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

Aay haay teri bindiya re

Posted on: December 4, 2012

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

It is perhaps the inability of our times to distinguish between the “good” and the “great”, the “noteworthy” and the “legendary”, the “impressive” and the “brilliant”, that leads us to use the latter of the two adjectives in each case in far greater measure, and for far more modest achievements than would have been approved of by an earlier generation. Or maybe it is just our laziness, or our tendency to exaggerate, that leads us to our use (or abuse) of the English language in this manner.

Whatever be the reason(s), one of the consequences of such “broadbanding” is that we, perhaps unintentionally, end up doing great injustice to those who – by any yardstick of measurement – would qualify as great. Or legendary. Or brilliant.

One can of course argue that these are subjective adjectives – and therefore open to different opinions – but some people, and achievements, have progressed so far beyond that “realm of uncertainty” that even their most ardent critics would, if pressed to be absolutely honest, grudgingly grant their status as being beyond debate.

In the world of sports, names like Sir Don Bradman in cricket, and Roger Federer in tennis, come readily to mind.

In the world of Hindi film music, amongst female singers, the person who carries this off most comfortably has got to be Lata Mangeshkar. This is not taking anything away from her sister, Asha Bhosle (who Lata has herself claimed as the more talented and versatile singer of the two). It is just that it is hard to ignore the claims of a voice that has been synonymous with female playback for over six decades and has earned the sobriquet of the title “the nightingale of India”.

Lata’s life has been well-documented and I will not repeat it here. Her struggle from a very young age when she lost her father at the age of 13 and had to fend for herself and her four younger siblings, her big breaks with Barsaat (composers: Shankar-Jaikishen) and Mahal (composer: Khemchand Prakash), her subsequent reign over the industry for decades are all well-documented.

Yet she has her detractors.

There are those who claim that she was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time. They claim her “thin” voice would never have been anywhere as popular as it became if it hadn’t been for the migration of then-popular “thick” voices like that of Noor Jehan.

There are those who claim that she manipulated music directors so as to snuffle other emerging talent and potential competition to her.

She is supposed to have had tiffs with SD Burman, Sahir Ludhianvi and Rafi saab, to mention a few of the more prominent names she worked with.

Many believe that she stayed in the industry way beyond her sell-by date, thereby further limiting opportunities for upcoming singers in the 1980s and later.

It is possible that there is some truth in these allegations and statements. There have been many controversies in the industry, there have been ego-clashes and misunderstandings, power struggles, award-competition scandals etc. While these make interesting reading (and even help sell magazines), I would prefer not to conflate quality of one’s work with other matters involving the person. (Although in the case of Lata, if there is truth in her attempts to snuffle other singers, it does take a lot of sheen off her personality. And, if I may say so, I consider it quite unnecessary – if it’s true, she really didn’t need to).

I will admit that I find any news about legends clashing as disturbing. (And I use the term “legends” in a sense an older generation would approve of. ;-)). One of the best-known clashes is perhaps that of Lata and Rafi saab, regarding differences of opinion on royalty payments. Lata wanted singers to also get a share of the royalty, Rafi saab was content with just getting his singer’s fee and letting the composers keep the royalty. This caused some ill-will and for a few years, they did not sing together.

Then again, in the late 70s (shortly before his death), Rafi saab challenged the Guinness Book of Records mention for Lata as the singer with the most number of songs in a career. Whether he was right or not (and there is every chance Guinness got the number wrong anyway), it did leave a rather bad taste in the mouth.

Very recently, there has been another controversy around these two legends. Rafi saab’s son has challenged Lata’s statement that Rafi saab apologized to her. He has demanded that she produce the letter of apology – “otherwise it didn’t happen”.

Personally, I am very much saddened by all this. And I am sure many genuine music fans will feel much the same way. For us, it is never about “who was the better singer” or “who was the bigger crowd favourite” or “who has more songs”. It is insulting to legends when such comparisons are made. Many of them are themselves embarrassed. I remember Kishore Kumar making an effort to stop a poll in the 1970s which tried to gauge who was the “bigger singer” – Kishore or Rafi saab. Similarly Manna Dey has said that Rafi saab was a better singer than he was (though many do believe, and understandably, that Manna Dey is in a league of his own in his genre).

Lata has also tried in various interviews to play down her differences with Rafi saab, saying that he was a gem of a person, a very simple man who was used by others.

Whatever it is, these controversies do not go away – each singer’s fans are constantly trying to prove that their singer is better, and more righteous, than others. I find this sickening – I do not even consider these fans as genuine music fans. Lovers of music go beyond specific singers, beyond specific composers. Sure, they may have their favourites, but they acknowledge good music for what it is – and are not grudging in their praise just because it isn’t by their favourite singer or composer.

In this context, it gives me great pleasure to present today’s song. When Atul asked me to do a write-up for “teri bindiya re” as Lata’s 2100th song on this blog, I was more than happy to do so. I haven’t done a write-up for a while – but that must not be construed as a lack of interest in doing so. It is more because I’ve been distracted by other things occupying my mind.

And I’m glad that this is the song being chosen as the 2100th for Lata here.

In their long careers, Rafi saab and Lata have sung a vast number of duets – and many of them have won over the hearts of Hindi music fans. Songs like “tu ganga ki mauj main jamuna ka dhaara”, “bhula nahin dena ji bhula nahin dena”, “do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan”, “jeevan mein piya tera saath rahe”, “sau saal pehle”, “jo vaada kiya wo nibhaana padega” and many, many more are evergreen melodies, popular to this day, though over half a century has passed since the songs were first released.

I have listened to these songs (and many other Rafi-Lata duets) countless times and always marveled at how well in sync they sang together and what beautiful melodies resulted from their partnership. Even now I discover new songs on youtube – and sometimes they are Rafi-Lata gems like “chhota sa fasaana hai, tere mere pyar ka” from Birha Ki Raat (1950).
My own “first-hand” awareness is from the 1970s onwards, so I have to sadly admit that perhaps the best Rafi-Lata duets were before my time.

But there is one duet, from the 70s, that will stand out as one of the finest from this pair and, in my opinion, can hold its own in a Rafi-Lata “best of” list.
“Teri bindiya re” from Abhimaan (1973), the Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed film about a singer husband’s ego being hurt when his wife turns out to become a more popular singer than him. It stars Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri – and has excellent performances all round (including from Bindu and Asrani, in their character roles).

And the music! Ah, the music! It is just divine. Certainly by 70s standards, by which time, the “golden age” had most certainly passed by, what with composers like Shankar, Ravi and OP Nayyar a shadow of their former selves, Roshan (and Jaikishen) no longer alive, Naushad practically non-existent, and Madan Mohan just about hanging in there with the odd film.
SD Burman, who till his very last film, Mili, never ever lost the pulse of the Indian audience, proved that even ill-health could not hold him back when it came to composing his style of music. And with Abhimaan, he delivered one of the most memorable scores of the 70s.

Abhimaan has a number of beautiful songs – “nadiya kinaare”, “lute koi man ka nagar”, “tere mere milan ki ye raina” are all very very good – but the one Abhimaan song that I never tire of listening to (and have listened to a million times) is “teri bindiya re”.

I don’t know exactly what it is about this song that I love so much.

Is it my tendency to support the underdog (and Rafi saab in the first half of the 70s was very much the underdog compared to Kishore Kumar) that makes me love this so much? Is it the awesome picturisation which does it for me? Is it the sweet lyrics (by Majrooh) – a line like “to phir ye kya bole hai, bole hai, bole hai tera kangna?” Is it SD’s typical tune (that was getting more and more crowded out at that time)? Is it the fact that when we first got a two-in-one in our household (a National flat-deck one) and had an Abhimaan cassette (and Zanjeer, Guddi, Kora Kaagaz, Yaadon Ki Baaraat among others), my paternal grandmother who didn’t know a word of Hindi, would always ask me to play this one song? And when I’d play it, her eyes would light up as if everything was just fine with this world, now that she had heard Rafi saab’s soothing voice.

So what is it?

I reckon it could be a combination of all of the above. I think the picturisation’s impact came in only late – I began seeing the video a lot only after youtube came along. But this song has been one of my favourites right from the mid-70s (and, among 1970s songs, is easily in my top-3, possibly even my top song).

In one of her interviews, when Lata talked about her duets with Rafi saab, she mentioned a few – and this song was one of them. She said this was one of the best duets she sang with Rafi saab. And I don’t disagree. His voice is just heavenly in this song. And Lata herself matches his heavenly voice with her sweet, nectar-like voice. The casual conversation in the song (with its underlying teasing) makes it incredibly romantic and is carried off amazingly well by Amitabh and Jaya too on-screen.

I was a bit surprised that this song was not posted yet by Atul. But he informs me that the lyrics have been lying with him for a while now. And not just sent by one person but by many (which proves to me – not that I ever had any doubt – that the contributors to Atul’s blog have great taste. ?). The first person to send him the lyrics was nahm, so she must be happy that finally “her” song is making its way onto the blog. Thank you, Nahm.

So if anybody wants to talk about Lata-Rafi clashes or rifts, I’d much rather look the other way and just play this song. To remember the good (no, great!) partnership they had instead of the not-so-pleasant moments.

So let’s all enjoy this 1970s gem “teri bindiya re”, shall we?



Song-Teri bindiya re (Abhimaan)(1973) Singers-Rafi, Lata, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD-S D Burman

Lyrics(Provided by nahm)

hmm hmm hmm
ho o o
o o o o
teri bindiya re
aaye haaye teri bindiyaa re
teri bindiya re
aaye haaye teri bindiyaa re
sajan bindiya le legi teri nindiya
re aaye haaye teri bindiyaa re

tere maathey lagey hai yoon
jaise chanda taara
jiyaa mein chamke kabhi kabhi to
jaise koyi angaaraa
tere maathey lagey hai yoon
sajan nindiyaa aa aa
sajan nindiya le legi
le legi
le legi
meri bindiya

re aaye haaye tera jhumka re
aay haaye
tera jhumka re
chain lene na degaa
sajan tumka
re aaye haaye mera jhumka re

mera gehnaa balam tu
tosey saj ke doloon
bhatakte hain tere hi naina
main to kuchh na boloon
meraa gehnaa balam tu

to phir yeh kya boley hai
boley hai
boley hai
tera kangnaa
re aaye haaye mera kangnaa re
boley re ab to chhoote na tera angnaa

re aaye haaye tera kangnaa re

tu aayi hai sajaniya
jabse meri ban ke
thumak thumak chale hai jab tu
meri nas nas khanke
tu aayi hai sajaniya
sajan ab to o o
sajan ab to
chhoote na
chhoote na
chhoote na tera angnaa

re aaye haaye tera kangnaa re
sajan ab to
chhoote na tera angnaa
re aay haaye tera angna re

29 Responses to "Aay haay teri bindiya re"

welcome back Raja with write up number 85! song number 260 for Rafi-Lata category! & song number 2100 for Lata di.
& thank you Atul for this gr8 romantic song. this shows the Angry Young Man of that time (though i personally think he was an A Y M only in Trishul & Deewar) in a very romantic light. specially the little gestures that he shares with his new wife (new in real life too then). this song had romance at the best; melody high on for which we can’t thank SD Burman enough, or is it Majrooh’s words that wove magic.we can debate on it for the rest of our lives. so just let me thank both of you for this song & the write up. gr8 writing style Raja


Thanks, Peevisie’s Mom. Indeed this song has so many good things about it, I don’t think any one thing is solely responsible for its being so magical. Maybe instead of analysing it, we should just enjoy it. 🙂


Would be useful if you can also tell us which raaga the compostion is based on.


In my personal opinion gaane se zyaada warmth mujhe aapke article padhthe waqt mehsoos huaa.

Thanks Sir
for the song, lyrics,and article



Thanks, Prakashji, that’s very kind of you. 🙂


Somewhere I read or heard in interview that at 3:23 one guy who sits with Asrani as a guest is Cinematographer of the movie of most of Hrishikesh Mukherjee Movies JAYAWANT .R.PATHARE. Someone has to confirm the correctness of the fact. He produced Hrishikesh Mukherjee movie Kissise na kehna(starring Deepti Naval,Faaroqque sheikh, Utpal dutt-1983)


Jaywant Pathare is sitting with Asrani at 1:42-1:47 in the video clip.


Thank you
Sadanand ji and Vijay Kumar Gupta ji



Sorry I am wrong at writing the timing Where Jayawant Pathare appears on the screen, Thank you Sadanandji for correcting me, You are right



Yes, it is indeed Jayant Pathare, Prakashji. He has also acted in a Hrishikesh’s film, NA-MUMKIN. a Zeenat Aman, Sanjeev Kumar, Dr Shreetam Lago starring forgettable film, made in Canada or so for an NRI.


Raja ji,
Thanks for this wonderful song.This is one of the many very good songs I like from films beyond 1970.
Not all that was produced after the Golden age of HFM was bad as not all that was produced in it was good.One has to go by majority.

Similarly the majority of the life of legends like Lata ji or Rafi ji was good,but was not totally blotfree as human beings.Due to their great contributions,their shortcomings were worth forgetting,nevertheless they WERE there,whether one likes it or not.
I however agree with you that these unpleasant episodes are best not discussed,though they,by no way diminish their greatness by any mention thereof.

I remember one scene in film GUDDI.
When Dharmendra is angry with a Photographer for asking his photo when there was an accident on the shooting place and an extra is injured and he admonishes him that why does he not take that injured man’s photo ?
To which the photographer answers,Sir tell me who will buy that photo from me.people want to see their idols in the films and not unknown faces.Doing this work is my Rozi-roti,so,what wrong did I do ?

The lives of celebrities are always a matter of curiosity to the public and the dots and dashes from their lives are inseparable,even if one chooses to look elsewhere.It is our mindset that we can not bear the thought that our idols can do anything wrong.That is why there are riots when objectionable comments on Gods/national figures are published.

I think having a knowledge of these disputes/blackspots is not as bad as repeating them at every opportunity instead of enjoying the good side.
Instead of making a capital of these unpleasant events to show off,it can be known and kept with oneself to know the personality in totality.


True, Arunji, you are right on all your points.

There are some lovely songs from 70s onwards too, just as not every song pre-70s is melodious. Like you say, it’s a case of relative magnitude. I just wanted to emphasise that even in the relatively less melodious 70s (compared to 50s/60s), this song stood out.

Also, yes, everybody has weaknesses – nobody is immune from them. We need to accept this as human nature. I just don’t like people making a big deal about these things, not looking at the bigger picture of the person’s overall contribution and legacy. It is a person’s legacy that is more important than the odd incident here or there, in my opinion.


Raja ji,

Since morning i am trying to assimilate my thoughts on this song and your post. You have written so much, so succinctly that there is nothing more that i can say. As duets of hindi films go this is in the top rung. And i was right in thinking that you are the best one to write this post.

I made the comment yesterday and it has become true today. kaash all our wishes could come true with similar speed. Greedy that we humans are, wishes have no end.

One more farmaish : Can you write a post on ‘ saj rahi gali meri amma sunehri gote mein ‘ from ‘Kunwaara baap’ ? . I have seen that song picturized Mumtaz Ali some months ago. I thought it is so unique and different and also moving in a way.

Thanx for including lyrics provided by me. I had forgotten that i had sent lyrics of this song too.



nahm ji, your farmaish will be there soon, it has been already drafted and only final touch is to be given. it was very popular song in those days, one of my Rafi saab’s favorite because it was the only Rafi number in that movie and as usual Rafi saab had given a very special touch in this song…


Chalo, hum to abhi se aap ka shukriya ada kar dete hai. This is one of my fav song too. Rafi saab has given full justice to his part for Mumtaz Ali.


Avinash ji,

Thanks a lot, in advance. It seems my farmaish’s are being fulfilled as soon as they are coming out of my key board. This was one of the specialties of Rafi Sahab that he would make an awkward /odd situation song too sound sweet and melodious.


You are right Raja. Often we like a song because we are attached to it for reasons like nostalgia, not because it is ‘great’.

I suppose all artists are overly sensitive, and all these things happened because of that. Maybe the stories were blow out of proportion in retelling.

Kuch bhi ho.. the song is beautiful.

Thanks for the lovely write up.


(1) this movie said to be loosely based on life of Sitar legend Pandit Ravi Shankar and the only female sur bahar player of India, Annapurna Devi. if the husband and wife share the same profession. sometime the male ego comes in the way, I guess 🙂
(2) Remeber Lata was already getting Royalty when she proposed the royalty issue to others. Later in his life Rafi regretted on his decision.
(according to wife of Shahid Rafi)
(3) I have always notice that great artists always praised others…like great Noor Jahan praised Lata,. Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Kishore da praised Rafi. Rafi and Mukesh praised Saigal. Lata likes Mahendi hassan saab. Asha Bhosle has said she has always loved to sing with Kishore da. It made lot of Rafi fans angry. Asha have said she listen Lata songs time to time and Lata said Asha is a good singer. It’s their humbleness to remember other artists and praised them. So it’s a circle of praise and it has no ends.
You have posted a great article Rajaji…thanks.


Your observation about Abhiman being being based loosely on Pt. Ravi Shanker’s life may be right but when this film was released it was said that it was based on Hollywood movie Star is Born.


Very nice and thought provoking article Raja Ji. And about the song, what do I say, beautiful as every other song in this movie. Thank you.


Thanks for liking the article, Pradeep. Indeed it is a beautiful song, one that you can listen any number of times.


Great movie, great music, great lyrics, two great actors, two great singers and above all, great post! Everything is great about this post. Thanks Rajaji and Atulji for posting perfect song as Lataji’s 2100th song. Congrats Atulji.


Thank you very much, Khyatiji/ 🙂


Very well said Raja ‘ to remember the good partenership—–‘. Every human being has follies and virtues, be a singer,actor or scientist but our job as music lovers is to enjoy and appreciate good songs. Atul’s song a day belongs to music lovers and not to rigid fans.


Rajaji , thanks, and this is for you… ‘ aaye haaye tera likhna re, dil ko hamaare chhu gaya.. andaaz teraa, re aaye haaye tere jazbaat re, ghayal kar gaye, ham jaise deewanon ko, ye tere jazbaat re “…


Aap to aisi shaayri se sab ka “vinash” kardoge ji. 😆 Kya likha hai… 🙂


Raja ji

Getting in late to comment, although I am following all posts on email. This is a special occasion (it is), that deserves a very special song (which this one is), that in turn deserves a thoughtful and sensitive write up (and this one is), which needs to be written by a special music lover (which you are).

It is an absorbing read (all the debates aside). And a wonderful song is presented.




Fantastic post Raja ji! Hats off ….very sensitively written! Please write more…and sorry for late comments…

Warm Regards,



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