Songs of ‘Tanhai’

Feeling lonely is a prominent problem in 21st century. Though we are well connected with even our distant relatives via social media and messaging services, actually we tend to ignore our home. It’s a horrible site to watch four people sitting in a room, all online, but absolutely no verbal communication. But such scenario is not at all rare. we are losing our true friendship, true relationships, and running behind a virtual world. There are cases of depression just because of mobile phone deprivation, people getting addicted to ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, with no sense of reality. The technology is getting more and more monstrous than helpful and needful. A person with hundreds of followers and getting thousands of likes for a selfie, may actually be lonely.

Oh boy! Before the discussion turns boring and lengthy, let me come to the point. My today’s list deals with songs with the word ‘Tanhai’.

The word ‘Tanhai’ has appeared so many times in Hindi film songs. It is used in a number of different situations. That’s why I got interested. At once I remembered a song, that actually cross blog’s timeline, but was very popular.

Tanhai 2
Tanhai from Dil Chahta Hai

‘Tanhai’ obviously appears in sad songs, where the character feels lonely and disheartened. Most of the times his/her love interest in no longer with them.
They are separated forever apparently, and find no means of communication. They somehow manage to pass the day, but the lonely evenings and sleepless nights prove horrible. They remember their meetings, their squabbles , their plans of colorful future, and miss the partner more than ever! We are told of their agony through a song, a way out to their frustration! and also achieves sympathy from the audience. Such songs are plenty and highlight the feelings of loneliness and helplessness.
‘Tanhai’ also finds a place in romantic songs, when the couple finds time (finally!) to be with each other and they want to spend it romantically. Now, the word highlights the rarity of such occasions, when they can enjoy each other’s company, with no one to disturb. The couple aspires to be together and enjoy each and every moment.
Sometimes, He/She feels romance in the air, but their love is away somewhere. They wish their partner to come at once and enjoy the moment with him/her. Such songs are also romantic and cheerful, Mostly picturised on an evening or a rainy day.
Some seductive songs also do mention the word, where a dancer wants to take an advantage of the situation to entice the Hero or occasionally the Villain.

My list has Sad songs, Romantic songs, and a seductive song too!
So, here I’m with the songs having the word ‘Tanhai’. The songs are from pre70s hindi films and are in no particular order.

1. Yeh Shaam Ki Tanhaiyan – Aah (1953) Lata Mangeshkar / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
A song full of anguish. Neelu (Nargis) and Raj (RK) are about to unite at last after a series of misunderstandings. She’s waiting for him, who’s going to formally propose. She keeps on waiting and waiting, but unfortunately he doesn’t turn up. She is broken hearted and can’t bear the loneliness of the fateful evening.
The pathos in the song is very well expressed by Nargis and of course Lata.

2. Yeh Tanhai Hay Re Hay – Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) Lata Mangeshkar / S D Burman – Hasrat Jaipuri
Now we have a romantic song. She wonders if they will get any privacy, ever again and declares let’s enjoy each and every moment of this meeting. Here the privacy or secrecy is something that they both desire.
She’s praising their love and feels it to be eternal. Not all songs are sad, some songs like this mention the loneliness in most desirable manner .
A beautiful song, and an eye candy for me.

3. Mujhko Is Raat Ki Tanhai Mein – Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960) Mukesh / Kalyanji Anandji – Shamim Jaipuri
Dharmendra’s debut film. I tend to associate Mukesh with sad songs. He has sung some of the songs with such dedication that I can’t imagine those songs in anybody else’s voice. For me, this song is one of those.

4. Yeh Mausam Aur Yeh Tanhai – Dastan (1950) Suraiya / Naushad – Shakil Badayuni
Suraiya in a cheerful mood, playing piano, singing the song. The stanzas of the song are a bit different. It starts as a slow sentence without much orchestration, and later turns a bit fast. It’s not my favourite particularly, but I like it.
She is missing him on a lonely but beautiful evening and wants his company.

5. Phir Wohi Sham – Jahan Ara (1964) Talat / Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishna
The lonely evenings are back with the same disappointment and sad feeling. Her remembrance tries to soothe his mind in vein! He again dreams of her presence, and his destitute mind finds a few happy moments. He now wonders, if their reunion is ever possible!
One of the popular songs by Talat, his shaky voice fully justifying the character’s helpless condition. Bharat Bhushan’s face fails to express the deep anguish in the song.

6. Yeh Khamoshiyan Yeh Tanhaiyan – Ye Raste Hai Pyar Ke (1963) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Ravi – Rajendra Krishna
A romantic song, shot in the snow. The couple (Sunil Dutt and Leela Naidu) is enjoying the scene and the peace and quiet they have. There own empire of love is full of youth & romance. The picturesque scenery makes the song a wonderful eye candy. The couple looks equally gorgeous.

7. Sham Ki Tanhaiyan Hai – Zarak Khan (1963) Asha Bhosle / S Mohinder – Anand Bakshi
This is also a romantic song, but with a different situation. She is pining for her love so much that she requests him to come at once.
The evening turns romantic with moonlight and stars and she is desperate for him. The stars ask her it’s a beautiful night, where is her love? Missing the beloved on a romantic evening, and feeling lonely is another aspect of tanhai songs.

8. Tanhai Sunaya Karti Hai – Pakeezah Rang Birang (1977) Lata Mangeshkar / Ghulam Mohd.- Kamaal Amrohi
Ghulam Mohd. had recorded many songs for Pakeezah, as he wanted to offer a beautiful musical feast to the audience. But only six songs, composed by him were finalized for the movie. The remaining songs were not used afterwards. But a record with all the songs, unreleased and from the movie, was introduced by the name Pakeezah Rang Birang. This song belongs to unreleased category. The film took long years to shoot and Ghulam mohd’s songs were ready in 60s itself. Though released in 1972, the film is essentially a part of 60s. It’s an absolutely wonderful song, reminds us of ‘Main Jab Bhi Akeli’ from Dharamputra. Enjoy this song!

9. Yeh Tanhai Yeh Jazbaat – Khoj (1971) Suman Kalyanpur & Usha Khanna / Usha Khanna – Asad Bhopali
Now, a seductive song that fits the bill. For a change, Suman Kalyanpur has sung this song. She is not known for such kind of songs. Her tender, sweet voice nevertheless suits perfectly to Jayshree T. She’s trying to seduce an innocent looking young man (whom I don’t recognize). Usha Khanna sings the prose part of the song. At least that’s what I think!

10. Kabhi Tanhaiyon Mein Ek Aisi – Meenar (1954) Talat / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishna
This song describes a different mood, though can be put as a sad song. He is away from his love, but is fed up of his loneliness. Even if he wants to cry, he is unable! He says his mind is so used to agony that a moment of happiness makes him uneasy. He wants to runaway from her thoughts, but makes him remember her more than ever! A good ghazal, composed and rendered in ghazal style.
Again Bharat Bhushan lip syncing to Talat’s voice.


Which song would you add?

11 Replies to “Songs of ‘Tanhai’”

  1. Anup G , nice topic , excellent choice of songs .

    Song no.7,8,9 were unheard for me. Asha’s song of ” Zarak Khan ‘ was very nice.
    In song no. 9 , the hero is DEEPAK , whom we can see in a famous Rafi no.
    ” Har chehra yaha chand ” of film ” Aabroo ”

    The theory behind these songs is also nicely explained by U.
    ” Kabhi tanhayeeyon mein yun hamari yaad aayegi ” flashed in the mind , all other well – known songs r covered by U.

    Thnx for a tasty Sunday breakfast !!!


    1. Thanks Pramodji for the appreciation.
      I didn’t include Kabhi tanhayeeyon mein yun hamari yaad aayegi as it was there in my post on composer snehal bhatkar.
      But it’s a wonderful song.
      Thanks for mentioning the actor from the khoj song. I didn’t know his name.


  2. A couple of those songs were unfamiliar to me, but the others – you included all the ones I’d have included in a Tanhai post, too!

    And a thought-provoking introduction. My husband and I make it a point that when we are at the dining table (which, thanks to our busy schedules, is – on week days, at least – the only time we get to be together, we don’t have our cell phones anywhere around. I, in any case, am not at all a phone addict: I actually use my phone just to make calls or send messages, or occasionally check my mail – I don’t have any social media apps installed on it.

    Anyway, less of the bhaashan-baazi! Here are two songs, far beyond your time line, which I was reminded of:

    Tanha-tanha yahaan pe jeena from Rangeela:

    And Tanhai tanhai tanhai donon ko paas le aayi from Koyla:


    1. Thanks Madhuji,
      Yes, we should have some time for the family. I’s a good idea to dine with the whole family with your cell phones out of site.
      usually that’s the only time when all the family members can talk and all of them are together.
      (unfortunately that’s not the case with me, as I leave home early in the morning, I can only have dinner with the family! Even if I get time to be at home in the afternoon, that’s usually only for half an hour or so!)
      coming to the songs, I like both the songs posted by you. It was a pleasant surprise to see you posting songs of 90s.
      I particularly like the Rangeela song, which was hugely popular that time. I was in 12th, and heard it after really a long interval! It brought back memories from those years, 1995 it was I think!
      BTW, I’m planning a post on songs of 90s, as if we compare 80s and 90s, the latter was far more superior.
      Let’s see! how things get shaped!
      Though Nadeem Shravan was very popular, my personal favourites used to be Jatin Lalit.
      Do you listen to 90s songs? I know you may not particularly like them all.


      1. For us, too, dinner is the only time we’re all together – though my daughter and I have lunch together, when she gets home from school. My husband has lunch in office. So dinnertime is sacrosanct. 🙂

        I agree with you about 90s songs being better than the 80s. The 80s had very few songs that I really like – and of those, most (the songs of Umraio Jaan, for instance) I like because they just don’t sound like the songs of the 80s). In comparison, the 90s had some nice songs. I’d like to see your list of 90s songs!


        1. So we sail in the same boat as far as family getting together is concerned!
          I agree with you about some of the songs of 80s. Khayyam, jaidev were a few who insisted on quality even then and created some masterpieces.


  3. I think enough is said about the social media menace and rightly so.
    Good song collection, and an equally good introduction to the song. In fact, the song jumps to your mind even before listening to it.
    Enjoyed it thoroughly.


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