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

Suno suno ban ke praani

Posted on: June 29, 2012


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

During my childhood and younger days, I had heard some songs and in case of a few of them I remembered only the tunes. I had no idea whether they belonged to films or were non-film songs.

A few months back, I had stumbled upon one of such songs, ‘suno suno ban ke praani’ which turned out to be from the film ‘Amar Jyoti’ (1936) sung by Shanta Apte. Since then I was intending to write an article on Shanta Apte and discuss this song.

In my younger days, I had heard about Shanta Apte as a different kind of actor-singer and also heard some trivia related to her from my friends including her bold role in Marathi film ‘Kunku’ (1937) which was also made in Hindi as ‘Duniya Na Maane’(1937).

A couple of days back, I unearthed one more song, this time from this blog itself. The song was Ab pyaare pyaare aawenge aanand din from the film ‘Rajput Ramani (1936). This song which was also sung by Shanta Apte, hastened me to write an article on her without any further delay.

In the 60’s, Shammi Kapoor was often referred to as a ‘rebel star’ in some film magazines as he was known for his unconventional screen performance as compared to other lead actors of his time. After reading so much about Shanta Apte, I feel that the first claimant of the title of ‘rebel star’ ( or ‘rebel actor’ as at that time there was no star system) was Shanta Apte. She was always up to doing something different as compared to other actors of her time.

She thrived on accepting challenges. After her first film ‘Shyamsunder’ (1932),she w as told that she could not act at all, she took it as challenge and joined Prabhat Films as an actor-singer. She did a series of Hindi and Marathi films in the 30s and 40s, many of which became box office successes.

She accepted a role of an unconventional wife in the film ‘Duniya Na Maane’ (1937) and sang an English song with a good diction In the world’s broad field of battle . She worked in a Tamil film ‘Savitri’ (1941) as one of the lead actors for which she learnt Tamil language. Again, the diction of the Tamil songs sung by her was very good. One example is jayadeviye jagadambike karunaiyai arulvai devi. She also sang a few non-flimi Bangla songs based on Rabindra Sangeet. Example : danriye achho tumi amar.

Shanta Apte had some ‘firsts’ to her credit. She was perhaps the first actor who had acted with all the three icons among female playback singers of Indian film Industry – with M S Subbulaxmi in Tamil film ‘Savitri’ (1941), with Noor Jehan in ‘Duhai’ (1943) and with Lata Mangeshkar in ‘Subhadra’(1946). She was a pioneer in introducing spontaneity and gestures while singing songs on the screen which was a refreshing departure from the stage style singing that was in vogue those days.

She was probably the first actor to sit on hunger strike in front of the gate of Prabhat Studios with whom she was under contract to redress her disputes with the management. She left Prabhat Films in 1938 and became probably the first freelance lead actor of that time.

She was also the first actor to write her autobiography sometime in early 40s in Marathi titled ‘Jaau Mi Cinemaat? ( Shall I join Cinema?). I have heard that more than an autobiography, it was a sort of a guide to those who were intending to join the film industry. Unfortunately, I could not lay my hand on her autobiographical book either on the internet or in the book shops.

Lastly, in a lighter vain, it can be said that she was the first actor who went to the office of a well known editor of a film magazine of that time and beat him with a cane for writing some nasty thing about her. It is said that the editor after seeing her with a cane hid himself behind his chair J. Many years later, Dharmendra almost replicated the scene as if he got a clue from Shanta Apte, running after a well known female journalist to beat her for writing some nasty things about him in a film magazine.

Shanta Apte (1916-1964) was born in 1916 in Dudhni in Solapur district of Maharashtra. She was trained in Hindustani classical singing at Maharashtra Sangeet Vidyalaya, a music school in Pandharpur. She began her filmy career with the Marathi film ’Shyamsunder’ (1932) which was also made in Hindi. Later, she joined Prabhat Films and her first film under this banner was ‘Amritmanthan’ (1934). Her path breaking movie was ‘Duniya Na Maane’ (1937) directed by V Shantaram. Her active period as an actor-singer was 1936-50. She did about 30 films in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Bangla. She composed music for two Hindi films – ‘Kahan Gaye’ (1946, along with two other music directors ) and ‘Main Abhi Abla Nahin Hoon (1949). The 50s were lean period for her as an actor-singer. So she switched over to Marathi theatre doing the main role in some of the famous Marathi musical plays. She also participated in musical concerts. Her later part of the years were spent in desolation. She passed away on February 1964 at the age of 48.

The song ‘suno suno ban ke praani’ from the film ‘AMAR JYOTI (1936) was penned by Pandit Narottam Vyas and set to music by Master Krishnarao. The film was produced under the banner of Prabhat Films and directed by V Shantaram. The star cast included Durga Khote, Shanta Apte, Vasanti, B. Nandrekar, Narayan Kale, Chandramohan, Vasant Desai etc. The film was a costume drama with a woman-oriented theme.

The highlight of the film was the way sets were created to give a feel of the period under the Art Director, S Fatelal who was one of the owners of Prabhat Films. This song is probably picturised on a set depicting a jungle. The performance on this song by Shanta Apte gives me an impression that she did it impromptu with some improvisation. I was amused by three lines of the song :

pathhar tum mantri bananaa
raaj kaaj mein badhaa denaa
aap kiyaa karnaa naadaani

I guess these lines were pointer to a male chauvinist minister Durjaya (Chandramohan) in the film who ordered Saudamini (Durga Khote) to hand over the custody of their son to her separated husband. How apt these lines are in the present context– especially the third line.

Even though the film belong to 1936, a good video link of the song is available to see as to how lively the performance of Shanta Apte is during the picturisation.

Audio

Video

Song-Suno suno ban ke praani (Amar Jyoti)(1936) Singer-Shanta Apte, Lyrics-Narottam Vyas, MD-Mastar Krishnarao

Lyrics

suno suno
suno suno
suno suno ban ke praani
bani huun aaj tumhaari raani
bani huun aaj tumhaari raani
suno suno

ah ah ah ah ah
suno suno ban ke praani
tum ped khade kyaa karte
tum ped khade kyaa karte
kyon nahin yahaan peharaa dete
kyon nahin yahaan peharaa dete
ghusaa chor karaa naa haani
ghusaa chor karaa naa haani
suno suno ban ke praani
suno suno ban ke praani

kaar
hai kaar
hai kaar karo mat jaladi
bano sipaahi bedaradi
bano sipaahi bedardi
sab se roz karo shaitaani
sab se roz karo shaitaani
suno suno ban ke
praani
nahin patthar

patthar tum mantri bananaa
patthar tum mantri bananaa
raaj kaaj mein baadhaa denaa
raaj kaaj mein baadhaa denaa
aap kiyaa karnaa naadaani
aap kiyaa karnaa naadaani
aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
suno suno ban ke praani

tum kunj badi mastaani
tum kunj badi mastaani
ban jaanaa raani ki naani
ban jaanaa raani ki naani
sadaa shareer badhe laasaani
sadaa shareer badhe
suno suno ban ke praani
suno suno ban ke praani

25 Responses to "Suno suno ban ke praani"

I believe Dharmendra went after Devyani Chaubal after she compared Hema to “Baasi Idli” (stale Idli) in one of the film reviews (Some versions say Stale Upma!). He did not hit her, but smashed up glass windows and doors in her office.

Many years later, when he was doing junk movies and would charge Rs 1 Lakh per day regardless of what kinda role he had to perform, famous B-grade movie king, Kanti Shah, tricked him into performing a very dangerous action scene. Upon hearing this news, Sunny and Bobby beat up Kanti Shah and confiscated the movie prints.

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Kamath ji,
Thanks for your posting a Shanta Apte song.You have also written a very intersting article on her.
Few more bits to add to what you wrote-
In her first film SHYAMSUNDER,her own brother Baburao Apte did her husband’s role,as she did not want to be touched by any “other” man.
She was a good singer and she sang about 100 odd songs in about 20 films.In some films for example Gopalkrishna-38,she sang 7 songs.
She stopped singing in films in 1946,but again in 1957,she acted and sang a song in’Chandipooja’,under the baton of Ajit Merchant.
Her brother and she established a concern”Shanta Apte concern”.
In her last days,she was alcohol addict,but died of Cancer on 25-2-1964 in Bombay.
Though unmarried,she has one daughter Nayana Apte,who was active in Marathi films and stage Dramas.
-AD

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Thanks for some more bits about Shanta Apte.
I had read in one of the articles on the website that Shanta Apte married one of her own relatives whose surname was also Apte. After marriage, he insisted her to leave the films. She was not agreeable to his demand. So despite pregnant, she left him within few months of the marriage.

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Thanks for this info.Naina Apte never mentioned her father’s name.
-AD

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Naina Apte used to use sometimes “Apte-Joshi” in front of her name, which was rare and now missing..was it the surname of her father?or husband?

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Thank you for the information Sir, but I would like to make a correction – she did not stop singing in 1946. She continued with some Hindi and Marathi films. In Marathi, Bhagyarekha (1948) and Shilanganache Sone (1950) are some examples. In Hindi, she was a singing star in Mandir (1948), Swayamsiddha (1949 – you have seen the film – didn’t you notice her three songs? 🙂 ), Main Abla Nahin Hoon (1949), etc. She was a great pioneer, stalwart, a top star of 1930s and 1940s and an incomparable singer, singing most of her songs in very high pitches with great ease, even as early as 1930s (female high pitched singing gained popularity in 1940s I feel). One of my most favourite. She was perhaps one of the singing actresses with most variety – she did many films of Marathi (west), Hindi, Gujarati (north), Bengali (east), Tamil (south) and of course sang in all languages. That is indeed an outstanding achivement! She has also sung in English, Marwari, Telugu, etc. She has also sung songs in the three main kinds of classical music – Hindustani (of course, maximum), Carnatic (in the Tamil film) and English (the Duniya Na Mane song). What great talent that requires!

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Sury ji,
I only said she stopped singing in films,NOT acting in films.It is true that she WAS in Mandir and Swayamsidha,but there are NO songs by Shanta Apte in both these films.Atleast as per HFGK there are no Shanta Apte songs after 1946,till Chandipooja-1957.
Thanks for describing her wide range of singing.
-AD

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Geet Kosh mentions 3 songs by Shanta Apte for Swayamsiddha (1949), and lists her as a co-music director for Main Abla Nahi Hoon (1949), but no info of her regarding Mandir (1948).

It will be great if u can point out her songs from Mandir and Main Abla Nahi Hoon.

Regards.

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It is shocking.In my copy of HFGK there is no such mention of S.Apte songs under Swayamsiddha-1949.

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You are right Arunji. This is not from Geet Kosh. There are 3 songs by her in Swayam Siddha :

Dheere Dheere Mere Man
Sab Ki Nazar Bacha Ke Sada Raho Aankho Ke Aage
Shakti De Shakti De Shakti Daamini

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But you have mentioned Geet kosh.Is it some different one ?

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sorry for the confusion, Arunji. It is the same geet kosh. But i had written down this particular information on top of it in my copy. Since geetkosh offers these appendixes in the back with corrections, etc, and its very hard to go back and forth for the reference, i take the information/correction from the back and write it down in the front on relevant pages. So I assumed Shanta Apte information was also coming from back pages since it was my hand written note. But once i read ur comment, i went and double checked, and realized this particular information for Swayam Siddha came from other source and not from geet kosh corrections pages.

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Thank you, Kamathji, for this interesting post and insight into the life of Shanta Apte.

I’ve seen this movie – in fact this is one of the movies I subtitled for a non-Hindi speaking audience. I like this movie a lot. Durga Khote looks amazing in this film as the sword-wielding female pirate. I’ve always liked her a lot but it was only in this movie that I saw her in a relatively young role. She had tremendous screen presence. And of course Chandramohan – just fantastic!

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Kamathji and Arunji,
Shanta Apte caned Baburao Patel of Film India in his office and was being caned by another Baburao, her own brother .She had requested V.Shantaram for a relief from this torture.(This is mentioned by V.Shantram in his autobiography SHANTARAMA)

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There a Hindi film named ‘SWAYAM SIDDHAA’, I think Shanta Apte was in lead role,film was about young woman marraige to disable man,but she devoted him and fought for this man respect in family,was most prabably produced in Calcutta in 1949/50,if you can throw some light on it ?

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SWAYAM SIDDHA (1949) was a remake of a Bengali film by the same name produced by INA Pictures in 1947. It is a story of a landlord who has two sons – the elder one is a meek while the younger one is intelligent. So the younger one thinks of a plan to become the successor to the father’s vast property on the ground that his elder brother was a meek man. However, the meek man’s wife (Shanta Apte) sees her brother-in-law;s intention and fight for the right of her husband. At the same time she also successfully educate her husband. The Bengali version was a box office hit but It is said that no distributor was willing to buy the Hindi version. At last Tarachand Barjatya bought the film and released the Hindi version in Central and Excelsior theaters in Bombay (Mumbai).The opening for the film was very poor. So a press conference was arranged in which Shanta Apte participated in it. With a favourable report from the press, the collections picked up and the Hindi version also became a big hit.

BAHURANI (1963) was a remake of this film by Venus Pictures (Madras) in which Shanta Apte’s role was played by Mala Sinha. Her meek husband’s role was played by Guru Dutt. Feroz Khan played the brother-in-law’s role.

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The same story was repeated in 1981 Jyoti(director:Pramod chakravarthy)Elder brother`s role was enacted by Jeetendra, and the villain younger brother`s role was played by Vijayendra Ghatge.And Director`s favourite heroine Hema Malini played the role of Bahu, who reforms meek brother and villaineous brother.

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Some more info on SWAYAMSIDHA-1949.
produced by Indian National Art Pictures,Bombay,the Hindi version was produced by Moni Guha and Directed by Shyam Dass,a veteran Bengali director.The story was by Monilal banerji and dialogues were by Mohanlal Bajpayi.
The Music was by Prafulla Chakraborty for lyrics by Bhavani prashad Mishra.
The story was about a resolute young girl Chandi(shanta Apte) who has recieved excellent sanskars from her poor parents.She is married off to Govind,the elder son of Zamindar Harinarayan.
Govind is a meek person but he is dubbed as a congenital idiot by his step brother Nirmal and his mother.This is done intentionally to grab the entire estate.After marriage Chandi realises the situation and trains and teaches Govind to become an intelligent man-which he was ,but dormantally.In the end when Nirmal and his associate Dr.Gyan chand,together with the step mother of Govind plan to declare Chandi a terrorist and report it to the police.That time Chandi admonishes her father in law for having not paid any attention to Nirmal’s acts to destry Govind and finally she together with Govind turns tables on Nirmal and party.
Thus Chandi’s efforts are rewarded at the end.
-AD

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Many thanks to Sadnand Kamat and Arunkumar Deshmukh,giving good information about film and othe matters,these two gentlemen
are deeply knowledgeable persons about Hindi films industry,our
Hindi films literaturen and formation are limited in writings and on internet but with such blogs fans of Hindi films indebted to such
persons.
Thanks again to these two.

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Sadanand ji

Thanks for posting this wonderful song. A fortunate thing that the print of this film has survived in such a good condition. It appears that well established production houses have been more attentive and have take better care of their productions, which have helped some wonderful pictures to survive.

This song is one of the very first songs that appears in Nalin ji’s “Yaadon Ka Safar” program.

Rgds
Sudhir

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Great upload indeed. Thanks a lot

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isn’t the story repeated in the Madhuri-Anil Kapoor starrer “Beta”?

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audio

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video working link

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2nd audio

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