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

Poochh rahe thhey yaar ke biwi kaisi ho

Posted on: June 7, 2015

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a 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.

Surinder Kaur sings with Talat in this duet from film Shadi ki raat-50.

I have observed one thing that the fans of HFM are generally absolute diehards about their favourite singers. Lata, Asha, Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Saigal, Talat, Manna Dey, Geeta and Shamshad are usually the favourite singers of music lovers and their fans are simply devoted to them. Out of this list, just remove Saigal and Talat, because they had Unique voices and there was no direct competitors of them as far as their voices were concerned.

The most severe and bitter-almost warlike-discussion among the fans is on who is greater, Rafi or Kishore Kumar. I have actually seen fans coming to blows in a musical Festival on this issue. One can see these type of hot discussions on many Internet sites and Blogs too. The other one is found on the issue of Lata and Suman Kalyanpur and Lata and Geeta songs. Mukesh, Manna Dey and Shamshad Begum fans don’t discuss, but assert that their favourite singer is the best.

Talat Mahmood too had and still has millions of fans, who are mad after his songs. His fans are distributed all over the world. Most fans feel that he was given a raw deal by the industry in his declining days. Those Music Directorss, according to them, who benefited by Talat’s famous songs in his early period, deserted him later for no apparent reason.

This happened somewhere in the mid 60s. Initially, Talat was eclipsed by Rafi and then by Kishore Kumar, but why Talat was sidelined is still a mystery to his fans. Music Directors who benefited by his melody were Anil Biswas with “aye dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal” from Arzoo, Naushad with Babul songs, S D Burman with ‘Jaayen to jaayen kahaan’-Taxi Driver, Husnlal-Bhagatram with Farmaish song-“Muhabbat ki hum chot khaaye”, Naashaad with “Tasveer banaata hoon”-Baradari, Shankar-Jaikishen with Daag songs, C.Ramchandra with “Muhabbat hi na jo samajhe”-Parchhain, Sajjad Hussain with “ye hawa ye raat”-Sangdil, Roshan with “Main dil hoon ek armaan bharaa”-Anhonee, Khayyam with “Shaam e gham ki kasam”- Footpath, Jaidev with Joru ka Bhai songs, Salil Chaudhari with “Raat ne kya kya khwaab dikhaye”- Ek gaon ki kahaani, Madan Mohan with “meri yaad mein tum na”- Aashiyana…….

None of these Music Directors helped Talat after the 60s. Naushad recorded Talat’s songs for Palki and Aadmi, only to discard them later. S D Burman funnily complained that his voice ‘vibrated’. Madan Mohan preferred Rafi. Anil Biswas himself disappeared from the HFM scene. Salil Chaudhari and Shankar-jaikishen simply ignored him. In those times, most actors too wanted Rafi or Kishore. Most other old composers had vanished from the scene. Those who remained sidelined Talat. This is how Talat’s fans felt. However Talat himself had also analysed and came up with the reasons for his decline.

According to Talat, there were 3 reasons why he stopped getting songs. First, the trend in film music had changed. In his times, music was soft and melody was important. Singer, Composer and Lyricist were equally important. Secondly, Talat’s acting in films was a blunder, he felt. About his first film,’Samaapti-49′, he said,”did you see that film ? Don’t ever make this mistake. It was horrible. I won’t see it again for a million even. After this great flop, I should have understood and quit, but No, I worked in another 8 films ! It was rumoured then that I was I was not interested in singing and wanted nly to do films. I shouted hoarse that I was first a singer ! But the damage was done”. Thirdly, he said that he had not joined any group nor did he go begging/asking for songs to anyone.

Talat and his fans had their own reasons for his eclipse, but I have my own view about it. Of course this is my personal opinion. It seems that Talat was an arrogant and proud person. May be he hailed from a rich family and had become a successful actor/singer, hence he became so. Surely this harmed him in the industry, where at every step one has to behave artificially, humbly and show respect to everyone. The case of Naushad, keeping away from Talat due to this quality is a case in point.

Secondly, taste of Music changed with change in generation. People born before Partition loved his style and songs, but the generation after the 50s liked faster and louder music, provided by Shankar Jaikishan, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji, R D Burman and many other new composers. Even stalwarts like S D Burman and C.Ramchandra, Naushad etc switched to faster and louder music. Talat did not fit into it.

Thirdly, he frequently went out of India on concerts and stage shows to different countries. When he was sought by composers, he was not to be found and when he wanted songs, they were too busy with other singers !

Whatever was the real cause of Talat’s decline, as long as he was on the scene, he regaled us with his Golden, Velvet like magical voice. Even today, music lovers in the age group of seniors are the most ardent fans of Talat’s soulful film songs and Ghazals. Let us listen and enjoy one of his duets with Surinder Kaur from the film Shadi ki Raat-1950. Remember 1950 was almost the beginning of his singing film songs- in his own films and as a Play back singer too !….

Song-Poochh rahe thhe yaar ke biwi kaisi ho (Shaadi Ki Raat)(1950) Singers-Talat Mehmood, Surinder Kaur, Lyrics-Sarshar Sailaani, MD-Aziz Hindi
Male chorus
Female Chorus


poochh rahe thhe yaaar aa aar
poochh rahe thhe yaaar
ke biwi
ke biwi
kaisi ho
lo suniye sarkaar
ke biwi
ke biwi kaisi ho
lo suniye sarkaar
ke biwi
ke biwi kaisi ho

jiske husn ki shohrat yaaron
door door tak phaili ho
aankh na jis per daali jaaye
haath lagaaye maili ho
naaz o ada ki putli bhi wo
aur wo up to date bhi ho
shokh bhi ho
wo chanchal bhi ho
aur ?? bhi nek ho
apni hai ye raay
ke biwi
ke biwi
aisi ho
lo suniye sarkaar
ke biwi
ke biwi kaisi ho

pooch rahin thhi sakhiyaan
shauhar kaisa ho
pooch rahin thhi sakhiyaan
shauhar kaisa ho
aao bataayen tumhen ke shauhar

ke shauhar aisa ho
aao bataayen tumhen ke shauhar
ke shauhar aisa ho

M A ho ya B A
lekin shahar ka rehne waala ho
M A ho ya B A
lekin shahar ka rehne waala ho
baanka ooncha
chhail chhabeela
fashion ka matwaala ho
sair sapaate theatre cinema
har cheez ki aazaadi ho
jab ye baaten tay ho jaaye
phir dono ki shaadi ho
phir dono ki shaadi ho
apni hai ye raay
ke shauhar

ke shauhar aisa ho
aao bataayen tumhen ke shauhar
ke shauhar aisa ho

aa aa aa aa
roop jawaani nakhre wakhre
do din ke mehmaan hain sab a a
in baaton per marne waale ae ae
sach poocho
naadaan hain sab
chamak uthhe ghar baithhe hi ee ee
sitaara yaaron ka
biwi agar dahez mein
leker aaye maal hazaaron ka
apni hai ye raay
ke biwi
ke biwi
aisi ho
lo suniye sarkaar
ke biwi
ke biwi kaisi ho

2 Responses to "Poochh rahe thhey yaar ke biwi kaisi ho"

You have analysed the matter so well. The voices of these old masters were unique- but most unique were Talat and Mukesh. To some extent, the voces of Kishore and Rafi were exchangeable, and perhaps Mannada could have matched them But Talat and Mukesh were total stand aparts.
One reason for the decline of Talat could be the preference of the heroes themselves for whom he sang. This is indeed a pity, considering that he sang for even Shammi Kapoor. Shmmiji himself said on You Tube that his first hits had come from Talat, not Rafi. I was told that Talat himself recommended Mukesh for Madhumati, and that in Yahudi, the choice between Talat and Mukesh was settled by the spin of a coin between the director and the MDs, for the song ‘Ye mera diwana pan hai’.

Once, in 1969, during a live programme in Nagpur, there was a brief moment when I was alone with Talat .I was a great fan of his, did not know much about the film world, and did not realise his best was behind him. I asked him: ‘Saab, why don’t you sing any more in films?’. He looked at me for a few long seconds, just smiled. I thought I detected a tinge of sadness in that smile.

Sadness in the smile or in his songs or not, his voice, the diction, the way he enunciated the beautiful urdu words with so much sensitivity make you transcend the relative world of feelings and transport you to an absolute region. In fact, it is said in respect of Classical Greek tragedies that though they dealt with the misfortunes of great heroes, their effect was to elevate human mind and character. That is why they were enacted at religious festivals. Perhaps this is what we experince in respect of Talat saab’s songs, unconsciously. We are indeed fortunate that we could enjoy this..


Surinder Kaur>>
Aandhiyan (1952)
Badi Bahoo (1951)
Buzdil (1951)
Dada (1949)
Kaneez (1949)
Khamosh Sipahi (1950)
Lal Dupatta (1948)
Mehandi (1947)
Nadiya Ke Par (1948)
Nao (1948)
Pyar ki Jeet (1948)
Raj Rani (1950)
Roop Lekha (1949)
Sabak (1950)
Sanwaria (1949)
Shadi Ki Raat (1950)
Shagun (1951)
Shaheed (1948)
Singaar (1949)
Sunehre Din (1949)

Sarshar Sailani>>
Aabshar (1953)
Aadhi Raat (1950)
Arsi (1947)
Bewafa (1952)
Birha Ki Raat (1950)
Commander (1959)
Ek Roz (1947)
Ek Teri Nishani (1949)
Ek Thi Reeta (1971)
Guru Ghantal (1956)
Jal Tarang (1949)
Kashmir (1951)
Khaandan (1955)
Man Ka Meet (1950)
Naach (1949)
Paapi (1953)
Patal Pari (1957)
Rakhi (1949)
Sanskar (1958)
Shadi Ki Raat (1950)
Stage (1951)
Sun To Le Haseena (1958)
Trolley Driver (1958)


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