Bollywood’s Obsession With Zulfen Songs

Every civilization and culture on earth has had a fascination for healthy, long and lustrous tresses. All the Bollywood songs on Zulfen indicated not just a woman’s tresses, but also that of a man.

Long hair has always been linked to wealth, power and good health. It is even a status symbol in many communities.

Just like heroes from popular fairy tales like Rapunzel are attracted to a woman’s hair, even Bollywood heroes love singing songs dedicated to the heroine’s tresses.

Hair is not just a symbol of romance, but in mythological stories like the Mahabharata and Iliad, women like Draupadi and Medusa can also be seen seeking vengeance with the help of their hair.

Let’s see how our Bollywood actors go about wooing their leading ladies with shiny tresses, in some of the most popular Bollywood songs.

Udein Jab Jab Zulfen Teri (1957)

Udein Jab Jab Zulfein Teri Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/wbl7qPE

Music: O.P Nayyar

Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Mohammad Rafi

Movie: Naya Daur

A popular song with satirical undertones. “Udein Jab Jab Zulfen Teri” will always be close to the hearts of Bollywood Music lovers from every era.

Vyjayantimala’s girl gang clap their hands and tap their feet to dance in perfect coordination. Similarly Dilip Kumar and his boy gang are in perfect coordination. This is actually a masterpiece by O.P Nayyar and Ludhianvi. Asha Bhosle and Mohammad Rafi singing for Vyjayantimala and Dilip Kumar, made the duo extremely popular. We just can’t stop admiring the beauty of the lyrics “Ude Jab Jab Zulfen Teri, Kawariyo Ka Dil Machle Jind Meriye”.

Zulf Ke Phande (1958)

Zulf Ke Phande Mein Song Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/abl45J7

Music: Omkar Prasad Nayyar

Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Singer: Mohammed Rafi

Movie: Mujrim

“Zulf Ke Phande” stars Johnny Walker and is obviously not a romantic track. It’s a comic one. The song talks about Johnny Walker’s dilemma as he was ensnared by the beauty of somebody’s hair which got him imprisoned.

Majrooh Sultanpuri’s satirical lyrics have a reference to himself “Ishq ki duniya ajab hai kaha tha Majrooh ne kal / Kuchh na banega chaahe chakale mein ghoome chaahe Tajmahal..”. Omkar Prasad Nayyar’s music brings the comic situation to life and Mohammed Rafi had a special singing style for Johnny Walker’s songs. Even Johnny’s prison mates love watching him sing it.

Raat Nikhri Hui Zulf Bikhri Hui (1960)

Raat Nikhri Hui Song Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/2bl7ehb

Music: Usha Khanna

Lyrics: K Manohar

Singers: Mukesh

Movie: Hum Hindustani

An all time favourite Zulf song starring the chocolate boy- Joy Mukherjee and the dancing legend- Helen. “Raat Nikhri Hui” would absolutely melt your heart, more so because of Mukesh’s buttery voice. Usha Khanna’s attempt at composing the music did not go to waste. She did an absolutely great job at it. If you love singing, you’ll enjoy humming to it’s heart lifting tune.

Bikhra Ke Zulfen (1961)

Zulf Bikhra Ke Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/2bl7tSS

Music: Ravi

Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan

Singers: Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar

Movie: Nazrana

A heartwarming love song from a tragic film. “Bikhra Ke Zulfen” was shot in a scenic garden where Raj Kapoor sings for Vyjayanthimala. He is so awestruck at the sight of her tresses that he asks her to not come to the garden with open hair and when she asks why?, he replies that the flowers would feel shy if caught admiring the beauty of her tresses. In return, Vyjayanthimala tells him to stop singing love verses, otherwise the bees would make fun. Mukesh and Lata’s singing cum conversation sounds interesting.

Teri Zulfon Se Judaai To Nhi Maangi Thi (1961)

Zulf Song Dev Anand

Source: https://cutt.ly/Rbl7oQO

Music: Shankar Jaikishan

Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

Singer: Mohammad Rafi

Movie: Jab Pyar KisiSe Hota Hain

Couldn’t skip a zulf song starring Dev Anand. He’s a personal favourite and the song can actually set the mood for a musical evening. The film had a confusing storyline, but the movie as well as the songs were big hits.

Dev sings it for Asha Parekh, even after she rebukes him.

Only lyricists like Hasrat Jaipuri could have written songs like this one. The music by Shankar and Jaikishan is replete with the divine strumming of the violins. Give it a try, if you haven’t heard it yet.

Ye Hai Reshmi Zulfon Ka Andhera (1965)

Yeh Hain Reshmi Zulfon Ka Andhera Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/9bxQv8D

Music: O.P Nayyar

Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Singer: Asha Bhosle

Movie: Mere Sanam

The film “Mere Sanam” was a remake of the 1961 romantic comedy ” Come September”. The song seems to be shrouded in a cloud of deep mystery. Surprisingly, most of the compositions for our zulfen songs would be composed by O.P Nayyar. You’ll love hearing Asha’s voice echo through, as Mumtaz tries to convey some secret message to Biswajit and the sequence becomes quite intense.

Zulfon Ko Hata Le (1966)

Zulfon Ko Hata Le Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/5bl7j8u

Music: O.P Nayyar

Lyrics: S.H Bihari

Singers: Mohammed Rafi

Movie: Sawan Ki Ghata

This is one of the most popular Zulf tracks in Bollywood. The handsome Manoj Kumar can be seen wooing the demure Sharmila Tagore, who has the most beautiful hair covering her face. Sharmila was known for her typical hairstyle in those days. The music by Nayyar can calm your mind like never before. Rafi’s deep, husky voice does perfect justice to A.H Bihari’s string of precious words. Enjoy watching the video set in picturesque Himachal Pradesh.

O Haseena ZulfonWale Jaane Jahan (1966)

O Haseena Zulfonwaali Song Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/Yv2YtRh

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Mohammed Rafi

Movie: Teesri Manzil

In this one Shammi Kapoor, the Elvis Presley of Bollywood and Helen, the Anglo Burmese Dancing Diva light up the stage with their moves. In fact, they made the song more popular. R.D Burman and Asha Bhosle always rocked with these pop and cabaret numbers. The composition is so powerful that it has still not lost it’s charm. Maybe we might even get to hear a remix of it in the future. The part where Shammi plays the Saxophone is worth watching.

Yeh Reshmi Zulfein Yeh Sharbati Aankhein (1969)

Yeh Reshmi Zulfen Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/NkJgm4i

Music: Laxmikant, Pyarelal

Lyrics: Anand Bakshi, Lakshmikant, Pyare Lal

Singer: Mohammed Rafi

Movie: Do Raaste

We can still hear love birds humming to the tunes of this classic number. An all-time favourite! Composed, written and sung by legends like Laxmikant Pyarelal, Anand Bakshi and Mohammed Rafi, this song is like an ode dedicated to Mumtaz by Rajesh Khanna in the film. Khanna can be seen singing it in awe of her mesmerising beauty. Such compositions can hardly be heard these days. It’s a precious number from our huge treasury of old Bollywood Romantic songs.

Ye Zulf Kaisi Hai (1972)

Ye Zulf Kaisi Hain Song 1972

Source: https://cutt.ly/6bl7cEm

Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal

Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi

Movie: Piya Ka Ghar

This song belongs to a time when marriages in India were mostly arranged and the bride and groom would not meet each other before marriage. There didn’t exist any technology like WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom or Facetime, so it would be absolutely impossible for the bride and groom to talk to each other. The only thing they had, would be a photograph.

Here both Malti and Ram are shown having each other’s photograph. Malti’s thick, long hair and gorgeous beauty makes Ram dedicate this wonderful song to her. On the other hand, even Malti thinks how handsome Ram would be in reality?

Cham Cham (2016)

Cham Cham Song Gaana Pehchaana

Source: https://cutt.ly/sbxQxhT

Music: Meet Bros

Lyrics: Kumaar, Meet Bros

Singer: Monali Thakur

Movie: Baaghi

These days, we don’t get to hear songs with the word zulf in it. So, we were all taken aback to hear the very first line of the “Cham Cham” song which goes like “Zulfon Se Bandh Liye Badal”. It’s been so many decades since lyricists felt that the word zulf is outdated, but hats off to Kumaar and Meet Bros for bringing it back after so long. It’s a sweet number sung by our sweet singer Monali and we loved watching Shraddha dance to it’s beats on a rainy morning. She dances so well that even the villain is shown to be awestruck by her beauty.

Why Zulfen Songs Are So Close To Our Hearts

Usage of the word Zulf has slowly disappeared from Bollywood songs after the 1970’s, but, just like we have some very dear memories and stories attached to our zulfen, similarly, even Bollywood actresses, music directors and singers have some vivid memories attached to Zulfen songs.

All through our childhood, we had our grandmothers and mothers taking care of our hair. They would oil our hair and tie it properly so that it became lush and long.

Bollywood actresses like Jaya Bhaduri, Sharmila Togore and Rekha who were renowned for their long hair also reported to have a very simple hair care routine in their youth. In fact, Sharmila Tagore’s beehive hairstyle became so famous, that every actress of her generation began following it. Till today, millions of girls and women try out her style to add a touch of retro to their hair.

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What Happened When Lata Mangeshkar Sang For R.D Burman?

R.D Burman, our well known Pancham da walked in his father’s footsteps to become the prolific Music Director that he was. He was named Pancham by his parents because when he cried as a baby, his voice seemed to hit the 5th note.

People thought that he composed most songs in his lifetime for his Ideal and Muse Asha Bhosle, who was also his wife. Nobody is aware of the fact that he composed innumerable songs for Asha’s sister, Lata as well.

Pancham da was a pioneer who brought about new arrangements and influences from World Music into his work. His work had a lot of originality. Unlike many other Bollywood composers who lifted tunes from Western compositions without admitting, he was honest about the sources. He admitted that he was trained in Indian classical and not the Western forms, so he would take an idea from them, but change the tune according to the situation.

In today’s Gaana Pehchaana blog, we’ll discuss the special bond that R.D Burman shared with Lata Mangeshkar. He fondly called her didi and the two have created some really good songs together. This also makes them one of the finest composer-singer duos in the history of Bollywood.

Here are a few of the most well acclaimed songs by the popular duo.

Bada Natkhat Hai Re (1971)

Source: https://cutt.ly/JvnJHFc

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Movie: Amar Prem

This one has lots of interesting stories revolving around it. “Bada Natkhat Hai Re Krishna Kanhaiya” had already been composed by Rahul Dev Burman, when his father, the world famous music director, S.D Burman asked him to change the tune.

Film Director Samanta had asked Rahul to create music for a Bhajan situation. While he was giving final touches, Sachin Dev Burman heard it and asked him to describe the situation. When he heard the situation, he felt that Rahul was not doing complete justice to it as a composer, so he requested him to change it because here Sharmila is no more the Nauch girl that she has been playing, but her motherly instincts can be seen for the little boy even if she could never be a real mother. That agony had to be expressed, which was then done in Raag Khamaj by R.D Burman and Lata sang it perfectly without a single mistake.

Bahon Mein Chale Aao (1973)

Source: https://cutt.ly/JvnJXos

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Movie: Anamika

“Bahon Mein Chale Aao” is always considered to be one of R.D Burman’s finest compositions. The rhythmic sound of the Duggi reverberates through the entire song, making it sound divine. It will actually be a big lie if someone says that R.D Burman did not create great compositions for Lata. Majrooh Sultanpuri must have been in a light mood when he wrote this song. Watch the all time favorite romantic number from Anamika starring Jaya Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar, if you haven’t watched it yet and you’ll surely feel a lot more happier. 🙂

Wada Karo Nahin Chodoge Tum Mera Saath (1973)

Source: https://cutt.ly/yvnJNTH

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi

Singer: Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar

Movie: Aa Gale Lag Ja

A classic number from “Aa Gale Lag Ja”, that will forever remain etched in the minds of people because of the unique composition by Burman. Even today, hundreds of reality show participants perform it.

The film had attained cult status in Algeria where it is still played at skating rinks and gymnastic shows. Lata Mangeshkar’s unique talent at performing romantic numbers like nobody else in the world made her create a history with this track. Sahir Ludhianvi crafted the best lyrics for almost all the songs from the film. 

Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa To Nahi (1975)

Source: https://cutt.ly/tvnKoYi

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Gulzar

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar

Movie: Aandhi

There hardly exists any Bollywood Music fan who has not heard of “Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa To Nahi”. The glamorous Suchitra Sen is seen portraying the role of a politician’s daughter and a politician, along with Sanjeev Kumar playing the role of a Hotel Manager.

The soulful music by R.D Burman is appropriate to the situation shown in the song where a separated husband and wife meet after ages. Gulzar’s lyrics hold deep meaning and Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar dive into the soul of the characters while singing the song. It is a PERFECT R.D Burman composition for Lata Mangeshkar.

Naam Gum Jaayega (1976)

Source: https://cutt.ly/2vnKff9

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Gulzar

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Movie: Kinara

“Naam Gum Jaayega” is an intense melodramatic song starring Hema Malini, Jeetendra and Dharmendra from the popular 1976 movie Kinara.

 This beautiful Raga based song in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice sounds heavenly. The genre is just right for Lata’s voice as well as style, and R.D Burman knew it very well. The entire song was shot in the dazzling fort city of Mandu, situated in Madhya Pradesh.

Tere Bina Jiya Jaye Na (1978)

Source: https://cutt.ly/1vnKk2V

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Gulzar

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Movie: Ghar

“A composition that can never die out”!!!

R.D Burman specially created “Tere Bina Jiya Jaye Na” for Lata didi. Most of these Lata Mangeshkar, R.D Burman hits have been intelligently penned down by Gulzar. 

Burman and Lata’s ability to analyse the situation in the film made the song starring glamorous Rekha and handsome Vinod Mehra come alive.

Tune O Rangeele (1981)

Source: https://cutt.ly/mvnKbUG

Music: R.D Burman

Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Movie: Kudrat

The 80’s Bollywood song with the most catchy music. “Tune O Rangeele Kaisa Jadu Kiya” actually does some jadu on you and you just can’t stop repeating it like a broken record player. Hema Malini and Rajesh Khanna’s chemistry takes a turn with this amazing number set in picturesque Himachal. Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics and Lata Mangeshkar’s singing add to the playful nature of the song.

Why Lata and R.D Burman were the perfect singer composer duo?

It is believed that most of the melody based songs were assigned to Lata and Asha did maximum of the rhythm based songs.

Though both of them did both the kinds and the rhythm based songs made Asha a favourite amongst youngsters, R.D Burman is remembered as a great Music Director mostly because of his melody songs.

He mentioned in several of his interviews that “Lata Mangeshkar was the better singer”. In the Bombay Times Of India, dated September 29, 1985, he mentioned that “Lata Ji is Supreme”. When she sings, she forgets her identity, her likes, dislikes and everything else. Whether she agrees or not, she plays millions of different roles while singing. Sometimes, she plays a mother, at times a girlfriend, a sweetheart or a pain stricken individual in front of the microphone. 

Even junior Burman had an innate talent for creating music in all kinds of weird ways, like by using glasses and spoons, rubbing sandpaper or knocking bamboo sticks, combs, shells etc.

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Memorable Bollywood Films Where Each Song Was A Big Hit

Good Hindi Film Music has empowered and captivated music enthusiasts from every corner of the world. The way fans go berserk over Bollywood stars and sing to the tunes of their favourite songs, speaks volumes about how much Bollywood is worshipped all around the world.

Continue reading Memorable Bollywood Films Where Each Song Was A Big Hit