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

Dekhoon kab tak baat

Posted on: September 21, 2013

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

This is the 6th song in “The flavour of the 30s’ series. The song is from the Film-Mera Ladka-1938. it is sung by Shanta Hublikar and music is by Keshavrao Bhole.

Hubli area from Karnataka seems to be producing singers and actresses in good number as Amir bai and Gauhar Karnataki and now Shanta Hublikar came from that region in the 30s only.

When I selected this song for this series I knew I did not have much information about Shanta Hublikar in my notes. Internet sites were of no great help. If at all they only added confusion by mentioning different Dates of birth and year like 1916, 17, 20, 21 and 22. I knew she had written her autobiography, but I did not have it .

In all such cases where I am against a stone wall, I turn to my saviour, Shri Harish Raghuvanshi ji,the famous Compiler, Collector and Historian of Films. I wrote to him and Lo and Behold ! He sent me many scans of articles, cuttings, pages from Isak Mujawar’s book and above all few pages of Shanta Hublikar’s autobiography-which clarified the confusion of her date of Birth. This information coupled with my own notes was enough material for this article. Thank you, Sir ji.

Shanta Hublikar was born on 14-4-1914 at village Athergunchi,near Hubli. She was one among three sisters. The eldest was Neelamma, the second was Shanta, but her name was Rajamma( she was called only Raju) and the youngest was Sharada. She was fluent in Marathi and Kannad and could sing very well. When she was about 18-20 years she went to Kolhapur, which was an active centre of Film making. Her first film was Bhedi Rajkumar aka Thaksen Rajputra-1934. her role was a minor one.

Her first major role was in film Kanhopatra-37(Marathi). She was picked up by Prabhat stalwarts for their film Mera Ladka (Majha Mulga in Marathi)-38. her acting and songs impressed V.Shantaram.

Shantaram was planning a path breaking film Maanus(Marathi-Aadmi in Hindi) in those days and was in the process of finalising the cast. Vasant Desai who was Shantaram’s chela in those days was aspiring to become a Music Director. He started his career as an actor in small roles and he sang songs too. He had very high hopes that Shantaram will do something for him. One day Shantaram called him and said,” I am planning a new film. You will be the Hero and Shanta Apte will be the Heroine.” Vasant was very happy. His auditions were good.

Meanwhile “Mera Ladka” became quite popular and its songs particularly,”dekhoon kab tak baat( Paahu re kiti waat-Marathi)” by Shanta bai and composed by Keshavrao Bhole was a great Hit. Impressed with her effortless acting and natural singing style, Shantaram changed his mind and decided to cast Shanta Hublikar and Shahu Modak as the lead pair for Aadmi.

Shantaram called Vasant Desai and told him,” Be ready for a shock. I have decided to make Shanta Hublikar and Shahu Modak as the Hero and Heroine of my new film. You will have to wait. But your time will come ” Vasant Desai was heart broken. With Shantaram’s permission he composed music for Shobha and Aaankh ki sharm in 1942 and Mauj in 1943. he had worked as an assistant to Tembe, Krishnarao Bhole and Mainkar. he had acted and sang in Amar Jyoti. His time came when Shantaram gave him SHAKUNTALA-1943 as its Music Director.

Meanwhile Shanta Hublikar fully justified her selection for Aadmi-39. Her songs and acting became hits. Her multilingual song “ab kis liye kal ki baat” in Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali became a landmark song in Hindi films for ever.

Shanta did not do many films. She did a few Marathi, Kannada and Hindi films- Thoratanchi Kamala and Pahila Palna in Marathi, Jeevan naatak in Kannada and Prabhat, Ghar ki Laaj, Maalan, Kulkalank and Jeewan Chhaya in Hindi.

After that Shanta married a rich businessman from Poona-Bapusaheb Geete propriator of Deccan Cloth Emporium in Poona. She did try a comeback in 1958 with Filmistan’s ‘Saubhagyawati Bhava and Ghar Grihasthi but that was the end. She then retired from films.
Shanta Hublikar died on 17-7-1992 at Poona.

She will always be remembered for for her role and songs of Aadmi, as long as Hindi films are seen.

KeshawRao Bhole who was the Music Director for Mera Ladka, was born in Amaravati in Maharashtra. he left his MBBS course halfway to join films. His first film was Krishnawatar-1932. In 1933, he joined Prabhat after Govindrao Tembe left and stayed there till 1944. His compositions rank amongst the best for Prabhat in its history. His pinnacle came with Marathi film ‘SANT TUKARAM”-1936. Due to its content and melodious music the film was popular not only in Maharashtra but in far off places like Andhra, Madras, Mysore,and Bengal . In Calcutta this Marathi film ran for Golden Jubilee. The film, its trick scenes and Music was appreciated in International Film Festivals also. Bhole’s next success was Duniya na Maane-1937,in which he got Shanta Apte to sing an English Song. His other films were Amrit Manthan, Noor e yaman, Chandrasena, Rajput Ramani, Mera Ladka, Sant Dnyaneshwar, Sant Sakhu, Dus Baje, Ram shastri, Taramati, Parijatak etc. He left Prabhat in 1944 and did some Marathi films. He wrote a book on Music in Marathi. Keshavrao Bhole died on 10-9-1977.

Director of Mera Ladka was K.Narayan Kale (Keshav Narayan Kale), born on 24-2-1904 in Maharashtra. After his formal education he became a radical Journalist and to give expression to his ideology joined films, as an actor,Director and writer. He acted in major films like Amar Jyoti, Dharmatma, Parakh for which he wrote the story and screenplay also.He acted in 13 films, Directed 7 films and wrote for 3 films, starting with Prabhat’s Wahan, which he also directed. His last film was Didi-1959. he died on 20-2-1974 at Bombay.

I saw MERA LADKA-1938 sometime in the fag end of the 40s, in a Prabhat Film Festival, at Hyderabad. The story was an offbeat one, not the usual love-story. The cast was Shanta Hublikar,Shahu Modak, Ulhas, Vasantrao Thengdi, Balakram, Master Chhotu, Vatsalabai Joshi etc.

Diwakar (Shahu Modak) is a young man full of new ideas, has hot blood and a rebellious thinking. He is a radical Journalist having his Printing press and editing a Newspaper. He has a rich girl Nalini (Shanta Hublikar) as his Girl friend. She sympathises with him but does not share his radicalism. His middle class father does not like all this. He wants Diwakar to do a 9 to 5 job like any other person.
His father expresses his displeasure to the cunning and scheming political friend of Diwakar, Vithal Rao (Vansant Rao Thengdi), who takes advantage of the situation. He arranges a strike in the press and when it closes down, takes over it.

The father is happy, but Diwakar does not yield. Instead of doing a 9-5 job, he decides to contest against Vithal rao in the Munipal election.
Nalini also contests. First she joins the group of Vithalrao to know his tactics and then shifts to Diwakar’s camp. She even campaigns for Diwakar.

In the elections, Nalini wins, Diwakar loses,but he gives a speech,claiming a Moral Victory for him,as Vithal rao is defeated.

Film director Kale, being a radical journalist himself before entering films ,got so much involved in the film that after the film, he actually wrote a long essay ” Mera Ladka-Some Musings” in a local newspaper in 1939 ! (In Marathi it was titled ‘ Majha mulga chya Nimittane…)

Excellent performances by Shanta and Shahu modak earned them the coveted roles in Aadmi(Manoos in Marathi)-1939, which happens to be a Milestone film in India.

( My Thanks to “The Desai Trio” by Nilu Gavankar, Pankaj Raag, Isak Mujawar and Harish Raghuvanshi ji for some information used in this article.)

Let us now hear the much touted song from Mera Ladka, sung by Shanta Hublikar.

Song-Dekhoon kab tak baat (Mera Ladka)(1938) Singer-Shanta Hublikar, Lyrics-Pt Anuj, MD-Keshav Rao Bhole


dekhoon kab tak baat
dekhoon kab tak baat
dekhoon baat tumhaar
pathraayi ankhiyaan aan aan
pathraayi ankhiyaan
dekhat dhoondhat
ekahoon chhin mohe
chain na aawat
khaari baat nihaar
dekhoon baat tumhaar

jiya tadpat hai
jiya dhadkat hai ae ae
jiya tadpat hai
jiya dhadkat hai
daras ko tori
lalchat manwa
aa aa
jeewan ke aadhaar
dekhoon baat tumhaar

saagar uthhati door tarangen
saagar uthhati door tarangen
tairoon ??
bhaari umangen
?? mori bhai kapaar
dekhoon baat tumhaar

bhent hamaari ab kab hogi
bhent hamaari ab kab hogi
preet ki jyoti mil ke jalegi
doobe sab sansaar jagat mein
doobe sab sansaar

dekhoon kab tak baat piyarawa
dekhoon kab tak baat
dekhoon kab tak baaaat


1 Response to "Dekhoon kab tak baat"

Thanks a ton Arun ji! Very nice song indeed…..
Though meter is different the song reminds me of sad version of Chhod Babul Ka Ghar….

Warm Regards,


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