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

Mera sab kuchh mere geet re

Posted on: June 25, 2012


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

During my travels and trekking in the Himalaya, I have met some interesting personalities – from fellow travellers/ trekkers, drivers, guides, porters, villagers etc. I even had the company of Bhotia dogs during some of my high altitude treks. I remember that in 1986, a Bhotia dog accompanied me during the full 65 kms of trek from start to finish crossing a pass with knee deep snow. Fortunately, it was a round trek thus bringing the Bhotia dog back to his village.

Last year, two dogs became my ‘guide’ for a short trek in Himachal Pradesh. I will write this dog story some other time while discussing a ‘dog song’.

Exactly two years ago ( June 2010), I met one interesting tourist taxi driver whom we (I alongwith my friend) had engaged on reaching Haridwar after the completion of a 12-days gruelling trek in Nandadevi Outer Sanctuary in Uttarakh. He was to drop us at Delhi airport to catch a flight back home. I am no table to recollect the driver’s name now but his name either started or ended with ‘Inder’. So I will refer to him here as Inder. He was probably in his 40s and courteous while talking. He was, what is called in cricketing term a ‘copybook style’ driver – no lane cutting, over-taking of other vehicles from the rightside and giving signals, not talking on mobile phone while driving etc.

During the journey, my friend started singing an old song from the film ‘Chhaaya’(1961) but was stuck in getting the starting lines of the song. After I recited the mukhda of the song , we both were discussing the appropriateness of the song in our context (‘mujhe ek jagah aaraam nahin rukh jaana meraa kaam nahin) as we both were avid travellers. Our driver joined the discussion by telling us the name of the film, the lyricist, the singer and the music director. He was wrong in one count, though. He gave the name of the lyricist as Shailendra whereas it was Rajinder Krishan as I later come to know. At the outset, I was taken aback by his interruption in our conversation. But knowing that he was interested in old Hindi film songs, we did not discourage him from joining in our discussion. He seemed to be well acquainted with some of the yester year’s lyricists, music directors, some anecdotes and the style of song writing and music compositions.

At one time, he said that the film ‘Hey Raam’ (2000) failed at the box office not because of the weak story or direction but because its theme song did not fully reflect the core of the story line of the film. He said that if he was to write lyrics of this theme song, he would have written the lyrics differently. Then he recited 4-5 lines of his lyrics of that song and confidently told me that with his lines, the song would have become a hit .Since I had no knowledge about the film, I could not say whether his lines madesense in the context of the film or not. But those four lines were certainly poetic. He later revealed that he had been writing poems and short stories since his younger days. During the course of our journey, he recited some more of his poems and to me they were good attempts on his part. He said that much of his work was lost in a flash flood in Ganga river a few years back during which his house was submerged.

While Inder was talking in the local Hindi dialect, I was surprised to note that he was pronouncing the Hindi word ‘barabar’ (correct) as ‘barobar’ which was, in fact, used in Bambaiya Hindi and also in Marathi and Gujarati. He later said to my query that this was the influence of his stay in Mumbai for nearly 7 years. When I asked him as to what he was doing in Mumbai, he said that it was a long story which may be boring for us. So I did not pursue the topic. However after some time, he started telling me about his Mumbai story on his own.

A few years back, he had come to Mumbai with an intention of joining the film industry as a lyricist, leaving behind his wife and four children. He stayed in a small room in an hutment colony on a sharing basis in Andheri. Soon he started taking rounds of film and recording studios to meet film producers, directors, music directors etc to get the work. Having failed to get an audience with them, he started using the so called middlemen who are said to have connections in the film industry. He got some opportunity to recite his poems to some assistants in the film production teams but did not progress beyond that point. In the meanwhile, to make a living in Mumbai, he had started working as a sign board painter. This gave him an opportunity to paint film posters as part of films’ advertisement. He was hoping that at least through this route, he would get an opportunity to develop rapport with those connected with the film industry. But after some time, he lost this job. To sustain his daily living and to send some money to his family, he learnt driving and became a taxi driver.

During his struggling days in Mumbai, he did think of returning to Haridwar but having told all his relatives and friendsabout trying to join Hindi film industry as a lyricist, he felt shy to come back empty handed. However, he was compelled to return to Haridwar when one day his wife informed him that the house in which his family was staying was earmarked for demolition on the eve of Kumbh Mela in 2010. So he returned to Haridwar and since then he has been working as a tourist taxi driver.

I thought that with his seven years of failed attempt in becoming a lyricist, Inder must have now given up the idea of joining the Hindi film industry. I was wrong. He told me that he was just waiting for his elder son to complete his graduation and get a job so that he can once again try his luck in the film industry without worrying too much about his family. As if he had read my mind, he said very philosophically that in the film industry, almost all new comers had struggled a lot to become actors, lyricists, singers, music directors etc. So he was aware that it would not be a cake walk for him. To my surprise, he even gave me the example of Anand Bakshi who had to struggle for a long period to set his foot firmly as a lyricist in the film industry. I did not know about this background of Anand Bakshi.

I had already formed my opinion about his suitability as a lyricist or storywriter. His mindset belonged to the golden era of Hindi films. As such I was sceptical about his success as the taste of the film audience had changed and the new generation of film producers, directors and music directors may not appreciate his work. But how could I say this to him when his mind and soul were in unison to becoming a lyricist? Just to prop him, I gave a suggestion that he should first try to get his poems published in local magazines and news papers like ‘ Amar Ujala’, Dainik Bhaskar’ etc. which could impress the film producers and music directors at least to give him a chance to show case his talent.

As we were approaching the outskirts of Ghaziabad, the traffic on the road increased. So from this point onwards up to the airport he remained quite,concentrating on negotiating the city traffic. After reaching the airport, I took out my wallet to give him the tip. To my surprise, despite my insistence, he refused to take the tip by saying that he was obligated to us for sharing his thoughts and talking on the old Hindi film songs. Otherwise,in his circle of relatives and friends, there was no one with whom he could converse meaningfully on this subject. I wished him good luck in his endeavour to which he gave me a smile and drove his taxi towards the exit side leaving for me one more of my travel memoirs.

When I recently heard the song ‘ meraa sab kuchh mere geet re’ from the film ZINDAGI ZINDAGI (1972), I remembered Inder and recalled his dream of becoming a lyricist in the Hindi film industry. How apt this song was for him! This philosophical song written by Anand Bakshi is sung by Manna Dey in a sombre voice and set to music by S D Burman. The film was produced by Nariman Irani and directed by Tapan Sinha. The film had an impressive star cast- Ashok Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Waheeda Rahman, Shyama, Deb Mukherjee, Farida Jalal,Chand Usmani, Ramesh Deo, Jalal Agha, Anwar Hussain, Iftikhar. Mukri, Janakidas etc. I have not seen the film but if I remember correctly, the film was critically acclaimed but did not fare well at the box office. Let me confess that the songs of the film did not impress me in my younger days. But when I listened to songs a few days back, I liked the way they have been written, composed and sung especially the two songs by S D Burman himself and one each by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey.

A partial video clip of this song is available but I guess, this song may been intended to be picturised as such. So I have also given the link of audio clip containing the full song.

Probably the first two lines of the song may have been the motto of Anand Bakshi during his struggling days in Hindi film industry.

video(Partial song):

Audio(Full song) :

Song-Mera sab kuchh mere geet re (Zindagi Zindagi)(1972) Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Anand Bakshi, MD-S D Burman

Lyrics ( on the basis of audio clip)

hmm hmm hmm
oh oh oh
oh oh oh

meraa sab kuchh mere geet re
geet binaa kaun meraa meet re
meet sang chhodey to chhod de
main naa todoon preet ki reet re
meraa sab kuchh mere geet re
geet binaa kaun meraa meet re

jyot diye mein tim timaaye to kyaa
maut suron ko bhi aa jaaye to kyaa
jyot diye main tim timaaye to kyaa
maut suron ko bhi aa jaaye to kyaa
phir bhi amar hai sangeet re
geet binaa kaun meraa meet re
meraa sab kuchh mere geet re
geet binaa kaun meraa meet re

do din judaayi huyi mail huaa
jeewan huaa ke koyi khel huaa
do din judaayi huyi mail huaa
jeewan huaa ke koyi khel huaa
koyi haara koyi gayaa jeet re
geet binaa kaun meraa meet re
meraa sab kuchh mere geet re
geet binaa kaun meraa meet re

4 Responses to "Mera sab kuchh mere geet re"

Wow !!Sadanand ji

Inderji ki kahaani sunaathe aapne meri aankhein nam kar diyaa.

Really Hats off to you and Inder ji.

Superb,excellent post Sadanandji.Awaiting for more posts from you.
Thanks,Thanks

Haan,
Kal subah 6 baje aapko yaad kar raha tha, aapne jo aapki MAA ji ke baare mein likhaa thaa na, vaise hi meri Maa bhi Kitchen mein kuchch gungunaa rahi thi.Achaanak aapki aur aapki maa ke baare mein jo kuchch likhaa tha, woh sab mere aankhon ke saamne aane lagi.
So Kal Sunday ki khoobsoorat subah “aapke aur aapke Maa ji naam”

Regards
Prakash

Like

Kamath ji,
A very engrossing write up indeed.You have a knack of carrying the reader with the flow of the narration.Excellent.I really enjoyed Inder’s
life story.well done and keep it up.
-AD

Like

Like

Sadanand ji.. loved the write up. Wish Inder finds his calling of becoming a lyricist some time soon. And you are so right.. this song fits the bill for Inder so very well. Thanks for sharing your story.

Like

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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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