The Top 30 Best Classic Bollywood Soundtracks of All Time

The best music albums from classic Bollywood have been chosen. Which songs made the list of Bollywood’s top 30 greatest?

Raj Kapoor Nargis Iconic BarsaatIntroduction

Welcome to the greatest music of classic Bollywood! We at Mr. and Mrs. 55 – Classic Bollywood Revisited! have compiled our ultimate list of the top 30 best classic Bollywood film soundtracks of all-time. Music is the very soul of classic Bollywood, a legacy of beauty and style that once lit the world. These soundtracks showcase the best music of Bollywood and are as diverse and transformative as the films to which they lent their magic. Long after the cinema lights fade, this music remains in the air, haunting us with desire, sustaining us through tragedy, and enchanting our daily experiences in the world.

Soundtracks of all Hindi films released between the years of 1945 to 1985 were considered and ranked based on the merit of lyrics, musical composition and complexity, historical and cultural value, vocal performance, and accomplishments of the soundtrack elements as an ensemble. Topping our list are composers Sachin Dev Burman, Rahul Dev Burman, Naushad, and the duo Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi and Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal (often credited as Shankar-Jaikishen) whose works both defined and reinvented Bollywood. Like our enormously popular list of the Top 30 Greatest Classic Bollywood Films of All Time, these soundtracks embrace the unexpected.

The advent of music in Bollywood binds the stormy history of a shackled India emerging from depression and war with the golden age of Hollywood musical film. Many believe that films with de rigeur musical numbers is a unique hallmark of Hindi cinema. However, the early “talkie” pictures of India such as Alam Ara (1931) were heavily influenced by the popular western films like The Jazz Singer (1927) and Showboat (1929) in which the new sound technology instantly propelled musical film as the most profitable genre. Hollywood directors like Busby Berkeley whose signature spectacle was the mass ornament and nimble-footed singer-dancers like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers helped contribute to the hundreds and hundreds of musical films cherished by the western world during the 1930s-1950s.

In India, the then universal convention of five to seven musical numbers peppering a film was easily embraced and adapted by Hindi movie directors who introduced Hindustani musical traditions to their work. Playback singers such as Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, and Asha Bhonsle were as celebrated as the actors for whom they lent their voices. Often before a film was released, a Bollywood movie’s soundtrack was played repeatedly on the radio, reaching the hearts of millions across the country who may not have afforded the luxury to see the actual film in theatres.

While Hollywood eventually diverged from the musical film genre by the late 1960s, India was awakening to its own golden era of film in which music dominated the sensory milieu. Perhaps it was the escapism of music with its perfect harmonies and piercing poetry that touched the newly freed country still finding its identity. From solemn hymns of the countryside to feverish cabarets of city nightlife, from extravagant orchestras to solitary sitar solos, and from singers whose voices seem to descend from heaven, these soundtracks unleashed new eras of possibility and romance. The music of classic Bollywood will change you forever. For a few fleeting minutes, the ideals you dreamed of are made real.

Take this journey with us through the best music albums of yesteryear Hindi cinema. This music the way is was meant to be. This is classic Bollywood.

The Top 30 Best Classic Bollywood Soundtracks of All Time:

1. Pakeezah

Pakeezah Meena Kumari Chalte Chalte

Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad, 1971

2. Guide

Guide

S.D. Burman, 1965

3. Mughal-e-Azam

Mughal-e-Azam

Naushad, 1960

4. Nagin

Nagin

Hemant Kumar, 1954

5. Aradhana

Aradhana

S.D. Burman, 1969

6. Teesri Manzil

Teesri Manzil

R.D. Burman, 1966

  • Aaja Aaja – Asha Bhonsle and Mohammed Rafi
  • Deewana Mujhsa Nahin – Mohammed Rafi
  • O Haseena Zulfonwali – Asha Bhonsle and Mohammed Rafi
  • O Mere Sona Re – Asha Bhonsle and Mohammed Rafi
  • Tumne Mujhe Dekha – Mohammed Rafi

7. Barsaat

Barsaat

Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi and Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal, 1949

  • Hawa Mein Udta Jaye – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Chhod Gaye Balam – Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh
  • Jiya Beqarar Hai – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Mujhe Kisise Pyar – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Patli Kamar Hai – Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh

8. Anarkali

Anarkali

C. Ramachandra, 1953

  • Yeh Zindagi Usiki Hai – Lata Mangeshkar
  • O Zindagi Ke Denewale – Hemant Kumar
  • O Aasmanwale – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Jaag Dard-e-Ishq – Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar
  • Mohabbat Aisi Dhadhkan Hai – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Mujhse Mat Pooch – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Aaja Ab To Aaja – Lata Mangeshkar

9. Kati Patang

Kati Patang

R.D. Burman, 1970

  • Jis Gali Mein – Mukesh
  • Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai – Kishore Kumar
  • Na Koi Umang Hai – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Yeh Shaam Mastani – Kishore Kumar
  • Pyaar Diwanaa Hota Hai – Kishore Kumar
  • Aaj Na Chhodenge – Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar

10. Chori Chori

Chori Chori

Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi and Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal, 1956

  • Panchi Banoon Udti – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Aaja Sanam – Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey
  • Jahan Main Jaati Hoon – Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey
  • Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi – Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey
  • Rasik Balma – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Man Bhavan Ke Ghar – Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle

11. Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Roshan, 1963

12. Hum Dono

Hum Dono Abhi Na Jao Dev Anand Sadhana

Jaidev, 1961

13. Jewel Thief

Jewel Thief

S.D. Burman, 1967

  • Honton Pe Aisi Baat – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Aasman Ke Neeche – Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar
  • Dil Pukare – Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi
  • Rulake Gaya Sapna – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Yeh Dil Na Hota – Kishore Kumar
  • Title Music

14. Caravan

Caravan

R.D. Burman, 1971

  • Piya Tu Ab To – Asha Bhonsle
  • Chadti Jawani – Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi
  • Kitna Pyara Wada – Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi
  • Goriya Kahan – Asha Bhonsle and Mohammed Rafi
  • Ab Jo Mile Hai – Asha Bhonsle

15. Bobby

Bobby Main Shayar To Nahin

Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma, 1973

  • Main Shayar To Nahin – Shailendra Singh
  • Bahar Se Koi Andhar – Lata Mangeshkar and Shailendra Singh
  • Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kate – Lata Mangeshkar and Shailendra Singh
  • Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai – Lata Mangeshkar and Shailendra Singh
  • Na Mangoon Sona Chandi – Manna Dey and Shailendra Singh

16. Pyaasa

Pyaasa

S.D. Burman, 1957

  • Jaane Woh Kaise – Hemant Kumar
  • Aaj Sajan Mohe – Geeta Dutt
  • Hum Aap Ki Ankhon Mein – Geeta Dutt and Mohammed Rafi
  • Jane Kya Tune Kahi – Asha Bhonsle
  • Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye – Mohammed Rafi

17. Abhiman

Abhiman

S.D. Burman, 1973

18. Anand

Anand

Salil Choudhury, 1971

19. Kabhi Kabhi

Kabhi Kabhi

Mohammed Zayur Khayyam, 1976

20. Baiju Bawra

Baiju bawra

Naushad, 1952

  • O Duniya Ke Rakhwale – Mohammed Rafi
  • Man Tarpat Hari Dar – Mohammed Rafi
  • Mohe Bhool Gaye Sanwariya – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Jhoole Mein Pawan Ke – Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi
  • Tu Ganga Ki Mauj – Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi

21. Mother India

Mother India

Naushad, 1957

22. Madhumati

Madhumati

Salil Choudhury, 1958

  • Aaja Re Pardesi – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Dil Tadap Tadap – Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh
  • Suhana Safar – Mukesh
  • Ghadi Ghadi Mora Dil – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Chadh Gayo Papi Bichua – Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey

23. Basant Bahar

Basant Bahar

Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi and Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal, 1956

  • Duniya Na Bhaye Mohammed Rafi
  • Bhaye Bhanjana – Manna Dey
  • Ja Ja Re Ja – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Main Piya Teri – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Nain Mile Chain Kahan – Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey

24. Aar Paar

Aar Paar

O.P. Nayyar, 1954

  • Babuji Dheere Chalna – Geeta Dutt
  • Sun Sun Sun Zalima – Geeta Dutt and Mohammed Rafi
  • Kabhi Aar Kabhi Par – Shamshad Begum
  • Yeh Lo Main Haari Piya – Geeta Dutt
  • Hoon Abhi Main Jawan – Geeta Dutt

25. Kashmir Ki Kali

Kashmir Ki Kali

O.P. Nayyar, 1964

26. Bandini

Bandini

S.D. Burman, 1963

  • Ab Ke Baras Bhej – Asha Bhonsle
  • O Re Mahji – S.D. Burman
  • Mora Gora Ang Laile – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Jogi Jab Se Tu Aaya – Lata Mangeshkar
  • O Janewale Ho Sake – Mukesh

27. Sangam

Sangam

Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi and Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal, 1964

28. Yaadon Ki Baraat

Yaadon Ki Baraat

R.D. Burman, 1973

  • Chura Liya Hai – Asha Bhonsle and Mohammed Rafi
  • Aapke Kamre Mein – Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar
  • Lekar Hum Deewana Dil – Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar
  • Meri Soni Meri Tamana – Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar
  • Yaadon Ki Baraat – Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar

29. Amar Prem

Rajesh Khanna Amar Prem

R.D. Burman, 1972

  • Chingari Koi Bhadke – Kishore Kumar
  • Raina Beeti Jaaye – Lata Mangeshkar
  • Kuch To Log Kahenge – Kishore Kumar
  • Yeh Kya Hua – Kishore Kumar
  • Bada Natkhat Hai Yeh – Lata Mangeshkar

30. Umrao Jaan

Rekha2_UmraoJaan

Mohammed Zayur Khayyam, 1981

Find out more about these and other classic Bollywood soundtracks on our song pages! Which soundtracks do you consider among classic Bollywood’s all-time best and why? Leave us a comment and let us know!

– Mrs. 55

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Who Is Minoo Purshottam? Appreciation from a Former Student

Minoo Purushottam, Bollywood playback singer.
Minoo Purshottam, Bollywood playback singer of the 60s and 70s, performing live for the BBC.

Minoo Purshottam was an acclaimed Bollywood playback singer of the 1960s and 70s. She lived in the era dominated by the famous soprano sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle, fighting for the ground they couldn’t cover—and scoring! Continuing our slant of broadcasting the unsung heroes of classic Bollywood, I now introduce you to Minoo Purshottam, yesteryear songstress and incidentally, my former vocal instructor.

I spent much of my childhood in Houston where I had the pleasure of learning music from Minoo-ji in the classical Hindustani style. Before becoming her student, I knew her work well from the soundtracks of great Bollywood films I had grown up with. You may not know her name, but you’ve probably heard her songs. From “Ni Main Yaar Manana Ni” with Lata Mangeshkar from Daag (1973), “Na Na Na Re, Haath Na Lagaana” from Taj Mahal (1963) with Suman Kalyanpur, and “Huzur-e-Wala Jo Ho Ijaazat” from Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966), Minoo-ji made an important mark among the musical legends in India.

helen na na na haath na taj mahal
Helen dances to Minoo Purshottam’s playful “Na Na Na Haath Na Lagana” in Taj Mahal (1963).

Minoo-ji made her playback debut in Taj Mahal at the age of 16. Legendary music director Roshan took her under his wing, giving her a chance to sing a duet with Suman Kalyanpur. She recalls that she was much shorter than Suman and since in those days singers shared a single microphone during a studio recording (at Mehboob Studios, no less), she had to stand on a platform to make up for the difference!

From the daughter of a farming family in Patiala, she went on to become a singing maestro, working with composers like S.D. Burman, O.P. Nayyar, and Madan Mohan. Although she had a few occasional solos, her most famous work in films is as a partner, not a lead—always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Yet listen to how heroine-esque Minoo-ji’s voice sounds in the playful Jaidev composition “Raat Piya Ke Sang” from the lost film Prem Parbat (1973)! She toured with playback singers like Mohammed Rafi until his passing, yet when it came time to record songs for films, he was matched with Asha Bhonsle or Lata Mangeshkar. Minoo-ji waited for the female-female duets to shine.

Ni Main Yaar Daag Minoo Purushottam
One of classic Bollywood’s favorite female dance duets, “Ni Main Yaar Manana Ni” features the vocals of Minoo Purshottam from the hit film Daag (1973).

Eventually, Minoo Purushottam turned to non-filmi ghazals where she felt the songs could have more “meaning,” something with a more serious philosophy, and eventually left India and settled in Houston where she started teaching Hindustani vocals. Her depth in the heart-stirring ghazal Zakhm Rahguzaaro.N Ke demonstrates another aspect of her talent that may otherwise have remained hidden behind the glitzy duets of old Bollywood.

I remember her classes used to take place at an auntie’s house in the community. We sat next to each other on a keyboard bench and she played the melody as I tried to keep up with what she was singing.  Minoo-ji was a strict teacher, but full of laughter and great stories—a Panjabi like me. I remember she often performed at local functions where she held her audiences captivated.

huzur e wala minoo purushottam helen
Asha Bhonsle and Minoo Purushottam join forces for the cabaret number “Huzoor-e wala” in the mystery film Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966).

I often regret that I was too young to fully appreciate the magnitude of the legend from whom I was learning. I sometimes wish I could go back and ask her the questions on her life experiences and the inspirations that made her the fascinating artist she became. Yes, she never reached the heights of the playback singers we all associate with that era—but it is precisely because of it that I respect her more, standing her ground in a world notorious for its ruthlessness. Perhaps it was because of her innocence and much younger age that she never felt any rivalry between herself and these stars. Minoo-ji enjoyed collaboration rather than competition. And in Bollywood, that was a rare and beautiful thing.

What is your favorite Minoo Purshottam song? Let us know in the comments! For more unsung heroes of early Bollywood, check out our previous posts on costume designer Mani Rabadi and music composer Anthony Gonsalves!

Minoo Purshottam playback singer
Minoo Purushottam, Bollywood playback singer of the 60s and 70s.

– Mrs. 55

Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana Padega Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

PK BR
The eternal love story of emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal is presented in Taj Mahal (1963)

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day 2014, we continue our series on Taj Mahal (1963) with the lyrics and English translation to the film’s most popular song: Jo Vada Kiya WohFor our previous posts on this film, please see our translations of khudaa-e-bartar, jurm-e-ulfat pe, and paa.nv chhuu lene do.

As its name suggests, Taj Mahal (1963) directed by M. Sadiq tells one of the greatest love stories in India’s history: how Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (played by Pradeep Kumar) fell in love with his (third!) wife Mumtaz Mahal a.k.a Arjumand Banu Begum (played by Bina Rai) and eventually built the Taj Mahal in her memory following her demise. While the film’s historical — yet often fictional — narrative earned commercial success and critical acclaim, it is mostly remembered today for its soundtrack composed by Roshan and penned by Sahir Ludhianvi.

It is no surprise that this immortal duet sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi earned the well-deserved #1 position in Binaca Geet Mala for the year of 1963. In fact, this song was played for so long on Binaca Geet Mala that the program had to change its rules regarding the maximum number of weeks that a single song could be featured on the list! Ever since, this blockbuster song, tuned to Raga Pahadi, has remained an all-time romantic favorite in Hindi cinema. Although some may consider its charm to be hampered by overexposure, even the most diehard fans may be surprised to learn that this song has two additional versions featuring lyrics that differ from those in the song’s most popular version. Among the three renditions found in the film, my personal favorite is the “sad” version (transcribed as Version 2 below).  I mean, how could you not love that beautiful Lata alaap played as Bina Rai’s spirit descends from the Moon to meet Pradeep Kumar?

Will the romance of this song be enough to charm your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day this year? Share this poetry with that special someone and you’re guaranteed to score some major points from him or her today! Until next time…

-Mr. 55
PK
Pradeep Kumar exudes a regal aura as he plays Shah Jahan in Taj Mahal (1963).

Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana Padega (Version 1): Lyrics and Translation

jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
You must fulfill the promise that you made.
roke zamaanaa chaahe, roke khudaayii
Should society or divinity attempt to stop you,
tum ko aanaa paDegaa
you must still come to me. 

tarastii nigaaho.n ne aavaaz dii hai
My pining eyes have called out to you.
muhabbat kii raaho.n ne aavaaz dii hai
The paths of love have called out to you.
jaan-e-hayaa, jaan-e-adaa, chhoDo tarsaana
Oh beloved, please stop tormenting me.
tum ko aanaa paDegaa
You must come to me.
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
You must fulfill the promise that you made.

yah maanaa hame.n jaa.n se jaanaa paDegaa
I accept that I must leave this life.
par yah samajh lo tum ne jab bhii pukaaraa
But understand this: whenever you call out to me,
ham ko aanaa paDegaa
I must come to you.
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
I must fulfill the promise that I made. 

ham apnii vafaa pe na ilzaam le.nge
I will not tolerate accusations concerning my fidelity. 
tumhe.n dil diyaa hai, tumhe.n jaa.n bhii de.nge
I have given you my heart, and I can offer you my life too. 
jab ishq kaa saudaa kiyaa, phir kyaa ghabraanaa?
When I have already bargained with love, what is there to fear?
ham ko aanaa paDegaa
I must come to you.
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
I must fulfill the promise that I made.

chamakte hai.n jab tak yah chaa.nd aur taare.n
As long as the Moon and stars continue to shine,
na TuuTe.nge ahd-o-paimaa.n hamaare
our promises and pledges will not be broken.
ek-duusraa jab de sadaa hoke diivaanaa
When one of us calls the other in the pangs of love,
ham ko aanaa paDegaa
we must come to each other.
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
We must fulfill the promise that we made.

Moon
Bina Rai’s spirit descends from the heavens to come meet Pradeep Kumar in his old age in Taj Mahal (1963).

Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana Padega (Version 2): Lyrics and Translation

jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
You must fulfill the promise that you made. 
roke zamaanaa chaahe, roke khudaayii
Should society or divinity attempt to stop you,
tum ko aanaa paDegaa
you must still come to me.

sabhii ahal-e-duniyaa yah kahte hai.n ham se
All the people of the world tell me that
ki aataa nahii.n hai koi muD ke adam se
no one returns from the next world.
aaj zaraa shaan-e-vafaa dekhe zamaanaa
Today, let this world see the splendor of faithfulness.
tum ko aanaa paDegaa
You must come to me. 
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
You must fulfill the promise that you made.

yah maanaa hame.n jaa.n se jaanaa paDegaa
I accept that I must leave this life.
par yah samajh lo tum ne jab bhii pukaaraa
Yet, understand this: whenever you call out to me,
ham ko aanaa paDegaa
I must come to you.
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
I must fulfill the promise that I made.

ham aate rahe hai.n, ham aate rahe.nge
I have been coming to you, and I will continue to do so eternally.
muhabbat kii rasme.n nibhaate rahe.nge
I will continue to fulfill the duties of love.
jaan-e-vafaa, tum do sadaa phir kyaa Thikanaa?
Oh beloved, at which dwelling shall we meet when you call? 
ham ko aanaa paDegaa
I must come to you. 
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
I must fulfill the promise that I made. 

BR
Bina Rai stars as the elegant Mumtaz Mahal a.k.a Arjumand Banu Begum.

Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana Padega (Version 3): Lyrics and Translation

jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
You must fulfill the promise that you made. 
roke zamaanaa chaahe, roke khudaayii
Should society or divinity attempt to stop you,
tum ko aanaa paDegaa
you must still come to me.

yah maanaa hame.n jaa.n se jaanaa paDegaa
I accept that I must leave this life.
par yah samajh lo tum ne jab bhii pukaaraa
Yet, understand this: whenever you call out to me,
ham ko aanaa paDegaa
I must come to you.
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
I must fulfill the promise that I made to you.

hamarii kahaanii tumhaaraa fasaanaa
My story and your tale
hameshaa hameshaa kahegaa zamaanaa
will be narrated eternally by the world.
kaisii balaa kaisii sazaa, ham ko hai aanaa
Whatever misfortune or punishment falls upon me, I must come.
ham ko aanaa paDegaa
I must come to you.
jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
I must fulfill the promise that I made.

jo vaadaa kiyaa vah nibhaanaa paDegaa
You must fulfill the promise that you made.
roke zamaanaa chaahe, roke khudaayii
Should society or divinity attempt to stop you,
tum ko aanaa paDegaa
you must still come to me.

*Female lines in red are sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Male lines in green are sung by Mohammed Rafi. Lines in black are sung together by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.  

Glossary

vaadaa nibhaanaa: to fulfill a promise; roknaa: to stop; zamaanaa: society, world; khudaayii: divinity; tarasnaa: to pine; nigaah: eyes; aavaaz denaa: to call out; muhabbat: love; raah: path; jaan-e-hayaa: beloved; jaan-e-adaa: beloved; tarsaanaa: to torment; maanna: to accept; jaha.n: world; samajh lenaa: to understand; pukaarnaa: to call out; vafaa: fidelity, faithfulness; ilzaam: accusations; ishq; love; saudaa karnaa: to bargain; ghabraanaa: to fear; chamaknaa: to shine;  TuuTnaa: to break; ahd-o-paimaa.n: promises and pledges; sadaa denaa: to call; diivaanaa: mad, crazy in love; ahal-e-duniyaa: people of the world; muD ke aanaa: to return; adam: non-existence, the next world; shaan-e-vafaa: splendor of faithfulness; rasm: duty, rule; jaan-e-vafaa: beloved; Thikaanaa: dwelling, place; kahaanii: story; fasaanaa: tale; hameshaa: always, eternally; balaa: misfortune, calamity; sazaa: punishment.

PK BR
Pradeep Kumar and Bina Rai remain united in love through both life and death in Taj Mahal (1963).

Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Mamta Suchitra Sen Chhup Lo Yun Dil
Suchitra Sen wishes her daughter will never meet a Fate like her own in Mamta (1966).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation to the soulful “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein” from Mamta (1966). One of Majrooh Sultanpuri’s greatest pieces, the calming lyrics set the tone for both the song’s music and its picturization, entering the film as fluidly as it ebbs away, as if an extension of the dialogue the audience so yearns to hear. “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein” is an expression of unwavering romantic devotion set to a soothingly monastic pace.

Suchitra Sen and Ashok Kumar play two lovers who were unable to wed because of class differences, but never forget their love for one another. Suchitra later marries an abusive husband, and ultimately is forced into becoming a courtesan to survive. She tearfully gives up her only daughter so that her child can escape her mother’s ignominious shadow. In the aftermath, “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil” is not lipsynced, but rather the female voice is picturized on a lingering image of Suchitra Sen fading behind a drawn curtain, while the male is picturized on Ashok Kumar shrouding his eyes behind a pair of sunglasses. Poetically fitting, both literally conceal themselves from the viewer in a song dedicated to the beauty of hidden worship.

Ashok Kumar Mamta 1966 sunglasses
Ashok Kumar pensively shields his emotions in Mamta (1966).

Roshan’s soundtrack of Mamta is as gorgeous as it is diverse (see our earlier translation of “Rahe Na Rahe Hum“). “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil” employs a rare paucity of musical instrumentation: from the opening chimes of temple manjira to the traditional bansuri echoing alone in the empty cinematic space, the song emphasizes the ascetic nature of their devotion. To match, the romantic lyrics are infused with religious imagery, and director Asit Sen carefully constructs shots that instead of bring the hero and heroine closer together, in fact emphasize their distance (even their eyelines don’t match!). Indeed, perhaps the song is not two lovers singing to each other after all. The song can be read instead as a mother singing to the daughter she will leave forever, and a father discovering a new meaning to his life by caring for the child in her mother’s memory.

Based in Bollywood’s favorite raaga Yaman, “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil” is one of the most moving Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar duets of all time. We hope you enjoy our English translation to the lyrics of “Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein” below!

Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Lyrics and Translation:

MALE:
Chhupaa lo yuu.N dil mei.N pyaar meraa
Hide my love inside your heart
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

FEMALE:
Tum apne charano.N mei.N rakh lo mujhko
Keep me by your feet
Tumhaare charano.n ka phuul huu.N mai.N
For I am the flowers beneath your footsteps
Mai.N sar jhukaaye khaDii hoo.n priitam
I am standing with my head bowed, my beloved one
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

MALE:
Yeh sach hai jeenaa thaa paap tum bin
It is true that to live without you was a sin
Yeh paap mai.N ne kiyaa hai ab tak
I have committed this sin until now
Magar thii man mei.N chhabii tumhaariI
But your image was always in my mind
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

FEMALE:
Phir aag birhaa ki mat lagaanaa
Please do not light the fire of separation again,
Ki jal ke mai.N raakh ho chukii hoo.N
For I have already burned into ashes

MALE:
Yeh raakh maaThe pe mai.N ne rakh lii
I have worn those ashes upon my forehead
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

BOTH:
Chhupaa lo yuu.N dil mei.N pyaar meraa
Hide my love inside your heart
Ki jaise mandir mei.N lau diye kii
Like the flame of a candle inside a temple

Glossary:

chhupaanaa: to hide; mandir: temple; lau: flame; diyaa: candle; charan: footsteps; phuul: flower; sar jhukaanaa: to bow [one’s] head; khaDaa: standing; priitam: loved one; jiinaa: to live; paap: sin; man: mind; chhabii: image; aag: fire; birhaa: separation; jalna: to burn; raakh: ashes; maaThe: forehead

Gorgeous Suchitra Sen Mamta 1966
Suchitra Sen’s glittery teal eyeshadow brilliantly matches her sari before becoming soaked in tears in Mamta (1966).

Famous Bengali director Asit Sen was well-known for making films with a refreshingly strong female lead, from Khamoshi (1969) starring Waheeda Rehman to Safar (1970) starring Sharmila Tagore. His mentor was none other than auteur Bimal Roy of Parineeta (1953) fame, which undoubtedly influenced the stories he chose to tell in his own directorial works. This beautiful Mamta song was requested by fan Jiyati Verma! Thank you for the great request!

– Mrs. 55

Rahe Na Rahe Hum Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Suchitra Sen Ashok Kumar Mamta
Ashok Kumar and Suchitra Sen star in the beautiful Asit Sen film Mamta (1966).

Today we showcase the lyrics and English translation of the melodious “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” from the film Mamta (1966). This gentle beauty sung by Lata Mangeshkar captures an inspiring philosophy on losing a loved one. An optimistic melody balances the tragic sentiments of its lyrics. While Ashok Kumar must leave Suchitra Sen to study law abroad, he pledges his loyalty to her upon the forthcoming separation and asks her to sing for him before he leaves.

The film Mamta explores the sacrifices Suchitra makes upon becoming a mother and like the thematically-similar blockbuster Aradhana (1969) demonstrates the resilience of a woman wronged by society. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the lyrics to Roshan’s superb compositions for Mamta that have kept the film’s legacy alive today. “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” continues to be a favorite with its playful chime opening and nectar-sweet vocals that betray the heartache of the scene.

Suchitra Sen in Mamta
Suchitra Sen tears the petals from a flower on the eve of her separation from Ashok Kumar (right) and tosses the torn petals into the pond (left). The imagery of Suchitra’s identification with a flower recurs throughout the song and film–note how even her saari is decorated with a floral pattern!

“Rahe Na Rahe Hum” captures an appreciation of transience, framed as a neglected yet wonderous consequence of continuity, and highlights the transcendence of attachment to worldly phenomena such as seasons, physical proximity, and even time itself.

The tender line “ashqo.N se bhiigii chandnii mei.N ek sadaa si sunoge chalte chalte” allows simultaneously for mourning and recovery. While Suchitra acknowledges he will miss her, those tears of sadness will not last through the end of his journey that both know he must continue without her. Like the flowers petals that fall away drifting into the pond, Suchitra’s presence is not fettered by a set manifestation. Ultimately “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” is far more than mere words of consolation—it is an ode to love that celebrates the permanence of memory.

Suchitra Sen in Mamta
Suchitra Sen sings “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” as a parting gesture to the man she loves in Mamta (1966).

We hope you enjoy the full lyrics and English translation to the beautiful “Rahe Na Rahe Hum” below. Note that the plural pronoun “hum” can be translated as either “we” or “I.” I’ve chosen the singular for poetic purposes, but you can see how this no-doubt deliberate subtlety on the part of Sultanpuri sahib may color the translation slightly differently with each read. Watch the original song here!

Rahe Na Rahe Hum Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Rahe na rahe hum mahakaa kareN.ge
Whether or not I am here, this fragrance will remain
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden

Mausum koi ho, is chaman mei.N rang barse rahe.Nge hum khiraamaa
Whatever the weather may be in our garden, I will fill it gracefully with color
Chaahat ki khushbuu yuu.N hii zulfo.N se uDegii khizaa ho ya bahaare.N
The sweet fragrance of our love will still fly from my hair, whether Autumn or Spring
Yuu.N hii jhuumte aur khilte rahe.Nge
I will continue to sway and blossom
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden
Rahe na rahe hum…
Whether or not I am here…

Khoye hum aise kyaa hai milnaa kyaa bichhaDnaa nahii.N hai yaad humko
I am so deeply lost in love that I no longer know separation from unity
Kooche mei.N dil ke jab se aaye sirf dil ki zameen hai yaad humko
Ever since you entered the lanes of my heart, I can only remember its world of love
Ise sarzameen pe hum to rahe.Nge
In that realm I will remain
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden
Rahe na rahe hum…
Whether or not I am here…

Jab hum na ho.Nge, jab hamaare khaak pe tum rukoge chalte chalte
When I am gone, when you pause by my ashes as you walk
Ashqo.N se bhiigi chaandnii mei.N ek sadaa si sunoge chalte chalte
In the rainy moonlight that is wet from my tears, you will hear my call as you walk
Wohii pe kahii.N hum tum se mile.Nge
There somewhere, we both will meet again
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden

Rahe na rahe hum mahakaa kareN.ge
Whether or not I am here, this fragrance will remain
Banke kali banke sabaa baagh-e-wafaa mei.N
As if a flower, as if a breeze in our devoted garden

Glossary:

mahaknaa: [a fragrance] to spread, kali: flower; sabaa: breeze; baagh: garden; wafaa: loyalty, devotedness; mausam: weather, atmosphere; chaman: garden; rang: color; khiraamaa: gracefully; chaahat: love, desire; khushbuu: sweet fragrance; zulf: hair; khizaa: Autumn; bahaar: Spring; jhuumnaa: to sway; khilnaa: to blossom; milnaa: to meet; bichhaDnaa: to separate; kooche: lane; zameen: world; yaad: memory; sarzameen: realm, society; khaak: ashes; ashq: tears; bhiigii: wet, rainy; chaandnii: moonlight, sadaa: call, voice

You may be interested to note that there is a duet version of this gem that is reprised at the end of the film by Mohammed Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. Yes, it was the days of the famous Rafi-Mangeshkar feud–hence why the duets of the film necessitated recruiting additional singers (also from the same film, the flirtatious hit “In Baharo.N Mei.N Akeli” by Rafi and Asha as well as “Chhupa Lo Yuu.N Dil” featuring Lata and Hemant Kumar).

This song was requested by the one and only “lalten“! Let us know in the comments, does this song make you feel happy or bring tears to your eyes?

– Mrs. 55