Kamal Hai?! Bindiya Songs

Ok, it's probably just me, but singing to/about the culturally weighted mark on your forehead seems like a strange use of poetic license. Maybe it's no more strange than likening a lover's voice to that of the bulbul (popular from time immemorial), or a heroine spending an entire song saying "Mujhe chod do!" and in the last line changing her tune to "Aaja, meri baahon mein" (otherwise known as filmi-flirting). But still, this particular trend mystifies and intrigues me.

Here are a few that popped up in my memory (and in my YouTube travels). Feel free to educate me as to (A) your favorite bindiya song, and (B) what IS this about?

5.  Meri Bindiya Teri Nindiya (Lamhe, 1991)

Along with other songs on this list, singing to one's bindiya is here the opening of a larger cosmetic ballad. No worries, Sridevi's kajra, bangles, and hair will not be left out of her self-serenade. Perhaps this is just the filmi equivalent of singing in the shower . . .  a way to glamorize the daily beautification grind.

4. Teri Bindiya Re (Abhimaan, 1973)

Here, singing an ode to your bride's bindiya is:
*An excellent way to establish your new bride's suitability to your friends upon their first meeting
*A subject which will ensure she will be able to join in at the chorus [for of course, she has sung to her bindiya alone at home many times]

3. Bindiya Chamkegi (Do Raaste, 1969)

If you need to temper a seduction song with a foreshadowing of domestic bliss, singing about your bindiya might just do the trick. Although, judging by RK's reactions, he's not exactly fooled. [Bonus points for the intentional circular imagery throughout this picturization.]

2. Mathe Ki Bindiya Bole (Lahu ke Do Rang, 1979)

Here, the bindiya on Helen's forehead is conspicuously absent. I can only assume that it speaks for her character's displacement: she has neither the legitimacy of Indian wifehood nor the stability of Indian residency.

1. Naina Mere Rang Bhare (Blackmail, 1973)

Here, as an unfairly rejected wife, Rakhee's character sings a song of longing and hope as she adorns herself and the bedroom for the evening. Although not "just" a bindiya song from beginning to end, it follows the "cosmetic self-serenade" theme. Both the first and last songs on this list are songs of preparation, but while the Lamhe number is full of a youthful trust in beauty, this one is a desperate incantation--a woman begging the traditions of beauty to do their magic against all odds.


  1. And that 's a lovely earring that Sridevi is wearing in that screenshot . :)

    Some more from days of yore -
    1. Nainon mein nindiya hai, maathe pe bindiya hai (Joru ka Ghulam) (though the song itself has nothing to do with the bindi).
    2. Maathe pe lagaaike bindiya (Doosra Aadmi)
    3. Khanke kangnaa bindiya hanse (Dr Vidya)

  2. I've seen those first two films you mention, but I forgot about the bindiya songs. I should revisit them for context. Thanks for adding to my list :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts