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

Bata de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariya

Posted on: February 21, 2013

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

In the last few months, I must have listened to a large number of non-filmy songs (NFSs) on the internet especially those recorded in the 40s to 60s. While I was familiar with some of them from my younger days, others have been new to me. I enjoyed listening to most of the NFSs and I have shared on this blog a few of them. I am sure that If these NFSs were exposed to the listeners in a same way as Hindi films songs then they would have become equally popular. However, Majority of listeners of Hindi songs are the fan of film songs and there is no way NFSs could compete with Hindi films songs in the popularity chart. Of course there are exceptions to the rule.

A question that has been coming to my mind for some time is why some of the top playback singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey etc. ventured into NFS especially when the filmy songs had made them popular apart from making them busy with playback singing. In case of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, I presume that they were extremely busy as playback singers in Hindi films at the peak of their careers in the late 50s and 60s. But I find that it was during their peak period that both of them had recorded a good number of NFSs. I have tried to analyse as to what prompted the top playback singers to venture into NFS segment. I could think of the following possible reasons, not necessarily mutually exclusive and exhaustive:

1. Even within the busy schedules of the top playback singers, there comes a time when they have some window of lean period during their careers. For example, Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar did not sing together in early 60s thus giving them some free time. Mukesh and Talat Mehmood went through their lean periods for sometime during late 50s and early 60s. Asha Bhonsle and Manna Dey were not as busy as their counterparts in the 50s.

2. In case of filmy songs, the playback singers have to sing according to the need of the situations in the films. They do not have much creative flexibility. I guess that playback singing becomes monotonous after some time and singing NFS not only give them creative satisfaction, it works as a pleasant diversion from the routine for them. In this process, they also add some more admirers to their fan followings.

3. There were many talented music directors like Jaidev, Khayyam, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Raghunath Seth, Ajit Merchant, V Balsara etc. who either faced some lean period or faded from Hindi film industry. I guess that all of them had good rapport with the top playback singers. Hence it was not difficult for them to persuade the singers to lend their voices for NFSs composed by these music directors. There were music composers like Yunus Mallick, Shyam Sagar, Murli Manohar Swarup, K Mahavir etc. who were regarded as specialists in composting NFSs and I guess that most of the top playback singers would find time to sing NFSs for such music composers.

4. Sometime, music recording companies would persuade the leading playback singers to lend their voices for NFSs which they may be promoting as a part of their business model. After all, the music recording companies commenced their business in India by recording non-filmy songs – classical, semi-classical, ghazals, naat, devotional songs etc. in 20s and 30s.

Like other leading playback singers of golden era of Hindi film music, Lata Mangeshkar also ventured into recording a few NFSs in 50s and 60s under the baton of music directors like Jaidev, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, K Mahavir, Vasant Prabhu, Faiyyaz Shaukat etc. But it was a pleasant surprise for me when I found a non-filmy bhajan ‘bataa de koi mohe Shaam ki dagariyaa’ (1964) sung by her under the baton of music director Chitragupta. The bhajan was written by Lalita Shastri. Two more songs penned by her are available on YT – ‘bholaa bholaa ratate ratate’ (Lata) and ‘sab ke jeevan praan aadhar’ ( Rafi). I presume that the lyricist is none other than the wife of the late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. I have read in her profile that she had written a couple of books in Hindi and a few devotional songs.

Enjoy this beautiful bhajan with Chitragupta’s melody and piano interludes.

Song-Bata de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariya (Lata NFS)(1964) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Lalita Shashtri, MD-Chitragupta


bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa
Shyaam ki dagariyaa morey Raam ki dagariyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa

kahaan main dhoodhoon Sitaraman ko
kaise main paaun Shyaamsundar ko
bataa de koi Shyaam se milne ki jataniyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa

Shyaamsundar ki mohani moorat
Ramkrishna ki saanwali soorat
Shyaamsundar ki mohani moorat
Ramkrishna ki saanwali soorat
dikhaa de koi dono ki mohani mooratiyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa

nis din tarsat nain hamaare
kaise milenge mohe Ram piyaare
nis din tarsat nain hamaare
kaise milenge mohe Ram piyaare
dikhaa de koi Lalita ko Shyaam ki nagariyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa
Shyaam ki dagariyaa morey Ram ki dagariyaa
bataa de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariyaa

7 Responses to "Bata de koi mohe Shyaam ki dagariya"

It is Santoor and not Piano interludes.


Thanks for pointing out. I was about to indicate correction in the comment which was to follow.


Another bhajan to remind me of my school days, early morning bhajans on radio. I was aware of the fact that “Bhola bhola rat te rat te ho gayi…..” sung by Lata ji is written by Smt Lalita Shastri (wife of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri), but never knew that the NFS you have posted and Sab ke Jeewan praan adhaar karo tum vishwa ka kalyaan……, sung by Rafi, are penned by her. I have Rafi’s NFS in my Tere Bharose Nandlal – Mohd. Rafi CD, but never looked at the lyricist. Thanks for the post and taking me back to my childhood memories. Will wait for another post of one more melodious NFS. 🙂


Kamath saheb…your blog stirred my school days of 60s…I wish to add Madhukar Rajasthani, lyricist and music composer of non-filmy songs, his association with Moh.Rafi, Mannade.. one more song I remember is by Asha ji…Geet kitne ga chuki hun ees dukhi jagke liye, aaj rone do mujhe… soul-touching composition. Kamath saheb, u certainly know these songs… My thanks to u…


The song that you have mentioned “Geet kitne gaa chuki hoon is jag ke liye…..” by Ashaji has already been posted by Atulji –
Very informative post by Sudhirji to celebrate blog’s 6000th song and Ashaji’s 1000th song. Just FYI.


Another song from Asha : Kabhi neki bhi uske seene mein gar aa a real gem. Another name merits mention is Shyam Sagar and Hemant Kumar. In fact all our singers including Suman K, Usha M have to their some super NFS.


How come Chitragupt got time in 60s when he was the busiest. As pointed out in the blog may be to satisfy his creative juices.


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