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

Pipra ke patwaa sareekhe doley manwaa

Posted on: September 29, 2011


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

Remembering Mehmood, on his birth anniversary (29th september).

The name brings on the image of a dhoti clad south Indian Brahmin music teacher with a clean shaven head, and a long choti. The year is 1968. Comedy actor, producer and director Mehmood, released his film Padosan. With Kishore Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Keshto Mukherjee etc., the film has gone on to be the most enduring and memorable comedy films in Hindi cinema. (As the story goes, once early in his acting career, Mehmood went to Kishore Kumar to request for casting in one of his films. Kishore da was reluctant, considering that he himself was generally doing comic roles. Mehmood came away with a comment that one day, he (Mehmood) would get an opportunity to produce films, and then he would definitely cast Kishore da in it. It happened with Padosan 🙂 )

Mehmood, who ruled the comic space of Indian cinema for well over two decades from the 60s to mid 80s, was born this day in 1932. His father, Mumtaz Ali, was already an actor and a dancer in films. He was reluctant to enter the film world, despite having appeared in a short child’s role in the iconic Filmistan Production Kismet (1943). His elder sister, Minoo Mumtaz was also on way to being an actress and a dancer on the silver screen. For a long time, he kept away from films, doing odd jobs – he sold poultry for some time, and was a driver for writer/director/producer PL Santoshi. Then a family episode happened. He was asked to teach table tennis to Meena Kumari. Outcome of the tuition is not mentioned anywhere, but he ended up marrying Meena Kumari’s younger sister. And then after the first child was born, he probably thought it is time to get serious being a breadwinner for the family, and started appearing in small roles in early to mid fifties. There are many films where he is simply part of the crowd, but one can make him out. He appears in the film Funtoosh (1956) as one of the guests at the party where Dev Anand sings “Dene Waala Jab Bhi Detaa. . . “, and joins Dev in the chorus for the song. If I recall correctly, he even got to sing one line by himself. Then came CID, again in 1956, where he is a gangster arrested for murder, and then becomes the victim himself.

In 1958, he got his first significant role in Parvarish as the younger brother to Raj Kapoor. In this film, the two have performed a comic duet, a very funny song, ‘O Mamma, O Mamma, O Mamma Pyaare Mamma. . .’. He started getting noticed after this film – more and better assignments started coming his way. Although not completely typecast as a comedian yet, his roles in Chote Nawaab (1961), Saruraal (1961), Dil Tera Deewaana (1962), Godaan (1963), Zindagi (1964), Saanjh Aur Savera (1964) etc. were a mix of comic and non-comic roles.

And then came 1965, and Mehmood the comedian had arrived. With Shabnam (1964) still very fresh in the minds of cine goers, the year 1965 saw the release of Gumnaam, (with its iconic song “Hum Kaale Hain To Kyaa Hua Dilwaale Hain. . .”), Johar and Mehmood in Goa (wonderful duet with IS Johar, “Ye Do Deewaane Dil Ke. . .”), Bhoot Bangla which he had produced and directed himself (with the cult song “Aao Twist Karen. . .”), and Namaste ji in which he paired with IS Johar for a full length comedy feature. After these films, and after 1965 there was no looking back. He went on to be the most sought after comedy actor for the next two decades. He completely redefined the role of the comedian. Thus far, barring maybe Johnny Walker, the comic roles were just that, a bit of comic relief in storyline, when the sobbing became too frequent or the action became too loud. Mehmood’s rise as a comedy actor brought comedy to the center stage. Comic roles became central to screenplays, and almost as important, if not more, than the story of the lead actors. His roles became a fixture with many producer/directors, and his presence in the films became part of the success formula in the tinsel town. It was rumored that he commanded fees even better than some of the leading actors.

He also went on to produce and direct many movies himself. He was nominated for the Filmfare award no less than 20 times (which could be record in itself), and won the award five times. There is a hugely coincidental 🙂 passage in 1970-71 when two films were playing almost simultaneously in the theatres. One was a three generation saga Kal, Aaj Aur Kal directed by Randhir Kapoor, which featured Prithviraj, Raj, and Randhir. And the other was Humjoli, a Jeetendra Babita starrer, in which Mehmood spoofed the 3 generation saga from RK Films, playing a triple role of son, father and grandfather, a complete caricature of the Kapoor clan, down to the last bit of mannerisms and body language. His role was riot. At the end of the movie, he appears with his new born son (in the film), whose face is exactly the same, and so in a way he actually played a quadruple role. 😀

70s was the time Mehmood’s star was at its zenith. His younger brother, Anwar, brought home a friend and a co star from Saat Hindusatani (1969), an amiable young man, trying to get a foothold in Bollywood films. Fresh from Saat Hindustani and working with Hrishikesh Mukherjee in film Anand (1971), this struggling newcomer had no place to stay in Bombay, so Mehmood offered him a room in his house. At that time, Mehmood was producing a new comedy called Bombay to Goa. Mehmood and his brother Anwar were playing the roles of a bus conductor and a bus driver respectively. Mehmood was on the lookout for a fresh young face to play the lead role. He gave the role to his new tenant. The name – Amitabh Bachchan, and Bombay to Goa his first movie in a lead role. The rest is history! So much more that in the film Desh Premee (1982), when Amitabh performs the song “Khaatoon Ki Khidmat Mein. . . “ the caricature he adopted is the khaansaamaa (butler) from the film Gumnaam (1965), original role played by Mehmood, complete with the toothbrush moustache, the Hyderabadi lungi and the Hyderabadi accent.

In the nineties, his health started failing him, and he somehow got out of touch with the pulse of the new generation. Comedy started to become a forte of leading actors. Rajkumar Santoshi, son of PL Santoshi (for whom Mehmood had worked as chauffer in his early years), wrote a special role for Mehmood in his film Andaz Apna Apna (1994), as the owner of a film company Wah Wah Productions. In 1996, he made one last attempt at a comeback with his own production Duniya Ka Dushman, in which Shahrukh Khan, a self confessed fan of Mehmood, plays the role of young Mehmood. The film was a flop at the box office.

The end came, sadly in a foreign land. In July 2004, he was in USA for medical treatment; and he passed away quietly in his sleep, in the hotel where he was staying. One journalist wrote, “Death came to him silently in his sleep! Alas, there was no sound of laughter! He must have missed that!”. He sure would have, for he is the person who taught a nation how to laugh.

The film Godaan (1963) is based on the immortal novel of Munshi Premchand, by the same name. Produced and directed by Trilok Jaitley under the banner of Jaitely Films, Bombay, the star cast of the film includes Raj kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Mehmood, Shobha Khote, Trilok Jaitley, Shashikala, Bipin Gupta, Manadpuri, Ravikant, Tuntun, Ram Mohan, Radhey Shyam, SN Bannerji, Nand Kishore etc. The lyrics of this film are by Anjaan and the music composition is by the venerable Pt. Ravi Shankar.

The film is a tragic tale about the misfortunes of a farming family in rural India, depicting the class and caste injustice that takes the toll of simple farmers’ assets and their lives. Raj Kumar plays the role of an illiterate and a simple farmer who is being duped by the landowners, and the money lenders in the village. He meekly accepts their commands, even though his wife (role played by Kamini Kaushal) is belligerent and vocal, but to no avail. Mehmood plays the role of the younger brother, with negative undertones. He romances the village belle, Shobha Khote, and elopes with her, foisting more misfortunes on his elder brother. He returns home, but forces a division, and gets separate, leaving his elder brother to face his destiny. At the end of the movie, Raj Kumar dies, penniless and destitute.

In this film, Mehmood has played a serious, and a somewhat negative role. This song happens, early in the film. He is away from village doing a job in the city, but as soon as he has some money, he desires to be back in the village, not so much for his family, but more for the belle he is romantically involved with. This is a wonderful song expressing that wonderful coming-to-home feeling. Written in the Bhojpuri dialect by Anjaan, and composed in the folk milieu by Pt. Ravi Shankar, the song has been rendered with tremendous gusto by Rafi Saab. And Mehmood, the actor, has done a great job in performing this song, complete with his customary naughty twinkle in the eyes.

Thank you Mehmood, for all the laughter.


Song-Pipra ke patwaa sareekhe dole manwaa (Godaan) (1963) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Anjaan, MD-Pt Ravi Shankar

Lyrics

pipra ke patwaa
sareekhe doley manwaa
ke hiaraa mein uthhat hilore
arre purwaa ke jhonkwaa mein
aayo re sandeswaa
ke chal aaj deswaa ki oar

pipra ke patwaa
sareekhe doley manwaa
ke hiyaraa mein utthat hilore
purwaa ke jhonkwaa mein
aayo re sandeswaa
ke chal aaj deswaa ki oar
pipra ke patwaa
sareekhe doley manwaa
ke hiaraa mein utthat hilore
purwaa ke jhonkwaa mein
aayo re sandeswaa
ke chal aaj deswaa ki oar

jhuki jhulki boley
kaare kaare ye badarwaa
jhuki jhulki boley
kaare kaare ye badarwaa
kab se pukaare tohey
nainon ka kajarwaa

umad ghumad jab garjey badariyaa
re thhumuk thhumuk naache mor
purwaa ke jhonkwaa mein
aayo re sandeswaa
ke chal aaj deswaa ki oar

simiti simit boley
lambi ye dagariyaa
simiti simat boley
lambi ye dagariyaa
jaldi jaldi chal raahi apni nagariyaa

rahiyaa takat phir hiniyaa dulhaniyaa
re baandh ke laganiyaa ki dor
purwaa ke jhonkwaa mein
aayo re sandeswaa
ke chal aaj deswaa ki oar
pipra ke patwaa
sareekhe doley manwaa
ke hiyaraa mein uthhat hilore
purwaa ke jhonkwaa mein
aayo re sandeswaa
ke chal aaj deswaa ki oar

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6 Responses to "Pipra ke patwaa sareekhe doley manwaa"

Thank you, Sudhirji, for a wonderful write up on Mehmood on his birth anniversary! However, you have left out two movies in which he was probably better than the main characters – Padosan and Dil Tera Deewana! Even though his role in Padosan was irksome to many South Indians, I thought he was hilarious and seemed to be enjoying himself in that role.
This song is an old favorite of mine, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it again. I had no idea which movie it was from, or that it was in Bhojpuri, but the lyrics came back to me as I listened to it, and it is the kind of song that puts a smile on your lips and makes you want to skip and dance as you sing it. Thanks for the song, Atul!

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Sir,

Thanxs a lot for the mini bio-graphy on Mehmood. I dont know about others but he certainly taught me how to laugh while watching movies. I remember seeing “Parvarish ” on T. V. where he had a parellel role with Raj Kapoor. He was huge, taller than Raj Kapoor, would have dwarfed all three, i.e. Raj-Dilip-Dev.

He had a small role in Guru Dutt’s “Pyaasa” too if recall. The scene’s i will not forget from “Aao Pyaar karen” (?) with Om Prakash, where Mehmood is describing a scene of horror film, and another one with Babita in “Tum se Achcha kaun hai” trying to terrorize her.

About this song, as lalitha ji said, is one i was familiar with , not seen it before yesterday. Such a natural folk, sounds so simple n easy to sing.

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Lalitha ji, Nahm ji,

Welcome and thanks. 🙂

The film Padosan is discussed in the opening para of the write up itself.

Nahm ji,
The Mehmood – Om Prakash scene you mentioned is from the film “Pyaar Kiye Jaa”. It is available online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFVH4oSjqOE. And I agree, it is just so hilarious, one simply cannot have enough of it. 😀

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

You are so right, Sudhirji! In fact, I did note that you had mentioned the dhoti and the choti, but forgot about it by the time I came to the end, and didn’t take the time to read it over again when I was writing my comments – no wonder my husband is always telling me to slow down!
The scene in Pyar Kiye Jaa is hilarious, but I was biased by the fact that I had already seen the Tamil version a couple of years earlier, and so I kept comparing everything to the Tamil version, forgetting that each version should be judged on its own merits.
The biggest pity is that Mehmood should have died alone in a hotel room, so far away from everyone, but I guess it was a blessing that he passed away in his sleep, without undue suffering.

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Thanks for the link to the scene from “Pyaar Kiye jaa”. I was looking for that scene sometime back and did not find it. We saw it again just now. Just like everything else, comedy is not the same as it used to be in old films. The last film i saw which was neat and clean fun was ‘Hera Pheri'(Priyadarshan’s). I know this too was a remake of Malayalam film, but linguistic comic aspects are unique in each language.

I would also suggest that there should be category of “Mehmood song” and “Johhy Walker song” at least for those which were quintessentially johhy walker or mehmood comedy songs. Because these two were defining players in hindi film comedy. There are other comedians but they were not crowd pulling or major USP’s of certain films. And moreover, these two always had songs to sing.

Congratulations on the double century of posts. And please continue to enrich this blog as well as our information. I am looking forward to your next century of posts.

In the total tally of songs posted in this blog can be separated in film n non-film songs too, in my opinion. Because non-film songs is a different medium. If more singers are to be covered , then having a separate tally of them will be more accurate.

Regards.

Like

Translation :

My heart is aflutter like a leaf on the peepul tree
There is a storm of feelings
The message has come, on the windy day
go, towards home, it is calling you

The dark clouds are, bowing in insistence
The Kohl in the eyes your beloved, is calling you
Clouds break into lightening
Let the peacock break into dance

Longer road ahead keeps shrinking, saying
Reach your destination, walk faster , o traveler,
lonely bride is looking out for you
Tied as she is, in holy matrimony

Sudhir Sir,

Please correct me if there is any mistake. I have guessed the meaning of some bhojpuri words.

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