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7 standout dance numbers of Bindu – Birthday special

On the actress’s 70th birthday today, we look at seven fabulous numbers in which we couldn’t take our eyes off her.

Sonal Pandya

Like most actresses of her time who were both good dancers and usually slotted in the supporting category, Bindu spent most of her career playing the vamp or 'item girl'. The actress excelled at those parts, bringing a liveliness to her dance numbers and special malice to torment the hero or heroine of her features.

Born Bindu Nanubhai Desai on 17 April 1951 in Valsad, now in Gujarat, she began working as a teenager to support her family after her father’s death. By the end of the 1960s, Bindu had gained recognition thanks to her parts in the notable films Ittefaq (1969) and Do Raaste (1969) and was nominated for the Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actress in both. She then did a scintillating turn in Shakti Samanta's Kati Patang (1971) and the rest, as they say, is history.

Over the course of her nearly five-decade career, Bindu was nominated five more times for Best Supporting Actress for Dastaan (1972), Abhimaan (1973), Hawas (1974), Imtihan (1974) and Arjun Pandit (1976). Though she never won, fans still remember her for her fluid dancing skills and shrewish negative characters that always left a mark.

As Bindu turns 70 today, we look at seven fabulous numbers from her films in which we couldn’t take our eyes off her.

1. ‘Mera Naam Hai Shabnam’ — Kati Patang (1971)

As dancer Shabnam, Bindu announced her arrival to everyone in this classic cabaret number by RD Burman. The song, sung by Asha Bhosle and written by Anand Bakshi, has the actress taking centrestage as the vindictive Shabnam.

She spies poor Madhavi (Asha Parekh) in the audience with Kamal (Rajesh Khanna) and goes about torturing her with her real identity in the catchy number. ‘Mera Naam Hai Shabnam’ remains one of Bindu's more popular numbers.

2. ‘Pi Meri Aankhon Se’ — Dharkan (1972)

While Bindu only had a cameo in Devendra Goel's reincarnation drama, she made a lasting impression with the song ‘Pi Meri Aankhon Se’. Donning a black outfit, she turns temptress for Roopesh Kumar’s character in this sultry number sung by Asha Bhosle. The song was composed by Ravi and co-written by the composer and Prem Dhawan.

3. ‘Hungama Ho Gaya’ — Anhonee (1973)

In this thriller by filmmaker Ravi Tandon, Bindu had a small but meaningful part, trying to avenge the murder of her sister. Her character Rita is the life of the party in the song ‘Hungama Ho Gaya’, which is set in a club and was written by Verma Malik and sung by Asha Bhosle.

Bindu lets alcohol dull her senses as she sways with the rest of the crowd in the Laxmikant-Pyarelal number. Incidentally, composer Laxmikant was also her brother-in-law. In 2014, the song found new life in the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Queen when it was remixed by composer Amit Trivedi.

4. ‘Diljalon Ka Dil Jala Ke’ — Zanjeer (1973)

After Shabnam, if there is any character fans most identify Bindu with, it has to be Mona, the 'darling' of Ajit's Teja. The cult classic Zanjeer (1973), which launched Amitabh Bachchan as the ‘Angry Young Man’, also marked a new phase for Bindu.

In an interview with Cineplot.com, the actress recalled her fame with the film. “Ajit’s particular style of saying it set it into a rage, and whenever I went out, people would start calling me by that name. It was natural, I guess. After that, I did several other Mona Darling films. All this quite thrilled me. When I hear all the Mona Darling jokes today, I laugh heartily to myself.”

In the track composed by Kalyanji-Anandji, Bindu performs for the two foes, Vijay (Bachchan) and Teja. Wearing a bright yellow dress with high slits, Mona takes particular delight in teasing Vijay. Once again, Asha Bhosle provided the vocals.

5. 'Mere Naam Ka Chala Hai Yeh Jaam' — Jaggu (1975)

Even though other singers like Lata Mangeshkar have sung for Bindu on screen, it is Asha Bhosle who became her voice and identity for her biggest hits. Composed by Sonik-Omi, this number was set in a club frequented by the baddies and featured our hero Jaggu (Shatrughan Sinha) as well. Wearing a black sequined dress, Bindu's character asks to raise a toast in her name, but like most gangster's molls, she is working against the hero in the background.

6. ‘Yeh Kahan Aa Gayee Main’ — Shaque (1976)

Another number set in a restaurant where Bindu is the star performer, 'Yeh Kahan Aa Gayee Main' features the actress/dancer in tandem with playback singer Asha Bhosle. More of a running commentary of her character Rosita as she sheds her clothes than a song, the track was composed by Vasant Desai, uncle of the film's co-director Vikas.

Like in Kati Patang (1971), she happens upon the Joshis, Vinod and Meena (Vinod Khanna and Shabana Azmi), who are patrons of the restaurant and with whom she has a secret link.

7. ‘Mujhe Chhuna Na’ — Rahu Ketu (1978)

The track ‘Mujhe Chhuna Na’, composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and featuring Premnath with Bindu, could have only been picturized in the 1970s. The duo prance and frolic around the bedroom in this Asha Bhosle solo as money rains down on them. Bindu’s entrance from a female statue is one for the ages, bizarre yet memorable.

In the same Cineplot interview, she said, “I was primarily a classical dancer with many years of training in Bharat Natyam and Kathak. But I was very uncomfortable doing cabarets where I had to jiggle, wiggle. On top of that I had to wear these revealing costumes. Oh my god, I was so uncomfortable.”