My ten favourite Sadhana songs
Today on your 71st birthday, wish you a happy birthday and many more to come, dear Sadhana! Thanks for the beautiful films and moments, which you have gifted us!
Sadhana, one of the Hindi screen’s beautiful leading ladies. She was a trend-setter in fashion, when nobody even knew this word. She was glamorous, beautiful and more importantly talented actress. Given the trend of the 60s, where the frothy musicals reigned supreme, she got ample scope to show her acting talents in variety of films. Bimal Roy, the ace-director cast her in Parakh (1960) and Prem Patra (1964). Raj Khosla made a trilogy of films with her in central roles Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967).
Her thyroid problem led to an eye ailment, which led to her going on a long treatment in the USA, due to which she was missed on many films. Her come-back films were Intequam (1969) and Ek Phool Do Mali (1969) were hits. The 70s even saw her don the cap of the director for Geeta Mera Naam (1974). The changing trends of the 70s saw her take retirement from the silver screen, though the 70s saw the release of delayed films like Amanat (1975), Vandana (1975) and Mehfil (1981). Her last film Ulfat ki Nayi Manzilein, whose music was released in 1968, got released in 1994. In the song here, we see how the film must have been completed with doubles, in the song, baharon se kahenge nazaroon se kahenge, we see only the back of the character played by her.
I have chosen only solo songs from her films and I have restricted myself to one song pro film.
1. o sajana barkha bahaar aayi – Parakh 
MD: Salil Chowdhury; Lyrics: Shailendra; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
The quintessential rain song! After Love in Simla, this was to be her second release as a leading lady in a film. In Love in Simla she gets transformed from a plain Jane to a glamorous lady. After seeing her glamorous avatar, Bimal Roy nearly wanted to drop her from Parakh, but she managed to convince him to cast her in the role of a village postman’s daughter. This portrayal was a big success and the rest as they say is history.
2. tera mera pyar amar – Asli Naqli 
MD: Shankar-Jaikishan; Lyrics: Shailendra; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Just like in Parakh, she again got a role as a simple working middle-class girl living in a chawl. She plays the character of Renu, who helps the poor by teaching their kids in the evening. Dev Anand plays the heir to a fortune, who forsakes his wealth and goes in search of true love. As is often the case brings thus misfortune to himself and others. Thanks to the tight direction of Hrishikesh Mukherjee it doesn’t become too melodramatic.
3. main to tum sang nain milake haar gayi sajana – Manmauji 
MD: Madan Mohan; Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
From one simple girl to the other. Sadhana gets to play a vegetable-seller, living in a slum. The story though revolves more around Kishore Kumar and Naaz, who plays his sister. Sadhana plays Kishore Kumar’s love interest. His habit of telling lies gets on the nerves of his near and dear ones, since they are the ones who suffer more from it. This is Sadhana’s first movie with the musical score by Madan Mohan. They would work together in two more movies.
4. naina barse rimjhim rimjhim – Woh Kaun Thi 
MD: Madan Mohan; Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Woh Kaun Thi was the first in the trilogy of films with Raj Khosla as a director. When I was small, I grew up with the opinion that this must be one fantastic film, since all my aunts were raving about it. But now the general opinion in the blogosphere seems to be against it. I have never seen the film, so I don’t have an opinion, but the songs are great. I was vacillating between naina barse or jo hamne dastan sunayi. Don’t ask me what made me decide for naina barse? Sadhana looks good as a ghost as well!
5. kaun aaya ki nigaahon me chamak jaag uthi – Waqt 
MD: Ravi; Lyrics: Sahir; Singer: Asha Bhosle
She is anything but a ghost in Waqt. Charming the heads off of two brothers with her beauty, though to be fair to her she is in love with only one of them. And this very song is the one, which creates the misunderstanding, which makes one of the brother (Raaj Kumar) believe that this song is being sung for him, while it is meant for another one (Sunil Dutt).
6. naino me badra chahe – Mera Saaya 
MD: Madan Mohan; Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
What a seductive number! The second part of the trilogy with Raj Khosla finds Sadhana playing not a ghost this time, but all the same quite an elusive personality. Caught a part of a dacoit gang, she claims to be the wife of a renowned lawyer, who has just lost his wife. How can that be possible? An interesting and enthralling mystery-thriller! Do watch it!
7. kareeb aa yeh nazar phir mile – Anita 
MD: Laxmikant-Pyarelal; Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
I don’t know what made Raj Khosla change his music director after having such a fruitful association with him. In the third and last part of the trilogy Madan Mohan is replaced by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. They haven’t done a bad job, but I always think, what would have Madan Mohan done.
Sadhana gets to play again a mystery woman, who is dead but not.
8. o mere bairaagi bhanwara – Ishq Par Zor Nahin 
MD: S. D. Burman; Lyrics: Anand Bakshi; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Sadhana gets the opportunity to be romanced by two men once again. This time by Dharmendra and Biswajeet, who are good friends. Although it looks from the video as if she were playing the elusive lady again, she in fact plays the muse of the engineer-cum-poet character played by Dharmendra. I had read somewhere that Biswajeet produced this film, but imdb credits this to Suresh Saigal.
This is the only Sadhana film, to have music by S. D. Burman.
9. suniye zara dekhiye na – Geeta Mera Naam 
MD: Laxmikant-Pyarelal; Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
The seduction train rolls ahead, and in this song the object of seduction is Feroz Khan. Sadhana’s umpteenth double role. She must be holding the record for maximum double roles in Hindi films. Evidently she plays here the ‘bad’ twin sister, after all good women don’t go about seducing men! By the way, won’t you also like to see a Hindi movie for a change, where both the twins are bad or both are good or both are… whatever!
10. aap ki inayaten aap ke karam – Vandana 
MD: Ravi; Lyrics: Asad Bhopali; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
After having played Balraj Sahni’s wife (mind you a platonic wife) in Ek Phool Do Mali, she gets the chance to romance his son Parikshit Sahni, who in the publicity during the launch of the film was called Ajay Sahni.
Sadhana was to have starred in a film called Picnic with Guru Dutt, which got shelved after his death. A song has survived, which is quite nice. It is kitna rangeen hai ye chaand sitaaron ka samaa. Another film with Dev Anand also didn’t see the light of the day and that was Saajan Ki Galiyan, which also starred Nargis’ niece and the then-flame of Dev Anand, Zaheeda. Two songs seem to have survived, hamne jin ke khwab sajaye and hum khoob jante hai.
Once again, Happy Birthday Sadhana!
Enjoy the playlist here!