Asymmetric Duets

August 21, 2017

Guest article by Subodh Agrawal

(I have often mentioned that duets, though far less in number than solo songs, present a fascinating variety of music. One variety is on account of the lesser known female singers getting a chance to sing with major playback singers like Rafi and Mukesh, and we are richer for that because we get some absolutely fabulous songs minus the Mangeshkar sisters. The other and, perhaps more interesting, variety is on account of the experimentation the music directors do in composition. On this blog there has been detailed discussion on a number of occasions about the duets in which one singer just hums, or has only a few words or just a couple of lines to sing. I developed a Duet Balance Index for analysing this kind of asymmetry in my post titled ‘Some thoughts on mathematical-taxonomic analysis of Hindi films and songs’. That dealt with what may be called ‘airtime asymmetry’. Another interesting asymmetry is ‘tune asymmetry’.

In this guest article, Subodh Agrawal takes a look at such asymmetric duets. I am sure readers will welcome his taking a break from classical songs. Thank you Subodh for another interesting and ‘different’ article. – AK)

I am taking a break from classical songs in films to write on this topic, which arose from a discussion on AK’s post on duets of Talat and Asha. Duets are common in Hindi film music. I don’t have the encyclopaedic knowledge of Mr Vaishnav, Mr Bhatia or Mr Venkataraman to do a detailed analysis, but my hunch is that male-female duets would account for about one third of all songs.

Music BalanceMost duets are, so to say, symmetric – in the sense that the two voices follow broadly the same rhythm and tune. There are a few, however, in which the two diverge but still complement each other. In some of the songs one of the singers plays a supportive role only. I have been able to locate the following songs fitting this criterion. I am sure the readers will come up with many more. I have tried to exclude songs in which the voices follow the same tune even for a part of the song – thus excluding beautiful songs like ‘Chaandni raatein pyar ki baaten’ and ‘Jaag dard-e ishq jaag.’ I have also excluded songs in which one singer appears just for a second or two – for example ‘Na samjhe wo anadi hai.’ For once I am going to be as tough in my selection as Anu Warrier!

1. Jai jagdish hare from Anandmath (1952) by Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt, music Hemant Kumar, lyrics Dashavatara Stotram from Gita Govind by Jaidev

As a child I often heard my parents talk of this song in glowing terms. It confused me, as I found nothing great in the popular aarti ‘Om jai jagdish hare’. Around the age of twelve or so, I managed to hear it on the radio – the reception was faint but it left an impression on me. I acquired my first record player as a post-grad student, and one of the first records I purchased was the EP ‘Devotional Songs from Films’ containing this one with three others – I don’t recall the other three. Today, in the age of YouTube, this gem is always available to us. I love the way Geeta Dutt’s voice fades in and out synchronously with Hemant Kumar’s interludes. Hemant’s deep rich voice is ideal for recitation of Sanskrit shlokas:

2. Mere jeevan mein aya hai kaun from Pyase Nain (1954) by Talat Mahmood and Asha Bhosle, music S K Paal, lyrics Wahid Qureshi:

This song was a discovery for me in the comments of Hans on AK’s post on duets Talat and Asha (Comment no. 32). AK commented on the asymmetric nature of this song, triggering the train of thought leading to this post. Asha doesn’t sing any words, she gives voice accompaniment – much in the manner of an instrumentalist supporting a singer. She’s done the same in three more songs in this list. Hemant Kumar has given similar support to her sister in the next song.

3. Peechhe peechhe aa kar from House No. 44 (1955) by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar, music SD Burman, lyrics Sahir Ludhianvi

Whenever I think of Dev Anand the image that flashes on my mind’s screen is of a song featuring him. His films are remembered mostly for the songs. He was the quintessential lover boy of that age and he is very much in his element here. Hemant kumar’s interjections fit the playful mood perfectly:

4. Mere ae dil bata from Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955) by Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey, music by Vasant Desai, lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri

Is this song a duet or a solo with a couple of interludes in a different voice? Anyway, it fits well in this list. Manna Dey comes in briefly towards the end:

5. Ja to se nahin bolun kanhaiya from Parivar (1956) by Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey, music Salil Chowdhary, lyrics Shailendra

The iconic Hindi film song in raga Hamsadhwani which figured in my first guest post on SoY. It is an adaptation of the famous ‘Vatapi ganapatim’ from Carnatic music composed by Muthuswami Dikshitar. Vatapi is the ancient name of Badami in north Karnataka, seat of the Chalukyas. The Vatapi Ganapati idol was taken from Badami to Uthrapathiswaraswamy temple near Tanjavur by Pallava rulers after defeating the Chalukyas in the seventh century:

6. Mera akele jiya kaise lage re piya from Inspector (1956) by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar, music by Hemant Kumar, lyrics SH Bihari

Another song in which Hemant gives vocal support to Lata. Hemant’s voice suits humming better than most other singers. He knew it and used it often in songs composed by himse like ‘Yeh nayan dare dare’ and ‘Tum pukar lo’:

7. Ye hansta hua caravan zindagi ka from Ek Jhalak (1956) by Hemant Kumar and Asha Bhosle, music Hemant Kumar, lyrics SH Behari

Asha doesn’t quite sing in this song, but makes a few mocking remarks through the song, but for a few snatches in which she goes lyrical. It must be for these snatches that Hemant opted for her, otherwise the actress playing it on screen could have done it equally well. This song almost got disqualified because at the end Hemant and Asha follow the same tune for a few seconds. I have exercised my privilege as the author to allow this relaxation:

8. O nigahein mastana from Paying Guest (1957), by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle, music by SD Burman, lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

The third song in this list in which Asha gives vocal support to the male singer. Dev Anand is again in his element as the lover boy. A discordant note, however, about Nutan. She is among my favourite actresses of her era, and one of the greatest of all time; yet she doesn’t quite fit this naughty and playful song. The sparkle in her eyes and the smile don’t feel spontaneous – as they do in songs of Madhubala, Geeta Bali or even Shyama:

9. Pyar par bas to nahin hai mera lekin phir bhi from Sone Ki Chidiya (1958) by Talat Mahmood and Asha Bhosle, music by OP Nayyar, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi

One of the best songs of Talat Mahmood and Sahir Ludhianvi, with the singer’s gentle singing giving expression to the beautiful lyrics. Fourth song in this list where Asha plays a supporting role. The soft, contemplative mood of this song fits Nutan a lot better than the previous one:

10. Nain dwar se man mein wo aa ke from Sawan (1959) by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar, music Hansraj Bahal, lyrics Prem Dhawan

If I were to pick one song from this list as a representative, it would be this one. Mukesh’s voice acquires a sonorous gravity in the lower register and this has been exploited to the full by Hansraj Behl. To complement it he has let Lata’s voice fly freely to the upper octave. The combination works beautifully. For fans of multiple version songs the Lata solo version is appended to this video:

11. Main natkhat ek kali from Do Behnen (1959) by Lata and Mangeshkar(!), music by Vasant Desai, lyrics Pradeep

Ancient Rome had a complicated political system. At the top they had two Consuls elected for one year. In theory the two had equal powers, in practice it usually didn’t work that way. In 59 BC Julius Gaius Caesar and Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus were elected as Consuls and Caesar dominated his partner to the extent that it is remembered as the Consulate of Julius and Caesar. That’s the inspiration for the title of this entry in the list.

Technically it is not a duet. But Lata switches from one tempo to the other so effortlessly that a listener who doesn’t already know would take it as a duet by two singers with similar voices. I wonder if the song was recorded as one, or as two separate ones which were later spliced together:

12. Zaban-e yaar man turqi from Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962) by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle, music OP Nayyar, lyrics Shevan Rizvi

Although the advent of films meant the decline of theatre, many films have used stage settings to carry forward their stories. There could be a post, maybe there is already one done by Madhu or Anu, on stage songs. OP Nayyar was the master of rhythm and in this song he uses variations in rhythm very effectively.

I have come across the line ‘Zaban-e yaar man turqi’ in some Sufi programs. Does someone know the original context in which it occurs?

13. Zindagi ittefaq hai from Aadmi aur Insaan (1969) by Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor, music Ravi, lyrics Sahir Ludhianvi

This song occurs in two versions – a female solo, and this one in which a moping Dharmendra provides a contrast to Mumtaz’s exuberance:

That’s all I could find without grossly violating my own criteria. Readers are invited to add their own. It strikes me that all songs in this list are very good, some of them being all time greats. Is it because composers put in extra effort in songs like these, or simply because it is easier to recall better songs. The forum is open now.

{ 147 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mehfil Mein Meri August 21, 2017 at 9:41 am

hello AKji,
one song I can add……….
Thoda Sa dil Lagake dekh from mufasirkhana

Mere khwabon mein khayalon mein from honeymoon 1960

there would be many to add to,

2 AK August 21, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Both fit perfectly accoring to me. But Subodh has to approve.

3 Rakesh Srivastava August 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Most of the good songs falling in this category have already been covered with nice write-ups. To my immediate memory, this song is flashing. I am not sure if it qualifies the subject category :
Badalon Ki Palki Mein Chand Ki Ayee Baarat
Film–Jalti Nishani (1957), Lata–Mukesh

4 Gaddeswarup August 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Another though some dispute the identity of the female singer

5 Gaddeswarup August 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm

One from Hariharbhakti, though there is some dispute about the identity of the female singer. Galatians gets less than a minute in a song over 3 minutes

6 Dinesh K Jain August 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Subodh – and AK,

Kudos and thanks; I enjoyed the blog, and f course the eminent selection of the songs.

7 KB August 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Really enjoyable experience with an unusual topic and some excellent songs to support the theme!

8 D P Rangan August 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm

I am bowled over by the selection of songs and also the interpretation about this kind of duet, one singer major part and his/her partner either humming or just adding a line or two. Subodhji, an excellent post, far from routine. AK is certainly able to bring out the best from guest authors. He seems to have taken a back seat so far in this year with the flood of guest posts.

Subodhji, song No. 5 appears to be a normal duet. The male sings in the usual manner as a stage artist in support of dancer. In my view it does not fit with this theme in the strict sense of the term.

9 Ravindra Kelkar August 21, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Subodh ji,
Wonderful post. Enjoyed the songs too. There are numerous songs that fit into the scheme, which I am sure the SOY followers would post in due course of time.

10 AK August 21, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Thanks a lot for your compliments which are mainly due to Subodh.

DP Rangan,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. We have some excellent and very enthusiastic guest authors – and that includes you.

11 Subodh Agrawal August 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Anup (Mehfil Mein Teri) – both songs fit extremely well into the theme. Thanks a lot.

12 Anu Warrier August 21, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Ha! Thanks for the shout out, and the appreciation of the tough rules I impose on myself (and about which you crib). 🙂
Interesting idea for a post, Subodh, and so many of the songs I like in it, too.
The beginning of the Ek Musafir Ek Haseena duet is taken from a couplet written by Amir Khusrao that went thus:
Zaban-e-yar-e man Turkie, wa man Turkie nami danum,
Che khush boodi ‘gar boodi zabanash dar-dahane man.

For the purposes of the post, wouldTeri aankhon ke siva from Chirag qualify? Lata only comes in at the fag end of the song.

13 Arunkumar Deshmukh August 21, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Subodh ji,
Good novel theme.
Something different from the usual ones.
There are hundreds of such songs, but all may not be available.
Here is one uncommon song from Shri Ganesh janma-51, by Geeta and Manna Dey. Manna Dey gives only aalaaps-no words.
I hope it fits in the scheme…


14 SSW August 22, 2017 at 1:12 am

Nice write up Subodh. One of Madan Mohan’s immortal compositions , great drumming and percussion , lovely flute, all round orchestration and sound and Bombay…Bit part by Lata.

15 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:42 am

Thanks Rakesh Srivastava #3. The song linked by you is excellent and a new one for me. It seems to fit the criterion perfectly until the end when Mukesh follows the tune used by Lata in the refrain and Lata responds with a tune similar to his response. A near miss!

16 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:47 am

Thanks Mr Gaddeswarup. The song is beautiful and a new one for me, but it doesn’t fit. The tunes followed by the two singers have to be markedly different. Towards the end of the song the two voices follow the same tune.

17 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:49 am

Thanks Dinesh, KB and Ravindra Kelkar.

18 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:50 am

Thanks Mr DP Rangan. I would stick with song number 5, as the two voices do follow different, though complementary, tunes.

19 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:54 am

Thanks and welcome Anu. ‘Teri aankhon ke siva’ is an old favourite from college days, however it doesn’t fit as Lata follows the same tune. Asymmetry in time alone doesn’t qualify.

Thanks a lot for ‘Zaban-e yaar…’

20 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:58 am

Mr Deshmukh, the Geeta Dutt – Manna Dey song fits well into this theme. The tune of this song has become quite popular thanks to ‘Ambe tu ha jagdambe kaali’.

21 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 10:35 am

Lovely song SSW, but it doesn’t fit because of similar tune in both voices.

22 Amitabh Nigam August 22, 2017 at 11:25 am

The song Yun na sharma from Parwana by Kishore and rafi also qualifies, I think. The peppy mood of Kishore is offset by the melancholic Rafi rendition, before Kishore again comes up with his fast-paced piece to end the song

23 arvindersharma August 22, 2017 at 1:24 pm

AK Ji and Subodh Ji,
You both deserve to be congratulated for this exciting and challenging post, the tough conditions imposed by you notwithstanding.
And this seems to be the first time, I’m going to fully involve myself in a Post by Subodh Ji, as your classical music posts I do appreciatea lot, but can’t participate due to my poor knowledge of the field.
For this post of asymmetric duets, some of the best you’ve already posted, especially the Pyase Nain duet, which is a great favourite. Another favourite has been posted by Dear Rakesh Ji from Jalti Nishani.
My picks,
Firstly the most popular duet
Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar from Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, composed by Shankar Jaikishan and penned by Shailendra. Lata’s aalap is the real hallmark of this song
Aa ab laut chalein

Second one, a lesser heard from Miss India, sung by Manna De and Lata Mangeshkar, composed by SD Burman and penned by Rajinder Krishan
Ye bhigi bhigi Raatein/Jain main Kahan.
The club rendition by Manna De is fast paced, in contrast to the slower Lata melancholy

The third one is a great female female duet from Gangu, a very obscure film, sung by Geeta Dutt and Suman Kalyanpur, composed by KalyanJi AnandJi and penned by Prem Dhawan
Excellent Mujra dance song by Geeta Dutt in contrast to the slower Suman melancholy

Will try to add more, before Dear Bhatia Ji comes with his bouncers

24 SSW August 22, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Subodh, sorry about that. I assumed the asymmetry was dependent on the portion rather than the tune. I should have read more carefully. But then I would argue that the Salilda tune you agreed to doesn’t fit either because the Lata portion is only a counterpoint to the main melody (it is only the germ of a tune, in fact it is played on a flute in the Lata version) 🙂
There are bunch of such Salilda songs in Bengali and Malayalam.
But this one in Hindi may be more conformant to your rules with Lata, Usha and Mukesh interchanging three different melodies with a different ending counterpoint 🙂

25 SSW August 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Wouldn’t this fit then too? different tune and rhythm for the male and female portions.

26 Canasya August 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm


Wah. A very ‘hut ke’ theme and wonderful selection of songs. I hope you approve of my contribution.

27 mumbaikar8 August 22, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Subodh Agrawal,
You have picked up a very interesting and evergreen topic and if I can speak in Hindustani I ‘ll say आप की बात पहली बार हमारे पल्ले भी पड़ी है .
I will add one song that I am sure fits the bill and one, if your criteria is asymmetry then it should fit but it if is asymmetry running parallel then it will not you can decide that.
Song that fits the bill,
Bachpan ke din bhi kya din bhi kya din the.
Sujata Geeta and Asha seems Asha and Hemant Kumar were masters at it.
Doubtful ,
Baat ek raat ki Lata and Rafi Sheeshe ka ho

28 ksbhatia August 22, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Subhodh ji ;
Thanks for reverting back to Twenty _20 match format . Such posts bring back some relief to serious followers of the brain teaser article ; but for that too , the thought process vis a vis the in depth studies , make someone feel better and richly equipped.

Arvinder Sharma ji; If you remember we all had a great outing in one of such mini match in …..OPEN HOUSE…..some time during 2015 or so. Digging thru those times would yield many multi cornered star gems with jumping jack tune qualities . Now reliving those times thru this fantastic article will surely bring back the fun .

As a starter here are some songs which I think will qualify the test…..

1. Kabiraa Nirbhay Raam……Rafi , Asha……Kajal….Ravi

2.Patli qamar hai tirchi nazar hai….Mukesh, Lata….Barsaat…..SJ

3.Tere bina aag yeh chandni., Yeh nahin Yeh Nahi hai zindgi, Ghar Aaya mera pardesi ….Lata, Manna Dey, chorus….Awara…SJ

….. A milestone of a song comprising of three parts , sort of three -in-one ; all loaded with different tunes, stanzas and cinemashoot sets . Hats off to the R K production deptt.for this concept. Raj Kapoor was pioneer in using this style in his other productions as well …..yes one such will follow after this song .

4. Another three in one song from Boot Polish…
Raat gayi phir din aata hai , John chacha tum kitne achhe , Badta chal tu badta chal…….Manna Dey, Asha, chorus….SJ

5. Another one from R K house ……A song that is masterly chrorographed by the dance director . The set , the lighting . the lineup of dancers…..all placed in an isometric view to indicate it as a highway and Raj kapoor driving and enjoying the luxury of high-life drive ….Spot Jaikishan dancing in the crowd . Some one may spot Sadhna also ….but subject to confirmation . Of course Bela Bose and other young dancers of those times , who lived a long life in bollywood , too can easily spotted .

Mud Mud ke na Dekh…..Asha, Manna Dey, chorus…Shree 420…SJ

……oh time up ….will come back for more .

29 AK August 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Amitabh Nigam,
Welcome to SoY.

30 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Thanks Amitabh Nigam. The song fits, and makes up a deficiency in my post – male-male duets.

31 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Thanks Arvinder Sharma. All three songs fit into the theme. I also realize that some of the songs in the list – like ‘Main natkhat ek kali’ – and in the comments are not true duets but interlaced solos.

32 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:06 pm

SSW, the Salilda song starts off exactly as intended for this post but the tunes merge in the later part – a little too long to allow a relaxation. ‘Mud mud ke na dekh’ also starts off with a wonderful change of pace and rhythm, but then Nadira also joins Raj Kapoor in the fast paced part.

33 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Mumbaikar8 welcome and thanks. ‘Bachpan ke din’ is another great example of how well Asha, like Hemant, is able to enhance a song without uttering a word. However, it doesn’t make it to this list because the tune is the same.

Baat ek raaat ki song is basically a solo with a starting alaap in a different voice. Thanks for linking it, though.

34 Subodh Agrawal August 22, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Welcome Mr Bhatia and thanks a lot. I have already commented on ‘Mud mud ke na dekh’. The other four fit very well, with the first one being more a case of interlaced solos than a duet – but I have included interlaced solos in my list. I hope this is only the first installment.

35 mumbaikar8 August 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Subodh Agrawal
You rejected the one I was so sure about ;-(.
Need to be more watchful.

36 arvindersharma August 23, 2017 at 12:37 am

Subodh Ji
Four more from my memory

Manna De and Lata Mangeshkar from Phoolon Ki Sej composed by Adi Narayan Rao, with classical bols by Manna De, the rhythm of the song also changing at 2.41 by Lata. I’m sure this is going to appeal to your classical taste
Aa bhi ja rasiya man mora pyasa

Another beautiful classical composition from Kavi Kalidas sung by Usha Mangeshkar and Sabita Bannerjee composed by SN Tripathi
Ye mehki mehki raatein ye chand sitare

The much discussed Lata Asha combined song from Adalat, whose two versions had me seeking help from Dear Sudhir Kapur Ji for clarification
Ja ja re ja saajna

Lastly, a lovely multiple singer gem from Love And God, sung by Manna De Talat Mahmood Balbir and Mohammad Rafi, with Rafi providing the changing rhythm of the song
Rahega Jahan me tera naam

Hopefully will pass this test

37 ksbhatia August 23, 2017 at 12:50 am

Subodh ji ;

Lata’s varied song from Do behne….Main nathkat kali ….reminds me of another beautiful song by Lata ji which is a four varient song depicting different seasons and phases of life . A masterly classic composition of Roshan and beautiful lyrics .

Hum gawanwaa na jaibo…..Lata….Mamta…..Roshan

38 ksbhatia August 23, 2017 at 12:59 am

Arvinder Sharma ji ;

Wow ! great collection . Change of rhythm songs reminds me of one more beautiful song from Char Dil Char Rahein ……Intzar aur abhi aur abhi…by Lata ji . Anil Biswas is the composer.

39 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 23, 2017 at 1:01 am

A nice choice of topic and great songs, Subodhji! Hope the following qualify as asymmetric duets:

1. Ja ja re ja saajna from Adaalat (Lata & Asha; Madan Mohan; Rajendra Krishan)

2. Ja main tose naahin bolun from Sautela Bhai (Lata & Lata; Anil Biswas; Shailendra)

3. Mere ai dil bataa from Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje (Lata/Manna Dey; Vasant Desai; Hasrat Jaipuri)

4. Tu mere saamne, main tere saamne from Darr (Lata/Udit Narayan; Shiv-Hari; Anand Bakshi)

40 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 23, 2017 at 1:07 am

I see that Arvinderji had already cited the Adaalat duet @36.

41 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 7:37 am

Mumbaikar8 @ 35. My apologies. However everything need not fit exactly into the parameters of the post. The real gain of a post from the comments is enlargement of the field. I see a new idea developing – songs with changes of rhythm – for example.

42 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 9:22 am

Thanks Arvinder Sharma ji. The song from ‘Phoolon ki sej’ is truly outstanding and I had missed it all this while. Appears to be set to a raga of Kanada family, though not Darbari itself. Could possibly be Nayaki or Suha-Sughrai.

The scope of the post is getting widened. Only a few songs fit exactly into the framework that I had in mind initially, but it is interesting to see the wide variety that has come up – songs in which the mood and rhythm changes dramatically, even though they may not exactly be duets. ‘Main natkhat ek kali’ seems to have sparked off more interest than other songs!

43 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 9:24 am

Bhatia ji, thanks for linking my favourite ragamalika from Mamta. It can’t be classified as a duet, but it does fit into the widened scope of the post – songs with varying moods and rhythms.

44 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 9:26 am

Thanks Ashwin for the links. The Darr song fits into the original scope of the post, and the other ones in the widened scope.

45 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 9:34 am

I just remembered ‘Chunri sambhal gori’ from ‘Baharon ke sapne’. A good example of a chorus backed duet in which the two voices follow mostly different tunes – but for the equivalent of ‘dekh dekh pag na phisal jaye’ in Lata’s voice.

For changing rhythm one of my favourites is ‘O ya qurbaan’ from ‘Kabuliwala’. There are three distinct tempos in the song – the rhythm free alaap like ‘O ya kurbaan’; the slower rhythm of ‘O saba kahna mere dildar se’ in the lead voice, followed by faster paced repetition by the chorus.

46 arvindersharma August 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

Subodh Ji
A song which was eluding my memory since yesterday, and perhaps this was what you had in mind when you thought of bringing the post, is the one I’m posting here.
Intertwined voices of the main singers, and chorus, with different rhythms for the main singers, is the beauty of the song
Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar from Dara composed by Mohammad Shafi
Do bol tere meethe meethe

Have a few more in the kitty but this seemed important

47 N Venkataraman August 23, 2017 at 11:23 am

Utilising appropriate information and knowledge from the resources one has, whether encyclopedic or not, is the hallmark of a good/great writer. And you have accomplished this with aplomb. Without any froth, you have come out with an interesting article, on an innovative theme, Asymmetrical duets.
As AKji has mentioned in his intro, duets provide a fascinating variety in HFS. And your selection of Asymmetrical duets are too good and made good listening. There may be more. I would listen to the additions made here later. I notice that your unique theme has brought out few of our veterans, like Arvinderji for one, out of hibernation. Another feather in your cap. You might have temporarily moved out of your Classical comforts, but this post, is no doubt a classic in itself.
Thanks a lot Subodhji.

48 Rakesh Srivastava August 23, 2017 at 11:56 am

Arvinderji, Apropos Dara song #46. What a gem you have discovered and presented to us !! But for mention of this song, this article and related comments would have been incomplete. My view.
Sincere appreciation and regards.

49 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Arvinder Sharma ji, the Dara song is perfect. Agree with Rakesh Srivastava that the article is incomplete without it.

50 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Thanks for your appreciation Mr Venkataraman.

51 Canasya August 23, 2017 at 12:38 pm


I am shooting in the dark as the song I posted earlier @26 (Thane kajulio … Lata, Mukesh; MD: SN Tripathi, film Veer Durgadas) has yet to meet your scrutiny. But I would try once again to use this post as an opportunity to find out who sang “Mannu, tera hua, ab mera ky a hoga?” in Hum the woh thi (Kishore in Chalti ka naam gaadi; MD: SDB). I remember that AKji had, in an earlier post, conjectured that SDB himself had sung those lines.

52 Rakesh Srivastava August 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Thanks Subodh for agreeing with me for Dara song.

53 arvindersharma August 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Thanks Dears Bhatia Ji, Venkataraman Ji and Rakesh Ji for Your lovely words, and I confess that I have much to learn from You All, including All the veterans of SoY, not to forget Dear AK Ji
And as Venkataraman Ji very rightly said, Subodh Ji’s challenging post has brought me out of hibernation, due to its uniqueness.
I feel that the post covers broadly two kinds of songs, firstly the ones with intertwined voices, and secondly, the songs in which the rhythm patterns change.
The first ones are more difficult to find, as less number of composers have entered the territory.
In the second category, mainly classical songs, fun songs, and happy sad duets have been composed by many MDs, and most of these will find place in the coming posts. It will be interesting to see any of the first category of songs posted.
I’ll admit one thing
I have been extra cautious about my picks, because of the stern looking Subodh Ji (have met him a couple of times) announcing his strict standards in the beginning of the post.
And he’s the son of a High Court Judge as well, as I recall

54 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Sorry Canasya, I somehow missed posting a response to your comment, although I have heard the song. My apologies. Thane Kajaliyo is a lovely song and the start is very much in accordance with the theme. However, like some other songs discussed in the comments the two voices follow similar tunes in the later part. Thanks for posting it.

I think the singer for the lines ‘Mannu tera hua ab mera kya hoga’ is SDB himself.

55 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Arvinder Sharma ji, I had no idea I am ‘stern looking!’ I am definitely not the son of a High Court Judge. My father was a bureaucrat like me – with the only difference that he rose from the state civil service while I entered as a direct recruit.

56 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

For this post I was only trying to borrow some sternness from Anuradha Warrier!

57 arvindersharma August 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Subodh Ji
My first part of the comment was in jest.
And thanks for the clarification. Bureaucrats still hold a sense of fear for us shopkeepers

58 Mehfil Mein Meri August 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm

how about,
main tumhi se ye puchhati hoon,
lata-rafi duet where rafi sings just a opening few lines and the main song has a different tune!

Haan maine bhi pyar kiya from boond jo ban gayi moti

maine peena sikh liya from goonj uthi shehnai
Lata singing first few lines then song starts, carried well by rafi

yeh to kaho kaun ho tum from akeli mat jaiyyo
bit doubtful about this one

i myself have just posted a theme about duets in two moods, d
Duet songs where happy and sad moods coexist in a single song
A part is slow and later fast.
or just no change in tempo or orchestratio, but moods do differ!

59 Rakesh Srivastava August 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm

I am putting one more entry, if I am allowed to. May be it gets through :

Chahe Kitna Mujhe Tum Bulaoji, Nahi Bolungi Nahi Bolungi
Asha and Talat, S D Burman, Film–Armaan(1953)

60 ksbhatia August 23, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Arvinder Sharma ji ;

Music sounds good when you are around . Thanks for many gems you have posted . Will try to catch up your quality of songs. Fear not the Bureaucrates , cross the bounds and entertain all of us with variation of theme.

Few duet songs where one of the singer utters minimum of words/lines or utter only humming or even whistle as a company.

Mera bichda yaar mila de…..Rafi, Lata….Sohni Mahiwal….Naushad

Chhod babul ka ghar [ sad version]…Talat, Rafi….Babul…..Naushad

Nadi kinare saath hamaare…Shamshad, Talat duet with Rafi in chorus with different beats and rhythm….Babul…..Naushad

Aaj hai pyar ka faisla…..Lata with Rafi singing at the end..Leader..Naushad

… be contd with some variations .

61 KB August 23, 2017 at 4:20 pm

The song from Akeli Mat jaiyo where Rafi sings only the phrase Yes my darling many times over the entire song and the one from CID where Rafi sings only a sentence Ankhon hi ankhon mein….. both could be examples of asymmetric song where the full songs are rendered by Lata and Asha respectively. I have not come across such unusual songs otherwise.

62 mumbaikar8 August 23, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Subodh Agrawal,
No apologies for sticking to your rules!
Hopefully this fits in your frame.
Kya Ho Phir Jo Din Rangeela Ho – Nau Do Gyarah

63 ksbhatia August 23, 2017 at 4:41 pm

….in continuation from songs @60 ;

Teri duniya mein jeene se……Hemant with some one howling….House no.44…..SDB

Dil ki girah khol do…..Lata, Manna Dey….change of beats and rhythm,from waltz drums to dholak/tabla…Raat aur Din…SJ

Panchhi banu udti phirun….Lata, Manna Dey uttering repeatedly only one word….Chori Chori…..SJ

Aaja mere pyar aaja….Hemant and [?] ….Heeralal Pannalal….RDB

… be contd.

64 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Shopkeeper, Arvinder Sharma? That takes you beyond me and my father and puts you in the august company of my grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather and so on for several generations. Please accept my charan sparsh!

65 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Mehfil Mein Meri @ 58: As it happens, the fourth song – about which you have doubts – fits best. The other three are excellent songs – and maybe form a category by themselves worthy of a post: songs in which someone other than the main singer opens the song.

Thanks for letting us know about your own post on duets. Will savour it at leisure and let you know.

66 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Mr K S Bhatia @ 60: Thanks for the links. These songs don’t fit in the original scope of the post, but they are good examples of songs with change of mood and rhythm/ songs in which someone other than the main singer provides an opening invocation. Waiting for more.

67 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm

KB @ 61: Kicking myself for leaving out ‘Ankhon he ankhon mein’ – one of my favourite songs. Almost the entire song is a text book example of my theme. Only at the end the two voices sing the refrain together once – this much liberty is permitted. Thanks for adding this to the repertoire.

The other song has already been mentioned and commented.

68 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Mumbaikar8 @ 62: You nailed it this time. This song fits perfectly. Thanks for posting it. I hadn’t heard it before.

69 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 6:16 pm

K S Bhatia @ 63: ‘Teri duniya mein jeene se’, ‘Panchhi banun’ and ‘Aaja mere pyar’ fit perfectly in the original theme. ‘Dil ki girah’ fits in the extended theme of change of rhythm. Thanks a lot.

70 Rakesh Srivastava August 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Did not know the fate of my song #59

71 Subodh Agrawal August 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm

Sorry Rakesh for missing out on #59. The song fits perfectly. Thanks on particular as I hadn’t heard it before.

72 Canasya August 23, 2017 at 9:31 pm


This post is turning out to be a veritable HFM-Q test! I envy Arvinder Sharmaji, K S Bhatiaji, Mumbaikar8ji, and all the others who have been scoring effortlessly. Let me try my luck once again. Ni sultana re in Pyar Ka Mausam (Rafi, Lata; MD: RDB)

73 arvindersharma August 23, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Subodh Ji,
Thanks again for Your humorous touch, and just loved it. I’m younger to You, so a big no no to Charan sparsh. Those times are a distant and forgettable past
Now to get to business

Hemant Kumar and Sabita Bannerjee from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, composed by Salil Chowdhury. One more of the intertwined voices category
Janmbhoomi Ma mai yahan Tu wahan
Mukesh and Usha Mangeshkar from Bindiya, composed by Iqbal Qureshi, in which there’s only humming by Usha Mangeshkar
Dekhiye yoon na sharmaiye
Lastly the famous gem from Maya, by Lata Mangeshkar and Dwijen Mukherjee composed by Salil Chowdhury, with Lata’s intertwined humming
Ae dil kahan teri manzil

Dear Bhatia Ji,
You have posted a few more gems, some of which were planned to be posted by me. Great going Sir
Rakesh Ji,
Your posts are superbly qualitative, I envy them
Canasya Ji,
Many thanks Sir, and let me assure You, it’s not easy to recall songs for such an opaque theme.
And You have already posted a couple of gems
Thanks all, and will be back with a few more

74 Arunkumar Deshmukh August 23, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Subodh ji,
How about this song ?
Lata and Chitalkar from Chalis Baba Ek Chor-54

75 ksbhatia August 24, 2017 at 12:21 am

Subodh ji , Arvinder Sharma ji ;

The more I excavate the more gems are found . Here are a few…

Jhuk Jhuk Jhola kahe ….Lata with MK giving aalap only….Do Behne…Vasant Desai

Mere sarkar meri ahoan ka asar…..MK , Krishna kalle with one line repeated in every stanza……Shikar…..SJ

…….to be contd.

76 Subodh Agrawal August 24, 2017 at 5:47 am

Canasya @ 72: I should have recalled and included it. A perfect fit for the theme. Thanks.

77 Subodh Agrawal August 24, 2017 at 7:05 am

3 in 3, Arvinder Sharma. Thanks in particular for reminding me of ‘Janm bhoomi maa’. I had seen the movie when it was released and loved its music. I remember the scene from the film for this song. Netaji is being taken to Japan by a German submarine. As it goes past the coast of India he requests the captain to surface so that he can get a glimpse of the motherland. He stands with folded hands on the deck and sings this song.

The Bindiya song is new for me. Thanks.

78 Subodh Agrawal August 24, 2017 at 7:12 am

Arunkumar Deshmukh @ 74: Fits perfectly. Intriguing name for the film – ‘Chalis Baba Ek Chor’.

79 Subodh Agrawal August 24, 2017 at 7:22 am

K S Bhatia @ 75: Mr Bhatia, you and Arvinder Sharma remind me of the mega partnership between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid in Kolkata 2001 that crushed the mighty Australia. The second song is a perfect fit; the first one a little iffy – as Mahendra Kapoor’s intervention is very small. It reminds me of Ustad Amir’ Khan’s fast paced taan – played on screen by Ustad Mukri – in ‘Madhuban mein Radhika Naachi Re’.

80 Ashok M Vaishnav August 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

Subodhji took up the gauntlet of opening up the subject of asymmetric duets and did it so well that it has opened flood gates.

At the beginning of the article he has so kindly complimented me. I do feel very flattered, but the fact is I do not have any such knowledge.

I simply could not have taken up this challenge of asymmetric songs and do note that I could hardly remember a fraction of what is presented here.

81 Subodh Agrawal August 24, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Thank you Mr Vaishnav. Your knowledge is matched only by your modesty.

82 arvindersharma August 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm

Subodh Ji,
Sometimes we really yearn for the song clip of a particular song, only imagining how it was filmed.
The song from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was such a song for me, and many many thanks to You for describing the scene.
My salutes to The Great Patriot
You have complemented Dear Bhatia Ji and me, and the comparison also comes from an epic innings played in Calcutta, again from the same Veerbhoomi.
Very flattering indeed..
Now to business

Mere chanchal naina madhuras se bhare by Meena Kapoor and chorus, with Asha Bhonsle coming in at 2.00 with a faster and different rhythm, and Meena Kapoor back at 3.00 with the usual pace
From Angulimal composed by Anil Biswas and penned by Bharat Vyas

Chandni jhilmil kare by Sudha Malhotra and Lata Mangeshkar from Chandramukhi composed by SN Tripathi and penned by Bharat Vyas
Fast paced start by Sudha Malhotra, perhaps a dance song, with Lata’s portion, a much slower rendition interspersed in the song

Bogi bogi bogi by Shamshad Begum and GM Durrani from Hum Log composed by Roshan and penned by Udhhav Kumar
Hilarious comic rendition by both the singers with GM Durrani uttering repeatedly his rants of a ticket checker, and Shamshad Begum going for her speedier rendition like a superfast train

A great favourite double rhythm song from Usne Kaha Tha, sung by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, composed by Salil Chowdhury and penned by Shailendra
Rafi’s magical fast paced rendition of a Bhangra song, with lovely slower intrusion by Lata

O Saqi re Aisa jaam pila nazron se
Hosh rahe na baaki re
A favourite duet of mine from Jalti Nishani, sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar, composed by Anil Biswas and penned by Qamar Jalalabadi
Lata has only sung the antaras, and Hemant the mukhada with different rhythm patterns

Will try to add more….

83 AK August 25, 2017 at 9:12 am

Dear readers,
A rape-accused godman’s court verdict is expected today. His followers have besieged Chandigarh for the last three days (or to be more correct, allowed to besiege). Internet has been blocked as a precautionary measure. This is just to inform that Subodh would not be able to access SoY until the situation stabilises.

84 arvindersharma August 25, 2017 at 9:35 am

Best Wishes for Subodh Ji and his family, and hope that the critical situation passes off peacefully
Thanks and regards AK Ji

85 Giri August 25, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Subodh ji whose posts on classical music were lessons to me has come up in a different role with asymmetrical duets a post interesting and challenging at the same time. Congratulations to him. And the stars of SOY like Bhatia ji and Arvinder Sharma ji and others have been adding more songs in this category. I really admire all these experts for their computer like memory.
What else can I do except sit back relax and enjoy !
Thank you all ( that includes AK ji for having asked Subodh ji to pen a post on this topic)

86 ksbhatia August 25, 2017 at 11:31 pm

Giri ji;

Thanks for your kind words . To me SOY is a field open to enjoy any sports…be it cricket, hockey or even badminton . What a cracking sound it produce when the ball hits the willow or the wicket at a speed of 145kmh . The marvelous batting by Arvinder Sharma ji is applauded with great cheers by the commentators and spectators alike .

Arvinder Sharma ji ….Your last Five songs @82 are too good and the last one is new to me , never heard it before . Keep up with the surprises that keep up our smiles .

87 ksbhatia August 26, 2017 at 1:01 am

Subodh ji;

A few more songs covering the variations of the main theme……

Saath ho tum aur raat jawan…..Asha, Mukesh…..Kanch ki Gudiya…Surhid kar

Kya yeh zindgi hai….Lata , SDB [ uttering and repeating four words in each stanza and chorus three words , really a song of its kind ]…..Yeh Gulistan hamara….RDB

Mini Mini Chic Chic…..Geeta with Hemant humming after each stanza….one of a kind of song with beautiful chorus effects too….and completely bowled you with the similarity of another duet that follows ….Police….Hemant Kumar as MD

Mini Mini Chichi…..Lata, Mukesh….an alternate slow and fast paced rhythm…..Kathputli…..SJ

… be contd…..

88 Canasya August 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm


The dark night in Haryana is, I hope, over. This song may fit the theme, but you be the judge. “Gham ki andheri raat mein”, Rafi and Talat in Sushila; MD: C Arjun.

89 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 27, 2017 at 11:01 am

Another candidate – this time, a trio – for Subodhji’s consideration for inclusion, even though the tune of the portion in English is essentially the same as the tune of the Hindi portion.

‘O ri chhori’ by Udit Narain, Alka Yagnik and Vasundhara Das from Lagaan (MD – A.R.Rahman, Lyrics – Javed Akhtar)

90 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Would this song qualify?

‘Umad humad kar aayi ri ghata’ from ‘Do aankhen baaraah haath’ – Lata/Manna/Chorus, C.Ramchandra, Bharat Vyas.

91 ksbhatia August 28, 2017 at 12:42 am

Subodh Ji ;

A cross section of golden and vintage songs with varied sub theme components is presented here . Hope they pass the scrutiny.

Zindgi Badli Mohabbat Ka maza…..Lata, Raj Kumari…Anhonee….Roshan

Sheeshe Ka Ho Ya Patthar…..Lata, Rafi [….in opening para only ]….Baat ek raat ki….SDB

Jaao sidhaaro raadhe…..Twin Duets in a stage song !….Shamshad, Mukesh,: Shamshad, S D Batish…..Arzoo…..Anil Biswas

Aaj ki raat…..Two moods ; happy/ sad ; in a single song with different rhythm and beats……Suman Kalyanpur, [?]….Kavi Kalidas …..SNT

Aye Raat Zara Aahista Guzar….Geeta, [ ? ]…..Aasman Mahal…J P Kaushik

….to be contd….

92 ksbhatia August 28, 2017 at 1:42 am

In continuation of songs @91…..

Mera Dulha Shehar Se aya re…A song with a twist at the end….Rafi, Geeta…..Do Dulhe……B S Kalla

Lucknow chalo ab rani…. A song which changes to different tune and pace at the end …..G M Durrani , Geeta…Sansar…Pathasarthi& Shankar [ This is the third song where the MD’s have repeated their interludes…..refer to preludes of songs of Nishan & Mangla ]

Hasna Gaana Mauj Manana…..Rafi, Asha….Chacha Choudhri…….MM
A song where short aalap is used as a unsymetrical component.

My Dear Aao Near…..Shamshad , Rafi [ on Rock & Roll beats and Rafi on Dholak tabla beats ]…..Nagina……SJ

O O O Baby mud ke zara….duet with alternate change of rhythm thru dholak tabla beats to drum beats ; beautiful orchestra and composition…..Hemant, geeta……Police……Hemant Kumar.

… be contd……

93 Ashwin Bhandarkar August 29, 2017 at 12:04 am

This song, which is inspired by a well-known Tilang thumri, would have been a good example of an asymmetric duet if only the interludes had vocals by the Raj Kapoor character.

‘Sajan sang kaahe neha lagaaye’ by Lata from ‘Main nashe mein hoon’ (MD- SJ; Lyricist – Shailendra)

94 ksbhatia August 29, 2017 at 12:08 am

Songs in continuation from #92;

Din control ke aaye……Geeta , Jikki…..Mr. Sampat….B S Kalla etc.

Kaun yeh ayaa mehfil mein….Rafi, Asha [ or Usha khanna hreself]….Dil Deke Dekho……usha Khanna

Bade hain dil ke kaale……Rafi, Asha….Dil Deke Dekho….Usha Khanna

……to be continuing my batting further…..

95 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Internet service was restored today, after all the high (and low) drama. My sympathy to the families whose members perished needlessly.

Maybe someone should do a post on Godmen songs. I had used one in my post on Malkauns – ‘Darbar mein upar wale ke, andher nahin par deri hai’ from Hera Pheri.

96 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Arvinder Sharma @ 82: The first song is a great change of rhythm song, but not a duet. The second one is a perfect fit for the theme. ‘Bogi bogi bogi’ is a fun song and a good fit, so is the song from ‘Usne kaha tha’. ‘O saqi re is the icing on the cake. Thanks for all these links.

97 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Giri @ 85: Thank you for your appreciation.

98 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Canasya @ 88: ‘Gham ki andhri raat mein’ fits perfectly. This was a popular song in my student days in Allahabad.

99 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Ashwin Bhandarkar @ 89 and 90: Both songs fit well, thanks.

100 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Ashwin Bhandarkar @ 93: ‘Sajan sang kahe’ is the definitive film song in Tilang. Agree entirely with you, it would have made the cut if Raj Kapoor portion had vocals.

101 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2017 at 5:57 pm

K S Bhatia @ 87, 91, 92 and 94: Quite fittingly I am taking up your additions when this post has scored a century of comments. Thank you for all these additions and the promise of more. I will need time to go through the links and give my comments. Thanks so much for enriching this post.

102 KB August 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm

There is a duet Tu duniya mein from HEERA MOTI (1959)sung by Gulam ali and Lata which could possibly fit into this.Ghulam Ali throughout the sings only one phrase.

103 ksbhatia August 30, 2017 at 12:24 am

Subodh ji ;

Venturing the color film era and picking some duets with in the scope of the theme . Hope they qualify the test.

Daiya re daiya laaj mohe laage….Asha, Rafi [ only in aalap mode ; also a song with a prelude song tune. ]…..Leader…..Naushad

Aaj na chhodenge…..Kishore, Lata ….Kati Patang…..RDB

Khelo raang hamaare sang…Lata , Shamshad….a song having different beats and rhythm in every stanza…..Aan……Naushad

Mera naam hai shabnam…..Asha, RDB in punctuation mode…..Kati Patang….RDB

Ek Chatur Naar……Kishore, Manna Dey……A milestone of a song where every stanza differs and stand tall as one of the greatest comic song of all times though its history originated in mid 40s song …….Padosan….RDB

Good now normalcy is back . Now everyone can take up their seats and contribute as much as they can . Waiting for more from Arvinder Sharma ji , my fellow partner .

Arvinder ji; I was looking for some duets of Mohinder Kapoor also . Give me some helping hand ; I know some comic songs are there but I am unable to recall them .

104 Subodh Agrawal August 30, 2017 at 9:37 am

Mr Bhatia, ‘Saath ho tum aur raat jawan’ starts off as a very promising candidate for this post, but later the two voices follow the same tune.

‘Kya ye zindagi hai’ fits well, though the song is not so great.

Just had a power interruption. Will come back once supply is restored.

105 arvindersharma August 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Dear Subodh Ji
Welcome back and a great relief that the critical situation has passed away.
Thanks for liking the songs I posted @ 82, but I would like to differ with your opinion about my first pick from Angulimal.
I would again emphasize that it’s a duet and not a solo by Meena Kapoor. Asha Bhonsle’s voice is clearly perceptible with the rhythm change after 2.00, and I would request you to have a second look. Not even one upload mentions this fact, but a very good friend, Mahesh Sagar, with whom I have shared many happy memories in Jama Masjid bylanes, searching old records, mentioned that to me, as he had been a frequent visitor to Meena Kapoor’s house in Delhi.
And this gentleman who’s a doctor, is an acknowledged authority on Geeta Dutt songs
Would also appreciate if the SoY veterans could come forward for further clarification

Now coming to share some more songs
Manna De, Lata Mangeshkar and an unknown voice, singing the bols, in this very favourite classical gem from Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje composed by Vasant Desai and penned by Hasrat Jaipuri
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwarah

Manna De and Lata Mangeshkar from Sampoorna Ramayan composed by Vasant Desai and penned by Bharat Vyas
Dharti kyon vipreet hui/Ruk Jao Banbasi Ram

One forgotten classical gem from Jallianwala Baagh Ki Jyoti composed by Anil Biswas and penned by Udhhav Kumar

Another favourite classical gem from Rani Roopmati by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, composed by SN Tripathi and penned by Bharat Vyas. If I’m correct, the Raag is Brindavani Sarang, but there’s a catch in the song.
At two places, the singers briefly sing together,
Once in the middle and near the end
That’s the reason why I kept it last

Jhan jhan jhan baaje payaliya

Dear Bhatia Ji,
Thanks again.
Would also love to post some of Mahendra Kapoor songs, but later.

106 Shalan Lal August 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm

I was on holidays in California what Americans call vacation and had opportunity to watch the full eclipse in a campus which was more like a carnival and people were enjoying and drinking wine and the company in which I was, was very hospitable. But I refused the to eat and drink until the eclipse was over telling them that the Indians believe it is not right behaviour to eat when the sun and the moon and the earth are in trouble. They said it is silly stupid idea to believe like that in our time very “asymmetrical”! They had no idea of the words “De Daan, Chhute Giraan –Give alms and help the eclipse to over”!

So what is symmetrical to one culture another culture has it asymmetrical!

My comment about “Asymmetry” as the subject is fresh, ingenious and stimulating! But Subodhsaab should have done more oeuvre about it, rather than hurrying away from it.
A•sym•met•ri•c is usually defined as “Having no balance or symmetry, an asymmetric design or uneven in distribution of art, work or judgment etc.”

Symmetry and its opposite Asymmetry are the eternal word duets seemed existed in the philosophy, religion, literature, nature, politics, science, art and arts etc.

In Newton’s discovery of the famous three laws one is” action has reaction equal and opposite”.

In the Bhagvad Gita chapter number 16 “Daivi and Asuri Sampati-divine and devilish wealth” the discussion is excellent and it defines good forces and dark forces very clearly. Yet it admits that the negative forces are forces.

The dark forces Galileo and other scientist discovered as lighted and challenged the established good forces and now eventually those once dark forces have became white forces of lighted knowledge and other religious forces have been darkened.

Professor Dr Brian Cox the eminent cosmologists and our eyes in the ever expanding universe expounds that the natural laws on the earth are universal and the cosmic laws with the variation of the individual planets conditions due to the evolutionary condition of the ever evolving universe. This very symmetrises needed to stay together, the moment they become asymmetric that is the end of the present Universe.

In the nature the formation of the rocks, shells conches etc. happened with the natural laws. The trees and plants, flowers and fruits have uniform symmetricism within them and bring out leaves, they do not create asymmetrical system. Recently human beings are interfering with them by GM science but still stay symmetrical.

In human voice the range of voice can be increased and had to be symmetrical. Asymmetrical happens because of the two tunes or pitches juxtaposed and still well welded with the other previous sounds. This is natural harmonisation.

AK has mentioned in the introduction of this post “One variety is on account of the lesser known female singers getting a chance to sing with major playback singers like Rafi and Mukesh, and we are richer for that because we get some absolutely fabulous songs minus the Mangeshkar sisters.”

It should be charted that how many minor singers sung duets and those songs as well limited number solo songs and joined the Chorus songs as well.

He further mentions “that the minus Mangeshkar Sisters”. Perhaps he wanted to say Mangeshkar Sisters means “Lata and Asha only. Here I would like him to reconsider it to include in his “lesser known female singers” definition Meena Mangeshkar who hardly got any time to develop her contribution next to nothing. Usha Mangeshkar got some chance but she had done more work in Gujarati Bhavgeet and film songs. “एक बात पूछता हूँ… Mukesh and Usha Mangeshkar in “Banarasi Thug 1962 music by Salil Chaudhari”

Singers like Manik Verma did some good work in the forties. Sulochana Kadam also did some good work. There must be more. Good singers like Zeenat Beghum and Suraiya Mulatani who sang the famous song “Bade Murvar Hai Yeh Husnawale” did not get much work so on. One wonders if these ladies did some more solos, duets and chorus works etc.?

Some comments on the analytical oeuvre of Subodh Agrawal Saab

The Aarati song “Jai Jagdish Hare: “Hemant’s deep rich voice is ideal for recitation of Sanskrit shlokas” indeed so, may be due to his early life spent in Kashi. But his voice certainly has the quality of the temple divinity.

Song number 2: I like the sentence “Asha doesn’t sing any words, she gives voice accompaniment – much in the manner of an instrumentalist supporting a singer. She’s done the same in three more songs in this list.” However after hearing the song number 9 “Pyaar Par Bas To Nahi…..” The instrumental like sound that Asha makes is a copy of the instrumental verse in the same song and so it does not sound asymmetrical. But the song has achieved popularity and immortality.

The song number 5: the information about Vatapi Ganapati is very interesting though not much connected to the “Asymmetricism” in discussion. Subodhji have done many good departures like this in the post. But they are all good.

Song number 8: The sparkle in her eyes and the smile don’t feel spontaneous – as they do in songs of Madhubala, Geeta Bali or even Shyama:” Subodh saab, you have taken words straight out from my mouth!

Song number 9 “The soft, contemplative mood of this song fits Nutan a lot better than the previous one:”

Yes indeed! As the tune and singing of the song all the artists involved did create a sculpture in the air. However I feel that the song could have found another place in another film. The story of “Sone Ki Chidiya” is the exploitation of a growing up girl as the title of the film suggests and this song does not enhances the nature of man’s internal selfish purpose and Talat was not as a good actor to reveal it. It looks that the MD got his good creativity and did not want to waste it. The story was written by the wife-Ismat Chughtai of Shaeed Latif-, who directed it. Both husband and wife were very famous writers in Urdu and also belonged to the Progressive Muslim bloc. But somehow the snake bites of the behaviour of man did not hit as they were carried away by the soft worded lyric, sweet melody and Ashas’s tuneful humming in a singer’s voice. This peculiar “Tarranum” fits only in Asha’s voice as she had so far very sweet, skilled and trained voice and should not be credited to O.P exclusively as some have postulated and that includes O.P. himself as well.

Song number 10: I wonder, is this song fits to the criteria created by Subodhji?

Song Number 11: The information about Roman Empire is very interesting and its use as a measured up imagery of the two tunes in one song. More praise for Subodhji for intellectual observation.
Following songs have Asymmetric beginnings or “Shers”

1) Shehanai 1947
हमें क्या पता था कि दिल की कली को मसल देंगे वो
हमें क्या पता था कि राहत को ग़म में बदल देंगे वो
मुहब्बत के वादे और टूटी ताक़त में किसी और के हो के चले देंगे वो

Afterwards the main song does not come back to the above “Sher” or to that tune.

In the same film another song आना मेरी जान, मेरी जान, Sundayके Sunday
आना मेरी जान, मेरी जान, Sunday के Sunday. This lovely funny duet uses asymmetrical ideas of the cultures and tunes and styles in the music. But at the end the singer Meena Kappor gives up her separateness and sings in the tune of C.Ramchandra who is the first singer of the duet. I think of all the asymmetric songs this song is extremely good in creativity, lyric and two different tunes and two different cultures as well.

Deedar 1951
असीर-ए-पंजा-ए-अहद-ए-शबाब कर के मुझे
कहाँ गया मेरा बचपन खराब कर के मुझे
The rest of the songs does not come back to the tune of the first “Sher”.

Junglee 1961
याहू – याहू: The shouting is unsymmetrical but used many times in the song and still remains asymmetrical.

अई अई आ सूकू सूकू
अई अई आ सूकू सूकू
अई अई आ करूँ मैं क्या सूकू सूकू -२
खो गया दिल मेरा सूकू सूकू
अई अई आ करूँ मैं क्या सूकू सूकू

Similar opinion as expressed previously but the song survives with all the asymmetricalism.

Although above songs have one and the same singer for two tunes which could have been used two different characters and voices as well and still the songs would have the same effect.

Asymmetric ideas in the songs could be explored more in details.

In the art what is called Modern Art Asymmetric ideas were used by many artists in the 19th century onwards. Now modern art has become normal and artists are looking for new renegade ideas. In sixties the Hippy cult explored what is called the Psychedelics-the inner world of mind after hallucinating drugs effect. This also came in the songs of the Beatles and their many cotemporaries from sixties-nineties.

Recently in London new buildings have been mushroomed which are based on Asymmetric principles of the Architecture. It started after the WWII the churches that were bombed and rebuilt, but they did not use the old Christian principles but used modern ideas evolved out of Modern art. Now buildings like “Gherkin, Shard, City Hall and many more dominate the London Sky once was dominated by the St Paul Cathedral created by Sir Wren who learned his skills in engineering in Rome and master of Symmetricism.

Believe it or not there are fees paid lectures for the ignorant of “Asymmetrical” and a subject in colleges and architecture’s Institutes. They are also tourist attractions as well.

Shalan Lal

107 N Venkataraman August 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Bhatiaji going great guns and Arvinderji has joined him with others to post a century of comments. Let me add a few. I hope they fit the theme.
First a song from Geet Govind (1947)
From Jwar Bhata (1944)

108 AK August 30, 2017 at 5:35 pm

A quick agreement with you on one point: I had in mind only Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle when I used the term ‘Mangeshkar sisters’. Yes, Usha and Meena Mangeshkar would be counted among ‘minor singers’ in that context.

109 Subodh Agrawal August 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Resuming with # 87 of Mr Bhatia: Both ‘Mini mini chic chic’ songs sound good. One only wishes more of Hemant in the first one. Second one is a good example of change of rhythm but not of asymmetry.

‘Zindagi badli’ is a good example of change of rhythm changing the mood without much change in the tune itself.

‘Sheeshe ka ho’ is another good example of change of rhythm, although it is more like a solo with a starting invocation by another singer.

‘Jaao sidharo he radhe’ has interesting changes of rhythm, but the two voices often join together in the same tune.

‘Aaj ki raat’ has a beautiful juxtaposition of contrasting moods.

‘Ai raat zara aahista guzar’ fits the criterion.

‘Mera dulha shahar se aaya’ has changes of rhythm but the two singers follow the same tune for the mukhda. Same is true of ‘Lucknow chalo ab rani’.

‘Hansna gaana mauj manana’ is a regular duet with interesting interludes in the form of alaap.

‘My dear aao near’ fits well.

‘O o o baby’ is a fun song and starts much like ‘O nigahe mastana’ but then the two singers do follow similar tunes.

Will come back for # 94 and others.

110 Subodh Agrawal August 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Arvinder Sharma @ 105: ‘Ritu Vasant aayi’ is a ragamalika rather than a duet. I had not heard it before.

Heard ‘Ruk jaao..’ after more than 50 years. First time was in the movie hall – one of the films we children were allowed to see then! Not really a duet though.

‘Mukh se na bolun’ is a perfect fit. From where did you dig it up?

‘Jhanan jhanan jhanan…’ is nearly there, but for a couple of places. The main raga does sound like Brindabani Sarang, but there is mixture of other ragas.

111 Subodh Agrawal August 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Shalan Lal @ 106: Welcome back and thanks for your detailed observations on each song, preceded by a learned analysis on asymmetry. Thanks for your compliment on the ‘intellectual analysis’ of ancient Rome – I treasure it all the more as it comes from a learned person like you. Thanks also for the songs you have mentioned. The basic idea was to look for regular duets where the two singers don’t sing in the same tune. As I see it, changes in tune and rhythm are more frequent than I thought, but most of the songs fall in the following categories:

1. Chorus backed songs with one of the voices adopting a different tune or rhythm.

2. Changes of rhythm within the same song.

3. Two intertwined solos, which could well stand on their feet without each other and have been mixed to show contrasting moods like happy/sad, serious/frivolous, pious/evil etc.

4. Brief interventions at the beginning, middle or end of a solo by another singer.

True duets with different tunes are not very frequent, but the comments have dug out quite a few. I am sure more are waiting to be discovered.

112 Subodh Agrawal August 30, 2017 at 6:30 pm

N Venkataraman @ 107: Thanks for the two links. The songs present two voices in different tunes, but they don’t seem to complement each other – with one voice taking over from the other.

113 arvindersharma August 30, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Subodh Ji
And this was the first time I was a bit apprehensive about my picks, as I could well visualise the strict Taskmaster
But You may call it the Lure of Old Songs

114 Canasya August 30, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Subodh ji,

Your comment @111 provides greater clarity. Let me see whether this one passes your test. “Chanda mama mere dwar”, Asha & Manna Dey in Lajwanti; MD: SDB.

115 ksbhatia August 30, 2017 at 11:52 pm

Subodh ji;

I have great respect to this beautiful and rare duet song of Lata & Asha ji , the song that I want to listen again and again and hope it pass the screening test.

Ye ruki ruki hawayen……Lata, Asha…..Daman…..K.Dutta

116 ksbhatia August 31, 2017 at 12:01 am

Ms.Shalan Lal , Subodh ji;

Here are two gems of Talat where humming support is provided by Asha ji and Lata ji in their respective duets.

Mere Jivan mein aya hai kaun…..Talat, Asha….Pyase Nain

Chand sitare karte ishare…..Talat, Lata….Adl-E -Jehangir…..HB

117 Subodh Agrawal August 31, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Canasya @ 114: Thanks for reminding me of this childhood favourite, which fits perfectly.

It also reminded me of this song from Kabuliwala:

118 mumbaikar8 August 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Subodh Agrawal,
How about this Detective song, though there is a slight aberration in the end like aankhon hi aankhon me isahara ho gaya
Ankhon ka Bharosa Mat Kar

119 Subodh Agrawal September 1, 2017 at 7:43 am

KS Bhatia @ 115: Thanks for this beautiful song that I had not heard before. It is a great addition to the list. I had to listen to it more than once, because at this stage the two sisters sound very similar.

120 Subodh Agrawal September 1, 2017 at 7:50 am

KS Bhatia @ 116: Both these songs are absolute gems. The first one should have been part of the main list. The second one, however, qualifies only partly because the humming is in tune with the main voice – there is asymmetry, but not in the tune.

121 Subodh Agrawal September 1, 2017 at 7:55 am

Mumbaikar8 @ 118: Lovely song and it fits perfectly. That little bit at the end can be safely ignored. Loved the harmonica too. Thanks.

122 Subodh Agrawal September 1, 2017 at 7:59 am

Reverting to # 116: ‘Mere jeevan mein aya hai kaun’ is indeed part of the original list at number 2! This embarrassment of riches offered in the comments has made me lose track of the list.

123 ksbhatia September 2, 2017 at 12:05 am

Subodh ji; @122 ,
Comedy of errors do bring humour too.

One more duet where Rafi sings one line repeatedly after each stanza . This song was so irritating that half of the audience left the theater as if interval was enforced upon them . I saw this movie when it was a sort of delayed released movie ; being boring , it was difficult to sit for three hours that too in a non-AC theater.

Yeh to kaho kaun ho tum……Lata, Rafi…..Akeli mat jayeeo…..MM

124 D P Rangan September 2, 2017 at 10:30 am

The song seems to have fascinated you and got qualified. But I think it will be a major deviation from the rigid standards you imposed earlier. It could be dubbed as a normal duet.

However this will fit in with the latest post from Kelkarji as a OP imitation, but far better and even OP would have been proud of its creator. I also agree to the harmonica part. I have never come across any song where harmonica could be a major interlude. Here it blends perfectly. I was also fortunate to view this movie when it was released in Delhi in 1960.

125 Subodh Agrawal September 2, 2017 at 11:21 am

KS Bhatia @ 123: This song has already been mentioned by KB in comment 61.

126 Subodh Agrawal September 2, 2017 at 11:22 am

D P Rangan @ 124: I think ‘Mere jeevan mein aya hai kaun’ fits perfectly. Asha’s humming is in a different tune from the male voice.

127 Subodh Agrawal September 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Just noticed this song in the Bengali film ‘Byomkesh Pawrbo’ – very similar to the song from Lagaan in using two languages. Loved the leisurely mood of the song as filmed – makes one nostalgic about ‘fursat ke raat din.’

128 KB September 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Opinions differ! My feeling was that the song from AKELI MAT JAIYO had some novelty even in the early fifties.

129 arvindersharma September 6, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Subodh Ji
To keep the flame burning, I’ve a song which I would like to know your opinion about.
In this song from Usne Kaha Tha sung by Manna De and Sabita Bannerjee and composed by Salil Chowdhury and penned by Makhdoom Mohiyuddin, there’s a beautiful use of chorus, along with Sabita Bannerjee’s occasionally joining, at 2.00 with aalap, and at 2.14, 3.15 and 4.09 singing the mukhada at a higher pitch
Would love to have your opinion

130 Subodh Agrawal September 9, 2017 at 9:01 am

Arvinder Sharma @129: Thank you for this song which fits well. I had not heard this song, although I had heard about it from my family members.

131 ksbhatia September 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Subodh Agrawal ji;

I have come across certain songs which are filmed on two different characters …like double rolls…but with solo singer . I know they can’t be duets but viewing them makes a jolly good feeling . So what catg. we should put them into ?

1. Aye Dil Tu Na Dar …..Rafi singing for one J. Walker on the stage and for the second J.Walker drinking in the bar. Film Johny Walker and OPN as MD

2.Aao ni Sakhiyon….Asha singing Bhangra for one Waheeda and Beatles for the second Waheeda ; both dancing on the same stage. Film….Neel Kamal….music…Ravi

132 mumbaikar8 September 11, 2017 at 7:16 am

Subodh Agrawal,
One more to check out.

133 Subodh Agrawal September 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

K S Bhatia @ 131: The first song is very much like ‘Main natkhat ek kali’ at number 11 in my list, and using the ancient Roman practice we could term it as a duet by Mohammad and Rafi! The second one doesn’t quite fit, because the two Waheedas sing in basically the same tune with very minor variation.

134 Subodh Agrawal September 11, 2017 at 7:55 am

Mumabaikar8 @ 132: Bull’s eye! A perfect example of the kind of song included in this list. Hadn’t heard it before. Thanks.

135 ksbhatia September 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Subodh Agarwal ji;
What about this less heard song from Jagte Raho…..

Maine jo li angadai….Sandhya, Haridan….Salil Chowdhry

136 Canasya September 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Subodh ji,

Perhaps these two songs qualify for the giggles and hummings by Asha:

Zindagi ek safar hai suhana (Kishore and Asha in Andaz; MD: SJ)

Kahan se layee ho janeman (Mahendra Kapoor and Asha in Dil aur Mohabbat; MD: OPN)

137 ksbhatia September 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Jignesh Katodia ;

Since you have come back after a long time and missed some of the rare gems ; like the one which is my pick of the best as well as Subodh ji also.

Yeh ruki ruki hawaiyen yeh…..Lata, Asha….Daman [1951]…K. Dutta

138 Jignesh Kotadia September 21, 2017 at 1:50 am

thanks for reminding this ultramelodious duet from Daman, a great creation of Datta Korgaonkar (or of ShyamSunder ??? After hinted by Shirish Kanekar in his book GayeChalaJa i searched and heard it before 4-5 years. My memory is not sure this time but i read somewhere in this book that this duet is recorded by SSunder in absence of KDatta..or it could be another song (experts do clarify).
May i suggest you some songs related to this theme..

1. Kabhi yeh to mujh se puchho mujhe tum se pyar kyun hai (Dhuaan, 1953, Dhaniram)
in the beginning Krishna Goel does hahahahaiya hohohohaiya for some seconds and then Lata prevails.

2. Kabhi aansu bahaate hai kabhi fariyad karte hai (Madhur Milan, 1955, BCRani)
Talat sings the whole song and at last Rafi’s what a heart piercing entry with a single line : Hai door badi door badi door badi door thikaanaa…

3. this is a well known : Dil dhoondta hai phir wohi
Bhupendra had to sing only : Dil dhoondta hai phir wohi fursat ke raatdin as supportive in a total Lata song.

139 Jignesh Kotadia September 22, 2017 at 8:57 am

..another of such asymmetrics..a similar to “pyar par bas to nahi”..exactly after 10 years…again by OP..again supported by Asha.
This one is intoxicating..ultrasonorous..everything is killing..the melody, the rhythm, the lyrics and of course Sharmila’s qatilana husn….how can one survive ??

Kahaan se laayi ho janeman yeh kitaabi chehra gulaabi aankhen
Kbhi bhi jin ka nasha na utre, yahi to hai woh sharaabi aankhen

140 Subodh Agrawal September 22, 2017 at 12:25 pm

K S Bhatia @ 135: I remember this song from watching the movie during my student days. This one fits well into the theme.

141 Subodh Agrawal September 22, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Canasya @ 136: They both fit into the theme. Thanks.

142 Subodh Agrawal September 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Jignesh Kotadia @ 138 and 139: The song in 139 has already figured in Canasya’s comment no. 136. The other two fit into the enlarged definition of a song that is started or ended by another singer.

143 Jignesh Kotadia September 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

i missed that comment of Canasyaji !!
what i mentioned in comment 138 abt Ye ruki ruki hawayen was a mix up of memories. It is absolutely KDatta’s creation and not SS’s. I again opened the book GayeChalaJa. As written in this book, the incident is :
Once a party was organised on the terrace of a bungalow at Juhu. Food and Nashaapaani were arranged. Lyricist Rajendr Krishn came late and in already drunken state. Moreover he didnt bring the lyrics of a duet what was expected by KD. He had not written anything. Datta triggered him. RK took inspiration from dull and windless atmosphere of that time and wrote the lyrics instantly in few minutes. Datta was no less brilliant. He accepted the challange and made it’s taraj within 5 minutes and the duet is Yeh ruki ruki hawayen…!!

144 Canasya September 23, 2017 at 12:48 am

Jignesh Kotadia ji @ 143:

No problems, Jignesh Kotadia ji. Wise men think alike! 🙂

145 mumbaikar8 September 30, 2017 at 6:54 am

Subodh Agrawal,
One asymmetric solo by Asha similar to the one by Lata from Do Behne.
It is one of my favorite, wondering how I did not get it earlier.
Jab Naam e Mohabbat – Asha Bhosle (Kala Pani – 1957)

146 Subodh Agrawal September 30, 2017 at 8:41 am

Mumbaikar8 @ 145: Thanks a lot for this song. Strangely, I don’t remember it from the movie. Is it presented on screen by two different persons?

147 mumbaikar8 October 1, 2017 at 5:15 am

Subodh Agrawal,
It is presented by different persons, the video of the song not available but the movie is on daily motion and luckily this song is right at the beginning of part 2

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: