Song Sketch

Singing Brothers – Koi Humdum Na Raha – Jeevan Naiyya – Jhumroo

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Year 1936, when Hindi film industry was still just a toddler but fast growing up, playback singing wasn’t a trend then. The actors on screen also sang for themselves. It was the time when the Hindi cinema was really blossoming. It was the era when some path breaking movies like Achhut Kanya, Kangan, Jhoola, Kismet were making their presence felt in the society. A star was being born through these films. The renaissance man – Ashok Kumar. He was the one who brought in natural acting into the industry. Before that acting was just like theatre histrionics. The singing style was same as the theatre singing. Ashok Kumar with time changed this into some natural singing. It was Ashok Kumar who changed the stereotype all good hero to play a hero with negative shades for the time first time. In contrast with his contemporaries, he took all the trouble to learn his dialogues and get under the skin of the character. Apart from being a fabulous actor, Ashok Kumar was also an excellent painter. But his painting skills never got the limelight it deserved.
Apart from painting, he also used to practise homeopathy. A colossus in every sense. With his classic Bengali looks, he became the face of Hindi cinema in 30s, 40s and 50s. A man with magnetic aura and effervescent personality, Ashok Kumar was a trained singer and has rendered some vintage melodies which became timeless classics. One such song from his very first film Jeevan Naiyya (1936) is Koi humdum na raha koi sahara na raha, composed by Saraswati Devi (Khorshed Minocher Homji). Made under the banner of Bombat Talkies, the lyrics of this vintage classic were written by Jamuna Swaroop Kashyap (Naatwan). The entire song has just 2 instruments used in the background – sarangi and tabla. The sarangi fortifies the pathos brought in by Ashok Kumar’s voice.

Koi humdum na raha, koi sahara na raha
Koi humdum na raha, koi sahara na raha
Hum kisi ke na rahe, koi hamara na raha
Hum kisi ke na rahe, koi hamara na raha

Mil gaye khaak me sab
Hasrat-o-armaan dil ke
Apni aahon ke ilawa, koi chara na rahaa
Koi humdum na raha, koi sahara na raha

Naa toh waqt (?) hai ke ab
Hizr ki khwaahish hai tumhe
Rooh ko sang na raha, tan ko sahara na raha
Koi humdum na raha, koi sahara na raha

However, this soulful composition in Raag Jhinjhoti became an inspiration of sorts to Ashok Kumar’s younger brother Kishore Kumar who was just around 6-7 years old when the song was released. But it was not until in 1961 (25 years later after Jeevan Naiyya was released) that he got a chance to show his talent through the film he made – Jhumroo. Kishore Kumar in and as Jhumroo yodelled his way not just into Madhubala’s heart, but also in everyone’s heart. With all the other songs from the movie being peppy and playful, Kishore Kumar included this forlorn number to the list. It was his sheer will and passion to show that he could sing the song in a better way. Upon taking permission from Dadamoni (as Ashok Kumar was fondly called), he was made aware that the song was a difficult composition and for him, being an untrained singer, it will be difficult to render with all its intricacies. But Kishore Kumar accepted this as a challenge and teasingly told Dadamoni that it’ll be his song which will come out as the winner. In other sense Kishore Kumar has paid one of the finest tribute to his elder brother, his mentor, Ashok Kumar, through this song (not to forget – Ek chatur naar from Padosan). The song is became one of Kishore Kumar’s best!! Lyrics of this song however were by Majrooh Sultanpuri, while the somewhat changed prelude and interlude were composed by Kishore Kumar himself. The melancholic number was enhanced with the use of violins, jal tarang, mandolin and piano.

Koi humdum na raha koi sahara na raha
Hum kisi ke na koi hamara na raha
Koi humdum na raha koi sahara na raha

Shaam tanhai ki hai aayegi manzil kaise
Jo mujhe raah dikhaye wohi taara na raha
Koi humdum na raha koi sahara na raha

Aye nazaron na hanso mil na sakunga tumse
Wo mere ho na sake main bhi tumhara na raha
Koi humdum na raha koi sahara na raha

Kya bataun main kahan yuhin chala jaata hu
Jo mujhe phir se bulale wo ishara na raha
Koi humdum na raha koi sahara na raha
Hum kisi ke na rahe koi hamara na raha

A pity that the elder brother’s birthday became younger brother’s death anniversary. It must have been such a huge blow to Dadamoni. For all along he had been like a father figure to Kishore Kumar. They were the singing brothers, brothers in arms along with Anoop Kumar. Gouri Kunj in Khandwa must have been a musical abode and in high spirits with these brothers frolicking along in its patio, just as they might be now in heaven above, singing and in arms together.

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. Ramakrishna p

    October 14, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Tks for giving a best song of Kishore da.

  2. baldevshinh L Chawda

    October 13, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Very touching. Thank you for posting. Enjoyed songs tremendously.

    • Deepa

      October 21, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Thank you 🙂

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