Many many evergreen melodies are attached to Rekha’s screen persona. The queen of all that she sur weighed , Rekha has the knack of owning every song that she sang on screen. Here are my favourite 5.
1. Lo sahib phir bhool gayi mein(Maati Maange Khoon): Out of the myriad mujras that that Rekha has performed on screen, this one is super-special , far more so than the over-rated Salaam-e-Ishq from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. In this moody nostalgic number composed by the great Rahul Dev Burman and sung with exquisite pain by Lata Mangeshkar Rekha’s expressions rather than her dancing said it all. Mesmerizing.
2. Ehsaas ka sauda hai jazbaat ki qeemat hai(Ek Naya Rishta): Rekha sang this Khayyam composition herself. But intriguingly she did not lip-sync the song! The soulful number about exploitative abusive relationships played in the background as Rekha emoted to the chiseled words silently.
3. Cham cham ritu barse(Barkha Bahaar): Of all the divine songs Rekha has put across on screen this Laxmikant-Pyarelal composition from one of her earliest films,remains the most unsung, underrated. In the lyrics the great poet Majroooh Sultanpuri compares the forlornness of a woman to the solitary movement of the rain creating a cascading compendium of passion and pain.Lata Mangeshkar at her best.And that’s saying a lot.
4. Yeh mausam aaya hai kitne saalon mein(Aakraman): Rekha’s Ghum hai kisike pyar mein from Rampur Ka Lakshman is rightly celebrated as a supreme love ballad. But this Lata-Kishore duet is no less an evocation of love during the time of poetry. Superbly composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal the song sees Rekha emotive powers soaring to the skies and beyond.
5. Justuju jisski thi usko toh na paya humnein(Umrao Jaan): The celebrated Asha Bhosle Mujras of Muzaffar Ali’s masterpiece are Dil cheez kya hai ,Inn aankhon ki masti ke and Yeh jageh hai doston. But listen! The real gem of the soundtrack is this relatively neglected number, so steeped in nostalgia it rewrites the definitions and boundaries of poetic expression on screen.