At the recent HUM Showcase, Khadijah Shah sent her models down the ramp to the strains of romantic 90’s hit Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin and it got us all nostalgic for the romantic Bollywood songs of the 80’s and 90’s. So of course, we put aside legit work to rifle through our music collections to put together a definitive list of the most romantic Bollywood songs of the late 80s and 90s.

Bollywood romances hit a purple patch in the late 80s and early 90s – helped in part by soulful, hummable soundtracks – this was the era of hits like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Aashiqui, Maine Pyar Kya and DDLJ which launched stars such as Amir Khan, Salman Khan, Joohi Chawla, Kajol and Shahrukh Khan. This was around the time the incomparable Lata Mangeshkar warbled her last tunes for film but there was plenty of other talent including Kumar Sanu, responsible for many of these unforgettable songs, and playback singers like Alka Yagnik, Anuradha Paduwal and Udit Narayan. With so many gorgeous songs to choose from it was difficult to pick our top ten but these are the ones we just couldn’t leave out. Which are your faves and which ones do you think we missed? (oh and we stuck to the early 90s because there’s so many great songs from later in the decade too – but that’s a post for another day)

1. Ay Mere Humasafar

Film: Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak

Playback Singers: Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik

This is the ultimate tune for two people in love who’ve ever been apart – nothing like yearning for “Ek Zara Intezaar” … and how cute, natural and YOUNG do Amir Khan and Juhi Chawla look? We’re falling in love with them both all over again!

2. Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin

Film: Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin

Playback Singers: Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal

The song that set us off on this trip down memory lane – one of the most romantic songs ever from one of our most favourite films ever. It’s a remake of an old Hollywood classic “it happened one night” which was also remade by Raj Kumar and Nargis. Love everything about this movie except poor Pooja Bhatt’s non-existent lip-syncing skills. But we even forgive that because it’s just such a cute movie.

3. Dil Deewana

Film: Maine Pyar Kiya

Playback Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Omg how young does Salman Khan look and 🙈his wardobe! In fact everyone’s clothes except that classic yellow sari worn by Bhagyashree ( and no we can’t think of another film she was in either). And the choreography does Salman Khan no favours at all but how mesmerising is Lata’s voice? Pure gold!

4. Ab Tere Bin Jeelenge Hum

Film: Aashiqui

Playback Singer:  Kumar Sanu

The 1990 film Aashiqui was full of the most romantic songs ever – from Nazar Ke Samne and Mein Duniya Bhuladunga to Tu Meri Zindagi hai. This classic post-break-up number just had to make the cut.

5. Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi

Film: Aashiqui

Playback Singer:  Kumar Sanu

So of course we couldn’t narrow it down to just one song from Aashiqui – this is another one of our faves. Don’t tell us you never sang along to this one!

6. Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam

Film: Dilwale Dulhaniya LeJayenge

Playback Singers: Lata Mangeshkar and Kumar Sanu

DDLJ was THE romantic film of the 1990s and this scene in blooming mustard fields is hard-wired into every 90’s teenagers memory.

7. Pehla Nasha

Film: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander

Playback Singers: Udit Narayan, Sadhana Sargam, Sanam

Is there another song that captures that fizzy feeling of first love better? Or a video that captures the folly of first love? Simply brilliant – and yes it’s Amir Khan again… you may have guessed we have a thing about him!

8. Ek Ladki ko Dekha

Film: 1942 – A Love Story

Playback Singer:  Kumar Sanu

Despite Anil Kapoor’s red silk pyjamas (now there’s an image we want to unsee) – this is one of the most beautiful songs of the 90s – the music, the picturisation and of course the poetic lyrics. Those lyrics that melt our hearts every single time!

9. Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai

Film: Saajan

Playback Singers:  Kumar Sanu and Alha Yagnik

Cringey choreography but that the song has soul – especially to anyone who ever became tongue-tied around their crush and remembers being unable to express their feelings!

10. Mujhe Neend Na Aaye

Film: Dil

Playback Singers:  Anuradha Paudwal, Udit Narayan

Definitely one to listen to rather than watch – the costumes and picturisation are 🙈🙈🙈 – poor Madhuri Dixit and Amir Khan but what a lovely song!

 

Salima Feerasta
Author

Salima Feerasta is chief editor of Karachista.com and one of Pakistan's top fashion and lifestyle journalists.

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