Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Ketaki Gulab Juhi Champakban phoole

Posted on: December 24, 2008


In movies, we often have musical showdowns, where two singers are pitted against each other.

One such song was “ek chatur naar karke singaar” from “Padosan” where Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey cross swords.

In “Padosan”, Manna Dey was not amused when he was informed that he was to lose in the singing contest against Kishore Kumar. In his view ( and music gurus would attest to it), Manna Dey, with his classical training could not possibly have lost to Kishore Kumar, who had no training in classical music. Manna Dey had to be convinced to sing the song by Mahmood, telling him that He (Mahmood) too was being depicted as losing the contest, and that it was just a movie after all. Manna Dey reluctantly agreed to sing that song, and the rest, as they say, was history.

Much before “Padosan”, there was another such musical confrontation seen in “Basant Bahaar” and Manna Dey was one of the singers yet again. But this time, Manna Dey was supposed to win the contest. Was Manna Dey pleased about that ?

Not at all. Manna Dey was very nervous, and he tried all tricks to dodge recording the song. He in fact even thought of serreptitiously slipping away to some unknown place for some time, forcing the music directors to record the song in the voice of someone else. But no dice. Manna Dey’s wife ( Manna Dey had married a Keralite lady) asked him to face the situation manfully and record the song, instead of running away.

Why was Manna Dey so reluctant to record this song, despite he being shown as winning this singing contest ?

The other singer with whom he had to duel was someone called Bhimsen Joshi, the legendary Hindustani music vocalist. Competing against other playback singers is no big deal, but competing against Bhimsen Joshi was like a very good wrestler being asked to fight against the Undertaker or Khalli. No wonder Manna Dey was nervous. In fact, Manna Dey was sheepish because he was to be shown as beating Bhimsen Joshi in this singing duel.

The recording was completed and the result was a memorable song, one that can be listened to many a times. Manna Dey “wins” the duel, but it is like Amitabh Bachchan “winning” in fights against Shetty, or like Akshay Kumar “beating” Undertaker in a movie. Everyone knows how it would be in real life.

Manna Dey is a superb singer, and he sang this song superbly. But just listen to the voice quality of Bhimsen Joshi. Just unbelievable. Too bad that classical singers like him do not have much audience.

It was much later ( in 1989) that Bhimsen Joshi became well known among ordinary people when he sang a few lines in “mile sur mera tumhara” which was widely telecast on TV. With this song, he earned his well deserved fame and even his “paanwaala” began to recognise him as a celebrity.

This song is picturised on Bharat Bhooshan ( singing in the voice of Manna Dey). Can anyone tell who is the actor who sings in the voice of Bhimsen Joshi ?
PS-He is Parshuram, who was a leading actor in Marathi films those days.

It is a fantastic song that one can listen to any number of times.

Audio

Video

Song-Ketaki Gulab Juhi Champak (Basant Bahaar) (1956) Singers- Bhimsen Joshi, Manna Dey Lyrics- Shailendra, MD-Shankar Jaikishan

Lyrics

ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
ritu basant apno kant, godi garwaa lagaay
jhulnaa mein baithe aaj pee ke sang jhoole
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole

gal-gal kunj-kunj
gal-gal kunj-kunj, gun-gun bhanwaron ki goonj
raag-rang ang-ang chhedat rasiyaa anang
koyal ki pancham sun duniyaa dukh bhoole, bhoole, bhoole
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
aaa
ketaki gulaab joohi
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
aaa
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole

aaa aaa aaa
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
ritu basant apno kant, godi garwaa lagaay
jhulnaa mein baith aaj pee ke kanj jhoole
pee ke kanj jhoole
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole

madhur-madhur thori-thori, meethi batiyon se gori
madhur-madhur thori-thori
madhur-madhur thori-thori, meethi batiyon se gori
chit churaaye hansat jaay
chit churaaye hansat jaay
chori kar sir jhukaaye
seesh jhukaaye chanchal lat
gaalan ko chhoo le
gaalan ko chhoo le
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
ketaki gulaab joohi champakban phoole
ketaki gulaab joohi
aaa aaa
ketaki gulaab joohi
aaa
ketaki gulaab joohi
aaa aaa
ketaki gulaab joohi
ketaki
ketaki
ketaki

18 Responses to "Ketaki Gulab Juhi Champakban phoole"

Wonderful song! This is the first time in ages that I am hearing this song, and I just vaguely remember hearing it in my younger days. Both the singers have done a great job, and the scene would have been even better had BB brought some emotion into his face!

It is the kind of song that one could listen to repeatedly and never get tired, I am just wondering how I could have forgotten this song completely till now. Thanks for posting it for our listening pleasure.

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It is indeed a fantastic song that many fans need to know about.

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Gosh this takes me back! I have not heard this song in ages. Thank You Atul!

And the story about this song is fascinating! Your research in presenting the songs is superb Atul. Keep it up!

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i have never heard this song but i actually favor it more than american song.

i am actually an american indian so i like to listen to some of their songs most of the time. i must admit that india has america beat

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Hi!I m from Romania, since i heard this song it just enter my heart. The song, the melody i hear it in my mind that i start singing ketaki gulaab juhi champakban phule.. re sa,dha dha ni re sa,ma dha ni re sa…..aaaa
Fantastic classical song! even I dont understand the lyrics, I can just feel it..i really wish that I can sing it.
Much love,
Ionela

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It is nice to find a fan of these songs from Romania. welcome to this blog.

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Wanted to listen to this today. Video here has been removed. I checked it out on youtube. I also really want to know who the other actor is (the one challenged by Bharat Bhushan ?) Face looks familiar but cannot place him.

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Sorry for the inconvenience. Now I have provided another working link.

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Parshuram, the other actor in this song, also worked in Hindi films getting some small roles. I remember some time around 1975, I saw Parshuram in ‘Parikrama’ a Doordarshan talk show anchored by Kamleshwar wherein he narrated his story. At the time of this talk show, he was without any work for long time and was living from hand to mouth. This talk show was so effective that Parshuram started getting monetary help from philanthropists and general public.

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Kamath ji,
If I am not mistaken,it was NOT in Kamaleshwar’s programme,but in the programme of ‘Phool khilen hain Gulshan Gulshan’,by Tabassum.
It so happened,according to Tabassum herself,that one day when Tabassum was going to the TV station for her programme,her car stopped at a junction for traffic signal.She saw a beggar asking alms to every car owner.She recognised PARSURAM and took him in his car,fed him in a hotel and took him straight to the studios.
Instead of the recorded programme that day,she presented PARSURAM live to the audience and conducted his interview.She also arranged for immediate payment to him.
Parsuram did not get any roles after that but he was being paid pension till his death from the Cine artist’s fund(established by Chandrashekhar and Jairaj).
PARSURAM was not a very big star,bur a reasonably good actor in Marathi and Hindi films.
Unfortunately there were many more yesteryear Heros,Heroines and actors who died paupers,begging at temples,dargas and near theatres.Chandramohan and Master Nissar are few examples.Master Nissar is the same popular actor for whom the Governor Of Bombay had to change car route because there was a jam of crowd to see Master Nissar !
-AD

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Since this has come from you, the name of the TV programme has to be correct. 😉

Thanks for supplementary information about Chandramohan ( I found him the most handsome among his contemporary actors) and Master Nissar which I was unaware.

I don’t know as to why I felt that it was Kamaleshwar’s TV show in which Parshuram was interviewed. It is still not going out of my mind.

But the background for his TV interview was the same – he was found begging. I refrained from mentioning this point in my earlier comments as I felt too bad mention this. Instead, I made a generalised comment about his living ‘from hand to mouth’.

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Arun ji, Kamath ji

What wonderful memories to be revived once again. The program, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, and its presenter, Tabassum, was one of my favorites as a child. I remember many episodes, and having been introduced to many film personalities from the golden era through this program. This program came from Bombay station of Doordarshan.

The Delhi station had another program, almost in the same years I think, called “Yaadein Jo Kuchh Yaad Rahen”. This was another weekly program, which was hosted by Ishwar Lal Kapoor (I think that is the name), a TV artist at Delhi station. In this program, we did not get to meet a live personality, but the entire life story and career history of a film personality was presented using clips from old movies. This program was also very interesting and informative. Once again, I remember many episodes on personalities like Radhakrishan, KN Singh, Chandramohan, Mehboob etc.

TV was a novelty in those years, and I used to go specially to some friend’s place to watch these programs.

Rgds
Sudhir

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What an apt name ‘Yadein Jo Kuchh Yaad Rahen’. I was not aware of this programme.

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Kamath ji,
As I remember,KAMALESHWAR always interviewed common people,people whom we saw everyday but didn’t know much about,as also people who were in limelight for something special.His programme rarely included Film personalities.This was the principal domain of Tabassum,for her ‘Phool……..’
it is understandable that you felt too bad to mention about the begging part,but sadly,there were some cases which are heart wrenching.
Once Mohd.Rafi went to Haji Ali Darga,at Worli in Bombay and he saw the yesteryear great singer Khan Masthana begging there !
Similarly Naushad found the wife of Khemchand Prakash begging.
Rattanbai,the famous singer of one time was a beggar at the darga.
Also Vimi,Bhagwan and Bharat Bhooshan fell on poverty in their last days.
The actor Parshuram was also a singer and his song ” Man saaf hai tera,hai ya nahi poochch le dilse” from ‘Duniya Na Maane’ was very famous.The same song was sung by him in the original movie’KUNKU’ as ” Man sudhdha tuza”.
Sudhir ji,
You have truely depicted the times of early Television.Those were the days…….
If anybody wants to relive early Television moments now,including the signature tune etc,you can log on to http://www.ddnational.blogspot.com and enjoy.you can see old serials,programs etc. on it.
-AD

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Thanks. Now I am pretty convinced.

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I might be mistaken, but I guess there were 2 more songs in the movie sung by Bhimsen Joshi..

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why this thing happens? probably in their hey days or busy days they never bother to look into their future and never invested their ‘paise’ wisely. otherwise why it should happen.see the todays generation of actors and actresses they r wise enough to look into their future.

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Was not aware of this song until I heard it in Indian Idol the other day. Would like to listen to the original song now.

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