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

Koi hamdam na rahaa koi sahaaraa na rahaa

Posted on: October 17, 2011

I found that both I as well as Sudhir jee came up with articles for this song ! I have combined both the articles in this write up. The first half (discussing Ashok Kumar’s career), is written by me. The second half, discussing this song is by Sudhir jee
Atul’s write up
A few days ago (13th october to be precise), we discussed Kishore Kumar’s songs on the occasion of his death anniversary. It was mentioned in passing in one of the articles that 13th october also happened to be the birthday of Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar’s elder brother. As a result of this death of his kid brother on his birthday, Ashok Kumar would no longer celebrate his birthday.

And we music lovers in this blog are no different. We too dedicated songs to Kishore Kumar’s memory and all but ignored Ashok Kumar.

I just realised (by going through a newspaper article) that it was not just a routine birthday. It was in fact the birth centenary of Ashok Kumar this time !

It does not seem right to celebrate Ashok Kumar’s birthday on 13th of october, but I am sure we in this blog should honour Ashok Kumar a few days later. After all, Ashok Kumar himself was a legend among legends in the annals of Indian movies. He was one of the pioneers of Indian cinema. He made his debut as an actor just a few years after talkies made their debut in India in 1931. Those were the days when acting style was influenced by Parsi theatre. Ashok Kumar pioneered natural style of acting as against Parsi Theatre style acting. Today we may take it for granted, but it was a paradigm shift (incidentally this term was not invented those days).

Ashok Kumar acted in some pathbreaking movies like “Achoot Kanya” (1937), “Kangan” (1939), “Bandhan” (1940),”Jhoola” (1941) etc. While the last three movies made him a star, “Kismat” (1943), where he took a major career risk by playing a hero with negative streak- then a big no no in Hindi movies, made him a super star. He was arguably the first superstar of Hindi movies, long before Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, both in their diapers then, were anointed as superstars in 1970s.

Ashok Kumar was one of the savviest movie personalities around. while there were many horror stories of top stars falling into bad times after their stardom was over, Ashok Kumar invested his money wisely. Within a few years of making his mark in Hindi movies, he graduated from the ranks of an employee (as an actor) to that of an employer. He joined the ranks of film industy employers as he became part owner of a flourishing movie production house, namely Bombay Talkies, and then its breakaway group, viz Filmistan, and subsequently Filmalaya. These production houses continued to make hit movies and as a result, Ashok Kumar was one of those film personalities who was always in the pink of financial health. He was also related to the other owners of the production house (Mukherjee family) through marriage of his sister to Shashdhar Mukherjee.

As an actor and an elderly statesman of Film industry, Dadamoni, as he was affectionately called, was a highly respected man. Shammi Kapoor, a heart throb of millions, regarded Ashok Kumar as his idol and he always had this great regret that he never got an opportunity to work with Dadamoni. To make amends, he acted in a “Panparag” TV ad (much against the advise of his family) in 1980s, only in order to be able to shoot with Ashok Kumar, who also figured in that ad.

To younger generations, Ashok Kumar is known as the anchor of Indian TV’s path breaking soap opera Hum Log, where he would summarise the days episode and look forward to the next episode of the mega serial.

Ashok Kumar began acting in Hindi movies in the era when actors needed to sing their own songs. And Ashok Kumar, the only one among his brothers to receive training as a singer, sang several songs that became timeless classics. who can forget Main ban ki chidiya ban ban doloon re (Achhut Kanya).

What is not all that well known is the fact that a few songs that are today regarded as Kishore Kumar classic songs were in fact originally sung by Ashok Kumar in his movies. For instance, Kishore Kumar’s hugely popular song Ek chatur naar (Padosan)(1968) was originally sung by Ashok Kumar(Ek chatur naar karkar singaar (Jhoola) ) in “Jhoola” (1942), some 27 years ago.

Likewise, another iconic Kishore Kumar song from “Jhumroo” (1961), namely Koi hamdam na raha(Jhumroo)(1961) was originally sung by Ashok Kumar some 24 years ago in “Jeewan Naiyya” (1936), which incidentally was Ashok Kumar’s debut movie as an actor. This song from “Jeewan Naiyya” (1936),became very popular. The young Kishore Kumar, then a pre teen kid, insisted that he wanted to sing this song in Ashok Kumar’s movies. Ashok Kumar laughed it off since his kid brother had a horrible voice, not fit for singing. But his kid brother insisted that one day he would sing the same song and sing it better.

A quarter century later, Kishore Kumar sang this song(Koi hamdam na raha ) in “Jhumroo” (1961) and the rest, as they say, is history.

But let us not forget the fact that this song was originally sung by Ashok Kumar in “Jeewan Naiyya” (1936) and that this song was quite popular during its time. Kishore Kumar took the song to a different plane a quarter century later with his untrained, but enormously rich voice, but the original remains original and the fact remains that Kishore Kumar was highly influenced by this song since his childhood.

This portion of the write up is by Sudhir jee
A vintage sound that is eighty five years old. One of the rare recordings that are taking time to be discovered, and to appear on the internet. A much awaited song that is sung by Dada Muni (Ashok Kumar) and filmed on him way back in 1936.

Jeevan Naiyyaa is a Bombay Talkies production, directed by the German director Franz Osten. Folks who are familiar with the era of 20s will recognize this name as the director of a number of famous films produced as Indo-German collaboration viz. “Prem Sanyaas” (Light of Asia) (1925) – made on the life of Gautam Buddh, “Shiraz” (1928) – a story about the building of Taj Mahal, and “Throw of Dice” (Prapanch Paash) (1929) – based on gambling episode from the epic Mahabharat. These films were produced by Himanshu Rai, much before he founded the Bombay Talkies in 1934. Franz settled down in Bombay in the early 30s, and had a long associated with Bombay Talkies right from its inception. Working closely with Himanshu Rai and Niranjan Pal, he directed direct all the fifteen Bombay Talkies productions from 1935 to 1939 viz., Jawaani Ki Hawaa (1935), Achhoot Kanya (1936), Janambhoomi (1936), Jeevan Naiyyaa (1936), Mamta (1936), Miyaan Biwee (1936), Izzat (1937), Jeevan Prabhaat (1937), Prem Kahaani (1937), Saavitri (1937), Bhaabhi (1938), Nirmala (1938), Vachan (1938), Durga (1939), and Kangan (1939). There is a very interesting anecdote regarding the launch of Ashok Kumar’s career. When Ashok Kumar first came to Bombay Talkies, his screen test was taken by Franz Osten and Joseph Wirsching (the camera technician). Interestingly, Franz failed Ashok Kumar in the test and did not recommend him for a role. Of course, Ashok Kumar did get his break with Bombay Talkies, because he was the brother-in-law of Shashadhar Mukherjee, a close associate of Himanshu Rai. So it does matter if you do know somebody important 🙂 – else the history of the film industry in this country would have been very different.

The lyrics of this film were are written by Jamuna Swaroop Kashyap ‘Naatwaan’, and the music compositions are by Sarawati Devi. There are twelve songs in this film, and sadly, as per available information at this time, recordings of only 4 of them is available. (Another interesting side note – SN Tripathi, who would be a leading music director in the later decades, sang his first song in this film, “Ae Ree Daiyyaa Lachak Lachak Chalat Mohan”.).

As is well known, this song inspired another iconic song with the same mukhdaa (title), from the Jhumroo (1961). Kishore Da ‘borrowed’ this song from his elder brother, for his own movie, 25 years later.

The recording that has been uploaded on YouTube is not the best quality. I have attempted my best, and I hope the lyrics are accurate. Please suggest corrections, in case there are any.

(PS – another very interesting side note. As per a news item in Times of India of 10th October, i.e. six days ago, Bombay Talkies is being revived by Abhay Kumar Dubey, the grandson of Sh. Rajnarayan Dubey, who was a very close associate of Himansu Rai and the main financier of the original company.)

Presenting the iconic song in the voice of Ashok Kumar, a sound that is once again available for the listening pleasure of music lovers, after a gap of eight decades. Enjoy.

koi humdum na rahaa, koi saharaa na rahaa
hum kisi ke na rahey, koi hamaaraa na rahaa

My companion accompanies me no more
My support and sustenance remains with me no more
I no longer belong in another heart, someone else too, belongs in my heart no more

mil gaye khaak mein jab hasrat aur armaan dil ke
apni aahon ke ilaawaa koi chaaraa na rahaa

All the dreams and aspirations of love are reduced to ashes today
Other than my grief and my sighs, nothing else remains with me

kaisa waada hai wo, ab hijr ki khwaahish hai tumhen
ab na wo sang rahaa, ab wo sahaaraa na rahaa

Alas, the promises that were made, remain no more
Now separation is the only desire you have
That companionship remains no longer
And I have lost the one I could depend on

Song-Koi hamdam na raha koi sahaara na raha (Jeewan Naiyya) (1936) Singer-Ashok Kumar, Lyrics-J S Kashyap, MD-Saraswati Devi


koi humdum na rahaa
koi sahaaraa na rahaa
koi humdum na rahaa
koi sahaaraa na rahaa
hum kisi ke na rahey
koi hamaaraa na rahaa
hum kisi ke na rahey
koi hamaaraa na rahaa

mil gaye khaak mein jab
hasrat aur armaan dil ke
apni aahon ke ilaawaa
koi chaaraa na rahaa
koi humdum na rahaa
koi sahaaraa na rahaa

kaisa waada hai wo ab
hijr ki khwaahish hai tumhen
ab na wo sang rahaa
ab wo sahaaraa na rahaa
koi humdum na rahaa
koi sahaaraa na rahaa

7 Responses to "Koi hamdam na rahaa koi sahaaraa na rahaa"

Atul and Sudhir,
I must appreciate the efforts you both have taken to come out with an excellent write up on Ashok Kumar and the discussion on the rarest of the rare song in less than 24 hours of finding the audio clip.

I wish, Ashok Kumar had sung this song in JHUMAROO (1961) as well. But this is not to undermine the way Kishore Kumar sung this song.


One more point:

I had not forgotten the 100th birth anniversary of Ashok Kumar when I suggested Kishore Kumar’s song ‘Who meri taraf yuun chale aa rahe’ for discussion on Oct 13th. As you said correctly, I just felt that it was not a right occasion on that day.

Please correct the name of the film to ‘Jeewan Naiya’ below the audio clip. This kind of a slip happens with me also:)


The Indian embassy here in US published a lengthy article on Ashok Kumar a few years ago, It was mentioned that he was quite an ardent practitioner of homeopathy, and used to treat his friends. I think he was a boxer of some repute. He was indeed the renaissance man of the Indian cinema.

I only saw him in movies where he already started playing elderly roles. I remember two of his movies, Gumrah and Kanoon with great appreciation.


Krishna ji,
Ashok kumar was a man of various interests.Very few people know that he had a big Poultry farm on Bombay poona Road,near Lonavala,where he used to spend his happy times atleast once a month.when I was the head of the Vet Divn in Glaxo labs in the early 80s,I had the fortune of meeting him in his Chembur Bungalow and have photos taken with him too.
Ashok kumar was an astrologer also and since he knew that I was Jyotish Praveen,we had spent lot of time together.
Besides being an actor,director,producer,singer,astrologer,homeopathy enthusiast(just like O.P.Nayyar), and poultry farmer,he was an excellent human being.


the second stanza lyrics??but then how to confirm the audio is very poor.
anyway gr8 job


Second Stanza transcription:

Natawan (weak person) kaheko hai ab jist (Life) ki khwahish hai tumhen

Rooh ko tan na raha, tan ko shara na raha

O weak one, why you still crave for life

Your soul has no body, nor your body any support.


First Stanza Transcription. Pl incorporate the corrections:

Jal (?) gaye khak men sab hasarat o araman dil ke

Ab siwa maut ke yarab koi chara na raha

All dreams and aspirations of my heart are reduced to dust.

Now O my God, there is no way out except Death.


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