I was 6 years old when my mother took me for a movie, which she said was one of her favourites. The movie was 9 years old then and had reached the theatres a second time. On screen there were 2 handsome young men who spoke a language I hardly understood. And adding to my woes, the more vibrant of the two breathed his last, as the curtains fell. But I remember having enjoyed some soulful music too, as my mother wept inconsolably, sitting next to me. Later, in my early teens I tried tracing the song and chanced upon a melody treasure trove, thanks to my mother.
The movie I watched as a child was ‘Anand’. And indeed, its unforgettable melodies is probably what will enshrine Rajesh Khanna for eons. Here goes the first among my favourite songs of Rajesh Khanna:
Some how, the pair of Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, which struck magic in Hindi filmdom, struck some emotional chord in my heart as well. It was probably, because of this song, which Rajesh Khanna made immortal, which used to be dedicated to my best friend on a constant basis.
Soon, making an exhaustive collection of those ‘olden-goldies’ which stared Rajesh Khanna became a pet project of mine. You Tube was never there those days, but my mother was of great help. So was Chitrahaar, the song based programme of Doordarshan, which again was a precious data base. Those days 3 songs were chiefly instrumental for making me the die hard romantic that I am now. Here they go:
O Mere Dil Ke Chain, from MEre Jeevan Saathi, where an extremely dashing Rajesh Khanna kept wooing a much mesmerized Tanuja
Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera, from ‘Aradhana’. It over took Mere Sapnon Ki Rani Kab Aayegi Tu for the simple reason that Rajesh Khanna faced Sharmila Tagore in the former piece, while declaring his love.
and Mein Ek Chor Tu Meri Rani from ‘Raja Rani’. The song appealed those days, thanks to Chitrahaar. From the song, I had conjured up visions of a very striking Rajesh Khanna being the caretaker of the petite lady he had eloped with. And the way he brought together his eyelids reassuringly makes it a reason as to why the song remains appealing even now.
The romantic songs picturized on Rajesh Khanna are an undoubtedly endless collection. Yeh Shaam Mastaani Madhosh Kiye Jaaye, Jeevan Se Bhari Teri Aankhein Majboor Karein Jeene Ke Liye, Karvatein Badlathi Rahe Saari Raat Hum…. melodies that were played till the tape was broken beyond human repair.
As I grew up, I used to hear my brother hum a piece repetitively. It struck me much later that it was indeed a precious song, for many reasons- the philosophical lyrics, the haunting music and above all, the handsome face of Rajesh Khanna. Yeh Kya Hua from Amar Prem- the song has always offered some of the most precious lessons of life.
A more mature me prefers Badi Wafa Se Nibhayi Tum Ne Humari Thodi Si Bewafai from ‘Thodi Si Bewafai’
Rajesh Khanna has breathed life into a mammoth collection of movies and songs. The songs, like those priceless dialogues he rendered, will carry on the superstar’s legacy to Hindi filmdom, for ages to come.
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