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

Ghiri ghiri aayi kaari badariya

Posted on: December 23, 2019

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4175 Post No. : 15349 Movie Count :


Hindi Songs in Bangla Films – 14
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‘Antony Firingee’ (1967) was a Bengali film which has attained a classic status among the Bengali films. The film was directed by Sunil Banerjee. The main cast included Uttam Kumar, Tanuja, Lolita Chatterjee, Bhanu Bandopadhyay, Asit Baran, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Chhaya Devi etc. The film was based on a real-life story of Hensman Antony, a Portuguese national, who visited Chandannagar (near Kolkata) with his father, a trader, sometime in the 19th century. However, in the film, the story has some deviation from the real story probably to give a better cinematic depiction of the characters. Let me set out first the real story which I have gathered from the on-line sources.

Hensman Antony (1786-1836) arrived in Chandannager with his father, a trader sometime in the 19th century. He got so obsessed with the Bengali folk music and language that he decided to settle down in Chandannagar. During his stay, he started learning Bengali language and also the folk music. His life took a fresh turn when he saved a brahmin widow, Saudamini from self-immolation and took her to his place. He married her much to the annoyance of orthodox Bengalis. A widow re-marrying and that too a Firingee (foreigner from Europe) was nothing less than an act of blasphemy. The conservatives regularly harassed Antony and Saudamini by various means.

The influence of Saudamini on Antony was such that he started worshipping Maa Kali and Maa Durga that made him a spiritually inclined person. He also started learning Kavigaan (Bengali folk performances by poets of two groups who sing and perform in front of the villagers as a competition). He was also good in singing hymns in praise of Goddesses. His literary Bengali was so good that he became one of the popular poets of Kavigaan. These things did not go well with the orthodox upper caste Bengalis who felt that a Firingee is entering their domain. One day, a few villagers burnt their cottage which resulted in Soudamini getting burnt to death. At that point of time, Antony was away giving his winning performance in a Kavigaan.

There is an old Kali temple located in Bowbazar area of Kolkata known as ‘Firingee Kalibari’ to which Antony Firingee was associated with its renovation and also as a devotee.

The film, ‘Antony Firingee’ (1967) is available on-line for viewing in 7 parts. However, there is no English sub-titles. After knowing the real story of Hensman Antony, it was not difficult for me to relate the scenes in the film and also the context. Since the early life of Hensman Antony in Bengal was not known, the director has taken the cinematic liberty by showing that Antony’s mother was a Bengali. He spends most of his time singing Bengali songs with the workers of a riverbank. Antony’s behaviour is completely in odd with his brother and Marina (Lolita Chatterjee) who loves him. They would prefer him to mingle with their own (white) people.

The director has fictionalized the romantic link between Antony (Uttam Kumar) and Soudamini (Tanuja. In the film, her role was named as Nirupama) by making her a courtesan after she became a widow. Her singing as a courtesan attracts Antony. She reveals him her sad story as to how she ran away from home after the death of her husband to escape death on her husband’s funeral pyre. She was forced to become a courtesan by changing her name to Shakilabai. Both are now becoming closer to each other as both share the same interest – singing. Antony rescues her from the kothi and marries her. There is a complete transformation of Shakilabai from a courtesan to Nirupama as a housewife. Despite the constant harassment from the conservative society surrounding them for their rebellions, they lead a contended married life. Rest of the story in the film has been mostly kept as per the real-life story.

The dramatization by way of the irony of the situations in the film has been well conceived. For instance, because of Antony’s foreign origin, Bhola Moira (Asit Baran), the most popular kabiyal (a bard, akin to ‘kirtankar’ in Maharashtra and Karnataka) at that time, refuses to teach him to become the kabiyal. But in the end, at a Kavigaan, he defeats Bhola Moira who not only accepts his defeat graciously, he removes the flower garland from his neck and place it on Antony as a mark of his respect for Antony. And another irony of situation is that while Antony has won the duel with Bhola Moira, fanatics are burning his cottage in which his wife is being burnt alive. The film ends with Antony carrying the dead body of Nirupama out of the burnt house and takes to the river ghat.

The film won Uttam Kumar the National Award for the best actor in 1968. About 50 years later, ‘Antony Firingee’ (1967) was the opening film at Kolkata International Film Festival, 2018.

The film had 10 songs and a Tarana sung by Malbika Kanan, the wife of Pandit A T Kanan. All the songs are said to have become very popular. I am presenting the only Hindi song in the film, ‘ghir ghir aayi kaari badariya’ sung by Sandhya Mukherjee based on a popular traditional kajri. But in the film, it is sung for a mujra singer (Tanuja in the role of Shakinabai)) which is set to music by Anil Bagchi.

In the video version of the song, it is interspersed with western dances Antony’s community is indulging where Antony is being taken to participate. But he so immersed in mujra song heard in the background that he closes the door of the dance floor to hear the song uninterrupted. The audio clip has the full rendition.

Video Clip (Partial):

Audio Clip:

Song-Ghiri ghiri aayi kaari badariya (Anthony Firangi)(Bangla)(1967) Singer-Sandhya Mukherjee, MD-Anil Bagchi

Lyrics(based on audio clip)

aaa aaa aaa
aaa aaa aaa
aaa aaaa aaa aaa
ghiri ghiri aayi kaari badariya
piya nahin aaye
main kaa karoon guinyaan
ghiri ghiri aayi kaari badariya
piya nahin aaye
main kaa karoon guinyaan
kaa karoon guinyaan
piyaa nahin aaa…ye
piya nahin aaye
haaa aa aa
piya nahin aaye
piya nahin aaye
main kaa karoon guinyaan

daadur morey
daadur morey papeeha gaa…
daadur morey papeeha boley
mujh birhan kaa jiyara…..aa doley
mujh birhan kaa jiyara…..aa doley
nis din unki yaa……d sataaye
piya nahin aaye
main kaa karoon guinyaan
piya nahin aaye mora
kaa karoon guinyaan
piya nahin aaye mora
kaa karoon guinyaan
piya nahin aaye
main kaa karoon guinyaa….n

2 Responses to "Ghiri ghiri aayi kaari badariya"

Sadanand ji,
So many Hindi songs in Bengali movies!
You are presenting them very nicely.
Thank you for the same.

I can’t straight away remember a ‘ complete’ Hindi song in Kannada movies. A word or two,a few lines, Yes. But,an entire song,No!
For that matter, there aren’t many fully English songs either,in Kannada.

A few that I can recall are:

Life is a merry melody, Love is a haunting rhapsody…..BESUGE.

Happiest moment every event…. BILI HENDTHI
Both,Vani Jairam.

If you come today it’s too early
If you come tomorrow it’s too late
You fix the time
Tick tick tick tick tick… OPERATION DIAMOND RACKET
Dr Rajkumar…..

It was a BOND style movie. Earlier, Rajkumar had acted in a few more such movies, the first two of which were the launching pads for two actresses who became major stars later.

GOADALLI CID 999….1968…’ JULIE’ Lakshmi’s debut.
OPERATION JACKPOTNALLI CID 999…1969….( BHANU) REKHA’s first adult role. SAWAN BHADON was one year away!


Pradeep ji,
Thanks for your appreciation.


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