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

Ek Baar Phir Kaho Zara

Posted on: March 31, 2015


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Meena Kumari’s life was other people’s destination. For own self, it was a road leading nowhere….no point of arrival.

These words of Meena Kumari, ​ quoted in the book ‘Meena Kumari the Poet – A Life Beyond Cinema’ (2014),  sum up her short life, so well.

Today is the 43rd death anniversary of Mahajabeen Bano, better known as Meena Kumari (August 1, 1932 – March 31, 1972).  Although she had done roles in diverse genres, she was known as the ‘tragedy queen’ of Hindi films. Her personal life was no less a tragedy than the roles she had played in most of her films.  It is said that as a new born child, she was abadoned and put in an orphanage, albiet for few hours, as her parent could not afford to take care of her due to their poor financial condition. A change of mind of her parents brought her back to their residence. But the very thought of she being an ‘unwanted’ child must have lingered in Meena Kumari’s mind later on.  Most of her childhood was  spent in the film studios as she became the earning member of the family by working in the films as child actor.  Her youth was spent in depicting onscreen, the sufferings, sorrows and tragedies that are associated with most womenfolk in India.  After the marriage, her husband saw in her more an actress for his films than a wife.  With this background, one does not need a psychologist to analyse as to why she excelled in her tragic roles. One of her tragedy roles that most often lingers in my mind is  that of Chhoti Bahu in ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’ (1962) which, in a way, was a reminiscence of her own life.

Meena Kumari is one of the most discussed film actors on the websites.  In recent times, her most talked about biography is  ‘Meena Kumari – The Classical Biography’, written by Vinod Mehta soon after her death in 1972. That this biography has been reissued as a new edition in 2013 after a gap of more than 4 decades is the testimony of the sustained interest in the multi-dimensional personality of Meena Kumari.  There are at least two producer-directors who are in the race to produce a biopic on her life.  I will skip here the chronicle of her life as well as her films.  Instead I would briefly discuss two of the lesser known aspects of her multi-dimensional personality.

Many among those having general interest in Hindi film music may not be aware that Meena Kumari was a good singer and she had sung on herself a few songs in the films.  As per myswar.com, she sang 18 songs for herself, 17 of which were sung during 1947-48.  She rendered her first song “Torey Kajra Lagaaun Mori Rani” for the film ‘Bahen’ (1941) at the age of 9 under the music direction of Anil Biswas.  In her teenage roles, Meena Kumari rendered 3 songs in ‘Duniya Ek Saraai’ (1947), 6 songs in ‘Bichhde Balam’ (1948) and 8 songs in ‘Piya Ghar Aaja’ (1948). Incidentally, 17 of the 18 songs she rendered were from the films produced under the banner of Ranjit Movietone of which as many as 14 songs were under the baton of Bulo C Rani. It is quite possible that there may be a few more songs sung by her but not covered in the source.

The second lesser known aspect of her personality is that she was a poet.  I have read some of her poems available on the websites. At first, it may look plain, devoid of literary ornamentation.  But as one finishes reading, it would dawn on the readers that she is communicating with them the thoughts of the real Meena Kumari.  A sort of a bond develops between the readers and the poet in the context of her own personal life.  In a way, I will call her poems a synopsis of her autobiography if at all she was to write one later on.  Like her acting, her poems have different genre.  But like her image of a ‘tragedy queen’ in the films, it is her poems of pathos, sorrow and grief which strike a chord with the readers. But for her album ‘I Write, I Recite’ (1971), the efforts of Gulzar who first published her poems in 1972 after her death, and a book by Professor Nurul Hasan titled ‘Meena Kumari the Poet – A life Beyond Cinema’ (2014), she would have remained an unsung poet.

On the occasion of the anniversary of her passing away, I have selected the song “Ek Baar Phir Kaho Zara” from the film ‘Piya Ghar Aaja’ (1948) rendered by her.  The film is produced under the banner of Ranjit Movietone and is directed by Prahlad Dutt.  The star cast includes Karan Dewan, Meena Kumari, Agha, Usha, SN Tripathi, Roopa etc. The film has 10 songs.  Of these, eight are written by Pandit Indra and one by Ishwar Chnadra Kapoor.  One song is not attributed to any lyricist.  Songs were set to music by Bulo C Rani.  This song is penned by Pandit Indra.  Out of 10 songs in the film, as many as 8 songs were sung by Meena Kumari.

The magazine ‘Film India’ in its June 1948 issue, carried a brief story of the film in their  review, a summary of which is given below:

Karan Dewan, a medical student marries Meena Kumari, the niece of a lawyer without the consent of their respective families. However, there is no opposition to the marriage from the respective families. After sometime, complications develop in their married life due to a jealous sister-in-law (Bhabhi) who wanted Karan to marry her sister. The jealously becomes the main theme of the film with melodrama interspersed with some comical situations by Agha. At the end, everything is well settled.  The film was released on April 23, 1948. Incidentally, the film’s original title was ‘Jalan’.

It is interesting to note that the reviewer of the film, while lauding Meena Kumari’s performance in the film, had predicted that in the time to come, she would be a real good artist. The prediction came true.

While searching online for the song under discussion, I came across a soulful non-filmy nazm with the same title “Ek Baar Phir Kaho Zara” recorded in the late 1930s in the voice of Shamshad Begum by HMV.  The lyrics and the composition of this naat is that of Sajjad Sarwar Niazi, who was the Director of HMV at that time.  Pandit Indra seems to have been influenced by the underlying thoughts of this nazm while writing the song under discussion.

Enjoy the song with shades of love from an unusual voice. I get a feeling that in this song, Meena Kumari’s voice  has some resemblance with that of Suraiya, especially in the antara part of the song.

With this song, the film ‘Piya Ghar Aaja’ (1948) makes its debut in the Blog.


Song – Ek Baar Phir Kaho Zara (Piya Ghar Aaja) (1947) Singer – Meena Kumari, Lyrics – Pt Indra, MD – Bulo C Rani

Lyrics

ek baar phir kaho zara
ek baar phir kaho zara
aankhon ka noor ho tum
dil ka suroor ho tum
teri hansi pe ae sanam
zindagi nisaar hai
nisaar hai
ek baar phir kaho zara
teri hansi pe ae sanam
zindagi nisaar hai
nisaar hai
ek baar phir kaho zara
ek baar phir kaho zara

dete thhe hum gaaliyaan
tum kehte huzoor shokhiyaan
aankhon mein teri aa gaye
hamne kasoor kyaa kiya
teri adaa ka ae sanam
dil mera shikaar hai
shikaar hai
ek baar phir kaho zara
teri adaa ka ae sanam
dil mera shikaar hai
shikaar hai
ek baar phir kaho zara
ek baar phir kaho zara

haathon mein dil liye liye
phirte thhe tum mere liye
kehte thhe ke ae dilruba
jeeten hain hum tere liye
tere baghair ae sanam
chain na qaraar hai
na qaraar hai
ek baar phir kaho zara
tere baghair ae sanam
chain na qaraar hai
na qaraar hai
ek baar phir kaho zara
ek baar phir kaho zara
aankhon ka noor ho tum
dil ka suroor ho tum
teri hansi pe ae sanam
zindagi nisaar hai
nisaar hai
ek baar phir kaho zara

——————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
——————————————

एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
आँखों का नूर हो तुम
दिल का सुरूर हो तुम
तेरी हंसी पे ए सनम
ज़िंदगी निसार है
निसार है
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
तेरी हंसी पे ए सनम
ज़िंदगी निसार है
निसार है
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा

देते थे हम गालियां
तुम कहते हुज़ूर शोखियाँ
आँखों में तेरी आ गए
हमने क़ुसूर क्या किया
तेरी अदा का ए सनम
दिल मेरा शिकार है
शिकार है
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
तेरी अदा का ए सनम
दिल मेरा शिकार है
शिकार है
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा

हाथों में दिल लिए लिए
फिरते थे तुम मेरे लिए
कहते थे के ए दिलरुबा
जीतें हैं हम तेरे लिए
तेरे बग़ैर ए सनम
चैन है ना करार है
ना करार है
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
तेरे बग़ैर ए सनम
चैन है ना करार है
ना करार है
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा
आँखों का नूर हो तुम
दिल का सुरूर हो तुम
तेरी हंसी पे ए सनम
ज़िंदगी निसार है
निसार है
एक बार फिर कहो ज़रा

8 Responses to "Ek Baar Phir Kaho Zara"

Songs by Meena K>>>
As Baby Meena
Tore Kajra Lagaau Mori Rani
with Beena Kumari Anil Biswas Safdar Aah Bahen (1941)

Piya Ghar Aja (1947) Bulo C Rani Pandit Indra
a) Ankhiya Taras Rahi Un Bin
b) Mili Aaj Piya Se Ankhiya
c) Nain Base Ho Raja Dil Me Base Ho
with Karan Dewan
d) Nain Dor Se Bandh Liyo Chitchor
with Karan Dewan

Sadanandji,
You have added Meena Kapoor’s song to Meena Kumari
Meean Kumari>>4
Meena Kapoor>>4
Saroj Aga Jaan>>1
Mohantara Talpade>>1

Bichhade Balam (1948) Bulo C Rani Pandit Indra
a) Haaye Piya Mujhe Lalchaaye
b) Bol Re Mere Pyare Papihe Bol Re
with A R Ojha
Duniya Ek Sarai (1947) Hansraj Behl Kedar Sharma
a) Ma Dekh Ri Ma Badli Hui Jawan
b) Sawan Beet Gayo Maayi Ri
c) Cheen Li Hamari Hansi De Gaye Rona Humko
with Zohrabai Ambalewali
Sadanandji,
I could locate 10+1 songs. Which are the other 6 songs. Anybody???

Vijay Bhatt, Director was approached by Ali Bux to cast Mahajabeen(Baby Meena) in one of his films. Vijay Bhatt was at that time making Leather Face/Farzand e Watan (1939) in which Jairaj was the hero and Mehtab the heroine. There was a vacancy for a small girl to play Jairaj’s daughter (14 years later in the film Magroor she was to play the role of Jairaj’s love) and it is for this part that Vijay Bhatt wanted to cast Mahajabeen. At the audition, the little girl was neither intimidated nor overawed by the surroundings or the equipment. Vijay Bhatt was quick to spot this and gave her the role. A fabulous sum of 25 rupees was paid to Mahajabeen.
Kamal Amrohi, Booze, Dharmendra and Sawan Kumar Tak spoilt her slim beauty and made her into a bloated beauty. After early sixties her downfall began leading premature death at the age shy of 40.

Like

Nitinbhai,

I have already given in my write-up the number of songs in each film sung by Meena Kumari and quoted the source : http://www.myswar.com. Please go through the link and you will get the answer.
The said source has not listed any songs of Meena Kapoor in ‘Piya Ghar Aaja’.

Like

I was unable to check in myswar in absence of link. Maybe your source is more accurate.

Like

Sadanand ji,
HFGK also confirms your tally of 8 songs of meena kumari in Piya Ghar aaja-47.

Like

Arun ji,

Thanks for the confirmation of 8 songs of Meena Kumari in ‘Piya Ghar Aaja’.

While on this film, I find that almost all the filmy sites mention 1947 as the year of release of this film. But ‘Filmindia’, June 1948 issue categorically mentions April 23, 1948 as the date of release. The review of this film was carrried in the same issue. I also found an advertisement of this film in the same issue of ‘Filmindia’ which mentions ‘second month in Central Cinema’.

Any reason as to why the year of release of this film has been shown as 1947?

Like

HFGK mentions this movie as that of 1947. So it could mean that the movie got its censor certificate in 1947 but was released in 1948.

Like

Sadanand ji,

The date of Censor certificate issue and date of release are two different things. Not necessarily the same month or year.
The HFGK lists films strictly on the basis of censor certification date.Not release date.
There are two things.
One,the film was passed in 1947,which was a disturbed period in India.It is likely that the film got released only in 1948,when the situation improved.
Secondly,many times the films are released in different areas at different times. Baburao Patel must have given the date of release when the film was released in Bombay. It is possible that it was released in 47 itself in some more peaceful area like Nizam or Madras Territories.
We do not have those details.
-AD

Like

Atul ji and Arun ji,
Thanks for the clarifications.

Like

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