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

Zindagi ki ye bhool thhi

Posted on: November 1, 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 :

4123 Post No. : 15277 Movie Count :

4202

Hindi Songs in Bangla Films – 4
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For the general Hindi film audience, Suchitra Sen (real name: Roma Dasgupta) is synonymous with her lead roles in ‘Bambai Ka Babu’ (1960) with Dev Anand, ‘Mamta’ (1966) with Ashok Kumar and ‘Aandhi’ (1975) with Sanjeev Kumar. The second category of audience with academic interest in Hindi films will add four more of her Hindi films – ‘Devdas’ (1955) in the role of Paro with Dilip Kumar, ‘Musafir’ (1957) with Shekhar, ‘Champakali’ (1957) with Bharat Bhushan and ‘Sarhad’ (1960) with Dev Anand. Those in the latter category of Hindi film buffs would also know that Suchitra Sen worked in many Bengali films and the Bengali film audience loved to watch their favourite on-screen couple, Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar.

I was in the second category insofar as Suchitra Sen was concerned until recently. But in my quest to get a few rare Hindi film songs in Bengali films made me to watch some of the popular and critically acclaimed Bengali films of the golden era (1950-75). In this process, I came to know about the important contributions made by Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar among others in reviving the Bengali film industry after the decline of big film productions banners like New Theatres, M P Productions (of P C Barua) and the collapse of the studio system.

Based on a number of articles available on-line including some from Gopal Krishna Roy, a film journalist with United News of India who remained one of the very few close confidants of Suchitra Sen until her death, I have given below some interesting aspects of her filmy career based on these readings:

1. Suchitra Sen (06/04/1931 – 17/01/2014) migrated from then East Bengal (now Bangla Desh) to Kolkata with her family in 1947. She joined film industry in 1952 when she was already married to Dibanath Sen, a Marine Engineer and the son of an Industrialist in 1947 at the age of 16.

2. She acted in her fist film ‘Shesh Kothay’ (1952, Bangla) which was never released. Her first officially released film was ‘Saat Number Kayedi’ (1953, Bangla)

3. Her second released film was ‘Sharey Chauttor’ (1953, Bangla), a light comedy film which was also her first film with matinee idol, Uttam Kumar, then nick named in the Tollygunj studio circle as a ‘flop hero’ because all the films he worked during 1948-52 were box office failures. With this film, Uttam Kumar made an impressive turnaround in his filmy career with Suchitra Sen. From this film onward, Bengali filmy audience adored them as the most iconic romantic pair in the Bengali films.

4. During her filmy career (1953-78), Suchitra Sen worked in 61 films (including 7 Hindi films) out of which she paired with Uttam Kumar in as many as 30 films. Almost all of their films were box office hits.

5. When Suchitra Sen was 39, she lost her husband, Dibanath Sen in 1970 while he was on a visit to USA. However, she kept her shooting schedules, more or less, as planned to avoid financial losses to the producers.

6. A glance through her filmography and brief story lines of most of her films gives an impression that Suchitra Sen had handled her filmy career, especially from 1960, onward very professionally. She appears to be selective in accepting the films. Most of her films have a strong story-line and she had almost equal footage in films along with lead actors. In this process, she had ensured that she had ample scope for portraying her characters in the films and was not over-exposed to her audience.

7. Suchitra Sen declined the offer of Satyajit Ray’s film because he had put a condition that she had to give bulk dates for shooting and during the making of the film, she should not work in any other films. Satyajit Ray decided to abandon the film rather than taking any other female actress. She had also declined the offer of Raj Kapoor to work in one of his films (My wild guess is that it was for ‘Sangam’ (1964) because he had also made an offer to Uttam Kumar for a role in his film ‘Sangam’ (1964) which he had also declined. The role went to Rajendra Kumar.)

8. Suchitra Sen was the first Bengali film actress to get the best actress award in any International Film Festival for her role in Bangla film ‘Saptapadi’ (1961) in Moscow International Film Festival, 1963.

9. After the box office failure of her last film ‘Pranay Pasha’ (1978), Suchitra Sen retired from the film industry at the age of 47. It was first thought that she had timed her retirement at the peak of her career. However, over a period of time, it became evident that with retirement from the films, she had also shunned public life. She spent her last 35 years in her house as recluse, confining herself with close circles of family and a few friends.

During her last 35 years, Suchitra Sen completely avoided public exposure. Even during the death of Uttam Kumar in 1980, she visited his house after mid-night to offer her condolence. It is believed that she had decline to accept Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 mainly to avoid the public appearance. In 2012, Government of West Bengal gave her ‘Banga Bibushan Award’ but she did not attend the function. Moon Moon Sen, her daughter accepted the Award on her behalf.

Suchitra Sen suffered from lung infections for which she was admitted in a Kolkata hospital sometime in December 2013. She had almost recovered from her ailment but on January 17, 2014, she got a cardiac arrest which took her life. As per her wish, her body was put in the casket with tinted glasses and was cremated as the earliest (in about 5 hours from the time of her death). So even in death, she ensured her privacy.

Dilip Kumar who had worked with Suchitra Sen in her first Hindi film ‘Devdas’ (1955) in the role of Paro, paid tributes to her upon her death in January 2014 which are reproduced below:

Suchitra had peerless, expressive eyes. She conveyed volumes with a single look. During an intense scene in Devdas, I had to look straight into her eyes and convey romance filled with pathos. She reacted uniquely, looking with equal intensity at me and doing a slight lip movement which was excellent. Bimal da complimented her after that shot and so did I.

Professional to the core, Suchitra maintained a distance from film folk and never opened up unless she was comfortable with the person she was interacting with. She preferred to work in silence. But she never disrespected anyone. As an artiste, she gave full respect to even a spot boy.

Her Hindi had a Bengali accent but it sounded sweet. She could give five modulations to a single dialogue. After Devdas, we worked in Musafir in 1957, but we were not paired together. I will never forget the serenity she lent to the bhajan, ‘man re hari naam karna’ by Lata Mangeshkar.

We shared a great work rapport, but I must confess, her pairing with Uttam Kumar was the greatest. Suchitra was unparalleled in ‘Saat Paake Bandha’, ‘Uttar Phalguni’ and ‘Deep Jwele Jai’. An actress of international calibre, her looks were simply haunting. [Source: The Times of India, updated version dated 17/01/2017].

Many of Suchitra Sen’s Bangla films were not only box office hits, some of them were critically acclaimed and were remade in Hindi like ‘Mamta’ (1966) from ’Uttar Phalguni’ (1963), ‘Kora Kaagaz’ (1974) from ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ (1963), ‘Khamoshi’ (1966) from ‘Deep Jwele Jaai’ (1959) etc.

I am presenting a Hindi song ‘zindagi ki ye bhool thhi’ from the film ‘Uttar Phalguni’ (1963, Bangla) sung by Sandhya Mukherjee. The name of the lyricist is not known. The song was set to music by Robin Chatterjee.

Suchitra Sen had a double role – both mother and daughter in this film which was produced by Uttam Kumar. But he did not act in this film. Suchitra Sen later did the same double role in the Hindi version ‘Mamta’ (1966).

Unfortunately, the video clip of the song is not available. In fact, I did not find the song in the DVD of the film. Since Sandhya Mukherjee had sung for Suchitra Sen in this film, I guess, the song was picturized on Suchitra Sen. The wordings of the song give me an impression of a mujra song, the similar situational song in Hindi version of the film could be rahte thhe kabhi jinke dil mein.

Audio Clip:

Song-Zindagi ki ye bhool thhi (Uttar Phalguni)(Bangla)(1963) Singer-Sandhaya Mukherjee, MD-Robin Chatterji

Lyrics

aa aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi
pyaar kisi se ho gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi
mohabbat ki thandi chhaon mein
naadaan dil thha so gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi

kaisi ye dillagi huyi
dil nahin akthiyaar mein
kaisi ye dillagi huyi
dil nahin akthiyaar mein
gumnaam ek sandesha hai
koyal ki har pukaar mein
gumnaam ek sandesha hai
koyal ki har pukaar mein
lut gayi main to jeete jee
haay kisi ke pyaar mein
phool dikha ke dhool mein
kaanta koi chubho gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi

meri nasheeli aankh mein ae
meri nashee….li aankh mein
tasveer kiski bas gayi
tasveer kiski bas gayi
khel samajh ke prem ke
jaal mein main to phans gayi
lut gayi dil ki har khushi
lut gayi dil ki har khushi
hansne ko main taras gayi
saahil pe la ke naav ko
saahil pe la ke naav ko
mallah khud dubo gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi
pyaar kisi se ho gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi

2 Responses to "Zindagi ki ye bhool thhi"

Dear Sadanand ji,

ROMA is Ok, so long as it is pronounced as रमा and not रोमा | From Sanskrit, रमा means charming, beautiful (it also means dark complexioned). To the best that I know, Suchitra Sen received the Silver Prize for the Best Actress at the Moscow Film Festival in 1963 for the Film “SAAT PAKEY BANDHA” and not “SAPTAPADI”. See link below :

https://upperstall.com/film/saat-pake-bandha/

[ SAPTAPADI was released a full two years earlier in 1961, as also mentioned by you. You may pl like to cross check ].

There is a short Video of another song by Sandhya from “Uttar Falguni” :

There are only 3 (three) Classical based Thumris in the Film and the song selected by you is not in the Film. Two other Thumris were also not included.

As you would be knowing, TAPAN SINHA had a habit of including a Hindi Song (normally a Classical piece) in almost all his Films in Bangla. RITWICK GHATAK also had a great piece by AT KANAN in his Film “MEGHEY DHAKA TARA”.

With warm regards

PARTHA CHANDA

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Partha Chanda ji,

Thanks for your comments which always work as additional inputs to the article.

There seems to be some confusion in regard to the the name of the film for which Suchitra Sen got best actress award in the Moscow International Film Festival, 1963. Wikipedia page on Suchitra Sen mentions ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ (1963) for the award while Wikipedia page on ‘Saptapadi’ (1961) mentions ‘Saptapadi’ for the award. So I checked the website of the Moscow International Film Festival which has mentioned the name of the film as ‘Saptapadi’ for which Suchitra Sen got the best actress award. So I relied on this MIFF website.

MIFF link: http://www.moscowfilmfestival.ru/miff34/eng/archives/?year=1963

Now I have noticed that the same website has also mentioned the name of ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ as the film from India which was screened during MIFF, 1963. Obviously, there seems to be some mistake in compiling the information by MIFF. If I go by the release year of the film and also the year during which the film was screened at MIFF, ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ (1963) seems to be correct.

Incidentally, both ‘Saptapadi’ (1961) and ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ (1963) were directed by Ajoy Kar.

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