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

Tu bemisaal hai

Posted on: August 16, 2011

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

On the morning of the 14th of August 2011, a Sunday, when I casually checked Facebook, I expected to see the usual stuff. Typical (sometimes philosophical or witty) status messages or photos posted of a friend’s holiday trip.

The first thing I saw was a message saying “R.I.P Shammi Kapoor 😦 “.

I froze for a moment. I quickly logged onto yahoo, with a sinking feeling – it confirmed the dreaded news. But I was still in denial. I immediately switched on the TV and checked out Times Now. And indeed they were paying a tribute to Shammi Kapoor who had passed away in the early hours of the morning (5.15 a.m, according to his son Aditya Raj Kapoor).

The sinking feeling was now growing. It was one of those moments that you know is going to happen sometime (after all, everybody has to pass away sooner or later) but you sort of shut out the thought. As if by doing so, you’ve prevented it from happening.

In some respects, the news was not just difficult to take but even difficult to believe. Sure, Shammi Kapoor had been undergoing dialysis treatment at Breach Candy Hospital for years. As he often cheerfully said “I spend three days at the hospital but I know the other four days are for myself”. But despite this, Shammi had been active till very recently. And somehow he had always come across as a larger-than-life character, at whose doorstep, death, if it even approached the door, would turn away by itself without ringing the bell.

My niece (who is a massive Shammi fan herself) called me up “Have you heard the news?” I said, in a voice full of sadness “Yes, I have. Am just watching it on TV”.

The whole day I watched programmes on Shammi Kapoor on TV and followed news and tributes to him on the internet. They were coming in thick and fast, tributes from practically everybody, old and young, in the industry. And from outside it. Even the Prime Minister of India sent his condolences on the occasion.

For Shammi Kapoor’s popularity transcended generations and fields. Anupam Kher referred to him as THE youth icon – and he is absolutely right. Amitabh Bachchan said that the industry has lost its flamboyance and joie de vivre – and he is absolutely right too. Another person said the industry has lost its most stylish actor ever – and he is probably right too.

The reasons for Shammi Kapoor’s popularity are not very difficult to understand.

On screen, he became popular because, once he had completed his makeover from a me-too actor to one with his own style (physically represented by mouche -> no-mouche), he symbolized everything that the youth of the time secretly aspired for. Though the big three (Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand) had their own fan following, clearly there was space for a totally different type of leading man.

And when Shammi Kapoor, with his boyish looks and apparently boundless energy, with his style of tilting his cap and screaming “yahoo” burst on the scene in a new-look avatar with Nasir Hussain’s Tumsa Nahin Dekha in 1957, the audience took to him instantly. That space had been filled – and he would set the standard for the next decade and a bit more.

Shammi was extremely handsome, very charming, always played a gentleman in his roles but one who was also ready for a bit of fun anytime. This often involved wooing his leading lady – he had his own style, for sure. Remember the ridiculous but yet so much fun, scene in Jaanwar where he’s covered in a “blanket” and knee-deep in water, singing “tumse achha kaun hai?”. Or the scene where he’s hanging from a helicopter, singing “aasman se aaya farishta”, begging an adamant Sharmila to say “yes” to him? Shammi’s wooing scenes were an almost essential part of his 60s movies, they were in their own league, and they were loads of fun. In fact, once Shammi set the tone with Tumsa Nahin Dekha, every other leading man in Bollywood, from Joy Mukherjee to Manoj Kumar to Biswajit was singing “teasing” songs to his heroine.

Then Shammi’s dancing. It was surely the envy of every other actor of his generation. He was a natural and certainly did not need any choreographer to explain a dance to him. He just went out there and “did his thing”. And the audience loved him every single time. Even here his style was copied, albeit not particularly successfully, by other hopefuls like Feroze Khan and Jeetendra.

Those were the Swinging Sixties and Shammi’s films and mood epitomized this spirit like no other. He was full of energy, you just have to watch “yahoo” (Junglee) or “ye chand sa roshan chehra” (Kashmir Ki Kali) or “kis…kisko..kisko pyar karoon” (Tumse Accha Kaun Hai) or “aaj kal tere mere” and “koi pyar hamen” (Brahmachari) or “Na rootho” (Jawan Mohabbat) or “govinda aala re” (Bluffmaster) or “aaja aaja” (Teesri Manzil) or “badan pe sitaare”(Prince). They are all bursting with positive Shammi energy, and these are just a handful of examples. I could easily give you a dozen more without any sweat.

As if Shammi Kapoor’s persona itself was not enough, his movies were blessed with some of the most foot-tapping music Bollywood has ever known. To this day, songs like “sar pe topi laal” (Tumsa Nahin Dekha”, “baar baar dekho” (Chinatown), “dil deke dekho” (Dil Deke Dekho) and “o haseena zulfonwaali” (Teesri Manzil) are immensely popular for their foot-tapping music. And there are many more where these came from. Movie after movie, Shammi Kapoor lip-synched to Rafi saab’s voice (they had a perfect understanding) – and they churned out hit after hit for a variety of music directors, from Shankar Jaikishen to OP Nayyar to Usha Khanna to RD Burman to even Kalyanji Anandji and Ravi.

Ok, so it isn’t too difficult to understand why Shammi Kapoor, the actor, touched the chords of so many people’s hearts, why they just loved his movies (though they were admittedly not particularly great on content) and made them big hits, why they loved him.

But I think this is only part of the story. Incredibly so. For a very big part of Shammi Kapoor’s story is what he meant to his fan off-screen.

In his roles, Shammi Kapoor always symbolized joie de vivre, energy and a gung-ho attitude to everything. Often an actor’s on-screen persona is very different from his off-screen, real personality. But with Shammi Kapoor, his attitude in real life was just as amazingly positive as it was often portrayed on screen.

It is well-known that Shammi Kapoor was the first Bollywood actor to embrace technology, he was the first one to get onto the Internet (even before there were commercial service providers in India). He was the first one to have his own website, one that I spent an entire night reading when I first came across it, it was THAT interesting.

It is possibly this side of his character that endeared him further to younger generations. It helped him to connect with them, he was a father-figure for many, he was accessible, he was warm. And he was ALWAYS interesting. I could listen to him for hours – heck, I HAVE listened to him for hours! (I’ve seen all those episodes of Shammi Kapoor Unplugged). His stories give us an excellent insight into the man and his nature.

He comes across as humble – he said in an interview that he never really considered himself a great actor, he was just somebody who liked to have a good time and give the audience a good time.
He comes across as very knowledgeable about music. He knew a lot of tunes, especially western tunes and folk tunes. In fact, many of his songs are based on these tunes. He was very keen on ensuring the songs in his movies were to his liking, so he would pick his songs and sit through the composition session with the singer/music team.

He comes across as mischievous, especially in his younger days. Many of his stories have a mention of his pranks and I cannot help smiling when I listen to them.

But overall, the one quality that comes across above everything else is his positive attitude. It is well-known that he used to say “The hospital takes three days of the week from me, but I still have four days to myself”. Prem Chopra said that Shammi told him “What matters is not how many minutes you have in your life but how much life you have in your minutes”. That was Shammi’s attitude towards everything in his life. He’d seen enough downs in his life but he managed to rise above them all with his optimistic attitude.

And I think this, more than anything else, endears him to everybody. Across generations, he was an inspiration to everybody.

Personally the first film I remember watching of Shammi Kapoor was “An Evening in Paris”. I was very young then but some of the songs stuck in my mind (the title song, “aasman se aaya farishta” and “akele akele”).

The next film I remember watching was “Brahmachari’. I was still very young and the songs I distinctly remember from that time when I saw it are “aaj kal tere mere”, “main jaagoon tum so jaao” and the delightful, much under-rated, children’s song “chakke pe chakka”. It was pretty popular when I was a kid, I remember.

There were plenty of songs from that period that I remember knowing even then, but was not aware that they had been picturised on Shammi. For example, “mere bhains ko danda” (Pagla Kahin Ka), “husn chala kuchh aisi chaal” (Bluffmaster) and even “aaja aaja” (Teesri Manzil).

When I was growing up, Shammi Kapoor was already on his way down as a leading man. I clearly remember Andaaz though I was very young then – the entire success of the movie was attributed by many to Rajesh Khanna’s cameo role, singing “zindagi ek safar hai suhaana”. It was as if it was the final nail in Shammi Kapoor’s coffin, confirming the arrival of the next superstar.

I personally think Shammi Kapoor came up with a mature performance in Andaaz but clearly his time to leave the stage to younger and fitter actors had come. He’d put on weight and he had knee problems – which affected his ability to dance like he used to. So Andaaz became a sort of swansong for Shammi, the leading man.

Though I missed Shammi´s prime time, my image of him as an actor then was based on my eldest sister’s remarks to me very often. “Sit quietly, stop jumping around like Shammi Kapoor”. 😀

Through the 70s, a decade dominated by Rajesh in its first half and Amitabh in its second, I did not get to see much Shammi. He did direct/produce (and even act in) the odd film but was otherwise not particularly active.

But towards the end of the decade, I made friends with a certain person who was about seven years older than me. He was a huge fan of Shammi Kapoor and I was greatly influenced by him. He rekindled my interest in watching Shammi movies and I did watch a few like Dil Tera Deewana. We spent a lot of time listening to Shammi songs. I remember fondly songs like “akele akele” (Evening in Paris) and “aiyaya suku suku” (Junglee). 😀

I remember watching Teesri Manzil in a matinee show in a run-down cinema hall in old Delhi in 1982. The acoustics were of questionable quality (a film like TM needs good acoustics) but the hall was packed. An indication of how popular this film was, even 17 years after its release.

My sister (the same one who used to tell me not to “jump around like Shammi Kapoor”) used to live in those days in Hyderabad and I would visit her occasionally. I remember she had a good collection of Shammi Kapoor songs, in particular, Junglee and Professor. We’d listen to these songs all the time.
I used to be absolutely crazy about “ae gulbadan” and “awaaz deke humen tum bulao”.

I watched a lot more Shammi as the years went by. I just loved the songs of his movies. And though the storylines may have seemed very similar (hill-station, using a different identity/name, chasing/teasing the heroine, a misunderstanding once the heroine finds out his identity, a sad song, a patch-up), I did enjoy the movies for the music and Shammi.

I thought Shammi never really got credit as an actor. His often flippant-seeming roles did not lend themselves easily to award-selection criteria, but that’s just being shallow. Beneath the surface, there was often a strong performance, it was just camouflaged by the role, in my opinion. For example, I liked him very much in Professor (Even Shammi felt he’d given a very good performance in this movie and probably deserved an award). Similarly I liked him very much in Pagla Kahin Ka, a film which I saw recently. But the film did not do well at the box-office when it was released, so maybe that blew his chances for an award.

Anyway, it’s difficult to pick one movie of Shammi’s. I liked Professor, Teesri Manzil, Brahmachari, Pagla Kahin Ka, Jaanwar, Rajkumar and I do have a soft corner for Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Dil Deke Dekho. It’s been ages since I’ve seen Junglee but I will probably like it a lot when I see it again.

If it’s hard to pick one Shammi movie, it’s even harder to pick one Shammi song.

When Atul requested me for a write-up as a tribute to Shammi Kapoor, I began looking for one that had not been posted yet. Soon I was toying between “bolo bolo, kucch to bolo” from Dil Deke Dekho and “tu bemisaal hai, teri taareef kya karoon” from Brahmachari.

I love both these songs – and neither has been posted. The former would be in keeping with the image one has of Shammi’s foot-tapping songs.

But I’ve gone with the latter. I know it’s a relatively slow song, I know it is a relatively obscure song too , I think the video is not even available on youtube because the song, I believe, is not on the DVD (though I’ve seen the picturised version).

But I thought it fits the occasion very well.

For the words “tu bemisaal hai, teri taareef kya karoon” is what I’d like to say to Shammi ji. He was incomparable, no compliment is big enough or good enough for him.

This is a lovely song from Brahmachari. In a film packed with good songs, this one never really gets a chance to get known or heard. And it is precisely such songs that are brought to public attention by Atul’s blog. I therefore present to you “tu bemisaal hai”. Hasraj Jaipuri’s lyrics, Shankar Jaikishen’s composition.

By the way, this is also the 4400th song on Atul’s blog. As usual, I’m honoured to be writing up a song on this occasion. It feels like he hit the 4300th only the other day. He’s going at a great pace right now and I think we can expect to see the 5000th song before the year is out. But like I’ve said many times, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. It’s always a pleasure to visit Atul’s blog and enjoy the songs he’s posted here, together with his witty write-ups.

Wishing him a lot of success for maintaining this run-rate.

As for Shammi Kapoor, I can only thank him for all the lovely memories he has left us with. And I can say he will always remain in our hearts as a very special person, even if he’s not physically in this world anymore.



Song-Tu bemisaal hai (Brahamchari) (1968) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Hasrat Jaipuri, MD-Shankar Jaikishan


tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon
mastaanaa chaal hai teri
taareef kyaa karoon
aankhon se pi rahaa hoon
mujhe hosh hi nahin
tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon

aankhon mein nasheela kaajal hai
chehre pe hayaa ki laali hai
phoolon ki mehak hai baalon mein
phoolon ki mehak hai baalon mein
har ek adaa matwaali hai
tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon
mastaanaa chaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon
aankhon se pea rahaa hoon
mujhe hosh hi nahin
tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon

zulfon ko agar dekhe saawan
saawan ko paseenaa aa jaaye
gaalon ko agar dekhe bijli
gaalon ko agar dekhe bijli
baadal mein sharam se chhup jaaye
tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon
mastaanaa chaal hai teri
taareef kyaa karoon
aankhon se pi rahaa hoon
mujhe hosh hi nahin
tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon

tu shokh hawaa hai gulshan ki
daaman se lipatne aayi hai
imaan jo le le duniya kaa
imaan jo le le duniya kaa
qaatil wo teri angdaayi hai
tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon
mastaanaa chaal hai teri
taareef kyaa karoon
aankhon se pi rahaa hoon
mujhe hosh hi nahin
tu bemisaal hai
teri taareef kyaa karoon

15 Responses to "Tu bemisaal hai"

Raja ji,
A very well written tribute to Shammi kapoor indeed.
I am from the generation which was with shammi from his first movie to the last movie.From movies like Rail ka Dibba,Laila Majnu or Hum sab chor hain, and the likes of them,we witnessed his transformation from an also ran to the leader of the race.From Tumsa nahin dekha onwards,he became our real darling because we saw in him how to convert the ” Na-na-na-na ” from a desired girl to “Han-han-han-han “.Ofcourse he had plenty of tricks up his sleeves for that.
Not only brand new Heroines,but also several regular sidekicks(notably Rajendranath) made their careers,in Shammi’s films.We didnt bother whether the storylines of most of his films were similar,predictable and beaten ones.We wanted to see his new approaches everytime.And ofcourse the enchanting music which made his movies a complete experience !
He will remain,for us,always the Hero !


Thanks, Arunji.

Am happy to see that somebody uploaded the video to youtube just yesterday. God bless him, there are so many kind souls out there! I remember seeing this song in the movie but was just not able to find a youtube video of it for such a long time. I believe it is not on the DVD (typical!) and therefore not easy to come across.

I absolutely love this song. Rafi saab’s voice and Shammi Kapoor’s face. Made for each other!


Raja ji,

As always, a lovely trip down the memory lane. Yes, nothing, and no one can compare with Shammi Kapoor. Atul ji has mentioned in his write up, that all the dance sequences filmed were spur of the moment creations. Sahmmi ji never took help of a choreographer, and did all the dance steps himself.
Arun ji has said it so rightly; we would go to see the movie because it is a Shammi Kapoor film, with no consideration for story or director etc. One thing was always confirmed, that the music would be great. And that is what mattered, Music – a remembrance forever.



The swan song of Shammi Kapoor “Andaaz” :
The iconic song ‘zindagi ek safar hai suhaana” has been picturized on Shammi Kapoor as well, inevitably sung by Rafi Saheb. This song has one more version by Asha Bhosle(for Hema Malini). Here is a link to Rafi-Shammi version :



Thanks, Raja, for a great write up on Shammi Kapoor, especially the part about your sister telling you not to jump around like Shammi Kapoor! Nobody could convey the image of youthful energy quite like Shammi, not Jeetendra or Biswajeet or Joy Mukerji, regardless of how good the songs may have been for them too. There can only be one Shammi, and he will live forever in the hearts of his fans!

Congratulations, Atul, on reaching the 4400th song, and in a way, I am glad it was with a Shammi song, for this speaks of the love you have for these songs – they are definitely bemisaal and unki tareef karna aasaan nahin!


Thanks a lot. The landmark of 4400 became ratther incidental to the fact that this post was about paying tribute to Shammi Kapoor. What a writeup, and what a song ! And indeed what a man !


Lovely to see a “new” old video of him…Shammi loved music and was a good singer too himself. LOL@your sister’s comment from me too—I’m going to say that to my dogs from now on! 🙂


Your dogs ? So now you have more than one ? I may have failed to keep track.


I haven’t announced the puppy on my blog because I’ve been too exhausted chasing her around and trying to prevent her from destroying everything I own 🙂


My two pups (now almost grown up) also insist on wreaking havoc when no one is looking.


This bemisal song was not a part of the movie released & after its picturisation it was either not included or excluded from the movie. I was also surprised by the fact that this number was not present in the movie when I 1st saw it in 1978. Probably this was the reason that, this number was missing on you tube for a long time …
The same fact is revealed by SJ group’s video upload of this song on Oct..,20. 2011…


Thanks for this information. And welcome to this blog.


The link to the video uploaded by SJ group (revealing the above fact of its unavailability) on 20th Oct. 2011 is …



Excellent write-up. Mazaa aa gaya. Love your blog and the way you research for all the songs…


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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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