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

Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwaan

Posted on: December 24, 2019


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 : 4176 Post No. : 15350

Today’s song is from the film “Aankh ki sharm (1943). This bhajan is sung by one ‘Pande ji’. I am neither aware who this singer is, nor aware of any information on him. The Music Director of this film was Vasant Desai, who was known to be a Talent Hunter ( He had discovered MD S.Purushottam and singers Desai sisters – Pramodini and Vinodini ). May be Pande ji was also his discovery. However in later films of Vasant Desai I failed to find his name again. Possibly he was a ‘one film wonder’, like many others.

The film was made by Wadia Movietone. In 1942, the Wadia brothers – Homi and J B H Wadia separated, when the elder brother J B H Wadia proposed that the company should start making Social films, instead of only Stunt films. Homi Wadia established his own company Basant Pictures and continued making stunt films with Fearless Nadia – who sided with him, obviously, in the separation. Much later, Nadia married Homi Wadia and she thus became Nadia Wadia !

This was the second Social film ( after film Shobha-42) that Wadia Movietone made after the split. It was directed by Balwant Bhatt – elder brother of Nanabhai Bhatt who was a veteran in directing B and C grade films.

All the 11 songs of the film were written by Pt. Indra Chandra. The cast of the film was Prithwiraj Kapoor, Kaushalya, Trilok Kapoor, Nayampalli, Nalini Gupte, Moti, Gulab, Himalayawala, Agha, Dalpat, Indira etc etc. This must be one of the very few films (or was it the only movie ?) in which Prithwiraj and Trilok Kapoor were acting together in one film.

An interesting name in the cast was that of NALINI Gupte. I said interesting, because, in Hindi films, as many as 12 NALINIs acted/ sang in films at slightly different times. Add to this list the name of a Male actor ‘ Nalini Ranjan Roy ‘, who, thankfully, acceded to the suggestion to change his name to ‘Kanu’ Roy. ( It is another matter that even this name clashed with another Kanu Roy, who was MD, in the same period…causing serious ” Same Name Confusion”. ) The different NALINIs were…

Nalini Tarkhud…..many films

Nalini Jayawant…many films

Baby Nalini…Mera ladka-43

Nalini Nagpurkar…Krishnarjun yuddha-34, Chacha Chaudhari-53

Nalini Chonkar… many films

Nalini Borkar…singer

Nalini Dhere… Nagad Narayan-43

Nalini Gupte…Ankh ki sharm-43

Nalini Mulgaonkar…Didi-48, nakli Baap-49

Nalini Rao…Talash-43

Nalini Saraf (later Seema Deo)… Anand-70

Nalini korgaonkar… singer

Additionally, there were actresses called SuNALINI and MriNALINI too.

These Nalinis did not cause any Same name Confusion, because, being Marathi artistes, they wrote their names with Surnames, so their names remained different always. Easily, this name is the most ‘appeared’ name in the Hindi Film History !

Another interesting name ‘ Nayampalli’ always reminded me of the ” Nampalli” Railway station… which is another name for Hyderabad Railway station. This actor Nayampalli was leading a silent life of a middle class gentleman, doing a 10 to 5 job and raising a family, when he was invited to the glamorous world of Films.

S.B. Nayampally (or Nayampalli) was working at the firm of Killick, Nixon and Company in Bombay, when he was discovered by film director P.Y. Altekar at a gym where Nayampally regularly exercised. Altekar felt that Nayampally very much resembled the famous French boxer Georges Carpenter and would be perfect for the stunt films that had become popular at the time. At Director Altekar’s urging, Nayampally joined Imperial Studios and was quickly cast in his first film, Wedding Night(1929), opposite the popular actress Jilloo.

When he arrived at Imperial to begin his first day of filming he was amused to find that the building now used for the studio had formerly housed the school he attended as a child.“Wedding Night was a stunt film of the Robin Hood type,” Nayampally explained in a 1964 interview. “It had a little more of a plot to it than many films of the same class. My next film, Hell’s Paradise (1929), I remember for three reasons. One, it was based on a real-life episode involving an Indian prince and a foreign girl, described as an adventuress. Two, Mama Warerekar, the noted writer, did the story. Three, the film had a kissing scene, probably the first ever in an Indian film.”

Nayampalli was cast in Imperial’s Noorjehan (1931), which was initially to be a silent picture, but because of the success of their film Alam Ara (1931), which was India’s first talkie, the studio decided to make Noorjehan partly with sound. Nayampally was not originally cast in Noorjehan, but a chance meeting with the film’s director, Ezra Mir, got him the role of Prince Salim in the film.Nayampally then played Karna in Imperial’s next sound film, the mythological Draupadi (1931), but the actor considered his best mythological role to be that of the wily Shakuni in Mahatma Vidur (1943), a part that was appreciated by critics and the public, alike.

As sound films came in, silent actors were being discarded in favor of those with stage backgrounds, so Nayampalli joined the Grant Anderson Theatrical Company which specialized in Shakespearean plays. After gaining some experience he tried to rejoin films, but without much luck. His previous roles had been leads, so he decided if he wanted to work regularly, maybe he should take a different approach and he offered himself up for character parts.

His break came in the role of a hunchback in love with the heroine in Ezra Mir’s Zarina which starred Jal Merchant and Zubeida. The dentures he wore for the role were created specially by a dentist named Jimmy Gheista who had trained abroad with the dentist who had made similar dentures for Lon Chaney.

Nayampally had learned early on how to apply make-up for his roles and, in fact, he became so good at it he eventually came to specialize in horror make-up, which earned him the nickname “The Indian Lon Chaney.” Indeed, Chaney, Erich von Stroheim, Emil Jannings, and John Barrymore were the actors that Nayampally most tried to emulate. Boris Karloff was another of his role models. He was able to put his make-up expertise to good use for the film Sair-e-Paristan (1934), where he was a vampire-like devil, and in Zingaro(1935), in which he played a monster created by a mad scientist, and then as a the hairy “missing link” in Zambo (1937) and its sequel Zambo Ka Beta (1938). For Kalkoot (1935) he created a make-up to resemble the wrinkled effect that Karloff had used in The Mummy(1932).

Nayampally continued working in films throughout the 1940s and 50s, particularly in mythologicals and costume pictures including Raj Nartaki (1941), Nagad Narayan (1943), Vishwas 1943), Taramati(1945), Urvashi (1946), Jhansi-Ki-Rani (1953), Durgesh Nandini (1956), Basant Bahar (1956) and Shiv Parvati (1962) His last credited film appearance was in 1970’s Priya.

After his career in films ended, he started making Documentaries. He made about 35 documentaries. He won ‘ Silver Dolphin’ award for his documentary in the International Film Festival at Teheran in 1970.

He died on 7-5-1994, in Mumbai.

In the cast, there is another name which, apart from being very unusual, belongs to an actor, who earned considerably infamy in his private life. He is Himalayawala. His name was Mohd Afzaluddin. He was born in March 1916, at Dehradun. After school education he joined his brother, Mohd Misaluddin’s firm – The Himalaya Drug Company, a leading Pharma company of repute (even today). He worked there for 10 years and after a dispute with his brother, left the company. He came to Bombay to join films.

First he had thought of starting a company, but looking at the situation, he decided to do acting only. His first film was ‘Kiski Biwi’ (1942), directed by MA Mirza. His name was changed from Afzal to A Himalaywala (since he came from the Himalayan town of Dehradun, like Kashmiri from Kashmir), by Shaukat Hussain, husband of Noorjehan. However in many films he was credited as Afzal only. He worked in few films like, ‘Vishwaas’ (1943), ‘Ankh Ki Sharm’ (1943), ‘Dost’ (1944), ‘Kismatwaala’ (1944), ‘Zeenat’ (1945), ‘Humayun’ (1945), ‘Nal Damayanti’ (1945), ‘Jagbeeti’ (1946), ‘Samrat Ashok’ (1947) and ‘Elaan’ (1947).

He was an outspoken and straightforward person, fond of hunting, football and travelling by car. He toured all of India twice in his car. In 1943, he married actress singer Amirbai Karnataki. After marriage he banned her from acting in films. Within 2-3 years, on this and other issues, they could not get along. He used to hit her and take all her money. At last, it was rumoured that he gave her talaaq after taking 2 lakh rupees and her car. Even after this he was stalking her. She stayed with her elder sister Ahilya Bai. Then one day, she was kidnapped by Himalaywala, from the recording room. She was kept locked in a room and beaten daily. She somehow managed to inform this to her sister.

Ahilyabai then got in touch with her acquaintance Mr Rasiklal Vyas and his brother Chhailabhai Vyas – one of the best criminal lawyers of Bombay. With their political and social connections, they forced the police to register an FIR, which was refused due to Himalaywala’s bribe. Meanwhile Himalaywala was alerted by his cronies. Within few hours Amirbai was escorted back to her sister’s place, by Himalaywala. All this episode is described in full details in the book ‘Aap Ki Parchhaiyaan’, by Rajnikumar Pandya ji. Amirbai later married Gujarati Journalist Badri Kaanchwala.

After partition, Himalaywala migrated to Pakistan. There the lady luck smiled on him and he did very well. Urdu film Shahida (1949) was his first film in Pakistan, which celebrated silver jubilees in Delhi and Lucknow.

Hamaliawala was in leading role in Pakistan’s first silver jubilee Urdu film Do Aansoo in 1950. He was main villain actor in the most of 1950s movies. He played the Akbar The Great role in musical film Anar Kali in 1958. His other famous moves were Kundan (1950) Chan Way(1951), Ghulam (1953), Gumnam, Ruhi (1954), Shoni(1955),Qatil (1955), Sarfarosh (1956), Saat Lakh (1957), Gumrah, Naghma-e-Dil (1959), Farishta (1961), Watan(1960) and Azra (1962).

He was seen in 33 movies, only two of them were in Punjabi language. His last film was Yahudi Ki Larki in 1963.

Mohd Afzuluddin Himalaywala married Begum Perveen, in Pakistan. He died on 1st January 1984 in Lahore. (Thanks to Film directory-46, http://www.pak.mag.com, Shishir krishna Sharma ji, book Aap ki parchhaiyan by Rajnikumar Pandya ji and my notes, for information used herein.)

Now let us see the video of today’s song. The singer on screen is probably Pande ji himself. This is my guess. I find this song scene funny. Prithwiraj is seen, obviously in sick condition. The singer is singing before him and telling him that ” tu do din ka mehmaan” ! What must be the sick man’s condition, hearing this ! But, after all, there must be some background also for this situation in the film, I am sure. With this song, Pande ji makes his Debut on this Blog, as a singer.


Song- Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan (Aankh Ki Sharm)(1943) Singer- Vasant Desai, Lyricist- Pt. Indra, MD- Vasant Desai

Lyrics

Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan
Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan
tu do din ka mehmaan
tu do din ka mehmaan
Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan
Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan
kal aayaa thha
kal jaayegaa
kal aayaa thha
kal jaayegaa
aaj ko soch vichaar
aaj ko soch vichaar
chhod ke bande
tu tu main main
chhod ke bande
tu tu main main
apna kaaj sudhaar
dhar murlidhar ka dhyaan
Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan

kya lena hai
kya dena hai
kya lena hai
kya dena hai
kyon jhoothha janjaal
kyon jhoothha janjaal
bair birodh bisaar ke bande
bair birodh bisaar ke bande
bhaj Giridhar Gopal
bhaj Giridhar Gopal
bhaj Giridhar Gopal
nar kar jag ka kalyaan
Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan
Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwan

12 Responses to "Bhai bhaj le shri Bhagwaan"

Arun ji,
Thanks for a very good devotional song from the film which I heard for the first time. I had heard two other songs from the film sung by Amirbai Karnataki which are well known among those who are into the songs of 1940s.

I have also heard the singer’s name Pandey ji for the first time. Interestingly, the role of rhe family priest is named as Pandey ji (probanbly Nayampalli). My hunch is that as was the practice those days, the name of the playback singer has been given on the record as Pandey’s ji in the role of the priest. The real playback singer is someone else. It may be noted that two songs from this film have been accredited to Meenakshi which in reality are sung by Amirbai Karntaaki.

In the song, I hear some Marathi pronouncians of Hindi words. My guess is that the song is sung by Vasant Desai, the music director of the film. I have also compared the voice in this song with his song in ‘Amar Jyoti’ (1936). The voices in both the songs sound to me the same.

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Sadanand ji,

Thanks for your comments and your views about the singer.
According to the biography of Vasant Desai, he had stopped singing in the films. The last Desai song is from film Sant Gyaneshwar-1940. ( I have this song with me) This was because he wanted to concentrate only on composing songs.
May be he sang, therefore, under the name of Pandey ji.
Now even Atul ji has also expressed same opinion that the song seems to be sung by Vasant Desai.

-AD

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When I heard the voice, I thought it was quite a nice soothing voice and I wondered why we had not heard more of this voice.
It appears that this singer is none other than Vasant Desai. So now I would keenly look for songs sung by him.

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Thanks.

Like

Arunji,
This is a very nice song. I was not aware that Vasant Desai also sang some songs. Even if the singer’s identity is uncertain, thanks a lot for posting it.
AK

Like

Thank you, AK ji.

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Arun ji ,

मधुर अर्थपूर्ण भजन . Thnx. ( Yes .. U r right that it created fun by ” तू दो दिनका मेहमान ” !!!)

It was interesting to read about 12 Nalinis nd suNalini nd mruNalini …and was very shocking to read about Amirbai Karnataki’s life – story.

The info about Himalaywala nd Nayampalli was also nice .
I remember , Nayampalli was there in d role of
डाकूओंका सरदार in d movie
“जिस देशमें गंगा बहती हैं ”

Thnx for a nice song , Arun ji .

Like

Pramod ji,
Thanks for your encouraging comments.
In every article, I try to give some interesting matters, which are available in plenty in film industry.
Most times, the other side of actors’ character is quite unknown to the general public. Afterall, other than being artistes, they are humans too and hence their life also has many stories-some good, some bad.
Himalaywala and Nayampalli are not very well known names, hence I gave their updated information for our new readers.
Thanks again.
-AD

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By the way, Sunalini Devi was sister of Sarojini Naidu and Harindranath Chatopadhyaya. Mrinalini was originally a Bangla actress, who did few Hindi films too.
-AD

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Dear Arun ji,

What a treasure trove of information on top of a lovely Bhajan!
Thanks a ton!

Warm Regards,

Like

Thanks, Umesh ji.
-AD

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audio

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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.

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