Wednesday, May 22, 2024

10 heartfelt poetic songs

Following the Unesco directive in 1999, March 21 is celebrated as World Poetry Day every year. To mark the day, we choose 10 Hindi film songs which are strong on poetry or lyrical content.

This is just a random selection, with a good mix of ghazals, nazms or simply numbers which have created an impact through words. The order is chronological.

1 Aah Ko Chahiye – Mirza Ghalib (1954)

Though this popular Mirza Ghalib ghazal was recorded earlier by K.L. Saigal, Suraiya’s singing and performance in the later release had its own charm, as it also featured a well-choreographed dance sequence. Music was by Ghulam Mohammed. The film also starred Bharat Bhushan.


2 Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye – Pyaasa (1957)

This was a nazm written in free-flowing verse by Sahir Ludhianvi and filmed on Guru Dutt. Mohammed Rafi sang the gem, which had the intense lines, “Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai”. The tune was composed by S.D. Burman who built up the drama with great effect. Waheeda Rahman and Mala Sinha also appeared on screen.


3 Yun Hasraton Ke Daag – Adalat (1958)

Music director Madan Mohan combined with Lata on some memorable ghazals. This one was filmed on Nargis. Rajendra Krishan wrote, “Yun hasraton ke daag mohabbat mein dho liye, khud dil se dil ki baat kahin aur ro liye”. The film also had the classic ‘Unko yeh shikaayat hai’.


4 Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho – Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960)

One of the most romantic songs in Hindi film music, it was written by Shakeel Badayuni, composed by Ravi and sung by Rafi. The words were, “Chaudhvin ka chand ho ya aftaab ho, jo bhi ho tum khuda ki kasam lajawaab ho”. It was filmed beautifully on Guru Dutt and Waheeda. The words “Tum kisi shayar ka khwab ho” were one of a kind.


5 Aansoon Samajh Ke – Chhaya (1961)

One of Salil Chowdhury’s most pathos-filled compositions, this was sung in the velvet voice of Talat Mahmood. Lyricist Rajendra Krishan wrote, “Aansoon samajh ke kyon mujhe aankh se tumne gira diya, moti kisike pyaar ka mitti mein kyon mila diya”. Sunil Dutt sang the song for Asha Parekh in a party scene.


6 Phir Wohi Shaam – Jahan Ara (1964)

Another beauty sung by Talat Mahmood, it was composed by Madan Mohan. Rajendra Krishan effectively described the feeling of loneliness with the lines, “Phir wohi shaam wohi gham wohi tanhai hai, dil ko samjhaane teri yaad chali aayi hai”. The hit was filmed on Bharat Bhushan and Mala Sinha.


7 Kuch To Log Kahenge – Amar Prem (1972)

Anand Bakshi wrote the iconic words, “Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna, chhodo bekaar ki baaton mein kahin beet na jaaye raina”. R.D. Burman’s tune was sung immaculately by Kishore Kumar. The song was filmed on superstar Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore. These were simple lines which created an impact.


8 Tum Aa Gaye Ho – Aandhi (1975)

Gulzar had his own style of writing with a focus on imagery and metaphors. In the Aandhi song ‘Tum Aa Gaye Ho’, he used a candle flame to express his thoughts. The tune, filmed on Sanjeev Kumar and Suchitra Sen, was sung by Kishore and Lata. R.D. Burman composed it.


9 Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein – Kabhi Kabhie (1976)

This was written as a nazm by Sahir and adapted for use in Kabhi Kabhie, with Amitabh Bachchan, Raakhee and Shashi Kapoor on screen. Sung by Mukesh and Lata, it was composed by Khayyam. The opening line was, “Kabhi kabhie mere dil mein khayal aata hai, ke jaise tujhko banaya gaya hai mere liye”.


10 Tumko Dekha To – Saath Saath (1982)

Jagjit Singh sang Javed Akhtar’s simple lines, “Tumko dekha to yeh khayal aaya, zindagi dhoop tum ghana saaya”. Chitra Singh joined on the accompanying parts, and the music was composed by Kuldeep Singh. The song was picturised on Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval.

As mentioned earlier, this is a random selection. Some great lyricists are not mentioned though they have helped create some great songs. For an extensive list, even a top 100 may not suffice.


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Narendra Kusnur
Narendra Kusnur is one of India’s best known music journalists. Born with a musical spoon, so to speak, Naren, who dubs himself Kaansen, is a late bloomer in music criticism. He was (is!) an aficionado first, and then strayed into writing on music. But in the last two decades, he has made up for most of what he didn’t do earlier.

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