Wednesday, March 22, 2023

10 breezy road songs

Different modes of travel have often been featured in Hindi film songs. After listing 10 rail numbers in May, we now look at road songs.

Picturised on cars, jeeps, motorcycles or buses (and sometimes shot on the sets), these songs not only make for good travel listening, but have also been played often on home stereos. We choose 10 popular tunes in chronological order, using 1979 as the cut-off year.


1 Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Raahi – Munimji (1955)

Dev Anand and Nalini Jaywant were picturised on this car ride. Kishore Kumar had one of his early hits, and the music was composed by S.D. Burman. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote, “Jeevan ke safar mein raahi milte hain bichad jaane ko, aur de jaate hain yaadein, tanhai mein tadapane ko”.

2 Chand Aahein Bharega – Phool Bane Angarey (1963)

Raaj Kumar drove the car with Mala Sinha at his side. This was a huge hit for Mukesh who sang Anand Bakshi’s romantic lines, “Chaand aahein bharega, phool dil thaam lenge, husn ki baat chali toh, sab tera naam lenge”. Music was by Kalyanji-Anandji.



3 Mere Sapnon Ki Rani – Aradhana (1969)

From a jeep driven by his friend, Rajesh Khanna followed Sharmila Tagore who was sitting in a train. Kishore sang this hit composed by S.D. Burman, with Bakshi writing, “Meri sapnon ki rani kab aayegi tu, aayi rut mastani kab aayegi tu, beeti jaaye zindagani kab aayegi tu, chali aa, tu chali aa”.


4 Zindagi Ek Safar – Andaz (1971)

Rajesh Khanna rode around Bombay from Gateway of India and Marine Drive to the beaches on his motorcycle with Hema Malini on pillion. Kishore did his trademark yodelling on this song with Shankar-Jaikishen composing the music. Hasrat Jaipuri wrote, “Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana”.


5 Dekha Na Haaye Re Socha Na – Bombay To Goa (1972)

This was set in a bus journey from Bombay to Goa with Amitabh Bachchan dancing away. Aruna Irani, Mehmood and Anwar Ali were also seen on the ride. Kishore sang the song composed by R.D. Burman. Rajendra Krishan wrote, “Dekha na haaye re socha na, haaye re rakh di nishane pe jaan; Kadamon main tere nikle mera dum, hai bas yahi armaan”.


6 Chala Jaata Hoon – Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972)

Rajesh Khanna steered an open-air car with a left-hand drive along hilly roads. This was another classic case of Kishore’s yodelling, with R.D. Burman providing the tune. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote, “Chala jaata hoon kisiki dhun mein dhadakte dil ke taraane liye, milan ki masti bhari aankhon mein, hazaaron sapne, suhaane liye”.


7 Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho – Hanste Zakhm (1973)

Navin Nischol and Priya Rajvansh were in a car on this classic Mohammed Rafi song. Music director Madan Mohan excelled in his orchestrations, and Kaifi Azmi wrote, “Tum jo mil gaye ho, toh yeh lagta hai, ke jahaan mil gaya; Ek bhatke hue raahi ko karwaan mil gaya”.


8 Yeh Dosti – Sholay (1975)

This classic from Sholay had Dharmendra and Amitabh riding on a bike with a side-seat. The song had many comic moments. R.D. Burman provided the music with Kishore and Manna Dey singing. Bakshi wrote the unforgettable lines, “Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge, todenge dum magar, tera saath na chhodenge”.

9 Rote Hue Aate Hain Sab – Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978)

Amitabh rode around Mumbai on his motorcycle on this popular number. Kalyanji-Anandji composed the music, with Anjaan writing, “Rote hue aate hain sab hansta hua jo jaayega, woh muqaddar ka sikandar, jaaneman kehlayega”. Kishore was on vocals again.


10 Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi – Kaala Patthar (1979)

Shashi Kapoor rode his motorcycle through woody locales, often bumping into a group of ladies. Kishore and Lata Mangeshkar sang this with prominent back-up vocalists. Music was by Rajesh Roshan, with Sahir writing, “Ek raasta hai zindagi, jo tham gaye toh kuch nahin, yeh kadam kisi mukaam pe, jo jam gaye toh kuch nahin”.


Interestingly, Kishore was featured on eight of these songs. Maybe it was just a coincidence, though his yodelling went well with many road journeys.

While these and other road songs may set you in a travel mood, here are the 10 rail songs from our earlier column

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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