(Remembering S H Bihari on his 36th death anniversary)
It’s been more than six months now that I published a post on a lyricist. A post based on S H Bihari’s songs was planned last year itself, but I couldn’t execute it. So this year I was keen to complete it.
S H Bihari was mainly associated with Hemant Kumar and O P Nayyar, though he also wrote for Ravi Shankar Jaikishan and Laxmikant Pyarelal.
O P Nayyar had named him Shayar e Azam. He penned songs of every genre, right from romantic songs to lullabies and club songs. His association with Shankar Jaikishan and Ravi had more of his philosophical songs, or so is my observation.
Born in 1922, as Shamsul Huda Bihari in Araa district of Bihar, he studied in Kolkata, making him fluent even in Bangla along with Hindi and Urdu. He was interested in Poetry and Shayari which attracted him to Mumbai in 1947. One of his cousins was already in Mumbai. He worked in a rubber factory for a while to ultimately join Hindi films in 1949. He was invited by none other than Anil Biswas for his own production, Laadli, made under the banner of Variety Pictures. He penned two songs for the movie and I have both the songs to open today’s list. Let’s enjoy the lesser heard gems,
1. Ek Chhotisi Chingari – Laadli (1949) Meena Kapoor / Composer – Anil Biswas
The song could be the heroine’s introductory song, as it portrays her character in the film. Surely a delight to listen to.
2. Gharibon Ka Hissa – Laadli (1949) Lata Mangeshkar / Composer – Anil Biswas
I haven’t heard the song before, but it’s a good song.
He also wrote for Suraiya and Karan Dewan starrer, Duniya (1949). But I couldn’t confirm his songs from the movie. He was getting assignments in the early years of the 50s. But the songs were not very popular. The prominent films include,
Dilruba (1950) for Gyan Dutt
Nirdosh and Bhai Behen (1950) for Shyam Sunder
Bedardi (1951) for Roshan
Khubsoorat (1952) for Madan Mohan
Nishan Danka (1952) for Basant Prakash
Rangeela (1953) for Jamal Sen
Gawaiya (1954) for Ram Ganguly
Madhur Milan (1955) for Bulo C Rani
I’ll add a couple of songs which I like, from these movies.
3. Teri Yaad Ka Deepak – Gawaiya (1954) Surendra and Talat Mahmood (sung separately) / Composer – Ram Ganguly
I’ve no idea if both the versions of the song were included in the movie or not. And it seems there were two versions by Talat Mahmood with a different second stanza. The song is full of pathos and the lyrics are heart touching.
तक़दीर को ऐसी आग लगी
जल जल के कलेजा ख़ाक हुआ
है शौक़ मगर कुछ और अभी
जलने का तेरे परवाने में
किस्सा है मेरी बरबादी का
और शौक़ से दुनिया सुनती है
क्या राज़ है कोई क्या जाने
इस दर्दभरे अफसाने में
4. Ae Dil Mere Udas Na Ho – Madhur Milan (1955) Asha Bhosle / Composer – Bulo C Rani
A beautiful song full of optimism. The song is not only popular, but certainly good .
Though he was in the industry for a few years, he was yet to taste success.
In 1954, he wrote for Hemant Kumar for the first time. The songs from Shart were roaringly popular and started his long and successful association with Hemant Kumar. He was associated with him for the next few years in the late 50s. After a gap of more than a decade, Bihari again penned songs for Hemant Kumar in Bees Saal Pehle (1972).
Let’s listen to a few of my favourites from these films.
5. Na Yeh Chand Hoga – Shart (1954) Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar (Sung Separately) / Composer – Hemant Kumar
We can take this as one of the most popular songs of Bihari. It’s very impressive that he wrote six different verses for the songs. Both the songs are pathos laden and for me one of the best songs by the singers.
6. Chand Se Poochho – Daku Ki Ladki (1954) Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar & Chorus / Composer – Hemant Kumar
I got a good audio of the song. It’s one of my great favourites. The film must have been evidently B grade, but the song is really good. Very good use of Chorus singers. I think romantic songs were S H Bihari’s forte and he proved it right from the beginning. His association with Hemant Kumar was indeed very successful with a good number of memorable songs. I don’t know if I can call this a well known song.
7. Dil Chhed Koi Aisa Naghma – Inspector (1956) Hemant Kumar / Composer – Hemant Kumar
An iconic song again! One of the top most songs by Bihari. The song also has two versions, male and female. However unlike the song from Shart, both the songs have the same verses. While Bihari was eternally romantic, he knew the way to express a broken heart. That too in a mature and composed way. He doesn’t curse the person, but also leaves his sorrows at the mercy of time, which is thought to be the best remedy.
है जिसने हमें यह दर्द दिया
हम उसको दुवाएं देते हैं
यह दर्द दवा बन जाएगा
इक दिन जो पुराना हो जाए
8. Gori Chori Chori Jana – Ek Jhalak (1957) Hemant Kumar / Composer – Hemant Kumar
While a couple of romantic songs from this movie are more popular, I chose to add this song to highlight Bihari’s versatility. The song portrays such a cute teasing! The song has an amazing mixture of teasing and care.
9. Door Door Se Kya Jaata – Bahu (1955) Bela Mukherjee & Ravi / Composer – Hemant Kumar
This one’s an interesting duet from Bahu. Again there could be other popular songs from the movie, but I chose this fun song. Ravi was Hemant da’s assistant at that time. Bela Mukherjee was his wife, who had sung a few songs already. S H Bihari has written the song so well, it underlines his versatility.
10. Mohabbat Mein Tadapne Se – Hill Station (1957) Lata Mangeshkar / Composer – Hemant Kumar
I chose this one as I wasn’t aware of the song and I liked it for its different concept. I won’t say I heard it for the first time, but it appealed to me. The tune is not extraordinary, but still I liked it. The best known song of the movie, Nayee Manzil Nayee Raahein is reserved for a future post.
11. Dil Beqarar Mera – Yahudi Ki Ladki (1957) Asha Bhosle & Hemant Kumar / Composer – Hemant Kumar
A soulful song with heart touching rendition by the singers. The lyrics though not novel are very much likable.
In the 60s, his most successful and prolonged association was with O P Nayyar. It all started with a couple of songs. One song each for the films, Mitti Mein Sona (1960) and Basant (1960). I couldn’t help adding both the songs to the list.
12. Yeh Duniya Rahe Na Rahe – Mitti Mein Sona (1960) Asha Bhosle / Composer – O P Nayyar
Though the song is not so popular, it deserves mention as it was one of the first songs S H Bihari wrote for Nayyar. The song is about a mother’s love for her child and Asha Bhosle’s emotional rendition aptly underlines the soulful lyrics.
13. Nainon Mein Suraj Ki Kirane – Basant (1960) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Composer – S H Bihari
He wasn’t the main lyricist of the movie, in fact he wrote just one song for the movie. I won’t say it was the best song of the movie, but it’s fun to listen to. And the on screen pair of gorgeous Nutan and Shammi Kapoor further adds to the appeal.
Then throughout 60s and 70s he was associated with O P Nayyar for around 20+ films, including hits like, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena (1962), Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966), Sawan Ki Ghata (1966), Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966), C I D 909 (1967), Humsaya (1968), Kismat (1968), Ek Baar Muskura Do (1972), Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1973) etc. It is said that O P Nayyar used to have clashes with established lyricists (except Majrooh) and couldn’t form a long-lasting association with any of them. But he had very good tuning with Bihari and he called him Shayar e Azam, emperor of poetry. And aptly so.
I’ve tried to limit myself by choosing just a handful of my favourites.
14. Bahut Shukriya Badi Meherbani – Ek Musafir Ek Haseena (1962) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Composer – O P Nayyar
बहुत शुक्रिया बड़ी मेहरबानी
मेरी जिंदगी में हुज़ूर आप आएं
I think the lyrics are very apt. Perhaps O P Nayyar and Bihari both felt the same for each other. The hit parade of their songs started with this movie. The song is absolutely delightful, catchy tune, good lyrics and perfect rendition. Rafi’s expressions in particular are wonderful. And Sadhana looks extremely beautiful.
मुझे डर है मुझमें गुरूर आ ना जाए
लगूं झुमने मैं, सुरुर आ ना जाए
कहीं दिल ना मेरा, यह तारीफ़ सुनकर
तुम्हारा बने और मुझे भूल जाए
15. Hai Duniya Usiki Zamana Usika – Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) Rafi / Composer – O P Nayyar
Such a soulful song! The lyrics, orchestration, picturisation and Rafi’s rendition, everything is excellent. I would leave it to the readers to enjoy the song in their own way.
16. Isharon Isharon Mein Dil – Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Composer – O P Nayyar
What a beautiful song! Excellent lyrics, catchy tune and rhythm and brilliant renditions by the singers. And the on screen pair looks great too. I’ll add my favourite verse here,
माना के जाने अदा, लाखों में तुम एक हो
हमारी निगाहों की भी कुछ तो मगर दाद दो
बहारों को भी नाज़ जिस फूल पर था, वहीं फूल हमने चुना गुलसितासे
17. Aaj Koi Pyar Se – Sawan Ki Ghata (1966) Asha Bhosle / Composer – O P Nayyar
The jugalbandi between violins and santoor in the opening music of the song is out of the world. Captivating absolutely! And again, good lyrics supported by the other factors brilliantly. S H Bihari very aptly portrays the tender emotions of a lady experiencing love for the first time. He had his own distinct style.
18. Yehi Woh Jagah Hai – Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966) Asha Bhosle / Composer – O P Nayyar
Yet another popular song by Bihari. His main complaint was that though he consistently wrote hit songs, the audience was unaware of the fact. I think this happens to all the lyricists, but still a few lyricists like Sahir or Shailendra did get recognition.
19. Chaho To Jaan Lelo – C I D 909 (1967) Asha Bhosle / Composer – O P Nayyar
I loved the song the moment I heard it. Though the brilliant opening piece is not a part of the song in the movie, it does appeal.
20. Kajra Mohabbat Wala – Kismat (1968) Asha Bhosle & Shamshad Begum / Composer – O P Nayyar
One of the most popular songs of Nayyar. The dance number has a very infectious tune and the harmonium piece is mind blowing. Bihari is spot on with his lyrics suiting the nautanki performance. And I must add that Biswajit looks good as a lady.
21. Chain Se Humko Kabhi – Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1973) Asha Bhosle / Composer – O P Nayyar
S H Bihari had the skill to convey the emotions in simple words. The song was very popular and fetched Filmfare best playback singer trophy for Asha Bhosle, but it was not included in the movie. The song is still very popular and is considered one of the best collaborations of Asha Bhosle and Nayyar. Unfortunately it was their last film together.
Now let’s have a look at his association with other composers.
In the late 50s, when his association with Hemant Kumar was weaning off, it was a beginning for the latter’s assistant, Ravi, to get associated with Bihari.
It started with 4 films in 1958. The films were,
Dilli Ka Thug (1958)
Ghar Sansar (1958)
The alliance continued in the 60s with films like,
Modern Girl (1961)
Salam Memsaab (1961)
Girl’s Hostel (1962)
Tower House (1962)
Isi ka Naam Zindagi Hai (1962) which had all the songs penned by Bihari. The film was directed by Shakti Samanta.
Apna Bana Ke Dekho (1963)
Sindbad Alibaba aur Alladin (1965) which also had all the songs penned by Bihari.
I’ve chosen a couple of songs from these films, let’s listen to the songs,
22. Bhala Karnewale Bhalai Kiye Ja – Ghar Sansar (1958) Rafi / Composer – Ravi
One of the better known philosophical songs by Bihari. It also teaches you about optimism.
23. Ya Habibi Ya Karibi – Isi Ka Naam Zindagi Hai (1962) Asha Bhosle / Composer – Ravi
The film is not well known, but it was one of the movies where S H Bihari penned all the songs for Ravi. And he also wrote club songs. A catchy song with good dance by Helen and wonderful rendition by Asha Bhosle.
Shankar Jaikishan –
Bihari wrote for Shankar Jaikishan in the late 60s and the early 70s. But for most of the films, his contribution was limited to a song or two. And it was the beginning of SJ’s downfall as well. So the alliance wasn’t much talked about and not so popular. The films were,
Jhuk Gaya Aasman (1968)
Sapnon Ka Saudagar (1968)
Bhai Behen (1969)
Pagla Kahin Ka (1970)
Jane Anjane (1971)
Yaar Mere (1971)
24. Duniya Isi Ka Naam Hai – Duniya (1968) Mukesh & Sharda / Composer – Shankar Jaikishan
The song featured on my train song list. It’s picturised as a train song sung by beggars. Bihari has written a number of philosophical songs and this is one of those songs.
He wrote all the songs for R D Burman in the film, Puraskar (1970) and just one song for Kalyanji Anandji in Nami Chor (1977). He also wrote for N Datta in the 70s.
In the 80s he wrote for Bappi Lahiri for Karate (1983) where he penned all the songs and just one song for Kab Tak Chup Rahungi (1988). The latter was released posthumously.
In the 80s, he also wrote for Laxmikant Pyarelal for about a dozen films. The films include, Pyar Jhukta Nahin, Teri Meherbaniya, Mard Ki Zaban, Pyar Kiya Hai Pyar Karenge, Naseeb Apna Apna, Mohabbat Ki Aag, Janam Janam, Love 86, Mazloom, Asli Naqli, Aulad etc. Except for the first couple of films, I’m not aware of the songs from any of these films.
25. Tumse Milkar Na Jane Kyun – Pyar Jhukta Nahin (1985) Lata Mangeshkar & Shabbir Kumar / Composer – Laxmikant Pyarelal
S H Bihari not only penned songs for the movie, he also wrote the script for the movie. I remember the songs of the movie were very popular. The song had three versions. I’ve added the duet already, in addition I clearly remember the Kavita Krishnamurthy version. And I had completely forgotten about the male solo version.
I think I should probably end my list now.
- According to Tabassum talkies, though Bihari wrote a number of hit and popular Hindi film songs, he wasn’t a popular lyricist.
- He was also interested in football and during his stay in Kolkata, he used to play for Mohun Bagan.
- After the 70s, though he continued working for Hindi films, his heydays were over.
- He was an ace romantic song writer and as the focus shifted to action films in the 70s, perhaps he wasn’t in demand. He might also have faced a challenge from the newer lyricists and the changing trends in Hindi films.
- He was also said to have financial problems. He also had to bear his son’s untimely death.
- He worked extensively with Laxmikant Pyarelal in the 80s, though not all of the songs were popular. After the grand success of Pyar Jhukta Nahin in 1985, he had a few releases with L P in 1986 as well.
- Later He was ill, and succumbed to death on 25th February 1987. A few of his movies were released posthumously, but the songs were not popular.
Please add your favourites by S H Bihari.
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 and Dailymotion, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.
14 Replies to “Na Yeh Chand Hoga – Remembering S H Bihari”
Thank you for this much-needed post. So many of SH Bihari’s songs are so popular, but he himself is one of the less well-known lyricists, such a shame.
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Thank you so much for your appreciation Madhuji.
He was a lesser known lyricist despite writing hit songs.
I don’t know whether SH Bihari was a popular lyricist or not. But the all-time hits he composed for OP Nayyar and Hemant Kumar have made him immortal.
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The songs he wrote for HK and OP are immortal masterpieces.
A well researched and comprehensive post on the lyricist with many popular songs. Your industriousness is fully appreciated. Immediately after Song No. 2, you have mentioned Dev Anand as having acted in Duniya (1949). I checked up on IMDB. He is not at all in the film. It is Karan Dewan. Please check up. Considering your knowledge I could bed wrong too.
Hill Station movie is not available. There are only two songs I have heard. I am adding one more song sung by Geeta Dutt from this movie.
Title is – Oh Baazigar
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Thanks a lot Ranganji for the appreciation.
I’ve corrected the mistake of Duniya’s main lead. It’s Karan Dewan.
Thanks for sharing the song from hill station.
Anupji, this is a very good post on S.H.Bihari.
I had written a post about him (https://anitamultitasker.wordpress.com/2021/12/05/shaayar-e-aazam-s-h-bihari/) a long time ago but had excluded OP Nayyar because everyone tends to associate him with OP Nayyar alone.
Here is a snap shot of his life, talent and struggles :-
Even though he was talented, he was never financially well off. He had a tough time making ends meet. He often travelled by bus and even wrote the lyrics of many a song behind bus tickets. It goes to show how spontaneously creative he was. He had the ability to come up with lyrics of songs in a very short period of time. However, one song which he struggled to write was Tumhaari Mulaaqat Se Mujhko Pata Yeh Chala from Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (1966). He actually started to doubt his own abilities as a lyricist since the music director (O.P.Nayyar), the director and the producer did not approve the umpteen versions of the song that he had written. This song did not do well, despite all the effort he put in. And he says that another song of the same movie which was written effortlessly – Raaton Ko Chori Chori – became very popular.
The song from Pyaar Jhukta Nahin – Tumhe apna saathi banaane se pehle, apparently was written by him in 1953 when he got married. It was addressed to his future wife. This was used in 1985 in this film. Here’s the link to the interview where his wife speaks about this song.
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Thank you so much Anitaji for the comment. It added much to the post, and thanks for the video. This time I was unable to listen to YouTube videos as a part of research. So I missed these videos.
I couldn’t get any information about his songs from Duniya 1949. But though he wasn’t the sole lyricist of the film, I could get at least one song by Bihari.
Here are a few songs from Hill Station (1957) Hemant Kumar
Geeta Dutt – Yeh Mara Oh Mara
Wo kush Naseeb – Sung by Hemant Kumar
Gori gori patli – Geeta Dutt & Mohammad Rafi
Thank you for the songs.
It’s a pity that “Chain Se Humko Kabhi” was omitted from “Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye” ) : That film is a favorite of mine. As far as I know, Bihari was the only lyricist who worked on it–at any rate, he’s the only one mentioned in the credits. I will add a couple other songs from the film, in contrasting styles:
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Thank you for the appreciation. And thanks for sharing the songs.
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Such a shame that his songs are so popular but SH Bihari is almost anonymous. Thanks for such a detailed post on this wonderful lyricist.
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Thank you for your appreciation.
I too wonder why he wasn’t popular even after writing so many popular songs. That too good lyrics, not mediocre.