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

Prem nagar mein prem pujaari

Posted on: April 15, 2023

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 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 :

5384 Post No. : 17662

Today’s song is again by a comedian, from a stunt film of the First decade of the Talkie era. It is from the film Gareeb ka Laal-1939.

For our old and regular readers, perhaps the title of this film may sound familiar. The first song from this film was the 500th song of our friend Sudhir ji and it was posted by him on 28-2-2013. It was a funny, special song , having 32 names of actors and actresses of those times, in its lyrics. (Tujhe Bibbo kahoon ke Salochana (Gharib Ka Lal) ).

That duet was sung by Mirza Musharraf and Kamala Karnataki. Today’s solo song is also sung by the same comedian Mirza Musharraf.

Not much information is available on movies of the early era, especially for the first decade, except perhaps the First Talkie ” Aalam Ara’-1931, that too as it was the first ever Talkie film of India. The negative of the film is not available. Most of the actors of this film are the least known, barring the three i.e. Navinchandra (Yagnik),Ghulam Mohammed and Mirza Musharraf. The director V. M. Vyas was a well known person who lasted till the 70’s in Hindi and Gujarati films. Music Director and one of the actors in this film- Sageer Asif is an obscure name and was never found in any other film hereafter.

The playback was not yet popular and sales of film songs was very limited. We find only 2 records of this film, featuring 4 songs out of the 13 of this film. As such the film industry was in the process of shedding its initial stereotype avatar and donning a new appearance. The political atmosphere in the world and in India was shaky and in 1939 itself the second world war had erupted.

The year was 1939 and the British Government had declared war against Germany and Japan, as soon as the WW II began. All countries ruled by Britain were – willingly or unwillingly, drawn into the war efforts and its effects. The war began in the month of September and soon various restrictions came into operation – like rationing, blackouts, shortages etc. The film industry which was still under its development stage suffered. It also realised the importance of remaining united as one industry. However, all that came after 1 or 2 years. In 1939 there was not much effect seen on the film industry.

The industry had its own problems. In spite of the playback system in operation, their problem was that because there was no technique of recording from the film negative yet, the singers had to sing twice. Once for the actual film shooting of the song, and later, with the same set of orchestra, for commercial records. Sometimes, the original singer was not available due to any reason, some other singer had to sing for commercial records. Thus we have many such examples, where the singer in the film song and the record is different. However, this problem continued only till mid 50’s when the Tape and the required technique became available. With just one time recording, the film and commercial recording were taken care of.

Khemchand Prakash, K.Datta (Datta Koregaonkar), Rafiq Ghaznavi and Anupam Ghatak made their Debut as Music Directors. Kavi Pradeep wrote his first film song for film Kangan. In 1939, 2 most Unusual songs were presented, for the first time . One was a Multi-Lingual song from film Aadmi-39, a film by Prabhat….Kis liye kal ki baat. This song was in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Tamil and Telugu. ( In its Marathi film version-” माणूस “, this song was only in one language-Marathi.) Different Lyricists and MDs were used for each language. The song became very popular.

Second unusual song was from film ‘ Ghareeb ka Laal’-1939. The song lyrics had the names of 32 artistes, operating in Hindi films that time. Top Heroes and Heroines were mentioned in this song. The beginning of the song was ” Tuze Bibbo kahoon ya Sulochana, Uma shashi kahoon ki Jamuna “. This song was sung by the comedian Mirza Musharraf and Kamala Karnataki. In later years many songs with film artistes’ names came but none had so many names. Thus this record is still unbroken.

Besides these songs, let us quickly take a look at some films of 1939….

Name of movie Remarks
Aadmi – Prabhat’s hit film, a remake of the Marathi film ” माणूस “. It had some good songs by Shanta Hublikar, Sundarabai Jadhav and Ram Marathe.
Adhuri Kahani a trend of Tragedy films set by the effect of film ‘Devdas’. All the 3 main characters of this film commit suicide in the end.
Badi Didi A New Theatres film.
Brandy ki Botal Master Vinayak’s comedy remake of Marathi film ‘ ब्रॅंडीची बाटली ‘.
Dil hi to hai Debut of Kidar Sharma as a Director and Ramola as a Heroine in a Hindi film.
Dushman New Theatres’ film of Saigal, with only his 4 songs.
Ek hi Raasta Sagar presents first film with 3 Heroes in one film.
Ghazi Salauddin Debut of Khemchand Prakash as M.D.
Hukum ka Ikka First film with a Triple role by Umakant Desai ( who later specialised as Lakshman in 7 films, including Ramrajya-43).
Imaandaar Debut of actress Shamim Akhtar.
India in Africa This was the First Hindi film to be shot abroad (in Africa). The Hero B. Nandrekar had also gone to Africa for its shooting. Naaz-54 was not the first such film, though HFGK mentions it so.( Ref – pp 69, Maharashtra-The Birthplace of Indian cinema by Isak Mujawar)
Kangan First of the 4 Hit films of Ashok kumar and Leela Chitnis, made by Bombay Talkies. Kavi Pradeep’s Debut as a Lyricist in this film.
Kapal kundala New Theatres. Pankaj Mullick’s hit song ‘ Piya milan ko jaana ‘.
Leather Face Debut of Meena Kumari as a child artiste.
Navjeevan Debut of Hansa Wadkar as a Heroine- Bombay Talkies film.
Pukar Hit film from Minerva Movietone. Naseem Bano sings ” Zindagi ka saaz bhi kya saaz hai….”

The singer of today’s song was Mirza Musharraf. The name of MIRZA MUSHARRAF AGHA may not ring any bells in the newer generation, as he was a comedian in the 30s and 40s-till the late 60s.

During the 30s and 40s there were quite a few real comedians, who regaled the audiences with their humour. Comedians like V. H. Desai, Ghory and Dikshit (the jodi like Laurel and Hardy), Mirza Musharraf, Bhudo Advani, Noor Mohammad Charlie, Yakub (he had travelled to 15 countries including UK and USA, before joining films) and Gope, Fatty prasad and Durga Mota were much in demand for comic roles in the films. With the times, one by one, all went behind the curtains, giving way to newer set of comedians like Bhagwan, Sunder, Radhakishen, Mukri, I.S. Johar, Majnu, etc. Nowadays, of course, Comedians have disappeared from films, because almost everyone in a film does Comedy, these days.

Artistes fading away is a natural phenomena, but out of the above comedians, the end of Durga Mota was very pathetic and touching.
Durga Mota or Durga Prasad was very fat and this fatness which fetched him name and fame in the industry also became the cause of his death. In 1947,there were riots everywhere. Durga was in Lahore. He wanted to come back to India like other thousands. He came to Lahore station and boarded the train. Just then a frenzied mob came to the station and started killing the passengers. People ran helter skelter and saved themselves, but due to his fatness Durga Mota could not run and he was slaughtered on the station of Lahore itself.

Somewhere in 2013, when I interviewed the son of comedian Bhudo Advani in Mumbai, he told me that his family and Mirza Musharraf’s family were very close. I naturally asked him if there are any close relatives of Musharraf that he knows of, so that I could contact them and try to get an interview. To my good luck he told me that Mirza’s daughter stays in our area of Andheri only and also gave me her address. Next Sunday I searched for that address and met the son in law of Mirza Musharraf. I explained to him my purpose for the visit that I wanted to interview Mirza’s daughter. However he clearly told me that it was not possible as Muslim married women do not talk with strangers. He further said that if I was keen he could give me the interview, but he demanded a heavy amount of money for that. I was disappointed as with any of my statements that I do not earn money from these interviews, he was not convinced and was adamant about money. Finally I returned from there empty handed and disillusioned. Then I collated information on Mirza Musharraf from various other credible sources.

Mirza Musharraf was born in a sophisticated educated family, on 12-6-1912, at Shujabad-Punjab. His father was an inspector of Police and claimed to be a scion of the Royal Mughal family. He matriculated from Lahore in 1930. He was keen on becoming a Journalist, so he worked in Daily Zamindar, Tariq and Shahid. He was a Nationalist, joined Congress and became Secretary of Lahore Congress committee. He was imprisoned but father got him released. He decided to change profession to films.

He got a small role of a party guest in the film ” Qazak ki beti-37′, which was being made by one of his acquaintances in Lahore. His second film was Prem Yatra-37. These were uncredited and insignificant roles, but they gave his clever mind a good idea of film line and acting.

A R Kardar who was into films was known to him in Lahore. Kardar took Mirza to Calcutta. There he acted in the film Milap-37. The Hero was Gul Hamid,who died in between and was replaced by Prithviraj kapoor. Mirza also acted in the film Mandir-37. When Kardar shifted to Bombay, he too shifted.

He was very fond of writing Lyrics. He came to Bombay to write film songs and was employed by General films.Those days educated persons were eagerly employed by film studios. He first wrote Lyrics for A.R.Kardar’s film “Baghban”-1938. This was the film in which K N Singh did his first role as a villain. In this period, Mirza got married also.

During shootings Kardar required an artist and Mirza was called to fill up the slot,as per the studio norms. Mirza had no dialogues, but he exhibited excellent use of facial expressions and comic timing.This actually killed his dream of becoming a lyrics writer, because after that he was made a comedian and got several films. As a comedian,Mirza worked from 1938 to 1972,working in over 400 films.His last film was Roop tera Mastana-1972, where he was credited. Later he made appearances in films like Pathar se takkar-80 and Anjaam khuda jaane-89 uncredited.

When he was on the peak of his career,a happy producer gave his Bungalow at Versova free to him for living.Though Versova was then quite far off and sparsely populated, Mirza lived there like a king.The marriages of both of his daughters took place there.

Mr. Sanjit Narwekar-the famous Film historian/journalist writes in his book, “The story of Hindi Film comedy “,about Mirza. His specialty was interspersing his Hindi dialogues with English words-quite a curiosity in the pre-independence days. He was almost a permanent with V.M.Vyas and played cameo roles in a fairly long career. According to Saadat Hasan Manto in his book, stars of another sky -whichever film he acted, he used to be the darling of the Heroes. He was particularly liked by Kardar, K.Asif and Rafiq Gaznavi. In many films Mirza lip synched songs,but only in ONE film,he got to sing himself. That was the film Gharib ka laal-1939, in a duet and a solo. He also sung a few lines in the films Piya Milan-45 and CAPTAIN KISHORE-1957. He sang along with Mohd.Rafi and Tun Tun.

In one of the interviews Mirza gave to magazine Shama, in August 1981, he described some of his experiences in the film world. This interview is a part of the book ” Ye un dinon ki baat hai” written by my friend Yasir Abbasi. Here are a few of his stories. In Bombay, he got to know Nazir-actor, director, producer and owner of Hind Pictures studios, and his nephew K.Asif (Mughal-E-Azam fame). Asif did not work, so Nazir opened a Tailor’s shop for him, but still he did nothing. His interests were different.

Mirza also came closer to director S M Yousuf. Mirza was present in his marriage to actress Nigar Sultana. Mirza describes how K.Asif eloped with Nazir’s wife and his Mami(aunt) Sitara Devi. Asif later married Yousuf’s wife Nigar Sultana also. Still later Asif married Dilip kumar’s sister too. Asif was notorious in such matters.

Mirza knew Mohd. Rafi since Lahore days. When Rafi came to Bombay, Mirza introduced Rafi to many film people. Mirza claims that Rafi’s first Hindi recorded song was from the film Kul Kalank-45, ” Topiwale Babu'[ a duet with Amirbai karnataki. This song was shot on Mirza and Amirbai on screen. Rafi, it seems, got Rs. 75 for this song. Mirza acted in the film Grihasti-48, which became a Hit film, running for 105 weeks in Bombay. In a public poll, Mirza got a second prize for acting in this film (first was Yaqub) and he got a Gold medal of 3 Tolas. In his difficult days, Mirza sold it, he says.
There are many more anecdotes he describes, but maybe some other time. Mirza Musharraf died in 1991.

Now listen to the comedian’s song from this film. This is an 84 year old song !

Song- Prem nagar mein prem pujaari (Gareeb Ka Laal)(1939) Singer-Mirza Musharraf, Lyrics-Unknown, MD-Sageer Asif


Prem nagar mein prem pujaari ee
ee ee ee ee
prem sandesaa laaye hain
saadhu ban kar r r
prem ke neeche ae
geet sunaane aaye hain

bole krishn muraari
bole krishn muraari
sun le raadha pyaaree
aahe sun le raadha pyaaree
bole krishn muraari
bole krishn muraari
kaisa jag hain
kaise bande
kaisa jag hain
kaise bande
tu kya jaane
aankh ke andhe
tu kya jaane
aankh ke andhe
ye sansaar hai jhoothh ka patka

ye sansaar hai jhoothh ka patka
jhhoothhe hain sansaaree
jhhoothhe hain sansaaree
bole krishn muraari
bole krishn muraari
roop badal kar aane waale
roop badal kar aane waale
prem nagar ko basaane waale
prem nagar ko basaane waale
baste baste der huyi ab

baste baste der huyi ab
kooch ki kar taiyyaari
kooch ki kar taiyyaari
bole krishn muraari
sunle raadha pyaari
aahe sunle raadha pyaaaari


2 Responses to "Prem nagar mein prem pujaari"

I appreciate your detailed information about Mirza Musharraf. Thanks,


Thanks for your 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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