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

Ho koi rang rangeeli aaye

Posted on: September 9, 2018

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 : 3705 Post No. : 14630

Today’s song is from film Manchali-43. It is sung by Ramola and Sunder Singh. The lyricist is not mentioned in HFGK, but it is either of the two named therein- G.A.Chishti and Kashyap. The MD was G A Chishti. The film was directed by R C Talwar ( who was earlier an assistant to Kidar Sharma,in Calcutta). The film cast was Ramola, Manorama, Ramdulari, Sunder, A S Gyani, B N Sharma, Suraiya Begum etc etc.

The ‘ Same Name Confusion ‘ has haunted Hindi film industry, since its infant stage, i.e. Silent films. Even here you find a name Suraiya (albeit as Begum). Obviously, she was not the Suraiya- the singing sensation in the late 40s and the 50s. At the time of this film in 1943, she was still ‘ Baby Suraiya ‘, just starting her career. However, there were two more Suraiyas operating at this time. One was Suraiya Chaudhari and the other was Suraiya Zulfi. More in details about these Suraiyas, some other time. Today we will tackle another pair of ‘ Same name confusion ‘, which is different than such pairs discussed so far ( including in the recent book).

In the early stages of Cinema, it was difficult to get girls to work in films. However, as the film industry grew in the mid 1920s, many Anglo-Indian, European and Jew girls started working as Heroines. Since the films were silent, there was no need of knowing Hindustani language or a knowledge of singing. Additionally, due to their open culture, these girls were willing to give romantic, intimate scenes or even kissing on the screen. As such, the Censor had no objection for such scenes. In those days, there were separate Censor Boards for each state or presidency, after the Indian Cinematography Act was passed in 1920. It was implemented in 1927. All the Boards were unified and reconstituted as The Central Board of Film Censors, only in 1952. Till then films or songs used to be banned, if needed, in specific states only. For example, due to objectionable content, Zohrabai Ambalawali’s song from Mann ki jeet-44 was banned in Bombay Presidency, but it was shown all over India.

The biggest number of artists given by a single Non Indian origin community, in those days was the Jews. The Jews came to India in 562 BCE and in 70 CE in two lots. They settled in various parts of India. It was the first foreign religion to come to India, even before Islam or the Zorostrian. There were 8 types of Jews, based on their locations in India.

1. Cochin Jews
2. Madras Jews
3. Bene Israeli Jews in Bombay and Konkan areas
4. Baghdadi Jews-Gujarat, Bengal and Eastern India
5. South Asian Jews
6. Bnei Menashe- NE states
7. Bene Iphraim- Telugu and
8. Delhi Jews- Punjabi

Though the Jews mingled freely and adapted themselves to local atmosphere- maintaining and following Judaism-, the Jews who took up to Film Industry were only the Bene Israeli and Baghdadi Jews. A point to note was that no Jews from Kerala or Madras even entered film line. It was only the Hindi films. There too mainly Jew women joined films. The earliest recorded Jew girl to work as a Heroine in a film was Ruby Meyers ( Sulochana ). She acted in silent film Veer Bala-1925, made by Mohan Bhavnani for Kohinoor Film company, Bombay. She went on working in films and became very popular. When the Talkie film age came, she contacted Imperial film co. to stake her claim, but was rejected as she was not fluent in speaking Hindustani. learning from this, she took one year off and became expert in Hindi and learnt singing too. She made a thumping entry with the Talkie film Madhuri-1932, in which she sang 4 songs also ! Hats off to the dedication !

There were other Jew actresses like Rose Musleah (Miss Rose), Lilian Ezra (Lilian), Marcia Soloman(Vimla), Rachel Sofaer(Arti Devi), Esther Abraham (Pramila), Susan Soloman(Feroza Begum), Florence Ezekiel(Nadira) and many more. Among the males- David Jseph Penkar wrote the story and dialogues of Alam Ara-1931, Actor David Cheulkar (David ), Ezekiel Penkar (Viju Penkar- Tarzan film Tarzan and the Cobra-88 and few more films) and Lily Ezekiel (Asha Bhende), Edvyn Meyers (Ezra Mir) and Pearl Padamsi are well known Jews. There were some male Jews in the Technical side also.

In film Manchali-1943, the Heroine was Ramola (Rachel Cohen).

Actress Ramola (real name- Rachel Cohen) was born in a Jew family on 5-7-1917, at Bombay. Her father Hayam Cohem was a school Teacher. Her initial education was done in Bombay. Later they shifted to Calcutta where she completed her matriculation and joined films. Her first film was ‘ Graher fer’-38,a Bangla film. She did few small roles and then came ‘Khazanchi’-41 from Pancholi of Lahore. This changed her career and she became a popular actress. She did films like Masoom,Khamoshi manchali.etc etc.

Initially,Ramola was a small actress. First she acted on stage along with her two sisters. Then she got a Bangla film. It was Jagdish Sethi who introduced her to director/lyricist/dialogue writer Kidar Sharma.
According to Kidar Sharma,

“She was smart and a charming young lady. Her only drawback was her height. She was not tall, just about 5 feet, but she had lofty ambitions. One day she came to see me and I promised I would personally take her to the director of her choice. She said, “I would like to be introduced to Mr. Nitin Bose, and no one else.” I took her to Mr. Bose, and was sure that her charm and talent would impress him.

Mr. Bose scanned her, from top to toe, while I praised her talent and her choice of a director, like Nitin Bose. After a long silence, Mr. Bose addressed me and said, “When you brought her to me, why did you forget to bring some bricks for her to stand on?” Poor Ramola was hurt and heart-broken by this great director’s caustic remark. She quietly said, “Goodbye” and walked away from his office.

I followed her and found that she was in tears. ‘I was moved by the plight of a struggling youngster having high hopes, being ridiculed for something which nature was responsible for. I knew what it felt like to be ridiculed. I had experienced it often enough. I escorted her to the tram junction and there she bid me goodbye. To encourage her, I said, “Please, Ramola, don’t be heart-broken. One day, when I become a director, you will be my first heroine, and we will prove to Mr. Bose and the world, what a great star you are.” Ramola laughed and said,- “Poor Mr. Kidarnath, the dialogue-writer will never be a director and I will never be a heroine.” So saying, she jumped into the tram.”

However, Kidar Sharma kept his promise and cast her in his first film as director Aulad / Dil Hi Tou Hai (1939). Aulad/Dil Hi To hai was a down-to-earth story of a middle-class father, who had sacrificed all his life to educate his son and is darling daughter, hoping that they would be worthy children to the society and to the family. Little did the old man know that the generation gap would present a different, horrifying reality, which would destroy him completely. The modern college Miss, who destroys the dreams of her old father, the aged struggling middleclass man, was played by Ramola.

After the success of the film, Ramola got romantically involved with R.C. Talwar, Kidar Sharma’s assistant who later became a director in his own right. According to Kidar Sharma, “R.C. Talwar was a classmate and friend so I ignored his relationship with Ramola.”

Later Ramola appeared in many films including Qaidi, Khazanchi, Khamoshi, Swan Aya Re, Rim Jhim etc. When she acted in Pancholi’s famous film Khazanchi-41, she became famous all over India and film offers started pouring on her. She looked so cute in her Punjabi dress- Salwar and Kurta- in that film, that this dress became famous and popular as Khazanchi dress amongst the women in India.

She acted in 23 films in Hindi and 5 films in Bangla. She even sang 14 songs in 4 Hindi films. After the arrival of new heroines including Madhubala, Nargis, Meena Kumarietc, Ramola’s career got eclipsed and she bid farewell to her film career. Her last 3 films Actor, Jawani Ki Aag and Stage were released in 1951. However her actual last film was the Bangla film, Anurag-51

Ramola was married twice. Her second husband, Leslie Rondeau, was a Captain in the British Air Force, who helped to train Indian pilots in the IAF post Indian Independence. Her son, Sam, from her first husband, migrated to Israel in the 1950s. She had two daughters, Dena and Linda, from her second marriage. Dena, based in London today, even acted in a film, GP Sippy’s Ahsaas (1979), and works in the fashion industry while Linda, a resident of Bombay, was an air-hostess with Air India. With her generous and large hearted spirit, Ramola also ‘adopted’ and looked after another 14 families, helping them move ahead in life.

Ramola passed away in Bombay on 10-12-1988.

While Ramola was doing films, another actress having a similar name Romilla appeared on the scene. Romilla was actually Sofia Abraham, the younger sister of actress Pramila (Esther Abraham). Daughter of a retired Government Contractor, Romilla was born at Calcutta, After passing the Junior Cambridge examination she came to Bombay. She joined Imperial Film co. After doing some nondescript and uncredited roles, she became the heroine in Prince Movietone’s film Calcutta after Midnight-37. She started working in C grade stunt films of Mohan pictures and others. Some of her films were Bismil ki Arzoo-37,Cyclewali-38, Chabukwali-38, Thunder-39, Ratna lutari-39, Suhana Geet-41 ( later re issued as Toote Dil-47), Sarovar ki Sundari-42, Pistolwali-43 etc etc.

After this she got married and bid goodbye to films.

Today’s song is sung by Ramola and Sunder singh, who became a comedian after his film Shukriya-44. With this song, the film “Manchali”(1943) makes its Debut on the Blog.

(Credits- Times of Israel, The wire, ‘Mother, maiden, Mistress’ by Somaiya and Kothari, Cineplot, Film Directory-48, HFGK, MuVyz, Upperstall, wikipedia and my notes)

Song-Ho koi rang rangeeli aaye (Manchali)(1943) Singers-Sundar, Ramola, MD-G A Chishti


Ho koi rang rangeelee
Ho koi chhail chhabeeli aaye
Ho koi rang rangeelee
Ho koi chh chh chh chh chhail chhabeeli aaye
ho koi chatak matak kar
matak latak kar
jhoola mujhe jhulaaye
ho koi chatak matak kar
matak latak kar
jhoola mujhe jhulaaye
Ho koi rang rangeelee aaye

tum kya ho
main raani tujhe banaaun
aur geet khushi ke gaaun
main raani tujhe banaaun
aur geet khushi ke gaaun
jo mera jee bahlaaye
jo mera jee bahlaaye
ho koi chatak matak kar
matak latak kar
jhoola mujhe jhulaaye
ho koi chatak matak kar
matak latak kar
jhoola mujhe jhulaaye
Ho koi rang rangeelee aaye

main jhoola tujhe jhulaaun
aur jee tera bahlaaun
main jhoola tujhe jhulaaun
aur jee tera bahlaaun
to kya ho

tab jeewan sukh paaye ae ae ae
tab jeewan sukh paaye
ho koi chatak matak kar
matak latak kar
jhoola mujhe jhulaaye
ho koi chatak matak kar
matak latak kar
jhoola mujhe jhulaaye
Ho koi rang rangeelee aaye
ho ho
ho o o o
o o o

3 Responses to "Ho koi rang rangeeli aaye"

Arun ji,

Romilla died young on 26th January 1948. I give the relevant portion of the quote from ‘Filmindia’ February 1948 issue:

“We regret to announce the sad and sudden death of Miss Romilla (Sophia Abraham), the stunt queen of many thrillers and a favourite of millions.

The news of her death at the young age of 25 on January 26, 1948 at her residence in Shivaji Park, came as a shock to all in the film industry because ‘Sophie’ as she was known to friends was not only a ‘queen of stunts’ but also a ‘queen of smiles’…………..

When the war broke out, she was the only film artist to chuck out a lucrative screen career and join up the Auxiliary Nursing Service.

Only a year back when she was demobilised, it was discovered that she was suffering from a malignant tumour (Cancer) in the chest”.


Sadanand ji,
Thanks for adding this valuable information, which I could not locate though I tried hard. This makes her chapter complete.




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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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