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

Ab main kaise kahoon

Posted on: August 6, 2013

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

Ok, this is going to be one of my shortest posts here. Do I hear several sighs of relief? 😉

Coming to the point, the reason for this quick write-up is that I really want to get this song over to Atul for the blog. It is a song by Vani Jairam for, guess who? Naushad saab!!!

Now THAT’s a rare combination!

Credit for this post should actually go to Sudhirji. When I read his post today about “hello hello kya haal hai” as Kishore da’s only song (possibly) for Naushad saab, I went to my usual source for songs to check all Naushad songs. It was a long list – but I patiently went through the whole list – and could find no other Kishore song for Naushad.

But I came across two Vani Jairam songs for Naushad. One is this song here, “mora sajan” from Pakeezah. The other is a song “teri dulhan badi jaadugarni” from Aaina, which I’ve never heard (and couldn’t find on youtube either). It’s not been posted here yet. It’s possible there are more songs for Vani Jairam-Naushad saab combo, but these were the only two listed on that site. Their careers didn’t really cross – Naushad saab didn’t compose much during the brief period that Vani Jairam did sing Hindi songs.

(What I also noticed while going through the list of songs is the vast number of singers who have sung for Naushad saab. It is understandable because not only did his career span a few decades but more importantly he was right at the heart of what I call, the churning period of Hindi music, the 1940s. Lots of artistes came into the industry during this period. Some were successful, many were not. Of those successful, some migrated to Pakistan. The others remained in India, some went on to have long careers, some did not. But the 1940s was clearly the most “happening” decade for Hindi/Urdu films made in India. As an aside, which composer has used the maximum number of singers in his/her career?).

Coming back to Vani Jairam. I first heard of her in the context of Guddi (1971). I was a young boy then – I remember this movie making quite an impact. It was a very different sort of film to what was the norm then. So genuinely a “hatke” film of the times. Guddi became a fairly big hit – it brought tremendous visibility to Jaya Bhaduri, then just starting her career. For a while, she used to be called the Guddi girl.

It also brought acclaim to Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Gulzar. The former confirmed to one and all that his growing stature was well-deserved, while the latter was still in the early days of what would become an extremely illustrious career.

And Guddi brought a lot of acclaim to Vani Jairam. Until then she had been known only in South India, with Guddi she became a national name. She had three songs in the film, of which “bolo re papeehara” and the prayer “hum ko mann ki shakti dena” became very popular.

Much was expected from her for Hindi films thereafter but somehow things didn’t click for her. There was a lot of speculation at the time that Lata Mangeshkar was sabotaging her chances to sing in Hindi movies. I don’t want to speculate on this – let’s just say Vani Jairam sang only a few Hindi songs thereafter for the odd movie, and, except for Meera (for which she sang some excellent bhajans), she never ever came close to matching the success she had with Guddi.

The other thing that piqued by interest with this Vani Jairam-Naushad song was the film. Pakeezah. Now, Pakeezah is one of those “household” films for me. I’ve not only seen the film, I also had a cassette of it which I played for years. I knew every single line of every single song on the cassette.

Yes, this song I’d NEVER heard before. It wasn’t on the cassette – and, seeing as I could only find an audio, I think it wasn’t in the released version of the film/video either. So it is another of those songs that just remained fairly obscure.

But what a gem it is!

For me, Naushad saab is ALWAYS wonderful to listen to. And in his classical compositions, he was a maestro par excellence. And though Vani Jairam – Naushad saab combo sounds odd, I think Vani has not done badly at all here. I don’t know anything about ragas. The youtube comments mention thumri but according to me that is a generic term. It would be nice if a knowledgeable reader could enlighten us more on the “technical” aspects of this song.

In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. And have hurriedly written this up to get it posted on Atul’s blog.

I hope you like the song too.

By the way, the lyrics are by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

Song-Ab main kaise kahoon (Paakeezah)(1971) Singer-Vani Jairam, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultranpuri, MD-Naushad


mora saajan sautan ghar jaaye
ab main kaise kahoon oon
mora saajan sautan ghar jaaye
ab main kaise kahoon oon
mora saajan

jab main poochhoooon
jab main poochhoon
jab main poochoon
kachhu wo na boley
jab main poochhoon
Kachhu wo na boley
jhoothi kasmen khaaye
jhoothi kasmen khaaye
ab main kaise kahoooon

20 Responses to "Ab main kaise kahoon"

What led Naushad Saab to choose Vani Jairam for this song?


According to Pakeezah wikipedia page, Naushad saab took over from Ghulam Mohammed and composed 4 songs, all sung by different singers.
I quote
“Due to the demise of the composer before the completion of the film, Naushad Ali was signed to compose the background score for the film. He also composed the songs, Nazaria Ki Maari, Title Music – Alap, Mora Saajan Sauten Ghar Jaye and Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam. These renderings are presented in the voices of the veteran singer Rajkumari, Parveen Sultana, Vani Jairam and Naseem Bano Chopra.”


Aaina (1977)
Youtube wrongly credited to Lata Mangeshkar, But vani`s voice is there starting and afterwards Asha bhosle takes over.

I may be wrong,Please correct me If I am wrong


From starting upto 0:43, It is Vani Jayaram and when Mumtaz lip syncs for the song, it is Asha Bhosle,

Information about other Vani jayaram Hindi movie songs:

with O.P.Nayyar
Khoon Ka badla Khoon(1978)
(Asha Sachdev,Mahendra Sandhu starrer)
3 or more songs
I remember one “Zulf lehraaye toh saawan ka mahinaa”(Picturised on Asha sachdev)

with Jaidev
1)Solwa Sawan(1979-Sridevi Debut movie-Amol Palekar,Adil Aman)(remake of famous Bharati raja Tamil movie 16 Vayadinile starring Kamal Hassan,Rajini Kant,Sridevi)
“Pee kahaan, pee kahaan, dheere se haule se keh de

2)Parinay(1974)(Shabana Azmi-Romesh Shama)(Duet with Manna Dey)
“mitwa mitwa morey man mitwa, aa jaa rey”

3)Maan jayiye(1972)(Rakesh Pandey,Jalal Agha, Rehana Sultan)
Duet with Mukesh
“Le chalo le chalo

with Madan Mohan
Ek Mutti Aasmaan(1973)
Duet with Kishore “Pyaar kabhi kam na karnaa sanam,har kami ganwaaraa kar lenge”(Radha Saluja,Vijay Arora)

with Bappi Lahiri
“Dheere dheere subah huyee, jaag utti zindagi”(for Jayaprada, For Jeetendra Yesudas sang the same song
Rajni kant,vijyeta pandit,Padmini Kolhapure starrer
“Mere sajna, sang sang mujhe rakhna”

with Pancham
Duet with Mukesh(Navin Nischol,Nanda Starrer)
“Zindagi mein aape aaye, ho gayee duniya haseen”

With Shamji Ghanshamji
Dhuen ki lakeer(1974)
(Ramesh Arora, Parveen Babi starrer)
Duet with Nitin Mukesh
“Teri jheel si gehri aankhon mein”
(Parveen Babi,

with Kalyanji Anandji
Dharam aur kanoon(1984)
I haven`t heard vani song from this movie:
“Aa Balam”

with Vijaya Raghav Rao
Bansi Birju(1972)
(Amithabh Bachchan, Jaya bachchan starrer)
“Aaya Koi khayaal toh” and another song

With Sapan Jagmohan
Do gaz zameen ke neeche(1972)
2 songs

With Laxmikant Pyarelal
Jurm aur sazaa(1974)
Vinod Mehra,Nanda starrer
Duet with Mohammed Rafi
“koyi nahin toh sitaare kahenge(maine tumhein paa liyaa hai)”

With Pandit Ravishankar


I am not sure, but this could have played very faintly in the background during some scene. I will have to see Pakeezh again to find out.

I love the movie so much, any excuse to watch it again will do. 🙂

Thank you for posting it.

Vani Jairam was a very accomplished singer.


This one is also there in the film alongwith others, playing in the background. Here is the clip of lost tumris of Pakeeza.


Yes… I remember this clip. A friend had posted it on facebook. Sublime.


I LOVE this scene.

Yeh khat tere liye nahi hai Sahibjaan.


Raja ji,

Actually, I was a bit dismayed to read the first line that said this is going to one of the shortest posts. But was releived when it took three page-down clicks to go thru the post. And the sigh I breathed was of satisfaction – chalo, paisa kaafi vasool ho gayaa. 😀 😀

And so, wondering what will it be when you do not start with the claim of the short (or shortest) post.

And my wonder is heightened in anticipation of the Royal Hundredth – my calculation says it might happen sometimes on or before the upcoming weekend.

Awaiting. . .

And yes, appreciate your write up on the “Bole Re Papihaara” girl. We get to hear very little of her or about her.

Some interesting numbers that I could glean from a quick and cursory scan of the Geet Kosh. In the period from 1971 to 1980 (the current Geet Kosh print volumes end at 1980) there are in excess of 200 songs, solos and duets. And on this blog, so far, we see her only in 10 songs. A majro part of her songs during that decade are in religious films. There are lot of duets with Mahendra Kapoor and Manna Dey, a few with Mukesh. But only two with Rafi Sb and only one with Kishore Da. And remember, the post 1980 years are still to be accounted.

Prakash ji,
Thanks for listing some of her more popular songs.

Regarding the film ‘Aaina’, Geet Kosh lists it as film from 1974. There is one song by Vani Jairam – “Teri Dulhan Badi Jaadugarni”. The song that you indicate “Kaho To Aaj Bol Doon”, the Geet Kosh credits that only to Asha ji. So when I checked the clip you have referred, I find that these two songs are contained in the same clip, however Geet Kosh lists them as two separate songs. It must be so in the film, since the Geet Kosh information is based on the film booklets published by the producers.

So you are correct in your identification.

And Raja ji, the song you mention in the write up “Teri Dulhan Badi. . .” is played during the first part of the clip Prakash ji has referred to, performed on screen by another actress.

About this song itself, I am inclined to agree with Ava ji, that this song is a part of the film, playing softly in the background. This song is very much included in the list given in the Geet Kosh. Further, any songs that were not included in the film were also separately released as an LP. In fact as many as 9 songs prepared for the film by Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad Sb were not included, and they were released as an LP titled ‘Paakezah Rang Barang’. This song, if it was excluded, would have been on this LP, but it is not. Hence I agree with Ava ji that this is part of the film, we need to search for it. It might not have been played fully, even in the background.


Rgds all


Thank you so much for your long comment, Sudhirji. Heart-warming to know that I am in good company when it comes to brevity. 😉 Thank you for adding to the knowledge I had of this movie and song.

My 100th song should indeed be coming up very soon.


😀 😀


Raja ji,
Since you have mentioned that you have been through this long list of Naushad sb’s immortal songs, I have the following requests/confirmations if you don’t mind spending time.

1. Amongst male singers, did Mukesh have the second highest tally after off course Rafi sb for Naushad?

2. Geeta Dutt, Hemant Kumar, Manna Dey, Pankaj Mallick, Kishore Kumar……These great singers have a paltry tally of 0-10 only.
( no prizes for guessing the common feature of these singers ).


The ‘masters’ at the crease, its ‘raining posts’ at Atuldom, a rare ‘musical feast’ for all the fans!!
thanks Raja ji, thanks Sudhir ji, thanks Atul ji !!!


Off hand I can say Talat must have sang more songs for Naushad than Mukesh.


Nitin ji,

Talat sb sang only 8 songs for Naushad. That incident during Babul is one of the most unfortunate things to have happened in Indian Film Musical Histroy. Mukesh sang 23 songs for Naushad.

My query remains same. Was Mukesh 2nd highest amongst male singers for Naushad ?


–40 male singers and 38 female singers : Total 78 singers used by Naushad.

–Top male singers are:
Rafi: 159
Mukesh: 24
G M Durrani: 23
Shyam Kumar: 15
Mahendra Kapoor/Mohd Aziz/Amar: 10
Talat Mahmood/Manna Dey/Surendra: 9

–247 singers used by Anu Malik, maximum of any composer.


Thank you so much for this valuable piece of info.

Isn’t it staggering that Anu Malik used 247 singers? Of course these are very different times but by any standards, this is a staggering number.

And I was thinking that Naushad saab probably tops the list. Maybe he does, for pre-1980s composers.


If ur looking for composers from mostly pre-80s era, S N Tripathi (96 singers used) leads the pack.


Release of Talat Geetkosh at TM’s residence arranged by Raju Bharatan, a noted journalist and close friend of TM, upon request by the publisher.



Many Thanks for the details pertaining to male singers for Naushad. Quite a few clarifications cleared.


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