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

Zindagi zindagi zindagi koi sapna nahin zindagi

Posted on: June 10, 2011


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

As with many movies of that era, I saw Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahaani (1946) on Doordarshan as a child. Sometimes, I am thankful for the times and the circumstances I grew up in. As teenagers, we did never have enough pocket money to spend on visits to the cinema halls. Our cinematic excursions were limited to view the weekly movie on DD, that too at a friend’s home. There was a time, many others would also remember, the weekly movie was actually shown partly on Saturday and partly on Sunday. I can recall a long list of movies from the 30s to the 50s thus viewed. This was before the time cable took over, and a black and white showing on the TV screen became a rarity. And the movies watched then, had a lasting impression and influence on my mind. The life and times were simpler; the movies and its people meant a value in social and traditional terms, and money was not the name of the game.

Dr. Kotnis as a movie may leave a lot to be desired. A depiction of a slice of recent history of China, one can fault the movie for unrealistic portrayal of the Chinese people and society. But that was the time when theatre was theatre, it reflected life and society but did not pretend to be the same. It was a new and a bold venture on the part of V Shantaram, bringing to life on the silver screen, the (then very recent) story of Dr. Dwarkadas Shantaram Kotnis, and his journey to China to serve as a field doctor during the Sino-Japanese war of 1938. A resident of Sholapur, Dwarka Kotnis came to Bombay to study medicine. On completing his studies, and just before he returned to his home town, he happened to listen to a talk where pleas were made to support the Chinese people and soldiers, who were dying for lack of medical expertise in that country. That interaction induced the new doctor, and he made a decision to go to China.

This song is sequenced in the movie, as he returns to Sholapur after his studies, after having made his decision. He travels by train. His father, played by Keshavrao Daate, is at the station to pick him up, in the horse carriage. Dwarka himself drives the carriage, and sings this song on way to his home. His father is sitting behind him, and is duly impressed by his son’s exhortation of service and sacrifice, little realizing that he is in for a shock of his life in just a while. (There are couple of very good reviews and descriptions of this movie, available on two blogs, Dustedoff and Dances on the footpath. )

In the material available about Dr. Kotnis, and about this movie, there are allusions to a communist connection, and that Dr. Kotnis continued his work with the Red Army in China. The screenplay for this movie is done by KA Abbas. It is also stated at one place that the original story “The One Who Did Not Come Back” was written by Vasant Sathe. The song is written by Dewan Sharar, who actually also played a pivotal role of Kaka Wong in the movie. The composition is by Vasant Desai. Sadly, the name behind the voice is not documented anywhere, but there is a strong opinion that this song is sung by V Shantaram himself. The pace and the tempo of the composition flows with the hoof beats of the horse drawing the carriage, and the lyrics examine the value of life, in that the life is all about service and sacrifice. Listen to this compelling appeal and enjoy.

A very interesting side note. Guess who made her debut on the silver screen in this movie. The movie ends with the Chinese lady Ching Lan (played by Jayshree, the second wife of V Shantaram), coming to Sholapur, with her son (this is after Dr. Kotnis has passed away in China). The infant that she carries with her in a basket is none other than the infant Rajshree, the real life daughter of Jayshree and V Shantaram. 🙂

PS-I, as well as Sudhir, have failed to find any mention of the singer anywhere on internet. But our own movie expert Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh says that it is Khan Mastana. So I have mentioned the name of singer as Khan Mastana now.
—–Atul


Song-Zindagi zindagi zindagi koi sapnaa nahin zindagi (Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahaani) (1946) Singer-Khan Mastana, Lyrics-Deewan Sharar, MD-Vasant Desai

Lyrics

zindagi zindagi zindagi
zindagi zindagi zindagi
koi sapna nahin zindagi
koi sapna nahin zindagi
zindagi zindagi zindagi
kaam karen aur gaate jaayen
hilmil sakhiyaan
kaam karen aur gaate jaayen
hilmil sakhiyaan
ik dooje ka haath bataayen
hilmil sakhiyaan
hilmil sakhiyaan

ho
ghar mein chhupna nahin
ho
ghar mein chhupna nahin
aao maidaan mein
desh ke dhyaan mein
kaam karte chalo
naam karte chalo
kaam karte chalo
naam karte chalo
naam karne ka hi naam hai zindagi
zindagi
zindagi zindagi zindagi
koi sapna nahin zindagi
ho o o o o
o o o
ho o o o o
o o o
aage badhte chalo
oonchhe chadhte chalo
aage badhte chalo
oonchhe chadhte chalo
gaao veeron ke geet
gaao veeron ke geet
karlo himmat se preet
karlo himmat se preet
hogi isase hi jeet
hahahaha
hahahaha
karlo himmat se preet
hogi isase hi jeet
jeet paane ka hi naam hai zindagi
zindagi
zindagi zindagi zindagi
koi sapna nahin zindagi

seenaa taane huye
dil mein thhaane huye
seenaa taane huye
dil mein thhaane huye
jaa ke sewaa karen
jaa ke sewaa karen
kuchh karen ya maren
haan karen ya maren
desh par jaan den
jaan dene ka hi naam hai zindagi
aisi qurbaani ka naam hai zindagi
zindagi
zindagi
zindagi zindagi zindagi
koi sapna nahin zindagi

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4 Responses to "Zindagi zindagi zindagi koi sapna nahin zindagi"

Sudhir ji,
If I remember right,this song is sung by KHAN MASTHANA and NOT by V.Shantaram.
kindly check up once again.
I have checked up and find it to be a Khan song.
Further,I do not think,V.Shantaram ever tried singing.
-AD

“As with many movies of that era, I saw Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahaani (1946) on Doordarshan as a child. Sometimes, I am thankful for the times and the circumstances I grew up in. As teenagers, we did never have enough pocket money to spend on visits to the cinema halls.”

agree totally!
I don’t know why but after this film was shown on TV, my brother, my sis and I used to sing it quite often and very loudly too!

I was born after 22 years of this movie, but still i love this song and for that matter all V.Shantaram movies, specially ‘Navrang’- i have seen it many times.I respect Shantaram ji (actually is a source of inspiration for me) for taking up the social issues in his films (‘Shejaari(Padousi in hindi) still relevant). I am thankful to my parents that they make us grow with the stories and discussions on such films and film stalwarts and the great Marathi plays (they use to act and in my school days i also act in plays). Anyway this is a great motivational and inspirational song that instill in us the values and spirit to make our life purposeful – ‘jaa ke sewaa karen
kuchh karen ya maren
haan karen ya maren
desh par jaan den
jaan dene ka hi naam hai zindagi’ – we need this more in today’s conditions….

I agree with you Avinash!

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