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

Meghraaj meghraaj

Posted on: May 7, 2011


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

Mehboob Khan is famous as one of the key pioneers and one of the greatest film makers of Indian cinema. Born in 1907 in at Bilimoria in Gujarat, he ran away from home at a very young age with dreams of making in big in the film industry of Bombay. He started out as a junior artist (extra) during the silent films era, making a debut as one of forty thieves in the 1927 silent version of ‘Alibaba and Forty Thieves’, produced by the Imperial Film Company of Ardeshir Irani. He caught the attention of Ardeshir Irani who made him an assistant director in his company. Later he moved to Sagar Movietone company, and appeared in bit roles in some of their movies. In 1935 he went on to independently direct his first film, ‘Judgment of Allah’ produced by Sagar Movietone. The movie was a great success in its time. His cameraman for this movie was Faredoon Irani, with whom Mehboob struck a lasting friendship. Faredoon was to capture in camera, almost all the films produced and directed by Mehboob.

With Sagar Movietone, Mehboob produced a string of very successful moves – Manmohan (1936), Jaagirdaar (1937), Ek Hi Raasta (1939) that established him as one of the successful directors in his time. In 1939-40, Sagar Movietone ran into financial problems and was taken over by the Tatas and renamed as National Studios. Under this banner, Mehboob produced another string of movies – Aurat (1940), Bahen (1941) and Roti (1942). Of these, Aurat and Roti were hugely successful as blockbusters in their own times. After Roti, he launched his own Mehboob Studios and went on to create more classic cinema especially the movies like Najma, Anmol Ghadi, Andaz, Aan and Mother India, besides some others not so well known.

Mehboob as a person had strong political leanings. He was a member of the IPTA theater group. The banner symbol for Mehboob Prouctions is very similar to the hammer and sickle symbol of communists. Almost from the beginning, his films carried the themes of his concern for the have nots and the oppressed of the society. The movie Ek Hi Raasta was an intense story of a soldier who returns from war, and is convicted for killing a rapist in his home town. The irony of the theme is exposed during his trial, when the soldier ridicules the system that makes him a hero for killing the enemy in a war, but condemns him for killing a criminal.

Although Mother India is considered to be his magnum opus, his 1942 directorial venture ‘Roti’ is an exemplary production, and stands out as a very unique film even to this day. Created in a very theatrical style, it is the story of an imaginary country, where the economy of the urban lifestyle is juxtaposed against the barter system economy of the tribal folks in the forest. Sheikh Mukhtar (Baalam in the movie) and Sitara Devi (Kinaari in the movie) play the lead roles in this movie, as the couple from the tribal clan. The city slickers are played by Chandramohan (Seth Lakshmi Das) and Akhtari Bai Faizabaadi, aka Begum Akhtar (Darling). The movie is a blistering attack on capitalism and its oppression of the poor masses.

The story is very interestingly built up; the small biplane carrying Seth Lakshmi Das and Darling crashes in the forest. They are rescued by Baalam, and there is a set of very interesting episodes about the first meeting of these two cultures. However, Seth Lakshmi Das, is very eager to get back to his business but is not finding any means of transport to get out of that forest. One night he steals two buffalos, Changu and Mangu, that belong to Baalam, and leaves the village on them, with the help of Kinaari and another local villager. In his naïve and simplistic way, Baalam follows the rich man to the city to recover his animals, only to discover that he will now have to pay money to get back his animals. What follows is an intense confrontation between the two value systems and economies, with an idealistic ending. The tribal couple return to their forest with the animals, but the rich protagonist and his consort die a death of hunger and thirst in a desert, even as they are travelling in a car loaded with gold ingots.

This song, is very rustic expression of the joys of rain and the simple man’s gratitude to it, for providing him with his means of livelihood. It is a very basic creation, of the people of forest, (in strong contrast to the songs of the ilk ‘ho umad ghumad kar aayee re ghataa’, which is a much more sophisticated song in comparison). The words are simple, and so is the composition, and yet the music stands out for the wonderful underpinnings of the villager’s drumbeats.

The simplistic lyrics are by Wajahat Mirza and the excellent music is by Anil Biswas. I have not been able to locate the specific info on the singers for this song. Even the record label identifies this as a ‘samooh gaan’ (group song). Possibly, the female voice is that of Sitara Devi herself, and the male voice could be Anil Da himself. There is another duet song in the movie that is identified the male voice belonging to Anil Da. On screen it is filmed on Sheikh Mukhtar, Sitara Devi, and the tribal folks of their village. One can also get a glimpse of a very young and comely Begum Akhtar in this clip.This is one of the earliest movies of Shiekh Mukhtar and Sitara Devi, and they look so stunningly young and handsome in the tribal costumes and head gear.Enjoy this wonderful treat from Anil Biswas, and I would strongly recommend to see this movie, which is now available in DVD/VCD format.

Song-Meghraaj meghraaj(Roti)(1942) Singers-Sitara Devi,Anil Biswas,Lyrics-Wajahat Mirza,MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics
(NOTE: the words in parentheses are played in parallel to the other words in the same line)

meghraaj meghraaj
meghraaj meghraaj
meghraaj aaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
meghraaj aaye meghraaj meghraaj)
aaye aaye
aaye aaye
aaaaaaye aaaaaaye aaaaaaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye megh barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye megh barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye megh barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye megh barkha laaye
barkha laaye
barkha laaye
meghraaj meghraaj
meghraaj aaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
meghraaj aaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
aaye aaye
aaye aaye
aaaaaaye aaaaaaye aaaaaaye
aayee pawan aayee pawan
san sanan san sanan aayee pawan
aayee pawan aayee pawan
san sanan san sanan aayee pawan
aayee pawan aayee pawan
aayee pawan aayee pawan
san sanan san sanan aayee pawan
aayee pawan aayee pawan
san sanan san sanan aayee pawan
aayee pawan aayee pawan
meghraaj meghraaj
meghraaj meghraaj
meghraaj aaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
meghraaj aaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
aaye aaye
aaye aaye
aaaaaaye aaaaaaye aaaaaaye
meghraaj meghraaj
meghraaj meghraaj
aaaaaaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
aaaaaaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
aaaaaaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
aaaaaaye (meghraaj meghraaj)
aaaaaaye

6 Responses to "Meghraaj meghraaj"

Sudhir ji,
Excellent and very informative write up.Thank you for good reading.
-AD

Like

Good info from Sudhir. Took me back to Mehboob Saab’s days, and my youth. I knew Mehboob Saab’s son, Shaukat, when I resided in Mumbai. Remember fondly Sheikh Mukhtar and Sitara Devi! Anil Biswas and Sitara Devi! Wajahat Mirza, who, if I am not mistaken, penned lyrics for Mughal-e-Azam! Keep it up, Sudhir!

Like

Sudhir ji,
ROTI was a movie depicting tussle between Capitalism and communism.
The movie had Chandramohan,Sh.Mukhtar,Sitara,Ashraf Khan,Kaayam ali,Jamshedji,Mishra and in a very rare appearance,Malika-E-Gazal Begum Akhtar,who was known as Akhtari Faizabadi in those days(She appeared in only 5 films,the last being Satyajit Ray’s Jalasaghar.She died in 1974).
There were 14 songs in Roti. 2 solos by Asraf Khan,6 solos by Begum Akhtar,3 solos by Sitara.1song was of Ashraf Khan with Chorus,1 was with Ashraf and Anil Biswas,and one total Chorus song(Meghraj Aaye).
There were 4 Lyricists,Dr.Safdar Aah-5 songs,Arzoo Lucknowi-3 songs,Vajahat Mirza 1 song and Behzad Lucknowi-5 songs.
-AD

Like

Arif Bhai, Arun ji

Thanks for your kind appreciation. 🙂

Arun ji, thanks for the additional details about the songs in this movie.

Arif Bhai, Wajahat Mirza was one of the dialogue writers for the movie Mughal-e-Azam. All songs of this movie were written by Shakeel Badayuni.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Excellent write-up, Sudhirji.
Visiting this blog after a while – I have some catching up to do.
Absolutely love Mehboob Khan’s Roti. One of my favourite movies. All the characters are wonderful to watch. Chandramohan is absolutely awesome. Pity he died at such a young age.

Like

Thanks Raja ji,
It is good to hear from you once again, after this gap. 🙂

Yes, Roti is one of my favorites too. Having seen it many years ago on Doordarshan as a child, I was very impressed by the simple down to earth treatment of the subject. And being a child, it was a strong impression on how justice was done in this struggle of the haves and have-nots. Its recent release on disc was the opportunity to own and see this movie again. And I assure you, time has not dimmed it’s impact.

Chandramohan, another exponent of the Parsi theatre, is a real treat to watch.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

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