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The Jal Tarang Songs : Revisited

Posted by Trivia- The Spice of Life on 25/07/2021

Image Grab Courtesy : YouTube

I had written a post on the Jal Tarang on 04/07/2021. In this, I had tried to trace the origins of the instrument and also listed ten songs from golden era Hindi film music where the instrument was used and its enchanting tinkle could be heard distinctly. One of the songs that I had listed was – Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya – from the film Hum Dono (1961). I mistook the lighter tune to have been played using the Jal Tarang. One of my fellow bloggers rightly pointed out that the instrument was not the Jal Tarang. Another reader pointed out the same. It then struck me that if the sound of the lighter which seemed so much like the Jal Tarang was not, then there was every possibility that other songs listed in the post could fall in the same category. A fellow blogger – Anupji – too was not sure about the instrument in many songs, as the comment thread of the post would show.

Milind Tulankar – Rocky Mountain Thyagaraja Utsavam 2021
Pandit Milind Tulankar Image Courtesy :

It was then that I felt that I must get in touch with some expert who could give a final verdict. I felt that Pandit Milind Tulankar, an accomplished Jal Tarang artist, would be the best person to consult for a final opinion. As I have already pointed out in my first post published on 04/07/2021, Pandit Tulankar is one of the most prolific players of the Jal Tarang in modern times. He has also played the Jal Tarang in films such as West is West (English, 2010, background music) and Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah (Tamil, 2014). Since his coordinates were available on the internet, I contacted him and asked him about the ten songs that I had posted. I must say that Pandit Tulankar is extremely helpful and forthcoming. He responded immediately. He pointed out that the following songs that I had included in my original post do not feature the Jal Tarang. These are:-

1) Chhuk Chhuk Chhaiyyaan (Shehnai, 1947)
2) Mujhse Bhala Yeh Kaajal Tera (The Train, 1970)
3) Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, 1959)
4) Nanhi Kali Sone Chali (Sujata, 1959)
5) Baharaon Phool Barsaon (Suraj, 1966) and 
6) Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya (Hum Dono, 1961) (this was the song that had set the alarm bells ringing!!)

The next question obviously was – which was the instrument being played in these songs which was so much like the Jal Tarang? Pandit Tulankar says it could either be the Ghanti Tarang or Nalika (Tube) Tarang. This is what the Ghanti Tarang looks like.

Image Courtesy :

Pandit Tulankar also sent me information about what the Nalika Tarang or the Tube Tarang looks like. He is playing it in the image below. This sounds exactly like the xylophone.

Pandit Milind Tulankar playing the Nalika Tarang (Image Courtesy : Pandit Tulankar)

Having had six songs knocked off the list, it was time to find suitable replacements and this time with the master’s advice and consent!

1) Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhulegi woh Barsaat Ki Raat ( Barsaat Ki Raat, 1960) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director: Roshan; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi.  This song has been suggested by Pandit Tulankar .

2) Madhuban Mein Radhika Naache Re ( Kohinoor, 1960) Lyricist: Shakeel Badayuni; Music Director: Naushad; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi.  This song has been suggested by Pandit Tulankar. The specialty of this song is that one can actually see the Jal Tarang being played. See the video below after 4: 45. This was highlighted by Pandit Tulankar!!

3) Darshan Pyaasi, Aai Daasi ( Sangdil, 1952) Lyricist: Rajinder Krishan; Music Director: Sajjad Hussain; Playback Singer: Geeta Dutt. This song was suggested by Anupji, a fellow blogger and vetted by Pandit Tulankar .

4) Daro Re Rang Daro Re Rasiya (Jogan , 1950) Lyricist: Pandit Indra Chandra; Music Director: Bulo C Rani; Playback Singer : Geeta Dutt. This song too was suggested by Anupji and vetted by Pandit Tulankar.

5) Tumse Badhkar Duniya Mein (Kaamchor, 1982) Lyricist: Indeevar; Music Director: Rajesh Roshan; Playback Singers : Kishore Kumar and Alka Yagnik. I had mentioned this song in my earlier post but had not included it in the list of ten. This song has been vetted by Pandit Tulankar .

6) Bairi Piya, Bada Bedardi ( Devdas, 2002) Lyricist: Nusrat Badr; Music Director: Ismail Darbar; Playback Singers: Udit Narayan & Shreya Ghoshal. This song has been suggested by Pandit Tulankar .

I would also like to add a song – Kannukkul Pothivaippen – from a Tamil movie – Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah (2014). This song has been suggested by Pandit Tulankar. This song features the Jal Tarang very prominently as it is also shown being played on screen. Pandit Tulankar has played the Jal Tarang for this song.

From above, I am sure one can understand how nuanced music is. When in doubt, it is only the expert who can clarify. I am extremely grateful to Pandit Tulankar for being so supportive and for patiently answering all my queries. I am rather touched by his humility. With such accomplished artists around, I am sure the Jal Tarang will always thrive and flourish. I must also thank my fellow blogger Anupji for pointing out that the instrument used in one of the songs that I listed was not the Jal Tarang.

As they say, to err is human. I must admit that I erred but I am a lot wiser now. Looking at the brighter side, this faux pas gave me an opportunity to connect with Pandit Milind Tulankar.

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.

5 thoughts on “The Jal Tarang Songs : Revisited

  1. An apt follow up of the jaltarang post. I’m glad I could help you by suggestions. And it’s so nice of Pandit Milindji to help and guide you for the post. Without the guidance of an expert we won’t be able to confirm things. Thank you Panditji.
    Great list of songs. Thank you for mentioning me and including the songs suggested by me.



  2. Many thanks to Pandit Tulankar for educating us! This is very interesting. I’ve seen Madhuban mein Radhika so many times, and didn’t recall that jal tarang section. It’s so brief, though – would have been lovely if it could be longer.


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