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

Main preetam ke gun gaaun

Posted on: January 20, 2019

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 other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3838 Post No. : 14847

Today’s song is from a Mythological film Dev Kanya-46. The film was made by Vishnu Cinetone and was directed by its owner Dhirubhai Desai. Though there were 3 Lyricists, HFGK does not credit any song to any Lyricist. The melodious songs were composed by my favourite-or one of the favourites- MD Shyam Sundar (Gabba).

When I was a child, I was very fond of seeing Religious and Mythological movies. This was not because I was very religious minded, but because I liked the Trick scenes in these films. When I grew a little older, I was appointed the House Escort to a group of old relatives and women of the family whenever they wanted to see a movie- which was reasonably frequent. I would happily lead them as I too could see the film.

At that time I liked lilting, melodious songs, but not songs based on classical ragas. The reasons were, one- I never understood why the classical singers repeated one line several times and two- such singers’ names were obscure to me. It was only when I grew up as a young man ( sigh! That was a real long time ago ! ) I realised how classical music was India’s Heritage and in film songs they were made short and sweet too.

India has produced many Classical singers of repute. There are various Gharanas( styles) of Music and each had famous singers who created equally capable Shishyas (disciples) to maintain Gharana’s individuality. Before the advent of Talkie films and the spread of Film music, the classical music ruled the entertainment field. Many kings,Maharajas and Nawabs were the connoisseurs and patrons of classical music and supported this by appointing Raj Gayaks or Darbar Gayaks..

Over a period, Kings and Nawabs disappeared and Film music became popular with the common people. There was an unwritten dividing line between classical and Filmy music.Normally,no cross-overs were taking place, unless situations compelled. However, post Independence and the end of Royal patronage, classical music was relegated to background and only genuine lovers followed it. No wonder, the lure of lucrative film music attracted even the staunch classical maestros and we had many classical music experts-both Vocal and Instrumental, do a stint with the Film world.

Great Vocalists like M S Subbulaxmi, D V Paluskar, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Hirabai Badodekar, Manik Verma, Saraswati Rane, Shobha Gurtu etc, as well as Internationally famous classical Instrumentalists like Pt. Ravi Shankar, Bismilla Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, A R Qureshi etc made their Debuts in Hindi Film Music.Their participation enriched the HFM considerably. However, there were some staunch classical vocalists like Gangubai Hangal, Mogubai Krdikar, Kesarbai Kerkar etc, who, I believe, kept themselves away from films, though later on, their disciples did few film assignments.
I am not a classical music expert but from what I have read and understood, this was the situation. More knowledgeable readers can add their views as comments.

Today’s song is also sung by a classical singer who happens to be my favourite one- the great Saraswati Mane / Rane, under the baton of another great musician, Shyam Sundar. In the 40s and the 50s, the scions of Mane family, namely Sureshbabu Mane, Hirabai Badodekar and Sarswati Rane gave their contribution to the Hindi film music as well as Marathi Natyageet, Bhavgeet and cinema music.

Smt. Saraswati Mane/Rane alias Sakina [Chhotutai] was born in Miraj (4th October 1916). Sakina was the youngest daughter of the legendary maestro of the Kirana gharana, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan Sahib and Smt. Tarabai Mane. After separating from Karim Khan, Tarabai renamed all her children and Sakina became Kumari Saraswati Mane. The surname “Mane” was derived from her mother’s surname.Thus, Abdul Rehman became Sureshbabu mane, Krishna became Krishnarao Mane, Champakali became Hirabai Badodekar,Gulab became Kamalabai Badodekar. Krishnarao and Kamalabai were not singers. They only acted in films.

Saraswati was initiated into music by her illustrious brother Sureshbabu Mane. After about 1930, she also learnt from from her sister Smt. Hirabai Barodekar, Ustad Nathan Khan(1889-1946) of the Jaipur gharana and Prof. B. R. Deodhar of the Gwalior gharana.Working on stage in her mother’s ‘Nutan Sangeet Natak Mandali’, with luminaries like Bal Gandharva, Master Krishnarao, Vinayakbuwa Patwardhan, Sawai Gandharva and also stage drama singingThusThus like ‘Soubhadra’, ‘Sanchaya Kollol’ and ‘Ekacha Pyala’ brought her fame. Between 1929 and 1933 she cut several discs with the ‘Odeon’ label under the name of Kumari Saraswati Mane, rendering Hindi Bhajans and Marathi Bhavgeet.

In the meantime, she married Mr. Sunderrao Rane. In the early 1940’s, she made recordings as a playback singer for movies such as ‘Paisa Bolto Aahe’ (Marathi, 1943). She also acted in a Marathi film ‘Savitri’, and later took to playback singing for Marathi and Hindi films. She provided playback to over 50 films. She sang in almost all the films produced by Acharya P. K. Atre. Her song ‘Beena madhur madhur vacha bol’ in raga Bhimpalas from the Hindi/Marathi film ‘Ram Rajya’ (Prakash Films) was most popular. Her songs were heard all over North India. Younger listeners will probably remember her rendering Raga Shudh Kalyan with her grand daughter Shrimati Meena Faterpekar in the film ‘Bhumika’, directed by the renowned director Shyam Benegal.

Saraswati Rane cut over 200 songs on 78 rpm discs consisting of classical, light classical and film songs. She was probably one of the pioneering female playback singers of the Hindi film industry.

However, in order to concentrate on the performance of Hindustani classical music, at one point in time she virtually stopped accepting offers for playback singing. By then, she was a regular performer for All India Radio, and had also made several gramophone records with ‘Odeon’, ‘His Master’s Voice’, ‘Columbia’, and ‘Young India’ records, apart from her countrywide concert tours. Her renderings of Ragas Chandrakauns, Basant Bahar, Yaman and the immortal Marathi numbers ‘Ghanashyam Nayani Aalaa’, ‘Jaa Ghevuni Sandesh Pakhara’, the duets with her sister Hirabai Barodekar remain ever-popular. She also had the honour of singing the Maharashtra Geet on the very first Maharashtra Day, the 1st of May, along with her sister. She has also recorded a LP record of duet with her sister Heerabai Barodekar in 1960. She received several awards including the prestigious ITC Award 2006, presented at the ITC Sangeet Sammelan in Delhi.

She was very active in music circles and used to attend music programs and functions. She attended the Hirabai Barodekar birth centenary program at Sharada Sangeet Vidyalaya, Bandra in May 2006. She participated in this function and sang raga Todi. Smt. Saraswatibai Rane, the last living member of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan’s family passed away at Pune on Tuesday October 10, 2006.

If you see the cast of this film, you will see name of Leela Desai, Leela Chitnis, Ulhas, Wasti, Indira, Jillobai, Samson etc. Having two Leelas in one film was a coincidence, but having artistes of same name is a big problem for students of Hindi Film History. There were several Leelas operating at the same time in Hindi films, like Leela Desai, Miss Leela (Chandragiri/Pendharkar), Leela Gupte ( stunt film specialist), and Leela Mishra ( the eternal Leela mausi).

Leela Desai was the daughter of Dr. Umedbhai Desai-a Gujarati and his second wife Satyabala Devi- a Bengali from Bihar, who was a prominent singer of the 1930s. She was born in America, where her parents had gone for a 3 year trip. She grew up in India. She learnt dancing from Amla Devi-who married Uday shanker, Lachhu Maharaj and Sohan lal. She also learnt music in Morris College , Lucknow. Actress kamala Kumari of New Theatres had also learnt from here. In one of her stage performances in Lucknow, NT’s Director Hem Chander saw her and invited her to Calcutta for working in films.

She worked in the film President-37 as sister of Kamlesh Kumari,opposite Saigal. It was followed by Vidyapati-37, Dushman-38, Kapal Kundala-39 and Nartaki-40. She also did Adarsh Mahila-37 with Ideal Film company. Chimanlal Trivedi brought her to Bombay to act opposite Jairaj in film Tamanna-42. She acted in 5 films of Chimanlal Trivedi. After Tamanna, LeelaDesai acted in films like Sharafat-43, Paraya Dhan-43, Nagad Narayan-43, Inkaar-43, Mujrim-44, Miss Devi-44, Kaliyan-44, Meghdoot-45,Maharani Minal Devi-46, Magadhraj-46,Kamla-46, Dev kanya-46, Soorat-47 and last film Geet Govind-47.

She acted opposite leading actors like K L Saigal, Najmul Hasan, Jairaj, Pahadi Sanyal, Surendra, Chandra Mohan, Khalil, Baburao pendharkar etc etc. She worked under top directors like Debki Bose, Nitin Bose, kidar Sharma, Phani mujumdar and others. her sisters Monica Desai ( who married Phani Mujumdar) and Ramola were also in films. In a span of just 10 years, Leela Desai acted in 21 films and then left films. She settled in Darjeeling with her mother. Baburao Patel said this about Leela Desai….

“What shall be said of Leela Desai, who acted the part of the President’s sister, the mischievous school-girl, and who always took the active part in the love-making between her and Prakash Babu (Saigal)? I cannot find a single fault with her acting. She played up to Saigal splendidly. Even her eyes were most expressive. What naughtiness was in them? As a shameless hussy she could give points to any of your Hollywood actresses–and win. In the love-duet between her and Saigal it was she who always led. She was the personification of Mr. Bernerd Shaw’s pet notion that, in this eternal amorous game, it is the woman who leads the man on and not, as is commonly supposed, the other way about. From the moment she jumped down her school garden-wall and almost fell plump into the arms of Prakash Babu, who was sitting below chewing the end of his reflections anent his dismissal from his job, she never, in a manner of speaking, left him to himself. She would bring down the house with her: “Uske bad kya hua, Prakash Babu?” The poor man had to dance to her measure ever afterwards. When she found herself with him alone she gave us the impression of having fed on honey-dew and on the milk of paradise. Then, in addition to her sparkling dialogue and supremely ‘alive’ acting, she was gorgeous in her dancing performance. Her whole face was a mirror in which her thoughts were reflected. She was an imp of mischief from commencement to conclusion.”

As the time passes by, New becomes old and the old becomes older. New Generations do not know much about old films, actors etc. Actually Old Film is a relative term. A Teenager thinks, films of 70s and 80s are old stuff, Middle agers feel that films of 50 and 60s are old films and the old people feel old films means films of the 30s and 40s. For older generations, the old times are still fresh in their minds. Articles on old films and old actors revive their memories and they feel Nostalgic. Not everything that they enjoyed can be revived, but my attempts are to bring to light information about forgotten artistes of the bygone era, old time films and the people connected with them.

As time flows, Heroes become character artistes and then they fade out. There are hundreds of old time actors about whom absolutely no information is available. Intense search sometimes yields some results and one feels at peace with whatever is available. One such actor is Ulhas. For many years nothing was known about him except names of his films from HFGK. Over a period a little more about him came to light. Now we know that his real name was M.N.Kaul and that he was a Kashmiri Pandit. He worked in 155 films. Recently I found the following note on Ulhas in ‘ Chinar Shade’ Blog..

He was known as ULHAAS and his real name was M N Kaul.He belonged to a kashmiri Pandit family from Ajmer. As a young boy, he moved to Poona in 1937 and joined Prabhat Pictures as an actor. His first movie as an actor was ” Wahan “.He worked with stalwarts like A R Kardar and Sohrab Modi.

Chander Mohan Wattal , another actor of 1930s and 1940s helped him a lot to settle in films .In fact he intervened and requested V Shantaram for his role in “WAHAN”. Ulhaas remained loyal to Chander Mohan wattal for this favour till later’s death in 1949.

When Bombay Talkies decided to start their New film BASANT, Ulhaas and Mumtaz Shanti were signed as lead pair.Again in the movie PARBAT pE APNAA DERA , he was signed as hero.


In his 38 years of career, he acted in many hit movies. His last movie was Sawaal (1982).

The story of film Dev kanya-46 is…….

Beautiful Madalasa is the daughter of gandharvaraj of Gandharva Lok. Once she comes to Earth to enjoy its beauty. She meets Kumar Ritudhwaja, son of Samrat Shatrujit. They fall in love. Meanwhile the king of Pataal lok, Pataal Ketu sees her and abducts her to his Lok. Ritudhwaj comes to know this and goes to rescue her. In a battle ,he kills Pataal Ketu and marries Madalsa, with Narad Muni’s help. But the slain head of Pataal Ketu goes to his brother Taal Ketu and asks him to take revenge. Now Taal ketu abducts Madalasa. Kumar Ritudhwaja fights with him and kills him too. All is well now.

Let us now listen to the song by Saraswati Rane. Her song in film Ramrajya-43, Shobha-42 and Sargam-50 are my favourites. She sang only 26 film songs in 11 films.

Song-Main preetam ke gun gaaun (Dev Kanya)(1946) Singer-Saraswati Rane, MD-Shyam Sundar


Main preetam ke
main preetam ke
main preetam ke gun gaaun re
main preetam ke gun gaaun
pyaase ?? ki in ankhiyan ke
pyaase ?? ki in ankhiyan ke
nahin kabhi bhi jaati
nahin kabhi bhi jaati
khil khil badhti hi jaati hai
khil khil badhti hi jaati hai
jyon jyon darshan paati
jyon jyon darshan paati
maala japoon main naam ki unke ae ae
maala japoon main naam ki unke
charanan pe bali jaaun re
main charanan pe bali jaaun re
main preetam ke gun gaaun re
main preetam ke gun gaaun

unke hansne se khil jaati
jeewan ki phulwaadi
unke hansne se khil jaati
jeewan ki phulwaadi
unke charan kamal ki pooja se
unke charan kamal ki pooja se
pooja se hai mukti hamaari
man mandir ke devta
?? devta
aa aaa
sada unhin ko rijhaaun re
main sada unhin ko rijhaaun re
main preetam ke gun gaaun re
main preetam ke gun gaaun re


2 Responses to "Main preetam ke gun gaaun"

Very informative. Among those covered by the post, I am familiar only with Ulhas. I cant forget his memorable performance in Amiya Chakravarthys ‘Baadshah’.




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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 ELEVEN years. This blog has over 15200 song posts by now.

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