Tag Archives: old hindi songs

Love is in the air (Part 2) – A selection of romantic songs from old Hindi movies

A year ago to this date, I wrote a post on some classic Hindi film songs that make you feel the love in the air. Since I left that post marked as Part 1, there had to be a Part 2 and why not. Hindi cinema has offered so many wonderful romantic songs and a second collection would be well worth the curation effort. So here we go, in no particular order- some classic romantic numbers from old Hindi movies. It took me over 2 hours to put this together because there was so much joy to be hard listening to them, all over again. Hope you get the same thrill as I did putting this together.

  1. Aap ki Nazron ne Samjha from Anpadh

What a lovely song featuring the mellifluous voice of Lata at her peak. Madan Mohan composed this instant classic with some great lyrics by Raja Mehndi Ali Khan. Mala Sinha glows as a dashing young Dharmendra sets her hearts and millions more, aflutter.

2. Tum Aagaye Ho from Aandhi

This song is interesting because a different song from the same movie offers a classic “years later” perspective to the young love depicted in this song. Between “Tum Aagaye Ho” featuring Lata and the one and only Kishore and  “Tere Bina” featuring the same singers- it is hard to go wrong. Plus there is a sense of gravitas that Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar bring to this mature love story that is unparalleled.

3. Chookar Mere Manko from Yaarana

I will admit. I had a big crush on Neetu Singh growing up. And amidst a ton of awesome songs from the late 70’s-early 80’s, I wanted to push this one in. Plus an earnest Kishore Kumar backing an equally earnest Amitabh on screen is hard to pass. Rajesh Roshan weaves a soft and pleasing song that works.

4. Zindagi Ek Safar from Andaz

Shankar Jaikishan get a Kishore Kumar at his playful best belting this classic romantic song with wonderful lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri. Rajesh Khanna is at his peak. Yes, the song doesn’t really end well but enjoy the song while it lasts. It captures a fleeting love in a way unlike any other. Bonus fun are the costumes. Just watch it.

5. Piya To Se Naina from Guide

S.D.Burman produces an album for the ages. Each song drips with melody while conveying love, anguish, and eventually redemption through some spectacular music and gorgeous lyrics by Shailendra. R.K.Narayan’s wonderful tale gets full justice. So many great songs – I will pick this beautiful one featuring Lata.

6.Chingari Koi from Amar Prem

This is not your typical upbeat romantic song. These are lovers in pain- there is no hope for their love. But it does not prevent us from enjoying Kishore delivering a brilliant rendition of the song with outstanding lyrics by Anand Bakshi and tuned by S.D.Burman.

7. Isharon Isharon from Kashmir Ki Kali

From one Sharmila Tagore movie to another. This is quite the opposite from Amar Prem. A joyous love story set in  breathtaking Kashmir valley, this movie and its awesome soundtrack by O.P.Nayyar remains one of my personal favorites. Every song is wonderful. I picked this one because it offers greater depth than the rest which are good in so many other ways. And yes, Rafi saab, you are special. As is a young and bubbly Asha.

I will throw in one more piece from the same movie. Just couldnt resist. So much awesomeness from Rafi and Asha.

8.Acha Ji Main Hari Chalo from Kala Pani

How does one lose with the radiant Madhubala and a debonair Dev Anand on the screen? Throw in Rafi and Asha at their best thanks to S.D.Burman and you have a classic worth listening many many times over. Go for it.

9. Ek Pardesi mera dil legaya from Phagun

Madhubala is every man’s dream. Marilyn Monroe had nothing on her. Lata and Rafi just deliver a killer punch with such a gorgeous song set to tune by O.P.Nayyar.

10. Ude Jab Jab Zulfein from Madhumati

You want to court a lady, you do it like this. Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala set the screen afire. A song for the ages. O.P.Nayyar goes with the killer combo of Rafi and Asha again.

11. O Mera Sona Re from Teesri Manzil

A classic movie with fun plot twists along the way, Teesri Manzil is what a romantic thriller should be. It doesnt hurt to have some wonderful songs by R.D.Burman. This piece featuring Rafi and Asha has more happening than you think.

12. Yeh Ladka Hai Allah from Yaadon Ki Baraat

One of those songs that stuck with me since I was little. Yes, this movie boasts that other classic romantic song which I featured in my first collection. This one by Asha and Rafi is a lot of fun too.

13. Aye Mere Zohra Jabeen from Waqt

No, not the one from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenga. This is the original one. Love, pure and simple. Composed by Abdul Ghafoor Breshna and set to tune by Ravi, Manna Dey is just pitch perfect.

14. Raat Akeli Hai from Jewel Thief

One of those movies that just gets better with age and a soundtrack for the ages by S.D.Burman. So many great songs but this one featuring a young and gorgeous Tanuja trying to well, seduce Dev Anand is just outstanding. And Asha Bhonsle is just so darn good. Just watch her take off with “chup kyun rahiye.” So, so awesome.

15. Ek Ladki Bheegi from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi

I accidentally missed this in my first collection and someone smartly pointed out. As you can imagine, I am besotted by Madhu Bala. Who wouldnt be? Ask Kishore Kumar. In song and in real life. There are shorter videos available with just the song but the foreplay is well worth a watch. What a song.  I will leave you with the words of Majrooh saab, set to tune by S.D.Burman and just perfectly sung by Kishore Kumar.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day folks! As always, all these songs and those from my first collection are in this public Youtube playlist.

Remembering Manna Dey

Growing up, I was fed a regular dose of old Hindi film music. My late uncle used to live in Delhi. Those were the days when an upstart music company called T-Series led by a daring entrepreneur, the late Gulshan Kumar was challenging established stalwart HMV. T-Series released compilations of old Hindi songs for Rs.18 and completely upset HMV’s applecart. T-Series tapes used to be sold on the streets at Nehru Place. My uncle used to pick up a whole lot of these and send it to us by mail. We listened to them over and over again until the tapes started getting worn out and eventually totally done. One of the artists who I did not get exposed to quite as much then was Manna Dey. 


Years later, as I expanded my horizons listening to Hindi music on TV and with my old music crazy uncles and aunts, Manna Dey saab entered my world. And having missed out on his music all those years, I caught up with his music rapidly and came to admire his remarkable talent. This past week, on Oct 24th, Manna Dey saab passed away leaving us with his rich legacy of music. Here is my humble selection of a very small list of songs that I continue to  listen to this day. This is by no means a representation of his sheer breadth of talent but just a small sampler.

1. Jhanak Jhanak Tori

This song set to tune by Shankar-Jaikishan for the movie “Mere Huzoor” is a good starting point for Manna Da’s voice. The song set to the beautiful Raag Darbari Kanada (Darbari) showcases his classical side. 

2. Laaga Chunari mein daag

This song carries some wonderful lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi for the movie “Dil Hi To Hai”. Music is by Roshan. Another piece with a strong classical bent and set to Raag Bhairavi, the visuals and Manna da’s voice create wonderful symphony that has to truly be experienced. 

3. Ae mere zohra jabeen

This song from Waqt featuring the brilliant Balraj Sahni in a career defining role is remembered by the younger generation courtesy its reprisal in DDLJ by Amrish Puri. The original song is a sheer joy to watch and listen to and Manna Dey brings a playfulness to it that elevates the song to a different level.

4. Yaari hai imaan meri

This next song is an iconic ode to friendship featuring the versatile Pran and a young Amitabh Bachchan from the movie Zanjeer. Kalyanji-Anandji offer a complex tune with varying tempo that Manna Dey does full justice to. 

6. Yeh Dosti

In a remarkable coincidence, Manna Dey and Amitabh Bachchan feature in the other iconic Hindi film music piece on friendship that has withstood the test of time from “Sholay”. Kishore da voices for Dharmendra while Manna Dey offers an excellent counter balance for Amitabh Bachchan in this rollicking composition by Rahul Dev Burman.

7. Ae mere pyare watan

So this song is a personal favorite. Everything about this is so rich- the poignant lyrics by Prem Dhawan, the sensitive composition by Salil Chowdhary, spectacular acting by Balraj Sahni and of course the subtle rendition by Manna Dey. Every time I hear this song, it triggers this instinctive response that is indescribable.

8. Poocho Na Kaise

A remarkable composition in Ahir Bhairav that touches like no other. Ashok Kumar emotes to perfection as Manna Dey brings out the depth and pathos in the scene through this composition of Shailendra set to tune by Sachin Dev Burman.

9. Ek Chatur naar

As an excellent counterpoint to the pathos in Poocho na kaise, Manna Dey lets it all go with Kishore Kumar in the laugh riot, Ek Chatur naar from Padosan. Manna Dey offers his voice for Mehmood. The song starts off in classical Kalyani and then devolves into a creative oneupmanship piece in Brindavana Saranga. The singing battle is as awesome to hear as it is to see. 

10/ 11. Dil ka haal / Mud Mud ke

This entry formally kicks off the Raj Kapoor section of this list. Manna Dey gave his voice to some megahits for R.K. This song impresses with its sheer simplicity of composition and rendition. In the movie, it is symbolic of all things simple and pure just as “Mud mud ke” represents all things dark and powerful. Coincidentally, Manna Dey is the voice of simplicity in Dil Ka Haal and the transformed one in Mud Mud ke. And the transformation has to be seen to be believed. 

12. Jahaan main jati hoon

A playful number from Chori Chori featuring Raj Kapoor and Nargis in the background and a set of puppets in the front. In due course, Raj and Nargis become the puppets. Music is by Shankar-Jaikishan and features Manna Dey at his playful best with Lata.

13. Aaja sanam

No old film music collection is complete without a song featuring Raj Kapoor and Nargis. And Chori Chori is up there in the pantheon of musical albums that last a lifetime. Featuring unforgettable music by Shankar-Jaikishan, every song is worth a thousand listens. Here is one such- watch when Manna da first enters the piece with “Bheegi Bheegi raat mein” and you’ll fall in love with the piece.

14. Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi

This song is from the same movie, Chori Chori as the previous song. I thought hard about which song to finish with. This one was a close second. Lata and Manna Dey take the song to such heights that it deserves multiple hearings.

15.  Pyaar hua

There is Raj Kapoor and then there is Nargis. There is rain (in the sets atleast). That lone umbrella does its job pretty poorly as expected. But there is magic. Shankar-Jaikishan weave a song that represents romance to an entire generation. Indeed, love happened. In my case, with the voice of Manna Dey. 

Manna Da, you will be missed. 

Entire playlist featured on this blog can be found on youtube here