V Kumar has been writing on Bollywood movies and music for several years, highlighting perspectives that are often missed out or ignored.
Best Bollywood Songs in Raag Yaman Kalyan
Among the different raagas of Hindustani Classical Music, Yaman Kalyan is probably second to none as far as its use in some of the greatest numbers of Bollywood is concerned. Its soothing quality that comes with its evening character gives the numbers based on it a kind of tranquility that smoothens nerves without compromising in any way the essence of the emotions or the lyrical excellence of the number.
Here are the ten best Bollywood songs based on Raag Yaman Kalyan. These songs are great not because of the purity of the raag on which they are based, but their overall quality, melody and finesse that imparts them an ability to touch the audience in a manner that is characteristic of exceptional numbers.
It would not be out of place here to note that we have not included songs composed in Raag Yaman in this list, even though most observers accept that it is better to classify the Raag Yaman and Raag Yaman Kalyan together as the difference between the two may not be distinctive enough to classify them as different raagas. We would prefer to leave that discussion for the experts, and instead, prefer to enjoy some really great music !!
movie : GUIDE (1965)
Din dhal jaye hai, raat na jaye
One of the best ever songs of Bollywood, a saga of romance, sung by the great Mohammad Rafi. Its music is composed by S D Burman, one of the greatest music composers of all time in Bollywood. The song is based on Raag Yaman Kalyan, and its evening rhythm and harmony gives the disturbing emotions a sense of depth without creating any disharmony. The lyrics of this number were written by another great, Shailendra. One of the best ever uses of Raag Yaman Kalyan, even though not to the purist's delight.
movie : RAZIA SULTANA (1961)
Dhalti jaye raat ......
Another excellent use of Raag Yaman Kalyan to denote the mood of night and romance. The tranquil quality of this number reverberates with Yaman Kalyan at its centre. This great composition was a creation of Lachhiram, while the lyrics were written by Anand Bakhshi. This great number owes its greatness to two great singers, Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle who have perfectly caught the mood of the song and blended it with the virtues of Raag Yaman Kalyan.
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movie: JUNGLEE (1961)
Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par
This song is another gem soaked in romance, night and Raag Yaman Kalyan to create a masterpiece that becomes music to the ears and sedative to the soul. This number also caught the fancy of the masses, becoming the most popular number in the Annaul Binaca Geetmala that year. Sung by Mohammad Rafi, its music was composed by Shankar Jaikishan and lyrics were written by Hasrat Jaipuri. One of the all time great songs in Yaman Kalyan.
movie: HUM DONO (1961)
Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya.....
Very few raagas can help you mix smoking with music to compose a philosophical masterpiece. Raag Yaman Kalyan can and so it did in this great composition by Jaidev, where the lyrics of Sahir Ludhianwi that used the notion of smoking as a means of destressing became an audible reality in this song. An extraordinary example of what Raag Yaman Kalyan can do! The singer, of course is Mohammad Rafi and the movie Hum Dono, for which this number was created, was released in 1961, just about the peak of classical music in bollywood.
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movie: Lal Quila (1960)
Lagta nahin hai dil mera ....
This extraordinary number has only two things in common with the other numbers of this list. The first of course is Raag Yaman Kalyan, while the second is Mohammad Rafi, who sang it. What is uncommon is most extraorinary - the lyrics of this song were written by Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last ruler of the famous Mughal dynasty, who was defeated and imprisoned by the British after the First War of Independence in 1857. This number has no taal, it is in the nature of alaap, conceived and composed by S N Tripathi.
movie: PYASA (1957)
Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye ......
This number is one of its kind in the history of Bollywood, containing and communicating a message that one expects from either a saint or a man who has seen it all and shunned it as well. This great ghazal was written by Sahir Ludhianwi, for the Guru Dutt's greatest creation, Pyasa - one of the greatest movies ever made in Bollywood. With such a hard hitting messsage at its core, Raag Yaman brings to it the calmness that would be required to convert it into music. Few, however would have dared such an adventure. Thankfully, S D Burman, who composed the music for this number was not one of them, and then he always had Mohammad Rafi to sing it to perfection.
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movie: BARSAT KI RAAT (1960)
Zindagi bhar nahin bhulegi
The music of Barsat ki Raat, the movie for which this number was composed, is one of the best in the history of Bollywood. This song, in Raag Yaman Kalyan leads its great numbers. The Raag gives to it a romance with tranquility and not anxiety, with a depth that suggests stability and not chaos, making it something you would like to endure and not just experience. Its music was composed by Roshan and the lyrics written by Sahir Ludhianwi. Like most other great romantic songs in male voice during those times, it is also sung by Mohammad Rafi.
movie: HAQEEQAT (1970)
Zara si aahat hoti hai to..
if you only hear the music of this number without the lyrics and the words, it would be difficult to imagine that the number is primarily focussed on the sadness of dispair and separation. But like many other great songs in this list, Raag Yaman Kalyan brings to it a soothing quality that makes you close your eyes and enjoy the emotions. The Raag converts dispair to attachment and sadness to love, and we long for it. The magical voice of Lata Mangeshkar adds to it and makes this musical composition by Madan Mohan an all time classic. The lyrics are written by Kaifi Aazmi.
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movie: UMRAO JAAN (1982)
Zindagi jab bhi teri bazm ..
This ghazal sung by Talat Aziz, arguably his best solo number, is again an example of how love and romance are complemented by Raag Yaman Kalyan to create a great musical masterpiece. The musical composition of Khayyam makes great use of this Raag to bring depth in the attachment of a noble with a courtesan, and by musical depiction, succesfully changes the nature of their relationship from lust to love, which though equally instintive and emotional, has a purity that was the core of the tail narrated in this movie. Shaharyar's lyrics help a great deal too.
movie: SAFAR (1970)
Zindagi ka safar ......
Another philosophical journey summarised in a few lines and expressed to a great effect with the aid of classical music. This song, which narrates the purposelessness of life, depends on Raag Yaman Kalyan to bring depth and gravity to this dark and shocking reality and at the same time make it not just palatable but even enjoyable, thanks to a claassical Raag and some great musical creativity. Kishore Kumar as a singer was almost at his peak when he sung this musical composition of Kalyanji Anandji, with lyrics written by Indeevar.
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© 2012 V Kumar
V Kumar (author) on January 02, 2020:
Thanks Lalwani Ji.
Moti Lalwani on December 26, 2019:
A very interesting article analysing some of the best songs. For me, 'Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai' is the best of all.
V Kumar (author) on March 28, 2019:
Thanks Mahendra ji.
Mahendra Paralkar on March 20, 2019:
Jab deep jale aana is based on Yaman which takes only teevra madhyam. Yaman Kalyan also takes a weak shuddha madhyam in addition to the teevra madhyam, usually sandwiched between two gandhars.
Tejaswini on November 13, 2016:
You forgot to add "Jab Deep Jale Aana" from Chitchor. It's beautiful Yaman Kalyan.
Sri on September 10, 2016:
Thanks for sharing! Total enjoyment for music lovers. Look forward to more
V Kumar (author) on July 04, 2015:
Thanks. I do plan to come up with separate hubs on Raag Yaman. But it is a topic where it is common to have differences of opinion, so I do not claim any authority to be perfect.
Adil on July 04, 2015:
FINALLY I understand the difference between Yaman and Yaman Kalyan! Boy oh boy, I used to get so confused when I used to hear songs that sounded Yaman-ish, but not exactly, yet those songs were referred to as Yaman. "Abhi na jaao chhor kar" I am assuming is also Yaman Kalyan. Anyway, thank you for this piece. Hope to read more from you on raags. :)
V Kumar (author) on January 01, 2015:
In my opinion, that song is closer to Raag Darbari Kanad, just like another song "Ye hawa, ye raat, ye chandni.." by Talat from SANGDIL, which has a very similar tune. But yes, it is a great song indeed! Raag Darbari Kanad, was the forte of Madan Mohan.
SANJAY MOHAN BHATNAGAR on December 31, 2014:
Alas, this list does not include - Tujhe kya Sunao Main Dilruba, by Rafi, Aakhri Daon