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11 Everlasting Love Songs: Celebrate the Many Splendours of Love

February 14, 2017 | By and

Celebrate Love and Romance: As a Valentine’s Day Special, Peeyush Sharma and Antara bring you 11 eternal love songs from 11 music directors who left their mark in Hindi film music.

Love is in the air…! Hindi film songs have been at the forefront of celebrating love and romance through the decades, in every possible situation you can think of. Hence, selecting 11 love songs of 11 music composers out of an impossible number of romantic solos and duets that have been sparkling gems in our cinema is, well… impossible!

love songs valentines day

So there is no such attempt. The idea behind this compilation is to put together a brief list of 11 to encourage our readers to join in with their choices. Eleven is an incredibly limited number and we had to leave out stalwart music composers such as Naushad, Anil Biswas, Chitragupt, Husnlal Bhagatram, Ghulam Mohammad, RC Boral, Pankaj Mullick and so many others in this tiny list. But why eleven? Well, we just thought of being different from the regular list of  10 and pick a number which is auspicious in our culture. Therefore, 11 it is.

Enjoy the songs and don’t forget to put in your most loved romantic number in the comments box below. We are waiting!

Raat ke humsafar, thak ke ghar ko chale (Shankar Jaikishan)

In the city that is representative of embodiment of romance, this is one of the most romantic duets ever, both to listen and to watch.

Superb delivery oozing romance all over – trust Rafi and Asha to exemplify. Excellent imagery created by Shailendra through words and exceptional composition by Shanker Jaikishen that includes hope, romance, feelings and expressive love. What a combination !

Certainly, Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila are watchable as well.

Raat ke humsafar, thak ke ghar ko chale,
jhoomti aa rahi hain subah pyar ki

(An Evening in Paris, 1967) Shanker Jaikishen / Shailendra / Rafi-Asha

Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar (S D Burman)

Expression and confession of love in “Raag Pyar’’.

Vijay Anand

Vijay Anand in a brief appearance in Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar (Tere Ghar Ke Samne)

Aaj dil ki bekali, aa gai zubaan par,
baat yeh hai tumse pyaar hai, dil tumhi ko diya re……

A walk down the Qutub steps has never been the same again ever. In this song, Vijay Anand turns it into the most romantic set of stairs in the world. And he himself appears in a blink and you will miss cameo in his huge trench coat, cap and spectacles, quizzically inspecting the two love birds with a look that speaks a thousand words.

Not expecting the outburst, but thoroughly enjoying Nutan and epitome of romance Dev Anand are highly watchable. Unparalleled rendition that only Rafi was capable of, pure romantic lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri, known as the prince of romance and genius creation by S D Burman.

(Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, 1963) S D Burman / Hasrat Jaipuri / Mohd Rafi

Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishara ho gaya (OP Nayyar)

Only from the pen of Jan Nissar Akhtar could we get this excellent use of chhand that assures lifetime romance in ‘baithe baithe’. Then when in love it is naturally, Chalte ho jhoom ke badli hai chaal bhi, nainon mein rang hai ikhre hain baal bhi.

Incomparable in her delivery, Geeta Dutt with teasingly romantic Rafi in an all time hit Nayyar composition.

Watch the end of the song where the tresses of a very attractive Shakila loosen up and spread over the camera. V K Murthy (the cinematographer) confirmed in a chat to us that owing to a shake to her head the hair got loose and spread over the camera, but Guru Dutt (directing the song) said let it be, don’t cut it, as it adds to the romance effect.

Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishara ho gaya,
baithe baithe jeene ka sahara ho gaya

(C.I.D, 1956) O P Nayyar / Jan Nissar Akhtar / Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi

Tum aa gaye ho noor aa gaya hai (R D Burman)

The purpose of life is the true Valentine – Jeene ki tumse wajah mil gai hai…..


Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar in Aandhi

The elegant and watchable Suchitra Sen with a smiling Sanjeev Kumar in the romantic lingo that Gulzar could only pen and amazing creation of Pancham. The hills and rows of flowers add a sense of vibrancy and colour to the sunny surroundings. Suchitra Sen plucks one to pin in her flowing hair – setting hearts aflutter. Sanjeev Kumar lovingly tucks it in. Oh yes, if this isn’t romance, what is?

Most certainly Kishore and Lata add feathers to this beautiful ode to love.

Tum aa gaye ho noor aa gaya hai,
nahin to chiragon se lau jaa rahi thhi

(Aandhi, 1975) R D Burman / Gulzar / Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar

Meri duniya mein tum aayi kya kya apne saath liye (Madan Mohan)

Tan ki chandi man ka sona,
sapnon wali raat liye,
meri duniya mein tum aayi…

It is dead in the night and clandestinely have the lovers meet. Ranjha starts to whisper sweet notes in Heer’s ear and look at the magic which only Rafi could induce through his perfect whispers and voice modulation into the microphone. Romance personified!

What cosy intimate romantic lyrics by Kaifi and really effective singing by both Rafi and Lata, this remains as one of the most romantic moment on Hindi Film screen (directed by Chetan Anand) and highly romance laden composition by Madan Mohan. It is something to be felt, not only heard.

(Heer Ranjha, 1970) Madan Mohan / Kaifi Azmi / Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar

Baar baar tohe kya samjhaaye (Roshan)

Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar in Aarti

Baar baar tohe kya samjhaaye (Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar in Aarti)

The line starts as a question and ends up as an answer. The way the tune changes notes in the repetition of the first line of the mukhda has you floored at the outset!

Meena Kumari looks ravishing. Watch the light and shadow flicker over her serene, dignified face with that charming smile that says… oh come on… don’t pretend innocence. Dignity, charm, beauty all packed in a sari-clad, bindi-and-flower-in-the-hair charm. Pure magic! Pradeep Kumar looks the typical shy jholawala. He romances sweetly but with some obvious hesitation.

Roshan’s music is superbly romantic and so is Majrooh Sahab’s mischief-cloaked Q&A dipped in romance. Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar quite obviously enjoyed the song, the emoting happens in the way they render it.

(Arti, 1962) Roshan / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar

Phir na keeje meri gustaakh nigahi ka gilaah (Khayyam)

A classic song which is just so delicately composed by Khayyam that its pure velvet.

phir na kije

Dekhiye aap ne phir pyar se dekha mujhko… Raj Kapoor and Mala Sinha in Phir Subah Hogi

Dekhiye aap ne phir pyar se dekha mujhko… Raj Kapoor warns his lady love ever so gently… “Don’t kill me with your charm, dear. My heart is doing a hop and skip.”  

is qadar pyar se dekho na hamari janib 
dil agar aur machal jaye to mushkil hogi

And Mala Sinha’s response is matter-of-fact – you are all that I have in my journey.

tum jahaan meri taraf dekh ke ruk jaaoge 
wohi manzil meri taqdir ki manzil hogi

Its a love song of the common man – it doesn’t have frills and flowers. Its about life and love and a heart that dares to dream.

ek yunhi si nazar dil ko jo chhu leti hai
kitne armaan jagati hai tumhe kya maalum

This was one of Sahir Ludhianvi’s nazms used as a sparkling couplet in Pyaasa, (remember Geeta Dutt’s recital of these lines that begins the enchanting Jaane kya tune kahi?) and later as a full song in Phir Subah Hogi. In both places, it shines and shines!

(Phir Subah Hogi, 1958) Khayyam / Sahir Ludhianvi / Asha Bhosle and Mukesh

Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai aa bhi jaa (Salil Chowdhury)

Think of songs that make you smile from the moment they start playing and long after they have ended, songs that keep humming at the back of your mind even the next day – this song would probably figure somewhere in the list.

Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala

Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai aa bhi ja (Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in Madhumati)

Love-lorn Hindi film music is packed with romantic duets – from treacly sweet to outright mast, from mischievous to conversational, from heart-rending to almost devotional. It is somewhat hard to classify this Mukesh-Lata Mangeshkar number. I would simply call it innocent.

You have the city boy wooing his beloved village belle – straight from the heart:

Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai aa bhi jaa
Tu humse aankh na chura
Tujhe kasam hai aa bhi jaa

And you have the coy ‘pahaadi’ girl, shyly acknowledging that her heart beats just for him:

Dil dhadak dhadak ke de raha hai yeh sadaa
Tumhari ho chuki hun main
Tumhare paas hoon sada

Dilip Kumar has no tragedy written around him here. He is a ‘I-can’t-stop-smiling’ guy plainly and simply in love. And the gorgeous Vyjayanthimala, who with her huge dark eyes and sparkling smile looks way too polished for a village belle, sets the screen on fire.

Tu nahin to yeh bahaar kya bahaar hai
Gul nahin khile jo tera intezaar hai

Shailendra, the master of simplicity in lyrics, puts a lover’s feelings plain and straight here…  if your love is not with you, even the flowers would wait to blossom. Spot on!

(Madhumati, 1958) Salil Chowdhury / Shailendra / Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar

Chaudhvin ka chand ho ya aftaab ho (Ravi)

Guru Dutt singing paeans of praise to his on screen lady love’s beauty created a milestone in Hindi film music. As delicate as the feather touch and sung with a deep emotional outpouring characteristic of Mohd Rafi, Chaudhvin ka chand ho became a proverbial ode to love.

Chaudhvin Ka Chand

Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman in Chaudhvin Ka Chand

This title song of Guru Dutt’s Chaudhvin Ka Chand describes the beauty of a woman like none else. Shot superbly by master craftsman V K Murthy with apt directions from Guru Dutt it had outstanding lyrics loaded with imagery by Shakeel Badayuni and soft, melodious music by Ravi.

One rare feat (for those times) that gets associated with lyricist Shakeel is his hat-trick of Filmfare Best Lyricist Awards in the years 1961, 1962 and 1963. Yes, three in a row! The first Filmfare Award in 1961 was for Chaudhvin Ka Chand for this everlasting title song, one of the all-time best romantic numbers of Hindi film music, inspiring many a lover to sing praises to the beauty of the beloved.

(Chaudhvin Ka Chand, 1960) – Ravi / Shakeel Badayuni / Mohd Rafi

Zaraa nazron se kehdo jee (Hemant Kumar)

The fresh-faced lover boy Biswajit in his debut film Bees Saal Baad romanced none other than the gorgeous Waheeda Rehman – he in his designer sweater and she as the archetypal village belle.

Bees Saal Baad

Biswajit wooing the gorgeous village belle Waheeda Rehman in Bees Saal Baad

If you want to woo your girl sing odes to her beauty. And how! Praise each attribute of her beauty with an imagery that celebrates magnetism of the killer looks. Oh yes, you have the liberty to a dash of tongue-in-cheek humour.

Sample this:
yeh bholapan tumhara ye shararat aur ye shokhi
zarurat kya tumhe talvar ki teeron ki khanjar ki
nazar bhar ke jise tum dekh lo woh khud hi mar jaye

Bees Saal Baad (1962) was a remake of the Bengali whodunnit Jighansha (1952) and marked Hemant Kumar’s foray into film production. The edge-of-the-seat thriller was a runaway hit but despite its undertones of suspense, Hemant Kumar utilized his musical skills to compose some ever-lasting songs along with Shakeel Badayuni. The film’s haunting Lata Mangeshkar number Kahin deep jalee kahin dil completed a hatrick of Filmfare Awards for best lyrics for Shakeel Badayuni.

But when it comes to teasing your beloved with flattering praises, this romantic solo from singer-composer Hemant Kumar takes the cake.

(Bees Saal Baad, 1962) – Hemant Kumar / Shakeel Badayuni / Lata Mangeshkar

Kitna haseen hai mausam (C Ramchandra)

The weather sparkles, the birds sing, the breeze flows, the journey is bliss – only when you have your loved one with you! Simple and straightforward.

‘Tragedy King’ Dilip Kumar and ‘Tragedy Queen’ Meena Kumari break away from their typical tragic roles to play a charming couple in love – enjoying their day out in the wilderness. C Ramchandra was known to be one of the quickest of composers and this song too was reportedly composed in record time to have it ready in time for the shoot.

Nonetheless, its a perfectly done melodious number written by Rajinder Krishen. The duo did make some of the most beautiful numbers in Hindi film music. And if you want to take your beloved out for a date on Valentine’s Day, enjoy this lovely number in the cool February breeze. And remember to keep the phone switched off 🙂

(Azaad, 1955) – C Ramchandra / Rajinder Krishen / Lata Mangeshkar and Chitalkar

Creative Writing

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Consulting Editor Learning and Creativity and Silhouette Magazine. To talk of a few passions of Peeyush, one must start with music. He is known to be a collector of music and information pertaining to Indian cinema (majorly Hindi) spanning a period from early 1930s to 1980s. He has a large collection of Bengali and Punjabi music and material as well. He also boasts of a huge library of related material. Peeyush has delivered talks and lectures on music appreciation, contributed write ups in numerous news papers and magazines. He has co-authored a tribute publication on Anil Biswas. He has co-hosted radio talk shows on music and met and interviewed a number of personalities. Occasionally, he delivers talks even now. Peeyush has been the founder secretary of the prestigious, Vintage Hindi Music Lovers Association in Bangalore that honored Anil Biswas in 1985. He is known as a storehouse of old Hindi music and information regarding music and movies. Peeyush is well read in Vedic culture and literature and is invited in various centers to deliver enlightening lectures on Vedic values. His range spans from four Vedas to Upanishads and Darshans as well as Bhagvad Gita. He has delivered talks on Yog Darshan in Yoga schools and large gatherings. He currently lives in Oshawa, Ontario in Canada.
All Posts of Peeyush Sharma
Editor in Chief, Learning and Creativity; Consulting Editor, Silhouette Magazine. A former business journalist, Antara writes extensively on the changing trends of music, direction and filmmaking in cinema. Her articles aim to provide well-researched information on the legends of cinema for the movie and music enthusiast. She is also the Founder-Editor of Blue Pencil, a New Delhi-based publishing house. She edited and published Incomparable Sachin Dev Burman, the biography of SD Burman written by HQ Chowdhury. She has co-authored a chapter on Hemant Kumar's Bengali music in the acclaimed book The Unforgettable Music of Hemant Kumar, written by Manek Premchand. Her articles have also been published in and Antara is Editor-Creative Director of Wisitech InfoSolutions Pvt. Ltd.
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15 thoughts on “11 Everlasting Love Songs: Celebrate the Many Splendours of Love

  • A Bharat

    Great list Peeyush and spread over three decades.

    The only comment I would make is that or Shammi Kapoor I would have put one of these Hum aur tum aur ye sama or Baar baar dekho or Mere yaar shabba khair!

    Hum aur tum aur ye sama (Dil Deke Dekho, 1959) Usha Khanna / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Mohd Rafi

    1. Antara

      Bharat ji,

      Thank you for the feedback and your picks from our treasure of love songs.

      Shammi Kapoor did have some of the most romantic numbers picturised on him – the archetypal lover boy as he was.

      The songs you picked are so very hummable!

  • A Bharat

    Antara says Dil tadap tadap will stay at the back of the mind the next day.

    I just can’t get rid of it even after all these years.

    Every time I mechanically start humming I find that it is the same song! I don’t think it is the BEST duet I have come across. I can name a score more.
    But once I leave it to my automatic nervous system it again goes dil tadap tadap ke….

    1. Antara

      Bharat ji,

      You said it! This song is a like a buzzing bee at the back of the mind. It refuses to drop off.

      Of course, there are many other duets and lovable romantic songs. But dil tadap tadap has that ‘Fevicol factor’ in it, if you know what I mean 🙂

      It just keeps going dil tadap tadap… as you very candidly put it!

    2. Peeyush Sharma

      The impact is owing to the song picturisation.

      It is outstandingly done by Bimal Roy. The restraint in Dilip’s acting and the joy o love in Vyjayanthimala’s match up so very well in vocals of Mukesh and Lata that it leaves that lasting pleasant stamp on one’s memory.

  • Jyoti Sharma

    Of course there are millions of lovely romantic Hindi songs and we can add on hundreds and hundreds more :

    Chalo Dildar chalo

    Baahon mein chale aao

    Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum

    Kahin karti hogi wo mere intezar

    That super romantic song from Bambai Ka Babu

    Kishore Kumar / Asha beautiful numbers by RD Burman…… the list is never ending !

    but yes I love this number from Evening in Paris and Madhumati….. immortal !

    1. Peeyush Sharma

      Thanks Jyoti,

      Kahin karti hogi who mera intezaar is outstanding. What a feel that song has. It was on a Spanish tune that RD structured the song, but it turned a beauty.

      Your list is lovely.

  • Vijay Kumar

    A brilliant post, the song selection is so representative though I would have replaced the Aandhi duet by another duet from the same film.

    Difficulty is that in my list SJ will appear twice…. Raat ke humsafar is already there.

    Like to include Patali kamar hai…..on this day, given the philandering inherent t in it.

    Naushad will come in through Tara ri tara to……this celebrates love, the moment.

    For the self same reason. Zindagi pyar ki do char ghadi will also come in – C Ramchandra.

    My take on … Tere bina zindagi se……

    An impact song from whatever angle we may look at it.

    Chance brings together, though for a while, the separated JK and Arati – played by Sanjeev and Suchitra – rejuvenating their love in limbo. But the compulsion to keep under wraps the fact of their marriage forecloses conciliation. Yet the emotional up-surge is far too over-whelming, heightened further by an acute consciousness that the togetherness will be just for a few fast fleeting moments before the guillotine !

    The two artistes, arguably the best of their times, deliver the scene with an intensity and skill very rarely seen in Hindi cinema. The scenic impact cascades as their empathizing communication, mostly in silence, is given voice to, so heartily, so eloquently, by Lata-KK duo on a brilliant RDB lilt.

    But the number owes its extra-ordinariness to the muse of Gulzar. In two short antaras, he intertwines, inalienably, Arati’s catharsis and her wistfulness for a togetherness as a destination unto itself :

    Kaash aisa ho tere qadmo se, chun ke manzil chale aur kahi door kahi
    Tum gar saath ho, manzilo ki kami to nahi
    Tere bina zindagi se koyi, shikwa, to nahi
    Jee mein aata hai, tere daaman mein, sar jhuka ke ham rote rahe, rote rahe
    Teri bhi aankho mein, aansuo ki nami to nahi

    And JK also traverses an extra mile of emotion, pleading for a togetherness transcending the ephemerality symbolized by a night in descent :

    Tum jo keh do to aaj ki raat
    Chaand doobega nahin, raat ko rok lo
    Raat ki baat hai, aur zindagi baaqi to nahin

    Marvellous Gulzar!

    1. Peeyush Sharma

      Vijay ji, a fantastic feedback! Thanks!

      Tararari aararari is my most favourite. One of those rare Naushad creation where the feel is of uninhibitedness and not burdened or heavy.
      Close to this in later date is the Kohinoor duet Koi pyar ki dekhe jaadugari.

      But yes, a huge chunk of Hindi film songs have been of romantic genre and thus we can have a post like this many times over. As long as we hum along and think of its beauty, all is acceptable.

  • Vijay Kumar

    Duniya hamare pyaar ki yoon hi jawan rahe (Lata, Karan Dewan) Lahore

    Ai dil na mujh se chhupa, jo hua so hua (Lata, Mukesh)

    Nain mile nain hue baaware (Talat, Lata)

    Hum aap ki aankhon mein (Geeta, Rafi)

    Dil tadap tadap (Lata, Mukesh)

    Dam bhar jo udhar muh (Lata, Mukesh)

    Bade armaan se rakha …pyaar ki duniya mein pehla kadam (Mukesh, Lata)

    Matwala jiya (Mother India)

    Mehtab tera chehra (Mukesh, Lata)

    Dil ki nazar se (Mukesh, Lata) Anari

    Achcha ji main haari (Asha, Rafi)

    Raat ke humsafar (Rafi, Asha)


    I vote for the Lahore duet every time! One of the loveliest songs ever. But Karan Dewan!?
    Peeyush, I recall our friend Bhakta remarking,
    “If Karan Dewan can sing,so can I!”

    But what a haunting tune!
    Dilki Nazar se is another song which just won’t move from memory!

  • Ashoke Mahtani

    * Dil e betaab ko seene se lagaana hoga.

    * Abhi na jaao chhodkar

    * Tum to pyaar ho sajana mujhe tumse pyaara aur na koyi

    * Nayi manzil nayi raahein naya hai hamsafar apna

    * Is mod se jaate hain kucch sust kadam raste

    * Tere mere milan ki yeh raina.

    * Nain so nain naahin milaao.

    * Yeh kisne geet chheda

    * Tere bin soone nayan hamaare

    * Suno sajna papihe ne kaha sab se pukar ke

    * Rahein na rahein hum mehka kareinge.

    * Hamsafar ab yeh safar kat jasyega.

    Just a random spontaneous perfunctory list

  • M P Girish Kumar

    Can’t resist including this polished gem in the list of best ever love songs not just in Hindi films but in any language..a complete song in every sense – lyrics, composition and rendition. Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics, Madan Mohan’s music and Rafi saab’s and Sumanji’s singing – all compliment each other so well as if it was divinely ordained…Mujhe ye phool na do.. from the film Ghazal (1964).

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