Arunji has been a loyal follower of this blog and has always been very much encouraging. With this post he makes his debut here on this blog in the role of an author. It is an honour for me that he agreed to do this post. His personal reminiscences makes this post more dear to me. Now, without much ado I give the microphone to him.
It is said, that Indian Films represent the life in India. There is, however, a section of people who believe that the society emulates what is shown in films. So, what is the truth?
When the Talkie came to India and films were made, only one thought was there in the minds of the producers and that was to make films based on Mythological and Historical stories.
This went on for first 5-6 years, but then film makers realised that people will like their films if they could relate their lives with it. So, films based on stories with village background, the caste system, dowry, the moneylender and the farmers were made. These became popular. The urban and the city viewer who was educated were looking for something different. Thus, films were made on love stories set in cities and bigger towns.
Those days middle class was growing in India by leaps and bounds and these were the people, who could spend the money. Now these were the people the films were aimed at.
In the 40s and 50s, the most common transportation vehicle was CYCLE. Almost everybody knew how to ride a cycle. Few people had cars and motorcycles had not yet become popular. Scooters were yet unknown.
I remember, I got my first Cycle when I was in school. My school was 3-4 miles far and I used the cycle to go to school in the morning and to go to friends in the evening. There were many cycles on the road and there was a Traffic rule that every cycle must have a Lamp on the Cycle’s handle as a caution to other vehicles. These lamps were kerosene and Cotton-batti lamps in the night. Sometimes, the lamps got extinguished due to wind. Unaware of this, the police used to catch us. On hearing our plea about the lamp, wind etc, the police would touch the glass of the lamp. if it was still warm, we were let out with a warning only. This was the life in late 40s and early 50s, when I was in Hyderabad State.
It was natural that now cycles too should feature in films. Imaginative Directors used cycles for the heroes when they chased the heroines and for the heroines when they went on a picnic with sahelis. In many films, the village affluents would be shown as cycle owners and the city people using it for moving about.
Up to the 70s, cycles were part of many films. Slowly, cycles were replaced by scooters, Mopeds and motor cycles in films and by 80s, it was only cars and fancy Mobikes for the heroes. Poor cycles were reduced to be shown, only used by the doodhwalla bhaiyyas (milk-men).
It is interesting to note that many songs featuring cycles became very popular which gave impetus for more such songs.
Here I am presenting few popular and not so popular CYCLE SONGS in films. Obviously, all songs are pre-70s period.
There may several forgotten Cycle songs in films, and readers are requested to share these with us.
I must thank Harveyji, for giving me the opportunity to showcase the Cycle Songs of Hindi Films.
1. sawan ke nazare hain – Khazanchi 
MD: Ghulam Haider; Lyrics: Wali Saheb; Singers: Shamshad Begum & Khan Mastana
The first song is from the musically famous film of the 40s.
With this film the Punjabi Folk and the dholak beat music replaced the stage type music from the West and the Rabindra Sangeet influenced music from the East, in Indian Hindi films.
This was also Shamshad Begum’s debut Hindi film, singing all 9 solo songs and creating a record of sorts in debut.
2. humko hansate dekh zamana jalata hai – Hum Sab Chor Hain 
MD: O.P.Nayyar; Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanuri; Singers: Mohd. Rafi and G. M. Durrani
Filmed on: I. S. Johar and Majnu
The second song is from a musical film having Shammi Kapoor with a mooch (Mustache).In this film though Nalini Jayawant was a bit older for SK, she looked superb in the film.
The song is sung on screen by I.S.Johar and Majnu, who were trying to become a pair in Hindi films, like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. They even copied their YOGI DANCE steps in this film. This is one of my favourite films.
3. saanwale salone aaye din bahar ke – Ek Hi Raasta 
MD: Hemant Kumar; Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Singers: Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar
Filmed on: Sunil Dutt and Meena Kumari
Hemant-Lata duets are always a treasure to keep and pleasure to hear. Lata used to enjoy singing with Hemant Kumar, about whom, she had said, “When I listen to Hemantji singing, I feel some sadhu is singing”. This song is simply a delight to hear.
4. manaa janaab ne pukara nahin – Paying Guest 
MD: S.D.Burman; Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Singer: Kishore Kumar
Filmed on: Dev Anand and Nutan
The ever young Dev Anand doing chhed-chhad with pretty heroines was absolutely loved by youngsters in those days. The youthful pair of Dev and Nutan gives a superb performance in this song, though Nutan is not in a right mood.
5. inse rippy tippy ho gayi – Agra Road 
MD: Roshan, Lyricist: Prem Dhavan, Singers Mohd. Rafi and Geeta Dutt
Filmed on: Vijay Anand and Shakila
This was a film having Vijay Anand as a hero. His lady-love here was Shakila. One can find great efforts on the part of Vijay Anand to resist and discard Dev-like mannerisms. Later he directed Dev for some superb films. This is a combined cycle and car song, sung by riders of both.
6. suno re bhaiyya hum layen hain – Paigham 
MD: C. Ramchandra; Lyricist: Kavi Pradeep; Singer: Mohd.Rafi and Chorus
Filmed on: Johnny Walker and others
In this song Johnny Walker is singing the song on cycle while leading a morcha of protesters against corruption. This was a period when JW ruled the pack of comedians to such an extent that special song situations were created for him in the scripts. It was an unwritten rule that JW must have a song or two in every film. Where are such comedians now?
7. dil mera ek aas ka panchhi – Aas Ka Panchhi 
MD: Shankar-Jaikishen; Lyricist: Hasarat Jaipuri; Singer: Subir Sen
Filmed on: Rajendra Kumar
‘Aas Ka Panchhi’ was a film very close to my heart. In this film Rajendra Kumar, the Jubilee star is shown as a NCC cadet. During my college days, I was a Senior Under officer in NCC, and aspired to join the Army. The Army, however, was firm in retaliation and rejected my 4 SSB attempts to join Army, and thus saved the country. Note-Our NCC commandant had no daughter like Vyjayantimala.
Enjoy this Hemant Kumar clone, Subir Sen’s song.
8. pyaase panchhi neel gagan ke – Pyaase Panchhi 
MD: Kalyanji Anandji; Lyricist: Qamar Jalalabadi (Omprakash Bhandari); Singer: Mukesh
Filmed on: Mehmood
This Mukesh song became quite popular in those days. This Mehmood-Ameeta film was not so good, but the music was very good.
9. akela hoon main – Baat Ek Raat Ki 
MD: S.D.Burman; Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Singer: Mohd. Rafi
Filmed on: Dev Anand
Here is Dev Anand again singing about his woes of being a single man in life. It starts as a cycle song and ends as a boat song.
10. main chali main chali – Padosan 
MD: R.D.Burman; Lyricist: Rajendra Krishna; Singers: Asha Bhsole, Lata Mangeshkar and Chorus
Filmed on: Saira Bano
This is a type of song which is quite common in Hindi films-heroine going on a picnic with sahelis on cycles. Another such song was Nutan’s Anari song panchhi banke gaye pyar ka taraana. I opted for this song as Saira looks gorgeous in this song.
Here is the play-list!