Ten of my favourite ‘dreamt’ songs

When I compiled my list of Khwaab/Sapna songs, I had it in mind that ‘dream’ songs could be interpreted in different ways. As songs with a synonym for ‘dream’ appearing in the lyrics (plenty of these, as was to be seen in the comments for my post). As songs that appear as dream sequences. And, finally, as songs that are actually dreamt. People fall asleep and, in their dreams, a song plays out.

That’s it. Besides my usual criteria (pre-70s songs, from Hindi films that I’ve seen), the only other condition is that this song should be part of a dream dreamt by someone actually sleeping. Not a daydream, not a figment of someone’s imagination.

Here goes, then, in no particular order.

1. Pyaar hua hai jabse (Abhilasha, 1968): While the Rafi hit Waadiyaan mera daaman pretty much became the sole reason for Abhilasha not sinking without a trace (even the Lata version of the same song didn’t do well), Abhilasha wasn’t terrible. And it did have this fairly good song, which is picturized as a dream. Nanda’s character has fallen head over heels in love with Sanjay Khan’s character, and he appears in her dream, too—in a dance sequence that’s oddly reminiscent of Humdum mere maan bhi jaao, what with the lone woman dancing with a group of masked men, of whom one is her lover (with the difference, of course, that in Mere Sanam, Asha Parekh’s character was finding Biswajit more pesky than anything else at the time). Sanjay Khan is definitely easier on the eye than Biswajit, but why are those dancing extras doing calisthenics? Because the hero is an armywallah? (is that too the reason for the cardboard tank and the men all saluting?)

Whatever. Listen to the song, which has a delightfully peppy feel to it.

2. Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar (Junglee, 1961): From one of my favourite films comes this lovely little song (and yes, it is little, at just one verse long, besides the refrain). Shammi Kapoor’s character, having incurred the wrath of his tyrannical mother for having dared to fall in love with a girl whom Ma believes is ‘fallen’, sleeps a restless sleep. The girl he adores, and whom he’s had to win back from her anger by singing to her, comes to him in his dream—and singing, too, the same song that he had sung to her awake. You will do me a favour, says my heart—let me say it: I have fallen in love with you; let me stay always with you. Shammi Kapoor and Saira Banu look so fabulous in this that I’ve always wished this song were longer, so that I could feast my eyes on all that pulchritude for a bit more.

3. Akeli mat jaiyo (Akeli Mat Jaiyo, 1960): Akeli Mat Jaiyo was one of those films that started off being fairly entertaining, then descended into a mind-bogglingly confusing, confused mess, what with Rajendra Kumar in a double role (one with a ventriloquist’s dummy as bosom buddy), various conspirators surrounding a title and corresponding wealth, and just general mayhem. It did, however, have a lovely Meena Kumari, and some great music by Madan Mohan. In the title song, Meena Kumari’s character, deeply asleep, dreams that she wakes up to find that all the dolls decorating her room have come alive. As she makes up her face and gets ready to go meet her love, these dolls dance and coax her not to go. It isn’t safe. But go she does, to meet the man she loves—and he, after some flirting, goes off, making the dolls’ prophecy come true.

Besides the good music and rendition of this one, I like the picturization: the special effects are done surprisingly well, and Meena Kumari in light-hearted mood is always a joy to watch.

4. Ghar aaya mera pardesi (Awara, 1951): The gigantic Natraj. The massive Shakti (is that her? Or am I recognizing this idol incorrectly?) The spiral ramp climbing into nowhere. The clouds. The dancers. The twinkling branches of stars. The spectacle. Awara’s Ghar aaya mera pardesi is probably the most iconic of dream sequences in Hindi cinema, and with reason: the sets and the entire composition is spectacular, from the dreamy romance of the first half to the darkly nightmarish retribution and violence of the second. But yes, besides being a dream sequence, it is also a dream: Raj Kapoor’s character sees it.

5. Yeh kisne geet chheda (Meri Soorat Teri Aankhein, 1963): In a film where the male protagonist (played by Ashok Kumar) was a classical singer, it’s hardly surprising that the top songs—the brilliant and achingly beautiful Poochho na kaise maine raat bitaayi, for one—were all of a classical bent. But there were also songs of a more popular style, as in Yeh kisne geet chheda, where two young lovers go traipsing about the countryside, singing of their fascination for each other, talking of how the other’s charms have unmanned them. Asha Parekh is lovely, and the song is a melodious one. All part of a dream—the heroine’s.

6. Paanch rupaiyya baarah aana (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, 1958): A mechanic ruled by his tyrannical brother-cum-boss tries desperately to recover dues from a gorgeous theatre artiste whose car he repaired. In all the farce that ensues, he ends up falling asleep in the back of her car (without her knowledge). And he dreams. You’d have thought that with a woman as luminous as Madhubala, any man would dream of wooing her and having his love reciprocated. Which Kishore Kumar’s nutty character does—to some extent. Because, like a hilarious stuck record, he keeps returning to his old refrain: give me back my five rupees and twelve annas, or my bhaiya is going to thrash me. A delightful song, and it’s obvious that Madhubala is enjoying all this looniness as much as Kishore is.

7. Maine bulaaya aur tum aaye (Apne Hue Paraaye, 1964): A man ends up marrying the shrewish sister of the woman he really loves. And, though he doesn’t commit adultery, he still cannot get over his feelings for his old sweetheart—and she cannot, either. When he goes to meet her, calling as a brother-in-law and old friend, no more, he happens to doze off while waiting for her to cook him some food. Unlike me (who’d probably have dreamt of food in a situation such as this), he dreams of her—of them together, surrounded by giant lotuses and billowing curtains and wisps of mist, with her singing a song of love. A pretty little dream, but that’s all it is, as he knows well enough when he wakes up suddenly because his cigarette has burnt down and scorched his fingers.

8. Aaja re deewaane (Razia Sultana, 1961): One thing most ‘historical’ Hindi films tend to conveniently overlook is that raja-ranis generally have such large and ever-present entourages that it’s pretty much impossible to expect them to go singing and dancing around with their loved ones. Razia Sultana (even though it got its protagonist’s title wrong—Razia was known as Sultan, since ‘Sultana’ is the title accorded to a Sultan’s consort or daughter; Razia was a Sultan or ruler in her own right) was different. The romantic songs here did not have Nirupa Roy (as Razia) or P Jairaj (as Malik Altunia) doing the singing themselves—there was a way around it. In Dhalti jaaye raat, for example, two commoners expressed the royal couple’s feelings; and in Aaja re deewaane, Razia dreams of waiting for her beloved. She dances through a garden, searching for him—and finally, there he is.

9. Dhak-dhak-dhak jiya kare dhak (Sazaa, 1951): While it starred two of my favourite actors—Dev Anand and Shyama (though Shyama wasn’t the leading lady; an especially morose Nimmi was)—Sazaa wasn’t a memorable film. Its main claim to fame, for me, is the beautiful Tum na jaane kis jahaan mein kho gaye. Sazaa, however, also had a bunch of lesser-known but not bad songs (were there ever any songs in the Hindi cinema of the 1950s that actually hurt your ears?). One of these was a ‘dreamt’ song. Dev Anand’s character lies sleeping when the mute girl who loves him (has loved him, for many years)—played by Nimmi—comes in and gently rests her hands on his head, tousling his hair. And he begins to dream, of her. Of them together, in a dream-like setting, with a garland, a bevy of dancers and a woman singing a love song.

10. Main tujhe pukaaroon sanam sanam (Sanam, 1951): Dev Anand again, and again from a 1951 film—but a film which managed to be rather more progressive than most other films of that era. Here, he stars opposite Suraiya (whose father, a public prosecutor, is played by KN Singh). Our hero is a fugitive from justice, wrongly accused and wrongly jailed, but a fugitive nevertheless. And when the public prosecutor’s daughter gives him refuge in her house, an assumed identity, and eventually her heart, both of them know that this is not going to be an easy romance. Even in her dreams, the heroine—though she starts off imagining a glorious meeting with her beloved—ends up with that happy dream shattered by the arrival of her father as the villain.

A nice enough song, but Dev Anand’s look here, dressed as a Mughal or Rajput or something along those lines, never fails to crack me up.

What songs would you add to this list?

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58 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite ‘dreamt’ songs

  1. There is a song “Pyar ki nishaniyan” in Jailor, (1958) sung by Asha Bhonsle. It depicts a dream, but I am not sure whether it meets your criteria. I saw the film many years ago.

  2. Am I the first to comment. Yes I am. This is so exciting. No late-latifi this time.
    And I do have a dream sequence to add, only there is no song in it.
    It’s from Miss Marry (1957). Meena Kumai dreams of the man John, who has been pestering her for marriage and then sees Gemini Ganeshan, dressed as a Roman soldier, I think, who rescues and imprisons John.

    “Raat Suhani jaag rahi hai” from Jigri Dost (1969) I am sure fits the criteria.

    And your comment about Dev Anand in the last song, it really does not suit him.

    • Raat suhaani jaag rahi hai was new to me – at least, this is something I’d never seen before (I would have remembered if I had – it’s really quite eye-popping!)

      There are several instances of dreams but with no songs to match – for example, one fairly long sequence in Dil Deke Dekho, complete with music and occasional exclamations by Shammi Kapoor – which is part of Asha Parekh’s dream. And in Choti Si Mulaqat, Vyjyanthimala’s character has a dream about who and what her husband would possibly be like.

      Dev Anand really can’t manage the raja-type outfit! Even Shammi Kapoor managed to swing it, Dev Anand no. ;-)

      • “(I would have remembered if I had – it’s really quite eye-popping!)”
        Eye-popping and hilarious. The song itself is so serene and nice to hear but they could have choreographed it better.

        You know I have a couple of ideas for your posts. See both below:

        1. The title of this would be a little long. It should go like this:
        “List of songs that appear as top screenshots in the lists I made but never actually appear in those lists”.
        How about it? I could give a few examples. Like in your “Unusual singers” list the top screenshot has Ramesh Deo but the song isn’t there. Or the one appearing in “Ten songs about medical problems” list.

        2. This idea came from your comment above “Even Shammi Kapoor managed to swing it,”. So you could do a post on actors who could manage most variety of looks or styles on screen.
        For instance, my top pick would be Dharmendra. From dhoti to lungi to suave suits to tennis shorts and really short bathrobe (See Raja Jani) to uniformed men to that greek or roman soldier (whichever) type attire in Dharamveer.

        So do you like my suggestions. You could at least give them a serious thought I suppose.

        • Thank you for contributing those ideas! I’m always happy when people come up with ideas for posts – even if I cannot, for someone reason or the other, actually implement them. As in this case, sadly. :-(

          1. The problem with this is that nearly all of these screenshots are ones which fitted the theme but are really not great songs – so it wouldn’t be that pleasant. Secondly, I have dozens and dozens of song lists; there would have to be some more cohesive theme to bind them together than just a laundry list of songs which haven’t appeared in lists but have featured in screenshots.

          2. This one wouldn’t be long enough to merit an entire post. Besides, having once burnt myself posting lists of whom I believed to be my favourites when it came to looks (and having received some really nasty and rude comments as a result), I now tend to steer clear of that. I agree re: Dharmendra, though: he looked delectable in pretty much everything. Especially about 1964 to 1972.

          • Well doesn’t matter. But just to satisfy my curiosity. What is the song that appears at the top of this post?
            “I agree re: Dharmendra, though: he looked delectable in pretty much everything. Especially about 1964 to 1972.”
            Glad you agree on the Dharmendra.

            • That screenshot is from Jaan-e-wafa jaan-e-jahaan, from Dil Tera Deewaana. The song isn’t terrible, but the picturization – especially with them pretending to be babies – irritated me.

  3. Oh,
    The most awaited song list, for me.
    The first songs that I could remember were,
    Pyar hua hai jabse
    Ghar aaya mera pardedi
    And, paanch rupaiya baraa aana.
    And now I’m totally blank about any song to add.
    Some of the songs,
    from Sanam
    From raziya sultan
    From sazaa were new introductions to me.
    Thanks for the addition.
    I liked those songs.
    I already have a broken dreams song list ,
    Could there be a song list mentioning full filled dreams?
    Let’s see.
    Anup

      • I actually tried finding fullfilled dreams songs, but I couldn’t find more than three.
        So I left the idea there.
        Shall try once more, but my schedule now a days is too hectic. I can be online easily due to smart phone, but can’t find time to think about the songs that indirectly mention dreams fulfilled.
        I think, that would need a thorough search.
        Let’s see
        :-)

        • I could think offhand of only one! But I thought you’d know of more, since you know so many more songs than I do. :-) Hopefully someday sooner rather than later you’ll be able to do a post.

  4. Nice to see the long-awaited real dream-song-list.
    There are many songs here, which I didn’t know about. I also didn’t know that it kisne geet cheda was a dream sequence.
    The gigantic idol before which Nargis dances can be interpreted, since all the goddesses are seen as incarnation of Shakti. I think this specific form is Saraswati, although she doesn’t have veena in the hand. The character of Raj Kapoor going towards knowledge would also make sense.
    the first song, which comes to my mind is Sapne me dekha sapna from Golmaal, where Amol Palekar narrates his dream experiences.

    • Harvey, thank you for this song! I was hoping someone would post it. :-) It’s such a delight. Thank you, too, for that comment about the idol. I was wondering…

          • Ardhanaareshwar would have a breast only on one side of the body, mostly on the left side of the body. Moreover she is sitting on a lotus, Saraswati is often shown sitting on a lotus or a rock, Lakshmi is shown quite often shown standing on a lotus. I have only rarely seen Shiva on a lotus. Shiva and Shakti go together. Even if it is not meant to specifically symbolise Saraswati, I think Shakti is surely a safe bet.

            • “Ardhanaareshwar would have a breast only on one side of the body, mostly on the left side of the body.

              That’s exactly what I thought, because that’s what the idea of Ardhanaareeswhwar is all about, after all – one side woman, one side man. And this one’s breasts are too obviously equally prominent.

              Or is this a nod to the ‘Sheeva’ of Das Indische Grabmal? :-D

  5. Finally! :) Now, this is my idea of a dream sequence. My first thought was ‘Would she have added Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar?’ Of course you would have! :)

    Paanch rupaiyya baraah aana is such a zany dream – only Kishore could have dreamt that up.

    Glad to see Ghar aaya mera pardesi here, though the preamble Tere bina aag yeh chaandni is also part of this Dali-esque sequence. By the way, the idol is neither Shakti nor Saraswati – it is Shiva in his Natraj (God of Cosmic Dance) avatar.

    My contribution: Ichak bichak churr from Bawre Nain

    Pehchaano hum wohi hai from Gyarah Hazaar Ladkiyaan

    Dil dil se keh raha hai from Parchhain

    • “My first thought was ‘Would she have added Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar?’ Of course you would have! :)

      No way I’d have left that out! So what if it’s even only a quarter of a song or so. Shammi Kapoor looks so delectable in it. ;-)

      “By the way, the idol is neither Shakti nor Saraswati – it is Shiva in his Natraj (God of Cosmic Dance) avatar.

      I didn’t mean the one which is shown in my screenshot. The one I meant was this one, which appears at around 3:41 in this clip:

      (And at other points in the song. This deity obviously has breasts, which is why I thought it was Shakti. Natraj I can recognize).

      Thank you for the ones you’ve suggested – the Bawre Nain one should’ve occurred to me, since I’ve seen the film. The same goes for Gyaarah Hazaar Ladkiyaan.

      Liked Dil dil se keh raha hai, very much. Thank you for introducing me to it!

        • Okay… now, as I told Harvey, I’m getting confused. Harvey checked with someone else too, and that person insists (as did Harvey) that it’s Saraswati, without her veena.

          • I must confess to being rather muddled as well; I watched the whole song – it began with Brahma and ended with Shiva, so my guess would be Vishnu in the middle to complete the trinity. But as you said, the breasts are too prominent even for the ‘ardhanareeshwar’ concept. However, I don’t think it’s Saraswati either.
            Never mind – we have plenty of gods and goddesses to go around. :)

  6. Re: Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar: I’d interpreted the mukhda as – You’ll be doing me a favour; What my heart says, let me say it aloud, I’ve fallen in love with you, let me stay in the shade/shadow of your eyelids.

    As in – the favour he is asking is for her to allow him to stay in the shadow of her eyelids because he loves her, and he’s saying aloud what his heart has always said.

    No?

  7. Isn’t “Hum aapki aaNkhoN me” in Pyaasa a sort of waking dream song? I cannot immediately recall how the song starts up, but I vaguely recall Guru Dutt looking into the camera and the wisps of clouds (aka smoke) coming in as the song starts.

    • That song is a little complicated, because it’s a dream sequence embedded in a flashback. Guru Dutt and Mala Sinha meet, in the lift if I remember correctly, and are reminded of happier days. They remember going off with collegemates on a picnic or party or something. The others are busy dancing, these two sneak off by themselves and are lost in a world of their own, when they imagine this song. Or he imagines it. But I do know that this is a day dream, not a ‘was asleep and dreamt’ dream. So yes, it’s a ‘waking dream’ song.

  8. Hi,
    i remembered one song, but i wont just mention it.
    Dhak Dhak Karne Laga from Beta is a dream sequence
    so is
    Ishq Kameena by Shahrukh & aishwarya

      • You don’t know Dhak Dhak karne laga?
        Oh
        You know the songs, but didn’t know them to be dream sequences.
        Am I right?
        May I post them, but better not.
        The songs just fit the theme and not particularly great as songs.

        • No, I meant I hadn’t known Dhak-dhak karne laga was a dreamt song. I have heard it, otherwise (even seen glimpses of it) but hate it enough to not want to explore further. ;-)

  9. Interesting list. I didn’t know most of those songs (though I knew the one from Awara, of course). But I know some other dream songs very well. :)

    I mentioned this briefly in comments to your last post… My favorite has to be “Tu Hai Mera Prem Devta” from Kalpana (1960).

    And speaking of Ragini, there’s “Tum Ko Piya Dil Diya” from Shikari (1963):

    (By the way, I never saw the whole film, but I know all about that dream!)

    Now, does a dream dance scene count if it does not contain a known song with lyrics?I would love to add the dream dance from Meera (1947) with Baby Kamala playing Krishna. (They are dancing to a short musical piece – maybe we can count that as an instrumental song.)

    I guess all of my favorite dream scenes are dream dances, whether or not they count as songs. :)

    • Thank you, Richard! I’d forgotten that Tu hai mera prem devta and Tumko piya dil diya were both actually dreamt by someone, not merely dream sequences. Both lovely songs, too, besides being great dances – so thank you for that!

      The Meera one I was unfamiliar with, but yes, it was nice. Very graceful dancing, from what I saw of it (just a wee bit – I will probably watch all of it later, once I’ve got some other work out of the way).

  10. Another thoroughly entertaining list. You must write a book on yesteryear Bollywood- with its forgotten actors, interesting film trivia, pioneering studios etc. I’m sure it would be full of finer details. :)

  11. Ha, the first song that I thought for this theme is the first one on your list, pyar hua hai jabse. It’s one of those better to listen to than watch songs. :-)

    Thanks to Anu’s post on Nargis, I remembered this lovely Geeta-Talat duet.

    Armaan bhare dil ki laganI – Jan Pehchaan/Kemchand Prakash/Geeta Dutt-Talat Mehmood

  12. Nice list of songs. Mala Sinha, Asha Parek look great, some how the black and white brings out the beauty in the heroines of the era. Nirupama in her younger version also looks great.
    Need to change my screen saver from Aradhana scene to a black and white picture of Mala Sinha, so google here I come in!!
    Thanks for the lovely dream sequences.
    Girish Vaidya

    • Nice song, yes. But it doesn’t fit the criterion for this theme, in that it’s not a song she’s dreaming. It starts off as a floor show, and the flashbacks shown are her memories – it’s not as if she’s gone to sleep and we’re seeing her dreams (which is what this post is about).

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