Ten of my favourite romantic serenades

This blog has been in existence ten years, and I suppose you can tell how important (or not) Valentine’s Day is over here by the fact that in all these years, I’ve dedicated a post to this day only twice—once, with a list of love songs in ten different moods, and (more recently) with a list of romantic duets.

So here we are, jumping on to the bandwagon yet again. This time, it’s a list of romantic serenades, of people singing in praise of the person they’re in love with (or, as in the case of a couple of fraudulent characters in this list, pretending to be in love with). There are serenades to others (Hindi cinema is full of serenades): to mothers and their near-divine maternalism; to the motherland and to the bond between siblings. None of these, I think, are as ubiquitous and as common as the serenade to a loved one. The praise in honour of his/her beauty, charm, sweetness, simplicity, virtues: going by the way Hindi songs serenade a love interest, you’d think the realm of Hindi cinema was crammed with utter paragons.

But, to get down to business. Ten romantic serenades that I especially like. As always, these are all from pre-1970s Hindi films that I’ve seen. The one condition I’ve imposed here, besides this, is that the serenade is one-sided: all of these songs are solos in which the singer praises another, but is not praised back. Note: these are not any old love songs: in each of these songs, the primary focus is the praise of the beloved. There may (there usually is) some mention of love, but most of the song is sung in praise of the virtues or features of the person it’s sung to. 

1. Chaudhvin ka chaand ho (Chaudhvin ka Chaand, 1960): Although the songs in this list are in no particular order, this one, for me, is the one which most accurately describes the sort of song I had in mind. Guru Dutt plays the young man who has married a young woman out of duty, all sight unseen, and has ended up getting the most pleasant shock of his life: she is more ethereally beautiful than he’d ever imagined. His first glimpse of her face (and Waheeda Rehman is so gorgeous) renders him pretty much speechless on their wedding night, but some days later, he gets the chance to tell her exactly how he feels. Her tresses are like dark clouds gathered on her shoulders; her eyes are glasses brimming with wine; her face is like a lotus… she is the dream of a poet, unbelievably beautiful.

2. Yeh hawa yeh raat yeh chaandni (Sangdil, 1952): This was one of those songs I was referring to in the introduction to this post when I mentioned that there were some frauds singing a serenade too. Dilip Kumar’s character in Sangdil is not in love with Shammi’s character: he knows well enough that though she pretends to be in love with him, all she wants is his wealth and his position. He knows it, and he lets her know that he knows—but he serenades her anyway. This breeze, this night, this moonlight: all will be sacrificed to your charms. For you are the most beautiful of all God’s creation. Intoxicating, heady as wine, sublime.

It’s easy to why some enterprising Youtuber has ripped the audio of this song and pasted it onto a video of Madhubala and Dilip Kumar: that looks so much more appropriate!

3. Saba se yeh keh do (Bank Manager, 1959): There are several reasons why this song holds a special place in this list. Firstly, it’s one of those rare instances where a female character serenades a man in public—in a mushaira, no less. Secondly, it’s a fine example of Asha Bhonsle’s versatility: for all those who accuse her of being primarily a singer of cabaret songs, this is one song I always point to. Third, it’s another example of the fraudulent serenade. Minoo Mumtaz’s character, while she praises the beauty and the love of the man who is now walking into the assembly, suddenly making the air fragrant and brightening the space—doesn’t love him at all. She’s a con-woman, and this romance is all part of the con.

4. O mere shahekhubaan o meri jaan-e-janaanaan (Love in Tokyo, 1966): Mirza Ghalib once offered his diwaan—his entire corpus of poetry—in exchange for just one couplet of his contemporary, Momin Khan Momin’s: Tum mere paas hote ho goya koi doosra nahin hota. Such is the beauty of this one line. A line that appears as the refrain in this exquisite love song from Love in Tokyo. Although there are two versions of O mere shahekhubaan (one sung by Rafi, the other by Lata), the lyrics for both are the same—but I have a particular fondness for the Rafi version, which comes across as far more romantic. When no-one else is around (or, alternately interpreted simply as ‘no-one else is around’), you are there. Wherever I go, your picture goes with me. You are in the dawn, and in the wilderness. You are everywhere, within me and around me… could there be a more flattering paean to a sweetheart?

5. Rukh se zara naqaab utha do (Mere Huzoor, 1968): While the person being serenaded here (Mala Sinha) starts off being indignant at the praise being lavished on her by a random fellow-passenger (and so she is perfectly right to be!), it doesn’t take long for her to change her mind. After all, the man in question is heaping such plaudits on her (and in such lyrically beautiful language too), it’s hard to be unaffected. Lift that veil and show me the magnificence of that spectacle again. That fragrant body, those soft hands. Her beauty and her radiance have intoxicated him, even glimpsed merely in a mirror.

6. Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra (Kashmir ki Kali, 1964): Whoever thought a serenade had to be soulful? Shammi Kapoor, in true Shammi style (not the more tragic hero of films like Shama Parwana or Rangeen Raatein) shows that you can, in fact, heap praise on the girl you’re besotted with, and not leave off being a clown.

To be fair, he starts off in fairly romantic style: in a shikara on a shimmering lake, with Sharmila Tagore sitting pretty in another shikara, full of flowers. His praise is lavish: her face is as radiant as the moon, her eyes are blue (er… no), her hair is golden (yes, that’s another flight of fancy, which is later corrected by saying that “har shaam ki chaadar kaali saaya ha tere baalon ka”—‘the coverlet of each evening is the shadow of your tresses”). She is beauty personified: and as much as he praises her, he praises the one who crafted such perfection.

Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra, from Kashmir ki Kali

7. Ae phoolon ki raani bahaaron ki mallika (Aarzoo, 1965): Aarzoo was a huge hit, and though I don’t like it myself (it gets too, too melodramatic and weepy in the latter half), what I do acknowledge is that it had excellent music. From Ae nargis-e-mastaana to Chhalke teri aankhon se—there are several songs here that praise the lady (Sadhana), but I think the one which most epitomizes the ‘serenade’ is this one. Her lips are lotuses, her way of fluttering her eyelashes is devastating. Her smile, her walk… everything about her is beautiful. Her flowing hair imparts cool shadows to the surroundings themselves: she is the queen of the flowers, the very empress of the spring.

8. Tumhe jo bhi dekh lega (Majboor, 1964): Possibly not as popular as most of the other songs on this list, but a classic serenade still. Biswajeet’s character begins his serenading of Waheeda Rehman while both of them are still in a huge pond in which they’ve landed. (And you can tell he’s besotted by the mere fact that he thinks this woman, all drippy and with her hair looking like rats’ tails, is so gorgeous).

What a list of adjectives he has for her. She’s a fairy, a wonder, the very essence of intoxication. All she has to do is glance at dew, and it will turn intoxicating. Those kohl-lined eyes can make not just his heart sway, but his very conscience: she is the dream of an idol-worshipper. Glowing, so beautiful that even God, who made her, would be proud of this creation of his. To be fair, Waheeda Rehman does look lovely here.

9. Tauba yeh matwaali chaal (Patthar ke Sanam, 1967): Waheeda Rehman has, and deservedly so, I think, a lot of serenades sung to the characters she’s played. Here she is again, though this time the serenade is addressed not just to her, but to another as well—Mumtaz (who has another pretty iconic serenade, Yeh reshmi zulfein yeh sharbati aankhein, also to her name). The two women play friends who decide to pull a trick on the newcomer (Manoj Kumar), convincing him that both of them are in love with him. But the tables are turned when he catches on and sets about convincing both women he’s in love with them—while actually falling in love with Waheeda’s character. All very complicated, but here he sings in praise of the woman he’s with: what an intoxicating walk! What a face: even the sun and moon beg for radiance from her! What charm! What adaas! Is there anyone to rival this beauty?

10. Teri pyaari-pyaari soorat ko (Sasuraal, 1961): To end, a classic serenade that I first encountered in the form of a parody. When I was in school, I remember hearing someone in school singing, with a jaunty cheeriness, “Teri kaali-kaali soorat par powder ka asar na lage!” This was a time well before fairness creams made one’s complexion such a sensitive topic, but all of us in class ignored that colourist tone and giggled over the song, especially when we discovered what the original was.

And what a serenade this is. Because, while he praises her beauty to the skies, the singer is also careful to constantly wish the evil eye away. His beloved is so beautiful that everyone, everything even, is likely to gaze at her with evil intent. Chashm-e-buddoor, he says: literally, ‘the eye of evil be distant’. He tells her to veil herself, because his gaze may be unwittingly evil. He tells her not to look into the mirror, because the evil eye may be hers. In every particle there is the potential for the evil eye, he says: her beauty is such.

Which songs would you add to the list?

And, yes. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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128 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite romantic serenades

  1. Wow!
    a beautiful and apt post for the occasion. Loved it.
    A nice collection of serenade songs. I’ll try searching a song where the hero actually sings it under his mate’s window.
    :-)

      • First of all,
        Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all the readers.
        I forgot.

        I couldn’t recall that sort of song either. And also, can’t remember any other female serenade song.
        Me too, love Saba se kehdo a lot. Just too good.

        • Thank you! And someone did post another female serenade – Aankhon se jo utri. Nice song. And I suppose you could call the female version of Mere shahekhubaan one too, though it’s sung in such a depressing way (well, naturally, given the situation…), it never feels like a serenade.

  2. would this qualify?
    Asha Parekh dreaming or imagining a song, Rajendra Kumar sings for her.
    She doesn’t actually reply back. just hums in the end

    And this one?
    she is not there to listen to it
    from Tajmahal,

  3. ‘ jahaan tu hai wahaan fir chaandni ko kaun poochhega ( Rafi – Aao Pyaar Karen ) and ‘ chaand aahen bharega phool dil thaam lenge ( Mukesh – Phool Bane Ang are ) immediately come to mind.

  4. Lovely Love songs for the Valentine’s Day.
    The one that comes to mind immediately is the SARASWTHICHANDTA classic tandem
    Chandan sa badan….
    Chanchal Sheethal Nirmal Komal….SSS
    Phoolon ki Rani baharon ki Malika….ARZOO
    Tum kitne khoobsurat ho…. JUNGLE MEIN MANGAL

  5. Madhuji,

    I would put this song from the 1965 movie, “The Adventures of Robin hood” (don’t go by the actual picturisation on a very forgettable hero, Prashanth) on top of any list of cooing and wooing songs. Due to the forgettable movie and actors, this song hasn’t got the popularity it deserves. To me, the lyrics (Anjan) and music (G S Kohli) are intoxicating.

    Another song that comes to mind is the one where Dev Anand woos a very pretty Nanda in Teen Devian. Any Bollywood music lover is bound to love it when the charming Dev appeals to Nanda to avoid darting glances that intoxicate him and lead him into committing a “Beautiful crime”.

    This is another beautiful, romantic song from Oonche Log where Feroz Khan serenades the heroine.

    Hindi movies have lots of movies with great songs which fit the theme. One in which Dharmendra does the wooing is the very popular song by Kishore Kumar from Blackmail.

    K B Patil

    • Thank you very much, especially for Maana mere haseen sanam – I had never heard that one before, it’s really good. However, I am undecided about whether to pin Aise toh na dekho, Jaag dil-e-deewaana and Pal-pal dil ke paas as serenades. All are great love songs, but they only fleetingly mention the beauty or virtue of the loved one. The focus is on the love between them, whereas the songs I picked are almost primarily or wholly about the excellence of the addressee.

    • The Robin Hood is a wonderful one with great singing by Rafi Saab. Sadly remains a much forgotten song. Deserved a much better actor and picturisation.

  6. Dev Anand for Waheeda ji: (1) Apni to har aah ek toofan hai… (2) Tere Mere Sapne ab ek rang hein…(3) Shokhiyon mein ghola jaaye…
    Dilip saheb for Vyjantimala ji: Tere husn ki kya tareef karoon…
    Raj Kapur for Nargis ji: (1) Ye raat bheegi bheegi….(2) Pyar hua iqrar hua…

  7. Hello,
    I’m back with a few more.
    Yeh jhuke jhuke naina

    Zara nazaron se kehde ji

    Woh chand Sa chehra liye from qawwali ki raat. Wasted on kanwaljit.,though kumkum is there.
    A cute song by Iqbal qureshi

    Yeh Teri sadgi from Shabnam
    I’m fond of this song.

    Main to tere haseen Khayalon Mein from sangram
    Rafi excels in the song, given by forgotten composer. What a beautiful composition.

    Zikra hota hai from my love,by daan sigh
    Mukesh singing for Shashi Kapoor with Sharmila Tagore. I’m not aware of the situation in the song, but the lyrics seem to fit.

    Lala rukh, though the pair is not the lead pair of the movie.
    Hai Kali Kali ke lab par

    • Great! Lots of lovely songs (and I’d completely forgotten the Sangram one until I began listening to it), and all fit the theme perfectly. :-) Thank you, Anupji. You made my day with these!

      And yes, of course Hai kali-kali ke labh pe fits. After all, it’s not the intent (there are two frauds in my list, after all), but the content of the song. Coincidentally, I was listening to this song just this afternoon. Lovely song. And a very enjoyable film too!

      • Actually after a long long time, I was today, only a blog reader and not a fellow blogger.
        Today, I enjoyed the moments a lot and was nostalgic. I remembered the days in early months of 2017, when I was reading your blog like a crazy man and commenting on all the posts, that I came across.
        Oh, how memorable those days were!
        वरना आज कल तो एक ही गाना याद आता हैं

        दिल ढूंढता हैं फिर वही फुरसत के रात दिन
        Really this busy schedule hardly allows us to think of even our own self. Do we really get time to talk with ourselves?
        Anyways,

  8. I would add :’Yeh vaadiyaan, Yeh phizaaen, bula rahi hai tujhe’, only for one reason. The line ‘Tumhaari zulfon se khushbooki bheek lene ko,…… Sheer poetry of the highest order. Brilliant lyrics, in the soulful voice of Rafi saaheb. Absolute magic.

  9. Interesting & well-written article.Let me add a few songs to the list.

    Do naina matwaare tihare
    K. L. Saigal praising his beloved’s eyes…
    My Sister (1944)

    Aap ke haseen rukh pe
    Mohammad Rafi
    Dharmendra serenading Mala Sinha (though Tanuja believes he’s singing for her!)
    Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966)

    Chand si mehbooba ho meri
    Mukesh
    Manon Kumar praising his beloved’s simplicity
    Himalay Ki God Mein (1965)

    Aankhon se jo utari hai dil mein
    Asha Bhosle
    For a change, a lady (Asha Parekh) serenading a man (Joy Mukherjee)
    Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963)

    Tu mere saamne hain
    Mohammad Rafi
    Guru Dutt serenading and trying to exercise his conjugal rights over wife Mala Sinha.
    Suhagan (1964)

    Main nigaahein tere chehre se
    Mohammad Rafi
    Dharmendra wooing Supriya Choudhary
    Aap Ki Parchhaiyan (1964)

    • Thank you! And a very special thanks for Aankhon se jo utri hai dil mein – a female doing the serenading is so unusual, this song (which I should have remembered, considering I like it so much) deserves a place in any list of serenades.

      All the other songs you’ve chosen are great too. I had thought of including Aapke haseen rukh pe in my list, but then thought it wasn’t as chockfull of praise as the other songs were, so I dropped it. Incidentally, Dharmendra’s character actually does address the song to Tanuja’s character, and Mala Sinha’s character mistakes it as being addressed to her.

      • Incidentally, Dharmendra’s character actually does address the song to Tanuja’s character, and Mala Sinha’s character mistakes it as being addressed to her.

        Thanks for the correction. It’s been many years since I saw that film, and my recollection was somewhat hazy. I simply assumed, Mala Sinha being the bigger star at the time, that she was the one being wooed.

        • No problem. I happen to have reviewed it on this blog, so I remembered. Especially as Mala Sinha’s self-deception in the film reaches such an extent that when the truth hits her, it hits her really hard. If I remember correctly, she sings a song post that.

          • True! The song is “Woh hanske mile ham se”, sung by Asha Bhosle, with beautifully sad images of loneliness. I’m sure Guru Dutt directed this.

  10. My previous comment was lost but WordPress doesn’t let me re-post it complaining that it is a duplicate.

    Anyway, here’s another song that might fit the bill (somewhat)
    Simti Si Sharmai Si – Movie Parwana (1971), Voice Kishore Kumar, Music by Madan Mohan, Lyricist – Kafi Azmi

    • Oh, lovely! Coincidentally, I was singing this song only yesterday, because it was written by Kaifi Azmi and I’d been doing some research for a post on him. :-)

      Sadly, WordPress has really bungled up with your comment; God knows where it went. But, just so that comment doesn’t disappear completely, I’m pasting here what you sent on e-mail:

      ******

      Wonderful list and great additions by many! Choudhavin ka chaand is simply the pinnacle of serenade! Literally, a man singing at night, in open air (almost) under the window (not quite but over?) Lyrics, music and voice just melts away and completely compliments the exquisite beauty of Waheeda. Literally checks all boxes!

      How about the old conjunctivitis song? Gulabi Aaknhen Jo Teri Dekhin (Train – Rafi/RD Burman) – Yeah, it’s a bit light on praises (all focus on eyes, he he) for serenade and perhaps too fast (even if you ignore the dancing skills, or lack thereof ) to be considered romantic? I guess that may be a subjective thing

      Gulabi aankhen jo teri dekhi sharabi yeh dil ho gaya
      Sambhalo mujhko oh mere yaaron sambhalna mushkil ho gaya
      Bura hai jaadoo teri aankhon ka yeh mera kaatil ho gaya
      Gulabi aankhen jo teri dekhi sharabi yeh dil ho gaya

      Chand si mehbooba ho meri kab aisa maine socha tha – occurred to me but I can’t endorse a song that has an unintentional lyrical error. I hope you know what I mean.

      ******
      I agree about the ‘lyrical error’ in Chaand si mehbooba – that has amused my sister and me for many years now! But yes, that (as well as Gulaabi aankhen do fit the bill, I think.

      • Thank you for adding this WordPress ignored message.

        What is also unusual about Simti si is that it is composed by Madan Mohan and if memory serves me right, there are not many songs with this combination (Kishore and Madan) and in my spare time (I have that kind of time, he he) I wonder what could be the reason. I came up with a theory and its completely speculative.. Kishore was a naturally crafty creative artist and he always added his own elements into whatever work he did. Madan being a strict disciplanarion may not be open to such liberty with his tunes.. neverthless this song shows what a magical combination this is.. adding Kaifi’s lyrics is simply icing on the cake..

        There I go again.. an unnecessary detour..

        • Dear Ashish-ji,

          There are at least 20, if not more, songs of Kishore Kumar under MM’s baton. KK sang for him in MM’s second film “Ada” in 1951. Then there is this wonderfully hummable tune from “MEMSAHIB” (1956), based on the popular song “Isle of Capri” :

          There are also those songs from “Chacha Zindabad”, and many more.

          With warm regards

          PARTHA CHANDA

        • Unnecessary detours are always welcome on this blog, Ashish, because sometimes they lead to interesting discoveries! I hadn’t (like you) really paid attention to Madan Mohan’s partnership with Kishore, so Partha Chanda’s comment has been an eye-opener. :-)

          • At the rate we are digressing and detouring, we’ll all be here till next Valentine’s Day! About KK, some Music Directors, including Madan Mohan, were extremely wary of him, as suggested by Ashish-ji. The enfant-terrible of Hindi Film Music, Music Director SAJJAD HUSSAIN often referred to KK as “Shor Kumar”. Yet some of Sajjad’s most memorable compositions have been rendered by KK eg. from the Film “RUKHSANA” (1955). Surprisingly, there is only one song by KK under Naushad’s baton, who reluctantly used his voice for a film, and that too only because KK had become famous after “Aradhana”. Unfortunately, this Film “SUNEHRA SANSAR” whose song, a duet between KK and Asha was recorded in 1969, got stalled due to some reasons and was finally released in 1975. To his horror, KK found that the song was nowhere in the picture. When he approached Naushad, he was told that the Director of the Film simply forgot to shoot the scene. They parted ways, never to team up again.

            With warm regards

            PARTHA CHANDA

    • As you can imagine, I hadn’t heard either Bahut khoobsoorat hai mera sanam (though that sounded very familiar – do you know if Hindi cinema borrowed this, or was it also sung as a non-film song?) or O meri saanwali saloni mehbooba. Thanks for these, Bawa!

      • Madhuji,
        The tune of the first song, bahut khoobsurat is exactly the same, with Bahot Pyar Karte hai from Saajan.
        It seems the latter was inspired by the former. Mehdi Hasan’s was the earlier one, it seems.

    • Tujhe kya sunaoon mein dilruba and Tum jo aa jaao toh pyaar aa jaaye are both lovely songs. The latter is, in my opinion, not a serenade really but a love song. It doesn’t really focus on praising the loved one.

  11. Dear Madhu,

    “Zara si aahat hoti hai” (from the film Haqeeqat, 1964)

    Not quite in serenade mode, perhaps….. but for me, this is one of the most achingly beautiful songs addressed to a loved one.

    (Lyrics by Kaifi Azmi)

  12. Lovely selection and engrossing notes. I liked the last parody attempt too! In college I liked Aie phoolon ki Rani. And my cute kiddy cousin would lisp Teri pyaali pyaali sulat ko!

  13. Good Morning,
    Good old days of beautiful movies and Music. It is really very difficult to choose the best as all those thousand of songs of that golden era are all best. But suitable for the event, we have many of those songs as an individual choice. From my side I love this song for Happy Valentine’s day.

  14. What about Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore in Aaadhana? ‘Roop thera mastana, pyar mera deewana’ ? must be the all time great serenade!! But being a Rajesh Khanna fan, may be I am a bit partial to that song.over all a nice list of songs put up here, enjoyed them all.
    Girish Vaidya

    • It’s a good song, but I don’t think of it as a serenade – to me, that’s more a come-hither song than anything else, since it’s not as if it’s full of praise for her. True, he calls her roop mastaana, but after that it’s all about the attraction between them.

  15. The Dictionary defines “serenade” as under :

    “a piece of music sung or played in the open air, typically by a man at night under the window of his beloved”

    Taking cover under that , this song from “Chhoo Mantar” fills the bill, don’t you think?

    Warm regards

    PARTHA CHANDA

    • From what I know, it’s not just that it should be especially an outdoor song, but a complimentary one. Gareeb jaanke fits the complimentary one but in a roundabout way – not the outright showering of praises on the loved one’s beauty, virtues, etc. He’s telling her he loves her, but not really telling her what it is about her that has this effect on him. :-) But a good song, nevertheless.

  16. What a lovely post, with tons of wonderful songs. One of the loveliest serenades from Pakistani cinema is this 1962 classic by Saleem Raza, composed by Master Inayat Hussain and written in rather chaste urdu by Tanvir Naqvi.

  17. I couldn’t help but be reminded of this song from 1980s , Tera Jalwa Tauba hai from Aap ke Deewane . Kind of fits the bill as it is literally a competition of serenading to woo the lady :)

  18. Thought of Ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga from 1942 A Love Story..but then is that really a serenade, because the ladki in question is actually not a part of the serenading..
    However Main agar kahoon Tumsa haseen from Om Shanti Om seems to qualify , don’t you think?

    • Yes, Ek ladki ko dekha would’ve fitted if he was singing to her, but since he doesn’t, that falls by the wayside… but Main agar kahoon is just right for this theme, I think.

    • Okay, I confess I completely forgot about this! But since I don’t really like this song as much as I do Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra (and that was on the list, and I don’t do two songs from the same film)… it wouldn’t have made the cut anyway. But thanks for adding that!

  19. Hi,
    Great topic & list. Ok I have a couple of additions. Though they may or may not strictly qualify for this post, they are enjoyable. But before that a question- Did you not include “Mere Mehboob mein kya nahin-2″ (Mere Mehboob-1963) simply because it’s sung for Rajendra Kumar?

    Now for the songs:

    1. Tu hi meri Laxmi, tu hi meri Chaya” (Duniya, 1969): It’s actually for 3 different girls and Johnny Walker has other motives. Nevertheless, it does compare the fingers of the ladies to ladyfinger and the kalai to dudh- malai. Besides if you just here it you think; there just a full song dedicated actually to the pretty Laxmi Chhaya. how great:

    2. This one from Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966)- “Yun Chaal Chalo na matwali”. There are some praises sung only the pretentions are reversed. The singer is not pretending, but the one under ghoongat is. But an enjoyable song:

    • Mere mehboob mein kya nahin isn’t really sung to the person in question – and that’s an important part of a serenade, I think. Which is why (though I like that song, and I actually like Rajendra Kumar in Mere Mehboob) it’s not here.

      Thanks for Tu hi meri Lakshmi (which I think is so much fun) and Yoon chaal chalo na matwaali (which I’d never seen) – both delightful songs.

  20. What a great selection of songs to celebrate Valentine’s Day! I wonder what the sociological explanation is, if any, for this genre of songs being overwhelmingly one-sided (man praising woman). Here are four “serenades” that haven’t been mentioned by anyone (I hope the fourth one fits – it is a bit too boisterous for a serenade):

    “Zulfon ko hatale chehre se” from Sawan ki Ghata

    “Roshan tumhi se duniya” from Parasmani

    “Ankhon mein masti sharab ki” from Chaaya

    “Yun to humne laakh haseen” from Tumsa Nahin Dekha

    • Yes, I wonder too why these serenades tend to be so one-sided: social conditioning, perhaps, which puts such an emphasis on feminine beauty and makes it the basis of love on the part of the man? And perhaps some sort of tradition, at least as far as Hindi cinema goes (or Hindi cinema went), that said that a woman would be considered too bold to praise a man to his face? I have no idea!

      But, thank you for these songs, all great fits for the theme. And two of them prompt me to post related songs that are female serenading a male.

      From Parasmani too, Hansta hua nooraani chehra:

      And, though it’s not a full-length song, the female version of Yoon toh humne laakh haseen dekhe hain:

  21. Madhu ji ,
    Dr. Pradeep Shetty has already mentioned a song of female sereneding a male .
    सरस्वतीचंद्र / लता मंगेशकर / नूतन
    ” चंदन सा बदन , चंचल चितवन ”

  22. Madhu ji ,
    Nd what about this one ?
    उजाला / लता मंगेशकर / कुमकुम
    ” तेरा जलवा जिसने देखा
    वो तेरा हो गया ”

  23. Hi Madhu, back after a long time – so much to catch up on.
    Lovely post, this (and funnily enough, many of these songs were in my ‘Songs of Praise’ list – to no one’s surprise. :) )

    May I add:
    Ye nayan dare dare from Kohra
    Raat haseen ye chand haseen
    Tu sabse haseen mere dilbar
    Aur tujhse haseen
    Aur tujhse haseen tera pyaar
    Tu jaane naa
    Ye nayan dare dare, ye jaam bhare bhare
    Zara peene do…

    Khuda bhi aasman se jab from Dharti
    Zamaane bhar ki masti ko nigaahon mein sameta hai
    Kali se jism ko kitni bahaaron ne lapeta hai
    Hua tumsa na pahle na doosra hoga
    Nahin tum sa koi pahle na koyi doosra hoga

    Phoolon ke rang se from Prem Pujari
    Saanson ki sargam, dhadkan ki veena,
    Sapnon ki geetaanjali tu
    Man ki gali mein, mehke jo hardam,
    Aisi juhi ki kali tu…

    Strangely enough, all of them are in praise of Waheeda.

    What about Main nigaahein tere chehre se hataaon kaise from Aap ki Parchaaiyan?

    (Sorry, was too tired to look up the links.)

    • Yeh nayan dare-dare was on my shortlist too, Anu, so I’m especially happy to see this here! Thank you. :-)

      Khuda bhi aasmaan se jab and Phoolon ke rang se are both suitable songs (and I like Phoolon ke rang se a lot, too). Someone did post a link to Main nigaahein tere chehre se, so I won’t post that.

      I’ve been meaning to write to you – and then thinking I shouldn’t, because I don’t want you to feel pressured to respond. Get well soon, Anu.

      • “Phoolon ke rang se” is such a beautiful song. Glad you like it too! Picturization however does not convince me. Prem Pujari has many good songs, but to be honest, I don’t think Dev Anand was a gifted director.

  24. I confess romantic serenades aren’t my favorite category of songs mostly because so many of them focus on a woman’s beauty as if nothing else about a woman is worth valuing/appreciating.

    That said here are two songs that I quite like despite rolling my eyes at the lyrics. The first one features blog favorite Waheeda Rehman who is treated to hyperbole such as:

    seekhi hai tumse phool ne
    hansne ki har adaa
    seekhi hawaa ne tumse hi
    chalne ki har adaa
    aainaa tumko dekh ke
    hairaan ho gayaa
    ek bezubaan tumse
    pashemaan ho gayaa
    kitni bhi taareef karoon
    rukti nahin zubaan

    Kuch sher sunata hoon main – Ek Dil Sau Afsane/Mukesh/Shanker-Jaikishen/Hasrat

    The second song starring a very young and awkward Amitabh strikes me as more comic than romantic.:-)

    Roop yeh tera jisne banaya – Sanjog/Kishore Kumar/RD Burman/Anand Bakshi

    • I agree about that point that serenades make it out as if beauty is the only thing to be considered. I would be much more flattered if a serenade addressed to me praised my brains or my ability to write well, or something more lasting and of value than mere looks! :-D

      Kuchh sher sunaata hoon main is a nice song – I should’ve remembered that one. And yes, AB’s serenade is more comical than anything else. He looks pretty gawkish.

    • Yes, Chehre pe khushi chha jaati hai is a lovely song. I don’t know if I would call it a serenade, though: it’s not as if she’s devoting herself to praising him, she’s just describing the effect he has on her (though of course that could also be construed as praise for him…) :-)

      • Madhulika Ji, if you refer to the lyrics of this song (the stanzas), you may conclude that it’s a serenade only (if the term ‘serenade’ involves showering admiration on the beloved) :

        Tum Husn Ki khud Ek Duniya Ho, Shaayad Ye Tumhn Maaloom Nahin
        Mehfil Mein Tumhare Aane Se Har Cheez Pe Noor Aa Jaata Hai

        Anyway, you definitely know better. As far I am concerned, this song reminds me of somebody who used to praise me very much and was able to spot all kinds of pluses in me (irrespective of whether they actually existed or not).

        And I have been a great admirer of both Saadhana and Sunil Dutt.

        • That is one view, yes. And I suppose if you have a memory like that to back you up, then the song takes on a further dimension. In any case, I think it is perhaps subjective!

          I am a great admirer too of both Sadhana and Sunil Dutt – two of my favourite actors.

  25. Good morning

    Suddenly remembered shyamal shyamal baran from navrang
    Don’t remember, if anyone posted it!
    And I love the song a lot.
    We all left it out!
    How ignorant of us!

  26. Hello Madulika,
    I’d like to add to this list one of my all-time favourites: “Kahna Hai, Kahna Hai, Aaj Tum Se Ye Pehli Baar…” from ‘Padosan’ (1968). Rajinder Krishan’s lyrics set to Pancham Da’s lilting composition, and sung by Kishore Da, perfectly complement the looming on-screen laugh-out-loud situation.
    Best regards,
    Sanjay

  27. Najar na lag Jayen

    And a very confident
    Wadiyan mera Daman

    Jaiye aap kaha

    Not pre-seventeen but nice ones describing effect of loved one rather than his/her beauty
    O Saiyyan

    Yum jo mile to Laga hai

  28. Wonderful post Madhu!! Enjoyed reading your article as well as the comments with various suggestions…

    Here are some that came to mind, though some of them are out of your time-frame. Not sure whether they qualify as serenades…

    Roshan Tumhi Se Duniya (Parasmani)

    Aankhon me masti sharab ki (Chhaya)

    Kisi shayar ki ghazal dream girl

  29. Good Morning Madhuji,

    From the songs composed between 1940 and 1969, one can have even 10,000 favourite best songs.
    Blessings to you.
    Uma

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