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

Nirdhan ka tu hai dhan

Posted on: September 25, 2013


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

The 7th song in ” The flavour of the 30s ” series is from a Prabhat film-Gopalkrishna-1938, sung by a young Ram Marathe and composed by Master Krishnarao.

In the 30s and the 40s, PRABHAT was a highly respected name. A Prabhat film was synonymous with guarantee of a good cinema. Prabhat had rightfully earned this respect with its meaningful and highly entertaining films. A group of dedicated workers in different segments of film making left Maharashtra Film company and started Prabhat Film Company,at Kolhapur in 1929. The partners were Vishnupant Damle, Shaikh Fatehlal, Keshav Rao Dhaiber, V.Shantaram and Seetarampant Kulkarni. Prabhat’s first silent film was ” Gopalkrishna”-1929. They produced 6 silent films, Gopalkrishan-1929, Khooni Khanjar, Rani saheba and Udaykaal in 1930 and Zuloom and Chandrasena in 1931.

When Talkies started, Prabhat also jumped into the bandwagon and made “Ayodhya ka raja(Ayodhecha Raja in Marathi)-1932. As per Harmandir Hamraz ji, 24 films were made in 1931. None of these are available now. ” Ayodhya ka Raja ‘-1932 is the oldest Talkie film available today in India. That way, barring 1 or 2, almost all Prabhat films are now available.

When Prabhat was to be established, the partners started thinking of a Logo/Emblem for the company. use of TUTARI was agreed upon in it,by all. Tutari is a Blow wind instrument of music, which is typical in Maharashtra. Right from Shivaji’s times Tutari is used for all auspicious functions. It is also a symbol of valour. Even today all Government cultural programmes in Maharashtra start with blowing of Tutari first. traditionally, this instrument, needing considerable lung power, is used by men only. Commensurate with Prabhat’s style of being different than others, it was decided to use a lady blowing Tutari-instead a man. Gulab Bai alias Kamaladevi,who was working with Maharashtra Film co. then, was selected for this and the shooting of the famous logo was completed.

This Gulabbai alias Kamala Devi started her career with silent film ‘Sairandhri’ in 1919,made by Maharashtra Film comnay. Later she did 15 silent films. After joining Prabhat, she married one of its partners-Shaikh Fatehlal.

Prabhat started its victory run by producing winners after winners. Ayodhyecha Raja, Jalti Nishani, Maya Machhindra, Sairandhri, Amrit Manthan, Chandrasena, Dharmatma, Rajput Ramani, Amar Jyoti, Wahaan, Duniya na Maane, Gopalkrishna, Aadmi, Sant Dnyaneshwar, Padosi etc etc…

In 1942, V.Shantaram left Prabhat to establish his own Rajkamal Chitra Mandir in 1943. Along with him, few of his near ones also left Prabhat. This was the beginning of Prabhat’s end.

Gopalkrishna-38 was a film made after successful films like Sant Tukaram and Duniya na maane and just before another masterpiece Aadmi. Normally Prabhat films were directed by Shantaram, but this film was directed by Vishnupant Damle and Fatehlal. By this time, Prabhat had already moved to Poona and had vast open spaces for shooting. The studio was situated in Erandwana area which was uninhabited then. Wild animals like Foxes and wolves visited in the nights. Snakes and scorpions were common.

The film actually was a remake of Prabhat’s first silent film,” Gopal Krishna “-1929, which meant that the company was on safe grounds. Master Krishna Rao was the Music Director, who composed 14 songs for this film, sung by Shanta Hublikar, Shanta Apte, Ram Marathe and Parshuram.

In those days Prabhat Records were made specially with the Logo of Prabhat and the singer’s photo, along with singer’s and music Director’s names printed on the label. Because of this, Prabhat Records were distinguishable from the records of companied like HMV, Columbia, Young India, Twin etc.

Master Krishnarao was a very well respected singer composer. Krishnarao Ganesh Phulambrikar was a Marathi actor, composer, and musicologist. He was an architect of the golden period of Sangeet natak in Marathi Theatre. He was born in Alandi near Pune in 1898. Krishnarao Ganesh Phulambrikar was the son of a professional pandit who died when Krishnarao was only 6, reducing the family to abject poverty. He was weak in health. He did not have much formal education, but his sweet, elastic voice facilitated his entry into the Natyakala Pravartak Mandali, where he did small roles. After 1910, he left it to learn classical music under Bhaskarbuwa Bakhle in Pune.

In 1918, Bal Gandharva employed him in the Gandharva Natak Mandali as the male lead actor and music director, though he did some women’s roles as well. He developed as a most versatile composer who, with Govindrao Tembe, helped Bal Gandharva in spreading Hindustani classical music. He left the Mandli in 1933 to become music director for V. Shantaram;s Prabhat Film Company, scoring highly original songs for Dharmatma (i.e. Soul of Dharma)(in 1935), Manus (i.e.Life Is for the Living) in 1939, and other movies. Later, he joined M. G. Rangnekars Natyaniketan. His classical-based light music for Rangnekar;s plays like Kulavadhu (i.e.Family Bride)(in 1942) and Ek hota mhatara (i.e.There Was an Old Man)( in 1948) are considered as Sangeetnatak landmarks. Among his many books on music, he wrote a seven-volume series for vocal and instrumental training, titled Ragsangraha i.e. ;Raga Anthology; in 1940-71. He also contributed to popularizing the Jaipur gharana. Krishnarao Ganesh Phulambrikar died in the year 1974.

The singer of this song is Ram Marathe,who was a child at that time and later rose to be a famous classical and Natyasangeet composer and singer of repute. He was born in 1924 and started acting and singing in films from 1936 to 1940. he did 12 films in this period. In 1940 his voice was spoiled till 1950. Then he started working in Marathi dramas. He died on 4-10-1989 in Bombay.

This is what Rajan Parrikar has to say about him on his Blog- ” Ramchandra Purshottam Marathe (1924-1989) began his early career as an actor- singer in films produced by the Prabhat company. His formal training in music assumed a definite direction when he came under the tutelage of Master Krishnarao (Phulambrikar). Later, he trained under accomplished musicians such as Mirashibuwa of Gwalior and Vamanrao Sadolikar of Atrauli-Jaipur. His quest for widening his musical horizons culminated in a long-lasting discipleship (15 years) under Jagannathbuwa Purohit (“Gunidas”). As a consequence of his broad training and background, Rambhau’s music integrated the best of Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur styles. Rambhau was a stalwart in the field of Marathi Natyasangeet. He was also known as a composer. Among his pupils is Ulhas Kashalkar.”

The story of Gopalkrishna-38 was written in such a way that from the dialogues, at times,there was a message to Indian people to wake up against the Tyrants(the British). The film did not depend too much on Krishn’a miracles except few major events. The story tried to describe and paint a positive picture of village life(probably,in consonance with Gandhiji’s views on Villages being Nation’s builders.), an all inclusive village population and the antics of naughty Krishna in his childhood.

The character of PENDYA,is to be found only in the Maharashtrian version of Krishna’s childhood. It is not found in any other languages as far as I know.The child actor Parshuram,who was adept in singing too and who was Shantaram’s discovery. Later he had also left Prabhat after Shantaram and did a role in almost every Rajkamal film,till he spoiled his life due to drinks.

Gopalkrishna depicted the childhood life of Krishna( Ram Marathe) in Gokul. The king of Mathura (maternal uncle of Krishna,in relation) Kansa-played by Ganapatrao- also ruled Gokul. He was the killer of 7 siblings of Krishna,after their births,while Vasudev and Devki were in his jail. He also wanted to kill Krishna (because he knew he would destroy kansa one day),but all his efforts so far had been foiled.

The various incidents in the film are taken from Bhagwat Puran and Vishnu Puran. Once Kansa sends his Commander in chief Keshi Rakshasa -played by Haribhau- in disguise to capture and kill Krishna,but krishna’s lame fast friend Pendya and others expose him and he is killed by Krishna. Angered by this Kansa finally,with his magical powers,creates heavy rains and floods in Gokul so that all people and cattle die in it. Krishna however,lifts the mountain Gowardhan on his little finger of left hand to make it an umbrella for the people and cattle. This is how krishna got his name ‘Gowardhan Giridhari’.
For various shots in the film Prabhat wanted hundreds of cows,which were not available in Poona. Here more buffallows were available. The search team of Prabhat found several herds of cows in Dombivali, near Bombay. These cows here hired on daily basis from their Tabelas (stables) and brought to Poona in a special train,for shooting. Such was the committment of Prabhat in those days for reality in films.

With all the child pranks,melodious music and trick scenes,no wonder Gopalkrishna became a family favourite film in those days.

(This is the 500th Film review/comment,by me ,on this Blog.)
(My thanks are due to shri Rajan Parrikar,Dhunon ki yatra,HFGK,LB,Dr.R K Verma’s book,for information used here)
Let us now see the Video of Ram Marathe’s song from Gopalkrishna-1938.


Song-Nirdhan ka tu hai dhan (Gopalkrishna)(1938) Singer-Ram Marathe, Lyrics-Pt Anuj, MD-Master Krishnarao

Lyrics

nirdhan kaa tu hai dhan
nirdhan kaa tu hai dhan
braj ki tu hariyaali
braj ki tu hariyaali
nirdhan kaa aa aa aa
nirdhan kaa tu hai dhan
braj ki tu hariyaali
braj ki tu hariyaali

nirbal kaa tu hai bal
nirbal kaa tu hai bal
anupam shobhaa waali
anupam shobhaa waali
tujhse hai gomaataa
tujhse hai gomaataa
dharti hai ujiyaali
dharti hai ujiyaali
nirdhan kaa aa aa
nirdhan kaa tu hai dhan
braj ki tu hariyaali
braj ki tu hariyaali

raav rank sab samaan
raav rank aa aa aa aa
raav rank sab samaan
dusht sujan kuchh na jaan
dusht sujan kuchh na jaan
dusht sujan kuchh na jaan
dekar pai amritmai
dekar pai amritmai
karti hai rakhawaali
karti hai rakhawaali

nirdhan kaa aa aa aa
nirdhan kaa
nirdhan kaa tu hai dhan
braj ki tu hariyaali
braj ki tu hariyaali
nirdhan kaa tu hai dhan
tu hai dhan
nirdhan kaa tu hai dhan
braj ki tu hariyaali
braj ki tu hariyaali

12 Responses to "Nirdhan ka tu hai dhan"

Arunkumar ji., Thanks a lot for the great writeup. Kindly also cover Sant Dyaneshwar 1940. I guess Master Vinayak played the lead role

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Mohan ji,
Thanks for your comments.
This series is specifically for films/songs of the 30s,so Sant Dnyaneshwar-1940 can not be discussed herein.
I would take it up in my next proposed series on an exclusive topic.
-AD

Like

Mohanji,

The lead role in Sant Dnaneshwar was Shahu Modal and not Master Vinayak.

Arunji,
Congratulations and wish you all the best for the next ton.
Hats off to your efforts for making your post all round interesting and full of study.

D Samant

Like

It’s a typo error .It should be Modak and not Modal.Sorry

Like

Samant ji,
Thanks a ton for your appreciation and good wishes…which keeps me going.

Like

Arunji,
500 and counting…. Its a stupendous achievement. Each post has info thhus thhus ke.bhari hai. Your appetite seems to be insatiable. GGG> G3> GCube> GOING GREAT GUNS. Keep it up Sir. Thanks

Like

Nitin ji,
Thanks for your kind words.
-AD

Like

To add: Really speaking the song posted is quite apt: tu nirdhan hai dhan. Hame dhani banaya aapne

Like

Arun ji,

Congratulations, on many counts I must say. 500 film summaries – I am sure no other major websites will have such a treasure anywhere on the net. Our collections are so much more richer and bountiful, all because of your tireless efforts to locate, compile and share such information.

Also thanks for pointing to the video of these songs. I have all the songs of this film, in audio. And it is a pleasure to see the songs enacted. How wonderfully it has been picturized, simple, very native and very true.

The post also draws a very important attention towards “Gai Mata”. The words are beautiful and true. Plus the exhiliration of seeing the young Kanhaiyyaa himself sing these verses – it is a beautiful experience.

A couple of corrections to the lyrics.
The lines
“dharti mein ujiyaali”
should read
“dharti hai ujiyaali”

Then again, the lines
“dusht sujan puchan(?) jaan”
should read
“dusht sujan kuchh na jaan”

Also, the line
“dekar mai amritmai”
should read
“dekar pai amritmai”

Wonderful song, wonderful post.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Sudhir ji,
Thanks for your appreciation.
-AD

Like

Arunji,
Sorry for the delay 😦
Congratulations on achieving this individual and unique milestone. Thank you for your time, effort and sharing your knowledge with all music lovers.

Like

Khyati ji,
Thank you very much.
It is words like these from our own people that work wonders with me and make me write more.
-AD

Like

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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