Sun Mere Bandhu Re… !

29 Feb

My five favourite S. D. Burman sung songs

Either I am just too indecisive or I love all his songs, which makes a list of 10 favourite S. D. Burman songs so difficult. That is why I took the easy way out and went off to make a list of 10 favourite songs sung by him. That in turn would have been too easy, because I found only around 13 songs where he has lent his voice and only eleven of them were solos.

The first song sung by him for a Hindi film I found was for Eight Days [1946]. (Anu informed me later that he sang for the film Taj Mahal [1941] under the baton of Madhavlal Damodar. The song was ek prem ki pyaari nishani.) After that it looks like he took a 12 years break and lent his voice to Dev Anand in Kala Pani [1958] for the song dil laga ke kadar gayi pyaare. He sings dhin ta ta between the stanzas. The first Hindi solo of his after Eight Days is most probably sun mere bandhu re for Sujata [1960]. After this nearly all of his songs appear as background songs. Mere saajan hai us paar, although sung by a waysider, the camera stays on this character only at the beginning of the song, giving it a feeling of background song. While compiling this list, I realised the big impact this singer has left on us. He sang around ten solos in Hindi films and still one has at least five songs of him at the tip of the tongue.

Sun Mere Bandhu ReSujata [1960]
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Bimal Roy opens the scene with Sujata and Adhir admitting their love to each other and in distance one hears the boatman singing. When Adhir starts to speak their track is silenced and the boatman’s song takes over. Even though they are exchanging sweet nothings, it is Sujata’s feelings and emotions (in the boatman’s voice) which colour the atmosphere. Lovely piece of direction! Though we hear the boatman singing we never see him. This gives the song the character of a background song.
Although I knew this song for a long time, it took me years to understand the lyrics. In my best gaane ka kachumbar tradition I had thought the line hota tu peepal me hoti… (if you were the peepal tree, I would be…) as tota tu peepal me hoti (you a parrot and I the peepal tree).

Mere Saajan Hai Us PaarBandini [1963]
Lyrics: Shailendra

Kalyani caught in choice between Deven and Bikash. On one side she has the young lover, who is not only good-looking but also loyal and true to her. On the other side she feels bound to Bikash through love and her feelings. But Bikash babu is sick, ailing from tuberculosis. Choice between life in afflunce and poverty, health and sickness, beauty and love. Is the author or the director telling us something through the names of the characters? Kalyani (Auspiciousness) choosing between Deven (God) and Bikash (development)?
My earliest memory of the song is from Chhaya Geet on Bombay DD. I might have been eight or nine years old. I didn’t understand anything that was being sung. The plaintive voice, if I remember right, irritated me. But still I knew that this person was singing about a deep emotion and love, which though I couldn’t understand, knew that it was something fundamental.
There is something about this song which touches me at different levels of my existence. I think words are just not enough for that.

Wahan Kaun Hai Tera – Guide [1965]
Lyrics: Shailendra

Raju released from the jail, has no destination in front of him any more. He used to be the guide in the city. He used to lead the tourists their destinations and now left with none for himself. The singing voice (his inner guide, his ego, his survival instinct) puts him on a path of self-realisation.
This never fails to move me to tears. S. D. Burman has composed it quite differently than many of the songs which he usually sang. There is no plaintiveness about it. Though the words of the song give a feeling of presenting facts, the way Burman sings it in staccato, it reflects the self-doubt of the character.

Piya Tune Kya Kiya – Zindagi Zindagi [1972]
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

Again a woman at cross roads. Unlike Kalyani who had to choose between two men, for her it is the fundamental question of to stay or to go away. She faces somewhat the same predicament like Hirabai in Teesri Kasam [1967], but Meeta decides to stay.
The song though it has two stanzas, is carried by the refrain. Burmandada plays with the it, he changes it, he modulates it high and low, gives it a re at the end or takes it away, he even turns tune (you did) to maine (I did) and every time he gives it a different colour. The way he extends the last vocal in a line gives it a doleful effect.
I came across this song three years back and since then it has remained with me.

Doli Me Bithai Ke Kahaar – Amar Prem [1972]
MD: R.D.Burman; Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

Pushpa married and thrown out of the house by her husband, pines to return back to him when she sees a bridal procession. Little does she know that she will soon be taken to a different world altogether.
This is the only song as far as I know, which Burmandada sang for another music director. The composition was not foreign to him, because although it was directed by his own son Rahul, it was his own melody, which he allowed his son to use.

So, do tell me of your favourite Burmandada songs. I think there must be at least few of them out there, which I don’t know about!

Here is the playlist!


Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists


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105 responses to “Sun Mere Bandhu Re… !

  1. chitrapatsangeet

    February 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Happy to do the post response 🙂

    I love this classical traditional bandish rendered by SD Burman, a very young voice.

    (jhan jhan jhan manjeera baaje:

  2. chitrapatsangeet

    February 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    (safal hogi teri aradhana from Aradhana:

    • harveypam

      February 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      a good one too!

    • bollywooddeewana

      March 1, 2012 at 12:30 am

      This was the first song that came to mind when i read the first few lines of this post, I totally love it and its one of my all time favourite bollywood tear jerker songs (how’s that for a post idea ;). Here’s another one to add to your list, in fact its become a mother’s day favourite of mine
      (meri duniya hai maa from Talash:

      • harveypam

        March 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

        This was the first song which came to your mind? Really? That is completely in contrast to me. Till I started searching songs for this list, I didn’t even knew that this song existed. But it is not a tear jerker song, is it? The idea is all the same very good. But for a list of 10 tear jerker songs, I’ll have to sieve through lots of songs. But you are right, it is ideal for a mother’s day song list.

        • bollywooddeewana

          March 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

          slight confusion on my part, i meant safal hogi teri was the first song that came to mind plus its the one i consider a tear jerker, mostly for the way he sings it and for the way Sharmila is all weepy in the song

          P.s pls subtitle the khush rang comment you left for me on my comments section, Iactually don’t know what ‘main hoon khush rang henna’ means exactly but I love the song and can sing the chorus

          • harvey

            March 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

            You are right Bd, it does sound like a tear jerker and Sharmila IS weepy, but the song is very supportive and encouraging and motivating. It tells her that her efforts will succeed and she doesn’t need to cry.
            okay I’ll try to explain the henna song at your blog.

  3. raja

    February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I like all the songs above but I cannot agree more with you about “mere saajan hain us paar”, which may be my favourite. Like you say “There is something about this song which touches me at different levels of my existence. I think words are just not enough for that.”.

    I also like “Prem ke pujari hum hain” from Prem Pujari. I sing that a lot! 🙂

    • harveypam

      February 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      “I cannot agree more with you about mere saajan hain us paar
      Now it is my turn to be touched!
      mere saajan hain us paar has so much subtext, every time I listen to it some new part of the song strikes a chord in me. It is really good to know that you experience the same. It is like a collective experience. Something which binds people over the borders and boundaries.

      I find it interesting that the military is called Prem Pujari in the title song. It is really a fascinating turnabout.
      My favourite line from it is
      raja gae taj gae, badla jahan sara
      roz magar bhadta jaye caravan hamara
      phool ham hazaro leke khushboo puhare

      BTW I don’t get the complete refrain of the song. Wha tis after prem ke pujari ham hai? Is it ras ke bihari?

  4. Ava Suri

    February 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I just typed out a comment, did i lose it?

    haha! ras ke bihari … It is ras ke bhikhari Nice song choice Raja.

    Harv, lovely post and lovely choice of songs, and lovely descriptions as well, so it is a 3D Lovely post. Good thing you restricted yourself to SD Burman’s voice, or it would have been an near impossible task Mere saath reh reh kar tumhara bhi dimag tez ho gaya hai

    Here is my offering:
    (Allah Megh de from Guide:

    • harveypam

      February 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      “did i lose it?”
      Yeah, you seem to have lost it! I mean the comment. 😉

      “haha! ras ke bihari …”
      Aaj to meri hasi udayi, jaise bhi chaha pukara 😉

      Thank you, Ava! SDB is a composer close to my heart.

      “so it is a 3D”
      3D kyun? Because of the glass effect? that was just playing about with borrowed pics in Photoshop.

      “Mere saath reh reh kar tumhara bhi dimag tez ho gaya hai”
      Yes, Boss! Aap ko ‘Loiness’ aisi hi nahin kehte! 😉 Boss, Mona kahan hai?

      Allah megh de is such a beautiful one. The way he sings aaj yeh tamaashaa has this whole kaleidoscope of scorn, irony, sarcasm and cynicism.

      • Ava Suri

        March 1, 2012 at 3:57 am

        3d because the post is lovely x 3 ways.

        Haan haan mazak uda lo mere safed balon ka! ‘lost it’ 😀

        Mona mere liye chai bana rahi hai Robert! tum gaane par dhyan do!

        • harveypam

          March 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm

          3D! How sweet! Good expression!

          “mazak uda lo mere safed balon ka”
          Kam se kam tumhare paas bal to hai. Samir aur me kya kahe?

          “Mona mere liye chai bana rahi hai Robert!”
          Boss, mere liye ek coffee!

      • Ava Suri

        March 1, 2012 at 4:12 am

        What about the next line “Hai re vishwas mere, hai meri aasha” which are so poignant because he himself is not a believer. wah wah. kya naksha khincha hai

        • Ava Suri

          March 1, 2012 at 4:23 am

          And these lovely lines from Mere Saajan hain us paar: sung with such depth by SDB

          Mat khel jal jayegi
          kehti hai aag mere man ki
          mein bandini piya ki
          mein sangini hun saajan ki

          • harveypam

            March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

            You know I have always wonder what these lines mean?
            Does it mean don’t play with your affection and follow Deven or does it mean that take a risk by staying with Bikashbabu?

        • harveypam

          March 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

          True, that is a revelation. So short and beautiful!

  5. Anu Warrier

    February 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Sun mere bandhu re and Mera saajan hai us paarmust be my favourites from this list, harvey. One little correction: the first song that SD Burman sang in Hindi was not for Eight Days; it was for a film called Taj Mahal, which, incidentally had Suraiya playing the young Mumtaz.
    (prem ki pyari nishani from Taj Mahal:

    He had sung earlier for Yahudi ki Ladki but was replaced by Pahadi Sanyal. Apparently he came to Bombay to become a playback singer, not a composer.

    Here’s a Bengali song sung by the maestro, a tune he later used in Prem Pujari for Phoolon ke rang se.
    (Barne Gandhe Chhande:

    And this one from Guide is based on a Bengali baul song:
    (Allah Megh De Paani De – SD Burman – Guide:

    It was later ‘adapted’ for this song:
    (de de pyaar de from Sharaabi:

    • harveypam

      February 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      I knew you could be relied upon to unearth some song of his which was unknown to me. I’ll correct the fact in the text. Isn’t that a coincidence that his first and one of his last songs should be sung under a composer other than himself and all the songs in between were under his own direction. Thanks for this beautiful addition to the list. I don’t know if I could have recognised his voice here. The composer for this song was Madhavlal Damodar.
      I wonder if his songs for Yahudi ki Ladki have survived.
      Allah megh de is beautiful! The way he sings aaj yeh tamaashaa has this whole kaleidoscope of scorn, irony, sarcasm and cynicism.
      I have known the Sharaabi song for so long but never ever realised its closeness to allah megh de. I must be pretty deaf!

  6. harveypam

    February 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Here is the last song he sang for a Hindi film.
    chhote chhote sapne hamar from Sagina [1974]


  7. Anu Warrier

    February 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    harvey, he sang 15 solos in Hindi films; chronologically:

    1. Prem ki pyari nishani (Taj Mahal / 1941)
    2. Ummeed bhara panchhi and 3. Babu babu re, dil ko bachana (Eight Days / 1946)
    4. Sun mere bandhu re, sun mere mitwa (Sujata / 1960)
    5. O majhi mere sajan hain us paar main is paar (Bandini / 1963)
    6. Megh de paani de chaya de re rama and 7. Wahan kaun hai tera musafir jayega kahan (Guide /1965)
    8. Kahe ko roye, saphal hogi teri aradhana (Aradhana /1969)
    9. Meri duniya hai maa tere aanchal mein (Talash /1969)
    10. Prem ke pujari hum hain ras ke bhikhari (Prem Pujari / 1970)
    11. Phulwa mangaao zara anganaa sajaao re (Tere Mere Sapne / 1971)
    12. Doli mein bithay ke kahaar la gaye mohe sajna ke dwaar (Amar Prem / 1972)
    13. Piya tune kya kiya re, kiya tune kya piya re and 14. Zindagi ae zindagi tere hain do roop (Zindagi Zindagi / 1972)
    15. Chhote chhote sapne hamaar (Sagina /1974)

    • harvey

      February 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      That is quite an encyclopaedic list! Thanks, Anu!
      The ones missing on my original list were no. 1, 11 and 15

      • Abhishek De

        November 30, 2012 at 3:11 am

        Meanwhile he has sung several Bengali songs which are immortal like:
        1. Mono dilo na bodhu
        2. Tumi eshecchile porshu
        3. Borne gondhe cchonde gitite
        to name a few.

        • harveypam

          November 30, 2012 at 11:03 am

          thanks for the Bangla songs, Abhishek!

  8. pacifist

    February 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I don’t seem to know any other song of S D Burman to contribute 😦
    Of course there are a few private songs.
    But love the post which will bring his songs under one roof and then we can enjoy all of them.
    I love mere saajan hain us paar, and sun mere bandhu re

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      Yeah, after Anu has listed all his songs, one can’t come up with any new ones, right? 😉
      It seems SDB did sing some non-filmi songs in Hindi as well as songs in Bangla. Wonder if he sang in any other language other than Hindi and Bangla.

  9. Samir

    March 1, 2012 at 3:33 am

    Echoing Pacifist, “I don’t seem to know any other song of S D Burman to contribute”.
    Actually, I only knew about #’s 5,6,7,8 & 10. (from Anu’s list)
    I am glad there are no knowledge barriers set for commenting, even musically-challenged people like me get to display our ignorance 🙂

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      “even musically-challenged people like me get to display our ignorance”

      ROTFL!!!! 😀
      Tch, tch, tch, that is too much of modesty on your part, Samir!

  10. Lalitha

    March 1, 2012 at 3:42 am

    Wonderful post about one of my favorite singers! His voice has never failed to move me, especially in the songs Sun Mere Bandhu … and O re Maajhi … I remember sobbing through the songs in Aradhana and Amar Prem (I bawled easily in those days and my parents must have dreaded going to the movies with me!), and Wahan kaun hai tera … is so meaningful that I just love to watch it over and over again. He had a way of conveying those emotions so powerfully with his voice, and making the listener get involved with the song. Wonderful indeed!

    Here is a song which was later sung by Kishore:
    (dheere se jaana bagiyan me:

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Waah, waah! What a discovery. I didn’t know this version! Completely new for me! Thank you, Lalitha!

      “my parents must have dreaded going to the movies with me!”
      ROTFL! I remember crying all the way back home after watching Haathi Mere Saathi at our neighbour’s place on TV.

      “He had a way of conveying those emotions so powerfully”
      How true!

      • Arunkumar Deshmukh

        March 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Actually Kishor kumar has sung a parody of this song in 1973 film CHHUPA RUSTUM,Lyrics by Neeraj and music by S.D.Burman himself. “dheere se jana khatiyan me.o khatmal….”

  11. Samir

    March 1, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Actually, there is something I would like to add, and that is — it is very difficult to pair a wine with SD Burman’s voice. I realize this is way off-track from normal comments about Hindi music, but I have struggled to identify a suitable wine. Austere, possibly nasal, are adjectives that come to mind when I try to categorize his voice, do you agree and what would you add ?
    Along with RD , he is certainly my favorite music director; and I also like the few songs he has sung.

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      That is a good topic, Samir!
      Which wine would go well with his voice?
      You are right, his voice is surely austere, it is a bit nasal maybe, but it is surely not boring. It is red, I would say a dark red and a bit hazy. As for the aroma, I would tip on cinnamon and cloves, but I find something sour in it as well. Is that contradictory? One thing I am sure about and that is it has a lingering taste.
      SDB and RDB what a father-son pair! Both of them a genius!

      • Samir

        March 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm

        I think I found an answer in Robert Parker’s wine glossary —
        Here is what he says about an austere wine

        “austere: Wines that are austere are generally not terribly pleasant wines to drink. An austere wine is a hard, rather dry wine that lacks richness and generosity. However, young Rhônes are not as austere as young Bordeaux.”

        So what say we pair SD with a drinkable young red Cote Du Rhone, we get some of that austerity, and some of that wonderful drinkable nature.

        BTW, I have mixed feeling about Robert Parker, he represents the new world style of wine analysts. (read American). As opposed to old world style (read French or Italian or Spanish or German), you should be able to find more color in your neck of the woods. Some of the best (naturally) are English speaking French, I was fortunate to listen to one.

        • harveypam

          March 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

          SoSDB has got his own wine now! That is good!
          But what a pity, I won’t be able to drink it. Since three years I am dry now, at the most I can take small sips. No, don’t worry, I have not been to Betty Ford.
          I get migraine as soon as I see a wine bottle. Isn’t that unfair? So there! All I can do is listen to SDB and listen to you talk about them. 😦

          A red Cote du Rhone though sounds good for SDB, though they are usually not my cup of tea. Aren’t they the ones which have much tannins?

  12. Shashi

    March 1, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Good selection, Harvey.

    After “Hum Dono” (1961), Navketan films had decided to give every alternate movie to S. D. Burman and Jaidev. But his genius in music direction took over from there and Jaidev kind of went back to the background.

    Due credit to him on another front. He was the one who helped Mohd. Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar reconcile during the recording of “Aradhana” (1969). Otherwise we would have missed out on so many more gems.

    There is one more from “Yeh Gulistaan Hamara” though its not a solo. Lata Mangeshkar was his co-singer. Don’t remember much of the lytics though.

    From what I know, that is the only duet sung by him.

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      Thank you, Shashi!
      I didn’t know about the Jaidev anecdote. Dev was always absolutely loyal to SDB till his son came and took over from him.

      I think the Lata-Rafi conciliation took place earlier than Aradhana. SDB was surely instrumental in bringing them together, musically so to say!

      In dil laga ke from Kala Pani he sings with Asha Bhosle.

      I think the song which you refer to is: kya ye bebasi hai from Yeh Gulistan Hamara. SDB sings a few lines in between.

      There is this other song from Yeh Gulistan Hamara, both Pancham and Burmandada sing a few lines of gibberish. It sounds like Pancham’s voice between 3:23-3:26, 4:45-4:49 and like SDB between 4:10 to 4:23. Most probably this song is the only Hindi song where Pancham sang under his father’s baton and where both of them sang together. The song is raina soyi soyi, naina jaage jaage

      • Shashi

        March 2, 2012 at 5:44 am

        Yes, you are right. That was the song from “Yeh Gulistaan Hamara”. Didn’t know he sung with his son and future DIL on separate occassions.

        Glad I became a part of the discussions. I get so much info !!

        • harveypam

          March 2, 2012 at 9:05 am


          • Shashi

            March 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

            Daughter-in-law 🙂

            • harveypam

              March 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

              How come I didn’t think of that! Thank you, Shashi!

  13. dustedoff

    March 1, 2012 at 7:04 am

    … and this is what comes of going offline for a few hours. What can I possibly contribute to a post that says it all (or where the commenters have added it all)?! But, I agree with Ava, Harvey: great 3D post. Like some of the others have mentioned, Mere saajan hain us paar is also my favourite of SDB’s solos – and Allah megh de comes next for me. I love that song, and I love his voice – there’s a sort of raw, rustic beauty to it that’s utterly haunting.

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you, Madhu! I will have to remember the term 3D from now.
      Maybe you will remember some tidbit afterwards.
      I agree with you about the raw voice. It has this jagged timbre and the same time so thin. Unique!

  14. Shilpi Bose

    March 1, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Want to reveal some trivia, relating to SD Burman but controlling my temptation, after all shouldn’t I keep something for my blog, which I think I will be soon, that is my next birth, so I promise to be re-born soon and grow up soon so that I can start the blog as soon as possible, jokes apart I love the songs from Bandini and Guide, his voice had an appeal, the music has an earthy feel to it and most importantly the lyrics coupled with SD’s voice touches a chord in my heart.

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      One small story! Pleeeeaaaaase! You keep the big stories for your blog, just throw small bones at us! 🙂 Aise to nahin lalchaya karte!
      And don’t talk about next janam. You will do it this janam. Agle janam ka bahaanaa chod do! 😉

      • dustedoff

        March 2, 2012 at 5:47 am

        Okay, if Shilpi is saving up her trivia, I will contribute one cute piece of trivia about SDB: he was apparently so fond of football that he would cancel recordings if they happened to clash with a football match he wanted to go and see. And if the team he was supporting won, SDB would distribute paan to all his friends and associates. 🙂

        • harveypam

          March 2, 2012 at 9:00 am

          Thank you, Madhu! Your post on trivia rocks!
          Yeah, now I remember, even his son was great fan of football. I didn’t know that his father was one as well. Yeah, from what I have read about him, that he was very stingy about sharing paans and if he offered anybody one, that was a sign of a huge confidence in that person. There is this story about him that after the recording of a certain song, he offered a paan to Lata, which he otherwise never did. I have forgotten which song and which film. Maybe somebody else does here.
          Yeah and that reminds me of another one. But I’ll have to look it over in a book before I (mis-)quote it.

        • Lalitha

          March 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm

          I have also heard that when SDB was in a comatose condition, RDB went up and murmured something about Mohun Bagan or Mohamedan Sporting winning (not sure which team was favored by SDB), and SDB’s eyes opened briefly and lit up as he grasped the news!

          • dustedoff

            March 3, 2012 at 6:38 am

            Pakka Bangali, huh? 😉 Though of course, the Burmans weren’t – but maybe I should say pakka Eastern Indians.

            A couple of years ago, I was invited to go to Kolkata’s Jadavpur University and talk about my book, mainly to the English department. What the organisers seemed to hae forgotten was that that very day was the university football final, in which the English department was one of the two teams.

            12 people came for my talk. 4 of them were employees of the bookstore where it was held.

            • harveypam

              March 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

              “12 people came for my talk. 4 of them were employees of the bookstore where it was held.”

              That sounds like some of the workshops I organise. 20 register, 10 of them excuse themselves the evening before and five remain absent without excuse, five arrive, two of them have to leave early. The evenings before such workshops are prone to epidemics on mass scale. 😀

            • raunakjoy

              April 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

              12 people came for my talk. 4 of them were employees of the bookstore where it was held.

              Well,that is something that will surely always happen if there is a football match going on in Kolkata or in any part of west bengal.Such a thing won’t happen anywhere else in east India except for in bengal.By east india,i refer to the states of Bihar,Jharkhand,West bengal,Odisha and the seven sisters of the North-East.Such a craze for football,you won’t find anywhere else in the eastern part of the country other than in Poschim Bongo.The other east indians love football but they aren’t obsessed with football the way Bengalis are.The Burmans weren’t pakka east Indians but were definately pakka Bengalis as they were mad about football,especially about the Mohan Bagan-East Bengal rivalry.Not every East indian is obsessed with the Mohan Bagan-East Bengal rivalry,but every bengali is.And if you are from East Bengal like S.D.Burman or like me,you will definately support the East Bengal football team and celebrate it’s victory and mourn it’s loss.The same goes for people from West bengal also,who are die-hard supporters of Mohun Bagan.

          • Arunkumar Deshmukh

            March 3, 2012 at 7:04 am

            SDBurman supported East Bengal team.It is true that when he was in coma, Pancham shouted in his ears,”East Bengal has beaten Mohan Bagaan” and there was some movement of his eyes,giving a false hope to the doctors.
            This incident is mentioned in Bharatan’s book.

            • harveypam

              March 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

              If it was mentioned in Bahratan’s book then it has to be taken with a pinch of salt. But all the same a nice anecdote.

    • Shashi

      March 2, 2012 at 5:50 am

      Now even I’m curious.

      Shilpi ji – You may have so many stories that putting one here will be liking taking out a glass of water from the ocean.

      • harveypam

        March 2, 2012 at 9:00 am

        Kya metaphor hai! Maan gaye!

        • harveypam

          March 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

          Sorry, it is a similie!

          • Shashi

            March 5, 2012 at 5:22 am

            Hope the simile made you smile, Harvey !! 🙂

            • harveypam

              March 5, 2012 at 9:32 am

              not only smile but also admire your ingenuity

      • Shilpi Bose

        March 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

        Ok, I bow down to everyone’s request, here is something interesting. Shakti Samant once recalled that while he was making Insaan Jaag Utha he observed S.D.’s devotion to his art. He went to S.D’s house to discuss the music of the film and what does he see, SD had drawn 2 circles representing the wheels of the tractor around which Shakti Samant was planning to picturise the song Jaanu, jaanu re …. S.D. was humming the tune and almost dancing between the two circles, I read this anecdote long ago in an interview given by Shakti Samant. Here is a link to the song you will understand what exactly the maestro was doing;


        • harveypam

          March 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm

          Thank you, Shilpi!!!!!
          That was a real nice anecdote. It shows how the director and the composer worked together to get the right feeling for the song. SDB always had the dance, the movements of the protagonists in mind when he composed a song.

          Abrar Alvi recounts that once while they (Guru Dutt, Abrar Alvi, SDB and Pancham) were sitting at a music session and discussing the tune and music of a song for Pyaasa. Gurudutt and Abrar with the intention of pulling his leg asked SDB how the actress could dance to the music, that they couldn’t visualise it. Dada didn’t hesitate and got up in his dhoti-kurta and started dancing then and there. Alvi says that though his movements wer enot fine, his sense of rhythm was terrific.

          Guru Dutt wanted SDB to compose the music for Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi, but he fell ill and O. P. Nayyar stepped in. Abrar Alvi recollects that Burmandada had also composed a song for it. Wonder what happened to the tune? Pancham recycled some of the tunes which he had composed for Guru Dutt. Wonder if S. D. Burman did it too? Yeh dil na hota bechhara was also composed for an earlier movie.

        • Lalitha

          March 2, 2012 at 11:47 pm

          Thanks for the anecdote, Shilpi! I was trying to do the math when you mentioned needing another janam to do the blog and it was mind boggling – for me to be able to read your blog, so I need another janam, then I need to grow up to be old enough to have a computer and be old enough to be use it, then I must also be able to own a computer and have an interest in Bollywood, then I will have to wait for you to take another janam – naturally, because I am so much older than you are, then I have to wait till you grow up and are able to have a computer and be able to use it – and at this point, my mind blanked out! I am glad you saved whatever is left of my brain from getting fried out and posted this in this janam itself!
          Have I fried your brain by this time?

          • harveypam

            March 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

            @ Lalitha:
            Arre yaar tum to Aryabhata ki bhi maa nikli!!!

            Had to ROTFL while and after reading it!!!!!


          • Shilpi Bose

            March 5, 2012 at 6:36 am

            HA! HA! Rolling with laughter.

        • dustedoff

          March 3, 2012 at 6:41 am

          That’s one of my favourite ‘saheli‘ songs, Shilpi! Thank you for that anecdote – it’s lovely to get to know how these songs came about. And the thought of SD Burman dancing around those circles is delightful!

          • harveypam

            March 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

            I can just see it before my eyes Burmandada dancing holding the edge of his dhoti! 🙂

        • Shashi

          March 5, 2012 at 5:20 am

          Thanks a ton, Shilpiji. The other day, someone told me that compositions have become so much “computerized” that a music director needs only assistants and not the actual instrumentalists for recording a song. The beauty of having a team working with you when recording does make a music director so much more innovative and humble.

          SDB would have surely benefitted from such a team.

          BTW, when are you starting your blog? If you wish I can help you with setting it up and doing whatever technical is required. I am just dying to ready your film-related posts.

          • Shilpi Bose

            March 5, 2012 at 6:41 am

            Shashi, the technicalities are not a problem, my brother will take care of those, it is the actual posts, I am short of time and I also have my chronic health problems to deal with, therefore I have decided to have a bank of posts before I start with the blog so that the breaks in between aren’t to long as is (unfortunately) the case with my food blog.

            • harveypam

              March 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

              That is a good idea to collect the posts and then post them one after the other.

            • Shashi

              March 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

              I’ve sent an email to your rediff account Shilpiji. Please revert back on that.

          • harveypam

            March 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

            SDB had a good team and assistants. Some bicker that he had too big a team for one music director.

  15. AK

    March 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Wonderful post on a great artist. I would have put Zindagi ae zindagi in top five instead of Piya tune kya kiya. I had plans of doing a post of his songs on my blog, now I would limit to his non-film songs, which are again great in their own right and would figure near top in a combined best list.

    (zindagi ae zindagi tere hain do roop from Zindagi Zindagi:

    • harveypam

      March 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Oh no, have I snatched away a topic from you? Sorry, AK! 😦
      I had a hard time deciding between zindagi ae zindagi and piya tune kya kiya. I picked up the latter because I liked the variations in it.
      Looking forward to your non-filmi list!
      Thanks for the video/audio!

  16. AK

    March 2, 2012 at 5:05 am

    Someday I might snatch something from you! 🙂 But frankly you have made my task easier. My best list would have included a number of his non-film songs anyway.

    • harveypam

      March 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

      “Someday I might snatch something from you! :)”
      Aap hi ka ghar hai, jo chahe le jaiye! 🙂

      I know so little of his non-filmi songs, it is good that I will have you as khivaya to take me through! Looking forward to it. 🙂

  17. Arunkumar Deshmukh

    March 3, 2012 at 6:56 am

    harveypam ji,

    SDB supported East bengal team in football.It is true that when he was in coma,RDB shouted in his ears,”East Bengal team has beaten Mohan Bagaan” and for some time there was a movement of his eyes,giving a false hope to doctors.

    There were 4 major composers from Bengal,during the golden period.2 of them-Salil Chaudary and Hemant Kr. were from West Bengal and 2 were from East Bengal-Anil Biswas and SDBurman.
    Once when Lata was asked to select her 10 Best songs,there was no song from Burman at all.This and some other point created a rift in them and Burman did not use Lata’s voice for 6 years.Finally,when the patch up took place,Lata’s first song for Dada was from Talaash-1969,” ayega re ud ke mera Hans pardesi”.

    Dada loved 3 things in life.Music,Tennis and Football.Sachinda insisted that every player in his orchestra played Football for 1 hour in the morning and then only comefor Recording.

    Dada got up at 3.30am everyday and at 4.15 he used to go for a morning walk on the Bandra Avenues-which were there in those days.It is during this walk,he developed the tune for “Ghayal hiraniya,main ban ban dolun”.

    How about these trivias ? Film industry is full of trivias,as many as one wants.

    -Arunkumar Deshmukh

  18. harveypam

    March 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Lovely trivia! Thank you Arunji!
    Really very nice of you to share it with us.
    Thanks to you am getting an excuse to listen to ghayal hiranya ban ban dolu

    I didn’t know that this was the reason for Burman-Lata rift. that was totally new for me. I read somewhere that Jaidev was somehow indirectly instrumental in it.

    Re.: Football. Poor musicians! But this must have ensured that they remained fit.

    For all to listen to:
    (ghayal hiraniya main ban-ban dolu from Munimji:

    • dustedoff

      March 4, 2012 at 6:24 am

      You know, Harvey, soon we’re all being to be in a ‘long-lost-brothers-and-sisters’ club. As if it wasn’t enough for me and Anu to be linked in this inexplicable way, now it’s happening with the two of us too! Just the other day, I’ve written about this song in a post I’m working on.

      P.S. Regarding those epidemics before workshops… (since WordPress hadstopped accepting Replies after that one): I sympathise. And empathise. It never really happened to me when I was working in an office (since workshops were compulsory, whether you wanted to attend or not), but book launches and book readings? Oh, very common. 😦

    • pacifist

      March 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Re. ghayal hirni ban ban..
      It’s beautiful indeed, though I expected to hear another song and was rather mystified when this one came up.
      After racking my brain I realised the other similar sounding song is ‘pyaasi hirni bab bab…’ from Do Dil.


      • pacifist

        March 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

        oops, NOT bab bab (what is that?)
        I meant ban ban…

      • harveypam

        March 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        It somehow sounds similar but not very much.
        I know it from myself, the brain does link two songs together although they sound quite different from each other.

  19. harveypam

    March 4, 2012 at 8:16 am

    *sniffing and getting a lump in throat a la Dharmendra*
    behna kahan thi tu itne din? maine tujhe kahan kahan nahin dhoonda! 🙂
    I would say great minds think alike. 🙂

    I am very very curious about the theme of this new post!!!!!!!!! I am looking forward to it. I am wondering if it would be on animals or sort of jangal me mangal song list, songs where the singer is frightened! I think I will be thinking aobut it the whole day long. :-)))

    People who don’t come to your readings and book launches don’t know what they are rmissing. Losers!

    epidemics before workshops:
    😦 indeed! Maybe we should make them compulsory as well. When I think the workshops are good and for free and they woud look very good on their cv one day. They would have to pay a small fortune, if they attend it anywhere else. And still they don’t come.
    okay enough of ranting.

  20. Shashi

    March 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

    In a TV show, it was mentioned that he came back from his morning walk very excited. On being asked why, he replied “Today during the walk, a person pointed me out to his friend and said ‘Woh Dekho, Wahi Hai R. D. Burman ke pita’ ” (Look, that person is R. D. Burman’s father).

    So sweet, na? 🙂

    • harveypam

      March 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Yeah, I’d heard of it as well. In my version it was more like R. D. Burman ka baap.!

      I had read somewhere also about the camaraderie between Roshan and him. Roshan once dropped by at SDB’s place and said that he has used his melody for thandi hawayein lehrake aayein for a composition of his and said that nobody would detect the similarity. Burmandada was all for it. The song by Roshan was rahein na rahein hum for Mamta.
      SDB’s son would use the same tune at least twice in his career. I will write about it in a post soon.

      thandi hawayein lehrake aayein from Naujawan [1951]

      rahein na rahein hum from Mamta [1966]

  21. Shashi

    March 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thanks, Arunkumarji.

    I had read SDB didn’t work with Lata from 1955-61. This was when Asha was the preferred singer for heroines. After that, RDB brought about truce between them. From what I know, she sung for him in Tere Ghar Ke Saamne (1963).

    Lata worked with SDB in many movies like Bandini (1963), Ziddi (1964), Teen Deviyan (1965), Guide (1966) and Jewel Thief (1967),

  22. Arunkumar Deshmukh

    March 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Harvey ji,
    Here is a rare Non Filmi Song by S.D.Burman-

    (Song: gun dham hamare gandhiji;

    Enjoy !

    -Arunkumar deshmukh

    • harveypam

      March 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      A great song for the 2nd of October!
      Thanks Arunji!

  23. raunakjoy

    April 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    well,S.d.burman was a terrific singer.He sang in the Bhatiali folk tradition style of Bengal and his voice had a rustic feel to it.Of course he sang some wonderful numbers in hindi,but he sang much more better numbers in Bangla,his mother tongue. I have a collection of around 40 bangla numbers that he sang,which were passed to me by my Granny.If you are interested in listening to those numbers,i will surely provide you with those songs.I know quite about Burmanda and the influence the various styles of music of Bengal had on him.I wish to write about that here but it would be too long a comment.Instead i am planning to write about that on my superbly badly maintained blog soon.Do respond if you are interested.

    • harveypam

      April 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Raunak, it would surely be a good idea to write about SDB and his songs in Bangla. I would love to read it. If you have it in digital form and could pass it on to me, that would be really nice of you.

      • raunakjoy

        April 2, 2012 at 9:02 am

        yes,i have them in mp3 format and can easily pass them to you.Just mail me which way you want to get the CD.

        • harveypam

          April 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm

          Thank you, raunak! I have sent you an email.

  24. Canasya

    April 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Harvey ji,

    I realize that this is more than one year after the last post above! Just wanted to point out that on one of the pages on YT ( Dr. Bukhari of Pakistan indicates that SDB and Lata together sang a version of So ja re so ja from Jeevan Jyoti. If true, that song belongs here in this blog to complete SDB’s list of Hindi film songs. I have not been able to find it though.

  25. harveypam

    May 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you Canasyaji!

    I knew aobut the three different versions about the songs, but didn’t know about the version with SDB as well. Amazing isn’t it? that would mean there are four different versions of this song! A unique thing maybe in the history of Hindi film music. Thanks for the info!

  26. amit

    June 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I totally adore mere “saajan hai us paar” from Bandini. It’s ethereal.It takes you to a different world altogether.I watched Bandini because of this particular song and got familiar with the golden era of Bollywood movies.Now I am an ardent devotee of the famous trio Bimal Roy,Guru Dutt,and Raj Kapoor and It’s all because of Sachin da’s magical voice or else I would have to satisfy my appetite for movies by watching Dabbang or Housefull.

    • harveypam

      June 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      You have expressed your feeling very beautifully there Amit! Burmanda surely had a voice which reached the core of one’s being. Very beautiful also the way Bimal Roy has filmed this song and the climax. One of the best scenes in Hindi film history! Thank you Amit!

  27. viswanathan

    May 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    very nice article. i am very happy to read it.


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