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Did Mohammad Rafi sing about a “Chidiya” or many “Chidiyan”? Please listen and comment.

We have a debate happening on FTI regarding the famous song that Mohammad Rafi sang.

Please listen carefully and tell me what you think: is Rafi singing about one bird (chidiya) per branch or more than one (chidiyan)? You would perhaps need to listen twice or thrice (that specific).

Also, is anyone able to just snip jahan daal daal par sone ki chidiyan karti hain basera voh bharat desh hai mera from the longer MP3 here, and send it to me by email at



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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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3 thoughts on “Did Mohammad Rafi sing about a “Chidiya” or many “Chidiyan”? Please listen and comment.
  1. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Comment from Arjun Singh Thakur:

    Sanjeev Ji, please find the desired snip from the long mp3 attached herewith.

    Also, with regard to the lyrics of the song whether it is चिड़ियाँ करती हैं or चिड़िया करती है, I think Rafi sings it in the plural form i.e. ‘चिड़ियाँ करती हैं’ . Clue lies in Rafi’s distinct pronunciations of plural हैं and singular है. While referring to bird(s) he pronounces it in plural (hain). This becomes clear after listening to his pronunciation of ‘hai’ elsewhere in the song where it is used in singular (hai). Plural ‘hain’ is compatible with plural ‘chidiyaan’ and singular ‘hai’ is compatible with singular ‘desh’. The distinct pronunciation of ‘hain’ and ‘hai’ is quite clear in the song. So, with ‘hain’, there must be ‘chidiyaan’ (plural).

    However, this analysis is based on how Rafi sang the song. The song was written by Rajendra Krishn. There must be a written script of the song available. Perhaps someone in the film industry may be of help. Moreover, in my opinion, it is better to use सोने की चिड़िया (singular) because whenever and wherever the epithet is used for denoting India’s prosperity, it’s ALWAYS used in singular form i.e. सोने की चिड़िया.


  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sanjeev Sir,

    PFA mp3 of snipped first line of the song as you requested on your blog post. Please let me know if you want any further modification.

    Also, I heard it many a times, the word is CHIDIYAN and not chidiya.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Kapil Goel

  3. Dr V R Chitguppi

    Rafi sings it as ‘Chidiyan’. And it need not be in singular as Sri Arjun Singh Thakur opines. ‘Sone ki chidiya’ may be a phrase with its own traditional connotations, generally meaning to be a ‘thing meant for exploitation’. But the poet here is giving expression to his own ideas of prosperity of India ‘where trees are home to golden birds’. His poetry is free of limitations of the phrase. I find nothing amiss. On the contrary I find it movingly picturesque.


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