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

Prem ban ko main bhaagee gayee

Posted on: December 31, 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 :

5279 Post No. : 17293

Today’s song is a rare song from an obscure film – Jeevan Natak-1935.

During the silent film era, there was no sound in the film and hence no dialogues. This was compensated by showing dialogue strips on the screen. Initially scenes and the dialogue srips were shown alternatively i.e. after the actor says something, the next scene was only his dialogue srip. Later on ,however, simultaneously showing of the dialogue strip started. In any case this prevented continuation of the story and importance of the dialogue. This also made the filmmakers make silent films action oriented, rather than using dialogues. 90 % silent films were action/stunt films or costume films.

When the Talkie film started, the filmmakers were rather perplexed as to what sort of Talkie films would be successful. In absence of previous data, it was a big challenge. Most filmmakers stuck to Mythologicals, Folk stories and social themes to be on the safe side. An analysis of films made in the first 3 years of Talkie films, underlines how the kind of films were decided.

The Talkie films can be broadly categorised into following Genres….
1. Mythologicals
2. Religious
3. Folklore stories
4. Social themes
5. Historicals
6. Costume films
7. Stunt/action
8. Imaginary
9. Comedy
10. Musicals etc.
Now, let us see what type of films were made in the first 3 years, i.e. 1931, 1932 and 1933 to understand how the filmmakers gave their preferences to different types of films.

Year total films made Mythologicals Social Folklore Imaginary Costumes all others
1931 24 5 (21%) 6 (25%) 6 (25%) 5 (21%) 2 (8%)
1932 62 14 (22.5%) 15 (24%) 3 (5%) 7 (11%) 9 (14.5%) 14 (22.5%)
1933 76 18 (24%) 17 (22%) 6 (8%) 8 (10.5%) 17 (22%) 10 (13.5%)

The above rough statistics prove how Mythologicals, Social, Costume and Imaginary story films evolved as popular genres. In all this process, the filmmakers played very safe and used as far as possible, only known stories – with minor variations done as ‘ cinematic liberties. because of all this, most filmmakers did not try any offbeat of different stories. However, even in this period some producers did try to make films with offbeat stories – like the film ” Awara Shahzada’-1933, with a story of Look-alikes. A very young Shahu modak played The Prince and Pauper’s roles. As the years passed by, adventurous filmmakers came up with offbeat stories.

Worth mentioning is Prabhat’s film “Wahan”-1937 used a story about another Planet. Then there was a film by Prakash films – “khwab ki duniya”-1937, based on the novel “The invisible man” by H.G.Wells. (later on there were more films like Mr. X-1957, Mr. X in Bombay-1964 and Mr. India-1987, on the same story). Yet another film was “Duniya kya hai”-1938 based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel ‘Resurrection’. In 1941 came film ” Bahen” by National studios, which was on suggestive incest. But by and large, such offbeat stories were rare in Hindi films till recent times.

All this is discussed here, because today’s song is from the film “Jeevan Natak”-1935, which too had an offbeat story. It was about the memories of an earlier birth. The main role of the protagonist was done wonderfully by Durga Khote. The story of this film, in short, was….

The plot is set in two historical epochs, 1735 and 1935. The spirited Miss Queen (Khote), performing in a period play, recalls a previous incarnation when she was the actual person she is now acting on the stage. She inherited the throne because the state of Ranigarh had no constitutional heirs and her horoscope was deemed auspicious. Instead of being merely a figurehead, she opposes the corrupt minster Jairaj and army commander Mubarak (Pahelwan), she makes sure the royal court is accessible to the suffering people.

The film was made by Debki Bose productions and was also directed by Debki Bose. Debaki Kumar Bose,Bengali and Hindi director was born in Akalpoush, Burdwan Dist., West Bengal on 25-11-1898.He was the Son of a noted solicitor, Madhusudhan Bose. Influenced by Sisir Bhaduri, his teacher at Bidyasagar College, Calcutta (1920), he left university to join the non-co- operation movement of Calcutta Congress (1920). He was caught and jailed. After coming out,his father threw him out. He started selling ‘Gamachhas’ on the road. He started and Edited journal, Shakti, from Burdwan (1927-8). One day he was seen and hired by Dhiren Ganguly as actor and scenarist for Dinesh Ranjan Dass’ Kamonar Aagun (1930), Devotee of Vaishnava evangelical movement. He joined British Dominion Films (1927) as scenarist, then director.
He became friendly with the Cinematographer Krishna Gopal, with whom he went to Lucknow where they made a film ” A shadow of dead”. The film flopped and Debki returned to Calcutta, but Krishna Gopal was held hostage by the producers till he paid their investment. Debki took a loan from P C Barua and paid that amount to get Krishna Gopal released.

He joined P.C. Barua’s Barua Pics (1930), then entered New Theatres (1932-4) together with Barua, directing the studio’s first hit, Chandidas, after 7 consecutive flops by New Theatres.. This was the First film in India,with Background music. Its cinematic validation of a major stage genre – the quasi-legendary biographical – helped lessen Bengali cinema’s dependence on the Calcutta Theatres for its themes as well as its literary, musical and acting talent. Early work known mainly for his free and inventive approach to established genres, esp. the mythological and the Saint film, creating a Bengali quality cinema (e.g. Aparadhi and Chandidas). He was the one who promoted film music as a mix of Rabindra sangeet and Indian Classical music. It helped New Theatres to make its film songs popular all over India.

He also made Pooran Bhagat-1933. Handsome actor Mijjan (Syed Hasan Ali Zaidi) was the Hero. When the film was ready and about to be released,communal riots started in Calcutta,between Hindu and Muslims. After the peace returned,New Theatres was worried about Mijjan’s name in this Mythological film. Debaki kumar Bose,who hailed from a rich Zamindar family,told Mijjan “dont worry. From today I give you half of my name-Kumar.” Mijjan’s name became Kumar and he went on to become a big actor. After this,Debaki Bose himself never used the suffix Kumar to his name,in his life.

He made Rajrani Meera in 1933. During this film making he had a quarrel with director Nitin Bose and he decided to leave New Theatres.

After this he Went to East India Film (1934-6) where he made the lyrical Seeta which launched Prithviraj Kapoor and Durga Khote as a star duo. Seeta became the First Indian film to be sent to the International film festival at Venice. Here the film won a Diploma too and thus Debaki Bose was the first Indian artiste to win an International award for his film. He then Returned to New Theatres (1937-41), on invitation of B N Sarkar, making the classic Bidyapati.

In 1942 he left Calcutta and came to Bombay. His first film here as a Director was Circo’s Apna Ghar, made also in Marathi as ‘ आपले घर ‘. This also he directed.

His independent Debaki Bose Prod. (1935) with stars from the Hindi and Marathi cinemas paved the way for other Calcutta cine artistes after the decline of New Theatres in the early 40s. Made Arghya, a documentary on the caste system, based on four narrative poems by Tagore to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Debaki Bose was not just a director,but he was an actor (3 films),a producer (1 film) and also a writer (14 films). He was given the Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1957 and a Padmashree in 1958. He was India’s star director.

He died on 17-11-1971 at Calcutta. In his career of 31 years he made 50 films,in Bangla,Hindi,Marathi,Tamil and English.

FILMOGRAPHY: 1930: Kamaner Aagun (only act); Panchasar (also act); 1931: Aparadhi; Shadows of the Dead; 1932: Nishir Dak (all St); Chandidas; 1933: Puran Bhakt; Meerabai/Rajrani? Meera; Dulari Bibi; 1934: Seeta; 1935: Inquilab; Jeevan Natak; 1936: Sonar Sansar/Sunehra? Sansar; 1937: Bidyapati/Vidyapati?; 1939: Sapurey/ Sapera; 1940: Nartaki; Abhinav; 1942: Apna Ghar/Aple Ghar; 1943: Shri Ramanuja; 1945: Meghdoot; Swarg Se Sundar Desh Hamara; 1946: Krishna Leela; 1947: Chandrasekhar; 1948: Sir Shankarnath; 1949: Kavi; 1951:Ratnadeep/Ratnadeepam; 1953: Pathik; 1954: Kavi; Bhagwan Shri Krishna Chaitanya; 1955: Bhalobasha; 1956: Chirakumar Sabha; Nabajanma; 1958: Sonar Kathi; 1959: Sagar Sangamey; 1961: Arghya (adapted from Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema,with thanks)

Let us now listen to this rare song, sung by Rampyari. Enjoy….


Song-Prem ban ko main bhaagee gayee (Jeewan Naatak)(1935) Singer- Miss Rampyari, Lyricist- Pt. Narottam Vyas, MD- H.C.Bali

Lyrics

Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi
lene sundar prem ke phool
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi
lene sundar prem ke phool
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi

sookh gaya ban
phool jhhad padey ae
sookh gaya ban
phool jhhad padey ae
?? haath mein mere phool
?? haath mein mere phool
?? haath mein mere phool
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi

aaj dard zor kar hai koi
leenhi maine jo hi kataar
yoon ??
haath kat gaya
baaki raha phool ka phool
baaki raha phool ka phool
baaki raha phool ka phool
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi
Prem ban ko main bhaagi gayi

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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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