Evergreen actress Rekha turned 60 Friday and it was time to revisit some of the most popular songs picturised on the diva.
Here are the 10 best songs from her hit and not-so-hit movies:
"In aankhon ki masti": Take any of the sparkling royal gems from Muzaffar Ali's "Umrao Jaan", shake stir and serve...ummm! Khayyam's magical melody as sung by Asha Bhosle gave Rekha's on-screen image a new vision, vista and vibrancy.
"Salaam-e-ishq": Oh my god, what a whopping chartbuster! What would "Muqaddar Ka Sikandar" be without this Kalyanji-Anandji number? Rekha as the kothewali Zohra Bai in Prakash Mehra's mega-hit epitomised the Mujra culture ... That Amitabh Bachchan joined her in the dance aided the song's upswing.
"Tere bina jiya jaye na": If you watch "Ghar" now, you will realise it is an overrated film. What stood out were Lata Mangeshkar's melodies filmed on Rekha. You couldn't miss the songs. There was one every five minutes. From the two divine solos "Aaj kal paon zameen par" and "Tere bina" I choose the latter for its uptempo rhythm.
"Ghum hai kisike pyar mein dil subah-o-shaam": In this early R.D. Burman melody from "Rampur Ka Lakshman", Rekha acquired an image of absolute serenity and sobriety thanks to Anand Bakshi's uncluttured but lucid lyrics. It was a turning point in Rekha's career.
"Kaahe manwa naache hamra": A little known melody from Hrishikesh Mukherjee's flop film "Alaap" featuring Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan, this Lata Mangeshkar solo was the only solo composition by the great Jaidev that Rekha got to croon in her career.
"Pardesiya": Sometimes an evergreen hit just happens. A mediocre song like "Pardesia" from the film "Mr. Natwarlal" would have been forgotten under normal circumstances. But Rekha's frantic dancing with her favourite co-star made it one of her most iconic numbers.
"Kaayda kaayda": A zingy track about breaking rules from Rekha's most beloved film "Khubsoorat", "Kaayda kaayda" was sung in Rekha's own voice. Apparently, both composer R.D. Burman and director Hrishikesh Mukherjee insisted on it.
"Mann kyon behka ri behka aadhi raat ko": Laxmikant-Pyarelal's 'saheli' song featured Rekha singing in Lata Mangeshkar's voice looking super gorgeous and Anuradha Patel crooning in Asha Bhosle's voice matching the iconic Rekha gaze for gaze. This was a song that instantly flirted with fame.
"Mera saamaan lauta do": The tale of a woman, her unfaithful husband and the other woman, Gulzar's poetry was so evocative that while emoting Rekha just went with the flow.
"Jaane kaise beetegi yeh barsaaten maange huey din hain maange hui raatein": Lata, when she sang for Rekha, and Gulzar saab, when he wrote words for her ...there was magic in the air. I end my 10 favourite songs on the ageless diva's 60th birthday with this unknown melody from the film "Baseraa"...so wonderfully evocative that it makes us believe Rekha is indeed the Chosen One.