Hugely popular in Telugu cinema, Jaya Prada had a strong run in Hindi films from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Admired for her classic Indian looks, she was also known for her traditional Indian wear.
To mark her 61st birthday on April 3, we choose 10 songs filmed on her. Many of these have the typical 1980s sound and cinematic setting. The order is chronological.
1 Dafli Waale – Sargam (1979)
Jaya Prada played a mute and deaf woman who sought refuge in classical dancing, with Rishi Kapoor acting as a musician. Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s music was successful and this song by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi was a huge hit. Anand Bakshi wrote the words beginning “Dafli waale, dafli bajaa”.
2 Tujh Sang Preet – Kaamchor (1982)
Jaya Prada was cast opposite Rakesh Roshan. This song, composed by Rajesh Roshan, was sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata. Indeevar wrote the words, “Tujh sang preet lagayi sajna, sajna, sajna, ho Rama, haay bedardi, haay bedardi”. The film also had ‘Tumse Badhkar Duniya Mein’, one of Alka Yagnik’s early hits, sung with Kishore.
3 Chandni Raat Mein – Dil-e-Nadaan (1982)
Khayyam composed this wonderful tune sung by Kishore and Lata. It was picturised on Rajesh Khanna and Jaya Prada. Naqsh Lyallpuri wrote, “Chandni raat mein ek baar tujhe dekha hai, khud pe itaraate hue, khud se sharmaate hue”.
4 Pyaar Ka Tohfa Tera – Tohfa (1984)
Jeetendra and Jaya Prada did an outdoor dance very typical of movies from the 1980s. Kishore and Asha Bhosle sang this Bappi Lahiri composition. Indeevar wrote, “Pyaar ka tohfa tera, bana hai jeevan mera, dil ke sahaare maine paa liye, jeene ko aur kya chahiye”.
5 De De Pyaar De (Female) – Sharaabi (1984)
There were two versions of this song, lip-synced by Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Prada, respectively. They were sung by Kishore and Asha, with Bappi providing the music. Anjaan wrote the lyrics, the main lines of which were, “De de pyaar de pyaar de pyaar de de hamein pyaar de”.
6 Yashoda Ka Nandlala – Sanjog (1985)
Jaya Prada played a double role, one of which was of a mentally-ill person who sang a lullaby to a doll. This song was sung by Lata and set to tune by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Anjaan wrote the words, “Yashoda ka Nandlala Braj ka ujaala hai, mere laal se toh saara jag jhilmilaaye”. The song had a catchy ‘zu zu zu’ chorus.
7 Apna Ghar Hai – Swarg Se Sunder (1986)
Jeetendra and Jaya Prada teamed up again. Laxmikant-Pyarelal composed the tune sung by Kishore and Asha. The highlight was Anand Bakshi’s writing, which had humorous lines like, “Apna ghar hai swarg se sunder… arrey swarg mein kahaan se aaye machchar… arrey machchar bhi aashiq hain”.
8 Pyaar Hamara Amar Rahega – Muddat (1986)
This lovely duet was sung by Asha and Mohammed Aziz, with Mithun Chakraborty playing hero. Bappi created the melody. Indeevar wrote, “Pyaar hamara amar rahega, yaad karega jahaan, tu Mumtaz mere khwabon ki, main tera Shah-e-Jehan”. The metaphors used were appreciated.
9 Naachegi Saraswati – Ganga Jamuna Saraswati (1988)
Jaya Prada played Saraswati in this love triangle also starring Amitabh Bachchan and Meenakshi Seshadri. Anu Malik gave the music, and Lata was the singer. Indeevar wrote, “Naachegi Saraswati, gaayegi Saraswati, jhoomegi Saraswati” while calling out for Ganga. The film flopped but the songs clicked in the smaller towns.
10 Gori Hai Kalaiyan – Aaj Ka Arjun (1990)
Jaya Prada wooed Amitabh on this song, with Anjaan’s words, “Gori hai kalaiyaan, tu laa de mujhe hari hari choodiyan, apna banale mujhe baalma”. Bappi gave the music, with Lata and Shabbir Kumar singing. The song began in a village setting, with rhythm being played on pots.
Jaya Prada quit films after joining the Telugu Desam Party in 1994. Cinema lovers consider her to be one of the most beautiful actresses to have graced Indian cinema screens.