V Kumar has been writing on Bollywood movies and music for several years, highlighting perspectives that are often missed out or ignored.
RISHI KAPOOR: THE EVERGREEN ROMANTIC OF BOLLYWOOD
Rishi Kapoor (1952-2020) will always be remembered by Bollywood lovers as the ever green romantic, who held his forte for almost four decades as one of the most loved heroes. Beginning his career at the age of 18 in Mera Naame Joker (1970), he became a national sensation with Bobby (1973), a movie that still rules at the top among generation changers.
His career milestones included love stories like Khel Khel Mein (1975), with his would be wife, Neetu Singh, Laila Majnu (1975), Sargam (1979), Karz (1980), Prem Rog (1982), Sagar (1985), Chandni (1989), Henna (1991), Damini (1993) and Prem Granth (1996). It is difficult to say, which of these roles was his best, but what is incredible is that each of these movies is considered one of the best of his heroine!
Rishi Kapoor will always be there with us. Even more than his movies, he will be close to us in those great songs that featured him. Here is a list of the best of such songs, where we can see him in ten different shades, and each as an unforgivable romantic!
In these songs one can see what made Rishi Kapoor the best evergreen romantic hero of Bollywood!
AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY (1977)
Tayyab Ali pyar ka dushman ...
One has to see this song from the movie Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) along with Bobby (1973) to understand the magical trajectory, with which Rishi Kapoor grew on the Bollywood screen from a cute teenage lover into a grown up man ready to go all the way in pursuits of his love. This song finds him at his spontaneous best, as a naughty kid who is publicly praying for the premature demise of his would be father in law, so that he can marry his daughter! The lyrics of this song were written by Anand Bakhshi, music composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal and it was sung by Mohammed Rafi. However, it would not be wrong to say that this song owes its substance to Rishi Kapoor more than any one else.
Hum tum ek kamre mein band ho....
Bobby (1973), starring two new leading actors in the leading roles, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, was based on a simple love story, which has been used before and has been used innumerable times since then. However, its legacy as a milestone movie remains unchallenged, since its unprecedented success coincided with the advent of a new generation of Indians, born in an independent nation, that was adamant to gain control of its own destiny. Raj Kapoor had to make this movie with Rishi and Dimple since he did not have money to pay established stars and he was in desperate need to do something to pay for the debts of Mera Naam Joker (1970), which had flopped badly.
The rest as they say, is history!
This romantic number is also among the longest songs of Bollywood, and yet one can never get bored watching, listening or singing it, such is its melody, composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. Its lyrics were written by Anand Bakhshi and it is sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shailendra Singh, whose career took off in this movie as the voice of Rishi Kapoor.
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DOOSRA AADMI (1977)
Kya mausam hai...
This song from the movie Doosra Aadmi (1977) is one of those rare musical gems of Bollywood where you can listen to three of its all time greatest singers, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar in the same number. This movie was a somewhat atypical one among Rishi classics, a lighthearted tale with a triangular twist ! As one can see in this song, there is attraction between the two characters on screen, but it is not exactly love. This movie had a few other melodious songs, but this one stands out due to its freshness. It was composed by Rajesh Roshan and its lyrics were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Rakhi, who partners Rishi on screen in this song, was nominated that year both in the leading actor as well as the supporting actor category for this movie.
Dar-e-dil dard-e-jigar dil mein...
If Bobby (1973) is associated with the advent of Rishi Kapoor, Karz (1980) is often considered the defining movie of his career. A love story within a reincarnation tale with scintillating music, it was a hit with both box office as well as the critics and connoisseurs. One of the songs of this movie, "Om, shanti om!.." a hybrid of Bollywood and Indian pop, topped all musical charts in those days, and can still be considered as the one song with which Rishi Kapoor is identified. However, it is the subtle romance depicted in this number that gets it included in our list. This number was sung by Mohammed Rafi, its music composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal and its lyrics written by Anand Bakhshi. The song owes its sweetness to the beauty of Tina Munim, who partners Rishi on screen as the leading lady.
KHEL KHEL MEIN (1977)
Khullam khullam pyar karenge hum dono...
Khel Khel Mein (1977) is a movie of unsuspecting pair of college students, who get entangled with criminals, but its central theme and the most attractive part is the lighthearted romance between them. This song shows two love birds, who fall prey to intoxicating drinks shared by a friend, and the result is an uninhibited public show of their feelings towards each other! This is probably the best of the shades of romantic Rishi that we have here, and the fact that he pairs in this song with his would be wife in real life makes it even more memorable! This is one of the best Bollywood songs screened on actors that were or later became partners in real life. Its music has all the characteristics of R.D. Burman, its composer. Its lyrics were written by Gulshan Bawra, and it was sung by two great singers, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle.
ZAMANE KO DIKHANA HAI (1981)
Bolo bolo kuchh to bolo...
This is the only number in out list that is in the nature of stage show and has Rishi Kapoor demonstrating his dancing skills. It belongs to a genre that was considered Western during that time, but can only be considered as belonging to Bollywood today. Sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle, its music was composed by R.D. Burman and its lyrics were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
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LAILA MAJNU (1976)
Barbad-e-mohabbat ki dua saath liye ja...
This is arguably the best movie of Rishi Kapoor as an actor, and this song may very well be one of his best performances on screen! His histrionics match the magical singing of Mohammed Rafi, who some say, could act with his voice. One of the best Bollywood songs of dejection in love, it may also be best that we have to offer here. Its music was composed by Madan Mohan, and it would be fair to say that it could have only been composed by him. So also with the lyrics, which were written by Saahir Ludhianwi, and could have been written by him alone and no one else!
A number like this one needs a number of genius individuals to come together. Rishi Kapoor was also one of them!
Tere mere hothon pe meethe meethe...
Chandni (1989) can be easily considered as the zenith of the career of Sridevi, one of the most beautiful leading female actors of Hindi cinema, and it would not be wrong to say that without Rishi Kapoor's part, it is difficult to even conceptualize it as a movie. This song is the most melodious among its numbers, all of which were popular then and are popular even today. It was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Babla, its lyrics written by Anand Bakhshi and its music composed by the classical duo of Shiv Hari.
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PREM ROG (1982)
Meri kismat mein tu nahin...
Prem Rog (1982) was a typical Bollywood romance from the stable of Raj Kapoor, who knew how to attract the Indian movie goer with a mix of emotions, music and voyeurism. His ability to get away with such adventures successfully, was largely due to his skills as one of the greatest movie makers of Hindi cinema, and the subtleties of his acting cast, which often included Rishi Kapoor. This song is another classic from Rishi Kapoor movies, depicting him in a sombre mood! Its music was composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, its lyrics penned by Amir Kazalbash, and its was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Suresh Wadkar.
ZEHREELA INSAN (1974)
O hansini! meri hansini!...
This movie and this song are somewhat atypical of Rishi Kapoor. His appearance is also different, coming as it was only a year after the world saw and recognized him as an innocent teenager in Bobby (1973). In this song, he shares the screen with the beautiful Moushmi Chatterjee, who perfectly complements him. The movie also had Neetu Singh, making it a case of triangular tale of love. This melodious song is also one of the best sung by Kishore Kumar, its music composed by R.D. Burman and its lyrics written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
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© 2020 V Kumar
List Your Favorite Songs featuring RISHI KAPOOR
V Kumar (author) on May 13, 2020:
Thanks a lot!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 13, 2020:
Informative, and useful. I enjoyed learning of the Bollywood songs new to me and so interesting as well.