1 Tum pukaar lo (Khamoshi, 1969)
The film, one of the underrated classics of the 60s, had many things going for it. Gulzar's lyrics, the haunting compositions by Hemant Kumar, and the brilliant subdued nature of Asit Sen's direction were hallmarks of a good film. However, it is this beautifully haunting tone of Hemant Da's voice that made this song one of the longer lasting memories of a forgotten film.
2 Ye nayan dare dare (Kohra, 1964)
Minimalist songs were a forte of Hemant Kumar. This song from Kohra, picturised on Biswajeet and Waheeda Rehman, is gloriously gentle and romantic. The sedate, almost soporific, humming from Kumar adds a mesmerising feel to the song.
3 Bekarar karke hume (Bees Saal Baad, 1962)
Biswajeet has been fortunate to have featured in some serene romantic numbers. Yet, few rivalled the flirtatious, playful tone as 'Bekarar karke' from his debut film. The rain, the roses, the trees, and a coy Waheeda Rehman only add to its magic.
4 Hai apna dil to awara (Solva Saal, 1958)
Hemant Kumar's career high coincided with the rise of Dev Anand. It is no surprise that this dashing actor found the perfect match in Kumar's slow, lullaby voice. This particular song plays to Anand's evergreen, wayward nature, while featuring the brilliance of Kumar's versatility.
PS: The mouth organ portion of the song was played by a young Rahul Dev Burman.
5 Na tum hamein jaano (Baat Ek Raat Ki, 1962)
With a silhouetted voice like his, it is no surprise that some Hemant Kumar songs begin with a hum. This nostalgic song featured the perfect pairing of Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman singing beneath the moonlight. Soft, romantic and melodious, it still makes for a great addition to any romantic playlist.
6 Jaane woh kaise log the (Pyaasa, 1958)
It is not just romance that found a voice in Hemant Kumar. Pathos and dejection were the other values that came across beautifully. This haunting dirge about heartbreak is goosebump inducing, and possesses the power of Sahir Ludhianvi's words.
7 Teri duniya me jeene se to (House No.44, 1955)
Dev Anand makes a return to the list with this sad, rippling river of a song. Beginning with an unusually peppy hooting, the song flows into the slow sadness that makes Kumar's singing so alluring.
8 Ya dil ki suno duniyawalon (Anupama, 1966)
Kaifi Azmi's plea for the truthful man was given a heart rending voice by Hemant Kumar. In many ways, this is similar to the song from Pyaasa, but has a special combination of Dharmendra and Kumar going for it.
9 Ay dil ab kahin le ja (Bluffmaster, 1966)
The variety of on-screen heroes for whom Hemant Kumar provided playback makes for an interesting read. Shammi Kapoor's Bluffmaster had this lilting ode to a broken heart. Evocative and minimalistic, Kumar manages to deliver the truth in its lyrics effortlessly.
10 Sun ja dil ki dastan (Jaal, 1952)
His distinctive sonorous voice, rich and deep, gave Hemant Kumar the perfect tool to deliver the softest melodies with greatest effect. This magical romantic ballad is an example to the man who was often the most trusted singer for the great SD Burman.