A well-known name in the 1970s, Moushumi Chatterjee was prolific as an actress. Some memorable songs were filmed on her, and on the occasion of her 73rd birthday Narendra Kusnur revisits them.
A well-known name in the 1970s, Moushumi Chatterjee was prolific as an actress. Though mega-hit films eluded her, she acted opposite the major stars Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Shashi Kapoor, Vinod Mehra and Rishi Kapoor.
Some memorable songs were filmed on her, and to mark her 73rd birthday on April 26, we select 10. Of these, seven were sung by Lata Mangeshkar, whose voice suited her perfectly.
1 Sun Ri Pawan – Anuraag (1972)
While she had earlier acted in Bengali films, this was Moushumi’s first major Hindi role, and she played a blind girl. Shot on a beach, the Lata song was composed by S.D. Burman, with immaculate use of bansuri and santoor. Anand Bakshi wrote, “Sun ri pawan, pawan purvaiya, main hoon akeli, albeli tu saheli, meri ban ja saathiya”. The film also starred Vinod Mehra and guest actor Rajesh Khanna.
2 O Hansini – Zehreela Insaan (1974)
This was a gem by R.D. Burman, sung by Kishore Kumar. It was filmed on Rishi Kapoor, still new, and Moushumi, dressed in white. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote, “O hansini, meri hansini, kahaan ud chali, mere armaanon ko pankh lagake, kahan ud chali”. The song was shot outdoors in Karnataka.
3 Tumne Piya Diya – Us Paar (1974)
Lyricist Yogesh penned the lines, “Tumne piya diya sab kuch mujhko apni preet deke, Ram kare yunhi beete jeevan tumhre geet gai ke”. Lata sang the song composed by S.D. Burman. The lyrics talked of simple emotions which listeners identified with. Vinod Mehra and Moushumi were filmed on a boat ride in this Basu Chatterjee film.
4 Hum Tum Gum Sum – Humshakal (1974)
This was one of those trademark R.D. Burman songs, with the chant “Jhumna Jhumna”. The number was picturised on superstar Rajesh Khanna and Moushumi, with Kishore and Asha Bhosle lending their voices. Bakshi’s lines were, “Hum tum gum sum raat milan ki, aaja gori sun le baat sajan ki”.
5 Sansar Hai Ek Nadiya – Raftaar (1975)
A huge radio hit during its time, this song was composed by Sonik-Omi in raag Shivranjini. A highlight was the brilliant use of the violin. Filmed on Madan Puri and Moushumi, it was sung by Mukesh and Asha Bhosle. Abhilash wrote the lines, “Sansar hai ek nadiya, dukh sukh do kinare hain, na jaane kahan jaaye, hum behte dhaare hain”.
6 Waada Karo Jaanam – Sabse Bada Rupaiya (1976)
A wonderful duet by Kishore and Lata, with Sultanpuri writing, “Waada karo jaanam, na chhodoge yeh daaman, zamana chaahe chhoote”. Music was by Basu-Manohari, part of R.D. Burman’s team. Vinod Mehra and Moushumi were seen outdoors in a hilly backdrop.
7 Rimjhim Gire Sawan – Manzil (1979)
There were two versions of this song, by Kishore and Lata. The latter was beautifully shot with Amitabh Bachchan and Moushumi walking in Mumbai locales during the rain. R.D. Burman composed the hit song, with Yogesh writing, “Rimjhim gire saawan, sulagh sulagh jaaye man, bheege aaj is mausam mein, lagi kaisi yeh agan”.
8 Simti Hui Yeh Ghadiyan – Chambal Ki Kasam (1980)
The film was a box-office disaster, and the only thing good about it was this ghazal, composed elegantly by Khayyam and sung beautifully by Lata and Mohammed Rafi. Picturised on Raaj Kumar and Moushumi, it was written by Sahir Ludhianvi. The opening lines were, “Simti hui yeh ghadiyan, phir se na bikhar jaayein; is raat mein jee le hum, is raat mein mar jaayein”.
9 Mujhe Choo Rahi Hain – Swayamvar (1980)
One of composer Rajesh Roshan’s underrated beauties, this was another marvellous Lata-Rafi duet. Gulzar wrote the words, “Mujhe choo rahi hain teri garam saansein, mere raat aur din mehekne lage hain; teri narm saanson ne aisa chhua hai, ke mere toh paanv behekne lage hain”. The song was filmed on Shashi Kapoor and Moushumi.
10 Megha Re Megha Re – Pyaasa Saawan (1981)
A hit song for Jeetendra and Moushumi, this was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Lyrics were by Santosh Anand, who began, “Megha re megha re, mat pardes ja re, aaj tu prem ka sandes barsa re”. The song was sung by Lata and rising star Suresh Wadkar, and though it was shot in sunny weather, it has often been passed off as a rain song in competitions.
If one looks at the song clips, one notices that Moushumi was always dressed in Indian attire, most often a saree. That look suited her, and went with the songs too.