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

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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 other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4371 Post No. : 15705 Movie Count :

4329

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Hindi Songs in Bangla Films : 34
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‘Jalsaghar’ [(1958), Music Room] was Satyajit Ray’s third film (4th film in terms of the date of release). After the box office failure of his second film, ‘Aparajito’ (1957), Satyajit Ray decided to make a popular film which would cater to the taste of Bengali audience. ‘Jalsaghar’. the short story of Tarashankar Bandopadhyay was the basis for the film which had the popular subject of the declining fortunes of zamindars (landlords) who patronized arts and music. So, there would be scope for songs and dances which would attract the audience.

But how could a director of the stature of Satyajit Ray succumb to make a commercial film whose heart was attuned to making the intellectual films? So, the net result was that when ‘Jalsaghar’ (1958) shooting was completed, the popular subject of declining aristocracy became a serious subject. The popular music associated with such subject was turned into the hardcore Hindustani classical songs and a classical dance. In other words, the film took the shape of an artistic film and won the National Film Award, 1959 for the best feature film in Bengali.

It took quite a long time to search for a dilapidated palace in West Bengal for shooting the film. At last, someone from Murshidabad suggested Nimtita Rajabari in Murshidabad which suited well as a palace for a zamindar whose fortunes are on the decline. It was a great coincidence that later on, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay revealed to Satyajit Ray that his short story was inspired by landlord Upendra Narayan Chaudhury who stayed in Nimtita Rajabari. His descendants have now settled in Kolkata.

The film is available for viewing on one of the video sharing platforms in 10 parts with English sub-titles. While watching, I felt that the original film may have been edited to some extent. However, the continuity of the story seems to have been maintained. The film’s story is set in the mid 1930s and centres around Chhabi Biswas in the role of an aged music-loving landlord. He is present in almost all the frames of the film. Rest of the main actors like Padma Devi, Gangapada Bose, Tulsi Lahiri, and Kali Sarkar have subsidiary roles. The story as depicted in the film is as under:

Biswambar Roy (Chhabi Biswas) is an aged feudal landlord who lives in his dilapidated palace on the banks of a river. He has lost his wife, Mahamaya Devi (Padma Devi) and the only son, Khoka some years back when their boat capsized in the river during a storm. He has lost much of the land-holding due to the soil erosion created by the river. He has only one servant, Ananta (Kali Sarkar) and the Estate Manager (Tulsi Lahiri) to his company besides his horse and an elephant. To maintain his status as an aristocratic landlord, he indulges in lavish spending and pleasures like hosting concerts in his music room, high quality drinks etc. Much of his assets including the remaining land and jewelries have been mortgaged or sold.

While old Biswamber is resting in his room reminiscing his golden days as a wealthy landlord, Mahim Ganguly (Gangapada Bose), his neighbour and a neo-richman, visits the palace to invite him to attend his son’s thread ceremony. While Biswamber declines to attend giving an excuse that because of his old age, he has stopped going out of his palace. But this event reminds him of his son’s thread ceremony which he had conducted in pomp and show worthy of a landlord which included a grand firework in the night followed by a musical concert in his jalsaghar (music room) where all his guests were served choicest drinks. He also remembers that in the same night, his wife resented his spending on concerts too, by mortgaging her jewellery.

Biswamber also remembers that he had arranged a next musical concert on the day his wife and son were to return to the palace after the visit to her mother’s place, to celebrate the new year. This was also to show his might to his new-rich neighbour, Mahim even though for this, Biswamber had to sell some of his antique furniture and some more jewellery. While the concert was in the mid-way, he got the news that his wife and the son drowned in the river while returning on a boat.

After the death of his wife and son, Biswamber has been living in the palace alone with a servant to attend to him. His music room has remained locked for many years. He has become a recluse. He is in no mood to accept his neighbour Mahim’s personal invitation to attend his newly constructed house-warming ceremony and a dance concert. But it reminds him of his music room which has been closed for years. He orders his servant to open it at once. He spends some time inside the music room reminiscing of his glorious days.

In order to spite his neighbour, Biswamber decides to organise a dance concert of a famous kathak dancer from Banaras for which he spends his last cash reserves of Rs.500 for refurbishing his music room, arranging drinks to his guests and giving his last of the precious stones as a gift to the dancer. After the concert, though he has become almost bankrupt, a drunk Biswamber is very happy that he could effectively replicate his past glory to spite his neo-rich neighbour, Mahim.

However, as the night progresses, he observes that one by one the candles in the chandeliers of his music room are getting over, making the room dark. A frightened Biswamber linking the candle light-off to the end of his own life, calls his servant, Ananta who apprises him that the dawn is approaching. He would open the windows and the sunlight would make the room brightened. As the morning sun rises, in his last show of grandeur of his aristocracy, Biswamber mounts his favourite horse and rides at a faster pace away from the palace. But he is thrown out of the horse and dies at the banks of the river – the same river which is also responsible for the erosion of his land and the death of his wife and son.

The moral of the story is that though Biswamber knows that his fortunes are on the decline, he is not ready to adjust to the reality of the situation. Every effort is made to maintain his lavish spending even in the background of facing the adverse financial position. There is no need to compete in terms of prestige with the neo-rich, Mahim who has improved his economic condition by his business acumenship. On the other hand, Biswamber should have taken the clues from Mahim to diversify into some other business ventures. In both the cases – the decline of Zamindars and the emergence of non-Zamindar neo-rich, Satyajit Ray has very well explored human psychology of showmanship.

The highlight of the film is the superb performance by Chhabi Biswas in the role of an aged landlord. The entire film lies on his shoulder. It may be worthwhile to note that in reality, actor Chhabi Biswas belonged to an aristocratic family. He has personally witnessed the downfall of aristocracy. With this background, it comes naturally to him to perform his role of a falling aristocrat. In fact, there is so much of a genuineness in his performance that those who have watched the film would sympathise with him at the end of the film notwithstanding the fact that it is his ego and the false prestige which are responsible for his downfall.

One of the scenes in the film which I liked the most is when Biswamber enteres his jalsaghar (music room) for the first time after keeping it locked for some years. He spends about 5-6 minutes inside jalsaghar without any dialogue and the background music, observing each and every item – portraits of his forefathers, each and every chandeliers, furniture and fixtures etc. This scene reminds me of a similar scene in ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ (1959) when an aged Guru Dutt visits his studio and glances the entire studio, reminiscing of his glorious days as a successful director. He touches the camera and sits on his director’s chair in the dark studio never to get up.

Satayjit Ray has used the camera as well as the expression and gestures of the main actors to move forward the story of the film more than the dialogues. My guess is that of 100 odd minutes of the film, the dialogues in the film would have cumulatively consumed not more than 40 minutes. Ustad Vilayat Khan has used mainly Sitar and Flute for background music which goes well with the ambience of the palace as well as the genre of the story.

Like ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ (1959), ‘Jalsaghar’ (1958) had also the same fate of failure at the box office. The reviews of the film after its release in India were mostly adverse. It was only after a couple of years when the film was released in the US and the UK, it received a cult status. Over a period of time, the film has been one of the widely discussed classic films of Satyajit Ray like ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ (1959). In June 2018, the film was shown in the Siri Fort Auditorium, the only Indian classic film shown at Navras Duende World Film Festival.

‘Jalsaghar’ (1958) has two songs – both rendered in Hindustani classical raags. In addition, the film also has the 8-minute of Kathak dance by Roshan Kumari, the daughter of playback singer, Zohrabai Ambalewaali. I am presenting a traditional thumri ‘bhar bhar aayi mori ankhiyaan piya bin’ rendered by Begum Akhtar. The song is picturised on Begum Akhtar herself up to say 01:45 of duration. Thereafter, the actress singing the song is different until Begum Akhtar surfaces again towards the end of the song. However, the entire duration of the song is rendered by Begum Akhtar. The Thumri was set to music by Ustad Vilayat Khan.

The background of the song is that Biswamber Roy remembers his olden days when after the thread ceremony of his son, he had arranged a concert in the night in his jalsaghar where all the guests had been served with drinks. All the money spent for the event was raised by selling his wife’s jewellery.

The director’s camera captures many other details while the singer is rendering the Thumri. The camera pans over the entire jalsaghar to show the grandeur of the music room. The camera also captures other subsidiary activities simultaneously going on, both physically and mentally. The camera focuses on Chhabi Biswas who is shown to be listening very intensely. But behind the intensity, he is also thinking something else as his eyes remain static, probably remembering many such music soirees of the past. His neighbour, Gangapada Bose is inhaling snuff but at the same time, he is embarrassed as to whether any of the guests has noticed his action. The camera also captures him in trying to control his sneeze following inhaling the snuff and thereafter searching for a glass of drink.

This film, in my view, is a ‘must see’ for those who believe the films as the director’s medium and also for the excellent performance of Chhabi Biswas as an aged landlord.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Bhar bhar aayi mori ankhiyaan piya bin (Jalsaghar)(Bangla)(1958) Singer-Begam Akhtar, MD-Ustaad Vilaayat Khan

Lyrics

aaaaaa
aaa aa aa aaaa
aaa aaa aaaaaa
aaaa aaa aa
aaaaaaaaa aa
aaaaaaaaaaaaa
aa aa
aa aa aa aaaa
aaaaaaaaa
aaa aaa aaa aa
aa aa aa aa aaa aa
aa aa aaaa aa aaaa
ae bhar bhar aayin mori ankhiyaan
piyaa bin
bhar bhar aayin mori ankhiyaan
piyaa bin
bhar bhar
bhar bhar aa………yin
bhar bhar aa………yin
aa aa aa aaa aaa
ae ae ae
bhar bhar aayin aa aaa
bhar bhar aayin mori ankhiyaan
piya bin
bhar bhar aayin
bhar bhar aayin
aa……yi
aa……yi mori ankhiyaan
bhar bhar aayin mori
bhar bhar aayin mori ankhiyaan
piya bin

ghir ghir aayin…een een een…… een een
ghir ghir aayin..een kaari ee ee badariya aa aa
ghir ghir aayi..ee
aa…..aa….yi
ghir ghir aayin
o o ghir ghir
ghir ghir aa..yin een kaari ee badariya
dharkan laagi mori chhatiyaan
piya bin
dharkan laagi


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4368 Post No. : 15697 Movie Count :

4327

Hindi songs in Bangla Films – 33
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Music Directors, Ravi (Ravi Shankar Sharma) and Hemant Kumar (Hemant Mukherjee or Hemant Mukhopadhyay as he is known in Bangla films industry) had an interesting and collaborative partnership in the 1950s. As revealed in his multiple TV interviews, Ravi came to Mumbai in 1950 to become a playback singer. He started as a chorus singer and his first song as a chorus singer was for zara jhoom le jawaani ka zamaana in ‘Naujawaan’ (1951).

Hemant Kumar got his first Hindi film assignment as a music director in Filmistan’s ‘Anand Math’ (1952) in which Ravi got a chance as a chorus singer for the song vande maataram. Hemant Kumar seems to have found Ravi as a knowledgeable and resourceful person having good command over Hindi and Urdu, the latter being the weak points for Hemant Kumar. So, he appointed Ravi as his Music Assistant. What I have gathered from the TV interviews is that Ravi had become Hemant Kumar’s man Friday. Whenever Hemant Kumar found some ‘musical resources gap’, it was Ravi who would step in to fill the gaps – be as a musician, lyricist and singer and apprising him of the nuances of Hindi and Urdu words in lyrics.

One of the best collaborative efforts of Hemant Kumar with Ravi as his Assistant Music Director was in ‘Naagin’ (1954). All the songs of the films were super hit and Hemant Kumar won Filmfare’s Best Music Director’s Award for the film. In one of the film’s songs, Hemant Kumar did not want to use the Been as an instrument but he wanted the sound of the Been. Ravi came forward to compose the Been music on Harmonium which was played on Clavioline (a keyboard music instrument) by Kalyanji to produce Been like sound. The Been music was created on the tune of mera dil ye pukaare aaja and used in mann doley mera tann doley. The songs with Been music became so famous that HMV came out with a gramophone record covering only the Been music for which Ravi was given credit for composing the Been music.

Hemant Kumar was very much inspired by an East Bengal folk song ‘Allah megh de paani de chhaaya de tui’ which was made very popular by S D Burman when he sang this song in Jodhpur Music Festival held sometime in mid-1940s. Hemant Kumar wanted to use this folk tune in one of the songs of ‘Naagin’ (1954). But Ravi did not want the song to sound like folk tune. So, he played a variation of the mukhda tune on his harmonium based on the folk tune which Hemant Kumar liked and incorporated in the song chhod de patang meri chhod de. Only listeners of Hindi film songs with keen ears could have made out that this song was based on a folk song referred to above. At least, I can say for myself that I did not realise this fact until Ravi himself had revealed this in one of his TV interviews, despite the fact that I was aware of allah megh de paani de used in ‘Guide’ (1965) by S D Burman and I also knew that it was partially used in de de pyaar de pyaar de pyaar de re by Bappi Lahiri.

One more instance where Ravi came as a filler for Hemant Kumar’s muscian was on the day of the recording of the song na ye chaand hoga na taare rahenge for ‘Shart’ (1954). The musician playing the Clavioline did not turn up for recording. Since it was the main instrument to be used for prelude and interludes, Hemant Kumar decided to cancel the recording. But Ravi stepped in and offer to play the Clavioline. Thus, the song recording was completed as per schedule with Ravi playing the Clavioline.

During his association with Hemant Kumar, Ravi also stepped in as one-song lyricist in ‘Bandish’ (1955), ‘Arab Ka Saudagar’ (1956), Hamaara Watan’ (1956) and ‘Bandi’ (1957). Ravi as an Assistant Music Director also sang under Hemant Kumar in ‘Daaku Ki Ladki’ (1954), ‘Bahu’ (1955), ‘Lagan’ (1955), ‘Arab Ka Saudagar’ (1956), ‘Laalten’ (1956) and ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’ (1957).

Ravi worked with Hemant Kumar as Assistant Music Director in 22 films during 1954-57 which included ‘Shart’ (1954), ‘Jaagriti’ (1954), ‘Naagin’ (1954), ‘Bahu’ (1955), ‘Bandish’ (1955), ‘Inspector’ (1956), ‘Ek Hi Raasta’ (1956), ‘Durgesh Nadini’ (1956), ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’ (1957), ‘Ek Jhalak’ (1957), ‘Champakali’ (1957) etc. During this period, Ravi also got assignments as an independent music director in ‘Vachan’ (1955). ‘Albeli’ (1955), ‘Prabhu Ki Maya’ (1955), ‘Ayodhyapati’ (1956), ‘Ek Saal’ (1957) and ‘Narsi Bhagat’ (1957).

The association of Hemant Kumar and Ravi ended sometime in 1957, when the former advised Ravi to look for independent assignments as a music director. Hemant Kumar he felt that working with him as Assistant Music Director for a long time would restrict his musical career. Though Ravi was not keen to leave his association with Hemant Kumar, he saw logic in his mentor’s advice and parted his fruitful association with him. However, Ravi did not have to struggle to get his independent assignments as three of the production banners – Devendra Goel, S D Narang and Nadiadwala with whom he had worked as Assistant Music Director for Hemant Kumar, engaged him as music director for their films. After the success of his music in ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chaand’ (1960), Ravi never looked back in his musical journey. Before and after parting of their association, as per my counting, Hemant Kumar sang least 22 songs under the music direction of Ravi.

Hemant Kumar and Ravi also collaborated in a Bangla movie, ‘Shesh Parichaya’ (1957), where Ravi was associated as a lyricist for two Hindi songs in the film. These two songs are ‘chal aisi jagah ae dil’ and ‘jhoom jhoom kar gaa le’, both rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. Unfortunately, the film is not available for viewing online on any of the video sharing platforms. I do not have any idea about the story of the film. Whether the film ‘Shesh Parichaya’ (1957) has any connection with a novella of the same title written by Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay is difficult to guess. The only available information on-line is that the film was directed by Sushil Majumdar and Basanta Chaudhury, Sabitri Chatterjee and Chhabi Biswas acted in the film. Hemant Kumar was the music director.

I am presenting first of the two Hindi songs from “Shesh Paricay”, viz. ‘chal aisi jagah le chal’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The song reminds me of chali jaa chali jaa chali jaa from ‘Ham Log’ (1951).

Audio Clip:

Song-Chal aisi jagah ae dil (Shesh Parichay)((Bangla)(1957) Singer-Lata, Ravi, MD-Hemant Kumar

Lyrics

chal aisi jagah ae dil
jahaan zulm-o-sitam na ho
jahaan chain miley tujhko
chal aisi jagah ae dil
jahaan zulm-o-sitam na ho
jahaan chain miley tujhko
chal aisi jagah ae dil

bedard hai zamaana
tera saath kaun dega
tere gham ki daastaan ko…o
koi nahin sunega
bedard hai zamaana
tera saath kaun dega
tere gham ki daastaan ko..o
koi nahin sunega
seene mein daba le tu
iss gham ke fasaane ko
kehna na zamaane ko
chal aisi jagah ae dil

duniya ne aaj tujhse
badlin hai jab nighaahen
tu bhi zara badal de ae
ye zindagi ki raahen
duniya ne aaj tujhse
badlin hain jab nighaahen
tu bhi zara badal de ae
ye zindagi ki raahen
taqdeer bani dushman
jab tere mitaane ko
ghar tera jalaane ko
chal aisi jagah ae dil
jahaan zulm-o-sitam na ho
jahaan chain miley tujhko
chal aisi jagah ae dil


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4365 Post No. : 15693 Movie Count :

4325

During my visits to Jorasanko Thakur Bari (Tagore family residence) in Kolkata and thereafter a full day visit to Shanti Niketan in 2012, I had often come across the name of Kadambari Devi who was supposed to have inspired Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in his literary, musical and artistic pursuits. But at that time, it never occurred to me to know more about Kadambari Devi.

Last Sunday, while browsing one of the OTT platforms, I found a Bangla film ‘Kadambari’ (2015) where I read a two-liner summary of the film that connected me with Kadambari Devi. The film is a biopic on Kadambari Devi who was the wife of Jyotirindranath Tagore, the elder brother of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The story of Kadambari Devi is a tragic one which is, in my view, is not less than Shakespearean tragedies. Let me first briefly discuss her biography before I set out her story as depicted in the film.

Kadambari Devi (1859-1884) was a daughter of an employee of Jorasanko Thakur Bari who was married to 21-year old Jyotindranath Tagore on July 5, 1868 when she was 9. In Thakur Bari, 7-year old Rabindranath Tagore, the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, became Kadambari’s playmate as no other family members in the Tagore family were of their age group. Her husband was a multi-talented person interested in literature, music, theatre, painting, publications besides the family business. He made arrangements for home education of Kadambari Devi as also  for training in horse riding etc.

After the death of Rabindranath’s mother, Kadambari Devi’s childhood relationship with him was turned from playmate to that of a surrogate mother. The next relationship between Kadambari Devi and Rabindranath in their adulthood became more like platonic love. Everyday, Rabindranath would write poems which he would first recite to Kadambari Devi who would give her critical assessments. Gradually, an intellectual relationship developed between Rabindranath and Kadambari Devi.

The close relationship between Rabindranath and Kadambari Devi during their adulthoods were not liked by the elder family members. So, at the age of 17, Rabindranath was sent to England for further studies. During his short stay in England, he used to write letters to Kadambari Devi discussing about poems and literature and how he was missing her in his literary pursuit. He returned to India without completing his studies and once again their literary companionship started. Rabindranath got his letters to Kadambari Devi published in one of the Bengali magazines. Though these letters were high in their literary contents, the elders in the family read in-between the lines as to whom the emotions expressed in the letters were meant. Elders in the family were afraid that scandal could break out tarnishing the image of the family. So, they decided to get Rabindranath married at the age of 21 with a bride of 11 years who was named as Mrinalini Devi.

After the marriage of Rabindranath, the distance between Kadambari Devi and him widened. On the other hand, Jyotirindranath’s busy schedule with his businesses and other activities made her lonely. After about 4 months of Rabindranath marriage, Kadambari Devi committed suicide by taking an overdose of opium on April 21, 1884 at a young age of 25 years. There was no clue left as to why Kadambari Devi committed suicide.

The story of Kadambari Devi has all the ingredients of making a social drama film. The first Bengali film on this story was made by Satyajit Ray titled ‘Charulata’ (1971) which was based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengali novella ‘Nashtanirh’ (Broken Nest). Scholars believe that this novella may have been based on the relationship between Jyotirindranath Tagore, Kadambari Devi and Rabindranath Tagore himself which was published in 1901. The second film, ‘Chhelebela’ (2002) was made which was based on the Rabindranath Tagore’s novella of the same name which meant ‘My Boyhood Days’. Thereafter, two more films – ‘Chirosakhe He’ (2007) and ‘Jeewan Smriti’ (2011) were made in Bengali.

‘Kadambari’ (2015) is the latest Bangla film which is more like a biopic of Kadambari Devi.  The film is directed by Suman Ghosh. The film is based on the Bengali novel ‘Prothomo Alo’ by Sunil Gangopadhyay, ‘Kobir Bouthan’ by Mullika Sengupta and various writings of Rabindranath Tagore. The cast includes Konkana Sen Sharma (Kadambari Devi), Parambrata Chattopadhyay (Rabindranath Tagore), Kaushik Sen (Jyotirindranath Tagore), Sanjoy Nag (Debendranath Tagore), Titas Bhowmik, Srikanto Acharya, Srilekha Mitra etc.

Though the film is a biopic of Kadambari Devi, the director has taken some cinematic liberties in dramatizing some events in the life of the three main characters in the film. The story of Kadambari Devi in the film is as under:

The film starts with the suicide of Kadambari Devi in her bedroom with an overdose of opium. The patriarch of the Tagore family, Debendranath Tagore instructs all in the house not to leak the news of the suicide to outsiders as it is the question of reputation of the family. All the subsequent scenes in the film are shown as flashbacks of Kadambari Devi until her death like  her marriage to Jyotirendranath, Rabindranath as her childhood playmate etc. She feels lonely in the big house as she is the child and the other members of the household are adults. Same is true of Rabindranath as he is the youngest of the Tagore family (7 years). So naturally, both the loners find their relationship as  playmates rewarding.

After the death of Rabindranath’s mother, Kadambari Devi is assigned the duty of looking after him. She would supervise his meals after his return from school. She has become an expert cook and prepares delicious dishes for Rabindranath who, for the first time, feels that the food tastes better than those churned out by the cooks at Thakur Bari.

During the adulthood, Kadambari Devi becomes his literary companion. Rabindranath would recite his new poems first to her to get her feedback which, most of the time, would be adverse. At one point, she says to him that Banckhim Chandra Chattopadhyay writes better than him just to prop him up. There are literary soirees on the terrace of Thakur Bari in the night when there would be poetry recitations, music and singing when all the members of Tagore family would participate. Both of them bond well in all the stages of their relationship in which Rabindranath always addresses Kadambari Devi as ‘bouthan’ (sister-in-law). She is Rabindranath’s total support system all through her life.

The close relationships between Kadambari Devi and Rabindranath in their adulthood is resented by the elder women of the Tagore family. They instigate Debendranath (his father) to send him for study in England. He goes but returns quickly as he develops some illness. Then there are back-biting from the elder women of the family for Kadambari being issueless. She has ‘adopted’ her sister-in-law’s daughter, Urmila who dies in a freak accident in the house and the blame for her death falls on Kadambari Devi for her momentary neglect.

The elder women get upset when they come to know that Rabindranath has published his poems in a magazine which indirectly hint at his admiration for Kadambari Devi. So, the elders decide to get Rabindranath married to Mrilanali Devi. With this, Kadambari Devi has become once again a lonely lady already neglected by her elders in the family and her husband who, as usual, is busy with his businesses and theatre. There is also a hint in the film that Jyotirindranath is having affairs with an actress of one of his plays. With the death of Urmila, Kadambari Devi has gone into depression.

The triggering point for Kadambari Devi’s suicide is when her husband failed to turn up to pick her up from the Thakur Bari for the launching of his new ship at the port.  Even though, her husband has sent a horse cart to pick her up, she refuses to go as she has accidentally found a letter addressed to him by one of the actresses of his play informing him of his child taking shape in her womb. The film ends with Kadambari Devi drinking a liquid from a bottle and goes to sleep never to wake up.

‘Kadambari’ (2015) is the director’s film. He has full control over the main actors and also the fast-paced story telling. All the three main actors – Konkana Sen Sharma, Parambrata Chattopadhyay and Kaushik Sen have given the excellent performances of their roles. Despite a serious subject, there is not a single dull moment in the film. The film has been mostly shot in the houses of the Tagore family and estate lending the authentic period atmosphere.

It sounds strange as to why Debendranath Tagore who is regarded as a social and religious reformer and also an advocate of the girls’ education, got his sons, Jyotirindranath and Rabindranath married to child girls with wide age differences. Also, there is a hint in the film of the patriarchal family system where women have no voice in decision making in the Tagore family. There are dialogues in the film to that effect.

There are speculations in the literary circles as to what kind of relationship Rabindranath Tagore had with Kadambari Devi. Whether their love which was of an innocent and affectionate nature in their childhood had turned into an amorous one in their adulthood. It is difficult to get an answer. It is said that soon after the death of Kadambari Devi, the letters exchanged between Kadamabari Devi and Rabindranath Tagore were destroyed except those which were already published in a magazine. Probably, their relationship was  for companionship and the emotional solace. So, let their love remain as love without assigning any qualifier to it. That’s what Gulzar has said in one of his film songs – “Pyaar Ko Pyaar Hi Rehne Do Koi Naam Na Do.

Since ‘Kadambari’ (2015) is the story on the relationship between Rabindranath Tagore and Kadambari Devi, it is not surprising that almost all of the songs are based on Rabindra Sangeet. There is one song which was written by Maithili poet, Vidyapati which finds place in the film. It is said that Rabindranath Tagore liked this song so much that he set the song to the tune while reciting it in the company of Kadambari Devi. The song is “Bhara Baadar Maah Bhaadar, Shunya Mandir Mor’ – In the month of Bhadra, clouds are full of rains. but my mind is an empty shrine.

In the film, the situation is that after return from Tripura, Rabindranath meets Kadambari Devi in the garden of their estate on the banks of River Ganga. It has started raining and Rabindranath recites these verses of Vidyapati with impromptu tune composed by him.

The song is rendered by Ustad Rashid Khan on the tune set by Rabindranath Tagore. The orchestration of the song is conducted by Bickram Ghosh.

By the way, Aparna Sen also used these Vidyapati’s verses in her Bangla film, ‘Ghawre Bairey Alo’ (2019) in a different situation in the film.

Video

Audio

Song – Bhara Baadar Maah Bhadara, Shunya Mandir Mor (Kadambari) (2015) Singer – Ustad Rashid Khan, Lyrics – Vidyapati, MD – Rabindranath Tagore (Orchestration by Bickram Ghosh)

Lyrics

bhara baadar maah bhaadar
shunya mandir mo…r
bhara baadar
he ae ae ae aa
he ae ae ae ae
sa re  ae ae ae
ra ra ra ru ru
aa aa aaa
aaa aa aaa aaa aaa
ra ma…
bhara baadar maah bhaadar
shunya mandir mo…r
bhara baadar
bhara baadar maah bhaadar
shunya mandir mo…r
bhara baadar
 
jharjha ghan garjanti santati
bhuwan bhari barikhintiyaa
kaant paahun birah daarun
saghane khar shar hantiaa
kulisha shat shat paat modit
mayur naachat maatiaa aa
mayur naachat
mayur naachat
mayur naachat maatiyaa aa
matta daaduri daake daahuki
phaati yaawat chhatiyaa
 
timir dig bhari ghor yaamini
akhir bijurika paanthiyaa
Vidyapati kah kaiche gonaaibi
Hari vine din raatiaan aa
bhara baadar maah bhaadar
shunya mandir mo….r
bhara baadar


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day:

4361 Post No. : 15685

Hindi Songs in Bangla Film – 32
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The folk singer I am discussing here is from Assam. She has no direct or indirect connection to the soils of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Yet her fans from these states has given her the title of ‘Bhojpuri Queen’. It is not that she has consciously chosen to sing in Bhojpuri. The fact is that it is one of the music recording companies who made her to sing Bhojpuri songs.  Again, the title ‘Bhojpuri Queen’ to her would give an impression that she has restricted her singing mainly to Bhojpuri songs. But it is not so. She has been in her professional music scene since 2001 rendering nearly 9000 songs in 30 different languages/dialects of India. She has also done the playback singing in Hindi, Bhojpuri, Bangla, Assamese, Tamil and Marathi films, beside acting in some films. She is a folk musicologist and has done extensive research on the history of folk music especially in the Bhojpuri region.

I am referring to Kalpana Patowary (b. 27/10/1978) who has been endowed with a rich and powerful voice capable of singing in high octaves with ease. She was born in Sorbhog town in Barpeta district of Assam. Her father, Bipin Patowary, a folk singer himself and working for AIR (Aakashvani), Guwahati, gave Kalpana the initial training in Kamrupiya and Gaolporiya folk singing of Assam. She also learnt Baul singing from Naren Das. After completing her graduation in English literature from Cotton College, Guwahati, Kalpana enrolled in Bhatkhande College of Music, Lucknow from where she completed her Sangeet Visharad.

Even though Kalpana Patowary has been performing on the stage since her childhood, her professional music journey started in 2001 when after marrying Pervez Khan, her school-mate and neighbour in Assam, she shifted to Mumbai. She learnt Hindustani classical music from Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana in Mumbai. The first music album recorded by Kalpana Patowary was in 2001 which was a remix of popular Hindi songs. Her first Bhojpuri song album  “Na Hum Se Bhangiya Pisaai’ae Ganesh Ke Papa” released in 2002 made her very popular among the Bhojpuri speaking population. With this popularity, she sang for the first time in a Bhojpuri film, ‘Sasura Bada Paisewala’ (2004) after which she became a regular playback singer of Bhojpuri films. She expanded her command over Bhojpuri songs by singing non-film folk songs in Puria, Pachra, Kajri, Birha, Sohar, Chaita and Nautanki genres. She traveled extensively in Bhojpuri speaking regions to study the folklore of the region. She was the first woman singer to sing and record a Chhapraihiya Purvi folk style song which was hitherto a male preserve.

In June 2012, Kalpana Patowary launched her music cum documentary album ‘The Legacy of Bhikari Thakur’ which was released by a British recording company, Virgin EMI Records. It received popularity all over the world, especially from in those countries having a sizeable Bhojpuri speaking population. It was a sort of Kalpana Patowary’s tribute to Bhikari Thakur who is regarded as ‘Shakespeare of Bhojpuri literature’. In addition, she also recorded documentary musical albums like ‘The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut’ and ‘Anthology of Birha’. She is the first singer to sings a Khadi Birha folk song for Coke Studio.

Kalpana Patowary as a playback singer in Bhojpuri films has faced criticism from some quarters for popularising Bhojpuri film songs with raunchy lyrics. She has defended herself by saying that in the initial period of her career in Bhojpuri film music, she was not well-versed with Bhojpuri dialect and the meanings. Also, she has pointed out that it is the writers of the songs who have to take care of the raunchy wordings. Also, she says that if the song was obscene than how did the Censor Board not take objection?

One of the effects of such criticism on Kalpana Patowary seems to be that she has become more determined to study the folklore of Bhojpuri region and popularise such folk songs not only all over India but also all over the world. Hence, during the last five years or so, she has been devoting much of her time in folklores of not only the Bhojpuri region but also of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and North-Eastern States. She has also started her focus on devotional songs of these states.

It is in this background that Kalpana Patowary seems to have lapped up an opportunity by singing a devotional song “Chain Kahaan Prabhu Bin Manwa” in the film ‘Har Har Byomkesh’ (2015) which is picturised on herself.  The song is written by Sutapa Basu which is set to music by Bickram Ghosh. The song in the video clip is partial as picturised in the film. The audio clip has got the full song.

The details of the film and the story have been given in my earlier article on the song – “Roothe Sajan Kaise Manaawe Ho Rama“.

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

Acknowledgements: The profile and other information on Kalpana Patowary is based on her interviews which appeared in some newspapers, magazines and also on Rajya Sabha TV. Information on her musical journey is also based on info from her website, http://singerkalpana.blogspot.com/

 

Video

Audio

Song – Chain Kahaan Prabhu Bin Manwa (Har Har Byomkesh) (2015) Singer – Kalpana Patowary, Lyrics – Sutapa Basu, MD – Bickram Ghosh

Lyrics

chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
mann ki aankh se aansoo nikle
mann ki aankh se aansoo nikle
tan ki aankh rowe na
tan ki aankh rowe na
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
 
saagar paar kiya bajrangi..ee..ee
bajrangi ee..ee..ee
saagar paar kiya bajrangi
prabhu ke naam sahaayi
naam lewe to door ho peeda
naam lewe to door ho peeda
door howe kathinaayi
door howe kathinaayi
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
 
naam sahaare kaam sawaare..ae
naam sahaare kaam sawaare
mann ho mail kabhi na
main ho mail kabhi na
naam ke upar aur kachhu naahin
naam ke upar aur kachhu naahin
bhoole to ab nahin jeena
bhoole to ab nahin jeena
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa

mann ki aankh ke aansoo nikle
tan aankh rowe na
tan aankh rowe na
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa
chain kahaan prabhu bin manwa

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

चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
मन की आँख से आँसू निकले
मन की आँख से आँसू निकले
तन की आँख रोवे ना
तन की आँख रोवे ना
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा

सागर पार किया बजरंगी॰॰ई॰॰ई
बजरंगी॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰ई
सागर पार किया बजरंगी
प्रभु के नाम सहाई
नाम लेवे तो दूर हो पीड़ा
नाम लेवे तो दूर हो पीड़ा
दूर होवे कठिनाई
दूर होवे कठिनाई
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा

नाम सहारे काम सवारे॰॰ए
नाम सहारे काम सवारे
मन हो मैल कभी ना
मन हो मैल कभी ना
नाम के ऊपर और कछु नाहीं
नाम के ऊपर और कछु नाहीं
भूले तो अब नहीं जीना
भूले तो अब नहीं जीना
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा

मन की आँख से आँसू निकले
तन की आँख रोवे ना
तन की आँख रोवे ना
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा
चैन कहाँ प्रभु बिन मनवा


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4357 Post No. : 15679 Movie Count :

4320

Hindi Songs in Bangla Film – 31
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In Balochistan province of Pakistan, there is a well-known Hindu temple, Hinglaj Mata Temple locally known as Nani Ka Mandir. This temple is regarded as one of the 51 Shaktipeeths and is revered by Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims from Balochistan and Sindh especially the Zikri Balochs who are also the patrons of the temple. The temple is located at the banks of River Hinglaj with a rock carved deity in a cave. This temple is ‘kul devta’ (family deity) of many Hindu khatri families of Sindh, Balochistan and also of some of those residing in India and abroad.

In olden times, visiting the temple involved a trek of around 250 kms from Karachi through the hot deserts and hilly terrains. Now, there is a road from Karachi which takes about 4 hours to reach the temple. In the bi-annual pilgrimage which takes place during Navratris in the months of April and October, thousands of pilgrim marches on foot to Hinglaj Mata Temple. On the way, pilgrims spend a night at Chandrakoop (Moon Well), a shrine of volcanic mud-filled well. It is believed that if pilgrims confess the sins committed by them during their life time while offering prayer at Chandrakoop, they become free from the sins.

Kalikananda Abadhut, a Bengali monk, wrote a travelogue of his pilgrimage to what he calls ‘Marutirtha Hinglaj’ (‘Desert Pilgrimage of Hinglaj’). Probably, he may have gone on pilgrimage before the partition. Based on this travelogue, Bikash Roy, the producer-director-actor, made a Bangla film with the same title which was released in 1959. The star cast included Bikash Roy as an Ascetic leading a group of pilgrims to Hinglaj Mata temple. Uttam Kumar and Sabitri Chatterjee, who later join the pilgrimage unintentionally, performed the role of a husband and a wife. Other actors included Anil Chatterjee, Pahari Sanyal, Chandrabati Devi, Sandhya Devi etc. The film was shot in Digha  in East Mednipur district of West Bengal whose topography closely matches to that of Hinglaj.

On the recommendation from Pradeep ji (Dr. Pradeep Kumar Shetty) who also pointed out that there was a Hindi song in the film, I watched the film with English sub-titles on a video sharing platform. The story of the film is as under:

Abadhut, an ascetic (Bikash Roy) is leading a group of pilgrims to Hinglaj Mata temple located in Balochistan. He is assisted by Popatlal (Pahadi Sanyal), Rooplal (Anil Chatterjee) and Bhairabi (Chandrabati Devi). There is also a priest who is conscious of traditions and caste system and expects everyone to follow strictly.

Before the departure from Karachi, Abadhut cautions the pilgrims that it is a long and arduous journey for days involving walking through hot desert sands and hilly tracks. The food is meagre and pilgrims will have to spend nights without any shelters. Since the water is scarce in the desert, Abadhut advises pilgrims not to share their water with others. All the pilgrims during the journey are to behave as ascetic and worked selflessly for other pilgrims when they are in need of assistance.

Abadhut also tells the story and significance of pilgrimage to Hinglaj Mata temple. When Lord Vishnu scattered the body of Sati all over the Indian sub-continent, the head fell on Hinglaj and thus became the holiest place among the 51 Shaktipeeths. Whoever has committed the sins, they can visit Hinglaj Mata temple only after confessing the sins at Chandrakoop, a volcanic shrine, located on the way to Hinglaj temple. Lord Ram is said to have visited Hinglaj to wash off the sin committed by him by killing Ravan.

While Abadhut is giving guidance to the pilgrims, there is a couple who have taken shelter at pilgrims’ base camp. They are Thirumal (Uttam Kumar) and Kunti (Sabitri Chatterjee). Kunti, a daughter of a wealthy merchant is already married but her husband has been missing for the last two years. She takes the help of Thirumal, a fake astrologer for finding her husband. During their meetings, they become close to each other. One day, Kunti runs away with Thirumal and they get married at the temple. But the society refuses to accept their marriage as her first husband is supposed to be alive though missing and both of them belong to different caste. After failing to find shelter, they are on the run and finally they take refuge in Karachi base camp of pilgrims.

Kunti suggests Thirumal to let follow the pilgrims so that at least for some days, they are safe. But Thirumal refuses. However, in the night a person tries to molest Kunti. Next morning, Thirumal agrees to be the part of the pilgrims. But by the time, pilgrims caravan has already left. Both try to catch up with the pilgrims but they have gone too far and taken a shelter during noon to avoid the harsh sun. Abadhut notices that a couple are walking towards him from quite a distance and then suddenly they fall on the sand. He sends his other pilgrims to look for them. They are brought to the pilgrims’ shelter in unconscious state. After few hours, they regain consciousness. Thirumal tells his story as to how he has grown up in Kolkata as an orphan and did all sorts of illegal work including stealing and how he met Kunti and got married. While catching up with the pilgrims, on the way, they were waylaid by dacoits and Kunti was raped.

After hearing the story, some pilgrims do not want Thirumal and Kunti as part of pilgrimage as they have committed the sins. After the incident, Kunti also feels that she is the sinner for loving Thirumal and a disgraceful woman because of which they are facing all sorts of problems in their life. So, she turns ascetics cutting off her relations with Thirumal who is devastated. He exhibits bouts of insanity. However, despite the murmur of protests from pilgrims, Abadhut takes care of both of them by postponing the journey by one day.

Next day, pilgrims start a long day’s journey. On the way, some pilgrims get dehydrated and are taken care by other pilgrims. But the priest is not able to walk. So Thirumal takes him on his back and walks towards the destination which is Chandrakoop. However, Thirumal suddenly feels suffocated as he is not able to remove the hands of the priest around his neck. He collapses unconscious. It transpires that the priest had already died on the way and Thirumala was carrying his corpse on his back  This event results in Thirumal getting once again the bout of madness. He leaves the caravan and walk aimlessly. In no time, he is found missing. Other pilgrims have no strength to search for him. They think that Thirumal would eventually return.

Finally, pilgrims reach Chandrakoop. After the bath, they visit the shrine of volcanic mud well to offer prayer and also to make the confession of their sins. If the confession is true, the muddy water in Chandrakup continues to boil. Otherwise it stops boiling. While Kunti is about to make her confession, she sees Thirumal on the opposite side on the top of a hillock. But in the streak of madness, Thirumal jumps in the boiling muddy water of Chandrakoop and gets submerged, never to return.

The journey continues to Hinglaj Mata temple and pilgrims complete the prayers. They are now on the return journey. However, Abadhut, Bhairabi and Kunti takes a detour and in the process, they lose direction. The long walk makes them dehydrated and fall on the sand unconscious. Some of the pilgrims rescue them but not Kunti who after regaining consciousness, had already proceeded towards Chandrakoop and jumped into the boiling mud well to join her husband, Thirumal. The bond which was cursed during their life time has become divine with their death.

The director has nicely attempted to make the pilgrims’ journey to run along with moral journey. The pilgrims’ group is a mix of all classes and caste but a priest in the group laments that pilgrims have forgotten the traditions and customs. He does not like to be touched by other pilgrims. He is uncomfortable with Abadhut drinking tea with local tribals. But when the priest gets dehydrated and requires to be carried, it is Thirumal, a sinner according to the priest, who carries him on his shoulder. It is the irony that the priest who is the strong follower of the traditions and religious customs, upon his death,  his last rites is carried out  in the desert without any religious ceremony.

There are few among the pilgrims who are of the opinion that it is a sin to allow Thirumal and Kunti to accompany them in the pilgrimage as they are the sinners. It is once again Abadhut who makes them understand that they need to weigh between sin and compassion. Otherwise abandoning both of them in the desert would tantamount to abetment of their death which is a sin. Lastly, those who are branding them as sinners have also committed the sins. Otherwise why they should visit Chandrakoop to confess their sins to get them washed off. And a confession made by one of the assistants, Popatlal is the worst kind as it related to infanticide.

The film makes us to ponder what is sin and what is virtuous. Perhaps, the answer lies in two lines of Sahir Ludhianvi in a song from ‘Chitralekha’ (1964):

ye paap hai kya ye punya hai kya
reeton par dharm ki moharen hain

‘Marutirtha Hinglaj’ (1959) has three non-Bangla songs of which two are vedic chants in Sanskrit. The third song is a Naat, “Tu Nishaan-e-Benishaan Hai” sung by Shankar-Shambhu Qawwaal and chorus. Lyrics writer is not known. Perhaps it may have been mentioned in the credit titles of the film which is displayed only in Bengali. The Naat is set to music by Hemant Kumar.

The situation of the song is that when the pilgrims take the halt for the day, Abadhut notices a bulky man coming from the opposite direction. He is Khan Sahab who has come to invite the pilgrims to his place where they can rest in shades and also have the advantage of having a well. He also invite pilgrims  to  join his group for the prayer in praise of the Almighty.

Video

Audio

Song – Tu Nishaan e Benishaan Hai (Marutirath Hinglaj) (1959) Singer – Shankar Shambhu Qawwaal, Lyrics – [Unknown], MD – Hemant Kumar
Chorus

Lyrics

ae ae ae
aa aa aa
tu nishaan-e-benishaan hai
tu bahaare-e-sarmadi hai. . .
tera dekhna ibaadat
ibaadat
tera dekhna ibaadat
teri yaad zindagi hai..
tera dekhna ibaadat
aa aa aa aa
teri yaad zindagi hai
aa aa aa aa
tera dekhna ibaadat
 
aa aa aa aa
ye sahi hai pur khata hoon
magar hoon to tera banda aa
ye sahi hai pur khata hoon
magar hoon to tera banda aa
tu agar mujhe nibha le
nibha le
tu agar mujhe nibha le..
teri banda parwari hai..
tu agar mujhe nibha le
aa aa aa aa
teri banda parwari hai
(aa aa aa aa)
tu agar mujhe nibha le
 
aa aa aa
mera daaman-e-gadaai
tere aage kyun na phaile ae
tera mulk do jahaan hain
tere ghar mein kya kami hai. . .
tera mulk do jahaan hai
tere ghar mein kya kami hai. . .
aa aa aa aa
tera mulk jo jahaan hai
 
tere dar pe sajde karna
ho karna
tere dar pe sajde karna
tujhe yaad kar ke rona aa
yehi hai namaaz meri
ho meri
yehi hai namaaz meri
yehi meri bandagi hai..
ye hi hai namaaz meri
aa aa aa aa
yehi meri bandagi hai..
aa aa aa aa
yehi hai namaaz meri
meri ee. . .

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

ए ए ए
आ आ आ
तू निशान ए बेनिशां है
तू बहार ए सरमदी है॰ ॰ ॰
तेरा देखना इबादत
इबादत
तेरा देखना इबादत
तेरी याद ज़िंदगी है॰॰
तेरा देखना इबादत
आ आ आ आ
तेरी याद ज़िंदगी है
आ आ आ आ
तेरा देखना इबादत
आ आ आ आ

ये सही है पुर ख़ता हूँ
मगर हूँ तो तेरा बंदा आ
ये सही है पुर ख़ता हूँ
मगर हूँ तो तेरा बंदा आ
तू अगर मुझे निभा ले॰॰
तेरी बंदा परवरी है
तू अगर मुझे निभा ले
आ आ आ आ
तेरी बंदा परवरी है
आ आ आ आ
तू अगर मुझे निभा ले

आ आ आ
मेरा दामन ए गदाई
तेरे आगे क्यों ना फैले
तेरा मुल्क दो जहां है
तेरे घर में क्या कमी है॰ ॰ ॰
तेरा मुल्क दो जहां है
तेरे घर में क्या कमी है॰ ॰ ॰
आ आ आ
तेरा मुल्क दो जहां है

तेरे दर पे सजदे करना
हो करना
तेरे दर पे सजदे करना
तुझे याद करके रोना आ
यही है नमाज़ मेरी
हो मेरी
यही है नमाज़ मेरी
यही मेरी बंदगी है॰॰
यही है नमाज़ मेरी
आ आ आ आ
यही मेरी बंदगी है॰॰
आ आ आ आ
यही है नमाज़
मेरी॰ ॰ ॰


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4355 Post No. : 15676 Movie Count :

4319

In Hindi film industry, there are very  few producer-directors who make the films out of their passion for bringing to the notice of the public at large,  the social issues which they consider to be important. The mainstream film makers would generally avoid in their films such subjects as they are not money spinners at the box office unless they add ‘spices’ to those social issues to make it the box office success.  I had earlier discussed such producers/directors like Nagesh Kukunoor and Sai Paranjpye. I guess, the main driving point for them in making socially relevant films is the creative satisfaction and probably the international recognition they may get. Showmanship in terms of top star actors, music directors, lyricists, costly sets and costumes and the marketing blitz before the release of the films do not fit into their budget.

‘Lakshmi’ (2014) was one socially relevant film based on a true story of child trafficking and prostitution. How did Nagesh Kukunoor got the idea of making ‘Lakshmi’ (2014)?

As revealed by Nagesh Kukunoor in a couple of interviews for the magazines, he was on a visit to a rescue shelter for child prostitutes run by a NGO, where he heard several stories of exploitation – both physical and emotional which were of very disturbing nature. But there was a story of one minor girl, Lakshmi who was kidnapped by a child trafficker and sold to a brothel. Despite all odds, she fought bravely, took the traffickers to the court and came out triumphant. All the rescued girls had only one wish list that such exploitation should not happen to other girls.  Nagesh Kukunoor found the experience very moving and decided to make a film on it.

The biggest problem for Nagesh Kukunoor was that though he got the start and the end of Lakshmi’s real story, he was almost blank as to what happened in-between the start and end of the story. He felt that it was not proper to make the girl to relive the trauma she faced in the brothel. So, he relied on the inputs from NGOs as to how the girls were treated in the brothels and his own imagination to fill the gaps in the story. Hence, he calls his film ‘Lakshmi’ (2014) as ‘a fictional account of a true story’.

There was a problem in selecting the actor for the main role of Lakshmi who should be around 14 years of age. But it would be awkward for the director to discussed with a minor actor or with her parents, the scenes involving her activities in the brothel. So, Nagesh Kukunoor dropped the idea of making the film.

In a filmy party, Nagesh Kukunoor met the playback singer, Monali Thakur who was 21, but looked much younger because of her lean figure and small face. He thought that with proper costumes and hairstyles, she could be made to look like a 14-year girl. Fortunately for Negesh Kukunoor, Monali Thakur agreed to do the role of Lakshmi in the film though she had never acted earlier. So, the main actors for the film – Monali Thakur, Satish Kaushik, Shefali Shah besides Nagesh Kukunoor in the role of a pimp was finalised. Ram Kapoor acted in the role of an advocate for Lakshmi. The film was completed in 22 days of shootings which took place in around Hyderabad. The film faced some hurdles in the Censor Board but eventually got the certification for adult viewing.

I had watched the film on a video sharing platform a few years back but had left it half way as some of the scenes involving the crime and violence were very disturbing. Recently, I watched the film once again skipping disturbing scenes in-between but up to the end involving court-room scenes. The gist of the story of the film is as under:

Lakshmi (Monali Thakur), a minor girl, is sold to Reddy Garu (Satish Kaushik) by her father.  Reddy is a child trafficker who runs a brothel in Hyderabad in the guise of a girls’ hostel as a ‘shelter for orphaned girls. He is assisted by Chinna (Nagesh Kukunoor) who is his front man for his brothel activities. But the kingpin for the immoral activities is a city corporator, Radha (Gulfam Khan). Initially, Reddy keeps Lakshmi in his house, giving her estrogen injections by his personal doctor in the name of injections for her weakness. After 3 weeks, she is sent to the brothel under the custody of Madam Jyothi (Shefali Shah) who is a tough both with her girls and clients but kind-hearted. Jyothi has a daughter who is studying engineering but she is not aware of her mother’s nature of job. Chinna often abuses Jyothi, both verbally and physically for not doing her job properly.

One day, Lakshmi runs away from the brothel and tries to register an FIR in the police station against the illegal activities going in the so called girls’ hostel. But instead of acting on her tip, the news is leaked out to Reddy who through Chinna catches her while on the run. He assaults her with his wooden club stubbed with nails. (did Chinese get the idea from this film!) so that she would not dare try to run away again. But she tells him that she would surely flee from brothel one day.

Since Reddy and Chinna get free every time there is a raid on the brothel, a social worker, Mohan (Ramkrishna Shenoy) sets a trap by becoming a bogus customer and record the activities in a room with a hidden camera with marked currency notes etc. A police raid on the brothel leads to the arrest of Reddy and Chinna along with Jyothi and girls. Girls are sent to the shelters run by Mohan for child prostitute. Both Reddy and Chinna get bail and the brothel is again opened.

Girls  are not happy in the shelter house as neither the work interests them nor their parents and the society honourably accept them. So, one by all girls are back to the brothel except Lakshmi who says to Mohan that she would fight the battle in the court. Encouraged by her stand, Mohan and another lady social worker take her to an advocate, Avinash (Ram Kapoor) who had stopped his practice some years back due to nervous breakdown which in turn was because of the unethical activities of his fellow advocates who could be bought by the interested parties and the manipulation of witnesses.

After listening to the case, Avinash, refuses to take up the case on behalf of Lakshmi as during his practice on Prevetion of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) cases, the complainers did not stand up to the uncomfortable questions put forward by the defense advocates and key witnesses became hostile. Thus, all the cases were dismissed. He further states that not a single case under PITA has gone in favour of the aggrieved parties since the introduction of the Act because of this reason as well as aggrieved parties taking back their complained either due to threat or with money power. Lakshmi says with conviction that she will not change her statement. Her firm commitment makes Advocate Avinash  to agree to fight the case on behalf of Lakshmi.

In the court, the defense lawyer asks Lakshmi very uncomfortable personal questions relating to her activities in the brothel so that she avoids answering which will make the case weak against the accused. The video footage of marked currency notes changing hands at the brothel did not carry weight as the defense lawyer says that the video could have been doctored. Also, being the girls hostel, the money could be changing hands due to legitimate activities of the hostel. in the absence of FIR and the medical report for rapes in the brothel at the material time, Advocate Avinash has no other proof to substantiate the charges made by Lakshmi.

The only proof which Mohan had with him was a long video footage of the room in which Lakshmi was raped in the brothel by 7 clients in the whole night which was recorded in a concealed close-circuit video camera which Mohan had installed with the connivance of Madam Jyothi. But the video footage is too personal to be displayed in the court room. But the urge in Lakshmi to punish Reddy and Chinna was so great that she agreed for the display of the video footage in the court. Also, the witness statement from the personal doctor of Reddy favouring Lakshmi’s contention and the video footage turned the court’s decision in favour of Lakshmi. Reddy, Chinna and Corporator Radha were found guilty under PITA and IPC and they were sentenced 10 years of imprisonment. Lakshmi’s father was also jailed for abatement of the crime.

Monali Thakur made a debut as an actor in the film and she has acted brilliantly though she could have been better trained in her dialogue delivery in Hyderabadi Hindi. She had displayed a very innocence face through out the film so much so that even after her bold decision to fight the case in the court, one never find aggressiveness in her face or in voice. She has played the role in a subtle way. Satish Kaushik in the role of Reddy has acted well but his dialogues with north Indian accents have let him down. On the other hand, Nagesh Kukunoor as Chinna the pimp, has excelled in his dialogues in Hyderabadi Hindi but was somewhat weak in his acting. Ram Kapoor as an advocate for Lakshmi has done excellent performance as an advocate.

As mentioned earlier, the film has some very disturbing scenes. The dialogues are raunchy. But these are expected in the film with the brothel having the central place in the story. Probably, on this background, Nagesh Kukunoor as a producer was not keen on releasing the film widely. The film was release in some select theatres all over India and mostly in the morning slots. However, the film was shown in International film festivals. In Palm Spring Film Festival, 2014, the film won the audience award for the best film among 191 films screened. The film was also shown free to many social organisations all over India.

‘Lakshmi’ has four songs – all as background songs. I am presenting the first song “Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa” sung by Papon (real name: Angarag Mahanta). The song is written by an upcoming lyricist, Manoj Yadav which is set to music by Tapas Relia, also an upcoming music director from Gujarat.

I find the use of the words in lyrics interesting. The lyrics sounds like that 1960s and 1970s songs. A search in the internet gives me a profile of Manoj Yadav as the son of a mill worker of Mumbai who has spent his major life in Mumbai with summer holidays being spent in Gorakhpur, his native place. He says in one of the interviews that Gulzar’s jingles “Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hai” which he had watched in his childhood influenced him to write poems. He started his career as a jingle writer for advertising films where Tapas Relia was one of the music directors. Then he gradually moved into Hindi films as song writer. So far, he has written lyrics for about 60 songs in 36 films since 2012.

The song under discussion is used as a background song in parts in 4 different situations in the film. Probably for this reason, the video clip of the song is not available. However, Tips, the owner of the music rights of the songs in the film has made a video clip of the song remixing some scenes from the film with the playback singer Papon while keeping intact the original sound track of the song in the video. The audio clip contains the elongated song.

Remixed Video

Audio

Song – Sun Ri Baawli Tu Apne Liye Khud Hi Maang Le Duaa (Lakshmi) (2014) Singer – Papon (aka Angarag Mahanta), Lyrics – Manoj Yadav, MD – Tapas Relia

Lyrics

ae aa aa ae aaa
o o o o o
uu uu uu uu
ha aa aa aa
re re re re re
la ra aa ra aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
bejaar saa nazar aaye jo
tere saamne tera masihaa
wo tera na hona
tan kaa kamra man ki kothi
saanson kaa khel khilona aa aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
 
ho o o
toothe taare uthaa le…
unse chanda bana le….ae..
toothe taare uthaa le
unse chanda bana le
thaam aanchal ka kona
usse tu aasmaan bana le
dhoop hai doli chhaavn hai dulhan
khud se preet chhodna
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona aa aa
 
ho o o
ud jaana jab
udne ka man ho.. ho…o o o
ud jaana jab 
udne ka man ho
bharose raai ke lena??
tu hi tera hausla ho
likhne de jo bhi likhta hai lamha
uske haath rok na aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona
bejaar saa nazar aaye jo
tere saamne tera masihaa
wo tera na hona
tan ka kamra man ki kothi
saanson kaa khel khilona aa
kesh mein suraj khos ke chalna
kabhi koi raat miley na aa
sun ri baawli tu apne liye
khud hi maang le duaa
koi tera na hona…
sun ri baawli ae ae ae
sun ri baa…wli ee ee
sun ri baawli ee ee
sun ri baawli  ae ae ae ae


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4354 Post No. : 15670 Movie Count :

4316

Hindi Songs in Bangla Film – 30
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In my last article, I had covered a fictional character, ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’,  created by the writer Sharadindhu Bandopadhyay on which TV serials and films have been made. While writing the article, I recalled that Satyajit Roy has written stories on his fictional character, ‘Feluda’ who is also a detective and investigator. He had directed two Bangla feature films based on ‘Feluda’ stories – ‘Sonar Kella’ (1974) and ‘Joy Baba Felunath’ (1979). It will be interesting to note as to how these two detective characters differ in their style of investigations which I will come to it later.

Satyajit Ray had once said that he made a living by writing children’s stories and from their publications rather than earning from his films.  His stories of ‘Feluda’ were first published in children’s magazine ‘Sandesh’ and later published as books. He had said that since his childhood, he was hooked to stories of Sherlock Holmes and inspired him to write the Indianised version of Sherlock Holmes- both culturally and temperamentally. Satyajit Roy wrote 35 stories of Feluda which were published between 1965 and 1995.

In all the Feluda stories, there are some characters who are part of almost all the stories. Detective and investigator, Feluda (real name: Prodosh Chandra Mitter) is the Indian equivalent of Sherlock Holmes. Feluda’s cousin, Topshe (real name: Tapas Ranjan Mitra) is equivalent of Dr Watson. Feluda’s friend Jatayu (real name: Lalmohan Ganguly) is a writer of crime thrillers who has often been depicted as a comical character.  In addition, there are characters like  Maganlal Meghraj, a villain who is an important part in some of the Feluda stories.

I have watched most of Byomkesh Bakshi’s stories on T V serials. So, I have fairly good idea as to how the main characters of Byomkesh and his assistant, Ajit have been depicted on screen.  But in regards to Feluda stories, my only exposure is Satyajit Roy’s two films mentioned above. Based on these sources and also reading summaries of few other stories, the some comparison between two detective stories of  Byomkesh Bakshi and Feluda  is attempted.

  1. Feluda stories are targeted towards children and teenagers though even the adults may also like. The investigations mostly centre around thefts of manuscripts, antique, artifacts items, kidnapping etc. Byomkesh stories are at a higher level of intelligence in solving cases and therefore meant for adults. The investigations are mainly related to murders arising out of property disputes, greed, revenge, adultery etc. Hence, there will be at least one or more female characters in the story. In Feluda stories, female characters hardly find place.
  2. Feluda is a tall, handsome and athletic person. He is a bachelor. He carries weapons with him and will not be averse to using strong arm methods. Byomkesh Bakshi is a bespectacled dhoti-clad detective and investigator who likes to be called as ‘Satyanweshi’ (Truth-seekar). He is a married man.  He rarely uses weapons or resorts to violent methods during his investigation.
  3. Most of Feluda stories are set outside Kolkata as he is a travel buff. Byomkesh gets most of the cases of investigation in around Kolkata.
  4. Feluda is accompanied in his work by his cousin, Thopse, a teenager who helps in recording the events during the investigations. The other accomplish is a writer of detective stories with his penname, Jatayu. He is more into bringing comical reliefs with his jokes gone wrong and with some silly questions. Byomkesh is acccompanied by his wife, Satyabati and Ajit who is also a writer.

Of the two Feluda films which Satyajit Ray directed, I gave preference for ‘Joy Baba Felunath (1979) which was available with English sub-titles. The gist of the story is as under:

Feluda (Saumitra Chatterjee) along with his cousin, Thopse (Siddharth Chatterjee) and the writer-friend, Jatayu (Santosh Dutta) are on a visit to Varanasi for a holiday. While on a stroll to ghats of Varanasi along with the hotel manager, they meet  Ambika Ghoshal who is introduced by the hotel manager to Feluda. Ghoshal revealed that the antique idol of Ganesh has been stolen and his father does not want to report the theft to police as he has no faith in police investigation. Feluda agrees to investigate the matter to solve the case.

During the course of his investigations, he visits Ghoshal family house and meets the father of Ambika Ghoshal  He finds him and Ambika Ghoshal’s minor son interested in reading detective stories. He also meets Bikash (Biplab Chatterjee), a member of Ghoshal family but no relation to them. He also comes to know that Maganlal Meghraj (Utpal Dutt) who had visited Ghoshal on the previous day to buy the antique Ganesh idol but Ghoshal had refused to sell. Maganlal is actually a trader in antique items and artefacts and the Machhlibaba, the fake sadhu is a front for him in his illicit business. So, Maganlal is the first suspects.

But there are others in the Ghoshal family who could also be suspects. Ambika Ghoshal was in debt as his business was down. He has, therefore, some motivation to sell the Ganesh idol to raise the money. Bikash had planned to go back to his native place as he did not like to stay with Ghoshal family for long doing house-hold chores. However, he did not have money to quit Ghoshal family. Lastly, Feluda meets the aged Shashibabu, an Durga idol maker who is making the idol of Durga in Ghoshal house for the ensuing Durga Pooja.

Feluda suspects the role of Bikash in Ganesh idol theft especially when he is suddenly planned to visit his native place. Feluda confronts Bikash by taking him at gun-point to a secluded place where he spills the beans. Feluda had already kept the police informed who takes him to the custody.

The fact of the case was that while painting the Durga idol, Shahsibabu finds a Ganesh idol falling from the mouth of the tiger’s idol. He takes the idol to Bikash fearing that he would be branded a thief. Bikash comforts him and assure him that he would handle the issue. But instead of handing over the Ganesh idol to Ghoshal family, he sells it to Maganlal for partly sum. Since Shashibabu knows that Ganesh idol has been found, Maganlal gets him killed.

Now it is the turn of Maganlal who has to be caught red-handed. For this, Feluda disguises himself as Machhlibaba and sits on the ghat along with his devotees. As expected, Maganlal comes with the Ganesh idol in the guise of a gift to Machhlibaba and hands over to him. The police team was already watching from the nearby place. He is caught red-handed with the Ganesh idol. He gets arrested. The case is solved. At the outset, there is not much suspense in the story as Maganlal was a suspect from the very beginning.

There is, however, a twist in the story, not about the suspects, but about the end of the story. When Maganlal had visited Ambika Ghoshal for buying the Ganesh idol, he has given him a friendly banter with a tone of a threat that he would have the idol even if Ghoshal does not sell him. This was heard by Ambika Ghoshal’s minor son. So, he reports the matter to his grandfather who asks him as to what he would do under such a circumstance since he is an avid reader of detective stories. The grandson says that he would keep the Ganesh idol in the mouth of the idol of Tiger which Shashibabu is painting. So, in reality, in the beginning, there was no theft of Ganesh idol but it has been safely kept in the mouth of a tiger idol.

There is a further twist in the story. When Feluda is handing over the recovered Ganesh idol, he reveals to the grandfather that the Ganesh idol is a fake one and it will not fetch even 1000 rupees. So where is the real antique Ganesh idol? The grandfather keeps mum.  Feluda gives the answer  that he knows from his source that the real antique Ganesh idol has been kept in the safe deposit locker of a bank by the grandfather.

Even though this film is a suspense thriller, as is the case with all other films of Satyajit Ray, the film is an audio-visual treat. He has a penchant for details around the scenes of the shooting and creating the period atmosphere. For example, when Feluda visits to meet the father of Ambika Ghoshal, in the background, an old record player is playing a  thumri of Kesarbai Kerkar. “Kaahe Ko Daari” (1936). On the second time, a ghazal, “Pee Ke Hum Tum Chale” (1909) sung by Zohrabai Agrewali is played in the background.

The ghats and narrow lanes of Varanasi have been beautifully captured. Of all the main actors, I liked the performance Utpal Dutt the most. He has been projected as a ruthless trader who can go to any extent without having to use strong-arm tactics. His stern warning through his expressions and short dialogue delivery are enough to create fear of him.

‘Joy Baba Felunath’ (1979) has only two songs, one each of bhajans of Meera Bai and Soordas. I am presenting a Meera bhajan “Mohe Laagi Lagan Guru Charanan Ki”. The song is sung by Reba Muhuri which is set to music by Satyajit Ray.

Reba Muhuri (1930 – 15/05/2011) was Hindustani classical vocalist who was born in Krishnanagar in Nadia district of West Bengal. Her father, Amiyanath Sanyal was a musicologist from whom she learnt music during her childhood. At the age of 16, Reba got married to an army officer. But her musical journey continued. She was mainly trained by Badi Motibai in Banaras. She also got guidance from Siddheshwari Devi, Rasoolan Bai and Begum Akhtar. She specialised in Khayal, Thumri and Bhajan. She had given concerts in India and abroad.

The song picturization situation is that while strolling on the Varanasi ghats, Feluda and his two associates find a gathering of devotees where one of the devotees is singing while there are visitors taking blessing of Sadhu Machhlibaba who is in fact a conduit for Maganlal for smuggling antiques and artefacts out of India.

The audio clip contains the full bhajan while the bhajan on the video clip is interrupted by dialogues. Hence the continuity of the song on the video clip is lost.

It is better to listen to the audio clip to get a spiritual feelings.

 

Audio

Video

Song – Mohey Laagi Lagan Guru Charnan Ki (Joy Baba Felunath) (1979) Singer – Reba Muhuri, Lyrics – Meerabai, MD – Satyajit Ray

Lyrics

aa aa aa aaaaaa
aa aa aa aaaa
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
 
charan bina ab kachhu nahi bhaawe
charan bina ab kachhu nahi bhaawe
jag maaya sab sapanan ki
laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
 
bhav saagar sab sukh gayo hai……..ai…..ai
bhav saagar sab sukh gayo hain
fikar nahi mohe
fikar nahi mohe taranan ki
guru fikar nahi mohe taranan ki
guru fikar nahi mohe taranan ki
guru charanan ki
laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
 
meera ke prabhoooo…oo  
meera ke prabhu giridhar naagar
meera ke prabhu giridhar naagar
giridhar naagar
meera ke prabhu giridhar naagar
aas wahi guru charanan ki
aas wahi guru charanan ki
laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
 
meera ke guroooooooo
giridha…r naagar
giridhar naagar
meera ke guru giridhar naagar
aas wahi guru charanan ki
aas wahi guru charanan ki
laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
mohe laa..gi lagan guru charanan ki
guru charanan ki
charanan ki

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Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
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आ आ आ आsssss
आ आ आ आss
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की

चरण बिना अब कछु नहीं भावे
चरण बिना अब कछु नहीं भावे
जग माया सब सपनन की
ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की

भव सागर सब सूख गयो है॰॰ए॰॰ए
भव सागर सब सूख गयो है
फिकर नहीं मोहे
फिकर नहीं मोहे तरणन की
गुरु फिकर नहीं मोहे तरणन की
गुरु फिकर नहीं मोहे तरणन की
गुरु चरणन की
ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की

मीरा के प्रभु॰॰उ॰॰उ
मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर
मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर
गिरधर नागर
मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर
आस वही गुरु चरणन की
आस वही गुरु चरणन की
ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की

मीरा के गुरु॰॰
गिरधर॰॰र नागर
गिरधर नागर
मीरा के गुरु गिरधर नागर
आस वही गुरु चरणन की
आस वही गुरु चरणन की
ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
मोहे ला॰॰गी लगन गुरु चरणन की
गुरु चरणन की
चरणन की

 


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4349 Post No. : 15660 Movie Count :

4313

Hindi Songs in Bangla Film – 29
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I became aware about the stories built around the fictional character of Byomkesh Bakshi, the murder mystery solver when a TV serial based on these stories was telecast on the Doordarhsan’s National channel in early 1990s. The serial was directed by Basu Chatterjee with Rajit Kapoor playing the role of Byomkesh Bakshi and KK Raina as Ajit, his assistant. During those days, the character of Byomkesh Bakshi became known all over India. ‘Byomkesh’ became synonymous with persons having inquisitive nature.

I had watched most of the episodes during those years.  The episodes of this serial were recently re-telecast on the Doordarshan Channel during the Covid-19 lockdown. What I liked about the serial was restrained acting by Rajit Kapur as an investigator in a cool and calm mind, trying to solve the mysteries of murders with ‘much ado about nothing’ manner. In the end, the culprits were mostly the ones who were least suspected by the audience. This made the each and every episode a suspense thriller and the audience were glued to the show till the end.

Sharadindhu Bandopadhyay, the creator of Byomkesh Bakshi had written 32 published stories on his fictional character during 1932-70. He was associated with Bombay Talkies during 1938-40 as a story-writer for the films like ‘Bhabhi’ (1938), ‘Vachan’ (1938), ‘Navjeevan’ (1939), ‘Kangan’ (1939), ‘Durga’ (1939), ‘Punar Milan’ (1940) and ‘Azaad’ (1940). In 1970, he had started writing the 33rd story of Byomkesh Bakshi with ‘Bisupati Badh’ as its title. However, before the completion of the story, he died in 1970.

Some of the stories of Byomkesh Bakshi were made into feature films, mainly in Bengali. I got a list of 20 Bangla films made on Byomkesh Bakshi between 1967-2019. Probably, a few more films may have been made on Byomkesh Bakshi with different titles. One film was made in Hindi titled ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy’ (2015) under the banner of Yash Raj Films.

Last week, Partha Chanda, one of the regular visitors to our Blog conveyed to me that the Bangla film, ‘Har Har Byomkesh’ (2015) had 3 Hindi songs. I watched the film on one of the OTT media services with English subtitles. The film is based on one of 32 stories – ‘Banhi Patanga’ (English title: ‘Moth and Flame’). In Urdu, this  story could have got the title of ‘Shama and Parwaana’.  It is directed by Arindam Sil. The story is set in around mid-1940s. The gist of the story of the film is as under:

Byomkesh (Abir Chatterjee), his wife, Satyabati (Sohoni Sarkar) and his friend Ajit (Ritwick Chakraborty) have come from Kolkata on a holiday to Varanasi. They are the guests of DSP Pandey (Harsh Chhaaya). However, in a couple of days, Byomkesh co-incidentally gets involved in solving the murder mystery in Varanasi.

Pandey had received an invitation from Deepnarayan Singh (Adil Hussain), a rich zamindar to attend a party along with his guests in his palace for celebrating his cure from a liver ailment which had made him bed-ridden for about 5 months. In the party, Byomkesh was introduced, among others, to zamindar’s physician, Dr Palit (Dipankar Dey), Debnarayan (Indradip Dasgupta), the ‘good for nothing’ nephew of Deepnarayan, Shakuntala (Nusrat Jahan), the wife of Deepnarayan who is half of his age and whom he had married rather forcefully after the death of his first wife. During the party, Inspector (Shadab Kamal) came to the palace and informed Dr Palit of robbery in his clinic. However, not much monetary loss was reported. What could be the reason for robbery?

On the very next day, Deepnarayan dies soon after Dr. Palit administers injection for his liver problem. DSP Pandey rushes to the palace along with Byomkesh and Ajit. After interrogating those present in the palace including Dr. Palit and other relatives of Deepnarayan, Byomkesh comes to the conclusion that Deepnarayan has been murdered, possibly for one of the two motives – to corner his vast property by the interested relatives and second, to get rid of him due to extra-marital relationship.

As the investigation progresses, the list of suspects grows in the eyes of Byomkesh. The first is Debnarayan, the nephew of the deceased who would be the immediate beneficiary of the vast property as Deepnarayan has no children. Debnarayan’s wife, Chandni could also be a suspect as after the death, Shakuntala, now widow, would lose power in the palace. Chandni would be the de fact owner of the property as her husband, Debnarayan is not a smart person. Third, the Manager of the estate of Deepnarayan who. with his boss Deepnarayan’s death would get more freedom in managing the financial assets with the scope for misappropriation of money for his own benefits.

Even Shankutala, the widow of Deepnarayan is not above suspicion who is now 3-month pregnant. Byomkesh regards this as an illicit pregnancy as she has become pregnant when Deepnarayan had been bedridden for nearly 5 months with 24 hours surveillance from nurses on him because of his serious illness. Of course, Dr Palit is also in suspect’s list as it is only after he administered the injection, Deepnarayan had died. It is possible that he could have been influenced by any one of the suspects with an offer of handsome monetary rewards for administering poison to Deepnarayan.  And lastly, Narmada Shankar (Subrata Dutta) who is from the same native place as Shakuntala has been friendly with her and has an access to meet her in the palace.

Finally, Byomkesh finds the killer and he is not from the above list. He reveals to all those present in the palace as to how he cracked the case. The film ends with Byomkesh, his wife, Satyabati and Ajit taking a stroll over the ghats of Varanasi as their holidays have just now begun.

I was curious about the title of the film, ‘Har Har Byomkesh’. After watching the film, I guess that the director wanted to give an indication that the whole episode took place in Varanasi, the city of Mahadev (Lord Shiva). So salutation, ‘Har Har Mahadev’ became ‘Har Har Byomkesh’. Interestingly, ‘Vyomkesh’ (pronounced in Bangla as ‘Byomkesh) is made up of two words, ‘Vyom’ (Air, space) and ‘Kesh’ (hair or jatta). When Lord Shiva is doing tandav nrutya, his hairs swing into the air. So Vyomkesh is another name for Lord Shiva. This is the interpretation I got on the internet about ‘Vyomkesh’.

‘Har Har Byomkesh’ (2015) has 3 songs – all in the sub-dialects of Hindi. This is not surprising as the story is set in Varanasi (as against Patna in original story). All 3 songs are composed in three different genres of Hindustani semi-classical music – Thumri, Chaiti and Bhajan. I am presenting here a Chaiti song “Roothe Sajan Kaise Manaawe Ho Raama” sung by Sabina Mumtaz Alam, Hindustani classical singer. The song is written by Sutapa Basu and is set to music by Bickram Ghosh, also a Hindustani classical musician and a fusion music director.

It is a mujra song which is being performed by a mujra singer in the midst of her admirers led by Debnarayan (Indradip Dasgupta), Narmada Shankar (Subrta Dutta) and their cronies in a boat sailing in River Ganga near the Varanasi ghats. Ajit (Ritwick Bandopadhyay), Byomkesh’s friend has gone for a stroll on the ghats of Varanasi. He is surprised to find Debnarayan on the boat enjoying the mujra performance just one day after the death of his uncle, Deepnarayan.

Song – Roothe Sajan Kaise Manaawe Ho Raama (Har Har Byomkesh) (2015) Singer – Sabina Mumtaz Alam, Lyrics – Sutapa Basu, MD – Bickram Ghosh

Lyrics

roothe sajan kaise manaawe ho raama. . .

roothe sajan kaise.. manaawe ho raama..aa
un dwaar kaise hum jaibe
un dwaar kaise hum jaibe  
saanjh saverwa..aa..aa
saa..aanjh saverwa
kaate bin sandeswa
saa..njh.. saverwa
kaate bin sandeswaa
ho dikhaike
ho o o dikhaike sapanwa paas na aaibe
dikhaike sapanwa  paas na aaibe
ho raa..aama..

kaise manaawe
roothe sajan kaise manaawe ho raama..
roothe sajan kaise.. manaawe 

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

रूठे सजन कैसे मनावे हो रामा॰॰

रूठे सजन कैसे॰॰ मनावे हो रामा॰॰आ
उन द्वार कैसे हम जईबे
उन द्वार कैसे हम जईबे
साँझ सवेरवा॰॰आ॰॰आ
साँ॰॰आँझ सवेरवा
काटे बिन संदेसवा
साँ॰॰आँझ॰॰ सवेरवा
काटे बिन संदेसवा
हो दिखईके
हो ओ ओ दिखईके सपनवा पास ना अइबे
दिखईके सपनवा पास ना अइबे
हो रा॰॰आमा॰॰

कैसे मनावे
रूठे सजन कैसे मनावे हो रामा॰॰
रूठे सजन कैसे॰॰ मनावे


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4346 Post No. : 15656 Movie Count :

4311

So far I have discussed three of the six feature films which Sai Paranjpye has directed in her filmy career – ‘Sparsh’ (1980) in “Geeton Ki Duniya Mein Sargam Hain Hum“,  ‘Chashm-e-Baddoor’ (1981) in “Is Nadi Ko Mera Aaina Maan Lo” and ‘Saaz’ (1997) in “Baa. . .dal Ghumadh Badh Aaye“. In this article, I take up one more film by her – ‘Disha’ (1990) which, is not well known to the public at large. Sai Paranjpye accords this film as her best feature film in terms of excellence in all the main departments of the film making – story, screen-play, dialogues, direction, and the acting contributions from all the actors associated with this film.

According to Sai Paranjpye, the story of the film was in the making process for about 17 years before it got fructified in 1990. The unique feature of the film is that the story is based on three different experiences she got over these 17 years which have no connection with each other. Yet, she weaved a story around three events linking them with a common theme of the problems of migrants and casual workers. She believed that the life around us offers so much material for the films that there is no need to get inspired from Hollywood movies. In other words, Sai Paranjpye’s sources of ‘plagiarisation’ are life around her.

Sometime in early 1970s, Sai Paranjpye made a visit to a village in Pune district along with her two friends who had adopted that village for water harvesting. During that time, she met a villager, an agricultural labourer who owned a small parcel of barren land. He was convinced that under his barren land was the source of water. So, for about 12 years, he had been digging the well, all alone in his free time, sometime even the whole night. But there was no trace of water. The villagers had branded him as a mad man. Fed up with his obsession for digging well, his wife has left him many times but would eventually return. And then one day, he struck water in the well. Villagers who were earlier calling him as mad man made him the hero of the village. The well was named after him. The story of that villager was cinematic but it was not enough to make a full-length film.

After few years, Sai Paranjpye met her friend, Sabhashini Ali (ex-wife of producer-director, Muzaffar Ali) in Mumbai. She was doing some social work among the mill workers who were mostly migrants and staying in what is known in Mumbai Chawls as Gala (a type of dormitory). This was at a time when old mills in Mumbai were in the verge of closure as they could not compete with mills with technologically advanced power looms.  She accompanied Sabhashini Ali to one of the Galas in mill area and was shocked to observe their staying conditions. In a single Gala, there were nearly 40 persons staying together in the shifts of 8 hours. They seem to enjoy their life. All were doing different activities – playing musical instruments, playing cards, shaving, some going out for practising lezim (folk dance). Sai Paranjpye talked to most of the mill workers after which she felt that it was a good theme for a cinema.

After some days, Sai Paranjpye once again met her two friends who had returned from Niphani after leading a protest against the tobacco growers and bidi makers for exploitation of tobacco workers. Those days, the middleman will recruit women from the nearby villages for making bidis at the end of which they would get daily wages based on the number of bidis they rolled in a day. But the middleman will exploit them by rejecting some rolled bidis on some false pretext. Also, some of the middlemen would make attempts for sexual favours as rewards for not rejecting some of the bidis rolled by them. Her two friends had taken up the issues with bidi factories and on behalf of the bidi workers.

With these three real stories, Sai Paranjpye wrote the script linking them with a common theme of the problems of migratory mill workers of Mumbai. This time, she decided to produce the film herself besides directing, writing the script, dialogues and songs. She roped in her favourite actors and also took Nana Patekar for the first time under her direction. The first part of the film was shot in a village near Pune. The second part of the film was shot in Mumbai in Sitaram and Indu Mills and the scenes of the migrant workers were shot in a real Gala of a Chawl. Some mill workers also acted in the films.

The main cast of ‘Disha’ (1990) consisted of Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Nana Patekar, Raghuvir Yadav, Rajshri Sawant, Neelu Phule, Shayaji Shinde, Achyut Potdar etc. The gist of the story of the film is as under:

Bakuri is a non-descript village about one hour from Pune by road. In this village, the family of Parshuram (Om Puri) consisting of his wife, Hansa (Shabana Azmi), his five children and his younger brother, Soma (Raghuvir Yadav) stays in a hut. Parshuram is an agricultural labourer and has a small barren land in which nothing grows on it except the wild-flowers. However, he is convinced that under his barren land is the source of water. Hence for the last 12 years, he has been digging well, all alone whenever he is free. Hansa resents Parshuram’s obsession with digging well and often threatens to leave him. Soma plans to go to Mumbai for getting a job as most of the time, he is unemployed.

Soma is very friendly with Basanta (Nana Patekar) who stays with his old and sickly father (Neelu Phoole) in a hut close to Parshuram’s hut. Basanta is also an agricultural labourer whose marriage has been fixed with Phoolwanti (Rajshri Sawant) from an adjoining village. Basanta’s father wants his marriage to be performed with fun fare for which he takes a loan of Rs.10000/- against the hypothecation of a cow and a buffalo. The marriage of Basant and Phoolwanti is solemnised.

Soma comes to Mumbai for job and stays in a Gala where 40 other mill workers are staying, a few from his village. He gets a job in the mill. He sends money to his brother, Parshuram every month and sometime also sends readymade garments for his nephews and niece. Basanta, after his marriage feels uncomfortable as he is unemployed and the loan instalments are to be repaid which his father has taken for his marriage. So, he also departs for Mumbai in search of employment and lands in mill workers’ gala where his friend, Soma is also staying. Basanta also gets the job in the same mill where Soma is working.

After getting to know the realities in working condition in Mumbai, Basanta is determined to return to his village after working in the mill for 2-3 years and also advises Soma to return to the village  with him so that with the money they earned, they can start a cooperative farming in the village. But Soma is determined to work in Mumbai for a long time as he is now addicted to the life of Mumbai.

After few months of stay in Mumbai, Basanta calls his wife, Phoolwanti to Mumbai to show her the city. One of his roommates in the gala arranges a independent room in a chawl for 7 days. After seeing the staying conditions of Basanta in Mumbai, his wife tells him to return to the village as early as possible when she leaves Mumbai for her village.

In the meanwhile, to run the household, both Hansa and Phoolwanti works in a bidi making unit to roll bidis for which they get daily wages in terms of the number of bidis rolled. But the munshi (Achyut Potdar) of the bidi making unit tries to exploit them by finding their faults while rolling the bidis for which no amount is paid. His intention is to force them to give him some sexual favours.

At one time, Basanta’s father writes a letter to him to come to the village for some urgent work. He returns and finds that his father has got a transistor radio and supplies of bidis from Munshi. He also comes to know that his wife is working for a bidi making unit. He is unhappy that his wife has to work for running the household.

The next day, Parshuram strikes water in the well which he has been digging for 12 years. The whole village rejoices and the mad Parshuram becomes a hero in the village. There is a felicitation by the entire village during which he declares that the water in the well is for the entire village.

Basanta returns to Mumbai earlier than schedule and his friend, Soma is surprised. Basanta tells him that he got bored in the village within two days. Then there is a twist in the story. Basanta who has been pressurising Soma to return to the village along with him after 2-3 years, decides that he is going to work in Mumbai on a long-term basis to earn good amount of money as Soma has been advising him. However, this time, Soma surprises him by revealing that his brother has struck water in the well and he is going back to the village to do farming. The film ends with Soma boarding a state transport bus which is driving to his village away from Mumbai with Basanta struck in Mumbai.

From the above narration, the story of the film looks simple. I found the film interesting to watch because Sai Paranjpye in her usual way has relied on visuals to speak for the story along with some punch-line dialogues. For example, Shabana Azmi regards the well as her ‘soutan’ as Om Puri spends more time in the well than in the house. Sometime, he takes his afternoon siesta in the well itself. To this, Om Puri’s repartee to Shabana Azmi is that she should be thankful that her ‘soutan’ is ‘baanjh’ (infertile); otherwise one more platoon of children would have joined the family. Here ‘baanjh’ has another meaning in that despite digging for many years, water has not struck in the well.

The film was released in Mumbai in November 1991 and thereafter in Pune by Sai Paranjpye as no one was willing to distribute the film. It generated interest in the initial few days with house-full board. After watching the film, Manmohan Desai offered to release the film in the Delhi circuit. With the releases in limited theatres. the box office collection could barely cover the budget of the film.

The film did not get any award in India. However, when the film was shown in Chennai International Film Festival in 1991 as a private entry (it could not be shown in Indian Panorama as it had not won any award), it was highly appreciated because of which over a period of time, the film got invitations  in as many as 23 international film festivals all over the world where it has won 5 awards with cash prizes including one at Cannes international film festival.

Sai Paranjpye has mentioned in her book that the film had three songs. However, I found only two songs in the film – one is a lavani song and the other a fun song. Songs were not released on audio format. I am presenting the fun song, “Bambai Bambai Bambai Bambai Bam’ sung by Vinay Mandke, Ravindra Sathe, Tyagraj Khadilkar, Arun Joglekar and Chorus. The song is written by Sai Paranjpye which is set to music by Anand Modak. I am not able to segregate the lyrics according to playback singers as I am not familiar with their voices except that of Ravindra Sathe. I have also observed that playback singers seem to lip sync for multiple actors  According to Sai Paranjpye, the ‘anokhe bol’ in the song have been rendered by Vinay Mandke in addition to his part of the song.

The song is picturised in a gala where about 40 mill workers stay. Except for about  10 actors, rest of the participants in the song are real mill workers staying in the gala. If one goes through the lyrics of the song, it would be observed that the sad realities of mill workers (or for that matter, migrant workers in general) have been presented in the mask of a fun song. In the last two stanzas, there are ‘locals verses migrants’ theme presented in ‘lavani’ style. The prelude music of the songs with “Dhak Dhak Dhak. . .” is akin to the sound generated by the power looms of a mill when they are operational.

This song is the essence of the film’s main theme. With this song, ‘Disha’ (1990) make a debut in the Blog.

Acknowledgements:

Some of the information about the background for making the film ‘Disha’ (1990) is based on

  1. An interview conducted by Sridhar Rangayan and Saagar Gupta titled ‘Queen of Humour: A Candid Interview with Award-Winning Director and Writer Sai Paranjpye,’ South Asianist, Vol 2, No.3 (2010).
  2. The Marathi book, ‘Sai – Maaza Kalapravaas’ (2016) written by Sai Paranjpye.

Song – Bambai Bambai Bambai Bambai Bam (Disha) (1990) Singer -Vinay Mandke, Ravindra Sathe, Tyagraj Khadilkar, Arun Joglekar, Lyrics – Sai Paranjpye, MD – Anand Modak
Chorus

Lyrics

dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak dhak dhak
dhak dhak
dhak dhak
dhak daa dham
dhak dhak
dhak dhak
dhak daa dham

arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
 
gaon mein behti doodh ki ganga aa
haay
gaon mein behti doodh ki ganga aa
kaanha murli bajaawat hai bhai 
kaanha murli bajaawat hai
aisa gokul chhoda… haay
aisa gokul chhoda bhai
kya narakpuri ye bhaawat hai
makdi ke jaal mein keeden ham
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
bam b-bam b-bam bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
bam b-bam b-bam bam
 
dhuaan gootan aur bimaari
dhuaan gootan aur bimaari
yahaan jawaan mard ke baal pakey
har kuchh bikta hai is nagri mein
bol tumhaara chaar takey
arre chaar take bhi naahin kam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
 
wahaan aankh bichaaye baithi radha
aansoo uske sookh gaye
wahaan aankh bichaaye baithi radha
aansoo uske sookh gaye
bachche jo peechhe chhode wo
shaql baap ki dbhool gaye
bachche jo peechhe chhode wo
shaql baap ki bhool gaye
arre bhool gaye to kya hai gham
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
bam bam bam bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
bam bam bam bam
 
haaaaaaaaaaa
arre kameenon
beimaanon
badh badh taane dete ho
phir bharti kyunkar hote ho
tum phir bharti kyunkar hote ho
dham chik chik dham chik dham
arre bina bhulaaye tum mehmaan
upar se ho namak haram
waapas jaao
hari gun gaao,,o
waapas jaao
hari gun gaao
yahaan tumhaara kya hai kaam
yahaan timhaara kya hai kaam
kissa abhi karo ye khatam
khatam khatam bhai karo khatam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
bam b-bam b-bam bam bam bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
bam b-bam b-bam bam bam bam
 
aiyya
paapi pet yahaan le aaya…aa….aa
arre paapi pet yahaan le aaya
nagar nahi ye bhul bhulaiyya
khoon paseena yahaan bahaaya
arre khoon paseena yahaan bahaaya
iss nagri ka namak chukaaya..aa aa aa aaa
yahin basera ho ab hardam
yahin basera ho ab hardam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
b-bam bam bambai
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam
arre bambai bambai bambai bambai bam


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4343 Post No. : 15648 Movie Count :

4310

‘Sparsh’ (1980) was Sai Paranjpye’s first feature film. Besides directing it, she wrote the story, screen-play and dialogues.  At the time of making of the film, she faced enormous problems at every stage – from the selection of actors to the submission of the film’s final print to the Central Board of Film Certification and then to the Feature Film Jury of the National Film Awards on due date. And if I go by what the director of the film has revealed through her interviews in newspapers and periodicals and also in her Marathi book, ‘Sai – Maaza Kalapravaas’, the major obstacles came from the producer of the film – Basu Bhattacharya, who was known in Hindi film industry as a stingy producer.

Sometime in the later half the 1970s (the actual year is not known), Sai Paranjpye produced a 10-minute documentary film on the visually impaired for Delhi Doordarshan to be telecast on the World Handicap Day. For this purpose, Sai Paranjpye had to visit a blind school to get a feel of how the blind students study and do extra-curricular activities. She had gone to the blind school with the apprehension in her mind as to whether she will be able to emotionally cope up with when she would witness them in the school.  However, she was pleasantly surprised to observe that the blind students were playing on the ground with a lot of excitement as if they were normal students. She also met the principal of the school who was also blind and had done PhD from the University of Wisconsin (USA). He looked savvy and dynamic – same as how a normal person at his position would look. Then an idea occurred to her that visually impaired persons need to be treated like normal persons more than showering pity and sympathy. This idea was translated in her TV documentary.

Sai Paranjpye, however, felt that 10-minute TV documentary was too short to cover the important aspects of what she had witnessed in the blind school. So, she expanded the subject into a telefilm titled ‘Raina Beeti Jaaye’ with Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Sushma Seth which was telecast on Delhi Doordarshan (year is not known but it has to be sometime in the later 1970s.). The film was well received and there were demands for its re-run on Doordarshan. This encouraged her to make a full-length feature film with a story revolving around a couple – one handicapped with blindness and the other a normal person who is emotionally handicapped. She also covered in the script some day-to-day incidences of the blind students. Thus, the idea of ‘Sparsh’ (1980) was born.

Sai Paranjpye had written the script of ‘Sparsh’ keeping in mind Sanjeev Kumar and Tanuja in the lead roles. However, after agreeing to work in the film, at the last moment, Sanjeev Kumar got himself out of the project when he came to know that the film was to be produced by Basu Bhattacharya. Probably, Sanjeev Kumar had a bad experience in working with Basu Bhattacharya in ‘Anubhav’ (1971) and ‘Girha Pravesh’ (1979). In his place, Naseeruddin Shah was roped in. Since the director was not sure about the working chemistry between Naseeruddin Shah and Tanuja, the latter was replaced by Shabana Azmi who had earlier worked with Naseeruddin Shah. When no one was ready to produce the film, Basu Bhattacharya offered to produce the film under his banner, Aarohi Films. The music direction was entrusted to Kanu Roy, the ‘darbaari’ musician of Basu Bhattacharya as Sai Paranjpye calls him. For lyrics, she selected her favourite, Indu Jain.

The film was to be majorly shot at Blind School Relief Association (BSRA) at Delhi. For the first time, Sai Paranjpye personally realised that Basu Bhattacharya, the producer was a stingy person. He had asked all the actors in the film to come for the shooting in their own dresses. Sai Paranjpye had to arrange for the uniform of the blind students in the film with a donation of cloth from a reputed cloth mill of Mumbai. The producer had arranged the free accommodation to all the actors and the technical staff in the hostel of BSRA which were barely comfortable. There are many more interesting anecdotes while making the film which have been described in Sai Paranjpye’s Marathi book referred to above in her own witty style.

Because of the subject of the film, a couple of philanthropists had given the donations for making the film which was naturally passed on to the producer of the film. In addition, there were many others who have contributed in the making of the film. In the credit title of the film, the list of such persons is bigger  than the list of the main and supporting actors. In short, my guess is that Basu Bhattacharya did not have to shell out much for the financing of the film as a producer.

It is worth noting that when ‘Sparsh’ (1980) was being made, Basu Bhattacharya was already working on his home production, ‘Griha Pravesh’ (1979). Aspersions were cast on the Aarohi Films that a part of the finance meant of ‘Sparsh’ (1980) was diverted for financing ‘Griha Parvesh’ (1979). So, the finance from the producer was not forthcoming on time for ‘Sparsh’ (1980). By the time the  film’s shooting was completed, Sai Paranjpye realised that she was not only the director but also a de facto production controller.

The film’s shooting was completed and was sent for processing at Bombay lab. But the prints had not come back for a long time. In fact, the Lab had not taken the processing of the film since Basu Bhattacharya had not cleared his dues to the lab on his earlier films. Since Sai Paranjpye wanted to send the film for participating in the National Film Awards, there was an urgency to complete the work on time. The producer of the film was not in a hurry to complete the process. Sai Paranjpye met the owner of Bombay lab and requested to take the processing of the film. She also assured him that  she would  arrange to pay for the processing out of her own resources. Thus, the film was processed, dubbed and a print of the film was sent in time as an entry for National Film Awards, 1980. The film won 3 National Film Awards – the best film, Sai Paranjpye for the best screen-play and Naseeruddin Shah for the best actor. The irony was that Basu Bhattacharya as a producer received the best film award for ‘Sparsh’ (1980) in the hands of the President with a cash prize.

It took another 4 years for ‘Sparsh’ (1980) to get a theatrical release in 1984. The premier of the film was held at Eros theatre in Mumbai. In 1985, the film won 3 Filmfare Awards – The best film and two awards for Sai Paranjpye for best director and the best dialogue. On the one side, the film was critically acclaimed not only in India but also in International film festivals held at London, Cairo, Beijing and Sydney. On the other side, barring Naseeruddin Shah who got all his dues from Basu Bhattacharya after putting much pressure on Basu Bhattacharya, no one including Sai Paranjpye, Shabana Azmi, Kanu Roy, Indu Jain, playback singer Sulakshna Pandit etc. got their dues from the producer for the film. For music director, Kanu Roy, it was his last film who died of cancer few months after the completion of the film.

Incidentally, Sai Paranjpye, in her film ‘Katha’ (1982) named Farooq Shaikh as Basu who was doing a negative character in the film. Is it symbolic or just a co-incidence?

The star cast of ‘Sparsh’ (1980) includes Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi in lead roles supported by Om Puri, Sudha Chopra, Mohan Gokhale, Arun Joglekar etc with scores of blind students.  Ustad Amjad Ali Khan made a guest appearance in the film as a sarod player.  The film was certified by the Censor Board on January 30, 1980. The film is now available for watching on a video sharing platform with English sub-titles and it is in HD. The gist of the story of the film is as under:

The story centres around the two main characters. Anirudh (Naseeruddin Shah) is the principal of a blind school who is handicapped by his blindness. Kavita (Shabana Azmi), a young widow is emotionally handicapped due to death of her husband. She has become reclusive and shuns the society. Her only hobby is the gardening and singing. Her close friend, Manju (Sudha Chopra) tries to bring Kavita out of her shell and suggests to work for the blind school of which her husband is one of the patrons. But she  does not succeed much.

On a party arranged by Manju on the occasion of her marriage anniversary, she invites Kavita who reluctantly agrees to attend. In the party, Kavita sees Anirudh whom she had briefly met near her house. She meets him and gets formally introduced as a principal of a blind school. After getting to know her background, Anirudh requests her to join his blind school as he finds it difficult to get the required sighted personals for the school. After much persuasion by Manju, Kavita joins the blind school.

After joining the blind school, children are happy with Kavita as they get the motherly treatment which was not there earlier. She makes them participate in extra-curricular activities like handicrafts, sports, plays, music etc. Anirudh is happy that the children have been kept busy in constructive activities. Over a period of time, both Anirudh and Kavita come closer and start liking each other’s company. They get engaged.

However, Anirudh starts developing complex of being visually handicapped. He feels that after marriage Kavita would get projected having made a great sacrifice in marrying a handicapped person. He would always feel low in front of Kavita. He may have to depend upon her after the marriage. So, he decides to call-off the engagement. Kavita is shocked by his decision but she diverts her mind by continuing her work among the blind students of the school. She learns Braille, (the language in which blind students read the books) and translate many books in Braille.

One day, Anirudh comes to Kavita’s house and request her to leave the blind school as according to him, it is creating the resentments among the other visually impaired staff and teachers. Actually, this is an excuse. The real reason is that Anirudh finds himself uncomfortable ever since he called off his engagement with Kavita. This time, Kavita tells him that she would not leave the school as it is her need to be with the 200 students of blind school. And if Anirudh forces her to leave, she would revolt against the order. After the few days of this incidence, Kavita, while in the school comes to know that Anirudh has been transferred to another blind school out of Delhi. Kavita tenders her resignation sighting the reason that the school needs Anirudh more than her.

When Manju comes to know about these developments, she goes to meet Anirudh in his office and tells him point blank that he has been seeing the imaginary issues in his marriage out of his complex and ego without giving any consideration the impact of his decision on Kavita’s life who has once again been emotionally shattered with his decision. After Manju’s friendly banter, the realisation comes to Anirudh’s mind. The film ends with a scene showing Anirudh slowly walking towards Kavita’s house.

The highlight of the film is Sai Paranjpye’s crisp screen-play and dialogues which I feel has made the film more interesting to watch with no melodramatic scenes. Naseeruddin Shah’s restrained performance as a blind principal of the school is one of his bests among his acting in the middle-of-the-road films. Before the shooting, he had spent about a fortnight with the blind principal of BSRA, Delhi to observe his mannerism and conduct. One can observe in the film that Sai Paranjpye has not shown him as blind man in a conventional way which we are used to see in Hindi films. He looks like a normal sighted man. It is only his mannerism in talking, walking, picking up of things etc which gives an impression of a blind man.

The title of the film ‘Sparsh’ is very apt which literally mean ‘touch’. But in a broader sense, it means ‘feeling’ which is the essence of the film. I will highly recommend the readers of this Blog to watch the film, preferably in one seating if not already seen.

‘Sparsh’ (1980) has 3 songs, all written by Indu Jain and sung by Sulakshna Pandit. The songs have been set to music by Kanu Roy. I am presenting the first song ‘Geeton Ki Duniya Mein Sargam Hain Hum’ sung by Sulakshna Pandit and chorus. In audio clip, there is an additional stanza. Overall, it is an inspirational song.

With this song, ‘Sparsh’ (1980) make a debut in the Blog.

Notes and Acknowledgements:

  1. Some of the information about the background for making the film ‘Sparsh’ (1980) is based on an interview conducted by Sridhar Rangayan and Saagar Gupta titled ‘Queen of Humour: A Candid Interview with Award-Winning Director and Writer Sai Paranjpye,’ South Asianist, Vol 2, No.3 (2010).
  2. The anecdotes and trivia included in the article are based on the Marathi book, ‘Sai – Maaza Kalapravaas’ (2016) written by Sai Paranjpye.

Video

Audio

Song – Geeton Ki Duniya Mein Sargam Hain Hum (Sparsh) (1980) Singer – Sulakshana Pandit, Lyrics – Indu Jain, MD – Kanu Roy
Chorus

Lyrics

geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum
gaao bachcho
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum
phir se gaao
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum
 
chalte hain kadmon mein manzil bhare
mutthi mein khushiyon ki kunji dhare
chalte hain kadmon mein manzil bhare
muthi mein khushiyon ki kunji dhare
toofaan mein ghir jaayen kashti hain hum
taazi hawaaon ke jhonkhe hain hum
shabaash
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum

phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum
 
nannhe dilon mein ummeeden hazaar
beejon mein jaise chhupi ho bahaar
nannhe dilon mein ummeeden hazaar
beejon mein jaise chhupi ho bahaar
kismat ki bagiya ke maali hain hum
kal ke karishme dikhaayenge hum
aa ha
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum

chhote umar mein  akal se badhe
himmat ki mitti mein khele badhe
bolo
chhote umar mein akal se bade
himmat ki mitti mein khele badhe
taaron ko choo aayen itna hai dam
sir chadh jo bole ko jadoo hain hum
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum
phir se gaao
geeton ki duniya mein sargam hain hum
phoolon mein khushboo ke parcham hain hum

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

गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम
गाओ बच्चो
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम
फिर से गाओ
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं ह

चलते हैं कदमों में मंज़िल भरे
मुट्ठी में खुशियों की पूंजी धरे
चलते हैं कदमों में मंज़िल भरे
मुट्ठी में खुशियों की पूंजी धरे
तूफाँ में घिर जाएँ कश्ती हैं हम
ताज़ी हवाओं के झोंके हैं हम
शाबाश
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम

नन्हें दिलों में उम्मीदें हज़ार
बीजों में जैसे छुपी हो बहार
नन्हें दिलों में उम्मीदें हज़ार
बीजों में जैसे छुपी हो बहार
किस्मत की बगिया के माली हैं हम
कल के करिश्मे दिखाएंगे हम
आ हा
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम

छोटे उमर में अकल से बड़े
हिम्मत की मिट्टी में खेले बढ़े
बोलो
छोटे उमर में अकल से बड़े
हिम्मत की मिट्टी में खेले बढ़े
तारों को छू आयें इतना है दम
सर चढ़ जो बोले वो जादू हैं हम
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम
फिर से गाओ
गीतों की दुनिया में सरगम हैं हम
फूलों में खुशबू के परचम हैं हम


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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over ELEVEN years. This blog has over 15700 song posts by now.

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

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