I have thus far in this column focused largely on songs whose tunes made their way from Hindi films to Tamil and Telugu. This time, for a change, let us look at a song that travelled from Telugu to Tamil and from there to Hindi. In the process, it also created a Hindi actress out of a South Indian woman.

Waheeda Rehman, pic courtesy UpperStall.com

Have you ever seen a film titled Kaalam Maari Pocchu dating to 1956? Neither have I. But I am sure many of you would have seen the song Yeru Pootti Povaye Anne Chinnanne. This is a lovely dance number, featuring a young Waheeda Rehman and sung in playback by Jikki.

The film starred Gemini Ganesan and Anjali Devi and was a remake of the Telugu hit of 1955, Rojulu Marayi. The latter starred A Nageswara Rao and Sowcar Janaki. Both films were made by CV Ramakrishna Prasad under the Saradhi Studios banner. The Telugu version had the same song, Eruvaaka Sagaroranno, featuring Waheeda with playback by Jikki.

The Telugu version had lyrics by Kosaraju Raghaviah and music by Master Venu. The Tamil lyrics were by Muhavai Rajamanickam. Both versions were super hits and this song was became the rage in both languages. Waheeda Rehman soon moved to Hindi films. By the way, you can also see her do a dance number in Alibabavum Naarpathu Thirudargalum starring MGR and Bhanumati. The song? The lovely Salaam Babu.

Now cut to 1960. Raj Khosla was making Bombai Ka Babu in Hindi, starring Dev Anand and Suchitra Sen. This is a film I have seen and do not like. But the songs are all wonderful. The lyrics are by Majrooh Sultanpuri and the music by Sachin Deb Burman. The title song, Dekhne Mein Bhola Hai, is tuned entirely on Eruvaaka/Yeru Pooti. SD Burman was known to be ‘inspired’ by folk tunes and this one appears to have taken his fancy. It is sung by Asha Bhonsle.

This article is part of a series on old film songs, chiefly Hindi and Tamil. You can read the earlier parts here