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

Kaaga re jaa re jaa re

Posted on: January 17, 2013

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

Until 1970, I was only aware of old Hindi film songs from popular films like ‘Mahal’ (1949), ‘Barsaat’ (1949),’Malhar’ (1951),’Baiju Bawara’ (1952), ‘Ashiana’ (1952), ‘Patita’ (1953), ‘Anarkali’ (1953), ‘Seema’ (1955) and many more of such films. It was only when I was initiated by a friend into some lesser known gems from the films which I have never heard of, my interest in such songs grew. My friend used to arrange periodic meetings of like minded persons, mostly in his house. He had a mind boggling collections of such songs in 78 RPM gramophone records ( I guess, it was nearly 1000 in numbers). He had also had some audio cassettes containing lesser known songs recorded from Radio Ceylon and also from 78 RPM records held by some of his friends. During those meetings, he would select some rare songs and play on his Gerard record changer attached to his radiogram followed by discussions. Since I was a novice in this segment of old Hindi film songs, I was only a listener to those discussions. Later, I became aware of the fact that behind tha facade of popular old Hindi film songs, there exists a big store of lesser known jewels.

It was during one such meeting that I heard for the first time a song ‘ kaagaa re jaa re jaa re’ from the film ‘Wafa’ (1950). I had neither heard of the film nor of any song from that film. As usual, after the end of the song, discussion among those present at the gathering took place on the song. I do not remember details of the discussion but I distinctly remember that one of the emotionally charged participants told my host that this song must find a place in the list of top 100 Hindi film songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Let me confess that at that time I was not much impressed with this song. In fact at that time, I felt that this song was not as pleasing to my ears as Lata Mangeshkar’s other songs like ‘aayegaa aane wala’ and ‘Rasik Balma’.

After a gap of more than 40 years, I heard this song again only last week on internet when I came across it while surfing for the songs of music director Vinod. As I said earlier, the song ‘kaagaa re jaa re jaa re’ is from the film WAFA (1950) which was produced under the banner of Good Luck Films and directed by J P Advani. The cast included Karan Diwan, Nimmi, Yakub, Gope, I S Johar, Bipin Gupta, Cuckoo etc. The Film had four lyricists – Aziz Kashmiri, Behzad Lucknawi, D N Madhok and Hasrat Jaipuri and two music directors – Bulo C Rani and Vinod. This song is accredited to Aziz Kashmiri as lyricist and Vinod as music director.

With more than 40 years added to my wisdom with a lot of exposure to old Hindi film songs, I now feel that this song is really special in all the three counts – lyrics, composition and rendition. Listening to this song word by word would indicate as to how Lata’s rendition has added a perfect emotional feel keeping with the mood of the song. I also feel that Lata’s exceptional rendition hasovershadowed the good work of lyricist and composer of this song. No doubt, the emotionally charged participant was right 40 years back in saying that he rates this song as one among the top 100 Hindi film songs of Lata Mangeshkar. I do not know whether this song figures among her top 100 Hindi film songs. If not, I will be disappointed.

I recently came across a short video clip of a programme arranged by the fans of Vinod in Rajkot on the eve of his death anniversary in December 2011. In this programme, Veena and Kelly Mistry, the daughter and son-in-law respectively of Vinod were also present. Speaking on this occasion, Veena recalled an incident where she and Asha Bhonsle met at Dr Kapoor’s dispensary in Santacruz. [Dr Kapoor is a well known doctor among the film fraternity]. Veena recognised her but did not dare to talk to her. After some time, Asha Bhonsle opened up the conversation by pointing out a building opposite Dr Kapoor’s dispensary and said that that was the building where in olden days some of the film personalities like Roshan and Master Vinod used to stay there. This gave Veena an opportunity to introduce herself to Asha Bhonsle by saying that she was the daughter of Master Vinod. Asha Bhonsle quickly responded by asking her whether she was Veera or Veena. Asha Bhonsle then talked to her about Vinod’s composition style and sang one of his songs to her in full in the dispensary itself. The song was ‘kaagaa re jaa re jaa re’ which she said was her favourite song composed by Vinod.

That Asha Bhonsle remembered names of Vinod’s daughters after a gap of many years and she remembered the full song is testimony of her admiration for Vinod both as a person and as a music director. I have never heard Vinod being addressed as Master Vinod but being addressed as such by Asha Bhonsle shows the respect he commanded from one of the top playback singers. I am sure, Vinod must have guided her in the formative stage of her singing career.

Only the audio clip of this song is available but considering the mood of the song and Nimmi, the ‘queen of sadness’ in the lead role in the film, this song fits well on her.


Song-Kaaga re jaa re jaa re (Wafa)(1950) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Aziz Kashmiri, MD-Vinod


kaagaa re
jaa re jaa re ae
more piyaa kaa sandeswaa aa aa
laa re laa re
laa re
kaagaa re
jaa re jaa re ae

ud jaa re o kaale kaagaa
jaa saajan ke dwaaar
kehnaa uss bedardi se
kaahe jiyaa bekaar
binaa dosh ke o nirmohi
binaa dosh ke o nirmohi
kaahe rooth gayaa re
jaa re
kaagaa re
jaa re jaa re ae

door des ke jaane waale
le jaa mere bain
kehnaa tujh bin nain baawre ae ae
rote hain din rain
meri dashaa dikhlaane ko o
meri dashaa dikhlaane ko
do nain mere le jaa re
jaa re
kaagaa re
jaa re jaa re ae
more piyaa kaa sandeswaa aa aa
laa re laa re
laa re
kaagaa re
jaa re jaa re ae ae

5 Responses to "Kaaga re jaa re jaa re"

Nice write-up and interesting story involving Vinod’s family. Somehow I was under the impression that they went thru a lot of hardship (a la Mubarak Begum style) due to his untimely death. They seem to be doing well and thats good to know.



It was great of Asha to sing the song in full at a dispensary(patients would have become really impatient after the song!!!) and too a Lata song. Hats off to Asha and her humility.


Rajkot music lovers must have had a nostalgic session with Veena and Kelly Mistry. As for music, non pareil!


Thanks for this informative post and the beautiful song ! The meeting with Asha Bhosle and her remembering of Master Vinod is also exemplary as how these Singers respect and admire the people they worked with and do not forgot them. These values are important !!!


Wow….thanks for beautiful song & equally beautiful write up, made my day!


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