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Songs of another world

The songs of ‘another world’ convey myriad emotions – of hope, of playfulness, of escapism, of disenchantment, of inquisitiveness or of a never-ending search for the idyllic world. However, the songs that I shall enlist are not those of complete despair and surrender that border on being almost euthanasic. Also, I have limited myself to the the black and white melodies of the golden era barring one exception, though there are many more (recent/colour format) songs which convey the same meaning. Even as I begin with my playlist I am reminded of the celebrated lines of Iqbal :-

Sitaron se aage jahan aur bhi hain
abhi ishq ke imtihaan aur bhi hain
Tahi zindagi se nahin ye fazayen
yahan saikron kaarawan aur bhi hain
Kanat na kar alam-e-rang-o-bu par
chaman aur bhi, aashiyaan aur bhi hain

Songs like Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahin (Bawre Nain, 1950), O duniya ke rakhwale (Biju Bawra, 1952), Zindagi dene wale sun (Dil-e-nadaan, 1953), Yeh Duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hain (Pyaasa, 1957) which speak of abject despair are completely out of the frame. So, here goes my playlist of songs of another world, arranged chronologically.

1) Ai dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal (Arzoo, 1950) Lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri, Music by Anil Biswas, sung by Talat Mahmood. A soulful melody dripping with stoicism, where the broken heart yearns to go to a destination where there are no emotions, no feelings, where there is only solitude and anonymity.

ja kar kahi kho jaau main
neend aaye aur so jaaun main
duniya mujhe dhundhe 
magar mera nishan koi na ho 

2) Tujhe apne paas bulati hain (Patita, 1953) Lyrics by Shailendra, Music by Shankar Jaikishan, sung by Talat Mahmood. This is another melody which needs to be seen to fully appreciate the lyrics. ‘Teri duniya‘ (your world) that is being referred to is the world of an infant which is at complete variance with that of the adult, a world where there are no inequalities and where is only love and compassion unlike the adulterated world of the adult.

Wahaan chhote bade sab ek se,  
nahin koi jo tere dukh pe hanse 
wahaan rishte na honge jhuth ke,  
sabko seene se lagaati hain teri duniya

3) Chota sa ghar hoga, (Naukri, 1954), Lyrics by Shailendra, Music by Salil Chowdhury, sung by Kishore Kumar and  Shaila Belle / Usha Mangeshkar(?) This is a song from one of Kishore Kumar’s early movies; It reflects both childlike innocence and hope, as he dreams of owning a small abode located in the village of stars with overhanging clouds. What idyllic bliss! There is, however a lack of clarity about the female playback singer, who has a very small part in the song.

chhota sa ghar hoga badalon ki chhanv mein
aasha deewani mann mein baansuri bajaaye
ham hee ham chamkenge taron ke us gaanv mein
aankhon ki roshni hardam ye samjhaaye

4) Kahan le chalo ho (Durgesh Nandini, 1956) Lyrics by Rajinder Krishan, Music by Hemant Kumar and sung by Lata Mangeshkar. This song, shot as an elaborate dream sequence, almost takes off from where Iqbal left us, when he said sitaaron se aage jahaan aur bhi hain. A lilting tune and great lyrics make this an all time favourite.

kahaan le chale ho bataa do musaafir
sitaron se aage ye kaisa jahan hain
khyaalon ki manzil ye khvaabon ki mehfil
samajh mein na aaye ye duniya kahaan hain

5) Duniyawalon se dur, (Ujala,1959) Lyrics by Shailendra, Music by Shankar Jaikishan and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh. This melodious duet expresses the desire to escape the prying, envious eyes of the world and shape a completely new world which is ideal. This is one of the very few songs where Mukesh sings for Shammi Kapoor. We are so habituated to listening to Rafi as Shammi’s voice, that this song springs a pleasant surprise. But personally I feel Mukesh’s voice does not go very well with Shammi’s persona.

duniya walo se dur jalne walo se dur
aaja aaja chale kahi dur, kahi dur, kahi dur
wo pyar ka jahan hai, har dil pe meharban hain
kuch aur ye zamin hai, kuch aur aasman hain
na zulm ka nishan hai, na gam ki dasta hain
har koi jisko samajhe wo pyar ki zuba hain

6) Jeet hi lenge baazi hum tum (Shola aur Shabnam, 1961), Lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, Music by Khayyam and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Md. Rafi. It is a beautiful duet from a movie whose story line is pretty average. In fact, I ended up watching the movie for its outstanding music. It starred Dharmendra – one of his initial movies and Tarla Mehta – who happens to be Dina Pathak’s younger sister. There is a quiet confidence exuded in the song with a tinge of defiance and a firm resolve to make the horizon the heart’s paradise.

jeet hi lenge baazi ham tum 
khel adhuraa chhute na
pyaar ka badhan, janm ka bandhan, 
janm ka badhan tute na 
milta hain jahaan dharti se gagan 
aao wahin ham jaaye
tu mere liye, main tere liye 
is duniya ko thukraaye 
dur basaa le dil ki jannat 
jisko zamaanaa lute na, pyaar ka badhan tute na

When I refer to Shola aur Shabnam, I cannot but stop myself from stating here that the best song of the movie was not the one I referred to above but ‘jaane kya dhoondti rehti hain‘ which is perhaps one of the best songs of Rafi and Khayyam. It shows Rafi’s unparalleled calibre as a singer and the genius that Khayyam was. The variations in the pitch of the song are amazing and no other singer would perhaps have done justice to this song.

7) Aa chalke tujhe, (Door Gagan ki chaon mein, 1964), Lyrics and Music by Kishore Kumar and sung by Kishore Kumar. This song has Kishore Kumar donning all hats – that of the lyricist, the music director, the playback singer as well as the actor on screen – a one man army of sorts ably assisted by his son Amit Kumar as a child artist! This song is perhaps the pinnacle of optimism for there is actually a conviction that there is an ideal, beautiful world devoid of all negativity until we come towards the end where it says that this world exists, but in dreams!

Aa chal ke tujhe main le ke chalu,
ek aise gagan ke tale
Jahan gham bhee na ho aansu bhee na ho
Bas pyaar hee pyaar pale....
Sapnon ke aise jahan mein
Jahaan pyaar hi pyaar khila ho
Ham ja ke wahaan kho jaaye
Shikwa na koi gila ho...

8) Chalo Dildar Chalo (Pakeezah,1972) Lyrics by Kaif Bhopali, Music by Ghulam Mohammad and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Md. Rafi. Like I said earlier, all the songs in my playlist are black and white, except this one. I take the liberty to make this exception because the movie was planned together by Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari in 1956 and at first, was launched as a black & white venture but it finally released in 1972 in the colour format. From its muhurat on 16th July 1956 to its release on 4th February 1972, Pakeezah took 16 years to reach the silver screen. This song is a beautiful duet shot on a sailboat on a starry moonlit night, the song speaks of sailing beyond the moon to a new realm. Even though the song is technically a duet, it is noteworthy that Rafi only sings the words – chalo dildaar chalo, Chaand ke paar chalo and a bit of aalap in the interlude with Lata in the entire song. The rest of the song is sung by Lata. This shows how great a human being Rafi was for whom the song was more important than his own ego.

Chalo dildaar chalo, chaand ke paar chalo
Ham hain tayyaar chalo
Aao kho jaaye sitaaron mein kaheen
Chhod de aaj yeh duniya yeh zamin, duniya yeh zamin

With this I end my playlist of songs of ‘another world’. I am sure there must be many more black and white melodies that could fall in this category that I may have missed; so, please add on!

Disclaimer, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, dailymotion and other platforms only to make the post audio-visual. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

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