What time is it?

Have I confused you with the title? Well! It’s very simple actually. Come with me!

I have not presented a theme based song list for a long time, I was busy with various tribute posts for the last couple of months. I had thought of this theme last year, But couldn’t complete it. Now that the tribute posts, I had planned, are over I started collecting songs for this theme with new vigour.
The theme for today is, ‘Songs mentioning actual time, in the opening lines of the song’. That means it should actually say ‘at 4 o’clock’ or ‘at 12 o’clock’ and so on. Only the mention of morning, afternoon, or night and evening does not qualify! It was fun searching for songs fitting the theme but at the same time, difficult too! I could hardly recollect four to five songs. But later I was fortunate enough to find a few more. This time as well, I have included post 70s songs. In fact for the first time, I have included songs post 2000. But the songs are my favourites, and if the songs fit the bill, I didn’t discard them, just because of their release year.

Before going to the song list, it won’t be inappropriate to go into the history of time and measurement of time. I was curious as to when this seconds, minutes and hours system started. I tried to find it and got drowned in the flood of information. It was all scientific, and as I went deep into it, my head started spinning. Before I fell to the ground due to over saturation of information, I stopped myself in ‘time’.
Though it was very interesting and enlightening, this is not a place for a detailed discussion. I’ll try to put forth just the facts, as I found on the net.
Before the invention of the clocks, people needed some unit to measure a day, night, a month or a particular time of the year, to plan daily activities, rituals and important ceremonies. The sowing of seeds, cutting of crops was also done on a certain auspicious day. Then how did they go about it? They used to take help of movements of the planets and their rise and set along the horizon to mark the occasion. The Mayan civilization from Mexico and their ancient observatory at Chichén Itzá is a perfect example for this. They used to follow the planet, Venus and their daily activities and ceremonies were planned according to its movements across the sky.

It is mentioned that, a few of the oldest methods of time measurement were the use of ‘Water Clocks’ ‘Hourglass’ and ‘Sundials’.

There is no exact mention of inventor of the Water clock (also called Clepsydra) but they were used in Babylon & Egypt around 16th century BC. There used to be two types of water clocks, ‘inflow type’ and ‘outflow type’, working on the same principle of ‘Torricelli’s Law’, a theorem in fluid mechanics. In both the cases, a calibrated container is allowed to get empty (in case of outflow type) or filled in (in case of inflow type) and the time required for a certain activity can be measured by an observer, who watches the passage of water and its level on the calibrated wall of the container.

water clock
                  Water Clock

This makes me think of a similar instrument used in Maharashtrian weddings, where a small copper pot (called घटिकापात्र) with a hole at the centre of its base, is kept in a bigger copper vessel, containing water. As the sacred verses (that are called, मंगलाष्टक) are chanted, the inner container slowly gets filled with water, to ultimately sink at the bottom of outer vessel. This is used to mark the Mahurat (मुहूर्त). I have no idea, if this method is also used in other states or not. It’s a ritual that was used once.

The ‘Hourglass’ or ‘Sand Clock’ is a well known instrument for time measurement. It uses the similar principle as water clock, as to the flow of a substance, but it’s much simpler and can be easily reused. It is made up of two glass bulbs connected vertically by a narrow neck, which allows a regulated flow of sand between the bulbs. Once the upper bulb is empty, it is reused by just turning it upside down, to allow the process to continue. It’s an easy way to measure time. Now a days, the instrument has got mainly decorative value!

hour glass final
                 Sand Clock

The ‘Sundial’ was also extensively used in the past. It consists of a flat plate or dial and a gnomon (literally meaning the one who knows or examines). The latter casts a shadow onto the dial in sunlight. As the sun moves across the sky, the shadow aligns with different hour lines, marked on the dial. The earliest known sundials are again from Babylon and Egypt during 1500 BC. Though it sounds very easy, the actual mechanism is a bit complicated, as it needs to be adjusted or corrected according to the location. Sun’s shadow changes according to the latitude of the place.


sun dial
                         Sun Dial

The other devices used were ‘Candle clocks’, Oil lamp Clocks etc and it was very interesting reading the evolution of the clocks till the present era clocks.
Then came the Pendulum Clocks, followed by the mainspring clocks having balance wheels. The innovations and improvements continued further.I won’t mention all of them due to time and space constraints. Nobody has ‘Time’ to go through the lengthy prologue that I’m fond of !

So without wasting more ‘Time’, let’s have the song list. This is a song list, mentioning time, I’ve crossed my blog’s ‘Timeline’ to include the songs, from post 70s era. As I mentioned earlier, the song list has for the first time, songs from all the decades, till 2000s. It also allowed me to go with the ‘Time’, as many of my friends and colleagues tease me of being borne a few decades later than expected. This ‘time’, all of them would be reasonably happy! (At least I hope so)

So here I go, ten songs from Hindi films, that mention actual timing ………………….

1. Mere Dil Ki Ghadi Kare Tik Tik – Lata Mangeshkar & Chitalkar (1951) Albela / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishna
This was the first obvious song that I thought of, suiting the list. I like the song a lot and I’m sure all the readers agree with me. This seems like a dream sequence (I haven’t seen the movie) where both of them describe their state of the mind. The sleepless nights urge them to stay awake till midnight, and keep thinking of their love. Bhagwan dada didn’t impress me in the song, but Geeta Bali’s charming and lively presence steals the show.

2. Jab Ghadi Bole Char – Gambler (1960) Rafi & Suman Kalyanpur / Chitragupt – Prem Dhawan
A typically sweet Chitragupt melody, most likely picturised on comedy side leads. The song mentions different timings throughout the length as the pair argues about the punctuality of each other. I enjoy the song a lot. It also features a Marathi word, ‘नक्की’, which means ‘for sure’.
I not not aware if the word originally belongs to some other language, it’s extensively used in Marathi.
Where as the lady declares herself wise, never to missing the rendezvous, the gentleman calls her a latecomer. And not late by few minutes, but several hours. Do listen and enjoy the chhed chhad.

3. Aaj Sham Ko Saat Baje – Phool Aur Kaliyan (1960) Chrusheela Shantaram & Madhura Shantaram / Shivram Krishnan – Bharat Vyas
I accidentally came across this song, while I was researching for Bharat Vyas post. This movie was also a Rajkamal production, and Bharat Vyas wrote this children’s song. The children advertise their circus and mention the timing as 7’o clock in the evening. The song describes the adventures that would take place during the circus. A thoroughly enjoyable song. And I won’t miss the opportunity to highlight again Vyas Ji’s versatility.

4. Hai Re Baj Gaye Raat Ke Barah – Laadla (1954) Shamshad Begum & Rafi / Vinod – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
I heard this song for the first time, while looking for suitable songs for the theme. I won’t call it a great song, though it’s a full-on comedy song. A surprise from Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, who’s otherwise better known for soulful songs.
A husband comes home late and is now frightened of dogs, and his wife, who’s very cross, doesn’t allow him in. He makes a lot of excuses, but she is damn stern at her decision. She suspects him of being with another woman, and is now ready with a lathi in her hand, in case she needs to beat him up!

5. Abhi Gyarah Nahi Baje Hai – Phande Baaz (1978) Kishore Kumar / R D Burman – Anand Bakshi
Not a particularly great song, at least not my favourite. But quite suits the occasion. Dharmendra asks the audience to wait till eleven, apparently for his engagement with Bindu. And further adds that he has been advised to do so by a wise man. He clearly wants to delay the ceremony and wants to pass the time. The anxiety on Bindu’s face and Prem Chopra gets more and more evident as time gets wasted. Though I’m not a fan of Dharmendra, his expressions at times are cute enough.

6. Teen Baje Bola Tha – Duniyadari (1977) Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar / Shankar Jaikishan – M G Hashmat
I think, the song was quite popular that time. It’s picturised on Asrani (I can’t off hand remember other songs, picturised on him) and Aruna Irani. It mentions timings along with the chhed chhad between the two. He is quite stubborn about waiting for her, while she doesn’t at all seem interested. Of course, she herself confesses about her falsely pretended ignorance in the last verse.

7. Do Baje Aankh Ladi – Dil Ka Kya Qasoor (1992) Udit Narayan & Vicky Mehta / Nadeem Sharavan – Anwar Sagar
The nineties also had some really melodious songs. I think, Jatin Lalit and Nadeem Shravan would top the list, though the mentioned song is not a great song.
Such type of ‘College Songs’ were a popular part of films of nineties. Their picturisation would take place along the lawns in the college, in the corridors, in the classrooms, etc. The song describes the events after the izhaar e mohabbat. Quite a fun to watch, though has no glamorous lyrics. Divya Bharati was quite a sensation at the time. Unfortunately we lost her too early.

8. Poune Barah Baje Dono Ghar Se – Salam Namaste (2005) Sunidhi Chouhan & Kunal Ganjawala / Vishal Shekhar – Jairaj Sahni
It takes me to my post graduation days, when I used to listen to the songs from Salam Namaste. All the songs were hugely popular and the movie also proved a hit. Preity Zinta playing a character going for a ‘live in relationship’ in the movie and getting pregnant was considered a bold step on her part.
She desperately wants to eat ice cream (this craving for a certain eatable is called डोहाळे in Marathi) and it’s very late night. He is not ready to go, but finally follows her. Their नोक झोक continues throughout the song.

9. Raat Ke Dhai Baje – Kaminey (2009) Suresh Wadkar, Sunidhi Chouhan, Rekha Bhardwaj & Kunal Ganjawala / Vishal Bharadwaj – Gulzar
Kaminey was a film, acclaimed by critics and viewers alike. The song describes the marriage between Shahid Kapoor (Guddu) and Priyanka Chopra (Sweety), the latter is mad with enthusiasm, whereas the former is not much interested in the alliance. He is forced into the marriage by her proud, bossy local neta.
The marriage and the baraat take place a few hours past midnight. Priyanka looks good in typical maharashtrian marriage attire (नऊवारी साडी). There are four playback singers in the song, though it’s fully a background song. I think that was proposed to highlight the conflict and the excitement in the minds of both the characters.

10. Kal Nou Baje Tum – Short Kut: The Con is On (2009) Alka Yagnik & Sonu Nigam / Shankar Ehsaan Loy – Javed Akhtar
It’s a beautiful melodious song, a rare find, in today’s westernised music. At least a few composers (like S E L) have stuck to the melody than rhythm. The song actually combines both. And what a cute concept by Javed Saab. Even if the couple is not together, they see the moon at a specific time so that their eyes meet each other indirectly on the moon. I liked it. Heard it for the first time during research for this post.

Would you add a song?

Disclaimer –
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are from YouTube and have been used here only for the music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners.

31 Replies to “What time is it?”

  1. Nice information on Time. Waqt waqt ki baat hai!

    Baara bake ki suinyon jaise hum dono mil jaaye….
    Very unusual and imaginative image.


    1. Thank you Pradeepji for the appreciation!
      I had thought of the song from, Jhoota Kahin Ka, but then I realised that, it doesn’t actually mention the time, but just compares the meeting of the hands in the clock to their union. So I dropped it.


  2. Anup ji ,
    Fantastic post .
    The info about the घटिकापात्र , sand clock nd sun – dial was also nice .

    When I read the title , I too thought of the song of ‘ Albela ‘ , yes Geeta Bali is too charming in that
    Nd like Divya Bharti as U hav mentioned , Geeta Bali also left this world quite early .

    But Anup ji , it was a surprise for me that all the post 90 songs were new to me . All were nice . Thnx for making me aware of them .( U had once said that U r going to make a post on those new songs . )

    Nd yes , do make posts on such themes on nd often .

    Thnx for the post nd I will take the opportunity to post a popular marathi song .


    1. Thank you Pramodji for the appreciation.
      It’s a surprise to me too, that the post 90s songs on the list were new to you! The songs (except the last one from Short Kut) were fairly to hugely popular.


  3. APNAPAN,1979
    Kishore Kumar, Sulakshana Pandit; AB,LP.

    Somwar ko hum mile
    Mangalwar ko nain..
    Char baje main soya tha
    Paanch baje uth jaaga
    Saade paanch ko gaadi lekar…


  4. Anup ji ,
    Let me add this popular लावणी of ”नटरंग’
    “मला जाऊ द्या ना घरी ,आता वाजले की बारा”


    1. Pramod ji,
      Thank you.
      Mala jyavu dena ghari and Apsara aalee are the Lavnis most of the non Marathi speaking people are familiar with thanks to the dance reality shows.


  5. SOUTEN,1983
    Shaayad meri shaadi ka khayal…
    Theek tum char baje ghar chale aana…

    Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar; Sawan Kumar,Usha Khanna.



    Jahan chaar yaar mil jaaye wahan raat ho Gulzar…

    One O Clock in my house
    There was a cat
    There was a mouse…

    VEERU DAADA,1990
    Alka Yagnik,AB,LP

    Raat ki baara baje Sanam
    Jab kahin dil na lage Sanam…

    Samhitha,Sonu Nigam, Poornima.

    Roop Suhana tere…
    …Kudiye kal milegi kitne baje
    Gyarah baje ya baarah baje?

    The popular party songs by Hard Kaur and Badshah from FALTU and KHOOBSURAT respectively:

    Char baj gaye lekin party abhi baaki hai( Sachin Jigar)
    Abhi toh party shuroo huyi hai…

    Party chalegi till 6 in the morning.


    1. Dr Pradeepji,
      The Soutan song has the time mentioned in Antara, so not allowed!
      The same for the ‘Sharabi’ song!
      The other ones from Veeru Dada, Jaani Dushman, FALTU and Khoobsurat do fit, though I don’t like them at all.
      But thanks for adding them to the list.
      I had come across these songs while preparing the list. But I didn’t include.


  7. Interesting! The only songs I could think of when I read the introduction to your post were Abhi gyaarah nahin baje hain and Baarah baje ki suiyon jaise. You’ve done a lot of hard work digging these out. 🙂


  8. Wow wow n wow !!! Poune barah baje wats going on is the best !! 👌🏻👌🏻Post is so well written felt so nice reading them 💐🙏🏻


    1. Thanks AKji.
      It was a fun searching for the songs. I enjoyed it and got to know a lot more new songs as well!

      And if I may so say, I missed your comments on the concluding part of Bharat Vyas post.


  9. Oh Anup ji , I hav fallen in love with
    ” कल नौ बजे तुम चाँद देखना ”
    Since yesterday , I hav heard it for at least 10 times .
    What a prelude , the lyrics nd especially the end where Sonu nd Alka sing together .

    In the beginning , where Sonu picks up the song , it reminded me of
    ” घर से निकलते ही , कुछ दूर चलते ही ”
    Nd sometimes I felt as if I m listening ARRehmaan song .

    Nd the interludes , orchestration nd overall treatment to the song is very similar to a song sung by the same jodi of Sonu nd Alka
    ” पंछी नदियाँ पवन के झोंके ”

    Well , U will wonder why I m writing all this , it is just to say a very big
    ” Thank U ” for making me aware of such a very very soothing song .

    Nd that is why I request U Anup ji to make a post on such melodious post 2000 songs .


    1. You are Welcome Pramodji!
      There were a few more songs, from 90s and 2000s, which I didn’t like at all and I dropped them.
      But this song ‘Kal Nou baje’ was a relief from the noisy songs of today’s era. Not only the tune but the lyrics are good too! I’m working on 90s theme right now. I think, it’s going to be series of posts, as I can’t accommodate all the songs in a post! Let me see, how to go about it!
      And yes, let me think over the song list from 2000 onwards!


  10. If I would not have read this theme, I would not have been able to remember the song
    Is Dil Mein Tumhari Yaad Aayi, Kabhi Char Bajem Kabhi Panch Baje

    and would not have searched out and listened to it to know that male voice is that of Sundar.


    1. Welcome back Ashokji,
      So nice to see you again in action on my blog. And thanks a lot for the song. Such a fun listening to it.
      I was difficult to find songs for the theme. Because if the mention is in second or third line, the search may not show it.
      Here is a better audio quality song,
      Mere dil ki Muragi

      Thanks Ashokji. This shamshad and sunder duet was unknown to me.



    Chali sana tu paan ki dukaan pe.. saade teen baje..

    That was the first one to come to my mind 🙂
    Very nice collection and all beautiful posts


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