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

Mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaare gali

Posted on: April 15, 2012


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

Maybe the friends on this blog have given up on me, if my inconsistency of the past few days, some weeks is any evidence. Well yes, the things are kind of busy in life at this time (now why should that be an excuse?) :). Nonetheless, today I do want to write about a wonderful song I came across for the first time last week, and also write about where I am and of the interesting things that have happened today.

Well this week (and the next) I am in the US on a brief visit. I am in San Jose, the Silicon Valley town in California (or one should say, Bangalore of America, 🙂 ). Now the reason I want to mention this is the very interesting things, related to this blog and the music that we like to listen and discuss and write about, happened today.

The first good thing that happened was my first tele conversation with Mem Didi – better known as Greta Memsaab whose blog is a source of so much fun and information for fans of Hindi films, especially her attention to the so called B and C grade films. We had a good long fun chat for more than half hour, getting to know more about individual interests, things we are working on, and things that we would like to do more of on this subject. We decided that the film producers in India have no sense of business, for if they had, then they would increase their earnings manifold by just adding well prepared sub titles to their films and extend the reach to a much wider audience. And so in the context of subtitles and translations, we talked about Tom (he is Hawaii), and Raja ji (who is in Netherlands) and Ava Suri ji, who is in India (Chandigarh I think). And so we exchanged notes, and of course concluded that Atul ji, with his silent sense of humor is doing such a great service, with fun, with involvement and so a lot of bouquets for him.

And then, within the next half hour, I was on the phone with Khyati ji, who is also in California, albeit in the Los Angeles area. She was upset (in a friendly way of course) that I had not informed her in advance for this trip. Otherwise she would have requested me to carry a full set of Geet Kosh for her from India, and as a result, I would have made travel plans to visit her and hand over those books. So there are things for me to remember when I plan my next visit. I had a wonderful chat with her, talking about her family, our interests in the film music, and how she feels so great being connected to this blog. And once again we came to the same conclusion that Atul ji, with his silent sense of humor is doing such a great service, with fun, with involvement and so a lot of bouquets for him. 🙂

The keen thing about talking with Khyati ji is her sense of humor, and the conversation is very lively. We were trying to identify the locations of various friends on this blog, and seeing whom she could meet if she travelled to say, Mumbai. And so we went over the names – Arun ji is in Mumbai, Atul ji, so far in Nagpur is now moving to Bilaspur, Mem Didi is in Boston area, Lalitha ji is probably in South Carolina, Prakash ji is probably in Hyderabad (maybe wrong guess), Atif Bhai is probably in UK, of course Raja ji is in Netherlands (which Khayti ji didn’t want to believe in the first place – Raja ji sounds so un-Netherland-ish), Nahm ji we were uncertain, but maybe Mumbai also – and then we could not continue guessing, for we had no clue as to where e.g. Sadanand ji would be located. So anyway, another fun filled conversation, with promise of more to follow.

And then a couple of hours later, I met with a person, whom I have known only through emails, over the past one week, but then the opportunity presented itself to meet personally since he is also living here in San Jose. There is another blog, ‘Dil Ki Awaaz. . .’, which is managed by another diehard fan of Hindi films and music, Rohit Aggarwal.

Rohit’s family is originally from Punjab. His father migrated to Kenya many decades ago, and Rohit was born there. After the political upheavals in the 60s and 70s, his family first migrated to UK and then to US. He is also a computer engineer, and has an avid love for the music and poetry of India, both filmi and non-filmi. I had book marked his blog some months back, and occasionally visited it.

Last week, when I sent out the request for inputs on the Geet Kosh project, I included him in the list, and he responded promptly. One thing led to another, and it turns out he is in San Jose, and so I met with him personally today. Rohit is also very particular about the correctness of the lyrics, and he has a very interesting opinion. Rohit says that the poetry that is originally written in Hindi or Urdu can never be fully correct when transliterated into English. And so, on his blog, he endeavors to put in the lyrics in Hindi script. His reasoning is that every nation on this planet always writes their poetry in their original language and script, and probably India is the only people that prefer to publish their poetry more in English than in the original language. (Mind you, he did not intend this as a criticism of other sources and websites. He says he understands the mixed needs of the audience, and hence would prefer to see poetry / lyrics presented in both scripts). We talked about Urdu words and translations (and yes, you guessed it right, it really got me going 🙂 ). We are planning to meet at least once again before I leave, and he has some good inputs for the Geet Kosh project.

Just as I wrote to Rohit, I also have included few other folks who manage similar blogs. Friends would be familiar with another blog named ‘Dusted off’. Writing to the owner of this blog, I got a response from Madhulika Liddle ji, and we have exchanged some information on email. I have a guess that she is also based in Delhi. And then another person I included in my mailing list is AK ji, familiar for his participation on our blog, whose blog ‘Songs of Yore’ is such a storehouse of information on Hindi film music from the earlier decades. I would recommend friends to check out these blogs, if you have not done so already. I specifically mention these four blogs, since my experience is that the work done on these is very genuine, the information is well researched and authentic, and there is something new to know every time one visits.

Now coming to the song for this post. A song with an unfamiliar sounding voice. From back in the early decades of the talking films. A voice that appears to be known, but yet, one may have difficulty in readily placing it. This film, and this video clip may evoke some raised eyebrows, as one encounters a couple of peculiarly unfamiliar and yet, should-be-familiar things. E.g. the music director of this film is an unobtrusive ‘Sharma ji’. Maybe some knowledgeable friends will recognize this name; I was not able to connect and place the name immediately, till I searched some more into the Geet Kosh and found alternate name for ‘Sharma ji’ also listed at another place. I already mentioned about the voice, and that too will need some effort to place it. And then there is the actors on the screen. The lady is easily recognizable, she is Rehana. And the gentleman; well frankly I had, still have, some doubts about a firm identification.

The film is from 1949, titled ‘Pardaa’. It is a social drama, a production from the banner that simply says K Pictures, Bombay. The director’s name is identified as AG Soorma. The list of actors that is available for scrutiny is Rehana, Amar, Chand, Kusum Thakur, Sadique, S Nazeer, Nazeer Kashmiri, Ansari, Wazir, Abbubakar, Gulzar, and Shanti. The name of the composer is listed as Sharma ji, and we will get to discuss is in a minute. The names of the lyricists are listed as Swami Ramanand and Tanveer Naqvi. The name identified for this song is Swami Ramanand. The name of the singer is listed, but I will hold this back also for a minute.

The gentleman actor looks so suspiciously close to character actor Hiralal, also from the same period. However, this name does not appear in the list of actors, so I will not dare to venture into that discussion. Based on the names listed, and some earlier sightings, my guess that the gentleman actor can be either S Nazir or Amar. And I will leave it at that, and wait for help from Arun ji, or Sadanand ji, or other knowledgeable friends on the blog, to help correctly identify the name of this actor.

So we have some identifications to solve. Who is the music director, who is the singer, and who is the gentleman actor on the screen. May be some enterprising readers will stop reading the write up, and would like to go and listen to the song and view the video clip. That should be fun, so let’s try that. Go ahead, click on the link and let the song play and settle in your mind. Just listen, and try not to espy the info on the YouTube console.

So what do you think, who is the singing voice? Sounds somewhat like Shamshad Begum. And suddenly I am reminded of all the names of gentleman singers in 30s and 40s trying to emulate Saigal Saab, but not being able to get anywhere close. I am sure in this case, the effort is not at any such emulation. Of course, the voice is not of Shamshad Begum, but of a very new singer, having made her appearance on the singing scene may be just a year or 18 months prior to when we know this film is dated. Some of you may have guessed it, and I must tell you I was surprised. This is Asha Bhosle. The voice does sound very unlike her, but as discussed in another post before, it is probably just the newness of her appearance as a singer. Her voice would get moulded in subsequent years under the baton of composers like Hansraj Behl and OP Nayyar, and then one can more easily relate to the Asha Bhosle of late 50s and beyond. In 1948-49, and early 50s, this is how her voice sounds – very young, fresh and unfamiliar – a diamond uncut.

Coming to the composer, now once again I am going by the information available in the Geet Kosh. The name ‘Sharma ji’ is accompanied by an alternate name at a couple of other places – and the alternate name given is Khaiyyaam. Once again, I am sure there will be friends on the blog who are aware of this (hopefully this is not an error). I was not, and was a bit surprised to see that Mohammed Zahur Hashmi, better known as Khaiyyaam, and credited with debut in 1953 with the film ‘Footpath’ by most web sites (including Wikipedia), actually finds a mention in earlier years 1948 onwards, under the pseudonym ‘Sharma ji’. And so his debut film and year needs to be re-ascertained, for if this annotation in the Geet Kosh is true, then ‘Footpath’ in 1953 is not his first film. I would request others knowledgeable friends to comment on this. (NOTE: As I was searching for more entries of ‘Sharma ji’ in the late 40s, I came across another peculiar and interesting related annotation, which I will not discuss now, but promise to bring it up in another write up very soon.)

The song is a lilting expression of a young girl’s heart. A song of coming of age, as she sings about her own home and her childhood plays, and then talks about now being beckoned by the place wherefrom someone will come soon and take her away. She tells about her childhood and budding youth, and then she tells about how her heart flutters when she thinks of him, and then how a restlessness seems to permeate her. The words are really lovely and the intonations are melodious. The singing voice, if you can latch on to it, has the mischief, the verve, the energy and the amazing surprise – it is all there, all that defines what Asha ji’s voice is. So listen to this delightful song in a voice that is not yet the Asha Bhosle we latecomers are familiar with, and yet it is the original Asha ji sound – and is suddenly very familiar. Enjoy.

mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali
mujhe dil ki tamannaa jahaan le chali

O, the adobe of my dear
Feels so dear to me
It is there the desires of my heart
Are cajoling me to go

khelaa jahaan mera bachpan suhaanaa
guzraa jahaan mera rangeen zamaanaa
jawaani jahaan meri phooli phali

This place, my childhood home
This is where my infancy enjoyed to play
Where I spent my colorful years
And where my youth came to be

mere khwaabon mein chhup chhup ke aate hain wo
dil ki dhadkan mein aa ke samaate hain wo
koi ulfat mein aa ke jagaate hain wo
badhaate hain dil ki wohi bekali

He visits in my dreams, silently
Comes into my heart, merging with the beats
Lovingly nudging me to wake up
Adding to the restlessness that already pervades

aaye saamne mere to sharmaa’un mein
mere nazdeek aaye to ghabraa’un mein
mere phool hain wo, mein hoon unki kali

But then
When he really is here, I turn bashful
When he gets closer, I get anxious and nervous
He is my flower
And I am his rosebud

Audio

Video

Song-Mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali (Parda)(1949) Singer-Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Swami Ramanand, MD-Khayyam

Lyrics

mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali
ho pyaari gali
ho pyaari gali
ho o o
mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali
ho pyaari gali
mujhe dil ki tamannaa jahaan le chali
haaye jahaan le chali
ho o o
mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali
ho pyaari gali

khelaa jahaan mera bachpan suhaanaa
bachpan suhaanaa
ho ho
ho ho
guzraa jahaan mera rangeen zamaanaa
ho rangeen zamaanaa
jawaani jahaan meri phooli phali
ho phooli phalli
ho o
mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali
ho pyaari gali

mere khwaabon mein
mere khwaabon mein chhup chhup ke aate hain wo
aate hain wo
dil ki dhadkan mein
dil ki dhadkan mein aa ke samaate hain wo
aate hain wo
koi ulfat ka
koi ulfat mein aa ke jagaate hain wo
jagaate hain wo
badhaate hain dil ki wohi bekali
haaye wohi bekali
ho o o
mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali
ho pyaari gali

aaye saamne mere to sharmaa’un main
sharmaa’un main
mere nazdeek aaye to ghabraa’un main
ghabraa’un main
ae ae
mere phool hain wo
main hoon unki kali
main hoon unki kali
ho o o
mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaari gali
ho pyaari gali

19 Responses to "Mere pyaare sanam ki hai pyaare gali"

Sudhir ji,
I knew that you were in US,but besides your official work,what you have achieved there,for music lovers of this Blog in India is simply awesome.You actually met/spoke on phone with some of our regulars in US !! Great.I can only imagine your joy.
I hope you will complete your mission in US successfully and be back amongst us,when you can tell us some more happenings there.
Khayyam came to Bombay in 1946 and joined hands with another assistant of H.Bhagatram,namely Rehman Verma.Khayyam and Rehman gave music together as SHARMAJI-VARMAJI to Heer Ranjha-1948.When Rehman Verma migrated to Pakistan,he gave music as Sharmaji to another 4 films.Parda-49 was one of them.one more film was Beewee-1950.A Rafi song “akele me vo ghabarate to honge…” was very popular from this film.
His first film as Khayyam was Footpath.
In one of the intervies,Khayyam also claimed that under his baton,Asha Bhosle sang India’s First female Bhangda song,” shahron me shahar soona that Multan” from Heer Ranjha.Similarly,he also claimed that Asha sang her first cabaret song,”Ara ram tara ram” in his direction(Footpath).
-AD

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I so much enjoyed talking with Sudhir ji (and it was an HOUR not the half hour he describes—we had lots to discuss!)…and we do all agree that Atul is a wonderful, funny, perfectly awesome man to be putting this blog and this history together. I am personally so grateful for those of you who put in the effort to translate lyrics—it is difficult, I know, but so valued by those of us who need the translation.

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Knowing people through blog posts and comments in one thing and knowing people through direct interaction is quite something. I am sure both of you talked on a lot of subjects of mutual interest in one hour. We are all interested in knowing the details.

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here is a working link

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It sounds very much like Suraiya. We were told earlier that Asha used to copy Lata, which was difficult to fathom as the timbre of their voices are as different as chalk and cheese. Does anyone of us agree that Asha was copying Lata’s voice?

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Sudhir ji,
The actor featuring in this song is positively AMAR.
-AD

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Sudhir ji
Thank you for remembering me in between you conversation.

I live in UDUPI(It is famous for Bhagwan Krishna Mandir)a small town near Mangalore-Karnataka.

Regards
prakash

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Sudhirji

Ahhaa ……….ek aur cheez,
Geet Kosh aur Hindi movie history ke related other kitaabon ke baare mein,
Mera mann bhi bahut (bahut bahut) lalchaa raha hai woh saare kitaabon ko khareedne mein. Ek na ek din Main unn kitaabon ko paa sakne aashaa rakh saktha hoon…

prakash

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uhhhh typing mistakes…..
What I mean is “Ek na ek din main unn kitaabon paane ki aasha kar raha hoon”
Sorry, Sudhir ji,
I am not very good in communicating about my thinking or feeling (whatever it is). I hope you will understand my “Dil ki bhaashaa”

prakash

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Sudhirji,
I can’t express the joy I had while talking to a person who talks to all big or small fans of hindi cine songs through his live post. You, Atulji, Arunji, Rajaji, Prakashji, Nahmji, Avaji, Sadanandji and all are doing so much for the music lovers, dhanyawad/shukriya shabd to bahut hi chhota lagega. Hope you will remember to visit Los Angeles area next time you come to US.

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Yes, Sudhir jee has met/ talked to/ communicated with many well known personalities in the field of Hindi movie songs history. Come to think of it, he too is a very important person in the field.

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Unhon ne itne pyaar se mere saath baat kari ki muje laga mein phone bandh hi na karoon. Lekin sayad mere sense of humor ki wajah se maine his darse phone bandh kar diya. Kahin doosri baar phone karne se dar na jaaye! 😆 Wish I could spend some time with him.

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Sudhirji, how wonderful that you managed to talk to Greta and Khyatiji!!! Am sure all of you would have had SO much to talk about – when you meet people with common interests (especially when it has to do with old Hindi films), you never tire of it – time just flies!!!

Aapke guftagu mein hum bhi yaad aaye, badi meherbaani. (For Greta, this is a polite way of saying “You remembered me in your conversations, thank you very much!”).

I can imagine Khyatiji’s surprise that I’m in the Netherlands – I sound very “un-Netherlands-ish” 😉 But if you like, I can throw in some Dutch words to prove it. 🙂 In fact, the very first time I got involved in translation was when Tom was doing research on Bela Bose to make a DVD on her. He came across this article in Dutch and wanted help with translation. I volunteered. Actually, thanks to Surinam being a former Dutch colony and lots of Surinamese being descendants of migrants from India in the distant past, there’s still a link between Surinam and India which can be seen in the Netherlands. 🙂 Got to love history!

Anyway, I just want to also say that I’m sort of in transition right now. Yes, I’m in the Netherlands but I am spending most of my time in India (Bangalore) nowadays. My choice of priorities – I want to be there for my mother, as she grows older. 🙂

And I’m guessing Sadanandji is in Mumbai. I remember seeing one of his write-ups where he talks about going to Fort, shopping for some old songs.

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Rajasahab,
I do believe what Sudhirji said. But, could not think that someone in Netherland is so much knowledgeable about hindi cine songs. Please have mercy on me by not throwing any Dutch words to prove your language expertise. “Koi patthan se na mare mere…….” Dutch words to mujhe patthar se bhi bhari padenge/lagenge. OR I would rather say, Dutch words ke mukaable mein Patthar to mujhe phool saman lagenge. 😆
I always enjoy your selection of songs with write ups (without Dutch words of course!). Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion with us.

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One immediate gain of this post was that I went to Rohit’s post and rediscovered my long lost favourite Feroza Begum’s Tum bhulaye na gaye hae bhulaye na gaye.

I have heard some early Asha Bhosle songs where an effort to emulate Lata Mangeshkar is very apparent. I think I have commented about it on this blog in one of the songs. With some effort I can locate such songs.

In this song too the style of the reigning stars of the time is very apparent, such as Suraiya’s. I do not think this was happening unintended. There is nothing wrong in that. Lata Mangeshkar’s early singing in Noorjehan’s style is well known.

The music also bears a clear stamp of the masters of the time such as Husnlal Bhagatram. Now I know the connection courtesy Arunkumar Deshmukhji’s comments. Khayyam was known for his originality. We can safely say, with Footpath it was not only change of name, this film also marks Khayyam becoming Khayyam.

PS. Thanks to Sudhirji and Atulji for the generous praise for Songs of Yore.

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Sudhirji,
The main purpose of “possessing” HFGK was to give you some input for the internet version of it. If I can see at least one volume of it with Hindi Talkie Film Index & Hindi Filmography, I can provide you few points that I would love to have it in this version AS A USER. I must salute to you and Hamraazji for the amount of time you are devoting for this monumental work.

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Atulji,
I observed one thing-
You have CREATED two teams so far-
In the “Post byTeam”, you have 11 batsman and in the “Lyrics by Team”, you have 11 batsman and two extras! Let’s see who will be the extras in “Post by Team”. 🙂 May I say you and Arunji are two referees/scorer and all readers are spectators?
BTW, this is just a joke. Trying to match your passion in the field of cricket with this blog. I know the fact that in your team, every contributor is as important as a main batsman, bowler, referee, scorer or a spectator. I don’t know how many times I have said and how many times I will say that I am so much thankful to you for your love and devotion to this blog for all music lovers, specially NRIs for whom, your blog is like an encyclopedia & news bulletin with all the latest updates/news about our film industry.

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The film Heer Ranza 1948 has music by 3 music directors.Sharmaji-Varmaji and Ajij Khan. Ajij Khan composed a beautiful song by Lataji-“Kaise katu ye kali raten.”

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audio

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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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