Bollywood is India’s Mumbai-based billion-dollar film industry. Most Bollywood films are lavish, epic musicals, full of lavish,epic musical production numbers. Listen to Bollywood music — known as “filmi” — and you have no choice but to dance.

Bollywood actors and actresses are certainly stars in their own right, but all of them lipsynch while “ playback singers” do the actual singing. Playback singers such as Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar and sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Boshle have rightfully earned their fame, as have popular Bollywood composers such as A.R. Rahman. (Want a short but sweet history of Bollywood? Check out’s Timeline of Bollywood Culture.)

In music class we learn how to dance, Bollywood style, along to the song “Ude Jab Jab Zulfen” performed by legendary playback singers Mohammad Rafi and Asha Boshle from the 1957 movie Naya Daur, a “man vs. machine,” “new ways vs. old” story of a contest between horse-carriage driver Shankar and Kundan, who brings in a bus to take people to and fro, thereby stealing the horse-carriage drivers’ business and dividing the once-peaceful village.

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