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

Gori gori chaandni ho aur poonam ki raat re

Posted on: August 28, 2020


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 :

4424 Post No. : 15841

While collecting information for writing articles on Hindi songs in Bangla films, I have often come across discussions and references about the beauty and the elegance of Suchitra Sen, Supriya Devi, Sandhya Roy and Sabitri Chatterjee in the golden period of Bangla film industry. In fact, during this period, all the four actresses ‘cornered’ a majority of Bangla films. In a way, they had partly contributed to the revival of Bangla film industry after a slump arising out of the partition of Bengal in 1947.

During this period, there was one more actress who was equally beautiful and had given outstanding performances in both Bangla and Hindi films who seems to have been almost forgotten now. The said actress is Sumitra Devi.

It is said that Sumitra Devi’s presence in the Calcutta (Kolkata) studios was so mesmersing that her co-stars Pradeep Kumar and Uttam Kumar used to visit the studios to watch her shootings even though they did not have their shooting schedule for those days. Shammi Kapoor who acted with her in ‘Chor Baazar’ (1954) had remarked that she was not only a beautiful actress but her etiquette and politeness brightened her beauty.

Today, August 28th is the 30th Remembrance Day of Sumitra Devi (22/07/1923 – 28/08/1990). She was born as Nileema (Lily) Chattopadhya in Shiuri (Bhirbum district), presently in West Bengal in a conservative brahmin family. Her father was a lawyer in Muzzafarpur in Bihar who was a nephew of Digambar Chatterjee, the then Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. After the Bihar earthquake, the family shifted to Kolkata where she completed her schooling with some interruptions in her education. In 1944, the family once again shifted out of Kolkata to Bankura due to the threat of Japanese bombing. After the end of World War II, the family shifted back to Kolkata.

During her school days, Sumitra Devi participated in dramas and also in amateur dramas after she finished her schooling. She was influenced by the acting of Kanan Devi and Chandrabati Devi. While watching a Bangla film ‘Samadhan’ (1943), she felt that she can act better than the lead actress in the film. She was so obsessed with working in the film that one day she gate-crashed into New Theatres Studio, met Debaki Bose and said that she would like to work in a film. Debaki Bose was surprised to see a young girl asking for a film role. But at the same time, he was so struck by her beauty that he immediately offered her the heroine’s role in his next Bangla film ‘Sandhi’ (1944). She was asked to come to the studio the next day after getting the permission from her father. However, her father would not give her permission to join films. It was through the intervention of New Theatre’s boss, B N Sircar whose father was known to Sumitra’s father that finally she got permission to join films.

Even though Sumitra Devi was taken for the Bangla film, ‘Sandhi’ (1944), she also got a role in ‘My Sister’ (1944) opposite K L Saigal. ‘Sandhi’ (1944) was released first followed by ‘My Sister’ (1944). Both films were instant hits making Sumitra Devi a star overnight. She won the best actress award from Bengal Film Journalists Association for her very first film. ‘Wasiyatnama’ (1945) was her second Hindi film.

However, Sumitra Devi’s becoming a star had an opposite effect on her domestic front. She had to face non-co-operation from the family of her first marriage at Bhagalpur which ended in divorce. Later on, she worked in successful Bangla films like ‘Pather Dabi’ (1947), Abhijog (1947) and ‘Joyjatra’ (1948). In all these films, she worked opposite Debi Mukherjee with whom she got married on 21/10/1946. A son was born to her on 01/12/1947. However, after 10 days, Debi Mukherjee died on December 11, 1947. It was speculated that he committed suicide.

Sumitra Devi took a sabbatical from films for a year. However, it was imperative that she kept herself busy with the work. With her parents looking after her son, she resumed shooting in 1949 and did ‘Swami’ (1949) and ‘Devi Chaudharani’ (1949) among others which became hits. In 1950, she shifted to Mumbai with her parents when she was offered a lead role in Bombay Talkies’ ‘Mashaal’ (1950) opposite Ashok Kumar. Her performance in the film was appreciated and she got more Hindi films such as ‘Ghunguroo (1952), ‘Deewaana’ (1952) and ‘Mamta’ (1952) in which she got the varied roles from dancer, queen and a single mother, respectively. She did the lead role opposite Kishore Sahu in ‘Mayurpankh’ (1954), in ‘Chor Baazar’ (1954) opposite Shammi Kapoor and a neglected wife in ‘Jaagte Raho’ (1956) and its Bangla version, ‘Ekdin Ratre’ (1956).

In between, Sumitra Devi continued to get Bangla films in the 1950s and 60s, the prominent films being ‘Dasyu Mohan’ (1955) in which Pradeep Kumar was her lead actor. and ‘Saheb Bibi Golam (1956), in which she played the role of the wife of the younger landlord (Uttam Kumar). Her role was subsequently done by Meena Kumari in the Hindi version, ‘Saheb Bibi Aur Ghulam’ (1962). In the national award-winning film ‘Andhare Alo’ (1957), she played the role of a courtesan. (Note:The above biography of Sumitra Devi is mainly based on ‘Sumitra Devi – Interview of 1952 in Cineplot and ‘Sumitra Devi’ by Jyoti Prakash Guha on IDMb).

From the second half of 1950s, most of Sumitra Devi’s films – both Hindi and Bangla did not fare well on the box office. In Mumbai, she started getting roles mostly in B grade films. In Kolkata, with the successful arrival of the new actresses like Suchitra Sen, Supriya Devi, Sandhya Roy etc, Sumitra Devi was relegated to the background. Her active years as an actress in Hindi and Bangla films virtually ended by the middle of 1960s. Her acting career comprised of 23 Hindi films and about 12 Bangla films.

It is said that in her later life, Sumitra Devi got married to a Mumbai-based businessman. She got some minor character roles to play in a few Hindi films in 1970s and 80s. Sumitra Devi died in Mumbai on August 28, 1990 at the age of 67.

‘Raja Harishchandra’ (1952) was one of Sumitra Devi’s early Hindi films which she had done in Mumbai. The film was produced by C M Trivedi and was directed by Raman B Desai. The star cast included Prem Adib and Sumitra Devi in the lead roles supported by Moni Chatterjee, Bipin Gupta, Lalita Pawar, Gope, Tiwari, Kammo etc. The film had 6 songs written by four lyricists – Bharat Vyas, Ramesh Gupta, Gulshan Jalalabadi and Qamar Jalalabadi. The songs were set to music by Husnlal-Bhagatram. Four songs have been covered in the Blog.

On the occasion of the 30th Remembrance Day of Sumitra Devi today, I present the 5th song from the film, ‘gori gori chaandni aur poonam ki raat re’. The song is sung by Lata Mangeshkar and picturised on Sumitra Devi in the role of Rani Taramati. This song is accredited to Bharat Vyas.

Video Clip (Longer)

Audio Clip:

Song-Gori gori chaandni ho aur poonam ki raat re (Raaja Harishchandra)(1952) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Bharat Vyas MD-Husnlal Bhagatram

Lyrics(Based on video version)

gori gori chaandni ho
gori gori chaandni
aur poonam ki raat re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re
gori gori chaandni ho
gori gori chaandni
aur poonam ki raat re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re

aaj ki hai raat hai
o o
aaj ki hai raat piya paas mere aayange
roothhoongi main unse
wo aa ke manaayenge
aa ke manaayenge
o o o
aa ke manaayenge
gaayenge khushi ke geet
gaayege khushi ke geet
hilmil saath re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re
gori gori chaandni ho
gori gori chaandni
aur poonam ki raat re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re

thandi thandi pawan saloni man bhaaye re….ae..ae ae ae
thandi thandi pawan saloni man bhaaye re…ae ae..ae ae ae
bindiya hamaari dekho gir gir jaaye re
gir gir jaaye re
bindiya hamaari dekho gir gir jaaye re
o o o
gir gir jaaye re
rimjhim rimjhim
rimjhim rimjhim
pade barsaat re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re
gori gori chaandni ho
gori gori chaandni
aur poonam ki raat re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re

kar ke singaar ho o o
kar ke singaar aaj unko rijhaaungi
odh ke chunariya sajan ghar jaaungi
sajan ghar jaaungi
o o o sajan ghar jaaungi
mehndi se laal laal
mehndi se laal laal
honge mere haath re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re
gori gori chaandni ho
gori gori chaandni
aur poonam ki raat re
meethi meethi
o meethi meethi saajna se
hogi man ki baat re
hogi man ki baat re

7 Responses to "Gori gori chaandni ho aur poonam ki raat re"

Atul ji,
In paragraph 10, last line, please correct to read ‘…….about 12 Bangla films’. I regret for my typographical error.

Like

Dear Sadanand ji,

There’s another typo in the 7th Para. The correct name is PATHER DABI and not what is mentioned.

Uttam Kumar has gone on record as having labelled her as “the most beautiful woman”. Some memorable songs have been picturised on her, including “Teer Khatey Jayenge….”, from the Film DIWANA (1952).

And this unforgettable song about her eyes :

Thanks for a wonderful write-up on the beautiful and talented actress, Sumitra Devi.

With warm regards

PARTHA CHANDA

Like

Partha Chanda ji,

Thanks for pointing out the type error ‘PATHER DABI’.
I request Atul ji to correct the mistake for which I regret once more.

Actually, when I started writing this aticle, the first thing which came to my mind was the song ‘do naina matwaare tihaare’ from ‘My Sister’ (1944) in which Sumitra Devi not only looks beautiful but also elegant in her presence. After all, she had played the role of a landlord’s daughter. I am sure K L Saigal must have got an inspiration to sing this song to his heart’s content by her very presence.

And thanks for your appreciation of my write-up.

Like

Sadanand Ji, Thanks for the write up on Sumitra Devi. I vividly remember her role in ‘Mayur Pankh’ (Song :Tu kyon mujhko pukare) & ‘Jagte Raho’ (song : Maine jo lee angadayi.., a delightful picturisation)
But beyond these I hardly knew anything about her.
The song of the post has good appeal

Like

Satish ji,
You may like to watch two songs picturised on Sumitra Devi in ‘Jaagte Raho’ (1956) in which she played the role of a neglected wife.

Like

Thanks Sir for this informative post on Sumitra Devi alongwith a melodious gem. Bharat Vyas penned another song with the same first three words “Gori Gori Chandni…….Chameli Jaisi Raat Me” for Sinhaldweep Ki Sundari” (1957)

Like

Thanks for post on Sumitradevi. I ahd seen her earlier in JAgte RAho and Chor BAzar ( on you tube) but this information gave a lot more.Thanks again

Like

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