Film songs based on classical ragas (3) – Music from the mountains

June 17, 2012

Guest article by Subodh Agrawal

(When I wrote my last post acknowledging the second anniversary of Songs of Yore, I mentioned Subodh Agrawal’s guest series on classical ragas and hoped he wrote more often. Soon after in a very sweet gesture, he sent me his article on Raga Pahadi as his gift to mark the anniversary of SoY. In literary discourse, ‘Lok’ and ‘Shastra’ are supposed to be opposite of each other which do not meet. Pahadi is one of the Ragas which straddle both folk and classical, which makes it universal, extremely pleasant and, not surprisingly, a big favourite of composers of Hindi film songs. I am grateful to Subodh for letting SoY begin its third year with his guest article on Pahadi. – AK )

Raga PahadiThere are several ragas that draw upon the rich cultural heritage of folk music. There is Mand based on the folk music of Rajasthan; Pilu from the Hindi heartland and Pahadi from the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand. Many other ragas like Desh, Tilak Kamod, Vrindavani Sarang, Jhinjhoti, Gara, Kafi and Khamaj also straddle the boundary between classical and folk, but the three mentioned above excel in giving a classical expression to the pristine beauty of folk music.

Pahadi and Pilu are popular ragas with Indian film industry. A simple search on the internet brings up fifty-odd songs in each of them. I first thought of doing a common post on all the three predominantly folk ragas, but the sheer number of great songs in Pahadi and Pilu forced me to change my approach. This article is devoted to Pahadi. Hopefully I will get around to Pilu one of these days.

I would not attempt to present the formal structure of Pahadi by giving its aroha, avaroha, vadi, samvadi etc. Several excellent articles are available on the net for that. As in my previous articles, I would try to build up a feel for the raga by present a few film songs from the raga and then conclude by presenting a few classical pieces. An addition – demanded by the folk roots of the raga – would be a few pieces of folk music.

Let me quote from a brief but beautiful article I found on the net by Harkesh Bakshi ( “Peace, power, pathos, poignancy: these words together constitute an apposite expression of the aesthetics of the raga Pahadi. The raga is like a lover, unruffled in union, serene in separation, powerful enough to achieve eternal union, but resigned to the painful parting ordained by destiny.” I couldn’t have put it better. This raga appeals straight to the heart, as the collection of songs from films would show.

Choosing ten from the vast repertoire of film songs of this beautiful raga was not easy. My list underwent several modifications as I worked on this article, and even now I am not satisfied that I have chosen the ten best. I have left out two outstanding songs Tum apna ranjo-o gham and Suhani raat dhal chuki as they have figured prominently on Songs of Yore in AK’s posts on Jagjit Kaur and Best songs of Naushad for Rafi.

1. Awaz de kahaan hai by Noorjehan and Surendra from Anmol Ghadi (1946), music director Naushad.

I open with the song from the great Noorjehan, which went on to become a symbol of the pain caused by the partition of the country. The timing must have had something to do with it, as this film was released only a year before the partition when Noorjehan migrated to Pakistan. For a long time the Urdu Service of All India Radio had a regular feature Awaz de kahaan hai – with the opening lines serving as the signature tune – seeking to evoke the nostalgia people on both sides of the border fell for the lost times. Noorjehan visited India in 1982 to a red carpet welcome. This song was the highlight of her live performance during this visit.

2. Meri aankhon mein bas gaya koi re by Lata Mangeshkar from Barsaat (1949), music directors Shankar-Jaikishen

This song and number four below have perhaps the clearest exposition of the classically accepted structure of raga Pahadi in film songs. Barsaat was the movie that launched or gave a boost to several careers – Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Lata Mangeshkar, Shankar-Jaikishen. It also gave RK films their famous logo.

3. Do dil dhadak rahe hain by Talat Mahmood and Asha Bhosle from Insaaf (1956), music by Chitragupta

The best thing about ‘Songs of Yore’ is the discovery of forgotten gems. It is amazing how many great songs have disappeared from public memory. Thanks to the lovers of music who have uploaded the clips on Youtube and other music sites we have this huge gold mine before us. I had not heard this Talat-Asha duet from Insaaf. I came across it in my search for songs based on Pahadi. Interestingly, the instrumental accompaniment of the song does recall Johann Strauss’s Blue Danube, as mentioned in the comments on Youtube! Music has no boundaries.

4. Saajan ki galiyan chhod chale by Lata Mangeshkar from Bazaar(1949), music director Shyam Sundar

Another forgotten gem from the 1949 film Bazaar. The initial movement of the song is similar to Meri aankhon mein bas gaya koi re; but its slower tempo makes it more poignant. This is the first song I have heard from the composer Shyam Sundar. Perhaps another candidate for AK’s series on forgotten composers (how many more are waiting to be discovered?)

5. Rahen na rahen ham by Lata Mangeshkar from Mamta (1966), music director Roshan

No article on classical songs can be complete without Roshan. A couple of months back there was a retrospective on Roshan on a TV channel. An associate of his recalled how elated the whole unit was when this song was recorded. कुछ गाने बनाए जाते हैं और कुछ बन जाते हैं. यह गाना बन गया. दुबारा रोशन साहेब भी इसे नहीं बना सकते. This is a song that composed itself.

6. Sun ri sakhi mohe sajna bulaye by Lata Mangeshkar from Nagin (1954), music director Hemant Kumar

This one is in anticipation of AK’s much awaited post on songs of 1954. I am sure Nagin would rank very high in all categories. Till then enjoy this song from the movie that established Hemant Kumar as a music director. I must caution that the instrumental prelude is not in Pahadi. The raga is established only when Lata starts singing.

7. Aaj ki raat piya dil na todo by Geeta Dutt from Baazi (1951), music director S D Burman

Is there something about Pahadi that leads to landmark films? Barsaat, Nagin and now Baazi – the debut film of Kalpana Kartik; who went on to capture the most eligible bachelor of the Industry. Pahadi is ideally suited to express the feeling of yearning – as in most of the songs above. Do dil dhadak rahe hain and Rahen na rahen ham are different, but these two songs don’t quite follow the standard movement of the raga. This song, however, stays very close to the standard movement; yet creates a playful, romantic mood. One expects no less from the great SD Burman.


8. Lag ja gale ki phir ye hasin raat ho na ho by Lata Mangeshkar from Wo kaun thi (1964), music director Madan Mohan

If Roshan is there, can Madan Mohan be far behind? I was thinking of using Roshan’s Kabhi to milegi…baharon ki manzil rahi from Aarti. I decided against it as Roshan is already there in the list. Raga Pahadi ideally suits this song with the aura of mystery and yearning that is the soul of this movie.

9. Dil le ke daga denge from Naya Daur by Mohammad Rafi, music director O P Nayyar

Finally a male voice in a list dominated by female singers – mostly Lata! Pahadi by its nature suits the female voice better – but there are songs like this one that do equally well in the male voice. I didn’t remember this song; I have to thank AK for jogging my memory. OP Nayyar was very fond of Pahadi. His other well known compositions in this raga include Tum rooth ke mat jana, Isharon isharon mein dil lene wale, and Tum jo huye mere hamsafar. This video from Youtube is not complete, but gives a pretty good idea of the beauty of the song.

Dil le ke daga denge

10. Yeh dil aur unki nigahon ke saaye by Lata Mangeshkar from Prem Parbat (1973), music director Jaidev

I can see AK frowning at me for breaching the Laxman Rekha of 1960s, but I don’t think any article on films songs based on Pahadi can exclude this one. Jaidev deserves all praise for creating an atmosphere of pure joy. The movie would have been completely forgotten but for this number, which is somewhat unfair, as it also has an absolute gem in raga Tilak Kamod – Yeh neer kahan se barse hai.

This brings me to the end of the list of film songs. As I said, it was not easy to choose the top ten. I have already mentioned a few that were left out for reasons other than merit. I could also mention Jo wada kiya wo nibhana padega, Bachpan ki muhabbat ko dil se na juda karna, Chal ud ja re panchhi, O door ke musafir ham ko bhi saath le le, Chaudahvin ka chand ho, Mushkil hai bahut mushkil chahat ko bhula dena and many more. There is Sun meri sanwari o the beautiful Rafi-Lata duet composed by Husanlal Bhagatram that has already been covered in AK’s post on Rafi-Lata duets. Once AK reminded me of song number nine, I had to drop Chahoonga main tujhe saanjh savere from Dosti, which had made it to the list primarily on the ground of nostalgia. This was the song, along with others from the same film, that had made me a fan of Rafi as a child – before I switched my loyalties to Hemant Kumar, Mukesh and Talat Mahmood.

I now present three folk songs from Himachal. I know very little about folk music, so I have no idea where these songs would rank in any top ten list of Pahadi folk songs – or whether they would even make it to the top hundred. I have picked them out after listening to about twenty odd songs that a search on ‘Pahadi folk’ on Youtube displayed. These three sounded good to me. I know nothing about the first two singers, but the third one is Mohit Chauhan, who has made it big in the Hindi Film industry during the last few years – winning two Filmfare awards for best male playback singer. Before this he had an Indipop group by the name of Silk Route whose song Dooba dooba was a huge hit. I hope you will agree with me after listening to the folk number that he sounds best when he goes back to his roots.



I now move on to the classical territory, where I feel a little more secure of my footing! The first piece is from the album ‘Call of the Valley’ by the trio Hariprasad Chaurasiya (flute), Shiv Kumar Sharma (santoor) and Brijbhushan Lal Kabra (guitar). The visuals accompanying this piece are from the city of Lahore, which may look a little odd, given that Lahore is not in the hills. However, these visuals make sense in another way. Pahadi is the raga of longing, nostalgia and separation. I have lived and worked in Punjab for nearly four decades now, and if there is one thing about Pakistan that makes the people of Indian Punjab misty-eyed with nostalgia, it is the city of Lahore.

The next piece is by Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan. I had the pleasure of meeting Ustad Ji as a student when he came to my Institute for a performance. He loved raga Pahadi, exuding joy from every pore as he played it. He may not be rated on par with Ravi Shankar and Vilayat Khan by the cognoscenti, but his love for the raga makes this piece special.

I now present a classical thumri by the celebrated Pakistani duo Salamat-Nazakat. ‘Silken’ is an adjective often used to describe voices, but it is rarely as appropriate as in this case.


Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sang in an age when long playing records were a rarity. He and his contemporaries had to compress their presentations within the few minutes the old 78 rpm records allowed; and they became masters at distilling the essence of a raga in that short time. This bhajan in Pahadi by Khan Saheb is a real treat for music lovers.

As this article was being finalized, we heard of the sad demise of Mehdi Hasan. It was particularly poignant for me, as the idea of writing this article on raga Pahadi came to me in answering an email from AK in which he wanted to know the ragas on which Gulon mein rang bhare and Baat karni mujhe mushkil kabhi aisi na thee are based. The first one is Jhinjhoti – which I hope to cover sometime later – and the second one Pahadi. The best way to pay homage to the late maestro is to close this article with his famous composition in this raga.

This article has started and ended with singers from Pakistan whose appeal transcended the national boundaries. It was not something I had planned consciously; but now that it has happened, let me conclude by expressing the hope that the musicians and music lovers on both sides of the border will continue to contribute to normalization of relations between the two countries.

I close by thanking AK and the commentators on ‘Songs of Yore’ for their support and encouragement. I also acknowledge my debt to two websites that have been immensely helpful in my research and for clearing any doubts: and

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashok Vaishnav June 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

Shri Subodhji will have to buy a fairly large new cap to accomodate the feathers that will come his way, in general for his Great Series, and in particular for this lovely and masterly piece on Pahaadi. AKji, of course, has his share of cudos of different gushing streams, payfully making its way among mountains, in full rights in itself.
This being the first reflect-action-comment, I would choose Dil Deke Dagaa Denge and Yeh Dil Aur Unki Niagahon as extremely rare Hidden Gems among the Greats, Subodhji has painstakingly chosen for this piece.
Whilst on the subject, my memory immeduately drifts to Prabaton Ke Paidon Par Shaam Ka Basera Hai. [I have no idea which Raag it belongs to, if at all it does.] This song just came to my mind as I read through the article.
I , most humbly, join in paying my homage to Mehdi Hasan Sa’ab, my first love in Ghazal Listening.
BTW, Subodhji has also thrown a hideen gauntlet of searchiing out Pahaadi songs in Male Playback Singers’ voices, which can match the selection here to the readers and lovers of Hindi Film Music!

2 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Subodh ji,
Thanks for an excellent piece on Pahadi.This raag was very popular from the 50s and 60s in Hindi Film Music.In fact this was the most favourite of Naushad who built many songs in this Raag.
Similarly Roshan,hemant kumar and S.D.Burman also had a liking for Pahadi.
I dont have much knowledge of Classical music,but I understand enough to mostly identify the Raag in most songs.
To each his own.Many people like many Raagas.Individual tastes are different.I like Bhairavi(another fav of naushad),Malkauns and Jaijayawanti.
Here are 10 songs in Pahadi of my choice.There are so many,in fact,that the choice is actually an injustice to many other songs.But it always happens so in life.
1.Aaj ki raat mere-Raam aur Shyam
2.Shaam dhale khidki tale-Albela
3.Saawan ka Mahina-Milan
4.Tasweer banata hun-Baradari
5.Vahan kaun hai tera-Guide
6.Jawan hai Muhabbat-Anmol ghadi
7.Preet ye kaisi-Daag
8.Vrindawan ka krishna kanhaiyya-miss Mary
9.Tere nainon ne chori kiya-Pyar ki jeet and
10.Aaj ki raat piyaa-Bazi
thanks again subodh ji and AK ji for a wonderful read and music.
-Arunkumar Deshmukh.

3 harvey June 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Beautiful post, Subodh!
Lovely with lots of info. I think even a raga-illiterate like me understood a bit of the structure of the raag pahadi, after listening to the songs posted here.
The Barsaat and Nagin songs were new for me.

4 Subodh Agrawal June 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Thank you Ashok Vaishnav, Arunkumar Deshmukh and Harvey. Two songs in Mr Dehmukh’s list had slipped my mind over the years: ‘Preet ye kaisi’ and ‘Tere nainon ne jadu kiya’. Thanks for refreshing my memory. I would have loved to include ‘Sham dhale khidki tale’ for its playful mood which sets it apart among songs based on Pahadi; however I couldn’t decide which one to drop, and didn’t want to exceed the limit of ten.

Mr Vaishanav, Malkauns and Bhairavi are very much on my list. Jaijaiwanti doesn’t have enough songs to make up a full post to itself. Bhairavi, of course, has the largest repertoire along with Yaman and Darbari. The tradition in classical music concerts is to close with Bhairavi, and I think I will come to it when I feel I have exhausted all other ragas – either individually, or in groups.

5 Naresh P Mankad June 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Raag Pahadi instantly brings to mind the name Khayyam, often called Pahadi Khayyam. Somebody – perhaps Sajjad-is said to have remarked about him, “Wo to abhi pahadon se utre hi nahin!” Baharon mera jeevan bhi sanvaro, Parbaton ke pedon par shaam ka basera hai, Jane kya dhoondhti raheti hai ye ankhen mujh men – the list can go on and will seem endless. Sachin Dev Burman’s Kora kagaz tha ye man mera, and Dil pukare aare aare aare and RD’s Apki kasam have a perennial appeal. And I guess the memorable song from Laxmikant-Pyarelsl’s first film Parasmani – Rafi’s immortal, Roshan tumhin se duniya…salamat raho – isn’t that a Pahadi composition?

6 AK June 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm

As usual a great post from you. The songs you have included and the ones you could not because the list is too big, or because I have pre-empted you by adding some absolute gems in my blog earlier such as Sun meri sanwari re, Suhani raat dhal chuki etc, make Pahadi as one of the Ragas which have the most landmark songs. That gives me an idea for a post – a maha muqabala of Ragas which are big favourites in Hindi film music such as Bhairavi, Darbari, Yaman, Pahadi, Bhimpalasi, Bageshree etc, start with a first cut of 50 songs in each, come down to the best ten in each by some interactive process, and see which Raga comes out Sartaj as far as having the most memorable and landmark songs is concerned. You could do it after your Bhairavi post (I hope that does not come too soon).

Naresh Mankad’s comment gives me another idea for your thought. These Ragas have so many good songs theat you could do separate posts music director-wise for a Raga. For example, best Bhairavi by SJ, Naushad, CR; same with Pahadi – best of Khaiyyam, best of Naushad, best of OPN etc. We are just giving you more work to do.

7 Naresh P Mankad June 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I cannot resist mentioning two more gems of Khayyam: “Jeet hi lengi baazi hum tum” from Shola Aur Shabnam and “Thaheriye hosh men aa lun to chale jaiyega” from Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain.

8 Naresh P Mankad June 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I would wholeheartedly back AK’s idea of giving Pahadi a more elaborated treatment, so as to do some justice to this raag.

9 Dr Virendra Singh Godhara June 18, 2012 at 1:38 am

A movie song, Subodh Agrawal will agree, is seldom a true representative of a classical ‘Raga’. Thus we can at the best claim a movie song to be based on a raga – some more, some less. Again a list of Top Ten will hardly ever match when prepared by different persons, because subjective considerations – like nostalgia etc. – do play a significant role in preparing such a list. I should congratulate Subodh Agrawal for a splendid article. His choicest ten songs are indeed afloat like cream in the ‘Pahadi’ milk. Even the songs, other than these, mentioned by him in this article deserve this distinction despite his reasons for not including them in the Ten. Film music is spread over more than eight decades with a plethora of talented music directors and galaxy of dulcet singers. That is why several other songs have been mentioned by visitors of your blog with no less importance. They are noteworthy in their own right. Arunkumar Deshmukh’s Ten are not ‘Poor Man’s Ten’ either. Ashok Vaishnav mentions of ‘ Parbaton ke pedon par…, which is incidentally a very good composition based on Pahadi even if he is not sure of it.Naresh P. Mankad has appropriately mentioned of Khaiyam and so beautifully. All three songs of Khaiyam mentioned by him initially and a few more in later post deserve appreciation along with those of S.D. Burman, R.D. Burman and Laxmi-Pyare.
Ravi should be appreciated for not only ‘Chaudahvin ka Chand’ but also for westernizing ‘Pahadi’ wonderfully well in ‘Age bhi jane na tu…’ (Waqt) and Tujhko mera pyar pukare” (Gumrah). And what about ‘Ja re hat natkhat…’ of Navrang? My homage to Mehdi Hasan (may his soul rest in peace), but can we forget “Dil men ik lahar si uthi hai abhi..’ by Ghulam Ali while talking of Pahadi? Can we forget Mukesh,s ‘ Kabhi Kabhi’ or Kishore’s ‘Jeewan se na har jeenewale..’ (Door ka Rahi) or Meena Kapoor’s Mori atariya pe kaga bole (Ankhen)? The list is rather tedious so to cut a long story short I would suggest, it will be more appropriate to write descriptive article rather than trying to postulate Top Ten. I shall conclude with again emphasizing that Subodh Agrawal’s article still deserves being called marvelous.

10 Anu Warrier June 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

Great artice, Subodh. What I learnt about raaga-based film music, I picked up from my husband, who, though not trained, can tell you which raga once he hears the first few notes. There are quite a few songs I have really liked, and learnt much later that they all had one thing in common – they were all Raag Pahadi.

Apart from the lovely, lovely songs Subhodh listed, these are my favourite Pahadi-based songs: (I haven’t read through the comments, so apologies if I have listed songs that are already mentioned.)

1. Chaudvin ka chaand ho ya aaftab ho (Subodh did mention it later)
2. Isharon isharon mein dil lene wale
3. O door ke musafir hum ko bhi saath le le
4. Sakhi re mera, man ujle tan dole
5. Do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan aaj ki raat
6. Jawaan hai muhobath, haseen hai zamana
7. Kaun aaya ki nigaahon mein chamak jaag uthi

It’s one of my favourite ‘filmi’ ragas. Thanks a lot, Subodh, for this melodious trip through the songs of yore, and thanks AK, for hosting it. 🙂

11 KBS Sidhu June 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

Great songs………… either it’s a great Raag, or the Music Directors who composed the music for these songs were great, or both. The end result is fabulous!

Thank you, sir

12 Subodh Agrawal June 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

Thanks AK, Anu Warrier, Dr Godhara, KBS, Naresh P Mankad.

Frankly the repertoire of songs in Pahadi is so vast and so good that no list of top 10, 20 or even 30 can do it justice. I have listed 10 songs and referred to another ten or so. Many more have been mentioned in the comments. Yet there is enough left over to make another list of 30 or 40. I have attempted a list of 10 songs leaving out those that have already found mention above, and it was not easy to limit it to 10. Here it goes:

1. Mere bachpan ke sathi mujhe bhool na jana – Anmol Ghadi
2. Rimjhim barse badarwa – Ratan
3. Zulmi sang aankh ladi – Madhumati
4. Baharen phir bhi aayengi magar ham tum juda honge – Lahore
5. Chalo sajna jahan tak ghata chale – Mere Hamdam Mere Dost
6. Mila hai kisi ka jhumka – Parakh
7. Panchhi banun udti phirun – Chori Chori
8. Zindagi khwab hai – Jaagte Raho
9. Ham aap ki aankhon mein is dil ko basa dein to – Pyasa
10. Gaya andhera hua ujala – Subah ka tara

I could easily compile a list of another 10-15.

13 mayank baxi June 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Naresh P mankad is my brother who has forwarded this link to me.

I am KANSEN and not Tansen, not a singer but a wonderful listener and appreciator of the novelty.

To begin with before PAhadi SOngs, I am just amazed how technology has put varied skill spill over the different geography on a platfrom which surely deserves supreme compliments.

I hope everyone agrees.

I am advised not to be in continuous touch with computers for some time, but being technologically involved could not restrict my comment.


deeds speak much louder than the voice and that was what you have done by synchronising such activity which will enlighten the entire fraternity for ages to come.

14 Suresh Maloo June 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Thanks Subodh ji,
I heartily appreciate your superb writing which enlightened me.

15 Ramesh Shah June 20, 2012 at 3:21 am

Many thanks,I appreciate your writing and it has enlightened me a lot .
My one suggestion is that you give description of the raag so that a novice person like me learn.Eventhough I sing from very childhood at the age 76 yrs. without any knowledge for classical music or terminology,that is why I request you to brief me on this or suggest the sites best for that,for which I shall feel highly obliged.
Ramesh Shah

16 Subodh Agrawal June 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Mr Shah, thanks for the compliments. For description of the ragas you may refer to the two sites given at the end of my article. Both have search facilities enabling you to locate the article of choice.

17 Rohit Mehta June 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Dear Subodhji,

Sirji I was delighted to read your writing. Through out reading in one go I went in to Nostalgia.I agree with you it’s very very difficult to select 10 songs from melodies created by our genious composers who might have laboured to fine tune these gems.
Some times I pity on present lot of composers ( and hopeless lyrics) who compose 5 to 10 songs per day simply by copying western tunes or from yester years popular numbers. These songs are nothing but noise polusion.Remix of golden era gems also hurt us which can never bring melodies like originals.
I request your good selves to come out with more such articles on poppular raag like, pilu,malkaush,bhairavi etc.
Thank you again for bringing excellent article and also thankful to Shri AK also for his contribution to keep golden era gems flag fying high up in the sky.

18 KIRIT BHAGAT June 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm

can anybody will be kind enough to present song from ANMOL RATAN
sang by Lata and Talat. Music by Vinod
Wordings- Yaad anewale phir yaad karenge

19 Subodh Agrawal June 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

@ Kirit Bhagat: This song was posted, among others, in AK’s post on Vinod in his series on Forgotten Composers, Unforgettable Melodies. This link will take you their directly:

20 Ashok Vaishnav June 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

It is really heartening to note of such a wide spread participation to this blog, and this post.
As a result, for the novices of classical music like me, a treasure of many more Pahadi gems now remains unearthed..
It cannot be any surprise that Shri Subodhji’s series on Raag and AKji’s innovatively fresh approach to the Hindi Film music have spurred the fans of the music [ like me] of this golden era to hit the Google trail to re-visit the songs that they liked in this new beams of light.
I have great pleasure in presenting some of the other gems of Raag Pahadi to this house:
I would begin with a ghazal:
ghulam ali ,singing panjabi composed in raag pahadi ,keewen gori chaldi ey —
Now let me turn to some of the solo hindi film songs:
“Tasvir banata hun teri khuna jigarase” – Mohammad Rafi – Deewana
“Tere bharose he nandalala” – Mohammad Rafi – non film Album [If my memory is right, this is composed by Khaayam.]
Tujhko pukare mera pyar – Mohammad Rafi – Neel Kamal
“Ye Vaadiyan Yeh Fizaayen” – Mohammad Rafi- Aaj aur Kal
Sun mere lal na ho behal -Manna Dey-Anuradha
Ye nile gagan ke tale – Mahendra Kapoor – Hamraaz
Tod Diya Dil Mera – Lata – – Andaz
Saanjh Bhayee Nahin Aaye – Nirmala Devi – Shama Parwana
Zara Sun Haseena – Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya
And here are some duets:
Jo vada kiya vo – Taj Mahal – Rafi and Lata
Dil Todhne Wale – Son Of India – Rafi and Lata
Tum ho jo mere hamsaphar – Rafi and Geeta Dutt
Mahelon Chhin Liya – Jhabak – Mukesh and Lata
Door Koi Gaaye – Baiju Bawra – Shmashad, Lata, Rafi & Chorus
Kabhi To Milegi Bahaaron Ki – Rafi and Lata – Aarti
In hawaon Mein – Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhonsle
The internet search also landed me on two Marathi songs by Mahendra Kapoor – Jhatkun taak jeeva dubalepana manacha & He chincheche zaad (Madhuchandra (1967) / Sangeet – N Dutta / Geet – G D Madgulkar.
And also, on to this classical piece by Shivkumar Sharma — as well as on Pahari Dogri Song, by Tahira Syed Live on Ptv, ‘Pal pal bahi jana’.[Dogri Pahari is the language of the proud Pahari & Dogra Clan of Jammu Kashmir. Malika Pukhraj, the Nightingale of Duggerland when escaped from Jammu to avoid the anger of the MahaRaja, could not take any thing with her except Melodies of Dogri. She transfered that heritage to her talented daughter Tahira Syed: In this live show she sang Dogri pahari Melody, Pal Pal bahi Jana.]
Let me end with an interesting trivia about “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” – Dulari, as noted @ Shri H A K Walijah’s article -Mohammad Rafi and the songs based on Classical Raagas – on
“Rafi Saab was a total perfectionist, a benchmark that can never be matched. To prove this statement, I would like to cite the anecdote as told by Naushad Saab himself a few years before his death. Naushad Saab recorded the song Suhani Raat Dhal chuki Na Jane Tum Kab Aaoge for the movie DULARI which you can enjoy every night even today. Next day after the original recording Rafi Saab came to Naushad’s home and said that he thought about this song whole night and felt that he did not do full justice to his composition although Naushad was fully satisfied. He wept like a child requesting Naushad to record again and Naushad could not believe the dedication of this singer. Naushad recorded the song again and Rafi was satisfied.”

21 AK June 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Ashok Vaihnavji
I can’t thank you enough for your very kind words for SoY, and your detailed comments listing so many songs unknown to us. I have to come back to it to listen to them again carefully. I have to say it again and again, it is followers and supporters like you who have helped SoY in becoming a site for the connoisseurs.

I have myself used several great Pahadis in my posts earlier, and this one together with the comments cover most of my favourites. Here are some of my greats favourites still missing:

1. Tum mujhe bhool bhi jao – Mukesh and Sudha Malhotra, Didi
2. Sawan ke jhoole pade tum chale aao – Lata Mangeshkar, Jurmana
3. Roshan tumhi se duniya..salamat raho – Mohammad Rafi, Parasmani
4. Nain ka chain churakar le gayi – Mukesh, Chandramukhi
5. Mori atariya pe kaga bole – Meena Kapoor, Ankhen
6. Dil todane wale tujhe dil dhoonh raha hai – Mohammad Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar, Son of India
7. Baharo mera jeevan bhi sanwaaro – Lata Mangeshkar, Akhari Khat
8. Chand si mehbooba ho meri kab – Mukesh, Himalay Ki Gode Mein

The conclusion is there are too many great Pahadis, and may be Subodh one day would get down to writing 4-5 subsidiary articles on music director-wise Pahadis.

22 Naresh P Mankad June 22, 2012 at 8:05 am

Shri Ashok Vaishnav has placed a veritable treasure for laymen in classical music -those who are ardent listeners of old music but do not have background of classical music. It is a pleasant revelation of the fact that a number of old favourites owe their appeal to this raag Pahadi.

23 Subodh Agrawal June 22, 2012 at 8:58 am

@ Ashok Vaishnav: While endorsing everything that AK and Naresh P Mankad have said, let me add my special thanks to you for ‘Pal pal bahi jana’ by Tahira Sayed. It is a real treasure.

24 Subodh Agrawal June 23, 2012 at 9:52 am

Inspired by Mr Ashok Vaishnav’s discovery of ‘Pal pal bahi jana’ I have searched Youtube for Pahadi folk songs of Malika Pukhraj and found these two gems:

Malika Pukhraj and Tahira Syed sing Dogri Pahari song Phando majoriyan nahi lana

Malika Pukhraj and Tahira Syed sing Dogri Pahari song Udiyan koonjaan jai paiya paprole

25 Ashok Vaishnav June 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

@ Subodhji,
Indeed, great finds+++

26 AK June 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Just came across this fascinating Pahadi – a Punjabi folk song by Shamshad Begum in film Chaudhary (1941).

27 K R Vaishampayan July 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Subodhji, You EXCEL in all caps. I am speechless for the wealth of your wide range knowledge, humility and simplicity. Thanks again and again for opening up a goldmine of Pahadi based Film Songs, Folk songs and Classical compositions / renditions. While I thank you once again, I shall request you write more often. KRV

28 Subodh Agrawal July 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Thank you Mr Vaishampayan.

29 KIRIT BHAGAT July 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Thank you Subodhaji.
Actually I have heard this songs for so many times in the year 1966-67 in my Jamnagar city where Mr.Manubhai a old songs record holder used to full fill farmishes of music lover who were gethering at Manubhai’s home
every night.

30 Subodh Agrawal July 10, 2012 at 10:19 am

Came across this Pahadi played on Iktara by Sai Marna, a wandering sufi mystic. The Youtube comments give more information on him:

31 Ashok Vaishnav July 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Indeed a great piece.
Normally Ektara is considered good enough as an accompaniment uinstrument, like Sarangi. Also, possibly because of the natural limitations of its design, it is not known to be used to play as full fledged performing [ of raag raagini] instrument.
In this piece, we are to listen the sounds of its string as if we have been listening to Sarod.
[These are views of a novice, hence any error of technical or musical presentation need to be overlooked by the experts. But I would certainly be happy to know the Corrected version of my feelings!!}

32 Naresh P Mankad July 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

In my mind ektara has always been associated with an instrument that plays single note, and bhajan singers use it to play the Sa (shadaj) or any single note of a song being sung. This video also confirms my impression: . In short its function is to provide a constant note to the singing. I have never imagined ektara being played like other stringed instrument that can play full range of notes. That’s why the word ‘ektara’ was often used to mean monotony as once Raju Bharatan disparagingly used it for music director Ravi calling him ” ektara Ravi.”

33 Naresh P Mankad July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I hope somebody who plays stringed instruments and also knows about ektara would enlighten us on the difference between this excellent piece of ektara playing and the single stringed, single note ektara. Stringed instruments have different ways to play different notes, some are like sitar with clearly delineated points for notes and some are like sarod; the variety at times is confusing, particularly when we hear such lovely music on ektara.

34 VEER BAHADUR SAXENA February 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

For interested members seeking knowledge of Ragas of Bollywood Filmi Songs following
is the website :

35 Dr Dhanwantari G Pancholi August 29, 2014 at 5:20 am

I am 62. Browsing and exploring as a thirsty man in the desert I found oasis. I find difficult to express my humble gratitude to Subodhji. Good bless you for and your resources for such a unique labour. – DrPancholi

36 Subodh Agrawal August 29, 2014 at 7:18 am

Thank you Dr. Pancholi.

37 Abubakar Mehmood February 12, 2015 at 11:16 pm

Lovely article! Really commend the effort you have put into collecting all these gems, and for being unbiased and a true lover of music, thus including Pakistani artists.
However, I think Mehdi saheb’s Baat Kerni Mujhay Mushkil Kabhi Aisi Toh Na Thi is more of Raag Bhopali than Pahadi. Wouldn’t you agree?

38 Subodh Agrawal February 13, 2015 at 8:04 am

Thank you Mr Mehmood. I would, however, stick to my view that ‘Baat karni…’ is Pahadi. Apart from my own understanding of the ragas, I draw support from a large number of other web resources.

39 Satish April 26, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Kudos to Subodhji for this wonderful article, Ashokji, AK and so many others for adding such a huge list for this beautiful Raag.

Among the earlier songs, 1 very beautiful composition comes to my mind, which I think is Pahadi ..

“Ye Raatein Ye Mausam ” by Pankaj Mullick.

40 Subodh Agrawal April 26, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Welcome and thanks Satish. ‘Ye ratein ye mausam’ is Durga. It can often be confused with Pahadi because the scale of Durga can be transposed to match that of Pahadi. What it means is that if you play Pahadi on an instrument like the flute using ‘ma’ as the base note and build the scale from there by treating it as ‘sa’ it will almost exactly match the scale of Durga. AK and I once had a long discussion over email about several songs that could be Durga or Pahadi. The confusion is confounded by the tendency of composers in films to stray out of the bounds that define a particular raga.

41 D P Rangan September 24, 2015 at 11:03 pm

The link to Rafi song of Naya Daur does not work. I located a new link and posting it so that the only male singer in the list is forced to be
given a go by by other perusers of the blog. I am sure classical raga blogs will be evergreen.

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