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

Aa kar hum pachhtaaye chalo chalen chalo chalen

Posted on: February 22, 2023

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 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.

Blog Day :

5332 Post No. : 17482

Today’s song is a duet from the film Chupke Chupke-1948.

The film, made by the Rajeshwari Films, was directed by two persons – Baij Sharma and K.C.Verma.

When I selected a song from this film for presentation, I was happily reminded of the film of the same name – Chupke Chupke made in 1975, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. That was one of the comedies I truly enjoyed. Both Amitabh and Dharmendra had a terrific sense of timing and comedy, which was at its best in this entertaining film. Besides this fact, seeing the names of today’s film directors- Baij Sharma and K.C.Verma, I was reminded of a pair of MDs who operated in the same time period of the late 40’s, namely Sharma ji and Verma ji (they were Khayyam and Rehman Verma, assistants of Music Director G.A.Chishti for films Yeh hai zindagi-47 and Jhoothi Kasmen-48, at Calcutta).

Director K.C. Verma was basically a Music Director and he gave music to films like Bolti Bulbul-42, Aawaz-42, Bhakta Prahlad-46, Soorat 47 and Bhole Piya-49. Chupke Chupke was the only film he ever directed. I wonder what bit him so hard as to try his hand at film direction ? Director Baij Sharma acted in 3 films- Shukriya-44, Ragini-45 and Namaste ji-1965. His first film as a director was Chupke Chupke-48. He also directed films like Amar kahani-49, Nirmohi-52 and Kanchan-55.

The cast of the film was Zareena, Shanti Kumar, Nirmala Devi, Vilayat Begum, Vishal and few others. Out of these names, I knew only Nirmala Devi, but somehow I thought I knew Zareena too. I spent one day restlessly trying very hard to recollect where I had read the name Zareena. Surely it could not be Zareena Wahab- the actress of films Chitchor -75 and Gharonda-77 etc. Then suddenly I remembered about this Zareena !

Zareena was the daughter of actor, singer and MD Rafiq Ghaznavi and actress Anwari Bai. Zareena wanted to act in films, so she accepted the film Chupke Chupke, which was started in early 1946, but due to various reasons,including financial, got delayed and finally completed and censore3d only in 1948. Meanwhile, Zareena got an offer from A.R.Kardar for a role. She changed her name to Nasreen and acted in Shahjehan-1946 as well as Daud Chand’s film Ek Roz-1947. During this period, her mother Anwari Bai was divorced by her father. Anwari then married Jugal Kishore Mehra (Raj Kapoor’s Mama), who converted to Islam and became Ahmed Salman. He later became the Chief Director of Pakistan Radio also.

He adopted Nasreen and got her married to Agha Liaqat Gul Tajik, a Diamond merchant from London (Diamond merchants were called ‘Agha’) and she left films to become a total housewife. Years later, Nasreen Agha’s daughter Salma Agha became a famous singing star in India and Pakistan. (information collated from various sources including an article by Anis Shakur, Lahore).

Though HFGK gives a list of songs and the record numbers, it is silent about the singers and lyricists of individual songs. I got the singers’ names from the song uploader on YouTube. The Music Director for this film was S.D.Batish who was the cousin of Pt. Amarnath, Bhagatram and Husnlal Batish. He sang 115 songs in 70 films and gave music to 20 films composing 154 songs from 1948 to 1960. He is one of the few Musicians who did a lot to promote Indian music in the UK and the USA.

I have a lot of respect for S D Batish, who did a marvelous job of promoting Indian Music in the UK and USA. He is one of those rare people who left the film world, but continued serving the Indian Music, by turning a corner in Life. Such people are few in this world. The monumental work he did for Indian Music in foreign lands is unparalleled. An important point is that he did not do this service to Music for his personal gains. For his sustenance,he had opened a Restaurant in Santa Cruz,California,which was providing him enough for a comfortable living in the USA.

Born December 14, 1914, in Patiala, India, Shiv Dayal Batish abandoned a career in the nascent telephone industry to study devotional song, folk drama, and Indian classical music under his guru Hakim Chandan Ram Charan. In 1934, he relocated to Bombay to try his hand at acting, but roles proved scarce and he returned to Patiala two years later, renewing his focus on music. By 1936 Batish was regularly appearing on All India Radio and recording his first sessions for His Master’s Voice. The film industry nevertheless retained its allure for him, and in 1939 he returned to Bombay, working for a spell under broadcasting legend Z.A. Bokhari. After earning his first film work as an assistant musical director in 1942, Batish later graduated to full-fledged Bollywood musical director, in the years to follow working with playback singer greats including Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mohammed Rafi.

Batish also moonlighted as a playback singer in 70 films, singing 115 songs, among them 1944’s Daasi and 1948’s Barsaat ki Raat, before relocating to Britain in 1964. After accepting a position with the BBC Immigration Unit, Batish became a regular in British radio and television, most notably composing “Nai Zindagi Naya Jivan,” the theme song to the Beeb’s classic South Asian series Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye (“Make Yourself at Home”). He also returned to his roots as a live musician, performing Indian folk and classical music on the vichitra veena, a long-necked fretless flute. In 1965 Batish was summoned by percussionist Keshav Sathe to record the Indian-inspired incidental music for the Beatles’ second feature film, Help! — the experience also proved the beginning of his lifelong friendship with Beatle George Harrison, who later hired Batish to teach his then-wife Patti Boyd the stringed dilruba.

In 1969 Batish assembled wife Shanta Devi, daughter Vijay Laxmi and sons Ashwin Kumar and Ravi Kumar to record North Indian Folk and Classical Music, which for decades remained the lone Indian release to appear on the seminal folk label Topic Records. A year later, the family emigrated to the U.S., settling in northern California and founding a restaurant, the Santa Cruz-based Krishna Café. Although the restaurant business remained Batish’s primary focus for the remainder of his life, he continued playing live and also cut the occasional LP, most notably 1980s Raga Todi, 1985’s Om Shanti Meditation on Dilruba and 1997’s The 72 Carnatic Melakhartas.

He founded “Batish Institute of Music and Fine arts” in California and wrote about 12 books on Indian Classical music,like Ragopaedia,Raga Channels,Rasik Raga lakshan Manjiri etc. He had also founded Batish Recording Co.

He died at age 91 on July 29, 2006.

From the memoirs of his son Ashwin……

Born in Patiala, Batish showed promise early. As the story goes, when he was as young as seven, he was regaling audiences and receiving praise from the likes of Hari Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir. Encouraged by the plaudits perhaps, he forayed into Bombay to forge an acting career. His attempt wasn’t quite successful, though, and he returned to Patiala to study music with Pandit Chandan Ram Charan.

His guru, quite taken by Batish’s sense of rhythm and memory, gave him the moniker Rasik, which Batish adopted as a pseudonym on some compositions crafted later in California. By 1936, he was an artiste with the All India Radio and recording for the label EMI as Master Ramesh – a name he acquired while singing covers of songs rendered by popular singers, especially KL Saigal.

As always, fortune seemed to smile on him. His singing on AIR drew the attention of an older cousin, Pandit Amarnath, who was an accomplished musician in the Punjabi film industry in Lahore. Amarnath gave Batish the opportunity to sing a song – Pagdi Sambhal Jatta – he had composed for the film Gawandi (1942). The song became a hit, making Batish popular. But, all told, the experience was bittersweet. Ashwin says his father did not relish acting in the movie: the frequent takes, the blinding light from mirrors used as reflectors unnerved him.

As Amarnath’s assistant, Batish learned various aspects of music direction: rehearsing with singers, synchronizing instruments and working with an orchestra. These learnings opened yet another opportunity for him. He was invited to Bombay by the Marathi writer and film impresario Keshav Prahlad Atre (Acharya Atre) to compose music for the film Paayaachi Daasi. But, in the end, credit was given to Annasaheb Mainkar.

After the Partition in 1947, the year Amarnath died, Batish moved back to Bombay, this time not to try his luck as an actor, but as a singer and composer. Several prominent music directors of the day employed him for their movies – Anil Biswas for Laadli, Husnlal-Bhagatram for Sawan Bhado, Hamari Manzil, and Surajmukhi; Ghulam Mohammad for Kundan; Roshan for Barsat ki Raat and Taksal; and Madan Mohan for Ada and Railway Platform. Some of his more notable songs were sung with Geeta Dutt in films he provided music himself, such as Betaab and Bahu Beti. He was associated with films in Hindi and gave music to 20 films, composing 154 songs, as S.D.Batish,Master Ramesh and Nirmal Kumar. Some of his songs were famous.

Batish, whose musical oeuvre has been described as an “amalgam of classical music and Punjabi folk and popular styles” composed for 20 films, including Har Jeet, Tipu Sultan and Toofan. For two films, he composed under the name Nirmal Kumar – a moniker that Lata Mangeshkar had given him for luck, according to Ashwin.

By this time, Batish had grown disenchanted with the Hindi film world. Ashwin recalls that his father needed a steady income to sustain his young family, but payments were erratic and delayed. Irked by this, Batish worked for a while to set up an artistes’ union to give them a platform to air their grievances and demands. Then the family decided to go to England.

On October 10, 1965, the series Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye premiered on BBC1 television and radio. Presented in Hindustani, Urdu and English, its theme music was composed by the multi-faceted Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish, who had already won considerable renown as singer and music composer in the Hindi film world. The series aimed to reach the new immigrant from South Asia: it offered advice on matters like housing, insurance, migration and education, interspersed with music from the subcontinent, especially film music.

SD Batish, as he was better known, was also a recent arrival to England. As his son, the musician Ashwin Batish recounted, he had reached London earlier that year on a “near relative visa” following his older daughter Surendra’s admission to a course in ophthalmology. Word of his arrival spread among fellow musicians such as Keshav Sathe, who worked in the Indian High Commission and moonlighted as a tabla player, and Batish soon became part of the BBC’s outreach programmes.

A multi-instrumentalist, who was proficient at the sitar, tabla and vichitra veena, Batish featured regularly at music festivals across Britain. At one of these, the Cardiff Music Festival, his playing impressed the British parliamentarian and activist Fenner Brockway. Brockway helped Batish secure permanent residency status, Ashwin says. Not long after, Batish’s family joined him from Bombay. It was a decision, Ashwin says, that balanced his mother Shanta Devi’s practicality with his father’s musical dreams.

Shanta Devi, like Batish early in his career, had been an artist with the All India Radio at one time. To raise money for the air tickets, the family sold its land in Bombay’s Santa Cruz neighborhood – now worth a fortune, Ashwin says. Its new home was on Birchington Road, a residential area in London’s West Hampstead.

A few weeks later, as Batish recalled, came Sathe’s memorable call inviting him to make up the quartet of Indian musicians assembled to provide accompaniment for the Beatles’ album Help!. The others in the quartet were Sathe on tabla, Diwan Motihar on sitar and Qasim (known just by his first name) on flute.

A kinship must have formed during those musical sessions, for Batish’s association with George Harrison did not end there. Months later, Batish was engaged to teach Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd, the dilruba, a stringed instrument that later featured on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album (1967).

Around 1970, the Batish family moved again, this time to Santa Cruz in California. The emigration was not altogether impulsive. Batish had been teaching a short-term course at the University of Santa Cruz, where his colleague, the mathematician Ralph Abraham, had been taking tabla lessons from him. Abraham suggested the Batish family move to the US and the family agreed. As a family, Ashwin quipped, they were as much “move-icians” as musicians.

The move to the US, as with the one to England, was a family decision. Shanta Devi’s initiative led to the Batish India House (at first called the Sri Krishna Café), a restaurant on Santa Cruz’s Mission Street that served Indian food while music was played by members of the Batish family. “I would serve food and then jump on stage to play music,” remembered Ashwin, who like his father plays several instruments, including the sitar and tabla.

The restaurant was featured often in the local paper, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, and ran till 1985, before music became the all-absorbing act, and SD Batish embarked on the “project of a lifetime”. His wish to collate, annotate, and set in writing every known detail of the Hindustani (the Ragopedia compendia) and Carnatic musical systems coincided with Ashwin’s discovery of Gopher, an early internet protocol that enabled files to be recorded, uploaded and distributed easily. It was a project envisioned after their visits to the library of the University of Berkeley yielded barely a few books on Indian music, and mostly on the Carnatic tradition. What was an inspiration for Batish to explain every raga became a boon not merely for music aficionados but also for his students who were familiar only with English.

The family set up the Batish Institute of Music and Fine Arts in 1976. It was the third of its kind to come up in California after the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music and the Music Circle, which was set up by Harihar Rao, a long-time associate of Ravi Shankar.

Besides being a recording studio, the Batish Institute continues to offer classes and texts, including several hundreds of Batish’s compositions (his raga lakshan geet set in the Hindustani classical system), and his derivative ragas based on the 72 melakartas of the Carnatic tradition. He regularly performed with his children, Ashwin and daughter Meena, and lived long enough to see his grandchildren, Keshav and Mohini, grow into musicians.

In my memory,the image of S D Batish is etched as a person with a large Fur Cap. Such a type of cap was worn by Shaikh Abdulla and his son Farooq Abdulla. I saw V.Shantaram too wearing that type of cap. Later his son followed by wearing the same ( I mean similar type) Fur cap like father, as if it was a family tradition ! Of late,I have seen the famous film Historian Shri Nalin ji Shah with this cap. When I had met him a few years back,he had jokingly said that this cap is his Trademark !

S D Batish was the cousin brother of Pt. Amarnath and brothers Husnlal-Bhagatram,all bore the same surname – Batish.( Thanks to obituary and bio by Jason Ankeny, an article by Anu kumar in dated 24-6-2021, an article by his son Ashwin, along with muVyz, HFGK, Wiki and my notes. All excerpts are adapted ).

Today’s song is a duet sung by S.D.Batish and Nazira Begam.

Song- Aakar hum Pachhtaaye chalo chalen chalo chalen(Chupke Chupke)(1948) Singers- Nazira Begam, S.D.Batish, Lyricist- Not known, MD- S D Batish


aakar hum pachtaaye manwa
chalo chale, chalo chale
aakar hum pachtaye manwa
chalo chalen, chalo chale
ab kyun der lagaye manawa
chalo chalen, chalo chalen
ab kyun der lagaye manwa
chalo chalen, chalo chalen

pyaar unka pehchan liya
pyaar unka pehchan liya
aaj se humne hai jaan liya
aaj se hamne hai jaan liya
ham nahin unko bhaaye ae manwa
hum nahin unko bhaaye
ab kyu der lagaye manwa
chalo chalen chalo chalen

kya samjhenge kya jaanenge
kyunke hum bhi na manenge
kya samjhenge kya janenge
kyunki hum bhi na maanenge
koi laakh manaaye manwa
chalo chalen, chalo chalen

chalo chalen hum sang tumhaare
chalo chalen hum sang tumhaare
prem nagar ko prem sahaare
prem nagar ko prem sahaare
prem ki jyot jagaayen
prem ki jyot jagaayen

ab kyun der lagaaye manwa
chalo chalen chalo chalen

chalo chalen chalo chalen
duniya ko bhoolen
sukh aakash pe jhula jhoolen
sukh aakash pe jhula jhoolen

tan naache man gaaye
tan nzache man gaqye

ab kyun der lagqaye manwa
chalo chalen chalo chalen


2 Responses to "Aa kar hum pachhtaaye chalo chalen chalo chalen"

Arun ji,

As usual, information se bharpoor, enlightening post.

A small factual error:
Vichitra Veena isn’t a flute, it is a stringed instrument , modern version of Ek Tantri Veena. Must be a cousin of Ektara.


Dr. Shetty ji,
Yes, I know that.
The error is of different type. A word ‘ and’ is missing.
The actual sentence should be
” He also returned to his roots as a live musician, performing Indian folk and classical music on the vichitra veena and a long-necked fretless flute. ”
I hope the matter is clear now.


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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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