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

Kaahe ko byaahi bades

Posted on: August 7, 2018

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.

Blog Day : 3672 Post No. : 14552

Today’s song is from film Jailor-1938, made by Minerva Movietone and directed by Sohrab Modi.

Thousands and thousands of actors, directors and musicians worked in this film industry, since films started. Not all of them are known or remembered by people. 95 % of these people are not remembered today. Most names had no faces. They were in the films without any specific personal identity. 5% names are known to many, but it is the special few names which became permanently etched in the minds of people.

You can ask 10 persons to list out 10 names of film personalities, who gave their major contribution or were famous so much that they can not be forgotten. On checking this list of 100 people, you will find certain names repeated in almost every list. Names like Saigal, Dilip kumar, Dev Anand, Rajkapoor, Ashok kumar and Sohrab Modi are certain to be in all the lists. Their contribution to Hindi cinema is unmatched.

Sohrab Modi is remembered fondly by the film buffs for his towering personality, solid voice and his forceful dialogue delivery. Actually, Modi was much more than that. He was the first and the only film maker who took up Historical subjects to make films that left a long lasting impression on the film goers. He loved to do the roles of Historical persons ( actual or mythical) and deliver long dialogues in his resonant voice, clear diction and superb voice modulation.

Sohrab Modi developed these qualities from his stage acting days. In his growing up age at Rampur, he had spent hours in the library of the local Nawab, where his father worked as a Superintendent. This gave him a command on Urdu language. Added to this was his brother Rustom’s drama company ” The Arya Subodh Natak Mandali” in which he acted. In 1935, the brothers set up the ” Stage Films ” to film the two dramas, namely Hamlet aka Khoon ka khoon and Sayeed E Hawas, based on Shakespeare’s play King John, as movies. However, these movies did not do too well, as the audience had seen them on stage several times.

Modi’s Minerva Movietone was established in 1936 by Sohrab Modi and his brother Rustom. It emerged from Stage Films, set up in 1935 to film the stage repertoire of Rustom’s group, Arya Subodh Natak Mandali. Renowned for big-budget historicals, the studio benefited from the Modi family’s existing distribution interests in Gwalior, expanded by the third brother, Keki Modi, into Western India Theatres, owning a chain of 27 theatres in 10 cities. Set up the first Technicolor laboratory (1952) with Film Group and made Jhansi Ki Rani (1953). From 1936 to 1960 Minerva made 28 films. A very impressive score indeed. Modi directed 20 of them. In all Modi acted in 32 films and directed 27 films.

In 1937, Modi made a film ‘Atma Tarang”…..which was a disaster at the box office with just 20 persons in the audience. He was devastated and decided to quit making films. After the show, 4 persons from the audience came to him and congratulated him for making this nice film. They wished him all the best for his future films and left. Later Modi came to know that they were Bombay High court judges. This incident infused him with new hopes and enthusiasm. This changed his life. Initially he focused on making films on social evils like Drinking (Meetha Zehar-38), Husband-wife separation ( Divorce-38) and Incest ( Bharosa-40 ).

However, making film Pukar-39 changed his outlook and set his goals for the future’ for Historical films. Pukar-39 was actually shot in real courts and Mughal Palaces to give it authenticity. For his next film Sikander-41, he brought in Prithwiraj Kapoor for the role of Sikander and he himself took the role of Porus. The film employed high values of Costumes and Props of that era. The entire film was , however, shot with only one camera. His third film was Prithvi Vallabh-43, which was an adaptation of K.M.Munshi’s novel. In this film Modi enacted a dangerous stunt scene of being trampled to death by an Elephant.

His last Historical film was “Jhansi ki Rani”-53. he had hired the best Hollywood technicians. it was shot directly on 35 mm film, and was in technicolor. Modi had borrowed real weapons from Defence ministry, for the shootings. His next film ‘ Mirza Ghalib-54’ won President’s Gold medal ( now called the National Awards), to become the First Hindi film to win it. However this and his next film ‘ Nausherwan E Adil’-57 could not save Minerva’s from running into loss. It made only 2 more films- Jailor-58 and Mera Ghar mere bachhe-60, before closing down production.

Sohrab Modi was probably the only film maker in Hindi films, who handled many genres like Historical, religious, musical, Costume, Social, Action, Reformative, War, psycho Analytical etc etc.

Sohrab Modi was born in Parsi family on 2nd November, 1897. His parents were Parsi civil Servants. For few years he stayed among Parsi community in Bombay. Sohrab Modi childhood was spent with lot of activities. As he grew up, he displayed more interest in exercise and sports. He was seriously sick several times during his childhood and he had to be hospitalized a few times as well. All that led to his tall but thin physique. Later on he was very active. In school he was an average student, he never got hooked to History subject. Many times teacher complained to his his parents for lagging behind in history subject. His parents left no stones unturned to make him study but it all those efforts went in vain.

But Sohrab was good in sports and from childhood he was interested in exercise which helped him to develop his personality in stage acting. Later he shifted with his family to Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. At the age of 14 -15 his mind absorbed many interesting things in acting as he watched silent movies. Soon his mind got diverted toward stage acting.

Sohrab Modi only acted as an extra or side role which was not very helpful to him in furthering his career. But Sohrab was bidding for his time looking for the opportunity where he could act as a leading actor. Very soon he got an opportunity and made his breakthrough. Soon He earned the reputation as Shakespearean actor. Sohrab Modi’s elder brother Rustom helped him in stage acting and people appreciated Sohrab Modi’s acting.

As Sohrab grew up, his personality kept developing. His personality suited the role of king. His portrayal of King in his two plays ‘Khoon Ka Khoon’ and ‘Saed-E-havas’ were additional feathers in his acting cap.

Sheesh Mahal was one of the better movies by Sohrab Modi. It was observed that even blind people were sitting on booked seats. But they put there head down and heard the voice and dialogues of Sohrab Modi. It was for first time in history of cinema that Blind people had tears in there eyes while hearing the dialogues of Sohrab Modi. When one Blind man wasa asked how he enjoyed movie without watching the set up, the Blind man replied that he watched the movie from his heart and heard the dialogues which enabled him to visualise what was going on and so he was able to understand the movie. Ticket Money of these audience were refunded.

In 1976 Sohrab had complained about weakness and headache which were cured by common home remedies and he kept acting in the roles of father and grandfather. Sohrab Modi health kept deteriorating and he had to be hospitalised in 1979 but the true cause of his sickness could not be diagnosed. Sohrab Modi himself never believed that he was sick and he never allowed any Doctor to do any proper diagnosis of his ill health. His common dialogues to doctors were ‘Sher kabi bimar nahi padta Aur agar main bimar Hu to mai jald theek ho jaunga’. His heavy voice was enough to reassure Doctors that all was well and he was discharged within two days.

Soon after completing Razia Sultan, he had started new movie ‘Guru Dakshina’. But unfortunately this film was never completed. In 1981 or 1982 he was again hospitaled. Whole Kapoor Family visited the hospital to convince him to get all checking done. Doctors were 90% sure that Sohrab had cancer since the symptoms of Sohrab indicated that. Sohrab Modi was soon found to have cancer and immediately medications were bought from other countries. His condition led to his frequently hospitalisation. His kept losing weigh. He tried to involved himself to complete his ‘Guru Dakshina’ but his health did not allow him to do that.

On 2nd November 1984, at the age of 86, Sohrab Modi took breathed his last.

Today’s song is “Kaahe Ko Byaahi Bides”. This is a famous song by Amir Khusro. This has been used in several films like, Jhankaar-42, Heer Ranjha-48,Nadir Shah-68,Suhag Raat-48, Maang bharo sajna-80 and Umrao Jaan-2009, in addition to today’s song from film Jailor-38. It is also sung as a NFS by many famous singers. Mostly in films, the original song is mixed with some new lyrics and the credit is given to film’s lyricist. In film Jailor-38 too, the lyricist’s name is given as Kamal Amrohi.

Amir Khusrow ( 1253 to 1325 ) was a Sufi mystic and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya. He lived for 72 years, out of which 60 years he lived in the courts of as many as ten different rulers of the Delhi Sultanate. He was a poet as well as prolific musician. His primary language to write poems was Persian but he composed almost half a million verses in Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Braj Bhasha, Hindavi as well as the Khadi Boli. His Khaliq-e-bari, which is known as oldest printed dictionary of the world deals with Hindi and Persian words. He is regarded as the “father of qawwali”. He is also credited with enriching Indian classical music by introducing Persian and Arabic elements in it, and was the originator of the khayal and tarana styles of music. Khayal later reached to its zenith during the times of Mohammad Shah Rangile and today is integral part of Hindustani classical music. His association with various sultans enabled him to travel and stay in various parts of India and this gave him exposure to various local traditions. This helped him to assimilate diverse musical influences. He was patronized by three Khilji rulers successively.

The singer is Eruch Tarapore. He was a distant relative of Sohrab Modi and he worked only in Modi’s films. he worked in 16 films, right from Modi’s first film Hamlet-35 up to 1948. Eruch sang one song each in 3 films, Meetha zehar-38, Jailor-38 and Phir milenge-43. He died in 1948.
( credits- Cinestaan, Flash back-Isaq Mujawar, Hindi filmon ke geetkar,,MuVyz, HFGK and my notes.)

Song-Kaahe ko byaahi bades(Jailor)(1938) Singers- Eruch Tarapore, Lyrics-Kamal Amrohi, MD-Meer Sahab


kaahe ko byaahi bades
arey sun baabal mora
kaahe ko byaahi bades
arey sun

ham to baabul torey jhaad ki chidiya
ham to baabul torey jhaad ki chidiya
meh barsat udd jaayen re
meh barsat udd jaayen re
baabal mora
kaahe ko byaahi bades

[Ed Note: ‘meh’ = megh, baadal]

3 Responses to "Kaahe ko byaahi bades"

“Today’s song is “Kaahe Ko Byaahi Bides”. This is a famous song by Amir Khusro. This has been used in several films like, Jhankaar-42, Heer Ranjha-48,Nadir Shah-68,Suhag Raat-48, Maang bharo sajna-80 and Umrao Jaan-2009, in addition to today’s song from film Jailor-38. It is also sung as a NFS by many famous singers. Mostly in films, the original song is mixed with some new lyrics and the credit is given to film’s lyricist. In film Jailor-38 too, the lyricist’s name is given as Kamal Amrohi.”
There is a typo in the post. This song has been used in the 1981 Umrao Jaan and not in the 2006 Umrao Jaan which had Aishwarya Rai playing Umrao


Peevesie’s Mom,

Thanks for pointing out the Typo.
Funny thing is you also made a Typo error by claiming that I said it was 2006. Actually I had said 2009 !
What a coincidence !



isko kehte hain “TYPO PE TYPO”
JFI, The second version of Umrao Jaan came in 2006. That is also 17years old


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