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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 : 3874 Post No. : 14894

The New Theatres Ltd.(NT) has given some outstanding and famous directors to the Hindi film industry who got fame on an all-India level. A couple of them got recognition in the international level also. I list below a few of them:

Debaki Bose was known for his films like ‘Chandidas’ (Bengali, 1932), ‘Puran Bhagat’ (1933), ‘Seeta’ (1934), ‘Vidyapati’ (1937). ‘Nartaki’ (1940) etc. Kidar Sharma called him the ‘Dronacharya of film making’. He was the first director who used background music. Probably, he was also the first Indian film director who was honoured with a Certificate of Merit for his direction of the film ‘Seeta’ (1933) at Cannes Film Festival.

Nitin Bose was known for the use of his magical camera angle in the films he directed. His camera angles spoke more than the dialogues. Some of the notable films he directed was ‘Chandidas’ (Hindi, 1934), ‘Dhoop Chhaaon’ (1935), ‘President’ (1937), ‘Dharti Mata’ (1938), ‘Milan’ (1946), ‘Deedar’ (1951), ‘Waaris’ (1954), ‘Ganga Jamuna’ (1961) etc. He was the first to experiment with playback singing in his film ‘Dhoop Chhaaon’ (1935). He got the idea when he saw Pankaj Mullick singing in tandem with a song which he was playing on his gramophone record player.

P C Barua, though not originally from NT, got name and fame when he joined NT and directed ‘Devdas’ (1935). He directed some other films like ‘Manzil’ (1936), ‘Mukti’ (1937), ‘Zindagi’ (1940), ‘Jawaab’ (1942), ‘Subah-Shaam’ (1944) etc. He was the first director who used ‘flash back’ technique in ‘Roop Lekha’ (1934).

Bimal Roy started his filmy career as Assistant to P C Barua in cinematography, editing and direction. He was the Cinematographer for films like ‘Devdas’ (1935), Mukti’ (1937), ‘Haar Jeet’ (1940), ‘Meenakshi’ (1942) etc. He got his first assignment as director in NT when he directed ‘Hamraahi’ (1945). Other well-known films which he directed include ‘Parineeta’ (1953), ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ (1953), ‘Devdas’ (1955), ‘Madhumati’ (1958), ‘Sujata’ (1959), “Bandini’ (1963). ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ (1953)’ was critically acclaimed and won a prize at Cannes Film Festival. ‘Madhumati’ (1958) got a total of 9 ‘Filmfare’ awards.

Name of a well-known director from NT is missing from the above list. I have chosen him in this article for his detailed profile. And he is Phani Majumdar.

Phani Majumdar (28/12/1911-16/05/1994) was born in Faridkot in Bengal Presidency (now in Bangla Desh). After his graduation in 1930, Phani Majumdar worked as a typist in a company. His connection with films started when he joined as Stenographer to P C Barua in Barua Studio sometime in 1932. Later he became his Assistant Director in ‘Devdas’ (1935) and ‘Mukti’ (1937). He was a script-writer for ‘Abhagin’ (1938).

Phani Majumdar got his opportunity to debut as director in ‘Street Singer’ (1938) with K L Saigal and Kanan Devi in lead roles. This film is regarded as classical musical melodrama like ‘Devdas’ (1935). His debut film was highly successful at the box office. With this film, K L Saigal and Kanan Devi reached the pinnacle of their filmy career as actor-singer.

After successfully directing ‘Kapal Kundala’ (1939) for NT, Phani Majumdar shifted his base to Bombay (Mumbai) sometime in 1941. But working as a free-lance director was not a cakewalk for him especially at a time when there was scarcity of raw films, getting actors for the films who were mostly studio attached and the studio time for shooting. But due to his fame as a director of ‘Street Singer’ (1938) and also his friendly nature, he could overcome the initial obstacles.

Luck favoured Phani Majumdar. Chimanlal Trivedi had closed down his film production company, CIRCO Productions and had set up a new banner, Laxmi Productions. He engaged Phani Majumdar for directing his first film ‘Tamanna’ (1942) under the new banner. From the cast and crew of the film, it would appear that Phani Majumdar had a free hand in selecting them. Apart from actors for the film like Leela Desai, Jagdish Sethi, K C Dey who were earlier attached to NT, he had engaged 7 technicians from Bengal for the film. This was the first film in Mumbai for Leela Desai.

‘Filmindia’, in its review of ‘Tamanna’ (1942) while lauding the performances of Jairaj, Leela Desai, Jagdish Sethi and K C Dey, was critical of the direction by Phani Majumdar. However, some of the film producers seemed to have a different views. The result was that Phani Majumdar was flooded with new assignments as director for ‘Mohabbat’ (1943), ‘Rajkumar’ (1944) and ‘Meena’ (1944). Thereafter, he produced and directed ‘Devdasi’ (1945), Insaaf’ (1946) and ‘Door Chalen’ (1946). He also directed an off-beat film ‘Hum Bhi Insaan Hain’ (1948) starring Dev Anand and Ramola.

In the early 1950s, Phani Majumdar directed ‘Andolan’ (1951) which was virtually a documentary type film depicting the history of the Indian National Congress since its inception in 1885 until 1947 and India’s freedom struggle. Thereafter, he directed Bombay Talkies’ ‘Tamasha’ (1952) and ‘Baadbaan’ (1954), the latter being actually produced by the Bombay Talkies Workers Cooperatives. Both these films were critically acclaimed though they were not successful in terms of box office receipts. Shakti Samanta assisted Phani Majumdar in both these films in direction as also in dialogues/script writing.

During 1955-59, Phani Majumdar joined Shaws’ Malay Films Productions, Singapore. During this period, he directed 11 films in Malay, Chinese and English languages. He directed the first Eastman Colour film in Malay language, ‘Hang Tuah’ (1956). The film won awards in the Asian Film Festival held in Hong Kong in 1957 and was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear in Berlin International Film Festival, 1957. The prominent Malaysian film maker, Jamir Sulong assisted Phani Majumdar in his 6 out of 8 films he directed in Singapore.

After returning to India in 1959, he directed successful films like ‘Aarti’ (1962), ‘Oonche Log’ (1965) and ‘Aakashdeep’ (1965). In all, he directed 26 feature films in Hindi during 1938-1989. He wrote the scripts for most of his films which he directed. In addition, he also directed a few Children’s films and films in other languages like Bengali, Punjabi, Magadhi, Maithili, Malay, Chinese, English etc. Towards the end of his filmy career, he directed a few TV serials in Kolkata.

Phani Majumdar left for heavenly abode on May 16, 1994 at the age of 83. He was married to actress Monica Desai, the younger sister of actress Leela Desai.

Phani Majumdar mostly directed films which were acclaimed as creator of social consciousness. One of such films he directed was ‘‘Dhobi Doctor’ (1954). The film was produced under the banner of Ranjit Movietone. The star cast included Kishore Kumar and Usha Kiran in the lead role supported by Kanhaiyalal, Gautam, Krishnakant, Nazira Begum, Shivraj, Usha Rani, Master Jagdeep, Baby Asha Parekh etc

The gist of the story of the film based on the film’s review in January 24, 1954 issue of ‘Filmfare’ and the song book of the film is as under:

Ramu (childhood roe played by Jagdeep) is the son of a poor Dhobi, Mahadeo. Ramu is smart and intelligent. His elder sister, Lakshmi is very proud of her younger brother. Every evening, Lakshmi walks through the fields to pick him up from the school for back home.

One day, Lakshmi falls ill. Mahadeo has no money to bring doctor to the village. Having ranked top in his class in the school examination, Ramu has to attend to a prize distribution ceremony. But Lakshmi cannot accompany him as she is ill. After the prize distribution ceremony, Ramu returns home quickly to show his Didi the books he received as the prize. He finds that his Didi is dead. Choked with grief, he asks his father as to why Didi died. Mahadeo has no answer except that he was so poor that he could not afford to call a doctor. The broken-hearted Ramu vows that he would become a doctor and treat free the poor in the village.

Mahadeo works hard to earn more money for the fulfillment of Ramu’s dream. In the school, Ramu is taunted by some of his rich classmates for a dream of a poor Ramu of becoming a doctor but he is indifferent to the taunts. Ramu’s hard work and his father’s struggle bring fruits. He finishes his school with good performance and gets admitted to the medical college.

Ramu’s aptitude for medical studies attracts attention of the Vice- Principal, Professor Tripathi. He takes a greater interest in Ramu’s studies. Ramu becomes a doctor. Professor Tripathi helps him further in his practice by placing his laboratory at Ramu’s disposal. He also allows Ramu to study in his residence since his house in the village is far-off. Professor Tripathi has a young daughter, Uma (Usha Kiran) who plays pranks with Ramu. Gradually, Uma falls in love with Ramu. However, he is shy to reciprocate the love. Moreover, he is aware that he is the son of a poor Dhobi and Uma is the daughter of a rich father. There is struggle between his heart and realities of the situation. However, at the end, they unite after overcoming the stumbling block of the society.

‘Dhobi Doctor’ (1954) had 7 songs of which one song has been covered in the Blog. Interestingly, out of the 7 songs as many as 6 songs are solo songs of Asha Bhonsle. The remaining one song is sung by Kishore Kumar. All the songs were written jointly by Ali Sardar Jafri and Majrooh Sutanpuri and were composed by Khayyam.

I am presenting one of the remaining six songs from the film which is a rare one. The song is ‘taaron se akhiyaan milaaun main’ sung by Asha Bhonsle. When I first heard this song, I was surprised to note that the composition as well as the orchestrations of the song sounded like that of O P Nayyar. The fact is that when Khayyam composed the music for this song, O P Nayyar had not established himself as the music director of repute to copy his style of music. He came into prominence only after a runaway success of ‘Aar Paar’ (1954) and its songs. But the film ‘Dhobi Doctor’ (1954) was released on January 19, 1954, about 4 months before the release of ‘Aar Paar’ (1954).

Enjoy this song of Khayyam in the style of O P Nayyar.

Note: The information on Phani Majumdar is mainly from indiancine.ma, ‘Filmindia’ magazines, ‘Film Pictorial’- April 1945 issue and inputs from newspapers.

Audio Clip :

Song-Taaron se ankhiyaan milaaun main (Dhobi Doctor)(1954) Singer-Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD-Khayyam

Lyrics

hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
taaron se
taaron se ankhiyaan milaaun main
chanda ko sajna banaaun main
taaron se
taaron se ankhiyaan milaaun main
chanda ko sajna banaaun main
taaron se

shaam ki bahaaron mein
jhoomte nazaaron mein
naachoongi titliyaan ban ke
shaam ki bahaaron mein
jhoomte nazaaron mein
nachoongi titliyaan ban ke
chaandni ki chhaanv mein
dolti hawaaon mein
gaaungi koyaliyaa ban ke
dil na kisi se lagaaun main
chanda ko sajna banaaun main
taaron se
taaron se ankhiyaan milaaun main
chanda ko sajna banaaun main
taaron se

ankhiyon ko mal ke gaaungi machal ke
birha ke geet jhoothh moothh ke
ankhiyon ko mal ke gaaungi machal ke
birha ke geet jhoothh moothh ke
kahin bhi na jaaungi
abhi roothh jaaungi
aa ke man jaaungi roothh ke
dil na kisi se lagaaun main
chanda ko sajna banaaun main
taaron se
taaron se ankhiyaan milaaun main
chanda ko sajna banaaun main
taaron se
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm hmm
hmm hmm hmm

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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 : 3867 Post No. : 14884

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Blog 10-Year Challenge (2009-19) – Song No. 6
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When Atul ji introduced a new series, ‘Blog 10-Year Challenge (2009-19) on February 2, 2019 with a song intaha ho gayi intzaar ki, I was a bit skeptical about the availability of the songs for the series on a sustainable basis. After all, 10 year was a long period. I felt that most of the films for which the first song appeared 10 years back may have been already ‘yippied’. Also in respect of songs from the films released in the 1930s and 40s, most of the remaining songs of such films may not be available on-line. Nonetheless, the advantage of the new series is that the films and songs which have inadvertently gone out of our attention for a long time would come into our focus once again on a regular basis.

I had a quick browse through the songs covered in the Blog since its inception i.e., July 19, 2008 till March 31, 2009 with random checks for the rest of the months in 2009. The results gave me some hope that the captioned series can have songs for posting at least some days of the months. The reason is that during the early years of the Blog, most of the songs covered pertained to the films released in 1960s and 70s. There are some films of these years for which songs are available for posting in the Blog

I found that during July 19, 2008 to December 31, 2008, an overwhelming number of songs covered were of the films released in the 1960s and 70s with few songs from the 1950s and 1980s. However, the representation of songs from the films released in the 1930s and 40s were negligible. For instance, out of 475 songs covered during the period under reference, only 5 songs pertained to the films released in the 1940s – that too the late 1940s. Not a single songs of films released in the 1930s were covered during the period under reference.

These trends were, however, on the expected lines for two reasons. First, Atul ji, considering his age profile at the time of starting of the Blog, has virtually grown up in the midst of popular songs of the films of 1960s and 70s. Obviously, as a ‘start-up venture’ of his Blog, he would have been influenced by such songs. Secondly, and most importantly, even if he intended to cover the songs of the 1930s and 40s, I doubt whether these songs were available in good numbers on the video sharing platforms in 2008. Youtube was set up in 2005 as a video sharing platform. A random browsing of videos on YT gives me an impression that videos of Hindi film songs were uploaded in good numbers only from 2007 onward and the videos of old film songs (1930s and 40s) were getting uploaded mainly from 2009 onward. This trend has reflected in the Blog also. I have noted some of the popular singers of the 1930s and 40s who made debut in the Blog in 2009:

Singer Date of Debut on the Blog Song
K L Saigal 16/02/2009 Baalam aaye baso more mann mein
Zohrabai Ambalewaali 26/02/2009 Akhiyaan mila ke jiyaa bharmaa ke
Khursheed Bano 04/03/2009 morey baalpan ke saathi
Ameerbai Karnataki 08/04/2009 Gore gore o banke chhore
G M Durrani 25/04/2009 laara lappa laara lappa laai rakhdaa
Rajkumari Dubey 31/05/2009 Rasm e ulfat kisi soorat se
Kanan Devi 09/06/2009 duniya ye duniya toofaan mail
Pankaj Mullick 07/11/2009 Guzar gaya wo zamaaana kaisa kaisa

The songs covered in the Blog during the month of February 2009 continued to be on the expected lines. i.e., from the films released during 1960s and 70s. However, some significant additions were made during the month. On February 16, 2009, K L Saigal made a debut on the Blog with the song as mentioned in the table. With this song, for the first time since the inception of the Blog, a song from the film released in the 1930s – ‘Devdas’ (1935) also made the debut on the Blog. Thereafter, during the rest of the month with some spill-over to the succeeding month, one song of K L Saigal was covered almost on a daily basis for the next few days.

10 years ago on this date (Febraury 18, 2009), the Blog had covered 6 songs from films ‘Suraj’ (1966), ‘Hamraahi’ (1963), ‘Anaadi’ (1959), ‘Sangam’ (1964), ‘Sweekar Kiya Maine’ (1983) and ‘President’ (1937). Of these, the first four listed films have already been ‘yippied’. 3 songs of ‘Sweekar Kiya Maine’ (1983) are yet to be covered. In regard to ‘President’ (1937), 4 songs out of 7 songs have been covered in the Blog. One song ‘door bahut door phir bhi tum itne nahin door’ is a short song of about 40 seconds. Of the remaining two songs, ‘Maya rani ki nagri hai’ is not available on line to the best of my efforts. So that leaves only one song, which I intend to present today in this series.

‘President’ aka ‘Badi Bahen’ (1937) was produced under the banner of New Theatres (NT) and was directed by the Cinematographer and screen-play writer, Nitin Bose. The star cast included K L Saigal, Leela Desai, Kamlesh Kumari, Jagdish Sethi, Nawab Kashmiri, Bikram Kapoor, Dev Bala, Bikram Nahar etc. Probably, it was NT’s first attempt to make a film on the subject of industrialisation and the conflict between the management and the workers.

The gist of the story of the film based on the publicity material (song book) is as under:

A young Prabhavati (Kamlesh Kumari) becomes the President of the Prabhavati Cotton Mill Ltd due to the sudden and untimely death of her father. She is known to be strict disciplinarian with good workers rewarded and inefficient workers punished. With her hard work, she converts a small and modest organisation to a bigger establishment.

One day, Prakash (K L Saigal), an ordinary worker in the organisation points out to the President the faults in a machine which if not corrected can be dangerous to the workers. He takes liberty in advising the President that the machine designed by him takes care of faulty design. This is not liked by the President and Prakash is dismissed from the service.

Prakash needs to get some employment to take care of his widowed sister (Dev Bala) and her son. During one of his searches for employment, Prakash takes some rest near the Girls’ Hostel where he accidentally meets a beautiful girl, Sheila (Leela Desai) who is none other than the younger sister of Prabhavati, the President of the Mill. Both of them like each other.

In the meanwhile, a worker who has been employed in place of Prakash meets with an accident due to faulty machine. For the first time, Prabhavati, the President was thinking about Prakash and was wondering whether she had dismissed him wrongly. Dr Sethi (Jagdish Sethi), a friend, who secretly has a tender feeling for Prabhavati, advises her to approach Prakash for re-instatement. The President visits Prakash and appoints him as a Head of the Design Department.

Slowly, a love triangle is developing around Prakash. Sheila is already in love with Prakash and Prabhavati also develops a soft corner for Prakash. The sisters are unaware of this developments. What will be the outcome of the love triangle? The synopsis of the story ends as usual with suspense.

On the basis of the some snippets of the film available on-line and some guess work on my part, Sheila comes to know that Prabhavati also loves Prakash. Sheila respects her elder sister who has taken care not only of her but also of the Cotton Mill. Sheila’s attitude towards Prakash changes which he is not able to understand. He gets frustrated and this affects his relationship with co-workers. I have seen a film’s snippet in which the agitated workers revolts against Prakash and the work in the Mill has been affected. Prabhavati gets to know as to what is troubling Prakash. Probably, when she comes to know of the love triangle, Prabhavati locks herself in her office and collapses. Obviously, Prabhavati sacrifices her love in favour of her younger sister, Sheila.

Nitin Bose (26/04/1897 – 14/04/1986), the director of the film has been associated with NT since its inception in February 1931 as Chief Technical Adviser and the Head of Camera Department. His younger brother, Mukul Bose too joined NT as the Chief of Sound Recordings and was principally involved in introducing the playback singing system in both the Bengali and Hindi versions of ‘Bhagya Chakra/Dhoop Chaaon’ (1935). The box office successes of his directorial ventures like ‘Chandidas’ (1934), ‘Dhhop Chhaaon’ (1935), ‘President’ (1937), ‘Dhartimata’ (1938), ‘Dushman’ (1939) – all under NT banner made him one of the top directors of Hindi films.

Nitin Bose’s innings with NT ended when he had differences with B N Sircar, the boss of NT while shooting for ‘Kashinath’ (1943). He completed the film but did not return to NT thereafter but shifted Bombay (Mumbai). ‘Mujrim’ (1944) was his first film in Mumbai which he produced jointly with Vishnu Cinetone and directed it. The film did not fare well at the box office. Thereafter, he directed Filmistan’s ‘Mazdoor’ (1945), Bombay Talkies’s ‘ Milan’ (1946) in which he worked with Dilip Kumar for the first time. Some of the well known films which he directed included ‘Mashaal’ (1950). ‘Deedar’ (1951), ‘Waaris’ (1954) ‘Ganga-Jamuna’ (1961), ‘Nartaki’ (1963), ‘Dooj Ka Chaand’ (1964), ‘Hum Kahaan Jaa Rahen Hain’ (1966). ‘Saamanta’ (1972) was his last Hindi film as a director. In all, Nitin Bose directed 27 Hindi films between 1934 and 1972.

Although Nitin Bose spent nearly 3 decades in Mumbai as against about a decade in Calcutta (Kolkata), I personally feel that he received a much greater appreciation of his work as a Cinematographer, Writer and Director for films in NT than in Mumbai. The reason could be that in NT, directors had full freedom. If I go by what is stated in Kidar Sharma’s autobiography, B N Sircar did not interfere in the making of the film. As against this, ‘Ganga Jamuna’ (1961), which was one of his most successful films in Mumbai both in terms of critics’ reviews and the box office collections, it is alleged that Dilip Kumar, the producer of the film interfered in the direction of Nitin Bose. In his autobiography, Diip Kumar acknowledged that it was Nitin Bose in ‘Milan’ (1946) who thought him that emotions can be expressed by silence. Later, his style of dialogue delivery with pauses in between became his trade mark style.

Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, in his article, ‘Three Great Directors of India’ which appeared in June 1940 issue of ‘Filmindia’, had rated P C Barua, V Shantaram and Nitin Bose in that order as the greatest directors. Let us read below as to what K A Abbas had said about Nitin Bose and how effectively he used camera angles in ‘President’ (1937).

Nitin Bose is essentially a cameraman and his interest in a photo play is primarily pictorial. He also possesses a strong sense of drama and he can construct a vigorous scenario out of the slenderest story material. He rarely touches stories from well known classics and novels. He picks up an idea and a detailed script is written by him or some one else under his supervision. To him, the story of the author or the plot situations of the story is of no value unless they can be effectively expressed in photographic sense.

In the film ‘President’ (1937), the crazy camera angles in the opening scene create suspense. A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Mills is to start at 9.30 a.m. to be presided over by the President (who is the President?). The camera hitherto focused on the clock is suddenly swung to the door which opens and a woman (Kamlesh Kumari) walks in. If the director had tried any other way to shoot this scene, the realism would have been lost. But Nitin Bose, with the magic of his camera, makes the scene intensely dramatic. Towards the end of the film, in a climax situation wherein Kamlesh Kumari confines herself in a empty room (when she comes to know that her sister, Sheila is also in love with Prakash). In this situation, Nitin Bose created a terrific suspense by giving some crazy camera angles in quick succession of the empty room.

Nitin Bose received Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1977 for his outstanding contributions to the film industry. Seven years later, his nephew, Satyajit Ray received the same award in 1984. It is said that during the making of Bombay Talkies’ ‘Mashaal’ (1950) and its Bengali version ‘Samar’ (1950) which were directed by Nitin Bose, Satyajit Ray was present on the sets assisting Nitin Bose (Source: ‘Satyajit’s Sansar’ by Partha Chatterjee). However, he had not been officially accredited in these films.

I now present the song ‘Chandramukhi ki shaadi ke gagan ne deep jalaaye’ from ‘President’ (1937). I have made the video out of mp3 clip of the song. It is basically a chorus song. The lyricist of the song is unattributed. There were two music directors for the film – R C Boral and Pankaj Mullick. This song is composed by Pankaj Mullick.

I liked this song for the interlude orchestrations. Probably, such orchestrations which sound like a symphony in Western classical music, have been used for the first time in Hindi film music. I will not be surprised if Francisco Casanovas, the Spanish musician who used to play western musical instruments and conduct the musical band in the Grand Hotel, Calcutta those days, had assisted Pankaj Mullick in the composition of interlude orchestrations. My guess is based on a non-filmy song, praan chaahe nain na chahe composed and sung by Pankaj Mullick around the same time for which Francisco Casanovas has been accredited for the orchestration of the song.

Enjoy this choir like song with unique orchestration.

Audio Clip:

Song-Chandramukhi ki shaadi mein (President)(1937)Singers- Unknown female voice-1, Unknown female voice-2, MD-Pankaj Mullick
Chorus

Lyrics

chandarmukhi ki shaadi mein
gagan ne deep jalaaye
charankamal waale mukh ki hansi
shaadi dikhti(?) jaaye
charankamal waale mukh ki hansi
shaadhi dikhti(?) jaaye”

kaali aaj (??) ban mein saji
bin phoolon ki maala pade
kaali aaj (??) ban mein saji
bin phoolon ki maala pade
basant ritu mein kahat chale
khilat phool sunhare
basant ritu mein kahat chale
khilat phool sunhare
jahaan jharnon ke chhalchhal kal par
jal pariyaan naachen gaayen
jahaan jharnon ke chhalchhal kal par
jal pariyaan naachen gaayen
jal pariyaan naachen gaayen

phool wahaan se laayen
tanik door sajaayen
phool wahaan se laayen
tanik door sajaayen
taaron ki duniya se
hum phool chun ke laayen
taaron ki duniya se
hum phool chun ke laayen
tan k?? komal haathhon mein
un phool ko chadhaayen
chandarmukhi ki shaadi mein
gagan ne deep jalaaye
charankamal waale mukh ki hansi
??nikhri jaaye

aaj nayi ek baat suno
mann naache
aaj nayi ek baat suno
mann naache
raja rani to ek singhaasan baithenge kaise
raja rani to ek singhaasan baithenge kaise

sinhaasan par raani
charnon mein raja baithe


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 : 3831 Post No. : 14838

Today, January 13th 2019 is the 92nd birth anniversary of one of the prominent Hindi film producers-directors who debuted in early 1950s as a director. In the 1960s, he mostly produced and directed romantic and musical films. In the 1970s and thereafter, he produced and directed films with emotional contents. He is Shakti Samanta, a self-made man after struggling for almost a decade to get a firm foothold in Hindi film industry. He had made immense contributions to Hindi film industry.

Shakti Samanta (13/01/1926 – 09/04/2009) was born in Burdwan (now Bardhaman in West Bengal). His father was an engineer who died in an accident while Shakti Samanta was a child. So, he was sent to his uncle’s place in Dehradun where he did the schooling. After completion of his intermediate, he came back to Calcutta (Kolkata) and completed his graduation in 1944.

Shakti Samanta went back to his uncle’s place to help him in his business. During his school days, he had become a fan of films produced by New Theatres and Bombay Talkies for their emotional and romantic contents respectively. So he had a fascination for becoming an singer-actor in Hindi films. Obviously, he spent more time in acting in local drama theatres than in the business work for which he was reprimanded by his uncle. Sometime in early 1947, he decided to leave his uncle’s house for Bombay (Mumbai) to pursue his wish to become a singer-actor. He took a job of a teacher in a Urdu school in Dapoli, about 200 kms from Mumbai to sustain himself while he scouted for acting roles in Mumbai.

Since it was a Muslim-run school, every Friday, Shakti Samanta would visit Mumbai to take a round of studios and return to Dapoli by late evening. There were many Bengalis in the Bombay Talkies which enabled him at least to gain entry into Bombay Talkies studio. Eventually, he got a free-lance job without pay but with free food at the canteen of the Bombay Talkies. Since he was proficient in Hindi and Urdu in addition to Bengali, he got work of translating the scripts written in Bengali into Hindi for director, Phani Majumdar for which he was paid.

One day, he met S D Burman who was composing music for ‘Do Bhai’ (1947), to get a playback singing work. S D Burman told him that though his voice was good, it was not good enough for the playback singing. So he advised Shakti Samanta to look for work in some other departments though he offered to take him for chorus singing. With this, it was the end of his dream of becoming a singer but the acting bug in him remained.

It was Ashok Kumar who told him to forget about becoming an actor and instead concentrate on film direction. In Bombay Talkies, he became the First Assistant to Director, Phani Majumdar. At that time, Guru Dutt was the First Assistant to Director, Gyan Mukherjee. When Phani Majumdar had no assignment, Shakti Samanta used to work as Second Assistant to Gyan Mukherjee. On the other hand, when Gyan Mukherjee had no assignments, Guru Dutt used to work as Second Assistant to Phani Majumdar. So in 1947, Guru Dutt and Shakti Samanta were familiar with each other. While Guru Dutt could get his first directorial assignment for ‘Baazi’ (1951), it was a long wait for Shakti Samanta to make a debut as a director in 1955.

Post-partition, after the initial hiccups due to migration of film artists and technicians, Shakti Samanta got some assignments like assistant to the director Satish Nigam in ‘Sunhere Din’ (1948) and to Phani Majumdar in ‘Tamasha’ (1952) and ‘Dhobi Doctor’ (1954). He wrote script and dialogues for Bombay Talkies ‘Baadbaan’ (1954).

Shakti Samanta’s debut film as a director was ‘Bahu’ (1955) which he got by a sheer luck. The film was produced by Bikram Pahwa which was to be directed by the writer, Vijendra Gaud. However, he had already signed his first directorial venture, ‘Kasturi’ (1954) and Shakti Samanta was his Assistant Director for this film. Vijendra Gurd was under contract not to take up direction in any other film until ‘Kasturi’ 1954) was released. Shakti Samanta got the opportunity to direct his debut film ‘Bahu’ (1955) as director. The film did not do well on the box office.

During the making of the ‘Bahu’ (1955), Shakti Samanta was signed to direct A. A. Nadiadwala’s film ‘Inspector’ (1956) in which his mentor, Ashok Kumar was paired with Geeta Bali. The film became a hit and with this film, Shakti Samanta was tagged as a successful director for the crime thrillers. After directing ‘Hill Station’ 1957 and ‘Sheroo’ (1957), Shakri Samanta floated his own banner, Shakti Films in 1957.

The first film under his banner, Shakti Films was ‘Howrah Bridge’ (1958) in which his mentor, Ashok Kumar was paired with Madhubala. The film was also a crime thriller and became hugely successful in terms of box office. This gave him enough money to produce and direct a film in the genre of social drama, ‘Insaan Jaag Utha’ (1959). The film did the average business despite some excellent song compositions by S D Burman.

Shakti Samanta directed next two successful thrillers, ‘Jalli Notes’ (1960) and ‘Singapore’ 1960) for other producers. His association with Shammi Kapoor and Jaikishan of Shankar-Jaikishan started with the film ‘Singapore’ (1960) and thereafter they became close friends. The trios were known as Shammi, Shakki and Jackie.

With ‘Naughty Boy’ (1962), Shakti Samanta entered into his first romantic comedy genre with Kishore Kumar and Madhubala in the lead roles. When about 10 reels of film were shot, Madhubala fell ill. She was taken to London for treatment. Since there was some uncertainty in her resuming shooting, Shakti Samanta replaced her with Kalpana. All shots of Madhubala were reshot with Kalpana. The film took a long time to complete as Kishore Kumar also got busy with taking care of Madhubala. To make the matter worst, S D Burman, the film’s music director, also fell ill. As a result, except for one song, rest of the songs of the film were recorded by R D Burman and Jaidev.

The delay in the completion of the film put Shakti Samanta in financial difficulties. He approached his good friend, Shammi Kapoor for finance who advised him to produce a new film in which he would act and partly finance the film. So ‘China Town’ (1962) was conceived. The film was released in August 1962 and became a box office hit. With money flowing in from the success of ‘China Town’ (1962), Shakti Samanta completed ‘Naughty Boy’ (1962) and got released in November 1962. The film failed at the box office.

After the debacle of ‘Naughty Boy’ (1962), Shakti Samanta seems to have shifted the focus on producing and directing the genre of romantic and musical films. He had with him now Shammi Kapoor and Jaikishan to support such a genre of films. The film ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ (1964) was conceptualized with his two friends in mind. He had roped in a new comer, Sharmila Tagore whose parents were the family friend of Shakti Samanta, to act opposite Shammi Kapoor. It was a foregone conclusion that Shankar-Jaikishan would be the music director.

When O P Nayyar came to know about the new film, he requested Shakti Samanta to at least listen to his tunes before deciding on the music director. He also invited Shammi Kapoor for a musical sitting. Both were so much impressed with some 40 odds tunes O P Nayyar churned out, that both Shakti Samanta and Shammi Kapoor decided to take O P Nayyar as music director for ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ (1964) and selected 12 tunes out of which 9 tunes were used in the film and remaining 3 tunes were used in ‘Saawan KI Ghata’ (1966). The film was a blockbuster on the box office chart.

Shakti Samanta had lined up 3 films with Shammi Kapoor and Jaikishan combination. The first film, ‘Evening In Paris’ (1967) was a high budget film which were partly shot abroad. The film became successful at the box office. The second film ‘Pagla Kahin Ka’ (1970) was directed by Shakti Samanta for Ajit Chakravarty. The film was an average success. The third film, ‘Jaane Anjaane’ (1971) was in the planning stage when Shakti Samanta felt that Shammi Kapoor needed to reduce his weight before he started shooting for the film. He gave Shammi Kapoor six months’ time to reduce his weight. In the interregnum, Shakti Samanta decided to produce and direct a low budget social film ‘Aradhana’ (1969) which was his favourite genre inspired from the films of New Theatre. The saga of making of ‘Aradhana’ (1969) is interesting one.

Sometime in early 1960s, Sachin Bhowmik, the story, screen-play and dialogue writer had read out the story of Aradhana to Shakti Samanta. While he liked the story very much, he did not venture to make a film on the story as he felt that it would be difficult to get the lead actors to the roles envisaged in the story. This was also the views of Hrishikesh Mukherjee when Sachin Bhowmik had read out the story to him also. Since Shakti Samanta had now time to make a low budget film, he recalled the story of Aradhana and decided to make a low budget film.

Sharmila Tagore who was introduced in Hindi films by Shakti Samanta and Rajesh Khanna who was the discovery of United Producers-Filmfare Talent Contest (1965) in which Shakti Samanta was one of the judges, were taken for the lead roles. Sharmila Tagore was apprehensive of doing the mother’s role in her early filmy career. Rajesh Khanna had felt that his role had considerably lesser length than that of Sharmila Tagore whose presence in the film was from first to last frames. Shakti Samanta had to do a hard work to convince both the actors to remove their apprehensions as the roles were challenging from the acting point of view.

Since the story of the film was akin to the Bengali type of stories with emotional contents, Shakti Samanta was keen on S D Burman to take up the music direction of the film. However, here also he had to convince S D Burman to take up the music direction for the film. S D Burman rued that Shakti Samanta had so far engaged him as a music director only for his low budget films.

Just a day before ‘Aradhana’ (1969) was to start shooting, Surinder Kapoor, the producer of ‘Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati’ (1969) starring Shashi Kapoor and Babita invited Shakti Samanta to see rushes of the final climax of his film. He was shocked to see that the climax was the same as that was written for Aradhana. This was possible because both films were written by Sachin Bhowmick. The next day, Shakti Samanta had made up his mind to scrap Aradhana and asked Gulshan Nanda to work on his story, ‘Kati Patang’. But Gulshan Nanda along with another writer, Madhusudan Kalelkar convinced him that instead of scrapping the film, let there be some changes the second half of the story. Both of them reworked the second half of Aradhana in the next few hours and saved the film being scrapped.

When everything was set to start the shooting ‘Aradhana’, film distributors were not happy with casting the lead roles. They were of the view that the audience would not accept Sharmila Tagare in the role of mother who had so far done the glamorous roles. They also felt risky to give a new comer Rajesh Khanna the double role in the film. Again, Shakti Samanta was required to convince them that the lead actors would justify their roles.

‘Aradhana’ (1969) was completed in less than 6 months and was released sometime in October 1969. I had watched this film during the first week of its release as tickets were easily available. However, the box office collections of the film picked up from the second week onward mainly through words of mouth publicity. The film became the top grosser among the Hindi films released in 1969. The box office success of this film and later of ‘Bandhan’ (1969) and ‘Do Raaste’ (1970) made Rajesh Khanna a super star. In a print media interview, Shakti Samanta had acknowledged that from the gramophone record sales of ‘Aradhana’ only, he produced next five films. The records were dubbed and released in 5 languages, and were hits in every language.

With the success of ‘Aradhana’, Shakti Samanta ventured into producing more of social genre of films like ‘Kati Patang’ (1971), ‘Amar Prem’ (1972), ‘Anuraag’ (1972) which were also successful at the box office. However, after mid-1970, except for ‘Great Gambler’ (1979), Shakti Samanta could not get as much success at the box office as he got for his films in early 1970s. Just to balance the box office earnings, Shakti Samanta started producing bilingual films which were made in Hindi as well as in Bengali. He produced and directed the first bilingual film, ‘Amanush’ (1975) followed by ‘Anand Asharam’ (1979), ‘Barsaat Ki Ek Raat’ (1981), ‘Aar Paar’ (1985) etc.

In the 1990s, Shakti Samanta’s films could not match with the changing taste of the film audience. ‘Geetanjali’ (1993) was his last film as a director which failed at he box office. During this period, he had also become busy with his role as Chairman of the Film Censor Board for 7 years (1991-98) and as a Chairman of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata for 2 years. Hence, some of the films produced under the banner of Shakti Films were directed by his son, Ashim Samanta.

During his 5 decades of long filmy career, Shakti Samanta directed 37 films and produced 43 films under his banner, Shakti Films. He also co-produced and directed an Indo-Bangla Desh Bengali film in 1984 which became a super hit. He set up Aradhana Sound Service, the digital audio post-production facilities films. He received Filmfare Award for ‘Aradhana’ (1969), ‘Anuraag’ (1972) and ‘Amaanush’ (1975) under ‘Best Films’ category.

Shakti Samanta breathed his last on April 9, 2009 after a brief illness due to stroke.

For the occasion, I have selected a song from one of the films from Shakti Samanta’s struggling years to establish himself in the Hindi film industry. The song is ‘ye maara wo maara koi jeeta koi haara’ from ‘Hill Station’ (1957). The song is sung by Geeta Dutt on the lyrics of S H Bihari which is set to music by Hemant Kumar. From the lyrics and the tone of the song, it appears to be a club song probably picturised on Sheila Vaz.

——————————————————————————————————————-
Note: The information on Shakti Samanta with some associated anecdotes have been sourced from many interviews he gave both to the print media as well as to the electronic media, mostly during the 1990s. Some information has also been sourced from the interview Ashim Samanta gave for a FM Radio Channel in 2016.


Song-Ye maara wo maara (Hill Station)(1957) Singer-Geeta Dutt, Lyrics-S H Bihari, MD-Hemant Kumar

Lyrics

ye maara
wo maara

ye maara
wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet kaa khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ye maara

teri zindagi mein
aise mauke suhaane naa aayenge
teri zindagi mein
aise mauke suhaane naa aayenge
tere yahi patte
tera bigda muqaddar banaayenge
yahi chamkega teri naseeb ka taara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
o maara
ye maara wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ye maara

dekh o matwaale
aaj se apna daaman bachaaye jaa
dekh o matwaale
aaj se apna daaman bachaaye jaa
sun ae bhole bhaale
kabhi kismat se dhokha bhi khaaye jaa
rona hansna to jeevan ka khel hai saara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ho maara
ye maara wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ho maara
ye maara
wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ye maara


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 : 3821 Post No. : 14820

Nautanki (Indian Opera or Ballad) is one of the major forms of Hindi theatre which has been in vogue for over 200 years as a popular form of entertainment in the rural and semi-urban area in some parts of North India. It is believed that Nautanki originated around the present day Mathura-Vrindavan-Hathras regions in Uttar Pradesh in the forms of Raas leela, Swaang etc. Over a period of time, it become popular in Braj speaking areas such as eastern Rajasthan (Khayal, similar to Nautanki) and Northern Madhya Pradesh which are closed to the border of the western Uttar Pradesh. Later its influence got extended in the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Bihar.

Initially, nautankis were staged in Brajbhasha. Later the writers used the hybrid of Hindi, Urdu and local dialects in keeping with the changing taste of the audience who were now exposed to Hindi films.

The stories for the Nautanki have come from mythology (example: Harishchandra-Taramati), history (Amar Singh Rathod), folklore (Laila-Majnu, Puranmal), romance (Pak Mohabbat), noble bandits (Sultana Daaku) and the contemporary social and political issues. The stories are depicted in both the dialogues and singing. There are two main style of Nautanki. Hathrasi style gives more preference to singing in opera style with melodic exchanges between the actors on the stage. The Kanpuri style has a mix of dialogues and fast-paced singing. Probably, Kanpuri style was influenced by the touring Parsee Theatres’ plays.

The lyrics and the tunes of the songs in Nautanki are mostly traditional having been passed on orally from one generation to the next. However, newly composed songs are also included keeping with the stories used in the Nautanki. The main musical instruments used in the traditional Nautanki were Nagada, Dholak and Harmonium. The sounding of Nagada was intimations to the people that a nautanki mandali had come to perform in the village. But by the end of 1950s, additional musical instruments like Sarangi, Clarinet etc were introduced. The modern Nautanki theatres uses Keyboards, Drums and even Guitar in keeping with the music trends.

People would be attracted to watch the nautanki if the actors had powerful voice (there was no mike those days)- both for singing and dialogues and their effective interpretations of the lyrics of the songs through the facial expressions, the hand gestures and the dances. A couple of traditional folk songs are sung by the singers-dancers in between the acts as fillers to keep the audience’s interest intact during the nautanki shows.

Nautanki had been the male-dominated form of theatre when it had bloomed in the early 20th century. But one personality who has changed this tradition in early 1930s was Gulab Bai who became the first female artist to join the male-dominated Nautanki theatre. There are more ‘firsts’ to her credit. She was the first female who owned a successful Nautanki Mandali called Great Gulab Theatre Company’. She was the first recipient among the Nautanki artists to get Sangeet Natak Akadamy Award (1985) and ‘Padma Shri’ Award from Government of India (1990). Gulab Bai is a story of a girl born in extreme poverty who rose to the status of a nationally honoured nautanki artist. Yet she died sad and disappointed as the form of nautanki which she had actively nurtured had almost vanished in front of her own eyes.

Gulab Bai (C.1920 – 13/07/1996) was born in Balpurva village in the present day Kannauj district in Uttar Pradesh. She was the eldest among the 12 siblings. Her father’s was a wanderer who would go to forest for hunting and bring home small games like rabbit and birds. He also indulged in petty pilfering like stealing from agricultural fields. Her family belonged to Bedia community where the girls were bread earners by way of street performance as singers and the entertainers to the wealthy traders and businessmen. The Bedia men-folk seldom worked. Naturally, Gulab Bai’s father encouraged her to sing and dance to add to his income. She had inclination to learn singing and dancing from her childhood as she had been brought up among the other female members of her extended family who were performing artists.

A chanced visit to a nearby town called Makanpur with her father for the Annual Urs of Madar Shah, a Sufi saint, changed the outlook of Gulab Bai to become something greater than the street singer. During the Urs, one of the visiting Nautanki Mandalis called Tirmohan Lal’s Nautanki Theatre was staging ‘Harishchandra-Taramati’. Gulab Bai watched the nautanki and was impressed by the musical presentation with actors singing and dancing. She told her father that she would be interested in joining the nautanki theatre. Those days, both male and female roles in the nautanki were enacted by males only. There was no way that Gulab Bai would be taken in any nautanki mandalis. Nonetheless, her father took Gulab Bai to Tirmohan Lal, the owner of the Nautanki.

Tirmohan Lal, first refused to take Gulab Bai as in male-dominated nautanki theatres, females had no place. However, later he relented on the conditions that Gulab Bai would be paid only for her upkeep and she would have to travel to Kanpur where they had programmes lined up for a long duration. So this was the start of Gulab Bai’s first exposure to nautanki theatre. Her father or brother accompanied Gulab Bai to Kanpur.

Initially, Tirmohan Lal gave her job of singing dadras, rasiyas and lavanis in-between the nautanki acts and scenes as fillers (something, I guess, akin to ‘item number songs’ in Hindi films). Her songs were applauded by the audience which made Tirmohan Lal to consider her for higher roles in the nautanki. Her days were spent in learning the finer nuances of nautanki music from Tirmohan Lal. She also received the training from Mohammed Khan of Hathras who was well-versed in Hindustani classical raags and nautanki music. Thus she was groomed for taking subsidiary roles in the nautanki which she did admirably.

Over a period of time, with her natural flavour for singing and dancing and the audience’s favourable response, Tirmohan Lal gave her the lead roles of Taramati in ‘Harishchandra-Taramati’, Rani Haadi in ‘Amar Singh Rathod’, Laila in ‘Laila Majnu’, Shirin in ‘Shirin-Farhad’ etc. Her tremendous success and popularity among the nautanki audience motivated other female artists to join the other nautanki theatres most of whom were from the extended family of Gulab Bai.

By early 1940s, Gulab Bai had become the topmost nautanki artists with her monthly salary rising to Rs.2000/-. Tirmohan Lal’s Nautanki Theatre had become one of the topmost nautanki theatres due mainly to the popularity of Gulab Bai. A few of the competing nautanki theatres tried to lure Gulab Bai to join them at a higher salary. But she declined the offer as her loyalty was with Tirmohan Lal. On his part, Tirmohan Lal also raised her salary in keeping with her earning capacity for his nautanki theatre.

Sometime in 1954, Gulab Bai was need of some money urgently to meet the medical expenses for one of her younger sisters who had accidentally fallen from the staircase of her haveli. Gulab Bai was in Kanpur for that night’s nautanki show. Gulab Bai requested Timohan Lal for a day’s leave and Rs.100 for the medical treatment which he refused both. This attitude of Tirmohan Lal for whom she had worked for nearly 2 decades, made Gulab Bai upset. She left Tirmohan Lal’s nautanki, arranged money from her colleagues to attend to her sister’s medical treatment. After this incidence, Gulab Bai did not perform for Tirmohan’s nautanki.

In 1955, Gulab Bai formed her own nautanki theatre called the Great Gulab Theatre Company. Her 3 younger sisters and Raja, the hero from Tirmohan Lal’s nautanki joined her. In all her nautankis, Gulab Bai continued to be the heroin while Raja acted opposite her mostly in lead roles. During this period, Raja amd Gulab Bai started living together as husband-wife though they never legally married. He was the second ‘husband’ for her, as she had separated from the first sometime in the late 1940s. In a short time, Great Gulab Theatre became an established name churning show after show based on the popular stories in the various places. At one point of time, the Great Gulab Theatre had 120 artists on its role.

Towards, the end of 1970s, the fortune of Great Gulab Theatre Company was on the decline so also of others due to declining patronage of audience. With the advent of TV, VCDs and VCRs, the new generation of audience had different expectation from the Nautankis akin to what was churned out in Bollywood films. The Government had imposed entertainment tax on Nautanki shows. At the same time, Gulab Bai was in no mood to compromise on the production value of her Nautankis.

Gulab Bai must have sung hundreds of songs during her active career in the nautanki theatres. Unfortunately, very few songs have been released on the gramophone records. So far, 16 songs have been listed as being released on 78 RPM gramophone records. Her two most popular dadras, ‘nadi naare na jaao Shyam paiyyan padoon’ and ‘moko peehar mein mat chhed baalam’ were recorded and released in the late 1940s by HMV on 78 RPM gramophone record. These dadras were often played on wedding functions. Later, she also sang these on All India Radio.

Interestingly, these two dadras were used in Sunil Dutt’s film, ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’ (1963) sung by Asha Bhonsle. These songs became more popular than the original ones sung by Gulab Bai since early 1930s due to film’s pan India reach. Lawyers of Kanpur approached her to file a case against the producer of the film for using her songs without acknowledgement and compensation. She reprimanded the lawyers by saying that these were songs from the Braj. Women of Braj had been singing these songs for ages with their dholaks. There is nothing to write or compose. These are folk songs.

I guess, the issue of copyrights which was all over the newspaper must have given an opportunity for HMV to make money by bringing out Gulab Bai’s recorded songs in public by way of a LP. In 1969, HMV released 12 songs on LP. Probably, this was a better way of earning her dues by way of royalties than fighting a case in the court.

After Gulab Bai was awarded Sangeet Natak Akadamy Award in 1985, Government began inviting her company to perform on some state functions. Even though such invitations came in few and far between, Gulab Bai preferred state patronage as it was hassle free. She received a lump sum payment without the tension of a box office failure. Also there was no pressure from the audience for the cheap entertainment. Hereafter, her company reduced the public performances and did only the commissioned performances.

Gulab Bai breathed her last on July 13, 1996 after a short illness. She left behind her two sons one of which worked with SBI as an Officer. Her two daughters, Asha and Madhu are educated and married. They are traditional Nautanki artists.

During her active days in nautanki theatres, Gulab Bai had trained many artists so as to ensure that the folk theatres strive and there is continuity in the keeping alive the tradition. One of her wishes was that the Government should set up a Nautanki Academy in Kanpur to keep alive the folk tradition of nautanki by enrolling young people as nautanki artists. Unfortunately, her suggestion was never considered. She rued this just a few days before her death in a TV interview by way of couplet from Jigar Muradabadi which she told her daughter to sing.

<em.‘yahaan insaaf kis se maangne aaye ho ‘Jigar’
chalo yahaan se ye andhon ki rajdhaani hai

I was toying with the idea of selecting one of her 12 non-film songs in the LP for presenting along with this write-up. While looking for the video clip of the song on YT, I accidentally came across a video clip of a film song ‘Dilli se mol dupatta manga do’ sung by Gulab Bai in an obscure film ‘Diwanji’ (1950). So here is that song. While the lyricist is unattributed, the nautanki type song is set to music by Sushant Bannerjee.

To the best of my knowledge, this was the only song which Gulab Bai sang for a Hindi film.
Acknowledgements:
1. Gulab Bai : The Queen of Nautanki Theatre by Deepti Priya Mehrotra (2006).
2. Nautanki – Folk Theatre: A Study of Women Performers And Audiences in Mathura, UP by Vyomika Sharma-Bhardwaj (2013).
3. ‘Ek Thhi Gulab Bai’ – TV documentary by Krishna Raghava (1996).

Audio Clip :

Song-Dilli se mol dupatta manga do (Divanji)(1950) Singer-Gulab Bai, MD-Sushant Bannerji

Lyrics

Dilli se mol dupatta manga do
manga do sainyyaa
Dilli se mol dupatta manga do
manga do sainyyaa
laakhon kahi is ne ek na maani
laakhon kahi is ne ek na maani
kaise chhipaaun mein uthhti jawaani
uthhti jawaani
kaise chhipaaun mein uthati jawaani
uthati jawaani
ab koi reet bataa do
bataa do
Dilli se mol dupatta manga do
manga do sainyyan

Dhaake ki malmal ho rang ho dhaaani
Dhaake ki malmal ho rang ho dhaani
cham cham chamkegi mori jawaani
cham cham chamkegi mori jawaani
uspe gota kinaari lagaa do
do
uspe gota kinaari lagaa do
aur malmal manga do
malmal manga do
malmal manga do
malmal manga do
Dilli se mol dupatta manga do
manga do sainyyaa
Dilli se mol dupatta manga do
manga do sainyyaa

pahan dupatta ?? raani banoongi
raani banoongi
pahan dupatta ?? raani banoongi
raani banoongi
apne dewariya se binti karoongi
apni dewariya se binti karoongi
kya
sainyyan se
haan
sainyyan se mohe milaa do
do o
sainyyan se mohe milaa do
aur malmal manga do
malmal manga do
malmal manga do
malmal manga do
Dilli se mol dupatta manga do
manga do sainyyaa
Dilli se mol dupatta manga do
manga do sainyyaa


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 : 3812 Post No. : 14810

Today, the December 25, 2018 is the Remembrance Day of music Director, Eric Roberts akka Vinod (22/05/1922 – 25/12/1959) who left for the heavenly abode on this day of 1959 at a prime age of 37. Vinod has been one of my favourite music directors who mostly followed the ‘Punjabi Ang’ of music, introduced in Hindi films by Pandit Amarnath. He composed top class melodies in Hindi and Punjabi films. His musical career started with ‘Khamosh Nighaaen’ (1946) and composed music for 28 Hindi films till his death in 1959.

Vinod came into prominence in his filmy musical career with his excellent song compositions in ‘Ek Thhi Ladki’ (1949). One of songs from this film laara lappa laara lappa laai rakhdaa became very popular. Both Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar sang for Vinod for the first time in this film. Despite this success, he had to share music direction in a few subsequent films with other music directors. Most of such films failed at the box office despite his good music. With this kind of his filmy career, he joined the list of talented music directors who could not sustain their successes to reach in the top bracket of the music directors.

In 1949, music director Shankar-Jaikishan made a successful debut in ‘Barsaat’ (1949). S D Burman had his first major success as a music director in ‘Shabnam’ (1949). Both these music directors consolidated their positions in the Hindi film industry after their first success. One of the main reasons for their long successful careers, in my view, was that both of them were selective in choosing the films, that too from the top banners. As against these, Vinod, after the success of ‘Ek Thhi Ladki’ (1949), continued to be mostly associated with ‘B’ grade film banners. Though a few of such films were moderately successful, it was not enough to attract attention from the top banners. In Hindi film industry, if one gets branded as a music director of ‘B’ grade films, it is very difficult to get entry into the top banners.

A few select songs among others composed by Viond are listed below as my favourite:

Song Singer(s) Movie (year)
badla nazar aata hai Satish Batra-Premlata ‘Taara’ (1949)
ye shokh sitaare Lata-Rafi ‘Ek Thhi Ladki’ (1949)
taare wohi hain chaand wohi hai Lata ‘Anmol Ratan’ (1950)
kaaga re jaa re jaa re Lata ‘Wafa’ (1950)
nighaahon ko jab aa gayaa musukuraana Sulochana Kadam ‘For Ladies Only’ (1951)
mere barbaadiyon per muskuraane aa gaya koi Lata ‘Sabzbaagh’ (1951)
chupke se na jaa o man ke raaja Asha Bhonsle ‘Aag Ka Dariya’ (1953)
mere dil jhoom zara S Balbir ‘Mumtaz Mahal’ (1957)

Among the male playback singers, who sang for Vinod, Mohammed Rafi topped the list with 33 songs. Among the female playback singers singing for him, Asha Bhonsle took the honour of singing the maximum songs (82).

As a tribute to music director, Vinod, I have selected one of my favourite songs ‘ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do’ rendered by Asha Bhonsle for the film ‘For Ladies Only’ (1951). The film seems to have got delayed as I remember to have seen an advertisement of this film in an old film magazine of 1949 as ‘Titlee’. Probably, at the time of the censor certification, the name of the film was changed to ‘For Ladies Only’. The film was directed by Vedi. The star cast included Kuldeep Kaur, Kamal Mehra, Satish, Sadhana Bose, Rupa Verman etc.

There were 8 songs in the film with 6 lyricists and 8 playback singers. The song under discussion was written in a ghazal format by ‘Sharma’ which I presume to be Buta Ram Sharma. Narendra Sharma never wrote ghazals for the films and Kidar Sharma rarely wrote lyrics for other banners.


Song-Ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do (For Ladies Only)(1951) Singer-Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Butaram Sharma, MD-Vinod

Lyrics

ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do
ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do
ulfat ko phir hai kiska sahaara jawaab do
ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do

bulbul chaman ko chhod bayabaan jaa rahe
bayabaan mein jaa rahen
kaise karoge tum ye gawaara jawaab do
ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do

jinse thhi zindagi wo hi jab gair ho chale
jab gair ho chale
phir aur kaun hoga hamaara jawaab do
ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do

dil ro raha hai apni tasalli ke vaaste
tasalli ke vaaste
jaaye kahaan ye dard ka maara jawaab do
ashqon ka gar hai maut kinaara jawaab do


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 : 3809 Post No. : 14805

I am presenting a non-filmi ghazal recorded sometime in the early 1940s which I had heard a few years back. But after a long gap, this ghazal resurfaced when I was looking for information on the music director Chitta Roy in the context of one of the songs, aayi jawaani aayi aayi composed by him. The ghazal is ‘gham-e-zindagi kaa yaa rab na milaa koi kinaaraa’ (1940) sung by Talat Mehmood. Chitta Roy composed the music for this ghazal. The shaayar of this ghazal has been mentioned as I A Minai or Idris A Minai, a name I heard for the first time.

Despite searching extensively on the internet, I could not get even the basic information about Idris A Minai. A Google search on him gave information mostly about Ameer Minai, a well-known classical Urdu poet of the 19th century whom the current generation of fans of ghazals identify with his popular ghazals like ‘sarakati jaaye re rukh se naqaab aahista aahsta’ and ‘jab se bulbul tu ne do tinke liye’. There was, however, one name ‘Khalid Minai’ which appeared on a Google search as a Facebook page. A surprise was in store for me when I opened the page. Khalid Minai was none other than Idris A Minai who had adopted ‘Khalid’ as his nom de plume. The Facebook page, started by his son on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary has a detailed biography of Idris A Minai. I have majorly edited his biography from the Facebook page – Khalid Minai, to make it concise. The edited version follows as under:

Idris Ahmad ‘Khalid’ Minai (29/08/1916 – 08/02/2008) was the grandson of the great Urdu poet and scholar, Ameer Minai (1827 – 1900) and the son of Mohammad Ahmad Minai and Raees Fatima. He was born in the “Purani Khandsar” quarter of the State of Rampur, (now in Uttar Pradesh) where both Ameer Minai and his son Mohammad Ahmad Minai served as high officials of the State of Rampur. The family who had settled in Rampur since 1858, moved to Hyderabad (India) in 1937 shortly after the death of his father, Mohammad Ahmad Minai.

Idris Minai completed his BA from Allahabad University in 1937, and MA in Economics from Osmania University, Hyderabad, in 1940. After a stint as a journalist for the paper “Payaam”, edited by Qazi Abdul Ghaffar, Idris Minai joined the Hyderabad State Bank (now State Bank of Hyderabad) in 1941, serving as the branch chief in Aurangabad (now in Maharashtra).

After Partition, Idris Minai was the first of the seven Minai brothers to move to Pakistan in 1948. After working in the State Bank of Pakistan for 2 years, he moved to the then newly formed National Bank of Pakistan – Pakistan’s first official commercial bank. Over the next twenty years, he served the bank in various capacities – both in West and the then East Pakistan (now Bangla Desh). He retired from the National Bank of Pakistan as Deputy Managing Director in 1971.

Literature and poetry were a major part of the environment in which Idris Minai grew up. His grandfather, Ameer Minai, was regarded as one of the major poets in the history of Urdu literature, and had succeeded the great poet, Ghalib, as the poetic mentor of the Nawab of Rampur. His father, Mohammad Ahmad Minai, was also a prolific poet, though he gave up the pursuit later in life. It was, therefore, natural for him to express himself in poetry, and, following the common practice, he chose a nom de plume, ‘Khalid’ (meaning, ‘eternal’).

Most of his poetic training occurred informally through interaction with his peers and elders which included Jaleel Manakpuri, the famous Urdu poet and the student of Ameer Minai, Fani Badayuni, Jigar Muradabadi, Hasrat Mohani, Hairat Badayuni, and Qazi Abdul Ghaffar, who gave him his first job. He developed close personal friendships with poets such as Sikandar Ali Vajd, Mahirul Qadri, Saeed Shaheedi, and several others. A notable influence for him was his eldest brother, Ismail Ahmad “Tasneem” Minai, who was himself a distinguished poet and writer. He was also influenced by Allama Iqbal for his universal vision which went beyond the classical poetry.

One of Idris Minai’s early works is an ode on the River Ganga which he wrote based on his experience while he was staying in Allahabad for his graduation. A collection of Idris Minai’s works is in the preparatory stage. In addition to poetry, he also wrote Urdu prose pieces in a language that recalled Oscar Wilde in its stylish beauty

Throughout his active life, Idris Minai participated in literary activities, beginning with mushairas in Allahabad, Hyderabad, Bombay (Mumbai), and elsewhere. After moving to Pakistan, the Minai siblings organised regular poetic events in Karachi and Lahore featuring the leading poets of the time.

Idris Ahmad ‘Khalid’ Minai breathed his last on February 8, 2008 in Karachi.

The ghazal under discussion has two versions. Talat Mehmood sang the original version in 1940 as per the uploader of the video. I could not get information on the internet as to when the original record was released. If the uploader is correct, then this ghazal precedes Talat Mehmood’s first recorded song sab din ek samaan nahin thha (1941). Talat Mehmood re-recorded this ghazal in almost identical orchestration sometime in 1960. I have given videos of both the versions for comparison purpose. My preference is the original version because Talat Mehmood voice was fresh without much of quiver as against the 1960 version.

Audio Clip :

(Original recorded in 1940)
Audio Clip :
\
(Re-recorded in 1960)
Song-Gham e zindagi ka ya rab na milaa koi kinaara (Talat Mehmood NFS)(1940) Singer-Talat Mehmood, Lyrics-Idrees A Minai, MD-Chitta Roy

Lyrics (based on Original recording)

gham-e-zindagi kaa yaa rab
na milaa koi kinaaraa
gham-e-zindagi kaa yaa rab
na milaa koi kinaaraa
meri fikr-e-bekaraan ne
do jahaan ko chhaan maaraa
meri fikr-e-bekaraan ne

meri aarzoo ko bakhshi
teri har nazar ne rafat
meri aarzoo ko bakhshi
teri har nazar ne rafat
usse bekaraan karegaa
mere shauq kaa sharaaraa
usse bekaraan karegaa

main kabhi ravaan davaan thhaa
kahin dasht-e-bekhudi mein
kisi door ki sadaa ne
mujhe pyaar se pukaaraa
kisi door ki sadaa ne

meraa zarf ye ki lekar
gham-e-bekaraan main chup hoon
meraa zarf ye ki lekar
gham-e-bekaraan main chup hoon
na sukhan se raaz paidaa
na jabeen se aashkaaraa
gham-e-zindagi kaa yaa rab
na milaa koi kinaaraa
gham-e-zindagi ee ee ee ee eee

———————————–
Meaning of some Urdu words

Yaa rab= Oh God

Fikr-e-bekaraan= Limitless anxiety

Rafat= Elevation

Shararaa= Spark, Flash

Ravaan= Moving

Davaan= Running

Dasht-e-bekhudi= Wilderness of intoxication

Sadaa= Call

Zarf= Capability

Sukhan= Words, News

Jabeen= Forehead

Aashkaaraa= Clear, Visible


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 :

3807 Post No. : 14802 Movie Count :

4048

I was not aware tat there was a film titled ‘Maya Dor’ (1949) until two days’ back. On a further scrutiny, I drew almost blank on the details of the film other than what was mentioned in HFGK. The film was produced under the banner of Ram Krishna Films Corporation, Calcutta. Names of actors, director and the genre of the film are not known.

According to HFGK, there were six songs in the film which were released on the gramophone records. Name of the lyricist for all the songs are unattributed. Fortunately, singers of all the songs as well as the name of the music director, Chitta Roy have been mentioned. The names of playback singers – Supriti Ghosh, Bechhu Dutta, Rama Devi, Kala Baran, Anima Dutta and Gauri Mitra are new to me. There was one solo song sung by Angurbala which interested me as I was aware of her name as a classical singers specialising in khayal, thumri, dadra, ghazal, naat and devotional songs.

None of the six songs listed in HFGK was available on video sharing platforms. Fortunately, I could outsource mp3 clips of two songs, one of which happened to be the song rendered by Angurbala. An interesting fact about about the singer and the music director of this song was that both Angurbala and music director, Chitta Roy were actively associated with Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Angurbala (real name, Prabhabati Banerjee) was born in the Indas village of Burdwan district (now in Bankura district), West Bengal in C.1896. Her father was an army officer. Angurbala received primary education in her village. Despite being good at study, she had to quit formal education and had to join the stage at an early age for reasons of poverty. Angurbala’s first guide in music was Amulya Majumder. Later, she took training from Ustad Jeet Prasad. She received training in Khayal and Thumri from Pandit Ram Prasad Mishra and Ustad Zamiruddin Khan.

She entered the stage as a child artist under the guidance of dramatist Nripendra Chandra Basu in dancing and singing roles. Her Dance Master was Lalit Mohan Goswami who gave her name ‘Angurbala’ for the stage. She carried on with the same name as a performing artist as well as a singer. In 1912, she entered into her professional career as a singer-actor in a Bengali drama staged by Cornwallis Theatre, Calcutta. Thereafter, she became a regular stage artist in several plays.

The Gramophone Company of India invited her to record songs. ‘Kaala Tor Tarey Kadamtolay Cheye Thaki’ and ‘Bandho Na Torikhani Amar E Nadikuley’ were her first two Bengali non-film songs to be released on records. Thereafter she became a regular with HMV, cutting innumerable discs.

In the year 1923, her first silent film ‘Indrasabha’ was released. Her first talkie was ‘Jamuna Puliney’ (Bengali, 1933) in which she played the role of Brindey. Indubala and Kamala Jharia were her co-stars in this film. Soon she made her presence felt in singing roles in Hindi films like ‘Radha Krishna’ (1933), ‘Char Darvesh’ (1933), ‘Naseeb Ka Chakkar’ (1936), ‘Maa Ki Mamta’ (1936), and some other films in many different Indian languages like Bengali, Urdu, Tamil and Telugu.

Angurbala was the first singer to sing from All India Radio, Calcutta on the very first day when broadcasting was started in 1927. Her immense popularity as a singing artist drew the attention of the Nizam of Hyderabad who specially invited her to sing in his court. In one of the discs during this period, her photo was printed on one side of a record with the photo of Hyderabad’s Nizam on the other. That was the extent she impressed the Nizam with her songs. Her stage performances continued at the same time and her songs were a source of major attraction for all those who queued up for tickets of the plays.

Angurbala’s association with Kazi Nazrul Islam broadened her music field and she recorded several songs of Nazrul gradually achieving the status of a major exponent of such songs. She was appointed as a music trainer of HMV by Kazi Nazrul Islam. She quit acting to concentrate on singing which was her first love.

Angurbala was popularly known as Sangeet Samragyee (Empress of the Music). Indubala was her close personal friend. A documentary film, titled ‘Teen Kanya’ featuring her along with two other artistes namely Indubala and Kamala Jharia was made in 1972. Apart from a Gold disc from HMV, she was awarded the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1983 and a honorary D.Litt from Kalyani University.

Even in advanced age, Angurbala participated in music functions and gave public performances. Sometime in 1982, she suffered a stroke that caused loss of her memory. After about 18 months, she breathed her last on January 7, 1984 leaving behind her foster son, Amal Banerjee, his wife and a treasure of her music.

I was familiar with the name, Chitta Roy, the music director who had composed a few Hindi non-filmy songs in the 1940s. He was one of the first to use Talat Mehmood for a non-filmy ghazal ‘Gham-e-Zindagi ka ya rab na mila koi kinara’ in early 1940s which was re-recorded in 1963.

Chitta (Chittaranjan) Roy was born on March 2, 1912 in Barisal (now in Bangla Desh). He passed B. Sc. (Physics) from Calcutta University with honours. But his interest was in the music. When he first went to HMV office in Calcutta in 1938 to record his maiden songs as a singer and composer, he was not allowed. Subsequently, on a request from Kazi Nazrul Islam, Chitta Roy was allowed to record his songs under the supervision of Kazi Nazrul Islam. These two songs were Bengali non-filmyl songs – ‘Ekla Ghare Dakbo Na.’ (1938) and ‘Ke jaane maa tobo maya’ (1938). With this gratitude, Chitta Roy got attached to Kazi Nazrul Islam and he became personal assistant to him.

With this association, Chitta Roy composed many Nazrul songs along with folks, modern and devotional songs. Kazi Nazrul Islam gave him a pseudonym name ‘Dilawar Hossain’ for his excellent rendition of Islamic songs. Throughout his life, Chitta Roy remained devoted to his mentor.

Chitta Roy was also associated with composing songs for a few Bengali films like ‘Nishir Dak’, ‘Krishna Kaberi,’ ‘Alibaba’ in the 1940s. He also recorded audios for Bengali plays like ‘Padmini’, ‘Chandrabati’, ‘Harishchandra’ etc. He was the visiting professor of music in Rabindra Bharti University and the Bengal Music College affiliated to the University of Calcutta.

During his last days, Chitta Roy suffered from hypertension but he did not give up his first love, the music. On the night of September 12, 1963, he suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to hospital where he breathed his last in the evening of September 13, 1963. He was 51.

The only Hindi film for which Chitta Roy composed songs was ‘Maya Dor’ (1949). I am presenting one of the rarest song ‘aayi jawaani aayi’ sung by Angurbala for the film. The lyricist is unattributed. This song has a typical Bengali music flavour close to the style of another stalwart, Kamal Dasgupta. Probably both were influenced by the music of Kazi Nazrul Islam.

With this song, ‘Maya Dor’ (1949), Angurbala and Chitta Roy make debut in the Blog.

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

Acknowledgements: The information on Angurbala is mainly based on an article written by Dr. Jyoti Prakash Guha which appeared in the Journal of the Society of Indian Record Collectors, Mumbai – Annual TRN 2008. The information on Chitta Roy was based on a Blog ‘ Chitta Roy – A Name in the World of Music’. I could not locate the name of the author of the Blog but Shibani Basu, one of the daughters of Chitta Roy seems to be associated with the Blog as her name appears as one of the contacts for suggesting the improvement on the information on Chitta Roy.

Audio Clip:

Song-Aayi jawaani aayi aayi (Maaya Dor)(1949) Singer-Angoorbala, MD-Chitta Roy

Lyrics

aayi jawaani aayi
aayi jawaani aayi
aayi
aayi jawaani aayi
armaanon ke taar milaati
jeewan swarag basaati ee ee
jeewan swarag basaati
armaanon ke taar milaati
jeewan swarag basaati ee ee
jeewan swarag basaati
dukh se dil ka dard mitaati
dukh se dil ka dard mitaati
bigdi baat banaati ee ee
bigdi baat banaati

hai anmoli(?) ghoonghat ?? ??
hai anmoli(?) ghoonghat ?? ??
aayi jawaani aayi
aayi
aayi jawaani aayi

veeraanon mein phool khilaati
soone mahal basaati ee ee
soone mahal basaati
veeraanon mein phool khilaati
soone mahal basaati ee ee
soone mahal basaati
naye naye sansaar dikhaati
naye naye sansaar dikhaati
jeewan naya banaati re
jeewan naya banaati
laakh maraz ki ek dawaai
laakh maraz ki ek dawaai
aayi jawaani aayi
aayi
aayi jawaani aayi
aayi jawaani aayi
aayi
aayi jawaani aayi


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 : 3803 Post No. : 14795

Jigar Muradabadi (06/04/1890 – 09/09/1960) has been often called as ‘shaayar of beauty and love’. Jigar confined his poetry mostly covering his admiration for beauty, love, and emotions. It is said that his poetry has some influence of Daagh Dehlvi and Momin Khan Momin.

I have read through almost all of his ghazals that are available online and in Hindi (or Roman Hindi). There are no philosophical or spiritual tones in almost all of his ghazals. Like-wise I have not come across any poetry depicting the situations during the British rules though he had spent much of his life under British rule. Even if such poems do exist, perhaps they have not been well publicised. After independence also, his poetry did not venture much into the socio-economic situations in the country which had been the main plank of Urdu poets associated with PWA.

Jigar says :

Unka jo farz hai wo ahl-e-siyasat jaane
Mera paighaam mohabbat hai jahaan tak pahunche

[What is their duties only politician would know.
I give the message of love wherever it reaches]

As in the case of some Urdu poets like Majaaz Lucknawi, Jigar’s ghazals are a sort of his own autobiography. From 1920 to 1938, his life was captivated by alcohol and the beauty. Married at an early age, he had numerous love affairs, all of which turned out to be failures. These are all reflected in his ghazals. But unlike Majaaz who rued his failed love affairs in his poetry, Jigar can find joy even in his unfulfilled love because, for him, the experience of love itself is a joy.

It has been stated that he had a huge fan following encompassing both the elites and the masses. The respect he got cut across the religious lines. It is said that participation of Jigar Muradabadi was a sure success of a mushiara due to his poetry and the melodious renditions.

Jigar did not formally become guide to the budding young Urdu poets of his time. But he was a source of inspirations and mentors for poets like Behzad Lucknawi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badayuni, Khumar Barabankvi etc.

I am presenting Jigar Muradabadi’s one of those ghazals which seems to have been ignored by many prominent ghazal singers. This beautiful non-film ghazal is ‘sharmaa gaye lajja gaye daaman chhuda gaye’ (1993). Ghazal is composed and rendered by Rochana Dahanukar. Her rendition of the ghazal is preceded by a she’r which has, more or less, the same meaning as that of the maqta of the ghazal. I am not sure whether the first she’r was written by Jigar Muradabadi. I have tried to translate the ghazal below to the best of my ability:

taghaaful tajaahul tabassum takallum
yahaan tak to pahunche hain wo aate aate

Taghaaful = Neglect, unmindful.
Tajaahul= Feigning ignorance.
Tabassum= Smile.
Takallum= Converations, Talking.

[She is uncaring, she ignores me, at times she talks and smiles.
At least she has slowly reached me thus far.]

sharmaa gaye laja gaye daaman chhuda gaye
ai ishq marhabaa wo yahaan tak to aa gaye

Marhabaa=Hello, Welcome

[She blushed, shied and then moved away from me.
O my love, welcome, at least she came thus far.]

dil par hazaar tarah ke auhaam chhaa gaye
yeh tum ne kya kiya meri duniya mein aa gaye

Auhaam= Whims, superstitions.

[A thousand types of superstitions descended on me.
What you have done by coming into my life.]

sehn-e-chaman ko apni bahaaron pe naaz thha
wo aa gaye to saari bahaaron pe chaa gaye

Sehn-e-chaman= Garden courtyard.

[The courtyard of garden was so proud of the season of spring.
When she came, she overshadowed the season of spring.]

ab kya karoon main fitrat-e-nakaam-e-ishq ko
jitne thhe haadsaat mujhe raas aa gaye

Fitrat-e-nakaam-e-ishq= nature/creation of unrequited love.
haadsaat= Calamities

[What can I do about the creation of unrequited love?
The number of such calamities I faced, I enjoyed them.]

Rochana Dahanukar had started as a classical/ghazal singer with 3 albums to her credit in the 90s. Later on, she had her own musical band giving performance in India and abroad. She is also a voice trainer for the upcoming singers.

This ghazal of Jigar Muradabadi has joie de vivre in all the she’rs except the last one where the poet is helpless in facing numerous calamities from his unrequited love. But he still says that he enjoyed them because of the experience of imagining the love.

Enjoy this beautiful ghazal in the sonorous voice of Rochana Dahanukar.

Audio Clip:

Song-Sharma gaye laja gaye daaman chhuda gaye (Rochana Dahanukar NFS)(1993) Singer-Rochana Dahanukar, Lyrics-Jigar Muradabadi, MD-Rochana Dahanukar

Lyrics

taghaaful tajaahul tabassum takallum
taghaaful tajaahul tabassum takallum
yahaan tak to pahunche hain wo aate aate

sharmaa gaye laja gaye daaman chhuda gaye
sharmaa gaye laja gaye daaman chhuda gaye
ai ishq marhabaa wo yahaan tak to aa gaye
sharmaa gaye laja gaye

dil par hazaar tarah ke auhaam chhaa gaye
dil parrrrrrrrrr
dil par
dil par hazaar tarah ke auhaam chhaa gaye
yeh tumne kya kiya meri duniya mein aa gaye
yeh tumne kya kiya meri duniya mein aa gaye
ai ishq marhabaa wo yahaan tak to aa gaye
sharmaa gaye laja gaye

sehn-e-chaman ko apni
sehn-e-chaman ko apni bahaaron pe naaz thhaa
sehn-e-chaman ko apni bahaaron pe naaz thhaa
wo aa gaye to saari bahaaron pe chhaa gaye
wo aa gaye to saari bahaaron pe chhaa gaye
ai ishq marhabaa wo yahaan tak to aa gaye
sharmaa gaye laja gaye

ab kya karoon main fitrat-e-naakaam ishq ko
ab kya karoon main fitrat-e-naakaam ishq ko
jitne thhe haadsaat mujhe raas aa gaye
jitne thhe haadsaat mujhe raas aa gaye
ai ishq marhaba wo yahaan tak to aa gaye
sharmaa gaye laja gaye daaman chhuda gaye
ai ishq marhabaa wo yahaan tak to aa gaye
sharmaa gaye laja 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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3792 Post No. : 14777 Movie Count :

4038

Recently, I came across one of the interesting topics of discussion about the ‘ghost’ singers of Hindi film industry in an editorial in October 1945 issue of ‘Filmindia’ magazine. I reproduce below some relevant portion of the discussion for the purpose of the article:

Outside the film industry, very few people seem to know what the ‘ghost’ singers of the screen earn per month. Many people are under the impression that music is still a cheap commodity in the motion picture world and can be purchased with paltry payments. Whatever be the actual quality of the film music from purely classical point of view, the silly, insipid music which Indian film producers usually give, cost them anything from Rs,400/- to Rs.1000/- per song and very often merely for the singing voice apart from the cost of orchestration and recording.

Amir Karnataki, a popular ‘ghost’ singer charges Rs.1000/- per song which require an hour for the rehearsal and two hours for recording the song. India’s best musicians (singers) – man or women – never earned so much money even during 24 hours of non-stop singing. There are many ‘ghost’ singers in the film industry. Some of the prominent ones like Zohra Jaan (Ambalawaali), Shamshad, Zeenat, Naseem Akhtar and Rajkumari should be earning Rs.8000/- to Rs.10000/- per month in good season. Amir Karnataki’s monthly earning should be colossal the way we find selling her voice to all and sundry pairs of lips on the screen.

The editorial has further estimated that with the number of films produced in a year, assuming an average of 9 songs per films, the total cost of music during a year comes to about Rs.6,50,000 with an average payment of Rs.500/- per song. This amount is shared by a dozen female playback singers and about half a dozen male playback singers, most of whom, according to the editorial, are rotten singers.

The editorial smacks of the jealous attitude towards the popular playback singers of that time. I have, however, brought this out for a different reason. If the producers thought that these were the popular playback singer those days and deserved such kind of payments, then why did producers refrain from giving them publicity to add value to their films in terms of creating the audience’s interest ?. Names of playback singers did not appear in the credit titles of the films until sometime early 1950s. Based on a few cases which I had come across, I guess, the song pamphlets of the films of the 1930s and the 40s may have mentioned mostly the names of the actors on whom the songs were picturised. So the playback singers during these times remained really the ‘ghost singers’ without any official identity with the films’ music. But why did they remain ‘ghost singers’?

The concept of ‘ghost singers’ has to be seen in the background of how the music in sound films evolved in its early stages. During this stage, actors were required to sing the songs on themselves in the films. Although the playback system was introduced in 1935 in Calcutta and in 1937 in Bombay, the system got well-established only in the early 1940s. However, the convention of giving credit to the actors as singers either in their own names or in the names of the roles they performed on the screen continued in most cases well into the end of the 1940s. The convention created a lot of problems in the latter years in identifying the so called ‘ghost singers’ especially for those who had interest in listening to the songs of pre-golden era period of Hindi film music. It was only after Lata Mangeshkar became a force to reckon with in the sphere of playback singing in early 1950s, the system of giving credit to playback singers both in the credit titles of the films as well as on the gramophone record labels was put in place.

It is in the context of identifying the playback singers and also music directors/lyricists that Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ of Hindi Film Geet Kosh has rendered yeoman service in documenting the Hindi film music up to 1985. The process of documenting the Hindi film music – especially of 1930s and 1940s are an on-going process as we still come across many songs of these periods where playback singers, lyricists and music directors have not been identified.

Recently, I came across 4 rare songs of an obscure film ‘Mohini’ (1947). All the songs are very melodious. However singers for the songs have not been identified. There were three lyricists – Bekal, Sarshar Sailani and Raj Hashmi and two music directors – Lachhiram Tamar and Bhai Lal. But the individual songs were not identified with any one of the lyricists and music directors.

It was so frustrating for me for not being able to formally identify those associated with four melodious songs of the film. So I contacted Sudhir ji for help in identifying at least the singers of the songs. Though he had all the four songs in his collections, none of them were tagged. So he contacted one of his collector-friends who identified not only Munawwar Sultana as singer for all the four songs, but also confirmed that all the four songs were composed by Lachhiram Tamar. I am thankful to Sudhir ji and his friend for the help.

‘Mohini’ (1947) was produced under the banner of Mahindra Pictures, Lahore and was directed by Mahindra Gill. The star cast included Chand Kumar, Mahapara, Pran, Roofi, Nazar, Niranjan, Baby Shamshad etc. The film had 7 songs.

I am presenting the first song from the film,’meri mast aankhon se aa pee bhi le’ sung by Munawwar Sultana to appear in the Blog. As mentioned earlier, there were three lyricists and the song writer for this song has not been identified. The song was set to music by Lachhiram Tamar. The prelude music of the song would give an impression that the song belongs to the music style of early 1950s.

Enjoy this ‘Aankh’ song with ‘masti’.

With this song, ‘Mohini’ (1947) makes a debut in the Blog.

Audio Clip:

Song-Meri mast aankhon se aa pi bhi le (Mohini)(1947) Singer-Munawwar Sultana, MD-Pt Lachchiram

Lyrics

o o o
jeenewaale
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
o o o
jeenewaale
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le

lutaayi huyi zindagi laayi hoon
lutaayi huyi zindagi laayi hoon
laayi hoon
bebasi ki hansi
laayi hoon
laayi hoon
bebasi ki hansi
laayi hoon
bol kar aaj saahab mein tere liye
bol kar aaj saahab mein tere liye
ye aahon bhari zindagi laayi hoon
ye aahon bhari zindagi laayi hoon
zindagi ka sahaara hai hi kya
zindagi ka sahaara hai hi kya
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le

meri yaad dil ko sataati thhi jab
kya tujhe
yaad hai
yaad hai
aankhon(?) ke baat
yaad aati thhi jab
kya tujhe yaad hai
yaad hai
yaad ho ya na ho
ab aa bhi jaa
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog.This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3783 Post No. : 14765

With the advent of talkies in 1931, many new actors joined the Hindi film industry in the 1930s in addition to those who had switched over from silent films. While some actors became successful and remained active in the film industry for a long time, an overwhelming majority of actors could not be sustained for longer period in the film industry. Within this category, there were some actors who became successful in their initial stages of the filmy career, but lost the momentum of success in their later stage. While they remained active in the film industry for reasonable period, they went into oblivion and thus forgotten after the end of their filmy career.

Rama Shukul was one of such actors who despite talent and age on his side could remain active only for a decade or so. Thereafter he made some sporadic appearances films in minor roles for about another decade. Today, he has been forgotten to such an extent that no basic information about him is available on the internet other than his incomplete filmography. Luckily, I could lay my hand on an article written by Hyacinth (pseudo name of Susheela Rani) on Rama Shukul in Filmindia magazine (September 1942) based on her inter-actions with him sometime in 1942. I could also update his filmography and other information from various issues of Filmindia magazines of 1938 to 1949 and thereafter from the website, myswar.co. I also watched his four films – ‘Bhabhi’ (1938), ‘Navjeevan’ (1939), ‘Durga’ (1939) and ‘Aazaad’ (1940) which are available online to get a feel of his acting. I found Rama Shukul to be a natural actor. He looked like a seasoned actor even in his first film ‘Bhabhi’ (1938).

Rama Shukul was born in Jabalpur to Badri Prasad Shukul and Sushila Shukul in a wealthy family. His father was the District Superintendent of Police in Central Province (presently the parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhatishgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra). Rama Shukul was the only son and therefore was pampered a lot by his father. Whenever his father was transferred, he would take with him Rama Shukul. As a result, his education was affected. He completed his Matriculation and was enrolled in Robertson College, Jabalpur for graduate study. The pampering of his father was such an extent that he gifted a car for his son to travel to the college. The whole idea of his father was to keep Rama Shukul interested in studies. However, he was more interested in sports and acting than the studies.

Rama Shukul was the college champion for three years in a row in tennis and was in the college teams for cricket, hockey and volleyball. In 1935, he participated in the Inter-Collegiate Drama Competition at Banaras Hindu University where he received the trophy for the best actor in the role of Hamlet in the drama. His father wanted to send him to England for ICS or for becoming a barrister. But Rama Shukul could barely complete his Senior Cambridge. Looking at his son’s interest in sports, his father arranged for a job for him as an Assistand Director of Physical Culture in the State at Nagpur. But the young Rama Shukul refused to accept the job saying that he was going to become a film actor. His father lost all hopes of shaping his bright career.

In 1938, Rama Shukul came to Bombay (Mumbai) to pursue an acting career in the films. But to get into the film studios, one must have reference but Rama Shukul did not have any in Mumbai. He had one friend in Mumbai, Fazal Chinoy. His father, Sir Rahimtula Chinoy was the promoter of the Indian Radio Company and the Director of the Imperial Bank of India (now State Bank of India). He was also a former member of the Indian Legislature Assembly. With his influence, Rama Shukul could get an appointment with Sir Richard Temple, the Managing Director of Bombay Talkies.

Sir Richard was impressed with his educational background. He introduced Rama Shukul to Himanshu Rai who agreed to take him as an actor. He signed a contract with Bombay Talkies in September 1938 and made it to ‘Bhabhi’ (1938) as his first film in a villainous role. The film was a box office success. In the film’s review published in ‘Filmindia’, Baburao Patel praised his acting by saying that ‘Rama Shukul is a good addition to the Indian screen. In the role of Anupam – the main obstacle in the whole scheme, he turns out to be a successful nuisance’.

Rama Shukul worked for Bombay Talkies for about 2 years during which time he acted in lead roles with Hansa Wadkar in ‘Navjeevan’ (1939) and with Devika Rani and Hansa Wadkar in ‘Durga’ (1939). In ‘Aazaad’ (1940), though Ashok Kumar and Leela Chitnis had lead roles, it was Rama Shukul pairing with Hansa Wadkar who had major presence in the film.

When he was to work opposite Devika Rani in his 5th film in Bombay Talkies, Himanshu Rai died. His death was a great shock to Rama Shukul due to his personal attachment. He was regarded as a blue-eyed boy of Himanshu Rai. Many in the Bombay Talkies had developed dislike for him as they felt that he was pampered by the boss of the Bombay Talkies. In this milieu, Rama Shukul could not continue in the Bombay Talkies for long.

His next destination was Ranjit Movietone where he acted in the second lead role in ‘Iqraar’(1942). This was followed by ‘Mehmaan’ (1942), ‘Fariyaad’ (1942) and ‘Dukh Sukh’ (1942). However, none of these films made much impact on the box office front. From 1943, he became a free-lance artist and acted in the second lead in Ramnik Productions’ ‘Dulhan’ (1943), ‘Kiran’ (1944), and ‘Gaon Ki Gori’ (1945).

By this time, his status as an actor seems to have come down from second lead actor to one among the supporting actors. In this category, he worked in Filmistan’s ‘Eight Days’ (1946) and ‘Shikari’ (1946). This was followed by ‘Mulaaqat’ (1947), ‘Shikaayat’ (1948) and ‘Meherbaani’ (1950).

After 1950, the filmy assignments of Rama Shukul seem to have dwindled significantly. His name started appearing in ‘other actors’ like in ‘Shamsheer’ (1953), ‘Sardaar’ (1955) and ‘Sitaaron Se Aage’ (1958). ‘Madhu’ (1959) was Rama Shukul’s last film as an actor when he may be around 45 years of age. I could not get any information as to how he spent rest of his life after 1959.

Despite being recognised as one of the fine actors of the 1940s, Rama Shukul had an active filmy career of about 10 years (1938-48). During his entire career, he acted in 20 films.

I am presenting ‘zara dheere ho zara dheere’ from ‘Mehmaan’ (1942) sung by Shamim Bano and Rama Shukul. The song is written by Pandit Indra and is set to music by Khemchand Prakash. This duet is actor-singer songs and is the 5th song to appear in the Blog.

Although HFGK credits the male voice in the song to Rama Shukul, in my view, it may not be his voice when I compare his voice in the songs in ‘Navjeevan’ (1939) and ‘Durga’ (1939). My hunch is that the male voice in this song may be of Bulo C Rani based on his rendition of ‘rootthna pyaar mein karwat ka badal jaana hai’ from the same film. I request the opinions from the experts on my presumption.

For the time being, however, I have retained the name of Rama Shukul as the male singer in the video caption of the song.

I find this song a sweet expression of love.


Song-Zara dheere ho zara dheere(Mehmaan)(1942) Singers-Shamim Bano, Rama Sukul, Lyrics-Pt Indra Chandra, MD-Khemchand Prakash
Both

Lyrics

zara dheere ho zara dheere
zara dheere ho zara dheere
zara dheere ho zara dheere
zara dheere ho zara dheere
saajanwa
saajaniya
saajanwa
saajaniya
zara dheere dheere
zara dheere dheere
jhoola na ho
mora naazuk jiya behlaana
o mora naazuk jiya behalaana
zara dheere ho zara dheere
zara dheere ho zara dheere

chunariya hamaari hawa ho gayi
nazariya tumhaari dawa ho gayi
chunariya hamaari hawa ho gayi
nazariya tumhaari dawa ho gayi
ye champa chameli rahi kyun akeli
bataao zara morey shyaam
ye champa chameli rahi kyun akeli
bataao zara morey shyaam
saajanwa
saajaniya
saajanwa
saajaniya
zara dheere dheere
zara dheere dheere
jhoola na ho
mora nazuk jiya behlaana
o mora najuk jiya behalaana
zara dheere ho zara dheere
zara dheere ho zara dheere
zara dheere ho zara dheere
zara dheere ho zara dheere


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What is this blog all about

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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TEN years. This blog has over 14900 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 3800 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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Movies with all their songs covered =1163
Total Number of movies covered =4076

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