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10 all-time romantic songs of the dashing hero Dharmendra – Birthday special


On his 82nd birthday today (8 December), a walk down memory lane with the actor’s popular hits. 

Sonal Pandya

By the late 1970s, actor Dharmendra’s image underwent a transformation. After having been the romantic hero most female audiences swooned over, he acquired a new nickname, ‘He-man’. In the 1960s, with films like Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960), Bandini (1963), and Akashdeep (1965), the actor was seen as the handsome, silent, brooding hero. However, as his popularity grew and he started to get more varied roles, the silent romantic hero, which was never far, evolved and Dharmendra’s image grew more gregarious. Paired with the top leading ladies of his time, from Rakhee to Hema Malini to Rekha, Dharmendra wooed them all.

Here is a list of some of his all-time romantic hits.

1. 'Mujhe Dard-e-dil Ka Pata Na Tha' — Akashdeep (1965)

A young Dharmendra, after making his debut in the film Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960), sings of his lost heart in 'Mujhe Dard-e-dil Ka Pata Na Tha' sung by Mohammed Rafi. Composed by Chitragupta and written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, the number features Dharmendra remembering his love for Nanda on a moonlit night, while the object of his affection, Nanda, smiles knowingly. 

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2. ‘Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe’ — Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966)

Dharmendra, who replaced the late Guru Dutt in Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966), suited up and sang ‘Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe’ for actresses Tanuja and Mala Sinha by the piano. Written by Anjaan and composed by OP Nayyar, the song, sung by Mohammed Rafi, featured the three protagonists in a love triangle with each largely unaware of the depth of the other’s feelings. 

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3. ‘Milti Hai Zindagi Mein Mohabbat’ — Ankhen (1968)

Playing patriotic super agent Sunil in Ramanand Sagar’s Ankhen (1968), Dharmendra appeared with Mala Sinha, who was billed higher than him in the film. Ankhen was the surprise hit of 1968 and its songs composed by Ravi and written by Sahir Ludhianvi also did well. This song by Lata Mangeshkar, ‘Milti Hai Zindagi Mein Mohabbat’, shows a role reversal with the woman pursuing the man. Shot in beautiful locales of Japan, it is Sinha’s character Meenakshi who woos Sunil.

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4. 'Chhalka Yeh Jaam' — Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (1968)

In Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (1968), Dharmendra starred with Sharmila Tagore and Mumtaz. The former shares her birthday with the actor. In the situation for 'Chhalka Yeh Jaam', sung by Mohammed Rafi, Dharmendra has imbibed too much at a party and compares his lady love to a glass of fine alcohol. The film’s music was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

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5. 'Main Kahin Kavi Na Ban Jaaoon' — Pyar Hi Pyar (1969)

The only film that Dharmendra and Vyjayanthimala acted in together, Pyar Hi Pyar (1969) featured the duo in an unusual love song stuck in a lift. Sung by Mohammed Rafi, 'Main Kahi Kavi Na Ban Jaaoon', written by Hasrat Jaipuri and composed by Shankar-Jaikishan, had Dharmendra proclaiming he would turn a poet to win over Kavita, played by Vyjayanthimala. It seems by the end of the number, he has made some progress. 

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6. 'Jhilmil Sitaron Ka' — Jeevan Mrityu (1970)

Dharmendra and Rakhee create their sandcastles by the beach for their future together in this evergreen number from Jeevan Mrityu (1970). The actor was in fine form in the film inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar sang the duet written by Anand Bakshi and composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

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7. ‘Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas’ — Blackmail (1973)

In the love triangle Blackmail, Rakhee thinks of Dharmendra while reading and re-reading the love letters he has sent. In the swoon-worthy love song composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and written by Rajinder Krishan, the utterly charming Dharmendra, in Kishore Kumar’s voice, tells his faraway sweetheart that she is never far away from his thoughts. 

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8. ‘Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai’ — Loafer (1973)

The title of the film was Loafer, but Dharmendra dressed sharply for his rendezvous with Mumtaz in the song ‘Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai’ written by Anand Bakshi. The hit film’s music was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Mohammed Rafi’s voice was the natural choice for the actor. In 2001, this song featured prominently for a key moment for artistes Vijay Raaz and Tillotama Shome in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding.

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9. ‘Gir Gaya Jhumka’ — Jugnu (1973)

Dharmendra was most animated when paired opposite Hema Malini. In Jugnu (1973), a cult classic, the leads, who would later marry in 1979, joyfully sing ‘Gir Gaya Jhumka’ in the garden. The duet, composed by SD Burman and written by Anand Bakshi, was sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. 

10. ‘Ek Hi Khwab Kai Baar Dekha’ — Kinara (1977)

Music composer RD Burman used the voice of Bhupinder Singh in this romantic number picturized on Hema Malini and Dharmendra from Kinara (1977). Their easy affection and chemistry is evident for both the camera and audience to see. Director Gulzar, who also wrote the lyrics, cast the couple along with Jeetendra in the drama.