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

Saanwra murliwaala Yashoda ne paala gwaalaa

Posted on: November 24, 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 If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4877 Post No. : 16672

Songs from Artiste Name Films….Second Season….No.1

It was the most unexpected and hearty welcome to my very first post on this Blog on 1-10-2012. I was happy, elated and enthusiastic. I began writing posts after posts. In those days, like me there were some other contributors too, like Sudhir ji, Nahm ji, Sadanand ji etc.After 4-5- posts, I thought why not start a Theme Series of posts and I began my first Theme Series” Less known singers’ on 6-10-2012. The readers’ response was tremendous. After 10 songs, I started my second series ” Songs by Non- Singers’ 0n 28-11-2012.

This continued for about 3 years and during this period I did 26 different Theme Series of ,usually 10 songs. But in some cases I did more songs. For example in “Vintage Kishore” I did 21 songs. Thus in these 26 series, I covered 287 songs from as many films, from 30’s to 60’s. Those days readers used to shower comments. Readers were from all over, like UK,USA, Europe, West Indies, Fiji Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hongkong, Dubai etc and of course from all over India. These days, however, the comments have diminished.

There were series with novel ideas, but my favourite was ” Songs from films on Artiste Names “, which ran from 18-9-2014 to 18-10-2014-covering just 10 songs and 10 films. The series was very popular, as it contained information on that actress, even if she did not act in that film. The names were- Madhubala, Nargis, Veena, Usha Kiran, Renuka, Madhuri, Hansa, Zubeida, Kamala and Asha.

I have decided to restart my series of “Songs from Artiste Name Films” in its Second Season. Last time only actresses were covered. This time there will be a mix of actors and actresses. As usual, I will try to cover some less known or forgotten artistes. The posts are mainly for information on the artistes.

Today’s first film is GEETA-1940. In 1940, the first film to stress and emphasize the bad effects of crime and gambling, through a crime story mixed with social theme was made. This was Circo Productions’ film ‘Geeta’. It was the first ever film, which used the formula “Crime does not pay”. It was the first film in which one actor had done a double role of father and son. It was the first film, in which there was a tussle between a criminal brother and a brother who was on the side of the law. This was also the first film in which the mother testifies in the court against her criminal son, to punish him. This was the first film, in which Durga Khote started acting Mother’s role, bringing her career as a heroine to a close.

This was the beginning of a New Era, but the unsuspecting film industry did not recognise it. In the subsequent years and decades, the principle of “Crime does not pay” was used in several films – like ‘Kismet’ (1943) and ‘Sangram’ (1950). Even the remakes of ‘Geeta’ were made in the 1950s and the 1970s. The theme was used in a number of films.

Until the 40s, double roles in films were rare and still a novelty. Actually, the first double role in a Talkie film was in ‘Aawara Shehzada’ (1933). This film was based on the popular Mark Twain novel of 1881 – The Prince and the Pauper. Surprisingly, the first film on this novel was made in India. Hollywood followed much later with Warner Brothers’ film of the same name in 1937. Instead of a double role of one actor , they used two actors who were twins- Billy and Bobby Mauch for the two roles. In Hindi ‘Awara Shehzada’, the double role was done by Shahu Modak and the film was directed by Master Vithal, India’s first hero of the talkie films. Later, ‘Raja Aur Rank’ (1968), featuring Mahesh Kumar was made based on this story.

In the film ‘Geeta’, Chandramohan was the hero and had done the father and son double role. This was a bilingual film in Hindi and Marathi, and in both versions, Chandramohan was the Hero. Earlier, V Shantaram had given a break to Chandramohan in his film ‘Amrit Manthan’ (1934), which also was a bilingual film in Hindi and Marathi. Chandramohan being a Kashmiri and not knowing Marathi, in the Marathi version, his role of Rajguru was done by Keshavrao Datey.

However. soon Chandramohan picked up fluent Marathi and acted in the bilingual films of Hindi and Marathi like, ‘Jwaala’ (1938), ‘Geeta’ (1940) and ‘Apna Ghar’ (1942). He became the first Hindi actor to do roles in Marathi films.

The one line story of the film is “If father is a criminal and influences his son, he too becomes criminal”. In other words ‘parvarish’ or bringing up is important. Chandramohan’s brother’s role in the film was done by Trilok Kapoor. Trilok Kapoor became favourite ‘Mahadev’ of India after his film ‘Har Har Mahadev’ (1950) became a hit all over the country. His role in ‘Geeta’ was that of a sincere and law abiding Public Prosecutor, who in the final scene asks for the death sentence for his criminal brother! Shades of this in ‘Deewar’ (1975) – the mother too joins the good brother, becoming a witness against the criminal son.

Durga Khote had done the roles of wife and mother in this film. This was the end of her career as a heroine and the start of her character roles, ending her 8 years of being a heroine. Vatsala Kumthekar played the role of a Kothewali (which she actually was, before joining films). She was Sundari – the prostitute friend of young Mohan. Her younger sister – Lata’s role was done by Ashalata (Mehrunnisa Moosa Bhagat in reality). In real life, she was the wife of the composer Anil Biswas in this period.

The real sister of Vatsala Kumthekar was also in this film, but she played a different role in the film. She might be about 12 year old at that time. She was Baby Suman. She was also a good singer, being from a singers’ family. She has sung a few songs in this film. In the absence of information about songs in HFGK, we do not know which song was sung by whom. From the information I secured, she had sung at least 2 songs in the film. One was a solo (today’s song) and one was a duet with Harish. This Baby Suman was very beautiful.

In a way, the film ‘Geeta’ was a landmark film, because it opened up a new genre of crime films mixed with social themes. This was soon followed by the film ‘Kismet’ (1943) and later by film ‘Sangram’ (1950). Minoo Katrak was a famous sound recordist in later years of the 60s and 70s. At this time he was a writer and had written the story for this film. Screenplay and direction was by Parshwanath Altekar. Film ‘Geeta’ was remade as ‘Ustad’ in 1957 and again as ‘Karmayogi’ in 1978. In ‘Ustad’ (1957), Ashok Kumar did the father-son double role and in ‘Karmayogi’ (1978), Raajkumar did it. I saw the film ‘Geeta’ in 1960, when it came to a Hyderabad Theatre for a morning show. Even then it ran for 20 days, everyday at 11 am.

As I have said in today’s post we will know more about actress Geeta Bali. She was not acting in this film, but the film bore her name.

In the last so many years- till 1980 – I must have seen hundreds of Films- Hindi, Marathi, English, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. In the Hindi films, I can not forget 3 actresses, who were Bubbly, playful, with innocent looks and with Natural acting talent. They were Meena Shorey, Nalini Jaywant and Geeta Bali. I enjoyed every film of these actresses, which I saw. It is difficult to forget the role and acting of Meena Shorey in film ” Ek thi Ladki-49″, or Nalini Jaywant in film ” Hum sab chor hain-56″, or Geeta Bali in film ” Aji Bas Shukriya-58″. These were all my favourite actresses. It is very unfortunate that they all met their deaths in very tragic circumstances.

Geeta Bali’s dancing eyes and her animated, expressive face which mirrored her soul were her most outstanding features. Yet life was snatched away from this vibrant personality at an achingly young age of 35.It is some consolation that Geeta crammed a lot into her short life: 80 odd films in a ten-year career. She married struggling actor-turned-megastar Shammi Kapoor and mothered two children: a son and a daughter. Today, she is remembered as a wonderfully natural actress and a fabulous human being.She was quite close to her sisters and brother. Her childhood pet name was KEETA.

True, Geeta’s reputation as an actress rests more on her performances than her roles. Natural, spontaneous and gifted with a spot-on sense of comic timing, she never really found a vehicle worthy of her talent. Largely a shade better than the movies she starred in, she frittered away her talents in B-grade films. Probably the fact that she was born into a family that had to struggle for sheer survival and the fact that she reached the top through sheer grit had Geeta stress on quantity rather than quality. Film lore has it that when mentor [filmmaker] Kidar Sharma first met Geeta, she was living with her family in somebody’s bathroom!

Geeta Bali (real name Harkirtan kaur) was born in Amritsar on 30-11-1930, in a Sikh family, known for its religious and Scholarly traditions. Her father was a Sikh Missionary Preacher and travelled not only all over India, but also to Burma, Ceylon and Malaya. Due to frequent change of place, Geeta’s education was not consistent and it ended after 6th standard. When the family was in Kashmir, she joined the dancing and music classes. Keeta (her family nickname) did dance performances on stage in her schools.

When she was about 9-10 year old, she gave a public performance of her Dance in Lucknow. The puritans in their society objected, made a hue and cry and the pendal was burnt, to stop her show. Such experiences made her very bold in life. While at Lahore, Geeta directly entered the A.I.R. office to get a music contract. She got it also. She used to participate in Children’s programmes.

Through her Dance Director in A.I.R., she got into a documentary ” Cobbler” made by Shorey pictures. Impressed, she got a dance performance in film ” Badnami”-46 as well as Kahan Gaye-46 and Pancholi’s Patjhad-47, before moving to Mumbai. Impressed by her off-screen vivacity, Sharma cast Geeta in his Suhaag Raat (1948). Audiences related to her instantly and watched wide-eyed as she nonchalantly tossed her unconscious hero, Bharat Bhushan over her shoulder in a scene.
Soon, Geeta was inundated with contracts (that’s what they called film offers then). She accepted most. She won raves even in supporting roles like in the 1949 Suraiya starrer Badi Behan and the Madhubala starrer Dulari. In 1951, she became a major star with Guru Dutt’s first hit, Baazi (she went on to do three other films under his direction). Geeta played a gangster’s moll with a golden heart to Kalpana Kartik’s conventional heroine. But Geeta played her role with such gay abandon that hero Dev Anand divulges, “People came repeatedly to theatres to see Geeta’s spirited dancing to Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana de.

Next she worked with Raj Kapoor in Bawre Nain-50, Bhagwan’s Albela-51 and Navketan’s Baazi-51. Now there was no looking back. Geeta Bali went on to act in 80 films in her short career of just 14 years. She even sang a few lines in a song from the film Rangeen Raaten-56, with Shamshad Begum and Uma Devi. She worked with Prithviraj Kapoor in Anand math-52 and his sons Raj kapoor in Bawre nain and in many films with Shammi kapoor. With Dev Anand she did Baazi, Faraar, Milap, Jaal, Zalzala, Ferry and Pocket Maar. She worked opposite Ashok Kumar, Motilal, Balraj Sahani, Prem Adib, Jairaj, Rehman, Bharat Bhushan, Abhi Bhattacharya, Kamal Kapoor, Karan Dewan, Shekhar, Sajjan, Amarnath, Jaswant and Suresh.

Some of her notable films were, Girls’ School-49, Dulari-49, Badi bahen-49, Nishana-550,Bawre Nain-50, Baazi-51, Albela-51, Zalzala-52, Raag Rang-52, Anand Math-52, Jhamela-53, Baaz-53, Daaku ki Ladki-54, Vachan-55, Miss Coca Cola-55, Jawab-55, Faraar-55, Bara Dari-55, Albeli-55, Pocket Maar-56, inspector-56, Coffee House-57, Mujrim-58, Jailor-58, Aji Bas Shukriya-58, Mr. India-61 etc etc.
Geeta proved she could do tragedy (Sharma’s Raj Kapoor starrer Bawre Nain) or and play the lighthearted heroine to comedian Bhagwan in the super successful Albela. Albela’s swinging C Ramchandra composed songs like Shola jo bhadke and Sham dhale mere khidki tale made front-benchers dance with the stars and even fling coins on screen. Pug-nosed Geeta was no conventional beauty, but that transparent face and that smile constantly flirting on her lips made sure you couldn’t tear your eyes away from her.

Watch Geeta Bali in the Guru Dutt-directed Jaal (1952). Dev Anand, a cigarette-smoking smuggler on the run from the police, tries to entice morally upstanding heroine Geeta into his web. Geeta evocatively communicates her struggle against, and her eventual surrender to, handsome Dev’s seduction call Yeh raat, yeh chandni phir kahan Famously down-to-earth despite her star status, Geeta was the antithesis of the coy 1950s’ heroine. She often drove herself to her premieres in an open jeep. Those who knew her claim she was a Samaritan who touched the lives of whoever she met. She is said to have personally groomed Mala Sinha, then a newcomer.

To date, so many years after her death, her secretary Surinder Kapoor’s (Boney Kapoor’s father) productions begin with a shraddhanjali to Geeta Bali.

Shammi Kapoor entered her life when they worked in the quaintly named Miss Coca Cola and Coffee House together. On an impulse, Geeta played a small role of a man in Sharma’s Shammi Kapoor starrer Rangeen Raatein. On the film’s Ranikhet outdoor, Shammi and Geeta fell in love. Kapoor was a year younger to her and was not yet a star, but the twosome were hell bent on marrying each other. Geeta had worked with Shammi’s eldest brother, Raj Kapoor in Bawre Nain, and with his father, Prithviraj Kapoor in Anand Math, Shammi was unsure about their reaction to this match. But on August 23, 1955, with producer-director Hari Walia and friend Johnny Walker as witness, the couple were married at the Banganga Temple at 4 am.

Geeta continued to work after marriage in a few films like Sohrab Modi’s Jailor (1958), where she won raves as a blind girl. With Shammi Kapoor turning into a huge star and the birth of her two children Aditya (nicknamed Mickey) and Kanchan, she eased her workload.

The desire to do that one fulfilling role she would be remembered for prompted Geeta to attempt the production of a classic for herself. She started Rano, based on Rajinder Singh Bedi’s famous novel, Ek Chadar Maili Si, based on a widow’s remarriage to her brother-in-law. Upcoming star Dharmendra played her hero.

Geeta, had not been vaccinated for smallpox, despite the fact her father too had died of Smallpox. She had ignored repeated warnings in the childhood. She contracted the dreaded disease while shooting the film. The best care was rushed to her, but her fever apparently reached 107 degrees. Her doctor saw a picture by his patient’s bedside and asked who the pretty lady was. The disease had so wracked Geeta’s frail frame that he didn’t recognise her as the same person!

Geeta Bali passed away on January 21, 1965, leaving behind eight-year-old Aditya and three-year-old Kanchan in the care of a devastated Shammi Kapoor.

Ironically, she was cremated in Banganga, not far from where she was married. ( adapted from, books Star Portraits by Harish Booch and Stars of the Indian Screen by Baburao Patel, India Today, Yaadon ki Baaraat by Shirish Kanekar and my notes – with thanks.)

Songs of the film Geeta-1940 are not available anywhere and are difficult to find. On my request our friend shri Deepak Choudhari ji provided me with this song. My hanks to his generosity. Our own Sadanand ji helped me by uploading it, my thanks to him too. The song is sung by Baby Suman, Harish and chorus.

Song-Saanwra murliwaala Yashoda ne paala Gwaala (Geeta)(1940) Singers- Baby Suman, Unknown female voice, Harish, Lyricist- S K Kalla, MD- D P Korgaonkar (K Datta)


Saanwra murliwaala
haan Saanwra murliwaala
Yashoda ne paala Gwaala aa aa aa
Saanwra murliwaala

chunmun chunmun aangan ghooma
nand ?? tan man ??
chunmun chunmun aangan ghooma
nand ?? tan man ??
gopin ne sundar mukh chooma
ichhaa roop banaao ??
gwaala aa aa
aa aa aa aa
Saanwra murliwaala

maakhan ?? dil ko churaaya
maakhan ?? dil ko churaaya
paapi ?? cheer hara
paapi ?? cheer hara
tan man ki sudh har lee usne
yuva bhaya nandlala aa aa
yuva bhaya nandlala aa aa
Saanwra murliwaala
Yashoda ne paala gwaala aa aa
Saanwra murliwaala

Kans ko maara
Mahabharat bhi
Kans ko maara
Mahabharat bhi
karm sikhaaya Geeta kahi
karm sikhaaya Geeta kahi
?? hain dev hamaare
?? hain dev hamaare
?? hain dev hamaare
bol hain unke aalaa aa aa
bol hain unke aalaa aa aa
Saanwra murliwaala
Yashoda ne paala gwaala aa aa
Saanwra murliwaala

6 Responses to "Saanwra murliwaala Yashoda ne paala gwaalaa"

Happy to see a new series which I immensely liked.


I am glad you like it.


Arun Ji,
Thanks for the post. I dont remember when I started reading ASAD and how I came to know about the blog. I probably missed some series by you, at least in part.
Thanks for writing about Geeta Bali. This is the first time I am reading about her in such great detail. She is one I loved to watch on screen. Albeli was one of her films ( amongst others) that I liked very much.


Satish ji,
You have hit the nail. So far no one has written about Geeta Bali on this Blog,Hence I decided to start with her story first.
The next one is also like this only. Famous but little written about.
I will try my best to make this series worthwhile.


Excellent post as usual, packed with lots of unknown information. I presume Geeta Bali’s character’s name was also Geeta in the film, and the series about such films’ songs.


AK ji,
Geeta Bali did not act in this film. Durga Khote did the character of Geeta in it.
Thanks for your valued appreciation.


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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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