Bollywood music has become an international interest now. Whoever you meet from any part of the world knows the name of at least one Bollywood star, and in most cases has also watched a Bollywood movie. And as you play a popular dance track at your small party at home, they are always ready to shake a leg. But not many people appreciate the plethora of romantic and sensual songs that Bollywood offers. And by sensual, I do not refer to so-called sexy songs that receive millions of hits on YouTube because of the abundance of skin. There is a sub-genre of romantic songs that intertwine love with passion – songs that touch your heart not only with their music and lyrics, but also have intimate visualisations which are in no way vulgar, and make you long for that special someone to be in your arms.
Here’s my pick of ten such songs (in no particular order of preference) which I find beautifully sensual and passionate.
1. Ang Laga De (Goliyon Ki Raasleela – Ram Leela, 2013)
Raat banjar si hai, kaale khanjar si hai
Tere seene ki lau mere andar bhi hai
Tu hawa de ise to mera tann jale
This song definitely gives you the chills. Beautifully sung by Aditi Paul, it has a woman asking for the love she deserves, and at the same time asserting how devoted she is to her man. You wouldn’t want to miss the chemistry between real-life couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.
2. Pashmina (Fitoor, 2016)
Shabnam ke do qatre yunhi tehal rahe
Shaakhon pe woh moti se khel rahe
Befikr se ek duje me ghul rahe
Jab ho juda, khayalon me mil rahe
Amit Trivedi, one of the stalwarts of new-age Bollywood music, brings you this wonderfully crafted piece which fantasises dreams as being woven out of pashmina wool. Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur with their contemporary dance will have you swooning in no time.
3. O Saiyyan (Agneepath, 2012)
Odhun teri kaaya solah singaar main saja loon
Sangam ki ye raina isme tyohar main mana loon
This song by Roop Kumar Rathod tops my list in terms of lyrics. Even if you do not watch the video and simply listen to the lyrics, you will feel the passion growing between the characters. But the video works wonders as well, with two of the most good-looking actors raising up the heat. Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra make one of the best couples onscreen.
4. Kaahe Sataye (Rang Rasiya, 2014)
Madhumaas bhara mora ang ang
More rom rom se chhalke rang
Jhankar uthe hai kuchh aisi
Jaise taal mile sargam ke sang
This song, starring Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen, has to be the most daring among all. It ran into controversies due to frontal nudity, something not so common in Indian movies. So the official song video doesn’t feature this aesthetic nudity that was clipped off by the censor board. But you can still feel the intimacy as the two characters make love by painting each other with colours. And of course, wonderful rendition by Sunidhi Chauhan and Roop Kumar Rathod.
5. Zara Zara Bahekta Hai (Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, 2001)
Sardi ki raaton me hum soye rahe ek chaadar me
Hum dono tanha ho
Na koi bhi rahe is ghar me
This sixteen-year old song has gained cult status over the years, and is still sung and listened to with equal fervour. Singer Bombay Jayashree earned the spotlight with this song, and so did newcomers R. Madhavan and Diya Mirza for their adorable chemistry on screen. It isn’t a steamy song in particular, but the lyrics make it as passionate as the others on this list.
6. Dekho Na (Fanaa, 2006)
Jugnu jaise chahat dekho jale bujhe
Meethi si mushkil hai koi kya kare
Hothon ki arzi aise thukraao na
Saanso ki marzi ko jhutlaao na
This song strikes a special chord as the woman is blind but she sings Dekho na which suggests that she is trying to see the world through her lover’s eyes, as the rain pours over her face and she feels how beautiful the world is with him by her side. Superlatively soulful singing by Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan, and with their first film opposite each other, Kajol and Aamir Khan make you want to fall in love all over again.
7. Main Yahaan Hoon (Veer Zaara, 2004)
Tum chhupa na sakogi main woh raaz hoon
Tum bhula na sakogi woh andaaz hoon
This list wouldn’t be complete without the king of romance, Shah Rukh Khan. Among all his songs that can be tagged passionate, this one touches me the most. As a projection of Zaara’s (Preity Zinta) subconscious, who reminds her that he is omnipresent in her life, even as she gets prepared for getting married to another man, he does a commendable job. Watch this song to have a hauntingly beautiful effect on your soul.
8. Tum Hi Ho (Aashiqui 2, 2013)
Tere liye hi jiya main
Khud ko jo yun de diya hai
Teri wafa ne mujhko sambhala
Saare ghamon ko dil se nikala
This is perhaps the most well-known song of this list, one that swept everyone off their feet with Arijit Singh’s mesmerising voice. This song speaks of how one person can change your life and make it seem worthless without them. The video brings back memories of the 90s as the young actors Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur recreate the original rain sequence of Aashiqui.
9. Chahoon Bhi Toh (Force, 2011)
Kaise yeh jazbaat hai
Iss dil mein toh, din-raat hai
Honthon pe kyun aane se yeh sharmaate hain
Aankhon mein kyun yeh har ghadi aa jate hain
Another gem by Bombay Jayashree, accompanied by Karthik, this song is one that soothes the senses. Starring John Abraham and Genelia D’Souza, this romantic number is simply about a married couple who are still struggling with words to express their feelings for each other. And why not? Love always makes you run out of words.
10. In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein (Jodhaa Akbar, 2008)
Nagme hi nagme hain jaagti soti fizaaon mein
Husn hai saari adaaon mein
Ishq hai jaise hawaaon mein
For me this is the most visually appealing song of the list, adorned with the melodious voices of Sonu Nigam and Madhushree. The music and lyrics are delightfully captivating, and so are the actors and their romantic gestures. Here’s Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan as Princess Jodhaa and Emperor Akbar, exploring togetherness for the first time. If this doesn’t ignite the fantasy within you, I don’t know what else will.
So that was my not-so-exhaustive list. Please let me know if I missed out any of your favorite songs. I would love to explore more.