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

Piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re

Posted on: August 5, 2018

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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.

Blog Day : 3670 Post No. : 14547

Is Raj Kapoor singing a song for himself?

That was my reaction (to myself) when I heard for the first time, the song ae duniya ke rahne waalon bolo kahaan gaya chitchor from ‘Dil Ki Raani’ (1947) on the Blog. I could not believe that it was Raj Kapoor’s voice. This happened just a few days after I joined the Blog in July 2011. At that time, I felt that this could be a case of giving credit to the actor on the gramophone record label on whom the song was picturised instead of accrediting the real playback singer who could be someone else. At that time, I was not even aware of Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ saab’s publications, Hindi Films Geet Kosh (HFGK).

During early 1970s, I used to spend almost every week-end with my friends who were the admirers of the old Hindi film songs. I do not recall any conversation about Raj Kapoor (or for that matter, Dilip Kumar, Nalini Jaywant and Meena Kumari) singing the songs in the films for themselves. Of course, Ashok Kumar’s singing was well known because of the popularity of his songs from films like ‘Achhut Kanya’ (1936), ‘Jhoola’ (1941) etc.

Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. The publication of HFGK in the 80s and the advent of Internet have disseminated a lot more information relating to Hindi films and songs which were hitherto not known to most of us. Also, there are now film information sharing platforms like Recorded Music Indian Music (RMIM), Society of Indian Record Collectors (SIRC) and many other informal Groups. Also, we have our own Blog to revalidate the information on the Hindi film songs.

Coming back to Raj Kapoor as a singer, I have heard his voice in two other songs also – one each from ‘Jail Yatra’ (1947) and ‘Gopinath’ (1948). In my view, Raj Kapoor had a good singing voice worthy of becoming an actor-singer. His renditions were very close to that of the professional playback singers. As a testimony of Raj Kapoor as a good singer, watch this video as to how he has rendered the song ‘ae bhai jara dekh ke chalo’ from ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970) in a stage show presented by Raj Kapoor for the Indian Navy a few days before the release of his film in December 1970. In this show, while a few other songs from the films were rendered by Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh, Raj Kapoor had to sing this song as Manna Dey could not attend the stage show.

It is a well-known fact that Raj Kapoor was a musically inclined producer-director. He personally supervised all aspects of song compositions especially in the films which he produced and directed under R K Banner. Lata Mangeshkar in her chat with Indian Express has recently said:

Raj saab was a complete musician. He played the tabla, the harmonium and the piano. He composed songs and sang them in his own voice before handing them over to professional playback singers. He could have easily scored the music in his films. But he chose not to take credit for the music in his films.(Indian Express, March 20, 2018).

An old article written by Journalist Lata Khubchandani, which was reproduced in ‘Cineplot’, also confirm the musical inclination of Raj Kapoor. Later, she also wrote and published a book – ‘Raj Kapoor – The Great Showman (2005). In the words of Raj Kapoor, quoted by Lata Khubchandani:

From the earliest days, I have been interested in music. In fact, my first ambition was to be a music director. I even sang in my earlier films like Chitchor (probably, meant ‘Dil Ki Rani’), Chitor Vijay, Jail Yatra and Gopinath. When words fail, it is music that conveys much more than all words put together.

I wonder as to why Raj Kapoor did not become an actor-singer and left his ambition of becoming the music director in the back burner which he could have done easily for the films he was the producer-director-actor. I have also no idea as to when Raj Kapoor got interested in music. Probably his biographies should throw some lights in these matters. Since I do not have his biographies in my collections and they are not available online, I have relied on ‘circumstantial evidences’ to draw some conclusions.

When Prithviraj Kapoor was associated with the New Theatres, Calcutta (Kolkata) during 1933-39, the young Raj Kapoor was with him. He may have been influenced by the singing of K L Saigal. The autobiography of Kidar Sharma mentions that K L Saigal was a regular visitor to Prithviraj Kapoor’s house for musical soirees. Probably, the young Raj Kapoor may have also exposed to R C Boral who was composing songs for the films of New Theatres in which Prithviraj Kapoor acted. These environments may have attracted him towards the music.

Sometime in 1946, Raj Kapoor was put under the tutelage of Pandit Jagannath Prasad (a cousin of music director Khemchand Prakash). Mukesh was also learning the classical music from him. One day, when Mukesh was practising a particular raag , Raj Kapoor loved his voice and felt that his own voice paled in comparison with Mukesh’s voice. At that time, Mukesh had said to Raj Kapoor that he can take his voice. (Ref: The Hindu, June 16, 2003). How true it was to become in the later days. Although Mukesh sang 4 songs in Raj Kapoor’s first film in a lead role, ‘Neel Kamal’ (1947), none of these songs were picturised on Raj Kapoor. It was in ‘Aag’ (1948) that Mukesh became the voice of Raj Kapoor for the first time.

Just before his marriage in May 1946, Raj Kapoor was appointed as an Assistant in Prithvi Theatres and was associated with the production of one of its popular plays ‘Deewar’ (1946). In the review of the play, which appeared in May 1946 issue of ‘Filmindia’, the reviewer praised Raj Kapoor’s acting as a family servant in the drama and devoted one full paragraph on it. In addition to acting, he was the Art Director and assisted in light and sound arrangements and also to Ram Ganguli, the music director. Perhaps, all round experience gained from the play, ‘Deewar’ seemed to have encouraged him to produce, direct and act in the first film ‘Aag’ (1948) under his own banner. With this, Raj Kapoor appears to have decided to concentrate as director-actor and fulfil his ambition of becoming music director with a ‘back seat driving’.

As far as I know, Raj Kapoor sang 4 songs as an actor-singer out of which only one song as mentioned above has been covered in the Blog. The remaining 3 songs are as under :

SN Song Co Singer Movie
1. Piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re Solo Jail Yatra (1947).
2. Lehraaye mori laal chunariya with Nalini Mulgaonkar Jail Yatra (1947)
3. Jab se Dekha hai tumhen Solo Gopinath (1948)

In Lata Khubchandani’s article referred to above, the name of ‘Chittor Vijay’ (1947) has propped up in which Raj Kapoor has reportedly sung a song. However, none of the songs of the film is available on line as far as I know.

I am presenting today, one of the rarest songs ‘piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re’ from ‘Jail Yatra’ (1947) sung by Raj Kapoor. The song was not available on YT until about 4 months back. The video was uploaded from the mp3 clip provided by Saregama. Since it was wrongly captioned, I have uploaded a new video of the song made by me by downloading mp3 clip from the Saregama website (with a small price). The song was written by Rammurty Chaturvedi and wa sset to music by Ninu Mazumdar.

Enjoy the song in the voice of Raj Kapoor which is probably based on one of the folk songs from Gujarat.

Song-Piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re(Jail Yatra)(1947) Singer-Raj Kapoor, Lyrics-Rammurty Chaturvedi, MD-Ninu Majumdar


piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re…ae
piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re
piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re

kaale baadal ghumad ghir aaye re..e
kale baadal
kaale baadal ghumad ghir aaye re
naache mor man mor ghabraaye
naache mor man mor ghabraaye
choom kaliyon ko
choom kaliyon ko bhanwra geet gaaye re
na aaj saha jaaye re
choom kaliyon ko
choom kaliyon ko bhanwra geet gaaye re
na aaj saha jaaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re

lata pedon se lipat laharaaye re
lata pedon se lipat laharaaye re
dekh-dekh ke umang lalchaaye re..e
dekh-dekh ke umang lalchaaye re..e
lata pedon se
lata pedon se lipat lahraaye re
mujhe chaaron oar soona dikhlaaye re
mujhe chaaron oar soona dikhlaaye re
kisi ki yaad aaye re
mujhe chaaron oar soona dikhlaaye re
kisi ki yaad aaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re


6 Responses to "Piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re"

Sadanand ji,

Thanks for an interesting article.
Nalin Shah has written a very good article on Raj kapoor’s music talents.
I am sending this article to you by a mail.
However, I am giving here a portion of that article, which pertains to what you have said about his songs.
I think this list as given below is complete.
” If Raj Kapoor had not been a filmmaker he would have been an
excellent composer and a good singer as well. He proved his ability as
a singer early in his career, when he sang ‘Hum babu naye nirale
hain'(Music: Ram Ganguli/N 2666 1) in Prithvi Theaters’ stage-play ‘
‘Deevar ‘. He displayed an admirable sense of Theatres’ stage-play
‘Deevar’. He displayed an admirable sense of rhythm and melody in the
song. With a little more effort he could have been a successful singer.
He also sang in’Chitod Vijay’ (1947/S D Burman)’Jail Yatra’ (1947, Ninu
Majumdar),’Dil Ki Rani'(1947/S D Burman),Neel Kamal'(1947/B Vasudeo)
and ‘Gopinath'(1 948/Ninu Maiumdar/record not released).Eventually Raj
preferred the sonorous voice of Mukesh from ‘Aag'(‘Zinda hoon is tarah
ki ghame’/ 1948) to’Mera Naam Joker’ (‘Jane kahan gaye woh din’/1970).”



Arun ji,

Thanks for the inputs.

I had read this few months back and I had book marked it
Regarding Prithvi Theatre’s play ‘Deewaar’ (1946), in ‘Filmindia’ review I referred to in my article, while it mentioned the various facades of RK’s acting in the play, there was no mention about the RK singing the song. That does not mean that he had not sung the song in the play. In those days, actors had to sing the songs live on the stage.

About Mukesh becoming his voice in the films from ‘Aag’ (1948) onward, I have a gut feeling that RK was so much impressed with Mukesh voice in the rendering of a raag that RK may have developed an inferiority complex as a singer.
. ,


Sadanand ji,

I think everything that ought to be said about his singing has been written.

This I suppose is an important post on his singing career.

Many Thanks.


Thank you.


@Kamath Saheb – Many thanks for this informative and interesting article.
I had read the post in the morning itself (but on my mobile) but was waiting to listen this song (on laptop and with comfort 🙂 ). Enjoyed the song and Raj Kapoor’s singing.
I also watched the video of stage show where Raj Kapoor is singing ‘ae bhai jara dekh ke chalo’, enjoyed it too. It was a pleasure to see him singing and enjoying in full rhythm.
Thanks again,


I am glad that you liked both the songs sung by RK.


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