Ten of my Favourite Manoj Kumar songs

As this veteran actor celebrates his 73rd birthday today, here’s wishing him a very very Happy birthday!

He started his career as a romantic hero. Manoj Kumar’s image as the patriotic hero started with the 1965 film Shaheed, based on the life of Bhagat Singh. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri asked him to create a film based on the popular slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kissan. The result was Kumar’s magnum opus and his directorial debut, Upkaar (1967). Upkaar was a hit and won Kumar his first Filmfare Best Director Award.  He then went on to direct and act in lots of other movies which earned him the name of  Mr. Bharat.

Harikishan Giri Goswami, better known as Manoj Kumar, was a big admirer of  Dilip Kumar,  so much that he decided to name himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip’s character in Shabnam (1949).

He was blessed with good looks and an ability to act and direct well. I have been very fond of him but have always liked him more in his pre-patriotic era. That doesn’t mean I have anything against his patriotic movies. They were all very good but I’m making it a point not to include many songs from those movies, and even if I do, I will leave out the patriotic ones for now. Will do a separate post on patriotism some other time, may be around Independence day. For now, I’m concentrating only on romantic songs of his that I like the most with one single exception – the first song below.

1. Mera rang de basanti chola (Shaheed, 1965) :  When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice –  this song just illustrates the saying. Manoj Kumar as Bhagat Singh has etched such an indelible impression in my memory that I just can’t find anybody else as good as him in the role. May be it’s because it’s one of the first movies of Manoj Kumar that I saw and the very first one of Bhagat Singh, during the good old Doordarshan days when they used to telecast patriotic movies on Independance Day and Republic Day. Everything about this song gives me goose flesh…esp the part where Manoj Kumar says : Hum gale milna chahate hai, ab ke bichde na jaane kab mile. And the way they embrace each other is so touching. Having said earlier that I like him better in romantic roles, I would have loved to list down Jogi hum toh lut gaye tere pyaar mein which I totally love, but I didn’t for 2 reasons – 1. I couldn’t help myself from not including Mera rang de basanti, 2. It doesn’t have enough of Manoj Kumar to classify it as his song. Each song of this movie, be it Sarfaroshi ki tamanna, Aye watan, Pagdi sambhal is absolutely brilliant and very emotional as well.

2. Gore gore chand se mukh par (Anita, 1967) : How could I not like Manoj Kumar sitting on a branch of a tree singing this paean to one of my favourite actresses, Sadhana. Though I don’t like her make-up much in this particular song, I love the room she is in! A beautiful song. Mukesh has sung some very nice and very romantic songs for Manoj Kumar. I could actually have done a combined post for Mukesh and Manoj Kumar but for all these years I have ignored him and failed to recognise his genius, Mukesh deserves a separate post just to himself, which is coming up soon.

3. Chodkar tere pyaar ka daaman (Woh Kaun Thi, 964) : This movie had some amazing songs, majority of  them rendered by Lata. But when we come to Manoj Kumar, where even he gets to lip-synch some of the song, this song tops my list. He was a very good-looking man. And this song is such a delicious treat to the eyes – Manoj Kumar and Helen both looking their best!  Manoj Kumar in black-n-white movies, I just can’t get enough of him. Lag ja gale is and will always remain my favourite from this movie and as I already had it in one of my recent posts, I am skipping it for the moment. And Naina barse is something I am saving up for some other occasion.

4. Door reh kar na karo baatein (Amanat, 1971) : One of the main reasons behind me doing this post. Ok…that’s not entirely true, I didn’t actually need an excuse to do this post. The fact that I actually like Manoj Kumar was more than enough  in itself and to add to it  that he featured in some of my favourite songs. This is a very passionate song,  one’s of my all-time favourites – simple lyrics, soft music, flawless voice and picturised on two very good looking people whom I am very fond of.

5. Chaand si mehbooba hogi (Himalaya Ki Godh Mein, 1965) : I will never forget Mala Sinha’s name in this movie – Phulwa! Thanks to the flower Manoj makes and writes “wa” beside it on the stone in the beginning of this song. It’s a lovely song – beautifully written, rendered and very well composed.  I am not very fond of the movie itself as such, inspite of Mala Sinha and Manoj Kumar but I love this song – probably the best thing in the movie. Manoj Kumar finds his dream girl in Mala Sinha, the innocent (though loud) village belle. And he  looked very cute in it, not just in this song but in the entire movie…a doctor educated abroad who lands up in a village and is in complete awe of the rural superstitions initially but eventually decides to stay back there and help healing the villagers instead of going back to in the city and setting up a clinic.

6. Main na bhoolunga (Roti Kapada aur Makaan, 1974) – An unforgettable melody…..
Samay ki dhara mein umar beh jaani hai
jo ghadi jee lenge, wahi reh jaani hai
main ban jaau saans aakhri tu jeewan ban jaaye
Jeewan se saanso ka rishta main na bhoolungi….

Maang se sindoor ka rishta…Mandir se pooja ka rishta….
Mesmerising lyrics…very touching. Beautifully and emotionally sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar and amazingly portrayed by Zeenat and Manoj and Shashi. And it fits so well into the story, it more or less sums up a part of the story. This movie won Manoj Kumar his second Filmfare Best Director Award.

7. Bol mere taqdeer mein (Hariyali Aur Raasta, 1962) : I watched this film when I was 15 and I don’t know what I liked so much about it…I somehow could never forget this story of Shankar, Shobhna and Rita. Waise toh all the songs are good – Yeh hariyali aur yeh raasta, Teri yaad dil se bhulane chala hoon, Ibteda ishq mein hum, Lakh taare aasman mein but Bol meri taqdeer mein kya hai has always remained my favourite. One of the most romantic songs ever…and that too with quite a philosophical note to it – jeevan ke do pehlo hai hariyali aur raasta. After Shaheed, this was the second movie of his that I saw, followed by Dus Numberi. No wonder I ended up liking him so much!

8. Paththar ke sanam (Paththar Ke Sanam, 1967) : A hunk with two lovely ladies and a couple of great songs….I had to see this film. Though I didn’t like the film much, I totally love the songs – Mehboob mere, Tauba yeh matwali chaal, Ki nahin hai, Bata doon kya laana or the title track – all of them are amazing! I don’t think Rafi has sung many songs for Manoj Kumar but the few that he has are superb! Be it this or Door rehkar na karo baat.

9. Ke duniya ek numbari to main dus numbari (Dus Numbari, 1976) : It’s such an entertaining film. Though it’s been a quite some time since I saw this film, I remember liking it when I saw it. This used to be Sony entertainment Televisions favourite movie a decade ago, they used to air it almost every fortnight.  And for once I saw Manoj Kumar so stylish (love his shades and his outfits in it) and it was so refreshing to see him do a role like this for a change.

10. Zindagi ki na toote ladi (Kranti, 1981) : I grew up listening to this song and watching it almost every week on Rangoli and Chitrahaar. This song itself was intriguing enough and the curiosity of seeing both Diliip kumar and Manoj Kumar together was too much to resist. So when this movie was finally aired on Doordarshan I just couldn’t afford to miss it. Though sad at times, from what I remember it was an entertaining package – action, drama, emoshun, good music, suspense, brothers separated in childhood, princess being kidnapped and what not. Un aankhon ka hansna bhi kya jin aakhon mein paani na ho, woh jawani jawani nahin jiski koi kahani na ho….lakh gehra ho saagar toh kya pyaar se kuch bhi gehra nahin, dil ki deewane har mauj par ho aasmano pehra nahin….amazing lyrics. Apart from Raj Kapoor Mukesh sang quite a lot of songs for Manoj Kumar. It’s interesting to see his son, Nitin Mukesh singing for Manoj Kumar here with Lata Mangeshkar.

There are so many other songs of his that I like from Upkaar, Do Badan, Shor, Aadmi, Neel Kamal, Purab Aur Paschim, Saawan Ki Ghata, Phoolon Ki Sej, Banarasi Thug etc….hopefully I’ll get to include all these songs in some list or the other over a period of time.

Thinking of his movies, I just can’t get Clerk out of my mind – few scenes in particular…For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, check this out –

One of the most ridiculous movies and one of those few movies which I couldn’t sit through the whole way. But there were quite a few scenes like this in it. Such scenes are entertaining and good to laugh at, esp when you can just see them instead of having to put up with the entire film! 😉

Here’s wishing Manoj Kumar health and long life on this day and always!!!

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24 Responses to “Ten of my Favourite Manoj Kumar songs”

  1. dustedoff Says:

    Manoj Kumar isn’t a favourite of mine, but I generally like him in his pre-patriotic phase, especially in films like Woh Kaun Thi?, Anita, Saajan or Gumnaam (but then, I do have a soft spot for crime thrillers!) I like (often love) most of the songs you’ve listed, but will add my two cents: Tum kehte ho ishq bala from Nakli Nawab (very romantic film, in my opinion!), Zulfon ke ghata lekar saawan ki pari aayi from Reshmi Rumaal and Jaane chaman shola badan from Gumnaam.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I haven’t seen most of the movies you mentioned – Nakli Nawab, Reshmi Rumaal, Saajan or even Gumnaam for that matter 😦 But yes, the songs are nice.
      He was a very handsome man…esp in his B&W days. I adore him in Woh Kaun Thi? .

  2. Saroja. Says:

    Refreshed my memory and enjoyed the writeup on a fine actor of yesterday years.Happy Birthday wishes from me sir..God Bless..

  3. Sharmi Says:

    Hey great post for a really handsome man in his B&W days. I too loved him in his earlier films. Doesn’t he look cute in Ek Ladki hain and Jaane chaman from Gumnaam. He was tall and broad with a fascinating smile. Great post 🙂

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Welcome back Sharmi! Hope you had a fantastic time in Mumbai.
      True, he was a very handsome man, esp in his B&W days. I just can’t take my eyes off him in some of them.

      • Sharmi Says:

        Yes had a great time. 🙂 Especially because I went there for my cousin’s wedding. Meeting relatives is such fun all the time. But missed you all and my blog, and old films. So am back now and have already written a new post !!!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      That’s great! Meeting relatives is always fun and meeting them at the wedding is all the more fun 🙂
      Missed you too….off to check your new post.

  4. harvey Says:

    Not Mr. Bharat.
    but you are right many good songs were picturised on him.
    Main na bhoolonga is one of my favs! At times I used to sing it as “mein ban jaavu saas akhri tu dulhan ban ja”
    ‘Ek pyaar ka nagma hai’ from Shor is also nice!
    And he is tolerable in his non-patriotic mode!
    What I never understood is, how he convinced all those beautiful heroines to work with him.
    So, happy Birthday Mr. Bharat.
    And I think one of these days I’m surely going to get myself a copy of ‘Clerk’! 😉
    For me Clerk is all what the 80s films stand for.
    Exceptions prove the case!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Hee hee…..Good luck with Clerk then!!! I was reading the comments on youtube and people have gone crazy after watching these scenes. They are ready to pay 2000 bucks for Clerk 😛 Somebody has uploaded the movie on youtube…saw it yesterday when I was searching for this scene.
      mein ban jaavu saas akhri tu dulhan ban ja – LOL
      This reminds me of a friend of mine who used to sing Jahan daal daal pe sona ugle ugle heere moti, mere desh ki dharti

  5. Nasir Says:

    Thanks for the writeup on Manoj Kumar. Some of my favourite songs on him have been mentioned by you already. Here’s my take on his songs:

    My favourites songs filmed on Manoj Kumar:
    1. Dil Tadpe Tadpaaye –(Rafi – Poonam ki Raat.)
    2. Kaisee Haseen Raat (Rafi-Mahendra on screen, Aadmi)
    3. Patthar Ke Sanam (Rafi -Title Track)
    4. Zulfon ko haTaale chehre se (Rafi – Saawan ki GhaTa)
    5. Ek Ladki hai jisne jeena mushkil (Rafi – Gumnaam)
    6. Tum bin jeevan kaise beetaa (Mukesh – Anita)
    7. Jab chhaaye kabhi saawan ki ghaTaa (Talat – Reshmi Roomal)
    8. Bhari duniya me.n aaKhir (Rafi – Do Badan)
    9. Deewaano se yeh mat poochho (Mukesh – Upkaar)
    10. Zindagi ki naa TooTe La.Dee (Lata-Nitin Kranti)

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I had almost forgotten Jab chhaye kabhi . Thanks for reminding me of it. I love all the songs from Saawan Ki Ghata . I am surprised myself that none of them featured in my list here…by the time I thought of it, I already had 10 of them and I didn’t want to change it.
      I like Jab chali thandi hawa the most in Do Badan . Don’t remember hearing Dil tadpe tadpaye , off to listen to it.

      • Nasir Says:

        Of course, Dil Tadpe Tadpaaye would be a rare treat. The song that became famous in Poonam ki Raat was Lata’s SAATHEE RE…TUJH BIN JIYAA UDAAS RE… Why I like DIL TADPE is because it has the typical falsetto of Salil Chowdhary’s stamp, the tune is a bit different, and the relevance of the song is strikingly touching. The truth of the matter is I love this movie, maybe for nostalgic reasons. And, I love all the songs there: Two Asha’s numbers are excellent and they are rendered by Bela Bose one of which is KEHDO BEDARDI SE JAAKE…with the refrain of TAA DHEEM TANAA DHEEM or so. I cannot forget the duet: SAPNON ME.N MERE KOEE AAYE JAAYE which is rendered by Mukesh, Lata and Usha. Then, TUM KAHAAN LE CHALE HO SAJAN ALBELE…another catchy duet.

        I just love watching Manoj Kumar with his finds: Kumud Chughani, Nandani and Shiv Kumar.

  6. bollywooddeewana Says:

    Great List as usual Sunehri, i love the way you inserted But loud in brackets for your commentary on ‘chand si mehboob ba’. i just saw him a few weeks ago in sawan ki ghata and he had some lovely numbers in that, one of my favourites of his though is twinkuli twinkuli little star from Purab aur pachim it never ceases to make me laugh

  7. Nasir Says:

    BD, seems to be a dig at the western culture, with the nursery rhymes set to the Punjabi folk tunes.
    PP is one of those movies which I don’t know how I missed watching it.

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  10. r.k.sharma Says:


  11. shruti sharma Says:

    manoj kumar is of course my most favourite actor n i think he’s one of the finest actors from bollywood.his contribution to indian cinema cannot be ignored.above listed songs however couldn’t satisfy the top 10 of MK coz it lacks many of remarkable n evergreen songs picturised on him.

  12. Anil Says:

    Huge Manoj Kumar fan here, minus some of his latter movies like Clerk, Jai Hind, Kalyug & Ramayan etc

    You cannot have a top 10 Manoj Kumar song list without having 2 or maybe all 3 Rafi songs from Do Badan !!

    Also to think that super duper hit, Jaan Pehchaan Ho from a Manoj Kumar movie was picturised on some minor actor !!! How did that happen, I wonder ?

  13. ratna Says:

    Thank u for this – especially “Gore gore chand sa…”

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