Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Tribute to Rajesh Khanna

The man that caused girls all over India to swoon just passed away, and everyone is feeling terribly sentimental. I unfortunately didn't grow up in the 60s so I never quite understood the way ladies from this era were so smitten with Rajesh Khanna. I love the stories though, about how girls were marrying his photographs and marking their maang with their own blood instead of sindoor ... so dramatic and ridiculously filmi.

Admittedly he wasn't my favorite actor, but earlier this year I had even thought about doing a blogging project week dedicated to Rajesh Khanna -- I thought perhaps immersing myself in his films from the earlier years would demystify the Rajesh effect. And though I never got around to this project, I did recently watch the 1980 movie Aanchal starring him, Rakhee, Rekha and Amol Palekar, and I did start to see some of the charm and sweetness he possessed.

Not to mention that he had some of the best songs Bollywood has ever produced all picturized on him. Of course everyone will point straight to "Mere Sapnon Ki Rani" from Aradhana but it honestly isn't one of my favorite songs. Aradhana is one of the best soundtracks ever, and some of the other songs from it made it onto my list of favorites. Other super popular tracks like "Yeh Shaam Mastani" and "O Mere Dil Ke Chein" from Kati Patang, while lovely songs, just aren't ones I'd listen to repeatedly.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a Top 10 list, but I could not possibly remove a single song here, so I had to make it a Top 12. Here we go!

Amaluu's Top 12 Favorite Rajesh Khanna Songs (a dedication):
counting down to my number one favorite RK song

12. Maine Tere Liye - Anand
Fresh, sweet, innocent ... this song just breathes all those qualities out.



11. Jai Jai Shiv Shankar - Aap Ki Kasam
Fun Fun Fun! And I totally, completely adore Mumtaz. Though everyone's favorite jodi partner for Rajesh Khanna was Sharmila Tagore, I always liked these two together.



10. Zindagi Ek Safar - Andaz
I read somewhere that Rajesh Khanna had been paired with Hema Malini more times than any other heroine, which was interesting. This is probably their best song together. Such a great road trip song!



9. Karwaten Badalte Rahe - Aap Ki Kasam
Soft, sweet and romantic. My best friend from my pre-teen/teen years made me love this song.



8. Kora Kagaz Tha - Aradhana
We used to perform this song with our band Ishara (which is how I know half of these songs) and people used to always slow dance/waltz to it. So pretty!



7. Chala Jaata Hoon - Mere Jeevan Saathi
I love how jaunty this song is!



6. Prem Kahani Mein - Prem Kahani
I adore this song. It may or may not be because of Mumtaz's pretty pink outfit.



5. Humen Tumse Pyar Kitna - Kudrat
This has that"epic omg one true wuv" feel to it. Also Kishore Kumar freaking rules.



4. Humen Aur Jeene Ki - Agar Tum Na Hote
The only song on my list from the later years of Rajesh Khanna's hero days. It used to primarily be an Antakshari song for me (isn't every other song a 'ha' song?), but I heard it on the radio recently and was bowled over by how nostalgic I felt listening to it.



3. Roop Tera Mastana - Aradhana
Smooth, sensual with a tinge of mystery ... who doesn't love this song?



2. Chup Gaye Saare Nazaare - Do Raaste
Originally I was going to say this was my favorite, but then I remembered my #1 favorite RK song. Still, this is definitely one of my all-time favorite Hindi songs. And again, Mumtaz is such a cutie!



1. Chingari Koi Bhadke - Amar Prem 
I went through a phase in college where all I listened to was classic Hindi songs, and this became the #1 repeat offender on my list. I don't know what it is about this song but you just FEEL it in your heart. It literally makes my heart hurt, but it a good way. So bittersweet and beautifully sung by Kishore. I can easily say this is my number 1 favorite Rajesh Khanna song.



So RIP Rajesh Khanna ... you had a good run and will always be remembered fondly. Especially by the Aunties who are all probably weeping their hearts out today remembering their first love. You'll live on forever in these timeless songs!

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