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Best Bollywood Songs in Raag Bhairavi

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V Kumar has been writing on Bollywood movies and music for several years, highlighting perspectives that are often missed out or ignored.

Best of Bollywood in Raag Bhairavi

Best Bollywood Songs in Raag Bhairavi

Raag BHAIRAVI has given some great gems to Bollywood

Raag Bhairavi is one of the most popular raagas among music composers of Bollywood. From fifties to early seventies, there were a large number of great masterpieces composed based on this raag. There are some which are a purist's delight as they confirm closely to the rules of the rhythm, whereas there are some that went on to occupy a very high place on the popularity charts for one reason or the other.

Here is a list of ten songs that may not be the purist's delight, but are some of the best in the musical universe of Bollywood. These are great not because they confirm to the rules of the classical music or because they topped the charts of popularity. They are great because they touch our hearts and let our souls be submerged through the musical melody into the emotions and sentiments that flow from it.

movie: AMAR PREM (1972)

A great number by Kishore Kumar

A great number by Kishore Kumar

Chingari koi bhadke ....

An extraordinary number from one of the greatest Bollywood movies of all time. It is based on Raag Bhairavi (Tal Kaherva), though not exactly in the classical mould. It is one of the songs that catapulted the combination of Kishore Kumar (singer) and R D Burman (music composer) as one of the top musical draws of Bollywood. The touching lyrics of this number were written by Anand Bakhshi, and the on-screen presence of Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Toagore fully complement the excellent music. What they have created together is a musical masterpiece that is too good to have been created by human design. Something that just happens just by chance, once in a blue moon !

movie: MELA (1948)

An eternal classic number by Mohammad Rafi

An eternal classic number by Mohammad Rafi

Yeh zindagi ke mele .....

This great musical number from the Bollywood of 1940s marked the arrival of Mohammad Rafi, who was destined to become one of the all time greatest singers of Bollywood. It is based on Raag Bhairavi (Tal Dadra) and sung to perfection. It belongs to the days when lyrics were written before the music was composed. In this case, lyrics were written by Shakeel Badayuni and the music was composed by Naushad. This number was one of those that heralded the golden era of music in Bollywood. The song is essentially a musical oration of the philosophical realities of life, the celebrations of which must go on, even when some of us get missing from the show!

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movie: TEESRI KASAM (1966)

A touching number from Mukesh

A touching number from Mukesh

Duniya banane wale kya tere man mein samayee ...

This is a song which is as touching and sad in its musical format as are the memories associated with it in real life. The movie TEESRI KASAM, for which it was composed in Raag Bhairavi (Tal Kaherva) by Shankar Jaikishan, was produced by Shailendra, one of the most famous lyricists of Bollywood. Shailendra wrote the lyrics of many songs of this movie, but this particular song was written by Hasrat Jaipuri, his writing partner. Sung by Mukesh, this number is considered an eternal classic, as is also the movie. The saddest part was that despite being an artistic masterpiece, the movie flopped badly on the Box Office, taking down with it the financial fortunes of Shailendra.

It was a shock from which he could never recover!

movie: GAMBLER (1971)

A great number by Kishore Kumar

A great number by Kishore Kumar

Dil aaj shayar hai ....

For many, it may be difficult to believe today, that for over two decades, Kishore Kumar used to sing mainly for Dev Anand only in movies produced by Navketan Studios. It was only in the late sixties, with the advent of Rajesh Khanna on the screen that suddenly his fortunes begin to change. Nevertheless he was still the favorite singer of S D Burman, who composed the music of this number based on Raag Bhairavi (Tal Dadra). The lyrics written by Neeraj are sheer poetry, and the number remains one of the best ever sung by Kishore for Dev Anand.

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movie: BHAROSA (1963)

A heart touching number by Mohammad Rafi

A heart touching number by Mohammad Rafi

Is bhari duniya mein koi bhi ....

Another eternal Bollywood classic, based on Raag Bhairavi (Tal Dadra), this number is one of the most touching sad songs sung by Mohammad Rafi. It owes is emotional appeal largely from the the poetic genius of the lyrics written by Rajinder Krishan, which combine with the music composed by Ravi to instantly express the loneliness and longing that follows the loss of one's love. Guru Dutt, one of the all time great directors of Hindi Cinema, played a leading role in this movie, without donning the cap of Director or Producer.

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movie: BARSAAT (1949)

A great classical number by Mukesh and Lata

A great classical number by Mukesh and Lata

Chhod gaye balam ....

This movie is an important milestone in the history of Hindi cinema. It established RK Studios as one of the leading and successful studios of the time, firmed up the pair of Raj Kapoor and Nargis as a favourite of the masses and one of its scenes became the banner of RK studios and Raj Kapoor. Coming just after independence of India, it was like fresh breeze and in more ways than one, contributed to a new era in Bollywood and its music. This song, based on Raag Bhairavi (Tal Kaherva) was composed by Shankar Jaikishan, written by Shailendra and sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar, a team that became a permanent feature in RK movies thereafter.

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movie: TERE MERE SAPNE (1971)

A melodious number by Lata Mangeshkar

A melodious number by Lata Mangeshkar

Jaise Radha ne mala japi ...

This piece of melodious music based on Raag Bhairavi (Tal Hinch) was composed by S D Burman, its poetic lyrics created by Gopal Das Neeraj and sung by Lata Mangeshkar, the most melodious voice of Bollywood! Together, they create a magic that transcends the listener to a different world. It is Raag Bhairavi at its innovative and artistic best. It is also a number that depicts the transforming nature of Bollywood music in early seventies, a trend that was carried further by R D Burman and subsequently, many other masters.

movie: MAYA (1961)

A very touching number by Lata Mangeshkar

A very touching number by Lata Mangeshkar

Jaa re ud ja re panchhi ....

This great song is another example of the versatility that is inherited in Raag Bhairavi, making it such a popular choice among Bollywood composers. Composed in Raag Bhairavi (Tal Kaherva), it also has the stamp of Salil Chaudhary all over its notes. This movie had some great music composed by Salil Chaudhary, though his best was still yet to come. Lata Mangeshkar's voice at this point was probably at its all time best and the lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri do full justice to the great Raag on which this number is based.

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movie: DAAG (1952)

A very famous number by Talat Mehmood

A very famous number by Talat Mehmood

Ae mere dil kahin aur chal .....

This is one of the best songs sung by Talat Mehmood, a great singer of Bollywood. Its rich musical aura is derived from Raag Bhairavi (Tal Kaherva) on which it is based. Together, they create an expression of disillusionment with our surroundings, which many of us have experienced in real life and can easily identify with. Its poetic lyrics were written by Shailendra and its great music composed by Shankar Jaikishan. This song remains one of the classics with which Talat Mehmood is identified even today!

movie: GOONJ UTHI SHEHNAI (1959)

Another touching number by Lata Mangeshkar

Another touching number by Lata Mangeshkar

Dil ka khilauna hai toot gaya ....

Loss is an abstract emotion, which words, however good they be, will always struggle to express. However, when appropriate words are combined with music and contextual screenplay, the resulting song makes that expression almost effortless! This number is a great example of how classical raagas have been utilized by Bollywood musicians to create unforgettable musical masterpieces. Vasant Desai made great use of Raag Bhairavi (Tal Kaherva) in this number to create musical magic, while the lyrics written by Bharat Vyas justify the mood created by it. The voice of Lata Mangeshkar gives it an everlasting character.


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© 2012 V Kumar


V Kumar (author) on August 24, 2015:

The song Duniya banana wale is credited in most places to Hasrat Jaipuri, with whom Shailendra often wrote for RK movies till 1971. In some places credit is given to Shailendra for this song, but going by the majority view, I have made the correction. Thanks for pointing the error, even though it was not Majrooh, as per the records. If it was indeed Majrooh and you can provide some reliable evidence for that, please do, as that would be interesting to know.

Saad on August 24, 2015:

Dunya banany waale is written by Majrooh SultanPuri. It is a song which was written on demand of Raj Kapoor keeping in view the financial crises of Majrooh SultanPuri.

menuka kikash on February 20, 2013:

its good to know that there are people like u with great thinking..........

V Kumar (author) on July 14, 2012:

Thanks so much for the encouraging words.

Chander Mehra from Delhi on July 14, 2012:

Wealth of information about Hindi film music. Congratulations.

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