Best songs of the most unloved singer Mahendra Kapoor

January 9, 2016

A tribute on Mahendra Kapoor’s 82nd birth anniversary (9 January 1934 – 27 December 2008)

Mahendra KapoorI have made a number of discoveries during my association with SoY. I mentioned some in my last anniversary post. But the most startling discovery I have not yet mentioned – we are now aware of at least two persons on this planet who are deeply fond of Mahendra Kapoor. So this post is also dedicated to the readers KS Bhatiaji and Arvinder Sharmaji who have declared their great liking for MK, so much so that they would have preferred some well-known songs of Rafi in MK’s voice. Bhatiaji takes the cake for remembering Mahendra Kapoor on the recent birth anniversary of Rafi.  Now we find that Hans, too, has very courageously declared his fondness for him, though he wound not go as far as to put him at par with Rafi.

Before the aforesaid discovery, I believed, along with Subodh and other readers, that it was difficult to find a person who was passionately fond of Mahendra Kapoor. Implied in it was what may be self-evident: that every other singer – whether he sang a few songs or thousands, whether he had a limited range or was very versatile, whether he was perfectly in tune or, occasionally, said to go off-key – had a band of passionate fans. For every Anuradha Warrier, there were a hundred AKs for Mukesh; for every AK, there were a hundred Subodhs and Arvinds for Geeta Dutt, and a hundred Ravindra Kelkars for Asha Bhosle. Mahendra Kapoor had no such luck. He remained in a no-man’s land.

Which is surprising because no one has ever said there was anything lacking in his music. Born in Amritsar on 9 January 1934, he was brought up in Bombay, where his father was a cloth merchant. He studied at St Xaviers College, where he became well known for his love for music. In childhood, he was trained in music by the character-actor BM Vyas and Ustad Meharji. Later, he got training in classical music from Pt Husnlal (the well-known music director of H-B duo), Ustad Niaz Ahmed Khan, Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan and Pt.Tulsi Das Sharma. Rafi was his idol.

He got a break in Madmast (1953) in the duet Kisi ke zulm ki tasweer hai majdoor ki basti; he was also one of the voices in a qawwali Unhe dekh le to in the same film, composed by V Balsara. This was followed by singing assignments in Madhur Milan (1955), Lalkaar and Diwali Ki Raat (1956). These assignments did not bring him any notice. Around this time, he was adjudged the best singer in Metro-Murphy All India Singing Competition, the judges being the topmost music directors: Anil Biswas, Naushad, C Ramchandra, Vasant Desai and Madan Mohan. His career got a boost when Naushad used him in Sohni Mahiwal (Chand chhupa aur taarey doobe raat gazab ki ayi). C Ramchandra used him in a grand manner in Navrang.

It is said that one needs to be a part of a big banner to be successful. With BR Chopra having some issues with Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor became a fixture with his productions. That got him the support of a major composer, Ravi. He became the voice of Bharat when Manoj Kumar emerged as a top name.  His Mere desh ki dharti got standing ovation in the cinema halls and earned him a National Award for the best male playback singer. He moved up to become the voice of Mahabharat (BR Chopra’s TV serial, 1988), when his clarion call brought the country to a halt every Sunday morning for 52 weeks. He won the Filmfare Award thrice and was honoured with Padma Shri by the Government of India, besides some other awards.  He also won the National Award for his song Mere desh ki dharti.

Quite an impressive list of achievements for a singer. Therefore, it is one of the inexplicable ironies if he remained an ‘unloved’ singer. Yet, there are some songs of Mahendra Kapoor of such incredible beauty that he is among the singers who figure in my earliest posts. Chalo ek baar phir se is a song beyond compare, which I have celebrated with an exclusive post on it. I have also done a post on the best of OP Nayyar-Mahendra Kapoor.

It is often said that he was a poor man’s Rafi. I wouldn’t trade his best songs with Rafi or any other singer. I present my tribute to this most ‘unloved’ singer with his best songs on his 82nd birth anniversary (b. 9 January 1934; d. 27 September 2008).

1. Aapke paas jo aayega wo pighal jayega from Kaajal (1965), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi, music Ravi

Arvinder Sharma and KS Bhatia’s discussion on the sidelines mentioned this song, and that it was overshadowed by Rafi’s songs in the film. When I heard this song carefully I was completely floored. I have to admit most of us have been unfair to him. The song starts with a rectial Aap ke bheege huye jism se aanch aati hai, and the ghazal remains in slow tempo. Mahendra Kapoor hits high notes effortlessly. Such songs were Rafi speciality, but MK does a superb job and I can’t think of this song in any other voice. A drenched Padmini, Dharmendra singing in a most sensuous manner, Sahir’s poetry and Ravi’s great music – all combine to make it a masterpiece.

2. Aaj ki raat nahi shikwa shikayat ke liye from Dharmaputra (1961), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi, music N Datta

Following his idol Rafi’s mastery over the slow-tempo ghazals, Mahendra Kapoor gives another superb performance in this romantic song picturised on Rahman and Mala Sinha on the bridal night. The song though reminds you of a Roshan-Rafi song. Shashi Kapoor is somewhat awkward singing to Indrani Mukherjee, but the superb ghazal makes up for any clumsiness on the part of the actors.

3. Bhool sakta hai bhala wo kaun from Dharmaputra

This song from the same film has been my eternal favourite. Another slow tempo ghazal, but now it is entirely Mahendra Kapoor’s, and I don’t think anyone would like to swap him for Rafi.

4. Tum agar saath dene ka wada karo from Hamraaz (1967), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi, music Ravi

All the five songs in the film had Mahendra Kapoor’s voice, and all the songs were superhits. He won his second Filmfare Award for Neele gagan ke taley in this film (the first being for Chalo ek baar phir se, Gumraah; 1963). But my favourite is Tum agar saath dene ka wada karo, which Sunil Dutt is singing to a stone-faced Vimmi who is tormented by her past. The song starts with a beautiful instrumental prelude.

5. Ari O shokh kaliyo muskura dena wo jab aayein from Jab Yaad Kisi Ki Aati Hai (1967), Raja Mehadi Ali Khan, music Madan Mohan

The romantic lover Dharmendra and eye-candy Mala Sinha in beautiful mountains is a perfect setting for a great romantic song. Now we have the combination of Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and Madan Mohan who have given some of the everlasting songs for Lata Mangeshkar. Madan Mohan has given some superb songs for Rafi, too. He gives an equally likeable song for Mahnedra Kapoor, who by no stretch can be called a poor man’s Rafi.

6. Ye hawa ye fizan, hai udaas jaise mera dil, aa bhi ja from Gumrah (1963), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi, music Ravi

Gumrah was an important landmark in Mahendra Kapoor’s career, earning him his first Filmfare Award for Chalo ek baar phir se. That song has an iconic place in Hindi film songs, and is my great favourite. I have written an exclusive post on this song. But there were two more beautiful solos in his voice  – Ye hawa ye fizan and Aap aye to khayaal-e-dil-e-naadan aya – besides an equally outstanding duet with Asha Bhosle, In hawaaon mein in fizaaon mein.  Ye hawa ye fizan is more charming as I find its composition very unconventional.

7. Husn aur ishq ke takraae ki raat ayi hai from Sagaai (1966), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Ravi

Ravi seemed to have specialised in Mahendra Kapoor.  We have often compared SD Burman’s songs for Rafi and Kishore Kumar.  An equally interesting comparison would be Ravi’s songs for Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor.  The songs I have featured here put Mahendra Kapoor shoulder to shoulder with his idol Rafi.  This one is another outstanding offering from the combo.

8. Badal jaye agar mali from Bahaarein Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966), lyrics Kaifi Azmi, music OP Nayyar

Guru Dutt Films’ Bahaarein Phir Bhi Ayengi was completed posthumously. It is difficult to know how he would have visualized it. This film had a typical Rafi solo Aapke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai. Mahendra Kapoor sings the title song in his own distinct style. A nice train song with philosophical undertones, but OPN being OPN if you just listen to the song your first impression would be that it is another ghodagadi song.

9. Duniya bananewale ne jab chaand banaya from Tasveer (1966), lyrics DN Madhok, music C Ramchandra

Mahendra Kpooor had some very famous songs with C Ramchandra.  Navrang (1959) was an important Shantaram film which had his outstanding duet with Asha Bhosle, Adha hai chandrama raat aadhi, and an equally well-known solo, Shyamal shyamal baran.  Zindagi Aur Maut (1965) had an outstanding twin song in his voice as well as that of Asha Bholse, Dil lagakar hum ye samjhe, which has come in for discussion a number of times on SoY. I am choosing a somewhat unknown recital song composed by C Ramchandra. Recital songs are most difficult to sing, with Rafi setting the Gold Standrad in Pyasa (1957). Probably Mahendra Kapoor took it as a challenge, and has sung many such songs, some of which we have already seen are of incredible beauty. Here is another nice song, set as a recital by Sajjan in a party.

10. Beete huye lamhon ki kasak yaad to hogi from Nikaah (1982), lyrics Hasan Kamal, music Ravi

This bold Muslim social, dealing with the troublesome issue of triple talaq, was an out and out Salma Agha film who created a sensation not only with her acting but also her singing with ghazals like Fizan bhi hai jawan jawan and Dil ke armaan aasuon mein bah gaye. Mahendra Kapoor gets a chance to sing another college recital song lip-synched by Raj Babbar, watched by the lovely Salma Agha, who would be trapped in a hapless marriage with Deepak Parashar.

11. Mere desh ki dharti sona ugale from Upkar (1967), lyrics Gulshan Bawra, music Kalyanji-Anandji

No discussion on Mahendra Kapoor can be complete without this cult song, which rightly fetched him the National Award for the best singer. Upkar was made in the backdrop of the 1965 Indo-Pak war, which made the diminutive Lal Bahadur Shastri a national hero, enhanced by his mysterious death at Tashkent where he had gone for a Kosygin-mediated agreement. Manoj Kumar lives the Shastri slogan of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, starting as a kisan in the film, becoming a jawan at the call of the nation, which made him synonymous with Bharat.  The high point of the song is the charming instrumental prelude and Kalyanji-Anandji’s, orchestration capturing the natural sounds of chirping of birds at dawn, bells and whistles in the neck of oxen etc.

Note: This interview in Beete Hue Din contains some interesting information about the Metro-Murphy Competition and Mahendra Kapoor’s career.

{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shekhar January 9, 2016 at 10:14 am

My all-time favourite Mahendra Kapoor solo is “Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se Ajnabi Ban Jaayen Hum Dono” (on YouTube at from Guraah (1963) – perhaps because of Sahir’s soaring lyrics apart from MK’s superb rendition.
From his numerous duets, I would still pick “Aadha Hai Chandrama Raat Aadhi” (on YouTube at from Navrang (1959) where the then-first timer Mahendra matches the great Asha Bhosle note for note.
You have, of course, duly mentioned both these in this post. I am just sharing what I subjectively consider his “best” solo and best duet.
I also feel, as you have said in the introductory part of this post, his having singing style similar to Rafi, the Mount Everest of Bollywood male singing, was surely a big factor that Mahendra Kapoor didn’t get the full accolades that he richly deserved.

2 AK January 9, 2016 at 10:31 am

On the best solo I am more than hundred per cent with you. On his best duet I have another one which is my all-time favourite. I don’t want to disclose it now as I may decide to write on his duets later.

3 Jignesh Kotadia January 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

it’s a great surprise in morning morning Akji. What a welcome change ! Ari o shokh kaliyon is my top favorite among these.
missing my another favts – Tumhara chahnewala khuda ki duniya men and kahan se laayi ho jaaneman.
as you mention he was really unloved despite a melodious soothing and highly trained voice. If OPN believed he had done a mistake using MK’s voice than it’s his belief. I never missed Md. Rafi while listening MK under fact i love OP-MK songs more than MK songs under other MDS.
i can listen umpteen these songs :

Tumhara Chahnewale
O yaaro ki tamanna hai
haath aaya hai jab se tera haath
kahan se laayi ho jaaneman
ye khooshi leke main kya karu
zara dekhiye meri saadgi
mera pyar wo hai ke
jo diya tha tumne ek din

4 Jignesh Kotadia January 9, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Heard first time : aapke paas jo aayega pighal jaayega ! Really enchanting ! Great song Akji

5 Dinesh K Jain January 9, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Another excellent and very interesting write-up, on a somewhat unexpected, but worthy, subject. Thank you, AK.

As I have mentioned before, I never liked or not liked songs by labels but by the tune-up between a number and my own innate aesthetics. If I liked a song I liked it, and there are of course several MK songs among them. No doubt Gumrah and Humraz were the pinnacle of MK, followed by Navrang and Upkar.

I believe that OPN using MK as a substitute was unfortunate for the latter, for the former was by now well on his rapid decline, and MK did not have it in him to elevate his compositions at this stage.

I do recall hearing MK live once at the famous Aligarh’s Numaish circa mid-sixties, and he certainly sounded nowhere as good as in his recorded – well-rehearsed, orchestrated and directed – songs.

6 AK January 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Tumhara chaahnewala is my great favourite too. It has figured in my post on Mahendra Kapoor’s best songs by OP Nayyar, though I had included only two songs in that post, whose link I have given. A post on MK is a surprise?

7 AK January 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I expected it to be a surprise, being on the most ‘unloved’ singer.

8 KB January 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm

OP brought out some really good and breezy fast songs in films such as KISMAT (1968) , KAHIN DIN KAHIN RAAT (1969) ,DIL AUR MOHABBAT (1968) , MOHABBAT ZINDAGI HAI (1967) and of course the title song of BAHAREIN PHIR BHI AAYEGI (1967). However it is surprising to note that once Rafi returned to his fold in early 70s he was almost totally missing in OPs music.But in the case of Ravi and CR this did not happen and they almost continued till the end. However MK was not much used by composers like Madan mohan and Salil C and Chitragupta. A good and very interesting post.

9 ksbhatia January 9, 2016 at 4:58 pm

AK ji ;
I am happy that…. unloved singer……. is getting a passionate hug from you and from all of us for his contribution to the film music . Indeed one has to count the blessings of the god one gets when he gives his very best . Truly MK’s best songs got lost some how and went unnoticed because of superior ‘s singer status and their popular songs at that moment of time . This just happens and only time tells how great was that song at that time and how passionately the singer has sung .
All the songs uploaded are fav. of mine . I know there is no chance or reason to rate them in any order . The song….Aree ow shokh kaliyon….is one of the choicest best of the classic listeners so passionately rendered conveying the right romantic mood . There is a beautiful duet with Lata ji also in the same film….Dhoonde tuj ko nain deewane…..which is another slow rhythm romantic duet song

MK was quite up to the mark in conveying romantic feelings whenever songs commands such situation. One must note that some of MK’s hit songs were picturised in hills and valleys .

Duniya banane wale ne ……is a good recital song . That reminds me of one of the lightest romantic , sort of a recital song , by MK from Kaajal .
……Muddat ki tamannaon ka sila…….
[This song some how got lost to other songs of the same movie .]

Now , such and many other songs , were masterly composed by Ravi . We had some lively discussions in other posts of SoY featuring Sahir, Ravi and MK . Many songs of Rafi sahib came into mind which could easily be swaped with MK as equally able singer . Arvinder Sharma ji, Hans ji , Mumbaikar 8 and others are quite agreeable on these counts .

AK ji , Thanks for the appreciation mentioned in the post . Whatever I have gained in the music field ; I owe it my fellow members of SoY and yourself , whom I always consider as captain of the ship .

10 AK January 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Do you mean that OPN-Rafi had many remarkable songs in the early 70? I thought OPN was generally inconspicuous as 70s began. My impression is that MK was generally ignored by the MDs. Ravi seems to be the only one who gave outstanding songs for him on sustained basis. Their best would compare favourably with the best of Ravi-Rafi songs. OPN used him under compulsion, though he did give some of the best MK songs. CR gave a few gems. In any case he was not a great one for male playback singers.

11 AK January 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Do you mean that OPN-Rafi had many remarkable songs in the early 70? I thought OPN was generally inconspicuous as 70s began. My impression is that MK was generally ignored by the MDs. Ravi seems to be the only one who gave outstanding songs for him on sustained basis, albeit helped by BR factor. Their best would compare favourably with the best of Ravi-Rafi songs. OPN used him under compulsion, though he did give some of the best MK songs. CR gave a few gems. In any case he was not a great one for male playback singers.

12 Ravindra Kelkar January 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm

A very nice post. Agree whole heartedly with your title. He was a very sincere, honest singer & a simple person. I remember meeting him on 16th Jan 1985, in OP’s house (he had come to wish OPNon his birthday, so also many of his diehard fans like me). He was very humble & sat at the feet of OP. After he left, OP remarked that “it is so sad that his voice quality has deteriorated”. I remember the song we played when MK arrived & he was overwhelmed when he heard this song. The song is from Kahi Din Kahi Raat, unfortunately this song is not in the film available of DVD.
However for me, OP missed Rafi in all the songs which went to MK due OP-Rafi disagreement.
It’s remarkable that BR Films shunted out Rafi & Lata & still the films & its music remain polpular.

13 KB January 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm

There was a similar situation in the late fifties and early sixties when SDB had to go without his prime singers Lata and Kishore for whatever reason.
At this stage,he brought out the best from other singers including Asha Bhosle,Mannadey and Rafi. That was the the time when we had lot of Rafi songs on almost all actors including Dev Anand from SDB. So compulsions many times bring the best from other singers and MDs.

14 chitrapatsangeet January 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm

MK is one of the singers who has sung some songs exceptionally well, while ruining some lovely ones.
Well done AK, on selecting “Husn aur Ishq Ki”, thats an absolute favourite.
One of my favourite MK songs is this-

Others are ” Mera Pyar Woh hai ki” from WRPNA, “Aaj ki mulaqat bus itni” in his voice is extremely silky and very much controlled.

One song which he ruined IMO is this, he was a bad choice-

15 chitrapatsangeet January 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm

“Jaan-E-Tamanna ” from CID 909 in rag Kedar is a nice duet as well. CID 909 had such delightful songs!

16 chitrapatsangeet January 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Mahendra Kapoor portrays the pessimistic interjections of Sahir in two songs very well-

And this-

Both songs dont use his voice in the higher octaves and are very nice.

17 mumbaikar8 January 9, 2016 at 8:33 pm

Unloved MK was totally unexpected.
Ari o shokh kaliyon and duniya banana wale is my all time favorite.
While we talk about MK and Rafi as rivals they had unbelievable relation.
If this interview is credible, the song he sang in the competition that gave his career a boost was composed by Rafi.
He has some remarkable songs to his credit, apart from the ones you have mentioned the song Kisi patthar ki murat se from Humraaz and Jab zero diya mere bharat ne from Purab and Pachchhim are outstanding too,
Here are the songs.
The Ghazal he supposedly sang in the competition
Kisi patthar form Humraaz
Jab zero diya mere Bharat ne, he has started it so softly

18 mumbaikar8 January 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm

Ravindra Kelkar @12
Perhaps the Choras had as much confidence in Sahir’s poetry as he himself had.

19 mumbaikar8 January 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

As I said unexpected I meant it was a surprise and and a pleasant one
on his birthday.

20 AK January 9, 2016 at 9:48 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. You have been close to OPN, but don’t you think he should have been more generous about MK? Their two songs Tumhara chaahnewala and Mera pyar wo hai ki are out of this world.

BR-Ravi must have worked extra hard to prove that they could do without Rafi-Lata. Turning compulsion into opportunity as KB says!

21 AK January 9, 2016 at 10:34 pm

KS Bhatiaji,
You are the real MK buff, and this post also owes partly to you. As we see him closely, he was superb in soft, romantic songs. On the other hand he had a special niche at higher notes.

22 AK January 9, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation and the fabulous songs you have added. I didn’t mention any duets in case I decided to write on it later. BR-Sahir-Ravi-MK can be counted among some major partnerships.

23 dustedoff January 9, 2016 at 10:52 pm

I’m not one of the Mahendra Kapoor fans, but I’m not one of the haters either, because there are several songs of his which I do like a lot (and you’ve listed most of them). In particular, I am very fond of Yeh hawa yeh fizaan from Gumraah. Lovely song.

Thanks for this post, AK. Fitting tribute to someone who always seems to get the short end of the stick from music lovers. 😉

24 AK January 9, 2016 at 10:54 pm

I am happy you liked the post. Rafi was his idol and there never was a suggestion that MK could be seen as his rival. Rafi’s only ‘rivalries’ were in his early part of his career when Mukesh and Talat Mahmood were creating more waves, and post-Aaradhana when we had a re-incarnated Kishore Kumar. For the middle part, Rafi was the male voice as was Lata the female voice.

25 Dr. Dhanwantari G Pancholi January 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Thanx for a rare article to put in all the best of MK in one place. Your labour is readers’ pleasure of great music with comfort (accessibility). It is amusing to imagine what fantastic produce would have been if the great maestro like Salil, Chitragupta, MM would have used the unique voice of MK?! Just imagine.

26 Ravindra Kelkar January 10, 2016 at 12:14 am

Actually I feel he should have thought of giving some songs to Talat. I know OP had a very high regard for Talat, my educated guess is that due to commercial dictates (somehow the producers/heroes did not see eye to eye with that) he could not.
Now let us analyse what happened after Rafi-OP made up with each other. This was after Sambandh, in late 1969 or early 1970. OP scored music for 4 films, before the break-up with Asha. They were “Aisa bhi hota hai”, “Taxi Driver”, “Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye” & “Ek Baar Muskura Do”. There was no MK song in these four fillms, Rafi had only 4 songs, KK had 6 songs & Mukesh two songs. After break-up with Asha, till Rafi’s death OP scored music for only 4 films, viz. Heera Moti, Khoon Ka Badala Khoon, Bin Ma Ke Bachche & one unreleased film. Rafi totally had 9 songs. After Rafi’s death OP went back to MK & used him in two films both ureleased, viz. “Muquaddar Ki Baat” & “Jaan-e-Mehboob”, in which MK sang 9 songs. This was the last association between OP & MK. Actually one song in Jaan-e-Mehboob was picturised on Rohan Kapur, son of MK which is sung by MK…a very unique event. Though this film was completed, it was never released. This film had two very beautiful songs sung by Anuradha Paudwal.
I provide here a link to a solo song by MK in the film “Muquaddar Ki Baat” – The lyrics are by Indivar.

27 AK January 10, 2016 at 12:32 am

Dr Pancholi,
Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your appreciation. Yes, had the renowned MDs been more kindly disposed towards him, surely we would have more variety of MK songs.

28 AK January 10, 2016 at 12:44 am

Ravindra Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for the detailed information. OPN did compose some great songs for Talat, including duets. He really shone with Rafi, and then others didn’t matter. I believe his temperamental problems would have been responsible for his spat with Rafi, as it has been with every other person he worked with. I guess in later years he was quite conscious of his personality issues, but he couldn’t help it, and in any case it was too late.

Post-69 songs you have mentioned do not ring a bell. I think my using the term ‘inconspicuous’ gives a fair picture.

29 AK January 10, 2016 at 12:48 am

Thanks for dropping in and for your appreciation. Some exceptions aside, one would rarely come across someone who is a ‘fan’ of Mahendra Kapoor. For an ‘unloved’ singer he has sung some really amazing songs.

30 Anu Warrier January 10, 2016 at 6:29 am

AK, I concur with Madhu. I don’t hate Mahendra Kapoor, even if I’m not one of his fans. In fact, I like some of his songs very, very much. Chalo ik baar phir se being one of them. (Though I have often wish that Rafi had sung that!) I do like the other songs of Gumraah as well – Ye hawa, ye fiza that Madhu mentioned, as well as Aap aaye dil-en-nashaad aaya…)

31 Ravindra Kelkar January 10, 2016 at 10:06 am

Did you listen to the two links I had provided, one song from Kahi Din Kahi Raat & the other one from Muquaddar Ki Baat? How did you find them?

32 AK January 10, 2016 at 10:44 am

I am not his fan either. But please don’t take away Chalo ek baar phir se from him. It is a perfect MK song.

33 KB January 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm

There is one song from the mostly unknown film called Dilli ka dada where MK sang a duet Dhoondte nazar nazar which was one of the most tuneful and melodious song under N Dutta, for whom he sang several good numbers.MK also sang many good songs for KA and even LP occasionally.
For Manoj Kumar he sang as early as Haryali aur Rasta and has often sang for Jeetendra and also for Biswajeet , Sanjeev Kumar and Rajesh Khanna .

34 Ravindra Kelkar January 10, 2016 at 6:24 pm

You are right. The duet you refer to is excellent. However, after reading your earlier comment, wherein you mentioned that CR & Ravi continued to use MK, whereas OP dropped MK once Rafi returned to his fold, I was wondering how many songs MK sang for MD Ravi, in non-BR films. My impression is BR Chopra insisted that MK will sing all male songs & hence Ravi used MK in all BR films, but otherwise I feel he didn’t use MK much in other films. Remember that MK sang in the film Pati Patni Aur Woh also, where the MD was Ravindra Jain & it was a BR production.
I think KSBhatiyaji, will surely have this information on MK songs under Ravi which were not BR films.

35 AK January 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
Heard the two songs carefully. Both for the first time. First-time songs face a higher bar. Of the two, I liked Tumhare ye nakhare from Kabhi din ye raat. After the end of this song, YT came up with Tumhara chaahnewala. That is from another world. This must be Bhimpalasi which I like immensely. Confirmation needed. Mere pyar ka faisla from Muqaddar Ki baat is also good, and can see it would appeal to an MK fan.

36 Shalan Lal January 11, 2016 at 5:03 pm

I like all kinds of voices and sounds.

Mahendra Kapoor came lately in the filmmusic market. But he made his mark.


37 Ravindra Kelkar January 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm

I am happy that you listened to those songs.
About your comment no 28, I was suggesting that OP could have considered going for Talat, when he had a spat with Rafi. You are absolutely right when you say that OP had ears for only Rafi, but when he didn’t have him, he oped for MK, & during that period, perhaps he could have given Talat a second look. Besides, OP had a very high regard for Talat as well as the talent to come up with compositions suited to Talat.

38 Jignesh Kotadia January 11, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Was he “Mahendra”, “Mahinder” or “Mohinder” ?

39 Dinesh K Jain January 11, 2016 at 6:00 pm


It really is rather irrelevant, for as a Punjabi he well have been any of the three, but in HFM, which matters here, he was always only “Mahendra Kapoor”.

40 AK January 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Further to what Dinesh has said. I have never seen Mahendra Kapoor written as Mahinder Kapoor. This is quite different from Rajendra Krishna, who is often written by Rajinder Kishan by many people, but I prefer Rajendra Krishna. Therefore, there is no doubt about Mahendra Kapoor (that is not to say he was not a Punjabi or he may not have used some other spelling in some context).

41 Jignesh Kotadia January 11, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Dineshji and Akji
Thanks for detailed confirmation.

42 KB January 11, 2016 at 7:55 pm

In my view MK when he was introduced by OP as a stopgap arrangement in place of Rafi did extremely well with him in the sixties with almost all his songs with OP being hits at the first instant and remembered even today. There was a program in Radio Ceylon (or Srilanka ) called Jaane Pehchane Geet where we could hear all these and many more such songs.

43 Subodh Agrawal January 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Well, there is nothing much left for me to say. Let me also add my name to the list of those who are not fans of MK but like some of his songs a lot. All my favourites are either in your list, or find mention in the discussion.

I don’t have much knowledge of personalities of the film world and its gossip, but my impression from articles of Madhuri etc. read years back is that MK was – like Rafi and Mukesh – a perfect gentleman. Would like to know some more about MK the person as and when you come back to him.

44 arvindersharma January 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm

AK Ji,
Many thanks for your kind words, and this lovely post on Mahendra Kapoor, who was discussed by Bhatia Ji and other contributors of SoY at length in many posts. All the songs you have given above have been my favorites, and it was a very welcome surprise to see the post.
I’ll admit that for me, the best surprise was to see Aapke pass jo aayega, at the top of your list.
I am an unabashed fan of Mahendra Kapoor, and it doesn’t lessen my fondness for the other great singers of the golden era of Hindi film music, particularly the second best ones like Manna De, Geeta Dutt and Suman Kalyanpur, who dedicatedly gave their best to us listeners. I hope you will take care of Manna De at least in the near future.
Now coming to my favorite arena, some lovely very lesser heard solos of MK.
The first is from Susheela music C Arjun and lyrics by Jaan Nisar Akhtar

Nazarnawaaz nazaron me kho gaya hoon main

Muddat ki tamannaon ka sila, jazbaat ko Ab mil jaane do from Kaajal, music Ravi and lyrics Sahir

Dekha hai jab se aap ka chehra ye chand sa from Husn Ka Ghulam, music Robin Bannerjee, lyrics Anjaan.
Now this one was very recently uploaded by Sudhir Kapur Ji, and I’m completely bowled over by this song.
I’m unable to post the link to second and third song, due to some technical glitches, so I would request you to please take care.
I’ll be posting some other favorites again later.
Thanks and regards.

45 ksbhatia January 12, 2016 at 12:11 am

Arvinder Sharma ji ;
This lovely post on MK have brought on memories of the lively discussion we and all others had over the last year or so . The songs you have mentioned at #44 are again very pleasent to hear . The second song I have posted @9 and I am uploading it again along with the third song .
Muddat ki tammanoan ka sila…….
Dekha hai yeh jab se aapka……
Beside solos M K was at ease in singing duets with many counterparts and seniors as well . Here are three of such songs :
1.Apni zulfoan ko …….MD, Asha…..Teen Sardar……Hansraj Bahl
2. Rangeen fiza hai…..MD, Asha….Bahu Beti……..Ravi
3.Na jaane kya karegi…MD, Lata….Juaari……Kalyanji Anandji

46 AK January 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

Arvinder Sharmaji and KS Bhatiaji,
The whole world loves a lover. I am fascinated by your conversation about Mahendra Kapoor. I listened to all the songs you have mentioned, most for the first time. Apni zulfon ko immediately strikes one that one would like to hear again and again. Thanks a lot for this gem. It would figure in my top duets of MK.

47 Ashok M Vaishnav January 12, 2016 at 10:31 am

The range and tone of the comments herein probably tells the story of Mahendra Kapoor’s journey with HFM- Only two readers have candidly stated that they are no big fans, but still do like his songs. None of his strong votaries have objected to the use of “unloved” in the title. Of course, I would certainly object to the use of term ‘rivalry’ w.r.t. Mohammad Rafi and his contemporary male singers.
I would also not agree that he was a good ‘high octave player’. His most known (and appreciated) songs have been ones which have been in lower octaves. In fact when he was flaunted too much in higher octaves he sounded more’ louder’ – Remember “Gopi” songs of Kalyanaji Anandji, for Dilipkumar – than did Rafi in comparison for SJ-Shammi Kapoor-Rafi songs of later period .
Coming in at a time when Mohammad Rafi was glowing at his best ever, Mahendra Kapoor probably was destined to remain ‘underrated’ and ‘eclipsed’ , as was Suman Kalyanpur in the glory of Lata Mangeshkar. BR And Rajkamal banners provided the much needed big support, but that perhaps was not enough to swing the scales enough in the competitive marketplace.
The subject of Mahendra Kapoor is indeed very interesting. I also did search for some more of his songs. I have landed up on a very interesting case of use of Mahendra Kapoor for playback of Jhonny Walker – Woh Pyaara Pyaara Pyaara Pyaara Chanda – Wahan Ke Log (1967)
It should be a matter of more objective analysis as to why did Lata Mangeshkar – Mohammad Rafi distancing in early 60s did not open up as larger a window for Mahendra Kapoor to be paired against Lata Mangeshkar in the duets as it happened in case of Suman Kalyanpur being easily filling up the vacuum of duets against Mohammad Rafi. One would not find many examples die-hard Lata Mangeshkar camps taking over such route as did Raj Kapoor in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Baheti Hai or Sangam. In any case this is a subject that discussed when we take up Mahendra Kapoor’s duets.

48 raunak January 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Great Post..Most of the songs listed here are superb. I for one ,don’t think MK was particularly an unloved singer. No body with that amount of hits can be unloved, though yes i agree he is rather unloved in our part of blogosphere. But that i guess has to do more with the fact that most in the blogosphere (including myself) are rather analytical and critical, who while liking things which are good and appeal to the heart; would rather mention the absolute best and the unique as their favorites or among the greatest according to them. And therefore a Rajendra Kumar or Manoj Kumar would always be rather unloved in presence of a Dilip Kumar and so will be a Biswajeet or Joy Mukherjee in presence of a Shammi Kapoor. And the same is true for MK too, with the majestic Rafisaab around. 🙂 Of course there will be some exceptions who think otherwise, but that’s a story for another day.

49 AK January 12, 2016 at 2:15 pm

You have made an interesting point in your last para. An obvious answer is that Suman Kalyanpur was less distinct from Lata Mangeshkar than MK from Rafi. In many songs of Suman Kalyanpur she is almost indistinguishable from Lata. In MK’s case it was the other way round – it was difficult to conceal the difference. It would be interesting to make a list of MK songs where he is very close to Rafi, either consciously or unconsciously.

MK did get advantage because of some rifts: OPN with Rafi, BR Films with Rafi etc.

50 AK January 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Thanks a lot for your compliments. My use of the adjective ‘unloved’ has, of course, no objective basis. But I am not sure if I can agree with your counter argument. It is true that from any rational criteria, there is no reason for him to be ‘unloved’ as I also mentioned in my post. I don’t know whether on Blogosphere we are making any conscious judgments as you are describing. I found some truth in what my friend and an SoY regular Subodh observed which I have mentioned in the post.

51 raunak January 12, 2016 at 3:01 pm


Actually, i agree with your usage of Unloved for MK. The thing i was pointing that he is rather unloved not because of any deficiency on his part , but because he was not very distinct from his mentor Rafisaab and had the misfortune of singing in the same era as him unlike say Sonu Nigam.

Secondly, the judgements that we, blogophiles are making is not conscious at all. The thing is that i believe and i maybe be wrong completely, that we,the blogophiles here are the most passionate, in-depth lovers of old music and cinema. And the most passionate and knowledgeable are often more analytical. So somewhere deep within, we all want to or settle for the best, when asked about our absolute favorites. Of course it is this passion, love, interest, knowledge which makes all of us here devote so much of our life and time to these treasures of mankind, at a time, when most people of our country are busy stretching out their arms like srk or singing baby doll.
So If my earlier comment made it seem that the judgement of blogosphere was ‘conscious’ or ‘intentional’, then i heartily apologize for that, for it is not what i intended to say.

52 Ravindra Kelkar January 12, 2016 at 10:24 pm

I agree with most of your observations & you have expressed some very thought provoking comments about MK’s singing career. Since you have posted a song of MK for Johnny Walker, I post here two more songs, both composed by OP where MK sings for JW.
1) Dil Aur Mohabbat –
2) Kahin Din Kahin Raat –

53 mumbaikar8 January 12, 2016 at 11:45 pm

On a second thought, (after reading this statement from Arvinderji “I hope you will take care of Manna De at least in the near future”) you should have reserved this title for Manna Dey he is by far the most unloved singer by fans as well as music directors.
On Soy the declared unloved MK has three articles and Manna Dey just one. Need to say more?

54 arvindersharma January 13, 2016 at 1:09 am

AK ji and all SoY readers,
My heartiest wishes to all on the festival of Lohri, and I present a lovely hilarious duet of Mahendra Kapoor with Asha Bhonsle from Pyar Ka Bandhan, MD Ravi and penned by Sahir.
A befitting song for the occasion

55 AK January 13, 2016 at 9:51 am

I have to confess I have been seriously remiss on Manna Dey, and I have to make conscious efforts to make up for that. However, when I think of him I always recall people who are his passionate fans. I didn’t encounter such passionate fans for Mahendra Kapoor, until I discovered some in the course of SoY. On his greater presence on the blog compared to Manna Dey, it was probably my subconscious effort to compensate for that.

56 AK January 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

Arvinder Sharmaji,
Wishing Happy Lohri to you too. Nice song.

57 ashok kumar tyagi January 13, 2016 at 1:30 pm

AK ji

My good wishes to all on the occasion of Pongal, Lohri and Makar Sankranti. These are the festivals denoting youthfulness and linked to important crops. In January we also do not forget to pay respect to Vivekananda (born on 12th January) and Subhash Bose – the two persons always linked to the young people.
It is presumed that Mahendra Kapoor lived in the shadow of great playback singers. He himself would not have developed any inferiority complex on this point. In any case he was an acknowledged shagird of Mohd Rafi. My reading of the period 1963-69 for male playback singers is as follows:
Taking into account top songs in this period, Rafi is far ahead and Kishore is just breaking in. Of the others, Talat and Hemant got less chance than others. This leaves Mukesh, Manna Dey and MK. Now, in the period 1963-69 Mukesh sang most of his top songs for Shankar-Jaikishan, Kanyanji Anandji and Roshan (Dil hi to hai, Dewar, Anokhi Raat) and was also used a few times by Naushad, LP, Usha Khanna etc. Manna Dey got fewer songs during 1963-69 than he used to get during 1951-1962. Thus we may say that in these seven years MK was standing alongside Mukesh and Manna Dey and was ahead of Talat and Hemant in numerical terms. This is a very big accomplishment.

Reaching high notes in TAAR SAPTAK and then staying there for a few notes is tough for anybody. Everyone cannot be as good as a KL Sehgal or Rafi/Manna Dey. Mahendra Kapoor was a capable singer in TAAR SAPTAK otherwise Naushad would not have given him ‘Chand chhupa aur taare doobe (Sohni Mahiwal)’ and first two words ‘Bhool ja (Saathi) – main song sung by Mukesh’. In the third stanza of the iconic ‘Chalo ik baar’ the starting note ‘ ta-aruf rog ban jaye’ and also the note ‘voh afsana jise’ when repeated are very high notes.

58 AK January 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm

Thanks for your wishes which I heartily reciprocate. About 1963-69 the film world was forgetting Talat. But Hemant Kumar was not about numbers. Whatever he sang was charming. Probably I would not take MK’s name in the same breath. However, he did sing some marvellous songs in this period.

59 KB January 13, 2016 at 7:49 pm

As Mr Tyagi above said Rafi was the monarch in the period from late fifties to 1969 exactly till Kishore took over with every composer urging for him .Having got introduced during late fifities ,MK faced stiff competition.Only a few composers supported him till in the sixties when Ravi,OP,KA and CR gave him good opportunities. But in the late fifties he could get good chances only from the likes of N Dutta and CR. If he has survived during this period it is an achievement when even Hemant and Talat could not sustain.

60 ksbhatia January 14, 2016 at 3:21 pm

AK ji;
MK has to his credit a number of good songs of the movies of the late 50s and early 60s. In fact he was the fav. of lesser known MDs , may be for the economic factors. As such he sang a number of songs for semi historical and mythalogical films of those times . Some of such songs and other good songs I wish to place before the listeners of SoY.
1. Manjhi re himmat na haar…….MK, chorus….Smarat Prithvi raj chauhan….Vasant Desai
2. Maat pita ka naam goonjta……MK, chorus….Shrawan kumar…Shivram
3. Ek purana gaon tha….MK…Poster[84]……MD[?]
4. Dekho kismat se larne insaan chala hai…..MK….Banke lal….Pardesi

The last song is a beauty where one can judge the range of MKs rendering in very low and high notes .

61 ashok kumar tyagi January 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm

KS Bhatia and AKji,

There was a movie titled ‘Kan kan mein bhagwan’ – Bharat Vyas – Pt Shivram. Could you kindly link up its songs rendered by Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor Suman Kalyanpur

62 Hans January 15, 2016 at 12:17 am

Like all other MK fans I would thank you for the marvellous tribute to the singer, while not agreeing that he was unloved. You have not only written a fine article on a singer who is not your hot favourite, but have brought out the versatility of his singing by a judicious mix of songs or various kinds. Since MK had the reputation of singing high pitched songs, the soft songs listed by you have clearly brought out the fact that he had a wide range. Although he was known as a Rafi clone, I have always thought that his voice texture – especially in the soft songs – is like Talat. He could sing any type of song efficiently. You have provided us his fans an opportunity to post his songs of different genres. Some of his comic songs for Johny Walker have been posted. They are great songs though they have not brought out the same feeling. But he has sung quite a few comic songs like ‘sikander ne porus se ki thi ladai (anpadh-62), ‘ek taara bole tun tun (yaadgar – 70), ‘ramchandra kah gaye siya se (gopi – 70). But here I would give a duet of his – though article is on solos – which is funny as well as has him yodeling in the end.’Na manogi fight karenga’ from Lady Robinhood (59) composed by Sardul Kwatra.
Here is another clip picturised for a comic situation but which brings out another facet of his recital prowess. I am sure most would agree that he was no.3 after Rafi and Talat in slow tempo and recital songs.
The song is ‘ek baat suno to jane wafa’ from Ghar Ghar Ki Baat – 59 composed by Kalyanji when Anandji had yet to join him.

Another speciality of his was story telling type songs. ‘Chand chhupa aur taare doobe’ was this kind of song. He sang quite a few songs of this type. One such song which I like very much is ‘sau saal pehle hi baat hai’ from Saraswati Chandra.

63 Hans January 15, 2016 at 11:10 am

Sorry I forgot to add the link for ‘ek baat suno to jane wafa’.

64 AK January 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. He had some equally outstanding duets. Lookoing at his growing number of fans I think I would have to do his duets too.

65 KB January 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Sri AK,
Please go ahead and bring out a list of his duets with all major singers -both male and female.

66 AK January 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Now I have to, but at some later convenient time.

67 Kiran Panchal January 18, 2016 at 1:02 am

The best duet of Mahendar Kapoor & Asha with OP Nayyar film KAHIN DIN KAHIN RAAT was composed with love.

68 Soumya Banerji January 20, 2016 at 7:53 am

A nice round up of MK’s songs, each of them a gem. MK suffered the same fate when compared to Rafi that Suman Kalyanpur did when compared to Lata. They sounded so similar that they suffered by comparison. In fact when I first heard “Aaj Ki Raat” I thought it was by Rafi. I wonder why none of your readers mentioned “Lakhon Hain Yahan Dilwale” or did I miss it?

69 AK January 20, 2016 at 2:41 pm

I am happy you enjoyed the songs. I think Suman Kalyanpur suffered more because her voice was very close to Lata Mangeshkar in most songs. In case of MK on the other hand the similarity with Rafi is in rare cases, one being the one you have cited.

Romancing MK have gone on in parallel on Open House between KS Bhatiaji and Arvinder Sharmaji. I am sure Lakhon hain yahan dilwaale has been mentioned earlier.

70 Kiran Panchal January 21, 2016 at 4:21 am

Another famous romantic duets from Pyar Kiye Jai .. phool banjavaga and other from Geet .. Jiske sapne hum roz …

71 AK January 21, 2016 at 6:12 am

Kiran Panchal,
It is a beautiful song indeed.

72 Hans January 23, 2016 at 12:20 am

It would be great it you write on his duets soon. The positive impact of this post is clear. If he was unloved (if, at all) by SOY readers, that is not so now. Vaishnav ji’s post (#47) is the best of all, which raises a lot of important points. He has rightly objected to the phrase ‘unloved’, because MK was not unloved either by MDs or the public. In fact, he staged the most number of live public programs of all the singers. He was a very simple soul with no ego and genuinely religious and attended a number of private religious programs. In fact, my colleague told a story about his attending a very small religious program organised by father of his class mate. This person who organised this program had a friend who knew MK and was told by him that he could manage to bring MK to his function. On this assurance, that person expanded the program as per his capacity and MK duly obliged and behaved just like common people during the function, mixing up with each and everyone. He was hugely loved by his fans, which are plentiful in number.

Some comparative stats would show that he was very welcome in the film world, despite coming at a difficult time. It is well known that KK came about a decade earlier than MK and he is not thought as unloved. Upto the end of 1970, KK had sung less than 400 songs (about 55% of which are form his films), while MK with a handicap of a decade and about 160 songs, had sung more than 480 songs. MK had surpassed KK in total number of songs by 1967, though KK had the advantage of being a singing star. KK was given just one duet in the films in which he was not acting for 7 years from 1958 to 1964. Talat Mehmood – who is widely respected – sang about 400 songs out of which about 92 per cent were sung in just 12 years from 1949 to 1961. He was given just about 8 per cent of his songs in the remaining 12 years of his career.

There is another myth which has gained ground as solid perception in the minds of music lovers that there was any rift between Rafi and BR Films. This myth has hit MK indirectly, because on this basis it is thought that he got songs in BR Films because of the Rafi rift and not on merit. Rafi continued to sing for BR Films right upto 1980 when he sang the qawwali ‘pal do pal ka sath hamara’. Rafi sang 17 songs for BR Films and each one is an absolute gem. He sang regularly for them till 1960. In 1961 he sang a qawwali and ‘sare jahan se achcha'(with chorus) in Dharamputra. In 1965 he sang ‘waqt se din aur raat’ in Waqt. In 1969 he sang a song ‘bacha le ae maula ae raam’ picturised on Johny Walker in Aadmi aur Insan. In 1972 he sang ‘na tu zameen ke liye’ in Dastaan. Fact is that MK had good relations with BR, so he gave MK the chance and he proved himself. Rafi always supported MK, so he accepted that and continued to sing occasionally for BR Films. It is also not true that BR had any antipathy towards Lata. Initially she also sang for them, but it so happened that BR chose OPN, N Datta and Ravi as MDs in succession till he settled for Ravi. All of them were pro-Asha MDs, so there was no surprise in Asha singing bulk of the songs. Since Lata had fallen into a bad habit of choosing songs for other female singers which was not materialising in BR Films, she on her own accord stopped singing for them.

MK as well as all other male singers have suffered in comparison with Rafi who is incomparble. In my view every singer should be judged on his own merit and on his performance. MK has proved himself and has sung all types of songs.Despite the difficult competition he made a place for himself and sustained it.

Ravindra Kelkar had asked about the number of songs MK sang for Ravi in non-BR films. As per my stats he sang 35 songs for Ravi in other films and about 40 in BR Films. Regarding similarity of voice, I think this question arises only for those who are not regular fans of MK and Rafi. For us, fans of both, they are clearly recognisable. I would here give a song from Johar In Bombay, which is a parody of some famous Rafi songs. The song is ‘meri pyari-2 soorat ko’
Readers can judge for themselves how effective he was in this.

73 AK January 23, 2016 at 6:20 am

No one can win an argument with you. Now I am realising that Mahendra Kapoor had more fan following than I had thought. Yet I have problems on your drawing qualitative judgments on the basis of numbers. The examples are Talat Mahmood, Mukesh and Hemant Kumar who commanded more passionate fan following than some others who sang several times more.

The parody of Teri pyari pyari surat ko was too good. I had an interesting thought which had not occurred to me earlier – don’t you think IS Johar looks like a twin of Mahendra Kapoor?

Now I am obliged to do a post on his fuets; I would be looking for an opprtunity.

74 mumbaikar8 January 23, 2016 at 6:04 pm

As I have said earlier I do not believe anything even if it comes right from the horse’s mouth because I have seen people giving out version of stories that are not true. The person they talk about are either not alive or not powerful enough to oppose them.
Though I would contradict you (and would like to have more evidence) on your statement “There is another myth which has gained ground as solid perception in the minds of music lovers that there was any rift between Rafi and BR Films.” Rafi sang regularly for Chopras till 1960 because the rift happened while recording Dharamputra songs.
Here is in excerpt from” Mohd Rafi Voice of A nation” , Ravi distinctly explains the episode.He was close to both Rafi and MK, I do not see any reason to doubt him.

75 KB January 25, 2016 at 7:25 pm

As per my information ,MK has sung in about 32 films under Ravi with a total of about 75 songs. Among others he sang in large number of movies for KA and in about 12 films a total of 34 songs under OP. However as I understand Kishore has sung more songs for OP than MK which is to be confirmed. He has sung only in 2 films for SD and about 5 movies for RD and Madanmohan.

76 Ravindra Sharma January 31, 2016 at 7:51 pm

How could you have missed “Dil laga ke hum ye samjhe zindagi kya cheez hai, Ishq kahte hain kise aue ashiquee kya cheez hai” from Zindagi Aur Maut (1965), MD C. Ramchandra.

77 AK January 31, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Ravindra Sharma,
One reason I left this song is because it has figured several time on my blog: In Twin songs; in Asha Bhosle test; in Naushad-CR series.

78 Hans February 1, 2016 at 1:09 am

Thanks for the compliments. I have, nowhere, either in this post or in any earlier post supported the case of numbers vis-a-vis quality. I hope you are not serious. If it appears so to you then it is unfortunate. I had given the numbers to show that he was not unloved. In my view, a singer’s test lies in his demand in public or in the eyes of MDs. With over 200 hits it is clear that MK was loved by the public. For MDs I gave numbers. I compared these with KK, to show that he has more songs than KK and KK was not called unloved, so why MK should be called unloved. Talat’s figures I gave to show that such a great singer was ignored by MDs when his utility for them diminished. But, Talat is not called unloved. In fact, Talat is most glaring example of industry neglect, because Mukesh himself did not sing for 6-7 years and Hemant sang less songs because he was busy as MD too.

I dont agree that the three singers named by you command the most passionate following. This may be true – though I am not sure – for SOY but SOY is not the ultimate thing. Go to any website and you will find Rafi and KK fans fighting everywhere passionately and Talat and Mukesh appear only as a side show and Hemant is hardly mentioed. Even on SOY you forcibly closed the Rafi-KK post which was going the same way. I am of the opinion that there are a very small number of overall old music fans who use internet. So internet users should not be considered the ultimate thing.

Regarding Johar and MK, I agree with you they look quite similar. Johar was particularly fond of parody songs. I had earlier posted another parody song on ‘mera joota hai japani’ from film Johar In Kashmir. I give another comedy song (a duet with MK and Manna Dey) from a lesser known film Nasbandi. The song is parody of ‘kya mil gaya bhagwan’.

79 ksbhatia February 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Mahender kapoor perhaps singing for Amitabh Bachchan in one and only one movie Ek Nazar with music by LP .
………..Ae ghame yaar batta……..

80 Hans February 2, 2016 at 12:34 am

Bhatia ji,
This song always reminds me of the Rafi song from Nai Roshni, ‘kis tarah jeete hain’ which is similar in mood.

81 Hans February 2, 2016 at 12:40 am

Your stats are correct. Ravi composed, as per my info, 77 songs out of which 42 were for BR Films. OPN composed 36 songs for MK and 39 for KK, but they were mostly in KK films. OPN used KK in only 2 films in which he was not acting. They were ‘Aisa bhi Hota Hai’ and ‘Ek Baar Muskura Do’. Kalyanji Anandji composed more than 100 songs for MK and were without doubt the most prolific for him. N. Datta also composed 30 plus songs for MK.

82 ksbhatia February 3, 2016 at 12:06 am

Both the songs are second and third derivatives of ….Hum bekhudi mein tum ko pukare chale gaye……the famous immortal song of Rafi sahib from Kala Pani .

83 ksbhatia February 3, 2016 at 11:25 pm

AK , Hans , Arvinder Sharma [ ji’s] ;
As said earlier Mohindra kapoor has sung many beautiful duets with various established singers where he has been quite outstanding . With his richness in voice and controlled modulations his soft renderings have also been very impressive ; such as this duet with Lata ji :
…..Kalpana ke ghan baraste …….Amar jyoti……Vasant Desai….
I will surely rate this duet as one among their best .

84 Hans February 5, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Thanks for the link. I have gone through some pages and found that most of the stories have serious flaws, which I would like not to comment on.

On one hand you say you dont believe it even if it comes from the horse’s mouth and on the other you believe a quote attributed to a third party described by a fourth party (which is also an anecdote loving author). We never heard anything said by either BR Chopra or Rafi. Ravi was not at all concerned with Dharamputra, music for which was composed by N.Datta.

I think in the making of film songs even small musicians gave useful suggestions which were accepted at times. Therefore, the suggestion (if true) by a stalwart like Rafi, cannot be the cause of a difference. In fact, long time back I had read a totally opposite version about this song in a film magazine. The story said the qawwali ‘wo maszid hai’ was to be sung by Rafi and Balbir and was picturised on minor or rather one time appearing characters and MK was singing the songs picturised on the principal characters. Since MK wanted to sing a qawwali he requested Rafi to forward his case, which Rafi duly did and MK got the qawwali. Bhatia ji or Arun ji can confirm, if they came across such story. This is more probable because Balbir was a panjabi talent whom BR supported like MK. They gave him songs regularly.

In the same book Ravi is quoted as saying that he composed Gumrah songs keeping Rafi in mind, but since it was a BR film he was asked to take MK. What kind of quote this is. If it was a BR film then it was given to him by them and it came with the command to take MK, then how he composed the songs for Rafi. In any case he should have known when he was given the first song that it was MK who was singing and should have stopped composing keeping Rafi in mind.

In any case the fact is that MK had already become the voice of the hero in Dhool Ka Phool. He sang three duets for Rajendra Kumar and one for Mohan Choti. Rafi sang one solo for Manmohan Krishan and the other was a BG song in that film. Actually, of the 17 songs Rafi had for BR 10 were solos, but none of them he sang solely for the hero. There was only one song ‘dil leke daga denge’ which was partly shared by Dilip Kumar with Ajit for lip synd. All other solos were either on minor characters or BG songs.

If we look at it from another angle, BR took serious interest in film making till his film Dhund (1973) and from the first BR film Ek Hi Rasta till 1972 Dastaan there were 12 films under his banner. Ek Hi Rasta was composed by Hemant so naturally HK and Lata were the main singers. If we leave that, there were 11 films. Rafi started off with
Naya Daur and was part of the singing crew in each of the films barring Gumrah and Hamraaz, Kanoon and Ittefaq being films with no song. Since MK was singing for the hero since DKP, he was the natural choice for the hero in these two films (Gumrah and Hamraaz) for male part of the songs. In both the films the hero played the singer, so there was no scope for a Rafi song. In these circumstances, we can say that Rafi was used in every BR film till Dastaan.

If there is a story, it should also be corroborated by circumstances. The story that OPN had some ego problem with Sahir was corroborated by the fact that Sahir was never part of any film for which OPN gave music after 1958.

The credibility of the author can be judged from the following quote, which the author attributes to Sanjeev Kohli son of Madan Mohan. I would not comment, because any person with analytical powers can draw his/her conclusions.

…..”‘My father was fastidious about his compositions. He was working on Jahan Ara in 1962-63—the same time when Junglee was being made. He told Rafi Sahab frankly that after singing “Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahein” he would need some time before he could sing a serious classical number. That’s how my father thought of Talat Mehmood for Jahan Ara, even against the wish of producer Om Prakash, as the era belonged to Rafi, who was the first preference for every filmmaker.”……

85 N Venkataraman February 11, 2016 at 11:55 pm

A commendable and well justified tribute to a singer, whose fan following may not be in large number, nonetheless had great fans like Bhatiaji and Arvinderji and Hansji too and in the YT era there may be many more. My hats off to all of you.
Speaking of Mahendra kapoor and Md.Rafi we can draw an analogy from the cricketing field. The careers of E A S Prasanna and S Venkatarghavan; Prasanna was five years senior to Venkat, made his test debut a few years before Venkat and bid adieu to test cricket 5 years before Venkat. Both were off spinners and had 150+ test wickets in their kitty. Different in style, Venkat had his glorious moments especially under Wadekar’s captaincy, but was not anybody’s favourite. But Prasanna along with Bedi and Chandra were the darlings of the masses, the more loved ones. Mahendra Kapoor too did have his glorious moments, true he was not the darling of the masses, but definitely a singer who deserved attention and with his range Mahendra Kapoor drew the attention of many. Generally we speak about his rendition in higher notes. But his voice could touch lower notes too.
An exclusive post on Mahendra Kapoor and the third one in SoY (if I am not mistaken) shows, you too hold him no less esteem. Although I am coming in very late, let me acknowledge you deserve a big kudos and thanks for the lovely post. Loved the songs as much, especially the songs Aapke paas jo aayega wo pighal jayega, Aaj ki raat nahi shikwa shikayat ke liye and Ari O shokh kaliyo muskura dena wo jab aayein.
Besides his songs from Gumrah and Hamraz were my favourites too. His association with Ravi and O P Nayyar has been already discussed by Hans and others in detail. Andhere mein Jo baithe hain from Sambandh and Dekhte Hi Tujhe Mere Dil Ne Kaha from Parivaar were the songs that drew my attention in the seventies. Everybody must be familiar with the first one, but the later was my special choice for obvious reasons, in the seventies.
Film Parivaar (1968), lyrics Gulshan Bawra, music Kalyanji Anandji
Dekhte hi tuhje mere dil ne kaha
Zindagi bhar tujhe dekhta hi rahu
Jane kya bat hai sadgi me teri
Bas najar se tujhe chumta hi rahu
chumta hi rahu

Few more songs of Mahendra Kapoor I would like to post here. Here is one from early days of his career.
Main Gir Chuka Hoon Sambhalo Mujhe, film Maa ka Aasoo (1959), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music, Sardar Malik

Here is a lovely song, where he does not traverse much in the higher notes and shows restrained strength in his rendition. This song could have been posted earlier. I am not sure.
Kaun Ho Tum, Kaun Ho (starts from 3:27), film Stree (1961), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music C Ramchandra

Now he sings for Anil Biswas,
Ho man re mein jag mein aaj paraya, film Sautela Bhai (1962), lyrics Shailendra, music Anil Biswas

and many more …………………..

86 AK February 12, 2016 at 6:43 am

Welcome back. You are making a grand re-entry as expected of you. And thanks a lot for detailed comments and the songs you have added. The songs from Ma Ke Ansoo and Sautela Bhai were new for me.

Dekhate hi tujhe is also my big favourite. I guess ‘for obvious reasons’ has some special significance.

On the ‘unloved’ part, Hans disagrees with me. However, taking an analogy from tennis, Djokovic is the undisputed number 1, but he finds himself unloved everywhere he plays against Federer. Earlier, Ivan Lendl, again a number 1, faced the same disappointment.

87 N Venkataraman February 14, 2016 at 11:04 pm

Nazarnawaz Nazaron Mein Kho Gaya Hoon is a wonderful Mahendra Kapoor song and one of my favourites. . Thanks Arvinderji for posting this song. Here is the other song which you have mentioned #44.

Dekha Hai Jab Se Aapka Chehra Ye Chaand Sa, film Husn Ka Ghulam (1968), lyrics Anjaan, music Robin Banerjee

Another Yaman number,
Tum naacho ras barse, film Sati Naari(1965), lyrics Neeraj, music Shivram Krishna

Gar yeh zameen nahin, film Hamare gam se mat khelo (1967), lyrics Asrar, music Jaidev

88 arvindersharma February 15, 2016 at 12:52 am

Venkataraman Ji,
Many thanks for your appreciation of the song, Nazarnawaaz nazaron me, and also for giving the link of Dekha hai jab se Aapka.
Of the songs that you have posted, my favorite is Tum nacho ras barse. The song has a favorite since childhood, because I had a collection of four LP’s by HMV, Classical Songs From Films, in which the song was in the first LP.
Thanks again Sir for your kind words

89 KB February 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm

MK had 3 songs in Parivar (1967) with one duet each with Asha bhosle and Lata (the famous Humne jo dekhe )and even in films like Priya and Kangan he had melodious solos. Then there was a lovely duet in NIGHT IN LONDON for LP.His duets in Gopi , (Gentleman ),Geet (Jiske roz roz
geet ), Maalik and Bandhan (Jaana hai to jaao) for KA were also evergreen.

90 ksbhatia February 16, 2016 at 12:03 am

AK, Arvinder Sharma [ji’s] ;
Hear MK singing a funny duet song with Geeta Dutt in hinglish mentioning Elvis , Shirle Maclaen and many other hollywood stars .
Rukh pe powder lab pe surkhi……Hum kahan ja rahe haein….Vasant Prakash

91 AK February 16, 2016 at 6:22 am

KS Bhatiji,
This is a wonderful find. Not only it has the names of many Hollywood stars, in the end it also has parody of Abhi na jaao chhodkar and Pyar aankhon se jataya to bura maan gaye. And, the hero imitates both Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand.

92 N Venkataraman February 16, 2016 at 11:51 pm

That was a lovely duet (#90). Never heard it before.

Bhatiaji, Arvinderji
Here are two more pleasant MK solos,

Kaha Nazar Takrayi, film Jadooi Angoothi (1964), lyrics Zafar Rahi, music Suresh Kumar Talwar

Aaj To Mujhse Na Sharmao, film Sati Naari(1965), lyrics Neeraj, music Shivram Krishna

93 ksbhatia February 17, 2016 at 12:21 am

Ak ji;
I was really surprised by this song as well . MK singing like Elvis , Cliff richard and also partly loddlying also. The actor copying the mannerism of Dev and Shammi . The heroine not looking even iota of the likes of Sherlae mclane, Sophia Loren Brig.Bardoot …etc. The song , however , picks the mood of college days of the mid 60s .

A similar song of that period is ….she is very pretty ….. by MK, chorus [Film Priya ]which is based on Beatles song of the mid 60s .

….Pretty pretty priya…….KA
Now whenever I listen to this song my humming tune goes to the famous hollywood song of the 40s….knock on wood….by Dooley Wilson , Casablanca . I think many will agree how close is this song as similar to Priya/ beatles song .

94 ksbhatia February 17, 2016 at 12:32 am

Venkatraman ji;
The song …kahan nazar takrai… one of my fav,song which i have refered to in my earlier comments also . This song has the approval /stamping of Arviner ji as well .
The Sati Nari song is a sweet song by MK . This is one of his varient style of singing .

95 N Venkataraman February 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Here is another song rendered by Mahendra Kapoor, a delightful Ghazal,
Kitab E Ishq Ka Padhna Kabhi Kharab Nahi, film Jaane Mehboob (unreleased), lyrics Jahangir Jalil (?), music O P Nayyar.

96 N Venkataraman February 21, 2016 at 6:28 pm

And a moving Naat

Aye Khuda-E-Paak aye rabul karim, film Tawaif (1985), lyrics Hasan Kamal, music Ravi

97 Ravindra Kelkar February 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm

N Venkatraman-#95,
Thanks for posting this wonderful song. I wasn’t aware that it’s available on Youtube. The lyrics are by Noor Dewasi.

98 N Venkataraman February 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Ravindra Kelkar ji,
Thank you forthe appreciation and providing the name of the lyricist.

99 N Venkataraman February 22, 2016 at 10:38 pm

I hope nobody has posted this patriotic number.
Ansoo nahin bahana tu shaheed ki hai maa, film Road to Sikkim (1969), lyrics Indeevar, music Vijay Singh

100 N Venkataraman March 2, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Here is an interesting clip where Mahendra Kapoor is singing a Ghazal penned by Sahir Ludhyanvi and the conductor is Naushad. Sahir Ludhyanvi and Naushad never worked together. It appears that the song was recorded in a studio, may be at the Doordarshan Studio. Doordarshan introduced colour broadcasting in 1982. Since the clipping is in colour this must have been recorded sometime in 1982 or later, after Sahir Ludhyanvi’s demise. I cannot say with surety that the music for this song was composed by Naushad. This song was originally used in a 1959 Pakistani film Sola Aana. It was not just the mukhda the entire song written by Sahir Ludhyanvi was rendered by Mahendra Kapoor. Moreover only one of the versions is from a film, that too not a Bollywood movie. So on these counts,the song could not be posted either in ‘Songs having versions across different films – similar initial lyrics in mukhada’ nor in the post ‘Multiple Version Songs (2): Both versions by male playback singers’ . Then I decided to post this here.

Whoever composed this version, Mahendra Kapoor rendition in Ahir Bhairav is praiseworthy. Sahir Ludhyanvi gives soul to this melody. 8th March is his 96th Birth anniversary.

Mai’n ne jo geet tere pyar ki Khatir likkhe,
aaj un gito’n ko bazar may le aaya hu’n,

Aaj dukan pe nilam uthega un ka,
tune jin gito’n pe rakkhi thi muhabbat ki asas,
aaj chandi ki tarazu may taulegi har chiz,
mere afkar meri shayari mera ehsas,

Jo teri zaat se munasib the un gito’n ko,
muflisi jins banane pe utar aai hai,
bhook tere rukh e rangin ke fasanon ke iwaz,
chand ashiya e zarurat ki tamannai hai,

Dekh is arsagah e mehanat o sarmaya may,
mere naghmay bhi mere pas nahi rah sakate,
tere jalwe kisi zaradar ki miras sahi,
tere Khake bhi mere pas nahi rah sakate,

Aj un gito’n ko bazar may le aya hu’n,
main ne jo git tere pyar ki Khatir likkhe.

Here is the Pakistani film version
Main ne jo geet tere pyaar ki khaatir likkhe by Inayat Hussain Bhatti, film Sola Aaney (1959),lyrics Sahir Ludhyanvi, music Firoz Nizami

101 AK March 2, 2016 at 10:08 pm

What a discovery! Sahir’s use of बाज़ार reminds of another occasion where he used it in an equally biting manner: औरत ने जनम दिया मर्दों को मर्दों ने उसे बाज़ार दिया. While the libertarian economists swear by the ‘ free market’, the left-leaning would regard market as evil. Sahir’s bazaar is the place where the darker side of the society is displayed.

102 SSW March 2, 2016 at 11:52 pm

I wonder if the Pakistani song from Sola Aaney was the inspiration for Khayyam’s Jaane kya dhoondti rehti hai from Shola aur Shabnam or whether both spring from some common Punjabi sourse.

103 N Venkataraman March 3, 2016 at 12:03 am

I am tempted to enter into a discussion. But it would not be prudent, as you have always said, since this is not the appropriate platform for such (political/ideological) discourses. I will not digress, or should I say transgress. I would only add this much. The ill-treatment his mother received at the hands of his father and his debauched life style etc. left a deep scar on young Sahir’s (Abdul) life. The troubles and trials his mother had to face largely influenced him in movingly expressing the plight of women in society. Let the ideological part remain in hibernation for the time being.

104 AK March 3, 2016 at 9:43 am

I entirely agree with you. My comment was just in passing.

105 N Venkataraman March 3, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Although I cannot answer your question, let me thank you for mentioning this song Jane Kya Dhoondti Rahti. I am listening to this song after a long time. One of the best compositions of Khayyam, beautifully rendered by Md.Rafi and outstanding lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, a la Sahir. The last stanza stands out.

aarazu jurm vafa jurm tamanna hai gunaah
aarazu jurm vafa jurm tamanna hai gunaah
ye vo duniya hai jaha pyaar nahi ho sakta
kaise baazaar ka dastur tumhe samajhaau
bik gaya jo vo kharidaar nahi ho sakta
bik gaya jo vo kharidaar nahi ho sakta

My comment was in the context of my temptation to enter into a discussion. I was restraining myself. I know yours was passing remark.

106 SSW March 3, 2016 at 4:10 pm

And of course that should be “source” instead of “sourse”. Mr.Venkataraman there is a common skein in both songs though the one from Sola Aaney is set to a faster metre. There is one other Hindi melody that the antaras remind me of , I cannot reall which it is though.

107 ksbhatia March 3, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Mr. SSW ; #106 ,
The fast metered last stanza of the song from Sola Aaney reminds me of the last stanza of ….Yeh na thi hamari kismat….from Mirza Ghalib by Suraiya , which also ends with high notes . Perhaps you are looking for this song .

108 ksbhatia March 3, 2016 at 11:30 pm

… continuation…..
….Yeh na thi hamari kismat…..Suraiya…..Mirza Ghalib…..Ghulam Mohd…..
The fast metered stanza appears @ 2.05 on wards .

109 SSW March 4, 2016 at 7:14 pm

No Mr.Bhatia the last stanza does not to me at least bear any similarity. But I had a lot of fun singing “jaane kya dhoondhti” to the metre and tune of “yeh na thi hamari kismat”. Thank you.

I think this tune must be a common folk lay tuned to different metres. I could even sing “main chaand aur sitaaron” in the same metre as the Sola Aaney song.

110 CHELLAMANI RAMAN ATHAZHAWALLUR April 14, 2017 at 11:33 am

I think MK was good and just good within a range. He jarred when he reached highest octaves and his high pitch somehow does not touch the chord or move the heart the way Rafi’s renditions at highest octaves do. Moreover, he did not have the variety that Rafi had. I think any comparison with Rafi is simply out of the window and is futile. Even OPN who fell out wiht Rafi for sometime and used MK openly said that he was not very happy with MK. Moreover, the Big 3 or Trimurthy MDs of HFM, Naushad, SJ and SDB, hardly used MK. Same goes for high quality MDs like MM and Roshan.

So MK was OK and just OK. I myself admire very select few excellent songs of MK. That’s it !!!

111 shilpa September 28, 2017 at 11:44 am

my favorite of mahendra kapoor is raaj gazab ki aayi …

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