Design a site like this with
Get started

Romantic Songs with a Third Person

I had been toying with this theme for a long time. There are songs where apart from the couple in love, there is someone else in the frame – either obtrusively or unobtrusively. The third person may be an innocent onlooker. Alternately, it could be the villain whose intentions are not noble and is spitefully spying on the couple. Sometimes, it may be difficult to understand which of the actors in the song is the third person. The ‘third person’ could also be more than one.

Thus, here is a playlist of ten songs – which are rather disparate. The rallying point is the presence of the third person. In some, it is a case of two’s company, three’s a crowd (kabaab mein haddi as is referred to colloquially)! These songs are of the pre -1980 era, arranged in no particular order.

1) Dil Ki Umangen Hain Jawaan (Munimji, 1955) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi ; Music Director: S.D.Burman; Playback Singers: Hemant Kumar, Geeta Dutt and Pran(?). This is a well picturized, loveable song which is as much of a pleasure to hear as to see. The song features Nalini Jaywant, Pran and Dev Anand. In the movie, Pran is engaged to Nalini Jaywant but the real lovebirds are Dev Anand and Nalini Jaywant. They make an absolute ass of Pran and even pack him off on one, at the end of the song, even as they steal some romantic moments through out the song. Pran, even though he is Nalini’s fiancé, becomes the ‘third person’. He is struggling to sing and the lovebirds egg him on. So here’s a case of two’s company, three’s a crowd; funnily, Pran does not realize that he is unwanted.

2) Sa Sa Sa Re (Naughty Boy, 1962) Lyricist: Shailendra; Music Director: S.D.Burman; Playback Singers: Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle. This is a fun song of Kishore Kumar with all the antics that he is known for. He has fallen for Kalpana who stays with her uncle (Kanu Roy?) – a music maestro. In order to get closer to Kalpana, he becomes a disciple of the uncle and begins to display his singing talent. The uncle is strategically perched between the two lovebirds and is completely oblivious to the fact that the two are pulling a fast one on him. The song has musical notes very intelligently woven into the lyrics – ma re ga ma ma – by Shailendra which Asha sings for Kalpana – also meaning that her uncle will smell a rat. The uncle here is the unobtrusive, innocent third person. Kishore and Asha give us an unforgettable duet.

3) Ajahu Na Aaye Baalma (Saanjh Aur Savera, 1964) Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri, Music Directors: Shankar Jaikishan; Playback Singers: Md. Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. Set to Raag Madhuvanti, this is a masterpiece. This song could be rated as one of the best duets of Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. The song when only heard and not seen seems to be a song meant for a serious situation. However, it is actually Mehmood in the guise of the music teacher lip syncing it on screen; his lady love Shubha Khote recognizes him after a cue from Mehmood himself. It is then that she also begins to sing whole heartedly.

This is a ruse that has been used in many a movie where the hero or his second fiddle disguises himself as the music teacher and teaches his love interest music. The lady of course initially is clueless about the identity of the teacher and detests him. But soon the cat is out of the bag and the entire tone and tenor of the song on screen changes. Add to this an elderly woman trying to check on the goings-on of the music class and you have a song with a third person. The third person is Shubha Khote’s on screen mother – played by Praveen Paul. She initially suspects that something is amiss but is reassured after a while and leaves the scene. The lovebirds are elated when they see her back.

4) Hum Bolega To Bologe Ki Bolta Hain (Kasauti, 1974) Lyricist: Verma Malik: Music Directors: Kalyanji Anandji; Playback Singer : Kishore Kumar. This movie saw the pairing of Amitabh and Hema Malini for the first time. This song from the movie is one of the most representative songs of the theme that this post is dedicated to. Amitabh Bachchan – who plays a taxi driver in the movie – wants to enjoy some quiet romantic moments with his lady love – Hema Malini. But Pyarelal, a benevolent Nepali criminal and Amitabh’s friend, ensures that he is all over the place, giving them unwanted advice, much to their chagrin. Kishore sings the song in a Nepali accent to perfection.

5) Hum Intezaar Karenge (Bahu Begum, 1967) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi: Music Director: Roshan; Playback Singers: Asha Bhosle and Md.Rafi. This song featuring Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar also has Zeb Rehman (or Preetibala) as Meena Kumari’s friend. Meena Kumari is waiting for Pradeep Kumar and Zeb dons the role of her chaperone. She also teases her and asks her not to wait any longer. It is then that this song is sung. As Pradeep Kumar finally makes an entry towards the end of the song, Zeb has vanished behind the bushes to give her friend some privacy with her lover. But she is still pretty much there, lurking in the bushes, as she emerges after the song ends, to pull her friend’s leg! Pradeep Kumar is annoyed to find Meena Kumari’s friend alongside (who is the Kabab Mein Haddi!!) and he actually minces no words on this count.

The lyrics by Sahir are top notch. But the fact that both Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar are too old for this kind of romance is rather evident. The same ensemble – Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar – is seen in at least four films – Aarti (1962), Chitralekha (1964), Bheegi Raat (1965) and Bahu Begum (1967). Personally, barring Aarti, I found it difficult to tolerate this cast in the other movies. All of them look much older for the roles they play (especially Pradeep Kumar!). The make up and the wigs only become another eyesore.

6) Baagon Mein Kaise Yeh Phool (Chupke Chupke, 1975) Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri: Music Director: S.D.Burman; Playback Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh. Here is a very different song where the third person – a child – is deliberately brought along to witness the romantic moments of Dharmendra and Sharmila, so that she can go and report back to those who matter at home. The child – Ratna in the movie – is Master Bittu or Vishal Desai who was a very popular child artist. The couple ensures that the child clearly observes that the two are holding hands and singing in the park. Chupke Chupke is all about pulling fast ones – with Om Prakash (Jijaji) being the butt of ridicule. This song is yet another attempt to trouble Om Prakash. This Lata – Mukesh duet is very memorable. Surprisingly, the movie had only four songs – this being one of them.

7) Main Jaanti Hun (Mem Didi, 1961) Lyricist: Shailendra; Music Director: Salil Chowdhury; Playback Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh. When I watched this Hrishikesh Mukherjee movie, I instantly fell in love with it. It shows how long he had travelled after making Musafir (1957) which only showed patches of brilliance. Mem Didi is a movie which is more about the camaraderie that develops among the oldies of a locality. Jayant, David and Lalita Pawar (who is Mem Didi!) are brilliant. Tanuja is all bubbly and innocent and looks like a fresh daisy. Her love interest is Kaysi Mehra who looks debonair and handsome. It is a pity that he did not do more films.

This song is very interesting as far as the theme of this post goes. In the song, Jayant and David are snooping to find out whether Tanuja and Kaysi really love each other. They witness the childish fight of the two – with Tanuja insisting in the song that Kaysi does not really love her and Kaysi reiterating that he indeed loves her! Jayant is absolutely confused about the nature of their relationship as he hears them sing. David is more mature and understands the chemistry between the two perfectly. Both, however, observe from behind the scenes.

Main jaanti hun tum jhuth bolte ho 
Phir bhi kaho aji Phir se kaho
Tumko mujhse pyar hain
 Tum jaanti ho main sach bolta hun
Phir bhi suno phir se suno 
Mujhko tumse pyaar hain 

8) Subhanallah Haseen Chehra (Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964) Lyricist: S.H.Bihari; Music Director: O.P.Nayyar; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi. In this song from Kashmir Ki Kali, it is difficult to gauge who is playing gooseberry. For Pran, it is the burqa clad woman who is regaling the girls in the truck with his music. For Shammi Kapoor disguised as the burqa clad woman, it is Pran the truck driver as he halts the truck and comes snooping, after he smells a rat. Shammi is trying to covertly entertain his lady love and enjoy a ride with her in the truck. It is strange though that Rafi sings for Shammi even though he is disguised as a woman. The song is well choreographed and O.P.Nayyar’s music scintillates.

9) Woh Din Yaad Karo (Humraahi, 1963) Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri; Music Directors: Shankar Jaikishan; Playback Singers : Md. Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. This canorous duet is picturized on Mehmood and Shubha Khote who were paired together in many a movie and have memorable songs in their name. This duet is perfect for this post. Shubha Khote is hard of hearing and Mehmood is blind as a bat without his spectacles. Both want to share some quiet moments together and come out into the courtyard of the house, thinking their three children have slept off. The children however are smarter than expected and quietly spy on their parents. Since Mehmood keeps taking off his glasses intermittently, he is unable to spot them. Shubha Khote is too smug and besotted to notice them either. It is only at the end of the song when they see their offspring witnessing their nocturnal romantic escapade that they are embarrassed. I was not able to figure out the names of the three child artists.

10) My Name is Anthony Gonsalves (Amar Akbar Anthony, 1977) Lyricist: Anand Bakshi ; Music Directors: Laxmikant Pyarelal; Playback Singer: Kishore Kumar. This hilarious song sung by Kishore Kumar has Amitabh Bachchan at his best. The liberal use of gibberish in the English language makes the song unique. Wonder who wrote the English lines that Amitabh rattles off! The other highlight of the song is of course the tussle between the body guard of Parveen Babi Zebisko, played by the forgotten actor Yusuf Khan and Anthony (i.e.Amitabh). Zebisko apart from being Parveen Babi’s bodyguard also has a crush on her (though she does not reciprocate any such feelings). This explains the vengeance with which he keeps her away from Amitabh in the song. Thus, for Yusuf, Amitabh is the unwanted third person (kabaab mein haddi!!) and for Amitabh , Yusuf.

These were the ten romantic songs with a third person. This post helped me realize the important role played by supporting actors and child artists – as chaperones, bodyguards, offspring and friendly villains. There were quite a few whose names I learnt — Praveen Paul, Zeb Usmani, Master Bittu, Yusuf Khan; earlier I only recognized their faces. This post also helped me fully understand what two’s company, three’s a crowd is!! Some of the songs indeed illustrate the idiom kabaab mein haddi !!

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/ other platforms only to make the post audiovisual. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

14 thoughts on “Romantic Songs with a Third Person

  1. Interesting and enjoyable post.

    Would this fit?
    Kehna hai kehna hai from padosan.

    Nisultana re pyar ka mausam aaya from pyar ka mausam

    Will be back if I find befitting songs.



    1. Thanks, Anupji!
      The songs you suggested somewhat fit the theme because It is difficult to pinpoint who the third person is in both the songs. There is too much of a crowd around. In the first, it is perhaps the one friend who calls Kishore Kumar’s bluff. In the second (Pyaar ka Mausam) would you refer to her two friends as the kabaab mein haddi or the workers in the field? Difficult to pinpoint.


      1. Yes,
        I guess it’s too much of crowd there. In padosan song, I refer to Saira banu’s friend, and in the other her two friends, who keep on interfering.


  2. Anita,
    This is a nice theme, and as usual your descriptions are spot on. Perhaps Triad Piano songs would not fit in, such as ‘Chalo ek baar phir se’ or ‘Jhoom jhoom ke naacho aaj’. Here the hero is not pulling a fast one. He realises the relationship has no future, because the lady has another man out of love or compulsion. The piano triad songs are generally songs of angst, and are sung by the one whose love is going to remain unrequited.

    These songs may fit your theme:
    ‘Laga chunri mein daag chhupaaun kaise’
    ‘Chhalke teri aankhon se sharab aur jyada’



    1. Thanks, AKji! You are right when you say that piano triad songs will not qualify because there isn’t a contest. These are more like songs of sour grapes.
      The two songs you suggested have the protagonist disguised but there is no third person in both.


  3. Oh!
    I forgot to add, the playback singer for Pran in the Munimaji song is Thakur. I have a CD of songs of Dev Anand and it includes the song. There the name of Thakur is mentioned as a third singer.


  4. I read this post yesterday, but was in too much of a rush to do other things to comment. And I wanted some time to think of other kabab mein haddi songs. Do these qualify?

    Raahi mil gaye raahon mein, Dil Deke Dekho (Rajinder Kumar, in the car at the back, watches on):

    Again, Shammi Kapoor. The tongawallah is the benevolent onlooker as he sings Yoon toh humne laakh haseen dekhe hain:

    Actually, with people in tongas and other horse-drawn vehicles, there are plenty of examples, including Piya piya piya mora jiya pukaare:


  5. Thanks for the songs, Madhuji! They are all appropriate!
    Actually, with people in tongas and other horse-drawn vehicles, there are plenty of examples.
    In fact, I started off on the same premise and looked up two songs – Banda Parwar from Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hun and Maang Ke Saath Tumhara from Naya Daur. Drew a blank and so gave up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s another one I remembered, Ek toh soorat pyaari aur upar se yeh naaz; Vallah Kya Baat Hai:

      (Here, the tongawallah is asleep inside his tonga when the two lovers hijack it; he wakes up in the middle of their song).


  6. Anitaji,

    An interesting post with some enjoyable songs!! Its impressive the way you come up with such innovative themes!!

    The first song that came to my mind is Husn chala kuchh aisi chaal from Bluff Master 1963 where Pran is the third person between Shammi and Saira.

    Next is Jhoome re jhoome re – Jhumroo 1961, Anup Kumar coming in between Kishore and Madhubala

    Another one is post 80s – From Basera 1981, where Rekha plays kabab-mein-haddi between Raakhee and Shashi Kapoor – Aaungi ek din aaj jaaoon

    Hope these fit!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: