Friday, February 13, 2009

Saira Banu in the 60s.

Saira Banu in the 60s.

Saira Banu is still considered to be one of the beauty-queens of the 60s. Bollywood films had very serious competition in that era. In respect of major actresses, different types of skills were exhibited in bollywood films in those days, including the classical dancing skills displayed by Vaijayantimala, Rajashree, Padmini, Asha Parekh and others, the versatile acting skills displayed by Meena Kumari, Wahida Rehman, the modernized performances displayed by Mumtaz, and others, to name a few.

In that era, Saira Banu came up with her distinct style and identity. Her carefree attitude in films and supreme screen-presence created a special interest among producers and directors to cast her opposite leading stars of bollywood. She started her career in style with the film Junglee opposite Shammi Kapoor. The excellent music of Shankar Jaikishan created added attraction for viewers with Rafi and Lata’s songs like “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar”, “meri yaar shabba khair”, etc.

Saira Banu formed a fantastic pair with Jubilee Kumar Rajender Kumar in the 60s. All their films ended up with silver jubilees. The films Ayee Milan Ki Bela, Aman and Jhuk Gaya Aasman, had fantastic locations, beautiful music and romantic stories. Most of the songs of these films composed by Shankar Jaikishan became landmarks in Indian musical history. The successful songs of Rafi and Lata include “aha aye milan ki bela”, “tum khamseen ho”, “o sanam tere ho gaye hum”, “o priya, kaun hai jo sapno me aya”, “kahan chal diye”, “surahidar garden”, “to bura maan gaye”, to name a few. Saira Banu gave excellent lips in the respective songs in these films.

In 1967, Saira Banu acted opposite Raj Kapoor in the comedy film Diwana. Again Shankar Jaikishan’s songs for Mukesh mainly became extremely popular including “diwana mujhko log kahe”, “tumhare bhi jai jai”, “aye sanam jisne tujhe chaand sa surat di hai”, “pate ka baat kahega”, “humto jate apne gaon”, etc. Saira Banu played the role of a rich girl and adapted herself in the romantic role.

She was sublime opposite Joy Mukherjee in the film Shagird and Biswajeet in the film April Fool. Both these films had fantastic music of Shankar Jaikishan and Laxmikant Pyarellal and songs of Rafi and Lata including “woh hai zara, khafa khafa”, “a gale lag ja”, “april fool banaya”, etc.

After marrying Dilip Kumar Saira Banu acted in films opposite him like Sagina, Gopi, Bairaag, etc. Most of these films were made in 70s and by that Saira Banu was not that impressive as in the 60s.

Whenever the viewers recall their romantic experiences in 60s, the beauty-queens appearance in films like Pyar Mohabbat opposite Dev Anand, Parosan opposite Sunil Dutt, etc., still haunts them. The films should be preserved for those reasons.

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