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

Aayi aayi re maalan Singapur se

Posted on: August 31, 2021


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4792 Post No. : 16551 Movie Count :

4506

The name of Chimanlal Trivedi, the producer-director may not ring bell in the minds of most of the admirers of old Hindi films. In Mumbai, he was the contemporary of well-known producer-directors like Chandulal Shah, A R Kardar, Mehboob Khan, V Shantaram etc in the 1940s.

After working as a writer in Sagar Movietone, in 1937, he set up a film production company, CIRCO (Cine Industries and Recording Company Ltd.) with the help of some Bombay-based shareholders as a public limited company in association with New Theatres. He became the Managing Director of CIRCO. The arrangement was that films would be produced by New Theatres’ in Kolkata with their artists and the financing/marketing of the films would be done by CIRCO in Mumbai. Both of them would share the profit. In 1939, CIRCO took upon itself the production of films in Mumbai with ‘Laxmi’ (1940).

Sometime in 1940, Chimanlal Trivedi was under cloud as there was a court case against him for mismanagement of funds of CIRCO. He had resiged as Managing Director of CIRCO in April 1941. I felt that perhaps this court case may have something to do with Chimanlal Trivedi leaving CIRCO to set up a new film production company, Laxmi Productions. After intense searches on the internet, I got a reference to CIRCO court case in indiankanoon. It was an 8-page judgement delivered on November 24, 1941 by Bombay High Court. The gist of the court case is as under:

A shareholder of CIRCO filed a petition in Bombay High Court against Chimanlal Trivedi, the managing director for the mismanagement of funds and to wind up CIRCO as insolvent based on its financial statements for the year ended March 1940. The court did not find any evidence against Chimanlal Trivedi of mismanagement of fund of CIRCO. As regards declaring the CIRCO insolvent, the Company put the arguments that there were 3 films under productions – ‘Apna Ghar’ (1942, directed by Debki Bose), ‘Nai Duniya’ (1942, directed by A R Kardar) and ’Mahatma Vidur’ (1943, directed by P Y Altekar). As per the estimates, CIRCO was expected to earn a profit of Rs. 11 lakhs after the release of these three films taking into account the star value of the main actors and the eminent directors. The petitioner argued that these three films can as well run into losses.

The court held the view that it cannot declare a company insolvent merely based on the speculation that there could be losses after the release of the films. None of the creditors of the CIRCO and a majority of the shareholders have supported the petition for winding up. The court dismissed the petition with cost.

One of the interesting example of the mismanagement of funds of CIRCO was that Shanta Apte was paid Rs,90000/- for working as heroine in a single film which, according to the petitioner, was unreasonably high. The film was not even completed when the matter was under discussion in the court. CIRCO responded by revealing that the amount was paid to Shanta Apte as ‘waiting salary’ for the unexpired period of her contract with Prabhat Film Company. If the CIRCO had not done so, several film producers would have grabbed the opportunity to secure her services for their future film productions.

Another bone of contention between the petitioner and the company was the way the profit was measured in the film industry. CIRCO had drawn the profit and loss account with realizable revenue from film distributors and expected revenue from the films under production for which distribution rights had been contracted. The petitioner found this practice not in keeping with the good accounting principles as this accounting system hides the true financial position of the company.

On the other hand, CIRCO maintained that it followed the convention among the film production companies in drawing its profit and loss account. More often, there were long gap between making of a film and releasing it. During the making of the films, a good amount of money was spent while the income from films would accrue only after their releases and that too, over a period of time. During the intervening period, the company will have to show losses in its profit and loss account. Hence an estimate of revenue of the company was made for the films under production based on the commitment by the film distributors and also the likely response from the film audience based on the star value.

If all the film production companies of that time drew their profit and loss account based on the estimated future profit, it amounts to masking their true financial position. Probably, this type of ‘accounting jugglery’ made some of the producers to float multiple film production companies after closing the earlier ones. Chimanlal Trivedi was no exception as after 1951, he had floated film production companies in different names.

Though the court verdict came in favour of Chimanlal Trivedi and the Company, this was short-lived as CIRCO went into liquidation in 1942. So, the apprehension of a shareholder who had filed the petition in the court about the mismanagement of funds turned out to be correct even though the Bombay High Court had dismissed his petition. It is interesting to note that Chimanlal Trivedil had hired A R Kardar to direct ‘Swami’ (1941) and ‘Nai Duniya’ (1942) under CIRCO banner. After the liquidation of CIRCO, it was A R Kardar who bought CIRCO’s studio at Parel for Kardar Productions.

Chimanlal Trivedi seems to have departed from the usual practice of hiring the actors and crew as per the studio system. It is said that he would first plan the film project and then hire the actors and crew as per the requirements of the new film. Often, he would select the most popular lead actors and directors as per their box office success and pay them in lumpsum for the film which would often work out much higher than what actors would have got under the studio system. It was reported in Filmindia magazine that Chimanlal Trivedi’s ‘highjacking’ of star actors and directors from some of the well known film production companies of that time affected their shooting schedules for the films under productions.

For ‘Tamanna’ (1942), the maiden film under Laxmi Productions, Chimanlal Trivedi hired Leela Desai, one of the successful actresses of New Theatres along with Jairaj with 7 crew members from Bengal which included Phani Majumdar as director, K C Dey as actor-music director, Bibhuti Laha as Cinematographer and Robin Chatterjee as Sound Recordist. It was Leela Desai’s maiden film in Mumbai. It is said that his financial offer to Leela Desai was so attractive vis-à-vis her salary in New Theatre that she accepted the offer.

Chimanlal Trivedi produced around 45 films during 1940-1960. Surprisingly, even with high-end star actors and eminent directors, especially in 1940s when he produced 28 films, there was not a single film which can be tagged as an outstadning film under his banners. In the 1950s, most of his films he produced were of ‘B’ Grade.

‘Sharaafat’ (1943) was third film with Leela Desai-Chimanlal Trivedi combination as actor and producer, respectively under the banner of Laxmi Productions. The star cast included Leela Desai, Pahadi Sanyal, Jagdish Sethi, Agha, Moti, Ghulam Rasool, S L Puri etc. The film had 9 songs which were set to music by Ashok Ghosh. Lyricist for all the songs is unknown.

I am presenting the first song, ‘aayi aayi re maalan singapur se’ from the film to appear on the Blog. HFGK is silent on the singers of the song. But it is apparent that the voices in the song are that of Amirbai Karnataki and Pahadi Sanyal with an unknown female voice in between. At the outset, the song appears to be ‘sales pitch’ but after the completion of the song, a long musical orchestration gives an impression of a stage song.

With this song, ‘Sharaafat’ (1943) makes its debut on the Blog.

Audio Clip:

Song-Aayi aayi re maalan Singapur se (Sharaafat)(1943) Singers-Amirbai Karnataki, Pahadi Sanyal, Unknown female voice, MD-Ashok Ghosh
Amirbai Karnataki + Pahadi Sanyal

Lyrics

aayi aayi re
haan aayi aayi re
aayi re maalan Singapur se
haan Singapur se
haan haan Singapur se
oh
aaya aaya re
haan haan aaya aaya re
aaya re maali
haan Rangoon se
haan haan Rangoon se
haan haan Rangoon se

rang birange phool hamaare
rang birange phool hamaare
rang birange gehane
bhaagonwaala le jaayega
bhaagonwaali pehne

gori pehanegi
haan gori pehanegi
dil ke hain naina jaa ke teer se
haan haan jaa ke teer se
haan haan jaa ke teer se

aayi re maalan Singapur se

phoolon se mehka do
more tan ko aaj saja do
phoolon se meha do
more tan ko aaj saja do
bas jaaun aa ke nainon mein
aisa jaal bichhaa do

aao aao ree
haan haan
aao aao ree
raah takoon mein teri der se
haan teri der se
haan haan teri der se

aayi re maalan Singapur se

raat ki raani kaa gajra
champe ki kaliyon kaa jhoomar
kyun deke phoolon ki maala
nargis ke gunchhon ki jhaanjhar
nikhra waah waah roop tihaara
joban dhoom machaaye
nikhra waah waah roop tihaara
joban dhoom macchaaye
nayi jawaani chhaayi raani
jo dekhe lalchaaye

aao aao ri
haan haan aao aao ri
raah takoon mein teri der se
haan teri der se
haan haan teri der se

aayi re maalan Singapur se

2 Responses to "Aayi aayi re maalan Singapur se"

Sadanand ji,

Reading in details about the Court case details and the then prevailing P and L accounting systems etc made an interesting reading. These are unusual matters to get to read in a musical blog. Thanks .
I have earlier written in details about Chimanlal Trivedi and how he floated CIRCO, Lakshmi, Supreme pictures, Trivedi productions, kala kendra and Chitra Bharati.
He was a colourful producer. After films, he started Abhinay Bharati and staged dramas in Bombay and Gujarat. He knew big politicians like Nehru, Menon, Morarji etc, because his wife Kantaben was a Congress leader herself.
-AD

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Arun ji,
After reading the entire judgement of the Bombay High Court, I felt that Chimanlal Trivedi must have been a resourceful person.

An instance of Chimanlal Trivedi’s marketing gimmick was reported in ‘Filmindia’ magazine of April 1940. When B N Sircar of New Theatres was on a visit to Mumbai, Chimanlal Trivedi (then of CIRCO) hosted a luncheon at Taj Mahal Hotel for over 100 representatives of the film industry. The invitation card had mentioned that lunch was in honour of B N Sircar. Shanta Apte who was signed by CIRCO as a heroine, gave a welcome speech in honour of B N Sircar on behalf of the host.

Next day, a photograph of the event appeared on the Times of India as a part of an advertisement which mentioned that the luncheon was given ‘in honour of B N Sircar and Miss Shanta Apte’. So, in the name of B N Sircar, Chimanlal Trivedi took advantage to boost the image of his new heroine. Overnight, he made Shanta Apte from host to a guest!

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