The newly-launched Rukus Avenue Radio station has talented hosts from around the world including DJ Amita Handa, who is behind Canada’s largest monthly Bollywood dance party.
Amita, who also started the first South Asian Canadian fusion radio show called Masala Mixx in the 1990’s, which ran for 20 years, is an author and has a PhD in sociology. Eastern Eye got her to select 10 songs she loves.
London Thumakda from Queen: I really love this Bollywood song as it fills my heart with dance. I just can’t resist floating on the dance floor when I hear it.
Oye Boy Charlie from Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola: This is another Hindi film song that just grabs me on the inside. You could say, I am a romantic at heart.
Choti Si Aasha from Roja: This one is an early classic from AR Rahman. This track takes me back to the early 1990s when I hosted Masala Mixx. It makes me feel happy and reflective.
Bhangra Fever by MIDIval Punditz: “If you’ve ever existed in grids or swerves you know that London swings, New York’s a grid, Chicago swings, Bombay’s a grid, Delhi swings.” So fitting for Rukus Avenue Radio because thanks to our global online reach, we are all swinging together.
Move Over India by Apache Indian: “To all the ragga muffin Indian posse out there!” This is one of my first memories of the fusion of reggae-ragga and desi music. A piece definitely for those of us who grew up with two different cultures.
Chalte Chalte Yun Hi Koi from Pakeezah: One of the first Hindi films I ever saw was Pakeezah. I will forever love this song for its nuanced and subtle sense of romance. A movie about meeting someone by chance who changes your life, and about falling in love with a woman’s feet. Foot fetish, we coined it!
Afreen Afreen (Dance Mix) by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: No list is complete without mentioning at least one Nusrat song. His haunting voice and lyrics speak to the praise of a woman, and praising the creator.
Bindiya Chamkegi from Do Raaste: This classic Lata Mangeshkar song is another of my favourites. This is a tribute to my parents who brought the love of Hindi films and songs through an old record player in our home. We binged watched movies on our VHS. We are talking three or four movies in a row. Now that’s commitment, considering each film was at least three hours long.
Hey Jamalo (Def Mix) by Bally Sagoo: I remember dancing to this song in the early 1990s with my bright orange dupatta at a mainstream outdoor venue in Toronto, opening for Apache Indian.
Lamberghini by The Doorbeen Ft. Ragini: I love the slow sexy beats. The Doorbeen duo of Onkar Singh and Gautam Sharma was inspired from an old Punjabi folk song and it has over 200 million YouTube views.
DJ Amita Handa’s show Moksha Mix airs Mondays at 10pm PST/Tuesdays at 6pm GMT and 10:30pm IST.