Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya

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"Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya"
Song by Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni and Lata Mangeshkar
English title"Why should I be afraid to be in love?"
Released1960 (1960)
GenreBollywood film song
Lyricist(s)Shakeel Badayuni
Music video
"Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya" on YouTube

"Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya" ("Why should I be afraid to be in love?") is a song from the famous Indian movie Mughal-e-Azam (1960), which was directed by K. Asif. The song was composed by Naushad, written by Shakeel Badayuni, and sung by Lata Mangeshkar with a chorus. The song, when the film was first released, was in black and white. It is shot in a set inspired by the Sheesh Mahal of the Lahore Fort.


The composition of "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya" was especially time-consuming – on the day of the song's recording, Naushad rejected two sets of lyrics made by Shakeel Badayuni. Subsequently, a "brainstorming session" was held on Naushad's terrace, beginning in the early part of the evening and lasting until next day.[1][2] Late in the night, Naushad remembered a folk song from eastern Uttar Pradesh with the lyrics going as "Prem kiya, kya chori kari hai..." ("I have loved, does it mean that I have stolen?"). The song was converted into a ghazal and subsequently recorded.[3] At that time, since there was no technology to provide for the reverberation of sound heard in the song, Naushad had Lata Mangeshkar sing the song in a studio bathroom.[4]

Form and meaning[edit]

The song starts with a vocal rendition in the classical style by noted classical singer of the time, Bade Ghulam Ali. His part in the song is meant to represent the voice of Tansen, one of Akbar's Nine Jewels, considered to have had the ability to bring rain from the sky and light candles in the dark with his singing. This rendition is followed by a solo by Lata Mangeshkar, composed as an ode by the lead character in the film, Anarkali, to the Prince for whom she declares her love. She does this in front of the King and the whole court, knowing well enough that the king is opposed to their love and such an open declaration might be considered as rebellion.

In many lines of the song, the courtesan taunts the great emperor by repeatedly declaring her refusal to hide her true feelings even in the face of likely death. The song ends with a chorus singing the refrain (the titular "Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya"). A loose translation of the song would be:

A person, in this world, 
Falls in love only once.
They carry that pain (of love) with them in Life,
They carry that pain with them in Death.
Why should I be afraid to be in love?
Why should I be afraid to be in love?
Being in love is not a crime (as if I have stolen something),
I am only in love...
Being in love is not a crime,
So why should I breathe softly behind closed doors?
Why should I be afraid to be in love?
Why should I be afraid to be in love?
Today I will speak from the heart,
Let this world put me to death for it!
Death witnessed by everyone is (anyway) the best,
What is the point of dying a little bit every day?
Why should I be afraid to be in love?
Fondness for him will remain in my heart,
Like this lamp that will remain lit through the evening.
To live in love, to die in love,
These remain the sole aims of my life now.
Why should I be afraid to be in love?
Our love for one another will not stay hidden,
Your gaze sees (its proof) in every direction.
When I do not hide anything from the Creator Himself,
Why, then, should I hide from His created servant?
Why should I be afraid to be in love?


The song "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya" was filmed in a set inspired by the Sheesh Mahal of the Lahore Fort, in the Mohan Studios. The particular set was noted for its size, which measured 150 feet in length, 80 feet in breadth and 35 feet in height.[1] A heavily-discussed aspect of the set was the presence of numerous small mirrors made of Belgian glass, which were crafted and designed by workers from Firozabad.[5] The set took two years to build and cost more than ₹1.5 million[6] ($320,000),[7] equivalent to $3 million (₹200 million) adjusted for inflation.

The sequence cost more than 1 million to execute, a price higher than the budget of an entire film at that time. The high cost increased fears that the financiers of the film would face bankruptcy.[8] It was the most expensive Indian music video up until then, and remained the most expensive for decades.[9]


  1. ^ a b Vijayakar, Rajiv (6 August 2010). "Celluloid monument". The Indian Express. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  2. ^ Raheja, Dinesh (15 February 2003). "Mughal-e-Azam: A work of art". Rediff. Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Mughal-e-Azam turns 50". Hindustan Times. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Music mogul". Hindustan Times. Highbeam. 2 June 2007. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Is it sunset for Bollywood's magnificent 'sets'?". The Indian Express. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  6. ^ Warsi, Shakil (2009). Mughal-E-Azam. Rupa & Company. p. 57. ISBN 978-81-291-1321-4.
  7. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. 1960. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  8. ^ Burman, Jivraj (7 August 2008). "Mughal-e-Azam: reliving the making of an epic". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Here Are The 12 Most Expensive Songs Ever Made In Bollywood". UC News. 19 May 2018.