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

Aaj bas mein nahin dil mera

Posted on: August 24, 2021

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

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4785 Post No. : 16541 Movie Count :


The history of Hindi film songs indicates that, by and large, singers who have been formally trained (gandabandha disciples) as Hindustani classical/semi-classical vocalists had the marginal presence in the Hindi films as playback singers. They mainly concentrated on their career as public or private concert singers. Some of them like Mukhtar Begam, Begam Akhtar, Indubala, Angoorbala, Kamala Jharia etc who were actor-singer during the early phase of the sound films, later concentrated on their career as vocalists in Hindustani classical and semi-classical genres.

In the Bombay (Mumbai) film industry, after the system of playback singing was firmly established, some of the singers who had been trained as Hindustani classical vocalists, had a tryst as playback singers/actor-singers. They included Roshanara Begam, Sureshbabu Mane, Mallika Pukhraj, Wahidanbai, Khan Saraswati Rane, Menakabai (Shirodkar), Manik Dadarkar (Varma), Nirmala Devi, Nalini Mulgaonkar etc in the late 1930s to 1940s. While Wahidanbai died in harness in 1942, rest of them almost gave up the career of singing in Hindi films during the subsequent years and concentrated on their career as vocalists in Hindustani classical music.

Well-established Hindustani classical vocalists like Pandit D V Paluskar, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Hirabai Barodekar, Pandit Krishnarao Chonkar, Kishori Amonkar etc very sparingly did playback singing in Hindi films and that too for the raag-based compositions. The main reason seems to be that they were more concerned about retaining their identity as Hindustani classical vocalists than being branded as playback singers in films. The other reasons could be that in playback singing, singers are required to sing ‘made to order’ songs set to tune by the music directors while in concert the singers have lots of freedom in show-casing their creativities.

Kolkata-born Roshanara Begam (1917 – 05/12/1982) was one of the formally trained Hindustani classical vocalists who got associated with Hindi films as actor-singer in early 1930s without being her intention to do so. In Kolkata, she was trained in Hindustani classical music by Ustad Laddan Khan among others. But after listening to the renditions of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the doyen of Kirana Gharana, she was keen to become his disciple. With this intention, Roshanara Begum shifted to Mumbai in early 1930s.

It took some time for her to be accepted as his disciple by Ustad Abdul Karim Khan as he was based in Miraj and used to travel on his concert tours. In the meanwhile, the makers of ‘Watan Parast’ (1934) were looking for good singers to act as hero and heroine in the film. After listening to her renditions, Roshanara Begum got the role of a heroine in the film along with Professor Ramanand Sharma as a hero who was also a good singer. Incidentally, she was given a new name, Roshanara which was derived from her name, Roshan Jahan, the name given to her by a Fakir. However, her real name was Wahidunnisa.

‘Noor-E-Islam’ (1934) was her next film in which she again paired with Professor Ramanand Sharma as singer-actor. Although a few internet sites indicate that Roshanara Begum worked in about dozen films as singer-actor, in her TV interview, she revealed that she worked in only 3-4 Hindi films. This may be true as sometime in 1935, she was formally inducted as a disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and he had put a condition that during her training period, she should not work in films. She was trained under him for less than 2 years as Ustad Abdul Karim Khan passed away on 17th October 1937.

Roshanara Begam continued her training in Hindustani classical music with Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, the brother-in-law of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. By 1940, Roshanara Begam has become an established vocalist in Hindustani classical music and was getting invitations from all over India. During one of such concerts in Mumbai, a police officer from West Punjab who was on a transfer to Mumbai heard her singing and he fell in love with her. She married the police officer on the condition that after the marriage, she would continue her career as a vocalist.

After the partition, Roshanara Begam shifted to her husband’s place in Lalmusa in West Punjab in 1948. For about one year, she did not sing either in concert or on Radio as her in-laws were against her singing. However, after a lot of persuasion from a senior official of Radio Pakistan, she was allowed to sing on the radio. Later she also started participating in Lahore Musical Conferences and also on Television. Like in India, Roshanara Begam occasionally sang in a few films in Pakistan as a playback singer.

Roshanara Begam sang in almost all genres of Hindustani classical and semi-classical music – Khayaal, Tarana, Bandish, Thumri, Ghazal, Bhajan but her preferred genre was Khayaal. Two factors inhibited her career growth in Pakistan, First, the Hindustani classical music was losing ground in Pakistan and the semi-classical genres such as thumri and ghazal were in demand. Secondly, she was staying in a small town which was far off from the Lahore, the main cultural centre of Pakistan. Roshanara Begam kept the flag of Kirana Gharan afloat along with her ‘Guru Behan’ Hirabai Barodekar and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

Roshanara Begam passed away on December 6, 1982 at the age of 65 leaving behind her two adopted children, her pet dogs and cats.

In the midst of her busy schedule as a concert singer, Roshanara Begam occasionally sang in a few Hindi films as a playback singer such as ‘Pehli Nazar’ (1945), ‘Neelam’ (1945), ‘Hamjoli’ (1946), ‘Jugnu’ (1947) etc.

I was not aware that Roshanara Begam had sang a couple of songs in an obscure film, ‘Neelam’ (1945) until I came across videos of two songs uploaded by Girdharilal Vishwakarma on a video sharing platform about 3 years back. The film was made under the banner of A H Productions and was directed by Ahmed Essa. The star cast included Harish, Meena, Yashodara Katju, Jagdish Sethi, Kalyani Bai, Mehdi Raza, Satya Rani, Kanhaiyalal etc.

There were 9 songs in the film all written by C M Hunar which were set to music by Khan Mastana. I am presenting the first song, ‘aaj bas mein nahin dil mera’ a solo sung by Roshanara Begam from ‘Neelam’ (1945) to appear on the Blog. The song is written by C M Hunar which is set to music by Khan Mastana.

The song is a reflection of a girl who has just fell in love with someone for the first time. There is excitement as well as fear in the new relationship, reasons for which are unknown to her.

With this song, ‘Neelam’ (1945) makes its debut on the Blog.

Audio Clip:

Song-Aaj bas mein nahin dil mera (Neelam)(1945) Singer-Roshanara Begam, Lyrics-C M Hunar, MD-Khan Mastana


hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm
aaj bas mein nahin dil mera..aa aa
na jaane kyun

aaya thhaa raate sapna suhaana
sapna suhaana..aa
ek bulbul ka gul ko sataana
ek bulbul ko gul ko sataana
gul ka shabnam mein munh ko chhipaana
gul ka shabnam mein munh ko chhipaana
chhipaana….aa aa
na jaane kyun
chutkiyaan leta hai
hmm hmm hmm hmm
chutkiyaan leta hai dil mera..aa
naa jaane kyun
aaj bas mein nahin dil mera
na jaane kyun

aur kehta hai dil mera
chupke chupke he he he
aur kehta hai dil mera
chupke chupke
nahin achchaa hai sapna bataana
nahin achchaa hai sapna bataana
bataana..aa aa
na jaane kyun
rokta hai mujhe
hmm hmm hmm hmm
rokta hai mujhe dil mera..aa
na jaane kyun
aaj bas mein nahin dil mera…aa
na jaane kyun

2 Responses to "Aaj bas mein nahin dil mera"

Wow a detailed post! Thanks a lot Kamath ji, I was not aware Roshan Ara sang for movies too.

Warm Regards



Umesh ji,
Thnaks for your appreciation.



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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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