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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

This is a tale of a classical vocalist par excellence who chose the bliss of marital life over money and fame through umpteen classical music soirees. Sukoon (peace of mind) was the main motto in her life which, in her view, cannot be compensated by money and fame. The name of the classical vocalist was Roshanara Begum who rendered mainly in Kirana gharana style.

I accidentally became aware of Roshanara Begum when I was pressurised to buy a 78 RPM record of the song (in two parts) ‘desh ki pur kaif rangeen si fizaaaon mein kahin’ from ‘Jugnu’ (1947) sometime in early 1970s in a kabaadi shop. I may have played this song only a couple of times as I was more interested in listening to popular film songs those days. It was only after my retirement that I started spending more time on semi-classical and classical songs in that order. Slowly, I developed taste for this genre of songs with insight into the singers behind these songs. Recently, I have been listening to classical and semi-classical songs rendered by Roshanara Begum in various raagas. Here is her profile which is mainly based on an hour long TV interview she gave in Pakistan sometime in 1970s.

Roshanara Begum (1917-06/12/1982) was born in Calcutta (Kolkata) to Chanda Begum and Ustad Abdul Haque Khan. Her real name was Wahidunnissa. However, a fakeer after listening to her singing, changed her name to ‘Roshanjehan’. She had shown interest in classical music since childhood. At the age of 9, she told her mother to look for an ustad who could train her as a classical music vocalist. Initially, she received training from Laddan Khan. At the age of 13, that is, in early 1930s, she shifted to Bombay (Mumbai) with the intention of getting trained in classical music from Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the doyen of Kirana Gharana. However, he was mostly based in Miraj with occasional visit to Bombay for concerts.

As per her interview, her singing prowess got her a role in a Hindi film ‘Noor-e-Imaan’ (1933) as a singer-actor. Her name was once again changed from ‘Roshanjehan’ to ‘Roshanara’. She worked as a singer-actor in 2-3 more films, names of which she did not remember. When Ustad Abdul Karim Khan decided to take her as his disciple, he put a condition to her that she should give up working in films. Incidentally, in a book ‘The lost World of Hindustani Music’, it is stated that her father was the cousin of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. However, in the interview, Roshanara Begum always referred to him as Ustad and did not mention that he was her uncle.

While in Bombay, Roshanara Begum began singing on All India Radio and occasionally participated in concerts. A police officer belonging to West Punjab who was on transfer to Bombay, was a regular visitor to her concerts. He fell in love with her and eventually they got married on one condition put forward by Roshanara Begum that she should be allowed to continue her career as a classical singer. In 1937, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan passed away. She continued her training in classical singing with Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan who was a co-founder of Kirana Gharana along with his brother-in-law Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. In the 1940s, Roshanara Begum had established her name as a prominent classical vocalist and she was getting invitations to participate in musical concerts all over India.

After partition in 1947, Roshanara migrated to Pakistan with her husband and settled down in Lalamusa, a small town in Punjab. In the first 2 years, she did not pursue her singing career as elders in the joint family did not approve of her singing in concerts. However, when a senior official of Radio Pakistan came to know about her, he persuaded her family to allow her to sing at least on the radio. Thereafter she started singing for Pakistan Radio and TV. She also participated in the Lahore Musical Conference which was held in 1950. However, over the period, the atmosphere in Pakistan no longe r remainconducive for classical singers. Some of the classical singers even shifted to singing semi-classical genre such as ghazal which had more takers in Pakistan than classical music. Roshanara Begum had no interest in pursuing semi-classical genre of music such as thumris, dadras and ghazals. Her forte was khayal singing. So she spent more time in Lalamus as a housewife than a classical vocalist.

In 1978, Roshanara Begum visited India and participated in a concert in the house of Naina Devi, the thumri singer. Before starting her concert, she talked about the poverty of classical music in Pakistan and said that she hardly practiced any more, leave alone giving public performances. Kumar Prasad Mukhopadhyaya, a musician himself, in his book ‘The Lost World of Hindustani Music’ who attended her concert wrote:

Her music showed no sign of age or lack of riyaaz ……..She was short, fat and dark and even her admirers would not have found her appearance alluring. But when she sang, the expression of serenity, the inner feeling of peaceful union with swaras on her face would convey itself to the audience. The sudden intrusion of a violent yet effortless gamak taan followed invariably with a smile would transform her for a fleeting moment into a lovely person.

Roshanara Begum passed away on December 6, 1982 leaving behind her an adopted son and a daughter apart from a good numbers of her pet dogs and cats. The lovers of classical music are grateful that she left behind a wealth of recorded music for all those (including me) who missed her music during her lifetime. A sample of her shorter versions of renditions is given below:

Khayal in raag Adana

Tarana in raag Malkauns

Bandish in raag Des

Thumri in raag Piloo

Ghazal – Hone ko to kyaa huaa nahin hai

Roshanara Begum sang a handful of songs as a playback singer in Hindi films. She sang in ‘Pukar’ (1939), ‘Pehli Nazar’ (1945), ‘Hamjoli’ (1946), ‘Jugnu’ (1947) and ‘Siskiyaan’(1952). In Pakistan also, she sang only a few songs for films as playback singer. As mentioned earlier, she was not interested in singing light and semi-classical songs.

I am presenting here a rare bhajan ‘mori bipat suno Giridhari’ from the film HAMJOLI (1946) sung by Roshanara Begum. The lyrics are written by Anjum Pilibhiti and set to music by Hafiz Khan. The film was produced by K Abdulla and was directed by Ismail Memon and Lukman Ahmed. The star cast included Jairaj, Noorjehan, Agha, Jillobai, Ghuilam Mohammed, Mukri etc. The film was released on August 29, 1946 at Majestic and other theatres in Bombay.

I am thankful to Vidur Sury for giving me permission to rip off this particular song from his combined audio clip of four songs which he had already uploaded on YT.


Song-Mori Bipat suno Girdhaari (Hamjoli)(1946) Singer-Roshan Ara Begam, Lyrics-Anjum Pilibhiti, MD-Hafiz Khan

Lyrics

bipat suno Giridhaari
mori bipat suno Giridhaari
aan padi hai aankhon se dhaari
aan padi hai aankhon se dhaari
bipat suno Giridhaari
mori bipat suno Giridhaari

vyaakul hoon main bin bhaiyyaa ke ae
vyaakul hoon main bin bhaiyyaa ke
chaandni jaise bin chandaa ke
chaandni jaise bin chandaa ke
kaun(?) bachaalo tum maiyya ke
kaun(?) bachaalo tum maiyya ke
duhaayi hai ab Krishna muraari
duhaayi hai ab Krishna muraari
bipat suno Giridhaari
mori bipat suno Giridhari

toote dilon ka tum ho sahaara
toote dilon ka tum ho sahaara
tum hi nahin to kaun hamaara
tum hi nahin to kaun hamaara
man mein kar do ab ujiyaara
man mein kar do ab ujiyaara
door ho saari dukh andhiyaari
door ho saari dukh andhiyaari
bipat suno Giridhaari
mori bipat suno Giridhaari

bansi baja ke munh darsaa do
bansi baja ke munh darsaa do
man murjhaaye phool khilaa do
man murjhaaye phool khilaa do
bhaiyyaa ko mere mujhse milaa do
bhaiyyaa ko mere mujhse milaa do
binti karoon main hey banwaari
binti karoon main hey banwaari
bipat suno Giridhaari
mori bipat suno Giridhaari


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

CHANDAN KA PALNA (1967) was produced under the banner of Arzoo Films by Zaibunnisa Usman Ali and Khairunnisa Ismail Memon and was directed by Ismail Memon. Dhamendra and Meena Kumari were in lead roles supported by Mehmood, Mumtaz, Durga Khote, Dhumal, Nazir Hussain, Bipin Gupta, Shabnam, Mukri etc. In a way, the film was the home production of Mehmood. Producers Zaibunnisa Usman Ali was the wife of Mehmood’s younger brother Usman Ali while Khairunnisa Ismail Memon was his younger sister. The director of the film, Ismail Memon was his brother-in-law. Mehmood’s first wife Madhu was the sister of Meena Kumari.
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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

IN CUSTODY (1994) also known as MUHAFIZ was a film belonging to the parallel cinema based on Booker award nominated novel by the same name written by Anita Desai. The film was produced under the banner of Merchant Ivory Productions and was directed by Ismail Merchant. The star cast included Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Sushma Seth, Neena Gupta, Tinnu Anand, Ajay Sahani, Prayag Raj, Virendra Saxena etc. The film picked up published nazms and ghazals of Faiz Ahmed Faiz for songs which were jointly composed by Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Sultan Khan. I had set out in detail the story of the film while discussing ae jazba-e-dil gar main chaahoon. For the sake of the background, I will give here only a gist of the story of the film.
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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Mahesh Manjrekar, the film and stage actor, producer, director and writer made a successful foray into Hindi film with his directorial venture ‘Vaastav’ (1999). The film was a box office hit and became a turning point in the acting carreer of the lead actor Sanjay Dutt.
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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

MEHLON KE KHWAAB (1960) was a romantic comedy film produced by Madhubala under the banner of Madhubala Pvt. Ltd. The film was directed by Muhafiz Hyder. The star cast included Madhubala, Pradeep Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Chanchal, Pran, K N Singh, Om Prakash, Praveen Paul, Rashid Khan, Sulochana Chaterjee, Cuckoo etc. The full film is available on the internet albeit with the average video quality.
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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog.This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

I had not heard the name the film “Pathan’ (1962) until I came across the songs on this Blog itself. However, I had heard two songs from this movie sung by Talat Mehmood which were popular on the radio in the 60s. One of Talat Mehmood songs chaand mera baadalon mein kho gaya has already been covered in the Blog. Not much of the information on the film is available on the internet sources other than star cast and songs. IMDB has tagged this film as family drama. The film may have been bombed at the box office and became obscure over a period of time.
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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog.This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

There are a good number of Hindi films’ prints and negatives especially pertaining to the golden era of Hindi film music which have been lost. The loss could be because of damage to the film prints and negatives probably due to their improper storage. After all, film prints and negatives require storage of some specialised kind. Some producers/owners of the films who had taken due precautions by storing films in film laboratories, lost the films due to reasons beyond their control like fire in the laboratories. Most of these lost films had gems of melodic songs.
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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Considerable effort of musicians and music arrangers, besides the sound recordist, goes into the creation of any song that finally result in the song ending up becoming hummable for public at large. Some of the great musicians and arrangers who worked ‘behind the curtain’ in creating these songs were Antony Gonsalves, Antanio Vaz (Chic Chocolate), Sebastian D’souza, Frank Fernand, Enoch Daniels, Van Shipley, Manohari Singh, Kersi Lord, Maruti Rao Keer among many others.
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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

phir na keejey meri gustaakh nighaai ka gilaa
dekhiye aapne phir pyaar se dekha mujhko

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This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

The 3rd death anniversary of Ghazal King Jagjit Singh was on October 1Oth and the 76th birth day of Urdu poet and lyricist Nida Fazli was on October 12th. For the occasions, I had planned to write a combined post and had selected a song months back to be posted on the Blog in October 1Oth or 12th. But some other activities relating to travels and pre Deewali atmosphere in my house resulted in diversion of my mind and in the process, I completely forgot about writing the article for the occasion. It was only when I saw a post on the occasion of the birthday of Nida Fazli that I got reminded of my pending article. Even though anniversary dates have passed, it is never late for paying tributes.
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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

This is a labour of love, where "new" songs are added every day, and that has been the case for more than six years. This blog has over 10700 song posts by now.

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