(function() { var c = -->

20 September 2014

My Favourites: Songs of Yearning

Somewhere, some time, as we grow up, we become aware of the possibilities of love. Not just the love we share with our parents and siblings, or even friends, but the very real possibility that out there in the world, someone exists just for us - to love, and be loved. Someone whose very existence makes us thankful to be alive; someone whose presence in our life makes it much more vibrant; someone to laugh with, to cry with, to share in life's vicissitudes, its joys, its sorrows, its worries. 

This 'someone' is a very hazy concept. We don't usually know who, or how or when or where we will meet this particular person; we don't even know that we will meet that special someone. And we do, perhaps - through choice, through circumstance, through fate. Or the someone we find becomes special. But in the meanwhile, we have our own hopes, dreams and expectations of finding that glorious love.

Hindi films have songs for any and every situation; and this one, this waiting for romance, for a beloved, for that someone special, is no different. All that remained was to corral the songs that fit this situation, and I came across many that describe the yearning that they will find that special someone, and their expectations about how that person will be. Here are some of my favourites.

1. Jawaniyaan ye mast mast bin piye
Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957)
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music: OP Nayyar
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
It is when you see someone who looks like this and realise that he too has the same hopes and dreams that you do (well, at least his character does) that you understand there is hope for you yet. But he is also self-aware - it is not just who his beloved is going to be; he also wonders who will see him as that special person worthy of being loved. 

Na jaane inme kiske vaaste hoon main, na jaane inme kaun hai mere liye... He finds youth intoxicating, even without having imbibed. Mohammed Rafi's voice melds that joy, that feeling of being intoxicated with Shammi's onscreen persona.  This was Shammi Kapoor's breakthrough movie, the one that would see him blaze the screen as the rebel lover.  

2. Hai apna dil toh awara
Solva Saal (1958)
Singer: Hemant Kumar
Music: SD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
In contrast, you have Dev Anand telling you that his heart is a vagabond; it has never found a place to dwell. It has been fawned upon by beautiful women, it has been willingly embraced, but his heart is a nomad and has never resided anywhere of its own volition. (So true of the man in real life as well.) What is more, when it has been willing, they never did find a priest to make a valid contract: Hua jo kabhi razee, toh mila nahin kazee, jahan pe lagi baazi, wahin pe haara... and he lost just when he had gambled it. And no, he isn't really planning to change the situation either; all he is looking for, is a story. (He does know what he does not want.) Which is good, because the person he is singing to, the heroine, is not very interested in him either, and in fact, has a boyfriend of her own. This was Dev Anand at his mischievous best, charming and debonair, with his endearing gap-toothed grin. 

3. Ban ke panchchi gaaye pyar ka tarana
Anari (1959)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar, chorus
Music: Shankar-Jaikishen
Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
And if you thought it was only men who dreamed of love and that special someone, here is a heroine out with her friends, who wishes she would find someone to love, but her supposed lover is, so far, only so much speculation. 'Someone' who will fill her heart with love; she has no clue who he is, or will be. Manzil pe aaye koi naina milaaye koyi 
Bhar de ye ulfat ke jholiyaan... the youthful cheer and zest for life pervade both Lata Mangeshkar's voice and Nutan's enactment. Of course, gaining that love will result in jhoome ye dharti, aur jhoome aasman... Lovely! For the longest of time, I thought of the lyrics as Banke panchi gaaye pyar ka tarana (Let's sing the melody of love as birds do) rather than Ban ke panchi gaaye pyar ka tarana (The birds of the forest sing the melody of love). 

4. Laakhon hai nigaah mein
Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon (1963)
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music: OP Nayyar
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

This time, it is Joy Mukherjee searching for that one special woman amongst hundreds of them. He is hard put to choose, because these woman are young and beautiful, but how does he know who will eventually charm his heart? It is difficult because Tauba ye nigaahein, rokti hai raahein, le leke teer kamaan... (Seems to me that he is a little too sure of himself!) Sometimes he does feel a pang, he confesses, but is she really the one? He isn't sure, but Hai jo yahi baatein, toh hongi mulaakatein, Kabhi yahaan nahin toh wahaan... somewhere, sometime, if not here, then perhaps elsewhere... At the end of the song, he is still searching for that elusive person. As someone who followed in Shammi Kapoor's footsteps, Joy Mukherjee was the one who came closest to Shammi's boyish charm. 

5. Aaja re pardesi
Madhumati (1958)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Salil Choudhary
Lyrics: Shailendra
Like Wordsworth's Solitary Reaper, here is a maiden on the cusp of womanhood, singing as she waltzes through hill and dale. And like that woman who Wordsworth watches from afar, here too, a man, a stranger to these parts, glimpses this girl through the mountain mists, a will-o'-the-wisp, a woodland sprite, now there, now invisible, only her voice leading him on and on. Like the others on this list, even she does not know who (or what) she is waiting for. But she is waiting - for her lover, someone who she has known over many different lifetimes, even if he doesn't remember. Like a lamp that can neither be doused nor stay alight, she waits for him on the other side of the mountain even though her eyes are tiring from gazing upon the path through which he will appear - one day. He will surely come - her voice is haunting enough.
Main nadiya phir bhi main pyaasi, Bhed ye gehra baat zara si, Bin tere har raat udaasi, o
Aaja re, main toh kab se khadi is paar ye akhiyaan, thak gayi panth nihaar 
6. Kahin karti hogi woh intezaar
Phir Kab Milogi (1974)
Singer: Mukesh
Music: RD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Hindi films of that era, it seems, had the usual suspects who rued the lack of love; or rather, the lack of someone to love. With the exception of Devsaab (who should, of course, have known better), they all seem to be confident in their belief that there is someone out there; all they have to do is find that one person who they can fall in love with, and hey, presto! they will be loved in return. (Considering the stalk-the-girl-until-she-falls-in-love routine worked wonders for them, I suppose one cannot blame them for that arrogance.) Biswajeet is wandering the hills and vales, more optimistic than he was previously - because, here, he is not ruing his single state, but is sure that somewhere, 'she' is waiting for him. He has very simple desires: Armaan hai koyi paas aaye, In haathon mein woh haath aaye, Phir khwaabon ki ghata chhaaye, Barsaaye khumaar; Phir unhi beeti din raaton pe, Matwali mulaqaaton pe, Ulfat bhari baaton pe, hum hote nisaar...

7. Hamre gaon koi aayega
Professor (1962)
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle
Music: Shankar-Jaikishen
Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
To emphasise that it is not just men who yearn for someone to love them, here we have two heroines - Kalpana and Parveen Choudhary, who are hopeful that one day, a pardesi,  a stranger (quite literally, a 'foreigner', or someone from outside the village) will come, and bind them in the bonds of love. They sing of what will happen when such a man arrives (cue the arrival of a young and handsome Shammi Kapoor), of how their hearts will flutter, how their sleep will be disturbed, how speechless they will be in his presence... and end with a wistful query: how will he be, this man whom they have dreamt of? Ram hi jaane kaisa hoga, Sapna jiska pyara, Haay re jiski aankh ne hum par, Pyar ka jadoo daara... Lata and sister Asha match voices with a vim and a verve. 

8. Kabhi na kabhi kahin na kahin
Sharabi (1964)
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music: Madan Mohan
Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan
Dev Anand, again, but what a change! He is no longer the happy lover, with a roaming heart. It is not his heart, but he, who is the awaara. He has been roaming through the wilderness of life, his cup not half-full but empty, hoping that sometime, somewhere, he will find someone to complete him. When everyone has turned against him, perhaps he will find someone to sit beside him and share his woes. Here is the flip side of yearning, the sadness, the despair, of never having found that one person to love and be loved. There is the deep seated desire to hear a voice full of love cut through the silence that fills his life. Kabhi toh dega sannate mein pyar bhari awaaz koi, Kaun ye jaane kab mil jaaye raste mein humraaz koi... who knows when and where he will find her? 

9. Kisi na kisi se kabhi na kabhi
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music: OP Nayyar
Lyrics: SH Bihari
Somewhat similar (to the above) sentiments are expressed by Shammi Kapoor. Only, being Shammi, he cannot really be sad. Even his sorrow at not having a beloved is offset by his optimism. He is sure that somewhere, sometime he will have to fall in love with somebody. In fact, his problem is different. (Vintage Shammi!) The world is filled with hundreds and thousands of beautiful women; whom will he fall in love with? Who can he call his own? For he knows it is only the lucky few who can inhabit the beautiful world of love. When will he be lucky enough? He begs his heart to lead him there... where he will meet this maiden, so delicate that the dew washes her face, so beautiful that the moon steps quietly aside so she can sleep, a woman whose beauty is so intoxicating that she will fill his world with love...
Aisi nazuk woh ho jiska shabnam munh dhoti ho
Chand bhi sadke hota ho jab raat ko woh soti ho
Aankh sharaabi, gaal gulabi, 
Pyar se sanwaar de jo zindagi meri... 
Optimism rules.  

10. Madbhari hai hawaayein
Anokha Daan (1972)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Salil Choudhary
Lyrics: Gulzar 
This is a very different song from the others on this list. There is yearning, yes, but also a wish that the waves would bring the man, a stranger whose footprints on the beach have been washed away, back to her. She has made friends with the breezes, and now, they come near, calling her by name. Mera aanchal pakadke pyar se kehti hai hawa, chal jidhar main chaloon jaa milega unhi se raasta, jinki manzil milein unse jod raahein... 

They tug at her clothes, and whisper lovingly in her ears: come with them as they travel the paths he travelled, and perhaps she might meet him again as the paths connect to the destination she seeks. 

So, ten films, ten songs full of yearning. Have you any to add to this list?


  1. Lovely song yes but he did clobber the hell out of that poor guitar didn't he, that serial abuser.:-)

  2. I remember, years back - this would be the mid-80s, when we first watched this song on Chitrahaar - my sister saying, "Good Lord! He's strutting around like a rooster!" And yes, every time I even think of this song, I do agree. :-)

  3. Another Salilda song ...a third person first person reverie....No birds but bees and flowers and some teacher on a bicycle.


  4. I haven't seen the movie, so I had no idea that he was singing about a lost love. I heard the yearning in his voice, and that was the first song that came to my mind when I was reading your post. Naturally, when I didn't see that song, I posted it! It never hurts to see him once again!
    On the other hand, much to my chagrin, I was watching Qurbani yesterday and dropped off to sleep sometime around Aap Jaisa koi ..., and woke up long after it was over, when someone rang the doorbell. What a shame! Now I have to watch it all over again.

  5. Of course it never hurts to see VK at any time!

    You slept through Qurbani?? :) You do have to watch it again. Feroz Khan had style! It was another time-pass movie, full of fun. I'd watched it a few months ago, and was half-thinking of reviewing it. But I didn't take notes or screenshots, so if I want to review it, I will have to watch it again.

  6. Sheesh. How could I have forgotten this too? And it's one of my favourites, as well. :-)

  7. don#t have time to write my appreciation of the post fully.
    Love the theme, and love the songs chosen.
    BIG thanks for introducing em to madbhari ye hawayein

    Would this fit in?

  8. Lovely subject Anu, ideally I would've chosen koi hota jisko apna although it is yearning for lost love,, but all the same the yearning is there, but I see Lalitha has already beaten me to it. I, therefore, am going for the second best, in this case it is a clear case of expectation of love, she is moving out of her bachpan and obviously looking forward to the toofan of love.

  9. Anu,

    Interesting subject to make a bouquet of good songs.

    Here is RaaJ Kumar yearning after death.


  10. Noooo - his sapnon ki rani was sitting inside the train! This was stalking-disguised-as-wooing song, Rajeshva ishtyle.

  11. Great review…..saw the movie many times as a teenager for the sheer entertainment and masala value. Ajit is always a favorite along with Dharmendra and his kutte kamine dialogues. But the most memorable piece of the movie (in my younger days) was Dharmendra with his 'is chaaku se makkhan lagao' dialogue. If I remember correctly, that dialogue was in this movie. These sort of masala dialogues used to give us a kick in our 'bell bottom' days. And speaking of bell bottoms, we youngsters used to have zips sewn to the bottom of bell bottoms to make the bell bottoms last longer without any frayed bottoms (especially since all of us used to walk a lot in those days - no bikes or cars for us!!!)…..Ravi

  12. Hey, I was seventeen or eighteen, so blame my hormones!

    But seriously, I thought he was just singing the song and then he noticed her and nudged his buddy also into noticing. I watched it again last night just to check! Okay that was an excuse for rewatching my all time favorite song!

  13. I'm all for any excuse to watch my favourite songs, so you are excused. :) And I forgive your teenage hormones as well. I melted at Aamir singing Papa kehte hain and wanted to be among the girls at that party. :)

    (It was very difficult to swoon at Amitabh's feet when he didn't sing many lovesongs. Though Rhimjhim gire sawan does tug at my heartstrings....)

  14. In Hai apna dil toh awara, I didn't get the feeling that he was attracted to her just then; more that he was listening to them bicker and was teasing her. It seemed more of a fun song than a stalking-as-wooing song. No?

  15. Yes, that dialogue was to Shetty. This movie was entertainment raised to infinity. I think a certain generation could identify with the look and the vibe of the movie, not to speak of the music. Laughing at the thought of zips at the trouser bottoms. :) I haven't seen those except on screen.

  16. You are here! My blog's blessed. :) :)

    Why am I not surprised at your recollections? Poor chaps; think how hard they worked to get 'that girl' to notice them.

    Of your list, while Meet na mila re man ka fits the theme, the context doesn't. Because he is not singing of the expectations of meeting someone for himself, it is a stage performance. (These distinctions only make perfect sense inside my own head!) And Aaj unse pehli mulaqaat hogi, the be-wigged RR is going off to meet his betrothed. I had that song in my short-list actually, but moved it to my 'Songs of anticipation' list to be written some time. :)

    And I'm kicking myself for forgetting Ye dil na hota bechara! That is such a perfect song for this list. Isn't it interesting that Dev and Shammi seem to have the most songs of this type?

  17. It fits the theme perfectly, but oh, how I hate both song and film and picturisation! This was Lata at her screechiest worst!

  18. I did kind of swoon for Meet na mila re man ka ... but changed my mind when Amitabh started having ego problems in that movie! By the middle of that movie, I wanted to shake him, though I did forgive him, somewhat, towards the end! Hormones all the way!

  19. I think that was one of his most honest portrayals, Lalitha. In a radio programme, once, he had mentioned how, while shooting that film, he felt that he was replaying his real-life role. I loved the film, but yes, I wanted to shake him - hard!

  20. Sridhar! How nice to see you back! Glad to see you are well. And yes, this song fits the bill absolutely. I had it on my list but knocked it off to make place for Aaja re pardesi.

  21. Yes, now that I think of it. You're right. Oh, these distinctions! :-D

  22. Ashraf, I can take Jaani Rajkumar in small doses. I think the point I was trying to make (clear in my own mind) is that my post was not about men (or women) angsting for their beloveds (even from the pichle janam), but more the anticipation of a romance. As I wrote in the intro, they are all footloose and fancy free at the moment - but they want romance. All of them are talking about 'someone' - Koi na koi - who will come and fall in love with them. It is all very nebulous, this idea. My cynical self says they are all more in love with the idea of love, than in love with a particular someone.

    Perhaps I should have titled this post 'Songs of anticipation of love', but that would have been too long. As dustedoff says in the comment below, 'These distinctions!'

  23. Shalini, you bad woman! Now that horrible Koi na koi chahiye is going to be a earworm for all of today! :)
    I had forgotten all about Aaja aayi bahaar/i> and Dabe labon se kabhi na koi, especially the latter. Yes, they all fit the theme very well.

  24. Anu, what about "Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo, janam safal ho jaaye.." from Pyaasa? It's not exactly in the same category as the others but though it's supposed to be a bhajan, actually it expresses the heroines yearning for her beloved.

  25. Anu, In that case take Biswajit once again:)


  26. *grinning* You are terrible! :) I can bear Rajkumar more than I like Biswajeet. At least the former looked like a man! That said, this song was on my shortlist - it fits the theme perfectly.

    That, and there is a very pretty Mala Sinha (not a great favourite) in it.

  27. Ashraf, you are redeeming yourself. :) I can always watch Aruna Irani. I cannot say the same thing about Biswajeet.

  28. Anu ji,
    Was tied up. Could not comment earlier. Without wasting words let me post these three songs from
    three different periods.

    First one from the vintage era, Kitne door ahin huzoor by Surinder Kaur

    the next one from the sixties, Koi nahin hai phir bhi hai mujhko by Lata Mangeshkar


    A very recent one

    Nice post and enjoyed the songs. Thanks a lot.

  29. Mr Venkatraman, nice to see you back. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the songs. I haven't had a chance to listen to the songs you posted; will do so tomorrow.

  30. Yearning....nice emoshun found in abundance and I think that your pick of songs cover that one very well. Enjoyed going back to them today; especially Laakhon Hain Nigaahon Main (a fav from the chitrahaar days), the sight of Joy Mukherjee carrying that guitar like an axe on his shoulder never touching the strings even once still makes me laugh. As always, thank you very much.

    Listening to the songs made me wonder. Yearning (such a laborious word, isn't it) also could point to a totally different take on how love is manifested. And this number from Imtihaan dropped on me - a nice spin on the topic, I thought. if not yearning, what would this be classified under?...Kuch vishesh tippany?


  31. Sorry about the delayed reply, Boby. I wasn't in town. Your first song was not one of yearning at all, at least not in context. That was more like a song of invitation - wanting the other person to express his interest in her.

    As for Varuvaanillarumee, it does express a lot of yearning, of loneliness, almost. And I'm always happy to see the song - it is one of my favourites. But it wouldn't fit in the context that I outlined in the post. Here, she is already married.

  32. I remembered this song last night, at some point in my sleep:


    It has been ages since I saw the movie, but I think Helen is a dancing girl and Meena is Sunil's wife, who was thrown out by her inlaws during his absence, and of course, Sunil doesn't know that Meena is in the same house (don't ask me how that happens, I would have to watch the movie again, and I am not prepared to watch those weepy movies again!). In any case, the song seems to fit the theme, as long as you see it as an expression of Sunil's yearning for his lost wife (they did get reunited in the end, I remember that much!).

  33. Lovely song, Lalitha, and I hate to do this to you - but my post is specifically about waiting for that 'first love', the person they haven't met yet, but are sure is out there somewhere. :)

  34. Someone sent this to me from Norway. Rather along the same lines, no? ;-)


  35. Lovely songs. Remember listening to them on the radio late at night- Chayageet and then Bela ke phool. I have another one for you- Baharon mera jeevan bhi savaaro
    "somebody should come from somewhere" :-)

  36. Thank you, Nitya. I'm kicking myself for forgetting i>Baharon mera jeevan bhi sanwaro! For some reason, I kept thinking this song comes after she meets Rajesh Khanna. It's such a beautiful song. Thank you for posting it here.


Back to TOP