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

Ho moree baalee umariya saanwariya

Posted on: July 29, 2014

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a 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.


When I decided to start this series and my first post appeared here, I had anticipated that there will be several comments from learned readers, who were more knowledgeable than me about the details of Partition and the artistes involved. True to my guess there were many comments on my Fb page immediately. Comments were from people like Ummer Siddique ji, Khawaja Irfan Anwar ji and Dr.Surjit Singh ji. Ummer Siddique ji runs the famous Blog CINEPLOT.

Besides appreciating the post, they have also pointed out certain additions and alterations in the facts mentioned therein.They hav,thankfully, added so much of new information in the comments, that I must thank them heartily.

Oxford Dictionary gives the meaning of the word ” Migrate ” as ‘to move from one place to another’. The Collins Dictionary also gives similar meaning, adding that the migration could be for a job or to live. I have used the word Migration in its simple meaning when people moved from Bombay to Lahore or vice versa. It is well known that many film artistes of those times were initially working in Lahore or belonged to that part of old India, and came to Bombay in search of greener pastures. For example Master Ghulam Haider worked in Lahore from 1934 to 1944 and then came to Bombay. When he left for Pakistan in 1947, it is termed as his Migration. Nissar Bazmi, who was born in Jalgaon area of Khandesh in Bombay Presidency shifted to Pakistan in 1947. This too is Migration.

Partition was truly an injury to both the nations and during that period million lives were lost, property worth billions were looted and destroyed and thousands of families were divided. Post Partition period also saw its impact on contents of films and film making in both countries. All this is described in details in the book ‘Mourning the Nation-Indian cinema in the wake of Partition’ by Bhaskar Sarkar (published by Duke University press-2009). Fortunately,there were few noble souls on both sides to help stabilise matters early.

Today we will talk about Composer RASHEED ABDUL ATRE. he was born in Amritsar in 1919. His father Khushi Mohammed was a well known musician and singer. Rasheed learnt music from Ustad Khan saheb Ashfaq Hussain. Then he went to Calcutta and worked under R.C.Boral. During his stay in Calcutta he is presumed to have composed songs for films “Pardanasheen”-1942 and “Mamta”-1942, under the name R.A.Atra. After coming back to Bombay he joined Jhande Khan and Gobindram in composing songs for “Pagli”-43. He was assistant to composer Amir ali in “Panna”-44. With Pt.Amarnath,he composed songs for “Shirin Farhad”-45. Then came Room No.9-46,Nateeja-47,Paro-47 and Shikayat-48. From 43 to 48 he gave music to 6(confirmed) films. Not much, but then he did not get much time too.

Nateeja was a Muslim social made by Bombay Talkies and he was specially called for it. Nateeja music was his best in India and all its songs became very popular. for Room No 9-46,he worked in Navyug Chitrapat co. where one of the owners was P K Atre, a noted Marathi writer and Dramatist. P K Atre was ,of course a Hindu,but it was a coincidence.

After Partition Atre went to Pakistan. He first served Radio Pakistan, Rawalpindi and then at Lahore. He prospered in Pakistan and gave music in 54 Urdu and Punjabi films. He was awrded the coveted Nigar Award 3 times in a row. He died on 18-12-1967,at the age of only 48 years. The famous Marching song of Pakistan ” Allah o Akbar ” was composed by Rasheed Atre. (Thanks to shri Harish Raghuvanshi ji for information).

Film Nateeja was made by Bombay Talkies and it was directed by Najam Naqvi. The Lyricist was Nakshab Jarachavi and the cast consisted of Yaqub, Shameem, Rehana, Majeed, Maya Devi, Khaleel Aftab etc. All these named persons left for Pakistan later at different times.

Director Najam Naqvi’s full name was Najmul Hasan Naqvi. He was born on 11-4-1913 at Moradabad-UP. When he was working in Bombay Talkies as a continuity man and as a general assistant and an actor (Achhut kanya-36),the Hero of the film ‘Jawani ki Hawa’-35-Najmul Hasan (an extremely handsome man) eloped with Devika Rani, Heroine of the film and wife of the owner Himanshu Rai. Due to similar names, this Naqvi was embarrassed and to avoid Same name Confusion, he changed his name to a shorter verios as Najam Naqvi.

He worked in the Direction department and his first film as an independent Director was PUNARMILAN-1940.

He went on directing films like Raja Rani-42, Tasveer-43, Naya Tarana-43, Panna-44, Prithwiraj Sanyogita-46, Nateeja-47, Parayee Aag-48, Actress-48, Nirdosh-50, Rangili-52 and last film-Samrat-54.

In 1955, Najam Naqvi migrated to Pakistan and directed 7 films there from Kunwari Bewa-56 to Payal Ki Jhankaar-66. Najam Naqvi died on 26-1-82 at Lahore. Due to same name, many sites including IMDB mix up the filmography of these two artistes.

Here is the story of film ‘ Nateeja ‘-1947-

This film was built upon the principle that, the impressions and the environments of childhood mould the life and character of the man. The life and happiness of many an individual have been wrecked on account of the follies of their parents. The so-called pleasant pastimes of the rich father have so often gone to make his son even a criminal. Born in a once rich and high society family of a Nawabs. Aslam (Yaqub) the little kid often witnessed the orgies of gambling, cockfights and dancing girl parties organised by his father. Aslam, the man revelled in such gambling, visited singing girls and had to resort to crooked ways and cheating to make his both ends meet.

He was enamoured by Zohra,a professional singing girl, the latter caring for nothing but the money and jewels the former could bring for her. Aslam succeeded in impressing upon an erstwhile rich Nawab that he was conducting a big business, and the Nawab gave his daughter Suraiyya in marriage to Aslam. The wife was soon disillusioned, because Aslam robbed her of all her ornaments to bestow them on Zohra. Suraiyya’s life was all misery, as Aslam neither cared for her nor for their first born, Salim, and so her father took her and her son to his house.

One day Aslam came across a little boy playing on the road. He lifted him up and went to a jewellers shop. leaving the child there, under the excuse of showing the ornaments to his womenfolk in purdah, waiting in a tonga outside the shop. He decamped with the ornaments. The jeweller took home the child and as he had no issue, he brought him up as his own son and called him Mehmud.

Some years later, on the death of her father, Suraiyya, with her little niece Shabana shifted to a new place, which happened to be adjacent to the jeweller’s residence. By that time Mehmud had grown up into a handsome youth, so much so that he could not be recognised even by his mother. Mehmud and Shabana loved each other, and Suraiyya was about to propose Shabhana’s marriage to Mehmud, when his adopted mother gave out that he was an orphan of unknown parentage.

Mehmud abruptly left the jewellers place and joined a film company in Bombay, where the heroine, was so much infatuated with this handsome youth, that she even spurred and insulted her paramour. The heroine was none else than Zohra and her paramour was Aslam. Neither Aslam knew that the other youth was his son, nor did Mehmud know that the other man was his father. Aslam had satrted practice as a hypnotist, and Suraiyya, seeing an advertisement with his photograph in a paper learnt that he was in Bombay, and so she persuaded her neighbour, the jeweller, to accompany her to Bombay to reclaim her husband. The jeweller did the trick. He once accosted Aslam on the road, and under the pretext of taking him to a new singing girl, he took him to the place where Suraiyya had put up. On seeing Suraiyya, Aslam was astonished. On the other front, the rivalry between Aslam and Mehmud about Zohra had grown into a desperate situation, and very sensational development takes place.

Aslam asks Suraiya about their son Salim and she tells him that he was lost. Listening to this talk,the jeweller realises that Mehmood is no one but Saleem. Suraiyya,Aslam and the jeweller go to the company where Mehmud’s shooting is going on. Zohra is also there. Aslam and the jeweller tell Mehmud that he is son of Aslam. Aslam is now ashamed of what he did in the past and stays with Suraiya. Mehmud is married to Shabana. Zohra goes away and thus the end is happy.

Let us now enjoy a song by Zohrabai Ambalawali, from this film. This had become very popular in those day.

Song-Ho mori baali umariya saanwariya (Nateeja)(1947) Singer-Zohrabai Ambalewaali, Lyrics-Nakshab Jarachavi, MD-Rasheed Atre


Ho o o
moree baalee umariya
ho o o
moree baalee umariya
dekho maaro naa
o dekho maaro naa tirchhee najariya
dekho maaro naa tirchhee najariya
haay baalee umariya
ho o o
moree baalee umariya

tore nainan mein jaadu hai o bekhabar
ho tore nainan mein jaadu hai o bekhabar
yahee darr hai ke dil mein naa kar jaaye ghar
haan yahee darr hai ke dil mein
naa kar jaaye ghar
rahe apnee naa mohe khabariya
rahe apnee naa mohe khabariya
O sanwariya
dekho maaro naa
O dekho maro naa tirchhi najariya
haay baalee umariya
ho o moree baalee umariya

miley naina se naina
jiya kho gaya
haay jiya kho gaya
miley naina se naina
jiya kho gaya
haay jiya kho gaya
yeh aankhon hee aankhon mein
ho gaya
ho gaya
jaane aankhon hee aankhon mein
kya ho gaya
more baanke sajeele sanwariya
more baanke sajeele sanwariya
O sanwariya,
dekho maaro naa
O dekho maaro naa tirchhi najariya
haay baalee umariya
ho o moree baalee umariya

2 Responses to "Ho moree baalee umariya saanwariya"

Arunji, thanks for the series. You have a wealth of information. Pataa nahin kahaan se sametke laate ho aap!


Arun Ji,
Thanks for another informative write-up, this time on Rasheed Atre. Most of information and the song were new to me.


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