Ten of my favourite Aankhen songs

Not nayan, not naina, not chakshu or any other Hindustani/Hindi/Sanskrit word for eyes, but aankhen.

This post, though the immediate spur for it was Anu’s delightful list of zulfein songs, has been in the pipeline for the past several years, since a fellow writer first asked her friends (of whom I’m one) on Facebook for all the songs we could think of that were about eyes. I came up with so many that it occurred to me then that I could do a post about them. That idea stayed on the backburner for a while, but when Anu’s zulfein songs post appeared, I thought, “I have to do that one on aankhen.

Because, just as hair are praised, so are eyes. And unlike hair—inanimate, more often than not, and compared perhaps only to the dark velvet of the night, or the spreading black of a storm cloud—eyes have a life of their own. They convey infinitely more than hair ever can, from love to fear to hatred: they cannot disguise the soul, the emotions.

Beautiful eyes - Shakila in 'Mast aankhen hain ke paimaane do' from Nakli Nawab

Plus, of course, as is so evident all across Hindi films (and my most recently-watched non-Hindi film, Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai), eyes are crucial to one’s survival in the world. Blindness can drive people, as it does in countless films, to despair—and it can create situations that form the crux of some very interesting plots.

But, on to the post itself. Besides the usual restrictions that I impose on myself (that the songs I choose must be from pre-70s films I’ve seen), I added two more, just to make this a little more challenging for myself:

(a) The word used must be ‘aankhen’ or its variations, like aankh or aankhon. Other synonyms for eyes will not count.

(b) The word must appear in the very first line of the song.

Here we go, then, in no particular order:

1. Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho gaya (CID, 1956): The motif of eyes has been used innumerable times in Hindi cinema to convey love: eyes meet, and there is love. Or, as in this case, a pair of angry eyes, brimming with fury at being humiliated and suspected of perfidy, meet a pair of contrite eyes, eyes sorry for having doubted. There is apology and forgiveness, all in the eyes—before the couple bursts into song. Geeta Dutt, singing playback for Shakila, the bulk of Aankhon hi aankhon main ishaara ho gaya; Rafi sings only the chorus. And what a lovely, frothily romantic song they make of it. They tease, they flirt, they show the seriousness of their love, their confidence in their love.

Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho gaya

2. Aankhon-aankhon mein hum-tum (Mahal, 1969): Dev Anand again, this time with Asha Parekh. These are two people who have fallen in love under odd circumstances: she has mistaken him for his rich boss (whom she has no intention of marrying), and he, having fooled her once, has come upon her again, only to realize that his initial fascination for her is more than just that. As they walk through the misty woods around Darjeeling, they sing of this love: Hum ajnabi thhe, tum thhe paraaye; ek doosre ke dil mein samaaye (I was a stranger, you belonged to someone else; yet we made our homes in each other’s hearts). And in each other’s eyes.

Aankhon-aankhon mein hum-tum

3. Aankhon mein kya ji (Nau Do Gyaarah, 1957): Before I move on, one more song featuring Dev Anand (and no, even then, I won’t be done). Paired here with real-life wife Kalpana Karthik, he plays a man en route from Delhi to Bombay to claim an inheritance. Midway, our hero realizes that the sharp-tongued young Sikh whom he’d found as a stowaway in his lorry is actually a pretty young woman escaping a greedy bridegroom. And of course, after some initial slanging matches, they fall in love. The song takes a question-and-answer shape: what is in his eyes? she asks. A beautiful cloud, says he. What is in the cloud? Someone’s aanchal, a veil. And what is in the aanchal? A strange disquiet. A romantic song for a romantic night, with not a hint of the turbulence that lies ahead.

Aankhon mein kya ji

4. Teri aankhon ke siva duniya mein (Chirag, 1969): She opens her eyes, and their radiance makes the sun rise for him. She lowers her eyelids, and evening falls. His world is in her eyes, his life and his death are in her eyes. Drawing its main line—Teri aankhon ke siva duniya mein rakha kya hai (What is there in this world except your eyes?)—from a poem by Faiz Ahmed ‘Faiz’, the rest of this song owes its lyrics to Majrooh Sultanpuri. Against a backdrop of Srinagar at its gorgeous best, a lover praises the eyes of his beloved, and she, at the end, praises his eyes. Not because the eyes themselves are beautiful, but because the love in them buoys up the beloved, promises steadfastness and faith.

Teri aankhon ke sva duniya mein

There is a sad version of Teri aankhon ke siva duniya mein rakha kya hai, too, when the heroine, blinded in an accident, sings of what her husband’s eyes mean to her. It’s too melancholy a song for my liking, while this one is just right.

5. Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen (Safar, 1970): As Sunil Dutt’s character to Asha Parekh in Chirag, so Rajesh Khanna to Sharmila Tagore in Safar: a man telling the woman he loves what her eyes mean to him. Not beauty, not intoxication, but life itself. A medical student who has pretty much given up medicine to focus on his art (and to head slowly towards an inevitable death from cancer), he sings of how her eyes—and, by extension, she—compel him to live. He sings to his own paintings and sketches of her (including one that is a collage of various representations of her eyes), little aware that she is right now coming up the stairs to his room. Wonderful lyrics, beautiful music, and superbly sung.

Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen

6. Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo (Khamoshi, 1969): Like Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna seems to have acted in several films that had either him or another character singing about eyes. Here, it’s not him who’s singing, but the song is his character’s. A stolen song, stolen by the woman (Snehlata) who jilted him and drove him insane as a result. Gulzar’s lyrics puzzled me when I was a child: Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo? (I have seen the fragrance of those eyes? Huh?) And, haath se chhooke ise rishton ka ilzaam na do? (Do not touch this with your hands, and accuse it of being a relationship?) How can eyes be fragrant, how can you see that fragrance, how can you touch it?

It took me a long time to make sense of it. It’s not literal, but metaphorical. Love is too complex, too layered and fragile a concept to be reduced to a mere name. How can you put a name to love, how can you label the relationship between two people? Ek khamoshi hai, sunti hai, kaha karti hai (It is a silence, it listens, it speaks).

Or, you can interpret it the other way: that love is no more than feeling, something completely physical. Touch, vision, hearing. Sensual. Love is of the senses. However you choose to understand it, this is a fabulous song.

Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo

7. Likha hai teri aankhon mein kiska afsaana (Teen Deviyaan, 1965): Dev Anand yet again—he seems to have lip-synced to a lot of songs about eyes (and I haven’t even included Yeh aankhen uff yoo ma). Here, he’s a man who is not quite sure of his heart. Does he love the chic socialite whose parties are the talk of the town? Does he love, instead, the actress who is torn between her love for her work and all it brings to her, and her desire to break free, to be herself? Or is his true love this one, the girl next door? As they return from a picnic, munching on corncobs as they go, they wonder: is this love? Is it not?

Likha hai teri aankhon mein is one of those songs I’d put on my list of the best picturized songs in Hindi cinema: it conveys a carefree joie de vivre brilliantly. The corncobs, the way Nanda’s hair bounces about, the gay abandon with which she wraps Dev Anand in her dupatta—even the way the pony’s tail flicks, in time to the music, near the end: all perfect.

Likha hai teri aankhon mein

8. Aankh khulte hi tum chhup gaye ho kahaan (Munimji, 1955): For a change, a song that isn’t about praising the eyes of the beloved. Instead, our distressed heroine sings about her own eyes. Eyes that, when she had closed them, had seen the beloved (he was in a boat, and she, desperate to meet him, had rushed into the water; he has rescued her and left her on the shore). Now, opening her eyes, she finds that he is not there. She can sense his presence all around: his warmth, the ‘fragrance of his breath’. His touch still remains on the branches. But she cannot see him. Her eyes search in vain, longing for him.

Aankh khulte hi tum

9. Do pal jo teri aankhon se peene ko mile (Bahaaron ke Sapne, 1967): Again, a Rajesh Khanna film. And again, a song about eyes. Eyes so intoxicating that one who is fortunate enough to ‘sip’, even if only momentarily, from them—to partake of the love those eyes offer—will have lived a hundred years in those moments. Laxmi Chhaya and Bela Bose are the two dancers, leaping energetically about the centre of a grand hall where an engagement party is being held. Like any party worth its salt in Hindi cinema, there has to be entertainment, and what better than two dancers who sing a song of romance, even if it’s not targeted at any specific person? Near the end of the song, though, at the behest of the host, the girls turn their attention on the gatecrasher, the poor outcast who has been pushed into coming to this party—and the song becomes a song of humiliation, of letting him know that he is not welcome, even if the words say just the opposite.

I love the pep and beat of this song, the varying of pace, the way it dips and rises.

Do pal jo teri aankhon se peene ko mile

10. Aansoo samajhke kyon mujhe aankh se tumne gira diya (Chhaaya, 1961): Itna na mujhse tu pyaar badhaa tends to dominate many people’s recollections of the score of Chhaaya—which is sad, because Aansoo samajhke kyon mujhe aankh se tumne gira diya deserves more appreciation. Rather in the style of Jaane woh kaise log thhe jinke pyaar ko or Ya dil ki suno duniyawaalon, this is a poet singing in a gathering. But Sunil Dutt’s poet addresses not the world, but one very specific person: the girl he loves. Why, he asks, has she turned away from him? Why, like a tear from an eye, has he been shed? The reprimand is gentle; it is more sorrow than fury or scorn, but it has its effect.

Aansoo samajhke kyon mujhe

Which songs would you pick? I know there are plenty out there, because my longlist was very long, and even shortlisting the songs took a lot of thought. So, bring ’em on.

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78 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite Aankhen songs

    • Yes, Akhiyaan milaake jiya bharmaake is a lovely song, isn’t it? I’d intentionally decided to steer clear of akhiyaan songs, because that is for me too much of a corruption (not in a bad sense) of aankhen, but so many people have suggested akhiyaan songs, I guess they’re valid.

  1. Hi Madhuji,
    It is an interesting theme that you have chosen this time. I really liked all the songs mentioned and the song from Munimji was a ‘discovery’ to me. The only one that I did not really like all that much was the one from “Baharon Ke Sapne”.

    These are the other enjoyable songs on the topic:
    1. Ankhon se jo uthri hai dil mein – Asha (Phir wohi dil laya laya hoon)
    2. Ankhon mein rang kyon aaya – Mukesh, Lata (Ek Phool Char Kaante)
    3. Humko to jaan se pyaari hai tumhari ankhen – Rafi (Naina)
    4. Teri aankh ka jo ishara no hota – Rafi (Nai Roshni)
    5. Ankhon mein teri yaad liye ja raha hoon main – Mukesh (Hamari Yaad Aayegi)
    6. Bhool sakta hai bhala kaun ye pyari aankhen – Mahendra Kapoor (Dharmputra)

    Kaviraj

    • Thank you so much, both for the appreciation as well as for the songs you’ve listed. Of those, Bhool sakta hai and Aankhon se jo utri hai dil mein were both on my shortlist – both lovely songs. I like most of the others, too, except for Humko toh jaan se pyaari hain tumhaari aankhen, which I’ve somehow never managed to summon up a liking for.

  2. Nice collection. Here are a few more:

    Teri aankh ke aansu pee jaaoon

    Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon (Bahadur Sha Zafar’s immortal lament in ghazal form)

    Zulmi sang aankh ladi (one of the sweetest songs I’ve ever heard)

    Ae aankh ab na rona

    Hum aankh micholi khelenge

    Aankhon mein tum

    Mast aankhon mein sharaarat

    Chhalke teri aankhon se

    Aankhon mein masti sharaab ki

    Ankhiyan sang ankhiyaan laagi

    Meri aankhon se koi neend liye jaata hai

    Teri neeli neeli aankhon se (1971, so technically just over the limit)

    • Wow. That is quite a collection – a post in itself, I think! Of these, Aankhon mein tum dil mein tum ho, Chhalke teri aankhon se, Teri aakh ke aansoo pee jaaoon and Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon were on my shortlist. I even went so far as to write up the description for Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon and take a screenshot – and while I was doing that, the Youtube playlist went on to play Lagta nahin hai dil mera. I love that song, and somehow, listening to it right after Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon made me think Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon wasn’t so very wonderful after all. That is why that got dropped, eventually… but it’s still a great song.

      Several of the songs you listed were new to me. Akhiyan sang akhiyaan laagi and Mast aankhon mein sharaarat, in particular.

  3. It wouldn’t surprise you to learn I had an ‘Aankh’ song-list, would it? :) May I also say, however, that it doesn’t surprise me that I really liked the little write-ups (is that a word?) They brought out the essence of each song you have listed here, and some of them touched me very deeply. Thank you.

    From your list, I love, love , love Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehakti khushboo, apart from Aankhon mein kya ji, Teri aankhon ke siva, and Aansoo samajhke kyun mujhe.

    From my , list (which had all these aforementioned songs):
    Meri aankhon mein bas gaya koyi re from Barsaat

    Aankhon se jo utri hai dil mein from Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon

    Aap ki aankhon mein kuch from Ghar

    Hum aapki aankhon mein from Pyaasa

    I love this one for Salilda’s music, Geeta Dutt’s singing, and the Madhubala-Kishore Kumar comic chemistry. :)
    Aankhon mein tum dil mein tum ho from Half-Ticket

    From beyond your time frame, two songs that I love immensely:
    Aankhon ki gustakhiyaan maaf ho from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

    In aankhon ki masti mein from Umrao Jaan

    And now I will go away before I clutter up your comments. :)

    • You never clutter up the comments, Anu, because the songs you suggest aren’t a ‘let’s bung this in too’ type – they’re invariably songs that I would wish to have on my list. :-)

      Of the ones you’ve suggested, Aankhon mein tum dil mein tum, Hum aapki aankhon mein is dil ko basaa dein toh and Aankhon se jo utri hai dil mein were on my shortlist, so I’m glad to see them here. And when I was making this list, I thought, “If I expanded the time period, there’s no way I’d leave In aankhon ki masti ke out.” I’d forgotten about Aapki aankhon mein kuchh mehke hue se – another lovely song. Thank you for that!

  4. Aankhen and its variants yield such a treasure trove of old Hindi songs! You have of course chosen the best ones, but here are a few more

    Geeta Dutt puts something special into this song – after all, her brother Mukul Roy was the music director:

    Do chamakti ankhon mein from Detective

    The video is not available but it is one of the best Lata-Talat duets:

    Teri chamakti ankhon ke aage from Chhote Babu

    This song cautions us not to believe everything our eyes tell us:

    Ankhon pe bharosa mat kar from Detective

    • Do chamakti aankhon mein was on my shortlist too – but I’d forgotten all about Aankhon pe bharosa mat kar. And I had never heard Teri chamakti aankhon ke aage. Nice song, thank you for introducing me to that!

  5. Even before I saw your post this morning, I see some excellent comments with so many of the songs that I would have suggested for this theme.
    But before I add to your list of songs, I wanted to highlight a lovely translation that you had in your write-up, the choice of “disquiet” for “hulchul”. Hindi (and a lot of other regional languages) have some words that express an emotion or thought that is hard to translate into English. I had put “hulchul” in that category, but when I saw your use of disquiet – it just struck me as such a wonderfully apt choice. Kudos on that. There is something beautiful when somebody finds the absolute right word for a situation that stands out for me.
    A few songs that I don’ t see above are:
    “AaNkhoN me sama jaao” from Yasmin [1955] sung by Lata (music by C Ramachandra)
    “AaNkhoN aaNkhoN me raat guzar jaayegi” from Marvel Man [1964] by Mubarak Begum (an obscure song with music by Robin Chatterjee)
    “Shaam se aaNkh me nami nami se hai” from MiTTi ke dev [1968] by Mukesh (an unreleased song with music by Salil Chowdhury)
    “AaNkhoN me tum” from Tere pyaar me [1978] by Sulakshana Pandit, Bappi Lahiri (music by Bappi – after your theme’s time period)
    “Gulaabi aaNkheN jo teri dekhi” from The Train [1970] by Rafi (music by R D Burman)
    “Roop tumhaara aaNkhoN se pee looN” from Sapera [1961] by Manna Dey (music by Ajit Merchant – may be obscure to some, but it got a fair bit of play time I think)
    “Chhupaakar meri aaNkhoN ko” from Bhabhi [1957], a lovely duet by Lata, Rafi (music by Chitragupta)

    • Thank you so much, mostly for that appreciation of the translation of hulchul. :-) There’s a special joy in knowing that someone’s actually taken the trouble to read and like the post instead of merely skimming through it and making note of the songs, as a lot of readers seem to do. You made my day with that comment, sangeetbhakt. Thank you!

      And you have an interesting bunch of songs – of them, the only one that might have ended up on my list was Gulaabi aankhen jo teri dekheen, since that was on my longlist. The others, I don’t even recall hearing (except for Chhupaakar meri aankhon ko). Will check them out now.

      • Several songs on my list are kinda obscure. I was rushing off to work, so did not get a chance to post youtube links to them. So here goes:
        AaNkhoN me samaa jaao (Lata singing for CR was always special)

        AaNkhoN aaNkhoN me har ik raat guzar jaati hai

        Shaam se aaNkh me nami si hai

        AaNkhoN me tum (Not in the same league as some of the others, but nice)

        Gulaabi aaNkheN

        Roop tumhaara aaNkhoN se pee looN

        Chhupaakar meri aaNkhoN me

        Some other ones after I dusted off the cobwebs in my head:
        A Mukesh solo from Saathi [1968], music by Naushad. I felt this album was
        a superb one, stylistically unlike any of Naushad’s other compositions.

        Now I felt Asha needed more representation :-)
        Asha, Amit Kumar – Roz roz aaNkhoN tale – Jeeva [1986] – R D Burman
        (this is way after your imposed time period – but a nice song)

        Asha – Yeh nasheeli nasheeli meri aaNkhen – Puraskar [1970] – RD again
        Not a great song, but a very interesting composition that only Asha could have done justice to. The picturization is so typical of the period.

        And a cute Asha/Kishore duet – title song from AaNkhoN aaNkhoN me [1972]
        Music by Shankar-Jaikishen. Unusual pair of Rakesh Roshan and Rakhee

        And finally a LOVELY Pancham composition sung by him as well
        Dhanno ki aaNkhoN me from Kitaab

        Time to put a period in the list now.

        • Thank you! Both for the links to the songs you’d previously mentioned (and which allowed me to listen to them today – yesterday I never even got the time to go searching for them on Youtube) as well as for the rest which you added later. Roz-roz aankhon tale I’d forgotten about; nice song, this was. I’d also forgotten the Saathi song, even though I’ve seen the film and thought I remembered all the songs in it.

  6. I read your post in the middle of last night (N.E. US), such lovely songs and aptly described. if you had also picked nayan or nain etc, there would be no end to the songs. From your list, aankhon hi aankhon mein and likha hai Teri aankhon mein are favourites, then there is humane dekh I hain… Both for lyrics and music. Who sees khushboo ? It was a common question amongst us girls when we first heard the song.
    There was a parody of “chalke Teri aankhon se sharab aur zyadah” – hothon pe aa rahe hain kabab aur zyadah…. Most of the songs I was thinking of have already been posted, ( I fell asleep thinking of the songs I would add ) so here is one.
    Ye jheel si neeli aankhen

    • That parody of Chhalke teri aankhon se made me burst out laughing! Hilarious – just the sort of thing my father would think up. :-)

      I wouldn’t actually put Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra in the list, because the jheel si neeli aankhen reference comes only in the second line, not in the first. But such a fun song. (The opening notes on the guitar, by the way, were played by an uncle of mine, who also played the guitar in Baar-baar dekho hazaar baar dekho).

  7. Love all the songs in your list. Judging by the number of songs in the comments, and all the aankhen songs that I can remember, I would say that aankhen are the most popular anatomical feature mentioned in Hindi films (not to mention at least three films that are called Aankhen)! Maybe we should have a naina companion piece and try to figure out which word most commonly signifies eyes? And here is my aankhen contribution: Ankhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-tKIpILm-0

    • Thank you, bollyviewer. Yes, aankhen definitely seem to win hands down when it comes to anatomical features mentioned in Hindi songs (and I was thinking, even as I compiled this list, that a nainanayan list was called for, because there were so many good songs that I could think of which would figure there!

      Akhiyaan bhool gayi hain sona is a great song. Goonj Uthi Shehnai was forgettable, but its songs were brilliant.

  8. I just posted the above song, the page gave an error message saying its reloading and what do I see :) Bollyviewer ! Long time no see… So the blogland knew that mine was duplicate :) I absolutely love that song and was going through the comments if it was posted. Anyways, here is another “ye aankhen, uff u ma”.

  9. Sorry to post piece meal, but that’s how the songs occur to me.
    Here are two more :
    Baba man ki aankhen khol

    Mite hi aankhen dil Hua Diana kisi ka

    I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know the situation, but it is one of the few duets where the same line is sung by both male / female.
    Is Dilip Kumar teaching her ?

  10. Lovely aankhein post, dear Madhu.
    All of the songs in post are so GOOD! I think, I would have chosen them for my list too. When I read the comments and the suggestions made there, I saw many, which would be my favourite too. So I see the job must have not been very easy to reduce the list to ten

    So here are some songs, which I like, not love, which were not mentioned till now, all of them are from the Burman stable.

    aankhein char hote hote from Jaag Utha Insaan

    Sharaabi aankhein gulaabi chehra from Madhosh

    kitne din aankhein tarsengi from Naya Zamana

    First one, which came to my mind was baba, man ki aankhein khol, which I absolutely love, more for its words rather than the tune.

    And since we are talking of eyes, here is an extra one to ward off the evil eye

    • Thank you so much, Harvey! I’m glad you liked the songs I chose. :-) The one from Insaan Jaag Utha was on my shortlist, but ended up not making it to the final cut. If it had, think of the competition Sunil Dutt would have posed to Dev Anand when it came to aankhen songs. (And I haven’t even posted Jalte hain jiske liye). :-D

      Of the songs you listed, Ek aankh maaroon toh parda hat jaaye is… well, perhaps I better not say. The one from Madhosh was new to me, and the one from Naya Zamana I’d forgotten, though I have seen the film.

  11. Very nice list Madhu didi! I loved all the songs. Sorry for not commenting on your previous posts, I just got into Srm medical college in chennai so it was taking time to settle.
    I could remember three songs:
    Aankhen keh gayi dil ki baat by S. D Batish
    In aankhon ki masti by Asha Bhonsale from Umrao Jaan
    Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hun by Rafi from Lal Kila
    But thanks for the lovely list didi!

    • Here is an underrated gem from Shola Aur Shabanam by the inimitable Rafi saab.

      Jaane kya dhoondhti rehti hain aankhen mujhme, rakh ke dher mein shola hai na chingari hai.

    • Thank you for commenting, Rahul! I remembered that you were going to join medical college this month, so I wasn’t surprised to see that you hadn’t commented (and that you haven’t posted anything new on your own blog). I hope you are all settled in now and beginning to enjoy college life.

      Of the songs you’ve suggested, the only one I wasn’t familiar with was Aankhen keh gayeen dil ki baat. Lovely song, thank you for that!

  12. You’re not likely to thank me for this song, but…it makes me giggle and it does fit the theme, so here is “aankhen milayenge, baaten sunayenge” from Bhanwar. Love the songs in your list of course.

  13. Yet another spectacular list! Pun intended, of course. Most of these songs are really, really good ones. As always, I love your description for each of these songs.This is what makes your blog so special! I am adding my comments for some of the songs from your selection:

    1. Ankhon hi Aknhon Main Ishara Ho Gaya – Besides superb melody that shines at all levels, I find the camera work amazing as well. I loved the eyes following up and down between tree trunks. Every single time it tickles me!

    3. Ankhon Main Kya Jee – Like Snageetbhakt, I was marveling your use of “disquiet” to describe hulchul. Song itself is not bad either.

    4. Teri Ankhon Ke Sivay Duniya Main Rakha Kya Hai – Not only I love this song for the melody but I find you can hear Rafi sahab’s special talent of describing the words so clearly – “Rakha Kya Hai..” is where he emphasizes the true meaning at least two or three times in this song..

    5. Jeevan Se Bhari Teri Ankhen – Yet another gem! It has everything, the lyrics, the melody and screenplay!

    6. Humne Dekhi Hain – Like you, I struggled with understanding the relevance of “khushboo” in eyes, but I understood that this is much deeper than what I originally thought. Yes, the lyrics took me to the same conclusion as you did. I

    7. Likha Hai Teri Ankhon Main – This one I like especially for the alaap in stanza by Kishore. The echo in his voice makes this song brilliant for my ears. I totally agree with your comments about the visuals for this song. Picture perfect!

    Since I am so late to the party, many of my favorites were already added by others. Here’s one that I like:

    Dekha hai teri akhon main pyar hi pyar beshumar – Rafi/Shankar JaiKishan – Movie Pyar hi Pyar – Dharam looks stunning in green! I wish SJ had used another instrument rather than (what I think is) Hawaiian guitar in the stanzas (a bit annoying sound that keeps repeating)

    • Thank you, Ashish, for taking out the time to write such a detailed comment. And thank you for including Dekha hai teri aankhon mein – that was on my shortlist too, but got dropped when it came to the final list. Nice song, and Dharmendra is – as ever, till the early 70s – gorgeous. :-)

  14. Posting on behalf of Neeru, who was unable to post this here and had to send this in by mail:

    I was watching Kamini Kaushal’s interview on Rajya Sabha. A very nice watch, she is quite a talented lady beyond just acting. She is about 88 in the interview but you could not tell. Very articulate and down to earth. She mentioned this song, quite an interesting one, the lyrics are typical of a village girl in Surinder Kaur’s voice.

    Akhiyaan milaake from Nadiya ke paar:

    On the sidebar, came across this one. I heard it for the first time.

    Jaana na dil se door from Aarzoo:

    That lead to this. If you skip the prelude line which was so common in the 40s songs, then it fits. I liked it for the young Rehman and the tune is quite peppy.
    The start is interesting too.

    Akhiyaan milaake zara baat karo ji from Pardes:

  15. a later song but quite nice
    ankhiyon mein chote chote from Naukar (has a Lata version as well)

    Its also interesting to note that not too many lullabys with ‘aankhen/akhiyan’ as one would have thought

    • Yes, lovely little song. Thank you! There are a few ‘aankhen/akhiyaan‘ lullabies (Dheere se aaja re akhiyon mein, Surmai akhiyon mein occur to me offhand), but far fewer than I’d have imagined.

        • I’ve thought about that often enough, but (rather like bhajans), I can’t think of too many lullabies I really like. Perhaps because when I my mother sang lullabies to my sister and me, she sang soft Hindi songs instead – O mere pyaar aaja to my sister, Yehi woh jagah hai to me! So while I like those songs a lot, proper loris I tend to find tedious, barring a very few.

          Someday, hopefully, I come across enough nice ones to make a good list.

  16. Hi, Madhu (and anyone else who may be reading this now). There was a song that I wanted to recommend here a couple weeks ago that no one was mentioning, but I just couldn’t place it. But now I have found it again, so here it is:

    • I had forgotten about Akhiyaan gulaabi jaise, though I have heard it before. Nice song. Thank you, Richard.

      (Whenever I see Madhubala dancing, I am reminded of what Sitara Devi is supposed to have said to her when Madhubala went to her, asking to be trained: “You don’t need to dance well. People will just be looking at your face.)

  17. Even if we stop at the end of 1960s, this is one exhaustive list! I think along with dil, pyar, mohabbat, ishq, aankhen is used in Hindi film songs quite often (through 90s, 2000s, to now). More so if we include ‘naina’.

    I think no one has mentioned ‘Ankhiyo ke jharokho se’, so I will include that, though it’s outside the time period.

    Thanks for the post Madhu, really thought of so many songs and was happy to see them in the comments, selecting 10 must have been quite a task!

    • Thank you! Yes, most of the songs related to the theme have been mentioned somewhere or the other in the comments. :-) One which I don’t think anybody recalled (even though the first screen cap in the post is from that song) is a little-known but sweet song from Nakli Nawab, Mast aankhen hain ya paimaane do:

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