Ten of my favourite Waheeda Rehman songs

What made Bees Saal Baad such a good watch was its music, its fairly good suspense – and its lovely heroine.
Waheeda Rehman had it all: an immense amount of talent, a rare beauty, a grace and dignity that few possess – and she was a superb dancer. What’s more, as I discovered in a TV interview a couple of years back, she’s also very modest. “When I was a girl, my siblings would call me the ‘ugly duckling’”, she said. A flash of that trademark smile, and she added, “The camera was very kind to me.” As fellow blogger Sabrina Mathew remarked when I recounted that on her post, “I want that camera!”

So here’s to Waheeda Rehman. Beautiful, charming, ever-graceful – and the star who featured in some wonderful songs. I faced a problem choosing these; some of her best-known songs are not songs her character sings onscreen. Instead, they’re (not surprisingly!) songs sung in praise of her (Chaudhvin ka chaand ho; Yeh nayan dare-dare; Yehi toh hain woh, etc). Or they’re songs picturised on her but with the song sung in the background (the poignant Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, which is her own favourite song, is an example).

In this post, however, I wanted to showcase Waheeda Rehman’s skill in depicting different characters, different moods, even different dancing styles, perhaps – so I settled on these rules. These are all songs that the character Waheeda Rehman portrays onscreen sings – and they are not duets.  And no two songs are from the same film.

Here’s the list, all from 50s and 60s’ films (the only exception is Prem Pujari, from 1970) that I’ve seen, and in no particular order.

1. Kahin pe nigaahein kahin pe nishaana (CID, 1956): Waheeda Rehman’s first Hindi film – in which she acted a vamp of sorts. She was slightly gauche in CID, but this song is hers all the way. Bir Sakhuja is the villain, the man she tries to distract with her singing and dancing so that Dev Anand, the cop whom she sympathises with (loves?) can get away. There’s no denying the seduction in her eyes, the grace of her movements – and the momentary flicker of doubt as she wonders whether her friend has been able to escape.
A harbinger of great acting and equally great dancing in the coming years.

2. Piya tose naina laage re (Guide, 1965): Here’s another example of how great that dancing was. Although Guide – one of Waheeda Rehman’s most popular films opposite Dev Anand – had fantastic music (including another great Waheeda dance, Mose chhal kiye jaaye), as far as I’m concerned, there’s no beating Piya tose naina laage re. Firstly, it’s a beautiful song – lovely music, great lyrics – and at over 8 minutes, it’s long enough to satisfy most Waheeda fans! Secondly, you get to see Waheeda in different dances, different costumes: at Diwali and Holi; at sunrise and at moonrise, serenading her beloved. And yes, this is probably one of the finest displays there is of her fabulous dancing.

3. Paan khaaye saiyaan hamaro (Teesri Kasam, 1967): Still hungry for Waheeda Rehman’s dancing? Here’s yet another song that has her on stage. While Piya tose naina laage re is (to some extent) classical, this one is typically nautanki. Spirited, replete with all the right jhatkas and matkas, mischievous yet come-hither all at the same time. And from a character seemingly obviously used to (and catering to) the lascivious stares of the leering all-male audience.
Very entertaining, but in a way quite different from the bulk of Waheeda Rehman’s dances onscreen.

4. Badle-badle mere sarkar (Chaudhvin ka Chaand, 1961): A change of style, pace, mood – everything. Here Waheeda plays the young bride, crushed and confused by the sudden change in her husband – from a devoted lover (who called her a Chaudhvin ka chaand), to one who spurns her. There is pain in the lyrics and in Lata’s voice, but it is the pain Waheeda Rehman manages to bring into her face that moves me. Especially in that first frame, where her eyes, brimming with despair, seem to fill the screen. Beautiful, and so immeasurably sad.

5. Bhanwra bada naadaan hai (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962): If Waheeda danced her way through songs like Piya tose naina laage and Paan khaaye saiyaan, here she’s relatively immobile – but her face is not. Pretending to be penning a poem, while well aware that the subject of her poetry is watching, fascinated one moment, outraged (or pretending to be!) the next, she is superb. Teasing, part-flirtatious, part-mischievous, all perfection. No wonder the simple-hearted rustic Bhootnath (Guru Dutt) can’t take his eyes off her!

6. Na tum humein jaano (Baat ek Raat ki, 1962): Although the better known version of this song is the Hemant one, with Dev Anand’s character singing the bulk of the song, and Waheeda Rehman’s insane/amnesiac/criminal (?) character joining in at the very end, I love this one too. This is shown in flashback, with the heroine remembering the days when she had fallen in love with her co-star. Look at the shyness and the softness in Waheeda’s dreamy smile as she awaits the man she loves: beautiful.

7. Sach hue sapne tere (Kala Bazaar, 1960): While a dejected Dev Anand sits on a deserted seashore and looks out through despairing eyes… the girl he loves dances about, singing of the happiness flooding her heart. Waheeda Rehman is joy personified in this song: in that sunny smile, the laughing eyes, the way she goes prancing through the surf, the way she splashes her hands in a pool of water: infectious happiness all the way. No wonder, then, that by the end of the song, Dev Anand’s sadness has been replaced by a grin.

8. Rangeela re tere rang mein (Prem Pujari, 1970): Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand made a fantastic onscreen pair, right from their first film together, CID, to this one in 1970.  Rangeela re is yet another showcase of Waheeda’s superb dancing – and it shows what a great actress she is, too. While she dances with a gay, drunken abandon, you can see the pain in her eyes. To the shocked Achla Sachdev or the contemptuous Zahida, this is just another woman who’s lost control; to us in the know, it’s not a case of in vino veritas: there is real anguish here. And nobody who was actually drunk could dance so well!

9. Bujha diye hain khud apne haathon (Shagoon, 1964): This is one of the quintessential ‘sad songs’ in my lexicon – Sahir’s words are heart-breaking, Khayyam’s music is superb, Suman Kalyanpur sings it with a great depth of feeling. And Waheeda Rehman brings the character’s sorrow and helplessness brilliantly to life. While Shagoon is not a film I’d rewatch – too depressing – and its heroine behaves in an utterly idiotic, martyrish fashion through much of the film, this is one song in which I can’t help but find myself feeling her misery at the self-sacrifice she’s had to make.

10. Jaane kya tune kahi (Pyaasa, 1957): And, to end this list: a classic. While S D Burman’s music and Geeta Dutt’s singing are top notch, it is Waheeda Rehman whom I can’t help being mesmerised by. She’s amazing – looking closely at her expressions while this song plays, I couldn’t tell exactly what I was seeing. Girlish innocence? A prostitute enticing a customer (and knowing, triumphantly, as she sings “Zulf shaane pe mudi”, that she has succeeded)? Sometimes I’m sure she actually loves this young man whom she’s met, that it’s not mere flirtation… but there are so many moods to this song. While an audio version of Jaane kya tune kahi may just be another love song, the picturisation of it – Waheeda – make it what it is.

What are your favourite Waheeda Rehman songs?

167 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite Waheeda Rehman songs

  1. Choosing just ten songs is a tall order but you have done an excellent job. I totally agree with your choice. May I add one of my favourite songs it is Raat Bhi Hai Kuch Bheegi Bheegi from Mujhe Jeene Do. What do I like about it? Apart from the lyrics and music, it is the pure Kathak (Lachchu Maharaj is the choreographer) and Waheeda’s light movements and expressions. She conveys all that she has to fully clothed which today’s scantily clad actresses are unable to convey despite their vulgar and obscene movements.


    • Thank you, Shilpi!

      That’s a lovely song, too. Maybe, if I’d seen Mujhe Jeene Do (yes, yes – I know! It’s been on my list a long time; Sharmi’s recent post on it also convinced me even further)… it would have certainly been on this list.

      And you’re so right about how she manages to convey so much despite being fully clothed – and with movements that are so completely graceful, not obscene in any way. I think it’s pretty much the same with songs like Jaane kya tune kahi or even Meena Kumari’s mujras in Pakeezah or Vyjyantimala’s dances in Sadhana: all, while taking place in environs that are ‘taboo’, performed by ‘fallen women’, are still graceful and dignified and the sort of songs you could easily watch with your parents sitting next to you!!


  2. nice list with these rules. can anybody make another without any rules?
    Shilpi, i cannot forget ‘tere bachapan ko jawani ki dua deti hoon’ from ‘mujhe jeene do’, all for its ‘shabda’, ‘sur’ and ‘abhinaya’. Who can also forget the youthful resurgence in ‘aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai’? Like Nutan she is my favourite for her very expressive face.


  3. Why don’t you make a ‘top ten’ Waheeda list without any rules? :-)

    I didn’t try that because I know I would never be able to choose just ten Waheeda songs that I simply love, but which didn’t adhere to any rules. Let’s see… Chaudhvin ka chaand ho, Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, San-san-san woh chali hawa, Hai apna dil toh awara, Tum jo hue mere humsafar raste badal gaye, Yehi toh hain woh, Yeh nayan dare-dare, Meri baat rahi mere mann mein, Mose chhal kiye jaaye, Saanjh dhali dil ki lagi, Rimjhim ke taraane leke aayi barsaat, Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, Beqaraar karke humein yoon na jaaiye, Zara nazron se keh do ji, O beqaraar dil ho chuka hai mujhko… how many songs is that? (And I haven’t even listed the songs that I have listed in this post)!

    Oh, and guess what? I just realised that even all these songs that I just named are from films I’ve seen.


  4. Another great ‘favourite 10’ list DO! I admire the way you have organized the proverbial haystack into different smaller piles to look for the needle. Enjoyed it.

    With plenty of time at hand (summer holidays) to go through the whole haystack myself, I still decided to follow your lead and thought of some Waheeda moods.

    I know you don’t like bhajans, but I love them because they seem to be set to such soothing music, generally, and came up with a *pious/holy/religious Waheeda mood* from Ek Phool Chaar Kaante.
    She has the right, peaceful, and calm expression on her lovely face.

    BTW Waheeda looks exquisite in the first two pictures.


    • Thank you, pacifist! Both for your praise, and for your contribution – yes, that’s a lovely song. I usually don’t like bhajans, but I occasionally make exceptions – Allah tero naam, Man tadpat hari darshan ko aaj, and now this. I have heard it before, of course (I’ve seen Ek phool chaar kaante), but had forgotten about it. She does have this expression of deep and unshakable serenity on her face, not the somewhat sappy, happy-dog look (or unhappy-dog look!!) I’ve seen on the faces of some actresses when they’re being picturised singing bhajans. Thank you for sharing that!

      Yes, doesn’t she look absolutely gorgeous in those first two pictures? They had very little to do with the rest of the post (though they’re both from songs in which she appears – Na tum humein jaano and Yeh nayan dare-dare, respectively). I saw these songs months back, and those particular angles were so exquisite, I just had to take those screenshots there and then!


    • Last Christmas, my sister showed this song to me. I knew this song beore that only in audio. Since I saw the video I have started loving it. I think that has surely to with the fact that Waheeda features in it.
      It moved straight away to my bhajan list and is an strong contender for a place in my ‘ten fav bhajan’ list!


  5. @padmaker
    The rules are only for dustedoff herself. We lucky visitors to the blog can break them :)

    I’m going to break some of them now with this contribution. It isn’t sung by Waheeda but picturised on her and a whole lot of other people.
    Once again from Ek Phool Char Kaante doing a ‘western’ style dance.
    Watch her at about 2.07 onwards. Of course before that too, and to top it all – with none other than Johny Walker.


    • Exactly. The rules are only what I have set for myself (my blog, my rules!). In the discussion that follows, everybody is free to contribute just what they feel – it may even be (like this song you’ve just posted, pacifist), with Waheeda only as one of the characters, and not even too much in the limelight – I think the person more in focus is Sunil Dutt. But I still enjoy this song a lot, perhaps because it has a very infectious lilt to it.

      Incidentally, Ava had posted, not too long back, a song similar to this one, with Sunil Dutt trying to butter up Waheeda’s character’s uncle (that was whom Johnny Walker played, for the uninitiated…). Lots of more fun, and Waheeda is here, too:



  6. Vah!!! kya baat hai! what a post, Waheeda is someone I’m still warming up to, I definitely need more of her and please what is Nautanki and I’ve also heard it used as nautanki baazi, what does it mean. One of my favourite Waheeda songs, or at least one that comes to mind when i think of her is ‘yeh mausam mausam bheega bheega hai’ from Dharti (1970)


    • Bollywooddeewana, I’m very impressed – you’ve introduced me to a Waheeda song that I’ve heard before, but never seen (I do wish she had someone else as a co-star, though!! A jowly Rajendra Kumar pretending to be a 20-something gets on my nerves, rather). But, nice song, and a lovely Waheeda. Thank you.

      P.S. Nautanki is – or rather was, I’m not sure exactly how alive it is now, though I do think there are people trying to keep it going – a form of folk theatre in India. From what I’ve heard, nautanki used a mix of stories (like plays in most other parts of the world), but with plenty of singing and dancing interspersed, and comic parts and so on. I believe early Hindi cinema drew heavily from nautanki, which is why Hindi cinema – even to this day – has certain elements, like the song and dance, that baffle Westerners. Here’s some more about it (though I haven’t had time to read through this page):



    • >nautanki baazi, what does it mean.

      I hope DO doesn’t mind me continuing with the answer to your question which also included ‘nautanki baazi’.

      Nautanki Baazi is used in the same manner as one says ‘what a drama queen’, when someone reacts too dramatically to something.


  7. my list is as follows, which doesnot have any rules,I hope you don`t mind this list.

    sorry I love waheedaji unconditionally, she is like mother figure to me.whatever she does, i like her in every film of her,
    In Mahesh bhatt`s doordarshan produced film SWAYAM, she is the epitome of dignity.

    When she sings the song”main tere saath rahega munne…main tujhe doodh na bakshoongi”in TRISHUL to amitji, everytime I watch that song, I cry like a small baby.

    1))Mujhe jeene do:”Nadi naare na jaao shaam paiyya padoo
    2)Sahib bibi aur gulaam:”mere baat rahi mere man mein”
    3)Kala baazaar:”Khoya khoya chaand”(she is the actual chaand)
    4)12`o clock:”Kaisa jaadoo, balam tune daara
    5)Rop ki raani choron ka raja:1961:Tum tho dil ke taar chedkar, ho gaye bekhabar
    6)Kohraa:”O bekaraar-e-dil ho chuka hai mujhko aansuoon se pyar”
    7)Ek dil sau afsaane:”O jaadugar pyar ke ye bataa”
    8)Paalki:Dil-e-betaab ko seene se lagaana hoga
    9)all the songs of Dil diya dard liya:
    ” kya rang-e-mehfil hai dildaaram and
    rafi`s title song(she looks out of the world in that song)
    10)Raakhi:”saiyan chod de bahiya, mori patli kalaiyya mud jaayegi
    11)Mahaan:Kishore`s jidhar dekhoon teri tasveer ,when amithab sings this song to waheedaji, she looks so beautiful, eventhough she is not so young in that film.
    12)Lamhe song:gudiya rani ,bitiya raani
    and in another sequence
    she dances for aaj phir jeene ki thamanna hai” again in this film, she danced so gracefully
    14)when waheedaji sang and danced for the song :Sasural genda phool, I jumped with joy

    15)ek meeti si chubhan…main aaj pawan mein gaaoon:from Reshma aur shera

    16)Meri bhabhi:”Pawan jhakora sang mere gaaye”(1969)

    17)Teesri kasam:a)laali laali doliyan mein ..aayeere dulhaniya
    b)aa aa bhi jaa raat dhalne lagi
    c)haaye gazab ka taara toota
    d)maare gaye gulfaam
    e)In “duniya banaanewale, kya teri dil mein basaayee”, she is very beautiful and full of expression for the situation.

    Oh sorry, I can go on and go on..
    with regards


    • You’re very welcome to go on and on! :-)

      There were a number of songs in your list that I have never heard – mainly because I haven’t watched too many films of hers from the later years. But yes, now I have more songs to look out for. Thank you! By the way, Khoya-khoya chand is one of my favourites too. And Meri baat rahi mere mann mein. And Maare gaye gulfaam – all wonderful songs.


    • Ah, I’d forgotten both of those songs, though another Waheeda song from Patthar ke Sanam was on the long list: Koi nahin hai.

      I eventually dropped it in favour of Sach hue sapne tere. I love Mere ghar aayi ek nanhi pari, too – very sweet. I’d forgotten that it was picturised on Waheeda.

      I would certainly join in declaring Dev Anand her best co-star! Some of her best films were opposite him – CID, Solvaan Saal, Baat ek Raat ki, Guide, Kala Bazaar, Prem Pujari (okay, the two latter aren’t among my favourites, but Guide, at least seems to be very popular). I’d say Guru Dutt is probably a good contender too – some fantastic films there, especially Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool and Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam… and 12 O’Clock is good too, in a different way. I think Guru Dutt showcased her acting skills very well.


  8. So you have given the permission to me(Baad mein zaroor pachthaaoge ha ha ha…)

    a)kaare badariya maare lehariya,mora jeeya udaa jaayere
    b)kal ke sapne aaj bhi aaana, preetham ko bhi saath mein laana
    c)She looks marvellous in the male duet:”Kaisi haseen aaj bahaaron ki raat hai

    2)Just try the following one, I hope you will not get disappointed

    Majboor:1964:****”tere bina o sajna, tere bina o sajna, deeye ki jagaah mer man jala dil :lata via waheedaji

    3)I haven`t heard the songs of 1972 “SUBAH-O-SHAAM”, but I hope there are quite a few songs picturised on waheedaji in this film.

    4)Dil diya dard liya
    a)Phir teri kahaani yaad aayee, phir tera fasaana yaada aaya

    5)Raam aur shyaam:Main hoon saaqi, tu hai sharaabi sharaabi

    6)Prem pujari:
    a)Doongi tainu reshmi roomal, o baanke zara dere aanaa
    b)shokhiyon mein ghola jaaye phoolon ka shabaab

    7)Dharthi:(sorry, in this south production, I think waheedaji was forced to wear clothes and wigs, which didn`t suited her,
    Anyways,waheedaji jo bhi karein woh sar aaknhon par
    a)ye albeli pyar ki raahein, ye jaane pehchaane raste
    b)Ishq ki main bheemar, ke wallaha, teer-e-nazar ki maar,tujse hua hai pyar
    c)jab se aankhein ho gayee tumse chaar,is dharthi par
    d)Khuda bhi aasmaan se jab zameen par dekhtha hoga
    e)dheere dheere boloji, shoo shoo, bhed mat kholo jee

    8)Bees saal baad:
    a)ai mohabbat teri duniya mein mera kaam na tha
    b)sapne suhaane ladakpan ke

    9)Reshma aur shera:Tu chanda main chaandni, tu tarwar main shaakhre

    10)Man mandir:
    a)ai mere aankhon ke pehle sapne
    b)jaadugar, tere naina..jhuk jaaoon

    ***11)Darpan: *try this my favourite gem
    a)Ek gagan ka raja,ek chaman ki raani, in donon ke pyar ki sunaaoon main kahaani

    12)Meri bhabhi:1969:
    a)soya mera pyar, aanchal mein pehli baar,dheere chalna chanda, kahi shor mache na
    b)dil mein ae ji dil mein, koi rehta hai, kaun hai batlaaoo:mukesh,lata

    a)hai rom rom mein basnewaale raam
    b)woh zindagi, jo thi ab tak tere panaahon mein
    c)one classical dance has been picturised on waheedaji(rafiji`s voice in the background with musical piece)
    d)Babul ki dhuayein leti jaa(giving the great Balraj sahniji` competition in acting)

    a)aa mere gale lag jaa, o jaane jaana, khushi hai zindagi hai
    b)***main haseena, nazneena,koi mujhsaa nahin, koi mujhsa nahin
    main sameena, mehjabeena, mujhmein kya kya nahin(LATA,ASHA DUET ON HELEN,WAHEEDAJI JUGALBANDI COMPETITION

    a)tumhe main agar apna saathi banaa loon bata do, mera sath doge kahan tak
    ***b)jungle mein mor nacha kisne dekha(waheeda & madhumathi jugalbandi song)
    c)na socha na samjha, na seekha na jaana, mujhe khud ba khud aa gaya dil lagaana
    d)ajnabee hoon main, is jaahan mein

    16)NAMKEEN:”Badi der se megha barasaa ho raama, jali kitni rathiya,”
    This mujra picturised as a falshback of waheedaji

    If you haven`t watched this,You must watch this at any cost, the whole movie to see waheedaji`s subtle acting against the STARWALTS:sanjeev kumar,shabana azmi,sharmila tagore(uncer GULZARJI`S direction)

    17)Ek dil sau afsaane:
    a)Sunoji suno, hamaari bhi suno:just watch this rajkapoorji dances and sings with waheedaji(he is giving competition to waheedaji in dancing)
    b)Tum hi tumho mere jeevan mein phool hi phool hai jaise chaman mein(the seet rafi,lata duet)
    c)Ek dil aur sau afsaane, haaye mohabbat haaye zamaane

    d)ek sher sunaatha hoon main, jo tujhse muqaatib hai

    18)Solwa saal:ye bhi koi rootne ki mausam hai deewane(If you want to catch young waheedaji)
    all the other songs of this movie are fablous

    20)Ek phool chaar kaante:1960:
    a)Dil ai dil bahaaron se mil,sitaaron se aaknhine mila, ye samaa, ye rangeen samaan(duet of sunil dutt and beautiful, young waheedaji
    b)another beautiful duet:(mukesh,lata)”Aankhon mein rang kyon aaya, bolo nasha sa kyon chaya, humko ye raaz batalaao, dil khoke tumne kya paaya

    21)Zindagi zindagi:1972:S.D.Burman sings in the background:Piya tune kya kiya re,tere bin laage na jeeya…piya tune
    b)tune hamein kya diya ri zindagi….na diya na kiran,man ka ye soonapan phoonke tan na deeya:kishore sings in the background

    22)Famous snake dance in GUIDE

    23)Mashaal:Holi aayee holi aayee….(Just watch waheedaji`s chemistry with dilip kumarji when she sings”TUM HO TO HAR RAAT DIWAALI…HAR DIN MERI HOLI HAI”

    24)Phagun:(acting wise this film is one of waheedaji`s great film,which for unknown reason,didn`t get the due popularity and recognition
    a)Piya sang khelo holi, phagun aayore..
    b)Sandhya jo aaye, man ud jaaye…karoon kya upaaye
    ab ke liya itna bas.

    25)In rang de basanthi, lataji sings for waheedaji, I can`t remember the words sorry

    26)again in SWAYAM(mahesh bhatt directed film for DOORDARSHAN I think), when Waheedaji`s screen husband(aakash khurana) is in deathbed, in the background,they play one song I think “ab raat guzarnewaali hai”, you just see the film, how it influences the audience emotionally.
    She is outstanding in that film,but doordarshanwaale,us film ko teek tarha se dikhaate hi nahin.

    ab ke liye itna bas, I can go on and on again, if you want!!!!



    • That is a long list indeed. :-) I have seen some of the films – for instance, Zindagi zindagi, Ek dil sau afsaane, Ek phool chaar kaante, Namkeen, Neelkamal and Aadmi (as well as part of Baazi), but somehow I didn’t find too many of the songs the kind that stay with me. Of the songs you’ve listed, though, one which I agree with completely is Main chanda tu chaandni – that gives me gooseflesh every time I listen to it. Utterly beautiful.


  9. The only comprehensive list with the best Waheeda songs would be one listing all the songs she’s ever been in. :) She’s one actor who transfixes me to the screen, no matter when, no matter where, how. In the last couple of years, I have come to realize that she is my absolutely first favourite.


  10. 1)Trishul:1978:”aapki mehki huyee, zulf ko kehte hain ghata,aapki madbhari aankhon ko kanwal kehte hain”
    (one of the rarest yesudass,lata duet picturised on Sanjeev kumar and waheedaji”

    2)Kaun apna kaun paraaya:1963:(ravi-shakeel badayuni)
    a)rafi sings for waheedaji via vijaykumar aka Tonywalker(brother of jhonnywalkar):”Zara sun haseena-e-naazneen, mera dil tujhi pe nissaar hai

    b)aaya bahaar ka zamaana,chaman mein na jaana, deewana koi rok na le:Ashaji sings for waheedaji fast paced dance

    c)rafi,asha:”zindagi bhar yehi ikraar kiye jaayenge,hum tumhaare hain, tujh pyar kiye jaayenge(vijaykumar,waheedaji)

    3)Shagoon:1964:saahir:khaiyyam:(waheedaji with her husband shashi rekhi or kamaljeet)(rafi,suman kalyanpur)
    a)parbaton ke pedhon par, shaam ka bassera hai, surmayee ujaale hain, champai andhera hai
    2)zindagi jurm sahi, zabr sahi,gum hi sahi, dil ke faryaad sahi,rooh ka maatham hi sahi:Suman kalyanpur sings for waheedaji

    4)Girl friend(1960):kishore kumar & sudha malhotra:
    kasthi ka khaamosh safar hai, shaam bhi hai, tanhayee bhi..aaj mujhe kuch kehna hai:(must be picturised on kishore kumar and waheedaji-I don`t know exactly)

    5)Roop ki raani choron ka raaja:1961:shankar jaikishen
    a)lata:aisi hi agar marzi hai teri, armaanon mein aag laga denge, hum apna

    b)there is one classical dance of waheedaji before bhagwan shivji

    c)tu roop ki raani,main choron ka raja,tera mera pyar niraala:Talat mehmood&lata


    • That first song from Kaun apna kaun paraya is lovely, but Vijay Kumar is one of those actors I just don’t like. I wished there was someone else there instead of him beside Waheeda Rehman.

      If you follow my link (in the post) to my review of Shagoon, you’ll see that I’ve mentioned some of the songs there – including Parbaton ke pedon par. My favourite from that film remains Tum apna ranj-o-gham, but yes, the film does have, overall, good music.


  11. Then there is my mother`s favourite song picturised on Waheedaji and rajesh khanna from KHAMOSHI:”Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi, ye shaam bhi ajeeb hai, woh kal bhi aas paas thi, woh aaj bhi kareeb hai”

    (Is gaane mein waheedaji ko emote karte dekhte dekhte, main kho sa jaata hoon)


    • Two other songs from Khamoshi – both not sung by Waheeda or even for Waheeda – which are absolutely wonderful are Tum pukaar lo, tumhaara intezaar hai and Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo. Both are beautiful songs, with superb music and great lyrics – plus, they’re excellently sung and picturised, especially Tum pukaar lo. That is one of my all-time favourite songs. And though she knows he isn’t singing for her, and though we never see Dharmendra’s face throughout the film, there is something about that song that never fails to haunt me. Watch it here:


  12. Waheeda Rehman, one of my favourite actresses, right up there with Nutan, Madhubala and Geeta Bali!
    Great list and great songs. Loved your text to the songs as well!
    Well, which are my favourite ten? That is difficult, although I had made mine as answer to sunehri’s list in Feb. 2010
    Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo from Pyaasa (1957)
    This wonderful song from the Bhakti movement is just awesome. The picturisation is in a characteristically Guru Dutt manner an understatement. Below in the street you see a jogan singing the bhakti song longing for Krishna and her spiritual union with him. On the terrace Gulabo feels overwhelmed by her feelings for Vijay. As the song reaches its climax with the beats of the mridang calming down again, you expect her to go and hug him. But she doesn’t she turns around and runs away. Fantastic!

    Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam from Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
    Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics, Burmanda’s music, V. K Murthy’s photography, Guru Dutt’s direction has created this song, which has left indelible impression in my memory. Waheeda Rehman dressed as Paro looks like portrait from an era long passed by, but still very earthy. I always thought it is a very sad song, but the lyrics speak a different language. But the impressionis not wrong, the characters are not happy that they are in love.

    Tum to dil ke taar chhed kar from Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961)
    There are two versions o this song one picturised on Dev Anand and sung by Talat Mehmood and the other picturised on Waheeda and sung by Lata. Both are wonderful. This song creates the ‘mithi si chuban’ of love faultlessly. This one flutters my heart every time I hear it. And it is bonus to see lovely Waheeda in the video.

    Yeh nayan dare dare from Kohra (1964)
    Hemantda’s haunting voice and Waheeda’s ethereal beauty is beautiful blend which regales the heart every time. Waheeda looks sleepless at the beginning of the song with tired eyes but a breathtaking smile and hair like kaali ghata.

    Piya tose naina lage re from Guide (1965)
    A movie with which Waheeda Rehman is still identified with, although Dev Anand had the title role. This song shows Waheeda in different costumes and her rise from a small time dancer to a big celebrity with Raju’s help. But this song also underlines her love for him, which is important for the storyline, since we, the spectators might doubt this fact, since she won’t defend him in the court. Waheeda a trained dancer, shows her skills in this 8 minute song, making every movement seem so effortless and in such a graceful manner.

    Rangeela re from Prem Pujari (1970)
    Another dance song for Waheeda and this time in an embassy, if I’m not mistaken. And she is drunk as well. This is the only sharabi song of hers as far as I can remember. Waheeda is trying to dance off her sorrow at finding her long-lost lover in the arms of another woman, and she does it in such a graceful manner. The only thing which disturbs in the song, when I watch the song are the many disinterested goras and goris in the background.

    Tu chanda mein chandini from Reshma aur Shera (1971)
    A hauntingly beautiful song by Jaidev, for this Romeo and Juliet story set in the desert. It shows Reshma sneaking out to meet her Shera at night.

    Piya sang khelo holi from Phagun (1973)
    Waheeda dances to this song wearing a nine-yard sari in the song and carries it off with a grace unsurpassed. A wonderful song sung by Lata with music by Dada Burman, which is very important for the plot. There is also another very beautiful song from this movie: Sandhya jo aaye.

    Aa aa bhi ja from Teesri Kasam (1966)
    Waheeda plays a nautankiwali in this movie, who falls in love with a bullock cart driver. An intense longing for the lover is woven in the song, contrasting with nautanki beats in between. She misses her namesake played by Raj Kapoor, who is jealous, since in the evening before he has seen her accepting money from the local Thakur. It is interesting to see the video and notice the simple dance moves which would be typical for a nautanki, but at the same time you see in the close up very graceful hand movements.

    Maine har hal me from Swayam (1991)
    Swayam is a little known TV-Film by Mahesh Bhatt. It is a story about an old woman, who wants to live on her own, that is why the song “maine har hal mein jine ki kasam khayi hai, aasman ab tu hi bata tera irada kya hai”. A very inspirational song, that is why I love it. I saw the film on DD in 1991, but since then have lost track of it. Does anybody know if the DVD or VCD of this film is available?


    • What a lovely list, and what great descriptions, harvey! You know, I’m feeling bad that you didn’t post this on your blog – but at the same time, I’m feeling a little relieved that you didn’t, because your descriptions of songs we’ve both included – such as Rangeela re, or songs that I’ve talked about later in the comments (Tum pukaar lo) are definitely more interesting to read than mine!

      BTW, my father keeps saying what fantastic music Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja had. I’ve never come across the songs from the film, but now that I can see you list one of the songs as your top ten, I will go and check it out. Thank you!


      • Thank you, dustedoff, coming from a good writer like you this is certainly a big compliment for me. BTW this was an answer to sunehriyaadein’s post from Feb. 2010. That was before I had my own blog! ;-)
        The score of Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja is surely not one of my favourites. I like, no love, ‘Tum to dil ke taar chhed kar’ in both versions. The other songs of the film leave me cold. The title song sounds to my ears so ordinary.
        I had in fact started collecting songs for my Waheeda list, but you know how long I take at times for some lists. Maybe I’ll post it next year. I’m putting together my bhajans list right now, but surely can’t post it before 18th. And then I still want to do the chatri na khol type of post…
        When, when, when?


        • I WILL be patient! Both for the bhajans list, and for the chhatri na khol one!

          And oh, thank you for warning me off Roop ki rani, Choron ka raja. I still haven’t had the time to actually go looking for those songs, since I’ve been really busy with other more urgent work that needs to be finished… now I will probably shift that to the back burner.


  13. Here is one song of her early films in Telegu, where she plays only a side role, I think. It also incidentally shares its melody with ‘dekhne me bhola hai’ from Bambai ka Babu. And although this is before CID, she doesn’t at all look ‘gauche’, maybe she was feeling a bit insecure during CID. She was also not on good terms with the director Raj Khosla. She had refused Guide, if Khosla were to be the director.


    • This is quite an *eye opener* song harvey. Thanks.
      Waheeda certainly looks very comfortable throughout the dance. Lovely song, dance Waheeda.


    • Thank you for sharing that, Harvey! Yes, you’re quite right, she certainly does look very comfortable and at ease with what she’s doing here. (and I like Dekhne mein bhola hai a lot, so that’s another reason I like it).

      I didn’t know she didn’t get on with Raj Khosla. They worked together in later films too, didn’t they (offhand, I can remember Solvaan Saal) – but she was fine there. Perhaps CID was a case of first-time nerves in a different language, different setting? She was very young too, then – possibly the transition had also been unnerving.


      • You are right about Solva Saal, that came after CID. But I have read about it quite often that she didn’t get along well with Raj Khosla, I think Vijay Anand mentioned it in one of his interviews that something happened on the sets of Solva Saal, which created a rift between them. That was the reason, she refused Guide if it were to be directed by Khosla. Vyjayanthimala was also considered for the role, but she declined to play the role of an adultress.
        Waheeda acted under his direction nearly 25 years after Solva Saal in Sunny.


        • That’s interesting… I had no idea Vyjyantimala refused the Rosie role because she didn’t want to play an adultress. To a man like Marco? Ufff. Anyway, it was her professional life, so her choices would be paramount.


        • Waheedaji said somewhere in her interview that Raj khoslaji insisted on waheedaji to wear sleeveless blouses in the film SOLVA SAAL,which waheedaji (at that time she was a newcomer,remember that)refused, as the role didn`t required her to wear sleeveless blouses. Raj khoslaji already an established director got angry by the suggestion given by a newbie like waheedaji. After that film waheedaji refused, to be directed by Raj khoslaji, that`s why when dev anandji asked her to be in GUIDE, she demanded the director should not be Raj khosla(They have already decided on Raj khoslaji as the director of Hindi version of GUIDE.) On Waheedaji`s demand, they have appointed Vijay anand as the director of GUIDE.

          But at the fag end of Raj khoslaji`s career,there must have been truce between Raj khoslaji and Waheedaji as Raj khoslaji casted Waheedaji as the foster mother(in a role with many grey shades ) of Sunny Deol in the movie SUNNY.


          • Oh, okay. Though now that you mention it, I remember having read in an interview with Waheeda that one of the costumes that had been readied for her to wear in Solvaan Saal (in the scene where she and Dev Anand get wet and have to change their clothes…) was a very see-through top. She refused to wear it, or said that she would drape a dupatta over it. Apparently, it boiled up into quite an issue, but Waheeda won.


  14. Harveyji

    ye SWAYAM ka gaana kisne gaaya hai, koi information hai aapke paas ? Ashaji gaana hai kya, mujhe utna yaad nahin hai.

    I have seen this film through doordarshan 2 times, everytime they have shown a bad print of that movie at late night hours as a filler when any main programme got cancelled, they forcefully edit and show this film without anouncing the showtimings or promos .
    (I remember Rohini hattangadi,pareshrawal,Mahesh anand,Ila arun,avtaar gill, akaash khurana in this film)

    Bante samay jo mileage, publicity diya tha, is film ko, bankar doordarshan mein dikhaate waqt, shaayad Mahesh bhatt bhi is film ke baare mein zyada interest nahin dikhaya, aisa lagtha hai. I remember the lighting of the film is very poor, may be doordarshanwaalo ne aisa dikhaya hoga. Par Waheedaji ka role bhi achcha tha, acting bhi bahut achchi thi.

    DUSTED OFFji, waheedaji ke baare mein mera craze itna hai, ke likhne lagta hoon to, koi BORE ho jaayega, iska khayal hi nahin rehta, SORRY,aapko pakaa diya.

    with regards


    • Dear Prakash, I saw this film in the 80s when it was shown on DD for the first time. After that I haven’t seen even a scene of this movie, no not even the above mentioned song! I am still searching for it. Wonder why DD doesn’t release its films on DVD or VCD.
      I’m sure there ar emore takers out there for this film. I also miss many of Vijaya Mehta’s tele-films.


      • Hey,
        Thank you Harveyji

        DD never gives due credits to the gems produced by it. Their attitude is one of the careless attitude. I think they just don`t know the value of those films.Similarly their attitude towards one very good telefilm directed by MAHESH BHATT- JANAM starring Kumar gaurav,Shehnaz patel,Ila arun,Anita kanwar and anupam kher(which is one of Mahesh bhatt`s finest works, filiming his own personal life)

        From my past experience, What I have learnt is,they just don`t care about those movies produced by them, which is having nostalgic heritage value.

        If they feel like showing them, they will show it around midnight or early sunday morning, that also in DD-INDIA CHANNEL.

        What`s the name of the film in which Vijaya mehta played a widow`s role, whether it is Rao saaheb ?Whether Anupam kher is there in the film?.In that film I have read somewhere she shaved her head for the role .Am I right? At that time, we didn`t have a television set in our house, But everyone is raving about Vijaya mehtaji`s performance.

        Whether it is the same film in which Raghuveer laal yadav and arundhathi roy playing village couple(yes the famous writer I think).Oh…I am getting confused and I think I am confusing you also.

        Further, whether Vijaya mehta is the same lady who is associated with doordarshan serial JEEVAN REKHA(OR it is LIFLINE) revolving around hospital politics and things like that.That`s a great serial right ?

        Whether vijaya mehta is associated with Naseerudding shah and shabana azmi`s film PESTOONJI ?

        They have shown on DD a telefilm named”KISI EK PHOOL KA NAAM LO starring Deepa saahi, whether it has been directed by Vijaya mehta(no it must have been directed by ketan mehta,again I am getting confused)

        I can`t remember the name of another telefilm they have shown on DD on saturday nights in which many famous T.V.actresses have acted. Yes, KITTU GIDWAANI and UTTARA BAOKAR are the name of the actresses acted in that telefilm. While writing to you, just one title flashed in my mind,Whether the name is “RUKMAVATHI KE HAVELI” ?
        If that is the name, please give some information about that that telefilm. I will indebted to you, for that one.

        Do you remember names of any of those telefilms of vijaya mehtaji?
        Anyways thank you for refreshing my memory about VIJAYA MEHTAJI and the nostalgic memories about golden days of DOORDARSHAN.


        • Thanks for reminding me of Janam. While I was writing about Swayam, I was also thinking of Janam, but couldn’t remember it’s name.
          Vijaya Mehta is the daughter-in-law of Durga Khote. The latter doesn’t really speak kindly of her in her autobiography. Vijaya Mehta was a leading theatre artist and revolutionized Marathi Theatre. Through her second marriage with a Parsi, she came into closer contact with the Parsi community, thus resulting in the film, Pestonji.

          Raosaheb is the film, I think where she shaved her head, but am not so sure. The other films which I remember (at least the names) of hers are:
          Smriti Chitre
          Hamidabai Ki Kothi
          Haveli Bulund Thi
          Rao Saheb

          She also acted in Party and Shyam Benegal’s Kalyug.


        • Rukmavathi ki Haveli is a film by Govind Nihalini and it did star Kitu Gidwani and Uttara Baokar. It was adapted from the play La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba) by Federico Garcia Lorca


        • Prakashchandra, I think the film with Arundhati Roy starred with Raghubir Yadav was Massey Sahib. I remember having seen it, though I was too young to appreciate it then.


    • Odd, I don’t remember this film at all, though I did see almost everything other than Krishi Darshan or Grameen Bhaiyon ke Liye that was shown on DD back in the 80s – I remember watching even un-subtitled regional language songs on Chitramala, just because there was nothing better to do! But I never came across Swayam – or not that I recall.


  15. >Firstly, it’s a beautiful song – lovely music, great lyrics – and at over 8 minutes, it’s long enough to satisfy most Waheeda fans! Secondly, you get to see Waheeda in different dances, different costumes.

    DO, this description of the song, ‘piya tose naina lage re’ from Guide, that you have given above fits the song from Neel Kamal (1968) too.
    I wanted to add this song here, and checked prakashchandra’s list. It’s listed there.

    The reason why I think it deserves special mention is because of some differences from the guide piece.

    -This song is a reminder of the way they were written and sung once.
    Sung by Mohd Rafi, set to tune by Ravi with lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi, it’s beautfully poetic.
    -then, there is this combination of poetry, classical dancing and the presence of the lover (both being involved).
    -this Waheeda is the ‘other’ Waheeda in the film (from her previous birth). Well, this just makes the story different rather than the song, but it maks my list longer for more justification for its inclusion. LOL!

    There is another video clip, though better, it’s jerky.


      • I agree, it’s a very good song and dance. Somehow, my memories of Neelkamal are very warped – I hated Raj Kumar in it (he’s never been a favourite of mine, though he’s all right in some films), and the story had this “huh? What?” tone about it that got on my nerves. Offhand, I could only think of Baabul ki duaaein leti jaa as a song from Neelkamal… this one completely slipped my mind! Her dancing is superb here, and she looks lovely too. I just wish Tom (Daniel) would do me a favour and rub Raj Kumar out of the video!!


  16. Waah Madhu!Jeeyo!

    Atlast a post dedicated to my favourite actress(and you know that). Though she has essayed such great roles, I loved her the best in her de-glamourised role in Namkeen, what a performance as the old mother of Shabana and Sharmila!Superb stuff.
    My altime favourite of Waheeda ji is , has been and will remain so. She looks so lovely. Lots of closeups, lip syncing.
    Watch the sparkle in her eyes during “Jab se Piya tu nainon me aaya, prem ka rang me rach gayi kaaya”.


      • Yes, it is a lovely song indeed. Thank you, Karthik! I’ve heard this often enough, but I’ve never seen the film or even the song before. You’re right, her eyes are so expressive. They’re one of her most amazing features. Whether you see the anguish in Badle-badle mere sarkar or the mischief in Bhanwra bada naadaan hai, or the sleepy beauty in Chaudhvin ka chaand ho… her eyes have an emotive quality very few actresses can rival.


    • I looove this song and had quite forgotten about it. It’s absolutely beautiful. The sitar at the beginning …. well actually throughout the song is ethereal. The classical music of the song is what makes it so wonderful.
      Thanks for reminding me of it.
      I love these posts on ’10 favourites’. They bring back to memory so many songs.


      • One reason why I especially like doing these ’10 favourites’ posts is that they spark off a lot of ideas from other people, and one gets to know songs one hadn’t even encountered before – or which one had completely forgotten about.

        And this song indeed has some of the loveliest classical music I’ve ever heard in a film song of this era. I have to admit I’m not terribly into classical music, but songs like this or Madhuban mein radhika naache re or some of the music from Baiju Bawra is just too beautiful to not appeal to even an illiterate like me!


  17. Waheeda was lucky to be in films when it was the best of times. Good movies, great music. I love each one of the songs mentioned here. But it was treat to listen to Saawan aaye again.


    • She did get some good films. But poor thing, even she couldn’t escape the 80s without being bogged down by the ridiculous hair-dos of that time.
      I saw Baazi yesterday, I was literally crying at the outrageous hairdos she had to carry! ;-)


      • I remember having seen part of Baazi a long time back (I think I’d rented the VCD, and the second CD simply refused to play). Somehow Waheeda in straight skirts and ridiculous hairdos was hard to reconcile too, so I never made the attempt to look for the film again.

        But yes, the 50s and the early 60s – actually, even a lot of the later 60s, where she was offered roles that suited her – were a great time to see Waheeda at her best.


  18. Very lovely post for a lovely person. I love Waheeda’s simple, understated, unassuming, yet alluring beauty. She was never a glamorous presence yet her face and smile lit up the screen each time she showed up. My favorites from your list are Piya tose naina and Jaane kya tune kahi. That screen cap for piya tose is such a happy one – fills my heart with joy when I see it. From sahib bibi aur ghulam, i also love her solo song – meri baat rahi mere man mein. It’s also pain personified in my view.


    • You are so right about hers being an understated, unassuming beauty – she isn’t one of those sparkling, joyously exuberant ‘gorgeous goddesses’ (!) like Madhubala, but there’s a tranquil loveliness about her that I find impossible to ignore. Love her! :-)

      Meri baat rahi mere mann mein is beautiful, yes. So poignant, and so well acted too. That is one of my favourite Guru Dutt films. Such all-around superb acting, such a fine story, such awesome music. An unbeatable combination.


  19. I never really liked Waheeda too much till some time ago. In fact I now admit that she was brilliant, and ethereal in her black and white films. Love the first screen cap of hers here. I really have to think about my fav Waheeda songs a bit. But that one song from Bees Saal Baad is quite good. Where she prances about. She is actually quite a looker!!


    • I think she looks her best when she’s dressed really simply – that is probably why I am really fond of that first screen cap, or the one from Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (Bhanwra bada naadaan hai): she has a beauty, and her eyes are so expressive, that she needs minimal fuss (splendid jewellery, hairdos or clothes) to project her image.


  20. I think a lot of credit needs to go to you too, for selecting the right caps to protray the various moods of Waheeda ji. As one scrolls down the webapage. just glancng at the images one by one, one can easily make out how great her expressions were.
    Great stuff!


  21. Have to correct my one and half year old comment of ‘Rangeela Re’ being the only daaru song to be picturised on Waheeda. There is this ‘Chhod mera haath, mujhe peene de’ from Subah-O-Shaam


  22. Nice post as usual. My favorites from the above list – Kahin pe nighahen, Rangeela re, Janey kiya tune kahie, piya tose naina lage re and as Shilpi Bose mentioned “Raat bhi hai kuch bheegi bheegi”.

    One of my favorite Geeta Dutt’s song from C.I.D “jata kahan hai deewane” would have been my most favorite song picturized on Waheeda Rehman if it hasn’t been edited out of the film.


    • Ah, yes! I remember hearing this song often on an LP of Geeta Dutt’s that my parents owned. Hadn’t realised it was from CID or that it had been picturised on Waheeda Rehman. I’d love to see it.


        • The book Guru Dutt – A Life in Cinema says that the song was edited out of the film.
          If I remember correctly…. when Dev Anand goes to meet Waheeda Rehman at the beginning of the film and some girls open the door for him, the introductory music of this song begins to play at that point and then suddenly disappears without a trace.


  23. This is such a fabulous list. Waheeda is such an icon — an absolute legend.

    I love the snake dance from Guide — what a terrific dancer and what expressiveness. One of the things I like about old films is that the song and dance was never just song and dance — it was about the character. And that is how you get gems like the ones you listed above.


    • True. I simply hate the notion of deliberately pushing aside everything that’s happening in the film because it’s “time for a song”. A lot of these old films had the songs built so seamlessly into the film that they never seemed intrusive – and songs like Aage bhi jaane na tu or See le zubaan actually didn’t ease up on the story – it continued right through the song.


  24. I had been busy with guests for the last two weeks and just finished reading this post – and what a wonderful post it is, on my all-time favorite actress, Waheeda! All my favorite songs are here, well, most of them, since some of them are duets and you have excluded duets! Thanks for the audio visual treat!

    Btw, I just read that you were in college in ’91, and now I am really impressed that you should be so knowledgeable about songs from my time, and before! And no, I am not going to reveal the period when I went to college!


    • :-) Thank you for the compliment – and I think my knowledge about songs and films from before the 70s owes itself largely to my father (who’s quite a film buff) and of course to my own very deep and abiding interest in old cinema! I guess I just don’t find enough in modern cinema to endear me to it. Perhaps there’s also the (very strong!) role played by Doordarshan, which used to telecast a lot of these old films and old film song programmes back in the 80s, when I was growing up. When you’re that young and that impressionable, such wonderful music does tend to spoil everything newer and un-melodious for you!


  25. Hi Madhu,
    Thanks for this wonderful selection, you’ve done what I wished I had time to do! Waheeda Rehman is as you know one of my absolute favourites in terms of actresses, I’d love to do a whole post on her alone. One day, when I have that time then! I really appreciated your choice, and have tried going through some of the comments, but there’s so much to read!! Many thanks anyway for the wonderful moment!


    • You’re very welcome, Yves – and thank you for stopping by to comment! I’ve been meaning to do a Waheeda Rehman songs post for a long time now, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’d love to see what post you do on her… whenever you have the time!


  26. I’d add the snippet / medley from Lamhe where she perfroms Kaaton se kheenche yeh aanchal. Wonderful film, magical moment.


    • Unfortunately, I don’t remember too much of that film, other than perhaps the final scene. And I can only recall that Waheeda Rehman played the younger Sridevi’s governess (or whatever), but nothing beyond that. But I can imagine how lovely that must have been.


  27. Lovely post as usual. I love Waheeda Rehman… and my favourite song picturised on her would have to be the glorious ‘Piya tose…’. She was amazing in that one. I haven’t heard/seen some of these before, so I’m looking forward to discovering them and the ones mentioned in your comments. Speaking of Waheeda, I recently watched ‘Khamoshi’ and now I am positively HAUNTED by ‘Tum pukar lo…’, which of course I first heard about from reading your Hemant Kumar post. Such a BEAUTIFUL song!


    • Yes, isn’t Tum pukaarlo ABSOLUTELY unforgettable? Just thinking about it gives me gooseflesh. There is so much that is completely amazing about that song – the way it’s been sung, the lyrics, the music, the beauty of Waheeda, the way Dharmendra moves around restlessly on that balcony. It’s just fantastic.


  28. What a wonderful post on one of my all-time favourite actresses! Absolutely eerie selection, Madhu!

    Why eerie? Because I was going through it one at a time, and after a song, I’d say to myself “I hope the next one is …” – and the very next one would turn out to be that song! No kidding! It happened not once or twice but 4-5 times. In fact, of all the songs you have in your selection, there’s only one that I did not have in my off-the-top-of-my-head list – and that is the Shagoon one (I haven’t seen the movie and actually don’t know this song, though I love some of the other songs in the movie, esp Tum apna raanjh o ghum and Parbaton ke deron par).

    So we match on 9/10 of your list. :-) My 10th would have been one of “tu chanda main chandni”, “raat bhi hai kuchh bheegi bheegi” and “sapne suhaane ladakpan ke”.

    I’ve always been a massive fan of Waheeda. I can safely see a movie of hers, just for her. Though it was horrible watching her in movies like Shatranj (it was an absolute insult to her talent, somebody like Babita or even Hema/Sharmila of that time would have been better-suited for the role). In fact I remember seeing an interview with Waheeda once where she said she hated her role in Shatranj.

    I remember way way back (when I was a young boy),soon after the release of Aradhana and Kati Patang, there was a cover story in Madhuri magazine about the top-3 heroines of the time. They were Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh and Sharmila Tagore.

    Waheeda had it all – real beauty, excellent acting, wonderful facial expressions, grace personified.

    I can never forget “bhanwra bada nadaan hai” from Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. I saw this movie for the first time as a young boy and could not understand head or tail of it. Meena Kumari was the perfect tragedienne with her “na jaao sainya chhudaake bainya”. The Asha song “saakiya aaj mujhe” became one of my favourites from then itself (though I did not know Minu Mumtaz then) but “bhanwra bada nadaan hai” with Waheeda’s facial expressions became imprinted in my mind forever. This song definitely deserves to be better-known.

    I love Waheeda’s chemistry with Dev in Solva Saal, especially in that clothes-exchange scene. She’s SO sweet in that scene. And she’s lovely in Ek Phool Chaar Kaante too. And I found her acting amazing in Reshma Aur Shera too. Heck, why am I trying to pick specific movies? She was just outstanding, period!

    Thanks SO much for having a post about Waheeda. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    And talking of “tum pukaar lo” (Khamoshi), it is one of my all-time favourites too. And it was very eerie when I saw your comment about the one Dharam song that comes to your mind when you think of him dancing. If I’d been asked this question, I’d have immediately said “yehi hai tamanna”. :-)

    And the eeriness continues with your comment about Neel Kamal. I had exactly the same thoughts about that movie – couldn’t stand it!

    So, plenty of eeriness, reading this lovely post and comments. :-)


    • Wow, that is a lot of eeriness there! So, I guess you and I qualify for the ‘lost brother-and-sister’ title – we think the same way?

      And you know what’s even more eerie? The one other fellow blogger-and-involved reader of this blog with whom I share an equally eerie relationship – thinking the same thoughts, planning similar posts, etc – is Anu Warrier. She hasn’t been blogging or posting comments on this blog for several weeks now, and I’d been missing her. And guess what? I see, just below these two comments of yours, that she is finally back! Whew… if this were a Hindi film, there would certainly be something spooky going on. (It’s past midnight, by the way, right now here in Delhi, and out in the park near our house an owl is squawking like a banshee. Straight out of Bhoot Bungla or Bees Saal Baad or something. ;-))

      On a less tangential note: I like those other songs you’ve suggested too – though I must admit I haven’t seen either Reshma aur Shera or Mujhe Jeene Do (Raat bhi hai kuchh bheegi-bheegi is from that, right?). Shagoon had lovely music and its songs were composed by Sahir, so the lyrics were fantastic too. Though my favourites from that are the same as yours – Tum apna ranj-o-gham always moves me a lot – the film is best avoided, unless you want to see Waheeda and Kamaljeet together, 10 years before they got married!


      • Yeah, we do seem to think the same way., don’t we? ;-) I like the “lost brother and sister” association – am immediately reminded of Sunil Dutt and Jamuna in “Beti Bete” (1964), singing “aaj kal mein dhal gaya”. :-)


        • I’d heard that song often enough before, but this was the first time I actually went over to Youtube and watched it. And I couldn’t help but giggle, even though it’s actually such a “sad song” (and, that, incidentally, reminds me of Dekh Kabira Roya) – when Shubha Khote’s character, having broken off with the man she loves but has convinced herself she doesn’t love, admits to her two pals: “Phir maine dukh bhara geet gaya. Sad song.” *Long, lugubrious sigh*.

          I think it’s about time I took myself off and wrote my next post…!


  29. Ok, when I saw a comment about Raj Kumar’s dancing skills here, I was reminded of a movie I’d seen many many years ago. I finally managed to track down the video on youtube and here it is. Mind you, you may find it embarrassing for more than just Raj Kumar’s dancing. ;-)


    • Raja!!!! Oh, lord. I saw 20 seconds of that and had to stop after that – I couldn’t take it any more. I like Leena Chandavarkar – but Raj Kumar is atrocious.

      Aaaarrgggghhh. I wonder if any magazine ever did an interview with Raj Kumar and asked him what his thoughts were about that dance. I wonder if any dance director, director, or anybody with any aesthetic sense actually looked through the camera while this was going on. Even looked, through the camera or not. I wonder if Leena C. went and cried her eyes out when this was all over.

      I wonder if I’ll ever be able to forget it.


  30. Madhu, Bravo! Wonderful selection (as always!) I have been away from cyber space for some time, and it is nice to come back to see a post about one of my favourite actresses! And it is rather eerie, come to think of it, that I had sort of fixed on doing a post on Waheeda next! I think I will give it a miss for sometime now!


    • Anu, so good to have you back here! Welcome back! :-)

      And do please take the time out to read my (albeit longish!) reply to raja’s first comment, just slightly above your comment – there’s plenty more eeriness there, and a mention of you…

      Oh, please – do, do, do a post on Waheeda Rehman! I love the posts you did on people like Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari – I would so like to read a post from you on Waheeda Rehman. Please!


      • Madhu, I hadn’t read the comments when I posted; and I laughed so much at your comment about the owl squawking – want to know why? Because when I posted *my* comment, it was half past ten here, and there was a half-drenched barn owl hooting miserably outside my window. He gave me quite a start because it *is* a rather eerie sound!

        Talk about coincidences! I will never shake my head at the improbabilities in a Hindi film script again!

        I will do the Waheeda Rehman post, I will! But I have started on a post about quawwalis, so let’s see how that goes. :)

        I must say that your idea of linking posts was nothing short of brilliant. Really.


        • Heh! The owl hooting outside your window and the owl hooting outside mine… honestly, this must mean something. If we were living in Hindi cinema, even if we weren’t related, it would at least mean that we had blood transfusions or something when we were babies… I must have given you blood, or vice-versa, or maybe both of us were given blood from a common donator, who loved Waheeda Rehman and ulloos! :-))

          Thank you for that pat on the back! And I am looking forward to your qawwalis post. So good to have you back, blogging and coming over here to read and leave comments.


          • LOL. I had a visual of the two of us lying in near-by beds and the common donor lying in a third – said donor’s blood travelling up one tube and then being diverted into two tubes and flowing directly into our veins! (Amar Akbar Antony- style – that scene never fails to crack me up!)

            But with my luck, Madhu, it was probably the owl who gave me blood!


  31. Remember bollyviewer had done one post on how (un)scientific even ‘scientific’ establishments in Hindi cinema are, invariably? Those delightful ‘labs’ and OTs and whatnot? I’ve always ended up laughing out loud and so many of the doctors and medical procedures shown in films – the blood transfusion, of course, being the most common! (and yes, I’ve always wondered how it is that people who are blood relatives will almost always have the same blood group!)


  32. Since reading this post the first time I’ve been able to watch Bees Saal Baad and ever since, zara nazron se kehdo ji has bee on high high rotate on my playlist – ESPECIALLY its picturisation. I think it epitomises everything I love about Waheeda, her remarkable ability to be an independent character despite the filmi culture soaked in the chauvinist misogyny of the wider culture and era it depicted on screen


  33. If this is a duplicate, my apologies. I just wanted to say that I’m actually glad now that I didn’t watch bhanwara bada nadan hai from your link here, because now I’ve seen it in context, and it’s great! It’s the perfect Waheeda song, and I don’t think it could have been picturised so convincingly on anyone else. I was struck by how much she reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in this one, and also by how often she got to play feisty, fun, strong women (which against the misogynist responsible for Mr & Mrs 55 was no mean feat!) I’m not one to follow filmi gossip, but I’ve long nursed a grudge against Dutt for his treatment of Geeta. This song, though, does showcase what a remarkable joDi he and Waheeda made, the sort of thing that excuses the overused and worn-out cliché “chemistry”.


    • “I just wanted to say that I’m actually glad now that I didn’t watch bhanwara bada nadan hai from your link here, because now I’ve seen it in context, and it’s great!”

      Thank you for that, Stuart! Another blogger has told me often enough that I shouldn’t restrict songs I put into my lists to only songs from films that I’ve seen. I’ve tried to tell him that often the context of a song makes a huge amount of difference to one’s appreciation of the song – as you just proved.


  34. Came back here to celebrate making it through most of Guide without hurling something at my TV , and the key to that was focusing on Waheeda and ignoring wotsisname. Her dancing in this was magnificent, and your slection for this list can’t be faulted. By turning the movie off as soon as Rosie finished her narration of the back story, I avoided all the stuff that makes me REALLY dislike this film, and now have tolerable memories of it.


    • Stuart, we may have our differences (High Noon!!), but I’m so glad that I’ve found someone who completely agrees with me about Guide. I have never been able to understand the all-pervasive fascination people seem to harbour for this film. For me, the music and Waheeda Rehman’s dancing are the two good things about it. As for the rest… the less said, the better. Frankly, Navketan made many films that were a lot better.


      • I think there’s something in the flashiness of the colours of “Guide” which turn it into an advert of some kind, and it all appears so superficial and sweetened-up.


          • I think the main reason I enjoyed my “dev-lite” version of Guide (apart from having much less Dev) was that my DVD, as is usual for most oldies, has unsubbed songs. So now, maybe 3 years or more after first watching it, the songs are no longer just pretty-sounding holes in the film, but I actually get something from them. It made a BIG difference.


            • Yes, I can understand wthat. I hate having not understood even an itsy-bitsy bit of anything in a film if I’m watching it with subs. I was watching a Malayalam film the other day, and while the dialogues had subs, the songs didn’t – and it was frustrating.


  35. I didn’t list that one, since (as I’ve mentioned in the introduction) the songs I’ve listed are from films I’ve seen – and I haven’t seen Mujhe Jeene Do. But one of the other blog readers (Padmakar) has suggested the song in one of his comments. It’s a good song, I agree.


    • Yay! Thank you for letting me know, Stuart. I’m about to shut down my computer for the day, but since I do look at your blog everyday, I’ll be reading that tomorrow. I shall probably dream of Waheeda Rehman tonight. ;-) (Highly possible – I dreamt of Kumkum the other day, after Raja posed an interesting trivia quiz featuring her)!


  36. I love your comments on Waheeda Ji. It’s unfortunate that she isn’t mentioned as often as the likes of Nargis, Madhubala and Meena Kumari but I feel like she is the most complete of all because of the reasons that you have mentioned. There were phenomenal beauties like Madhubala and Sadhna. There was a dancer par excellence in Vyjyanti Mala. There were the queens of emoting like Meena Kumari, Nargis and Nutan. There were those graceful sultry ladies like Nanda and Tanuja. However if there was one actress who blended all these qualities wonderfully well to create the most powerful combination then that is Waheeda Ji. You have written about her expressions in certain songs very well. She could make both a dance number like ‘Piya Tose Naina Laage Re’ and a deeply melancholic song in which she hardly gets to move like ‘Sajanwa Bairi Ho Gaye Hamaar’ work to perfection. Perhaps my all time favorite actress.


    • “Perhaps my all time favorite actress.

      Quite a lot of others’ too! :-) She is wonderful, and one thing I especially like aout her is the grace and dignity with which she’s aged.


  37. Waheeda is extremely beautiful. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I have watched the movie Guide so many times, yet it is not the story that I remember, but I watch it just to look at her.


    • To be honest, Waheeda Rehman and the music of the film are the only two reasons for me to watch Guide – I don’t like the film. But she is lovely. She acted in several films (Shagoon, Ek Dil Sao Afsaane, etc) which are not great otherwise, but have her looking absolutely gorgeous.


  38. My top 10 favourite Waheeda songs-
    1.Piya yose naina lage re
    2.Paan khaaye saiyaan
    3.Nadi naare na jao
    4.Saiyaan Beimaan
    5.Bhanwara bada nadaan
    6.Laali Laali Doliya
    7.Jaane kya tune kahi
    8.Aao no Sakhiyon
    9.O Bekarar dil
    10.Maang me bhar le rang
    While choosing Waheeda’s songs I was repeatedly reminded of her dancing songs which gave an idea to suggest you a review page on your ‘Top 10 favourite dancing songs.’


    • Interesting idea, but since I’m not that clued into what comprises good dancing and what doesn’t (I don’t end up paying as much attention to dances as does – for instance, Richard, over at the ‘Dances on the Footpath’ blog)… I have a feeling my favourite ‘dancing songs’ would end up being based more on the music and the singing rather than the dancing. Which I’m sure would draw plenty of flak!

      But I’ll keep it in mind, just in case I decide someday to take up the challenge. Thank you for the suggestion.


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