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

Kalpana ke ghan baraste

Posted on: June 9, 2012

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

June 9, 2012 is the birth centenary of the music director Vasant Desai whom I regard as a man who worked in Hindi film industry on his own terms without being a part of the rate race among his contemporary music directors. Being a devotee of the traditional music, he did not succumb to the lure of money in composing music for mass appeal.

In the event, he did less Hindi films but in return, he gave us some of his immortal music compositions. Some samples:

aajaa nigaahon mein aajaa – Dahej (1950)
nazron mein samaane se qaraar aa na sakegaa – Hyderabad Ki Naazneen (1952)
jo tum todo piyaa– Janak Janak Paayal Baaje (1955)
Ae maalik tere bande ham – Do Aankhen Baarah Haath (1956)
nirbal ki ladaayi balwaan se – Toofaan Aur Diyaa (1957)
bade bhole ho –Ardhangini (1959)
tere sur aur mere geet – Goonj Uthi Shehnaai (1959)
ek thhaa bachpan– Aashirwaad (1968)
bole re papeehara– Guddi (1971)

Vasant Desai was born on June 9, 1912 in Kudal in the then Sawantwadi princely state, now a part of Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra. He was sent to his maternal uncle’s house for schooling. When he was in the 4th standard, he developed interest in folk theatre. He left school and over a period of time, he started acting and singing in folk theatres. From his meagre income he earned from folk theatre, he purchased a second hand harmonium and started leaning classical music. In 1929, Ghanshyam Desai, his cousin suggested to V Shantaram who was one of the partners of Prabhat Films, Kolhapur to take Vasant Desai under his wing. He was taken as Office Boy for V Shantaram and worked on any assignment whatsoever insignificant given by his boss. During this period, he got an opportunity to act in a silent film ‘Khooni Khajhar (1930). Thereafter he worked as an actor-singer in films like Amrit Manthan (1934), Dharmatma (1935), Amar Jyoti(1936). In 1932, he assisted music director Govindrao Tembe in scoring background music for Marathi film ‘Ayodhya Cha Raja’ which was also made in Hindi as ‘Ayodhya Ka Raja’. The film was a financial success for Prabhat Films. He also assisted music director Keshavrao Bole in the film ‘Sant Ghyaneshwar’ in which he sang two songs composed by himself but credit went to the music Director. ( In later years, this fact was revealed by Keshavrao Bole himself in a press conference).

For Aadmi (1939), he was sounded by V Shantaram for the lead role but eventually it went to Shahu Modak. A heart broken Vasant Desai took the matter philosophically by telling himself that he was destined to become a music director, his first love. In a way, this was a wake up call for him. He started taking training from Ustad Alam Khan and for the next 10 years, he studied classical music under Inayat Khan of Hyderabad. Additionally, he took training from Dagar brothers for Dhrupad and Dhumar style of classical music. He got his first break as an independentmusic director in J B H Wadia’s Hindi film ‘Shobha’ (1942) starring Shobhana Samarth and Shahu Modak. By the end of 1940s, Vasant Desai became a well known music director for composing melodious songs based on the classical ragas.

By this time, V Shantaram decided to leave Prabhat Films and moved to Mumbai to set up his own film production company named Rajkamal Kala Mandir. He produced and directed the first film under this banner ‘Shankuntala’(1942) with Jayshree and Chandramohan in the lead roles and Vasant Desai as music director. The film created a box office record and all the songs were also hits. His association with V Shantaram lasted until ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’ (1957). 1950s was the high point in Vasant Desai career as a music director as many songs of his films became hits. But Bollywood saw him as a music director specialising in mythological and historical films. As a result, despite staying in the Hindi film industry for over 30 years, he gave music to only 46 Hindi films. But what quality of music!

Vasant Desai was regarded as one of few expert background musicians in the Hindi film industry. Recognising this talent, Sunil Dutt assigned him the music direction of his one artist film ‘Yaadein’ (1964). Although the film did not create any stir in thebox office, the critics praised the film’s background music. Taking a clue from this film, later Gulzar took Vasant Desai as Music Director for his songless film ‘Achanaak’ (1973). I had seen this film in a theatre and I can vouch for it that the longish scene where Vinod Khanna after escaping from the jail is on the run would have become boring but for the effective background music.

Vasant Desai was so obsessed with classical music that he engaged Ustad Amir Khan, the classical vocalist of Indore Gharana to sing the title song in the film ‘Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje’ (1955).He also got Ustad Bismillah Khan to give shehnaai recital in the film ‘Goonj Uthi Shehnaai’ (1959) apart from recording a vocal and shehnaai jugalbandi with Ustaad Amir Khan. He persuaded Ashok Kumar to sing 3 songs in the film ‘Aashirwaad’ (1968) after a gap of nearly 30 years of his last singing. He gave the first break to playback singers Dilraj Kaur and Vani Jayraman in the film ‘Rani Aur Lal Pari’ (1975) and ‘Guddi’ (1971) respectively. Vasant Desai also composed music for 20 Marathi films and for some Marathi dramas. The two songs from a Marathi drama ‘ Dev Dinaghari Dhavala’– first one being devotional and the second one a very touching song which, I am sure, have universal appeal are my favourites among his Marathi songs :

uthi uthi gopala – sungby Pandit Kumar Gandharva
runanubandhachya –sung by Pandit Kumar Gandharva and Vani Jayraman

This talented music director’s end was tragic. While he was about to step in to his apartment lift, it began to move due to some technical fault, crushing him to death on December 22, 1975.

On the occasion of the birth centenary of Vasant Desai, I was happy to find an audio link of a rare song ‘kalpanaa ke ghan baraste geet geele ho rahe’ from the film AMAR JYOTI (1965) for discussion. I had heard this song many years back but completely forgot about this lovely song. The film was produced by Raman Desai under the banner of Bombay Movietone and directed by him. The cast included Mahipal, Vijaylaxmi,Sapru, Ulhas etc. Nothing is known about this film but from the star cast, one can guess that it was a devotional film. The song is a class poetry written by Bharat Vyas in pure Hindi and set to tune on a classical raag by Vasant Desai. The audio link of this song shows the length to be about 10 minutes which I feel is due to wrong uploading. The song abruptly ends at 3:25 which was a normal timingfor a 78 RPM record. It is quite possible that in the film version, the song could have one more stanza. Anyway, we are lucky that atleast the audio version of this song is now available.

Listening to this sublime song is a pure bliss.

Song-Kalpana ke ghan baraste (Amar Jyoti)(1965) Singers-Lata, Mahendra Kapoor, Lyrics-Bharat Vyas, MD-Vasant Desai
Lata + Mahendra Kapoor


aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa

kalpanaa ke ghan baraste
kalpanaa ke ghan baraste
geet geele ho rahe
bhaav rimjhim kar rahe hain
bhaav rimjhim kar rahe hain
swar raseele ho rahe
kalpanaa ke ghan baraste

naachti shyaamal ghataayen
thirakti barsaat hai
ik kahaani banke aayee
ye suhaani raat hai
jhoomtaa phirtaa pawan

jhoomtaa phirtaa pawan
jhonke nasheele ho rahe
kalpanaa ke ghan baraste

kis pranay ki aag mein jal
geet gaataa hai pawan
geet gaataa hai pawan
maang bhartaa hai dulhan ki
motiyon se ye gagan
motiyon se ye gagan
chup rahe tere nayan
chup rahe tere nayan
kitne naheele ho rahe

kalpanaa ke ghan baraste

7 Responses to "Kalpana ke ghan baraste"

It’s great finding..this song was in back of my mind.
The metaphors/words are out of this world.
The things that we may image in a poem/music here Pt. Bharatji has visualized through the use of metaphor.
It gives me so beautiful feelings toward a simple song..
thanks for posting this song…I missed this from utube.


Sadanand ji

Informative post, Melodious song,Rare discovery.
Thanks, thanks,thanks


Thanks for the great melody from Vasant dada Desai. A rare song not found on the You Tube till now.




Nice post, a couple of corrections in the second antara
kis pranay ki AAJ MANGAL
geet gaataa hai pawan
geet gaataa hai pawan
maang bhartaa hai dulhan ki
motiyon se ye gagan
motiyon se ye gagan
JHUK rahe tere nayan
JHUK rahe tere nayan
kitne LAJEELE ho rahe


Thanks for the corrections.




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