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

Archive for the ‘Biography of actors’ Category


This article is written by Sudhir, 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 : 3982 Post No. : 15069

In some cases, it is the voice – some people will impress you, attract you with their voice. Girish Karnad’s voice has one of the most relaxing sound quality that I have heard. And his presence, his demeanor, his being in a scene, on screen or on stage, always had the same expression of comfort and relaxation as his voice. Seeing him, listening to him, one could never imagine if this person could be moved to a hasty or an impatient action.

He passed away, the day before. The news said that he was 82. I was surprised, it couldn’t be. Over the years since I had first seen him live in a drama in Delhi – almost a millennium ago, and then through films and media images, he always seemed to be the same, never changing, nor ageing. Be it the memories and images from the 60s, 70s, or even recent. He always appeared to be the same.

So when I read this one line in a media news item, I was very taken aback. Sure, I had not seen him active for the past few years, but the thought process probably had never projected far enough to make believe that he was past his 80th. In fact, as I reviewed his filmography in preparation for this article, I find that 5 of his upcoming films are slated for released through the rest of 2019.

Mid 1960s to 70s was an era for the theatre in India. One sees an upsurge in the quality of drama, the subject matter handling by the playwrights and the abilities of the dramatists. If it was Badal Sircar in Bangla (east), it was Vijay Tendulkar in Matathi (west); if it was Mohan Rakesh in Hindi (north), it was Girish Karnad in Kannada (south). These playwrights brought in some very incisive, some very timeless creations, that brought a completely fresh air, breaking new grounds in understanding the human psyche – how the humans interact, with each other and within themselves, how the social influences mould the individual behaviors, and in reverse, how the human expressions manipulate the social conduct. And together, how they shape the movement of history.

Girish K broke out a very crisp and a surprisingly innovative line of enquiry, with his very first play – ‘Yayati’. Most of the readers will be familiar with this episode from the epic, Mahabharat. Yayati is a king in the lineage of the Chandravansh, the lineage of Chandra, the Moon God. He is portrayed as an irresponsible king, consumed by his obsession with young age and the pleasures to be derived from it. He is afraid of getting old. His wife is Devyani, daughter of Rishi Shukracharya. Sharmishtha is the name of one of the ladies in waiting of Devyani. Actually a princess herself from another kingdom, Sharmishtha becomes a bounden server to Devyani due to certain events. As the events unfold furhter, Yayati has an extra marital affair with Sharmishtha, who bears three sons for him. Devyani too has three children, one daughter and two sons. Devyani complains to her father, who is the purohit (high priest) of the demon clan. Incensed by the behavior of his son-in-law, he curses him to a premature and a prolonged old age.

Yayati is shattered. He goes to Shukracharya, begs for forgiveness and removal of the curse. Shukracharaya tells him that his curse cannot be reversed, but it can be transferred to a person willing to take on such a curse. Yayati is overjoyed, but the joy is short-lived as he finds out that no one is ready to accept his curse. Finally, one of his sons, Puru, agrees to take on the curse of his father, wanting to bring peace to his father. Yayati enjoys another one thousand years of youth, donated by his son Puru.

This is a well known tale, and it has its own share of interpretations, analysis and philosophical discourse in literary critique over the ages. Girish K stepped in and asked a question that was never asked for many a millennia. What about Chitralekha?

It is not clear whether this character by this name exists in the annals of Mahabharat. Girish K is alluding to, and enquiring about Puru’s wife. A man goes ahead and takes on the curse of old age for a thousand years. There is name and fame, for this sacrifice. But no one ever asked, what about his wife? What happened to her life and her time, and whether and how did she endure this abnormally changed circumstance foisted upon her. With certain modifications to the original plot, Girish K is the first scholar to ask this question.

This play came about during Girish K’s journey to England by ship in 1960. The version of Mahabharat by C Rajagopalachari was published in 1951. This version of the epic influenced Girish K, and he went on to create two great plays based on themes from this epic. By his own account, ‘Yayati’ came so naturally to him, almost as if someone was dictating and he was just transcribing. The writing of this play was completed on this sea voyage of three weeks. He was traveling to London, having been awarded the Rhodes Scholarship at the Oxford University. During his stay and studies, he completed a triple MA, simultaneously in philosophy, politics and economics. The second play, that was born out of the influence of Mahabharat, sat in his mind for almost three decades, and then was born as ‘Fire and Rain’, which was staged first time in 1995.

His other most celebrated theatrical creation is another view into the history of India. Titled ‘Tuglaq’, this play took the theatre world, the audiences and the socio-political commentators by storm when it was first staged in 1966. In 1972, this play was enacted by the National School of Drama, directed by Ebrahim Elkazi, and presented on the ramparts of the Old Fort (Purana Qila) in Delhi. Using the ruins of the Old Fort as the backdrop, the play was enacted, to a very critical acclaim. Personally, that was my first introduction to Girish K. Quite enchanted by the theatre scene in Delhi, I have seen this enactment of the play while I still was in school.

The play covers the last 5 years of the reign of Mohammed Bin Tuglaq. The protagonist, is portrayed as having great ideas and a grand vision, but his reign was an abject failure. He started his rule with great ideals of a unified India, but his kingdom degenerated into anarchy. His proclamation to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, resulted in a massive exodus that brought misery and sorrow to a huge population. This was seen by the commentators as an allegory to the Partition of the country in 1947, and mass movement of people from both sides of the border.

In his later discussions, Girish K has revealed that the play was not originally written with an intent to comment on the then current political scenario in the country. Writing about the commentary on his play, Girish K has stated – “I did not consciously write about the Nehru era, I am always flattered when people tell me that it was about the Nehru era and equally applies to development of politics since then. But, I think, that is a compliment that any playwright would be thrilled to get, but it was not intended to be a contemporary play about a contemporary situation.”

Girish K started his theatre career in Madras, with a drama group called the Madras Players. Starting with ‘Yayati’ we see the development of a multi-faceted career that has lasted for almost six decades – author, teacher, playwright, director, stage actor, film actor, director of FTII Pune, chairman of the Sangeet Natak Academy – there is so much in his career to write and tell about.

His association with the cinema begins with ‘Samskaara’ (1970) and ‘Vamsh Vriksh’ (1972), both in Kannada, and both well recognized and well awarded films. Girish K was also the co-director of ‘Vamsh Vriksh’. The storylines for both films are a very strong statement on the evolving nature of human relationships, as each individual passes through his or her own pleasures, travails, dreams and anguish. The stories tell of compelling human emotions that drive human beings, to behave in manners that are quite out of the ordinary expectations. In ‘Samskaara’, Praneshcharaya (role played by Girish K), a devout Brahmin, is so convinced of moksha being the ultimate goal of life, and being so focused to achieve it, marries an invalid, so he can remain a celibate all his life. His antithesis is life is Narayanappa, a Brahmin who has given up the traditions – he eats meat and lives with Chandri, a lady of lower standing in the society. As the events unfold, Narayanappa passes away. His final rites become a controversy – a non-Brahmin cannot perform his rites, and no Brahmin in the village is ready to perform the rites for one who has fallen from the tradition. In the midst of all this, Praneshcharya one night wakes up in the lap of Chandri. Unable to reconcile with his own actions, he leaves the village in despair. Chandri secretly performs the last rites of Narayanappa and leaves the village too. In the last scene, Praneshcharya is seen returning to the village. Did he confess and atone for his actions? – the question remains unanswered.

‘Vamsh Vriskh’ is a complex narrative of the progression in a family, the interrelationships, the hidden connects and the invisible knowns. The protagonist, Srinivasa Shrotri, goes through many a tribulation in life, and tries to keep his mental peace intact. Having lost or settled all his affairs, he finally renounces householder’s life to become a sanyaasi.

In 1974, Girish K appeared in a children’s film ‘Jaadu Ka Shankh’. Not much more information about this film is locatable.

In the next three years, we see Girish K in three films that are outstanding statements of the new-wave cinema. In 1975, we see him in ‘Nishaant’ as the timid but principled schoolmaster, whose wife is abducted by the brothers of the landlord. The film has a kind of idealist ending, with the schoolmaster fatally attacking the landlord during a religious celebration and the entire village rising up against the landlord and lynching him and his entire family. In 1976 came ‘Manthan’ – the story of the white revolution in India. Girish K has played the role of Dr Rao, a chemist assigned in the rural areas, to help villagers determine the quality of their milk and to help free them from the clutches of the milk contractors by establishing co-operative societies. In 1977, we see Girish K in ‘Swami’, assaying the role of Ghamshyam, an upright and principled eldest son in the family, after passing away of his father, handling the family matters and his own personal life very maturely and with wisdom, in the presence of a hostile step mother.

In the next four decades , Girish K has appeared in almost 100 films, in Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malyalam and Assamese. I remember seeing him in ‘Man Pasand’ (1980), playing the role of Kashinath, a close friend of Pratap, the protagonist (role played by Dev Anand). Later, I have seen him in ‘Aasha’ (1980), ‘Ek Baar Chale Aao’ (1983), ‘Tarang’ (1984), till the waning interest in newer films kept me away. Ah yes, he was part of the dear ‘Malgudi Days’ series on the television, playing the role of Swami’s father. In his other directorial outings, he has directed ‘Godhuli’ (1977) and ‘Utsav’ (1984), films that have earned a lot of critical acclaim. He has also made a number of documentaries, like one on the Kannada poet DR Bendre (1972), ‘Kanaka-Purandara’ (English, 1988) on two medieval Bhakti poets of Karnataka, Kanaka Das and Purandara Das, and ‘The Lamp in the Niche’ (English, 1989) on Sufism and the Bhakti movement in India. Many of his films and documentaries have won several national and international awards.

Girish K’s accomplishment as an actor is simply his complete comfort with being the character he is playing. Watching him on the screen, one has this confidence that he knows all the ins and outs of the character he plays, and that in some incarnation he has lived that role himself. The authenticity of portrayal is simply magnificent.

In 1985, he appeared in the role of Pandit Shiv Shankar Shastri in the film ‘Sur Sangam’. The film, and his portrayal of the senior patriarchic exponent of classical music, are my all time favorite. I have written about this film in an earlier article with the song “Aaye Sur Ke Panchhi Aaye”. The film revolves around classical music and the story of Pt Shiv Shankar Shastri, one of the greatest living exponents of this art form. The story line brings in Tulsi (role played by Jayaprada), who is musically inclined and who reveres Shastri ji. The turn of events brings a certain unexplainable element – Tulsi is sexually assaulted, and the man responsible also throws down the portrait of Shastri ji. In a fit of violent anger, Tulsi slays the man with a shard of glass from broken portrait, runs off into the night, and boards a train departing from the local station. As destiny would have it, she barges into a first class coupe whose sole occupant is Shastri ji, who is traveling for participating in an out of town program. The two travel together, and return. Tulsi starts living in the same house as Shastri ji. He is a widower and has a girl child. Slowly, Tulsi becomes a part of the household. Being inclined for classical music, she also starts to practice while staying at Shastri ji’s home. One night, there is a special celebration at the temple of Lord Shiv. Shastri ji is to perform. Tulsi accompanies him, as usual. With the performance about to begin, Shastri ji motions Tulsi to pick up and play the taanpura in accompaniment. At this, all his participating disciples become incensed and leave the stage one by one. Tulsi rushes back home (and then leaves the household for good), the audience leaves and Shastri ji is the sole person left in the temple. In the absence of any accompaniment and musical support, he resolves to make his musical presentation regardless, to the Lord. And he presents this song, alone in a deserted temple, to Lord Shiv.

I picked this song specially, to highlight one aspect of Girish K’s artistic expressions, which was probably hidden until then. An accomplished performer, he has performed the dance steps as part of this song. Every review of the film at that time, commented on the dancer in Girish K. He revealed in an interview that he had taken on special dance training to prepare for this song. You can see the performance for yourself. It is no less than an accomplished and well trained dancer, presenting these steps in unison with the music.

This one song, in my humble opinion, is the best artistic performance that I have seen from Girish K. See the manner in which he starts his dialogue with the Lord. His singing, his facial expressions, his gestures and movements, all coalesce into a fluid expression of a conversation with Lord Shiv. No one else is present so this is a very private conversation, in which Shastri ji is telling the Lord to listen to His own sound coming from inside him. This entire clip is a one wonderful performance by Girish K that probably has not been surpassed.

It is a sad goodbye that we bid today. The person, the artist, and a scholar – it is truly a great loss to the cultural landscape of this sub continent that may never be made up.

One commentator has written about Girish K’s creations, that “. . . Girish Karnad allowed his characters to ask the questions, to struggle with the inconclusive, and hence his stories truly never ended.” Yes, that is the legacy of this multi-faceted artist – his creations, his stories, his characters – all still have a lot be explored for. That “struggle with the inconclusive” is so appropriate a passage dealing with the complex realities and relationships in the course of a human life. His stories have not really ended. And neither has his legacy.

Girish K – Rest in Peace. . . Enduring Peace

 

Song – Hey Shiv Shankar, Hey Karunakar  (Sur Sangam) (1985) Singer – Rajan-Sajan Misra, Lyrics – Vasant Dev, MD – Laxmikant Pyaarelal

Lyrics (Provided by Prakashchandra)

hey..ey..ey shiv shankar
hey..ey..ey karunakar
parmanand maheshwar

hey shiv shankar
hey karunakar
hey shiv shankar
hey karunakar
parmanand maheshwar
mere bheetar tum gaate ho
mere bheetar tum gaate ho
sun lo tum apna ye swar
hey shiv shankar
hey karunakar
parmanand maheshwar

maun gaan ka dhyaan jamaaya
maun gaan ka dhyaan jamaaya
yog raag ko hi maana
tum hi baney ho taan praan ki
tum hi baney ho taan praan ki
mere tan mann ko paawan kar
hey shiv shankar
hey karunakar
parmanand maheshwar

rudra been jhankar tumhaari
rudra been jhankar tumhaari
shudra janon se rahi ansuni
dhanya tumhi ho jaavo sureshwar
dhanya tumhi ho jaavo sureshwar
apne mukh se sun apna swar
hey shiv shankar
hey karunakar
parmanand maheshwar [

nabh chaaya ghan ghor bijuriya damke jhamke
adharon ki muskaan tumhaari cham cham chamke
aaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaaa aaaaaa
ghir ghir aaye megh bhayankar garaj garajte
goonja nupur naad tumhaara thirak thirkate
jhuk gaya matha ki tum ne haan kaha jis pal umapati
sheesh ki ganga dharaa par utar aayi chhal-chhalaati
ga ga re ni re ga ma
dha ni re ga re sa
geet ki har lehar par tum jhoom kar naacho nateshwar
aaj is anand varsha mein nahaao tum maheshwar
aaa aaaaaa aaaaaaj is anand varsha mein
nahaa..aavoo tum maheshwar
shiv shankar
maheshwar
shiv shankar
aaaa aaaaa aaaaaaa

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

हे॰॰ए॰॰ए शिव शंकर
हे॰॰ए॰॰ए करुणाकर
परमानन्द महेश्वर

हे शिव शंकर
हे करुणाकर
हे शिव शंकर
हे करुणाकर
परमानन्द महेश्वर
मेरे भीतर तुम गाते हो
मेरे भीतर तुम गाते हो
सुन लो तुम अपना ये स्वर
हे शिव शंकर
हे करुणाकर
परमानन्द महेश्वर

मौन गान का ध्यान जमाया
मौन गान का ध्यान जमाया
योग राग को ही माना
तुम ही बने हो तान प्राण की
तुम ही बने हो तान प्राण की
मेरे तन मन को पावन कर
हे शिव शंकर
हे करुणाकर
परमानन्द महेश्वर

रुद्र बीन झंकार तुम्हारी
रुद्र बीन झंकार तुम्हारी
शूद्र जनों से रही अनसुनी
धन्य तुम्हीं हो जावो सुरेश्वर
धन्य तुम्हीं हो जावो सुरेश्वर
अपने मुख से सुन अपना स्वर
हे शिव शंकर
हे करुणाकर
परमानन्द महेश्वर

घन छाया घनघोर बिजुरिया दमके झमके
अधरों की मुस्कान तुम्हारी चम चम चमके
आsss आssss आssss आsssss आsssss
घिर घिर आए मेघ भयंकर गरज गरजते
गूँजा नूपुर नाद तुम्हारा थिरक थिरकते
झुक गया माथा कि तुमने हाँ कहा जिस पल उमापति
शीश कि गंगा धरा पर उतार आई छल-छलाती
ग ग रे नि रे ग म
ध नि रे ग रे स
गीत की हर लहर पर तुम झूम कर नाचो नटेश्वर
आज इस आनंद वर्षा में नहाओ तुम महेश्वर
आ आ आ॰॰आज इस आनंद वर्षा में
नहा॰॰आवो तुम महेश्वर
शिव शंकर
महेश्वर
शिव शंकर
आsss आssss आssssss

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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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3969 Post No. : 15053 Movie Count :

4130

Today’s song is from a film of the first decade of the Talkie, ” Yangrilla “-1938. The song is sung by Sarla. No information is available about this singer. The cast of the film was Enakshi Rama Rau, Nayampalli, David, Gyani, Saalu, Shareefa, S L Puri, Fatty Prasad and few others.

It is generally said that in the early era, most actors and actresses came from poor families and most artistes had no or had negligible education. While it is true to a great extent, it is not 100% true. It is not that even in this period, there were no educated persons in the film industry. Right from the beginning of the Silent era to Talkie film era up to the end of the 40s decade, there were actors, actresses, directors,producers and musicians who were quite educated. Some of them had even been trained in western countries.

Take the case of Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani and their team of writer like Niranjan Pal, from the silent era. They were all highly educated and from rich. cultured families. Niranjan Pal was the son of the Freedom fighter Bipin chnadra Pal. B.N.Sircar is another example. Director Nanubhai Vakil was actually an advocate with B.A. LL.B degree. Surendra was BA, LL.B. Motilal was a graduate, so were Ramchandra Thakur, Nandlal Jaswantlal, Jayant Desai, Jairaj, Umakant Desai. Ashok kumar, Dev Anand and his 2 brothers etc.

Among actresses, Leela Chitnis, Shanta Apte, Durga Khote, Renuka Devi were graduates. Vanmala was BA,BT. Kamini Kaushal was BA. The point here is, there were educated and people with respectable family background were also a part of film industry. But of course, initially their number was smaller compared to others who were either illiterate or less educated. For example, the beautiful Meena Shorey and Sitara Kanpuri could not even sign- leave alone reading and writing !. That is why, they were cheated in their contracts by Sohrab Modi and W.Z.Ahmed ( of Shalimar Pictures and husband of actress Neena).

In today’s film, Yangrilla-38, the Hero, Heroine and the Director were all highly educated. The Heroine, Enakshi Rama Rao was the daughter of an ICS officer of Madras Presidency. She came to England for her graduation. After graduation, she took part in some stage dramas, where she got introduced to Niranjan Pal and Himanshu Rai. When Himanshu Rai decided to make a silent film on Tajmahal story, he asked Niranjan Pal to write the film story. Sita Devi aka Renee Smith was selected for the Vamp’s role and Enakshi was selected for the main role of Selima ( who was later named Mumtaj Mahal by Prince Khurram- who was later known as Shahjehan.). The film was named Shiraz.

Enakshi is a very unusual name. Comparatively, Meenakshi is a well known name. Meenakshi means ” one with eyes like Fish “. Enakshi means ” one with the eyes of Doe or Deer”. In other words, Enakshi means Mrignayani. Except name of this actress, I have never ever come across this name (Enakshi) in my life elsewhere !

Her work in film Shiraz was applauded in England, Germany and India. When she returned to India, She met Bhavnani, who made a silent film Vasantsena-31, with her in the lead role. More than as an actress of Silent and Talkie films, Enakshi’s name was known in Elite circles for different achievements, after she stopped working in films.

Not many of us know that Meenakshi Bhavnani ( Enakshi Rama Rao before her marriage ) has done an enormous service to expose Indian dances and Designs to West. No lesser is her contribution to expose Kashmir Crafts and Designs ( Fabric , Wood and Papier Mache ) to west. An American Tourist told in Kerala recently about her detailed work on Kashmir Designs ( shawls , Jackets ).This side of Meenakshi’s personality and work is in addition to her contribution as a Dancer, photographer and actress .Two scholarly Books written by Meenakshi Bhavnani were also published. Both the books are preserved in American Museum of Natural History.These are ..

(1) Folk And Tribal Designs of India
(2) The Dance of India: The Origin and History Foundation, Art and Science of the Dance in India .

This exceptionally talented woman stayed in Kashmir for sometime in 1950 and met cross section of people connected with Arts and Crafts . She had been a visitor thereafter as well . She also visited Leh and kargil for her Book. During this period she also clicked some photographs in Kashmir portraying its rich culture and scenic beauty.She also shot a Documentary “ VALEY OF KASHMIR “ during this period..
Meenakshi was an active member of the Crafts Council of India, which was founded in 1964 to support artisans and keep their crafts relevant and marketable amid rapidly changing economies at home and abroad.
The Photographs clicked by her have also appeared in National Geographic Magazine especially her series.
And in her book on folk dances of India , Meenakshi covers all forms of Kashmirian folk dances .

Enakshi married film maker Mohan Bhavnani ( 1903-1962 ) who was trained in Germany and Hollywood. She was a dancer , Actor , Photographer and writer on Arts , Crafts and culture. From 1929 to 1938, She acted in six films as a leading lady . Out of these six films five ( Vasantsena-31 , Trapped-31 ,Jagaran-36 , Himalaya ki Beti-38 and Yangrilla-38 ) were directed by her husband Mohan Bhavnani . Only Shiraz ( 1929 Produced by Himanshu Roy ) was directed by Franz Osten .

Producer Director Mohan Bhavnani was a learned and illustrious person. This is what the Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema says about him-
Mohan Dayaram Bhavnani (1903-62)

Hindi director born in Hyderabad, Sindh. Studied at College of Technology, Manchester (1921-4), then studied film-making in Germany at UFA (1924). Contracted to Kohinoor (1925- 6) where his Sulochana films were the earliest efforts in the Indian cinema to create a Hollywood-type movie star, e.g. Cinema Ni Rani where she plays a famous actress with whom the painter hero falls in love, or Wildcat of Bombay where she played multiple roles. Joined Imperial (1927-9), where he made Khwab-e-Hasti, adapted from the novel Dreamland (later also adapted by N. Taurog’s Strike me Pink, 1936). Scripted by A.S. Desai, this film is not to be confused with Kashmiri’s play of the same title. Vasantsena was the first Kannada intertitled film. Became independent producer with Indian Art Prod. (1931-2). Returned to Germany to study sound film technique. Started Ajanta Cinetone (1933-4) and his own Bhavnani Prod. (1935-48). Sound de´but was a flop, but it introduced Durga Khote. Hired Premchand to script Mazdoor, representing the author’s only direct encounter with film, following it with the unemployment melodrama Jagran. Produced and directed the first full-length colour film shot on 16mm Kodachrome and blown up to 35mm, Ajit. Joined Films Division and became its first Chief Producer (1948-55). In 1958 Bhavnani followed up an invitation from Zhou En-Lai to make a documentary on China and travelled extensively throughout the country shooting with cameramen Kishore Rege and S.K. Kulkarni. His wife Enakshi Rama Rao, who acted in Vasantsena, had earlier played the lead in Shiraz (1928) and became a noted dancer and author of the book The Dance of India (1965).

FILMOGRAPHY: 1925: Cinema Ni Rani; Matri Prem; Veer Bala; Seth Sagalsha; 1 9 2 6 : Pagal Premi; Diwan Bhamasha; Mena Kumari; Ra Kawat; Samrat Shiladitya; Bhamto Bhoot; 1 9 2 7 : Naseeb Ni Lili; Daya Ni Devi; Trust Your Wife; Wildcat of Bombay; Gamdeni Gori; 1929: Hawai Swar; Khwab-e- Hasti; Mysore, Gem City of India (Doc); Khedda (Doc); 1 9 3 0 : Vasantsena (all St); 1 9 3 1 : Shakuntala; Farebi Jaal; Lafanga Langoor (Sh); 1 932: Veer Kunal; 1 933: Afzal; Rangila Rajput; 1 9 3 4 : Dard-e-Dil; Mazdoor; Sair-e-Paristan; 1935: Jung Bahadur; Navjeevan; Shadi Ki Raat; 1936: Dilawar; Garib Parwar; Jagran; Wrestling (Doc); 1 9 3 7 : Zambo the Ape Man; 1 9 3 8 : Double Cross; Himalay Ki Beti; Yangrilla; 1 9 3 9 : Zambo Ka Beta; 1940: Jhoothi Sharm; PremNagar?; 1945: Biswi Sadi; 1 946: Rang Bhoomi; 1 948: Ajit; 1 9 4 9 : Vale of Kashmir (Doc); 1 9 5 0 : The Private Life of a Silkworm (Doc); 1 9 5 1 : Lest We Forget (Doc); 1 9 5 2 : Kumaon Hills (Doc); 1 9 5 3 : Folk Dances of India (Doc); Republic Day Record (Doc); 1 9 5 5 : Republic Day 1955 (Doc); 1 956: Operation Khedda (Doc); 1 957: The Himalayan Tapestry (Doc ).

Like the Heroine, the name of the film was also strange. I tried very hard to find out what the word Yangrilla meant, but I could not get it. Finally, undaunted, I started going through the list of books on line. Lo and behold ! I bumped into a book with a title ” Rilla of the Inglewood ” written by Lucy Maud Montgomary, published in 1921. Some part of the book was available for reading online and while reading it, I found that ” Yangrilla ” in Swahili language meant a Hunter. Not going into the book and its boring story, I was glad that at last I decoded the word Yangrilla…a Hunter. Considering that the film ‘ Yangrilla’-38 was a Costume drama, I can guess that this film’s story must have been connected with hunting, Jungle and such other interesting and thrilling matters. Film Yangrilla-38 was financed by Ramnarayan Dubey, who in later years swallowed Bombay Talkies with its Land and started an Industrial complex on its land with about 250 to 300 manufacturing units. Recently his grandson was in news for announcing revival of Bombay Talkies !

The Hero of this film was Nayampalli. S.B. Nayampally (or Nayampalli) was working at the firm of Killick, Nixon and Company, in Bombay when he was discovered by film director P.Y. Altekar at a gym where Nayampally regularly exercised. Altekar felt that Nayampally very much resembled the famous French boxer Georges Carpenter and would be perfect for the stunt films that had become popular at the time. At Altekar’s urging, Nayampally joined Imperial Studios and was quickly cast in his first film, Wedding Night(1929), opposite the popular actress Jilloo. When he arrived at Imperial to begin his first day of filming he was amused to find that the building now used for the studio had formerly housed the school he’d attended as a child.“Wedding Night was a stunt film of the Robin Hood type,” Nayampally explained in a 1964 interview. “It had a little more of a plot to it than many films of the same class. My next film, Hell’s Paradise (1929), I remember for three reasons. One, it was based on a real-life episode involving an Indian prince and a foreign girl, described as an adventuress. Two, Mama Warerekar, the noted writer, did the story. Three, the film had a kissing scene, probably the first ever in an Indian film.”

Nayampalli was cast in Imperial’s Noorjehan (1931), which was initially to be a silent picture, but because of the success of their film Alam Ara (1931), which was India’s first talkie, the studio decided to make Noorjehan partly with sound. Nayampally was not originally cast in Noorjehan, but a chance meeting with the film’s director, Ezra Mir, got him the role of Prince Salim in the film.Nayampally then played Karna in Imperial’s next sound film, the mythological Draupadi (1931), but the actor considered his best mythological role to be that of the wily Shakuni in Mahatma Vidur (1943), a part that was appreciated by critics and the public, alike.

As sound films came in, silent actors were being discarded in favor of those with stage backgrounds and could not sing, so Nayampalli joined the Grant Anderson Theatrical Company which specialized in Shakespearean plays. After gaining some experience he tried to rejoin films, but without much luck. His previous roles had been leads, so he decided if he wanted to work regularly, maybe he should take a different approach and he offered himself up for character parts.His break came in the role of a hunchback in love with the heroine in Ezra Mir’s Zarina which starred Jal Merchant and Zubeida. The dentures he wore for the role were created specially by a dentist named Jimmy Gheista who had trained abroad with the dentist who had made similar dentures for Lon Chaney.

Nayampally had learned early on how to apply make-up for his roles and, in fact, he became so good at it he eventually came to specialize in horror make-up, which earned him the nickname “The Indian Lon Chaney.” Indeed, Chaney, Erich von Stroheim, Emil Jannings, and John Barrymore were the actors that Nayampally most tried to emulate. Boris Karloff was another of his role models. He was able to put his make-up expertise to good use for the film Sair-e-Paristan (1934), where he was a vampire-like devil, and in Zingaro(1935), in which he played a monster created by a mad scientist, and then as a the hairy “missing link” in Zambo (1937) and its sequel Zambo Ka Beta (1938). For Kalkoot (1935) he created a make-up to resemble the wrinkled effect that Karloff had used in The Mummy(1932).

Nayampally continued working in films throughout the 1940s and 50s, particularly in mythologicals and costume pictures including Raj Nartaki (1941), Nagad Narayan (1943), Vishwas 1943), Taramati(1945), Urvashi (1946), Jhansi-Ki-Rani (1953), Durgesh Nandini (1956), Basant Bahar (1956) and Shiv Parvati (1962) His last credited film appearance was in 1970’s Priya.

After the career in films ended, he started making Documentaries. He made about 35 documentaries. He won ‘Silver Dolphin’ award for his documentary in the International Film Festival at Teheran in 1970. He died on 7-5-1994, in Mumbai.

Pt. Badri Prasad was the Music Director of film Yangrilla-38. He used 6 different singers for 11 songs in the film. Besides issuing records for its songs, the producer also floated 2 records of ‘ Bhavnani Productions orchestra ‘.

The uploader of today’s song, our own Sadanand ji Kamath has certified this song to be ” rarest amongst the rare ” songs. With this song, film Yangrilla-38 makes its Debut on the Blog.


Song- Kaase main kahoon piya hiya ki baat(Yaangrilla)(1938) Singer- Sarla Devi, Lyrics- Unknown, MD- Pt. Badri Prasad

Lyrics

Kaase main kahoon
piya hiya ki baat
Kaase main kahoon
Kaase main kahoon
piya hiya ki baat
Kaase main kahoon
Kaase main kahoon
piya hiya ki baat
Kaase main kahoon
piya hiya ki
kaun sunega prem kahaani
kaun sunega prem kahaani
aur usey phir meri zabaani
aur usey phir meri zabaani
yah duniya to preet ki bairan hai
Kaase main kahoon
piya hiya ki baat
kaase main kahoon

is duniya ke rahne waale
is duniya ke rahne waale
kapti paapi man ke kaale
kapti paapi man ke kaale
paap(?) hi inka ghar(?) aur joban hai
Kaase main kahoon
piya hiya ki baat
kaase main kahoon
kaase main kahoon
kaase main kahoon


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3968 Post No. : 15050 Movie Count :

4128

Today’s song is from film Ghar ki shobha-1944.

The history of Hindi Film Music (HFM) begins with the very first Talkie ” Alam Ara”-1931, in which there were 7 songs. Madan Theatres, Calcutta, Krishna Cinetone, Bombay and few other production houses were busy hectically in 1931, to release their First Talkie film, ahead of all others. Lucky Ardeshir Irani got the cake and released his film Alam Ara before all others and engraved his name in the history of Hindi and Indian talkies. Music and singing being an integral part of the Talkie films, many musicians were attracted to films. Stage and Drama musicians and some classical singers joined films and gave music in them. In those days, Film music was totally influenced by Gujarati, Parsee and Marathi stage and Drama music (Natya Sangeet). Probably no one ever imagined that there was a need for a different approach to Cine Music.

For the first 9-10 years of Hindi films, i.e. 1931 to almost 1940,there was virtually no change in the music pattern or the singing styles of songs in films. By the end of the 30s, playback technique was gaining a foothold. This system actually freed the Cinema from songs sung by film stars who were no singers at all ! Genuine, independent, non-star singers were now available to give playback. This was the case in the western India or Bombay made films. The Eastern centre of Hindi film making-Calcutta was strictly following Robindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti, adapted into Hindi film songs. They also used more pure Hindi words like Preet, Prem, Bandhan, Milan, Sangam, Vyatha etc to appeal to Hindi belt audience.

Beginning of the change came from the far off Lahore. Dalsukh Pancholi’s “Khazanchi”-41 introduced for the first time the Punjabi folk tunes music in the voice of a New singer SHAMSHAD BEGUM. The use of Dholak and Punjabi robust rhythm in songs was tried by the composer Master Ghulam Hyder. This path breaking,new type of Music was received by the audience with great joy and love, all over India. With this was ushered in the VIBRANT changes HFM was to undergo in the 5th decade,i.e. from 1941 to 1949.

This was also the time when the old batch of actors, singers and composers were slowly getting replaced by a newer crop of artistes. Phirozshah Mistry, Master Ali Baksh, Jaddanbai,Lallubhai Nayak, Pransukh Nayak, Brijlal Verma, Nagardas Nayak, Sunderdas Bhatiya, Govindrao Tembe, Keshvrao Bhole, Master Krishnarao Phulambrikar, master Mohammed, Jhande Khan, Rewashankar Marwadi, B S Hoogan, Meer Sahab, Damodar Sharma, Jhande Khan, Rewashankar Marwadi, S P Rane, Vithaldas Panchotiya, Annasaheb Mainkar, Dada Chandekar, Mushtaq Hussain, Master Chhaila etc were disappearing one by one.

A new set of composers and singers like Anil Biswas, Ashok Ghosh, C.Ramchandra, Ghulam Hyder, Sajjad Hussain, Naushad, K.Datta, Govind Ram, Pt. Amarnath, Husnalal Bhagatram, Khemchand Praksah,Khursheed Anwar, Nissar Bazmi, Vinod, A R Qureshi, Saraswati devi, Bulo c Rani, Gyan Dutt etc were taking over from the old guards.

These new entrants brought with them melodious tunes and music from Goa, UP, Rajasthan, Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kashmir etc and their experimentation truly enriched the HFM making it a genuinely All India music.

In the 40s, the HFM became absolutely VIBRANT. The new composers with new ideas and hard work tried to understand what the audience wanted. In other words,we can say that hitherto the film music was ” Sales Oriented ” (selling what you produce) till the 30s decade, but the 40’s music was ” Market oriented” (producing what the audience wants). Now, there was a fair and healthy competition and a wide variety in music. The composers too had new singers who were trained and had a singing voice and talent, unlike the earlier ‘Untrained forced singers’. Naushad Ali had once said,’’ The coming of Rafi and Lata liberated we composers from the painful task of making the ‘musically illiterate’ actors and actresses.” Thus Ashok kumar,Leela Chitnis and the likes of them were left alone to concentrate on their acting,while the trained singers sang for them.

New and exclusive playback singers like Amirbai, Zohrabai, Kalyanibai, Rajkumari Mohantara, Shamshad, lalita Deulkar, G M Durani, Rafi etc became popular. Actually, the lead actors now started deciding who should sing their songs. This paved the way for stars to become powerful in coming period.

Like Music, the type of cinema stories too started changing. The Fantasy, Stunt, Mythological, Historical, Religious and Costume dramas gave way to Love stories, Musicals. Family dramas, Comedy, Crime stories…so on and so forth. Overall, the cinema industry was going through a overhauling. However, the winds of Independence, after the world war put a brake to these changes. 1945 to 1950 was a period of turmoil and matters settled fully with the advent of the new decade of the 50’s.

In this change over, here was a film discussing the problems of a Happy Home. Ghar ki Shobha-1944 was a film which stressed the importance and need of the capable housewife who was an ” Adarsh” Bahu, Bibi, Mother and everything else the society needed !

The main players in this family drama were, Karan Dewan, Swarnalata, Jagdish Sethi, Dixit, Fazlu, Ramesh Saigal etc etc. The film was directed by Harshadrai Mehta- who became a well known director in Tamil films of Madras, later. Ramesh Saigal assisted him in direction. Harshadrai Sakerlal Mehta

was a Pioneer Hindi and Tamil director born in Mota, Bardoli Dist., Gujarat. Started as a painter, editor and cameraman at Kohinoor (1919), but made his début for Krishna Film (Ver Ni Vasulat). At Krishna he began his association with long-time partner and cameraman Luhar (e.g. Be Din Ni Badshahi, Amar Asha) making melodramas often starring the Anglo-Indian star Ermeline. Best-known film of this period is Janjirne Jankare, the much-acclaimed Rajput romance scripted and shot by Luhar. Made his most influential films with the famous Mehta- Luhar Prod. set up in 1931 with Bapubhai Desai and the informal support of the Sharda Studio. Made several Sharda-type stunt movies featuring e.g. Navinchandra. Moved to Coimbatore’s Premier Cinetone (1937) and made a number of Tamil films.

In Hindi films, there have been three actors who were very handsome and very lucky but zero in acting – Karan Dewan, Pradeep Kumar and Bharat Bhushan. They all appeared in leading roles opposite all leading actresses of their times. They had the best films, best songs and best roles. Karan Dewan had about 25 Silver Jubilees to his credit and was considered a lucky star. Bharat Bhushan had the most musical films to his credit like ‘Baiju Bawra’ (1952), ‘Shabaab’ (1954) and ‘Mirza Ghalib’ (1954) etc. Pradeep Kumar had ‘Anarkali’ (1953) and ‘Taj Mahal’ (1963).

All three had their brothers producing films for them. Gemini Dewan made films for Karan Dewan, R Chandra made films for Bharat Bhushan and Kalidas for Pradeep Kumar. Unfortunately, in later years, all three lost everything and died in poverty and neglectful anonymity. Karan Dewan was a manager with BR Chopra’s production company. When he died no one came for his funeral except for Chandrashekhar and Manmohan Krishan from the Cine Artist’s Association. Bharat Bhushan worked as a watchman in a film studio, in his last days. Even he died unsung and only the men from the Association were present at the cremation.

Pradeep Kumar’s case is the saddest. He lay seriously ill in the ICU of a Calcutta nursing home, abandoned by his relatives. The hospital was not discharging unless the bills were paid. Luckily one Mr. Pradeep Kondaliya, an estate agent, recognised him, despite his grown beard. He paid the huge outstanding bill of the hospital and took Pradeep Kumar to his home, where he passed away after a few days. He was cremated by his fan. Such is the film industry – cruel and ruthless, where the recognition lasts only till one is successful.

Dewan Karan Chopra aka Karan Dewan ( 6-11-1917 to 2-8-1979 ) youngest of three brothers was born at Gujranwala, Punjab (now in Pakistan), British India. He studied in Lahore, where he became interested in Journalism and started editing a film magazine in Urdu, Jagat Lakshmi. One of the local distributors he met was Tarachand Barjatya, who was then the Manager of Chandanmal Inder Kumar’s distribution office at Lahore. Through his connection with Barjatya he landed in Calcutta, and in 1939, made his acting debut as Puran in the Punjabi feature film Puran Bhagat

Dewan started his film career with the role of Puran in Puran Bhagat in Punjabi in 1939 in Calcutta. It was produced by Raisaheb Sukhlal Karnani and directed by Roop K. Shorey’s father R. L. Shorey. His second film Mera Maahi (1941) was also a Punjabi film, directed by Shankar Mehta at Lahore and starring Ragini and Manorama. This was the movie in which he sang songs for the first time in the movies under the baton of legendary music director Shyam Sunder. Later, in Rattan, he sang for the first time in Hindi movies for Naushad. B R Chopra, then working as a film journalist in Lahore, helped Karan Dewan to get in touch with Devika Rani, who invited Dewan to come to Bombay. When this did not helpDewan get films, he taught “Urdu pronunciation to actors and actresses”.

In 1944, Karan Dewan acted in Rattan, a musical romantic drama, directed by M. Sadiq, which became one of the most popular films of that year. “A tremendous hit”, it paired Dewan with Swarnalata. His decisive film was Rattan (1944), which was produced by his brother Jaimini Diwan, and this movie had turned out to be the biggest hit of 1944. He also sang songs in this movie under music director Naushad, and his song “Jab Tum Hi Chale Pardes” became popular. He sang in films such as Piya Ghar Aaja (1947), Mitti Ke Khiloune (1948) and Lahore (1949). His other important films were Zeenat (1945), Lahore (1949), Dahej (1950), Bahar (1951) and Teen Batti Char Rasta (1953). Known as a “jubilee star”, about twenty of his films are stated to have been jubilee (twenty-five weeks or more) hits.

Dewan married co-actress Manju in 1944 following the release of Rattan, in which she had a character role. By 1966, he was working as a casting agent for the film unit of Maya (1966). He continued to work in the 1960s and 1970s playing supporting parts in films such as Apna Ghar (1960), Shaheed(1965), Jeene Ki Raah (1969) and Nadaan (1971), with the last film in which he was credited being Sohanlal Kanwar’s Atmaram (1979).

He worked in 73 films and sang 18 songs in 9 films. He worked with all leading actresses of his times,including Noorjehan and Nargis. At the end of his career, however, he was down financially and had to work as a Manager with B R Chopra’s company. When he died, except two workers of Cine artistes association, no one else from Film industry was present.

Ustad Alla Rakha aka A R Qureshi ( 29-4-1919 to 3-2-2000) gave music to this film. Having started only in 1943 with Mahasati Anusuya, film Ghar ki shobha-44 was his only the second film as an MD. So his music sounds fresh. After you hear today’s song, you will agree with me. He gave music to 40 films, composing 356 songs. He also sang 14 songs in 7 films.

In the cast of this film, there was one fading actor – Dixit, from the Dixit and Ghori pair of that era. The projected themselves on the lines of Laurel and Hardy…Hardy being our Dixit. Later, Yaqub and Gope triede to project their image as Laurel and Hardy and still later Johar and Majnu tried to copy Bob Hope and Bing Crosby of Hindi cinema ! Let’s take a look at Dixit and Ghory- a very popular comedy pair of early cinema.

Manohar Janardhan Dixit was born on 12-11-1906 at Sinner in Nashik district,Maharashtra (Bombay state at that time.) His comedy career started with silent film ‘Sparkling youth’-1930. His first day of work in a film was 14-11-1929. He did 3 more silent films with Navjivan Films and then joined Ranjit studio. Here he met his mate Nazir Ahmed Ghori,born on 11-8-1901 at Bombay.He was the senior of the two,having started in 1927. He worked till 1931 in silent films of various companies and then joined Ranjit studio in 1931 Here too he did 4 silent films.

He paired with Dixit first time in Char Chakram-1932,directed by Jayant Desai.The film was a terrific hit and the pair did many films together like, Bhutio mahal,Do badmash,Bhola shikar,Bhool bhulaiya,Vishwamohini,nadira etc. They worked together till 1947,doing solo films also in between. Unfortunately none of their films have survived and we know about their acting only through Photographs,interviews and articles. However Dixit’s solo films like Pehle aap-44,Jeevan yatra-46,Aap ki sewa mein-47 and Pugree-47 are still available.In film Pugree,his name was Ramu kaka and the very fat Dixit (222 pounds) carried the world’s smallest dog-Chikoo in the film.Later comedian Omprakash did this role in the remake of the film in Dil Daulat Duniya-1972.

Dixit acted in 66 Talkie films and 8 silent films in 17 years. He died on 29-6-1949 due to a massive heart attack. His partner Ghori migrated to Pakistan and did 8 films there till 1960, without much success. He died on 9-12-1977 at Karachi.

Today’s song is sung by Rajkumari. Note the type of music and tune. With this song, film Ghar ki Shobha-44 makes its Debut on the Blog.


Song-Main duniya ki raani (Ghar Ki Shobha)(1944) Singer- Rajkumari, Lyrics- Roopbani, MD- Alla Rakha Qureshi
unknown male voice

Lyrics

Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani
firti hoon mauj manaati
firti hoon mauj manaati
chhed chhaad se dil behlaati
chhed chhaad se dil behlaati
karti hoon main manmaani
karti hoon main manmaani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani

main ?? kheloon
saagar se geet bakheroon(?)
main ?? kheloon
saagar se geet bakheroon(?)
aazaadi ki deewaani
aazaadi ki deewaani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani

meri laila jaisi aankhen
meri laila jaisi aankhen
sab majnu ban kar jhaanken
sab majnu ban kar jhaanken
zulfen to mast jawaani
zulfen to mast jawaani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani

?? kar pankh hilaati
bhanwron ko paas bulaati
?? kar pankh hilaati
bhanwron ko paas bulaati
patthar dil kar doon paani
patthar dil kar doon paani
haay haay laila
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani
Main duniya ki raani
laalalalaalaalala
duniya ki raani


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3966 Post No. : 15047 Movie Count :

4127

Today’s song is from film Bachpan-1945.

In the history of Hindi movies, there have been three films that had the title viz “Bachpan”. The first was of course Bachpan-1945, today’s film under discussion. The next one was made in 1963, in which Salim Khan- father of Salman khan and a member of the famous writer jodi of Salim-Jawed, was the Hero – opposite Menaka Irani. She was the eldest sister of the famous child stars Honey and Daisy Irani. She was also the wife of stunt film actor and director Kamran Khan. Their children are Choreographer and director Farah Khan and Compere cum director Sajid Khan. Incidentally Mrs. P.N.Irani was the mother of these Irani sisters and also the one who took away all their earnings.

The third film was made in 1970, with Sanjeev kumar and Tanuja.

Film Bachpan-45 had a cast consisting of Baby Madhuri, Mazhar Khan, Baby Shakuntala, B.Nandrekar, Chandraprabha, comedian Dikshit, Gulab, Dalpat, Shashi kapoor(sr.) and others. There were two actresses with prefix Baby, but only one Baby Madhuri had the main child role throughout the film. The other Baby-Shakuntala had a role of an invalid child, stuck to the wheelchair only.

Baby Maduri,whose real name was Mah Laqa, was the daughter of M. Ali Baksh,M.D. and Iqbal begum,a cine artiste. In other words Baby Madhuri was the youngest sister of actress Meena Kumari and her sister actress Khurshid Jr. Born in a family of film people,Baby Madhuri was good at acting and singing. She was picked up by Director Nazir of Hind Pictures and took her for his film ‘ Sandesa ‘. ( He is the same Nazir,whose first wife was Sitara Devi. He was the maternal Uncle of K. Asif ( Mughal-e-Azam fame ) i.e. Mama. He later divorced Sitara devi ( actually,she had eloped with k.Asif ) and married Swarnalata and both migrated to Pakistan. Nazir’s studio was burnt during the communal riots in Bombay. Author Manto has detailed all this in his book. )

In Wadia’s film Vishwas-43, the talents of Baby Madhuri in acting and singing flowered and she was appreciated much. Then she acted and sang some songs in films like Anjaan,Jungle princess,Muqabala,Ekta(sindhi),Andhera,Mahatma Vidur,paraya Dhan,Bachpan,Nai maa etc etc.

She was also called as Madhu. She was married to actor Mehmood. She was very fond of new fashions and western clothes. Due to this, she became a cleptomaniac and was caught many times stealing things and shop lifting. She knew Riding,cycling and swimming too. She spoke good English,though not much educated.( Thanks to shri Harish Raghuwanshi ji for info on Baby Madhuri).

Now let us see about the other ‘Baby’ of this film. Right from beginning of the films,child artistes were required to do roles in the films. In the initial stages and also in later periods too, girls used to do Boys’roles ( but never heard of vice versa ! ). We have the famous examples of Honey and Daisy Irani sisters. Many child stars acted in films till they became older or were not suitable for child roles. One such example was Junior Mehmood. It was quite natural that most of them wanted to continue acting in films as an adult too and many tried to become hero/ heroines. Unfortunately, only some of them could shine as heroes or heroines, while most child stars failed as adult Hero/Heroines.

Successful child artistes are few like Meena Kumari, Madhubala,Nargis, Shashi kapoor, Sachin etc, but you can count them on fingers, whereas the list of unsuccessful child artistes who tried to become adult Hero/Heroines is quite long.

Unlike Baby Tabassum, who could not become a successful adult Heroine in good films, there was another ‘Baby’who became quite successful as an adult Heroine opposite well known actors under famous banners and left halfway due to her marriage. Her name is BABY SHAKUNTALA.

Baby Shakuntala was born in a middle class Maharshtrian family of Poona, on 17-11-1932. Those days Prabhat film company had moved to Poona. One of the Prabhat founder partners, Mr. V.G.Damle was their close relative. Along with other children, she too used to go to Prabhat premises for playing there She was 8 to 10 year old when V.Shantaram spotted her and offered a role in film, ‘Das Baje’-42 ( Daha Wajta, in Marathi). The hero’s younger brother’s role was changed to Hero’s sister’s role for accommodating her in the film.

It was a routine matter at Prabhat that for child roles in all films, the children of the partners of Prabhat( Shantaram,Damle,Kulkarni,Fatehlal and Dhaiber) or near relatives were taken. In film Sant Tukaram or other films of Prabhat, all child artistes were from within the Prabhat family only. Shakuntala was very good in studies.She used to get up at 4 am. do school studies, then do household chores, attend school and lastly attend shootings.

Das baje was a hit film. Then came ‘Ramshastri’-44 ( Bilingual-H/M ) meanwhile Shantaram and others left Prabhat and moved to Bombay. After that her work too shifted to Bombay. Due to these changes, she could study only upto Matriculation. But she was proficient in English, Marathi, Hindi/Urdu, Gujarati and Kannada. At the time of shooting for film ‘Shikayat’-48, actor Shyam made her his “Mooh Boli”sister and till he died in an accident he was very close to her.

In 1949, she was 17 year old and she became a heroine in film “Maya bazaar”-49 opposite Balakram. Then came a string of films. She worked with well known actors like Kishore kumar, Bharat Bhooshan,Karan Dewan,Amarnath,Anant Marathe,Master Bhagwan, Abhi bhattachrya etc. She was also luck to have worked under ace directors like V.Shantaram, Bimal Roy,Homi Wadia, kishore Sahu, Raja nene, Gajanan Jahagirdar,Shahid lateef etc. This enriched the depth of her acting.

Kishore Kumar was her Hero in films like, Chham Chhama Chham- 52, fareb-53 and Lehren-53. They had a good tuning like a naughty brother and sister. once kishore kumar surprised her by visiting her in her Kolhapur house ( after her marriage) and spent one day with her family. The famous kishore Kumar- Lata mangeshkar song “aa muhabbat ki basti basayenge hum” from film Fareb-53 was filmed on kishore and Shakuntala only.

Lot of marriage proposals started coming for her and she finally was married in 1954 to Sardar Nadgonde of Kolhapur, a Royal family. After marriage she left films, though she had good demand and became Mrs. Umadevi Nadgonde. She had a son and a daughter. She lived a contented life of 82 years and died recently on 18-1-2015, at Kolhapur.

She had acted in almost 40 Hindi films ( including bi-lingual) and 20 Marathi films from 1942 to 1954. She also acted in famous Marathi dramas on commercial stage. 14 of her films celebrated silver Jubilees. Some of her films were- Das baje-42, Ramshastri-44,Piya Milan-45, Taramati-45, Bachpan-45, Bachhon ka khel-46 ( with Meena kumari), Phir bhi apna hai-46Moti-47, Tohfa-47, Shikayat-48, Seeta Swayamvar-4, maya bazaar-49,, kamal ke Phool-50, Pardes-50,Malti madhav-51 Nanhe Munne-52, Chham chhama chham-52, fareb-53, Lehren-53, Jhamela-53, bhagyawaan-53, Biraj bahu-54, pooja-54, Bindiya-55 etc. ( Bio based on her interview in ” chanderi Aathavani ” by Sulabha Ternikar and material provided by shri Harish Raghuvanshi ji, with Thanks.)

Film India magazine was quite popular in the 40s and the 50s. In its June-1946 issue, the editor Baburao Patel has reviewed this film. As per his judgement, the film was no good. Its story (story, dialogues and songs by I.C.Kapoor) had no life and the director Homi Wadia had spoiled the film by his inept handling and direction. No wonder. Baburao patel rarely praised any film,director or an actor, so this review was on expected lines only.
The film was based onthe ” theme of innocence teaching bitter experience to look at life with a smiling understanding” according to Patel. The story of the film was…

Bhairav (Mazhar Khan) is fed up of life, because his son married outside their cast and all his society criticized him no end. He became very bitter in life and lived in a house on top of a mountain- away from society. He is feared by the villagers around. One of his relatives (Kanta Kumari) sends her niece Madhu (Baby Madhuri) to live with him. Over a period, due to the good and helping nature of optimistic smiling Madhu, Bhairav starts changing and becoming a normal person.

Suddenly, the aunt kidnaps Madhu and sells her as a companion to a rich invalid kamla(Baby Shakuntala). Here too, Madhu wins everyone’s hearts. Envied by this, the Governess (Gulab) of kamla kidnaps Madhu. Meanwhile, Bhairav is also searching Madhu. He rescues her, but the Police detain him and Madhu in the Police station. The village school Teacher Ramesh(B.Nandrekar) and his beloved(Chandraprabha) give positive evidence and Bhairav and Madhu are released. All ends well in the end.

The role of teacher Ramesh was done by B.Nandrekar. This name must be totally unknown to the new generation readers. B.Nandrekar or babasaheb Nandrekar was one of the very few really handsome actors Hindi films ever had. He was born in 1910, in Sangli district of Maharashtra, near Kolhapur. Being a Muslim, he could speak Urdu/Hindi fluently. He completed his schooling from Kolhapur and joined films. Vishnupant Damle (one of the founder partners of Prabhat Films) was making silent film ‘Maharathi Karna’ (1928) for Maharashtra Film Co. He offered Nandrekar a role. Then he worked in other films like ‘Baji Prabhu Deshpande’ (1929), ‘Lanka’ (1930), ‘Kismet’ (1931) and ‘Dushman Ki Raat’ (1931).
His first talkie film was ‘Kurukshetra’ (1933). Prabhat gave him a role in ‘Sant Tukaram’ (1936) (its Hindi version came in 1948). He worked in ‘Amar Jyoti’ (1936) and became quite popular as a hero, opposite Shanta Apte. He was hero in ‘Baghbaan’ (1938) opposite Sitara Devi.

In 1939, he became the first actor to go abroad to shoot scenes in film ‘Africa In Hind’ – ‘हिन्द में अफ्रीका’ (1939). The shooting was done in Africa. Thus this became the first ever Hindi film to shoot in foreign country, and NOT film ‘Naaz’ (1954), as is popularly believed and also as mentioned in HFGK. Nandrekar had become very popular. The chappals he used in film ‘Baghbaan’ became fashionable by the name ‘Nandrekar Chappals‘. This alone is enough to prove his popularity.

His law suit against Prabhat Film Company was a topic of discussion in the industry. There were differences between him and Prabhat over his contract with them. His lawyers were Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Setalwad, who won the case for him. He was also the first actor to work as a freelancer.

Nandrekar appeared in 23 Hindi films. His films were ‘Kurukshetra’ (1933), ‘Amar Jyoti’ (1936), ‘Jaadugarin’ (1937) (UR), ‘Baghbaan’ (1938), ‘Africa In Hind’ (1939), ‘Qaidi’ (1940), ‘Hindustan Hamara’ (1940), ‘Alakh Niranjan’ (1940), ‘Chitralekha’ (1941), ‘Mamaji’ (1942), ‘Duniya Tumhari Hai’ (1942), ‘Nai Kahaani’ (1943), ‘Andhi Duniya’ (1943), ‘Swarn Bhoomi’ (1944), ‘Lady Doctor’ (1944), ‘Ismat’ (1944), ‘Bachpan’ (1945), ‘Kamla’ (1946), ‘Jeevan Sikho’ (1946), ‘Parshuram’ (1947), ‘Meri Amaanat’ (1947), ‘Khandani’ (1947), ‘Sant Tukaram’ (1948) and last film ‘Bihari’ (1948).

He passed away in 1949. No definite information is available about his demise.

With today’s song, film Bachpan-1945 makes its debut on the Blog.


Song-Bole re panchhi bole (Bachpan)(1945) Singers-Unknown female voice, unknown male voice, Lyrics- I C Kapoor, MD- S N Tripathi
Both

Lyrics

Bole re panchhi bole
Bole re panchhi bole
kya bole
Bole re panchhi bole

ambuwa pe baithha shor machaaye
ambuwa pe baithha shor machaaye
suno jee
haan
chhota sa dil mera
chhota sa dil
chhota sa dil mera ghabra jaaye
dole re dil mera dole
dole re dil mera dole
bole re panchhi bole
kya bole
Bole re panchhi bole

teri jawaani meri jawaani
teri jawaani meri jawaani
kehta hai wo to yehi kahaani
kehta hai wo to yehi kahaani
????

hmm
dinon ke ?? soye
?? soye

bole re panchhi bole
kya bole
panchhi to hai naadaan saanwariya
panchhi to hai naadaan saanwariya
patton ke bhi hai jaan saanwariya
baat wo ho bole haule
baat wo ho bole haule
sono je
hmm
?? uski bala se
?? uski bala se
karta hai wo to baat hawa se
jee mein jo aaye wo bole
jee mein jo aaye wo bole

bole re panchhi bole
bole re panchhi bole


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3765 Post No. : 14738 Movie Count :

4028

Today’s song is from the first decade of the Talkie films, viz 1930s. This song is from “Hum,Tum aur Woh”(1938). This was a film made under the banner of Sagar Movietone, a highly prestigious and famous film company of the times. This company was riding on waves of popularity and fame during those days of 1938.

Shri Biren kothari ji has written a wonderful book on Sagar Movietone. It is based on interactions with the surviving members of the Desai clan as well as several contemporary documents and is regarded as an authentic volume on Sagar Movietone. However, oday’s article is based on another book, “Mehboob Khan” written by Shashikant Kinikar, published in 2015, 2 years after Kothari ji’s book. This 300+ page book, in Marathi, has plenty of original photos and articles on Mehboob Khan written by Anil Biswas, Sitara Devi, Shamshad Begum, P.K.Nair, Wazahat Mirza, Naushad and Shakeel Badayuni and therefore it is full of several anecdotes which are unknown to many. The book also contains 4 articles by Mehboob Khan himself. The book is an excellent treatise on Mehboob Khan-the Director and the Human Being, with 230 pages dedicated on him and his films.

However, Mehboob’s story is incomplete without Sagar’s story.

Hindi film industry has produced some great directors who, besides having a commercial outlook, also served the society by making films on burning social issues. On their parts, they contributed their “Two Cents” to serve the Nation. Such directors included Raj Kapoor, V.Shantaram, Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray and Mehboob Khan-to name a few.

Born as Ramzan Khan in 1907 in Bilimora, Gujarat, Mehboob was from a Gujarati Muslim family. He never got a formal education in his young age, but he was keen on two things-5 times Namaz and seeing films. His father being in Police Department, films were free for him. One day he ran away to Bombay to become an actor. However his father found him out and brought him back. He was immediately married off, with a belief that he would improve.

Two years after marriage and one child, he ran to Bombay again and worked in Imperial film co. as an extra for Rs.30 pm. This too after he worked without any pay for 5 months due to the mistake of the clerk ! He worked in crowd scenes and sundry roles-without a dialogue, of course, starting as one of the 40 thieves of Alibaba. He worked in several films uncredited. His first, big and credited role came in the film “Shirin Khushru”-1929.

In 1927, after the Talkie film “The Jazz Singer” was shown in US, the world started making Talkie films. India too jumped into the bandwagon. In 1931, Imperial-competing with Madon Theatres of Calcutta- wanted to make a Talkie and started work fast. Mehboob Khan was almost finalised as the Hero. Even his costumes were made ready, but he was destined for something different, and Master Vithal was made the Hero of India’s first Talkie. Ardeshir Irani’s safety valve of minimizing the risk of the first venture by selecting the existing popular Hero, scuttled Mehboob’s dream.

Meanwhile, Imperial started a new company,’Sagar Movietone’, along with Dr. Patel and Chiman Desai. Some artistes and techies were shifted to Sagar-including Mehboob- from Imperial. Mehboob continued to work in 12 silent films. Here, he met Faredoon Irani, Cinematographer and they became thick friends. Irani was with Mehboob till the end.

During this period, Mehboob wrote a film story and convinced the owners to allow him to direct this film. Owners were hesitant, naturally, to allow this young extra actor to direct a film. Lastly a deal was struck, that Mehboob and Faredoon should be allowed to shoot one reel film. If they like it, continue or else, scrap it and recover money from these two chaps. After one reel shooting the owners realised that they had struck Gold in the process and Mehboob completed his first Directorial venture ” Al Hilaal “-35. The film was a great success and Mehboob ‘chal pada’. Mehboob went on to direct 7 more films for Sagar. All his films were successful.

From film Jageerdar-37 Mehboob and Anil Biswas pair teamed up for 8 films-till Roti-42.

When Mehboob was making arrangements for his next film, Alibaba, the sudden news that Sagar is closing down hit them. Mehboob Khan contacted Imperial to allow him to shoot for his film in their studio, which Ardeshir gladly permitted. The film shooting proceeded til Sagar became National studios. Mehboob made 3 important films of his career in National studio, namely Aurat-40, Behan-41 and Roti-42.

When National studio also closed down all workers came on road. However, Mehboob decided to start his own company. One Mr. Lalaji of Manoranjan Distributors of Delhi promised capital. National studio was renamed as Central studio by the owner, K.K.Modi-elder brother of Sohrab Modi. He allowed Mehboob to use the studio till his own studio came up. Mehboob took a place nearby to start his office. In this period there was a rift between Mehboob and Anil Biswas and they separated for ever-albeit bitterly.

Mehboob wanted a Logo for Mehboob Productions. He selected a sher written by Agha Jani kashmiri for film “Al Hilal”….” Muddai lakh bura chahe to kya hota hai, vahi hota hai jo manjur e Khuda hota hai”. It was recorded in the voice of Rafiq Ghaznavi with appropriate prelude music and sound of lightening and clouds. He also took Sickle and Hammer for the Logo, and clarified that because he respected workers and certainly he was not a communist.

His first film Najma-43 ( his daughter’s name was Najma), with Ashok Kumar and Veena was a Hit film. It was followed by Taqdeer-43, Humayun-45,Anmol Ghadi-46, Elaan-47, Anokhi Ada-48, Andaaz-49, Aan-52, Amar-54 and his Magnum Opus Mother India-57. After the high of Mother India, Mehboob aimed to fly even higher with Son of India (1962) but the film was a total misfire and, in fact, his weakest film. Mehboob had been neglecting health inspite of suffering Heart attacks. In May 1964, he suffered another attack but survived. His financiers were after him for repayment and he was worried. He called Rajendra Kumar and asked for a loan of 4 lakh rupees against his studio to be made in his name. Rajendrakumar refused to take the studio and promised to give him the amount next day at 11 am, without any mortgage. In the evening, news of Nehru’s heart attack came. Mehboob became restless. Soon the death news came and Mehboob became grief stricken. Akhtar gave him sleeping pills, but he had to be admitted to Nanavati Hospital. He too died at 2 am on 28th May 1964. At the time of his death, Mehboob Khan was harboring ambitions to make a film on the life of Habba Khatoon, the 16th century poetess-queen of Kashmir.

Mehboob Khan directed 8 films for Sagar, 3 films for National and 11 films for Mehboob productions.( based on information from Upperstall, Mehboob Khan by Shashikant Kinikar and my notes).

One advantage of reading a Biography is that you get to know the person’s version on controversies. As far as Mehboob and Anil Biswas’s split is concerned, Mehboob’s version is 180 degrees opposite to what Anil Biswas gave. Difficult to side anyone. But this split did help first Rafiq Ghaznavi and then Naushad.

In the cast of the film, one finds a name Sunalini Devi. Now let us know something about Sunalini Devi, the actress. She was born on 1-1-1896 in Hyderabad Deccan. Her father, Aghornath Chattopadhyay-a Bengali settled in Hyderabad – was a Sanskrit scholar, was proficient in 27 languages and was the first Indian to get the D.Sc. honour. Sunalini was the elder sister of Sarojini, who became Sarojini Naidu after her marriage, and Harindranath Chattopadhyaya-renowned poet.

Sunalini learnt Music and Dance from her third year of age itself. Due to her sweet voice, she was called ‘ Kokila ‘. It is to be noted that her younger sister Saojini naidu was called ‘ Nightingale of India’ ! It is unfortunate that the film industry did not use Sunalini’s music skill in her films and she sang just one song in her career in film ‘ Raja Rani-42’.

Sunalini started acting in stage dramas from 1918. her first movie was ” Light of Asia”-released initially in Germany and Poland in 1925 ( its restored version was released on 5th July 2001, in India. This film was made by Himanshu Rai. The film was shot in Lahore. It was a silent film on Gautama the Buddha. Her first Talkie film was ‘ veer Kunal-32’. She acted in 56 films. Mostly she was known for motherly roles only. She had, like her more eminent sister, married a south Indian- mr.A.S.Rajan, a writer from Madras.

Some of her more known films are, Aurat, Lalaji, Inkaar, Nai roshni, Talaash, Bairam khan, Tamasha, Dilruba, Malhar etc etc. She retired from films in 1956.

Let us now listen to the song of today. It is sung by Maya Banerjee and Harish. The music was by Anil Biswas. I find the tune of this song a little unusual. It looks like the lady is stressing her point with fists hammered on a desk.

With this song, this film “Hum Tum aur Woh” (1938) makes its Debut in the Blog.


Song-Hamen preet kisi se nahin karni (Ham Tum Aur Wo)(1938) Singers-Maya Banerjee, Harish, MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics

hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen likh likh chithhiyaan mat bhejo
hamen likh likh chithhiyaan mat bhejo
hamen jamuna kinaare bulaao nahin
hamen jamuna kinaare bulaao nahin
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni

ham likhh likhh chithhiyaan bhejenge
tumhen apne paas bulaayenge
ham likhh likhh chithhiyaan bhejenge
tumhen apne paas bulaayenge

ham roothhenge
ham jhagdenge
ham roothhenge
ham jhagdenge
ham dor se kheench ke laayenge
ham dor se kheench ke laayenge
in baaton se hamko daraao nahin
in baaton se hamko daraao nahin

hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3760 Post No. : 14731 Movie Count :

4026

Today’s song is from a film called “Sona”(1948). In 1946, there was a film titled “Sona Chandi”. In 1964 there was a film titled not just “Chandi”, but a whole “Chandi ki Diwar” and in 1977 there was a film called “Chandi Sona”. So much for the precious metals in Hindi film Titles !

We have often heard and read that in olden days, young film aspirants from far off cities and smaller towns, ran away from homes to the Maya Nagari-Bombay, to try their luck. Few of them succeeded. But mind you, not ALL stars came running away to Bombay. Many of them were actually invited by Bombay filmmakers, rolling out red carpets for them. This normally used to offer in case of promising stars from other film centres like Calcutta and Lahore. For example, Shamshad Begum was specially brought to Bombay from Lahore. Saigal was brought from Calcutta to Bombay, with an attractive offer.

That, precisely, was the reputation of Bombay, that careers are made in Bombay and opportunities are found in abundance for them who have Talent and Luck ! Munawar Sultana, Heroine of film Sona-48 was one such star, who was brought from Lahore with an offer of Rs. 4000 pm and rented furnished accomodation – by Mazhar Khan.

Munawar Sultana was born on 8 November 1924, in Lahore, into a strict Punjabi Muslim family. According to an interview with son Sarfaraz and daughter Shaheen, conducted by Shishir Krishna Sharma, Munawwar’s father was a radio announcer. Munawwar wanted to become a doctor, but was side-tracked by an offer in films. This was a small role in the film, Dalsukh Pancholi’s Khazanchi (1941), where she played a barmaid, and had a song, Peene ke din aaye piye jaa picturised on her. She went by the screen name Asha for this period.

In 1945, she was visited in Lahore by producer-actor-director Mazhar Khan, who contracted her on a monthly fee of Rs. 4000 plus an apartment, and brought her to Bombay. Munawwar’s first film with Mazhar was Pehli Nazar, where she was cast opposite actor Motilal. In the popular song Dil jalta hai to jalne de (Let the Aflame Heart Burn) playbacked by singer Mukesh for Motilal, Khan focused on Munawwar’s close-ups during the picturisation.

Following Pehli Nazar, she was kept busy through 1947 to 1949 working in several films. Baburao Patel wrote in the cine-mag Filmindia 1949, about her being one of the most over-worked actresses along with Suraiya and Nargis.

In 1947, Munawar acted in four films Dard, Elaan, Andhon Ki Duniya and Naiyya. Dard was directed by Kardar under Kardar Productions. In spite of no big stars being in the film, it turned out to be a surprise “musical hit” at the box office. The hero of the film was Kardar’s brother Nusrat (Kardar). The song Afsana likh rahi hoon became a big success. Elaan garnered positive reviews for Munawwar. A Muslim social, the film was praised for its “progressive attitude” towards the need of education.

A lot has already been written about Elaan-47,elsewhere, as well as on this blog too,earlier.

When Mehboob Khan heard the story initially, he spent few days thinking about it. He anticipated adverse reactions of the Fundamentalists on this film. His team for this film included many Muslims, almost in every department. Major contributors like Naushad, Zia Sarhadi, Amirbai Karnataki and most important , Munawar Sultana,the Heroine,were all Muslims.Others at least were connected indirectly,but Munawar was the Heroine.

Mehboob Khan had a sitting with her and explained to her the entire story and the likely repercussions to the film. He gave her an option to opt out of the film. Munawar played very brave and firmly told Mehboob Khan that she was 100% with him and was ready to work and face, whatever happens as an aftermath.

This act of courage was loved and appreciated by Mehboob Khan very much and he remained indebted to her ever after.

1948 saw Munawar in four more films. Parai Aag, Sona, Majboor and Meri Kahani.

1949 was Munawar’s busiest year with seven releases. Out of her four films released in 1950, Munawar’s most notable film was Babul (Father’s House). She acted opposite Dilip and Nargis in this love triangle. Directed by S. U. Sunny, the music was composed by Naushad. The film became a major success at the box office. She acted in a few more films till 1956, with Jallad being her last appearance.

From 1950, Munawar’s career slowed down, and she acted in fewer films. She met her husband Sharif Ali Bhagat, a businessman, on the sets of a movie for which he provided furniture. He produced two films with Munawar in the lead, Meri Kahani (1948) and Pyar Ki Manzil (1950). Following the sudden death of her husband in 1966, Munawar managed her family of four sons and three daughters. In the last eight years of her life, Munawar suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She died on 15 September 2007, at her home in Ambedkar Road. Pali Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

The cast of film Sona-48 also consisted of the producer director Mazhar Khan as the Hero, Madhuri, Dikshit, Navin Yagnik, Madan Puri and others.

How many of us know anything about Navin Yagnik ? Navin was a well known stunt film actor who did social films also with the same ease. Navin was born in Calcutta in 1912. His father was from U.P. and mother from Bengal. During school days, he was more interested in sports, dramas and oratory. He did not complete his Matriculation, but ran away to Bombay, to become an actor-against the wishes of his family.

He joined Sagar Films in 1930, as an Extra, without salary. After few months he got Rs.35 pm, but no credited roles. After an year or so, he left Sagar and joined Mohan Bhavnani’s Ajanta Film company. He first worked in film ‘ The Mill ‘-34. Unfortunately, this film was banned for 2 years. The film was based on a story by Munshi Premchand and depicted the poor conditions of mill workers in Bombay. The Mill Owners’ Association brought pressure on Government and got the film banned. After 2 years, the film was released as ” Ghareeb Parivar”-36 aka ‘Daya ki Devi’. Two more films and Navin became Hero in film ” Pyar ki maar”-35.

He also worked in Minerva Movietone, Prakash pictures, Filmistan and other good banners. Some of his well known films were, Zambo-The ape Man-37, Meri Bhool-37, Divorce-38, Son of Zambo-39, Main Haari-40, Vasantsena-42, Raja Rani-42, School Master-43, prithvi Vallabh-43, Chal chal re Naujawan-44 etc. His last film was Bhagwat mahima-55. In all, he worked in 30 films.

The Music Director for film Sona-48 was Vasant Desai. Vasant Desai ( 9-6-1912 to 22-12-1975 ) was an incredibly talented man who never got his dues.

That greatness has no correlation with commercial success, is best personified in the life and works of Hindi film music director Vasant Desai. Well versed in every department of film making, Desai’s talent was a blessing to the music world. Though critics may credit Naushad as a composer steeped in classical traditions, Vasant Desai was equally, if not more, proficient in making tunes based on complex ragas. Sadly, despite his prowess, this simple man whose birth anniversary was in 2012, has not been given his due by the film industry befitting his stature and contribution to its music.

Veteran Marathi film music director and Desai’s creative mentor Keshavrao Bhosle in his memoirs “Mazhe Sangeet” applauds Desai for many such firsts as well as introduction of echo in sound recording in India with Zohra Bai’s song Jo dard banke zamaane pe chhaaye jaate hain from “Parbat Pe Apne Dera”. Hear Rafi’s immortal kah do koyi na kare yahaan pyaar(Goonj Uthi Shehnaai) and you realise how echo was not a tool for experimentation for Desai but a magnificent instrument of creative ability.

Though Lata Mangeshkar doesn’t acknowledge any of Desai’s creations in her top 20 personal favourites nor praises his vast repertoire, it is a fact that some of her finest renditions were under Desai. Allegedly, Lata had a grouse against him for promoting other singers, especially Vani Jairam, and hence ignored his contribution in her career even when most of her songs under Desai’s baton have been unsurpassed till this day. Go down the memory lane and you can’t ignore sublime creations like Jo tum todo piyaa (Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje) , Tere sur aur mere geet(Goonj Uthi Shehnaai), Main gaaun tu chup ho jaa (Do Aankhen Baarah Haath) , Piyaa te kahaan gayo (Toofaan aur Diyaa) or Ek thhaa bachpan (Aasheerwaad) . Even though Desai made her Ae maalik tere bande ham (Do Aankhen Baarah Haath) into a memorable secular prayer, Lata hardly ever commends the composition. May be she is unhappy that Desai created an equally powerful bhajan Hamko man ki shakti dena(Guddi) into a nationwide school prayer through Vani’s vocals.

His proficiency was the reason why he was greatly admired by maestros like Bismillah Khan (who made the shehnai famous with his recitals in “Goonj Uthi Shehnai”, Amir Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, and M. S. Subbulakshmi. She even got a song composed from Desai for her recital at the UNO headquarters. It was Desai’s virtuosity that made Dada Muni (Ashok Kumar) render an all-time favourite children’s song rail gaadi rail gaadi (Aasheerwaad) (“Aashirwad”) with minimum instrumentals. Nowadays when Cannes Film Festival is a place of photo opportunity rather than exploration of artistry, it is overwhelming to know that decades ago Desai’s versatility made “Amar Bhoopali” the only Indian film to win a Grand Prix award for original musical score at Cannes ! Obviously, lyricist Gulzar isn’t wrong to hail Desai as a “music composer extraordinaire” especially when he catapulted his Bole re papeehara(Guddi) to Himalyan heights of popularity.

Born in a wealthy family in Sonwad village in Maharashtra, Desai joined the famous Prabhat Film Company at Kolhapur at its inception. Apart from performing several minor chores, he also acted, sang and sometimes composed songs in Prabhat’s films like “Dharmatma” and “Sant Dnyaneshwar” but once he had mastered the craft of music composition, he stuck to it. Devoted to V. Shantaram from his Prabhat days, Desai went along with the maestro when he broke away from Prabhat to form his own Rajkamal Studios. Scoring music for a majority of Shantaram’s films, Vasant’s career suffered a major blow when their relations soured in the late 1950s. Yet it is to his credit that even though they split after recording of “Aadha Hai Chandrama” (later re-done by C. Ramchandra), he never ever spoke ill about “Anna” till his dying day.

Film director Vikas Desai says, “even family members never came to know the reasons for leaving Shantaram though he went back to score the background music of ‘Geet Gaya Patharon Ne’ on Anna’s request”.

Going through his long and enviable list of songs would be difficult but suffice to say that his memorable songs are valuable gems of musical heritage. And though the patriotic Vasant Desai may have remained unsung for his cinematic as well as academic contribution to school music curriculum, his songs regale listeners with their inherent melodic fragrance.

In his initial stage of career, he had acted in films like, Dharmatma-35, Amar Jyoti-36, Wahan-37 and Sant Dnyaneshwar-40. He even sang songs in films like Amrit Manthan-34, Dharmatma-35, Amar Jyoti-36, Wahan-37, Sant Dnyaneshwar-40, Sant Sakhu-41, Shakuntala-43 and Parbat pe apna dera-44. In all, Vasant Desai gave music to 50 films. His first film was Shobha-42 and Last released film was Shaque-76.
(some information in the article adapted from Wiki and The Hindu).

Shantaram was planning a path breaking film Maanus(Marathi)-Aadmi in Hindi,in those days and was in the process of finalising the cast.Vasant Desai who was Shantaram’s chela in those days,was aspiring to become a Music Director. He started his career as an actor in small roles and he sang songs too.He had very high hopes that Shantaram will do something for him. One day Shantaram called him and said,” I am planning a new film. You will be the Hero and Shanta Apte will be the Heroine.” Vasant was very happy. His auditions were good.

Meanwhile Mera Ladka-38 became quite popular and its songs, particularly,Dekhoon kab tak baat( Paahu re kiti waat-Marathi)” by Shanta bai and composed by Keshavrao Bhole was a great Hit.Impressed with her effortless acting and natural singing style, Shantaram changed his mind and decided to cast Shanta Hublikar and Shahu Modak as the lead pair for Aadmi – 39.

Shantaram called Vasant Desai and told him,” Be ready for a shock. I have decided to make Shanta Hublikar and Shahu Modak as the Hero and Heroine of my new film. You will have to wait. But your time will come ” Vasant Desai was heart broken. With Shantaram’s permission he composed music for Shobha and Aaankh ki sharm in 1942 and Mauj in 1943. he had worked as assistant to Tembe, Krishnarao, Bhole and Mainkar. He had acted and sang in Amar Jyoti . His time came when Shantaram gave him SHAKUNTALA-1943 as a Music Director.

Today’s song from film Sona-1948 is sung by Zohrabai Ambalawali and Chorus, but there is also an unidentified male’s voice in the song. The song was procured and uploaded by our Sadanand ji Kamath on my request. Thanks. The song is very melodious and immediately reminds another popular song Mubaarak ho dulha dulhan ko ye shaadi from film Paak Daaman-1957-MD Ghulam Mohd. As per the prevailing custom of composers having a classical base and a stage music background, the prelude music of this song is also quite long, lasting for 54 seconds. Not all songs had such preludes, but majority had.


Song-Umangon ke din hain khushi ka zamaana (Sona) (1948) Singer-Zohrabai Ambalewaali, unknown male voice, Lyrics-Nakshab, MD-Vasant Desai
Both

Lyrics

aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa

aa haa ha
hahahaha

Umangon ke din hain khushi ka zamaana
Umangon ke din hain khushi ka zamaana
ye mausam suhaana
yahin aana jaana
ye mausam suhaana
yahin aana jaana

nigaahon ko milne lagin hain nigaahen
nigaahon ko milne lagin hain nigaahen
wafa ke kadam hain mohabbat ki raahen
wafa ke kadam hain mohabbat ki raahen
machalti chali jaa rahi hai jawaani
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa

machalti chali jaa rahi hai jawaani
thaharta chala ja raha hai zamaana
thaharta chala ja raha hai zamaana
ye mausam suhaana
yahin aana jaana
Umangon ke din hain khushi ka zamaana
ye mausam suhaana
yahin aana jaana

o ho ho ho
ho ho ho ho ho
chale daur par daur
saaghar uthhaao
chale daur par daur
saaghar uthhaao
zamaane ka har ek gham bhool jaao
zamaane ka har ek gham bhool jaao
hamesha jamegi ye ?? ki mehfil
zara tum bhi peena hamen bhi pilaana
zara tum bhi peena hamen bhi pilaana
ye mausam suhaana
yahin aana jaana
umangon ke din hain
khushi ka zamaana
ye mausam suhaana
yahin aana jaana


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3742 Post No. : 14696

Today’s song is from a film called ‘Parakh’ (1944). This is a special song. It is a song sung by singer Ira Nigam. The song was written by Pt.Sudarshan and the music was by Khursheed Anwar. The cast of the film was Mehtab, Balwant Singh, Yakub, Shahnawaz, kaushalya, Sadiq Ali and others.

Ever since film making progressed and was seen as a job-provider, it attracted people from all over India. Unemployed but ambitious youngsters ran away from their hometowns to Bombay, with dreams in their eyes. As the industry got organised, those who were already working here either called or brought their other kins. Some impatient parents came themselves with their daughters. Due to poverty, examples of the entire family coming to Bombay and all joining the film industry were also seen-like Alla Bux, Iqbal Bano, Meena Kumari and her two sisters. Also seen earlier was Fatima and her three daughters and a step daughter-Mehtab. Some mothers or Grandmothers(Suraiya and Vyjayantimala) chaperoned their star children, while some fathers (like Madhubala’s) squeezed the best out of their child’s earnings (hell with her happiness !). In general,however it was the male part of the family which took charge of the actor or actress in film line.

If one sees the world history, one will find that most nations have changed culture wise and they have adapted themselves to the modern times and needs. Thus,things which were taboo a century ago are not taboo anymore. U.K. accepts jokes and cartoons on its royalty now,whereas hundred years ago, person would have been hanged in public for doing the same. USA can today tolerate parody of Christ and Christianity whereas hundred years ago the person would have been dead.

But our country has not changed its basic culture in spite of hundreds of years. Barring few exceptions, that too, in hi-fi society, Indian women are still ruled by the whims and dictates of males. When women from educated families entered the film industry, it looked like our women are liberated, but alas ! even in the film industry women are ruled by males.

A seemingly rebellious star of yesteryear – Shanta Apte – had to accept her own brother as husband in a film because she was not allowed to be touched by other males, by him. Unfortunately, her brother not only managed her film affairs, but also gave her a daughter. All this is recorded and declared by her daughter herself. She too became an actress in Marathi drama and films.

The most daring and courageous star of the 1940s – Meenakshi Shirodkar – who stunned everybody by donning a swimsuit and bathing in the waters of a river openly, in ‘Bramhachari’ (1938), had to give up her acting career midway because her husband refused to allow her to do any roles other than heroine.

Who knows how many women had to forego opportunities in film line only because their men-folk would not allow.

Today we will talk about a singer who had to forego wonderful opportunities in playback singing in Hindi films, first because of her father and then because of her husband. These days she only recalls and weeps.

Ira Nigam (NOT Ira Nagrath – wife of Roshan. She was different person) was born in October 1930 in Seoni (M.P.) in her mother’s maayeka. She had a God given gift of singing. She was educated in Delhi and Shanti Niketan. Her father Hriday Narayan Nigam was a singer himself. With his help she started singing on AIR Delhi. She completed her graduation in music form DU.

Her voice was sweet and melodious. Roshan, who was also working in AIR Delhi, one day brought the famous composer Khurshid Anwar to her house. They convinced her father to allow her to sing in films. She was so lucky to sing her first song in ‘Parakh’, under the baton of Khurshid Anwar. She was only 14 years old then. Here her father put a condition that only he will sing duets with her and no other male. Due to this strange condition, she got only one more film ‘Asmat’ (1944) and they had to go back to Delhi.

Ira got married meantime and came back to Bombay again in 1948. This time with her husband P.N. Nigam.

Harmandir Hamraaz, who interviewed her in Kanpur in Aug 1984 says that she wept when she told him that as her husband did not like her work in Hindi films, she had to give up singing after doing just 5 films. She did not have her own song records also. It was Hamraaz ji, who met her again and gave her those records. She was very happy.

She sang in ‘Rakhi’ (1949), ‘Chaar Din’ (1949), ‘Ek Teri Nishani’ (1949), ‘Veer Ghatotkach’ (1949) and last film ‘Guru Dakshina’ (1950). There were hundreds of singing offers to her when she left Bombay second time. First it was due to father and next it was due to husband, who cut short a melodious singing career. However, while in Kanpur and Delhi, she sang on A.I.R. and Television.

If you take 100 actors/actresses who worked in films, 20% will be the hero/heroines. The rest 80 % comprise of character actors, comedians, villains etc. Even out of the 20 % lead players, very few – like Dilip, Dev Anand or Amitabh – last as heroes till the end of careers but most others end up as character actors. Some examples are Pran, K N Singh, Om Prakash, Sunder Singh etc etc. Some actors do character roles from start to finish of their careers- like Nazir Hussain, Kanhaiyalal, C S Dubey, Tiwari etc. Some actors, though endowed with good face and personality, could not get a hero’s role and did character roles throughout.

One such actor was Shahnawaz Khan, known only as Shah Nawaz. He was born on 18-9-1906 in Hyderabad Deccan. His father was a Major in Hyderabad’s Nizam Army. During education, he used to act in dramas. After matriculation, he joined a Govt. service in Hyderabad state. He was however keen on joining films and dramas. After 5 years, he left the job and started a motor car business. In that connection, he would visit Bombay and try his luck at different studios. Finally, his efforts bore fruit and he got a villain’s role in film ‘Bharat Ka Laal’ (1936), in which he was listed as S. Nawaz. It was a stunt film made by the Kadam brothers (Harischandra Rao and Chandra Rao Kadam), with Master Bhagwan as the hero.

After this, he did not go back to Hyderabad. Then came ‘Daulat’ (1937), ‘Toofani Khazana’ (1937), ‘Rangila Mazdoor’ (1938), ‘Jungle King’ (1939), ‘Sardar’ (1940) etc. In 1940, he joined Bombay Talkies and worked in films. He was apparently in Devika Rani’s camp. He was in ‘Punarmilan’ (1940),’Bandhan’ (1940), ‘Jhoola’ (1941), ‘Naya Sansar’ (1941), ‘Kismet’ (1943) and ‘Hamari Baat’ (1943). He also worked in ‘Master ji’ (1943), ‘Police’, ‘Parakh’ and’ Anban’ (1944), ‘Zeenat’ and ‘Humayun’ (1945) and some more. In all, he did about 35 films in India. In or around 1948, Shahnawaz migrated to Pakistan. He was welcomed there. He did 41 films in Pakistan (32 Urdu and 9 Punjabi). Some films were quite famous like ‘Aansoo’ (1950), ‘Sassi’ (1954), ‘Ayyaz’ (1960) etc.

Shahnawaz died in Karachi on 18-6-1971. His last released film was ‘Nek Parveen’ (1975).

Another actor was Sadiq Ali. He was born on 6-10-1911 at Jullundhar, Punjab. His 2 cousins- Wazir Ali and Nazir Ali were famous Indian cricketers. Sadiq Ali completed his engineering degree and worked in M.E.S. at Kanpur (Military Engg. Services). Due to strong desire to work in films and dramas, he resigned from his job after 5 years and joined Agha Hashr’s drama company. When the company was closed, he joined The Burma Imperial Film Company at Rangoon. After few small roles, he came down to Bombay.

After working in some smaller companies, he joined Minerva Movietone. Starting with ‘Khan Bahadur’ (1937), he worked in Minerva’s ‘Pukar’ (1939), ‘Sikandar’ (1941), ‘Phir Milenge’ (1942), ‘Prithviraj Sanyogita’ (1943), ‘Parakh’ (1944) (only directed by Modi) and ‘Ek Din Ka Sultan’ (1945). In all he acted in 23 films. His last film was ‘Ever Ready’ (1946). After partition, he migrated to Pakistan. Unfortunately, he got killed in a riot in Karachi in 1947 itself.

Let us now enjoy the song from this film.

(Credits- Listener’s Bulletin no.s 58 and 59, Prof. Yadav’s book, Film Directory, HFGK, and my notes)


Song-Saajan wo din kaun thhe (Parakh)(1944) Singer-Ira Nigam, Lyrics-Pt Sudarshan, MD-Khursheed Anwar

Lyrics

saajan. . .
wo din kaun the
jab tum veena hum ta..aar
kismat phooti veena tooti
taar hui bekaar

bin saajan ke kaise nikle
mann ka meetha geet
bin saajan ke kaise nikle
mann ka meetha geet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet
jaldi jaldi beet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet

sukh mein tu pal bhar na thehre
laakh bithaaye tujh par pehre
dukh mein tu kaise dat jaave
dukh mein tu kaise dat jaave
kaisi teri reet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet

[kuchh kehne](?) ko dar dar bhatkun
piya ki nagri le chal mujhko
[kuchh kehne](?) ko dar dar bhatkun
piya ki nagri le chal mujhko
jis nagri mein jaa ke basaa hai
jis nagri mein jaa ke basaa hai
sunta(?) ho mann meet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet
jaise bhi tu beet
samay tu jaldi jaldi beet

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

साजन॰ ॰ ॰
वो दिन कौन थे
जब तुम वीणा हम ता॰॰आर
किस्मत फूटी वीणा टूटी
तार हुई बेकार

बिन साजन के कैसे निकले
मन का मीठा गीत
बिन साजन के कैसे निकले
मन का मीठा गीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत
जल्दी जल्दी बीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत

सुख में तू इक पल ना ठहरे
लाख बैठाएं तुझ पर पहरे
दुख में तू कैसे डट जावे
दुख में तू कैसे डट जावे
कैसी तेरी रीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत

[कुछ कहने](?) को दर दर भटकूँ
पिया की नगरी ले चल मुझको
[कुछ कहने](?) को दर दर भटकूँ
पिया की नगरी ले चल मुझको
जिस नगरी में जा के बसा है
जिस नगरी में जा के बसा है
सुनता(?) हो मन मीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत
जैसे भी तू बीत
समय तू जल्दी जल्दी बीत


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3724 Post No. : 14660 Movie Count :

4006

Today’s song is from a resoundingly flop film of its time, Rambaan-48. The film was made by Prakash Pictures of Bhatt Brothers, known for quality films of different Genres. During the early 40s, their Mythological films like Bharat Milap-42 and Ramrajya-43 were extraordinarily successful. Film Rambaan was also directed by Vijay Bhatt-as usual- and the Music Director was Shankar rao Vyas, their favourite. The film story and dialogues were by Mohanlal Dave and Pt. Girish. Lyricists were Pt. Indra, Neelkanth Tiwari and Moti,B.A.( who was actually M.A.). The cast of the film was Prem Adib, Shobhana Samarth, Umakant, Ramsingh, Chandramohan, Amirbai, Leela Mishra and many others.

The lead pair of Prem Adib and Shobhana Samarth had become extremely popular all over the country as Ram and Seeta, after their two films Bharat Milap and Ram Rajya. These two actors came together for the first time in film Industrial India-1938. After this they worked in 11 more films plus one more film Ramayan-54, which was concocted by joining parts of 3 films made by Prakash Pictures on Ram and Seeta. After this film-Rambaan- Prakash films focused on social and musical films and made memorable films like Baiju Bawra-52 and Gunj Uthi Shehnai-59.

The stories of Rama and offshoots of Ramayana have always inspired film makers. Mahabharat too did the same. In Hindi language alone, films on Rama stories are around 25 ( not counting obvious other films like Ram aur Shyam, Ram Lakhan or Ram Balram etc.). Practically, in every Indian language and dialects, Nepalese and Sinhalese, Ram films are made. However, the kind of fame, popularity and the Box office returns, that the Film Ram Rajya-43 earned is beyond imagination. Calendars from 1944 to 1950 featured Shobhana and Prem as Ram and Seeta. Wherever these stars went they were mobbed and people used to touch their feet, treating them as Ram and Seeta.

Enthused with this fabulous response, Prakash were planning a third film on Ram and Seeta as a last film in the Trilogy of Ramayan Stories. They waited for a good five years and made Rambaan-48.

Ramayan and Mahabharata are the two major Religious Epics for Indians. Ramayana has been popular and widesread all over the Eastern World. There are in all 301 versions of Ramayana. These include the original Valmiki Ramayan and few other major Indian language Versions like Kamban’s Ramavataram in Tamil and Rangnathan’s Ramayana in Telugu. Then there is Ramayan Manjiri in NE and Bengal version. There is a Jain version too.Besides Ramayana in every Indian language and many dialects with scripts, there are Ramayana Versions in Burma, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Phillipines, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thialand, Malaysia, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam and China. All these versions total upto 300 in number. Then what is the 301st version ?

301st is the version of the fertile imagination of the authors of the ” Story Departments” of Indian film companies. Even Prakash Pictures had its own department. The first two films Bharat Milap and Ram Rajya were mostly based on the original Valmiki Ramayan. For film Rambaan-48, however, the Bhatt brothers gave free hand to the story and dialogue writers, in order to include something new, for which the same audience will come to the theatres. This is where things went wrong. The novel changes and additions that Mohanlal Dave and Pt. Girish brought into the Ramayana story were ridiculous, which were rejected out right and were resented by the Indian viewers. The Cinematic liberty taken for a film is one thing and twisting and distorting an accepted historical story by the millions over centuries of generations is another thing.

I am sure, if only Valmiki was to watch this film, he would have jumped from Everest or taken a Samadhi immediately ! Let us see what happened in the film, after all.

First and foremost, Shobhana Samarth was 8 month’s pregnant during the shooting of this film ( with her third daughter Chatura ) and it showed everytime she came on the screen. Could they not wait for another 6 months ? As such she was nearing her middle age-at 33 years- and it was obvious to everyone. Secondly, Prem Adib-two years younger than Shobhana, as it is- had put on lot of fat and seeing his open body with loose muscles, almost double chin and a face without freshness was a punishment for the senses.

The blue eyed handsome Chandramohan did the role of Ravan in this film. His characterisation of the role was made very ridiculous. Every now and then and in every scene, his ‘Taqia kalam” was rolling eyes like a drunken person and shouting ” Main Kaun “. Then giving the reply himself ” Main Ravan “. Actually, according to Valmiki and everyone else, Ravan was a very learned Brahmin, a peerless scientist, Veena player, a scholar on Vedas and a staunch devotee of lord Shiv. To make him look like a clown was very sad and disappointing indeed.

Shoorpnakha was actually married early, but her husband was killed by Ravan, in a battle. Ravan had made her a queen of Dandkaranya. In the film, her Swayamwar is shown. She rejects everyone and remains unmarried. This was undigestible to moviegoers who were familiar with the story of Ramayan.

Shabari katha is similarly distorted. In Valmiki Ramayana, after meeting Ram,Seeta and laxmana and giving them half eaten fruit, Shabri self immolates and goes to Heaven. In the film she first meets the three and after Seeta is abducted meets Ram again to inform him that she saw Ravan carrying Seeta in his plane. She also introduces Ram to all the Vanar leaders-Sugreev, Hanuman, Jambuwant etc.

There were many such New Discoveries, thanks to the writers, in this film. I remember in 1950, when this film came to Hyderabad, I had accompanied some old relatives and my Grandfather to this film. After coming back all were very angry. I don’t remember what exactly they had said, but I wrote in my diary ” the film was boring”.

Baburao Patel of Film India was not one to miss such an opportunity to pull up the director and producer. In the February 1949 issue, he had devoted three pages to the film, mostly tearing it apart, accusing the producers of tarnishing the Hindu religion. He only appreciated actor Umakant, who traditionally did the role of Laxman ( He did this role in 7 films in all) as a good and suitable actor. he even suggested him to be promoted as Ram, in their next film.

There is a name Ramsingh, in the film’s cast. The actor Ramsingh’s name is not very famous or well known, but in his times, he did Hero’s and Villain’s role in many films. Information about him was not available anywhere on the Internet till today. For the first time his information is appearing here today.His entry in films and life story is very interesting.

During the 1942 ‘Quit India’ movement, there was a riot in Allahabad. Police opened fire and along with several other people, Secretary of All University Students Union also was killed. Fearing a backlash from college students, the Government closed down all colleges and vacated Hostels. Two persons became homeless. One was Ramchandra Dwivedi- who later on became well known as Kavi Pradeep- and the other was Ramsingh- who became an actor.

After the riots, instead of informing his family about his welfare, Ramsingh left for Bombay and then to Poona, to become an actor. He was tall,fair and handsome. V.Shantaram hired him as an assistant in the studio. His family thought that he must have been killed in the riots and grieved, when he never returned.

One day one of the villagers came to their house and told excitedly, that he had seen a Hindi film and in that film, an actor looked exactly like Ramsingh. The family went to the town and saw the film. Lo and behold ! there he was. Looking just like Ramsingh. Anxiously a group of elders reached Prabhat Studio in Poona and inquired. The officials brought out their own son- Ramsingh before them !! Everyone was happy. It seems he did not contact his household just to avoid the Police investigations, as he too was an active participant in the agitation.

Ramsingh was born into a rich Zamindar family of village Ishanpur in Pratapgarh (U.P.), in 1920. After graduating, while doing his M.A. he joined films. His first film was Ramshastri-44, then came Chand-44, Lakhrani-45 and Hum ek hain-46….all Prabhat films. While in Prabhat, he became friendly with Dev Anand and Guru Dutt. In his later years, they gave him roles in their almost every film..

In his other films, Ramsingh worked with Heroine Ranjit Kumari ( real name Ranjit Kaur), to whom he got married later on. He was already married while in school and also had 3 children from his first wife. From the second marriage he got 4 children.

Ramsingh played Hero, Villain and character roles in 69 films. Some of his notable films were, besides 4 Prabhat films, Gaon-47, Shaheed-48, Khidki-49, Aparadhi-50 ( He was the Hero, opposite Madhubala), Sargam-50, Sangram-50, Shrimati ji-52, Jaal-52, Baaz-53 etc etc. In his later career, he only got insignificant roles in B and C grade films and Mythologicals. His last film was Sati Sulochana-69. ( 2 more films Veer Chhatrasaal-71 and Mere Bhaiya-72 were released after he left films).

Ramsingh returned to his native place with Ranjit Kumari and children in 1970 and started doing Agriculture. The U.P. Chief Minister H.N.Bahuguna was his classmate and a very good friend. Ramsingh approached him. Bahuguna, to help him, immediately established ” U.P. Film Corporation ” and made Ramsingh its Chairman. However, due to political turmoil in the country, Bahuguna left congress and joined Congress For Democracy, against Indira Gandhi. As a result the film corporation was wound up and Ramsingh returned to the fields again.

Ramsingh started drinking, against medical advise and died in 1984, in his village.

Shankar Rao Vyas gave a very sweet and melodious music. Today’s song, particularly, is the best of the 3 songs which I have heard. This song is sung by Shankar Dasgupta.

Born in 1927 in Bengal, Shankar Dasgupta started singing from childhood. He was a trained singer. In 1946,he got a break with Anil Biswas in his film Milan-46. His first song itself became very popular.

Then he sang in films like Anjana, Didi, Girl’s school, Jeet, Aahuti,Izzat, Do Raha etc. He sang about 63 songs in 39 films. he gave music to 4 films, Sadma, Sheeshe ki deewar, Hotel and Pehli mulaaqaat.

He assisted Anil Biswas and Jaidev for many years. He did work on TV and in News reviews too. He settled in England after retirement,but was active on TV there too.

On one of his routine visits to India in 1992, he met with a tragic accident on a Railway station in Bombay, on 23-1-1992 and died on the spot.

With this song, the film Rambaan (1948) makes its Debut on the Blog.

(Credits- thespeakingtree.com, bollymusings.com/cradle, kuch kalakar by Jawed Hamid, Filmindia-Feb-49, Prof. Yadav’s book, wiki and my notes)


Song-Uth Lakhan lal priya bhai (Raambaan)(1948) Singer-Shankar Dasgupta, Lyrics-Moti B A, MD-Shankar Rao Vyas

Lyrics

Uthh Lakhan lal priya bhai
Uthh Lakhan lal priya bhai
dasha tumhaari dekh Raam ki
ankhiyaan bhar bhar aayin
Uth Lakhan lal priya bhai

Maat Pita Patni ki maaya
bhai ke kaaran sab bisraaya
chhod Ayodhya ka sukh tumne
jogi roop banaaya
jis bhai ke liye yudhh mein
praan ki baazi lagaayi
Uth Lakhan lal priya bhai

pahle mujhe khila phir khaate
aur sulaa kar sote
?? tumhaare kaun kabhi to
baad raam ke hote
swarg puri ke ?? se
pahle pahunchu(?) jaai
Uth Lakhan lal priya bhai

Maat Kaushalya aur Sumitra
juwat(?) baantat waari
panthh herti haay Urmila
ki ankhiyaan bechaari
aankh moond ke huye tumhi kya
tanik daya na aayi
Uth Lakhan lal priya bhai

Seeta Raavan ke ghar bandi
Meghnath chadh aayo
jagat kahega naari ke kaaran
Raam ne bandhu ganwaayo
dheeraj chhooto jaat sabhi ka
kab se ter lagaayi
Uth Lakhan lal priya bhai
Uth Lakhan lal priya bhai


This article is written by Sudhir, 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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3719 Post No. : 14653

When ‘Bawarchi ‘ was released in 1972, I had seen it on the big screen in the theatre with family. In this film, Hrishikesh Mukherji has woven a remarkable story of a joint family and their interesting interactions. The head of the family (a widower), his three sons, two daughters in law, third son still a bachelor, and three children. The roles of the two daughters in law were played by Durga Khote and Usha Kiran. Being quite un-exposed to cinema otherwise (it was school years for me) I was quite unfamiliar with these two ladies when I saw this film for the first time.

I was later to recall these two senior actresses, when I would get to see their earlier, older films. The first such re-introduction was when I saw ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ (1960) on TV for the first time. Then I came to recognize Durga Khote in her role as Jodha Bai, and connected her with her role in ‘Baawarchi’. The two films had a difference of 12 years, and decidedly, she is looking much younger and sweeter in her role as Badi Maa in ‘Baawarchi’, compared to her royal appearance as the empress of India and wife of Emperor Akbar. One scene (from ‘Baawarchi’) that really amazed me and mesmerized me, is the family song situation from an early morning impromptu get together of the family members – “Bhor Aayee Gaya Andhiyaara”. During the course of this song, the two supposedly middle aged daughters in law perform the rapid pace thaap steps dance to the rapid taal – “dhiga tum naa naa naa naa naa” being rendered by the family help Raghu (role played by Rajesh Khanna). It was a real wonder to see the two ladies perform that sequence. A quick check reminded me that Durga Khote was, goodness, 67 years of age, when she performed in ‘Bawarchi’.

Remembering Durga Khote on the anniversary of her passing away (22nd September).

The first and the top most lady luminary of the Hindi cinema, Durga Khote was born on 14th January, 1905, in a well­ known family of Bombay. The family hailed from Goa and spoke Konkani at home. Her mother’s name was Manjulabai. Her father, Pandurang Shamrao Laud, was a famous lawyer and her brother was also a well known barrister. The young Vita Laud (her maiden before marriage) was educated, like her siblings, at Cathedral High School and St. Xavier’s College from where she did her B.A. While still in college, she was married into the Khote family, graduated and settled down with her husband. By the age of 26, she was a widowed mother of two sons – Bakul and Harin.

Into this scenario, and a life of a very traditional family, plopped in something utterly new – the world of cinema. Durga Khote wanted to work to support her children. In doing so, she became a pioneer of sorts. It was a time when the film industry was regarded as the preserve of the base and the bawdy. Also, most of the female characters were played by men at the time.

It all came about through her sister Shalini, also married and having amongst her circle of friends, a gentleman by the name JBH Wadia. At the time JBH was working with Mohan Bhavnani as the latter’s assistant. The talkies had just made their appearance on the silver screen. Bhavnani who had just made a picture, wanted to give it the box office appeal of a “talkie” ending. The picture starred Mrs. Bhavnani and her husband was  looking out for a girl who would feature with his wife in the climax scenes of the film. Approached by JBH, Shalini refused. But knowing Durga as a person who would try anything once, she recommended her. Durga was ready to have a go at the part, accepted the role and went off to the studios the same day. Mr. Bhavnani’s heterogeneous production was soon completed, printed and made ready for release.

The film flopped. And for the beautiful young housewife and mother there followed a period of embarrassment at being connected with a filmy disaster. The film was ‘Farebi Jaal’ (also titled as ‘Trapped’ in English). “That is just how I felt when I saw it. It was a terrible film,” Durga Khote recalls in an earlier interview. She goes on to say that, “. . . my position was more than awkward. I had suddenly achieved a fair measure of notoriety. I just couldn’t walk around in Girgaum without people pointing at me.”

Looking back on it she laughed at the by-gone crisis. Through all this turmoil and unease there was one solid consolation: both the Laud and the Khote families were far too intelligent and sophisticated to be worried by the affair. On the contrary “My families stood up for me” declared Durga Khote with a proud smile of affection.

Amongst those who saw the film ‘Trapped’, was the then up and coming producer and director V Shantaram. After seeing her performance, he offered her the female lead role of Taramati in the bilingual film ‘Ayodhyache Raaja’ – ‘Ayodhya Ka Raja’ (1932). Durga Khote saw in it an opportunity to vindicate herself. Once again encouraged by the families, she accepted the role and played it beautifully. The film was not only good but a big hit, in both the Hindi and Marathi versions.

V Shantaram simultaneously cast her also in ‘Maya Machhindra’ (again 1932). This was a also a smash hit. These two top successful films established her straight off as a top star. Following came a number of films that won her acclaim from the public and from the film industry. After the two fabulous successes in 1932, what followed is no less dazzling a repertoire of well known films and famous roles.

In 1933, she appeared opposite to Prithviraj Kapoor in the New Theatres Production from Calcutta – ‘Raajrani Meera’. This year also saw her play the lead role opposite to a very young and handsome new entrant into the industry – P Jairaj, in the film ‘Patit Paavan’ (Pratima Phototone, Bombay).

1934, and she is paired opposite to Prithviraj once again in ‘Seeta’, from East India Film Company in Calcutta.

1935, another production from New Theatres – ‘After The Earthquake’, as the female lead opposite to Syed Mohammed Nawab. And once again, paired with Jairaj in ‘Jeevan Natak’ – a Debaki Bose Production in Bombay.

In 1936 came one of her many superlative roles on the screen – ‘Amar Jyoti’ from the production house of Prabhat, with co stars Chandramohan, Vasanti and B Nandrekar.

She played the lead role in ‘Pratibha’ in 1937, opposite to Master Shyam; film by Shalini Cinetone.

1938, and she appeared in two films – ‘Nand Kumar’ (Jaishree Films), working with Govindrao Tembe and ‘Saathi’ from Natraj Films, paired with Mubarak – another popular hero of that era.

1939 saw her appearing with Prithviraj once again in the Ranjeet Studios production – ‘Adhoori Kahaani’.

In 1940 it is Chandramohan and the film is ‘Geeta’ from Circo Productions. Also in 1940 came the famous and popular hit film, ‘Narsi Bhagat’ working with Vishnupant Pagnis.

1941 and it is ‘Charnon Ki Daasi’ from Atre Pictures, paired with Gajanan Jagirdar.

In 1942, she appeared in 2 films, ‘Bharat Milap’ of Prakash Pictures, with co stars Prem Adeeb, Shahu Modak and Shobhana Samarth; and in ‘Vijay’ from National Studios, opposite to Harish.

1943 turned out to be a blockbuster year for her, appearing in the lead role in six films. She was seen in ‘Qurbani’ opposite to Ishwar Lal, ‘Mahasati Anusuya’ with Shahu Modak, E Billimoria and Shobhana Samarth; ‘Mahatama Vidur’ with Vishnupant Pagnis; ‘Tasveer’ – paired with the young newcomer Motilal; and ‘Zameen’, paired with Biswas. The listing for 1943 is complete only when we talk about the mega film from Minerva Movietone – ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ in which she is paired with Sohrab Modi.

In 1944, it is ‘Maharathi Karn’ paired with Prithviraj Kapoor once again, and ‘Dil Ki Baat’ a romantic social, working opposite to Ishwar Lal.

In 1945, it is ‘Lakahrani’ from Prabhat, working opposite to Sapru; ‘Panna Dai’ working with Chandramohan and Mubarak; and ‘Veer Kunal’ with Mubarak, Kishore Sahu and Shobhana Samarth.

In 1945, we also see a major qualitative shift in her career. She stepped away from lead roles and very gracefully migrated towards support roles as a character artist. ‘Village Girl’ was probably the first such film, in which she does not play the lead role. But her films and her roles continue to be significant and powerful.  She had already stated to play non-romantic lead roles in films like ‘Charnon Ki Daasi’ (1941) and ‘Bharat Milap’ (1942). Her filmography beyond 1945 speaks volumes of her prowess as an actress, and her ability to command the scenes, and the films. Moving to character roles, her assignments continue to increase, and she continued to be a busy and an in demand artist for another almost four decades. During her career, she has appeared in more than 200 films.

A special mentions needs to be made of the 1953 film ‘Chacha Chaudhry’ – a comedienne performance which took the industry and the public by storm. The brilliant timing of her expression, gestures, movement and dialogue combined to make that role such a scintillating comedy portrayal that she all but stole the picture from the consummate actor Raja Paranjpe – who doubled as director and lead player – and Dhumal. The three of them made it a slick, hilarious romp.

Durga Khote’s portrayals have been sensitive and consummate. Notable mentions must be made of some of her performances;

as Queen Kaikeyi in the 1942 film ‘Bharat Milap, jealously coveting the throne for her own son – her personification of the grasping queen made one understand if not quite condone the old king’s doting weakness;

as Shachi Devi, mother of Chaitanuya Mahaprabu in the 1953 biopic ‘Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’ – a heart-rending performance of a mother torn between her love for her son and the gratification she feels in his single-minded devotion to God, and her heartbreak for his bewildered, forsaken girl-bride, and her gradual resignation, made for a portrayal which was a gem of histrionic art;

as Jodha Bai, the empress of India, wife of Akbar – once again called upon to make a dreadful choice of loyalties, torn between the warring father and son – at first unable to invoke the blessings for her husband leaving for the battlefield, with the certainty of the fear that her son will be killed, and then when Akbar challenges her by attempting to erase the sindoor from her forehead, very sternly and studiously she performs the pooja giving the due honor to her suhaag even in the face of an eventuality of possibly losing her only child.

These and many other such power packed performances have made Durga Khote the dame thespian of the Indian cinema. She was honored with the Padam Shri award in 1968 and the coveted Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1983.

In 1950, Durga Khote naturally gravitated towards the stage and she joined the Marathi Sahitya Sangh, starting her long association with the theatre also. She kept busy acting in, producing and directing plays. She also founded Durga Khote Productions which produced short films – advertising, documentary, educational and industrial.

She continued to be active both in films and in theatre till the mid 1980s. After that, she moved into semi-retirement. She passed away this day, in 1991, in Bombay.

The film ‘Amar Jyoti’ has been acclaimed as a film much, much ahead of its time, both in terms of handling of the subject matter as well as in terms of technical finesse and special effects. The film represented India in the Venice film festival in 1937 and won praises and accolades as one of the best three films at the festival.

The film deals with the theme of suppression and negation of the role of the woman in the society, and one lady’s rebellion against it. As a subject, this was a daring endeavor by V Shantaram, given the prevalent sentiments in the society of that era. Nevertheless, this film was much acclaimed and became very popular at the box office too. Since the story revolves around pirates, scenes related to sailing ships and ships in conflict, it was a major accomplishment for the director, to be able to create the necessary environment within the studio, and film all the naval scenes using advanced special effects techniques, within the confines of the studio itself.

The film pertains to an undefined historical period. A queen (role played by Karuna Devi) and her cruel minister Durjay (role played by Chandramohan) are challenged by a woman turning a pirate and terrorizing the coastal provinces of the kingdom. This woman, Saudamini (role played by Durga Khote), has been much wronged by her husband. But when she pleads for justice from the royal court, Durjay decrees that a husband was the complete master of his wife, whom he could ill-treat, use as a chattel or dispose of as a slave. She is denied custody of her son by the queen, after she refuses to return to her matrimonial home. This greatly enrages Saudamini and drives her to revolt and seek revenge. She takes on the mantle of a male role and gets into a commanding position, as the captain of a pirate ship. She is assisted by her associate, Rekha (role played by Vasanti).

Durjay is captured and is kept as a prisoner with one of his legs cut off, to make him realize the eternally enslaved condition of women. Her next big catch is the princess Nandini (role played by Shanta Apte), the queen’s daughter. In her relationship with the princess, Saudamini plays an even bigger game by converting the princess to her creed of female emancipation, which considers love and marriage as a bondage. The princess suppresses her feelings for a shepherd boy, Sudhir (role played by B Nandrekar), whom she had met during her days in the pirate’s den. Unknown to even Saudamini, this shepherd boy is actually her own son, who was separated from her years ago.

In the continued sequence of events, Durjaya escapes with the help of Sudhir and returns to arrest Saudamini. Saudamini is captured, but the others, along with Nandini and Rekha, escape. It is finally revealed that Sudhir is Saudamini’s long-lost son. Nandini and Sudhir are married and Rekha carries forward Saudamini’s legacy.

Shantaram has used the symbol of the lamp and the flame very effectively. He deployed many other techniques that were considered path-breaking at that time. The film’s real success is in bringing out the inner conflicts of women, who may become male-like rebels, at the cost of suppressing their natural urges as wife or mother. In one of the most moving scenes in the film, we see Saudamini secretly fondling the tiny garments of her son, who has been separated from her.

In this song, we see this brief interlude, as Saudamini is remembering her child. The brief song is written by Pt Narottam Vyas, and the music is composed by Master Krishna Rao Phumblikar. The playback singing voice is that of Vasanti.

Remembering and honoring the enduring legacy of this fine actress – Durga Khote.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements – This article has adapted material from online sources viz., Cineplot and Wikipedia. Filmography details have been prepared using the Geet Kosh voumes 1 and 2.]

Song – Ankhiyan Ke Tum Taare Pyaare (Amar Jyoti) (1936) Singer – Vasanti, Lyrics – Pt Narottam Vyas, MD – Master Krishna Rao
Durga Khote

Lyrics

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

[sudhir. . .]
[main teri maa. . .]

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

aansoo nainan mein se

aansoo nainan mein se
aansoo nainan mein se
kaahu tohey pukaarun
kaahu tohey pukaarun
waaroon sukh dukh saare
waaroon sukh dukh saare
waaroon sukh dukh saare

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

[ab mat jaa re]

———————————-
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————–

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

[सुधीर॰ ॰ ॰]
[मैं तेरी माँ॰ ॰ ॰]

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

आँसू नैनन में से

आँसू नैनन में से
आँसू नैनन में से
काहू तोहे पुकारूँ
काहू तोहे पुकारूँ
वारूँ सुख दुख सारे
वारूँ सुख दुख सारे
वारूँ सुख दुख सारे

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

[अब मत जा रे]


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3714 Post No. : 14643

Today I present a really wonderful song of Jagmohan Sursagar, Anima Dasgupta and Munir Alam from film Subah Shaam-1944. The music of this film was by Subal Dasgupta, younger brother of the more famous composer kamal Dasgupta. The film was made and directed by P.C. Barua for Indrapuri Studios, Calcutta. The songs of this film were written by Faiyaz Hashmi and Munir Lucknowi ( different from the singer Munir Alam). The cast of the film was Pramathesh barua, jamuna, Purnima ( she was different from Purnima of
Bombay ), Indu Mukherji, Munir, Devbala, Tulsi Chakravarti etc etc.

Director P.C. aka Pramathesh Barua was born on 24-10-1903. A well educated and foreign trained prince from a Royal family came into the films only by chance. He established his own studio and made films. Impressed by his style and work, B.N.Sircar of New Theatres offered him a job in his company. Barua joined and made such films in New Theatres that the studio became famous all over India. His greatest contribution was his first film here, ” Devdas”-34 in Bangla. he did the main role and brought in a comparatively new actress jamuna for the role of Parvati aka Paro. With the fantastic success of Bangla version, Barua made its Hindi version in 1936, with K L Saigal as the Hero. This was mor successful than the Bangla version and became an iconic film for ever as a reference point. Then an Assamese version was also made in 1937.

With a very eventful, successful and satisfying stint in New Theatres, Barua developed serious differences with the owner-B.N.Sircar, who was known to be a disciplinarian who held the Institution ( of New Theatres) in place. New Theatres, in the 30s , was full of Titans having a larger than life images and it was inevitable that there would be clashes amongst the artistes and the owner. Like true Bengalis, they all had king size Egos and over estimated self respects.

The first crack came in 1933 when Nitin Bose and Debaki Bose clashed, resulting in Debaki Bose’s temporary exit. In the line was Barua, who had a grudge that he was not given as many films as his peers Nitin Bose and Hemchander Chunder got . The rift between Barua and Sircar was obviously born out of deep differences, because after Barua left, B N Sircar had said- “He was a remarkably innovative director who seemed to improve after every film. As an actor, he forged a style that was distinctively his own uniquely. But as a Man…..well,I would rather not discuss it”.

However, it was known to both of them and all others connected with NT, that both these Giants had tremendous love and respect for each others. In 1951, when Barua lay dying on his bed, he instructed that his body be taken past the house of B N Sircar, where he was lying sick on bed. When Barua’s funeral convoy reached Sircar’s house, the ailing Sircar hobbled painfully to the window of his elegant Elgin Road Residence, as the prince of Players paused beneath the window for a while and then proceeded. It was a poignant moment- an act symbolic of a reference point established a long time ago in a business which was notorious for callous and impermanent relationships !

After Barua Nitin Bose left, then kanan Bala and few more. Only pankaj Mullick, though hurt by New Theatre’s neglect, stuck till the end. P.C.Barua died on 29-11-1951. He acted in 8 Hindi films( Manzil-36, Mukti-37, Adhikar-38, Jawab-42, Ranee-43, Subah Shaam-44, Amiree-45 and Pehchan-46). He directed 14 frilms and sang 1 song in film Jawab-42.

Barua’s third wife Jamuna (10-10-1919 to 24-11-2005) was the fourth of the six daughters of Puran Gupta, a resident of a village near Agra, India. Each of the sisters was named after an Indian river like Ganga, Jamuna, Bhagirathi etc. As destiny would have it, Jamuna came to reside in Calcutta, a leading film producing city in India. Originally from Gauripur of Assam’s Goalp ara district (undivided), Jamuna was married to the legendary actor director Pramathesh Barua, or P.C. Barua, who died in 1950. She began her acting career in her husband’s famous production Devdas in 1936 and was the film’s lead character Parvati or Paro. She went on to make a number of memorable movies in Assamese, Bangla and Hindi, notably Amiri, Mukti, Adhikar and Sesh Uttar. She stopped acting after Barua died

In the thirties and played a small role in Mohabbat ki Kasauti(1934), Hindi version of Rooplekha (Bengali) directed by P.C. Barua. A romance started although Barua, hailing from the native Indian state of Gauripur, Assam, was already twice married. As the actress, who was to play Parbati in Barua’s next venture Devdas (1935) reported inability to attend the studio on the very first day of shooting, Jamuna was called from Barua’s residence (she was living with him by then) and was asked to get down to work straight away without any preparation whatsoever.

Thus she came to be the first Parbati of Indian talkies- Miss Light had played the role in the silent version of the enormously popular Sarat Chandra novel. Aishwarya Rai happens to the last so far and Devdas has been made and re-made a number of times. Jamuna played the same role in the Hindi version also and was accepted in this very first proper exposure as an actress in her own right. She continued to act in Barua’s films like Grihadaha (1936), Maya (1936), Adhikar (1939), Uttarayan (1941), Shesh Uttar (1942), Chander Kalanka (1944) and the respective Hindi versions of each film.

Barua had left the prestigious New Theatres in 1940 and was directing as well as producing his films. Thereafter she acted in a number of Barua directed Hindi movies like Amiree, Pehchan and Iran Ki Ek Raat. These films however did not add to the prestige of either to Barua or to Jamuna. Jamuna also acted outside Barua direction in three Bengali films Debar (1943) and Nilanguriya (1943) where she proved herself without Barua’s influence. Her last film Malancha (1953) was also outside Barua’s direction. She also starred in its Hindi version Phulwari (1953).

Barua’s death in 1951 when he was only 48 changed Jamuna’s life altogether. She had three sons by Barua, Deb Kumar, Rajat and Prasun. They were all minors at the time and the Gauripur estate refused to take any of their responsibilities. She had to wage a legal battle with the powerful and influential royal family to get her and her children’s dues and recognition. Time settled the matters and she was allowed ownership of the house with its vast adjoining land and also an allowance. Jamuna spent the rest of her life after Barua as a housewife, busy in bringing up her minor sons. She had to complete the unfinished film Malancha of course but said good bye to the world soon after. Later in her life she did attend a number of functions to celebrate the centennial year of husband P.C. Barua and received felicitations on behalf of the Government of India and the state Government of Assam as the first Parbati of Indian talkies.

Her last days were not very comfortable and she was bedridden for more than six months prior to her death. She is survived by her three sons and their families and a host of relatives.. According to her family members, she had been ill for some time, and the cause of death was illness related to old age. She died at her residence in south Kolkata.

In Hindi, we have seen few Brother composer pairs like Husnlal Bhagatram, kalyan ji -Anand ji, Anand- milind etc etc. I can not think of any such pair whose brothers individually very famous as composers, except perhaps Pt. Amarnath and Husnlal – Bhagatram, but here too no two brothers were famous individually. There were some other brothers like Timir Baran and Mihir kiran and Kamal Dasgupta and Subal Dasgupta. Neither Timir-Mihir nor Kamal-Subal worked as a pair and individually only one became famous in Hindi films. Mihir kiran gave music to only 1 film- Kaarvan e hayat-35 and Subal Dasgupta gave music to only 2 films Subah Shaam and Arzoo both in 1944.

Kamal Dasgupta ( 28-7-1912 to 20-7-1974) gave music to 17 Hindi films from Jawab-42 to Phulwari-51. Subal gave music to only 2 films as mentioned. He was, however, a prolific composer in Bangla films and NFS. The credit for composing music for Talat Mehmood’s First recorded NFS, ” sab din ek samaan nahi tha” goes to Subal Dasgupta. Some sites and You Tube erroneously mention kamal Dasgupta’s name as its composer , but it is wrong. I quote here an excerpt from the book ” Talat Mehmood-The Velvet touch” a biography by Manek Premchand,

“His first recording happened in September 1941, the song being Sab din ek samaan naheen tha, Ban jaoonga kya se kya main, iska to kuchh dhyaan naheen tha, written by Fayyaz Hashmi and composed by Subal Dasgupta. Present at this recording was the great singer-composer-actor Pankaj Mullick, who patted the young émigré for a job well done. In Calcutta, the young man started learning Bengali. After six recordings for HMV in Calcutta, Talat returned in 1942 to complete his studies at Marris and in the next couple of years, he heard a lot of Gangubai Hangal, Fayyaz Khan and Roshanara Begum. ” pp 13

Not much information is available on Subal in books or on the net. Even Dr. J.P.Guha has no information on him. Here is something from a Bangladeshi site.

Subal Dasgupta was born at Kalia (Narail) of the old Jessore district in Bangladesh. His parents shifted to Calcutta long before the partition of 1947. His eldest brother professor Bimal Dasgupta was a gifted musician, while his elder brother Kamal Dasgupta also emerged as one of the most successful music directors of his time. His sisters Sudhira, Indira, Basanti—–all were talented singers in their own rights. All of them had recorded songs under HMV banner. He belonged to an immensely accomplished musical family. At a very tender age Subal Dasgupta took lessons in classical music from Ustad Zamiruddin Khan, a renowned maestro of Kheyal and Thumri. It was here, that he met Kazi Nazrul Islam, the great poet , who also started taking classical vocal lessons from the same master. The meeting between the two, later turned out to be of historic significance.

When I first heard this song, I liked it very much. I am sure you too will love it. The singers are Jagmohan Sursagar, Anima Dasgupta and Munir Alam. These names are not mentioned in HFGK, but the stalwarts of RMIM, in their discussion have confirmed these names in the late 90s. Though the YT video mentions Hemant kumar, his voice is not there.

( Credits- RMIM forum, Talat Mehmood Biography, scroll.in, wiki, nazrul.com.bd, Sharmishtha Gooptu’s article ”The Glory that was” and my notes )


Song-Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam (Subah Shaam)(1944) Singers-Anima Desgupta, Jagmohan Sursagar, Munir Alam, MD-Subal Dasgupta

Lyrics

Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam
kuchh ghami hai subaho shaam
zindagi ke do hain naam
zindagi hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam
kuchh ghami hai subaho shaam
zindagi ke do hain naam
zindagi hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam

aish o raahaten bhi hain
dukh museebaten bhi hain
aish o raahaten bhi hain
dukh museebaten bhi hain
?? bhi hain
gham ki shaanaten bhi hain
gardish e jahaan mein
dillagi hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam
kuchh ghami hai subaho shaam
zindagi ke do hain naam
zindagi hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam

maut bhi hai yaas bhi
din ke baad raat bhi
maut bhi hai yaas bhi
din ke baad raat bhi
apni apni ?? hai
aadmi ke saath hai
apni apni ?? hai
aadmi ke saath hai
raushani ke saath saath
?? hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam
kuchh ghami hai subaho shaam
zindagi ke do hain naam
zindagi hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam

chaand mein chakor mein
jungalon ke mor mein
chaand mein chakor mein
jungalon ke mor mein
papeehe ke shor mein
papeehe ke shor mein
gulshanon ki ?? mein
bulbulon ki bekhudi(?)
keh rahi hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam
kuchh ghami hai subaho shaam
zindagi ke do hain naam
zindagi hai subaho shaam
Kuchh haseen hai subaho shaam


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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.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TEN years. This blog has over 15100 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 4000 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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