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Bollywood Songs in the Raag Malgunji of Hindustani Classical Music

Updated on September 14, 2017
radhikasree profile image

Radhika is a Carnatic music singer who is pursuing her studies in music. She enjoys other classical forms of art as well.

Damayanti during separation messaging her lover Nala through a swan
Damayanti during separation messaging her lover Nala through a swan | Source

How does a woman react when she is waiting desperately to meet her lover after a long time? Her hunger for love is musically depicted by the Hindustani classical raag Malgunji. It is a popular raag of the late night (madhyaratri) that throws light into the emotion of a woman waiting for reunion with her lover. This raagMalgunji combines both the elements of raag Rageshri and raag Bageshri. Some Bollywood songs have acquired the traits of this raag with the required notes in the relevant positions.

1. Nain so nain

Even if this soul-stirring song is in raag Malgunji, major portion of it has the tinge of raag Bageshri. It may be because the song is highlighted in the higher octaves more. Also, realization of love is portrayed rather than separation. But the music composition is extremely commendable by the classical maestro Sri Vasant Desai for its mellow and rhythm that harmonize with the lyrics and dance steps. ‘Nain so nain’ song is vocalized in the mellifluous voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar for the musically super hit Bollywood film ‘Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje’.

Nain so nain

2. Balamwa bolo na

The beginning humming gives the scent of raag Malgunji in this hearty song. This song portrays a dance plot based on the theme of a girl welcoming her lover. The girl’s emotions and expressions during this period are featured through this raag Malgunji. This song is a typical example of this raag as the mix of Rageshri and Bageshri go proportionate. Here too, the song is embellished with the divine voice of Lata Mangeshkar for the Bollywood film ‘Picnic’ composed by the music director S. Mohinder.

Balamwa bolo na

3. Naa jiya laage na

The setting of this song is apt for the raag Malgunji. How the woman feels when she is parted with her husband is revealed here. The meaningful lyric for the situation is accorded by the popular Bengali musician Sri Salil Choudhari who has ornamented the song with several ascents and descents chronologically for the Bollywood film ‘Anand’ in raag Malgunji.

Naa jiya laage na

4. Jivan se bhari theri aankhen

Another resonance of raag Malgunji can be heard in this Bollywood song ‘Jivan se bhari theri aankhen….’ This song from the Bollywood film Safar explicates the beauty of the girl whom the hero is in love. Sung by the great singer Kishor Kumar under the music direction of Sri Kalyanji Anandji, the touch of raag Malgunji in this song makes it pleasing to hear.

Jivan se bhari theri aankhen

5. Unko yeh shikayat

The feelings of separation of a woman from her boyfriend of college days is expressed in this melodious song ‘unko yeh shikayat hai….’. The pain is inherent throughout the song which is a best example of raag Malgunji. The song captures the attention of her old boyfriend who comes that way and enters inside for reunion. Under the music direction of Madan Mohan, this heart-wrenching song in raag Malgunji has the female voice of Lataji in the Bollywood film ‘Adalat’.

The song ‘ghar aaja ghir aaye’ from the Bollywood film Chote Nawab by Lataji is another dulcet set in the raag Malgunji.

Unko yeh shikayat hai ke hum

Does these Bollywood songs have a touch of raag Malgunji?

See results

© 2013 Radhika Sreekanth


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    • profile image


      7 months ago

      Trying to find raag for a song i am devoted to .. Deewana Hua Badal from Kashmir ki kali..

      My quest took me to Raag Malgunji.., but I don't see that song in your list. Can you advise if this song is Malgunji or not. Thanks

    • radhikasree profile imageAUTHOR

      Radhika Sreekanth 

      5 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Audrey! Nice to hear that you loved these semi-classical songs.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      So interesting to hear the semi-tones--the musical scales are so different from Western classical music--lovely!

    • radhikasree profile imageAUTHOR

      Radhika Sreekanth 

      5 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi Ruby,

      I'm so glad that you liked our music.........more excited to hear that you would like to speak our language. Thank you............

    • radhikasree profile imageAUTHOR

      Radhika Sreekanth 

      5 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Dear srsddn sir,

      Thank you for the wonderful comment. These songs are based on raag Malgunji. It took a lot of time for me to differentiate them from raag Rageshri and Bageshri. Classical music based songs are evergreen and they never go faded. I've changed the Urls of songs and now you can try them. Sometimes embedding requires big screen, I think.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      It remains amazing to me, the voice sounds so much like the instrument playing. Beautiful hub..Wish i could speak the language..

    • srsddn profile image


      5 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Lovely Hub. It reminds me of all those old songs which had been popular and continue to be so even today. I appreciate your choice of songs. By the way I am getting the signal 'video player is too small' when I play these videos.


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