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

Saara din chhat peeti

Posted on: August 26, 2022


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a 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 :

5152 Post No. : 17115

Today’s song is from the film ‘Charanghee’ (1942). It is a very special film in the Indian Film Industry because this was the only film in which the National Poet of Bangladesh – Kazi Najrul Islam wrote some songs and also gave music.

This is a special flm also because it was a debut film not only for Kazi Najrul Islam but also for music director Pt. Hanuman Prasad and for the director of the film – Sibtain Fazli (of the Fazli Bros.- pioneers of Muslim social films in India).

It was also a special film because it had the poetic works (gazhals) of 3 great and prominent shayars namely, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Ghalib and Jigar Moradabadi, along with the 2 comparatively lesser poets – Arzoo Lucknowi and Partav Lucknowi.

The word ‘Chauranghee’ evokes a lot of loving memories of Calcutta for me. During my professional marketing career of over 40 years, I visited Bengal and Calcutta in particular more than 100 odd times. The hotel I stayed at was next to the AC market, adjacent to the Chauranghee Road.

Many times in the evenings, I used to take a walk on Chauranghee and enjoy the crowd of the elites. Whenever I had to stay in Calcutta on Sundays, I always took a stroll on the Chauranghee Road from the Grand Hotel to beyond Park Hotel and the famous petrol pump of Park Road. On every Sunday, the footpaths of Chauranghee were full of second hand books arrayed on the footpaths on both sides and in the nearby lanes. Bengali people are mad about reading books and on Sundays, one must see their crowds on the roadside book shops. Bengali people are so fond of reading books that many roads in Calcutta are named after famous Indian authors including a road called ‘Shakespeare Road’. I have seen most of the world. I consider Bengali people next only to the British in their love of reading books. One must visit the ‘BOOK FAIR’ held annually on ‘The Maidan‘- a part of the Chauranghee area to understand the Bengali people’s love for reading and buying books. Hats off to Bengal for this !

Chauranghee, today a Hi-Fi business area, was once known for kothas, tawaifs and singing families. Actually, it seems, in ancient times a society of any state was divided in 4 classes. 1) The King and the Royalty 2) The Knights, Ministers, Generals etc. 3) The common people including ‘Bhadra Lok‘ and 4) The entertainers (read the class of people whose job was to please the customers). The last one was the ‘Chaturang’ or the Fourth Estate or the Chauranghee !

Film ‘Chauranghee’ was a Muslim social, which depicted the storm that hit a tawaif family on Chauranghee and its aftermaths on that family. The film was made by Fazli Brothers, who were the first to make a series of Muslim social films in the 1940’s decade. The first such film was ‘Qaidi’ (1940), then came ‘Masoom’ (1941), ‘Chauranghee’ (1942), ‘Fashion’ (1943), ‘Ismat’ (1944) and ‘Mehndi’ (1947). The Fazli brothers were two. The senior one was Hasnain Fazli and the younger one was Sibtain Fazli. After partition they migrated to Pakistan. Sibtain remained in Pakistan. He directed and produced 4 films, including the most popular film of Madame Noorjahan in Pakistan, namely film ‘Dupatta’ (1952). Hasnain returned to India, directed two more films and went back to Pakistan.

The star attraction of this film was Kazi Nazrul’s poems and his music. Kazi Nazrul Islam is to Bangladesh, what Rabindranath Tagore is to West Bengal. While, to my knowledge, Tagore never wrote any Naat or a Muslim religious verse, Kazi wrote hundreds of Bhajans and Geets on Lord Rama and Krishna. Though many films – Bangla and Hindi – are based on the stories or novels of Tagore, Kazi has not contributed anything directly to any Hindi film (I do not know about Bangla films). On the other hand he has written the story of film ‘Sapera’ (1939) and provided lyrics and music to film ‘Chauranghee’ directly. Like Tagore’s Rabindra Sangeet, it was Nazrul Geeti in Bengal. I am not comparing them. Both were great souls.

The life story of Kazi is full of ups and downs. His last few years were spent in glory but in very bad health. There were several deaths in his family. His wife became paralytic and he spent time in a Mental Hospital in Ranchi. After the formation of Bangladesh in 1971, the new country invited him, bestowed honors on him, declaring him ‘The National Poet’. The Bangladesh government also took good care of him in his last 4 years, but he was medically unfit to enjoy his glory.

Kazi Nazrul Islam (24 May 1899 – 29 August 1976) composer and songwriter was born in Burdwan District, Bengal. With Tagore he was the major influence on popular Bengali music in the 20th century. Known as the Bidrohi Kavi or the ‘Rebel Poet’ and directly associated with radical nationalist movements (e.g. through the journal Dhoomketu which he edited in 1922, leading to his imprisonment on a charge of sedition), his poetry constitutes the first radical intervention into Hindu and Muslim devotional music, e.g. his famous addresses to the goddess Kali, his ghazal compilations (Chokher Chatak, 1929) and Islamic devotional ssongs (Zulfikar, 1932). Much of his music, continued by the IPTA’s Bengali song repertoire, was polemically seen as a radical-romantic use of the ‘tradition’ (e.g. Salil Choudhury, 1955). One of the first composer-writers to sign contracts with major record companies in Bengal (for Megaphone and Senola and later HMV) and with the Indian Broadcasting Corp., opening up new employment opportunities to a generation of younger composers such as Anil Biswas, SD Burman, Kamal Dasgupta and even Kishore Kumar (whose song “Ai Ek Dui Tran Char Gili Gili, Bam Chick Boob Chick Badhke Bol” in ‘Kehte Hain Mujhko Raja’ (1975), adapts Islam’s famous “Cham Chiki Ude Gelo”). Created an urban variation of tribal jhumur music for Sailajananda Mukherjee’s ‘Pataal Puri’ and wrote the songs for ‘Nandini’ (1941) and ‘Dikshul’ (1943). Some sources credit him as director for ‘Dhruva’, in which he played the Hindu sage ‘Narada’. Started Bengal Tiger Pics with Abbasuddin Ahmed. Their film of Islam’s novel ‘Madina’ remained unfinished.

A significant impact of Nazrul’s work in Bengal was that it made Bengali Muslims more comfortable with the Bengali arts, which used to be dominated by Bengali Hindus. His Islamic songs are popular during Ramadan in Bangladesh. He also wrote devotional songs on the Hindu Goddess Kali. Nazrul also composed a number of notable Shyama Sangeet, Bhajan and Kirtan, combining Hindu devotional music.

Bengali polymath, poet, writer, musician, revolutionary and philosopher. Popularly known as Nazrul, his poetry and music espoused Indo-Islamic renaissance and intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Nazrul’s impassioned activism for political and social justice earned him the title Bidrohi Kobi (The Rebel Poet). His musical compositions form the avant-garde genre of Nazrul geeti (music of Nazrul). Accomplishing a large body of acclaimed works through his life, Nazrul is officially recognized as the National Poet of Bangladesh and highly commemorated in India and the Muslim world.

Born into a Bengali Muslim Quazi (Kazi) family, Nazrul received religious education and worked as a muezzin at a local mosque. He learned of poetry, drama, and literature while working with theatrical groups. After serving in the British Indian Army, Nazrul established himself as a journalist in Calcutta. He assailed the British Raj in India and preached revolution through his poetic works, such as Bidrohi (The Rebel) and Bhangar Gaan (The Song of Destruction), as well as his publication Dhumketu (The Comet). His nationalist activism in the Indian independence movement often led to his imprisonment by British authorities. While in prison, Nazrul wrote the Rajbandir Jabanbandi (‘Deposition of a Political Prisoner’). Exploring the life and conditions of the downtrodden masses of the Indian subcontinent, Nazrul worked for their emancipation. His poetry and music fiercely inspired Bengalis during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

During his visit to Comilla in 1921, Nazrul met a young Bengali Hindu woman, Pramila Devi, with whom he fell in love, and they married on 25 April 1924. Brahmo Samaj criticised Pramila, a member of the Brahmo Samaj, for marrying a Muslim. Muslim religious leaders criticized Nazrul for his marriage to a Hindu woman.

Nazrul’s writings explore themes such as love, freedom, and revolution; he opposed all bigotry, including religion and gender. Throughout his career, Nazrul wrote short stories, novels, and essays but is best known for his poems, in which he pioneered new forms such as Bengali ghazals. Nazrul wrote and composed music for his nearly 4,000 songs (including gramophone records), collectively known as Nazrul geeti (Songs of Nazrul), which are widely popular even today. In 1942 at the age of 43 Nazrul himself fell ill and gradually began losing his power of speech. His behavior became erratic, he started spending recklessly and fell into financial difficulties. In spite of her own illness, his wife constantly cared for her husband. However, Nazrul’s health had seriously deteriorated and he grew increasingly depressed. He underwent medical treatment under homeopathy as well as ayurveda, but little progress was achieved before mental dysfunction intensified and he was admitted to a mental asylum in 1942.

Spending four months there without making progress, Nazrul and his family began living a quiet life in India. In 1952, he was transferred to a psychiatric hospital in Ranchi. Through the efforts of a large group of admirers who called themselves the “Nazrul Treatment Society”, Nazrul and Promila were sent to London, then to Vienna for treatment. The examining doctors said he had received poor care, and Dr. Hans Hoff, a leading neurosurgeon in Vienna, diagnosed that Nazrul was suffering from Pick’s disease. It was rumoured that this was because of slow poisoning by the British Government. His condition was judged to be incurable, Nazrul returned to Calcutta on 15 December 1953. On 30 June 1962 his wife Pramila died, and Nazrul remained in intensive medical care. He stopped working due to his deteriorating health.

On 24 May 1972, the newly independent nation of Bangladesh brought Nazrul to live in Dhaka with the consent of the Government of India. In January 1976, he was accorded the citizenship of Bangladesh. Despite receiving treatment and attention, Nazrul’s physical and mental health did not improve. In 1974 his youngest son, Kazi Aniruddha, a guitarist, died, and Nazrul soon succumbed to his long-standing ailments on 29 August 1976.

His Filmography – ‘Bidyapati’ (1937) (writer), ‘Gora’ (1938), ‘Sapurey’ (1939) (writer), ‘Sapurey’/’Sapera’ (writer), ‘Chauranghee’, ‘Chauranghee’ (1942), ‘Chattagram Astragar Lunthan’ (1949), 1972: ‘Padi Pishir Barmi Baksha’ (1972) (Lyricist).
[Information adapted from Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, en.banglapedia.org and my notes].

Today’s song is sung by Miss Anis Khatun and chorus. Some readers might remember her role and song from Shantaram’s famous film ‘Padosi’ (1941). Actually there were two actresses/singers named Khatun, operating at almost the same time. One was Anis Khatun – who acted in 9 films, from ‘Prithvi Putra’ (1938) to ‘Dil’ (1946) and sang 14 songs in 5 films. The other one was Zarina Khatun who worked in 59 films, from ‘Abul Hasan’ (1931) to ‘Ibrat’ (1954) and sang 25 songs in 12 films from ‘Premi Pagal’ (1933) to ‘Chingari’ (1940). To further complicate matters and torture the film historians, there were other small time actresses like Ameena Khatoon, Zohra Khatun, Khatun Bai etc. It is a difficult task to separate the various same-name artistes and credit them with their genuine films.

I thank Abhay Jain ji from the US for giving me this song and our own Sadanand Kamath ji for uploading it for me.


Song- Saara din chhat peeti (Chauranghee)(1942) Singers- Anis Khatun, Lyricist- Kazi Nazrul Islam, MD- Kazi Nazrul Islam
Chorus
Unknown female voice

Lyrics

saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
tabhoon to pet bhar ke
khaaye khaana paai re
tabhoon to pet bhar ke
khaaye khaana paai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
saara din chhatpeeti

bol bahin aaj gharhe
kya kya pakaai hai
bol bahin aaj gharhe
kya kya pakaai hai
chulho tak baaro nahin
bachcha bhukhaaye hai
chulho tak baaro nahin
bachcha bhukhaaye hai

ham hon kuchh khaao nahin
bhaato banaao nahin
ham hon kuchh khaao nahin
bhaato banaao nahin
saas meri julmi badi
bahut oo sataaye hai
saas meri julmi badi
bahut oo sataaye hai
bairan nanad mori bahute harjaai re
bairan nanad mori bahute harjaai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
saara din sar peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
tabhoon to pet bhar ke
khaaye khaana paai re
tabhoon to pet bhar ke
khaaye khaana paai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
saara din chhar peeti

inki mehraaroo dekho
jaise sookhi paati
inki mehraaroo dekho
jaise sookhi paati
(??) lakwa hai do man ka
?? jaise haathi
(??) lakwa hai do man ka
?? jaise haathi
kohu paawe na dhoop
kohu dekhe na chaand
kohu paawe na dhoop
kohu dekhe na chaand
gharka bheetar band rahe
gharka bheetar band rahe
kaahe na murjhaai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
tabhoon to pet bhar ke
khaaye khaana paai re
tabhoon to pet bhar ke
khaaye khaana paai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re
saara din chhat peeti
haath hoon dukhaai re

 

8 Responses to "Saara din chhat peeti"

Arun ji,
Lovely song and that too very rare one.
One more reason as to why ‘Chowranghee’ (1942) is a special film because to the best of my knowledge, this is the first film in which a full length song written in Bhojpuri dialect was used.

Like

Thanks, Sadanand ji.
Yes, it is a rare song and good too.
Thanks for additional information.
-AD

Like

Great information about rare facts and the song sir.

Like

Arunji,
Congratulation and thanks for a superb post. The detailed bio-data was new for me, as it must be for many others. Good song too. Thanks a lot.

Like

AK ji,
Thanks for your nice words.
-AD

Like

Thanks, Rajendra Bora ji, for your appreciation.
-AD

Like

Dear Guru ji,

Just to fill you in some details. The Calcutta Book Fair has been moved out of the Maidan since 2009 and is now held near the Science City. For those not in the know, the entire Maidan Area (nearly 1000 acres) belongs to the Indian Army and that includes ALL those Football Clubs and their “grounds” and even includes the famous Eden Gardens! It is just that the Defence Ministry looks the other way for public good. But the Calcutta Book Fair was proving to be an environmental nuisance and enough was enough!

This is a song written and composed by Kazi Nazrul Islam which we studied in School and which proved a source of inspiration for the Freedom Fighters

With warm regards

PARTHA CHANDA

Like

Partha ji,
Thanks for additional information.
I retired in 1998 and stopped Consultation in 2007.
After that I have not visited Calcutta.
-AD

Like

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