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Rajkamal's magic in Chashme Buddoor

Showcasing the film's classical number on the renowned music composer's 11th death anniversary.

Sonal Pandya

Sai Paranjpye's timeless comedy Chashme Buddoor (1981) about the escapades of three graduate students and their interactions with their comely neighbour never won any awards but is frequently remembered as a slice of life that was Delhi in the 1980s. The film inspired two remakes, one in 1984 directed by Priyadarshan that became a hit in Malayalam, and an unnecessary 2013 remake directed by David Dhawan that did average business.

Besides the iconic characters like Saeed Jaffrey's Lallan Mia and dialogues by writer-director Paranjpye, the music of Chashme Buddoor was a highlight of music composer Rajkamal's career. Rajkamal, who passed away on 1 September 2005, was a music director with numerous successful soundtracks to his name from Saawan Ko Aane Do (1979) to Katha (1983). He reunited with Paranjpye for the 1997 film Saaz, a tale about two professional singers who also happen to be sisters. The film was a fictional telling of the Mangeshkar sisters, Lata and Asha Bhonsle.

The song 'Kahan Se Aaye Badra' was particularly memorable and performed by KJ Yesudas and Haimanti Shukla, a Bengali singer who sang a few songs in Hindi during the 1980s. Shukla was a classically trained vocalist and Rajkamal used her voice for Deepti Naval on the film's soundtrack.

With lyrics by Indu Jain, the classic number was picturised on Naval accompanying her music teacher, played by Vinod Nagpal, during a lesson. Naval is shown breaking down during the song as her romance with Farooq Shaikh's character Siddharth also disintegrates. She played Neha, a detergent salesgirl by day (her Miss Chamko is a treasure), and pursues her passion for music diligently throughout the film.