Piya Tu Ab To Aaja

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"Piya Tu Ab To Aaja"
Helen acting in the music video
Screenshot of the music video
Song by Asha Bhosle, R.D. Burman
from the album Caravan
GenreWorld Music, Filmi, pop-folk
Songwriter(s)R.D. Burman (music), Majrooh Sultanpuri (lyrics)
Producer(s)R.D. Burman

"Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" (Hindi: पिया तू अब तो आजा, English: Come to me now, my love) is a song from the 1971 Hindi film Caravan. It is considered the quintessential cabaret item number by Helen.[1] The song was sung by Asha Bhosle and R.D. Burman. It was composed by R.D. Burman with lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Music scholar Nilanjana Bhattacharjya identified "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" as one of the culturally important Hindi film songs.[2] The song has also been called "the catalyst" that made "Asha [Bhosle] the queen of cabaret numbers".[3]

Music video[edit]

The song was performed by Helen, who is known for doing item numbers in Bollywood films of the 1960s and 1970s. It is a highly suggestive song with Asha Bhosle breathing quickly at intervals, giving it an orgasmic sound.[4] In the film, Helen performs the provocative dance in front of a large audience, including Sunita (played by actress Asha Parekh) who has just discovered that Monica (Helen) and her husband are having an affair.[5] The picturisation is typical of the item numbers of the era portraying a "vamp" character who dances seductively for a nightclub audience.[6]


The song was later released as part of the video Raat Ki Rani (1987), a compilation of Helen's different cabaret numbers.[6] Asha Bhosle recorded a new version in 2003 for the Kronos Quartet album You've Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman's Bollywood.[7] It also appears on the compilation album The Very Best of Asha Bhosle, The Queen of Bollywood. Composer Lesle Lewis released a remix of the song on his 2003 album Special Appointment Club Hits[8] while R.P. Patnaik produced a Telugu version for the 2008 film Swagatam. Pritam also sampled it for his song "Parda" on the Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai soundtrack.[9] "Piya Tu Ab to Aaja" is also a frequent choice of television performers. In 2008, actress Amrita Arora danced to the song on the reality programme Chhote Ustaad.[10] Amrita Moitra, a contestant on Zee TV's Dance India Dance, performed a mujra version of the song during the second season. The number is referenced briefly during the song "Dhoom Tanaa" from Om Shanti Om when Deepika Padukone, dressed in a gold bikini ensemble, dances in a cage.[11]



  1. ^ Kaur Allagh, Harjeet (8 January 2011). "Out goes the vamp". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  2. ^ Bhattacharjya, Nilanjana (Winter–Spring 2009). "Popular Hindi Film Song Sequences Set in the Indian Diaspora and the Negotiating of Indian Identity". Asian Music. 40 (1): 53–82. doi:10.1353/amu.0.0012.
  3. ^ "Asha Bhosle turns 76". NDTV. Indo-Asian News Service. 8 September 2009. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  4. ^ Arnold, Alison (Winter 2005). "The Rough Guide to Bollywood Legends: Lata Mangeshkar". Ethnomusicology. 49 (1): 157–161.
  5. ^ Pinto, Jerry (2006). Helen: the life and times of an H-bomb. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-303124-4.
  6. ^ a b Mazumdar, Ranjani (2007). Bombay cinema: an archive of the city. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 85–9. ISBN 0-8166-4942-1.
  7. ^ Gehr, Richard (29 November 2005). "Dreamful of Asha". The Village Voice. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Me and I". Indian Express. 16 September 2003. Retrieved 16 March 2011.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Jha, Subhash K. (23 February 2010). "Gauhar will be seen performing on 'Piya Tu Ab To Aaja' in Once Upon A Time...'". India FM. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Not kidding around". The Statesman. ProQuest. 28 February 2008.
  11. ^ Ostepeev, Lidia. "Om Shanti Om". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Filmfare Nominees and Winners" (PDF). Filmfare Awards. Retrieved 16 March 2011.