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Legendary Yash Chopra And His Eternal Love For Punjab

By: Krishma | September 27, 2022

As they popularly say you may leave Punjab but Punjab never leaves you. No matter where ever you go, you take with yourself the traces and essence of Punjab.

True to its core, legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra is a big example who created big name for himself in the tinsel town but his love for Punjab always remained eternal.

Well, we really don’t have to prove that because it is his work which speaks for himself. Always remembered as the King of Romance, from the debut film, ‘Dhool Ka Phool’ to the last film, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, all his movies had the pure fragrance of Punjab and how! Also Read : Thanks To These Punjabi Singers That Folk Genre Is Still Alive In Music Industry

Recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Chopra was born on 27 September 1932 in Lahore, Punjab Province, British India into a Punjabi Hindu Khatri family. The eminent film-maker BR Chopra is one of his brothers. His passion for film-making led him to travel to Bombay, where he initially worked as an assistant director to I. S. Johar, and then for his director-producer brother, B. R. Chopra.

Growing up in Punjab, he was surrounded with the beautiful fields of Punjab, people, tradition and music which translated in most of his movies.


One can go on and on while talking about his illustrious career but here we are presenting a brief account of his directorial ventures and how Punjabism was deep-rooted in all his works. A true Punjabi will surely agree to the fact that he knew Punjabi folk music really well which reflected in the evergreen music of his films.

His debut film, DHOOL KA PHOOL (1959) had a track, ‘Tu Mere Pyar Ka Phool Hai’ was based on the folk composition of ‘Mitti Da Bawa’. It was later popularised by Jagjit Singh. In fact, the original song, ‘Tere Pyar Ka Aasra’ was also conceptualised in the ‘Tappe’ format of Punjabi folk.


The famous qawwali ‘Jo Yeh Dil Deewana’ was inspired by the Punjabi song ‘Chann Ve Ke Shaukan Mele Di’ which was sung by Surinder Kaur.

WAQT (1965):

The track ‘Din Hai Bahar Ke’ too was a Punjabi rhythm-based song.


This Punjabi element was even more evident in this film which had tracks such as ‘Neele parbaton ki dhara’ and ‘Jaagega insaan’ starting with dhol beats and a Punjabi style alaap. ‘Aadmi Aur Insaan’ also had the upbeat ‘Dil Karta O Yaara Dildara’ which was conceived as a Hindi-Punjabi dance song.

Now by this time, the legendary filmmaker had begun his own production house. Therefore, not just music, he even started using Punjabi lyrics as well in the films.

DAAG (1973):

The very popular, ‘Ni Main Yaar Manana Ni’ including Punjabi verses was featured in Daag.


This evergreen romantic film turned out to be a comeback for the flavour of Punjab in the song, ‘Tera Phoolon Jaisa Rang’. Furthermore, the concluding part of the song was also based on the famous traditional Punjabi folk ‘Jind Maahi Baaj Tere’

TRISHUL (1978):

The track, ‘Jo Ho Yaar Apna’ was highly inspired by Punjabi folk format.


In the year 1979, Yash Chopra chose to bring an unconventional film, ‘Kaala Patthar’ which had a song, ‘Jaggeya Jaggeya’ with pure Punjabi lyrics. It is worth mentioning that ‘Meri Dooron Se Aayi Baraat’ and ‘Mujhe Pyaar Ka Tohfa Deke’ had a strong Punjabi feel.

Strangely, the original LP record of the film mentions the title rightly, the official YouTube upload by Yash Raj Films wrongly mentions it as ‘Jag Gaya Jag Gaya’

SILSILA (1981):

The romantic drama had Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Rekha. The script of the film included a Sikh wedding with Amitabh and Rekha dancing on the dhol beats in a baraat and just minutes later shaking a leg together in ‘Pehli pehli baar dekha aisa jalwa’. Apart from this, the soundtrack also had a devotional Shabad, ‘Banh Jinha Di Pakadiye’ sung by Bhai Harbans Singh Ji Jagadhari Wale.

MASHAAL (1984):

Many believed that the song, ‘Holi Aayi Re’ was inspired from a Marathi song. However, the composition of the track had a strong Punjabi folk influence of ‘Balle Balle Ni Tor Punjaban Di’, this was earlier used in ‘Gori Sasural Chali’ in Shagoon released in 1964.

CHANDNI (1989):

The Punjabi flavour once again came back with 1989 release, ‘Chandni’ in the song, ‘Mehbooba’ and ‘Main Sasural Nahin Jaaongi’ which had impressions of folk wedding songs in Punjabi traditional collection.

If you have seen the film, you will surely agree that there is a sequence where Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna introduce each other in the foreign land while singing a famous Punjabi song, ‘Haye O Rabba’, which was originally sung by the Pakistan’s legendary singer, Reshma.

LAMHE (1991):

Once again, the influence came back with ‘Bindiya Chamkegi’ in Lamhe released in 1991. The film included famous entertaining medley with Punjabi phrases.


In this multi-starrer film, ‘Aadhi Raat Ko’ was totally derived from Punjabi folk ‘Kala Doriya’. The dance number feature Aamir Khan, Raveena Tandon, Saif Ali Khan and others.


 Well, can we see was just the beginning of hard-core Punjabism in every movie. The song ‘Dholna’ and the hook line of ‘Le Gayi Le Gayi’ was a total inspiration from Punjabi music.

VEER ZAARA (2004):

Do we really need a description for this film. Set entirely in the Punjab backdrop, this film totally had the essence of Punjab deep rooted in it. From mustard fields to tracks like ‘Aisa des hai mera’ and ‘Lo aa gayi Lohri ve’ sung by Gurdas Maan, including references of Punjabi folk song Jugni and Sarke sarke jandiye mutiyare ni, it had all of it.


Unfortunately, the journey which started in 1959 came to an end with 2012 release, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. After Veer Zara, once again Shah Rukh Khan played a Punjabi boy in the film with songs based in Punjab like ‘Heer’ and ‘Jhalla’ (no it wasn’t challa as is popularly written as). Rabbi Shergill had lent his voice for the song.

The long list is a testimony of Yash Chopra, being a true Punjabi who never forgot his roots. Maintaining his eternal love and relation with Punjab, he always ensured that all his works had a Punjabi touch.

Did we miss out on any such film? Do let us know in the comments section.






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