I know I was supposed to do a post on Neetu Singh but was busy yesterday the whole day. And though none of the teams I was supporting reached the World Cup finals, I ended up watching the finals as an obligation. So didn’t have time. And today, being Rajendra Kumar’s death anniversary, I wanted to dedicate this post to him.
He neither had the good-looks, nor a great physique….he’s not the typical hero material from any angle, but there’s something very charming about him that I adore.
Wikipedia states : The 1960s saw Rajendra Kumar rise like no other star had risen, and the voice of Mohammad Rafi played biggest role in it. That doesn’t take away the fact that he was a very good actor. But the songs of his film in Mohammed Rafi`s voice used to become mega hits giving movies a fine opening, and there was a time when every film starring him was a silver jubilee hit. There were times when he had six or seven films running in their silver jubilee weeks at the same time. It was a success that was unbelievable and Rajendra Kumar was soon known as “Jubilee Kumar”. He was considered a golden boy for the movie producers in the sense that he was the actor who could recover the producers’ money in a matter of few weeks.
When Rafi and Rajendra Kumar combination had such beautiful meoldies, how could I resist from not doing this post. So here are my ten favourite Rajendra Kumar songs, all from the movies that I have seen and in no particular order -
1. Aye nargise mastaana (Arzoo, 1965) : I like this song more for Sadhna than for Rajendra Kumar. But when it’s Rafi singing, it doesn’t really matter who’s on screen. What a way to flirt!!! Love his “shikayats” and Rajendra Kumar looks cute reciting them. It’s a very beautifully shot song with great lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri and music by Shankar-Jaikishen. All the songs of this movie were very popular and very romantic, be it, Chhalke teri aankhon se sharaab aur jyada, Ae phoolon ki raani, Aji rooth kar ab kahan jaiyega. These songs give a different meaning to love all together, hai na? And compare them to the songs of today… truly Love – Aaj Kal.
2. Tumse izhaar-e-haal kar baithe (Mere Mehboob, 1963) : This was another movie with such amazing songs. I know Mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam is more popular but I somehow like this and Ae husn zara jaag tujhe ishq jagaye better. Sadhna looks drop-dead gorgeous…no wonder he keeps singing one lovely song after another for her! All these songs are so full of emotions which one can feel as well as see. The onscreen pair – truly lajawaab and the voice very intoxicating. It’s so subtle and sweet. Love Rajendra Kumar in it. Though I mentioned above that he wasn’t blessed with good looks, but I do find him pretty handsome at times, like in this song.
3. Bura maan gaye (Aayee Milan Ki Bela, 1964) : I love each and every song in this movie…each one is a gem - be it Tum kamseen ho, Main pyaar ka deewana, O Sanam tere ho gaye hum, Tumko hamari umar lag jaye or the title track itself. And to choose one song from this one album is extremely difficult. There’s something very innocent (and romantic of course!) about all the songs in this movie. And this song has the playful factor to it as well. Listen to his complaints – they are so sweet…plight of an aashiq!
4. Teri pyaari pyaari surat ko (Sasural, 1961) : What an amazing song!!! And the way he sings Chashme Baddoor is simply awesome! This song never fails to brighten up my mood – it has such lovely lyrics that you can’t help but smile, beautiful music that compliments the feel of the song, the rendition is priceless and it’s picturised so beautifully. But in addition to this there’s a funny incident associated with this song. My friends had given me a CD of Rafi’s songs for my birthday during my college days. One Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in my room in hostel and listening to it. One of my Telugu speaking friends came to my room (she couldn’t understand Hindi) and asked me : You are in a different world altogether when you listen to these songs…What’s so special about them? I started raving about the lyrics, music,rendition, picturisation, situation in which the song is sung in the movie, blah blah….I went on non-stop for a while, I was kind of marketing the song. After listening to me for so long, even she wanted to listen to it. And she wanted me to translate the lyrics for her. This song was playing then. Yun na akeli phira karo…., dekha na karo tum aaina….., nikla na karo tum raho par…At the end of it she got up and said : “He’s forbidding her from doing everything…what the hell does he want her to do???!!!” and walked out.
I didn’t know how to react to it for a while and then I was literally rolling down with laughter. But I didn’t have an answer to her question even after I recovered. So everytime I hear this song, I think of that afternoon.
5. Yeh mera prem patra padh kar (Sangam, 1964) : This is one of Rajendra Kumar’s signature songs. It’s still a rage to this day, I can only imagine how popular this must have been back then. I somehow didn’t like the movie much – had seen it long ago, don’t know if I will feel differently about it if I watch it now. But I like this song. It was a part of my Dad’s collection and have literally grown up listening to it. So it has that nostalgic feel to it.
6. Chehre pe giri zulfen (Suraj, 1966) : Again, Baaharon phool barsaao is more popular. Not that I don’t like it but I like this better esp the way Gustakhi maaf is sung. Dad had a cassette that had Suraj songs on Side A and Sasural on Side B ( I think it was a T-series). He had lots of them but these were among his top favourites and used to play them more often. So these songs somehow manage to take me back in time. Rajendra Kumar does live upto these songs in his own way. He has a funny way of dancing but it kind of suits him.
7. Madhuban khushboo deta hai (Saajan Bina Suhagan, 1978) : I haven’t been able to figure out what exactly it is that I like about it song. But somehow, I feel good listening to this song – must be the inspirational lyrics! And oh yes, I do like Yesudas’s voice as well.
8. Dheere dheere bol koi sunna le (Gora aur Kala, 1972 ) : After battling a lot over Ek na ek din yeh kahani banegi and Dheere dheere bol, I finally chose the latter to add more vareity to the post. I have been concentrating mostly on songs sung by Rafi so far. I think I should give a chance to other singers as well. So it’s Mukesh this time singing for Rajendra Kumar. Both Hema and Rajendra look so good and so royal in this song. And they share a great chemistry as well. All in all a very romantic duet.
9. Palkon ke peeche se jo tumne (Talash, 1969) : A very pretty song filmed against a beautiful backdrop. I had first heard this song on Vividh Bharati. It was much later that I actually saw the video. There’s this innocence and sharmila-pan about it which I adore – something that one could sense just listening to the song without even having to see the video.
10. Kaun hai jo sapno mein aaya (Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan, 1967) : Kaun hai jo sapno mein aaya, Kahan chaldiye idhar toh aao, Sachcha hai gar pyaar, unse mili nazar, Meri aankhon ki nindiya, Mere tumhare beech mein…..once again, all the songs are superb. Though I like Elvis Presley – the man himself and his songs, I find the Hindi version of this song more lively than the original Marguerita. Thanks to Rafi’s singing and Rajendra Kumar’s onscreen presence! This was the first Rajendra Kumar movie that I saw. And I had really enjoyed it as a kid.
RIP Jubilee Kumar!