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

Tava Virahe Vanamaali Sakhi Seedati

Posted on: September 5, 2019


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4066 Post No. : 15201 Movie Count :

4178

Today, September 5th is 24th Remembrance Day of Salil Chowdhury (19/11/1925 – 05/09/1995), the legendary music director who was the pioneer in fusion music – blending Indian melodies with the orchestration of western classical music. As he himself admitted during an interview on All India Radio, Salil Da was greatly influenced by the music of Beethoven and Mozart because his father used to play gramophone records of their music which he had listened during his childhood.

Salil Da’s musical legacy has been carried forward by the likes of RD Burman, Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman. I will come back later the organic connection of Ilaiyaraaja and A R Rahman with the music of Salil Da.  It is the irony of fate that while the followers of his musical legacy have attained the top slots in the film industry, Salil Da could not get such recognition in Hindi film industry. Perhaps, he was quite ahead of time and those who mattered in the Hindi film industry (producers and distributors) failed to realise his potentials.

Salil Da has to be a genius person in the making if I go by his various activities during his childhood and younger days. At the age of 6, he learns piano. As a student, he writes and compose songs for the school’s plays. As a teenager, he gets actively associated in the Peasants Movements in his village. In the midst of such activities, he completes his high school and later graduation from Kolkata University. He becomes a member of Communist Party of India and gets actively involved with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) while he is simultaneously doing his post-graduation studies. He is a playwright, song writer, composer and sometime actor in IPTA plays. Salil Da participates in the peasants’ uprising and goes underground for a couple of years. During this period, he writes and composes ‘chetonaar gaan’ (songs of awakening). He learns almost all the important musical instruments like piano, flute, esraj, sarod, sitar, guitar, percussion which is in most cases self-thought. He is the first to set up Bombay Youth Choir and later Calcutta Choir Group which he personally conducts in the 1950s. He is a poet, story writer, lyricist and music director.

With so much of his multifarious activities in around Kolkata, how did Salil Da get involved with Hindi film music in Mumbai? I quote below, in his own words during an  interviews on All India Radio:

I came to Bombay by stroke of luck. I was writing script (of my story ‘Rickshawaala’) for a Bengali film.  When Hrishikesh Mukherjee heard the story, he liked it. He said that he would narrate the story to Bimalda (Bimal Roy) who was expected to come to Kolkata from Mumbai. So, I took the appointment of Bimlada and read out the entire script to him. Bimlda did not show any reaction to the story but advised me to meet him the next morning.

When I went to meet him the next morning, I was told that he had left for Mumbai by the morning flight on some urgent work. Within a week, I got the telegram from Bimalda that he had decided to make a Hindi film based on my story and I should come to Mumbai with the script. That’s how I landed in Mumbai for ‘Do Beegha Zameen’ (1953).

After the success of ‘Do Beegha Zameen’ (1953), Salil Da was employed in Bimal Roy Productions as a music director. He did many films for the banner like ‘Biraj Bahu’ (1954), ‘Naukari’ (1954), ‘Amaanat’ (1955), ‘Parivaar’ (1956), ‘Aparadhi Kaun’ (1957), ‘Madhumati’ (1958), ‘Usne Kaha Thaa’ (1960), ‘ Parakh’ (1960).‘Kabuliwaala’ (1961), and  ‘Prem Patra’ (1962). During this period, he also did many other films outside the banner of Bimal Roy Productions. Song compositions in almost all these films are outstanding. Some of the songs from Bimal Roy’s  films are evergreen and they are still remembered. For instance “Aaha Rimjhim Ke Ye Pyaare Pyaare Geet Liye” (from ‘Usne Kaha Tha’) and “O Sajnaa Barkha Bahaar Aayi” (from ‘Parakh’).

In ‘non-Bimal Roy’ films, Salil Da composed excellent songs in films like ‘Jaagte Raho’ (1956), ‘Aawaaz’ (1956), ‘Ek Gaon Ki Kahaani’ (1957), ‘Honeymoon’ (1960), ‘Chhaaya’ (1961),  ‘Maaya’ (1961) etc. The songs like “Zindagi Khwaab Hai” (‘Jagte Raho’, Mukesh’s first song under Salida), “Dhitang Dhitang Bole” (‘Awaaz’), “Raat Ne Kya Kya Khwaab Dikhaaye” (‘Ek Gaon Ki Kahaani’), “Mere Khwaabon Mein Khayaalon Mein” (‘Honeymoon’),  “Koi Sone Ke Dilwaala” (‘Maaya’), and “Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyaar Badha” (‘Chhaaya’)  are some of my favourites of Salil Da.

Despite scoring beautiful songs in the films of early 50s, Salil Da was still regarded as a flop music director in the eyes of film distributors.  The box office success of‘ ‘Madhumati’ (1958) and the high popularity of its songs enabled Salil Da to shed the tag of ‘flop music director’. I remember that not a single day will pass without one or two songs from ‘Madhumati’ (1958) being played on the radio after the release of the film. Salil Da got his first Filmfare Award for the best music director for this film.

It is difficult to pin point the best song from ‘Madhumati’ as all the songs were outstanding. Because I am a trekker, I may be biased in my liking for “Suhaana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen“. The sound of chirping of the birds in the prelude creates a natural atmosphere in the scene for the song. Incidentally, adding in the prelude the chirping sounds of the birds was suggested by SD Burman. Salil Da used folk-based melody from Bengal, Assam, Nepal and also from Poland for almost all the songs in the film. He requisitioned the services of Dattaram for playing dholak in all the songs (as revealed by Dattaram in his TV interview). One can hear Dattaram ‘thekas’ prominently in the song “Ghadi Ghadi Mora Dil Dhadke“.

With the tremendous success of ‘Madhumati’ (1958), Salil Da got more film assignments such as ‘Chhaaya’ (1961), ‘Poonam Ki Raat’ (1965), ‘Chaand Aur Sooraj’ (1965), ‘Pinjre Ke Panchhi’ (1966) (which he also directed), among many others.

During his second phase of the musical career, he did some notable films like ‘Mere Apne’ (1971), ‘Anand’ (1971), ‘Annadaata (1972), ‘Rajanigandha’ (1974), ‘Chhoti Si Baat’ (1976), ‘Anand Mahal’ (1977) etc. Some of the popular as well notable songs of Salil Da of this period are “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Haaye” (‘Anand’), (note the choir singing in the interludes), “Raaton Ke Saaye Ghane” (‘Annadaata’) (song may not have become popular but it is an intricate composition which only Lata could do justice), “Kai Baar Yoon Bhi Dekha Hai” (‘Rajnigandha’) (my favourite and whenever I wish to listen to this song, I prefer to watch on the video clip) and “Na Jaane Kyun Hota Hai Ye Zindagi Ke Saath” (‘Chhoti Si Baat’) (again, I prefer to listen to the song by watching the video clip of the song).

I know, I have missed some more of popular songs composed by Salil Da . I will end with  one more song from the stable of Salil Da which did not become as popular as it should have been. The song is  “Koi Hota Jisko Apna” from ‘Mere Apne’ (1971).  It is a complex composition which Kishore Kumar has ably rendered. The mukhda tune was inspired from the background score of ‘Anand’(1970).

After about 1975, his Hindi film assignments came down that too was limited to small banners. On the other hand, his assignments in Bengali and South Indian films were on the rise. Also, he had shifted his base to Kolkata in mid 1970s as he had planned for setting up of a modern recording studio in Kolkata. During about 25 years of his active association with Mumbai, he composed about 300 songs in about 65 Hindi films.

Discussion on Salil Chowdhury’s musical career in films will not be complete unless we take into account his sojourn to South Indian films especially the Malayalam films. He was introduced to Malayalam films  by Ramu Khairat, the Malayalam film director who was a part of IPTA delegation along with Salil Da to an East European country in 1960. Their IPTA background and the common interest in films made them friends. When Ramu Khairat finalised the making of Malayalam film, ‘Chemmeen’ (1965), he selected Salil Da as the music director. The film received tremendous response from the cinegoers. This film is regarded as the first successful ‘arty’ film in South India.

The highlight of the film was the popularity of its four songs. The extra-ordinary success of the songs changed the complexion of the South Indian film music. Salil Da set his firm footing in the South Indian film industries. He did 25 Malayalam films and 10 films in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. In addition, he was also associated with about 40 Bengali films as a lyricist and music director.

One of the innovative ideas Salil Da experimented with his music was that he composed new songs based on his earlier songs as well as from the background score by giving a different structure to the new songs. For instance, in an interview, Salil Da gave an interesting example of his song “Aaja Re Pardesi Main To Kab Se Khadi Iss Paar”  from ‘Madhumati’ (1958). The mukhda tune was based on the melodic background music of ‘Jaagte Raho’(1956). This background music is played whenever Raj Kapoor is about to drink water to quench his thirst but the circumstances makes him to run away from the scene without drinking water. In the same song, Salil Da has used the mukhda tune of “Ghadi Ghadi Mora Dil Dhadke” as the interlude music.

Another example I had noted many years back and worth mentioning is the comparison of the song “Baag Mein Kali Khili Bagiya Mehki” from ‘Chaand Aur Sooraj’ (1965) with “Saathi Re Tujh Bin Jiya Udaas” from ‘Poonam Ki Raat’ (1965). Salil Da has used more or less the same tune for the antaras of both the songs. Salil Da’s different melodic and orchestration structures makes these two songs sounding different. Hence, first song sounds like that for a growing up girl waiting for her fiance and the other one as a haunting song. Also note in the latter song how the mukhda tune of the former song converted into the interlude music and gets merges with the antara tune.

I had mentioned earlier that there is some organic connection between Salil Da, Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman. During his assignments in the South Indian films, especially in Malayalam films as a music director, Salil Da had in his orchestra, Ilaiyaraaja as a lead guitarist and RK Sekhar (father of AR Rahman) as his Assistant and Arranger. AR Rahman joined Ilaiyaraaja’s troup as Keyboard player. Incidentally, Salil Da had predicted that one day Ilaiyaraaja would become the top most music director of India. His prophecy has come true.

A music analyst in his article in The Hindu has opined that in his early years of music direction, Ilaiyaraaja seemed to have been influenced by Salil Da in using fusion music which he improvised a lot in his later years. The same music analyst also felt that Salil Da was influenced by the music of Ilaiyaraaja in composing Bengali songs in his later years.

On the occasion of 24th Remembrance Day of the legendary music director, Salil Da, I have chosen a rarely heard Sanskrit song  ‘tava virahe vanamaali’ from the film ‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994). The music for the song has been composed by Salil Da in a classical raaga, Yaman. The song is written by the famous Sanskrit poet of the 12th century AD – Jaidev. It is rendered by Kavita Krishnamurthy. It is a classical dance song which is picturised on Shobna (Pillai), a well-known Malayalam and Tamil film  actress and a Bharatnatyam dancer. She is the niece of Padmini and Ragini.

I took the song’s lyrics from Geet Govind. English translation of the lyrics is embedded on the audio clip of the song. This is the song I liked best out of 8 songs in the film.

There is long history about the film ‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994). The film was directed by GV Iyer  a khadi-clad barefoot Gandhian who has been known for  making films based on spiritual themes. He was the first to make a feature film in Sanskrit, ‘Adi Shankaracharya’ (1983) which won 4 National Film Awards including the award for the Best Film. This was followed by ‘Madhvacharya’ (1986) in Kannada, ‘Ramanujacharya’ (1989) in Tamil, ‘Bhagvad Geeta – The Song of the Lord’ (1993) in Sanskrit.  In addition, he has acted in and directed many Kannada films since 1954.

‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994) was GV Iyer’s first foray into Hindi film which also falls under the spiritual theme.  The film was produced by T Subbarami Reddy, a parliamentarian and a well-known Telugu and Bollywood film producer. The main characters in the film, Swami Vivekanand was played by Sarvadaman Banerjee and that of Ramkrishan Paramhans by Mithun Chakraborty. Tanuja, Pradeep Kumar, Debashree Roy were some of the other actors in the film. Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Rakhee, Jaya Prada, Manmooty, Meenakshi Seshadari and Anupam Kher did some minor roles as guest actors.

The film took about 5 years to complete and further about 3 years to get released for public viewing. Naseeruddin Shah who was selected to play the role of Ramkrishna Paramhans had to be dropped due to pressure from right-wing activists. The role went to Mithun Chakraborty despite having an image of disco dancer at that time. There were many objections from various quarters including Ramkrishna Mission. When issues were being addressed by the director, someone filed a suit in the high court which after sometime, cleared the film with about 20 cuts. The film was premiered on National Channel of Doordarshan on August 15, 1998 and thereafter it was released in the theatres. The film was a disaster at the box office.

‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994) was  Salil Da’s last Hindi film. Salil Da was regarded as an expert in background music but this was the only his Hindi film for which he could not give background music due to his sudden death on September 5, 1995.

Audio

Video

 

Song – Tava Virahe Vanamaali Sakhi Seedati  (Swami Vivekanand) (1994) Singer – Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics – Jaidev (Traditional), MD – Salil Chaudhry

Lyrics

tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
 
dahati shishir-mayookhe
maranam-anukaroti
patati madan-vishikhe
vilapati vikalataroti
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aaa
aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
dahati shishir-mayookhe
maranam-anukaroti
patati madan-vishikhe
vilapati vikalataroti
vikalataroti
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
 
aa aa aaa aa
aa aa aaa aa
dhvanati madhupa-samoohe
shravanam-api dadhaati
manasi valit-virahe
nishi nishi rujam-upyaati
dhvanati madhupa-samoohe
shravanam-api dadhaati
manasi valit-virahe
nishi nishi rujam-upyaati

vasati vipin-vitaane

tyajati lalitdhaam
luth’ti dharani-shayane
bahu vilapati tava naam
vasati vipin-vitaane
tyajati lalitdhaam
luth’ti dharani-shayane
bahu vilapati tava naam aa
tava naam
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virah..ae
vanamaali..ee

———————————-
Devnagari script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————–

[Ed Note: The complete text of the original song (song no. 10 in the book) consists of 8 verses, which appear in the 5th chapter of this epic poem, placed between the 34th and the 35th shloks in the book. For the purpose of the film, only the first four have been adapted. There is a lead in verse which is a part of this song. It reads as,
वहति मलयसमीरे मदनमुपनिधाय ।
स्फुटति कुसुमनिकरे विरहिहृदयदलनाय ॥  ]

तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति ॥ १॥
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे वनमाली

दहति शिशिरमयूखे मरणमनुकरोति ।
पतति मदनविशिखे विलपति विकलतरोऽति ॥ २॥
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ
आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ आ
दहति शिशिरमयूखे मरणमनुकरोति
पतति मदनविशिखे विलपति विकलतरोऽति
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे वनमाली

आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
ध्वनति मधुपसमूहे श्रवणमपि दधाति ।
मनसि वलितविरहे निशि निशि रुजमुपयाति ॥ ३॥
ध्वनति मधुपसमूहे श्रवणमपि दधाति
मनसि वलितविरहे निशि निशि रुजमुपयाति

वसति विपिनविताने त्यजति ललितधाम ।
लुठति धरणिशयने बहु विलपति तव नाम ॥ ४॥
वसति विपिनविताने त्यजति ललितधाम
लुठति धरणिशयने बहु विलपति तव नाम
तव नाम
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे॰॰ए
वनमाली॰॰ई

 

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5 Responses to "Tava Virahe Vanamaali Sakhi Seedati"

Sudhir ji,

Thanks for taking your time out to post the article.

The song ‘ aaha rimjhim ke ye pyaare pyaare geet liye’ is from ‘Usne Kaha Thha’ (1960) and not from ‘Parivar’. Please correct the name of the film in parenthesis.

Like

Sadanand ji,

Apologies for the error. It is now rectified.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Dear Sudhirji,

I say this tongue firmly in cheek and no offence intended, perhaps you should have retained the name in parenthesis and instead changed the name of the song :

With warmest regards to Sadanandji and yourself

PARTHA CHANDA

Liked by 1 person

audio

Like

Sudhir ji,

Thanks for incorporating verses in Devnagari script. The minor corrections in the Roman script done by you are as per the original verses in Jaidev’s epic poem, Geet Govind and they are fine. I think, each shloka has 8 verses (Ashtapadi).

I do not know as to why both video and audio clips of the song omit the lead verse and start with ‘tava virahe vanmaali’ which is mentioned in Geet Govind as ‘Dhruv Padam’ . Probably ‘Dhruv Padam’ is akin to what we call as ‘refrain’ in the song.

Like

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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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