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

Neele gagan per laali chhaayee

Posted on: September 9, 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 :

5166 Post No. : 17133

Today’s song is a melodious song from a less known film on a well known historical name – ‘Panna Dai’ (1945). The film was made by Pradeep Pictures, Bombay. Directed by Ram Daryani, its MD was Gyan Dutt and the songs were written by Dina Nath Madhok. It had a very sparkling star cast of Durga Khote, Chandra Mohan, Meenakshi, Mubarak, M Ismail, Master Vithal, Gope, Gulab, Leela Mishra, Nana Saheb Phatak, Azuri, Baby Nalini, Ratan Piya and many others in a long list suitable for such a historical movie.

When silent films started in India in the first decade of the previous century, by the time the films became an All India attraction in subsequent years, people were attracted to this new medium of entertainment. The Radio had also started during this period – around 1923 or so – first in Bombay, then Calcutta and finally in Madras in 1924. The organised broadcasting started on 23-7-1927. However it was only audio entertainment and available only in bigger towns and with wealthy people. Films gave the visual satisfaction and from 1931 films became ‘talkie’, providing audio and visual pleasures. No wonder this medium became popular more quickly. With portable equipment, films reached nooks and corners of the entire country.

As the talkie films started, well known artistes in different fields like literature, singing, music performers and stage actors wanted to join this industry. This applied to even the most respected and well known people. The industry was also keen to get such well known artistes and hence some such people did join the industry- albeit for a short period.

Initially, Bombay being the major center for films, the local famous artistes from the Marathi community represented a sizable number in this industry. No wonder then that the famous and well known authors, stage actors, singers and musicians contributed their share in films. Famous stage actors like Bal Gandharva, Bapurao Pendharkar, Hirabai Badodekar, Sureshbabu Mane, Govindrao Tembe, PL Deshpande, GN Joshi etc. sang, gave music and acted. Writers like VS Khandekar, NS Phadke, PK Atre, HN Apte etc. wrote stories, songs and screenplays in Marathi and Hindi films.

It was not only the Marathi bigwigs from stage and literature but even from the Hindi and Urdu famous artistes came to films to give their bits. People like Narayan Prasad Betab, Pt Sudarshan, Agha Hashra Kashmiri, Pt Narottam Vyas, Amritlal Nagar, Kanhaiyalal Munshi, Safdar Aah Sitapuri, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Jigar Muradabadi etc. did some work in films.

From Gujarat too such contributors like Master Vasant, Raghunath Bramhabhatt etc. came and from Bengal a host of writers and stage actors flooded the film industry. (Names of all language artistes are only indicative and not exhaustive).

All these ‘outsiders’ contributed, enriched the films and left for their own respective fields again. One such highly respected and well known stage actor from Marathi dramas was Nana Saheb Phatak. He acted only in 4 Hindi films including today’s film ‘Panna Dai’ (1945). (Bal Gandharva did only 2 Hindi films). Here is a short bio data of Nana Saheb Phatak. it is very difficult to get such information.

‘Nana Saheb’ Phatak was a great actor in Marathi theater who left a memorable impression with his deep voice and powerful dialogue interpretation. Born Gopal Govind Phatak on June 24, 1899, he was drawn to the stage at a very young age. He is believed to have been initiated into Marathi theatre through the play ‘Raksha Bandhan’, in which he played the role of Giridhar. One of his earliest performances was in Yashwant Tipnis’s ‘Matsyagandha’ in 1919 as the old king Shantanu.

With the help of his guru, Shri Ganpatrao Joshi, a veteran actor popularly known as ‘The Garrick of Maharashtra’, Phatak reached the height of his career during his time with the Lalitkaladarsha Natak Mandali – from 1921 to 1936. The Lalitkaladarsha Natak Mandali was founded by veteran singer-actor Sangeet Surya Keshavrao Bhosale. On September 20, 1913, the mandali (troupe) premiered a new play, ‘Rakshasi Mahatvakanksha’ (‘Demonic Ambition’), written by the highly respected playwright Veer Vamanrao Gopal Joshi, at the Bombay theater. The play established Lalitkaladarsha Natak Mandali as a reputed company in the industry, and prominent playwrights began to hand over their plays to be staged by the troupe. Keshavrao Bhosle also pioneered the use of red velvet curtains in Marathi theater. During his tenure with the mandali, Phatak gained tremendous popularity performing in plays including ‘Rakshasi Mahatvakanksha’ in 1914, Warerkar’s ‘Sanyasyacha Sansar’ (‘Sanyasi’s Life’) in 1919, and ‘Sonyacha Kalash’ (‘Golden Spire’) in 1932.

Phatak also performed in films, and his major screen credits include the silent movie ‘Bajirao-Mastani’ in 1925, his role as the evil Kamsa in ‘Akashvani’ in 1934, the hero Mansingh in ‘Rajput Ramani’ in 1936, the rival poet in ‘Pratibha’ in 1937, in ‘Panna Dai’ and Shivaji in ‘Thoratanchi Kamala’ in 1941. (Only Marathi)

In 1945, he played the role of Sudhakar, the drunkard in Gadkari’s ‘Ekach Pyala’, which set a new standard for other Marathi theater performers. Phatak played this role for over 15 years. His ability to embody a variety of characters led him to perform across genres in drama, ranging from historical to mythological and social to Shakespearean. In 1954, the eminent Marathi writer Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar, popularly known by his pen name Kusumagraj, adapted Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ for the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh as ‘Rajmukut’ in Marathi. The play was directed by Herbert Marshall, a British director, and starred Nana Saheb Phatak as Macbeth and Durga Khote as Lady Macbeth. Despite stellar performances by these veteran actors, the production did not go well. Art and theater critic Dhyaneshwar Nadkarni would later attribute this failure to ‘the Indianising of Macbeth’.

Phatak continued to be interested in Shakespeare. Shirwadkar said that Phatak once asked him to write a play to suit old-school actors, so he adapted Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ as ‘Natasamrat’ (‘The Actor-Emperor’) in 1970 with Phatak in mind. Unfortunately, Phatak could not act in it.

Nana Saheb Phatak remained a dominant figure on the Marathi stage for over 35 years. He was bestowed with the Akademi Award for Marathi Stage Acting in 1959. He passed away 15 years later on April 8, 1974.
[Thanks to articles from map.sahpedia.org, http://www.marathifilmdata.com, and Natya kalawant from Rasrang.]

Panna Dai’s name is famous in Indian History for her personal sacrifice. She substituted her own son to save the life of the heir of the Kingdom. Her son was killed before her eyes mistaking him for the heir. Here is some information about her.

Panna Dai was a 16th century nursemaid to Udai Singh II, the fourth son of Rana Sanga. She was a Khinchi Chauhan Rajput.
In Hindi, Panna means ’emerald’ and Dai means ‘nurse’. Udai Singh was left in care of Panna, after Rani Karnavati committed Jauhar in 1535. When Udai was attacked by his uncle Banvir, Panna Dai sacrificed her own son’s life to save him.

Panna Dai was the nurse of Rani Karnavati, who was the wife of Rana Sanga. In 1531, Vikramaditya, the second son of Rana Sanga, succeeded the throne after his brother Rana Ratan Singh II. He was known for being insolent and arrogant. In 1535, Chittor was attacked by Bahadur Shah, causing Karnavati to call nobles and ordinary soldiers to defend Chittor. Those who were forced to leave Mewar or were disgruntled, joined. Unfortunately, the battle was lost, leaving Chittor sacked. However, Rajputs occupied the fort as soon as Bahadur Shah left. With the fort back in Rajput control, Vikramaditya came back from Bundi to rule again.

After the defeat, Vikramaditya’s temperament didn’t improve, causing him to physically abuse a respected chieftain at the court. In this situation, Banvir (Rana Sanga’s nephew), who was the son of a non Rajput concubine of Prithviraj, joined the court. Banvir was ambitious and in 1536, he assassinated Vikramaditya. To remove all obstacles of his claim to the throne, Banvir attempted to assassinate Udai Singh. However, Panna was alerted of the situation, and she was assisted by a woman of Bari caste, who smuggled out Udai Singh from Chittor, carrying him in a basket, while Panna placed her own son, Chandan, in Udai’s place. Banvir came soon after, asking for Udai. Panna pointed at the bed, now occupied by her son, and watched as he was murdered. Banvir arranged a meeting of the court and informed the chiefs that both the heirs were deceased. He then claimed his right to the throne and appointed himself king of Mewar. Panna and Udai fled to Kumbhalgarh, where the governor was a Maheshwari Mahajan, Asa Depura, who agreed to grant Udai protection. Udai Singh was nearly 15 years of age then.

When the rumours of Udai Singh being alive reached Banvir, he called him impostor, but since Udai Singh was around 15 years of age and his maternal relatives from Bundi could recognize him, Udai Singh started getting more and more support. In 1540, Udai and a considerable force from Mewar, marched into Chittor to reclaim his throne. Banvir sent out an army to repel the attack, but he was defeated. Udai Singh was crowned the 12th Rana of the Sisodia Dynasty. His eldest son and successor Maharana Pratap was born in the same year.

[Adapted from ‘History of Rajputana’ by Raja Rajwade and wikipedia, with thanks.]

This film was the last film for Master Vithal. After this film, he retired from Hindi films (which he regretted later) and settled in Kolhapur till his death.

Let us now enjoy the second song from this film on this Blog.


Song- Neele gagan par laali chhaayee (Panna Dai)(1945) Singer- Raj Kumari, Lyricist- Deena Nath Madhok, MD- Gyan Dutt
Chorus

Lyrics

neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
satiyaan tilak laga len
sooraj thhaal mein kesar laaya hai
thhaal mein kesar laaya hai
satiyaan tilak laga le
sooraj thhaal mein kesar laaya hai
thhaal mein kesar laaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai

maa bete ko choom rahi hai
kaan mein uske kahti hain
maa bete ko choom rahi hai
kaan mein uske kehti hain
bhoomi ka dena kab denge
bhoomi ka dena kab denge
aaj wo shubh din aaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai

tod rahi hain jag se naata
nirmal jal ki dhaara mein
tod rahi hain jag se naata
nirmal jal ki dhaara mein
bahte paani mein satiyon ne
bahte paani mein satiyon ne
man ka moh bahaaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai

ek sotk se hain parwaane ae ae ae ae
ek saath jal jaayenge haan
ek saath jal jaayenge haan
ek saath jal jaayenge haan
ab tak inhi patangon ne
ab tak inhi patangon ne
jyoti ko amar banaaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
satiyaan tilak laga len
sooraj thhal mein kesar laaya hai
thhaal mein kesar laaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai
neele gagan par laali chhaayee
holi ka din aaya hai

————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir Kapur)
————————————————

नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
सतियाँ तिलक लगा लें
सूरज थाल में केसर लाया है
थाल में केसर लाया है
सतियाँ तिलक लगा लें
सूरज थाल में केसर लाया है
थाल में केसर लाया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है

माँ बेटे को चूम रही है
कान में उसके कहती है
माँ बेटे को चूम रही है
कान में उसके कहती है
भूमि का देना कब देंगे
भूमि का देना कब देंगे
आज वो शुभ दिन आया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है

तोड़ रही हैं जग से नाता
निर्मल जल की धारा में
तोड़ रही हैं जग से नाता
निर्मल जल की धारा में
बहते पानी में सतियों ने
बहते पानी में सतियों ने
मन का मोह बहाया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है

एक सोत्क से हैं परवाने ए ए
एक साथ जल जाएंगे हाँ
एक साथ जल जाएंगे हाँ
एक साथ जल जाएंगे हाँ
अब तक इन्हीं पतंगों ने
अब तक इन्हीं पतंगों ने
ज्योति को अमर बनाया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
सतियाँ तिलक लगा लें
सूरज थाल में केसर लाया है
थाल में केसर लाया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है
नीले गगन पर लाली छाई
होली का दिन आया है

2 Responses to "Neele gagan per laali chhaayee"

Nice to read about Panna Dai in detail and heard this song for the first time. Thanks for your post.

Like

Thanks.

Liked by 1 person

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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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