One of the busiest heroines of the 1970s, Neetu Singh had some great songs picturised on her. A large number of them starred Rishi Kapoor, whom she later married.
To mark her 63rd birthday on July 8, we select 10 hits featuring her. Five of these are with Rishi, and their on-screen chemistry is fantastic. The order is chronological.
1 Teri Galiyon Mein – Hawas (1974)
The song was a huge radio hit when released, and Mohammed Rafi’s singing was appreciated. Neetu was shown at a party, and Anil Dhawan was the hero. Music was by Usha Khanna, and Sawan Kumar wrote, “Teri galiyon mein na rakhenge kadam, aaj ke baad; Tumse milne ko na aayenge sanam, aaj ke baad”.
2 Keh Doon Tumhe – Deewaar (1975)
Despite its huge success, Deewaar wasn’t much known for its music. However, this song was popular. Picturised on Shashi Kapoor and Neetu in an open jeep, it was sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote the words to R.D. Burman’s music.
3 Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karenge – Khel Khel Mein (1975)
Rishi and Neetu played tipsy characters in this song sung by Kishore and Asha. Gulshan Bawra wrote, “Khullam khulla pyaar karenge hum dono, is duniya se nahin darenge hum dono”. Music was by R. D. Burman, who used synthesisers and rhythms smartly.
4 Kisi Pe Dil Agar Aa Jaaye – Rafoo Chakkar (1975)
Another Rishi-Neetu hit, this was sung by Shailendra Singh and Asha. Kalyanji-Anandji provided the music, and Gulshan Bawra wrote the lyrics. The main lines were, “Kisi pe dil agar aa jaaye toh kya hota hai, wohi hota hai jo manzoor-e-khuda hota hai”.
5 Tere Chehre Se – Kabhi Kabhie (1976)
This time, Rishi and Neetu shot in snowy locales in this song sung by Kishore and Lata. Khayyam provided the music, and Sahir Ludhianvi wrote, “Tere chehre se nazar nahin hatati nazaare hum kya dekhein, tujhe milke bhi pyaas nahin ghatati, nazaare hum kya dekhein”.
This popular Lata-Rafi duet was filmed on Neetu and Amitabh Bachchan. Kalyanji-Anandji composed the music and Gulshan Bawra wrote, “Tumse door rehke, o tumse door rehke, humne jaana pyaar kya hai, dil ne maana pyaar kya hai”.
7 Parda Hai Parda – Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
Neetu looked on as Rishi sang this filmi qawwali with Amitabh egging him on. Sung by Rafi, it was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Anand Bakshi wrote the lines, “Parda hai parda, parda hai parda, parde ke peeche parda-nasheen hai, parda-nasheen ko main be-parda na kar doon toh, Akbar mera naam nahin hai”.
8 Aankhon Mein Kaajal Hai – Doosra Aadmi (1977)
Rishi and Neetu were paired again in this ‘garden song’. Sung by Kishore and Lata, it was composed by Rajesh Roshan. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the lyrics, beginning with, “Ankhon mein kaajal hai, kaajal mein mera dil hai, chalo dil mein bitha ke tumhe, tumse hi pyaar kiya jaaye”.
9 Cham Cham Barse Ghata – Priyatma (1977)
The song was quite under-rated, probably because it didn’t have a hook that stood out. But the feel-good nature and the combination of Asha’s voice and Neetu’s screen presence, as she danced in the rain, were fantastic. Rajesh Roshan composed the tune and Anjaan penned the words. The song was played in the opening credits.
10 Chookar Mere Man Ko – Yaarana (1981)
Inspired by the Rabindra Sangeet song ‘Tomar Holo Shuru’, music director Rajesh Roshan had a huge hit with this. Picturised on Amitabh and Neetu, it was sung by Kishore, with Anjaan writing, “Chookar mere man ko kiya tune kya ishaara, badla yeh mausam, lage pyara jag saara”.
Most of these songs represent the melodic side of the 1970s. With her natural acting and smile, Neetu built up a devoted following. Her fans still hum these tunes.