This Singing Business

09 Feb
  • Seeing no new post from me on my blog, my readers got concerned about it. Pacifist just couldn’t tolerate this utter neglect and came again to my rescue. thank you, dear Pacifist. This is her third post on this blog and with it she is showing her business acumen. Bravo, Pacifist! More power to the small businessmen and -women!
    Pacifist’s choice of 10 songs of small business

Thank you Harvey. I’m quite pleased at having this opportunity of posting 10 songs on a subject I have often thought about. People selling stuff, doing business. It was a wonderful time of economic opportunity, letting the small fish survive. Today they have been eaten up by the big fish. I don’t mean to imply that they all sold stuff in the filmi manner, but sell, they did.
So in memory of those small dying/dead businesses, here are 10 such songs.
I do have more than 10 songs with a different product being sung and sold, but I’m such a sucker for melody, tunes which are pleasing to my ears that I left some and took some even though the product got repeated. Boot Polish was one such, Tel Maalish another 🙂

1. surma mera nirala – Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala (1958)
MD: OP Nayyar, Lyrics: (?), Singer: Kishore Kumar
I didn’t find a video clip of it, but even without it, it sounds wonderful in Kishore’s voice, selling surma (kohl). Complete with his own style of yodelling, which only he could do.
Watch him, or rather hear him sing the line;
lelo surma le eee lo (buy o buy this kohl)

2. lelo lelo do phool jani lelo – Jadoo (1951)
MD: Naushad, Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni, Singers: Shamshad Begum, Zorabai
I debated whether or not to post songs sung on stage. Why not? So here’s a song with two lovely phoolwalis (flower sellers), selling phool (flowers), what else?.
I can’t imagine Shakeel Badayuni writing;

buyer sings: aji mol kiske loon (whose shall I buy)
phoolwali: mere (mine)
buyer: aji chhod kiske doon (whose shall I leave)
other girl: iske (hers)

Remember there are two phoolwalis. LOL!!

3. boot chappal sandal – Karigar (1958)
MD: C Ramchandra, Lyrics: Rajender Krishan, Singers: Asha Bhonsle and Usha Mangeshkar
I don’t approve of child labour, but if poverty made them work independently, it was much better than getting into trouble. Boot polishing seemed to be a common employment most young children managed. I find this song very musical, and the set of children performing seemed to be enjoying.
Lots of cuts, but remains musical, and melodious, especially when whistling, and repeating;

boot chappal sandal, janana ya mardana (shoes, flip flops sandals, for women or for men)
polish hai ek ek aana (it costs one anna to polish them)

4. sar jo tera chakraye – Film Pyaasa (1957)
MD: SD Burman, Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi, Singer: Mohammad Rafi
The list would be a fake one if I didn’t add this iconic song from Pyaasa picturized on none other than Johny Walker. And he isn’t lying when he says;

naukar ho ya malik, leader ho ya public, (whether a servant or the boss, a leader or public)
apne aage sabhi jhuke hain kya raja kya sainik (they’ve all bowed before me – king, soldier, all)

5. aaj ki taaza khabar – Son Of India (1962)
MD: Naushad, Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni, Singer: Shanti Mathur
Sajid Khan selling newspaper. He looked so cute in Mother India doing that dance.
Bombay looks exquisite. There’s a scene with Sajid standing posed in front of Taj. What a great shot
I love the pieces of news he narrates to sell. Two examples;

aaj ik beimaan ne masjid se churaaya joota (a crook stole a shoe from the mosque)
ek ladka uda ek mem ka batua lekar (a boy snatched a woman’s purse, and ran)

6. zindagi hai kya – Maya (1961)
MD: Salil Choudhary, Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri, Singer: Mohammad Rafi
Kya Khooob!!! Dev Anand selling ice cream!!! How delicious it must be, even if Mohammad Rafi makes him say;
hothon se meetha meetha ras tapkao ji (let juice trickle from your lips)
ice* kareem *wala aaya ji. (the ice cream man is here)

I would eat nothing but ice cream if he’d come round selling it.

7. lelo choodiyan main laya nirali – Ghar ki Laaj (1960)
MD: Ravi, Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan, Singer: Mohammad Rafi
Johny Walker as choodiwala, after being a telmaalishwala. Not bad. Seems to be slipping the choodis on quite professionally and singing;

neeli neeli kaali kaali peeli peeli gori gori – bahon ka singhar (blue blue, black black, yellow yellow, fair fair – arms’ adornment)

Disclaimer: Harvey insisted I translate. All I was allowed to say was, ‘Yes boss!!’
One is brought up short at the last ‘gori gori’, wondering at the gori gori colour of the choodis. 😀

8. ek aana boot polish do aana tel maalish – Tel Maalish Boot Polish (1961)
MD: Chitragupt, Lyrics: Prem Dhawan, Singer: Mukesh
Well, we had a song of boot polish, and one of tel maalish. This song is a combination. ek anna for boot polish seems like the standard rate at that time.
LOL at Sheikh Mukhtar singing;

gaade pasine ki yeh apni kamai hai (it’s the fruit of hard labour)
na to ki kisi ki chori na koi seena zori (without stealing, or intimidating anyone)
But doing just that.

9. channa chor garam babu – Naya Andaaz (1956)
MD: OP Nayyar, Lyrics: Janisar Akhtar, Singer: Shamshad Begum and Kishore Kumar
Meena Kumari doing something different, Kishore Kumar – not!!
Here’s Kishore Kumar selling his product with;

jisne khaaya ek bhi daana, (whoever eats even one piece of this nut)
aaya usko dil ka lagaana (he’ll learn to love)

This reminds me of the mindless ads today to sell products. A bikini clad siren sitting on a beach. Ad for ..say….pyjamas, or Dalda ghee, or light bulbs, or a ski holiday in the snow. LOL

10. baman ho ya jaat – Karigar (1958)
MD: C Ramchandra, Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan, Singers: C. Ramchandra and Mohammad Rafi
I’ve put this song last because of very distracting stuff being sold;

badi atpati, badi chatpati chaat hai yeh chowpatty ki (very delicious and spicy chaat of Chowpatty)
teekha teekha pada masala swad hai khatta khatta (it’s hot and sourish)……. yummm
-Then there is;
badi karamati hai bhaiyya yeh bambai ki bhel (this Bombay bhel is a miracle)
pani puri jo khaye badle uske rang (the attitude changes of whoever eats pani puri)

So while you all listen to the song, and watch the people enjoying all that wonderful stuff, let me go and mourn the unavailability of it. 😦

Enjoy the playlist.


Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Bollywood, Guest Post, Lists


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95 responses to “This Singing Business

  1. Richard S.

    February 9, 2013 at 7:46 am

    A very good list, Pacifist – and I didn’t know most of these before, either.

    Now, I would like to add two toy sellers:

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      One interesting thing about these ‘selling’ songs are their lyrics. They can be quite amusing.
      It was interesting to hear the toy being sold for 2 kodis (a very small amount), though he also sells some things for ‘annas’, and the words ‘lelo’ is common to all of course.
      As for the Sandhya song, I’m pleased to say I have actually seen these musical instruments being sold this way when I was small.
      Thank you Richard.

  2. coolone160

    February 9, 2013 at 8:41 am

    “Aaya re khilone wala khel khilone leke aaya ” from Bachpan (1970 ) featuring Sanjeev Kumar was also a nice song

    and of course the song from Manmauji (1962) “Ek Tha Abdul Rehman ” with Kishore Kumar, Sadhana (my favorite song)…..

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Yes, the word ‘khilona’ seems to be very ‘Sanjeev’ .
      I love man mauji songs a lot, this one being very lively. I was wondering about a sabziwala/sabziwali song. THanks for bringing this up. 🙂

      • coolone160

        February 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm


      • harveypam

        February 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        LOL at “the word ‘khilona’ seems to be very ‘Sanjeev’”

  3. harveypam

    February 9, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for this wonderful post again, dear Pacifist!
    It was a whirlwind tour through hardly know songs on selling street goods.

    My most fav seller-song has already mentioned by you and that is sar jo tera chakraye.
    My next favourite is Mumu’s le lo re le lo babu piyo nariyal paani

    And from this genre, the first song, which comes to my mind is channa jo garam babu from Kranti. But it is in no way a fav song of mine.

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      The nariyalpani song of Mumtaz is cute.
      Haven’t seen Kranti, but seriously, is he really talking about ‘channa ‘ in this situation?

      • harveypam

        February 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

        Well, it is not Manoj Kumar, who is singing it, but Shatrughan Sinha and Hema Malini, who have come there in disguise to rescue Bharat and his father.

        • pacifist

          February 11, 2013 at 12:25 am

          Oh, OK. 🙂

  4. Karthik

    February 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    A slightly different business, and superb lyrics by Sahir. He has gone all out against the milaavat in materials, “Khaali ki Guarantee, bhare hue ki kya guarantee” I will never forget this song, since I suffered Neel Kamal in the theatre…

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      > I will never forget this song, since I suffered Neel Kamal in the theatre…

      LOL! But the song isn’t bad as a caution against all those superlatives to sell things 😀

  5. chitrapatsangeet

    February 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    By no means, a small business, but the worlds oldest profession being marketed in “Kaho Ji Tum Kya kya khareedoge”.

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      I guess you’re right.

    • harveypam

      February 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Do you mean this one Karthik?

  6. Suhan

    February 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Great idea for a post! I have one here from ‘Badnaam Farishte’ (1971) when ‘BA, MA, PhD’ is of no use and you’ve got to take recourse to simple ‘vyapar’.

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks, Suhan. This is the first time I’ve heard this song, and it really supports my ‘campaign’ (LOL) for small businesses;
      sabse achha kaam hai dhanda,
      na koi malik na koi banda

    • harveypam

      February 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      I was wondering if they would be selling their degrees!

      Here is one song with Rajesh Khanna peddling his or better said his elephant’s talents

  7. Anu Warrier

    February 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Wah! Thank you pacifist for coming to revive Harvey’s blog. I was wondering if someone or something was needed to revive Harvey! And what a unique idea for a post. 🙂 My favourites among the songs you listed are obviously Sar jo tera chakraaye and Zindagi hai kya.

    neeli neeli kaali kaali peeli peeli gori gori – bahon ka singhar (blue blue, black black, yellow yellow, fair fair – arms’ adornment) Disclaimer: Harvey insisted I translate. All I was allowed to say was, ‘Yes boss!!’ One is brought up short at the last ‘gori gori’, wondering at the gori gori colour of the choodis. 😀

    pacifist, I think the gori gori qualifies the arms, not the choodis. (And you possibly knew that and your comment was tongue-in-cheek; if so, pliss to phorgive.)

    Some of the songs were new to me, so I’ll wait until Harvey puts up his playlist (hint, hint) and listen to them when I have more time (two feet of snow to dig, waiting for me).

    Since Samir hasn’t come in yet to put in songs from the seventies, here is Jaya offering to sharpen knives of all sorts…

    I don’t know if this will fit, but they are selling their talents here:

    • harveypam

      February 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Well, Harvey is not dead as yet. Though I felt like that at the end of the day nearly everyday in Jan. So don’t start rejoicing as yet! 😉
      And you know what a despot I am. So I forced poor Pacifist to do things like calling the bangles gori. What I aimed at was a transferred epithet. 😉
      Ah, yeah, playlist! completely forgot about that. abhi pesh karta hoon malkin!

    • Samir

      February 10, 2013 at 2:04 am

      I have to go to a party, but as Ahnold-T1 said “I’ll be back” with several “70’s working songs” 🙂

      • pacifist

        February 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        Waiting eagerly.

        • Samir

          February 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm

          1) Harvey found Mumtaz selling coconuts, while I have her selling portable still-photos entertainment (dont know how else to describe a “bioscope”).

          2) Anu stole Seeta Aur Geeta, but I have another Dharam-Hema fom Raja Jani, with Hema doing a solo shall we say, gymnastics entertainment routine 🙂

          3) I have a late 60’s Tanuja selling “Ber” on the streets of then-Bombay. Most probably she was an un-licensed hawker, and certainly was not subject to any health regulations; but as per rules of the free-market, we should all be “Free To Choose” 🙂

          4) From portable still photos entertainment to portable live roadside-circus, we have Rajesh & Tanuja & a few elephants extolling the virtues of hard work. I believe this was Harvey’s first movie in a theatre, hopefully he still goes by :-
          Paise Bina Duniya Mein Roti Nahin Milti
          Roti Nahin Milti Langoti Nahin Milti 🙂

          5) Another regular Bombay (now Mumbai) phenomenon, ladies hawking various items in a suburban train, and we have Dev Anand mentoring Tina Munim on how to sell (daatoon, i.e. natural toothbrushes)
          He should have stayed away from playing Prof. Higgins, but the song is reasonably decent.
          And for the trivia minded, the route is Western (Churchgate to Virar), and this is also Harvey’s first Dev Anand movie in a theatre 🙂

          Great post, found several previously unheard songs.

          • pacifist

            February 11, 2013 at 12:17 am

            Samir, what a bunch of ‘first time’ products! Bioscope, ber, datun. Thanks so much.

            I don’t think selling ber would involve any health hazzards as long as one washed it before eating – or even not that for the strong immune systems.
            I don’t know whether there is ‘ber’ farming going on, but if not (as may be the case) then these were just plucked from some tree somewhere, like we used to do in college and just eat them. 😀

          • harveypam

            February 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

            Samir this is more of a list of Harvey debuts than street seller song-list!

            BTW as a kid I thought that baiscop is the sister of Charkop. You know like if Charkop is 4-kop then baiskop is 22-kop!

            Similarly I also thought that the line is “ladki akeli samjho naa uska” (don’t think she is alone).

            As for Tanuja’s ber, there was no free-market in India at that time Samir. You very well know that! It was poora protectionist! If the government protected tha bada companies, then the chotta business had to seek protection from the “company”, speak hafta. 😉

            Man Pasand was not only the first Dev film I saw in a theatre but also the first film, which I saw in a theatre with max. 5 (visible) persons.

            BTW Samir you have the memory of an elephant! Bow down to your memory! Main tumhare memory ki daad deta hoon! I always used to wonder why anybody would give their tooth for it! (daad = tooth in Marathi).

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      You’re welcome Anu. And thanks for your appreciation 🙂

      >(And you possibly knew that and your comment was tongue-in-cheek; if so, pliss to phorgive.)

      You’re phorgiven, Anu. Yes, that’s why I wrote ‘stop short’ -before the addition of the words’bahon ka singar’. While one is caught up with the flowing rhythm of neeli neeli kali etc you hear ‘gori gori’ and you go (or at least I) ‘whattt??’ and then he completes the sentence. LOL. I found that interesting/very amusing.

      The Zanjeer song of Jaya Bhaduri is really an apt one. Fits very well, so does the Seeta aur Geeta song. They are doing business and earning money. 🙂

  8. thandapani

    February 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Lovely lovely post. And such a wealth of little known songs. Thanks Pacifist and Harvey. My contribution is this amazingly lovely song from the film Achhut Kanya sung by Sunita Devi and Mumtaz Ali. The dance is simply scintillating and the song is so pretty as well. Pl don’t miss the lovely caption (ahem).

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      I loooved this song, ava.Thank you. Kahan chhupa tha yeh meri nazron se aaj tak.
      The choreography is so elegant and not run of the mill. I like the people in the audience, and their ‘acting’ 😀
      I’m going to be listening to it a couple of times more later.

      • pacifist

        February 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm

        I like the way they have these ‘garlands’ of bangles, and at the end the ‘encore’ 🙂 so sweet.

      • thandapani

        February 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        Haan PI, I fell headlong in love with this song when I heard it. I have heard it so many more times since.

    • harveypam

      February 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      wonderful song!
      The translator has done a really good job! 🙂
      Isn’t that Mumtaz Ali, Mehmood and Minoo Mumtaz’s father?

      • pacifist

        February 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        Really? Mehmood’s father? After reading your comment I started to see a resemblance. :-/
        I agree about the subtitles.

      • thandapani

        February 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm

        Yes, it is Mehmood and Minoo’s father. He had no formal training in dance, just learned by hanging around street performers. Like him, his son and daughter learned dancing by just watching him. Amazing family, I must say.

        I was captivated by Mumtaz Ali.

        • harveypam

          February 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm

          Thanks Ava for confirming!


    February 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I think small businesses have a fair space in HFM ,as well:
    Khali Bottle, Khali Dabba – Neel Kamal – Ravi Manna Dey –
    Thahar Jara O jaanewale – Bot Polish – SJ – Asha Bhosle, Madhubala Zaveri, Manna Dey
    And since, Gulzar has presented begging (in trains) as a business ( father giving out a set of “thriving streets” in dowry to his daughter!) in itself, we may as well take up this one – Mere Saath Chale – Kitaab – RDB- Sapan Jagmohan –

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      What’s HFM? :-/

      I’m really glad that you mentioned;
      >Thahar Jara O jaanewale – Bot Polish – SJ – Asha Bhosle, Madhubala Zaveri, Manna Dey

      I had to choose between this one and the song from Karigar, both being Boot Polish songs, and the Kaarigar song won, being more melodious, though this one is not far behind.

      The song from Kitaab may be considered just begging, but I think he’s singing to ‘earn’ on a train instead of in a film. 🙂

      • harveypam

        February 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

        HFM Is Hindi Film Music, dear pacifist.

        • pacifist

          February 11, 2013 at 12:09 am

          Thanks, Harvey.
          I googled and found;
          Oracle Hyperion Financial Management and wondered, now what can that be – some new fangled small business on the net?
          And what songs would they be singing? 😀

          • ASHOK M VAISHNAV

            February 12, 2013 at 7:15 am

            Hyperion Financial Management professionals would indeed be very pleased to know that a blog post on ‘small business’ (SME, to them) songs had landed upon them and wondered what they would be singing !!!!!
            Incidentally, in my last assignment – we were implementing a similar software , SAP-, all my (much younger than me) would always be seen with a plug in their ears and listening to “Old” ‘songs’. Of course, for them “old” was, generally, 80s.

            BTW, Hyperion Financial Management is no small business and they sing sweet tunes on way to their bank accounts!!!!

            • pacifist

              February 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

              >BTW, Hyperion Financial Management is no small business and they sing sweet tunes on way to their bank accounts!!!!

              I don’t doubt their tunes being very sweet. 😀


        February 11, 2013 at 5:03 am

        I have learnt HFM as acronym for Hindi Film Music, from reading the blogs on the subject.

        • pacifist

          February 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

          Thank you Ashokji.
          I approve of this acronym for Hindi Film Music rather than what I discovered on the net 🙂


        February 11, 2013 at 5:08 am

        Yes, ‘begging’ depicted in Kitaab as profession. And (unfortunately for all of us) trying earn through an alm by singing ‘popular’ film songs should not be considered begging , as the kids would certainly have put in good ‘riyaaz’ to rattle off the songs.

  10. dustedoff

    February 10, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Ohhh. I thought the ‘crazy coincidences’ thing was something Anu and I shared, but it’s obvious that I share that with others too – pacifist, especially! I’ve been thinking of doing a post on songs that feature people selling things, but though I had them listed in my mind (Zindagi hai kya sun meri jaan was on the list), I hadn’t got around to it yet. Now, since pacifist has done such a good job, I don’t even need to do it! 🙂 Lovely post, and some songs there that I’d never heard or had forgotten about (that surma one, for example – what a delightful song!).

    Here’s one which pacifist herself introduced me to. This isn’t anybody actually selling knives and daggers, but the lyrics suggest it. Chaakuwaala chhuriwaala, from Al Hilal:

    This one is more in keeping with the theme. Koi le lo… main meetha doodh laayi, from Brandy ki Bottle (what an interesting name for a movie)!

    • harveypam

      February 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Do you remember Madhu, we were in fact talking of making a post on this them some one year back I think. I’m sure we discussed the chana garman song! That is an interesting pair of songs Madhu.
      An interesting place to sell knives in the first song and the sweet milk in the brandy bottle!
      Hindi films never cease to make me wonder!

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      >Ohhh. I thought the ‘crazy coincidences’ thing was something Anu and I shared, but it’s obvious that I share that with others too – pacifist,

      I’m pleased to join the club, DO. 🙂

      I’d quite forgotten about the chakku wala and dhuri wala song. Thanks for posting it. And as for the second song. WOW!!! I’d never heard of this film before. It’s quite a good catch, and I really like the setting. It’s so ‘vintage’. Lovely.


    February 10, 2013 at 8:21 am

    And here are three more to this already rich ‘small business”:

    Aaya Re Aaya Bhaajiwalaa – Toofan Aur Diya (1956) Vasant Desai – Geeta Roy –

    Mera Naam Hai Chameli – Raja Aur Rank – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Lata Mangeshkar-

    And in this, a romantic buyer entices a ‘phirakiwali’ –

    • harveypam

      February 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Ashokji nice songs there (in both comments)!
      The bhajiwaala reminds me of our in Bombay in the 70s. Though our bhajiwala had seen more monsoons than the one in Toofan aur Diya, and no, our bhajiwala didn’t sing and nor did my mother’s phoolwali.

      • pacifist

        February 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

        > our bhajiwala didn’t sing and nor did my mother’s phoolwali.

        It would have been lovely if all had sold their stuff while singing. 🙂

        • harveypam

          February 11, 2013 at 8:53 pm

          Lovely? I’m not so sure! 😀

          • pacifist

            February 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

            hahaha. They could have lypsynched with their transistors on.

    • pacifist

      February 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Oh, I like the bhajiwala song. As i sad in my response tp coolone 160, I was looking for a bhajiwala/sabziwala song, and couldn’t remember any. This song I didn’t know at all. Thank you for posting it.

      The phirkiwali must be the only song of it’s kind, I think 😀 I’m sure there’s no other ‘phirkiwali/phirkiwala song.

      Raja aur Runk seemed to have a lot of ..walis

      Thank you Ashokji.

  12. Banno

    February 11, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Very good list. And a great idea.

    • pacifist

      February 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you, Banno. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  13. coolone160

    February 11, 2013 at 7:22 am

    One more song, Babita as chaiwali(selling tea) from Banphool “Aahen Na Bhar Thandi ” telling the benifits of tea …………….

    • coolone160

      February 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Oh sorry, revising my previous comment, she is not telling the benefits of tea ……but in fact inviting the people to drink tea to ward off catching cold in winter : p

      • pacifist

        February 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm

        >but in fact inviting the people to drink tea to ward off catching cold in winter : p

        Isn’t that the benefit of tea? 🙂

        aise mausam mein jo paise bachaaega
        sardi ke maare bedardi akkad jaega……………………….to mention one.

        naadaan hain woh jo piye kadwa pani
        yeh meethi chai sab nashon ki hai raani…………………………to mention another.

        And she’s selling tea

        This is a wonderful contribution coolone. There’s no other ‘chai’ song on the list.

    • harveypam

      February 11, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      I had nearly forgotten this song. Thanks for reminding me of it coolone!

  14. Shilpi Bose

    February 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Thanks a million Pacifist and Harvey for this post. Do I see you both raising your eyebrows in surprise and wondering ‘Pray why thanks a million?”. Well you have done me a huge favour by posting the song from Son of india. It has some wonderful shots of Bombay and most importantly it has a wonderful shot of Kalaghoda. I have a very faint memory of that statue, I was very small when it was removed as were all British era statues. I have a post in mind for my film blog and sure this screen cap is going to be very handy. That post will take time,as now I am deep into Bandini.
    Incidentally the playback singer(I googled her and found out her name is Shanti Mathur) was chosen to sing for young Sajid for she had this broken voice at least it sounded broken and suited the voice of young boys. Actually I know this because when I was small, I overheard cerain people from the film world discussing this with my father at home. This bit of information sort of remained in my memory.

    • pacifist

      February 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      Oh. Is that kalaghoda no longer there? It’s such a graceful elegant piece.
      Yes, Shanti Mathur’s voice does suit a young boy.

      >(I googled her and found out her name is Shanti Mathur)

      Shilpi, you didn’t have to google, her name along with the lyricist, and music director are mentioned as are for the rest 🙂

      We are sure glad (I’m taking the liberty of speaking for harvey) to have unknowingly helped you.
      Really looking forward to not only your next post about Bandini, but now also curious about what kalaghoda connections there are in the filmi world. 🙂

    • harveypam

      February 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Well, Shilpi, the thanks should go to Pacifist, after all it was her idea. I am just playing the host here and giving my extra ten paise to the comments.
      But this trailer of your post to come, does make feel curious! Were you in the marketing dept of a company? 😉
      Thanks for the info on why Shanti Mathur’s voice was used for Sajid Khan.
      looking forward to further posts on Bandini!

      • Shilpi Bose

        February 12, 2013 at 7:06 am

        HA! HA! No I wasn’t in a marketing dept. but yes I was a advertising and marketing journalist. Actually Kalaghoda per se has nothing to do with films but there is a post going on in my mind and to be honest I am vague about the direction it should take so I have decided to leave it for the future, as it is Bimal Roy’s posts will take my time and as you can see I am so slow

  15. pacifist

    February 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Harvey, thank you so much for the ‘playlst’. Lovely!!!

  16. dustedoff

    February 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    While searching for another (completed unrelated song), I came across this one, which I’d forgotten about, even though it’s from a film I liked. Le lo ji hamaare gubbaarre, from Bandish:

    • pacifist

      February 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you DO, this is also a first song on selling ‘gubbare’. 🙂
      I think almost every song in this post has the ‘lelo lelo’ chant. So apt!!!!

  17. Songs Of Yore

    February 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Thanks Pacifist and Harvey a lot for this lovely post and a great list of songs, and all the contributors for adding so many unheard gems. From 1930s to 70s – what a range!

    How would the women respond if the churi-seller was Raj Kapoor, especially if he flirted in such an unabashed manne, and promised they would be like Nargis, Geeta Bali and Meena Kumari ? By the way this also has Gori gori kalai mein kali kali chooriyan.

    • pacifist

      February 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      He also says, neeli neeli peeli peeli… 😀
      Thanks a lot for this songsof yore. I had never heard of this song before, nor the film ‘papi’.

      Hahaha, he has a good selling point referring to Meena Kumari, Geeta Bali, Nargis etc
      I don’t mind this chooriwala Raj Kapoor singing in Mohammad Rafi’s voice, and not doing Charlie Chaplin.
      He’s actrually quite fun here.
      Thanks again for this, songs of yore.

      • harveypam

        February 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm

        here is a pseudo chudiwaalaa:

        • pacifist

          February 17, 2013 at 12:37 am

          LOL at pseudo choodiwala, even though I see your POV.
          Sanjay Khan looks anything but. 😀
          I’d heard of this song. Thank you for reminding me of it.

    • harveypam

      February 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      This is indeed blatant flirting rather than selling. In fact it is not at all selling he is rather gifting those bangles away. No, no this would never do for the business!
      I think as it is the song would have suited Johnny Walker much better than Raj Kapoor!
      All meant in good spirit naturally! 😀
      Lovely song, hearing it for the first time. This post is turning out to be as it is a veritable treasure trove for bhoole bisre geet!
      Thank you!

      • pacifist

        February 17, 2013 at 12:43 am

        >This post is turning out to be as it is a veritabel treasure trove for bhoole bisre geet!

        You’re right. Hadn’t heard of quite a few in the comments, Harvey. Since no one mentioned this song, I’m posting it. Another one from Tel Maalish Boot polish.

        • harveypam

          February 17, 2013 at 1:11 am

          So if he is japaanwaalaa then is he selling Japan? Tum apne desh ko bech rahe ho, gadaar?

          • pacifist

            February 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm


            I think it is an art of making toys, just as there’s this art of making crockery called ‘china’. I could be wrong, but there’s so much that has died away which we have no knowledge of.
            The reason I think this is because there’s this passage in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen where they are talking about a certain art of furniture (wooden) called Japan, the popular colour being balck and yello.

            • harveypam

              February 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

              I didn’t know about that! Good piece of info!

            • pacifist

              February 25, 2013 at 8:08 am

              Harvey if you are further interested in this ‘japan’ thing, there’s a picture (I hope genuine) on a collection of stamps released in UK recently. These stamps are 6 in number and ‘tries’ to 😉 depict a scene from each of Jane Austen’s novel. If you click and come to Northanger Abbey stamp, you’ll see the japan chest, the art used to make wooden toys as well. Keep clicking next till you reach this stamp.


              • harveypam

                February 25, 2013 at 10:40 am

                so the japanwala was selling things like this!
                Teh guy in the song must have been selling smaller versions of such chests or toys.
                But I understand the song and the chest are two different pairs of shoes!
                Thanks for this interesting Japan thing and for the collection of stamps!

  18. Chris

    February 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Like many people have already said ‘sar jo tera chakraye’ is also my favourite. Good list though I see child labour in some songs.
    some suggestions, not sure how many of these suit the theme of the post.
    1.’naach meri bulbul tujhe paisa milega’ from ‘Roti’.
    2.’khaike paan banaraswala’ from ‘Don’ – this song is ‘promoting’ paan right?
    3.’daakiya daak laya’ from ‘Palkon Ki Chaon Main”
    4.’kehta hai joker saara zamana’ from ‘Mera naam Joker’
    5.’main tasveer utarta hoon’ fron ‘Heera Panna’,
    6.’Phoolwati Ka Gajra Na Pehna Ho Aisa To Koi’ from ‘Krodhi’.
    7.’aa gaya aa gaya halwa wala aa gaya’ from ‘Dance dance’.

    • harveypam

      February 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Indeed sutiable songs, Chris! But aren’t they (excep the last one) rather songs sung while going about their profession or like in the case of naach meri bulbul egging somebody on to do the needful?
      But good songs all the same!
      You are right child abuse of any form shouldn’t be condoned!

    • pacifist

      February 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Chris, I have mentioned child labour in my write up. I have expressed the view that it was better to be cleaning shoes for themselves (not for any boss exploiting them) than to run into trouble joining gangs etc.
      If the parents have no money, or if the children are orphans I think this self support wasn’t a bad thing as compared to begging.
      What would they do if they were not allowed to work? Charity or government help was not forthcoming.

      I feel strongly about this point. 🙂

  19. pacifist

    March 8, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I found another song. This time it’s Ashok Kumar selling ‘phool’ or rather ‘phoolon ke haar/gajre’ from Inspector 1956 – and dancing. 🙂

    • harveypam

      March 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Ashok Kumar dancing and selling gajras is a rare sight indeed!
      But I doubt he is doing it as his main occupation there. I think, going by the title of the film, he is a police inspector in disguise here. Police Inspectors and spies in Hindi films do get to sing and dance a lot, don’t they?
      That is a good addition, pacifist!

  20. Canasya

    April 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Very innovative post. Here is one on the business of selling trinkets.

    • harveypam

      April 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Very enterprising song that!
      And also new for me!
      Thanks Canasya!

    • pacifist

      May 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      Chori ka hai maal iska. LOL
      Good one. This is a new song for me, also the other two posted by you, canasya. Thanks.

  21. Canasya

    April 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Here are two more songs from the SDB stable. First Mehmood selling clothes in Miya Biwi Raazi:

    and then Mehmood promoting his mobile restaurant in Naya Zamana:

    • harveypam

      May 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Two songs, entirely new for me.
      The first pedler seems to be a very docile one. Haven’t met any of that kind. 🙂
      The second one though could get on one’s nerves though.

  22. pacifist

    May 1, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    I have found another one from the film Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja 1955 sung partly by Shamshad Begum.

    • harveypam

      May 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      A frolicky song this!
      Loved it!
      all for do paise!


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