By Asjad Nazir.
HE MAY have been one of the greatest movie stars in the history of Bollywood, but Shammi Kapoor also made a huge impact musically by introducing a rock ’n’ roll swagger into film songs. With the voice of Mohammed Rafi, the rocking revolutionary changed the musical face of Hindi cinema. To commemorate the birth anniversary of the late great star last Sunday (21), Eastern Eye went back through time to select 10 of his finest musical moments, limiting ourselves to one song per film.
Tumsa Nahin Dekha title track (1957): The movie that turned him into a star featured this catchy ode to a beautiful woman. The upbeat OP Nayyar composition saw him introduce an Elvis Presley-inspired look and playfulness that connected an entire generation of Indians to the West.
Hum Aur Tum Aur Yeh Sama from Dil Dekhe Dekho (1959): This rock n roll classic had incredible upbeat songs from composer Usha Khanna that were picturised so well and every single one could have made this list. This simple love song beautifully pictured on the lead stars showed, less can be so much more.
Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe from Junglee (1961): The turbo-charged title track with the legendary ‘yahoo’ cry became the actor’s signature song. The Shankar Jaikishan-composed number saw the actor jump around snow-capped mountains like a man possessed and set the screen on fire.
Taarif Karoon Kya Uski from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964): The actor delivered another high-energy performance despite being confined to a small Kashmiri gondala. What added to the catchy OP Nayyar ode to the beauty of a woman was the picturesque setting and the stunning presence of Sharmila Tagore.
Dilruba Dil Pe Tu from Rajkumar (1964): The word that best describes this 60s Shankar Jaikishan classic is ‘sexy’. Shammi Kapoor and Sadhana steamed up the screen in a song with plenty of metaphors, heavy breathing and close embraces, which got audiences hot under the collar.
Dekho Ab To Kisi Ko Nahi Hai Khabar from Janwar (1965): The actor channelled his inner Beatles with this Shankar Jaikishan-composed rock n roll duet featuring the vocals of Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle. There was freestyle dancing and even a Beatles-inspired tribute band.
O Haseena Zulfonwali Jaane Jahan from Teesri Manzil (1966): Shammi Kapoor and Helen were a dynamite combination who delivered explosive performances together. What made this special was the magnificent directing of Vijay Anand and that it was a star-making soundtrack for RD Burman.
Aasman Se Aaya Farishta from An Evening In Paris (1967): Shammi Kapoor hanging from a helicopter in a dressing gown, singing a catchy number to a water-skiing Sharmila Tagore in a hot swimming costume on the French Riviera, what is not to like about this? The picturisation was fun and cool.
Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyar Ke Charche from Brahmachari (1968): There were a lot of gyrations from the actor and Mumtaz, who looked stunning, in this catchy Shankar Jaikishan-composed number. The dance number still has an infectious energy 50 years after it lit up the big screen.
Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paoge from Pagla Kahin Ka (1970): The actor had a rip-roaring career filled with magnificent high-energy dancing on screen, but he also did emotional numbers really well. He put real feelings into the song that still tugs at the heartstrings.