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

Meri veena ro rahi hai

Posted on: April 30, 2013


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

Somewhere in the late 2011 AK ji, of Songsofyore.com, had written on this Blog about the importance of NFS. After reading his views, I too wrote a rather lengthy comment supporting the inclusion of NFS on this Blog. Our contention was that, prior to the Hindi Film Music becoming popular all over India,it was those ghazals, Geets and Bhajans, privately sung and recorded by various artists which had ruled the tastes of music lovers. In fact many famous singers had recorded NFS in the beginning phase of their singing careers. Some names are Talat Mehmood, Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, Jagmohan and JUTHIKA ROY !

I do not think there was a single singer in those days who had not sung a Non Filmi geet of some type like Bhajan or ghazal etc. I am sure many senior readers from this Blog must have grown listening to these NFS Bhajans and Geets. In fact more than a filmi song, may be these people have some old geet or Bhajan embedded in their memories with some persons, events or places.

Juthika Roy’s name is to Non Filmi Songs what Lata’s name is to Film songs !

In the 40s and 50s, Juthika Roy was on everybody’s lips. Born on 12th April 1920 at a small village called Shenhati-near Hawra in Bengal, to Satyendra Nath and Snehlata Roy, she was more interested in singing than studies, but in that small village who would teach her? This was compensated by her father by bringing several records for her to practice.

When she was 7 year old, her father took her to HMV at Calcutta. Satyendranath wanted Juthika or Renu (her Real name) to emulate Master Madan who too had cut records in the 7th year. She passed her audition, but due to her tender age HMV asked her to come after 5-6-years. Her father took her to A I R Calcutta, where she not only passed the audition but also sang her first Bangla geet on Radio.

In 1930, her father was transferred to Calcutta and she was trained by Gyanranjan Sen. Through him her father contacted Kazi Nazrul Islam who liked her songs very much. Kazi was always in Silk Saffron robes and chewing Paan. He was the Chief Lyricist and music Director at HMV. He insisted and Juthika’s first Record was out. It was a Bangla Bhajan. She also met Kamal Dasgupta during that period. Kamal had played a major role in shaping her career as a singer. For most of her songs he gave the music. Together they sang some duets in Bangla and Hindi also. HMV entered into a contract with her to cut 2 Bangla and 9 Hindi song Records every year. Thus during the period 1934/35 to early 50s she brought out many records. Her name became popular all over the country.

She has sung 10 qawwalis/Naats and her most famous qawali was ” Mohammad se badh kar koi nabi hai “.

She was offered but never liked to act or sing in films. However she did sing in a few Bangla and two Hindi films(4 songs in all). Due to her Meera Bhajans, she was called ” Aadhunik Meera “.

I reproduce here a translation of her own article as published in The Statesman dated 6-8-2006,about her interaction with Mahatma Gandhi ji—

The Statesman 6-8-2006

We started living in Calcutta permanently in 1930. My first disc of Bengali songs was released by the Gramaphone Company in 1934.

Soon after, my rendition of Bengali and Hindi bhajans were released by the Gramaphone Company. Invitations started pouring from different parts of the country for me to render bhajans. In 1939 I received the first invitation to sing bhajans at the Allahabad Conference. There, I was invited by Professor Deodhar to sing in Bombay at his municipal school’s charity function. From that year onwards, I travelled to Bombay, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Rajkot and the entire of Gujarat every year.

We went to Hyderabad from Bombay in 1945 to participate in a charity programme there. That was my first visit to Hyderabad. Our stay was arranged at a swanky guest house of a renowned zamindar there. The next day, when I was preparing to rehearse with the accompanist, I heard that Sarojini Naidu had come to listen to me sing bhajans. I was as much scared as elated. Upon entering the hall I saw her sitting on a sofa; her daughter was sitting beside her. I made obeisance to her. She put her hand on my head and made me sit beside her. There was a look of surprise on her face when she saw me.
Then, she gave me some good news. Mahatma Gandhi used to listen to my songs everyday when he was jailed in Pune. He used to start his prayer meeting every morning playing discs that played my bhajans. I would have never known of these happenings. My pride and joy knew no bounds. I made obeisance to the God within myself and said, “My singing of bhajans has been a great accomplishment. I’m blessed.”

Afterwards, Sarojini Naidu asked me if I had ever met Mahatma Gandhi. Ruefully, I said, “No, that I haven’t had that good luck.” She then said, “Try to meet Bapuji and let him listen to his favourite bhajans.” From then I began to try out means of meeting Bapuji.
My respect for Sarojini Naidu went up many notches. I deemed myself blessed by having her as a near one. She was courageous, a scholar, patriot and poet whom I adored from afar. I still cherish this valuable memory.

It was 1947 (sic). The country was simmering with satyagraha, civil disobedience, non-cooperation, Gandhiji’s Quit India movement and so on. A highly-strung atmosphere prevailed. All were on tenterhooks ~ would the British rule really end? And it really ended. But then Hindu-Muslim riots started. A shiver goes down my spine when I recall those days. No one can believe unless one sees those brutalities, murders, beastliness with one’s own eyes.

Mahatma Gandhi came to Calcutta at that time to quell the situation. He put up at a house in Beliaghata with his entourage. Bapuji was so busy with his work that he did not have even one minute to spare. I heard that he would wake up every day at 6 a.m. and go out for a morning walk. He would join the prayer meeting in the morning and evening. Taking Sarojini Naidu’s advice, my parents decided to take me to the Beliaghata house to meet Bapuji. My mother, brothers and sisters, uncle and I reached Beliaghata at 7 a.m. We decided to have his darshan from afar during his morning walk and offer our obeisance to him. But, unfortunately, when we reached the gate we heard that Bapuji had already taken his morning walk and was resting. We would have to wait three hours if we wanted to see him. Finding no other way, we remained standing outside the gate because it had been locked by then. Many others also remained standing along with us.

The sunbeams were brilliant. But suddenly, black clouds appeared and covered the sky. It began to rain heavily. We were completely drenched. My uncle repeatedly requested the gate-keeper to let us in but the keeper kept saying, “No, Bapuji hasn’t ordered me to do so.” But my uncle was not a man to spare any effort. He then sternly said, “All right, go in and say Juthika Roy has come to meet Bapuji.” The gatekeeper went in. We prayed that he would report correctly. Suddenly, we saw Manu Gandhi and some volunteers rushing towards the gate with some umbrellas. Manu Gandhi accosted me, made her obeisance and opened the gate. “Come in, please, all of you. I’m so sorry you are all drenched. Come inside and sit.”

We all went in and took our seats. Then Ava Gandhi came and said to me, “Bapuji has allowed your mother to go in with you.” We went in and saw Gandhiji writing something sitting on a mat. He was bare bodied, his face and his entire body were radiating some strange light. There was no sign of tiredness on his person even after so much of work. There was a smile on her face, his eyes were shining as if they were full of love and were images of peace.

I felt it was our great good luck that for the first time we had darshan of Mahatma Gandhi. I cannot fully express how elated I was. My mother and I made obeisance to Bapuji. He touched our heads to bless us, smiled and asked us to sit down using sign language. He was observing silence on that day, saying everything in writing. Ava Gandhi was reading out his writings for us. She was of great help.

Ava Gandhi informed us that Bapuji was busy but eager to listen to my bhajans. So, he had decided that I would be singing while he was bathing in the next room. Bapuji went into the next room. I went on singing one bhajan after another without the help of any instrument. The songs were ~ “Maine Chaakar rakhi ji”, “Main Ram nam ki choodiyaan pehnoo”, “Ghoonghat pat khol re”, “Main to waari jaun Ram”, “Alo main apne Ram”, “Matja yogi mat ja” and “Pag ghunghroo baandh Meera nachi re”.

Bapuji came out after having his bath and stood in front of us. I stopped singing and made obeisance to him. He flashed a broad smile and blessed us by raising his hand. I said to myself that my life was blessed today, so was my singing of the bhajan. My mind was filled with bliss.

Later, Ava told us that Bapuji had asked us to join the afternoon prayer at 4 p.m. We arrived at the Maidan from the Beliaghata house soon after 4 p.m. with Bapuji to attend a prayer meeting. There was Ava Gandhi, Manu Gandhi and many others among us. The Maidan was crowded and there was not an iota of space left in the ocean of people.
The two sides of the road were also crowded. Bapuji’s car slowly proceeded towards the Maidan. People welcomed him by throwing flowers and petals. A large number of people were conveying their respect to Bapuji. That was an unforgettable spectacle and cannot be expressed in words ~ it can only be felt. I still remember that living picture of crested reverence and euphoria for a leader of the people.

Our car stopped next to the dais in the Maidan. Bapuji climbed on the dais quickly, flinging his arms on the shoulders of Ava and Manu. I was sitting at a corner of the dais. The prayer meeting started with Ramdhum, then readings from the Gita. Then, Bapuji appealed to people to maintain peace throughout the country. The prayer meeting ended with my singing of a bhajan.

Soon, we came to the Beliaghata house with Bapuji. A car was provided to drop us home. My long cherished ambition to see Bapuji and to see him listen to my bhajans was fulfilled. I still consider that day as an auspicious day in my life.

She was selected to sing on Delhi AIR on the 15th August 1947, when Pandit Nehru was unfurling India’s National Flag.

In 1984, Juthika Roy stopped singing and she is leading a peaceful and contented life in Calcutta today.

The song which is featuring here today- ‘Meri veena ro rahi hai’, was heard by me for the first time in 1950-51 and then we had this record also with us. Later the song was heard so many times on Radio also. These days,of course , such songs are not heard anymore. The tastes have changed, but this song remains an evergreen song and has actually become a symbol of Juthika Roy’s singing in Hindi.

let us enjoy the song now……


Song-Meri veena ro rahi hai (Juthika Roy NFS)(1950) Singer-Juthika Roy, MD-Kamal Dasgupta

Lyrics

meri veena ro rahi hai
saari duniya so gayi hai
sukh bagiya sooni bhayi hai
kahaan ho
kahaan ho
kahaan ho piya
meri veena ro rahi hai
saari duniya so rahi hai
sukh bagiya sooni bhayi hai
kahaan ho
kahaan ho
kahaan ho piya
meri veena ro rahi hai

hai din mein raat ki aasha
o raat huyi to niraasha
hai din mein raat ki aasha
jo raat huyi to niraasha
?? beeti ?? abhilasha
?? beeti ?? abhilasha
kahaan ho
kahaan ho
kahaan ho piya
meri veena ro rahi hai

is preet bhari duniya mein
laakhon hain prem vibhor
main tadap rahi hoon akeli
kyun door rahe chitchor
is preet bhari duniya mein
laakhon hain prem vibhor
main tadap rahi hoon akeli
kyun door rahe chitchor
toofaan mein main panchhi hoon
bina gunjan
bina gunjan main bansi hoon
toofaan mein main panchhi hoon
bina gunjan
bina gunjan main bansi hoon
murjhaayi kali jaisi hoon
murjhaayi
murjhaayi kali jaisi hoon
kahaan ho
kahaan ho
kahaan ho piya
meri veena ro rahi hai
saari duniya so gayi hai
sukh bagiya sooni bhayi hai
kahaan ho
kahaan ho
kahaan ho piya
meri veena ro rahi hai

11 Responses to "Meri veena ro rahi hai"

Thank you. Mr Deshmukh,
For the write up of Juthika Roy.
I knew very little about her.
K S shenoy
Bangalore

Like

While singing in public programmes she would invariably keep her head bowed down. That was her trademark style. Maybe this way she could stay focused and concentrate on her singing

Like

Beautiful geet.

Like

A soulful song, a favorite of my singer brother. If not a Meera Bhajan who is the lyricist?

Like

Lovely song

Like

I suggest the following correction to the lyrics (in ?? line):

do beech dole abhilasha

Like

Do beech dole abhilasha is correct

Like

who is the lyricist ? does any one know I suspect it is Meera Bai’s bhajan

Like

But who wrote the lyrics of Meri Veena to Rajhi hai

Like

Bina gunjan mai firti hoon is what I heard and it fits in here too

Like

Here is the working video..

Like

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