Actor Amol Palekar was featured in some very popular slice-of-life films in the 1970s. Some of them had huge hit songs.
To mark his 78th birthday, we choose 10 songs filmed on the actor. Interestingly, he didn’t appear on both the hit numbers of his first Hindi movie Rajnigandha, though there was a very fleeting appearance before the first words of the title song started. The order is chronological.
1 Jaaneman Jaaneman – Chhoti Si Baat (1976)
Salil Chowdhury composed this gem sung by Yesudas and Asha Bhosle. Half the love song was filmed showing Dharmendra and Hema Malini acting in a film Palekar was watching in a theatre. The other half had Palekar and Vidya Sinha in the Mumbai streets and in a BEST bus. Lyrics were by Yogesh.
2 Gori Tera Gaon – Chitchor (1976)
The voice of Yesudas suited Palekar perfectly. This song was composed in raag Dhani by Ravindra Jain, who also wrote the lines, “Gori tera gaon bada pyaara, main toh gaya maara, aake yahaan re”. It was filmed on Palekar, Zarina Wahab and Master Raju. The film was a musical hit.
3 Do Deewane Shehar Mein – Gharonda (1977)
Once again, Palekar teamed up with Wahab. This song, sung by Bhupinder Singh and Runa Laila, was composed by Jaidev. Gulzar wrote, “Do deewane shehar mein, raat mein ya dopahar mein, aabodana dhoondte hain ek aashiyana dhoondte hain”. The solo version ‘Ek Akela Is Shaher Mein’ was sung beautifully by Bhupinder.
4 Jeevan Path Pe – Agar (1977)
Shot in snowy terrain, this again featured Palekar and Wahab. Yesudas and Asha teamed up again, with Sonik-Omi providing the music. Gulshan Bawra wrote, “Jeevan path pe ek rath ke do pahiye ban chalte jaayein, o ho, preet ke bandhan mein bandh ke, hum dono ek nagar aayein”.
5 Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Na Jaane – Damaad (1978)
Hemant Bhosle composed this catchy tune picturised on Palekar and Ranjeeta in a garden sequence. It was sung by Asha and Mohammed Rafi. Yogesh wrote, “Zindagi ke safar mein na jaane, kab kaise yeh do anjaane, hue pyaar mein yoon deewane”. This song was a radio hit in its time.
6 Kahaan Tak Yeh Man – Baton Baton Mein (1979)
The film Baton Baton Mein had popular songs like ‘Uthe Sabke Kadam’, ‘Suniye Kahiye’ and ‘Na Bole Tum’. Here, Kishore Kumar sang the underrated gem ‘Kahaan Tak Yeh Man’, composed by Rajesh Roshan and written by Yogesh with an inspirational theme. It was filmed on Palekar and Tina Munim.
7 Aane Wala Pal – Gol Maal (1979)
This song would be at the top of anybody’s list of Amol Palekar favourites. Kishore sang it perfectly, with R.D. Burman created a melodious tune. Gulzar wrote, “Aane wala pal jaane waala hai, ho sake toh ismein zindagi bita do, pal jo yeh jaane waala hai”. Bindiya Goswami and Utpal Dutt were featured along with Palekar.
8 Gaao Mere Mann – Apne Paraye (1980)
The team of Yesudas and Asha got together again on this song, filmed on Palekar and Shabana Azmi. It was a classical-flavoured tune composed by Bappi Lahiri. Yogesh wrote, “Gaao mere mann, chaahe suraj chamke re, chaahe laga ho grahan, gaao mere mann”. The song made wonderful use of percussion and flute.
9 Hamein Raaston Ki – Naram Garam (1981)
The song had the same tune as ‘Saagar Kinare’, which was also composed by R.D. Burman, but later. Asha sang for Swaroop Sampat, with Palekar appearing too. Gulzar wrote, “Hamein raaston ki zaroorat nahin hai, hamein tere paaon ke nishaan mil gaye hain”.
10 Raghuvar Tumko – Ankahee (1984)
This film was directed by Palekar himself. ‘Raghuvar Tumko’ was a Tulsidas bhajan sung by the legendary Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in Mishra Khamaj. Anil Chatterjee played the actor shown singing, though Palekar appeared throughout the song. Music was by Jaidev. Joshi also sang the bhajan ‘Thumak Thumak Pag Dhumak’.
Four of these were sung by Yesudas, and the two combined on the other hits in Chitchor, namely ‘Jab Deep Jale Aana’, ‘Aaj Se Pehle’ and ‘Tu Jo Mere Sur Mein’. It was a wonderful team.