Manisha Koirala @ 50: The actress’s 13 most loved 90s songs


With a career spanning over 30 years, Manisha Koirala can arguably be called one of the most beautiful actresses who has the ability to light up the screen with her smile like no other. She’s worked with so many great actors over the years, with performances and roles which were very often ground-breaking at the time of a film’s release.

As the actress turns 50, looks back at the songs the actress was a part of in the 90s which will remain evergreen – and there are many!

Ilu Ilu – ‘Saudagar’ (1991)
The Ilu Ilu song was undoubtedly a rage when ‘Saudagar’ released and so were other songs in the album. Koirala was paired with Vivek Mushran in the film and it was an innocent love story which began with this song, almost. For those who may not know of this song, it is a long one at nine minutes in total and “Ilu” was an abbreviation of “I Love You”. The song sees Koirala in the conventional big hair look which 90s actresses are known for.

Diwani Diwani – ‘First Love Letter’ (1991)
Mushran and Koirala were seen not long after their launch in ‘Saudagar’ in ‘First Love Letter’. The song from this album which stands out is Diwani Diwani. You only need to watch it once to understand how melodious, catchy and romantic it is. However, the tune also held much significance in the story. Koirala’s chaniya choli looks were absolutely to die for in this film and they are there for all to see in this song, along with her elegant dancing and beautiful smile.

Pyar Hua Chupke Se – ‘1942: A Love Story’ (1994)
‘1942: A Love Story’ had an album that is remembered fondly even today, over 20 years later. However, the song Pyar Hua Chupke Se is the one that many will remember for Koirala specifically. The yellow dupatta with the white salwaar kameez, the smiling Koirala singing away – with Kavita Krishnamoorthy’s vocals – on a swing. It had a carefree and innocent feel to it and a feel of a young woman falling love. It’s Koirala’s simplicity which stands out in the picturisation.

Tu Mile Dil Khile – ‘Criminal’ (1995)
‘Criminal’, when released in Hindi in 1995, after it had already released in Telugu in 1994, had one of the songs that became one of Koirala’s most popular romantic ones. Paired with Nagarjuna, the song sees the couple marrying and coming into their house together. It also gives a hint of another woman who is in love with Nagarjuna’s character in the mix. Tu Mile Dil Khile is arguably one of the most loved songs from the 90s.

Kehna Hi Kya – ‘Bombay’ (1995)
Koirala was paired with Arvind Swamy in ‘Bombay’ which was the Hindi version of a Tamil film. The song Kehna Hi Kya sees Koirala dancing at a pre-wedding event, having just caught eyes with a man she thinks she’s in love with. She escapes from the performance when she sees him and then eventually dances right in front of him. The Hindi lyrics indicate a feeling of restlessness associated with falling in love, sung beautifully by K S Chitra with lyrics by Mehboob. With a composition by AR Rahman, you can’t often go wrong.

Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya – ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’ (1995)
Yet another love song which Koirala is remembered for is this one. Her character is learning music from Aamir Khan’s and they start singing this song as they are both getting to know one another. It’s mellow and the classic Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik combination. Koirala’s simplicity in the song in both attire and expression makes it a sweet watch on screen.

O Yaara Dil Lagana – ‘Agni Sakshi’ (1996)
It’s a solo track which Koirala is performing on the stage and it was a relatively popular song when the film released back in 1996. Although the shaky dance moves may not have aged particularly well for O Yaara Dil Lagana, it’s still a song one can sway along to even now. Koirala’s beauty and grace is there for all to see and her hero Jackie Shroff is rightfully mesmerised in the audience.

Telephone Dhun – ‘Hindustani’ (1996)
With AR Rahman reworking a popular Ace of Base track, the Tamil original of this song was a big hit. However, when it was then converted into Hindi, it also managed a successful run. Koirala is seen with Kamal Haasan in the song, and the lyrics are interesting to say the least. Many may not remember this one as one of Koirala’s most memorable but anyone who lived in the time this Hindi soundtrack released will remember the craze.

Yeh Dil Sun Raha Hai – ‘Khamoshi: The Musical’ (1996)
The soundtrack of ‘Khamoshi: The Musical’ is definitely evergreen with compositions and lyrics which remain popular. The song Yeh Dil Sun Raha Hai is one that many will remember for it’s meaning both in the film and as a standalone track. Koirala is seen singing in a studio arena with Salman Khan watching on. She plays the daughter of deaf and mute parents and they come to see her perform. It is a hugely emotional song and even though they can’t hear her, their feelings are evident. Fabulous performances by Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas.

Mere Khwaabon Mein Tu – ‘Gupt: The Hidden Truth’ (1997)
It’s a love triangle song in ‘Gupt’ was this one, with both Kajol and Koirala pining for Bobby Deol. In this song, Koirala is seen with Deol in the sand dunes, dressed in a lovely blue lehenga. The song was indeed a hit, along with the rest of the soundtrack but it seems to be this song which stands out among all the others.

Satrangi Re – ‘Dil Se..’ (1998)
AR Rahman, Sonu Nigam and Kavita Krishnamurthy and with Shah Rukh Khan and Koirala on screen. It’s a junoon-filled song which you can’t help sway to when you listen but on screen the passion between Koirala and Khan is definitely relivable over and over. Koirala’s costumes were elegant but extravagant and her simple look really helps the viewer just focus on her expressions more.

Tere Bin Nahin Jeena Mar Jaana – ‘Kachche Dhaage’ (1999)
Although a reworking of a popular Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan track, Tere Bin Nahin Jeena was a popular one from ‘Kachche Dhaage’. It was sung by the legendary Lata Mangeshkar and sees Koirala pining for her love, played by Ajay Devgn. Koirala looks stunning walking in the snow in a yellow lehenga and in the memories the song goes into with them both together, her traditional but modern looks complimented her beauty.

Tinak Tin Tana – ‘Mann’ (1999)
‘Mann’, arguably, was one of Koirala’s most celebrated roles where she played a woman who becomes physically disabled due to an accident. This puts a spanner in the works of her love story. The whole album was a popular one but Tinak Tin Tana is one of the most joyous songs in the film. It’s the happy song when both her character and Aamir Khan’s character are getting ready to meet one another, knowing they feel how they do about one another. would like to wish Manisha Koirala a very happy 50th birthday.

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