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

Rah rah uthhti tees hriday mein

Posted on: July 3, 2021

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 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 :

4733 Post No. : 16453 Movie Count :


Today’s song is from the film Maa-1936. As per the Title index book, there were 5 films having this same title and one was incomplete in the 60’s. In addition there were 23 other films with titles having Maa in them like, Maa qasam etc.

Among this series, today’s film Maa 1936 seems to be the first one. The film was made under the banner of Prafulla Pictures, floated by Producer-Director Prafulla Ghosh. Possibly, this was the only Hindi film of this banner. The MD was S.P.Rane, who was a ‘Marathi Manus’ grown up in Gujarat. The lyricist was B.N.Gupta and the cast was Zubeida, Jal Merchant, Kanan Bala, Master Brijmohan, Manorama and others.

The actress Manorama in this film was a Bengali Jew, whose real name was Winnie Stewart. This Manorama was obviously different from the comic Manorama of Hindi films of the 40s to the 90s. This later manorama was famous for her role of Chachi in the film Seeta aur Geeta-1972. The Manorama of film Maa was acting in silent films.She acted in 15 silent films and then 19 Talkie films. She acted in many Hindi films made in Calcutta like Anath Ashram-37, Dushman-38, Kapal Kundala-39, Zindagi-40, Kashinath-43, Hospital-43, Hamrahi-44, Tum aur Main-46, Suleh etc. Her last film was in 1952- Chhoti Maa .

Director Prafulla Ghosh was directing films since the Silent era. After the Talkie started, he first directed the First Talkie film made by Sagar Movietone-Veer Abhimanyu-1931. He went on to direct 3 more films for Sagar- Abul Hasan-31, Romantic Prince-31 and Subhadra haran-32. In 3 of these 4 films the lead pair was Zubeida and Jal Merchant. Ghosh then went to Calcutta and directed Chaar darvesh-33 and hari Bhakti-34. He came to Bombay and started his own banner Prafulla Pictures and made today’s film Maa-1936. There is non information about him after this. Maybe he went back to Calcutta and did work in Bengali. We do not know.

In the early years of Talkie films, Parsis made substantial contributions in many departments of filmmaking. In acting, Sohrab Modi, Eddi Billimoria, Dinshaw Billimoria, Jal Khambata and Jal Merchant were famous. Jal Merchant was a typical Parsi born and brought up in the Parsi Colony area in Bombay. Though his family had a business, he did not join it as he was keen to make a career in films. Bombay being the centre of filmmaking he had plenty of chances. He did not have a masculine, wide chested body, but he compensated with his superb acting skills. He could also sing in his soft voice.

It was a colorful stellar team that Jal Merchant formed with Zubaida in the early talkies. But it was in mythological roles, and not romantic parts, that they first won the hearts of cinegoers. The first picture that made them a rage everywhere was Sagar’s “Veer Abhimanyu,” in which Jal played Abhimanyu to Zubaida’s Uttara. In the next one- Subhadra Haran-32, Jal was Arjun, Abhimanyu’s father, while Zubaida played Subhadra.

Like Zubaida, Jal Merchant joined films in the “silent days”. It was a change of medium for him, for he had been playing female roles on the Gujarati stage! His performance as the heroine of “Shankit Hriday,” a Gujarati play, proved a hit, and Nagendra Majumdar, who directed the play, induced him to switch over to screen acting. Jal joined the Imperial Film Company, and among his early films the most notable was “Vasant Bengali,” a social picture directed by R.S. Chowdhury. In those days, the screen hero generally had more brawn than brains, but the lead player of “Vasant Bengali” was called upon to show more intelligence than physical prowess. Jal did just that – and won instant fame.

After the advent of sound, Jal’s first four films for Sagar were mythologicals – “Veer Abhimanyu-1931,” Subhadra Haran-1932,” “Pandav Kaurav-1933” and “Mahabharat-1933”. For close-ups of these pictures, Jal used to wear trousers and only the upper part of his body was made up for his role. But in one close-up his pants were also visible! The shot was cut on the first day of screening in Bombay.

Gifted with a fine voice, he also delighted cinegoers with his singing. He sang 33 songs in 7 films-Meerabai-32, Pandav Kaurav-33, Mahabharat-33, Grihalaxmi-34, Aaj kal-34, Sone ka Shahar-35 and Toofan Express-1938.

In “Zarina,” written and directed by Ezra Mir, he was the tongawallah who falls in love with a dancing girl at a carnival. This poignant romantic tragedy won plaudits for both Jal and Zubaida. It was their last picture together for Sagar. Zubaida left Sagar and Sabita Devi took her place. Sabita and Kumar were the first stars imported from Calcutta. Sabita co-starred with Jal in “Phantom of the Hills,” directed by Ezra Mir, in which he played a dashing Pathan riding a white charger. In “Educated Wife” (Grihalaxmi), directed by Sarvottam Badami, he played a modern educated youth. In this role the versatile Jal revealed a genial personality. Sabita was again his co-star.

Jal and Zubaida played stellar roles together once again in “Aaj Kal,” directed by R.S. Chowdhury. This was the last important picture for both stars. Jal acted in about n15 Silent films and 29 Talkie films. His first Talkie film was Veer Abhimanyu-1931 and his last Talkie film was Armaan 1953.

Jal Merchant, who already had a family flourishing business, retired from the screen. Later, he started to live a quiet life in Bandra. Jal was an excellent shikari in his younger days. His screen associates also remember his soft voice, gentle manners and sensitive, handsome face. His pairing with Zubeida and Sabita Devi was very popular. He had all the gentle Parsee manners and was a popular co-star for the heroines.

I have read somewhere that Jal Merchant died in 1963 in Bombay. He was unmarried till the end, like many Parsis. ( information from an article by V.P.Sathe in Screen, ‘Screenplay’ by Isak Mujawar, HFGK, muVyz and my notes have been used in this post, with thanks.)

The Heroine for film Maa-36 was Zubeida Sr, who had acted in India’s first Talkie film-Alam Ara-1931, made by Imperial film co. She also acted in the first talkie film made by Sagar nMovietone- Veer Abhimanyu-1931. One of the 4 wives of Nawab Siddi Ibrahim Muhammad Yakut Khan of the state of Sachien,Gujarat, was Fatima Begum. She was in films, even before marriage. There is however no proof of their marriage. From the Nawab, She had three daughters, namely Sultana, Shahzadi and Zubeida. All daughters and the mother were into films.

When the girls became of age, Fatima used to make them dance in the film theatres between the change of reels- which was to entertain the audience. The beautiful eldest daughter Sultana and playful sister Shahzadi were already working in films. When Fatima and the Nawab had some differences, Fatima took her daughters and came to Bombay to work on her own.

Fatima was the First woman to establish Fatima Film co, Bombay, to produce and Direct Bulbul-E-Paristan-1926. All the 4 women acted in it. Fatima then formed Victoria Fatima Film Co. in 1928 and produced 7 silent films-Chandravali,Heer Ranjha both in 1928 and Kanak Tara, Milan Dinar, Goddess of Love, Shakuntala and Wonderful Prince all in 1929. Her company was closed in 1930.

Sultana, the eldest daughter, known as The sultry Sultana;, was famous for doing sexy roles. She came into limelight when she filed a case against Yassir Hussain Lalji, son of the chief of Bombay Municipality, in 1931, claiming to be his wife and demanding a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs in those days !

The second daughter known as Lovable Shahzadi also acted in films.

The third Zubeida, was born in 1911 and acted in silent film Veer Abhimanyu, but debuted as a Heroine in Gul Bakavali-1922. She acted in 36 silent films and then she became the Heroine of India’s first Talkie AALAM ARA-1931. In this film she sang one song also.

In 1935, she converted to Hinduism and married Raja Dhanrajgir Narsing Girji Gyan Bahadur, a very rich Jagirdaar from Hyderabad state. She stopped working in films, after 21 films, in 1935.

She lived peacefully with her husband in Bombay. In 1982, one of her legs was amputated due to severe Diabetes and she spent her remaining life in a wheelchair, yet till her end on 20-9- 1988, she used to look very beautiful and gracious.

Please note there was another actress named Zubeida, who appeared only after Zubeida Sr. retired in 1935. Zubeida Jr. was the inspiration for the film Zubeida-2001. These two are different. Do not get confused.

With today’s song, the film Maa-1936 will make its Debut on this Blog.

Song- Rah rah uthhti tees hriday mein (Maa)(1936) Singer- Kanan Bala, Lyricist- B N Gupta, MD- S P Rane


Rah rah
uthhti tee ee ee ees
hriday mein aen
aen aen
aen aen aen aen aen
Rah rah uthhti teees
hriday mein
Rah rah uthhti teees
hriday mein
?? ka man mere man mein
Rah rah uthhti teees
hriday mein
?? ka man mere man mein
Rah rah uthhti teees
hriday mein
paa gayi wo sab is jeevan mein
paa gayi wo sab is jeevan mein
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
paa gayi wo sab is jeevan mein
nahin kisi par trish(??) hai
phir kyun
nahin kisi par trish(??) hai
phir kyun
Rah rah uthhti teees
hriday mein
Rah rah uthhti teees
hriday mein
?? ka man mere man mein
Rah rah uthhti
Rah rah uthhti
Rah rah uthhti teeeees

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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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