Ten of my Favourite Saira Banu Songs

Here’s wishing Saira Banu a very very Happy Birthday! (23rd August). I am not a big Saira Banu fan. I find Saira Banu very screechy most of the time – but that doesn’t mean I don’t like her at all or don’t watch her movies. I liked her in movies like Shagird, Aayi Milan Ki Bela, Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan etc. And she has some great songs picturised on her….such good songs that I couldn’t resist myself from doing this post (knowing that it’s her Birthday).

So, here are few songs of hers that I like the most, not in any particular order.It’s a random list of first 10 or rather 15 songs that came into my mind.

One more thing before I start with the songs. How could I not mention Vividh Bharati? I was listening to VB in the afternoon and they played all Saira Banu’s songs in one of their programs. It was then I checked and confirmed her birthday.

1. Aap naraaz khuda khair (Pyaar Mohabbat, 1966) : This is one of my all time favourites and I love everything about this song. Rafi’s singing goes without saying. Shankar-Jaikishan’s music is amazing. Dev Anand is great but it’s Saira who steals the show for me. She looks very beautiful, charming and elegant. Her expressions are simply awesome!


2. Main chali main chali (Padosan, 1968) :  Rendered by Lata and Asha, this is a very masti-bhara number! It has something very refreshing and carefree about it. Rajendra Krishan’s lyrics and R.D’s music is very very cheerful and pleasing. Bhai batur is another typical Saira Banu song, in her signature style. And I really like it but there’s another signature song coming up next. So this was showcasing a different mood of Saira. I like her chilled out character here – that carefree  and eco-friendly attitude.

3.  Unse mili nazar (Jhuk Gaya Aasman, 1968) : This is what I call Saira Banu’s signature style. Penned by Hasrat Jaipuri, composed by Shankar-Jaikishan, sung by Lata and picturised on our B’day girl, this is one of my all-time favourite songs. It’s such a catchy song – everything about it is lovely – the tune, lyrics, singing and Saira looks gorgeous. Picturisation is very very cute, romantic and sensuous. Saira’s expressions of self-confession are so innocent and sweet. I find this and Bhai batur pretty similar – picturisation wise.

4. Kanha kanha (Shagird, 1967): This has Saira in a different avtaar altogether. I initially thought of including my favourite number from this musical blockbuster – Woh hai zara khafa khafa, but felt Dil vil pyar vyar and Ruk ja aye hawa are more like typical Saira Banu songs. But this one is different from other songs of hers, spiritual and magical at the same time. I find her extremly beautiful here. Lata is terrific and Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s music is fantastic!

5. Kashmir ki kali hoon main (Junglee, 1961) : My favourite song from this movie is Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par, but I like the Rafi version more than Lata version. Saira’s expresssions are not all that great in it. It’s Rafi’s voice topped with Shammi Kapoor’s expressions and eyes that has made the song what it is. Ja ja ja mere bachpan is sweet but it’s Saira, looking like a Kashmiri doll in Kashmir ki kali hoon main that makes it to this list – her looks, the Kashmiri attire, angry and khadoos look of Shammi Kapoor (with a pout)…everything about this song is so lovely in a typical Hindi Film style. Again, this song reminds me a bit of O mere sona re from Teesri Manzil.


6. O sanam tere ho gaye hum (Aayee Milan Ki Bela,  1964) : Another musical blockbuster. Each and every song in this film is a masterpiece. I had thought of including Tum kamseen ho first and then realized that I hadn’t put a duet (with a male singer) yet and I’m already half-way through. And also, I have already included a paean to her above and there will be few more by the time I reach the end of this post. So here goes one of my favourite Lata-Rafi romantic duets. Lovely tune from SJ camp and highly romantic lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri. I like Rajendra Kumar-Saira Banu pairing, they look good together and they share a good chemistry. And I love everything about this song, including Rajendra Kumar’s dance :-D


7. Unki pehli nazar kya asar kar gayi (April Fool, 1964) : Talking about musical blockbuster, here’s one more. After battling between Tumhe pyaar karte hai, Mera naam rita chirstina and Unki pehli naazar ka, I chose this over the other two – Tumhe pyaar karte hai is a lovely song, no doubt about it but didn’t want to put two romantic duets in a row (if that can be called an excuse). Mera naam rita christina – everytime I see this song, I keep wishing  it had Helen in it. It definitely portrays Saira in a different avtaar again but I like this song better.  It does sound like a sober and more Bolly-Bharatiya-Naari version of Unse mili nazar. Lata is mindblowing in it and so is Saira. Truly amazing song!


8. Tum akele toh kabhi baag mein (Aao Pyaar Karen, 1964) : I find songs and movies more charming and fascinating when they are in Black & White than in color. May be because all the people whom I like so much looked much better in B&W days. Both Joy Mukherjee and Saira look so gorgeous in this one. This movie again has some lovely songs – be it Tum akele toh kabhi, Dil ki aaine mein, Yeh jhuki jhuki or Tammannao ko khilne do. Tum akele toh is very entertaining. Hats off to the lyricist for penning down this duet – a true battle of words. Usha Khanna’s music as always is lively and peppy. Lata and Rafi are at their best. Saira looks very young and pretty. Though the set looks artificial, I love the song. It’s such a lovely song and with Joy and Saira on screen, I just can’t complain about anything. The full song’s video is not on youtube yet. The link above has only half of the song. However, the audio is available.


9.  Hum bhi agar bachche hote (Door Ki Awaaz, 1964) : I almost put Husn se chaand bhi sharmaya hai but as this is a Birthday special post and it’s Saira’s birthday, here’s this all-time favourite birthday song dedicated to her. Not a great movie, but Joy-Saira pairing always promised some great songs.

10. Husn chala kuch aisi chaal (Bluffmaster, 1963) : Not a movie that I remember fondly, except for few songs and this happens to be one of them. What an eye-candy! Now that I have seen Shammi Kapoor in his true Shammiesque style, (unlike the one in Kashmir ki kali hoon main, though he looks cute there as well) I can sleep peacefully. Ok, I shouldn’t be changing focus. Saira looks very pretty and like I keep saying, B&W movies have a different charm. With Shammi on screen, it’s difficult to concentrate on somebody else. So I better end it here.

Here’s wishing the lady a great year and a healthy life ahead!

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23 Responses to “Ten of my Favourite Saira Banu Songs”

  1. dustedoff Says:

    Saira Banu isn’t one of my favourites (I find her too screechy in most of her films), but yes, in her early films – Junglee, Shagird, Aadmi aur Insaan etc – she’s very pretty and watchable! I love all the songs you’ve listed. In fact, offhand, I can’t think of a single song that I like but which you haven’t listed or mentioned in your post. Great selection. :-)

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Majority of us share the same opinion when it comes to Saira Banu :-)
      Yes, in her earlier films she was better. She had a pretty face so was watchable. But even her makeup got very loud in her later films.
      Hee hee…coming to think of it, even I can’t recall any other songs now. :-D There are few movies of hers which had really good songs, each one of them, esp the ones she did with Joy and Rajendra Kumar.

  2. Kanan Says:

    Beautiful list… You have a couple of numbers in here that I’ve never heard before so that makes it even more exciting. :) Thanks for sharing that and also the fact that it’s her birthday. I didn’t know that.

    I think that Saira Banu is the only Bollywood gal who has wore the best white saaris ever… I love her in those. She has carried them off so well. And two of my most favorite songs of hers would have to be tum ko hamaari umar lag jaaye and sharm aati hai magar.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks so much Kanan! Yes, she did wear and carry herself well in White Saris. And white sari is my weakness as well. I usually have to face an unapproving look from my family everytime I pick up one :P
      Tumko hamari umar lag jaye is a lovely song. In fact, I just love all the songs from Aayee Milan Ki Bela . And same is the case with Padosan as well. It had lovely songs.

  3. bollyviewer Says:

    You know, I was listening to Vividh Bharti’s Saira tribute and thinking that this is how you get reminded of star birthdays – and here is your post!

    I loved Saira in her earlier films, before she became screechy and took to extremely heavy make-up – films like Junglee, Bluff Master, Aao Pyar Kare. She was lovely looking, it’s too bad her movies aren’t quite as interesting as she deserved.

    And how come you have no songs from Purab Aur Pashchim? The radio announcer on VB stressed how much she loved her role in it! ;D

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      It being Rakhi today, I was busy making sweets and somehow missed that program (Aaj Ki Funkar). I listened to few songs in Sadabahar Nagme that comes at 14:30 (IST).
      But that’s true, Vividh Bharati and Doordarshan play biggest roles in reminding me of star birthdays.
      She was very pretty and in her earlier films, she had an innocence about her which made her all the more attractive. But the heavy makeup and the loud and screechy roles in later films ruined it all :-(
      Oh, don’t remind me of Purab Aur Pashchim . I had seen her earlier films but this was the first one that I saw among her heavy-make up and screechy era and I disliked it so much that my fondness for her earlier films and looks almost vanished! :P

  4. Sharmi Says:

    Saira is not my favourite for the same reasons…she was screechy. But she did look like a porcelain doll and had great songs picturised on her.
    I agree with you on Rajendra Kumar’s dance in O sanam tere ho gaye hum….very funny.
    And I am all in agreement with you regarding Ehsaan Hoga Tera….shammi and Rafi immortalised the song!
    I have been hearing about Ao Pyar Karen quite a lot. How is this film?
    I also liked one song from Bluffmaster, Bedardi dagabaz ja…
    Great post Archana….it is thoroughly musical…

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks Sharmi. Yes, that’s true…she was very pretty and had sharp features. She did look like a doll.
      I had seen it long ago and don’t remember much of the story. Now that could be either because the story wasn’t all that great or because I had seen it during the days when I didn’t follow Hindi all that well so didn’t understand much of it. But had the cassette of this film and the songs were familiar. Had heard them a lot even before watching the movie.
      I only remember having a crush on Joy after watching the film :-) Have been searching for the DVD but haven’t come across one yet.

  5. Nasir Says:

    As for me, Archana, I whole heartedly agree with your comments about Saira’s expressesions in AAP NAARAAZ KHUDA KHAIR KARE. There’s something very sensual, very sexy about the way she conducts herself in the song. And that “be-zaar” look on her face. It tugs at the heart so much that one could pluck one’s heart right from the chest and place it at her feet.

    Your choice of songs are as good as mine but I am simply amazed by your description of songs and the way you balance your choice which is surely out of great insight into the soul of the songs. Anyway, here’s my selection:

    1. AAP NAARAAZ KHUDA KHAYR KARE (Pyaar Mohabbat 1966)
    2. UNSI MILI NAZAR KE MERE HOSH UD GAYE (JGA – 1968)
    3. UN KI PEHLI NAZAR KYAA ASAR KAR GAYI (April Fool, 1964)
    4. TUMEH AUR KYAA DOON MAIN DIL KE SIWA (AM Ki Bela 1963)
    5. DIL VIL PYAAR VYAAR MAIN KYAA JAANU RE (Shagird – 1967)
    6. THO.DAA SAA TEHRO (Victoria No.203 – 1972)
    7. JA JA JA MERE BACHPAN (for her ravishing looks and intro in Junglee 1961)
    8. ROOTHA HAI TOH MANAA LENGE (Jwar-Bhata 1973)
    9. JEENA KA AGAR ANDAAZ AAYE (a change for the serious looks – Yeh Zindagi kitni haseen hai – 1966)
    10. EK PADOSAN PEECHHE PAD GAYI (A first after her marriage with Dilip Kumar -Duet from GOPI 1969) + a duet from NEELE PARBOTON KI DHAARA in Aadmi aur Insaan.

    I confess I am being a bit partial in Selection No.10.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      It tugs at the heart so much that one could pluck one’s heart right from the chest and place it at her feet. : Wow!!! That was very well put! :-)
      I remember discussing Saira in this on your blog. And thanks so much for all the compliments! :-)
      I intentionally avioded getting into the 70’s. Also, I haven’t seen Victoria No. 203 and Jwar Bhata but the songs are really nice.
      I had never seen Jeene ka agar andaaz aaye and never knew it was picturised on Saira. Thanks…it’s such a beautiful song! Hee hee…don’t worry about being partial. Though my topic says 10 favourite songs, I usually have around 20 songs in my post ;-)

  6. bollywoodeewana Says:

    vah vah vah, great list as usual i love Saira a lot and she’s amongst my favourite bollywood diva’s, i can imagine you being spoilt for choice regarding April fool, i loved her in that film and there were lots of fab songs. A lot of my favourites are here too but a song that forever reminds me of her is ‘teri merei zindagi’ from Duniya (1984) that’s the first ever film i saw Saira in, plus the song is just so beautiful

  7. Nasir Says:

    That song from Duniya (Dilip-Saira starrer) was indeed moving. That’s Dilip Kumar at 62 and Saira at 40. What a couple!
    Thanks BD.

  8. Nasir Says:

    What a pity that there’s hardly any chance of seeing Dilip Kumar in new roles! I consider it a great tragedy for at least my generation of film-goers. By the way Archana, even Mashal is a 1984 movie. And that tragic scene of Waheeda and Dilip of ARRE BHAI!….. I have to muster courage to watch that scene – it’s is so nerve-shattering and realistic!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I have seen that one. I like Mujhe tum yaar karna aur mujh ko yaad aana tum . I only knew that it was a Anil Kapoor-Rati Agnihotri starrer film. So finding Dilip Kumar and Waheeda was a bonus for me. And I liked th emovie more because of them!

  9. rajagopalan Says:

    thoda late ho gayaa comment maarnay ko, par as always, you’ve done a wonderful job.. ye Saira aunty hamesha kuch ajeeb lagee hain mujhe bhee… khair good job on a birthday.. keep it up!! All these songs are very good and hence no complaints.. :)

    Raj

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks! I always felt Saira looked very good. She had very sharp features but she was too screechy most of the times in her later films. And her makeup was too loud. She was very adorable in her earlier films where she was more subtle.

  10. Karthik Says:

    Sharm aati hai magar from Padosan is another lovely one!

  11. Kiran Kaur Says:

    Be it a desi belle singing “udte pawan ke sang chalungi” from Shagird or the glamorous n stylish “preeti” from “Purab aur Paschim”… Saira ji justified the roles…… She is truly Bollywood’s “Beauty Queen”…..
    I feel blessed that I could meet Dilip Saab n her last year on Dilip Saab’s Birthday….. Had been there through College, since Dilip Saab is an alumni from my college…..
    I like the choice of 10 songs…..

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Yes, her roles in the two movies you’ve mentioned are poles apart. I had seen Purab Aur Paschim when I was in school. It was aired on Doordarshan around Independence Day/Republic Day. I had liked the subject back then. Tried watching it again later on but found her so irritating and annoying that I couldn’t sit through the whole movie this time. May be it’s coz she has got into the skin of the character so well in this that one ends up hating her as Preeti.
      You are really lucky that you got to meet them. His birthday is again round the corner.
      Thanks! :-)

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