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

Main saaz bajaaun tum gaao

Posted on: June 28, 2020


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 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:

4363 Post No. : 15689

I do not remember when was the last time that I wrote about a NFS. I guess it might have been about 4-5 years ago. There is no specific reason for this gap. I came across a good NFS by Hemant kumar-my favourite singer- that prompted me to take it up for discussion today.

1936 to 1956 was a period when NFS were very very popular, not only in India, but wherever in the world Indian population lived. In western Music, NFS has been a routine since the beginning. For India, where different types of Music existed, it was not possible for one type of music to be popular all over the country. In olden days, like in the period of 1900 to 1940s, the Royalties of various states, depending upon the King’s or the Nawab’s liking and understanding, gave support to Classical music or Ghazals etc. Many Classical singers and Ghazal singers won the Patronage of different states. For the common public, there used to be Jalsas, stage shows or Mushayaras etc. The audience used to be different for each type of singing.

It was somewhere in the mid 1930s when an enterprising pair of a writer and a Musician decided to promote a new type of presentation – singing of Geets. Geet was a type of song which existed in Poetry, but it was not connected with Music in any way. Poet Lyricist Faiyyaz Hashmi and Musician Kamal Dasgupta identified a few aspiring singers and recorded Hashmi’s Geets in their voice. Probably the first ever such Non Filmi Song – a Geet – came out as a 78 RPM record. From 1934 to 1945, this pair (Faiyyaz and Kamal) made NFS extremely popular all over the country. For their 400 recorded songs (in Bangla and Hindi), they selected singers like Jagmohan, Pankaj Mullick, Talat Mahmood, Juthika Roy, Hemant Kumar and few others to sing these Non Film Songs. The NFS thus got established.

Those readers, who are in the age bracket of 60 to 85, will surely remember the popular NFS during their younger days. Sometimes the sales of such NFS exceeded even the popular Film songs! These NFS were popular from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, irrespective of the language barrier. Some of the popular NFS of yore were by Hemant Kumar, Geeta Dutt, Juthika Roy, Jagmohan, K L Saigal, Pankaj Mullick etc. Seeing the popularity of these NFS, even the Film Singers cut their NFS records. Some of them were Lata, Asha, Rafi, Mukesh, Shamshad Begum, Manna Dey, Laxmi Shankar, Jaddan bai, Noorjehan and even Indurani etc etc. These lists are only indicative and not exhaustive.

Today’s NFS is sung by Hemant Kumar (16.6.1920 – 26.9.1989). Hemant Kumar was very fond of singing from his childhood. While in school, one day, one teacher was absent and the period was blank. The boys started pressing HK to sing a song. He too, enthusiastically started singing and all the students started beating the benches to give ‘ music’ to his song. All this commotion went to the Head Master’s room. He came and Hemant was sent home immediately. Next day, his parents met the Headmaster, said sorry and Hemant was allowed in the school again. While he was in H.S.C. he got a call from A.I.R to sing songs.

After HSC, he joined Engineering college, but after an year, he left it and started singing. Columbia cut his few records in Bangla. Then came Bangla film playback singing in film “Nimai Sanyas”. In 1942 he gave a playback in hindi film ‘Meenakshi’-42, under the baton of Panbkaj Mullick. However there was no record issued. In film ‘Irada’-44, Pt. Amarnath gave him an opportunity to sing.

After film ‘Anand Math’-52, he came into Hindi films as an MD. He continued to sing songs even for any MD, who wanted him. Thus he sang more songs for other MDs than for his own films as MD ! On Lata’s insistence, he sang Marathi Koli Geet and some film songs too, in Marathi. He also sang in Gujarati, Punjabi,Oriya and Assamese language films. Vishwa Bharati gave him D.Litt. Sangeet Natak Akademi awarded him in 87. He refused Padmashree and later Padma Bhushan awards.

Today’s song is written by Fayyaz Hashmi, with music by Kamal Dasgupta. This must have been recorded sometime in the early 40s. This song is included in the 1961 LP No.33 E Sx 4252 ” Geets of Hemant Kumar.”

In the 1940s, Kamal Dasgupta was a star composer. He had many firsts to his name. He was the most educated man across the industry in those days. He came to the rescue of singers who were trying to break into the music world. He gave music in the most successful films of the 40s. The sale of his private records touched an all-time high. Yet the man behind many unforgettable melodies has been forgotten.

Kamal was born on July 28, 1912, in Kalia village in the district of Jasore, then in British India (now in Bangladesh). He was initiated into music by his father Prashanna Dasgupta. He later learnt it from his brother Bimal Dasgupta. Afterwards, he became a disciple of the legendary Dilip Kumar Roy and Ustad Zamiruddin Khan. He did his matriculation from Calcutta Academy. Later, he completed his B Com from Komila Victoria Collage. He joined Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for his masters. He earned his PhD from BHU for his work on Mirabai’s bhajaans and music.

Kamal Dasgupta was a versatile musical genius. He used to sing modern songs in Bangala, Hindi, Urdu and Tamil. He was a brilliant composer who composed around 8,000 songs. His first composition was recorded in 1932 in the voice of Satyaboti, (she seems to be the mother of actress Leela Desai). His composition was classical based and folk music. Later he tended to lean towards Thumri style and Naats. In 1935, Kamal Dasgupta joined the Gramophone Company of India in Calcutta as a music director. During this stint, he developed a close and lasting association with the poet Nazrul Islam. They became fond of each other and the relationship lasted for eleven years (1934-45). The culmination of their friendship were 400 songs – inspired by the works of the poet.

Calcutta was the major hub of Indian films produced in the 1930s. New Theatres and Madan Pictures were the main studios along with the other companies. After earning a name with his compositions, Kamal tried his luck in films. His first picture was Pandit Moshai (1936) in Bangla which was followed by Sarbjanin, Vivahotsab and Devyani between 1936-1942. The legendary actor, director Prathmesh Chandra Barua was impressed by his music and gave him a break in Jawaab in 1942. PC Barua directed both the version in Hindi and Bangla. The film was an instant hit. It had cult numbers like Toofan mail ye duniya toofan mail, Ae chand chhup na jana and Kuchh yaad na rahe.

Kamal Dasgupta’s next film was MP productions social, Hospital, starring Kanan Devi, Ahindra Choudhary and Heeralal. The very same year he did another Barua Production, Ranee. The cast included J Ganguly, Kalawati, PC Barua and Jamuna. Like his earlier films, his music became popular. Kamal Dasgupta was as successful in films as he was in his private recording career.

In 1944, he moved to Bombay and did the film Meghdoot (1945), based on the Sanskrit poet Kalidas. Leela Desai and Sahu Modak were in the lead. The film was directed by the legendary Debki Kumar Bose. During his stay in Bombay, he did several films across different genres. His next film was Arabian Nights, directed by Niren Lahari. The cast included Kanan Devi, Nawab and Robin Majumdar. All the numbers of the film became very popular. The same year, he did a social film Bindiya, starring Ragini, Amar, M Shakeer and E Billimoriya. The film was directed by CM Luhar. Kamal Das Gupta used the voices of Anima Dasgupta, Kalyani Das, Hemant Kumar and Amar. His next film was the mythological Krishna Leela (1946) which was directed by Debki Kumar Bose and had Kanan Devi and Paresh Banerjee in the lead. 1946 was the busiest year for Kamal Das Gupta. He did Zameen Asmaan for director Dwarka Khosla, starring Ranjana, Jeevan and Kusum Deshpande.

Coming back to Calcutta, he did Faisala (1947) followed by Manmani. The film had Ragini and Jairaj in the lead. The film was directed by Sarvottam Badami. His last film with his mentor PC Barua was Iran Ki Ek Raat (1949) – a costume drama, starring Jamuna, Narang, Chandrakant and Chandrawati. Its melodious number were: Ulfat mein jise banaya tha, Chhalke chhalke sarabein jawani ke palaye, Kaun hai teer andaaj bada, Ae dil kya and Khel hai ye zindagi. His last release was Phulwari in 1951. He had 40 films to his credit. He gave music to 17 Hindi films. His first film was Jawab-42 and the last Hindi film was Phulwari-51. He had also sung 1 song in Hindi in film Jawab-42.

Following this, the maverick composer got completely disillusioned by the film industry and recording companies. His favourite songs which were sold in the lakhs didn’t carry his name on the jackets. At the age of 44, he married his favourite singer, Firoza Begum and embraced Islam. Kamal Dasgupta, by now, became Kareemuddin Ahmed. He kept on doing movies whenever an offer came. His last film in Bangla was Bodhu Baran in 1967.

He shifted to Dhaka. When Bangladesh became independent, he became a citizen in 1972. The composer was a man of taste. He owned a Buick, a rare thing in Calcutta in the 1950s. He was a great human being. He fed hundreds of people during the Bengal famine. He was also extremely fond of cricket. He was blessed with three sons – Shafin Ahmed, Hamin Ahmed and Tahsin Ahmed. They followed their father in music and cricket. Two brothers played cricket at the state level and Hamin Ahmed was selected for the national team of Bangladesh. Kamal Das Gupta with his failing health and lack of proper medical treatment succumbed to his ailments and passed away in Dhaka on July 28, 1974, at the age of 62.

With all his work in film line, his name will be remembered forever, for making the Geet form of songs in Hindi and Bangla, popular in India. His pioneering contribution to promoting the Non Film Songs, is beyond words. Music lovers throughout the country are indebted to him for this work. Poet Lyricist Faiyaz Hashmi and composer Kamal Dasgupta were regularly churning out wonderful melodies on 78 RPM every month and listeners all over India were enjoying them fully. Surprisingly, while Kamal’s name was written correct, Hashmi was credited in several ways like F Hashmi, F. Hashmi, Faiaz Hashmi, Faiaz Hashumi, Faiyaz Hashmi, Faiyyaz Hashami, Falyyaz Hashmi, Fayyaz Hashimi etc.

Actually,in 1985,Jagmohan Sursagar wrote in his Autobiography…..

” In the initial stages Kamal Dasgupta was influenced by Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore’s songs and compositions(Rabindra sangeet) were extremely popular, but were limited to Bangla people only. Ghazal, qawwali, Dadra, Naat, Thumri, Hori, Kajari etc used to come to market but had a very limited listenership. These never reached the top.

” The fusion of Ghazal,Dadra and Qawali with Bangla Geet style gave birth to Hindi Non Film Songs or geets. As such Geet had a known and accepted place in Literature, but not in Music. To establish this new Genre, Kamal babu used lyrics by Pt.Madhur, Pt. Anjum and Faiyaz Hashmi, got them sung by Jagmohan, Hemant, Talat, Juthika etc. Their records were inscribed with ‘ Hindi Geet (Hindustani Song) ‘. What thus started as NFS Geet from 1936 continued upto next 20 years non stop. “

(adapted, with thanks, from an article by Sharad Dutt, in milleniumpost.in, ‘Yaad kiya Dil ne’ by Subhash Chandra Jadhav and my notes.)

Today’s song is a lovely NFS. I am sure you will love it too.


Song- Main saaz bajaaun tum gaao (Hemant Kumar NFS)(1943) Singer- Hemant Kumar, Lyricist- Faiyaz Hashmi, MD- Kamal Dasgupta

Lyrics

Main saaz bajaaun oon
tum gaao o
tum gaao
Main saaz bajaaun oon
tum gaao o
tum gaao
taaaron main main tumhen suna doon
is dil ki jhankaar aar
geeton mein tum mujhse keh do
chhupi baat ek baar
taaaron main main tumhen suna doon
is dil ki jhankaar aar
geeton mein tum mujhse keh do
chhupi baat ek baar
main tumko kuchh samjhaaun
tum mujhko kuchh samjhaao
main tumko kuchh samjhaaun
tum mujhko kuchh samjhaao
Main saaz bajaaun oon
tum gaao o
tum gaao

mere sur mein dard chhupaa ho o
ek jaadoo ho geet tumhaara
mere sur mein dard chhupaa ho o
ek jaadoo ho geet tumhaara
hum tum donon milen jahaan aan
hum tum donon milen jahaan
(?) wo dariya ka kinaara
meri dhun par maujen tadpen
meri dhun par maujen tadpen
tum geet se lehron ko sharmaao o
tum geet se lehron ko sharmaao o
Main saaz bajaaun oon
tum gaao o
tum gaao

8 Responses to "Main saaz bajaaun tum gaao"

Sir ji, many thanks for the post. Enjoyed reading the post and the detailed information about Kamal Dasgupta ji and Faiyyaz Hashmi ji. Also the interesting journey or rather the beginning of NFS in Indian Music. And of course the main attraction for me to read the post was the singer – the great Hemant Kumar. Always loved to listen him. Since about a month or over I am humming his songs almost daily. His voice is therapeutic and also motivates me. I liked this today’s beautiful song very much.

I think the missing word (?) is – ‘jhoomen wo’ … dariya ka kinaaraa …

With Best Regards,

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Dear Avinash ji,
Thanks for your comments. I am happy that you too liked today’s song. I simply love old time Non Filmi Songs.
-AD

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We are so grateful to Arunji for providing detailed backgrounds of NFS and that of Kamal Dasgupata in a bonus to this great song.

Like

Ashok ji,
I am honoured by your appreciation.
Thank you very much.
-AD

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Hello Arunji,
You may have posted NFS after 4 – 5 years but have given full justice to this melodious gem of Hemant Kumar. Thank you for providing information on Kamal Dasgupta’s contribution to Hindi film industry. I was not aware that Hemant Kumar did not accept Padmashree and Padma Bhushan awards. All Mumbaian born in 60s would know his famous Koli geet. It reminds me of my high school days when I used to listen to it on radio.
Regards
Khyati

Like

Dear khyati ji,
Thanks a million for your comments.
HK’s Koli Geets are indeed very popular in Maharashtra, even now.

When HK was asked by Lata to sing Koli Geet, HK said,”but I dont know Marathi that well.” Lata said, “Even the Kolis dont speak Marathi that well, dont worry”.
Being a Bengali, he had trouble in pronouncing certain Marathi and Hindi words. In Bangla language, there is no sound such as plain अ , so they will call me ओरून .There is also no ण in Bangla. So I was always ओरून in my Bengal visits.
But Bangla singers like Geeta Dutt and HK learnt these sounds, with great efforts. This is to their credit. There are some more sounds which are absent in Bangla language. But more about it some other time.
Thanks for your appreciation.
-AD

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Arunkumar ji,

We come across the name of Kamal Dasgupta many a times but did not have much information about him.

Now, the dots seem to have been connected.

Further, if I am not mistaken you took keen interest in urging and introducing NFS to the blog.

NFS can be heard without any bondage to films and actors. Its pure music and the mind accepts such vibes in all earnest.

Many Thanks for this post.

Like

Mahesh ji,
Thanks for your comments.
I can not take the credit of being the first to promote NFS on this Blog.
It was AK ji of SOY, who,somewhere in end 2011 put up a case for inclusion of NFS here. I immediately took up the thread and wrote in his support. Anyway, not much efforts were needed after that and Atul ji was kind enough to allow discussion of NFS on this Blog.
I love NFS, which I have been enjoying since the late 40s. My Uncle who was in Army, was very fond of NFS of Jagmohan, P.Mullick, Kamla Jharia, Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar.
Before proceeding to Africa for II WW, he gave me his Phono and all the records. Thus he has a big role in my liking of old time music.
-AD

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