Posted by: kcgadiyar | May 14, 2011

Hindi Songs with measures of time – Arranged from least to most

Finding a title for this post was tough. This came about in a general discussion with a friend when we found that there are plenty of Hindi movie songs which deal with separation between lovers. The lyrics are always like “Do pal ki doori bhi mujhe tadpaaye” and stuff like that, why not longer or smaller was the discussion. This post spun off directly from that discussion.

Basic premise for this post: Arrange a few movie songs which have a measure of time in their title (the measure of time should be central to the songs premise) from the smallest measure to the largest. This is the list i came up with, I am not a music expert so in no way do i claim that this is a definitive list, this is just something put together for kicks. Feel free to add to the list:

Pal Bhar Ke Liye – Johnny Mera Naam

A “Pal” means a moment. A moment is defined as a small instant of time. This is generally understood to be smaller than a second. So a “Pal” or a “Lamhaa” is a good measure to start with (if you know of smaller measures, please let me know in the comments).

I put this song first because the lyrics go “Pal bhar ke liye koi humein pyar kar le”, this means that the hero is willing to settle for a fleeting love UPTO a moment. So the timescale covered in this song is smaller than a moment.

Ek pal ka jeena – Kaho Na Pyaar Hai

After the “upto a moment”, we have a clear moment defined here. “Ek Pal ka Jeena” brings the timescales up to a whole moment. Another song which almost made the cut was “Pal do pal ka saath hamara” from “The Burning Train” but i preferred this one

Raat Ke Dhai Baje – Kaminey

This song talks about a specific time i.e. 2:30 at night . The logic i used here is that if you ask someone to show up at 2:30, they can show up sometime between 2:30:00-2:30:59 and still be on time. So “Raat ke Dhai Baje” covers a full 60 seconds

Do minute mein de diya hai dil yeh tumko – Jimmy

I really didnt want to include a song from Jimmy, but the song clearly defines the duration of time being talked about, also i wanted to be the only person who would put the movie “Jimmy” on a list which is not “Worst movies ever made”

Aaj ki raat – Don

I searched quite a bit for a song which would include “Hours” in it. But couldn’t find any. If anyone knows, let me know. So i did the next best thing. “Aaj ki raat” is a perfectly constrained song, it talks about tonight i.e. the period generally known as night which most people would agree goes from around 8pm to 5am before we get into early morning. So this song covers 9 hours

Again, if anyone knows a good bridge between 2 minutes and 9 hours, let me know and i will update the list with credit to you.

Jeene ke hai Chaar din – Mujhse shaadi karoge

Yes, the song most famous for giving us “That” dance step also gives us a clear horizon of 4 days and takes its place on this list. Almost included “Ek din teri raahon mein” here, but the “Ek din” is not a measure of time in the song, it is more along the lines of aspirational time.

Saawan Ka Mahina – Milan

One of my all time favorite songs, love this one. It also provides us a time of a “Mahina” i.e. 30 days. Good enough for a spot here. An alternate being considered was also called “Saawan ka mahina” with Kajol and Ajay Devgan, but this one won out.

Kuch Saal Pehle – Yaadein

Once again, i couldnt find anything between a mahina and a saal. So we take the jump to “Kuch saal”, the amount of time being talked out here is (from the context of the song) between 25-30 years ago. Lets take an average and say 27 years.

Sau saal pehle – Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota hai

A classic. This song was probably among the first which popped into peoples heads when they started reading this list. A 100 years is the time horizon captured in this song.

Sadiyan – Lakeer

Sadiyan means “Era”, an era can last anywhere from a couple of years (The Kapil Dev as coach era) to millions of years (the Jurassic era). For convenience, lets assume it means a 1000 years on average now.

And finally:

Sau Janam – Whats your rashee?

The average life expectancy in India is 70 years. So if the person singing actually has “Sau Janam” that equates to 7000 years making this the largest time interval on this list (a competitor for this is “Janam janam ka saath nibhane ko sau sau baar maine janam liye” from Tumse Accha Kaun Hai, i decided that the sentiment in both is the same)

So there was the strangest list i have ever done. All comments and suggestions welcomed.



  1. Great Post
    Song Addition – Pyar ke liye 4 pal kam nahi the – (Dil Kya Kare) – can fit into your no. 3 slot πŸ˜›

  2. The ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ song from Badmaash (1998) starring Jackie Shroff covers 6 hours: it begins with “Raat ko barah baje din nikalta hai\ Subah ko chhe baje raat hoti hai”.

  3. Chalo one more
    covers a period of a week
    pichhle saat dino me – from Rock On

  4. You can’t help using random logic even when u compile bollywood songs, can u? πŸ™‚

  5. Just a little correction with the definition of Pal…

    A Pal signifies 24 seconds…. so when Hritik says Ik pal ka jeena it means 24 seconds to be exact πŸ™‚ Ek Ghadi signifies 24 minutes so when Shahrukh says “Har Ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi” so that means there is a change every 24 minutes…

    Ancient Indian System of a Day matches with the standard system (of 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours a day).. Just the order of units gets reversed..

    1 Day in standard system = 24h * 60m * 60s
    1 Day in Ancient Indian System = 60ghadi * 60 pal * 24seconds
    1 Pal has 24 seconds .. 1 Ghadi has 60 Pal = 1440 seconds
    1 Ghadi = 24 minutes

    • Thanks for the explanation. Didn’t know about it beforehand, the mistake will have to stay πŸ™‚

      • Hi KC,

        My response was not to highlight a mistake/error but just to bring in a little value addition to this very interesting post… Even our lyricists of this era dont do that maths properly and take this exact meaning in account.. Ghadi (rather than 24 minutes) signifies “the smallest unit of a change” like a second’s tick on a wrist watch or a wall clock..

        There are many more songs

        — Pal
        -Pal pal pal pal har pal (LRMunnaBhai)
        -Main Pal do pal ka shayar (Kabhi Kabhi)
        -Do pal ruka – (VZ)
        -Pal pal hai bhari (Swades)

        – Ghadi
        – Do ghadi wo jo paas aa baithe (Gateway of India)
        – Har ghadi badal rahi hai (KHNH)]
        – Har ghadi dhal rahi hai shaam zindagi (Saaransh)
        – Zindagi pyar ki do chaar ghadi hoti hai (Anarkali)

        more later

  6. on the list Char Baj gaye..- Hard Kaur

  7. Patjhad Sawan Basant Bahaar, Ek Baras Ke Mausam Chaar – Sindoor (between Mahina & Kuch Saal)

    A creative post, enjoyed reading it =)

  8. Kal 9 Baje Tum Chaand Dekhna – from Shortkut.

  9. “12 minute bhi lagta hai ab na tere bin reh paaoonga re” – Dhinka Chika πŸ˜‰

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