Beginning her Hindi film career with Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964 after a few Bengali movies, Sharmila Tagore did some great films till the late 1970s. She had many hit songs, mainly sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.
To mark her 77th birthday on December 8, we choose 10 songs filmed on her. Interestingly, four of them feature then superstar Rajesh Khanna. The choice wasn’t easy considering the number of hits associated with her. The order is chronological.
1 Deewana Hua Baadal – Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)
In her Hindi film debut, Sharmila was paired opposite Shammi Kapoor. This song, sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha, was composed by O.P. Nayyar in raag Malgunji. It remains one of the classic love songs of the 1960s, with S.H. Bihari writing, “Deewana hua baadal, saawan ki ghata chaayee, yeh dekh ke dil jhooma, li pyaar ne angdaayee”. The film also had the hits ‘Yeh Chaand Sa Roshan Chehra’ and ‘Isharon Isharon Mein’.
2 Din Hai Bahaar Ke – Waqt (1965)
Sharmila and Shashi Kapoor shot this at the lake in Nainital. Mahendra Kapoor and Asha sang the duet, composed by Ravi. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote, “Din hai bahaar ke, tere mere ikraar ke, dil ke sahaare aaja pyaar karein; dushman hain pyaar ke, jab laakhon gham sansar ke, dil ke sahaare kaise pyaar karein”. The song began with robust rhythms and handclaps.
3 Kuch Dil Ne Kaha – Anupama (1966)
Hemant Kumar composed music in this Hrishikesh Mukherjee film starring Sharmila and Dharmendra. Lata sang the song shot outdoors at a hill station. Kaifi Azmi wrote, “Kuch dil ne kaha, kuch bhi nahin, kuch dil ne suna, kuch bhi nahin, aisi bhi baatein hoti hain, aisi bhi baatein hoti hain”. The film had other hit songs in ‘Ya Dil Ki Suno’ and ‘Dheere Dheere Machal’.
4 Chalo Sajna – Mere Humdum Mere Dost (1968)
Shot outdoors against the backdrop of pine trees, this was filmed on Dharmendra and Sharmila. Lata sang the song with Laxmikant-Pyarelal composing. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote, “Chalo sajna jahaan tak ghata chale, lagakar mujhe gale, chalo sajna jahaan tak ghata chale”. The song was composed in raag Charukeshi.
5 Gunguna Rahe Hain Bhanvare – Aradhana (1969)
Aradhana was one of the biggest hits for Sharmila. This song, also featuring Rajesh Khanna, was filmed in a garden and snow-laden woods. Rafi and Asha sang S.D. Burman’s composition, with Anand Bakshi writing, “Gunguna rahe hain bhanvare khil rahi hain kali kali, gali gali”. Sharmila also appeared in the Kishore Kumar hits ‘Mere Sapnon Ki Rani’ and ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ with Khanna.
6 Hum The Jinke Sahare – Safar (1970)
Indeevar’s lyrics stood out as he wrote, “Hum the jinke sahare, woh hue na hamare, doobe jab dil ki naiyya, saamne the kinare”. Lata sang the tune composed by Kalyanji-Anandji. Sharmila and Rajesh Khanna appeared on screen. The antara had sad lines like, “Kya mohabbat ke vaade, kya wafa ke iraade, ret ki hain deeware, jo bhi chaahe gira de”.
7 Raina Beeti Jaaye – Amar Prem (1972)
While Amar Prem was known for Kishore’s ‘Chingari Koi Bhadke’, ‘Kuch Toh Log Kahenge’ and ‘Yeh Kya Hua’, it also had a huge hit in Lata’s ‘Raina Beeti Jaaye’. Filmed on Sharmila and Rajesh Khanna, it was composed by R.D. Burman. Bakshi wrote, “Raina beeti jaaye, shaam na aaye, nindiya na aaye”. The song had short antaras like, “Shaam ko bhoola, shaam ka waada, sang diye je jaage Radha”. Sharmila was also featured in ‘Bada Natkhat Hai’.
8 Jab Bhi Jee Chaahe – Daag (1973)
Lata was marvellous on this song which talked about hypocrisy and people changing, with Sahir writing, “Jab bhi jee chaahe nayi duniya basaa lete hain log, ek chehre pe kai chehre lagaa lete hain log”. Filmed on Sharmila and Rajesh Khanna, the song was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. The lead pair also appeared in the hits ‘Mere Dil Mein Aaj Kya Hai’ and ‘Hum Aur Tum’.
9 Ruke Ruke Se Qadam – Mausam (1975)
Madan Mohan excelled on this composition sung by Lata. Sharmila’s expressions were natural. Gulzar’s lines were, “Ruke ruke se qadam ruk ke baar baar chale, qaraar leke tere dar se beqaraar chale”. Sharmila also starred with Sanjeev Kumar on the hits ‘Dil Dhoondta Hai” and ‘Chhadi Re Chhadi’.
10 Abke Sajan Saawan Mein – Chupke Chupke (1975)
This had a comical drawing room sequence featuring Sharmila, Dharmendra and Om Prakash. Lata sang the song composed by S.D. Burman with Bakshi writing, “Ab ke sajan saawan mein, aag lagegi badan mein, ghata barsegi nazar tarsegi, magar mil na sakenge do mann ek hi aangan mein”.
Incidentally, Sharmila shares her birthday with Dharmendra, her co-star in Anupama, Mere Humdum Mere Dost, Satyakam and Chupke Chupke. For 10 Dharmendra hits, check out the piece we did last year on https://seniorstoday.in/music/10-unforgettable-dharmendra-songs-to-celebrate-his-85th-birthday