Ten of my favourite ‘songs to myself’

The other day, listening to old Hindi film songs while I went about my housework, I realised something: a lot of my favourite songs are songs the character onscreen sings to himself/herself. Not quietly hummed to oneself, not songs merely sung when no-one else is around: but songs whose lyrics are specifically addressed to the self.
To an aching heart, for instance, either offering it comfort or encouragement—or telling it to resign itself to the sorrow that looms. Or (and these are fewer), songs of joy, doubling one’s own happiness by exulting over it in the company of oneself.

So, here goes. Ten of my favourite ‘songs to myself’. These are all from pre-1970s films that I’ve seen, and are in no particular order. The one major rule I’ve imposed on myself is that each song is explicitly addressed to oneself. (Which is why songs like Woh subah kabhi toh aayegi, which in essence is a song offering solace to one’s own despairing heart, doesn’t find a mention here because it doesn’t contain the all-important address).

1. Ae dil kahaan teri manzil (Maya, 1961): Some of the most poignant songs to oneself seem to be the ones that talk of being lost, of searching for a ‘home’, a safe haven, a soul mate. This song is a beautiful example of that type: it’s night-time, there are people around, and yet the singer weeps in despair, crying over the absence of not just a lamp to light the gloom, but even the absence of the stars themselves. There are two versions of Ae dil kahaan teri manzil, one sung by Lata and the other by Dwijen Mukherjee (the latter a faster-paced version, with choral interludes). They have the same lyrics and are equally lovely—but in different ways.

2. Ae dil ab kahin le jaa (Bluffmaster, 1963): Just as Dwijen Mukherjee was an odd choice as a playback singer for Dev Anand, Hemant is an unusual choice to sing for Shammi Kapoor—and yet I like this song, because Hemant’s soft and faintly nasal voice is very effective in conveying the bitterness of the lyrics. This is a man whose own actions—his ‘bluffing’ his way through life—have brought him to this pass, where everybody’s washed their hands of him. He’s had to leave his home, his friends, the people who once regarded him as family—and yet he keeps looking back, hoping against hope. And telling his heart not to look back.

3. Ae dil mujhe bata de (Bhai-Bhai, 1956): In a refreshing change from the more common sad songs addressed to the singer’s heart (or soul, mind, whatever), this one is a happy, peppy song.
Ae dil mujhe bata de is typical of the song that would be, in other circumstances, addressed to a beloved saheli, telling her all about the blossoming of love in the singer’s heart. Here, since Shyama’s character has no girl friend to confide in, she ‘chats’ with her heart, asking herself a rhetorical question: who is the man whom her heart has fallen for?

4. Mere mann ke diye (Parakh, 1960): While songs addressed to the heart (that “Ae dil…” which has ruled this list so far) are a dime a dozen, songs to the mind are fewer—though in this case, while it is the mann (the mind) which is addressed, the sorrow and despair that are referred to are feelings that should probably be assigned to the heart.
Whatever; this is a sad, sweet little song that always brings tears to my eyes with the way it tries to resign itself to the unhappiness that is its lot. “Yoon hi ghut-ghut ke jal tu, mere laadle” (“Burn on, suffocating as you do so, my little one”…).

5. Mann re tu kaahe na dheer dhare (Chitralekha, 1964): Another song that addresses itself ostensibly to the mind, but is really about the heart. It’s an attempt to convey to the heart a seemingly simple philosophy: be patient, reconcile yourself to your fate—even if it means going through life unloved by the one you love. Stoicism seems to rule here, but there is pain, both in Rafi’s voice, and in Sahir’s words. You may tell your heart to resign itself, but will it?

6. Ae mere dil kahin aur chal (Daag, 1952): This was the first song that came to my mind when I began thinking of this post. And, though there are three versions of Ae mere dil kahin aur chal (a slow, sad rendition by Lata; a slow ‘intoxicated’ version by Talat; and a fast one by Talat again), this is my favourite, largely because the upbeat, enthusiastic tune imparts a completely different meaning to the relatively melancholy words.

A drunk decides to turn over (finally) a new leaf, and resolves to leaves behind the distress and unhappiness caused by his alcoholism—a happy song, really, even if the words, when sung slowly, are depressing. Here, “Dekhti reh gayi yeh zameen, chup raha bereham aasmaan” (“This Earth kept watching; the merciless sky remained silent”) is sung with a vigour that makes one feel that the singer doesn’t care even if he is all alone—he’ll still forge on, in search of a happier world.

7. Awara ae mere dil (Raat aur Din, 1967): Is it a coincidence that this is the third song in this list that has more than one version? Like Ae dil kahaan teri manzil and Ae mere dil kahin aur chal, the two versions of Awara ae mere dil have the same words, but differ in mood and tempo. The slow version is sung by the mentally disturbed Baruna (Nargis), a woman who doesn’t remember where she is or who she is. She’s lonely, a wanderer—and yet, because her mind is unstable, she isn’t able to realise the seriousness of her situation.

On the other hand, the fast version—one of my favourite songs, ever—is an expression of sheer joie de vivre. Sung by Peggy (the inimitable Laxmi Chhaya), this one’s all about living life to the full. Peggy doesn’t know where her life’s headed, either—but she intends to enjoy every moment of the ride.

8. Ae mere dil-e-naadaan (Tower House, 1962): For a change, a sad song where the singer isn’t trying to merely use her heart as a shoulder to cry on—instead (in the absence of any other friend), she’s offering comfort to her heart. And, of course, by extension, to herself. This is a sorrowful, cynical song (“Apna bhi ghadi-bhar mein ban jaata hai begaana”—“even one’s nearest and dearest become strangers in a moment”—how sadly true!), but there’s the consolation that perhaps someday, the world will understand.

9. Dil-e-naadaan tujhe hua kya hai (Mirza Ghalib, 1954): One of my absolute favourites, a ghazal written by the matchless Mirza Ghalib himself. Sung by Suraiya and Talat, this is a lovely song of two people deeply in love with each other, yet kept apart by circumstances beyond their control—and taking refuge in expressing their sorrows to their respective hearts. The question—literally, what has happened to you, foolish heart?—is superfluous, but the singer(s) know that their hearts too are lost—and, God forbid, that love is unrequited.

10. Ae dil hai mushqil jeena yahaan (CID, 1956): And, to finish, an iconic song. On the surface, it’s fun—it features, after all, Johnny Walker, in my opinion the greatest comedian Hindi cinema’s ever had. Listen more carefully to the song, though, and you’ll see the thread of cynicism running through it: the singer’s telling his heart to beware of the harsh, heartless world of Bombay, the big, bad city. The last verse—by a true friend of the singer’s (and therefore of his heart’s)—offers courage, though. Yes, the city may be intimidating, but one has to stand up to it.

A great song, one of Rafi’s (and Johnny Walker’s) best.

Which are your favourite ‘songs to oneself’?


117 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite ‘songs to myself’

  1. What an intriguing idea for a post, Madhu. And all my favourite songs too. :) Mere mann ke diye, Ae mere dil-e-naadaan, and Man re tu kaahe na dheer dhare being my top choices…

    Would these make your cut, I wonder?
    Akela hoon main is duniya mein from Baat Ek raat Ki
    Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal from Aarzoo


    • Thank you, Anu! I’m glad you liked those songs.

      Akela hoon main is duniya mein had come to my mind too, but I eventually dropped it, because it doesn’t specifically mention the self as being the one to whom the song is addressed. But since it is implied (after all, if he’s all alone in the world, then whom is he singing to?). A lovely song, by the way.

      I’d completely forgotten Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal. Quintessential ‘addressed to heart’ sad song!

      Talat seems to have quite a few of these ‘songs to the dil‘ to his credit…


      • Talat saab was my neighbour in my Park Circus residence in Calcutta and every small occasion, he would sing for us but his crowd-pulling technique was ‘never sing a sad song on stage’ which was very strikingly opposite to my personal favourite, Hemant Kumar. Peace


        • You are so lucky, to have had Talat sing for you! How I envy you. I don’t think I agree with his view on not singing sad songs on stage – after all, if a singer’s good, a sad song can probably have an even greater effect on listeners than a cheerful one can. But I suppose he spoke from experience.


  2. Wonderful song list, Madhu!
    Love all of them and the first song I thought at reading the intro was mann re tu kahe na dheer dhare and ae mere dil-e-naadan!
    And both of them are in your list!

    Re.: ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahan
    The character played Johnny Walker, a new-comer to the city calls it Bambai and Kumkum, who seems to have lived there longer calls it Bombay.

    some others:

    One song which I like ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal from Arzoo

    dukhi mann mere from Funtoosh

    Another which I love, offering strength like ae mere dil-e-naadaan is
    ae dil tujhe kasam hai from Dulari

    mere ae dil bata from Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje

    one of high favs
    sambhal ae dil tadapne tadpaane se from Sadhana

    you might disqualify this, because half of it not sung to one’s ownself. But love it all the same!


    • Harvey, thank you! Both for the appreciation, and for the lovely songs you’ve posted. (I’m bashing myself for having forgotten all about Sambhal ae dil – it’s such a wonderful song; how could I have missed it?!) Dukhi mann mere sun mera kehna was on my long list, but I had to (very regretfully) give it up, because I’ve only watched half of Funtoosh – my DVD went kaput after that.

      I don’t remember having heard Ae dil tujhe kasam hai before, but am listening to it right now – sweetly encouraging. Hadn’t heard Mere ae dil bata for a long, long time, so it was nice hearing that again!

      Yes, when I was writing up this post and listening to Ae dil hai mushkil, I did notice that Kumkum’s character says “Bombay” while Johnny Walker’s character says “Bambai”. I remember Kumkum’s character actually speaks in Marathi every now and then in the film.


    • Oh, Epstein! I melted into a puddle on the floor when Rajesh said that the first time in the film! And when he fought that taxi driver I was squealing uncontrollably! It was involuntary, but hey, you got to love Rajesh!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist that one. :D


    • Thanks, Epstein!

      I think of Na koi umang hai as similar in tone to (though of course much sadder than) Akela hoon main – it’s obvious that the singer is singing to herself (after all, there is nobody in whom she can confide). While it wouldn’t fit my rules for my post (since I intended an explicit addressing of one’s own self), I’m happy to see such songs in the comments.


  3. Wow! I haven’t taken the time to listen to all these songs yet, I’m still processing the master stroke of your idea for the post. In all seriousness, a compilation of the themes for your lists would make a great coffee table book. THanks too, for reminding me that I need to rewatch CID soonish.


    • What a compliment, Stuart! Thank you. Now, if only one of my publishers would see this… ;-)

      Do give CID another try. I’d like to know whether you like it better the second time around. I freely admit that part of my partiality for that film is probably because it’s the first Hindi film I ever remember having watched.


  4. Each one a winner, Dustedoff!! The idea is unique, and the imagery of going about mundane chores and singing a song enhances it. I would have put in dukhi man mere, but now I know why you couldn’t. The selections from CID and Raat Aur Din are my personal favorites. I think you should consider increasing this list to 20


    • Thank you, Sidharth! Yes, I really should think of increasing lists to twenty, shouldn’t I? But then, that’ll make it less of a challenge for me, because I won’t be able to narrow in exactly on the songs I like most of all.


  5. WOW!! What an idea DO!!! Hats off!!

    I’ve often tried to translate ‘mann’ into English, because I think it is more than heart. We even use it for not wanting to do something
    ‘mann nahin kar raha’.

    My conclusion is that it’s a combination of heart and thought which activates you into thinking and feeling at the same time – as opposed to ‘heart’ which just flows with the feeling. :-/ :-/
    Nah! The explanation sounds confusing. Lets say, mera mann says there is a difference, but difficult to put into words. :-(

    I love the Chitralekha song very much. Easily my #1 here. The combination of lyrics and music is great.
    Love the other choices too.

    Here’s one which has no mann or dil just advising oneself.


    • Thanks so much, pacifist!

      I like your definition of what the mann is – yes, I guess it’s more than just the mind (would that, in Hindi, be more exactly mastishk?) And, of course, to further cloud the issue of what the mann is or isn’t – or how it’s different from the dil – there’s the scientific fact that emotion is really all brainwork, with the heart being just a pump… :-)

      Uthaaye jaa unke sitam is a lovely, lovely song (oh, well, I may be a bit biased there, considering my uncle played in it) – but I do love it a lot. Thank you for posting that!


    • You never cease to amaze me with the vast number of obscure but lovely songs you know of! Here, I’m going to have to admit I hadn’t heard either Ab bhool jaa unko or Ae mere majboor dil before. Both were new to me.

      I found Ae mere majboor dil rather unusual for Shamshad Begum – somehow didn’t sound too much like her usual voice and style. I think if I hadn’t been told who it was, I’d have easily mistaken her for someone else.


  6. It is indeed an interesting idea for a post! I remember one song, one of which is “Man more gaa jhoom ke” from film Mangu. OP has made the composition very lilting with use of accordion. The voice sound at first like that of Geeta Dutt, as Asha is clearly under the effect of Geeta.


    • Thank you. I’d never heard Mann mora gaa jhoomke. While Youtube doesn’t have a video clip from the film itself, the audio is there:

      And yes, I agree completely – Asha does sound quite a lot like Geeta in the beginning, but when she later starts singing the stanzas, it’s more obvious that it is Asha.


    • That’s a good song, and (what a coincidence!) it completely echoes my own feelings about this song: “jaise koi bachpan ki kahaani, yaad bhi ho aur bhool bhi jaayein…“. I’d forgotten about this one, but remembered it as soon as I began listening to it.

      Yes, Beqaraar dil tu gaaye jaa would certainly qualify. I’d thought of that, but I haven’t seen the film (and if I remember correctly, it’s from the 70s). But I like the song, a lot.


  7. As It has been said already a wonderful post , I prefer solos over duets (both male and female), so this ‘idea’ suits me. (Best Rafi-Shammi songs are solos as well ,right? atleast the ones I like are solo songs.)
    So, some more songs ,’songs whose lyrics are specifically addressed to the self’. keeping that in mind
    From ‘Lajwanti’ , Is it true Balraj Sahni plays an unlikable character here? yet to see the film but the music is good , this is oddly a ‘stage’ song ,

    Another similar ‘stage ‘ song from ‘Hamrahi’ ,

    Rehman lip syncs a song


    • Chris, I hadn’t thought about whether I prefer solos over duets, but now that I do think about it, more of my favourite songs are solos than duets. And the Rafi-Shammi solos are invariably better than the duets that Rafi sang for Shammi and his co-stars.

      Yes, Balraj Sahni’s character is pretty hard to like in Lajwanti – he suspects his wife of infidelity and completely refuses to listen to her pleas of innocence. He even throws her out of the house, separating her from their baby girl. I found the film pretty irritating, but it had good songs – like Gaa mere mann gaa.

      Thank you for the other two songs too! I’d forgotten about Mann re tu hi bata kya gaaoon, though Jaaoon kahaan bata ae dil had been on my long list – I dropped it because it didn’t quite make the mark.


    • Chris, lovely songs! Especially Hoon abhi main jawaan – I love that song. Beautiful, and perhaps one of the best Shakila songs there is. Even though I’ve seen Baaz (years ago, when it was telecast on Doordarshan), I’d forgotten all its songs – including Ae dil ae deewaane aag laga li. Good to hear it again (and appreciate it).

      If I’d extended the period of my focus to the 70s, Kiska rasta dekhe would have undoubtedly been on the list. It’s one of my favourite songs from that era, and I actually watched Joshila just for it (turned out to be a horrid movie, unfortunately). Chal chalein ae dil is nice, too. Anything with Mumtaz is right up my street. :-)


      • Lack of electricity & unreliable Internet stopped me from adding “Kiska Rasta Dekhe”; hopefully I get some special privileges :)
        I am amazed you decided to see Joshila for this song, even the die-hard-Dev-fan-me would have advised against :). But then again, all his 70’s movies (applies to most 70’s movies) should be watched for unintentional comedy :)
        Wondering whether this song would fit in —


        • Arre, I’d no idea what Joshila was about. The song is beautiful, and the only other Dev Anand-Hema Malini film I’d seen till then (Johnny Mera Naam) was pretty entertaining. So. :-)

          I’m a little unsure about Mere mann ka baanwra panchhi. It could be addressed to her mind (though I think in that case the lyrics should be “Mere mann ke baanwre panchhi“), but it could also be that she’s actually addressing the whole song to him, under the guise of talking to herself… interesting song, this.


      • I asked the wrong question there, it should be does ‘Ruk Jana nahi, tu Kabhi haar ke’ (Vinod Khanna) qualify?
        I thought it was addressed to himself.
        Just got a Shammi Kapoor song


        • Look what you and Harvey have done, now! :-) Between you, you’ve made me want to slap myself for forgetting two gorgeous songs that should have easily been part of this list. Harvey reminded me of Sambhal ae dil, and you reminded me of Thandi hawa yeh chaandni suhaani, which (despite it being a rip-off of Domani!) is sublime.

          Ae mere dil yahaan tu akela nahin tends to depress me, but it is still a good song.


    • I hadn’t heard Bhool jaa ae dil mohabbat before – very nice! So is Beqaraar dil tu gaaye jaa. A wonderful song, and everything about it is very poignant – the lyrics, Kishore’s singing, and the picturisation.

      You’ve reminded me of another 70s’ favourite of mine. Ruk jaana nahin is a great song, and I do agree that it sounds as if he’s singing it to himself. Wouldn’t have figured on my list, not just because it’s from the 70s, but also because there’s no expicit addressing of oneself. Despite that, lovely song!


  8. Great idea for a post – as others have said. My favourites on this theme would be songs showing women singing to themselves as they go about their household chores – domestic bliss! The first would be ‘Lau lagaati geet gaati’ from ‘Bhabhi ki chudiyan’:

    The second, ‘Man re hari ke gun ga’ from ‘Musafir’:

    The third ‘Kaali ghata chhaye’ from ‘Sujata’:

    To restore the gender balance here are three songs featuring male artists. One ‘Hawaon pe likh do’ from ‘Do dooni chaar’:

    ‘Suhana safar’ from ‘Madhumati’:

    Finally, ‘Kahin door jab din dhal jaye’ from ‘Anand’:

    The list could go on endlessly! Some of the best songs fall in this theme.


    • Interesting, and some great songs – but don’t you think that’s a completely different theme altogether? ;-) Mann re hari ke gun gaa would still hold, because it is explicitly addressed to oneself, but the others aren’t, really…


  9. Chris: this one’s specially for you, since we’d been discussing Sheila Ramani in Taxi Driver a few posts back. Ae meri zindagi aaj raat jhoom le is one of those unusual ‘songs to oneself’ where the singer doesn’t address his/her dil or mann, but her life itself.


    • Thanks for the song. This film ‘Taxi Driver’ alongwith ,Baazi. CID, Nau do gyarah,Hum Dono,Teen Deviyan and Tere Ghar ke Samne, are my favourite ‘complete’ soundtracks. I once tried creating a playlist of my favourite 20 songs from just these films and just couldn’t finish it.(didn’t want to restrict songs only ‘picturised on Dev’,)


      • I agree. It would be impossible to create a playlist of 20 favourite songs from just these films. I’m not especially fond of all the songs of Baazi, and I know I’m in a minority when I say I don’t really like Jaayein toh jaayein kahaan or Uff kitni thandi hai yeh rut – but almost each of the other songs is fantastic.


  10. Madhu, I think I misunderstood the idea of your post. I thought singing to oneself includes songs that have no audience apart from the singer. I now see the point. That does restrict the scope of the songs.


    • Yes, if it were only songs one sang alone and in solitude, there’d be no end to the number of songs… I would probably have found it impossible to create a list of just ten songs, if that was the theme.


  11. Came across this song from ‘Doosri Shaadi’ 1947 by Meena Kapoor.
    This song could also qualify for the post on not very famous music directors, as the MD of this is one I had never heard of – Gobind Ram.
    I found the tune quite lovely.


    • Thanks for this, pacifist! This is the first time I’ve heard Man bhooli khatayein (or is that ‘kathayein‘? – I can’t quite figure out what she’s singing, but it sounds like the latter). Lovely song, and I must admit that I’d never heard of Gobind Ram. Poor man, he’s credited as an actress in IMDB!


  12. Your creativity and your ideas for posts and your other writings never cease to amaze me. I must say that you surely come up with the most amazing and engaging ideas for your readers.

    I agree with Stuart that all these would definitely make a delightful coffee table book. I hope some publishers are reading this and would do us all all a favour by publishing them.

    Looking forward to what other interesting stories, books, blog posts you have in store for us.


  13. Very interesting theme and an excellent collection of songs. Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal has been mentioned in comments. This always reminds me of another Talat song, kind of its companion:

    Zindagi denewale sun

    And this surely fits:

    Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahi

    Songs to ‘myself’ need not be always pensive and melancholic. The ‘I’ can also be supremely confident and on top of the world. One could have a different category, say ‘narcissitic’ songs. Let me present two songs:

    Main gharibon ka dil hun

    Main jahan chala jaun bahar chali aye


    • AK, I disagree with the songs you’ve posted – they’re great songs, but are they really ‘songs to oneself’ (even less, songs ‘explicitly addressed to oneself’ – which is what this post is actually all about).

      Zindagi denewaale sun, for example, is pretty obviously addressed to God. Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahin is in the same category; addressed to the Almighty, not to oneself. The other two songs – Main garibon ka dil hoon and Main jahaan chala jaaoon are, as you rightly say, narcisstic songs, but the singer in both cases isn’t addressing himself – he’s telling the world how wonderful he is.

      Perhaps you should read the introductory paragraphs of the post again. ;-)


  14. Oops, I do not know how Toote hue khwabon ne got linked in place of Teri duniya me dil lagta nahi. But perhaps that also fits. And now Teri duniya me dil lagta nahi

    While on this, how about Teri duniya me jeene se to behtar hai ki mar jayen from House No. 44? It is endless, so I stop.


  15. Tell me if these songs pass the test:
    1. Jo main janti bisrat hain saiyan – Shabab
    2. Dil chhed koi aisa nagma – Inspector
    3. Jaoon kahan bata e dil – Chhoti Behen
    4. Saathi na koi manzil – Bambai ka Babu
    5. Kaisa hai mere dil tu khiladi – Gambler
    6. Sajan re jhoot mat bolo


    • Jaaoon kahaan bata ae dil, definitely; even Chris mentioned that. I wouldn’t classify Jo main jaanti bisrat hain saiyyan, since it’s not addressed to herself (though she does address one line to her ‘sakhi‘).

      Dil chhed koi aisa naghma is addressed to the singer’s own dil, so that counts:

      Saathi na koi manzil also fits.

      And so does Kaisa hai mere dil tu khiladi: (I’d forgotten about this song)

      I don’t think of Sajan re jhooth mat bolo as a song the singer addresses to himself, but generally to everyone – as a sort of admonition to not deceive anyone.


  16. I think ‘Chal Akela chal akela’ by Mukesh from ‘Sambandh – 1969’ also qualifies.
    some more songs
    from ‘Zimbo comes to town’

    From ‘Shararat’ (there is also a part 2 of the song as well)

    from ‘kaise kahoon’

    one later one from ‘Sadma’


    • Some great suggestions there, Chris, including the one from Sadma. Chal akela chal akela is a little ambiguous, since it doesn’t specifically mention the singer’s own self. Probably along the same lines as Ruk jaana nahin tu kahin haarke – it’s apparent that he’s singing to himself, but it’s not explicitly stated:


  17. A safe choice, since it falls outside your timeline.

    Apart from a great lines( aisa lagta hai, mauz pyaasi hai/apne dariya mein), it has this classic couplet

    kitne ghaayal hain, kitne bismil hain,
    is khudayee mein, ek tuu kya hai, ae dil-e-nadaan.

    (For other readers

    How many injured, how many martyrs
    In this world, just what are are you, naive heart)

    Singing to oneself, words to live by : ) Lata had a sublime day, and it didn’t hurt that Hema (then on a slippery slope) merely had to to look statuesque, which she managed admirably.


  18. The songs addressed to the self are no doubt a subject that has attracted either joyous, pensive, romantic or pathos moods has been extensively practiced field. However, the way it has been presented here has also added an aura of mystique to the self.
    The beauty is, by and large, most of the songs are far above average. I think, no one would spare any effort when it comes to the self.
    On the spur of reading this post, and comments thereto, following songs come up from my memory:
    “Masti Men Chhed Ke Taran Koi Dil Ka” (Haqueekat)– where we see Vijay Anand merrily hurtling forward to meet his lady love because ‘pahle to woh sharmayegi’, fully exemplified by Rafi’s soulful rendition of Kaifi Azmi’s ebullient lyrics in MM’s happy-go-lucky use of clarinet the orchestration.
    Then we have a pensive mood of “Mujhe Le Chalo Aaj Phir Us Gali Men, Jahan Pahle Pahle Ye Dil Ladkhadaya Tha” (Sharabi- Mohammad Rafi – MM)
    And Mukesh is curtly expressing his feeling of sullen hurt in “Mujhe Tum Se Kuchh Bhi Na Chahiye, Mujhe Mere Haal Pe Chhod Do – Kahaiya – SJ
    Or Sudha Malhotra ruefully cajoling, with “Tum Mujhe Bhool Bhi Jao, Koi Kaq Hai Tumko, Meri Baat Aur Hai, Maine To Tum Se Mohabbat Ki Hai”.
    Of course, I do tend to recollect a duet her or a solo there, but, the logical constraint of a song being addressed to the self, but not a soliloquy indeed puts the mind to a good testing exercise, too.
    So, I would continue the soulful search after I hear from you whether these songs would pass the test.


    • I’m linking to the songs here, so others can listen to them too:

      Masti mein chhedke taraana koi dil ka:

      Mujhe le chalo aaj phir us gali mein:

      Mujhe tumse kuchh bhi na chaahiye:

      Tum mujhe bhool bhi jaao:

      Personally, I don’t think any of these songs are what I’d have put in my post, because none of them are explicitly addressed to the singer’s own self. The criterion isn’t that the singer is singing all alone, and is by himself/herself; the criterion was that the song should be addressed to the singer – to his/her heart, mind, life, whatever. These songs, while all beautiful (I especially like Tum mujhe bhool bhi jaao and Masti mein chhedke taraana) aren’t addressed to oneself. In fact, Tum mujhe bhool bhi jaao is very obviously addressed to the lover.


      • The criterion does need repeated clarification, and still is not entirely grasped by me. In any case, I am collecting from my memory what comes to my mind as something relevant, and would place them for your consideration.
        At the end of the day, even if the songs do not pass the test, re-reading your original post and then shuffling and re-shuffling of the layers of memory to come up with more of the songs is indeed a very pleasant exercise.!


  19. Well, Madhu, you have created a very interesting game for all of us – we keep trying different songs, and wait for your judgment! It is a lot more interesting than playing Sudoku.

    Just thought of these two: ‘Nach mere man nach’ from ‘Teen Batti Char Raste’:


    ‘Rahi Manwa Dukh ki Chinta’ from ‘Dosti’:


    • I honestly don’t think this is a terribly difficult thing to understand – after all, the rule I imposed on myself is a simple one: if a song is explicitly addressed to the singer’s own heart/mind/soul/life – it qualifies. No rocket science, there! :-D

      And yes, both the songs you’ve suggested certainly do qualify. I especially like Raahi manwa dukh ki chinta – beautiful song, that one.


      • great idea Madhu! I like your selections too!
        Would these qualify
        Woh bhooli dastaan lo pair-sanjog
        Duniya Karen sawal to hum-Bahu begum
        dil Kahe ruk Ja re Ruk ja – man ka meet
        kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe Rona aya


        • Thanks, Karthik! You’ve suggested some lovely songs, but I wouldn’t put these in my list because they’re not explicitly addressed to one’s own self. Yes, it’s obvious in songs like Woh bhooli daastaan or Kabhi khud pe kabhi haalaat pe that the singer is singing to himself/herself, but the words don’t precisely include that address. If you look at the songs I’ve listed, each one of them has that “Ae dil” or something similar – Mere mann, Mann re, etc. There’s no ambiguity about whom/what the singer’s addressing.


  20. I simply adore “Awara aye mere dil” – the slow version more than the fast one. I heard it a few months ago and remember that it kept haunting me for days. Even at work it kept buzzing in my head. The slow version has a very eerie feel to it – especially the way it’s picturized on the mentally unstable Baruna.

    in this category, a few more come to mind:
    1. Kuch dil ne kaha and Dheere dheere machal – both from Anupama
    2. Kabhi na kabhi kahin na kahin – Sharaabi (with Dev Anand)
    3. Aye dil e nadaan arzoo kya hai? – Razia Sultan (this is one of my all time favorites)


    • Dheere-dheere machal is one of my favourites too, but I decided to skip it from this post because it fits perfectly into another list I’ve got planned! I like Kabhi na kabhi kahin na kahin too, and if I’d extended my timeline to include the 70s and after, the song from Razia Sultan would have definitely been on it – it’s a beautiful, beautiful song.


  21. Apologies for digging old posts. I just couldn’t resist.

    Excellent concept. I enjoyed listening to these songs. Interesting that this topic actually covers the wide spectrum of emotions from bitterness to bliss..

    One song I like despite it being downright dark, poignant and depressing. Song – Main Kaun Hoon, Main Kahan Hoon, Mujhe Yeh Hosh Nahi, Movie – Main Chup Rahungi (1962), Singer – Rafi, Music – Chitragupt, Lyrics – Rajendra Kishen.


    The lyrics are wonderful and the voice just sears heart into shreds..

    The lines “Koi na aaye yahan ye majhar mera hain
    Khada hun kab se mujhe intzar mera hai” are hauntingly beautiful (thanks to Anand, I understand that “Udasi” can also be “khoobsurat”)..

    This song could have also been a candidate in your “Daaru” song list but I think it is more appropriate in the “songs to myself” category.


    • Having said all that, I realized that the song doesn’t quite conform to the Dusted Off doctorine.. he is simply speaking his mind as if explaining to someone about his situation but not necessarily talking to himself.. there you go.

      Phew, saved some typing for you.. :)


  22. hi,
    great idea madhuji!
    as usual, i am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo late to comment!

    one song i think goes with the theme is
    Aye dil na mujhe yaad dila from sawan aaya re

    one more.
    ae dil na mujh se chhupa from badal


  23. few more………

    main kaun hoon, from main chup rahungi

    man re tuhi bata kya from humrahi

    do u think
    intezar aur abhi qualifies in this theme?


    • In the introduction to this post, I’ve written one of the main criteria for the songs: “Not quietly hummed to oneself, not songs merely sung when no-one else is around: but songs whose lyrics are specifically addressed to the self.

      By that standard, the Humraahi song fits, the other two don’t – both are introspective and do refer (though only implied) to one’s own self, but neither is explicitly addressed to the self.


    • Lovely song, but no, it doesn’t qualify. She’s addressing him: (“Yeh sach hai ke tumne mujhe gham diya, tumhe phir bhi maine na rusva kiya…”); she’s not addressing herself. She’s describing her heart, not addressing it.


  24. few songs in this theme..
    one of my favorites……
    one of the best by rajkumari according to me!
    ek teer chala from mahal by rajkumari

    dil e betab thahar from naya aadmi
    a cheerful song addressed to heart to control the emotions!

    another cheerful song by mukesh from sharda.
    raj kapoor almost tells himself the song, as if, really his mind is standing in front of him and listening to waht he is saying!
    at least i get this feeling!
    Jap Jap Jap mere manva jap re preet ki mala

    these songs qualify?


  25. hi, a few more songs in this theme!

    first from Mashal…..
    Aaj Nahi To Kal by lata M D – S D Burman

    second from Naya Ghar 1953
    Unhein Tu Bhool Ja Ae Dil by Talat


    • No, Akela hoon main humsafar dhoondta hoon doesn’t fit. It talks about oneself, it doesn’t talk to oneself. Look at the songs on my list – each explicitly addresses one’s own mind or heart.


  26. One from recent years. I fail to understand bizarre premises of investigator falling in love with murdered victim. But velvet voice of KK is too good to pass
    Maine Dil se kaha From Rog


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