Best film songs based on classical ragas

November 7, 2011

Guest article by Subodh Agrawal

(My friend Subodh Agrawal is a great music lover and a keen follower of my blog. He once suggested I write on films songs based on classical ragas. This was already in my mind, but then I realised Subodh is much better equipped to do it. I am grateful that he accepted my request to do a guest series of articles on this theme. This curtain raiser showcasing his favourite 10 iconic songs on different ragas is delightful to read not only because of his deep insight but also for his fluent and witty style of writing. I am sure there are many more to come from his pen. – AK)

Classical RagasI was trying to motivate AK to do a few lists on songs based on ragas. He bounced it back to me, thanks to some pretensions I have of knowing something about classical music. I have accepted the commission with some reluctance, being well aware of how little I actually know about it.

I had first thought of doing a list like ‘My 10 favourite songs in raga XYZ’. I may yet get around to doing that for the major ragas music directors of Hindi film industry love – likes of Bhairavi, Yaman, Malkauns, Darbari, Pilu etc. What I have chosen to do now is to list ten iconic songs based on classical ragas that don’t have such large repertoires of film songs. Years back when I was flirting with classical music and trying to get a feel for different ragas, these songs were used by my friend and teacher Pankaj Sharan to help me get that feel.

1. Raga Jaijaiwanti: Manmohana bade jhoothe by Lata Mangeshkar from Seema (1955), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

The first of these iconic songs is Manmohna bade jhoote from Seema. Raga Jaijaiwanti is easy to recognize – thanks to its pakad or catch-phrase – rising from ni, just touching ga and then coming to rest on re: the final ‘na’ of ‘Manmoha-n-a-a’ illustrates that. This movement gives this raga a nice teasing quality – which has been put to good use by Shankar Jaikishan in this song that combines bhakti and shringar rasas:

The original composition of Ram Dhun is in raga Jaijaiwanti. The popular version misses out most of the nuances of the raga, but this rendering by Pandit DV Paluskar is an excellent presentation:

2. Raga Bageshree: Radha na bole na bole re by Lata Mangeshkar from Azad (1955), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra

I had a tough time choosing between Jaag dard-e ishq jaag and Radha na bole na bole re as my iconic song for Bageshree. Ultimately I have opted for the latter, as it stays closer to the standard format of the raga. In any case, this was the song my friend used to help me into the nuances of this raga. A treat for those fans of Songs of Yore who missed it in AK’s post on C Ramachandra:

Like most great ragas Bageshree can be used to express a variety of moods. The song above presents its playful mood. The classical piece below shows what this raga can do to express yearning and pathos. Malini Rajurkar sings a composition that was made famous by the late Kumar Gandharva:

3. Raga Bhimpalasi: Beena madhur mdhur kachhu bol by Saraswati Rane from Ram Rajya (1943), lyrics Ramesh Gupta, music Shankarrao Vyas

I have often wondered why raga Bhimpalasi has such a martial and masculine name, because it is one of the sweetest sounding ragas. My friend had used E ri main to prem diwani to introduce me to this raga, but then I discovered Beena madhur madhur kachhu bol by Saraswati Rane for Ramrajya in his collection of old 78 rpm records and was completely mesmerized by it. According to Wikipedia Saraswati Rane was born as Sakina, daughter of legendary Ustad Abdul Karim Khan– doyen of the Kirana Gharana. Her mother Tarabai later separated from Ustad ji and reverted to Hindu names for her children. Her brother Sureshbabu Mane and sister Hirabai Barodekar also distinguished themselves in classical music. So here it is – one of the most haunting melodies from the golden era:

Beena madhur mdhur kuchh bol

Now you may want to hear Ustad Abdul Karim Khan himself render the same raga:

Abdul Karim Khan

4. Raga Bhopali: Jyoti kalash chhalke by Lata Mangeshkar from Bhabhi Ki Chudyan (1961), lyrics Narendra Sharma, music Sudhir Phadke

Bhopali is a subset of my favourite raga Yaman. It is essentially Yaman without the fourth and seventh note. Doing so takes away some of the gravity of Yaman and retains a feeling of pure joy. Another raga from the same family – Shudh Kalyan – omits these two notes in ascending movements, and includes them in descending ones and the mood falls somewhere between Bhopali and Yaman. Pandit Omkar Nath Thakur, in fact, didn’t like the name Shudh Kalyan and insisted on calling it Bhoop Kalyan. For me the iconic composition in Bhopali is the famous Jyoti kalash chhalke composed by Sudhir Phadke from Bhabhi ki Chudiyan:

I was with a lot of Maharashtrian friends when I was learning the rudiments of classical music. They introduced me to Ghanashyam Sundara from the 1951 Marathi film Amar Bhupali. Some of them claimed that this song was the inspiration for Jyoti Kalash Chaalke. Listen to the song and make your own judgment:

Ghanshaym sundara sindura by Panditrao Nagarkar and Lata Mangeshkar from Amar Bhupali (1951), music Vasant Desai

5. Raga Hameer: Madhuban mein Radhika nachee re by Mohammad Rafi from Kohinoor (1960), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

Raga Hameer was introduced to the masses by Madhuban mein Radhika nachi re. It remains to this day the most complete and authentic presentation of this raga in film music. Let the song speak for itself:

Years back, long before I developed an ear for classical music, I had read an article in a magazine on Khansaheb Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. A line remained in my mind – हमीर तो बड़े लोग गाते हैं, लेकिन गुलाम अली तो बस गुलाम अली हैं. I couldn’t find a recording of Khansaheb’s Hameer in the days of vinyl records and tapes. Internet has proved more resourceful:

6. Raga Hamsadhwani: Ja tose nahin bolun Kanhaiya by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar from Parivaar (1956), lyrics Shailenra, music Salil Chaudhary

Now a raga from the South. Hamsadhwani is very popular in Carnatic music and I understand no concert in the South is complete without a rendition of the famous composition Vaathapi Ganapathim, which was adapted in the film Parivar as Ja tose nahin bolun kanhaiya.

Hamsadhwani was a favourite raga of Ustad Ameer Khan and he did a lot to popularize it in the North. Here is a tarana by him in this raga:

7. Raga Kalawati: Kahe tarsaye jiyara by Usha Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle from Chitralekha (1964), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Roshan

Another raga from the south – Kalawati. Kahe tarsaye jiyara is the iconic composition in this raga; though another famous one is Koi sagar dil ko behlata nahin. I am presenting the former, as to me it captures the mood of the raga much better (Koi Sagar has some elements of Janasammohini in it). Roshan has done a great job – as always:

A little change in the structure of Kalawati – addition of ‘re’ in the descending movement – changes it into the appropriately named Janasammohini – immortalized by Pandit Ravishankar for Anuradha in Haye re wo din kyun na aye – a song that has never left the top five positions in the list of my all time favorites. I wish to share with you here is a Shabad from Gurbani in Kalawati – Re man aiso kar sanyasa. This recording is in the voice of Asha Bhosle, as taken for the Punjabi Film Nanak naam jahaaz hai. One of the most appealing aspects of Sikhism for a non-Sikh is the quality of Sikh devotional music. I have to thank my colleague KBS Sidhu for posting the link on Facebook:

8. Raga Gaud Malhar: Garjat barsat saawan ayo re by Suman Kalyanpur and Kamal Barot from Barsaat Ki Raat (1960), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi, music Roshan

Malhar has spawned many variants. The most well known is Miyan ki Malhar. I learnt only recently that Miyan ki Malhar is not the original Malhar, but a variant evolved by Tansen. Today when one simply says Malhar one means Miyan ki Malhar. The original Malhar is now known as Shudh Malhar. There are very few recordings in it. There are many others – Des Malhar, Gaud Malhar, Ramdasi Malhar etc. Gaud Malhar has two famous songs that sound practically the same – Garjat barsat saawan aayo re from Barsaat ki Raat, and Garjat barsat bheejat aayi lo from Malhar – both composed by Roshan. The ghazal Jurm-e ulfat pe hamein log sazaa dete hain from Anarkali is also supposed to be based on Gaud Malhar, though I confess I couldn’t identify the raga on hearing it. It sounded more like Chhayanat to me, with some extra notes thrown in. Here, anyway, is the song from Barsaat ki Raat:

Now listen to Pandit Jasraj present the same raga:

9. Raga Kedar: Darshan do Ghnashyam by Hemant Kumar, Mana Dey and Sudha Malhotra from Narsi Bhagat (1957), lyrics Gopal Singh ‘Nepali’, music Ravi

Kedar is another raga, like Yaman and Bhopali,that combines the elements of shant, bhakti and shringar rasa. The iconic song is Darshan do Ghanshyam form Narsi Bhagat. Other songs in this raga are Hamko man ki shakti dena from Guddi and Main pagal mera manwa pagal by Talat Mahmood from Ashiana. None of the others, however, come close to Darshan do Ghanshyam with the voices of Hemant Kumar, Sudha Malhotra and Manna Dey beautifully complementing each other:

Of the classical recordings I found on Youtube this one by Ustad Rashid Khan sounded best to me:

10. Raga Ahir Bhairav: Poochho na kaise meine rain bitayee by Manna Dey from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen (1961), lyrics Shailendra,music SD Burman

Earlier I remarked on the name of Bhimpalasi and the mismatch between its mood and its name. There is no such mismatch for Bhairav. The mood of the raga in its pure classical form is very much what its name suggests – ponderous, somber and overpowering. Think of Raat bhar ka hai mehmaan andhera – although some websites suggest that it is not Bhairav but Jogiya. Music directors have, however, used Bhairav to create some serene and pleasing compositions like Jago mohan pyare from Jaagte raho, and Man re hari ke gun ga from Musafir, by taking some liberties with its movement. Among Bhairav’s variants Bairagi Bhairav is what its name suggests. Nat Bhairav can actually be joyful. Ahir Bhairav, on the other hand, can be very poignant as Poochho na kaise maine rain bitayee from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen amply proves. A strong contender for the title of the best Raga based song from films:

Sanjeev Abhyankar started off by modeling himself on Pandit Jasraj, but now he has evolved his own distinctive style. Here is his rendition of Ahir Bhairav. It sounds beautiful in his rich sonorous voice:

That brings me to the end of this list. This is the first time I have written something – other than notes on official files – that was meant to be read by others. If you like it please thank AK for motivating me.

One more thing: while searching for classical pieces on Bhopali I came across this recording on Youtube by Ustad Sayeeduddin Dagar. I didn’t include it in the section on the raga because it is long and slow. Moreover the dhrupad style of singing is not easy to appreciate for everyone. I would, however, strongly recommend that you try out this recording when you have some free time to yourself and just allow it to caress your mind. I have heard other members of the Dagar family and I can say without hesitation that they are the best practitioners of music as a form of prayer and meditation:

A more accessible but classically flawless composition is the famous Sahela re by Kishori Amonkar:

{ 199 comments… read them below or add one }

101 N Venkataraman April 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Subodhji,
Thanks for the information.
Are the songs available on YT. I could find only the one based on Yaman Kalyan.

102 Subodh Agrawal April 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Mr Venkataraman,

The other songs are not on YT. I purchased them from Timesmusic.com. It is quite inexpensive.

103 N Venkataraman April 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Thank you Subodhji.

104 Subodh Agrawal April 27, 2014 at 7:52 am

Just discovered an error in my comment no. 94. I have mentioned ‘Radha na bole’ as Bhimpalasi, although it is Bageshri – as listed in the original 10. What I had in mind was ‘E ri main to prem diwani’.

105 Srinivasan April 27, 2014 at 8:31 am

Can somebody give names of all the raagas used in the beautiful raagamaalika song ‘Kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya’ of Suvarna Sundari (1957) composed by the famous music director P.Adinarayana Rao ?

106 Subodh Agrawal April 27, 2014 at 8:56 am

Welcome Mr Srinivasan. The ragas in this song have been mentioned in comment 51 above.

107 palak May 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

I just looooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeee this site . but pls add somemore semi-classical songs

108 ksbhatia May 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm

AK’ji , Running thru the various interesting observations I find that some of the MDs were really dedicated to the ragas and had their choice of the ones best suitable to their tunes . I can recall some songs composed by the late Pt. Ravi Shanker ……..” Hai re woh din kyun na aai ” by Lata’ji in Anuradha …….and ” Holi khelat nand lal bhiraj mein ” by Rafi in Heera moti ? [ Iam not sure] . Pt Ravi Shanker ji gave such a nice soothing melodies; why he left the film music I could not understand . Perhaps he was destined to write history with his golden fingers on SITAR . I would like to know more about his Filmography .

109 AK May 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

KS Bhatiaji,
Had Ravi Shankar taken to composing for films in a major way, it would have reduced his brand equity as a top classical musician. He had to remain a niche composer. To my knowledge, he composed for the following Hindi films:

1. Neecha Nagar (1946)
2. Dharti Ke Laal (1946)
3. Anuradha (1960)
5. Godaan (1963)
6. Meera (1979)
7. Gandhi Hindi/English (1982)

Besides the above, he composed for Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy and Parash Pathar and Tapan Sinha’s Kabuliwala (Bengali).

He is also famous for composing the music of Saare jahan se achcha and the Welcome Song of 1982 Asian Games, Shubh swaagatam shubh swaagatam

You are right, Holi khelat Nandlal Biraj mein is his composition – it is from Godaan. Heera Moti is also based on a Premchand’s story: Do Bailon Ki Katha. Its music was given by Roshan.

110 Subodh Agrawal May 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

Thank you Palak and Mr KS Bhatia. Mr Bhatia, AK has already said all I could have said in response to your observation.

111 ksbhatia May 18, 2014 at 12:08 am

Thanks AK’ji ,Subodh’ji , With Monsoon around the corner I think we should enjoy some songs based on Megh- Malhar and list them for the SoY’s family members . ” Rim jhim ke tarrane le ke aai barsaat ” ….” Barsaat mein hum se mile tum “…….”Zindigi bhar nahin bhule gi barsaat ki raat “…..” O O sajna barkha bahar aai “……”Jhule mein pawan ke aai bahar “….. ” Nain mele chain kahan dil wahin hai tu hain jahan “…..”Ketki ghulab ki ” . My heart is already dancing to these melodies . Subodh’ji I am not sure about the raags of the last two songs. Are they also based on megh- malhar ?

112 Subodh Agrawal May 18, 2014 at 8:27 am

Dear Mr Bhatia, yes Monsoon is a time to get romantic, but it is not only Malhar and its variants that capture the mood. Many other ragas do it quite well. You would have seen my post on ‘The Romantic Quartet': http://www.songsofyore.com/film-songs-based-on-classical-ragas-4-the-romantic-quartet/. Only one of these four was a Malhar.

You have mentioned some great songs. As far as I can tell, none of them is Malhar per se. ‘Zindagi bhar’ is Yaman; ‘Barsaat mein..’ is Bhairavi; ‘O sajnaa..’ is Khamaj; ‘Jhule mein pawan’ is Pilu; and ‘Ketaki gulab’ is Basant Bahar. I can’t tell the raga of ‘Rim jhim ke taraane’ and ‘Nain mile chain kahan’. The second one sounds vaguely like Shudh Sarang in snatches. Just illustrates my point that ragas other than Malhar can be used effectively to capture the Monsoon magic.

For Megh Malhar proper you could listen to ‘Barso re’ from Tansen; ‘Dukh bhare din bite re bhaiya’ from Mother India; and ‘Tan rang lo ji aaj man rang lo’ from Kohinoor.

113 ksbhatia May 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Thanks Subodh’ji.I am delighted and enlightened by the very indepth studies on ragas dedicated to the romance . I must confess my limited knowledge on ragas ; but I do become curious and eager to learn more . My listing of songs was to set the mood for the coming days and I am happy to note that the songs are yours favourite too. There is a reference to Charlie chaplin’s Limlight ‘s theme music, in one of the observations , as based on ragas . I think same can be applied to the theme or title music of Lawrence Of Arabia which also seems to resemble closely.

114 arvindersharma May 20, 2014 at 12:19 am

Subhodh Ji,
gone through this post today.
You have done a wonderful job and I intend to go through all your posts on Indian classical music one by one.
We have all been enjoying these songs all through our lives without the knowledge of their basic construction.
Your article and the informed inputs provided by knowledgeable readers make thirsty listeners like me go through these write ups repeatedly.
The mention of a favourite rare song of mine, Mere naina saawan bhadon from Vidyapati, music by V.Balsara made me especially happy.
Just two queries :
Which raags have been used in the songs,
O mere raanjhna, rukhsat ka hai sama by from ‘Heer’ and
Intezaar aur abhi from ‘Char Dil Char Raahein’.
(Both have music by Anil Biswas and are sung by Lata).
AK Ji,
You have asked a question in your comment dated 29th July ’12 as to whether there is a bhajan in which all four, namely Rafi, Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni and Dilip Kumar are there.
From film Amar, ‘Insaaf ka mandir hai ye, Bhagwan ka ghar hai’ has all the four, the only hitch being that Dilip Kumar is not lip synching.
(The song has been sung in the background).
An added consolation is the presence of Madhubala (Mumtaaz Jahan) in this song.

115 Subodh Agrawal May 20, 2014 at 7:38 am

Thank you Arvinder Sharma and welcome to Songs of Yore. I couldn’t find a link to the song ‘O mere raanjhna’. ‘Intezaar aur abhi’ is Yaman, with a few minor departures.

116 arvindersharma May 20, 2014 at 9:04 am

Subodh Ji,
It seems that you have not heard the song before.
I would have ignored writing again but that would be depriving a connoisseur like you of the pleasure of this song.
In YouTube, a gentlemen named Ajay Yuvraj has this song on his website.
It is my request to you to listen to the song.

117 Subodh Agrawal May 20, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Arvinder ji

Youtube has removed the link to ‘O mere ranjhna’. I found it on hamaracd.com and added it to my favorites, but it will be some time before I am able to fill the cd and order it.

Let me add to the comment on ‘Intezaar aur abhi’. The sthayi and first stanza are Yaman. The second stanza ‘Rain gayi bojhal ankhiyan mein’ is Bihag and the third ‘Bhor bhayi par koi na aaya’ is Bhairav.

118 Nagesh June 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Great effort! It is heartening to see so many correspondents interested in this pursuit of semiclassical Hindi film songs. Most songs in the older movies were based on classical raagas although may not qualify for the ‘semiclassical’ tag. For instance, the iconic Junglee song ‘Chahe koi mujhe Junglee kahe’ which was was based on Bhairavi. Well, there are hundreds of them.
A couple of suggestions: Jyothi Kalash chalke is probably based on Raag Deshkaar rather than on Bhupali, by virtue of its movements mostly in the higher registers.
Jhanan jhana ke apne payal is based on Raag Shankara, a favourite of the classical singers of yore.
Thanks for the wonderful site! It is such a joy to go through it.

119 Nagesh June 9, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Srinivasan ji,
The raagas in the raga maalika song Kuhu kuhu from Swarnarekha Sundari are Sohni, Bahar, Jaunpuri , and Yaman.
Regards.

120 Subodh Agrawal June 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Thank you Nagesh. As for ‘Jyoti kalash chhalke’ I would say it is Bhoopali despite its movement into higher notes. Deshkar has a very limited movement and does not provide the lyricism of Bhoopali. You may like to hear this piece by Ustad Amir Khan to see what I mean: http://youtu.be/D5lTC5yGsiI

Thanks for the comment on ‘Jhanan jhanjhana ke apni payal’. The alaap before the song begins is very much Shankara, but the raga hardly makes an appearance in the rest of the song. It does appear to be an eclectic mix of ragas.

121 Op Rajput June 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Could I know on which Ragas two immortal ghazals sung by Master Madan-“yun na reh reh kar hamein tarsaiye” and “Hairat se tak raha hai…” composed by Pt. Amarnath are based?

122 Op Rajput June 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Subodhji !
Eagerly awaiting response to my above query regarding Ghazals sung by Master Madan.
Please spare a bit of your valuable time for me.
Best regards.

123 Subodh Agrawal June 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Sorry Mr Rajput. I have heard the two ghazals at length after your query but I am not able to figure out the ragas. I could venture a couple of guesses but I don’t want to do that as I am not sure.

Thanks to your query I happened upon some other recordings of Master Madan and they turned out to be quite good. My favourite is ‘Chetna hai to chet le’ in Tilang-Kafi.

124 latha July 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Hi Subodhji & AK ji. I thought I’m the only one crazy enough to try to identify raagas in film songs. Here I find a whole portal & a whole lot of people doing the same. ‘Jhanan jhan jhanake apni paayal’ I think is ‘maaroo behag’. And so is ‘Matwalinaar’ from ek phool chaar kante & ‘paayalwali dekhna’ from Ek Raaz (1963).
I’d like to know the raag of the fol: if you please
1. Haal kya hai dilonka na poocho sanam (Anokhi Ada)
2. Ye maana meri jaan mohabbat sazaa hai (1972) Madan mohan in haste zakhm
3. Yun Hasraton Ke Daag mohabbat main dho liye (1958) Madan mohan in Adaalat
4. Ye zindagi useeki hai (1953) C Ramachandra for Anarkali
5. kisee ne apanaa banaa ke muz ko muskuraanaa sikhaa diyaa (1953) Shankar Jaikishan for Patita
6. Kaare kaare baadra jaare jaare baadra (1957) Chitragupt for Bhabhi
One or two I might have already known but am not able to put my finger on it.
Thanks for your wonderful website & the interest of you both in keeping alive our great tradition of classical music ‘Khazana’. More power to you.

125 Subodh Agrawal July 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Welcome to Songs of Yore Latha ji. Thank you for your generous appreciation. As for the songs mentioned by you the first two have me stumped. Kawwali style songs generally move freely between ragas and people with limited knowledge like me find it very hard to pin them down. ‘Yun hasraton ke daag’ is classified as Yaman. It is a beautiful song but the movement is not very typical of Yaman. The same is true of ‘Yeh zindagi usi ki hai’ and Bhimpalasi. ‘Kisee ne apna bana ke’ is Bhairavi. ‘Kaare kaare badra’ is very typical of Brindavani Sarang. ‘Matwali naar’ is an excellent example of Maru Bihag; but I don’t think it quite fits ‘Jhanan jhan jhanake apni payal.’

126 latha July 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Thanks a lot for your prompt reply & identification of the ragas, Subodhji.
As for the ragas mentioned above,
1. Zindagi aaj mere naamse sharmathi hai & Mohabbat ke rahome chalna sambhal ke by Mohammed Rafi are my favoutites other than the wonderful ‘Man mohana’ that you have posted in Jayjaywanti.

2. Who can match Manna dada in his classical potential ? Jare beimaan tujhe jaan diya from “Private secretary” (1962) is my all time favourite in Bhagashree.

3. Tu cheez badi hai masth masth has made “Bhimpalasi” eternal by its unimaginable classical nuances by the Pakistani singer, Nuarat Fateh Ali khan. Both the raag & khan were catapulted to popularity in India thanks to this song. Rahman says he was a fan of his long before ‘tu cheez badi’ came into picture. This song became so popular that it was difficult to miss it wherever you went. The former election commissioner T N Seshan when asked to comment about Lalu Parasad Yadav said in a TV interview to Nalini Singh (imagining Lalu) “Tu cheez bada hai bhrasht bhrasht” which became a regular joke in the film industry.

4. As far as Bhupali (Mohanam in karnatic music) is considered, it had been a favourite of Shankar Jaikishen.
1. Meri mohobbat jawan rahegi (Janwar 1965)
2. O mere shahe khuban (Love in Tokyo)
3. Sayonara (Love in Tokyo)
are a few examples.

5. Raag Hamir.
Hamir ka kya kehna ?
Just take a look at Hema malini’s dance for the tarana sung by Gopi Krishna (?) on the background.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVSO0o-LZSE

The picture itself is a classic directed by Gulzar starring Dr Sriram Lagoo (as you can see) Dharmendra, Jitendra etc. Classical music lovers would love to cherish it – available in YouTube.

This is why I love RD Barman, mere mehboob kalaakaar. Nobody to match Panchamji. His prowess in classical music matched with his mutitalents with various folk, Rock, Jazz….you name it. He has it. Rahman always makes it a point to say that RD was his mental guru like Drona was for Ekalaiv. May RD’s soul rest in peace. Or is he making music for the souls in heaven ? Lucky they.

Another song that comes to my mind is the prayer song in Guddi, “Humko man ki shakti dena” with matchless lylics from Gulzar. It may be Hamirkalyani. No much difference.

6. Hansdhwani ka kya kehna ? As a south Indian connoisseur of karnatic music, I absolutely love this raag. No katcheri (concert) starts without a Ganesh vandana, “Vatapi Ganapathim” in this raag.

7. Kalawati & janasammohini – Yes. Pretty confusing.
a. Mere mehboob na ja aaj ki raat naja (Noor mahal 1965)
b. Kabhi tho miloge jeevan saathi (Sathi Savithri 1964)
c. Ek haseen shyam ko dil mera kho gaya (Dulhan Ek Raat Ki 1966)
d. agar dilbar ki rusvayee hamen manzoor ho jaaye (Khilona 1970)
Which is which ? Would somebody enlighten me ?

Jumping to 10. Raag Ahir Bhairav. Yes there are many soulful songs in films in raag Ahir bhairav
Meri veena tum bim roye from the film, “dekh kabira roya” by Madan Mohan (1957)
& Aaj hai pyaar ka faisla e sanam aaj mera mukaddar badal jaayega from leader (1964) by Naushad for example.

Dr balamuralikrishna would want to take every raaga as a challenge. So he conceived this peculiar characteristic idea of his which nobody else could’ve thought of. He wanted to make a lilting thillana (tarana in Hindusthani) in the soulful raag Ahirbhairav just to show that this raag can be made a danceable one. There are many classical dancers who dance to this tarana today. Take a look at he himself enjoying singing his own tarana (He has been given a title, “thillana mannan” meaning King of taranas not for nothing.) with his signature “Manjula mohana ‘murali’ lehri”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emc18GpAeRY

Taliho Until next time.

127 AK July 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Latha,
While I leave the shaastraarth for the Vidwaans, I am here to express my appreciation for the link of Hema Malini’s fantastic dance from Kinara.

A small quibble – Nusrat Fateh Ali’s Dum mast kalandar is the one I would like to mention instead of its chhalu adaptation.

128 Harish Kini July 28, 2014 at 2:20 am

nice write-up. a pleasure to read qualitative opinion than a dry list of ragas and songs based on it.
One kedar composition I love is “Aap Yun Hi Agar Humse Milte Rahen” OK, OPN has thrown the bhakti ras out of the window, but what a composition!
I agree Na Bole to be the iconic Bageshri, but I also love SJ’s Javo Javo Nand Ke Lala Tum Jhhote’
Darbari is another important Raga though Jhanak Jhanak Tore Baje Payalia is more classical, I’ll prefer to go with O Duniya Ke Rakhwale as the iconic song.

129 O.P.RAJPUT July 28, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Subodh, Sir
Please find answers to my queries at 121 & 122. With so much knowledge about classical music, I’m sure you can do it. Please don’t disappoint me.

Best regards

130 Rushikesh Ashtikar August 2, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Great list. Highly appreciate your efforts.

131 ksbhatia August 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

AK ‘ji, Harish ‘ji, I think practically all the MDs of yester years have given some beautiful melodies based on ragas . To my mind O P Nayyar was the one who gave the least of the raga numbers ;perhaps he was too much oriented towards punjabi folk and western music . I can remember
only one song by rafi ….” Man ki pyas bhujane aai antar ghat tak pyassi hoon main “……film{?} and raag[?] . Any listing of his ragas numbers?

132 arvindersharma August 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm

AK Ji, KS Bhatia Ji,
Three songs come to my mind instantly, where OP Naiyyar has proved that given the situation, hr could deftly handle classical music as well.

Yun muskura ke saamne aaya na kijiye by Rafi and Asha from ‘Qaidi’,

Chota sa baalma by Asha from ‘Ragini’, and

Akeli hoon main, piya as by Asha from ‘Sambandh’.
All the three songs are very melodious and reflect upon the high capability of OPN as a composer.

133 Harish Kini August 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Bhatia ji,
The song you referred to is ‘Tu hai Prem Devta’ from Kalpana set in raga Lalit

134 Srinivasan August 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Some other songs that are likely composed in classical raagas by O.P.Nayyar come to my mind. ‘Mai soya akhiyan meeche’ (Phagun 1958), ‘Aana hai to aa raah mein kuch pher nahin hai’ (Naya Daur 1957), ‘Raat bhar ka hai mehman andhera (Sone Ki Chidyan, 1958), ‘Jaan sake to jaan (Ustad 1957), ‘Bahon ko zara lehrake’ (Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala 1957). I shall be thankful if somebody identify the raagas in these songs.

135 Subodh Agrawal August 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Latha: Thanks for the excellent selection of songs, particularly the links to ‘Kinara’ and of Balamurali Krishna.

Harish Kini: ‘Jao jao nand ke lala’ is an excellent composition in Bageshree. Somehow it had gone off my radar. Thanks for bringing it back. Thanks also for answering KS Bhatia’s query about ‘Man ki pyaas bujhane aayee’.

OP Rajput: Sorry, I am not sure. This style of singing moves quite freely between ragas – mostly related to Bilawal, Khamaj and Kafi. I see glimpses of each but can’t pin the songs down to anyone of them. As it is, I am rather out of my depth in Bilawal – this raga continues to evade me.

Rushikesh Astikar: Thank you for your appreciation.

KS Bhatia: Harish Kini has correctly answered your query.

I am listening to the songs mentioned by Arvinder Sharma and Srinivasan. Will revert on them.

136 latha August 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Hello Srinivasan,
‘Raat bhar ka hai mehman andhera (Sone Ki Chidyan, 1958)’ is of raag saaveri in Carnatic music which is called ‘Jogiya’ in Hindustani classical. SRMPDS – SNDPM(G)RS.
‘Jaan sake to jaan (Ustad 1957)’ is one of my favourites in Jaunpuri (Jonpuri)
S R2 M1 P D1 N2 S – S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S
O Barsore, haaye, bairi badarva barsore (Phaagun, 1958) also by OP Nayyar could be in Raag Peelu.
Subodhji, Anytime.

137 Srinivasan August 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Thank you Latha ji for identifying some of the Raagas in O.P Nayyar’s songs.

138 AK August 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm

No one seems to have mentioned OP Nayyar’s two pucca classical songs in Ragini (1958):

1. Jogiya mere ghar aaye (Raag Lailt) by Ustad Amir Khan

2. Chhed diye mere dil ke taar kyun (Raag Kaamod?) by Ustad Amanat Ali and Ustad Fateh Ali (Some links erroneously mention Ustad Amir Khan as the singer)

Subodh, Chandrakantha identifies it as Kaamod, but I hear some other Raags too, especially Kedar. Am I mistaken?

His Desh too, Bekasi had se jab guzar jaaye in Kalpana is also very good.

139 ksbhatia August 6, 2014 at 12:16 am

Thanks Latha’ji , Subodh’ji ,Srinivasan’ji ,Harish,ji , Arvinder’ji and AK’ji for the information on OPNayyar’s contribution to all these classic songs. Yes given the situation he truly excelled in all these movies. I personly liked the songs of Ragini .,Naya daur and Phagun .

140 Subodh Agrawal August 6, 2014 at 7:43 am

My job has been made very easy by the comments of knowledgeable readers of the blog. Thanks in particular to Latha ji. Whatever remains is covered by this blog: http://iyernikhil.blogspot.in/2012/07/raag-based-songs-of-op-nayyar.html

‘Raat bhar ka hai mehmaan andhera’ is classified as Jogiya on all classical music sites. I, however, have a problem with that. Bhairav and Jogiya are two closely related ragas, and it is not easy to distinguish between them for a layman. Jogiya is distinguished from Bhairav by its use of komal nishad. More than that it is the movement and mood that sets the two ragas apart. Bhairav tends to be ponderous and slow; it is more suited to an introspective mood. Jogiya moves easily to higher notes. It is ideal for depicting a cry from the heart. Listen to these two classical pieces and make your own judgment:

Jogiya by Ustad Abdul Karim Khan: http://youtu.be/0ycmCtdlUSM

Bhairav by Pandit Jasraj: http://youtu.be/CeT1H80tfP0

One word about ‘Chhota sa baalma’. It is set to Tilang, but with a lot of mixing of other ragas. A purer example of Tilang is ‘Sajan sang kahe neha lagaye': http://youtu.be/l6YDWUduzQo

141 Subodh Agrawal August 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

AK: ‘Chhed diye mere dil ke taar kyun’ is primarily Kamod. As I mentioned in my article on Chhayanat, Gaud Sarang, Gaud Malhar and Kamod; these ragas are quite close to each other and also to Bihag, Hameer, Bilawal and Kedar. As far as I can make out what distinguishes them is the use of specific ‘pakad’ or catch-phrases, the main body seems to be identical. The opening parts of this song do evoke the mood of Kedar.

142 ksbhatia August 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Subodh’ji , Thank you very much for the blog on OPNayyar. This is a gift to those who remember OP only for Dholak and Clarinet . There is one beautiful OP’s melody ….” Thandi thandi hawa, mainye poocha patta ,laaj aaye mujhai kaise doon main batta “…..an Aasha geeta duet from Mr cartoon MA [?] . I like this song for the melodious use of accordeion . Is this also based on some raag ?

143 arvindersharma August 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm

KS Bhatia Ji,
Though this blog of Subodh Ji is based on classical music and not OPN, your inquisitiveness about him has given its recent posts, such a shape.
Happily, grabbing this opportunity, I would like to present a similar beautiful song by Geeta and Asha from ‘Johnywalker’, music by OP Naiyyar.
Jhuki Jhuki Pyar Ki Nazar – Asha Bhosle, Geeta Du…: http://youtu.be/GHGoFXTKLU4
I hope Subhash Ji will excuse my trespass.

144 arvindersharma August 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Subodh ji.,
I misspelt your name and am sorry for it.

145 Subodh Agrawal August 8, 2014 at 7:28 am

Your ‘trespass’ is more than welcome Arvinder ji. No problem about the spelling either – after all you’ve only used my father’s name!

146 latha August 8, 2014 at 10:58 am

For O P Nayyar lovers like me, K S Bhatia, Arvinder Sharma, Srinivasan & others….
there is a wonderful song based on Yaman in Ek baar muskurado
“Savere ka suraj thumhare liye hai” sung by Kishore Kumar.
Another song “Yeh dil leke nazraana” sung by Mukesh & Asha from the same film and the song from Kashmir ki kali, “Hay re hay, ye mere haath”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDq5ifSstQc
are based on Raag Brindaavan saarang.
There is a similar Punjabhi bhangra in the same raaga composed by Roshan in “Vallah Kya Baat Hai”, ‘Khanke Tho Khanke Kyon Khanke ‘ starring the beautiful Bina Rai with Shammi Kapoor,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQCOamUn_xQ
Subodhji, hope I’m right.
Chao until next time.

147 Srinivasan August 8, 2014 at 11:55 am

I am really glad that good discussion is going on regarding O.P.Nayyar’s compositions in this forum. Another composition that come to my mind is ‘Hai duniya usiki zamana usika’ of Kashmir Ki Kali which is an intoxicating beautiful song. Looks like it is classical based.

148 Srinivasan August 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

Also this song compares very well with ‘Din dhal jaye haye raat na jaaye’ of Guide. Are they both in same Raaga ?

149 ksbhatia August 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Srinivasan’ji and all others, Both the songs of Guide and Kashmir ki kali reminds me of a very old hollywood black and white classic movie of the 40s…” Casablanca ” starring Ingmar bergman and Humphery . In one of its best scenes Humphrey is sitting in a poorly lighted room having drink in the company of his singer and Piano player employee Sam….A ..la..Guide scene of Dev and his employee . One must listen to the song …..”As times go by “…..to feel the similarity and the situation of the song and get entertained.

150 SSW August 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Mr.Bhatia, that is interesting. I have watched Casablanca many times mostly for the interaction between Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains . I did not catch the situational similarity between As Time goes by and the songs from Kashmir Ki Kali and Guide. I remember both the memory of “play it once Sam, for old times sake”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vThuwa5RZU
and “play it Sam” which is purely instrumental.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAlzmRjixr0

I really like the Indian melodic structure in both our sons though, plus the adavantage of of using two different wind instruments beautifully in the songs. Manohari Singh’s tenor saxophone solo in Kashmir Ki Kali is wonderful and so is fhe flute in Guide.

151 Subodh Agrawal August 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Very interesting discussion Srinivasan, SSW, KS Bhatia ji(s). Both ‘Din dhal jaye’ and ‘Hai duniya isiki’ have the same mood and ambiance as the ‘Casablanca’ song. Both Indian songs appear to be based on Khamaj with more than a hint of Desh. Khamaj, like Bilawal, is another raga I find rather slippery, so I am not too sure.

152 ksbhatia August 9, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Subodh’ji ,Yes you got it right. Some times flash back helps tracing similarity. It depends upon the Directors intentions to present his best as borrowed or label the scene as original. I think Goldies scene in Guide almost created the same impact as in “casablanca”. As for the song — Hats off to SDB and Shallinder .

153 SSW August 9, 2014 at 11:30 pm

To my untrained ear in non-classical settings Desh tramples all over Khamaj, Tilak Kamod or maybe Khamaj does that too on the other ragas in its thaat so I stay away. Maybe some of these songs are inspired by generations of folk melodies which have a typical cant. I have a question for you Subodh. Is Khamaj typical in folk melodies of the Punjab? I’ve noticed a remarkable predilection for it amongst Bengali composers.
A take on its Carnatic equivalent Harikhambhoji in Malayalam. I like this song for the lyrics too, but the only translation I could find in English was abysmal.
A lot of synthesizer programming here which I am not overfond of, but it is still a lovely song. Sung by Chitra, a pensive song , a song of longing. I think the komal nishad lends itself to that feeling of straining to reach the sa for completion.
http://www.raaga.com/player5/?id=18654&mode=100&rand=0.36376313936813975

154 arvindersharma August 9, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Latha Ji,
Many thanks for your uploads.
I have been reading your posts of late, and am really envious as to how you people are so adept in the understanding of raags, whereas I myself am so fond of classical music, but do not have this talent.
Regarding the songs you posted, I am partial to the later two songs you have mentioned.
Now listen to another song in the same hilarious Punjabi mould by Chitragupta, who was not a Punjabi. (Both the songs that are earlier mentioned are composed by Punjabi MD’s, namely OP Naiyyar and Roshanlal Nagrath.

Gori odh ke mammal nikli from ‘Kali Topi Lal Rumaal’ by Rafi, Asha and chorus, music by Chitragupta.
Gori Udke Malmal Nekli Rafi Asha KALI TOPI LAL …: http://youtu.be/XV-u1aPxpcY
I will take this opportunity to present three Rafi Lata duets based on classical music which are my favorites.

Toone chhal kiya from ‘Piya Milan Ki Aas’, music SN Tripathi.
Toone Chhal Kiya Mohd Rafi Lata Mangeshkar Film P…: http://youtu.be/Ep3tLvw-c5g

Jhan jhan jhan….. baaje payaliya from ‘Rani Roopmati’ music SN Tripathi.
Jhan Jhan Jhan Baje Payaliya Lata & Rafi Film Ran…: http://youtu.be/a3i6INNjRZI

and
Gori aankhon me daale kajra from ‘Keechak Vadh, music by Master Krishna Rao.
Gori Aankhon Mein Dale Kazara-Keechak Vadh: http://youtu.be/vhxwjZTFhdA
Subodh Ji, I’ll request you also to kindly comment.

155 arvindersharma August 10, 2014 at 8:34 am

I’ve made an error mentioning Asha Bhonsle as the female singer in the song, ‘Gori odh ke malmal nikli’ from Kali Topi Lal Rumal’. It is Suman Kalyanpur instead.

156 AK August 10, 2014 at 11:36 am

Sharmaji,
This is a fantastic song. I think this can be called an OP Nayyar song, composed by Chitragupta. The melody and the opening musical piece is unmistakably Chitragupta.

Asha Bhosle it is obviously not. But are you sure it is Suman Kalyanpur? HFGK mentions Lata Mangeshkar, and it does sound more like her.

157 arvindersharma August 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm

AK Ji,
Upon listening to the song just now, it is unmistakablely Lata.
I consider my abiility to recognize voices quite decent, but sometimes misinformation leads to such errors.
Thanks for correcting me.

158 latha August 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

Hello Arvinder,
Recognising raagaas is a pastime of us south Indians (& many north Indians). I’d been doing this from childhood & as they say ‘practice makes perfect’ though nobody can claim to be perfect.
As far as the songs you have posted are concerned, The later 2 fall in the category of ‘Brindaavan Saaranga’. I am not able to put my finger into the first 2 songs. There is this video that I’m posting which introduces this raag with a one line ‘mukhda’ & how it should be sung in less than 6 minutes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmHx45qehic
If you listen to it several times, it would become easier to identify this raag whenever you hear it with the kind of taste that you have. This raag comes close to another one in Hindustani classical, “Megh Malhaar’, not to be confused.
Thanks for your appreciation, Arvinder which will go a long way in intensifying my interest & search in this field.

159 Srinivasan August 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm

The famous kriti in Raaga ‘Bridavan Saranga’ in Carnatic music is ‘Shrirangapura Vihara’ beautifully sung by M.S.Amma.

160 rugram August 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Referring to Lathaji’s comment (158) on Brindavani Sarang, the 6 minutes rendering of this raga is really useful to identify this raga. However, many a times when I listen to songs based on this raga, I get a doubt whether the raga is Brindavani Sarang or Sur Malhar, as they are very similar! A write-up on the webpage http://autrimncpa.wordpress.com/surdasi-malhar-sur-malhar/
brings out the difference in the avaroha part of the two ragas.
Thank you Lathaji for writing about the excellent piece on Brindavani Sarang on youtube.

161 latha August 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Srinivasanji,
I agree with you 100%. MS amma’s rendering of “Sri Rangapuravihara” is the ultimate in Brindavan Saranga.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2G3iXWuFb8

I just wanted to introduce the raag & its ‘chalan’ & hence though MS crossed my mind, I posted Santhanagopalakrishnan instead.

Rugramji,
Though Sur(das) Malhar is rare, Pt Bhimsen Joshi’s rendering is good & makes the raag quite clear. As you say, the avaroh part is different from Brindavan Saranga & that’s what distinguishes one from the other.
Thanks for the appreciation which will certainly make me go further in this quest & thanks for introducing the raag Surdas Malhaar.

162 arvindersharma August 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Lata Ji,
Many thanks for identifying the raags of my favorite songs and the useful clip accompanying your post. A very diligent listening, akin to going back to the school, will have to be the drill.

Subodh Ji and AK Ji,
Three interesting video clips, where you will find two of Maharashtra’s legendary composers, namely Sudhir Phadke and C Ramchandra, enthralling their audiences with great classic compositions.

Jyoti Kalash Chalke – Sudhir Phadke – Bhabhi Ki C…: http://youtu.be/FykYiZ2cOcw

C Ramchandra singing live Aadha Hai Chandrama Raa…: http://youtu.be/2z0rkWbjlCc

C. Ramchandra Live: Mohabbat Aisi Dhadkan Hai (BB…: http://youtu.be/bc1HHA5S9yo

Many thanks to YouTube once again.

163 krishna kadambi August 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Simply awe inspiring to read and listen to these gems-thanks to the authors

164 Subodh Agrawal August 28, 2014 at 7:15 am

Thank you Krishna Kadambi.

165 ashok September 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm

this is a wonderful site for which Subodhji &AK ji deserve a thousand thanx. with so many people contributing, it is sure to become more popular as the days go by. I would like to know the underlying raagas for the fol: songs
naino mein badra chaye…, Aaj socha to ansoo bhar aaye , ( Mmohan)
mil ja re jaane jaana..,(benazir), kaise kahoon 2, mere ji ki batiya, tere mere sapne ab ek rang hain(SD)
Radhike toone bansuri churayi, (SJ), Jaag dil-e-diwana rut jaagi(chitragupta)

166 AK September 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Ashok,
Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot. Over to Subodh.

167 SB September 1, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Super article and comments.
My 2 cents
1. Raag Maru Bihag.
Song – Tum toh pyar ho, sajani.
Film – Sehra.
Music – Ramlal, I think.
The best Maru Bihag that I have in my collection is an LP by vidushi Prabha Atre.
Would also like to mention a live concert that I heard about 3 years back, here in Pune, at Sawai Gandharva sangeet sammelan by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. Magical.

2. Raag Lalit
Song – Ek shahenshah ne banwake haseen Taj Mahal.
Film – Leader
Music – Naushad.
Also a ghazal by Jagjit Singh,
Koi paas aaya savere savere.
Raag lalit doesn’t figure in a lot of pure classical concerts but I have an LP by Ustad Amir Khan sahab which is worth mentioning. One other by Ustad Bismillah Khan sahab is outstanding.

168 latha September 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hai SBji,
Yes. Prabha Atre is an expert in Maru Bihag. The film song, “Zubane badalthe hai” is also based on “Maru Bihag”.
Lalit is another raag sung early in the morning. “Raina beethi jaay” starts in this raag.

Hi Asokji,
‘naino mein badra chaye’ is supposed to be Bimpalashree (Bhimpalas). In films one cannot get songs based entirely on a raag. There are bound to be deviations to make them ‘popular’ even among those who do not know classical music. Hence one can mention the raag only in a broad based sense. Of course, there are MDs like Naushad & Ilayaraja from the south who stick to rules in most of the songs.
Tere mere sapne is based on raag “Gaara”.
Radhike toone bansuri churayi is “Adaana”.
I leave the rest to better persons than me.

169 SB September 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Hello Ashok ji, and all soy family,
I am searching for the soundtrack of BENAZIR for a really really long time. I know for a fact that it was never released on a long play record, but came out only on 78 rpm shellac and audio cassettes. Would be a really appreciated if someone would lend me a audio cassette or a good quality CD. I will make a copy of it. ( I doubt if anyone here has its 78 rpm shellacs).
I am located in Pune.

170 N Venkataraman September 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Latha Ji,
By any chance are you from Kolkata? Were you with TOI any time?

171 Srinivasan September 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Dear SB, No probem I have the movie Benazir (1964) and all the songs (including ‘Legayi ek haseena’ of Rafi & ‘Alvida jane wafa’ of Lata which were not found in my movie CD). If you give me your E mail ID I can send you all the songs in MP3.

172 SB September 3, 2014 at 2:06 am

Subodh Agrawal ji
The list of best 5 commercially available recordings of classical music that u mention is fabulous.
What great artists in ur list Amir Khan, Kishori ji, imrat sahab, bhimsen ji, Dagar brothers. Wah.
Could u be kind enough to extend this list by making it a top 10 vocal and top 10 instrumental performances list ?

173 Subodh Agrawal September 3, 2014 at 7:24 am

Ashok ji, Latha ji has given all the answers that I could give to your queries. Most Hindi film songs, even those that sound ‘classical’ are not set to any specific raga – there is usually a lot of mixing. This post is specific to those songs that are true to a particular raga and have become iconic examples of that raga.

SB, you have set me a very pleasant task. Top 5 is always dicey: I notice that the list I have given in my post on Darbari is different from the one here! Top 10 personal favourites, that too instrumental and vocal separately, should be a lot easier. Here it goes:
Vocal:
1. Amir Khan – Marwa
2. Amir Khan – Malkauns
3. Dagar brothers(elder) – Darbari
4. Bhimsen Joshi – Malkauns
5. Kishori Amonkar – Bhupali
6. Bhimsen Joshi – Shudh Kalyan
7. Amir Khan – Megh
8. Jasraj – Shudh Nat (comparatively rare)
9. Kumar Gandharva – Bageshree (purists have some problems with it!)
10. Prabha Atre – Yaman

Instrumental:
1. Vilayat and Imrat Khan – Miyan ki Malhar
2. Ali Akbar Khan – Lajwanti
3. Vilayat Khan – Yaman
4. Imrat Khan – Marwa
5. Pannalal Ghosh – Yaman
6. Nikhil Banerjee – Malkauns
7. Ravi Shankar – Nat Bhairav
8. Vilayat Khan – Jhinjhoti
9. Abdul Halim Jafar Khan – Pahadi
10. Vilayat Khan and Bismillah Khan – Chaiti Dhun

As a bonus here is a list of my favourite short recordings:
1. Mogubai Kurdikar – Yaman
2. Amjad Ali Khan – Bihari gat
3. Jasraj – Nagardhwani kanada(Hamko bisar kahan chale)
4. Jasraj – Adana (Mata Kalika)
5. Bade Ghulam Ali – ‘Saiyan bolo’ Pilu
6. Bade Ghulam Ali – ‘Yaad piya ki aaye’ Bhinna Shadj (sounds more like Hemant)
7.Abdul Karim Khan – Shudh Kalyan (Mondar baaje)
8. DV Paluskar – Gaud Sarang (Piyu pal na laagi mori)
9. DV Paluskar – Malhar (Aayi samdhan mori)
10. Bhimsen Joshi – Todi(E ri maayi aaj shubh mangal gaao)

174 latha September 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm

@ Venkat,
No, I am not from Calcutta. I’m from the south. I’ve been writing comments in TOI for the past 3 years & they give me points (now around 10,000), send gifts etc for that. That’s it.

175 SB September 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Lovely lovely list Subodh ji. Although I have all the 20 titles with me on vinyls, I will have to listen to them once again to evaluate them. What a lovely task at hand.
And thanks for the bonus list which seems to be more fascinating. I will have to search for their vinyls, shellacs, cassettes ( may have Bade ghulam Sahab and Paluskar).
Thx sir, and I might post a few of my personal favorites.

176 N Venkataraman September 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Thank you Latha Ji for your reply. Sorry, I bothered you. Well, you may not be the same Latha whom I knew, I am glad to get acquainted with another person bearing the same name. Will look forward to your knowledgeable comments in future posts. Thank you.

177 ashok September 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm

thanx , Lataji for ur comments. CUD U LET ME KNOW SD BURMAN’S COMPOSITION IN RAAG jai jawanti, in any of his films,if any.

178 latha September 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm

@Venkat,
Thank you. I too am glad to get acquainted with like minded people. All the best.

179 latha September 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm

hi Ashok,
As far as I can recall, there is no song of SDB that is based on Jaijaiwanti. He has composed in some other raagaas.

180 SB September 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Hello Subodh ji
Dr Prabha Atre – Yaman, wasn’t to be found in my collection. All the other 19 titles r with me. Could u send me the details of YAMAN regarding whether it’s on a vinyl or CD, which bandish, etc.

Mentioning my favourites, the very very best of Indian classical music,
KUMAR GANDHARVA – Raag Nand.
bandish – Rajan ab toh aa.
KUMAR ji again – Raag Bhairav, Bhairav ke prakaar Shivmat, Bhavmat, Bihad Bhairav.
Both these renditions are absolutely stunning and my favourites.

181 O.P.RAJPUT September 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Ref 177 & 179: Sorry for jumping in the fray. What about SDB’s Tere Mere Sapne from Guide? Is it not Jaijaiwanti?

182 Subodh Agrawal September 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Thank you SB. I will search for the these recordings of Kumar Gandharva. I have no details of vinyl or other recordings of Prabha Atre. I have heard her Yaman on Youtube.

Mr OP Rajput: I had also thought of ‘Tere mere sapne’ from Guide as Jaijaiwanti. But all standard references on the net list it as Gara. Gara is a very tricky raga – in fact some people say it is not a raga at all but just kind of bandish. I could have sworn ‘Mohe panghat pe nandlal chhed gayo ri’ from Mughale Azam was Pilu, but it is also Gara. I don’t understand this raga at all.

183 Subodh Agrawal September 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Continuing further on the Gara territory. http://www.chandrakantha.com lists ‘Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat per rona aaya’ from ‘Hum Dono’ and ‘Aise to na dekho ki hamko nasha ho jaye’ from ‘Teen Devian’ as Gara. If that is so then ‘Aap aaye to khayal-e dil-e nashad aaya’ from ‘Gumraah’ must also be Gara because the similarity is striking. They are not far from ‘Tere mere sapne’ either. However, I don’t see (hear) anything in common between them and ‘Mohe panghat pe nandlal’. Gara is confusing!

184 latha September 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm

@ Rajputji & Subodhji,
Here is this list of songs in Gaara.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDICC1y97Ok&index=1&list=PL6950196D4E0DF192
The bhajan of Shamik Bose definitely resembles “Kabhi Khud pe, kabhi haalaat pe” & “Mohe panghat pe”.
There is another website which explains “Gaara” & how it is confused with Jaijaivanti, Peelu etc.
http://swaratala.blogspot.in/2007/05/raga-gara-raga-and-fragrance.html

185 Subodh Agrawal September 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Thank you Latha ji. I’ve enjoyed listening to the tracks linked by you but frankly I still find the raga quite confusing. The opening paragraph of the swarlata.blogspot article provides the solace that I am not wrong in being confused. Gara is rather loosely defined and one would keep hearing Khamaj, Pilu, Jaijaiwanti and Kafi in it. Shamik Bose’s rendition has more Khamaj in it, while Salamat Ali’s has a strong dose of Malhar.

186 latha September 12, 2014 at 12:53 am

Gaara is not a classically based song. It is derived from folk music. Hence it collides with so many raagaas esp., it comes pretty close to Jaijaivanti & Peelu.

187 latha September 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

@ Subhodji & @ Venkat
I listened to Farida Khannum recently rendering Raag Shankara.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiLP6rPVlVk

I think the Aashiq song, “Jhanan jhan jhana ke apni paayal” is based on this raag.

There are a group of several (more than 100) pieces in Raag Shankara (though not ‘all’ are Shankara) which you can listen to at leisure here. Sorry, no film song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_mk_-rMU-Y&index=1&list=PL_6-o6Y9oEfB_70QtwBc7rxdmTNOnYGuf

188 N Venkataraman September 15, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Latha Ji,
Thanks for the clipping of Farida Khannum. Also listened to Veena Sahasrabhude’s rendition of Raag Shankara. Enjoyed both. Will listen to the other pieces at leisure.

189 latha September 16, 2014 at 11:39 am

Venkatji,
As you listen you’ll get a grip of that raag . Thanks for your response.

190 Bhupal Halder September 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Very beautiful effort of S.A. to generate the list of hindi film songs based on raga and this would attract many non-classical arena to have some knowledge of ragas.Thus helps to popularise the hindusthani music among common people. Thanks a lot to S.A.

191 W.V.G.Vithanage November 7, 2014 at 11:13 am

I’m from Sri Lanka. Thanks for this article.

192 Subodh Agrawal November 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Thank you Mr Halder and Mr Vithange.

193 s k vyas November 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

I accidentally discovered this site but what a pleasure it has been reading through your articles.I did not know people had such a deep knowledge on
hindi film music, hats off.

194 Subodh Agrawal November 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Thank you Mr. Vyas.

195 am November 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Dear Subodh, Wonderful to read these word of true appreciation and encouragement for this monumental effort; a labour of love indeed, best regards, Ramesh
PS In Chandigarh for some time.

196 Bhargav December 11, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Can you please tell me, which Raag is used in the song from Film : Jagruti: Calo chalo Maa, sapano ke gau me, kanto se door kahi….phoolo ki chau me….Challo challo MAA….?

197 Subodh Agrawal December 13, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Thanks Bhargav. I am afraid I can’t pinpoint the raga of ‘Chalo chalein maa’. It follows mostly the scale that is common to Darbari and Asavari (komal ga, dha and ni) but does not follow the movement of either of them. It also uses shudh ga and ni, which are not permitted in these ragas. The number of ragas in the Kanada family, of which Darbari is the leader, is enormous, and I can’t claim to know even one tenth of them. It could be one of the ragas from this family, or it may just be some mixture that doesn’t follow any raga in particular.

Thanks for reminding me of this childhood favorite. Makes me wonder, however, why all movies for children at that time – late fifties and early sixties – were such tear-jerkers! Maybe the film-makers of that time all had very unhappy childhoods.

198 Shrinivas December 16, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Dear Subodh, Thank you for this wonderful site and it is indeed a pleasure to go through various discussions. As regards list of Maru Bihag based compositions, I would like to add the following songs: 1. Payalwali Dekhna .. Film: Ek Raz, Singer: Kishor Kumar, 2. Likhne Wale Ne Likha Hai… Film: Arpan, Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Suresh Wadkar , Music : Laxmikant Pyarelal 3. Thare Vaste Re Dhola Naina Mere Jage , Film: Batwara Singers: Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krushnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, Music : Laxmikant Pyarelal, 4. Bada Dukh Dina, Film: Ram Lakhan, Singer Lata Mangeshkar, Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal

199 Subodh Agrawal December 17, 2014 at 8:21 am

Thank you Srinivas, for your appreciation and the additions to the list of songs in Maru Bihag.

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