Sardar Malik

I was meaning to write a series of posts on the contributions of some of the lesser recognised music directors, and the first in the series is Sardar Malik.

He was an extremely gifted music composer, and it is unfortunate that like Madan Mohan, he too composed for a string of B-Grade and C-Grade movies. The movies were not successful at the box office, but the music lives on after half a century. This post will focus upon some of his lesser known compositions.

I have not incuded his hits like “Saranga“, “Ab-E-Hayat” etc, but some of his lesser known compositions, which are extremely beautiful.

1. Kya Kahen Tujhse Mohabbat – Jantar Mantar(1964)

I am starting off with my altime favourite of Sardar Malik, a great composition in Shudh Kalyan, rendered to perfection by Asha.  Lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri

2.Hui Yeh Humse Nadani – Chor Bazaar (1954)

Lata’s voice is so full of expression, the dard-e-dil is quite obvious. The raga is Rageshree (mostly) , lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni.

Hui hum se ye nadani,
Kay teri mehfil mein aa baithe
Ho kay zameen ki khakh
Aasman se dil laga baithe

3.Naina Re Dekhe Unke Nain – Maharani Padmini (1964)


A superb song rendered to perfection beautifully by Suman Kalyanpur. I think the raga is Tilak-Shyam.

4.Tere Hum O Sanam – Bachpan (1963)

Sardar Malik at his best – a silky composition, Suman’s voice is so sweet! Bachpan had another lovely song by Rafi “Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai“, which is quite popular.

5. Aaj Ki RaatRoop Sundari (1964)

Fabulous Yaman Kalyan, such great music, rendered by Rafi and Suman. Too bad I cant even get a poster of the movie to put in!! What a shame that such a beautiful song belonged to such an obscure movie!

6.Mera Jala Raat BharChamak Chandni(1957)

Such a touching Shivaranjani, an excellent performance by Sudha Malhotra, voice full of the pain of virah.

7. Natkhat Pare Hath – Maharani Padmini(1964)

Classical Yaman, interestingly went to Usha Timothy. Sardar Malik certainly had a fascination for Yaman, and every one of them is a gem. A rare Holi song.

8. Ai Gham-E-Dil – Thokar (1953)

Set to raga Dhani, this gem of a song had two versions-one by Talat Mehmood and this one, I prefer the later simply because it affects me more. Asha is outstanding in this quiet, silky song.

9. Jaane Wale Lautke Aana – Jantar Mantar(1964)

Yet another Yaman, another sad song. Asha again, rendered perfectly. Such melody!

10. Sun Chand Meri Yeh DastanNaag-Jyoti (1963)

Finally, we have a characteristic Mukesh rendering, set to raga Janasammodini. Again, a great song from an obscure movie.

i have tried to showcase Sardar Malik’s contributions by deliberately choosing lesser known songs to bring his talent to fore. Look forward to the comments of my visitors.



  1. Anu Warrier said,

    January 12, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I meant to come here in the morning, but the migraine grew progresively worse. You are not going to like this, but I think Sardar Malik was lesser recognised *because* he wasn’t as talented as his peers! (Blasphemy, I know, but still…) And to mention him in the same breath as Madan Mohan is (to me) heresy. 🙂 And I’ll go away before you boot me off your blog!

    • Anu Warrier said,

      January 12, 2012 at 4:38 am

      ps: I liked Kya Kahein tujhse muhabat ho and Ae gham-e-dil kya karoon (my favourite song in this list, though I must admit to preferring Talat’s version). And while Tere hum o sanam and Mera jala raat bhar jiya are pleasant songs, but I would not put them among the classics.

      Hopefully, I have redeemed myself. 🙂

      • chitrapatsangeet said,

        January 12, 2012 at 4:49 am

        I never said they were classics! The post is to highlight the fact that he is a better composer than ‘Saranga Teri Yaad Me’ or ‘Mein Gareebon Ka Dil’.(which to me were ordinary compositions) and bring to light his best efforts. Some of these songs are alive after 60 years, he must have done a reasonbly good job. 🙂

    • chitrapatsangeet said,

      January 12, 2012 at 4:44 am

      No no, the point I was trying to make was that both of them (and also Chitragupt) spent a lot of time producing music for wasteful excercises. 🙂 Of course, comparing him to Madan would be blasphemy indeed-I would never do it !! Come on, dont infer that I have gone nuts 😀
      Sardar Malik was gifted, very good in patches. Yaman is instantly appealing and he knew it 🙂

  2. dustedoff said,

    January 12, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Tere hum o sanam, and the first two are among my favourites from this list – they’re so absolutely lovely. Though Tere hum o sanam reminds me of some other song, perhaps a Western one… can’t remember, right now. Maybe it’s just my imagination.

    “The post is to highlight the fact that he is a better composer than ‘Saranga Teri Yaad Me’ or ‘Mein Gareebon Ka Dil’.(which to me were ordinary compositions)”

    Ah. That’s a direct poke in the ribs for me, huh? Sad… I have really awful taste, no? 😉

  3. chitrapatsangeet said,

    January 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    “Ah. That’s a direct poke in the ribs for me, huh? Sad… I have really awful taste, no? ”
    Oh no, not at all! I was only indicating my likes and dislikes.
    The ladies are getting together to bash up a gentleman! 🙂

  4. SSW said,

    January 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    The first composition is quite nice. However rather than the actual melody which is quite nice I like the preludes and interludes, the lovely flute and saxophone pieces which would probably have been done by the arrangers.
    I prefer the second composition because I like the use of the komal nishad the flattening of the note providing more pathos than the full notes of shudh kalyan.
    “Naina re” is a nice composition, is it really Tilak-Shyam? At 1:40 in the interlude I seem to hear something different.
    “Tere hum O Sanam” is an interesting composition. The actual melody is very “ho-hum”…but there are some very interesting chord changes in the orchestration and the counterpoint point provided by the accordion and strings at times is very lovely.
    I do not like “Aaj ki raat”. Not very inspiring nor “Mera jala raat bhar” , Shivranjani has been done better.
    As for the Yaman compositions the one composer who did Yaman to death and did it beautifully was Roshan. Amazing compositions.
    I like Ae Gham-e-dil.. When I first heard the notes I thought it was Malkauns. You have to get the Sa correct.
    The last song by Mukesh, the raga is Janasamohini (or is it that you just call it Janasmodhini). I amd very fond of this raga and sort of think of Kalavathi as its sister raga. Ravi Shankar used this beautifully in Anuradha , “Haaye re woh din kyun na aaye”. He even slipped in a komal gandhar at one point not in the vocal part but in the music.

    • January 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      Thanks Sadanand for your comments! Some of your points on the arrangement are very interesting and educative. As for Naina Re, it was quite difficult for me to lay a finger on a particular on a particular raga, but it seemed that it was loosely based on Tilak-Shyam (thats why I qualified it with “I think” :D)

      I full agree about Roshan’s Yaman, superb as they are, they are very popular and spring to mind immediately-this inspires me to do a Yaman special of Madan Mohan, he has too produced several gems in Yaman. I liked “Jala Raat Bhar” mainly for Sudha Malhotra, her voice is so sweet here. As for the last one, I have seen Janasammohini being referred to as Janasammodini too. I will edit the post to stick to the more popular one.

      • SSW said,

        January 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

        Yes,. that would be a wonderful idea, a Madan Mohan/Yaman wrestling match. MM was one of the best composers in Hindi cinema.
        To be honest, I don’t like the sweetness in Sudha Malhotra’s voice though I like her as a singer. I always felt that Lata’s perfect pitch control, and our music directors preference for those virginal adolescent female voices combined to destroy women singers with heavy deep voices. There must be some psychological hang up here, this fascination for child women voices.
        I would have liked to have an Usha Uthup type voice for some women at least. There is nothing wrong with a deep rich contralto.
        Now all our women singers sound like Chip and Dale and worse they make them sing at even higher pitches where most of them can barely cling to the notes that Lata could touch.

      • January 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

        ” Now all our women singers sound like Chip and Dale and worse they make them sing at even higher pitches where most of them can barely cling to the notes that Lata could touch. ” How true! “Barely cling to the notes” is a liberal assessment. Music is more commercial now, one can make waves even by being *be-sur*!! I recently happened to listen to a female version of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s “Bhor Bayee” – Gujri Todi and it was so disappointing to see struggle at the taans. I think classical music is dead in hindi film music. Na aise gaane banaane waale rahe, na aise gaane gaane waale.

        Of Madan Mohan being the best composer in Hindi cinema, there is no doubt.

      • SSW said,

        January 15, 2012 at 1:07 am

        Oh I said MM was one of the best. I love his stuff but I would not put him above Salil Chowdhury, who is my personal favourite or Sajjad Hussain

  5. harvey said,

    January 13, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Visit to your blog is turning out to be more and more of a treasure hunt. Each and every song a discovery (or at least a re-discovery)!

    Loved each and every song in the list. Wen I started by listening to the first song, I was like – that is good! And the Mukesh song at the end was the cherry on the top of the ice cream.

    Mera jala raat bhar was a revelation! Sudha’s voice sounds so different than in tum mujhe bhool bhi jaao.

    Just like Madhu, I also prefer Talat’s version of ‘ae gam-e-dil kya karoo. Asha’s version though has its own magic.

    This Usha Timothy, do you know more songs sung by her?

    Thank you for this amazing tour through the treasure trail of Sardar Malik.

    • January 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks a lot Harvey, glad that you liked the selections :). I unfortunately dont know other songs by Usha Timothy 😦

  6. January 16, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Great post! Love the way you have tried to show the variety or should I say versatility of Sardar Malik as a music composer.
    Kya kahein tujhse mohabbat hai has been among my favourites for quite some time. I like most of the songs from Jantar Mantar and Bachpan but this one tops my list.
    Aaj ki raat is beautiful.
    Aye gham-e-dil, I love both the versions.
    I had heard most of these songs except for Naina re dekh unke nain . Mera jala raat bhar sounds vaguely familiar, though I dont exactly remember where I had heard it.

    Thanks to all the music groups on facebook like Sangeet Ke Sitaare and Anmol Fankaar of which I accidentally became a part of (not that I’m complaining), I got to know lots of people. And it was from one of them that I had first heard about Usha Timothy. That’s when I checked out Tu raat khadi thi chhat pe from Himalay Ki Godh Mein.
    Anmol Fankaar had done an interview with her. You can read about, see/listen to some of the songs that she has sung here –

    • January 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Welcome to my blog! 🙂
      Glad that you liked my post, it was meant to show the versatility and the talent of the composer. 🙂 Yes, “Kya Kahen” is very nice. I am off to look at Usha Timothy’s interview.

  7. January 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    karthik ji,

    Saradar Malik was a very handsome and good looking person.Born in Kapoorthala,Punjab,he took regular classical music training from Baba Allauddin Khan from Almoda.Very few people know that he was a good dancer and as a member of Uday Shankar’s troupe he had toured extensively.
    His first film was Renuka in 1947.he gave music to 24 Hindi and 1 Punjabi films.In one of the interviews he gave on AIR,he had said that while building a tune he would consider every word of the song.He used to take a long time in giving music.
    he was very proud of his sons Anu Malik as well as Abbu and Dabbu.He died on 27-1-2006.
    -Areunkumar Deshmukh

    • January 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks for the info on Sardar Malik Arunji. I didnt know that he was an accomplished dancer and a shishya of Uday Shankar! That adds a new dimension to his personality!

  8. March 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Roop Sundari – Indian Film Music Search – Bollywood,Hindi…/

    All Songs are listed in above YouTube connected website and there are 3 songs in You Tube from this 1964 Film, Roop Sundari.




    May 1, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Indeed, You have certainly established Sardar Mallik beyond Saranga.
    Incidentally, songsofyore,com and Shri Raja Pundalik have given interesting and differing perspectives on Yaman. Hence, your perspective can be quite interesting, since you do look at the issues differently

    • May 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks a lot for your encouraging comments Ashok ji! It shall always be my endeavour to deep dive into topics less touched upon.

  10. Songs Of Yore said,

    May 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I am a latecomer to your blog and I am impressed by its excellent content. It is also amazing how we are on to similar themes. I have been wrting a series on Forgotten composers for quite some time. On Sardar Malik I covered his more popular songs. Good that you took less known songs, so there is hardly any overlap. I am with Dustedoff on Saranga teri yaad me and Main gharibon ka dil – I like them immensely, I hope I am not charged with having pedestrian taste. 🙂

    As Ashok Vashnavji has mentioned, recently there has been a poste on Yaman on my blog. But Yaman is so infinite I would eagerly wait for your post.

    • May 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Welcome SOY!
      Good to hear that you like the content of the blog, and will try and improve/maintain the level. After all, the golden era of Hindi music offers such much joy that the least we can do is to acknowledge the works.
      I have been to your site and found it extremely interesting. As you said, Yaman is a world by itself, that a single post will not be enough to capture the bounds of its usage in old Hindi music. Yet, a pretty good job done:)

  11. Anand said,

    June 24, 2013 at 3:35 am

    How come noboby has talked about Rustom Sohrab – his masterpiece !!

    • June 26, 2013 at 2:45 am

      Anand, Rustom Sohrab had music by Sajjad and hence did not feature in the discussions.

      • Anand said,

        June 26, 2013 at 3:30 am

        Oh so sorry, my memory is too “good” ! Thanx for correcting me.

  12. May 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    You have done an excellent compilation. I was also collecting some information about Sardar Malik and found your awesome site. Its really surprising to know that he was a great dancer too! Thanks a lot.

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