A stormy night. A young couple away from the prying eyes of the world. Romance and passion heat up as the lumber burns slowly in fireplace. A sweeping accordion sparks off the current and Kishore Kumar’s soft and sensuous vocals ignite the scene with Roop Tera Mastana, Pyar Mera Deewana, Bhool Koi Hum Se Na Ho Jaaye.
S.D.Burman’s brilliant music, Kishore’s magnetic macho vocals and director Shakti Samanta’s subtle, sensitive portrayal of that smoldering screen passion between Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore have made this Aradhana (1969) song, one of the most evocative songs of all time.
Kishore Kumar – who till then usually only gave playback voice for himself and Dev Anand - took quite some time to agree to sing in this film for newcomer actor Rajesh Khanna. The actor still remembers how Kishore called him over to his place and questioned him for a long time before saying ‘Yes’. Says Rajesh with a wry smile, “Only after this grueling grilling was over, he asked me – tea or coffee?” That was Kishore’s unique way of testing the newcomer’s potential.
Often it has been speculated that Roop Tera Mastana was composed by Pancham and not by Sachinda but that’s not true. Amit Kumar told an interesting tale of the genesis of this tune. He says, “Baba (Kishore Kumar) took me for the rehearsal of this song. As we reached Sachinda’s residence, we saw Shakti-da (Shakti Samant) and Panchamda sitting around Sachinda- all with long faces. Sachinda had composed a folksy Bhatiyali-style tune for the song, which was not jelling with the situation and the veteran composer was adamant that he wouldn’t change the tune at any cost. Panchamda took my father aside and requested him to find some solution. Baba thought for a moment and suggested to Sachinda, ‘Let’s use your old tune again with a modern touch.’ Then Baba sang Sachinda’s old Bengali song from the forties- Ektu Pode Shashurbadi, Diye Jabo Ghoda Gaadi and everyone including Sachinda agreed immediately that this was the tune they were looking for!
Aradhana songs - Roop tera mastana along with Mere Sapnon Ki Rani and Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera, played major role in making Rajesh Khanna a superstar and sent Kishore’s singing stock rocketing sky high. Kishore’s voice and Rajesh’s screen persona were made for each other and the pair gave us some of the most memorable songs of all time.
The ruling playback king Mohammed Rafi, who had earlier even sung for Kishore in few films, soon had to vacate the throne for new emperor. The wheel of fortune had turned a full circle with this song. Kishore era had begun.