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

Chahun oar chaandni chhitki hai

Posted on: August 6, 2018

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.

Blog Day : 3671 Post No. : 14550

Today’s song is from Anuradha (1940). There were two more films made with the same title- one in 1960 and the other in 2014. Film Anuradha-1960 was the most well known film of these 3 films. The song of today is ” Chahun oar chaandni chitki hai.” It is written by Lajpat Rai and tuned by the veteran composer Badri Prasad. The song is sung by Vatsala Kumthekar.

Vatsala Kumthekar was one of those many aspirants, who dreamt of a bright career, plenty of money,name and fame and a happy retired life. To fulfil this dream, it was customary to go to Bombay and join films.

This is a Maya Nagari. Those who thought that all that glittered was Gold, suffered the bitter fruits of reality. In reality, Hindi film industry is a great leveller. This industry has taken some people from Rags to Riches and some others from Riches to Rags !

There are many cases where an artist reached a particular height of his career in professional life but when the end came, he died unsung, unknown and unatteneded. There are instances like Parveen Babi and Nalini Jayawant, whose death went unnoticed for days together and when news spread their bodies were beyond recognition. For many, the end was violent, like Sayeeda Khan, Director Brij and Shankar Dasgupta.

But the worst is when Death does not come fast and the last days are spent in penury, begging and in bedridden condition unattended.
Master Nissar, who once boasted of owning the only car in Bombay, other than the Bombay Governor, died in Kamathipura slums in Bombay penniless. His last rites were done by the Cine Artists Association.

The beautiful bubbly Meena Shorey died in Lahore in utter poverty and her last rites were done by charity. One time popular hero WASTI was found begging near Liberty Cinema in Bombay. Rattanbai, the famous singer was seen begging at Haji Ali Darga in Bombay. The wife of Khemchand Prakash also was found begging there by Naushad. Mohd.Rafi found Khan Mastana begging near a Dargah. Rajkumari, Vimmi, Bharat Bhushan, Master Bhagwan, Khan Mastana spent their last days very humiliated, in poverty and obscurity. We all know, by now, the sad story of Mubarak Begum living off the meagre earnings of her Auto-driver son, in a Bombay Zopadpatti, till her recent death.

The story of PARSHURAM, once a popular actor/singer of 1930s and 40s is very pathetic. Tabassum,who ran the record breaking TV program ‘Phool khile hain gaulshan Gulshan’, once stopped at a traffic signal. From her car,she saw a familiar face begging at every car. She immediately recognised Parshuram. She got down quickly,took him in her car to the TV studio. He was the same Parshuram who sang the famous song of Duniya na maane-1937 ‘Man saaf tera….’. He was cleaned, fed and robed in fresh clothes. Then she did his live interview on the TV and paid him Rs.1000/- on the spot. Later he got 1 or 2 film offers, but then he disappeared forever. He was a habitual drunkard. He was seen begging again. One day he died on footpath and was cremated by Municipality as an unclaimed body, before his relatives reached to claim the body.

Chandra Mohan, Shaikh Mukhtar, Cuckoo…………so many stories of sorrow and sad ends…….This is Bombay Film Industry-the Maya nagari.

Inspite of all this,still millions of people come to Mumbai with dreams in their eyes…..

Today we see the case of one such singer who scaled heights of popularity and then went to the Nadir from the Zenith….

VATSALA KUMTHEKAR was born in Bombay in 1909.Her family was a noted singers family from Goa. After schooling she got regular music training fro Ustad Barkat Ali,the elder brother of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.She specialised in Thumaris.

Her beauty and sweet voice attracted many and she started holding Mehfils and Jalsas from 16-17 years onwards.her fame spread far and wide and she did programmes all over India. No wonder film companies ran after her.She started the career with Prabhat’s “WAHAN”-1937.
Then came Baanke Saanwariya, Madhu Bansari, Hurricane special, Jumbo ka beta, Aaj ki Duniya, Anuradha, Jai Swadesh, Aurat, Holiday in Bombay, Prabhat,Sangam,Lalaji,Aabroo, Jabaan, Aashirwad, Ishara and Rahat.

She was quite popular and many film personalities were keen to marry her. She got married in 1940, but her married life was bad. Her husband, Ibrahim Sheth, left her for another woman. After 3 years he returned to her. She readily accepted him and looked after him till he died. By now she had stopped getting films. After husband’s death, she almost became penniless and lost her mind. She shaved her head. She was seen roaming in Bombay like a mad woman and begging.

One day her dead body was found on Tardeo Bridge, Bombay. She was identified by some onlooker, but before the news reached the film industry, she was cremated by the Municipality as an unclaimed body.

Film Anuradha (1940) had a cast consisting of Maya Banerji, Trilok Kapoor, Jeevan, K N Singh, Vatsala, Shyamsundar, Anant Marathe , Agha etc.etc. Anant Marathe aka Anant kumar was the brother of actor and famous singer Ram Marathe. I was searching for his information for quite some time. My search ended when I found an article written by his son about his father.

Anant Marathe was born in 1936. In a career that spanned over 50 years, he was a witness to many changes and upheavals in the Hindi film industry. Born in Pune, in a family that was doing well for itself, he had three brothers and two sisters. Losing his father at the tender age of four, he was forced to give up education and begin work, to fend his family. In the process the family left Pune and came to Mumbai, the city that fed every soul.

The world of films, those days, was not an industry. It was just like a 9 to 5 job in an office. Anant Marathe, with his innocent looks, expressive eyes and inborn confidence, was chosen by Master Vinayak, to play a role as a child artiste in a hindi film, Chhayaa. In this film he played the role of a son, who for his own selfish means is used by his father, ( played by Late Shri Chandra Mohan).

The real breakthrough came when he was called for an audition at Prabhat Studios, the most distinguished film company of those days. This 1943-44 film was ‘ Ramshastri’, in which he was to play the part of Chhota (small) Ramshastri. Ramshastri Prabhune was the Supreme Judge of the Peshwa dynasty and known for his supreme judgement. Once he was selected for the role, his grooming as an actor really began. In the storyline, Chhota ramshastri was depicted as a boy who hates to study and loves to play whole day long. He would swim, roam about with his pet dog and enjoy life. For this role Anant marathe was made to learn swimming even though he was scared of water! He could not get along with the puppy dog, even though it was supposed be his pet. And to top it all, after shooting, the swimming and the sequences with the dog were edited from the film! The song, ‘Don ghadicha daav, yala jeevan aise naav” sung by him was very popular at that time. He received an award for his performance as Ramshastri from Bengal Film Journalists Association as the best supporting actor of the year. This film was screened in a number of National and International film festivals.

Film industry in South India was very active in early 50’s. Anant Marathe acted in a number of films produced by the South Indian film studios, namely AVM, Gemini studios etc. Shri Chettiar of AVM was planning a socio-mythological film on the life of a famous saint. The lead role was played Shahu Modak. The film in general was devotional and to bring in an interesting element, a comic character was created, in the form of the saint’s shishya ( pupil ). This role was offered to Anant Marathe and he displayed histrionics that astonished everybody on the sets.

The Director who groomed the great showman Raj Kapoor was Kidar Sharma and Anant Marathe had the privilege to work in one of his films, this time as a villain! The film was Hamaari Yaad Aayegi. This film also launched Tanuja, who would be known as a talented actress in the coming years. Anant Marathe played the role of a character called Pyarelaal, a very deceiving name for a villain! He is a suave character, moving about in the company of elite people but behind the cute face there is a monster of sorts, a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Anant Marathe, with his charming smile was very stunning, not only in his looks but in every move. Kidar Sharma was known to reward any actor who performed a great scene with a 4 anna coin, known as chavanni in those days. A chavvanni earned for a great shot was like an achievement. And Anant Marathe earned many, which he cherished till end.

His journey as an actor continued with great flourish. Since he could speak Marathi and Hindi fluently, he received offers from both Marathi and Hindi films. He was truly a bi-lingual actor.

Manoj Kumar was inspired by the life of Bhagat Singh, the great sikh patriot from Punjab and was planning a film on his life. Manoj Kumar and Prem Chopra were to play the roles of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev respectively but casting for Raajguru, the third freedom fighter was still to be done, as Manoj Kumar wasn’t happy with the short-listed few, to play the role. Manoj Kumar heard about Anant Marathe, who had acted in many hindi and marathi films. Anant Marathe was asked to come over and meet Mnoj Kumar. One look at him and he had found his Raajguru! The experience of working in a truly patriotic film, that too with a thespian like Pran who played a cameo in Shaheed, was a very inspiring experience for him. Incidently Pran did not charge a single rupee for this role! Shaheed brought a wave of patriotism in the audience, they cheered and loved their heroes. The real mother of Bhagat Singh was felicitated at the premiere of this film at Delhi. She was moved by the performances of every actor in the film. What’s more, a special screening was arranged for the then Prime Minister of India, Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, who praised the film and awarded certificates of honour to all the actors.

Anant Marathe acted in over 250 Hindi and Marathi films, out of which 71 films are Hindi. he also sang 5 songs in 5 Hindi films.When he made his foray in Hindi films, he was not very fluent in Hindi so he took lessons from a tutor who taught him the nuances of Hindi, thus improving the pronunciations so he could speak the language flawlessly. He also learnt English to give his persona the required sparkle, so important for a lead hero. He had to give up formal schooling due to circumstances that prevailed and may be he made up for it in this manner.

Some of the films he acted in are, Bhakta Bilwamangal (Durga Khote), Bhakta Gopalbhaiya (Amir Kanataki), Geeta (Chandra Mohan, Durga Khote), Gokul ( Kamla Kotnis, Sapru), Jivacha Sakha (Durga Khote, Sulochana), Malti Madhav (Durga khote, Baby Shakuntala), Nanda Kumar ((Durga Khote), Sant Janabai (Hirabai Badodekar), Seeta Swayamvar (Durga khote, Baby Shakuntala), Jawaee Majha Bhala, Choravar Mor, Bhintila Kaan Astaat, Shri Krishna Darshan ( (Durga khote, Usha Kiran), Sampoona Ramayan, Bharat Milaap and many more.

In “ Barkhaa”, he played the role of a doctor opposite Nanda. The song, “ Ek raat mein do-do chaand khile…” became an instant hit. “Bada bhai”, a film starring late Ajit, had him playing Ajit’s younger brother with Amita as the female lead. In “Sanskaar” also he played the lead role opposite Amita. He acted in some Gujrati films also.

In the early stages acting was like a job for him but soon it became a passion. All these years, while he worked in front of the camera as an actor, he learnt the finer details of film making, by observing, making mental notes. He had a flair for writing. In fact, he was a habitual diary writer. He wrote poems for small children and later they were published in the form of a book.
He had a good voice and was planning to be a singer but destiny had something else in store for him, a career in acting.

He wielded the megaphone in year 1974, for a marathi film named “Sonarana Tochala Kaan”, starring comedian and an intense actor Nilu Phule in lead role with Usha Chavan as the female lead. It was inspired by a Hollywood caper with famous comedian, Bob Hope in lead. The film was a huge success all over Maharashtra.

Soon he was set to direct a film in Hindi. After a detailed script was worked out by him, the producer backed out. Losing hope but not the spirit, he turned a new leaf and began work on his next project, once again in Marathi. The name of the film was “ Bijlee”, meaning lightning.

Rangat-Sangat Pratishthan, founded by the wife of late Shri Shahu Modak conferred the Manus puraskaar, an award on him for life-time achievement. The name for this award, for obvious reason is Manus (meaning human), a film by this name had Shahu Modak in a memorable role as a Havildaar.

Anant Marathe lived a content life. Having worked in films from the age of 8 took its toll on him and he passed away in 2002.

Film Anuradha-40 had 12 songs in it- all written by Lyricist Lajpat Rai. He seems to have written songs for only one more film, Deepak-40. The music was composed by Badri Prasad.This is the first song from this film here.I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to few songs from this film, because, contrary to Badri prasad’s earlier music and songs, these songs were sounding fresh. Looks like he was trying to be with the changing tastes of the audience. Sadly, he stopped giving music to films after just 3 more films-Vanmala-41, Madhusudan-41 and Zevar-42. He was, however, active as an actor and later as a choreographer for many years, till late 70s.

( Credits- HFGK, MuVyz,, Isaq Mujavar’s books, Sun jaa dil ki dastaan by J V Kulkarni and my notes)

Song-Chahun oar chaandni chitki hai(Anuradha)(1940) Singer-Vatsala Kumthekar, Lyricist- Lajpat Rai, MD- Badri Prasad


chahun oar
chahun oar chaandni chitki hai
taaron ki basti basti hai
chahun oar chaandni chitki hai
taaron ki basti basti hai
main haay akeli
aa jaao
birha ki aag sulagti hai
chahun oar
chahun oar

ye mand mand vaayu ki lahren
sukh ke geet sunaati hain
ye mand mand vaayu ki lahren
sukh ke geet sunaati hain
chhed chhed man ke taaron ko
aise saaz bajaati hain
rom rom thhar thhar kaanpe ae ae ae
rom rom thhar thhar kaanpe
nanhi si jaan machalti hai
nanhi si jaan machalti hai
main haay akeli
aa jaao
birha ki aag nikalti hai
chahun oar
chahun oar

door door saagar ka paani
prem ka naad sunaata hai
door door saagar ka paani
prem ka naad sunaata hai
mast bana paagal sa doley
mast bana paagal sa doley
parvat se takraata hai
dol rahi hirday ki naiyya aa aa naiyya
dol rahi hirday ki naiyya
kaise paar utarte hain
kaise paar utarte hain
main haay akeli
aa jaao
birha ki aag sulagti hai
chahun oar

2 Responses to "Chahun oar chaandni chhitki hai"



Thank you, MANOHAR LAL DAVE ji.


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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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