Tumhari Qasam Tum Bahot Yaad Aaye – Remembering Minoo Mumtaz

I had just uploaded my post on Lata’s non film songs, when I was hit by the news of the sad demise of yet another favourite dancer actress of old Hindi cinema. Her dance numbers have always enchanted me. Her vivacious presence on the silver screen is a reason enough to smile.

Dancer, actress Minoo Mumtaz passed away on 23rd October in Canada. She was one of the few actresses of Hindi cinema who could make a mark in spite of doing character roles and dance numbers mainly. Born to the actor dancer Mumtaz Ali, she had to work in Hindi films to earn for her family. Born as Malikaunnisa alias Malika Begum, she liked dancing even as a child. Mehmood was her elder brother, but she was the first to support her family. She became an elder son of the family indeed, taking care of her seven siblings and parents.

I happened to watch her interview, in which she narrated the story of her career. Her father’s alcoholism compelled his children to join him in his stage shows. Little Malika liked to dance anyway. Director Nanubhai Vakil spotted her visiting the film studios frequently. He offered her a small role, that of a mermaid, in his ongoing film, Sakhi Hatim starring Daljit and Chitra. Though her mother didn’t approve of her daughter’s joining the Hindi film industry, her father supported the decision. He said, “मच्छी कि बच्चा मच्छी ही होता हैं, झिंगा नहीं होता”. But her mother warned her to be careful in the industry, which Minoo followed throughout her career. She strictly minded her own business, maintained her dignity.
The film, Sakhi Hatim, was released in 1955 marking her debut in Hindi films.
The same year, she appeared in three more films. Miss Coca Cola, where she did a dance number. Her other two films were Society and Baradari.

Chhodo Chhodo Ji Baiyan – Baradari (1955) Lata Mangeshkar & Shamshad Begum / Nashad – Khumar Barabankavi
A street performance by Cuckoo and Minoo Mumtaz during a marriage procession. The latter is cross dressed and teases Cuckoo, who shows faux disapproval at the teasing. Minoo Mumtaz is very much at ease and is very graceful even with a seasoned film dancer, Cuckoo.

Though she had four films in the first year of career, Minoo Mumtaz was just a year away from success. The song from C.I.D (1956) made her one of the popular faces in Hindi films.

Boojh Mera Kya Naav Re – C I D (1956) Shamshad Begum / O P Nayyar – Majrooh
We can call it her first major hit. The popularity of the song helped her achieve success and she signed films in rapid succession. The song is still very popular and is considered one of the most successful songs. In all these films her contribution was restricted to just that song.

The same year, her dance number with Helen from the film Halaku was released, making her much more popular. She particularly used to mention it as one of her favourites.

Aji Chale Aao – Halaku (1956) Asha Bhosle & Lata Mangeshkar / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
Again Minoo Mumtaz is very confident with the dance steps. Helen was a well known dancer by then and it is said that she appreciated Minoo’s dancing talent. It was one of the most comforting compliments for Minoo Mumtaz. Both of them dance very well and sizzle throughout the performance.

Before we go to her other songs, let me put the songs I most remember her for! Yes, the exquisite mujra songs picturised on her.

Dil Ki Kahani Rang Layi Hai – Chaudahvi Ka Chand (1960) Asha Bhosle / Ravi – Shakeel Badayuni
One of her most popular Mujra songs. She has filled the screen with her presence.

Saqiya Aaj Mujhe Neend Nahi Aayegi – Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) Asha Bhosle & Chorus / Hemant Kumar – Shakeel Badayuni
What a wonderful experience watching this song is! Extremely enjoyable. Very good tune, nice choreography and of course excellent performance by Minoo Mumtaz. Her lively expressions steal the show.

Jab Jab Tumhe Bhulaya – Jahan Aara (1964) Asha Bhosle & Lata Mangeshkar / Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishan
Though I could have selected the solo, Woh Chup Rahe To, I particularly chose this duet performed by on screen sisters in the movie and sung by real life sisters. The song opens with a beautiful dance piece by Minoo Mumtaz and is later joined by young Aruna Irani. The latter appears a bit amature in Minoo’s comparison. The song is a bit too long, though watching it is always a delight, thanks to Minoo Mumtaz.

Tumhari Kasam Tum Bahut Yaad Aaye / – Gaban (1967) Lata Mangeshkar / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
I can call it my most favourite song of the movie. I really do like it a lot. Though she doesn’t dance energetically in the song, her expressions are good.

Tujhe Beqarar Karke – Rangalya Ratri Asha (1962) Asha Bhosle / Datta Davjekar
Minoo Mumtaz acted in the Marathi movie, रंगल्या रात्री अशा. She danced very well in the song and she played an important character in the movie. She dances in the mehfil attended by Shahu Modak, Arun Sarnaik, and Sharad Talwalkar. The movie couldn’t do wonders though the songs were very popular. The tune of this Mujra is exactly similar to Woh Na Aayenge Palat Kar from Devdas.

Now we’ll continue her journey again from the earlier period. Very soon she established herself as a popular dancer of Hindi cinema. Still for most of the movies, she was just a part of a dance number.

Reshmi Shalwar Kurta Jali Ka – Naya Daur (1957) Shamshad Begum & Asha Bhosle / O P Nayyar – Sahir
What can I say about the song! Two of my favourites in a song! A wonderful stage performance as a part of nautanki. Both of them dance so well, with Minoo cross dressed.

Dupatta Mera Malmal Ka – Adalat (1958) Asha Bhosle & Geeta Dutt / Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishan
Another stage dance performance. As Nargis wasn’t a dancer, the main responsibility was taken over by Minoo Mumtaz. She was again cross dressed. Was she a favourite for this?

Janu Janu Ri Kahe Khanke Hai – Insan Jaag Utha (1959) Asha Bhosle & Geeta Dutt / S D Burman – Shailendra
She was paired opposite Sundar in the movie. The song is very popular till date. Two friends tease each other in a conversational manner. A very pleasant song!

She had enough of mere dancing and she asked for character roles. She was showered with roles opposite comedians, Johnny Walker, Agha, Om Prakash, Sundar. Mainly Minoo Mumtaz used to talk about her association with Johnny Walker. They acted in a number of films, including Mai Baap, Ek Saal, Paigham, Chaudahvi Ka Chand etc. She was even paired opposite her elder brother Mehmood in Howrah Bridge (1958). But siblings playing romantic pair beacme a controversial matter. After a few years, when she was offered roles of a second lead or supporting characters, she was again paired with Johnny Walker in Ghar Basake Dekho and Akeli Mat Jaiyo etc.

Yeh Ras Teri Baaton Ka – Ghar Basake Dekho (1963) Rafi / Chitragupt – Rajendra Krishan
A song very much typical for a comedy second lead. But still it’s very enjoyable.

Ye Cycle Ka Chakkar – Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Madan Mohan – Majrooh
Another song picturised on a comedy supporting pair, Agha and Minoo Mumtaz. A good, fun song!

She always wanted to share the silver screen with Dara Singh. In Faulad she got the opportunity. She had a song picturised on both of them, which was a part of my post on G S Kohli’s career. But she also had a dance performance with Mumtaz, who played the main lead in the movie,

Paon Mein Jhanjhar – Faulad (1963) Asha Bhosle / G S Kohli – Anjaan
I wasn’t aware of the picturisation, otherwise I would have added it to my list of unusual songs.
Asha Bhosle sings for both Mumtaz and Minoo Mumtaz. The song talks about various jewellery items a lady wears. Mumtaz seems a little awkward during the dance.

In the interview, she mentioned Gharana, Ghoonghat, Ek Saal, and Chirag Kahan Roshani Kahan as her favourite films. I think she played second lead in Chirag Kahan Roshani Kahan and Bank Manager. Let’s have a look at a couple of songs,

Ab To Baat Badh Chuki – Chirag Kahan Roshani Kahan (1959) Suman Kalyanpur / Ravi – Prem Dhawan
How decently she is seducing Rajendra Kumar! Of course it’s much better than a vampish way of seducing. She looks so beautiful in that simple Punjabi suit. Please follow the link to watch it on YouTube.

Saba Se Yeh Keh Do – Bank Manager (1959) Asha Bhosle / Madan Mohan – Jalal Malihabadi
Minoo Mumtaz with her innocent looks attracts Shekhar and lays a trap for him. She plays a gray shade character. And no wonder her charm entangles him finally. Whatever shade her character is, I just love the song. Excellent lyrics, very melodious tune and heart warming rendition by Asha Bhosle. Minoo Mumtaz was really charming, wasn’t she?

While she started getting supporting roles in films, she also acted as a Main lead in a few films. Though all those films were not hits or popular, I like a few songs from those films. It’s time now to enjoy a couple of songs from the films, she played the lead.

Sitare Raah Takte Hai – Black Cat (1959) Lata Mangeshkar / N Datta – Jaan Nisar Akhtar
Instead of choosing the most popular duet, I selected the soulful song. It’s the only sad song on today’s list. She was very good and convincing as the main lead in the film. Though I’m not used to watching her with a painful face, her expressions appear a bit different.

Aaja Milke Chale Wahan – Ghar Ghar Ki Baat (1959) Lata Mangeshkar & Manna Dey / Kalyanji Veerji Shah – Gulshan Bawra
A playful romantic song, picturised on Minoo Mumtaz and Suresh. In general it was quite disheartening that her films as the main lead were not very successful. Unfortunately she couldn’t get main lead roles in films by big benners.

In addition to Hindi, she also acted in Marathi and Telugu movies. I’ve already added a song from her Marathi movie. I’m adding a Jugalbandi sequence from the same movie to end today’s post. The tabla was played by Ustad Allah Rakha. A good Kathak dance performance by Minoo Mumtaz. Let’s enjoy it.

In 1963, she married Sayyad Akbar Ali. She finished the films she had already signed, like Jahan Ara and Palki. She was pregnant while shooting for Jahan Ara and Palki. The shooting of Palki went on for four years, which was finally released in 1967. She was paired opposite Johnny Walker.
She had four children, including a son Ajaz and three daughters, Mehnaz, Shehnaz and Gulnaz. She was in various countries after marriage. Her children completed their schooling in Kuwait. Finally the family settled in Toronto, Canada.

Her son Ajaz runs a car rental company and also runs an old age home at Niagara. (Courtesy – SoY)

In the beginning of the new century, in the early 2000s, Minoo Mumtaz was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was successfully operated on and recovered fully. It wasn’t short of a miracle. She believes it to be God’s grace and blessings of the well-wishers and fans. She used to visit India frequently, she used to be in contact with Shyama, Waheeda Rehman.

She died on 23rd October 2021 in Toronto, Canada. She was loved a lot in spite of having a relatively small career in Hindi films. That shows her impact as a dancer and as an actress. Her elegant and graceful dancing was captivating. In addition, her natural acting was also appreciated, making her a favourite across all age groups. Interest and curiosity about her dance songs never ends. Her smile, her expressions, her lively face and graceful dance steps, all will be remembered forever. Not to forget her decency. Her outfits and expressions were never vulgar.

May her soul rest in peace.

Please add your favourite Minoo Mumtaz songs.

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.

18 Replies to “Tumhari Qasam Tum Bahot Yaad Aaye – Remembering Minoo Mumtaz”

  1. Very good list, Anupji. Thank you, especially, for those songs from Marathi films – I hadn’t known she acted in Marathi or Telugu films, so that was something I learnt.

    RIP, Minoo Mumtaz.


  2. Although the occasion is sorrowful, I have been enjoying being introduced to many “new” songs of Minoo Mumtaz in these days following her death. About half of these I had never heard/seen before. I am particularly impressed by the song from “Baradari.” How extremely self-possessed and self-confident she was as a performer, even in those very early days! Thank you for these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelomit,
      Welcome to Mehfil!
      I’m glad you are enjoying the songs, being introduced to you.
      And I’m happy I’m one of those people.
      I completely agree with you on the song from Baradari.
      She looks so confident and seasoned! Her companion Cuckoo was a senior by then and she was extremely popular.


      1. Thank you for the welcome! I have read your blog for a couple of years but only recently made a WordPress account to start leaving comments. Cuckoo is one of my favorite dancers and I had no idea had danced alongside Minoo Mumtaz. Yet another reason to enjoy that song!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a very good list, Anup! Especially… Well, I’m going to echo what Madhu said above. It was really nice to see those Marathi film clips for the first time. And the second one – the one you closed with – is great. Her dancing is fantastic there, and I very much enjoyed the chance to hear some tabla by Alla Rakha.

    But, of course, I also enjoyed all of the Hindi clips. I guess you know that she was one of my favorites too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Richard,
      Yes I know she was your favourite too.
      And I’m glad you enjoyed the Marathi songs of Minoo Mumtaz. And I agree she’s fantastic in the Kathak dance in the last clip. She was so wonderful, wasn’t she?
      Kumkum and Minoo Mumtaz were among my favourites. I think you like Kumkum too!



      1. Anup, yes, I like Kumkum a lot. And I said that Minoo Mumtaz was one of my favorites; don’t ask me to pick just one favorite above all others. 🙂

        Both of these actress-dancers probably did not get the full recognition that they deserved for their talents and the dances that they did in Hindi films, at least vs. other, “major” stars.

        Probably, Minoo Mumtaz did not surpass Kumkum in the best classical dances. (Kumkum was very impressive in Kohnoor…which led me to wonder why she did not get more classical Kathak dance roles than she did.) But Kumkum had real formal training by a famous teacher of Kathak. I could not find any information about any training that Minoo Mumtaz received beyond the lessons from her father – who, great though he was in his own right (for a brief time anyway), was not someone who, from what I understand, could serve as a formal teacher of classical dance. So, Minoo Mumtaz’s best Kathak dances – or semi-Kathak dances – surprise me, too. (Especially the footwork – as a few of us discussed under Madhu’s tribute. 🙂 )


  4. Dear Anup ji,

    Came across this well known Classical based song from the 1958 Film NADIR SHAH

    The Film BARADARI had also featured MM in this Qawwali

    With warm regards



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

A Mixed Bag

Science, Literature, Sports n more ............

Evergreen Indian film music

Great film music and great music directors

Rekha's Sousaphone

"Geet, beet, bajao baaja!"


The spice of life

Songs Of Yore

A Journey Through Golden Era Of Hindi Film Music

%d bloggers like this: