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

Archive for the ‘Leela Chitnis – Vasant Eric Duet’ Category


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 : 3613 Post No. : 14407

Today’s song is from a relatively unknown film ‘Ghar Ki Rani’ (1940). The film makes its debut on the blog today.

Every person in this world likes to talk about himself. More so, if the person is from the film line and now retired. Some of them write their autobiography and some others get someone to write for them. Autobiographies (AB) are of two types. One in which the author talks about the times he spent in the studios, about the film, people connected with it, anecdotes and generally gives information about those times, in his book. Such ABs are considered the best from the point of view of Film History. Such ABs are less in number.

The other type of AB is, in which the author writes more about his personal life mainly, giving negligible space to other matters like film, people and related matters. Such authors are under the wrong impression that the world is dying to know about him and his life, while the facts remain that they had lives like majority of people in India working in films.

Overall, the statistics say that women wrote more ABs than the men. Among the many ABs are the ones by Durga Khote, Leela Chitnis, Shanta Apte, Shanta Hublikar, Kanan Devi, Hansa Wadkar (one of the very few in the world, on which a film was made – ‘Bhumika’ (1977), Sulochana Latkar, Jayashree Gadkar, Snehprabha Pradhan etc etc. Among the males, some ABs are those of Bimal Roy, Nabendu Ghosh (I found that most film male personalities in Bangla cinema wrote their ABs), Sachin Burman, Salil Chaudhari, Hemanta Kumar,  Vithal Pandya, Ramchandra Thakur and C. Ramchandra. Bangla artists wrote in Bangla only. Some have been translated into English.

Among these ABs, I would rate Durga Khote, Sulochana and Kanan Devi and Vithal Pandya’s  books as the best in the first category. The worst AB is that of C Ramchandra from the second category in my personal opinion.

When I write about a film or a song, I try to first read the related part from the AB of the concerned artiste, if any, so that my information becomes factual and reliable. In case of today Leela Chitnis was the heroine of film ‘Ghar Ki Rani’ and today’s song is also by her, so naturally, her AB came handy to me for additional information. It is a matter of coincidence that my previous article was from the film ‘Fashion’ (1943) and today’s film ‘Ghar Ki Rani’ (1940) – both had by chance a similar story in content. The difference is I had not seen ‘Fashion’, but I saw the Marathi version of ‘Ghar Ki Rani’.

Film ‘Ghar Ki Rani’ aka ‘The Better Half’ was a bilingual film, as per those day’s practice by producers of Maharashtra. The film was in Hindi and Marathi. In Marathi, the title was ‘Ardhangi’. It was made by Master Vinayak for his own Hans Pictures. Hans Pictures was in financial crisis during this period due to the failure of their ambitious film ‘Jwaala’ (1939), in which Chandramohan had acted in both versions, dubbing his own dialogues in Marathi himself, fluently.

When Master Vinayak had started Hans Pictures, the first film was ‘Chhaaya’ (1936). He had called Leela Chitnis to Kolhapur from Karachi to work in ‘Chhaaya’. Prior to that about a year or so earlier, Leela and Vinayak had been introduced in Poona. That time they had developed an attraction for each others, though Leela was already married and had 2 children. When they met again for film ‘Ghar Ki Rani’ at Poona, no such feeling had remained. That time Master Vinayak had married Susheela – sister of actress Indira Wadkar, and he too had 2 daughters by then. One of them was Baby Nanda. During the shooting of the film Leela fell from her cycle and had fractures. One month was lost in that.

Leela had just completed ‘Bandhan’ (1940) made by Bombay Talkies and ‘Jhoola’ (1941) was nowhere in sight. After completing this film in Poona, when she went back to Bombay, she learnt that Bombay Talkies owner Himanshu Rai was serious and in the hospital. Soon he died and the studio was divided into two groups. Work was to start for her next film ‘Jhoola’. In between this period, she went to Gwalior to meet her son who was studying there in a Public school. In this period, a sad but funny thing happened.

Some British soldiers caught and raped an young girl whose name was Leela Chitnis. The soldiers were arrested and the newspapers in Bombay announced that Leela Chitnis was raped by soldiers and that she is not well. Her mother telephoned her in Gwalior and started inquiring about her health in a serious tone. This was followed by her sister’s call who said that she is reaching next day to take care of her health. Leela Chitnis was confused. Not aware of the drama in Bombay, she did not know why suddenly her health was questioned. Next day her sister came and then everything was clarified. After she came back to Bombay she contacted the papers and clarified the matter.

The story and lyrics of the Marathi version of this film were written by Acharya PK Atre, but for Hindi version Pt Indra translated them. Today’s song is by Leela Chitnis and Master Eric. HFGK credits the song to Master Vinayak. However, in the addenda, an explanation is given with correct name. The fact is, Master Vinayak had a dental problem, due to which he could not sing well. All his songs in Marathi and Hindi films were sung by Master Eric. This is mentioned in several books.

Now, who was this Master Eric? His real name was Vasant Jadhav. He was born in 1907 into a Marathi Christian family of Kolhapur. Bhalji Pendharkar selected him for acting and singing in Shyam Cinetone’s film ‘Parth Kumar’ (1934) (Hindi / Marathi). His pet name was Eric, so he became Vasant Eric and later on due to his singing, he was called Master Vasant Eric. He joined Kolhapur Shalini Cinetone and worked with Master Vinayak. He also worked in films like ‘Aakashwani’ (1934) and ‘Honhaar’ (1936). He sang songs in films from 1937 onwards. In all the Marathi / Hindi films of Master Vinayak he sang for him.

Vasant Eric knew Ratanbai. She introduced him to Ardeshir Irani and he employed Eric in his music department, playing various instruments and singing whenever needed. He acted and sang in films made by Hans, Navyug and Prafull Films. In 1948, he gave music to a Marathi film. He was called by many MDs to play chord piano for their songs. The male voice in Lata’s First Hindi Playback song “Paa Laagu Kar Jori Re”  is that of master Vasant Eric only.

His son Ravindra was an actor and daughter Hemlata Shankar (Jadhav) was a film dancer. His grandson Nitin Shanker is an arranger in Bollywood today. Master Vasant Eric died in 1982.

I have seen the film’s Marathi version, ‘Ardhangi’. The story of film ‘Ghar Ki Rani’ was-

Satyavan (Vinayak) is a University professor. Though he is highly educated, his wife Savitri (Meenakshi Shirodkar) is a simple housewife devoted to husband and his family. One day Satyavan’s colleague introduces his wife to Satyawan. Arundhati (Leela Chitnis) is a modern, educated, English speaking and cigarette smoking beautiful woman. Satyawan gets mad after her and takes every opportunity to meet and flatter her. In his mind he starts comparing Arundhati with his wife Savitri and feels ashamed of his wife. He feels Savitri is absolutely illiterate, old styled useless woman and avoids taking her with him anywhere.

He appoints a tutor to teach Savitri European manners and English speaking etc. It is difficult for Savitri, but for husband she does them and soon picks up, being intelligent woman. When Satyawan tries to impress Arundhati, she gives him freedom. Soon he comes very close to her to have an affair. However Arundhati humiliates him and makes him to all her domestic work. Then one day, she abandons Satyawan for the rich Zamindar Marotirao (Baburao Pendharkar).

Satyawan realises that he has been a fool to run after such a woman and returns happily to his wife Savitri, little knowing that it was Savitri who instigated Marotirao to go for Arundhati, to save her husband going away from her. Thus the Mahabharata story of Savitri who wins back her husband form Yama, comes to a close in Kalyug ! ( 655 )

Here is a rare song of Leela Chitnis and Master Vasant Eric from film ‘Ghar Ki Rani’. When you listen to Eric’s voice, you will realize the similarity of Master Vinayak’s and his voice.

 


Song – Aao Sainyaan Khul Kar Khelen Aaj Poonam Ki Raat Hai (Ghar Ki Rani) (1940) Singer – Leela Chitnis, Vasant Eric, Lyrics – [Unattributed], Music – Dada Chandekar

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

aao sainyaan
khul kar khelen
aaj poonam ki raat hai
aao sainyaan
khul kar khelen
aaj poonam ki raat hai
chandramukhi ho
pehlu mein to
chandramukhi ho
pehlu mein to
khoob poonam ki raat hai

chanda chhin chhin mein chhip jaata
rajnion ka chumban le aata
phir hum par joban barsaata
aaj poonam ki raat hai
hoon hum
khoob poonam ki raat hai

tum dard badha ke
dil mein mujhe chhipa lo
praanon se praan
aahon se aah mila lo
main teri aankh mein
aansoon jal kar jhoomoon
jo girey aankh se
to gaalon ko choomoon
bhool jaaye duniya hum ko
hum duniya ko bhoolen
bhool jaaye duniya hum ko
hum duniya ko bhoolen
madhoshi ki godi mein
armaan banaayen ghoomen
aaj poonam ki raat hai
hoon hum
khoob poonam ki raat hai
aao sainyaan
khul kar khelen
aaj poonam ki raat hai

———————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————
आओ सैंया
खुल कर खेलें
आज पूनम की रात है
आओ सैंया
खुल कर खेलें
आज पूनम की रात है
चन्द्रमुखी हो
पहलू में तो
चन्द्रमुखी हो
पहलू में तो
खूब पूनम की रात है

चंदा छिन्न छिन्न में छिप जाता
रजनीओं का चुम्बन ले आता
फिर हम पर जोबन बरसाता
आज पूनम की रात है
हूँ हुम
खूब पूनम की रात है

तुम दर्द बढ़ा के
दिल में मुझे छिपा लो
प्राणों से प्राण
आहों से आह मिला लो
मैं तेरी आँख में
आँसू जल कर झूमूँ
जो गिरे आँख से
तो गालों को चूमूँ
भूल जाये दुनिया हमको
हुम दुनिया को भूलें
भूल जाये दुनिया हमको
हुम दुनिया को भूलें
मदहोशी की गोदी में
अरमान बनाएँ घूमें
आज पूनम की रात है
हूँ हुम
खूब पूनम की रात है
आओ सैंया
खुल कर खेलें
आज पूनम की रात है

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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 14700 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 3700 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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