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

Jo raah chunee toone

Posted on: October 13, 2011


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

Today happens to be the 24th death anniversary of one of the absolute geniuses that our Hindi film industry has ever produced. He was a colossus, especially as a singer, and there is certainly no way that this blog would let such an occasion, sad though a death anniversary always is, to go unnoticed.

I am honoured to have an opportunity to be part of the tributes on this occasion. For I have always, ALWAYS, enjoyed listening to this man’s voice, been hugely entertained by his antics in his movies and enjoyed stories of his pranks, as told by himself or by those who knew him.

From all accounts, this man was one-of-a-kind. If you look at only his singing talent (that being his best-known skill), it has been 24 years since his death and though there have been some talented singers in this period (including some imitators of the genius), I cannot think of anybody, ANYBODY who has been able to step into his shoes. Not surprising, since they were VERY big shoes.

I am of course talking about the one and only Kishore Kumar.

In previous write-ups, I have dwelt at length on how much of an influence Kishore had on me in my primary- and high-school days. Those were the 70s – and that was of course the decade when the male voice of Hindi cinema began and ended with Kishore Kumar.

The decade started with Rajesh Khanna as superstar and ended with Amitabh Bachchan as superstar. And throughout the decade, there were many aspiring male actors who came into the industry. Some made it, some did not. Some, like Dharmendra and Jeetendra, entered the decade with a well-established relationship with Rafi saab as their voice.

But all of them, every single one, big or small, ended up with Kishore’s voice in the 70s. Music directors flocked to him because they knew he was their safest bet, much like they’d flocked to Rafi saab just a decade earlier.

I know I’ve said this earlier and it may sound repetitive (I’m never tired of saying it though!) but one had to live through that decade in India to know how all-pervasive Kishore’s voice was. It was everywhere, just everywhere. It really did not matter whether the movie was a hit or not, if it had a Kishore song, there was a very good chance that the song would be playing on the radio and become a hit or a superhit.

Among songs by male singers, there were two distinctive groupings – Kishore Kumar songs, and Others. This is certainly not to belittle any of the other voices – they were all very good singers. And, to be fair to them, they also produced hits. Who can deny songs like “ek pyar ka nagma hai” and “kabhi kabhi mere dil mein” by Mukesh, or “aaj mausam bada be-imaan hai” and “teri galiyon mein na rakhenge kadam”, by Rafi saab or “beeti na bitaayi raina” and “dil dhoondhta hai phir wohi” by Bhupender? And the Bobby songs by Shailendra Singh? And, in the middle of the 70s, Yesudas with his brilliant songs for Chitchor?

These were all exceptional songs that still managed to buck the trend of the time and become hits inspite of not being Kishore songs. I think they deserve double the credit just for being able to become hits in that Kishore-dominated period. Much like the Rajshri movies of the mid-late 70s deserve double-credit for being able to find an audience at a time when Amitabh Bachchan was the reigning craze.

Kishore’s reign as No.1 singer continued all the way till his death in 1987. I do think (and this is only my personal opinion), that towards his end, given the type of movies that were being released in the mid-80s, he might not have been particularly proud of some of his songs. When I heard him singing “saath mere aaogi, ice-cream khaogi” (Justice Chaudhary), I remember being saddened at the level to which Kishore had been reduced. But Kishore was just doing his job. And, even at that time, it was never his voice that was the problem to me. It was the lyrics and the loud music. He did sing some lovely songs in the 80s (“manzilein apni jagah”, “chehra hai ya chand khila hai”) but there were some forgettable (for me at least) songs too.

I would rather stay with the 70s then for today’s song on Kishore’s death anniversary. And since I’ve referred to Rajshri movies here, I would like to present a song from a Rajshri movie.

Rajshri movies have been around from the early 60s at least (Dosti (1964) was a massive Rajshri hit) but in the mid-late 70s they became very well-known with a string of small-budget movies, most of which became reasonably big hits at a time when the mainstream, big-bidget cinema was dominated by the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmenda, Vinod Khanna.

These Rajshri movies, like Geet Gaata Chal, Tapasya, Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bhaaye, Chitchor, Saawan Ko Aane Do, Naiyya, Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se, Nadiya Ke Paar to name a few, almost always had newcomers or those who were still not big names in the industry. Names like Sachin, Sarika, Rameshwari, Amol Palekar, Ranjeeta, Arun Govil, Zarina Wahab come to mind when one thinks of Rajshri movies of the time.

The music was often scored by Ravindra Jain (then not one of the big names inspite of his success with Chor Machaye Shor) and the singers were also usually not the big names like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle but less-known names like Hemlata and Yesudas (he was a big name in South India but unknown in Bollywood).

I always found the songs in these movies to be very easy on the ears and extremely hummable. Many of them were extremely popular – I remember the title song of Geet Gaata Chal, for example, to be possibly the most popular song of its time. AKJS, DWJPMB, Chitchor also had lovely songs – to this day, they are remembered very very fondly. One of my favourite songs is still “tu jo mere sur mein” from Chitchor.

Tapasya, the movie from which today’s song has been taken, is a movie I have not seen but I believe is the story of a woman’s sacrifices for her family, her sisters in particular. I may be wrong about this (please feel free to correct me).

The song is “jo raah chuni toone”. I’ve intentionally picked this song for Kishore’s death anniversary because it has amazingly inspirational lyrics, composed beautifully by Ravindra Jain and Kishore’s voice is, well, Kishore’s voice as it was in the 70s. ? The lyrics are by MG Hashmat, who I always associate with Kora Kaagaz, the first time I heard of him.

Please do listen to this song and enjoy its beauty. Pay attention to the lyrics for their simplicity, depth and inspirational content. Very well done, Hashmat saab.

Ok, so that was a tribute to Kishore Kumar. But hey, that’s not the only reason I’m writing this up today. This also happens to be the 4800th song on this blog. The rate at which we are going I think we will be seeing the magical number 5000 very soon. And I, for sure, am not complaining! 🙂

Everytime I see a 100-milestone here, I feel very happy because I don’t see it as just a number. I see it as another 100 songs that have been posted here since the last milestone.

That means another 100 songs with lyrics, videos, write-ups. 100 more songs that have been brought out (many of them from obscurity) for the public to listen, watch and enjoy.
I sometimes feel like each song has a life just like each one of us. A song gets created at a point in time (with various attributes). It could be a ghazal, a qawali, a classical song, a rock song, whatever. Just like we are all different people, songs are all also different. Just like some of us go on to become famous, some songs too go on to become famous. And then, just like we fall ill, songs do too. They fall ill when they get neglected. And just like we try to get better with treatment and try to live longer, songs deserve to also live longer, they deserve better treatment than they often get. This blog is one of their saviours – it helps them to live longer.

(Much of what I’ve said about songs applies to films also. They also are created, some of them become famous, they also get neglected, they also need to be revived so as to have a longer life).

So am I crazy to think like this? Actually, I don’t mind being called crazy (it wouldn’t be the first time. ?). Hey, this is a write-up about Kishore da. A man who used to talk to his trees. People used to call him crazy – and if all I share with him is craziness, I’m even happy with that! ?

Congrats to Atul for this 4800th song here. Wish him many many more hundreds to come. Like I always say, there are still plenty of songs out there that need to find their way to this blog. And as long as we are all part of this journey, each one doing his/her bit, whether as a contributor of posts or lyrics or comments, Atul will also find the motivation to keep going and adding more and more gems to this blog. Not that he is not self-motivated but it is a huge boost for him too to get comments and support here. And to feel that he is part of a bigger community of people who share the same purpose, with his vehicle being the means to achieving that purpose.

Good luck, Atul! Keep going!

Audio (Full)

Video – Picturized Part I

Video – Picturized Part II

Video – Picturized Part III

Song-Jo raah chunee toone (Tapasya) (1975) Singer-Kishore Kumar, Lyrics-M G Hashmat, MD-Ravindra Jain

Lyrics

jo raah chunee toone,
arre jo raah chunee toone,
usi raah pe raahee chalte jaanaa re
ho kitni bhee lambee raat,
arre ho
ho kitni bhee lambee raat,
diyaa ban jalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahee chalte jaanaa re
jo raah chunee toone,
usi raah pe raahee chalte jaanaa re

kabhee ped kaa saayaa
ped ke kaam na aayaa
ho o
kabhee ped kaa saayaa
ped ke kaam na aayaa
arre sewaa mein sabhi ki
usne janam bitaayaa
ho o
koi kitne hi phal tode
ae ae
arre ho ho
koi kitne hi phal tode,
usse to hai phalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahi chalte jaanaa re

teri apni kahaani
ye darpan bol rahaa hai
ho ho
teri apni kahaani
ye darpan bol rahaa hai
bheegee aankh kaa paani,
haqeeqat khol rahaa hai
ho o
jis rang mein dhaale
arre ho o
jis rang mein dhhaale waqt,
musaafir dhhalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahi chalte jaanaa re

jeewan ke safar mein
aise bhi mod hain aate
ho o
jeewan ke safar mein
aise bhi mod hain aate
jahaan chal dete hain
apne bhi tod ke naate
kahin dheeraj chhoot na jaaye,
arre ho o
kahin dheeraj chhoot na jaaye,
tu dekh sambhalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahee chalte jaanaa re

tere pyaar kee maalaa
kahin jo toot hi jaaye
ho o
tere pyaar kee maalaa
kahin jo toot hi jaaye
janmon kaa saathee
kabhi jo chhoot bhi jaaye
de dekar jhoothhi aas
arre ho o
de dekar jhoothhi aas
tu khud ko chhalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahi chalte jaanaa re
ho kitni bhee lambee raat,
arre ho o
ho kitni bhee lambee raat,
diyaa ban jalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahee chalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahee chalte jaanaa re
usi raah pe raahee chalte jaanaa re

12 Responses to "Jo raah chunee toone"

Atulji

Congratulation for 4800

regards and as usual love you
prakash

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Atul ji,
Congratulations for the new landmark of 4800 songs.
-AD

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Raja ji,
Thanks for a very well written article on Kishore Kumar.
Kishore kumar is my favourite singer-actor.He was more famous as a singer than an actor,that is why singer-actor.
However,if one makes a division of his career as Pre-Aradhana and Post Aradhana,then I am his fan of the Pre Aradhana era,though he became more famous in the Post Aradhana period,which,in my opinion,is injustice to his capability.
People in my age bracket-70 plus-,still remember his melodious and haunting songs of the 50s and 60s.Add to this his antics in the film roles that he did and you have a package of joy and enjoyment in his songs as well.
His first film SHIKARI-46 and first song in Ziddi-48 gave an unmistakable hint at the arrival of a genious,which was later slowly and steadily proved right.His early film roles and songs are popular to this date and are viewed and listened again and again.This fortune came only to Kishore kumar.
I like all his hummable,sweet songs full of energy,pertaining to older films like Naukari,naughty Boy,Kafila,Fareb,Jaal,Bahar,Asha,Funtoosh,Bhagam Bhag,Baarish,Paying Guest,Munimji,Shararat,Mr X in Bombay,Bhai Bhai,Ladki,Pariwar,Adhikar,Naya Andaz,Miss Mary,Ragini,Baap re Baap,Begunah,New Delhi,Muqaddargirl friend,C.K.N.Gaadi,Dilli ka thug,Padosan,jhumroo etc etc.The Pahli Tareekh song has been made evergreen by Radio Ceylon.the list is endless.
Kishore Kumar ,as per one record,has sung a total of 2648 songs,out of which only 30 % are pre Aradhana era.One can imagine the deluge of songs he was pouring after Aradhana.
In my mind kishore Kumar’s image is a jumping,active,childish,clean hearted singer who left behind a treasure of songs for the world to enjoy and then say “And then there was Kishore Kumar ! ”

-AD

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Oh, I love most of his pre-Aradhana songs too. I think in the 70s&80s, it became a case of just too much output from him. So obviously, while there were still plenty of very good songs he came up with, there were also of course those run-of-the-mill ones that came along. The music also changed in the 70s/80s, compared to the 50s/60s.

A bit like what happened with Rafi saab in 60s, compared to 50s, I guess.

Even today when I listen to “koi humdum na raha” or “mere mehboob qayamat hogi” , I miss THAT Kishore.

I picked a song from my generation (70s) because I wanted to pick something from my schooldays since that is first-hand for me, with experiences I can directly relate to. 🙂

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Raja ji,

I just can’t help but admire the analogy you have given, about how songs and films get unwell when they are ignored, and if they are treated well, then they stay healthy, and end up contributing more, happiness I should say. This is such a new perspective to the obscure, forgotten, and lost songs and films. For every song that gets posted to this blog, there is maybe five more that are waiting for someone to take care of them, and maybe some more that have ‘died’, and no longer with us. It is such treasure, and like any other treasure, it needs to be valued, it needs to be taken care of, and it needs to be kept healthy.

And no, you are not crazy, because I know I am not crazy. 😀 😀

And this is where this blog and Atul ji’s untiring effort and unflagging spirit is playing such a major role, in terms of caring for and keeping healthy this art form. It is possible only by the lovers of this art, and not by the industry or the government, because all the industry cares for is profit margins, and of course the government could not care less.

Kudos to Atul ji, and a ton of greetings on this another century milestone. These milestones now appear to be just a hop-skip-jump, and heigh ho, there we are with another ’00. But looking to the horizon, there is still a pretty long way to go. However, today we celebrate 4800. And 4800 songs, lyrics, write ups, information. . . wow.

And I repeat myself, but it is worth it. . .
“tamanna hai ye saath chalte rahen hum
na beete kabhi ye safar”

Cheers, good luck, and best wishes to all. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

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Rememebering Kishore Kumar for me, is more about ‘Safar”, ‘Kora Kaagaz” the songs of “paying guest ” and that song in “Amaanush” – Dil aisa kisi ne meraa todaa. For some reason his sad songs have appealed more to me. From the 50’s the song ‘mere mehboob qayaamat hogi, aaj ruswaa teri galiyon mein mohabbat hogi “.

The song of SDB for Dev anand sung by Kishore were all master pieces. right from “Jaal” to the late 60’s with “Tere Mere Sapne”. Jewel Thief” etc.

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Nahmji

Main aapke saath hoon,

Mujhe bhi Kishoreji ke sad,meloncholic (aur romatic gaane bhi…) songs bahut zyada appeal karte hai,
Aisa nahin ke doosre gaane achche nahin lagte par Kishoreji ke philosophical,sad,melancholic songs muhe bahut zyada pasand hai.

like bekaraare dil tu gaaye jaa, mere mehboob qayamat hogi,koi lauta de mere beete huye din,kheezan ke phool pe aati kabhi, kasti ka khaamosh safar,Chhokar mere man ko,O saathire tere bina bhi kya jeena etc etc I can go on.

romatic gaane-“Meri neendon mein tum,mere khwaabon mein tum(that is I think kishore-shamshaadji`s deadly combination)
mere deewanepan ki bhi dawaa koi nahin .

I remember one more
“hawaaon pe likh do hawaaon ka naam”

regards

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I don’t even know what to say since everything has already been said about Kishore Kumar, both here and elsewhere. His sad and melancholic songs have the capacity to take one down to the depths of despair, and his joyful songs have made me,yes, me, want to jump and dance with joy. “Mere sapnon ki rani …” and “Phoolon ke rang se …” remind me of the days of romance, “Koi lauta de mere beete hue din …” and “Aa chalke tujhe main leke chaloon …” put me in a nostalgic mood, and “eena meena deeka …” and “main hoon jhumroo …” have sometimes made me fling my hands out and twirl around with a crazy grin on my face! We will always miss you, Kishoreda!

Thanks, Raja, for a great writeup as always, and congratulations to Atul for reaching 4800 songs! Ab 5000 door nahin!

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god after having listened to a whole lot of KK songs through the day on Radio i found time only now to go through our blog. and all my fellow Atulites have said everything i wanted to say abt KK even down to the list of songs that are everyone’s favourite. hey come to think of it if all of us didn’t love songs; hindi movie songs at that would we all have met here on Atul’s space. we shd actually thank atul for binding all of us together.
ok i was in college when 2 of my fvourites passed away. one KK the other Sanjeev Kumar. i remember we were in the middle of the Reliance World Cup in 1987 and i suddenly lost interest in cricket as i was following the KK news in the newspapers
may he rest in peace

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“Fellow Atulites” – I like that name! Yes, we are all thankful to Atul for bringing us together in this blog, and giving us all a chance to go down memory lane together, listening to our old favorites along the way.
Hmmm, as for knowing about KK and Sanjeev’s passing away, it was my mother who wrote and gave me the sad news. I was already in the US, and working and taking care of the kids, and we didn’t have the kind of access we now have to news in India – no Internet, no Hindi radio programs in the city we lived in, so I had to rely on my mother for news from India. She would give me all the news, including news about any of my favorite film stars or singers, and also told me which movies were good, so that I could go and rent them at the local Indian store.
Thanks, Atul, for introducing us to each other and bringing us together!

Thanks

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Full Song in Audio and followed by videos of all parts please;

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AUDIO

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What is this blog all about

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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TWELVE years. This blog has over 16000 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 4000 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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