Naina songs

It is re-union time again! In masala-land, a re-union does not need a reason, but a rhyme (and music) is always welcome. When Madhu posted her Aankhen songs list, Anu also wanted to post about filmi eyes and I am always happy to join a song-n-dance party. So we planned our re-union party, with songs about eyes – Anu decided to bring Nigaahein songs to the party, Madhu opted for Nazar, and I settled on Naina songs.

The first naina (or nain/nayan/nayana) songs that sprang to mind were “Naina barse rimjhim rimjhim” and “Do nainon mein aansoon bhare hain nindiya kaise samaye”. They’re lovely songs but are naina and aansoon a made-for-each-other couple? While eyes and tears are inseparable in the actual eye, doesn’t naina form a poetic pair with anything else? Naturally, an important question like this needs to be answered for the good of humankind. So yours truly embarked on some serious research. After days and days of YouTube and Google searches, I have uncovered several other naina pairings, as well as different categories of naina.

The rainy naina

Also known as aansoon-bhare-nain. This is the most common category of naina, with the largest number of songs. There is always-monsoon-in-the-eye season in these naina. Pros: The weather forecast always predicts rain and is always right. Cons: It never stops raining.

While the best known examples of rainy naina are, of course, Nis din barsat nayan humare, Naina barse rim jhim, and Nainon mein badra chhaye, I wanted something relatively lesser known. It was hard to decide between Suraiyya’s Ro ro haare nain humare and Geeta Dutt’s Naino mein saawan man mein re phagun. Geeta Dutt won, because I thought her voice expressed the deep sadness characteristic of this category way better.

1. Naino mein saawan man mein re phagun (Anand Math, 1952)

The lyrics set a sombre mood (Rain in the eyes, monsoon in the mood, Momentarily it burns and sets on fire), and yet, the scene is anything but. A visibly cheerful young woman (Geeta Bali) is reciting her latest verses to her equally cheerful sister-in-law (Azra?), while a random man outside the house seems unable to pull himself away from the song. As the song proceeds, the flashback tells it all – it is an entire story in a song and a 6 minute video! The song itself is a haunting lament of lost love and bygone days of happiness, with Geeta Dutt weaving her usual magic.

The magic naina

These naina can bewitch, spin spells and make people do things no normal person would ever do (see example below!). Pros: There is magic in the air. Cons: none really, unless you count a handsome Sunil Dutt as a drawback.

2. Naino waali tere naina jadoo kar gaye (Beti Bete, 1964)

This song sounds like it should have a Presley-ish Shammi shimmying (I apologise for the unintended pun) onscreen when it really is a Sunil Dutt in a chef’s hat. I wonder what the story is? Is he the household chef (is handsome, can cook and sings like Rafi? YUMMY!) romancing the underworld don’s lonely wife? (Aisi kahaani Bollywood mein mushkil hi nahin, na-mumkin hai.) Or maybe he’s been cursed by a witch that unless a princess kisses him in this atrocious hat, he can never be beautiful again?

The storage naina

Yes, really! Aankhen may be the man ka darpan (mirror of the mind), and eyes may be the windows of the soul, but naina can store useful stuff like mirrors and even Krishna himself (Baso more naiyanan mein nandlaal). Pros: Very useful extra storage. Cons: Wouldn’t be easy carting all this stuff around all the time.

3. Nainon mein darpan hai (Aarop, 1974)

While Hindi films are chock-full of romance-in-an-open-topped-car, bicycle romances are few and far between. And this is a really sweet romantic song. The lighthearted back-and-forth between the young lovers (if you can think of Kishore and Lata as “young lovers”!) is a joy to hear. And I love the picturisation – gorgeous greenery, and a romantic couple out for a ride on the family sedan. In fact, the romance looks so perfect that my Bollywood-trained-brain suspects that something really horrible is about to happen.

The kleptomaniac naina

These naina can steal, though they never seem to go for interesting heists, limiting themselves to stealing hearts and minds. Pros: Potential for heists through remote control (looks alone can steal!). Cons: Need burglary training to fully realize their heist potential.

4. Tere nayanon ne chori kiya (Pyar Ki Jeet, 1948)

“Your eyes have stolen my little heart, o stranger.” Corny sentiments and yet, Suraiyya’s lilting voice makes of it a thing of beauty. The movie stars Suraiyya opposite Dev Anand and from the lyrics it sounds as if Suraiyya is serenading Dev. Wouldn’t that be nice to see? I wish I could find a video of this song.

The emotional naina

These naina have “emoshun” and “ddrraama”. Pros: With all that emotion, they could be leads in a masala flick. Cons: Umm… none. Who doesn’t like melodrama?

5. Yeh jhuke jhuke naina (Bharosa, 1963)

A pair of shy eyes – the most prized accessory of the quintissential Bhartiya Naari. And Asha Parekh here is certainly the crème-de-la-crème of Bhartiya naari-hood – from her lowered eyes to her long, wavy tresses and the flowing ghagra-choli. Guru Dutt is certainly convinced that he’s met his happily-ever-after and Asha Parekh seems equally delighted with him. Psst… Asha, the best accessory is a well dressed man, and you should not settle for anything less than a Kapoor!

6. Hai re tere chanchal nainwa (Oonche Log, 1965)

“Your mischievous eyes say something and go silent… Sometimes they smile through the lashes, sometimes they silently oppress…” Just the sort of thing a smitten Bolly hero would tell his sweetheart? Wrong, this is a woman singing on the radio and our hero seems pretty certain she is singing for him! Or maybe she is just singing on behalf of a smitten guy and I have unnecessarily assigned it a gender-bender meaning?

7. Yeh nayan dare dare (Kohraa, 1964)

All he wants is to sip the daaru from these frightened eyes. Well, I always suspected that Biswajit was a weird one, but I wouldn’t have thought that Hemant Kumar would help him in this odd quest. Has Waheeda Rehman slipped them a mickey? Or maybe she has wandered onto the sets of a weird movie and is desperately trying to find an escape route? That might explain why her nayan are so dare dare!

The combative naina

Yes, some naina are even capable of eye-to-eye combat. Pros: They bring dishoom to the table, and when added to the emotional naina, provide a balanced masala diet. Cons: Potential weapons of heart destruction.

8. Kaahe naina ladey is din ke liye (Jhamela, 1953)

Of course, the primary exemplar of this class is Nain lad jayihe to manwa ma, but I decided to go for this lesser known Lata gem which sounds much softer and easier on the ear. She is lamenting the day her eyes fought with the unfaithful one. The unfortunate encounter changed her life, and not for the better. Yes, well, Hindi movies are littered with tales of people brought down by eye-to-eye combat. Our nainon waali heroine should have worn glasses with anti-glare coating – it would have saved her all this heartache.

The wayward naina

The most difficult of all naina to deal with. They just won’t listen to reason, as their possessors find. Pros: Very independent naina, have the potential to do a lot of interesting things. Cons: With independence comes responsibility and these naina are responsible for a lot of romance and heartache.

9. Naina deewane ek nahin maane (Afsar, 1950)

Suraiyya is once again the nainon waali. This time she laments her wayward eyes that won’t listen to her and have been responsible for her losing her brain. I can sympathize with her. A brainless existence would be the pits. But Suraiyya, look on the bright side. You could appreciate Salman Khan films! And we will always appreciate your lovely voice.

The miscellaneous naina

And then there are naina that defy all attempts at classification. And yet, they are delightful and I would not exclude them from this list just because they don’t fit.

10. Nainan mere tumhri ore (non-film album, 1930s/1940s)

I was searching for a vaguely remembered 1940s non-film song (Nayana ghooghat mein na samaye – probably sung by Juthika Roy?) when I rediscovered this beautiful bhajan of hers on Atul’s song blog. It brought back memories of Vividh Bharti’s Bhoole Bisre Geet program. Once a week, they used to air vintage non-film songs, usually from the 1930s and 40s. The program introduced me to the likes of Master Madan, Juthika Ray, and the lovely non-film songs of Pankaj Mullick. I can’t in all honesty say that I truly appreciated these songs back then, but today, they evoke such nostalgia. And grown up me loves the songs, too. In this song, I love how Juthika Roy’s dulcet voice glides over the notes as she plaintively asks God why He has turned away from her. Her eyes are always turned towards Him! If I were God, I wouldn’t be able to resist this appeal.

11. Nain mile chain kahan (Basant Bahar, 1956)

These naina are causing a certain lady to be bechain (restless). Why? Coz she has spied Bharat Bhushan! Hmm… I feel restless when I see Bharat Bhushan, too, but not for the same reason, I suspect. He seems to have had a talent for starring in films with outstanding music (Baiju Bawra, Barsaat Ki Raat, Mirza Ghalib, Shabaab, and Basant Bahar, to name a few) and I’ve always wondered why filmmakers could not pick leading men as skillfully as they picked their music. But I digress… Back to the song. I have a feeling that even if the lyrics were gibberish, as long as Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey sang like this, with just this expression and tune, accompanied by this music, it would still be a lovely song.

12. Do naina tumhare pyaare pyaare (Shrimatiji, 1952)

“A pair of lovely eyes, they are like stars in the sky…” She (Shyama) cannot resist the appeal of the poetic compliment or the magic of that voice. (He may look like Naseer Khan but, hey, he sounds like Hemant Kumar!) Yes, she will readily go home with him. (This being the 1950s, there will presumably be the requisite “saat phere” before, else she will have a horrible life and an early death.) Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt could read the telephone book and it would still sound like poetry. So it’s not surprising that when they have lovely music and sweet lyrics to help them along, it turns into such a beautiful song.

13. Yeh naina yeh kaajal yeh zulfen yeh aanchal (Dil Se Mile Dil, 1978)

The naina in this case are part of an ensemble cast – the eyes, the hair, the aanchal, everything adding up to pure poetry. I have tried to analyse just what about this song makes it so appealing to me. Kishore Kumar circa 1970s is not my favorite, the lyrics are rather disjointed and the music is not remarkable. But they all blend rather well to form a simple song that is light and sweet.

These were supposed to be songs for a masala party and I have written up a research article! Some of these songs might work for a party, but most of them won’t. Can you give me a helping hand here? Bring me some party naina songs or help me discover new classes of naina? My research (and the party) is ongoing.

Madhu’s Nazar songs list

Anu’s Nigaahein songs list


50 thoughts on “Naina songs

  1. You are funny! 🙂 Really, BV, this was worth all the scrambling you did! All these categories… I just finished a watchalong with Shalini, so shall come back to this post later today.

  2. Bollyviewer, this was so much fun to read! I ended up listening to the songs while reading, but to be honest, the songs that I had never come across before (that Juthika Roy one, for one) didn’t leave too much of an impression on me because I got too distracted by the humour of what you’d written. 😀

    But yes, going back to the songs – such good ones! Thank you. And , you’ll be glad to hear that Shrimatiji isn’t the depressing melodrama you fear it will be. Far from it – it’s a pretty funny movie. Goes a little downhill and slightly incoherent in the last half-hour, but still a great watch. Shyama is a hoot in it.

    And, two songs from me. The first is the teary naina, Naina bhar aaye neer:

    And the second is very different; Nayan tumhaare mazedaar:

    • Thank you Madhu. I am sooooo pleased that you liked it. #Big grin#

      Naina bhar aaye neer was new to me. Its a lovely song. Nain tumhare mazedaar was on my shortlist, but got axed because I had run out of time to write it up! So I’m very glad you posted it.

  3. I’m back because i can’t sleep, that having fled my eyes. I laughed my way through your article the first time; now, reading it again, i laughed through it the second time around. Between Madhu’s ‘no accounting for tastes’ and your ‘I feel restless when I see Bharat Bhushan, too, but not for the same reason, I suspect.‘, I’m giggling helplessly!

    Anyway, it shouldnt surprise you that I had a naina list too?

    Here are some of my favourites:
    Nain hamaare from Annadata

    Tere naina talaash karein from Talaash

    Main toh tum sang nain milaake from Manmauji

    Nainon mein rang ho from Khota Paisa

    Enjoyed this masala outing, meri behnen… 🙂

    • Thanks Anu! Your comment made my day. 🙂

      Am I surprised that you also had a Naina list? No. Did any of your songs show up on my list, even the long list? No. We are same same but different!! 😉

      Thanks for reminding me of the Anndata, Talaash and Manmauji songs. Can’t believe I forgot all of them! The first two could be the starting point for two new classes of naina – the ‘seeing’ and the ‘seeking’ categories.

      I do not recall having come across Nainon mein rang ho before. This is such a fun song. I remember the beginning of Khota Paise, but I may not have seen the whole movie. Now I am curious to find why Johnny Walker is sitting still while everyone showers him with water and color. I’ll look out for this film.

    • Ack! How could I have forgotten about Main toh tum sang nain milaake?! I am very fond of that song, so it should’ve occurred to me.

      Anyway, let me amend that oversight (or not amend it, depending on how you look at it) by adding another song. Nainon mein sapna. And now I shall scoot before I get it in the neck! 😀

  4. How about this category —
    “Naina of Cougar women being serenaded by younger gullible men” 🙂
    The gullible man in question is Sanjeev Kumar, and the 1st song is with Mala Sinha —

    The 2nd song is with Waheeda Rehman —

    Just goes to show that the 70’s decade was equal opportunity; 50’s/60’s Male (Dev, Shammi, Dilip, Rajendra …) & Female Superstars had their “Naina” on younger 70’s stars 🙂

    OK, before I get torn to pieces; here is more standard fare; both from “Mera Saaya”

    • ‘… Female Superstars had their “Naina” on younger 70’s stars..”

      According to Wikipedia, Sanjeev Kumar is 1938 born while Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha are 1938 and 1936 born, respectively. Hardly the “younger” star, is he?

      • Good Catch 🙂
        I did check up the same on Wikipedia, but was too lazy to write the more accurate statement —
        “Senior Established Female Superstars had their Naina on more junior newcomer Male Stars”.
        BTW, this applies to Saira Banu-Vinod Khanna in the song “Nainon Mein Darpan Hai”.

    • Thanks so much Samir. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      I love the songs you have listed. The Mera Saya songs were on my long list, but I already had enough nainon mein badra/sawan songs. And I decided that Naino waali ne haye mera dil loota was one song too many in the hard-to-classify-category.

      Jadugar tere naina should be part of the magic naina category. Waheeda’s eyes make Sanjeev Kumar do exercise (he can’t escape them and bends down even when he feels they are near) and he looks like he is not particularly fond of exercising! 🙂 This one did turn up in my initial naina search, but I forgot to put it on my long list. And I had totally forgotten about Jhuke jo tere naina – more emotional atyachaar kinda naina? Neither Waheeda Rehman nor Mala Sinha look older than Sanjeev Kumar though – even though they look a lot older than they did in the 50s.

      70’s decade was equal opportunity
      Hardly! I would have loved a gender reverse version of the Dev Anand-Zeenat Aman pairing (age gap of 28 years) or even an Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Prada pairing from the 1980s (age gap of 20 years). I’ll even settle for a Madhuri Dixit-Ranbir Kapoor pairing (age gap of 13 years) though it is still way short of Dev Anand’s record – but even this is unlikely to ever happen…

  5. So good to see you back again Bollyviewer! You have such a witty and wicked way of presenting the mundane. I think I’ll need to re-read the post to get all the fun bites…not that that means you disappear again for a few months!

    • Thank you. Thank you. 🙂

      I will try not to disappear for a few months. But don’t forget, all this research takes time. And it won’t get done if I do not spend quality (and quantity) time on youtube!

  6. A grin spread over my face at the very first photo caption and stayed put for the entire post. You really are a hoot, bollyviewer. Thank you for the Monday morning laugh. Here’s my contribution to your wonderfully diverse set of “naina” songs:

    Mere do naina matware kisske liye – Namaste Ji, Lata Mangeshkar

    • Thanks Shalini. Soooo glad you liked it. #Grinning from ear to ear#

      I have never heard of Namaste Ji before, or Mere do naina matware kisske liye before. Trust you to come up with a “new” oldie! A very welcome addition to the emotional naina class – in masala-land, we can never have too much emotion!

      • Thanks Shalini for posting this song, I had not heard it in such a long time. I really do miss my cassette collection, now the world has moved even beyond cd, and they only have popular collections now. At least they are alive on YouTube!

        • Ya, CD collections are so limited in choice. There are a handful of popular oldies that get recycled in every collection. I wish there was a way to find and digitise old LPs/discs. Youtube has nice old songs, but their audio is usually very poor.

  7. You made me laugh ! With your descriptions of songs and the categories. Specially the Extra Storage Naina. How do you come up with such ideas ? I was reading your descriptions to my husband, very perceptive and funny he said. We both enjoyed your songs a lot.
    Here is one of my favorites, and one classic one.

    Kajrare kajrare tere kare kare naina

    The classic Do naina mat ware tihare by K.L.Saigal.

    Have you noticed they all talk about Do naina, is there a third ? Or they want to make sure that they are not kana…

    • Thank you Neeraj. You are too kind. 🙂 🙂

      How do I come up with these ideas? Too much time spent thinking of Bollywood!

      Kajrare kajrare tere kaare kaare nainaof course it is also a naina song. I can’t believe I never even thought of it in this context. And it is one of my favorite songs, too… Thank you for posting it. She has judwa naina – clearly a Kumbh-ka-mela cannot be far. This song will fit very well in the emotion/drama naina category.

      The Saigal number was on my list, but was dropped at the last moment because I decided that I still haven’t acquired a taste for the great one (and I have tried hard to like Saigal, I have!).

      Have you noticed they all talk about Do naina, is there a third? Or they want to make sure that they are not kana…

      Hehe… Though of course, there IS a Teesri Aankh. Plus, naina are judwa, after all. If Manmohan Desai were alive today, he would make a film on judwa naina separated at birth and re-united in Aishwarya Rai’s face, through the divine flame.

      • 🙂 for the lost and found naina. As far as Saigal, some like him and some don’t. I grew up on them because my father was always humming one of his songs or listening to him in the morning on vividhbharati. Listen to ae qatib-e taqdir. You may like it.

        • Well, Saigal was around in my home via radio, often enough. And in Humlog (one of the first DoorDarshan soaps), a major character was always singing Saigal songs. I like most singers who sing like Saigal and/or sing his songs, but appreciation of his voice still eludes me! Speaking of singers who sing his songs, have you heard Sangeeta Nerurkar? Here’s her rendition of Aye qatib-e-taqdir in true Saigal style:

  8. Gone are the days when you were shy to look at your beloved !
    Naina so nain nahiin Milao, dekhat surat aawat laaj, saiyaan

    • Smacking my forehead! How on earth could I forget this song?!! I love this one and it should definitely have been part of my post. One of the eye-to-eye combat songs where the protagonists are trying to avoid the combat.

  9. One more,

    Naina hain jaadu bhare, o gori tere…

    (P.S. the auto corrector changed gori to gorilla, now that would have been an interesting song, naina hain jaadu bhare o gorilla tore naina hai jaadu bhare.. :))

    • Hehe… Autocorrect should sometimes be allowed to run amok – we wouldn’t need scriptwriters to write the comic side plot.

      Thanks for reminding me of Naina hain jaadoo bhare. It is a sweet song. Nice addition to the magical naina category, though the magic is only used to oppress and suppress and a little bit of archery. I love Jabeen Jaleel’s dance in this. She really was very good. Its too bad she did not get any meaty roles.

  10. I was just listening to this song today and wondered if it was on your list. This time the Nainwa are be-imaan
    Beimaan tore nainwa, nindiya na aye. Madhubala is exceptional in expressing.

    • Hi Neeru, sorry for the belated reply! I just haven’t been around blogland very much in the past few months.

      I did not have Beimaan tore nainwa on my list, probably because I don’t recall ever hearing it before. Madubala is always a great addition to any list! My favorite Madhubala naina song these days is Matwaale naino waale which I discovered after this list was made.

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