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Jagdeep, the romantic hero — Birthday special!

Though better known to today's audiences as a comedian, the veteran did play the romantic lead in his younger days.

Mayur Lookhar

Talk of Jagdeep and the name is bound to bring a smile to your face. Probably the last of the great comedians from the golden era of Hindi cinema, Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, better known by his screen name Jagdeep, has tickled audiences for over five decades. From Sholay (1975) to Soorma Bhopali (1988) to Andaz Apna Apna (1994) to Agent Vinod (2012), Jagdeep has provided hilarious moments aplenty.

Having begun his career as a child artiste, Jagdeep was first cast in supporting roles before bagging an important role in Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zameen (1953) as the shoeshine boy Lalu Ustad. Though largely cast in comic toles throughout his career, Jagdeep had his moments playing the loverboy. It may come as a surprise to many, but the actor has to his credit a few popular romantic numbers as well. As he turns 78 today (29 March), we take a look at some of these numbers.

Chali Re Chali — Bhabhi (1957)

In this high-flying track from 60 years ago, Jagdeep is merrily flying several kites while his girl (Nanda) dances around him. Quite a task to be singing, dancing and flying kites all at the same time, but the 18-year-old pulls it off with aplomb. Singing this duet was as easy as flying kites for Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar.

Chal Ud Ja Re Panchhi — Bhabhi (1957)

Bhabhi opens with this track that has Jagdeep mourning the departure of a woman. Chal Ud Ja Re Panchhi remains one of Mohammed Rafi’s best melancholic tracks. Jagdeep had very little to do in this track other than shed tears.

Pyar Kiya Nahi Jaata — Barkha (1957)

One of the more popular songs by Mohammed Rafi, one that cuts across generations. While many have heard it, how many would remember this song had Jagdeep trying to woo an upset Shubha Khote?

Khwaab Mein Kahan Milogey — Bindiya (1960)

On the face of it, it looks like Jagdeep is the protagonist in the film, but he is actually playing brother to Balraj Sahni. Jagdeep, though, has a romantic track with the unheralded Vijaya Choudhary playing his love interest. The Khwaab Mein Kahan Milogey track has them dancing by the beach.

Paas Baitho Tabiyat Behal Jayegi — Punar Milan (1964)

A slow romantic number from Mohammed Rafi, but that doesn’t prevent Jagdeep and his girl from having a ball. Punar Milan was one of the rare films in which the latter-day comedian played a leading man.

In Pyar Ki Raahon Mein — Punar Milan (1964)

Not a soft melody, but this track from Punar Milan was more a joyous ride. Jagdeep is wearing a multi-coloured shirt and a cravat and jumps for joy in his sports shoes. Penned by Indeevar, this track is one that can’t be missed. Yet another gem by Mohammed Rafi, this time with Asha Bhosle for company.

Aa Gaye Yaaron Jeene Ke Din — Phir Wahi Raat (1980)

This film came at a time when Jagdeep had been typecast as a comedian for over a decade, but that didn’t deter him from shaking a leg in this fun-filled track. There ain’t no pretty damsel here, but Jagdeep is surrounded by fellow comedians like Mukri, Mohan Choti and Bhagwan as they enjoy their desi liquor. RD Burman and Mohammed Rafi were the creators of this desi bar.