Every year as the Diwali season approaches, I search out for the songs based on the spirit and gaiety of the festive season. However, I never made a serious and systematic effort. This year too when I went about the task cursorily, three songs came up immediately in the memory. Of these three, the two songs had had sad associations with Diwali:

Lakho Taare Aasmaan Mein… Dekh Ke Duniya Ki Diwali Dil Mera Chupchap Jala – Hariyali Aur Rasta (1962)  –  Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar – Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra

Ek Woh Bhi Diwali Thi Ek Yeh Bhi Diwali Hai, Ujda Hua Gulshan Hai Rota Hua Mali Hai – Nazarana (1961) – Mukesh – Ravi – Rajendra Krishna

More interestingly, I also remembered that this song did have another version which related to the happy times of “Woh Bhi Diwali”:

Mele Hai Chiragon Ke Rangeen Diwali Hai – Asha Bhosle

The third one has song-picturization-specialist Vijay Anand enacting three different seasons in one song in the form of series of stage shows for Guide @8.25:

Piya Tose Naina Laage Re Naina Laage Re – Guide (1965) – Lata Mangeshkar – S D Burman – Shailendra

Probably it is no surprise, at least as far as I am concerned, that all the three songs happened to be of ‘60s. Such being the results of memories of the songs at the top of the surface, I did went ahead to look for more songs in the period before the decade of ‘60. Here is my find, arranged in the chronological order of the film release year:

The first in the list is ‘Diwali’ (1940), for which Khemchand Prakash had composed the music. Film credits show Motilal and Madhuri as the lead actors and Jayant Desai as the director. It seems the internet age has not been able to access the songs from the film, so we do not have means to know whether there were songs that had Diwali as the theme too….

However, we have one more song from the same year…

Aai Hai Holi Aai Hai Diwali – Sanskar (1940) – Jyoti, Harish – Ashok Ghosh – Kanhaiyalal

We now have a fairly large catch from the vintage era …..

Diwali Phir Aayi Sajani – Khazanchi 1941 – Shamshad Begum – Ghulam Haider – Wali Sahab

The song is set to a typical Punjabi festival congregation tune, which has predominance of dholak as the rhythm instrument.

Aayi Divali Aayi Diwali – Rattan (1944) – Johrabai Ambalewali – Naushad – D N Madhok

As the lamps of Diwali usher in the festivities the moths get attracted towards the flames, the heroine laments that she does not have the company of her beloved to neither enjoy the festivities nor pleasure of getting consumed with someone…

Ghar Ghar Mein Diwali Hai, Mere Ghar Mein Andhera – Kismat (1943) – Ameerbai Karnataki – Anil Biswas – Pradeep

Visually differently-able heroine not only has to face the physical darkness but also a dark fate, even as the world around glitters with the glow of Diwali lamps and cracker.

Aayi Diwali Deeponwali – Maharana Pratap (1946) – Khursheed, Chorus – Ram Ganguly – Swami Ramanand

Composition, beat and orchestration simply ooze the joy of the festivities…

Aayi Diwali Deep Jala Ja – Pugree (1948) – Sitara Kanpur, Shamshad Begum – Ghulam Mohammad – Shakeel Badayuni

Entire family is fully enthralled with mood of gaiety ….

Diwali Ki Raat Piya Ghar Aanewale – Amar Kahani (1949) – Suraiya – Husnlal Bhagat Ram – Rajendra Krishna

Traditionally, all those who are away to earn the livelihood always would love to celebrate the festival with the family…so the wait for the loved one on this day

Aayi Hai Diwali – Sheesh Mahal (1950) – Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt – Vasant Desai – Nazim Panipati

The palace, the court and the town is teeming with the welcome to the festival

Shaam Aur Hui Aur Deep Jale – Basera (1950) – Mubarak Begum, Sulochana Kadam – M A Rauf Usmani – Sardaar Ilhaam

The song captures two different moods of the same festivity..

Jagmagati Diwali Ki Raat Agayi – Stage (1951) – Asha Bhosle – Husnlal Bhagatram – Sharshar Shailani

The composition bubbles with the joy of the festival

YT also has one more different version credited to Lata Mangeshkar

Deep Jale Ghar Ghar Mein Aayi Diwali – Ghar Ghar Mein Diwali (1955) – Lata Mangeshkar, Shaminder – Roshan – Prem Dhawan

We have one more film which Diwali in its title, but internet has not been able to capture the song.

Is Raat Diwali Kaise – Sabse Bad Rupaiya (1955) – Mohammad Rafi, Shamshad Begum, Asha Bhosle – Shaukat Dehlvi – P L Santoshi

Here is the song that captures in quite a different way the joy that the union of the couple also helps illuminates the festival environment.

Coincidentally, another film that has a Diwali song has Paisa in its title.

Deep Jalenge Deep Diwali Aayi – Paisa (1957) – Geeta Dutt – Ram Ganguli – Nazir Akbarabadi

Geeta Dutt’s voice reflects the surrealism of the mood of the festival

Jahan Mein Aai Diwali – Taj (1956) – Lata Mangeshkar – Hemant Kumar – Rajendra Krishna

The lamps of Diwali only heightens of pain caused by the flame of separation

Kaise Diwali Manaye Hum Lala – Paigam (1959) – Mohammad Rafi – C Ramchandra – Pradeep

For the working class, demands always outstrip the means..even when Diwali does ensure the traditional “bounty” of bonus.

Ayee Ab Ke Saal Diwali – Haqeeqat 1964 – Lata Mangeshkar – Madan Mohan – Kaifi Azmi

For the army on duty, Diwali accentuates separation from the loved ones..

Diwali Aayi Re Ghar Ghar Deep Jale – Leader (1964) – Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Chorus – Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni

Lamps in hands of ladies folk and torch in the hands of menfolk symbolize the spirit of Diwali in the respective context in this predominantly dance number.

While on the search for the Diwali songs, it apparently appeared that period of 70s till late 90s, Diwali songs seemed to have waned in the films. Frankly, I have not tried hard enough to look too, as I have had my range of ‘lamps’ full enough with so many moods, so varied singers in so different settings for presenting the festival in its all hues and colors.

However, before we conclude, we cannot afford to miss out one Non Film Song that remains very special not only for its content but also for the combination of the singer, composer, song writer and their the then circumstances in which the song was conceived –

Main Ghee Ka Diya Jalaoon Ghar Aao – NFS – C H Atma – O P Nayyar – Saroj Mohini Nayyar

So we join the spirit of Jyot Se Jyot Jagate Chalo, Prem Ki Ganga Bahate Chalo (Sant Gyaneshwar, 1964) as I heartily wish you all a very Happy Diwali.