Best songs of 1953: And the winners are?

July 9, 2013

1953 filmsSoY regulars would recall that last year I wrote a string of posts on the best songs of 1955. The idea came from the readers’ suggestion to do a yearwise review of the best songs of pre-Filmfare Award years. Even though Baiju Bawra (1952) became the first film to win the award for the  best music, it transpired that in later years, no film of 1953 or 1955 won the Filmfare award, whereas two films of 1954 – Taxi Driver and Nagin – won the award in the years 1955 and 1956 respectively. Without getting into the reasons for this discrepancy, I decided to make the record straight and covered the year 1955. From this logic, this year I am reviewing the songs of 1953 (I am proceeding in the reverse order as suggested by the readers). Thereafter, it would be the turn of 1951, after which the sequence would become regular.

With this background, let me start with the musical landmarks of the year.

Musical landmarks

Anarkali: C Ramchandra

Once in a while a film comes which becomes an all time classic. And like all classics, several legends grow around it. Anarkali was one such film. The film is itself based on the legend of the Mughal prince Salim (Jehangir) falling deeply in love with an ordinary maid and dancer, Anarkali, much to the consternation of the emperor Akbar. This story of doubtful veracity has held enduring romance for the film makers since long. The most famous in the genre, Mughal-e-Azam, which came seven years later, had been in the making since the late 40s, undergoing several changes in the cast and technical team. Anil Biswas was supposed to give music for the movie, later to be replaced by Naushad. Sapru (Salim), Chandramohan (Akbar) and Nargis (Anarkali) were replaced by Dilip Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor and Nargis. Taking advantage of K Asif’s interminable pursuit of perfection (or confusion), Filmistan pre-empted him by making this movie from start to finish. Knowing the long gestation of the other team, C Ramchandra knew that he had to create a musical landmark. While Naushad had CR to beat, CR had to set his own benchmark. And what a masterpiece he created! Even after Lata Mangeshkar had a ruthless break-up with C Ramchandra, she could not do a concert without singing Ye zindagi usi ki hai on public demand.

Aah: Shankar Jaikishan

After Barsaat and Awara, Shankar Jaikishan again come with a masterpiece we associate with RK Films. Though the film bombed, the music is everlasting.

Dil-e-Nadan: Ghulam Mohammad

This one is my special favourite. Readers have mentioned about Ghulam Mohammad’s talent. This was one of the movies which had Talat Mahmood as the singing star. His ‘official site’ mentions that there was an all-India competition to select a new girl to act opposite him. This girl was Peace Kanwal. We do not know much what happened to her later. Probably the film also was not a great commercial success, in spite of the presence of Shyama. But the music is out of this world, and one of the best scores of Ghulam Mohammad.

Patita: Shankar Jaikishan

Outside RK films also SJ could create great music of different style. Besides, Lata Mangeshkar, the film had songs by Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar, which have become as all time classics.

Other important musical compositions

This was a very good year for Shankar Jaikishan. Aurat, Boot Polish, Shikast – each had a number of songs which were not only of musically high quality, but remembered very well after 60 years. Shagufa (Apna pata bata de ya mere paas aa ja) and Jhanjhar (Ae pyar teri duniya se hum) are worth mentioning for CR-Lata songs. Early 50s was the best period of their collaboration with a signature style which was emulated by several composers. Ghulam Mohammd (with Sardar Malik) created another excellent score in Laila Majnu. He also gave some outstanding songs in Rail Ka Dabba. Salil Chaudhary created a sensation with his debut movie Do Bigha Zameen with a unique orchestration and style. Anil Biswas gave a number of excellent songs in Fareb (Aa mohabbat ki bast basayenge hum), Hamdard (Ritu aye ritu jaye skhi ri) and Rahi (Ek pal ruk jana)I have already done a post on Jamal Sen in my series on Forgotten Composers, Unforgttable Melodies.  His Dayera is also a landmark for Rafi-Mubarak Begum duet, Devta tum ho mera sahara, Mubarak Begum’s solo, Deep ke sang jalun main, and some Talat Mahmood solos.


The most famous debut is undoubtedly of Salil Chaudhary in Do Bigha Zameen with all time great songs including two Manna Dey – Lata Mangeshkar duets, Hariyala sawan dhol bajata aya and Mausam beeta jaye, and one of the greatest lullabies by Lata Mangeshkar, Aa ja ri aa nindiya tu aa. A member of left leaning association of artists and intellectuals, he also wrote the story of the film, which provided a natural fit for his sensibilities. It is said that Mausam beeta jaye is inspired by a marching song he had heard at the Red Square.

It has been mentioned by Jignesh in the discussion on Hindi-Gujarati songs earlier that Mahendra Kapoor debuted in Madmast, composed by V Balsara. His name indeed finds mention as one of the singers in the qawwali, Unhein dekhen to wo munh pher lete hain, and another duet in the movie. This also happened to be the debut for V Balsara. So far my understanding was that Mahendra Kapoor was given his first break as a playback singer in Sohni Mahiwal (1958) by Naushad, consequent upon his winning in an All India Competition in which Naushad was one of the judges.

There are several more debuts in this year – Pt Shivram Krishna as a composer in Teen Batti Chaar Rasta, Jagjit Kaur in Dil-e-Nadan (Khamosh zindagi ko afsana mil gaya), Meena Mangeshkar in a duet with Rafi in Farmaish (Aapne chheen liya dil ise kya kahte hain).

Another debut, which would not have created any ripples at the time, is of Shammi Kapoor in the film Jeevan Jyoti as per the information available at many sites and sources.  He would have to wait for four years to cause a sensation as a rebel star in Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957).  But interestingly, it seems he had the largest number of films in any single year in his debut year – six in all (Jeevan Jyoti, Rail Ka Dibba, Thokar, Laila Majnu, Gul Sanobar and Khoj).

As per, Helen debuted this year as independent dancer in Alif Laila, and Kumkum debuted in Aansoo.

We can put two more as ‘debuts’. Shaukat Ali Dehlvi used the more commonly known name Nashad for the first time this year in Naghma. Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh had mentioned the story behind it in one of his comments earlier. The producer Naqshab Jarachavi wanted to engage Naushad, but the latter was dismissive of such a lowly project not being worthy of his stature. Cut up by this, Naqshab resolved to create a Naushad like name, who would create equally great music. We are aware of Nashad’s great music in 1955 (Baradari). Naghma’s music makes you feel that the producer’s audacious challenge was fully vindicated.

Khayyam also used this name for the first time this year in the film Footpath. Before this he used to give music under various names such as Sharmaji, or a part of duo Sharmaji-Vermaji.  Every such incident has a story behind it.  I am leaving it to Arunji to enlighten us how he strarted using the name Khayyam from this movie.  Incidentally, Khayyam is a part of his longish real name – Mohammad Zahoorbakhsh Khayyam Hashmi.

Fact file and trivia

I have read somewhere that Lata Mangeshkar in a signed article mentioned that in the most legendary song of the year, Ye zindagi usi ki hai jo kisi ka ho gaya, C Ramchandra got stuck at one point, when his assistant Roshan helped him and composed the difficult portion. To be fair, I have also read that CR refuted this story. Incidentally, C Ramchandra also produced Jhanjhar this year, which had some of the most beautiful Lata Mangeshkar songs. One of the songs in this movie was Tum bin hamri kaun khabar le Govardhan Giridhari. Old timers would recall that a song with exactly these wordings was sung by Sheela in Sohrab Modi’s Pukar (1939).

This year also had some unusual screen appearances in songs, which are well known to the readers – Shailendra in the song Chali kaun se des gujariya (Boot Polish), and Mukesh in Chhoti si ye zindagani (Aah).

This year seems to have a fairly large number of twin songs and multiple version songs – Chali Radhe Rani (Parineeta), Ae gham-e-dil kya karun (Thokar), Ek pal ruik jana (Rahi), Apna pata bata de (Shagufa), Gore gore hathon mein mehdi racha ke (Parineeta) and so on. Readers may also recall I have mentioned earlier that Tere dar pe aya hun fariyad lekar by Talat Mahmood, composed for Laila Majnu, was removed from this film and used next year in Chor Bazar.

I also find it worth mentioning that that RC Boral composed music for Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Pankaj Mullick for Naya Safar. Till a decade back, they were the Gold Standard of film music, and arguably, the grandfather of Hindi film music.  But I do not recall any song from these movies – I often use the phrase Bombay taking over Calcutta. Incidentally, I understand Bharat Bhushan won the Filmfare Award for the best actor for Shri Chaitaya Mahaprabhu – his first and the last.

What was the most unusual thing in the year?  Taking off from Sherlock Holmes (Silver Blaze) – Naushad.  But he did not do anything.  Yes, that is the unusual thing – his absence from the scene between the great years of 1952 (Aan, Baiju Bawra, Deewana) and 1954 (Amar, Shabab).  I miss him for sure.


I am presenting here a fairly long list of songs from the year, which I believe covers all the well-known songs. But as has been my experience last year, the readers are so knowledgeable that no matter how exhaustive the list, they do manage to mention some unheard or forgotten gems. The list is in the order of films alphabetically for convenience of the readers.

Aah: Lyrics – Hasrat Jaipuri/Shailendra; Music – Shankar Jaikishan
1.  Jane na nazar pahchane jigar – Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar
2.  Jo main janti unke liye – Lata Mangeshkar
3.  Raat andheri door savera – Mukesh
4.  Aja re ab mera dil pukara – Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar
5.  Ye sham ki tanhaiyan – Lata Mangeshkar
6.  Sunte the naam hum jinka bahaar se – Lata Mangeshkar
7.  Raja ki ayegi baraat – Lata Mangeshkar
8.  Chhoti si ye zindagani – Mukesh

Aansoo: Lyrics – Qamar Jalalabadi; Music – Husnlal Bhagatram
9.  Sun mere saajna re – Md Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar
10.  Din pyar ke aye re – Md Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar

Aas: Lyrics – Shailendra; Music – Shankar Jaikishan
11.  Chahe nain churao chahe daman bachao – Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar

Alif Laila: Lyrics – Sahir Ludhiyanvi; Music – Shyam Sundar
12.  Mere naghmon mein un mastana ankhon ki kahani hai – Talat Mahmood

Anarkali: Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Jan Nisar     Akhtar; music – C Ramchandra
13.  Ae baad-e-saba aahista chal – Hemant Kumar
14.  Ye zindagi usi ki hai – Lata Mangeshkar
15.  Aa jane wafa – Geeta Dutt (composed by Basant Prakash)
16.  Meri kismet ke kharidaar – Lata Mangeshkar
17.  Mujhse mat pooch – Lata Mangeshkar
18.  Dua kar gham-e-dil – Lata Mangeshkar
19.  Jaag dard-e-ishq jag – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
20.  Mohabbat aisi dhadkan hai – Lata Mangeshkar
21.  Mohabbat mein aise kadam dagmagaye – Lata Mangeshkar
22.  O aasmanwale shikwa hai zindagi ka – Lata Mangehskar
23.  Zindagi pyar ki do chaar ghadi hoti hai – Hemant Kumar

Armaan: Lyrics – Sahir Ludhiyanvi; Music – SD Burman
24.  Chahe kitna mujhe tum bulao ji – Talat Mahmood and Asha Bholse
25.  Bharam teri wafaon ka mita dete – Talat Mahmood

Aurat: Lyrics – Hasrat Jaipuri/Shailendra; Music – Shankar Jaikishan
26.  Nainon se naina hue chaar – Lata Mangehskar
27.  Ulfat ka saaz chhedo samman suhana hai – Lata Mangeshkar
28.  Dard-e-ulfat chhupaaun kahan – Lata Mangeshkar
29.  Dard-e-jigar thahar zara dum to muhe lene de – Lata Mangeshkar

Baabla: Lyrics – Sahir Ludhiyanvi; Music – SD Burman
30.  Raat ke rahi thak mat jana – Manna Dey/Lata Mangehskar (Twin songs)

Baghi: Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri; Music – Madan Mohan
31.  Hamare baad ab mahfil mein afsaane bayaan honge – Lata Mangehskar

Boot Polish: Lyrics – Shailendra, Hasrat, Swadesh Kumar ‘Deepak’; Muisc – SJ
32.  Nanhe munne bachche teri mutthi mein kya hai – Md Rafi and Asha Bhosle
33. Thahar zara O janewale – Manna De, Asha Bhosle and Madhubala Jhaveri
34.  Lapak jhapak tu aa re badarwa – Manna De
35.  Chali kaun se des gujaria – Talat mahmood and Asha Bhosle
36.  Main baharon ki natkhat rani – Asha Bhosle

Chacha Chaudhary: Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna; Music – Madan Mohan
37.  Duniya pagalon ka bazaar – Mohammad Rafi and Shyam Kumar (two versions, and another sad version by Rafi)

Char Chaand: Lyrics – A Karim, Shevan Rizvi; Music – Nashad
38.  Hai ye wohi aasman – Talat Mahmood

Dayera: Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaif Bhopali; Music – Jamal Sen
39.  Deep ke sang jalun main – Mubarak Begum
40.  Aansoo to nahi hai pahlu mein – Talat Mahmood
41.  Ae chaand sitaro khamosh nazaaro – Talat Mahmood
42.  Devta tum ho mera sahara – Mohammad Rafi and Mubarak Begum

Dhun: Lyrics – Kaif Irfani, PL Santoshi, Bharat Vyas; Music – Madan Mohan
43.  Koi ek aana koi do aana – Mohammad Rafi, Batra/Madan Mohan, Babul (two versions)
44.  Hum pyar karenge ek baar karenge – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
45.  Sitaron se poochho nazaron se poochho – Lata Mangeshkar

Dil-e-Nadan: Lyrics – Shakeel Badayuni; Music – Ghulam Mohammad
46.  Khamosh zindagi ko afsana mil gaya – Jagjit Kaur
47.  Chanda gaye ragini – Jagjit Kaur
48.  Mohabbat ki dhun bekaraaron se poochho – Talat Mahmood, Madhuba Jhaveri, Jagjit Kaur
49.  Na wo hamaare na dil hamara – Sudha Malhotra
50. Jo khushi se chot khaye – Talat Mahmood
51.  Zindagi denewale sun – Talat Mahmood

Do Bigha Zameen: Lyrics – Shailendra; Music – Salil Chaudhary
52. Hariyala sawan dhol bajata aya – Mana Dey and Lata Mangeshkar
53.  Mausam beeta jaye – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar
54.  Aa ja ri aa nindiya tu aa – Lata Mangeshkar

Fareb: Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri; Music – Anil Biswas
55.  Aa mohabbat ki bast basaayenge hum – Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangehskar

Farmaish: Lyrics – Qamar Jalalabadi, Khaabar Zama; Music – Husnalal Bhagatram
56.  Aapne chheen liya dil – Mohammad Rafi and Meena Mangeshkar

Footpath: Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri, Sardar Zafri; Music – Khayyam
57.  Sham-e-gham ki kasam – Talat Mahmood

Humdard: Lyrics – Prem Dhavan, Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Anil Biswas
58.  Ritu aye ritu jaye sakhi ri – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar

Jhanjhar: Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna; Music – C Ramchandra
59.  Ae pyar teri duniya se hum bas itni nishani le ke chale –  Lata Mangeshkar
60.  Chhed gaye mohe sapne mein Shyam – Lata Mangeshkar
61.  Tum bin hamri kaun khabar le – Lata Mangeshkar

Laila Majnu: Lyrics – Shakeel Badayuni; Music – Ghulam Mohammad, Sardar Malik
62.  Baharon ki duniya pukare tu aa ja – Talat Mahmood and Asha Bhosle
63.  Tere dar pe ayah un fariyad lekar – Lata Mangeshkar
64.  Chal diya karwan – Talat Mahmood
65. Aasman wale bata teri duniya se ji ghabraa gaya – Talat and Lata Mangeshkar
66.  Ankhon mein hai tu – Mohammad Rafi and Khan Mastana

Ladki: Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna; Music – R Sudarshanam-Dhaniram
67.  Baat chalat nayi chunri rang daari – by Geeta Dutt

Mashooqa: Lyrics – Shailendra, Qamar Jalalabadi; Music – Roshan
68.  Dil na lagaana – Mukesh
69.  Jhilmil tare karen ishare – Mukesh and Suraiya

Mayurpankh: Lyrics – Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri; Music – Shankar Jaikishan
70.  Khushiyon ke chaand muskaye re – Lata Mangeshkar

Naghma: Lyrics – J Nakhshab, Mirza Shaukh Lakhnavi; Music – Nashad
71. Teer chala teer chala – Talat Mahmood
72.  Badi mushqil se dil ki beqaraari qaraar aya – Shamshad Begum
73.  Kahe jadu kiya mujhko itna bata jadugar balma – Shamshad Begum

Naya Ghar: Lyrics – Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri; Music – Shankar Jaikishan
74.  Chhum chhanan chum chum – Lata Mangeshkar
75. Laga kar dil pareshan hain – Lata Mangeshkar

Nav Durga: Lyrics – Ramesh Chandra Pandey, Anjum Jaipuri; Music – SN Tripathi
76.  Chhaayi birahaa ki raat mora tadape jiya – Geeta Dutt

Paapi: Music – S Mohinder
77.  Tera kaam hai jalnaa parawaane – Mohammad Rafi
78. Choodiyan le le gori pahan – Mohammad Rafi

Parineeta: Lyrics – Bharat Vyas; Music – Arun Kumar Mukherji
79. Chali Radhe Rani – Manna Dey (two versions)
80.  Gore gore hathon mein menhdi racha ke – Asha Bhosle

Patita: Lyrics – Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri; Music – Shankar Jaikishan
81.  Kisi ne apna bana ke mujhko – Lata Mangeshkar
82.  Andhe jahan ke andhe raaste – Talat Mahmood
83.  Tujhe apne paas bulati hai – Talat Mahmood
84.  Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
85.  Mitti se khelte ho baar bar kis liye – Lata Mangeshkar
86. Hain sabse madhur wo geet mere – Talat Mahmood

Rahi: Lyrics – Prem Dhavan; Music – Anil Biswas
86.  Ek pal ruk jana – Lata Mangeshkar

Rail Ka Dibba: Lyrics – Shakeel Badayuni; Music – Ghulam Mohammad
87.  La de mohe balma aasmani chudiyan – Md Rafi and Shamshad Begum
88.  Angan more aao ji sajan dheere dheere – Shamshad Begum

Shagufa: Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna; Music – C Ramchandra
89.  Apna pata bata de ya mere paas aa ja – Lata Mangeshkar

Shikast: Lyric – Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri; Music – Shankar Jaikishan
90. Kare badra tu na ja na ja – Lata Mangeshkar
91.  Sapnon ki suhani duniya ko – Talat Mahmood

Teen Batti Char Rasta: Lyrics – PL Santoshi; Music – Shivram Krishna
92.  Apni ada par main hun fida – Lata Mangeshkar

Thokar: Lyrics – Mazaz; Music – Sardar Malik
93. Ae gham-e-dil kya karun – Talat Mahmood/Asha Bhosle (twin songs)

Some ‘special’ songs

I present some ‘special’ songs of the year, which I have selected for some uniqueness or some special feature.  All these would be relatively unknown, because I became aware of them in the internet era. These may not figure in any category for awards, but some of them are extremely melodious, making you wonder why were these gems hidden, and how many more could be still hidden.

1.  Laga kar dil parishan hain by Lata Mangeshkar from Naya Ghar (1953), lyrics – Hasrat Jaipuri, music – Shankar Jaikishan

This is my most recent discovery, courtesy Vividh Bharati’s 7.30AM programme.  I was struck by this beautiful, unknown-to-me, ‘C Ramchandra’ composition – I mentioned CR-Lata signature style in the early 50s which was emulated by many composers.  This turns out to be composed by Shankar Jaikishan.  Readers may judge for themselves.


2.  Baat chalat nayi chunri rang daari by Geeta Dutt from Ladki (1953), music R Sudarshanam-Dhaniram

The second ‘special’ song I am presenting would be a delight to Geeta Dutt fans.  This traditional Bhairvi thumri has been sung by many classical singers.  In films I have heard an outstanding rendition by Mohammad Rafi and Krishrao Chonkar in the film Rani Rupmati (1959).  This rendering by Geeta Dutt should also figure among the best.


3.  Aapne chheen liya dil ise kya kahte hain by Mohammad Rafi and Meena Mangeshkar from Farmaaish, lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music Husnalal Bhagatram

What a beautiful duet by Mohammad Rafi and the debutant, Meena Mangeshkar.  I never tire of repeating how grateful we are to live in the internet era, otherwise these gems would have been lost forever.  The labels on the link are erroneous, but let us thank the uploader for this great song


4. Angan more aaoji sajan dheere dheere by Shamshad Begum from Rail Ka Dabba, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Ghulam Mohammad

Shamshad Begum is my great favourite.  Unfortunately, we lost her this year on April 23, and I do not miss to include one of her songs if an opportunity arises.  This was a great year for her.  Rail Ka Dibba had a well known duet with Rafi, La de mohe balma aasmani chudiyan.  It also had three solos, this one which might be relatively unknown, is incredibly sweet and melodious.  Unfortunately, it seems to be an incomplete link, but nevertheless a gem.


5.  Aa jane wafa by Geeta Dutt from Anarkali, lyrics Geeta Dutt, music Basant Prakash (!)

A Geeta Dutt song in Anarkali may look odd.  More surprising is that its composer is Basant Prakash.  Atul mentions the story behind this oddity.  The producer wanted all the songs in the voice of Geeta Dutt, but C Ramchandra was adamant on Lata Mangeshkar, obviously.  Then he was replaced by Basant Prakash, who could do only one song, after which he could not continue because of illness.  CR was back with Lata Mangeshkar with a vengeance.  But this Geeta Dutt song stayed on.


6.  Multilingual song from Teen Batti Char Rasta, music Shivram Krishna

We have seen a multilingual song in Aadmi (1939) in the article by Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh in his post on Hindi-Marathi songs.  Later I have come across a great multilingual song by Shamshad Begum in the film Nishan (1949), picturised on P Bhanumati.  We should have occasion to discuss that song later.  This one composed by Shivram Krishna in his debut film is a musical as well as visual delight.  Such songs highlight the multi-ethnic and multilingual nature of our society, with an underlying unity.  A feature of these songs is that different segments highlight the special mannerisms, accent or dress of that linguistic group.  So watch this song again and again to identify the languages, and enjoy its picturisation.  HFGK gives details of different segments, composed by different composers – Kanu Ghosh (Bengali), Natraj (Tamil), Gulshan Sufi (Sindhi), Vasant Desai (Marathi), Avinash Vyas (Gujarati), Shivram Krishna (Hindi, Punjabi).  There are a number of singers also, my favourite is Zohra Ambalawali – you can’t miss her distinct voice.


7.  Classical song from by Dr Vasnatrao Deshpande (?) from Chacha Chaudhary, music Madan Mohan

We have heard of Madan Mohan’s love for classical music. Surprisingly this song is not listed in HFGK, but from the video clip it is surely from the film Chacha Chaudhary.  The YT link mentions Dr Vasantrao Deshpande as the singer and the Raga identified is Chandrakaus.  The actors identified in the clip are Raja Paranjpe (singer) Durga Khote (lady) Dhumal (music teacher) and Chittaranjan Kolhatkar (young lad).


8.  Duniya paglon ka bazaar by Mohammad Rafi and Shyam Kumar from Chacha Chaudhary, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Madan Mohan

I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts that Madan Mohan could go from pure classical to a pure crazy song in the same film.  This one seems literally picturised on a bunch of  lunatics in an asylum.  The second singer, Shyam Kumar, I guess is the same person who was the male voice in O janewale balamwa (Rattan).  The song is a parody, it is a challenge to identify the original songs.   The ones I can clearly identify are Toofan Mail, duniya ye duniya (Jawab, 1942 by Kanan Devi) and Duniya ka maza le lo (Bahar, 1951 by Shamshad Begum).


9.  Lahron ke rele sang naiya mori khele by Hridaynath Mangeshkar from Baabla, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music SD Burman

If you hear this song without knowing its detail, you would probably guess it is by Geeta Dutt.  Hridaynath Mangeshkar would have been 15/16 when he sang this song.  It is surprising that at this age, his voice should be so thin.


10.  Na main dil ki baat bataungi by Rajkumari from Gunah, lyrics Kedar Sharma, music Snehal Bhatkar

I have a great fascination for female singers of the vintage era, 1930s and 40s, who were swept away by the Lata Mangeshkar tornado in the 50s and 60s.  We lost a good deal of tonal and vocal diversity.  These singers got songs on the margins.  We have seen a small fragment of Zohra Ambalawali in the song no. 6 above.  Another great singer in the Vintage Era was Rajkumari.  Enjoy this ghazal in the style of 30s and 40s by a great composer, who also unfortunately remained on the margins in Hindi films.


I have come to the end of my presentation.  I believe that nothing of importance I have missed.  But any discussion on old songs is also about discussing that which is unknown, and discovering hidden gems to together.   Fortunately, we have among SoY regulars, great experts and explorers.  So I present it before the house for Open House now.  While discussing and commenting, you may also give your thoughts on

And the SoY winners are:

Best male playback singer

Best female playback singer

Best duet

Best music director


Based on the inputs and discussions, I propose to write separate wrap-ups on each of the above, as I did last year.

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

1 N Venkataraman July 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm

In my selection of songs for duets, I have strictly adhered to Male-Female duets only. There are other duets and even triads and quadruples. But I will come to that later.

There were around 100 Male-Female duets for the year 1953. In my first round of selection I could eliminate almost one-third of the songs. This section throws up some interesting duets involving MDs, Chitlalkar-Lata Mangeshkar 6, Chitragupt-Shamsad Begum 2 and one each of Anil Biswas-Meena Kapoor and Shivram-Mubarak Begum. Besides there are duets involving Sundar, Dhanajoy Bhattacharya, Iqbal, Afzal Hussein, S D Batish, Surendra, Shankar Dasgupta, Bande Hasan, G M Durani, Satish Batra, Jawar Hussien and Master Gopal among maler singers and Sulochana Kadam, Gandhari, , Sandhya Mukherjee, and Nargis among the female singers.

Further pruning resulted in the elimination of duets involving Premlatha, Meena Kapoor, Meena Mangeshkar, Suraiya and Indira Manchanda. I was left with around sixty songs involving Talat Mehmood, Md.Rafi, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and Hemant Kumar among the male singers and Lata Mangeshkar, Shamsad Begum, Geeta dutt and Asha Bhosle among the female singers.

After further listening, I decided on the following 12 duets.
1. Kisi Ne Nazar Se Nazar Jab Mila Di – Talat Mehmood and Asha Bhosle / Ali Akbar khan/ Humsafar
2. Mukh Se Na Bolun Ankhiyaan Na Kholun – Talat Mehmood and Lata Mangeshkar/ Anil Biswas/ Jallianwala Bag ki Jyoti
3. Baharo Ki Duniya Pukare Tu Aaja – Talat Mehmood and Asha Bhosle/ Ghulam Md. and Sardar Mullick/ Laila Majnu
4. Bol Na Bole Janewale – Talat Mehmood and Asha Bhosle/ S D Burman/ Armaan
5. Ritu Aae ritu Jaae Sakhi ri – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar/ Anil Biswas/ Humdard
6. Dharti kahe pukaar ke – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar/ Salil Choudhury/ Do Bigha Zamin
7. Hariyala sawan dhol bajata aaya – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar/ Salil Choudhury/ Do Bigha Zamin
8. Devta tum ho mera sahara – Md. Rafi and Mubarak Begum/ Jamal Sen
9. Yaad Kiyaa Dil Ne Kahaan Ho Tum – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar/ Shankar-Jaikishan/ Pateeta
10. Jaag Dard-E-Ishq Jaag – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar/ C Ramchandra/ Anarkali
11. Aa Mohabat Ki Basti Basayege hum – Kishore kumar and Lata Mangeshkar/ Anil Biswas/ Fareb
12. Jaane Na Najar Pehachaane Jigar – Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar/ Shankar Jaikishan/ Aah

And my choice for the best duet singers for the year 1953 would be MANNA DEY and LATA MANGESHKAR for either ‘Ritu Aae ritu Jaae Sakhi ri’ or ‘Dharti kahe pukaar ke’.

2 AK July 21, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Thanks a lot for your detailed comments again. This would be very useful. But some of my favourites are missing in your list. Are these conscious omissions?

1. Sun more sajna re
2. Aasmanwale bata teri duniya se jee

There are some more, but these two are most startling. I see you are a great fan of Manna Dey.

Just for convenience, a triplet song which has at least a male and female may be counted as a duet so that we don’t miss songs like Mohabbat ki dhun beqaraaron se poochho. That leaves all female songs which I find awkward to count as a duet. For that we may make a special mention if we come across a truly outstanding song which needs to be recognised.

3 N Venkataraman July 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm

As far as I know, a few more than 100 films were released in the year 1953. 50 to 55 Music directors composed music for these films. Of this top prolific music directors were:

1. Shankar Jaikishan (8) – Shiksat, Naya Ghar, Pateeta, Aah, Aas, Aurat, Mayur Pankh and Boot Polish

2. Anil Biswas (6) – Mehmaan, Jalianwala Bag ki jyoti, Fareb, Rahi, Humdard and Aakash

3. C Ramchandra (5) – Shagufa, Jhamelaa, Jhanjhar, Anarkali and Leharien

4. S D Burman (4) – Shahensha, Babla, Jeevan Jyothi and Armaan

5. Roshan (4) – Maalkin, Aagosh, Mashuqa and Gunah

6. Ghulam Mohammad (4) – Rail ka dibba, Gauhar, Dil-e-naadan and Hazar raatein

7. Ghulam Mohammad and Sardar Mullick (1) – Laila Majnu

8. Ghulam Mohammad and Manna Dey (1) – Naina

9. Chitragupt (4) – Manchala, Nav Durga and Naag Panchami,
Besides, Jamal Sen and Vasant Desai had three films each to their credit.

R C Boral, Shivramkrishna, S Mohinder, Madanmohan, Md.Shafi, Husnlal- Bhagatram, Vinod, Bulo C Rani, Robin Chaterjee and Nashad had 2 films each.

21 music directors composed music for almost two-third of the films released in 1953.
The music for the rest one-third of the films was shared between 30 to 35 music directors.
Of them the siginificant names were Salil Choudhry, Ali Akbar Khan, Khayyam, V Balsara, Manna Dey, O P Nayyar and Shyam Sundar.

Based on the discussion and selection of best songs in each category, the top five music directors for 1953 would be;
1. Shankar Jaikishan
2. Anil Biswas
3. C Ramchandra,
4. Salil Choudhury
5. Ghulam Mohammad

I have no hesitation in placing Salil Choudhry and Ghulam Mohammad in the fourth and fifth position.

But the top three positions can be settled between the three composers I have mentioned above. It will be a touch and go situation.

4 N Venkataraman July 22, 2013 at 12:27 am

Both songs ‘Sun more sajna re’ and ‘Aasmanwale bata teri duniya se ’ are wonderful songs no doubt. Both the songs along with ‘Din Pyar ke Aye re’, to be precise, were in my final 18 for the year 1953. But like in the case of male solos, I thought these songs will definitely find a place in the discussion, so why not bring up three of my other favourites and ‘provoke’ a discussion. Hence the three songs ‘Kisi Ne Nazar Se Nazar Jab Mila Dee’, ‘Chhahe kitna mujhe tum bulaoge..bol na bol ye jane wale’ and ‘Mukh sena bolun’ found place in my final list. I can understand your reaction because both songs had Lata Mangeshkar. Perhaps omission of good songs of Lata Mangeshkar is unpardonable and inclusion of Asha Bhosle’s songs in its place may seem to be ridiculous. But jokes apart, but all the three songs are beautiful duets especially the last mentioned one.

Manna Dey, although number wise he was much behind Talat Mehmood and Md.Rafi, had a great year. At least my list says so! Let me wait for your final verdict.

Coming to triplet songs category, there were at least 14 of them, the break up being, 10-MFF, 1- MMF, 3 – MMM, 1- FFF songs that I am aware of. Out of these 10 are available on YT. I have not given a serious listening to these songs.

‘Mohabbat ki dhun bekararon se pucho’ is a good song. I noticed Canasya too has mentioned this song in her discussion. I will listen to the other triplets and let you know if I find any song worth mentioning.

In addition there are 14 MM duets and 10 FF duets out of which 15 songs are available on YT.

Thank you Akji for your generous appreciation and observations

5 AK July 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm

You got me worried for a moment when I didn’t find the two duets in your list, because I didn’t want to impose my choice.

Among your additions Mukh se na bolun ankhiyn na kholun is a superb duet, presence of Lata Mangeshkar with Anil Biswas does make a difference. This was an omission in my list. Looks like it might be a strong contender for final ten. Thanks for mentioning it. The rest are good, but.

Mukh se na bolun ankhiyan na kholun by Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar from Jallianwallah Bagh Ki Jyoti, music Anil Biswas.

I should think you would be neutral between Jane na jigar and Aa ja re ab mera dil pukara.

In music directors there can be no question about the final five. But your inter-se ranking is interesting. People have generally given Shankar Jaikishan or C Ramchandra the top spot, some have mentioned Salil Chaudhary too. But probably no one gave Anil Biswas no 2 above CR.

6 jignesh kotadia July 23, 2013 at 12:06 am

Akji and Venkataramanji.. . . . Thanx very much for complements. Akji…i m not a pro…i wanted to become so but god led me to another way. I have uploaded 10 songs recorded with karaoke tracks in a studio. Venkataramanji…yes, i m a medical man, a doctor,, and the clip was recorded in my clinic in some freetime. I m v v delighted that u ppl liked my songs. I recommend to listen also ‘jalte hai jiske liye’ and ‘o hansini’ of mine.

7 jignesh kotadia July 23, 2013 at 1:03 am

Venkataramanji…. Thanks for introducing ‘ Tera hath hath men aa gaya’ . I heard it 1st time. It’s too good. Pieces of sitar inbetween r my favorite hearing, i also love it very much esp in madanji’s gems. I actually wanted to discuss abt two wonderful songs of ‘hamdard’…’Tore naina rasile’ and the manna-lata duet ‘Pee bin suna ri, patjhad jaisa jeevan mera’ ..but cudnt comment for them earlier….thanx for bringing them in mainstream..we cant omit them.

8 jignesh kotadia July 23, 2013 at 1:22 am

After listening ‘rasile nain’ of mannada, listen ‘rasile nain’ of lataji in gunaah. Snehal bhatkar’s classic melody.

Hum par jadoo daar gaye ho julmi
Teer karejawa pe maar gaye ho julmi
Nain rasile, nain rasile ho julmi nain’

9 jignesh kotadia July 23, 2013 at 1:35 am

these r not to extend the main list of selection. But can we afford to omit such wonderful varieties ?

‘Tu ishq se dar, bemaut na mar, ye woh dard woh dard hai jiski ki koi dawa hi nahi..
Yeh woh jadoo hai jiska maara hua, maara hua koi aaj talak to jiya hi nahi’

Now the question is ‘is the tune made first or the poetry ?’

There r still more lata gems remained to discuss. Next time. Good night.

10 AK July 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

Rajinder Sharma,
I am sorry I am coming back to you late. There might be some issue with the WordPress which did not show up your pending comment at its usual place.

Thanks for your compliments, and welcome to SoY. As for your observation about my bias against Rafi, had you made this charge against me about Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle I would have readily pleaded guilty – I have been quite frank that I am not very passionate about them. But I am a great admirer of Rafi. I do not know from where did you get “…but according to you, even Kishore Kumar is better“. I would urge you to read my posts on Rafi, one of which is Rafi versus Kishore Kumar comparison which one should read carefully till the end.

11 AK July 23, 2013 at 10:21 am

Thanks for Hum par jadoo daar gayo re zulmi. Absolutely great song.

12 N Venkataraman July 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm

After all the main purpose was to bring forth as many good songs as possible under different categories and make the discussion lively and stimulating. In the process I might have left out, both intentionally and inadvertently, some songs which would certainly come up from one or more of us. Ultimately it is joy of enjoying and listening to as many good songs as possible. The ultimate decision lies with you and certainly nobody will consider it as an imposition. We have full faith in your assessment.

Yes, I am neutral to both the duets of Mukesh. One of those songs can be among the final ten.

Anil Biswas composed some beautiful female solos for the films Humdard, Fareb,Rahi and Aakash, four have wonderful male solos of Manna Dey for Humdard and two more of Kishore Kumar for Fareb. The solo of Shankar Dasgupta for Aakash also made good listening. In the MF duets he gave us two outstanding duets for the films Humdard and Jalianwala bag ki jyoti and one more for Fareb. Except for the duet, none of the songs from Jalianwal bag ki jyoti were available in YT.

C Ramachandra composed some excellent female solos for Anarkali and a few more for Jhanjhar and Shagufa. We have two male solos and one MF duet from Anarkali.

If you consider only the female solos, CR will be miles ahead. When you take into account the male solos and MF duets it will be a touch and go situation.

13 N Venkataraman July 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I am glad that you liked the song ‘Tera hath hath men aa gaya’. Certainly it is a good song and deserves a place in the final ten.

If I am not mistaken ‘Pee bin soona re’ is a part of the duet ‘Ritu aae rite jae’, the third stanza in Raag Jogiya.

You have mentioned two songs of Lata Mangeshkar from Gunah. Both are good. AKji has posted a song of Raajkumari in the special song section from this film. There is one more song of Raajkumari from this film – ‘Chiththi to Teri Zalim Hum Padh Nahi Paate Hain’
I listened to the songs mentioned by you. They were good.

14 jignesh kotadia July 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Venkataramanji…..i listened the song ‘ritu aaye ritu jaaye’ fully. I think ‘pee bin suna ri’ is not the stanza of ‘ritu aaye’ but it’s a different one. Actually the song is an amalgamation of three classical songs..1. Ritu aaye 2. Barkha ritu bairi hamaar and 3. Pee bin suna ri. It’s a combined show of those songs sung during different sessions while the hero teaches nimmi singing.
It is a trisong like as in ‘dekh kabira roya’…’meri beena tum bin’+ ‘ashko se teri humne’ + ‘tu pyar kare ya thukraye’ (lata+asha+lata) !

15 jignesh kotadia July 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm

and yes, GUNAAH is really a topclass album with 2 rajkumari gems, 2 lata wonders and 1 sixer of talat , a great discovery. That is why i request to Akji ‘plz dont skip the other years of 50’s in discussion’. Everytime we come out with a lot unknown gems during the analysis of a particular year.

16 Canasya July 24, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Given the amount of interest this post has generated — 114 comments already and only a fortnight since it began – and the precedent set by the post on “The best songs of 1955” which had begun in April last year and the final results could come only in December, I am looking forward to at least another couple of months of wonderful time with 1953 goldies on this page.

Two quick comments. To N Venkatramanji @ 103: it should have been “Canasya too has mentioned this song in ‘his’ discussion”, rather than ‘her’. I squirmed a bit upon reading it, but that is the price of anonymity on the net. Perhaps the misunderstanding was natural. I am no authority on Sanskrit and am not sure whether Canasya (pronounced ‘chanasya’, Sanskrit for “delight”) denotes a masculine or a feminine term. In online dictionaries it appears more often as a verb. But to me it is associated with the fabulous sound of an amplifier that bears that name.

To Anuji @ 4: Pankaj Raag in his “Dhunon ki Yatraa” mentions the date of Basant Prakash’s demise as Mar 19, 1996. In fact, his Mahendra Kapoor-Asha duet “Rafta rafta wo hamare” (Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain, 1966) became quite popular:

His last film seems to have been Ablaa, 1989 (source: Pankaj Raag).

17 N Venkataraman July 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Canasya ji,
Till this minute I knew that ‘Canasya’ is a girls name. One of my Bengali friends daughter too bears this name. Anyway, We are delighted to have you among us in this discussion.

18 Hans July 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm

First some trivia.

As many of you may be knowing ‘Aah’ initially had a tragic end in which Raj Kapoor dies and Pran marries Nargis. Later it was changed into a happy ending. What I wanted to tell was that the end was changed very late, because I saw the film with tragic end in early 70s (1971 or 72) in Moti Cinema in Old Delhi. Can someone tell when the end was changed.

Music for the film ‘Alif Laila’ was given by Shyam Sunder, but he died during its production and Madan Mohan completed its music without taking any credit. Coincidentally Madan Mohan died in 1975 during the making of ‘Laila Majnu’ and its music was completed by Jaidev. By the quirk of fate both the films contained the name of Laila.

There is another film of 1953 for which Madan Mohan js not given credit. The film is ‘Dana Pani’ and as per Begum Akhtar he composed its music by the name of Mohan Junior. In that film he gave a ghazal to Begum Akhtar ‘ae ishq mujhe aur to kuchh yaad nahin hai’. link given below:

I also give a link for an interesting song ‘bhagwan tujhe main khat likhta’ sung by the famous MD Chitragupta in film ‘Manchala’.

19 AK July 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I have seen Aah with happy ending. The change must have done quite early.

Very interesting information you have given about Alif Laila and Laila Majnu. It is known that Madan Mohan was a great fan of Begum Akhtar, and she also had a great respect for him. He often hummed his tunes to her on telephone for her approval. After her appearance in the 1940s in films such as Roti, composed by Anil Biswas, I was not aware of her film songs in the 50s, except Satyajit Ray’s Jalsaghar:

Both the songs you have given are very special. Thanks a lot. It would be interesting to compile songs sung by composers, not known to be singers.

20 Canasya July 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

I thank Hans ji for the lovely Begum Akhtar gazal and the interesting trivia. I had seen the tragedy version of Aah in around 1968 or so in an open air theatre and had liked it. And I remember everybody in my circle I had talked to thought it was a tragedy. Only now did I read about its end having been changed and suddenly, to me, it became a Gilbert and Sullivan version of Devdas. During the shooting of the climax of Teesari Kasam, according to one story, one of the financiers had asked Shailendra to change the ending by pulling the chain as the train was gathering speed!

21 N Venkataraman July 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Thanks for those interesting trivia about Alif Laila and Laila Majnu.
I found some more information regarding the MD of Daana Paani.!topic/

I do not know which one is authentic.

Thanks for the wonderful Ghazal by Begum Akhtar.

I have heard the song rendered by Chitragupt from Manchala earlier. That was also good.
Here is a link to another song by Chitragupt.
‘Jaijaikar karo mata ki’ by Chitagupt from Nava Durga (1953), lyrics Gopal Bahadur Nepali, music Chitragupt/S N tripathi

22 Arunkumar Deshmukh July 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

AK ji,

A correction to the oft popular belief that Madan Mohan gave music to Daana paani as ” Mohan Junior.”
This is totally wrong.
I have done lot of research on this and I have Sanjiv Kohli’s,Girdharilal Vishwakarma’s and Harish Raghuvanshi’s proofs that these two were different persons.
Madhubala Jhaveri,who sang for Mohan Junior has confirmed over Phone that Mohan jr. was a different person.
Mohan Jr. was a Gujrati music Director who has given music to other Gujrati films also.
Knowing this only,perhaps,Madan mohan family never included Dana pani or Ajamil as Madan mohan’s films.
A Ph.D. student who did his Thesis on Gujrati film music has written about mohan junior-the Gujrati MD. I have all these documents with me.
So,please,once again Madan Mohan and Mohan Junior are two different persons.
Now a question remains about Begum Akhtar saying that her Gazal was composed by madan Mohan.But she did not say that the film composer was madan Mohan. It is very much possible that MM might have composed this gazal separately and it was used in Dana pani.
I brought this point to the notice of hamraz ji also,since he mentioned in HFGK about Madan mohan and Mohan junior.
Like some other mistakes,this is also another mistake in HFGK.

23 AK July 30, 2013 at 11:27 am

Venkataramanji and Arunji,
Thanks a lot for so much formation about Mohan Junior, lifting the veil from one of the common confusions. So we can take it settled that Mohan Jr was another person. Had HFGK been in digital form, doing these corrections would have been very easy.

SN Tripathi composing for his protégé Chitragupta is very interesting. Is its converse there in which Chitragupta composed for his Guru? Well, there is one, almost – Chitragupta composed for Pawanputra Hanuman (1957) in which SN Tripathi played the role of Hanuman! By the way, SN Trpathi was himself an excellent singer, who sang many songs in the 1940s. Here is a very interesting shower song sung by him in Panghat (1943) which was his first major success. For a 1943 film, the video quality is superb, and the song is very modern, where in one of the stanzas, the actor is cajoling the drying tap which splutters to life with some cajoling and nudging.

Panghat ke ghayalon ka from Panghat (1943), lyrics Pt Indra, music SN Tripathi

24 N Venkataraman July 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Thanks for the interesting song ‘Panghat ke ghaylon ka panghat hi hai tikhana’ by S N Tripathi.
There were few more occasion where S N Tripathi acted in films for which Chitragupt composed music,like Bhakt Puran (1952), Veer Babruvahan (1950) etc. I am not aware of any song sung by SNT for Chitragupt.

25 Hans August 4, 2013 at 2:32 am


It is quite possible that end of Aah was changed earlier and may be cinema people where I viewed the film had some old print. But I have another witness Canasya who viewed it quite late.

Desmukhji, who is a storehouse of information, has clarified the point about two Mohans. But, it is still not clear who composed the gazal. Begum Akhtar’s one more gazal is listed in film Ehsaan (1954) against the name of Madan Mohan. But I could not find it on YT. As you say he was having access to her, but how Mohan Junior got her to sing is a mystery.

The Panghat song posted by you is really great. The creators of songs were close to realities of life and as such very imaginative. I listened to other songs of Panghat available on YT and there are 2-3 good songs sung by SN Tripathi. Besides the Anil Biswas song in Arzoo, I remember the title song of Ek Phool Do Mali by Ravi viz. ‘kismat ke khel nirale mere bhaiya’.

The aarti posted by Venkataramanji is also great and was very popular in North in temples and religious gatherings at least till late 70s. Chitragupta’s voice here is much better than ‘bhagwan tujhe main khat likhta’.

26 Hans August 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Canasya(comment 75)

While choosing Talat as the best male singer for ‘shame gam ki kasam’ you compared its theme with ‘suhani raat dhal chuki’ of Rafi and referred to his mannerisms and idiosyncrasies being restrained by Naushad. No one would grudge Talat being the no. 1 for the year and which song you like is your choice. For me the themes of ‘suhani raat’ and shame gam’ are different. I have seen both films. In ‘suhani raat’ the hero is waiting for the heroine who is late, but in ‘shame gam’ there is a serious misunderstanding between them because the hero has gone on the wrong path. But that is my least concern.

I want to say something about the matter of Rafi’s mannerisms etc. First of all, why was there any need of this comment. Neither were you comparing both singers for the no.1 spot nor ‘suhani raat’ is this year’s song. This terminology for Rafi is used by fans of another singer who want to criticise him in a sophisicated manner. I have seen a really knowledeable person criticising Rafi for his vocal gimmicks and in the same breath declare Kishore as his favourite, though Kishore is the undisputed king of gimmicks. I would like to give here a statement of Lata:

“I remember very well one interesting anecdote of those olden days. For Film:Tere Ghar Ke Samne(1963), Rafi and I were to sing the title song, “Ek Ghar Banavunga, Tere Ghar Ke Samne”. I was actually feeling very nervous. The reason is that Rafi Saab was singing one of the lines, “Main Bhi Kuch Banavunga”, so excellently (with that unique Rafi-brand Ada)! Dada had understood my problem and had requested Rafi Saab to somewhat tone that Sangat/Ada down! Rafi Saab had burst out laughing! With that, I became normal and less nervous. Such was Rafi Bhaiya!”

Rafi was a singer who elevated the level of the composers. Lata’s above statement confirms that. Even Lata is scared of him. The same specialities of Rafi which fellow singers and mds called Rafi adas or hakaten are called mannerisms or vocal gimmicks by his detrators. But, would that make any difference to Rafi?

27 Hans August 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm

In the main article, with reference to Nashad it has been said that, Naushad turned down giving music for Naghma calling it a lowly project not worthy of his stature. This story is quite baseless and such stories were circulated to defame legends like Naushad. Firstly, Naushad’s fees were beyond the reach of the producer of Naghma, so it does not seem possible that he might have approached Naushad. Secondly, Naushad had decided after Baiju Bawra that he would do only one film per year and he was at that time busy with the music of Shabaab and Amar and was also working on the music of the mega project of Mother India. As such, there was no question of his even thinking about Naghma. Even otherwise, this MD Nashad did not use this name Nashad for the first time for Naghma. He was in the habit of using different names for his films. He used, Shaukat Ali or Shaukat Hussain either with or without Dehlavi. As early as 1948 he used Shaukat Ali Nashad for film Toote Taare and Shaukat Dehlavi Nashad for film Dada in 1949. In 1953 he used simply Nashad also for another film Char Chand which was released about 2 and a half months earlier than Naghma. The name Nashad was used by producers to take advantage of the name and fame of Naushad, whose name on posters ensured full houses and not to put Naushad to shame, which has been suggested in this article. Though Nashad gave good music, but his standard could never be upto Naushad. And it was the greatness of Naushad that he did not object publicly or drag them to court for such attempts. Earlier also there was an attempt to malign Naushad by referring to his one time Assistant Ghulam Mohammad.

28 AK August 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

It is always interesting to go through your comments which give a contrary view to the conventional wisdom. On anecdotes I think I have earlier also mentioned that I take them as points of curiosity rather than truth on which one can make any judgement. But thanks for so much information on Nashad. As for the 1948, 49 films you have mentioned, HFGK does mention ‘Nashad’ in parenthesis. I am not sure whether this was how the music director was identified, or it is editorial clarification of the author Mr ‘Hamraz’.

29 Hans August 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I know that in 1948, 49 films the name ‘Nashad’ appears in parenthesis. But, in 1948 film ‘jeene do’ the name appears as Shaukat Hussain (Dehlavi) and even in later films the name ‘Nashad’ does not appear in parenthesis. And also in 1953 itself, the name ‘Nashad’ was used in ‘Char Chand’. So, it is unlikely that it is an editorial clarification. And this is not my main argument.

Regarding your statement that you dont take anecdotes seriously. It may be so, but in this case you have believed in it, because you wrote “Naghma’s music makes you feel that the producer’s audacious challenge was fully vindicated.” This can be written only when you believe the first part of the story.

I wonder whether the producer was a fool that he could believe that he could put to shame Naushad through an MD who had not done anything of note till then, when the great stalwarts of the time failed to dislodge Naushad from the high pedestal in a whole decade.

30 AK August 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I think it is safe to assume that the intent behind using the name ‘Nashad’ was to create confusion somehow in the minds of people with ‘Naushad’.

I am not as dismissive of the talent of Nashad. His Baradari which came two years later belongs to the very top bracket.

31 Hans August 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Yes that was exactly what I wanted to convey. I am not at all dismissive of the talent of Nashad, but to equate him with Naushad is not at all justified. I am all for bringing to limelight the forgotten ones, but for that the legends should not be made to suffer.

I have referred to this and other anecdotes which I thought illogical only to highlight the fact, that this site has acquired a status and credibility of its own, on the basis of your well researched and analysed articles and also comments from some really knowledgeable readers. Those readers who are credulous and not given to or having time to think and research, tend to believe everything that is written. My effort is designed to caution and not to criticise. I have myself gained immensely from this site.

32 jignesh kotadia August 26, 2013 at 2:09 am

this duet from ‘pamposh’ isnt good to listen but the personnel related to this film r interesting.

1. YT link shows it a 1954 movie BUT myswar@HFGK considers it in 1953,, another B.P. and M.P. like case.

2. Who is ”SEETA KALYANPUR” ?? Seen only in this movie…New name…is she related to suman kalyanpur ?

3. MOTI SAGAR !?! Had sung just 8 songs in 7 films. I have seen a name ‘moti sagar’ in ‘ramayan’ serial. Is he the same ‘moti sagar’ or another person ?

4. MANOHAR KHANNA,, also known as m.l.khanna,,father of Usha Khanna,,lyricist and md of this film.

33 Arunkumar Deshmukh August 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

jignesh ji,

1. PAMPOSH should be a 1953 film because the Censor certificate was issued on 25-6-1953. no doubts about it .
2. SEETA KALYANPUR as far as I know,was related to Suman kayanpur from her Husband’s side. She has sung few songs in some other films also. The details can be dug out.
3. MOTI SAGAR was a producer,Actor and singer too. Born on 16-4-1925,at Delhi,he studied in Lahore.Under the influence of musicians G A Chishti and Inayat Hussain, he came to Bombay in 1946 and got a role in malhar-1951 as a co-hero. His first song was with kalyani in Gul Sanober-1953 then he sang in pamposh,Jai mahadev,Shikar,Diwali ki rat,makhichoos,meri behan and flying horse.
he was the father of singer Priti Sagar. he died on 14-3-1999,in Mumbai.
He was from the Sagar family only.
4. As per a comment in HFGK,citing Usha Khanna’s statement, she was the actual composer of PAMPOSH-53,but her father’s name was given as MD. In the film’s booklet however names of Mohanlal Aimma and Cecil mendoza are the names indicated as MD of this film.

34 jignesh kotadia August 27, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Arunji….thanks very much again for this invaluable info….Arunji and Ashokji,, plz call me only jignesh..i feel discomfort when father figure like persons call me ‘jigneshji’.

35 Canasya August 28, 2013 at 10:03 am

I got to visit this site after about a month. Couple of comments and observations.

Hans ji @ 126: I am no movie buff but enjoy HFM. I thought I was commenting on a “swantah sukhay” site and not submitting an article to an academic journal for scrutiny by rigorous reviewers. Still, I do agree with Hans ji @ 131 that this site has acquired a status and credibility of its own and plead guilty to introducing an extraneous element in comparing “Shame ghum ki qasam” to “Suhaani raat dhal chuki”. The example of Tere Ghar ke Saamne cited by Hans ji would appear to reinforce the belief that Rafi’s “mannerisms” needed to be restrained at times. I assume that by Kishore’s gimmicks Hans ji @ 126 means primarily his yodeling. But yodeling is an established genre of (country) singing in the West (popular in the forties). And after SDB, Kishore was the one leading singer in HFM who used to “break” his voice melodiously. Lata confessed that she was unable to do that (although she attempts it once to great effect in Parakh – “O Sajana, Barkha bahar aayee”).

Jignesh Kotadia ji @ 134: Arunkumar Deshmukh ji and Sudhir Kapur ji provide very interesting information about Manohar Khanna on

36 mumbaikar8 September 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Ak, I understand you have ruled out Asha from the top 10 songs of 1953. I would still like you to listen t0 this beautiful song from Dil e Nadan, may be this song inspired SDB to take Asha for the Bandini song ( ab ke baras)

Lijo Babul hamara salaam re

37 AK September 7, 2013 at 8:03 am

Did I say that I would not include an Asha Bhosle song in the best ten? Let us wait for the Wrap Up 2.

Ljo babul hamara salaam re is really an excellent song and could be a precursor of Ab ke baras. However, Dil-e-Nadan had such outstanding songs that this was lot. I am hearing it for the first time. Thanks a lot.

38 k s bhatia September 27, 2013 at 12:35 am

AK ji, Iam a new entrant to yours very intresting site and being lover of the golden era of old classic movies; hold intrest in music compositions ,background music ,interludes ,preludes and title music of the movies. I have glanced thru many comments made above and i really appreciate the magnum efforts made by each one in analysis and observations thereon. As I am a big fan of Shanker Jaikishan I will definately vote for them for their contribution of music in the year 1953. My vote goes to lataji’s for her song from Aurat …..ankhon ankhon main tum ko basake dekh liya…… a beautiful rendering classical raga based meloncaly melody fully supported by SJ’s jems of interludes and preludes depicting the era of the movie. In fact all the songs of the movies were by lataji and all of them were excellent. I vote Shanker Jaikishan for this movie .The title music and the dance numbers were excellent.

39 mumbaikar8 September 27, 2013 at 5:52 am

With so many male female duets floating around, it is almost certain there is no space for female duets in 10 best duets of 1953, but I think that these 2 beautiful female duets can be discuseed with other 150 plus songs of 1953.

1 Jhanjar

2 Ladki

Man more machave shor ghata ghanghor by Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music R Sudarshanam-Dhaniram

40 AK September 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Mumbaikar 8,
Thanks for the two lovely duets – Ja ri ja nindiya ja by Lata Mangehskar and Madhubala Jhaveri from Jhanjhar, and Man mor machave shor ghata ghanghor by Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt from Ladki. I liked the second one more, picturised as a beautiful dance-song on Vyjayanthimala and Anjali Devi (?). As per the information in HFGK, C Ramchandra was also the MD of this film along with R Sudarshanam-Dhaniram. Hoever, the songs are individually attributed – this one has been credited to the former duo.

I have not created a separate category for female duets, because there may not be that many of such high quality. I put them in the generic category of duets. I had missed to include them in the long list, which should have been there. Thanks again for mentioning theses songs.

41 AK September 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm

KS Bhatia,
I hope you are able to catch up with the earlier posts of Songs of Yore. The readers have indeed invested a lot of their time and intellectual input in giving comments and analysis. This shows the common passion we all share for old film songs.

1953 was indeed a great year for Shankar Jaikishan. They had a number of outstanding scores in this year – Aah, Aurat, Boot Polish, Mayurpankh, Naya Ghar, Patita and Shikast. If we consider the total corpus, they far surpass any other composer. And these were memorable not for commercial success – some were not – but outstanding musical merit.

It is a measure of their quantum of work that Ankhon ankhon mein was not even in my shortlist. Everyone would have his own favourite, somehow I liked the other songs of Aurat I have listed more.

42 mumbaikar8 September 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Selecting a handful of songs from 100s created each year is a huge task.
We, the visitors to your blog, thank you time and again for the hard work you put in and feel obliged to fill in the gaps (if any)
Thanks for appreciating my effort.

43 k s bhatia October 20, 2013 at 12:00 am

AK, I totally agree with you. Selecting catchy tunes ,their orcastarization, anlysing melody of its listening pleasure for eras to come etc. in fact is a huge task. And then ranking them ; one can imagine the efforts and the inputs.We, as listeners, drive pleasures of comparison of our own ranking with that of experts.We do have some knowledge about the instruments used in the prelude and interludes as the song proceeds. It is finally the silver screen where its real impact gets noted.

44 mumbaikar8 July 31, 2014 at 7:56 am

I am so glad I stumbled upon this song today.
As Ameen Sayani would say this is Geetmala ki Chhaaon me ka song of 1953.
Doesn’t it sound like a sweet Rafi Lata duet?

45 Jignesh Kotadia July 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Nice discovery Mumbaikar8 ji, the song is just uploaded recently on 16th july ! Very melodious duet. This is 3rd gud song came out from ‘Bahadur’ others being a rajkumari solo (kagwa re ja) and an asha solo (zanjeer ne karvat li, daaman ne li angdai, shayad ke bahaar aai..). But i have some doubt whether it’s rafi’s voice or someone else’s ?

46 mumbaikar8 July 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Thanks, I have to look for the other two songs you are talking about.
Do not cultivate any doubt because it says so on the web, this is Rafi without any doubt.

47 AK July 31, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Mumbaikar 8,
You have added a very good Rafi-Lata duet. Thanks a lot.

Kagwa re ja by Rajkumari is a real gem. One of the best Bhairvis in films. It is a pity it remained hidden.

48 mumbaikar8 July 31, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I said, it sounds like Lata Rafi duet, it is not Lata Rafi duet the female singer is Ashima Bannerji and thanks for uploading Rajkumari’s song.

49 mumbaikar8 July 31, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Thanks for the Rajkummari song kagave ra ja, it is indeed a gem.

50 AK August 1, 2014 at 10:18 am

Thanks for the correction.

51 mumbaikar8 October 24, 2014 at 6:25 pm

SOY family,
24th October, first death anniversary of Manna Dey, a singer who was sidelined by his MD’s and equally ignored by HFM lovers.
Mr Venkataraman had expressed his frustration in comment # 95.
Paying my tribute to this great singer and wondering does he not deserve more? I would like to upload two songs from Humdard cited by Vemkataraman ji.

52 N Venkataraman October 24, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Thank you. I too join you in paying respects to Manna Dey.

53 AK October 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm

I too join in paying my tributes to Manna Dey. Songs of Yore needs to do more on him.

54 arvindersharma October 24, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Many thanks for remembering my favorite Manna De, the great singer, who is fondly remembered by all those who are passionate about classical music in Hindi films.
I still remember having bought four LP’s titled ‘Classical songs from films’, and one of them had the song ‘Pee bin soona ri’ by Manna De and Lata, and my foundation of appreciating classical music was laid there.
I would also like to join all in paying my tributes to the humble soul.

55 Hans October 25, 2014 at 2:22 am

Thanks to Mumbaikar8, we could remember a great and true artist Manna Dey. Anybody who is fond of golden era music can hardly forget him. To me in singing ability among male singers he was second only to Rafi, which he as a true artist admitted. He was unfortunately type-cast in the mainstream cinema by many mds and the reason given was that he could not carry a film on his shoulders, which is not true. And this was shown to us by SJ in ample measure. Look at films like Chori Chori, Basant Bahar and Ujala. Everybody knows about Chori Chori and Basant Bahar, but Ujala song ‘jhoomta mausam mast mahina’ was so popular that it was frequently heard on radio, at least till mid 70s. Even 10 years after the release of the film I used to stop in the street, if that song was played to listen ‘yalla yalla dil le gayi’. And who can forget the call of ‘hillori’ in the lata song ‘panchhi banu udti phirun’. Only Rafi and Manna Dey were the masters of such special effects. SJ really gave him recognition in top films as well as great variety of songs.

Manna Dey was always in great demand for classical based films as well as historical and religious films and in many of such films he sang almost all the songs. I would particularly advise readers to watch the songs of 1961 movie Jai Chittod – video clips of which are available on you tube – to view the impact Manna Dey’s singing made in the film.

A thought has been lingering in my mind that a regular thread is needed in SOY, where everyone can post whatever comes to mind a new song or some idea or some information which is not covered by any other post in SOY. This post of Mumbaikar8 has revived that thought. If that live thread was available, this post could have been posted there, instead of posting in a dead thread, which has the chance of it going unnoticed. Therefore, I would request AK to start such a thread, which could be named SOY Adda or SOY Chaupal or some other convenient name.

56 Hans October 25, 2014 at 2:31 am

Now two songs to remember him and which also show his class and range.

Nirbal se ladayi balwan ki – Toofan aur Diya – Vasant Desai

Tu chhupi hai kahan – Navrang – C Ramchandra

57 mumbaikar8 October 25, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Venkataramanji , AK, Sharmaji and Hans,
Thanks for connecting.

58 SSW October 25, 2014 at 7:21 pm

You are partial to Malkauns Hans?
I think of the old time male singers the most classically inclined exponent was Manna De and yet he was versatile enough to sing a rock song with much elan as he did in Bhoot Bangla or even Pyaar kiya jaa. His vocal acrobatics in “aao twist karen” and “o meri maina” in those movies were performed with some panache.
I am very partial to his singing in this song , a wonderful Laxmikant Pyarelal composition with lovely harmonies by the orchestra and chorus in the interludes. I wonder if anybody can clarify if those pieces were done by Pyarelal himself or Anthony Gonsalves.
How wonderfully Manna De takes the notes between 2:27 and 2:36

59 Hans October 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm


By your comments you have elevated me to a raag expert which I am not. In fact I know nothing about identifying raags. If the songs were based on malkauns that was just a coincidence. In fact, I was looking at songs written by Bharat Vyas, who had mostly worked with the likes of Vasant Desai, Tripathi and Avinas Vyas, who mostly gave music in historical, mythological and religious films and also some classically based films. And I found a large number of songs in these films which were sung by Manna Dey. I had referred to Jai Chitod, the songs for which were written by Bharat Vyas. The song posted by you is a great song and was new to me, thanks for it. The song mentioned by Arvinder Sharma was also great. In fact, Manna Dey has not been talked about as per his due, as rightly pointed out by Mumbaikar8.

Now listen to a song by Avinas Vyas (poor fellow he created so many gems and nobody cares for him). What to talk about the song even the film’s name was not known to me till a couple of months ago. In this song Manna Dey sings in a slow tempo, which many said he could not do. When I heard this song, I wished this song should never come to an end.

Meethi-2 yaad teri – Great Show Of India – Avinas Vyas

Now see this song from Seeta aur Geeta. Everybody knows about Rafi’s great specialisation in singing sharabi songs, but here Manna Dey has sung it so beautifully and with Dharmendra’s super sharabi acting it has become a classic.

Abhi to hath men jaam hai – Seeta aur Geeta – music RD Burman

There is also this non-film song composed by Manna Dey himself.

Nathli se toota moti re – non-film – music Manna Dey

Manna Dey’s versatility is well proved. Some of his contemporaries like Mukesh, Hemant and Talat could hardly sing qwwalis – which is a difficult format. But, Manna Dey could sing them in his sleep and some of the best qwwalis could not have been completed without his singing. In fact a separate article can be written only on his qwwalis.

60 arvindersharma November 2, 2014 at 8:55 pm

AK Ji,
Thanks to mumbaikar8 and Hans Ji, Manna De is being revived on this post. I support Hans Ji’s idea of a thread, which should be a kind of an open forum, where readers can discuss music not covered in earlier posts. I believe, KS Bhatia Ji and many other regulars will support this idea.
But you are the final judge of such an exercise.
Coming back to Manna De, it was his versatility which was his asset. Be it quawwalis, bhajans or folk songs, he was at ease in every genre of singing.
In my opinion, in singing capability, he was equal to Rafi. But Rafi had a divine voice which superseded every other singer of the golden era of HFM. I would rather equate him with Asha Bhonsle, who could sing anything Lata Mangeshkar could, but always ended up coming second to her great sister.
I’ll pay my homage to the great singer by picking up two of my favorite songs, and two Bhajans of the lesser heard variety.
Film ‘Jhoola’, music Salil Chaudhary
Ek Samay Par Do Barsaatein Manna Dey Jhoola (1962…:

Film ‘Aalingan’, music Jaidev
(Pyas thi phir bhi taqaaza na kiya)
Manna Dey – Pyaas Thi Phir Bhi Jaane Kuo:

Film ‘Bank Manager’, music Madanmohan
Jab Dil Me Nahi Hai Khot To – Manna Dey – BANK MA…:

And the last one is a special one from ‘Narsi Bhagat’, music by Ravi, a solo of the famous Bhajan,’Darshan do Ghanshyamnath’ by Manna De.
Narsi Bhagat:

61 Hans November 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm


Thanks. I agree with most of your comments. The songs are just superb. ‘Pyas thi phir bhi’ – what composition and what singing. Narsi Bhagat contained another great bhajan by Manna Dey ‘vaishnavjan te tene kahiye’ which is the standard for this song. Darshan do ghanshamnath reminded me of some bhajans by him which contained ‘shyam’ or ‘ghanshyam’. ‘Bata do koi kaun gali gaye sham’ from film Madhu ‘Aayo kahan se ghansham’ from Buddha Mil Gaya The third one is from Kan Kan Men Bhagwan. ‘Sabko naach nachata’

Manna Dey, Lata and Dattaram have another feat to their credit. They produced three songs which were all hits, within a period of one year on the same tune.

1. Masti bhara hai saman – Parvarish (1958)

2. Pyar bhari ye ghatayen – Qaidi no. 911 (1959)

3. Bole ye dil ka ishara – Santan (1959)

Dattaram just loved this tune. He used it in other songs also with slight modifications.

And finally there is a song from Baharon Ke Sapne, which was extremely popular in those times though the film flopped. This song is specially for our orchestra specialist SSW for his comments regarding the prelude.
Chunri sambhal gori – music RD Burman (though unlike his music)

62 mumbaikar8 November 4, 2014 at 6:20 am

Sharma ji Hans,
I share your sentiments about the song “Pyaas thi phir bhi takaaza na kiya”
Jaidev’s compositions and Manna da’s rendition both outstanding.
One more Manna Dey song I love is Sharada’s
Chahe Zindaji se kitna bhi bhag re

63 Ravindra Kelkar July 1, 2015 at 2:51 pm

I read your posts for year 1953. I compliment you for very detailed & well researched study. One thing I noticed was that you did not mention film Baaz. It had a very good music score by OP Nayyar. It has historical significance on two accounts, viz first song of OP-Rafi combo & first OP-Guru Dutt combo movie. These two associations were to have a great impact on the Hindi Film Music in the years to come.
Baaz had 6 Geeta Dutt solos. Three of them are wonderful, viz. Zaara Samane Aa, Tare Chandani Afasane & Ae Dil Ae Diwane. Zaara samane Aa is the first OP song where you have clarinet-flute combo + castanet & Punjabi Dholak beat which later on became OP trademark style of orchestration. Taare Chandani Afasane is a very soothing melodious song. Geeta’s humming at the end of the song is excellent. Ae Dil Ae Diwane is an all time great & is worth figuring in top 20 Geeta songs of her career. The film also had Talat’s “Mujhe Dekho Hasarat Ki Tasveer Hoon Main”(which you have referred to). So all things considered, the lack of mention of Baaz in the list of memorable music of year 1953 is a glaring omission.
Some additional comments.
My list of top female songs of the year, would have Ae Dil Ae Diwane from Baaz & Mohabbat Aisi Dhadkan Hai from Anarkali.
In the list of duets of the year, I would have included, Kehata Tha Zaman-Rafi, Asha from Aag Ka Darya, Kya Raat Suhani Hai-Rafi, Lata from Alif Laila.

64 AK July 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Thanks a lot for the detailed information on Baaz. You do have some off-beat choices. From your list, besides the Talat duet, Kya raat suhani hai is my favourite and it could have figured in my list. Other songs I would have still missed with advantage of additional knowledge.

65 mumbaikar8 January 21, 2016 at 6:25 pm

We discussed few Nav Durga songs but this duet went unnoticed.

66 AK January 22, 2016 at 6:05 am

Nice song. But the best was Geeta Dutt solo आई बिरहा की रात.

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