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

Archive for the ‘Post by Sadanand Kamath’ Category


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4637 Post No. : 16292

Today, March 29th 2021, we are celebrating Holi, the festival of joy and merry-making albeit in a subdued manner due to COVID-19 guidelines, banning public and private celebrations of Holi.

During Holi, the most popular genre of Hindustani semi-classical music is Hori which, in Brajbhasha means ‘happiness’. (I understand that in Brajbhasha region, people pronounce holi as ‘hori’). The ‘hori’ songs are written mostly in Brajbhasha or Awadhi. Obviously, hori singing is popular in Uttar Pradesh and a part of Bihar. The joy and merry-making mood come in the background of the expectation of a good Rabi harvest. The blooming of flowers in the spring season (Phagun) and the mustard fields with yellow flowers create a colourful atmosphere in North India. The mood of the rejoice among the farmers and villagers create the spirit behind the Holi celebration which has, over a period of time, percolated all over the country.

The tradition of playing with colours during Holi is linked to Radha-Krishna Leela (divine play) especially in Brajbhasha region of Uttar Pradesh. Hori singing reflects Krishna’s revelries and playing pranks with Radha. Hori is generally rendered in Thumri style and conventionally, the song will have a mukhda and an antara. One of the various names of Krishna such as Shyam, Kaanha, Nandlala, Banwari, Baanke-Bihari etc would appear either in mukhda or antara part of the hori song.

In the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh and the Mithila region of Bihar and Jharkhand (also some part of Nepal), hori singing also centres around Lord Ram. The earliest recorded hori song which I have come across is ‘Jamuna tath Ram khelen hori’ by Janaki Bai of Allahabad (Chappan Churi), recorded in 1910 which is a ‘Ram Hori’ song. Pandit Chunnilal Mishra has rendered even ‘Shiv Ki Hori’.

The traditional hori songs are based on the folk singing of the particular region and are thus embedded with the rural atmosphere. I guess, over the years, the folk songs rendered during the holi festival became so popular that some of the Hindustani classical vocalists adapted the traditional hori songs in their concerts, rendering mostly in the form of Thumris. On the video sharing platforms, some of the hori thumris rendered by Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, Kesarbai Kerkar, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Kumar Gandharv, Begum Akhtar, Shobha Gurtu, Girija Devi, Siddheswari Devi etc are available.

The popularity of hori songs attracted Hindi films when talkies came in 1931. The hori songs in Hindi films have now been adopted as holi festival songs, written and sung in typical Bollywood style. There are hundreds of holi songs picturised in Hindi films. As of now, we have on our Blog as many as 62 songs tagged as ‘Holi Songs’. On the basis of the movie-wise listing of the songs available on-line, the credit for the first traditional hori song used in Hindi film was ‘mope daar gayo saari rang ki gagar’ in ‘Ghar Ki Laxmi’ (1931). Probably, in the film, this song may have been rendered by Rampyari, the then famous singer-actor-dancer whose name I found in the star-cast. Unfortunately, neither the film nor the gramophone records of the songs from this film are available. It may be noted that in the early years of talkies, many film songs were not released on the gramophone records.

Luckily, I got a rare mp3 clip of the traditional hori song with the same mukhda as in ‘Ghar Ki Laxmi’ (1931) in the film ‘Comrades’ (1939) which I am presenting on the occasion of the Holi festival. The song is rendered by Wahidan Bai, the mother of Nimmi. The lyrics are traditional but it has been attributed to Dr. Safdar Aah Sitapuri. Probably, he may have changed a few words. For example, in my view, the line ‘kaisa dhokha diya’ seems to have been added in the traditional lyrics as these are in pure Hindi. The song is set to music by Anil Biswas.

The song is a typical hori thumri having a mukhda and an antara with the name of Krishna appearing as ‘Shyam’ in the antara. Being trained in Hindustani classical singing, Wahidan Bai has tendered this hori thumri with elaborations and ornamentations. It is worthwbhile to note that as to how elaborately she has rendered the line ‘bin rang daare jaane na doongi’ with ornamentations. The ‘murki’ element in the song while singing jaa….ne na doongi..ee, jaa…..ne na doongi..eeeee is my favourite.

This song becomes the earliest ‘holi song’ from Hindi films to be covered in the Blog though are a few more ‘holi songs’ pertaining to the Hindi films were released prior to 1939.

Audio Clip:

Song- Mo pe daar gaye saari rang ki gagar (Comrades)(1939) Singer-Wahidan Bai, Lyrics-Safdar Aah Sitapuri, MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics

aaaaaaaa aaaaa
aaaaa aaaa aaaaaaaaa
aaaaa aaaa aaaa
aaa

mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
kaisa dhokha diya aa aa aa
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar

bin rang daare jaane na doongi
bin rang daare…ae
jaa….ne na doongi..ee
jaa…..ne na doongi..eeeee
haa…n
jaane na doo…ngi
bin rang daare jaane na doongi
bin rang daare jaane na doongi
Shyam kaho ab jaat kidhar
Shyam kaho ab jaat kidhar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
kaisa dhokha diya aa aa aa
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4632 Post No. : 16286

With the advent of sound films in India in 1931, many actors faced difficulties in on-screen performances with their voices. Only few actors of silent films who could, fluently or otherwise, speak Urdu and Hindi made a transition from silent to talkies. Master Vitthal, Master Nissar, Mazhar Khan, Prithviraj Kapoor, Baburao Pendharkar, Raja Sandow, Hiralal, Patience Cooper, Zubeida, Sulochana (Ruby Mayers), Gohar Mamajiwala, Madhuri (Beryl Claessen), Sabita Devi (Irin Gasper), Gulab, Jillo Bai, Lalita Pawar, Durga Khote etc were some of the actors who switched over from silent to talkies without much of difficulties. A few of them even learnt speaking Hindi and Urdu during the transition.

The makers of talkies faced another difficulty. They realised that most of the actors did not have a good voice for singing on-screen. While some actors could get away with their less than average singing ability due to their popularity with the film audience, the film-makers felt the need for new actors who could sing better and/or the trained singers who could also act. So, in early 1930s, a new category of actors who could also sing with good voices emerged in Hindi film industry. In this category, K L Saigal, Kanan Devi, Asit Baran, Ratan Bai, Uma Shashi, Pahadi Sanyal, Rajkumari Dubey, Shanta Apte, Surendra, Bibbo, Sitara Devi, Shahu Modak, Sardar Akhtar, Vatsala Kumthekar among many others emerged. Barring few exceptions, most of actor-singer (and singer-actor) lasted in the Hindi film industry as singers until system of playback singing was firmly established by early 1940s. Some of them continued to act in the films, their on-screen songs being lip synced by the playback singers.

In the early 1930s, there was one more category of singers in which film-makers were interested in taking them as singer-actor because of their popularity as Hindustani classical singers on All India Radio and in private concerts. Apart from filling up the void in singers for Hindi films, these trained singers were regarded ‘icing in the cake’ in the films for their box office success.

While most of the ‘hard-core’ Hindustani classical vocalists kept distance from the Hindi films, some of the popular singers of the semi-classical genres such as thumri, dadra and ghazal got attracted to work in Hindi films as singer-actor. Thus, the popular Hindustani semi-classical singers like Mukhtar Begum, Jahanara Kajjan, Akhtari Faizabadi (Begum Akhtar), Jaddan Bai, Indubala, Kamala Jharia among others entered the Hindi film industry during the early 1930s. Some of their large repertoire of semi-classical singing was replicated on the screen albeit in shorter forms. One can judge the importance of these songstresses for attracting the film audience when posters of a few Hindi films of early 1930s had their names in the bold letters of the same size as that of the films’ titles.

It is worthwhile to note that mostly female Hindustani semi-classical singers got associated with Hindi films as singer-actor in the early phase of sound films. Most of them were having their background as tawaifs or private concert singers. They mostly sang thumri, dadra, ghazals and other semi-classical genres. The male Hindustani classical singers felt it below their dignity to sing or record songs in these genres especially up to the beginning of early 20th century. It was only when Hindustani classical singing maestros like Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan etc started singing thumri and dadra in their concerts in early 1930s with their respective gharana style, these sub-genres of Hindustani semi-classical music attained respectability.

In this context, I recall that even in post independent period, Ustad Amir Khan who was an exponent of Khayal singing, never sang thumri, dadra and ghazals in the concerts nor did he record songs in these genres. The only exceptions he made was that he sang a Ghalib ghazal, rahiye ab aisi jagah chalkar jahaan koi na ho, composed by Pandit Amarnath Chawla, his senior-most disciple, for a documentary film ‘Mirza Ghalib’ (1969). And he rendered this ghazal in Khayal style. (Ref: ‘Indore Ke Maseeha’, 2008 by Bindu Chawla). The second exception was for a Bengali film ‘Kshudito Pashan’ (1960) in which he sang a dadra under the music direction of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

Among the Hindustani semi-classical singers, Wahidan Bai of Agra was one of the late entrants in Hindi films. Although she was trained as Hindustani classical vocalist and was an occasional singr on All-India Radio, she did not like to pursue the career as a professional singer due to stigma attached to this profession. So, she got married to a businessman and settled as a housewife in Agra. However, the business went in doldrum and they shifted to Calcutta (Kolkata) in early 1930s to start a fresh business. Even the new business incurred losses and the couple were in dire financial condition. At this point of time, she approached A R Kardar who was her neighbour in Kolkata, for a role in the film. She got a song to sing in a small role and everyone was impressed with her voice.

Chandulal Shah, the owner of Ranjit Movietone offered Wahidan Bai to join his company as actor-singer. In Ranjit Movietone, she worked in ‘Toofaani Toli’ (1937), ‘Ban Ki Chidiya’ (1938), ‘Prithvi Putra’ (1938), ‘Professor Waman, M Sc’ (1938), ‘Rickshawala’ (1938), ‘The Secretary’ (1938) and ‘Thokar’ (1939). In all these films, she sang semi-classical genres of songs most of which became popular.

Wahidan Bai switched over to Sagar Movietone and played a lead role opposite Surendra in ‘Alibaba’ (1940), made in Hindi and Punjabi. In this film, she rendered for the first time a waltz music-based song, ham aur tum aur ye khushi with Surendra which became very popular. With the merger of Sagar Movietone with National Studios in 1940, Wahidan Bai worked in ‘Sanskaar’ (1940) as actor-singer which was her last film. Thereafter, she was mostly bed-ridden as she suffered from tuberculosis from which she did not recovered and died sometime in 1942. During her short filmy career, Wahidan Bai was associated with 11 films and rendered 26 songs.

[Note: Information on Wahidan Bai is mainly based on a chapter, ‘Jewels of Sagar’ in the Book ‘Sagar Movietone’ by Biren Kothari (2014), translated in English by Parth Pandya].

‘Thokar/The Kick’ (1939) was Wahidan Bai’s last film with Ranjit Movietone. The film was directed by A R Kardar. The star cast included M Kumar, Madhuri, Yakub, Noor Mohammed Charlie, Ishwarlal, Wahidan Bai, Wasti, Ram Marathe, Suresh, K N Singh, Dixit etc.

A short synopsis of the film’s story as given in http://www.indiancine.ma is reproduced below:

This is story about wealth not bringing happiness. The blind Mohan (Kumar) lives in a village with his ward Radha (Madhuri). He wins a fortune with a sweepstake ticket sold to him by the tramp Ramesh (Charlie), who claims his due and begins to take over Mohan’s life, making him move to the city and getting him married to Chinta (Wahidan Bai), a prostitute. When Mohan’s eyesight is restored, he finds that his wife is having an affair with Ramesh. Mohan takes revenge and eventually lands up in his old village, a poor man, but with Radha still unchanged, waiting for him.

There were 10 songs in the film – all written by P L Santoshi which were set to music by Gyan Dutt. One song from the film has been covered in the Blog. I present the second song from the film ‘kaali jo ghata chhaayi hai’ rendered by Wahidan Bai in the semi-classical singing style.

Audio Clip:

Song-Kaali jo ghata chhaayi hai (Thokar)(1939) Singer-Wahidan Bai, Lyrics-P L Santoshi, MD-Gyan Dutt

Lyrics

aa aa aaa
aankhon aankhon mein
pila di mere saaqi ne mujhe
ab na sheeshe ki zuroorat hai na paimaane ki
kaali..eee
kaali….eeee ee ee
kaali jo ghata chhaayi hai
haan haan jee ghata chhaayi
zulfen saaqi..ee.ee.ee ee
saaqi mujhe yaad aayi hai
haan haan mujhe yaad aayi

gudguda…aa deti hai
ae ae
deti hai dil ko zaalim
deti hai dil ko
shokh a a kitneeeee…ee ee ee
kitni teri angadaayi hai ae ae
haan teri angadaayi hai….ai
haan teri angadaayi

hum hain beemaa…..r e
beemaar-e-mohabbat
jab se…ae ae ae
na maseeha ho aa aaa aaa
maseeha na maseehaaayi hai…..ai
maseeha na maseeha aaye hain
haan na maseeha aaye
kaali ghata chhaaye hai…ai


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4618 Post No. : 16259

‘Lalaji’ (1942) was produced by Mehboob Khan under the banner of National Studios and was jointly directed by Chimanlal Gandhi and Lalitchandra Mehta. The star cast included Krishnakant, Yashodara Katju, Yakoob, Vatsala Kumthekar, Amar, Sunalini Devi, Maya Devi, AR Kabuli, Kayam Ali etc. I have no idea about the story of the film. The montages of the film indicate that it was a comedy film with Yakub having an important role as Hiralal and A R Kabuli as Lalaji though the lead pairs of the film were Yashodara Katju and Krishnakant.

There were 12 songs in the film of which one song has been covered in the Blog. As many as 8 songs were written by Arzoo Lucknawi. Two songs were written by Neelkanth Tiwari. The name of the lyricist was not mentioned in respect of one song. That leaves one song which created some curiosity in me as this song was a ghazal attributed to Mirza Ghalib. However, I could not locate the audio clip of this ghazal on any video sharing platform. Finally, I could listen to this song in full on gaana.com and got it confirmed that this ghazal was written by Mirza Ghalib as his name de plume, ‘Ghalib’ appears in the last she’r of the ghazal.

The problem was not yet over as the audio quality of the ghazal was not up to the mark. Moreover, there were some high sounding Urdu/Persian/Arabic words used in the ghazal which made my task difficult to decipher the ghazal. http://www.rekhta.org came to my rescue as fortunately, this ghazal was listed under Mirza Ghalib.

I am presenting the second song from the fiim, ‘Lalaji’ (1942) – hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din which is a ghazal written by Mirza Ghalib and sung by Vatsala Kumthekar and Amar. The ghazal is set to music by Vasant Kumar Naidu.

The original ghazal have 5 she’rs while the ghazal in the film has 4 she’rs. But the second she’r in the ghazal used for the film is not a part of the original ghazal of Mirza Ghalib. Even while reading the ghazal, the second she’r sounds off-kilter with the rest of the ghazal. My own guess is that probably, Arzoo Lucknawi who had written 8 songs in the film may have written this she’r keeping in view the situation in the film.

The ghazal is written as imageries of conversation of the poet with his beloved. Let me attempt English translation of 3 she’r of the original ghazal included in the song with the help of the meanings of some of the high-sounding Urdu/Persian/Arabic words, given by Ali Sardar Jafri in his book ‘Diwan-e-Ghalib’.

hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din
warna hum chhedenge rakh kar uzr-e-masti ek din

ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti= at the time of drinking wine.
uzr-e-masti= pretext of pleasure (intoxication)

You be frank and open up to me while I am drinking wine some day.
Or else, in the pretext of drunkenness, one day, I will tease you (creating a nuisance).

qarz ki peete thhe mai lekin samajhte thhe ki haan
rang laayegi hamaari faaqa-masti ek din

faqa-masti=pleasure in adversity.

I drank wine on credit and yes, I thought that my wine-induced
cheerfulness in the midst of debt would be rewarded one day.

dhaul-dhappa uss saraapa-naaz ka shewa nahin
hum hi kar baithhe thhe ‘Ghaalib’ pesh-dasti ek din

dhaul-dappa=fist-fight

saraapa-naaz= proud from head to toe, coyness from head to toe.

shewa=habit, manner.

pesh-dasti=taking initiative, first move.

She, who is coquettish from head to toe is not in the habit of fighting.
I was the one who did the first move one day to make that (fight) happen.

The role of Vatsala Kumthekar as I understand from IDMb is that of a mujra dancer. Since Amar is acting in the film and is also singing along with her in this ghazal, I thought that the song may have been picturised on Vatsala Kumthekar and Amar. But the last she’r of the ghazal gives a hint that Amar may have sung this song for Yakub when he sings ….

hum hi kar baithhe thhe ‘Ghaalib’
nahin nahin
hum hi kar baithhe thhe ‘Hira’ pesh-dasti ek din

In this film, Yakub plays the role of ‘Hiralal’.

Audio Link:

Song-Hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din (Lalaji)(1942) Singers-Vatsala Kumthekar, Amar, Lyrics-Mirza Ghalib, MD-Vasant Kumar Naidu

Lyrics

hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din
hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din
warna hum chhedenge rakh kar uzr-e-masti ek din
warna hum chhedenge rakh kar uzr-e-masti ek din

tujh se aankhen lad gayin aur dil machal kar rah gaya
kaise
tujh se aankhen lad gayin
aur dil machal kar rah gaya
doob gayi re
lut gayi
haay
haay
lut gayi re lut gayi is dil ki basti ek din
lut gayi re lut gayi is dil ki basti ek din

aa aa aa aaa
qarz ki peete thhe mai
lekin samajhte thhe ki haan
haan aah aaah
qarz ki peete thhe mai
lekin samajhte thhe ki haan
rang laayegi hamaari faaqa-masti ek din
rang laayegi hamaari faaqa-masti ek din

dhaul-dhappa uss saraapa-naaz ka shewa nahin
dhaul-dhappa uss saraapa-naaz ka shewa nahin
hum bhi kar baithhe thhe ‘Ghaalib’
nahin nahin
hum bhi kar baithhe thhe ‘Hira’ pesh-dasti ek din

hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din
hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din
hum se khul jaao ba-waqt-e-mai-parasti ek din


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4588 Post No. : 16210 Movie Count :

4411

Today, February 8th is the 5th Remembrance Day of the poet and lyricist, Nida Fazli (12/10/1938 – 08/02/2016) who left for the heavenly abode on this date 5 years back. 80 years ago, Ghazal singer, Jagjit Singh (08/02/1841 – 10/10/2011) was born on this date. More than a co-incidental connection between the two, they had a special connection through their collaborations. Nida Fazli was the master of expressing the romance, realities and the philosophy of life by way of ghazals and nazms while Jagjit Singh added soul to Nida Fazli’s words through his emotive voice.

There was another co-incidence about Nida Fazli and Jagjit Singh. Both came to Mumbai around the same time, 1964 and 1965 respectively, for pursuing their career. It was Jagjit Singh’s first LP album with his wife, Chitra Singh titled ‘Unforgettable’ (1976) which made him popular as a ghazal singer. Almost at the same point of time, Nida Fazli had also become one of the most sought-after poets in mushairas all over India.

Both Jagjit Singh and Nida Fazli used very simplistic approach in making their ghazals popular among the masses. Jagjit Singh rendered ghazals in his emotive voice with simple music using only 3-4 musical instruments. He mostly avoided the use of semi-classical genre such as thumri and dadra as was the convention at that time. Nida Fazli, by and large, avoided the use of Persianised Urdu words in his ghazal. He used the mix of simple words from Hindi and Urdu to make them understandable to the masses. He moved away from the convention of ghazal writing as an expression of the unrequited love and the piognant mood associated with such love. Instead, he expressed through his poems the human relationships, socio-economic and political situations as also on realities of life. His poem depicted the humanist approach.

I have selected a few of couplets from his ghazals, some of which have been sung by Jagjit Singh, as examples of his non-conventional way of putting his thoughts in simple words with deep meanings:

uss ke dushman hain bahut aadmī achchha hoga
wo bhi meri hi tarah shahar mein tanha hoga

safar mein dhoop to hogi jo chal sako to chalo
sabhi hain bheed mein tum bhi nikal sako to chalo

[Note: This entire ghazal was recited by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during a Rajya Sabha debate on March 8, 2016 in the context of Government’s difficulties for the smooth passage of bills in Rajya Sabha]

dhoop mein niklo ghataaon mein nahaa kar dekho
zindagi kyaa hai kitaabon ko hataa kar dekho

duniya jise kahte hain jaadoo kaa khilauna hai
mil jaaye to mittī hai kho jaaye to sona hai

hukoomaton ko badalne to kuchh muhaal nahin
hukoomaten jo badalta hai wo samaaj bhī ho

Muhaal= difficult

kabhi kabhi youn bhi ham ne apne jee ko bahlaaya hai
jin baaton ko ḳhud nahin samjhe auron ko samjhaaya hai

ghar se masjid hai bahut dur chalo youn kar le
kisi rote huye bachche ko hansaaya jaaye

hoshwaalon ko khabar kya bekhudi kya cheez hai
ishq keejiye phir samjhiye zindagi kya cheez hai

Both Nida Fazli and Jagjit Singh got associated with Hindi film industry almost at the same time. Nida Fazli wrote his first lyrics for ‘Satranj Ke Mohre’ (1974). Jagjit Singh rendered his first full-pledge song as a playback singer in Hindi film, ‘Aavishkaar’ (1973) with his wife Chitra Singh.

Despite both Nida Fazli and Jagjit Singh being in Mumbai since 1965 and both having the inter-related careers, it took almost 25 years for both of them to collaborate for the first time when Nida Fazli wrote the lyrics for the film ‘Billoo Baadshah’ (1989) for which Jagjit Singh was the music director and also the playback singer for one song. It took another four years when their first non-film album, ‘Insight’ was released in 1993. for which all the songs were written by Nida Fazli. Thereafter their collaborations continued until Jagjit Singh’s death kept them apart.

Nida Fazli entered the Hindi film industry as a lyricist at a time when the quality of song writing had the initial sign of deterioration. In the post-1980’s scenarios, his filmy songs stand apart from most of the songs written during that period. And when he joined with Jagjit Singh, their collaborative as well as individual efforts took us back to the golden period of Hindi film music for few moments.

On the occasion of the 5th Rememberance Day of Nida Fazli and 80th birth anniversary of Jagjit Singh, I have selected one of those Hindi film songs where Jagjit Singh has sung the song written by Nida Fazli. The song is ‘meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar’ from ‘Tarkieb’ (2000) with Alka Yagnik joining Jagjit Singh in rendition. The song was set to music by Aadesh Srivastav.

‘Tarkieb’ (2000) failed miserably at the box office and faded into oblivion. But the song under discussion has ensured that the name of the film is not forgotten. Such is the power of Jagjit Singh-Nida Fazli combination.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Kiska chehraa ab main dekhoon(Tarkieb)(2000) Singers-Jagjit Singh, Alka Yagnik, Lyrics-Nida Fazli, MD-Aadesh Srivastav
Both
Chorus

Lyrics

chaand bhi dekha
phool bhi dekha
baadal bijli titli jugnu
koi nahin hai aisa
tera husn hai jaisa
tera husn hai jaisa

meri nigaah ne ye kaisa khwaab dekha hai
zameen pe chalta huwa mahtaab dekha hai

meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar
meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar
kiska chehara
kiska chehara
ab main dekhoo….n
tera chehara dekh kar
meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar

hu hu hu hu
ta ta ra ta ra ra ta ra

neend bhi dekhi
khwaab bhi dekha
neend bhi dekhi ee
khwaab bhi dekha aa
choodi bindiya darpan khushboo
koi nahin hai aisa
tera pyaar hai jaisa
haan tera pyaar hai jaisa aa
meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar
meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar
kiska chehra
kiska chehra..aa
ab main dekhoo…n oon oon
tera chehra dekh kar
meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar

ru ru ru

rang bhi dekhaa aa
roop bhi dekhaa aa aa
rang bhi dekhaa aa
roop bhi dekhaa aa
rasta manzil saahil mehfil
koi nahin hai aisa
tera saath hai jaisa
ho tera saath hai jaisa aa
meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar

meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar
kiska chehra..aa
kiska chehra abb main dekhoo..n oon
tera chehra dekh kar
meri aankhon ne chuna hai tujhko duniya dekh kar

bahut khubsoorat hai aankhen tumhaari
(aaaaaa aaaaaaaa)
bana dijiye inko kismat hamaari
(aaaaaa aaaaaa )
usse aur kya chaahiye zindagi mein
(hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm)
jise mil gayi mohabbat tumhaari
(hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm)


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4548 Post No. : 16128

Today, December 30, 2020 is 7th Remembrance Day of Lakshmi Shankar.

What a musical journey Lakshmi Shankar had in her career spreading over 7 decades! Her journey from a Bharatnataym dancer to Uday Shankar’s ballet dancer, an actress in a Tamil film, a playback singer in Hindi films, a Hindustani classical vocalist and as a catalyst in spreading the Hindustani classical music across the continents is unparalleled. And it is more so for a woman who had to cross the societal barrier. Lakshmi Shankar was really a woman of substance.

In 2009, 83-year-old Lakshmi Shankar received a Grammy Nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album. Although she could not make it to the final list, the Grammy nomination itself was a great event for a woman Hindustani classical vocalist in the Western music dominated award. The irony is that she never got the status of a celebrity in her own country. She did not get any ‘Padma’ awards from Government of India nor any award from Sangeet Academy – whether Central or State levels.

Lakshmi Shankar, was born as Mahalakshmi Sastri (16/06/1926- 30/12/2013) in Jamshedpur where her father Vaidyanath Sastri was employed in Tata Iron and Steel Company as a Chartered Accountant. He was a native of a village in Pudukkottai district. Her mother, Visalaksi was from Palghat (Palakkad) district – both districts being part of the then Madras Presidency. During Vaidyanath Sastri’s stay in Jamshedpur, Mahatma Gandhi made a number of visits to Jamshedpur. The result was that he became attracted to Gandhian ideology. Mahatma Gandhi picked him up to devote time for the upliftment of harijans. He left the job and shifted to Poona (Pune) in 1930 for the assigned work. His other family members, including Lakshmi Shankar, shifted to Madras (Chennai).

At the age of 8, Lakshmi was put under Guru Kandappa Pillai for learning Bharatnataym dance in Chennai. At the age of 11, she performed her arangetram in Bharatnatyam dance. At the age of 13, she joined Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre in Almora for training in fusion dances. During her stint in Almora, Lakshmi Shankar got married to Rajendra Shankar, (the next younger brother of Uday Shankar) who was 21 years older than her. Rajendra Shankar, with M.Sc. in Physics and Chemistry was working as a script writer and was handling publicity in Uday Shankar’s Dance Academy. During 1940-43, Lakshmi Shankar travelled across India as one of the dancers with Uday Shankar’s dance troupe. In 1944, Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre in Almora was closed down due to financial constraints.

Following the closure of Uday Shankar’s Dance Academy, Lakshmi Shankar with her husband and brother-in-law, Ravi Shankar came to Mumbai. Both the Shankar brothers got associated with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA). While Rajendra Shankar joined Bombay Talkies (later Filmistan) as story and script writer, Ravi Shankar got his first assignment for scoring music for Chetan Anand’s ‘Neecha Nagar’ (1946) followed by K A Abbas’s ‘Dharti Ke Laal’ (1946). In the first film, Lakshmi Shankar sang for Kamini Kaushal a lullaby so na o nanhi so na. In ‘Dharti Ke Laal’ (1946), she sang beete ho sukh ke din aayee dukh ki ratiyaan.

With these two films, the musical collaboration of Lakshmi Shankar with her brother-in-law, Ravi Shankar started which continued until the latter’s death in December 2012.

Ravi Shankar and his other associates were disillusioned with IPTA as they were not given the freedom in creating the work of their respective fields. Ravi Shankar set up his own artists’ group in which his wife Annapurna Devi, sister-in-law, Lakshmi Shankar and his elder brother, Rajendra Shankar, Zohra Sehgal, Shanti Bardhan etc became the important part of this group.

It was around this time that Jawaharlal’s Nehru’s book ‘The Discovery of India’ (1946) was published and Ravi Shankar felt that this book was a good choice for adapting it as a ballet-cum-opera on the stage. He got the financial backing for the project from Indian National Theatre, the cultural wing of the Indian National Congress. While Ravi Shankar and Annapurna Devi took charge of the music, Rajendra Shankar wrote the script and looked after the production. Lakshmi Shankar and Sachin Shankar became the main dancers to be choreographed by Shanti Bardhan.

The premier of ‘The Discovery of India Ballet-Cum-Opera’ was held in New Delhi in April 1947 in the presence of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The premier of the ballet-cum-opera was highly successful. Later, it was staged at many prominent cities all over India because of which Lakshmi Shankar became a well-known dancer.

In 1948, while the ballet-cum-opera was still being staged, Lakshmi Shankar fell ill and was diagnosed as suffering from pleurisy affecting her lungs. She was taken back to her house in Chennai for recuperation. The doctor advised her to give up dancing as it would be too hard for her weak lungs. With this, her professional dancing career came to an end.

After a complete recovery from illness, Lakshmi Shankar returned to Mumbai where her husband was already working as a story and screenplay writer in Amiya Chakraborty’s film production company, ‘Mars & Movies’. [Lakshmi Shankar’s younger sister Kamala Sastri was married to Amiya Chakraborty in 1951]. In the absence of dancing, she thought of pursuing the playback singing career in films.

Post-illness, Lakshmi Shankar sang jingles in some advertising films and got a chance to sing a bhajan ‘in Aandhiyaan (1952). It was during her rehearsal of the song recording for the film ‘Mastaana’ (1954) when its music director, Madan Mohan advised her to learn Hindustani classical music as he felt that her voice was most suited for thumri singing. Though Lakshmi Shankar liked Hindustani classical music in instruments, she was not keen to become Hindustani classical vocalist.

It was because of Madan Mohan’s persistence that Lakshmi Shankar agreed to give a try. The next day, Madan Mohan came to her house with Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan of Patiala Gharana and with a harmonium. Madan Mohan played on harmonium and Ustad played on his swarmandal. Ustad’s one line of some bandish mesmerised Lakshmi Shankar so much that she resolved to learn Hindustani classical music as a vocalist from him.

Lakshmi Shankar completed her training in three years’ time. In January 1957, she gave her maiden performance at Entally Music Festival in Kolkata which was very much appreciated. With this success, she was invited to many music festivals all over India. She continued learning Hindustani classical music with Professor B R Deodhar and completed her Bachelor of Music degree under him. In the meanwhile, she occasionally sang for Hindi films as playback singer about 30 songs in 20 films from 1946 to 1974. In the Marathi film ‘Pativrata’ (1959), she had sung 2 thumris with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

In 1962-63, she got her first opportunity for a 4-month tour to the USA and Europe as a part of Uday Shankar’s group as a lead vocalist and the music director of the ballet orchestra. In 1968, Ravi Shankar organised the Festival of India in the USA in which she was again a lead vocalist along with many eminent musicians from India. In 1970, she travelled to Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) and the Shiraz Festival in Iran for her solo performance as a vocalist.

Some of Lakshmi Shankar’s notable works included her cross collaborations with George Harrison in 1974. One of her collaborations with him was a Krishna song in English, ‘I am missing you’ which received good receptions in its live performance throughout the USA. This song made her well-known in the Western countries. The English song was written by Pandit Ravi Shankar. She also sang a couple of soulful bhajans in Attenborough’s Oscar winning film ‘Gandhi’ (1982) for which Ravi Shankar was the music director.

Lakshmi Shankar had been travelling quite often on her musical tours abroad either as a part of Pandit Ravi Shankar’s troupe or as a solo performer. For this reason, Lakshmi Shankar moved to the USA along with her family and took permanent residency near Los Angeles in 1984. She cut many discs in the USA and Europe besides India. Later in her life, she started teaching Hindustani classical music to American-Indians in her house in Simi Valley, California.

With the death of Pandit Ravi Shankar on December 11, 2012, Lakshmi Shankar’s collaborations with him of over 7 decades ended. It had started first as dancers in Uday Shankar’s academy in 1939, as a playback singer under his music direction in 1946, as a dancer in his ballet-cum-opera ‘Discovery of India’ in 1947-48 and both national and international collaboration from 1963 onwards with him. After Ravi Shankar’s death, Lakshmi Shankar’s health started deteriorating. Almost one year after her mentor’s death, Lakshmi Shankar passed away on December 30, 2013.

On the occasion of the 7th Remembrance Day of Lakshmi Shankar, I am presenting one of her popular non-film Krishna bhajans, ehi Muraare kunjavihaare (1979). She has rendered this bhajan in Raag Pahadi. Most of the on-line references have accredited this Sanskrit bhajan to Jayadeva. But a section of the listeners has pointed out that this bhajan is not found in Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi.

Lakshmi Shankar recorded this devotional song in the USA which became a part of a Long-Playing Record, ‘Lakshmi Shankar Sings Devotional Songs’ for ISCKKON Golden Avatar Productions in 1979 under the orchestration of L Subramaniam, a renowned violinist supported by Ustad Zakir Hussain on tabla. I feel that Lakshmi Shankar may have composed the tune herself. Later, sometime in the 1980s, she sang live on All India Radio/Doordarshan as part of the National Programme of Music. I personally like her live version because of the audio quality, the clarity of the words, the excellent tabla rhythm and the elaborations with which Lakshmi Shankar rendered the bhajan.

How could Lakshmi Shankar mesmerise her foreign audience with her bhajans? The answer is that she did with her emotive voice as evident in this bhajan.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Acknowledgements:

1. ‘Poignant Song – The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar’ (2019) By Kavita Das.

2. An Interview with Lakshmi Shankar by Shreen Isal, June 2001 published in http://www.associationsargam.com

Audio Clip: (Record version)

Video Clip: (From live concert on AIR/Doordarshan)

Song-Ehi muraare kunjavihaare (Lakhmi Shankar NFS)(1979) Singer-Lakshmi Shankar

Lyrics (Based on record version)
[The equivalent lyrics are written based on the phonetics of Sanskrit stotram].

ehi muraare
ehi mura…are
ehi muraare kunjavihaa…re
ehi praṇata jana bandho
ehi muraare kunjavihaare
ehi praṇata jana bandho
hey Madhava madhumathana vareṇya
Keshava karuṇasindho

raasa nikunje gunjati niyatam
raasa nikunje gunjati niyatam
bhramarashatam kil kaanta aa
ehi nibhṛta pathapaantha..aa
tvamiha yaache darashandaanam
tvamiha yaache darashandaanam
he Madhusoodan shanta
ehi muraare kunjavihaare
ehi praṇata janabandho

nava neeraj dhara shyaamal sundara
nava neeraj dhara shyaamal sundara
chandra kusum ruchivesha
gopigaṇ hṛidayesha..aa
govardhana dhara vṛindaavanachara
govardhana dhara vṛindaavanachara
vanshīdhara paramesha
ehi muraare kunjavihaare
ehi praṇata janabandho

Raadharanjan kansaniṣhoodan
Raadharanjan kansaniṣoodan
praṇatistaavaka charaṇe
nikhila niraashraya sharaṇe
ehi Janaardana pitaambaradhara
ehi Janaardana pitaambaradhara
kunje mantharapavane..ae
ehi muraare
ehi muraare
ehi muraare kunja vihaare
ehi praṇata jana bandh..o
he Madhava madhu mathana vareṇya
Keshava karuṇa sindho

——————————————
English Translation (Source: http://www.kksongs.org )
——————————————

O killer of the demon Mura who roams in the gardens, come near.
O Mādhava, who is the friend of those who bow upon, who destroyed Madhu, who is desirable, who is Keshva and who is the ocean of compassion, come near.

Hundreds of shiny bumble-bees are continuously buzzing in the gardens of [our] transcendental mellows. O You, who beyond the paths of material standards, come near. We all are craving for the sight of You, O Madhusoodana, who is calm.

O You, who holds a new lotus, who is dark in complexion, who is beautiful, who is decorated with chandrakusuma, who rules the heart of group of Gopī, who held Govardhana, who roams in Vrindaavana, who holds a flute, who is the supreme ruler.

O who gives pleasure to Rādhaa, who destroyed Kamsa, who is complete. I am bowing into Your feet which is the shelter of the unsheltered.
O Janaardana, who has yellow robes, come close to me in this garden.


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4543 Post No. : 16117

‘Baazooband’ (1954) was produced by Ashalata Biswas under the banner of Variety Productions jointly with Ramanand Sagar who also directed it. The star cast included Balraj Sahni and Sulochana Chatterjee in the lead with Roopmala, Anwar Hussain, Om Prakash, Radhakrishan, Shanta Kanwar, Noor Jahan (Sr.), Noreen Linford etc in the subsidiary roles. The story, screenplay and dialogues were written by Ramanand Sagar.

The main theme of the story of the film is that in a well-settled family, a distraction by way to some vices especially when ‘other woman’ comes into the life of the husband, can wreck the family – both financially and emotionally. It is the faith and the trust with which an understanding wife can steer the husband from the wrong path. The gist of the story of the film is as under:

Seth Surajmal (Balraj Sahni), his wife, Radha (Sulcohana Chatterjee) and his two children are a wealthy and happy family. But Surajmal has one weakness. Come evening and he is magnetically attracted to make a visit to Amma’s kotha where he is under the magical spell of the dancer Chanda (Roopmala). He watches her dance and gift costly jewelries to her on his each visit . By mid-night, he returns home fully sozzled in alcohol. This is Surajmal’s daily routine.

The regular patrons of Chanda include Saanwariya (Om Prakash) and Bankelal (Anawar Hussain). Saanwariya, once upon a time a wealthy merchant, has now become almost pauper and spend his entire time in the kotha. Bankelal on the other hand is financially weak and looking for some way to raise money so that he and his foreign fiancé Josephine (Noreen Linford) can settled abroad. For this, Bankelal has found a way out by joining hands with Chanda to financially fleece Surajmal with a false promise to her that when she has collected sufficient money from Surajmal, he will marry her and settle abroad.

Radha’s mother and younger sister try to impression upon her to confront Chanda but she takes a stand that the fault lies with her husband who is mesmerised by Chanda. So, she has to take measure to bring her husband to the correct path. She is sure that her devotion towards her husband and the children would one day bring him back to senses. But would it not be too late for Radha?

In the meanwhile, hearing the news that her mother is unwell, Radha leaves for her mother’s place leaving the children with Surajmal. Bankelal finds a opportunity to place Chanda in Surajmal’s house in the guise of looking after his children. One day, when Surajmal is under the influence of liquor, Chanda gets him to sign a will that after his death, Chanda will be the sole owner of all his assets including the house.

Bankelal’s next move is to get Surajmal killed in such a way so as to appear as accidental fall from a hill top while under the influence of liquor though he would by pushed to death by Chanda. This plan is accidentally heard by Saanwariya. He cautions Radha and at the same time, he decides to tackle Bankelal. While both Bankelal and Saanwariya seems to be enjoying their drinks in the former’s house, Saanwariya mixes poison in the drinks as a result of which Bankelal dies.

Simultaneously, as per plan, Chanda after making Surajmal drinks a lot, takes him to a hilltop in the pretext of a romantic walk. However, Radha has been following them. When Chanda is struggling to push Surajmal from the hilltop, Saanwariya also reaches the spot and kills Chanda by stabbing. He throws her dead body from the hilltop. Radha reaches the spot and rescues Surajmal. Police arrives and arrests Saanwariya when he tells them that he had killed Bankelal by poisoning him and stabbed to death Chanda. Surajmal has now a changed man spending his evenings with his family. All is well that ends well.

The problem with the film is that the story is too familiar for the audience as they would have watched many films with such story in the 40s and early 50s. There is no harm making one more film on such a story provided the director has presented the story in a different cinematic presentation. But it is not. As I watched the film, I did not find the film gripping to an extent that I would complete the film in one sitting.

Balraj Sahni did not have much scope to show his performance as an actor as most of his scenes were with Chanda (Roopmala) in a drunken state. Sulochana Chatterjee as Radha did her best to reflect in her performance the balancing act between her husband and the children while tackling the husband’s problems. Roopmala in the role of Chanda performed very well both as a dancer as well as a vamp. Ramanand Sagar did not make the film melodramatic to draw the sympathy for the role of Radha nor he made Chanda more villainous to make the audience to hate her character. This would have been certainly a negative for the audience of that time.

Ramanand Sagar collaborated with Ashalata Biswas in three films – ‘Badi Bahoo’ (1951) as a story, screenplay and dialogue writer followed by ‘Mehmaan’ (1953) and ‘Bazooband’ (1954) – the last two also as a director and producer in partnership with Ashalata Biswas’s Variety Productions. Unfortunately, despite the good music, none of these films succeeded in the box office front. ‘Bazooband’ (1954) was the worst performer on the box office to such an extent that after this, Ashalata Biswas’s film production company, Variety Productions did not venture into the film production. Ramanand Sagar did not direct any film for the next 6 years until ‘Ghoonghat’ (1960).

On the positive side of the film, ‘Baazooband’ (1954) had 5 beautifully tuned songs from Lata Mangeshkar (out of 7 songs) under the baton of Mohammed Shafi. 3 songs from the film have been covered in the Blog.

I am presenting the 4th song, ‘aarzoo ye hai ki nikle dam tumhaare saamane’ from the film ‘Baazooband’(1954). The song rendered by Lata Mangeshkar is picturised on Roopmala who is dancing to seduce Balraj Sahni in the presence of Anwar Hussain who is the instigator for such an act. Om Prakash is a moot spectator to his dislike. The song is written by Daagh Dehlvi which is set to music by Mohammed Shafi.

It may be a rare occasion in a film in which as many as 4 songs (out of 7) have been picturisedon Roopmala who is not only the mujra dancer but also a vamp in the film. All the 4 mujra dance songs picturised on Roopmala were choreographed by Gopikrishna. Roopmala (real name, Mumtaz) was a popular dancer of Hyderabad. She started her filmy career with ‘Basera’ (1950).

In this song, everything is best – Daagh Dehlvi’s words, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice, Mohammed Shafi’s tune and musical arrangements, Roopmala’s dance performance with seductive expressions and gestures and choreography by Gopikrishna.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Aarzoo ye hai ke nikle dam tumhaare saamne (Baazooband)(1954) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Daag Dehalvi, MD-Md Shafi

Lyrics (Based on Video Clip)

aa aa aa aa
aaa aaa aaa
aarzoo ye hai ke nikle
dam tumhaare ae saamne
haan aaa aaa aaa
aaa aaa aaa
aaa aan aaa
aa aa aa
tum hamaare saamne ho
hum tumhaare saamne
hum tumhare saamne
tum hamaare saamne ho
hum tumhaare saamne
hum tumhaare saamne

aaaa aaa aaa aaa
aaa lab par
aaye thham thham kar ke
tum ghabra na jaao
o o o o o o o o
dard dil mein ho magar
aeji dard dil mein ho magar
kum tumhaare saamne
kum tumhaare saamne
aarzoo ye hai ke nikle
dam tumhaare saamne
dam tumhaare saamne

aaa aaa aaa aaa aaaa aaa
baad mere royega
saara zamaana dekhna
aa aa aa aa
jhoom ke hoga mera
jhoom ke hoga mera
maatam tumhaare saamne
haan tumhaare saamne
aarzoo ye hai ke nikle
dam tumhaare saamne
dam tumhaare saamne

aaaa aaaaaa aaaaa
katl kar daalo hamen
yaa zulm e ulfat baksh do
haan aaa aaa
aaa aaa aaa
aan aan aan
lo khade hain haath baandhe
aeji lo khade hain haath baandhe
hum tumhaare saamne
hum tumhaare saamne
aarzoo ye hai ke nikle
dam tumhaare saamne
dam tumhare saamne
tum hamaare saamne ho
hum tumhaare saamne
hum tumhaare saamne


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4542 Post No. : 16112

Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu, popularly known as CKP is one of the numerically smallest Marathi speaking communities of Maharashtra. But he cummnity has produced many intellectuals, playwrights, writers and bureaucrats. They are also regarded as an elite and a broad-minded community. But when one of their girls, Saroj Shilotri (Shobhna Samarth after marriage) tried to venture into films, her maternal uncle (who became the guardian after the death of her father) vehemently opposed her entry into films. The reason was, ‘who will marry her’? Those days, even broad-minded communities regarded working in the films as an act of moral turpitude.

Luckily for Shobhna Samarth, before signing her first film in 1935, she got engaged to Kumar Samarth who also belonged to CKP community. He had just returned from Germany after completing a course in cinematography. Later, they married. But her maternal uncle did not forgive her for the act of what he regarded as a sacrilege of family traditions.

About 5 years later, Shobhna Samarth’s maternal uncle again faced a similar situation. This time, it was his daughter, Nalini Jaywant who was inclined to join the film industry after she was picked up by producer Chimanbhai Desai for his film, ‘Radhika’ (1941). After a great deal of persuasion by a common friend of Chimanbhai Desai and Nalini Jaywant’s maternal uncle, the latter reluctantly permitted her to act in the film.

Today, December 24, 2020 is the 10th Remembrance Day of Nalini Jaywant. 10 years ago, she died of a heart attack but it came to the notice 3 days after her death in her bungalow by neighbours, thanks to the continuing howling by her two pet dogs. She was staying alone after the death of her husband, Prabhu Dayal and was leading a life of a recluse with a couple of pet dogs to give her the company. A distant relative of her is said to have took her body on a municipal ambulance and cremated her.

This unfortunate happening shows that Nalini Jaywant’s 25 years of an active and successful filmy career with 63 films did not counted at the end. During her heydays, she used to host a number of filmy parties and get-together in her bungalow. But after the death of her husband, Prabhu Dayal, the same bungalow had witnessed almost a deserted look during her last 20 years. Her first marriage her director, Virendra Desai in 1945 who was already married with children (whom she divorced in 1948) probably the marriage arising out of infatuation. The second with Prabhu Dayal in 1963 were probably the marriage of convenience. Her parents and brothers kept distance from her. Probably, they did not like her indulgence in socially unexpected behaviour after she joined the films.

Nalini Jaywant (18/02/1926 – 24/12/2010) had two distinct phases of her filmy career. The first phase began with her debut film ‘Radhika’ (1941) produced by Chimanbhai Desai and directed by his son, Virendra Desai. Baburao Patel, the editor of ‘Filmindia’ magazine did not review the film by saying that he did not want to waste the costly paper by reviewing the useless film. Her second film to release was Mehboob Khan’s ‘Bahen’ (1941) where she was paired with Sheikh Mukhtar in the role of his younger sister. This was followed by ‘Nirdosh’ (1941) with Mukesh, ‘Aankh Michowli’ (1942) with Satish Batra and ‘Aadab Arz’ (1943) with Karan Diwan. These films did not create much ripples in the box office front but Nalini Jaywant established herself in the Hindi film industry as an accomplished actress.

Sometime in 1945, Nalini Jaywant married Virendra Desai who was already married with children. This was not liked by his father, Chimanbhai Desai who expelled Virendra Desai from the house and removed him from his film production company, Amar Films. Later, both of them signed a 2-year contract with Filmistan – Nalini Jaywant as an actress and Virendra Desai as a director with a monthly salary and a bungalow in Malad to stay. However, both of them did not get any assignment during the period of contract though Filmistan had produced films like ‘Shikaari’ (1946), ‘Aath Din’ (1946), ‘Safar’ (1946), ‘Do Bhai’ (1947), ‘Saajan’ (1947). ‘Shehnaai’ (1947) etc during the period of their contract. The two-year contract was like two-year ‘vanwaas’ for them from films. This gap was long enough for the film industry to forget their existence.

The first thing Nalini Jaywant and Virendra Desai did after the period of contract got over was to re-establish themselves in the film industry. Both of them formed a film production company, Nalini Films. ‘Gunjan’ (1948) was the outcome of it which was directed by Virendra Desai. After the failure of the film at the box office, Nalini Jaywant divorced Virendra Desai in 1948. My assessment of their divorce is that she may have realised that so long as her name is attached with Virendra Desai, she would not get any role in the new films in the making as her husband would insist to be the director of her films. The divorce was also good for Virendra Desai in that he went back to his family.

The first film Nalini Jaywant signed after her divorce was ‘Anokha Pyaar’ (1948) with Dilip Kumar and Nargis. This film gave her a new lease of life in her filmy career. Film critics praised her in the role of a flower girl. But the real-take off in her filmi career came from a hit film. ‘Samaadhi’ (1950) in which she paired with Ashok Kumar for the first time. This was followed by another big success for her in ‘Sangraam’ (1950), once again pairing with Ashok Kumar. The success of Ashok Kumar-Nalini Jaywant combination resulted in both working together in as many as 11 films during 1950-57. Her second film. ‘Shikast’ (1953) was a milestone in that she could stand-up to the acting caliber of Dilip Kumar for which he praised her for her performance.

The box office success of ‘Naastik’ (1954) in which she was paired with Ajit resulted her working with him in 11 films. But after ‘Kaala Paani’ (1958), Nalini Jaywant did not have films to much talk about. From the beginning of the 1960s, film offers started declining. Many new leading actresses had joined the film industry and the age was catching with her.

The box office failure of ‘Amar Rahe Ye Pyaar’ (1961) jointly produced by Radhakrishan and Prabhu Dayal and directed by Prabhu Dayal financially broke both of them. While Radhakrishan committed suicide by jumping from his building, Prabhu Dayal who by this time had married Nalini Jaywant, became an alcohol addict. ‘Bombay Race Course’ (1965) was virtually her last film as a heroine after which she did not work in the films until she was offered character roles in ‘Bandish’ (1980) and ‘Naastik’ (1983).

In an interview published on DNA India on the eve of Dilip Kumar’s 90th birthday, he said among other things that he consistently rated Nalini Jaywant as his formidable co-star. He further said that she was the only actress who could spring surprises in the final takes if he was not alert, thanks to the natural spontaneity she possessed.

In a rare interview of Nalini Jaywant published in the Deccan Herald after her death in 2010, she regretted that she could get the opporrtunity to show her acting prowess only in films like ‘Anokha Pyaar’ (1948), ‘Samgraam’ (1950), ‘Shikast’ (1953), ‘Raahi’ (1953) and ‘Kaala Paani’ (1958). She said that she was not interested in making a come back in the film when the offer came for a character role in ‘Naastik’ (1983). But she had to accept it after many requests from Pran and Promod Chakravarty.

Pranay Gupte, the first cousin of Nalini Jaywant [Pranay’s mother, Professor (Dr.) Charusheela Gupte and Nalini Jaywant’s mother are sisters] who had visited her bungalow many times in his teen, wrote a tributary article – ‘Alone and Forgotten’ which appeared in ‘The Hindu’- December 29, 2010. In this article, he said “Actor Nalini Jaywant was a relic of a glorious past who lived in an unforgiving present. Listening to her in the autumn of her life made you flinch”. By the way, Pranay Gupte is a veteran international journalist and authors of several books who is based in the U.S.A.

On the occasion of Nalini Jaywant’s 10th Remembrance Day, I have selected one of the songs from her second released film ‘Bahen’ (1941). In this film, there were 12 songs of which 2 songs have been covered in the Blog. The songs picturised on Nalini Jaywant in the film were sung by her.

The song I am presenting is ‘aayi jawaani jiya lehraaye’ which is rendered by and picturised on Nalini Jaywant who was 15 years of age. The song is written by Safdar Aah Sitapuri which is set to music by Anil Biswas. As the song comes to an end, one can see Shaikh Mukhtar weeping because he does not want his sister to go away from him after marriage. A young Kanhaialal, the prospective bridegroom, is also seen at the end of the song.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Aayi jawaani jiya lahraaye (Bahan)(1941) Singer-Nalini Jaiwant, Lyrics-Safdar Aah Sitapuri, MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics (Based on Video Clip)

jiya lehraaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye
piya ghar jaana
sajan ghar jaana
piya ghar jaana
sajan ghar jaana
naihar ki galiyon mein kachhu na suhaaye
naihar ki galiyon mein kachhu na suhaaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye

sakhiyaan saheliyaan hoy gayin suhaagin
sakhiyaan saheliyaan hoy gayin suhaagin
hoy hoy mora jiya lalchaaye
hoy hoy mora jiya lalchaaye
pee ke kunwar bin sooni sooni laagoon
pee ke kunwar bin sooni sooni laagoon
sundar gahanwa more man bhaaye
sundar gahanwa more man bhaaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye
piya ghar jaana
sajan ghar jaana
piya ghar jaana
sajan ghar jaana
naihar ki galiyon mein kachhu na suhaaye
naihar ki galiyon mein kachhu na suhaaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye
aayi jawaani
jiya lehraaye


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4533 Post No. : 16098

In about mid-1940s, there was a demand for dancers in Hindi films following the success of dancers like Azurie and Cuckoo. The demand for dancers can be gauged from the fact that during 1945-50, Cuckoo worked in about 75 films of which she did as many as 34 films in 1950 alone. This ‘demand-supply’ mismatch for dancers led to the entry of new dancers in the Hindi film industry such as Mohana, Helen, Sheila Vaz, Roopmala, Kanchanmala, Kumkum etc during the late 40s and early 50s. One of the lesser known dancers who made a entry into this category during this period was Heera Sawant.

I became aware of Heera Sawant for the first time a few years back while browsing the pages of ‘Filmindia’ magazines available on-line. I had seen a couple of pictures of her in the film ‘Hua Savera’ (1948) in March 1948 issue of the magazine. At that time, I thought that she was one of those actors who came and vanished from Hindi films. But it was not so as I came to know a few months back while collecting the information for my articles on the some of the lesser known dancers of Hindi films.

Today, December 15th is the 85th birthday of Heera Sawant (born on 15/12/1935).

Heera Sawant was born in Sawantwadi taluka of Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. She was the eldest among 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Her father was in the business of motor parts in Mumbai. Soon, the family shifted to Mumbai. She did her schooling at St. Teresa High School and completed her Matriculation. She got entry in the Prithvi Theatres as an actor through her neighbour, a brother of actress Hemavati (wife of D K Sapru) who was already associated with acting in the plays of Prithvi Theatres. During this period, Heera Sawant started learning kathak dance from Master Mohanlal.

Heera Sawant got her first break in Hindi film, ‘Hua Savera’ (1948) when the producer and director of the films saw her performance in one of Prithvi Theatres’ plays. She got the second lead actress’s role with Sapru and Nayantara being the lead actors. The film did not fare well at the box office. However, she got some more assignments after the release of her maiden film. It was her semi-classical dance song, Aarti karo Shankar ki in ‘Naag Panchami’ (1953) which made her popular as a dancer. With this song, she got type-cast as dancer in most of her subsequent films.

In 1964, Heera Sawant turned a producer with her maiden Hindi film ‘Tarzan and Delilah’ (1964). She also produced a couple of Marathi films. Her 3rd Marathi film could not be released resulting in a huge financial loss for her.

Heera Sawant got married to Sundar Arya, a Punjabi businessman. After her husband’s death, she stays in Ahmednagar. [Heera Sawant’s biography is based on an interview which was posted on Shishir Krishna Sharma’s blog, ‘Beete Hue Din’ in May 2019].

The active years of filmy career of Heera Sawant was from 1948 to 1969 during which she acted in around 125 films of which around 75 films were in the decade of 1950s. A majority of her films were in the genre of religious, costume drama, action and stunt.

As mentioned earlier, when she ventured into film productions sometime in the first half of 1960s, her acting career seems to have taken a back seat. This was also the period when Helen was the reigning dancer in Hindi films and new dancers cum side actresses such as Bela Bose, Aruna Irani, Minu Mumtaz, Jeevan Kala, Lakshmi Chhaya, Madhumati etc established themselves in the Hindi film industry. By early 1970s, Heera Sawant has virtually retired from the Hindi films.

Some of the popular songs picturised on her are as under:

Song Movie (year)
tim tima tim tim tima tim taare ‘Har Har Mahadev’ (1950)
saari raat jaage laage jo tose nainwaa ‘Baaraati’ (1954)
shama pe aake parwaane ‘Meenaar’ (1954)
tedhi tedhi hamse phire saari duniya ‘Musaafir’ (1957)
mere dard-e-jigar ki har dhadkan ‘Nausherwan-e-Adil’ (1957)
ritu aaye ritu jaaye sakhi ri ‘Bansari Bala’ (1957)
dil milaate jaaiye nazaren milaate jaaiye ‘Return of the Superman’ (1960)

On the occasion of 85th birth day of Heera Sawant, I present one of her dance songs from the film ‘Vazir-e-Azam’ (1961). The song is ‘daghebaaz kyun toone mera dil chheena’ sung by Mahendra Kapoor and Pushpa Marathe. The song is written by Hairat Sitapuri which is set to music by Robin Banerjee.

This is a song picturised on Master Bhagwan and Heera Sawant to divert the attention of the prison guards to facilitate the escape of Suresh from the prison. The orchestration of the song sounds like that of O P Nayyar.

Video Clip:

Song-Daghebaaz kyun toone mera dil chheenaa (Vazir e Azam)(1961) Singers-Pushpa Marathe, Mahendra Kapoor, Lyrics-Hairat Sitapuri, MD-Robin Bannerjee
Both

Lyrics

ooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooo

daghebaaz kyun toone mera dil chheena
dagebaaz kyun toone mera dil chheena
o bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hoye ae
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena

gora gora chanda dekho samaa hai pyaari pyaari
thhes lagi to dikhti pal mein nafrat ki chingaari
baat beeti na haay dil na kahi pe laage na
haay
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hoye ae
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena

daghebaaz kyun tune mera dil chheena
daghebaaz kyun tune mera dil chheena
hoy
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hye ae
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena

sar sar sar sar mera aanchaljhoom ke jab lehraaye
saath usike dil ye hamaara jaane kyun bal khaaye
haal ye apne dil ka yahi main samjhi na
haaye
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hoye ae
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena

daghebaaz kyun toone mera dil chheena
daghebaaz kyun toone mera dil chheena
ho bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hoye ae
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena hoye

dhak dhak dhak dhak dhadke jiya phiroon main khoyi khoyi
kaajal ban ke aankh mein teri samaa gaya hai koi
jaadoo tujh pe ae
hoy jaadu tujh pe pyaar ka usne kar deena

bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hoye
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hoye ae
bina pyaar ke duniya mein hai kya jeena
hoye
hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4533 Post No. : 16095 Movie Count :

4394

Today, December 14, 2020 is the 86th birthday of Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner and Padma Bhushan Shyam Benegal who was born on December 14, 1934 in Hyderabad. He set a bench-mark for Hindi film industry by successfully making parallel films. His films became inspirations for some Hindi film producer-directors to venture into the ‘middle of the road’ films (a cross between mainstream and parallel films).

From the childhood, Shyam Benegal was familiar with a movie camera as his father owned a 16mm movie camera to shoot some family events. Besides, he was also exposed to English, Hindi and South Indian films which he used to watch in a theatre in an army cantonment in Secundrabad where his father worked as a professional photographer. In one of his many interviews, he had admitted that in his childhood, he was a film junkie and would watch any type of films.

At the age of 12, Shyam Benegal made his first amateur film of about 10 minutes duration from his father’s movie camera covering the visits of his family friends and relatives in summer vacations and going with them for picnics etc. As he grew up, he had already made up his mind to become a film maker. The success of ‘Baazi’ (1951) made by his cousin, Guru Dutt inspired him to the extent that ‘if Guru Dutt could do it why not me’? But those days, there was not much opportunity to pursue film-making in Hyderabad.

In 1955, Shyam Benegal visited Kolkata and met his uncle who knew that he was interested in film-making. He advised him to first watch a Bangla film made by an unknown person who was a commercial artist and let him know his reaction. The film he watched was Satyajit Ray’s maiden film ‘Pather Panchali’ (1955). For the first time, Shyam Benegal felt that this film was quite different from what he had so far seen in the theatre which included films from Prabhat, New Theatres,Bombay Talkies, Mehboob Khan and even some English films. He took a decision that if at all he became a film maker, he would make films which would be different from the mainstream films and would have his stamp of film-making.

In 1959, after completion of M.A. in Economics from Osmania University, Shyam Benegal came to Mumbai in his pursuit to become a film maker. Much earlier, Guru Dutt had invited him to join him as Assistant Director. But he had declined the offer as he did not want to take that route to become a film-maker. After remaining unemployed for about 6 months, he got a job in an advertising agency as a copyrighter. Within a short period, he became its creative head. During his stints in advertising companies in 1959-66, he made over 900 advertising and documentary films.

The working in advertising and documentary films gave Shyam Benegal the ‘hands on’ experience of all the major departments of film-making. During 1966-73, Shyam Benegal taught at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune.

During college days, Shyam Benegal had written a script based on what he had witnessed during Telangana Peasants Movement (1946-51). Having gain the experience of film making, he had decided to make a full-length feature film based on his script. For such type of a film, it was difficult to get a financier and more difficult to get a distributor even if the film was made. After many attempts, at last, he got a financier, Mohan Bijlani of Blaze Films for his first film. Blaze Films had distributed many of Shyam Benegal’s advertising films. The title of the film ‘Ankur’ (1974) was suggested by Anant Nag for whom it was his maiden Hindi film.

The success of ‘Ankur’ (1974) resulted in Shyam Bengal’s partnership with Blaze Films in some of his subsequent films like ‘Nishaant’ (1975), ‘Bhumika’ (1977) and ‘Mandi’ (1983). During 1979-81, Shyam Benegal got the opportunity to make ‘Junoon’ (1979) and ‘Kalyug’ (1981) with Shashi Kapoor who not only produced these films but also acted in them.

By 1983, Shyam Benegal had proved his credential as a successful parallel film maker. Almost all his feature films not only recovered the cost of production, but also made money in some films. Despite this, Shyam Benegal had somewhat lean period after “Mandi’ (1983). During this time, Shyam Benegal kept himself busy with directing TV serials – a 15-part ‘Yatra’ (1982) for Indian Railways and a 53-episode ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) for Doordarshan which are regarded as Shyam Benegal’s classic T V serials.

Shyam Benegal was back to the films with his Muslim trilogy, ‘Mammo’ (1994), ‘Sardari Begum’ (1996) and ‘Zubeida’ (2001). He continues to make films of his choice which are different not only from the mainstream cinemas but also from his earlier films.

I had become aware of Shyam Benegal from his very first film ‘Ankur’ (1974) which I saw in the theatre after its release. Afterwards, I had no opportunity to see any of his subsequent films until I watched some of them in the digital era during the last 5-6 years. So, subsequent to ‘Ankur’ (1974), I always related his name with the Doordarshan serial, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) which I had watched almost all the episodes during its first telecast.

Before ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, I had watched other serials shown on Doordarshan like, ‘Hum Log’ (1984), G P Sippy’s ‘Buniyaad’ (1986), Kundan Shah’s ‘Nukkad’ (1986). Ramanand Sagar’ ‘Ramayan’ (1987) etc. But, in my view, none of these could match ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) in terms of grandeurs, technical excellence, performances of the actors, music and above all the brilliant filming of each episode by the director, Shyam Benegal. It was a monumental series encompassing the period from Indus Valley Civilisation to India’s independence. And this vast history and culture of India was to be covered in 53 episodes. I regard ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) as the top classic Doordarshan serial of an epic proportion which is yet to be qualitatively matched by any of the subsequent T.V. serials.

Shyam Benegal had said after many years that it was his sheer madness that made him to undertake such a mammoth work as it involved a lot of research, coordination with the actors and crew members especially when some of them were also working in the films. Furthermore, it was a risky venture involving religious, political and social commentaries over a period of 5000 years of history. Fortunately for him, there was no interferences from Doordarshan, political parties, religious and social organisations during the making as well as during its telecast. After the completion of the shootings, he was glad that he took upon himself this project giving him a great satisfaction and an experience of life time.

The genesis of making ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ for Doordarshan as revealed by Shyam Benegal in a Doordarshan interview goes back to the year 1985 when Doordarshan had already commissioned the serials ‘Ramayan’ (1987) and ‘Mahabharat’ (1988). Once these two religious serials were ready for telecast, they wanted to commission another serial on India’s history and culture for which Shyam Benegal was invited for discussion. He was already in the making of a serial ‘Yatra’ (1986) for Indian Railways to be telecast on Doordarshan.

During the school days, one of the relatives of Shyam Benegal had gifted him a book ‘Discovery of India’ (1944), written by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru while he was in Ahmednagar jail during 1942-46 following his participation in ‘Quit India’ movement in 1942. Shyam Benegal had read this book many times as he grew from boy into his adulthood. He was enamored by the history and diverse culture of India as enumerated in the book. He discussed this subject with the Doordarshan authorities and they approved the subject.

By early 1986, Shayam Benegal started the preliminary work on the T.V. serial for writing the script of ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ with a team of 10 writers which included himself, Shama Zaidi, Vasant Deo, Ashok Mishra among others and 22 eminent historians, each with their specialised fields. Simultaneously, he sent his Art Director and the Production Designer with a team of assistants to Archaeological Survey of India’s Office at New Delhi to research on the relevant periods of artifacts, costumes etc. After spending about 8 months in Delhi and other places all over India, they submitted their works.

After the script, screen-play and dialogues were completed, the shooting started in early 1988 which continued for the next 18 months. A major part of the shooting of all the 53 episodes was done at the Film City, Goregaon where as many as 144 sets were erected during the period of 18 months. Some shootings were also done at few historical locations in some parts of India and the shooting in the open ground and forests in the Western Ghats. Over 500 actors mostly drawn from FTII. National School of Drama and other film training institutes were involved in the shooting. Some of the prominent actors included Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, K K Raina, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pallavi Joshi, Aloknath, Pankaj Berry, Ila Arun, Irfan Khan, Vijay Kashyap, Anjaan Srivastav, Mita Vashisht, Tom Alter, Jalal Agha, Urmila Bhatt, Surendra Pal and many more. Some of them had done multiples roles in the serial.

I have given all these details of the serial just to get the readers the enormity of the project which was a herculean task for Shyam Benegal to manage. The end result was that ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ was as popular in terms of viewership as ‘Buniyaad’ and ‘Mahabharat’ according to Doordarshan. Another end result of this serial as Vanraj Bhatia said in a lighter vein was that after the end of 18 months of shooting, Shyam Benegal looked much older than his age.

On the occasion of Shyam Benegal’s 86th birthday, we wish him a happy birth day and pray for his good health and an active life as a film-maker. He has said in an interview a couple of years ago that film-making will remain his passion at any age as long as he is active.

On the occasion of Shyam Benegal’s 86th birthday, I felt that I should select one of many songs from his extravagant T.V. serial, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988) which he considers to be the toughest assignment he had undertaken so far. Only a couple of songs from this serial have been uploaded on a video sharing platform of which I have selected a Sufi ghazal, ‘zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful’ in Episode-27. This Amir Khusrou’s ghazal is sung in qawwali stayle by Murlidhar who is a singer-actor in Nepali film industry. He is one of the deciples of Pandit Jasraj. I have seen him in an interview on one of the Nepali T.V. Channels and I feel that qawwali may have been picturised on him as well. Vanraj Bhatia is the music director assisted by Kersi Lord and Ashok Patki.

In the serial, the qawwali is preceded by a devotional song of Sant Tukaram. Both the song and the qawwali are reflections of the influences of thoughts and culture of Hindus on Muslims and vice versa during the start of the Bhakti Movement in North India.

One of the main features of the ghazal is that the lines in the first couplet is written half in Persian and other half in Brij Bhasha. Thereafter in rest of the two couplets, the first line is in Persian and the second line in Brij Bhasha.

The actual ghazal has been written as under:

zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
ki taab-e-hijraan nadaaram-e-jaan na lehu kaaye lagaaye chatiyaan

shabaan-e-hijraan daraaz choon zulf wa rooz-e-waslat choo umr kotah
sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan

ba-haqq-e-aan mah ki roz-e-mahshar ba-daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
sapit mann ke duraaye rakhoon jo jaaye paaun piya ki khatiyaan

The English translation of the ghazal is on the video clip.

There are two more she’rs in the ghazal which have not been included in the qawwali. The omitted two she’rs are as under:

yakayak az dil do chashm jaadoo ba-sad-farebam ba-burd taskeen
kise padi hai jo jaa sunaave piyaare pee ko hamaari batiyaan

choon sham-e-sozaan choon zarra hairaan mehr-e-aan-mah bagashtam aakhir
na neend nainaan na ang chainaan na aap aave na bheje patiyaan

Acknowledgement: Some of the information for the article is taken from the following sources:

1. ‘Yaadon Ke Saaye’ – An interview of Shyam Benegal by Irfaan on Rajya Sabha TV.

2. ‘Dil Se’ – An interview of Shyam Benegal on a TV Channel.

3. The making of ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ – An interview of Shyam Benegal conducted on Doordarshan.

Video Clip:

Song-Zihaal e miskin makun tagaaful ( Bharat Ek Khoj)(1988) Singer-Murlidhar, Lyrics-Amir Khusro, MD-Vanraj Bhatia
Chorus

Lyrics

aa aa aaaaaaaa
aa aa aaaaaaa aa aaaa
aa aa aaaaaa aa aa
aaaaaaaaa
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan

zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan

ki taab-e-hijraan nadaaram-e-jaan
na lehu kaaye lagaaye chhatiyaan
ki taab-e-hijraan nadaaram-e-jaan
na lehu kaaye lagaaye chatiyaan

ki taab-e-hijraan
nadaaram-e-jaan
na lehu kaahe lagaaye chatiyaan
lagaaye chatiyaan
lagaaye chatiyaan
lagaaye chhatiyaan
na lehu kaaye lagaaye chatiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan

shabaan-e-hijraan daraaz choon zulf
wa roz-e-waslat choo umr kotah
wa roz-e-waslat choo umr kotah
wa roz-e-waslat choo umr kotah

sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan
sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon
to kaise kaatoon
to kaise kaatoon
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan
sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhoon
to kaise kaatoon andheri ratiyaan

ba haqq-e-aan mah ki roz-e-mahshar
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
ba daad maara
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
ba daad maara fareb ‘Khusro’
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
jo jaaye paaun piya ke khatiyaan
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
ha aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
ha aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
ha aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
sapit mann ki duraaye rakhoon
jo jaaye paaun piya ke khatiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan
zihaal-e-miskeen makun taghaaful
duraaye naina banaaye batiyaan


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4531 Post No. : 16093

Today, December 13th 2020 is the 34th Remembrance Day of Smita Patil who today would have been 65 years of age, perhaps donning the hat of a director.

What an incredible filmy journey Smita Patil had in a short span of about 12 years! She acted in 70 Hindi films of which 18 films were new wave films. In addition, she acted in about a dozen non-Hindi new wave films. At the age of 23, she got her first National Award for the Best Actress for her role in ‘Bhumika’ (1977). After 3 years, she was bestowed with another National Award for the Best Actress in ‘Chakra’ (1980). At the age of 29, she was one of the juries in the Montreal International Film Festival (1984). At the age of 30, She got Padma Shri Award.

She had achieved fame and glory in a short period and left her legacies for the new generations of film enthusiasts to appreciate. Other eminent actresses had taken much longer periods to achieve more or less the same status in their acting career. It is amazing to note that during her 12 years of filmy career, she worked with many eminent directors of new wave/parallel cinemas such as Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray (Bangla), Mrinal Sen (Bangla), G Arvindan (Malayalam), T S Nagabharana (Kannada), Jabbar Patel (Marathi), Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, Ketan Mehta (Gujarati and Hindi), Kumar Sahani, Muzaffar Ali, Saeed Mirza, Govind Nihalani etc. In the sphere of mainstream cinema, she acted under the directors such as Raj Khosla, B R Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, Mahesh Bhatt, Prakash Mehra, Mohan Kumar, J Om Prakash, J P Dutta etc.

Smita Patil (17/09/1955 – 13/12/1986) was born in Pune to a freedom fighter turned politician, Shivajirao Patil, and a social worker, Vidyatai Patil. After completion of her school in Pune, Smita Patil joined her parents in Mumbai by which time, her father had become a cabinet minister in Maharashtra. She joined St. Xavier’s College for graduation. It is during her college days she got selected as a Marathi news reader in Mumbai Doordarshan following the start of its telecast in October 1972. (I have also watched her occasionally reading Hindi news as well).

In one of his interviews, Shyam Benegal has revealed that after the successful release of his first film ‘Ankur’ (1974), he had planned for two films for which he was looking for a new girl having an earthly look (colloquially called ‘desi’ look). When he noticed Smita Patil as a Marathi newsreader on Doordarshan. he felt that she had an attractive presence and has the required photogenic face as a village girl. She fitted very well as a second lead in his next film ‘Nishaant’ (1975). Shyam Benegal met Smita’s parents through a common acquaintance. Her parents readily agreed but Smita point-blankly refused to work in films. Her mother, Vidyatai Patil who had seen ‘Ankur’ (1974), didn’t want her to refuse the offer off-hand. It took some time for her mother to convince Smita to work in the film ‘Nishaant’ (1975).

However, before ‘Nishaant’ (1975) could start, Shyam Benegal took her in ‘Charandas Chor’ (1975), a children’s film which would be a sort of familiarisation process for Smita Patil. According to Shyam Benegal, unlike Shabana Azmi, who was a FTII graduate in acting, Smita Patil had no formal training in acting. But she was a quick learner and an intuitive actor. The only problem with her was that she had multiple interests and as such during shooting, her mind would get diverted to activities other than acting. She was an ace photographer and always carried her camera during the shootings. During the break, she would take candid photographs of her co-stars. For the initial period of shooting for ‘Nishaant’ (1975), and ‘Manthan’ (1976), Shyam Benegal was not only the director but also had to behave like her school teacher for imposing the discipline.

Shyam Benegal says that despite all her sundry interest on the sets, Smita gave an excellent performance in ‘Nishaant’ (1975) as well as in ‘Manthan’ (1976). He narrated an anecdote during the shooting of the film in a village near Rajkot. A few college students had come to watch the shooting and were enquiring about the heroine. Smita Patil was sitting with four-five local women squatting against the wall. Someone from the unit pointed out in the direction of Smita Patil to the college students. They refused to believe him saying how could a heroine sit with local women? Her character in the film got so much assimilated with the local women that she could not be recognised as a heroine.

Shyam Benegal had initially considered Shabana Azmi for ‘Bhumika’ (1977). Later on, he felt that Smita’s body language and dialect seemed culturally apt for Hansa Wadkar’s character which required Smita’s visual presence from the beginning to the end. There were contradictions, complexities and also sexuality in the character of Hansa Wadkar and Smita had excellently handled all these in her role which fetched her the National Award for the Best Actress. According to Shyam Benegal, it was only after this award, Smita Patil took the acting career seriously.

After working under the direction of Shyam Bengal in ‘Kondura’ (1978) a bilingual film in Hindi and Telugu, there was a gap of 5 years during which Shyam Benegal had no occasion to take Smita Patil in his films. The reason could be that Shyam Benegal was associated with a couple of high budget films in which Smita Patil did not fit into the character.

‘Mandi’ (1983) was the last film Smita Patil worked under the direction of Shyam Benegal. In my view, this film is the best among Shyam Benegal’s films as also performance-wise the best of Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil for Shyam Benegal. Both of them have situations in the film in which they have to display different moods even in a single scene which only a few actors can perform to create a lasting impression on the audience .

With so much name and fame Smita Patil earned in acting in off-beat films, what were the reasons for her to seek the foray into mainstream commercial cinema? She did not fit into the idioms of commercial cinema. If I have inferred her personality on the basis of the articles written on her, a strong role rather than the money was her consideration to work in the films. I got some explanations for her entry into mainstream commercial cinema from a book ‘Smita Patil – A Brief Incandescence’ (2019) written by Maithili Rao. It was because of an incidence which hurt Smita Patil to such an extent that she decided to work in commercial cinema forthwith.

Sometime in 1981, one eminent successful director known for making ‘middle of the road’ films promised Smita Patil a role which she loved it. Later on, she came to know through the press that she was replaced by an actress who was also a successful star in commercial cinema. Within a few days from this incidence, Smita Patil signed two stupid films on a single day – ‘Badle Ki Aag’ (1982) and another one (probably,’Tajurba’ 1981). She wanted to prove that she was also a star material. Both these films did not fare well on the box office front.

Fortunately for Smita Patil, her next two mainstream films, Praksah Mehra’s ‘Namak Halaal’ (1982) followed by Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Shakti’ (1982), both with Amitabh Bachchan clicked at the box office which made Smita Patil a star-actor. After these successes, she did a spate of mainstream films, the notable films among them being ‘Aaj Ki Aawaaz’ (1984), ‘Ghulaami’ (1985), ‘Aakhir Kyun?’ (1985), ‘Amrit’ (1986). During this period, Smita Patil continued to work in parallel films such as ‘Ardh Satya’ (1983), ‘Tarang’ (1984), ‘Raavan’ (1984), ‘Giddh’ (1984), ‘Debshishu’ (1985) and ‘Mirch Masaala’ (1987). The end result was that in terms of numbers, her mainstream commercial films far exceeded her parallel films.

Smita Patil worked with Raj Babbar for the first time in ‘Tajurba’ (1981). It was during the shooting of ‘Bheegi Palkein’ (1982) when both of them developed a close relationship. Their closeness resulted in working together in as many as 20 films. Their affairs culminated into the marriage. Raj Babbar was already married to Nadira Babbar with two children.

Smita Patil died on December 13, 1986, 15 days after giving birth to her son Pratiek due to complications arising out of childbirth.

Shyam Benegal was back into new wave films by making a triology on Indian Muslim women with ‘Mammo’ (1994), ‘Sardari Begum’ (1996) and ‘Zubieda’ (2001). in a recent interview, he said that after Smita Patil, he has worked with many actresses but none of them came close to the versatilities of Smita Patil.

On the occasion of Smita Patil’s 34th Remembrance Day, I have selected a song from the film ‘Mandi’ (1983) which is directed by Shyam Benegal with Smita Patil in the role of Zeenat. It is a mujra song, ‘chubhti hai ye to nigodi mujhe bhaari angiya’ sung by Asha Bhosle and picturised on Smita Patil. This raunchy song is written by Insha which is set to music by Vanraj Bhatia.

The film starts with this mujra song as credit titles are rolling. One can see Naseeruddin Shah as a worker in the kotha, Shabana Azmi as Madam of the kotha and Harish Patel as police who is watching the mujra through the window. The mujra starts with the classic ‘sit-down’ pose with alluring expressions of Smita Patil. In the last part of the song, she gets up and steps into a vigorous dancing in kathak style.

According to Vanraj Bhatia, Asha Bhosle who had sung many songs for him, refused to sing this song by saying that it was a dirty song. She cancelled the recording three times. It was Ismat Chugtai who convinced her by saying that she had sung many kotha songs. Why not one more? The reason as to why Vanraj Bhatia persisted on Asha Bhosle even after she cancelled the recording three times could be that only Asha Bhosle could do justice to sing to sound like a raunchy song.

Although the name of the lyricist is mentioned as Insha, I feel that he is Syed Insha Allah Khan ‘Insha’ (1756-1817). He had used his nom de plume ‘Insha’ in some of his poems. He had also used in the song under discussion. Insha was a contemporary of Mir Taqi Mir in Mughal court. Later, he shifted to the court of Nawab of Awadh in Lucknow for getting a higher stipend. He was a multilingual poet who wrote poems in Urdu, Persian, Hindi, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Bengali, Marathi etc. I have gone through some of his ghazals and nazms. He seems to be a witty and unconventional poet. His prose work, ‘Rani Ketki Ki Kahaani’ is regarded as the first short story written in Hindi.

The video version has the full song interspersed with some dialogues, while the audio version is without dialogues and does not have the last stanza.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Chubhhti hai ye to nigodi mujhe bhaari angiyaa (Mandi)(1983) Singer-Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Inshaa, MD-Vanraj Bhatia

Lyrics(Based on Video Clip)

chubhti hai
chubhti hai
ye to chubhti hai
ye to nigodi
mujhe chubhti hai
chubhti hai
ye to nigodi mujhe bhaari angiya
bhaari angiya chubhti hai
koi saadi si
haan koi saadi si
mere vaaste laa de angiya
laa de angiya

pokhron leher ban ke
daak sitaare
kise ho jaati hai kambakkht
gawaari angiya
ho gawaari angiya
mujhe chubhti hai
Allah chubhti hai
ye to nigodi mujhe bhaari angiya
bhaari angiya chubhti hai

gend ek maine jo phenki to
haan gend ek maine jo phenki to
jhijak kar un nein kuchh ajab dol se
kal apni sanwaari angiya
biwi mughlaani jo see laayi thhi
aayi na pasand
aayi na..aa pasand
o beghma ji ne wo sar unke
haan beghma ji ne wo sar unke
de maari angiya
de maari angiya
mujhe chubhti hai
Allah chubhti hai
ye to nigodi mujhe bhaari angiya
bhaari angiya chubhti hai

odhani mujhse jo badli to
aji odhani mujhse jo badli to
baazi jaan ki bhi ek deeje jo ho
bhaari se bhaari angiya
ye ajab koi sugad(?) jisne kaadhe ye boote
kaadhe ye boote
wah chire(?) ban gayi
ban gayi ek phoolon ki kyaari
haa aan ban gayi ek phoolon ki kyaari
kyaari angiya
pyaari angiya
mujhe chubhti hai
ye to nigodi mujhe bhaari
bhaari angiya chubhti hai

aa aa aa
noz pehne koi
shabnam ki katori saahab
taare..ae youn doob gaye
wo ko sudhaari angiya
wo ko sudhaari angiya
sudhaari ee angiya
haath ‘Insha’ ka kahin chhoo jo gaya to boli
haath ‘Insha’ ka kahin chhoo jo gaya to boli
tera maqdoor
tera maqdoor ke tu chhede hamaari angiya
hamaari angiya
hamaari angiya


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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 TWELVE years. This blog has over 16300 song posts by now.

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