Best songs of 1951: Wrap Up 1

June 26, 2014

Songs of Yore Award for the Best Male Playback Singer goes to?

As the readers of SoY are by now aware, the survey article on the best songs of a year is followed by category-wise Wrap Ups. I start with the first Wrap Up on the Best Male Playback Singer of the year. The series is now attracting progressively more and more extensive and intensive comments. I am greatly benefitted by all the comments on the survey article Best songs of 1951: And the winners are? I have tried to capture the sense of the House to come up with the best ten male solos and the best singer of the year.

Rafi_Mukesh_Talat Mahmood_CH Atma_GM Durrani_Kishore KumarI have to start with a Breaking News: Awara hun does not excite the erudite readers of SoY a great deal, and no one will lament – except perhaps with the exception of one – if it is consigned to the category of SSS songs (Songs that became a Surprise Sensation). Therefore, I am announcing up-front that I am not including it in the ten best songs of the year. Who is the solitary exception? Mahesh was the first off the block with a firm endorsement of Awara hun. This song did figure in some other comments too, but somewhat tentatively in the manner of ‘how can one leave out a landmark song like this?’.

There is another piece of what I consider a startling fact, which would need some time and deliberation to sink in. Venkataramanji gave statistics of different category of songs (which he self-mockingly described as ‘statistical blabbering’). I found the figures quite significant, and did my own trawling through the Hindi Film Geet Kosh. It turns out that of the songs (about 700) in which the singers have been credited (there are another about 150 songs whose singers are not known), the category-wise break-up is as follows:

Male solos:                                               11.35%
Female solos:                                          59.43%
Duets or more than two singers:        29.22%
TOTAL                                                   100.00%

If male solos are outnumbered by female solos by more than a factor of five, I consider it a highly interesting piece of information. There is a potential for such statistical analysis over the years, and interpret its meaning, but that is not the focus or the scope of this article at the moment.

If we take my list of 144/145 songs (counting a Twin song as two) as a proxy for ‘good’ songs, male solos account for 17% of good songs, which means male solos had a better success rate compared to the other category of songs. But more interesting is the relative ranking of the major singers based on their total number of songs and ‘good’ songs in the year. Borrowing from Venkatarmanji’s comment (#92), this is how they stand:

Singer   % of total songs   % of good songs
  Mohammad Rafi   27%   12%
  Talat Mahmood   18%   25%
  Mukesh   15%   38%
  CH Atma, GM Durrani,   Kishore Kumar   40%   25%
  Others   Nil


The percentage of ‘good’ or ‘hit’ or memorable songs of the major singers becomes an inverted pyramid compared to their total number of songs. And Mukesh becomes a big winner in this respect over his more prolific rival Rafi, who is also outdone by Talat Mahmood on this score. Subodh once mentioned to me that singers like Mukesh, Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar had their defined niche where they reigned supreme. This gave them an advantage over Rafi in the sense of creating big impact with small number of songs. Since Rafi did everything, it is difficult to identify his niche. Essentially, the chart above gives statistical evidence of what was known anecdotally.

First cut

With apologies to those who are by now thoroughly bored with this ‘statistical blabbering’, I now move to the songs. I run down the list and compile the most memorable male solos, singer-wise, without ranking.

1.  Ae jaan-e-jigar dil mein samaane aa ja
2.  Hum tujhse mohabbat kar ke sanam
3.  Kismat bigadi duniya badli
4. Main rahi bhatakanewala hun
5. Tara toote duniya dekhe
6.  Dil tujhe diya tha rakhne ko

Talat Mahmood
7.  Shukriya ae pyaar tera shukriya
8.  Meri yaad mein tum na aansoo bahana
9.  Aa teri tasweer bana lun
10.  Ek main hun ek meri

Mohammad Rafi
11.  Hue hum jinke liye barbaad
12. Meri kahani bhulnewale

GM Durrani
13.  Hazaaron khwahishein aisi ki

Kishore Kumar
14.  Mere labon pe dekho aaj bhi taraane hain

CH Atma
15.  Roun main saagar ke kinaare
16.  Dil beqaraar hai mera dil beqaraar hai


The above list makes it very clear, as the readers have also commented, that the most important and dominant singers of the year were Mukesh and Talat Mahmood. If any good songs are still left out, they are most likely to be of these two singers. Therefore, it would not be entirely wrong if the best ten is taken from their songs. But, in such cases of dominance (as in the case of Lata Mangeshkar in female singers), I have taken special care to include ‘other’ singers. All the other singers – Mohammad Rafi, GM Durrani, Kishore Kumar and CH Atma – figure in some list or the other of different readers. Here it is ironical that Rafi should be mentioned among ‘others’, but that was the situation in the late 40s to early 50s.

Before I proceed further, let me mention SSW’s choice, which is somewhat of an outlier:

1.  Aa teri tasweer bana lun  – Talat Mahmood – Naadan
2.  Hazaron khwahishein aisi – GM Durani – Ghayal
3.  Ek main hun ek meri – Talat Mahmood – Tarana
4.  Kismat bigadi – Mukesh – Afsana

I presume his choice is in order of merit. While he includes two songs of Talat Mahmood, he leaves out his most memorable and admired song of the year – Meri yaad mein tum na aansoo bahana. Similarly, in case of Mukesh the most highly commended song is Ae jaan-e-jigar dil mein samane aa ja, followed by either Dum bhar to udhar munh phere or any of his solos from Malhar. Music is a matter of personal choice, and on top of it, SSW is an acknowledged expert. But if I harmonise the choice of the House, the top songs in the best ten look very different.

Other comments more or less reflect a common denominator of Talat Mahmood and Mukesh, with almost the same songs figuring at the top.

Starting from ‘other’ songs, a Rafi solo from Deedaar must be taken. Hue hum jinke liye barbaad is a more common choice, and it is my preference too. CH Atma has been mentioned by almost everyone, it is a toss-up between the two songs. Roun main saagar ke kinare, saagar hansee udaaye wins for its superior lyrics, and deeply evocative mood (Mumbaikar 8, you should be happy now). I would like to take only one of GM Durrani/Kishore Kumar so that I include a fair number of Talat and Mukesh to reflect their outstanding songs. Mere labon pe dekho aaj bhi taraane hain is a more popular song, but SoY readers go beyond merely ‘popular’. Hazaaron khwahishein aisi has been mentioned by several readers, and I include it also for its vintage value, which takes us back to the style of the 40s.

After taking in three ‘other’ singers, I am left with room for seven songs of Mukesh and Talat Mahmood. The world famous Nobel Prize-winner economist, Kenneth Arrow, demonstrated long ago that it was impossible to formulate social preference based on individual choices, which satisfy any set of given logical conditions. The final ten I am presenting now (with ranking) is a best effort at harmonization, and it might also embody my own preferences.

Final ten

1. Meri yaad mein tum na ansoo bahana by Talat Mahmood from Madhosh, lyrics Raja Menhdi Ali Khan

If ever there was a song I had no doubt about that it should take the pride of place as number 1 song of the year, it is Talat Mahmood’s Meri yaad mein aansoo bahana. I can visualise most readers cheering me loudly. Arunji has been very clear too, and he gave only one choice – for this song. You hear the plaintive and sweet strains of Bhimpalasi (or Jaunpuri?, experts to confirm), a most beautiful Raga, on the sitar as the sad hero (an unknown actor) watches, from behind the trees, Meena Kumari (his beloved?) going away on the tonga with the wrong guy (yet another unknown actor). Since the video is not of a very good quality, I am linking its audio here.


2. Ae jaan-ejigar dil mein samaane aa ja by Mukesh from Aaraam, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Anil Biswas

Talat Mahmood and Mukesh were the two pole stars of 1951. Many readers have put Ae jaan-e-jigar dil mein samaane aa ja as their number one choice. It is a worthy rival to Meri yaad mein. After Andaaz (1949), a piano song in Mukesh’s voice was the ultimate in depicting the tensions in the love triangle. Premnath’s feverish strokes on the keyboard shows things are not going well between him and Madhubala. Dev Anand appears nonchalant and is engrossed with his painting on the easel. The quiet confidence seems to come from the knowledge that he is the preferred choice of the lady. But the Venus, Madhubala is not giving anything away with her non-committal smile.


3. Hum tujhse mohabbat karke sanam by Mukesh from Aawara, lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Shankar Jaikishan

Aawara is a great movie as much for its social message of nature versus nurture (as well as poor versus rich) as for its gorgeous music. While Aawara hun became an international rage, musically the pathos-filled Hum tujhse mohabbat karke sanam seems to be superior.


4. Dil tujhe diya tha rakhane ko tune dil ko jalakar rakh diya by Mukesh from Malhaar, lyrics Kaif Irfani, music Roshan

Mesmerising music in a B grade film – it can’t get any better than this. Each song of Malhaar is a masterpiece, to be savoured in tranquility. Roshan is at his magical best with Mukesh again after Baawre Nain, which came a year earlier. Since Arjun is mentioned as the hero of the film, I presume the song is picturised on him. Who is this Arjun? For answers to all such questions we have to turn to the Living Encyclopedia, Arunji, who commented in my post on the forgotten music director, C Arjun (they are different persons): “This (Malhar) Arjun first debuted in Naujawan-1951, in the role of Premnath’s friend. His second film was Malhar, as a hero. He later acted in Daku Ki Ladki (1954) as a second Hero with Shaikh Mukhtar. After a hiatus of a few years, he appeared in Jungle Ki Beti and Maut Ki Ghati in 198, with Rajani as his co-star. Further he acted in Kanwarlal (1988) also.”


5. Hue hum jinke liye barbaad by Mohammad Rafi from Deedaar, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

It is bad luck that this superlative Naushad-Rafi song had to come in a year crowded by Talat and Mukesh’s immortal songs. There are two other Rafi solos in the movie, all the songs have been mentioned by the readers, but this one, to my mind, is a clear winner because:

 (i)   An itinerant singer on the harmonium is visually one of the most appealing sights
(ii)   The tune of the harmonium in the interlude lingers in your memory.
(iii) Its lyrics best represent the theme of the movie – one of the lovers is consumed by the memories of his childhood sweetheart, whereas she is lost to him, and when he meets up, she can’t remember anything.



6. Ek main hun ek meri bekasi ki shaam hai by Talat Mahmood from Tarana, lyrics Kaif Irfani, music Anil Biswas

This song has to figure in ‘quintessential’ Talat Mahmood songs. While Naushad had discarded him, Anil Biswas consolidates the combination of the Tragedy King with The Velvet Voice in a blue mood. Dilip Kumar–Madhubala starrer Tarana was a high point of Anil Biswas’s music. It figures in most comments, and very high up.


7. Roun main saagar ke kinaare saagar hansi udaaye by CH Atma from Nageena, lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

His voice was so much like KL Saigal that probably it was difficult for CH Atma to carve out a distinct niche for himself. But music lovers must have been very pleased to hear ‘Saigal’ four years after he was no more.


8. Hazaron khwaahishein aisi ki har khwaahish pe dum nikale by GM Durrani, from Ghayal, lyrics Ghalib, music Gyan Dutt

GM Durrani was the idol of Rafi, and one of the top singers in the 40s, so it is delightful to come across one of his most melodious songs. Many singers have sung this Ghalib’s ghazal, but it is GM Durrani’s that lingers in the memory. I had put it in the category of ‘special’ songs, which includes off-beat good songs that are not expected to make to the final list. But after going through the comments I am happy to include it in the top ten of the year.


9. Shukriya ae pyar tera shukriya by Talat Mahmood from Aaram, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Anil Biswas

I mentioned the image of an itinerant singer with the harmonium. Another powerful image is of a ghazal singer with his harmonium – you think of Jagjit Singh, Pankaj Udhas, Ghulam Ali and Mehdi Hasan, and you immediately have a picture of the singer with his ‘baja’, performing to the audience’s ‘waah, waah’. Here is a unique song of Talat Mahmood singing for himself with a harmonium. He has been obviously invited to the mehfil, so I presume he played himself, i.e. the singer Talat in a cameo. Dil ko kitna khoobsoorat gham diya seems to touch a raw nerve in Premnath. His glum face, and his puffing away the cigarette, shows he finds nothing beautiful in his sadness. Link it with Ae jaan-e-jigar dil mein samaane aa ja (#2), it is clear he is not going to win the lady.


10. Kismat bigadi duniya badli phir kaun kisi ka hota hai by Mukesh from Afsana, lyrics Asad Bhopali, music Husnlal Bhagatram

For the remaining slot I would have taken Main raahi bhataknewala hun. We would have seen a dashing Premnath, on top of the world with his lady, Madhubala. That would have been a nice counterpoise to the morose Premnath in Aaram, but it seems Mukesh lovers prefer his melancholia. Kismat bigadi duniya badli is a very nice song though, and it gives another kind of balance to the list. Since SJ have already made an entry, it is good that we end with the first duo of Hindi films, who were also SJ’s mentor. The simple-hearted judge, Ashok Kumar, was shattered when he saw his ‘dear’ wife, Kuldip Kaur, and his ‘best’ friend Pran, having it behind his back. This atmospheric song in Mukesh’s voice perfectly reflects the inner turmoil of Ashok Kumar


To sum up:

Songs of Yore Award for the best Male Playback Singer of 1951 goes to Talat Mahmood

And the best song is Meri yaad mein tum na aansoo bahana.

This should normally be the end of this Wrap Up. But Mukesh is so dominant in the year that I wanted to split the award in two parts: Best Song for Meri yaad mein, and Best Singer for Mukesh. That would have looked very awkward, so I need to do something creative.

And, Mukesh is given Jury’s Special Honour.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ASHOK M VAISHNAV June 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Congratulations for having carried out a difficulty balancing job so well.
Male singers for 1951 being quite outnumbered wr.t. female solos present a definitive choice for a range of varied tastes.

You can pick one, and then when the next one comes up you keep the fist one asides and pick up the current one. But, you also like to hold on to all as well.

In classic ‘to be or not to be’ situation, one who is entrusted the task of judgement is in an enviable situation.
BUT, here we have a (reasonably well 🙂 balanced ) win-win judgement.

2 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 27, 2014 at 10:13 am

AK ji,

You have,by now , become an expert in a balancing act. Your analysis is not only balancing but also quite convincing and seems logical too.
I know ,in the matters of judgement ,one can not satisfy (read please) all,but all must be pleased with the outcome.
” aap ke aur mere khayal kitne milte hai,na? ”
So, It is Talat and ” Meri yaad mein” too.
Now waiting for the other categories.
Suggestion- You must have some kind of a prize ( may be a notional one),for the reader whose choices match the most results.

3 AK June 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Your detailed comments, especially your effort to look for ‘other’ songs have been a great help.

For once you get a song like Meri yaad mein, which is way above anything you can imagine. You were spot on, and many readers are with you besides me. Award for the best answer may not be very fair, because I might win most often. 🙂

4 RSBAAB (Ravi) June 27, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Great work in sifting through the huge number and ‘arriving’ at the winner after a lot of thorough analysis and careful and balanced assessment. We are all cheering the final choice of Talat Mahmood, the song and the special Jury award for Mukesh. Hats off to you for publishing a ‘only one of its kind’ series of posts.

5 Anu Warrier June 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Quite a nice summation. 🙂 That must have taken some work.

p.s. The ‘hero’ in Madhosh is Manhar Desai.

6 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm

The Hero of Madhosh was Manhar Desai (real name Malcolm Alfredo
Desai) and the person with whom Meena kumari goes in Tonga is Rajan Jawale (Anand in the film).

7 AK June 28, 2014 at 6:17 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

8 AK June 28, 2014 at 6:18 am

Thanks a lot.

9 AK June 28, 2014 at 6:21 am

Thanks a lot for this information. The song has made these two unknown (especially) the second one immortal.

10 SSW June 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Very nice summing up AK.

Having listened to all the songs again , I am very thankful that you picked out G M Durrani’s “Hazaron Khwaishen aisi”. I had not heard it before your article and the more I listen to it the more I like it. It is a lovely song and sung with a touch of irony not so much with sadness.

The positioning of a playback singer in India remains to some extent, decided by the composer and the niches they are comfortable in and the songs we as an audience are drawn too. The bulk of the songs save one that make up the top ten are sad to maudlin. It seems we as listeners and composers as creators are much happier creating and listening to songs that make us feel sad. A trend as if Mother Nature conditioned us over the years to feel…”its all right my fine laddie to dance and sing happily but round the corner there is a sabre toothed cat waiting for its lunch and you will be the prime item on the menu. Happiness is ephemeral , sorrow is permanent so you may as well have feel good feeling terrible. ”

On the other hand as the man said “You shouldn’t worry too much about life , you’ll never get out of it alive anyway”.
So why do we not remember this song as fondly as the others as it says, “kaahe ki jhijhak hain aao yahan” , it is as unpredictable in its progress as Sajjan’s caperings.

Rafi sang too many happy songs…:-)

11 AK June 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Pathos or Karun Rasa does seem to leave a more lasting impact than Happiness. Difference between Athens and Rome? However, every thesis has an antithesis. For example, which one you like more – the happy Hai apnaa dil to aawara or the sad one?

It is debatable how much role a Composer played in creating a niche for a singer. My view is that for singers like Mukesh, Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar, their unique voice gifted to them by Mother Nature decided their niche. Rafi ultimately prevailed because he could do that and some more, for example sing for Johnny Walker or Mehmood or Shammi Kapoor in their voice.

12 SSW June 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm

AK, when I spoke about niches, I meant those niches the composers are comfortable in for the singers in the film idiom ,not in creating the niche but advancing it. So I agree with you. I think Rafi could do much more than the ones you have listed but he was not yet a major force his voice was not associated with a major star as yet in 1951, Mukesh was already RK, Talat was Dilip Kumar, Rafi was the common man till Baiju Bawra ,and then, there was no mistaking his multifaceted artistry.

13 mumbaikar8 July 1, 2014 at 2:13 am


Back, after 15 days of exile, inflicted to check the extent of my addiction to SOY, I did survive, fighting a lot of withdrawal symptoms and some cheating:)

You have started the wrap up of1951 from the bottom of the ladder, with male solo, easiest first.

As usual you have done it in a balanced way, only surprise for me is that in spite of questioning us for dropping Kishore you have not included him.

Looking at your stats of Rafi’s % of good songs being the least I tried a survey, not as extensive and accurate as Venkataramanji’s or Ashokji’s just an aerial survey, and what I discovered is that, though he had become a rage after Baiju Bawra, the MDs of 50s, A grade or B grade movies, except Naushad, did not give solos lip synced by heroes to Rafi, he had made his niche in bhajan, comedy and theme songs but MDs were not comfortable with Rafi singing their solos for heroes.

In 50s he was dropped unceremoniously from C Ramchandra camp, was never a part of Anil Biswas’s, it was same with most of them, SJ,who were supposed to be Rafi centric, had Talat Mahmood singing for Dilip Kumar in Shikast and Mukesh in Yahudi though Rafi sang ye duniya ye duniya.

With SJ Rafi had 3 solos for the first time much later in 1959, after they collaborated with Shammi Kapoor in Dil Tera Diwana.

I feel that the first MD, other than Naushad of course, who had ample confidence in Rafi was O P Nayyar followed by SDB, once he got into SDB camp in Pyaasa, there was no looking back for him until Aradhana again SDB.

BTW I like SSW’s observations, though half of them go over my head.

14 AK July 1, 2014 at 6:10 am

I am happy that you gave up your efforts for de-addiction.

On KK, in final ten it became a tough call. Either I dropped Durrani or a Talat or Mukesh song. But by and large people seem to agree with my list.

You can’t be agreeing to SSW and me too. His list isquite different. His comments are always very enlightening. He can’t help being knowledgeable.

On Rafi you have made some very insightful observation. I would need to look at it in more detail. We already have some sense of his evolution vis-a-vis Mukesh and Talat Mahmood in early years. You have opened further avenue for exploration.

Thanks for your comments and welcome back.

15 Mahesh July 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm

AK ji,
In hindsight, I think I jumped the gun for Aawara hun. However, I was just trying to re-emphasize the iconic status. If I am asked to listen to one of the two solos for 20 times in a row, I would rather choose “Hum tujhse mohabbat karke”.

The sort of nail-biting finish reminds me of 1959 wherein Mukesh walked away with Anari, becoming the first ever male playback singer to win the filmfare award from Talat saab’s Sujata.

I did not actively participate in this post, however, my own comments would be as follows,

Best MD: Roshan for Malhar
Anilda for Tarana
SJ for Awara

Best duet:
1. Bade armaanon se rakha hai balam teri qasam again from Malhar (God, now where do I place the other two equally good duets from the same movie)
2. Dam bhar jo udhar munh phere O chanda – Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar
3. Aansoo thi meri zindagi – Amirbai Karnataki and Rafi (odd choice, but I will stick to its 3rd place)

Best female singer other than Lata Mangeshkar is again herself. ( there is not even a decent competition)

16 N Venkataraman July 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

AK ji,
Congratulations for a well balanced conclusion.

Let me start with the song Aawara hoon. Besides Maheshji, Canasyaji and Jignesh had pitched for this song. If we go by popular choice this song along with Aa teri tasveer bana loon will be among the best ten songs. It would not have made much difference to the final results declared by you. It is just an observation.

On a careful observation I found, only two of us presented a choice/list of ten and the rest between 1 and 8. If I take into account the selection of all participants, I could find the best 8 popular choices in your selection too. The best two popular choices were all Talat Mahmood’s songs, Meri yaad mein tum na ansoo bahana and Ek main hun ek meri bekasi ki shaam hai. Both the songs were selected by the same number of participants. Shukriya ae pyar tera shukriya (Talat), Ae jaan-ejigar dil mein samaane aa ja and Hum tujhse mohabbat karke sanam (both Mukesh) are in the 3rd, 4th and 5th position. Dil tujhe diya tha rakhane ko tune, Roun main saagar ke kinaare and Hue hum jinke liye barbaad along with two songs mentioned at the start had bagged the same number of votes. This is excluding your selection which I presume is based on the choice of the House and not exactly your choice. Which are your personal preferences?

Speaking of numbers or figures, at times they can be vital. As you have rightly pointed out they may bring to our notice some interesting observations. Vital statistics can be of importance and interesting. But one should not linger too much on it. Figures, at the most,should be at the finger tips for reference as the saying goes one should have the feel for figures and then we should move forward to enjoy the songs as you have done. But I am a victim of this vice and how much I try I cannot get out of this habit.

It was a pleasure listening to the songs once again.

Thank you

17 AK July 1, 2014 at 3:53 pm

You set off an interesting discussion on Aawara hun. But अन्त भला तो सब भला.

Your last comment is very interesting. So I am not the only Lata Mangeshkar-obsessed fan.

18 AK July 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Thanks a lot again. Your fascination for vital statistics and figures does make the discussion interesting.

As for my choice, incidentally this year I am on the same wavelength as the readers. 1955 was one year I was on a different wavelength when my favourite would have been Naushad’s Udankhatola for at least the best male category – O door ke musafir. I also said it in so many words.

19 gaddeswarup July 2, 2014 at 7:28 am

Awara Hoon seems to be the only song from here which has Wikipedia article

20 AK July 2, 2014 at 8:36 am

Its iconic status is undoubted. But I think, in retrospect, musically Hum tujhse mohabbat kar ke sanam is more charming.

21 gaddeswarup July 2, 2014 at 9:00 am

I was wondering whether slowly these classifications and lists move the new elites away from the common people the exact opposite of what was achieved by the film music.

22 AK July 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm

You are raising some very interesting issues. It seems you are also implying some value judgement. The larger philosophical question of art for elite versus masses is beyond the scope of this forum. Let us carry on this discussion through mail.

23 SSW July 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Mr. Gaddeswarup, don’t you think lists are personal choices, not, the choices of elites or common people?

24 gaddeswarup July 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I am beginning to realize what really bothered me. I think that I did not vote for Awara Hoon. If I remember right my reaction was that it was such a common song that I would vote for some other song. I think finally I was shocked that it did not make the list and my own earlier reaction is probably bothering me.

25 AK July 3, 2014 at 12:13 am

I have also exchanged mails with Mr Gaddeswarup on this. He has been very honest in conveying what he felt. I did not mean to carry on here. I hope my response to him below should settle his doubts.

In a lighter vein, you have been the most elitist in your choices. 🙂

These lists or personal choices would also reflect the person’s sensibilities, born out of his/her upbriging and environment. A forum like SoY would necessarily represent refined sensibilty and literacy. Which means that the discussions here or choices might be divergent from that of the masses. Is there any problem in that?

Aawara hun has been discussed threadbare. If most readers felt that Hum tujhse mohabbat kar ke sanam is a better song they were not trying to be different from the masses.

26 SSW July 3, 2014 at 1:23 am

AK and Mr. Gaddeswarup
I’ll begin with a smiley. 🙂
I’m not elitist, I just have kinky musical tastes. All my choices are personal so they don’t reflect anything else, elitist, common, good bad etc.
I usually tend to look at a song in two ways. One viewpoint is the accompanying music and the tune itself and the other the singing.

I like Awara hoon a lot from the tune’s perspective (not that I do not like the singing) . It is an interesting song. It is primarily in a minor key keeping AK’s karuna rasa in mind .
The prelude has the well known mandolin piece along with a piccolo (or at least a tin whistle or a very high recorder) followed by the accordion which actually signals to most people the start of the song. The interludes are quite interesting the backing strings, provide a degree of darkness behind the accordion and and behind Mukesh’s voice at certain points. There is a very small sanchari “duniya main tere preet” and you can hear the darker strings here too.

Too much analysis is not good, so yes it is a song with a lot of merit and promises but I guess it has been heard a little too often.

27 Mahesh July 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

AK ji,

My silence at this stage will not justify my own endorsement at the start.

I did find it very amusing that common, iconic, heard plenty of times etc are the reasons being attributed for the exclusion. On the contrary, I feel these are the very reasons why it should easily sail through to the list.

I do give in to Talat saab’s selection, but the complete exclusion of the song is very hard for me to digest.

28 Hans July 8, 2014 at 12:48 am

SSW in comment 12 says that Talat Mehmood was the voice of Dilip. He is saying that perhaps on the basis of the prevailing myths. Talat was the voice of Dilip, Talat was the main singer of Naushad before being replaced by Rafi and Talat’s career was propelled by Anil Biswas are some of the prevailing myths about Talat.

If we look at the stats, Rafi gave playback for Dilip in 5 films Jugnu, Shaheed, Nadiya ke paar, Hulchul and Deedar; Mukesh gave playback for Dilip in 4 films Mela, Anokha Pyar, Shabnam and Andaz and Talat gave playback for Dilip in 3 films Babul, Arzoo and Tarana. These are the figures upto 1951. Even Naushad had used Mukesh for Mela (1948) and Andaz (1949), then Talat for Babul (1950) and Rafi for Deedar (1951).

You will not find another MD who could dare to experiment to such a level by using 3 different singers in 3 years like he used for Andaz, Babul and Deedar and all proving to be jubilee hits. Only Naushad had the confidence to do that. According to Naushad during rehearsals and recordings of Dulari and Dillagi he had rehearsed Rafi with some future tunes including for Deedar and decided that henceforth his main singer would be Rafi. In between he gave a break to Talat, he being from his native city of Lucknow to give a fillip to his career. This was the only film by Naushad in which Talat sang songs and the film was a big hit. People give credit to Biswas for Arzoo which was a flop film and had just one song for Talat and forget the jubilee hit Babul in which he had five songs. Talat became Talat after Babul and later propagandists snatched credit and gave it to Biswas. Also before Babul Rafi had sung more than a dozen songs for Naushad which included classics like ‘tera khilona tuta’, ‘ye zindagi ke mele’, ‘suhani raat dhal chuki’, ‘is duniya men ae dilwalo’, ‘tere kooche men armanon ki’. It is clear that Rafi came into the recording room of Naushad before Talat and stayed.

Talat and Rafi were perhaps the two most perfect singers of the golden era whose voice needed no orchestra. But, as a playback singer Talat had his limitations, because he could not convey all the emotions through a song. Rafi did not have any limitations and Naushad wanted such a singer.

29 ksbhatia July 29, 2014 at 1:07 am

AK’JI, It is very difficult to digest the exclusion of ” Awara hoon” from top ten list . In fact all the songs of AWARA carried the message and melody even beyond the international boundries . Durrani’s songs are good to hear but are not that of repettive listening quality . I don’t know how many remember his song …..”Dekho maney nahi jhoothi hasina na jane kya baat hai “…. from Taxi driver . Though he sang a duet with shamshad in deedar I fail to understand his exclusion as playback singer in the films credit titles . My request is to review the list in TAKE TWO .

30 AK July 29, 2014 at 10:28 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Exclusion of Aawara hun you can attribute to my fads. Others have also mentioned that because of its iconic status, it should have been in the top ten list. There is no quarrel with that, but I am very certain that the best would remain Meri yaad mein tum na aansoo bahana.

A small factual thing. The male singer in Dekho maane na is not GM Durrani, but Jagmohan Baxi. I believe he was the same person who was part of Sapan-Jagmohan composer duo (subject to confirmation).

31 ksbhatia July 29, 2014 at 11:19 pm

AK ” ji , Thanks for correcting me . I believe that this is again a mistake of vocal identity . As regards your other listings i don’t think there is any scope of additions or deletions. Talat and Mukesh really ruled the songs of the 50’s. As regards Sapan -Jagmohan one has to trace their biblography as to whether they were ever asstts to SD Burman ? If so then there is a chance that the singer might be Jagmohan . I personally have not heard Jagmohan’s songs.

32 Jignesh Kotadia July 30, 2014 at 2:47 am

I have also this humble outcry,’where is Awara hun’ ?. A definite title is took away from Mukesh by removing his Ace ! Even after ‘Awara hun’s removal Mukesh was capable to hold the championship with ‘Ai jaan e jigar dil men samaane aaja’. I had told earlier that i will go for only Talat for the 6 years span 1950-1955. But i think at least in this year Mukesh was just ahead of talat with some firy Aces.

33 Jignesh Kotadia July 30, 2014 at 2:56 am

Akji, Here again i m endorsing the melodious singing of Mannada from ‘do sitare’..wonderful song

Ek do-dilo ka kaafila,
leke sahara pyar ka, jeevan ke mele men chala..

34 Jignesh Kotadia July 30, 2014 at 3:16 am

‘kaafila’ reminds two magical songs 1. Lehro se puchh lo ya kinaaro se puchh lo, phir bhi yakeen na ho to sitaaro se puchh lo (lata-kishore) .. and 2. Woh meri taraf yun chale aa rahe hai, ke armaan dhadkan se takra rahe hai (kishoreda)
Akji, you skipped 1952 and we lost an equally potent year as 1951 to cherish. I hope it will come on ur mind one day..

35 AK July 30, 2014 at 10:52 am

One thing I am sure it is not Jagmohan (Sursingar). For rest of the confirmation, we have one stop source: Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh. If he is seeing it he would respond himself, or I would get in touch with him.

36 AK July 30, 2014 at 11:43 am

The songs of Kaafila you have mentioned are wonderful, especially the duet, Lahron se pooch lo. Manna Dey’ song too from Do Sitaare is very good. I have skipped 1952, and earlier 1954 too. The idea was I would be covering pre-Filmfare Award years (i.e. 1951 and earlier). 1953 and 1955 I covered because Filmfare Awards seem to have passed up these years. We may still discuss 1952 or any year, but given the very rigorous nature of the exercise, I would like to continue as decided. It may be recalled this series was borne out of readers’ suggestions.

Exclusion of Aawara hun from the top ten: Even though many reads are with me on this, I have owned up responsibility for the blasphemy. But if you look in perspective, in the First Cut I have take 6 songs of Mukesh and 4 songs of Talat Mahmood. In the final ten, I have included 4 of Mukesh and 3 of Talat Mahmood. That endorses your point that Mukesh was the most prominent singer in the year. I have also mentioned that if any good songs are left out, they would be most likely of these two singers. If you want to include Aawara hun, you may need to remove one of his songs in the list.

The ‘best’ song becomes a somewhat different proposition than ‘most’ songs. It is clearly a matter of personal choice. If someone says Aawara hun is superior to Meri yaad mein tum na aansoo bahana, or the best in the year, you can hardly argue with that. But the latter seemed to be a clear favourite of most people, and I dare say, it is yours too.

I was aware of Mukesh-Talat question in the year, therefore, I devised a special award: Jury’s Special Honour.

37 Arunkumar Deshmukh July 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm

AK ji,

I have seen the discussion about Jagmohan Bakshi’s song,” dekho maane nahin.”
First of all ,Jagmohan Bakshi was the one who assisted SDBurman for a long time during his struggling days. Further information is as mentioned in my 1st article ” Same Name confusions” published in 3 parts on Anmol fankaar…

Jagmohan Bakshi was born in Murrie in Punjab on 29-7 1929.Love of singing and music brought him to Bombay where he met a similar struggler Sapan Sengupta (born on 17-7-1932 at Sylhet in Bengal). One was from Pakistan -w and the other was from Pakistan -E. They became friends and shared a room in a Goregaon Chawl. They regularly sang in chorus and saw dreams of becoming MDs one day ! This pair was favoured by Naashaad,S D Burman and Salil Chaudhari.
Finally S D Burman gave Jagmohan Bakshi a chance to sing a duet with Asha Bhosle,in film Taxi Driver-1954. The song became popular-‘ Dekho maane nahin roothi haseena,na jaane kya baat hai’. Still no offers came forth. He sang in Hamlet-54,a duet with Rafi. He sang his final and third trio with lata and Usha in ‘Piya Milan’-1958. In his lifetime jagmohan Bakshi sang only these three songs-no solo in them.
Later he formed a pair with Sapan as Sapan-Jagmohan and as MD gave music to their first film-Begana-1963. This pair gave music to 43 films,mostly B and C grade obscure movies.
Jagmohan Bakshi died on 26-2-1999. ”
I hope the discussion will be put at rest now.

38 AK July 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

This is awesome. Thanks a lot.

39 ksbhatia July 30, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Arun’ji, Thanks for the informative inputs.

40 Manoj Mishra August 28, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I do not know what you have done but without ‘Awara hoon’ at the top the entire exercise is meaningless. No surprises!

41 Harishchandra M. Salian September 3, 2014 at 5:15 am

I have no intention of taking sides in the ongoing discussion on ” awara hoon”. But thought I could share what Pyarelalji of MD..LP fame mentioned in one of his interviews on their mentors viz., SJ about the short accordion piece immediately after the line “awara hoon”. Try singing the song without humming this accordion piece . It’s difficult. Not many songs have this unique characteristic. The geniuses that SJ were, I believe, it is their unique composition which gave this song it’s iconic status.

42 AK September 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

Harishchandra M Salian,
No questions about SJ’s genius and Aawara hun‘s iconic status. Some of my observations on SoY are to take an off-the-beaten-track line to provoke discussion.

43 Manoj Mishra September 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

In fact, after your thought provoking I took the list and asked some people on the street, including students and rickshaw pullers, housewives, auto drivers and they could not recognize any of the songs even those who are aged above forty! But everyone knew Awara song and could hum it sing it and knew it had to do with Raj Kapoor & Mukesh.

44 AK September 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Manoj Mishra,
You would have already noted SoY is addressed to music lovers who have deep passion for songs of that era. That audience knows not only the songs listed here, but many more which are still rare. While they enrich the forum a great deal, it is expected that others, who are geneally fond of old film music, would get to experience its wonders more intimately.

Aawara hun‘s iconic status is proven. But your survey is not a very good measure of the merit of other songs.

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