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

Barse boondiyaan saawan ki

Posted on: August 3, 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.

Today’s song is an appropriate song for this season. It is about Rain drops. It is a Non Film song by Lata ji.

Music and Dance are Divine. In Hindu Mythology, it is said that Gandharv and Kinnar Yakshas were proficient in Music and Dance. We have often read in religious stories that Lord Indra was enjoying Apsara’s dance and songs by Gandharvas. On the Earth, it was the Royalty, i.e. Kings, Queens, Nababs and Jagirdars, who enjoyed Music and Dance from their paid artistes.

For the commoners, it was folk dances and folk songs. When I was very young, in the summer vacations, we were taken to my mother’s hometown. Theirs was a hugh joint family of about 40-50 people,living in a very large spacious house. For our entertainment, programmes of Minstrels and Ballad singers ( like Powada singers) used to be arranged in the nights. But halfway through the programme,all children would fall asleep. Those song programmes are etched in my mind.

When Gramophones came, listening to records became a pastime of those who could afford them. Radio came about in the 30s. Films were not yet churning out songs and thus Private songs came into vogue. Many singers used to cut records and they were lapped up by music lovers. In the period from the 30s to the 50s there was a spate of non Film Songs all over India ,in all languages and people used to love them. Semi classicals, Geets, Ghazals, Bhajans, Natya geet, Patriotic songs, Love songs etc etc became very popular. Jagmohan, Pankaj Mullick, Saigal, Hemant Kumar, Talat Mahmood, S D Burman, Lata, Asha, Rafi, Mukesh, Master Madan, Kamala Jharia, Juthika Roy, C H Atma, Geeta Roy, Manna Dey, Kamal Dasgupta and hosts of other singers regaled entire India with their NF songs.

The impact and influence of NFS was such that almost every singer first sang NFS and then film songs. Readers who grew in 50s and 60s would recall the spell that these NFS had on the lovers of music in those years. There must be at least a few NF songs still haunting this generation, I am sure.

In the early 50s-July 1952 to be precise, All India Radio stopped playing Film songs. It was popularly believed ( and is still believed) that the then I & B Minister B V Keskar had banned Film music. It is true that he did not like them and found them ‘Hybrid, Vulgar and class less’, but He DID NOT BAN FILM SONGS. The fact is-
In July 52, the A.I.R. made changes in its policy. As per that 1) The broadcast time for film songs was reduced and 2) dropping the custom of announcing the Film names.

This enraged the Film Industry. The loss of Free opportunity for advertising their films was too hard for the Producers and the Producers’ Association, in their capacity as the Copyright Holders, withdrew A.I.R.’s licence to broadcast film songs- in order to pressurise the Government. On the contrary Film songs disappeared from the Radio ! ( Ref: Indian cinema in the wake of Partition-by shri Bhaskar Sarkar, pp 57).

Taking advantage of this situation, Radio Ceylon grew rapidly and grabbed the advertisements and sponsored programmes, from 50s to 70s. During that period Vividh Bharati did a marvellous job of promoting NFS and Sugam Sangeet. Over a period, they too started Film songs and programmes based on it.

In 2011, AK ji of songsofyore Blog, wrote a comment here stressing the importance of NFS in India. I too wrote a note supporting this cause and advocating the need to discuss NFS here. Atul ji graciously accepted this and thus many famous and popular NFS (the entire lot of NFS of Saigal) have been discussed here. Like Film songs, every now and then we discover some Gems-like today’s song- among the NFS and it is presented here.

At the time of our Independence, most foreign historians had declared, “India is only a Geographic expression like Africa or Europe. With 565 Princely states, 14 British Provinces 20 Major Languages and several Religions, India is not a material for becoming one Nation.” In the last 70 years India has remained One United Nation and maintained our Secular Status unbroken. One of the main reasons of this Unity is the role played by Indian Films and Music-Film songs and Non Film Songs.

James Connachie, the famous Music Historian says “When Hindi film singers sang, nobody cared if Rafi was a Muslim or Lata was a Hindu Brahmin. Its great music bridged the gap between the Hindus and the Muslims,better than any Politician (including Gandhi and Nehru) ever could. Film and Non film songs created a sense of belonging, of being One Nation,which nothing else could achieve.”( The rough guide to world Music,vol 2, pp 106 ).

Once the style, trends and rhythm of film music changed, the NFS slowly started diminishing and today there is no trace of those type of songs. Of course, even today, there are many Non Film Song Albums released frequently, but to me, they are more filmy than the actual film songs. Today’s NFS lacks the sweetness, melody, minimum orchestra and meaningful Lyrics. It is time to say R.I.P. to old time Non Film Songs !!!

Today’s song is a Meera Bhajan, sung by Lata Mangeshkar. It is composed by Hridaynath Mangeshkar. I think Lata ji always gives her best to songs composed by her brother Hridaynath. For proof, listen to the songs of Lekin-90 or one of the many Marathi NFS composed by him and sung by her !

As per comments on You Tube, this song was recorded in 1958. It must be, as I too remember having heard it many times on Radio in the 60s. It seems Hridaynath used orchestra arranged by Laxmikant and Pyarelal for this song. This too is possible. We all know how Lata ji helped them to come up as Composers. Also note the use of Violin in the song. This was Pyarelal’s expertise and strong point always.

So, enjoy this Meera Bhajan in this Rainy season and revive your memories.

Song-Barse boondiyaan saawan ki (Lata NFS)(1958) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Meera Bai, MD-Hridaynath Mangeshkar


barse boondiyaan saawan ki
saawan ki
manbhaawan ki
barse boondiyaan saawan ki
saawan ki
manbhaawan ki

saawan mein uamgyo mero man
saawan mein uamgyo mero man
bhanak suni hari aavan ki ee
umad ghuman chahoon disha se aayo
umad ghuman chahoon disha se aayo o o
daamini damke jhar laawan ki
barse boondiyaan saawan ki
saawan ki
manbhaawan ki
barse boondiyaan saawan ki
saawan ki
manbhaawan ki

aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
nanhi nanhi boondan meha barse ae ae
nanhi nanhi boondan meha barse
sheetal pawan suhaawan ki
meera ke prabhu giridhar naagar
meera ke prabhu giridhar naagar
anand mangal gaawan ki
barse boondiyaan saawan ki
saawan ki
manbhaawan ki
barse boondiyaan saawan ki
saawan ki
manbhaawan ki

8 Responses to "Barse boondiyaan saawan ki"

At the time of Independence, it is true that film music united us, but that was true even before independence. The largest contribution to unite us geographically and politically was by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. You did mention Ghandhiji and Jawahar Khan in your comment, but forgot to mention Sardar !
You will excuse me for my immediate response, which made me to write this comment.


Bharat ji,

Thanks for your prompt comments.It means that you read all posts as soon as they are put up !
What you refer to is not MY comment,but it is from an excerpt of a book. If you read carefully once again,you will realise this.
You are right that Music was an uniting factor before Independence,but it was vital that our unity remained intact after the Partition- due to communal riots and explosive situations. In this,Music played an important role,according to the author.
I hope the point is clear now.



Bharat ji,
Arunji mentioned ‘Gandhi and Nehru’ and you re-mentioned ‘Gandhiji and Jawahar Khan’. Who is this Jawahar Khan? If it is only a typo error please get it corrected by Atulji.
With deep respect for you I feel very embarrassed to read it for the last three days. I was waiting for somebody to write about it. At last I had to do the work.
Please excuse me if it becomes a little rude.

D Samant


D Samant ji,

Perhaps you are not aware that a large section of our Indian people genuinely believe that the Nehru clan is actually a Muslim clan. Even I have a detailed family tree of Jawahahrlal Nehru which claims that they are all muslims. This section also believes that the reason of Nehru being partial to Muslims ( and so the entire Congress) is this only.

I do not subscribe to this belief,but since I know Bharatbhai being what he is, I understood whom he was mentioning to and hence I kept quiet.


NFS can have a field day for the singer, lyricist and the MD as there no interference form distributors, actors etc as they do not exist in the making of NFS. They can really show of their talent and the listeners also can enjoy the lyrics and the voice as it does not get drowned in the cacaphonic music of FS.
A good example is of Dil Padosi Hai album by Gulzar, Asha and RDB. They have literally freaked out, which they could not while making a film song. In fact they should have named it Dil Naadan Hai!


I like NFS very much. Given the choice I would settle for an NFS any time as they are so soothing to our frayed nerves. They are one of a kind. They transport you to Utopia.
I have heard most of the NFS as I have lyrics of over 200 NFS and sing most of them in my tanhaai.


Sad that NFS are now archive material


When Nitin ji says that he enjoys NFS, he means those sweet songs of yore.
What goes now for NFS is the pop, rap, remixes and other such mishmash, which, barring a few exceptions, is utter trash.
Of course, the present generation would not like this comment as they may condemn it as the rave rantings of an old fogey (which, by the way, I really am).
Another variety of NFS is the genre of devotional songs, which in my opinion also lacks the quality to match the old bhajans, baul sangeet, etc.
One latest fad is simply including the words like Maula, Allah, etc. in any any piece and throw in random sargams, alaaps, taans, etc. and thereby term it as sufi music. Hardly a patch on the real soothing stuff sung by great saints and promoted and popularised by the one and only Amir Khusro.
Avadh Lal


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