Best songs of 1955: Wrap Up 3

October 9, 2012

The SoY award for the best duet goes to?

Pyar hua iqraar huaNow this series is about to come to an end. My first first wrap up on the best male solos had a similar question mark as there was indeed a tough choice between all the top singers Mohamad Rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar and Kishore Kumar. In the second wrap-up on the best female solos, the surprise was gone because it was a choice between Lata Mangeshkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Lata Mangeshkar….That would be the situation most of the 1950’s and 60’s. For the duet, the great diversity comes back. Rarely there would be another year with so many great duets in the voices of all the great singers. Most of the duets have become a landmark in our film music history. For a comprehensive list you may refer to the mother post on the Best songs of 1955.  Here I am selecting the best ten duets, which are not in the order of preference.

1. Kitna haseen hai mausam by Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar from Azaad, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra

Every song in Azaad was a gem. CR must have been an amazing genius to produce a score in 4 weeks, which Naushad had refused on the ground that he did not do a rush job. CR also had to contend with Dilip Kumar’s preference for Talat Mahmood, who was not available. CR convinced Dilip Kumar that he would sing himself with so much likeness with Talat style that no one would know the difference. How true! Unless you know it is sung by Chitalkar, it is as good as a Talat song.

2. Muskurati hui chandni jagmagata hua aasman by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Albeli, lyrics Ravi and music by Ravi

From being assistant to composing music for his mentor, Ravi does a terrific job on Hemant Kumar in one of his earliest films. Ravi was also a writer; this song has been written by him. He also had ambitions for singing.

3. Piya piya piya mora jiya pukare by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle from Baap Re Baap, lyrics Jaan NIsar Akhta, music OP Nayyar

This is the song with which Raju Bharatan floored a classical musician, who contemptuously referred to Piya piya mora jiya pukare as a mediocre song. Raju Bharatan pounced on him, “You are not even aware that this song has piya thrice. If you use piya twice, you are perhaps confusing with Piya piya na lage mora jiya from Phagun (1958), also composed by OP Nayyar. You classical types would not understand the difference. It takes a genius of a film musician to understand the difference between two piyas and three piyas.

4. Bhula nahi dena jib hula nahi dena by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, lyrics Khumar Barabanqvi, music Nashad

What a terrific song picturised on Ajit and an impish Geeta Bali.

5. Aan milo aan milo aan saanwre by Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt from Devdas, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music SD Burman

A very moving Baul song, sung to the young Paro by the wandering minstrels.

6. Nain so nain nahi milaao dekhat surat aawat aaj by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Vasant Desai

One of the best songs based on classical ragas.

7. Jane kahan mera jigar gaya ji by Mohammad Rafi and Geeta Dutt from Mr & Mrs 55, lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music OP Nayyar

An iconic fun song picturised on Johnny Walker.

8. Udhar tum haseen ho idhar dil jawan hai by Mohammad Rafi and Geeta Dutt from Mr & Mrs 55, lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music OP Nayyar

A great romantic song on the lead pair. A leading example of Rafi-Geeta Dutt duets.

9. Pyar hua iqraar hua by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar from Shri 420, lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

Raj Kapoor and Nargis in an umbrella while singing this song is one of the most recognizable images from our films (the image used as the thumbnail of this article). As Nargis sings Hum na rahenge tum na rahoge, rahengi apni nishaniya, you see three children (Raj Kapur’s real children) walking towards them.

10. Tum apni yaad bhi dil se bhula dete to achcha tha by Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar, lyrics Jaan Nisar Akhtar, music C Ramchandra

Yasmin was another CR landmark in this year. Among several great songs, this is a typical soft and melodious Talat Mahmood-Lata Mangeshkar duet.

One great singer missing from this list is Mukesh. This was the period when he was distracted by his forays into film making and acting. You may stretch to include Ichak dana bichak dana and the second part of O Ramaiya vastavaiya from Shri 420, but these do not belong to the same class as the best ten of the year.

Among other great duets still missing from the above list are Bachna zara ye zamana hai bura (Rafi, Geeta Dutt; Milaap) and Halke halke chalo saanwre (Hemant Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar; Tangewali). These were also mentioned by the readers. But I present two bonus duets which I had completely missed and even the most exhaustive comments by the readers did not mention them. So while they may they not make it to the award shortlist, they would figure among some of the best duets which have gone into oblivion.

Two bonus duets

11. Peechhe peechhe aa kar chhoo lo humein paa ke by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from House No 44, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Hemnt Kumar

This is not at all an unknown song, I should have remembered it. Here is the beautiful song, picturised equally beautifully on Dev Anand and Kalpana Kartik. Here Hemant Kumar plays a minor role, by just adding He he in between. It may count for all purposes as a Lata Mangeshkar solo.

12. Ye char din bahar ke hansi khushi se guzaar dein by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle from Rukhsana, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Sajjad Hussain

This one is a really forgotten gem. I heard it recently on radio and instantly fell in love with it. What a soft and melodious song, and to think that Sajjad Hussain used to call Kishore Kumar as ‘Shor Kumar’! Kishore Kumar is an undoubted genius. In the same year KK and Asha Bhosle sang for OP Nayyar Piya piya piya mora jiya pukare.

The best five duets of 1955

How do I pick the best five from the above list? I have gone through the comments of readers on the original post. There is a fair agreement about the songs, and my own personal choice also matches with the general consensus. I have a very simple method. If I have five slots, which song I would pick for the first slot, which for the second and so on? So here are my best five in order:

1. Bula nahi dena ji bhula nahi dena Rafi and Lata from Baradari

Among several hundred outstanding duets of Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar, I would have picked it among their top three-four songs three decades back, I would do so today and I would pick it up three decades later. There is something eternal about its instrumentation; it starts with a small prelude which sets the tone; the child lovers grow up by the time mukhda starts. I have lost count of how many outstanding songs I have seen on Ajit. Geeta Bali always brings an innocent charm. I have no hesitation in putting it as No.1.

2. Nain so nain nahi milao by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje

If Bhula nahi dena was a leading duet of Rafi-Lata, Nain so nain nahi milao holds a similar place in Hemant Kuar-Lata Mangeshkar duets. You would easily pick it among their best ten. The best example of a film song based on Raga Malgunji.

3. Kitna haseen hai mausam by Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar from Azaad

The tragedy king Dilip Kumar and the tragedienne Meena Kumari for a change get into the mood of romantic comedy. CR does a perfect Talat Mahmood imitation as he had promised. The setting, the gay abandon of the stars, the music, everything is just perfect. One of the best songs of Azaad, and one of the best songs of 1955.

4. Udhar tum haseen ho idhar dil jawan hai by Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar from Mr and Mrs 55

From at least three Rafi-Geeta Dutt duets in the year it is difficult to choose one. My vote goes for this as a leading example of their romantic duets. Picturised beautifully on Guru Dutt and Madhubala.

5. Pyar hua iqraar hua by Manna dey and Lata Mangeshkar from Shri 420

Frankly, this is not my top favourite of Manna Dey-Lata Mangeshkar for Raj Kapoor-Nargis. I give that honour to Ye raat bhigi bhigi and Aa ja sanam from Chori Chori. But you cannot question an icon. The rains, the play of light and shade in B&W film, the lovers under an umbrella and the three children walking towards the couple to the strains of Hum na rahenge tum na rohoge, rahengi apni nishaniyan – have made the song an eternal classic. Since it is not my top favourite of the type unlike the first four, I keep it at number five.

I can visualise many readers clapping in agreement if I declare that the

SoY award for the best duet of 1955 goes to Bhula nahi dena jib bhula nahi dena by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar from Baradari, music Nashad

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ASHOK M VAISHNAV October 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

Indeed, Duets – 1955 – would certainly bring Unity in the Diversity of the opinions.
An the two bonus, would silence even a minor immediate straying of the thoughts to think of something more or just some something else.
Duets vis-a-vis solo have remained a bone of discussion among song lovers and critics.
But there is no denying the fact that duets have greatly enriched Hindi Film Music, if not in addition to the depth that a solo can aspire to fathom, then certainly in broadening the range of the subjects and melody of the film songs.

2 Mahesh October 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

MUKESH indeed had no significant duet contribution in this year, but “JHUKA JHUKA KE NIGAHEN MILAYE ” with Asha in the film “Miss Coco Cola” under OPN music is worth mentioning.

3 AK October 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

Jhuka jhuka ke nigahein milaye jate hain is indeed a very melodious song. It would rank among great uncovered gems. Thanks for introducing this song to us:

4 n.venkataraman October 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Ak ji
I am a late comer to your site (precisely one month) and I am fascinated by the wide range of articles covered in this site. I was visiting your previous posts/articles of 2010. So I did not notice your article ‘Best Songs of 1955 – the winner are!’ and the follow ups (wrap ups), till your third wrap up was posted recently. After reading the post, I went back to the mother post and spent a lot of time in reading your well researched article and the listening to the songs (especially the duets). I am glad to have stumbled upon your site. Congratulations for a commendable and labourious effort. It was a wonderful experience listening to all those old melodies.

My choice of best duet songs did not differ much from the one declared by you.
1. Nain se nain nahi milao – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
2. Bhula nahi dena ji bhula nahi dena – Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar
3. Kitna haseen hai mausam – Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar
4. Aan milo aan milo Shyam sanwre – Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt
5. Pyar hua iqrar hua – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshakar

I would like to add three more duet songs which did not find a place in your master list. I am not sure whether they would have found a place in the final ten. All the three songs are among my favourites.

Two of them are from the movie Bahu, sung by Talat Mahmood and Geeta Dutt, composed by Hemant Kumar.
1. Thandi Hawaon Mein, Tara Ki Chaon Mein
2. Dekho Dekho Jee Balam
The third one is from the movie Ghar Ghar Mein Diwali, sung by Md.Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, composed by Roshan.
3. Falk Milega Tujhe

The following three duet songs were also wonderful.
1. Aplam Chaplam – Lata & Usha- Azad
2. O Balliye Chal Chaliye – Lata & Usha – Azad
3. O Albeli Panchi – Asha & Usha – Devdas

Thank once again for this great effort.

5 AK October 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

It seems you have not been really away, but you have been catching up with old articles. In a short while you have added tremendously, especially in classical and related genres. The biggest gain and motivation for me has been the association with knowledgeable people like you (so what if it is virtual).

The three duets you have mentioned would figure in forgotten gems. The duets no. 11 and 12 I remembered/discovered later. It is amazing how many gems are still waiting to be discovered. In this blog I do try to include such songs.

About the all female duets I was in a dilemma how to account for them. Since by duet one generally thinks of a male-female song, I had left them out in my wrap up. But you are right they need to be acknowledged.

6 Arunkumar Deshmukh October 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm

AK ji,
I like your choice.
However I have reservations about Albeli song,otherwise it was a perfect list.
The songs are so melodious,it must have been really difficult to make a choice.
Thanks for these gems of nostalgia !

-Arunkumar Deshmukh

7 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 1:16 am

Have some more fantastic duets from 1955.

This is salilda’s masterstroke from ‘amaanat’

”Re murakh tu kya jane
Tune sab kuchh aaj ganwaya
Tujhe kismat dhund rahi thi
Par tu pehchan na paya”

8 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 1:22 am

Another sixer of salilda in ‘amaanat’

‘jabse mili tose ankhiya
Jiyara dole re o dole’

9 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 1:35 am

this is stunning discovery from daku !
Mukesh was rare in 55 but i found his gem with asha in movie ‘daku’ led by shammi kapur
Variety tune by snehal bhatkar

‘dil ke badle dil lungi pyar ke badle pyar
banjaran hun preet hai meri do dhari talwar’

10 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 1:41 am

Roshan ka Jashan

‘Bade khoobsurat bade woh haseen hai
Magar kya karu ke woh mere nahin hai’

11 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 1:50 am

now lata and rafi from ‘naqaab’
Pt. Govindram hit a big score in naqaab.

‘kab tak uthaye aur yeh gham intezar ka
aaja chiraag bujh raha hai tere pyar ka’

12 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 1:58 am

Chitragupt is really amazing even with obscure movies like navratri, raj kanya, shiv bhakta etc…
Listen this magic from ”Navratri”

‘baharen aayengi hothon pe phool khilenge
sitaro ko maloom tha hum dono milenge’

13 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 2:16 am

this is another evidence of chitragupt’s greatness
Wonderful duet again of rafi-asha(film:Raj kanya)
G.S.Nepali’s great poetry

‘tasveer nayan mein thi jinki
wo aansoo ban kar bikhar gaye
pehchan hui anjaano mein
jab pyar hua to bichhad gaye

kal ka sindoor abhi sar pe
par saawariya ka pata nahin
lakho taaro ki duniya mein
Apni duniya ka pata nahin
Nazro mein jin ko bandha tha
Bheegi palko se utar gaye’
Kya baat hai !

14 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 2:28 am

really rare duet
Gem of s.mohinder in ‘Sau ka note’

Rafi: o chalo rani na karo manmaani
Goriya chal ke dekho na, hamre bangle ki bahaar

Geeta: mai to hun dharti,gagan tum babu
Ankhiya mal ke dekho na,hamra tumra kaisa pyar’

15 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 2:35 am

Hansraj bahal’s classic from ‘Mast Kalandar’

Dil e naadan zamane mein
Muhabbat ek dhoka hai
Yeh sab kehne ki baatein hai
Kisi ka kaun hota hai

16 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 2:50 am

Is it a duet ? Can be considered as a duet ? Rafi comes at the end 4 few secönds Or its a starting of a new song ?
But that ‘hai door thikana’ of rafi is so pleasant !

‘kabhi aansu bahate hai’
(talat-rafi) film: madhur milan_b.c.rani

17 jignesh kotadia February 10, 2013 at 3:04 am

And at last , a thriplet (triplet sounds some other meanings)
From movie: Tatar ka chor
Music : khayyam
Singers: Talat,Asha and Mubarak begum

Very melodious song, must listen

Talat: Qafas mein dala mujhe, apne raazdaaro ne
mere chaman ko hai luta meri bahaaro ne

Asha: Khuda gawaah hai sanam meri begunahi ka
Kiya fareb ye taqdeer ke sitaaro ne

And then comes the sugary voice of mubarak begum
‘Na manzil hai, na manzil ka nishaan hai
Meri bhi daastan,kya daastan hai’

Qafas = Cage

18 AK February 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Thanks a lot. In duets too you have added many unheard gems. Specially melodious were Navratri and Mast Qalandar duets. And the important thing is that Asha Bhosle is common to both. This was the time when she had not developed her own identity.

19 jignesh kotadia February 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

thanks 4 appreciating akji….with repeated listening these all gems r becoming for familiar and sweeter….i ve still some marvellous songs in male solo sector of ’55..but finding some leisure.

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