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

O varsha ke pehle baadal

Posted on: March 21, 2013


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

In the 30s and 40s, legendary singers like K C Dey, K L Saigal and Pankaj Mullick with their Hindi film and non-film songs mesmerized not only the people of Bengal but the whole of India. In fact,it was the K L Saigal-Pankaj Mullick duo who ruled the music scene in Calcutta (Kolkatta) in the 1940s. It was during this time that a new singer emerged in Calcutta who, with his solo song ‘o varsha ke pehle baadal meraa sandesaa le jaana’ in the film MEGHDOOT (1945) impressed the listeners very much. This song became the most popular song of the film. The singer was none other than Jagmohan Sursagar, born as Jaganmoy Mitra. The popularity of this song resulted in a collaboration of Jagmohan-Faiyyaz Hashmi-Kamal Das Gupta trio in bringing out some of the finest non-film Hindi songs which became even more popular than their filmy songs.

Surprisingly, Wikipedia does not list the biography or profile of Jagmohan Sagar (6/09/1918 – 04/09/2003) while Cineplot has a small write up on him. I, however, found an interesting article on Jagmohan Sursagar on the internet, written by Tushar Bhatt, a journalist who interviewed him sometime in 1994 in Ahemdabad where the singer lived in the 90s. The article is here. There are a couple of errors in this article. It is said in the article that Jagmohan did not sing any film song after he came to Mumbai in 1950. The fact is that he did sing a song kya maze ki baat hai ye baat bhi in Hindi film ‘Sardar’ (1955) for which he was also the music director. Secondly, the article gives an impression that he died in Ahmedabad. But a newspaper report (The Tribute, Chandigarh – 08/10/2003 issue) said that he died in his Juhu residence in Mumbai on September 4, 2003 and his death was reported in the local newspapers about two weeks after his death.

Jagmohan Sursagar received his initial training in khayal, dhrupad, tappa and ghazal singing from Dilip Kumar Roy, Bhishmadeb Chatterjee, Ustad Zamiruddin etc. He cut his first record disc in 1939 of a Bengali song ‘shaono rate jadi’ specially written by Kazi Nazrul Islam for the young Jagmohan as a reward for his impressive voice. This song became very popular and he sang some more songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam in his unique style for which he was conferred the title of ‘Sursagar’ in 1945, the second and last person to be honoured with this title after Pankaj Mullick. As has been said earlier, after the success of his song from ‘Meghdoot’ (1945), he recorded many non-filmy Hindi songs which were mostly written by Faiyyaz Hashmi and composed by Kamal Das Gupta. Two of trio’s non-filmy songs dil ko hai tumse pyaar kyun and us raag ko paayal main jo soya hai jagaa do have already been discussed in this blog. It is said that Mahatma Gandhi used to affectionately call him Jagmohan, the name which he adopted as a singer adding the title Sursagar after 1945.

In 1950, Jagmohan came to Bombay (Mumbai) trying to pursue playback singing career in Hindi films. But the type of songs and music churned out in Hindi films did not enthuse him to become a playback singer. The first and the last Hindi film in which he was the music director was ‘Sardar’ (1955) after which he bid adieu to film industry and spent the rest of his life keeping a low profile. Though he did not record any songs after 1958 but occasionally gave vocal performances in public concerts both in India and abroad. Jagmohan died of a brain hemorrhage in his Juhu resident on September 4, 2003 at the age of 85.

The song ‘o varsha ke pehle baadal’ from the film MEGHDOOT (1945) was written by Faiyyaz Hashmi and set to music by Kamal Das Gupta. The film was directed by Debaki Bose and the star cast included Shahu Modak, Leela Desai, Kusum Deshpande, Wasti, Hari Shivdasani, Agha etc. From the title of the film as well as from the lyrics of the song, it is apparent that the film was based on Kavi Kalidas’s Sanskrit poem ‘Meghdootam’. The story of Meghdootam goes like this:-

One day Lord Kubera, the God of Wealth got annoyed with Yaksha (divine attendant to Lord Kubera) for delinquency in his duties and as a punishment, he was exiled for one year in the forest on the earth, the region which is now in Madhya Pradesh. Dejected and alone in the forest, he remembered his wife who was in Alkanagari near Mount Kailash. The day when the first rain arrived, Yaksha saw a passing rain cloud and requested him to carry a message to his wife.

This, I believe,in nutshell, is a prelude to the song.

Faiyyaz Hashmi’s lyrics are a shorter version of the original Sanskrit verses written by Kavi Kalidas. It is a song of separation. The emotions portrayed in the lyrics are heart touching. Note the description by Yaksha of the attractions enroute Alkanagari which could also turn into distractions. This is a pointer to the cloud messenger that the journey is rewarding for his labour of carrying the message yet caution need to be exercised. The idea is that while cloud messenger should enjoy his journey but while doing so he should not get delayed in delivering the message of Yaksha to his wife. Jagmohan Sursagar has rendered this song alternating with slow and fast tempos – the former for the poignant verses and latter for verses describing the route to reach Alkanagari and distractions enroute.

It is a beautiful poem and a divine song with a marvelous composition. What a poet’s imagination! Take for instance:

dekh andhera piyaa milan ko chalegi chhup kar koi gori
bas tum bijali chamaakar kol na denaa uski chori

[In the darkness of a night if a girl is walking to meet her lover secretly, never expose her surreptitious movement by striking a lightening]
Only the audio clip of the song is available but I guess the song is pictuirsed on Shahu Modak.

By the way, in ‘Kavi Kalidas’ (1959), the cloud message song more or less with the same theme was composed by S N Tripathi in raagmalas. The song o ashaad ke pahale baadal was sung by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar and it was nearly 11 minutes long.


Song-O varsha ke pehle baadal (Meghdoot)(1945) singer-Jagmohan Sursagar, Lyrics-Faiyyaz Hashmi, MD-Kamal Dasgupta

Lyrics

o varsha ke pehle baadal
meraa sandesaa le jaanaa
o varsha ke pehle baadal
meraa sandesaa le jaanaa
ansuwan ki boondan barsaakar
ansuwan ki boondan barsaakar
Alkanagari mein tum jaakar
khabar meri pahunchaanaa aa aa
o varsha ke pehle baadal
meraa sandesaa le jaanaa

Maalbhoomi aur Amarkoot se
Vindhyaachal Narmada ko jaana
Vidishanagari aur Betwa tak
hokar aage paanv badhaanaa
aag virah ki jahaan bhi paanaa
aag virah ki jahaan bhi paanaa
baras baras kar usse bujhaanaa
o varsha ke pehle baadal
meraa sandesaa le jaanaa

dekh andheraa
dekh andheraa piyaa milan ko
chalegi chhup kar koi gori
bas tum bijli chamkaakar
khol na denaa
khol na denaa
khol na denaa uski chori
virahan ko tum jahaan bhi paanaa
usse kabhi na jalaanaa aa aa
o varsha ke pehle baadal
meraa sandesaa le jaanaa

Ujjaini mein mahaakaal kaa mandir jab tum paao
pujaariyon kaa naach dekh kar
pujaariyon kaa naach dekh kar apnaa man bahlaao

par tum unke ang dhang ko dekh atak na jaao
par tum unke ang dhang ko dekh atak na jaao
Shipra mein na Chambal mein na Kurukshetra mein ruknaa
Kankhal mein na Ganga ki lehron ko choomne jhuknaa
atal Himaalay pe chad kar phir youn mudnaa Kailaash ki aur
jyun chandaa ko dekh pyaare
gagan ko jhoome jaaye chakor
Alkaa mein phir dhoondh usse tum
meraa sandesaa sunaanaa aa aa
o varsha ke pehle baadal
meraa sandesaa le jaanaa

14 Responses to "O varsha ke pehle baadal"

Jagmohan and Saigal happen to train together (unknown to each other) with the famous Classical singer of Lucknow Gharana(I cannot recollect the name) Both were given Babul mora…. for riyaaz. Saigal was ‘taiyyar’ in record time. Jagmohan took longer time to master it. Upon enquiring he was told that he was Saigal!!!!

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The Non-Film Songs of Jagmohan, Talat Mahmmood and Hemant Kumar were very popular to youngsters during my school and college days. we were eagerly waiting for new additions on Radio and write down lyrics while listening to them and then exchange them between friends of same tastes.
By the way, the interviewer mentioned is Music Director Tushar Bhatia (and not Bhatt)

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In the link which I have given in the second paragraph of my article, the name is mentioned as Tushar Bhatt.

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Bharat ji,
Tushar Bhatt, the journalist, is a different individual from Tushar Bhatia, the music director.
Rgds
Sudhir

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After 1950, besides Sardar (55), also sang for Chham Chhama Chham (52), Shamsheer (53) and Zindagi (56)

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I am not sure whether the songs sung by ‘Jagmohan’ in the films referred besides Sardar (1955) have been sung by Jagmohan Sursagar or Jagmohan Bakshi as I could not get any audio/video clips of those songs on YT. I need to make further searches in this regard.
By the way, in respect of a song from ‘Zindagi’ (1956), http://www.earthmusic.net mentions the name of the singer as ‘Jagmohan Bakshi’.

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Kamath ji,
Thanks for posting this song and the detailed write up,which is,as usual,excellent and indicated home work before writing.
JAGMOHAN was awarded the Title of SURSAGAR by the Bengal Govt. in 1945. It was not on his own that he used this title.
He indeed died at Mumbai on 3-9-2003 and the news appeared in local papers on 5th Sept 2003.(Ref. Listener’s Bulletin No 123,Sept 2003)
His first NFS was ‘ Mujhe na sapnon mein’ recorded in 1938.The Lyricist is not known.
Jagmohan was interviewed by Hamraz ji on 12-7-1986 and he himself gave a list of his film songs to Hamraz ji. This interview and all details of his film songs appeared in Listener’s Bulletin No.67,November 1986.
Jgmohan’s first film song was in film Bhakta Kabir-1942.As per him,he sang songs in about 25 films in the 40s,but on many records his name is not mentioned,though the voice is identifiable.
His film are-for songs- Bhakta Kabir-42,bhaichara-43,Hospital-43,aarzoo-44,Subah Shyam-44,Takraar-44,Ameeri-45,meghdoot-45,Arabian Nights-46,Krishnaleela-46,Pehchan-46,prem ki duniya-46,Zameen Aasmaan-46,vijay Yatra-48,Iran ki raat-49,lottery-49,and Kashir hamara hai-50.
-AD

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Oh! I did not know that Jagmohan Sursagar has sung in so many films. Thanks for the additional inputs.

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Jagmohan/Jagmohan Mitra/Jagmohan Sursagar, as he was credited at times, also sang for Saiyad Waris Shah, much later in 1980.

Jagmohan Bakshi only sang for Hamlet (54), Taxi Driver (54) and Piya Milan (58).

As per myswar (geetkosh).

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Sadanand ji

Remarkable song, and a ton of thanks for the link to the article on Jagmohan. This article provides a much required profile of this wonderful singer.

Thanks again and rgds
Sudhir

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Sadanad Jee-

Thanks a million for the information. Jagmohan’s daughter Miss.Nupoor is in Bombay & unfortunately she does not have complete collections of Jagmohan’s song. Wondering if anyone has total list of his songs.

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A bit uncertain, but I think the line “bas tum bijli chamkaakar” should be “dhaj mein tum bijli chamkaakar”; Also near the end “jyun chanda ko dekh pyare” should be “jyun chanda ko dekh ke pyare”. One of the meanings of “dhaj” is ‘air’, and I think the poet might have stretched it to mean the “sky”. As I said, I am not certain, but there appear to be two short words in place of “bas”

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I am from Ahmedabad and had heard Jagmohanji live. There is also an LP of his geets (in fact it was Jagmohanji who named NFS thus). During his stay in Ahmedabad many of my friends had met him.

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I liked your article very much. Today I have posted this song on YouTube duly sung by me where I have made a reference to your blog with reference to this song.

I visit your blog quite often particularly when I need lyrics of a particular song. Your Lyrics are always very accurate and exactly as per the song. I am a great fan of Jagmohan.

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