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

Bolo bolo re sajanwa

Posted on: January 18, 2015

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.


Kanoon-43 was a film made / produced by Abdul Rashid Kardar. He also directed it. Its music was entrusted to Naushad and the songs were written by his favourite lyricist D N Madhok.

Naushad had introduced Suraiya in his film Nai Duniya-42. She sang her first song as Baby Suraiya. She nurtured an ambition to become a singer-actress and she did achieve this goal sebsequently. Initially, of course to get a foothold and earn a name in the film industry, she had to even sing as a playback singer. In Kanoon-43, Naushad wanted to give her songs, though she was not acting in this film. Therefore she had to give playback to the Heroine-Mehtab. Suraiya agreed to this. Her grandmother, who had taken charge of her life and career fully, wanted to establish her as soon as possible so she was ready for anything. Her grandmother ( who, according to Saadat Hassan Manto, was her actual biological mother. This was an open secrte in the film industry.) was a very shrewd woman. She guarded Suraiya jealously. She would not allow anyone to come close to her or develop friendship with Suraiya. However, when Suraiya fell in love with Dev Anand, she quietly found out ways to meet him and exchange love letters. In this exchange, Kamini Kaushal played an important role. It is another matter Suraiya’s desire to marry Dev Anand could not materialise.The main reason was her Grandmother’s refusal. Suraiya, then, opted to remain a spinster for ever.

Social film Kanoon-43 dealt with the problem of double marriage issue. The film’s cast was Mehtab, Shahu Modak, Jagirdar, Nirmal, Ulhas, Badri Prashad etc. Actress Mehtab’s name may not mean much to our younger readers, but she was a leading actress of those days and she was considered a very beautiful person of her time.

In the initial decades of Hindi cinema, lot of actresses were Muslim like Zubeida, Anwari, Sharifah, Jahan Ara Kajjan, etc. Mehtab can also be counted among them.

Mehtab was born on 28th April 1918 in Mumbai. Her father Siddee Ebrahim Khan was the Nawab of Sachin (Surat, Gujarat). Her parents named her as Najma. She studied upto Intermidiate. She was fluent in Urdu, Gujrati, English and Marathi. Her career started as child artist at the age of 2, from the film “Kamaal-e Shamsheer” produced by her mother. Her first film as heroine was Indian Arts Production’s “Veer Kunal” (1932) through which she got her screen name Mehtab. Ashraf Khan was the hero of that film. Subsequently, Chandulal Shah signed her for two films viz. “Bhola Shikar” (1933) opposite E. Billimoria and “Ran Chandi” opposite Navin Chandra. None of these films did well, so her mother formed a film company of her own and made Ashraf Khan (who was Mehtab’s first hero) the In-charge of the same. Mehtab fell in love with Ashraf Khan and they got married.( Ashraf Khan is the same actor of film Roti, who in his later years became a Sufi Saint. He was worshipped by many film artistes. An article on him is already posted on this Blog.) Mehtab got a son from that marriage, Ismail. However, no film was completed under their company and they faced heavy losses. Moreover, Mehtab’s marriage also didn’t work out and she took divorce and won the custody of her son.

After divorce, Mehtab again started struggling as an actress. In 1940, she got a film named “Qaidi” made by Film Corporation of India. Though she was not the leading heroine of the film but her acting was praised all over. So the banner signed her again as the heroine for their next film “Chitralekha” (1941) in which she created a sensation overnight by doing a bathing scene aesthetically, something shown for the very first time in the Hindi film.

Around 1941 to 1943, Mehtab was among the most famous actresses of Hindi films. Her next three films “Sharda” (1942), “Masoom” (1942), and “Bhakt Kabeer” (1942) also proved hit.

In 1944, Central Studio signed Mehtab for their film “Parakh”. Sohrab Modi was directing the film. At the time of signing the contract, Mehtab told Modi that she had heard that he would only take his own close-ups in his films and ignore the others. He told her that he wasn’t acting in that film. Thereafter, Sohrab Modi again took Mehtab as heroine in his film “Ek Din Ka Sultan” opposite Vasti under his own banner Minerva Movietone. Slowly, Sohrab Modi fell in love with her and proposed her. Mehtab agreed only on the condition that she would not leave her son Ismail. Sohrab didn’t find any problem in that and they got married on the birthday of Mehtab, 28 April 1946. Sohrab Modi’s family didn’t approve as they were Parsi and Mehtab was Muslim. Sohrab never interfere in Mehtab’s career or religion. Mehtab had a son from Modi named Mehli who was brought up as Parsi. Modi sent both her sons abroad to study.

Mehtab did a few films after marriage like “Behram Khan” (1946), “Saathi” (1946), Shama (1946). Her last film was “Jhansi Ki Rani” (1953). Sohrab Modi was the producer, director and the hero of the film. It was Sohrab’s first colour film. She acted in 36 films in all.

Sohrab Modi died on 28 January 1984 due to cancer of the bone marrow. Both sons of Mehtab got settled abroad, though she spent her life in Cuff Parade, Mumbai till her death. She died on 8-4-1997. She was buried at the Bada Qabrastan, Marine Lines, Mumbai. (The article is adapted with additional information, from cinegems, with thanks.)

Film Kanoon-43 had 8 songs, 4 solos by Nirmala and 4 songs by Suraiya-1 solo and 3 duets with Shyamkumar. Kanoon also celebrated silver jubilee like the films Sanjog and Namaste. However how much of the credit for the success of this movie should be given to Naushad’s music can not be said for sure, since atleast I do not find the songs anyway melodious or catchy. May be the presentation of the subject,direction,acting and publicity helped it to get a Jubilee status. All Suraiya songs from this movie are posted on this Blog. This is the first song of Nirmala and 5th from the film Kanoon-43 in the blog . Let us now listen to it.


Song-Bolo bolo re sajanwa (Kaanoon)(1943) Singer-Nirmala, Lyrics-D N Madhok, MD-Naushad


bolo bolo
haan bolo bolo re sajanva aa aa
main teri kya
bolo bolo
haan bolo bolo ri sajaniya aa
main tera kya

tum hamre ho
kehte huye sharmaaun
tum hamre ho
kehte huye sharmaaun
tum hamri ho
aao tumhe batlaaun
tum hamri ho
aao tumhe batlaaun
sajaniya aa
main tera kya
bolo bolo
haan bolo bolo re sajanva
main teri kya

kyun hamre man ki peeda
man ki peeda
kyun hamre man ki peeda
din din badhti jaaye
din din badhti jaaye
banke bel
garwa laagoon
banke bel
garwa laagoon
phir bhi chain na aaye
phir bhi chain na aaye
re sajanwa aa
main teri kya
bolo bolo
haan bolo bolo re sajanva aa
main teri kya

1 Response to "Bolo bolo re sajanwa"

I had heard many things about Mehtab from my father and now you provided more info about her personal life and career.
Thank you for one more descriptive post.


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