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

Blog Day :

3770 Post No. : 14744 Movie Count :

4030

Kikubhai Desai who was the producer-director of many successful stunt films during 1930s and early 40s, may not be known to most of the present generation movie buff or even immediate preceding generation. However, if it is revealed that he was the father of Manmohan Desai, the producer-director of many block buster films during 1960s through 1980s, some of the movie enthusiastic especially the movie fans of Manmohan Desai, may develop interest in knowing Kikubhai Desai.

I first came to know about Kikubhai Desai in one of the old issues of ‘Filmindia’ magazine about 5 years back as a producer/director of a stunt film( I have forgotten the name of the movie). While covering rare songs from films of 1930s and 40s during 2015, I came across the information that Kikubhai Desai was the father of Subhash and Manmohan Desai ! This revelation generated interest in me to know about him in detail. In my article posted in the Blog about 2 years back, I had made a brief mention about the filmy career of Kikubhai Desai. Thereafter, I lost track and did not pursue the subject further.

Recently, while flipping through the pages of January 1942 issue if ‘Filmindia’ magazine, I came across a small news about the sudden death of Kikubhai Desai on November 26, 1941 when he was giving finishing touches to his comedy film ‘Sheikh Chilli’ (1942). This reminded me of my unfinished work to get Kikubhai Desai’s life profile and his filmy career more vigorously than before.

Kikubhai B. Desai (1902-26/11/1941) was born in Sandalpur (now in Navsari district of Gujarat) in an Anavil Brahmin family. Not much is known about his educational background. In 1925, Kikubhai Desai joined as Manager in Jupiter Film Company which was soon taken over by Nanubhai Desai, (father of actress Bindu), one of the two founders of Sharda Pictures, the other being Bhogilal Dave.

However, Nanubhai Desai retired from the partnership in Sharda Pictures and decided to join hands with Ardeshir Irani to set up Sagar Films (Later renamed as Sagar Movietone). Due to some last minute disagreement, Nanubhai Desai withdrew from Sagar Films before it was set up and started Saroj Pictures (later renamed as Saroj Movietone in 1931). He made Kikubhai to handle the film distribution in Punjab and Bangalore branches for Saroj Pictures.

In 1929, Kikubhai visited Bangalore (Bengaluru) and met Haribhai Desai, the proprietor of Surya Film Company who was also his relative. At that time, Surya Films was making its first silent film ‘Raj Hriday’. Haribhai told him that if he has come to enjoy only the colourful world of film industry, he would be sent back home. If he was prepared to work hard and learn the nuances of the film making, he will put him in production department. So Kikubhai started his work from the production department.

When ‘Raj Hriday’ was completed, Kikubhai Desai was made in charge of publicity department. Although compared to production department, publicity department was not a high profile work at that time. Kikubhai felt that he would miss working among the hero-heroines of the films with lot of activities and fun on the set. However, in the absence of any other work opportunity, he reluctantly accepted the change of work. Kikubhai tried new way of publicity for ‘Raj Hriday’ (1929). He got printed a large quantity of attractive pamphlets of the films and got them dropped from the plane in Mumbai. Such publicity was done for the first time. Kikubhai’s novelty in the publicity of the film impressed Haribhai so much that he made him Manager of his Bombay (Mumbai) distribution office.

In Mumbai, Kikubhai’s novel way of publicity of ‘Raj Hriday’ had a positive impact on the film which became a hit. Producers from other banners started giving him contract for the publicity of their films. He did this work for about 2 years during which time he had earned sufficient income to establish his own film production company, Paramount Films and the Paramount Studio at Andheri East in 1931. The banner produced its first silent film, ‘Fauladi Pahelwan’ (1931). Jayant Desai directed the film with Chandrarao Kadam and Miss Nirmala in the lead. In all, Kikubhai produced 8 silent films during 1931-33.

‘Husn Ka Ghulam’ (1933) was Paramount’s first talkie film made under the banner of Saroj Movietone. Thereafter, he produced on an average 3 films every year. None of the online sources give complete list of the filmography of Kikubhai Desai. Manmohan Desai had once mentioned, among other things, that his father had produced/directed 31 talkies during 1931-41. With this vital information, I set upon preparing the filmography of Kikubhai Desai. It was not an easy task to prepare an exhaustive list of films produced by Kikubhai Desai. Sometime his name was mentioned as K B Desai or K Desai. He had also produced films under the banners of India Liberty Films/ Great India Films in addition to his main banner, Paramount Films. I had to rely on the posters/advertisements of the films for confirmations.

Following is the list of films produced by him some of which he directed:

Sr. No. Name of the film Director Banner
01 Husn Ka Ghulam (1933) J P Advani Paramount/Saroj
02 Baghdad Ka Chor (1934) D N Madhok Paramount
03 Hoor-E-Baghdad (1934) R N Vaidya Paramount
04 Chalta Purza (1934) R N Vaidya Paramount
05 Khooni Khanjar (1935) R N Vaidya /Kikubhai Desai Paramount
06 Jaadui Danda (1935) Dwarka Khosla Paramount
07 Tufaani Tamancha (1935) R N Vaidya Paramount
08 Burkhawaali (1936) Kikubhai Desai India Liberty
09 Laal Panja (1936) Kikubhai Desai Paramount
10 Farz-E-Ada(1936) A M Khan India Liberty
11 Bansari Baala (1936) A M Khan India Liberty
12 Guru Ghantal (1937) Kikubhai Desai India Liberty
13 Kaala Bhoot (1937) A M Khan India Liberty
14 Taranhaar (1937) Kikubhai Desai India Liberty
15 Sinhaldweep Ki Sundari (1937) Kikubhai Desai Indis Liberty
16 Alladdin aur Jaadui Chiraag (1938) Nanubhai Vakil India Liberty
17 Baanke Saanwaria (1938) Nanubhai Vakil India Liberty
18 Madhraat Ka Mehmaan (1938) Kikubhai Desai India Liberty
19 Madhu Bansari (1939) Kikubhai Desai Paramount
20 Sunehri Toli/Golden Gang (1939) Kikubhai Desai Paramount
21 Sansar Naiyya (1939) Nanubhai Vakil Paramount
22 Reshmi Saari (1940) G P Pawar Paramount
23 Golibaar (1940) Nanubhai Vakil Paramount
24 Sneh Bandhan (1940) J P Advani Great India
25 Aflatoon Aurat/ Amazon (1940) Kikubhai Desai Paramount
26 Akela (1941) Pessi Karani Great India
27 Mere Raja (1941) T S Mani Paramount
28 Circus Ki Sundari/Circus Queen (1941) Balwant Bhatt Paramount
29 Sheikh Chilli (1942) Kikubhai Desai Paramount

This list has been vetted by Harish Raghuvanshi ji, the Film Historian who added 4 films to this list making it 29 out of 31 mentioned by Manmohan Desai. The remaining 2 films may be the ones which were under production at the time of Kikubhai Desai’s death in 26/11/1941. Incidentally, for ‘Dashavatar’ (1951) produced under the banner of J K Films and directed by Jayant Desai, the name of Kikubhai Desai has been mentioned as producer. This may be one of the two unfinished films of Kikubhai Desai which may have been taken over by J K Films with new cast and crew.

From the titles of the films listed above, it is clear that Kikubhai Desai specialised in producing mainly stunt films. He seems to have shifted to producing romantic/social films like ‘Sneh Bandhan’ (1940), ‘Akela’ (1941) and a comedy film ‘Sheikh Chilli’ (1942).

I have noted from the star cast of the films produced under the banners of Paramount Films, India Liberty Films and Great India Films that Gohar Karnataki, Miss Pokhraj, Miss Moti, Shiraz, Gulab, Shankar Vazare, Navinchandra, Dalpat, Sardar Mansoor etc were the main actors. Damodar Sharma was the music director for as many as 23 films out of 29 films listed above.

As mentioned earlier, during the final touches to the film ‘Sheikh Chilli’ (1942) which was produced and directed by Kikubhai Desai, he collapsed and died of rupture in appendix on November 26, 1941 at the age of 39.

The sudden death of Kikubhai Desai created a void in his film production companies, Paramount Films and India Liberty Films/Great India Films. At the time of his death, besides ‘Sheikh Chilli’ (1942) which was at the editing stage, two more films were under initial stages of productions. All the works came to a standstill. His two sons, Subhash Desai and Manmohan Desai and a daughter were minors. With heavy liabilities and debts, Kikubhai’s wife decided to sell their big bungalow in Varsova with a fleet of cars and other assets of the film production companies except the Paramount Studio at Andheri (now Filmalaya Studio). She leased the Paramount Studio to Shiraz Ali Hakim on a monthly rental of Rs.500/- for the sustenance of the family. After selling the bungalow, the entire family shifted to Khetwadi in South Mumbai.

‘Circus Ki Sundari’ aka ‘Circus Queen’ (1941) was released on November 28, 1941 (2 days after the sudden death of Kikubhai Desai, the producer of the film) in Mumbai at Super Talkies. The film was directed by Balwant Bhatt. The star cast included Miss Moti, Jal Merchant, Gulab, S L Puri, Bose, Dhulia, A. Karim, Agha, Rekha etc.

The film was shot inside a real circus with its complete paraphernalia of artists and the wild animals. Probably, it was for the first time in India that a film was shot in the actual lions and tigers cages of a circus. Miss Moti must be a courageous girl do the shooting in the midst of lions and tigers. The story of the film runs more or less on the same lines which has been used in many stunt films of that time.

There is a weak King (S L Puri) who has a popular younger brother-prince named Pratap (Jal Merchant). There is a good prime minister and a wicked woman called Shyama Devi (Gulab) who lives with the King. Lastly, there is a gang of ruffians to complete the ingredients for a stunt film.

A circus is camped in the King’s capital in which an artist named Sundari (Miss Moti) acts with wild animals including lions and tigers. King is impressed with Sundari and wants her to be his mistress. He assigns this task to his henchmen. It so happens that Prince Pratap, King’s brother accidentally meets Sundari and they fall in love.

Now comes a third angle in the guise of Shyamla Devi who though lives with the King but likes to flirt with Prince Pratap. She hatches a plot to overthrow the King but on each occasion, the wise prime minister frustrates her efforts. So it is a three-way war for the supremacy – the King and his henchmen for bringing Sundari for him, Prince Pratap and Sundari to turn their love into a marriage and Shymala Devi and her ruffians to overthrow the King. All the three groups work simultaneously to achieve their respective goals. The end result is that Shyamla Devi dies in a large pot of burning oil. prince Pratap gets Sundari with the blessings of the King. The prime minister becomes victorious. [Paraphrased from the review of the film published in January 1942 issue of ‘Film India’ magazine].

The film had 10 songs which were written by P L Santoshi and A Karim. But the division of the songs between the two lyricists is not known. All the songs were set to music by Khan Mastana.

I present the first among 10 songs ‘le chal ri saagar par naiyya’ from the film ‘Circus Ki Sundari’ (1941). The song is sung by actor-singer Miss Moti.

With this song, ‘Circus Ki Sundari/Circus Queen’ (1941) makes a debut in the Blog.

Acknowledgements:
———————–
1. I am grateful to Harish Raghuvanshi ji for providing me with the material on the early life and filmy career of Kikubhai Desai. He also sent me the scanned copies of the 3 pages from the Gujarati book ‘Sapna Na Saudagar’ written by Vitthal Pandya. He also helped me in updating the list of talky films produced/directed by Kikubhai Desai.

2. ‘Manmohan Desai’s Enchantment of the Mind’ by Connie Haham. Some pages were available online through Google Books in which Manmohan Desai talked about his father and their early days in Khetwadi (South Mumbai).

3. ‘The Advent of Sound in Indian Cinema’ by Virchand Dharamsey – published in the ‘Journal of the Moving Image’ as a research article (Pages 22 to 49).

Audio Clip:

Song-Le chal ri saagar paar (Circus Queen)(1941) Singer-Miss Moti, MD-Khan Mastana

Lyrics

le chal ri saagar paar
naiyya
le chal ri saagar paar
saagar paar sunhari duniya
saagar paar sunhari duniya
rehti sada bahaar
roop jawaani raaja raani
roop jawaani raaja raani
mil gaayen malhaar
mil gaayen malhaar
naiyya
le chal re saagar paar

chalna haule haule
naiyya
chalna haule haule
beech bhanwar na dole
chalna haule haule
naiyya
chalna haule haule
beech bhanwar na dole
sang na khewanhaar
sang na khewanhaar
le chal ri saagar paar
naiyya
le chal ri saagar paar
naiyaa
le chal ri saagar paar

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

Blog Day : 3757 Post No. : 14724

Sachin Dev Burman is, beyond doubt, the most sensitive instrument of musical inspiration – his soul is the very soul of music, the very soul of magic. Navketan ….is synonymous with Burman …whose songs are nesting places of whistling birds, tinkling bells and sobbing flutes….. A genius who has breathed music, dreamed music, lived music all his life.

This was a part of a signed note written in his own hand writing by Dev Anand, probably as a tribute to S D Burman. The entire note was reproduced in the book “The Navketan Story – Cinema Modern” by Sidharth Bhatia (2011).

Today, October 31st 2018 is 43rd Remembrance Day of Sachin Dev Burman (01/10/1906 – 31/10/1975), a legendary music director whose song compositions of 1950s through early 70s sound as young today as they did at the time of their creation. On S D Burman’s 112th birth anniversary on October 1st, 2018, I had set out in an article on this Blog, his journey from the Royal Tripura Family to the country side of the then East Bengal, to Calcutta (Kolkata) and finally to Bombay (Mumbai) to become one of the leading music directors of the golden period of Hindi film music.

When S D Burman landed in Mumbai in 1944, he had tough competition from well-established music directors like Anil Biswas, Naushad, Ghulam Haider, Khemchand Prakash and C Ramchandra. There were also emerging music directors in the mid-1940s like Sajjad Hussain, Husnlal-Bhagatram, Shyam Sundar, Hansraj Bahl etc. To some extent, his competition lessened with the migration of Ghulam Haider to Pakistan in 1948 and the sudden death of Khemchand Prakash in 1950. However, he had to face competition from new music directors – Shankar-Jaikishan, O P Nayyar. Madan Mohan, Roshan etc who operated concurrently with him.

There were some other handicaps with which S D Burman commenced his musical career. Apart from his poor knowledge of Hindi, S D Burman was said to have some personality traits which were not conducive for creating a successful filmy career. He gave an impression that he was whimsical, temperamental and stubborn. He lacked tact in handling his prospective customers (producers-directors). On the ‘plus’ side of his personality, as outlined by many who had worked with S D Burman, he was sagacious, humble, unbiased and had child-like innocence. Perhaps these qualities in him more than made up for his negative traits.

In Hindi film industry, in addition to talent, one also requires net-working with those who matters for picking up the music director for their films. He rarely attended filmy parties. He would not meet producer-directors or actors’ to seek work. He had very few friends and almost all of them were associated with Hindustani classical music or from Bengali music circle.

Despite all these handicaps and competitions from fellow music directors, I wonder as how could S D Burman maintain his position as one of the top music directors for as long as 24 years (1951-1975)? Let me analyse it based on 50 odd interviews of personality I have gone through who had closely worked with S D Burman and also of those who had known him.

For S D Burman, music was his world. Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia called him ‘Sangeet Sant’ (Saint of Music). Uttam Singh who was a violinist in S D Burman’s team of musicians and later a music director referred to him as ‘Rishi’ (Sage). Those who have closely worked with him had noticed that most of the time, he was in musical trance. Neeraj once observed that when Burman Dada was creating tunes for dance songs, he himself would dance to get a feel as to how a tune will fit on a dance song. Even among his few close friends, music was the only subject of his talk.

He was totally committed to song compositions under whatever the circumstances. Vijay Anand, in an interview taken by Piyush Sharma, had revealed that Burman Dada had composed some of the songs of ‘Guide’ (1965) from his hospital bed. He had personally gone to collect one of the tunes ‘piya tose naina laage re from the hospital bed. That he could conceive and create such a complex tunes ( 4 antaras in the song have different melodic treatments) even during illness speaks volume for his calibre as a music director. Waheeda Rahman had revealed that Burman Dada would tell her that he had conceived the tune with these dance steps in his mind so she should take care to do justice to them during the shooting. For ‘Tere Mere Sapne’ (1971), he had called Hema Malini to his home to explain the dance style of ta thai tat thai that thai ta. His good understanding of almost all aspects of song picturisation with his passion for perfection resulted in a very high percentage of his songs becoming hit.

S D Burman was never part of the rat race in the field of music direction in Bollywood. He would restrict the work of music direction to just 3-4 films a year. He had a phobia that if he took more films on hand, he may sound repetitive in his song composition. His style of composition required sufficient time to work on the songs to his full satisfaction. He would agree to compose songs for a film only after he had gone through the script of the film and the song sequences were fitting well in the story of the film.

There was an instance quoted by Pulak Bandopadhyay, who worked with S D Burman as lyricist for his non-film Bangla songs. He was present when this incidence happened. One day, a gentleman from the South film industry came to Burman Dada’s house and opened his brief case which was full of currency notes. He wanted to sign Burman Dada for his film. Burman Dada told the gentleman that he could show him as many bundles of currency notes as he had but he had no time to take up the new assignment.

After the gentleman had left disappointed, one of the persons in his room told Burman Dada that he should not have refused the film. He replied him by way of an idiomatic expression to make him understand. He compared film music as a draw-well. He said if one draws all the water from the well, it dries up. One needs to give the well sometime to recoup the water. [I have paraphrased here from the instance mentioned in ‘S D Burman – The World of His Music’ by Khagesh Dev Burman (Second Impression, 2016)].

Another important feature of S D Burman’s song compositions was that he was so particular about his melodic creations that he would not allow his singer’s voice and the lyrics to be over-shadowed by heavy orchestration. He used to tell his music arrangers that his melody was like a beautiful bride who did not need much ornamentation and dressing up. Another idiomatic expression he used to give in this regard was that orchestration was like a bindi (dot) on the forehead of a lady. A small bindi (dot) on the forehead of a beautiful lady would enhance her beauty. But a big bindi will spoil her beauty.

S D Burman was a strong believer in experimentation. Probably, this belief stemmed from his phobia that his songs may sound repetitive if he did not do something different. A sample of some non-film Bengali songs which he had composed in the 1930s and 40s itself gives an indication of his experimentation. Once in a conversation with Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, the Santoor player, Burman Dada said in his broken Hindi “main maar khaayega lekin main kuchh naya karega’’. What he meant was that he would continue to experiment with his songs and the music compositions even though his experiments may sometime fail. Let me list out at least a few of his experimentation:

1. I think, the first successful experimentation S D Burman carried was converting a ghazal into a club song tadbeer se bigdi huyi taqdeer bana le. This song became so famous that the film ‘Baazi’ (1951) became synonymous with this song. In ‘Funtoosh’ (1956), he once again converted a ghazal sounding lyrics into a light fun song, wo dekhen to unki inaayat.

2. In jaane kya toone kahi, a new musical instrument called Chinese Temple Blocks was used which created a mesmerising impact to match the mood in the song. The instrument was played by Kersi Lord, the Drummer and Accordionist in the S D Burman’s team of musicians. Another surprise was that S D Burman experimented by using Khol (a type of percussion) in this song which was essentially a naughty one. In Bengal and other North-Eastern States, the khol is used mainly for devotional and kirtan songs. In hothon mein aisi baat main daba ke chali aayi, S D Burman used a variety of percussion instruments of North-East Indian states and from Nepal and Myanmar numbering around 20.

3. Music Director Chitragupt used to tell his music director sons, Anand-Milind to study the songs composed by S D Burman especially the antara part of the songs where he sometimes experimented by composing in different metres than the mukhda metres. Anand gave an example of the song, choodi nahin ye mera dil hai which has antaras in different metres than mukhda. Even within antara, three out of 5 lines are again in different metres. The expertise of S D Burman in these types of songs is that the tune of antaras in different metres is brought close to the mukhda tune of the song like an aircraft making a smooth landing.

4. Poet Neeraj who started writing for S D Burman from ‘Prem Pujari’ (1970) also said that Burman Dada did a lot of experimentation with his song compositions. For instance, in phoolon ke rang se dil ki kalam se, Burman Dada started the song with antara. It was after 7 lines that the mukhda of 4 lines started. In dil aaj shaayar hai, there was no mukhda at all. For the song, yaaron neelaam karo susti, Burman Dada composed the first two lines based on a folk song, the next two lines were raag based tune, 5th and 6th lines were pop based tune and the last 4 lines which are the mukhda of the song were composed in qawwali style. Neeraj said that Burman Dada did these kinds of experimentation to break the monotony in the songs.

5. S D Burman was a fan of Ustad Faiyaz Khan of Agra Gharana. With his prior approval, he had used his famous bandish, ‘jhan jhan jhan jhan paayal baaje’ in Raag Nat Behag in composing non-film Bengali song ‘jhan jhan jhan jhan manjeera baaje’ (1937) which became very popular. He reused the tune with some improvisation in Hindi film ‘Buzdil’ (1951).

But in ‘Manzil’ (1960), S D Burman went a step ahead. He experimented with using Ustad Faiyaz Khan’s famous Dadra in Raag Bhairavi, ‘banaao batiyaan hato kaahe ko jhooti’ on Mehmood as arre hato kaahe ko jhooti banaao batiyaan in a light comical situation. He got Manna Dey to sing keeping in view the fact that he was singing for Mehmood in the role of Paanwala. When I first heard this song without the picturisation, I really felt that it was sung as a semi-classical song in the film as a part of the stage show. This song became very popular because it had the chord to connect with the masses.

Later, Roshan also adopted this experimentation successfully in laaga chunri mein daag chupaaun kaise and in phool gendwa na maaro. Both these semi-classical songs have been used in comical situations and sung by Manna Dey.

6. According to Uttam Singh, Violinist with S D Burman and R D Burman and later the music director, S D Burman is the only music director in Hindi film industry who has experimented with composing a classical dance song, piya tose naina laage re in Rupak Taal (7 beats) which is regarded as unusual for a dance song. He said that after this dance song, no other music director in Hindi film industry has attempted to compose a classical dance song in Rupak Taal.

I do not know much of the nuances of Hindustani classical music. On-line study material gave me some idea as to why Rupak Taal is unusual. All other Taals like Dadra Taal (6 beats), Kherwah (8 beats), Ek Taal (12 beats), Dhamar (14 beats), Teentaal (16 beats) etc have even number of beats. It is only the Rupak Taal which has uneven number of beats (7).

7. Shekhar Sen, the current Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akadamy who is also a singer, lyricist, composer, playwright and musicologist, said that Burman Dada had experimented composing a Hindi film song on Merukhand style used in Hindustani classical music. Merukhand is an improvisation style recited in the 3-4 notes in sargam. For example, 4 notes, Sa Re Ga Ma can be sung in various combination in maximum of 24 patterns without repeating any note. Merukhand is used for vocal practice by those who have just completed training in Hindustani classical music.

The song in Merukhand which Shekhar Sen referred to was palkon ke peeche se kya kah daala. Getting a clue from this song, I guess, geet pehle bana thhaa yaa bani thhi ye sargam is also a Merukhand inspired song. Both these songs became popular.

Let me summarise as to how S D Burman could remain as one of the top music directors for as long as 24 years (1951-1975). First, he concentrated on the quality rather than quantity of song compositions by restricting his assignments to not more than 3-4 film in a year. Secondly, he chose mainly those genres of films for which he had a flavour for composing songs. Thirdly, he ensured that he worked with those directors who had been excellent in song picturisation. He was lucky to get directors like Guru Dutt, Raj Khosla, Vijay Anand, Bimal Roy and later Shakti Samanta and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Fourthly, he did improvisation in his song compositions to make them acceptable to the masses. He also made experimentation in the song compositions to ensure that his songs did not become monotonous.

I will end my longish post on Burman Dada with a quote from Shekhar Sen. “Burman Dada’s song compositions were like lime pickle which became more tasty as years passed”.

On the occasion of 43rd Remembrance Day of S D Burman, I present one of the songs composed by him, ‘o tushima ri tushima..aa gaya toofaan’ from the film ‘Ye Gulistaan Hamaara’ (1972). The song is sung by Lata Mangeshkar on the lyrics of Anand Bakshi.

The tune of the song is based on a Nepali folk song which S D Burman’s Madal player, Ranjit Gazmer had once sang among his other musicians while relaxing during the rehearsal. S D Burman liked the tune and later used in this film with some improvisation.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Acknowledgements:

In writing this article, I have relied on interviews which were given by those who had closely worked with/close association with S D Burman. They included producers-directors, actors, music directors, singers, lyricists, music arrangers, lead musicians and his close friends. Most of videos/audio interviews were taken by Moti Lalwani which he has uploaded on YT.

Video Clip:

Song-Ho tushima ri tushima…aa gaya toofaan (Ye Gulistaan Hamaara)(1972) Singer-Lata, Lyrics-Anand Bakshi, MD-S D Burman

Lyrics

ho o o o
tushima aa aa

ho tushima ri tushima
ho tushima ri tushima
aaj jaane kis kaaran
haule haule doley mann
aaj jaane kis kaaran
haule haule doley mann
aa gaya toofaan
haan
aa gaya toofaan
aa gaya toofaan
haan
aa gaya toofaan
ho tushima ri tushima
ho tushima ri tushima

chhaayi masti basti basti
parvat parvat jhoomen
chhaayi masti
chhaayi masti basti-basti
parvat parvat jhoomen
yoon chale purvaai
ang ang leve angdaai
dharti chhuve aasmaan
aa gaya toofaan
aa gaya toofaan
haan
aa gaya toofaan
ho tushima ri tushima
ho tushima ri tushima

thhanda paani chhoone se bhi
aag badan mein laage
thhanda paani
thhanda paani chhoone se bhi
aag badan mein laage
neend se joban jaaga
chupke se dhadkan laaga
mera manwa beimaan
aa gaya toofaan
aa gaya toofaan
haan
aa gaya toofaan
ho tushima ri tushima
ho tushima ri tushima

maine dekha apna mukhda
maujon ke darpan mein
maine dekha
maine dekha apna mukhda
maujon ke darpan mein
mann se maine poochha
yeh hoon main yaa koi dooja
itni sundar main kahaan
aa gaya toofaan
aa gaya toofaan
haan
aa gaya


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

Blog Day :

3734 Post No. : 14679 Movie Count :

4012

I was told by my mother that my father was very fond of Hindi films. He was a fan of V Shantaram and Shanta Apte. He would visit Mangalore (now Mangaluru) just to watch a newly released Hindi film. This was in early 40s, when travelling from my native place (Mulki) to Mangaluru – about 25 kms of distance – was itself an adventure. It used to take almost the whole day. So to watch a film in a theatre in Mangaluru, it was necessary to stay overnight in the city.

Our family shifted to Bombay (Mumbai) in around Diwali time in 1951 as my father had got a job in the city. On week days, he was busy with his office work. On Sundays, he would often visit the Fort area where some of his friends from the native place had also shifted. They were part of his amateur musical drama troop in the native place where my father was associated as a music composer. So almost on all Sundays, my father would be with his friends for rehearsal of songs for the musical plays in Konkani and Kannada languages which would be staged during some kind of festivities. So I had no occasion to see films with my parents during 1952-53.

Unfortunately, in July 1954, my father passed away at the age of 42 after a brief period of illness. So the entire responsibility for sustenance of the family fell on my mother. Spending money on watching the films in theatres was the least priority. But as a rule, my mother allowed us to see one film a year in the theatre. As a result, I remember the names of most of the films which I watched during 1954-64.

As far as my memory goes, the first Hindi film which I watched in a local theatre was ‘Samaaj’ (1954). I do not remember anything about the film except that I saw a big poster of the film as we entered the theatre premises. The next was ‘Insaaniyat’ (1955) which I saw in a local but different theatre. Again I do not remember much of the film except the Zippy, the ape and a song apni chhaaya mein bhagwan bithha le mujhe, sung on the screen by Dilip Kumar. I still remember that during the show, bed bugs in the theatre bothered us a lot.

1956 was a bonus year for me as I got opportunity to see two films – ‘Bhai Bhai’ (1956) and ‘Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje’ (1955). I do not remember as to who took us for ‘Bhai Bhai’ (1956). I remember most part of the film as well as some songs. I was impressed with Kishore Kumar’s acting and his song mera naam abdul rahman. But today, this would be my least preferred song compared to all other songs in the film. This was the film in which I started believing that Ashok Kumar was a drunkard in his ‘real life’ because of his drunkard’s acting in the film.

‘Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje’ (1955) was my first film which I saw in a theatre located in the city. My maternal uncle has taken me for this film at Metro theatre (Dhobi Talaao) where it had run for more than a year. We had gone for 3.00 – 6.00 pm show. It gave me a great feeling watching my first colour film.

When the show was over at 6.00 pm, we came out of the theatre and found that all the roads were deserted. There were many policemen on the roads. One policeman told my uncle that a curfew has been clamped in this area. We were permitted to walk on the left footpath of the road leading to VT (Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) railway station. We came to know later that some people had died in a police firing on a big morcha of Sanyukta Maharashtra Samiti which was demanding a separate Maharashtra State.

My cousin (who was about 15 years elder to me) had got a good job in Mumbai. One day, he told us that he would sponsor to take our entire family as well as a few other relatives to a magnificent theatre to watch a film. The theatre was Liberty and the film was ‘Champakali’ (1957). It was really a magnificent theatre compared to all other theatres I had visited earlier. There was wall to wall carpet probably laid on some soft material as we felt that we were walking on foam mattresses. I do not recall much about the film except one song, chhup gaya koi re door se pukar ke.

I am not able to recall as to which films I saw in 1958 and 1959. Probably, I may not have got to see any film. By 1960, I, my brother and my two cousins had become the fan of Shankar-Jaikishan. Those days, we used to consider O P Nayyar as SJ’s ‘rival’. Now I feel that we ourselves had created this ‘rivalry’ in our mind. Those days, it was thought that the song, tin kanastar peet peet kar gala phaad kar chillaana composed by S-J was aimed at O P Nayyar and we all believed this to be true because it suited us being the fan of S-J. When I listened to this song recently, I felt that it was more of a general observation about copying western tunes with loud orchestration. In fact, this song can be treated as a satire on the current state of Hindi film music.

Anyway, 1960 our entire family went to see ‘Dil Apna Aur Preet Paraayi’ (1960) in a local theatre. I enjoyed not only the songs but the film itself. A couple of scenes got engraved in my mind while watching the film. First, I felt very sad about Meena Kumari’s predicament in the song, ajeeb daastaan hai ye. Second, it amused me when after the end of the dream sequence song, mera dil ab tera o sajna, Raj Kumar was holding the handle of the door of an ambulance and dancing as if he was holding the hand of Meena Kumari.

In 1961, it was ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ (1961), again S-J film. We have gone to see this film mainly for its songs. I do not remember about the story of the film. In 1962, I and my younger brother had gone to stay with our cousins during our summer vacation by which time they had shifted to a new resident at Byculla. S-J was still our favourite. We got permission from our aunt to see ‘Aashiq’ (1962) which was running at Ganesh Talkies at Lalbaug. We travelled from Byculla to Lalbaug by tram. The queue for the current ticket (3.00 – 6.00 pm show) was long. We stood in the queue. As we came nearer to the ticket window with just about 10 persons ahead of us, the ‘House Full’ board was displayed. We were hugely disappointed.

After some discussion, we decided to stand in the queue for the next show (6.00 – 9.00 pm). While taking this decision, we were oblivious of the fact that our aunt will get worried if we did not reach home by evening. We watched the film and enjoyed the songs. When we returned home at around 9.30 pm, our cousins got a good dressing down from my aunt. She thought that it was a handiwork of her younger son whereas in reality, it was a collective decision.

I am not able to recall as to which film I saw in 1963. It is quite possible that there was no occasion for me to see any film. In 1964, I got an opportunity to see ‘Sangam’ (1964) with one of my relatives in a local theatre. Except for o mehbooba tere dil ke pass hai and dost dost na raha, all other songs sounded a shade lower in quality than what S-J had composed for ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’ (1960). I also did not much enjoy watching the film.

By this time, I and my elder cousin had defected to Laxmikant-Pyarelal camp while my younger brother and younger cousin continued to be the fan of S-J. There used to a lot of musical discussion between us mainly on S-J versus L-P. Sometime it would reach a flashing point. In 1965, I had got a job. My elder cousin had shifted to Pune to complete his Engineering degree. With this, our L-P vs. S-J rivalry naturally came to an end.

‘Waqt’ (1965) was the first film which I saw from my own money as I had got a job. From 1965 and 1969, I had watched in the theatres one film almost every week-end (either afternoon show on Saturdays or Matinee show on Sundays). In Economics, there is a law of diminishing marginal utility. This law seemed to have applied to my week-end film watching. Over a period of time, I developed a diminishing interest in films and by 1972, I had almost given up visiting theatres for films. The reason could be that I had been seeing all types of films, many of them could be categorised as craps.

Since then, I visit theatres to watch only those films which my wife wished to see, which had good reviews and I have a liking for the subject of the film. In this process, now we end up watching on average 3-4 films in a year.

‘Raazi’ (2018) was the last film I and my wife saw in a multiplex sometime in May 2018. During the show, one of its songs overwhelmed me so much that it lingered in my mind for a long time. I felt that I should present this song as a part of the article. The song is ‘ungli pakad ke tune chalna sikhaaya thha na’ sung by Vibha Saraf, Harshdeep Kaur and Shankar Mahadeven.

This song takes me to the golden period of Hindi film music in terms of its composition, lyrics and picturisation .. Harshdeep Kaur’s soulful rendition of her part in the song brings out the emotional bond between a father and a daughter.

The song starts with a Kashmiri couplet which is a part of Kashmiri folk song of bidaai:

bae chhasay khanmaej koor
deu mey rukhsat myane bhaijaano

[I am your darling daughter. Come, it is time to bid farewell to me, o brother].

Music Directors, Shankar-Ehsan-Loy has used mostly Kashmiri musical instruments like rabab, dotara and esraj to give a feel of the song from the Kashmir valley.

This is the song which would make any father to shed tears after listening because of its soulful music and lyrics. After all, it has been written by Gulzar who must have had the same pain at the time of the marriage of his daughter, Meghna Gulzar, the director of the film.

Video Clip:

Song-Mudke na dekho dilbaro (Raazi)(2018) Singers-Harshdeep Kaur, Shankar Mahadevan, Vibha Saraf, Lyrics-Gulzar, MD-Shankar Ehsan Loy
Chorus
Harshdeep Kaur+Chorus

Lyrics

bae chhasay khanmaej koor
deu mey rukhsat myane bhaijaanon

bae chhasay khanmaej koor
deu mey rukhsat myane bhaijaano
bae chhasay khanmaej koor

ungli pakad ke toone
chalna sikhaaya thha na
dehleez oonchi hai ye
paar kara de
baba main teri mallika
tukda hoon tere dil ka
ikk baar phir se dehleez
paar karaa de
hmm hmm hmm
mudke na dekho dilbaro
dilbaro..o
mudke na dekho dilbaro
mudke na dekho dilbaro

dilbaro..o
mudke na dekho dilbaron

fasalein jo kaati jaayen
ugti nahi hain
betiyaan jo byaahi jaayen
mudti nahin hai
o o fasalein jo kaati jaayen
ugti nahi hain
betiyaan jo byaahi jaayen
mudti nahni hai
aisi bidaai ho to
lambi judaai ho to
dehleez dard ki bhi
paar kara de
baba main teri mallika
tukda hoon tere dil ka
ikk baar phir se dehleez
paar kara de

mere dilbaro…..on
barfein galengi phir se
mere dilbaro……on
fasalein pakengi phir se
tere paaon ke tale
meri duaa chale
duaa meri chale

baba main teri mallika
tukda hoon tere dil ka
ek baar phir se dehleez
paar kara de
mudke na dekho dilbaro
dilbaro..o
mudke na dekho dilbaro
mudke na dekho dilbaro
dilbaro..o
mudke na dekho dilbaro

mudke na dekho dilbaro
dilbaro..o
mudke na dekho dilbaro


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

Blog Day : 3727 Post No. : 14666

Today, October 1st is the birth anniversary of two iconic personalities of Hindi film music. Both started their career in Hindi film industry in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1946 – one as a music director and the other as a lyricist. Yes, it is Sachin Dev Burman’s 112th birth anniversary and Majrooh Sultanpuri’s 99th birth anniversary. Both have been my favourites amongst the music directors and lyricists of the golden era of Hindi film music. Both seem to have been made for each other. SD Burman was one of the earliest pioneers in introducing the concept of ‘tune first lyrics later’ in Hindi film music while Majrooh Sultanpuri was master in writing lyrics to the tune.

I found both of them to be non-conformists in their respective fields.  SD Burman’s compositions did not leave trails to identify them as SD Burman type of music. In my younger days, it was not easy for me to identify the songs composed by SD Burman. Had I not known in advance, I would have difficulties in knowing that songs of ‘Baazi’ (1951), ’Pyaasa’ (1957) and  ‘Nau Do Gyarah’ (1957) were composed by the same music director. Majrooh Sultanpuri on the other hand wrote lyrics of varied moods and of all genres with ease. Another common factor between these two stalwarts was that both were called as ‘old man with young heart’. If SD Burman could composed Roop Tera Mastaana at the age of 64, Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote lyrics for Raat Shabnami Bheegi Chaandni at the age of 77.

Despite both SD Burman and Majrooh Sultanpuri starting their filmy career in 1946, it took about 11 years for both of them to work together in Navketan’s  ‘Nau Do Gyaarah’ (1957), though the other collaboration, ‘Paying Guest’ (1957) was released first. The main reason was that SD Burman was already working with Sahir Ludhianvi since 1951. It was only when SD Burman stopped engaging Sahir after ‘Pyaasa’ (1957) that he found Majrooh Sultanpuri as a suitable lyricist partner. From 1957 till SD Burman’s death in October 1975, both of them worked together in 20 films composing 137 songs.

I have already written about Majrooh Sultanpuri last year while covering the song Nanha Mora Doley Mori Anganiaa. So in this article, I propose to discuss only the musical career of SD Burman.

Sachin Da (1/10/1906 – 31/10/1975) was born in Comilla, a part of Tripura at that time (now in Bangladesh). He belonged to Tripura’s royal family in which his father, Nabadwip Chandra Dev Burman, was the next in line to Tripura Royalty. However, due to some palace machinations, Nabadwip Burman was denied his right as the next king of Tripura because of which he along with his family shifted to Comilla. SD Burman’s childhood years in Comilla became his training ground for music as he became enthralled by the folk music of what was then known as East Bengal.

After graduation from a Comilla college, SD Burman enrolled for Master’s degree in English in the University of Calcutta in 1924. However, he soon gave up his studies to become the disciple of Krishna Chandra Dey (KC Dey). Later, he continued his musical training under Ustad Badal Khan and Pandit Bhishamdev Chatopadhyay.  The royal family of Tripura were the connoisseurs of Hindustani classical music. They resented SD Burman’s indulgence in singing and recording folk songs for earning as it was below dignity for a royal member of family to earn from the music. They also felt that folk songs were not meant for royalty as they were sung by the lower strata of the society. Because of this, SD Burman did not get the traditional royal welcome when he visited Agrtala after his marriage with Meera in 1938.

In 1932, SD Burman left Tripura for Calcutta (Kolkata) for pursuing his interest in music. In the same year, he approached HMV for his first recording of a non-filmy Bengali song. However, he failed in the audition test. Luckily for him, Hindustan Musical Products (Hindustan Records) offered to record his first gramophone song. The song became a major success for Hindustan Records. During 1932-1946, SD Burman recorded over 100 non-films, mostly Bengali and some filmy Bengali songs most of which became commercially successful.

Despite success as a singer in non-film songs, SD Burman had to face disappointment in 1933 when a song sung by him in the film ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’ (1933) was deleted and was recorded afresh in the voice of Pahadi Sanyal due to the internal politics of New Theatre. In 1935, SD Burman got an opportunity to do a minor role of a beggar in Madhu Bose’s film ‘Selima’ (1935) in which he was to sing a song. At first, SD Burman refused telling that he would be ostracised from the Tripura royal family if they came to know that he was working in a film. However, Madhu Bose assured him that no one would recognise him in his make-up of a beggar with beard and moustache. So this became SD Burman’s first film song as an actor-singer.

Sometime in 1942, SD Burman got an offer from Chandulal Shah to join Ranjit Movietone as music director. The offer was declined as he did not relish the idea of leaving Kolkata. In the next two years, he found that he was not able  to get enough opportunity to compose music for Bangla films as all important banners had their own music directors in their pay rolls. These music directors would offer him to sing as a playback singer which he would not agree as his wish was to become a music director. At this juncture, he took a decision that he would not sing for any other music directors and he would sing his own compositions for films not as a playback singer but as background singer. He maintained that stand consistently after he became a part of the Bombay (Mumbai) film industry in 1946.

In early 1940s, Bengal was reeling under the worst famine. The film industry was adversely affected. There was an exodus from Kolkata to Mumbai film industry for a different reason. SD Burman knew that despite his liking for Kolkata, he had to move to Mumbai to be able to achieve his dream of becoming a music director. In October 1944, SD Burman along with his family landed in Mumbai on the invitation from Rai Bahadur Chunnilal and Sashadhar Mukherjee who had formed Filmistan with Ashok Kumar, Gyan Mukherjee and other technicians, a breakaway group from Bombay Talkies.  Burman joined Filmistan as music director.

In Mumbai, SD Burman’s greatest handicap was his inability to fully understand Hindi, leave aside Urdu.  This handicap willy-nilly made him the pioneering in ‘tune first lyrics later’ concept in Hindi film song compositions. It is said that in his first two films with Filmistan, C Ramchandra helped SD Burman in music arrangements. I guess, as a newcomer, it was difficult for him to arrange musicians and communicate with them.

His first film as a music director was ‘Shikaari’ (1946) followed by ‘Aath Din’ (1946), both produced under the banner of Filmistan.  The music of ‘Shikari’ (1946) did not create much interest in the common public though studio hands appreciated newness in his music compositions. However, songs of ‘Aath Din’ (1946) especially two songs sung by SD Burman and Pehle Na Samjhaa Pyaar Tha by Ameerbai Karnataki became popular and made him a different class of music director well-versed with the then East Bengal folk music.

SD Burman was not satisfied with his music in these two films as he did not find anyone in the streets singing his songs. On the contrary, he found his servant always humming the songs from ‘Rattan’ (1944). He felt that unless his songs became popular on the streets, his presence as a music director would never be felt in Bombay film industry.

In the meanwhile, Sashadhar Mukherjee allowed him to take up the music direction in the films outside Filmistan. In 1947, he did two films outside Filmistan – ‘Chitor Vijay’ (1947) and ‘Dil Ki Rani’ (1947) both having Raj Kapoor and Madhubala as lead pairs. Neither the films fared well on the box office front nor did the songs become popular. The only point of interest in ‘Dil Ki Rani’ (1947) was that SD Burman made Raj Kapoor to sing in his own voice a song, O Duniya Ke Rehne Waalo Bolo Kahaan Gaya Chitchor.

Filmistan entrusted SD Burman with the music direction of ‘Do Bhai’ (1947). Sashadhar Mukherjee was a hard task master who rarely got satisfied with the tunes SD Burman composed for this film. Fed up with the constant rejections of tunes by Sashadhar Mukherjee, one day, SD Burman decided to have a show down with his boss. Probably after that he would think of leaving Filmistan and go back to Kolkata. To his surprise, Sashadhar Mukherjee at once approved the first tune he played on the harmonium and asked him record the song at the earliest. The song was Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya sung by Geeta Roy (later Dutt). This song made Geeta Roy a star playback singer overnight. The film was a box office success. For the first time, SD Burman heard his servant humming this song which made him very happy. In 1948, he composed songs from ‘Vidya’ (1948). It was his first film with Dev Anand and Suraiya. The film did not fare well on the box office but one song  Laayi Khushi Ki Duniya, picturised on Dev Anand and Suraiya, became very popular.

Filmistan’s ‘Shabnam’ (1949) can be regarded as SD Burman’s first real successful film as a music director as all the songs of the films became very popular. For SD Burman, it was one of his most satisfying period of his musical career as he found the songs of ‘Shabnam’ being heard on the street quite often. He even heard the labourers at Bandra Railway Station, singing one of the songs from this film in tandem with their track maintenance work.

In 1950s, SD Burman did not have much success as a music director. ‘Afsar’ (1950) was his first film for Navketan – a film production company started by Chetan Anand and Dev Anand. The film did not fare well at the box office although two songs – Naina Deewaane Ek Nahin Maane and Man Mor Huaa Matwaala became popular. ‘Pyaar’ (1950) also did not have a great run. SD Burman was now depressed that even after 5 years of his stint as a music director in Bombay film industry, he has not established himself as a successful music director. With this thought in mind, he decided to leave Mumbai and return to Kolkata.

At that time, Ashok Kumar was reviving Bombay Talkies by producing ‘Mashaal’ (1950) for which SD Burman was entrusted with the music direction. His leaving at a crucial juncture would have affected the film. After much persuasion by Ashok Kumar, SD Burman stayed back to complete the music direction of the film with a condition that after the completion of his work, he would return to Kolkata.

It so happened that ‘Mashaal’ (1950) became a box office hit film. Almost all the songs of the film became very popular. But it was Manna Dey’s song,  Upar Gagan Vishaal which drew attention of the common folk. With this song, Manna Dey seemed have announced that he had, at last, arrived in the world of Hindi film music. Manna Dey had worked as an Assistant Music Director for SD Burman but he got his first chance to sing under his baton only in ‘Mashaal’ (1950).

With the success of ‘Mashaal’ (1950), producers lined up for signing SD Burman for their films which included ‘Bahaar’ (1951), ‘Buzdil’ (1951), ‘Ek Nazar’ (1951), ‘Naujawaan’ (1951) and ‘Sazaa’ (1951). All these films had very popular songs some of which are still remembered today like Sainya Dil Mein Aana Re, Jhan Jhan Jhan Jhan Paayal Baaje, Thandi Hawaayen Lehra Ke Aayen and Tum Na Jaane Kis Jahaan Mein Kho Gaye.

But one film SD Burman  did in 1951 gave a tremendous boost to his career as a music director – it was Navketan’s ‘Baazi’ (1951). It was Guru Dutt’s first directorial venture. SD Burman’s musical treatment in this film was quite a contrast to what he had so far churned out. There were no Bengali traces in the songs. Instead, he predominantly used western and Punjabi beats. In fact, he turned Sahir Ludhinavi’s philosophical ghazal, Tadbeer Se Bigdi Huyi Taqdeer Banaa Le  into a seductive club song. All the songs of ‘Baazi’ (1951) became super hits. The success of ‘Baazi’ (1951) made SD Burman almost a permanent fixture with Navketan Banner until ‘Chhupa Rustom’ (1973). By now, he had dropped the idea of shifting to Kolkata.

The musical success of ‘Baazi’ (1951) created a successful pair of Sahir Ludhianvi and SD Burman. During 1951-57, both of them created 138 songs in 18 films. Unfortunately, due to clash of egos, they did not work together after ‘Pyaasa’ (1957).

I will not go into further details of his successful films as they are in large numbers. But there are a few films which I consider as classic insofar as SD Burman’s music is concerned. They are ‘Taxi Driver’ (1954), ‘Pyaasa’ (1957), ‘Nau Do Gyaarah’ (1957), ‘Paying Guest’ (1957), ‘Kaala Paani’ (1958), ‘Sujata’ (1959), ‘Kaala Baazar’ (1960), ‘Bandini’ (1963) ‘Tere Ghar Ke Saamne’ (1963), ‘Guide’ (1965), ‘Aradhana’ (1969), ‘Prem Pujari’ (1970), ‘Sharmilee’ (1971), ‘Tere Mere Sapne’ (1971), and ‘Abhimaan’ (1973). But within these films, there were high points in SD Burman’s musical career – ‘Baazi’ (1951), ‘Pyaasa’ (1957), ‘Guide’ (1965), ‘Aradhana’ (1969) and ‘Abhimaan’ (1973).

During 1946 until his death in October 31, 1975 SD Burman composed music for 90 films (including one unreleased film) comprising 673 songs (666 songs if I exclude 7 songs from the unreleased film). This gives an annual average of 3 films. According to those who had closely worked with SD Burman, he would consider him to be ‘busy’ if he had two films on hand. He considered himself ‘very busy’ if he had 3 films on hand. He would not take any more musical assignments until he completed one of the three films on hand. So the annual average of 3 films are within the parameter he set for himself.

It was during the recording the song, Badi Sooni Sooni Hai Zindagi Ye Zindagi  from ‘Mili’ (1975) that SD Burman got paralytic attack and was shifted to Bombay Hospital. Later, RD Burman completed the recording of the song. What an irony! When Kishore Kumar was singing this song for recording, his mentor was in the hospital in deep coma. SD Burman remained in coma for the next 5 months until his end came on October 31, 1975.

Since the article has already become very lengthy, I propose to write a second part of the article covering some other aspects of SD Burman’s Hindi film music on his Remembrance Day on October 31, 2018. There are hundreds of anecdotes in the life of SD Burman – some known and some unknown to me – which makes his musical journey very interesting. While Gulzar called him ‘Prince of Music’, Pandit Hari Prasad Charasia referred him as ‘Sangeet Sant’ (Saint of Music). Kersi Lord, who worked with SD Burman as a drummer and later as an accordionist for a very long time, called him ‘an old man with a young heart’ insofar as his music was concerned. Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, the santoor player called SD Burman as a wonderful person with child-like innocence.

I will end this article with a statement that SD Burman was a music director who remained at the zenith of his musical career in Hindi film industry since the success of ‘Baazi’ (1951) until his death on October 31, 1975. Even 5 year hiatus with Lata Mangeshkar (1957-62) did not affect his musical career. Some of the films for which SD Burman composed music may have failed at the box office but his music did not fail.

On the occasion of 112th birth anniversary of SD Burman and 99th birth anniversary of Majrooh Sultanpuri, I present one of their creations from ‘Sitaaron Se Aage’ (1958). The film was produced by VL Narasu, a coffee plantation magnate from the South India. The film starred Ashok Kumar, Vyjayantimala, Jagdish Sethi, Johny Walker, Shammi, Iftekhar, Raja Sulochana, Leela Mishra, Manmohan Krishna etc.

The film seems to have jinxed from the very beginning. Gyan Mukherjee was originally assigned to direct the film. He had even completed musical sitting with SD Burman. The film went into shooting floor in 1956. However, Gyan Mukherjee fell ill and was diagnosed with brain tumour. He was also afflicted by Parkinson’s disease. He passed away in November 1956. Ashok Kumar had to rope in Satyen Bose to direct the film (As revealed by late Sachin Bhowmick and quoted in ‘SD Burman – The Prince Musician’ – Anirudh Bhattacharjee & Balaji Vittal (2018).

During the making of the film, SD Burman got into tiff with Lata Mangeshkar on the issue of re-recording of the song, Sainya Kaise Dhaaroon Dheer as he wished to record the song afresh with some changes in the tune. Since Lata was leaving for a foreign trip, she could not give him the date, nor she could commit to give a priority date on her return from the trip. This enraged SD Burman to such an extent that he stopped engaging Lata Mangeshkar as a playback singer for the next 5 years. He got the above-mentioned song recorded in the voice of Asha Bhonsle. But she could not render the song the way S D Burman wanted. So he retained the originally recorded Lata version for the film. The remaining songs which were to be sung by Lata in the films were rendered by Asha Bhonsle (3) and Geeta Dutt (1).

After about 8 years from this incidence, SD Burman got his original wish fulfilled. Lata Mangeshkar recorded a song based on the tune of the song referred to above. The result was the culmination of a new song for the film ‘Guide’ (1965). The song was Mo Se Chhal Kiye Jaaye Dekho Sainya Beimaan. Incidentally, as I checked from the credit titles, Hiralal was one of the choreographers for both ‘Sitaaron Se Aage’ (1958) and ‘Guide’ (1965).

‘Sitaaron se Aage’ (1958) got delayed and finally released sometime in early 1958. The film was a musical extravaganza with Vyjayantimala performing a number of semi-classical dances in the film. A feature of the songs in this film was that  SD Burman used Western scores in a couple of songs like Chanda Ki Chaandni Ka Jaadoo and Mehfil Mein Aaaye Wo Aaj Dheere Se that sounded like waltz music.

So far 7 songs (out of 9 including one multiple version song) from this film have been covered in the Blog. I present the 8th song – ‘Aa Khilte Hain Gul, O Mere Bulbul’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The song was written by Majrooh Sultanpuri and picturised on Vyjayantimala as a dance song. The song is not only melodious but rhythmic as well.

[Author’s Note: Some of the information on SD Burman’s early life and early musical career has been sourced from ‘SD Burman – The World of His Music’ by Khagesh Dev Burman (translated from Bengali by SK Ray Chaudhuri), 2013.]

(Video)

(Audio)

Song – Aa Khilte Hain Gul, O Mere Bulbul (Sitaaron Se Aage) (1958) Singer – Lata Mangeshkar, Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanopuri, MD – SD Burman
Chorus

Lyrics

aa khilten hain gul
o mere bulbul
rut hai jawaan
tu hai kahaan
dilruba aa aa aaa
aa khilten hai gul
o mere bulbul
rut hai jawaan
tu hai kahaan
dilruba aa aa aaa
aa khilten hai gul
ho oo mere bulbul
mil jaa gale
kahin ye milan ki 
rut na dhale
mil jaa gale
kahin ye milan ki 
rut na dhale
 
o o o o
o o o o o 
wohi teri raahen
wohi meri aahen
wohi main hoon
wohi dil mera
o
wohi teri raahen
wohi meri aahen
wohi main hoon
wohi dil mera
wohi teri baaten
wohi meri raaten
wohi rang e mehfil mera
rah ke juda
dil na dukha
aa bhi jaa aa aa aaa
aa khilten hain gul
o mere bulbul
jiyara jaley
piya kabhi apne
din thhe bhale
o jiyara jaley
piya kabhi apne
din thhe bhale
rut hai jawaan
tu hai kahaan
dilruba aa aa aaa
aa khilten hain gul
o mere bulbul
 
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa

o o o o
o o o
raah teri takta
gham se sulagta
chaand bechaara kahaan gaya
o raah teri takta
gham se sulagta
chaand bechaara kahaan gaya
tu hi nahi aaya
dhal gaya saaya
yahaan ka taara wahaan gaya
raat dhali
jhoom chali
phir hawaa aa aa aaa
aa khilten hain gul
o mere bulbul
tum na miley
khadi khadi jaloon piya
chanda taley
ho tum na miley
khadi khadi jaloon piya
chanda taley
rut hai jawaan
tu hai kahaan
dilruba aa aa aaa
aa khilten hain gul
o o mere bulbul. . .

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

आ खिलते हैं गुल
ओ मेरे बुलबुल
रुत है जवां
तू है कहाँ
दिलरुबा आ आ॰॰आs
आ खिलते हैं गुल
ओ मेरे बुलबुल
रुत है जवां
तू है कहाँ
दिलरुबा आ आ॰॰आs
आ खिलते हैं गुल
हो ओ मेरे बुलबुल
मिल जा गले
कहीं ये मिलन की
रुत ना ढले
मिल जा गले
कहीं ये मिलन की
रुत ना ढले

ओ ओ ओ ओ
ओ ओ ओ ओ ओ
वही तेरी राहें
वही मेरी आहें
वही मैं हूँ
वही दिल मेरा

वही तेरी राहें
वही मेरी आहें
वही मैं हूँ
वही दिल मेरा
वही तेरी बातें
वही तेरी रातें
वही रंग ए महफिल मेरा
रह के जुदा
दिल ना दुखा
आ भी जा आ॰॰आ॰॰आ
आ खिलते हैं गुल
ओ मेरे बुलबुल
जियरा जले
पिया कभी अपने
दिन थे भले
जियरा जले
पिया कभी अपने
दिन थे भले
रुत है जवां
तू है कहाँ
दिलरुबा आ आ॰॰आs
आ खिलते हैं गुल
ओ मेरे बुलबुल

आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आss
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आss
आ आ आ आ

ओ ओ ओ ओ
ओ ओ ओ
राह तेरी ताकता
ग़म ये सुलगता
चाँद बेचारा कहाँ गया
ओ राह तेरी ताकता
ग़म ये सुलगता
चाँद बेचारा कहाँ गया
तू ही नहीं आया
ढाल गया साया
यहाँ का तारा वहाँ गया
रात ढली
झूम चली
फिर हवा आ॰॰आ॰॰आs
आ खिलते हैं गुल
ओ मेरे बुलबुल
तुम ना मिले
खड़ी खड़ी जलूँ पिया
चंदा तले
हो तुम ना मिले
खड़ी खड़ी जलूँ पिया
चंदा तले
रुत है जवां
तू है कहाँ
दिलरुबा आ आ॰॰आs
आ खिलते हैं गुल
ओ ओ मेरे बुलबुल॰ ॰ ॰


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

Blog Day : 3700 Post No. : 14619

‘Ujaala’ (1942) was produced under the banner of Taj Mahal Pictures and was directed by K M Multani. The film was based on a story by M A Mughani whose name also appears as the ‘producer’ of the film. The screen play and dialogues were written by Kamal Amrohi. The star cast included Prithviraj Kapoor, Naseem Bano, Mubarak, Ratan Bai, Mirza Musharaf, Baby Vinod Kumari, Jhilani etc.

The film was the maiden venture of Taj Mahal Pictures which was set up by M. Ehsan. However, the film’s publicity materials mentioned M A Mughani, the story writer as the ‘producer’ of the film with M. Ehsan as Associate Producer. My guess is that after completing the college, Ehsan set up this film production company without having any experience in film production. So he may have given a greater role to M A Mughani in the film production who had earlier worked in Minerva Movietone. It was said that Ehsan was a childhood friend of Naseem Bano and she may have partly financed his film production company.

For Naseem Bano, it was her first film after she was released from her contract with Minerva Movietone by Sahorab Modi on her request in 1940. Till that time, she had acted in Minerva’s Movietone’s films like ‘Hamlet’ aka ‘Khoon Kaa Khoon’ (1935), ‘Khan Bahadur’ (1937), ‘Vasanti’ (1938), ‘Meetha Zahar’ (1938), ‘Divorce’ aka ‘Talaaq’ (1938), ‘Pukar’ (1939) and ‘Defeat’ aka ‘Main Haari’ (1940).

After Naseem Bano’s last released film in 1940, there was a gap of nearly 2 years before ‘Ujaala’ (1942) was released in February 1942. It is said that sometime during this interregnum, she accompanied her mother, Shamshad Begum, (a classical singer who was known as Chhamia in the music circle) to be the guest of the son of the Nizam of Hyderabad. There seems to be more to it than being merely the guest in Hyderabad. It was rumoured that Nizam’s prince was interested in marrying Naseem Bano. However, after spending sometime in Hyderabad, both mother and daughter did not like the environment in Hyderabad. So both returned to Bombay (Mumbai). ‘Ujaala’ (1942) was the first film Naseem Bano signed after returning to Bombay.

During the making of the film, a couple of things happened which could have affected the film’s publicity. First, some unscrupulous persons carried out propaganda against Naseem Bano by printing slanderous posters about her. People in the know felt that it was the handiwork of the supporters of the son of Nizam of Hyderbad who were in his payrolls, to tarnish the image of Naseem Bano. But soon, it died down. Probably the fans of Naseem Bano put more faith in her than in the slanderous propaganda.

Second, there were some creative differences between film’s dialogue writer, Kamal Amrohi and the film’s de-facto producer and story writer, M A Mughani. Both had become ‘heavy-weights’ in the film industry after the success of ‘Pukar’ (1939) in which Kamal Amrohi wrote dialogues and lyrics and Mughani was the Publicity Manager. The issues were amicably sorted out and the film was released on February 21 1942 at Lamington Theatre, Bombay (Mumbai).

I have attempted below, a gist of the film’s story based on the film’s review which appeared in April 1942 issue of ‘Filmindia’ magazine.

The story revolves around a theatre which is owned by Shyam (Prithviraj Kapoor). He is idealistic man, a learned musician and also a strict disciplinarian. Maya (Ratan Bai) is the star artist of the theatre who falls to the flattery showered by Tiwari (Mubarak), a wealthy man who is the frequent visitor to the theatre. Maya responds to Tiwari’s flirtations which results in her late hours for the theatre activities. Shyam admonishes her for breaking the theatre discipline resulting in frequent quarrels. One day, Maya, believing the numerous promises of Tiwari, walks out of the Theatre.

Shyam is on a look out for a new girl in place of Maya and find Saroj (Naseem Bano), a dancer. First, she refuses to see him. After listening to his sitar recital over the radio, she falls for him as a musician but refuses to work for him on the stage. Each of them becomes more obstinate than before whenever they meet.

To break down her obstinacy, Shyam takes a flat just below the flat occupied by Saroj. One day, he plays sitar non-stop. At first, Saroj ignores the music but the urge of music in her makes her to dance to the tune of Shyam’s sitar. She admits her defeat and agrees to join his stage show. But this time, Shyam refuses to accept her.

In the meanwhile, Shyam’s theatre has been running into losses. One day, he decides to hand over the theatre to his Manager, Mirza (Mirza Musharaf) and devote his attention to music. Mirza manages a surprise and recruit a new girl, Sarojini for the stage show. Mirza convinces Shyam to attend the opening show. To his surprise, Shyam finds Sarojini is none other than Saroj.

With Saroj, all shows of the theatre become success. Shyam falls in love with Saroj which she reciprocates. Once again, Tiwari comes in to scene to lure Saroj for his personal pleasure. On the marriage day, Saroj is kidnapped by Tiwari and kept in his house. Shyam is distraught. Saroj jumps out of the window of the house where she was kept as prisoner and becomes permanently disabled. Tiwari gets reformed after seeing her pathetic conditions. After some more emotional drama, Shyam and Saroj are united.

Despite a favourable review by ‘Filmindia’, the film failed at the box office. Ehsan incurred heavy losses. He closed down Taj Mahal Pictures in March 1942. The only gain out of producing the film for Ehsan was that Naseem Bano married him and shifted to Delhi after the film’s release. She left the film industry when she was still ‘pari chehra’ (fairy face) for her fans.

But there are twists in the stories of Naseem Bano and the Taj Mahal Pictures. Before that, I need to mention about the system of license for a film production company which was introduced during World War-II. Without this license issued by the Government, the film production company could not import raw films for shooting.

A question was raised in the Central Legislative Assembly (akin to Lok Sabha now) by a legislator “on what grounds Taj Mahal Pictures of Bombay was given licence when the said concern had already closed its business in March 1942”. The Minister of Industry & Civil Supplies replied that “Taj Mahal Pictures did not stop their business. The Government was satisfied that in the absence of the licence, the company could not produce the film and a considerable hardship would be caused if a licence is not granted to them” (as verbatim reported in April 1945 issue of ‘Filmindia’ magazine).

I can now relate this piece of information as to why a dormant film production company like Taj Mahal Pictures got revived. This has also got a connection with the return of Naseem Bano to Bombay film industry in 1944.

Sometime in 1943, Shashdhar Mukherjee along with Rai Bahadur Chunnilal, Gyan Mukherjee, Ashok Kumar, Savak Vacha, Kavi Pradeep and others left Bombay Talkies due to differences with Devika Rani who had taken the reign of Bombay Talkies after the death of her husband, Himansu Roy. This group formed Filmistan Studio. Shashdhar Mukherjee wanted to produce a film on a scale of his box office success film ‘Kismet (1943) which would be his fitting reply to Devika Rani for her ill-treatment of his team.

Shashdhar Mukherjee hit upon an idea of casting Naseem Akhtar in his film ‘Chal Chal Re Naujawaan’ (1944). Since she had already left the film industry in March 1942, it was a difficult proposition to woo her to accept the role in his film. He travelled to Delhi and met M Ehsan, Naseem’s husband with his plan to cast his wife. After much persuasion and a visit by Rai Bahadur Chunnilal, Ehsan agreed on certain conditions. One of the important conditions in the contract was that Shashdhar Mukherjee would oversee the production of one more film under the banner of Taj Mahal Pictures.

It took a long time for ‘Chal Chal Re Naujawaan’ (1944) to be completed. Contrary to the general expectation, the film did not fare well on the box office front. However, as per the contract, Shashdhar Mukherjee was to oversee the production of another film for Ehsan. So the film ‘Begum’ (1945) was stared with most of the infrastructure and resources of Filmistan Studios. The film starred with Ashok Kumar and Naseem Bano in lead roles. With this film, Ehsan’s production company was revived which later produced films like ‘Mulaaqat’ (1947), ‘Chaandni Raat’ (1949), and ‘Ajeeb Ladki’ (1952). Ehsan migrated to Pakistan taking with him all the films he produced in India.

What an irony in Ehsan’s filmy career! When he lost money in ‘Ujaala’ (1942), he gained Naseem Bano. But when he earned a lot of money in Pakistan after releasing these films, he had lost Naseem Bano who was legally separated from him due to his migration to Pakistan.

Now let me present the first song from Ehsan’s first film ‘Ujaala’ (1942). The song is ‘main dekh rahi hoon duniya ke nazaare’ sung by Ratan Bai. The film had six songs, all set to music by Bashir Dehlvi. The lyricist of all the six songs in the film is unattributed. Going by the convention of most of the 1930s and early 1940s films when song writing was a part of dialogue writers, I guess that the song was written by Kamal Amrohi who was the dialogue writer for the film. Incidentally, Kamal Amrohi had written songs for the films ‘Jailor’ (1938), ‘Pukar’ (1939) and ‘Main Hari’ (1940) where he was also the dialogue writer.

With this song, ‘Ujaala’ (1942) makes its debut in the Blog.

Note: This article is based on some of the information gathered from the various issues of ‘Filmindia’ magazines and from the book, ‘Stars From Another Sky’ (2010) by Sadat Hasan Manto.

Audio Clip:

Song-Main dekh rahi hoon duniya ke nazaare (Ujaala)(1942) Singer-Ratan Bai, MD-Bashir Dehalvi

Lyrics

main dekh rahi hoon
oon oon oon
duniya ke nazaare
duniya ke nazaare
main dekh rahi hoon
oon oon oon
duniya ke nazaare
duniya ke nazaare

khilti huyi kaliyaan
jharnon ke kinaare
khilti huyi kaliyaan
jharnon ke kinaare
jharnon ke kinaare
main dekh rahi hoon
oon oon oon
duniya ke nazaare
duniya ke nazaare

bhanwre kaa machalna
daali kaa lachakna
bhanwre kaa machalna
daali kaa lachakna
gulshan kaa tamaasha
phoolon kaa mahakna
gulshan kaa tamaasha
phoolon kaa mahakna
rangeen ishaare
haan rangeen ishaare
main dekh rahi hoon
oon oon oon
duniya ke nazaare
duniya ke nazaare

ab jaise ye duniya
kuchh baaten karegi
ab jaise ye duniya
kuchh baaten karegi
chup reh na sakegi
chup reh na sakegi
hamse hi kahegi
afsaane hamaare
hamse hi kahegi
afsaane hamaare
afsaane hamaare
main dekh rahi hoon
oon oon oon
duniya ke nazaare
duniya ke nazaare


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

Blog Day : 3697 Post No. : 14614

In the early 1930s, New Theatres (NT) of Calcutta (Kolkata) had become the ‘sanctuary’ for Hindi film artists from Bombay (Mumbai), Lahore and for upcoming artists for better prospects. Some of the prominent Hindi film artists who had joined NT were K L Saigal, Prithviraj Kapoor, Durga Khote, Mazhar Khan, M Kumar, Jagdish Sethi, Kidar Sharma, Aarzoo Lucknowi, K N Singh, Bikram Kapoor Hiralal, Sitara Devi among many others.

Between the end of the 1930s and the beginning of 1940s, almost all of the above mentioned artists left NT to join the Bombay film industry. At the outset, it would appear that they had shifted to Mumbai for better opportunity and prospects in their filmy careers as the number of Hindi films produced in Mumbai far exceeded that from Kolkata. However, there was one more reason for the artists leaving NT and it had something to do with the way the system of film making in NT worked.

Most of the films produced in NT were simultaneously made in Bengali and Hindi based mostly on the Bengali stories. So the film was shot scene by scene first in Bengali with actors for Hindi version being asked to copy the way the Bengali actors acted and delivered dialogues. There was not much of creative freedom for Hindi actors. The same was true for the screen-play and dialogue writers for Hindi version as they only had to provide verbatim translation from the Bengali version.

Kidar Sharma who worked with NT as screen-play and dialogue writer in addition to writing lyrics for the Hindi versions, left NT sometime in 1939 due to creative differences with director Debaki Bose. Also he had an ambition to become a director which was not possible in NT as they preferred directors well versed in Bengali literature for the reason that most of their films were based on Bengali stories. After directing films ‘Aulad’ (1939) and ‘Chitralekha’ (1941) for Film Corporation of India, Kolkata, Kidar Sharma joined Ranjit Movietone on 3/10/1941.

‘Armaan’ (1942) was first film of Kidar Sharma for Ranjit Movietone. Apart from directing the film, Kidar Sharma also wrote the story, screen-play, dialogues and lyrics. The star cast included Motilal and Shamim Bano in the lead roles supported by Nagendra Majumdar, Meera, Bhagwandas, A Shah Shikarpuri, Nazir Bedi, Reva Shankar, Rajendra Singh etc.

There are a couple of interesting trivia while selecting the lead actors for the film. Kidar Sharma wanted to cast Motilal as the lead actor who was not attached to any studios. But he used to work in Ranjit Movietone’s films with an understanding that he would choose the director. Motilal agreed to work with Kidar Sharma on three conditions. First, he would work with a fixed schedule from 9.00 A.M. to 6.00 PM. Second, he would not work on Sundays. And lastly, he would not attend rehearsals. Since Kidar Sharma had fixation about Motilal for his natural acting, he agreed with all his three conditions. However, during the shooting of the film, Motilal himself broke two of his three conditions, rehearsing the scenes and working beyond 6.00 p.m.

When Kidar Sharma selected Shamim Bano (niece of Khurshid Bano, the top actress of Ranjit Movietone) as the lead actress for the film, Chandulal Shah, the boss of Ranjit Movietone had warned him that Khursheed Bano would never work with him as she was jealous of her niece. However, Kidar Sharma not only went ahead with his choice of heroine for the film, he also directed Khursheed Bano in one of his Ranjit Movietone’s films ‘Mumtaz Mahal’ (1944). These are anecdotes which have been mentioned in Kidar Sharma’s autobiography ‘The One and Lonely Kidar Sharma’ (2002).

The gist of the story of ‘Armaan’ (1942) based on the review of the film appeared in October 1942 issue of ‘Filmindia’ is as under:

Prince Kanwal (Motilal) the son of a big zamindar of Ballabhgadh travels to a nearby village to commission the renovation of old paintings to village artist Vyas (Nagendra Mazumdar) who lives with his only daughter, Meera (Shamim). Meera who has seen the Prince in the village with his big car, falls in love with him but Prince is not aware of it. The prince has also given Vyas the task of decorating his palace hall with murals.

Prince has a scientific bend of mind and is doing research in his laboratory of a magical ray that registers the feelings of pains and pleasure. One day during his experimentation of rays, Prince becomes blind. In the meanwhile, Vyas, the artist and his daughter, Meera visit Ballabhgadh for commencing the work of decorating palace with murals. Meera accidentally meets Prince in his palace garden and enters into conversation with him without realising that the Prince has become blind. When she come to know about his blindness, she becomes romantically close to him which Prince reciprocate.

The romance progresses to the dislike of Prince’s uncle (Bhagwandas) who is also the Diwan of Ballabhgadh. He pressurises the King to separate the two by sending Prince out of Ballabhgadh on some pretext. Meera is heart-broken. Meera’s conditions make Vyas worrisome and one day in the fit of depression, he commits suicide. Meera is now orphan. She decides to devote her entire life to the service of God.

One day, Meera meets a Sadhu whose asceticism is shattered after seeing Meera. Very soon, Sadhu starts making some indecent advances. Hearing the story of the blindness of Prince, Sadhu promises Meera that his medicine would restore the eye sight of Prince. But Meera has to pay the cost (in terms of her submission to him). She agrees provided the eye-sight is restored. When the medicine is ready, Meera kills Sadhu and runs away with the medicine to the palace only to find that Prince has become the King after the death of his father.

Meera is not allowed to enter the palace. However, she is compelled to hand over the medicine to one of the dancing girl so that if successful in restoring the eye sight of Prince, Diwan can claim credit for the same. Prince’s eye sight is restored only to see Meera being brought to the palace as a killer of Sadhu. All evidences are against Meera. However, when Meera reveals to the King all the background, Prince recognises the voice and the lovers are united.

The film was released on 22nd August 1942 at Royal Opera House but had to be withdrawn within one day due to communal disturbances. It was once again released after a few weeks at Royal Opera House. The film was regarded as a box office success bringing Shamim Bano into the mainstream cinema.

‘Armaan’ (1942) had 9 songs, all written by Kidar Sharma and set to music by Gyan Dutt. I am presenting the first song ‘Laao To Zara Dil Ko Isey Dil Mein Chhupaaun’ sung by Shamim Bano who was paired with Motilal in the lead role.

From the wordings of the lyrics, it appears that this song was picturised in the palace garden where Shamim meets Motilal without realising that he had become blind. When Shamim comes to know about his blindness, she says ‘Let your heart be with my heart. Let my eyes become your eyes to see the whole world’.


Song – Laao To Zara Dil Ko Isey Dil Mein Chhupa Loon (Armaan) (1942) Singer – Shamim Bano, Lyrics – Kidar Sharma, MD – Gyan Dutt

Lyrics

laao to jara dil ko
isey dil mein chhupaaun
isey dil mein chhupaaun
laao to jara dil ko
isey dil mein chhupaaun
isey dil mein chhupaaun
baitho meri aankhon mein
baitho meri aankhon mein
tumhen duniya dikhhaaun
tumhen duniya dikhhaaun
baitho meri aankhon mein
tumhen duniya dikhhaaun
tumhen duniya dikhhaaun
 
kasturi hai in mein
jinhen khud soongh rahen hain
kasturi hai in mein
jinhen khud soongh rahen hain
un jhopdon mein dekho
diye oongh rahe hain
diye oongh rahe hain
un jhopdon mein dekho
diye oongh rahe hain
diye oongh rahe hain

seedhe hain ke sadhe se lagey
door khade hain
seedhe hain ke sadhe se lagey
door khade hain

aur jugnu hari jhaadion mein heere jade hain
aur jugnu hari jhaadion mein heere jade hain

aakash ke kuchch taaren hain
wo  jhaank rahe hain
aakash ke kuchch taaren hain
wo  jhaank rahe hain

aur jal mein bechaare hain jo wo
jal mein bechaare hain jo wo
kaanp rahe hain

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

लाओ तो ज़रा दिल को
इसे दिल में छुपाऊँ
इसे दिल में छुपाऊँ
लाओ तो ज़रा दिल को
इसे दिल में छुपाऊँ
इसे दिल में छुपाऊँ
बैठो मेरी आँखों में
तुम्हें दुनिया दिखाऊँ
तुम्हें दुनिया दिखाऊँ
बैठो मेरी आँखों में
तुम्हें दुनिया दिखाऊँ
तुम्हें दुनिया दिखाऊँ

कस्तूरी है इन में
जिन्हें कुछ सूंघ रहे हैं
कस्तूरी है इन में
जिन्हें कुछ सूंघ रहे हैं
उन झोपड़ों में देखो
दिये ऊंघ रहे हैं
दिये ऊंघ रहे हैं
उन झोपड़ों में देखो
दिये ऊंघ रहे हैं
दिये ऊंघ रहे हैं

सीधे हैं के सधे से लगे
दूर खड़े हैं
सीधे हैं के सधे से लगे
दूर खड़े हैं

और जुगनू हरी झाड़िओं में हीरे जड़े हैं
और जुगनू हरी झाड़िओं में हीरे जड़े हैं

आकाश से कुछ तारे हैं
वो झांक रहे हैं
आकाश से कुछ तारे हैं
वो झांक रहे हैं

और जल में बेचारे हैं जो वो
जल में बेचारे हैं जो वो
काँप रहे हैं


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

Blog Day : 3695 Post No. : 14611

In the 1930s and in early 1940s, most of the music directors compose mainly raag-based and folk-based tunes to the lyrics.  The musicians would play the entire melody on their respective instruments in line with the tune. Since, in the absence of playback singing, songs would be recorded live, music directors were constrained to use minimum musical instruments, that too mostly within the options of Indian instruments consisting of harmonium, percussion, tabla/dholak, sitar, saarangi, flute etc.

Once the playback singing system stabilised in around late 1930s, music directors got flexibility in using more musicians and also started using western musical instruments such as piano, guitar, violin, mandolin, trumpet, clarinet etc. This gave them flexibility in composing preludes, interludes and orchestration. Anil Biswas who came to Bombay (Mumbai) sometime in 1935 with 12 of his Anglo-Indian musicians, changed the concept of orchestration of the songs. He was the first to use counter melody in orchestration. Probably, he was also the first music director of Hindi films who composed a song, Hum Aur Tum Aur Ye Khushi  based on waltz music (generally used for ball-room dance), for the film ‘Alibaba’ (1940). Anil Biswas could do it because he had in his orchestra, musicians well-versed in playing western music instruments.

There were perceptible changes in the style of song compositions in Hindi films of 1950s and 60s (also thereafter) as compared with those of 1940s. Songs of 1950s and 60s were not only melodic but their musical preludes, interludes and overall orchestrations appealed to the listeners. How did the Hindi film music witness musical metamorphosis in 1950s and 60s? The answer is that during this period, some of the Christian musicians and music arrangers from Goa played a pivotal role in taking the Hindi film music from the vintage era ( 1931-1947) to the golden era (1948-1980).

To understand as to how the Christian musicians from Goa got connected with Hindi film industry, one needs to go back to the history of Goa. After the annexation of Goa by Portuguese in the 16th century, they established churches, chapels and convents in their captured territories. As part of church services, there was a need to establish choirs – a group of singers accompanied by musicians. The locals who were converted in to Christianity were trained to sing and play western instruments such as organ and violin. The services of these trained singers and musicians were also utilised for the occasions such as weddings, community feasts and funerals. Over a period of time, with the regular exchange of people from other Portuguese territories such as Angola and Mozambique, these musicians learnt some more western instruments such as piano, trumpet, saxophone, guitar, clarinet etc.

The Portuguese did not do much to the education system. Nor did they provide employment opportunity to the locals. As against this, Goans found employment opportunity in British India especially at Mumbai, the nearest city for Goans. For those who had learnt music, Mumbai provided them opportunity to become musicians in the night clubs which were patronised by the higher strata of the societies.

During the World War II (1939-45), there were shortages of musicians in the night clubs as many foreign musicians especially from Germany and its allied countries either left India or they were arrested. The Goan musicians with their affinity to jazz music filled the vacancies. Also, the British and its allied troops which were stationed in major cities like Bombay, required night clubs as a source of entertainment.

During the late 30s and early 40s, many Goan musicians migrated mainly to Mumbai. Some of the well-known Goan musicians like Antony Gonsalves, Chic Chocolate, Sebastian D’Souza (came to Mumbai via Lahore), Frank Fernand, Chris Perry, Sonny Castelino, Lucilla Pacheco migrated to Mumbai. I guess that none of these musicians would have remotely thought of joining the Hindi film industry at the time of their migration. Generally, for musicians trained in western classical music, their intention will be to join a music band, earn a name and have their own music band.

Except Antony Gonsalves, all others mentioned above, had joined the dance bands as musicians. Those days, there was a craze for jazz music  and all these dance bands would mostly play jazz music in Taj Mahal Hotel, Green Hotel (run by Taj Mahal), Astoria Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Ritz Hotel, Bristol Grill, Mocambo etc. During my way to college in Churchgate in early 1960s, I used to see displays outside some of these hotels and restaurants showing the names of the dance bands with prominent musicians schedule for the performance in the night. Perhaps, I may have read the names like Chic Chocolate, Frank Fernand and Chris Perry but without knowing at that time that they were associated with Hindi film music.

How some of these Goan musicians did get connected with Hindi film industry in the latter half of the 1940s is not clear. Probably, some of the music directors like Anil Biswas, C Ramchandra, Khemchand Prakash, Naushad either individually or collectively may have visited the night clubs to witness the performance of the dance bands. They would have been impressed by the harmonic presentation by musicians with foot tapping music. They saw the opportunity to use in Hindi film songs  by way of prelude and interlude orchestra which would appeal to the listeners.

But how to achieve the synergy of harmonic orchestra to the tune in melodic form in Hindi film songs? The uses of a large number of western musical instruments for orchestra which need to be played in harmony require a music composer (in Hindi film parlance, a music arranger) who can write music for each musician and for each instrument in the orchestra who may play the instruments in different notes. Goans with their training in Western classical music from their days in church choirs to dance bands were well versed to do the job of writing the music.

During the late 1940s, Goan musicians and music arrangers worked in Bombay film industry during the day time to supplement their income while the main source of their income continued to be from the dance bands. Sometime in early 1950s, the then Bombay State introduced prohibition and raised entertainment tax which affected the business of night clubs. Some of the Goan musicians had to become full time musicians and music arrangers in Bombay film industry while working with dance bands became a part time job.

Among the many Goan musicians, Antony Gonsalves, Frank Fernand, Sebastian D’Souza and Chic Chocolate have been the major music arrangers for the Hindi film music during 1950 to 1975. I guess, these four music arrangers may have been associated with about 90 per cent of the Hindi film songs during 1950-75.

All these four music arrangers have contributed so much to the Hindi film music that each one merits a full article. This will have to wait for some other time. In the meanwhile, I present below a brief sketch of the musical career of each one of them.

Antony Gonsalves (12/06/1927 – 18/01/2012) mostly worked as a free-lance music arranger due to the fact that he also played violin for almost all the top music directors. He started as a musician playing mainly violin with Naushad in 1943. He got his first assignment as music arranger with Shyam Sundar in Dholak (1951). His orchestration in Mausam Aaya Hai Rangeen is worth listening. He had also done orchestration for Hum Aapki Aankhon Mein  in ‘Pyaasa’ (1957) during which he also played violin. During his active filmy career between 1950-1965, he is said to have been associated in more than 1000 songs.

Antony Gonsalves taught violin to Pyarelal (of Laxmikant-Pyarelal) and RD Burman for 4 years. He had also become a keen follower of Hindustani classical music. In fact, in 1958, he had 110 musicians in his raag-based symphony orchestra playing his composition in various Indian raags blended with western music, a thing which is very common in the present generation. Unfortunately, his experiment did not click with the audience.  But his work was noticed at the international level.

Antony Gonsalves cut short his filmy career in 1965 and went to USA on an invitation from Syracuse University, New York. He remained in the USA for 10 years after which he returned to India and settled in his village Mojorda in Goa in seclusion during the rest of his life keeping away from the Hindi film industry.

An interesting trivia here – in the iconic song tuned by Laxmikant Pyaarelal – “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves“, L-P have said that they used this name of their ‘teacher’, as a mark of honour for him.

Frank Fernand (03/05/1919 – 01/04/2007) worked as a music arranger mainly with Hemant Kumar, Ravi, Kalyanji Anandji though he also worked with other music directors. He migrated to Mumbai  in 1936 to join one of the dance bands. He got his first break as a music arranger in ‘Barsaat’ (1949) and also played trumpet and violin in some songs. During his career as musician/music arrangers, he is said to be associated with about 70 Hindi films. Frank Fernand’s work can be judged from Dil Deke Dekho Dil Deke Dekho, Baar Baar Dekho Hazaar Baar Dekho and Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu  among his other works.

Sometime in the 60s, Frank Fernando ventured in to producing Konkani films and thereafter a couple of Hindi films in the 1970s. While his Konkani films earned him money, his first Hindi film ‘Priya’ (1970) was a box office failure while the second film ‘Aahat’ (1974) could be released only in 2010 after his death. In 1985, Frank Fernand was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease which kept him in the confine of his house in Bandra.

Sebastian D’Souza (29/01/1906 – 09/03/1996) was a dance band leader in early 1940s in a hotel in Lahore. During his Lahore days, he is said to have worked for Shyam Sundar and Ghulam Haider. After partition, he came to Mumbai. His first film as music arranger was with OP Nayyar in ‘Aasman’ (1952). His association with Shanker-Jaikishan started with ‘Daagh’ (1952) which continued uninterrupted till 1975.  With his attachment with OP Nayyar, Shankar-Jaikishan and occasionally with Salil Chaudhary, his outside assignments as music arrangers were few.

One can notice the ingenuity of Sebastian D’Souza’s in music arrangements in that despite working with OP Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan for a long time, his orchestrations retained the individual  stamps of these music directors in their respective songs. That Sebastian D’Souza could work with a temperamental music director like OP Nayyar for a long time speaks volume about his talent and of his mild nature.

It is said that Sebastian D’Souza’s counter-melody in orchestration was so good that  Jaikishan used some of his counter-melodies as  tunes for the songs. I am sure that in ‘Madhumati’ (1958), Salil Choudhary must have been impressed by Sebastian’s counter-melody in Aaja Re Pardesi and used it as a mukhda tune for Ghadi Ghadi Mora Dil Dhadke. Sebastian’s great work can be felt in almost all songs of S-J and OPN. However, the one song which I am very fond of because of orchestration is Poochho Na Hamen Hum Un Ke Liye from ‘Mitti Mein Sona’ (1960). The piano in this song was played by a Goan musician, Sunny Castellino who was a music arranger for ‘Aawaara’ (1951).

During his filmy career, Sebsatian D’Souza arranged music for about 125 films with around 1000 songs. He retired from film industry in 1975.

Merlyn D’Souza, daughter-in-law of Sebastian D’Souza has been continuing his musical tradition. She works as a music producer, music arranger and sometime as music director – both in films and theatres. In the music industry, she is often referred to as ‘Female AR Rahman’ due to her work in fusion music.

Chic Chocolate (real name : Antonio Xavier Vaz, 1916-1967) came to Mumbai in in the late 30s to become a lead jazz trumpeter in a dance band. His idol was Louis Armstrong, the American jazz trumpeter. Interestingly, he even looked like Louis Armstrong. Soon he became one of the best trumpeters in Mumbai’s jazz music scene. By the end of the World War-II, Chic Chocolate had already formed his dance band named ‘Chic & His Music Makers and had become one of the leading dance bands in Mumbai.

It is not clear as to when he started working for Hindi films. His earliest connection to Hindi film industry as a music arranger points to the film ‘Samaadhi’ (1950) in which he collaborated with C Ramchandra, The song  Gore Gore O Baanke Chhore which has jazzy music, brought him to the attention of Hindi film industry. His music arrangements in all the songs of  ‘Albela’ (1951) was a high point of his career as music arranger. I think, in this film, Chic Chocolate poured all his experience in Jazz music in such an extent that the songs which became a new category of songs with Indo-Jazz music.

In  Deewaana, Ye Parwaana, one can see Chic Chocolate playing trumpet with the musicians from his dance band ‘Chic & His Music Makers’. Because of runaway success of ‘Albela’ (1951), his dance band became more famous. He also adopted for his dance band the uniform that was used for his band in this song.

He mostly worked with C Ramchandra in the 1950s though he had also worked with other music directors. Take for instance, his music arrangements in the song, Ae Dil Mujhe Bata De in ‘Bhai-Bhai’ (1956) and Rut Jawaan Jawaan  in ‘Aakhri Khat’ (1966) in which he is seen playing trumpet.

With ‘Naadaan’ (1951), Chic Chocolate donned the hat of music director for the first time. This was followed by ‘Rangeeli’ (1952) and ‘Kar Bhala’ (1956).

Chic Chocolate passed away in May 1967 shortly after the release of ‘Aakhri Khat’ (1966). His son Erwell Vaz is a drummer.

Hindi film music is the work of so many creative artists, musicians and music arrangers. I guess, in the 50s and 60s, music arrangers must have spent more man-hours for arranging music than the music directors for whom they worked. Unfortunately, in film and music industry, it is mainly the singers and music directors who get the credit. However, in the recent period, names of at least lead musicians and music arrangers are mentioned in the credit titles of many of the films as well as the covers of CDs.

Today, I present the 7th song (out of 8 songs, including two multiple version songs)  from the film ‘Naadaan’ (1951) for which Chic Chocolate got his first opportunity to set the tune to the songs in addition to the music arrangements. The song is ‘Saari Duniya Ko Peechhe Chhod Kar’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The song was written by PL Santoshi.

The tune of the song has a distinct style of C Ramchandra who was credited as Music Supervisor. Surprisingly, none of the 8 songs in the film has jazz flavours. This is not to undermine the overall contributions of Chic Chocolate in the songs of the film. It is worth mentioning in this context that Chic Chocolate had composed many jazz songs for his dance band in the 40s. There are at least six 78 rpm gramophone records which bear the name of Chic Chocolate as the music composer.

The song under discussion appears to be a dream sequence going by the sets used in the picturisation of the song.

Acknowledgements:

  1. Naresh Fernandes – Taj Mahal Foxtrot – The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age (2012)
  2. Gumnaam Hai Koi – The Untold Story of Music Arrangers and Musicians : Part-I & II – Rajya Sabha TV (2015)

 

(Video)

(Audio)

Song – Saari Duniya Ko Peechhe Chhod Kar (Nadaan) (1951) Singer – Lata Mangeshkar, Lyrics – PL Santoshi, MD – Chic Choclate

Lyrics

saari duniya ko peechhe chhod  kar
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod  kar
hum sitaaron ki duniya mein aa gaye..ae
chaand taaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod  kar
hum sitaaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
chaand taaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod  kar
 
chalo khelenge saajna aankh micholi
o o o
o o
o o
chalo khelenge saajna aankh micholi
bhar len sitaaron se hum apni jholi
bhar len sitaaron se hum apni jholi
chaand chhup chhup ke karta ishaare
kitne dilkash hain ye sab nazaare
hain ye sab nazaare
hum ek nai duniya mein aa gaye
chaand taaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod kar
hum sitaaron ki duniya mein aa gaye..ae
chaand taaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod kar
 
saare aalam pe chhaayi hai chaandni
kyon na gaayen hum ulfat ki raagini
aaa  aaa 
aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa
aa aa aa
la la la la la
la la la la la
la la
saare aalam pe chhaayi hai chaandni
kyon na gaayen hum ulfat ki raagini
aaj harsoo hai
aaj harsoo hai mousam khushi kaa
luft aayega ab zindagi kaa
ab zindagi kaa
hum nazaaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
chaand taaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod kar
hum sitaaron ki duniya mein aa gaye..ae
chaand taaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod kar
hum sitaaron ki duniya mein aa gaye..ae
chaand taaron ki duniya mein aa gaye
saari duniya ko peechhe chhod kar 

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

सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर
हम सितारों की दुनिया में आ गये॰॰ए
चाँद तारों की दुनीया में आ गये
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर
हम सितारों की दुनिया में आ गये
चाँद तारों की दुनीया में आ गये
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर

चलो खेलेंगे साजना आँख मिचौली
ओ ओ ओ
ओ ओ
ओ ओ
चलो खेलेंगे साजना आँख मिचौली
भर लें सितारों से हम अपनी झोली
भर लें सितारों से हम अपनी झोली
चाँद छुप छुप के करता इशारे
कितने दिलकश हैं ये सब नज़ारे
हैं ये सब नज़ारे
हम एक नई दुनिया में आ गये
चाँद तारों की दुनीया में आ गये
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर
हम सितारों की दुनिया में आ गये॰॰ए
चाँद तारों की दुनीया में आ गये
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर

सारे आलम पे छाई है चाँदनी
क्यों न गायें हम उलफत की रागिनी
आss आss
आ आ
आ आ आ आ
आ आ
आ आ आ
ल ल ल ल ला
ल ल ल ल ला
ला ला
सारे आलम पे छाई है चाँदनी
क्यों न गायें हम उलफत की रागिनी
आज हरसू है
आज हरसू है मौसम खुशी का
लुत्फ आएगा अब ज़िंदगी का
अब ज़िंदगी का
हम नज़ारों की दुनिया में आ गये
चाँद तारों की दुनीया में आ गये
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर
हम सितारों की दुनिया में आ गये॰॰ए
चाँद तारों की दुनीया में आ गये
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर
हम सितारों की दुनिया में आ गये॰॰ए
चाँद तारों की दुनीया में आ गये
सारी दुनिया को पीछे छोड़ कर


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

Blog Day : 3688 Post No. : 14595

In the sphere of Parsi Theatres, there were many artists who had contributed in the growth of Indian theatres. But there were few personalities and artists associated with Parsi Theatres whose contributions led to its strong foundation. Some theatre scholars whose specialisation is in South Asian theatres, regard Agha Hashr Kashmiri (Writer-Director), Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betab’ (Writer-Director), Radheshyam Katha Vachak (Writer-Director), Master Fida Hussain (Actor-Singer) and Jaishankar Bhojak, popularly known as Jaishankar Sundari (Actor-Singer) as the pioneers in developing the Parsi Theatres.

I have already covered in our blog, the life sketches of Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betaab’ in the post, “Abroo Ki Kamaanon Mein”, of Agha Hashr Kashmiri in “Yaad Mein Teri Jahaan Ko Bhoolta Jaata Hoon Main”  and Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vachak in “Ye Suna Hai Maine Jaadu Hai”.  In this article, I am presenting a brief biography of the fourth artist, Master Fida Hussain, the actor-singer.

Before I embark upon covering Fida Hussain’s biography, I wish to share with the readers that his biography was an oral history of his association of 50 years with Parsi Theatres as told to Pratibha Agrawal, a theatre scholar and connected with the Natya Shodh Sansthan, Calcutta (Kolkata). The oral history she collected from Fida Hussain during their sitting of 15 days was published verbatim in Hindi in 1986 with comments from her. There is no sequencing of the events spread over 50 years of his theatre days.

The English translation of his biography ‘Parsi Theatre Main 50 Varsh’ (1986) was published as one of the chapters in a book ‘Stages of Life’ (2011) by Kathryn Hansen, a leading scholar of South Asian theatre history. What I have done is more like an abstract writing of the biography sourced from this book with my comments wherever necessary. There are many interesting trivia and anecdotes revealed by Fida Hussain during his oral submission which I have avoided in my write-up to make the presentation of the biography as short as possible.

Fida Hussain (11/03/1899 -1999) was born in Muradabad (UP) in an conservative family.  Right from childhood, Fida Hussain was fond of singing. It is quite likely that he got interested in singing because of the travelling theatres and nautanki groups that visited his town. Fida Hussain’s father and uncle did not like his interest in singing.  Almost every day, the young Fida Hussain used to get beatings from his uncle for singing, though his father despite the dislike for the singing and music, spared him from beating.

But the more beatings he got, his fondness for singing increased. He also started watching the free shows of nautanki (folk theatre) which culminated into his love for the acting as well. This enraged his married elder brother who instigated his wife to do something to affect his voice. One day, she served him paan with vermilion powder which resulted in loss of his voice for nearly six months. After getting his voice back thanks to a visiting Sadhu who gave him some prescriptions, Fida Hussain started attending nautanki shows with a greater vigour than before.

In 1917, Fida Hussain joined a local drama club and got training for six months before being given a female role in the drama ‘Shahi Faqeer’. In this way, the path toward theatre opened for him. Soon, with the recommendation of his local drama club’s President, he went on to join the New Alfred Theatrical Company which was touring around Delhi for staging ‘Veer Abhimanyu’. In January 1918, Fida Hussain ran away from his home in Muradabad for Delhi leaving his newly married wife at home.

The New Alfred company never employed female actors. Hence the female roles were performed by the male actors like Master Nissar. Fida Hussain also got mostly the female roles in New Alfred.

Once when New Alfred was staging a show in Meerut, one of the boys from his neighbourhood recognised Fida Hussain and promptly reported the matter to his father. His father-in-law promptly lodged a complaint with police and an arrest warrant was issued. This entire episode is too big to cover here. The conclusion of this episode was Fida Hussain got a reprieve from his father, who allowed him reluctantly to continue with his passion after getting assurances from him that he would never indulge in intoxication (of any form), gambling, always keep high morality and keep in touch with his family by visiting his home town.

With his domestic issues getting resolved amicably, Fida Hussain could now concentrate fully on theatres. His association with New Alfred continued until it closed down in 1930. His most popular dramas under New Alfred were ‘Parivartan’ (1922), ‘Veer Abhimanyu (c 1923), ‘Parambhakt Prahlad’ (c 1923), ‘Shri Krishna Avatar’ (1924-25), ‘Ishwar Bhakti’ (1928), ‘Laila Majnu’ (1930). Except for ‘Laila Majnu’, Fida Hussain played the female roles in all these plays.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Fida Hussain got associated with many theatre companies all over north, east and west India, the prominent being Alfred, Madan (pronounced as Maadon), Sahajahan, Narsi, Mohan  and finally taking up the reins of Moonlight Theatre owned by Marwadi brothers in Calcutta (now Kolkata). During this period, Fida Hussain worked in ‘Nal Damyanti’, ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’, Khoobsoorat Balaa’, ‘Seeta Banvas’, ‘Chalta Purza’, ‘Bhakta Narsi Mehta’, ‘Bharat Milap’, ‘ Krishna Leela’ and many more.

In 1939, he donned the title role of Narsi Mehta in the play ‘Bhakt Narsi Mehta’. The play became a hugely popular hit and it played for over 1000 nights. Because of this, Fida Hussain was honoured with the title ‘Narsi’ which he proudly used as suffix to his name as  Fida Hussain ‘Narsi’.

With the advent of talkies, Fida Hussain, like many other artists from theatres, was associated with a few Hindi films during 1934-46 as an actor-singer. The first film he worked was ‘Ramayan’ (1934) followed by ‘Insaf Ki Tope’ (1934), ‘Kunwaari Ya Vidhwa’ (1935), ‘Diljaani’ (1935), ‘Dil Ki Pyaas’ (1935), ‘Daku Ka Ladka’ (1935), ‘Balidaan’ (1935), ‘Khudaai Kitmadgaar’ (1937), ‘Matwali Meera’ (1940), ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941), ‘Arabian Nights’ (1946) and ‘Toote Sapne’ (1946, Unreleased).

Except for ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) which was produced in Bombay (Mumbai), rest of films in which Fida Hussain worked were produced in Calcutta (Kolkata) where he was associated with Moonlight Theatres. I find that barring one or two films, he had small roles in rest of his films. It is quite possible that due to his immense popularity on stage as an actor-singer, the producers of the films may have taken him in their films to attract his large fans to watch the films. My guess is that Fida Hussain did not have much interest for working in films as his heart was with the theatre.

Fida Hussain continued his association with Moonlight Theatres, Calcutta (Kolkata) where he was the boss. The owners (4 Marwadi brothers) did not interfere in any aspects of the Moonlight Theatre so long as they earned profit from this venture. I am surprised as to how Fida Hussain could successfully compete with Hindi films and ran the Moonlight Theatres profitably in the 1950s and 60s. In 1968 when Fida Hussain completed 50 years in Parsi Theatre, he decided to retire from the theatre activities and spend rest of his life with his extended family in Muradabad. With his retirement, the Moonlight Theatre was closed and with this the glorious years of Parsi Theatre came to an end.

However, Fida Hussain remained busy during most of his post-retirement years. Being the only living legend of Parsi theatres, his knowledge about the old theatrical styles were utilised for those interested in theatre. He became a regular visiting faculty for the National School of Drama, New Delhi until 90s. He also conducted workshops for students who were pursuing their interest in the theatre. He was often one of the invitees on symposium and seminars on Indian theatres. In 1985, Fida Hussain received the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in recognition of his contributions to Indian theatres. In 1978,  he had received the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for acting.  Fida Hussain passed away in the year 1999.

Fida Hussain may be one of the few theatre personalities who commanded not only the respect but also kept his reputation high even during his poet-retirement years. He was also one of a few artists who judiciously used his earnings to create a bright future for his two sons and two daughters. At the time of his death, Fida Hussain was the owner of two brassware business firms in Muradabad which were run by his two sons.

During his theatre days, Fida Hussain recorded more than 200 songs with HMV. However, his filmy songs are few (may be less than 20) and it seems some of them were not issued on gramophone records. Very recently, I could get hold of his two songs from the film ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) which I have uploaded on the video sharing platform.

I am presenting here one of the songs. “Janaab e Naaseh Samajhte Hain Hum’ from ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) sung by Master Fida Hussain. There were 7 songs in the film, all written by Wahid Qureshi which were set to music by Madhulal Damodar Master.

‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) was produced under the banner of Wadia Moveitone and was directed by Homi Wadia. The star cast included Nadia, John Cawas, Radha Rani, Sardar Mansoor, Boman Shroff, Dalpat, Fatima, Minoo Cooper, Nazira, Mithu Miyan, Gunboat (Dog) etc. The story of the film in short is as under:

A village is being exploited by a capitalist racketeer. The villagers are being convinced to sell their land to the capitalist. Everything seems to be going smooth for the capitalist until Nadia (Bambaiwaali) who returns to her village after completing her education in Bombay (Mumbai). She opposes selling land to the capitalist for which the women folks of the village support Nadia. Now the conflict turns between the greedy men of the village and their women folks who love their land more than the money.

Nadia with her two henchmen, a dog and even a rickety motor car became the part of thrilling and sometime hilarious situations to catch the racketeers. Women are trained to use laathis for self-defence. With this, Nadia establishes that village women have equal say in decision making. Capitalist’s game plan is defeated. (Source: Filmindia, September 1941).

Anyway, there is a subtle message in the film story about women’s emancipation in the guise of a wholesale entertainment.

Master Fida Hussain had a very deep voice probably due to his loud singing on the stage in the absence of microphone those days.  This is reflected in his singing the filmy songs including the one under discussion. In this song, his singing style is a fusion of ghazal, qawwali and classic style of singing of 1930s.

With this song, ‘Bambaiwaali’ (1941) makes a debut in the Blog.

=================
Translation by Sudhir

janaab e naaseh samahjte hain hum
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge

o learned advisors (please know)
that am aware they have hearts of stone
and will betray the trust in love
[naaseh = learned person, advisor;
sangdil = one with a heart of stone;
jafaa = betrayal of trust]

mithaa hi denge jahaan se hamko
aur iss se badkar wo kya karenge

they may destroy us
and banish us from this world of living
but alas, that is the utmost
that they can achieve

apni ye zulfen balaa karenge
apni ye zeben ada karenge
magar haseenon se ye to poochho
jo hum na honge to kya karenge

they may arrange their tresses
to afflict disaster on our hearts
they may present their graces and beauty
but hey, ask of these enchanting ladies
what use is this beauty and charm
if we are not there (to appreciate)
[balaa (बला) = calamity, adversity;
zeb (ज़ेब) = grace, beauty]

nazar alahda hai har bashar ki
khuda kasam hai apni
jo humko dete hain bad’duaaen
hum unke haq mein duaa karenge

every person has a different perspective
in the name of Allah, the Almighty
those who may curse us
we still will seek blessings for them
[alahda = different, separate;
bashar = person, individual;
duaa = blessing;
bad’duaa = curse]

Song – Janaabe Naaseh Samajhte Hain Hum (Bambaiwaali) (1941) Singer – Master Fida Hussain, Lyrics – Wahid Qureshi, MD – Madhulal Damodar Master

Lyrics

aaaa aa aa
aa aaaaa aaaaaaa
aaaa aaa aa aa

janaab e naaseh..ae
samahjte hain hum
janaa..aab e naaseh..ae
samahjte hain hum
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge
mitaa hi denge..ae
jahaan se hamko
mitaa hi denge..ae
jahaan se hamko
aur iss se badkar wo kya karenge
aur iss se badkar wo kya karenge..ae
wo kya karenge
wo kya karenge
aur iss se badkar wo kya karenge..ae

apni ye zulfen balaa..aa..aa karenge
apni ye zeben ada karenge
magar haseenon se ye to poochho
aaaa aa
magar haseenon se ye to poochho
jo hum na honge to kya karenge
jo hum na honge to kya karenge
 
aa aa aa aaa
nazar alahda
hai har bashar ki..ee..ee
nazar alahda
haan nazar alahda..aa
haan nazar alahda
haan nazar alahda
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa
nazar alahda hai har bashar ki..ee
khuda
khuda aa aa aa
kasam hai apni
jo humko dete hain 
bad’duaaen
jo humko dete hain bad’duaaen
hum unke haq mein duaa karenge
hum unke haq mein duaa karenge..ae
janaab e naaseh samahjte hain hum
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge

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

आsss आ आ
आ आssss आssssss
आsss आss आ आ

जनाब ए नासेह॰॰
समझते हैं हम
जना॰॰आब ए नासेह॰॰ए
समझते हैं हम
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे
मिटा ही देंगे॰॰ए
जहां से हमको
मिटा ही देंगे॰॰ए
जहां से हमको
और इस से बढ़ कर वो क्या करेंगे
और इस से बढ़ कर वो क्या करेंगे॰॰ए
वो क्या करेंगे
वो क्या करेंगे
और इस से बढ़ कर वो क्या करेंगे॰॰ए

अपनी ये ज़ुल्फें बला॰॰आ॰॰आ करेंगे
अपनी ये ज़ेबें अदा करेंगे
मगर हसीनों से ये तो पूछो
आss आ
मगर हसीनों से ये तो पूछो
जो हम ना होंगें तो क्या करेंगे
जो हम ना होंगें तो क्या करेंगे

आ आ आ आss
नज़र अल्हैदा
है हर बशर की॰॰ई॰॰ई
नज़र अल्हैदा
हाँ नज़र अल्हैदा॰॰आ
हाँ नज़र अल्हैदा
हाँ नज़र अल्हैदा
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ
नज़र अल्हैदा है हर बशर की॰॰ई
खुदा
खुदा॰॰आ॰॰आ
कसम है अपनी
जो हमको देते हैं
बद्दुआयें
जो हमको देते हैं बद्दुआयें
हम उनके हक़ में दुआ करेंगे
हम उनके हक़ में दुआ करेंगे॰॰ए

जनाब ए नासेह समझते हैं हम
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे
वो संगदिल हैं जफा करेंगे


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

Blog Day : 3675 Post No. : 14562

Khaamosh hai zamaana chup chaap hain sitaare

The first line of the song, aayega aane waala aayega from ‘Mahal’ (1949) must have vibrated in the cinema halls many times when the film was released on October 13, 1950 (on Ashok Kumar’s birth day). How true it was! Just two months before the release of the film, the creator of the immortal melodies in the iconic film ‘Mahal’ (1949) breathed his last on August 10, 1950 in Harkishandas Hospital in Bombay (Mumbai) at the young age of 42 years.

Today, August 10th 2018 is the 68th Remembrance Day of Khemchand Prakash (12/12/1907 – 10/08/1950). In 1939, he was like a newly capped cricketer who attained the form in his very first assignment and remained in form most of the time. In a short span of 11 years in the Hindi film industry, he composed a little over 430 songs in around 45 films. His career graph was like ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ the Hindi film music.

Khemchand Prakash was born in Sujangarh (presently in Churu district of Shekhavati region of Rajasthan) in the family of Dhrupad singers and kathak dancers belonging to Jaipur Gharana. The family had a long lineage of kathak dancers and dhrupad singers. It is said that some of them received the patronage of Mughal kings from the time of Akbar and continued the royal patronage until the death of Mohammed Shah ‘Rangeela’. Thereafter they had to seek royal patronage from other princely states like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Rampur, Lucknow, Gwalior etc. [Reference: Sunil Kothari’s book ‘Kathak – Indian Classical Dance Art’ (1989)].

Pandit Govardhan Prasad, the father of Khemchand Prakash was also dhrupad singer and kathak dancer who was in the royal court of Jaipur. Khemchand Prakash received training in dhrupad singing and kathak dance from his father in Jaipur. When he was still in his teen, he became the court singer and dancer in the royal court of Bikaner. Soon he got an opportunity to join the royal court in Nepal as a singer and dancer where he remained for the next 7-8 years.

Khemchand Prakash got an opportunity to work in New Theatres (NT) as a music assistant to Timir Baran who was the music director for ‘Devdas’ (1935). There has been some speculation for a long time that Khemchand Prakash composed tunes for two songs of ‘Devdas’ (1935). About 3 years back, Pavan Jha, in his Article reaffirmed:

Music director Daan Singh [(‘My Love’ (1970), ‘Bhool Na Jaana’ (1960s, UR)], who was a formal protégé of Khemchand Prakash for a year and half, had told me that two of the classic compositions from Devdas, ‘Dukh ke din ab…’ and ‘Baalam aan baso…’, were composed by Guruji (Khemchand) and yet his contributions as composer went unaccredited.

Another important event in the life of Khemchand Prakash during his New Theatres day was his comic role as an actor-singer in ‘Street Singer’ (1938) in which he performed and sang lo khaa lo madam khaana. It seems, he also had a small role in ‘Kapal Kundla’ (1939).

Sometime in 1939, Khemchand Prakash joined Prithviraj Kapoor, K N Singh and others in quiting NT and came to Bombay (Mumbai). Probably, he must have thought that with stalwarts like R C Boral and Pankaj Mullick, he had no scope for becoming a music director in NT. With Prithviraj’s connections, Khemchand Prakash got his first assignment as an independent music director for Supreme Pictures’ ‘Ghazi Salauddin’ (1939) and ‘Meri Aankhen’ (1939).

For ‘Ghazi Salauddin’ (1939), Naushad assisted Khemchand Prakash as the story of the film had a historical Muslim background. Two songs sung by Kalyanibai became popular from this film. With ‘Meri Aankhen’ (1939) which was released first, Khemchand Prakash’s association with Khursheed Bano – Ranjit Movietone’s actor-singer- began which churned out many popular songs.

Although these two films did not have a good run at the box office, the songs of the films were appreciated. Khemchand Prakash joined Ranjit Movietone as music director with ‘Paagal’ (1940), ‘Holi’ (1940) and ‘Diwaali’ (1940) in his bag. In all, he composed music for 26 films during his 5 years of association with Ranjit Moveitone.

Some of the films made under the banner of Ranjit Movietone in which songs composed by Khemchand Prakash became popular were ‘Holi’ (1940), ‘Pardesi’ (1941), ‘Chaandni’ (1942), ‘Tansen’ (1943), ‘Bharthari’ (1944), ‘Bhanwra’ (1944), ‘Mumtaz Mahal’ (1944) etc.

A special mention needs to be made about the song compositions of ‘Tansen’ (1943). In this film, two top actor-singers – K L Saigal and Khursheed Bano were teamed together for the first time. It was the first occasion for Khemchand Prakash as a music director to record the song rendered by K L Saigal. It was the first occasion to compose a song in dhrupad for K L Saigal. While the songs of Khursheed Bano were a blend of folk and raag based, that of K L Saigal were based mainly on classical raags.

After ‘Prabhu Ka Ghar’ (1945), Khemchand Prakash left Ranjit Movietone ostensibly for the differences with Sardar Chandulal Shah on engaging a new playback singer. After remaining inactive for about a year, he became a free-lancer during which he scored music for successful films like ‘Sindoor’ (1947), ‘Ziddi’ (1948), ‘Saawan Aaya Re’ (1949), ‘Rimjhim’ (1949), ‘Mahal’ (1949) etc.

Some of the lesser known songs composed by Khemchand Prakash which I like are as under:

Songs Singer(s) Movie
Main albeli titli Sitaara Devi Meri Aankhen (1939)
Mori atariya hai sooni mohan nahi aaye Khursheed Bano Pardesi (1941)
Meri atariya pe aa jaa Sitara Devi/Mukesh Dukh Sukh (1942)
wo chaand ban muskuraa rahe hain Ameerbai Karnataki Vishkanya (1943)
Mere dheere se ghoonghat hataaye piya Ameerbai Karnataki Bharthari (1944)
teri pi pi ke pukaaron ne dil loot liya Ameerbai Karnataki Bhanwra (1944)
Mohabbat mein saara jahaan jal raha hai Khursheed Bano Shahanshah Babar (1944)
ye dil na mujhe yaad dila baaten puraani Rafi/Shamshad Saawan Aaya Re (1949)
Jagmag jagmag karta nikla chaand poonam ka pyaara Kishore Kumar Rimjhim (1949)
dekh gagan mein kaali ghata kya kehti hai Nalini Jaywant Muqaddar (1950)

No discussion on Khemchand Prakash would be complete without the mention of his melodious song compositions for “Mahal’ (1949) in general and aayega aane waala aayega in particular. Probably, this was the first song in the genre of ‘haunting song’. The top popularity this song achieved after the release of the film relegated into background the other melodious songs of this film such as mushqil hai bahut mushqil and ghabra ke jo ham sar ko .

I had heard this song on the radio quite often during my childhood and teenage years. It was one of my favourite songs. During my gramophone record collection days in early 1970s, the 78 RPM gramophone record of this song (in two parts) was one of my early collections. It was then I came to know that the song was composed by Khemchand Prakash, a name unknown to me at that time. Due to the slow tempo in Part-1 of the song, I would play only Part-2 of the song on my record player on most of the time. After watching the song picturisation, now I am in a better position to appreciate Part-1 of the song as well.

It is said that after the marathon rehearsal of the song of about 6 minutes of duration, Ashok Kumar, Savak Vacha and lyricist Nakshab Jarchvi felt that the slow tempo in the song would not appeal to the audience. But Khemchand Prakash was very confident about the song becoming popular. He was supported by the director, Kamal Amrohi.

Khemchand Prakash’s prophecy came true. The song became a rage all over India. Radio listeners were asking as to who was the real singer since the name of ‘Kamini’ – the character Madhubala played in the film – was printed on the label of the 78 RPM gramophone record. Thereafter the radio anouncers started announcing the name of Lata Mangeshkar whenever the song was being played on the radio.

The musical hit of ‘Mahal’ (1949) made Madhubala a star to reckon with. Lata Mangeshkar’s playback singing career graph gained a quantum jump which helped her to become numero uno among the female playback singers and retain that status for about the next 5 decades. After being in the film industry for over a decade as a story/screen-play/dialogue writer and lyricist, Kamal Amrohi’s success in his first directorial assignment got him the recognition as a director. The debt-ridden Bombay Talkies under whose banner the film was produced, got a breather.

But Khemchand Prakash, the creator of the immortal melodies in the film was not there to witness the tremendous success of his songs. Just 2 months before the release of the film, he breathed his last on August 10, 1950. Although Khemchand Prakash had earlier composed many hit songs especially with Khursheed Bano and Ameerbai Karnataki, this one song , aayega aane waala’ has immortalised him forever in the history of Hindi film music.

As a tribute to Khemchand Prakash on his 68th Remembrance Day, I am presenting one of the rare songs from an obscure film ‘Chalte Chalte’ (1947) in which Khemchand Prakash composed 11 songs (including one multiple version song). All the songs were written by Lalchand Bismil Peshawari. The song is ‘aate hain wo aahista aahista haule haule’ sung by Patanjal and Meena Kapoor. The film was produced and directed by S K Malik under the banner of Malik Productions. The main cast included Patanjal, Latika, Sudha, Kanta Kumari, Anwari, Gope, K N Singh, Shekhar, Anjlina etc.

‘Chalte Chalte’(1947) was one of the films he was associated with after leaving Ranjit Movietone in 1946. After struggling for a year or so, I guess, he may have done some retrospection and decided to adapt to the changing scenarios in Hindi film music. Probably, this song may be the first song in which Khemchand Prakash was influenced by western music. Meena Kapoor’s singing of multiples ‘aa aa aa…’ before the start of new antaras add a feeling of joie de vivre. The symphony style orchestration mainly of violins at the beginning as well as in the interludes seems to be the contribution of Antony Gonsalves, the Goan musician, who had worked with Khemchand Prakash, Anil Biswas and Naushad when he joined them in the second half of the 1940s.

This is one of those humming melodies created by Khemchand Prakash which remained unknown to many admirers of vintage Hindi film songs.

With this rare song, ‘Chalte Chalte’ (1947) makes its debut in the Blog.


Song-Aate hain wo aate hain wo (Chalte Chalte)(1947) Singers-Patanjal, Meena Kapoor, Lyrics-Lal Chand Bismil Peshawri, MD-Khemchand Prakash

Lyrics

aate hain wo
aate hain wo
aahista aahista
haule haule
aate hain wo
aate hain wo
aahista aahista
haule haule
aaa
aa aa aaa aa
aa aa
aa aa
aa aa
aa aaa
aaaa

aate hain wo naazon ke paale
baanki tirchhi maang nikaale
aate hain wo naazon ke paale
baanki tirchhi maang nikaale
aahista aahista
haule haule
aaa aa aa
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa
aa aa
aa aaa
aa aaa

gulshan ki duniya ne chun chun ke pahne
gulshan ki duniya ne chun chun ke pahne
baanke sajeele phoolon ke gahne
baanke sajeele phoolon ke gahne
shabnam ne chaandni ke moti roley(?)
shabnam ne chaandni ke moti roley(?)
aahista aahista
haule haule

aate hain wo
aate hain wo
aahista aahista
haule haule

raat ki raani gesu sanwaare
ha ha ha ha ha
raat ki raani gesu sanwaare
ha ha ha ha ha
neele dupatte pe chamke sitaare
neele dupatte pe chamke sitaare
jhumke suraiyya ke kaanon mein dole
jhumke suraiyya ke kaanon mein dole
aahista aahista
haule haule


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

Blog Day : 3670 Post No. : 14547

Is Raj Kapoor singing a song for himself?

That was my reaction (to myself) when I heard for the first time, the song ae duniya ke rahne waalon bolo kahaan gaya chitchor from ‘Dil Ki Raani’ (1947) on the Blog. I could not believe that it was Raj Kapoor’s voice. This happened just a few days after I joined the Blog in July 2011. At that time, I felt that this could be a case of giving credit to the actor on the gramophone record label on whom the song was picturised instead of accrediting the real playback singer who could be someone else. At that time, I was not even aware of Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ saab’s publications, Hindi Films Geet Kosh (HFGK).

During early 1970s, I used to spend almost every week-end with my friends who were the admirers of the old Hindi film songs. I do not recall any conversation about Raj Kapoor (or for that matter, Dilip Kumar, Nalini Jaywant and Meena Kumari) singing the songs in the films for themselves. Of course, Ashok Kumar’s singing was well known because of the popularity of his songs from films like ‘Achhut Kanya’ (1936), ‘Jhoola’ (1941) etc.

Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. The publication of HFGK in the 80s and the advent of Internet have disseminated a lot more information relating to Hindi films and songs which were hitherto not known to most of us. Also, there are now film information sharing platforms like Recorded Music Indian Music (RMIM), Society of Indian Record Collectors (SIRC) and many other informal Groups. Also, we have our own Blog to revalidate the information on the Hindi film songs.

Coming back to Raj Kapoor as a singer, I have heard his voice in two other songs also – one each from ‘Jail Yatra’ (1947) and ‘Gopinath’ (1948). In my view, Raj Kapoor had a good singing voice worthy of becoming an actor-singer. His renditions were very close to that of the professional playback singers. As a testimony of Raj Kapoor as a good singer, watch this video as to how he has rendered the song ‘ae bhai jara dekh ke chalo’ from ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970) in a stage show presented by Raj Kapoor for the Indian Navy a few days before the release of his film in December 1970. In this show, while a few other songs from the films were rendered by Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh, Raj Kapoor had to sing this song as Manna Dey could not attend the stage show.

It is a well-known fact that Raj Kapoor was a musically inclined producer-director. He personally supervised all aspects of song compositions especially in the films which he produced and directed under R K Banner. Lata Mangeshkar in her chat with Indian Express has recently said:

Raj saab was a complete musician. He played the tabla, the harmonium and the piano. He composed songs and sang them in his own voice before handing them over to professional playback singers. He could have easily scored the music in his films. But he chose not to take credit for the music in his films.(Indian Express, March 20, 2018).

An old article written by Journalist Lata Khubchandani, which was reproduced in ‘Cineplot’, also confirm the musical inclination of Raj Kapoor. Later, she also wrote and published a book – ‘Raj Kapoor – The Great Showman (2005). In the words of Raj Kapoor, quoted by Lata Khubchandani:

From the earliest days, I have been interested in music. In fact, my first ambition was to be a music director. I even sang in my earlier films like Chitchor (probably, meant ‘Dil Ki Rani’), Chitor Vijay, Jail Yatra and Gopinath. When words fail, it is music that conveys much more than all words put together.

I wonder as to why Raj Kapoor did not become an actor-singer and left his ambition of becoming the music director in the back burner which he could have done easily for the films he was the producer-director-actor. I have also no idea as to when Raj Kapoor got interested in music. Probably his biographies should throw some lights in these matters. Since I do not have his biographies in my collections and they are not available online, I have relied on ‘circumstantial evidences’ to draw some conclusions.

When Prithviraj Kapoor was associated with the New Theatres, Calcutta (Kolkata) during 1933-39, the young Raj Kapoor was with him. He may have been influenced by the singing of K L Saigal. The autobiography of Kidar Sharma mentions that K L Saigal was a regular visitor to Prithviraj Kapoor’s house for musical soirees. Probably, the young Raj Kapoor may have also exposed to R C Boral who was composing songs for the films of New Theatres in which Prithviraj Kapoor acted. These environments may have attracted him towards the music.

Sometime in 1946, Raj Kapoor was put under the tutelage of Pandit Jagannath Prasad (a cousin of music director Khemchand Prakash). Mukesh was also learning the classical music from him. One day, when Mukesh was practising a particular raag , Raj Kapoor loved his voice and felt that his own voice paled in comparison with Mukesh’s voice. At that time, Mukesh had said to Raj Kapoor that he can take his voice. (Ref: The Hindu, June 16, 2003). How true it was to become in the later days. Although Mukesh sang 4 songs in Raj Kapoor’s first film in a lead role, ‘Neel Kamal’ (1947), none of these songs were picturised on Raj Kapoor. It was in ‘Aag’ (1948) that Mukesh became the voice of Raj Kapoor for the first time.

Just before his marriage in May 1946, Raj Kapoor was appointed as an Assistant in Prithvi Theatres and was associated with the production of one of its popular plays ‘Deewar’ (1946). In the review of the play, which appeared in May 1946 issue of ‘Filmindia’, the reviewer praised Raj Kapoor’s acting as a family servant in the drama and devoted one full paragraph on it. In addition to acting, he was the Art Director and assisted in light and sound arrangements and also to Ram Ganguli, the music director. Perhaps, all round experience gained from the play, ‘Deewar’ seemed to have encouraged him to produce, direct and act in the first film ‘Aag’ (1948) under his own banner. With this, Raj Kapoor appears to have decided to concentrate as director-actor and fulfil his ambition of becoming music director with a ‘back seat driving’.

As far as I know, Raj Kapoor sang 4 songs as an actor-singer out of which only one song as mentioned above has been covered in the Blog. The remaining 3 songs are as under :

SN Song Co Singer Movie
1. Piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re Solo Jail Yatra (1947).
2. Lehraaye mori laal chunariya with Nalini Mulgaonkar Jail Yatra (1947)
3. Jab se Dekha hai tumhen Solo Gopinath (1948)

In Lata Khubchandani’s article referred to above, the name of ‘Chittor Vijay’ (1947) has propped up in which Raj Kapoor has reportedly sung a song. However, none of the songs of the film is available on line as far as I know.

I am presenting today, one of the rarest songs ‘piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re’ from ‘Jail Yatra’ (1947) sung by Raj Kapoor. The song was not available on YT until about 4 months back. The video was uploaded from the mp3 clip provided by Saregama. Since it was wrongly captioned, I have uploaded a new video of the song made by me by downloading mp3 clip from the Saregama website (with a small price). The song was written by Rammurty Chaturvedi and wa sset to music by Ninu Mazumdar.

Enjoy the song in the voice of Raj Kapoor which is probably based on one of the folk songs from Gujarat.


Song-Piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re(Jail Yatra)(1947) Singer-Raj Kapoor, Lyrics-Rammurty Chaturvedi, MD-Ninu Majumdar

Lyrics

piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re…ae
piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re
piya milne naveli nadi jaaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re

kaale baadal ghumad ghir aaye re..e
kale baadal
kaale baadal ghumad ghir aaye re
naache mor man mor ghabraaye re..ae
naache mor man mor ghabraaye re..ae
choom kaliyon ko
choom kaliyon ko bhanwra geet gaaye re
na aaj saha jaaye re
choom kaliyon ko
choom kaliyon ko bhanwra geet gaaye re
na aaj saha jaaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re

lata pedon se lipat laharaaye re
lata pedon se lipat laharaaye re
dekh-dekh ke umang lalchaaye re..e
dekh-dekh ke umang lalchaaye re..e
lata pedon se
lata pedon se lipat lahraaye re
mujhe chaaron oar soona dikhlaaye re
mujhe chaaron oar soona dikhlaaye re
kisi ki yaad aaye re
mujhe chaaron oar soona dikhlaaye re
kisi ki yaad aaye re
main akela chala dard dabaaye re
jiya mein liye haay re
jiya mein liye haay re


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What is this blog all about

This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TEN years. This blog has over 14700 song posts by now.

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

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