Article Hindi

Birthday special: 6 popular songs of Leena Chandavarkar

On her 67th birthday today (29 August), we take a look at six songs that made the career of the dainty, ever-smiling actress.

Sonal Pandya

A young Leena Chandavarkar made her film debut with Man Ka Meet (1969), Sunil Dutt’s home production alongside Vinod Khanna. She was the runner-up at Filmfare’s Fresh Face competition which launched Rajesh Khanna and Farida Jalal and went on to star in hit films Humjoli (1970) and Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971).

However, she was married and widowed by age 25 when her first husband, Siddharth Bandodkar, passed after a tragic accident, days after their marriage. She only took select roles intermittently afterwards. Five years later, she married singer Kishore Kumar, 21 years her senior and became his fourth wife. Her son Sumeet is also a singer, like his father.

In her brief career, she was a part of some memorable songs, here are six of her most popular tunes.

1. ‘Dhal Gaya Din Ho Gayi Shaam’ – Humjoli (1970)

The popular number ‘Dhal Gaya Din Ho Gayi Shaam’, composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, made loads of people want to take up badminton after the ease with which Jeetendra and Leena Chandavarkar merrily played the game in the song. Farah Khan gave an ode to the iconic image in her 2007 film, Om Shanti Om. The romantic song, written by Anand Bakshi, was sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle. It helped establish Chandavarkar as a household name after her debut in Man Ka Meet (1969).

2. ‘Mujhko Thand Lag Rahi Hai’ – Main Sundar Hoon (1971)

Mehmood played an unlikely star, Sunder, in this successful Hindi remake, Main Sundar Hoon, of the Tamil film, Server Sundaram (1964). Leena Chandavarkar and Biswajeet also starred in the film, Chandavarkar as the object of Mehmood’s affection and Biswajeet as his good friend. The two fall in love, realising too late Sunder’s true feelings. In the song ‘Mujko Thand Lag Rahi Hai’ written by Anand Bakshi, Chandavarkar and Biswajeet romance one another in the number composed by Shankar-Jaikishan. The duet was sung by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar.

3. ‘Mere Dil Ne Jo Maanga Mil Gaya’ – Rakhwala (1971)

Leena Chandavarkar acted with Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna in A Subba Rao’s Rakhwala. The film had good roles for its heroes; both Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna are antagonists in Rakhwala, but Chandavarkar did get this solo song ‘Mere Dil Ne Jo Maanga Mil Gaya’ composed by Kalyan-Anandji and written by Rajinder Krishan. Her character Chandni marries Dharmendra’s character Deepak despite the objections of her father.

4. ‘Jaane Kyon Log Mohabbat Kiya’ – Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971)

She may not have gotten to share the winner’s podium with Rajesh Khanna during the Filmfare competition, but Leena Chandavarkar did get to act opposite him in the Muslim social Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971), directed by HS Rawail. Chandavarkar played Shabana, a courtesan’s daughter who reforms her life through education, in the hit film which was also co-produced by Khanna. The music for the film was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and the lyrics were penned by Anand Bakshi.

5. ‘Gham Ka Fasana’ – Manchali (1973)

In 1973’s Manchali, Leena Chandavarkar acted with Sanjeev Kumar in a story based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. For the charming duet, ‘Gham Ka Fasana’, Chandavarkar shared the song with Kishore Kumar who she later married. Kishore Kumar sang the song, while Leena Chandavarkar spoke in character. Laxmikant-Pyarelal composed the hit album while, Anand Bakshi wrote the lyrics. The title song, ‘O Manchali Kahan Chali’, a solo sung by Kishore Kumar, was also quite popular.

6. ‘Sare Shaher Mein Aap Sa Koi Nahi’ – Bairaag (1976)

Asit Sen’s Bairaag (1976), in which Dilip Kumar played three roles, became the last big film for both the actor and Leena Chandavarkar who lessened the number of films she was working on. Dilip Kumar was paired with his real-life wife, Saira Banu, and Chandavarkar in the film. The film was nominated for a few Filmfare awards the next year, but it didn’t do well at the box office. One of the memorable songs from the soundtrack composed by Kalyanji-Anandji was this duet filmed by the water and picturised on Chandavarkar and Dilip Kumar. Written by Anand Bakshi, it was sung by Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi.

Asit Sen's female leads could have led better: Death anniversary special