Article Hindi

Anand Bakshi’s songs supported both Rajesh Khanna and Rajendra Kumar in their films

For the lyricist’s 87th birth anniversary today (21 July), we examine how Anand Bakshi assisted the careers of actors like Rajesh Khanna (who passed away on 18 July 2012) and Rajendra Kumar (who was born on 20 July 1929) with his everlasting songs.

Rajesh Khanna, Anand Bakshi and Rajendra Kumar

Sonal Pandya

Popular lyricist Anand Bakshi had an astonishingly fertile career that saw him writing songs from the 1960s until the new millennium. Deftly writing songs that fit any situation, to fulfil any mood, Bakshi also aided the actors and actresses who sang along to his timeless songs.

Case in point are actors Rajesh Khanna and Rajendra Kumar. When Rajesh Khanna burst onto the scene in the late 1960s, Rajendra Kumar, the original jubilee king, was overtaken by the young man who would go on to become a superstar. Bakshi wrote hit songs for both — the emerging star and the fading ‘Jubilee Kumar’.

For the lyricist’s 87th birth anniversary today (21 July), we examine how Bakshi assisted the careers of actors like Khanna (who passed away on 18 July 2012) and Rajendra Kumar (who was born on 20 July 1929) with his everlasting songs.

1. ‘Roop Tera Mastana’  Aradhana (1969)

Shakti Samanta’s Aradhana (1969) gave Rajesh Khanna instant fame. Although the film belonged to Sharmila Tagore who won her first Filmfare Award for best actress for her performance, Khanna’s presence loomed large in the film. The songs of Aradhana, a combined effort by RD Burman and Bakshi, also largely contributed to Khanna’s growing popularity at the time.

2. ‘Rim Jhim Ke Geet Sawan Gaye’  Anjaana (1969)

The class divide comes between the love story of Raju, played by Rajendra Kumar, and Rachna, played by Babita. Anjaana (1969), directed by Mohan Kumar, featured the music of Laxmikant Pyarelal and the lyrics of Anand Bakshi. Like ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ from Aradhana (1969), ‘Rim Jhim Ke Geet Sawan Gaye’ featured the lead pair falling in love while trying to escape the rain.

3. ‘Mere Mitwa Mere Meet Re’  Geet (1970)

Kamla (Mala Sinha), a glamorous stage performer, falls in love with the ordinary cattle herder Sarju (Rajendra Kumar) while visiting Kullu. But their union is threatened by Kamla’s jealous boss, played by Sujit Kumar who plots to get rid of Sarju. Highlight of the film’s soundtrack was the duet ‘Mere Mitwa Mere Meet Re’, sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and written, of course, by Bakshi.

4. ‘Yeh Shaam Mastani’ Kati Patang (1971)

Rajesh Khanna tries his best to woo Asha Parekh in the wonderfully worded ‘Yeh Shaam Mastani’ penned by Anand Bakshi. With RD Burman’s compositions, the songs showed off the best of Khanna as he effortlessly moved from song to song. By this time, Kishore Kumar was firmly solidified as the leading voice for Khanna even though Mukesh also sang a song in this album.

5. ‘Mujhe Teri Mohabbat Ka Sahara’ Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee (1971)

In Mohan Kumar’s Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee (1971), Rajendra Kumar and Sadhana’s characters are targeted and separated from each other by their ‘good’ friend Kumar (Prem). Their characters sing about their tragic situations in the moving ‘Mujhe Teri Mohabbat Ka Sahara’ written by Anand Bakshi. The duet was sung by Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar while the soundtrack was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

6. ‘Chingari Koi Bhadke’ Amar Prem (1972)

Besides giving Rajesh Khanna an iconic dialogue (“Pushpa, I hate tears”), Shakti Samanta’s Amar Prem (1972) had a solid soundtrack that proved RD Burman was as good as his father, SD Burman, when it came to composing music based on Indian ragas. ‘Chingari Koi Bhadke’, part of the lost trope of the ‘boat song’, brought Filmfare nominations for Anand Bakshi and singer Kishore Kumar. They both were beaten by lyricist Verma Malik and Mukesh for the song ‘Jai Bolo Be-Imaan Ki’ from Be-imaan (1972).

7. ‘Dheere Dheere Bol Koi Sun Na Le’ Gora Aur Kala (1972)

Rajendra Kumar played a double role of separated twin brothers in Naresh Kumar’s Gora Aur Kala (1972) where he starred opposite actresses Hema Malini and Rekha. With Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s music, the hummable duet ‘Dheere Dheere Bol Koi Sun Na Le’ by Lata Mangeskhar and Mukesh was picturized on Rajendra Kumar and Hema Malini. Gora Aur Kala was a remake of the Tamil film Neerum Neruppum (1971) which itself was based on Alexandre Dumas’s The Corsican Brothers.

8. ‘Diye Jalte Hain Phool Khilte Hain’ Namak Haraam (1973)

The combination of rival actors, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Namak Haraam (1973) showed how far the two had come since they first starred together in Anand (1971). Bachchan was slowly gaining ground over his senior. This poignant song on friendship penned by Anand Bakshi and composed by RD Burman is an evergreen hit and easy to listen to, again and again.

9. ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’ Aap Ki Kasam (1974)

The combination of music composer RD Burman and lyricist Bakshi struck gold yet again with the soundtrack for Aap Ki Kasam. Starring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz, the film had several memorable songs from 'Karwaten Badalte Rahe' to 'Suno Kaho Kaha Suna' but it was the cheeky Kishore Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar duet which reached the second position on the Binaca Geetmala list of 1974.

10. ‘Bheegi Bheegi Hawa Hai’ Sunehra Sansar (1975)

Anand Bakshi worked for the first time with Naushad for A Subba Rao’s Sunehra Sansar (1975) starring Rajendra Kumar, Mala Sinha and Hema Malini. The love triangle featured Hema Malini, who returns as a woman scorned to wreak havoc in the life of her past love, Chandrashekhar, played by Rajendra Kumar. ‘Bheegi Bheegi Hawa Hai’ featured Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar singing for Rajendra Kumar and Hema Malini in the romantic number in which the duo sang about their never-ending faith in each other.