Multiple Version Songs (15): In the ‘Realm of Remakes’ – Hindi to Tamil

December 10, 2013

Guest article by N Venkataraman

(In my introduction to Venkataramanji’s last article, I had traced how he had originally planned to write three articles on Tamil-Hindi version songs, which he later decided to expand to five. This is his fourth, which looks at similar songs from Tamil films remade from Hindi films. Its converse, i.e. remakes from Tamil to Hindi, would be his last, but surely not the last of the mega series on Multiple Version Songs. For new visitors to Songs of Yore, this mega project is the brainchild of an SoY regular, Mr Ashok M Vaishnav. Without repeating what I have said earlier, the best way to understand how it came about is to browse through old articles in the series, which are all placed here.  – AK)

Woh Kaun Thi_Yaar NeeWinter has heralded its arrival and I am out of my ‘monsoon hibernation’. Hibernation is only a state of mind and it takes very little time and, of course, effort to wake up. Incessant monsoon rains can make one sleepy and at time depressed. Autumn followed by winter brings in clear sky and hope. With gentle breeze blowing and clear blue sky, it is time to set the sail once again.

After my first two posts, though not originally planned, I decided to anchor and harbour at the haven, the ‘Dancers of Deccan’. After coming out of the slumber now I will try to navigate and helm my way through the ‘Realm of Remakes’.

Since the basic theme was similar in all my posts till date, where one of the versions was in an unfamiliar language, presented under classifications, I suspected it might sound monotonous. Therefore, I took a conscious break which also coincided with some personal matters which needed my greater time commitment. All this while I kept myself connected with the Songs of Yore, which continued its march with some extremely enlightening and popular articles, such as a string of posts on the best songs of 1953 and a series of posts on SD Burman. Also, it was gratifying to find some visitors to my earlier articles posting highly flattering comments. Rejuvenated, I have decided to continue with my original plan stated in my first post. In any case it may serve as a reference for future. Life is sailing. Sailing is life. Without further frills let me enter into my avowed area.

Remake of Tamil films in Hindi started in the forties. The credit for this trend to a great extent can be ascribed to the great visionary S S Vasan. Vasan could visualize a wider and potential market for the South Indian movies. Many more producers started treading his path. Following the success of this trend, we could notice that from early 50s Hindi films too were dubbed and remade in Tamil. But dubbed films did not go well with the Tamil viewers whereas remade films were relatively successful. Deedaar, Nastik, Aasha, Ustaadon ka Ustad, Ali Baba aur Chalis Chor, Woh Kaun Thi, Qaidi 911, Aaradhana, Victoria No.203, Dushman, Yadon Ki Baarat, Apna Desh, Don, Qurbani, Trishool, Golmaal, Deewar, Mard, Khuddar, Laawaris, Arth, Dostana, Disco Dancer, Sanam Teri kasam, Namak halal, Arjun, Damini and Drohkaal are some of the films that, I can recollect, were remade in Tamil. But most of the films mentioned pertain to the period after 1970. I will try to restrict myself to the films that were made before 1970.

It seems that Tamil music directors of the late 40s, 50s and 60s were not only inspired by Hindi melodies, they also had a penchant for twin-version Hindi songs. Earlier we could notice that the twin version song from the film Khidki (1948) was adapted by music director Sudarshanam for the film Vazhkai (1949). The tune of the song Kismat hamare saath sung by Md.Rafi, R Chitalkar and chorus was used for a male solo song and the tune of the female version of the same song sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad Begum and Mohantara Talpade was used for a female solo song, in the film Vazhkai. I have included three such twin version songs from remakes, one each from Deedar (1951), Asha (1959) and Qaidi No. 911 (1959).

Let me start with 1951 film Deedar. The film was directed by Nitin Bose. Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Nimmi were in lead roles. It was a landmark movie for Naushad, who composed a dozen beautiful songs for this film. The film was remade in Tamil as Neengatha Ninaivu (‘Unforgettable Memory’) in 1963. S S Rajendran, Kalyan Kumar and C R Vijayalakshmi were in the lead roles. K V Mahadevan composed the music for this film. K V Mahadevan retained both the twin version songs Bachpan ke din bula na dena in the Tamil film. In the original Hindi version, the male solo was sung by Md.Rafi and the female duet was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum. I do not think K V Mahadevan was under any compulsion to retain the tune. Naushad was very popular among the music directors as well as with the common listeners of the south. M S Vishwanthan, another much respected music director of the South was a great admirer of Naushad. He had adapted the tune of another popular number from this film Huye humm jinke liye barbaad sung by Md.Rafi in one of his movies (not a remake). It seems Jikki had rendered a Tamil song set to a similar tune for the film Puyal in 1952.

Let me start with the female duet from the Tamil remake Neengatha Ninaivu followed by the Hindi original duet from Deedar.

1T. Oh chinnanchiru malarai maranthu vidathe from Neengatha Nenaivu (1963) by L R Eswari and P Susheela, lyrics Kavignar Kannadasan, music K V Mahadevan


1H. Bachpan ke din bula na dena from Deedar (1951) by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad


Remakes can be of two types. It can be a frame by frame copy of the original. In the second category, the original movie might have been used as the source material, but not exactly a frame by frame copy. In the first type, we generally find the original melodies retained in the remade versions. Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum, Yaar Nee etc. were frame by frame remakes of the original Hindi films.

Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum (1956) was a land mark Tamil film. This was the first film in Tamil to be produced in colour (Geva). This was a remake of the 1954 Hindi Film Ali Baba Aur 40 Chor. This was also remade in Telugu as Alibaba 40 Dongalu. The tunes of all the songs from the Hindi version were retained in the Tamil Version. In the Tamil movie S Dakshinamurthy and party were credited with the orchestration. The music score for the Hindi version was by S N Tripathi and Chitragupt. M G Ramachandran and Bhanumati were the lead cast in the Tamil version; in the Hindi version Mahipal and Shakila were in the lead roles. Let us listen to the Tamil version of Dekho ji chand nikla in a slightly faster meter.

2T. Azhagaana ponnu Naan from Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum (1956) by P Bhanumati, lyrics A Maruthakasi, music S Dakshinamurthy


Let us listen to Asha Bhosle rendering this beautiful composition.

2H. Dekho ji chand nikla pichhe khajoor ke from Alibaba Aur 40 Chor (1954) by Asha Bhosle, lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music S N Tripathi and Chitragupt.


Incidentally Waheeda Rehaman made an appearance as a dancer in the Tamil version of this film. But I am not presenting this song here. Let us listen to another song whose tune may sound familiar!

3T. Chinna chiru chitte en cheena karkkande from Alibabvum 40 Thirudargalum (1956) by S C Krishnan and Jikki, lyrics A Maruthkasi, music S Dakshinamurthy


Here is the lilting original number from the Hindi version. How does this compare with O P Nayyar’s number from Phagun (1958)? Certainly this original number is also good.

3H. Chalo chalo hum babul ki tale from Alibaba Aur 40 Chor (1954) by Shamshad Begum and Md Rafi, lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music S N Tripathi and Chitragupt.


Nastik (1955), starring Ajit and Nalini Jaywant, was directed and written by I S Johar, who also wrote its screenplay. He also acted in the film. There were nine songs in the movie composed by C Ramchandra. He was assisted by Dutta Davjekar. The duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar Gagan jhan jhanaa raha and the only male solo song Kitna badal gaya insaan were great hits. Kavi Pradeep who penned the lyrics for the movie also sang this beautiful song, which I will be presenting next. It was picturized on a hassled Ajit travelling with his young sister and kid brother in an overcrowded train. The song starts soon after the display of the titles of the film.

The film was remade in Tamil in 1958 and the music for the Tamil version was also composed by C Ramchandra. Except for an audio version of the song mentioned, no information about this Tamil film or any other song from the Tamil version is available. Ku Ma Balasubramanian had done a tidy job in translating and maintaining the original essence of the Hindi song. The rendition by Thirucchi Loganathan was also equally good. Let us listen to the audio version of the Tamil song first and then the original Hindi version. Please wait patiently for the play button to appear and then click on the play button to listen to the song.

4T. Maanila mel sila manidargal from Nasthikan (1958) by Thirucchi Loganathan, Lyrics Ku Ma Balasubramanian, music C Ramchandra

4H. Dekh tere sansar ki haalat from Nastik (1955) by Kavi Pradeep, lyrics Kavi Pradeep, music C Ramchandra


The song was so popular that even before the film Nastik was remade in Tamil, this tune was used in two other films. It is interesting to note that in 1955, Ku Ma Balasubramanian penned the lyrics for another romantic song based on this tune and G Ramanthan was the first composer to be inspired by this tune! In 1956 R Sudarshanam religiously adapted the tune for a Tamil devotional song for the film Naga Devathai. Here is the audio version of this song. Please click on the play button to listen to the song.

Paaviyin theevinai from Nagadevthai (1956) by P B Srinivas, lyrics (?), music R Sudarshanam

The Hindi film Asha (1957) and its Tamil version Athisaya Penn (1959) were produced and directed by M V Raman. Kishore Kumar and Vyjyanthimala played the leading roles in the Hindi version, whereas A Nageswar Rao and Vyjyanthimala were in the lead roles in the Tamil version. The popular twin version song Eena meena deeka was sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle and the music was composed by C Ramchandra. S M Subbaiah Naidu, who was the music director for the Tamil version, retained the popular tune. Arunkumar Deshmukhji had mentioned this song and posted the female version of the Tamil song in my second article. Ashok Vaishnavji had posted the Hindi version (audio only) of both the versions of this song and the female version of the Tamil song in my first episode. Since the Tamil video version is not available, I am presenting the Tamil audio and Hindi video mix of the male version of the Tamil song sung by T M Sounderarajan.

5T. Eena meena deeka from Atishaya Penn (The Wonder Girl) (1959) by T M Sounderarajan, lyrics V Seetharam, music S M Subbaiah Naidu


Although the lyric for the original song was credited to Rajendra Krishna, there is an interesting story behind the lyrics of this song. Some kids playing outside C Ramchandra’s music room were shouting ‘eena, meena myna, moe’, which inspired Ramchandra and his assistant John Gomes to create the first line of the song Eena meena deeka, de dai damanika. Gomes, who was a Goan added the words ‘Maka naka’ which means ‘I don’t want’ in Konkani. Rajendra Krishna finally joined the fun and completed the amusing song. Let us too join the fun and enjoy the indomitable performance of Kishore Kumar.

5H. Eena meena deeka from Asha (1957) by Kishore Kumar, lyrics Rajinder Krishan, music C Ramchandra


The next song is from the Tamil film Kaithi Kannayiram (1960), which was a remake of the Hindi film Qaidi No. 911 (1959). Here is an interesting link to a very good review of this film and also a detailed build up to the climax of the story involving this twin version song from this movie sung by P Susheela/ Lata Mangeshkar.

Now let us listen to one of the versions of this melodious song, Tamil followed by Hindi.

6T. Konji konji pesi madhimayakkum from Kaithi Kannayiram (1960) by P Susheela , lyrics K Marudhakasi, music K V Mahadevan


6H. Mithi mithi baton se bachna zara from Qaidi No. 911 (1959) by Lata Mangeshkar, lyric Hasrat Jaipuri, music Dattaram Wadkar


I had presented in my first episode, the duet Manam ennum medai mele by P Susheela and T M Sounderarajan from Vallavanukku Vallavan (1965) which was adopted by the music director Veda, from the song Sau saal pehle mujhe tumse pyaar tha, sung by Md.Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar from Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961). The Tamil film Vallavanukku Vallavan (1965) was actually a remake of the Hindi film Ustadon ka Ustad (1963). True to his reputation for drawing immense inspiration from the popular numbers of Hindi films, music director Veda retained the melody of the songs Sau baar janam lenge and Milte hai nazar tum se. Let us listen to the Tamil version of the first song, well rendered by T M Sounderarajan, penned by Kavignar Kannadasan.

7T. Or Ayiram parvayile from Vallavanukku Vallavan (Master of Masters) (1965) by T M Sounderarajan, lyrics Kavignar Kannadasan, music Veda


Here is the original Hindi version.

7H. Sau baar janam lenge from Ustadon ka Ustad (1963) by Md.Rafi, lyrics Asad Bhopali, music Ravi


Qawwali was/is not known to be a genre of songs sung or popular in the south. But music director Veda also used this qawwali tune to a good effect in the same film.

8T. Paaradi kanne from the film Vallavanukku Vallavan (Master of Masters) (1965) by T M Sounderarajan, Seergazhi Govindarajan & P Susheela, lyrics Kavignar Kannadasan, music Veda


Let us listen to this Qawwali number from the Hindi version of the film

8H. Milte hi nazar tum se from Ustadon ka Ustad (1963) by Md.Rafi, Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle, lyrics Asad Bhopali, music Ravi


Woh Kaun Thi was a 1964 Hindi movie starring Sadhana, Manoj Kumar and Prem Chopra. The film became a hit at the box office. The suspense thriller was remade in Tamil as Yaar Nee by Sathyam (1966) with Jayshankar and Jayalalitha in the lead roles. The film was also remade in Telugu as Ame Evaru (1966). Madan Mohan composed some enchanting melodies.

Yaar Nee was also a frame by frame copy of the original Hindi film. Almost all the melodies from Wo kaun Thi were retained by, who else, Veda who scored the music for the Tamil version. Let us listen to this song from the Tamil remake.

9T. Naane varuven ingum angum from Yaar Nee (1966) by P Susheela, lyrics Kavignar Kannadasan, music Veda


Let us listen to the popular Lata Mangeshkar’s solo from this film. This was possibly one of the excellent songs rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. This song is also one of my favourite Lata Mangeshkar solos.  The combination of Madan Mohan’s music, Lata Mangeshkar’s outstanding singing and Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s soulful words, add to the magic of this eternal song.

9H. Naina barse rim jhim from Who Kaun Thi (1964) by Lata Mangeshkar, lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music Madan Mohan


Let us listen to one more song from the Tamil version picturised on Jayalaitha.

10T. Ponmeni Thazhuvamal from Yaar Nee (1966) by P Susheela, lyrics Kavignar Kannadasan, music Veda


Let us listen to the outstanding original melody. It is really difficult to decide which one was superior, Madan Mohan’s brilliant composition or the poignant words penned by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan or the immaculate rendering by Lata Mangeshkar.

10H. Lag ja gale from Who Kaun Thi (1964) by Lata Mangeshkar, lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music Madan Mohan


With the links to the songs getting removed frequently, on the alleged reasons of copyright violation, I am not sure how many links to the songs presented here will be intact. I repeatedly faced this irritating problem in course of writing this post.

Which Hindi film was a remake of the Marathi film Pathlag? Woh Kaun Thi or Mera Saaya?

With this poser I come to the end of this episode.

Vanakkam NamaskarNamaskar

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashok M Vaishnav December 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

The association of Hindi and Tamil film industries has one of the most fruitful one.
Shri N Venkatraman’s poetic narrative deserves kudos for being able to capture the essence of this association so comprehensively within the possible limitation of space that one blogspot would offer.

2 N Venkataraman December 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Ashok Vaishnav ji,
It is a pleasure to receive appreciation from the originator of and prolific contributor to the Mega-series. In that sense, our association too is of the most fruitful nature.
Thank you once again for those encouraging words.

3 Anu Warrier December 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Mr Venkatraman,

Pathlag was the original version of Mera Saaya. :)

What a lovely article. I remember listening to Oh chinnanchirai malare maranthu vidaathe as a child, and excitedly informing my father that it sounded just like Bachpan ke din bhula na dena. I thought I had discovered something he didn’t know about! Was pretty much dampened when he told me he knew that already!

Ponmeni thazhuvamal was new to me. I must confess to liking Lag ja gale better. Perhaps because that is the song I grew up listening.

4 mumbaikar8 December 11, 2013 at 3:52 am

Thanks for the wonderful article.
I cannot tell difference between Telugu and Tamil or in that case any
South Indian language, ( am not proud of it ).
Going through all the songs was very enlightening experience.
I feel Lata is very sweet in meethi meethi baton se bachna zara but P Sushila sounds equally sweet .
Lag ja gale she is not so close.
Tamil qawwali is very interesting.
Your concern was well warranted, Tamil version of eena meena dica is disabled.
Venkataramnaji I have a question for you, are the lyrics of all these songs same word by word?
Thanks once again.

5 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 13, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Venkataraman ji,

Thanks for an excellent and informative post.
I enjoyed all the songs. Being from Hyderabad originally,perhaps, I have a soft corner and liking for all that is southern-its food and music especially. listening to these songs not only gave me a joy of nostalgia,but also hearing the southern singers is what has given me more pleasure. These days,these have become rare for me,so posts like yours are most welcome.
AK ji has continued his tradition of presenting something special on his Blog. Thanks.
Thanks,Venataraman ji,once again.
-Arunkumar Deshmukh

6 N Venkataraman December 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I am Sorry Anuji, Mubaikar8 and Arunjii. I could not respond to your comments earlier due to combination of factors, tour, health problems etc. I am ok now and back today. Will respond soon.

7 n.venkataraman December 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Before the internet days I was under the impression that ‘Who Kaun thi?’ was the remake of the Marathi film Pathlag. You are absolutely right. Mera Saya was the remake of Pathlag. I do not think that Mera Saya was remade in Tamil. Interestingly, Raj Khosla was the director, Madanmohan was the music director, lyric was penned by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, for Who Kaun thi(1964) as well as Mera Saya(1966). Sadhana was the leading actress in both films. Mera saya too had some wonderful songs. I think, Who Kaun thi was adopted from a Hollywood movie of 1940s and a novel written in late 19th century, by the name ‘The Women in White’.
Arunji can throw more light on this.
I am glad that the post revived your childhood memories.
Thank you.

8 n.venkataraman December 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm


I am happy that you liked the post and the songs.
Anuji and Arunji are in some way or the other associated with South Indian languages. In spite of being unfamiliar with the South Indian languages, you took the pain of listening to the Tamil version songs.

The lyrics of the Tamil version songs are not same word by word but it carries the essence of the original version. The situation of the songs in remakes being the same as in the original version, it will not be difficult to understand the context and content of these songs. The same goes for the dubbed versions too. But in the “Inspired and adopted songs’ such difficulty will be pronounced.
Only the “Embedding’ of the Tamil version of the song Eeena meena dika has been disabled, you can still watch and listen to the link by clicking on the line ‘Watch on you tube’.
P Sushila’s rendering of the song, meethi meethi baton se bachna zara was equally good, but, comparison with Lata Mangeshkar will be unfair.
Thank you.

9 n.venkataraman December 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Namaskar. Thank you for your generous appreciation.
I took notice of your liking for anything South Indian, especially food. Next time when I visit Mumbai, I may drop in to enjoy some Andhra delicacies!
When it comes to film music, not only your liking, but your knowledge of South Indian films is very much evident from your post on Kannada version songs and your comments on this subject in other posts. I, for one, try to draw inspiration from you and emulate you. I am glad that listening to the songs gave you pleasure and joy.
As you have rightly pointed out, I should thank AKji for providing this platform and for introducing some wonderful series.

Thank you once again.

10 Kartik December 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Venkat sir I read your this writing and the other writing also. I liked them. But you tell only tamils copying from hindi and not hindi people copying from tamil. Only one side story. This is not fair. I can tell many examples of hindi films and songs copied from tamil. Please tell about them also.

11 Usha December 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

An interesting post. I enjoyed the songs Konji Konji Pesi, Naane Varuven, Ponmeni Thazhuvaamal by P Susheela. En Vethanaiyil is another good song, but this song is missing. Can you give the link to Waheeda Rehman’s song. Kalyanikku Kalyaanam was also made in Hindi. I am sure the songs were retained in the Hindi fuilm also. I don’t remember the name of the Hindi film. Looking forward to your next post.

12 Ramachandran February 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Radhayin Nenjame song in Kanimuthu Papa (1972)is just an imitation of Khilte he gul yahan(1972).

13 N Venkataraman February 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Thanks for visiting SoY. I was away for quite some time and missed out your comment (#11) and few other comments posted here. Both En vethanayil, and its original Jo hum ne daastaan apni sunai, Aap Kyon roye, are indeed good songs. I had mentioned in my write-up that both Yaar nee and Alibabavum 40 thirudargalum are frame by frame remake of the original Hindi versions and all most all the melodies of the original versions were retained in the Tamil version. I had presented two songs each from Yaar nee and Alibabavum 40 thirudargalum. I am not aware of any Hindi version of the Tamil film Kalyanikku Kalyaanam. Here are those two songs mentioned by you.

En vethanayil, Yaar Nee (1966) by P Susheela, lyrics Kavignar Kannadasan, music Veda

Jo hum ne daastaan apni sunai, Who Kaun Thi (1964) by Lata Mangeshkar, lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music Madanmohan

Here is the dance number of Waheeda Rehman and its Hindi version. The Tamil version is different from the Hindi version.

Salaam babu Ali Babavum 40 Thirudargalum(1956) by Jikki, lyrics A Maruthkasi, music S Dakshinamurthy

Zara nazarein mila lo from the film Alibabaaur 40chor (1954) by Shamsad begum, lyrics Raja mehdi ali khan music S N tripathi and chitragupt.

14 N Venkataraman February 19, 2014 at 10:22 pm

There is one more article to come which will be on songs from remakes from Tamil to Hindi. AKji has mentioned this in his introduction. I could not find a single instance of Tamil film song adopted in Hindi films before the 80’s. In the comments section too no songs have been added. In the dubbed version too, besides the two songs that I have posted, no songs from Tamil to Hindi have been added. There is nothing fair or unfair about it. I will be too glad if you can post a few songs, but post them against the relevant article. Thanks for visiting SoY and my posts.

15 N Venkataraman February 19, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Mr. Ramachandran,
Thank you for visiting SoY and my post. Hope you enjoyed the songs and the article. You are right. Radhayin Nenjame is adopted from Khilte hain gul yahan. You will find both the versions in my first post on “Inspired and adopted songs” – comment 81

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