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

Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan leelaakaari Shyaam

Posted on: October 24, 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 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.

Blog Day :

3750 Post No. : 14715 Movie Count :

4020

Today’s song is a devotional chorus song from an old film, ” Prithvi Putra”-38. HFGK indicates that it was a Mythological film. I could not get a clue anywhere what the story was about. The film was made by the film factory, Ranjit Movietone- where, at a time, at least 4 to 5 films used to be on the floors doing shooting, not counting if any team was on outdoor shooting schedule.

As per the available 1938 issues of Film India, when Prithvi Putra’s shooting was going on, some more film shootings, planning meetings and scheduling were underway at the same time. Films like Gorakh Aaya, Achhut, Sant Tulsidas, Taxiwali, The Cat (Billi) and Prof. Waman, M.Sc. were the films involved in the studio activity. It is sad that review of this film is not available to us since all issues of 1938 are not available on Internet.That review could have at least told us what the story of this movie was.

The director was Jayant Desai, Lyricist was P.L.Santoshi and Gyan Dutt was the music director. Gyan Dutt did 15 films for Ranjit , during his stint from 1937 to 1940 period. After him, it was Khemchand Prakash and after him it was Bulo C. Rani as Ranjit’s resident Music director.

The cast of the film was truly a Nationalistic combination, confirming how the film industry was actually a secular activity. Madhuri was a Christian, Billimoria was a Parsee, Mazhar khan was a Muslim, Kantilal was a Hindu and the other actors were also a mix of different religions.

One of the names in the cast is Waheedan Bai. Not much information is available on her. Her younger sister Sitara Bai aka Jyoti and her own daughter Nawab Banoo aka Nimmi were actresses. Waheedan Bai was from a Tawayef family. Her daughter Nimmi, had always denied this-understandably too, but Waheedan Bai’s name gave away the true story.

In the initial stage of the Indian films, whether silent or talkie, it was difficult to get girls from good families and background. Slowly this picture changed.When Talkie started many Tawaifs,singing girls and girls from such families joined films as they fulfilled the requirement of singing and looking good,in addition to their ease on Hindi/urdu language. At this time slowly many educated and girls from high society as well as middle class families started joining films.So,to distinguish these women from each others, a system of nomenclature was followed. All the Girls coming from singing families and Tawaif background added the suffix “Bai” to their names, like Jaddanbai,Waheedan bai,Zohrabai,Amirbai etc. The Anglo-Indian and middle class girls took the prefix of “Miss” like Miss Moti, Miss Rose, Miss Tara, Miss Ajmat, Miss Pearl etc. Those girls who were from high society were called Devi like Sabita Devi, Kamla Devi, etc. All Marathi actresses used their full names like Shanta Apte, Minaxi Shirodkar etc.

Another point, this nomenclature was only unofficial and traditional. So some Tawaif actresses took advantage of this to hide their roots. Like, Rampyari who was from a singing family of Hyderabad, sometimes called herself as Miss Rampyari.

There were 565 Princely states in India before Partition. Due to patronising of fine arts like music and dance by these Princes, a new class of Nautch Girls emerged in the 19th century. All Nautch Girls were not the same. Author Michael Kinnear, in his book “The Gramophone company’s first Indian Recordings 1899-1908 “, has explained the classification and Nomenclatures of these Nautch Girls. As per that, there were 4 types…

Lowest Class…..IV Name – Khanki Prostitutes/Sex workers
Class III Name – Kaneez Daasi or servant
Class II Name – Bai ji Singing/Dancing
Class I Name – Jaan Top class singers

They all were called collectively as Tawayafs. The readers will now understand the difference between Amirbai, Waheedanbai, Jaddanbai and Tamancha Jaan, Gauhar Jaan, Malika Jaan etc etc.

Waheedan Bai belonged to a small town Fatehabad, near Agra. Her father’s name was Basheer Khan. She was second among 4 sisters. The youngest was Sitara Bai aka Jyoti. Waheedan was a trained and good singer, but Tawayafs did not get social status, so she got married early to one Abdul Hakeem from Nasirabad, settled in Meerut. He had met Waheedan in a shrine in Agra, where she recited verses from Koran.

Soon after their marriage, his father, a contractor with Military, died and Hakim inherited the business. He was a novice and was cheated by his manager and they lost everything. The family moved to Calcutta to start a Leather business. Here also he failed. In Calcutta, their neighbour was director A.R.Kardar. Through his wife, Bahar, Kardar was contacted and he gave a small role to him in a film. Here again he got terrified and ran away, at the time of shooting.

Waheedan came forward and after hearing her singing, she was given a song in the film and it was recorded. Meanwhile Chandulal Shah offered her roles in his films. They shifted to Bombay and she joined Ranjit Movietone. Her first film was Toofani Toli-37. Prithvi Putra was just the second film. Her songs in her films were liked and became famous.She worked in other films like Prof. Waman,M.Sc.-38, Rikshawala-38, The Secretary-38 and Thokar-39.

She got acquainted with Mehboob Khan and he offered her lead role opposite Surendra in film Alibaba-40, a Sagar Movietone film initially, but later on sold to Ranjit of Chandulal Shah, in a game of gambling. Film Alibaba-40 was made in Hindi and Punjabi. The film songs became very popular. When Sagar merged into National Studios, she worked in film Sanskar-40.

Waheedan contracted T.B. and left films. She acted in only 8 films and sang 26 songs in 11 films-including her 8 films. She died in 1942.( based on information from Sagar movietone by Biren kothari ji and my notes)

Another name was Mazhar Khan in the cast of Prithvi putra-38. Khans have always dominated Hindi film industry, since Talkie films started. The very first Talkie, Alam Ara-31 also had the first actor singer W.M. Khan in it. The famous compiler and author, Shri Harish Raghuwanshi ji has enumerated as many as 57 names of Khans in Hindi films, in his book Inhe na Bhulana in Gujarati in 2003.

Mazhar Khan was born in 1907 in Dhar state. After matriculation, he joined Police force and rose up to Inspector’s rank. Due to attraction of becoming actor, he resigned from the job and reached Bombay.He went from studio to studio, in search of a job. Finally. Director B.P.Mishra from Imperial saw him and called for film roles. From 1927 to 1931, he worked in 19 silent films. His first Talkie was ‘ Noorjehan”-31 directed by Ezra Mir ( real name Edwyn Meyers). he went to Calcutta and worked in New theatres films with Sehgal and Begum Akhtar. He also acted in film Raat ka Raja-34, in which he reportedly did 8 different roles.After Sunehra Sansar-36 and some more films with other companies, he returned to Bombay and joined Ranjit, and later Minerva. His memorable film role was in Prabhat’s Padosi-41, in which he did the role of a Hindu pandit, while his Muslim friend’s role was done by Gajanan jahagirdar. Their roles were much appreciated in those periods.

In 1942 he started his own company, Asiatic pictures and then Mazhar Art productions. he produced and directed 6 films. he introduced actress Veena in film Yaad-42 and gave opportunity to Mukesh to sing in film Pehli Nazar- which made him very popular. Mazhar acted in 44 films. He married a Hindu girl, who did not convert after the marriage. They had 2 sons. Mazhar Khan died on 24-9-1950.
(adapted from wiki and Inhe na Bhulana).

Let us now listen to this melodious bhajan which is sung by chorus.

With this song, “Prithvi Putra”(1938) makes its debut in the blog.


Song- Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam (Prithvi Putra)(1938) Singer-Chorus, Lyrics-P L Santoshi, MD-Gyan Dutt

Lyrics

Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan,Leelakaari Shyaam
bhav bhaybhanjan ??niranjan sankathaari raam
bhav bhaybhanjan ??niranjan sankathaari raam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam

cheerharaiyya laajrakhaiyya raas rachaiyya krishn kanhaiyya
cheerharaiyya laajrakhaiyya raas rachaiyya krishn kanhaiyya
sau sau baar pranaam
sau sau baar pranaam

jai avinaashi jag ke swaami
ghat ghat vaasi antaryaami
jai avinaashi jag ke swaami
ghat ghat vaasi antaryaami
sau sau baar pranaam
sau sau baar pranaam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam

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9 Responses to "Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan leelaakaari Shyaam"

Dear Arunji,

IMDB mentions a Film named PRITHVI PUTRA made in 1933 where the story is from the Puranas (the Kalika Purana) and is about Narakasur (the film was perhaps in Telugu language, going by the star cast). It may not be far off the mark to conclude that the story of the Hindi Film is also the same.

With warm regards

PARTHA CHANDA

PARTHA CHANDA ji,
Thanks for your information. I too had seen this IMDB information. It was undoubtedly a Telugu film.
There is every possibility of this 1938 film too being based on the same story, with some variations. The songs of this film are aimed at Krishna ( who killed Narkasur).
We can only keep guessing.
Thanks again.

Arun ji,

There was a silent film, ‘Bhasmasur Vadh aka Prithvi Putra (1926). Probably, ‘Prithvi Putra’ (1938) may have the episode of Bhasmasur-Mohini. I have seen a photograph of Sitara Devi in a dancing pose in one of the issues of ‘Filmindia, 1937-38, which makes me to guess that she may have got the role of Mohini.

The screen-play and dialogue for ‘Prithvi Putra’ (1938) was written by Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betab’ as per the answers to the Readers’ Questions which appeared in one of the issues of ‘Filmindia’, 1938.
Therefore, I will not surprise if the original source of the story of the film could be from one of his mythological plays written for Parsi Theatres.

Sadanand ji,
Thanks for suggesting about the story. However, all songs of 1938 film refer to krishna, and so there is a strong possibility that the story may be of Narkasur Vadh- which was done by krishna…just like its same title of the Telugu film of 1933.
Sitara Devi does not feature in the cast of this film.
We can only keep on guessing. With Hindi films, anything is possible.
Thanks again.

Arun ji,
Please see the page 43 of ‘Filmindia’, April 1938 issue. The caption under the image mentions ‘Sitara in ‘Prithvi Putra’ , a Ranjit picture’.

I have seen it. HFGK does not mention her name. May be she had only a dance item and it was removed from the film. If she was in the cast, her name surely would have been mentioned, as she was an important actress in 1938.

Sadanand ji,
I checked her filmography from her interview in Beete hue din.com. In 1938, Sitara worked in General films’ Baghbaan, Ranjit’s Prof. Waman,M.Sc. and Sagar’s Watan.
Is it likely that the photo made a mistake and instead of Prof.Waman, they mentioned Prithvi putra ?

Arun ji,

In ‘Professor Waman M.Sc,’ (1938), Sitara Devi performs the role of a high society lady. In the image which I have referred to in my comment, Sitara Devi is seen in a costume which is generally used in the mythological films. And her costume, more or less, matches with the costumes seen in another image from the film in which Madhuri is seen with some dancers.

By the way, a brief write-up on Sitara Devi which appeared in July 1-15, 1988 issue of ‘Filmfare’ on the occasion of the 75th Year of Indian Cinema, the name of ‘Prithvi Putra’ is mentioned in the brief list of her films. [Source: http://maujwood.blogspot.com/2011/09/sitara-devi-show-woman-of-kathak.html%5D.

I will discuss with you on this issue separately.

Your given link is not opening, but it must be true, as you have given it.It shows 404 Error.
It has become very difficult whom to believe. Anyway, i accept that you are right and Sitara Devi was a part of the film Prithvi putra.
Still, the main question remains. What was the film about ?
In abscence of enough data it is hazardous to guess anything.
I still wonder why Sitara herself did not mention the name of Prithvi putra in her own interview and why HFGK does not show her name in the cast.
It is a strange world indeed !

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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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