Lata Mangeshkar’s best songs by Hemant Kumar

September 28, 2017

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to Lata Mangeshkar (b. 28 September 1929) on her 88th birth anniversary and a tribute to Hemant Kumar (16 June 1920 – 26 September 1989) on his 28th death anniversary

Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant KumarHemant Kumar was endowed with one of the most sonorous voices in light music. His film songs are universally popular. His non-film Hindi songs are equally sweet. In Rabindrasangeet, he is regarded as a titan. He has composed music for a large number of Hindi and Bengali films. The sweetness of his voice has also dripped into the music he composed. The melody-incarnate Lata Mangeshkar became his natural choice for the female songs. One Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar combination I have already covered – his duets with her, and they are indeed out of this world. Just recall some of them: Aa neele gagan taley pyar hum karein, Chandan ka palna resham ki dori, Ye raat ye chaandni phir kahan, Badli mein chhupe chaand ne phir mujhse kaha hai, Ek baar zara phir kah do, Jaag dard-e-ishq jaag and Nain so nain naahi milaao. One more Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar combination has long been my great favourite – that is her solo songs composed by him.

Hemant Kumar is generally not recalled at top of the list of Lata Mangeshkar’s combination with different music directors. But from a very young age, two songs specially fascinated me: Chhup gaya koi re and Pyasi hirni ban ban dhaaye koi shikari aaye re. This was a class apart, and one word that described these songs perfectly was – ‘sweet’. There were more, one after another – all having the same quality of being extremely melodious and lilting. Lata Mangeshkar herself acknowledged his special place, when she included one of his songs – Kahin deep jaley kahin dil – among the ten best she selected for the special LP brought out by HMV to commemorate her 25th anniversary of singing, in 1967.

Hemant Kumar’s singing career started in the early 1940s, with non-film Hindi and Bengali songs. He also started composing music for Bengali films. His entry into music direction for Hindi films was comparatively late. His debut film was Anandmath (1952), and his associated with Lata Mangeshkar started with his first film, with the National Song, Vande Maataram, with Hemant Kumar also lending his voice. This duet is a perfect candidate for Subodh’s ‘Asymmetric duets’. Hemant Kumar gave a roaringly successful score for Filmistan’s Nagin (1954), and the main vehicle for its grand success was Lata Mangeshkar. Its Man doley mera tan doley has entered folklore for its been music, and the unending controversy as to whether it was created by Kalyanji on clavioline, or by Ravi (Hemant Kumar’s assistant) on the harmonium, or by Lucila Pacheco on the piano. SoY has discussed this story extensively earlier. Nagin fetched Hemant Kumar’s first and the only Filmfare award.

Thereafter, from time to time Hemant Kumar gave songs for Lata Mangeshkar that have become landmark. He became especially famous for composing music for spooky films, like Bees Saal Baad, Kohra and Sannata – all having great songs by Lata Mangeshkar. Hemant Kumar had not lost his Midas touch even towards the fag end of his career in Hindi films, when he composed a great song, Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mahakti Khushboo (Khamoshi, 1969).

I am presenting my top favourite Lata Mangeshkar songs, composed by Hemant Kumar as my joint tribute to them.

1. Chhup gaya koi re door se pukar ke from Champakali (1957), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

Rarely the flute has sounded so heart-touching. As the lover has gone, the beckoning call of the flute is even more poignant.

2. Pyasi hirni ban ban dhaye koi shikari aaye re from Do Dil (1965), lyrics Kaifi Azmi

Hemant Kumar had a natural talent for haunting songs. Here is my second most favourite song which has the same quality of absolute sweetness. Rajshree’s outfit is jarring, but Lata Mangeshkar is magical. Her ‘Ho o o..’ in the interludes gets echoed from the hills, which with the orchestration, and her singing would leave you spellbound.

3. Aa ja ri chaandni from Chaand (1959), lyrics Shailendra

From poignant songs, I move to a fast-paced dance song, picturised on Meena Kumari who is dancing along with a group of dancers to celebrate the birth of a child. Since the videos available on the YT are of poor quality, I am suing an audio version. The song’s antara/interludes, such as Humne nain bicchaye (aa ja)/ Baithe lagan lagaye (aa ja)/ Ab to raha na jaye (aa ja) bears uncanny similarity to Shagun’s (1965) Dekho dekhoji gori sasural chali by Jagjit Kaur (Khayyam, Sahir Ludhiyanavi), which had staccato phrases likes Ayi ghadi milan ki (aa ha)/ Kaliyan khil gayin man ki (aa ha)/ Gori raaj karegi/ Sukh se gode bharegi (aa ha)/ Sakhiyan dengi badhaayi (aa ha)/ Baaj rahi shehnai (aa ha).

Bengal and Punjab, as also Shailendra and Sahir Ludhiyanavi, and Lata Mangeshkar and Lagjit Kaur are as different from each other as chalk and cheese. Shagun came six years later than Chaand, is the former song ‘inspired’ by the latter? Leaving aside speculation, let us revisit Dekho dekhoji gori sasural chali.

4. Pyar ki dastan tum suno to kahein from Faraar (1965), lyrics Kaifi Azmi

Hemant Kumar’s association with Kaifi Azmi gave some of the best songs for Lata Mangeshkar, as also other singers. Here is my absolute favourite. We know that if an actor sings at radio station it is meant for lover who would be hearing it on a transistor.

5. Sapne suhaane ladakpan ke from Bees Saal Baad (1962), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni

Kahin deep jaley kahin dil is the more celebrated song from this film, perhaps it goes with the suspense and the atmosphere of the film. But my favourite is Sapne suhaane ladakpan ke for Waheeda Rehman’s innocence and beauty. Biswajit gives a puzzled look.

6. Dheere dheere machal from Anupama (1966), lyrics Kaifi Azmi

We have discussed this song in my post on songs with repeat words, but it is worth a repeat. One of the best of Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar-Kaifi Azmi combination, and one of the best piano songs by a lady.

7. O beqaraar dil from Kohra (1964), lyrics Kaifi Azmi

Kohra had another great Lata song, Jhoom jhoom dhalti raat, befitting more with the spooky theme, besides Hemant Kumar’s iconic Ye nayan darey darey. Between the two Lata songs, it is a toss-up. I prefer O beqaraar dil, because from a sedate mukhada, it transforms into a surprisingly lilting antara.

8. Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mahakti khushboo from Khamoshi (1969), lyrics Gulzar

In this intense film, here is a song which relieves the tension.

9. Kahan le chale ho bata do musafir from Durgeshnandini (1956), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

Let us go back to one of their early songs which transports you to a dreamland.

10. Mat maaro Shyam pichkari from Durgeshnandini

Durgeshnandini had another excellent Lata Mangeshkar song, picturised on Beena Rai and Pradeep Kumar enacting the characters in this Holi song. This is a log song with terrific dance and chorus interludes, reminding one of Naushad.

11. Man mera udata jaye from Ma Beta (1962), lyrics Prem Dhavan

I end this post with a less known song, but there is a reason for including it. It is the Hindi version of a Rabindrasangeet song which had acquired an iconic status in Hemant Kumar’s voice.

And here is the Hemant Kumar’s rendering of the Rabindrasangeet song Mono mor megher sangi, and you can see it belongs to another world. Another resounding proof of my theory of Twin songs, that Lata Mangeshkar’s version (and, obviously, female version in general) in a Twin song paled in comparison to its male counterpart.

{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mehfil Mein Meri September 28, 2017 at 9:59 am

congratulations for this articles on Lata’s Birthday!
the songs you have selected are obviously very nice and melodious.
I would add the following songs, from the already mentioned movies and some other movies.

1. kuchh dil ne kaha- anupama

2. Ae badalon rimjhim ke rang liye- chand 1959

3. dil e nadan ko sambhalu- faraar

4. zindagi kitani khubsurat- bin badal barsaat

5. meri taqdeer ke malik-shart

6. nai manzil nai raahein- hill station

i hope you will enjoy and like these songs as well!
and looking frwd to your article on hemant kumar’s duets with “Other” singers!

2 Dustedoff September 28, 2017 at 10:28 am

Wonderful collection of songs, AK. There were some there that I didn’t immediately recall, but remembered as soon as the song began. It’s sad that far too many people (and I don’t mean the aficionados like you, but the average janta who likes old music without knowing too much about it) tend to think of Hemant only as a singer, and forget that he was such a brilliant composer as well.

3 arvind September 28, 2017 at 12:03 pm
‘mitwa re ,bhool gaye the rahen ‘ is from the movie Rahgir (1969). Hemanta kumar produced the movie under the geetanjali pictures banner. tarun mazumdar directed the movie.mazumdar had directed the Bengali original– ‘Palatak’ (Escapist–1963).Palatak also had music by Hemanta Kumar but was produced by V Shantaram.

4 ksbhatia September 28, 2017 at 1:09 pm

AK ji ;
As always hitting right notes for both Lata ji and Hemant Kumar ….the soft melancholy singer and a great music director as well. Hemant , not getting filmfare award for Bees Saal Baad and Khamoshi , was a great pain for me . Irrespective of movie being big or low budgeted he never compromised on quality and always gave his very best . Instantly I have two songs ready for my colleagues to prove my point . And for Lata ji ….no superlative words are available in the dictionary .

1. Aye mohabbat meri duniya mein tera kaam na thaa…..Lata ji….Bees Saal Baad

2. Mitwa re bhool gaye theey raheen…..Lat ji….Rahgir

5 ksbhatia September 28, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Mehfil Mein Meri [ M3 M] @ 1 ;

Nice songs added. Song from Shart …..meri taqdeer ke maalik…. is my all time fav. song .

Arvind ji , we crossed each other comments . The song from Rahgir is my fav. of Hemant songs. In fact I too liked this offbeat movie of Hemant Gulzar combo and over and above an offbeat performance by Biswajeet too . The film had a V. Shantaram ‘s narrative stamp….the likes of Pinjara. which also have beautiful songs.

6 AK September 28, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Ae baadalon rimjhim ke rang liye is a wonderful song and not very commonly heard. Thanks a lot for this addition. I remember Zindagi kitni khoobsoorat hai as a Hemant Kumar solo. Therefore, Lata version is a version’ of its twin to my mind. Similarly, Nai manzil nai raahein without Hemant Kumar’s voice (in the duet with Lata Mangeshkar) sounds barren.

I am happy you liked the collection of songs. It is true that in Lata Mangeshkar’s combination with various MDs, Hemant Kumar does not get a prominent place. But his best songs for her are absolutely melodious.

7 AK September 28, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Good to have you back. Welcome to SoY. Thanks a lot for the information and the song Mitwa re bhool gaye the raahein. It is such a sweet song.

KS Bhatiaji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Aye mohabbat meri duniya mein is a beautiful song. I have included another song from Bees Saal Baad – Sapne suhaane ladakpan ke

8 Richard S. September 28, 2017 at 1:56 pm

There are a lot of delightful songs here – in both your list, AK, and in the comments.

But no one has yet listed songs from the two films that I think of first when it comes to this combination of Hemant Kumar (as composer) and Lata Mangeshkar.

AK, since you commented on the great success of the Nagin soundtrack, I was surprised that you didn’t have a favorite from there.

And then there is Payal (1957). I love just about all the songs in this film! And many of the picturizations. But I think my favorite is “Jaa Re Saanwale Salone Natkhat Banwaari”:

And getting back to Nagin, beyond the obvious “Man Dole Mera Tan Dole”… I love “Oonchi Oonchi Duniya Ki”:

9 AK September 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Thanks a lot for visiting SoY. One can understand Nagin‘s omission. It has become too commonplace. I do have a number of favourites from this film, but I did want to use the space for their other great songs. I too am very fond of Oonchi oonchi duniya. Trust you to come up with some great songs. Thanks to you I have started liking Padmini more. Am I right in saying that there is no trace of Bharatnatyam in Ja re saanwle natkhat Banwari?

10 Mehfil Mein Meri September 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Thanks Akji,
Nayi Manzil Nayi Raahein has a duet version too, was unknown to me.
Thanks for that, i will listen the duet for sure.
I somehow Like Lata’s version of ‘Zindagi Kitani ‘ More!
I would add few more songs…

1.Bas ek chup si lagi hai- sannata

2. SO gaya Sara zamana- Miss Mary

3.O Jane wale Tujhe- Bahu

I like all the above songs.
mainly last two are my all time favorites!
I noticed one point, there are less Lata solos with HK as MD.
If we compare with other MDs like S J or Naushad or Madanmohan.
May be partly due to, H K also used Geeta dutt in many films.

ksb ji, @ 5
thanx. It’s my favorite too.
My today’s list actually looked like your comment in appearance I mean!
I am so used to reading your comments in this fashion, i thought of you , when I posted it!

11 Rakesh Srivastava September 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Wonderful post AK JI which is best befitting as a joint tribute to two all time great artists. My humble endeavour to supplement it with following songs:

1.Daku Ki Ladki–Mohabbat Ke Janaze Par Diya Dil Ka

2.Miss Mary–So Gaya Sara Zamana Neend Kyon Aati Nahin

3.Sahara–Ban Ke Suhagan Rahi Abhagan

4.Taaz–Bansi Ki Dhun Sun

12 AK September 28, 2017 at 3:22 pm

So gaya sara zamana is a beautiful song. Thanks for mentioning it. I am sure you would have heard of Hemant Kumar’s version of Bas ek chup si lagi hai. As usual my favourite is HK version. I would like to have your views.

13 Mehfil Mein Meri September 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

one more song…
Dil chhed koi aisa nagma from Inspector.
it also has lata & H K versions.
But this time, I am on your side, AK ji.
H K’s song is my favorite.

14 Mehfil Mein Meri September 28, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Akji @ 12
This time I like Lata’s!
It’s difficult to say why!
H K’s pronunciations have a certain role to play I think!

15 Richard S. September 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm

AK. yes, I assumed that Nagin might have been passed by because everyone knows it. But a favorite is a favorite even if it is overly popular. 🙂

Thank you re. the comment about my coming up with great songs.

Re. this Padmini dance… Oh, I think there is a trace of Bharatanatyam. 🙂 Especially some of the abhinaya – the theatrical facial expressions, the stuff that she does with her eyes. There also might be some appropriate hand mudras. But I guess the body movements stray far from the sort of rigid structures of Bharatanatyam. And that brief seated part looked much more like kathak/mujra. I guess a lot of this is just a filmi dance – but a classy one!

16 P. S. Seshadri September 28, 2017 at 4:18 pm

What a great collection in the main text and comments!!!HK as composer hasn’t got much attention. That has been remedied here with Lata’s golden voice.

I came back to the site after two months during which time I had no access to the Internet. I am very very happy now!!!

17 Anu Warrier September 28, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Ah! Bliss!

So many of my favourites in the post, and a couple of songs I hadn’t heard before. My day is made. 🙂

18 mumbaikar8 September 28, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Sticking to SOY tradition another fabulous presentation on Lata’s birthday!
You in your favorite Lata HK combination have a bulk of 60’s songs, while I would have from 50’s.
Though don’t much care for Nagin. The same year with Vyjantimala in lead they had some very good songs in Taj.
So gaya sara zamana is favorite too.
Adding few songs from 50’s I like
Meri dam bhar na papan aankh–Samrat(1954)–Lata Mangeshkar

19 mumbaikar8 September 28, 2017 at 5:41 pm

ksbhatia@ 4
Agree 1962 was Hemant Kumar year but my movie of choice for best MD would be Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam.

20 AK September 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Mr Seshadri,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Good to have you back at SoY.

I am happy that you enjoyed it.

21 KB September 28, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Nice topic. I should say that Hemant kumar was involved in some unusual duets with Lata like the one from HOUSE NO 44 Peechey peechey aakar even way back in 1955. The other most melodious song was from CHHABILI with Nutan and also one duet from PAYAL with Lata again.

22 KB September 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm

To add, one more most lovely duet was Umr hui tumse mili from BAHURANI by C RAMACHANDRA by Lata and Hemant.

23 AK September 28, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I am a huge fan of Lata Mangeshkar’s songs composed by Hemant Kumar. Of the songs you have added, I like Jahan mein ayi Diwali and Meri dam bhar na papan aankh lagi a lot.

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. As you would have noticed this post was on her solos composed by Hemant Kumar. I have done a post on their duets earlier whose link I have given in the post.

24 Rakesh Srivastava September 28, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Seems you have not perused my comments # 11 and have skippied it unknowingly.
My comments crossed with those of Mehfil Mein Meri at # 10 and So Gaya Sara Jamana got repeated..
Will value your opinion on songs added by me !!

25 Arunkumar Deshmukh September 28, 2017 at 9:19 pm

AK ji,

Good article and good songs, both by you and the readers.
My two cents with a duet of HK and LM in film Fashion-57


26 Arunkumar Deshmukh September 28, 2017 at 9:25 pm

One more duet from film Ek hi Rasta-56

27 Jignesh Kotadia September 28, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Pyasi hirni ban ban dhaye is too sweet song…heard first time. Nice collection of Hemantda-Lata.
Songs posted by Rakeshji : Muhabbat ke janaze par and So gaya sara zamana and Songs posted by Mumbaikar8ji : Jahan men aai diwali and Ang ang men bahaar are great melodies.
one more great song from Bahu

Ai dard e jigar fariyad na kar
behte hai to aansu behne de..

28 Arunkumar Deshmukh September 28, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Yet one more duet from Daku ki Ladki-54

29 Jignesh Kotadia September 28, 2017 at 9:45 pm

one more sweet song from Lagan 1955

Mujhe nazar se utaar kar bhi na chain aaye to kya karoge

I have heard a good song of Sannata a few times on radio but could not locate it on YT. plz someone help.

Koi bechara dil ko khokar dhundh raha hai chahat maara..

30 mumbaikar8 September 28, 2017 at 9:57 pm

This video has multiple songs from Sannata. You song start at 3.20 plus

31 AK September 28, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Sorry, I missed your comment. It must have come after I had started typing my response to Anup and Madhu. So gaya sara zamana is, of course, outstanding. I also liked Ban ke suhagan bani abhagan.

32 AK September 28, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. This post was for her solos, though both the duets you have added are very good.

33 AK September 28, 2017 at 10:16 pm

I am happy thay you liked the songs, and you discovered Pyasi hirni ban ban dhaaye. Both the songs you have added are very good.

34 Arunkumar Deshmukh September 28, 2017 at 10:17 pm


So sorry for this slip.


35 ksbhatia September 28, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Ms. Mumbaikar, Jignesh, M3M , AK ji ;

My pick of the day . The songs that I used to listen over three feet long loud speakers of the 50s and 60s that were extensively used during various weddings , Dushhera and Pooja functions . Nagin was a hit movie and in every functions its songs demanded priority listenings .

3.. Sun ri sakhi mohe sajna bulaye…..Lata….Nagin

4. Kahan le chale ho bataa do musafir…..Lata…..Durgesh Nandni

5.Mera Dil ye pukare aaja……Lata……..Nagin

6.Mat Maro Shyam Pichkari…….Lata [ Its a chorus song and Hemant just sand half a line . Lata at her sweetest best]…….Durgesh Nandini

7. Ye hawa ye fiza ye raat taroan bhari…..Lata….Ek Jhalak

… be continued , since sweet melodies don’t have bounds .

36 Ashwin Bhandarkar September 29, 2017 at 12:04 am


What a lovely and timely post! Lovely for obvious reasons but timely because my friends and I are meeting for our next jamming session this weekend and the theme is ‘Songs by Hemant Kumar (as MD and as singer)’ ! In fact this session is a sequel to the jamming session with the same theme that we did last month! And it is no surprise that a majority of the songs had Lata in them! Some of the songs listed by you/others are new to me – I look forward to listening to them, and learning one of two of them well enough to be able to sing them at the get-together this weekend 🙂

A couple of quibbles on your selection, though:

1. I agree with Richard S. wrt Nagin. It is a sacrilege not to pick a song from this film in any ‘Best of Lata songs by HK’ list. My pick would be ‘Tere pyaar mein jalkar dekh liya’, though.

2. ‘Dheere dheere machal’ is a brilliant song but for me, it is ‘Kucch dil ne kaha’ which is tops. It tugs at my heartstrings each time I listen to it! What a coming together of poignant lyrics by Kaifi Azmi , a brilliant and apt score by Hemantda and soulful singing by Lata!

37 Jignesh Kotadia September 29, 2017 at 2:39 am

you posted some magnificent songs, amongst them some are covered in AKji’s list. Nagin is really a highly popular as well as classic album of Hemantda..even he could not reproduce this magic again despite serving in several topclass musical films. I like Jaadugar saiyan chhodo mori baiyan from Nagin very very much.

I agree with you. Some songs are more than best..and Kuchh dil ne kaha is one of them. The wonderful poetries by the legendary lyricists have built strong plinths for immortal songs. I should mention Kaifi Aazmi again for his great work.

38 AK September 29, 2017 at 7:30 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Best wishes for your jamming session. I hope you do use some songs from this post.

I agree with you on Nagin. I have given the reason in my response @9 to Richard, though many may not find that enough. But I am happy that you and other readers have added the best songs from this film.

Kuchh dil ne kaha is really an excellent song, enhanced by its picturisation amidst nature. It also has a haunting quality which seems to be the signature of Hemant Kumar. I chose Dheere dheere machal as it is more popular and has a catchy tune.

39 ksbhatia September 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Ms.Mumbaikar 8 @18;

Beautiful songs you have posted . Of all i liked the….ang ang mein umang….the most . What a soft lilting melody ! I repeatedly listened to it ….I think one of the best from Hemant Da too. This I think is 1955 film song and much later another one came from KA following this tune….Bedardi daga baaj ja naahi jiya mora…. .

So gaya saara zamaana ….is another sweet song which is my fav. too.

40 ksbhatia September 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Jignesh @28,

Lovely song you have posted…..aye darde jigar fariyad na kar…..from Bahu . Is that the saying ….when melody was queen…tagged to Lata ji’s dominating the sweet songs of the domain of mid 50s ?

41 Ashok Kumar Tyagi September 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm

AK ji,
A lovely post reg two majestic personalities of HFM. As regards songs ‘aaja ri chandni’ & ‘gori sasural’ they are based popular Punjabi folk tunes. In film Heer Ranjha, Madan Mohan also used similar tune and the lead singer was again Jagjeet Kaur (layega Mera dewar, baanke nain waali).
In old times, a marriage function in north India was preceded by several days of ladies sangeet. As a small child I sometimes managed to sneak in but was soon sent out because the ladies wanted to perform ‘vulgar dances’ also.
For centuries, Punjab has been famous for its music and lively dances’. We have a famous dholak style in Punjab, we may call it Punjabi Theka. It was often used by OP Nayyar, Laxmi-Pyare etc.
There is a twin song in film Miss Mary (yeh mard bade bedard bade dilsard) which also carries Punjab folk.

42 AK September 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

Thanks for your appreciation. I could guess Gori sasural chali was based on a Punjabi folk song. But the interesting part was Hemant Kumar using it some years earlier in Aa ja ri chaandni. Layega mera devar (Naache ang ve) is a very sprightly song. Interestingly, HFGK mentions Jagjit Kaur, Shamshad Begum and Noorjehan as the singers. Is this Noorjehan the Malika-e-Tarranum? We would need the encyclopaedia Arunji to throw light on this.

43 Jignesh Kotadia September 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm

thanks for the Koi Bechara link.
I dont know what is the saying but 50’s have touched the height of melody with almost every singer..of course Lataji was leader.
now enjoy this excellent discoveries from Anjaan 1956

Kahaan chhod ke chala hai tu,
phoolon bhari raahen,
mere des ki hawayen pardesiya

Din chhup gaya nikle taare
teri yaad men dard ke maare..

44 ksbhatia September 29, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Ashok Kumar Tyagi Ji , AK ji ;

Very nicely ahok ji brought out the pre wedding punjabi ladies sangeet scenario . Naughty part …yes and the songs rendered with high pitch loud Dholak beats and spoon hitting the dholak outfit wood in equal rhythm . The main singers were essentially supported by the rest of the ladies for the chorus effects ; mainly like ….haanji…haanji . The famous Mehmood song…. mein mandir gaya haanji ….is a true copy of the punjabi naughty folk song .

Many may not be knowing that Hemant kumar has sung one and only one Punjabi duet with Sulakhna Pandit in a punjabi movie ….and the song is …..Duniya de Malika teri duniya ajib hai .

45 mumbaikar8 September 29, 2017 at 10:54 pm

We have discussed ” Noorjehan” the singer of this group song before, she is not the Malika-e-Tarranum but an aspiring singer of that time.
She sang a song of Do Boond Pani for Jaidev a very close friend of Madan Mohan
Do Boond Pani – Mukesh, Noor Jehan – DO BOOND PAANI

46 Jignesh Kotadia September 29, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Fantastic song Mumbaikarji…aisa lagta hai ye aawaz sunta hi rahu..crystal clear voice of Mukesh ..kya baat hai…Do bund pani nahi to yahaan zindagani nahi…Thanks a lot for this link.

47 AK September 29, 2017 at 11:26 pm

Thanks a lot for the information.

48 Jignesh Kotadia September 29, 2017 at 11:30 pm

only few of the GEra stalwarts could retain melodic content in their music after 1969. Jaidev is one of them. See Hemantda, he gave class music in 1968 : Do dooni char and 1969 : Khamoshi and then a sudden dramatic downfall !! Us raat ke baad , 1970 was nowhere near his talent !! He gave music in 4 or 5 films after 1969 but couldnt give any memorable song !!

49 mumbaikar8 September 29, 2017 at 11:40 pm

Khayyam and Salil Da are other two Jignesh

50 Jignesh Kotadia September 30, 2017 at 12:11 am

of course Khayyam and Salilda. Also Shanker created some good songs until 1974 and Madan Mohan had also created some finest music in 70’s. We can never forget the music of Mausam or Laila majnu. His “Mushkil hai jeena bedardo ki duniya” men from Saahib bahadur is sublime melody. OPN vanished gradually after PJayePVNJaye. Ravi showed some sparks in a few songs.

51 Canasya September 30, 2017 at 12:19 am

AK ji:

A fitting post on the collaboration of two of the greatest melody makers in HFM. You did select some of the cream of their collaboration, and so did the commentators above. Still I think I can present three:

“Saiyan lag ja gale” from Miss May:

“Man mora nache” from Do Dil:

“Dil-e-nadan ko sambhaloon to” from Faraar (some YouTube commentators suggest it is in Suman’s voice and it may require your expert opinion)

The Kohra song “O bekarar dil” has its original “O nadi re” by Hemant in “Neel Akasher Neechey” (1959) (also used in Siddhartha, 1972) which seems to confirm your thesis regarding twin songs!

52 AK September 30, 2017 at 5:56 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. And the beautiful songs. I heard O nadi re after ages. Thanks for refreshing my memory.

53 Subodh Agrawal September 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

AK, Hemant is my favourite singer, and also one of the favourite MDs. You have collected some real gems in this post, without using his biggest hit Naagin. Thanks in particular for ‘Kahan le chale ho’ which I heard after a long time. Made me very nostalgic about Beena Roy, who was one of the most beautiful and graceful actress of her generation, but she chose to become ‘Daadi Maa’ rather early!

54 R Vasudevan September 30, 2017 at 9:29 am

A fine write up on HK & lata and selected songs are gems.

In Hindi film music during the golden era there were many great combinations – Mukesh with SJ, Mahendra Kapoor with KA, Kishore and
RDB, Suman kalyanpur and SJ, Asha with OPN, Talat and MM.
But Lata’s except with OPN combination with all MDs gave us unlimited songs of great listening so also Rafi Sahib with all MDs. So with these combination Hemanth Kumar and Lata fits in well. HK was never underestimated but was not given much assignments as he should have been. A great composer he was.

55 AK September 30, 2017 at 11:44 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. You have not taken omission of Nagin amiss. Some readers took it as sacrilege. Beena Rai was indeed one of the most beautiful and graceful actress and some of the most iconic songs were picturised on her.

56 Dinesh K Jain September 30, 2017 at 11:58 am

At least 2 of HK-LM songs, namely, Chhup Gaya Koi Re and Kahan Le Chale Ho have long been among my absolute top favourite songs, as also, among the others listed by you, the songs from Kohra, Faraar and Khamoshi. The combine have given numerous other gems, as several songs from Nagin, Sannata, Kohra, Faraar, Shart, Anandmath, and others. While Lata got her due acknowledgement and honours, I have come to think that HK was a far better and top-bracket MD than what he got credit for. His compositions for Anandmath and for Vande Mataram are to my mind among the very best for, among others, providing such appealing music despite the kind of lyrics he had to work with. He was one of those very few who consistently maintained superior quality of music all through whether it was a big-banner film or a B (like Biwi Aur Makan) or C grade (like Faraar).

I thank you, AK, for the blog, and for the selection. Its best part for me has been the discovery for me of several new songs for my Favourites collection.

57 Ashok Kumar Tyagi September 30, 2017 at 11:59 am

AK ji,
Beg to take a different stance regarding fewer assignments given to Hemant, the MD.
After great success of Nagin and Jagriti, Hemant accepted lot of assignments, the average being over five films per yr. If we think of C Ramchandra or SJ, they could manage 6/7 films per year because God had gifted them the skill and strong physique to (a) compose songs very quickly and (b) sit with instruments for long hours. This was not so for Hemant. Therefore it was a risk to accept so much work. After a few yrs he found it difficult to give super-hit songs and could compete strongly with SJ, SDB,OPN,Madan M, Chitragupta etc. Singing assignments also reduced. In his own admission, he once thought of returning to Kolkata. But he said to himself,”I will leave Bombay with a bang”. He created production company – Geetanjali Films. Bees Saal Baad had immensely popular songs. He stayed back in Bombay and had a good second innings.

58 AK September 30, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Mr Vasudevan,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Lata Mangeshkar’s combination with almost all prominent music directors (except, of course, OPN) created great music. Hemant Kumar, often not mentioned prominently, is my great favourite.

59 AK September 30, 2017 at 12:46 pm

I am happy that you liked the post and got some ‘new’ songs for your collection. You have said it right, Hemant Kumar was a bigger composer than he was acknowledged.

Thanks a lot for this perspective.

60 Shalan Lal September 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

When I was in India in fifties growing up as just a teenager my elder brother brought a Marathi single probably 45 rpm and it was played every morning for my grandfather. After listening it Grandfather would wake up and wake up all other saying loudly wake up your father has planted the money tree and you needed to look after it or it will disappear.

This is the following song. It was written for Lata Mangeshkar by a very good Marathi lyricist as she was on the top of the money tree. I remember only the first two lines.

“‘कल्पवृक्ष कन्येसाठी लावुनिया बाबा गेलां
वैभवाने बहरून आला, याल का हो बघायाला।“

Planting the Tree of Dreams (or Wishes or wealth) Baba has gone away
The Tree is now in rich full blossom, please Baba come back to see it.

Lata’s father Dinanath died penniless and waiting the debt-collectors at the door. He was a very famous Singing Actor, Manager and Owner of a flourishing theatre company that was always in need of money. Lata the eldest daughter was about twelve or thirteen years. The family became a ward of then famous comic actor director Vinayak who famously directed Noorjehan in his film “Badi Maa” 1946.

Lata and her sisters and brother had to wear the torn and worn costumes of the film company.

Within a short time of ten years and the invention of Plyaback singing Lata’s fortune changed and she moved in one of the richest and posh area of Bombay called “Peddar Road” very close to “Breach Candy” one time exclusive area for the White British, over looking roaring Arabian Sea

This reminded me a very famous and top of the parade song of a singer song writer in the sixties called “Where Do You Go To My Lovely,” by the Singer Peter Sarstedt. This song is still one of the top songs in all time great “one hundred best pop songs”. I give a few lines of the lyric:

“You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair, yes there are
You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard of St. Michel

And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do
And the young men who move in your circle
Hang on every word that you speak, yes they do

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do
I’ve seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne………… “

Many believed this song was written on the life story of Sophia Loren as she was a street urchin in Naples and grew up in extreme poverty and exploitation in the post war of Italy. Alberto Moravia’s novels were very popular on this aspect of life.

The present tribute for both Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar is very glowing both in the main article and in the comments. I wonder what SoY will do in two years?

The film “Nagin” is mentioned and the commonplace songs in it.

Of all the 12 songs from that film my favourite song is the “Jadoogar Sainya”

Twelve melodious songs composition plus musical direction and singing as well, and one individual piece on the that strange instrument all is a massive work and all that was handled very successfully by Hemant Kumar one must freely praise with broad mouth.

And as an assistant Music Director Ravi too deserves be praised.


61 AK September 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Thanks a lot for the detailed information and your appreciation. Naagin‘s songs were not commonplace. My reason for excluding them was that they are too well known, and whenever an opprtunity comes, I try to present some less known songs. But I am happy that Nagin has become the focus of discussion here. Hopefully, SoY would continue to engage the interest of the readers as long as itvis up.

62 Jignesh Kotadia September 30, 2017 at 11:46 pm

The good thing of Gold mine is that it doesnt offer whole the gold of it at once. You have to dig it everyday incessantly and reward is also this simply amazing song : Pyasi hirni ban ban dhaye koi shikaari aaye re, chori chori fanda daale baanh pakad le jaaye re….Thanking u again AKji……this song is absolutely appropriate at 2nd place…I liked this song beyond my expectations…simple tune classic outcome …too soothing…too melodious…Reminding Mandakini singing Tujhe bulaye ye meri baahen in similar costume.

63 AK October 1, 2017 at 5:55 am

I am happy that you discovered Pyasi hirni ban ban dhaye. I entirely endorse all the superlatives you have used for this song, I am also equally fascinated by this song.

64 Shalan Lal October 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm

AK @ 61
I agree with you and support your efforts to look for less attended songs by the populace. On its it will be a a very good post.

There are a good collections of Lata’s songs in various categories like “Lata in Blue, Devotional Lata, Classical Lata, RK Lata, and so on. I think more than twenty categories, a challenging work for nay one wants to study Lata and win a Doctorate.


65 arvindersharma October 1, 2017 at 7:55 pm

Once again I bow to your beautiful selection of another great favourite combination, MD Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. Together they have given some of the best, especially those that I consider amongst the top most melodious songs in HFM. The other two composers, my favorites in this genre are Ghulam Mohammad and Chitragupta.
Along with your picks, some of the best have been posted by Anup Ji, Rakesh Ji, Bhatia Ji and Mumbaikar8, with Jignesh also adding some beautiful songs, and a few I would love to add.
In my first outing here for the post, I would add some of the lilting melodies, and would apologize in advance for any duplication.

First one is a beautiful song from Shart, penned by SH Bihari
Piya main to hui bawri

Jhuki jhuki ankhiyan from Payal penned by Rajinder Krishan

Taj had some of the best of this combination
Balma ho, ja main tose haari by Rajinder Krishan

Tum sang Laage piya more naina from Taj

Ek baat bata de jogi ye jogan kab teri hogi from Taj

Na Jane ye Chanda Nagar Jane ye sitare from C

Chandan ki naiyya pe ho ke sawaar from Durgesh Nandini

Brindavan ki Kunj galin me from Bandhan penned by Rajinder Krishan

Pi ki lagan me from Lagan penned by Rajinder Krishan

Will be back with a few more

66 AK October 1, 2017 at 9:55 pm

Arvinder Sharmaji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. You have given me at least three songs I can listen to endlessly. I also include Chitragupta among the music directors who composed the sweetest songs for Lata Mangeshkar. A common strand which runs through Hemant Kumar-Lata’s sweetest songs is the very prominent place given to the flute.

Tum sang laage‘s instrumental prelude is similar to Chali gori pi ke milan ko chali. Na jaane ye chanda na jaane ye sitaare and Chandan ki naiya pe hoke sawar are too good.

Thanks a lot for these additions.

67 mumbaikar8 October 1, 2017 at 10:56 pm

You must have noticed big brothers Goggle and YouTube recommending sites.
On your fascination for Pyaasi hirni like the big brother my recommendation for you

68 Jignesh Kotadia October 2, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Too good follow up song Mumbaikarji. Nalini was a real Hiran !

69 ksbhatia October 3, 2017 at 12:25 am

Arvinder Sharma ji ;

Nice songs posted at #65 . Hemant Kumar seems to had the best of lyricsts who could write to the soothing melodies . Hemant himself was a cool person and his music reflected his personality also. Perhaps the following songs support my belief .

1.Khoyi Khoyi Akhiyan neend bina……Chand……Shailendra

2.Bekas ki aabru ko ……Ek Hi Rasta……Majhrooh

3. Aa baadlo Rim jhim ke rang….Chand…..Shailendra

….to be contd.

70 Shalan Lal October 3, 2017 at 3:20 pm

kasbhatia @69

It is so nice of you to point out the lyricists and their power of words and meanings in the filmy songs.

Many of the songs have words dominating than the tune’s magic.’

Once I attended a recording of the songs of the film “Insan Jaag Utha”

There occurred a very domineering dispute between Lata and Sahir Ludhiyanvi. Ludhiyanvi wanted his words not being overshadowed by the high notes of Lata and he also wanted the Orchestra to be played in the shadow of the song. While the director (film) would not have any interference in the music director’s work. At some point he said to Sahir that he would cancel all his work and would ask another lyricist to come in.

Very delicate situation that wasted the producer’s a lot of money as the dispute went on for six hours.


71 mumbaikar8 October 3, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Shalan Lal,
Javed Akhtar sher;
mujhe hai yaad vo sab
jo kabhī huā hī nahīñ
Insan Jaag Utha had lyrics by Shailendra , music by S D Burman and the female singers were Asha and Geeta.

72 ksbhatia October 4, 2017 at 12:44 am

Ms. Shalan Lal , Ms. Mumbaikar8;

Yes ; disputes do occur when the lyricist insists on strong meaningful word and MD getting the rhythm and beats broken by the insisted wording. The Shailendra Jaikishan dispute is well known in Shree 420 song……raatoan dasoan dishaon se …..where Jaikishan bow out for Shankar to complete the song .

In one of the interview of Ravi [ available on YT ] narrated that he got very depressed when one day Hemant Kumar told him to be your own now onwards and his assistant is no longer required . Ravi narrated this to B R Chopra who immediately signed him for not one but three movies . What Ravi gave songs in Gumraah is of course a well known history . While Mohinder Kapoor established himself a force to recon with ; surprisingly during same time Ravi , in another movie , set a similar composition as that of Gumraah for Rafi to sing . The Rafi song too was good but went un noticed due to the dominating songs and music of Gumraah. This was extensively discussed in the Open forum and I remember Ms. Mumbaikar rightly pointing the importance of Lyrics that hold the fort . … which I fully endorse her views/ comments .

Lyricist do have duel work to perform, one the song should perfectly blend with the narration of the story vis a vis the screenplay and other to match upto the standard and melody of the composition of the Music Director . Some time a hard mythological song writer faces such situation and some time a pure romantic lyricist [ like Hasrat ] to write serious /sad songs . Meeting challenges and attaining good results are of course listeners pleasure.

Here are three songs of Bharat Viyas set to tunes of Hemant Kumar .

1. Rut Aaye Rut Jaye………Sahara…….Bharat Vyas

2.Ban Ke Suhagan Rahi Abhaagan…….Sahara…..Bharat Vyas

3. Andhon pe daya karna datta…… ditto …….

73 Rakesh Srivastava October 4, 2017 at 10:22 am

Bharat Vyas and Hemant Kumar combination has given us very melodious songs in Fashion (1957) also

74 Shalan Lal October 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Mumbaikar8 8 @ 71 and ksbhatia @ 72

Mumbaikar8 yes indeed it was my Himalayan mistake but you gave me a very little punishment. The film I wanted to say was 1963 film “Muze Jine Do”.

Any way, you have got very wonderful analysis of the role of the lyricist from KSBhatia- that was my target.

Mumbaikar 8ji, I have to be very, very careful about my instant reaction and must not write my reaction until I have double checked the details.

Do you want me to write the above line ten or more times?

“Itani Badi Bhool Aur Itani Chhoti Saza?”


75 Giri October 4, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Many Lata songs loved by me have found a place in your list.You ( as well as other experts) have also introduced me some more beautiful songs. Thank you.In my mind Hemant Kumar as MD always occupied a higher place than HK as a singer. The HK-Kaifi Azmi combination was a heady one.
Bhatia ji @72,
I remember Ravi saying in a programme on Vividh Bharti that Devendra Goel was the first to offer him an independent assignment.
Please also inform which Rafi song you refer that resembles the Gumrah song?

76 ksbhatia October 4, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Giri ji ;

I think Vachan made by Davindra Goel in1955 was the first movie of Ravi as an independent MD . Starting from Anandmath[1952] he was assistant to HK and continued irrespective of him becoming MD till I think ….Ek hi Raasta….made in 1956 . At that point of time Ravi brought out the issue of leaving the HK camp . B R Copra who was the producer of Ek hi Raasta immediately promised him to be engage him for his next three movies . BR also gave oppertunity to N. Dutta who too once was HK assistant MD . BR movies came a little late but his entering the Big banner made Ravi a most sought after and sucessful MD of the 60s . He gave music to more than 40 movies during this period . I think he himself created a record of giving music to as many as twelve movies in 1963 itself.

Some interesting discussions / comments / observations came up on the subject of swaping Rafi’s songs with that of Mohindra Kapoor in OPEN Forum of SoY . During 1963 both the singers were at the top of the Ladder , with each one giving their best. Hans ji, Arvinder Sharma ji , Ms. Mumbaikar actively participated in discussions with close monitoring by AK ji .

The two songs of Mohindra Kapoor were on target……chalo ek bar ajnabee ban jayen….and …..aap aye to khayale….from Gumrah [1963] . My point was that these songs could be as good as of Rafi ‘s singing the same. In the same way the two songs of Rafi from Nartakee [1963]……Zindgi ke safar mein akele theye hum…..and ….Itnee haseen itni jawan raat kya kare……could have very well sung by Mohindra Kapoor as well. The common factor between the two movies is Ravi’s composition , 1963 year of production and Sunil Dutt .

For a passionate listener Rafis beautiful songs went unnoticed while the MK ‘s songs won all the laurels , though the lyrics of all the songs were very appropriate to the story and screenplay . It was Sahir’s magic touch that elevated the Gumrah’s songs and film as well .

For detailed comments reference be made to the relevent step numbers of Open Forum of SoY.

77 Ashok Kumar Tyagi October 4, 2017 at 10:23 pm

AK ji,
Beg to disagree with Shri Giri. Hemant the singer ought to be ranked ahead of his position as an MD. One genuine problem was that he found it difficult in his middle age to sit down for long hours, the squat posture was even more tough for him. Therefore he could not compose on ‘sitar’ (as done so expertly by Vasant Desai, SJ, SN Tripathi etc). Also unlike Naushad, SDB, Roshan etc, Hemant didn’t specialise in creating raga-based songs. Whereas he was a versatile singer with a deep yet powerful voice.

78 mumbaikar8 October 4, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Shalan Lal @74
“Mumbaikar8 yes indeed it was my Himalayan mistake but you gave me a very little punishment. The film I wanted to say was 1963 film “Muze Jine Do”.
I can understand the Himalayan mistake you are talking about but I fail to understand about the “small punishment”
I think you know Mr. Pratik Sinha, he does the fact check on viral news with a caption of his own, I did the same, as I am not good at writing caption I used Javed Akhtar’s sher. If you think that is punishment then Mr Sinha is punishing all and sundry!
As you have double checked and come out with a movie that has lyrics by Sahir and songs by Lata, but I still doubt your story.
Sahir was very confident of his lyrics and was very vocal about it, he had `very arrogantly said that if my songs depend on singers or MDs for survival I would rather sell Paan than write songs. He never cared who the MD or the singers were; he had ego squabbles with both SDB and Lata.
“Sahir having reservations about Lata’s singing and the orchestration overshadowing his work, the director threatening him to cancel his work and throwing him out of the movie” are just not palatable.

“Do you want me to write the above line ten or more times?” I have said this time and again I do not tell anyone to door not to do, that’s not me!

79 SSW October 5, 2017 at 2:16 am

Mr.Tyagi @77
This is news to me. I did not know that Hemant Kumar composed on, or played the sitar. I have read that Hrishikesh Mukherji played the sitar as a young man at AIR and had problems later with arthritis so could not play it when he grew older.
I too have the same impressions like Giri, I have liked some of HK’s compositions more than his singing.
Not composing raga based songs should not be considered a flaw should it? A film composer need not consider those boundaries, he/she isn’t giving a classical concert.

80 Anu Warrier October 5, 2017 at 10:26 am

RE: Sahir/Jaidev: They did have a falling out during Mujhe Jeene Do because Sahir is said to have remarked ‘What good is a music director without a lyricist?’ at which Jaidev was not amused. He is said to have challenged Sahir to do another film where the poet would write the lyrics to three of Jaidev’s compositions, while Jaidev would compose music for three of Sahir’s lyrics – that would settle who needed whom. Sunil Dutt even tried to patch things up between them, but Jaidev recorded two folk songs for the film without Sahir’s knowledge, and the collaboration ended right there. (Source: Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet, Akshay Manwani – quoting lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri.) This anecdote seems to validate Ms Lal’s recollection of the incident.

81 AK October 5, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Giri, Tyagiji
I don’t know if there is any way it can be settled whether HK was a better singer or a better composer. Lata songs I have posted shows his best for her were as good as any MD. Ican similarly recall he gave outstanding songs for other singers. If the comparison is intended to convey that he was not an outstanding singer, that is open to serious challenge. HK’s status as a singer does not rest on technical brilliance, but his emotional content. His strength was his voice which touched heart.

82 AK October 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Your citation is pointed and makes a logical reading. Shalan’s recollection includes the producer and Lata Mangeshkar in the scene. I think the substance of all such Sahir stories is that he was very proud as a writer, and he didn’t mince words in suggesting that his importance in a song was no less than that of the music director. I understand serious breach took place between him and SDB precisely on who deserved more credit for Pyasa songs.

Sahir was also one of the few lyricists who wrote songs first, which were set to music. Some of his pre-existing poetry were adapted as film songs. But that does not take away from the fact that the general trend was that lyricists were asked to write a song to fit in a tune composed by the MD in consultation with the producer and others of the team. At times, the lyricists would also be a part of such sittings. Javed Akhtar has no qualms in accepting that this is how the songs were made.

83 Dinesh K Jain October 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm

I too have read several stories about Sahir’s arrogance. On the spat between him and Jaidev, who earlier used to be an assistant with SDB, and whom someone like Sahir would therefore be expected to have even less regard for, I have an audio recording from Jaidev’s mouth, narrating that after Mujhe Jeene Do, Sahir had issued a fiat that for his sessions with MDs the latter would have to come over to Sahir’s place instead of the apparent tradition of the lyricists going over to the MD’s. Jaidev naturally refused to accept this as a condition, and their association came to an end. Earlier, Sahir had made his proper re-entry into the Bollywood with SDB’s Naujawan and Thandi Hawayen (according to Sahir himself), but after Pyasa Sahir’s hubris could no longer sit with SDB comfortably. About the same time, Sahir and OPN too had parted ways after Naya Daur in a major clash of two big Punjabi egos. In fact, early 60s onward, Sahir hardly worked with any top-bracket MDs, suposedly on account of all these issues. His only saviours in this period were BRChopra and Ravi.

As for HK as a bigger MD or singer, I entirely agree with AK, that this is a non-issue, in that it is eventually a matter of one’s subjective taste. To my mind, he was very very good in both roles, but I give him an edge as the MD for some of the superlative compositions he gave us, and about which I already spoke briefly in my earlier comment.

84 Giri October 5, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Tyagi ji @77
What I had written was what I felt in tune with my taste. It need not be everyone’s or even majority view. I respect others’ opinion as it would be as per their taste.
Bhatia ji @76
Thank you for taking the trouble of an elaborate reply. Your memory is amazing.
I just wanted to point out that Ravi became an independent MD in ’55 itself whereas the B.R.Chopra assignment came only in ’63. In the meanwhile Ravi gave music to more than 20 films which included producers like Guru Dutt, Gemini S.S.Vasan, Shakti Samant etc.
There is no doubt that ’63 was his best year.
I also agree with you that Sahir’s lyrics and the story context pushed songs of Gumrah to the top.

85 mumbaikar8 October 5, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Exactly this the Sahir I described in my comment and that’s the reason
why I am skeptical about the Sahir of Ms. Lal’s recollection who is anxious about being overshadowed by the singer’s high notes, MD’s orchestration and also threatened by the Director
This does seem to be the confident, egoist arrogant Sahir we are talking about.

86 Anu Warrier October 5, 2017 at 7:11 pm

@ 85: But Ms Lal did not say Sahir was ‘anxious’. She said, and I quote:There occurred a very domineering dispute between Lata and Sahir Ludhiyanvi. Ludhiyanvi wanted his words not being overshadowed by the high notes of Lata and he also wanted the Orchestra to be played in the shadow of the song.

What part of ‘very domineering dispute’ seems ‘anxious’ or ‘feeling threatened’ to you? To me, that denotes Sahir’s arrogance. And the fact remains that Jaidev did bring in two folk songs (NOT Sahir’s lyrics) into the film as Ms Lal recollects him saying. Therefore, I see no reason to dispute Ms Lal’s recollection of events, apart from having made a mistake about the film in her first post.

87 Ashok M Vaishnav October 5, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Hemant Kumar’s compositions in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice are as much the subject to be cherished as this article and the pursuant discussion is.

So I would rather continue cherishing these than adding any discordant note…………………….

88 Shalan Lal October 6, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Anu Warrier @ 80 and other readers including AK

Anu Warrier, your strokes have the gentle taps of a goldsmith and the hits of the battering of a ironsmith to flatten the stubborn rawness in the rusted iron and yet the knack of the boundary and sixer making bat of Sachin Tendulkar.

I am very grateful for your apt and pointed contribution.

As for the doubt about the anecdote is why the hell I should go on making up a tale to explain the evergreen wrangling issue in music and poetry that the role of words in the popular songs or classical songs and vice versa?

Mr KSBhatiya seemed to have nobleness and maturity to ignore my mistake and carry on the issue I raised and instead of contributing the issue one would go on scoring small points and try to enjoy the dropped down crumps like a street urchin is beyond my sophistication. What an unbecoming fracas!

The incident is as true as a shining minted coin. To the Tardev Sound Recording Studio I went along with my friend whose brother was playing in the orchestra so I had a legitimate pass to stand in the sound proof booth and Nargis and Sunil Dutt were there as well.

But I omitted their names as not to distract from the original issue and parading my good fortune to be in the company of the legends of the Bollywood for the SoY readers.

It was Nargis who was furious with Sahir that so late of the film in the process he had raised the point of his “words” when the recording was going on and created a costly rumpus.

Nargis wanted Sunil Dutt to be successful in his film-making world for her ego and later on I learned that she shifted a lot of her funds from the holding of her money by her brother and she also persuaded many investors to put monies in this film.

The story of the film was loosely based on the novel of James Hadley Chase story “No Orchids for Miss Blandish” mentioned in my post “Hundreds of Shades of Pyaar”.

It is better readers should concentrate on the issue where singers’ art is better than the skills of the Wordsmiths and vice versa. They will find plenty of materials there.

I am glad that many other are participating in the present issue. But I would like and if readers could find interest to discuss the role of words in filmy songs and the musical notes in the read poetry as many poets sing out their poems and do the music help them to reach the heart, mind and brain of the audience or do the audience find sung notes are hindrance?

I thank all the readers who participated so far and may participate further in the discussion.

I am very much in debt with Anuji for the intellectual support for what my stand is.

Shalan Lal

89 mumbaikar8 October 6, 2017 at 5:15 pm

I rest my defense with the sher made famous by ExPM Manmohan Singh
Hazaron jawabo se achchi hai khamoshi meri, na jaane kitne sawalon ki aabru rakhe

90 R Vasudevan October 7, 2017 at 5:33 pm

On the topic Lata’s best songs composed by Hemanth Kumar quite a no. of comments/views are written about the great poet Sahir Ludhianvi. Of late one is noticing that while making comments or airing views the main topic discussion gets diverted and in the loop line more views/comments are coming in. If such an additional item of discussion is made if something good and laudable is written on the third person or new comer on whom the discussion is taken a new route it is ok and not if unwanted comments are made. This is my view.

Among the all time great lyricist Sahir will always figure in top.
I request the moderator to take note of my submission which can be taken sportingly.

SOY is a great blog where one not only read a lot about the stalwarts associated with Hindi film songs but we hear and saw some very great songs and enjoy the composition of the music which is evergreen. Let us not bring a spot of black mark on this main fabric.

91 AK October 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

Mr Vasudevan,
If I paraphrase you, I guess you are saying that we must be civil to other readers in language. We may disagree strongly with someone’s views, but that is no reason to be sarcastic, mocking or disrespectful. From time to time I repeat these self-evident maxims. The readers are mature enough to self-regulate.

92 ksbhatia October 8, 2017 at 12:52 am

AK ji ;

To keep the topic ticking , here are some hidden gems of Lata ji’s songs beautifully composed by Hemant Da.

Lagaata hai Zamaana boliyan…….Hamara Watan [1956]

Tumahri Yaad mein mere balma…….Bandish[1955]

93 R Vasudevan October 8, 2017 at 9:20 am

Ref. to 91, I would like to add.
I have not cited any particular person’s comment and I told in general and my language was not harsh and it was polite.

I am now bowing out of SOY once for all and will not post any comment.

I end with the great Shair Ludhyanvi song
“chalo ek bar phir se , bhan jaye ajnabi ”

Thank you all Ladies and Gentlemen –

94 AK October 8, 2017 at 9:55 am

Mr Vasudevan,
This time your reaction is misplaced. I was endorsing your views, which I have reiterated from time to time in my role as the blog host whenever the occasion demanded. Therefore, you may reconsider your decision.

95 Shalan Lal October 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

R.Vasudevan @ 93 and previous as well.

It will be sad and our great loss not to see your say. We are in democracy and if you have any say about the post or that stimulate you to make some related comment then you should make it free. To have a rigid frame is not so good for developing freedom.

I support AK @ 94 and say that please do not be hasty in your judgements of the readers or the post writers. Film songs is the subject most people in India and abroad have common point to air their views.

Shalan La

96 R Vasudevan October 9, 2017 at 9:04 am

I have reconsidered my decision and is back. I have set myself a few
conditions and they are:

a) my language will be polite as it has been
b) I will be posting my comments to the main topic airing my views
and will not respond or offer my comments to any comments/views
of others.
c) I will be showering only my accolades on the work/contribution of great artists of Hindi film world.

97 Shalan Lal October 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm

R.Vasudevan @ 96

Very good to see you back.

Your self imposed rules are also very good. But they should not be. If you become angry at some view then express your anger. In democracy it helps people to reconsider their own views not necessarily to change them unless the person got the mistake.

But ignore the follies and foibles of human on the way of maturity.

Life is to live and learn and become a better person.

Shalan Lal

98 ksbhatia October 9, 2017 at 11:41 pm

R Vasudevan ji ;

Welcome back . I fully support your self regulations…….. which most of us are following . But , as Ms Shalan stated ignore the follies and carry on with the criticism as it comes in a mature way . Those who venture into criticism actually perform a remarkable act of friendship. When the criticism is valid ….we learn a lot from it and get benefited . Coming up with reasons is the best course when the criticism is not valid.

When people tell me what I am doing is wrong , it makes me happier and I take it as they care about me. If they don’t they and will let me continue on my wrong path and fail ….they still would want me to succeed .

The love and friendship must go on . Even at this age getting knowledge is a great blessing .

Now a song on Lata, Hemant composition which is of later years of his life and some how matches the current discussions as well. [ song looks like RDB influenced ]

Kahete hain saare hanste nazaare……Bees Saal Pehle [1972]

99 Hans October 10, 2017 at 2:10 am

Hello SOY friends and thanks for remembering me. I was very busy. I would try to be regular.

Chitragupta and Hemant Kumar are two MDs who in my view gave the sweetest songs with Lata. She also made special efforts when singing for them. Now, the first song ‘chhup gaya koi re’ has been a favourite with me from the start and in radio days it made me stand and listen wherever it was being played. In fact most of the songs listed by AK are my favourites too. I have found Lata’s songs mesmerising when she pronounces ‘re’ (anywhere in the song). I talked about her special pronunciation of word ‘ra’ which upset Dinesh and he wanted an example. He thought I was having some negative views. In fact I very much like her pronunciation of ‘ra’. If Dinesh wants an example he can hear the second song ‘pyasi hirni’ again and listen ‘chori chori fanda dale’ carefully. There is a trace of the ‘ra’ pronunciation which I like. This attribute of her was more pronounced in earlier songs when she had a fresher voice.

About the ‘re’ songs I would give some examples. Besides ‘chhup gaya’ consider her ‘aaja re pardesi’ (madhumati). I was stunned by the effect it had when I first heard ‘o baabul pyaare’ (johny mera naam). These are well known songs and there are a lot of other well known songs too. But here I would give a relatively less known song ‘aaja re pyar pukare’ from ‘dil ne phir yaad kiya’, MD Sonik Omi.

Pyasi hirni ban ban dhaye reminded me of two other songs on the same theme. The one from Munimji has already been posted by Mumbaikar8. There the hirni has got the baan already which the hirni in ‘pyasi hirni’ is seeking. The other song is from Chamkee-1952 (MD-Manna Dey) sung by Geeta. Here the hirni prohibits others from doing ‘shikar’. The song lyrics are ‘main to jungle ke chanchal hiraniya koi kariyo na mera shikar’.

About the resemblance of the 3rd song with the song from Shagun, Tyagiji pointed out the fact. I think Tyagiji has a sound knowledge of panjabi folk, which is clear from the fact that he recognised the panjabi folk touch in ‘ye mard bade dilsard’. To give strength to his point I would post here a song from ‘garam coat’ (bibi mendaki ri) which is based on the same folk tune.

All the three songs have the same source, so the question of copying doesnt apply. There was no surprise in Hemant using panjabi folk, because he used it abundantly in his biggest hit Nagin. Nagin’s biggest hit ‘man dole mera tan dole’ came from a dance song tune used in haryana (which was then in Panjab) folk songs. In fact most of the tunes in Nagin are from folk tunes of Panjab, Haryana and Rajasthan region.

More later.

100 mumbaikar8 October 10, 2017 at 6:41 am

Welcome back!
Your observation on Lata’s pronunciation of “re” is interesting, never thought about it, this one has mesmerizing re and ra
main to giri re giri re giri re..Lata

101 AK October 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

Welcome back. Now that you say it, Lata Mangeshkar’s plaintive call ‘रे’ creates the magical effect in छुप गया कोई रे and प्यासी हिरनी. Another very impressive रे is in आजा रे परदेसी. I too count Chitragupta as one who gave the sweetest songs for Lata Mangeshkar.

Hemant Kumar-Punjabi tunes: Would I be right in suggesting that HK added his own sugar syrup to the Punjabi tunes to make it very distinct? For the uninitiated it would be difficult to recognise Punjab. The present day Bollywood has made Punjab universal but the very opposite of HK or anything that is melodious.

102 Giri October 10, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Hans ji,
I have also felt that Lata ji pronounces “R” in a strong way. It is noticeable in the lines starting with “R”- like in the songs ‘Rulake gaya’ or ‘Rangilare’ .I am also fascinated by the way she starts ‘Humne dekhi hai’ in that the “H” sound seems to come straight from the abdomen.
Saint Tyagaraja says in one of his compositions that the ‘swara’ should originate in the abdomen then go to the heart then the throat and finally come out through the tongue/nose! Lata ji seems to follow it while pronouncing “H”

103 ksbhatia October 10, 2017 at 11:12 pm

Hans ji ;

We all were missing you and now we feel the quorum is complete.

Your analysis and observations on use of the word ….Re…is fantastic . I too was bowled by the Lata’s beautiful rendition of the word ….Re….in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai song….Aa ab laut chalen …and in Ganga Jamuna song……O re ho re jhanan ghunghar baaje . In both these songs one can feel the beautiful emotions hidden in the word ….Re .

As far as punjabi / Haryana folk touches in Hemant”s songs are concerned , I think the presence of Ravi in his team of assistants might be one of the factor . Ravi hailed from Delhi and was Punjabi.

104 Shalan Lal October 11, 2017 at 2:19 pm

KSBhatiya @ 98

“When people tell me what I am doing is wrong, it makes me happier and I take it as they care about me.”

What an amazing way and right positive way to look at the other people showing one’s mistakes and taking them in sportingly and improving oneself! I believe it comes from one of the “Shabad Vani” from the Granthasaheb!

Have you ever thought about doing a post on “The Gift of Granthasaheb” to the film music?

Wonderful, I am always delighted to look at your energetic outpouring of the songs in good numbers in the comments columns.

May you do it for the long time and enrich the fabric of the “SoY”.


105 Ashok Kumar Tyagi October 11, 2017 at 10:45 pm

AK ji,
As brought out above, the association of Hemant and Ravi would have been mutually beneficial – one bringing the flavor of Rabindra sangeet/bhatiyali/baul format and the other Punjabi/himachali flavor.
Presence of Rajinder Krishan in the team would also have helped. This brings up another great feature of vintage+golden eras of HFM. The individuals involved were excellent team-men. They were receptive to inputs, suggestions or criticism from colleagues. For example, the great MDs of Calcutta(1934-1950) teamed up very well with Lyricists of Northern India (like Kidar Sharma). The MDs of Golden era had lengthy interactions with their musicians/asstt MDs/Lyricists. C. Ramchandra was able to compose a great ‘heer’ (a traditional Punjabi folk) in the voice of Hemant in film Anarkali.
The acrimony between various persons was normally absent till early 1950s.
By the way, when CR chose Hemant as the play back singer for film Anarkali, he faced opposition on the ground that hemant may fail to pronounce Urdu/Persian words correctly. CR said he will be able to perform perfectly after diligent practice of the songs and was proved right.

106 AK October 11, 2017 at 11:15 pm

This is a nice explanation for Punjab in Hemant Kumar. Such cultural intermingling in the team must have helped cross-fertilisation.

107 N Venkataraman October 12, 2017 at 12:35 am


Thanks for the good post and an excellent tribute to two of the great stalwarts of HFM. Although I did not have the opportunity to go through the comments posted here, the sheer number indicates not only the popularity of these two artists, but also that of SoY. Congratulations.

Speaking of Lata Mangeshkar’s association with Hemant Kumar, She must have rendered a little over 100 solos and roughly 30 duets and other songs in almost 40 Hindi films. Besides Hemant Kumar had used her in 15 Bengali films, where she had around 25-30 solos and 7-8 duets. Besides she had rendered 3 NFS or basic songs under Hemanta Mukherjee’s baton.

Interestingly, out of her solos in Bengali films, at least four songs were in Hindi, 2 for the film Shesh Parichay (1957) and two for the film Aalor Pipasa (1965). And the lyrics for the former film was written by Ravi Shankar Sharma (Ravi), who was his assistant at that time and for the other film the lyrics was penned by Kaifi Azmi.

Chal Aisi Jagah Aye Dil, film Shesh Parichay (1957), lyrics Ravi

Jhum Jhum Kar Gaa le, film Shesh Parichay (1957), lyrics Ravi

As you have said ‘Lata-Hemant-Kaifi Azmi’ combo has given us some excellent songs. Here are two more.

Ghir Aai Badariya, film Aalor Pipasa (1965), lyrics Kaifi Azmi

Na Bajaiho Shyam Bairee Bansuri, film Aalor Pipasa (1965), lyrics Kaifi Azmi
Sorry for making a late entry, to use the football parlance, during the ‘added time’ before the final whistle.
During my quick browse through I noticed our good friend Hansji is back. I am glad.
Also enjoyed your selection of songs.
Thanks Once again.

108 Hans October 12, 2017 at 1:22 am

Nice remembrance of Post Box 999 song. This only shows that perhaps the MDs if the time new about her ‘ra’ magic. If you listen Lata’s early songs you may discover many gems. Lata brought this ‘ra’ magic in the Andaz song ‘da dir dara meri ladli ri bani hai’. I dont know whether it was intentional or coincidence that her pet boys LP gave Suman similar words in the Man Mandir song ‘munna jayega bazaar’. But, Suman who quite ably imitated Lata could not produce the ‘ra’ magic. Incidentally both songs are focussed on a child, only munna replaced ladli.

With CR she gave ‘balma bada nadan re’ very early. I have an inkling that not only MDs but Lata was also aware of her strength in ‘ra’ ‘re’. Hemant is known for haunting songs with Lata, but see Lata sing ‘saathi re tujh bin jiya udaas re’ composed by that magician Salil who had earlier composed another ‘re’ gem ‘aaja re pardesi’ (another haunting song). In ‘saathi re’ Lata takes the ‘re’ to very high pitch a la Rafi or MK. Lata was vary of criticism about her voice turning into a screech when she took it to high pitch and did not try very high pitch often. But, here she not only takes ‘re’ to very high pitch but also holds there and provides the vibration needed to give it the haunting touch. In the radio days when programs based on one subject were broadcast, this song a must when haunting songs were broadcast and I always waited for it. To me in Lata’s haunting songs, this song is best.

109 Hans October 12, 2017 at 2:06 am

I know your liking for Chitragupta and we discussed a number of songs in article on Lata-Chitragupta. I like both of them and also Ravi a lot. All the three were simple souls who did not get due publicity despite success. In 1954 Aar Paar was not the only raging hit. Chitragupta brought out magic with Tulsidas and Hemant with Nagin, but they were still low key. No hulla-balloo. Chitragupta’s only gain was that Lata started singing for him and what a combo they produced. Bhabhi was again a raging hit and it had two ‘re’ songs from Lata ‘ja re jadugar’ and ‘kare kare badra’ besides the ‘re’ from Rafi in ‘chal ud ja re panchhi’ and their combined ‘re’ in ‘chali chali re patang’.

I think Hemant has been very much under-rated as MD. I think Giriji was right in saying what he said, he wanted to highlight his role as MD, but his comment was misunderstood. Regarding his singing abilities, there is no doubt and he could sing with lot of variety. The song ‘ital ke ghal men teetal’ from Bahurani is evidence of his versatility and modulation. A man with such a heavy and deep voice singing for a mentally retarded person, with the right emotions. Problem with him was too much talent. He could not do full justice to singing because of his love for composition and his composition did not get the due because there were a lot of talented composers in the era and he was not the person to beat his own drum.

Regarding his panjabi tunes, your observation is right. Hemant brought a very different amalgamation which was sweet as well as difficult to recognise for everybody. For this reason I commended Tyagiji’s knowledge of panjabi folk when he mentioned ‘ye mard bade dilsard’ which was very hard to recognise and the panjabi touch only comes in the Rafi version.

Nobody can say that he produced gems with only Lata. He produced magic in Sahab Bibi aur Ghulam without her and in 1954 also he produced magical scores with Asha in Jaagriti and the everlasting ‘na ye chand hoga’ with Geeta. Lata also did unexpected things for him. In Sahara she played second fiddle to Aarati Mukherjee in the song ‘chhham-4 chale wo maan’, which she had rarely done after reaching top. She also sang twin songs with Asha first in Samraat and then in Bin Badal Barsaat, despite the fear of comparison. But, once she denied him, when he had composed ‘sara mora kajra’ only for her. Despite dubbing it with Aarti he waited for Lata, but she did not budge. And I wonder how the first three words all with ‘ra’ would have sounded in Lata’s voice.

110 Hans October 12, 2017 at 2:21 am

Thanks for your comments. All great singers have their special way of pronouncing the words which they do differently in different situations. ‘Humne dekhi hai’ is my eternal favourite. Lata was Lata because she could modulate each word with ease. I had talked about ‘ra’ because she treats this word very differently than other female singers. I also talked about ‘re’ because this word is basically in female domain, though a number of great songs have been sung by male singers too.

I dont know much about technicalities of singing referred by Saint Tyagaraja, but I have read a number of stories that so and so singer did not eat before completing the recording of important songs. And I believe it too, because I have practiced it myself on important occasions.

111 Hans October 12, 2017 at 2:30 am

Thanks. I know you all remembered me. And as we have common likings, there is no surprise in your liking Lata’s rendition or ‘re’.

Regarding, Ravi’s influence on panjabi tunes, you know I have always maintained that the song belongs to MD and I dont like to diminish the role of MD, even if the assistant is my favourite Ravi. I believe that it is the MD who decides what shape the tune has to be given. I agree with AK that Hemant gave the panjabi tunes his special touch. This is also strengthened by the fact that the treatment to panjabi tunes given by Ravi where he was the MD is totally different from Hemant.

112 AK October 12, 2017 at 6:16 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. You have made up for your late entry by posting HK-Lata Mangeshkar’s Hindi songs in Bengali films. I especially liked Na bajaiho Shyam bairi bansuri. Bharat Upadhyay of ASAD has been compiling Hindi songs in non-Hindi films. It would be a good addition for him.

Interesting that HK used her for mujra songs. But these do not match up to Saakiya aaj mujhe neend nahi ayegi. With this AB success, it is surprising HK did not consider her.

SoY’s strength is its comments section. I would request you should glance through the comments. Hans makes a very interesting observation about Lata’s ‘Re’. Chitragupta is our special favourite. Just remembered this excellent combination – Sajna sajna haar gayi re pukar ke.

113 Mehfil Mein Meri October 12, 2017 at 9:42 pm

All the contributors in comments section…….

Very informative and thought provoking discussion on SoY
I am proud, to be a part of it as a reader.
Thanks all
I learnt a lot indeed!

114 ksbhatia October 12, 2017 at 11:23 pm

Venkatraman ji @107 ;

Thanks for the addition of beautiful songs . They were new to me and all the four carries the collectors valued songs.

115 Shalan Lal October 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm

AK @ 112
“SoY’s strength is its comments section”. Indeed so! “Hans makes a very interesting observation about Lata’s ‘Re’.

Hans has made exceedingly good remark -a very pointed point and now it needs to take it further. Lata’s “re” now seems to be her unique asset or embellishment an Alankar itself!

And I now appeal to Subodh and SSW to bring in their knowledge and skills to expand this “Re” in two different trends of music Indian and European music that has affected the Indian film music.

European “Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si called solfeggio or solfege”
Is more or less similar to the Indian
“Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Saragam”

About Lata creating her own special “Re” may have the roots in Lata’ listening, in her half awaken half asleep state, her father rehearing at every dawn and at the same time experimenting with the various notes, beats and ragas of the songs he was going to sing in his plays.
But she also must have developed her own way with the “Re” from many skilled directors as well e.g. The song “चंदा रे, जा रे, जा रे” from the film Ziddi 1948 could be taken as guide line for her to experiment with her ”Re” with a good support from Khemachand who did something in his composition for Khurshid in Tansen 1943

चंदा रे जा रे जा रे -२
( चंदा रे जा रे जा रे
पिया से संदेसा मोरा कहियो जा ) -२
मोरा तुम बिन जिया ना लागे रे पिया -२
मोहे इक पल चैन न आये
चंदा रे जा रे जा रे
पिया से संदेसा मोरा कहियो जा
चंदा रे जा रे जा रे

Lata in Ziiddi 1948

बरसो रे, बरसो रे
कारे बादरवा
जिया पे बरसो, बरसो
जैसे मोरी अँखियां बरसाए
बरसो रे, बरसो रे

Khurshid in Tansen 1943

In this wonderful discussion it will be not farfetched if I throw in the most amazing lyric written by Madhok and sung by Saigal and tune composed by Khemchand in the same film Tansen 1943

सप्त सुरन तीन ग्राम गावो सब गुणीजन
इक्कीस मूर्छना तान-बान को मिलावो (२)
औढ़व संकीरण स्वर सम्पूरण राग भेद (२)
अलंकार भूशण बन (२)
राग को सजावो
सप्त सुरन
सा सुर साधो मन, रे अपने रब को चैन (२)
गांधार तजो गुमान (२)
मध्यम मोक्ष पावो
पंचम परमेश्वर, धैवत धरो ध्यान (२)
नी नित दिन प्रभू चरण शीतल आवो
सप्त सुरन तीन ग्रम गावो सब गुणीजन
इक्किस मूर्छना तान-बान को मिलावो सप्त
“सा सुर साधो मन, रे अपने रब को चैन (२)
गांधार तजो गुमान (२)
मध्यम मोक्ष पावो”

Notice the “re” in Saigal.
In short music is divine and takes one to the ultimate freedom “मोक्ष”!

Shalan Lal

116 SSW October 18, 2017 at 5:54 am

Re ,as you probably know , the solfege in western music comes from the first syllables of the first six lines the hymn
Ut queant laxis
resonare fibris
Mira gestorum
famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti
labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes

As years went by “Ut” became “Do” and “Si” the seventh note was added to the scale and then it became “Ti”.
In Indian music Re is Rishabha (in Carnatic we say Ri) the lowing of the bull.
I don’t know much about Lata’s “Re”, my ear cannot make out the nuances others can.

In Salilda’s “Aaja re pardesi ” my favourite part is the way “akhiyaan” is sung. There are five notes in the way that single word is used.

117 Dinesh K Jain October 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

I too feel, with admittedly my little knowledge of the nuances of formal music and no ear for music, that much is being made about Lata’s rendering of ‘Re’. In my view, good music is what you like. You don’t like a piece of music, more often than not, just because of one particular perceived sound or rendering or another. But if you do, that too is good for the listener.

Speaking for myself, I like a song because simply because I like it. It sounds good to my ear, and to my sense of music – or whatever goes in its name. I may like it even more because of one or the other particular way of composition by the MD or rendering by the singer or its exceptional wordings, or even the way it is picturised. For example, I love Lata’s rendering of “Hai re tere chanchal nainwa”, or “naino mein badra chhaye”, or “Bindiya chakegi”, or the numerous melodies, or various lyrics of Sahir, and so on. Not for me any incessant parsing which really adds nothing to or subtracts from the listening pleasure. Simply my own view.

118 ksbhatia October 18, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Like …” re”…there are many melodious songs with …” ja “…. be it sad , romantic or happy . I will go with Dinesh ji exceptional wording and its picturisation makes dramatic effects when you listen to audio or video version .
One of such Lata’s beautiful song composed by Chitragupt Assistant , D.Dholakia from Private Secretary .

My rule…..I go where music takes me .

119 Shalan Lal October 19, 2017 at 4:52 pm

SWW @ 116, Dinesh K Jain @ 117 and ksbhatia @ 118

Thanks for your wonderful comments that view your personal likings of songs.

But beyond them what the Saigal’s “सप्त सुरन तीन ग्राम गावो सब गुणीजन” song says that the notes sung have a special divine meaning. And needs to be examined by experts like SWW and Subodh and Ashvinji to say something about the sung note.

Indians always go about the ” पंचम परमेश्वर” and needed to be explained. In this light ” रे” may have some physically founding value. As Lata’s singing voice is very sweet and when she utters “रे” that becomes doubly sweet. It has real “Ras” of the “Ras” theory and I do not think Lata has leanred “Ras” theory. She does it instinctively.

In case readers have missed there is a “Mira” in the quote of “SWW.

But that Mira is not the Indian devotional Mira. The Latin “Mira” means look, observe etc.

Indian “Mira” has not Indian roots in Sanskrit or Prakrit or Deshi lingos. It is an anomaly. Some try to root it in Arabic word “Meer” but that would be very “Asymetrical” or outlandish for a devout Hindu to be named after.

But the SWW’s Latin quote is something similar to what Indian “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Dha, Ni (and Sa) has been explained by “Bhatkhande in his one of the books on the Indian Music.

But more readers should make their own comments for us the arch curious about the mystic side of the music.


120 AK October 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Shalan, SSW,
When some of us expressed our fascination with Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘रे’, it had nothing to do with the ‘Re’ (Rishabh) of the sargam. In fact, this was almost never the Re of Sa Re Ga Ma.., but some note in the upper octave. It was purely how it appealed to us emotionally. I have to ditto Dinesh. We liked it because we liked it. I had to make this trite observation because the discussion has veered a great deal towards the musical scale.

121 SSW October 19, 2017 at 9:12 pm

I did not equate the discussion of Lata’s “Re” with the “Re” of the sargam either. I was merely responding to Ms.Lal’s enquiry related to the solfege and the sargam which was in my mind a separate topic. I would presume that that was apparent from my reply that I saw nothing special in Lata’s “Re” meaning the word , not the note.

Ms.Lal, I believe, in Sanskrit the word Miir (stressing the ending consonant) means “sea”. I presume Miira would be the feminine, so it is definitely an Indic word.

Lastly while I don’t disagree with Mr. Jain, I simply feel that having some more knowledge about a topic does add to its appreciation. In some music you may not like a particular passage, because it is not meant to be liked. It could be meant to arouse emotion, anger, hatred and by its very nature it is not meant to be pleasant.
Unfortunately a lot of Indian music does not use those dissonances though the Carnatic Melakarta raga structure does have place for them.

But I am getting away from Hemant Kumar and Lata and all the stuff that you folks like to discuss so I’ll shut shop.

122 Shalan Lal October 24, 2017 at 3:36 pm

AK @ 120
I too would like to say in the words of SSW @ 121 ” I did not equate the discussion of Lata’s “Re” with the “Re” of the sargam either.”

AK @ 120
Your comment suddenly stopped the real discussion about Lata’s “Re” and the “Re- Rishabha” in the musical scale as well.

In my earlier comment I mentioned “Rasa” Theory which ancient Indian scholars have narrated in their various treatises about the literature (which includes spoken and visual as well and other forms of arts).

The spoken words have ability to create “Nav Ras”

In music all notes are related to each other and their resonance affect with each other. The “Re” of Rishabha is related to its previous note and also cast a touch on the following note and also have a shadow on the over all scale and singing. Here experts like Subodh could throw more light on the way singing’s practices as have done.

In the western music this relationship is taught in the music-subject and showed on the piano how each note is related to the other.

In many posts of the writers within the posts have departed from their own subjects and let the doors open for all kinds of discussion. So discussions about Lata’s “Re” and Rishabha “Re” are not outlandish.

Whichever you take; Lata’s “Re” was mentioned by Hans so however Lata’s own province as reserved is that, and other cannot enter into it, it is the situation we as the receivers of that “Re” can and should discuss it as our democratic right, even at the end, to let it rest to the “Guhyang” or the golden silence of the monks or masters of the music.

Shalan La

Shalan Lal

123 AK October 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm

My idea was, of course, not to block the discussion, nor to suggest that you or SSW were mistooking it as Sargam, but to make it more focussed. I entirely agree with you that the relevant framework for discussion has to be नवरस, as the charm of Lata’s ‘Re’ was its emotinal impact. From the various songs that have been mentioned, I can relate the following ‘Rasas’: Shringar, Karun, Shaant, Bhakti (say, Ae ri main to prem diwani) etc. The challenge is to find the other Rasas, such as Adbhut, Raudra, Bibhatsa etc.

124 Suparna Chakravarty December 7, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Wanted to know on which raag is this song based, ‘Mushkil hai jeena bedardo ki duniya mein’. It is such haunting melody.
If some of you can please help with some insight. Thanks 🙂

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