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

Maiyya soona mandir tera

Posted on: March 16, 2021

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 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 :

4624 Post No. : 16273

Today’s song is from a film of the first decade of the talkie era – Adhoori kahani-1939.

In the first decade of the Talkie era, Calcutta’s New Theatres was far ahead of other film studios of India in presenting musical and successful films. However, when its successful film Devdas-1935 came, it, possibly, unintentionally stressed on the painful dark emotions of Human Behaviour. It also, almost, glorified a failed Love, alcoholism and death of the Hero. I understand that the film was based on a famous novel by Sharat chandra Chatterjee. New Theatres being the leader in the industry, other filmmakers followed suit and there was a spate of films depicting Sadism, Pessimism, Tragedy, Perversion, Psychoti Behavious and similar not so good Human Emotions in their films.

Thus we had, in and around that period films like Minerva’s ‘Jailor’ (1938) and ‘Main Haari’ (1940), Ranjit’s ‘Adhoori Kahaani’ (1939), Kardar’s ‘Paagal’ (1940) and ‘Pooja’ (1940), Prabhat’s ‘Aadmi’ (1939), New Theatre’s ‘Badi Didi’ (1939) and ‘Dushman’ (1939), Sagar Movietone’s ‘Ek Hi Rasta’ (1939), Mehboob’s ‘Aurat’ (1940), Circo’s ‘Geeta’ (1940), New Theatres ‘Nartaki’ (1940), Mehboob’s ‘Behan’ (1941) and few other films.

In these circumstances, came a welcome relief from Bombay Talkies, in the form of pure, innocent, romantic Love stories featuring a cute Ashok Kumar with heroines like Devika Rani, leela Chitnis and others. This again changed the trend and the audience had good, healthy, entertaining musical films, till the mid 40’s, when the Crime stories invaded in the form of Kismat, Geeta and others, taking the film trend in a different way.

Today’s film Adhoori Kahani-39 had a tragic story, was directed by Chaturbhuj Doshi and the music was by Gyan Dutt. The cast was Durga Khote, Prithviraj, Rose, Keshav rao Datey, Ila Devi, Ishwarlal,Yaqub, Khatun, Mirza Musharraf and others. During the early era of talkie films, till the 1960s, there was a horde of Gujarati directors and producers. Bhatts, Trivedi, Thakur, Shahs, Desais, Pancholi, Doshi, Daves were some names frequently found directing various genres. Usually they specialised in certain class and type of films. The Bhatts (Shankar and Vijay) liked to do Mythological films, Ramnik Shah handled stunt, action, fantasy films, Jayant Desai was social film oriented etc.

Chaturbhuj Doshi (1894–1969) was a Hindi and Gujarati writer-director of Indian cinema. He was one of the top Gujarati screenplay writers, who helped script stories for the Punatar productions. He is stated to be one of the leading figures who launched the Gujarati film industry with work on notable films like ‘Gunsundari’ (1948) and ‘Nanand Bhojai’ (1948). He was ‘well known’ for his family socials and had become ‘a celebrity in his own right’. He made a name for himself as a journalist initially and was referred to as the ‘famous journalist’ & publicist by Baburao Patel, editor of Filmindia.

His debut film as a director was ‘Gorakh Aya’ (1938), produced by Ranjit Movietone, though he joined Ranjit in 1929, as a scriptwriter. In 1938, he directed another film for Ranjit, a social comedy, ‘The Secretary’, and both films were box-office successes for Doshi. His forte was socials, regularly adapting stories and novels for films. He worked initially on comedies like ‘Secretary’ and ‘Musafir’ (1940), but then ‘shifted to more significant films’.

Chaturbhuj Anandji Doshi was born in 1894 in Kathiawad, Gujarat, British India. He was educated at the University of Bombay, after graduation he started work as a journalist for a daily, Hindustan (1926), working for editor Indulal Yagnik. His entry into films was working as a scenarist in the silent era for directors like Jayant Desai, Nandlal Jaswantlal & Nanubhai Vakil. He joined Ranjit Movietone in 1929, and wrote stories and screenplay for several of Ranjit films.

Film ‘Gorakh Aya’ (Gorakh has come) in 1938, was the first film directed by Doshi. It was produced by Ranjit Movietone with screenplay by Gunvantrai Acharya & dialogues by PL Santoshi. The music, termed ‘good’ was composed by Gyan Dutt. ‘The Secretary’ (1938), was a “riotous comedy”, starring Madhuri, Trilok Kapoor. Charlie. The music was composed by Gyan Dutt, who became a regular in most of the films directed by Doshi. Musafir in 1940 was a comedy costume drama, which had Charlie playing a prince.

‘Bhakta Surdas’, a devotional film directed by Doshi in 1942, is stated to be the “most famous” of the several versions made. It starred KL Saigal and Khursheed “the singing idol(s) of millions”, winning “unprecedented popularity” everywhere.

‘Mehemaan’ (1942) starred Madhuri, Ishwarlal, Shamim and Mubarak. Music director Bulo C. Rani had come to Bombay in 1942, and joined Ranjit Studios assisting Khemchand Prakash in music direction.

Doshi helped enormously in the development of the Gujarati cinema. During 1948-49 he directed three successful Gujarati films which “brought immense success to the industry”. The success of the Gujarati film ‘Kariyavar’ in 1948, directed by Chaturbhuj Doshi from a story by Shaida, called Vanzari Vaav, helped establish the Gujarati film industry along with other films like ‘Vadilo Ne Vanke’ (1948) by Ram Chandra Thakur and ‘Gadono Bel’ (1950) by Ratibhai Punatar. His next Gujarati film was ‘Jesal Toral’ (1948) based on folk-lore, which proved a big box-office success. In 1949, Doshi directed another Gujarati film, ‘Vevishal’, an adaptation of Meghani’s novel of the same name.

He also wrote stories, and one of his stories ‘Pati Bhakti’ was used in the Tamil film ‘En Kanawar’ (1948) produced by Ajit Pictures, which starred the Veena maestro, Sundaram Balachander, who was also the debut director and music composer for the film. In all he directed 24 Hindi films. His last Hindi film was ‘Sanskar’ (1958). He had also written few songs in the film ‘Maya Bazaar’ (1932).

Chaturbhuj Doshi died on 21 January 1969 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. Filmography

1932: Narasinh Mehta (Writer), 1934: Sitamgarh (Writer), 1938: Gorakh Aya, Secretary, 1939: Adhuri Kahani, 1940: Musafir, 1941:Pardesi, Sasural, 1942: Bhakta Surdas, Dhiraj, Mehmaan, 1943: Chhoti Maa, Shankar Parvati (Director, Writer), 1944: Bhartrahari, 1945:Murti, 1946: Phulwari, 1947: Bela, Kaun Hamara, 1948: Jesal Toral, Kariyavar (Director, Writer), Sati Sone, 1949: Bhakta Puran, Vevishal, 1950: Akhand Saubhagya, Kisi Ki Yaad, Ramtaram, 1954: Aurat Teri Yahi Kahani, 1956: Aabroo, Dashera, Dassehra, 1957: Khuda Ka Banda, Shesh Naag, 1958: Sanskar, 1960: Mehndi Rang Lagyo (Writer, Lyricist).

In the early era of cinema, there were many Marathi heroines in films. Naturally so, because Bombay was the biggest film making centre and it was in Maharashtra. Out of these early Heroines,- Shanta Apte (1916-1964), Snehprabha Pradhan (1920-1930 ), Leela Chitnis ( 1912-2003), Durga Khote (1905-1991), Shobhana Samarth (1915-2000), Hansa Wadkar (Ratan Salgaonkar in real life (1924-1971) and Shanta Hublikar (1914-1992) had few things common.
They operated in films almost same period.
They were educated and hailed from upper castes.
They all were rebellious in nature.
They all had failed or no marriages.
They all worked in Marathi stage dramas and
They all ( except Shobhana Samarth) wrote Autobiographies in Marathi …. Shanta Apte- Jau mee Cinemaat ? means- shall I join films ? , Snehprabha Pradhan-Snehankita, Hansa Wadkar- Sangte Ayka means- Listen to me (A Hindi film – Bhoomika-1977, with Smita Patil- was made based on this book ). I, Durga Khote by Durga Khote, Chanderi Duniyet by Leela Chitnis and Kashala Udyachi baat by Shanta Hublikar.

One of these actresses was Durga Khote, whose life story is very inspiring. A girl from a well to do family marries and after her husband dies, fights the circumstances, going against the existing society norms and becomes successful. Despite the major ups and downs in life she maintains her reputation of being an actress without a blemish or controversy in her professional career. She ends her life with a success story.

Durga Khote (14 January 1905 − 22 September 1991) was one of the foremost leading ladies of her times, she remained active in Hindi and Marathi cinema, as well as theatre, for over 50 years, starring in 182 Hindi films and numerous theatre productions.

In 2000, in a millennium issue, India Today named her among “100 People Who Shaped India”, noting: “Durga Khote marks the pioneering phase for women in Indian Cinema” as she was one of the first women from respectable families to enter the film industry, thus breaking a social taboo.

She also ranks among the top ten actresses in mother roles in Hindi cinema, most notable among them were as Jodhabai in K. Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam (1960); as Kaikeyi in Vijay Bhatt’s classic Bharat Milap (1942); her other memorable roles as mother were in Charnon Ki Dasi (1941); Mirza Ghalib; Bobby (1973) and Bidaai (1974). She has received the highest award in Indian cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1983), for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.

Khote was born as Vitha Lad, to a family which hailed from Goa and spoke Konkani at home. Her father’s name was Pandurang Shamrao Lad and her mother’s name was Manjulabai. She grew up in a large joint family in Kandewadi. She was educated at Cathedral High School and St. Xavier’s College where she studied for B.A. While still a college-going teenager, she married into the Khote family and settled down with her husband.

By the age of 26, Durga Khote was a widowed mother with two young sons; Bakul and Harin. She had to seek work in film to support her children. In doing so, she became a pioneer of sorts: She hailed from a traditional family and the film industry was regarded as the preserve of the base and the bawdy. Also, most of the female characters were played by men at the time.

Durga Khote debuted in a minor role in the obscure 1931 silent film Farebi Jaal or trapped, by M. Bhavnani. She had to sing 3 songs also in this film. Followed by Maya Machindra (1932) by Prabhat Film company.. She was soon promoted to play heroine in the 1932 double version (Hindi and Marathi) Ayodhyecha Raja, another Prabhat film, which was the first ever Marathi talkie, and proved to be a runaway hit, where she played the role of Rani Taramati. Indeed, she ventured yet another pioneering trend: Despite working closely with the Prabhat Film Company, she broke away from the “studio system” (exclusive contract with a studio to work in its films on a monthly salary) then in vogue and became one of the first “freelance” artistes of that era by working occasionally with the New Theatres, East India Film Co. (both at Calcutta), and Prakash Pictures.

In 1936, she played Saudamini in Amar Jyoti, which is one of her most memorable roles. The characters played by her were very much like her regal personality and she commanded a screen presence even in front of legendary actors like Chandra Mohan, Sohrab Modi and Prithviraj Kapoor.

In 1937, she produced and directed a film titled Saathi ( Sawangadi in Marathi), making her one of the first women to step into this role in Indian cinema. The 40s opened for her in a big way, with award-winning performances in Aachary Atre’s Payachi Dasi (Marathi) and Charnon Ki Dasi (Hindi) (1941) and Vijay Bhatt’s classic Bharat Milap (1942), both of which got her the BFJA Best Actress Award for two consecutive years.

Durga Khote remained active in the theatre circuit for many years, especially the Marathi theatre in Mumbai. She was actively associated with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and worked in several plays for the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh. In 1954, she famously performed the role of Lady Macbeth in V.V. Shirwadkar’s Marathi adaptations of Macbeth, as Rajmukut, (The Royal Crown), along with Nanasaheb Phatak.

Durga Khote played a wide variety of roles over a career that was not only long, but also untouched by scandal. She was the inspiration for several generations of Indian actresses, including veterans such as the late Shobhna Samarth, who frequently spoke of how she had been inspired by Khote’s example.

During later years, she played several important character roles, such as the mother of the protagonist. Her portrayal of Jodhabai, the queen of Akbar torn between duty towards her husband and love towards her son in Mughal-e-Azam (1960) was well received. In 1963, she acted in Merchant Ivory’s debut film The Householder (1963).

She went on to play other widely appreciated character roles in later movies, such as the role of the grandmother of the heroine in Bobby (1973), the hero’s aunt in Abhimaan (1973), and the very memorable Bidaai (1974), where she played a mother, a very sensitive role that can make one cry and received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.

Her final memorable role was in Subhash Ghai’s Karz (1980), where she played the role of the mother of Raj Kiran and later, mother to Rishi Kapoor, who played the role of Raj Kiran’s reincarnation after the screen death of Raj Kiran in the movie.

She acted in 182 Hindi films in her career. Her last film as an actress was Daulat ka Dushman-1983. She had also sung 32 songs in 13 films. Her last song was in film Panna Dai-1945. By the 1980s she successfully diversified into production of short films, ad films and documentaries by setting up Fact Films and later, Durga Khote Productions, which produced the Doordarshan TV series Wagle Ki Duniya.

Durga Khote was married when she was a teenager to Vishwanath Khote, a gentleman of her own caste and similar social background, in a match arranged by their parents in the usual Indian manner. It was a traditional marriage into an orthodox family, the couple lived a harmonious and happy life, and the marriage was blessed with two sons. Vishwanath was a mechanical engineer who had graduated from Banaras Hindu University. His family was upper middle class and professional, with modern English education and high social standing; his ancestors had been prominent bankers.

Unfortunately, Vishwanath Khote died young, when Durga was barely into her 20s. She and her sons continued to reside with her in-laws, as is traditional in India, but she was not comfortable with her dependent position, especially because her father-in-law was no more, and they were dependent on other family members for their expenses. She thus felt impelled to make a living any which way she could, and the opening in films happened entirely by chance. The fact that she came from a modern and English-educated family meant that, even as a widow, she was able to act in films, which was derided as a disreputable profession in those days.

She thus raised her two sons, Bakul and Harin, single-handedly. Both of them went on to become well-settled in life. But she suffered the loss of her son Harin, who predeceased her and died in his 40s. Harin was married to Vijaya Jaywant, and they were the parents of two sons. After Harin’s early death, his widow married a Parsi man named Farrokh Mehta and became famous as the film-maker Vijaya Mehta.

Durga Khote’s grandchildren (children of Bakul and Harin) include her grandson Ravi, a filmmaker; granddaughter Anjali Khote, an actress; and grandson Deven Khote, a successful producer who is one of the co-founders of UTV, and who has also directed a film. Deven Khote is noted for producing films such as Jodhaa Akbar and Life in a Metro.

Durga Khote’s brother-in-law, Nandu Khote (brother of Vishwanath), was a noted stage and silent movie actor. Two of Nandu’s children also became actors in the film industry. His son Viju Khote (1941-2019) was an actor perhaps best known for his role of “Kalia” in Sholay (1975). Nandu’s daughter is the actress Shubha Khote, who debuted in Seema (1955) and worked as a heroine in several films before moving to character roles. Still later, she moved to directing and producing Marathi films and also entered television in the 90s. Shubha’s daughter, Bhavana Balsavar, is also an award-winning TV actress who appeared in sitcoms like Dekh Bhai Dekh and Zabaan Sambhalke before deciding to settle down and raise a family. Thus, the acting profession which was pioneered by Durga Khote in her family has been fully embraced by her late husband’s family.

Later in life, Durga Khote wrote an autobiography in Marathi, entitled Mee, Durga Khote, which was translated into English as I, Durga Khote. For the last part of her life, she moved to Alibaug, near Mumbai. Durga Khote died in Mumbai on 22 September 1991. ( Thanks to her autobiography, wiki, muVyz and my notes.)

Today’s song is sung by Durga Khote and an unknown male, with chorus.

Song-Maiyya soona Mandir tera (Adhoori Kahaani)(1939) Singers-Durga Khote, unknown male voice,Lyricist – P L Santoshi, MD- Gyan Dutt
Durga Khote + Chorus


soona Mandir tera
soona Mandir tera
dhoop nahin hai
deep nahin hai
koi nahin pujaari
dhoop nahin hai
deep nahin hai
koi nahin pujaari
chhaayi hai andhiyaari
chhaayi hai andhiyaari
tan-man ke jag deep jalaaye
kar de door andheraa
tan-man ke jag deep jalaaye
kar de door andheraa
soona mandir teraa
soona mandir teraa

priya bhaashini
dukh naashini
sukh taarini(?)
var daayini

pooja karne laal badhenge
praanon ke balidaan karenge
pooja karne laal badhenge
praanon ke balidaan karenge

bhakti bhaav ke thhaal sajenge
nav prabhat ke shankh bajenge
bhakti bhaav ke thhaal sajenge
nav prabhat ke shankh bajenge
jaag uthhega Bharat saara
hoga sarvatr(?) saveraa
jaag uthhega Bharat saara
hoga sarvatr(?) saveraa
soona Mandir tera
soona Mandir tera

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What is this blog all about

This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TWELVE years. This blog has over 16300 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 4000 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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