Money, the money! It forms an important part of our lives, though not the most important! But still it does have a great impact on our daily lives, our performance at the workplace, our mental health and our lifestyle in general. Many things of leisure can be bought by money, but not relationships. We need to be fortunate to have caring parents, a loving life partner and a best friend. We can buy things for physical comfort, but peace of mind can’t be bought. Still money plays a role in everyone’s life.
The initial lock down in the corona pandemic brought out many aspects of the falling economy due to loss of daily wages for manual labourers. Those with hand to mouth income suffered in the crisis. But the scenario once again highlighted the importance of money in our lives. I won’t go into a serious discussion of course.
Hindi cinema of course has a long list of film songs dedicated to the role of money. There are songs highlighting its eminence in the society. The songs also portray the drastic difference between the rich and the poor and how the latter suffer. But most of the songs praise the money and its grandiose stature in the society. Sometimes in a philosophical way, sometimes in a comical way. Today’s list presents some of the Hindi film songs that describe the money, it’s significance and how people running behind it behave! How people lose their moral values, when they confront easy money.
People do accept these tempting short cuts, but eventually lose their mental well-being. Everything has two sides, so has money. I’ve a song on the list that mentions the other side of the coin too. How rapacity for money turns people into nasty monsters. Once you’re caught in this vicious cycle, there is no escape.
I’m aware I’ve selected the songs keeping in mind the timeline of my blog that is mainly focusing on the pre-70s era. And I’ve left out many songs from the later era. Please add befitting songs from any period.
So here we go…………
1. Teri Dhoom Har Kahin – Kala Bazaar (1960) Rafi / S D Burman – Shailendra
After losing the job as a bus conductor, Dev Anand takes up black marketing of cinema tickets. It’s impossible to survive jobless, in a big city like Mumbai. With the help of his gang, he manages to earn a lot at the premiere of the movie, Mother India. He then praises the money, for it’s comfort and security. The song portrays it on a lighter note. Dev Anand and Rashid Khan roam around footpaths of Mumbai singing the song. Though the picturisation has a deep meaning to it, it does look playful on its face.
One rupee coin has a shape of the shining sun, and coolness of the moonlight. It’s tinkling makes it more appealing. So there is always a boom for money, it’s incomparable. It’s the King of the kings. Once you have money, you can buy comfort in old age, you can adore a child. He finally thinks of building a temple, where money can be worshiped. When one doesn’t have money for basic needs, one can go to any extent for it. But all the shortcuts don’t last long and don’t offer you a respectable life.
2. Sab Se Bhala Rupaiya – Sargam (1950) Rafi, Chitalkar & Lata Mangeshkar / C Ramchandra – P L Santoshi
Om Prakash is a greedy father, who’s son Raj Kapoor is in love with the poor girl, Rehana. Om Prakash wants him to marry a rich girl just for the money she would inherit. His entire life is wasted running after money. For Om Prakash, marriage is just another chance to snatch money. He even chooses a man who has a heart problem and wouldn’t live longer, leaving behind all his fortune to his only daughter.
In a stage performance, Raj Kapoor tries to explain to his father the consequences of greedy nature. He clearly shows his intentions to follow his heart and marry Rehana. The song depicts another angle of money making by indirectly selling the groom.
3. O Paise Tu Bhagwan Nahin – Main Shadi Karne Chala (1962) Rafi & Manna Dey / Chitragupt – Majrooh
Another light hearted song woven in a typical Chitragupt melody. The song says, the money is not a God though it has all the properties of a God. Both of them offer prosperity and well being. Even strangers get friendly with you when you have money to spend on them. Money speaks for itself everywhere. Even the honest and faithful, may lose their integrity, confronted by easy money. Unfortunately, the video of the song is not available. Otherwise it would have been interesting, how the song starting on a lighter note, turning a bit serious, was picturised.
4. Paise Ka Mantar Paise Ka Jantar – Paisa Hi Paisa (1956) Kishore Kumar / Anil Biswas – Majrooh
I actually had the song on my Anil Biswas list. But it fits so well that I decided to repeat it.
Kishore Kumar, Mukri and Radhakishan all create an entirely funny atmosphere. Money is so powerful, so magical, it’s tinkle can bring back life into a dying person. (Especially when he is not actually sick). It works better than Penicillin, and becomes the ultimate truth of life. The highest power governing life. The tinkling coins finally makes Radhakishan sing aalap and for me, it was the most hilarious moment of the song.
Enjoy the song, just forget all your worries.
5. Paise Ke Kya Kehne – Ghulam Begum Badshah (1956) Hemant Kumar / Sudipt – Shyam Hindi
After the light hearted songs, let’s listen to a song on a serious note.
Daljit roams around the city, singing about the greatness of money. He calls it a saint, who’s blessings can turn a man fortunate. Money is a double edged sword, it can make someone wealthy and respectable, or it can make him penurious. Money is known for its uncertainty, still people chase it and even murder others for money. Money has its mesmerizing effects, it solves problems in seconds, it magically makes an impossible thing possible.
The song has good lyrics and a good tune, though the lyricist and the composer are not known to me. Hemant Kumar’s sombre voice suits the song, but Daljit’s expressionless face makes it displeasing.
6. Chhan Chhan Baje Rupaiya – Char Paise (1955) Kishore Kumar / B D Burman – Sartaj
I came across the film and the composer, B D Burman, when I was compiling a post on Lata’s association with lesser known composers. The song appears to be a performance in a hotel. Kishore Kumar in his typical comedy style, explains the pros and cons of money. You are respected in society when you have money, a bungalow and a car. No one knows where the money comes from, even a respectable man could actually be a superior of a gang. The song also highlights the side-effects of excess money. It makes you worry all the time, making you prone for heart trouble. Many people lose money in racing or gambling, in an attempt to gain easy money.
The song tells all the things in a light vein, making it enjoyable.
7. Duniya Mein Sab Kuchh Paisa Hai – Khuda Ka Banda (1957) Singers? Amirabai Karnataki & G M Durrani / S N Tripathi – Shewan Rizvi
The song highlights the stature of money in society. The world is run by money. When you have money everything appears pleasant. But without a loving family everything is in vain. Greedy person acts like a demon, he forgets humanity.
Have you expected a Rock n Roll song from S N Tripathi? But here you are! A rare for Tripathi. A light hearted comedy song, very enjoyable.
I couldn’t place the singers. All the sites mention Rafi as the male singer and don’t provide any information about the female singer. But the male voice doesn’t sound like Rafi’s. Could it be Durrani? I think the female voice could be that of Amirbai. Knowledgeable readers can throw light on the matter.
8. Paisa Nahi Hota Jo Yeh – Sautela Bhai (1962) Manna Dey & Anil Biswas / Anil Biswas – Shailendra
A qawwali from Sautela Bhai. It calls the money, our God, the ultimate power that governs us. Quite an enjoyable song! I couldn’t recognize the Qawwal! You can watch the song here.
9. Paisa Hi Roop Rang Hai Paisa Hi Maal Hai – Paisa (1957) Rafi / Ram Ganguli – Nazeer Akbarabadi and Bismil
A well written song that again portrays the significance of money. But it also warns us against being inhuman. Whatever money we earn finally doesn’t travel with us during the last rituals. So why not donate it to the poor and needy. It’s holy to donate.
Rafi sings it with utmost dedication and devotion. Nazeer Akbarabadi was an 18th century Indian poet from Agra. I think his Nazm was taken for the movie. I couldn’t get much info about the lyricist, Lalchand Bismil Peshawari. He perhaps added a few verses to the originally existing Nazm by Nazeer.
10. Na Main Dhan Chahoon – Kala Bazaar (1960) / Geeta Dutt & Sudha Malhotra / S D Burman – Shailendra
It’s the only spiritual song on the list. It’s also one of the rare instances where a couple of songs from the same movie appear on the list. The first song on the list highlights the money as God. It depicts Dev Anand’s feelings towards money. But at home, his mother, Leela Chitnis and sister, Nanda want to surrender to God. They don’t want easy money, they want to stay away from greed and cupidity. A stagnant lake always stinks and flowing rivers can be clean. A pure and clean soul is one’s only treasure for the lifetime. Dev Anand looks shocked and ashamed. He can’t take it and slips from home.
Shailendra has portrayed the contrasting emotions so well. A song in the praise of money and another believing in the sacred reassurance from God and a pure soul. The physical luxuries and lust for money are futile. The song portrays the opposite side of the coin.
Which song would you like to add?
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs 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 shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.