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

Prem nagar ki oar chale hain

Posted on: March 21, 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 3 (Khursheed Bano- Surendra)
Khursheed, who dominated the 40s with her memorable songs, was about to leave India for Pakistan, after partition. By that time, she had become a major singing star of the industry and was singing with other major singing stars of that time. In the previous article, A rising Khursheed sang with a fading Vasanti. In the song under discussion, Khusheed, on the verge of bowing out from the industry, joins forces with another star actor singer of the time, viz- SURENDRA.

Surendranath Sharma was one of those rare artists who did not have to struggle for entry into films as a Hero.On the contrary,he had to be cajoled and convinced to join films. As a lucky person,he had those 3 things with him,which the Industry was looking for in every entrant to the films. ONE- he was very handsome. TWO-he was a singer. And THREE- he was educated and from a respectable family.

Surendranath Sharma was the son of shri Reliaram and Ratan Devi Sharma of Punjab. He and his sister Sheela,both were fond of singing.When he was just 8 years old,his mother died and he was put into a Boarding school. Surendranath did his B.A. and was completing his LL.B. He used to sing in private parties and functions as well as college shows.he considered singing as his Hobby.

Those were the days when every studio in Bombay was worried as to how to counter the assault from the films made in Calcutta, with K L Saigal singing in them. Saigal was becoming a national favourite. These studios from west were looking for an answer to Saigal, and were desperately searching for a singer of calibre. One of the scouts, Alopi Prasad,heard Surendra,singing in a private party. he was impressed with the handsome personality of Surendra. He contacted Surendra and persuaded him to come to Bombay with him.

After his LL.B.,Surendra came to Bombay. Bombay was ecstatic with his looks and singing and immediately Sagar Movietone signed him on a princely salary of Rs. 400/- pm on their rolls.In those days this was a fabulous salary.(consider, Ashok kumar had started on Rs.100 and after 3 Hits in Bombay Talkies,was mad with joy when his salary increased to Rs.250/-p.m. ! He did not know where to keep this ‘huge’ amount, till his friend Manto suggested him to keep it in Post Office.).

Director Mehboob Khan took him as Hero in his film ” Deccan Queen “-released in 1936. Aruna devi was his Heroine. In this film itself,he was made to sing a song ” Birha ki aag lagi more man mein”,on the tune of Saigal’s famous song from Devdas-35,” Balam aye baso more man mein”. The composer Pransukh Nayak ( a ‘Dada’ in Gujarat stage and film field) tried his best to make Surendra’s singing style as Saigal’s copy.

But Surendra was an astute artiste. He soon realised that copying Saigal was not going to take him anywhere and so from his next film-Manmohan itself, he tried to develop his own style. Lo and Behold ! The songs of Manmohan-36, particularly,” Tumhi ne mujh ko prem sikhaya”-with Bibbo, became an instant Hit. All songs composed by Ashok Ghosh were popular. SURENDRA had arrived ! Then there was no looking back. Surendranath became one of the major singers of Indian Films. The period of 1936 to 1948 was his Golden Period in singing.

After 1948, he got many competitors like Rafi, Mukesh, Talat, Batish etc. By 1954, his singing diminished to a great extent. Actually Naushad-who once,patronised him so much, did not give even a single song to Surendra in the film Baiju Bawra-52. On the contrary, he was made to lip sync his songs in this movie !

In 1954, he did his last Hero’s role in ‘Mahatma Kabir’. he continued doing character roles till ‘Kunwara Baap’-73. He was last heard in a song with Manna Dey and Mehmood in the film-Pati Patni-1966. His last acting role was in ‘ Abhi to jee lein.’-1977. He did about 63 films in all. After films, he wisely established a Short films and Ad films production company, which soon prospered after the advent of Television in India.

Surendranath Sharma died on 12-9-1987 at Bombay. His son Kailashnath continued with Ad films and soon became a very successful producer.(His company had produced ‘Mile sur mera Tumhara’ and other national integration films.) I had an opportunity to meet his son Kailashnath,his wife and Surendra’s close relatives during the release function of the book,” SAGAR MOVIETONE”, written by shri Biren ji Kothari. The function was held in Mumbai on 11-2-2014. Aamir Khan had released the book. At that time I also had an opportunity to talk to Susheelarani,yesteryear Heroine of the 40s and wife of the great Baburao Patel.

Khursheed left India in 1947. This was the peak period of Surendra. But after 1948, he too went downhill as many new singers and composers joined films. By 1950, the singing styles and composing patterns changed considerably. Till then there were singer actors, but specialist playback singers,who did not work on the screen had become the practice by that time. This change came as a fresh breath of air for many, but it turned out to be the undoing of most old time singers (Surendra, Zohrabai, Amirbai etc),who were simply blown away during these winds of change.

Film Manjhdhar-1947 was made by Minerva Movietone. It was directed by Sohrab Modi. Originally, the Music Director was Ghulam Hyder. However he was in a hurry to go to Pakistan after partition, so the film was given to Gyan Dutt and Anil Biswas. Ghulam Hyder had composed 4 songs, Gyan Dutt composed 4 songs (including today’s song) and Anil Biswas composed one (Two-parts) song, thus making a total of 9 songs in the film. All songs were written by Shams Lucknowi. The cast of the film was Khursheed, Surendra, Rafiq Ghaznavi, Erich Tarapore, Sadiq Ali, Baby Tabassum etc.

It was quite natural that an old timer like Surendra would try to keep up with the changes by singing with singers of the new generation, like Geeta Roy. Geeta had entered the films in 1946, 10 years after Surendra started singing in films. For the next 15-20 years, Geeta was in the Top league of singers. Our next song would be a Surendra-Geeta Roy song…

Now let us enjoy a song of fading Khursheed with the then ‘on the Top’ Surendra, from the film Manjhdhar-1947…

(Thanks to Shri Biren ji Kothari, for some material from his book ” Sagar Movietone “, used herein.).

Song-Prem nagar ki oar chale hain (Manjdhaar)(1947) Singers-Khursheed Bano, Surendra, Lyrics-Shams Lucknowi, MD-Gyan Dutt


prem nagar ki oar chale hain
prem ke do matwaale ae ae
geet khushi ke gaa le ae ae
geet khushi ke ga le

laut aayin sukh ki ghadiyaan
dukh ka mausam beeta
laut aayin sukh ki ghadiyaan
dukh ka mausam beeta
jis baazi ko haar rahe thhe
jis baazi ko haar rahe thhe
phir se usko jeeta

phir se rang rachaa le racha le racha le ae ae
phir se rang rachaa le racha le racha le ae ae
phir se mauj manaa le ae ae
geet khushi ke ga le ae ae
geet khushi ke ga le

chaand mein thha andhiyaara chhaaya
sooraj ne usko chamkaaya
chaand mein thha andhiyaara chhaaya
sooraj ne usko chamkaaya
andhiyaare hi andhiyaare mein
andhiyaare hi andhiyaare mein
phir bhaye ujiyaare
geet khushi ke gaa le ae
geet khushi ke ga le

bhor ka bhola chaand suhaaye
bhor bina hi kab chain aaye
bhor ka bhola chaand suhaaye
bhor bina hi kab chain aaye
apni manzil paa lete hain
apni manzil paa lete hain
man ko lagaane waale ae ae

geet khushi ke ga le ae ae
geet khushi ke ga le
prem nagar ki oar chale hain
prem ke do matwaale ae ae
geet khushi ke ga le ae ae
geet khushi ke ga le


11 Responses to "Prem nagar ki oar chale hain"

Thank you Arun ji
for so much of information regarding Surendranath.

I have seen him in many V.Shantaram directed movies.
Kailash Surendranath married actress/dancer Aarthi Gupta. Am I right ?

Prakash ji,
Yes.his wife’s name is Aarti.

Arun Sir,

Extremely informative and exciting series. There is always a sense of secrecy as to who the next co-singer will be. Also, one will wait for who the co-singer will be with popular singers like Lata, Rafi, Mukesh et. al. I hope you will include them all in the series.

The series name is missing at the top of the post. Will be better to have it as you are only in the 3rd song of the series.

Many Thanks.

Mahesh ji,
Your suggestions will be implemented. This article IS having a HEADING now,thanks to Atul ji.

Extremely fascinating series. Vivid description transports the reader to the era of happening. Simply wonderful.

Thank you,sir.

Extremely fascinating series. Vivid description transports the reader to the era of happening. Enjoyed the song too.

Missing words ”

jis (?) ko haa(?) rahe thhe
jis (?) ko haa(?) rahe thhe
phir se usko dekha

correct words:

jis baazi ko haar rahe thhe
phir se uss ko jeeta

?? andhiyaare mein
?? andhiyaare mein

” andhiyaare hi andhiyaare mein ‘

bhor ka gola chaand suhaaye
bhor bina hi sab chain aaye
apni manzil paa lete hain
apni manzil paa lete hain
?? lagaane waale ae ae

correct words :

bhor ko bhola chaand suhaaye
bho bina hi kab chain aaye
apni manzil pa lete hain
man ko lagaane waale

Thanks for the corrections.

This is a rare gem if information. Great work done. Shams Lucknowi happens to be my father. He has to his credit some of the biggest and great films as as a prolific writer. Films like Andaz can never be forgotten. Great job.

Thanks for your appreciation.
Your father was a great lyricist.

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