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

Chal chameli baag mein kauwwe udaayenge

Posted on: January 24, 2013


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

While surfing on the internet last night, I came across a reference to the book ‘The Tenth Rasa : An Anthology of Indian Nonsense’ (2007). The title of the book evoked interest in me but there was no way to know in what context the word ‘nonsense’ was used. I could not locate an E-version or abridged version of this book on the internet but found a review of this book. The book is all about Indian nonsensel literature – prose, poetry, jingles which has a rich history in oral and folk forms. Most of them have been passed on to the next generation by words of mouth. It is a nonsense literature from the point of view of laureates belonging to the elite society for whom the literature has to be meaningful. In that way, the term ‘nonsense’ seems to have been used for meaningless literature. According to the authors of this book, nonsense literature is the base for sensible literature as the former is intuitive and flows quite naturally like the relationship between mother and child.

My first reaction after reading the review was that most of the ‘Bal Kavita’ (Jingles) we had heard and rendered in our childhood fell under the category of nonsense verses. In addition, we had some other interesting exposure to so called nonsense verses. And there are many instances of nonsense lyrics in our Hindi film songs. Let me clarify here that I have used these terms ‘nonsense verses’ and ‘nonsense lyrics/songs’ in this article to convey the meaninglessness and they have no derogatory intent.

In our school days, I used to join my schoolmates in singing some nonsense verses, a couple of which I now partly remember. Since I had studied in Hindi medium, these verses were in Hindi and probably originated from North India. For easy remembrance of multiplication table, we used to sing in chorus the first line of the verse in terms of numbers like ‘do ekam do’ ‘do duni chaar’ etc. But as we went out on recess, the verse would turn out to be nonsense like one given below :

Nau navaan ikkyaasi [ nine into nine 81]
Bandar teri maasi [ your aunt is a monkey]

The more famous nonsense verses in our school which readers of this blog with Hindi background may be familiar with, were :
Akkar dukkar bhumbai bhau [seems to be superfluous words having no meaning]
Assee nabbe pure sau [80, 90 and full 100]
Sau mein lagaa dhaagaa [stitched 100 by a thread]
Chor nikal kar bhaagaa [ thief escaped and ran away]

And then I had heard this one umpteen times during my childhood in early 50s from my playmates:

Jiyaa beqarar hai
Nargis beemaar hai
Doctor Dilip Kumar hai
Injection taiyaar hai

Now I realise that there was a subtle hint in this nonsense verse. Nargis was the heroine in ‘Andaz’ (1949) in which both Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar acted. The first line in this verse is from Raj Kapoor’s ‘Barsaat’(1949). So the verse appears to me more like Raj Kapoor versus Dilip Kumar in relation to Nargis, their leading lady in the films.

I remember that about four decades back, my mother used to sing some verses in Konkani while taking my infant son for a bath. I do not remember those verses fully now but a rough English translation of a few of the verses is as under :

Bring the kid for bath
Bring the pears soap for rubbing
Bring the washed towel for wiping

After the end of the bath, she would sing other verses:

Mother will bring you milk
Father will bring you cloth
Aunt will bring you jewellery
Uncle will take you out

Of course, the simple literal English translation will not give a feel of a rhythmic singing in Konkani language and its impact on the listeners. Now, it appears to me that these verses also fall in the category of nonsense verse though they made sense as my infant son’s ‘protest’ by way of a loud cry against taking bath would invariably stop as his mind gets diverted to the song.

When there is nonsense literature, one cannot expect Hindi films to be insulated from nonsense songs. The new generation of Hindi films have more nonsense songs than the sensible ones. But nonsense songs have been used in old Hindi films as well though they may be comparatively few and far in between. I have chosen for discussion one of the songs of this category from an old Hindi film BULBUL (1951) which I was not aware of until now. The song is ‘chal chal chameli baag mein’ sung by K S Ragi and Zebunnisa. The song is written by Nafeez Lucknawi and set to music jointly by K S Ragi-Vinod Kumar. The film was produced under the banner of Hindustan Productions and directed by A Rashid. I could not get more details of the star cast except that the film had Majnu and Rukhsana as per one of the websites.

‘Chal chal chameli baag mein’ seems to be one of well known nonsense verses as the first line of the mukhda from this song has been used at least in two other songs – chal chal chameli baag mein in ‘Dada’ (1949) and again chal chameli baag mein in ‘Krodhi’ (1981). There are variations in lyrics of all these three songs but the underlying connotation is more or less the same. In fact, these songs are more like jingles for children. I like all the three songs for their ‘delightful nonsense’ lyrics much more than the songs in same category like ‘ munni badnaam huyi’, ‘sheela ki jawaani’ and ‘chikni chameli’ from the current breed of Hindi films.


Song-Chal chameli baag mein kauwwe udaayenge (Bulbul)(1951) Singers-K S Ragi, Zebunnisa, Lyrics-Nafeez Lucknowi, MD-K S Ragi-Vinod Kumar
Ragi+Zebunnisa

Lyrics

haan
chal
chal chal chameli
chal
chal chal chameli baag mein
kauwe udaayenge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge

bulbul jo bhookhaa hogaa to
bulbul jo bhookha hogaa to
bulbul jo bhookhaa hogaa to
daanaa khilaayenge
daanaa khilaayenge
daanaa khilaake thodaa saa
paani pilaayenge
daanaa khilaake thodaa saa
paani pilaayenge
haan
chal
chal chal chameli baag mein
chal
chal chal chameli baag mein
kauwe udaayenge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge

bulbul ko ham naa daanaa
zameen par khilaayenge
zameen par khilaayenge
bulbul ko ham naa daanaa
zameen par khilaayenge
zameen par khilaayenge
bazaar tumko bhejke
chaadar mangaayenge
bazaar tumko bhejke
chaadar mangaayenge

haan
chal
chal chal chameli
chal
chal chal chameli baag mein
kauwe udaayenge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge

chaadar ke mol lene ko
chaadar ke mole lene ko
bazaar jaayenge
bazaar jaayenge
chaadar bichaake bulbulen
apni ladaayenge
chaadar bichaake bulbulen
apni ladaayenge
haan
chal

chal chal chameli
chal
chal chal chameli baag mein
kauwe udaaynge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge
kauwe ki kanni kat gayi
bulbul ladaayenge

————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
————————————————
हाँ
चल
चल चल चमेली
चल
चल चल चमेली बाग में
कौवे उड़ाएंगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे

बुलबुल जो भूखा होगा तो
बुलबुल जो भूखा होगा तो
बुलबुल जो भूखा होगा तो
दाना खिलाएँगे
दाना खिलाएँगे
दाना खिलाके थोड़ा सा
पानी पिलाएंगे
दाना खिलाके थोड़ा सा
पानी पिलाएंगे
हाँ
चल
चल चल चमेली बाग में
चल
चल चल चमेली बाग में
कौवे उड़ाएंगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे

बुलबुल को हम ना दाना
ज़मीन पर खिलाएँगे
ज़मीन पर खिलाएँगे
बुलबुल को हम ना दाना
ज़मीन पर खिलाएँगे
ज़मीन पर खिलाएँगे
बाज़ार तुमको भेज कर
चादर मंगाएंगे

हाँ
चल
चल चल चमेली
चल
चल चल चमेली बाग में
कौवे उड़ाएंगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे

चादर के मोल लेने को
चादर के मोल लेने को
बाज़ार जाएँगे
बाज़ार जाएँगे
चादर बिछाके बुलबुलें
अपनी लड़ाएँगे
चादर बिछाके बुलबुलें
अपनी लड़ाएँगे
हाँ
चल

चल चल चमेली
चल
चल चल चमेली बाग में
कौवे उड़ाएंगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे
कौवे की कन्नी कट गयी
बुलबुल लड़ाएँगे

2 Responses to "Chal chameli baag mein kauwwe udaayenge"

Other songs of Bulbul: khatm kar di zindagani; preet bhare geet gaye(Suman Purohit); husn aamada to ho bijli(K S Raagi); hans le mauz uda le(Rajkumari, Suman Purohit)

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Sadanand ji

Thanks for this most entertaining post. I am reminded of my own school days when we used to create such nonsense jingles ourselves, and had so much fun singing them. Once, our group of friends got real “linguistic” 😀 and decided to come up with jingles using words both from Hindi and English having the same meaning. Today, I have expressed this in a sensible language with lot of adult experience of the language. You can imagine what nonsense, even that discussion on rules would have been. 😀 Probably clairfy it with an example.
pigeon कबूतर उड़न fly
look देखो असमान sky
Another nonsense example of this rule I can recall is
water पानी लाओ bring
for लिए राजा king

Gosh, what fun we had at that time. And yes, there are a lot of traditional jingles in Hindi and Punjabi that was part of our kiddish banter.

And you have started a new thought – songs from films which have such kiddish and nonsense lyrics. I immediately recall the song ‘Ital Ke Ghal Mein Teetal’ from the film Bahurani (1963) (https://atulsongaday.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/ital-ke-ghal-mein-teetal/). Another one is the more recently posted ‘Master ji Ki Aa Gayee Chitthi’ from the film ‘Kitaab’ (1977) (https://atulsongaday.me/2012/09/05/master-jee-ki-aa-gayi-chithhi/).

There are many more such songs with such fun lyrics. And these songs need not necessarily be children songs. May I suggest Atul ji to consider creating a new category of ‘songs with nonsense-fun lyrics’.

Good memory lane review, thanks Sadanand ji. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

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