Ten of my favourite Ravi songs

This was not what I’d planned as my next post. But I learnt this morning that Ravi – the man who composed some wonderful tunes from the 50s and 60s – is no more. He passed away yesterday, the 7th of March, just four days after his 86th birthday. Ravi (born Ravi Shankar Sharma) also had a teeny-weeny link with my family. Like my uncle, he too sang part of the chorus for Vande Mataram!

More importantly, though, Ravi made a name for himself as a composer of songs that ranged from dreamily romantic to peppy, madcap to devotional (Ravi himself learnt how to sing by listening to his father sing bhajans when Ravi was a child).

So, in memoriam: a list of ten of my favourite Ravi songs. These are all from 50s and 60s films that I’ve seen, and are in no particular order. And yes, no two songs are from the same film.

1. Chaudhvin ka chaand ho (Chaudhvin ka Chaand, 1961): When I mentioned ‘dreamily romantic’ Ravi songs, this was the one I had in mind. Chaudhvin ka Chaand had excellent songs – the classic combination of Ravi’s music and Shakeel Badayuni’s lyrics produced gems like the heartbreaking Badle-badle mere sarkar and the comic-philosophical Yeh duniya gol hai. But this one, in Rafi’s gloriously soothing voice, is my favourite. It epitomises romance: soft, melodious music that lets the man’s voice take centrestage. Even the interludes are gentle, unobtrusive.

2. Zindagi ittefaq hai (Aadmi aur Insaan, 1969): This is the complete opposite of the very soft, lyrical Chaudhvin ka chaand ho. Asha Bhonsle is sultry, seductive and superb in this very Western tune by Ravi: lots of drums, guitars, and piano accordions – and while the interludes start off with a faintly Indian touch, the overall feel is of the West. Very  smart, very stylish and swish.

3. Ae mere dil-e-naadaan (Tower House, 1962): I have a track record of watching films simply because of one song; Tower House is an example. I first heard Ae mere dil-e-naadaan when I was a child, and have ever since loved it so much, that I watched the film for it. The film (it’s a not-too-well-made suspense one) isn’t great, but this lovely song – an attempt to be hopeful in the face of despair – is worth it. Gentle, sweet music that allows Lata’s voice and Asad Bhopali’s lyrics to shine through.
(That, I realise, is one of Ravi’s strengths: he manages to mould his music to suit the mood brilliantly: where the lyrics need to be in the limelight, he composes soft music that doesn’t overpower the words).

4. Aa bhi jaa (Gumraah, 1963): Like Chaudhvin ka Chaand, Gumraah was another fantastic example of the genius of two great men – the composer Ravi, and this time the poet Sahir – at work. This film had some wonderful songs, of which this one is my personal favourite. I love the echo effect here, the way Mahendra Kapoor’s voice goes softer as his words ‘bounce off’ the surrounding mountains. I love the hauntingly soft beauty of the tune. I love the way it suddenly swells between stanzas. I love the way it becomes suspenseful – as if in time to each heartbeat – as Mala Sinha walks down the staircase. Unforgettable.

5. Aage bhi jaane na tu (Waqt, 1965): Yet another Ravi-Sahir collaboration, and a score from which it was very difficult to pick one song as my favourite. Waqt was chockfull of fabulous songs, from Hum jab simatke aapki baahon mein to Ae meri zohrajabeen to Kaun aaya ke nigaahon mein khanak – to this one. Like Zindagi ittefaq hai, Aage bhi jaane na tu has a definitely Western flavour to it, but here it’s in a relaxed, stylish way: the quintessential crooner song. Asha’s voice dominates, sweet yet never shrill, rising into a crescendo to a backdrop of guitars.

6. Yeh zulf agar khulke (Kaajal, 1965): One of the classic Hindi film ‘drinking’ songs, in which the inebriated man is melancholy rather than boisterous. Rafi’s slow, slightly slurred rendition is wonderful, and the way Ravi gives the song the traditional feel of a mujra – with the tablas that accompany the dancer, and the sound of the dancer’s ghungroos, forming the main music – is just right.

7. Rangeen bahaaron se hai gulzar China Town (China Town, 1962): Although Baar-baar dekho hazaar baar dekho was probably the most popular of the songs from China Town, this one is my favourite. Since it’s set in Calcutta’s China Town, Ravi gives this nightclub song an enchantingly Oriental flavour – combined with some Western flourishes. The music trips along charmingly, with occasional bursts on the sax.
(While surfing Youtube, I found this lovely performance – by the Shanghai National Music Orchestra, of traditional Chinese New Year music. I thought it showed more than a passing resemblance – in sonorous pipes, stringed instruments, etc – to Rangeen bahaaron se hai gulzar).

8. O babu o lala mausam dekho chala (Dilli ka Thug, 1958): Yes, this isn’t an absolute original. The original song was Rum and Coca-Cola. But this is my favourite example of a song that is inspired by another – and takes the song to a completely different level. Rum and Coca-Cola is relatively flat and repetitive; Ravi makes O babu o lala an infectiously peppy, yet sexy, number. Whoops, whistles, clapping, lots of lovely variations in the music (especially that harmonica!), and Geeta Dutt’s gorgeous voice make this my favourite club song, ever.

9. Jab chali thandi hawa (Do Badan, 1966): One of the loveliest ‘missing-you’ songs in classic Hindi cinema. There’s a delicacy, a pleasantness about this song that manages to combine yearning with the joy of springtime. Even if you don’t watch the song, it’s easy – from the music – to imagine the heroine’s sahelis frolicking about at a picnic, while the heroine herself sings sadly of the lover she misses so much.

10. Tum agar saath dene ka vaada karo (Humraaz, 1967): Ravi created two of his best scores to showcase the voice of Mahendra Kapoor. One was Gumraah. The other was Humraaz, which featured some of Mahendra Kapoor’s best songs: Neele gagan ke tale, Kisi patthar ki moorat se, Na moonh chhupaake jiyo—and this one.
The music here is sublime: for nearly a minute and a half at the beginning, there’s only very sweet, restrained music that trills and ripples beautifully. Then, even when Mahendra Kapoor begins singing, the music is simple, with the flute predominating. And  I like the occasional ‘echoing’ chorus interspersed with his singing: the effect is lovely.

RIP, Ravi. You will be missed.


155 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite Ravi songs

  1. Such beautiful music! Gumraah, Humraaz Waqt…: all songs are eternal…

    Other wondrous films/songs include Do Badan (Jab chali thandi hawa, Bhari duniya mein akhir dil) but I will put this one by Lata

    and for Rafi this one form Neel Kamal (the most played must Babul ki duyayein leti ja at every wedding-Doli) but lets be not so doleful

    This one dedicated to sister number 3, who sang it loudly all night when she a little kid, after taking a good swig of beer from my dad’s glass when he wasn’t looking.
    Film was awful, but the songs were so good!

    And last, the very first record I owned, a 78 rpm gifted to me by my uncle on my 5th birthday


    • That’s a great selection of songs, bawa – and I remember that anecdote about your sister singing “Yeh purdah hata do”! :-)

      I dithered for a long time between Jab chali thandi hawa and Lo aa gayi unki yaad, but the latter eventually lost (by a very narrow margin) because I find it too sad. I think of it as a sad result of the waiting that Ja chali thandi hawa evokes. She waits so long, and misses him so much, and yet he does not come… only memories of him come.


  2. Lovely post, Madhu. He gave such wonderful songs in Hindi, and when the industry moved on from his kind of music, he quietly moved to the regional industry.

    I read about his demise yesterday night but figured you or harvey would have something up in memory, so I’ll take my time.

    Now I’m going to sit here and soak in the songs you listed.


  3. @dustedoff
    I am feeling a personal loss, because he was the only major composer I have met in Delhi at a small social gathering several years ago. There he sang (he was no mean singer) some of the best known Rafi songs composed by him. Then again a few months back I saw him at Delhi airport (he had come back from somewhere) waiting for a cab. I was in two minds whether to approach him. By the time I could make up my mind he was gone. Knowing of his demise, now I kick myself for not having simply gone and said hello to him. I am surprised the mainstream media seems to have ignored him. I was not aware of his death till I read your post.

    My best ten would be very different, but it is bound to be so for such a prolific genius. But I would like to mention a very special favourite of mine

    Zindagi ke safar me akele the hum by Rafi from Nartaki


    • That’s a sad memory to have, AK. I’m sure he would have liked to have met you again when he was at the airport. Still, think of it this way: at least you met him (and heard him sing, too). That is something to cherish in itself.

      I’d forgotten about that song from Nartaki. Am listening to it after a very long time – such a beautiful, tender song.


    • Yes, Arunji. I know he was known later as Bombay Ravi.

      Thank you for that link – I liked the fact that it gave some details of the music he composed for Malayalam films. I can well imagine why Ravi wouldn’t want to compose for Hindi films in the mid- and late-80s: music was by and large pretty awful by that time. Though he did compose the score for Nikaah, which had nice songs…such as this one, Beete hue lamhon ki kasak:


      • What a lovely tribute, thanks, Madhu! I didn’t know he wrote the music for Chaudhvin ka Chand, Waqt and Nikaah. That’s something I can include now when I write about Nikaah later this month. I think it’s another mark of his quality that while he had left behind mainstream Hindi cinema by then, he still wrote for a fine film like that one.


        • Thank you, Stuart!

          It is sad that while most of us appreciate the music of films like Waqt (and most of us have heard of Ravi), we don’t know that he composed for this film. I’m not going to pretend that I could, offhand, say which films Ravi composed for – the only film I was certain of was Dilli ka Thug, and that because I love the way he’s redone Rum and Coca-Cola into something so very different. The first time I heard that song, I had to go find out who composed it.


  4. RIP Raviji.
    IMost of the songs mentioned are my favourite too especially ‘Ae mere dil e naddan’ from Tower House, and ‘jab chali thandi hawa’.
    Chaudvin ka chaand had great music. Love all the songs there.

    It seems the first film he composed for could have been Albeli 1955, a picture of which memsaab had scanned (the wild film wildly told :-D

    This song from it is so melodious. Unfortunately, I think neither the film or it’s clips are available. Thank god the audio is.

    Along with OP Nayyar, Ravi must also have been a pioneer of ghoda gaadi songs. This is also a film from the same year 1955, called Vachan. Thankfully the clip is available with a lovely Geeta Bali with (?)


    • Pacifist, thank you for introducing me to Muskuraati hui chaandni – I’d never heard that before, and now I’m completely in love with it! As it is, I’m very fond of Hemant’s voice; on top of that, Ravi’s music is so tranquil and soothing – just perfect.

      Love the Vachan song too (and no, I don’t know who that man with Geeta Bali is, either). This film also had a cute kiddie song, remember? Chanda mama door ke:


      • @pacifist, his first recorded song was for Vachan, though Albeli was in the same year. Devendra Goel gave him a three-film contract. Muskurati hui chandni is indeed a wonderful song, so plaintive, so sweet. Thank you for the link.

        I think the chap with Geeta Bali is an actor called Balraj. I know Rajendra Kumar played her brother in this film.


      • dustedoff ji,
        The actor in Vachan clip is BALRAJ,as rightly identified by Anu ji.
        Balraj had acted with Kamini Kaushal in Chalis Baba ek chor-54,with Smriti biswas inMaldar-51 and with shyama in Majboori-54.
        He was also in Jungle princess-58,Kaalchakra-87,Hasina aur Nagina-93,Return of jewel thief-96 and Jodha Akbar-2008.
        -Arunkumar Deshmukh


          • Just the question I was about to ask! Who was he in Jodhaa-Akbar? That’s the only one of the movies Arunji has listed that I’ve seen (I haven’t even heard of some of the other films – like Chaalees Baba Ek Chor! :-D)


            • dustedoff ji,
              I do not know which role he played in Jodha Akbar,because I have not seen that film.
              But his name appears in the ‘also ran’ list in the credits.He must be around 70+ of age ,in 2008,so he must be in some insignificant role,is my guess.


              • Thank you. I would have seen it again, just to see if I could spot him, but I have too many old movies to watch – I have a consignment of 7 DVDs arriving within the next couple of weeks, so am looking forward to that. :-)


      • Vacahn has one more first to its credit!
        The Bhikhari Song – O Babu Ek Paisa Dede .
        Sibsequently, SJ did great numbers in ‘Boot Polish’ and ‘Seema’ and Naushad in ‘Shabab’. ANd of course Gulzar did the whole movie – Kitaab – on this theme,


  5. I got to learn about his death only late last evening through Twitter. I immediately looked for news on the net and on news channels. Nothing!

    He did not trend on Twitter (even in India) yesterday evening. I checked this morning. Also nothing!

    Looks like the mainstream media in India did not consider news of his death news-worthy. Or the twitterati.

    Which, if you look at it, was perfectly consistent with the attention he got during his career and lifetime.

    I like all the songs you’ve posted here, Madhu. My favourites from this list would be “ye hawa, ye hawa”, “zindagi ittefaq hai”, “tum agar saath dene ka waada karo”, “jab chali thandi hawa” and “ae mere dil-e-nadaan”.

    Most of his songs were extremely hummable. Maybe his music was not complicated or sophisticated enough to be appreciated by the knowledgeable music community but I am always happy to listen to songs like “ye khamoshiyan, ye tanhaiyan” , “itni haseen itni jawaan raat kya karen” and “zara sun haseena-e-naazneen”. Even “dil mein kisi ke pyar ka jalta hua diya”. Very pleasant to listen to!


    • I got to know of his death only because of your status messages on Facebook, raja. The newspaperwallah never left our newspaper today (off celebrating Holi?), but the Times of India online has a very perfunctory bit of news about his death:


      Probably written by some overworked and uninterested journo who phoned a couple of people, checked out Ravi’s filmography online, and churned out the article in 15 minutes flat. Or less.

      I too have no pretensions to being of the knowledgeable music community, and I’d agree totally with you about the hummability of Ravi’s songs. Perhaps the very fact that his music was uncomplicated and possibly lacked sophistication (though I don’t think so) worked in his favour. His tunes were simple, pleasant, memorable ones. I like the ones you’ve listed, including Dil mein kisi ke pyaar ka jalta hua diya – that was such a popular song back when Ek Mahal ho Sapnon ka was released.


      • It’s such a shame, isn’t it? Would it have been so difficult to ask Lata to say a few words, or Asha? Maybe talk to Khayyam? Contemporaries, people who worked with him? That obit is more of an insult. It would have been better to just ignore him than write this crap. Uff!


        • Exactly my reaction, Anu. It would’ve been better to just put it as a two-sentence news (TOI do those for quite a bit of stuff), rather than this travesty. It’s not as if there aren’t people around who worked with Ravi. Why not just put in the news today, and get a classic film enthusiast to write a genuine, heartfelt tribute a couple of days later?


  6. Lovely list Madhu. Another great composer who made watching movies such a wonderful experience for us, had gone. The golden era is slowly fading. Our memories will be the only thing keeping the time alive.


    • That’s the sad part of loving the good old films, Ava. The people who made them are slowly moving out of our lives.

      Actually, not even ‘slowly’. So many of them have passed on in this past year.


    • Thank you for that, Suhan! That was just what I had hoped somebody would come up with – a well-researched, yet heartfelt tribute to Ravi. At least it brings Ravi’s genius to the forefront for people who may know his songs, but didn’t know of the man himself.


  7. A nice list, madhu!
    What I liked about it is that you have covered the different moods which he excelled at!
    I thought, I left a comment here today morning. Either it has got lost in wordpress or I closed the window without pressing the post comment button.That is a pity, because I had put in some links to video which have been covered by others now. But it doesn’t matter.
    A brilliant tribute, Madhu!
    my favourits from your list are ae mere di-e-nadaan, aage bhi jaane na tu and o babu o lala


    • What I liked about it is that you have covered the different moods which he excelled at!

      When I finished writing this post, and was re-reading it, it came to my mind that I couldn’t think of a song that I could say was “obviously Ravi”. Yes, I know that could be true of other music directors too, but if I hear North Indian folk music, or tonga beats, I think OP Nayyar, and if I hear Bengali folk music, I think SD Burman – but Ravi is impossible to slot. His music’s so very versatile. Again, true of others (including Nayyar and Burman) but particularly exemplified by Ravi.

      P.S. I had a look at my blog dashboard, harvey. Sadly, no previous comments by you, either unapproved or marked as spam. Cyberspace must have gobbled it up. :-(


  8. Here are some of my other RAvi favs
    yeh raate yeh mausam nadi ka kinara from Dilli ka Thug

    woh dil kahan se laau from Bharosa, it is so similar to ae mere dil-e-nadan

    yeh raast ehai pyar ke from Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke

    He made such a good use of Asha’s voice, much better than O. P. Nayyar!

    tim tim karte taare from Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan. I like the sad version much more.

    tumhe paa ke humne jahan paa liya hai from Gehra Daagh

    dekha hai zindagi ko kuchh itna karib se from Ek mahal Ho Sapnon Ka

    Thank you Ravi for the lovely compositions, which will help us in life.


    • I just realized a song I like very much is from Ravi’s repertoire —

      Thanks Harvey, for jogging my memory with your pick from “Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke”.
      My parents tell me that this was the first movie I have seen in a theatre, I must have been 1 or so.


      • This sounds like the story my parents tell me that Haathi Mere Saathi was my first movie in a cinema hall. I also must have been one or so at that time. ;-)
        I am happy that I could jog your memory, it yielded such a beautiful song, which I had just about forgotten. Thanks, it did me good to listen to it.


        • And my first movie in a cinema hall was Bobby – and I was about a year old, too. My mum said they took me along because they thought I’d sleep through the film; but I sat up and watched it all. :-)


      • That’s another nice song, Samir. God knows why (considering I watched Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke only a couple of years back), the only song from it that’s stuck with me is the title song. I’ve blanked out on the rest.

        I should’ve been paying closer attention – this song’s lovely.


    • “which will help us in life”

      That sounds like developmental aid. what I meant to write was ‘which will help us enjoy certain moments in life’. Not a perfect line but all the same better than the first one.


    • Thank you for those songs, Harvey! I especially like Yeh raatein yeh mausam nadi ka kiraana and Yeh raasta hain pyaar ke.

      In fact, Yeh raaste hain pyaar ke was originally on my list – it’s such a lovely song. Then I saw a comment on Youtube that the music was inspired by a Western tune, Amapola. Frankly speaking, I don’t see much similarity, but anyway – I didn’t want to end up having to justify two ‘inspirations’ by Ravi, considering I’d already included O babu o lala.


          • Thanks for all the music. Almost all my favourites are listed or mentioned, and some beautiful songs I have never heard.

            It’s surprising and sad that Ravi isn’t better known. Gumraah and Waqt alone should be enough to justify listing him among the greats of Hindi film music.

            Last night I heard Ameen Sayani’s tribute on radio as I was driving. It started with Ravi himself singing Waqt ki har shay ghulam. Just Ravi with a harmonium, and it was wonderful. The understated way he sang was very touching. The Mohd Rafi version now seems over-dramatic in comparison.

            I’ve heard another bit of the same interview once earlier. Apparently Ravi was a great fan of C. Ramchandra


              • Goodness! Yes, this version sounds embarrassingly the same as Yeh raaste hain pyaar ke. :-(

                (By the way, I had the same thought as you when I first heard the tune on the link I had posted – that it sounded faintly like Thandi hawaayein lehraake aayein).


            • Thank you, Sunny – glad you liked the post. And I agree that just the music of films like Gumraah and Waqt (I’d also add Humraaz to that) should have made Ravi a famous man. It’s sad that so few people – even those who like old Hindi films and their music – really know much about Ravi’s music.


  9. I did not know much about Ravi, but looking at this list, I have to conclude he was among the great ones. Thanks for this tribute, almost all songs are my favorites.


  10. I’m not much of a Ravi fan, but he certainly was an integral part of the golden era of Hindi film music and has left behind melodies that will be enjoyed by music lovers for years to come.

    A Ravi song that I do like is this unusual, lovely Asha solo from “Wanted”:


  11. Thanks for the wonderful post and the melodious songs.

    Humraaz & Gumraah was probably the most played cassette when I was in college. I would not be surprised if that combination is one of the highest sellers of HMV.

    I have a special fondness for ‘Gairon pe karam, apno pe sitam’ from Aankhen, one of my favourite movies. The music seems to be compliment the location of the movie quite aptly and the lyrics are simply mind-blowing, esp. ‘gairon ke thirakte shaane par, ya haath gawara kaise karen …

    I read somewhere that Ravi created a number of begging songs, and here are some of them

    Garibon ki suno from Dus Lakh

    Tujhko rakhe raam from Aankhen

    Aulad walon phoolo phalo from Ek Phool Do Mali



    • I love Aankhen too – after watching that film as a child, I looked out for other Dharmendra-Mala Sinha films, hoping they were together in other awesome films like that one (they weren’t; Jab Yaad Kisiki Aati Hai, Anpadh and Bahaarein Phir Bhi Aayengi aren’t a patch on Aankhen)! Somehow, I don’t much care for the music of Aankhen, but of its songs, Ghairon pe karam apnon pe sitam is my favourite.

      Hehe. I like the Ravi’s ‘beggar songs’ mini-list you’ve created. May I add one that I always think of as a beggar song? Dil ke armaan aansuon mein beh gaye:

      No, not really a beggar song, but there was a time back in the late 80s and early 90s in Delhi when you couldn’t get into a DTC bus in south Delhi without encountering this trio of beggar children who wailed the song very flat and tunelessly. Passengers would them pay them to stop singing, they were so bad!


      • dustedoff ji,
        In Times of India,Mumbai ed. dated 11th March,an artcle by a journalist,Harish C.Menon is published,in which he has written about an Interview of Ravi he had taken in 2004,at Ravi’s house.
        In this interview Ravi says,” I even turned around a Naushad song and used it.” Elaborating Ravi revealed that the popular Salma Agha number Dil ke armaan aansuon mein ,from Nikaah-82 was merely a jumbled up version of an earlier Naushad classic.
        “Listen to ‘Milte hi aankhen dil hua deevana kisika’,the Talat-Shamshad duet from Babul.I merely changed the tunes of its first 2 lines and created Dil ke armaan.And Salma won an award”.
        -Arunkumar Deshmukh


        • Thank you for sharing that, Arunji! Interesting – I missed that; I don’t think it was in today’s TOI here in Delhi. I am a little astonished that Ravi should have admitted to something like that – most composers would vehemently insist that all their tunes are completely original. To say that he used a base tune from another composer takes – courage? honesty? a bit of both?


          • Madhu, many of the composers of those days admitted openly to being inspired by their peers; and thought nothing of asking their peers to help them out. Madan Mohan has happily admitted to using Sajjad Hussein’s Yeh hawa yeh raat yeh chandni to make Tujhe kya sunaoon main dilruba. Salilda once narrated an incident where Bimal Roy and SD came to him rather worried because SD couldn’t get the background music for Devdas the way Bimalda wanted – so Salilda stepped in to compose part of the background music (uncredited) while SD composed the rest, as well as the songs. Most of them seemed to have been, if not close friends, atleast, friendly enough to do so without much issues.


            • That is a sweet little insight into their relationships with each other – very heartening! I do remember hearing bits of background music here and there which were actually exactly like the interludes of well-known songs – even though the background music was not by the composer who’d created the song in question. For instance, in Ek Saal (which, coincidentally, had music by Ravi), the first view of Bombay is shown with a background music of Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan – which of course was from CID, scored by O P Nayyar.

              Hmm. I’d been puzzled by that. Now I’m feeling a little enlightened! Thank you. :-)


  12. A beautiful goodbye to a great composer. I enjoyed listening to these lovely old songs, nothing to beat them, really. There are some fantastic suggestions in the comments as well, I’ll have to find time to listen to them all!


    • Thnak you, Suja. glad you liked the songs. And yes, there are some wonderful suggestions in the comments as well.

      Here, by the way, is a song (from the early 70s, so outside of the boundaries I set for my blog) which I like a lot. This is Sansaar ki har shay ka from Dhund. Something hauntingly beautiful about the music and the lyrics.


  13. DO,
    Katti batti to nahin …
    my fab bandwidth does not allow me to scroll down fully so do excuse any duplication :).

    First Ravi Saheb may his soul RIP, he will be missed but not forgotten.
    One of the finest piece of poetry written by Shakeel Badayuni Saheb and composed by the Maestro is

    mujhe ishq hai tujhi se meri jaan e zindagaani Rafi from Ummeed
    I have ripped all the songs from this phillum on YT, they are all super tracks, but this one is here

    Joyda incidentally on whom this was filmed is also very sick and is in hospital in Mumbai !

    and the title song of the same and very rarely heard is here, sung by the Maestro himself is here

    called insaan jee raha hai

    and another one sung by himself is from from musical blockbuster Ek PhooL Do Mali called Kismat ke khel nirale mere bhaiya is here

    Lyrics by Prem Dhawan Saheb



    • No katti, ash. ;-) Now that you’ve told us how great the bandwidth is, I understand!

      I hadn’t heard Insaan jee raha hai before, though of course Mujhe ishq hai tujhi se used to be very popular when I was younger. Used to hear it on AIR all the time.

      I hope Joy Mukherji gets well soon. I remember reading that he wasn’t well.


    • Thanks swarint, for that clip from Umeed. I did not know that Ravi was the music composer of Umeed. As I went through the clip ( the title song)memories flooded me as I saw familiar names on the credit titles and I will not deny so soon after dad’s 40th death anniversary, I was teary eyed. One memory that I would like to share here is that dad was distinctly uncomfortable in a song featuring him and I think the dancer was Madhumati in this film.


      • Hei again Shilpi
        Ash here aka swarint :), is it really 40 years since Dada passed away ? May his soul RIP, it seems he has been with us so many years and still is around us :). Yep indeed it was ‘thodisi aur pee le o rangeele ‘ by Ashatai in Umeed which had Dada and Madhumati. This song is ripped and is on YT also. We can imagine the emotions Shilpi you have to go thru when ever yu see Dada in his movies, a Legend in his own right :), cheers :)


      • Was it this song, Shilpi? The print is terrible, but anyway:

        It’s the only one from Ummeed that I could find with your father and Madhumati – and yes, I could understand why someone like your father would have felt very uncomfortable with this.


  14. Ravi was one of my favourite composers. The songs that you have listed Madhu make me all nostalgic for the good old days of my childhood. My favourite is Aage bhi jaane na tu, not only for the music- note some of those little elements, those musical instruments that are no longer in use today, but also for the lyrics, how true ‘Jo bhi hai bas yehi ek pal hai’.
    Here is a contribution from me from the film Aaj Aur Kal, I love Mohammed Rafi’s rendition


    • I agree with you about Aage bhi jaane na tu, Shilpi – I love everything about that song, including the picturisation (and the fact that the story actually progresses considerably in the course of the song). Your observation about the music including instruments that aren’t used any more was a good one; I think one of the reasons I stopped liking much modern Hindi film music during the 80s (and ever since, except for some exceptions) was that everything is too tinny and artificial. The melody that comes from a live orchestra seems to have become defunct.

      Thank you for Yeh waadiyaan yeh fizaayein – a very nice song that I’d forgotten about.


  15. Aww, so many people have been dying recently! What’s wrong with the world? >:(

    I didn’t know Ravi had composed all of those songs. Time to go listen to them. RIP. >:(


    • I just discovered that Joy Mukherji has passed away too. :-(

      As a tribute to these two men, here’s a song picturised on Joy Mukherji and composed by Ravi. Mohabbat rang laayegi, from Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai:


          • First Shammi, then Jagjit, then Dev, then Ravi, and now Joy? Who next? :( :( :(

            Dustedoff, do you mind if I do something like your Two Heroes, Ten Situations, Twenty Songs, post for my tribute to Joy Mukherjee? I won’t copy anything word-for-word, promise. :(


            • And Kalpana, remember? Plus, early last year, Nalini Jaywant passed away. :-(

              Oh, do please go ahead and do a Two Heroes, Ten Situations, Twenty Songs – it’s not as if I have a copyright on that! Would love to see what post you come up with. Am already looking forward to it. :-)


              • Oh yeah! :( Man this is really terrible.

                Yay! It’s time to go look up some songs, but this time I think I want to do three heroes! (Joy, Shammi and Dev!) And today’s the concert too, so I can’t wait! And hopefully, hopefully, someone will tell my grandma how to pronounce “Anand” correctly! :P


      • What’s happening :-(

        Joy Mukherji was for me the opposite of effeminate actors like Biswajeet. If Shammi Kapoor had films like Junglee/janwar/badtameez, he had Love in Simla/Love In Tokyo. I remember his’ love in Tokyo song’ – aaja re aa zara aa

        Rest In Peace Joy Mukherji


        • Yes, Joy Mukherji was one of those actors one could never slot as effeminate. Another movie of his that I like a lot was Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon – classic Nasir Hussain plot (obviously Nasir Hussain did think Joy Mukherji capable of reprising a Shammi Kapoor role, since Shammi had earlier done a similar character in Nasir’s nearly-identical films, Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Dil Deke Dekho).

          I love Aa jaa re aa zara aa. One of the few come-hither songs where the singer is male, not female. And he sizzles.


          • This is sad news indeed! It’s like a forgotten era is slipping away in a minute. I liked Joy Mukherjee. Of the lot, I thought he was the one person who could follow in Shammi’s footsteps – and he was definitely not effeminate! As if I wasn’t sad enough already!!


            • I couldn’t have put it better, Anu – “It’s like a forgotten era is slipping away in a minute“. And Joy Mukherji wasn’t even that old, come to think of it – I mean, 73 is not doddering in this day and age. RIP. I’m going to miss him. And I just realised that I’ve already reviewed all my favourite movies of his – Love in Shimla, Love in Tokyo, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon… which just shows how much I did like him.


      • I rather liked Joy Mukherjee too. He wasn’t a very good or charismatic actor, but he was decent to look at and fun to watch. As with everyone lucky to be in the films in the 60s, he had some great songs.

        A personal favorite is this Asha-Rafi duet from “Humsaya”:


        • Yes, he was pretty average when it came to acting skills, but he was fun to watch – and he acted in some great entertainers.

          This is a lovely song. It’s been years since I watched Humsaaya. It certainly had nice songs.


          • DO, one of my all time favorites and still is, SHAGIRD, Joy and I S Johar was a fine jodi, and the songs were peppy, who can forget Duniya Pagal Hai and Bade miya deewane and woh hain zara khafa khafa, CHEERS :)


            • I liked Joy in Shagird, but Saira Banu was a little too screechy in it – and the second half of the movie went a little berserk. Still, it was mostly good fun; the songs were great; and IS Johar was very funny. :-)


    • I love this song. Really love it. I remember watching Ek Musafir Ek Haseena as a kid, and falling in love with this song (and developing a crush on Joy Mukherji, simultaneously!).

      Incidentally, did you realise there were two Joy Mukherji songs which have lyrics that include verses by classic poets from Delhi?

      Zubaan-e-yaar-e-man Turki from Ek Musafir Ek Haseena has its main line by Amir Khusro:

      And O mere shah-e-khubaan (one of my favourite Joy songs, from Love in Tokyo) has at least one line – “Tum mere paas hote ho, koi doosra nahin hota” by Momin:


      • Thanks for the info DO :-) Missed reading this comment – like Lalitha I too am chasing to keep up :-D

        I didn’t know about the lines. I know Amir Khusro of course, but Momin though rings a bell, I can’t place.


  16. I always say this, and I repeat here. Ravi is perhaps one composer who has given a lot of ‘occasion’ songs, i mean the ones that have to invariably come up on some ‘occasions’

    For example – the eternal ‘barati’ song – ‘Aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai’ is by him.

    Then that evergreen kiddie song – ‘Hum bhi agar bache hote naam hamara hota babloo dabloo’

    { He was quite a ‘kiddie’ composer – remember, Chanda mama door ke or Bache mann ke sache}

    Or, the quintessential selfless love song that plays on every ‘karwa chauth’ – ‘Tumhi mere mandir tumhi mere pooja’

    Or, the ‘bidaai’ song – ‘ Babul ki duwayen leti jaa jaa tujhko sukhi sansaar mile’

    Or, the ‘beggar’ song – ‘Garibon ki suno woh tumhari sunega’

    RIP Ravi Sahab.


  17. This is a wonderful tribute, DO, with some wonderful songs in it, and I was scrolling through the comments and listening to the songs and then I came upon the news that Joy Mukherji is no more. The last few months have been cruel, snatching first one, then another of our favorite people from the 50’s and the 60’s. Right now, I can’t think of any songs to add to this list, so I will just come back later tonight and listen to any new songs that are added to this post. But before I do that, I have to read Harvey’s post on Lata and Asha duets – why do you have to prove that you are these bichde huye sisters and brother from the past and post at the same time? Maan gaye, maan gaye, now please post on different dates in future so that people like me can savor them, one small bite (or song) at a time!


  18. Finally :you posted “beete huye lamhon ki kasak” from Nikaah, if only in the comments :) . Though your second comment @ Dil Ki Yeh Arzoo was an unkind stab@ Salma Agha pouring her heart out (through her nose , apparently : )).

    “where the lyrics need to be in the limelight, he composes soft music that doesn’t overpower the words” … extremely well put. I’d say Yeh Raaten Yeh Mausam from Dilli Ka Thug exemplifies it. The song is in itself so light and lilting that you hardly notice the background scores the voices waft on.


    • Though your second comment @ Dil Ki Yeh Arzoo was an unkind stab@ Salma Agha pouring her heart out (through her nose , apparently : )).

      Awesome! :-D Yes, why did she have to sing through her nose in that irritating way? The song was good – the lyrics and music were great – but if only she hadn’t wailed it, it would’ve been far better.

      I love Yeh raatein yeh mausam too – and yes, such a fine example of how Ravi could restrain himself from drowning the lyrics – not to mention the singers’ voices – with the music.


  19. My favorites here are Chaudhvin ka chand ho … and the songs from Gumrah, including Chalo ek baar phir se … and this lullaby:

    and its sad version:

    Ravi knew how to get the most out of his songs by minimizing the music where needed. RIP, Raviji!


    • There, I made a post about it! And thanks, but it wasn’t so great! That Anand Raj Anand ruined the whole evening for me! Oh, and my grandma pronounces Anand as “Uhnund”. LOL. And when she says Dev’s name it’s super-awkward. Especially when she’s bent upon calling him with his surname every time!


      • Is your grandma Punjabi, by any chance? :-D My husband’s Punjabi, and while he’s been born and brought up mainly in Delhi – so barely even manages to speak Punjabi – he has some relatives who pronounce ‘Anand’ that way. My father-in-law’s first name is Anand, and his siblings call him “Uhnund”.


        • Oh yes, she is! I don’t know how to speak Punjabi, even though I am one, but I can understand. So my grandma can’t complain about me! Hah! :D

          And that’s really cool about your father-in-law’s name being Anand. :D


  20. Dear Dusted Off,

    Your blog has been a great source of delight, nostalgia and information for the last few years. It reconnects me with a childhood where old Hindi (and English) films were a constant, and with music that, unlike skin and nails, one never sheds – thankfully.

    One of the finest, most moving obits I saw on Ravi’s demise was your blog post. Like you, I had often been struck by his fine partnership with Sahir Ludhianvi – who is high up there on my personal pantheon. Your observation, and my own sense of gratitude to Ravi for helping me discover Sahir as a child inspired this post, on their collaboration:


    Thank you, again. I look forward to reading you each week.


    • Karthika, thank you so very much for visiting my blog, and for your comments. I’m so glad you liked this post – and do keep coming back!

      I’m about to log off for the day, so won’t be able to read your post today, but am bookmarking it so I can do that tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.


      • I look forward to revisiting your blog! As I said, it’s a steady source of joy.

        … and a place to stay awhile and remember the departed. I just read that Joy Mukherjee passed away. 73 was too young to leave.

        By the way, rereading your post on Ravi with all the responses now (many of which also speak of the Sahir connection!), I just wondered: didn’t Shakeel Badayuni write the lyrics of Chaudhvin ka Chand? I have always seen him credited for it.


        • Ouch. Sorry for the Chaudvin ka Chaand slip-up. Yes, of course you’re right – God knows what I was thinking of (Sahir, obviously!). Have corrected it, thank you for pointing that out.


          • :) It’s funny, I always wished Chaudhvin ka chando ho had been written by Sahir! That is one song which I always felt he *should* have written: the flawless metaphors, the refinement, the beauty – they all point to a Sahir-ness! But then Shakeel Badayuni was a fine, fine poet too, I remind myself! And try not to feel so, well, deprived! Irrational, isn’t it?


            • This comment made me grin, Karthika – because it reminded me of something that happened to me. I was researching a blog post on Sahir’s songs, and suddenly remembered Dekhi zamaane ki yaari from Kaagaz ke Phool. I was absolutely certain it was Sahir – it sounded like Sahir. And then it turned out to be Kaifi Azmi! Yes, Azmi is a brilliant poet too, but I could have sworn that song was Sahir. :-)


              • It’s my turn to smile, I guess! Because after coming under the spell of Pyaasa, I reached backwards into Guru Dutt’s directorial ventures and found Sahir’s fingerprints all over Jaal and Baazi, and then took it for granted that they had always worked together! And when I saw Kaagaz ke Phool and discovered Kaifi Azmi wrote the poetry, it was such a shock! I was only about 15 then and quite indignant that Guru Dutt could have chosen to work with someone else :)

                As you say, Kaifi Azmi was a brilliant poet (though I really got curious about his writing only a few years ago), and in some ways, their ethos is very similar: the political engagement, the strong position they took on women’s rights, also the eschewal of facility, if you know what I mean. I always feel both seldom underestimated listeners/viewers – and they were seldom wrong, I mean we all rose by listening to their lyrics, I don’t think we gave up on them. One of the reasons why this whole “dumbing down” syndrome post-80s annoys me so much.


  21. May he rest in Peace, he was definitely one of my favourite music directors, he was at his prime in the 60’s, I’d like to think. On that ‘aage bhi’ song from Waqt, I’ve always thought of it as a Japanese sounding song as opposed to western, i don’t know why, but i associate that song with Japan than say the west. The last film i saw (last week in fact) was one he scored, Nai Roshni, lots of lovely songs there but i really loved this one below


    • That’s an interesting take on Aage bhi jaane na tu – I suppose I must listen to some Japanese music to try and form my own opinion about that!

      Thank you for the Nai Roshni song – very melodious and sweet. Liked it (and Tanuja is one of my favourites!). :-)


  22. It is impossible to capture the genius of Ravi in one post.(I am a big big fan).
    Consider a few more-
    (Apologies if they have been mentioned,my net connection is terrible)

    Door Rehkar na kar-(this song was mentioned by Ravi when he wanted to make the point that his music suited Rafi more than Kishore)


  23. Karthik, I began watching these videos bottom up – first the Vandana one, then the Amaanat one (which I had heard before, and like). Now I’m listening to Darshan do ghanshyam nath – which really gives me goosebumps, it’s so beautiful. I think I last heard this one when I was a kid; had forgotten all about it. I am not a fan of bhajans, but this one is so serene and tranquil, I can’t help but love it.


  24. Here are a couple of Ravi’s songs from Aurat (1967), a now forgotten film with Padmini in the main role and a very young Rajesh Khanna :-), Feroz Khan, OP Ralhan, Pran, Nazima, et al. The perfect film to take screenshots of the young Rajesh by the way.

    1. Humein tumse mohabbat Hai

    2. Shola ulfat ka badkake


    • Thank you for this, Suhan! You just made my day. :-) I liked those songs a lot (I’d heard both of them before, but didn’t know which film they were from). And, oooh – Rajesh Khanna looks so wonderful… I’ll probably be watching these songs a couple of times more during the day. :-)


  25. Song from Khaamosh Nigaahein(1986 or??)(produced and directed by Raviji`s song Ajay sharma starring Deepti naval,Rakesh roshan,Swaroop sampat

    another song from movie sung by Raviji himself

    another duet:

    all the songs I think penned by Raviji himself

    Songs of this movie were not marketed properly by Gulshan kumar of T.series
    (I think it is Gulshan kumar & anuradha paudhwal monopolistic ways of not marketing the songs of the movie which doesnot have anuradha paudhwal as singer)(Buy all of songs from movies not sung by anuradha and dump them by not marketing properly. Many Melodious songs sung by lata,asha gone to dumps, due to this highhandedness and the loosers are we the hapless listeners


    • They’re lovely songs, all of them – I’d never heard them before, and I hadn’t even heard of Khamosh Nigaahein. Sad, that in a period when film music was generally pretty awful, such nice music should have got almost completely pushed into oblivion because of bad marketing.


  26. The ignored asha solo,my favourite picturised while showing movie title cards of Ye Raaste hain pyaar ke:
    video link:

    Audio link:

    Really this song should have got more recognition, in my opinion.


    • I’d forgotten all about this song… somehow the only song from this film that has stayed in my mind is the title song, Yeh raaste hain pyaar ke, chalna sambhal-sambhal ke. But yes, this song is also a beautiful one, very gentle and slow.


  27. I think You have listened to this Ravi masterpiece,if not I want to recommend this strongly:

    Girls Hostel:1962
    Just listen this song at late night time,It is out of the world.


    • I’m listening to it in the morning, but it’s still very nice. Thank you for that – I hadn’t heard it before, so this one was a wonderful way to start the morning. :-)


  28. Hi, it is a little too late to comment probably but as they say better late than never.I have often wondered if someone could do a list of ten most underrated songs of Ravi (or for that matter, of any composer). The song that would head this list if I do this is na jhatko Zulf se paani from Shehnai. I do not understand why it never makes it to any list, I find it magical every time I listen to it. Gairon pe karam from Aankhen by Lata is another, though it sounds a bit Madan Mohan-ish. A personal favorite of me is also Husn se chand bhi sharmaya hai…


  29. here i am with my top 10 ravi songs!
    i havent posted any vdo links as all songs r known to everyone i think!
    the first three r in the order- top 3,
    4th on wards, they r randomly numbered.

    1. Main Khushnaseeb Hoon From Tower House by lata mukesh.
    this is really my favorite, as it has a different tune than his others 60s compositions, and both the singers r gr8 as usual!
    u might have covered it in ur Male Pianist theme { i am yet to read it! :-( }

    2. Badle Badle Mere Sarkar from Choudavi ka chand.
    this is my another favorite.
    One point about this song- its perhaps the only song of lata mangeshkar under
    Guru Dutt productions!

    3. Hum To Mohhobat Karega from dilli ka thug.
    a fun song by kishore
    4. Dadi Amma Dadi Amma man Jao from gharana

    5. Khile Hai Sakhi Aaj fom grihasthi
    My favorite song, from all the songs sung by three mangeshkar sisters together!

    6. Hum Jab Simatake Aap Ki from Waqt.
    a romantic duet,

    7. Jab Chali Thandi hawa.
    its just wonderful and features in ur list too.

    8. Yeh Jhuke Jhuke Naina from bharosa.

    9. Pyar Ka sagar dekha hai by asha mukesh fom pyar ka sagar.

    10. Kal ke Chand Aaj Ke Sapne by lata hemant kumar from nai raahein


  30. Anup ji ;

    Main Khushnaseeb Hoon From Tower House by lata mukesh…….is my all time waltz favorite too. Beauty of this song is its preludes and interludes as well….as also its variety. Every stanza of this big song has different interludes and very melodic orchestra. and lyrics very romantic. Overall I think one of the best from Ravi’s composition . Ravi ….a gentleman of music ….simple in nature good at heart.


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