Tonga in the Tinsel World

March 5, 2016

Guest article by DP Rangan

(DP Rangan has been a familiar figure in the comments section.  He recently debuted as a guest author with his piece on Bollywood’s love affair with horses.  I had introduced him as a member of the very senior brigade, who has the enthusiasm of a teenager.  The proof is this sequel to his last post.  He had planned to put the cart before the horse, but on my suggestion he has right-sequenced the order.  For someone whose first language is not Hindi, the collection of songs is absolutely impressive.  Thank you Mr Rangan for another outstanding piece. – AK)  

Tonga songI have written enough about the horses in my earlier post and how they are part and parcel of humans even in the present age of technological advancement. Encouraged by the response of the generous readers to my first effort at ‘writing’, I venture to write its sequel on their use in horse carts, or tongas. Horses continue to be yoked to carts and haul people and goods from place to place. Fortunately, horse carts have been phased out from almost all the metropolis and may be a rare sight in countryside too. I am happy to see them in partial liberation. I hope to see a reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln to free them in totality and ensure they roam in whatever little is left of the wild. Film producers, of late, are not incorporating such scenes in their films. It is only an educated guess as I have not been to a theatre for more than fifteen years and have rarely sat before the idiot box with the technical name of Television. I am a computer nerd and, while trawling through internet, chanced upon SoY and my life thereafter became topsy turvy. I saw many snippets of songs based on tonga/cart scenes and decided to present them to the followers of this blog.

The film producers were not feeling happy and sensed they were missing something vital. Like Buddha who got revelation under Bodhi tree, they saw the potentialities of amalgamating the horse drawn carts, i.e. tongas, as known in north in love scenes. Thus was born a genre of films with horse cart scenes as a bonus. I am not considering those instances where horses merrily cantered down paths, roads and trails burdened with hero and heroine, unmindful of the billing and cooing indulged in by the lovelorn couples, having covered it in the previous post, which I hope is still circulating around.

The permutations and combinations were infinite, limited solely by the imagination of the directors in conceptualizing the scene and stitching the canvas. They left the hard part of the endeavour to music directors and lyricists. In normal scenes, the music directors could compose a song without worrying for the beat as they had a great latitude given the ready availability of taals, as for example teen taal. In the horse cart scenes they were denied such liberties. The tunes had to be completely synchronized with the steady beat produced as the horse hooves struck the ground. They had to contend with differing beats according to the pace of travel. It could be a jaunt at a sedate pace or a trot/canter or something in between. The music directors took it in stride and produced great tunes with perfect beats to depict virtual reality.

When one looks at the actual scene enacted in the picture, it is possible to realise how complicated it is. The songs could be solos sung by hero or his counterpart as well as duets. Sometimes the tonga drivers take a hand and insist on singing themselves, leaving the leading actors to indulge in their own antics. I will present below a selection of songs covering all angles.

All music lovers know that the leading music directors in this field are O.P. Nayyar and Naushad. I do not have records and cannot quantify. But I can safely assume they would account for about 50 per cent of the songs in this class. As usual I will try to cast my net wide and present such songs from other music directors. I had access to more than 30 songs and was surprised to find that Roshan has 6 songs under his belt. Salilda had two such songs in one film Ek Gaon Ki Kahani, rendered in the silken voice of Talat Mahmood, and Roshan in Daadi Ma.

1. Chale pavan ki chaal by Pankaj Mullick from Doctor (1941), lyrics Arzoo Lakhanavi, music Pankaj Mullick

This is the earliest known instance of such a song I could stumble upon. Talkies were already ten years old by 1941 and I leave it to our erudite AK to dig out such songs during the 1930s. My extensive forage to nab a song came a cropper.

The story revolves around a doctor (Pankaj Mullick) fired with the zeal to serve the poor in villages in the grip of cholera epidemic, which really occurred in Bengal in 1941, rather than attend to the rich hypochondriacs. His aristocratic father remonstrates but the son goes away to pursue his vision. Streak of tragedy runs throughout the film, but ends with three generations meeting together. The full film is available on You Tube, but of poor quality and with loss of video in bits and pieces. This song is picturised on the young doctor plying his own cart along a road with railway tracks running parallel, prior to his tiff with his father. The film was originally made in Bengali and dubbed in Hindi.

It is a lovely sight to watch serene rural scenes unfolding as the cart saunters down the road at a steady pace. The song is too well known to all music lovers of vintage era to require further description. If you lend your ears carefully to the line – Chale pavan ki chaal, every time you will hear a female voice humming in perfect unison. A great piece of imagination by the singer and music composer Pankaj Mullick. A local passenger train pulled by a worn-out locomotive, looking more like the famous Puffing Billy, leisurely overtakes the cart. Suddenly you see the cart going backward in relation to the motion of the train forward, a phenomenon you can feel if you close your eyes while seated inside the carriage of a speeding train. It is realism at its best. The steady beat of horse hooves was actually created by the orchestra by clanging two empty coconut shells against each other. Incidentally, I may state that Bengal abounds in coconut trees. The video is of poor quality and though I could eliminate the background noise fully with an advanced music software, the end result was a case of the cure being worse than the disease. Therefore, I decided to keep it as it is.

Such was the impression it created, it was remade in Hindi/Bengali titled Anand Ashram in 1977.

2. Zindagi zindagi koi sapna by Khan Mastana and chorus from Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), lyrics Deewan Sharar, music Vasant Desai

Dr Kotnis tomb in ChinaShantaram-Jayshree starrer, made in Hindi and English and directed by Shantaram himself, is based on a real life character. Dr. Dwarknath Kotnis was born in Sholapur on 10th October 1910 and graduated as a doctor from Mumbai. China was waging a bitter war against the invading Japanese in 1938 and sent an appeal to Jawaharlal Nehru for medical volunteers. Subhash Chandra Bose also solicited for doctors. Dr. Kotnis volunteered and was part of a five-member doctors’ team. They landed in China amidst the war. Dr. Kotnis did great service during the conflict as a field doctor. He could speak and write Chinese. He met a Chinese nurse named Guo Qinglan and married her in December 1941. A son was born in August 1942 and was named Yinhua Yin (India) and Hua (China). His arduous tenure as a war time doctor, working ceaselessly treating the war wounded, took a heavy toll on his health and he was struck down by epilepsy three months after his son was born. After a series of seizures he passed away on 9th December 1942,when he was just 32 years old, leaving behind a grieving wife and an infant son. He is greatly honoured in China even today and visiting Chinese premiers make it a point to meet his surviving relatives whenever they pay a state visit to India. I am indebted to Wikipedia for source data.

Dr. Kotnis (Shantaram) is singing while plying the cart, calling on people to come forth for service, and stresses even sacrifice of life in the process. Khan Mastana has conveyed the right spirit of the song by his wondrous singing. Oddly, I see no Chinese characters in the scene. It looks like an Indian rural setting.

3. Upar gagan vishal by Manna Dey and chorus from Mashal (1950), lyrics Kavi Pradeep, music S. D. Burman

This is the opening scene of the film. Young Ashok Kumar is beaming with joy while travelling in a cart plying through a rural setting. The cart driver is all praise for God for his creation of such a wonderful world of nature where everything is in harmony with no conflicts. Kavi Pradeep has shown his mastery in penning the lyrics, richly deserving his title, and S D Burman has let fly his creativity and the result is an enduring song. A young Manna Dey is at his best and probably he has no equals in singing songs conveying great philosophy. Just after 3.38 minutes of watching, one is startled to see a pluming volcano. The producer, with his mysterious skill, has transported a volcano from Indonesia to India and he is yet to reveal how he achieved such a great feat. The news in the grapevine is that Indonesia is still pursuing the matter to acquire this technology and shift all their volcanoes elsewhere so that they live in peace for ever. I am forced to give a long video of more than five minutes as other videos refuse themselves embedded. However, there is some compensation that the viewers get all the information about the film in the process of watching. Another good song in the film is – Aankhon se door door hai by Lata Mangeshkar.

4. Ho mera dil hai nikhattoo by Chitalkar from Nirala (1950), lyrics PL Santoshi, music C Ramchandra

A Dev Anand-Madhubala starrer, the picture is nothing to rave about. It has a weak story and the usual tragedy, prevalent at its time, of the heroine being married off to another individual and coming back to lay down her life at the feet of her former lover with the penitent husband in close tow.

It is a hilarious song and the tonga driver is making merry of the passing ladies describing how his heart is racing and advising them to watch their steps. One of the passengers is the famous male dancer Mumtaz Ali on whom AK has written a masterly post. C Ramchandra has exhibited his usual skills in composing tunes to reflect such an atmosphere. The song closely follows the differing pace of the tonga and the hoof beets are not in the same scale throughout but matched to horse trot. Another incidence of the masterly handling of the orchestra by the music director.

5. Ghir ghir ke aasman par by Asha Bhonsle and Raj Kumari from Bawre Nain (1950), lyrics Kidar Sharma, music Roshan

Producer Kidar Sharma did not lose faith in Roshan despite the disaster of their first film together (Neki Aur Badi, 1949) and gave him a second chance in this film. The roaring success of the songs show how legends are created. Roshan never looked back after that. Raj Kapur and Geeta Bali were cast in principal roles. The song is picturized in a typical rural setting. Young males of the village seem to have migrated to drier urban pastures in search of livelihood. As a result the tonga is managed by a female. She must have been made of tough mould to manage such a demanding feat. The ladies are Geeta Bali and Manju. The scenery with heavy rolling clouds, wandering goats and curious passerby moulds into the lyrics very well. The kind ladies allow the horse a brief rest so that it can quench its thirst.

6. Jhoome re neela ambar jhoome by Talat Mahmood from Ek Gaon Ki Kahani (1957), lyrics Shailendra, music Salil Chowdhury

One of the few films where Talat Mahmood dons the hero role in addition to that of songster. In fact, at the beginning of his career he acted in a few films starting with Rajlaxmi (1945), followed by Tum Aur Main (1947), Samapti (1949) – produced in Calcutta – followed by ten films in Bombay, such as Dil-e-Nadaan, Waris, Lala Rukh and so on. The story revolves around typical characters in the village Chandangaon. Gokul, a widower, pretends to be a homeopathic doctor and acts as village compounder dispensing arnica for all ailments. As usual, his late wife had left him a daughter named Jaya (Mala Sinha) to cope with. This is even more complicated than AK’s formula. While he dealt in only two dimensions, in this film a third dimension has crept in, i.e. newly arrived really qualified doctor (Talat Mahmood) to man the charitable dispensary. Two village buffs were vying for Jaya, but ultimately the prize is snatched by the urbane doctor who carries her along to a new place with a tearful father looking on. A run of the mill story with delectable songs composed by the veteran Salil Chowdhury.

There are two songs sung by Talat Mahmood while plying the tonga. He is just on his way to the village driving the tonga himself unaware of what is in store for him. The rural scene rolls by while he is all praise for nature and how his heart is bulging with joy. The duet Haye koi dekh lega is picturized around the village shrubs. Jaya at home in these surroundings is drawing a ring around the bemused doctor. The other ghoda song – Raat ne kya kya khwab dikhaye is sung in a sombre mood while plying the tonga at night. I choose the happy one for portrayal. In fact this was rarely broadcast through radio in bygone years.

7. Bheega bheega pyar ka sama by Mohammad Rafi & Shamshad Begum from Saawan (1959), lyrics Prem Dhawan, music Hansraj Behl 

A love story plot with Bharat Bhushan and Ameeta as lead actors. Bharat Bhushan is all smiles while handling the horse with his lady love matching him. The horse, sensing nothing amiss, jogs at an easy pace on the slow side and the song is also paced similarly. Shamshad Begum is rather shrill in parts while Mohammad Rafi is his usual unruffled self in delivering his part of the notes. On the whole, not a good quality audio. Other notable songs are Lata Mangeshkar solo – Kanha chhede bansuri, a Mohammad Rafi solo (classic raga based) – Dekho bina saawan baras rahi badli, and a soulful Mukesh-Lata Mangeshkar duet – Nain dwar se man mei wo aake in which Mukesh sings in his pathos style at a measured pace, whereas Lata Mangeshkar sings her part in her dulcet voice at fast pace bringing down the curtain.

8. Ek nazar ek ada by Mohammad Rafi from Raat Ke Rahi (1959), lyrics Vishwamitra Adil, music Bipin Bapul

This is a social drama revolving around an alcoholic brother-in-law and his ruffian like brother with the girl coming to live with her much abused elder sister. Shammi Kapoor and Jabeen Jalil are the lead pair. Since the other pair have already tied knots, AK formula is not applicable. During the drive on the road with no bystanders to gawk at them, Shammi Kapoor goes through his usual histrionics. The cart driver is indifferent to the ruckus behind him. Judged by standards of this genre songs, the current piece is very ordinary. But hold, every cloud has a silver lining. The cart with all the artistes does a Houdini Act and disappears from 3.12 to 3.15 minute and the relieved horse is trotting alone. I do not know whether the film director was successful in waking up the yawning audience and making them sit up in rapt attention by this subterfuge.

9. O matwale saajna by Asha Bhonsle from Faulad (1963), lyrics Anjaan, music G S Kohli

A story with a bizarre plot. As usual astrologers are the instigators. The King, warned of the possibility that his daughter could marry a commoner and ascend the throne with him, orders wholesale mayhem of all male newborns – Kansa raised to the power of infinity in cruelty. The clairvoyant mother, apparently inspired by the Mahabharatha epic, dumps her baby in a bamboo basket and sends it careening down the river à la Kunti. It is conveniently intercepted by a wealthy thakur and, voila the baby grows into a handsome towering man (Dara Singh). During his jaunts he rescues the princess (Mumtaz) from danger. Cupid shoots his arrow and they are in love. They are standing (no provision for seats) in the wooden contraption designed for war. The hero is busy controlling the horses while the princess sings in bliss. Asha Bhonsle as usual has sung as the mood demanded. A good piece of music composed by second tier music director G. S. Kohli. There is a tinge of O.P. Nayyar, not surprising considering he was assistant to the legendary composer.

10. Rut albeli mast sama by Mukesh from Shreeman Satyawadi (1960), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Dattaram Wadkar

Raj Kapoor is the obvious choice for the film. He can play the role of a person of truth irrespective of the situation and the difficulties he may have to face. He is paired with Shakeela. Wearing his trademark hat and with a song- bird cage in his hand he is at peace with the world and sings his heart out. The ride begins at Chowpaty Beach in Mumbai and extends into the suburbs. No vehicular traffic to create traffic snarls. Today such a depiction would be impossible even in the interior of the country as cars are ubiquitous like a swarm of locusts. We can expect the locusts to leave once they have cleaned an area, but the cars are here to stay forever adding to the pollution levels. Mukesh has sung another rare song of joy unlike his usual ones of pathos.

By now I realise the viewers might be gnashing their teeth at not finding the composer who became synonymous with ghoda gaadi beats. Let me present a couple of O P Nayyar songs which would delight all. Here is an immortal duet by Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar.

11. Piya piya piya by Asha Bhonsle & Kishore Kumar from Baap Re Baap (1955), lyrics Jan Nisar Akhtar, music O P Nayyar

Kishore Kumar is taking a nice nap in the gaadi and the swaying motion of the cart acts as a soothing catalyst. Chand Usmani appears like a genii from the back and explodes into her song. Kishore is rudely jolted out of slumber and is quite confused as to the source of the noise. Realising it is his lady love, he joins in the song with full fervour. His trademark yodelling follows. It is a tête-à- tête of love between them in a musical form. The horse joins in the fray and ensures no sudden jolts and tilts to upset the couple. There are no superlatives left with me to praise OP Nayyar for his great composition.

12. Maang ke saath tumhara by Mohammad Rafi & Asha Bhonsle from Naya Daur (1957), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi, music OP Nayyar

The story is well known to all. It is essentially a conflict between man and machine, symbolized by the horse cart and motor for picking up passengers from railway station and depositing them at their destination. The climax is a race between horse cart and car and, as expected, the cart wins. In our films, normally, the heroes are not expected to fail in such competition and it is so here, too. When Dilip Kumar and his love Vyjayanthimala are on a jaunt, such problems are far into the future and they revel in each other’s company and show to the world how couples in harmony can enjoy the ride. OP Nayyar is in his elements and ticks off another successful composition.

I am guilty of not having looked at the songs of another great music director, i.e. Naushad, who has numerous hits of this category to his credit. I hasten to repair the omission. I am presenting two pieces. Here is the first one from the film Uran Khatola. It was dubbed in Tamil by name Vaana Radham i.e., vehicle of air.

It is an ustadon ka ustad song of this category. Everything has been integrated and the song pours forth as a stream. The background humming by Lata Mangeshkar is so subtle, one may miss it unless close attention is paid. The picture with a poor story is very average. AK’s formula B1 versus G1/G2 is the backbone. However it does not run in its usual track. G1 played by Suryakumari perishes in the maelstrom which engulfs the island, a just retribution from Goddess for her misdeeds and G2 (Nimmi) sacrifices herself to restore normalcy, leaving poor Dilip Kumar alone to grieve over her. He lives to a ripe old age very loyal to her memory and joins her at last in spirit leaving his mortal remains behind. At least in spirit he could have been shown as a young man when he crash landed on the island from his airplane instead of the aged man. All the songs are gems and all-time greats. Not one song can be dubbed as average. Naushad scored similarly in Shabaab and this is another one. Let us watch Nimmi pursuing the plane piloted by Dilip Kumar in her chariot with her coterie. There are several instrumental versions of this song and I have not heard so many of any other Hindi film song. The one by Enoch Daniel is a lovely piece of orchestral music. I will upload it as a sound cloud piece. We need not dwell on the fallacy of how slow moving chariot can keep pace with the fast paced aircraft in the air. It is better to forget ourselves for the space of a few minutes in this song.

13. Mera salam leja by Lata Mangeshkar and chorus from Uran Khatola (1955), lyrics Shakeel Badauni, music Naushad

14. Pyar ki raah bahaar ki manzil by Mohammad Rafi & Asha Bhosle from Saaz Aur Awaz (1966), lyrics Khumar Barabanqvi, music Naushad

Joy Mukherjee and Saira Banu, lost in each other impervious to the surroundings and hauled by twin horse cart, sing in great ecstasy. This song is closely modelled on the earlier song of Kohinoor (1960) – Koi pyar ki dekhe jadugari for which music was given by Naushad. Nothing amiss as music directors tend to take tunes from earlier films of their own and with a slight tweak introduce it in another movie.

I regret the cruel necessity of having to leave out many more meritorious songs as Phoolon se dosti hai (Duniyan Jhukti Hai) to name one, and another of Hemant Kumar in Taangewaali (Halke halke) because the post has already grown like Hanuman’s tail in Ravan’s court thereby inviting AK’s attention to my infringement. However, I am sure, commentators, not suffering such restraints, can introduce many more songs of this genre in their follow ups. That will act as a soothing balm for my forced neglect.

Habits die hard, especially, bad ones. Once again I am reverting to the golden sixties with the fond hope I will get a pat on the back instead of lashings. The adage ‘Happiness is a state of mind’ and has nothing to do with poverty or plenitude is amply borne out by this ghoda gaadi song. Tongawalas cannot by any stretch of imagination be deemed to be wealthy in material terms. They have to eke out their living along with their companion horse, which is the basic bread winner. In the instant case, the tongawala plies his vehicle on the streets in joyful abandon, not bothering with the risk of injury he may cause to the unwary road users by his careless peregrinations. The latter have to dart away just in the nick of time from being knocked down by the hooves or wheel thanks to the vociferous admonitions from the vehicle plier. His warnings are lustily uttered with a mischievous twirl and the affected individual does not seem to take offence. When you watch the video of the tongawala wandering down the streets of the town, picking and dropping customers as a means of sustenance and look very happy about it, you will agree with my deductions as a veteran in psychology. Raj Kumar fits into the role as a fiddle. Look at his beaming countenance while plying his vehicle in the streets of Peshawar, collecting his fares from commuters and periodically shooing off bumbling pedestrians in choice Punjabi epithets. His calling appears to be a very desirable one. Let us watch him in action on a typical day. Music Director Ravi has produced a masterpiece. Mohammad Rafi, a native of Punjab, adopts a boisterous voice and renders the song in his inimitable style. Others can only stare with an envious sigh.

15. Ghoda Pishori mera taanga Lahori mera by Mohammad Rafi from Pyar Ka Bandhan (1963), lyrics Sahir Ludhyanavi, music Ravi

Now I am coming to the last piece. There is the usual element of lightness in the song, but at the same time the respect and love shown to motherhood is very touching. It is a magnificent piece of lyrics in praise of and devotion to motherhood.

Rani (Bina Rai) is proceeding to the temple in a chariot along with her sons. Well not exactly. One is her own son, but brought up by her in servant lodgings without the boy and the Raja father being privy to it, and the other her deceased devar’s(step brother) son mistaken as his own by her explosive husband (Ashok Kumar). Both the lads sing in praise of the mother while the chariot is steadily drawing towards the temple. The lyrics are wonderful and the mother, secretly pleased, still looks abashed. Watching the video will convey the notion far better than the poor attempt on my part in writing.

16. Usko nahi dekha humne kabhi by Mahendra Kapoor and Manna Dey from Dadi Maa (1966), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Roshan

Now I am resting on my laurels. If my ramblings are long and dull in parts, I crave the pardon of the knowledgeable fraternity. I had to leave out another 20 songs from the collection which does not include any song from Naushad or O P Nayyar, the doyens of this genre. If any praise is due it should go to AK only as he has been my inspiration in this new venture. I would request the viewers to bring forth more hidden gems of this category – songs sung while driving in a cart. Au revoir.


{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 N.S.Rajan March 5, 2016 at 9:42 am

Very good theme and selections. One gem left out is: “Main rangeela pyaar ka raahi, door meri manzil” ; Subir Sen and Lata in Choti Bhehen (1959)

2 N Venkataraman March 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

My salutes to the senior member of the SoY family with a youthful mind. I glanced through your post and found it quite fascinating. I will go through the post and listen to the songs at leisure and come back with my views, if any. In the meantime the other knowledgeable members of SoY would have said whatever needs to be said and posted many more songs. I owe you an explanation, since I have not yet posted my observations on your previous (debut) post. I will be revisiting your previous post soon (also Shalanji’s inaugural post of this year) and come back with my views.

3 Dinesh K Jain March 5, 2016 at 11:09 am

A wonderful compilation, buttressed by a comprehensive, erudite, and musical narrative. Thank you, Mr Rangan.

4 atina March 5, 2016 at 11:25 am

…jab liya haath mein haath…
(vachan(1955). debut movie of rajendra kumar)/ravi+chandra/lyrics ?/rafi+asha)

…bheega bheega pyar ka sama…
sawan(1959)/hansraj behl/prem dhawan/rafi+s.begum

5 atina March 5, 2016 at 11:31 am

sorry !
“bheega bheega” got repeated.

6 Narahari March 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Thanks Mr Rangan for ‘Tonga” theme article. Immediately it came to mind the “Cycle Ricksha” song ‘Chori chori dil ka lagana buri baat hai…’ from film Bada Bhai – 1957. Music by ‘Nashaad’ (Not ‘Naushad’) and sung by Asha and Talat.

I hope SOY readers will not mind for deviating from the ‘Tonga” theme.

What a melodious song indeed! Very rare and almost forgotten. Listen to the song at the link:

7 D P Rangan March 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Thank you Mr. Venkataraman for your considerate words. I would be very eagerly awaiting your comments which I hope would encourage me further in future.

Dineshji your comment is brief but conceals more than what it reveals. Thanks for considering this post worthy of scrutiny and the sort of comment you have made.

Mr. Atina many thanks for reading through this post of mine. Welcome to SoY at least from me as I am seeing you first in this section. I may yet be wrong. The first song is in my list. I had to choose a few songs. I wanted to bring out pieces from as many music directors as possible. O P Nayyar and Naushad specialists in this field had to be given one more song each. I thought the older the better. My only regret I have no knowledge of any songs prior to 1941 to post.

8 D P Rangan March 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm


I can never adequately thank you for the editing effort on your part which refined this post to a great extent and removed some of my writings which could be considered infra dig.

9 gaddeswarup March 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm

One of my favourites. I do not know whether this fits

10 gaddeswarup March 5, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Another with tonga from 1:40

11 P. S. Seshadri March 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

After horses, I suppose the next in line was ghoda gaadi!!! The selection is very good since you have succeeded in giving a wide range of composers with their works. Congratulations!!!

12 ksbhatia March 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm

D P Rangan ji ;
Once again a fantastic post with nicely woven songs of bygone years . Indeed there would be many more awaiting to be included in this tonga venture . I am wondering if we could include four horses -four wheel driven buggies as well .

13 Ravindra Kelkar March 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm

DP Rangan ji,
Very nice post. I suppose it was inevitable as a follow up to your first post. I am amazed by your very impressive research. You narration skills are quite excellent. As you have said, you had to leave out many songs, considering this, you have done a wonderful job. I also must mention that, after listening to all the songs, the OP & Naushad songs really stand out, this indicates the greatness of both of them. Also, I don’t know of any Ghodagadi songs of pre-Pankaj Malik song. OP has explained in many interviews that he picked the technique or was inspired from Pankaj Malik song & most probably, this is true for Naushad also.

14 Satish Bhargava March 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Wonderfull and very nostigical collection which remind songs from my childhood days to my days in collage. really appreciate the efforts and will like to get such more categery under one roof.
welldone. regards

15 D P Rangan March 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm

Very good of you to find something worthy in the article.


Was expecting your comments. You are at liberty to post song about carriages with wheels equal to or more than a centipede legs pulled by countless number of horses. What does it matter two wheels, four wheels or myriad wheels. I know you can add countless number of songs. The older they are more welcome by me.


Thank you profusely for your words. Your mentioning of OP words on horse songs may mean nothing prior to 1941.


I am overwhelmed at your words of encouragement. I have to strive harder for any possible future posts.

Whenever a theme is selected , I believe in writing something about it before describing the songs. AK has been very generous in encouraging such efforts. I want this blog to be quite different from others. It is not a mere song blog but has information on other aspects.

16 R.Nanjappa March 5, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Beautiful selections. Thoroughly enjoyed the songs and the comments. I felt the absence of Choti Si Ye Zindagani from AAH, ‘Dil mein chupake pyar ka’ from AAN ( though I wonder whether it would strictly qualify as a tonga song) and one stanza from that delightful song from CID- Aye dil hai mushkil: the tonga figures in the last stanza! This is not criticism, but a case of ‘dil mangata hai aur. May be we should get a second instalment!

17 ksbhatia March 5, 2016 at 11:23 pm

D P Rangan ji ;
I am posting some songs which shows domination factor of O P Nayyar in tongawala songs .
1. Yeh kya kar dala tune…….Asha……Howrah Bridge…..OPN
2. Suo ji yeh culcutta hai……Rafi……Howrah Bridge……OPN
3. Banda parwar thaam lo jigar……Rafi…Phir wahi dil laya hoon….OPN
4. Yun to hamne lakh hassen dekhe hain….Rafi…Tum sa nahin deekha….OPN
5. Sach kehta hoon…..Rafi, Asha…..Jaali Note…OPN
6.Dil mein chhupake pyar ka…..Rafi….Aan…..Naushad
7.Bachpan ke din bhula na dena……Rafi….Deedar….Naushad
8. Halke halke chalo sanwre……Hemant, Lata….Tangewali….Salil Chd.
9. Chhoti si yeh zindgani…..Mukesh…Aah …..SJ
10. Hum matwale naujwan…..Kishore…..Shararat…..SJ
[ The tonga scene appears near the last stanza @ 3.07 ]
………will continue .

18 Ashwin Bhandarkar March 6, 2016 at 9:23 am

Ranganji: A great theme and great representative selection of songs! Here are two songs from the Naushad oeuvre:

1. The relatively lesser-heard Rafi-version of ‘Bachpan ke din bhula na dena’ from ‘Deedaar’:

You will note that the ‘gati’ of the ‘ghoda gaadi’ goes from ‘drut’ to ‘ati-drut’ towards the end as Dilip Kumar ups the ante and Nargis whips (quite literally) the horse into a frenzy.

2. ‘Udan khatole pe ud jaaoon’ by Zohrabai Ambalewali and Shamshad Begum from ‘Anmol Ghadi’:

19 D P Rangan March 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm

@17 and @18

I have seen all these songs and heard them too even in radio days. Went in search of obscure m.ds. compositions. I would love if all of OPN and Naushad ghoda gadi songs are listed in this section. It would serve posterity. Bhandarkarji, Dilip Kumar was deliberately trying to provoke Nargis to remind her of their infatuation with each other during their baby days. Ashok Kumar cries a halt and the song stops abruptly.

20 ksbhatia March 7, 2016 at 12:24 am

D P Rangan ji ;
You are correct . The songs so far posted are some how are common and perhaps every member must have listened to them infinite number of times.
After winning Asia Cup here is a funny number of a vintage / golden era which is a parody of a number of vintage songs ; as a celebration of the win .

…..Prem ke tange pe…….singers[ guess]….Tigress…..chitragupt

21 Ashok M Vaishnav March 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Shri D P Ranagan has indeed several songs that did call for a recall form the deep layers of memory.
Thanks, both for a lovely post and for refreshing all those songs.

22 D P Rangan March 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Ashokji, thanks for the appreciation of the post. Hope more hidden gems would be unravelleld. I think there may not be more than 100 sons of this genre. Eagerly waiting for more revealations.

23 D P Rangan March 7, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Mr, Nanjappa have not seen you in this blog for some time. Glad to bring you here for comments. The Aan song belongs to this genre. The other song from CID may not fit the bill.

24 ksbhatia March 8, 2016 at 12:09 am

D P Rangan ji;
My continuity goes on some mix of golden and vintage songs:

1. Kaajal wale nain milaake …..Rafi …Devar……Roshan
2. Akhiyan mila ke jiya bharma ke….Zora Bai….Rattan…Naushad
3. Phooloan se dosti hai……Rafi….Duniya zhukti hai…..Hemant kumar
4. Hum hain to chand aur taare….Mukesh, chorus….Main nashe mein hun…..SJ
5. Chand ko kya maloom…..Mukesh…..Laal Bangla…..Usha khanna
6. Pehla pehla pyar ka ishara….Rafi, Lata……College girl……SJ

……to be contd…..

25 arvindersharma March 9, 2016 at 8:28 pm

DP Rangan Ji,
A wonderful extension to the horse post, within a very short time period. Though this well researched post was expected, the very quick sequence in a telling statement of your diligence and focused approach.
Lovely songs you have posted, a few unheard ones, and Bhatia Ji has also taken care of the some, firstly the popular ones, and thereafter, a few rare ones which are all very lovely songs.
Me, as usual, will be contributing a few more, hopefully not repeating any.
Ek baar agar Tu keh de, from Malhar by Mukesh and lata, composed by Roshan

O dildar bolo ek baar by Lata and Talat from School Master, composed by Vasant Desai

Thirdly m
Eint ki dukki by Rafi from Howrah Bridge, composed by OP Naiyyar
To be continued…

26 arvindersharma March 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm

In continuation
Main rangeela Pyar Ka rahi by Lata and Subir Sen from Choti Behan, composed by Shankar Jaikishan

Teer ye chhupke chalaya kisne by Asha from Phagun, composed by OP Naiyyar

A Lovely composition from a mythological film Mahabharat, by Manna De, composed by C Ramchandra
Sunate aaj tumko hum Mahabharat ki gaatha

Though in the clip, the horse cart shows only for a short period, this captivating song was difficult for me ignore
Meri yaad me tum Na by Talat from Bahana, composed by Madanmohan

Hum se Na poocho by Rafi and Asha from Chinatown, composed by Ravi

27 ksbhatia March 10, 2016 at 12:11 am

Arvinder sharma ji ;
Nice selection and extension of Tonga songs . Here are two more to add to the list :
1. Chal chal re musafir chal…..Rafi…….Pooja……SJ
2. Soona soona hai jahan …..Lata…..Aurat……SJ

28 D P Rangan March 10, 2016 at 10:26 am

Arvinderji thanks for the appreciation. Once horse post was completed it was much easy to take up this post. Very happy you had brought out some songs. I have heard them oover radio but could not associate with tonga songs.

Bhatiaji – Eagerly looking forward to more such songs. May be you will be able to exhaust it.

29 Siddharth March 12, 2016 at 5:07 pm

DP Ranganji,
I am joining late, but thanks for the wonderful post and songs.
Here is one more from the genre –
Song :Ek to surat pyaari aur upar se ye naaz ..
Movie: Vallah Kya Baat Hai ,1962,
Singers: Asha Bhosle, Mohammed Rafi
Lyricist: Prem Dhawan,
Music Director: Roshanlal Nagrath (Roshan)

30 D P Rangan March 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Siddharth ji. Thanks for taking the trouble to go through the post and bringing to light another song of this genre. Welcome after a long absence on behalf of AK.

31 ksbhatia April 15, 2016 at 11:36 pm

DP Rangan ji ;
Countinuing my efforts add on tonga songs which are handy . I will surely look for vintage stuff which I think is every ones lookout targets .

1. Jara haule haule chalo mere saajna…..Asha….Mere Sanam….OPN

2. Banda parwar thaamlo jigar…Rafi, chorus….Phir wahi dil laya hoon…OPN

3. Elo ji sanam hum aagaye …..Vicky mehta, B Chatterjee , chorus….Andaz apna apna….Tushar Bhatia…

Here are two special songs from Tumsa Nahin Dekha ; one by Rafi with horse tapping and second by Asha without horse taps .

4. Yun to hamne lakh haseen…….Rafi….OPN

5. Yun to hamne lakh haseen…….Asha…..OPN

…….to be contd……

32 ksbhatia April 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

DP Rangan ji ;
In continuation of songs @ 31 , a few more tonga songs…..

6. Rahi naaye naye rasta naya naya…..Kishore…..Anand Ashram…S. Mitra

7. Musafir hoon yaaro….Kishore…..Parichay……RDB

8. Ghir ghir ke aasmaan par….Raj kumari, Asha ,chorus……Baware Nain……Roshan

9. Tam tam se na jhanko na……Shamshad, CR…..Namoona….CR

10. Main hun baghi shahzaada……Kishore…..Baghi Shahzaada..Bipin

11. Ek bar tu kahe de…..Lata, Mukesh…..Malhar….Roshan

12. Tere jahan se hum chale…..Geeta Dutt, chorus….Inquilab….Hansraj Behl

13. Yeh hawa yeh mastana…..Rafi, Lata…..Akeli mat jaiyo….MM

…….to be contd…..

33 ksbhatia April 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm

… continuation…….here is a very spl. song by Lata, Manna dey, chorus
from Sampoorna Ramayana….

14. Dharti kyun viparit hui….Mat jaao banwasi Ram…..Vasant Desai

……to be contd…..

34 D P Rangan April 17, 2016 at 5:21 pm


Could never imagine more songs exist of this genre. You produce them right and left from your hidden magic choli. Please continue this and let all readers enjoy more such songs. Some songs are being listened to for the first time by me.

I observe that Shammi Kapoor has hogged this kind of songs more than any other heroes. Song at sr. no. 8 above is part of the post.

35 N Venkataraman April 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Bhatiaji, hats off to your unrelenting enthusiasm in exploring more and more songs on horse-theme. Since you have moved on to horse-drawn carriages, I would have preferred to see your comments, #117 & #119, posted here. That would have been appropriate and helped to push the comments three more steps towards the 50th mark as suggested by Ranganji (#114).
BTW you have not provided the link to the last song.

36 ksbhatia April 22, 2016 at 12:55 am

Venkatraman ji ;
Yes, you are abs.right . The songs should have been here . I will be careful in the future .

Thanks once again for your appreciation and encouragement .

37 N Venkataraman April 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Ranganji, Bhatiaji
I hope this song from Devdas (1936) fits the bill. The tonga is part of the song sequence.

38 ksbhatia April 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm

N Venkatraman ji ;
I love this vintage classic song . This was the milestone that got repeated in Bimal Roy’s Devdas as well . A fantastic recreation of the scene enacted by Dilip Kumar and Vyjaantimala superbly directed by Bimal Roy , the master craftsman of golden period . This scene also carried the buggy scene and carried the picturisation of the beautiful Talat’s number….Kisko khabar thi kisko pataa tha……

This sequence can be seen between 1:58:00 to 2:00:00 of the following link which is a prelude to another song….agaye teri marji….

There is one more song from Devdas…….Woh na ayenge palat ke….. ….[by Mubarak Begam ] , where we get the glimpse of horse driven buggy .

So far as the song carries horse driven tonga, buggies, carts etc as props , I think they all should fit the bills. Let us hope D P Rangan ji gives a clearance stamp on the bill .

39 ksbhatia April 24, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Venkatraman ji ;
Correcting myself and posting two songs from 1934 vintage movie Vidyapati .

1. Dekhat hai ……Kanan Devi and Pahari Sanyal…..R C Boral

2. Ambuva ki daali jhoom rahi hai….Kanan Devi ….R C Boral

40 ksbhatia April 24, 2016 at 4:22 pm

….in continuation……
2. Ambuva ki daali……

41 N Venkataraman April 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Bhatia ji,
Back on the right track.

42 ksbhatia April 27, 2016 at 11:33 pm

Venkatramanji ,
Transported herewith is a song by Rafi , Kishore riding various forms of transport facilities from Lorry to Tonga . Song is from Do Akalmand with music by OPN .

43 ksbhatia April 28, 2016 at 12:05 am

Venkatraman ji, D P Rangan ji ;
A classic buggy in a classic ghazal……..Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan lijiye…….Asha…..Umrao Jaan…..Khayam.

44 ksbhatia May 5, 2016 at 2:03 pm

D P Rangan ji, Venkatraman ji ;
Oh ! How could I miss the song from Victoria no 203 when whole of the film moved around the Victoria Buggy ? Well here is a song from that film …..

Dekha mainey dekha……Kishore……KA

45 ksbhatia May 9, 2016 at 11:50 am

D P Rangan, Venkatraman [ji’s];
A very different tonga on a foreign soil .

….Albele sanam tu laya hain kahan…..Sharda….Naina….SJ

46 D P Rangan May 10, 2016 at 5:15 am


I cannot imagine such songs were composed . Very industrious of you to ferret them out. Continue to do, till the Law of Diminishing Returns starts raising its head.

47 ksbhatia June 2, 2016 at 2:30 pm

D P Rangan ji;
A buggy appears as a prop @ 3.07 in this beautiful song from Prineeta [ new].

….Piyu bole….Sonu Nigam , S. Ghoshal…..S. Moitra…..

I think the old Parineeta [ Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari ] had some buggy scenes as well. And so also Do Bigha Zamin .

48 ksbhatia June 19, 2016 at 12:18 am

D P Rangan ji; AK ji;
A hidden tonga song from a hidden movie of 1949…Chandini Raaten.

….Cheen ke dil kyun pher li ankhen…..Rafi, Shamshad….Naushad

Frankly , though I am a hard hitter fan of Naushad, this movie and song I have never heard before . Neither was it discussed in the relevent articles ever before . Good to know it now as the movie and its songs are available on YT.

49 AK June 19, 2016 at 2:09 am

KS Bhatiaji,
This is a superb song, and has been listed in the overview post of the Best songs of 1949. Earlier there have been mention of outstanding Rafi-Shamshad Begum duets in two posts: Naushad songs for Shamshad Begum, and Naushad (and CR) songs for Rafi.

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: