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

Kisi rangeen duniya mein na kya kya zindagi dekhi

Posted on: September 10, 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 :

4802 Post No. : 16568

Today’s song is from the film Ladli-1949. This was one of the popular films of MD Anil Biswas in those times. He was still in his prime, but on the downward curve past his prime. By mid 50’s, films came at a snail’s pace to him and then in a few years he left Mumbai, shifted to New Delhi and his life took a 90 degree turn, personally and professionally.

Anil Biswas,the Bhishma Pitamaha of HFM, was a respected person in the industry.He started from the mid 30s and for the next 25 years or so,he created many everlasting gems in film songs. In Bombay, Playback was first started by him in the film Mahageet-1937. By the mid 50s his magic started waning and by 1960, he was almost gone from the industry. Initially he did 10-11 films with Sagar, then with Mehboob for National studios and then in Bombay talkies- where his name became immortal with the film Kismet-1943.

He married Ashalata in 1936. Along with her he started variety pictures and they produced films like Laadli-49,Laajawab-50 Badi bahu-51, Hamdard-53 and Bajuband-54. ( a less known fact is-Anil da had made a Guest appearance in the film Hamdard-53 as a barber.) He also acted in the film Mehman-53 (produced by Ashalata),as a Pujari and a song was shot on him.In both cases he did not get any payments. As a Producer he lost heavily, because Ashalata usurped all the money. Frustrated, he gave up everything and separated from her in 1954. By now, sweet links were established with singer Meena Kapoor-25 years younger to him, since 1948 itself. They got married with each other on 19-3-1957. The death of Brother in law and close friend Pannalal Ghosh in 1960 and younger brother Sunil in 1961 as well as his eldest son- Pradeep,broke his heart. He left Bombay and joined A.I.R. at Delhi on 1-3-1963,where he worked upto 27-6-1975. Later he was a consultant for Nehru University for a few years.

However,hardly anything is known about his eldest son Pradeep,anywhere. Here is some information,hitherto not known much,brought specially for our readers.
Pradeep was a very bright student and always topped in school and college. He passed his entrance exam and the interview,with flying colours for entry to NDA college at Poona,to join armed forces. He excelled even in NDA training.Not only was he very popular there but sang well too. He participated in the music Festival of Khadakwasla NDA and sang 3 songs,winning all prizes. He was also a NDA Topper.

Shri Gopinath Talwalkar,an A.I.R. Programmer at Delhi,used to interview the Toppers of NDA every year. That year Pradeep was the Topper, so he was interviewed. Though the interview was in Hindi, after the recording,Pradeep asked Talwalkar,in pure Marathi,whether his interview had been good. Talwalkar was shocked. Pradeep then explained that he was Anil Biswas’s son and he had learnt Marathi from his actress mother Ashalata. Pradeep knew Hindi,Marathi,English and Gujarati languages.

After completing his NDA training,he was posted as Flight cadet at Jodhpur. He was further promoted and became Pilot Officer in 1957. During one Training flight some altitude problems occurred and his plane crashed at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad, killing Pradeep instantly. This happened in 1961.

This was also the time of crisis for Anil da. He was struggling to survive. Films were not coming to him. Since he married Meena Kapoor, Lata Mangeshkar-a fast close friend of Ashalata , had gone against him and Meena’s singing career was suppressed. He had already lost Pannalal Ghosh and Sunil-his brother and now Pradeep’s death devastated him and he was literally forced to seek employment with Delhi A.I.R., when the opportunity came. After retirement, till his death on 31-5-2003, he spent his life in total anonymity and recluse. So sad for a composer, who was once a fountain of enthusiasm and who was considered Mentor by leading contemporary composers like C.Ramchandra.

By 1949, the Indian film industry had reasonably stabilised having gone through the rigours of the war period and total shake up of the industry due to the Partition blues. 1949 was the best year in the Golden Era of HFM. There were so many films offering evergreen, out of this world songs, that the audience did not know which film to see and which song to hear. The sale of records registered a Record of Sales in 1949. 157 films were made in 1949. Barring the figure of 181 films in 1947 ( we know the reasons), 1949 produced the maximum films from 1931 to 1984 – a period of 50++ years. What’s more, almost every alternate film gave superb songs. Nearly every Music Director of Hindi films was present in 1949, with his film.

This was also a transition period, when older composers were giving way to newer ones. Additionally, the competition between Naushad and C Ramchandra for the Number One position was at its peak. Though CR is my favourite composer, during the period 47 to 49, it was all the way Naushad who was the undisputed Numero Uno as far as quality and number of hit films were concerned.

In this period Naushad’s strike rate of Hit films was more than double, compared to C R, percentage wise. Naushad had 8 Hits from his 9 films in the period 1947 to 1949. For the same period, CR had only 4 Hits in his 18 films.

The year 1949 had absolutely heavenly showers of Musical Films. Some of such films were Andaz, Badi Behan, Barsaat, Bazaar, Dulari, Jeet, Apna Desh, Chandni Raat, Chaar Din, Sunehre Din, Shayar, Dillagi, Ek thi ladki, Kaneez, Laadli, Lahore, Mahal, Namoona, Patanga etc etc. The year 1949 also witnessed the introduction of A and U Censor certificates, the establishment of Films Division, the start of Navketan productions of Anand brothers and a few other landmarks in Hindi film industry.

Today’s song is an excellent song but rarely heard and not so popular for reasons difficult to fathom. It’s singer was Shiv Dayal aka S.D. Batish. I have a lot of respect for S D Batish,who did a marvellous job of promoting Indian Music in the UK and USA. He is one of those rare people who left the film world, but continued serving the Music,by turning a corner in Life. Such people are few in this world. The monumental work he did for Indian Music in foreign lands is unparalleled. An important point is that he did not do this service to Music for his personal gains. For his sustenance,he had opened a Restaurant in Santa Cruz,California,which was providing him enough for a comfortable living in the USA.

Born December 14, 1914, in Patiala, India, Shiv Dayal Batish abandoned a career in the nascent telephone industry to study devotional song, folk drama, and Indian classical music under his guru Hakim Chandan Ram Charan. In 1934, he relocated to Bombay to try his hand at acting, but roles proved scarce and he returned to Patiala two years later, renewing his focus on music. By 1936 Batish was regularly appearing on All India Radio and recording his first sessions for His Master’s Voice. The film industry nevertheless retained its allure for him, and in 1939 he returned to Bombay, working for a spell under broadcasting legend Z.A. Bokhari. After earning his first film work as an assistant musical director in 1942, Batish later graduated to full-fledged Bollywood musical director, in the years to follow working with playback singer greats including Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mohammed Rafi.

Batish also moonlighted as a playback singer in 70 films, singing 115 songs, among them 1944’s Daasi and 1948’s Barsaat ki Raat, before relocating to Britain in 1964. After accepting a position with the BBC Immigration Unit, Batish became a regular in British radio and television, most notably composing “Nai Zindagi Naya Jivan,” the theme song to the Beeb’s classic South Asian series Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye (“Make Yourself at Home”). He also returned to his roots as a live musician, performing Indian folk and classical music on the vichitra veena, a long-necked fretless flute. In 1965 Batish was summoned by percussionist Keshav Sathe to record the Indian-inspired incidental music for the Beatles’ second feature film, Help! — the experience also proved the beginning of his lifelong friendship with Beatle George Harrison, who later hired Batish to teach his then-wife Patti Boyd the stringed dilruba.

In 1969 Batish assembled wife Shanta Devi, daughter Vijay Laxmi and sons Ashwin Kumar and Ravi Kumar to record North Indian Folk and Classical Music, which for decades remained the lone Indian release to appear on the seminal folk label Topic Records. A year later, the family emigrated to the U.S., settling in northern California and founding a restaurant, the Santa Cruz-based Krishna Café. Although the restaurant business remained Batish’s primary focus for the remainder of his life, he continued playing live and also cut the occasional LP, most notably 1980s Raga Todi, 1985’s Om Shanti Meditation on Dilruba and 1997’s The 72 Carnatic Melakhartas.

He founded “Batish Institute of Music and Fine arts” in California and wrote about 12 books on Indian Classical music,like Ragopaedia,Raga Channels,Rasik Raga lakshan Manjiri etc. He had also founded Batish Recording Co.

He died at age 91 on July 29, 2006.

His singing on AIR drew the attention of an older cousin, Pandit Amarnath, who was an accomplished musician in the Punjabi film industry in Lahore. Amarnath gave Batish the opportunity to sing a song – Pagdi Sambhal Jatta – he had composed for the film Gawandi (1942). The song became a hit, making Batish popular. But, all told, the experience was bittersweet. Ashwin says his father did not relish acting in the movie: the frequent takes, the blinding light from mirrors used as reflectors unnerved him.

As Amarnath’s assistant, Batish learned various aspects of music direction: rehearsing with singers, synchronising instruments and working with an orchestra. These learnings opened yet another opportunity for him. He was invited to Bombay by the Marathi writer and film impresario Keshav Prahlad Atre (Acharya Atre) to compose music for the film Paayaachi Daasi. But, in the end, credit was given to Annasaheb Mainkar.

After the Partition in 1947, the year Amarnath died, Batish moved back to Bombay, this time not to try his luck as an actor, but as a singer and composer. Several prominent music directors of the day employed him for their movies – Anil Biswas for Laadli, Husnlal-Bhagatram for Sawan Bhado, Hamari Manzil, and Surajmukhi; Ghulam Mohammad for Kundan; Roshan for Barsat ki Raat and Taksal; and Madan Mohan for Ada and Railway Platform. Some of his more notable songs were sung with Geeta Dutt in films he provided music himself, such as Betaab and Bahu Beti. He was associated with films in Hindi and gave music to 20 films, composing 154 songs, as S.D.Batish,Master Ramesh and Nirmal Kumar. Some of his songs were famous.

Batish, whose musical oeuvre has been described as an “amalgam of classical music and Punjabi folk and popular styles” composed for 20 films, including Har Jeet, Tipu Sultan and Toofan. For two films, he composed under the name Nirmal Kumar – a moniker that Lata Mangeshkar had given him for luck, according to Ashwin.

By this time, Batish had grown disenchanted with the Hindi film world. Ashwin recalls that his father needed a steady income to sustain his young family, but payments were erratic and delayed. Irked by this, Batish worked for a while to set up an artistes’ union to give them a platform to air their grievances and demands. Then the family decided to go to England.

Shanta Devi, like Batish early in his career, had been an artist with the All India Radio at one time. To raise money for the air tickets, the family sold its land in Bombay’s Santa Cruz neighbourhood – now worth a fortune, Ashwin says. Its new home was on Birchington Road, a residential area in London’s West Hampstead.

The move to the US, as with the one to England, was a family decision. Shanta Devi’s initiative led to the Batish India House (at first called the Sri Krishna Café), a restaurant on Santa Cruz’s Mission Street that served Indian food while music was played by members of the Batish family. “I would serve food and then jump on stage to play music,” remembered Ashwin, who like his father plays several instruments, including the sitar and tabla.

The restaurant was featured often in the local paper, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, and ran till 1985, before music became the all-absorbing act, and SD Batish embarked on the “project of a lifetime”. His wish to collate, annotate, and set in writing every known detail of the Hindustani (the Ragopedia compendia) and Carnatic musical systems coincided with Ashwin’s discovery of Gopher, an early internet protocol that enabled files to be recorded, uploaded and distributed easily. It was a project envisioned after their visits to the library of the University of Berkeley yielded barely a few books on Indian music, and mostly on the Carnatic tradition. What was an inspiration for Batish to explain every raga became a boon not merely for music aficionados but also for his students who were familiar only with English.

He regularly performed with his children, Ashwin and daughter Meena, and lived long enough to see his grandchildren, Keshav and Mohini, grow into musicians. ( Thanks to obituary and bio byJason Ankeny and an article by Anu kumar in scroll.in dated 24-6-2021, along with muVyz, HFGK, Wiki and my notes. All excerpts are adapted ).

Today’s song is the 8th song from this film to be posted here. I like this song very much, I hope you too will like it.


Song- Kisi rangeen duniya mein na kya kya zindagi dekhi (Laadli)(1949) singer-S D Batish, Lyrics-Chandrashekhar Pandey, MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics

kisi rangeen duniya mein
na kya kya zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar
aisi zindagi dekhi
kisi rangeen duniya mein
na roti pet ko
kapde na tan ko
ghar na rahne ko
na roti pet ko
kapde na tan ko
ghar na rahne ko
magar kehlaate hain insaan
aisi zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar

luti duniya kisi ki
ee ee ee ee ee ee
luti duniya kisi ki
par wo sotey bhool kar rona
kafan laaun kahaan se haaaaye
kafan laaun kahaan se haaye
aisi zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar

umar baali phati dhoti
idhar kheenche udhar kheenche
umar baali phati dhoti
idhar kheenche udhar kheenche
jawaani bhookh donon se
sataayi zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar

Tadapte bhookh se bachche
padi beemaar hai beevi
Tadapte bhookh se bachche
padi beemaar hai beevi
padi beemaar hai beevi
na kuchh paayaa aa aa
na kuchh paaya
to rassi se
lalakti zindagi dekhi
kisi rangeen duniya mein

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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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