The Divine Voice of Devotional Kishore

by Arghya Dutta Kishore Kumar is considered to be a “versatile genius” with so many outstanding facets of his artistic personality. If overall as an artist, Kishore is versatile, only in singing domain he is a “versatile singer” in a true nature. Right from romantic to sad to soulful to motivating to semi-classical to qawwali […]

by Arghya Dutta

Kishore Kumar is considered to be a “versatile genius” with so many outstanding facets of his artistic personality. If overall as an artist, Kishore is versatile, only in singing domain he is a “versatile singer” in a true nature. Right from romantic to sad to soulful to motivating to semi-classical to qawwali to patriotic and to ghazals, Kishore had shown his tremendous variety in his god-given voice each and every time he had stood behind the microphone.

Here we discuss, yet another interesting genre of songs from Kishoreda – devotional songs – where he, as always, did tremendous perfection in singing, although he remained underrated always.


Kishoreda’s first true devotional song was “Leela Aparampar prabhuji teri leela aparampar” which he sang in the movie, Humsafar(1953). The song was composed by the maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan sahib. The song requires extensive voice modulation and Kishore sang the song with great feeling. The antara where he goes up with “ O neele ambar pe basaria, teri jay jaykaar…,” the feeling touches hearts.

Next came the classic “Haal tujhe apni duniya ka nazar to aata hoga” from Asha(1957). Composed by one of Kishore’s earliest admirers, C Ramchandra, the song is different, as now, Kishore is complaining to the Almighty for all the misdoingd on planet earth. His voice carries the grief and complaint and very “open throated”.. with “ Maalik tu bhi isko banaake ab pachhtata hoga…” truly depicts a person’s disappointment which he keeps in front of the god,,,

One of my most favourite devotional song from Kishore was in Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein(1964)- a song which he himself composed and sang alongwith Manna De. The song “O jag ke rakhwale humein tujh bin kaun sambhaale” is very soulful and touches heart immediately with the divine tune.. Manna starts the song with chorus and Kishore enters very late and immediately leaves a heavy impact with “Kiya sab kuchh tere hawaale, o jag ke rakhwale”.. Manna reportedly praised Kishore openly for the composition as well as the rendition… Shows again, the genius of that man- Kishore Kumar!

Kishore sang many devotional songs in the 70s, when he was on the top spot in playback singing. Chhoti Bahu(1971) saw Kishore rendering “Hey re kanhaiya, kisko kahega tu maiyya..” composed by his long time associates Kalyanji-Anandji.. The song depicts the dilemma of young Kanhaiyya, as he was born in Devki’s house but brought up in Yashda’s home and finding it difficult whom he should call “his actual mother”.. “Jisme tujhko janam diya ya jisne tujhko pala…”, very simple lyrics and simple tune and Kishore’s “open voice” makes this song very close to heart..

Ram ka naam badnaam na karo..” is perhaps the most popular devotional song of Kishore which he sang in Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971) under Rahul Dev Burman. Youth getting astray are motivated by Kishore with the “tyaag” and “dharma” of Rama and Krishna here with a voice “pioneering” and “comforting”.. The feelings which he brings here also makes the song memorable and timeless. “Ram ko samjho, Krishna ko jaano, neend se jaago o mastano..”, Kishore calls the youth to follow the “true path”of Almighty to come out of darkness.

Mere Jeevan Sathi(1972) is mainly rememberd for the romantic songs of Kishore for Rajesh Khanna, but the song “Aao kanhai mere dham” is very special for those who love Bhajans.. The true passion and anxiety of a bhakt for not getting the darshan of Lord Krishna, is reflected in the anxious voice of Kishore “dekho ho gayi shaam”… Composed by Rahul Dev Burman- a truly sublime bhajan for Kishore..

Naya Din Nayi Raat(1974) saw this time Laxmikant Pyarelal turning to Kishore for a nice melodious and simple Krishna vandana in terms of “Krishna Krishna bolo Krishna…”, influenced by Bengali kirtan- with proficient usage of the instrument “khol”. The song was sung very melodiously by the two legends- Kishore and Lata and is even popular to this day!

In 1974, the newcomer music director Rajesh Roshan handed Kishoreda a very high pitch beautiful devotional number “Jai Bholenath Jai Ho Prabhu” in the movie “Kunwara Baap” where Kishore sang as many as 4 songs … Although, the song might not have left too much of an impact as a “devotional song” in the mind of the audience, it is very much a memorable and a very melodious song of Kishore and Lata..

But the best was yet to come!! Laxmi-Pyare turned again to Kishore with “Prem ka rog laga mujhe yeh”- a classic devotional song on a semi-classical note in Do Premee(1980)! All the three antaras were different from one another and the note changes were complex!! With lot of vigour in his voice, Kishore sang like a truly “magan” bhakta in “Yeh kaanton ke haar hai saare , murari..” This song is still a showcase of Kishore’s multi layered voice!!

The next considerable devotional song was “Bhole O Bhole” from Yarana(1981) composed by Rajesh Roshan, may not be called a “true devotional song” in a proper sense, but had the essence of a troubled mind addressing the God.

The last significant bhajan by Kishore was in Swami Dada(1982) for Rahul Dev Burman with “Ek roop kayin naam man mandir tera dham..”.. Again a simple tune sang with lot of emotions… But bhajans were scarce those days in Hindi Cinema, and this song remained the “swan song” for Kishore as far as devotional songs are concerned…

In 1986, recovering a heart attack, Kishore recorded his last Rabindrasangeet album (Bangla) with music arrangement of his another true admirer- Hemant Kumar.. The typical low note devotional Rabindrasangeet “ Klanti aamaar khama koro prabhu…” (Please forgive my tireness, O Lord..), according to me, is the best devotional song of Kishore …

A man of many moods, Kishore truly proved his versatility in all genres of singing.. Although, his devotional songs cannot fall in the same category of “Man tarapat hari darshan” or “Sukh ke sab saathi”, but the glimpse of his great talent cannot be overlooked in all the devotional songs he had sung!! A truly “divine” voice!

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

468 Blog Comments to “The Divine Voice of Devotional Kishore”

  1. Raj says:

    On number of songs by a singer – rafi, lata, in my view cannot exceed 6000 also (though lata can be more) because even if one takes 100 films a year (only an estimation, actually it might be even less) one will get approximately 3000 films for a period of 30 years from 1945 to 1980 and assuming rafi and lata to have sung it at least 2000 films, taking average of 3 songs per film the count will not cross 6000 (only an estimate) – where is the question of 28000 songs or 30,000 songs as being claimed in some sections. Really false. SPB might have definitely sung more songs because he sang simultaneously in 4 languages, might be more than 10,000 songs easily going by the count of number of films. For e.g. in case of SPB if you take that SPB has sung an average of 40 songs per month, i.e. yearly 500 and roughly for a period of 30 years it comes to 15,000 might be possible. Kishore also I think Mr. Arghya is correct i.e. approx. 3000 songs. Ghantasala 10,000 songs and P suseela 15,000 songs, might be possible because their career spanned nearly 3 decades. Even Jesudas, I think has around 5000 plus songs.

    Shukla de,

    After advent of A R Rehman, surely many singers have come on the screen. Of course, many singers are also vanishing as fast as they have come. There lies the difference vis-a-vis erstwhile legends.

  2. Rafifan says:

    Vitthal ji, shukla ji, kishore fan ji, Arghya ji……

    Kuhu Kuhu song is really outstanding in telugu. Ghantasala clearly dominates, no issue on that. Without hearing the telugu song, if you hear hindi song, you will agree that rafi excels. If you compare the same with telugu version, which is the original one first recorded, sure, it is the telugu one which has a edge. So, in my view, both versions should be heard individually. Being a carnatic music composition, it is natural for ghantasala to be exceptional in the rendering, by virtue of his exceptional expertise there, but if you see the song from a hindusthani point of view, rafi had done a nice job. Agreed, ghantasala was exceptional in rendering alaaps, taans in a unique style which clearly creates a lasting impression. Of course, that was his specialised area in which perhaps no other singer could venture, frankly speaking (siva sankari and other songs for instance). Similarly, take rafi specialised songs, you will agree what the great rafi is. Summing up in total, ghantasala was ghantasala and rafi was rafi, both being outstanding and awesome, though each of them in their specialised areas might have more attraction than another.

  3. Srivas says:

    Vitthal ji & Arghya ji,

    Suvarna sundari song – original telugu number hayi hayigaa and the hindi equivalent kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya (by rafi and lata duo) – some facts.

    The telugu original song hayi hayigaa aamani… from suvarna sundari by ghantasala and jikki is composed by great music director Adi Narayana Rao in different ragas : Hamsanandi (I think sohani is the equivalent in hindusthani), kanada (I think bahar in hindusthani) kalyani (yaman in hindusthani) etc. Mohd. Rafi and Lata had listened to this song carefully before their hindi recording and Rafi had requested Adi Narayana Rao to change the raga alapana, as rafi felt that he will not be able to render the same in the way ghantasala did. It was said that Adi Narayana Rao, had advised Rafi that you please try to sing in your own way and style, as culture & technique of ghantasala was not possible. That is why, we find difference in the raga alapana in rafi vs. ghantasala renditions. Ghantasala version (a cakewalk for him) is very tough from technical expertise, whereas rafi’s alapana is simplified. It was even said that rafi had practised the song number of times, still rafi himself felt that it did not get the effect, which ghantasala had given to it. It is said that rafi had developed great respect for ghantasala after this song was heard by rafi. Another song which rafi had respected ghantasala was chal ud ja re panchi (payaninche o chiluka in telugu) where in again the ending alaap was mindblowing in telugu, and further the telugu rendition is a slight high pitch rendition than the hindi one. (Of course, I personally feel that this song was first sung by rafi and subsequently ghantasala might have improved it to give more attraction, perhaps for this reason the telugu song appears more attractive – Mohd. rafi had called ghantasala on telephone in 1960 and congratulated him for this song)

    But suvarna sundari song is on a different level. Lata Mangeshkar comes close to ghantasala (though as a male voice it appears more dominating) and as Arghya ji states, rafi could deliver, “as best as he could”. Nevertheless, I have seen in many discussions that this suvarna sundari song is generally discussed for projecting ghantasala’s competence or skills, which I generally do not subscribe to, because in my view as a musician, this suvarna sundari song is nothing for ghantasala, (rather it is only a simple song for him) who incidentally had comfortably rendered with ease, numerous compositions which are many many times tougher than the suvarna sundari number. Moreso, there are plenty of even more tougher beautiful compositions of ghantasala in the music direction of Adi Narayana Rao himself.

  4. Ashfaq says:

    Kishore kumar sahab a gift of allah.. He is the sun .. When the sun shines all moons and stars go out.. His voice is the biggest barqat of allah in this world.

    His songs are like fresh air.. there is noone like him.

  5. shukla de says:

    Some nice discussions are going on as far as music is concerned. Ghantasala (vitthal ji – thanks for sharing songs of this great musical genius), SPB, ARR and other singers – nice information on the artists.

    Prabhanjan saab,

    Your statement ARR did not like single singer dominance is acceptable in today’s filmy circumstances. Moreover, today I think there is no singer who is capable of dominating singly. In the 50’s to 70’s the calibre of rafi, kishore was such that their dominance was fully accepted by people and i feel even if ARR was there at that time, he too would have proceeded along with the sentiments of the people.

    Vitthal ji,

    Suvarna sundari song of ghantasala ji – very unique. Siva Sankari will not be forgotten by anybody who hears it. It is such a complex rendition that we can safely assume that even classical singers might not attempt it (leave playback singers). I agree with others (specially Surajit bose ji) that ghantasala ji is clearly far ahead of rafi as well as manna dey and other hindi singers as well. He possessed not only a magnificient voice but had the perfect technical ability in terms of modulation, expression and presentation. Really great sir. It is unfortunate that this great genius is not known to many in the other parts of the country (excepting southern india to maximum extent)

    The SPB songs too were nice to hear vitthal ji. thanks for the songs.

  6. arghya says:

    Today I had a half an hour discussion with Mrs. Sabita Chowdhury( wife of Shri Salil Chowdhury)..

    And such a simple and wonderful lady she is! How beautifully she talks and still maintains such a lovely voice.. She sang “Aayi ghir ghir sawan ki” and “Champavati aaja” alongwith Kishore Kumar and still remembers Kishore Kumar as ” simple human being”.. She says” Kishoreda was sitting at the feet of Salil Chowdhury when latter was rehearsing him for “Guzar jaye din” at his own residence”.. Sabita aunty continued” And I was shocked to see the scene when I came to that room with tea pots in hand!”.. “What a simple man Kishoreda was”- aunty says with a nostalgic sigh..

    She says” Many young people try to sing those old songs today, but cannot replicate the magic”.. I said “Aunty, I have seen many young people avoiding Salil Chowdhury songs on stage, perhaps they find them too tough”.. Sabita aunty says” Where are the voices like Kishoreda today to pull off such songs”!

    She talked on Lataji, fusion music, music piracy of today’s world, Salil Chowdhury’s music approach and so many things..

    At the end, I just thought” how big those morons are who foul mouth legends like Salil Chowdhury. India can never have such genius legends any more”

    We are proud of you- Salilda!!!

  7. kishorefan says:

    338 – vitthal ji,

    wah sir, – great post.

    SPB -both the songs are nice to hear. Could you kindly confirm music director for those songs please ? The second song (saint composer tune) simply marvellous – the tune itself reveals divinity.

    Siva sankari & ghantasala ji – great quality video thanks for the link. Nice sir, it is such a musical extravaganza, as arghya ji states, that is beyond description & comparison. I am out of the world when I hear the song.

    Suvarna sundari number, this I have heard earlier – Virtually ghantasala ji dominates (real perfection) vitthal ji, there is no further question, discussion or argument on that. Lata ji is somewhat better in hindi than rafi (but surely below ghantasala ji in starting alaap too) whereas rafi clearly struggles in all the alaaps (they are not controlled rather). Vitthal ji, you would have observed, rafi fans never discuss about these songs when any discussion on rafi vs. ghantasala comes (you are also a rafi fan – hope you take my point in right spirit vitthal saab) because it is quite clear that ghantasala ji virtually stands ahead as a complete singer when he hear such songs.

    Same is with kishore ji, when any discussion on kishore vs. rafi is made, no positive discussions are generally made on aradhana songs, yaadon ki baraat songs, salamat rahe dostana hamara song etc. because, it is quite clear that in these songs kishore dominates and there is no further question or argument on that.

    Aur jab yodelling ki baat aati hai, tab bhi kuch postiive discussions nahi hote hai, kyon ki kishore the incomparable yodelling gaano me.

    Vitthal ji, Magar hum rafi ji ko bhi like karte hai, specially unke 50’s or 60’s ke gaane. Though we do not call him god or avatar (even for kishore we do not make such quotes – guru ji is OK since guru means teacher from whom we can learn) we admire rafi as another great singer of hindi playback singing like kishore ji.

    Thik kaha kya maine adarniya PARAMJEET JI. (aapa 329 post me asha ji or lata ji ka comment bahut hi badiya badiya hai))

  8. arghya says:


    I had already heard the original Telugu version of “Kuhu kuhu”.. It is a marvellous composition by Adi Narayan Rao.. And of course, I was carried away by Ghantashala version.. But in Hindi also, I think Rafi delivered “the best he could” in a classical song. And of course, Lataji as usual, effortless in semi classicals.. I love both the versions separately.

    This morning I listened to 30 Lataji songs continously as I was driving on a highway.. And it was such a superb feeling.. After Kishore Kumar, Lataji is the voice which I can listen to innumerable times at a stretch..

    Kishorefan bhai,

    I personally dont have any problem if someone calls his/her legend a “demigod” provided in the course of doing so, he/she is not calling other legends “demons” 🙂

  9. kishorefan says:

    paramjeet ji – 329

    Bahut humorous post tha aap ka. Wah paramjeet ji. keep it up.

  10. kishorefan says:

    Balarykar (Prabhanjan) saab,

    Could you please share some great songs of SPB ?
    (specially in the music direction of illayaraja)

    Also for our interest, some crap songs (as you mention which are in large numbers) for listening please.

    Vitthal ji, -337

    Your post was interesting. Really, it is a advantage to have association with some of the creative music directors, so that one’s potential can be fully brought to light. It is in fact one of the major factors for an artist to shine. Like Naushad was for rafi, Pancham da for kishore etc.

    Arghya ji, Paramjeet ji,

    A new article is now running on in other forum – Rafi an avatar or god – You would have already read my posts in other forum on these particular quotes – which incidentally vitthal ji, had recently quoted in other blog here ( An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar) what to say ? Avatar, god …….. (nice to hear)

  11. Vitthal says:

    Satyansh ji,

    Nice to see your website and articles therein. (article with regard to propoganda on made a interesting reading) I would be happy if you could display a nice article on classical based film songs in indian films which will be a gem of a article.

  12. Vitthal says:

    Dear prabhanjan ji & friends,

    Few of the SPB songs which I admire and would like to share with all here – really SPB has displayed nice skills in these numbers. These songs are from the film “sankarabharanam” (1980) through which SPB shot into fame.

    Shankara song by SPB from film sankarabharanam

    here is SPB rendering (broche varevarura) – A great devotional kriti compostion of Saint Sri Thyagaraja Swami – Par excellent devotional composition on Lord Rama By the great saint composer (said as greatest composer in the world)

    The swara alapana and also the song effect at 3.25-3.29 – nice to hear.

    Arghya ji, Paramjeet ji & satyansh ji,

    Fine quality video of siva sankari song – recently uploaded with good quality. (if you hear in high volume simply awesome)

    Similar song of Rafi in hindi and by ghantasala in telugu.

    Telugu original number – Hayi hayigaa aamani sage by ghantasala and jikki (which is kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya in hindi by rafi and lata)

    The song was first recorded in telugu. I was given to understand that rafi was himself not satisfied with his rendition vs. the telugu rendition. (ghantasala clearly steals the show)

    Paramjeet, arghya and satyansh “jee’s” – for your musical views please.

  13. Vitthal says:

    Paramjeet ji, Arghyaji & satyansh ji,

    thanks for your posts and inputs. Nice reading sir’s

    Prabhanjan ji,

    Interesting reading. I personally feel that SPB was in one way unfortunate as far as association with music directors with “gifted versatile & creative talent” was concerned. I personally feel, with an exception to Illayaraja, who had composed some memorable songs, SPB’s larger association, was to a large extent, with music directors – as you said – who could compose mainly crap songs – He was really not that fortunate as was his predecessor – ghantasala (who was an accomplished music director himself) who had association with the greatest music directors the south indian film industry had ever produced, namely saluri rajeswara rao, pendyala nageshwara rao (composer of siva sankari, rasika raja, madi sarada devi, syamala dandakam etc.), T V Raju etc. I think that was the one of the main reasons why mainly many crap songs only (& incidentally which are more in SPB career) , as you mentioned, are counted while thinking of SPB. Otherwise, in terms of numbers like higher number of songs etc. SPB is ahead of others. Another talent which SPB had, similar to kishore, that, without much on technical qualification front, he too could catch compositions well, and mimick in the particular actor’s voice attractively. These were the other qualities for which SPB is admired. Nevertheless, today in some TV programmes, when I hear SPB, I see that he is (perhaps by virtue of his vast experience) a different personality, as compared to other current generation singers, who i feel and become thoughtful, that the telugu film industry, which had a history of colossus legend like ghantasala, is today in hands of ………. such current generation singers.

    I think, not only telugu, even hindi (who had the legend mohd rafi and subsequently kishore kumar at helm) and other industries are also facing the same circumstances today.

  14. paramjeet says:

    pavan bhai.
    guruji ne bahut logon ko inspire kiya hai.. Achha laga aapke baare mein jankar.

    Satyansh ji,
    Manna ji aur Lataji ke beech mein compatibility bahut hai.. Aap dekhiye unke gaaye hue duets adhiktar kaafi lokproiya hue hai.. aap ‘tum gagan ki chandrama’ le lo,.kitna madhur aur soft gaana hai.. Log kehte hai mannaji acche parsh gayak nahi the magar main nahi maanta hoon.. aap ek gana bata do jisme mannaji ne theek se playback na kiya ho.. Padosan mein south indian accent, baharon ke sapne mein yudling, Shree 420 mein woh sadabahar yugal geet aur Anand ka woh khubsoorat gana jo jeevan darshan pe kishoreji ke gaano ko bhi takkar de sakta hai.. Pata nahi kyun aese classical mein stereotype ho gaye woh.

  15. arghya says:

    //To the best of my knowledge, not even Hariharan, Unnikrishnan, Udit Narayan, and Sukhvinder Singh (all ARRs favorites) have ever sung more than 3 songs in any ARR album//

    Prabhanjan, I think in Lagan(2001), ARR gave 5 songs to Udit.. “Ghanana ghanana ghir aaye badra”(ensembled number), ” Mitwa”, ” Madhuban mein jo kanhaiya”, ” O ri chhori” and ” O palanhare”.

    Anyways, yes, AR never believes in single singer dominance.. Your points are quite explaining..

  16. pavan says:

    The most powerfull and touching voice. That’s max can be told. Kishoreda no doubt use to lure everybody with his magnetic voice but also tried pulling even the ones,who were not interested in music/songs. My father Of course he is no more, but usually hated sound and music all the time .When was in Amaravathi I was listening to Zindagi Kaa safar……….then suddenly my father came very close to me n said “He sings very well.The meaning of the song itself is teaching!”. I was mad of his remark and rewinded song n listened again.
    Such unforgettable memories remain ubforgettable coz v just cant ……………………….forget his voice. None can be his equallent any time……….anywhere………anyhow.


  17. Balarykar (Prabhanjan) says:

    A very old topic on the SPB-ARR which is what you are having in mind.
    Many of the comments there are highly childish and I don’t subscribe to it at all.

    I look at it this way. The single singer monopoly in an album was very much the trend when ARR arrived on the screen. Also, no artist in the industry (except for Kamal Hassan) was selective and would go on a mad signing spree after a success. It is to his credit that he reversed this trend and preferred to do far fewer than anybody else would have done. Knowing the madness of the producers/financiers, it can be said easily that for every film he set the music, he must have declined at least ten. After having selected few movies, he wanted his music to sound very differently. Thats the reason for opting not just more than one singer but as many singers as possible.

    Returning to SPB, the most songs by a singer in an ARR album is in the movie Duet which has 6 SPB songs. The next highest numbers is again by SPB in telugu Kamal Hassan movie “Thenali”. To the best of my knowledge, not even Hariharan, Unnikrishnan, Udit Narayan, and Sukhvinder Singh (all ARRs favorites) have ever sung more than 3 songs in any ARR album. One may say that in Duet movie, the more songs are due to K. Balachander and Thenali is just a dubbed movie in telugu.
    Yes, its also truth that the last SPB song for ARR in hindi was for the dubbed movie “Muthu Maharaja”, and also its true that for ARR’s freshly composed hindi songs, SPB has sung only four songs, namely “O Sai Yaiye” from Daud, and “Jaan Tum Ho Meri” for the movie Vishwavidhaata, and “Shukriya Tera Shukriya (Jo Maanga Tha)” and “Mere Yaara Dildara” for the movie “Kabhi Na Kabhi”. All these were way before he took hindi movies seriously and its more than a decade since ARR has taken SPB for any genuine hindi song. If we think these numbers are bad, there is something worst in store. There are many SPB numbers in Ilayaraja (IR) in his dubbed hindi movies. However, there is just ONE song when IR composed a hindi song from the scratch, and that single song is really really pathetic. Maybe, ARR and IR think that their music becomes hindish if they take (so-called) north singers.

    Also, it seems that in an effort to not sound repetitive, ARR keeps on changing singers and lyricists. Though we know that its not necessary to do so, ARR feels it this way. Recently I read the interview of a booming music director where he could not do justice to the question of “Why there as many singers as there are that many songs?” His answer was plain bullshit coz it was just copy paste style.

    To summarize, it appears that ARR has sidelined SPB. However, if we look at the entire picture, ARR still has given far better qualitative and even quantity songs to SPB than anybody else.

  18. arghya says:


    As I have said these pronounciations over a period of time became the signature of these singers as well..So, no complaints there from me.. I said that “bha” factor only beacuse I found that repeatating on quite a few occassions and not an one-off scenerio like the “Dukhi man mere” stuff..Paramjeet can tell better, with my limited knowledge, Punjabis generally tend not to pronounce “bha” fully but something like “bba”. Please correct me if I am wrong.. I have heard many Punjabis speaking ” O bhai” as ” O bai” with a more force on the “b” and “i” sounding something like “O bbaii”..

    Bengalis dont pronounce “w” in their language 🙂 and there is no “s”.. All the “s” become “sh”.. So a “swadesh” would be pronounced as “shadesh” in Bengali with “w” complete silent.. So Hemant’s pronouncing “khwab” as “khab” is very understandable..

    by the way, can you throw some more light on the breathing techniques of different singers?? and how the natural voice of different singers( let us stick to filmy singers only, as classical vocalists have special techniques) affect their breathing? Can you pl elaborate this a bit here?

  19. satyansh says:

    Paramjeet ji,

    “Hum Bekhudi Mein” jo Rafi ne “sagar” ke saath kiya usse mai breaking of word nahi kehta. usse mai shabd mein harkatein daal kar stretch karna kahunga. Kal mai Arghya se iss geet mein Majrooh ke jaam ko saagar kehne ke khoobsurat andaz ka zikr kar raha tha. Aap bilkul sahi disha mein hain. Rafi words ko kai baar toDte the, aap note karen ki words ke beech mein pause (not stretch) hona chahiye. Bahut saare examples hain agar dhyan se sunnen to. Kishore bhi kabhi kabhi karte the. Hemant sabse kam karte the aur yeh ek quality hai unki – “muqtasar” bhi mujhe to break karte yaad nahi. Aap phir se sunnen. Unka words ko itna break na karna kaafi zaroori baat hai. Hemant ki baat karte yaad aaya – unka ek bahut hi nasheela hai – “Yeh Nayan Dare Dare”. Aapka Manna-Lata ka kuch jawab hi nahi aa raha. Kahan ho maalik??

    Vithal ji,

    B) [Posts 315-318] I agree with you on the importance of knowing and understanding the language when listening to songs. Please note that while some people know the language, most of them still don’t understand the poetry.

    I have presented my views on pronunciation, expression, breaking of words, etc. on my site in bits and pieces. Obviously, I only speak about languages that I know, hence I mentioned that when I hear Ghantasala I only hear the sounds and the sur – obviously he was technically top-notch. I’ll copy/paste relevant items at some point of time. I will certainly share a few western songs (there are some amazing classics) from the little bit I know. I had earlier shared Mariah Carey singing in the whistle register (she did it beautifully early on in her career). I was talking to a friend yesterday and realize that people might not be familiar with it, so here’s a link – This should also clear some misconceptions about the “highest possible pitch for a composition”. Please notice the differences between singing from the modal, falsetto and/or whistle register. It is important. HFM compositions mainly require the modal register. Kishore was the maestro of falsetto amongst HFM singers. I have requested many people here to confirm / investigate if my memory serves me correctly in that Kishore did sing in the whistle register in a Hindi movie. I just have a childhood memory and since I don’t have many songs or movies, I can’t confirm. Merely hitting a note is not important. Ghantasala had great control on the higher notes as well and that is one of the reasons why he was a genius. People have to focus more on the hitting the note as they get further away from their comfort zone (say trying to hit a high note). The beauty lies in doing it naturally, with complete control without a need to yell or without thinning of voice. Again, it’s the control that is both Ghantasala and Manna Dey’s strength.

    I do respect your views and the manner in which you present them. There is one item that I disagree with you on and that is “…whosever has MASTERED telugu perfectly has declared it as the best among languages…”. I read your posts and see that you present things in a very neutral and respectful manner. Also, you yourself said “…language, singers etc. being no bar…”, so I know you mean good and please pardon this reply of mine. I just want to request you to not compare any Indian languages. We see so much division of the world today. India is divided on religious, regional and linguistic lines. My request to you and everybody else is not to do this to music. Music, cricket, etc. can be used to bring us together. There are many idiots on the other forum who claimed that Kishore was Muslim, Rafi is not appreciated because he was from Lahore, MDs didn’t like Rafi because he was Muslim, etc. Can’t they think of anything better? Who cares about all this? Like Arghya says – “they can’t debate on technical points, so they start talking about all this”. I enjoy listening to Pathana Khan’s “Medha Ishq Vi Tu” as much as I enjoy many other songs. Here is the link – You can start listening from 4mins 38secs if you want to skip the talk. Here is an interesting tidbit about Sanskrit (of which Telugu is a derivative) – what Panini did years back is the basis of grammar in programming languages and many computer theoreticians use this till date and call “Panini-Backus Form” or the “Backus-Naur Form”. Anyone who has ever taken a good compiler class should have used this or atleast be familiar with it. I find Urdu (another Indian language with influences from Persia) or Hindwi shayari as beautiful as Hindi kavita. I wouldn’t compare the languages, they are all beautiful. Many parents could say that they’ve never heard any language sound more beautiful than their smiling child making those weird sounds and then saying the first word (regardless of the language).


    A lot of times “H” needs to be made softer in a song, because it is a sound that creates more power. You will find examples of this in sad songs. One is “Dukhi Mann Mere”, note how Kishore says “Kehna” in “Sun Mera Kehna”. Note the difference in impact that emphasizing the “H” makes when Kishore says “Haal” in the line “Haal Bura Hota Hai” in “Diye Jalte Hain” or how he says “Kehna” in “Kehna Hai”. Obviously, all these singers were human and they likely made mistakes too. Also, one can better many songs with more technology, time and money spent in the recording studio. “Kh” and “Bh” have similar basis as “H”. Some singers have problems with the “N” sounds on certain notes.

    Prabhanjan ji,

    I had heard that SPB has sung the most number of songs, but coming from someone like you who has followed SPB so closely, it has just sunk in. It’s AWESOME!!! I request you to share some of his gems. BTW, please see the Sonu video in Post 324. He has some good words to say about SPB. Look forward to your rating as well. I’m doing this just to keep the conversation going since my personal favorites keep changing from time to time :).

  20. arghya says:

    I have a question to Prabhanjan. I dont know buddy how you would take it, but just inquisitiveness..

    A R Rehman’s first film Roja had SPB in two songs.. But after that except “Kadhalan”- that too owing to the fact perhaps that SPB himself was an actor playing the elder brother of Prabhu Deva-he hardly turned to SPB.. Considering SPB’s stature and larger than life image in South Indian playback singing, why did AR did that?

    It is just intrigue.. If you can answer..

  21. paramjeet says:

    Breaking of words pe kuchh gaane yaad aa rahe hai:
    1. Hum bekhudi mein tumko- jisme line hai ‘sa…gar mein zindagi’, ‘shi..she mein aapko’, ‘ woh zindagi ke sahare’.. Mujhe lagta hai yeh poetically intentional hai..
    2. Yeh jo chilman hai sunne mein yeh jochil man hai zyada lagta hai..
    3. Tum pukar lo. Kaise muqtasar ko break kar dete hai Hemantji

    Woh sharabi gaana mast hai sir.. Hum aapke paas hi hai, jayein to jayein kaha.. Ghantashalaji aur anya sabhi legends lajawab the.. Unhi pe charcha karke to gyan milta hai humein…

    Ek adarniya aaye the suna maine, kuchh bol baal ke nikal gaye.. Chalo achha hai, beech beech mein aesa hona chahiye.. Jaise vitthalji ne kaha zyada shakkar khaane se bhi diabetes ho sakta hai to kabhi kabhar karela juice bhi pee lo.. Waise kuchh likha unhone gurudev ke upar ‘ quareling for girl and money'(directly to nahi magar padhke samajh mein aa jati hai).. Sirf girl aur money? Kyun bhai, islaam conversion ko bhi leke aa jaate.. Pagalpan ki kahaniyan bhi thodi suna dete.. Kanjusi ki baatein bhi kuchh karte.. Aur bhi jitni bekaar ki baatein hai sab kar dete aur sangeet ki baaton pe idhar udhar ke do char cassettes aur albums ke naam daal dete jismein kishoreji ke gaane na ho…. Bas ho jata aapka kaam aur ghar mein aaraam se jaake so jaate..

    Agar koi lataji ko aaake bolta hai aapne ashaji ki chhutti kar di to usko bhi thappad pad hi sakta hai.. To iska matlab yeh ho gaya ke ashaji, lataji se badi gayika hai.. Equation bada saral hai.. 🙂

  22. Balarykar (Prabhanjan) says:

    “However, I am aware & I believe that SPB has sung the highest songs in India (more than 20,000) and next is P suseela (more than 15000) Am I correct, Prabhanjan ji ?”

    These numbers are very very tricky. Let me try give some insight. The core group of SPB fans are currently having 4K tamil songs, 3K kannada songs, and 3k telugu songs. Of the 3K telugu songs, SPB+P.Susheela duets are just 300. If you look at P.Susheela website (, they have posted 1334 of her duets with SPB only. So our extrapolation is that SPB has about 10-12K in telugu only. Note that this does not include any of the private devotional songs. Even in the worst case (for SPB fans) his telugu songs are not less than 9K. It should be noted that in kannada there was no rival to SPB for close to 20 years. His kannada songs easily are more than 7K. Ditto in Tamil. So, these three languages film songs easily add to 23K.
    Lets see in hindi. Two years back when we had a collection of all known hindi films of SPB, that number was just 200. Digging very very hard and trying every possible south-connected movies, this number stands at 450 songs. We are sure of reaching 700 mark (this has been confirmed by SPB himself). In malayalam, he has very least, still it adds to 300. So now we are at 24K mark.
    After all the efforts of movie songs, we turned our attention to his devotional songs. Following interactions with SPB, we were told that each year during 1975-1995, he would be singing a minimum of 400 songs of private devotional songs per year. Our collection till now is 2K though. So now the number is totaled at 32K.
    With Ghantasaalajis experience, we know that a minimum of 6K songs are untrackable. Our target is to reach 20K (we are half way though), he will be put in the Guinness records. All the newspaper articles that he is already there are FALSE.

    Yes, working up like I did for SPB, its safe to say P. Susheela has 15K songs in her kitty.

    @Arghya: Yes, but there is different Guinness for ignominious achievements 😀

  23. Vitthal says:

    Satyansh ji,

    Nice debate. Thanks for it.

    My conclusion will be : established legends of the golden era of music (playback singing) are certainly far ahead than the current generation people because without advanced technological systems they could create a effect which touches directly the hearts and souls of individuals spanning generations. There was “perfect originality” effect & factor in their artistic contributions. The same cannot be/may not be said of any of the artists today.

  24. arghya says:

    Number of songs by a singer:

    Are we talking here about “individual songs” or “total songs which include all the live shows and performances resulting the singer singing many individual songs 15 or even 30 times(depending on the popularity of the song).. I think Kishore had sung “Ina meena deeka” no less than 40 times on various stage performances in his life.. As Uttam Singh had said once for many years Kishore used to compulsorily sing this song in his stage shows..

    Anyways, talking of “individual songs” Kishore had sung roughly around 3100 songs, Rafi around 4700 songs and Lata around 6000 songs.. Point to be noted, not any of the figure is exactly correct as there are quite a few unreleased numbers still left to be explored.. But roughly the figure is this..

    Now combining stage performances and shows, no one can claim an exact figure.. I am yet to see any person who claimed to have ALL the live show songs of Kishoreda.. Even how many shows Kishoreda had done in his life, that figure itself is disputable, forget about the number of songs in totality..The closest figure which I got was around 16,000 songs for Kishore and around 21,000 songs for Rafi.. Lata is more than 25,000 they say.. This second piece of figures are far more inconsistent than the first one..

    But, all these number crunching is immaterial for me.. It is for statistitians thesis.. Singers like Kundan Lal Saigal left unprecedented impact on generations with his only 200 odd songs with no tracking of live shows those days and many of his recorded songs no longer available nowadays.. A proper singer can move the entire world with one good song only- what is the need to race for numbers?

    These are all my views though.. I also very much keep track of statistics( but there are many many many better statisticians than me), but somehow, it is only because in the fear of missing out some rare gems which I have not heard and not because I want to prove any point for a singer..

  25. arghya says:

    Prabhanjan.. Post 320

    15,000 crap songs!!! :O
    I think that should also go to Guiness Book maan! Lolz..

  26. satyansh says:

    Vithal ji,

    You have made 2 interesting categories of points (I’ll reply back regarding the second category of points [Posts 315-318] soon) that we can all talk about –

    A) [Posts 295 and 296] While your point about singing live and if recording tricks made singers of yesteryears sound better than they were might sound strong, I think it is a fair point and definitely deserves a reply from someone who sits in a recording studio (which isn’t me, I’m just contributing my two cents). I wouldn’t dismiss the existence of good singers in today’s reality shows as I always believe that there can be better or equally good singers at some point of time since the musicians seem to be getting better. I am not so sure about the MDs, the lyricists and peoples tastes in general :). So many people like vulgar things and poetry in HFM has gone out the door. Anyways, coming back to point, I’d like to bring the following to your attention.

    1) Please see Lata’s age at the time of recording. I think she must be around 67 at the time. During a live performance most people watching live pay attention mainly to a singer singing on queue and don’t pay attention to most other details. Watching it on video is a totally different thing and you might have caught on to the tempo and the part where she sounds offkey. I can assure you that there are instances, albeit fewer, of this even in recorded songs of some singers – you just have to pay more attention.

    2) While I am no authority whatsoever on recording, it would be fair to say that the technology available now is far ahead of what Lata or Rafi had. There is no reason why today’s recording studios can’t reproduce what they had in the old times (please note that we have not lost older technology, merely bettered it). So if we were to accept that the singers in today’s TV shows are better, why don’t they sound better than yesteryears’ singers in recordings? For example, compare Kishore’s “Khaike Paan Banaras” to Udit’s newer version. This is not one of my top Kishore songs and while I like Udit’s voice, he is nowhere close to Kishore in terms of bass, power and Kishore’s special paan-chewing effect :). They can adjust the key of songs today, I am not sure if they did that back in the day. A good example of replicating a song of yesteryears’ is Sonu (while I am not too fond of his emoting mainly because I have heard very few new songs, I think he is an outstanding singer) singing “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale”. I had given the link earlier, but it’s not there any more. Here’s an interesting (unrelated, just for fun) clip of Sonu –

    3) “…If you hear the above live song, I feel that even younger singers today in some t v singing programmes etc. appear to sing more well in terms of voice as well as melody factors…as we hear many younger people singing many film songs in t v programmes in many programmes like saregama etc. these days…”. Are you assuming that these TV programmes don’t do anything to the song recording? I can’t tell for sure, but feel that might not be completely true. I don’t think any of these TV shows are really live, most of them might be pre-recorded and the recorded song(s) might have been corrected / doctored using available technology. Coming back to age which is a big factor as well, what is the general age of singers in TV shows?

    4) While it is not applicable in this case as we speak of the great Lata, there is a difference between playback singing and singing. I don’t dismiss singers in TV shows, but Lata is a great singer and would be pretty hard to match. Please note that in front of the mic, the voice sounds drastically different; especially when you are in the recording studio and all the little nuances get caught. Surely, I have seen that today they can use software to correct that, but that is a more recent invention. When singing live on stage, people do try to adjust the bass, treble, reverb, etc. to match the song to what it would sound during the recording. But, they cannot do much if there is a change in tempo during the live recording or if the singer goes offkey.

    5) Regarding the calibre of yesteryears’ singers, I’d like to you consider how many ORIGINAL songs they had to sing. Please note that it is much easier to copy a song than to sing it the first time. The singer has to think about how to say a particular word, what to lay stress on, how to enact pain, happiness, etc. On the other hand, I’d add another thing. It is harder to copy another singer note for note and it is easier to sing the same tune in your style, maybe adjust the tempo a little bit, take the song to your “Sa”, etc. So, I feel if todays MDs started making good songs (I do think there are some good ones like “Aankhen Teri”) and allow singers to explore their own styles, maybe they can create gems too. That being said, coming up with an original or unique way of singing is no easy task. Kishore was a master at this. Not just sad songs, also look at his comedy songs. I don’t understand what inspired him to make those weird sounds or tell Salil that he would sing “Aake Seedhi Lagi” in the female voice as well or sing in that weird voice in “Jhuk Jhuk” or do the “Hing Na Nalay” in “Mere Bhole Balam”, etc. This is one of the reasons I admire Saigal so much. He was the original interpreter.

    I agree with you that this is certainly an interesting topic to research. I’d request others to please comment on Vithal ji’s excellent point.

  27. Vitthal says:

    Prabhanjan ji,

    A nice and informative post. Thanks a lot sir, for the same.

    You are right. I too heard that close to 2500 songs of ghantasala have been collected from his die hard fan. It is also said that unfortunately, many of the songs of ghantasala have been lost ??? It was stated to my relative in 1972 by ghantasala himself that he had already completed 10,000 songs by then, although I have read somewhere that in total ghantasala had sung around 14800 songs (I was told that these include all padyams & sanskrit slokas as well along with private songs and other recordings including songs- a padyam & a slokam were taken as a separate song). I think the padyams and slokas (where he has sung them in hundreds) etc. are not taken in the count of 2900 songs of the die hard fan ? There is a live All India Radio interview of ghantasala in his website, where he himself states that he completed 8800th song very recently in 1971.

    Refuting all exagerrrated claims of rafi fans that rafi has sung 28000 songs and lata has sung more than that, it was clearly established recently (even in rafi forum) that both these singers have not even crossed 5000 songs. (even google says so ) ???

    However, I am aware & I believe that SPB has sung the highest songs in India (more than 20,000) and next is P suseela (more than 15000) Am I correct, Prabhanjan ji ?

    As somebody was stating that Kishore kumar had sung close to 3000 songs – perhaps Arghya ji could confirm that.

    Arghya ji – thanks for the informative post on bengali language and other inputs there.

    Paramjeet Saab – aap kahan gayab ho gaye – kya hamara post par apke uttam inputs sun sakto hoon.

  28. satyansh says:

    Paramjeet ji,

    Maine Hemant Kumar par ek post likhi thi apni site par, usse yahan paste kar deta hoon. Link hai

    Uss samay mai true voice forum mein likh raha tha aur kisine kuch poocha tha to isliye Rafi ka bhi naam iss post mein aaya tha. Of course, yeh to maine jo criteria likhe the unka saransh hai, gehrai to aap khud hi samajh lenge. Shabdon ko gaate samay toDne par jo maine kaha hai uspar thoda dhyan den to aapko Hemant Kumar ke gaanon ka ek bahut khoobsurat pehlu nazar aayega. Uske saath aur kuch bhi nazar aayega, par usse kehne ki zaroorat nahi :). Unki Bengali accent ka zikar maine bhi wahan kiya tha, par accent ke bawajood unki Hindi samajh aati thi. Jaise Rafi ki bhi thodi Punjabi accent thi (“Suhani Raat” gaane mein jaise unhone “Dhal” shabd kaha, jis tarah ek Punjabi Hindi mein kai baar baat karta hai :)), par woh Hindi bahut saaf bolte the. For example, Rafi ka “khargosh” ka “kh” kehne ka tareeka mujhe bahut pasand tha. Of course, Hemant ki to thodi heavy accent thi aur Punjabi generally Hindi saaf bolte hain.

    Yeh lijiye, Manna Dey ke do bahut hi madhur geet. ek geet ki baat maine 1-2 din pehle hi ki thi. Jai ho Anil Biswas aur youtube ki :). Agar kissi ke paas yeh geet hon to please mujhe email karen. Manna-Lata par aap tipaNiyan avashya karen. (Manna aur Lata ki jodi ke kya kehne) (Naach Re Mayura – kitni madhurta se veh swaron ke saath khele hain, Sa par sa)

    — Hemant Kumar —
    Hemant Kumar was exceptional with flow in all types of songs, especially romantic and sad songs. While he had an inkling of Bengali accent (for example how he says “rehane”, “sehane”, etc. in “Ya Dil Ki Suno Duniya Walon”), he still spoke clearly. Like Kishore, he can also be heard saying “Khaab”, instead of “Khwaab” at times (as in “Tum Pukaar Lo”), but I discussed this aspect earlier and it should not be confused with his overall pronunciation. He had a deep voice different from the Kishore power that meant he could sing low-pitch mellifluous tones that would touch the audience in his own style. There were little nuances in his low notes, but they were still outstanding.

    Hemant Kumar did not really incorporate actors’ personality into his singing like Kishore or Rafi even though he sang for many popular actors of his time. As far as adapting to an actor (not genre) is concerned; for texture, Kishore was the best amongst the legendary singers mentioned and in actors’ style, Rafi and Kishore were both awesome.

    Hemant Kumar’s humming was “arguably” better than everybody else. He had a unique style of saying words, he did not pause midway between a word or let the words break (I will say he did this the least based upon what I have heard since I have obviously not heard all the songs) and his breathing patterns during the song were exemplary. This helped maintain the flow of poetry and generated pathos and melody very unique to Hemant Kumar. This was different from the pathos generated by Kishore or Mukesh, the sweetness infused by Rafi or Talat, the rasas evoked by Manna Dey, etc. He did all this while maintaining clear pronunciation (in a Bengali accent). In pronunciation Rafi, Kishore and Manna Dey (amongst the ones I already spoke about) would be better than Hemant Kumar.

    I have received some feedback requesting I elaborate on certain things like scatting (share more tongue-twisters is one request I got ) and few other aspects I have mentioned. I’ll probably discuss the others in due course. Elaborating on the breaking of (pausing between) words; coming from a background where both music and poetry are given a lot of importance, I have seen some interesting arguments on the same. Poets/lyricists strictly don’t like words to be broken into parts and want singers and music directors to accommodate accordingly. Singers and MDs feel it’s not always straightforward. A wider consensus amongst people I know (and the one I agree with) is to avoid breaking up words unless it adds to the expression. Breaking word(s) does not always hurt song(s) and I will give a few examples below (with my poetic justifications which people can very well disagree with). There are other examples where the pause between word(s) could have been avoided, but did no harm to the song because of the high calibre of the song. To find examples of songs where breaking a word hurt the poetic representation is an easier exercise and I leave that to the reader. It’s very commonplace in newer/current Hindi songs wherein lack of expression is already a widespread problem. In general, I think it would be better to not break the words where possible. In “Suhaani Raat Dhal Chuki” (one of my all time favorite songs), the word “Intezaar” is broken in the line “Tadap Rahe Hain Hum Yahan, Tumhare In..tezaar Mein”. This one can have a poetic justification in that “‘In..tezaar’ kar rahe hain to ruk ke kehne mein harz hi kya”. Although I know some knowledgeable people would argue otherwise since Rafi often broke words and one has an example of how Hemant says “Intezaar” in “Tum Pukar Lo”, I would go with the poetic justification I came up with to satisfy myself since to me the pause sounds beautiful if I think about it this way. Another example is the word “Betaa..biyaan” that is broken in the line “Jahan Se Mai Betaa..biyaan Leke Aaya” in the song “Mujhe Le Chalo”. I have examples from other singers too, but used these because I have recently been talking a little more about Rafi.

    For a few specific examples of Hemant Kumar’s expressiveness we have the way he says “Uff…” in the song “Jaane Woh Kaise Log The Jinke”; “Hairat” in the song “Zara Nazaron Se Kehdo Ji”; “Tujhe Kya Mila” in “O Zindagi Ke Dene Wale”, etc.

    A few great songs of Hemant Kumar with exceptional emoting are “Ganga Aaye Kahan Se”, “Yaad Aa Gayee Woh Nasheeli Nigahen”, “Yaad Kiya Dil Ne Kahan Ho Tum”, “Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni Phir Kahan”, “Jaag Dard-e-Ishq Jaag”, “Gagan Jhan Jhana Raha”, “Chuppa Lo Yun Dil Mein Pyaar Mera”, “Jhir Jhir Badarva Barse”, “Main To Heer Ka Hoon Deewana – Ek Chaand Ka Tukda”, “Tumhi Mere Meet Ho”, “Ja Dilruba, Tere Saath Chala Dil Mera – O Saajana”, “Aa Gupchup Gupchup Pyaar Karen”, “Hai Apna Dil To Awaara”, “Na Tum Hame Jaano”, etc.

    Hemant Kumar was also a music director par excellence and he sang several of his own compositions in films such as Naagin, Bin Badal Barsaat, Kohra, Khamoshi, Anupama, Beel Saal Baad, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (no Hemant songs as far as I can remember now), Bandi, Shart, etc. Some of those awesome compositions Hemant rendered himself are “Yeh Nayan Dare Dare”, “Bekarar Karke Hame”, “Vande Maataram”, “Ya Dil Ki Suno Duniya Walon”, “Yeh Mast Nazar Shokh Ada”, “Tum Pukaar Lo”, “Jai Jagdish Hare”, “Zara Nazaron Se Kehdo Ji”, “Mohabbat Jisko Kehte Hain”, “Dekho Woh Chaand Chupke”, “Arre Chhod De Sajania”, “Kashi Dekhi Mathura Dekhi Dekhe Teerath Saare – Tere Dwaar Khada Ek Jogi”, “Na Yeh Chaand Hoga”, “Saanvale Salone Aaye Din Bahaar Ke”, “O Zindagi Ke Dene Wale”, etc.

    While I am talking solely about Hindi music, I’d like to encourage readers to research and share Hemant’s songs in Bengali music circles, particularly where Rabindra Sangeet is concerned. It gives a perspective into Hemant Kumar’s Hindi film music as well. Amongst other things, there is a lot I need to learn about that aspect of Indian music.

    A rare song of Hemant Kumar for a Pakistani movie “Hamsafar” is “Raat Suhaani Hai” –

  29. Balarykar (Prabhanjan) says:

    @Satyanshji: I will prepare my list over the weekend

  30. Balarykar (Prabhanjan) says:

    @Paramjeet ji: Here is the youtube link for the song “Sard Sard Raaton Mein”
    Yes, Asha Bhosle gives extra dimension to this song. You are sure to enjoy this duet of them to This song is from the movie Tohfa. Undoubtedly, one of the best songs of SPB.

    Talking about SPB, let me share a few things. I have met this old man (65 years only) 4 times during the last 20 months. If he needs any of his kannada songs, the first thing he does is contact our Bangalore fan group. He is very very cordial man. Such a simple guy that if he is in his house (which is by the way where your brother is also staying) and you walk in, nobody will stop you. Anybody can walk in his home and if you call him on the residential phone number, and if he is there at that time, the phone will be promptly answered by him. I can give his phone number and address too if you ping me at

    I see that you are a bit surprised by my (big) post after all those at Let me explain it this way. Do you think there are cricket fans who consider them self Sachin fan first and then Sunil Gavaskars? In that way I am SPB fan first then Rafi, KK, et al. I am not sure about many legends, but I know one thing for sure.

    With SPB its very simple for me. In the morning I can listen to his Sanskrit devotional songs (over 500 at least). His kannada, telugu, and tamil devotional songs add more than 5000. And then listen to his “Mard Bhare Geet” (how many heard of this criteria of songs) during shaving and breakfast, must sum to 1000. When in traffic, I can listen to his breathless songs (Shankar Mahadevans was later). In the afternoon, I can listen to many of his romantic songs, this is certainly in excess of 5000. For the evening too I can continue the romantic songs. In the garden and a bit late in the night, his sexy songs (again in excess of 2000) come handy. Finally, in even late in night, if some baby kids are crying (about 200 songs), I can make them listen his “lori” songs. For me thats a complete singer.

    Most important category of SPB songs: Suppose you want to harm somebody. The best way would be make them listen 15000 crappiest of the crap SPB songs which he sung in the late 70’s and 80’s. That living being, irrespective of whether male or female, human or animal, is bound to die. I am sure that many legends fan will argue with me that their singer is better than SPB in this category or that category mentioned in the previous paragraph. But these “reality killer” songs will be unrivaled. So great is my fav singer. 😀 😀 😀

    @Vithal sir: I just want to bring your notice a few facts about SPB pronunciation. In tamil, the grammar requires that when “Solli Solli” (same word said twice) is said, the first time its pronounced as “solli” only. However, when the next consecutive time its pronounced, it must be done as “choli” and not “solli”. Not even the best of tamil singers do it right way. Next, listen to AR Rehmans album “Jana Gana Mana” in which our national anthem has been sung by many singers. Only one singer will stand out in the right pronunciation category and you can find out who s/he is 🙂

    You say that “But still even SPB does not come close to ghantasala in terms of expression, diction and pronounciation of the highest chaste telugu language in which ghantasala was ghantasala only.”
    Yes, I do know that Ghantasaala is excellent in Sanskrit pronunciation. Putting SPB with him is not acceptable even for me. Both have rendered Bhagwad Geetha with a time lag of maybe fifty years and I know that its the earlier version that Andra Pradesh listens. However, please look at the effort thats gone in the later version too :). Moreover, Ghantasaalaji is a freedom fighter too and musician class apart. Yes, I have a list of many things where SPB does not match up to others. That does not bother me though, cause if SPB has to what Ghantasaala did, then I definitely don’t need SPB. Similarly, if you are looking at others from this angle, the question that is legitimate is not if others scale up to him. Its just that why look at other singers at all.
    To summarise, lets look from another perspective. Newton and Einstein are two of the tallest scientists to ever grace the planet. Can somebody say that Newtons better coz Einstein used calculus which Newton invented? Newton inventing calculus is the greatest thing which everybody accepts. However, Einstein carried forward in a way which is as important as inventing calculus itself.
    Similarly, Ghantasaalaji came earlier and did great things. Not denying it. But its important to carry it further. P.S: I am not saying that ITS SPB who carried further, but just reflecting that even if there is ever a singer who does it this way, its likely that it won’t accepted.

    Finally,you have rightly said “no offence -prabhanjan ji -these are my pure personal views”. I respect them a lot and just reflected on the way it looks to me. Just fyi, I heard that Ghantasalaji had sung about 2900 songs in telugu and his most die-hard fan collected 2200 of them. Next 20 years he scanned AP 10 times over but did not get even a single distinct song. So sad about it 🙁

    PS: its true what a SPB fan goes through. In kannada, they say SPB is nowhere near P.B. Srinivas. In telugu they say that SPB does not come any near Ghantasaala. In tamil, he is put down in favor of T.M. Soundrajan. His diction is faulted in hindi. His devotional songs are not considered as “right up to there”. However, there is a long story to be told. 😀

  31. arghya says:


    Post 315-318. Very informative post. Thanks a lot. You have raised very good points here. And since you had asked for my views(which indeed is a pleasure for me, really I am not at all qualified enough to answer all of them), I would just add some of my opinions there.

    1. kudi yedamaithey: Very melodious song. Beautiful murkis.. Enactment of booziness was also good. Although I doubt after completing an entire bottle of liquor(around 750 ml bottle it seemed) whether a “untrained singer”(Devdas) can take such beautiful murkis and taans :)..

    2. Pronounciation/Diction: Satyansh is the best person here in this forum to talk on this topic in detail. I personally do not remember Rafi sahab ever pronouncing Zindagi as Jindagi( unless of course it is intentional from a playback perspective like his pronounciation in “Hum kaale hain to kya hua” or Manna’s pronounciations in Padosan in south indian accent). He was quite perfect in pronounciation and holds advantage over all the other singers except Talat Mehmood in the industry IMHO.

    There are some typical slips which all the singers used to undergo while singing.. Some typical errors were:

    a. Hemant, Manna and Kishore: Bengali errors… Pronouncing “khwab” as “Khaab”(of course, not always) .. Hemant was couple of notches down below Kishore as Paramjeet had mentioned in his last post pronouncing “kehna” as “kehena”.. Kishore is said to have committed mistakes like pronouncing “pha” as “fa”..

    b. Mukesh had that “dehati” pronounciation with many times pronouncing “sha” as “sa”( “nasheeli” as “Naseeli”)

    c. Talat: Although have not heard him extensively(especially his earliest singing in the mid 40s), his diction and pronounciation was very perfect and very urban.. His urdu dictions were the clearest of all IMHO

    d. Rafi was also almost flawless.. Sometimes he used to have a Punjabi accent in his songs,especially in the 50s, something like “hai” as “hyai” with slight twinge of “y”.. And sometimes his “bha” used to sound like “ba” with “h” getting silent..( especially in his sad and romantic songs) like this:

    Listen to the start of this song how Rafi pronounces “kabhi” with the “h” almost silent.Proper urdu speaking people especially the ghazal singers wont like this pronounciation.. As a song, although it is an exceptionally well composed and well sung song. Just to put forth the topic on which we are discussing.

    3. Bengali language: As we know Vitthalji, like many of the languages in India, Bengali also hails from mother Sanskrit. Kishore was very poor in Bengali and used to commit mistakes in pronounciation.. Even his milestone Bengali song which we had discussed earlier “Ki ashay bandhi khelaghar” had some pronounciation mistakes( “keu” pronounced as “kehu”).. He almost every time used pronounce “chand”( which in bengali is pronounced with just tinge of touch on “n” unlike Hindi where the “n” is pronounced fully) in the Hindi way.. Only his Tagore songs are dictionally perfect as he was extra cautious while pronouncing words written by none other than Rabindranath Tagore.

    So, in a nutshell I would conclude saying that all singers had their “style” of pronounciation.. On diction and pronounciation, I would say Kishore was not that good in Bengali in many songs, in Hindi he was quite atttractive even in those “khaabs” just as Rafi was appealing in his “kabis”..


  32. Vitthal says:

    and lastly, whosever has MASTERED telugu perfectly has declared it as the best among languages (as it is such a difficult language from grammatical wise too). This i feel proud to state because, dear friends, because I too am a telugu man – of course I am equally well versed in hindi and english as well (perhaps more than telugu – laughs)

    I request paramjeet, arghya ji to please share some insights into bengali language – it would be great. I have visited calcutta many times, but would not have been able to get at bengali language – even my very near friends are bengali’s and they have told me that if one has to learn bengali, it can be easily learnt with little effort. Arghya ji would be the right person to share his invaluable experiences here. I think too much of postings have come from my side – apologies if any uncomfortable views are posted – these are only for sharing with music lovers and my friends here.

  33. Vitthal says:

    Prabhanjan ji and all others,

    contd.. to previous posts

    With me, even it is the same for ghantasala too – some of his tamil songs – even I have reservations for this unique singer there too, when I hear his songs – he might be perfect there ? (again perhaps purely lack of knowledge of tamil language) I can only appreciate his melodious voice and technical ability – and there have been cases where I did not feel so much comforable with his tamil songs, as I am comfortable with his telugu songs. (perhaps due to my telugu language knowledge)

    Again sanskrit, perhaps one of the universally acclaimed languages, I have seen whosoever expert had heard ghantasala – claimed that more greater perfection cannot be seen. Such was the sanskrit language command for ghantasala.

    Finest example will be the syamala dandakam of ghantasala in this regard (which has received the greatest applause of the greatest singers from the music industry) Perhaps Sri Vas ji & even surajit bose ji would be able to throw more light on this – A wonderful composition in sanskrit simultaneously sung in 8 ragas – in highest possible pitch for a composition (perhaps the highest sa note in final octave is comfortably sustained by ghantasala in this)

    Arghya ji, would be able to appreciate it fully – as this was the original composition of Mahakavi kalidas itself (I think he was bengali – am I correct Arghya ji)

    Here is the link for syamala dandakam (I would have been happier if the quality of audio would had more clarity – In film this rendition simply is out of the world where awesome clarity is displayed and the same quality is not present in you tube link, However one can have a fair view of the rendition as it will be of immense interest for music lovers)

    I request all the music lovers to post such mindblowing renditions (need not be nearer or similar) from any language so that it can be enjoyed by music lovers and our knowledge in music can be enhanced (language, singers etc. being no bar).

    Satyansh ji, – since, as I understand from Arghya ji that you are based in US – I think if our friends agree – even you can share some nice western compositions for hearing please , which will be another area of musical discussion here.

  34. Vitthal says:


    further, as kumar ji says here in his posts, any music lover, in order to fully grasp a song from major angles i.e expression, diction, pronounciation, language command etc. one need to have a fair grasp of knowledge of that language, otherwise, in my personal view, one can only stop at appreciating the singer at voice and technical level itself (in many cases more so if the voice is melodious). Even when I hear SPB tamil songs or kannada songs, i generally do not appreciate his songs, (he may have been perfect there but my lack of knowledge of tamil or kannada becomes a………) similar to his telugu songs (because of my knowledge of telugu where I could appreciate SPB more). Even in telugu, as stated by many including SPB, the diction, expression, pronounciation, bhava effect etc. are so chaste and perfect in ghantasala that no other playback singer in telugu industry has displayed such talent. Even today SPB stresses much on language pronounciation – SPB as he had the association of ghantasala – he is certainly better than other playback singers of current day in terms of telugu pronounciation, which he has improved a lot compared to his earlier days of 80’s. But still even SPB does not come close to ghantasala in terms of expression, diction and pronounciation of the highest chaste telugu language in which ghantasala was ghantasala only. (no offence -prabhanjan ji -these are my pure personal views)

    Paramjeet ji, satyansh ji, arghya ji, Could you please stress on the language pronounciation and command of rafi and kishore. Because I have observed in many cases for e.g. jindagi is pronounced by rafi whereas zindagi is pronounced by kishore ( I am unable to make the point more clearer – hope you might have understood it) Who is perfect in language – whether both are correct or both are limited in pronounciation – because mukesh pronounciation again differs.

  35. Vitthal says:

    Dear Arghya ji, Paramjeet ji, Satyansh ji & others.

    Here is a song of ghantasala from the great film Devadasu (Dilip kumar in hindi destroyed his hindi print after seeing this telugu film of ANR and again acted in hindi – after seeing the acting of ANR)

    The song is purely sharabi, tragedy & melodiously composed. -A fine mixture of melody, tragedy & sharabi effects in voice of ghantasala – 1953 film.

    For your views, dear music lovers.

  36. arghya says:


    “Depicting a weak hero”.

    Yes, sobbing is one part of it. Honestly, the sobbing style of singing has long been out of fashion in the industry..I am also not very fond of emoting songs in that way, as if you are trying to pull sympathy towards the singer and not the song.. Anyways, that is a pure subjective view. But, this is a view where I can at least say that even Lataji thinks that way!!

    Read the above article, very interesting..She says ” He(Kishore) meticulously avoided sobbing in sad songs which was the practice those days.”

    I am surprised Satyansh, as the praises of Manna De is taken as genuine(which has to be of course) and the praises of Lataji is taken as “Politically maneuvred statements” by a certain group of people! Anyways, that would be diverting the topic.

    I think you got my point much earlier 🙂

    By the way, my top 10 Sad songs are:
    1. Jagmag jagmag karta nikla chand
    2. Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare
    3. Aansoo bhari hai yeh jeevan ki raahein
    4. Chingari koi bhadke
    5. Zindagi ka safar
    6. Koi humdum na raha
    7. Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe
    8. Dukhi man mere
    9. Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi
    10. Zindagi ke safar mein

    I dont know whether we can put “Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi”, “Kuchh to log kahenge”, “Man kare yaad woh din”, “Tumne mujhe dekha” and “Kahi door jab din dhal jaye” as proper sad songs or not, I think I would categorize them in sentimental song and not pure sad.

    By the way, the above list also is very much changeable.. Songs like “Jin raaton ki bhor nahi hai”, “Husn bhi hai udaas”, ” Koi hota jisko apna”, ” Ghungroo ki tarah bajta hi raha” and “Saathi na koi manzil” are so close to follow, my choice might turn anyday.

  37. satyansh says:


    Good addition in the form of “Badi Sooni Sooni Hai”. It is amongst my top 10 sad songs ever. I’m not sure if Amitabh was drunk in that song, but I think he did have a drink in his hand so one can call it a D-song too :). While I totally understand the difference in Rafi and Kishore’s style of emoting in sad songs, I am not sure what you mean by depicting a weak hero. Are you talking about say what he does in the line “Ashkon Ko Mai Pee Lunga”, where he makes it sound like the actor is losing control of himself (almost sobbing)? Would you say that Devanand in “Dukhi Mann Mere” was depicting a weak hero? He looks weak and dejected, but Kishore doesn’t sob through the song. “Dukhi Mann Mere” has remained my favorite Kishore sad song, he maintained amazing texture through that song as well. Here is Jagjit Singh singing it –

    Kishore’s sad songs have a tendency to grip right from the beginning. He puts tremendous pathos in his songs. As far emoting in sad songs is concerned, Mukesh and Hemant (with his unique style) were right up there too. Of course, Rafi was outstanding in serious socio-political/personal introspection kinds, not necessarily pathos-laden though. I love what Kishore does in songs like “Jab Dard Nahi Tha”, “Khiza Ke Phool”, etc. too. It is fascinating how he can sing comedy songs so naturally and then sing these amazing sad songs – I can’t stop marvelling at his genius.

    Can you guys (yourself, Paramjeet ji, Vithal ji, Prabhanjan, Srivas ji, Surajit and others) list your top 10 favorite sharabi, sad and comedy songs? Just personal preferences (mine keep changing from time to time :)).

  38. paramjeet says:

    waise ek aur prashna hai prabhanjanji se.. Kya aap wohi prabhanjanji hai jo mein the?? agar haan hai to main surprised hoon.. Mujhe nahi pata tha ke aap SPB bhakt bhi hai.. Agar hai to main bhi ek chhotasa raaz batata hoon, mera bhai bahut bada fan hai SPB ka.. Woh chennai mein engineering karta hai aur bahut bada fan ban gaya hai peechhle teen saalon mein SPB ka.. 🙂

  39. paramjeet says:

    satyansh bhai
    Haan maine bhi suna hai hemantji ne bengali mein bahut madhur gaane gaye hai.. Unki awaaz mein bahut geherai thi. Unke uchharan mein problems the hindi mein.. ‘kehne do’ ko ‘kehene do’ bolte the..mere hisaab se weh ek bahut hi dignity ke saath gaate the.. Hai na?? Thoda hemantji ke upar vistaar mein bole..

    Prabhanjan bhai
    Great dost.. Very good article. Do u had SPbala song ‘ sard sard raaton mein’?? Bahut mazedaar gana hai.. Pl share the song here..

    Agreed. ‘teri duniya se hoke majboor’ mein thodisi majboori jhalakti hai jo kishoreda ke sad gaano ke hisaab se unique hai.. Woh gana suniye ‘kaisa hai mera dil tu khiladi’ main shart lagata hoon koi aur aese damdaar gaake dikhaye woh gaana aur woh spontanity jiske saath kishoreji ne mood changes kiye poore gaane mein..

  40. arghya says:


    It is a general characteristic of sad songs of Kishore and Rafi about how they “enacted” the pain.. I can never ever imagine how Kishore would have sounded something like “Hum tumse juda hoke mar jayenge ro ro ke” that too especially they way Rafi had enacted “ro ro ke”… Equally difficult to imagine Rafi enacting the way Kishore had uttered “zindagi ko bahut pyar humne diya , maut se bhi mohabbat nibhayenge hum”… The only “weak emoting of sad song” from Kishore I can remember is “Teri duniya se hoke majboor chala” where the hero really sounded weakish and it was a Rafisque sad song.. Kishore did a great job there with a good check on the melodrama… Something out of my imagination for Kishore is “Babul ki duayein leti jaa”, can’t just imagine even Kishore singing that song..

    Anyways, in sharabi songs, Kishore is always known to “enact the required booziness” flawlessly.. Just too good.. Amar Prem, Prem Nagar, Amanush, Sharabi etc. had an alcoholic background where Kishore delivered beautifully..

    By the way, no one mentioned “Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi” in Sharabi songs!! What a composition and how deep rendition that was.. Simply matchless.. A grand finishing to the association of my most favourite MD and most favourite singer 🙂

  41. Balarykar (Prabhanjan) says:

    “Although it is a Kishore Kumar forum, may I request the admin to convert this post into a full fledged article if Prabhanjan permits?”

    Firstly I must thank the moderators for having accepted the post 🙂
    It will indeed be a great honour if they convert it into a full fledged article 🙂

    Though I listened YTKHG, I never saw those videos.My fav song from it remains “Hum tum hum do raahi”. This song is so beautiful that I never registered the remaining songs. Thanks all again.

  42. satyansh says:

    Paramjeet ji,

    Mujhe to “Aati Hai Yaad Humko” bhi timepass gaana lagta hai. Lekin mere paas uss movie ke gaane nahi hain. Iss samay bahut kam gaane hain, sirf Saigal ke kaafi gaane ab bhi mere paas hain kyonki unn geeton ko bahut sambhal kar rakhta hoon :). Kuch saal pehle tak mai har din Saigal ke gaane pakka sunta tha. Ab to khair bahut kam gaane sunta hoon, zyadatar yaad par hi chalta hoon. Kishore/Asha ke Sajjad Hussain ke saath bhi acche duets the. Woh bhi aap please sunen. Aapko Manna-Lata ke duets kaise lagte hain?? Waise Manna Dey ka ek gaana tha “Naach Re Mayura”, usse aap kripaya sunen. Bahut hi behatareen geet hai, par shayad yeh kissi picture ka gana nahi hai. Aur aapko agar acche Punjabi ya dusre folk gaanon ka gyan ho to woh bhi share kijiye. Mai to ruka hoon ki koi Hemant aur Manna Dey ke Bengali gaane share kare.


    Nice post on “drunkard” songs. I liked the song “Thakita Thadimi” (hope I spelt it right). I would take the liberty of exploring / adding at a high level a few other dimensions of D-songs. I tend to listen to many songs of intoxication translating in my mind the source of intoxication from liquor or a similar substance to something else.

    Personally like Rafi’s songs of intoxication a lot – “Maine Peena Seekh Liya”, “Mujhe Le Chalo”, “Hum Bekhudi Mein Tum”, “Jungle Mein More Nacha”, “Sawan Ke Mahine Mein”, etc.

    Can’t get enough of Kishore’s “Chingari Koi Bhadke” – it is an outstanding song. Kishore is awesome again in “Kuch to Log Kahenge”, “Yeh Kya Hua”, “Hai Hai Hai Yeh Nighayen”, “Yeh Laal Rang”, “Inteha Ho Gayee”, “Sachai Chup Nahi Sakti”, “Ladkhadane Do Mujhe”, as a drunk Rishi Kapoor announcing his love for Neetu Singh in “Khullam Khulla Pyar Karenge”, etc.

    Agree with you in that “Drunkard Raaga” has many dimensions and if one includes the cabaret types (sharab-cabaret mix), Asha has soo many good ones, she’d be hard to surpass – “Piya Tu Ab To Aaja” (RDB), “Maine To Paani Piya Tha” (Keemat / LP), “Jaam Bhi Hai” (LP), “Aao Huzoor Tumko” (OP), “Tujhe Pyaas Hai, Mere Paas Hai” (SDB), “Sheeshe Se Pee” (Ravi), “Pee Ke Hum Tum Jo Chale” (SJ), etc.

    Lata too has way too much variety – “Do Ghoont Mujhe Bhi Pila De” (RDB), “Kaise Rahoon Chup” (LP), “Meri Taqdeer Aaj Mujhe Kahan Layee Hai … Zamana Yeh Samjha Ke Hum” (CR), “Yeh Meri Zindagi” (SDB), “Haan Ji Haan Maine Sharaab” (RDB), “Na Dharam Bura … Panditji Mere Marne Ke Baad” (LP), “Jaane Kya Pilaya Tune” (SDB), etc.

    There are so many other D-songs in HFM like “Abhi To Haath Mein Jaam Hai”, “Kabhi Khole Na Tijori Ka Tala”, “Dulhan Khoobsurat Hai”, “Thodi Si Jo”, “Chhalkaaye Jaam”, “Botal Se Ek Baat”, “Pyaas Meri Bujha Na Payega”, “Tumhari Mast Nazar”, etc. If you add Bhang to the mix, you’ll find a few other numbers as well – “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” being somewhere at the top. “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Sharabi” deserves special mention in my mind (this song has potential).

    Without giving this much thought, few of my top D-songs in no particular order (excluding classics from Saigal) would be “Na Jao Saiyaan”, “Mujhe Le Chalo”, “Hum Bekhudi Mein Tum”, “Chingari Koi Bhadke”, “Zindagi Khwaab Hai”, “Inteha Ho Gayee”, “Jhanak Jhanak” (picturized on a drunk Raj Kumar), “Huzoor Iss Qaddar”, “Mujhko Yaaron Maaf Karna”, “Aao Huzoor Tumko”, etc. There are obviously many ghazals too; Jagjit Singh’s “Thukrao Ab Ke Pyaar Karo … Mai Nashe Mein Hoon”, Ghulam Ali’s “Hungama Hai Kyon”, etc. If one includes “westernized” songs, I feel Asha and Lata will dominate the list.

    It is interesting to note that generally many of Rafi’s songs of intoxication are around dejection (although he does have “happier” ones too like “Mujhe Duniya Walon Sharabi Na Samjho”, “Chal Mere Bhai” if singing to a drunk man counts :), etc.); while Kishore tends to sound bold (it might have to do with the picturization and the situation in the movie along with their singing styles) when he depicts intoxication. No comparisons here, it is just a generalization. I’m not sure if anybody here has a list of all sharabi songs.

  43. arghya says:

    Prabhanjan 306. Awesome writing.. I enjoyed every bit of your writing and the sarcasms towards drunkards..

    Actually I had once expressed my viewpoints that in Sharabi songs , to capture the exact essence of the song is more of an achievement singer rather than singing a song rarely with musical value.. SPB might have been unfortunate to miss out the “musical value” in his drunkard songs, but his enactment and capturing of essence of alcoholism has been FANTABULOUS!! I would not go into the arguement of who “enacted alcoholism” better- Kishoreda or Baluji- but, I must admit the improvization which SPB did in drunkard songs are amazing..

    1. Surprised to see no mention of the song from “Yeh To Kamal Ho Gaya”..There were two SPB songs ” Naujawaon mein bacha tha ek main kunwara” and ” Yeh duniya ghum rahi hai”.. I think there also SPB did beautiful job although I am not sure whether the “nasha” was of alcohol or something else( charas, gaanja etc. 🙂 ) but whatever, the enactment was good.. Although for the second song, the original Bengali Kishoreda one was very powerful and funny and no alcoholism in the song ( claimed to be the first rap song in films) and remain unsurpassed, SPB did nice act in the Hindi one ..

    Here is the Kishoreda Bengali one in 1958:

    And here is SPB version in Hindi with booziness:

    2. You are also right in identifying that singing sharabi songs has to be there in your blood.. Otherwise the enactment would never ever reach perfectionism.. Although there were talents like Rafi( a teetotaller) and Kishore( teetotaller for most of his life except perhaps towards the end) who could get the mood and the feel right and there was Mukeshji who was quite indulged into drinking but never was quite able to ENACT the sharabi mood that well(I am not talking of singing and musical value of his songs.. In those things, he was right up there)..

    Lastly, it is an exceptionally well written article.. Although it is a Kishore Kumar forum, may I request the admin to convert this post into a full fledged article if Prabhanjan permits? Otherwise such responses would again get unnoticed..

    Keep it up Prabhanjan!!!

  44. Balarykar (Prabhanjan) says:

    SPB and The Drunkard Raaga

    Many singers have successfully sung the drunkard songs. Lets see how they have all fared.

    Rafis in your face drunkard song “Choo Lena Do Nazuk Hoothon” gives that necessary courage for a drunkard to coerce his wife into drinking. Its another matter that they fail almost always without realising that they are not the late Rajkumar to succeed. Rafi’s another song “Koi Saagar Dil Ko Behlata Nahin” truly conveys the message that no amount of alcoholism will ever help to overcome a heart break. Nights are longer than days. Yes, Einstein also confirms the same in “Din Dhal Jaye”.

    Kishore Kumar has his own share of deaddictable songs, especially play backed for the legends Amitabh Bachhan and Rajesh Khanna, though we will not list them here for lack of appropriate e-space. His gem “Peenewalon ka peene ka bahana chahiye” from the movie “Haath Ki Safai” for Randheer Kapoor reflects that the drunkard is like a buffalo. Just like the buffalo continues its walk irrespective of the season, so does the drunkard irrespective the emotive state. A lesser known, but a really good d-song of Kishore Kumar is from the Mithun Chakravarty starrer “Daata” and the song is “Roona dhona chod chod de” in which he urges the damsel to forget all the sadness and raise the drinks towards the heaven. Its questionable though how a drunkard can go to heaven. Oops! Of course, from hell a toast can be raised in the direction of the heaven. Madness is the way out. A simple proof is that the poet says the fire arising of sparks can be extinguished but not the ones thats lighted from the rains. Thats the way its said in “Chingari Koi Bhadke” at .

    Talking of the damsels and the drinks brings us the legend Pankaj Udhas. His truly inspiring song (strictly for the drunkaaards only) “Huwi bahut hi mehengi sharaab, ke thodi thodi piya karo, piyo magar rakho hisab, ke thodi thodi piya karo” tells us how to handle the inflation smartly. Yes, inflation DOES affect the drunkards. Why did you ever assume that there is no Drunkonomics in the first place? Going through all the Pankaj Udhas songs one is led to believe that the brothel is truly a good place to hang out and the prostitutes are women of wisdom!

    Yes, this article is not at all about any of the singers mentioned above. Please forgive me for my drunkard walk. Probabilists have been eternally inspired by the random (drunkard) walk and will swear that a simple application of the Borel-Cantelli lemma shows that the below listed events occur infinitely often with probability one (that is, infinite recurrence is a certainty):
    (a) a probabilist returning to the drunkard (random) walk;
    (b) a drunkard returning to the wine shop;
    (c) the author of this article mentioning SPB.

    Yes! I am writing this article about SPB which when expanded gives us infinite letters, viz., Sripathi Panditharudalaya Balasubrahmanyam, and I have always wondered why the name “Balasubrahmanyam” is written in infinite different ways though there is enough empirical evidence that each of those variations have been repeated infinite times. I now swear to stick to SPB only. By now the reader is supposed to have understood that the “Drunkard Raaga” is infinite dimensional. With all due respect to Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Pankaj Udhas, and many other competent singers, its SPB who has managed to sing the most variations within Drunkard Raaga. While there have been singers who use this raaga, many commit the cardinal sin of singing the Drunkard Raaga. They just don’t realise that one does not sing in this raaga. Its the ultimate truth in this universe that the drunkard raaga gets in your body, soul, and everything within, and then whatever you say/sing/blabber/shut-up, it is the DRUNKARD RAAGA. Lets explain this raaga a bit more.

    The Drunkard Raaga has two components. First is the signal, which has a format. This format may be simple, complex, or chaotic. Whatever the format, the functionality is always known. To be more specific, its like a computer program which can do whatever its been instructed to do. There is no surprise here, though we all appreciate it. Many singers do this first step with grace. And then comes the cardinal sin. They all stop here only without bothering about the second component. This step is also like the half part of the drunkard walk. The drunkard has to walk and many people tend to do it without ever realising that the direction has no “left” or “right” written on it. So after a while they are all doing either a right or a left. This is where the great SPB excels. That damned raaga is in him which enables him to erase the “left” and “right” each time he takes a step. Thus the picture is complete and this is really the second component of the drunkard raaga. The ability to erase the names is what is famously known to the probabilists as the “White Noise”. This white noise effect is truly there in almost all the drunkard songs of SPB. Having done all the theory of the drunkard raaga in SPB, now lets have a sample of some of his drunkard walk.

    To begin with, let it be made very clear that the focus here is SPB’s drunkard walks in hindi. This language has not exactly been a forte of his. Still, we will be satisfied with this “Dariya”. So what if its not “Saagar”.

    Watch this song on youtube . The movie is “Ek Hi Bhool” and the walk begins at “Bekhudi Ka Bada Sahara Hai”. See how uncertainly he goes around it and feel the noise at “Kitne halki hai, kitni boojhal hai, koi aurat nahin ye botal hain,band isme jahan saara hai”, and then back to “Bekhudi Ka Bada Sahara Hai”. Listen how well, noisily in truth, he reverts to “Beekhudi kaa”. I am sure that Anand Bakshi must have been wondering who wrote those lines. Spot on the bang SPB, bang on the spot, SPB. The song was cast on Jeetendra. In this entire song, the feel is of having drunk whiskey. Don’t ask me how.

    There has been this flop of a movie called “Santaan”. This movie was completed in a record time and again Jeetendra comes to do that walk. The situation is that the son ditches parents, and the father realises that Tulsi and Ved Vyas wrote simple encyclopedic facts on Ramayan and Mahabharat. The perennial challenge was to write something about the parents struggle. And thus goes the song “Tulsi ne Ramayan Likhi, Ved Vyas ne mahabharat. Kyun kisine kabhi naa likhi, maa baap ki kahani”. The music by Anand-Milind had probably been a decade late. Nevertheless, it powers into the drunkard performance of SPB. Upset with the iconic saints, this has a shade of DesiDaru. After all, the character is not rich guy. I know you are missing that there is no youtube link.

    Lets be done away with Anand-Milind. If they had Sameers company in the previous song, the great Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the truly noisy words “Banke bigad gaya kaam, very sorry, I am so sorry, ulte huwe badnam, very sorry, I am so sorry”. I am not too sure if it was picturised on Salman Khan or Amjad Khan, or both. It had its roots in the telugu movie “Prema” where SPB did the honors earlier. Both are good and intoxicating. Some songs are lost and not yet captured at youtube.

    A mother is singing rhymes to put the baby in the world of dreams. And a bastard listens to it. How does he feel? The torment, that anguish, justified frustrations, etc, all in the company of a huge quantitative arrack of daru is capture here . The movie is Benaam Badshaah and Laxmikant-Pyarelal are at it again.

    A lover separated from his rich princess is tormented and is in search of the mirage in the Sahara desert. Unsurprisingly, that mirage for a broken heart is perennially a bar room where Mithun Chakravarty is seeking solace. Though there is no lip-sync here, its undoubtedly a intoxicating songs. . Though the actor is striving and showing the desi version, the song actually reflects the rum(ification) and Alka Yagnik complements like a true princess missing her abode. This pair has given such marvelous duets that I actually feel its one of the most underestimated duet pair in the hindi film world. Trust me, its so underestimated that it puts to shame even the less due that is generally given to SPB in bollywood. Well, thats another article in waiting from the author. I hereby solemnly declare that once the detoxification of this article occurs, this will be certainly evaluated to the ranks it should be. Nadeem-Shravan are among the very few who gave too good songs with SPB.

    That “jeeye to jiye, kaise bin aapke” is probably the biggest hit drunkard song of SPB does not make it necessary that I should also bore you with it. Its popular, its everywhere. Whats there for me. I mean, come on. If anybody starts a random walk in the crowd, they must be kicked. I won’t write more except thanks to Nadeem Shravan and of course Salman Khan.

    Women, especially from the subcontinent, hate the drinks and then the drunkards. It comes as no surprise that on one occassion, the drunkard could not take it any more. He is a mard first, and then a drunkard. So, there he goes. “Naa baaba na baaba, na baaba naa, aurat ka bharosa na baaba naa. haan baaba haan baba, haan baba haan, ye ek na do na teen, ye saari ki saari hai bewafa”. Its important to understand here that though I am in the noisy state, its difficult for me to give up something thats rhyming and repetitive. Its really annoying that the reader thinks the noise won’t like the signal. Its around the signal (drinks) that we owe our existence. So, jai ho signal ki. Just guess the lyricists state of mind and the torment he under went.

    “Ek, Ek se Bhale Do”. I do know that this is a song about unity and not about some stupid mindless walks. But I am blabbering about ek (SPB), and ek se bhale do (SPB with Kishore Kumar). Now add R.D. Burman on the top of it, and tie us to the chairs and keep Dimple Kapadia before us. You are certainly joking if you presume we won’t be intoxicated. Whew! Now, thats truly taking the square of a random walk and destroying sanity. Its fun to be insane. He he he! This “scotch on the rocks” performance is known as “Yun hi gaate raho” from the classic “Saagar” movie. Its difficult not to find its video:

    We now declare that the shop is closed for today. Yes, we know we have to have it one more time. We did not try the “Desi Daru” unlimited version. Did we? Frankly, I don’t know, and it does not matter. Its shame to keep the hisab. I introduced drunkonomics, but did not I declare earlier that I am very weak in the “ics” of “academics”. So, what will we do. Anupam Kher on street and madness on other side just never ever happens. Uparse bandar ko sharab bhi de di. So what happens is “Saari umar mein, is jeevan ki daud mein bhaga ghoda”. LP were certainly bad and knew the word “havoc”. Movie goes by the name of “Sansaar”.

    To close out, a few pointers. Its likely that SPB is probably the only singer ever in India to have received a National Award for a random song. I mean how damn good was it from the movie “Saagara Sangam”. Its telugu, admitted. This song is “Thakita thadimi”. Watch it . And all the above songs can be put in one single “Vaa Mancha Vaa”. This is a tamil song. Its so notorious that it converted a simple next-door girl name into a volumptous sexy babe. Smitha later became famous as “Silk Smitha”. Thats the power there is in the drunkard raaga when it came out of SPB.

    Thanks for the tolerance and admittedly you need to curse Arghya (he asked me to compose the entire above poetry), SPB Bangalore team (RGN, AR particularly), and SPB Mumbai team (VK and NK). Back to the room. Buyyyyyee.

    PS: The author is a teetotaler and does not encourage in any way to get into alcohol practices. Also, each of the artists mentioned in this article is respected and no potshots are attempted to put one above other. All the mistakes are owned by myself. Thanks again.

  45. paramjeet says:

    Bahut badiya rating hai!!!!

    Mere hisaab se bhi duet mein kishore-Lata aur Kishore-asha ke baad hi baaki log aate hai.. SD ne jo duets kishore ke liye banaye woh unsurpassed hai.. kya zabardast chemistry hai boss kishore lata mein.. Theek jaise do bhai bahen ga rehain hai.. Behetareen understanding.. Aesa nahi ke ek mike pe khade ho gaye aur dusri dusre mike pe aur apne apne hisaab se gaane lag gaye….

    Kishore aur asha mein bhi wohi chemistry!!! Kya zabardast chhed khaani thi dono mein.. Ek dusre ke prati sadbahv magar takkar dene ki utni hi chaah!!! Maza aa jata hai boss!!! ashaji ki ladkiyon wali ada aur kishoreda ke mast chhed chhad…

    aap ne woh gaana suna satyanshiji?? Bahut pehle ashaji aur kishoreda ne gaye the Muqaddar mein… Ek do teen char baaghon mein aayi hai bahar, khemchandji ka geet.. Pehle se hi mast rehte the dono…..

  46. arghya says:

    Yeah, the Raymond one. It was real good. The way they have correlated the postlude of the original song with the theme music of Raymond.

    But the winner is ” Din hai suhana aaj pehli taarikh hai” from Cadbury I suppose. The recreated superhit of Kishoreji has been awesomely popular as a jingle.. Also to mention Nokia’s use of ” Zindagi ke safar mein” was quite attractive. I work with Bajaj Auto Limited as a state head in Orissa for auto loans. Recently, we launched a new bike Discover M- 100cc and the official presentation during launch was…any guess? “Rote hue aate hai sab, hansta hua jo jayega..” and then in the midway of the presentation to depict the beauty of the bike the song which was used was “Tere chehre se nazar nahi hathti”.. And No, I did not create the presentation :D.. It was a national campaign..

    There are many many many examples the way media and corporate promotional team rely on to Kishore Kumar due to his out of the world mass popularity. The Unicef, UNESCO using Kishoreda tunes every now and then in their campaigns.. It seems the most popular theme song for maximum NGOs is “Aa chal ke tujhe main leke chalu..”

    By the way, I was passing by ISKON temple last evening and a gift shop near to it was playing “Krishna krishna bolo krishna..”. You can’t ignore Kishore Kumar anywhere…

  47. A Singh says:

    Good Write Up

    Was not aware that Kishore has sung so many devotional songs.

  48. Prabhanjan says:

    about the “sharabi” songs of SPB here..

    Arghya: Will be delivered tomorrow 🙂

  49. paramjeet says:


    Raymond ki ad bhool gaye malik??? Saamne yeh kaun aaya dil mein hui hulchul???

    Jai guruji ki!!!!!

  50. arghya says:


    Nice to see you here again… 🙂

    Thanks a lot for that info on Telugu songs of Rafi..

    By the way, you had promised me once that you would write in detail about the “sharabi” songs of SPB here.. When can we expect that buddy?? :)..

    It would be sooo interesting..

Post your Comment on Facebook

Visit our other dedicated websites
Asha Bhonsle Hamara Forums Hamara Photos Kishore Kumar Mohd Rafi Nice Songs Shreya Ghoshal