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

Aaya saawan aa jaa sajan sooni sejariya

Posted on: August 23, 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 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 :

4784 Post No. : 16539

Today’s song is from the film Prarthana-1943. The film was made by Minerva Movietone. The music was composed by Saraswati Devi. After a vertical rift between a disgruntled group led by S. Mukherjee in Bombay Talkies, the group left Bombay talkies and established their own Filmistan studio. Many people went with them. Some remained with Devika Rani. Saraswati devi also left Bombay Talkies but became a Free-Lance, without joining any group. The cast of the film was Sabita Devi, Motilal, Jahanara Kajjan, Nimbalkar, Menaka, K.N.Singh and many others.

The film was directed by Sarvottam Badami. Badami’s case is an example how strong will and hard work can really help anyone to come up in life. The rise and life of Sarvottam Badami shows how a simple Motor mechanic can reach a high place in the career by mere will to succeed. His life story can become a lesson to all who want to achieve success.

Sarvottam Badami was born in 1910 at Channapatna in Karnataka,to a revenue officer working in Mysore. He passed his SSLC and worked as a garage mechanic and then a projectionist in Select Picture House, Bangalore, both of which were owned by Dr. Ambalal Patel. Patel moved to Bombay and financed Ardeshir Irani of Imperial Film Company, and Chimanlal Desai as a partner forming Sagar Movietone in 1930.
At the age of 19 years, Badami went to Bombay to study automobile engineering. He was asked by Ardeshir Irani who met him at a wedding to help out with the recording equipment he had purchased from abroad.

Badami helped in the sound recording department for the first Talkie in India, Ardeshir Irani’s Alam Ara (1931). Around that time a German director making the film Harishchandra left half-way and Badami offered to complete it, the co-director was Raja Chandrasekhar, although the co-director credit has also been cited as T. C. Vadivelu Naicker. The film turned out to be successful. He was contracted by Sagar Movietone (Sagar Film Company) to direct three films, two in Telugu and one in Tamil: Galava Rishi (Tamil), Rama Paduka Pattabhishekam and Shakuntala in Telugu. The success of these films established him as a director. His working team had people like the cinematographer Faredoon Irani, music director Anil Biswas and the Sagar Movietone favourites Sabita Devi and Motilal.

Initially, to avoid embarrassment to his family he requested not to be credited in the regional language films. He did not know Hindi but from 1932-1947, he worked for Sagar Movietone and also directed nearly 30 films in Hindi, for many others. His first Hindi film was Chandrahasa (1933) starring Noor Mohammed Charlie. He was paid Rs 2000 per film with the complete film being made within Rs 50,000. He worked with most of the top actors of the time like Motilal, Nargis, Ashok Kumar and Pahari Sanyal. He brought Mehboob Khan who was then doing roles as an extra out of obscurity and gave him the role of Sabita Devi’s father in the film Vengeance is mine(1935).

He made several films based on novels. Some of the writers whose work he used were K.M.Munshi, Sarat Chandra and Ramanlal Vasanthlal Desai. The film Aap ki Marzi (1939) was inspired by the Hollywood film Paradise for Three (1938). He became known for his satirical comedies and “socially relevant films”.His film Grihalaxmi (1934), which starred Jal Merchant and Sabita Devi had the woman getting into marriage only if her doctor husband agreed not to want children. The success of the film mitigated the enraged public reaction at the time.

He showed his understanding of media publicity required for films when in 1937, Badami resorted to woo audiences by announcing cash prizes of Rs.500, Rs.200 and Rs.100 for the best reviews of his newly released film Kulvadhu (1937). The promotional gambit worked sending audiences to the theatres. According to an interview, most of Badami’s films didn’t survive as the negatives were burnt to extract the silver from the silver nitrate.

After Aap ki Marzi-38, he followed his mentor, Dr. Patel and joined Sudama Pictures, when in 1939, Sagar Movietone merged into National Films. Badami

also worked in Famous Cine Laboratories, from 46 to 48.

Apparently, in 1948 Deputy Prime Minister Vallabh bhai Patel, who was then also in charge of the Information Ministry, on a visit to the Cine Laboratories Bombay, asked Badami to help set up a NewsReel and Documentary section. The Films Division was established in 1948. He became chief producer in the newsreel department and made several documentaries. He worked in the Films Division making documentaries from 1948-1952. After that he stopped making films and returned to Bangalore to retire as “I was a forgotten man in the feature film world”. He became an industrialist by starting a manufacturing business. Later he worked as a Consultant for Kamani Group of Industries also. He died in 2005 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

FILMOGRAPHY: 1932: Harishchandra; Galava Rishi; Paduka Pattabhishekham; Shakuntala; 1933: Chandrahasa; 1934: Grihalakshmi; 1935: Dr. Madhurika; Vengeance is Mine; 1936: Jeevan Lata; Grama Kanya; 1937: Kokila; Kulavadhu; 1938: Three Hundred Days and After; 1939: Aap Ki Marzi; Ladies Only; 1940: Chingari; Sajani; 1941: Holiday in Bombay; 1942: Khilona; 1943: Prarthana; 1944: Bhagya Lakshmi; 1945: Ramayani; 1946: Uttara Abhimanyu; 1947: Manmani; 1951: Vinoba Bhave (Doc);1952: Roof over the head

(Ack: Sapnon ke saudagar by Vithal Pandya, Sagar Movietone by Biren Kothari, HFGK, muVyz, Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, and my notes)

The film cast includes the name of Jahanara Kajjan. She was one of the last operating successful actresses from the Silent era. From a Tawaif family, Kajjan was counted amongst the elite society of Calcutta. In Bombay, however, she was not having that aura around her name.

JAHAN ARA BEGUM KAJJAN was born in Patna, Bihar, on 15-2-1915. She was the daughter of the courtesan Suggan and the Nawab of Bhagalpur’. Her mother was a famous singer from Lucknow. She grew up in Patna. She got a lot of attention for her education. She was taught Urdu at home and her maternal grandfather Syed Hussain taught her English. She , being very clever ,soon became proficient in both languages. At the same time she learnt household chores also. She learnt music under the guidance of Ustad Husnu Khan of Patna. Singing was in her blood anyway. She was very beautiful.

Kajjan belonged to a family of professional artistes, who carried the tag of tawaifs or courtesans. They were also invited by the princely courts and aristocracy to perform at their private mehfils. With their refined manners they provided stimulating company to the male elite. An established code of conduct ruled out marriage in their profession but they were allowed to have a liaison with a chosen patron. Kajjan’s mother Suggan apparently had one such relationship with her father.

The anti-nautch campaign at the beginning of the 20th Century denigrated the singing and dancing profession. Some, among them, became gramophone singers or theatre stage actors. Kajjan had received education at home and even learnt English. Well versed in Urdu literature, she wrote poetry under the pen name “Ada” and some of her poems were published in Urdu magazines. She received intensive training in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Hussain Khan of Patna. Noting her mastery of ragas, her mellifluous voice and also her charming looks, she was hired by a theatre company at Patna. She is said to have performed on stage for three days at a fee of Rs.250 per show. She enchanted the audience with her golden voice. This paved the way to her joining Alfred Company owned by Madan Theatres of Calcutta. According to Fida Hussain, a Parsi theatre legend, “He worked with actress Jahanara Kajjan becoming her director and leading man”. Kajjan attained name and fame as a very popular singer and actor of the stage.

Because of her beauty and singing skills,she was invited to work on the Urdu stage. Master Fida Hussain, who was a well known actor, singer, composer and director on Urdu stage had joined ‘Alfred Theatre co.’. It was owned by the Madons of calcutta. Kajjan was taken in it and the troupe toured U.P. and M.P. During this period, Kajjan was romantically involved in Master Fida hussain.

She used to appear on stage at the rate of Rs.250 per show per day. Once when she was performing in Patna, one of the owners of Madon Theatres, Calcutta saw her and offered her roles in films. She immediately accepted it and went to Calcutta.

Silent film era was dominated by Parsee, Anglo-Indian and Jew girls, due to their white skin and open attitudes. Once the Talkie films started, they became useless as they did not know how to speak in Hindi or sing. In such circumstances actresses like Kajjan got the opportunities. Her first film was ‘ Shirin Farhad’-1931. paired with Master Nissar she sang 17 songs in this film. This pair became very popular. Her next film was ‘Indrasabha 1932’,having a world record 71 songs in the film. Kajjan sang 29 songs in it. The film was based on the drama by Agha Hasan Amaanat.

In Calcutta kajjan became very famous. She lived a rich and lavish life, mixing among the elite of Calcutta like Prices, Nawabs, High authorities, the mega rich etc. her dresses and jewellery were talk of the women of the rich and the famous. She had instructed her designer to make only such sarees, which no one in India will ever wear ! She was a regular invitee to even Viceroy’s parties.

She worked only with Madon Theatres. Brijlal Verma was the composer of Madon Theatres. It was a favourite quartet of Madon films, Brijlal’s misc kajjan and Master Nissar. Together they ruled the early phase of Talkie films. Films like Shirin farhad-31,Laila majnu-31,Shakuntala-31,Bilwamangal-32,Aankh ka nasha-33,Dhruva charitra-33,Turki sher-33,Zahreela saanp-33 had kajjan songs by brijlal Verma. During this period, she was the highest paid actress in India. Kajjan had a romantic affair with Brijlal Verma too. Kajjan also sang in Roopkumari-34,Sakhi lutera-34,Apradhi abla-35, and Mera Pyara-35 which had her songs.

Kajjan was a good dancer. She learnt dancing from Miss Ruqayya khatoon. She was among the regular dancers in Calcutta Clubs, along with actress Mahazabeen. Kajjan was friendly with westerners. She was fond of pets. For some time she had 2 tiger cubs as her pets and this became the talk of the town in Calcutta.

After Brijlal Verma,it was a rich financer, Seth Karnani, who, just to impress kajjan, bought the entire Madon theatres for a sum of Rs. 24 lakhs in those days ! A very handsome actor of that era Najmul hassa had a torrid affair with Kajjan. He is the same Najmul Hassan, who had eloped with Devika Rani-wife of Himanshu Rai, owner of Bombay Talkies, from Bombay to Calcutta. Devika rani returned to her husband shortly, but he had to remain in Calcutta-for safety.

Kajjan worked in Gulru zarina, Swami Bhakti Alibaba aur chaalis chor and Jahan Ara also. By end of the 30s Madon Theatres closed down and Kajjan also stopped work for few years.

In the early 40s,kajjan worked in Abla shakti and Ghar sansar-42,Prarthana and Prithvi Vallabh-43 and her last film Bharthari-1944. The songs of Bharthari, composed by Khemchand Praksah also became very popular. Due to her sweet voice she was called ” The Lark of Indian Cinema”.

Jahan Ara Kajjan died on 15-12-1945,at the age of only 30 years. 2 films, Jadui putli-46 and tiger man-47 were released after her death. Kajjan acted in 40 films. She sang78 songs in 14 films.

During her lifetime she lived like a queen. She became a Legend. She acted and sang in almost 40 films in her small career. During the period 1931 to 1937 there was a ” Kajjan Mania ” in India. Her styles and fashions were copied by the elite ladies.

Credits and references- with thanks-
1.Stages of life: Indian Theatre Biographies-By Kathryn Hansen
2. Kamalp.blogspot.in
3.Dhunon ki yatra-Pankaj Raag
4.the big Indian picture.com
5.My own notes from diaries.


Song- Aaya saawan aa jaa sajan sooni sejariya (Prarthana)(1943) Singer- Jahanara Kajjan, Lyricist-Dr. Safdar Aah Sitapuri, MD- Saraswati devi

Lyrics

Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya

dheere dheere dol rahi mast hawaayen
dheere dheere dol rahi mast hawaayen
ped hilen galey milen
pushp lataayen
ped hilen galey milen
pushp lataayen
laagi najariya mohe laagi najariya
aa aa aa
laagi najariya mohe laagi najariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya

ban mein udhar pihu pihu mor chinghaade
ban mein udhar pihu pihu mor chinghaade
jiya mora naam tera le ke pukaare
jiya mora naam tera le ke pukaare
haay sanwariya
haay haay sanwariya
haay sanwariya
haay haay sanwariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya

4 Responses to "Aaya saawan aa jaa sajan sooni sejariya"

As usual, made very interesting reading. Excellent research work!

Like

Pratap ji,
Thanks for your hearty appreciation of the post.
-AD

Like

Arun Ji,
Thanks for writing about Ezra Mir, a name very familiar to me, since I belong to the generation you mentioned :). Your post provided me good details about him.
Of course his documentaries did not make me enter the theatre late. I did enjoy many of his documentaries. I also remember Pratap Sharma , the man with great voice. ( I liked his performance in ‘Phir bhi’ )

Like

Satish ji,
Thanks for your good words.
Pratap Sharma was the brother of Mahesh Sharma, who worked for Glaxo Labs as a Cameraman and audio-visual expert. He worked for my division, which made Audio-Visual shows for customers in the field ( that time I was Zonal manager for Veterinary Division). I met Pratap Sharma a number of times since he lent his voice for our A.V.Shows. Both the brothers were very nice, courteous and thorough gentlemen.
When you mentioned his name, I remembered all those days in the early 80s.
-AD

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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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