Rajnigandha Films Tumhare – Vidya Sinha
Vidya ji, like the Independence Day we will be celebrating 15th of not August but November of this year as Amrut mahotsav. This is a thanksgiving musical tribute addressed to you for all those fragrant memories of your films and songs thereof with the fragrance of ‘Rajnigandha’ having a lion’s share, in Marathi I call it सिन्हा-चा वाटा, even though you are not mortally with us.
As per Wikipedia, you were crowned Miss Bombay at your age of 18 and soon identified by film industry as you signed your first movie ‘Raja Kaka’ opposite Kiran kumar but the real intro was through a low-budget yet highly successful film ‘Rajnigandha’ directed by the idol film maker of middle class, Basu Chatterji.
1. Rajnigandha phool tumhare – Rajnigandha
Lyrics- Yogesh Gaur, Music- Salil Chowdhury, Singer- Lata Mangeshkar
This film gave you the image of ‘girl-next-door’ for your simple yet unassuming beauty but with the notable fragrance. You were no match for the crème de la dream Rose like Hema Malini or the natkhat-ness of Guddi Jaya or the aggressive fragrance of Sun(o) Champa Mumtaz still you managed to hold your position like a stick of tuberose in a vase standing in the corner of room and spread the fragrance film by film and song by song like the typical blooming of inflorescence of tuberose.
This song was the first bud that bloomed ever so silently aided by the cheerful guitar-sitar strumming and the introvert monologue kind singing at the start by Lata ji and magical touches of genius Salil da with his tune and orchestration.
2. Jee chahe utha le jaaoon tujhe – Raja Kaka
Lyrics – Anjaan Music – Kalyanji Anandji, Singers – Kishore kumar , Asha Bhosale
Raja Kaka was the first movie you signed but has remained under oblivion. Title role was played by Kirankumar and you played ‘Sonu’. There is video link available on YouTube but the link mutes your song but thanks to the playlist and the announcing ‘Sonu’ at the start it’s a dead giveaway that this is your first duet with you looking stunning in the pink saree which makes the lyrical sentiment of Kishore da quite logical.
A typical Kalyanji-Anandji sounding composition with lots of shades of their ‘kisi pe dil agar aa jaaye’ (Rafu Chakkar).
3. Na jaane kyun hota hai yun Zindagi ke saath : Chhoti si Baat
Lyrics- Yogesh Gaur, Music- Salil Chowdhury Singer- Lata Mangeshkar-Chorus
‘Rajnigandha’ established not only your image but also your association with your co-star Amol Palekar who was next-door-boy. The middle class audience related with both of you so much for your simple yet fresh and adorable characters in both the movies. You were back in the sonorous company of the trio of Yogesh-Salil-Lata. If Asha ji brought that filmy exuberance in ‘o jaaneman jaaneman’ for you , the trio brought the haunting and longing sentiment of love that has become anthem of your remembrance. Salil da’s experimental chorus, although not visible, further adds to that haunting sentiment.
Every ‘Chhoti chhoti si baat’ associated with this song and the film (‘chicken a la poos’ included) is absolutely unforgettable as they have become integral parts of our filmy lives.
4. Koi mere haathon mein mehendi laga de – Mera Jeevan
Lyrics – M.G. Hashmat, Music – Sapan Jagmohan, Singer– Asha Bhosale
The film was written for your central character ‘Sandhya’ with no notable hero around you. Like Rakhi Gulzar in the song ‘hum aur tum they saathi’ you got the background playback of Kishore da in the highly popular title song, ‘mera jeevan kuchh kaam na aaya’. If the song depicts the remorse sentiment of a wilted flower/ tree ( ‘jaise sookhe ped ki chhaya’ ) this song from the movie celebrates life of the woman like a young adorable flower in the melodically exuberant voice of Asha ji.
This is a lesser known song, I suppose in comparison with the title song, sweetly composed and written by Sapan Jagmohan and MG Hashmat respectively with the lovely folk flavour. It was nostalgia when I revisited it during writing the article.
5. Hum gham se na haarenge – Mumta (1977)
Lyrics- Yogesh Gaur, Music- Shyamal Mitra Singer- Lata Mangeshkar
With this film you were back in the company of Yogesh – Lata and the Bangla producer and music director, Phani Muzumdar and Shyamal Mitra. As the title suggests you got the central motherly role and although the situation of the song is just of a studio recording, the lyrics emote the sentiment of sternness and inspiration that indirectly point to the battle of your reel life.
6. Maine dekha tujhe toone dekha mujhe – Karm
Lyrics – Rajkavi ‘Tulsi’, Music –R.D.Burman, Singers – Kishore Kumar-Asha Bhosale
With Karm, you struck the jackpot as you stepped in the big banner of B.R. Chopra with a role opposite superstar Rajesh Khanna and first chance to lip-synch the great tunes of great R.D.Burman. The tandem of ‘samay too dheere dheere chal’ became timelessly popular.
With this write up , I will love to bring in another melodic song with a similarly slow and lingering romantic feel sung by king pair of duets, Kishore-Asha. The lush green settings of Shalimar garden of Kashmir adds visual chaand to the khoobsoorati of the song.
7. Suhani Chandani Raatein – Mukti 1977
Lyrics – Anand Bakshi Music –R.D.Burman Singer – Mukesh
With Mukti, you were paired with another handsome star, Shashi Kapoor. The film and its album tasted quite a success and its song are remembered even today. The album boasted of a glorious Lori tandem and romanticism of young couple of Vikram-Bindiya. Your romance bloomed in the flashback of this memorable club song sung by Mukesh.
Although you did not lip-synch the song, your agile outdoor entry on the tender santoor runs was worth waiting for and was as consuming as the grand indoor piano play by the bearded Shashi and poignant singing by Mukesh ji to make it a heartthrob of the admirers of the film and album.
8. Chhodo yeh nigahon ka ishara – Inkar 1977
Lyrics – Majrooh, Music –Rajesh Roshan, Singers – Kishore kumar- Asha Bhosale
1977 was indeed a lottery for you for your success run was undeniable as you were paired with another dashing and handsome star Vinod Khanna in Inkaar by the budding director Raaj N Sippy.
The film had a compact storyline of a crime of kidnapping fantastically presented by the young director. The film could have done well even without songs but the equally concise musical album by Rajesh Roshan made the musical presence worthwhile and this romantic song proved a welcome relief in an otherwise tense film script just like the cool sea winds on the scenic beach of the song video.
Not to forget the all-rounder skills of Majrooh who could mingle with all the situations be it celebrating and exuberant ‘dil ki kali’ or ‘chalu’ kind ‘mungada’ or this velvety romance with equal command.
Your romantic signals were as relishing as Vinod Khanna’s handsome masculinity. The song is still an eye and ear-candy for the music lovers especially those aligned to the music of 70’s.
In Mukti, you had already been half paired with Sanjeev Kumar who in turn was half-shared with the Patni you and Ranjita woh in Pati patni aur woh. With the next film with him and its song, however, it was no sharing as you continued your memorable on-screen association with Sanjeev Kumar for whom acting came on most easy terms.
9. Tumhein dekhti hoon – Tumhare Liye
Lyrics – Naqsh Layalpuri, Music – Jaidev Singer – Lata Mangeshkar
In the impressive cap of music directors who composed her songs another classic feather was added in the form of Shri Jaidev Varma who, with this classic composition in Lataji’s divinely romantic voice, presented you in most pious song of all so far.
Your beautiful acting coupled with Lata ji’s introvert touches (typically along ‘ke jaise yugon se’) are simply goose bumps that seem to have proved enough to melt the saffron firmness of Sanjeev Kumar.
10. Jab julmi sainyaa pakade yeh baiyaan – Muqaddar (1978)
Lyrics – Anjaan Music – Rajesh Roshan Singer – Asha Bhosale
Following ‘Tumhare liye’ and ‘Pati Patni aur Woh’, this was another movie that featured you along with but not opposite of Sanjeev Kumar. The film directed by Mukul Anand was a multi starrer with the cast of Shashi Kapoor, Rekha, Sanjeev Kumar, Amzad Khan and your pair with Parikshit Sahni.
The film is not that known but the triad song ‘sooraj se aankhein mila’ by the then in-form music director Rajesh Roshan became quite popular. Although in a second lead, you were still able to steal a shy solo in the adorable voice of Asha ji and in the quintessential junior Roshan style.
11. Hum mohabbat mein jaane, kya kar jaate – Magroor (1979)
Lyrics – Anand Bakshi , Music – Laxmikant Pyarelal , Singers – Kishore kumar – Suman Kalyanpur
Now, two songs back to back with the Shotgun Hero and fellow surname, Shatrughna Sinha , first is from ‘Magroor’ with the debut of the greatly popular Music director duo Laxmikant Pyarelal and the cute voiced Suman Kalyanpur in your fragrant inflorescence.
A greatly contrasting yet complementary factors viz rich musical and masculine baritone of Kishore da , the cutely feminine Suman Kalyanpur and the pour of typical L.P. melodically rich orchestration give the viewers a totally drenching experience just like the song visuals.
12. Tumhare bin guzaare hai – Atmaraam (1979)
Lyrics–Vishweshwar Sharma, Music–Shankar Jaikishen, Singers–Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar
If your earlier duet with Shotgun saw the debut of L.P. and Suman K. then this duet celebrated the debut of other music director duo and the great singer, Shankar Jaikishen and Rafi saahab respectively.
The M.D. duo once reigned supreme in the earlier decades but with the tragic loss of his partner, Jaikishen, at the start of the decade of 70s in which you emerged, the output of the duo decreased considerably, of course only quantitatively.
The stiff competition of the rising trio of RDB, LP and KA and Rajesh Roshan in the later years made the things further worse for them. The lone but meticulous musician Shankar however shimmered brightly through the likes of ‘Sanyasi’, ‘Do jhooth’ et al.
The duet of this film boasted of the rich and trademark S.J. violin symphony coupled with rich guitar strumming gave that nostalgic feel of S.J. on which the seasoned vocals of Lata-Rafi surfed. Lataji’s urge/ desire in the singing, prime example being ‘TU mhare bin’ against the responsive and rather off clarification by the silken voiced Rafi make a lovable and utterly listenable contrast.
A rich and valued addition to your Rajnigandha inflorescence!
13. Jeena bhi koi jeena hai – Saboot ( 1980)
Lyrics : Amit Khanna, Music – Bappi Lahiri, Singers – Kishore kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
Your image of a simple, innocent and next-door-girl was a big hindrance and you were soon typecast into that image. You couldn’t hog the limelight of the glamour that was attracted by the likes of Hema Malini and Rekha.
It may have made you to explore some variety in your roles and film image and your role in this movie of the Horror specialists Ramsay Brothers was a big Saboot / evidence of that intent. Although Horror expert, the soundtracks of Ramsay movies always packed some poles-apart sweet melodies composed by not so busy music directors.
This utterly romantic and melodic song that appears right at the start of the movie, again, is a big saboot of their soundtrack feature.
After the melodious 70s the decade of 80s was a mixed bag as far as your roles and the songs you got in those films were concerned. Love story was a debut movie of the son of Matinee idol Rajendra Kumar, Kumar Gaurav and Vijayeta Pandit. You managed to get the role of mother of the heroine but still that was an important vertex of the love triangle in your reel life youth. The love triangle of you, Danny and Rajendra Kumar creates a vortex of resistance in the love life of the debutants.
It was immensely successful, both as a film and as the sound track but you didn’t have the place in the songs. You were fast maturing like another actress of 70s, Raakhi, and the meaty/ creamy roles were hard to get by and you had to resort to some other roles like producing this film called Nai Imarat.
14. Nadiya behti hai – Nai Imaarat ( 1981)
Lyrics: Indeevar, Music – Bappi Lahiri , Singer – Lata Mangeshkar-Chorus
Producer- Vidya Sinha
Being in the driver’s seat of producer / promoter of this ‘Nai Imarat’, you could earn yourself an absolutely gem of a melodic solo with the same pair of M.D. and playback singer as in Saboot.
The lovely, lively tune and rendition sounds as refreshing as the visuals and lyrical subject of the rural river and surroundings.
15. Sheesha Sharaab shabnam – Josh ( 1981)
Lyrics: Amit Khanna, Music– Bappi Lahiri, Singer– Lata Mangeshkar
As a director, ‘Josh’ was Raj N Sippy’s second film after Inkaar and before Satte pe satta. With the previous film, you ventured into new role as a producer and with this film and this seductive song, you entered into the high heels of the likes of Helen/ Padma Khanna to seduce the male Amjad Khan.
The director continued that ‘bahut yaarana’ of Inkaar’ by casting both of you and Helen, too. The song is performed by Asha ji with her usual finesse with the treatment sounding very Panchamish, the feature of 70s and early 80s compositions of Bappi da. Amit Khanna too ornaments the mukhada with a ‘sh’aking alliteration.
Wondering how comfortable you were while shooting this semi cabaret with the heavy make-up.
16. Haay re aaj ki raina dhale na – Adhura Aadmi ( 1982)
Lyrics: Yogesh, Music – R.D.Burman, Singer–Lata Mangeshkar-Chorus
That filmy yaaraana with Amjad khan and Shatrughna Sinha continued here also as he (Amjad as a director) cast you for an extensive and emotional role. The film, as its title suggested, did remain an incomplete experience as it did not get released till date. Whatever available is the soundtrack and this detailed trailer through which we can gauge your role which seems to be quite impressive. Considering the soundtrack, on one side there are club and mujara songs of Asha Bhosale filmed on Aruna Irani and Kalpana Iyer while Lata ji graced the melodic and folk pair of solos with her stunning renditions.
One of the pair is a folk song ‘Haaye re aaj ki raina dhale na’, a celebration song during the festive mood in a basti. The antara, a usual case of Pancham songs, celebrates more and is a blend of antara of ‘tauba sanam’ ( love story of your reel life daughter continues here) and the crossover having a refrain of crossover of a glorious lori of Benaam ( ‘din kal ka naya din hoga’ of ‘ek din hansaana’). The tango of the pair of male and female chorus adds a folk and festive zing.
With this film it seems you nearly ended the journey of your lip-synched songs. You did continue to appear in films and even in friendly appearance just for a song, although non lip synched (film- Hirasat – video link: https://youtu.be/LoZUKmFBakk ).
17. Sinhasan Battisi
You then dwelled into TV serials and crowned your career by producing (through ‘Vidya films’) and acting in a serial called ‘Sinhasan Battisi’ based on the series of mythological Indian tales.
Link to the first episode and title: https://youtu.be/pdqRqkFvReQ
18. Tumse hi to shuru hai – Adhura aadmi ( 1982)
Lyrics: Yogesh Music – R.D.Burman, Singer– Lata Mangeshkar
It was quite a coincidence that you started and ended your memorable song journey by lip-synching Lata ji’s playback that in-turn rendered non glamorous yet utterly adorable lyricist, Yogesh Gaur. The lyrics of the other solo from Adhura Aadmi doffs its hat to this beautiful coincidence along
‘Tum se hi to shuru hai , khatam bhi tum par hogi, zindagi ki kahaani’.
The song even had a sad version.
Song audio combining both versions: https://youtu.be/0xoefd9QnB8
Just like Yogesh-Lata connection in your musical reel life, India’s independence year and the date 15th played a major role in our real life as one ( 15-11-1947) started your life while the other 15th of August (2019) ended your mortal life.
This musical bouquet of your career graced varied flowers of various colours, sizes and varied fragrances yet they cannot wipe out the soft and refreshing fragrance of the first flower that bloomed on the inflorescence of your career, Rajnigandha.
While celebrating the Amrut mahotsav of your life, just like India’s independence, I thought to share my more than two (s)cents as a thanksgiving tribute for all pleasure you gave us.
Lata-Salil-Yogesh’s immortal lines always linger in my mind. Let me modify them a bit to align to my grateful sentiments..
Rajnigandha Films tumhare
Mehke yun hi Mere jeevan mein
Haan yun hi mehke yah geet tumhare
Mere film-anraagi man mein…
It is atradition to offer roses on the occasion of birthday, I am offering this stock that holds sentimental tube-Roses through this write up and a presentation video through my YouTube Channel.
Video link: https://youtu.be/n1GzeeAFJk4
Hope you kubool this janamdin tohfa from your genuine fan.
Happy 75th birthday…you must already celebrating up there with this heavenly music.