Known for both her beauty and her acting prowess, Bina Rai had hit films like Anarkali, Ghunghat and Taj Mahal. Some of her movies didn’t do well too, but she appeared in a string of melodious songs, mostly sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
To mark her 13th death anniversary on December 6, we choose 10 songs filmed on her. Some of these are rare and probably forgotten gems, but they have such beautiful tunes that one can enjoy them today. In these 10 songs, she played the heroine. There is also a 11th song mentioned at the end, where she played another role. The list is chronological.
1 Unke Sitam Ne Loot Liya – Kali Ghata (1951)
This was Bina’s debut film, and music directors Shankar-Jaikishan were in their element. This song, sung immaculately by Lata, was filmed on Bina, with Kishore Sahu making an appearance. Lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri wrote, “Unke sitam ne loot liya, haay kya karein, haay kya karein; aaina dil ka toot gaya, haay kya karein, haay kya karein”.
2 Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai – Anarkali (1953)
An immortal classic sung by Lata, this featured Bina as Anarkali and Pradeep Kumar as Salim. There were two versions. C. Ramchandra composed the tune, with Rajendra Krishan writing, “Yeh zindagi usi ki hai, jo kisika ho gaya, pyaar hi mein kho gaya”. The ‘Alvida’ refrain was done brilliantly. The film was one of the biggest musical successes of the 1950s.
3 Aankhon Aankhon Mein – Aurat (1953)
Bina starred with Premnath, whom she later married. Shankar-Jaikishan composed the tune for Lata. Hasrat wrote, “Aankhon aankhon mein tumko chhupa ke dekh liya, aankhon aankhon mein, dil ki duniya mein, tumko bula ke dekh liya”. Interestingly, Lata sang all eight songs in the film, which was inspired by the story of Samson and Delilah.
4 Aayi Jhoom Ke Bahaar – Insaaniyat (1955)
The combination of Lata, C. Ramchandra and Rajendra Krishan worked wonders again, in this song filmed on Bina and Dev Anand, looking strange in a moustache. Talat Mahmood sang the male part. The lyrics were, “Aayi jhoomke bahaar, laayi dil ka karaar, dekho pyaar ho gaya, dekho pyaar ho gaya”.
5 Apne Khayalon Ko – Marine Drive (1955)
Once again, Lata sounded magical on this song composed by N. Dutta. It had a simple melody and good arrangements. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote, “Apne khayalon ko samjha dijiye, kyon raaton ko neend churane aate hain, churane aate hain”. It may be noted that Asha Bhosle sang the other songs in the film.
6 Kahaan Le Chale Ho – Durgesh Nandini (1956)
Hemant Kumar composed this gem of a tune, set in a dream sequence featuring Bina and Pradeep Kumar. Once again, Lata cast a magic spell. Rajendra Krishan wrote, “Kahaan le chale ho bata do musafir, sitaron se aage yeh kaisa jahaan hai; khayalon ki manzil, yeh khwabon ki mehfil, samajh mein na aaye, yeh duniya kahaan hai”.
7 Mohabbat Zinda Rehti Hai – Changez Khan (1957)
This hit was sung by Mohammed Rafi for Premnath, with Bina appearing prominently in the latter half. Music was by Hansraj Behl. Qamar Jalalabadi’s words became very popular – “Mohabbat zinda rehti hai, mohabbat mar nahin sakti, aji insaan kya yeh toh khuda se dar nahin sakti”.
8 Raat Hai Sitaron Waali – Talaash (1957)
Ramchandra recorded this song with Asha Bhosle, and it was considered to be one of her sweetest songs in that phase of her career. Ashok Kumar was the co-star with Bina. The song was set in a lori style. Rajendra Krishan began, “Raat hai sitaron wali, pyaar ke nazaron wali”.
9 Mori Cham Cham Baje Payaliya – Ghunghat (1960)
Bina won the Filmfare award for this film, in a year when everyone thought Madhubala would win it for Mughal-e-Azam. This peppy song was composed by Ravi and sung by Lata. Shakeel Badayuni wrote, “Mori cham cham baaje payaliya, aaj mile hai more saawariya”.
10 Jo Vaada Kiya – Taj Mahal (1963)
One of the most popular romantic duets in Hindi films, ‘Jo Waada Kiya’ was sung marvellously by Rafi and Lata. Pradeep Kumar played Emperor Shah Jehan and Bina played Mumtaz Mahal. Composer Roshan adapted Pahadi, and the song had fast and slow versions. The main line was, “Jo vaada kiya woh nibhana padhega, roke zamaana chaahe roke khudaai tumko aana padega”.
There was another hit song filmed on Bina, but this was as a mother in the 1966 film Daadi Maa. Roshan’s composition ‘Usko Nahin Dekha Hamne Kabhi’ was sung by Mahendra Kapoor and Manna Dey, and remains one of the most wonderful film tributes to the mother. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the words.