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

Bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen

Posted on: January 3, 2015

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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.

Considerable effort of musicians and music arrangers, besides the sound recordist, goes into the creation of any song that finally result in the song ending up becoming hummable for public at large. Some of the great musicians and arrangers who worked ‘behind the curtain’ in creating these songs were Antony Gonsalves, Antanio Vaz (Chic Chocolate), Sebastian D’souza, Frank Fernand, Enoch Daniels, Van Shipley, Manohari Singh, Kersi Lord, Maruti Rao Keer among many others.

One name among the musicians and music arrangers which I came to know while discussing tere labon ke muqaabil gulaab kya hoga in an article for the Blog, was Kishore Desai.

Kishore Desai (b.1937) belongs to a traditional Gujarati family of industrialists originally belonging to Bhavnagar in Gujarat who made Bombay (Mumbai) as their base. His grandfather, a textile mill owner, was against the young Kishore pursuing his passion for music. But his father, Jawaharlal Desai encouraged him to learn Hindustani classical music. At the age of 9, Kishore Desai was enrolled at Professor Deodhar’s School of Indian Music where he completed the basic syllabus of Hindustani classical music and learnt playing harmonium and mandolin.

At the instance of Jayanand Khira, an industrialist and a close friend of his father, Kishore Desai at 14, became the gundabandh disciple of vocalist Ustad Khadim Hussain Khan of Agra Gharana. Since his grandfather was against learning music, his vocal training was arranged at Khira Bhavan at Chowpaty. Afterwards, his father took him to Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the renowned Sarod player for learning Sarod. However, Ali Akbar Khan being very busy with his own performances all over India, after few months, Kishore Desai started learning Sarod from Ustad Bahadur Khan, a cousin of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

Kishore Desai got attracted towards Hindi film music when he joined his close friend Kalyanji’s orchestra as a mandolin player. He got his first break as a musician with S D Batish who was the music director for ‘Badi Bahu’ (1952). He played mandolin for the song chumak chumak mora baaje ghungharwa. His second film was with Anil Biswas where he played mandolin for just one song in ‘Heer’ (1954). In fact, Anil Biswas wanted him to join as his assistant after he found that he had the background of Hindustani classical music. Anil Biswas also found him to be a good Mandolin player at a musical competition where he was one of the judges for the competition. However, Kishore Desai had to reluctantly decline the offer as he was preparing for his matriculation examination.

In one of the shows, Shankar (of Shankar-Jaikishan duo) was very much impressed by Kishore Desai playing aawaara hoon on his mandolin. He asked Kishore to join him as musician. His first film with Shankar-Jaikishan was ‘Basant Bahar’ (1955). He continued to be associated with SJ until their last film. His reputation as a mandolin and sarod player of repute reached other music directors by word of mouth. He became assistant music director and music arrangers to C Ramchandra from the film ‘Bahurani’ until his last film and to Roshan from the film ‘Soorat and Seerat’ till his last film.

Since Kishore Desai, Laxmikant and Kalyanji had worked together as musicians for many songs, it was natural that he became the first choice as a mandolin player for Kalyanji Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal when they became music directors. He was associated with them until their last films. In addition, he closely worked with music directors such as Naushad, S D Burman, Madan Mohan, Chitragupta, Khayyam, Sardar Malik, Jaidev, Ravi, Salil Chowdhury, Hemant Kumar, R D Burman, Ravindra Jain etc.

I was very much impressed with the profile of Kishore Desai. An opportunity to meet him personally came when Shri Bharat Upadhyay told me that Kishore Desai would attend Mumbai Gangout meet up on December 21, 2014. Unfortunately, on the morning of the meeting, Kishore Desai’s wife left for her heavenly abode after a brief illness. After a week, Bharat Upadhyay, Nitin Shah and I visited Kishore Desai’s residence in Borivali (West) to personally offer our condolences.

Considering the sombre occasion, we had decided not to discuss about Hindi film music with him. After offering our condolences, we set in his living room. I could not recognise him from the photographs of his younger days hanging on the walls of his living room. He looked quite handsome and a bit stout during his younger days. With a man who had spent over 5 decades with Hindi film industry as ‘A’ Grade musician, arranger and assistant to music directors and with walls of his living room full of photographs with various film celebrities and other dignitaries, neither we nor Kishore Desai could avoid the topic of Hindi film music.

The trigger for the music related talk started when we asked Kishore Desai about his picture with Y B Chavan, the Union Defence Minister during 1962-65. He said that the photograph was taken during a musical concert held in Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi in January 1963 in which Lata Mangeshkar sang the song ae mere watan ke logo in the midst of Jawaharlal Nehru and other dignitaries. It was a proud moment for Kishore Desai that being Assistant to C Ramchandra, he was closely associated with the orchestration and rehearsals of the song. He distinctly remember that when Lata sang the last stanza of this song beginning with jab ant samay aaya to keh gay eke ab marte hain, it brought tears in the eyes of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Kishore Desai played mandolin in his first film ‘Bahu Beti’ (1952). He recalls that he was a boy of 14 years. So during the recording of the song, Sharmaji (probably he meant B N Sharma, Sound Recordist) had to arrange for a high chair with stairs so that he could climb and sit on a higher level to facilitate the sound of mandolin reaching the single microphone used in those days.

Kishore Desai worked with almost all the regular music directors of the golden era. He said that during this period, he was attending on an average 3 to 4 song rehearsals/ recordings per day. He had no idea as to how many Hindi film songs he was associated with as a musician, arranger and assistant to music directors. But surely the number would be in multiples of thousands. A few of the popular songs of the golden period of Hindi film songs in which he played mandolin/sarod are as under:

Song Movie Music director
Bechain nazar betaab jigar Yasmeen (1955) C Ramchandra
Dil ka na karna aitbaar koi Halaku (1956) Shankar Jaikishan
Kaun aaya mere man ke dwaare Dekh Kabira Roya (1957 Madan Mohan
Ghadi ghadi mora dil dhadke Madhumati (1958) Salil Chowdhury
Sakhi re mera man uljhe tan dole (played Sarod) Chitralekha (1964) Roshan
Aage bhi jaane na tu Waqt (1965) Ravi
tum bin jaaun kahan (Rafi version) Pyaar Ka Mausam (1969) R D Burman

When we asked as to his experiences of working with Sajjad Hussain and O P Nayyar, he said that he had respectfully declined their offer to join them as a musician. Regarding Sajjad Hussain, being himself an ace mandolin player, Kishore Desai regarded Sajjad Hussain like his teacher. I personally feel that Kishore Desai avoided working with both the music directors knowing very well of their temperaments. He, however, said that he had a good personal relationship with both the music directors. By the way, a boy named Mustafa Sajjad, was put under the guidance of Kishore Desai by C Ramchandra as a musician playing Mandolin. The boy was the eldest son of Sajjad Hussain who had learnt playing Mandolin from his father. Today, Mustafa Sajjad is a top grade musician and arranger in Hindi film industry. He has been giving solo performances on his mandolin in India and abroad.

We were curious to know as to why he did not compose music for any Hindi film. Kishore Desai revealed that it was his sheer bad luck that three Hindi films he signed as music director in early 6Os were either shelved halfway or did not take off. The name of the films he gave was ‘Abdulla e Bagdad’, ‘Zindagi ki Raahen’ and ‘Omar Khayyam’, the last one was to be made under the banner of Gurudutt Films. The first two films was shelved halfway and the third film did not even take off as shortly after agreeing to sign him as music director, Gurudutt was no more. However, he had composed some NFSs sung by Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kavi Pradeep, Kamal Barot and Mohammed Rafi (Gujarati NFS).

We had gone to Kishore Desai‘s house just to offer our condolences and take leave of him after about 3O minutes. But the discussion on his musical journey kept us engrossed to such an extent that it dawned to us that we had already spent nearly 2 hours. So it was time for us to take leave of him. In any case, he was expecting Nimmi and her family any time. We all felt that the two hours we spent with him was more than worthwhile when he told us that our visit had lessened his pain of bereavement.

During our interaction with him for nearly two hours, I found Kishore Desai to be an extremely talented person in his field. The fact that music directors like Sajjad Hussain and O P Nayyar who were known to be perfectionist and hard task masters, visited his house to convince him to work for them and Anil Biswas asking him to become his Assistant at the age of 16, bears testimony to his talent. He is the recipient of Dadashaeb Phalke Life Time Achievement Award for his contributions to Hindi film music as an instrumentalist.

This extremely talented person is also an extremely humble person as was evident from his talks. He underplayed his role as a musician, arranger and assistant to music directors during his talk with us and gave entire credit to the music directors with whom he worked. At no time he gave any indication of his compositions being used by music directors for whom he worked. He was modest in saying that whatever support he gave to music directors was like extending a helping hand. Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, C Ramchandra, Roshan, Shanker and Jaikishan were like demi gods for him while music directors like Kalyanji, Ravi, Laxmikant, R D Burman, Mukesh were his buddies with whom he could take a bit of liberties. He said that he has hundreds of interesting anecdotes of his musical journey which will require another day.

Kishore Desai is now 77 and has retired from the film industry during the last ten years. He says that he still gets a few offers from the music directors as well as for some musical shows to play mandolin and sarod which he declines. The only exception he has made is for Lata Mangeshkar for whom he continues to play the musical instruments. He gets invites from musical associations all over India for his solo performances which he accepts subject to his convenience. He continues to do his daily practice of Mandolin and Sarod. He is bestowed with a spiritual bend of mind. He is also a yoga freak.

As a tribute to Kishore Desai, I present one of his NFSs, bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen (1965) composed by him and sung by Mukesh. The lyrics are written by Shiv Kumar Saroj.

[Note : Kishore Desai’s profile is based on his interview which appeared in Asian Weekly, September 27, 2010 issue. The rest of the information is based on the interactions which we had with him on December 28, 2014. I am thankful to Bharat Upadhyay for providing inputs for refreshing my memory]


song-Bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen (Mukesh NFS)(1965) Singer-Mukesh, Lyrics-Shiv Kumar Saroj, MD-Kishore Desai


bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen
zamaana hai unka unhi ko hansaayen ae
bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen

lagi aag dil mein
barastaa hai paani
lagi aag dil mein
barastaa hai paani
dil e ghamzada ki ajab hai kahaani
wohi jab nahin hai to kisko sunaayen
wohi jab nahin hai to kisko sunaayen
bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen

wo chehra sunehra wo chaandi ki baahein
wo chehra sunehra wo chaandi ki baahein
sabhi kuchh wohi hai
nahin wo nigaahen
ke badla jo mausam to badli adaayen
ke badla jo mausam to badli adaayen
bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen

5 Responses to "Bahaaron se keh do mere ghar na aayen"

Sadanand ji,

Many Thanks for the very informative post about Kishore Desai. I may be wrong, but I think he too had some association with SLBC along with Shiv Kumar Saroj.

By the way, I wonder why the letter “o” is reflected wherever “zero” appears in your posts. Just curious.



Mahesh ji,

I had to use capital “O” for zero as as “0” on my laptop is not working. In fact there are a few others letters which are not working in my laptop. Probably, I may have to replace the keyboard of the laptop.


While talking Kishore Desai, he informed us that Nimmiji is coming to meet him in the evening. We were waiting for her excitedly. As it was getting late we could not wait for her. I really wanted to meet her. Alas…
Yesterday luckily I came across her interview on Youtube. I would like to share it with you amongst other stars:
Usha Khanna>
Khayyam> -I -II
Javed Akhtar>>
Salim> -I
> -II
Madhur Bhandarkar
Rajpal Yadav
Yogesh> -I
> –II
Shailendra Singh>
Sudha Malhotra>
Basu Chatterjee>
Amol Palekar>



There is another NFS by the same duo mujhse yun ruth kar kyun dur jaa rahi ho .
Shiv Kumar Saroj >Zindagi Aur Hum-62, Naag Mandir-65, Pasand Apni Apni-72, Pratima Aur Payal-77, College Girl-78,


The right video of the NFS.


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