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

Jeewan hai sangraam bande

Posted on: February 20, 2014

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

In the early days of films, it was almost a tradition for the film people to invite or encourage their friends and relatives to join the industry. There could be two motives, One-to give opportunities to the dear ones and Two-to include them in the line so that their own position gets strengthened. Thus, the early artistes-at least the majority- were one way or the other connected to each others in the film line. Those days,Industry too needed people in various branches of film making as it was growing fast and social inhibitions still restricted the entries of people from respectable families.

Slowly, this trend changed and it became more difficult to enter this line, unless one had a Godfather or one was an exceptional talent.

When Ashok kumar’s name was suggested by Shashadhar Mukherjee to Himanshu Rai for a job in the photography section he never dreamt that one day the same Ashok Kumar will have to be recommended to become a Hero of Bombay Talkies. Shashdhar Mukherjee was Ashok Kumar’s brother in law(his wife was Ashok Kumar’s sister). And…once Ashok Kumar got established as a Hero, he started inviting his relatives to join film line.

The first relative that he called was his maternal cousin (Mausi’s son), ARUN KUMAR MUKHERJEE.

Arun Kumar Mukherjee was born at Calcutta on 14-2-1912. He studied up to Inter science and shifted to Nagpur to join and later start his own business. (Those days, there was a considerable population of Bengalis in Nagpur due to BNR- Bengal-Nagpur Railways. So, many Bengali families settled around the stations lying on the route of BNR from Nagpur to Calcutta).

Arunkumar was a born singer. During his school and college days, he had taken training in classical music and he used to sing in many functions. Ashok Kumar knew the singing talent of his cousin, so he invited him to join Bombay talkies as a singer.

Arun Kumar too closed down his business and came down to Bombay in 1938. His first song as a singer was in Bombay Talkies’ film Nirmala-38. It was a composite song of Arunkumar, Devika Rani and Meera. The Music Director was Saraswati Devi. For the next 10 years, he sang in almost all Bombay Talkies films (he also acted in a few of them),like Kangan, Azaad, Bandhan, Punarmilan, Jhoola, Anjaan, Naya Sansar, Basant, Hamaari Baat, Kismet, Andhera, Jwar Bhata, Pratima, Mashal, Muqaddar, Sargam and Maa.

His ‘chana jor garam babu’ from Bandhan,’ Main to dilli se dulhan laaya re’ from Jhoola,’Dheere dheere aa rebadal’ from Kismet and other songs from Basant, Jwar Bhata,Sangram etc became hits and very popular. He also sang in Ranjit’s Beti,Shankar Parwati, Bhanwara etc and few other films too. From 1938 to 1952 he sang about 70 songs in 30 films.

Like many singers, he too desired to be a composer. He gave music to Pratima-45, Parineeta, Samaj, Shamsheer and Teen Bhai. ‘Gore gore hathon mein’ and ‘chali kaunse des’ from Parineeta were very popular songs.

On 6th December 1955, Arunkumar was returning from attending the Trial show of ‘Bandish”, along with Ashok Kumar in his car, when suddenly he got a massive heart attack. He was rushed to the nearest hospital ,but he had already died on the lap of Ashok kumar-who had brought him to Bombay !

His assistant, Tabla and Flute specialist-Nikhil Ghosh established ” Arun Sangeetalaya” in his memory. later it became Sangeet Mahabharati.

Arunkumar Mukherjee was one of the very few people who appreciated and encouraged Kishore Kumar’s singing, when he was struggling in the beginning. In recognition of this, Kishore Kumar,unknown to most people, used to send Rs.5000/- to the wife of Arunkumar every month till he was alive. In those days, this was a sizable amount.

The Debut song of Arunkumar is sung with Devika Rani and Meera. We all know Devika Rani well, but who was this Meera ? I tried very hard to find out from my resources, but to no avail. Finally I requested shri Harish Raghuvanshi ji-the famous compiler, writer and Film historian about Meera. He very kindly gave me some information about her. thank you,Sir !

Meera’s real name was Muriel Alexander. She was born on 10-11-1919. She was from a respectable family. her father was Superintendent-local Audit in AG’s office. Brother E. Alexander was an All India level cricketer. She passed her Interscience exam from Benaras Hindu University. it was through one Mr. Seal, who was a manager in Adarsh Chitra that she got her first break in the film Dhuwandhar-1935. This was the Debut film of Leela Chitnis also. It is not known if she sang any songs in that film, as no records are available. My guess is that, besides acting, she must have sung a few songs in that film.

Her name first appears as an actress and singer in the film Bhabhi-38, in which she sang 3 solo songs. She must have sung many songs from 1935 to 1938,,but singers names were not mentioned on records those days. Thus many singers must have gone uncredited in those years. Same was the case with Amirbai Karnataki too. After Bhabhi, her name appears in Nirmala-38 and Vachan-38 in which she sang 1 solo and 3 duets. She acted and sang songs in films of Ranjit, Prakash and Minerva Movietone films.

Arunkumar Mukherjee is sometimes mistaken for another’ same name’ artiste – Arun Kumar Ahuja (Father of actor Govinda), who was also operating in the same period. This is a case of “Same Name Confusion”, where credits are given to wrong persons due to similarity in names.

Here is a short Bio of Arunkumar Ahuja-
Film actor Arunkumar Ahuja was born in pre-partition Gujranwala (now in Pakistan) on January 26, 1917. He studied in an engineering college at Lahore and was adjudged the best football player of the college. Veteran producer Mehboob Khan brought him to Mumbai in 1937 and cast him in Ek hi Raasta as the leading man. From then commenced a journey into the film world.

Ahuja acted in nearly 50 films, out of which he was the hero in 40 films. He gave many hits including films such as Aurat, Samaj ko Badal Dalo, Return of Toofan Mail, Shankar Parvati and even his last Aulad. He met his wife late Nirmala Devi during the making of the film Savera, where she was cast opposite him. They were paired in three films and married in 1941. Nirmala Devi went on to become a renowned classical vocalist. She died on 15-6-1996 and Arunkumar Ahuja died on 3-7-1998.

Here is the DEBUT AND FIRST FILM song of Arun kumar Mukherjee,from the film Nirmala-1938.

Lyrics of this song were sent by Nitin Shah.

Audio – Part I (Devika Rani, Miss Meera, Arunkumar Mukherji)

Audio – Part II (Balwant Singh)

Song-Jeewan hai sangraam bande (Nirmala)(1938) Singers-Devika Rani, Miss Meera, Arunkumar Mukherji/Balwant Singh, Lyrics-J S Kashyap, MD-Saraswati Devi

Lyrics(Provided by Nitin Shah)

Part I
dukh sukh ka hai nit ka naata
ek jaata ek aata bande
ek jaata ek aata

sardi garmi toofaan barkha
rain bina ka taanka bande
rain bina ka taanka

le himmat se kaam bande
jeevan hai sangraam bande
jeevan hai sangraam bande
jeevan hai sangraam

ye gaana maine suna hai
suna hoga
mere baapu ise gaa gaakar bheekh maanga karte thhe

jeevan hai sangram
le himmat se kaam bande
jeevan hai sangraam bande
jeevan hai sangraam
bande jeevan hai sangram

tumhaare pitaji ne mujhe aas di thhi
kya ajab hai
tumhaare aasre mein wo poori ho jaaye
khel khiladi phir se paasa
jab tak saansa jab tak aasha
le himmat se kaam bande
jeevan hai sangraam bande
jeevan hai sangraam
khel khilaadi phir se paasa
jab tak saansa jab tak aasha
le himmat se kaam bande
jeevan hai sangraam bande
jeevan hai sangram
Part II
janam liya to ji le bande
darne ka kya kaam bande
jeevan hai sangram bande
bande jeevan hai sangram

kyu rona kyu aaya
tu jeevan ke maidan re bande
jeevan ke maidan
sayz nahi hai phoolo ki duniya
kaato ki hai shaan
re bande kaato ki hai shaan
le himmat se kaam re bande
jeevan hai sangram
bande jeevan hai sangram

jo darta wo marta bande
jo ladta kuch karta bande
le himmat se kaam re bande
jeevan hai sangram
bande jeevan hai sangram

5 Responses to "Jeewan hai sangraam bande"

. Thanks for such an informative and well
arched presentation.
Simply superb!



I always feel short of words to appreciate your posts full of information and as such do not dare to write. This time also I was going to keep silence,but I think there is a typo error. I think the second song you mentioned from Parneeta is Chali Raadha Raani . Chali kaunse des is from Boot Polish. Pl excuse me if I am wrong.

D Samant


Samant ji,
Thanks for your comments.
You are right. The song should have been’Chali radhe raani’.My mistake-not a Typo. Calling it a Typo,is your kindness.
I would repeat ,appreciation is the tonic for continuity. A healthy person also requires a Tonic every now and then.


I’d like to add my 2-bits to the excellent information already provided.

Although playback was introduced in 1935, it was not very widespread till much later. Therefore it was common to have the actor sing for film soundtrack, but someone else sing for 78 rpm records. That is why you’ll find that most of Ashok Kumar’s early songs were recorded by Arun Kumar.

In Nirmala, this song appeared twice. First time it was sung by Balwant Singh as a wandering beggar. Second time it was sung by Miss Meera. The second time also had in-between dialogue by Devika Rani & Meera, and flashback singing by a male voice (it could have been either Balwant Singh or Arun Kumar, I am not sure). Devika Rani did not sing in this song.

The 78 rpm record had Arun Kumar singing the same song on one side and a female voice singing on the second side. I do not remember who the female singer was.

You have posted the link & lyrics of only the second part from the soundtrack. Here is a link to the first part.


Thanks Anup jalan ji for additional information and the other song.



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