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

Roti roti roti

Posted on: October 15, 2012


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

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Lesser known singers- Singer 10 (Ashraf Khan)
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This is the 10th and the last of the series on “Less known singers series”.

So far we have seen the life sketches of –

1. Ashima Bannerjee

2. Pinakin Shah

3. Desai sisters-Vinodini Desai Dikshit and Promodini Desai Patkar

4. Ira Nigam

5. Bela Mukherjee

6. Binota Chakraborty

7. Moti Sagar

8. Vatsala kumthekar and

9. Utpala Sen.

In these last few days I was kept extremely busy collecting information and confirming it from other sources, reading articles, books, visiting several internet sites, searching songs in HFGK and above all finding a new theme everday to write in the article. Additionally, there was the tension of finding an YT song of the singer.

Luckily Atul ji, had been kind enough to help me by writing the lyrics after hearing the song himself.

I sincerely thank Atul ji to have given me this opportunity to present a series on his Blog on less known singers. I also thank the readers and those people who commented on them.

Overall it was a wonderful experience altogether.

Today, on the concluding day, we are going to take a look at the life of an extraordinary singer who created a record, whose name became known all over the world and who was a wonder in the Music World.

Did you ever think, what must be happenening to the people who leave the film industry halfway and go away ?

One day this question came to my mind and I started thinking. The simple answer was that if it was a woman, she would look after her family and be a housewife, and if it was a man, either he would spend life as a retired person or die in penury. I decided to find out if there was any other way people did spend their balance life.

I found atleast 4 cases where people who left this industry midway did something unusual.

The first case is of an actor called SHASHI KAPOOR. No-No, he is not that Shashi Kapoor,who was famous actor of the 60s and 70s, who acted in films like Deewar, Dharmaputra, Trishul and many films with Nanda and Sharmila and who was the younger brother of Raj kapoor and Shammi Kapoor.

This actor’s name was Shashi F. Kapoor. He acted in the 40s and 50s mainly as a child actor. He acted in 21 films in all. His last film was Bhagwat Mahima-1955. He left films, though in demand and persued studies. He did B.Sc, M.Sc, LL.B. and taught in Wilson and Kirti colleges, did work in S.B.I. Then he went to USA for further studies, did his Ph.D. from Michigan University. He worked as faculty member of Michigan University from 1967 to 1998. Then he retired and remained in USA. Recently, he gave interviews on Cineplot and Maiti Manthan sites.

The second case is of a Music Director-Mukund Rai Trivedi, who was one of the RAI-FRANK jodi of composers. They together gave music to film GOGOLA-1964. Mukund Rai soon realised that his choice of career was wrong and he left. He joined his family business of Mining in Balaghat-MP and became a very rich and powerful person.

The third case is of ARJUN BAKSHI who was Hero of Malhar-51. He acted in some more films, then wrote screenplays and then left films. He shifted to Canada and opened a Music Shop.

The fourth case is curiouser and curiouser !

ASHRAF KHAN was an actor and singer in many films in the 40s. He left films ……..and became……..believe it or not…..a SUFI SAINT !

Mr.Kamalakar Pasupuleti, an expert on films and Music History, has written a wonderful article on Ashraf Khan. With his kind permission obtained, I reproduce here that article.

Mr.Kamalakar ji is originally from Hyderabad state(like me.). He has been an old active member of RMIM. These days he is settled in USA, but is in touch with Shri Surjit Singh ji, Vijay Kapoor ji(who worked with me in Glaxo, in the early 70s) and many others in India. His blog kamalakarp.blogspot.com is very informative about film related activities of Hyderabad State.

Ashraf Khan shot to limelight with film Baghban – 1938 . He played the role of a mendicant and rendered three lovely songs composed by Music Director Mushtaq Husain . Ro ro nain gavanvun ,sajanva aan milo was the most popular song among the three songs he rendered. The movie was a great hit and all the nine songs in the movie were popular. The movie was directed by AR Kardar. The lyrics were penned by the comedian Mirza Musharraf. He was paid Rs 90 / – for the nine songs he wrote for the movie. It is important to know how he progressed in his life and attained the spiritual powers with which he helped millions of people across the globe .

Ashraf Khan was born in Indore in 1901. He lost his father at a young age of seven. The burden of taking care of his widowed mother and a young sister fell on his shoulder . Indore was a famous city for wrestling and the wrestling competitions were held for all ages including children. He took up wrestling as a profession for some tim . He later became a Shepard boy and guarded the sheep .

He had a good voice and used to sing while taking the sheep in and out of the city. One evening while returning home from the outskirts he started singing loudly. A Gujarati’s drama company was stationed in a near by bungalow. The owner of the drama company heard his song and he was called inside. The owner asked the boy if he is willing to work for the drama company. The boy replied Yes. There upon the owner asked him if he can play the role of a girl. The boy daringly replied No, will play the role of a boy . The owner was impressed and he got into the Gujarati drama company.

He started playing small roles and as he grew up was given the role of a hero .
His salary increased gradually and by the time he was playing hero roles he was paid Rs 600 / per month. He used to give away his entire earnings to his mother. His mother used to give him four annas a day as his allowance as he had the habit of eating Paan( betal leaf ), but Ashraf Khan used to return back the four annas to his mother in the evening.

Ashraf Khan’s mother tongue was Urdu and Pushtu but he learnt to speak Gujarati with ease and he rendered his dialogues fluently. He gave record breaking performances in Malopati Manjh ( Prithvi Vallabh ). He played the role of a hero Prithvi Vallabh in three thousand shows. Prithvi Raj Chauhan was another stage performance in which he played the hero role of Prithviraj Chauhanbin two thousand shows. Ashraf Khan’s heroine on the Gujarati stage was Sandhya wife of V Shantaram. Ashraf Khan was associated with the Gujarati stage even after joining the films .

With the advent of talkie he moved over to Bombay in 1932. With his experience in stage he was hired for three movies Bhartruhari, Gul-e-Bakavali and Veer Kunal. He played the role of a hero initially and later in life played character roles. He acted in more then a dozen movies. Mehboob Khan portrayed him as a mad professor in his famous film Roti – 1942. It was during the filming of Roti that he came in contact with Peer-o-Murshid ( Spiritual Guide) Ghulam Sarvar. Ghulam Sarvar belonged to Lahore and was employed in railways as a guard. He had many followers in Bombay. Ashraf Khan’s devotion towards his spiritual guide was so great that when ever he visited Bombay he used to carry his luggage on his head and escort him home .

Large crowds used to gather to meet Peer-o-Murshid Ghulam Sarvar in the 1940’s and among the film personalities the notable were A R Kardar, Mehboob Khan, Yaqub, Prithviraj Kapoor , Trilok Kapoor, Sardar Akhtar, Akhtari Faizabadi, Jaddan Bai etc etc to name a few. Akhtari Faizabadi and Jaddan Bai used to sing devotional songs during the assembly .

Taking care of the visitors foot ware was the first duty assigned to him by his Peer and Ashraf Khan never thought it was a menial job He knew that the peer is shedding his ego by assigning such tasks. Peer-o-Murshid Ghulam Sarvar was so pleased with his devotion that he handed over his Gaddi ( seat ) to Ashraf Khan. Ashraf Khan became a Peer .

His association with the Gujarati stage lasted till his end. In 1962 after his last stage show at Dharoji in Gujarat he returned to the Durgah where he was stationed with his family . It was the ninth day of the Gyarhvi Sharief ( the eleventh month of Islamic calender ). He lied down on his bed and spoke few words to his wife and fell unconscious, but his lips started moving as if he is narrating verses from Ayat Sherief. This situation continued the whole of that night and the next day. His wife , family members and devotees remained at his bed side reading verses from Ayat Sherief He opened his eyes in the evening. His devotees asked him how he was and he replied that where ever he is, he is doing well .

He was brought to the hospital at Rajkot in this condition. Ashraf Khan passed away at eleven PM on the eleventh day of the Gyarhvi Sherief, the eleventh month of Islamic calender. His mortal remains were brought for funeral to the residence of Dr Malik who was a friend and a devotee. His devotees were chanting holy verses from Ayat Sherief and Darood Sherief . Around 4 O’ clock in the morning he opened his eyes once again, looked all around him with a smile and closed his eyes. This was a surprising moment for all those who were present around him. A dead man opening his eyes and smiling was some thing strange. The crowd shouted Hazrat is alive, Hazrat is alive, call the doctor. There are several people alive today who witnessed this strange incidence. Dr Malik examined him and pronouned him dead. He was buried at Gunj Shahda which is located on the Ahmedabad – Delhi highway . The Urs is celeberated every year and lakhs of devotees all across the globe visit his Mazaar ( Tomb )

Among the film personalities who used to attend the Urs were Mehboob Khan, Sardar Akhtar, Zaibunissa, Mehtab, Begum Akhtar, Prithviraj Kapoor and Trilok Kapoor etc .

There are hundreds of families in Hyderabad whose vows were fulfilled by the spiritual powers of Hazrat Ashraf Khan. Each family has a different story to narrate. Many sickly people got cured, many got rid of financial troubles, rivals became friends, many women became mothers after best efforts by doctors failed .

Amirbai Karnataki rendered a couple of devotional songs in his praise. Some disc collectors of Hyderabad had them in their collection .

Filmography of Ashraf Khan .

Aaiye 1949, Phool 1945, Roti 1942, Baghban 1938, Ajamil 1934, Roop Basant 1933, Malati Madhav 1933, Husn Ka Gulam 1933, Veer Kunal 1932, Gul-e-Bakavali 1932, Bhartruhari 1932

List of songs renderd by Ashraf Khan in movies .

Baagbaan 1938 Basaa Le Apane Man Men Men Preet – AsharafKhan
Baagbaan 1938 Prem Jhoothaa Prem Jag Jhoothaa – Asharaf Khan
Baagbaan 1938 Ro Ro Nain Ganvaaoon Sajanawaa Aan Milo -Asharaf Khan
Baaghi 1939 Holee Khelat Tumase Main Haaree – Amir Jan &Asharaf Khan
Baaghi 1939 Mrig Jal Ko Saagar Jaan Gote Maarataa – AsharafKhan
Baaghi 1939 O Charkhe-jafaa Parvar Jee Bhar Ke Sata – AsharafKhan
Aazaadi-E-Vatan 1940 Kuchh Socho To Duniyaawaalo – AsharafKhan
Aazaadi-E-Vatan 1940 Yah Duniyaa Hai Ek Khawaab – AsharafKhan
Roti 1942 Ab Peenaa Hai Haan Peenaa Hai – Asharaf Khan & AnilBiswas
Roti 1942 Gareebon Par Dayaa Karake – Asharaf Khan
Roti 1942 Raham Naa Khaana-2 Hai Makkaar zamaanaa – AsharafKhan
Roti 1942 – Kyoon Ratataa Rotee Rotee – Asharaf Khan
Pagli Duniya 1944 Kyon Lalachaataa Us Duniyaa Par – AsharafKhan
Naiya 1947 .. Raam Naam Kyaa Japnaa – Asharaf Khan
Naiya 1947 – Siyaaraam, Tan Kaa Pinjaraa Soonaa – Asharaf Khan

Here is a song from “Roti” (1942). This song is sung by Ashraf Khan. Safdar Aah Sitapuri is the lyricist. Music is composed by Anil Biswas. The song is picturised on Ashraf Khan himself.


Song-Roti roti roti (Roti)(1942) Singer-Ashraf Khan, Lyrics-Safdar Aah Sitapuri, MD-Anil Biswas
Unindentified child’s voice
Chorus

Lyrics

hahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahaha
Roti
Roti
hahahaha

Maa
roti

roti
roti
roti

kyun ratata roti roti
kyun ratata roti roti
bhookh lagi hai
bhookh lagi hai

bhookh lagi hai

aag kha,
angaare kha
bhookhe gagan ke taare kha
aag kha,
angaare kha
bhookhe gagan ke taare kha

hahahaaha
himmat teri chhoti
himmat teri chhoti
himmat teri chhoti
himmat teri chhoti

roti
roti
roti

mar jaayegaa
mar jaayegaa
mar jaa mar jaa
mar jaa mar jaa
bojh zameen ka halka kar jaa
mar jaa mar jaa
mar jaa mar jaa
mar jaa

hahahahahahaha
hahahahahahaha
jeewan poonji khoti ee
jeewan poonji khoti ee
jeewan poonji khoti ee
jeewan poonji khoti

roti
roti
roti

10 Responses to "Roti roti roti"

Such a wealth of information. Arunkumarji Thank you so much.

Like

Great ground work done. Now perhaps on to singers and MDs.
Pursuant of/to your policy I am also ferreting out more songs of the 10 singers. 2 have have already been sent to Atulji like Pinakin’s bhajan which was logged recently and Utpala Sen which was sent earlier. Thanks

Like

The wordings after
“Bhook lagi hai’ should be

Aag kha, Angaare kha
Bhuke gagan ke tare kha

I had seen this film in ’42, when I was 9 yr old.
I remember these words, because we three four kids of the large joint family used to march to kitchen with this song, much to the irritation of my mother and grand mother.

Like

Thanks for the corrections in lyrics.

Like

Arunji, Atulji
Thanks toh bahut chhoti pad jaayegi, aapke iss project ke liye

God Bless you both
phir bhi
Thank you very very very much for this much of ANMOL information.

Regards & lot`s of love
Prakash

Like

Very inspirational life story of Ashraf Khan. Just like we hear, the body is just a carrier of divine soul which is carrying all it’s tendencies from one birth to another and getting closer and closer to the ultimate goal – reaching the Supreme Power which we call Allah/God/Jesus…….
Thanks Arunji for the “lesser known singers series”. It was very informative for me. Looking forward for the new series.

Like

Absolutely brilliant. This post is SO informative. Roti (1942) is one of my favourite movies – it has excellent performances by one and all (including Chandramohan, Sitara Devi and Sheikh Mukhtar). Besides, this is a movie I subtitled, so it is very close to my heart.

I was always a bit curious to know about Ashraf Khan – he has a strange sort of role in the movie (and yet a very important one). His cynical / machiavellian role stands out. He has a few songs too – I do like them.

It is therefore wonderful to get to know so much more about him now. Am very surprised that his career changed so dramatically and that he became a Peer. Very interesting!

Thank you so much for this, Arunji.

Like

Really a great tribute to the right sufi saint like actor! What a great contribution he has given to stag and cinema!
Hearty congrats and best wishes to write such a great article…

Like

This article is really very very impressive, informative and labour of love.

Like

Thanks.

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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