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

Jabse toone bansi bajaai re

Posted on: December 22, 2012


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

Following the passing away of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar recently on 11 Dec 2012, his phenomenally gifted first wife Annapurna Devi and his talented daughter Anoushka came under renewed focus. His eldest brother Padma Vibhushan Late Uday Shankar, an acclaimed dancer and choreographer of his day, was also very much in the mention.

But let us not forget another talented member of the Shankar Family – the 86-year old Lakshmi Shankar. She is a Hindustani classical vocalist of the Patiala Gharana, well-known for her performances of khyal, thumri, and bhajans. Lakshmi is wife of the second of the Shankar brothers, Rajendra (Raju) Shankar, who started her performing career with dancing. She trained in Uday Shankar’s dance style based on the Indian classics and became a part of his troupe in the 1930s. Later, after a bout of illness, she gave up dancing. But with her background of Carnatic music, she switched to music and trained under Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan, and later also with his brother-in-law Pandit Ravi Shankar. She toured America with Ravi Shankar and George Harrison in 1974. After Ravi Shankar suffered a heart attack in Chicago in November 1974, causing him to miss a portion of the tour, Lakshmi Shankar ably took over conducting the touring orchestra. She has also further shown her versatility by composing music for Bharatanatyam for Shakti School of Bharatanatyam, a leading dance institute in Los Angeles.

I was enchanted with Lakshmi Shankar’s singing when I heard her bhajan “Jab se toone bansi bajaai re” on the radio of an inter-city bus in 1973. I did not realize that it was a film song and what stuck to my memory was a later line form this number “Natkhat kanha o harjai re”. As a result, it took me very long to locate this exquisite number.

It is from the Vinod Khanna-Saira Banu-Vinod Mehra starrer Aarop (1973) directed by Atma Ram. Lakshmi Shankar has soulfully put over this bhajan, which is penned by Maya Govind and tuned by Bhupen Hazarika, on an apparently uncredited extra whom I request our knowledgeable readers to kindly identify. Bharat Bhushan is in the frame in the beginning and Saira Banu intermittently, apparently fantasizing about her own “Kanha”.

Lakshmi Shankar hardly sang for Bollywood. Apart from Aarop, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) shows her as playback singer for only three other movies: Pyar Ki Pyaas (1961), Devi (1970) and Baawarchi (1972) – Bhor aayi gayaa andhiyaaraa from the last named movie featuring her (together with Manna Dey, Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Nirmala Devi, and Kishore Kumar) is already on this Blog.


Song-Jabse toone bansi bajaai re (Aarop)(1973) Singer-Lakshmi Shankar, Lyrics-Maya Govind, MD-Bhupen Hazarika

Lyrics

jab se toone bansi bajaai re
bairan nindiya churaai
mere o kanhaai
jab se toone bansi bajaai re
bairan nindiya churai
mere o kanhai
natkhat kanha o harjaai re
kaahe pakdi kalaai
mere o kanhai

vrindawan ki kunj gali mein
vrindawan ki kunj gali mein
main jo badnaam hui
sakhiyaan mohe maar rahi taana
sakhiyaan mohe maar rahi taana
mohe na chhedo arrey duhaai
o kanhai
natkhat kanha o harjaai re
kaahe pakdi kalaai
mere o kanhai

preet ki tu to reet na jaane
preet ki tu to reet na jaane
mujhko madhuban bulaaye
tere rang mein kyun rang jaaun
tere rang mein kyun rang jaaun
ghar-ghar mein hogi arey hansaai
o kanhai
natkhat kanha o harjaai re
kaahe pakdi kalaai
mere o kanhai
jab se toone bansi bajaai re
bairan nindiya churaai
mere o kanhai

17 Responses to "Jabse toone bansi bajaai re"

Is she Lily Chakravarthy, who starred in (Gulzar`s)Achanak as vinod khanna`s wife(who cheats on her husband) and in Aalaap as amitabh bachchan`s bhabhi, as Asrani`s wife in Chupke chupke, as Sri ram lagoo`s wife in Vinod khanna, vidya sinha starrer Inkaar

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The lady lip syncing for this song is Lily Chakraborthy/ chakravarthy. She appeared in the movie as a guest artiste. I think she is a big name in Bengali movie Industry. I don`t know more about her, but she appeared in many Bengali main steam movies.

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Thanks, Prakashji, for identifying the lady lip-syncing this number.

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Shekhar ji,

Thanks for this write up on Laxmi Shankar, and thanks for the reminder. I too was introduced to her voice in somewhat a similar fashion. Many many years ago, I chanced to hear at a music shop, a bhajan that instantly stole my heart away. The bhajan – “E Hi Muraare, Kunj Bihaare, E Hi Pranat Jan Bandho”. The cassette was sold, and the shop did not have another copy. It was many months before I could once again locate another one. Just the way in which she renders the first line of this bhajan, takes one away to a very different place.

On this blog, we have two more songs by Laxmi Shankar. Her film songs are very infrequent. There is one lori she sang for the film ‘Dharti Ke Laal’ (1946) (https://atulsongaday.me/2012/12/14/so-na-o-nanhi-so-na/). Another film she sang for is ‘Mastaana’ (1954) – a duet with Rafi at (https://atulsongaday.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/jhoom-jhoom-ke-do-deewaane-gaate-jaayen-gali-gali/). The later films you have already listed. Not sure if there could be more, will need to search.

Once again, thanks for the jostling our memories.

Rgds
Sudhir

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Sudhirji, Many thanks for all this interesting additional information on Lakshmi Shankar; very much appreciated. Best regards, Shekhar

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very very r-a-r-e bhajan ( film song ) like . good combinaton . Bhupen ji and Laxmi shankar ji .

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Gupta ji,
A very good post indeed.Thanks.
Laxmi Shankar sang in about 20 films.Some of them are-
Aandhiyan-52 her first Film song
Mastana-54
Pyar ki pyas-61
Idd ka chaand-64
Do boond paani-71
Bawarchi-72
teen Bhai-55
Sultana Daku-56
Taksaal-56
Yahudi ki beti-56
Muhabbat ki jeet-60
sapna-69
Devi-70
Haveli-70
Johar Mehmoodn in Hong kong-71
Aarop-74 etc etc.

-AD

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Arunji, Many thanks for all this interesting on the Bollywood movies featuring Lakshmi Shankar’s numbers; very much appreciated. Best regards, Shekhar

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Arun ji,

Thanks for the detailed list. One correction I would like to suggest. As noted in my earlier comment above, her first film song is a lori in the film ‘Dharti Ke Laal’ (1946), under the music direction of Pt. Ravi Shankar, her brother-in-law.

Rgds
Sudhir

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Neecha Nagar.

Rgds.

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Atulji, Request correct her name as “Lakshmi Shankar” in the tags of all her songs on this Blog including in the Baawarchi number which carries the tag as “Laxmishankar”. Thanks & rgads, Shekhar.

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This was one of my favourite bhajan

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The great thing about her serene voice is that he shorn of her South Indian accent

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Please read the above as: The great thing about her serene voice is that she has shorn off her South Indian accent

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A beautiful bhajan

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A beautiful bhajan , and very beautiful post ! i got to know only recently through our blog that Bhupen da had given Music in the film Aarop, though i was aware of the song ‘nainon mein darpan hai….’. and thanks to all for the information shared.

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Beautiful Bhajan…. thanks a lot!

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