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:

{ 192 comments… read them below or add one }

1 harvey November 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for this beautiful article!
I have no knowledge of ragas and thus this was quite informative.

2 dustedoff November 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

I’ll second that! I know nothing of classical music, except some random names of raags.
I’m going to be bookmark this post and read through it very slowly and carefully – perhaps one raag at a time, everyday, so that it stays with me. Right now (and simply because Madhuban mein Radhika naache re is one of my absolutely favourite songs), I’m listening to the ‘original’ rendition of raag Hameer. Fantastic – I’m getting gooseflesh just hearing it.

Thank you so very much, Subodh and AK.

3 Ashok Vaishnav November 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

Incidentally, Manmohana bade jhoothe, Ja tose nahin bolun Kanhaiya and Poochho na kaise meine rain bitayee also happen to be from All-Time -Favorites list too.

‘Ja tose nahin bolun Kanhaiya’ also led me to pursue Hamsdhwani – in greater details [I a only follow and understand classical music, but do not ‘know’ it].

The idea of adding-on peices of similar raaga in its original form is indeed great.

Would you please take up series where classical singers have rendered hind songs. ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’ has published an audio songs CD on this topic. But their selection, even though quite well-done, can not have the soft touch persons like you.

4 Ashok Vaishnav November 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Addendum to my earlier comment:
I have located the Audio CD, referred to in my comment – ‘Alaap – Classical Legends in Hindi Films [CDF 124064]

5 Vikas Chandra Agrawal November 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

Some times on some occasions your silence is best to express your appreciation for something.Sirf ek baat kahna chahoonga— Pyaas bujhney ki jagah aur badh gai hai—– Please include raag Yaman. Durga,Darbari and Maand in your next article,and keep writing beyond notes on your official files——–Regards

6 Subodh Agrawal November 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

Thanks Harvey, Dustedoff, Ashok Vaishnav and Vikas for your encouragement. Thanks again to AK for motivating me.

Dustedoff: A well known and beautiful piece in Hameer is Mukesh’s non-film Bhajan ‘Sur ki gati main kya janoon’.

7 AK November 9, 2011 at 10:04 am

My iconic songs would include:

1. Durga: Chanda re mori patiya le ja (Banjarin); Amjad Ali Khan’s iconic Durga/ Bhmsen Joshi’s Chatur sugharaa / Kumar Gandharva’s Rang jharaye

2. Desi: Aaj gawat man mero jhoom ke (Baiju Bawraa); Omkarnath Thakur’s Kadam ki chhaiyaan/ Faiyyaz Khan’s Mhaare dere aao

3. Adana: Jhanak jhanak payal baaje (Title song); Pandit Jasraj’s Mata kalikaa bhawaanee

But I am happy Subodh did this post, otherwise I would have missed the beautiful Ghanshaym sundara (I can not get over it), and so many other pieces he has selected with such great care and love.

A trivia for dustedoff (I was hoping some one would mention it). In Slumdog Millionaire, they had erroneouly credited Darsan do Ghanshaym to Surdaas, which led to some protests by Gopal Singh Nepali’s descendants.

8 AK November 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Arunkumar Dshmukh has sent me an e-mail which I am quoting verbatim:

AK ji,

Only the other day,I heard someone say,”Most film music lovers run away from classical music”.I think it is only partly true.

What the reality is that the word Classical Music is associated with some ustad so and so,having a Mehfil with only a Tanpura or a Violin,and who goes on repeating
a word or a set of words again and again for half an hour each and such songs seem to be endless !

Music is in every Indian’s blood.It is what one would call a “Virasat”of Indian culture.Music is in our life throughout right from birth to death.Every Indian grows up listening to his mother’s lories,marriage songs,holi songs etc etc.

When Classical music is presented to people sans the Ustad’s mehfil and also in a short version with catchy and lilting tunes in a short time,it is always welcome.That is how our film music evolved and since last 80 years,is the delight of all Indians all over the world.The list of visitors to Music Blogs is a testimony to this indeed.

Hindi film music has truely helped take classical music to the masses.Besides,it has played another role too.
The famous Historian of Music James McConnachie says ” As India marched into an uncertain future in 1947(after Independence),Film songs offered something unique: they helped create
a sense of belonging to one Nation,something that the divisive Right wingers in India chanting “Hindu” and “Muslim” could never achieve !When Hindi Film Singers sang,nobody cared,whether Mohd.Rafi was a Muslim or Lata was a Hindu Bramhin.It’s great music bridged the gap between Hindus and Muslims,better than any Politician(read Gandhi or Nehru) ever could “-World Music-The rough guide,Vol II,pp 106,pub.1990 Harper Collins.

Besides, the runaway successes of films like Baiju Bawra,Basant Bahar,Tansen,Z Z Payal baje,Abhimaan etc was possible because Classical music was presented to them in the way they loved.

Music Directors like Vasant Desai,Naushad,S.D.Burman and many others have helped classical music reach to people in an acceptable form.

Coming to Songs based on Raagaas-

Raag is a very complex thing.It consists of characteristics like Swar,Thaat,Jaati,Vaadi and Swaroop.The use of any characteristc in greater measure changes the complexion ofnthe song.
Similarly,Sur,Laya and Taal are parts of construction of a song.
In other words,Raaga of the songs may be same,but any component used in excess makes the songs sound different and conversely,same components in same Raaga makes the songs sound similar,sometimes almost the same tune too !
This can happen in Mukhda,Antara or Both in 2 songs.That is why some songs sound similar from different movies and even different Composers.(and it is branded as a ‘copy’).

Someone has said, ” with only 7 main notes,6 main Raagas,36 Raaginis and 72 Sub Raaginis,every ‘new’ musical composition is bound to sound familiar in places ”

I was very glad to see the presentation of 10 Raaga based film songs.The presenter has taken special efforts obviously and it shows ! my congratulations and Thanks to Subodh ji.

Classical music is the base of all music compositions.

AK ji,
You may publish this small article on your blog,if you feel it is worthy of it.

AK‘s comments:
Thanks a lot for your detailed presentation. I join you in adding my congratulations and thanks to Subodh Agrawal again.

9 Pankaj Sharan November 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Subodh has very generously called me his ‘teacher’ which is not quite correct. We were both physics graduate students in love with Indian classical music. We listened to music programs and records, discussed music often, and, as a hobby, tried to learn some too. We were having great fun!

Our music teacher Pandit Uma Kant Pathak used to point out to his students a well known film song based on a raga as a reference to learn the raga. For example, once I asked him about Raga Nand (or Anandi) and he said “you just have to listen to ‘tu jahan jahan chalega, mera saya saath hoga’. Everything of importance for the raaga is there in the song.” ( It is from film Mera Saya, composed by Madan Mohan) .

Well, congratulations for the beautiful site! And Subodh Agrawal has just started a process. It would be nice if visitors to the site leave their comment on their own favorite song for a particular raaga! Especially the less obvious ones!

10 KBS Sidhu November 12, 2011 at 12:59 am

Great collection! Am using the weekend to savour each one them many times over.

Thanks, sir, once again. And, looking forward to further write-ups from you on a variety of subjects.

I am taking the liberty of posting the link on my Facebook wall, as well as yours, sir.

11 arvind November 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm
this one from’ pardesi ‘is based on raag goud sarang (as indicated in another upload).anil biswas excelled in this indo russian co production.

12 Harini December 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I am delighted that I came here, serendipity to be thanked for! My husband is struggling to understand the concept of raagas, and my knowledge is highly amateur, so I don’t seem to be doing a good job of teaching him either.

We’re both born in the 1980s but are afficionados of old hindi music, especially songs composed by Madan Mohan & Roshan. Sometimes, I recognize a raag in the song and tell my husband about other songs from the same raag – for e.g. the eternal Rafi-Naushad number ‘O duniya ke rakhwale’ from Baiju Bawra resonates with ‘Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal’ in Aarzoo sung by Talat Mehmood and composed by Anil Biswas – both songs in one of my favorites, Raag Darbari Kanada.

We have only recently started this game, and I’m delighted that you have such a great line-up and a good reference. Please do add more, so that we can learn along the way too. Enjoyable read :)

13 K R Vaishampayan January 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Dear Mr. Subodh Agrawal, thanks for such a wonderful article, songs and matching hardcore Classical renditions by great exponents. This article is an absolute Gem. Thanks again for such informative and entertaining presentation. Regards – K R Vaishampayan [alias – KRV]

14 Adil February 15, 2012 at 3:57 am

Thank you very much for this, Subodh Agrawal. I am from Pakistan and tried my hand at classical singing, and my favorite raga was always Bhopali. However, thanks to your article, I now also love raga Hamsadhwani.

Thank you once again for enriching my life a little more with such invaluable information.

15 Richard S. March 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Returning to the beautiful music in this post after sometime away from it, and I am enjoying the non-film clips as well as the film ones. (Actually, I have listened to Kishori Amonkar quite a bit just in the past few months.) Anyway, this time I wanted to add a couple of comments…

This is a favorite song from Aashiq (1962)… I have most frequently seen claims that it was based on Raga Yaman, but sometime back, someone said in comments on my blog that it was based on a different raga entirely. Then someone said a combination… I’d welcome any further guesses about that.

And in the comments above, someone linked to the famous song in Pardesi, but the video is gone, so here’s another copy:

16 AK March 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

@Richard S
Aashiq song is beautiful. To me it sounds Yaman, but I am sure the expert Subodh will clarify,whenever he gets time to return to the post.

YouTube is playing hide and seek with the Pardesi song. Even the link you gave is gone, but here is another one I found. I do not how long they would allow it to last

Na dir dim tana dere na by Lata Mangeshkar from Pardesi (1957), music Anil Biswas

17 Subodh Agrawal March 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

@Richard S: I have no claim to be an expert, only an amateur who has some exposure to classical music. To mix this song sounds like a mix of many ragas, with only occasional glimpses of Yaman. I can’t even say that Yaman is the main raga in this mix.

18 Subodh Agrawal March 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Typing error. Read this as “to me this song sounds like…”

19 arvind March 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm

this one………………ud ja bhanwar……by manna dey and lata from the movie….’ rani rupmati’ …………is based on raag darbari and raag gurjari todi (according to a comment on the upload ).

20 Pankaj Sharan March 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Regarding the second part by Lata (aa ja bhanwar– sooni dagar) of the Rani Rupmati song : It is clearly Brindabani Sarang and not Todi. But the confusion can arise because if the Teevra Ni of Brindabani Sarang is taken to be the Sa, the notes shift to those of Gujari Todi.

21 S balakrishnan March 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Simply superb! Why I did not get to read this wonderful article before? mr Agrawal should write more often. Thank you Songs of Yore and AK for introducing this connoisseur to me.

22 AK April 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Thanks a lot and welcome to this site. I guess Subodh Agrawal was busy with work, and we should hopefully see more contributions from him.

23 Mazhar Rizvi April 28, 2012 at 5:46 am

Great article. Very enjoyable. We need many more from you, Mr. Agarwal.

One minor quibble: Jurm-e-Ulfat Pe is from Taj Mahal (1963).

Please keep those article coming.

24 nitin kulkarni May 11, 2012 at 8:27 am

thank u for all this info i was looking for something like that for aperiod of time.

25 Mohan Kotwal May 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

Very educative article,painstaking and interesting!

26 Deepali June 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm

i am a lay person as far as classical music is concerned but its magic is such that it binds you to itself… ever since i chanced upon ur site, its almost as if finding a treasure trove of gems.. pls keep up the good work..
sir, i had heard this song piya basera ghar ali- pt ghandharva (raga gaud malhar) which was the first song that hooked me to this genre of music.. but the problem is it is difficult to find lyrics of these songs… sir would you pls guide as to where i can find lyrics of this song n many more like it..

27 Pittu Singh July 2, 2012 at 12:55 am

Subhod, bloody brilliant!

28 Vasant Shroff July 28, 2012 at 8:07 am

An excellent collection. There is a more recent song based on Ahir Bahirav – “Albela Sajan Aayo Ri” from film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Well done Subodh.

29 mohan kotwal July 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Excellent collection! I appeal you to post some songs based on Raag Malkauns too. Good job!

30 Vasant Shroff July 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm

One of the all time hits in Raag Malkauns is – Man Tadpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj from Baiju Bawra. The beauty of this Bhajan is that it was written by Shakil Badauni, Composed by Nausad and sung by Mohammed Rafi – all Muslims. This is possibe only in India!

31 AK July 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm

How I wish Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) was there to lip synch it. By the way do we have a similar bhajan with all these four?

32 Devendra Kumar Rudola August 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Dears Mr Agrawal, Mr AK,
A million thanks for starting such a splendid task. Sadly, I came across it only today- almost a year wasted!
I have always been interested in Indian classical music, so far only in listening though. But I have been wanting to learn the ABC of it for some time now. Unfortunately, for the last some years, have been enconsed in a place like Mozambique. Would be extremely grateful if you could suggest some website or some books/CDs etc wherefrom I could learn the basics so that the charm of listening to Indian classical music is enhanced even more.
Kind regards,

33 s p sinha August 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

geet gaya pathorone by Kishori Amonkar? anyone?

34 Subodh Agrawal August 30, 2012 at 11:22 am

@Devendra Kumar Rudola: The two best sites I am aware of are and www. They both deal with popular, light classical as well as regular classical music, with a large number of audio/video clips.

@s p sinha: ‘Geet gaya patharon ne’ is raga Durga; although not a very great example of it. Durga is an exceedingly beautiful raga which, for some reason, has not been used much in film music. The best examples are ‘Chanda re mori patiyan le ja’ from Banjarin, ‘Ye raatein ye mausam ye hansna hansaana’ private song of Pankaj Mullick and ‘Jaagiye gopal lal’ from Jawahar.

35 Devendra Kumar Rudola August 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Thank you very much Mr Agrawal. Will check out these sites.
Thanks once again.

36 N Venkataraman September 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

The song from Aashiq “to me sounds like” Hameer kalyan!!!

37 N Venkataraman September 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Thanks a lot Mr.Agarwal & AK. Great listening and learning experience. If you could include some of the the songs by Jaddan Bai with explanatory notes I will be grateful. Thank you once again.

38 Adil September 9, 2012 at 1:25 am

Hi Subodh,

As I mentioned earlier (well, a few months ago), this article is SO informative and amazing. However, I still cannot tell the difference between Raag Bhopali and Raag Pahadi. In fact, some websites say that the song “Karwatein badal te rahay” from Aap Ki Kasam is based on pahadi, while others claim it is Bhopali. Your info on this will be greatly appreciated!

39 Subodh Agrawal September 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Yes there is an overlap between the two ragas, arising from the fact that Pahadi is often played or sung in a different scale than the normal one. Karwatein badalte rahe is Pahadi. In the opening portion ‘karvatein badalte rahe sari raat hum’ cold fit into either raga, but ‘aap ki kasam’ clearly takes it out of the range of Bhopali and into Pahadi. You may like to see my article on Pahadi on this site.

40 Subodh Agrawal September 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

Mr Venkataraman. I have heard the Ashiq song repeatedly after your first comment and I would say it freely traverses a wide territory marked by Yaman and Bihag as two prominent markers and with shades of Hameer as well.

I had never heard Jaddan Bai before. Your second comment motivated me to search for her on Youtube and I came across some very interesting pieces. Thanks. Maybe AK would do a comprehensive post on her sometime.

41 Adil September 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Thank you for clarifying and the insight, Subodh. Very informative. Will check the article out as well.

42 RAJ KAMAL GUPTA October 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Nice collection.

43 K R Vaishampayan October 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Dear AK and Subodh…thanks a zillion for this rare treat. Besides great colloection of film songs based on Classical Ragas, I shall always be more than grateful for the real rarew treat of – Classical asides in the orginal ragas. I am sppechless to hear – Abdul Karim Khan sahib and Bade Gulam Ali Khan sahib; Pt. Jasraj; Ustad Rashid Khan or Sanjeev Abhyankar. But even than that…Ustad Siyauddin Dagaer sahab. My special thanks for this. Because, almost 35 odd years ago, I had the fortune to hear Ustad Siyauddin Dager sahib at his Chembur residence while he hummed just for 4-5 of us and Ziauddin Khan sahib joining him. Dear AK and Subodh…thanks again and yet again for this rare treat. With warmest regards and season’s greetings – KRV [looking forward eagerly to the next treat]

44 Mukund Abhyankar October 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Thanks for great efforts and making such nice music avaialable to we classical music lovers on a platter.

45 Subodh Agrawal November 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Thank you Mr Vaishampayan, Mr Gupta and Mr Abhyankar.

46 vishnushanbhogue November 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Dear sir, wonderfull article.i am also a semiclassical music lover/hindi.
Please make an article of rarely heard such songs yaman Jesudas
sharada duet ” Deko sajan churahi man tera mera miln…”from Hajaron
Hath….plz do sir …

47 AK November 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm
48 Subodh Agrawal November 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

Dear Mr Vishnushanbhogue, thanks for your comment and also for the song ‘Dekho sajan churaye’ from ‘Hazar Haath’. It was new for me. It is indeed a rare song – I had difficulty locating it on Youtube. Finally I found it:

It came as a complete surprise to me that the ‘Titli Udi’ girls who specialized in Western sounding songs would be a music director and compose a classical song. I wondered if there were two different Shardas. But there is only one – Sharda Rajan Iyengar, who rose to fame with ‘Titli udi’ and whose latest offering is an album of Ghazals set to music by her (2007).

The composition of ‘Dekho sajan churaye’ is very good. However I am afraid Sharda has not been able to do justice to her own song. Her voice goes off key several times during the song and the contrast with Yesudas is stark. Still, a good attempt deserves all the appreciation it can get. Thanks again for making me aware of it.

49 Mehul Dave November 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

I am not an expert or even a layman by any stretch. I just like the music greatly and its almost like a meditation to me. About 2 years ago, I met a movie maker, Mrs. Geeta Desai who has produced a documentary on the northern Indian raga system after many years of work. Its called “Raga Unveiled”. You can find it at this website.

I found it very good. I’m not related to Mrs. Desai in any form and do not get any commissions. I’m merely sharing something I found very educational and useful.

50 deepa November 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

A very good article from which i could get answers to many of my a few songs on raag sony and madhuvanti too. is kuhoo kuhoo based on raag sony?

51 Subodh Agrawal November 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Thank you Mehul Dave and Deepa. Yes Deepa, ‘Kuhu kuhu bole koyalia’ is based on raga Sohni or Sohoni – depending on how one chooses to pronounce it. Its stanzas, however, are in in different ragas – ‘saj singar ritu aayi basanti’ is in Sohni. ‘Kahe ghata me bijli chamke’ is Bahaar, ‘Chandrika dekho’ is Jaunpuri and ‘Sharad raat’ is Yaman. The refrain is Sohni.

52 john alexander December 7, 2012 at 12:26 am

Simple presentation of erudite stuff! Delightful!!

53 Renuka Karunakaran December 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Thank you Mr. Subodh Agrawal and Mr. AK!!!
To someone like me who has absolutely no idea of classical music but enjoys listening to music…this was a treasure trove!
Enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you once again!

54 N.A.Bapat December 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Thanks again. For Ragas and Film songs based on ragas. Mr. subodh Agrawalji, A.k. and others thanks for your comments.

55 Subodh Agrawal December 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Welcome to Songs of Yore; Mr Alexander, Ms Karunakaran and Mr Bapat.

56 Pravin January 29, 2013 at 10:37 am

Greetings !!!
Interesting to know that many of us love india classical music.
Songs based on Raga Madhuvanti are “Rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhaye to nibhaye kaise” from film Dil ki rahe singer lata music by madan mohan and “Dil-e-nadan tuze huva kya hai” a non-film gazal sung by Suman Kalyanpur, composed by Iqbal Gill aka Chhote Iqbal.

57 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 10:21 am

Hi Subodh, The other evening you were very modest when you mentioned this contribution. I think you have done a great service to music lovers by bringing out nuances of various ragas in film music. Congratulations. Well done and keep doing it as often as possible. Thereis a Bandish by Pt. Jasraj, “Sakhiri Ab Too Mat Kar Baat, Badi Raat Ham Sowat Jaat” I havent been able to figure out this Raga. Can you help? Oh Yes Amar Bhupali Ghanshyam Sundara was indeed the song with which most Marathi speaking people of my generation would be most familiar.

58 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

Subodh, Another query. Mehdi Hasan’s “Ab ke ham bichhare to shayad kabhi Khwao me mle’ and a marathi song by lataji, ‘ Malawoon Taak Deep ” Hridaynath’s music are in the same raag but I cannot figure out what it is. Please help

59 Subodh Agrawal March 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Thanks again Ramesh for your appreciation. Now to your queries. I couldn’t find a working link to Jasraj’s ‘Sakhi ri ab tu mat kar baat’. However my search indicated that it is in Des Ang Ki Jaijaiwanti. I found another bandish by him in this raga:

Listen to this and see if it sounds like the one you have mentioned. To me it sounds much closer to Jaijaiwanti than Desh.

Now to ‘Ab ke ham bichhare’ and ‘Malawoon taak deep’. Yes both sound very similar. It was not a raga I knew. It sounded like Bhoopali/Shudh Kalyan in the lower half of the octave and Bhairav in the upper half. Searchin on these parameters helped me locate the raga. It is called Bhoopeshwari. It has the same notes as Bhoopali, with the difference that dha is komal – which is what makes it sound like Bhairav.

60 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Could Pt Jasraj’s bandish be Chhayanat with some variation and Ab ke ham bichhare Natbhairav? Thanks again

61 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

You are on dot Sakjiri is indeed Des Ang Jaijaywanti, thanks again some detective work!!

62 Subodh Agrawal March 14, 2013 at 7:35 am

@ Ramesh Phadke
I also thought of Nat Bhairav first, but it didn’t sound right. The Bhairav part was ok, but Nat was absent. It sounded more like Bhoopali or Shudh Kalyan. I stumbled on Bhoopeshwari while searching for something that might be named Bhoop-Bhairav. This Wikipedia entry settled it:

63 n.venkataraman March 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Subodh ji,
Thanks for introducing the Raag Bhoopeswari. A beautiful find. Thanks to you and Ramesh Phadke ji.

64 Salu Manzoor March 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Dear Subodh:

Incredible selection and lots of new one which I had not heard before. One that I imagine you would have had difficulty in leaving out of the top ten is “Man Mohan Man Main Ho Tumhi”.

But you guys make it all worthwhile, so bless you!!


65 Subodh Agrawal March 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Thank you Salu Manzoor. ‘Man mohan man mein ho tumhi’ is a well known song in Adana. Hopefully my next post, as and when it happens, will cover Adana along with Darbari.

66 Ravi Kumar May 13, 2013 at 12:23 am

great collection. Great comments. If possible please add the song – laga chumari me daag from movie dil hi to hai. This song is Best in raag bhairavi. Greatly sung by mr. Manna dey, lyrics by mr. sahir ludhiyanvi, music by roshan ji. Acting great raj kapoor. Very good music, dance, picturisation all are great.

67 Subodh Agrawal May 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

Thank you Ravi Kumar. ‘Laga chunari mein daag’ is an excellent example of Bhairavi. Bhairavi is possibly the most popular raga in film music and I would need to cover it in more than one post – as and when I come around to it. As I mentioned in one earlier comment somewhere, Bhairavi is usually the last raga to be played in a classical concert. I will come to it after I am done with the other popular ragas like Darbari, Bihag, Pilu, Mand, Shivranjini, Jaunpuri, Bageshri, Rageshri etc. Stay tuned.

68 Gairik chakrabarty May 18, 2013 at 7:55 am

First of all I must pay my tribute to Subodhji and AK because there conversation gave us a lot to think about raaga and specially based on raagas’ based on filmi songs, because through this many more person will be able to understand how raagas contributed us. Sorry, just now I received a bad news that’s why I can’t express my feelings any more. Whenever I will get time, I will definitely be in touch with you.

69 Subodh Agrawal May 19, 2013 at 8:11 am

Thanks Gairik. I do hope the problem is satisfactorily resolved. Look forward to your detailed response.

70 vidhyunmala B July 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

excellent collection and god bless for sharing.. keep going

71 Srinivasan July 22, 2013 at 2:15 am

No doubt you have done a good job but left out ragas like Shivaranjini in which R.D.Burman composed ‘Mere naina sawan badho’ for the film Mehbooba.

72 Chetan July 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

Just happen to be surfing and had found other website where a few years ago Dr. Kamat had posted a discriptive article on raga SHIVARANJINI.
Songs: Mere naina; Jane Kahan Gaye woh din; Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil and more.

An absolute bliss – just relaxing and refreshing, the music gift we are awarded with.
Thank you. ALL !

73 Subodh Agrawal July 26, 2013 at 10:44 am

Thanks Vidyunmala, Srinivasan and Chetan. This was only a sample of iconic songs in some ragas. Not only Shivaranjani, but many other ragas had to be left out. Later I have added articles on Yaman, Pahadi, Chhayanat, Gaud Sarang, Gaud Malhar, Kamod, Malkauns, Desh and Tilak Kamod, while AK has written a beautiful one on Durga. It will take us several years to go through even half of the major ragas!

Shivaranjani is a beautiful and evocative raga with several outstanding songs. Some of my favourites, other than those mentioned by Chetan are, ‘Dharti ko aakash pukare’ from ‘Mela'; ‘Karoge yaad to’ from ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Laage na mora jiya’ from ‘Ghunghat’. Apart from ‘Mere naina sawan bhadon’ there is also ‘More naina sawan bhadon’ from ‘Vidyapati(1964).’ Interesting to find two songs with similar mukhdas on the same raga.

74 Suchibrata bhattacharya August 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

Dear Agarwalji

Many thanks for such a beautiful site. You have helped me to find a l0t of answers to my questions. 1 small request to you, I have been searching for long time for a song from 1942 movie tamanna. It was sung by Suraiya ji and manna dey,JAAGO AAYI USHA. can you please help me to hear the song?

75 अनिलभाई दवे September 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

शास्त्रीय हिन्दुस्तानी संगीत का परिचय यदि रागों पर आधारित फ़िल्मी गीतों के माध्यम से हो तो रागों की पहचान बहुत सरल हो जाती है. किसी राग पर आधारित फ़िल्मी गीत के साथ उसी राग की शात्रीय बंदिश रखने से तो फिर उसे भुलाया नहीं जा सकता. आप का प्रयास अवश्य सराहनीय है. इस के लिए आप हम सब संगीतरसिकों के धन्यवाद के अधिकारी हैं. इस संकलन में आप की रागों को परखने की क्षमता के साथ साथ आप के अविरत परिश्रम की भी धारणा की जा सकती है. आप को बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद .
अनिलभाई दवे ११, विश्राम पार्क, वासणा, अहमदाबाद . १६-०९-२०१३

76 AK September 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for your appreciation. YT has a very small fragment of the song. But it is of historical importance.

77 AK September 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm

अनिलभाई दवेजी,
मेरे मित्र सुबोध ज्ञानी भी हैं और सुलेखक भी. आपकी प्रशंसा के लिये वे स्वयं भी आपको अवश्य ही धन्यवाद देंगे.

78 सुबोध अग्रवाल September 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

अनिलभाई दवे जी, आपका बहुत धन्यवाद. आप जैसे ज्ञानी रसिकों को मेरा यह प्रयास अच्छा लगा, इससे बड़ा मेरे लिए कोई सम्मान नहीं हो सकता.

79 rugram September 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm

An extremely useful site for lovers of both classical music and film songs, and I would express my gratefulness for the excellent write-up, presentation, prompt responses to queries, etc. I am no expert but I think answers to a couple of comments on this page may be in order. Please excuse me for any errors.
Ms. Deepali (30.6.2012) – The song by Pt. Kumar Gandharva is in raga Gaud Sarang and not Gaud Malhar, if I remember right.
Mr. Srinivasan (22.7.2013) – One great film song based on Shivranjini is by Shankar-Jaikishen duo in the film Patrani (1956) ‘Chandrama…’ which is an unforgettable piece for old timers like me. You can listen to this on the Internet.
Those of you who want to have a list of popular Hindi (and Marathi) film songs based on different ragas can usefully peruse the book ‘Sangeet Sarita’ by Dr. Vithal Thakur of Goa. This book is in Marathi but those who know the Devanagari script can understand the contents easily. This book lists over 100 ragas with corresponding popular film songs, and also has a reverse index. In the sea of classical music, it is impossible to compile a complete list, and so this booklet too does not claim to have all the songs. I am not in any way connected with the author or the publisher of this book but as I was very much impressed by this compilation, I had presented copies of this booklet to many relations and close friends who, like me, are interested in trying to enter the vast expanse of classical music through the portal of Hindi film songs.
As the creators of this website have pointed out earlier, the website is a very useful site for people who want to explore Hindustani classical music. I too refer to this site often and have recommended it to many others.
Thanks again for all the trouble you have taken to set up this website and to respond to queries. May God bless you both (Mr.Agrawal and Mr AK – ‘may your tribe increase’, to quote from Abou Ben Adam’s poem), and we eagerly await additions of many more ragas to this site.

80 rugram September 22, 2013 at 8:56 pm

P.S. to my previous post of today. The booklet mentioned by me lists over 100 songs and not 100 ragas. Sorry for this error.

81 AK September 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Thanks a lot for your kind words and good wishes.

82 k s bhatia September 30, 2013 at 12:36 am

AKji,….Classical songs of the golden era based on the ragas were the real gems of the indian films.Credit for the popularty of such songs goes to each and every music directors of the yester years like Naushad,Anil biswas, Madan mohan,Shanker Jaikishan,S D Burman….. and many more. Not forgetting the beatiful rederring by the great Lataji,Rafi saheb, Mana Dey,Ashaji, Kamal Barot,Zora Bai…….again the list is unending. We are deprived of such songs in nowadays movies . At present Ragas based songs are the rarest comodity for the ears. That reminds me of the great Madan mohan’s classical rafi asha duet…Hum safar saath apna chhod chale Rishte nate woh saare chhod chale ……indeed this fading of richness is unbearable for the music lovers.

83 k s bhatia October 2, 2013 at 12:10 am

AKji, This is in continuation of my comments of 30’th september. I am recalling two old songs of the mid 60’s which rightly forcasted the standards of music and so called lyrics of the nowadays songs; that too; almost 50 years back. The first one is …..Suno ji suno hamari bhi suno…..from Ek phool char kante, and the second one……Tein kanastar peat peat kar galla phaar ke chhillana yaar mere mat bura maan yeh gaana na bajana hai…… from Love marriage. No one listen to thumri and dadra whereas the youth of today are mad after metallic and mix rock music . I think someone should take initiative to guide such people to listen to classical waltz and country music of the gone era of both western and indian classic movies . Naushad, Shanker jaikishan, S D Burman, Madan mohan etc ….all have very effectively based their melodies on western classical music in the past . They were the benchmark for others to follow and us to listen.I think one should also give ears to the great Richard clyderman, Jameslast, billy vauge, andre…etc. All of them have mastered over instrumental music and orcastraization. Classical music have no boundries ;be it indian or western enjoy the music to the full contentment of mind ,soul and heart.

84 AK October 2, 2013 at 9:37 am

K S Bhatia,
So well said. As for the quality of lyrics, this can be made up by quality of music. We do have a number of yesteryear songs with poor lyrics which we do not notice as the music was outstanding.

Classical is the soul of music. It can never go out of fashion. In Rajneeti, ‘Mora pita mo se bloat nahi’ creates a magical impact, because it retains the pure form. Sometimes the temptation for experimentation goes overboard – ‘Hamri atariya pe’ in Satyagrah is blasphemy.

85 ksbhatia December 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

AK, I have some funny rememberens of a song……Chand dhale khirki khule tum siti bajana chod do …..from Albela….and….Charan das ko peene ki jo aadat na hoti to bhaiya aaj miyan baar biwi andar na soti ….from..? I am unable to recall the movie . The movie must be of early 50 ‘s. The idea is to remember such songs and lyrics for their simplicity and some fun. they were far better than todays Khatia Khiskalo Songs.

86 rugram December 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

The song ‘Charan das ko…’ is from the film Pehli Jhalak (1954). You can listen to this song on Youtube.

87 AK December 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Here is the song:

Charandas ko peene ki jo aadat na hoti by Kishore Kumar from Pahli Jhalak (1954), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra

88 ksbhatia December 5, 2013 at 12:19 am

Many many thanks for posting this song .This reminds me of my childhood when I was eight year old playing goolie danda ,kho kho and yo yo. this movie reminds me of one more song……ek do teen char panch naach mere man naach khushi se naach……from Teen Batti Char Rasta ;a Karan Diwan starrer. I used to sing this song on stair case copying the hero.See how music bring back the childhood memories. There is one more song which is ringing in my years and that is….Yeh zindgi hai yo yo ….if I am correct it is probably from the movie…. Armman….. picturised on yester years vetren actor Manmohan Krishan .

89 AK December 5, 2013 at 6:19 am

You had an interesting childhood! The songs you have mentioned are new to me.

90 rugram December 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

The song ‘Yeh zindagi hai yo-yo’ from the film Armaan (1951) is available on Youtube site

91 atasi bhattacharya March 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm


92 Hitesh Sheth March 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

Oh Excellent you guys! How come I missed this site for such a long time. All the contents are too good, very informative. Keep it up.

93 bpauk March 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm

hi, wondering what raag is the song from film Stree – o nirdayi preetam
is. anyone…?

94 Subodh Agrawal March 26, 2014 at 6:25 am

Bpauk, ‘O nirdayi pritam’ is mostly Bhimpalasi with some mixing of other ragas. I would not recommend it for getting a feel of the raga. For that purpose ‘beena madhur madhur’ and ‘Radha na bole’ are more suitable.

95 bpauk March 29, 2014 at 12:03 pm

thanks so much for your response, subodh ji.
bhimpalasi is discussed in this blog just a bit earlier…wondering if the song ‘yeh zindagi usi ki hai…’ also is the same. in film music they seem
to mix many raag. i suppose that is one of the charms of our great music
system. this is a wonderful place to mingle with music lovers.

96 bpauk March 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm


i am remembering ustad bade ghulam ali’s composition of bhimpalasi
‘begun aaye…’ have not heard it in many decades. hope i will find it on

97 bpauk March 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm
98 Shivangini April 24, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Very well research articles based on classical music and Hindi film songs based on Ragas. Although, I know this website is not about the nineties and beyond, however it would be great if one could make an exception in case of songs based on classical music. I request you to please dedicate a few articles on Raga based Bollywood songs of modern times. I admit there won’t be many but movies like Sardari Begum or music from Rahman, Ismail Darbar, Shankar Mahadevan would have a few good examples.

99 AK April 24, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. This series is written by my friend Subodh Agrawal as a guest author. Though this site is primarily devoted to the music of 30s through 60s, good songs of later period do find mention. Of late we have seen very innovative uses of classical based songs in films, and I am sure Subodh would use them whenever appropriate.

100 Subodh Agrawal April 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

Thanks for your appreciation Shivangini. There have been some very good classical based songs in post 70 films also. Recently I saw ‘Ankhon Dekhi’ and liked its soundtrack enough to purchase all the songs. Rather than give my own comments on the ragas used in this film I refer you to this article:

I will need to do some more research to come up with a reasonable list of post 70 songs based on classical music.

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

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 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': 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 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.

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:

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.

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”

Taliho Until next time.

127 AK July 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm

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:

‘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:

Bhairav by Pandit Jasraj:

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':

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 “… 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…:
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”
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,
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 scene of Dev and his employee . One must listen to the song …..”As times go by “… 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”
and “play it Sam” which is purely instrumental.

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.

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 …:
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…:

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

Gori aankhon me daale kajra from ‘Keechak Vadh, music by Master Krishna Rao.
Gori Aankhon Mein Dale Kazara-Keechak Vadh:
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

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.
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
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

I agree with you 100%. MS amma’s rendering of “Sri Rangapuravihara” is the ultimate in Brindavan Saranga.

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

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…:

C Ramchandra singing live Aadha Hai Chandrama Raa…:

C. Ramchandra Live: Mohabbat Aisi Dhadkan Hai (BB…:

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

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:
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

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

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,
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. 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.
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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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