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The lost art of RIDDLE based Hindi Film Songs and a similar situation in SHREE 420 (1954) and ARJUN (1985). (Did You Know - 71)

15 Jun, 2014 | Articles on Cinema / Articles on Music, Poetry and Life / Did You Know!

Riddle Based Songs in Hindi Films - Bobby Talks Cinema.com

Songs based on ‘Riddles’ or ‘Brain Teasers’ (Paheli in Hindi) used to be quite popular in the Golden Era of Hindi Film Music and a few of them are still played in children programs in schools even after almost half the century of their initial release. However the truth remains that the present generation of kids is not familiar with any such song format watching the current films, since the trend had vanished long ago before the 90s.
So with a purpose of taking you back in time, introducing this particular musical form in our Hindi film music (which was quite a difficult one especially for the lyricists), here is a list of all popular tracks of that era along with their links to give you an instant experience of that golden age of Hindi Cinema & its maestros.
1. Ichak Daana Beechak Daana Daane Upar Daana (Shri 420 - 1955 )
(Lyrics – Hasrat Jaipuri, Music - Shankar Jaikishan, Singers – Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh)
The song features Nargis teaching the kids as a school teacher and asking them riddles. Raj Kapoor is also enjoying the teaching session from a distance and assumes that he knows all the answers whereas actually he doesn’t. In the end, he asks a riddle too which no one is able to solve, including the teacher and she gets really annoyed. Probably the most famous song in this particular genre which many must have heard, enjoyed and may be performed to in their early school days.
2. Ek Sawaal Main Karun, Ek Sawaal Tum Karo (Sasural - 1961)
(Lyrics – Shailendra, Music – Shankar Jaikishan, Singers – Lata Mangeshkar & Mohd. Rafi)
Performed as a stage competition sequence, wherein Rajendra Kumar and B. Saroja Devi are trying to outshine each other answering every question with another related question only as the answer. Undoubtedly an extremely well written song by Shailendra based on a unique idea indeed.
3. Bol Gori Bol Tera Kaun Piya (Milan – 1967)
(Lyrics – Anand Bakshi, Music – Laxmikant Pyarelal, Singers – Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh)
Conceived as a festival dance song being performed in front of a temple, the track actually has devotional lyrics with riddles pointing towards Lord Shiva. And therefore this remains an incomparable triumph by the veteran Anand Bakshi undoubtedly.
4. Saaf Karo Insaaf Karo (Aashirwaad - 1968)
(Lyrics - Gulzar, Music - Vasant Desai, Singers – Asha Bhonsle, Hemlata, Ashok Kumar, Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Mirza Sahib & Bipin Gupta)
An energetic folk song with the traditional Lavni dance of Maharashtra, this is an over 9 minutes long track wherein the ‘riddle session’ is between the group of Lavni dancers and the villagers enjoying the show. Here too in the end, Ashok Kumar asks a paheli which no one in the dancing group is able to answer and they have to accept their defeat. And this brilliant culmination of the song makes the song a true rare gem indeed.
5. Woh Kaun Hai Woh Kaun Hai (Anjaana - 1969)
(Lyrics – Anand Bakshi, Music – Laxmikant Pyarelal, Singers – Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh)
A Holi song with the teams of boys and girls led by Rajendra Kumar and Babita asking each other riddles, it is a stage show in the film with a colouful picturisation and a catchy composition.
6. Teetar Ke Do Aage Teetar (Mera Naam Joker - 1972)
(Lyrics – Shailendra, Music - Shankar Jaikishan, Singers – Asha Bhosle & Mukesh)
Not a completely riddle based song, with the other part having a game of tongue twisters being played, here again a beautiful teacher, Simi Grewal is interacting with her adolescent students at a school picnic in some picturesque locations. A catchy, fun song incorporated smartly in the film’s first hour revolving all around young kids and their school life.
7. Munni Pappu Aur Chunmun (Arjun - 1985)
(Lyrics – Anand Bakshi, Music – Laxmikant Pyarelal, Singers – Asha Bhosle)
In this most recent & probably the last riddle based song in a Hindi film, we repeatedly have a gorgeous teacher Dimple Kapadia, asking riddles to her small kids (in a kindergarten) and Sunny Deol is answering every riddle with only one word which is “NAUKRI”. The strange repetitive answering by Sunny superbly denoted the basic theme of the film which was about the problems faced by the unemployed educated youth in the county.
And interestingly this was the same situation which was earlier seen in SHREE 420 in the first riddle based song “Ichak Daana” in 1955. Probably director Rahul Rawail had the hit Raj Kapoor-Nargis song in his mind while conceiving this particular situation in his 80s cult film ARJUN.
Now apart from the above seven songs, there are two more tracks which though are not exactly based on riddles, but have an identical format and are worth mentioning here due to their immense musical value.
The first one is
“Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re” (CID - 1956)
(Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri, Music – O. P. Nayyar, Singer - Shamshad Begum)
A village girl singing the song along with her group as they are on their way to fetch water.
And the second is
“Woh Kya Hai, Ik Mandir Hai” (Anuraag - 1978)
(Lyrics - Anand Bakshi, Music – S. D. Burman, Singer – Lata Mangeshkar & Mohd. Rafi)
A really heart touching song, wherein a blind girl is asking questions from his beloved who can see about various things around, which she can feel through her other instincts. One of the most meaningful & soothing songs in this rare genre, which was originally based on a Bengali track.
(NOTE : Please do let me know if you have another riddle based Hindi film song in mind not listed here, through your valuable comments, mail or at FB)
(Thanks to Vimal Joshi for a valuable contribution in the article.)

Tags : The lost of Riddle Based Songs in Hindi Film Music, Paheli Based Hindi Films Songs, Did You Know Facts on Hindi Films by Bobby Sing, Unknown Trivia at bobbytalkscinema.com, Lesser Known Facts about Hindi Films Songs by Bobby Sing
15 Jun 2014 / Comments ( 10 )
yes there is two songs of riddle in my mind first is Bol Gori Bol Tera Kaun Piya(Milan-Nutan, Sunil Datt starrer) and second one is Ek Sawaal Me Karoon Ek Sawal Tum Karo(Sasural-B.Saroja Devi, Rajendra Kumar starrer)
Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot Vimal Joshi for your valuable contribution to the post.
Both songs are now included in the article and your credit has also been mentioned in the end as rightly deserved.

Keep visiting and writing in.

Hi Bobby,
I have three other songs which relate to this and coincidently all belong to the Great Feroz Khan\'s films.

1.Apradh-\"Hamare siva tumhare aur kitne deewane hain\"

2.Dharmatma- \"Tumne kisise kabhi pyar kiya hai\"

3.Qurbani-\"Kya Dekhte ho

Others are:

4.Yeh Dillagi-Naam Kya Hai

5.Rocky- Kya Yehi Pyar Hai

6.Daraar -Yeh Pyar Pyar Kya Hai

7.Aan Milo Sajana-Accha to Hum Chalte Hai, Phir Kab Milogi

8.The Great Gambler- Pehle Pehle Pyar ki Mulaqaten Yaad Hain

Bobby Sing

Hi Kenny G,
Actually each and every song you have mentioned are just tracks having the first phrase written in a question form and then the poetic verses continue with the romance elements, more like the "Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re" song which I too havent included in the main seven discussed in details.

So these are not any riddle based songs like the SEVEN key songs mentioned as the main part of the article.
Hence please let me know if you have any other in mind talking about riddles alone and I would be more than glad to include them in the list.



Sujoy Chatterjee
One riddle based song: \"Aadhi Roti Saara Kabaab, Bol Mere Murge Kuk-Du-Ku\" Film: Janta Hawaldar Singers: Lata, Anwar, Chorus.
Bobby Sing
Thanks a lot Sujoy Chatterjee for the valuable addition. Cheers!

Hi there,
First of all thank you so much for this wonderful article. i wish to add a song from anuraag movie MERA RAJA BETA BOOJHE EK PAHELI"

Bobby Sing

Hi Tusharapaat,
Thanks a lot for visiting and sharing a valuable information.
Would surely try to add it in the next edition of my book DID YOU KNOW Vol.1 having a detailed chapter on the subject.
Keep Visiting and Writing in,

santosh kumar

one song that i remember which is quite similar to icchak dana is from the film Kirayedar. the song is "akkad bakkad babe bo" picturised on Padmini Kolhapure and Raj babbar (and a class of children). as i said its quite similar to ichak danaa beechak daana song even i its picturization and perhaps was inspired by it. music by bappi lahiri.

Bobby Sing

Sorry for the late reply as many comments got hidden due to a technical glitch.
Thanks for a good value addition.
Will surely check the song and add it too.
Keep Visiting and Writing in.

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