Kishore Kumar’s duets by SD Burman

October 13, 2014

A tribute on Kishore Kumar’s death anniversary October 13

SD Burman & Kishore KumarIt is befitting that I am completing my (renewed) series on SD Burman with the singer he was most fond of. With 115 songs, he gave Kishore Kumar more songs than any other (male) singer. Surjit Singh’s site indicates that out of this only 53 were solos, and 62 were duets and other songs. If you just start recalling their songs, duets are as likely to flood your memory as the solos. Can SD Burman-KK be complete without Kora kagaz tha ye man mera, Gata rahe mera dil, Aasman ke neeche hum aaj apne peeche or Chhod do aanchal zamana kya kahega? Therefore, when I resumed the SD Burman series with his different singers, it soon became clear that I have to do Kishore Kumar duets, too, to complement his solos I did last year.

KK duets by SDB are important not only because of their larger number, but also because in this combo, one plus one is more than two. One important reason, which music lovers are very well aware of, is the great variety of singers SDB could use with equal felicity. This distinguished him from his famous contemporaries. Kishore Kumar was himself one of the most versatile talents in the film world – he could be wild, he could be crazy, he could be funny and he could be very sombre. He brought all that to the duets he sang for SDB, and the two together with an eclectic mix of companion singers created some unforgettable gems of different moods and genres.

SDB’s birth and death anniversaries fall in October (b. 1 October 1906, d. 31 October 1975). I am presenting some of his best duets for Kishore Kumar as the final tribute to him in this long series, and as a tribute to Kishore Kumar on his death anniversary (b. 4 August 1929, d. 13 October 1987).

1.  Jalti hai duniya tera mera pyaar hai (with Shamshad Begum) from Pyaar (1950), lyrics Rajnedra Krishna

For historical importance let me start from where the combo began. KK’s debut with SDB was for Raj Kapoor in which he had a couple of solos and two duets with Geeta Dutt and one with Shamshad Begum. Jalti hai duniya tera mera pyaar hai is full of verve, with Shamshad Begum switching to Punjabi in a few lines.


2.  Gori ke nainon mein nindiyaa bhari (with Shamshad Begum) from Angaarey (1954), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi

The dominant trait of both Kishore Kumar and Shamshad Begum was fun and joy, but they could be extremely soulful too. In this duet from one of the forgotten scores of SDB, they sing a very melodious lorie. Picturised on Jeevan and Paro, lip-synching the song, and Baby Nanda, the lady being put to sleep (Identification, thanks to Hans; see comments #23 and 25), their gestures slide into comic with some funny lines. In spite of this discordance, the overall effect of this song is very pleasing.


3.  O ji O humein aaj koi na chhediyo (with Asha Bhosle) from Funtoosh (1956), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi

Funtoosh was the first movie where SDB-KK came with a bang with eternal solo like Dukhi man mere, and two beautiful duets with Asha Bhosle. Wo dekhe to unki inaayat na dekhe to rona kya was picturised as a boat song with the lovers and a comic kabbab mein haddi. I think that song has been discussed earlier. In a complete change of setting, in O ji O humein aaj koi na chhediyo Dev Anand is pushing a thela carrying Sheela Ramani. But with his declared intention to entice the lady, who is thoroughly enjoying the experience, the song is pure joy.


4.  O nigaahein mastaana (with Asha Bhosle) from Paying Guest (1957), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

SDB follows up with a bigger bang next year, which had an immortal KK solo Maana janaab ne pukara nahi, and two equally great KK-Asha Bhosle duets. It is a difficult choice between Chhod do aanchal zamaan kya kahega and O nigaahein mastaana. I find the latter a little more melodious, with Asha Bhosle’s humming joining as KK’s voice tapers off, and continuing to accompany the musical interlude. If you want to quibble, this ‘duet’ is really a solo – a special type of songs we had discussed in detail on SoY – but Asha Bhosle’s humming does enhance the song tremendously.


5.  Aankhon mein kya ji rupahala baadal (with Asha Bhosle) from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

The year 1957 saw a landmark film Pyaasa which marks the beginning of the middle phase of SD Burman’s music when Rafi emerges as his top singer. In Nau Do Gyarah, he does a balancing act between the two, with just a little tilt towards KK. Here is one of his greatest duets to complement his iconic solo Hum hain raahi pyaar ke. Notice how after O O.., SDB switches to whistling and, soon after, a variety of percussion instruments. The three way dialogue between the male and female voices and musical instruments, with whistling, continues throughout the song.


6.  Hum the wo the aur samaan rangeen samajh gaye naa (with an unknown male voice) from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi was the most famous film showcasing the wild, crazy and funny Kishore Kumar. This had an outstanding solo Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si, and a number of duets. There are ‘pure’ duets with Asha Bhosle – Haal kaisa hai janaab ka and Main sitaaron ka taraana, and you have Hum the wo the aur samaan rangeen – another duet which in a way is really a solo, because the other male voice responds only with ‘Mannu tera hua, ab meraa kya hoga’, but that is enough to make the song, with KK and Anoop Kumar’s antics, a laugh riot. As for the unidentified male voice, my guess is it is SD Burman himself.


7.  Tum jahaan jahaan hum wahaan wahaan (with Asha Bhosle) from Apna Haath Jagannath (1960), lyrics Kaifi Azmi

The wild Kishore Kumar also had a great romantic side. I had included Asha Bhosle solo from this film, Tujhe mili eroshani mujhako andhera, as one of my special favourites. This duet is also one of my greatest favourites of Kishore Kumar duets by SD Burman.


8.  Are yaar meri tum bhi ho gazab (with Asha Bhosle) from Teen Deviyaan (1965), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

With Lata back in SDB fold, Teen Deviyaan has him balancing between her and Asha Bhosle (as also between Rafi and Kishore Kumar) in the film. So, if you have Likha hai teri aankhon mein –a KK-Lata duet on one hand – you have Tum bhi ho gazab, KK’s duet with Asha Bhosle on the other. This one has more of unexpected bends, when Kishore Kumar responds with Tum kali to zaroor hai in an entirely different tune when Asha Bhosle ends her stanza.


9.  Gata rahe mera dil tu hi meri manzil (with Lata Mangehskar) from Guide (1965), lyrics Shailendra

SD Burman’s music was the high point in this landmark film from Navketan. When SDB suggested to Dev Anand to look for another music director as he was ill, Dev Anand was clear it had to be him and no one else, and he was willing to wait as long as he took to recover. The only duet in the film, Gata rahe mera dil, depicts the joy Waheeda Rehman feels on being with her lover, the Guide Raju, after breaking from her hapless marriage to an uncaring and adulterous archaeologist.


10. Aasman ke neeche hum aaj apne peechhe (with Lata Mangehskar) from Jewel thief (1967), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

Jewel Thief marks the beginning of the third phase of SD Burman’s music when he resumes his tilt to Kishore Kumar. He had a Rafi-Lata duet, Dil pukare aa re aa re. This was overshadowed by the opening KK solo, Ye dil na hota bechara, and this wonderful duet.


11. Gham pe dhool daalo kahkahaa laga lo (with Bhupendra) from Prem Pujari (1970), lyrics Neeraj

Neeraj joins Navketan-SDB for the first time with some incredible songs, but the film had a tepid response. Shokhiyo mein ghola jaaye is a very popular pure duet with Lata Mangeshkar. Gham pe dhool daalo is a fun duet between Kishore Kumar (for Dev Anand) and Bhupendra (for Anoop Kumar on the wheel), targeted at the sulking Zaahida at the back of the jeep. The picturesque setting enhances the beauty of the song.


12. Jeevan ki bagiya mahkegi (with Lata Mangeshkar) from Tere Mere Sapne (1971), lyrics Neeraj

I end with this beautiful duet from a very sensitive film from Navketan. This too was not a great commercial success, but it must be one of the best directed by Vijay Anand, who also played a very powerful role in the film. The duet refers to the new entity that is to come into the life of Dev Anand-Mumtaz. The film had another great KK-Lata duet, Hey maine qasam li, and a beautiful Lata solo, Mera antar ek mandir hai tera. The film and the songs picturised on Mumtaz established her reputation as an actress par excellence.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rakesh Srivastava October 13, 2014 at 11:57 am

Very well said AK Ji that in case of KK-SDB combine one plus one is certainly more than two.Post is enjoyable as always.Again, clash of choices.I would have liked following melodies too:
Naujawan-Hum Aur Tum-Shamshad Begum & Kishore
Chalti Ka Naam Gadi-Babu Samjho Ishaare-Kishore & Manna De
Chalti Ka Naam Gadi-Haal Kaisa Hai Janab Ka-Asha & Kishore
Chalti Ka Naam Gadi-Main Sitaron Ka-Asha & Kishore
Zindagi Zindagi-Khush Raho Saathiyo-Lata & Kishore
Teen Devian-Uff Kitni Thandhi Hai Ye Rut-Lata & Kishore
Teen Devian-Likha Hai Teri Aankhon Mein-Lata & Kishore
Paying Guest-Chhod Do Aanchal-Asha & Kishore
Naujawan-Dekho Dekhoji-Lata & Kishore
Jaal-De Bhi Chuke Hain-Kishore & Geeta Dutt
Funtoosh-Woh Dekhen To Unki Inayat-Asha & Kishore

My list does not, in any way, belittle imortance of your choices.Thanks for nice upload.

2 AK October 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Rakesh Srivastava,
Thanks for your compliments. One could choose anyone from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi – they are equally good. Same with the ones from Funtoosh and Paying Guest – I have mentioned these songs in my post. I also like De bhi chuke hain dil nazrana dil ka a lot. Thus, I could easily replace four from my list with the songs you have mentioned.

3 arvindersharma October 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

AK Ji,
A complete mood changer after devouring the Begum Akhtar post.
Inspite of the dominance of Mohammed Rafi in the golden era, we can very well see how SDB nurtured Kishore and made excellent use of his voice.
The backing of Devanand must have also been a very important factor as we can see that most of the songs SDB gave Kishore in the golden era were filmed on Dev.
Both yourself and Rakesh Srivastava Ji have covered nearly all the good songs of the golden era above, but I’m sure, contributors will unearth some more gems.
My humble contribution, a teaser from Baazi, starring Dev and Geeta Bali, by Kishore and Geeta Dutt.
De Bhi Chuke Ham Dil Nazrana Geeta Dutt Kishore K…:

A song, which I really liked in my childhood from Chupa Rustam, a foot tapping number with some hilarious tap dance by Vijay Anand and Binduby Kishore and Asha.
Jo Main Hota Ek Toota Tara – Chhupa Rustam:

A song from Aradhana, a film you have often mentioned as the end of the golden era, by Kishore and Lata.
Kora Kagaz Tha Ye Man Mera – Rajesh Khanna, Sharm…:

A favorite from Sharmili, by Kishore and Lata
Aaj Madhosh Hua Jaye Re – Kishore & Lata – Sharmi…:

And lastly, one from Abhimaan by Kishore and Lata
Tere Mere Milan Ki Ye Raina,Amitabh Bachchan,Jaya…:
I feel that one always remains faithful to the music heard in the formative years of life and though preferences change with time, music we’ve heard at that age always has a special connect throughout your life.

4 AK October 13, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Thanks a lot for your comments. Some of the songs you have mentioned have also been mentioned by me and Rakesh Srivastava.

Aradhana is a clear watershed. But describing it as the end of the Golden Era is my convenient way of slotting the history of film music in different periods of time. You have nailed it on the head that we remain attached to the music we heard in our formative years. But, the importance of SDB-KK lies in that they are among very few who reinvented themselves to remain relevant in the new era, which shows in some songs you have mentioned and some I have included.

5 Anu Warrier October 14, 2014 at 7:55 am

I have been away this past week and am only just now catching up on posts that I have missed. The Kishore-SD combination is one that has produced some lovely songs – from your picks O nigahein mastana is a particularly favourite song of mine. It has some lovely memories attached to it.

Other favourites include: Hum the woh thi, Arre yaar mere tum bhi ho ghazab and Aankhon mein kya ji.

Offhand, some of my favourite duets from their collaboration are:
Shokhiyon mein ghola jaaye from Prem Pujari

Tere mere milan ki hai raina from Abhimaan

Uff kitni thandi hai yeh rut from Teen Deviyaan

6 Ashok M Vaishnav October 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm

SDB-KK combination was a wall that did put in the best efforts to counter the floods of Mohammad Rafi (till Aradhana happened).
Having said that I would very gladly concede that some of SDB- KK combinations, in the pre-Aradhana period to put one variant of apple besides another one, indeed very as lilting as melodious..

7 AK October 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Anu, Ashokji,
Anu, welcome back. It seems KK part 1 (pre-Aradhana) was more melodious, though it is his part 2 which most people are aware of.

8 mumbaikar8 October 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Compilation of melodious songs
I feel that S D Buman was capable of getting the best of his singers, and if the singer is Kishore Kumar (who was like hi son) should we expect anything less?
My personal favourite is Aji oo hume aaj koi na, I think SDB KK combo was at its best in Funtoosh.
His part 2 is which most people are aware of, but how many songs of that part 2 would you include in SDB’s best?

9 AK October 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Well said. If I were to compile KK’s best overall songs, my list would end well before 1969.

10 SSW October 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Nice selections AK. Lots of interesting songs with interesting instrumentation’s SD gave his arrangers some freedom, I think.

And here he brings his two favourite male singers together….

11 AK October 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

The picturisation of the Chupke Chupke song is very enjoyable – shows great chemistry between Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan.

12 Sanjay Prakash October 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm

I am posting a comment after ages. The selection of songs is superb. Songs at No.1 & 2 are gems which have been less heard. As in every select list, personal choices could vary. For example, I would have opted for “Shokhiyo mein ghola jaaye” in place of the one selected by you from Prem Pujari, maybe because of its fine lyrics.

Incidentally, the unidentified singer in “O Mannu…..” is Anup Kumar himself, though sounding very close to SDB.

13 ksbhatia October 15, 2014 at 12:39 am

As always beautiful numbers with Dev Anand Kishore and SD Tags. B& W songs scoring mostly over colored ones. Excellent scores for Paying guest, Nau do gyarah, Chalti ka naam Gaadi , Teen Devian . My fav. …O. nigahein mastana … for its melody in melody content as antra changes with slow rhythem and asha’ji’s beautiful humming. Beside Dev SD gave music for Dilip sahib and Shashi ji in Sagina and sharmilee . The famous duets for sagina are….” Tumre sang toaa raein beetayi ” a Kishore/ Lata duet ….and…..”Salla mein to saab ban gaya ” a Kishore and kishore [om prakash] duet [?] . Incidently the mukhra of ” Tumre saang to ” is a straight lift from second stanza of SDB song ” Albela main ek matwala ” from Miss India a 1956 movie made by I S Johar .

14 AK October 15, 2014 at 7:18 am

Sanjay Prakash,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation, and for identifying the voice of “O Mannu…”.

15 AK October 15, 2014 at 7:27 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. You have discovered another interesting connection of Tumhare sang to rain bitayi. Venkataramanji and Mumbaikar8 had earlier pointed out it was a replica of SDB’s earlier tune in Shamshad Begum’s Saari khushiyan saath layi from Jeevan Jyoti (1953).

16 mumbaikar8 October 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

This observation by Bhatiaji is amazing. SBD has recycled the same tune 3 times (until now?)

17 mumbaikar8 October 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Sorry typo error. it should be two times and not three.

18 Shalini October 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm

This post made for some delightful reading and listening – love all the songs selected. A few others that I’m very fond of are:

The wacky “Chhai ghata bijli kadki” from Apna Haath Jagannath. The chemistry between Kishore and Asha just sparkles.

Along similarly comic lines is this delightful number from “Naughy Boy”:

And finally, a song that not many remember but which I love for it’s sweet daffiness and interesting composition:

19 AK October 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Yes, especially because the adaptation is very concealed. The mukhada of one is used for antaraa of the other.

20 AK October 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Thanks for these additions, I am hearing them for the first time. We are discovering some amazing self-inspiration by SD Burman. Do you think, he has adapted Chhai ghata bijli kadki from Ek ladki bhigi bhagi si?

21 N Venkataraman October 15, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Sharmaji has put it aptly ‘A complete mood changer after devouring the Begum Akhtar post.’
Yes, I agree with you that Kishore Kumar duets under S D Burman’s baton deserved a separate post.Thanks for the post and the lovely duets. Good selection. I too have a preference for pre 1969 songs. I liked both the two duets with Shamsad, not heard very often. I tend to agree with you and Mumbaikar8 that KK-SDB combination was at their best in Funtoosh and both the KK-Asha duets were good. Although Chor do zamana kya kahega was more popular, I am glad that you chose the superb score Nigahen mastaana. In fact I liked your selections. The songs that were in my list of favourites have been covered by you and other contributors. You could have included at least one duet with Geeta Roy. Rakeshji and Sharmaji have mentioned and posted the KK-Geeta Roy duet De bhi chuke hain hum dil nazrana. Thank you Rakeshji and Sharmaji and also to Shaliniji for posting the songs from Naughty Boy and Bewaqoof. Here is another duet from Bewaqoof where Manna Dey sings for Pran and Kishore for himself.

Aankhon se aankho ka jaam liye jaa

Although I cannot strictly term this song from taxi Driver as a duet, yet I am posting this song here.

Chaahe Koi Khush Ho, Kishore Kumar, Johnny Walker and chorus

Thanks to Bhatiaji for bringing to our notice the similarity between the second stanza of Albela main ek matwala and Tumare sang to. I was not aware of this before.

Thank you once again for the post and wonderful series.

22 AK October 16, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation and the songs you have added. You have been one of those instrumental in getting the SDB series extended. His talent was so diversified that I am happy he finally got this kind of treatment.

23 Hans October 17, 2014 at 10:37 pm

I am not a great fan of Kishore, but I listen to his good songs both pre 69 and post 69. As KK was an SDB favourite list of his duets was due and about half a dozen are good ones. Geeta Dutt has been left out. Her Jaal song was quite good and she had 2 duets in Pyar – one of which may have equal claim for being the first duet of this combo, along with the Shamshad duet which has been named the first of this combo. To me Geeta Dutt duets were better than the Shamshad duet.

The heroine in the Angarey song is not Vanmala. She is Paro. The song ‘ek baar ban ja tu mera’ composed by SDB in Shabnam was picturised on her.

Paro always appeared in minor roles, while Vanmala got important roles like Alexander’s beloved Roxanna or Rukhsana in Sikander (1941) and lead roles in a few films. I hope Arunji would be able to confirm these facts.

SDB used the echo effect in ‘likha hai teri ankhon men’ and ‘are yaar meri’ in Teen Devian, which became very popular among MDs about that time. Roshan used this very beautifully in Bheegi Raat.

24 AK October 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Thanks a lot for adding the Shabnam song, and identifying Paro, lip-synching the Angaarey song. In that case, the other lady in the song has to be Vanmala.

You are right, KK-Geeta Dutt duet from Pyaar may well be the first duet of the combo. I have earlier included Ek hum aur doosre tum, teesra koi nahin. Here is the second KK-Geeta Dutt duet from the film, a very nice one indeed.

O bewafa ye to bata loota chaman kyun pyaar ka

25 Hans October 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm

The other lady in the song is baby Nanda. I have not watched the film, but it appears that Nargis (played as child by baby Nanda) is the daughter of kabila sardar KN Singh and Vanmala is his wife, meaning thereby she plays the mother of Nargis. There is a song picturised on Vanmala which is given below:

Ae ri raajdulari bitiya

Vanmala also played lead role in a film named Parbat Pe Apna Dera (1944) produced by V Shantaram co. Rajkamal Kalamandir. A song picturised on her in that film and beautifully sung by Amirbai is given below:

Pareshan hoon ke kyun meri pareshani nahin jati

Vanmala also played lead role in Parinde (1945) opposite Surendra. This film is also available on youtube.

26 AK October 18, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Thanks again for identifying the other lady. And the song Pareshan hoon ke kyun meri pareshni nahi jaati.

27 ashok October 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

one lovely duet of the SD + KK+ LATA not mentioned is the very melodious song ” Tumhre sang to raiin bitayee” from film Sagina. though the film did not do well, this duet stays with you. Vintage SD.

28 AK October 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Tumhare sang to rain bitayi is really a lovely song. You must have noticed in the comments above, this song has come in for a long discussion. Its tune is adapted from Shamshad Begum’s Saari khushiyan saath layi from Jeevan Jyoti. Further, as KS Bhatiaji has pointed out its mukhadaa is a replica of the antaraa of Albela main ek matwala from Miss India.

29 shreya November 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Kishore Kumar is a real legend…All his songs are just unforgettable…I love to hear his songs and among the above mentioned songs my fav one is “GAATA RAHE MERA DIL TU HI MERI MANZIL”…thanks for the post and making the memories and songs of Kishore Kumar rise up more….keep posting…..

30 AK November 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Welcome to SoY. Keep visiting.

31 shalan Lal October 31, 2015 at 6:37 pm

To All fans of Soy
This post is very lucid and eloquent for SDBKK Combo. I hope to go through all the four posts on SDBKK combo. I am doing this as per catching up the fag end of the month October as it is important for both the Musicians.
The song number two is mentioned “Angarey”. It is shot on the pair Jeevan and Paro. I wonder if it is the only song Jeevan ever mouthed in his film career or he has done some more? He often reversed his roles from nice man to hard boiled villain in many films.
There is some discussion about the actress “Vanamala”. The volume two of Harmandar Geet Kohs tells us that she has appeared as heoine in the film “Charanon Ki Daasi 1941” film and has sung majority of songs in that film. This means she had a singing voice. In Skindar she looked very pretty.
Shalan Lal

32 AK October 31, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Hope you are able to catch up fast, not only SDBKK but others too.

33 ksbhatia October 31, 2015 at 11:57 pm

A K’ji ;
Here is the song …..Albela main ek dilwala….. from Miss India whose second stanza is similar to mukhadda …. Tumhare sang to rain bitaye….of Sagina . The song has been under discussion for quite a number of times ; as such I am loading the same for S o Y to enjoy .

34 AK November 1, 2015 at 5:53 am

KS Bhatiaji,
This is very interesting. You remember SDB had another song with that tune for Shamshad Begum – Saari khushiyan sath layi. Musical interludes which were later developed into a song is more common. But this one is perhaps not so common.

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