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

Archive for the ‘Shirin Bano – Ranjit Roy 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 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 :

3799 Post No. : 14789 Movie Count :

4044

Today’s song is from a very old film of the early talkie cinema – ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’ (1937) aka ‘Dreamland’.

This was the first film directed by Vijay Bhatt, after he and his brother Shankar Bhatt established Prakash Pictures. In those days, the trend was to make films on mythology, folk tales or social issues. Instead, Prakash Pictures took up a totally new and untried topic like Science Fiction story to make a movie. Film ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’ was based on – or took inspiration from the Hollywood popular film, Universal Studio’s ‘The Invisible Man’ (1933). This film was a cinematic adaptation of the famous novel ‘The Invisible Man’ written by HG Wells in 1897.

Originally, this novel was published serially in the ‘Pearson’s Weekly’ in the early part of 1897. At the end of the year 1897, it was published as a novel and very soon it became a best seller. Translated in almost every language in the world, the novel attracted the film makers of the early era and a film was made in 1933. The film also became a hit and in subsequent years several adaptations and film versions in different languages came up. India too did not lag behind and the adventurous duo of brothers made a film on this story, adapting it to Indian context. Several films in many languages using this as a central theme and adapting the story in various ways, were made in India. Some names I remember off hand are ‘Mr X’ (1957), ‘Mr X’ (1938), ‘Mr X In Bombay’ (1964), ‘Mr X’ (2015), and ‘Mr India’ (1987).

Basic problem was how to show the ‘invisible‘ man. There was no special effect technique available in India till then, like in Hollywood. Vijay Bhatt had an assistant called Babubhai Mistri, who accepted the challenge and using a dim light, a black curtain and a black thread to move articles, he achieved the desired results. This made the film not only a hit and popular one, but also a unique one. Babubhai Mistri, thus, became the father of the trick scenes and special effects in India. In the process Babubhai also earned a moniker of ‘kaala dhaaga‘ (black thread) for rest of his life, in the film industry.

Babubhai Mistri was born on 5th September 1918 in Surat, Gujarat. His father – a building contractor, died suddenly when Babubhai was just 14 year old. Being the eldest he had to take care of his mother and 9 younger siblings. He came to Bombay, where his uncle was working for Krishna Cinetone. With his help, he became an assistant in Bharat Movietone. Starting from making posters and helping in set designing, he learnt from every department of film making.

When he learnt that Prakash Pictures faced a difficulty in special effects he volunteered and made history. Impressed with his skill, Wadia Movietone, famous for fantasy and stunt films, took him in for special effects. During his career, Babubhai not only gave special effects to more than 300 mythological, stunt and fantasy films, but also entered the field of direction. Wadia brothers gave him first opportunity to direct their film ‘Muqabala’ (1942), a Nadia film about twin sisters.

Along with co-director Batuk Bhai i.e. Nanabhai Bhatt, he experimented some new special effects. This film was first in India to use ‘split-screen method’ for double roles, where both sisters could cross each others, shake hands and talk together. Another feature for this film was the night club set, which, in case of a police raid, could be converted into respectable home – on screen for the audience to see. It simply mesmerised the people.

In 1942 Wadia Movietone broke up and Homi Wadia started Basant Pictures. Babubhai directed a film ‘Mauj’ (1943) for him too. He became a free lancer and he directed 48 Hindi films. His last film was ‘Hatim Tai’ (1990). He also directed one Telugu and nine Gujarati films. Many of his assistants became famous as trick masters and special effects experts.

After his retirement he suffered from cancer. His voice box was removed and he had to use an artificial devise for speaking. Tata Cancer Hospital made a film on his courage and will power to overcome cancer, to inspire other cancer patients.

Babubhai won many awards and rewards, for his work in films. He died on 20-12-2010, at the age of 92 years. (Thanks to ‘Beete Huey Din‘ blog for some information used here.)

Film ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’ had a cast of Jayant, Sardar Akhtar, Lallubhai, Umakant, Shirin Bano, Ismail, Jahoor, Madhav Marathe etc. In the early phase of film making, it was difficult to get good looking female actors from educated or respected families for working in films. That is because, it was considered a ‘below the dignity’ job. For silent films, many Anglo Indian and Jew girls became heroines because for them it was not a question of dignity and acting was considered like any other vocation.

Dadasaheb Phalke had described an incident. While making his first film (‘Raja Harishchandra’, 1913), he needed a female actor for Taramati’s role. He found it very difficult to get one. Those days, even in stage plays, the female roles were done by handsome (and sometimes, not so handsome also) males. But even they were not ready. He became desperate and went finally to red light area and talked to some prostitutes. Even they refused to do this ‘lowly’ job. Reluctantly, Dadasaheb settled for Salunke, a male impersonator to do this role.

As the talkie films started, the number of Anglo Indian girls rapidly went down as most of them did not know Hindi nor could they sing. Only a few hard working Anglo Indian girls survived and progressed from silent to talkie films, like Savita Devi (Iris Gasper – who learnt Hindi/Urdu and singing, with efforts), Sulochana (Ruby Myers), Indira Devi (Effie Hippolet), Lalita Devi (Bonnie Bird), Pramila (Esher Abrahams), Seeta Devi (Renee Smith), Madhuri (Beryl Classen), Manorama (Winnie Stewart) etc. Since singing was an important requisite, the field was now open to singing girls from kothas, tawaayafs and professional singers. Reasonably good looks and singing ability was what made them actresses. These girls, who came from kothas and professional singer families used the suffix ‘Bai’ to their names to differentiate their specialty. Thus you had Jaddan Bai, Amirbai, Johrabai, Rattan Bai etc.

Many young singing girls considered cinema as a place where they could get (catch ? ) a good husband from a better family background, earning respectability (forget religion). Many starlets married producers, directors, actors, singers and composers, left acting and settled as respectable housewives. Some girls got husbands from Nawabs and the Royalty, as they were patrons of arts. Many examples from early era can be cited in this connection like,

Gulab Bai alias Kamla Devi married S Fatelal – director in Prabhat Films.

Jaddan Bai married Uttamchand – a medical student and a jaagirdar.

Fatima Bai (mother of Zubeida, of Alam Ara fame) married Nawab of Sachin, Guajarat.

Sultana married Yusuf Laljee, businessman and chief of Bombay Municipal Corporation.

Actress Sarojini (Roshan) married Nanubhai Vakil – producer / director (their daughter was actress Azra).

Actress Indurani (Ishrat) – sister of Sarojini – married Ramniklal Shah – producer / director.

Actress Shirin Bai married Nanabhai Bhatt (their sons are Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt).

Actress Zubeida (of Alam Ara) married Raja Dhanrajgir of Hyderabad (Deccan).

The other actress Zubeida (on whose life, the film ‘Zubeida’ (2001) was made) married Maharaja Hanwant singh of Jodhpur.

etc.

This trend continued in the industry even after things changed and educated and respected family people entered the industry. Now, one could see marriages were taking place between people of film industry itself like Rattanbai and Director Hafiz, Jyoti and Durrani, Nalini Jaywant and Virendra Desai, Noorjahan and Shaukat Hussain Rizvi, Meena Kumari, Sardar Akhtar, Snehprabha Pradhan, Anil Biswas, Lalita Deulkar etc.

In recent era instances are Waheeda Rehman, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle, Hemant Kumar, Manik Verma, Premlata, Geeta Dutt, Geeta Bali, Rishi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan etc.

In the cast you find a name Shirin Bano. Yes, she too is one of the above listed artistes who joined films to get a suitable husband and lead a respectable and comfortable life. Shirin, Shirin Bai or Shirin Bano was from a tawaayaf mother from Lucknow. Her father was a Tamil Brahmin – Ram Seshadri Aiyar, who worked as an accountant with Kikubhai Desai (father of Manmohan Desai) in his distribution department. They were 5 sisters and 1 brother. Shirin joined films at an early age. Her first film was ‘Maharani’ (1934). The same year she worked in ‘Vehmi Duniya’, ‘Sewa Sadan’ and ‘Bala Joban’. In 1935 her films were ‘Shamsher e Arab’, ‘Pardesi Sainya’ and ‘Bambai Ki Sethani’. In 1936, she worked in ‘Tope Ka Gola’, ‘Snehlata’, ‘Passing Show’ and ‘Azaad Veer’. ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’, ‘His Highness’ and ‘Challenge’ are her films from 1937, ‘State Express’ and ‘Purnima’ in 1938, and ‘Leather Face’ and ‘Hero No. 1’ from 1939. Total 18 films only.

Her youngest sister Meher Bano also joined films with the name Purnima (she also married a producer / director Bhagwandas Varma). Shirin married producer / director Nanabhai Bhatt, who already had a wife and 9 children. They had 2 sons – Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt.

Very surprisingly, Prakash Pictures themselves brought out another film immediately in the next year i.e. 1938, titled ‘Mr. X’. I do not know if this film was based on the same theme. Today’s song is sung by Shirin Bano and Ranjit Roy. I could not get any information on singer Ranjit Roy, even from my Kolkata contacts. MuVyz says that he sang 23 songs in 10 films, from 1936 to 1946. With this song, the film makes its debut on the blog.

 


Song – Chhaai Aayi Saawan Ki Ghata  (Khwaab Ki Duniya) (1937) Singer – Shirin Bano, Ranjit Roy, Lyrics – Sampatlal Srivastav Anuj, Music – Lallubhai Nayak
Shirin Bano + Ranjit Roy

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata
chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata
baag mein boley papiha
baag mein boley papiha
pee..oo..u ka raag sunaave
pee..oo..u ka raag sunaave
chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata
chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata

mand sameer ki lehren aayin
hey. . .
mand sameer ki lehren aayin
mand sameer ki lehren aayin
hey. . .
mand sameer ki lehren aayin
lehren aayin
gaane lagi chidiya jee ki
gaane lagi chidiya jee ki
baadal se barsat hai paani
baadal se barsat hai paani
sab sarita jal bhar aayin
sab sarita jal bhar aayin

chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata. . .

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

छाई आई सावन की घटा
छाई आई सावन की घटा
बाग में बोले पपीहा
बाग में बोले पपीहा
पी॰॰ऊ॰॰ऊ का राग सुनावे
पी॰॰ऊ॰॰ऊ का राग सुनावे
छाई आई सावन की घाटा
छाई आई सावन की घाटा

मंद समीर की लहरें आयीं
हे॰॰॰
मंद समीर की लहरें आईं
मंद समीर की लहरें आईं
हे॰॰॰
मंद समीर की लहरें आयीं
लहरें आयीं
गाने लगा चिड़िया जी की
गाने लगा चिड़िया जी की
बादल से बरसत है पानी
बादल से बरसत है पानी
सब सरिता जल भर आईं
सब सरिता जल भर आईं

छाई आई सावन की घटा॰ ॰ ॰

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What is this blog all about

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 ELEVEN years. This blog has over 15200 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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