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

Prem bel mein phool na patte

Posted on: June 25, 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. 7)
The word Non Film Song brings few names to mind immediately, like Jagmohan, Saigal, Kamala Jharia, Juthika Roy, Pankaj Mullick etc. I could never understand the reason and logic behind most NFS singers hailing from the Eastern part of India. Even Talat Mehmood went to Calcutta and sang all his famous NFS.

Saigal, Jagmohan and Pankaj Mullick…the TRIMURTY who made NFS so popular with their magical voice. Jagmohan, Pankaj Mullick and Saigal sang many NFS, in this order of numbers. Today we will enjoy a NFS from one of them…Pankaj Mullick.

Pankaj Mullick was born on 10th may 1905 at Calcutta, India. Pankaj Mullick was the son of Manimohan Mullick who had a great interest in traditional music, and would invite eminent singers and instrumentalists to perform during religious festivals. Born in a middle class Bengali family, it was here that Pankaj Mullick drew inspiration from classical Hindustani music. From a very early age, he decided that his vocation would be music, and though enrolled in college, he did not pursue higher education. After completing his college studies he became a student of Durgadas Banerjee. Later, he joined Dinendra Nath Tagore for learning music. His first record was released by the Videophone Company in the year 1926.

Pankaj Mullick was lucky to be introduced to the Tagore family, which was to have an everlasting influence upon him. Rabindra Sangeet became his forte, and he is the only man who has tuned a Rabindranath poem to music, ‘Diner Seshey, Ghoomer Deshey’ with the great poet’s total approval. The approval of the great poet came to Pankaj after endless numbers of hours of waiting on him, and the story has it that it was for a college function that Pankaj had approached the great poet to have his permission to perform one of his poetries, to which Rabindranath Tagore asked him to sing out the composition that he had in mind. It was after hearing his composition that Rabindranath was so very overcome with the tune that he granted him a total approval for all his poetries. Thus was through Pankaj Mullick’s songs that Rabindra Sangeet became popular in every Bengali household, even raising great interest among Western music connoisseurs.

Pankaj Mullick regarded the balance and equanimity of the mind as his best asset, providing him with status as a human being and an artiste. Pankaj Mullick enjoyed a very close relationship with AIR (All India Radio) since its very inception in 1928, then a private broadcasting organization. For very many years, his Sunday music lessons had thousands of listeners, specially among young girls. It was at his initiative that the use of the tabla was introduced to keep rhythm for Rabindra Sangeet, which the poet had not previously adopted.

Though not really an actor, even though appearing in some six or seven films, his first experience was in a small role in Chashar Meye. It is interesting to note that when this silent film was being exhibited at Calcutta, Pankaj Mullick would conduct his orchestra to provide background music. Pankaj Mullick and R. C. Boral supplemented each other on many occasions whilst composing music for New Theatres’ films. One of the Pankaj Mullick’s most notable scores was for Mukti in which director P.C. Barua had assigned him a role.

On joining the New Theatres in 1933, he composed music for ‘Yahudi ki Ladki’. He assisted R. C. Boral in Dhoop Chaon (1935), Karorpati and Manzil (1936) and President (1937). His Bengali films include Mukti (1937), Desher Mati (1938), Badididi (1939), Jiban Maran (1939), Nartaki (1940), Daktar (1940), Meenakshi (1942), Dikshul (1943), Dui Purush (1945), Nurse Sisi (1947), Ramer Sumati (1947), Pratibad (1948), Roop Katha (1950), Nabin Yatra (1953), Mahaprasthaner Pathey (1953), Rajkamal (1955), Louha-Kapat (1957), Aahwan (1961) and Bighalita Karuna Jahabi Jamuna (1972).

Pankaj Mullick was extremely thankful and loyal to New Theatres. When most of the old stalwarts left New Theatres and went to Bombay,Pankaj Mullick never left. He did some Hindi films’ music from Calcutta itself. He visited Bombay but only for private stage shows,or on way to Gujarat etc. In his autobiography,Pankaj Mullick does express his dissatisfaction with New Thetre’s treatment to him in terms of money or recognition,but he stuck to it till the last.

Pankaj Mullick wrote many books, a few of them are : Geet Valmiki, Swara Lipika, Raga Lakshana Geet Manjari and Mahishasura Mardina. He received Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1972. He died on 19th February 1978. The first person to reach his residence was R.C.Boral.

According to an article in Apna archieve,Pankaj Mullick’s FIRSTS are-

1. Playback singing in films started under his music direction in 1935,along with R.C.Boral.

2. Pankaj Mullick was one of the first to incorporate western instruments and elements of western music such as harmony and counter melody in Indian cinema.

3. He was the first teacher to teach music to millions via radio. The number of singers whom Pankaj Babu trained who then went on to scale extraordinary heights in their field is at least twenty names long beginning with Kundan Lal Saigal, Kanan Devi, Suchitra Mitra and more.

4. He was the first person to win Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s approval and permission to tune his poems, sing them in public and incorporate them in cinema. To quote Gurudev (Jorasanko Thakubari, 1937): “All those lyrics of mine that I will not get the opportunity to set tune during my lifetime, I leave to you to embellish them with your music.” Gurudev’s trust and Pankaj Babu’s dedication helped spread the tranquility and beauty of Rabindra Sangeet all over India. He is fittingly recognized as the foremost ambassador of Rabindra Sangeet.

5. Pankaj Babu introduced tabla in Rabindra Sangeet and also made harmonium an integral part even though Tagore had disliked the use of harmonium.

6. Pankaj Babu was the first music composer to be awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1972.
7. The longest running program on AIR remains the classic live early morning broadcast of Chandipath and Mahishasura Mardini on Mahalaya Amavasya that Pankaj Babu started in 1931 and conducted every year until 1975 (except 1944). The program continues even today.

Pankaj Mullick’s name became famous all over India in the late 30s,40s and early 50s. Readers who grew up in this period will know the craze of his songs amongst the music lovers. I,for one, remember listening to his records on our gramophone. One of my uncles was very fond of his songs and had a box full of records of Pankaj and Jagmohan. In the film ” Yatrik”-1952, Pankaj Mullick sang lines from Shiv stotra and Kumarsambhav etc. His diction and pronunciation of Sanskrit was absolutely flawless. He will be rememebered for his delightful Non Film Songs too.

Let us enjoy one of his melodious NFS today……

Song-Prem bel me phool na pattey(Pankaj Mullick NFS)(1950) Singer-Pankaj Mullick, Lyrics-A H Shor, MD-Pankaj Mullick


prem bel mein phool na patte
naa phal
naa phal ismein aaye
prem bel mein phool na patte
naa phal ismein aaye
phir bhi man kitnaa moorakh hai
phir bhi man kitnaa moorakh hai
preetam pe mar jaaye
prem bel mein phool na patte
naa phal ismein aaye
prem bel mein phool na patte

tadap-tadap mar jaaye
tadap-tadap mar jaaye
tadap-tadap mar jaaye chakoraa
aa aa
aa aa aa
tadap-tadap mar jaaye chakoraa
kali-kali pe bhanwre bhanwaraa
premi kaa bholaapan dekho
premi kaa bholaapan dekho
aag se aag bujhaaye
hey ae
premi kaa bholaapan dekho
aag se aag bujhaaye
prem bel mein phool na patte
naa phal ismein aaye
prem bel mein phool na patte

mar kar jeenaa
aa aa aa
jee kar marnaa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
mar kar jeenaa jee kar marnaa
hansnaa hans kar aahen bharnaa
man hi man mein ro kar premi
man hi man mein ro kar premi
man hi man mein ro kar premi
nainon mein muskaaye
hey ae
man hi man mein ro kar premi
nainon mein muskaaye
prem bel mein phool na patte
naa phal ismein aaye
prem bel mein phool na patte


4 Responses to "Prem bel mein phool na patte"

The reason for the popularity of NFS in the Eastern Part of India is probably because of the tradition of Puja songs. These are NFS sung by popular singers and are not in any way devotional.

Vijay ji,

The popularity of NFS was on All India Basis,but the singers were mainly from Eastern India. May be your guess that Pooja songs encouraged Hindi NFS,may be correct.

I am sorry for the long absence. Thanks for the extremely wonderful post and song.

I would like to add a some details.

Pankaj Mullick’s father was a very religious person. Their family deity was Lord Jagannath. The Ratha Yatra Utsav was celebrated at their place for eight days every year. On this occasion he used to organize musical programs where Kirtan, Shyamasangeet, Ramprasadi, Nidhu Babu’s Tappa were rendered. Durgadas Bandopadhyay was invited to sing on one such occasion. Young Pankaj Mullick had a knack for singing and had picked up a few songs. He had an opportunity to sing before Durgadas Babu that year, and Durgadas Babu was so impressed by young Pankaj Mullick’s singing that he convinced Pankaj Mulick’s father and uncle to let him learn music under his tutelage. Pankaj Mullick started learning Bengali Tappa, which was known as Nidhu Babu’s Tappa, the name derived from its initiator Ram NIdhi Gupta. It was derived from the North Indian/Punjabi Tappa popularly known as Shori Mian’s Tappa. Durgadas Bandopadhyay was adept in this form of Tappa, besides other classical forms.

Besides, Pankaj Mullick fondly remembers two more persons from his younger days. One person was his brother-in-law who was quite elder to him. He was an amateur singer and whenever he visited his In-laws’ place he used to come with his Harmonium and everybody, his brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws, used to gather around him to hear him sing. He was fond of Pankaj Mullick and he had taught young Pankaj a few songs from popular plays like ‘Jaydev’, Kamale Kamini, Balidaan etc. Besides the songs young Pankaj was very much attracted to the Harmonium. ‘Just at the pressing of the reeds such beautiful melody can flow’, he wondered. He urgently wanted a Harmonium. A godsend opportunity offered itself before him.

Shailendra Nath Ghosh was a very close family friend of the Mullicks. He used to stay alone, a few houses away from Pankaj Mullick’s residence. He had no relatives in Calcutta. He had a Harmonium. Pankaj Mullick use to call him Shailen Kaka. Pankaj Mullick must be around 17/18 years of age then. One day Shailen Kaka joined a Bank and took a posting at Mesopotamia (Iraq). He left the key to the house with Pankaj Mullick’s mother. Pankaj Mullick thanked his stars for this godsend opportunity. He did not dare to ask his mother for the key. He was his aunt’s (father’s sister) pet. He cajoled his aunt and got the keys to the house. Thus for quite some time he blissfully practiced all the songs he was learning from various sources to the accompaniment of Harmonium, day in and day out. He became proficient at playing the Harmonium. Suddenly one day Shailen Kaka returned from Mesopotamia. Pankaj Mullick was initially hesitant, but he gathered courage to tell Shailen Kaka that he was using his Harmonium in his absence. He expected Shailen Kaka to get angry. On the contrary and to Pankaj Mullick’s surprise he asked him to sing a few songs which Pankaj gladly did. Shailen Kaka was so overwhelmed with joy on hearing Pankaj Mullick’s rendition that he blessed him and told him that he would become a great singer one day. With the blessings he gifted the Harmonium to Pankaj Mullick. When Pankaj Mullick received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award during the fag end of his life, he recollected fondly Shailen Kaka and said “No award can match Shailen Kaka’ blessings and gift. By the way Shailen Kaka left for his heavenly abode in the year 1962.

Very often we find successful people remember and recollect big names. Behind every success story there are such Shailen Kaka’s who are not remembered later. But Pankaj Mullick remembered him on every important occasion in his life. That is why the likes of Pankaj Mullick stand out from others. He was an institution.

Sorry for the lengthy, should I say, comment. I felt like sharing.

Thank you Arun ji.

Venkataraman ji,

Thank you very much for this exclusive information,which is totally new and interesting to me. I know your expertise on things Bangla and welcome your comments with thanks.

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