I lived and worked in Bombay (Mumbai) for 8 years between 1987 and 1995 (apart from a year and a half when I was in Kanpur). I didn't realise it then, but this was the very first time I experienced what may have been taken for granted by many others. For the first time, I heard Bollywood songs on a regular basis, and it was all around me - on the radio, on TV, from roadside loudspeakers, etc.
This had never happened to me before. During my childhood in Bangalore through the 70s, I mostly heard Kannada songs on the radio. During my IIT Madras days (1980-85), it was Tamil songs. I discovered Hindustani classical music during my stint at IIM Ahmedabad (1985-87), and that was what I played when I visited the institute's DJ club. The music that I consciously sought out and played during my teens was Western pop. So I had never previously experienced anything like the barrage of Hindi film songs that hit me when I moved to Bombay in 1987.
It's true what they say - the best music, by definition, is the one you grow up with. If I were asked about the "golden period" of Kannada film songs, I would name the 70s. Similarly, the early 80s were to me the "golden period" of Tamil film songs. It's not surprising that the "golden period" of Hindi film songs to me was the period from 1987 to 1995.
While I have many, many favourites from that time, I thought I'd focus on those that I later found were from movies starring Sanjay Dutt.
I know he's a controversial character, but I've always had a soft spot for him because of his sad puppy-dog eyes, and the many personal tragedies in his life.
And so, the songs:
1. 'Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise' from 'Saajan'
Saajan was a very silly movie, IMO. But many of the songs were good. This clip also captures the pathos of Dutt's character, who is a cripple.
"Lagta nahin dil kahin bin aapke"
(My heart is not at peace without you)
2. 'Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Paagal Hai' from 'Saajan'
In this clip, the most moving scene for me is when Dutt's character sees himself without his handicap.
"Par saamne jab tum aate ho, kuch bhi kehne se darta hai"
(But when you are before me, (my heart) is too scared to say anything)
3. 'Tumhe Apna Banane Ki Kasam' from 'Sadak'
I haven't seen this movie. I know the story, and it's too gritty for me. But the song was very touching.
"Meri nas nas mein tu banke lahu samayi hai, samayi hai"
(You have become the blood that flows in my veins)
4. 'Aur Is Dil Mein Kya Rakha Hai' from 'Imaandaar'
I haven't seen this movie either, but I like the song a lot.
"Cheerke dekhe dil mera to, tera hi naam likha rakha hai"
(Tear open my heart and see, it is your name that is written inside)