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

Dekha ek khwaab to ye silsile huye

Posted on: October 22, 2012

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

It’s been a while since my last post here. And I feel pretty bad about it. Somehow, in the last month (or more), I’ve just not been able to generate the required mental juice to be able to come up with anything worth putting on paper (or on electronic media). Had Shakespeare been around and had one look at me, he’d have promptly coined something like “Listlessness, thou hast what human spirit conquer’d, For Man knoweth not whence he cometh, and where he goeth”.

Anyway, today is a determined effort to put Listlessness properly in its place. Yash Chopraji passed away yesterday evening – and as with any such happening, this leaves me with memories and emotions. I just feel like writing a post as a tribute to him. So for today at least, Listlessness will have to take a day off, celebrate Dussehra or whatever.

Yesterday evening, when I returned home from an evening walk and switched on the TV, it was on the news. Yash Chopraji, who had been admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, had passed away at the age of 80.

It came as a shock. I’d read news that he had been admitted a few days earlier with a complaint of a dengue attack but I’d never thought his end would come so soon. It saddened me immensely and all of yesterday evening I’ve been thinking of his movies. And of course songs of his movies.

The thing is that, for most oldtimers (and I use the term most endearingly), I’ve felt until now that a large part of their career happened “before my time”. Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor for example (though not Rajesh Khanna). In the case of Yashji, I feel I have lived through a very large part of his active years, of his most successful years. So I feel we’ve walked a path together – he making the movies, I watching them.

(I recognize that I will need to get used to this from now on as I myself am getting on in years).

The first Yashji movie that I distinctly remember as being a Yash Chopra film was Daag (1973). I remember it being talked about then as Yash Chopra’s first breakaway movie – it was the first movie by his own production house, Yashraj Films, instead of being under the BR Chopra banner. At that time I did not understand the significance of all this. Heck, at that time I did not even know the difference between a producer and a director. All I knew was that BR Chopra and Yash Chopra were brothers and they made movies. I think I was under the impression then that they’d had a fight and split up.

Anyway, I got to see Daag only much later. It did not make waves (at least not like the waves Rajesh Khanna movies until then were used to making). The songs were popular though.

Joshila came and went. More than anything else, I remembered it as a Dev Anand movie at that time (the name of every Dev Anand movie used to register in my mind in those days, even if the movie itself by that time often didn’t). It was a movie that many don’t even associate with Yash Chopra. I’m pretty sure many people think it is a home production of Dev Anand.

It was with Deewar, released in 1975, that Yash Chopra suddenly became a mega-name for me. I didn’t see Deewar at that time but everywhere you could see reference to the movie. And everywhere you would see it as YASH CHOPRA’s Deewar. The film had many contributors to its success – most notably writers Salim-Javed and the brilliant acting of, amongst others, Amitabh Bachchan. But a director almost always (and usually deservedly) gets top accolades for an acclaimed film – and it was no different for Yash Chopra. Yes, with Deewar, he had truly arrived – from out of the shadows of his brother BR Chopra.

Mind you, I’m not for one moment suggesting that Yash Chopra was a nobody till then. A person who has directed Dhool Ka Phool, Dharamputra, the iconic Waqt and the acclaimed thriller Ittefaq can hardly be called a nobody. But all these movies were under the BR production banner, they all had a BR Chopra feel about them. So somehow Yash Chopra was still “the younger brother of BR Chopra” at that time. (I am not making this sentiment up – Yash Chopra has himself said as much in an interview).

Maybe I should put it differently. Yash Chopra, under his OWN banner, Yashraj Films, had arrived with Deewar.

He must have hardly started basking in his success when his next film to get released, Kabhi Kabhi, hit the floor. And what a success that turned out to be. A very different sort of film to Deewar – but one that the public of the time loved probably just as much. While the music of Deewar didn’t catch on very much, the music of Kabhi Kabhi not just compensated for it – it went much farther. The title song is even today considered one of the most evergreen songs of Hindi cinema. Sahir Ludhianvi’s association with the Chopras (going back over two decades and with practically iconic songs in every Chopra film) was further vindicated in Kabhi Kabhi. His “main pal do pal ka shaayar hoon” seemed autobiographical – and was a huge hit in itself, only overshadowed by the title song.

If Daag was Yash Chopra’s first foray into a love triangle (under the Yashraj banner), Kabhi Kabhi took it several notches further and probably made it a fetish. The love triangle, the heartbreak, the snow and the exotic locales, the love songs – Kabhi Kabhi had it all. And the audience lapped it all up. In bucketloads of snow.

Yash Chopra did produce a couple of other love stories like Doosra Aadmi and Noorie but his next directorial venture was Trishul. This was different – and I think it was because it was not under the Yashraj banner. I just LOVE Trishul – it is one of my favourite Amitabh movies. But it was under the Gulshan Rai banner and had more of a vengeance/revenge (“angry young man”) backdrop to it than a typical Yash Chopra love story (though it had its romantic elements, of course).

Then came Kaala Patthar. I remember this being a much-publicised movie at that time. A mega – multistarrer. The song “ek raasta hai zindagi” was particularly popular at that time. But the movie flopped. It had a social message, it was about the plight of coal mine workers. The audience, by then used to candy and exotic locales in Yash Chopra movies, did not probably want to see coal mines, coal-blackened faces, the reality of the hardships of coal mine workers. They gave it a thumbs-down.

I think that was the last time Yash Chopra tried his hand at anything of this sort. His later movies would have the odd social message but it would never be at the cost of glamour. Exotic locales would not be compromised on. Dreams would be sold – not reality. There would be love stories , love triangles, a lot of love songs – and the boy and girl would get together in the end. If this is what the public wanted from a Yash Chopra movie, this is what they would get.

Yashji’s next project was Silsila. Oh, I remember all the drama around this movie at that time. It was the height of the rumours about Amitabh and Rekha, the tension for Jaya Bachchan and all that. Most of it to me seemed to be hype anyway but there’s no denying the fact that every magazine talked about it. Even those who didn’t refer to Big B by name but only called him “the angry young man”.

In this backdrop, Yashji decided to make Silsila. A movie that had not just all these three actors, but whose storyline must have been uncomfortably close to those real-life rumours. It was also Jayaji’s comeback film, so that was an added element to look forward to in the film.

I also think this was the first Yash Chopra film after Sahir Ludhianvi’s death. The lyrics were largely by Sagar Sarhadi – a new name for me then. The music was by classical music doyens Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia (who came together as Shiv-Hari), for the first time in a Hindi film as a composer-duo, if I’m not mistaken.

Silsila did not become quite the commercial hit that many expected it to be. But the songs were fabulous. Each one of them. Yash Chopra’s reputation as a film-maker whose movies were a gurantee for excellent music was much enhanced by Silsila. And oh, it had its exotic locales, the love triangle et al. Vintage Yash Chopra.

And so the Yash Chopra brand just got bigger and bigger. I must admit that I had begun to lose interest in Hindi movies by the early 80s. My priorities were changing, Hindi cinema was changing.

But even in the now-often-considered-dreary 1980s, Yashji managed to produce a film like Mashaal. A film with a strong storyline, fiery emotions and seething conflict. I saw this film only sometime in the 90s – and was quite impressed.

Yashji continued to make films. I will not talk about each one of them because this post is already getting too long and I really need to get to the song for this post. Suffice it to say, that his formula continued to work – Chandni and Darr being two examples of them. Lamhe, a movie with a controversial storyline for a conservative Indian mindset, didn’t quite work as well at the box-office, but was a wonderful movie in its own right, I thought.

Though Yashji passed on the baton of directing to his son, Aditya Chopra, he would still direct the odd movie. And his production house Yashraj Films became the most sought-after name in the industry after hits like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge and Dil To Paagal Hai. Almost every artiste wanted to be associated with the Yashraj label in some form or the other.

His last released directorial venture, Veer Zaara, is another film I haven’t seen. But I’ve heard its songs – Madan Mohan’s work brought to the public decades after his death. They are fantastic songs – and Yashji needs to be thanked for paying this tribute to Madan Mohan saab.

Now, coming to today’s song.

This is from Silsila (1981). Now practically every song of Silsila is lovely to listen to. And since only two songs of the film have been posted on this blog until now, I could pick from any of the other songs and pick a musical melody.

I’ve gone with “dekha ek khwab to ye silsile hue”.

This is possibly the most popular song of the film. I also believe this is the first Hindi film song written by Javed Akhtar. (I heard this only yesterday when Javed saab mentioned it in his tribute to Yash Chopraji. He said Yashji had wanted him to write a song for his next movie, Silsila. Javed saab was not sure – he had done poetry and film dialogues but never written a film song as such. But Yashji was persuasive, so Javed saab went to his place one morning. And by that evening, he’d come up with “dekha ek khwab”. So Javed saab gives Yashji credit for kicking off his songwriter career.)

But that is not the reason I’ve picked this song.

I’ve selected this song for today because it is a song that many Indians associate with my adopted country, Holland. And for a personal memory I have of this song.

Now Yash Chopra is often associated with Switzerland. Everybody knows that. But for Silsila, he did shoot in Holland. (Maybe those were early days – he did not realize how infinitely more beautiful Switzerland is ;-)).

Sections of this song “dekha ek khwab” are picturised in and around the famous Keukenhof flower gardens of Holland. Not the whole song. But even then, this song is possibly the best advertisement for Holland for Indian tourists. In fact, I think for many Indians, if you mention Holland and tulips, the first thing they will say is Silsila. 🙂 So, on behalf of the Dutch tourism industry, a big thank you, Yashji.

I remember Amitabh once saying that they had needed special permission at that time to film at Keukenhof. I can imagine Dutch people watching Amitabh and Rekha running alongside those tulips and wondering what the hell was going on. ? In those days, such scenes would have been extremely uncommon.

That reminds me of a similar incident much later. This was around 1997 or so. My sister and brother-in-law had come to visit me in Holland in May, at the height of the tulip season. I naturally took them to the tulip gardens in Keukenhof. And to the surrounding areas (known as the Bollenstreek). It was a glorious day and the flowers were in their full splendor. I took them to the place where Amitabh and Rekha had done their Silsila shot for “dekha ek khwab to ye silsile hue”.

Suddenly my sister, given to occasional moments of madness (a trait that must be considered unsurprising, seeing as she is my sister) said “Let’s also do that scene na. Raja, you take the video camera and shoot”. I didn’t mind – but I remember my brother-in-law being distinctly uncomfortable with the suggestion, the thought of cavorting alongside tulips not exactly being his cup of tea. There were a few people around, some Dutch, some tourists. Not that I cared.

So we did a quick one or two minute shoot, with my sister and brother-in-law in the fields, running towards me. I did the singing. (Hey if my sister thought she was Rekha, I was definitely Kishore Kumar. 🙂 ) . Anyway, it is captured on camera, I remember seeing it at my sister’s place later. I don’t think it came out too well but for nostalgia’s sake, I hope my sister still has this with her.

So that’s my additional fond memory of this song. I thought I would share it here today, as part of my tribute to Yash Chopra ji.

All in all, Yashji’s contribution to Indian cinema, the aspirational dreams he sold to generations of Indians, the world view he gave them – for all this, we need to thank him. Hindi cinema has seen several genres, several directors in different genres. The Bimal Roys and Shantarams were masters in their genres. But in his genre, understanding the sensitivies of love and setting up a love triangle, Yash Chopraji was a master, no doubt.

Hindi cinema will be much the poorer without him around, of that I am sure. Who will weave those love stories for us now? With so much finesse?

Thank you for everything, Yashji. Rest in Peace, Sir.

Audio – Part I

Video – Part I

Audio – Part II (Slow version)

Song-Dekha ek khwaab to ye silsile huye (Silsila)(1981) Singers-Kishore Kumar, Lata, Lyrics-Javed Akhtar, MD-Shiv Hari
Kishore Kumar + Lata


hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm
dekhaa ek khwaab to ye silsile huye
door tak nigaah mein hain gul khile huye
dekhaa ek khwaab to ye silsile huye
door tak nigaahon mein hain gul khile huye
aa aa aa aa aa
ye gilaa hai aap ki nigaahon se
phool bhi hon darmiyaan to faasle huye

dekhaa ek khwaab to ye silsile huye (lalalalla)
door tak nigaahon mein hain gul khile huye(hmm hmm hmm hmm

meri saanson mein basi khushboo teri
ee ee
ye tere pyaar ki hai jaadugari
aa haa
aa aa aa

teri aawaaz hai hawaaon mein ae ae
pyaar kaa rang hai fizaaon mein
dhadkanon mein tere geet hain miley huye
kyaa kahoon ke sharm se hain lab sile huye
dekhaa ek khwaab to ye silsile huye
phool bhi hon darmiyaan to faasle huye

meraa dil hai teri panaahon mein ae ae
aa chhupaa loon main tujhe baahon mein
teri tasveer hai nigaahon mein
door tak roshni hai raahon mein
kal agar na roshni ke kaafile huye
pyaar ke hazaar deep hain jale huye
dekhaa ek khwaab to ye silsile huye
door tak nigaahon mein hain gul khile huye
aa aa aa aa
ye gilaa hai aap ki nigaahon se
phool bhi hon darmiyaan to faasle huye

dekhaa ek khwaab to ye silsile huye
door tak nigaah mein hain gul khile huye

aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa

11 Responses to "Dekha ek khwaab to ye silsile huye"

Sorry, I didn’t fact-check this write-up. I see there’s a mistake – I’ve mentioned Sagar Sarhadi as the lyricist for most songs of Silsila. But I realise only now that he was the script-writer for the movie. (His name was very prominent in the promos of the movie at that time, so his name got stuck in my head).

Most of the songs in the movie are written by Javed Akhtar. The song “sar se sarke” is by Hasan Kamal. And “jo tum todo”, I am not sure about.

Sorry for the mistake.

And thanks, Atul, for posting this.

If anybody notices any other factual errors in this write-up, please do point out. I wrote this completely from memory (without fact-checking), so there may be the odd error.


I love this song of Silsila. It is so utterly, so completely romantic. I did not like the later romances of YRC. I am not fond of Chandni at all, despite the presence of Rishi, nor of Lamhe. But Kabhi Kabhie and Silsila are grown-up romances at their best.

I am afraid if I were to see those tulip fields, I might want to do a Dekha ek khwab as well. I don’t mind doing it alone.


Jo tum todo main naahi todu re…is a very famous Mirabai bhajan. It first appeared in Jhanak Jhanak…..sang by Lata. Please visit :


Thanks for the info and link, Nitinji. I know this song as Mirabai’s bhajan but I was not sure whether the lyrics for the film for this bhajan are attributed to Mirabai or to somebody else. It makes sense that this should be seen as a Mirabai bhajan and nothing else.


Raja ji,

Allegoric and topical – a wonderful write up for today. Yes, the Indian Cinema is a bit poorer. Another stalwart personality, moving on, and quite unexpectedly so.

Regarding ‘Jo Tum Todo Piya. . .’ – this bhajan by Meera also appeared in the 1947 film ‘Meerabai’, sung by Sitara (Kanpur).

As for the attribution, the credits with the film or with the record are not consistent across the decades. Some producers are particular to acknowledge the original authors. And I must say that fair number of poetical creations considered as traditional lyrics, have appeared in many films. There are selections from Ghalib (of course), Daag, Kabir Das, Tulsi Das, Kalidas, Amir Khusro, Baba Farid, Bulle Shah, Guru Arjun Dev, and many more. In many films, the credits have been attributed to original authors, and acknowedged. In some places, they are not, and have created authorship confusions.

I checked for the two 1947 films ‘Meera’ (MS Subbulaxmi) and ‘Meerabai’ (Sitara (Kanpur)), and for the filmn ‘Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje’. The attribution for the bhajans is to Meerabai.

Then I checked the credits from the films ‘Silsila’. The full list of lyricists is as follows:
– Javed
– Rajinder Krishan
– Nida Fazli
– Hassan Kamaal
– Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan

For this bhajan, most web sites include the name of Meerabai in their listings, but I still need to check the LP of this film to confirm the original attribution.



You can see the tulips in India; Asia’s largest tulip garden on the banks of Dal Lake in Kashmir was today thrown open since March 29, 2012.
So you can take your wife/companion with you. Don’t have to travel to Veldheers, Holland alone.


This is one of my favourite songs too! Love everything about it, it’s just so romantic.
Chandni, I found a little irritating, but I like the rest of his movies. Waqt and Trishul are my favourites. I’m yet to see Dharamputra.


I love all the songs from Silsila, and like the movie too. This is a wonderful number. We surely will miss Yashji. I guess there is also a Sad version of this song.





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