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

Saawan jhoola jhool ke nikla

Posted on: March 19, 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.

Badalte Huye Saathi- Episode 1 (Shanta Apte and Vasanti)

Music is an inseparable part of Indian culture. Music rules our lives. Right from Birth to Death, there is always music going on in the lives of Indians. So, it was no wonder that when silent films started talking, they also started singing. The very first Talkie film of India, Aalam Ara-1931 had 7 songs in it. The very fact that the producers felt the need to include songs in the film, underlines the importance of music in the lives of the movie goers.

Initially, the music in Talkie films was very elementary. In films like Indrasabha-1932, there were 71 songs. Even otherwise also, in 1931, the 24 films that were produced had a total of 293 song (except 2 films, which have no record of the number of songs)-an average of 12+ songs per film. Let us now see how the music in Hindi films developed in the early years.

BOMBAY was the first major centre of film making in India. The industry thrived, prospered and grew here. Bombay being the biggest city in Marathi speaking area then, no wonder that initially the industry was dominated by Marathi speaking artists.

As the industry grew more and more Marathi people joined it,in all the branches of film making, whether it was production, editing, choreography, script writing, acting, composing or singing. The period of 1920 to 1960s was a time when Hindi film industry was crowded with Marathi artists.

The first Talkie was made in Bombay and as expected, Music became the main attraction in cinemas. It came up as a better alternative to Radio entertainment as people could hear as well as see unlike Radio where they could only hear the music.

To start with there was a heavy influence of Marathi stage/theatre music on HFM. The Gujarati and Parsi Theatres were also there, representing the 3 main communities in Bombay’s commercial, Business and socio-political activities.

The Marathi stage has a very old history. Influenced by the Yakshagan- traditional Dance Drama of Karnataka, the Marathi stage achieved a clear regional form by the middle of the 19th century.

Vishnudas Bhave started Marathi Theatre in 1840
Parsi Theatre(mainly Gujarati language) started in 1850
Dadi Patel started Urdu Dramas in 1871 and
Mulji and Wagh ji Asharam Oza established Morbi Natak Mandali,in Saurashtra, in 1878.

After 1840, many Natak Mandalis were founded and they staged Sangeet Nataks-running for 4 to 6 hours at a stretch, having atleast 25 to 40 songs in it. These were called NATYA GEET.

The stage dramas in Maharashtra had a deep and emotional impact on Marathi community, becoming a major means of entertainment, followed by Tamasha-a musical folk drama for the lower strata of the society.

So, when the Talkie came and provided music, many professionals of Marathi dramas joined this new wing of entertainment. Thus,the FIRST rung of composers and singers came from Marathi stage, forming the single largest group of musicians in the industry.

All the composers and singers had classical music base and theatre background. Some of the names were very well known.

Musicians like Deenanath Mangeshkar, Annasaheb Mainkar, Suresh Mane, Keshavrao Bhole, Govindrao Tembe, Master Krishnarao, Dada Chandekar, S.P.Rane(he hailed from Gujarat), Prof.B.R.Deodhar, Bapurao Ketkar, Vamanrao Sadolikar, M.G.Tembe, Dinkar Bidkar etc composed music in Hindi films in the 30s.

Their music was essentially based on Natya Sangeet and even the tunes were picked up from famous Natak songs. People in Maharashtra welcomed this style treating it as an extension of Nataks. It was readily lapped up as it was a popular familiar form of music that movie goers could readily identify with.

The Film production companies like Prabhat, Huns, Navyug, Saraswati Cinetone, Shalini Cinetone, Balwant Pictures etc made films in 2 languages, Marathi and Hindi. The language was different but the tunes and translated lyrics were almost same in most songs. Perticularly those songs which became popular and famous were retained in Hindi versions, unaltered. Sons like—–

1.Jamuna beech kheloon khel Kanhaiya-sung by Meenakshi Shirodkar in Bramhachari-38 was a faithful copy of Marathi ” Yamuna jali kheku khel kanhaiya..”
2.Ab kis liye kal ki baat-sung by Shanta Hublikar in Aadmi-39 was a ditto copy of the multilingual Marathi song-” Aata kashala udya chi baat…” from Maanus.
3.Man saaf tera hai ya nahi-sung by Parshuram in Duniya na Mane-37 was a verbatim translation of its counterpart in Marathi Kunku ” Man shuddha tuza..”

These are a few popular examples, but it happened with almost every Bilingual film. No one would mind it too. The influence of Marathi music was so much that one felt like listening to Marathi song, though they were Hindi songs.

Contrary to popular belief, the bilingual film production and same tune/lyric procedure was not restricted only to films made by Prabhat company, but many others like, Ranjit (Sant Tulsidas ), Sirco productions ( Mahatma Vidur ), Menaka Pictures (Swarn Mandir ), Samrat Cinetone (Naganand-35, the first film of C.Ramchandra as a Hero aginst Azambai ), Veena films-(Neela ), in addition to Kolhapur Cinetone, Huns Pictures, Shalini Cinetone, Saraswati Cinetone and Balwant Pictures also did the same.

From 1932, the Bilingual films were, Ayodhya ka Raja, Jalti Nishani, Maya Machhindra, Shyam Sunder, Amrit Manthan, Krishnarjuna Yudha, Swarna Mandir, Chandrasena, Dharmatma, Kaliya Mardan, Naganand, Neela, Usha,Chhaya, Duniya na maane, Pratibha, Premveer, Bramhachari, Raja Gopichand, Aadmi, Brandi ki botal, Sant Tulsidas, Sant Gyaneshwar, Sant Sakhu, Sant janabai, Padosi, Dus Baje, Mahatma Vidur etc etc.

From the year 1941, the music trend changed with the introduction of Punjabi style songs, which became immensely popular. Slowly, many other styles like, Gujarati, Bengali, Rajasthani, U.P. style etc entered and the newer lot of singers adapted themselves to these changes easily. From the 30s to the 60s it was a roller coaster ride on the musical wagon. I have planned to bring to the readers ,a glimpse of these changing patterns and styles in HFM.

From today, we are starting a New Series called “BADALTE HUE SAATHI “. Starting with Shanta Apte and Vasanti, we will travel down the memory lane, by listening to songs from different pairs like Vasanti and Khursheed, Khursheed with Surendra, Surendra with Geeta, Geeta with Hamida Bano etc etc.

The first song is from a Landmark film ” Duniya na maane”-37 made by Prabhat film company.

Prabhat which had its glorious days in the 30s and 40s has given the world cinema some of the most renowned films of the early Talkie era. The significant factor of Prabhat Films classics was the variety of genres in which its films were made. Never at the beginning talkie era(not only in India, but worldwide too)had filmmakers tried to tackle such a variety of subjects to create social awareness. It is a matter of great pride for Indian Cinema to go down memory lane and acknowledge this fact,in this Centenary year.

At a time when Indian filmmakers were making Mythological and Historical films-which were based on similar plays, Prabhat chose subjects which were sensitive, explosive and controversial for the society. These films dealt with subjects like abolition of human and Animal sacrifices, Untouchability, Women’s emancipation, Notions of Bhakti, Evil of forced marriages and eradication of prostitution through films like, Amrit Manthan, Dharmatma, Amarjyoti, Sant Tukaram, Duniya Na Maane, Aadmi, Padosi, Ramshastri and others.

Duniya Na Mane-1937 was a milestone in Indian Cinema because women’s cause and a voice against mismatched forced marriages was taken up for the first time in this movie. The movie dealt with practice of cruelty towards young women(read girls) married to older men.(There was a famous Marathi Drama SHARADA depicting marriage of a 13-14 years young girl to a rich old man of around 60).

It was Directed by V.Shantaram. The Cinematogarapher was V.Avadhoot, Dialogue and Lyrics were by Munshi Aziz and the Music was by Keshavrao Bhole. The story was based on the novel ” Na patnari gosht ” (Unacceptable matter) by a noted Novelist of all time marathi Literature-Narayan Hari Apte. The cast was Shanta Apte, Keshavrao Datey, Raja Nene, Vasanti, Shakuntala Paranjape (mother of Sai Paranjape and daughter of Wrangler Paranjape of Poona), master Chhotu, Vimlabai Vashishtha, Gauri, Karmarkar, Parshuram etc. There were 12 songs in it and songs were sung by Shanta Apte, Vasanti and Parshuram.

The film tells of a story of an young valiant and aspiring woman-Nirmala(Shanta Apte), married to an old widower and her life of tribulations. Instead of meekly surrendering to tragic fate,she takes it up as a challenge and makes her old husband realise the folly he has made.

An orphan Nirmala grows in her Old uncle’s and his young wife’s home. They are eager to see her married to someone who would give them money. Thus an old Keshav or kakasaheb (Keshavrao Datey) who is rich, widower and ready to marry is identified and in exchange of money, she is conned into marrying him. She had thought that she was getting married to a young person who had accompanied kakasaheb, when he came to see her. After the marriage she realises the cunning of her Uncle. She cuts off all relations with them and enters new home, where there is Sushila, the widow daughter of Kakasaheb and his son Jugal(Raja Nene) who has an eye on her. She engages herself with reading books, singing and getting encouraging advises from Sushila.

She does remain in the house as a dutiful wife but refuses his sexual desires and rejects his emotions. Full of repentence, he commits suicide , setting her free of the bondage for ever, leaving a note for Nirmala that she is free to marry some suitable boy. She thus makes it clear that such social injustice is wrong and should not happen again.

Today’s song, First in this series “Badalte Hue Saathi” is sung by Vasanti and Shanta Apte. We know quite a lot about Shanta Apte from information available on Internet. It is Vasanti who is not well known.

Vasanti Vinayakrao Ghorpade, was born on 26-3-1924 in Kolhapur. Her father’s sister Tanibai was a famous classical singer. Married to Bapusaheb Kagalkar, she was active in films till 1931 in Kolhapur. Vasanti was trained by Pt. Vamanrao Sadolikar and Ustad Bamman Khan. She first acted in Dharmatma-35 as a child artist. Then came Amarjyoti-36 and Duniya na maane-37. Her songs in these films were popular. She left Prabhat in 1939 and joined Ranjit. She did Sant Tulsidas, Musafir, Diwali, Achhoot, Beti, Sukh dukh etc. She also sang in Aapki marzi, Bhaktaraj and Kurbani.

In 1944,she married Indubhai Patel and went to Bangalore. Her last film was Bachhon ka khel-46,which was the first film of Meena Kumari.

let us now enjoy the duet by Vasanti Shanta Apte and Vasanti from ‘Duniya na maane’-1937. Munshi Aziz is the lyricist. Music is composed by Keshavrao Bhole.

Song-Saawan jhoola jhool ke nikla (Duniya Na Maane)(1937) Singer-Vasanti, Lyrics-Munshi Aslam Shah Aziz, MD-Keshavrao Bhole
Vasanti + Shanta Apte


saawan jhoola jhool ke nikla
bhaadon ki aayi bahaar
saawan jhoola jhool ke nikla
bhaadon ki aayi bahaar
nanhi nanhi boondan ki bauchhaar
kali kali ko karti pyaar
kahti phal phoolan ki daar
aaha bhaarat pyaara
aaha bhaarat pyaara
hai wo jag se nyaara

bharat mata ki dekhne shobha
didi ne bheja kunwaar
aa aa aa
bharat mata ki dekhne shobha aa
didi ne bheja kunwaar
didi hi pooja mein thha sansaar
karta thha phal phoolon se satkaar
dekh ke kahne laga ye kunwaar
aaha bhaarat pyaara
aaha bhaarat pyaara
hai wo jag se nyaara
aaha bhaarat pyaara
aaha bhaarat pyaara
hai wo jag se nyaara

aa aa aa
aayi deewaali chamkan laage ghar dar deewaar
aayi deewaali chamkan laage ghar dar deewaar
pag pag upar shobha nichhaawar
jagmat uthha sansaar
pag pag upar shobha nichhaawar
jagmat uthha sansaar
hansat hansat chalat phirat
umang mein nar naar
hansat hansat chalat phirat
umang mein nar naar
kisi ke galey phoolan ke haar
kisi ki jhaanjhan ki jhankaar
yahi jhankaaron ki thhhi pukaar
aaha bhaarat pyaara
hai wo jag se nyaara
aaha bhaarat pyaara
aaha bhaarat pyaara
mera bharat pyaara

4 Responses to "Saawan jhoola jhool ke nikla"

Thanks for coming up with a new series. It bears your stamp of indepth study, research and authenticity as usual.


Sir, with your each new post we feel more proud to have you with us and be blessed in your company.


This is solid information. May I add one perspective that it would be more accurate to say that the Marathi/Gujarati/Parsi domination in early films/ music referred to Bombay/Kolahapur/Pune. Bengal/Calcutta was another world of Pankaj Mullick, RC Boral and Timar Baran, KL Saigal, Pahadi Sanyal and KC Dey. As far as public awareness of early music is concerned, Calcutta is more into consciousness than Bombay.



Thanks for your comments.
You are right about the East.
East being East and Bengal having a king size regional pride,their film industry of the 30s and 40s never bothered about what was happening in field of Hindi film music in the west or elsewhere. They were contented with Robindra sangeet,Nazrul Geeti and the like of them.
It was only post Saigal-after 1935-really speaking,that the Calcutta film songs had an All India coverage.
My point about the Marathi/parsee and Gujarati influence was mainly on the music of 31 to late 30s in Bombay-made films.
Music by Calcutta based singers became popular all over India,thanks to NON FILM SONGS mainly,and NOT film songs from Calcutta made films.


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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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