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

Ye aawaara raaten ye khoyi si baaten

Posted on: February 26, 2013

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

If one browses through the Hindi films made in the 1940s, it will be observed that there were many lesser known music directors who had tried their luck in Hindi films. My guess is that the number of such lesser known music directors in the 1940s may be a close to 50. Sadly, most of these talented music directors could not sustain their careers for long in the Hindi film industry. This blog has covered songs of many of lesser known music directors of the 40s such as Neenu Majumdar, Shanti Kumar Desai, Shyambabu Pathak, Madhulal Damodar Master, Ramchandra Pal etc. V Balsara was one among such music directors who started his career in Hindi films but could not sustain it for long as a music director. But he changed the track of his career and became a famous instrumentalist, orchestra conductor, a music teacher and the music director of non-filmy songs and a few Bengali films during rest of his life. I became aware of his name in the 1970s mainly for his beautiful compositions of some non-filmy Hindi songs.

Vistas Ardeshir Balsara ( 22/06/1922 – 24/03/2005), known as V Balsara in the music world was born in Bombay (Mumbai) to a Gujarati speaking Parsi Zoroastrian family. From the childhood, he was inclined towards Western music. His first childhood teacher was his mother who taught him harmonium. At the age of 6, he gave his first public performance at C.J Hall in Mumbai where he played the pedal harmonium. 10 years later, he had mastery over five musical instruments including piano which he learnt from a German musician Hildafield. His filmy music career started with Hindi film ‘Baadal’ (1942) in which he assisted music director Ustad Mustaq Hussain. Later he assisted Master Ghulam Haider, and Khemchand Prakash. His first independent assignment was for the film ‘Circus Girl’ (1943) in which he composed music along with another music director Vasant Kumar Naidu. In all, he was the music director for about a dozen Hindi films most of which were released in 1940s and early 1950s. In 1947, he joined HMV as Orchestra Director and worked for R. K. banner and Naushad. Being a well respected musician, he became the founder secretary of Bombay Cine Musicians’ Association and Bombay Cine Music Directors’ Association.

In 1953, Gyan Prakash Ghosh, a well known music director of Bengali films ( he had composed music for a few Hindi films as well) invited him to Calcutta (Kolkatta) to attend a musical gathering. During this period, he fell in love with the City of Joy and made Kolkatta his permanent residence. Since he was now fully involved with Bengali films, he started learning Indian classical music from Muneshwar Dayal of Gaya and took interest in Rabindra Sangeet. During this period, he was connected with about 30 Bengali films in various capacity – Orchestra Conductor, background music, assistant music director and music directors. He also composed many non-filmy Hindi and Bengali songs mostly in the 60s and 70s. He had many music albums to his credit particularly as an instrumentalist and symphony orchestra music composer. Parts of his orchestra albums were often used by AIR and Radio Ceylon as filler after the end of a radio programme.

Those who knew him from the close quarter say that he was a well respected person not only for his mastery over musical instruments, orchestra conductor and music compositions but also for his simplicity, soft spoken and jovial nature without any show of ego. That is what perhaps earned him the title ‘Gentleman Musician’ from the film and music fraternities. During the last phase of his life, he lost many of his close relatives including his wife and two sons. However, his music and his well wishers gave him company until his death in March 23, 2005. In the same year, his last Bengali film as a music director ‘Til Theke Taal’ (2005) was released. After his death, Saregama (formerly HMV), brought an album containing his orchestral compositions of 10 Hindustani classical ragas as a tribute to him,. His well wishers in Kolkatta have constituted V Balsara Memorial Committee which arranges musical evenings on V Balsara’s birth and death anniversaries. Promising singers and musicians are given V Balsara Awards on these occasions, .

[Note : Readers interested in V Balsara singing and playing on synthesiser a couple of vintage Hindi film songs, can watch a rare video clip here. In between he also narrates his life story in Bengali.]

In keeping with V Balsara’s liking for the blend of Indian and western music, I have chosen for discussion one of his NFSs ‘ye aawaara raatein’ (C. 1960) sung by Manna Dey. The song is written by Madhukar Rajasthani. This is one of those NFSs which bring back memories of 60s and 70s when these songs played on the radio in the afternoon used to be heard from one of the neighbour’s houses. Manna Dey’s soft singing and Balsara’s musical preludes and interludes create theright atmosphere for a romantic rendezvous.

Song-Ye aawaara raaten ye khoyi si baaten (Manna Dey NFS)(1960) Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Madhukar Rajasthani, MD-V Balsara


ye aawaara raatein
ye khoyi si baatein
ye uljhaa sa mausam
ye nazron ki ghaaten
kahaan aa gaye ham
kahaan jaa rahe thhe
kahaan aa gaye ham
kahaan jaa rahe thhe
hmm hmm
hmm hmm
hmm hmm
hmm hmm

ye naagan se bal kaaye
ye khwaabon ke saaye
ye chhitke se taare
jo palkon pe chhaaye
kahaan aa gaye ham
kahaan jaa rahe thhe
ye aawaara raatein
ye khoyi si baatein
ye uljhaa sa mausam
ye nazron ki ghaaten

ye soyi si galiyaan
ye kumbhlaayee kaliyaan
ye aankhon ke bhanwre
kare rangraliyaan
kahaan aa gaye ham
kahaan jaa rahe thhe
ye aawaara raatein
ye khoyi si baatein
ye uljhaa sa mausam
ye nazron ke ghaaten

ye bikhri hawaayen
jo tooti si aahen
bulaaye sabhi ko
nazaaron ki baahen
kahaan aa gaye ham
kahaan jaa rahe thhe
kahaan aa gaye ham
kahaan jaa rahe thhe
hmmn hmmn hmmn hmmn hmm hmm hmm
aa ha aa h aa aha

13 Responses to "Ye aawaara raaten ye khoyi si baaten"

Kamath ji,
Thanks for featuring a good musician in your post. He was on my radar for quite some time,but today I got some new aspects to know about him.
I too had collected some info about him.For our readers,here is some additional information on this musician-

V Balsara – a gentleman musician
His piano, univox and melodica, the instruments he loved, be it for composing music for films or otherwise, have come to personify the legend of Vistas Ardeshir Balsara, the music director, who died in Kolkata.

The ‘gentleman musician’, as the affable Parsi was known among friends, had only his music to give him company in the twilight years as he grappled alone with ill health in the absence of his wife and two sons had predeceased him.

The striking feature of Balsara was his never-say-die spirit. At 83, Balsara was still going strong on the music front with his Bengali film production ‘Til Theke Taal’ running in theatres in West Bengal.

He settled in Kolkata in 1954 after he was invited by legendary musician Jnan Prakash Ghosh, to the city. Earlier, he had been in Mumbai, then Bombay.

Born in June 1922, Balsara learnt music from his mother Nazamaye, and gave his first solo performance at the age of six with the pedal harmonium, in use in those times, at a packed C J Hall in Mumbai.

Barely ten years later, the young lad was assisting famous Music Director Ustad Mustaque Hussain, in a Bombay film production ‘Baadal’ and had made a place for himself as a permanent assistant music director at the Filmistan studio under popular directors Madan Mohan, Khemchand Prakash and Ghulam Haider.

Balsara had his brush with the who’s who of the music world after he became the orchestra director of music company HMV in 1947 and then switched over to the R K Films banner three years later to work with the likes of Shankar Jaikishan and Naushad.

As the Founder Secretary of peer bodies like Bombay Cine Musicians’ Association and Bombay Cine Music Directors’ Association, Balsara earned the love and respect of his associates and young musicians.

Basking in the audience appreciation during a musical soiree in Kolkata’s Hindustan Park in 1953, the young musician decided to make this cultural capital his home a year later with a prized film assignment ‘Agni Pariksha’.

At the coveted New Empire Theatres, he charmed audiences again in 1962 arranging music for Rabindranath Tagore’s celebrated play ‘Debatar Grash’ while debuting his own group the Indian Symphony Orchestra.

He gave Kolkata another first — the city’s maiden stereo recording in 1970 — when he put together ‘The Sound of Music’ recording strains of four Indian instruments in one album.

He had to his credit numerous popular film albums, both in Hindi and Bengali, a language he chose to speak more frequently in and with much more ease than his native Gujrati.

From the obscure ‘Circus Girl’ in 1943 to O Panchi, Rangmahal, Madmast, Talash, Char Dost, Vidyapati and Pyar in Hindi to Madhu Shraboni, Joy Baba Baidyanath, Maa, Chalachal, Panchatapa, Subho Bibaha, Manik, Kanchan Kanya, Panna and Pathey Holo Dekha in Bengali, he had an enviable repertoire.

Balsara who was greatly influenced by western music learnt to play the piano from Hildafield, a German musician. His knowledge of the piano made him use it to play Indian classical music also with ease. He mastered the technique of using the instrument for playing Indian classical music from Muneswar Dayal of Gaya. He was equally at ease with string and wind instruments.



Oh! I am sorry for pre-empting your efforts in collecting the material on V Balsara. Thanks for sharing the additional inputs on V Balsara.

I became very sentimental about him after watching the video clip referred to in my article and decided at once to write an article on him with Manna Dey’s NFS. V Balsara was born with music,and lived with music till his last day. He left his treasure of music for us to cherish after calling ‘au revoir’ to this world.

Your comment on this article is like ‘sone pe suhaaga’.


Kamath ji,
I had not planned anything with Balsara, so please dont feel bad at all.It’s just that I had collected info on him since I felt that he was one of a kind in the music field.
There is another one who was primarily an Arranger-Enoch Daniels- who may be in one of my posts some time.


I am sure anything on Enoch Daniel would be very interesting.
I am sure your comment which appeared elsewhere (not in this blog) ‘ Enoch Daniels is more than a musician’ would be the theme of your article :).


Simply Superb


This is my favourite NFS. Hear it on the terrace under starry sky for accentuated effect.


This is could be the most romantic song ever. Will this type of song be allowed in our run-of-the-mill films. NO WAY


A beautiful song and excellent information! Thank you Kamath ji & Arun ji!


To Arunji and Kamathji, a thousand thanks for the write-up on Gentleman Musician Balsara. To Mannada, another thousand pranams for a very romantic song


khayalo me ho tum and ye awara raten both great combination from
this three.[ manna dey, madhukarji and balsaraji ] dil khus ho gaya.


Thanks to this blog. I found something about my uncle, Late Vasant Kumar Naidu was the music director from 1940 – 1951. I have been searching since many years to know more about him and films he directed. Can somebody guide me to get the old records during this era.

Vasant Kumar Naidu is survived by only daughter who is living in Pune and her father’s property in Mumbai has been confiscated by our relatives. Any help by the bloggers would be appreciated.


Sailaxmi Naidu


Kamat Ji,

It is your great efforts of writing article on the Yester years Great & Talented Music Directors during the era 1940’s to 1950’s.

Could you please collect more material, clips, pictures on my Paternal Uncle Late Vasant Kumar Naidu well known Music Director who served the then (Bombay) Mumbai Film Industry from the period 1934 to 1951, born in Rangoon, Burma, served the film industry as a music director of more than 30 films, among which were JAWANI KI PUKAR, LALAJI,
SUHANA GEET, TOOTE DIL, Vasant Kumar Naidu also worked in industry alongwith Actress RAJKUMARI.

Vasant Kumar Naidu was an exponent of Classical Music and a good instumentalist he was also a brilliant composer of North Indian & South Indian Songs. Vasant Kumar Naidu who devoted his life to the progress of music, was very popular among all film artiste. He died of Heart Attack in Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai, at an very early age of 36. He is survived by Only Daughter Mrs. Pramila, Indian Army Pensioner living in Pune with Four Childrens.

Bloggers Help is highly appreciated

Krishna Kumar Naidu
Pune India.
Emaul ID :


I sincerely appreciate the indepth knowledge of the contributor Shri Sadanand Kamath, about Shri V Balsara, I am an ardent fan of V Balsara’s great compositions in Film Vidyapati (1964), “more nainaa saavan bhaado” by Lata ji, and, “mo se ruuTh gayo Banvaarii” by Rafi Saheb.


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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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