Tanuja is one of the popular actresses of Bollywood in the 1960s and 1970s. As an adult actress, she marked her debut with Humare Yaad Aayegi in 1961. Though Tanuja has acted in less number of movies, her roles in Jewel Thief, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, Anubhav, Jeene Ki Raah, Haati Mere Saati, Imtihaan, Bhoot Bangla and Mere Jeevan Saathi were appreciated most. She has been featured in many popular songs during the glorious years of Bollywood music. She was the lead heroine of 1969 musical hit, Jeene Ki Raah, the movie which snatched Filmfare Award for Best Music from the iconic movie – Aaradhana, known for its extremely popular songs. Through this column I would like to list top 15 songs featuring Tanuja, and a few of them are male solos but extremely popular ones. Have a look.
1. Roz Shyam Aati Thi of Imtihaan – Its tune closely resembles Bengali music, but it was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. The melodious song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and featured Vinod Khanna and Tanuja. This song is noticed for its unique blend of lyrics and music, and its lyrics were penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
2. Raat Akeli Hai of Jewel Thief – Definitely it’s the most popular song featuring Tanuja. This sizzling song also starred King of Romance – Dev Anand. Its lyrics were penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri, and Tanuja received a Filmfare nomination for best actress in a supporting role for this film. This sizzling number was sync lipped by Asha Bhosle and composed by S. D. Burman. The movie also included the fun filled teasing number – Yeh Dil Na Hota Bechara featuring Dev Anand and Tanuja.
3. O Mera Dil Ke Chain of Mere Jeevan Saathi – Tanuja is one among those lucky actresses of early 1970s who got opportunity to play the lead role opposite Rajesh Khanna during his glorious years. She was paired with Khanna for Mere Jeevan Saathi, Humshakal and Haati Mere Saati and both were successful. O Mera Dil Ke Chain is one of the top romantic tracks of Rajesh Khanna all-time, and wonderful music by R. D. Burman. Tanuja was also featured in ‘Chala Jata Hoon’, the song best remembered for Kishore Kumar-Rajesh Khanna magic. Majrooh Sultanpuri penned lyrics for some of the evergreen tracks featuring Tanuja, and this particular song is one such.
4. Aa Mere Humjoli Aa of Jeene Ki Raah – In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a trend to film songs as folk/tribal dance sequences. Background dancers too appear in folk costumes. This popular dance number is one such, where Tanuja assumes herself to be one among the tribal dancers alongside Jeetendra. Aane Se Uske Aaye Bahar is a party song from the same movie sung by Rafi, and filmed on the lead pair. The movie included several popular songs.
5. Aap Mujhe Achhe Lagne of Jeene Ki Raah – The songs of Jeene Ki Raah won Filmfare award for best music direction in the year 1969, beating the much expected music album – Aaradhana. This particular song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar, for which she won a Filmfare award for best female playback singer. Songs of Jeene Ki Raah were composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal and all the songs penned by Anand Bakshi.
6. Roop Tera Aisa of Ek Baar Muskura Do – The songs of the movie is regarded as classic, and its music was composed by O. P. Nayyar. It’s one of the last memorable works of Nayyar as a composer and one of his rare works with Kishore Kumar. The song featured Deb Mukherjee alongside Joy Mukherjee and Tanuja on the occasion of their marriage, where Deb sings this song on radio for the newly wedded couple. Indeevar penned this popular happy song.
7. Title track of Ek Baar Muskura Do – The title track featuring Deb Mukherjee and Tanuja is an evergreen song. Kishore Kumar’s fast number – Kitne atal the tere iraade also belongs to this movie. This songs was written by Shewan Rizvi.
8. Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe of Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi – This romantic song is counted as one among the best songs recorded in Mohd. Rafi’s voice. The solo song featured Dharmendra, Tanuja and Mala Sinha. The music was composed by O. P. Nayyar and beautiful lyrics written by Anjaan. It’s one of the best songs penned by Anjaan during his music journey. The movie also included the popular song – Koi Kahde Kahde featuring Tanuja and Dharmendra. The song was sung by Asha Bhosle.
9. Bhag Mein Kali Khili of Chand Aur Suraj – This song sung by Asha Bhosle was composed by Salil Choudhury. Its lyrics were penned by Shailendra. Salil Choudhury used the same tune for his debut Malayalam film, Chemmeen released the same year – “Chakara kadapurathini”. Tanuja flaunted her body wearing a bikini in this song, which was not common in the 1960s. The movie also featured a duet of Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur filmed on the lead pair, Tumhen Dil Se Chaha.
10. Yeh Dil Tum Bin Kahin from Izzat – Dharmendra played double role in the movie, and Tanuja and Jayalalithaa played the female leads. This particular duet sung by Rafi and Lata was filmed on Dharmendra and Tanuja. Sahir Ludhianvi penned the lyrics and Laxmikant-Pyarelal composed the song.
11. Chahe Raho Door of Do Chor – This popular duet featuring Dharmendra and Tanuja belongs to the film, Do Chor. The songs were composed by R. D. Burman. Kishore Kumar – Lata Mangeshkar duo rendered their voice for this song written by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Tanuja shared screen space with Dharmendra for many movies such as Do Chor, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, Izzat etc.
12. Kabhi Tanhayiyon Mein of Humari Yaad Ayegi – This evergreen classic song was sung by Mubarak Begum and featured Tanuja and Ashok Sharma. The composer Snehal Bhatkar originally wanted to record this song in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice. As she was unavailable he recorded the song in Begum’s voice. No doubt, certain events never occur for something better. Kidar Sharma wrote the song. The movie also marked the screen debut of Tanuja as an adult actress.
13. Chal Chal Mere Haathi of Haathi Mere Saathi – The song featuring Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and sung by Kishore Kumar. The song was extremely popular. The movie featuring an elephant in the pivot role was a huge hit at box office, and was later remade to Tamil. Anand Bakshi wrote this peppy number. The movie also featured the popular duets – Dilbar Jani Chali Hawa Mastani and Sunja Aa Thandi Hawa.
14. Kahe Ko Bulaya Mujhe Balma of Humshakal – This duet sung is one of the rarest songs sung by Mohammed Rafi for Rajesh Khanna in the 1970s. The song featured Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja. Tanuja’s voice was given by Lata Mangeshkar. Anand Bakshi authored the lyrics.
15. Meri Jaan Mujhe Jaan Na Kaho of Anubhav – Let me conclude this list with this extremely popular classic song of Geeta Dutt. The song featured Tanuja and Sanjeev Kumar. It was one of the last songs sung by iconic singer Geeta Dutt, and composed by her brother, Kanu Roy. Lyrics were written by Gulzar, and all the songs are remembered as classics. The movie also included ‘Koi Chupke Se Aake’ featuring Tanuja, sung by Geeta Dutt. Read a few more interesting facts about this song.
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