My Ten Favourite Telephone Songs From Hindi Films
The research for the fruit expose has been needing me to call lots of people on phone. This lead me to the idea of making a telephone song list. Okay, I didn’t come up with it in the last few days, but have been collecting them over the last few months. And the fact that, that I love Jalte hai jiske liye just drove me to make this list. Not all of the songs are sung completely on the telephone. Some just start with it and end up with the characters cavorting around the trees, but telephone songs they are.
So, give me a ring!
1 Jalte Hain Jiske Liye – Sujata (1959)
MD: S. D. Burman; Singer: Talat Mahmood; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Sunil Dutt crooning in Talat’s voice to the untouchable Nutan. Has there been a more romantic scene in Hindi film history? Please don’t start with your list; it was just a rhetoric question. Every time I hear this song, I just melt away. The music, the melody and the VOICE! The quintessential telephone song!
2 Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon – Patanga (1949)
MD: C Ramchandra; Singers: Samshad Begum & Chitalkar; Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan
This song has so many layers to it. I think one can write thesis on migration and homesickness in context of this song. Gope singing to his stage-wife Nigar Sultana about his missing her is in fact not so much of missing his wife, but of homely surroundings and food. As an Indian living abroad, I can empathise! khaa lete hai.n jo mil jaaye ruukhii suukhii baasii! A totally hilarious one!
3 Hello Hello Ji , Kaho Kya Hai Ji – Bombay Ka Chor (1962)
MD: Ravi; Singers: Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle; Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan
The same light banter and humour though with other purpose is carried over in the next song. Kishore Kumar ordering a correspondence course on love from Mala Sinha can only be funny. In the due course they also try out as a vocational guidance centre. And after signing a peace truce they end up wishing each other good night.
4 Neend Ud Jaye Teri Chain Se Sone Wale – Juari (1968)
MD: Kalyanji-Anandji; Singers: Suman Kalyanpur, Mubarak Begum, Krishna Bose; Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
No good nights are exchanged in this song, but rather bad ones. What is a gambler (Juari) to expect? Losing money at the casino is bad enough and then to have three women wishing you sleepless nights is a nightmare!
5 Jidher Dekhoon Teri Tasveer – Mahaan (1983)
MD: R. D. Burman; Singer: Amitabh Bachchan; Lyrics: Anjaan
Much more civilized and with lots more affection is this song, although Amitabh gets to romance three heroines too in this film. Thank God he also has three roles for that, thus no cursing around like in Juari. From the looks of it, it seems that Amitabh and Waheeda have been separated for a long time and telephone calls are their only contact. What better way to keep a relationship young? If they had been together, most probably they would have used the phone to say “Aate waqt sabjhi lana mat bhulna” or “Aaj office me dheri hogi” (“Don’t forget bring vegetables while returning from work” or “I will be late today”).
6 Main Yahaan Tu Wahaan – Baghban (2003)
MD: Uttam Singh; Singers: Amitabh Bachchan & Alka Yagnik; Lyrics: Sameer
Amitabh gets to croon to his screen-wife, here played by Hema, again. This time they are not separated by a super villain but by their own progeny. Quite unconvincing though, to see Amitabh, the super-hero on the Hindi films being get bogged by chilar sons.But he bounces back! So all is well!
7 Mere Dil Ki Dhadkan kyaa bole – Anhonee (1952)
MD: Anil Biswas; Singer: Talat Mahmood & Lata Mangeshkar; Lyrics: Shailendra
If someone rings me up in the middle of the night and lets a clock ring, I don’t think I would be so friendly disposed towards him/her. But Nargis, generous as ever, not only forgives Raj Kapoor that, but also his Chaplinesque mode. Well, it can only be love! Maybe it is Talat’s voice, who sings for Raj, does the trick!
8 Chand Zard Zard Hai Mere Dil Mein – Jaali Note (1960)
MD: O. P. Nayyar; Singer: Mohd. Rafi& Asha Bhosle; Lyrics: Anjaan
Asha gets to croon in this one as well, with Mohammad Rafi giving her company. My faithful and ‘walking-talking’ encyclopedia of Hindi film songs, Prakashchandra brought this song to my notice. By the way, can anyone please tell me what zard is? I am sure that it has nothing to do with zarda!
9 Kahan Gaya Mera Sanam – Ek Nanhi Munni Ladki Thi (1970)
MD: Ganesh; Singer: Asha Bhosle
Wonder why I had never heard of this song before! Thanks to Mr. Naidu for this one. Asha gets to hog the scene in this song. She pulls out all the stops, giving the song its sex-kitten flair. I don’t know why this went into oblivion.
10 Pyar Ki Yeh Batein Humko Na Samjao – Baazi (1968)
MD: Kalyanji-Anandji; Singer: Asha Bhosle; Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
The same wig and the same voice, but not the same effect. I adore Waheeda Rehman, but she just can’t carry that wig!
After making this list as I was searching for the links for the lyrics, I came upon Atul’s list of telephone songs, which has nearly three-fourth of the songs mentioned here. Do visit it, he for sure has better descriptions of the songs!
The playlist to the songs mentioned in the post and comments can found here.