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

Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana

Posted on: December 29, 2011


Some newspapers tend to have columns called “This day that year” or similar. In that column, they discuss the important events that happened on that day in the past.

Today is 29th of december 2011. If I am asked to describe what I did in the past years on this day then I will draw a blank for most of the years, including years as recent as one or two years back. But ironically there is one year on this date that is as fresh in my mind as if it happened just yesterday. In reality, it happened exactly 40 years back. Yes, I remember the day of 29th december 1971 very well. It was a day that did not begin all that well but became memorable as the day wore on.

I was spending my winter vacation in my native village till that day. The new year was arriving and schools were to open on the new year. It was planned that I would go to the city (where I normally stayed and studied) on 29th of december. The travel plan was like this- get up early in the morning and walk on foot to the nearest town (some 12 kms away) and arrive there by the afternoon. Catch the afternoon bus and leave for the city (located 100 kms away). Reach the city by evening. I was a minor (9 years of age) so obviously I was not going alone. My Mama (mother’s brother), who lived with us in the city was to escort me.

What actually happened was not what was planned. We started from our home in the village in the early morning on foot. We had only walked for something like two kms when my Mama decided to meet one village acquintance on his fields. This acquaintance was a progressive farmer who had installed a pump in his fields for irrigation purpose. His pump was not working and my Mama decided to “help”. Hours passed. It soon became afternoon. By this time we were supposed to be in the town 12 km away and seated on the afternoon bus going to the city.

The pump remained out of order and my Mama took leave of the acquaintance. We embarked on our five hour long walk on foot. By the time we reached the town, it was already evening.

I thought that we were going to the bus station, but no, my Mama was taking the two of us elsewhere. And we went to the place of one of his sisters (viz one of my mausis) who lived in that town. So there was change in our travel plans. Now we were spending the night at my Mausi’s place and we were leaving for the city the next morning !

My mausa decided to celebrate our visit by cooking chicken. Unlike these days, there was no poultry industry those days and there were no chicken centres. Every rural and semi rural household (at least in those parts of the country) used to rear chickens and other such livestock and the supply of chicken for such occasions like this came from this stock.

What to do till the feast was getting ready ? My Mama switched on the transistor radio. Yes, those were the days when every household, in addition to having chickens, also used to have a transistor radio. Fortunately my Mama was as “low brow” as me- which meant that he would only listen to movie songs on radio, and not to “high brow” stuff like news etc. So he tuned the radio to a radio station playing Hindi movie songs. But much to my disappointment, those songs were “boring” songs, viz old songs.

Just when I thought I could take it no more, what do I listen on the radio ? The announcer announced that it was 8 PM and the next programme would be the finals of Binaca Geetmala.

Binaca Geetmala finals ! I immediately began to pay attention. Yes, 29th december 1971 was a wednesday. Wednesday was the most important day for a Hindi movies music lover those days, because it was the day of Binaca geetmala. And this was no ordinary wednesday ! It was the last wednesday of the year ! Which meant that the most popular songs of the year would be played in the one hour long programme.

I began to listen to the programme with rapt attention, enjoying every moment of the hour. What superb songs they all were ! Beginning with Tumko bhi to aisa hi kuchh (Aap aaye bahaar aayi) at the 16th position, we had Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune (Anand) in the 15th position, Jeewan ki bagiya mahkegi(Tere Mere Sapne) at number 14, He re Kanhaiyya kisko kahega tu maiyya(Chhoti Bahu) at number 13, Chhupke se dil de de nahin to shor mach jaayegaa (Maryaada) at number 12, Twinkle twinkle little star (Purab Aur Paschhim) at number 11, Piya tu ab to aaja(Caravan) at number 10, Mujhe thand lag rahi hai mujhse door tu na jaa (Main Sundar Hoon) at number 9, Hai na bolo bolo (Andaaz) at number 8, Zindagi kaisi hai paheli haay(Anand) at number 7, Chal chal chal mere saathi (Hathi Mere Saathi) at number 6, Rama Rama ghazab huyi gawaa re (Naya Zamaana) at number 5, Guni jano bhakt jano(Aansoo aur muskaan) at number 4, Ye jo muhabbat hai ye unka hai kaam (Kati Patang) at number 3, and Accha to hum chalte hain(Aan milo sajna) at number 2.

What a bouquet of fantastic songs ! The programme culminated by playing the bugle that was reserved to be played for the most popular song of the year. And which was the most popular song of the year ! Unsurprisingly, it was the song which was picturised on a motorbike riding Rajesh Khanna, with a admiring Hema Malini as the pillion rider, driving as recklessly as one can drive, singing in the magical voice of Kishore Kumar.

Here is this song from “Andaaz”(1971) which was crowned the most popular song of Binaca geetmala on this day in 1971, exactly 40 years to the day. Oh, those were the days. This song is sung by Kishore Kumar, (with some words by Asha Bhonsle), lyrics are by Hasrat Jaipuri and music is composed by Shankar Jaikishan. Today, 40 years later, most artists forming the musical team of this song are no longer with us, but this song lives on. Indeed, what a fantastic song it is !

Did one notice that the first three songs had the voices of Kishore Kumar in them and that they were all picturised on Rajesh Khanna ? It was no coincidence, of course. Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna were the lords of all they surveyed in 1971 !

I was not aware at that time that the day also happened to be Rajesh Khanna’s birthday. So Rajesh Khanna, the then reigning superstar, was celebrating his 29th birthday on that wednesday while Binaca geetmala annual programme was toasting his success by playing his songs as the most popular songs of the year.

This song brings back the memory of that day exactly 40 years ago. What sweet and melodious memories !

Rajesh Khanna was celebrating his 29th birthday then, and he is celebrating his 69th birthday now. I take this opportuniy to wish him a very happy birthday on behalf of this blog.

PS-This song has two versions according to HFGK. The movie itself has some four versions or so, it seems.

Kishore Kumar-Asha Bhonsle version

Asha Bhonsle version

Kishore Kumar slow version

Rafi-Kishore Kumar version

Song-Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana (Andaaz) (1971) Singers-Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Hasrat Jaipuri, MD-Shankar Jaikishan

Lyrics

——————————————
Kishore Kumar-Asha Bhonsle version
——————————————
Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
haan
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana aa
arre odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou

chaand taaron se chalna hai aage
aasmaanon se badhna hai aage
arre chaand taaron se chalna hai aage
aasmaanon se badhna hai aage
peechhe reh jaayegaa ye zamaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
haan zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana aa
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai u
odlai odlai oou
hahahaha
hahaha
odlai odlai oou
haha
ohoho

hanste gaate jahaan se guzar
duniya ki tu parwaah na kar
hanste gaate jahaan se guzar
duniya ki tu parwaah na kar
muskuraate huye din bitaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
haan zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
diddididdi dou
odlai odlai oou
diddididdi douoyeoou
odlai odlai oou
hahaha
odlai odlai oou
hahahaha

maut aani hai aayegi ek din
jaan jaani hai jaayegi ek din
arre maut aani hai aayegi ek din
jaan jaani hai jaayegi ek din
aisi baaton se kyaa ghabraana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
haan zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
diddididdi dou
hahahaha
dodo do do
dou
odlai odlai oou
hahaha
odlai odlai oou
giggle giggle
odlai odlai oou
hahaha
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
hahahaha

——————————————
Asha Bhonsle version
——————————————-
Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
odlai odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
lalalalalala
hahaha
lalalalalala
hahaha

chaand taaron se chalna hai aage
aasmaanon se badhna hai aage
chaand taaron se chalna hai aage
aasmaanon se badhna hai aage
peechhe reh jaayegaa ye zamaana aa
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana aa
odlai odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai odlai oou
odlai odlai u
lalalaalala
hahahaha
lalalaalalalala
hahahahaha

hanste gaate jahaan se guzar
duniya ki tu parwaah na kar
hanste gaate jahaan se guzar
duniya ki tu parwaah na kar
muskuraate huye din bitaana aa aa
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho
kisne jaana

———————————————————–
Kishore Kumar (slow version)
———————————————————-
Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana

maut aani hai aayegi ik din
jaan jaani hai jaayegi ik din
aisi baaton se kyaa ghabraana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana

———————————————————–
Rafi-Kishore Kumar version
———————————————————–
hanste gaate jahaan se guzar
duniya ki tu parwaah na kar
hanste gaate jahaan se guzar
duniya ki tu parwaah na kar
muskuraate huye din bitaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho

maut aani hai aayegi ik din
jaan jaani hai jaayegi ik din
haan maut aani hai aayegi ik din
arre jaan jaani hai jaayegi ik din
aisi baaton se kyaa ghabraana
yahaan kal kyaa ho kisne jaana
zindagi ek safar hai suhaana
yahaan kal kyaa ho

———————————————————–

23 Responses to "Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana"

Another version, Shammi-Rafi combination of this “Zindagi” song :

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Please, include video of asha bhonsleji`s version picturised on Hemamalini.

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the asha bhonsle version

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kishore da’s version stands out any day :D..very meaningful song 🙂

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Atul ji

Love this song; Andaz is one of the few films that I did get to see on the big screen as a very small child; and yes I vividly remember the mobike drive, and the ‘odlai odlai oo’.

But more than that, love the story of your travels, from the village to the city, with the forced interlude and the tryst with Geetmala finals. Very endearing. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

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The fact that the day happened to be the last wednesday of the year and I was near a radio at the right time to enjoy the Binaca geetmala final was a priceless experience. The fact that it was exactly 40 years ago , which is a long time indeed and I still remember it is amazing, seeing that I do not remember things that have happened much more recently.

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Atul ji,
For a minute or so,after reading your write up,my mind went off to my Naunihal(Mother’s house before marriage) which happened to be a village,and I was lost in memories.
You have written the write up so earnestly that the whole picture of the incident is formed immediately and the reader flows with you.Very good indeed.
-AD

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The fact that I was able to share my memories of this day 40 years ago to so many people through this blog is something that I never imagined possible at that time. It is a priceless memory indeed.

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Just an observation. Out of 16 most popular songs which reached the Binaca Geetmala final for 1971, 8 were from films with Rajesh Khanna as lead actor out of which 7 songs were partially or fully picturised on Rajesh Khanna. No doubt, in 1971, he was called ‘Rajesh Khanna, the Phenomenon’.

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Thanks for pointing it out. Indeed the dominance of Rajesh Khanna was total in 1971. Same was the case for Kishore Kumar as the male playback singer in Binaca geetmala.

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Atulji

Thank you for the nice article,
Inspired by you, now I am searching for my old childhood diaries,in which I used to write all the songs broadcasted in binaca geetmala with their ascending positions.I used to wait for the year end one hour special binaca geetmala programmes(they used to broadcast it in two parts) very eagerly. Thanks for evoking my childhood memories

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If I were to make a list of top 3 popular songs of the 1970s, I’d put this in that list. The other 2 songs would be Dum Maro Dum and Jai Jai Shiv Shankar. This is not based on any radio programme or anything, just my gut feel. I measure popularity by spread of a song beyond traditional catchment areas – and these are 3 songs that I think were popular in almost every nook and corner of India. Love this song.

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Btw, fantastic write-up, Atul!!
Love the way you’ve described your experiences and memories of that time.
Especially love the Atulisms like “my Mama was as “low brow” as me- which meant that he would only listen to movie songs on radio, and not to “high brow” stuff like news”. LOL!

I remember “high brow” news of those days would invariably start with “Pradhan Mantri Shrimati Indira Gandhi ne kaha ki…”. 🙂

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Yes, Hindi news used to be tough to decode,especially for those who were used to filmy Hindi.

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If you look at all 16 songs half of them are from Rajesh khanna movies.
Yea he was truly a superstar, the original one.

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I remember BINACA Geetmaala before 1954 when I left my village. I vaguely remember that the last song was usually by Saigal. Is this correct?

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Binaca geetmala was broadcast only on wednesday night between 8 PM to 9 PM. This programme started in 1953-54.

The programme where K L Saigal’s song was the last song was a daily programme called “Puraani filmon ke geet” and it was broadcast in the morning between 7-30 AM to 8 AM. No K L Saigal song ever appeared in Binaca geetmala because Binaca geetmala began a few years after K L Saigal had died.

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Wow Atul, what a write-up!
Please write about more Binaca Geetmala finals…

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Here is the audio of Rafi Solo.

This song has four versions ;
1. Kishore (Happy)
2. Kishore (Sad)
3. Asha solo
4. Rafi Solo

Guess this is the highest no. of version songs.

Link to Kishore (sad) version :

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You are a sweetheart, Nahm. Thank you.

Regards.

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What a lovely episode. 🙂 I remember we used to strain our ears to catch every word that Amin Sayani spoke.

My uncle was very strict and did not allow us to listen to film music on radio. He would sit with us from 8 (when he ate his dinner) till 9 and expect the children to study hard during this time. At 9 he would retire to his bedroom. Sometimes he would leave a few minutes early and my cousins and I would RUSH to switch on the radio and at least listen to the last song.

We were often helped by neighbours who would have their radio on loud so we could hear the sounds faintly.

Oh such fun!

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Getting clear reception at night time used to be a problem. In case the radio station got de tuned then getting back to that station again was a matter of luck and dexterity of fingers rotating the radio knob.

I do not recall any restrictions on me to listen to radio. The reason could be that the home radio (valve radio, not transistor one) remained out of order quite a lot thanks to mice entering inside and enjoying the warm comfort.

Personally I regarded myself as an expert in tuning to various radio stations. Listening to Binaca geetmala, hockey and cricket commentaries, BBC etc are some of the great radio listening experiences of those days that I still remember fondly.

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Binaca Geetmala, BBC news, Transistor, ‘All India Radio ki Urdu Service’, ‘morning on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corpn – ‘ek hi film ke geet’., vividh bhart’s ‘jai-mala’, bbc’s ‘khel jagat or khel .. ( do not remember exactly now), Sunday – S.Kumar’s ka filmi muqadama’, ‘bhoole bisre geet’, hawa mahal ….and the unfogettable Sushil Doshi and Devki Nandan Pandey …. Lovely memories …

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