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

Naina ban gaye saawan bhaadon

Posted on: June 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.

THE JOY OF NFS (Song No. 3)

Believe it or not, but there is some kind of an unseen hand of Destiny that shapes Human life. In film industry, one can see very strange cases. Some people gracefully retire, when they are on Top of their careers and some have to retire because there is no work for them. Some people join the industry in a department of their choice,but Destiny changes their life and they end up working and succedding in an entirely different field of activity.

Some examples are, Guru Dutt (Choreographer to Actor/Director), Ashok Kumar ( Lab Technician to Actor), Mehboob Khan ( Extra actor to Producer/Director), Shashi Kapoor Sr. ( actor to Professor of Maths in USA ), Ashraf Khan (actor/singer to Sufi Saint), Mukund Rai Trivedi (Music composer to Mine owner/Businessman) etc etc.

Uma Devi, who became a singing sensation overnight with her ” Dard “-47 song ” Afsana likh rahi hoon “, left singing and became a Comedy actress. What a turn of events to her Career ! There are a few other cases like Amirbai Karnataki, who left acting to concentrate on singing, Singer Shyam who was forced to do only acting in later life as there were no song assignment for him and Sailesh Mukherjee, who became a hero in films-with a New name, Shrikant Gaurav- after leaving singing/composing.

Tun Tun. The name conjures up the image of a roly-poly, funny woman. She was christened thus by none other than Dilip Kumar. She was working with the thespian in her first film Babul which had Nargis in the romantic lead. And the impact that she made with her debut was so “heavy” that Tun Tun emerged an overnight star. She was indeed Hindi cinema’s first-ever comedienne and roles were specially written for her. She did not make a special pair with any one comedian but she was paired with everyone from Bhagwan Dada, Agha, Sunder, Mukri, Dhumal, Johnny Walker to Keshto Mukherji.

The funny thing was that while all other heroines were on a constant diet, watching what they ate, Tun Tun made it a point to carry a dabba with her all the time, nibbling at junk food and mithai every minute she was on the sets. “I had to maintain myself,” she often joked.

But Tun Tun, whose real name was Uma Devi, did not join the film industry to become an actress. She was born on 24-12-1926 in a poor Khatri family, in the village Alipur,near Mathura,in U.P. She wanted to be a singer. In fact, even as a child she only dreamt of becoming a singer. And not just that, she, at the age of eight, had some great, almost impossible dreams. If and when she would sing, it had to be for Naushad only! She would not sing for any lesser music-director. Naturally, she had to struggle very hard to realise her dream.

Orphaned as an infant, Uma was raised by her chaacha in an obscure village near Mathura. Girls were not sent to school as a matter of course. Consequently, as a child Uma would climb on imli trees, play on farm yards and listen to film songs on the radio. She would listen to the names of the singers and music directors being announced on the radio and dream of hearing her name on the air waves.

However, a major hurdle stood in the way. Singing was taboo in her orthodox North Indian household. She began practising singing on the sly. Ramlila and film songs were her source of inspiration. She taught herself to read and write Hindi and later picked up a smattering of Urdu and English to get by in showbiz.

Luckily for Uma, her friend from Delhi came to her village. She was educated and had connections in the Bombay film industry. She wrote to her director friend in the tinsel-town to help Uma. In 1946, all of 13, Uma boarded the train to Bombay without informing her chaacha. In Bombay she struck up an instant friendship with actor-director Arun Ahuja and his singer-wife Nirmala Devi (Govinda’s parents). They introduced her to various music directors.

One of them was Allah Rakha who agreed to give her one song in the film Wamaq Azro, the others being sung by Mallika Pukhraj. Thus, Uma Devi sang “Hai do dil milte milte reh gaye…” and got paid Rs 200, a princely sum those days.

The quest for Naushad continued. Finally, A.R. Kardar, who was looking for fresh female voice for his heroine, viz Munawwar Sultana, introduced her to Naushad. She told him if he did not give her a chance, she would jump into the sea, which happened to be right across the bungalow where they were. The great music director asked the chubby Uma what was the “sur” she sang in. Uma was blank. She asked him to listen to her and decide. After listening to her for 10 minutes, Naushad gave the nod. A contract was signed and Uma was enrolled at Kardar Productions. She was paid Rs 500 as advance and arrangements were also made for her stay at the official guest house where the staff stayed.

Uma sang “Afsana likh rahi hoon, dil-e-baqarar ka, aankhon mein rang bhar ke tere intezar ka”… for Munawwar Sultana. The song floored the nation and established her as a front-ranker in the era of Noor Jahan Shamshad Begum and Mallika Pukhraj (Lata Mangeshkar had not yet arrived on the scene). She became Naushad’s favourite singer and he would reserve at least two songs for her in each of his films.

Uma Devi’s “Kahin jiya dole…” and “Dil ko lagaya humne…” from Anokhi Ada cemented her popularity. She was offered Chandralekha by director S.S. Vasan of Madras. She had to sing seven classical songs for music director S.S. Rajeshwarrao. Uma realised these were beyond her capabilities. However, Rajeshwarrao worked hard on her and helped her sing the compositions.

Uma’s career as a singer was short-lived. New singers entered the industry. It was impossible to keep pace with Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. “Rakhi”-brother Naushad used to compose songs to suit her range. But that could not have continued for long.

Her luck changed when she went to Madras in 1948,to sing in S.S.Vasan’s ” Chandralekha”-48. In doing so,she broke the contract conditions,laid down by the Kardar studios,for whom she was singing in Bombay. Director A.R.Kardar was so furious that he ensured that no singing assignments came her way. Still she sang in almost 12 films in 1949,before work stopped. There was a gap in her career.

When she resumed in 1950,the singing scenario had changed drastically with new singers and she was forced to take up acting,to survive. As a comedy actress she was extremely successful. As a singer she sang about 120 songs in 42 films. Even after becoming actress,she did sing in some films,but except in Deepak-52,all were duets,trios or chorus songs. her last song was in ‘Premi Gangaram’-1978

It was time to change tracks. Naushad advised her to switch to acting. He felt she would make an excellent comedienne for she had a natural flair for the funny stuff.

Once again, Uma wanted the best. She said she wanted a role opposite Dilip Kumar. Naushad couldn’t stop laughing, but he talked to Dilip. A role was created for Uma and she got her first film Babul in 1950. A scene required her to chase Dilip around a charpai (cot), but she ran so fast that she would leave the hero behind. Ultimately, after repeated takes, she pulled him in front of her. But in the process she fell on the charpai and Dilip fell on her. The shot was canned and they retained the shot. The credits announced her name as Uma Devi, but they decided to give her a screen name. It was Dilip Kumar’s idea to call her Tun Tun.

Tun Tun did many films later. She had a fan in Guru Dutt and acted in almost all his films. Her favourite role too was from Guru Dutt’s “Mr and Mrs 55” in which she played a Christian lady.

Having more or less left films, Tun Tun, alias Uma Devi, led a retired life in a middle-class residence at Andheri, Mumbai. She spent her time playing with her grandchildren or listening to her favourite songs on All-India Radio. It was, after all, listening to the radio that got her attracted to the film industry in the first place.

Uma Devi aka Tun Tun died on 24-11-2003,after a long illness.

The NFS which is presented today, may have been recorded in or around 1949-50, when she was not getting song assignments.

Enjoy this NFS from Uma Devi……

Song-Naina ban gaye saawan bhaadon (Uma Devi NFS)(1950) Singer-Uma Devi, Lyrics-Madhukar Rajasthani, MD-K Murari Sharma


naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon

kaise in nainon ko bataaun
kya kehke dil ko samjhaaun
kaise in nainon ko bataaun
kya kehke dil ko samjhaaun
bhool tihaari hai ye saari
na tum kehte
na ye ladte ae ae
na tum kehte
na ye ladte
na bante ye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon

palken bani hain kaali ghataayen
jhapak jhapak kar jiyara daraayen
palken bani hain kaali ghataayen
jhapak jhapak kar jiyara daraayen
kaise kahoon main yaad jo aati
bijli bankar
dil mein samaati ee ee ee
bijli bankar
dil mein samaati
tab naina bante saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon
naina aa
ban gaye saawan bhaadon


14 Responses to "Naina ban gaye saawan bhaadon"


Many many f the happy returns of the day Atulji!!

Atul ji

“Janam din ki Shubh Kaamanaayein ”


Very melodious and pleasant, simple without too much ‘SHOR’!

Many many Happy Returns of the day. Also many happy faster return on the blog. Thanks

Nice song. Noorjahan, Zohrabai Ambalewali and now Uma Devi. Is there any NFS by Surinder Kaur? Can you give a brief profile of Murari Sharma?

Let me wish ‘Many happy returns of the day’ to dear Atul-ji
Thanks Arun-ji for the beautiful and simple song of Uma Devi.
Third: Venkat-ji,
Murari Sharma was my neighbor at Goregaon, (Mumbai). He was a grade ‘A’ violinist in Film industry and AIR. Thanks to him, during seventies, I could meet and photograph Lata-ji, Talat, Mukesh, Asha, Manna Dey, Madan Mohan, C Ramchandra, Roshan, Naushad etc when he used to take me to recording studios during song recordings, where he was playing violin in the orchestra. We used to enjoy till late night at my home listening to my huge collection of Classical music, Gazals and old film songs. I relish the memory of his good company, till I stayed there.

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with Murari Sharma.

@ Atul ji – sorry i am late! my belated birthday greetings to you. many best wishes too!

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