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

Leejo baabul hamaara salaam re

Posted on: August 14, 2013

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

This is a soulful song from film Dil-E-Nadaan-1953,sung by Asha Bhosle,very effectively.

I know I have not been doing justice to Asha’s songs, for a long time now. It’s not that I dont like them, but somehow these songs almost never made it to my writings. Some of the solo songs of Asha, both Filmi and Non filmi are, in my opinion, any day better sung than Lata Mangeshkar !

Asha’s life has been,for a major part,a long fight for survival and an attempt to make a place for herself in the annals of Hindi Film music. This,she achieved,no doubt,but by that time she was well into her late 40s and 50s of age.

born on 8-9-1933, she joined her elder sister in earning bread for their large family. By a strange turn of Fate, she separated from her family, when,at 16 yrs of age, she fell in love and eloped with Ganapatrao Bhonsle, Lata’s private secretary, who was 31 years old. Her married life was not at all happy and she was thrown out of her house, with 3 kids, by her husband ,after 11 painful years. In 1960, she came back to her family, which she had abandoned in their difficult times, for her personal reasons. So no wonder if she took time to regain acceptance,love and sympathy, from them.

She continued her life struggle by singing in films and by cutting private records in Hindi and Marathi.During this period,Lata,Geeta and Shamshad were on Top and Asha got only those songs which were refused by them viz. songs for dancers, vamps or for side artistes in films. She resorted to B and C grade films, bhajans etc. In this period,Survival was the Priority and not fame. Like a true fighter, she survived all these difficulties.

There is a popular belief that to secure and retain the Top slot,Lata Mangeshkar ” USED ” many composers like Sardul Kwatra, Husnalal, C.Ramchandra and Jaikishen etc. It is also claimed that Lata systematically thwarted the careers of many newcomers as well as her own sister Asha. These are all subjects of controversies. One thing is certain, what Asha learnt from her elder sister was ” to Use ” leading composers to get established. Thus, after Naya Daur-1957, she joined hands with O P Nayyar. It so happened that even Nayyar was in search of a singer who would match Lata song for song. Asha was the most ideal and obvious choice. He grabbed this opportunity with both hands. O P Nayyar and Asha combination gave the maximum number of Hit songs during the next 10-12 years.

By 1970, O P Nayyar was sliding. Asha was now closer to another upcoming composer R D Burman. Asha decided to separate from O P Nayyar for good. (It is said that O P Nayyar had slapped the grown up daughter (Varsha) of Asha Bhosle in anger. Asha was very angry and using this Pretext she left Nayyar).

R D Burman, who was struggling very hard to come out of his Father’s shadow, needed a singer like Asha, who fitted his type of Music those days viz.Hip Hop,peppy and modern. It must ,however, be said in Asha’s favour that she had in her repertoire, many classical, melodious and lilting songs. She was also an expert in ghazal singing. All this suited R D Burman and they got married to give their relationship a legitimacy,though he was younger to Asha in age,by 6 years. This was his second official marriage and the third marriage of Asha Bhosle.(O P Nayyar had claimed that they had married).

Though S D Burman had also used Asha in plenty, but that was when Lata was not singing for him for 6 years. During this period, Asha had sung many hit songs for S D Burman. But as soon as Lata came back to him, S D Burman stopped using Asha completely. Asha was always the second choice to almost all composers. And Asha was aware of this.

However with R D Burman in top form, Asha had nothing to worry and she gained immensely. With her personal appearances on stage shows, T V Programmes and foreign tours, she was in public eye all the time and all this when Lata had reduced her singing considerably. So, no wonder that now she finally achieved in life that she had struggled for throughout her career. With Nayyar’s boisterous music and R D Burman’s pop tunes, Asha always sounded salicious even when not required. This was probably a flaw in her singing. Anil Biswas, therefore, once compared her singing with Lata as,” Asha’s voice is Body and Lata’s soul ! ” R D Burman wanted to prove it wrong and in the 70s and 80s Asha sang many very soft and melodious songs. Added to this Khayyam did the magic by selecting her for his “Umrao jaan “, for which Asha received the National Award.

By now Asha’s and R D Burman’s relationship was strained . This was also because he disliked Asha singing for Bhappi Lahiri, who,according to RD Burman, was copying RD’s music to reach the top. Asha was acting professional and going with the trends. In spite of new singers like Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik and Anuradha Paudwal, Asha was still No. 1. She did not need any stepping stone now. by 1990, RD Burman was a nobody in the industry. In his last Hit film, 1942-A love story-1993, there was not a single Asha Song !

With RD Burman’s sudden demise, Asha turned to A R Rehman and other newcomers to continue her strides.

She got Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 and Padma Vibhushan in 2008. She even acted in a Marathi film, ‘ MAAI ‘,early this year.

My ” Hats off ” to this FIGHTER par excellence !!!

Today’s song is from film Dil-E-Nadaan-53,a film in which Talat was the Hero opposite Shyama. The story was…

Mohan (Talat) is the son of a poor petition maker in a court. Mohan is passionate about singing and music. he leaves his home and by chance meets Seth Heerachand. The seth ji is impressed with his music and appoints him in his Theatrs where Mohan becomes a famous Music director. The elder daughter of seth Heerachand, Kamini (Peace Kanwal) falls in his love. So also the younger daughter Asha (Shyama). Kamini being the elder, when comes to know about Shyama’s love for mohan, sacrifices and forces Mohan to marry her. They get married, but Mohan does not get interested in Asha much. Asha also realises this and in due course of time learns that her elder sister Kamini had sacrificed her love for Ash’s sake. She is very unhappy. During the childbirth, Asha dies leaving an orphan baby. Kamini takes up the resposibility of raising the child. in the end Kamini and Mohan get married, but the real sacrifice was by Asha by leaving this world for the sake of her sister.

All the 9 songs of this film were popular but the film,like all othe Talat films,flopped. The music by Ghulam Mohd. was just superb. The best song of the film was ‘ Muhabbat ki dhun bekaraaron se poocho ‘ sung by Talat, Sudha malhotra and Jagjit Kaur.

This is the 9th and final song of this film to be posted on this Blog. Enjoy this soulful number of Asha-the Fighter and the Survivor !



Song-Leejo baabul hamaara salaam re (Dil e Naadaan)(1953) Singer-Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Shakeel Badayuni, MD-Ghulam Mohammed


Leejo baabul
Leejo baabul hamaaraa salaam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
Leejo baabul
Leejo baabul

tumhre aganaa mein bachpan bitaayaa aa
tumhre charnon mein sukh chain paayaa aa
saath le kar duaayen tamaam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
Leejo baabul
Leejo baabul

ham to daali ke panchhi hain baabul
hamre udne se honaa naa byaakul
aa gayi hai basere ki shaam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
Leejo baabul
Leejo baabul

ban ke dulhan chali tumhre ghar se ae
ab na lautoongi pi ke nagar se ae
sabko pyaaraa hai preetam kaa naam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
ham to jaate hain saajan ke gaam re
Leejo baabul
Leejo baabul

4 Responses to "Leejo baabul hamaara salaam re"

Dear Anilkumar Deshmukh ji,
Thanks a heap for an excellent post revealing so many obscure or relatively lesser known aspects of Asha’s career & life.
Asha ji is a most versatile singer with a special voice quality which you have most imaginatively described as ‘salicious’ (sic.). However, to some people perhaps that (salacious) may seem to be too strong (demeaning?) an adjective. But no one can deny that Asha’s unique lilt does have the ‘come hither’ kind of sensuality.
Once again thank you very much for this post, which is superb in all respects as one expects from a maestro like you.
Best regards,
Avadh Lal


In spite of the rivalry between the siblings, I heard Lata saying, in one of her interviews, that her sister Asha is a verstile singer than her.

Thank you Arunji for the detail post on Asha Bhosle.


Very interesting read Arun Ji. Thank you.


This clearly shows that to succeed in BOLLYWOOD music you have to use the music directors. Asha Bhosale has used MDs like O P Nayyar and RDB and then kicked them off when they were not required. Similar to what was shown in the song – Mohe Ang Lag Ja Balma from Mera Nam Joker that was sung by Asha Bhosale. The only exception to this rule was singers like Hemalatha, Suman Kalyanpur, Usha Timothy and Kavidha Krishnamurthy who were straight forward.
But it is hard to accept that you can be so fickle in life howsoever hard you struggle/
I agree with word salacious because if you see songs like – Husn Ke Lakhon Rang [Johny Mera Nam, 1970] or Baharan Ka Hai Mela, Mera Dil Akela, Phool Koi Mere Liye Bhi To Ho [Yaadgar, 1970] or Reshmi Ujala Makhmali Andhera [Sharmilee, 1971] both the lyrics and dances were the height of vulgarity and full of double entendre.

I did not know that O P Ralhan had married Asha Bhosale. They also had a son?


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