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

Chal chal re naujawaan

Posted on: December 20, 2016


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 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.

Today’s song will take us back to the earliest decade of Hindi Films. This famous song is from the film Bandhan from 1940, a Bombay Talkies prodcution. The song is in 3 parts. It is composed by Ramchandra Pal, who was the joint MD with Saraswati Devi for this film. All the songs of this film were written by Kavi Pradeep.

There is an interesting story behind the making of this song. Kavi Pradeep wrote this song and gave it to Ramchandra Pal. He sat at the piano, holding the song paper and thinking how to compose the tune. He was not getting anywhere. Meanwhile Ashok Kumar came there. He took the song, himself sat at the piano and tried to make a tune. He did make a tune, but only for the mukhda. Beyond that he too got stuck. Finally the song was sent to Ashok Kumar’s sister (wife of Shashdhar Mukherjee) Sati Devi. Within no time she composed the complete tune for the mukhda and the antaraas and gave it to Ramchandra Pal. He further composed the orchestra, prelude, interlude etc. and then recorded the song.

This song appears 3 times in the film. First it is sung by child actor Suresh (playing the role of heroine’s brother). Second time it is sung by Ashok Kumar and Leela Chitnis as a duet and lastly it is sung by Ashok Kumar, accompanied by chorus. Hard to believe, but in this chorus, the voices of Kishore Kumar and Madan Mohan are also there. Madan was the son of Rai Bahadur Chunnilal and Kishore was the brother of Ashok Kumar. They used to play with young Madhubala in the courtyard of Bombay Talkies in their childhood.
PS-According to HFGK, this song had four parts. [Ed Note: Please see further details at the end of the article.]

This song “Chal Chal Re Naujawan” became very popular. So much so that when the film opened in Delhi, the audience wanted the song to be shown again and were adamant on it. So, it was played again after the film was over. It is sort of an inspirational and marching song for children. For this reason, it was included in the Hindi school books of those times. Thus, it became thefirst ever Hindi film song included in the school books. (Earlier a Marathi song “Aha Bharat Viraje’ from film ‘Kunku’ (1937 – ‘Duniya Na Maane’ in Hindi) was included in Marathi text books). Later on , the prayer song “Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum” from film ‘Do Aankhen Baraah Haath’ (1957) was included as a prayer song in schools of Pakistan and it remained there till the 1965 Indo-Pak war, when it was removed !

The impact of the song “Chal Chal Re Naujawan” was so much that when a group of people – Sawak Vachha, S Mukherjee, Ashok Kumar, Kavi Pradeep, Rai Bahadur Chunnilal etc. left Bombay Talkies and established their own Filmistan Studios, their first film in 1944 was titled ‘Chal chal re Naujawan’ !

The child star Suresh who actually sung this song was one rare case when a male child star became a successful hero in his adulthood. Actor Suresh may not be known much to new generation. The famous song of Rafi, “Suhaani Raat Dhal Chuki” was filmed on Suresh in the film ‘Dulari’ (1949). His real name was Nazim Ahmed. He was born on 13-11-1928 at Gurdaspur in Punjab. He was a very handsome person. He started his film career as a child artist in ‘Nishaan e Jung’ (1937), ‘Gangavataran’ (1937), ‘Baazigar’ (1938), ‘Thokar’ (1939) and then he came to Bombay. He did ‘Meri Aankhen’ (1939), ‘Diwali’ (1940), ‘Bandhan’ (1940), ‘Anjaan’ (1941), ‘Naya Sansaar’ (1941) and ‘Basant’ (1942).

Later he became a leading actor. His first film as an adult hero was ‘Sona Chandi’ (1946). He was one of those rare cases where a child actor became a successful adult actor. Producer director AR Kardar patronised him and like a doting father, he allowed Suresh to select his heroines. Geeta Bali/Madhubala in ‘Dulari’, Suraiya/Sumitra Devi in ‘Deewana’, Nalini Jaywant in ‘Jaadoo’, Vaijayantimala in ‘Yasmin’ etc. He worked with all top heroines of his day and also with Azra, Padmini, Vijaya Chaudhari, Shashikala, Nanda etc.

In 1950 he went to Pakistan and did two films there. He returned back to India as he felt that he had no future there. In the mid 1950s, he started doing B and C grade films as well as character roles. His last film as an actor was ‘Parde Ke Peechhe’ (1971). In 1970, he produced a film ‘Ganga Aur Sooraj’. The main villain of the film, Anwar Hussain, got an attack of paralysis and the film was stalled and delayed. It was finally released in 1980. He was deep in financial crisis and he died penniless on 14-7-1979 before his film was released. He acted in 55 films in all.

Recently, I was reading the Marathi Autobiography of Leela Chitnis, titled ‘चंदेरी दुनियेत’ (‘In the world of Silver Screen’). Leela Chitnis ( 9-9-1909 to 14-7-2003 ) had a very eventful life. She was one of the few stars who had the opportunity to work in most of the famous and prestigious banners of her times like, Prabhat, Huns Pictures of Master Vinayak, Ranjit, Sagar and Bombay Talkies, in addition to her work in Calcutta, Kolhapur and Madras.

In her book, she describes in details about her days and the pattern of working in all these companies and their owners. She seems to have had a special love for Bombay Talkies. From the beginning, she was the favourite of both Himanshu Roy and Devika Rani, who gave her special treatment. She was provided a big furnished house, a car and many servants. There used to be a doctor on call to look after her health. She was considered a good omen for the company as all her films with this banner, viz. ‘Kangan’, ‘Bandhan’ and ‘Jhoola’ celebrated jubilees.

In her book, she writes about the making of film ‘Bandhan’ in details. I am giving herewith an edited synopsis of what she wrote. (The original,anyway, is more interesting).

Just before starting work on ‘Bandhan’, Himanshu Roy was admitted in Hospital for a serious mental disorder treatment. He also suffered from pneumonia and was kept in ICU. Doctors had predicted his death shortly. In view of this, the company was reorganized by its directors and two production teams were made, under the stewardship of S Mukherjee and Amiya Chakravarty. ‘Bandhan’ was under S Mukherjee. It was planned to finish shooting in three months flat. Within a short period, Himanshu Roy died while in coma.

Unfortunately, even on the day of Roy’s death, the shooting of Bandhan had to be done, under compulsion of circumstances. A scene of school building construction was being shot those days and the shooting was done on a real building construction site. The work of cementing the bricks could not be stopped, so it became a must to do shooting on that day itself to maintain continuity and reality. So, while Roy’s body was being brought to the studio, the shooting of ‘Bandhan’ was going on, on the site (what a committment in those days!).

Another matter was song rehearsals. As long as Roy was around, actors did not dare voice their dissent, but S Mukherjee was very friendly. Both Leela and Ashok Kumar requested Mukherjee to remove them from the burden of singing, as singing was not their strength. They pleaded to take some playback singers, but Mukherjee flatly refused saying that their songs in Kangan were so popular and they must sing now also. They sang and these songs also became popular !

Trivia – Ashok Kumar has acted in all 3 films titled ‘Bandhan’, which came during his active career – 1940, 1956 and 1969. One more ‘Bandhan’ was made in 1998, but Ashok kumar had retired by then.

Ramchandra Pal who composed music for ‘Bandhan’, was a medical graduate, but joined the film line. He worked as an actor in ‘Manmohan’ (1936), ‘Deccan Queen’ (1936) and also in ‘Azaad’ (1940). He sang 15 songs in 7 films. As a music director, he gave music in 20 films, composing 153 songs. After retirement he settled in Bombay and started his practice till he died.

Let us now enjoy all the parts of the song “Chal Chal re Naujawan”. The trend of multi version songs (different singers but one song) probably started with this song.

PS – With this song, ‘Bandhan’ joins the list of movies that have all their songs covered in the blog.

[Ed Note: As per the song listings given in the Geet Kosh, this song appears four times in the film. To confirm this, we viewed the film, and checked all the occasions this song appears on screen. This is the summary of our findings.
a. Part I – first time this song appears, as part of a conversation between Beena (role played by Leela Chitnis) and her younger brother Ram (role played by child actor Suresh). Ram is teasing Meena about how bad is her singing. In retaliation, Meena snubs him saying that his singing is not any good either. To prove himself, Ram sings this song which he has been taught by his Headmaster ji (screen name Nirmal, role played by Ashok Kumar). This part of the song is solo in the voice of Suresh.

b. Part II – second time this song appears as a duet sung by Beena and Nirmal, at Meena’s home. The two have met and love has blossomed between them. Their earlier antagonistic exchanges, which were facilitated by Ram, find a humorous mention just before this song. That exchange leads into this song, which appears on screen as a piano song, as Nirmal sits on the piano and both sing. An important modification in this part of the song is the addition of the line “Chalo Sang Chalen Hum” after “Chal Chal Re Naujawaan”.

c. Part III – third time this song appears is as a solo sung by Nirmal, with the accompanying chorus of his students led by Ram. The occasion is a farewell function organized in the school to announce the departure of Headmaster ji, from the school and from the village. The situation in the film has developed such that Suresh (role played by Shah Nawaz), who is the son of a close friend of Zamindar (Beena’s father), is now engaged to Beena. By his nefarious designs, he brings the circumstances to such a juncture that Nirmal chooses to withdraw from the school, as well as from the village, and leave Beena to follow her father’s wishes. At this function, the students led by Ram, request Nirmal to sing this song. At first Nirmal hesitates; then Ram starts the chorus singing and Nirmal then joins in and takes over as the lead singer. This part has a brief pause, as Nirmal sings the line “Chalo Sang Chalen Hum”, and then realizes the presence of all people, and the changed circumstances. He changes the tone and continues with the lines “Ye Hai Zindagi Ka Kaarvaan”.

d. Part IV – the fourth appearance of this song is essentially a non-appearance on screen. I would say that the Geet Kosh has followed the booklet of the film, in which this fourth appearance of the song is probably listed. But as we view the film, in the fourth instance this song appears very very briefly. All issues have been sorted out, and the film has come to a happy wedding, I mean, a happy ending. The actual culprit, Suresh, has been handed over to the police, and on the lagan mandap (wedding altar), Nirmal takes the place of the groom. Beena is thus far unaware of these happy developments. She is in great distress, as she believes that her wedding is happening with Suresh. In the lagan mandap, Beena and Nirmal face each other for exchanging garlands. Beena is looking down. The traditional silk cloth canopy is put on the couple, and Nirmal softly takes her name. Beena looks up, and in a happy surprise utters, “tum?”. Meanwhile, Ram starts to play the music of the mukhda “Chal Chal Re Naujawaan” on a small hand held accordion (more of a squeezebox than a regular accordion). And under the auspicious covering of the silk canopy, Nirmal very softly repeats twice – “Chalo Sang Chalen Hum”. Then we are treated to the view of the ‘THE END” of the film. So obviously, the song does make an appearance at the end of the film, but actually, it is not sung as a song.

So for practical purposes, we should treat this as a three part multi version song. Now the video clips of the third part has also been traced. By this, we account for all the lyrics in these three parts. The lyrics section has also been suitably modified.

Part I (Video) Singer – Suresh

Part II (Video) Singers – Leela Chitnis, Ashok Kumar

Part III (Video) Singers – Ashok Kumar, Chorus

Part II & III (Audio-full)

Song-Chal Chal Re Naujawaan (Bandhan)(1940) Singers – Ashok Kumar, Suresh, Leela Chitnis, Lyrics-Kavi Pradeep, MD-Ramchandra Pal
Leela Chitnis + Ashok Kumar
Chorus

———————————————
Part I
———————————————
chal chal re naujawaan
chal chal re naujawaan

kehna mera maan maan
chal re naujawan
kehna mera maan maan
chal re naujawaan
chal chal re naujawaan

door tera gaaon aur thhake paanv
door tera gaaon aur thhake paanv
phir bhi tu hardum
aage badha kadam
phir bhi tu hardum
aage badha kadam
rukna tera kaam nahin
chalna teri shaan
rukna tera kaam nahin
chalna teri shaan
chal chal re naujawaan

tu aage badhe ja
aafat se lade ja
aandhi ho ya toofaan
phat’ta ho aasmaan
tu aage badhe ja
aafat se lade ja
aandhi ho ya toofaan
phat’ta ho aasmaan
rukna tera kaam nahin
chalna teri shaan
chal chal re naujawaan
chal chal re naujawaan

———————————————-
Part II
———————————————–
chal chal re naujawaan
chalo sang chalen ham
chal chal re naujawaan
chalo sang chalen ham
door tera gaaon
aur thhake paaon
phir bhi raahgeer
tum kyon nahin adheer
tum ho mere sang
aasha hai mere sang
tum ho mere sang
himmat hai mere sang
mere saath saath raho
tum qadam qadam
mere saath saath raho
tum qadam qadam
chalo sang chalen ham
chalo sang chalen ham

kisne
kisne kiya mujhko ishaara
door ki manzil se mujhe kisne pukaara
kisne kiya mujhko ishaara
door ki manzil se mujhe kisne pukaara
mamta ne pukaara
bandhan ne pukaara
tum hi sikha rahe ho mujhe geet ye hardam
chalo sang chalen ham
chalo sang chalen ham

kuhu kuhu bolo meri koyaliya
mann mein mithhaas gholo meri koyaliya
kuhu kuhu bolo meri koyaliya
mann mein mithhaas gholo meri koyaliya
kaun taan sunoge
zara ye to bata do
kaun taan sunoge
zara ye to bata do
veena ke bikhre huye taar saja do
veena ke bikhre huye taar saja do
aaj donon gaate huye jeewan sargam
aaj donon gaate huye jeewan sargam
chalo sang chalen ham
chalo sang chalen ham
chal chal re naujawaan
chalo sang chalen ham
chal chal re naujawaan

———————————————————
Part III
———————————————————
chal chal re naujawaan
chal chal re naujawaan
kehna mera maan maan
chal re naujawaan
chal chal re naujawaan

door tera gaaon aur thake paanv
phir bhi tu hardum
aage badha kadam
rukna tera kaam nahin
chalna teri shaan
chal chal re naujawan
chal chal re naujawaan

tu aage badhe ja
aafat se lade ja
aandhi ho ya toofaan
phat’ta ho aasmaan
rukna tera kaam nahin
chalna teri shaan
chal chal re naujawaan
chal chal re naujawaan

chalo sang chalen hum
chalo sang. . .

ye hai zindagi ka kaarwaan
aaj yahaan aur kal wahaan
phir kyon tera dil hua adheer
phir kyon tere nainon mein nee..eer
phir kyon tera dil hua adheer
phir kyon tere nainon mein neer
phir kyon tere praanon mein peer
tu na suna mann ki baat
kaun sunega
kaun sunega
band kar zabaan
band kar zabaan
rukna tera kaam nahin
chalna teri shaan
chal chal re naujawaan
chal chal re naujawaan

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5 Responses to "Chal chal re naujawaan"

How is that this iconic song was not covered in the Blog for so long?

This was a very popular song even in my childhood and school days though the song was more than 10-15 years old then.

And what a co-incidence. When I started trekking in the Himalayas some time in 1985 under Youth Hostel Association of India, the base camp leader would motivate us with some part of this song singing in tarannum:

tu aage badhe jaa
aafat se lade jaa
aandhi ho ya toofaan
barsaa ho aasmaan
rukna tera kaam nahin
chalna teri shaan

Thanks Arun ji for covering this song with interesting history and anecdotes.

Sadanandji, It is ‘FATATA ho aasmaan, NOT ‘barsaa’.

Two personal connections. (May be 2-cents worth)

1. In 1956-57, staying in Goregaon, I had taken Homeopathy medicine from Ramchandra Pal. He was practicing from his home in Goregaon.

2. During all vacations, we used to gather at my birth-place BANSDA, a small princely state capital, in South Gujarat. My cousin (aged 10 then) from Bombay was also visiting. He made the song ‘Chal Chal Re….’ so popular, that the state band leader Master Ibrahim, learnt from my cousin, to play that song as a band marching song, which became hit for years.

Interesting?

Suresh
Anjaan (1941)
Naya Sansar(1941)
Sangam (1941)
Bhai Dooj (1947)
Rang Mahal (1948)
Bhoot Bungla(1965) Not sure

Dear Arun ji, Atul ji, All Readers,

After careful viewing of the film, I have made some changes to this post. In the ‘Ed Note’ at the end of the article, I have described the different instances of this song as they appear in the film, with the accompanying situation.

The lyrics section also needed modification, and I have made the required changes.

Please review and let me know in case you have any comments.

Rgds
Sudhir

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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