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

Wo thhi ham thhe ham thhe wo thhi

Posted on: August 4, 2012


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

On the occasion of Kishore Kumar’s birth anniversary on August 4th, the wheel of time(kalchakra) takes me back to my teens when I used to listen to Radio Ceylon’s programme on old Hindi film songs. On the first day of every month, the first song that was played on this programme was din hai suhaana aaj pahli taarikh hai from the film ‘Pahli Taarikh’ (1954). That was the time when I came to know about Kishore Kumar as a singer. It was a revelation to me later from the film ‘New Delhi’ (1956) that he was not only a singer but an actor also. With his many subsequent films in 50s and early 60s, I had taken it for granted that he was a comedian who sang mostly fun songs and that too for himself.

In early 70s by which time I had acquired some knowledge about old Hindi film songs, I became aware that Kishore Kumar started playback singing with some sentimental and heart-felt songs like marne ki duaayen kyun maangoon, jagmag jagmag karta nikla chaand poonam ka pyaaraa, wo meri taraf yoon chale aa rahe hain, husn bhi hai udaas udaas. The way he sang the last one listed here, Talat Mehmood must have been proud of Kishore Kumar. Despite these songs as his credentials, it was a bit of surprise for me when Shanker-Jaikishan decided to use Mohammed Rafi to give playback for him for the song ajab hai daastaan teri ae zindagi. As I stated in one of the articles in this blog, the actual reasons for this could be something else. This, however, does not mean that Rafi’s efforts were wasted. In fact, this song became very popular.

I always felt that behind the facade of Kishore Kumar’s fun filled actions, there was another Kishore Kumar who was a lonely and a serious man. Perhaps his early struggling days in the film industry during which he was often humiliated by some of the film producers may be the cause for his split personality. His hidden personality of a lonely and serious man was reflected in his own films like‘Door Gagan ki Chhaon Mein’ and ‘Door Ka Rahi’. It is said that one of the producers told him very clearly that he did not have a good looking face like his elder brother Ashok Kumar to become an actor nor did he have a good voice to become a successful singer. He advised him that instead of wasting his time here, he should go back to his native town Khandwa to pursue some other vocation. In the film ‘Naukari’ (1954) in which Kishore Kumar was the lead actor, music director Salil Chaudhary had earmarked chhota sa ghar hoga baadlon kichhaaon mein for Hemant Kumar. Even after pleading by film’s director Bimal Roy, Salil Chaudhary refused to get this song sung by Kishore Kumar by saying that Kishore Kumar was not a trained singer. It was only when he directly approached Salil Chaudhary and pleaded to try him at least for one song that Salil Chaudhary relented and let him sing the song.

Kishore Kumar’s filmy career can broadly be divided into three phases. In the first phase, he was mostly in his role as an actor-singer, though he did playback singing mostly for Dev Anand. In the second phase, he started producing and directing films while he continued to act and sing in other films. In the third phase which started with the success of ‘Aradhana’ (1969), he mainly concentrated in playback singing. In fact, the second phase of his career spilled from the first phase and continued in the third phase as well. His third phase was the most rewardin gnot only from the monetary view point but also made him a force to reckon with as a playback singer. Perhaps he had captured nearly 80-90 percent of share in male playback singing in Hindi film industry during the third phase of his career.

In Bollywood, nothing succeeds like success. During his successful phase, Kishore Kumar was regarded as a singer who could sing any type of songs. Suddenly, music directors found that he could sing classical raga based songs like mere naina saawan bhaadon’, soft romantic songs like pal pal dil ke pass, the high pitched songs like dil aaj shaayar hai which were regarded in the first phase of his filmy career as belonging to Mohammed Rafi’s domain. When there are two giant playback singers like Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar, comparison is inevitable. In fact, one of the film magazines invited readers’ comments as to whom they regarded as the best singer – Mohammed Rafi or Kishore Kumar. The reactions from the readers ran for 2- 3 issues after which Kishore Kumar wrote a lengthy letter to the editor of the film magazine requesting him to stop that column as the issue discussed there in pained him a lot. He said in his letter that he always regarded Mohammed Rafi as a better singer than himself. In the letter, he gave a big list of songs sung by Mahammed Rafi and said that he could not have sung those songs as good as Rafi had rendered. In the list, oneof the song he mentioned was madhuban mein radhika naache re. This letter of Kishore Kumar not only stopped further discussions on Rafi vs Kishore but it also showed him as a fine gentleman with humility.

If the 50s and 60s were dominated by Mohammed Rafi in the male playback singing, 70s and 80s were Kishore Kumar’ era. In my view, most of the songs rendered by Rafi and his contemporaries like Mukesh, Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey were of such types that they made impact on the listeners. But in case of Kishore Kumar, his songs, even the ordinary ones were so mesmerising to the most of listeners that their ears got tuned to his songs more than that of other singers. Probably this explains as to why in version songs, it was Kishore Kumar’s versions which were more popular than the other versions. Few examples : eena meena deeka( Kishore/Asha Bhonsle versions), tum bin jaaun kahan ( Kishore/Rafi versions), hamen tumse pyaar kitnaa ye ham nahin jaante ( Kishore/Praveen Sultana versions. Parveen Sultana got Filmfare Award for the best female singer for this song but in popularity chart, it was Kishore Kumar’s version which was ahead of Parveen Sultana’s version), rimjhim gire saawan sulag sulag jaaye man ( Kishore/Lata versions. I liked Lata’s version only after watching its picturisation).

Kishore Kumar had some streaks of eccentricity but I suppose that was coming out of his early struggling days and loneliness. He was a unique personality which was rarely found in Hindi film industry. Apart from actor-singer, he was producer, director, writer, music director, and lyricist and may be something more in him like yodelling. Asha Bhonsle in a TV interview few years back, revealed that the song ‘aake seedi lage’ from ‘Half Ticket’ (1962) was recorded in one take despite the fact that Kishore Kumar was singing for both a female character played by him and for Pran. Even in his death, he left a mark of his brand of personality. He made it clear in his will that after his death, his body should be taken to his hometown Khandwa and cremated there. The reason was that in Mumbai, thousands of his admirers and of other film stars would join his death procession which would turned into a spectacle than a solemn event.

On the occasion of his birth anniversary, I have chosen a song from the film CHALTI KA NAAM GAADI (1958). The song is ‘ham thhe wo thhi wo thhi ham thhe’ sung by Kishore Kumar and an unidentified male singer. Majrooh Sultanpuri was the song writer which was composed by S D Burman. For this film, S D Burman had two music assitants – Jaidev and R D Burman. The antics and dance steps are unique to Kishore Kumar. The song is hilarious and the song situation starts after Kishore Kumar is dropped to his garage by Madhubala in her car. His brother Anup Kumar is surprised to witness the event. Kishore Kumar gives details of his meeting with Madhubala through this song to Anup Kumar with some element of fantasies. Anup Kumar gets so much impressed by his brother’s achievement that he asks Kishore Kumar in the song ‘mannu tera huaa ab meraa kyaa hogaa’.

All in all, it is a typical Kishore Kumar song worthy of watching on his birth anniversary.

Audio

Video

Song-Ham thhe wo thhi wo thhi ham thhe (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi)(1958) Kishore Kumar, Unidentified male singer, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD-S D Burman

Lyrics

ham thhe wo thhi
wo thhi ham thhe
ham thhe wo thhi
aur samaa rangeen samajh gaye naa
ta da ra da
jaate thhe Japan
pahunch gaye Cheen samajh gaye naa
he yaane yaane yaane
pyaar ho gayaa
ham thhe wo thhi
aur samaa rangeen samajh gaye naa
jaate thhe Japan
pahunch gaye Cheen samajh gaye naa
he yaane yaane yaane
pyaar ho gayaa

khoyaa main kaise
uski baaton mein
kehataa hoon dam to lene do
aa aaa aaa
khoyi wo kaise
meri baaton mein
kehataa hoon dam to lene do
aa aaa aaa
kyaa kyaa keh daalaa
aankhon aankhon mein
kehataa hoon dam to lene do
aa aaa aaa
ham thhe wo thhi
aur samaa rangeen
samajh gaye naa
jaate thhe Japan
pahunch gaye Cheen samajh gaye naa
he yaane yaane yaane
pyaar ho gayaa
o mannu teraa huwaa ab meraa kyaa hogaa
mannu teraa huwaa ab meraa kyaa hogaa

ye hu
ye hu
ye hu
ye hu
ye hu
ye hu

phoote bulbule
do nainaa phadke
usne jab dekhaa mud mud ke
waah waah waah
jaise kehti wo
sun re o ladke
maine jab dekhaa mud mud ke
waah waah waah
phir donon ke dil
dhak dhak dhak dhadke
donon ne dekhaa mud mud ke
waah waah waah
ha ha ha ha haa haa
haa haa
ham thhe wo thhi
aur samaa rangeen samajh gaye naa
jaate thhe Japan
pahunch gaye Cheen samajh gaye naa
he yaane yaane yaane
pyaar ho gaya
o mannu teraa huwaa
ab meraa kyaa hogaa
mannu teraa huwaa
ab meraa kyaa hogaa

thodaa thodaa saa
lambaa lambaa saa
dheere dheere usne khenchaa
haa haa haa
phir uskaa palloo
ban ke uskaa daas
dheere dheere maine khenchaa
haa haa haa
ghabraahat mein phir
apnaa apnaa haath
usne khenchaa maine khenchaa
haa haa haa
ham thhe wo thhi
aur samaa rangeen samajh gaye naa
jaate thhe Japan
pahunch gaye Cheen samajh gaye naa
he yaane yaane yaane
pyaar ho gayaa

16 Responses to "Wo thhi ham thhe ham thhe wo thhi"

Wow Watasong to start the day with

Thank you SadanandJi for this song. & Atul thanks to you too!
& A very Happy Birthday to my Dear Kishore Kumar wherever you R!!!!!!!!

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What a song to end my day! (my local time) Saare din ki thakaawat gaayab ho gayi ye gana dekh ke. 🙂 I remember one of my cousin singing the part “o mannu tera hua ab mera kya hoga……” all the time after watching this movie on DD. Kitne suhane din the wo! Thanks Sadanandji and Atulji for the song.

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Anoop Kumar is the singer and is also credited in the bappi lahiri/kumar sanu/usha uthup version of this song from Rock Dancer.

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Kamath ji,
As usual you have given us a treat in the above writing.
Thanks.
I am herewith attaching a link to a song which is almost unknown so far.It was recorded for MANMAUJI-1962.It was banned by All India Radio and the Censors and hence removed from the films and the records too,hence remained largely unheard,unknown and obscure.Its lyrics are very bold and daring.The song is “Bura lagta hai lagey duniya ko,apni marzi se jiyunga main”.Kishore kumar is lively here.

-AD

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Sorry,wrong link.i will try again.

Like

here it is-

-AD

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Thanks for the link. I was not aware of this song.

The lyrics are indeed bold for that time period when the Censor Board was hyper active. I guess, Rajendra Krishan has written this lyrics keeping Kishore Kumar’s personality in mind 🙂

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wow Arunji! i liked this song very much! seems to reflect my sentiments. never heard it b4. though i don’t claim to know all d songs dat Kishore Kumar has sung

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Awesome song. And a great way to start the day for me. Kishore da was such a genius – and I don’t use this word loosely. And the thing was, not only was he good at whatever he did, he seemed to have been a really fun guy to be with. And a thinking guy too. One should not get carried away by his comedy acts to presume he was nothing else. I’ve not seen Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (I need to!) but I’ve seen Door Ka Rahi. And really liked it.

Kishore Kumar will always remain in our hearts.

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Oh, and I forgot to say, a wonderful write-up too, Kamathji.

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I remember reading somewhere that the lines “o mannu teraa huwaa ab meraa kyaa hogaa” on Anup Kumar are also sung by Kishore Kumar. I cannot verify it but am prepared to believe it as Kishore was adept in singing in more than one voices and switching from one to another in the same flow.

Like

i remember him switching voice in the song from “Half Ticket” “Aake seedhi lagi jaise katariya” fmeale for himself & male for Pran

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@ Sadanand-ji : a wonderful article on Kishore Kumar! Thanks for sharing these insights into Kishore’s career and background!

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Video link:

I came to know only today that this song was inspired from :

But I still prefer KK song for the excellent lyrical audio-video presentation.

Like

Sadanand-ji, I re-read this old article of yours after 12 years (it suddenly popped after your recent comment with YT links) … It is even better now, than 12 years ago. Thanks for an excellent article with many other song referencing links,

Like

Srinivasan ji,
Thanks for your appreciation.

Liked by 1 person

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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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