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

Chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein

Posted on: December 3, 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 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.

Forgotten Melodies of the 1940s – 6

GHULAAMI (1945) was produced under the banner of Shalimar Pictures owned by W Z Ahmad and directed by Mohan Wadhwani. The star cast included Renuka Devi, Masud Parvez in the lead role with the supporting cast of Tiwari, Rajkumari Shukla, David, Bharat Vyas, Mumtaz, Anwar, Ramavatar etc. The film had 9 songs written by 4 lyricists – Bharat Vyas (5), Akhtar-ul-Iman (2), Majaaz Lucknawi (1) and Josh Malihabadi (1) which were set to music by S K Pal. The DVD/VCD of the film is not available. All I know about the film from a photograph was that it was a patriotic film.

What attracted to me to this film was one of 9 songs ‘ae gham-e-dil kyaa karoon’, a famous nazm written by Majaaz Lucknawi. I was interested to know as to how this nazm was rendered by Renuka Devi and Masud Parvez as a duet as compared with the same nazm sung by Talat Mehmood and Asha Bhosle separately in “Thokar’ (1953). Despite searches, I could not get my hand on the song anywhere in the website.

As it usually happens, the search of the above referred song led me to yet another beautiful prayer song ‘chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein’ sung by Renuka Devi and Chorus. The song was penned by Bharat Vyas and set to music by S K Pal. I have listened to some other songs rendered by Renuka Devi in films like ‘Bhabhi’ (1938) but I find her rendition of the song under discussion in a much improved voice than that of her earlier songs.

After reading some parts of Renuka Devi’s autobiography ‘A Woman of Substance – The Memoirs of Begum Khurshid Mirza’ (2004), I feel some information about her needs to be shared. The reason is that after reading her Memoirs, I felt that Renuka Devi was really a woman of Substance.

Renuka Devi (real name Khurshid Jahan and after marriage Begum Khurshid Mirza) was born in Aligarh in 1918 to Sheikh Abdullah and Wahid Jahan Begum. Her father was a practising lawyer who was keen to bring education and enlightenment to Muslim women. He was the founder of Women’s College in Aligarh along with his wife. Renuka Devi spent her early years in Aligarh. After completion of high school studies, she got married to Akbar Mirza, a police officer, in 1934.

She left Aligarh and came to Bombay (Mumbai) to pursue a career in film industry. She was mostly associated with the films produced by Bombay Talkies such as ‘Jeevan Prabhat’ (1937), ‘Bhabhi’ (1938), ‘Badi Didi’ (1939), ‘Naya Sansar’ (1941) etc. Later on, she worked in films of other banners also. It is interesting to note that the hectic shooting schedules for ‘Ghulaami’ (1945) in which she was away from her husband and children for 7 months made her to take a hard decision to quit the film industry in February 1944 at the age of 26 when she was still in demand.

In October 1947, Renuka Devi with her husband and children migrated to Pakistan and stayed in Karachi and Quetta. She got involved with All Pakistan Women’s Association for the women’s emancipation. She completed her B.A. in 1960 and M. A. in English in 1963 at the age of 45!

With the advent of television in Pakistan in a big way, she acted in a number of TV serials. She also wrote short stories for magazines on a regular basis.

In August 1982, Renuka Devi started writing her autobiography in a monthly magazine ‘Herald’ as a nine-part serial under the title ‘The Uprooted Saplings’. Later, the articles were expanded and published as an book with a new title ‘A Woman of Substance – The Memoirs of Begum Kurshid Mirza’ (2004).

Renuka Devi died in 1989 in Karachi.

Since the song under discussion was not available on YT, I have created a video of the song based on MP3 clip downloaded from Dr. Surjit Singh’s website.

This prayer song reminds me of a Sanskrit chant ‘Tamso ma jyotir gamay (lead us from darkness to light) and the hymn ‘Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom’ written by John Newman in 1833.

With this song, the film ‘Ghulaami’ (1945) makes its debut in the Blog.

This song is dedicated to the people of Tamilnadu, who have been facing the extreme miseries on account of unprecedented rains during the last one week. I pray that their miseries get over sooner than later.

Song-Chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein (Ghulaami)(1945) Singer-Renuka Devi, Lyrics-Bharat Vyas, MD-S K Pal
Renuka Devi + Chorus


chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein
chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein
chaaron taraf andhiyaaraa
dagmag doley naav bhanwar mein
dagmag doley naav bhanwar mein
soojhat naahin kinaaraa
chaaron taraf andhiyaaraa
chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein
chaaron taraf andhiyaaraa

aur nahin ab koi sahaaraa
aur nahin ab koi sahaaraa
tu hi hai rakhwaara
jaayen kahaan
tu hi bata ab
jag mein kaun hamaa aa raa
chaaron taraf andhiyaaraa
chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein
chaaron taraf andhiyaara

dukhiyaaron ko raah dikha de
dukhiyaaron ko raah dikha de
tera ek sahaara
asha ka prabhu deep jalaa de
asha ka prabhu deep jalaa de
jagamg ho jag saaraa aa
jagmag ho jag saaraa
chaaron taraf andhiyaaraa
chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein
chaaron taraf andhiyaara

kaale baadal chhant jaayen aur
kaale baadal chhant jaayen aur
mit jaayen dukh saara
nikle sukh ka gyaan prabhu jaadoo ab
ho jaaye ujiyaara aa
nikle sukh ka gyaan prabhu ab
ho jaaye ujiyaara aa
ho jaaye ujiyaaraa aa
ho jaaye ujiyaaraa aa
chaaron taraf andhiyaaraa
chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein
chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein
chaaron taraf andhiyaaraa


6 Responses to "Chhaayi ghata ghanghor gagan mein"

Sadanand ji,

Thanks for writing about Renuka Devi.
I have got her Autobiography book, “A woman of Substance-The memoirs of Begum Khursheed mirza ” .
Based on the book, I have written an article on her on this Blog last year.

Those who are interested in having more elaborate information about Renuka Devi can read this article.


Arun ji,

Your article went away from my mind. I should have thought that you may have covered Renuka Devi’s profile in one of your articles. But searching articles in the Blog covering the artists’ profiles is a difficult proposition as they are not tagged as such. The net result was that I took recourse to google books which is really a pain in the neck with skipped pages and the time limit. So I had to browse multiple times that too for limited pages.

I am happy to note that we both hold the same view about Renuka Devi – a woman of substance.

Sadanandji, a very good write-up on Renuka Devi whose existence I did not know till now!! I think I shouls \d seek Arunji’s help to get a copy of her autobiography. Thanks once again.

psseshadri ji,

This book is available in India.
It is published in India by ZUBAN, an imprint of kali for WOMAN,k-92,FIRST FLOOR,HAUZ KHAS ENCLAVE,NEW DELHI-110016.


My hats off to you sir Youare really areal gem of aperson you worked so hard to getthis song God bless you Dev Datta Gurgaon Idia

Thanks De datta ji.

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