(Part 5) Boat Songs

Welcome to the fifth part of the series based on the boat songs from Hindi films.
After completing the posts on a couple traveling on a boat and a small crowd on a boat, I was wondering what next! Meanwhile I completed the parts on boatman songs and group of boats songs. While I was thinking about it, a comment by blog reader Bhushan, on the last part of the series, captured my attention. He asked if I have covered O Majhi Re in my solo boat post? I then remembered that the solo boat song list was left incomplete, so was the list of boat songs with a relatively big crowd.

When I opened both the song lists, I thought of combining the lists to form a single post. Both the lists had five songs each with a total of ten songs.
So here I am,

From being alone to part of a crowd

There are a few boat songs where the character is traveling alone on a boat, rowing by himself or less commonly by a boatman. In the latter case he/she is the only passenger on the boat.

boat 5.2

In the other scenario, there would be a relatively big crowd (not just 3-4 people) on the boat that might be countable or couldn’t be easily counted. A group of friends, a small ceremony, a picnic etc.

boat 5.1

But there should be a boat, and no ships are allowed on today’s journey.

I am sure your brain must have already started churning the topic and you must be ready with a rough list in your mind. Wouldn’t it be interesting to compare our lists?
Let’s row, l mean let’s go……

1. Rula Ke Gaya Sapna Mera – Jewel Thief (1967) Lata Mangeshkar / S D Burman – Shailendra
This was actually the first song that I could recollect, only to find later that Dev Anand and Vyjayanti Mala, both sail on boats, thankfully separately. The only annoying thing for me was its picturisation on a set, it’s clear as day. Dev Anand tries to trace her and finally lands up near her. Of course that’s what she wants, part of a trap. For last minute or so she gets out of the boat and steps on the shore. As they are not sailing together, I didn’t count it as a group of boats.

2. Hum Ko Tumhare Ishq Ne Kya Kya – Ek Musafir Ek Haseena (1963) Rafi / O P Nayyar – S H Bihari
A masterpiece by Nayyar and Rafi. Beautiful harmonium and Sarangi pieces in the song. Joy Mukherjee himself carries one. It’s sung in a recital style (like the ones sung in a mushaira) though it’s not one! Seems Joy Mukherjee is searching for Sadhana but she is not able to meet him, though she’s desperate. Joy Mukherjee sails on a boat with a boatman, who seems absorbed in his own business. Sort of equanimous! It’s nice to see it picturised on a real location rather than a set. The song is eye pleasing even in black and white, just imagine how wonderful it would have been in colour!

3. Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana – Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) Rafi / Kalyanji Anandji – Anand Bakshi
This was obviously one of the first few songs I could recollect while compiling the list. Shashi Kapoor playing a boatman, sails in a small shikara. The song was picturised on Dal lake in Kashmir. Looks like a perfect picture postcard! I believe the song is still very popular, though it’s not one of my favourites by Rafi.

4. Nadiya Ke Pani O Re – Savera (1958) Lata Mangeshkar / Sailesh Mukherjee – Shailendra
A despondent meena Kumari slowly rows the boat, as she pours her heart out in the song. Her childhood friend and husband is close to her, but he is no longer the same person. Though her mind believes in him, her eyes don’t. She is tormented by the dilemma. The song, though melancholy, has quite a cheerful orchestration, perhaps to underline her dilemma. She is heartbroken but acts as if everything is normal. I like the song.

5. O Majhi Re Apna Kinara – Khushboo (1975) Kishore Kumar / R D Burman – Gulzar
Though Jitendra is not travelling alone on the boat, the other character (who perhaps is a boatman and the song is addressed to him) plays no significant role as far as the song is concerned. The song is a masterpiece by the trio, Kishore Kumar, Pancham da and Gulzar. Pancham da’s pairing with Gulzar has always given us memorable songs, and this one’s not an exception! Such a soulful rendition of meaningful words. The song has a perfect aura of a boat song.

6. Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh – Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
A large group of people, apparently hospital staff, is celebrating Raj Kumar’s wedding with Nadira. They are playing a game on board. The one who gets the paper chit with bindi stuck on it, should sing for the party. The honour goes to Meena Kumari. The heart broken lady pours her heart out while the audience seems to enjoy it, though it doesn’t sound like a playful song. I have been watching the song since childhood, and the scene which I remember the most is the one where Shammi makes a face. Her expressions are fantastic. Anyway, enjoy the beautiful song.

7. Din Hai Bahar Ke – Waqt (1965) Asha Bhosle & Mahendra Kapoor / Ravi – Sahir
A large group of college students enjoying a picnic on a raft. Sharmila Tagore keeps on trying to cheer Shashi Kapoor up, who has a lot on his plate and has no time for love. The song has very good orchestration, with the use of mouth organ, guitar and clapping sounds to support the rhythm. Though I’m not very fond of the song, it does fit the bill.

8. Aadmi Chirag Hai – Barkha (1959) Rafi / Chitragupt – Rajendra Krishan
Jagdeep sings the song while rowing his boat in the Ganges. It’s a philosophical song , a human being is helpless in face of the supreme power of the almighty God. He has to bend according to the wishes of the latter. The song also revises the verse from Geeta, ‘कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन’. It’s a boatman’s song, a category already covered on the blog. So I’m adding it to today’s list.

9. Dhadke Dhadke Reh Reh Ke – Naata (1955) Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad Begum, Rafi and Balbir / S Mohinder – Tanveer Naqvi
What a beautiful boat song! Rare to find a boat song with Punjabi folk tune. Lata Mangeshkar sings for Madhubala while Shamshad Begum sings for Chanchal. Rafi’s voice can be clearly heard in the chorus. Despite being a top playback singer, he never hesitated to sing such songs, where he has no solo lines.

10. Sham Dhale Jamuna Kinare – Pushpanjali (1970) Lata Mangeshkar & Manna Dey / Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi
A very melodious bhajan, rendered excellently by the singers. A group of sages is travelling on a boat, whose leader sings in the praise of Radha Krishna. The divine romance between the two unfolds during the recital. The scenario looks quite apt for a boat song. The early evening hours, a boat sailing peacefully on the river, beautiful flute pieces and the bhajan.

Would you add a song?

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.

32 Replies to “(Part 5) Boat Songs”

        1. I actually had kept it for a future part, though I’m not sure if I could collect sufficient number to form a post.
          But of course, no problem with your sharing it in this part. It is of course a perfect fit for this one.


    1. Yes,
      I agree! The boat songs do take us to a different world. Now a days we hardly come across boat songs. Bridges are important of course, though they have snatched away such opportunities in real life as well.
      Last time when I enjoyed a boat ride was in Pachmarhi lake a few years back.


  1. Dear Anup ji,

    There are too many Parts and Combinations to keep in mind all the Songs posted. I hope this one has not been mentioned before

    Are there any more Parts in the offing?

    With warm regards



    1. I think you only had added it to one of the previous parts.
      There’s no way to know if the singing characters are the only passengers on the boat. It seems there’s a crew of boatman’s on the boat, so it’s a likely fit.

      There have been 4 parts earlier,

      1st part – only the couple on the boat
      2nd part – a small crowd (3-4) on the boat
      3rd part – boatman songs that’s songs sung by boatmen
      4th part – songs picturised on a group of boats.
      5th part – a combination of ‘either a single passenger or the singer rowing himself/herself’
      ‘a large crowd, more than 5 or a big crowd’

      I understand the difficulty in remembering the parts.

      The series has at least two more parts to go.


  2. Anup, this is a very nice collection of songs, and since there are so many boat songs of one kind or another in classic Hindi films, you certainly are justified in separating them into different types (though, on the other hand, you have gone into a lot of types here, haven’t you? 🙂 ). Unfortunately, I think that I must have missed the earlier lists, so I will have to visit them soon – and I look forward to doing that.

    I was wondering, for a comment to this list, if it is OK if there is one person in a boat but only for the first third (more or less) of the song. If so, well, I thought of the following song right away. (This song actually was recently mentioned in a blog comment to me by Partha Chanda, and for some reason, I have also had the soundtrack to Mahal very much on my mind recently. 😉 )

    I also was wondering if you might want to put together another boat song list, for people singing about a boat or boat ride who aren’t actually on the boat at the time. If you did, you could include the following song, one of my favorites from this singing star (I think you must know it, too 😉 ).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Richard,
      Thank you for your appreciation. There certainly are too many boat songs in Hindi films and so to sort them by some criteria was my aim.

      “you have gone into a lot of types here, haven’t you?”

      I must confess I’ve! 😉
      But the main reason behind so many parts is, my inability to choose just a few songs from many songs. Hence I tend to arrange the songs by some criteria and accomodate majority of my favourites.

      With five parts, I’ve already covered 50 songs, and intend to add a couple of posts more.
      And, the song from Mahal would be on one of the lists. I won’t disclose the theme of that part, though I must add it’s not anything very great.

      And, thanks for suggesting a theme for yet another part in the series. It would be an interesting thing to do. I would certainly enjoy it.



    2. Dear Anup ji and Richard ji,

      If the word “NAIYYA” is to be used in the metaphoric sense as in the case of Suraiyya’s Song above, you will be opening the floodgates to a whole host of songs about the BOAT being the BOAT OF LIFE (=Jeevan Naiyya) and there are dozens of Bhajans with exactly those words. I am taking the liberty of placing two below

      (from BIRAJ BAHU)

      (from PIYA MILAN KI AAS)

      And there is this old song for which no Video is available

      (from ZALZALA)

      While on the subject, I cannot resist the temptation of placing this song below aptly depicting someone waiting for the Boat ride for the final journey. Although the song is in Bangla, the Video vividly describes the intent. This is a very old traditional Folk Song and was used with emphasis by Satyajit Ray in the Film PATHER PANCHALI

      (sung by Arati Mukherjee)

      Not to worry friends, we still have a long way to go.

      With warm regards


      Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh yes!
            I had forgotten about Tadap Yeh Din Raat Ki completely. It does fit the first part, though none of them actually rows the boat. Nevertheless the boat sails smoothly.
            I don’t have plans for more of the crowd on boat song posts at present.


  3. Dear Anup ji,

    Apropos Song No. 9 in your list, from the Film “NAATA”, here is the Punjabi Version of the Old Folk Song, I believe it is called Mahiya, sung by ALAM LOHAR and SURINDER KOCHAR, from across the Western Border

    Warm regards



      1. Dear Anup ji,

        Actually S Mohinder ji has drawn from two Punjabi Folk Songs. The part sung by Lata and Shamshad are based on the Song posted by me above.

        The Chorus part featured on the Boatmen are from a different Folk Song “SARKE SARKE”, as linked below ( the Video tells a story by itself and even non-Punjabis can guess the meaning ) :

        [ the handsome Sikh would ordinarily be booked for eve-teasing, if the girl in question was not his bride to be ]

        Sat Sri Akal



  4. Anupji, if the category of the solo boat song list can be broadened, then perhaps the song from Baiju Bawra – Tu Ganga ki Mauj Main Jumna would fit.

    The person on the boat (Meena Kumari) does not sing. It is the hero and the onlookers who sing. I actually find it hard to categorize this song. I do not know if you have already listed it in any of your earlier parts.

    There are a few songs of a boat chase or one boat following the other/rowing alongside. Two such songs are Nadi Naare Na Jaon Shaam which is a perfect song to learn negotiation skills. There is Waheeda who is not on the boat at least initially, stopping Sunil Dutt who gets on to one. She pursues him and finally gets on to his boat.

    Then there is a song from Pyaar Hi Pyaar – Dedo pyaar Le Lo Pyaar. You must watch it to understand what I mean about a boat chase.

    Another image that sticks in my mind when you talk of a crowded boat is the one of Swades where Shah Rukh Khan is sitting in a boat with a number of villagers.
    I had emailed you more than a week ago. Not sure whether you saw my email.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anita ji,
      Thank you for adding these songs.
      The first two songs would be there on one of the parts (mostly the 7th part). Let that be a surprise as to what theme it would belong to!

      The Pyar hi Pyar song mostly happens on the shore than on boat, so I think we may not count it.
      And I haven’t checked my email for a couple of weeks. So missed your email. But I do remember Shah Rukh Khan travelling with a passengers on a boat. Was it during the title track?
      I’ve forgotten about it, though otherwise I do remember many scenes of the movie.


  5. Dr. Anup,

    Enjoying your boat songs posts! Some nice songs in this post!
    It is impressive the way you are coming up with different categories. I am sure there are going to be at least 2-3 more posts on this theme.
    I am looking forward to posts that will large motor boats, ships and cruise liners.

    Here is a song from Anokha Milan (1972) that should fit here – Bandhu re ye man dole bole

    Pardesiyon se na ankhiyan milana has a shorter female version sung by Lata which is also a boat song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr Rajesh,
      Thank you so much for your appreciation. I’m glad you’re enjoying the series.
      The next part in the series is indeed, ‘Ship songs’. It will be published in next month. Haven’t yet finalized the date.

      And I will begin my Lata yearly posts, mostly on 1st March. Let’s see how things shape up!

      And coming with a post tomorrow.


  6. I had only just begun listening to these when I got the notification that you had posted boat songs, part six! Your industry puts the rest of us to shame ( ;

    I think my favorite of these was “Nadiya Ke Pani O Re,” which I had not before seen. It is so easy to imagine the same melody applied to teasing lyrics or something else more cheerful; the disjuncture really expresses Meena’s character’s predicament.


    1. Oh! You were missing on the screen for a long time! Fifth part was published last month. I am quite consistent when it comes to publishing posts.

      Nadiya ke paani doesn’t sound like a sad song if one doesn’t know its situation and picturisation.

      And hats off to you! You read four to five posts in a row! That’s incredible! I’m not joking! You commented on a few posts one after another.
      Thanks a lot!



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