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

Ye kaun chala nainon mein abhisaar liye

Posted on: June 27, 2014

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

THE JOY OF NFS(Song No. 9)

Manna Dey never achieved the kind of popularity that some of his more commercially successful contemporaries (Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh etc) enjoyed, but that in no way is a reflection on Manna Dey’s calibre as a singer. As a singer he had perhaps the widest range of them all. He could sing songs ranging from philosophical to comical with equal felicity. In his case, passage of time has helped enhance his reputation.

Manna Dey worked in the golden era of Hindi film music where he had to contend with the abovementioned male playback singers as well as others like Talat Mehmood, Hemant Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor etc too as competitors. Unlike them, Manna Dey often got to sing songs for lesser actors in movies. Despite such stiff competition, Manna Dey had a long and successful career as a playback singer.

Born as Prabodh Chandra Dey, Manna Dey had the good fortune of having K C Dey as his uncle.

K C Dey, a blind actor-singer and a major New Theatres film personality in the 1930s is still remembered for immortal songs like “Teri gathri mein laaga chor” and “Baba man ki ankhen khol”.

Manna Dey became his uncle’s disciple cum constant companion and accompanied him to Mumbai when he shifted base from Kolkata to Mumbai.

Manna Dey had to undergo a long and arduous period of apprenticeship under his uncle. He received few playback opportunities during this period, like in Ram Rajya (1943). Manna Dey utilised this period to hone his skills and knowledge of Hindustani classical music.

Manna Dey had to undergo a decade long struggle to establish himself in Hindi film industry. In addition to playback singing, he tried his hands as an assistant music director.

Manna Dey was serving as assistant music director to S D Burman in “Mashaal”(1950) when he got his career defining break as a playback singer in this movie. The song was “ooper gagan vishaal” penned by Pradeep. This song made the film industry as well as music lovers sit up and take notice to this exceptional talent.

Salil Chaudhary’s “Do Beegha Zameen” (1953) gave him his next hit songs in the form of “Dharti kahe pukaar ke” and “hariyaala saawan dhol bajaata aaya”.

( There is an interesting anecdote of the song ” Dharati kahe pukar ke, Mausam beeta jaaye”,as told by actor Balraj Sahni in the ” Fauzi bhaiyon ki Jaymala” programme on Vividh bharati on Sunday Afternoons. The shooting of this song was going on a road of Calcutta. Balraj was in the get up of a farmer, with a potli on his back and a stick on hand. While the shooting was going on,suddenly, a villager appeared on the scene,approached Balraj and said,’ Hum ko bhi do de do’. Bimal Roy shouted “Cut Cut”. Balraj was confused. Everyone collected around him and the villager. After some time it was clear that the get up of Balraj and the singing was so natural that the villager had thought that Balraj was selling ‘ Musambi taaja hai’ (Mausam beeta jaay) by shouting loud !!! )

Shankar Jaikishan, who collaborated with Mukesh and Rafi in a big way in 1950s also helped Manna Dey scale new heights as a playback singer. After getting Manna Dey to sing in “Aawaara” (1951) in “tere bina aag ye zindagi”, they gave him the complicated “Lapak jhapak to aa re badarwa” in “Boot Polish” (1954). After this, Shankar Jaikishan prevailed over their producers to use Manna Dey’s voice as the lead actor’s voice in movies like “Shree 420” (1955), “Chori Chori”(1956) and “Basant Bahaar”(1956). While Manna Dey was one of the two playback singers for Raj Kapoor in “Shree 420”, he was the only playback singer for Raj Kapoor in “Chori Chori” (1956). In “Shree 420” (1955), he sang the by now iconic song “Pyaar hua iqraar hua”, All the songs of “Chori Chori” (1956) have gone on to become iconic songs as well. Same is the case with “Basant Bahaar” (1956).

He subsequently created masterpieces with other music directors too, for instance Madan Mohan in Dekh Kabira Roya (“Kaun aaya mere man ke dwaare”), Dattaram in Parvarish (“Masti bhara hai sama”),C Ramchandra in Talaq (“Mere jeevan mein kiran”) and Navrang (“Tu chhupi hai kahan”), O P Nayyar in Kalpana (1960) (“Tu hai mera prem devta”)Salil Chaudhary in Kabuliwala (“Aye mere pyaare watan”) and Anand (“”Zindagi kaisi hai paheli haay”) Kalyanji Anandji in Safar (“Tujhko chalna hoga”), Ravindra Jain in Saudagar’s “Door hai kinara”. etc

While singing serious songs, Manna Dey also came up with several light-hearted songs for Mehmood, viz. (“Pyaar ki aag mein tan badan jal gaya”, “Jodi hamari jamega kaise”, “O meri maina”, “tu maan le mera kehna”, and “Ek chatur naar”).

Manna Dey’s command over classical singing can be seen in evergreen classics such as Basant Bahar’s “Bhay bhanjana vandana sun hamari”, “Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen”‘s “Poocho na kaise maine rayen beetayi” “Mere Huzoor”‘s “Jhanak jhanak tori baaje payaliya”, and “Laaga chunri mein daag chhupaoon kaise” from “Dil Hi Toh Hai”.

Two of the most memorable songs sung by Manna Dey were picturised on character actors. One was “O meri zohra zabeen” in “Waqt”(1965) and the other was “Yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagi” in “Zanjeer” (1973).

He could sing songs based on western tunes as well as songs based on folk music. “Aao twist karen” from Bhoot Bangla is an example of the former and “Na chahoon sona chaandi” from Bobby is an example of the latter.

Ironically, Manna Dey got his Filmfare award for Best Singer for “Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo” (“Mera Naam Joker” ) and Manna Dey was left underwhelmed by this award because he felt that he had sung far superior songs in his career that failed to get considered for such awards.

Here are the excerpts from an interview with Manna Dey where he talks about Composers and fellow singers-Lata,Asha and Rafi etc( thanks to Anmol Fankaar site)

Q.” You have sung for so many legendary music directors. Can you share memories of those times.

A. Yes I did sing for all of them. S.D Burman was in a league of his own. I knew him from the time I was a child as he would come and study music under my uncle. I was always attracted to Burman da because he looked like a chinaman and I used to sit next to him and watch him sing. I loved his nasal tone and style of singing and used to imitate him in college days and sing like him. The way he sang was very typical of East Bengal and his accent remained the same even when he sang in Hindi. His voice was very distinct and he became a trendsetter. There is no one who can sing Wahan Kaun Hai Tera Musafir like Burman da did. He loved me a lot and we often played tennis together. He was kind enough to say that if someone composes lyrics from his heart, the only singers who can put soul into those lyrics are Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey. It was always at the back of my mind to live up to his expectations. He mentioned some songs that I had sung with such emotion Poocho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitaye and the song that moved him was the famous Ai Mere Pyare Watan from the film Kabuli Wallah.

We were rehearsing the song and a close friend of mine Mr. Sharma was listening and came out and said Manna your voice is sounding very listless. There is no pizzaz. What are you singing? SD Burman retorted that on the contrary that was exactly the way the song was to be sung. It was being picturized on a man who was a poor kabuliwallah from Afghanistan who worked all day and would return to this crowded home he shared with others and while others would sleep, he would take out his rabab and sing yearningly of the land he left behind. I couldn’t have sung it in a robust manner. When music director Salil Chaudhry heard it he wept.

Salil was a personal friend and not just a musical genius, he was also a writer par excellence and his lyrics were in great demand and are to this day even though he passed away long ago. He was an intellectual in the true sense of the word. Any time you sat down with Salil you returned enriched on so many other subjects.

Shankar Jaikishan gave me some amazing songs to sing. I was closer to Shankar and he truly appreciated my voice and for 20 years the duo gave me songs that will remain evergreen for years to come. Their diversity and creativity was unbelievable I remember when Bharat Bhushan had become a big star, Mohd Rafi used to sing all his songs, Shankar created a beautiful song in his film Baiju Bawra which was being produced by Bharat Bhushan’s brother Shashi Bhushan. Shashi on finding out that I was singing the song came over and protested. He wanted Rafi to sing it. Shankar persisted and told him it was either me or he could find another music director. That s how I came to sing Sur Na Saje Kya Gaoon Mein which became a huge hit. After Shashi Bhushan heard that song he came and hugged me and acknowledged that no one could have sung it as well as I had.

Q. Shankar also gave you the opportunity to sing the duet Ketaki Ghulab Juhi with classical singing legend Bhimsen Joshi. How tough was that?

A. My God that was a story in itself. Shankar told me Manna tighten your belt you are going to have the time of your life with the next composition. You are going to sing a classical duet with someone. They didn’t tell me who. I said sure and started practicing. After a few days I was told please come over, the tune is ready and the singer with whom I was to sing the duet was none other than Bhimsen Joshi. The duet was between the hero and his rival and I was supposed to sing for the hero and win. I got the shivers and said I can’t sing against Bhimsen Joshi and win, its impossible.

So I went home and told my wife, lets abscond somewhere for a few days and come back when Shankar Jaikishan have found some one else and completed the recording.

My wife looked at me and said shame on you, how dare you even suggest something like that? Besides you are singing for the hero, you have to make him win. It was a very difficult song, but I gave it my all and afterwards Bhinsen Joshi was kind enough to say Manna Sahib, you sing quite well. Why don’t you sing classical music and take it up seriously? I said maybe it came out well because I was singing before someone like you and was inspired to give my best, but that is where it stays!

Anil Biswas also came up some brilliant compositions for me, but it was Roshan who really challenged me. You will understand what I mean if you listen to Na To Caravan Ki Talash Hai. Roshan warned me, Look Manna, Rafi is singing for the hero, but you are singing for the Ustad(maestro). The difference should show. When I rendered the alaap for that even Roshan was stunned. He said indeed you have proved yourself.

Most music directors let me improvise, but Naushad Sahib was immovable. It was either his way or no way! C Ramchandra was very exacting too, but then I learnt a lot from him. He taught me how important clear diction and pronunciation were, and would not allow any word to be mispronounced. As it is, I’m very particular about pronunciation and you will see it in all my songs even the regional ones, but C Ramchandra was even more meticulous.

Q. Anil Biswas also said that you were the only singer who took notation for every song and had it done in one take, and that you could sing everything Rafi or Kishore or Mukesh or Talat Mehmood could sing, but they could not sing everything you sang.

A. That is very generous of him. He was very fond of me, but I don’t think there is anyone to touch Mohd Rafi. It is true I took notations and got every song right in one rehearsal. I even tried to teach Lata and Asha how to take notations, but these girls after the initial enthusiasm of wanting to know would not follow through!

Q.Tell me about Rafi. Not too many people know that you pulled Rafi out of a chorus line and gave him his break.

A. Rafi was junior to me and did sing very often in the chorus when I sang the lead, but then I found out what a rare talent he had and knew he would be incomparable in any field, but especially in the field of film singing. There were some songs of mine that were in a league of their own, but in Rafi’s case anything he sang was incredible. In fact there were times my uncle K.C Dey would be composing a tune and I would assist him. Once he was composing a song for a film called Justice and I was assisting him. When the tune was ready he said Let Rafi know. I said, Know what, and he said, That the tune is ready and he has to sing this song. I felt very hurt and said. why? Can’t I sing it? My uncle said, No you cannot, only he can sing this. I swallowed my pride and fetched him and then after he finished recording, I realized that indeed I could not have sung it as well as he did.

Q. Who did you enjoy singing with more, Lata or Asha?

A. I have sung more duets with Lata than I have with any one else. I first met Lata at a rehearsal with Anil Biswas. I saw this dark, ill clad girl sitting nearby and after finishing my rehearsal , Anil said, Manna this is the daughter of Dina Nath Mangeshkar. Have you heard her sing? Her father had passed away and they had come upon hard times. I sat down to listen to her and the moment she started singing I realized this was a prodigy sitting before me.

Both sisters are incomparable, but Asha is very versatile and singing with her meant impromptu improvisations, and we would go back and forth, testing and challenging each other. It was a lot of fun. People say the two sisters wouldn’t let any one else come into the industry. I say even if that was true, there was still no one who could come close to them in terms of talent and hard work.”

Let us now enjoy this NFS from Manna Dey. Madhukar Rajasthani is the lyricist. Music is composed by Manna dey himself.

Song-Ye kaun chala ye kaun chala (Manna Dey NFS)(1959) Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Madhukar Rajasthani, MD-Manna Dey


Ye kaun chala aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
ye kaun chala
ye kaun chala
nainon mein abhisaar liye
taaron bhare gagan taley
birhan ka singaar kiye
ye kaun chala
ye kaun chala aa

paayal se roothhi runjhun
paaon ne khoyi thhirkan
sehmi huyi hain aankhen
bikhra hua hai tan-man
paayal se roothhi runjhun
paaon ne khoyi thhirkan
sehmi huyi hain aankhen
bikhra hua hai tan-man
kiske milan ne loota
sapna dikha ke jhoothha
aanchal mein aaj apne
ansuwan ka haar liye ae ae ae
kaun chala
Ye kaun chala aa

chaahe chhupa na dukh ko
baalon se gher mukh ko
pagli yahaan kahaan tu
dhoondhe piya ke sukh ko o
chaahe chhupa na dukh ko
baalon se gher mukh ko
pagli yahaan kahaan tu
dhoondhe piya ke sukh ko
vidhna nithur hai
saajan se door sajni
bhatke gali gali mein
aasha ke taar liye ae ae ae
kaun chala
ye kaun chala
nainon mein abhisaar liye
taaron bhare gagan taley
birhan ka singaar kiye
ye kaun chala aa aa
ye kaun chala aa


5 Responses to "Ye kaun chala nainon mein abhisaar liye"

Lovely song – lyric, tune, singing. Thanks for this gem; I’d never have heard it but for this blog! Keep it up………..

wow, always wanted to have full lyrics of this song…I knew few opening lines…thank you for posting the full lyrics of the song. Manna Dey’s early passion was wrestling and football, he practiced both and love both sports. In the very beginning he was an assistant music director to his uncle (KC Dey) than SDB. Apart from this NFS I love…Nach re Mayura…(Pt. Narendra sharma/Anil Biswas) than another…equally impressive composition by Shanti Kumar Desai in film Tere dwar khada bhagwan (1964) Lyricist Pyarelal Santoshi song..Nach mere mor zara nach..
His high pitch classical base and his command on low notes like he gets the best of both worlds… here is the example the best song with beautifully pathos when he tribute Rafisaab number in ‘Pyaasa’: Yeh kooche, yeh neelam ghar… just love that number too.

Manna Dey gave music to :
1947: Sati Toral; Veerangna
1948: Mai Bhi Insaan Hu
1950: Jaan Pehechan
1951: Shri Ganesh Janma
1952: Chamki; Tamasha;
1953: Shok Rambha, Naina
1954: Shiv Kanya; Mahapuja;
1955: Jai Mahadev
1958: Naag Champa
1972: Sonal

Enjoyed the song very much. This is the first time I am listening to this song. Thanks for the post.

Manna Dey must have rendered and recorded around 100 NF Songs in Hindi. I have considered Madhusala (Harvansh Rai Bachchan/Jaidev) as one composition. To this I may add another 10 to 15 Hindi Rabindra Sangeet. Out of the 100 NF songs around 16 of them were penned by Madhukar Rajasthani. Nathli se toota moti re, Jane kahan khoi bindiya, Pal bhar ki pehchan and Meri bhi ek mumtaz thi were my favourites.

Enjoyed the song very much. This is the first time I am listening to this song. Thanks for the post.
Manna Dey must have rendered and recorded around 100 NF Songs in Hindi. I have considered Madhusala (Harvansh Rai Bachchan/Jaidev) as one composition. To this I may add another 10 to 15 Hindi Rabindra Sangeet. Out of the 100 NF songs around 16 of them were penned by Madhukar Rajasthani. Nathli se toota moti re, Jane kahan khoi bindiya, Pal bhar ki pehchan and Meri bhi ek mumtaz thi were my favourites.

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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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