Remembering Indeevar – I

It’s been more than one and half years since I published a post on a lyricist. So I was very keen about this one. Though general music lovers don’t care much for a lyricist, my opinion is that he/she forms an important and integral part of the process and should be given due credit.
Today’s post focuses on the career of a popular lyricist, Indeevar, on the occasion of his 24th death anniversary.

Born as Shyamlal Rai in 1924, he was inclined to poetry. He also had his share as a freedom fighter, and was imprisoned in the early 1940s. The reason was his poem on Indian independence. It was just the beginning of the spark of poetry. He soon migrated to Bombay (now Mumbai) in search of work. He began as a lyricist in 1946, and took the pseudonym, Indeevar. But the films couldn’t establish him. I’m sharing one of his earlier songs that may not have become popular that time. But it’s a good song. Let’s hear it.

Tere Nainon Mein Nindiya – Didi (1948) Lata Mangeshkar / Music – Mukund Masurekar
The song has already featured on the blog in the series covering Lata’s association with lesser known composers. The song has good lyrics and the tune is typically representative of the vintage era.

It was after a struggle of a few years that he saw a ray of hope. The songs of the movie, Malhar, composed by Roshan, released in 1951. Though the movie had two lyricists, a couple of duets penned by Indeevar and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh became roaringly popular. Let’s hear one of the duets.

Bade Armanon Se Rakha Hai – Malhar (1951) Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh / Music – Roshan
I had the song on one of the old cassettes my father had. And I used to like it as a school boy. The song very aptly portrays the feelings of a couple, recently fallen in love. Such a cute and dreamy, romantic song. The film however saw utter failure at the box office and the pair Shammi and Arjun never became popular. Shammi accepted supporting roles and did play a long innings in Hindi films, but the hero Arjun was never seen again in a lead role.

I can’t help adding one more song from Malhar, a sad song by Mukesh.

Tara Toote Duniya Dekhe – Malhar (1951) Mukesh / Music – Roshan
Another gem from Malhar, this one’s full of pathos. Everyone looks at the shooting stars, but no one cares for a broken heart. The sky won’t be deserted even if the stars fall, there are so many. But we all have only one heart, what if it breaks! What an amazing thought ! Mukesh was a master of soulful songs, and he proved it again.

The duo Indeevar and Roshan went on to work together for a couple more films, Sheesham and Agosh. Let’s listen to one of the songs,

Sapnon Mein Aana Chhed Chhed Jana – Sheesham (1952) Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh / Music – Roshan
I won’t call it a great song, at least not lyrically. But I’m fond of the song. It sounds cute.

Meanwhile, he wrote for a few films and the songs became popular, though the films couldn’t. I’m sure some of the readers would be surprised by some of the songs. Indeevar has worked with stalwarts like Madan Mohan, Anil Biswas.

Dukhiyare Naina Dhoondhe Piya Ko – Nirmohi (1952) Lata Mangeshkar / Music – Madan Mohan
A masterpiece by Madan Mohan. It’s very difficult to say, if the tune and Lata’s rendition is better or the lyrics? I vote for both! The use of the word, ‘दुखियारे’ for saddened eyes is a good thought in itself. The eyes go on weeping so much so that the mind is distressed too. What kind of water is it that sets life on fire?
जिससे जीवन ही जल जाए, वो कैसी जल-धार!

Kaise Koi Jiye – Baadbaan (1954) Geeta Dutt, Hemant Kumar (sung separately) / Music – Timir Baran and S K Pal
Another song with a deep pathos. The song is counted among the milestone songs of both the singers, Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar. So far I was in love with Geeta Dutt’s rendition, but for the post, I listened to Hemant Kumar’s version. I was equally enchanted by it. So I’m adding it here. The song appears to have been written in freestyle. The verses are unequal in length and the song doesn’t appear to follow the mukhda-antara style, in my opinion.

Teri Chamkati Aankhon Ke Aage – Chhote Babu (1957) Lata Mangeshkar & Talat / Music – Madan Mohan
A cute romantic song, the couple is expressing their faith and devotion to each other. He doesn’t care for the stars in the sky because her sparkling eyes win the competition. And she finds him the best support for her in the world. In association they can overcome any sorrow that might come their way.

Jeevan Hai Madhuban – Jasoos (1957) Talat / Music – Anil Biswas
If Indeevar was good in penning songs of pathos, see how beautifully he writes an optimistic song. Ignore the negativity and focus on the positive things in your life. Be an enlightenment, an inspiration for others. Show others the correct path.
Talat has sung it with his silken soft expressive voice, with excellent piano to go with it.

In the 1960s, he had successful years and a few good songs made their appearance. A few new composers were added to his team of companions. I’ve added a few representative songs from the 60s.

Itne Bade Jahan Mein – Dark Street (1961) Suman Kalyanpur / Music – Dattaram
It’s a good song, though I guess it’s now forgotten. But it was very popular once and I dare say, the movie is remembered just for this song. The film has a happy and a sad version, but I’m more fond of the former. Just listen to it.

Roshan Tumhi Se Duniya – Parasmani (1963) Rafi / Music – Laxmikant Pyarelal
While the songs of the movie Parasmani are still hugely popular, no one is interested in the lyricist. This one’s the only song he wrote for the movie. The song appears to support the अतिशयोक्ती अलंकार (exaggeration figure of speech).
“नाज़ुक हो नाज़ से भी, तुम प्यार से भी प्यारी,
तुम हुस्न से हसीं हो, क्या बात हैं तुम्हारी”

Paas Baitho Tabiyat Behal Jayegi – Punarmilan (1964) Rafi / Music – C Arjun
Beautifully written song, very well composed by a forgotten composer. And excellently rendered by Rafi. I guess the song is still very popular, though now no one cares for even its composer, let alone the lyricist. Though Ameeta looks beautiful in the video, I can’t imagine Jagdeep singing it on screen. But whenever a video is available, I prefer sharing it.

Chand Ko Kya Maloom – Lal Bangla (1964) Mukesh / Music – Usha Khanna
Here’s a gem from a B grade movie, but well written and composed. A usual Chand and Chakor theme, put in an interesting way. He watches her from a distance, patiently waiting for her.
चाॅंद को क्या मालूम, चाहता हैं उसे कोई चकोर
तो बेचारा दूर से देखे, करे ना कोई शोर

Oh Re Taal Mile Nadi Ke – Anokhi Raat (1968) Mukesh & Chorus / Music – Roshan
After the initial few films with Roshan in the early 1950s, Indeevar worked with him for his last film, Anokhi Raat. And he was the only lyricist for the movie. He wrote some really wonderful songs for the movie. It was a difficult decision for me to select a song. While I absolutely love ‘Mile Na Phool To’ and ‘Mahalon Ka Raja Mila’, for the post I chose, the meaningful, philosophical song.

The year 1970 was very successful for him. He always used to look for inspiration in the poems he read and writings by poets and shairs of various nationalities. He not only read Urdu poetry, but also studied Persian, French and various other languages. Though he used to study these for inspiration, he avoided copying the verses.
He once said, composers have assistants and arrangers to compose music pieces, but a lyricist has to come up with his own ideas. He has no one to assist. And that’s quite true!
He continued his journey in the 70s and 80s. Though his lyrics were not of the same quality, still a few songs did shine.

Roop Tera Aisa Darpan Mein Na Samaye – Ek Baar Muskura Do (1972) Kishore Kumar / Music – O P Nayyar
I have been listening to the song since childhood as the song was a part of one of our old cassettes. A friend congratulating the other, on the occasion of the latter’s wedding. I was a little surprised to watch the video, it looked weird.

Dil Aisa Kisine Mera Toda – Amanush (1973) Kishore Kumar / Music – Shyamal Mitra
An award winning song that fetched the singer and the lyricist Filmfare awards in their respective categories. It’s the only Filmfare award won by Indeevar. The film was a superhit with stellar performances by the lead pair. The song in a way summarizes the entire story of the character Uttam Kumar plays. Indeevar proposes very apt words, avoiding any loud or outrageous phrases. No doubt one of his bests.

Behna Ne Bhai Ki Kalai Se – Resham Ki Dor (1975) Suman Kalyanpur / Music – Shankar Jaikishan
Another wonderful song that became hugely popular. The lyrics are touchy though not extraordinary. It’s among the best known songs of Suman Kalyanpur.

Madhuban Khushbu Deta Hai – Sajan Bina Suhagan (1978) Yesudas & Anuradha Paudwal / Music – Usha Khanna
In the late 1970s, when disco beats were slowly taking over, a few melodious songs were also composed. Though I’m not a huge fan of the song, I guess it’s very popular. The piano pieces are good and of course the lyrics are inspirational and philosophical.

In the 80s and 90s, however, some of his songs were criticized for vulgarity. It was a surprise for his old fans to find him writing such songs. Indeevar said he had to change his style with the changing times and scenarios to be in the industry. His association with Bappi Lahiri was a popular one, though the majority of the songs were not great lyrically. I won’t be adding those songs here. Instead let me add a few beautiful and meaningful songs from the era.

Hothon Se Chhoo Lo Tum – Prem Geet (1981) Singer & Composer – Jagjit Singh
The song is one of Jagjit Singh’s most popular songs. He sang and composed it. The song has such sublime lyrics.
जग ने छीना मुझसे, मुझे जो भी लगा प्यारा
सब जीता किये मुझसे, मैं हरदम ही हारा
तुम हार के दिल अपना, मेरी जीत अमर कर दो
While the 80s were not great for Indeevar, this one is very good. Though his other songs were popular too, those were not his bests.

Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye – Jurm (1990) Sadhana Sargam & Kumar Sanu / Music – Rajesh Roshan
The song needs no introduction. It’s one of the most popular songs of Rajesh Roshan. After penning songs for Roshan, Indeevar also wrote songs for Rajesh Roshan. The song highlights the importance of commitment and devotion in love. The lyrics are cute and meaningful. The singers have also done a great job.

And, in the 90s as well, Indeevar was active, writing songs for Hindi films. Let me add a couple of his most popular songs.

Tum Mile Dil Khile – Criminal (1995) Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu (with opening aalaps by Chitra) / Music – M M Kreem
Indeevar must have written lyrics on a preset tune. The lyrics are romantic and are apt to the situation. The song is extremely popular and is one of the melodious songs of the 90s.

O Humsafar Dil Ke Nagar – Fareb (1996) Alka Yagnik & Udit Narayan / Music – Jatin Lalit
It’s one of my favourites from the movie. The film had some absolutely melodious songs and were very popular. If I’m not wrong, Indeevar wrote a couple of songs or three for the movie.

He was working till 1996, and he left for heavenly abode on 27th February 1997. He left the legacy of wonderful songs spread across the career of five decades.

I know, all of you are missing something! Yes, I’ve left one of the most important parts of his career. His most successful association was with the composer duo, Kalyanji Anandji. But of course, it needs to be covered in a separate post to offer it full justice. So see you all soon with the second part of the series.

Would you add your favourite?

Disclaimer –
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.

13 Replies to “Remembering Indeevar – I”

  1. Nice post! You indeed covered some wonderful songs, which sounded so nice due to the awesome lyrics by Indeevar. I would certainly add Bappi Lahiri’s association with Indeevar. They created magical numbers, like “Pyar hi jeene ki surat”, from Armaan, and many more.
    Keep posting. Your writings are a breath of fresh air.


    1. Dipankar Benerjee
      Welcome to Mehfil. Thanks a lot for your appreciation. And thank you for adding the song from Armaan -1981. I knew someone will definitely add the songs composed by Bappi Lahiri.


  2. Anup,
    Indivar has been one of the most respective lyricists of Hindi film songs. You have selected his best known songs for ‘other’ music directors. Looking forward to his combination with Kalyanji-Anandji.


  3. What I can add to this nice compilation is the song he wrote to celebrate our 1983 cricket world cup victory.Lataji with winner team had sung this song at Indraprastha Stadium, New Delhi


    1. Oh!
      Thank you so much Ravindraji.
      I must confess I wasn’t at all aware of the song. Nor any of the books that I referred to, mentioned it.
      It was a golden moment for us Indians, though I was just a kid then! And later I was more inclined to cinema and film songs and books (and studies), I never developed an interest in cricket. Today also I hardly keep myself updated about the never ending cricket matches.


  4. I remember, many years ago, in the 1990s, my parents and I were sitting and watching Chitrahaar or some such programme, and one awful song came on, Shut up, shut up. We were horrified when we discovered that the lyricist was Indeevar, and my father said, “Bechara Indeevar, he’s really fallen on bad times.” I was initially amused, but later I felt sad that he was probably forced by producers or directors to write stuff like that, and had no option but to go along.

    But in his heyday (and when cinema music at least was at its peak), Indeevar did write some wonderful songs, as you’ve illustrated so well in your post, Anupji. Thank you for these songs – lots of lovely ones. Another film for which Indeevar wrote some fabulous songs was Safar, 1970. Here is just one, Hum thhe jinke sahaare:


    1. Thank you Madhuji for the appreciation.

      “he was probably forced by producers or directors to write stuff like that, and had no option but to go along”
      That’s quite true. I think he changed his writing as per the changing taste of the audience and so on.

      Thank you for sharing tye song from Safar. But as I’m going to cover his association with Kalyanji Anandji in a separate post as a second part of the series, I didn’t include it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anup ji ,

    Good write up.

    Rajkamal had 7 lyricists for the 10 songs in SAAWAN KO AANE DO. Indivar had 2 memorable ones:

    Chand jaise mukhde pe bindiya sitara…

    Tujhe dekhkar jagwale…

    Rajesh Roshan, Indivar team gave hit music in AAKHIR KYON?

    Dushman na kare dost ne jo kaam kiya hai…by Lata is the most popular. But, my favorite is
    Ek andhera Lakh sitare…by Mohammad Aziz.

    Sham aayi chad aayee re badariya and the Holi songs are good, too.


    1. Pradeepji,
      Thank you so much for adding some wonderful songs. To limit the number of songs, I had to drop many songs.

      I’ll add the links of my favourites mentioned by you
      Chand jaise mukhde pe bindiya sitara

      I somehow don’t much like Dushman Na Karen & the Holi song, but

      Ek Andhera Lakh sitare is good

      Sham Hui Chhad aayi


  6. Anupji, this is a lovely post tracing the journey of Indeevar. I wanted to add two more music directors with whom he worked – Chitragupt and Jaidev.
    1) Chaand Raat Hain Tu Bhi Saath Hain (Chitargupt)

    2) Saathi Milte Hain Badi Mushkil Se (Jaidev)


    1. Thank you Anitaji for your appreciation.
      And thank you for adding a couple of new composers to the list.
      I had heard the song by Chitragupt earlier, but had completely forgotten about it.
      Ek Hans Ka Joda was a completely new song for me. I liked the lyrics.
      Thank you for the wonderful songs.

      Liked by 1 person

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