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

Chingaari koi bhhadke

Posted on: August 4, 2011

This article is written by Raja, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog.

Atul has just brought to my notice that Kishore Kumar’s birthday falls on 4th August. He wanted me to write up a song on this occasion – how could I possibly refuse? For one, it is for Atul’s blog and therefore an honour to be part of it in any possible way. Secondly, it is for Kishore da – and he’s always been close to my heart too. So there was no second thought – and here I am, typing away furiously on my keyboard.

I will admit that Kishore da’s birthday had escaped my mind. I did remember that Barack Obama’s birthday too falls on 4th August – that is because it’s been in the news recently since he turns 50 this year.

For a moment I toyed with the thought of them (Kishore and Obama) trading places. What fun that would be, I thought. Kishore as President of the US, leader of what is still the most powerful nation in the world. It is one hell of a responsibility and I have great admiration for Obama inspite of the various challenges he is facing (or rather, has been facing all along) in his presidency.

I could not help feeling that Kishore would do a good job at it. That’s because, to me, Kishore could do anything. He could sing, act, compose, write. He could do rollicking comedy one moment, having you in splits. And then, the next moment he could play a dead-serious role that could bring tears (and not of joy) to your eyes. That was Kishore da.

So yes, our harfan maula, Kishore Kumar could do Obama’s job, I felt.

And then, I looked at the other side of the switch. Obama to do Kishore’s job?
Hmm….Now I have great admiration for Obama’s abilities. He is a very eloquent speaker, he handles the media amazingly well, he’s probably a good actor too (isn’t a basic level of acting, part of the requirement of being in politics?).

All that is ok. But then Obama’s voice? Instead of Kishore’s? Nah! It’s ok for a speech but that’s about as far as I will allow Obama to go. The thought of Obama singing is not one that I want to entertain for more than a millisecond.

So I think I will leave them with their respective professions and skills. Jo jahan hai, theek hai. Yes, both of them had something in common other than their birthday – they both have a huge fan following.

I know for a fact that Kishore da has a huge fan following amongst most Indians of my generation and later. And since my generation is no spring-chicken generation, we are comfortably talking numbers easily running into millions. Since Kishore was an allrounder, his popularity is not just limited to his singing. I know many who consider him one of the best comedy actors Bollywood has ever seen.

But Kishore da, for most Indians, is known best for his voice.

I do not want to bore people with what is already available in the public domain about Kishore da – and there’s a lot! I will therefore just talk about my own memories and thoughts of the man.

My first memories of Kishore Kumar are of Aradhana. I’ve written elsewhere on this blog about “mere sapnon ki rani” and what a massive hit it was. Whether the official statistics support me on this or not, I will maintain that this song is one of the biggest hits of Hindi cinema of the last 40-50 years. “Roop tera mastana” from the same film was also a massive hit. These two songs were everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. Together with “kora kaagaz tha ye man mera” from this movie, it became clear that this movie had made a definitive statement – it pretty much took the existing Hindi film male singer pecking order, led for years by Mohammad Rafi, and just tossed it out of the window.

Overnight, Hindi movies had, not just a new No.1 hero in Rajesh Khanna, they also had a new No.1 male voice in Kishore Kumar.

It is not as if Kishore had not had hits before this. He’d been around for close to two decades and had come up with plenty of hits, many for SD Burman and some composed by himself. But he’d not been prolific enough – and had not earned enough respect with some music directors (notably Naushad and OP Nayyar) – to be seen as leading the pack. Rafi was the colossus, Mukesh had his fan following – and I daresay Kishore had his share of niche fans who enjoyed his yodeling and his comedy acts.

Aradhana changed it all.

Kishore had always said that singing was his first choice. In fact, he used to get money from his father for singing Saigal songs (he was a huge fan of Saigal saab). He got into acting by chance – and never really saw it as his first calling.

After Aradhana, there was no doubt what his calling was.

My first introduction to Kishore may have been with Aradhana but then there was a deluge. Maybe it is Aradhana I remember best but I do remember songs coming at me thick and fast, one after the other. I was not even ten but I distintly remember the songs of Kati Patang being huge hits as were those of Safar. Everything Rajesh Khanna touched turned to gold. And with that, everything Kishore Kumar touched seemed to turn to gold too. For Kishore became the de facto Rajesh voice just as Rafi had been Shammi’s for a previous generation of Hindi film and music lovers.

I will not even attempt to list out the Rajesh-Kishore hit songs and movies – practically every Rajesh Khanna movie of the late 60s / early 70s (when he was at his zenith) had hit Kishore songs. From the children’s favourite “chal chal chal mere haathi” to the romantic “mere dil mein aaj kya hai”and “o mere dil ke chain”, from the happy “jai jai shiv shankar” to the sad “zindagi ke safar mein”, he was Rajesh’s voice in hit movie after hit movie.

But Kishore’s success, post Aradhana, was so astonishing that he did not need a Rajesh Khanna to lip sync his songs and make him a success. Even for other actors, he was just as successful. He was everywhere – yodeling for a young Big B with “dekha na haaye re” (Bombay to Goa), rendering an amazingly soulful “koi hota jisko apna” for Vinod Khanna (Mere Apne), singing timepass songs for Randhir Kapoor in Jawani Diwani, a bunch of hit songs for Shashi Kapoor in Sharmeelee, Aa Gale Lag Ja, Chor Machaaye Shor and Fakira, the soulful “pal pal dil ke paas” for Dharam in Blackmail, the equally soulful “ye jeevan hai”for an upcoming Anil Dhawan in Piya Ka Ghar, “dil aisa kisi ne mera toda”for Uttam Kumar in Amanush, “meri bheegi bheegi si” for Sanjeev Kumar in Anamika, “geet gaata hoon main” for Vinod Mehra in Lal Patthar. The list can go on and on. He was just everywhere.

Atul is a big Binaca Geet Mala buff, I don’t remember the details but he will tell you that in the early 70s, Kishore practically ruled Binaca Geet Mala. It was then the barometer for public popularity of a song and the paaydaan (or listing) comfortably played, unashamedly, Kishore song after Kishore song. After all, if that is what the public wanted, who was Ameen Sayani, the presenter, to say no?

Music Directors predictably jumped onto the Kishore bandwagon. RD Burman and Kishore da were already close. There was the SD Burman association with Kishore already. Besides, RD had already used Kishore before Aradhana happened, notably for Bhoot Bangla (jaago sonewaalon) and big musical hits like Padosan and Pyar Ka Mausam. Now, with his mojo rediscovered, Kishore da gave RD Burman hit after hit in movies like Kati Patang, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Amar Prem, Jawani Diwani, Apna Desh, Namak Haraam, Anamika, Parichay, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Ajnabee and many more.

Kalyanji Anandji also jumped onto the Kishore bandwagon as he gave them hit songs in films like Safar, Maryada and Kora Kaagaz. Laxmikant Pyarelal, staunch Rafi believers, did sway towards Kishore too, while not letting down Rafi. Kishore’s wave was all-encompassing, he hardly left music directors with a choice. So even L-P had to bow to Kishore and he gave them big hits in Haathi Mere Saathi, Aan Milo Sajna, Roop Tera Mastana, Roti, Dushman, Daag and many other films.

Those were the early 70s, I was a young schoolboy then – and those were the fondest memories I had of Kishore Kumar. All around me there was Kishore. Many of my classmates were understandably Kishore fans too. One of them would sing “pyar deewana hota hai”, another would chip in with a soulful “o maajhi re” or do a totally besura “mere naina saawan bhaado”, a third would sing “tere chehre main wo jaadoo hai”and yet another would come up with the masti-filled “arrey rafta rafta dekho aankh meri ladi hai”. It was just wonderful, it was just Kishore.

He ruled through the 70s, moving on from the Rajesh Khanna superstar era to the Amitabh Bachchan superstar era. Superstars may have come and gone but Kishore went on forever – well, at least till he passed away in 1987. And though Rafi saab did come back with some hit songs towards the end of the 70s, there was never any doubt in anybody’s mind that Kishore remained the no. 1 male singer from Aradhana to his death.

I can go on and on listing Kishore songs but that’s not the point of this write-up. And although I’ve only mentioned songs of the early/mid-70s (those are my fondest memories), Kishore did have big hits later on too. For example “humen tumse pyar hai kitna” from Kudrat or “manzilein apni jagah” from Sharabi in the 1980s. In fact one of my favourite Kishore songs is the total timepass and big hit “pag ghungroo baandh meera naachi thi” from Namak Halaal (1982). 😀
But, even with a wealth of songs to pick from for this post, I will stay loyal to my early days and pick one from that period. It is one of Kishore’s best-known songs, it is an all-time favourite for many Kishore fans, it has lovely lyrics by Anand Bakshi and the soft music is composed by RD Burman in a most fitting manner, totally in keeping with the mood of the song.

I present “chingaari koi bhadke” from Amar Prem.

I remember Amar Prem receiving considerable acclaim when it was released. I think it was slightly controversial too, given the storyline. But it certainly further enhanced the already rapidly rising reputation of Rajesh Khanna and his hit pairing with Sharmila Tagore. The music of the film was also a very big hit as RD Burman surprised many by composing some very sensitive tunes, very reminiscent of his father’s legendary tunes. In fact, it was talked about a lot at the time that it may well have been SD’s tunes under the label of RD, though it was vehemently denied by father and son. SD said he was proud that his son had composed such music, RD maintained that Amar Prem’s music was his way of paying tribute to his father.

In any case, Amar Prem has amar (immortal) songs as far as I am concerned.

And “chingaari koi bhadke” is one of them. Rajesh Khanna, a married man but one whose wife does not seem to have time for him, takes solace in the company of Sharmila Tagore, a courtesan. She lends him a sympathetic ear, he in turn shows her respect that she, given her profession, is completely unused to. They lean on each other for emotional support even as they face the usual barbs from a hypocritical society. It is a lovely, sensitive story set in Calcutta, with excellent performances all round. Rajesh is Anand Babu, Sharmila is Pushpa – I will always remember the famous dialogue from this movie “Ye aansoo ponchh daalo, Pushpa, I hate tears”. 🙂

“Chingaari koi bhadke” is picturised as a song on boat on the river Hooghly with the Howrah Bridge in the background. Beautiful setting, beautiful song, beautiful lyrics, very Calcutta early 1970s. ? I’ve always been a sucker for boat songs (nadiya chale chale re dhaara, dil aisa kisi ne mera toda, o maajhi re, maajhi naiya dhoonde kinaara etc). This one is right up there!

Hope you enjoy it too. It is certainly one of Kishore da’s memorable songs of the early 70s.

Happy Birthday, Kishore da! And thanks for all the lovely songs and memories you’ve left behind for generations to enjoy. You were a genius – and I don’t throw that word around lightly. Thank you SO much!



Song-Chingaari koi bhadke (Amar Prem) (1971) Singer-Kishore Kumar, Lyrics-Anand Bakshi, MD-R D Burman


chingaari koi bhadke
chingaari koi bhadke
to saawan ussey bujhaaye
saawan jo agan lagaaye
ussey kaun bujhaaye
ho ussey kaun bujhaaye
patjhar jo baagh ujaade
wo baagh bahaar khilaaye
jo baagh bahaar mein ujde
ussey kaun khilaaye
ho ussey kaun khilaaye

hamse mat poochho kaise
mandir tootaa sapnon ka
hamse mat poochho kaise
mandir tootaa sapnon ka
logon ki baat nahin hai
ye qissa hai apnon kaa
koi dushman thhes lagaaye
to meet jiyaa behlaaye
man meet jo ghaav lagaaye
usse kaun mitaaye

naa jaane kyaa ho jaataa
jaane ham kyaa kar jaate
naa jaane kyaa ho jaataa
jaane ham kyaa kar jaate
peete hain to zinda hain
na peete to mar jaate
duniya jo pyaasaa rakhhe
to madira pyaas bujhaaye
madira jo pyaas lagaaye
ussey kaun bujhaaye
ho ussey kaun bujhaaye

maanaa toofaan ke aage
nahin chalta zor kisi kaa
maanaa toofaan ke aage
nahin chalta zor kisi kaa
maujon ka dosh nahin hai
ye dosh hai aur kisi kaa
majhdhaar mein naiyya doley
to maanjhhi paar lagaaye
maanjhhi jo naav duboye
ussey kaun bachaaye
ho ussey kaun bachaaye
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm

17 Responses to "Chingaari koi bhhadke"

hullo Rajaji Atulji
wishing our very own Kishoreda a very happy birthday.
and Atul my Peevesie was using your favourite expression “oh god i know only one song from todays’ six”


But today seven songs have been discussed. What was the song that she knew about ?


she knew only “Chingaari”


I also discovered that I knew only one song out of those discussed – “Chingari…”!


Raja ji,

None so good as yourself, to remind us of a whole generation of songs with each write up. What an endearing stroll down the memory lane, capturing the times and the passages of events, and reminding us of the music and songs of Kishore Da. Just loved this write up.

Thanks for the revivals. 🙂



i had read somewhere that the actual picturisation was done in Mohan Studios Andheri Mumbai (Bombay of old) with shots of Howrah Bridge playing in the background as it seems Sharmila Tagore cudn’t be present in Calcutta for the shoot. same was the case with the “Aradhana” “Sapno Ki rani” song too. then too the train shots showing Sharmila in close up were not in Darjeeling.
i wud luv it if the learned Arunkumarji cud throw further light on this


Hello PVC’s mom,

You are right, the whole film(Amar Prem) looks like shot in the studio’s, especially the calcutta scenes. In “aradhna” she is seen reading Alistair Mclaine’s book . One of these days i will look the song up and stop the frame and see which one it is.

Good that you enjoyed the Rafi concert and lucky that the ur family did too.



Hello nahm,

That book was Where Eagles Dare, and after watching that movie, I went and looked for the book in the library, found it in our hostel library, and since there was no real librarian for the hostel library, which was actually just a bookshelf, kept it with me for about two or three months, during which time I must have read and re-read it about forty or fifty times (and this was the final semester before our final B.Sc exams!). I also saw the movie a week after the exams were over!


Wonderful write-up as always, Raja! I was living in Calcutta those days, and watching this movie has always brought wonderful memories of those days for me – eating puchkas, Durga Puja, Howrah bridge, garam garam samosas, or singhadas as they were called, puff sleeved blouses and those wonderful Bengal cotton saris! I even learned to stitch those puff sleeved blouses. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


Hello Lalitha ji,

So, we share the love of books as well as old film songs. I have to put my reply in No. 4, as there was no reply option in No. 3.
In those days (80’s & 90’s) we had limited resources to access books and we valued what ever books we could get hold of to read. The present generation i find is more involved in Facebook etc. and not likely to read a book from start to finish.

Btw i liked the review u wrote for “haay haay yeh majboori”.



Thanks, nahm! I agree with you regarding the present generation’s reading habits, but there are a couple of exceptions known to me – my younger son reads a lot, but I wish I could say the same about my older son. This is in spite of the fact that I have read countless books to both of them when they were young! But they also like the old songs, which I enjoy, so sometimes we all sing together in the car, with them making up the lyrics to suit the tune!


Shakti Samanta shot all his movies in studios. Can you believe that the “Chingari Koi” was shot in a studio with the real Hooghly river shots combined with it. Disappointing isn’t it. Shakti Samanta also passed off Aarey Milk Colony as Nainital. Can you guess which movie ?


Aarey Milk Colony as Nainital? Would that have been kati Patang? If so, I will have to re-watch that movie because I really thought it was the jheel in Nainital where Rajesh khanna sings, “Jis gali mein tera ghar …”, so that I can spot the differences!


Have you loaded Kishore-Asha’s beautiful song from “Abhi To Jee Lein” ?
Also I would like share some of my articles too… how do I send them to you, they are on Bollywood.


wat a evergreen song!..even now,its a treat 2 hear 🙂

btw do u or ur readers knw a trivia behind tis amazing song ;)??


What a wonderful song it is. I am thankful to anand ji,pancham da and kishore da for giving us this magical and memorable song. I have noticed that anand bakshi has used the words so beautifully to express just one simple fact. He has explained that fact using five different expression of words.
There are two amazing stories behind this song. 1)The cast and crew of the movie went to Kolkata to shoot this song under the howrah bridge. Shakti samanta said in an interview,”We were all stuck at the Kolkata airport and it took us three hours to get out of there because Rajesh’s fans had crowded over there. Afterwards we were just going to shoot the song but the distributers came to me and told me that the news of the shooting had leaked and the public would be coming to catch a glimpse of Rajesh and they all feared that the bridge would collapse due to the crowd. I thought about this and knew that many people would come to see Rajesh as he was on the peak of his career. Then I immediately packed my bags and set off for bombay where at the studio we created the set of howrah bridge.”
2) Ashim samanta,son of shakti samanta said in an interview,” The song chingari koi bhadke wasn’t supposed to be in the film at all. One day anand Saab came to the house and told dad that he had written a song. He said,”Yeh gaana bahut achcha hai lekin aapki picture mein nahin aa sakta.” Dad read the song and loved it. He said,”Are kyun nahin aa sakta. Ise main zaroor use karonga.” On hearing this anand Saab said,”Lekin aapki picture mein is gaane ki situation nahin hai.” At this dad said,”Toh phiroze main situation create kar doonga lekin yeh gaana film mein rahega.” So this was how the song chingari koi bhadke was in the film.”



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