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

Jise dhoondhti phirti hai meri nazar

Posted on: April 23, 2011


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie songs and a regular contributor to this blog.

Minerva Movietone is the renowned flagship company that was launched and nurtured by the great Sohrab Modi. He has given such powerful historical epics to the Indian cinema as Pukar, Sikandar, Prithvi Vallabh, Jhansi Ki Rani, and many other great creations like Mirza Ghalib, Nausehrvan-e-Adil, Kundan, Jailor and Raaj Hatth. His films carry a message of strong commitment to social and national issues. A whole generation’s image of Indian history and Indian society is based on his films. Not all of his movies were commercial successes, but each of them has an indelible imprint of Sohrab Modi’s uncompromising quality and classic cinema.

Trained in the medium of Parsi theatre, Sohrab Modi was part of a stage company and used to travel around the country with his elder brother. Their company was famous for many theatrical Shakespearean productions. When the films gained sound in 1931, there was a decline in public interest in theatre, and Sohrab Modi moved to the films. He first set up the Stage Film company and produced two movies. Khoon Ka Khoon (1935) was the first adaptation of the famous Shakespearean play Hamlet, for the Indian screen. The second movie Saed-e-Havas (1936) was also based on a Shakespearean play, King John. Both the movies did not click commercially with the audiences. Sohrab Modi then established the Minerva Movietone. The first two movies produced under this banner were on social themes, Meettha Zeher (1938) and Talaaq (1938). Both movies did well at the box office, but then greater creations were to follow.

Sohrab Modi was attracted to historical themes from Indian history, and his next three offerings are some of the finest and most powerful creations of Indian cinema. Pukar (1939) based on historical events from Jahangeir’s court, Sikander (1941) based on Alexander’s invasion of India, and Prithvi Vallabh (1943), a story of two warring kingdoms, based on KM Munshi’s novel of the same name.He continued to create more wonderful cinema, both a mix of historical and social films. The film Sheeh Mahal was released in 1950. The movie is about changing social values, and the play of destiny in the lives of human beings. Thakur Jaspal Singh (Sohrab Modi) is the current scion of an illustrious Rajput family, fallen on hard times. He is kind hearted, and yet is a stickler for ‘khandaani izzat’. He loses his wealth and is forced to auction his grand villa, the Sheesh Mahal. The person who buys it, used to be a labor class porter, who has risen in the society by his effort and hard work. The story is about Thakur’s stiff approach to life even in face of ignominious times, and the tribulations he and his children face because of it. In the post independence India, winds of change were flowing across the nation, and this movie from the 1950 underscored that transformation taking place in the society.

There is an interesting incident associated with the screening of this movie in Bombay. Sohrab Modi is famed for his grandiloquence and his dialogue delivery. It is said that when Sheesh Mahal was being screened at Minerva Theatre in Bombay, the Sohrab Modi was present at the hall. He noticed a man sitting in the front row with closed eyes. Upset with such a reaction, he asked an attendant to let the viewer out and to return his money. The employee came back to say that the person was blind but had come just to hear Sohrab Modi’s lines.

This is a very melodious duet from Sheesh Mahal, sung by Mohammed Rafi and Geeta Roy. On screen, this song is picturized on Pran and Nigar Sultana. Although Pran is a villain and has a negative role in the movie, he still gets to sing a romantic duet with the lady he is pursuing. Sundermukh (Pran) has already ditched Ranjana (Naseem Banu), Thakur Jaspal Singh’s daughter, and is now after the daughter of the new owner of Sheesh Mahal. He picks up Roopa (Nigar Sultana) at the horse races, and after rounds of the city in the car and on cycles, both of them sing this song. The words of this song are written by Nazim Panipati, and the lilting musical score is by Vasant Desai.

Enjoy this wonderful creation.


Song-Jise dhoondhti phirti hai meri nazar (Sheeshmahal) (1950) Singer-Rafi,Geeta Dutt,Lyrics-Nazim Panipati,MD-Vasant Desai

Lyrics

jise dhoondti phirti hai meri nazar
jise dhoondti phirti hai meri nazar
tu wohi to nahin
tu wohi to nahin
jee wohi to hoon main
jee wohi to hoon main
yaad karti hoon jisko main shaam o sehar
yaad karti hoon jisko main shaam o sehar
tu wohi to nahi
jee wohi to hoon mein
jee wohi to hoon mein

pyaar karna mujhko jis ne sikhlaa diyaa
pyaar karna mujhko jis ne sikhlaa diyaa
dil ko behlaa diyaa
dil ko behlaa diyaa
tu wohi to nahin
jee wohi to hoon main

jis ne rang sa mohabbat ka dikhlaa diyaa
jis ne rang sa mohabbat ka dikhlaa diyaa
jeena sikhlaa diyaa
jeena sikhlaa diyaa
tu wohi to nahi
jee wohi to hoon main
tu wohi to nahi
jis ne dil ley liyaa
mujh mein apni mohabbat ka jaadoo kiyaa
jis ne aa kar sajaayaa mere dil ka ghar
jis ne aa kar sajaayaa mere dil ka ghar
tu wohi to nahi
jee wohi to hoon main

mere jeewan ka sab kuchh hai tere liye
mere jeewan ka sab kuchh hai tere liye
tere jeewan ka sab kuchh hai mere liye
tere jeewan ka sab kuchh hai mere liye
jis pe qurbaan hain meri jaan o jigar
jis pe qurbaan hain meri jaan o jigar
tu wohi to nahin
jee wohi to hoon main
jise dhoondti phirti hai meri nazar
tu wohi to nahin
jee wohi to hoon main
jee wohi to hoon main

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11 Responses to "Jise dhoondhti phirti hai meri nazar"

Dear Sudhir ji,
I must say,you have written an excellent Article on Minerva Movietone and Sohrab Modi.It clearly indicates that you have taken special efforts to provide information.Everything you wrote about Modi is true and interesting.
People at my age have a soft corner for actors such as Modi,as we have enjoyed their artworks fresh,and hence memorable.
I humbly add some more information about Sohrab Modi,which our fellowtravellers in this SANGEET YATRA,may find further interesting.
Sohrab Modi(1897-1984),grew up in Rampur-UP.His father was an ICS officer.Modi learnt Hindi and Urdu here.
Sohrab Modi,usually didnot do the Main role in his movies;e.g. In Pukar,Chandramohan was Jehangir,while Modi was Sangram Singh,a loyal sardar,who was ready to sacrifice his son for the King’s sake.Similarly,in Sikander,Prithviraj Kapoor was Alexander,while Modi was Puru,the defeated King.
This was because Modi always chose the roles where there was a scope for his dialogues and oratory.
Besides Historicals,Modi was known for films of throbbing dramas of passion.
In ‘Bharosa'(1940),he tackled the subject of Incest(Brother-sister),and in Jailor(1943)his wife elopes with lover,is caught and jailed by Modi-the Jailor.Even in Prithvi vallabh,an aeging queen falls in love with Modi,after torturing him.
He loved-unsuccessfully-Naseem(Mother of Saira Banu),and at the age of 48,married an actress Mehtaab.
He produced Technicolour ‘Jhansi ki Ranee’ and lost heavily,as it flopped miserably.
At 86,he got cancer of throat and his solid voice was affected.He died in 1984 at 87,leaving an unfinished movie ‘Guru Dakhshina”.

Dear Arun ji,

Thanks for your kind appreciation. I myself have a sincere preference for the theatre and the movies of the earlier decades. I used to see them with great interest on Doordarshan. These days such movies are aired very rarely; no channel is interested to carry forward and support this valued tradition and cultural heritage, and so we have to fall back on videos and CDs released by some companies.

Sohrab Modi represents a wonderful model of the Parsi theatre. The exponents of the Parsi theatre provide a perspective to this unique art form, wherein the dialogue delivery and display of emotions through voice modulation is the primary form of expression. Prithviraj Kapoor and Chandermohan are the other significant exponents of Parsi theatre.

It is sad and surprising that the movie Jhansi Ki Rani was not a commercial success. I have seen this movie on Doordarshan many years ago, and I clearly remember how impressed I was with it. The movie is still noted for its battle sequences which were meticulously planned and executed.

I have read about ‘Bharosa’, but have not been able to acquire a copy to view it. The theme is very challenging in any age or period, but more so in the 1940s, when Sohrab Modi tackled it.

I remember when Sohrab Modi, after a gap of many years, announced the launch of Guru Dakshina, I read an article in Filmfare on Sohrab Modi. The title of the article was ‘Minerva Lion Roars Again’.

All the roaring lions are now silenced. The old order changeth. . . . .

Rgds
Sudhir

Sudhir ji,
The film ‘Bharosa’ was only direcetd by Sohrab Modi,he had not acted in it.The movie had music by G.P.Kapoor and the cast was,Chandramohan,Mazhar khan,Sardar Akhtar,Sheela,Mayadevi,Naval,Menaka,Ram Apte,Gulab etc.
Sardar Akhtar’s daughter is not fathered by her husband,Mazhar khan,but by her lover Chandramohan.This daughter falls in love with Chandramohan’s son and it is revealed in a very dramatic way in the movie.
It was a courageous act to tackle such explosive subject in 1940.
Only a man of Modi’s calibre could have done it.

Thanks Arun ji,
For these detailed inputs – your storhouse of information is truly amazing.
🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

That’s a fantastic write-up, Sudhir ji.
And a very illuminating comment from Arun ji too – as we’ve now come to expect from him. 😉

I’ve seen a few Sohrab Modi movies and really liked them a lot. These include Pukar, Sikandar and Sheesh Mahal. Indeed Modi’s voice and dialogues stand out!!!

I must admit that I did not quite like Jailor though.

This song in Sheesh Mahal is just lovely. And I totally love Nigar Sultana. I first saw her in a movie “Magroor” opposite a dashing Rehman. I fell totally in love with her. She’s very sweet in Sheesh Mahal too. And I do love Naseem Banu too – I think she was amazingly beautiful.

Thanks for the lovely write-up and for posting this fantastic song.

Thanks Raja ji

🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

Thank you,Raja ji
-AD

I applaud the research done by Sudhirji and Arunkumarji! I have never seen a Sohrab Modi movie, and it sounds like I have missed out on some great stuff, so now I have to look for the DVD’s online. Thanks so much for the wealth of information!

Sudhirji,
this song is sung by Pushpa Hans & not Geeta Dutt

Yamini ji,

I checked again with the Hindi Film Geet Kosh, which is a very dependable source in my experience. It identifies the female voice in this song as Geeta Dutt. But I will check further, give me two / three days.

Rgds
Sudhir

Sudhir ji,Yamini ji,
Even the website of Geeta Dutt confirms that this song is by Geeta and Rafi.
http://www.geetadutt.com/geetadutt_hindi_songs.pdf
-AD

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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.

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