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

Kahiyo Roye Dukhia Re, Ja Re Panchhi Tu Ja Re

Posted on: May 22, 2017


This article is written by Sudhir, 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.

The first time I saw this film, it was on Doordarshan, and the only song that I could appreciate (given my age) was “Bibi Mendaki Ri Tu To Paani Mein Ki Raani”. Rest of the film, its emotional and familial nuances were all lost on me. Those were the days, when watching television was a privilege bestowed upon oneself by a friendly neighbor. One would go to watch television at a neighbor’s home, or hang on to the windows, if entry was not permitted. And so, the opportunity that one gets to watch a movie was in itself a treat, and an accomplishment. And one always wanted to make the most of such opportunities. Getting bored was not only not an option, but it was a thought furthest from the mind. I have this placement in front of a TV screen, and I will watch it for as long as I am allowed, whatever may be the content. The serious stuff was mostly OHT (Overhead Transmission), and the mind would remember and register the fun parts like Balraj Sahni having poori and lassi at a halwai shop in the morning before reaching his office, or singing this above mentioned song with his children on the Sunday when he is at home. But as far as watching time is concerned, it was to be religiously spent, to watch the entire film, whether I could make out more of it or not.

In later years, small memories of the films, snatches of screen shots, would replay randomly in the mind – Jayant taking Rashid Khan to task very onerously, or Balraj Sahni with a bundle of mail in his hand, standing in front of the sorting dockets, trying to quickly put the mail items into the correct dockets, Balraj Sahni admiring a new coat hanging in the display window of a tailor’s shop. Mind you, the names of the characters and the words to describe the scene are all being currently generated. In the mind’s eye, it is just the images themselves that are very familiar, without any labels, without any words.

Many years on, just on a memory recall, I started to search for this film. For quite a long time this film was not available. A friend once got a version of it, but that was just about an hour long. So one can imagine what would have remained after such merciless cutting. That version seemed to have gone around, and a rumor followed it – the songs of this film are lost forever. Then, when the Geet Kosh volume three was released, it also carried a footnote to this film which says that except for one song, all songs were deleted from this film, and the film was truncated to half its length, and renamed as ‘The Clerk & The Coat’. This further strengthened the fears of the lost songs and lost film.  However, in all probability, this was just a version created from the original, for consumption in the foreign markets, or for participation in foreign film festivals. Thankfully, none of these prophecies proved to be true eventually. Once the VCD binge started, and more and more films started landing in the market, the original of this film also finally appeared in a near complete state. And then, I got to see it once again.

‘Garam Coat’ is a very poignant film. It deals with the everyday problems in the lives of lower middle income strata of society in a newly independent and developing India. Balraj Sahni is a lowly paid postal clerk, with a monthly salary of one hundred rupees, and a family of five. In the hands of Rajendra Singh Bedi and performance lead Balraj Sahni, both stalwarts of the IPTA movement, the film has descended to the practical levels of realism, and to pragmatic heights of credibility. The home of this clerk is a bare bones home. The kitchen is frugally stocked. The children are not well dressed. The housewife is very simply presented. The protagonist himself wears an old and ragged coat throughout the entire film. The name of the banner is Cine Co-operative Ltd, Bombay. In all probability, this was yet another joint effort of social conscience of IPTA.

The clerk fancies a new coat. On his way to work, he always pauses outside a tailor’s shop, admiring a new coat on display. The owner of the shop, sees him daily, and one day invites him into the shop, enquiring whether he plans to buys some new clothes. Unable to defend himself, and knowing that he is unable to afford the price of a new coat, he sheepishly tells about the qualities and the warmth of the coat that he is wearing, and that, no, he does not plan to buy a new one.

Come pay day, and the clerk returns home, happy with the load of a solitary one hundred rupee note in his pocket. Life is spring, and all is happiness in the household. Next morning, it is going to be a shopping spree for the month, and all expectations are high. The morning begins with the fun song “Bibi Mendaki Ri. . .”, and off goes the clerk to the market, with a list of shopping and hundred rupees in his pocket.

His first stop is a toy shop. He browses, he selects something for his children, almost pays for the items pulling out the hundred rupee note; but then thinks better of it, and saying he will return shortly, stuffs the note back into his coat pocket. His next stop is a halwaai shop where he has poori and lassi. He is in high moods, joking with the shopkeeper and other customers. As gets up to leave and pushes his hands in his coat pocket to pay for the breakfast – all the agonies of hell descend upon him. The note is missing. An impressive portrayal of a person who has lost everything in life – Balraj Sahni is insulted and kicked out of the halwaai shop. He runs back to the toy shop, tries to convince the shopkeeper that he might have dropped his money at his shop. Once again, he is insulted and made to leave the premises. Now, he simply has no place to go.

The remaining part of the movie is about his trials and tribulations on trying to survive without his salary through at least one more month till the next pay day. The movie is full of scenarios of what such a person will do – he tries to borrow, he tries to get advance, he tries to take up a part time job as a tutor, he goes without lunch, he contemplates suicide, even tries it. But the agonies simply do not cease. How he shares this calamity with his wife, and how does his wife respond, are all classic scenes to be visited again. The wife goes to the pansaari (grocery shop owner) and tried to get groceries on account, she and children start to make paper bags out of newspapers in an effort to raise some money. There are friends at office like Jayant who try their best to help him within his limited means. And there are unfriendly colleagues like Rashid Khan, who are completely unmoved by the troubles of their co-worker. There are scenes and performances that move me to tears as I watch the helplessness of an honest good man, trying to keep his wits together and to keep his family alive. The saving grace of the film is that the lost money is located at the end. And it is a very interesting way that it turns up.

In this sad and poignant film, this song is probably the saddest and the most pain filled song. Having come to know of the calamity that has befallen her husband, and the manner in which he is trying to fight these problems, there comes a point when the wife’s hopes probably break and she calls for help. The entire scenario and the get up of the film is so deeply entrenched into the simple values of our social system. She has no help at hand, she has no one with whom she can share her pain. For a woman in our culture, her last hope is her maternal family. But she is too afraid to inform them or talk to them. So she tells the bird to take her message to her parents and family, and let them know that she just a cheerless bundle of tears these days.

Then after telling this to the crows, she starts to make amendments to her request. First, she prohibits the crow from telling her mother, she will break down and cry. Then, thinking some more she prohibits the crow from telling her father also, he will cry into the cloth of his pugree (head dress) and not know what to do. She tells the crow to tell everyone, but not these two.

Then in the next stanza she makes some more amendments. She tells the crow not to tell her sister either, for she may give up her own food. Then she says, do not even tell my bhaabhi (sister-in-law, brother’s wife), for the fear that she might spread this in her own maternal family and make fun of it. She tells the crow to tell everyone, but not these two.

The embattled lady then ends the verses with telling the crow, to go an tell this tale of woes to her brother only. He will surely come to her aid, riding the blue steed.

The agony and the poignancy contained in these verses is so emphatic. She wants this message to be told to everyone in her family, and then slowly, one by one she decides not to tell this or that person, and finally, in conclusion she is ready to tell it to her brother only. The words, the composition and the rendition, brings tears to my eyes, as many times as I have heard this play. And it also underscores the vitality of the brother-sister relationship in our culture. When all seems to be lost and the lady is totally helpless, it is her brother that she thinks of, to go and share. (You may have noticed, I have tagged this song as a ‘brother-sister song’).

This low key, less heard of film, is one of my favorites – in and about the art of telling a poignant story through cinema. Although Lata ji has herself selected “Jogiya Se Preet Kiye Dukh Hoye” from this film, as one of her most favorite songs, in my humble opinion, I would rate this song even higher than “Jogiya Se . . .”.

Wonderful memories of an era of very simple living, of traditions and culture, of values – a touch of India that is very dear to me.

Song – Kahiyo Roye Dukhia Re, Ja Re Panchhi Tu Ja Re (Garam Coat) (1955) Singer – Lata MangeshkarLyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD – Pt Amarnath

Lyrics

kahiyo roye dukhia re
jaa re panchhi tu jaa re. . .
kaaga des hamaare
udd jaa re
kahiyo roye dukhia re
jaa re panchhi tu jaa re. . .
kaaga des hamaare
udd jaa re
kahiyo roye dukhia re

ek na kahiyo maa raani ko
royegi wo meri gudiyon ko dekh ke
ek na kahiyo maa raani ko
royegi wo meri gudiyon ko dekh ke
ek na kahiyo babul ji se
ek na kahiyo babul ji se
royenge pagdi ko munh se lapet ke
aur sab se kahiyo tu pyaare
jaa re panchhi tu jaa re. . .
kaaga des hamaare
udd jaa re
kahiyo roye dukhia re

ek na kahiyo behna meri se
haathon ki roti gira degi ro ke
haathon ki roti gira degi ro ke
ek na kahiyo bhabhi meri se
maike mein jaa ke hansegi wo munh pe
maike mein jaa ke hansegi wo munh pe
aur sab se kahiyo tu pyaare

kahiyo re dukh mera bhaiyya se jaa ke
kahiyo re dukh mera bhaiyya se jaa ke
aayega wo neela ghoda uda ke
utrega mere duaare
jaa re panchhi tu jaa re. . .
kaaga des hamaare
udd jaa re
kahiyo roye dukhia re
———————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————
कहियो रोये दुखिया रे
जा रे पंछी तू जा रे॰॰॰
कागा देस हमारे
उड़ जा रे
कहियो रोये दुखिया रे
जा रे पंछी तू जा रे॰॰॰
कागा देस हमारे
उड़ जा रे
कहियो रोये दुखिया रे

एक ना कहियो माँ रानी से
रोएगी वो मेरी गुड़ियों को देख के
एक ना कहियो माँ रानी से
रोएगी वो मेरी गुड़ियों को देख के
एक ना कहियो बाबुल जी से
एक ना कहियो बाबुल जी से
रोएँगे पगड़ी मुंह से लपेट के
और सब से कहियो तू प्यारे
जा रे पंछी तू जा रे॰॰॰
कागा देस हमारे
उड़ जा रे
कहियो रोये दुखिया रे

एक ना कहियो बहना मेरी से
हाथों की रोटी गिरा देगी रो के
हाथों की रोटी गिरा देगी रो के
एक ना कहियो भाभी मेरी से
मायके में जाके हंसेगी वो मुंह पे
मायके में जाके हंसेगी वो मुंह पे
और सब से कहियो तू प्यारे

कहियो रे दुख मेरा भैया से जाके
कहियो रे दुख मेरा भैया से जाके
आएगा वो नीला घोडा उड़ा के
उतरेगा मेरे द्वारे
जा रे पंछी तू जा रे॰॰॰
कागा देस हमारे
उड़ जा रे
कहियो रोये दुखिया रे

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4 Responses to "Kahiyo Roye Dukhia Re, Ja Re Panchhi Tu Ja Re"

Sudhir ji,

Excellent analysis of the song.
The sarangi in the musical interludes was played by Pandit Ram Narayan.

I have watched the VCD of the film two times. All the songs in the film are very good.

Thanks Sadanand ji,

Yes, the songs in this film are really very good.

Rgds
Sudhir

Thanks Sudhirji for making me weep again for the millionth time, as this is one of my often repeatedly heard song since I acquired this song on a cassette in 1957. As such, you might have noticed by now, that my liking is for tragic songs from the very beginning. I PREFER songs that directly appeals to heart and bring tears. I even sang this on a staged program at my office annual day.
Thanks again.

The story was based on Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat. I have a very hazy memory of the film. Usually I forget the ending of films, in this case I remember it.

The song is beautiful, very heart wrenching.

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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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