Jan 20 2016

23 songs that took us for a ride

by   Sonal Pandya

Journey aboard the railways with these distinctive songs set around the lifeline of India

1 Aayi Bahar Aaj – Doctor (1941)

Pankaj Mullick acted, sung and composed the music for Subodh Mitra's Doctor (1941). The social drama which finds Mullick as Amar Nath going up against his own father and son in a story of progress versus tradition. The film also featured one of the earliest instances of a song filmed on a train.

2 Hello hello gentleman – Actress (1948)

In this early clever Hinglish number composed by Shyam Sunder, Rehana and a compartment full of mischievous girls torment Prem Adeeb and his out-of-style English look and manners in the duet sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum. The girls chastise Adeeb and tell him, “be an Indian if you can” in Najam Naqvi's Actress (1948). 

3 Dhak dhak karti chali – Dilruba (1950)

Once again, Rehana breaks into an impromptu dance on the train in Dwarka Khosla's Dilruba (1950). She plays a troupe dancer under the thumb of a shady Professor in name only, played by Yakub. Sung by Geeta Dutt, the song was written by D.N. Madhok and composed by Gyan Dutt.

4 Gaya andhera hua ujala – Subah Ka Tara (1952)

V. Shantaram's Subah Ka Tarah featured melodious music by C. Ramchandra especially the lovely romantic duet sung by Talat Mehmood and Lata Mangeshkar, 'Gaya andhera hua ujala'. Pradeep Kumar played Mohan, who falls in love with a young widow, Padmini, played by Jayashree.

5 Aao bachhon tumhen dikhaaye – Jagriti (1954)

Satyen Bose's Jagriti (1954) won both the Filmfare Award for Best Film as well as the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. ' Aao bachhon tumhen dikhaaye' written by Kavi Pradeep went on to become a lesson in nationalism for the next generation. Sung by Pradeep himself, the music was composed by Hemant Kumar and picturised on Abhi Bhattacharya who won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.

6 Hai apna dil toh awara – Solva Saal (1958)

Raj Khosla's remake of It Happened One Night (1934), Solva Saal (1958) had Hemant Kumar singing for Dev Anand in 'Hai apna dil toh awara'. With music by S.D. Burman, Dev's reporter Premnath aims the song towards Waheeda Rehman's wayward partner Jagdev, whom he deems as suspicious while travelling on the night train.

7 Apni to har aah ek toofan hai – Kala Bazar (1959)

Yet another Dev Anand-Waheeda Rehman song on the train, this time the melancholy 'Apni to har aah ek toofan hai,' sung by Mohammed Rafi, is used a method for Anand's Raghu to get close to Rehman's Alka and her family as they travel to Ooty. The lyrics were penned by Shailendra while the music was composed by S.D. Burman.

8 Auraton ke dibbe me mard aa gaya – Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (1960)

Starring Bharat Bhushan and Anita Guha, the Ramesh Tiwari-directed Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh features the amusing 'Auraton ke dibbe me mard aa gaya' sung by Suman Kalyanpur and Mohammed Rafi. The film was named after the popular song from Shree 420 (1955) picturised on Nadira and Raj Kapoor.  

9 Mujhe apana yaar bana lo – Boy Friend (1961)

20 years before Rishi Kapoor danced atop a train, his uncle Shammi Kapoor sung 'Mujhe apana yaar bana lo', with help from Mohammed Rafi, as he travelled from picturesque Shimla to the city of Mumbai. A remake of the Bombay Talkies super-hit Kismet (1943), the music was composed by Shankar-Jaikishan.

10 Chill chill chilla ke – Half Ticket (1962)

Kishore Kumar keeps things light and breezy as he delights everyone, adults and children alike ,in this crazy number composed by Salil Choudhury from Half Ticket (1962). Kumar pretends to be a child in order to pay the half price ticket for the train journey. 

11 Pyaar baante chalo - Hum Sab Ustad Hain (1965)

Once again, Kishore Kumar makes merry on the train, turning it into a makeshift dance floor singing the harmonious 'Pyaar baante chalo' composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal in director Maruti's Hum Sab Ustad Hain (1965). Kumar played a self-appointed detective to hunt down two missing and kidnapped girls in the film which co-starred Sheikh Mukhtar, Ameeta and Dara Singh. 

12 Badal jaye agar mali - Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966)

Dharmendra stepped into the lead role in Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966) after Guru Dutt's death. In Dutt's posthumous role as producer, Dharmendra played a reporter exposing the unsafe conditions inside a mine. With music composed by O.P. Nayyar, Mahendra Kapoor sings the optimistic 'Badal jaye agar mali' for Dharmendra as he interacts with passengers on the train. 

13 Rukh se zara naqaab - Mere Huzoor (1968)

A young Jeetendra romances Mala Sinha through playback singer Mohammed Rafi on a train journey in Vinod Kumar's Mere Huzoor (1968). A love triangle which also included Raaj Kumar, the song 'Rukh se zara naqaab' contains sounds of the train, the whistle and the wheels, combined within the music by composers Shankar-Jaikishen. 

14 Mere sapno ki rani – Aradhana (1969)

Arguably Rajesh Khanna's most famous song, he travels alongside Sharmila Tagore aboard Darjeeling's toy train while he keeps up in a jeep singing 'Mere sapno ki rani'. S.D. Burman fell ill during the making of the film and his son Rahul Dev stepped in to finish the job and suggested Kishore Kumar's name for the song. Kumar later went on to sing for Khanna in several other hits as well.

15 Hum dono do premi - Ajanabee (1974)

The pleasant romantic duet 'Hum dono do premi' sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar is picturised atop a moving train with Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman.  Shakti Samanta's Ajanabee (1974), told mostly in flashbacks, is about a disintegrating marriage between Khanna's and Aman's characters. The lyrics were written by Anand Bakshi, while the music was composed by R.D. Burman.

16 Chuk chuk – Rafoo Chakkar (1975)

Sisters Asha Bhonsle and Usha Mangeshkar, along with Mahesh Kumar, sang this fun number in which Rishi Kapoor and Paintal, disguised as women, entertain their fellow passengers in the train compartment. A hit film with music composed by the duo Kalyanji-Anandji, Rafoo Chakkar was an adaptation of Some Like It Hot (1959), starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe. 

17 Teri Hai Zameen - The Burning Train (1980)

Before Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and Speed (1994), there was Ravi Chopra's The Burning Train (1980). An all-star ensemble cast of Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna, Parveen Babi, Jeetendra, Neetu Singh and more gathered aboard a doomed journey from Delhi to Mumbai due to a bomb planted aboard by Danny Denzongpa. Composed by R.D. Burman, the prayer song 'Teri hai zameen' was sung by Padmini Kolhapure and featured the various passengers hurtling towards an uncertain fate. 

18 Hoga tumse pyara kaun – Zamaane Ko Dhikana Hai (1981)

Rishi Kapoor reassures Padmini Kohlapure (in her first lead role) of his affections atop a moving train in Nasir Hussain's Zamaane Ko Dhikhana Hai (1981). With music by R.D. Burman, the number 'Hoga tumse pyara kaun' was shot with trick angles and shot doubles and sung by Shailendra Singh.

19 Hathon ki chand lakeeron ka - Vidhaata (1982)

The song 'Hathon ki chand lakeeron ka' was picturised on two veterans of Indian cinema, Dilip Kumar and Shammi Kapoor, as engine drivers in Subhash Ghai's Vidhaata (1982). Sung by Suresh Wadkar and Anwar, the music was composed by Kalyanji-Anandji while the lyrics were written by Anand Bakshi. 

20 Sari duniya ka bhoj hum uthate hain - Coolie (1983)

A stunt gone awry almost derailed Amitabh Bachchan's health and took him out of commission of nearly six months. But it also gave him one of his most iconic characters, that of the coolie Iqbal. In the song 'Sari duniya ka bhoj hum uthathe hain' sung by Shabbir Kumar and composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal became almost like an anthem for coolies everywhere.  

21 Ghar aaja pardesi part 2 - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Many of the film's key moments take place in railway stations where the lead characters, Raj and Simran, meet, part, and finally reunite. In this reprise of the song 'Ghar aaja pardesi' written by Anand Bakshi and sung by Pamela Chopra and Manpreet Kaur, Baldev Singh takes his family back to Punjab. The film's music was composed by Jatin-Lalit.

22 Chaiya chaiya – Dil Se.. (1998)

Mani Rathnam's intense drama set against a terror backdrop featured Shah Rukh, Manisha Koirala and introduced Preity Zinta. But the film is most remembered internationally for its chart-busting song 'Chaiya chaiya' composed by A.R. Rahman and choreographed by Farah Khan with Shah Rukh and Malaika Arora-Khan performing atop a steam locomotive in Ooty.

23 Kasto Mazza – Parineeta (2005)

Parineeta, director Pradeep Sarkar's take on the Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay novel, featured Saif Ali Khan travelling home to Kolkata on the same Darjeeling toy train his mother Sharmila Tagore was on in the 1969 film Aradhana. The film also marked the Hindi film debut of actor Vidya Balan while the music was composed by Shantanu Moitra.