My ten favourite bangala (bungalow) songs
A dream of one’s own house/cottage in the suburbs has been and is the motor of many middle class households all over the world. Maybe it is the security it offers or the need for privacy, to have a garden and the cosy life which one associates with it and thus to achieve ultimate goal of every human being to be happy. If one really ‘achieves’ all these things with the acquisition of this cosy house is secondary. I think the dream in itself the best part of it.
Like many of the dreams and aspirations of the common man (whoever or whatever he/she is), even this aspect has not been neglected in the Hindi film songs. Here are my favourites!
1. ik bangala bane nyaara – President 
MD: R. C. Boral/Pankaj Mullick; Lyrics: Kidar Sharma; Singer: K. L. Saigal
This is for me the quintessential bangala song! Even though I was born nearly 35 years after this song was released, I literally grew up with the opening lines. This song must have moulded the dreams of generations of Hindi-film goers. Since this is 1930s the words are heavily lent from the scriptures. The dream is of a mansion made of gold surrounded by trees of sandal wood and the architect be none other than Vishwakarma himself, the architect of the gods. The basic dream although remains the same that of bliss!
2. o daata o daataa de hamko bhi ek pyaara bangala – Aji Bas Shukriya 
MD: Roshan; Lyrics: Farooq Qaiser; Singers: Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle
Johnny Walker and Geeta Bali, who have just lost their jobs pray to God for a more modern bungalow. They are very vocal about their wishes. They know exactly what modern comforts they would like in their new domicile. The new house should come with many other luxuries like a chauffeur-driven car, plush carpets, radio and a whole troop of servants. They also have the foresight that all play and no work will lead them to disaster and to multiply the divine-given riches, they would like to have business connection with London and Dehradun. Most important of them all is that they be the envy even of the Bollywood stars (Meena Kumari, Geeta Bali, Dev Anand)! Despite these high-fly dreams they don’t forget the basic necessities. Running water and electricity are very much high up on their list of priorities! Even now only a hollow dream for many people of this world.
3. pyaara ek bangala ho – Aap Ki Khatir 
MD: Bappi Lahiri; Lyrics: Shaili Shailendra; Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & Bappi Lahiri
Rekha has same dreams like in the song above of a house, a car and the envy of others. The difference is that she would like to share all the comforts with her one and only. In the 20 years between he earlier song and this electricity has reached the middle class and now the electric fan alone won’t do to fend off the summer heat. The 60s films have done their job well in installing a trip to Kashmir in the dreams of the working man. Go to Kashmir, don the local attire and make a photo so that others who were not so fortunate could become jealous of them!
4. dariya kinare ek bangalo – Sabse Bada Rupaiya 
MD: Basu Manohari; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Singers: Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar
If people in the plains dream of going to the mountains, the people there it seems dream of a bungalow at the sea-side. Not only do they dream about it but also clad themselves in koli-garb and dance among the apple trees. One always wants what one doesn’t have! A sure-fire recipe for discontent!
5. ganga ki reti pe bangala chhawaai – Mirza Ghalib 
MD: Ghulam Mohammed; Lyrics: Shakeel Budayuni; Singer: Sudha Malhotra
In Ghalib’s days it seems the wishes and desires were modest, the courtesan wishes ‘only’ a house on the banks of the Ganges and naturally a beautiful garden, where she can be alone with him. That isn’t asking for much, is it?
6. hum ko tere dil ke bangale me aanaa maangtaa – Magroor 
MD: R. C. Boral; Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan; Singer: G. M. Durrani & Shamshad Begum
Well, the bungalow doesn’t have to be made of gold or concrete, it can be just the heart of the beloved, like this (young) man wishes for himself. The girl is not dumb, she points out that he has conveniently forgotten that his own heart is already occupied by his wife. A witty dialogue-song against polygamy!
7. nazar laage raajaa tore bangale par – Kaala Paani 
MD: S. D. Burman; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Singer: Asha Bhosle
The envy of the neighbours and the people in general, to which one was looking forward to, can back-fire. There are all sorts of people who eye your possessions. This courtesan (Nalini Jaywant) doesn’t hide her real intentions behind the mask of love and loyalty. She is blunt about her aspirations and that is the stately home. What she is singing here about is about her passion not for him but rather his mansion.
9. kanta lagaa, hai lagaa – Samadhi 
MD: R. D. Burman; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Singers: Lata Mangeshkar
I have heard that in the US, that people hurting themselves on the grounds of other people’s house can sue them. Is this woman (Asha Parekh) planning a case against the bangala-owner? In any case she is describing her case in a lucid manner. Any lawyers ready to take up her case?
10. aaiye aapko main apne bangle ki sair – Joroo Ka Ghulam 
MD: Kalyanji-Anandji; Lyrics: Anand Bakshi; Singer: Kishore Kumar
There is a difference between having and enjoying. Rajesh Khanna learns it the hard way in this film. He has everything but nothing is his. No, not even his own wife!
By the way did you know that the word bangala comes from bangla an adjective form of Bengal and was used to denote the houses built for early European settlers in Bengal. Eventually the word bungalow evolved from it, which is a low house having only one storey.
I would like to thank Archana, Ava, Madhu, Suchi and Samir for discussions on the meanings of certainterms in the songs above.
Enjoy the playlist!