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

Shaam dekho dhal rahi hai

Posted on: October 27, 2011


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

Welcome all readers to another century celebration. With this post, this blog now has completed publication of 4900 songs, which is a remarkable feat by many standards. And this milestone is yet again marked with the consistency and continuity that has been unbroken for more than three years now. Much more than the number and the content of the posts, it is the perseverance and commitment to this effort, that are the outstanding qualities of maintaining the healthy pace of growth on this blog. And I present all kudos and praise to Atul ji, for spearheading this effort. A singular effort that is unparalleled in the cyber space. Heartfelt greetings to Atul ji and all readers of this blog, and best wishes and all my support in the cause of what this blog is attempting to accomplish.

I am sure that readers have had a fun filled celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights, yesterday. I also take this opportunity to wish all readers and their families, a prosperous and healthy year ahead – a year that is full of brightness and happiness carried over from Diwali.

Today’s century mark also brings up yet another important landmark in our musical journey. This song is the century post for the hugely talented, and highly underrated lady music director Usha Khanna. A composer who has persisted and persevered, and sustained a career spanning more than four decades, in an industry where the prime of music composition is a bastion ruled by male stalwarts. Not that there aren’t other examples of lady music directors in the industry; there are, notable names being Jaddan Bai and Saraswati Devi. But compared to the length of career, and the number of offerings that have been created, Usha ji is by far the outstanding performer in this arena.

A career and a talent that is so appropriately represented by her signature creation ‘Zindagi Pyaar Ka Geet Hai, Isey Har Dil Ko Gaanaa Padegaa’ (Souten, 1983) – a spirit that pervades her offerings throughout her career that starts in the late 1950s. The maestro of the simple and the understated, the champion composer of songs for B/C grade films, whose creations abound more than a 100 films. As I have been searching and tracking songs created by her for posting on this blog, I have myself been surprised by the number of gems of simply outstanding melody that she has created. Numerous songs that one has heard and loved to hear, over the years – one finds now that they are the handiwork of this brilliant composer.

Born in 1941 in Gwalior, Usha ji is the daughter of Manohar Lal Khanna, a talented poet in his own right, who started his career in the film industry in the mid 1940s. He was working with the government in Gwalior State, and was visiting Bombay in 1946. In a chance introduction, he met with Jaddan Bai, mother of Nargis, who was managing a production house by the name Nargis Art Concerns. As he shared his interests as a ghazal writer, Jaddan Bai offered to buy three of his ghazals for Rs. 800. Understandably, as he was earning Rs. 250 per month as an employee of the Waterworks Department in Gwalior State, he resigned from his job, and moved to Bombay.

Usha ji’s childhood was thus spent in the city of Hindi film makers, and with her father’s association as a songwriter, she was brought up in an environment of songwriting and music composition. Though there is little evidence available that she received any formal training in music and music composition, as she grew up, she displayed a keen interest in this field, and also started to compose tunes, while she was still a teen ager.

In an interview, she has shared the following anecdote about getting her first break as a composer. The time was the latter half of 1950s. As the family was well known now in the poet and music community in Bombay, OP Nayyar took note of Usha’s talent, and personally introduced her to Shashadhar Mukherjee, of the production house, Filmaalya. (Originally from Bombay Talkies, S Mukherjee left with Ashok Kumar and others to form Filmistan, and from there, S Mukherjee broke away later to form his own company by the name Filmaalya.)

Usha ji’s first desire was to become a playback singer. When queried by S Mukherhjee on what she would like to do, she said she would like to become a singer. The S Mukherjee jokingly asked if she considered her voice better than Lata ji or Geeta ji. The young Usha was taken aback and sheepishly said no. But then, she said she has keen interest in music composition. (In fact there is information available that she had already worked with her father Manohar Lal Khanna, assisting him in music composition. There is a film titled Pamposh (1953), whose music was composed by her father. By her own admissions, she had composed some tunes for that film).

On hearing this, S Mukherjee asked her to bring two of her compositions daily for one year, for his listening. She did. As she states, this went on for many weeks or maybe months. But definitely it did not take one year for her to get approval from S Mukherjee to compose music for ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ (1959). This was her first outing as an independent music director. And the huge success of the music of this film quickly established her as a talented new force in the music composition space.

Entering the 1960s, her popularity grew, and this was the most prolific and busiest time of her career. After the wonderful success of ‘Del Deke Dekho’, her music continued to catch the attention of masses with Chhodo kal ki baatein(Ham Hindustani)(1960), the iconic Mukesh solo Gaa deewaane jhoom ke (Flat no. 9)(1961) , Maine rakhaa hai muhabbat apne afsaane ka naam (Shabnam) , and Teri nigaahon pe mar mar gaye ham(Shabnam)(1964) etc.

Beyond 1964, the next few years in Usha ji’s career are marked with many films, mostly B/C grade, but with music that became iconic in its popularity. 1965 saw the release of ‘Ek Sapera Ek Lutera’, ‘Faislaa’, ‘Nishaan’ and ‘Mein Hoon Alladin’; in 1966, the music lovers were treated to the sounds of ‘Laal Banglaa’, ‘Baadal’ and ‘Mein Wohi Hoon’; in 1967 came the music of ‘Aag’, ‘Ek Raat’, ‘Johar in Bombay’ and ‘Who Koi Aur Hoga’; in 1968, the music of ‘Fareb’, Ek Phool Ek Bhool’ and ‘Haaye Mera Dil’; and 1969 was the bonanza year of the songs from ‘Simla Road’, ‘Ajaan Hai Koi’, ‘Nateeja’, ‘Samay Badaa Balwaan’, ‘Hum Ek Hain’ and ‘Bandish’. Her musical assignments continued to gather momentum during the 70s also, with films like Ilzaam and Insaan Aur Shaitaan (1970), Khoj and Ek Paheli (1971), and then on to films like ‘Honeymoon’, ‘Sabak’, ‘Dada’, ‘Hawas’, ‘Do Khilaadi’, ‘Saajan Ki Saheli’, ‘Aap To Aise Na Thhe’, ‘Saajan Bina Suhaagan’, ‘Bin Phere Hum Tere’, ‘Meri Biwi Ki Shaadi’, ‘Hotel’, ‘Tajurbaa’, ‘Be-Shaque’, and the famous hit ‘Souten’ in 1983.

Usha ji continued her pace of at least 2 to 3 films every year, till the end of 80s and slowed down her output in the 1990s. She continues to work, albeit at a much slower pace. Her last significant film is ‘Dil Pardesi Ho Gayaa’ in 2003. She has also been actively composing music for TV serials. Also to be noted, she has composed music for five Malyalam films, and also produced one non film album of songs in Malyalam.

Many journalists and writers about films, have wondered what has kept her away from the regular grade A films. Was it the gender, or was it her lack of desire to run after work. She continued to compose for B/C grade films most of her career, except in the 1980s, when she did work with some of the big names in the industry. Despite her music being melodious and popular, awards have really eluded her all her life. Only the song Dil ke tukde tukde karke muskuraa ke chal diye from the film Dada won recognition, but the award was for the best male singer category for Yesudas. Then in 1983, the music of this film was nominated for Filmfare’s best music award, but lost out to RD Burman for the music of film Maasoom.

The significance of her musical creations is probably in the popularity with the listening public – her creations are simple, hummable and remembered. Yes, simplicity is the one quality that strikes me as I listen to her compositions. And that is what makes her music hummable and remembered.

This song that I select for the century post for Usha Khanna, is from the film Anjaan Hai Koi (1969). The film is produced under the banner of Anand Films, Bombay, and is directed by Babubhai Mistry. The star cast includes Feroze Khan, Nalini Chatterjee, Aruna Irani, Helen, Mohan Choti, Tewari, Jayshree T, Kundan and others. The lyrics for this film are written by three poets, Asad Bhopali, Sardar Bikaneri and Manohar Khanna.

It is a wonderful melody – the words talk about the setting of evening and the oncoming night, and there is love to be felt in the evening, as two lovers talk with each other on what the evening means for their love and togetherness.

The lyrics by Manohar Khanna (Usha ji’s father) have been set to a very soft note and a steady pace that is really endearing. Incidentally, Usha ji herself has sung this song. She is the female voice in this duet, singing along with Rafi Saab. On screen, the song is performed by Feroze Khan and Nalini Chatterjee.

The following is a brief synopsis that is adapted from the comments provided by Arun ji Deshmukh, our in house expert on the films of yesteryears.

“ANJAN HAI KOI(1969) was a murder mystery movie. The story takes place in Pilikothi, a small town. Balvirsingh stays with his daughter Seemadevi (Nalini Chatterjee). When he dies, his doctor Prakash (Tiwari) becomes her guardian. She is to marry Anand, studying in London. Anand gets her telegram that she is in danger. On his way to India and Pilikothi along with his friend Prabhat (Feroz khan), Anand is murdered and at Pilikothi, Prabhat is mistaken for Anand. He continues this pretense to unravel the murder mystery. He falls in love with Sandhya (Aruna Irani) who is Seema’s close friend. Prabhat is exposed and accused of Anand’s murder, but he turns tables and brings the murderer to justice.

Nalini Chatterjee,a Bengali actress,who came in limelight with her role in “Netaji subhashchandra Bose-A forgotten Hero” later specialised in TV serials in Calcutta.

Enjoy this wonderful and melodious duet from Usha Khanna.

shaam dekho dhall rahi hai
panchhee dekho jaa rahe hain
tu bhi chal mere sang, o jeevan saathi

Just see, the evening is setting and the night is coming on
The birds, they are returning to their homes
O my companion in this journey of life, come, lets also walk together

haaye shaam ke aanchal mein, masti hai bheegi bheegi
aur de rahi hai dhadkan, awaaz dheemi dheemi

The ambience of the evening is alive with a soft stupor of loveAnd the beats of the heart a calling out softly (for you)

ye neelkamal si aankhen, hain kaajal bin kajraari
haaye laaj se bojhal palken, ye sunder pyaari pyaari

Your eyes, like the blue lotus, are attractive, even without the kohl (kaajal)And the beautiful eyelids, so lovely, are drowsy with coyness

mere pyaase man mandir mein, tasveer bani hai teri
ye dil hai pujaari tera, aur tu hai pooja meri

In the temple of my heart, my yearning sits as your image
You are my worship and my heart is the worshipper

Audio

Video

Song-Shaam dekho dhal rahi hai (Anjaan Hai Koi) (1969) Singers-Usha Khanna, Rafi, Lyrics-Manohar Lal Khanna, MD-Usha Khanna
Both

Lyrics

shaam dekho dhall rahi hai
shaam dekho dhall rahi hai
panchhee dekho jaa rahe hain
tu bhi chal mere sang
hoye jeewan saathi
shaam dekho dhall rahi hai
panchhee dekho jaa rahe hain
tu bhi chal mere sang
ho jeewan saathi

shaam dekho dhall rahi hai

haaye shaam ke aanchal mein
masti hai bheegi bheegi
haaye shaam ke aanchal mein
masti hai bheegi bheegi
aur de rahi hai dhadkan
awaaz dheemi dheemi
awaaz dheemi dheemi
tu bhi chal mere sang
hoo jeewan saathi
shaam dekho dhall rahi hai

ye neelkamal si aankhen
hain kaajal bin kajraari
ye neelkamal si aankhen
hain kaajal bin kajraari
haaye laaj se bojhal palken
ye sunder pyaari pyaari
ye sunder pyaari pyaari
tu bhi chal mere sang
ho jeewan saathi

shaam dekho dhall rahi hai

mere pyaase man mandir mein
tasweer bani hai teri
mere pyaase man mandir mein
tasweer bani hai teri
ye dil hai pujaari tera
aur tu hai pooja meri
aur tu hai pooja meri

tu bhi chal mere sang
ho jeewan saathi
shaam dekho dhall rahi hai
panchhee dekho jaa rahe hain
shaam dekho dhall rahi hai
panchhee dekho jaa rahe hain

6 Responses to "Shaam dekho dhal rahi hai"

Congratulations Atulji for 4900

And Sudhirji thanks for the USHA KHANNA treat.

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Atul ji,
Congratulations for achieving a new milestone of 4900 songs.Thank you !
-AD

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Sudhir ji,
You are right in saying that this is not an ordinary achievement.It is a part of establishing a Treasure Trove for future researchers and future generations,who will be wonderstruck with this kind of collection.it is simply monumental.
We are lucky that we are closely watching all this happening,with whatever little contribution from our side,which is only to strengthen and compliment what Atul ji is doing.
Sudhir ji,you may recall that on the 12th of June,2011,one Mr.IDL Man
had reported the findings of his survey of 102 such blogs internationally and that he gave Atulsongaday.wordpress.com the FIRST number.(I may request other readers also to go to this page and read what the survey had said.It is as a comment on song ;main kya janun’ by saigal).
That aside,I sincerely feel that Atul ji is doing a fabulous job.In the first month,July 2008,the songs were only 13 and in September 2011 they were 217 ! In 3 years,the average songs/month happens to be 136 songs !
let us all pray the Allmighty to give Atul ji the strngth and means to reach newer peaks everytime.
-AD

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What a fantastic write-up about Usha Khanna, Sudhirji. It was very interesting to read about how she came into the music world and slowly began making her mark with B/C films at at time when the industry was full of heavyweights. Her longevity itself is proof (if any is required) of her ability and quiet contribution to our music world.

I remember I first heard Usha Khanna’s name when I heard the song “Ye teri saadgi, ye tera baankhpan” on the 10.30 p.m AIR programme one evening, I totally fell in love with this song the first time I heard it. That was my introduction to Usha Khanna. It was only after that, that I got to know that Dil Deke Dekho was also composed by her.

Much later I heard songs like “chand ko kya maaloom” (Lal Bangla) composed by her. What an absolutely lovely song that is.

“Teri galiyon mein na rakhenge kadam” won an award for Rafi saab, if I am not mistaken. There is a story about this song. Rafi saab sang it in a particular way but Usha Khanna wanted it to be sung differently. But since Rafi saab was such a big name, Usha Khanna hesitated to tell him to sing differently. Much later, when she did tell him that she had wanted some things different in the way the song was sung, he said “then why didn’t you tell me? The music director is the boss. I will sing according to what he or she wants”. Usha Khanna was floored by this. That was during a fairly low period in Rafi saab’s life. I know this story is about Rafi saab but since it involves Usha Khanna too, I thought I’d mention it.

In the 70s, Usha Khanna did have a few hits. I remember the title song of “Phir Janam Lenge Hum” was quite popular.as was “jeejaji jeejaji” from Sajan Bina Suhagan (other songs of this movie were very popular too).

One of my favourites is still “har nazar mein sau afsaane” from Shabnam.

Very happy to see that she’s also recorded a century on this blog.

Congrats to Atul for getting to 4900. This last hundred was really quick – as Atul has said, it is now a team effort of a number of people. Some provide lyrics, some write-ups – everything helps. We are all happy to do our bit if it helps Atul to keep building this blog at a brisk pace. There are still plenty of songs out there that need to come in here. As Arunji has said, this is a treasure trove and we need to continue to add treasures to it.

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What is this blog all about

This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TWELVE years. This blog has over 16000 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 4000 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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