The original item girl, femme fatale of Bollywood Helen is an interesting story in her own right.
Rediff’s article (http://specials.rediff.com/movies/2008/oct/21slide1.htm) with a listing of top 10 Helen songs allowed me to revisit nostalgia. The top 10 list is as below, in no particular order
1. Piya Tu Ab To Aaja, Caravan
A petrified Asha Parekh (who wouldn’t be, watching Helen dance like that!!!), exhilarating Asha, gyrating Helen, a writhing man in a giant birdcage dancing pseudo Bharatanatyam steps and pink flamingoes in the background
2. Mera naam chin chin choo, Howrah Bridge
From the black and white era, a wonderful old-style bar atmosphere, great music, Helen starring as Ms. Chin Chin Choo (with apologies to the Chinese for the name caricaturing) and the suave KN Singh and Ashok Kumar adding to the highs.
3. O haseena zulfonwali, Teesri Manzil
Art nouveau, staircases leading upto nowhere, a suited (orange-border) Shammi Kapoor,
4. Yeh mera dil, Don
a tremendously sexy Helen wooing a green-shirted Amitabh with Asha in great form
5. Mungda, Inkaar
An awesome song sung by Usha Mangeshkar (the lesser known amongst her more famous sisters, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale), Helen in traditional Koli (fisherwomen) dress with a few desi steps to match, a song with lots of oomph
6. Mehbooba, Sholay
a hit song from the cult film, Sholay. Helen and her tribe of gypsies entertaining the dacoit Amjad Khan. Music by and sung by R.D.Burman
7. Tora mann bada paapi, Ganga Jumna
The joker in the pack this, a fully attired Helen as the Indian courtesan dancing the traditional Indian dance steps and carrying it off quite well, with some great sarangi instrumentals in the background
8. Aa jaane jaan, Inteqam
With this its back to the pelvic-thrusting Helen, the vamp in western dress, topped by bird feathers!! And Asha (?) with a softer tone offsong
9. Aiyay ya Suku, Suku, Junglee
giant paintbrushes, pink…umm….tree….thingies, gypsies dancing, a silly but exuberant Shammi Kapoor and the charming Helen
10. Aao na, Mere Jeevan Saathi
the deep cleavaged Helen cant work wonders on the blind Kaka, Rajesh Khanna. So she changes into a hideous pink gown-thingy which stands in contrast to the orange safari of RK. As if that is not enough the whole frame is suffused with a reddish/pinkish/orangish hue. Asha’s great though
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