Remembering Rajesh Khanna on His 80th Birth Anniversary with These 5 Songs
Considered as Indian cinema’s first superstar, actor Rajesh Khanna was the quintessential romantic hero from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. As the cinema community and fans celebrate the late actor’s 80th birth anniversary, we take a look at five of his hit songs which keep the spirit of Khanna alive in our hearts.
Mere Sapnon Ki Rani (1969)
None can forget a Gurkha cap-wearing Khanna syncing his lips to this evergreen Kishore Kumar song while courting a coy Sharmila Tagore riding in a Darjeeling-bound toy train. Mere Sapnon Ki Rani from the film Aradhana will forever be associated with the spirit of Darjeeling. It celebrates the beauty of the hills in addition to the carpe diem notion of romance. Anand Bakshi wrote the lyrics for this Sachin Dev Burman composition.
Zindagi Ka Safar (1970)
This immortal song from the film Safar deals with a terminal cancer patient (Khanna) and his ruminations about life and mortality. The song also features Sharmila, who plays the film’s lead protagonist. Kishore Kumar sang the song, penned by lyricist Indeevar and composed by Kalyanji-Anandji duo.
Ye Shaam Mastani (1971)
It is impossible to think of Khanna without the dreamy lyrics of this song from the film Kati Patang, sung by Kishore Kumar. This Rahul Dev Burman composition, with lyrics by Anand Bakshi, became a sensation during the soundtrack’s original release. The song still feels as swoon-worthy as it did four decades ago.
Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaye (1971)
Like Safar, Khanna’s character, Anand, in this film once again suffers from terminal cancer. The song is about Anand’s meditations on the transience of life. The poignant song, by lyricist Yogesh, was sung by Mukesh and composed by Salil Chowdhury.
Nafrat Ki Duniya (1971)
Hathi Mere Sathi is one of the best children’s films from India, featuring animals. The song deals with Khanna’s character Raju, a zookeeper, as he breaks down after his favourite elephant, Ramu, is killed. The song sung by Mohammad Rafi is written by Anand Bakshi and composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal.