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

Kar ke singaar chali saajan ke dwaar chali

Posted on: October 13, 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 :

4835 Post No. : 16618

koi aaghe aaghe thhi venu vaay chhe

Thus sang the Nightingale of Gujarat, Kaumudi Munshi, who is regarded as the pioneer in popularising the semi-classical non-filmy songs in Gujarati.

Today, October 13, 2021 is first Remembrance Day of vocalist, Kaumudi Munshi, the Gujarat Kokila who regaled her Gujarati admirers spread all over the world with her beautiful renditions of semi-classical non-film songs. She sang in the genres of bhajans, ghazals, thumris, dadras and other forms of ‘sugam sangeet’ in Gujarati and Hindi for over 6 decades.

I had watched the videos of the facilitations to Kaumudi Munshi on the occasion her 90th birth day, held sometime in 2019 during which she also rendered a few of her popular non-film songs. She looked hale and hearty even in her 90s with clear diction. Unfortunately, she became one of the victims of Covid and left for her heavenly abode in the early morning of October 13, 2020 at the age of 91. Aakashvaani, Rajkot paid a special tribute to Kaumudi Munshi by playing some of her non-filmy Gujarati songs on the same day.

Kaumudi Munshi (1929 – 13/10/2020) was the sixth child of Kunwar Nandlal Munshi and Anuben Munshi, born in Varanasi in a landlord family. Her forefathers belonged to Vadnagar in Gujarat but they had settled in Varanasi 6-7 generations back. Hence the family members mostly spoke in Hindi. Because of the servants in the house who spoke in Awadhi and Bhojpuri, she was proficient in speaking these dialects also.

From the childhood, Kaumudi was exposed to classical music as there used to be regular musical soirees in her house. After completion of graduation in music from Banaras Hindu University in 1950, she came to Mumbai where her brothers were settled. Her maternal uncle and Gujarati laureate, Ramanlal Desai and his son Akshay Desai helped her in pursuing a career in music. Akshay Desai taught her Gujarati in which she was not proficient due to her upbringing in Varanasi.

After passing the audition test, Kaumudi Munshi joined All India Radio (AIR) as a singer in 1951. Starting as a chorus singer, she graduated to singing solo songs on AIR, mostly composed by Ninu Mazumdar, the music director of Hindi films of 40s and early 50s who was also a music producer in AIR. This relationship developed into her marriage with Ninu Mazumdar in 1954.

Generally, training for vocalists in classical music starts in the childhood so that by the time, they attain adulthood, they are well trained to perform as concert vocalists. But in the case of Kaumudi Munshi, though she was interested in classical music, her family did not encourage her as singing was not regarded as honourable career for a girl. However, after the marriage, Ninu Mazumdar encouraged her to take a formal training in Hindustani classical music as a vocalist. She had two options to take training – Siddeshwari Devi, the thumri queen and Begum Akhtar, the ghazal queen. Kaumudi Munshi chose Siddeshwari Devi over Begum Akhtar purely from the logistic point of view as the former was staying in Varanasi and Kaumudi had the parental house in Varanasi.

During 1955-60, Kaumudi Munshi mostly stayed in Varanasi for her training and accompanied Siddeshwari Devi on her concerts and the music conferences. Later, she also took training from Ustad Taj Ahmed Khan for ghazal singing.

After returning to Mumbai in early 1960s, she concentrated on singing thumri, dadra, ghazal, bhajan, and folk songs mainly from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Most of her songs were composed by her husband, Ninu Mazumdar though she also worked with other music director like Avinash Vyas, Dilip Dholkiya, Ajit Merchant etc. She sang semi-classical songs mainly in Gujarati and Hindi Probably, Kaumudi Munshi may be the first to popularise the Hindustani semi-classical songs in Gujarati. She also composed and sung children’s songs both in Hindi and Gujarati.

Kaumudi Munshi’s association with Hindi films was very limited. It started and virtually ended in 1954 with two films – ‘Bhai Saheb’ (1954) and ‘Teen Tasveeren’ (1954) for which her husband, Ninu Mazumdar was the music director. The reason was that she started singing in Hindi films only after her marriage with Ninu Mazumdar in 1954. In the same year, she left for Varanasi to be the disciple of Siddeshwari Devi. After her return to Mumbai in early 1960s, she and her husband concentrated on non-filmy semi-classical and folk songs though she sang in two Hindi films, ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ (1961) and ‘Raja Aur Rank’ (1968) besides singing a song in a Bhojpuri film ‘Bidesiya’ (1963).

On the occasion of the first Remembrance Day of Kaumudi Munshi, I have chosen one of her songs from the film ‘Teen Tasveeren’ (1954). The song is ‘kar ke singaar chali, saajan ke dwaar chali’. The song is in two parts. The part of the song sung by Kaumudi Munshi and chorus is written by Prem Dhawan while remaining part-1 and the full pat-2 of the song sung by Ninu Mazumdar is mainly based on Sant Kabir Das’s nirgun bhajan.

‘Teen Tasveeren’ (1954) was a very obscure film with not so well-known cast. I have no idea about the story of the film. Hence, it is difficult to know the context in which the song under discussion was picturised. What I can surmise is that while the first part of the song rendered by Kaumudi Munshi and Chorus is pre-wedding ‘bidaai’ song, the part of the song sung by Ninu Mazumdar which continues in Part-2 is, in the broader context of ‘bidaai’ from this world. In a way, part-2 of the song is philosophical. The word, ‘saajan’ has been used metaphorically to mean the Lord of the universe in Ninu Mazumdar’s version.

The broad meaning of the Ninu Mazumdar’s version of the song is as under:

O clever woman, be ready with make-up and the best dresses. You have to go to the God’s house. Do wash, bathe and braid your hairs. There is no returning from God’s house where the shroud will be of earth; the bed will be of earth and thus you will have to get united with the earth.

————————————————————————————-

Note: The life sketch of Kaumudi Munshi is based on https://www.kaumudimunshi.com/about.html and the video of her interview taken in Gujarati on the occasion of her 90th birthday celebration.

Audio Clip (Parts-1&2):

Song-Kar ke singaar chali saajan ke dwaar chali (Teen Tasweeren)(1954) Singers-Kaumudi Munshi, Ninu Majumdar, Lyrics-Kabeer, MD-Ninu Majumdar
Chorus

Lyrics

————————-
Part-1
————————-

kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li
kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li
chhanan chhanan mori ghunghroo baaje
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa re
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa
chhanan chhanan mori ghunghroo baaje
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa re
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa
sanan sanan gaaye re pawan ghan
ghanan ghanan baadaliyaa
sanan sanan gaaye re pawan ghan
ghanan ghanan baadaliyaa
o o o o o o
kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li

dhin ta thai thai
dhin ta thai thai
dhin dha ki ta dhaki ta dha
dhin ta thai thai
dhin ta thai thai
dhin ta thai thai
dhin dha ki ta dhaki ta dha
dhaki ta dha
ta thai thai

gori teri saajan kaun albela
khel kahaan preet ka khela aa
gori teri saajan kaun albela
khel kahaan preet ka khela

o o o o o
mujhse na poochho
poochho in nainan se..ae
jaane ye kya kah baithe ae saajan se
thhaam ke mori bainyyaan
chupke se bole sainyaan
thhaam ke mori bainyyaan
chupke se bole sainyaan
ab raha jaaye na akela
o o o o o o
saj dhaj ke naar chali
ban ke bahaar chali
chatura albe..li
kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li

kar le singaa….ar
chatura albeli ee ee
saajan ke ghar jaana hoga
kar le singaa….ar

————————–
Part-2
————————–

kar le singaa….ar
chatura albeli ee ee
saajan ke ghar jaana hogaa
kar le singaa…aar

naha le dho le
sheesh gunthha le
naha le dho le
sheesh gunthha le
phir wahaan se nahin aana hogaa…aa
saajan ke ghar jaana hogaa
kar le singaa…ar
chatura albeli..ee ee
saajan ke ghar jaana hogaa
kar le singa….ar

mitti odhaawan mitti bichhaawan
mitti odhaawan mitti bichhaawan
mitti mein mil jaana hogaa…aa
mitti mein mil jaana hogaa
mitti mein mil jaana hogaa

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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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