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

Oodi oodi chhaayi ghataa

Posted on: August 10, 2011

Though I have discussed as many as seven songs from “Amar” (1954) already, I was not aware of this song till its lyrics were sent to me by Atif M.

The lyrics of this song expose me to a word that I had never come across before. What exactly does “oodi” mean ? The same word, used in the same manner, viz “oodi oodi ghata” appeared in the lyrics of the “Street Singer” (1938) song too that was discussed earlier.

This song is sung by Lata and it is picturised on Nimmi. It is nice to see Nimmi in a happy mood here , though she soon finds herself slipping into her comfort zone of unhappiness subsequently. 🙂

“Oodi Oodi chaayi ghata”- I need to remember this phrase , which is suitable for a song describing one’s feelings in the season of saawan, which is Hindi movie’s Valentine season. And songs of this genre make references not only to clouds, but also to birds like papiha, koyal, mor, etc. as is the case in this song.

Shakeel Badayuni is the ornithologist lyricist. Music is composed by Naushad.



Song-Oodi oodi chhaayi ghataa (Amar) (1954) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Shakeel Badayuni, MD-Naushad

Lyrics(Provided by Atif M)

aaa aaa aaa oo oo oo
oodi oodi chhayi ghata jiya lehraaye
oodi oodi chhayi ghata jiya lehraaye
piya piya haule haule papihara gaaye
papihara gaaye
aayi re sawan rut hey ri sakhi
oodi oodi chhaayi ghata

oo oo oo
oo oo oo
door hawa mein udta jaaye
ek panchhi ka joda
bela milan ki jab main dekhoon
lalchaaye man mora
ho ho ho ho ho
aankh micholi mil mil khelen
phoolon ke sang bhanwra
paapi najariya aaisi maare
dhadke re dil mora
koi gori chori chori
nainon mein samaye
papihara gaaye
aayi re sawan rut hey ri sakhi
oodi oodi chhaayi ghata

oo oo oo
oo oo oo
pee ka sandesa le kar aaye
aaj badarwa kaare
maathe pe bindiya chamkan laagi
nain bhaye kajraare
ho ho ho
koyal kooke mor bhi naache
manwa tu bhi gaa re
prem ki bansi aaisi baaji
door huye dukh saare
raatein beeti sooni sooni
jeene ke din aaye
papihara gaaye
aayi re sawan rut hey ri sakhi
oodi oodi chhaayi ghata jiya lehraaye
piya piya haule haule papihara gaaye
aayi re sawan rut hey ri sakhi
oodi oodi chhaayi ghata

5 Responses to "Oodi oodi chhaayi ghataa"

“Oodi oodi chhaayi ghata” refers to the greyish colour of a substance called “Ood” which is in crystal form but is powdered for burning alongwith coal. It is opaque crystal, used as an ingredient in manufacture of “Agarbatti”. I have not seen the material for a long time but i remember it being burnt alongwith coal in a small container and the cloudy smoke being spread all over the house in the evenings.


Thanks for this information. I never knew about this substance called “Ood”. Does it have a name in English ?


It has another name, Loban, i asked one of my uncles who was actually involved in “Agarbatti” manufacture. What is available locally and used as ‘loban’ or ‘ood’ and burnt at Shrine’s and Dargah’s as incense is a manufactured variety, not the original loban which is supposedly a natural substance.
Searching the net for loban has proved fruitful, as i found a price list.
£3.50 (20 grams)…….
Directory of Incense : Loban – “This name applies to an Indian form of benzoin with a particularly intensive aroma. But to confuse matters still further, not all forms of Indian Loban are benzoin types! Similar to the confusion with the Jawee resins ”

I think this much confusion is enough for now :D. We will stick to good old “ood” for “oodi oodi chhaayi ghata”.


I have heard of loban and now I can understand the colour of smoke that Ood refers to.


“Oodi” means a deep purple/ deep violet hue, shade or streak as found in thick clouds.

‘Ooda’ is also loosely used for lilac or mauve. Other equivalents to give a rough idea of this shade are jaamuni (from jaamun, a common berry), baingani (from baingan, a vegetable – aubergine) or kaasni.

As for the resin ‘Oud’ which is burnt in incense burners, its English equivalent is Agarwood/ Aloeswood. This also perhaps justifies the use of prefix ‘agar’ in the desi word ‘agarbatti’.

Coming to the song itself, the great maestro Naushad has beautifully elicited the rustic folk magic of rural Uttar Pradesh here.


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