Best Duets of Hindi Films
By Dr. Narasinha Kamath
Duets in Hindi Films have played a very important role so as to effectively express emotions between Male and Female lead casts of the story. The duets which were composed in 1950’s and 1960’s were just superb and were no less in quality compared to solos composed during the same time. Even while composing duets every composer used his own distinct style. As most of the duets composed were based on romantic themes, there were quite a few duets which were based upon sorrow or bidaii (when lover is forced to abandon his counterpart due to social restrictions based upon differences due to cast, creed, religion etc.). But no matter which mood was represented, we always loved duets. Sometimes the duets have been composed based upon comedy. For example the duet ”Ek Chatur Naar” from the Film: Padosan of 1968 sung by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey.When we talk about duet, it does not necessarily mean that it is sung by male and female singers only. The duets could have been sung by 2 female singers or 2 male singers.
The well composed duet becomes very popular only if it has good composition based on melody, good lyrics, good voice and most importantly how it is picturized in the movie. All these ingrediants are equally important and if one of these ingredients is not upto the mark then that particular duet will become less popular and will have less longevity.
In the following paragraphs, I have listed my personal choice of Best Duets of Hindi Films of 1950’s and 1960’s for each of the music directors who gave music in 1950’s and 1960’s. (As an exception, I have also included one duet from 1946 Film and another 2 duets from 1970. These are 2 extremes or exceptions, but being personal favorites, I had to include them in this list of 1950’s and 1960’s). Note that these are my choices of Best Duets and opinions will vary from reader to reader on the selection of Best Duets and this is quite natural and acceptable.
Please note that my choices indicated below for each Music Director are not necessarily in order of my preference.
1) Pyar Huwa, Ikraar Huwa Hai (Film: Shree 420, 1955)
2) Yaad Kiya Dil Ne Kahan Ho Tum (Film: Patita, 1953)
3) Dhire Dhire Chal (Film: Love Marriage, 1959)
4) Sau Saal Pehle (Film: Jab Pyar Kisis Se Hota Hai)
5) Yalla Yalla Dil Le Gayi (Film: Ujala, 1959)
6) Ajaa Sanam Madhur Chandani me (Film: Chori Chori, 1955)
7) Ye Raat Bheegi Bheegi (Film: Chori Chori, 1955)
8) Main Chali Main Chali (Film: Professor, 1962)
9) O Mere Sanam (Film: Sangam, 1964)
10) Dam Bhar Jo Udhar (Film: Awara, 1951)
11) Mujh Ko Apne Gale (Film: Hamrahi, 1963)
12) Tujje Jeevan Ki Dor Se (Film: Asli Naqli, 1963)
During the composition of Pyar Huwa (Film: Shri 420), there was almost a fist-fight between the 2 greats Shankar vs Jaikishen over how Antara of the song should be composed. Finally, Jaikishen’s tune for Antara prevailed over Shankar’s and Shankar agreed to Jaiskishen’s composition of Antara after accompanying musicians intervened to resolve the dispute between the 2 Greats.
Dhire Dhire Chal (Film: Love Marriage) was composed by Jaikishen and was one of his most favorite songs.
Music pundits have always been arguing for decades on which song is better Aaja Sanam or Ye Raat Bheegi both from the same Film: Chori Chori.
My most favorite SJ song is Yaad Kiya Dil Ne Kahan Ho Tum from the Film: Patita which I always play on my Mouth Organ whenever I perform on stage.
Song O Mere Sanam form the Film: Sangam based on Raga Shivranjani comes out very melodious when played on Flute. I love to play this osng on my Flute all the time. Moreover, Raga Shivranjani is my most favorite Raga.
S. D. Burman:
1) Chod Do Aanchal (Film: Paying Guest, 1957)
2) Diwana Mastana (Film: Bombai Ka Babu, 1960)
3) Ankhon Me Kya Ji (Film: Nau Do Gyarah, 1957)
4) Aja Pancchi Akela Hai (Film: Nau Do Gyarah, 1957)
5) Gaata Rahe Mera Dil (Film: Guide, 1965)
6) Accha Ji Main Haari Chalo (Film: Kala Pani, 1958)
7) Haal Kaisa Hain Janab Ka (Film: Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, 1958)
8) Rim Zim Ke Taraane Leke( Film: Kala Bazar, 1960)
9) Kora Kagaz Tha Ye Man (Film: Aradhana, 1969)
Dil Pukare Aare Aare
11) Ye Raat Ye Chandani (Film: Jaal, 1952)
In the song Chod Do Aanchal (Film: Paying Guest), SD came up with brilliant Sitar tune in the beginning of this song which shows his super brilliance. Even after so many decades, we love this sitar just before this song starts.
In the movie Nau Do Gyarah, SD experimented with Rafi and Kishore when he composed the duets Aaja Panchi and Ankhone Me Kya Ji. And thus he gave both singers a chance to prove their mettle while singing these duets. It is very difficult to determine which duet is better. They both sound equally good.Can the reader tell me which one is a better duet. Please comment.
O. P. Nayyar:
1) Sarpar Topi Laal Haath Me (Film: Tumsa Nahin Dekha, 1957)
2) Maang Ke Haath Tumhara (Film: Naya Daur, 1957)
3) Diwaana Huwa Baadal (Film: Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964)
4) Bahut Shukriya Badi (Film: Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, 1962)
5) Aap Yunhi Agar Ham Se Milte (Film: Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, 1962)
6) Ankho Hi Ankho Me (Film: C.I.D., 1956)
7) Udhar Tum Haseen Ho (Film: Mr. & Mrs. 55, 1955)
8) Piya Piya Piya Mera Jiya (Film: Baap Re Baap, 1955)
9) Jaane Kahan Mera (Film: Mr. & Mrs. 1955)
10) Isharon Isharon Me (Film: Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964)
11) Sun Sun Sun Sun Zaalima (Film: Aar Paar, 1954)
12) Ham Dam Mere (Film: Phir Vohi Dil Laaya Hoon, 1963)
Guru Dutt films personally preferred Mohammed Rafi over any other singer in his films.
Of course the song Jaane Vo Kaise Log The from the Film: Pyaasa was sung by Hemant Kumar. This was S. D. Burman’s decision which Guru Dutt could not override.
1) Do Sitaron Ka (Film: Kohinoor, 1960)
2) Awaaz De Kahan Hai (Film: Anmol Ghadi, 1946) : (Exception: A 1946 Movie)
3) Mera Pyar Bhi Tu Hai (Film: Saathi, 1968)
4) Yaad Me Teri Jaag Jaag (Film: Mere Mehboob, 1963)
5) Main Hoon Saaki Tu Hai (Film: Ram Aur Shyam, 1967)
6) Ek Shahen Shah Ne (Film: Leader, 1968)
The song Ek Shahen Shah Ne was brilliantly composed on Raga Lalit. Song Aawaz De Kahan Hai is the Best song based on Raga Pahadi in Hindi Films so far. I personally love this song and it can be played very beautifully on Bamboo Flute almost to the point of spellbinding the listener. What a composition!! Hats Off to Naushad Saab!!!!
1) Dekh Hamen Awaaz Na Dena (Film: Amar Deep, 1958)
2) Jaag Dard-e-Ishq Jaag (Film: Anarkali, 1953)
3) Bholi Soorat Dil Ke (Film: Albela, 1951)
4) Kehate Hai Pyar (Film: Baarish, 1957)
5) Kitna Haseen Hai (Film: Azad, 1955)
Many a times in duets, C. Ramchandra sounds like Talat Mehmood. Check out above 2 songs Kehate Hai Pyar and Kitna Haseen Hai Mausam. Many a times, C. Ramchandra replaced Talat Memmood in some of the duets composed and sung by him when Talat Mehmood was not available due to his busy schedule elsewhere.
1) Dil Tadap Tadap (Film: Madhumati, 1958)
2) Ja Tose Nahin Bolun Kanhaiyya (Film: Parivar, 1956)
3) Tasveer Teri Dil Me (Film: Maya, 1961)
4) Halke Halke Chalo (Film: Tangawali, 1955)
Ja Tose Bolun Kanhaiyya from the Film: Parivar, was composed very beautifully based upon Raga Hamsdhwani. The composition of this song by Salil Chowdhary was close to Pure Classical Raga Hamsdhwani. This shows great skills of Salil Da. I love to play this song on my Flute in
1) Do Ghadi Vo Jo Pass (Film: Gateway of India, 1957)
3) Teri Aankho Ke Siwaa (Film: Chiraag, 1969)
4) Zameen Se Hame Aasmaa Par (Film: Adalat, 1958)
5) Bheegi Chandani Chaayi (Film: Suhagan, 1964)
6) Ye Nayi Nayi Preet Hai (Film: Pocket Maar, 1956)
Madan Mohan was a close personal friend of Jaikishen (of Shankar-Jaikishen duo). It was unfortunate despite giving very quality music, Madan Mohan could never get Great Success like other Top Music Directors of 1950’s . With very few exceptions, B-Grade Films came his way which had lesser known Heros. At the end, he was a depressed person and took to heavy drinking and died on July 14, 1975 due to cirrhosis of the lever at the age of 51. This is really very unfortunate for a Great Artist like Madan Mohan Saab not getting his due when he was alive.
1) Jo Vaada Kiya Vo (Film: Taj Mahal, 1963)
2) Bade Armaan Se Rakkha (Film: Malhar, 1951)
3) Tere Bin Saajan, Laage Na Jiya Hamaar (Film: Aarti, 1962)
Roshan like Naushad rarely or almost never used Kishore Kumar’s voice. Both of these composers heavily depended on Mohammed Rafi’s voice.
1) Dekho Vo Chand (Film: Shirth, 1954)
2) Nayi Manzil Nayi Raahen (Film: Hill Station, 1957)
3) Saawale Salone Aaye (Film: Ek Hi Rasta, 1956)
4) Aaja Zara Mere (Film: Ek Jhalak, 1957)
Song Saawale Salone Aaye from the Film: Ek Hi Rasta was most sought after tune by Mouth Organ Players of 1950’s. If any Mouth Organ player who could achieve mastery over playing this tune correctly and melodiously was considered to be a Maestro Mouth Organ Player.
1) Phir Na Kije (Film: Phir Subah Hogi, 1958)
2) Wo Subah Kabhi To Aayegi (Film: Phir Subah Hogi, 1958)
3) Jeet Hi Lenge Baazi Ham Tum (Film: Shola Aur Shabnam, 1961)
During the composition of the song Wo Subah Kabhi To Aayegi, Khaiyyam had to compose 8 different tunes until the Hero of the Film Raj Kapoor was satisfied with the final tune.
1) Aankho Ankho Me Hum Tum (Film: Mahal, 1969)
2) Chahe Paas Ho (Film: Samrat Chandragupta, 1958)
3) O Mere Raja (Film: Johny Mera Naam, 1970) (Exception: A 1970 Movie)
4) Kabhi Raat Din (Film: Aamne Samne, 1967)
5) Bekhudi Me Sanam (Film: Haseena Maan Jaayegi, 1968)
Movie Samrat Chandragupta gave Kalyanji Anandji a real break in Hindi Films and they joined the club of famous music directors of 1950’s after the songs of this films became hits.
1) Accha To Hum Chalate (Film: Aan Milo Sajana, 1970) (Exception: A 1970 Movie)
Laxmikant Pyarelal were assistants to the Music Directors Kalyanji Anandji before they themselves became full-fledged music directors after the grand success of their Film: Parasmani of 1963.
1) Ye Raate Ye Mausam (Film: Dillia Ka Thag, 1958)
2) In Hawaa Vo Me (Film: Gumrah, 1963)
3) Ye Hawa Ye Nadi Ka Kinara (Film: Ghar Sansar, 1958)
4) Darshan Do Ghanashyam (Film: Narsi Bhagat, 1957)
Very few people know that
1) Nain So Nain Naahi (Film: Jhanak Jhanak Payal baaje, 1955)
2) Teri Shehnai Bole (Film: Goonj Oothi Shehnai, 1959)
3) Jeevan Me Piya Tera Saath (Film: Goonj Oothi Shehnai, 1959)
Initially, V. Shantaram invited Naushad to give classical music for his ambitious Famous Film: Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, but it was noble Naushad Saab who suggested to V. Shantaram that he should give this contract to Vasant Desai who was already available in V. Shantaram’s own camp. Naushad told V. Shantaram that Vasant Desai was fully capable of giving heavy classical based music for this movie as demanded by the script of the movie and rest is history.
1) Tumse Kuch Kehna Hai (Film: Guest House, 1957)
2) Chali Chali Re Patang (Film: Bhabhi, 1958)
3) Teri Duniya Se Door (Film: Zabak, 1961)
4) Laagi Choote na Ab To (Film: Kaali Topi Laal Rumal, 1958)
Chitragupta held onto his steady career for at least 10 years although he was pitted against Great Music Directors of 1950’s.
1) Yaar Chulbula Hai (Film: Dil Deke Dekho, 1959)
2) Bade Hai Dil Ke Kaale (Film: Dil Deke Dekho, 1959)
3) Pyar Ki Kasam Hai (Film: Dil Deke Dekho, 1959)
Usha Khanna was only 17 years old when she gave music for her first Film: Dil Deke Dekho of 1959. And she is so far considered to be the youngest ever music director to compose music for Hindi Films.
1) Vo Haseena Zulphowali (Film: Teesari Manzil, 1966
2) Aaja Aaj Main Hoon Pyar (Film: Teesari Manzil, 1966)
3) Ek Chatur Naar (Film: Padosan, 1968)
In 1968, after Kishore Kumar reached the lowest point in his sagging career as a singer, he decided to quit singing and return to his native place Khandwa in M.P. But it was R.D.Burman who asked Kishore Kumar to stay back in Mumbai and assured him that his father S.D.Burman was in process of composing brilliant tailor made tunes for his forthcoming Film: Aradhana (1969) and convinced Kishore that these songs will resurrect his career eventually. And there was that song Mere Sapnon Ki Rani and Kishore Kumar was reborn as a singer and went ahead of all his contemporary singers and remained at the top until his death in 1987. R.D.Burman’s prophesy came to be true.
Note: For R.D.Burman, I have considered his films only before 1970. Of course, R.D.Burman had many Great Hit Duets after 1970. Please do not misunderstand here.
Author’s Note to Readers:
Readers: Please note that I did not select any duets after 1970. But this does not mean that there were no good duets composed after 1970’s. But to make this article brief, I chose the golden period of Hindi Music of 1950’s and 1960’s including year 1946 and 1970 as an exception.
I encourage readers to give their comments indicating which are Best Duets of Hindi Films from your point of you. Now when you give your selection, you may not restrict it to only for the period of 1950’s and 1960’s, you may go beyond this period and include your choice of Best Duets of Hindi Films until present month of May 2007. Also let me know from your point of view which Music Director in your opinion composed the Best Duets in Hindi Films. Your comments are most Welcome!!!!. Please do comment on this Blog so that we can have healthy discussion on this subject..
In your comment, you may give your own analysis on the subject of Famous or Best Duets.
Also you may access URL Link www.musicindiaonline.com to listen to any of the songs listed above.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!!!!!
No list of great duets can be complete without :
1) Abhi na jao chodkar (Jaidev Hum dono) 2) Chupa lo dil me ( Roshan Mamta) 3) Accha ji main hari (SD Kala Pani) 4) Jeevan ki Bagiya (SD Tere Mere Sapne)
WELCOME TO MY SULEKHA BLOGSPACE. Yes. I agree with you 100%.
dear dr. bhagwath,
thanks for your comment and compliments. thanks for giving your favorite list of duets. yes. it seems me and you have similar selection for best duets.
what an exhaustive post! i loved it albeit belatedly! actually my sulekha alerts were not working properly for some inexplicable reasons. my favourites are more or less the same as yours, but still i shall k=list mine:
1. karvatein badalte rahein - aapki kasam
2. jaanejaan dhoondhta phir rahaa - jawaani deevaani
3. chhod do aanchal zamaana kya kahega - paying guest
4. dil ki nazar se - anaadi
5. aap yun hi agar humse - ek musafir ek haseena
6. bekhudi main sanam - haseena maan jaayegi
7. rahen na rahen hum - mamta
8. yeh raat bheegi bheegi - chori chori
9. beeti na bitayi raina - parichay
10. bol na halke halke - jhoom barabar (recent film, 2007, chalega kya sir?)
that's a great compilation .. infact i've heard most of 'em .. n do feel the same way .. i jus wanna add : tere bina zindaagi se koi shikwaa to nahi from aandhi... and a new one, well not so new, bahon ke darmiyaan from the movie khamoshi the musical.
dear narasinha kamat.
you have done such a thorough job of selection.
kudos to you.. sampath
thank you for the compliments.
i too went on a nostalgic trip on reading your blog on the best duets.
as for my wife, she too loves good music and likes to hum. but she has no patience to go through our exchange of views. btw ‘dil dhoondhta hai phir wohi’ is also one of my favourite madan mohan numbers. it has a ‘dreamy’ quality about it. i like it better than the other gulzar-lata-bhupinder song ‘beethi na bithayi raina’ composed by rdb for ‘parichay’. though the latter is also a good song, i find it sort of gloomy. i also like the other rdb-composed bhupinder song ‘
jab deep jale aana
tu jo mere surme
naam gum jaayega
do diwane sheherme
dear dr. kamath,
thank you so much for your kind compliments. i feel very ‘acidic’, sorry ecstatic to have passed your acid test!
anyway, back to your article, i have no words to tell you how much i enjoyed your collection of wonderful duets of those golden musical era. almost all of them are my favourites too! still i have attempted to recall some more duets that i am fond of. these may be not as popular as the ones you have mentioned. some of them would have been forgotten and may not even ring a bell, but nevertheless i am sure you would have heard and liked them. i have followed a different approach. i have categorized them according to the male singer in the duet rather than the composers, because that is the way i easily identify the songs and also for many of them i don’t know the music directors or films.
i will try not to repeat the ones from your list, though i am tempted to include my most favourite ones like ‘yeh raat bheeghi bheeghi’, ‘dekh hame awaz na dena’, ‘tasveer teri dilme’, ‘piya piya piya mera jiya pukare’, ‘aankhonhi aankhonme ishara ho gaya’ and many others. but my list too is randomly off-hand and not comprehensive or in the sequence of preference. i will also avoid mentioning all films’ names, because some of them are obvious, and some i don’t know at all!
before starting, just to answer your query about the favourite among thye 2 duets of 9-2-11, i would select ‘aankhonme kyaji—‘. this has nothing to do with kishore or rafi, but the great opening percussion prelude the song has (is it ‘ghatam’?) and the charmingly light hearted way the song had been sung and picturised.
so fasten your seat belt, here goes my list:
tumne pukara aur hum chale aaye
in baharonme akele na phiro
tehriye hoshme aa loon
ai chand zara chup jaa, ai waqt zara rukh jaa
mohabbat kar lo, jee bhar lo,ajee kisne roka hai
idhar tum haseen ho, udhar dil jawan hai
dil todne wale, tujhe dil dhoond raha hai
paanv choo lene do phoolonko inayat hogi
dil-e-betaabko seenese lagana hoga
o sanam tere ho gaye hum, pyarme tere kho gaye hum
yeh raat yeh fizayen phir aaye ya na aaye, aao shama bhujake hum aaj dil jalaye
aaja ke intezaarme aaneko hai bahar bhi
tum jo hue mere humsafar raste badal gaye,lakhon diye mere pyarke rahonme jal gaye
some male duets with rafi:
ghamki andheri raatme (talat)
jis pyarme ye haal hua hai us pyarke tauba, jo bore kare yaarko us yaarke tauba (mukesh)
yun na sharma (kishore)
yaadonki baraat nikli hai (kishore)
aisi haseen chandni (talat or mahendra kapoor in ‘aadmi’?)
mehtaab tera chehra, kis khwabme dekha tha
o sama mujhe phoonkh de
allah jane kya hoga aage, ke maula jaane kya hoga aage
yeh mausam rangeen sama, tehr zara o jaane jaa
laakhon tare aasmanme, ek magar dhoonde na mila
nain dhwarse palme who aaye, manme aag lagaye re
phool tumhe bheja hai khatme
tum mujhe bhool bhi jao, yeh tho hak hai tumko
phoolsi ek tumhari hansipar hum sara chaman chod denge
main abhi ghair hoon, mujhko tum apana na kaho
shokiyonme gola jaaye phoolonka shabab
choodi nahi mera dil hai, dekho dekho toote na
arre yaar merit um bhi ho ghazab, ghoonghatko zara odo
chedo na meri zulfen, sab log kya kahenge
tere bina zindagise koi shikwa tho nahi
kis modpe jaate hain
jaane kaise kb kyun ikraar ho
aaj madhosh hua jaaye re mera man mera man mera man
hum dono do premi duniya chod chale
koi ladki mujhe kal raat sapneme mili
sa re ga ma pa da ma re, gaare mere sang mere saajna
aisi haseen chandni pehle kabhi na thi
hazaar rahen mudhke dekhi
chunri sambhal gori
arre dhiya re dhiya re chad gayi paapi bichua
mast bhara yeh sama
na jaane kahan hum the, na jaane kahan tum the
teri galiyonme hum aaye, dil-e-armaanon bhara laaye
tere pyarka aasra chhahta hoon
dil lagakar hum yeh samjhe (not sure whether duet?)
rafta rafta who hamare dilke mehmaan ho gaye
jalta to hoga dil zaroor, kiya to hoga tumne pyar
ye hansta hua zindagisa safar hai na pooch chala hai kidhar
chupalo dilme(?) yeh pyar mera, ke jaise mandirme (mamta)
o neendh na mujhko aaye
tumhi meri meet ho
jab deep jale aana
tu jo mere surme
jaane man jaane man tere do nayan
naam gum jaayega
do diwane sheherme
dil dhoondhta hai phir wohi fursatke raat din ( btw my wife’s most favourite in the list)
mujhe kuch kehna hai
tumko mere dilne pukara hai
(it is difficult for me to choose my favourite duets’ music director, but when it comes to my most favourite male singer in duets, it will be that unique soft voice that made his duets sound so gently romantic, depicting a shy and platonic love affair. the one and only talat mahmood. dr.saab, i could recall only some talat-based duets. i don’t even know most of these songs’ films or composers, but i am very fond of them and would take the liberty of ‘demanding’ from your memory a list of duets sung by talat with any female singer mentioning respective music directors. this is my ‘acid test’ for you!)
here’s what i remember at the moment:
seeneme sulagte hai armaan
miltehi aankhen dil hua
dil-e-nadaan tujhe hua kya hai
duniya badal gayi,meri duniya badal gayi
aha rimjhimke tarane
do dil dhadak rahe hai, magar awaz ek hai, nagme juda juda hain,magar saaz ek hai
ae sanam aaj ye kasam kha le
teri chamakti aankhonke aage sitare kuch bhi nahin
pyar par bus to nahi phir bhi tu bata de ke tujhe pyar karoon ya na karoon
tumhi to meri meet ho, tumhi to meri preet ho
tum jo hue humsafar(?), mera jahan badal
well, now i am exhausted. dr. saab, let me know how you found my list. more litmus tests are most welcome!