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5 popular songs you didn’t know were penned by SH Bihari


The unsung lyricist of the 1950s and 1960s, SH Bihari was the name behind many of the musical hits of that period. On his 30th death anniversary today (25 February), we present five songs that were written by him.

Sonal Pandya

A particular favourite of OP Nayyar’s, lyricist SH Bihari wrote his songs in Urdu but was also fluent in Bengali as he studied in Kolkata. Bihari graduated out of Presidency College and even played football for Mohun Bagan when he lived there. He moved to Mumbai in 1947 and began writing for films by 1950 with Dwarka Khosla’s Dilruba starring Rehana and Dev Anand. Bihari continued writing lyrics until the late 1980s when he passed away due to a heart attack on 25 February 1987.

1. 'Na Yeh Chand Hoga Na Taare Rahenge' — Shart (1954)

A Filmistan feature starring Shyama, Shart (1954) premiered in Mumbai in April 1954. Shyama was paired with Bengali actor, Dipak, who could not match up to her screen presence. The film’s numerous songs were composed by Hemant Kumar who also sang this evergreen number written by Bihari. The film’s music was the highlight of the film, directed by Bibhuti Mitra.

2. 'Bahut Shukriya Badi Meherbani' — Ek Musafir Ek Haseena (1962)

Some of Bihari’s biggest hits came under the musical baton of composer Nayyar. Raj Khosla’s feature Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, with Joy Mukherjee and Sadhana, contained the charming and flirty romantic duet sung ably by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle. Bihari wrote only two songs for the film; Rafi’s ‘Mujhe Dekhkar Aapka Muskurana’ was the other number.

3. 'Taarif Karoon Kya Uski' — Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)

Mohammed Rafi’s energetic solo was used by Shammi Kapoor to woo the beauteous Sharmila Tagore in Shakti Samanta’s Kashmir Ki Kali (1964). Samanta was going to choose composers Shankar-Jaikishan, but when Nayyar made the lead actor listen to his tunes, he was picked instead! With his favoured collaborator, Nayyar and Bihari came together to create a hit album of eight songs. Kapoor and Rafi too conspired to make the song more fun and the end result is entirely delightful.

4. 'Haule Haule Chalo More Sajna' — Sawan Ki Ghata (1966)

A Nayyar number with his staple female singer, Asha Bhosle, is set in a tonga (where else!), where this time the tables are turned and the heroine, Sharmila Tagore, chases the hero, Manoj Kumar. Interestingly, these songs were left over from when Bihari and Nayyar worked together for Kashmir Ki Kali. Samanta asked Nayyar to use them for Sawan Ki Ghata instead.

5. 'Kajra Mohabbat Wala' — Kismat (1968)

For Manmohan Desai’s Kismat, the director made his lead actor and actress swap genders in the fun number, ‘Kajra Mohabbat Wala’. Biswajeet and Babita donned female and male garbs, respectively for the duet sung by Asha Bhosle and Shamshad Begum. Unfortunately, it became the last time the veteran singer, Shamshad Begum, sang for composer Nayyar. The popular song ran into controversy when a film magazine wrote that Biswajeet would be successful if he stuck to these kinds of roles (referring to him in drag) and later the actor filed a suit against them. Nothing ever came of it, however.