Gulshan Bawra 1937-2009

“Yaari hai Imaan mera yaar meri zindagi…” from Zanjeer [1973]
“Sheeshe ke gharon mein dekho toh …” from Sanam Teri Kasam [1982]
“Mere desh ki dharti sona ugale…” from Upkaar [1967]

All the above songs have one common thread and that is the name Gulshan Bawra. Yes, he was one who penned these melodious songs for hindi cinema. About 250 songs written by him has reached our drawing rooms in the form of good old magnetic tapes.

Gulshan Bawra, born in a small place near Lahore in 1937, witnessed the tragedy of loosing his father during partition. At a tender age of 8-10 he saw his mother being shot in the head & his father being attacked with swords. Eventually he managed to escape to India in a military caravan. He maintained his brave attitude even during the most trying times of life.

He soon moved to Delhi & eventually to Kota for a railways job. But as luck had it, he lost that job because the vacancy was filled-in. So he moved to Mumbai where he continued his passion for writing poetry. He got his first break from Kalyanji Shah (Kalyanji-Anandji) for the movie Chandrasena [1959]. Then onwards he wrote many memorable songs for hindi cinema.

Filmography – a small snapshot
“Agar Tum na Hote…”
“Tu Tu hai wahi dil ne jise apna kaha ….”
“Aati rehengi bahaarein …”
“Kasmein waade nibhaenge hum…”
“Vadaa kar ke sajna, tere bin …”

10 things not seen in Bollywood anymore

1) Dymentia – The “Main kahan hoon..” fever was a rage in 70s-80s films. Whenever a character woke up after an accident, the oft-quoted statement used to be Main kahan hoon…

2) Earthen Pots

3) Logo-based titles
Each film had a unique picture,logo associated with the name. e.g. Parinda had a picture of a flying bird, Aashiqui has a very popular leading pair behind the suit, etc


4) Hand painted hoardings of the films

5) The butterfly sitting on the flower or 2 flowers touching each other [self – explanatory 😉 ]

6) Maruti 800
I can still remember some films [e.g. Ghar Ghar ki Kahani] showed Maruti 800 being used by the artists.

7) The rotatory dial phone

8. Milky white boots
The boots often remind me of Jitendra, Govinda & Mithun

9) Bell bottoms

10) Giant hair style of the leading actresses. I dont know what is it called, but that is a rare thing these days. Asha Parekh & Nanda used to have that style.

Shamshad Begum – a forgotten living legend of cinema !!

Shamshad Begum


Shamshan Begum (born 1919) is (yes she is still alive) one of the founding members of the Indian playback industry, until she made the way for Lata Mangeshkar. She lend her crystal clear sound to many film songs.

Mere piya gaye Rangoon…
Leke pehla pehla pyar …
Teri mehfil mein kismat aazma ke …
Mere neendon mein tum …
O gadi wale gadi dheere …

Her captivating voice remained the first choice for musicians like O P Nayyar, Naushad & C Ramachandran. O.P. Nayyar described her voice as “temple bell” – a sound which reminds you of ringing bells in temple.

I heard some of her timeless melodies & want to share them with you all… I am sure you all will agree with what Nayyar sahab said …. Every word of him is true !!

Teri Mehfil (Movie: Mughal-E-Azam) Opening voice of this song ….

Mere Piya (Movie: Patanga)

Leke pehla pehla pyar (Movie: CID)

Selected ‘SONGOGRAPHY’