'Suhana Safar': Remembering Dilip Kumar through his iconic songs

Not just tragedy, Dilip Kumar handled with elan both comedy and romance


Dilip Kumar, one of Bollywood's most iconic actors breathed his last on Wednesday. Known for his method acting in a wide variety of roles, Dilip Kumar was the 'tragedy king' of Indian cinema. Not just tragedy, Kumar handled with elan both comedy and romance.

A tribute to the legendary actor through memorable songs from his films:

Ude jab jab zulfein teri (Naya Daur, 1957): This evergreen number was sung by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle. Featuring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala, the film is set in the post-Independece period when industrialisation was slowly creeping in. The plot revolves around tongawallahs who transport people on tongas (horse carts). Dilip Kumar essays a tongawallah, who fights against a landlord's son who begins to operate a bus service in town. With songs and dance numbers set in the vibrant rural background, Naya Daur was a visual treat. All the songs were composed by O. P. Nayyar and the lyrics were penned by Sahir Ludhianvi.

Suhana safar aur yeh mausam (Madhumati, 1958): Sung by Mukesh, the song features a charming  Dilip Kumar taking a stroll through nature—trees, hills and waterfalls. With music by Salil Chowdhary, the film includes other melodious numbers, too, which are perennial hits.

Madhuban mein Radhika nache re (Kohinoor, 1960): Tragedy king Dilip Kumar and tragedy queen Meena Kumari came together in this fairy-tale-of-sorts featuring princes and princesses. This mellifluous number from Mohammad Rafi again also features a mesmerising dance performance by Meena Kumari. It is said the perfectionist that Dilip Kumar was, he learnt to play the sitar before filming Kohinoor. It is hard to miss that part in the song sequence where the ace actor flexes his fingers over the stringed instrument.

Pyaar kiya toh darna kya (Mughal-e-azam, 1960): One of the most opulent classics of Hindi cinema, the film saw Dilip Kumar in one of the most iconic roles of his career—the suave prince Salim bewitched by the court dancer Anarkali (Madhubala). The epic historical drama broke all box office records and was the highest grossing film for almost 16 years. This song which is a timeless hit, also has an interesting story to go with it. It is said the song was rewritten over 100 times by lyricist Shakeel Badayuni before it was approved by music director Naushad. The song was shot in the renowned Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors). In those days of poor sound recording and mixing, Naushad made Lata Mangeshkar sing the song in a studio bathroom to bring out the reverberation of sound.

Mujhe duniya walo sharabi na samjho (Leader, 1964): This number sung by Mohammad Rafi, features Dilip Kumar, looking dapper in a suit. In the song, he matches steps with Vyjayantimala who plays the female lead in the film. The film with music composed by Naushad and lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni, is also known for the patriotic song Apni azadi ko hum hargis mita nahin sakte.

Imli ka boota (Saudagar, 1991): This lovely number sung by Sudesh Bhonsle and Mohammad Aziz, brings forth a chemistry and camaraderie between veteran actors Dilip Kumar and Raj Kumar. The film brought together the two icons for a second time after the 1959 film Paigham. The music for the film was composed by the legendary duo of Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and the lyrics were written by Anand Bakshi.