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

Aao man bahlaayen saajan

Posted on: September 7, 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 :

4799 Post No. : 16563

Chal ri sajni ab kya soche kajra naa bah jaaye rote rote.

This is one of the immortals ‘bidaai songs’ in Hindi films. The song written by Majrooh Sultanpuri is composed by S D Burman and Mukesh has sung in a sombre mood as if he sang for his daughter’s ‘bidaai’. But many admirers of this song may not be aware (I was one of them until few months back) as to who played the prelude music of this song on Shehnai. Later on, I came to know that it was played on a Taar Shehnai. This prelude music must have facilitated the creation of appropriate mood for Mukesh to render the song.

In tumko to karodon saal huye batlaao gagan ghambhir, the poignant mood of the song is amplified in the interlude of Taar Shehnai.

In megha chhaaye aadhi raat bairan ban gayi nindiya, there are depiction of two moods in the interlude scenes – Shashi Kapoor with Rakhee (Kamini) in joyous mood represented by fast-paced music on electric guitar and Rakhee (Kanchan) alone in a melancholic mood represented by the music on Taar Shehnai.

The name of the Taar Shehnai player in all the three songs is Dakshina Mohan Tagore who was instrumental in introducing Taar Shehnai in Hindustani classical concerts as well as in Hindi and Bangla films.

Before I discuss more about Dakshina Mohan Tagore, let me briefly give some information about Taar Shehnai which I have gathered from the the internet including some videos made by classical musicians. Taar Shehnai is string and bow musical instrument, almost like a Dilruba (also called Esraj in Punjab and Bengal with round sound box) except that a mechanical amplifier in the shape of an old gramophone horn is attached to the sound box of Dilruba/Esraj with a needle touching one of the strings to produce the sound like that of shehnai. Dilruba/Esraj is the combination of Sitar like neck and frets with Sarangi like sound box, played with a bow.

The advantage of Taar Shehnai over traditional Shehnai is that the former has more piercing sound indicating grief and pathos than Shehnai. It is because of this quality of sound that probably Pandit Ravi Shankar decided to use Taar Shehnai for a piece of background music played by Dakshina Mohan Tagore for one of the immortal scenes in ‘Pather Panchali’ (1955). The scene towards the end of the film is that Harihar returns home after a long absence and shows to his wife, Sarbajaya among the purchases made, a saree for their daughter Durga for her marriage. Sarbjaya breaks down after seeing the saree and falls on the ground. At that point, the background music on Taar Shehnai played by Dakshina Mohan Tagore starts and continue to about 2 minutes during which Harihar gets to know that Durga is no more. Noble prize winning author, Saul Bellow calls this piece of Taar Shehnai as ‘hysterical death music’ in his novel ‘Herzog’ (1964). One can watch this heart-rendering scene in the video of the film which is available on video sharing platforms.

Not much information is available about Dakshina Mohan Tagore, one of the innovative musicians. I could get a brief profile of him in February 23, 1958 issue of ‘Aakashvaani Bulletin’ where his programme on the National Programme of Music was listed. Also, I recalled some tits bits which I had read, mainly from the interviews of those artists who had closely worked with him when I was preparing for articles on S D Burman about 2 years back.

Dakshina Mohan Tagore (1916-1986) was born in Kolkata in the illustrious Tagore family. His father was a freedom fighter and a colleague of Sri Aurobindo. After serving a long prison, his father became an ascetic and made the Himalayas his abode. Dakshina Mohan grew up in an environment of music and fine arts. He learnt singing from his mother and Sitar and Esraj from his grandfather and uncle, respectively. Later, he got training from Ustad Chhotey Khan and Suresh Chandra Chakravarty.

At the age of 16, Dakshina Mohan became a member of Indian Radio Orchestra in Kolkata. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore invited him to Shantiniketan to work as an examiner in instrument music which he continued for many years. Sometime in early 1950s, he joined Aakashwani (All India Radio), Kolkata as a musician by which time he had become a concert player of Sitar, Dilruba/Esraj, Taar Shehnai and Tarit Veena.

S D Burman was instrumental in bringing Dakshina Mohan Tagore to Bombay film industry and making use of his Taar Shehnai in Hindi films – both for orchestration of the songs as well as for the background music. Dakshina Mohan Tagore played Taar Shehnai for S D Burman, O P Nayyar and later for R D Burman. He played Taar Shehnai for background music in Bimal Roy’s films. I had also read that he played Tarit Veena along with Santoor played by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma in the interludes of the song, hamne to dil ko aapke qadamon pe rakh diya for O P Nayyar. Note the piece of music which is a hybrid sound of Sitar and Sarod.

According to Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Dakshina Mohan Tagore was known in Mumbai’s film musicians circle as ‘Dukhida’ because he played Taar Shehnai to give mournful and sad moods. Only S D Burman called him with full proper name.

In Mumbai, Dakshina Mohan became the disciple of Annapurna Devi and propagated the Maihar Gharana music in his concerts of Taar Shehnai, Dilruba/Esraj and Tarit Veena all over India. He was the first Hindustani classical musicians who played Taar Shehnai and Tarit Veena in concerts. Later, Pandit Vinayak Vohra (father of Neeraj Vora, actor- writer-director) continued to propagate Taar Shehnai in concerts.

Dakshina Mohan Tagore must be a person keen to develop or modify the traditional music instruments to produce a hybrid sound. He is credited with modifying Esraj to make Taar Shahnai by adding the sound amplifier. From the browsing of some of the issues of ‘The Radio Listeners/Aakaashwani’ fortnightly Bulletins, I observed that often Dakshina Mohan had given Tarit Veena recitals on AIR during 1943-59, a music instruments I heard for the first time. It appears that Dakshina Mohan preferred to play ‘exotic’ musical instruments like Taar Shehnai, Mandar Bahar and Tarit Veena.

Many Hindustani classical musicians like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Allah Rakha Qureshi, Ustad Akbar Ali Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan etc, had been associated with Hindi films as music directors. Dakshina Mohan Tagore association with film industry as a music director was very marginal. ‘Ameeree’ (1944) was his sole released Hindi film for which he was the music director. Unfortunately, this film of the veteran director, P C Barua failed miserably at the box office. After few years, he got an opportunity to compose songs for ‘Ramdoot Hanuman’ (1960s). But this film remained unreleased. Later, six songs were released on records.

One song from ‘Ameeree’ (1945) has been covered on the Blog. I present the second song- ‘aao man bahalaayen saajan’ from the film to appear on the Blog. The name of the singer is not mentioned in HFGK. However, the name of the singer mentioned for this song in http://www.myswar.co is Neelima Banerjee. On the basis of a few of her Bangla songs I have heard, the voice in the song under discussion appears to have some similarity with Bangla songs of Neelima Banerjee. The name of the lyricist of all the 9 songs of the film is unknown.

The tune and the orchestration of the song have typical Bengali flavour.

Audio Clip:

Song-Aao man bahlaayen saajan (Ameeree)(1945) Singer-Neelima Bannerjee, MD-Dakshina Mohan Tagore

Lyrics

aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen
tum man veena ko chhedo
tum man veena ko chhedo
ham raag manohar gaayen
tum man veena ko chhedo
ham raag manohar gaayen
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen

apne man ka sundar vaati(??)
hara-bhara hai aur bedaag
apne man ka sundar vaati(??)
hara-bhara hai aur bedaag
aashaaon ke phool chunen
ham kaanthon mein kyun jaayen
aashaaon ke phool chunen
ham kaanthon mein kyun jaayen
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen

kaliyon ne li angdaayi
phoolon pe masti chhaayi
phoolon pe masti chhaayi
jhoom jhoom ke mast hawaayen
hampe kaise chhaayen(??)
jhoom jhoom ke mast hawaayen
hampo kaise chhaayen(??)
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen

7 Responses to "Aao man bahlaayen saajan"

Sadanand Ji,
Thanks a lot, for the post. Both the instrument & its player covered in the post is completely unknown to me hitherto. Truly a great topic to write about

Like

Satish ji,
Thanks for your liking.
I had thought of writing on this topic about 2 years back when I became aware of Dakshina Mohan Tagore and his Taar Shehnai while reasearching for two articles on S D Burman. It was only when I got the mp3 clip of the song under discussion that made me to write on the topic.

Like

Sadanand ji,

Many Thanks for this post. As usual, the efforts that you have put up in bringing up the post are quite evident.

Mukesh-SDB, one will only have to keep on pondering why they did not collaborate more. I think in the long list of SDB favorites such as Rafi saab, Kishore Kumar, Talat saab, Manna da, SBD himself, Hemant Kumar etc., Mukesh was easily forgotten until specific and rare occasions arose.

Regarding “Megha chaaye”, I suppose, its one of the most under-rated compositions of SDB. One can appreciate the music only on viewing the video.

Its amazing how SBD has intertwined two situations, somber and joyful in one composition. The connecting music between the situations also is so elegant and apt.

Easily, one of my favorite songs.

mahesh

Like

Mahesh ji,

Thanks for your appreciation.

After ‘Shabnam’ (1949), S D Burman rarely used Mukesh. Apart from his personal preferences, one factor which may have resulted in this situation was in early 1950s, Mukesh was avoiding playback singing in favour of becoming a singer-actor. it was only after the failure of his film ‘Anuraag’ (1956), Mukesh decided to concentrate only on playback singing.

S D Burman’s penchant for selecting a playback singer for a particular song had always turned out to be right in terms of songs’ success ratio. And Mukesh’s song in ‘Bambai Ka Baabu’ (1960) is the proof . Another example of S D Burman-Mukesh combination is ‘o jaanewaale ho sakey to laut ke aana’ from ‘Bandini’ (1963).

Like

Sadanand ji,

Thanks for enlightening us all about Taar Shehnayi. I am sure that not many would be knowing about this instrument. I did not know at all about this instrument. I am wiser today(only in this matter !).
Thanks again
-AD

Like

Arun ji,
Thanks.

Like

Ditto to all that Shenoyji, Maheshji and Arunkumarji have said about the Taar-shenayi.
This blog is giving me so much knowledge hope this association of ours doesn’t end ever
Thank you Atulji for having all of us onboard with you

Like

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