13 Sadhana Sargam tracks we love — birthday special

The National Award-winning singer celebrates her birthday today (7 March). We go back to the beginning of her career to list some of her unforgettable songs from her 35-year career.

Sonal Pandya

1) Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta – Janbaaz (1986)

Sadhana Sargam’s first song to get her noticed was ‘Saat Saheliya Khadi Khadi’ from Subhash Ghai’s Vidhaata (1982). A few years later, she got a hit duet with ‘Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta’ sung with Manhar Udhas. There were three versions of the song in the film, the male and female version and the duet. She was given a break by the composer duo, Kalyanji – Anandji who used her voice quite frequently in the late 1980s before she became a sought-after playback singer in the 1990s. In 2013, the song was ‘re-created’ by Chirantan Bhatt for the Akshay Kumar film, Boss.

2) Aap Ko Dekh Ke – Kishen Kanhaiya (1990)

In Rakesh Roshan’s Kishen Kanhaiya (1990), a Ram Aur Shyam (1967) remake, Sadhana Sargam sang three songs, including this popular duet with Amit Kumar. The music for the film was composed by Rakesh’s younger brother Rajesh, who also gave Sadhana a song or two in most of his film soundtracks. Sargam’s voice could easily be used for any of the top actresses of the time from Sridevi to Madhuri Dixit.

3) Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye – Jurm (1990)

Mahesh Bhatt’s 1990 hit film Jurm is most remembered today for the romantic track, ‘Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye’ sung by Kumar Sanu and Sadhana Sargam. These days you can hear it played repeatedly at weddings and anniversaries and most often than not, everyone knows the words to the song written by Indivar and composed by Rajesh Roshan. However, the tune of ‘Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye’  is inspired by the American song, ‘500 Miles’ made popular in the 1960s by the folk group, Peter, Paul and Mary.

4) Pehla Nasha – Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992)

Often described as ‘the’ romantic song of the early 1990s, ‘Pehla Nasha’ still has the power to bring a smile to one’s face. The song changed the way romantic numbers were seen onscreen, largely due to Farah Khan’s vision for the song which was shot in high speed at 48 frames instead of the regular 24. With lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri, Jatin-Lalit composed a decent soundtrack for Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. But ‘Pehla Nasha’, sung by Udit Narayan and Sargam is clearly the breakout song of the album.

5) Teri Umeed Tera Intezar – Deewana (1992)

Raj Kanwar’s Deewana (1992) which catapulted Shah Rukh Khan to stardom featured a Filmfare award-winning score by Nadeem-Shravan. Lyricist Sameer also won a Filmfare for the song, ‘Teri Umeed Tera Interzar’ sung by Sadhana Sargam and Kumar Sanu. Picturised on Rishi Kapoor and Divya Bharti, the slow-moving love story was atypical Nadeem-Shravan composition.

6) Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (Female) – Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992)

The Divya Bharti-Prithvi starrer, Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992), directed by Lawrence D’Souza, was hardly memorable with a clichéd story of unrequited love. But surprisingly, the film’s music caught on with the public. Sadhana Sargam sang only one song on the album, the female version of the title song written by Sameer. It was around this time that Sargam began to more less become the voice of the young, upcoming actress before she tragically died in April 1993.

7) Saat Samundar Paar – Vishwatma (1992)

Written by Anand Bakshi, the solo song by Sadhana Sargam ‘Saat Samundar Paar’ is all the rage even now. Frequently played at nightclubs and weddings, the song has acquired a new life in the new millennium. Both director Rajiv Rai and music composer Viju Shah were happy, but not particularly surprised at the longevity of this song in particular.

8) Dheere Dheere Aap Mere – Baazi (1995)

Baazi (1995) was Ashutosh Gowarikar and Aamir Khan’s first collaboration as director and actor. The two had previously acted together in Ketan Mehta’s Holi (1984) and their next project Lagaan (2001) went on to become the third Indian film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language. Anu Malik, fresh off his first Filmfare Award for his music on Baazigar (1993), composed the music. The duet ‘Dheere Dheere Aap Mere’ was sung by Sadhana Sargam and Udit Narayan, with lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

9) Kuchh Mere Dil Ne Kaha – Tere Mere Sapne (1996)

Produced by Amitabh Bachchan, Tere Mere Sapne (1996) launched four newcomers — Chandrachur Singh, Arshad Warsi, Priya Gill and Simran. The smaller budget did well and the music composed by Viju Shah was also appreciated, producing hits like ‘Aankh Mare’ and the title song. Sadhana Sargam sang two notable songs in the film, ‘Mere Piya’ with Udit Narayan and ‘Kuchh Mere Dil Ne Kaha’ with Hariharan.

10) Chanda Re Chanda Re – Sapnay (1997)

For Rajiv Menon’s Tamil-Hindi bilingual, Minsara Kanavu/Sapnay, Sadhana Sargam worked with AR Rahman for the first time and went on to sing for the composer in Hindi, as well as Tamil for future films. Rahman said of the singer, “She takes a song to another level effortlessly, and she is so good at it that I am surprised every time I work with her.”

11) Chupke Se – Saathiya (2002)

In the remake of Mani Rathnam’s Alaipayuthey (2000), Saathiya, original composer AR Rahman retained most of the singers from the Tamil version of the soundtrack. Sadhana Sargam who sang the lovely solo, ‘Snehithane Snehithane’ in Tamil, sung the Hindi version ‘Chupke Se’ as well. That same year, she won her only National Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the Tamil film, Azhagi, for the song ‘Paattu Cholli’ composed by Ilayaraja.

12) Aao Na – Kyun! Ho Gaya Na... (2004)

Sixteen years after her first Filmfare nomination for Khoon Bhari Maang (1986), Sadhana Sargam received her second nomination for ‘Aao Na’ from Kyun! Ho Gaya Na... (2004). Sargam lost out to good friend Alka Yagnik for Hum Tum (2004). She only sang this song in the soundtrack composed by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy. Udit Narayan and composer Shankar Mahadevan also gave their vocals on this duet.

13) Dard Karaara – Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)

With 1990s music making a comeback in the 2010s, Yash Raj Films’ played an ode to the music of that era, setting their film Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) in that time period. Both singers Kumar Sanu and Sadhana Sargam made a comeback of sorts, with music from one of the top music directors of the 1990s, Anu Malik, and lyrics by Varun Grover for the song 'Dard Karaara'.