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

Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee

Posted on: December 16, 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 other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3803 Post No. : 14796 Movie Count :

4046

Sometimes, suddenly and unexpectedly, Lady Luck smiles on you and you are so bewildered, you don’t know how to enjoy that moment of Luck. This happened in my case. I have been writing about songs in old time movies and discussing about the people who made that film, that song and the circumstances in which the movie was made etc.

Sometimes,I come across a film, about which nothing-absolutely nothing- is available. No information, no songs, nothing. This is the dead end. But like a true crusader, I continue my efforts about that film, even when, leaving it aside, I have continued with my work. At times, I strike Gold, when it is not expected and I feel like dancing in the rain !

It is not only about a song or a movie, even an actor can get me stumped and then suddenly, there is light at the end of the tunnel ! I can quote several such examples, but I will limit my discussion only about today’s film, song and the MD.

I bought HFGK in mid 2012, that is six years ago and since then film Chowrangee-42 was on my radar. I was very curious about this film, because this was the only Hindi film in which the Great Poet of Bangladesh- Kazi Nazrul Islam, had composed some songs ( 2 songs, confirmed) as a Music Director and also had written those two songs as a Lyricist.

Kazi Nazrul Islam is to Bangladesh, what Rabindranath Tagore is to West Bengal. While, to my knowledge, Tagore never wrote any Naat or a Muslim religious verse, kazi wrote hundreds of Bhajans and Geets on Lord Rama and Krishna. Though many films- Bangla and Hindi- are based on the stories or novels of Tagore, he has not contributed anything directly to any Hindi film ( I do not know about Bangla films). On the other hand Kazi has written story of film Sapera-39 and provided Lyrics and Music to film Chowrangee-42 directly. Like Tagore’s Rabindra Sangeet, it was Nazrul Geeti in Bengal. I am not comparing them. Both were great souls.

The life story of Kazi is full of ups and downs. His last few years were spent in Glory but in very bad health.There were several deaths in his family. His wife became paralytic and he spent time in a Mental Hospital in Ranchi. After the formation of Bangladesh in 1971, the new country, invited him, bestowed honours on him, declaring him ” The National Poet”. The Bangladesh government also took good care of him in his last 4 years, but he was medically unfit to enjoy his glory.

Kazi Nazrul Islam (24 May 1899 – 29 August 1976) Composer and songwriter was born in Burdwan Dist., Bengal. With Tagore he was the major influence on popular Bengali music in the 20th C. Known as the Bidrohi Kavi or Rebel Poet and directly associated with radical nationalist movements (e.g. through the journal Dhoomketu which he edited in 1922, leading to his imprisonment on a charge of sedition), his poetry constitutes the first radical intervention into Hindu and Muslim devotional music, e.g. his famous addresses to the goddess Kali, his ghazal compilations (Chokher Chatak, 1929) and Islamic devotionals (Zulfikar, 1932). Much of his music, continued by the IPTA’s Bengali song repertoire, was polemically seen as a radical-romantic use of the ‘ tradition’ (e.g. Salil Choudhury, 1955). One of the first composer-writers to sign contracts with major record companies in Bengal (for Megaphone and Senola and later HMV) and with the Indian Broadcasting Corp., opening up new employment opportunities to a generation of younger composers such as Anil Biswas, S.D. Burman, Kamal Dasgupta and even Kishore Kumar (whose song Ai ek dui tran char gili gili/bam chick boob chick badhke bol in Kehte Hain Mujhko Raja, 1975, adapts Islam’s famous Cham chiki ude gelo). Created an urban variation of tribal jhumur music for Sailajananda Mukherjee’s Pataal Puri and wrote the songs for Nandini (1941) and Dikshul (1943). Some sources credit him as director for Dhruva, in which he played the Hindu sage Narad. Started Bengal Tiger Pics with Abbasuddin Ahmed. Their film of Islam’s novel Madina remained unfinished.

A significant impact of Nazrul’s work in Bengal was that it made Bengali Muslims more comfortable with the Bengali arts, which used to be dominated by
Bengali Hindus. His Islamic songs are popular during Ramadan in Bangladesh. He also wrote devotional songs on the Hindu Goddess Kali. Nazrul also composed a number of notable Shyamasangeet, Bhajan and Kirtan, combining Hindu devotional music.

Bengali polymath, poet, writer, musician, revolutionary and philosopher. Popularly known as Nazrul, his poetry and music espoused Indo-Islamic renaissance and intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Nazrul’s impassioned activism for political and social justice earned him the title Bidrohi Kobi (The Rebel Poet). His musical compositions form the avant-garde genre of Nazrul geeti (Music of Nazrul). Accomplishing a large body of acclaimed works through his life, Nazrul is officially recognised as the National Poet of Bangladesh and highly commemorated in India and the Muslim world.
Born into a Bengali Muslim Quazi (Kazi) family, Nazrul received religious education and worked as a muezzin at a local mosque. He learned of poetry, drama, and literature while working with theatrical groups. After serving in the British Indian Army, Nazrul established himself as a journalist in Calcutta. He assailed the British Raj in India and preached revolution through his poetic works, such as Bidrohi (The Rebel) and Bhangar Gaan (The Song of Destruction), as well as his publication Dhumketu (The Comet). His nationalist activism in the Indian independence movement often led to his imprisonment by British authorities. While in prison, Nazrul wrote the Rajbandir Jabanbandi (Deposition of a Political Prisoner). Exploring the life and conditions of the downtrodden masses of the Indian subcontinent, Nazrul worked for their emancipation. His poetry and music fiercely inspired Bengalis during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
During his visit to Comilla in 1921, Nazrul met a young Bengali Hindu woman, Pramila Devi, with whom he fell in love, and they married on 25 April 1924. Brahmo Samaj criticised Pramila, a member of the Brahmo Samaj, for marrying a Muslim. Muslim religious leaders criticized Nazrul for his marriage to a Hindu woman.

Nazrul’s writings explore themes such as love, freedom, and revolution; he opposed all bigotry, including religious and gender. Throughout his career, Nazrul wrote short stories, novels, and essays but is best known for his poems, in which he pioneered new forms such as Bengali ghazals. Nazrul wrote and composed music for his nearly 4,000 songs (including gramophone records), collectively known as Nazrul geeti (Songs of Nazrul), which are widely popular today. In 1942 at the age of 43 Nazrul himself fell ill and gradually began losing his power of speech. His behaviour became erratic, he started spending recklessly and fell into financial difficulties. In spite of her own illness, his wife constantly cared for her husband. However, Nazrul’s health had seriously deteriorated and he grew increasingly depressed. He underwent medical treatment under homeopathy as well as Ayurveda, but little progress was achieved before mental dysfunction intensified and he was admitted to a mental asylum in 1942. Spending four months there without making progress, Nazrul and his family began living a quiet life in India. In 1952, he was transferred to a psychiatric hospital in Ranchi. Through the efforts of a large group of admirers who called themselves the “Nazrul Treatment Society”, Nazrul and Promila were sent to London, then to Vienna for treatment. The examining doctors said he had received poor care, and Dr. Hans Hoff, a leading neurosurgeon in Vienna, diagnosed that Nazrul was suffering from Pick’s disease.It was rumoured that this was because of slow poisoning by the British Government. His condition was judged to be incurable, Nazrul returned to Calcutta on 15 December 1953. On 30 June 1962 his wife Pramila died, and Nazrul remained in intensive medical care. He stopped working due to his deteriorating health.

On 24 May 1972, the newly independent nation of Bangladesh brought Nazrul to live in Dhaka with the consent of the Government of India. In January 1976, he was accorded the citizenship of Bangladesh.Despite receiving treatment and attention, Nazrul’s physical and mental health did not improve. In 1974. his youngest son, Kazi Aniruddha, a guitarist, died, and Nazrul soon succumbed to his long-standing ailments on 29 August 1976.

His Filmography – 1937: Bidyapati (Writer), 1938: Gora, 1939: Sapurey (Writer), Sapurey/Sapera (Writer), 1942: Chauranghee, Chauranghee, 1949-Chattagram Astraghar Lunthan, 1972: Padi Pishir Barmi Baksha (Lyricist) ( information adapted from Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema and wiki).

I was ecstatic when recently, I could lay my hands on one song of this film, composed and written by Kazi. These songs are so rare that for the last 76 years none of these songs have ever appeared on public domain, like YT etc.
Film Chowrangee-42 was a Muslim social film on a professional singer’s life, who had a Kotha on Chowrangee area of Calcutta. The film was produced by Fazli brothers, known to make films on Muslim background only. The film was directed by the younger brother- Sibtain Fazli.

The producers Fazli brothers, were the sons of Khan Bahadur S M Fazal Rabb of Beharaich- about 125 kms from Lucknow in U.P. The elder brother was Hasnain and the younger brother was Sibtain ( born on 9-7-1916). Hasnain Fazli was born on 12-1-1912 in United Province (today’s U.P.). Their family belonged to the noble Sayyads of Allahabad. Hasnain was a graduate of Allahabad University. Though his father was a Khan Bahadur, a Government Jahagirdar and lifetime Magistrate, Hasnain refused to do any service and did not complete his I.C.S. studies, as expected by the family.

He had a creative mind. He joined film line. He was very keen on making a film on Muslim Society. In those days it was considered outrageous to produce a film on Muslim society for fear of the ire of the fundamentalists. However Hasnain broke the barrier and the first Muslim Social film Qaidi-40 was produced and directed by him under the banner of Film Corporation of India, Calcutta. Very cleverly, the film was made at Calcutta, ( though the film depicted life in Lucknow ), and not at Bombay to avoid any disruption in the making of the film. The film was made so well that it was received very well by all strata of population, including the Muslims and became a hit film. After this Hasnain made more Muslim social films like Masoom-41, Chowranghee-42, Fashion-43 and Ismat-44. These films discussed Muslim family life and problems etc.

His first directorial film was at his 23rd year- Triya Charitra-35. Then came Sajiv Murti-35, in which the Handsome Vijay Kumar from Himachal Pradesh was the Hero. Fazli brothers also made Dil-46, Mehendi-47, Duniya-49 and Khoobsurat-52. Hasnain was so talented that he himself wrote the film stories, screenplays and dialogues usually. Sibtain Fazli directed 3 films-Chowranghee-42, Ismat-44 and Mehendi-47.

After the Partition, Fazli brothers migrated to Pakistan. Sibtain remained in Pakistan and Hasnain returned to India to make 2 more films. Later Hasnain too relocated to Lahore and died there on 16-7-1957. His brother Sibtain ( 9-7-1916 to 25-7-1985) who had directed 3 films in India, made 4 films in Pakistan, including the most popular Urdu film of Madam Nurjehan – Dupatta-52.

Film Chowrangee had 13 songs. It included 3 wonderful Ghazals- 2 by Jigar Moradabadi and 1 by Mirza Ghalib ( I have heard these songs). It will be the first time that a song from this film-in its full form- will be available on You Tube, because our Sadanand ji Kamath has uploaded it on my request. Thanks Sadanand ji.

Hanuman Prasad Sharma ( aka Hanuman Prasad Triloki. Both are same. Triloki and Sharma are surnames in Brahmins. This is like the other case. The son of Bhagatram Batish, of Husnlal-Bhagatram duo, Ashok, calls himself as Ashok Sharma.) was also a Music Director for this film. With this film he made his debut in Hindi films. Unfortunately, except for 4 songs-2 for each MD- HFGK is silent on the singer or MD’s names of remaining 9 songs, making it difficult to know the reality. However, according to Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, the Lori, ” aa jaa ri nindiya ” is also composed by Kazi. May be, in future, some proof or information will emerge to confirm or clarify matters !

There were as many as 5 Lyricists for these 13 songs- Kazi Nazrul Islam, Arzoo lucknowi, Mirza Ghalib, Jigar Moradabadi and Partav Lucknowi. With this song , not only the movie, but also Kazi Nazrul Islam makes his Debut on the Blog as an MD and a Lyricist. Enjoy this historical song….


Song-Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee (Chowrangee)(1942) Singer-Unknown female, Lyrics- Kazi Nazrul Islam, MD- Kazi Nazrul Islam

Lyrics

Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee
Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee
iski duniya rang birangee
iski duniya rang birangee
Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee

gore kaale aawen jaawen
gore kaale aawen jaawen
apni apni chhab dikhlaawen
apni apni chhab dikhlaawen
ye dagar mein sab sansaar aar aar
ye dagar mein sab sansaar aar aar
iski duniya rang birangee
iski duniya rang birangee
Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee

kitne aawe raaja baabu
kitne aawe raaja baabu
kitne hamse bechaare
kitne apne dil ke bande
kitne prem pujaari ee ee
kitne prem pujaari
koi kisi ko raah lagaaye
koi aakar khud kho jaaye
koi kisi ko raah lagaaye
koi aakar khud kho jaaye
seedha rasta peer hazaar
seedha rasta peer hazaar
iski duniya rang birangee
iski duniya rang birangee
Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee
Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee
Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee

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4 Responses to "Chowranghee hai ye chowranghee"

The article full of information.

Thanks.

Dear Arunji,

Your write-up fired up a number of emotions, especially the passionate patriotic kind- exactly the inspiration that our freedom fighters of the 1930s drew from the blood curdling songs penned by Kazi Nazrul. Three of these were used with telling effect in the 1949 Movie “CHATTOGRAM ASTRAGAR LUNTHAN” (wish someone would extract from the soundtrack available on YouTube and post as separate songs) .

What we have are second choices, but no less inspirational. These three songs served to motivate the youth during the freedom struggle against the British and a generation later for the Mukti Bahini against the Pakistani Army :

With warm regards

PARTHA CHANDA

Thanks for these VDOs.

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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.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TEN years. This blog has over 15000 song posts by now.

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