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

Man kyun behka ri behka aadhi raat ko

Posted on: July 20, 2012

Last week, I suddenly felt an urge to write an article on Shashi Kapoor whom I admire for being a different Kapoor from his two illustrious brothers – Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. He may not have the genius and business acumen of Raj Kapoor nor have the yahoo image of Shammi Kapoor. But he scored over his two illustrious brothers in that he was the most handsome among them. I remember a handsome and boyish looking Shashi Kapoor in ‘Waqt’ (1965). With his handsome and ever smiling face, he had a huge fan following during his hey days. He was different from his brothers on one more count – he married an English girl Jennifer Kendal who was associated with a theater group.

He got his first break as a full-fledged lead actor in the film ‘Dharamputra’ (1961) at the age of 24 wheras at that age, Raj Kapoor had become a successful producer, director and actor besides owning RK Studio. His first successful movie at the box office was ‘Jab Jab Phool Kile’ (1965) marking the beginning of his association with Nanda. Among his many successful films were ‘Pyaar Kiye Ja’ (1966), Haseena Maan Jaayegi’ (1968), ‘Pyaar Ka Mausam’ (1969), ‘Abhinetri’ (1970), ‘Sharmeeli (1971) and ‘Aa Gale Lag Ja’(1973). With the emergence of Amitabh Bachchan as a leading star, Shashi Kapoor’s fortune as a lead actor declined. The next best option for him under such a situation was to work as a second lead actor along with other leading actors of that time. His most successful films during this phase of his career were ‘Deewar’ (1975), ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ (1976), ‘Trishul’ (1978),‘Do aur Do Paanch’ (1980), ‘Silsila’ (1981), ‘Namak Halal’ (1982) etc.

In his younger days, Shashi Kapoor used to accompany his father Prithviraj Kapoor all over India with his Prithvi Theatre where besides working as an actor, he was also the stage manager. The association with Prithvi Theatres may have influenced him to take over the management of Prithvi Theatres along with his wife Jennifer after the death of his father. Today, it is one of the most important theatre destinations in Mumbai. He was the only among his brothers to work in international films like ‘Householder’ (1963), ‘ShakespeareWallah’ (1965), ‘A Matter of Innocence’ (1967), ’Heat & Dust’ (1983) etc.

Though Raj Kapoor produced many memorable films, they all belonged to the mainstream commercial cinema. Shashi Kapoor concentrated on producing films which belonged to parallel cinema. His first film ‘Junoon’ (1979) won him the National Film Award for the best feature film in Hindi and six Filmfare Awards. This was followed by ‘Kalyug’ (1981), ’36 Chowringee Lane’ (1981), ‘Vijeta’ (1982) and ‘Utsav’ (1984). But all these films put a hole in his coffers. Probably this forced him to give up producing such films. He produced and directed his only mainstream commercial film ‘Ajooba’ (1991) which was an Indo-Russian collaboration. Despite having star cast like Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, the film failed miserably at the box office putting him into his worst financial difficulties. He retired from films in 1998.

Being the only Kapoor who not only worked in some offbeat films but actually produced some movies belonging to the parallel cinema, I felt I should discuss a song from his film UTSAV (1984) belonging to this category. The song is ‘man kyun behakaa ri behakaa aadhi raat ko’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. The film was directed by Girish Karnad and had an impressive list of star cast which included Rekha, Shashi Kapoor, Amjad Khan, Shekhar Suman, Khulbhushan Kharbanda, Anupam Kher, Anuradha Patel, Neena Gupta, Shankar Nag, Kunal Kapoor, Sanjana Kapoor, Annu Kapoor, Satish Kaushik etc. The song was written by Vasant Dev and the music composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. It is said that originally, the role of Shashi Kapoor in this film was intended to be played by Amitabh Bachchan but he declined. The reason is obvious from the star cast. The film was an adoption of a Sanskrit drama, ‘Mrichhakatika’ (clay cart) said to have been written by Sudrak sometime between 2nd and 5th AD. The play was set in the ancient city of Ujjaini ( now Ujjain)

The story is about a courtesan Vasantsena (Rekha) and her love affairs with a poor Brahmin Charudatt (Shekhar Suman) who is already a married man with a son. The autocratic King’s brother-in-law Samasthanaka (Shashi Kapoor) has a crush on her. One day he tries to catch Vasantsena in the night but she runs away and hides in Charudutt’s house. They both fall in love. In the meanwhile, Samasthanka tries to rape her and in the process he hits her. Thinking that Vasantsena is dead, Samasthanaka frames Charudutt for her murder and he is sentenced to death. When he is about to be executed, Vasantsena turns up and she saves him from death. Soon, the entire population of Ujjaini turns up against Samasthanaka for his wrong doing but he saves himself from the lynching crowd by running away to Vasantsena’s house who pardons him. The couple is united and Charudutt’s wife accepts Vasantsena as her husband’s mistress. Despite an impressive cast, high class cinematography by Ashok Mehta and excellent location scenes depicting the medieval period, the film failed miserably at the box office. With this, Shashi Kapoor’s tryst with parallel cinema as a producer ended.

This song is picturised after Charudutt’s wife(Anuradha Patel) accepts Vasantsena in his house. In this song, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle sing for Rekha and Anuradha Patel respectively. One can also see for a brief moment Gopa Desai, a Gujarati film and stage artist in this song carrying flowers. The boy running across looks to be master Manjunath who acted in TV serial ‘Malgudi Days’ but his name is not credited. This song got Vasant Dev the Filmfare Award for the best lyricist. Vasant Dev is a Marathi laureate and as far as films are concerned, I find him associated with only parallel cinema as a lyricist and dialogue writer.

The difference in the singing styles of these two sisters is quite discernible in this song. Lata Mangeshkar’s matured voice gels well with a seductive voice of Asha Bhonsle in keeping with the mood of the song. Note the difference as to how they pronounce ‘raat’ while singing. In my view, this song must rank among the top 5 duets sung by Lata-Asha.

In the film, this song is picturised with nearly two minutes of dialogues between first and second stanzas and again between second and third stanzas. Third stanza is partially picturised. However, the video clip is available only for first two stanzas of the song with less footage of the intervening dialogues. The audio clip contains fullsong.



Song-Man kyun behka ri behka aadhi raat ko(Utsav)(1984) Singers-Lata , Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Vasant Dev, MD-Laxmikant Pyarelal


ho o o
hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm
man kyun behkaa ri behkaa
man kyun behkaa ri behkaa aadhii raat ko
belaa mehkaa
belaa mehkaa ri mehkaa aadhi raat ko

ho man kyun behakaa ri behakaa aadhi raat ko
belaa mehkaa ri mehkaa aadhi raat ko
kisne bansi bajaayi aadhi raat ko
ho kisne bansi bajaayi aadhi raat ko
jisne palken
jisne palken churaayi aadhi raat ko

ho man kyun behakaa ri behkaa aadhi raat ko
belaa mehakaa ri mehakaa aadhi raat ko

jhaanjhar jhamke sun jhamke
o jhaanjhar jhamke sun jhamke
jhaanjhar jhamke sun jhamke
aadhi raat ko
o o o
usko toko na roko
roko na toko
toko na roko
o aadhi raat ko

o o o
laaj laage ri lage aadhi raat ko
laaj laage ri laage aadhi raat ko
binaa sindoor ke souun aadhi raat ko
belaa mehakaa ri mehkaa aadhi raat ko
o man kyon behkaa ri bahakaa aadhi raat ko
belaa mehkaa ri mehkaa aadhi raat ko

baat kehte bane kyaa aadhi raat ko
aankh kholegi baat aadhi raat ko
baat kehte bane kyaa aadhi raat ko
aankh kholegi baat aadhi raat ko
hamne pi chaandani aadhi raat ko
ho oho
hamne pi chaandni aadhi raat ko
chaand aankhon mein aayaa aadhi raat ko
belaa mehkaa ri mehkaa aadhi raat ko
o man kyun behakaa ri behkaa aadhi raat ko
belaa mehkaa ri mehkaa aadhi raat ko

raat gunti rahegi aadhi baat ko
aadhi baaton ki peed aadhi raat ko
raat gunti rahegi aadhi baat ko
aadhi baaton ki peed aadhi raat ko
baat poori ho kaise aadhi raat ko
raat hoti
raat hoti shuroo hai aadhi raat ko

man kyon behkaa ri behkaa aadhi raat ko
belaa mehkaa ri mehkaa aadhi raat ko
ho man kyun behkaa ri behakaa
belaa mehkaa ri mehkaa
man kyon behkaa
belaa mehkaa
man kyon behkaa
belaa mehkaa

6 Responses to "Man kyun behka ri behka aadhi raat ko"

Kamathji, this is a very interesting point that u have captured here in ur wonderful write-up. I always thought Shashi never got enough credit for his theater work and for keeping the parallel cinema alive with his productions. Unfortunately, his wife’s untimely death killed both his commercial and parallel cinema careers. I read he used to walk around with such a joy and pride and ask everyone, if they believed he was 45! And after her death, he just followed the Kapoor tradition of not worrying about the weight/looks and so on. To me, he was the coolest guy, especially in roles such as in Kabhi Kabhie; the way he carried the entire climax sequence with Rakhee and Amitabh Bachchan. He was such a joy.


बहुत सी नयी जानकारियाँ मिलीं.

गीत बेहद खूबसूरत!


lovely song. rarely heard. so glad I found it here

Like (this is the complete song but parts of the visual of the song are taken from the Suresh Wadkar song)






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