Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Apni to har aah ek toofaan hai

Posted on: January 25, 2009

S D Burman is renowned for composing some fantastic boat songs. But I have noted that S D Burman, as well as his son R D were the leading exponents, when it came to creating memorable train songs as well.

When one compiles a list of the greatest Bollywood train songs of all time, 70 % of the songs are bound to be composed by the two Burmans.
I know that, because I have carried out this exercise and my list of Train songs is still there in my other blog.

This particular song from “Kala Bazar” was the second train song composed by S D Burman. The first such song by S D Burman was “hai apna dil to aawara” from “Solva Saal” and that song had finished number 1 in Binaca geetmala 1958.

This second Train song by S D Burman was picturised on the same lead pair of Dev Anand and Waheeda Rahman. This song is not as well known as the “Solva Saal” number, but the song is a classic nevertheless and the picturisation is superb. In fact, I love the picturisation.

It is an Indian Railway train of 1960 and our dashing hero, Dev Anand is travelling first class. When he enters the first class coupe, he sees that three berths are already occupied and one lower berth is vacant for him. The three other berths are occupied by one family consisting of parents and their daughter.

The daughter is Waheeda Rahman, in case anyone is interested to know. 😉 The father has occupied one of the lower berths, and the two ladies are on the upper berths. I must say the family was quite conservative. One would think that the ladies would occupy the lower berths and the gentleman would take the upper berth.

But the old man was obviously of the time when women were considered subservient to men. Now a days, the family would take all the available lower berths, and when a new person would board the train, they would try to convince him to take the upper berth, saying that they have ladies travelling who needed lower berths. Much to Dev Saab’s good fortune, such things did not happen in those days. I must say this kind of things has happened many a times with me. Sometimes I have accepted, and sometimes flatly refused. It depends on the manner of asking.

Coming to the song itself, the song starts with a lovely musical strain that gives the impression of a ferry going across serene water. After all, it is S D Burman’s music. Soon the music incorporates whisling sound of a steam locomotive and soothing rhythmic sound of a train chugging along nicely.

Dev Anand has been left alone, and the family have not had any conversation with him. He is looking out of the window. Watching out of the window and pretending to be interested in the scenes outside the train is the usual thing to do when the ice has not been broken with the other occupants of the coupe.

While continuing to look outside, Dev Saab does something unusual ( or is it really so ? )- he bursts into a song “apni to har aah ek toofan hai”. The two ladies have their eyes shut. Daughter, because she is sleeping and the mother because she is praying. Both of them open their eyes when they hear this song coming from under them.

The three occupants were getting used to their co passenger singing harmlessly when they find the guy singing “uparwaala jaan kar anjaan hai” ( the one above is knowingly acting as ignorant).

Hearing the word “Uparwala”, Waheeda Rehman, who is on the upper berth, is scandalised, as does her mother, occupying the other upper berth. Then, she realises that “uparwala” does not mean her, it means the almighty above. Thank God, the song is not about me, it is about the God, she heaves a big sigh of relief. But as the song progresses, she is not so sure. She furtively tries to have a glance at the fellow singing the song whichis obviously full of double entendre, even though her parents have been fooled. Notice Waheeda Rehman’s expressions throughout the song. Priceless !



Song-Apni to har aah ek toofan hai (Kaala Bazaar) (1960) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Shailendra, MD-S D Burman


Apni to har aah ik toofan hai
Apni to har aah ik toofan hai
kya karen wo jaan kar anjaan hai
uparwaala jaan kar anjaan hai
Apni to har aah ik toofan hai

ab to hanske apni bhi kismat ko chamka de
kaano me kuch kah ke to is dil ko bahla de
ye bhi mushki hai to kya aasaan hai
uparwaala jaan kar anjaan hai
Apni to har aah ek toofan hai

Sar pe mere tu jo apna haath hi rakh de
phir to bhatke rahi ko mil jaayenge raste
dil ki basti bi tere veeran hai
uparwaala jaan kar anjaan hai
Apni to har aah ik toofan hai

Dil hi to hai jisne shayad bhool bhi ki hai
zindgi hai bhool kar hi raah milti hai
maaf kar banda bhi ek insaan hai
uparwaala jaan kar anjaan hai
Apni to har aah ik toofan hai
Apni to har aah ik toofan hai
kya karen wo jaan kar anjaan hai
uparwaala jaan kar anjaan hai
Apni to har aah ik toofan hai

18 Responses to "Apni to har aah ek toofaan hai"

Lovely song, nice picturisation.
Fun to see Waheeda and Mumtaz Begum (the mother) in doubt.

Just imagine yourself singing a song like this in a train. Chances are that somebody will tell you to shut up. It helps if you have Rafi saab’s voice. 😉


This happens to be an all-time favorite of ours – my husband and me, and even my children know the song because we have told them the context and the meaning. I have it on a couple of DVD’s and we all love the part where the mother tells the father that Dev Anand is singing about their daughter and the father listens and tells his wife that it is about the real uparwallah, not their daughter and she is happy and goes back to her japmala! This is easily a chayageet song, with the train’s whistle, the soft music, and Rafi’s enchanting voice. It is just pure magic!


I fell in love with this song and esp its picturisation when I saw the movie on DD donkey’s years ago. Thanks!!!


Atul, again your choice is an inspired one! What a beautiful song. Close your eyes and you can hear a bhajan – watch the clip and you see a mischievous love song. Great picturization, one of those songs which sound as good on the screen as off it. Thank you indeed.
How about another song of the same ilk – Rukh se zara naqab utaho from Mere Huzoor?


There is another train song in Jab Pyar kisise hota hai – “Jiya oh jiya oh jiya kuch bol do …” also by Rafi and also picturised on Dev Anand, with Asha Parekh as the female lead. However, that song does not have the same soothing effect that this one has.


Thanks for sharing this beautiful song, and surprizing I had never heard this song before.


Just like Lalitha above, this is one of my all time favorites, not just as a soothing song but also as a delightful video. In fact, when I saw the video on Youtube for the first time last year, I was so taken by it that I emailed the link to everyone I knew. The double entendre is just precious.


Such an amusing song picturised beautifully. Brings a permanent smile to your face. I’m not surprised that back then people went ,supposedly, to repeat shows. Now we rewind it,don’t we? In that period, I was not in the main cities. But I did watch some in the theatres. Glad about VHS and DVDs. Hope many more rare movies come out on dvd.


This song is indeed very nicely picturised.


I had watched this song on TV when i was barely 10 years old. Since then it has been haunting me. I never knew to which movie the song belonged to and remained asking people for any clue. Today, I pass my heartiest gratitude to the blog owner who revived in me that magic again!!! What a piece of composition!!! And one keeps wondering which ‘uparwala’ this lad is referring to. In any case one is beaten flat…either by the prospect of the Almighty or the sheer splendor of the song….


I am pleased to be of help.


The ultimate mischief, imagine flirting with the girl in front of her parents. It is mischievous, teasing, soothing, subtle, devotional , and a few more, all rolled into one. There are other instances of similar situation, where the hero invariably has to be in disguise, but without disguise, this has to be only one of its kind.

The magic of SDB. There could be a female version also of this song.
Regards to all.


I call this one as Director Vijay Anand’s song. He has made the song the interesting one despite constraint in shooting space – may be in less than 30 sq ft area, concentrating mainly on facial expressions of the actors involved in the picturisation. Thankfully, DVDs of this film is available to enjoy watching this song. Otherwise one would have thought this as a devotional song if only audio of this song was available.


Vijay Anand repeated the same feat three years later with “Dil Ka Bhanwar” in Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), starring Dev Anand and Nutan. He wanted to shoot the song in Qutub Minar, but the space was too constrained, so what they did was build a set exactly like the Qutub Minar and filmed the song there. I remember watching Dev Anand say this once in an interview on TV.


Can anyone of the able reader / readers tell name of the actor who performed the role of Waheeda’s father in Kala Bazar .
Is it MA Latif . Can the soothing song be termed as a gentle eve teasing song ?


Can anyone of the knowledgeable readers tell the name of the actof who performed the role of Waheedaji’s father .Can this ear — eye soothing song be termed as an eve teasing one ?


“When one compiles a list of the greatest Bollywood train songs of all time, 70 % of the songs are bound to be composed by the two Burmans.
I know that, because I have carried out this exercise and my list of Train songs is still there in my other blog.”

Which is this blog?


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