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When you hear the word 'Manoj Kumar', you immediately get reminded of films with patriotic themes. Though the actor displayed his acting prowess in movies belonging to different genres, it was films like Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Upkar, Purab Aur Paschim and others which earned him the moniker of 'Bharat Kumar'. Born on 24th July, 1937 as Harikrishna Giri Goswami in Abbottabad, a town of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which was a part of India before partition, Manoj landed his first break in the Hindi film industry in a cameo in Fashion (1957) where he played the role of a beggar.
An ardent fan of Dilip Kumar, he changed his name to Manoj Kumar which was Dilip Sab's character name in Shabnam. The actor landed his first leading role in Kaanch Ki Gudia (1960). On former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's request, Manoj Kumar made Upkaar which earned him a Filmfare Award for Direction.
Today on his 81st birthday, we bring you 5 best songs of Manoj Kumar that's worth a listen-
Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma Hai (Shor)
With captivating lyrics, soulful music and Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar's beautiful vocals, this song from Manoj Kumar starrer Shor is just what you need to pep up a drab day.
Bharat Ka Rehnewala Hoon (Purab Aur Paschim)
This track from Purab Aur Paschim picturized on Manoj Kumar and Saira Banu makes every Indian proud with its lyrics.
Main Na Bhoolunga (Roti Kapda Aur Makaan)
Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh once again weave magic in this song from Roti Kapda Aur Makaan and is an integral part of the narrative of the film.
Bol Mere Taqdeer Mein Kya Hai (Hariyali Aur Raasta)
A romantic song with a philosophical touch! ' Jeevan ke do pehlo hai hariyali aur raasta'- the haunting lyrics leave a lasting impression.
Mere Desh Ki Dharti (Upkar)
Any Independence/Republic day celebration is incomplete without this song which makes your heart swell with love and pride for the nation.