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

Ye to zindagi hai kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham

Posted on: August 4, 2017

This article is written by Raja, 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.

Less than a week ago, we were remembering the legend of legends amongst singers of the Hindi film industry, Mohammed Rafi, respectfully referred to by many as Rafisaab.

Today, we remember another legend of legends amongst singers – the one and only Kishore Kumar, fondly referred to by many as Kishoreda.

But while Rafisaab’s occasion was his death anniversary, today happens to be Kishoreda’s birth anniversary.

So wherever you are up there, Kishoreda, our fondest birthday wishes to you from the blog. Hope you are enjoying yourself – you have plenty of good company for your singing, what with SD Burman and RD Burman to compose songs written by Majrooh and Anand Bakshi, picturised on Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna. Must be like old times up there.

Kishore Kumar.

Where do I start?

Most staunch Atulites here know that I am a big fan of Rafisaab. Of course I am.

But I am also a big fan of Kishoreda.

Yes, it’s possible to be a big fan of both of them. Might seem increasingly improbable in an increasingly polarized world, but thankfully in the world of music at least, we still have many (including myself) who are big fans of both Rafisaab and Kishoreda. And in fact other singers.

That’s the power of music. It is truly inclusive, embracing everyone from anywhere in the world. Which is why it is the biggest uniting factor around.

Coming to Kishoreda, I’ve written many posts here on him over the years. And yet, I’m happy to write more about him. I’m sorry if it’s repetitive for the readers, but this is a tribute post, so it’s about what Kishoreda feels. And I think he wouldn’t mind. 🙂

For me, and anyone growing up in the 70s with even the remotest interest in Hindi film music, it would be impossible to deny Kishoreda’s influence during those years. Atul is part of the same generation – he will vouch for Kishoreda’s domination in that era.

Like I’ve said before, Kishoreda was everywhere. Just everywhere. You couldn’t listen to a “current” radio programme without hearing his voice. From my early years, when songs of Aradhana would be playing non-stop, to the end of the 70s/early 80s, when Kishore was still the reigning voice, now singing songs like “jahaan teri ye nazar hai” and “pag ghunghroo”.

Many actors came and went during this period. Rajesh Khanna gave way to Amitabh Bachchan as the reigning superstar. The industry lost a number of its luminaries – Prithviraj Kapoor, Balraj Sahni, Meena Kumari, SD Burman, Madan Mohan, Rafisaab and Sahir, to name some of them.

Politically too, a lot changed. Bangladesh got independence. The OPEC crisis meant oil prices skyrocketed in 1973. India conducted a successful nuclear test in Pokhran in 1974. For the first time ever, an Emergency was declared in India in 1975. For the first time since independence, the Congress Party lost a general election in 1977. In 1978, after a hiatus of 17 years, India and Pakistan resumed cricketing ties.

All significant events. Ok maybe not the last one, but for a cricket-crazy guy like me, it was significant. 🙂

Through all this, the one constant was Kishore Kumar.

He started the decade as the superstar male voice. And ended it as the superstar male voice. And not just that, retained this status right till the very end.

Of course, it would not present a full picture if we refer to Kishoreda only within the context of the 70s and 80s. He started in the 1940s itself – and had achieved a lot before he became Rajesh Khanna’s voice in Aradhana.

I’ve heard many say that they prefer Kishoreda’s voice of the 50s/60s to his later voice.

I can understand. Though I like his songs of the 70s/80s too, I’m especially fond of his earlier songs. There’s something special about them, whether they are fun songs or sad songs.

Just listen to “eena meena deeka”, “nakhrewaali aa”, “kuen mein kood ke mar jaana”, “paanch rupaiya barah aana” or “aake seedhi lagi”, to give just a few examples. Aren’t they absolutely, delightfully, whacky?

Or listen to one of my favourite Kishore duets “piya piya piya”. I can listen to it any number of times, it is just so much fun.

Or “hawaon pe likh do, hawaon ke naam” or “aa chal ke tujhe” or “main hoon jhumroo”.

Even if you look at the soulful songs of the pre-Rajesh Khanna era, you come across gems like
“ajnabi, tum jaane pehchaane se lagte ho” , “koi hamdam na raha”, “dukhi man mere”, “mere mehboob qayamat hogi’ or “panthi hoon main”….

So, while Aradhana might have been the film which made Kishore Kumar the number one male singer in the industry, he had sung plenty of wonderful songs before that too – just that he hadn’t focussed on singing as much as he did later.

And that’s because of his acting career. Till the late 60s, Kishoreda was very much into acting too. Although it wasn’t his first love (he even tried to get thrown out early on), his whacky comedy had its fair share of takers. Who can forget Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and Half-Ticket? So he was busy with both acting and singing, with reasonable success on both fronts. Later he cut down on his acting to focus on his singing.

Kishoreda was a true allrounder. He was not only singer and actor, he also directed and produced films. And also composed music for his films.

Two of the films Kishore Kumar made – Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (1964) and Door Ka Raahi (1971) – are two films I consider grossly underrated. They are “hatke” films, especially the latter. In a time of glamour and colour, where hero-heroine used to chase each other around trees, Door Ka Raahi (1971) discusses a traveller’s experiences in life. Meeting people, and separating from them. I just loved it, though it might not appeal to everyone.

That was about Kishore, the artiste.

A couple of lines about Kishore, the person.

Just like the most common thing you hear about Rafisaab as a person is “wo to khuda ke aadmi the” (man of God), what you hear about Kishoreda most often is “bahut dildaar the, hamesha koi na koi mazaak karte the”. Yes, Kishoreda was reputed to be a prankster, and a fun person to be around. You can even notice that in the videos of his live shows. I always feel, anytime he’s going to burst out with “baam cheeki cheeki chaam cheeki cheeki”. 🙂

Later in life, Kishoreda apparently became more reclusive – and apparently used to talk to trees and plants in his garden, as reported in an interview with Pritish Nandy, the famous journalist of the 80s.

Anyway, Kishoreda was one of a kind – he played by his own rules. And we love him all the more for that.

Now moving on to the song for today.

It’s from Qaid (1975), a film I happened to see recently. It’s quite a nice film – with fast action and some suspense. Vinod Khanna and Leena Chandavarkar are good fun – so if you haven’t watched it, it’s worth a one-time watch, I think. (Warning: I’ve been known not to have the greatest of taste).

The story is about Preet (Leena) being forced on the streets after an impersonator takes over her place at home and everyone believes the imposter. Preet’s life is now in danger as the villains are out to kill her. Jai (Vinod), a lawyer who happens to be her neighbour, is one of the few who believes her story, and offers to help her.

This song “ye to zindagi hai” is when they are on the run from the villains. Leena narrowly manages to escape getting killed. Some fishermen in a truck help them to escape and take them to their fishing village. Leena is very much shaken – Vinod tries to boost her spirits with this song.

It’s a pleasant song, written by Maya Govind and composed by Nitin Mangesh. This is a two-man team of composers, Nitin and Mangesh. They’ve not composed for many films, and are not well-known but I felt that at times their music reminded me of RD Burman.

I hope you like the song.

Once again, happy birthday, Kishoreda. And thanks for all the wonderful music you’ve left behind for us to enjoy.

Audio (longer)


Song-Ye to zindagi hai kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham (Qaid) (1975) Singers-Kishore Kumar, Nitin, Lyrics-Maya Govind, MD-Nitin-Mangesh



ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham
ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham
meri jaaaan
aa aa
rona nahin
bhigona nahin
zu zu
hogi seher
zu zu zu zu
o mere sanam
ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham
ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham

bichhua bichhua bichhua
yallaa yallaa
bichhua bichhua bichhua
yalla yalla
bichhua bichhua bichhua
haiiiiiin leliyeleliyeleliyaaayen
hain aaiyiyenaaiyaaan aainiaaiyen

aankhon mein jo
aansoo bhare hain
honthon se apne main
inhen chheen loonga
raahon mein jo
kaante bichhe hain
palkon se apni main
inhen been loonga
meri preeet
ye jaan le
sach maan le
zu zu
haarenge gham
zu zu zu zu
jeetenge hum
ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham
ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham


moti abhi
lutaaye hain tum ne ae
zaraa muskuraa ke tum
kaliyaan lutaao
jisko kabhi
gham na mila ho
us aadmi ka tum
pataa to bataa do
mere yaaar
kuchh to kaho
ab to hanso
zu zu
mar jaaoonga
zu zu zu zu
tumhaari kasam

ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham
ye to zindagi hai
kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham

meri jaan
rona nahin
daaman bhigona nahin
zu zu
hogi seher
zu zu zu zu
o mere sanam

11 Responses to "Ye to zindagi hai kabhi khushi hai kabhi gham"

Enjoyed the post Raja Saab. Thanks a lot for this wonderful post.
Yes, there are many songs, in fact ‘gems of songs’ of Kishore Kumar before seventies.
And, on this blog my journey actually started with commenting on one such gem ‘Kashti ka khaamosh Safar hai’. I still remember the day when I listened to this song, and listen to it many times and was totally thrilled and mesmerized ( maybe more than that 😊).
Today’s song – I don’t remember to have heard it before.
About the “Warning” 👻 – like it very much 👻 !!


what u have not heard this…. i cannot believe it….:-)


Oh, I love “kashti ka khamosh safar”. Forgot to mention it here. Also forgot to mention “beqaraar dil”. Love that too. So many songs!


I have`nt listened the audio link, it seems like a longer audio link, which shows the still photograph of lyricist Maya Govind(a Young Maya Govind) and Kishore Kumar and whether the other two guys are music directors of the movie NItin-Mangesh ????(Music Directors identification based on pure fertile imagination, I may be wrong……


Prakash ji,

Your ‘pure fertile imagination’ is right on the dot. In this photo, from left to right – Nitin, Kishore, Mangesh, Maya Govind.



Thanks Sudhir ji
for confirmation and below is the link for the vinyl records of Qaid, which shows the singer`s name as NITIN alongwith Kishore kumar and Chorus

As per the vinyl records image of the movie
playback singers of another song from the same movie “Beliya alle Beliya” are Asha Bhosle and NITIN


video link at the start is somewhat longer than the one provided above:


Raja ji,
Yes, I am one of those who like songs of Kishore in the period of 50-60’s decade.
In this, the earliest Kishore song would be’ subah ki pehli kiran’ from Aandolan-51( which I have discussed here), songs from films like Funtoosh, Paying Guest, Baarish,Bhagam Bhag,Fareb,New Delhi,Maalkin,Parichay, Paheli jhalak,Pehli taarikh,Taxi driver,Munimji,Fifty fifty and many such films.
There was a raw freshness in his voice in those days.
Kishore and Rafi are AMAR.


Raja ji,

Thanks for posting this song, one of most favorite from the radio listening days.

I would like to add some information, based on some checking that I have done. Nitin-Mangesh is a duo of music directors, Nitin and Mangesh. The internet and other sources are just so bereft of any information relating to these two. On the net I could locate one web site This web site has been put up by the Mangesh part of the duo. But even here, other than filmography and some photographs, no other biographical information is available, not even the complete names. In the copyright statement I see the name as Mangesh Gajjar, but there is no other confirmation whether this is the correct complete name.

Coming to the singer, the voice listed in here as Nitin Mukesh, is not Nitin Mukesh. It is the Nitin, the first partner of the duo. As I checked the video against the photographs of Nitin, it seems that he (Nitin) himself is also appearing in a brief cameo in this song, as he sings the lines “yallaa yallaa” and more. Please check out the photos of Nitin on the website above. I think it is Nitin himself who is singing these lines from 1:12 to 1:31 in the video clip above.



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