He wants to get close to her, she doesn’t allow him to though she does pine for him, and the one-shot song choreographed brilliantly by Kruti Mahesh benefits a lot from its visuals as it does from Neeti Mohan’s sensuous vocals.
With Amit Trivedi being his vintage best, it’s tough to pick just one track from this recent Netflix musical, with every number — ranging from dark to soulful, classic to nostalgic — leaving a mark and bringing back the magic of ’30s and ’40s Hindi film music. We are leaning towards Rubaaiyaan, sung by Shahid Mallya and Sireesha Bhagavatula and Ghodey pe sawaar, also sung by Sireesha.
Gehraiyaan brought in a new sound, courtesy independent musical duo Kabeer Kathpalia (OAFF) and Savera Mehta, in their mainstream film debut. While not everything in the album worked, Doobey — sung by fresh voices Lothika Jha and Savera Mehta and written by Kausar Munir — was a definite winner, propped by the visuals, featuring a sensuous Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi for company, in this Shakun Batra directorial. Our hearts are still going ‘doobey, dil doobey….’
Film: Laal Singh Chaddha
Aamir Khan’s Forrest Gump remake may not have found much favour, but what it did get right was this melodious number scored by Pritam and sung by Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s pen wove magic with lines like Naa hoke bhi kareeb tu hamesha paas tha/ Ke sau janam bhi dekhta main tera raasta. What took this song several notches higher was a striking Kareena Kapoor Khan in a pastel salwar suit in what is a wedding scene between her Rupa and Aamir’s Laal. One of the most poignant Bolly songs of the year.
Film: Jugjugg Jeeyo
It’s not every day that one gets so much soul in what is essentially a nightclub number. Rangisari managed that beautifully, all thanks to the mother-son pair of Kavita Seth and Kanishk Seth, who not only sang the number, which has its roots in folk, but also composed it. Varun Dhawan with his fab abs and a super sultry Kiara Advani took care of the rest.
YEH EK ZINDAGI
Film: Monica, On My Darling
Aiming for retro cool was this Vasan Bala film, and it struck gold from the get-go. Among the hundreds of hat tips and homages to ’70s and ’80s cinema, what was clearly a standout was this pulsating dance number with a red-hot Huma Qureshi showing off some mean moves. Sung by Anupama and Mikey McCleary, with Achint’s music made memorable by Varun Grover’s lyrics, this one had all the ingredients of a classic retro dance hit, rendered with a contemporary touch.
Which is your favourite Hindi film song of 2022? Tell [email protected]
Our favourite Hindi film songs of the year – Telegraph India