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Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye – Mukesh’s Hit Songs for Heroes

July 22, 2016 | By

Silhouette takes you on a journey through some of Mukesh’s hit songs, which he sang for the reigning heroes or stars of his time. A tribute to the Golden Voice Mukesh.

Mukesh Hit Songs

When one thinks of Mukesh and his songs, a different, distant mood sets in. In a career spanning 36 years (1941-1976) Mukesh sang a relatively small number of songs for Hindi films, some 840 in all. That averages to less than two songs each month.

Mukesh

Mukesh (July 22, 1923 – August 27, 1976)

But interestingly, Mukesh’s hit ratio would be the highest in the industry. Think back on Mukesh’s repertoire and you will be able to easily to recollect and sing along about three-fourths of the total songs, fresh from your memory.

There are instances of numerous films that had 5 or 6 or more songs and only one by Mukesh, and that one turned out to be the biggest hit. For instance, in Kati Patang, a film where all Kishore songs were huge hits, the one number Mukesh sang was also a hit. That was his USP. It was his direct heart to heart song rendering, the deep ‘dil-se’ effect that really mattered.

Mukesh had a very dedicated and honest fan following as well. I had once met V. Balsara, the music director settled in Calcutta, who in a small public gathering, had commented, that one Mukesh song in the film assured that at least one song would be a hit.

Silhouette’s tribute to Mukesh has been drawn as a journey through the reigning heroes or stars of his time he lent his voice to. Set in alphabetical order, here we go:

Amitabh Bachchan

Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon is another hit Mukesh number in Kabhie Kabhie

Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon is another hit Mukesh number in Kabhie Kabhie

Amitabh arrives first in the alphabetical order. I remember watching Kabhie Kabhie in the last days of February in 1976 in Basushree cinema in south Calcutta. Who knew in six months Mukesh would be no more.

The songs had become a hit prior to the film’s release and they remain hit even today. Though the film boasted of a hit star cast and the story line plus treatment registered well with the audience, one cannot ignore the Mukesh contribution.

Kabhie kabhie mere dil mein (Kabhie Kabhie, 1976) Khayyam / Sahir / Mukesh

Biswajit

The release of Phir Kab Milogi (1974) had got delayed by almost four years. The days of Biswajit-Mala Sinha appeal at the box office were over. Also this Hrishikesh Mukherji film had nothing to offer in cinematic value either. The music sank with the film box-office debacle but emerged many years later to claim its’ right to popularity.

Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar

Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar – Biswajit and Mala Sinha in Phir Kab Milogi

Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar – this Mukesh number had two versions – a solo and a duet (with Lata). RD Burman based his tune on a Latin American song, Indianized it and made it into a melody. Majrooh wrote exotic romantic lyrics and Mukesh put in all his might to register the everlasting appeal in the beautiful song.

Door zulfon ki chhaon se, kehta hoon ye hawaon se,
us buut ki adaon ke afsaane hazaar,  
Wo jo baahon mein machal jaati, hasrat hi nikal jaati,
Meri duniya badal jaati, mil jaata qaraar

If this is not romance, what is!

Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar (Phir Kab Milogi, 1974) RD Burman / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Mukesh

Deb Mukherji

Ek Baar Muskura Do, a Mukherji family project, had a superb Mukesh-Asha duet picturised on hero Deb Kumar with Tanuja. It was rumoured that Sashdhar Mukherji had insisted on having the maestro, O P Nayyar do the music score. Mukesh was a rarity in Nayyar camp, but he got two lovely duets in the film. The other duet was chehre se zaraa aanchal, jab aapne sarkaya, duniya ye pukar uthi lo chaand nikal aaya. Owing to all songs from the film being hits, the film got a decent run.

Yeh dil lekar nazarana aa gaya tera diwana (Ek Baar Muskura Do, 1972) OP Nayyar / S H Bihari / Asha Bhosle and Mukesh

Dharmendra

A Gulzar-Kalyanji Anandji combination was rare. This came in 1965, when Gulzar was still testing the waters in Hindi films as a lyricist. The beauty of this duet lies in the melody that Kalyanji-Anandji created and the soulful singing by Mukesh with Lata.

On Dharmendra, Mukesh got to sing many a songs and many a hit. With Kalyanji-Anandji his pairing was legendary. We could probably dedicate an entire write up on Mukesh sings for Kalyanji-Anandji only. Let us for now, enjoy this Meena Kumari-Dharmendra duet from Purnima:

Humsafar mere humsafar, pankh tum parwaaz hum (Purnima, 1965) Kalyanji-Anandji / Gulzar / Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar (A rare occasion of Kalyanji-Anandji teaming up with Gulzar).

Dilip Kumar

Just the mention brings to us the imagery of Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen. What an impact! Mukesh was not known as a Dilip Kumar ‘voice’ but he did get to sing a few very popular numbers filmed on the thespian.

Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala

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

Salil Chowdhury was toying with the idea of using Talat for these songs, but it is believed, S D Burman advised him on his singers after listening to the tunes. Once the advice came, Bimal Roy stuck to it and Salil abided.

Mukesh’s famed duet with Lata not only offers a beautiful melody in its’ evergreen garb, but also the picturization by Bimal Roy is simply outstanding. A soft focus camera with long and mid shots with beautiful locales and restrained yet overtly romantic gestures by the lead cast – this song is so typical of Bimal Roy’s films.

Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai aa bhi ja (Madhumati, 1958) Salil Chowdhury / Shailendra / Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh

Feroze Khan

Way back in 1965 Firoze Khan had the honour to perform on a Mukesh song, tuned by RD in Teesra KaunPyar ka fasana bana le dil diwana. A catchy, melodious duet.

But it was Jo tumko ho pasand later from Safar (1970) by Kalyanji-Anandji that was to immortalize the pairing. Excellent accompaniment by outstanding orchestration and the quintessential Mukesh effect made this song a hit.

In a reverse strategy, Kishore sang the sad numbers in Safar and Mukesh got this chirpy one. But then, Kishore had already got recognised as Rajesh Khanna’s voice, thus it was a great choice to have this beauty by Mukesh.

Jo tumko ho pasand (Safar, 1970) Kalyanji Anandji / Indeewar / Mukesh

Jeetendra

Again, Mukesh was not known as a Jeetendra ‘voice’ but they did register quite a few hits together. Starting with Haan maine bhi pyar kiya in Boond Jo Ban Gayi Moti in 1967 right till this duet from Mere Humsafar, which was another Kalyanji-Anandji beauty, penned by Anand Bakshi.

Co-starring Sharmila, this was an early road film, based on a truck driver’s life. It had a mediocre run, but the song remains a favourite till date.

Kisi raah par kisi mod par (Mere Humsafar, 1970) Kalyanji Anandji / Anand Bakshi / Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar

Manoj Kumar

Mukesh was singing from Manoj Kumar’s early years. They had together given hits in Himalay Ki Gode Mein (Main to ik khwaab hoon is khwab se tu pyar na kar); Hariyali Aur Raasta (Ibtedaye ishq mein hum saari raat jaage and Laakhon tare aasman pe, ek magar dhoonde na mila); Upkar (Deewanon se yeh mat poochho) and many more.

But this solo from Purab Aur Pashchim has become a landmark Mukesh-Manoj Kumar song and remains an evergreen number. Rendered with soft love filled emotions that assure and seek trust, it is great job accomplished by Mukesh, again under Kalyanji Anandji’s baton.

Koi jab tumhara hriday tod de (Purab Aur Pashchim, 1971) Kalyanji Anandji / Indeevar / Mukesh

Motilal

Well, it was Motilal the top bracketed hero of 40s who brought Mukesh to Bombay and introduced him to film singing. They were distant relatives.

Picturized on Motilal on screen, under the legendary Anil Biswas’ baton Mukesh got his life’s first recognition through the hit Dil jalta hai to jalne de, aansu na baha fariyaad na kar, in Pehli Nazar in 1945.

Twenty years later, Anil Biswas returned from retirement  to compose some outstanding, everlasting music for Motilal’s swan song Chhoti Chhoti Batein (1965). Motilal died before his last production could be released. The song eventually was picturised on Moti Sagar instead, as Motilal had passed away. Unfortunately with no proper publicity the film flopped. Let us recollect and relish this master composition:

Zindagi ka ajab fasaana hai, rote rote bhi muskurana hai (Chhoti Chhoti Batein, 1965)   Anil Biswas / Shailendra / Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar

Pradeep Kumar

This immortal duet with Suman Kalyanpur is also a rarity. Rarely would Dada Burman summon Mukesh for a song, and when he did, it created waves in the music ocean of Hindi films.

After the hit Chal ri sajni ab kya soche (Bombai Ka Babu), Burman Dada got Mukesh to sing Ae dil-e-awara chal on Manoj Kumar in Dr. Vidya and this lovely duet on Pradeep Kumar. Another reason could be because he was already using the voices of Rafi and Manna on Ashok Kumar in the film, Meri Surat Teri Ankhen. We get a lovely duet with Mukesh paired with Suman to relish:

Yeh kisne geet chheda (Meri Surat Teri Aankhen, 1963) Sachin Dev Burman / Shailendra / Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur

Raj Kapoor

Mukesh was known as Raj Kapoor’s voice and together they have given us numerous hits all through their respective careers. Raj Kapoor’s own productions and then a barrage of Shanker-Jaikishen films starring Raj Kapoor had Mukesh giving playback to the Hindi cinema’s Showman.

Mukesh and Raj Kapoor

Mukesh was the voice of Raj Kapoor and the duo created a stream of legendary hits in films including Anari, Shri 420, Aah, Aag, Awara, Chhalia, Parvarish, Shriman Satyawadi, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Teesri Kasam, Mera Naam Joker, Sangam, Bawre Nain, Dil Hi Toh Hai, to name a few.
(R) Mukesh and Raj Kapoor with Shanker and Shailendra
Pics: singermukesh.com

From this remarkable repertoire when it is difficult to pick one, Sahir’s sarcastic Chino Arab humara, Hindustan humara, rehne ko ghar nahin hai sara jahan humara comes to mind.

Way back in 1958 Sahir had written:

Jitni bhi buildingen thhi, sethon ne baant li hain,
Footpath Bambai ke hain aashiyan humara.

Prophetic to say the least! The only difference being the sethon were joined in by the netas as India moved through the decades.

Khayyam’s exceptional music score for a film based on Leo Tolstoy’s path-breaking Crime and Punishment with outstanding performances by Raj Kapoor and Mubarak made each song a memorable one.

Chino Arab humara, Hindustan humara (Phir Subah Hogi, 1958) Khayyam / Sahir / Mukesh

Rajendra Kumar

The jubilee hero was not known to sing in much Mukesh’s voice on screen. But Shanker Jaikishen knew which song which voice would best do justice. The Aas Ka Panchhi (1961) duet is a perfect example.

Tum roothi raho, main manata rahoon
ke in adaaon pe aur pyar aata hai.

Mukesh was essentially a mood singer. He could set the mood of the song as the demand of the song would be. His simplicity at handling of notes would make it an accessible to all to sing and hum along. That is one reason why, even if the hero was not known to have many songs with Mukesh, he still had his standouts that have remained immortal.

Tum roothi raho, main manata rahoon (Aas Ka Panchhi, 1961) Shankar Jaikishan / Hasrat Jaipuri / Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh

Rajesh Khanna

We associate Rajesh with Kishore. But, Mukesh did have quite a few hits on the megastar as well. Bin badra ke bijuriya from Bandhan was an early Rajesh hit. Prior to that was the melodious duet in Rajesh’s first film Raaz – Dil sambhale sambhalta nahin aaj to, paas aane ki de do ijaazat humein. Both these music scores were by Kalyanji-Anandji.

Mukesh hit in Anand

Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune is another Mukesh hit in Anand

In RD Burman’s Kati Patang each Kishore song was one hit greater than the other. Yet the single solo by Mukesh held its ground firmly and went on to be a popular hit, Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho baalama.

But how can we not mention this absolutely immortal number that Mukesh so effectively sang for Rajesh Khanna in Salil Chowdhury’s Anand – Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye.

It is popularly believed that when a song is redone from its original language into Hindi, it never reaches that level in class. But here is a demonstrated example. The original version of this tune was by rendered by Hemant Kumar in Bengali, Amaye proshno kore neel dhruba tara, aar koto kaal ami robo dishahaaraone of Hemant Da’s biggest hits in non-film songs. But it is absolutely impossible to decide whether the Hemant one is superior or the Mukesh one. This is a masterly stroke that Salil Chowdhury could achieve with both his singers.

Anand did also have the heart-warming Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune. But let us for this time enjoy Kahin door jab din dhal jaye.

Kahin door jab din dhal jaye (Anand, 1971) Salil Chowdhury / Yogesh / Mukesh

Sanjeev Kumar

Music Director Roshan was a close friend of Mukesh and they stood by each other all through tough times, giving numerous hit songs. Anokhi Raat was Roshan’s swan song. Directed by Asit Sen, this film was a class hit of the year. But Roshan could not enjoy its success.

Oh re taal mile nadi ke jal mein, nadi mile sagar mein (Anokhi Raat, 1969) Roshan / Indeevar / Mukesh

Shashi Kapoor

Shashi Kapoor had only a few Mukesh songs to lip-sync but they include some all time delights such as Waqt karta jo wafa aap humare hotey (Dil Ne Pukara).

RD Burman had lesser use of Mukesh, but like his father, when he did, it was a classic creation that gained immortality. This effect and mood could not have been created by any other singer. This RDB class act with exceptional piano accompaniment from Mukti just stands out:

Suhani chandani raatein humen jeen nahin detin (Mukti, 1977) RD Burman / Anand Bakshi / Mukesh

Shatrughan Sinha

Shatrughan was not known as a singing hero and you don’t have too many songs picturised on him. In Sabak, with his wife, Poonam, Shatrughan Sinha emoted to a rain song for Usha Khanna – Barkha raani zara jam ke barso, mera dilbar jaa na paye jhoom kar barso, in Mukesh’s voice.

Another hit in Mukesh’s voice had Shatrughan Sinha singing Kai sadiyon se kai janmon se, tere pyar ko tarse mera man with his acknowledged other lady love Reena Roy in Milap under Brij Bhushan’s music.

Kai sadiyon se kai janmon se, tere pyar ko tarse mera man (Milap, 1972) Brij Bhushan/ Naqsh Lyalpuri

Sunil Dutt

An immortal desh-bhakti song by Mukesh.

In her career’s second film Hum Hindustani  Usha Khanna gave one Mukesh song each to both the heroes, Sunil Dutt and Joy Mukherji. Joy got the one he performed with Helen on screen – Raat nikhari hui zulf bikhari hui, har ada teri phoolon ki daali, aaj subaha nahin hone wali.

On Sunil Dutt was this patriotic number Chhodo kal ki baatein – the title song from Hum Hindustani, a beautiful composition, undoubtedly. Ever since, this song has gained iconic heights and been a standard play in all Independence Day and Republic Day events.

Chhodo kal ki baatein kal ki baat purani (Hum Hindustani, 1960) Usha Khanna/ Prem Dhawan / Mukesh

With Bapi Lahiri, Aparesh Lahiri, Mukesh, Lata Mangeskar and Hemant Kumar.

(L to R) Bappi Lahiri, Aparesh Lahiri (flautist and Bappi Lahiri’s father), Mukesh, Lata Mangeskar and Hemant Kumar
Pic courtesy: From the collections of Dibyendu De

ON PUBLIC DEMAND

Saath ho tum aur raat jawan, neend kise ab chain kahan,
kuchh to samajh ae bhole sanam kehti hai kya nazron ki zubaan.

This beautiful duet with Asha Bhosle from Kanch Ki Gudiya, 1961 was picturized on Manoj Kumar and Sayeeda Khan.

Produced and directed by H S Rawail (Harnaam Singh Rawail), the film had screenplay by Nabendu Ghosh, cinematography by Ranjodh Thakur and music by Suhrid Kar with Shailendra writing the lyrics.

Very little is known about Suhrid Kar. He gave music for only this one film and was introduced to SD Burman by Geeta Dutt. As an assistant to S D Burman in early fifties, Suhrid Kar did have knowledge of some instruments and could play on a few. But, he branched out into writing film stories and screenplays, his basic strength.

It was Geeta Dutt who roped in Kar to do the music for Kanch Ki Gudiya and what Rawail heard he liked and signed him on as the music director.

Two or three other songs by Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle and Mohd Rafi gained limited popularity. The crowning glory was this laid back duet that has remained popular till date.

Unfortunately, only an audio track is available on this song.

Saath ho tum aur raat jawan (Kanch Ki Gudiya, 1961) Suhrid Kar / Shailendra / Asha Bhosle and Mukesh

The National Award Winner

Finally, a salutation number to Mukesh and his heart rendering voice appeal through a Salil Chowdhury song that has gained immortality deservedly and any number of youngsters or the gen X relate to this song.

This number from Rajnigandha, 1974, shot as a background song, written by Yogesh, brought in awards for Mukesh including the prestigious National Award (1975) in the penultimate year of his life, giving a fresh lease of life to his voice, to stay with us forever.

Kai baar yun bhi dekha hai,
yeh jo man ki seema rekha hai,
man todne lagta hai

Kai baar yun bhi dekha hai (Rajnigandha, 1974) Salil Chowdhury / Yogesh / Mukesh

All pictures used in this article are courtesy YouTube, if not otherwise mentioned

More to read in Golden Voices

Hain Sabse Madhur Woh Geet: Melodies of Talat Mahmood

Geeta Dutt – The Skylark Who Sang From The Heart

Journey Through Lata’s Melodies 

Kishore Kumar, The Master of his Craft – Amit Kumar Remembers his ‘Baba’

Ten Songs of Mohd. Rafi We Could Not Include in ‘Gaata Rahe Mera Dil’

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6 thoughts on “Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye – Mukesh’s Hit Songs for Heroes

  • Kailash Mundra

    I have always loved Mukeshji’s soulful voice. Since my childhood I have heard his singing & I am still hypnotised!

    He had a perfect diction and tone, also one can feel the tenderness and bliss in his voice with a veiled sorrow somewhere deep inside!

    It is not that he sang only melancholic songs, because his other joyous songs too are popular, like Dumdum diga diga or O mehbooba or Ruk ja o janewali ruk ja or even Mujhe kehte hain kallu qawaal.

    His romantic songs just carry us away, like

    Chand si mehbooba
    Dekhte hi raho aaj darpan na tum
    Aye sanam jisne tujhe chandsi
    O shama mujhe phoonk de
    Mehboob mere
    Mera pyar bhi tu hai
    Jaane nazar
    Yeh to kaho kaun ho tum
    Ek sher sunata hoon main
    Mere khwaabon mein khyalo mein
    Sawan ka mahina
    Main na bhoolunga
    Chanchal sheetal
    Hum to tere aashik hain
    Ibtadaaye iishk mein hum saari raat jaage
    Gore gore chand ke much
    Jhoom jhoom ke naacho aaj

    ……and umpteen number of other songs !!

    Mukeshji sang for many many actors, like
    Sudesh Kumar (Saranga or Mera Ghar Mere Bachche),
    Motilalji (Jagte Raho) ,
    Rehmaan (Chhoti Bahen) ,
    Ashok Kumar (Kala Aadmi),
    Sudhir (Umar Qaid),
    Chetan Anand (Kinare Kinare),
    Pradeep Kumar (Rajhat) ,
    Mehmood (Sasural and Shabnam),
    Rajendra Kumar (Aas Ka Panchi) ,
    Premnaath (Aaram and Barsaat)
    Dev Anand (Vidya)
    Dilip Kumar (Andaz, Yahudi and Madhumati) ,
    Jeetendra (Farz, Gunaho Ka Devta and Dharti Kahe Pukarke),
    Sunil Dutt (Milan, Hum Hindustani, Meri Bhabhi),
    Sanjeev Kumar (Paras) ,
    Dharmendra (Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere, Purnima and Devar )
    Bharat Bhushan (Rani Roopmati and Sangeet Samrat Tansen) ,
    Rajesh Khanna (Maryada and Anand) ,
    Amitabh (Adalat, Kabhi Kabhi)
    Rajkumar (Ujala) and so on

    The films shown in above bracket, could exceed … just remembered these from my memory!

    Out of the total nearly 850 songs sung by Mukeshji, Shankar Jaikishan heads the list followed by Kalyanji Anandji.

    Salida praised Mukeshji by the following words “Each word from his lips was a pearl. No one could sing the way Mukesh did, with the right diction, inflexion and intonation. His vocal timbre was out of this world.”

    Even after 40 years, Mukesh the legend is still remembered today Jag mein reh jayenge pyare tere bol!!
    My humble tribute to the singer whom I admire most … __/\__

  • Peeyush Sharma

    Kya baat hai Kailash ji.
    Har geet saath gaana pad raha hai. Kya dil ko chhoo lene wali list hai. mazaa aa gaya.
    Our write has gained immortality through comments. Thank you, Sir. That exactly is the Mukesh power.

  • A Bharat

    Interesting survey . Thanks for including two of my favourites “cheen-o-arab hamara” and “kayi baar yunbhi dekha hai.”

    In 1956 he produced directed acted and gave music to a film called Anurag which had excellent songs. Especially the popular (at that time in Radio Ceylon) song “pal bhar ki hi pehchan pardesi sanam se” has not only a nice lyric it has been tuned and sung by Mukesh so well. It is one of my all time favorites.

    While Mukesh is not my absolutely favourite singer , if I am asked to choose 10 of my absolutely favourite songs of all time, at least five of them will be his songs!

  • Niru

    Wonderful! I feel there should be a corollary to this as I love his sad songs.

    Music was my first love but these days I spend a lot of times on films till I get an email from you and I get pulled in towards songs again. Thanks.

  • Rudrodip Majumdar

    Zuban pe dard from Maryada was also very well sung ….. and very situationally befitting ….. Very well written .

    And just another song I wish to mention, which was picturized on Mr. Anil Dhawan in the film AnnadataNain Hamare Sanjh Sakhare“… that number is filled with pastoral beauty and was composed by Shri Salil Chowdhury ( of course it got eclipsed by Mighty and far more complex as a composition, “Guzar jaye din” sung by great Kishore da) :)

    Anil Dhawan was not a big star or a prominent hero in the true sense of the term, but indeed he was the leading male of that particular film :)

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