Jiya Jale – The Enemy of All Indian Parents

Jiya Jale | Unmysh 2020

I say ‘enemy’ because none of the Indian kids was allowed to watch Jiya Jale. None. Admit it!   

1998’s Dil Se has an impeccable soundtrack. A. R. Rahman brought his A-game as he came off the success of Taal and Bombay. Tracks like Jiya Jale, Chaiyya Chaiyya and Dil Se Re are still fondly remembered as some of his finest works. The sensual visuals of Jiya Jale can raise temperatures even today. I’m getting excited just thinking about this song!

Jiya Jale, one of A. R. Rahman’s finest sex songs, is composed in Raag Bhairavi. Songs composed in Raag Bhairavi tend to make great romantic songs. Although not all songs composed in this raag are romantic, the ones which are, tend to make memorable love songs. Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua and Humein Tumse Pyaar Kitna are a couple of examples of it. 

Jiya Jale marks the first time A. R. Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar collaborated together while Gulzar penned the lyrics to this sexually-charged song. An unusual for the mainstream cinema, the chorus was written in Malayalam – the lyrics that we are still trying to decipher. No one’s complaining though as the chorus fits perfectly to the tone set by the song.

This is probably the greatest ‘misheard lyrics’ of all time…

The song intercuts Preity Zinta’s mehendi ceremony with an intimate dance between Shah Rukh Khan and her at exotic locations. Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic bare (from the waist) look is praised even today. We have never seen him dance so passionately, till date. It remains a visual treat even today. The shot of him dancing in front of a herd of elephants is still one of my earliest Shah Rukh Khan fanboy memories.

Preity Zinta shed her image of the cute, bubbly girl and shocked everyone with a sexually-packed performance. In fact, the choice of Malayalam chorus is completely justified by the song’s locale. The beautiful Keralite waters work as a pacifier to Shah Rukh and Preity’s fiery performance. It’s evident that Mani Ratnam let no stone unturned while directing this song.

Songs like Jiya Jale remind us that mainstream Bollywood is capable of delivering masterpieces. Here’s hoping we get more songs like Jiya Jale. And no Tanishq Bagchi, we’re not asking for a remake. Stay away.

Like this segment on ‘Jiya Jale’? We announce a new Bollywood sex song of the week every Sunday. So, watch out for this space. Meanwhile, check out other songs that have made Unmysh’s list of sex songs here. 

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