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

Raadha jee ke kunwar Kanhaiyya ho

Posted on: August 4, 2016

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.

This is a Bhajan from film Tulsidas-54. There have been many films on Tulsidas. Sant Tulsidas was first produced in 1934, then in 1939 and then in 1972. The same topic with title Tulsidas was in films in 1954 and 19991.

I loved watching mythological and religious films in my younger days. I think this love developed , because since childhood, I was deputed to accompany family elders ( read old people) to such Mythological and religious films. Being a joint family,we had a sizable count of elders in our house. Sometimes the group used to be of 10-12 persons, including some interested ladies too. I had no problem, because a servant went in advance to book tickets. I have only to look after the Seniors and enjoy the movie. More than anything, I used to get mesmerised with the Trick scenes in the films.

In this respect, Mythological films were better, because in the religious films not much of a Trick scene was found. Nevertheless, I liked the Bhajans in the films. One big problem of such Theatre outings was that, whenever the films showed torture of innocents or deaths or a suffering, deserted first queen, the womenfolk in our group used to sob loudly and cry audibly ! Films like Bhakta Pralhad or Bhakta Dhruv were sure tear jerkers.

The 1950’s decade was a period when production of Mythological and Religious films was in full swing and such films were coming out at the rate of almost one film every month. It continued for all 12 months, all through the next 10 years ( 1950 to 1960 ) ! One would wonder where from the producers got enough content to make so many films !! Actually there was no dearth of topics in our scriptures. Ramayan, Mahabharata and 18 Purans had enough material in them to last any one’s lifetime !!! In addition, there were creative “story writers”, capable of mixing stories and getting new concoctions, like “Shankar Seeta Anusuya ” which no Holy book dared to imagine !

Additionally, during the Bhakti Movement in India, in the period from the 14th to the 16th Century, many Saints and Godmen created made their own contributions in adding to Religious material. For example Meerabai, Kabir, Soordas,Raheem and many more left indelible footprints on the Bhakti literature in the form of Bhajans, Dohas etc etc.

Saints like Ramanuj, Nimbarak, Madhwacharya, Vallabhacharya, Ramanand, Namdev, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Meerabai, Tulsidas, Surdas, Shankar Dev, Narsimh Mehta, Kabir, Gyaneshwar, Eknath, Tukaram, Ramdas etc etc wrote their own treatises on Religion. Their lives became inspirational for our film producers.

The set of actors was a fixed one for such films. In older times-1930s and 1940s- Pritviraj Kapoor, Durga Khote, Shobbhana Samarth, Prem Adeeb, Jeevan, Nirnjan etc. were permanent actors for such movies. The usual coposers would be Vasant Desai, Shankar Rao Vyas, S N Tripathi, Sudhir Phadke, Avinash Vyas etc. Later in the 1950s, actors changed. Even leading ladies like Meena Kumari, Mala Sinha and Shakila acted in Mythological films. However usual actors were Nirupa Roy, Anita Guha, Ameeta, Manhar Desai, Mahipal etc. for this genre of movies.

In today’s film, it was actress Shyama who was in the lead opposite Mahipal. I not only like but also respect Shyama, because in my opinion, she is one of the few actresses, who was not only versatile but also very humble, modest and cooperative. Though she started from scratch- as an Extra- she worked with Top actors like, Ashok Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Kishore Kumar, Balraj Sahni, Motilal, Rehman, Shammi Kapoor, Raaj Kumar, Karan Dewan, Bharat Bhushan etc. But she never hesitated to work with B or C grade Heroes like Mahipal, Kamal Kapoor, Suresh etc. With Johnny Walker, she did 7 films as a Lead actress and 3 more in other roles.

Shyama did many child roles as Baby Khurshid Akhtar. When her first film as a Heroine-Shrimatiji-52, opposite Nasir Khan- was released in Opera House, Bombay, the film Soorat was released in Roxy cinema at the same time. In the film Soorat, she did a child role while in Shrimatiji she was the Heroine. Film Soorat-47 got delayed and was released in 1952. She was named Shyama By director Vijay Bhatt at the time of the film Nai Maa-46.

In her career of 41 years, Shyama acted in 169 films ( 70 as a Heroine) and sang about 140 songs on screen in her films. Presently, she is living a happy retired life at her luxurious flat in Napian Sea Road, Mumbai.

How many of us know that there was yet another actress by name Shyama in the 1930s ? Her name was Shyama Zutshi. She was a Kashmiri girl- the first ever to act in a film. She acted in films, Vishnu Bhakti-34 and Karvaan e hayaat-35. However actor Chandramohan- who too was a Kashmiri- objected to her acting in films, claiming that Kashmiri girls should not come in this line. He built up so much pressure on her that ultimately she had to leave films. Then she joined politics and became a Congress leader in Kashmir. So much for the Women’s liberty in those days ! ( However Chandramohan got a fitting reply to his Male Chauhinistic actions when another Kashmiri girl and a close relative of Pt. Nehru- Yashodhara Katju joined films. Here also Chandramohan tried to force her out of Films, but she did not bother about him and continued upto the 60s, well after Chandramohan died in 1949.)

There was one more Shyama or Shyamabai, who was only a singer. She was a Mahaharashtrian muslim from Kolhapur. She is also spelled Shama in some songs. She sang a few songs like in films Sangam-41,Aina-44, Parshuram-47, Gharana-49 and Gulnar -50 etc. Later she migrated to Pakistan.

Film Tulsidas-54 was directed by 2 directors- Balchandra Shukla and Harsukhbhai Bhatt. Harsukh was the brother of famous director and owner of Prakash pictures- Vijay Bhatt. As per wiki, Harsukh directed 14 films. The music was given by the king of melody- Chitragupta, with Dilip Dholakia as his assistant. Lyricist was G S Nepali. The film had 10 songs. Mohd. Rafi sang 5 solos and 3 duets with Asha Bhonsle. Asha had 2 solos. Rafi has sung some of his best Bhajans, in this film. 3 of these are already posted. This is the 4th Bhajan today. it is equally melodious like other Bhajans. The story of Tulsidas-54 is-

A boy Rambola, hated by all and sympathised by none happens to meet Saint Narharidas (Uma Dutt). Seeing a spark of greatness hidden in the boy, he brings him to his Ashram. Here Rambola is renamed as Tulsidas (Mahipal).

Studying all the shastras Tulsidas becomes a scholar. Tulsidas now grown up, composes lucid poems in Hindi, thus making the art of poetry enjoyable for scholars as well as for those who do not know Sanskrit. Ravidatta (Chaman Puri), a student of the same Ashrama, is jealous of Tulsidas. According to Ravidatta, to write in a language other than Sanskrit is a blasphemy and an insult to that great divine language. Further Ravidatta’s anger knows no bounds when he sees Tulsidas making love to Ratnavali( Shyama) who is to be betrothed to him (Ravidatta) But ultimately her father Dinabandhu Pathak(Ramesh Sinha) chooses Tulsidas for Ratnavali’s hand. Ravidatta burning with jealousy leaves the Ashram of Narharidas to go to Benares. Haladhar (Bhagwan) another student follows Him.

Tulsidas and Ratna are married in the midst of celestial music and blessings of Narharidas, Dinabandhu Pathak, and other guests from from Badaria and Soro. After marriage the intesity of Tulsidass love for Ratna increases to such an extent that he forgets his devotion to Shree Ram. Tulsidas’s madness for Ratnavali becomes the talk of the town. One day Ratna’s brother Shambhu takes her with him to Badana where father Pathakji is seriously ill. Tulsidas comes home bringing a beautiful pair of bracelets for Ratna but instead of her he finds a note left by her that she had gone to see her father who was ill. But Tulsidas cannot live without his wife. In rain and storm he comes to Badaria and stealthily gets into Pathak house. The neighbours of Pathak first mistake Tulsidas as a thief, but ultimately they recognise him.

Ratna hears the taunts of the neighbours that Tulsidas is a mad lover to come to meet his wife at her father’s house. She comes to Tulsidas and with anger, sorrow and pain hates this shameful deed of his. She tells him the piercing words `Your love for my frail body made of flesh and bones is futile. Had you transformed this intense love from this human body to Shree Ram, both you and I could have escaped from this merry-go-round of life and death”. Saying this she goes away. Her words were like lightening in the dark sky. The thunder of this lightning is echoed in his heart where starts a great storm. The wind of this storm blows away the heap of sand that covered the gem of devotion to Shree Ram. He goes away from here with a decision to renounce the world.
When Ratna comes back in the room she finds a note in which he had written “Leaving the wordly ties and the love of my wife. I am going to some unknown place with the aim of meeting Ram.” She almost faints.

Repeatedly calling Shree Ram like a lunatic, Tulsidas falls on the trunk of a tree. A spirit living in this tree shows him the way to meet Ram. On coming to Chitrakoot he sees Ram who appears before him. Tears of joy flow from his eyes. Being inspired from this event he comes to Ayodhya and writes. “Ramcharit Manas”, his famous epic poem on Shree Rams life. Preaching Ram-Bhakti (devotion to Ram) to the people he comes to Benares. In Benares Ravidatta and other pandits, the champions of Sanshrit, oppose his Rammayana wirtten in easy Hindi language. But they are all convinced when one day Lord Vishwanath himself endorses his Ramayana and accepts it as a real work of poetry and devotion. But Ravidatta is adamant. He thinks that is just the black-magic. He decides to set Tulsidas hut of fire. Ratna and Shambhu’s wife come to Benares, where, to their surprise they hear that Tulsidas’s hut is set on fire They rush to the spot. Shambhu and his wife meet Ratna,who seeing Tulsidas’s life in danger runs into the hut and finds that the fire is not touching Tulsidas at all. The fire subsides and all see Tulsidas safe. Ravidatta feels ashamed and he prostrates himself before Tulsidas and asks for his pardon.



Song-Raadha ji ke kunwar kanhaiyya ho (Tulsidas)(1954) Singers-Asha Bhonsle, Rafi, Lyrics-Gopal Singh Nepali, MD-Chitragupta


o o o
o o o
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa

raadha ji ke kunwar kanhaiya ho
meri naiyya ka kaun khewaiyya
ho teri naiyya ke raam khewaiyya
radha ji ke kunwar kanhaiya ho
meri naiyya ka kaun khewaiyya
ho teri naiyya ke raam khewaiyya

achcha bataa do chaand gagan ka kis dulhan ka teeka hai
sandhya ne sindoor udaaya
sandhya ne sindoor udaya
phir kyun pheeka pheeka hai
o o o o
raani chaand usi ka teeka hai
jal darpan mein dekh ke tujhko
jal darpan mein dekh ke tujhko
chanda pheeka pheeka hai

taare chaand ke raas rachaiya ho
meri naiyya ka kaun khewaiyya
ho teri naiyya ke raam khewaiyya
raadha ji ke kunwar kanhaiya ho
meri naiyya ka kaun khiwaiyya
ho teri naiyya ke raam khewaiyya

achcha bata do lahren uthh kar, lehron se kyun takraayen
kisko dekh sharaabi jaise
kisko dekh sharaabi jaise
uthh aayen gir gir jaayen
o o o o
ek chaand tum laakhon lahren
ek chaand tum laakhon lahren
aapas mein ladti aayen
tujhe pakadne ko lahron ke
kaandhon par chadhti jaayen

kheloon lahron se main ta ta thaiya ho
meri naiyya ka kaun khewaiyya
ho teri naiyya ke raam khewaiyya
raadha ji ke kunwar kanhaiyya ho
meri naiyya ka kaun khewaiyya
ho teri naiyya ke raam khewaiyya

1 Response to "Raadha jee ke kunwar Kanhaiyya ho"

Thanks Arunji for one more informative post with a very melodious bhajan. Shyama as a child artist is a new info for me. Never could have imagined her contribution in Hindi cinema this long!!! The song you have posted is one of my fav as it strengthens one’s faith in Lord of any form.
Thanks again.


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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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