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Serenading forever - Shammi Kapoor

But in that year, S-J also resounded at the charts with the formidable Rajkumar. Shailendra's 'Jaanewalo zaraa hoshiyaar...' and the uniquely-styled 'Dilruba dil pe tu...' (with Asha) with the sound of the whip vied with Hasrat's peaens of passion for Sadhana in 'Iss rang badalti duniya mein...' and 'Tumne kisiki jaan ko...'.

Changing roles from a Rajkumar to a Janwar was all in the day's work for the stylized Shammi Kapoor. And S-J backed him up yet again with timeless tunes like 'Lal chhadi maidan khadi...' (Shailendra), 'Dekho ab to...' (with Asha, Balbir and S.D.Batish/Shailendra) and two very different yet intense winners, 'Tumse accha kaun hai...' (later to be the title of a 1969 Shammi hit!) and 'Meri mohabbat jawan rahegi...'. And in 1966, Shammi and his music team mischievously played on the title Janwar too with their frothy title-song 'Budtameez kaho ya kaho jaanwar...' (Hasrat)!

By this time, S-J and Shammi were so inseparable that no other music director was even considered for the actor. But the shrewd Nasir Husain,who had gleaned enough of Shammi's musical tastes and acumen by allowing him the freedom to choose his music from the Tumsa Nahin Dekha days, got the then-daisy-fresh volcano of talent R.D.Burman to compose tunes and made the musical Kapoor listen with the rider that if Shammi did not approve, his Vijay Anand thriller would go to S-J.

Shammi heard - with immense initial scepticism - and the rest was history as R.D., still three years away from big-time, smashed into fame with songs like 'Deewana mujhsa nahin...', the innovative 'Dekhiye saahibo...' and the famous trio of Asha-Rafi duets 'Aaja aaja main hoon pyar tera...', 'O haseena zulfon wali...' and of course 'O mere sona re...', all written inimitably by Majrooh for Teesri Manzil.

Two songs from Laat Saheb - the rambunctious 'Savere wali gaadi se chale jayenge...' (Shailendra) and 'Ae chand zaraa chhup jaa...' (with Asha/Shailendra).

By then S-J had split, and Shammi despite his personal friendship with Jaikishan, knew the stuff Shankar was made of not to sideline him altogether. French songs thus went on to form the framework of what many consider to be Shankar-Jaikishan's finest work-ever for Shammi - An Evening In Paris.

This crime thriller was studded with exotic locales and an ooh-la-la Sharmila Tagore in a good-'n'-evil dual role, and the master composers rose splendidly - if separately - to the occasion with sheer exotica like 'Akele akele kahaan jaa rahe ho...', 'Deewano ka naam to pooncho...', 'Aasmaan se aaya farishta...' (whose popularity reached the skies thanks also to the vocal coquetry of a swimsuit-clad Sharmila!) and Shailendra's twin duets 'Mera dil hai tera...' and the placid Asha duet 'Raat ke humsafar...'.

Shammi's frenzied choreography and the consequent injuries and medications, coupled with his devastation at wife Geeta Bali's premature death had made the trim leading man put on weight. It was not yet time to quit, but to go a shade mature with Brahmchari. And so as a foster-father to a bunch of kids,the dashing romantic idol of millions sang out his feelings to kids rather than beauties in two diametrically-opposite songs, Shailendra's boisterous 'Chakke pe chakka...' and heartfelt lullaby 'Main gaaoon tum so jaao...'. Hasrat Jaipuri's master-stroke 'Dil ke jharonkhe mein...' (yet another future title) and the super-zingy 'Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche...' (with Suman/Rajendra Krishan) saw him belt out his heart respectively to Rajashree and the oomph-laden Mumtaz.

The 'mature' and the quintessential Shammi blended in Tumse Accha Kaun Hai as Shammi traversed a gamut from 'Kiss...kisko pyar karoon...' to the philosophical and secular 'Ganga meri maa ka naam...', both penned by the wonderful Rajendra Krishan as Shailendra's replacement complement to Hasrat Jaipuri in Shammi-land. Hasrat was there of course, in two sterling numbers, 'Janam janam ka saath...' and 'Rangat teri surat si...' (with Lata).

Later that year, Shammi became a blue-blooded character again, in Prince. though the film was a disaster at the box-office, it boasted of a cavalcade of hits, led by the immortal 'Badan pe sitare...' (Hasrat) and that connoisseurs' choice - 'Madhosh hawa matwali fiza...' (Farukh Kaiser). In keeping with Shammi's predilections for Western jazz-n-rock, this was a brilliant reworking - without being a copy! - of the title-track of the classic Hollywood comedy Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines.

In Pagla Kahin Ka it was time for Manna Dey to step in with the Shammi-as-loony act in 'Mere bhains ko danda kyoon mara...', with Rafi shouldered the sonorous 'Tum mujhe yoon bhula na paaoge...' (both Hasrat).

1971 saw Shammi close shop finally as a hero, but he went with a bang with Andaz and its cult numbers by Hasrat Jaipuri, like 'Hai na bolo bolo...' (with Suman Kalyanpur, Sushma Shrestha and Pratibha), 'Sun lo sunata hoon...' (with Mala) and the Beatles-adapted 'Dil usse do jo jaan de de...' with its simple, yet amazing philosophy.

When Shammi returned as a character artiste with Manoranjan, he did much more - he also made his debut as director. With Jaikishan gone, he remembered Pancham from Teesri Manzil, and the composer gave a sledgehammer of a score, from which we choose 'Goyake chunaanche...' because it is the only song director Shammi ever filmed on himself, with Manna Dey as his voice, Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar singing for lead pair Zeenat Aman and Sanjeev Kumar, and Anand Bakshi as lyricist. Shammi's only other film as director, Bundalbaaz (1977), saw Rafi (shockingly missing from Manoranjan) back , but as Rajesh Khanna's voice in 'Naghma hamara...' (with Lata/Majrooh).

To round off this landmark Shammi Kapoor album that would be a super-seller if it ever came out, we choose that piquant sole example of Rafi singing - in that same year 1977 - for another artiste in a Shammi Kapoor song, 'Hum premee prem karna jaane...' in Parvarish (Laxmikant-Pyarelal-Majrooh)! Shailendra Singh was the voice that went on the Kapoor, while Rafi went on Vinod Khanna, and Kishore Kumar on Amitabh Bachchan! Next would come Rafi's last song for the artiste who brought out his best - 'Naag devta...' (Shalimar/R.D.Burman-Anand Bakshi). And we conclude with two Kalyanji-Anandji-Anand Bakshi hits from Vidhaata, where Suresh Wadkar sang with Anwar-for-Dilip Kumar in 'Haathon ki chand lakeeron ka...' and Kishore Kumar with seven female playback voices for Padmini Kolhapure rocked the charts for Shammi just once in 'Saat saheliyaan...'. Screen India


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