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

Archive for the ‘Post by Sadanand Kamath’ Category


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in 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 :

4131 Post No. : 15290 Movie Count :

4210

A couple of months’ back, I had come across a Hindi song ‘ruke ruke se kadam’ from a Bangla film, ‘Laal Pathore’ (1964) sung by Mubarak Begum under the music direction of Salil Chowdhury. I could not locate the picturised version of the song. The tune of the song gives me an impression that it is picturised as a mujra song. While it was a new song for me, the ‘mukhda’ of the song sounded familiar to me. Oh! Yes. It was the more famous song, ruke ruke se kadam from ‘Mausam’ (1975) sung by Lata Mangeshkar under the music direction of Madan Mohan. Both the songs have almost the same lyrics which are accredited to Gulzar. So, it is one song, composed in two tunes by two different music directors, depicting two different emotions.

There is a section of the Hindi film music lovers who feels that credit for both the songs should go to Mirza Ghalib as he had originally written this ghazal which Gulzar has merely changed a few words to give an easy understanding of the original words. So, I decided to make a reality check by comparing the original ghazal written by Mirza Gahlib and the versions written by Gulzar for both the films mentioned above.

The original ghazal written by Mirza Ghalib has five she’rs. The ghazal written by Gulzar for the Bangla film ‘Laal Pathore’ (1964) has four she’rs and that for ‘Mausam’ (1975) has three she’rs. Let us compare the she’rs of all the three versions of the ghazal in a tabular form for easy verification as to whether the ‘allegation’ on Gulzar has substance or not.

Original ghazal by Mirza Ghalib Gulzar’s version of the ghazal – ‘Laal Pathore’ (1964) Gulzar’s version of the ghazal – ‘Mausam’ (1975)
Ruke ruke se kadam
ruk ke baar baar chale.

Qaraar de ke tere dar se beqaraar chale.

Ruke ruke se kadam
mud ke baar baar chale.

Qaraar le ke tere dar se beqaraar chale.

Ruke ruke se kadam
ruk ke baar baar chale.

Qaraar le ke tere dar se beqaraar chale

Uthaaye phirte thhe ehsaan jism kaa jaan par.

Chale jahaan se to
ye pairahan uttaar chale.

Uthaaye phirte thhe ehsaan dil kaa seene par.

Tumhaare kadmon mein
ye karz bhi
utaar chale

Uthaaye phirte thhe ehsaan dil kaa seene par.

Le tere kadmon mein
ye karz bhi
utaar chale

Na jaane kaun si mitti watan ki mitti thhi.

Nazar mein dhool jigar mein liye ghubaar chale.

[Not used] [Not used]
Sahar naa aayi kayi baar neend se jaage.

Thhi raat raat ki ye zindagi guzaar chale.

Sahar naa aayi kayi baar aaftaab aaya.

Ham intezaar mein ye raat bhi guzaar chale.

Subah naa aayi kayi baar neend se jaage.

ki ek raat ki ye zindagi guzaar chale

Mili hai shama se ye rasm-e-aashiqui hamko.

Gunaah haath pe le kar gunaahgaar chale.

Shama se seekhi hai ye rasm-e-aashiqui hamne.

Gunaah haath pe le kar gunaahgaar chale.

[Not used]

Note: Bold words indicate changes from the original she’rs.

It will be observed from the above table that Gulzar has made only some cosmetic changes in the original ghazal written by Mirza Ghalib which has been used in the two films mentioned above. Hence, the credit for the two ghazals used in the films should have rightly gone to Mirza Ghalib. I am aware that Gulzar is a great fan of Mirza Ghalib and he had used Mirza Ghalib’s she’rs in a couple of his other songs including dil dhoondhta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din. So, I thought that he may have given due credit to Mirza Ghalib in his film ‘Mausam’ (1975) for his inspirations. But in the credit title of the film in DVD version, there is no acknowledgement to Mirza Ghalib.

Coming back to the song ‘ruke ruke se kadam mud ke baar baar chale’ from the Bangla film, ‘Laal Pathore’ (1964), as mentioned earlier, this song is not available in the DVD version of the film. I feel that this mujra song may have been partially used in the film. But the full song is available on the record version which was issued by Saregama (then HMV). There is another Hindi song in the film, ‘saans ke zakhm bhar raha hai koi’ written by Gulzar and sung by Manna Dey which is partially used in the film.

‘Laal Pathore’ (1964, Bangla) in which Uttam Kumar, Supriya Devi (Chaudhury) and Srabani Basu acted in main roles was later made in Hindi as ‘Laal Pathar’ (1971) with corresponding roles for Rajkumar, Hema Malini and Rakhi. Both the versions were directed by Sushil Majumdar. While Salil Chowdhury composed the music for Bangla version, Shankar-Jaikishan composed the music for Hindi version.

I was enthralled with the Ghazal King Madan Mohan’s version of the ghazal, ‘ruke ruke se kadam’ from ‘Mausam’ (1975)’ Let us now enjoy Salil Chowdhury’s version of the same ghazal in a different setting.

Lastly, let us also give credit to Mirza Ghalib for the lyrics of both the version of the ghazal along with Gulzar.

Audio link:

Song-Ruke ruke se kadam mud ke baar baar chale (Laal Pathore)(Bangla)(1964) Singer-Mubarak Begam, Lyrics-Gulzar, MD-Salil Chaudhary

Lyrics

ruke ruke se kadam mud ke baar baar chale
ruke ruke se kadam mud ke baar baar chale
qaraar le ke tere dar se beqaraar chale
qaraar le ke tere dar se beqaraar chale

sahar naa aayi kayi baar aaftaab aaya
sahar naa aayi kayi baar aaftaab aaya
sahar naa aayi kayi baar aaftaab aaya
ham intezaar mein ye raat bhi guzaar chale
ham intezaar mein ye raat bhi guzaar chale
qaraar le ke tere dar se beqaraar chale

shama se seekhi hai ye rasm-e-aashiqui hamne
shama se seekhi hai ye rasm-e-aashiqui hamne
shama se seekhi hai ye rasm-e-aashiqui hamne
gunaah haath pe le kar gunaahgaar chale
gunaah haath pe le kar gunaahgaar chale
qaraar le ke tere dar se beqaraar chale

uthaaye phirte thhe ehsaan dil kaa seene par
uthaaye phirte thhe ehsaan dil kaa seene par
uthaaye phirte thhe ehsaan dil kaa seene par
tumhaare kadmon mein ye karz bhi utaar chale
tumhaare kadmon mein ye karz bhi utaar chale
qaraar le ke tere dar se beqaraar chale
ruke ruke se kadam mud ke baar baar chale

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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 :

4128 Post No. : 15285 Movie Count :

4208

What is the common between the Hindi film song, “Jaa Tose Naahin Boloon Kanhaiyya from ‘Parivaar’ (1956) and a devotional song in Sanskrit,  “Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje”?  The answer is that they are based on Carnatic Raag Hamsadhwani (also written as Hansadhwani).

Raag Hamsadhwani is said to have been invented by Carnatic composer Ramaswami Dikshitar (1735-1817). His son, poet-composer, Muthuswami Dikshitar wrote and composed one of the most popular Sanskrit devotional song mentioned above in Raag Hamsadhwani. The credit for bringing this raag to Hindustani classical music goes to Ustad Aman Ali Khan (1888-1953) of Bhendi Bazar Gharana who had also learnt Carnatic music under a court musician of the Mysore State. He created and composed a bandish, “Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi Sang” in Raag Hamsadhwani.

Ustad Amir Khan, on a visit to Mumbai, met Ustad Aman Ali Khan and heard this bandish. He was so mesmerised by the bandish in Hamsadhwani that he started singing in his concerts both in Khayal and Taraana style which made it popular among the Hindustani classical vocalists and instrumentalists. Subsequently, many stalwarts among Hindustani classical vocalists such as Ustad Rashid Khan of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana, Vidushi Kishori Amonkar of Jaipur-Atruali Gharana, Pandit AT Kanan from Kirana Gharana, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, his daughter and son-in-law, Kaushiki Chakraborty-Desikan and Parthasarathi Desikan – all from Patiala Gharana, Begum Parveen Sultana of Patiala Gharana etc. have rendered Raag Hamsadhwani in their concerts.

Despite the popularity of Raag Hamsadhwani among the Hindustani classical vocalists and instrumentalists, Hindi film music directors have rarely used this raag in composing the songs. Probably, Salil Chowdhury may be the first Hindi film music director to compose a full-fledged song in this raag for the film ’Parivaar’ (1956) as mentioned above. C Ramchandra did use some shades of Raag Hamsadhwani in the song, “O Chaand Jahaan Wo Jaayen in ‘Sharada’ (1957). I feel that Shankar-Ehsan-Loy has also used some shades of this raag in his fusion song, “Tere Naina Hans Diye in ‘Chaandni Chowk to China’ (2009).

A few days back, Partha Chanda ji, in one of his comments in our Blog, has pointed out that there is a great classical piece in Ritwik Ghatak’s Bangla film ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (Cloud Capped Star), 1960.  I found out that there is not one but two classical Hindi songs in this film sung by Pandit AT Kanan and both are set in Raag Hamsadhwani. I have picked up one of the songs which is the bandish originally created by Ustad Aman Ali Khan.

I was not familiar with the name of Pandit AT Kanan. Since he was one of the ’Gurus’ at ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata since its inception in 1977, a brief profile of him was available on ITCSRA website. The following information about Pandit AT Kanan is mainly based on this source.

Pandit AT Kanan (18/06/1922 – 02/09/2004) was born in Chennai as Arkut Kannabhiran. As a teenager, singing became his hobby whereas cricket was his passion. At the age of 18, he joined Railways and played cricket for them. In early 1940s, Kanan visited Mumbai for a scheduled cricket match. After the match, he visited All India Radio, Mumbai to check the suitability of his voice for singing over the radio. When the AIR official heard his voice, they immediately offered him a program to be broadcast. This was the beginning of his tryst with Hindustani classical music.

On his transfer to Hyderabad, AT Kanan took the guidance for vocal training from Pandit Lahanu Babu Rao. He was once again transferred to Kolkata where he resumed training under Pandit Girija Shankar Chakraborty. In 1943, he gave his debut performance at All Bengal Music Conference. After about two years of his stay in Kolkata, Pandit Kanan was under orders of transfer. By this time, he had already established himself in Kolkata as a Hindustani classical vocalist of repute. His admirers persuaded him to leave the railway job and stay in Kolkata. Thus, he became a full time Hindustani classical vocalist.

Sometime in the 1950s, Pandit Kanan along with other musicians, established Kolkata Music Circle. Those days, Kolkata was one of the main centres of Hindustani classical music. Some of the Hindustani classical vocalists and instrumentalists used to regularly give their performance in the city. Pandit Kanan got opportunity to inter-act with Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Akbar Ali Khan, Vidushi Hirabai Barodekar etc.

Pandit Kanan’s renditions of the Raag ‘Hamsadhwani’, ‘Rageshri’, and ‘Jog’, among others, made him an extremely popular Khayal singer not only in Kolkata but also throughout the country. A top grade AIR artist, Pandit Kanan performed in all the important music conferences in the country, including National Programmes and Radio Sangeet Sammelans. He was also a playback singer in the Bengali films such as ‘Jadu Bhatta’ (1954), ‘Basanta Bahar’ (1957), ‘Megh Malhar’ (1958), ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1960), etc. He was bestowed with Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1995.

In 1958, he married Malbika Roy (later known as Malbika Kanan) who was also a Hindustani classical vocalist.

Although, Pandit Kanan developed his own style of Khayal singing, some Hindustani classical vocalists believe that later on, he was influenced by the Khayal singing style of Ustad Amir Khan with whom he used to regularly exchange notes. I guess, this may be the reason that on the ITCSRA website, Pandit Kanan has been shown under Kirana Gharana. Of course, Ustad Amir Khan had also improvised the style of Kirana Gharana which his disciples named as the Indore Gharana style.

‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1960), is the first of the trilogy of Ritwik Ghatak’s films on the aftermath of the partition of Bengal. Anil Chatterjee is a part of a family who has migrated from East Pakistan after the partition and are staying in the outskirt of Kolkata. He is the eldest son who is dreaming of becoming a Hindustani classical vocalist. He does not earn money for the family. Instead he is a wanderer. His sister (Supriya Devi) takes care of the family by earning but her efforts are not appreciated by any one in the family. In this process, she sacrifices her personal life (her fiancé is more interested in her sister than her) and her health for the betterment of the family. At the end, her serious illness becomes the burden on the family. And she still wants to live.

As mentioned earlier, Pandit Kanan’s Khayal rendition in Raag Hamsadhwani was regarded as the one of his most popular renditions those days. So, it was natural that he lips syncs for Anil Chatterjee for the bandish “Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi Sang” in Raag Hamsadhwani in the film ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1960).

The bandish has been rendered as a ‘chhota khayal’. Although the music director for the film was Anil Chandra Sengupta, credit should go to Ustad Aman Ali Khan who had originally composed the bandish.

I did not find the record version of the bandish used in the film on the websites. Probably, it may not have been issued in the record version. Hence, I have provided the link of an audio clip of the longer version of the same bandish rendered by Pandit AT Kanan.

Video

Audio (Longer Version)

Song – Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi-san  (Meghe Dhaka Tara) (1960) Singer – Pt AT Kanan, Lyrics – Ustad Aman Ali Khan, MD – Ustad Aman Ali Khan

Lyrics (Based on Video Clip)

laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
parama sukh aa
ati anandana aa
parama sukh aa
ati anandana aa
laa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laa..aagi lagan pa

laa aa aaaaaaaaaaa aa
laaaaaa..gi
laaaaaaaaaa. . .
laaaaaaaaa..gi
laaaaaaaaaaaaa aa
laaaaaaaaaaaaa aa aa…gi
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
 
[Dialogues]
 
ang sugandhan chandan maathe ti..lak dhare
ang sugandhan chandan maathe ti..lak dhare
drigan-nayanan anjana fabnatey
amar ho nit pati kaaje sadan
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan
laaa..aagi lagan
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
la..gi lagan
la..gi lagan
laagi lagan aaa


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 :

4123 Post No. : 15277 Movie Count :

4202

For the general Hindi film audience, Suchitra Sen (real name: Roma Dasgupta) is synonymous with her lead roles in ‘Bambai Ka Babu’ (1960) with Dev Anand, ‘Mamta’ (1966) with Ashok Kumar and ‘Aandhi’ (1975) with Sanjeev Kumar. The second category of audience with academic interest in Hindi films will add four more of her Hindi films – ‘Devdas’ (1955) in the role of Paro with Dilip Kumar, ‘Musafir’ (1957) with Shekhar, ‘Champakali’ (1957) with Bharat Bhushan and ‘Sarhad’ (1960) with Dev Anand. Those in the latter category of Hindi film buffs would also know that Suchitra Sen worked in many Bengali films and the Bengali film audience loved to watch their favourite on-screen couple, Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar.

I was in the second category insofar as Suchitra Sen was concerned until recently. But in my quest to get a few rare Hindi film songs in Bengali films made me to watch some of the popular and critically acclaimed Bengali films of the golden era (1950-75). In this process, I came to know about the important contributions made by Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar among others in reviving the Bengali film industry after the decline of big film productions banners like New Theatres, M P Productions (of P C Barua) and the collapse of the studio system.

Based on a number of articles available on-line including some from Gopal Krishna Roy, a film journalist with United News of India who remained one of the very few close confidants of Suchitra Sen until her death, I have given below some interesting aspects of her filmy career based on these readings:

1. Suchitra Sen (06/04/1931 – 17/01/2014) migrated from then East Bengal (now Bangla Desh) to Kolkata with her family in 1947. She joined film industry in 1952 when she was already married to Dibanath Sen, a Marine Engineer and the son of an Industrialist in 1947 at the age of 16.

2. She acted in her fist film ‘Shesh Kothay’ (1952, Bangla) which was never released. Her first officially released film was ‘Saat Number Kayedi’ (1953, Bangla)

3. Her second released film was ‘Sharey Chauttor’ (1953, Bangla), a light comedy film which was also her first film with matinee idol, Uttam Kumar, then nick named in the Tollygunj studio circle as a ‘flop hero’ because all the films he worked during 1948-52 were box office failures. With this film, Uttam Kumar made an impressive turnaround in his filmy career with Suchitra Sen. From this film onward, Bengali filmy audience adored them as the most iconic romantic pair in the Bengali films.

4. During her filmy career (1953-78), Suchitra Sen worked in 61 films (including 7 Hindi films) out of which she paired with Uttam Kumar in as many as 30 films. Almost all of their films were box office hits.

5. When Suchitra Sen was 39, she lost her husband, Dibanath Sen in 1970 while he was on a visit to USA. However, she kept her shooting schedules, more or less, as planned to avoid financial losses to the producers.

6. A glance through her filmography and brief story lines of most of her films gives an impression that Suchitra Sen had handled her filmy career, especially from 1960, onward very professionally. She appears to be selective in accepting the films. Most of her films have a strong story-line and she had almost equal footage in films along with lead actors. In this process, she had ensured that she had ample scope for portraying her characters in the films and was not over-exposed to her audience.

7. Suchitra Sen declined the offer of Satyajit Ray’s film because he had put a condition that she had to give bulk dates for shooting and during the making of the film, she should not work in any other films. Satyajit Ray decided to abandon the film rather than taking any other female actress. She had also declined the offer of Raj Kapoor to work in one of his films (My wild guess is that it was for ‘Sangam’ (1964) because he had also made an offer to Uttam Kumar for a role in his film ‘Sangam’ (1964) which he had also declined. The role went to Rajendra Kumar.)

8. Suchitra Sen was the first Bengali film actress to get the best actress award in any International Film Festival for her role in Bangla film ‘Saptapadi’ (1961) in Moscow International Film Festival, 1963.

9. After the box office failure of her last film ‘Pranay Pasha’ (1978), Suchitra Sen retired from the film industry at the age of 47. It was first thought that she had timed her retirement at the peak of her career. However, over a period of time, it became evident that with retirement from the films, she had also shunned public life. She spent her last 35 years in her house as recluse, confining herself with close circles of family and a few friends.

During her last 35 years, Suchitra Sen completely avoided public exposure. Even during the death of Uttam Kumar in 1980, she visited his house after mid-night to offer her condolence. It is believed that she had decline to accept Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 mainly to avoid the public appearance. In 2012, Government of West Bengal gave her ‘Banga Bibushan Award’ but she did not attend the function. Moon Moon Sen, her daughter accepted the Award on her behalf.

Suchitra Sen suffered from lung infections for which she was admitted in a Kolkata hospital sometime in December 2013. She had almost recovered from her ailment but on January 17, 2014, she got a cardiac arrest which took her life. As per her wish, her body was put in the casket with tinted glasses and was cremated as the earliest (in about 5 hours from the time of her death). So even in death, she ensured her privacy.

Dilip Kumar who had worked with Suchitra Sen in her first Hindi film ‘Devdas’ (1955) in the role of Paro, paid tributes to her upon her death in January 2014 which are reproduced below:

Suchitra had peerless, expressive eyes. She conveyed volumes with a single look. During an intense scene in Devdas, I had to look straight into her eyes and convey romance filled with pathos. She reacted uniquely, looking with equal intensity at me and doing a slight lip movement which was excellent. Bimal da complimented her after that shot and so did I.

Professional to the core, Suchitra maintained a distance from film folk and never opened up unless she was comfortable with the person she was interacting with. She preferred to work in silence. But she never disrespected anyone. As an artiste, she gave full respect to even a spot boy.

Her Hindi had a Bengali accent but it sounded sweet. She could give five modulations to a single dialogue. After Devdas, we worked in Musafir in 1957, but we were not paired together. I will never forget the serenity she lent to the bhajan, ‘man re hari naam karna’ by Lata Mangeshkar.

We shared a great work rapport, but I must confess, her pairing with Uttam Kumar was the greatest. Suchitra was unparalleled in ‘Saat Paake Bandha’, ‘Uttar Phalguni’ and ‘Deep Jwele Jai’. An actress of international calibre, her looks were simply haunting. [Source: The Times of India, updated version dated 17/01/2017].

Many of Suchitra Sen’s Bangla films were not only box office hits, some of them were critically acclaimed and were remade in Hindi like ‘Mamta’ (1966) from ’Uttar Phalguni’ (1963), ‘Kora Kaagaz’ (1974) from ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ (1963), ‘Khamoshi’ (1966) from ‘Deep Jwele Jaai’ (1959) etc.

I am presenting a Hindi song ‘zindagi ki ye bhool thhi’ from the film ‘Uttar Phalguni’ (1963, Bangla) sung by Sandhya Mukherjee. The name of the lyricist is not known. The song was set to music by Robin Chatterjee.

Suchitra Sen had a double role – both mother and daughter in this film which was produced by Uttam Kumar. But he did not act in this film. Suchitra Sen later did the same double role in the Hindi version ‘Mamta’ (1966).

Unfortunately, the video clip of the song is not available. In fact, I did not find the song in the DVD of the film. Since Sandhya Mukherjee had sung for Suchitra Sen in this film, I guess, the song was picturized on Suchitra Sen. The wordings of the song give me an impression of a mujra song, the similar situational song in Hindi version of the film could be rahte thhe kabhi jinke dil mein.

Audio Clip:

Song-Zindagi ki ye bhool thhi (Uttar Phalguni)(Bangla)(1963) Singer-Sandhaya Mukherjee, MD-Robin Chatterji

Lyrics

aa aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi
pyaar kisi se ho gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi
mohabbat ki thandi chhaon mein
naadaan dil thha so gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi

kaisi ye dillagi huyi
dil nahin akthiyaar mein
kaisi ye dillagi huyi
dil nahin akthiyaar mein
gumnaam ek sandesha hai
koyal ki har pukaar mein
gumnaam ek sandesha hai
koyal ki har pukaar mein
lut gayi main to jeete jee
haay kisi ke pyaar mein
phool dikha ke dhool mein
kaanta koi chubho gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi

meri nasheeli aankh mein ae
meri nashee….li aankh mein
tasveer kiski bas gayi
tasveer kiski bas gayi
khel samajh ke prem ke
jaal mein main to phans gayi
lut gayi dil ki har khushi
lut gayi dil ki har khushi
hansne ko main taras gayi
saahil pe la ke naav ko
saahil pe la ke naav ko
mallah khud dubo gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi
pyaar kisi se ho gaya
zindagi ki ye bhool thhi


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 :

4115 Post No. : 15268 Movie Count :

4196

I came to know about actress Chhaaya Devi for the first time some time in 2011 when I found her name mentioned in Kidar Sharma’s autobiography, ‘The One And Lonely Kidar Sharma’ (2002) in the context of the shooting of the film ‘Vidyapati’ (1937). At that time, I thought her to be one of many female actors connected with New Theatres who had short acting career. For me, the only female actor of that time who mattered in Kolkata film industry was actor-singer Kanan Devi. What a wrong impression I had about Chhaya Devi when I came to know later that she had a long filmy career of over 5 decades – both in Bangla and Hindi films.

Being born in Bhagalpur and a part of her schooling done in Delhi, Chhaya Devi (1914-27/04/2001) was proficient in Hindi besides her mother tongue, Bengali. Sometime in early 1930s, her family shifted to Kolkata when she was put under the tutelage of K C Dey, the singer and music director. She was trained in Hindustani classical music and sang Khayal and Thumri on All India Radio. She was also trained in Kathak dance. It was on the recommendation of K C Dey that Chhaya Devi got her first bilingual film in Bengali and Hindi under the banner of New Theatres (NT), ‘Sonar Sansaar’/’Sunehra Sansaar’ (1936) which was directed by Devaki Bose.

Chhaya Devi’s next bilingual film for NT in Bengali and Hindi was ‘Vidyapati’ (1937) in which she did the role of Queen Laxmi, which brought her fame. Another NT film, ‘Abhinetri’/’Haar Jeet’ (1940) in which she acted did not find favour with the audience. Outside NT, she did ‘Chowranghee’ (1942) for Fazli Brothers.

After having worked in Kolkata in about 15 films, Chhaya Devi worked in Mumbai with her first film ‘Mera Gaon’ (1942) directed by Sarvottam Badami in which Jairaj was the hero. Probably, she came to Mumbai along with her mentor K C Dey who was the music director for the film. From her filmography, it appears that she had 2-year hiatus from the film industry (1943-45).

From the late 1950s onward, Chhaya Devi had already shifted to doing character roles in films. It is interesting to note that it is during this phase of her career that she became hyper active in doing Bengali films. For example, in the 1960s, she did around 40 films and in the 1970s, the figure was about 30. Her last film was ‘Tomar Rakte Amaar Sohag’ (1993). In all, she worked in about 120 films.

Some of the Hindi films in which Chhaya Devi worked were ‘Sunehra Sansaar’ (1936), ‘Vidyapati’ (1937), ‘Haar Jeet’ (1940), ‘Mera Gaon’ (1942),’Chowranghee’ (1942), ‘Shri Ramanujam’ (1943), ‘Uttara Abhimanyu’ (1946), ‘Ratnadeep’ (1951), ‘Mamta’ (1966), ‘Tu Hi Meri Zindagi’ (1965), ‘Zindagi Zindagi’ (1972), ‘Alaap’ (1977), ‘Rang Birangi’ (1983). These films were mostly bilingual or the remakes of Bengali films.

Recently, I have watched about half a dozen Bengali films directed by Tapan Sinha in which Chhaya Devi had acted in them. I have also watched a few of her other films. What I have realised with my limited exposure to some of her Bengali and Hindi films that Chhaya Devi was a versatile actress. If she was widow, Anandima in ‘Apnajan’ (1968) who is virtually a peacekeeper between two warring groups of unemployed youth, she is equally good in portraying the villainous looking but soft at heart madam (Baijee) in ‘Uttar Falguni’ (1963)/’Mamta’ (1966). Also, her portrayal of a dominating mother was effective in ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ (1963) which was remade in Hindi as ‘Khora Kaagaz’ (1974). In Hindi films, we have Lalita Pawar, Achala Sachdev, Meena Kumari doing their respective specialized roles very convincingly. In my view, Chhaya Devi was ‘three-in-one’ for Bengali films.

Chhaya Devi was not only a talented actress, she was also a good singer. She had the potential to becoming one of the leading singer-actors in Bengali film industry. Alas! It was not to be. While apart from talent, the luck factor plays an import role in making a film artist successful, I feel that in the case of Chhaya Devi, there was another factor which may have put a sort of speed breaker in the early part of her filmy career. And that factor was the successful emergence of actor-singer Kanan Devi, the first female super star of the Indian film industry.

When Chhaya Devi joined the Bengali film industry, Kanan Devi was already on a threshold of becoming a successful actor-singer. Kanan Devi’s stint with NT during 1937-41 and thereafter with M P Productions of P C Barua in 1942-48 did not give Chhaya Devi the much scope to show her histrionic. Incidentally, Chhaya Devi never got opportunity to worked with K L Saigal and also with P C Barua, an eminent director.

One of the Tapan Sinha’s films in which Chhaya Devi has portrayed the role of madam (Baijee) of a brothel was ‘Harmonium’ (1976). In this film, she sings two songs on herself. The film is available for viewing in 5 parts on a video sharing platform. The story in brief as I understood from the film is as under:

In this film, harmonium has been used as props. The harmonium which was first purchased by an aristocrat widower for her daughter for learning music has to be auctioned as the father dies and his estate manager forges his property paper to his name making the daughter orphaned. All through the harmonium’s journey through various section of the society, it is branded as ill luck to the family owning it.

The harmonium now goes to a middle-class home and then to a brothel. The harmonium is used for singing and dancing activities of the brothel. However, a murder takes place in the brothel forcing Baijee to leave the place with the harmonium. Finally, harmonium is bought by a Government officer for his daughter to learn music where the aristocrat’s orphaned daughter is the governess. After seeing the harmonium which was the same as the one bought by her aristocrat father, the governess is painfully reminded of her childhood days and is worried about the ill luck it may bring to the family. The film ends with a song which the governess is teaching to the daughter of Government officer.

As I have mentioned earlier, in this film, Chhaya Devi sings two songs one of which is in Hindi. I am presenting the song ‘armaan kuchh to dil mein tadapte hi rah gaya’. It is a short thumri of less than 2 minutes, written in a ghazal format. The name of the lyricist is not known though in one of the audio clips, the song is attributed to Gulzar saab. But I have not been able to get it confirmed from any other reliable sources. The song has been set to music by Tapan Sinha. I thought that at least the audio clip of SAREGAMA (HMV) may have full song. But it is also of the duration of less than 2 minutes.

This song is one more example of Chhaya Devi’s versatility in acting and singing. Note how nicely she uses the ‘harkat’ and ‘taan’ when she repeats the lines. Also note her gestures, ‘mudras’ and expressions. She may have learnt all these from her training in classical singing and kathak dance training.

Video


Audio Clip:

Song-Armaan kuchh to dil mein tadapte hi rah gaya (Harmonium)(Bangla)(1976) Singer-Chhaaya Devi, MD-Tapan Sinha

Lyrics

aa aa aa
armaan
armaan kuchh to dil mein tadap…a a a
te hi rah gaya aa
te hi rah gaya aa
kuchh aansoo banke
banke
kuchh aansoo banke
banke
aankhon mein…en en en
aaya ke dhal gaya
haay
aaya ke dhal gaya

aa aa aa
karte khuda se ishq gar
aur ban jaayen aur bhi kuchh
bandon ke ishq ne mujhe
ae ae ae ae
banda bana diya
haay
banda bana diya


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 :

4111 Post No. : 15262 Movie Count :

4193

The troika of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen had taken Indian cinema to a great height from the 1950s onward. They were regarded as the harbinger of the new wave cinema, also called the parallel cinema. They were all from Bengal and made the films mostly in Bengali. But they had not only had the pan India reach but also, they were globally famous through their films. They won many awards – both National and International.

Tapan Sinha was one more film-maker from Bengal who was a contemporary of Satyajit-Ghatak-Mrinal. He also made mostly Bengali films and had won National and International awards. But the general impression carried in the film circle was that he was not in league with the the troika. The reason was that he was regarded as ‘the middle of the road’ film maker whose films would have some mild doses of commercial ingredients. It is only after Tapan Sinha’s death in January 2009 that some film writers feel that he should have been a part of quartet, Satyajit-Ghatak-Mrinal-Tapan for the realism depicted in his films.

Tapan Sinha made his first film ‘Ankush’ (1954) in Bengali. Since then until 2000, he made 37 films which included some films in Hindi like ‘Zindagi Zindagi (1972), ‘Sagina’ (1974), ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut’ (1991) etc. He also made some children’s films like ‘Safed Haathi’(1978), ‘Aaj Ka Robinhood’ (1987). Most of his films were based on the stories written by well-known Bengali writers like Gurudev Rabiindranath Tagore, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, Ramapada Chowdhury, Samresh Basu etc.

Some of Tapan Sinha’s successful Bengali films were remade in Hindi. These include ‘Mere Apne’ (1971) by Gulzar adapted from ‘Apanjan’ (1968), ‘Baawarchi’ (1972) by Hrishikesh Mukherjee from ‘Gulpo Holeo Satti’ (1966), ’Zindagi Zindagi’ (1972) from ‘Khoniker Atithi’ (1959), ‘Sagina’ (1974) from ‘Sagina Mahato’ (1970) and ‘Ijaazat’ (1987) from ‘Jatugriha’ (1964).

‘Haate Baazare’ (Market Place, 1967) was one of the successful films in Bengali directed by Tapan Sinha. Ashok Kumar and Vyjayantimala were in the lead roles with Rudraprasad Sengupta, Ajitesh Bandopadhyay, Bhanu Bandopadhyay, Chinmoy Roy, Chhaya Devi, Samit Bhanja, Partho Mukherjee etc in the supporting roles. It was the first Bengali film for Vyjayantimala. Probably, it was also for the first time, Vyjayantimala sang for herself a Bengali song, cheye thaki cheye thaki along with Mrinal Chakraborty in this film. Vyjayantimala did not know Bengali. But Tapan Sinha did not dub her dialogues in the film with borrowed voice, Instead he made her to rehearse her dialogues after listening to the pre-recorded dialogues on the cassette.

The film was based on a novel of the same name by Banaphul (real name: Balai Chand Mukhopadhyay). The film is available for watching on video sharing platform but there are no English subtitles for those who do not understand Bengali. Still, one can get a feel of the story of the film.

Dr. Mukherjee (Ashok Kumar) is a doctor in a tribal town in Birbhum. He is well respected by the tribal folks as well as others which include Chhipli (Vyjayantimala), a young widow. In his jest to serve the people, Dr Mukherjee has no much time to attend to his wife’s illness of a chronic heart ailment. After the death of his wife, Dr Mukherjee leaves his job and starts a mobile clinic for the poor. Lachhman Lal (Ajitesh Bandopadhyay), the spoilt son of a local landlord is at a loggerhead with him as he protects Chhipli from his lustful eyes. This is resented by Lachhman Lal and as a vengeance, he spreads the rumour about Dr Mukherjee’s relationship with Chhipli who has been working with him as his assistant.

In a night of a tribal get-together where Chhipli also participates in songs and dances, Lachhman Lal hoodwinks Chhipli by sending a message through Nani (Chhaya Devi) that she has been called by Dr Mukherjee. On her way back, he tries to molest Chhipli. In the nick of time, Dr Mukherjee saves her but, in the fight, Dr Mukherjee strangulates Lachhman to death and in the process, he is also seriously injured. Dr Mukherjee dies the next day. But Chhipli continues to carry forward the work of the mobile clinic in the village with the help of a young doctor.

The film was not only a commercial success, it also won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film.

By the way, there is a train named as ‘Haate Bazare Express’ which runs from Sealdah (Kolkatta) to Saharsa Junction/Purnia.

‘Haate Baazare’ (1967) had 3 songs, one of which I am presenting here because it is in Hindi. The song is ‘aage aage nanadi chale peechhe nanadaya’ sung by Chinmoy Roy, Mrinal Chakraborty and Aarati Mukherjee. The song is set to music by Tapan Sinha. The name of the lyricist for Hindi song is not mentioned. But the wordings of the song seem to indicate that it is a traditional song. Incidentally, Majrooh Sultanpuri also used some lines from this song in pyaare nanadaya sarota kahaan bhool aaye for Hindi film, ‘Zamaana’ (1985), strengthening my guess that it is based on a traditional folk song. Most importantly, this song has the quality of captivating the listeners and the folk song has that quality even with the meaningless lyrics.

In the song, while Chinmoy Roy sings for himself, Mrinal Chakraborty sings for an actor whom I guess to be Partho Mukherjee. He sings in a mix of Bengali and Hindi words, probably that is the dialect spoken in Birbhum, a border district with Bihar. Aarati Mukherjee sings for Vyjayantimala.

Enjoy this fun filled teasing song.

Video


Audio

Song-Aage aage nanadi chale peechhe nanadaiyya (Haatey Baazaarey)(Bangla)(1967) Singers-Chinmoy Roy, Mrinal Chakraborty, Aarti Mukherjee, MD-Tapan Sinha
Chorus

Lyrics(Based on Audio Clip)

aage aage nanadi chale peechhe nanadaiyya
aage aage nanadi chale peechhe nanadaiyya
aur uske peechhe main bechaari
mere peechhe sainyyaa
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

aage aage nanodi chole peechhe nanodini
aage aage nanodi chole peechhe nanodini
aur taar peechhone aami choli
aamaar peechhe shojni
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

nat mori nanadi khaayi peda nanadaiyya
nat mori nanadi khaayi peda nanadaiyya
main bechaari rabdi khaaye
main bechaari rabdi khaaye
joothha chaate sainyyaa
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

nanadi mori thhaali dikhaaye chaate nanadaiyya
nanadi mori thhaali dikhaaye chaate nanadaiyya
main bechaari paan khaaun
main bechaari paan khaaun
choona chaate sainyyan
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

aage aage nanodi chole peechhe nanodini
aar taar peechhone aami chaale
aamaar peechhe sojni
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye

aage aage nanadi chale peechhe nanadaiyya
aur uske peechhe main bechaari
mere peechhe sainyyaa
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
aage aage nanadi chale peechhe nanadaiyya
aage aage nanadi chale peechhe nanadaiyya
aur uske peechhe main bechaari
mere peechhe sainyyaa
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye
pyaare nanadaiyya
sarota kahaan bhool gaye


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 :

4098 Post No. : 15244 Movie Count :

4189

Films are regarded as director’s medium. He is like a captain of the ship. It is the director’s responsibility to make his film successful – critically as well as financially.

A film director may have directed many successful films but he will generally be known by his one classic cult film. For instance, when we talk about PC Barua, ‘Devdas’ (1935) comes to our mind first though he had directed other successful films like ‘Mukti’ (1937) and ‘Jawaab’ (1942).  In case of Mehboob Khan, it is ‘Mother India’ (1957) though he had directed many successful films in the 1940s. K Asif and ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ (1960), Guru Dutt and ‘Pyaasa’, (1957) and Kamal Amrohi and ‘Pakeezah’ (1972) are inseparable. In the international arena, Raj Kapoor is known more for his film, ‘Aawaara’ (1951) than other equally successful films. This is not an exhaustive list.

But there is one film director who is known by his flop film in the genre of satirical comedy. The film is ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ (1983) and the director is Kundan Shah. In an interview held sometime in 2012 on the occasion of the re-release of the film in digitised version, he had said he considered this film as his failed project though it has attained a cult status.

Remembering Kundan Shah today, October 7th on his 2nd Remembrance Day who excelled in projecting the serious social issues in soft comedies through films and TV serials. I became aware of him with his very first film which I had watched on TV much before he became well known by his TV serials.

I found it very difficult to get the information on Kundan Shah’s early life before he ventured into films and TV serials. A book, ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron – Seriously Funny Since 1983’ (2010) written by Jai Ajay Singh was supposed to have some information about his early life. But the book has remained out of stock for some time. However, a preview of some pages of the book was available online which gave me some information about the early life of Kundan Shah.

Born in a Gujarati family, Kundan Shah spent his childhood in Aden (now in Yemen) and did his schooling there until the age of 13 when his family shifted to Mumbai. He completed his schooling and thereafter his graduation in commerce. He worked for a publishing house for about 4 years before enrolling himself in the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in 1973 for direction. It is at FTII, he found interest in the genre of comedy during the second year of the course.

As a project in FTII, he made a 25-minute diploma film titled ‘Bonga’ (Siren) which the students of direction have to make in the final year. The film was a farcical comedy involving a gang of five people attempting a bank robbery. The cast included FTII students like Satish Shah, Rakesh Bedi, Suresh Oberoi, Om Puri etc. There were no dialogue in the film except each one of the gang of five yelling ‘bonga’. Bhaskar Chandavarkar, an instructor in FTII at that time (who was also a music director) composed the background music. The film was critically acclaimed by his fellow students in FTII. His seniors in FTII like Naseeruddin Shah and Saeed Akhtar Mirza were surprised as to how this serious looking man could have made a graceful comedy film out of the nonsensical ideas.

After completion of his diploma in FTII in 1976, Kundan Shah struggled for a couple of years to find the opening in the film industry. He formed a commune of some of his fellow FTII diploma holders and produce short documentary films. However, in this work, Kundan Shah ran into financial problems. Almost all of his colleagues had already been disillusioned with their career and left for their respective places. Kundan Shah also moved to England with his family and worked there to make enough money to pay off his debt.

Kundan Shah returned to India after about 18 months. He got an attractive offer from the maker of ‘Gandhi’ (1981) to work as Assistant Director for six months at a monthly salary of Rs.10,000/-. The offer was very tempting. He consulted his colleague, Saeed Akhtar Mirza who dissuaded him from accepting the offer as he would mostly be doing the work of crowd controlling during the outdoor shooting. Instead, Saeed Mirza coxed him to write a script and make the film himself. In the meanwhile, Kundan Shah worked as Assistant Director in  Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai’ (1980) and Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Sazaa-e-Maut (1981). These association also put pressure on him to direct a film as his FTII fellow students, Saeed Mirza and Vidhu Vinod Chopra had already made films. It is at this point of time, Kundan Shah decided to make a feature film which resulted in making his first film ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ (1983).

As I came to know from the video clips of interviews of Kundan Shah, Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Sudhir Misra and others, it was a long struggle for completing the film and releasing it. Kundan Shah wrote the story and script based on the experiences of two of his fellow FTII students who after failing to get any assignment from the film industry, decided to open a photo studio and undertake fashion and industrial photography. Their bad experiences in the venture became the main theme of the story coupled with Kundan Shah’s personal experiences in dealing with a rationing office in Mumbai for the release of cement quota for repairs to drainage system in his building where he was the Secretary.

When the script was ready, no producer/financier was willing  to invest in the film based on his script. Some financiers termed the script as idiotic. As a last resort, Kundan Shah approached National Film Development Corporation (NDFC) to take a loan for producing the film himself. The total cost film production was expected to be around Rs. 7 lakhs and NDFC would grant the loan only up to 75% of the cost after their Script Committee approved the script. However, Kundan Shah got a pleasant surprise when NDFC not only approved his script but also offered to produce the film under its banner as they thought that the script was an effective commentary on the situations prevailing in the country. So financial side of the problem got sorted out.

Next was the selection of actors and the crew for the film. With a budget of only Rs.7 lakhs, engaging the established actors even for the main roles was out of question. Kundan Shah relied on his FTII colleagues and the actors/ crews from IPTA/National School of Drama. The actors included Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Satish Shah, Satish Kaushik, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapoor, Bhakti Bharve, Neena Gupta, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Deepak Qazir, Rajesh Puri, Ashok Banthia and Jaspal Sandhu. Some of the actors also worked behind the camera. For instance, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Deepak Qazir were the Production Controllers. Satish Kaushik was one of the dialogue writers. Renu Saluja was the editor for the film beside the assistant director.

Naseeruddin Shah had revealed in an interview that during the making of the film, he was feeling uneasy with the script as he felt that all he was doing appeared to him to be nonsensical. He had arguments with Kundan Shah on several occasions but at the end it was Kundan Shah whose writ prevailed. Even after the completion of the film, Naseeruddin Shah was pessimistic about the success of the film.

The film was released in a few theatres in Mumbai in and some other cities in August 1983. The film received a lukewarm response from the audience. The film was withdrawn after a week in Mumbai and ran in a few theatres only for morning shows. In Delhi, the film ran for 37 weeks in a single theatre for morning show only. The film was also shown on then newly set up DD Metro Channel on the week-ends for a month or so. Gul Anand, the producer of some off-beat comedy films like ‘Khatta Meetha’ (1978) and ‘Chashme-e-Buddoor’ (1981) after watching the film had said to Kundan Shah that if he had not seen the film and only read the script , he would have thrown it out of his window. This shows how Kundan Shah made an interesting film out of the nonsensical script. The lukewarm response for the film was a setback for Kundan Shah. He did not venture into directing any film for the next 10 years.

After about 30 years, ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ (1983) was digitally restored and was re-released in November 2012 in multiplexes in Mumbai and in some major cities by which time, the film had already attained a cult status.

In the meanwhile, television was becoming a mass media with a pan India reach. In 1984, Doordarshan permitted the sponsored TV serials produced outside Doordarshan on its National Channel. Kundan Shah and many other persons associated with film industry took this as an opportunity and started their association with the producers of TV Serials. Kundan Shah made his debut on Television by directing some episodes of ‘Ye Jo Hai Zindagi’ (1984). It ran on Doordarshan with 67 episodes some of which were directed by Manjul Sinha and Raman Kumar. Actors were drawn from FTII and theatres. The serial had a phenomenal run which rediscovered Kundan Shah as a master of directing situational comedy.

With the runaway success of ‘Ye Jo Hai Zindagi’, Kundan Shah became the partner in Iskra Films, a TV serial producing company started by Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Aziz Mirza. ‘Nukkad’ (1986) was its first production.  The other successful TV Serials in which Kundan Shah was associated with were ‘Wagle Ki Duniya’ (1988) and ‘Circus’ (1989).

After a gap of more than 10 years, Kundan Shah decided to make a film on the script he wrote in the genre of romantic comedy. The film’s original title ‘Albela’ had to be changed to ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na’ (1994) as this title was already registered by someone with Film Producers Associations like IMPPA. As usual for Kundan Shah, the film was delayed for a variety of reasons. The original lead actors, Amir Khan and Juhi Chawla withdrew from the film due to delay in finding a producer/financier. Shahrukh Khan, who was originally taken for the role which eventually went to Deepak Tijori, was promoted as a lead actor with Suchitra Krishnamoorthy.

After completion, the film remained in the cans for nearly 18 months as no distributor was willing to release the film probably due to the hero turning out to be loser in the end. This was the status of this film despite the fact that by this time, Shahrukh Khan was already on his path to become a super star due to box office successes of his films like ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’ (1992), ‘Deewana’ (1992), ‘Darr’ (1993) and ‘Baazigar’ (1993). Finally, Shahrukh Khan in partnership with one of his friends from the film industry released the film in February 1994. Though the film was regarded as an average success after the release, over a period of time, the film has earned more than 5 times its cost and it has also attained a cult status for Kundan Shah.

It was another six years after ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ (1994) that Kundan Shah took ‘Kya Kehna’(2000) for direction which was Preity Zinta’s debut film. This was Kundan Shah’s first mainstream film which was devoid of any comedy. On the contrary, Kundan Shah tackled a serious issue of pre-marital pregnancy with sensitivity. As usual for Kundan Shah, this film was also delayed in getting released. Once it got released, it was  the pleasant surprise to all concerned with the film that it was a box office hit.

The next in lines of films which Kundan Shah directed were ‘Hum To Mohabbat Karega’ (2000), ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’ (2002) and  ‘Ek Se Badkar Ek’ (2004). All the three films flopped at the box office making him to take a virtual retirement from the mainstream films. He returned to his foray of making films with off-beat themes in ‘Teen Behanen’ (2005), based on a real-life story of three sisters who committed suicide because their father could not afford to pay dowry. The film remained unreleased till date.  His last film was a political satire, ‘P Se PM Tak’ (2015) which was a disaster at the box office.

Kundan Shah died in sleep of heart attack on October 7, 2017 at his residence. One of the emotional tributes on his death was that of Shahrukh Khan whom he compared like his mother. He said ‘I was 25 when I came to Mumbai. I have stayed in Kundan’s house and I have been fed by his family and taken care of by them’. Shahrukh Khan had worked in a few episodes of Kundan Shah’s TV Serials, ‘Wagle Ki Duniya (1988) and as a lead actor in ‘Circus’ (1989). His close friends who had been regular visitors to his office said that Kundan Shah’s office cupboard was full of film scripts in various stages. Sadly, there were no takers for these scripts to turn them into films.

As a tribute to Kundan Shah on the occasion of his 2nd Remembrance Day, I am presenting a song from ‘Kya Kehna’ (2000) which was directed by him. The song is ‘Ae Dil Laaya Hai Bahaar, Apnon Ka Pyaar, Kya Kehna’. The song is rendered by Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy on the words of Majrooh Sultanpuri which was set to music by Rajesh Roshan. The song has two versions – happy and sad, the latter version being also a inspirational song.

Hariharan lip syncs for Anupam Kher, Chandrachud Singh and Mamik Singh while Kavita Krishnamurthy lip syncs for Farida Jalal, Preity Zinta and Nivedita Bhattacharya (in sad version). On the sound track, some lines of the song have been rendered as duet, but in the film, it is for all the actors present in some scenes.

The tune of the song is a straight lift from Oh Carol, I am but a fool, darling I love you, though you treat me cruel, sung by pop singer, song writer and composer, Neil Sedaka in  1957.

Happy Version

Sad Version

Song – Ae Dil Laaya Hai Bahaar, Apno Ka Pyaar, Kya Kehna  (Kya kehna) (2000) Singer – Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD – Rajesh Roshan
Harirahan + Kavita Krishnamurthy

Lyrics

Happy Version

oh……..o
ho o o o o
o o o o o
o o o o

ae dil
laaya hai bahaar
apnon ka pyaar
kya kehna
milen hum
chhalak utha
khushi ka khumaar
kya kehna
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna…aa
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna
ae dil
laaya hai bahaar
apnon ka pyaar
kya kehna
milen hum
chhalak utha
khushi ka khumaar
kya kehna
 
hum tum yun hi milte rahein
mehfil yoon hi sajti rahe
bas pyaar ki yehi ek dhun
har subah-o-shaam bajti rahe
gale mein mehekte rahein
pyaar bhari
baahon ka haar
kya kehna…aa
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna
 
oh……..o
ho o o o o
o o o o o
o o o o
ae dil
laaya hai bahaar
apnon ka pyaar
kya kehna
milen hum
chhalak utha
khushi ka khumaar
kya kehna
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna…aa
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna
 
Sad Version
 
dil ka koi tukda kabhi
dil se juda hota nahi
apna koi jaisa bhi ho
apna hai wo duja nahi
yahi hai wo milan hai jo
sachmuch hai
dil ka qaraar
kya kehna
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna
ae dil
laaya hai bahaar
apnon ka pyaar
kya kehna
milen hum
chhalak utha
khushi ka khumaar
kya kehna
 
kuchh apne hi tak yoon nahi
ye hai sawaal sab ke liye
jeena hai to jag mein jiyo
ban ke misaal sab ke liye
dekho kaisa mehak raha
pyaar bhari
baahon ka haar
kya kehna…aa
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna
ae dil
laaya hai bahaar
apnon ka pyaar
kya kehna
milein hum
chhalak utha
khushi ka khumaar
kya kehna
 
jo ho gaya so ho gaya
logon se tu darna nahi
saathi tere hain aur bhi
duniya mein tu tanha nahi
saamna karenge mil ke
chaahe dus ho
chaahe hazaar
kya kehna..aa
khile khile chehron se aaj
jag hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna

oh……..o
ho o o o o
o o o o o
o o o o
ae dil
laaya hai bahaar
apnon ka pyaar
kya kehna
milen hum
chhalak utha
khushi ka khumaar
kya kehna
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna
khile khile chehron se aaj
ghar hai mera
gul-e-gulzaar
kya kehna


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 : 4092 Post No. : 15234

hamaare baad ab mehefil mein afsaane bayaan honge
bahaaren humko dhoondengi na jaane hum kahaan honge

rahen naa rahen ham mehakaa karenge
ban ke kali, ban ke sabaa, baag e wafaa mein

ek din bik jaayega maati ke mol
jag mein reh jaayenge pyaare tere bol
duje ke hothon ko dekar apne geet
koyee nishaanee chhod, phir duniya se dol

These three songs of Majrooh saab and some more are of the eminence that would have been categorised as poems of repute if they were not film songs.

Remembering Majrooh Sultanpuri (01/10/1919 – 24/05/2000) today on his birth centenary. In fact, Majrooh Saab’s birth centenary celebrations commenced on September 30, 2018 with a 2-day National Seminar on his contributions to Hindi films and the Urdu literature which was held at the Kalina campus of Mumbai University. Thereafter, a few more such celebrations were also held elsewhere. For instance, Hindustan Academy celebrated his centenary at Prayagraj on August 19, 2019. Paasbaan-e-Adab also arranged Majrooh Saab’s birth centenary celebrations on December 22, 2018 at Yeshwantrao Chavan Auditorium in Mumbai in which his non-filmy ghazals were show-cased in the form of songs by upcoming singers.  In Delhi, Jashn-e-Rekhta scheduled a special session on Majrooh Saab in its annual conference in December 14, 2018. I am sure many more such celebrations would have taken place all over India.

Like Shailendra, Majrooh Saab had a reluctant entry into the film world as a lyricist. But once he got associated with his first film ‘Shahjahan’ (1946), he ruled the Hindi film industry as a lyricist for nearly 6 decades with over 2000 songs in about 350 films. He wrote lyrics for the first generation hero, KL Saigal under the baton of the first generation music director, Naushad for Shahjahan’ (1946) to the third generation hero, Shah Rukh Khan and the third generation music director,  AR Rahman for ‘1 To Ka 4’ (2001).   This is the testimony of his smooth adaptation of the changing environments in Hindi film music. He achieved this stature on his own terms throughout his filmy career.

Naturally, with his long association with Hindi films, the range of the songs Majrooh Saab wrote varied. Some samples of his  different genres of songs : Gham Kiye Musthakil , C A T Cat, Cat Maane Billi, Bade Bhole Ho Hanste Ho Sun Ke Duhaai,  Dhalki Jaaye Hamaari Chundariyaa Ho Raam, Raahi Manwa Dukh Ki Chinta Kyun Sataati Hai, Aa Ja Aa Ja Main Hoon Pyaar Tera, Papa Kehte Hain Bada Naam Karega etc. He also wrote a few pop songs like Raat Shabnami Bheegi Chaandni. The list is endless.

Much has been said about Majrooh Saab in both the print and electronic medias. I had also written two articles on him for the blog. So, I will skip his biographical part and would confine my discussion mainly with his contributions as a lyricist and a poet.

Some of Majrooh Saab’s contemporary lyricists like Sahir Ludhianvi, Shailendra, Kaifi Azmi, Prem Dhawan were already associated with Progressive Writers Association (PWA), a group of writers with leftist ideology, when they got associated with Hindi film industry. For Majrooh Saab, it was in the reverse order. He joined PWA only after he got associated with Hindi films in 1946. But he was the most fearless among PWA lyricists. In 1949, he was arrested in Mumbai for reciting an inflammatory poem written by him in the gathering of the mill workers in Mumbai (earlier Bombay). He was given an option to apologise or spend two years in prison. He opted for the latter despite the fact that with the box office success of his film ‘Andaz’ (1949) and his songs becoming popular among the public, his filmy career had brightened up. Probably, Majrooh Saab was the only one among PWA lyricists who had gone to jail in India in the post-independent period.

Two years of absence from the Hindi film industry is a long enough for anyone to be forgotten. Majrooh Saab is perhaps the only lyricist who made a successful comeback in the Hindi film industry after two years of his hibernation in jail. But it was not a smooth sailing for his comeback. Naushad for whom he wrote successful songs in ‘Shahjahan’ (1946) and ‘Andaz’ (1949) refuse to work with Majrooh Saab saying that he would not work with non-believers. (Generally, followers of leftist’s ideology were regarded as atheist).  Of course, later they made up, and worked together in ‘Saathi’ (1968), and still later became ‘sambandhi’ (relatives by marriage of their kins).

While Majrooh Saab got opportunities to write one or two songs for some films of 1951-52, it was in 1953, he got for the first time after ‘Andaz’ (1949) to exclusively write songs for ‘Baaghi’ (1953) working with Madan Mohan, ‘Fareb’ (1953) with Anul Biswas and ‘Baaz’ (1953) with OP Nayyar. Unfortunately, despite having good songs, these films failed miserably at the box office. However, the versatility of Majrooh Saab as a lyricist became evident from these films which had different genres of songs. In a way, one can say that Majrooh Saab’s writing of light-hearted songs began with ‘Baaz’ (1953).

It was ‘Aar Paar’ (1954) which once more brought together the Guru Dutt-OP Nayyar-Majrooh Saab combination. And this time, they became a winning combination. The fortunes of this combo changed for the better and they repeated their feat with ‘Mr and Mrs 1955’ (1955) and ‘CID’ (1956). Generally, we talk about the catchy tune. But in these films, for the first time, Hindi film industry got the taste of ‘catchy lyrics’ of Majrooh Saab who until then, had been identified with melancholic songs of ‘Shahjahan’ (1946), and ‘Andaz’ (1949).

Majrooh saab is known as a master craftsman in writing lyrics for a pre-set tune. His choice of appropriate words which not only fit best in the metre of the line but also  suited to the ‘meend’ (ascending or descending notes in the metre) and ‘murki’ (short taan in the metre) for pre-set tunes. As a result, listeners would believe that he wrote the lyrics first and the music director set the tune later. There are hundreds of such examples of his songs written on pre-set tunes. I will just discuss a couple of his songs which have been written on a pre-set tunes:

chhupaa lo yoon dil mein pyaar meraa
ke jaise mandir mein lau diye ki

hide away (protect) my love in your heart
like the flame of a lamp in a temple

This is a song from ‘Mamta’ (1966) set to tune based on raag Yaman by Roshan. This song has been written in pure Hindi. The second line of the mukhda has an unusual imagery which gets repeated in each of the antaraas. But at each place, the meaning of the imagery changes based on the previous lines. It is a wonder as to how Majrooh Saab could imagine and conceive the right emotion with right words. I feel that literary quality of this song makes it fit enough to be included in the curriculum of Hindi poems in the high school.

Now see the contrast in the second example of the song of a different genre written in Hindi-Urdu mix:

He: hum ne to dil ko aap ke qadmon pe rakh diyaa
      iss dil ka kya karenge yeh ab aap sochiye

She: hum aap ki wafaa ki qasam khaa rahen hain aaj
       kaise wafaa karenge yeh ab aap sochiye

He: i have kept my heart at your feet
now it is up to you to think what to do with it

She: i swear by your faithfulness today
now you decide how to sustain this faith

This is a deleted song from the film ‘Mere Sanam’ (1965) set to music by OP Nayyar. Again, these lines show the mastery of Majrooh Saab in using appropriate words on a pre-set tune without disturbing the metre of the song. On top of it, as a bonus to the listeners, he has written the song in a ‘shaayaraana andaz’ – ghazal style (but it is not a ghazal). The song belongs to the genre of romance but it is also a soft ‘nok jhonk’ (quick repartee) song.

How one can forget the contributions of Majrooh Saab in reviving the interest in duet songs which had seen a declining trend in the early 1950s. Majrooh Saab held the view that it was not the fault of producers-directors but of lyricists and music directors who did not pay much attention to the duet songs. As a result, directors reduced the duet song situations in their films.

Hindi films had the best duet songs during 1955-70 mainly from Majrooh Saab in combination with Burman Da and OP Nayyar which were mostly in the genre of romantic comedy. The films which had a few popular duets were ‘Aar Paar’ (1954), ‘Mr and Mrs 1955’ (1955), ‘Nau Do Gyaarah’ (1957), Paying Guest (1957), ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’ (1957), ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi’ (1958), ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ (1959), ‘Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon’ (1963), ‘Teen Deviyan’ (1965), ‘Mere Sanam’ (1965), ‘Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain’(1965), ‘Teesri Manzil’(1966) and many more.

From the mid-1960s onward, Majrooh Saab started working with the second generation of music directors also. Laxmikant-Pyarelal (LP) and RD Burman were two promising music directors amongst them. But both were struggling to get themselves firmly established in Hindi film industry since early 1960s. One may call it a sheer co-incidence that when Majrooh Saab worked with them for the first time in ‘Dosti’ (1964) and ‘Teesri Manzil’ (1966) respectively, the films and their songs became super hit. Although LP’s ‘Parasmani’ (1963) was a box office success with its songs becoming very popular, it was only after the extra-ordinary success of ‘Dosti’ (1964) that LP started getting big banner films. Same was true for R D Burman after the success of ‘Teesri Manzil’ (1966). From these two films onward, both LP and RD Burman got a tremendous boost to their filmy career. Majrooh Saab worked with RD Burman in as many as 75 films churning out around 350 songs. With LP, he worked in 42 films with around 200 songs.

Next in the line of the second generation of the music directors with whom Majrooh Saab worked are, Rajesh Roshan, Anand-Milind and Jatin-Lalit, among others. Again, whether it was a co-incidence or the magical lyrics of Majrooh Saab, his first association with them also turned out to be their first successful film at the box office. The films were ‘Kunwaara Baap’ (1974), ‘Qayaamat Se Qayaamat Tak’ (1988) and ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Siknadar’ (1992) respectively.

There is another side of Majrooh Saab’s personality and that is as an Urdu poet of repute. And he kept this side of his personality distinct from that of a lyricist of Hindi film songs making it sure that his ideological views do not seep into his film lyrics. Though Majrooh Saab had written many meaningful lyrics, he never considered them to be part of his poems. So, if one wishes to know the real personality of Majrooh Saab, one has to read his ‘taraqqi-pasand’ (progressive) ghazals. I have  gone through the ghazals that are available online. His hardcore revolutionary call was evident in most of his ghazals which he wrote in the 1940s.  An example:

jalaa ke mashaal-e-jaan hum junoon-sifaat chale
jo ghar ko aag lagaaye wo hamaare saath chale

Majrooh Saab is regarded as a pioneer in writing modern progressive ghazals, breaking away from the conventional style of ghazals of the classical poets. He gave a different interpretation of some of the common metaphors used in the conventional ghazals, in his progressive ghazals. For instance, the word ‘manzil’ is often used in the conventional ghazal to reach out to the beloved. But Majrooh Saab has used ‘manzil’ in plural form in the ‘matla’ she’r of one of his popular  progressive ghazals  to mean that the attainment of objectives (manzilen) becomes easy when someone joins hands with him (comradeship):

mujhe sahal ho gayi manzilen, wo hawaa ke rukh bhi badal gaye
teraa haath haath mein aa gayaa, ke charaag raah mein jal gaye

Most of Majrooh Saab’s ghazals written in 1940s are filled with heavy doses of Arabic and Persian words. But it is not surprising, as he had studied Arabic and Persian in school. Once he got associated with Hindi films, probably, Majrooh Saab could not devote much time to Urdu literature. Hence his output in terms of published works is limited. ‘Kulliyat-e-Majrooh Sultanpuri’  seems to be the only published works of his ghazals.

Majrooh Saab’s journey of six decades of prolific song writer of Hindi films ended on the planet of earth on May 24, 2000 but not before he was conferred with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1993 – the first Hindi film lyricist to get this award. He left around 2000 of his Hindi film songs for us to cherish his memory for eternity.

On the occasion of birth centenary of Majrooh Saab, I have chosen an apt song written by him from the film ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ (1994) which was directed by one of my favourite directors, Kundan Shah. The song is ‘Wo To Hai Albela Hazaaron Mein Akela’ a duet sung by Devaki Pandit and Kumar Sanu. The song is set to music by Jatin-Lalit.

One of the interesting features of the picturization of the song is that both Devaki Pandit and Kumar Sanu lip sync for multiple actors. Devaki Pandit lip syncs for Shashi Sahay, Sadia Siddiqui, Reeta Bhaduri and Kumar Sanu lip syncs for Nasiruddin Shah, Tiku Talsania, Satish Shah and Anjaan Srivastav. On the sound track, both the singers sing a few lines together but, in the film, their voices are for the entire group of actors and actresses.

A reading of Majrooh Saab’s lyrics of this song reminds me to say that his style of song writing remained, more or less, the same throughout his filmy career. I do not think that other Hindi song lyricists would have used the words like ‘aib’ (vice) and ‘hunar’ (virtue) in their songs in the  1990s.

Audio

Video

Song – Wo To Hai Albela, Hazaaron Mein Akela  (Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa) (1994) Singer – Devaki Pandit, Kumar Sanu, Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD – Jatin-Lalit
Devaki Pandit + Kumar Sanu

Lyrics

wo to hai albela
hazaaron mein akela
wo to hai albela aa
hazaaron mein akela
sadaa tum ne aib dekha
hunar ko na dekha
wo to hai albela
hazaaron mein akela
sadaa tum ne aib dekha
hunar ko na dekha
wo to hai albela aa
 
fursat mili na tumhen apne jahaan se
us ke bhi dil ki kabhi samjhte kahaan se
fursat mili na tumhen apne jahaan se
us ke bhi dil ki kabhi samjhte kahaan se
jaana hai jise patthar
heera hai wo to heera
sadaa tum ne aib dekha
hunar ko na dekha
wo to hai albela aa
hazaaron mein akela
wo to hai albela aa
 
bansi ko lakdi sadaa samjha kiye tum
par us ke naghmon ki dhun kahaan sun sakey tum
bansi ko lakdi sadaa samjha kiye tum
par us ke naghmon ki dhun kahaan sun sakey tum
diye ki maati dekhi
dekhi na us ki jyoti
sadaa tum ne aib dekha
hunar ko na dekha
wo to hai albela
hazaaron mein akela
wo to hai albela aa
hazaaron mein akela
sadaa tum ne aib dekha
hunar ko na dekha
wo to hai albela
hazaaron mein akela
wo to hai… albela aa

———————————-
Devnagari script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————–

वो तो है अलबेला
हजारों में अकेला
वो तो है अलबेला
हजारों में अकेला
सदा तुमने एब देखा
हुनर को ना देखा
वो तो है अलबेला
हजारों में अकेला
वो तो है अलबेला
हजारों में अकेला
सदा तुमने एब देखा
हुनर को ना देखा

फुर्सत मिली ना तुम्हें अपने जहां से
उसके भी दिल की समझते कहाँ से
फुर्सत मिली ना तुम्हें अपने जहां से
उसके भी दिल की समझते कहाँ से
जाना है जिसे पत्थर
हीरा है वो तो हीरा
सदा तुमने एब देखा
हुनर को ना देखा
वो तो है अलबेला॰॰आ
हजारों में अकेला
वो तो है अलबेला॰॰आ

बंसी को लड़की सदा समझा किए तुम
पर उसके नग़मों की धुन कहाँ सुन सके तुम
बंसी को लड़की सदा समझा किए तुम
पर उसके नग़मों की धुन कहाँ सुन सके तुम
दिये की माटी देखी
देखी ना उसकी ज्योती
सदा तुमने एब देखा
हुनर को ना देखा
वो तो है अलबेला
हजारों में अकेला
वो तो है अलबेला
हजारों में अकेला
सदा तुमने एब देखा
हुनर को ना देखा
वो तो है अलबेला
हजारों में अकेला
वो तो है॰ ॰ ॰ अलबेला॰॰आ


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 :

4075 Post No. : 15213 Movie Count :

4182

It is a well-known fact that Shailendra wrote maximum number of songs for the music director, Shankar-Jaikishan (around 365 songs) out of about 750 songs he wrote during his life time. The second in line among music directors was Salil Chowdhury for whom Shailendra wrote around 105 songs. The third place was taken by S D Burman for whom he wrote around 70 songs. There were others music directors for whom he wrote songs albeit in comparatively lesser numbers. They were Roshan, S N Tripathi, Hemant Kumar, Anil Biswas, C Ramchandra, Ravi, Dattaram, and Kishore Kumar.

With major chunk of Shailendra’s songs (around 90% his total songs) written for the music directors listed above, I was curious to know as who were the other music directors to whom Shailendra wrote songs probably for one or two films. I traced almost all ‘other’ music directors. They were Basant Prakash (‘Badnam’ 1952), Manohar Arora (‘Chingaari’, 1955), Mukul Roy (‘Sailaab’ 1956 and ‘Detective’ 1958), Jimmy (Shrimatiji, 1952), Ninu Mazumdar (‘Bhai Saheb’, 1954), Sardul Kwatra (‘Pilpli Saheb, 1954 and ‘Tis Maar Khan’, 1955), Shivram (‘Naya Kadam’ 1958), Shailesh Mukherjee (‘Savera; 1958), Chitrgupt and Gajanan (‘Kal Hamaara Hai’ 1959), Kalyanji-Anandji (‘Satta Baazar’ (1959), Pandit Ravi Shankar (‘Anuradha’ 1960), R D Burman (‘Chhote Nawab’ 1961), Suhrid Kar (‘Kaanch Ki Gudiya’ 1961), and Sapan-Jagmohan (‘Begaana’ 1963).

But the surprise catch among ‘other’ music director to whom Shailendra wrote a song was Nachiketa Ghosh who has composed music for only one Hindi film ‘25th July’ (1951). But Shailendra was not the lyricist for this film. It transpired that Shailendra did write a Hindi song for Nachiketa Ghosh but for a Bengali film ‘Indraani’ (1958). Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen were the lead actors in the film. The film is available on YT with English sub-title.

So here is probably Shailendra’s only Hindi song for a Bengali film, ‘Indraani’ (1958). There are 7 songs in the film of which one song is in Hindi. The song is ‘sabhi kuchh lutaakar huye hum tumhaare’ which is sung by Mohammad Rafi. Nachiketa Ghosh is the music director.

The background for this song is that Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen get married despite opposition from her parents as Uttam Kumar is unemployed. On the wedding night, their feelings for each other is reflected in this song through a wayside singer playing guitar. The mood of the song appears to me the same as that of songs like ek haseen shaam ko dil mera kho gaya.

The song in the video clip is longer than the audio clip (78 RPM record version) because of the repetition in the former of mukhda part in each antara. Also, there are short dialogues in Bengali between Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen during the interludes of the song.

What a lovely song which I heard for the first time. I have been mesmerized by Rafi’s rendition of antara part of the song. Just note, how he goes one octave higher but keep his rendition soft on the antara lines ‘kisi ka tu ho jaa’, ‘hai khaamosh hum bhi’ and ‘ye khwaabon ki duniya’.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip :

Song-Sabhi kuchh lutaa kar huye ham tumhaare (Indraani)(Bangla)(1958) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Shailendra, MD-Nachiketa Ghosh

Lyrics(based on Video Clip)

sabhi kuchh lutaa kar
huye hum tumhaare
ke hai jeet uski
jo dil aaj haare
ye khoya sa chanda
ye behke se taare
to phir kyun na machlen
armaan hamaare
sabhi kuchh lutaa kar

mohabbat mein kho jaa..aa
kisi ka tu ho jaa
falak se zameen tak huye ye ishaare
ke hai jeet uski
jo dil aaj haare
sabhi kuchh lutaa kar
huye hum tumhaare
ki hai jeet uski
jo dil aaj haare
sabhi kuchh lutaa kar

hai chupchaap wo bhi
hain khaamosh hum bhi
khule jaa rahe hain magar raaz saare
ke hai jeet uski
jo dil aaj haare
ye khoya sa chanda
ye behke se taare
to phir kyun na machlen
armaan hamaare
sabhi kuchh lutaa kar

wo rangeen duniya
wo khwaabon ki duniya
simat kar ke baahon mein aayi hamaare
ke hai jeet uski
jo dil aaj haare
sabhi kuchh lutaa kar
huye hum tumhaare
ke hai jeet uski
jo dil aaj haare
ye khoya sa chanda
ye behke se taare
to phir kyun na machlen
armaan hamaare
sabhi kuchh lutaa kar


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 :

4066 Post No. : 15201 Movie Count :

4178

Today, September 5th is 24th Remembrance Day of Salil Chowdhury (19/11/1925 – 05/09/1995), the legendary music director who was the pioneer in fusion music – blending Indian melodies with the orchestration of western classical music. As he himself admitted during an interview on All India Radio, Salil Da was greatly influenced by the music of Beethoven and Mozart because his father used to play gramophone records of their music which he had listened during his childhood.

Salil Da’s musical legacy has been carried forward by the likes of RD Burman, Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman. I will come back later the organic connection of Ilaiyaraaja and A R Rahman with the music of Salil Da.  It is the irony of fate that while the followers of his musical legacy have attained the top slots in the film industry, Salil Da could not get such recognition in Hindi film industry. Perhaps, he was quite ahead of time and those who mattered in the Hindi film industry (producers and distributors) failed to realise his potentials.

Salil Da has to be a genius person in the making if I go by his various activities during his childhood and younger days. At the age of 6, he learns piano. As a student, he writes and compose songs for the school’s plays. As a teenager, he gets actively associated in the Peasants Movements in his village. In the midst of such activities, he completes his high school and later graduation from Kolkata University. He becomes a member of Communist Party of India and gets actively involved with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) while he is simultaneously doing his post-graduation studies. He is a playwright, song writer, composer and sometime actor in IPTA plays. Salil Da participates in the peasants’ uprising and goes underground for a couple of years. During this period, he writes and composes ‘chetonaar gaan’ (songs of awakening). He learns almost all the important musical instruments like piano, flute, esraj, sarod, sitar, guitar, percussion which is in most cases self-thought. He is the first to set up Bombay Youth Choir and later Calcutta Choir Group which he personally conducts in the 1950s. He is a poet, story writer, lyricist and music director.

With so much of his multifarious activities in around Kolkata, how did Salil Da get involved with Hindi film music in Mumbai? I quote below, in his own words during an  interviews on All India Radio:

I came to Bombay by stroke of luck. I was writing script (of my story ‘Rickshawaala’) for a Bengali film.  When Hrishikesh Mukherjee heard the story, he liked it. He said that he would narrate the story to Bimalda (Bimal Roy) who was expected to come to Kolkata from Mumbai. So, I took the appointment of Bimlada and read out the entire script to him. Bimlda did not show any reaction to the story but advised me to meet him the next morning.

When I went to meet him the next morning, I was told that he had left for Mumbai by the morning flight on some urgent work. Within a week, I got the telegram from Bimalda that he had decided to make a Hindi film based on my story and I should come to Mumbai with the script. That’s how I landed in Mumbai for ‘Do Beegha Zameen’ (1953).

After the success of ‘Do Beegha Zameen’ (1953), Salil Da was employed in Bimal Roy Productions as a music director. He did many films for the banner like ‘Biraj Bahu’ (1954), ‘Naukari’ (1954), ‘Amaanat’ (1955), ‘Parivaar’ (1956), ‘Aparadhi Kaun’ (1957), ‘Madhumati’ (1958), ‘Usne Kaha Thaa’ (1960), ‘ Parakh’ (1960).‘Kabuliwaala’ (1961), and  ‘Prem Patra’ (1962). During this period, he also did many other films outside the banner of Bimal Roy Productions. Song compositions in almost all these films are outstanding. Some of the songs from Bimal Roy’s  films are evergreen and they are still remembered. For instance “Aaha Rimjhim Ke Ye Pyaare Pyaare Geet Liye” (from ‘Usne Kaha Tha’) and “O Sajnaa Barkha Bahaar Aayi” (from ‘Parakh’).

In ‘non-Bimal Roy’ films, Salil Da composed excellent songs in films like ‘Jaagte Raho’ (1956), ‘Aawaaz’ (1956), ‘Ek Gaon Ki Kahaani’ (1957), ‘Honeymoon’ (1960), ‘Chhaaya’ (1961),  ‘Maaya’ (1961) etc. The songs like “Zindagi Khwaab Hai” (‘Jagte Raho’, Mukesh’s first song under Salida), “Dhitang Dhitang Bole” (‘Awaaz’), “Raat Ne Kya Kya Khwaab Dikhaaye” (‘Ek Gaon Ki Kahaani’), “Mere Khwaabon Mein Khayaalon Mein” (‘Honeymoon’),  “Koi Sone Ke Dilwaala” (‘Maaya’), and “Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyaar Badha” (‘Chhaaya’)  are some of my favourites of Salil Da.

Despite scoring beautiful songs in the films of early 50s, Salil Da was still regarded as a flop music director in the eyes of film distributors.  The box office success of‘ ‘Madhumati’ (1958) and the high popularity of its songs enabled Salil Da to shed the tag of ‘flop music director’. I remember that not a single day will pass without one or two songs from ‘Madhumati’ (1958) being played on the radio after the release of the film. Salil Da got his first Filmfare Award for the best music director for this film.

It is difficult to pin point the best song from ‘Madhumati’ as all the songs were outstanding. Because I am a trekker, I may be biased in my liking for “Suhaana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen“. The sound of chirping of the birds in the prelude creates a natural atmosphere in the scene for the song. Incidentally, adding in the prelude the chirping sounds of the birds was suggested by SD Burman. Salil Da used folk-based melody from Bengal, Assam, Nepal and also from Poland for almost all the songs in the film. He requisitioned the services of Dattaram for playing dholak in all the songs (as revealed by Dattaram in his TV interview). One can hear Dattaram ‘thekas’ prominently in the song “Ghadi Ghadi Mora Dil Dhadke“.

With the tremendous success of ‘Madhumati’ (1958), Salil Da got more film assignments such as ‘Chhaaya’ (1961), ‘Poonam Ki Raat’ (1965), ‘Chaand Aur Sooraj’ (1965), ‘Pinjre Ke Panchhi’ (1966) (which he also directed), among many others.

During his second phase of the musical career, he did some notable films like ‘Mere Apne’ (1971), ‘Anand’ (1971), ‘Annadaata (1972), ‘Rajanigandha’ (1974), ‘Chhoti Si Baat’ (1976), ‘Anand Mahal’ (1977) etc. Some of the popular as well notable songs of Salil Da of this period are “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Haaye” (‘Anand’), (note the choir singing in the interludes), “Raaton Ke Saaye Ghane” (‘Annadaata’) (song may not have become popular but it is an intricate composition which only Lata could do justice), “Kai Baar Yoon Bhi Dekha Hai” (‘Rajnigandha’) (my favourite and whenever I wish to listen to this song, I prefer to watch on the video clip) and “Na Jaane Kyun Hota Hai Ye Zindagi Ke Saath” (‘Chhoti Si Baat’) (again, I prefer to listen to the song by watching the video clip of the song).

I know, I have missed some more of popular songs composed by Salil Da . I will end with  one more song from the stable of Salil Da which did not become as popular as it should have been. The song is  “Koi Hota Jisko Apna” from ‘Mere Apne’ (1971).  It is a complex composition which Kishore Kumar has ably rendered. The mukhda tune was inspired from the background score of ‘Anand’(1970).

After about 1975, his Hindi film assignments came down that too was limited to small banners. On the other hand, his assignments in Bengali and South Indian films were on the rise. Also, he had shifted his base to Kolkata in mid 1970s as he had planned for setting up of a modern recording studio in Kolkata. During about 25 years of his active association with Mumbai, he composed about 300 songs in about 65 Hindi films.

Discussion on Salil Chowdhury’s musical career in films will not be complete unless we take into account his sojourn to South Indian films especially the Malayalam films. He was introduced to Malayalam films  by Ramu Khairat, the Malayalam film director who was a part of IPTA delegation along with Salil Da to an East European country in 1960. Their IPTA background and the common interest in films made them friends. When Ramu Khairat finalised the making of Malayalam film, ‘Chemmeen’ (1965), he selected Salil Da as the music director. The film received tremendous response from the cinegoers. This film is regarded as the first successful ‘arty’ film in South India.

The highlight of the film was the popularity of its four songs. The extra-ordinary success of the songs changed the complexion of the South Indian film music. Salil Da set his firm footing in the South Indian film industries. He did 25 Malayalam films and 10 films in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. In addition, he was also associated with about 40 Bengali films as a lyricist and music director.

One of the innovative ideas Salil Da experimented with his music was that he composed new songs based on his earlier songs as well as from the background score by giving a different structure to the new songs. For instance, in an interview, Salil Da gave an interesting example of his song “Aaja Re Pardesi Main To Kab Se Khadi Iss Paar”  from ‘Madhumati’ (1958). The mukhda tune was based on the melodic background music of ‘Jaagte Raho’(1956). This background music is played whenever Raj Kapoor is about to drink water to quench his thirst but the circumstances makes him to run away from the scene without drinking water. In the same song, Salil Da has used the mukhda tune of “Ghadi Ghadi Mora Dil Dhadke” as the interlude music.

Another example I had noted many years back and worth mentioning is the comparison of the song “Baag Mein Kali Khili Bagiya Mehki” from ‘Chaand Aur Sooraj’ (1965) with “Saathi Re Tujh Bin Jiya Udaas” from ‘Poonam Ki Raat’ (1965). Salil Da has used more or less the same tune for the antaras of both the songs. Salil Da’s different melodic and orchestration structures makes these two songs sounding different. Hence, first song sounds like that for a growing up girl waiting for her fiance and the other one as a haunting song. Also note in the latter song how the mukhda tune of the former song converted into the interlude music and gets merges with the antara tune.

I had mentioned earlier that there is some organic connection between Salil Da, Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman. During his assignments in the South Indian films, especially in Malayalam films as a music director, Salil Da had in his orchestra, Ilaiyaraaja as a lead guitarist and RK Sekhar (father of AR Rahman) as his Assistant and Arranger. AR Rahman joined Ilaiyaraaja’s troup as Keyboard player. Incidentally, Salil Da had predicted that one day Ilaiyaraaja would become the top most music director of India. His prophecy has come true.

A music analyst in his article in The Hindu has opined that in his early years of music direction, Ilaiyaraaja seemed to have been influenced by Salil Da in using fusion music which he improvised a lot in his later years. The same music analyst also felt that Salil Da was influenced by the music of Ilaiyaraaja in composing Bengali songs in his later years.

On the occasion of 24th Remembrance Day of the legendary music director, Salil Da, I have chosen a rarely heard Sanskrit song  ‘tava virahe vanamaali’ from the film ‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994). The music for the song has been composed by Salil Da in a classical raaga, Yaman. The song is written by the famous Sanskrit poet of the 12th century AD – Jaidev. It is rendered by Kavita Krishnamurthy. It is a classical dance song which is picturised on Shobna (Pillai), a well-known Malayalam and Tamil film  actress and a Bharatnatyam dancer. She is the niece of Padmini and Ragini.

I took the song’s lyrics from Geet Govind. English translation of the lyrics is embedded on the audio clip of the song. This is the song I liked best out of 8 songs in the film.

There is long history about the film ‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994). The film was directed by GV Iyer  a khadi-clad barefoot Gandhian who has been known for  making films based on spiritual themes. He was the first to make a feature film in Sanskrit, ‘Adi Shankaracharya’ (1983) which won 4 National Film Awards including the award for the Best Film. This was followed by ‘Madhvacharya’ (1986) in Kannada, ‘Ramanujacharya’ (1989) in Tamil, ‘Bhagvad Geeta – The Song of the Lord’ (1993) in Sanskrit.  In addition, he has acted in and directed many Kannada films since 1954.

‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994) was GV Iyer’s first foray into Hindi film which also falls under the spiritual theme.  The film was produced by T Subbarami Reddy, a parliamentarian and a well-known Telugu and Bollywood film producer. The main characters in the film, Swami Vivekanand was played by Sarvadaman Banerjee and that of Ramkrishan Paramhans by Mithun Chakraborty. Tanuja, Pradeep Kumar, Debashree Roy were some of the other actors in the film. Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Rakhee, Jaya Prada, Manmooty, Meenakshi Seshadari and Anupam Kher did some minor roles as guest actors.

The film took about 5 years to complete and further about 3 years to get released for public viewing. Naseeruddin Shah who was selected to play the role of Ramkrishna Paramhans had to be dropped due to pressure from right-wing activists. The role went to Mithun Chakraborty despite having an image of disco dancer at that time. There were many objections from various quarters including Ramkrishna Mission. When issues were being addressed by the director, someone filed a suit in the high court which after sometime, cleared the film with about 20 cuts. The film was premiered on National Channel of Doordarshan on August 15, 1998 and thereafter it was released in the theatres. The film was a disaster at the box office.

‘Swami Vivekanand’ (1994) was  Salil Da’s last Hindi film. Salil Da was regarded as an expert in background music but this was the only his Hindi film for which he could not give background music due to his sudden death on September 5, 1995.

Audio

Video

 

Song – Tava Virahe Vanamaali Sakhi Seedati  (Swami Vivekanand) (1994) Singer – Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics – Jaidev (Traditional), MD – Salil Chaudhry

Lyrics

tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
 
dahati shishir-mayookhe
maranam-anukaroti
patati madan-vishikhe
vilapati vikalataroti
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aaa
aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
dahati shishir-mayookhe
maranam-anukaroti
patati madan-vishikhe
vilapati vikalataroti
vikalataroti
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
 
aa aa aaa aa
aa aa aaa aa
dhvanati madhupa-samoohe
shravanam-api dadhaati
manasi valit-virahe
nishi nishi rujam-upyaati
dhvanati madhupa-samoohe
shravanam-api dadhaati
manasi valit-virahe
nishi nishi rujam-upyaati

vasati vipin-vitaane

tyajati lalitdhaam
luth’ti dharani-shayane
bahu vilapati tava naam
vasati vipin-vitaane
tyajati lalitdhaam
luth’ti dharani-shayane
bahu vilapati tava naam aa
tava naam
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virahe vanamaali
sakhi seedati
tava virah..ae
vanamaali..ee

———————————-
Devnagari script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————–

[Ed Note: The complete text of the original song (song no. 10 in the book) consists of 8 verses, which appear in the 5th chapter of this epic poem, placed between the 34th and the 35th shloks in the book. For the purpose of the film, only the first four have been adapted. There is a lead in verse which is a part of this song. It reads as,
वहति मलयसमीरे मदनमुपनिधाय ।
स्फुटति कुसुमनिकरे विरहिहृदयदलनाय ॥  ]

तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति ॥ १॥
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे वनमाली

दहति शिशिरमयूखे मरणमनुकरोति ।
पतति मदनविशिखे विलपति विकलतरोऽति ॥ २॥
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ
आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ आ
दहति शिशिरमयूखे मरणमनुकरोति
पतति मदनविशिखे विलपति विकलतरोऽति
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे वनमाली

आ आ आ आ
आ आ आ आ
ध्वनति मधुपसमूहे श्रवणमपि दधाति ।
मनसि वलितविरहे निशि निशि रुजमुपयाति ॥ ३॥
ध्वनति मधुपसमूहे श्रवणमपि दधाति
मनसि वलितविरहे निशि निशि रुजमुपयाति

वसति विपिनविताने त्यजति ललितधाम ।
लुठति धरणिशयने बहु विलपति तव नाम ॥ ४॥
वसति विपिनविताने त्यजति ललितधाम
लुठति धरणिशयने बहु विलपति तव नाम
तव नाम
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे वनमाली सखि सीदति
तव विरहे॰॰ए
वनमाली॰॰ई

 


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 : 4056 Post No. : 15188

I am an ardent admirer of Ruskin Bond’s short stories. I do not remember as to when I started bonding with Ruskin Bond’s books. It could be sometime early 1990s when I read his first book titled ‘Beautiful Garhwal – Heaven in Himalayas’ (1988). Surprisingly, this book is not listed under the list of his published books. It is a ‘coffee-table book’ with 15 of his articles on the Garhwal Himalayas – from the village life, rivers, valleys, pilgrimage to trees and flowers, etc. It is an excellent and lavishly printed book in art paper with a lot of illustrations and beautiful pictures. This book was printed for Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVL) as a part of promotion of tourism in the Garhwal Himalayas.

Since then, I had ready many of his short stories which are in my collections of books like ‘Rain in the Mountains – Notes from the Himalaya’ (1993), ‘The Lamp is Lit’ (1998), The Room on the Roof’, ‘The Night Train to Deoli & Other Stories’ etc. Very recently, I have read his latest book ‘The Beauty of All My Days’ – A Memoir ( 2018). A few of his books of short story collections which I have read, seems to have been missing from my collections. Probably, I may have given to some ones to read but they did not return.

Ruskin Bond has spent much of his life at the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas. His last 5 decades have been spent in Landour, a cantonment area of Mussoorie. He has widely travelled in Garhwal Himalayas. Hence, much of his writings is the reflections of the hills and the village life of the Garhwal Himalayas and his nostalgic experiences. His lucid writing style takes the readers to the virtual trip to the Himalayas.

I have been very much influenced by the writings of Ruskin Bond and his nostalgia of the Garhwal Himalayas. Of all the Himalaya treks I have undertaken during the last 35 years, I have done the maximum number of treks in the Garhwal Himalaya. His description of the village life prompted me to prefer home stays in village houses for the overnight stays rather than in the tents whenever I trekked in the Himalayas. I could, therefore, get the first hand experiences of Ruskin Bond’s descriptions of the Garhwal villages and the psyche of the simple villagers.

Recently, I have written an article in the Blog on Gulzar saab on the occasion of his 85th Birthday. When I was going through the profile of Ruskin Bond, I found it interesting to note that there were many similarities in the events in the lives of Ruskin Bond and Gulzar saab. Both were born in 1934, with Gulzar saab being younger by exactly 3 months. Both had a lonely childhood. Gulzar saab lost his mother when he was a child. Ruskin Bond had grown up without the support of his mother as his parents had divorced when he was a child. His mother got remarried and he lived with his father. Circumstances deprived both of them of their fathers’ company when it was most needed. Gulzar saab was sent to Mumbai to stay with his elder step brother, while Ruskin Bond missed his father most of the time because he was in the Royal Air Force and later died from Malaria at an early age.

Both Ruskin Bond and Gulzar Saab developed their writing skills and got their poems/short story published when they were teens. Both got associated with Hindi films albeit with a gap – Gulzar saab in ‘Bandini’ (1963) as a lyricist and Ruskin Bond as a story writer in ‘Junoon’ (1978) based on his novel, ‘A Flight of Pigeons’ (1970s). Both wrote and published a good number of books of children’s literature. Ruskin Bond and Gulzar saab were conferred with Sahitya Akademy Awards in 1992 and 2002 respectively and with Padma Bhushan in 2014 and 2004 respectively.

While the lives of Ruskin Bond and Gulzar saab was moving parallelly, they got merged for the first time when Vishal Bhardwaj decided to make a children’s film in Hindi, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ (Neeli Chhatri, 2005) based on the novella of the same title written by Ruskin Bond. He also wrote screen-play for the film jointly with Vishal Bhardwaj. Gulzar saab got associated with this film as a lyricist.

After a gap of about 5 years, Ruskin Bond and Gulzar saab worked together in Vishal Bhardwaj’s film ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ (2011) which was based on his novel ‘Sussanna’s Seven Husbands’. Ruskin Bond wrote screen-play along with Vishal Bhardwaj and also played a cameo role of a priest in the film. Gulzar saab wrote the lyrics. Collaboration between them for the third film is in the offing. Incidentally, Vishal Bhardwaj has become a neighbour of Ruskin Bond in Landour as revealed by the latter.

As I mentioned earlier, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ (2005) was a children’s film based on Ruskin Bond’s novella by the same name. The film was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. Except for Pankaj Kapoor and Deepak Dobriyal, rest of the actors in the film are unfamiliar to me. The lead actors in the film is Pankaj Kapoor and 10-year girl, Shreya Sharma. The film was critically acclaimed and it got the National Film Award for the best children’s film in 2008. But the film was a box office disaster.

The film is not available for viewing in any video uploading platforms like YT. I saw the movie on Netflix. There are some minor differences in the story outlined in the film from the story in the book. The story in the book is based in some remote village in Garhwal whereas in the film, the story is based on a remote village in Himachal Pradesh. The end in the film also differ from the book which I will discuss later. The story in the film is as under:

In a remote Himalayan village, 10-year old girl, Biniya (Shreya Sharma) stays with her widowed mother and elder brother. The family has a small terraced field and a couple of cows sufficient to take care of their sustenance.

One day when Biniya goes to graze the cows, she comes across a group of Japanese tourists. Biniya’s eyes fall on a beautiful blue umbrella which is lying open on the meadow. She likes the umbrella and wants to have it but she has no means to get it. The lady tourist sees a necklace with a pedant of bear’s claws in Biniya’s neck and she likes it. Despite the bear’s claws being regarded as a lucky charm, Biniya exchanges for the blue umbrella. From now onward, Biniya and her blue umbrella are inseparable.

Most of the people in her village are envious of her blue umbrella as no one in the village possessed such a beautiful umbrella. The village teacher’s wife pesters her husband to get a similar umbrella for her. But the children in the village are full of praise for Biniya’s blue umbrella.

In the village, Nandkishore (Pankaj Kapoor), the owner of the village’s only tea shop, also becomes envious of Biniya’s blue umbrella as she has become the centre of attention in the village. Even tourists coming in buses for going towards a hill station nearby take a tea break for photographing her with blue umbrella.

Nandkishore tries all tricks of attractive offers to make her sell to him the blue umbrella but she refuses to sell. The blue umbrella causes restlessness in the mind of Nandkishore. He must have that blue umbrella. He tries to get one from the nearby town but it is not available. A similar type of umbrella which may be available in Delhi would cost him a lot. He feels that his attraction to the blue umbrella may have to do with his last birth.

One day, Biniya while grazing the cows on a meadow, finds her umbrella missing. She suspects Nandkishore to be the one who stole her blue umbrella. Police searches the Nadkishore’s shop but does not find the umbrella. Humiliated by the police investigation, Nandkishore buys a colourful red umbrella which, he says, he got from Delhi. He now becomes the centre of attraction in the village.

Biniya’s own investigation on her missing blue umbrella continues which takes her to a nearby town where one umbrella was recently dyed. In the meanwhile, with his status in the village gone up due to owning a red umbrella, Nandkishore is invited as a chief guest for a wrestling competition in the village. During the competition, it starts raining and his red umbrella turns blue as red colour on the umbrella get washed out. It becomes clear that Nandkishore had stolen Biniya’s blue umbrella and got it dyed with red colour. The village panchayat held him guilty and pass a judgement that that the entire village should boycott Nandkishore and his shop.

With the boycott, Nandkishore business is almost stopped. He is not even invited for the marriage of the village chief’s son. Barber’s shop refuses him as a customer. Biniya watches all the happenings to Nandkishore. She feels sorry for him. One day, she visits his shop after a long gap to buy biscuits and forgets her umbrella in his shop. When Nandkishore notices this, he runs after her with the umbrella in snowy conditions and returns to her the umbrella. Biniya refuses to accept the umbrella by telling him that it is not her umbrella and walks away. The village boycott of Nandkishore is lifted and his business in the shop returns to normal.

I found the ending in Ruskin Bond’s book more touching than in the film. In the book, after few days of boycott of Nandkishore’s shop, Biniya feels that she is the cause for all the problems Nandkishore has been facing due to boycott. After many days of boycott, she visits his shop to buy toffees. Nandkishore thinks that Biniya has come to his shop to make fun of his situation or she has come with a counterfeit coin to buy toffees. But none of his presumptions comes out true. She buys the toffee but forget her blue umbrella in the shop. Nandkishore runs after her to give her back the umbrella. However, she tells him that she left the umbrella for him.

After few days of this event, Nandkishore calls Biniya while she is passing by his shop. He shows her his newly made locket of bear’s claws with silver chain. She likes it but she says she has no money to buy. Nandkishore says that it does not matter as she has given him her umbrella and he is giving her a locket of bear’s claws. He places the pedant on her and says that it looks very beautiful on her. She is very much pleased as bear’s claws are regarded luckier than leopard’s claws. For Nandkishore, the smile that she gave him upon receiving the pendant was more rewarding than owning the pendant.

Vishal Bhardwaj, the producer-director of the film had said at the time of the release of the film that it was a children’s film with a message to adults. How true it is! Firstly, how an alien thing like an attractive blue umbrella can disturb the peaceful life of a village. Second, the intense desire to possess something can lead to irrational behaviour and its resultant adverse consequences. Third, forgiveness is the key to normalisation of a relationship. In ‘The Blue Umbrella’ Ruskin Bond has shown that there is always a soft corner in the hearts of individuals. In the end, Biniya gives up her possessiveness and Nandkishore shades his greediness. And the village comes back to its peaceful life.

The film has 3 beautiful songs, all written by Gulzar. One of them has been represented on the Blog.

I have selected for presentation the song ‘neeli aasmaani chhatri’ because this is the only song in which the blue umbrella is on display most of the duration of the song. Like Biniya and Nandkishore in the film, I am also tempted to this beautiful blue umbrella, my temptation being limited to watching it to my heart’s content. The song is sung by Upagna Pandya under the music direction of Vishal Bhardwaj.

It is a lovely song with western symphony music used for interludes.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip :

Song-Neeli Aasmaani chhatri (Blue Umbrella)(2005) Singers-Upagna Pandya, unknown female voice, Lyrics-Gulzar, MD-Vishal Bhardwaj

Lyrics(Based on the Audio Clip)

ku ku ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
arre he….ey

(ku ku kudi ku ku )
hey hey
(ku ku kudi ku ku)
neeli aasmaani chhatri
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku,
ku ku kudi ku ku

he…..ey
hey ae
neeli aasmaani chhatri
chhatri ka udan khatola
dole to laage hindola
chhatri ka udan khatola..aa aa
dole to laage hindola
ude kabhi bhaage kabhi
bhaage kabhi daude kabhi
samajh na maane chhatri..ee
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku ku ku
ku ku ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku

ambar ka tukda toda
lakdi ka hattha joda
haath mein apna asmaan hai re
chhatri le ke chalti ho
memon jaisi lagti ho
goron ka dil beimaan hai re
khunti kabhi laathi kabhi
laathi kabhi chhadi kabhi
khunti kabhi laathi kabhi
laathi kabhi chhadi kabhi
paaji shaitaani chhatri..ee

baarish se jo rishta hai
paani pe mann khinchta hai
bijli ko ye pehchaan hai re
shaayad phir ud na jaaye
ambar se jud na chaahe
bholi hai anjaan hai
hai re
doobe kabhi taire kabhi
gote khaati jaaye kabhi
doobe kabhi taire kabhi
gote khaati jaaye kabhi
karein naadaani chhatri..ee
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku
ku ku kudi ku ku

hey ae hey ae
(ku ku kudi ku ku)
hey re
(ku ku kudi ku ku)
neeli asmaani chhatri
chhatri ka udan khatola..aa
dole to laage hindola aa aa
chhatri ka udan khatola..aa aa
dole to laage hindola
ude kabhi bhaage kabhi
bhaage kabhi daude kabhi
samajh na maane chhatri


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(© 2008 - 2019) atulsongaday.me The content of this site is copyrighted and it may not be reproduced elsewhere without prior consent from the site/ author of the content.

What is this blog all about

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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over ELEVEN years. This blog has over 15200 song posts by now.

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

Total number of songs posts discussed

15289

Number of movies covered in the blog

Movies with all their songs covered =1180
Total Number of movies covered =4209

Total visits so far

  • 12,561,568 hits

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Historical dates

Blog Start date: 19 july 2008

Active for more than 4000 days.

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