By: Omair Alavi
From 1976 to 1981, if a film had Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha, it could do no wrong as they were the most loved on-screen pair of that time. Some films flopped and some did extremely well but people thronged to the theatres to check out the chemistry between the two. Although they didn’t end up together in real life – Big B was married to Jaya Bachchan – they gave the audience memories in shape of songs from their joint ventures. As Rekha turns 62 and Amitabh 75 on 10th and 11th October respectively, we celebrate their birthdays with 15 songs that featured the magical pair.
Pyar Ke Rang Se (Anand Kumar C & Asha Bhosle, Kasme Vaade – 1977)
Surprisingly, RD Burman chose to plagiarize a hit Pakistani song from Talash (1976) for this song that could be termed as Rekha’s first and only item song with Amitabh Bachchan. The film featured Big B in a double role of a Professor and a Criminal – the Professor plans to get married to Raakhee while the Criminal visits Rekha – a Courtesan – after getting a job done.
Salaam e Ishq Meri Jaan (Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, 1978)
The setting is the same however here, Sikandar loves Zorabai and visits her often to forget his problems. This mujra song composed Kalyanji – Anandji is still popular amongst youngsters because of the electric chemistry between the leads – Amitabh and Rekha.
Pardesia (Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar, Mr. Natwarlal – 1979)
Amitabh and Rekha are at their very best in this Rajesh Roshan song where they dance their heart out and announce their love for each other. It has been 38 years since this film was released but it doesn’t look outdated at all.
Oonchi Oonchi Baaton Se (Lata Mangeshkar & Mohammad Rafi, Mr. Natwarlal – 1979)
The villains led by Amjad Khan were punishing the villagers for their insubordination when Big B helped them out using his ideas. When people thank him, he thanks God for the first time in the film, thus giving Rekha’s character all the more chance to dance with happiness.
Mere Paas Aao (Amitabh Bachchan, Mr. Natwarlal – 1979)
In Kabhi Kabhi, Amitabh Bachchan read a few lines of a song, giving Rajesh Roshan the idea of making him sing a song. The outcome was children’s favourite song from the 70s where Big B told them the story of a lion who nearly had him while he was searching for it. Rekha falls in love with Amitabh in this song, not knowing that in real-life the same thing will happen.
Atharaa Baras Ki Tu Hone (Lata Mangeshkar & Mohammed Rafi, Suhaag – 1979)
Laxmikant – Pyarelal used Mohammad Rafi as Amitabh’s voice instead of Kishore Kumar and the results were amazing; in this song, Lata and Rafi are at on top of their game and give you romantic goals with their picturization.
Teri Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle & Shailendra Singh, Suhaag – 1979)
This Laxmikant – Pyarelal song is still played in shaadis because of its bhangra beat and vocals – Amitabh and Rekha fit the role like a glove and despite the presence of Shashi Kapoor and Parveen Babi, they excelled as a pair.
Imtehaan Hai (Lata Mangeshkar, Suhaag – 1979)
Rekha’s character stops Amitabh’s from drinking and Laxmikant – Pyarelal help by composing a brilliant Lata number for Manmohan Desai. Watch the expressions of both the actors and get ready to be blown away!
Ik Din Sapne Main Dekha Sapna (Kishore Kumar, Golmaal – 1979)
Hrishikesh Mukherjee had a history with both Rekha and Big B; that’s one of the reasons why the 2 stars agreed to be part of this RD Burman composed song where Amol Palekar’s character tells his friends about his dream.
Yaar Ki Khabar Mil Gai (Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar, Raam Balraam – 1980)
Amitabh and Rekha don the Western outfits to confuse the villains in this Laxmikant – Pyarelal composition that looks like one from the last 10 years. Vijay Anand’s film didn’t do well at the box office but the soundtrack did wonders.
Humka Maafi Dai Do (Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar, Raam Balraam – 1980)
What was presented as a song where the boy asks the girl for forgiveness, Amitabh and Rekha’s chemistry took it to the next level! Not even Laxmikant – Pyarelal would have believed that their composition would do so well.
Dekha Ek Khwaab (Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar, Silsila – 1981)
Yash Chopra paired Big B and Rekha for the last time in 1981 for Silsila; the film is not only remembered for its soundtrack by Shiv – Hari but also due to the fact that the third party in this film was Jiya Bachchan, Amitabh’s wife in real life. In this song, the reel-life couple gets to be romantic in the beautiful meadows of Europe, paving way for more songs in Europe.
Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum (Amitabh Bachchan & Lata Mangeshkar, Silsila – 1981)
Shiv – Hari’s composition, Lata Mangeshkar’s vocals and Amitabh’s powerful rendition is the reason why Silsila is remembered as the film that featured this song.
Ladki Hai Ya Shola (Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar, Silsila – 1981)
Rekha was an accomplished dancer even before she came into films while Amitabh was the Alpha Male of Bollywood; when the two met, sparks flew and their characters fell in love during this song and dance routine.
Neela Aasmaan So Gaya (Amitabh Bachchan & Lata Mangeshkar, Silsila – 1981)
Both Amitabh and Lata rendered this Shiv – Hari composition in the film, however, the Lata one is more suited for Rekha’s birthday; audience still compare the two renditions although they both are great in their own rights/
Rang Barse (Amitabh Bachchan, Silsila – 1981)
This Holi number was pivotal in taking the story forward in Silsila as to the surprise of Rekha’s husband played by Sanjeev Kumar and Big B’s wife Jaya Bachchan, their better halves showed the confidence of lovers rather than strangers. Add Amitabh’s voice and you have a winner!