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

Palkon pe chalte chalte

Posted on: February 11, 2023

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 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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Amol Palekar has mostly been identified with some of his ‘boy-next-door’ type of roles in Hindi films like ‘Rajnigandha’ (1974), ’Chhoti Si Baat’ (1976) ‘Chitchor’ (1976) ‘Gharonda’ (1977) ‘Golmaal’ (1979), Baaton Baaton Mein’ (1979) etc. In some of his interviews, he always claimed that he became the actor by accident, the producer by compulsion, the director by choice and artist (painter) by nature. Before debuting as an actor in Hindi films, Amol Palekar was deeply involved with experimental Marathi and Hindi theatres, both as an actor and a director. Even after his popularity as an actor had soared, he continued to get involved in the experimental theatres.

With the trait of experimentation in his DNA, Amol Palekar debuted in the film direction with his Marathi film, ‘Akriet’ (1981 – English title: Unimaginable). This was the first Marathi film to win a Special Jury Award at Nantes Film Festival in France. He debuted in Hindi film as a director in ‘Ankahee’ (1985, English title: Unspoken), followed by ‘Thhoda Sa Roomaani Ho Jaaye’ (1990). He has so far directed about 15 films in Hindi, Marathi, and English. All the films which he has directed so far are away from mainstream commercial films. Almost all his films have one common theme, women emancipation.

‘Daayra’ (1996, English title: The Square Circle) was Amol Palekar’s third film as a director which explored the wider gamut of companionship beyond man-woman relationship. The film’s story was written by Novelist, Timeri Murari who also wrote screenplay and co-produced the film with Parvesh Sippy. The story is mainly focused around a relationship between a transvestite man who moves in the public wearing women’s dress and a kidnapped girl who after escaping from the kidnappers, wears man’s dress to feel safe in the public.

Amol Palekar wanted an actor to look like a macho man and not an effeminate for the role of transvestite. The main roles were first offered to Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre who after some hesitation, declined to work in the film. Finally, a friend from the theatre suggested Nirmal Pandey’s name who readily agreed to do the role. Sonali Kulkarni who was still in the college at that time was selected for the girl’s role. The film was extensively shot outdoor in the tribal belt of Odisha.

The film faced problems with the Indian Censor Board which gave it ‘A certificate with some cuts in the scenes and dialogues. Amol Palekar had no problem with ‘A’ Certificate but refused to cut any scenes or dialogues from the film. So, the film did not get Censor Certificate and hence did not get released in India in the theatres or through DVD format. The film was, however, premiered at Toronto Film Festival on September 12, 1996 and subsequently screened at London Film Festival on June 13, 1997 and in France on July 9, 1997. About two years later, the film was released in the theatres in the UK, France, United States, Canada, Australia without songs. The film ran for 8 weeks at the West End theatre, London. The film’s DVD was released in the UK and elsewhere (except India) in February 2015.

‘Daayra’ (1996) received the Special Jury Award at the 44th National Film Awards (1996) for sensitive handling of a challenging theme concerning the neglected and marginalized section of the society. At the Festival de Valenciennes in France, the Grand Prix Jury jointly awarded the Best actor and actress Award to Sonali Kulkarni and Nirmal Pandey, respectively. ‘Time’ magazine called ‘The Square Circle’ (Daayra) one of the best 10 films of 1997.

It is very unfortunate that ‘Daayra’ (1996) which has been critically acclaimed both in India and abroad, did not get released in India.

The film’s synopsis which I have culled out from a website on Timeri Murari, the story and screenplay writer and the co-producer of the film, is reproduced below (with my additions in parenthesis):

An innocent village girl (Sonali Kulkarni), on the eve of her marriage, finds her whole secure life shattered by an unexpected event (she is kidnapped to be sold in brothel). She finds herself far from home, facing an alien, predatory world, with no experience of dealing with it. Only through good fortune, after a brutalising experience, a reluctant stranger (Nirmal Pandey) befriends her. He is a Transvestite, a wise, witty character on a journey of his own. He’s an entertainer (as a female folk singer and a dancer), earning a living from his performances in villages and on the roadside. She forces him to help her get home. In order to ensure she makes the journey safely and without further harm befalling her, he disguises her as a Man.

They start together on the road. The girl now acting the man, the man now a woman, on a journey, which neither knows where, or how it will end. Like a ‘La Starda’ (the Italian film released in 1954), this is the dramatic story of two people travelling along an endless road, all alone, beyond the boundary of ordinary society, outcasts, slowly coming to terms with each other and the world around them. He teaches her his craft and together they entertain the passing parade of people they come across. The film is also filled with the humour of their many experiences.

At the same time, for the girl, this is a journey of discovering the freedom of being a man in a male chauvinistic Indian society. Her suppressed spirit soars. She no longer has to behave as the servile, traditional woman. But they can’t deny their destinies of being a woman and a man who have gradually fallen in love with each other. So, towards the end of their journey, they revert to their sexual identities to fulfil this love. But a journey once begun can never end. Nor can the traveller return to be the person she/he once was. Her past won’t accept her (in the village) and her future is now irrevocably intertwined with her lover, the transvestite, come what may.

‘Daayra’ (1996) has 6 songs (including one multiple version song), all written by Gulzar and set to music by Anand-Milind. I am not a great admirer of Anand-Milind’s musical compositions. But in this film, his musical composition is outstanding. All the 5 songs are melodious with least ‘noises’ from the orchestrations. Gulzar’s lyrics are unusual. Unfortunately, with film remaining unreleased in India, all the songs have remained unknown to most of the people in India until 2015 when SAREGAMA released the songs in mp3 clips.

I am presenting the first song from the film, ‘palkon pe chalte chalte jab unghne lagti hain’ – a lullaby sung by Yesudas. There is also Asha Bhosle version of the song. In the absence any child actor in the film, I guess the lori is for each other – Sonali Kulkarni and Nirmal Pandey. I guess, both the versions of the lori may have been partly picturised in keeping with the trend in off-beat films.

It is a beautiful lori with unusual lyrics penned by Gulzar. The musical prelude and interludes are equally pleasing to the ears.

Audio Clip (Yesudas version):

Audio Clip: (Asha Bhosle version):

Song-Palkon pe chalte chalte (Daayra)(1996) Singer-Yesudas/ Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Gulzar, MD-Anand Milind


palkon pe chalte chalte jab oonghne lagti hain
so jaa aankhen soti hain to udne lagti hain
palkon pe chalte chalte jab oonghne lagti hain
so jaa aankhen soti hain to udne lagti hain
saundhe se aakaash pe neele bajre behten hain
paakhi jaisi aankhen sapne chugne lagti hain
palkon pe chalte chalte jab oonghne lagti hain
so jaa aankhen soti hain to udne lagti hain
saundhe se aakaash pe neele bajre behten hain
paakhi jaisi aankhen sapne chugne lagti hain

pighli huyi hai geeli chaandni
kachhi raat kaa sapna aaye
hmm hmm hmm hmm
thhodi si jaagi
thhodi si soyi
neend mein koi apna aaye
hmm hmm hmm hmm
neend mein halki khushbooyen si ghulne lagti hain
so jaa aankhen soti hain to udne lagti hain
saundhe se aakash pe neele bajre behten hain
paakhi jaisi aankhen sapne chugne lagti hain

aankhon se kehna
lori mein behna
raaton ka koi chhor nahin
hmm hmm hmm hmm
tere to aur bhi honge sapne
mera to koi aur nahin
hmm hmm hmm hmm
bolti aankhen neend mein sapne sun’ne lagti hain
so jaa aankhen soti hain to udne lagti hain
saundhe se aakaash pe neele bajre behten hain
paakhi jaisi aankhen sapne chugne lagti hain
palkon pe chalte chalte jab oonghne lagti hain
so jaa aankhen soti hain to udne lagti hain
saundhe se aakaash pe neele bajre behten hain
paakhi jaisi aankhen sapne chugne lagti hain


5 Responses to "Palkon pe chalte chalte"

As usual Kamath`ji you are picking up my favourite songs & introducing my favourite films,

Thanks for introducing this film and its songs,(the other compostions of this film are also very good…)
I like this Anand Milind/Gulzar/Asha Bhosle combination, very very much,

Vividh Bharti used to broadcast this song once in a 4 months , that too 5 years back……..Thanks again………….


Prakashchandra ji,
I am glad you liked the song.


What a lovely song. And it does not have the typical Anand- Milind feel to it
Thank you Sadanandji for introducing an unheard song. I had heard of this movie, but had no idea about any other thing other than Amol Palekar


Nice post Sir ji. I had read it on the same day, but had not listened to the song in this post and do not remember to have listened to it earlier. Now I am listening it. Great song !!!
Amol Palekar has a special place in our hearts and he will be their forever.
It is nice to watch him on the screen (or rather a TV screen) after so many years in the new series FARZI. I like him very much in the first season of FARZI.


Avinash ji,
Thank you for going through the article. I am glad that you liked the song.

I was surprised to know from the interview of the cast of ‘Farzi’ that Amol Palekar was also acting in this Web Series. I think he gave up acting in about mid 90s to concentrate on film direction, theatre and painting.


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