My favourites: Ten answers to the ‘Kaun Aaya’ question

Just a few weeks back, Anu published a delightful blog post which listed ten songs on the theme of ‘Kaun Aaya’: who is this who comes? A lover, a hope, the much-anticipated partner of one’s life. I commented on that post, liked it, liked the songs, moved on. And then, one day, happening to revisit Anu’s blog, I came across that post again, and it struck me: what about the answer to ‘Kaun aaya?’

Because there are many songs that could well be answers to the question. A name spelled out, or a description provided. The love of one’s life, or the bane of one’s existence. One person may ask, “Kaun aaya?”, and another may well have the answer to that.

Kaun Aaya? - Answers to the question

Here, therefore, are ten songs that answer the question ‘Kaun aaya?’ To make it a little more challenging for myself, I have included only those songs which specifically answer the ‘Kaun’ of that question; who has come, not what has come. This is why some great songs, heralding everything from the spring to the monsoon to love, have been omitted—because they would be answers to “Kya aaya?” rather than “Kaun aaya?”

As always, these are all from pre-70s Hindi films that I’ve seen, and are listed in no particular order of preference.

1. Chaakuwaala chhuriwaalaaaya main mastaana (Al-Hilal, 1957): To start off with, a relatively little-known but fabulously infectious song from the sort-of Muslim mythological Al-Hilal. Shakila, acting as a girl pretending to be a boy but here disguised as a girl (yes, I know how confusing that is), here joins a group of dancers to dance before the evil ruler. Our heroine’s (or, considering everybody thinks she’s a man, hero’s) actual profession is that of a knife-sharpener, so that’s how her fellow dancer introduces herself. As a chaakuwaala, a chhuriwaala, a footloose and fancy-free mastaana and deewaana. So much pep and fun.

Chaakuwaala chhuriwaala, from Al-Hilal

2. Dekhne mein bhola hai… Bambai se aaya hai Babu (Bombai ka Babu, 1960): A sister, long separated from the brother who ran away from home years ago, welcomes him back. Or, at least, welcomes the man who introduces himself as her brother, unaware that he is not just a stranger but the man who killed her brother. To her, though, he is her brother, and she sets about teasing him as well as boasting about him. He’s come from Bombay, this babu chhinnana, this urban dandy, she sings: he will be well-advised to steer clear of the beauties of these hills, for they will steal his heart. But she warns the beauties, too. Nicky, Muni, Noor and Begum: don’t laugh at him, for he is the handsomest of them all, and he will rob them of their hearts.

Dekhne mein bhola hai, from Bombai ka Babu

3. Jogi jab se tu aaya mere dwaare (Bandini, 1963): A village girl sings (in his absence) a song to the lover who has recently come into her life. She calls him a jogi, a wandering mendicant, as she smiles and exults over the effect of his love on her life. Little does she know that this man, like the jogi who stays only briefly at one place before going on, will also leave her bereft. Right now, however, as she skips happily along by the riverside, she rejoices in the love which has come into her life.

Jogi jab se tu aaya mere dwaare, from Bandini

4. Koi matwaala aaya mere dwaare (Love in Tokyo, 1966): Another woman singing of the man who has come into her life. Asha Parekh’s dancer, however, is far removed from Nutan’s village girl; this is an Indian heiress in Japan, a danseuse who performs for a TV programme. Little does she know that the song she sings (how do film dancers manage to dance vigorously and sing at the same time?) is proving—on the other side of the TV—true, because a passing Indian (Joy Mukherji) finds himself enthralled. He doesn’t say a word, but it’s obvious from the look of goofy delight on his face that he’s assigned to himself the identity of the matwaala come to the doorstep of this dancing beauty.

Koi matwaala aaya mere dwaare, from love in Tokyo

5. Banda parvar thhaam lo jigar…. banke pyaar phir aaya hoon, (Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon, 1963): Joy Mukherji again, and this time playing an active part in explaining who it is who’s come. Asha Parekh (again!) has been duped into getting into his tonga, and when she’s safely ensconced, with no hope of escaping the attentions of her admirer, he tells her who he is. The very embodiment of love, the man who presents his heart to her, always bound to serve her (yes, as often happens, this sounds far better in the original than it does translated). Interestingly, the 1994 film Andaz Apna-Apna has an unmistakable copy of this song, in the shape of Eloji sanam hum aa gaye hain—from the situation down to the music, and the lyrics, where Aamir Khan tells Raveena Tandon that he too has arrived, bringing with him his heart.

Banda parvar thhaam lo jigar, from Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon

6. Mehfil mein jo aaye tum (Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962): Who has come into this gathering, to fill the air with magic, and to steal the singer’s heart? You, she tells the man for whom she’s ignoring the rest of the crowd that sits around at the tables, watching her perform. And even though this is really a performance—Nishi Kohli’s character is a dancer and singer—who can fault her for being so besotted? The man, after all, is Shammi Kapoor in his prime, handsome to a fault. So handsome that she tells him quite frankly that her heart has gone completely over to him, and that she doesn’t care what he is: fair, dark, cruel, whatever. Whoever or whatever he is, she wants him.

Mehfil mein jo aaye tum, from Vallah Kya Baat Hai

7. Aasmaan se aaya farishta (An Evening in Paris, 1967): Shammi Kapoor again, and this time doing the singing, explaining who he is, to come barging into this lucky girl’s life. An angel, descended from heaven, to tell her what romance is all about, to show her the picture he carries of her in his heart. I have never imagined angels in orange bathrobes dangling from helicopters, but Aasmaan se aaya farishta is peppy enough. Shammi Kapoor, incidentally, is supposed to have had to steel himself for the hair-raising filming of this scene by imbibing a good bit of alcohol. He does pull it off with characteristic aplomb despite all that liquor sloshing about inside.

Aasmaan se aaya farishta, from An Evening in Paris

8. Leke pehla-pehla pyaar… jaadunagri se aaya hai koi jaadugar (CID, 1956): Dev Anand again, and (as in Dekhne mein bhola hai), the man being sung about by others. Here, in order to woo the girl whom he’s fallen for after hijacking her car, he pays two street performers to put in a word—or more—on his behalf. And they (Sheila Vaz and Shyam) do so with an enthusiasm that does them credit. From jaadunagri, ‘the town of magic’, has come a magician, bringing with him first love, ready to sweep her away. Shakila’s character, not one ready to forgive and forget easily, remains huffy almost all through—but the jaadugar wins a shy smile, eventually, from her.

Leke pehla pehla pyaar, from CID

9. Ghoomke aaya hoon main… Baajewaala Patialewaala (Basant, 1960): For once, a song which doesn’t have any romance to it. Johnny Walker and Kammo lead a group of musicians (an all-girl band, interestingly) into a mansion where the heroine is about to have her life ruined—and he introduces himself. He is the baajewaala, Patialewaala, a musician par excellence whose feats are startling: better than Asha Bhonsle and Mohammad Rafi, the man who’s the ustad of everybody from SD Burman, to Shankar-Jaikishan, Naushad and OP Nayyar. Yes, a formidable musician indeed, and not overburdened with modesty.

Ghoomke aaya hoon main bandhu, from Basant

10. Dilli se aaya Bhai Tingoo (Ek Thi Ladki, 1949): And, to end, another song that has no trace of romance to it, and which (like Ghoomke aaya hoon main bandhu, coincidentally) has an all-girl band. Honey O’Brien is the performer here, singing onstage a light-hearted little ditty about three brothers who come down from Delhi: the skinny Tingoo; the short Pingoo; and the plump Shingoo. How they go promenading along the Mall, how they simper and preen and prance about. How they sing the praises of their country, which is the very best in the whole wide world…

Dilli se aaya bhai Tingoo, from Ek Thi Ladki

So there we are. Angels, musicians, magicians, and more. Which other songs can answer that ‘Kaun aaya?’ question?

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94 thoughts on “My favourites: Ten answers to the ‘Kaun Aaya’ question

  1. Some links to songs from the “other” side – Nahid Akhtar – with her distinctively sweet voice.

    The first could be belong to Anu’s post perhaps:
    Gajre mehke balon mein

    The second is an answer in (the familiar piano setting!)
    Kisee meherban ne aake

  2. Great post!
    I usually like the music in Dev Anand movies so remembered this one – 1974 so I guess post 1970.

    Main aya hoon…

    and aaye hain door se from Tumsa nahin dekha

    Nishi

    • Same as above. This is not the theme of this post. I would suggest you have a look at Anu’s post (to which I’ve linked in the introduction). Any songs listed there are Kaun aaya? songs; these songs, in my post, comprise answers to the Kaun aaya? question.

  3. When Sudama comes to Krishna house, (In Haryanvi language), The most famous song of 2017, गायक;_ विधि, कोरस:- मुश्कान, ईशा, रिंकू, मनीषा और साथी,

  4. Ha ha ha ha ha! Brilliant, Madhu! :) This definitely is an answer to the questions on my blog. I’ll be back to look at the comments and add some songs, if your readers haven’t posted all of them already.

  5. What about Ghar aaya mera pardesi from Awaara?

    This is a rather obscure song from Amar Rahe Mera Pyar: Mere andhere ghar mein chaand ik aaya

    Mera nanha kanhaiyya ghar aaya from Bhabhi ki Choodiyan

    • Ghar aaya mera pardesi was on my longlist, but it’s not one of my absolute favourites, so it didn’t make it any further. But yes, it fits right in. I had never heard of Mere andhere ghar mein chaand ik aaya – nice song, and what an adorable baby!

      I must get around to seeing Bhabhi ki Choodiyaan one of these days…

  6. What a lovely idea, for a post! Dilli se aaya, Aasman se aaya, Ghoomke aaya… How about London se aaya and Bambai se aaya as well? Not the best of songs, and not from your blog’s time period either, but they fit the theme. :)

    London se aaya hoon albela from Vachan

    Bambai se aaya mera dost from Aap Ki Khaatir

    PS: In the Dilli se aaya bhai tingoo, are the singer and dancer the same person – Honey O’Brien?

    • Thank you, Bollyviewer! I’m glad you liked this post. Yes, sab jagah se, saare konon se, aaya. And in many forms, too. :-)

      I had been hoping someone would post London se aaya; I find that song loads of fun. I’d even toyed with using a screenshot from it for the introductory screen cap on this post, but then decided it was too far into the 70s to do that.

      There seems to be some controversy about whether or not Honey O’Brien also sang Dilli se aaya bhai Tingoo. But if you look at the comments in the video to which I’ve linked, some people say that it wasn’t her doing the singing, but a singer called Vinata Amladi, aka Binota Chakravorty.

  7. Thank you for introducing me to two delightful songs I hadn’t heard before – the ones from Vallah Kya Baat Hai and Ek Thi Ladki. Here are a few contributions from me on this theme – I hope they qualify in the confusion between question and answer! In the last one, the lover Asha Parekh is waiting for does not come – but at least his memory (the next best alternative) does

    “Koi aaya dhadkan kehti hai” from Lajwanti

    “Door se ek pardesi aaya” from Surajmukhi (Video not available unfortunately)

    “Ek pardesi door se aaya” from Gumrah

    “Ghar aaya mehmaan na koi jaan na pehchan” from Uran Khatola

    “Koi chupke se aake” from Anubhav

    “Lo aa gayi unki yaad” from Do Badan

    • Thank you – for the appreciation, and for the songs – you introduced me to one I’d never heard before, Door se ek pardesi aaya poochho kya-kya laaya. I wouldn’t list Lo aa gayi unki yaad here, because (as I mentioned in the introduction), I deliberately kept away from the ‘kya aaya, or – as in this case – the kya aayi question. Beautiful song, but it doesn’t fit here.

  8. Let’s hope this works out…
    Pardesi Aaya Des Mein, Pratigya (1975), Lata Mangeshkar, LY: Anand Bakshi, MD: Laxmikant Pyarelal

  9. Ho Koi Aayega, Hamaare Gaanv Koi Aayega, Professor (1962), Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, LY: Hasrat Jaipuri, MD: Shankar Jaikishan

  10. Clever, clever post, Madhu! Not only is the theme inspired but your songs selection too. And I’m tickled pink to see that someone else likes “mehfil mein jo aaye tum” – a very un-Roshanlike song except in it’s awesomeness. :-)

    Anyway, here are a couple more answers to your “kaun aaya” question.

    Darshan pyaasi aayi daasi – Sangdil/Geeta/Sajjad Hussain

    Mere ghar aayi ek nanhi pari – Kabhie Kabhi/Lata/Khayyam

    • Thank you, Shalini! – and for the love for Mehfil mein jo aaye tum. That song deserves to be better-known, it’s so good. :-)

      I was hoping someone would post Mere ghar aayi ek nanhi pari. Thanks for that, and for the song from Sangdil – I’d forgotten that one.

    • Thank you for this, Shalini. I hadn’t heard it before: lovely, lovely song. It reminded me, in the beginning, of Aayega aanewaala. Same slow, lingering start, leading up into the main song. Wonderful.

  11. BY GOLLY!!! I think I’ve got it… you need a name, who came…!!! here comes…“A Lost Traveler”… SONG: path bhula ik AAYA MUSAFIR, Door Gagan Ki Chaon Mein (1964), Asha Tai, LY: Shailendra, MD: Kishore Kumar

    • Supriya Choudhury, her birth place: British Burma. She is known for The Cloud-Capped Star (1960), E-Flat (1961), and The Namesake (2006). and

    • Congratulations. :-)

      Not merely a name, even a profession (chaakuwaala chhuriwaala, baajewaala Patialewaala), or a description (jogi, matwaala, jaadugar, babu chhinnana… any of those will do, as long as it outright answers the question of Kaun aaya? instead of merely supplying an ambiguous koi aaya sort of reply.

      I hadn’t heard Path bhoola ik aaya musaafir before. Lovely song, thanks for that.

  12. Parveen Choudhary, known for Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Professor (1962) and Patthar Ke Khwab (1969).
    Aaya Re MERA JANE BAHAR Aaya, Insaaf (1966), Lata Mangeshkar, LY: Akhtar Romani, MD: Usha Khanna

  13. Here comes, Radha!! Manipuri is the classical dance, very much religious and associated to the Vaishnav sect of Hinduism. The Pung, khol, and the mridangam are the integral parts of the Manipuri style dance. Here Usha Khanna used decisively the Taal and laya (tempo) of mridangam.
    Chori Chori Tori Aayi Hai Radha, Hum Hindustani (1961), Lata Mangeshkar, LY: Bharat Vyas, MD: Usha Khanna

  14. Here comes, Krishna AKA Govinda, the divine love interest of Radha.
    Govinda Aala Re, Alaa, Jara matki sambhal brijbala, Bluffmaster (1963), Rafi, LY: Rajinder Krishan, MD: Kalyanji Anandji

  15. As usual a super post.
    Listened to and watched the song from ‘Vallah kya baat hai’ for the first time. The statement ‘Shammi Kapoor in his prime, handsome to a fault.’ is so true. Loved his ‘arrogant’ look in the song.

  16. A clever theme Madhu! I have a few that might fit the bill:

    1. Aaya re khilonewala – Rafi/Laxmi-Pyare/Anand Bakshi – Movie Bachpan (1970)

    2. Raat Kali Aek Khwab Main Aayi – Kishore/RDB/Majrooh – Buddha Mil Gaya (1971) – This may be ambiguos and may not fit..

    Also from the same movie – Aayo Kahan Se Ghanshayam (Manna Dey) may be somewhat closer to the theme?

    3. Tum Aaye To Aaya Mujhe Yaad – Alka Yagnik/MM Kareem – Movie Zakhm (1998)

  17. Aayi re Aayi re from Ekadashi 1955
    lata & chorus
    neel gagan se main aayi re

    i think its of some what bad quality
    but nice song
    by M D Avinash Vyas

    its not my personal favourite.
    but it goes with the theme.

  18. Hi,
    i’m back with some more songs in the theme…………

    Path bhula ek aaya musafir- asha bhosle

    Aaye the huzoor bade tan ke- Rafi- main bhi ladki hoon

    Jab se balam ghar aaye-awara-lata

  19. Some more songs

    Aayi jhoom ke diwani-sardar

    Tere Dar Pe aaya hoon-talat
    i think this song was first taken for chor bazar
    then added to laila majnu

    Main to chanda ki nagari se aayi from banarasi bala
    I found this song on SOY while reading a blog on sudha malhotra.
    i liked it.

  20. if we can include
    chhon chhon karati aayi chidiya

    and for two songs…………
    i am not sure
    one says he wont come…Woh Na Aayenge Palat ke from Devdas 1955

    and another…
    my favorite… from namaste

    Aaye Bhi woh Gaye Bhi woh by Parul Ghosh

    • As I’ve mentioned at the start, songs that answer to the kya aaya? (rather than kaun aaya?) question don’t count – so I wouldn’t think Chhun-chhun karti aayi chidiya would qualify. And Woh na aayenge palatke is about somebody not coming, so…

  21. Hi Madhu, I have been a silent reader for a while of your beautiful writing and lovely song lists. Thank you for the countless hours of pleasure….
    This one is a wonderful “hatke” theme and I enjoyed going through the reader suggestions as well… A few songs come to mind, not sure whether they satisfy the criterion… Also, I apologize in advance for giving just the song names… not sure how to embed YouTube videos here…

    Bahut Shukriya Badi Meherbani Meri Zindgi me Huzoor Aap Aaye (Ek Musafir Ek Hasina)
    Phir tere sheher me lutne ko chala aaya noon (Ek Musafir Ek Hasina)
    Saare zamane pe…. Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayi (Aap A aye Bahaar Aayi)
    Aaye ho meri zindagi me tum bahaar banke (Raja Hindustani)
    Aaya tere dar par deewana (Veer Zaara)
    Albela sajan aayo ri (Bajirao Mastani)
    Albela sajan aayo ri (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam)
    Nabhatoon Aali Apsara.. Deewani Mastani (Bajirao Mastani)

    Please feel free to remove the songs which don’t meet the requirement. Looking forward to many more wonderful posts.

    • Hello, Gayathri, and thank you so much for commenting!

      Two of the songs you mentioned were on my shortlist – Bahut shukriya badi meherbaani and Aap aaye bahaar aayi. Most of the others you’ve suggested are of course from later films so don’t fit my guidelines, but I’m more than happy to have comments that include songs from outside my timeline! Albela sajan aayo ri and Aaye ho meri zindagi mein tum bahaar banke are especially songs I like a lot.

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