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

Ham chale watan ki oar

Posted on: April 14, 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.

THE VIBRANT 40s (Episode No. 4)
In this world there are only two things which are certain, the First is CHANGE and the second is DEATH.

Change is a sign of Life. Change is improvement. Change is Development. Change is Survival. Those who do not adopt changes became outdated. All of us have read in recent Newspapers that Microsoft is stopping support to Windos XP. Those who have not adapted to this change and have not shifted to the newer version are in for serious trouble.

Change is so inevitable in our life that it looks like a permanent feature of Life for ever. Our friends change. Our styles change. Values change and most of the times our attitudes change. If one wants to remain successful in Life, one must learn how to adapt to changes. Those who do not change lose their relevance and existence….like New Theatres, Calcutta.

In the initial era of Talkie films,Calcutta was a real ” Dada ” in terms of making meaningful films, having Big stars, Big studios and spreading melodious music all over India.

NEW THEATRES ( NT ) was established by B.N.Sircar,on 10-2-1931, in Tollygunj, Calcutta. It had three studio floors for shooting. It had the best Technicians, the best actors and the best Musicians. From 1931 to 1955, New Theatres produced 177 films, a Record unlikely to be broken in future by any single production house. The nearest rival was Ranjit studios ,with 175 films produced. It is not that there was no competition for them in Bengal. In 1935, there were 14 production houses in Calcutta and in 1938, there were 38 of them, though some ,like Madon Theatres closed down soon.

New Theatres was mammoth, peopled by giants. Through 30s and early 40s, New Theatres had the biggest names in Indian cinema on their payrolls. K L Saigal, Pahadi Sanyal, Jamuna Devi and Leela Desai were ‘discovered’ by New Theatres. Others like P C Barua, Kanan Devi, Umashashi, Molina and Chandrabati emerged as stars at New Theatres. Some like Durgadas Bandopadyaya and Prithviraj Kapoor had been stars before coming to New Theatres. They had directors like Premankus Attorthy, Debki Bose, Madhu Bose, D N Ganguly, Nitin Bose, Hiren Bose, R C Boral(only Bangla), Profulla Roy, Phani Majumdar, Bimal Roy, Hemchandra Chunder, sound recordist Mukul Bose and Musical giants like R C Boral, Pankaj Mullick, Timir Baran and K C Dey.

B N Sircar was the Patriarch, the disciplinarian, who held them together like in a big family. New Theatres had a veritable galaxy and clashes between the Titans were inevitable. New Theatres had its own share of fall outs, peer rivalries, squabbles and scandals. Due to the stern and uncompromising nature of B N Sircar, the first to leave was Pramathesh Barua, then Nitin Bose, Kanan Devi and Pankaj Mullick. There was that famous spat between Debki Bose and Nitin Bose on the sets of Meerabai-1933 itself and they stopped talking to each other. Add to this the heavy drinking of Saigal and Umashashi’s elopement with the heir of Shova bazar palace. Each of this has an independent story. Let us see only what happened in case of Nitin Bose.

Director Nitin Bose, who left New Theatres during World War II, also reportedly had a falling-out with B. N. Sircar over the latter’s decision to remove studio equipment during the war without consulting Bose, who was head of the technical department at New Theatres.

Sircar, however, denied any such charge, indicating instead that money matters were responsible for the split, “No, I didn’t have any disagreement with him. I had three units. I transferred one of them because of the bombing—some lights, some of the cameras, sound craft and editing machine. Actually, he had wanted a sudden rise in remuneration which I had not been able to satisfy.” Other accounts, however, refer to the rift, which supposedly happened during the shooting of Kashinath (1943), Nitin Bose’s last film at New Theatres.

According to Bagishwar Jha’s account, in the course of the shooting Bose needed a “solar”, and was surprised to find none in the studio, which had been built under his direct supervision and did not lack any necessary equipment. Later, he learned that B. N. Sircar had removed all valuable equipment to his countryside house in Shimultala for fear of their being destroyed in the bombing. Not getting a satisfactory explanation from Sircar as to why he had not been consulted before such a measure was taken, an aggrieved Nitin Bose reportedly told B. N. Sircar that henceforward he did not wish to be associated with New Theatres. What is significant, however, is not whether it was Sircar’s refusal to pay higher remuneration, or his unilateral decision to transfer equipment from the studio that led to the rift. Interesting is the manner in which accounts of alleged disputes have been glossed in sentimental rhetoric.

This shook Nitin Bose’s confidence but in spite of it he continued attending the studio to complete the shooting vainly hoping,—“ If only B N Sircar comes and speaks to him (sic) he (sic) will withdraw his words”. Perhaps B N Sircar had the same expectations,—“If only Nitin Bose comes and talks to him (sic), he (sic) will make amends.” But that was not to be. Completing the shooting of Kashinath, Nitin Bose left going to the studio. He did not even go to see the completed film; and he did not see Kashinath even after.”

The political situation in Bengal after the WW II,i.e. 1945 also caused the journey of New Theatres towards its downfall and eventual closure in 1956. If only B N Sircar had changed his attitude, New Theatres would not have died so soon, without a fight and so tamely, in the face of competition. The biggest bank of Bengal, which financed New Theatres- The National bank also went into liquidation at same time to add to their woes further.

Personally, I would not hold B N Sircar alone responsible for the declining of New Theatres, which was Hindi cinema from Bengal itself in reality. Another very important factor was, while many stalwarts like Saigal, Prithviraj Kapoor, Kidar Sharma, R C Boral, Pankaj Mullick etc made a beeline for Bombay, Hindi cinema music in Calcutta remained the same, where it was in 1931, without any change. On the other hand, Bombay had enriched its music by adapting to the changing times with a mix of music from Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Lahore and the south. The music of 40s in Bombay had become Vibrant, whereas there was no change whatsoever in Bengal Hindi music. It kept drawing from Robindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti. May be, the extreme variety of Regional pride of Bengal came in the way of adopting and adapting to the changes. Thus Bombay became the undisputed capital of Hindi Cinema and Music.

today’s song is from film Kashinath-43,a major film for Asit Baran as a Hero. Asit Baran was born on 19-11-1913 at Calcutta in a middle class family. His pet name was Kalo. He was not much interested in schooling. He learnt music and Tabla from Gyanprakash Ghosh. he became an expert in Tabla playing and did a few programmes on Calcutta A.I.R. also. In one of the All India Music Conferences, Pahadi Sanyal noticed him and invited him to New Theatres. Impressed with his good looks and singing capability, he got a role of Pahadi Sanyal’s younger Brother in film “Protishruti”-42. He acted in several Hindi and Bangla films of New Theatres.

His first Hindi film- Saugandh-42, was a remake of “Protishruti”. He did the same role in the original Bangla movie as well as in its Hindi remake. His songs became popular. In all, Asit Baran acted and sang in 43 films-Hindi and Bangla together. Some of his Hindi films were Saugandh, Jawab, Wapas, Arabian Nights, Parineeta, Suhag Sindoor, Kashinath, Wasiyatnama, Manzoor, Roop kahani, Faraar, Azadi ke baad etc. He left New Theatres in 1952 and came to Bombay on the invitation by Sailesh Mukherjee,to act in Suhag Sindoor. By this time, his voice had deteriorated and he was given playback by Sailesh Mukherjee. Same thing happened in Parineeta also.

Asit Baran returned to Calcutta and did some more Bangla films. He founded a Theatre group called “Rangorash” which spread the teachings of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhans ji.

He died on 27-12-1984 at Calcutta.

Film Kashinath was a remake of a Bangle film of the same name. Through this film,Bombay got 2 new stars- one Director Nitin Bose and two,singer actress Radharani. This was a different Radharani than the one in Saigal’s early films of 30s. Radharani was from a migrant Marwari family,settled in Calcutta. her Bangla was accurate. She was more famous for her ” Pala-keertan” (Radha Krishna romance) songs. She sang many private songs recorded by Hindustan records.

After the spat with B N Sircar, Nitin Bose came to Bombay with his group of artistes. He had a contract with Chunnibhai Desai’s ” Shree Films” for 3 films. This Chunnibhai was the elder brother of Chimanlal Desai of Sagar Movietone (later of National studios and then Amar Pictures). His first film was a Bilingual in Bangle/Hindi- Paraya Dhan-1943. This was a flop. Then came ‘Mujrim’-44. This too was a flop. the hird film was ‘Mazdoor’-45. For this film,Nitin Bose had advertised for a Hero. One day 4 candidates were interviewed. First was Dev Anand,second was Rehman,third was Chetan Anand and the fourth was Nasir Khan. Nitin Bose rejected the first 3 and selected Dilip kumar’s brother Nasir Khan. Most unfortunately,this film also became a flop. Luckily,he was invited by Bombay Talkies to make a film in Bangla/Hindi,based on tagore’s story ‘Nauka Doobi’. Hindi version was ‘Milan’,with Dilip Kumar and meera Mishra and Ranjana etc. this film was a Hit and Nitin Bose firmed up his position in Bombay.

Film Kashinath-43 made by New Theatres had music by Pankaj Mullick. It had 9 songs in it. The cast of the film was Asit Baran,Sunanda Devi,bharati devi,nawab,Nemo,radharani etc. The story of the film was-

Shiromoni (Nemo) is the priest of the village. He had lost his wife. He had only one son Kashinath (Asit Baran). One day as he fell ill he sent Kashinath to the Mukherjee house for daily worshiping. When Kashinath returned home he found his father dead. So Mr. Mukherjee requested the zamindar of adjacent village Pitambar Chakraborty (Utpal Sen) to take the responsibility of Kashinath. Kashinath didn’t want to leave his village, and her friend Bindu, Mukherjee’s daughter. Widow Pitambar liked Kashinath at the first sight. He was worried about her daughter Kamala (Sunanda Banerjee). So he arranged an early marriage of Kamala and Kashinath. Bindu was struggling with his ailing husband and so he called Kashinath. Kashinath came to Calcutta to meet Bindu but it was impossible for him to get back early. In the meantime Pitambar made a will before his death and gave all his property to his daughter Kamala. He also gave the charge of looking after the estate to a foreign returned manager. After returning Kashinath found there was a huge gap between him and Kamala. The new manager Mr. Dutta also took the advantage of the misunderstanding between husband and wife. One day Kashinath was insulted by his wife and was hurt by the attack of goons deputed by Mr. Dutta. Bindu came and took Kashinath along with her. Hearing that Kamala rushed to Kashinath and came to know Bindu was none other then Kashinath’s sister, so again Kamala and Kashinath were united.

Let us now enjoy this song from “Kashinath” (1943). It is a train song sung by Asit Baran and picturised on himself. Pt Bhushan is the lyricist. Music is composed by Pankaj Mullick.

( My thanks to Sharmistha Gooptu’s article ‘ The glory that was-National theatre”, for some information used here.)


Song-Ham chale watan ki oar(Kashinath)(1943) Singer-Asit Baran, Lyrics-Pt Bhushan, MD-Pankaj Mullick


Ham chale watan ki oar

ham chale watan ki oar
kheench raha hai
kheench raha hai
koi hamko
taan ke prem ki dor oar oar
ham chale watan ki oar
ham chale watan ki oar

phool khile hain naye naye
aur nayi konpalen aayin
mast hawa ye chali
ee ee ee ee
ee ee ee
daaliyaan aan aan
jhoom jhoom leharaayi
naach raha hai
naach raha hai
taal taal par mastaana man mor
ham chale watan ki oar
ham chale watan ki oar

aaj kisi ki
poori hogi
hansenge aaj kisi ke naina
ras tapkaaye ye kaanon mein
kisi ke manohar meethhe naina aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aaj khushi ke sukh suhaag ka
aaj khushi ke suhaag suhaag ka
rahega oar na chhor
ham chale watan ki
chale watan ki
ham chale watan ki oar
ham chale watan ki oar

6 Responses to "Ham chale watan ki oar"

In spite of your writing “One must learn how to adapt to changes. Those who do not change lose their relevance and existence….” and knowing that too myself, for years. I have not adapted the change in Hindi Film Music.
My clock has, as if, stopped since seventies. At 82, I am confident that I will be Happy with my such views for the next 30, 40 50 years left in my life, as far as Hindi Film Music is concerned. .
Please treat this ‘lightly’, and this comment is not to contradict you, whom I admire very much.


It is ” aas kisiki” and not aaj khushiki. vasishtha


Yes, it is ‘aas kisi ki puri hogi’ … Thanks !!

@ Atul ji – kindly correct the lines ‘aaj khushi ki ?? hogi’ as ‘aas kisi ki puri hogi’ please.
and thanks for this post Deshmukh Sir & Atul ji. I always love to listen song of Pankaj Mullick Saab. Great voice !!


The singer for this song is Asit Baran ji.
Sorry, I correct myself that ‘I like compositions of Pankaj Mullick Saab and the songs sung by him too’.


Nitin Bose is credited to famous zulfe style of Diip Kumar. While shooting for some boat sequence Dilip’s locks flew over is forehead in the wind. At first he shouted cut. Then he realized what he saw looked good and allowed the shot.


Thanks for dividing it into 2 parts; more convenient.
However while going from page 1 to 2 we have to go to top again to click on page 2. This facility should be at the bottom of page 1 itself for smoother transition to page 2.


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