(function() { var c = -->

02 September 2011

My Favourites: Songs Of Waiting

I am sitting here waiting for a family friend to show up. His flight landed at a quarter to eight and here we are at a quarter to 11 and he has still not exited. Of course, I am at home, while my husband is waiting at the airport but I have finished feeding my son, and clearing up and have done a whole bunch of chores (I went looking for them) because I always am restless when I am waiting for someone, and I have still not got a call saying they are on their way.  I wasn't intending to write this post today, but what better post can there be than my favourite intezaar songs while I am waiting?

And Hindi films were replete with them - when one is in love, yearning, heartbreak, separation, and waiting go hand in hand with the joy of meeting and glancing deep into each other's eyes.

These are my favourite intezaar songs from old Hindi films, coloured as they are with all the different shades of waiting...

10. Yearning: Aaja re pardesi (Vyjayanthimala / Madhumati / 1958)
She is a maiden on the cusp of womanhood. Seen through the mountain mists, she is a will-o'-the-wisp, a woodland sprite, now there, now invisible. Even she does not know who (or what) it is she is waiting for. But she is waiting - for her lover, someone she knows over many lifetimes, even if he hasn't appeared so far. He will surely come - her voice is haunting enough.

Tum sang janam janam ke phere
Bhool gaye kyon saajan mere
Tadpat hoon main saanjh savere
Aaja re pardesi, main to kab se khadi is paar
Ye akhiyaan thak gayi panth nihaar 

9. Restlessness: Sakhi re mera (Meena Kumari / Chitralekha / 1964)
There is so much pleasure in getting dressed for your beloved. In Kidar Sharma's film, Meena Kumari plays the eponymous heroine. She is the court dancer of Samrat Chandragupt and loves (and is loved by) the commander-in-chief (Samant Bijgupt / Pradeep Kumar) of the mighty Maurya empire. Bijgupt is back from yet another campaign on behalf of his emperor; he will surely come visit?

Sakhi re mera, man uljhe, tan dole
Ab chain pade, jab unse milan ho le

8. Hope: Jiya beqaraar hai (Nimmi / Barsaat / 1949) 
It's a long-distance love affair between Neela (Nimmi) and Gopal (Premnath); only, she does not know Gopal is too busy playing the field. And so she waits, this naive hill maiden, for the monsoons to arrive, for then, so will her love. There is eagerness, there is yearning, there is shyness. After all, he is on his way...

Tujhko nazre doondh rahi hai, mukhda to dikhlaaja ho
Raste par hoon aas lagaaye, aane wale aaja

7. Anticipation: Kahin ye woh to nahin (Priya Rajvansh / Haqeeqat / 1964)
A young Ladakhi maiden, Almo (Priya Rajvansh), falls in love with a dashing young Indian soldier, Captain Bahadur Singh (Dharmendra) during the Sino-Indian war of 1962. The waiting is even more worrisome since the platoon is outnumbered by the Chinese. Every rustle makes Almo's heart skip a beat - is it him? Is it really him? When will this waiting end?

Shakl phirti hai nigaahon mein vohi pyaari si
Meri nas-nas mein machalne lagi chingari si
Chhuu gai jism mera kisake daaman ki hawa
Kahin ye voh to nahin

6. Anxiety: Suhani raat dhal chuki (Suresh / Dulari / 1949)
Prem Shankar (Suresh) is the much-loved scion of a wealthy businessman. His father has great plans for his future, but Prem wants to marry for love. Much to his father's chagrin, he falls in love with a gypsy lass, Dulari (Madhubala). Not that her tribe are very happy about the relationship either. However, the two lovers do not let that sway them; they pledge to meet, and Prem is at the meeting place at the appointed time. The night is nearly over; the stars are bidding goodbye, and there is no sign of her yet... 

Nazaare apni mastiyaan dikha dikhaake so gaye
Sitaare apni roshni luta lutaake so gaye 

5. Persistence: Yeh mera deewanapan hai (Dilip Kumar / Yahudi / 1958)
I was half-tempted to write 'Self-righteousness'. Well, I know he is waiting and all, and hoping she will come but she may not, but there is a strong vein of 'See how mad I am for you; if you don't love me, it is all your fault' about the lyrics. Also, more than a hint of 'Serves you right if I die!'

Prince Marcus (Dilip Kumar) is a Roman prince, who, on one of his campaigns meets and falls in love with Hannah, a Jewish maiden. In order to placate her father, who has an implacable hatred toward the Romans, he pretends to be Jewish too. Only, the pretence does not last; and while the daughter's heart is tender, her father is cast from a different mould; and Hannah is not allowed to go meet her lover. Therefore, the waiting... will she, won't she, will she, won't she, will she come to meet Marcus?

Dil ko hai teri tamanna, dil ko hai tujhse hi pyaar
Chahe tu aaye na aaye, hum karenge intezaar 

4. Regret: Aa aa bhi jaa (Waheeda Rehman / Teesri Kasam / 1966)
Waheeda is Heerabai, a nautanki dancer. Raj Kapoor is Heeraman, a cart driver. For too brief a time, their paths intersect; there is affection, there is friendship, there is love - of sorts. She calls him 'Meeta'; he calls her Heera'devi'. Only, she is not really a devi; she is a woman, who is making the best deal out of the cards that life has dealt her. And she is unapologetic about it. Her only regret is that she cannot be what he has imagined her to be. And when she tells him the reality of her life, he stops coming to the nautanki because he cannot bear the catcalls and the comments from the audience. But it seems he will never be free of the sight of her dancing on stage, even if it is his fevered imagination. She hopes he will come, though she knows that the end is always 'goodbye'.

Sitaaron ne munh pherkar kaha alvidaa hamasafar
Chala kaarvaan ab chalaa, aa, aa bhi jaa 

3. Anguish: Yeh sham ki tanhaiyan (Nargis / Aah / 1953)
Neelu (Nargis) has been writing to Raj (Raj Kapoor) in her sister Chandra's (Vijayalaxmi) name. As the correspondence deepens, they fall in love. They even meet. The charade continues until Raj's father sends a proposal of marriage for Chandra, and the latter rejects him. When Raj realises that it was Neelu to whom he had been writing all along, he agrees to meeting her parents for a formal proposal. And Neelu is waiting... only, Raj doesn't show up. And there is no further news from him. What is a girl to do?

Jis raah se tum aane ko the
Uske nishaan bhi mitne lage
Aaye na tum, sau sau 
dafaa aaye gaye mausam 

2. Despair: Mera dil ye pukare aaja (Vyjayanthimala / Nagin / 1954) 
Mala (Vyjayanthimala) vows to kill Sanatan (Pradeep Kumar), the son of a rival chieftain; the motive is revenge, the background is the inter-tribal warfare between the two snake-worshipping clans. Only, she falls in love with him (actually, his been-playing) instead. Her father cannot brook what he sees as treachery, and imprisons her to stop her from meeting the enemy. There is also Prabir (Jeevan), who wants to marry her, to make things interesting. Mala is heartbroken; will her lover heed the call of her heart?

Munh chhupa ke meri zindagi ro rahi, ro rahi
Din dhala bhi nahin, shaam kyon ho rahi, ho rahi
Teri duniya se ham, le ke chale tera gham
Dam bhar ke liye to aa ja
Bhiga-bhiga hai sama aise main hoon tu kahaan
Mera dil ye pukaare aajaa...

1. Heartbreak: Chand phir nikla (Nutan / Paying Guest / 1957)
Ramesh (Dev Anand and Shanti (Nutan) meet as paying guest and landlord's daughter. Soon enough, they are in love. Only, Shanti's friend and neighbour, Chanchal, who married an old man for his money, soon starts casting eyes on Ramesh. She believes that money can buy anything, while Shanti is confident that love will overcome any difficulty. Chanchal is openly flirting with Ramesh, and it seems like Ramesh has no objections. And finally one day, he is too busy with Chanchal to come visit Shanti like he used to - is this the beginning of the end?

My favourite of the intezaar songs; also a perennial favourite for the lyrics, the music, the picturisation, and above all, for Nutan.

Yeh raat kehti hai ke woh din gaye tere
Yeh jaanta hai dil ke tum nahin mere
Khadi hoon main phir bhi nigaahein bichhaaye 
Main kya karoon haaye ke tum yaad aaye

I feel terrible that I couldn't find an intezaar song picturised on Madhubala - Aayega aayega aane waala  does not ever play as a full song in the movie. There was no sense in adding it to 'My Favourites'.  And so I make do with two Vyjayanthi numbers, sung by Lata Mangeshkar; but they are both beautiful melodies, and so there are little regrets, if any.


  1. Wow! What a wonderful list of songs, Anuradha. I had come back to check out the Mohammed Rafi post. I love the way you started the post at yearning and ended at heartbreak. Was the order of songs deliberate? ;)

  2. Hi Anu, what a wonderful list and a great idea to link the songs the way you did. But it ended in heartbreak :( Couldn't you have found some hope to make me feel good? Chand phir nikla is one of my favourite songs but it always makes me feel so sad.

  3. I just saw Aah, so obviously, am fresh out of hearing 'Yeh shaam ki tanhaiyan' - I didn't like the film much (I don't like too much self-sacrifice), but the songs were so good.

    Thanks for the list, Anu, I was listening to each of them - haven't heard some of them, but have put the films on my to-watch list. Are there any I should avoid? You know, the ones which sometimes have great songs, but are awful films?

  4. Thanks, Sridhar. You noticed the way the emotions progressed? No, the list didn't start out that way; only, as I was writing the descriptions down, it dawned on me that there could be a progression, and that is how the final order came about. :)

  5. I know *just* what you mean Ruhi; Chand phir nikla makes me sad too, but it's a song I go to when I am already feeling sad, if that makes any sense. Probably not. :)

    Just for you - what about Aayega aanewala from Mahal? There is an inherent promise there, a faith that the lover will come -Tadpega koi kab tak be-aas be-sahaare, lekin yeh keh rahe hai dil ke mere ishaare -aayega, aayega aanewala

    Despite everything, she still believes in him. That's a good thing, no, in relationships?

  6. You do not have to avoid any of the films listed above, Tina; I'm not saying you will like all of them. You may or may not, but none of them are so goddawful that I would warn you off them. I mean, Nagin is not exactly a great story, and Pradeep Kumar is not one of my favourite actors, but it is watchable - IF you like that sort of film. My tolerance is pretty high :)

  7. Wonderful theme for a list, Anu - and what a list! I really liked it a lot (except that I tend to disagree about Chaand phir niklaa - I always think of it not just as a song of heartbreak, but a song of heartbreak that ends with that heart being healed again - because just as she closes her eyes at the end of the song, he arrives and touches her face... so lovely. :-)

    Two more intezaar songs that I especially like: Shaam-e-gham ki kasam aaj ghamgeen hain hum from Footpath:


    (I love the music, Talat's singing, and the lyrics - so full of the need of the beloved's company).

    And this one: Intezaar aur abhi from Chaar dil chaar raahein. Interestingly, a song of waiting for the long night to pass and the dawn to come:


  8. Anu, did you know that 'Chand madham hai' song from Railway Platform was actually a poem of Sahir's that he used?

  9. Yes, Chaar Dil Chaar Raahein was a very unusual film - though I must admit being more concerned about the love stories of the Kumkum-Shammi Kapoor pair and the Ajit-Nimmi pair than the Raj Kapoor-Meena Kumari one.

  10. My problem with the film was that it petered out after a very good start. I remember sitting there and thinking, "That's it?" The end seemed too abrupt. But I liked the RK-MK track too and I wished Shammi had had a better heroine - but then, that is because Kumkum never seemed like 'heroine material' to me. :)

  11. I did, Sridhar. And it is a beautiful poem at that - called 'Intezaar'. :) So I should have liked it, no? Somehow, I didn't like the way the composition flowed. *shrug* Nothing to do with the melody, just not in my taste.

  12. I love these waiting songs!
    Inf act I was toying with the idea as well. Good that you did the post. Knowing my working pace, i would never have finished the list!
    Love each and every song in this list, except for the one from dulari.

    One of my favourites is
    Sajanwa bairii ho gaye hamar from Teesri Kasam. It is I think, even past waiting in fact

  13. But you must post your own list of waiting songs, Harvey! I would be very interested to see what you would choose. But why do you not like Suhani raat dhal chuki? Apart from having to watch Suresh indifferently strum a banjo like he is so bored, that is?

    I love the Teesri Kasam song - I just used it for my Raj Kapoor post. Take a look. :)

  14. "I just used it for my Raj Kapoor post."
    Great minds think alike, what? ;-)

    The reason for not liking 'Suhani raat dhal chuki':
    After Rafi's death in 1980 (?) it was played to death on radio and TV and everywhere else.
    And I was wondering all the time what is baugi?
    I thought the song is
    Suhani raat dhal chuki, na jaane tumko baugi?

  15. And fools seldom differ. :)

    I thought the song is
    Suhani raat dhal chuki, na jaane tumko baugi?

    Harvey, you are a hoot! LOL

  16. Aah, these were definitely worth waiting for, Anu. (Pun unintended.) I have only visited your blog off and on when Tina would tell me about some particular post that she really liked, or wanted me to read, but ever since Dev Anand died, I've been a regular reader. Now there are so many posts that I know I would like to go through at leisure. I don't want to rush through the beautiful songs you post.

    You definitely have a gift for writing. Thank you so much for blogging about old songs and classic films.

  17. Thank you for the compliments, for continuing to visit, and for leaving a comment, Rishi. Please take your time dipping into the blog. The posts are all indexed, so you can navigate easily. :)


Back to TOP