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

Archive for the ‘Master Fida Hussain Songs’ Category


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

Blog Day : 3688 Post No. : 14595

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

janaab e naaseh samahjte hain hum
wo sangdil hain jafaa karenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lyrics

aaaa aa aa
aa aaaaa aaaaaaa
aaaa aaa aa aa

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

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

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

आsss आ आ
आ आssss आssssss
आsss आss आ आ

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Day : 3526 Post No. : 14163

Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betaab’ (1872-1945), Agha Hashr Kashmiri (1879-1935) and Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak (1890-1963) are regarded as a troika of Parsi theatre. They were the most popular among the playwrights of their time. Their works took the Parsi theatre to the zenith of its glory. This is well recognised in most of the literature on the history of Indian theatres. While Betaab and Radhe Shyam have been credited for popularising plays in Hindi, Agha Hashr Kashmiri had done the pioneering work in Urdu drama.

However, all the three playwrights switched over to Hindustani in the peak of their careers in theatres for easy understanding as they found larger audience for such plays than before. Probably, this might be the one of the reasons as to why in the era of talkies, most of the films were made in Hindustani instead of pure Hindi or Urdu. In fact, in the initial period, talkie films were an extension of Parsi theatre dramas.

I have already covered in our blog, the life sketches of Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betaab’ in Abroo Ki Kamaanon Mein and of Agha Hashr Kashmiri in Yaad Mein Teri Jahaan Ko Bhoolta Jaata Hoon Main. In today’s post, I propose to cover the biography of Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak, which is very interesting.

Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak (25/11/1890 – 26/08/1963) was born in Bareilly in a poor Brahmin family. His father, Pandit Bankelal was a good singer and used to sing in Ram Lila. From the childhood, Radhe Shyam used to accompany his father to Ram Lila. At the age of 8, Radhe Shyam learnt playing harmonium from his father and started singing during Ram Lila along with his father.  Most of the time, Ramayan and other mythological stories were sung. Growing up in this environment made the young Radhe Shyam to pursue the vocation of Katha Vaachak (story-teller).

Though Radhe Shyam seems to have left the school before completing his primary level, he was well versed with Urdu, Awadhi and Brijbhasha besides Hindi . By the age of 12, Radhe Shyam started composing poems and also performing as a Katha Vaachak. Simultaneously, he learnt music from Ustad Rahat Ali Khan.

By the turn of the 20th Century, theatre companies in India had made their presence felt, mostly in urban and semi-urban centres. The Parsi theatres played an important role in staging dramas all over India. The New Alfred Theatrical Company of Bombay (now Mumbai) used to visit Bareilly every year  to stage their popular plays. The themes of the plays were mostly historical and mythological stories though some time social and political issues were also covered in the plays. Radhe Shyam was exposed to these types of  plays as his father usually took him to watch the plays staged by The New Alfred Theatrical Company.

Meanwhile, Radhe Shyam’s performance as a Katha Vaachak and his father’s singing drew attention of Pandit Motilal Nehru who was looking for a Ramayan singer to entertain his ailing wife. Both father and son spent over a month in Pandit Motilal Nehru’s residence, Anand Bhawan in Allahabad singing the story of Ramayan. With this kind of accreditation, Radhe Shyam started performing as  Katha Vaachak at various places in North India.

Around 1910, Radhe Shyam’s career as story-teller took a turn when he got interested in theatre. The inspiration for this change came from the play ’Khoobsoorat Bala’ written by Agha Hashr Kashmiri and directed by Soharabji Ogra. He liked the play so much that he decided to become a playwright. An opportunity came to him when The New Albert Company of Punjab came to Bareilly and visited Radhe Shyam’s house to enlist his services for revising the script of their play ‘Ramayan’. While staging this play in the royal palace, the Maharaja of Jaipur had found faults and his secretary had recommended Radhe Shyam’s name  for the revision.

After a month’s work, The New Albert staged the revised ‘Ramayan’ for which Radhe Shyam was given the additional responsibility of directing the play in place of Abdul Rehman Kabuli who was an actor in the play.  Master Nisaar played the role of Seeta. The play became successful and Radhe Shyam’s name became well known in the theatre circle.

Some of Radhe Shyam’s famous and hit Hindi/Hindustani plays were ‘Veer Abhimanyu’ (1916), ‘Shravan Kumar’ (1916), ‘Parivartan’ (1925), ‘Shri Krishnavtaar’ (1926), ‘Rukmini Mangal’ (1927), ‘Ishwar Bhakti’ (1928), and ‘Draupadi Swaymvar’ (1929). He also wrote an Urdu play ‘Mashriqui Hoor’ (1926). Most of his plays were staged by The New Alfred Theatrical Company. He became New Alfred’s full time employee as a playwright. During his theatre days, Pandit Radhe Shyam continued to perform as Katha Vaachak. In fact, he  used to devote time for the theatre works only when he was free from his main vocation.

However, due to his frequent bout of illness, Pandit Radhe Shyam’s long stint with New Alfred ended in August 1930 when he resigned from the Company. After recovery from his illness, Pandit Radhe Shyam got the offer from Maadan Theatres (of Calcutta (now Kolkatta)) to write dialogues and songs from their second talkie film ‘Shankutala’ (1931). The film was directed by JJ Maadan who wanted as many songs in this film, as in their first talkie film ‘Shirin Farhad’ (1931).  Pandit Radhe Shyam had to work the long hours for writing the songs which were picturised on the same day as he completed each song of the

Being a puritan in nature Pandit Radhe Shyam could not adjust to the working environment in the theatre and film studios, in which actors were smoking and drinking. In 1933, Pandit Radhe Shyam left Calcutta for Bareilly. Though offers were coming to him from the film production companies, he selected very few films such as ‘Shri Sataynarayan’ (1935) ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ (1937), ‘Usha Haran’ (1940, as story and screen-play writer), ‘Jhansi Ki Raani’ (1952) and ‘Krishna Sudama’  (1957). He took all  these assignments when he was on private visits to Bombay.

In 1940, Pandit Radhe Shyam decided to stop earning money and to devote most of his time as Katha Vaachak free of cost. He became the disciple of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in pursuit of his social activities including Ganga Mahasabha. He toured the entire north India to propagate the use of Hindi. After the death of his elder son in October 1947 and of his wife sometime in 1957 Pandit Radhe Shyam fully devoted his time to the reading of Holy Scriptures and performing as a Katha Vaachak.

Pandit Radhe Shyam left for the heavenly abode on 26th August 1963 in Bareilly leaving his legacy in Radhe Shyam Ramayan and a dozens of his popular dramas.

Sometime in 1920s, Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak,  wrote the epic poem ‘Ramayan’ for the masses in the simple language (in Hindustani). He wrote the epic poem in 24 parts and got published in his own printing press set up for this purpose in 1939. To make the print copies of his version of Ramayan affordable to the masses, he fixed a nominal price of  Re.1/-. The Radhe Shyam Ramayan as it is known today became so popular that almost all Ramlilas were staged based on his Ramayan in the Hindi belt.  In Ramanand Sagar’s TV serial ‘Ramayan’ telecast during 1987-88, one of the sources mentioned in the credit title was Radhe Syham Ramayan. Later on. with his involvement in propagating Hindi, Pandit Radhe Shyam converted the language from Hindustani to pure Hindi.

In 1947, Pandit Radhe Shyam thought of producing a film based on his Ramayan, titled ‘Ram Janm’. He had roped in his close friends Prithviraj Kapoor and Chandramohan for the main roles who had agreed to work free of cost  for him. First, the film was to be shot in the studios of Kolhapur/Poona. The cost worked out much higher than the budget. On the suggestion of some of his well-wishers, he decided to produce the film in a Calcutta studio where the cost would have worked out within his budget. A financier from Calcutta was found and Rameshwar Sharma was taken as the director.

Before, the film’s shooting could commence, Hindu-Muslim riots broke out in Bengal. After a few days, Pandit Radhe Shyam had to rush back to Bareilly to attend to his elder son who was seriously ill. He later died of illness. Around the same time, his film’s financier as well as the director, Rameshwar Sharma, also passed away. Ultimately, the film ‘Ram Janm’ was scrapped. Pandit Radhe Shyam’s wish to produce a film on Ramayan story remained unfulfilled.

Today’s generation may not know much about Pandit Radhe Shyam  Katha Vaachak of  his contributions to the Indian theatre. However, I am sure he is well known especially in the Hindi belt for his Radhe Shyam Ramayan through Ram Leela.

As mentioned earlier, Pandit Radhe Shyam  had decided in 1940 that he would stop working for money. So the films for which he worked as a dialogue writer/lyricist in 1940 and thereafter was free of charge to the producers.

One of Pandit Radhe Shyam’s earliest films in Bombay was ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ (1937). The film was produced under the banner of Bharat Lakshmi Pictures and was directed by Vithaldas Panchotia. The star cast included Mazhar Khan, Sarla Devi, Vithaldas Panchotia, Khalil Ahmed,  JN Dar (Kashmiri), Shayam Sunder, Rampiyari, Radha Rani, Fida Hussain, Nand Kishore, Vilayat Hussain etc. The film had 10 songs, out of which this one is written by Pandit Radhe Shyam. As for the remaining nine, the Geet Kosh lists the lyricist name as Tanveer. However, some online sources credit the songwriting of these 9 songs to Aarzoo Lakhnavi. The songs were set to music by Nagar Das Nayak.

I am presenting the first song ‘Ye Suna Hai Maine Jaadu Hai Rajaji Ke Pad Pankaj Mein’ written by Pandit Radhe Shyam. The complete song is of the duration of more than 6 minutes, and it is published on two sides of the 78 rpm record no. N 16020.

It is in the fitness of thing that this song has been sung by Fida Hussain who was discovered by none other than Pandit Radhe Shyam in 1918 as actor-singer for female roles for plays staged by The New Alfred Theatrical Company.  An autobiography of  Fida Hussain was written by Pratibha Agrawal under the title  ‘My 50 Years in Parsi Theatre’ (1986) on the basis of a series of interviews with him. Since this article has already become too long, I will not add the life sketch of Fida Hussain. One important note about him – in 1939 he donned the title role of Narsi Mehta in the play ‘Narsi Mehta’. The play became a hugely popular hit and it ran for over 1000 nights. Because of this, Fida Hussain was honoured with the title ‘Narsi’ which he proudly used as suffix to his name as  Fida Hussain ‘Narsi’.

The song under discussion is one episode taken from Radhe Shyam Ki Ramayan and it has been rendered as katha vaachan (story-telling). It describes the episode from the initial days of banwaas when Lord Ramchandra, Seeta and Lakshman were required to cross the river Ganga. The boatman recognising Lord Ram said that he would like to wash Lord Ram’s feet before he allowed Him to step on to his boat as he had heard that with the dust of His feet, a statue made of stone turned into a woman. So he does not want his wooden boat turned into many women. With his meagre earnings as a boatman, he does not have enough to take care of them. Pleased with the innocence of the boatman, Lord Ram permitted him to wash His feet.

After washing Lord Ram’s feet, the boatman ferried them across the Ganga river. As they alighted, Seeta Maata handed over Her ring to Lord Ram to pass on to the boatman as the payment for ferry as they had no money to offer. The boatman refused to accept the ring. He then explained to Lord Rama that people from the same profession do not take the payment for the services rendered to each other. A labourer would not accept payment from another labourer and a boatman would not accept payment from another boatman.

Lord Ram responded that He and the boatman were not in the same profession. To which, the boatman further explained that both of them did the same service. The boatman ferried people from one shore to another and Lord Ram ferried people across the ocean of this world (bhavsaagar) during the journey of life. The boatman further said that if Lord Ram did not want to feel obligated to him, He can pay His debt by taking the boatman across the ocean of world.

Since Fida Hussain acted in this film, it is apparent that the song was picturised on him. Incidentally, the role of Fida Hussain in the film was that of a Hindu Commander to the Muslim King.

With this song, ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ (1937) makes its debut on our blog.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements: The bio sketch of Pandit Radheshyam Kathavaachak is based on the English translation of his autobiography ‘Mera Natak Kaal’ (1957), incorporated in the book, ‘Stages of Life – Indian Theatre Autobiographies’ (2011) by Kathryn Hansen; plus inputs from a couple of articles on him which appeared in Hindi/English newspapers.]


Song – Ye Suna Hai Maine Jaadu Hai Raja Ji Ke Pad Pankaj Mein (Khudai Khidmatgaar) (1937) Singer – Master Fida Hussain, Lyrics – Radheyshyam Kathaavaacha, MD – Nagar Das Nayak
Unidentified Male Voice

Lyrics

kevat yun kehne lagaa..aa
zara sakuch ke saath
kehni to hai baat par
kahi na jaati naath
 
ye suna hai maine jaadoo hai
raja ji ke pad pankaj mein
raja ji ke pad pankaj mein
pathhar mein jaan daalne ki
hai shakti mahaan charan raj mein
 
jo hai so. . .
ramji ki ichchaa se phir kya hua
 
nahi jab tak charan loon pakhaar
chadhaaun na raja
chaahe roothho karo chaahe pyaar
chadhaaun na raja
 
rahe jo bhed to howe mujhe aadi ganga
tumhaare mere hain dono ke agaadi ganga
ghule jab tak na mann ka vikaar
chadhaaun na raja
 
jo hai so phir kyaa hua?
 
tab shri ramchandra ji ne kaha
kaho tumhaara jaaye yadi
sanshay isi prakaar
to hum bhi taiyyaar hain
lo ye charan pakhaar
 
unn charon kaa mal kyaa dhoya
dhoya kevat ne mal apna
kar liya janm janmaantar tak
us kevat ne ujawwal apna
jo charan anekon tap kar ke
muniyon ko drishti na aaate hain
kyaa taajjub hai kevat dwaara
is prakaar dhoye jaate hain
 
yun hi naavik kar chuka
jab apna uddhaar
jaa pahunchi nauka udhar
ganga ji ke paar
jaa pahunchi nauka udhar
ganga ji ke paar
jaa pahunchi nauka udhar
ganga ji ke paar
 
kevat ne udhar bida maangi
teenon ko sheesh nawaa kar ke
teenon ko sheesh nawaa kar ke
bhagwaan us samay mann hi mann
rah gaye zara sakucha kar ke
 
apne swami ki sakuchaahat
jis samay nihaari seeta ne
jis samay nihaari seeta ne
ungli se apni mani mundri
us samay utaari seeta ne
 
seeta ki mundri lage ae
dene seeta nath
tabhi kahaa mallaah ne
wahin nawaa kar maath
 
mazdoori to main ne apni
hey nath peshkar le li hai
aur wo bhi apni muhn maangi
apna jee bhar kar le li hai
chuk gayi mazoori jab  meri
to raha aap par bhaar nahi
uddhaar ho gaya jab mera
to kaudi rahi udhaar nahi
 
main ganga ghaat kaa maanjhi hoon
tum bhavsaagar ke kevat ho
main is dhaara ke teer pe hoon
aur tum us dariya ke tat ho
 
mazdoor kahin mazdooron ko
mazdoori dete hain bhaiyya
mallaah kahin mallaahon se
mallaahi lete hain bhaiyya
 
apne ko rini samajhte ho to
rin tum wahin chukaa dena
apne ko rini samajhte ho to
rin tum wahin chukaa dena
maine hai tumko paar kiya
tum mujhko paar lagaa dena
maine hai tumko paar kiya
tum mujhko paar lagaa dena
 
———————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————
केवट यूं कहने लगा
ज़रा सकुच के साथ
कहनी तो है बात पर
कही ना जाती नाथ

ये सुना है मैंने जादू है
राजा जी के पद पंकज में
राजा जी के पद पंकज में
पत्थर में जान डालने की
है शक्ति महान चरण राज में

जो हैं सो॰॰॰
रामजी की इच्छा से फिर क्या हुआ

नहीं जब तक चरण लूँ पखार
चढ़ाऊँ ना राजा
चाहे रूठो करो चाहे प्यार
चढ़ाऊँ ना राजा

रहे जो भेद तो होवे मुझे आड़ी गंगा
तुम्हारे मेरे है दोनों के अगाड़ी गंगा
घुले जब तक ना मन का विकार
चढ़ाऊँ ना राजा

जो है सो फिर क्या हुआ

तब श्री रामचंद्रा जी ने कहा
कहो तुम्हारा जाये यदि
संशय इसी प्रकार
तो हम भी तैयार हैं
लो ये चरण पखार

उन चरणों का मल क्या धोया
धोया केवट ने मल अपना
कर लिया जन्म जन्मांतर तक
उस केवट ने उज्ज्वल अपना
जो चरण अनेकों तप कर के
मुनियों की दृष्टि ना आते हैं
क्या ताज्जुब है केवट द्वारा
इस प्रकार धोये जाते हैं

यूं ही नाविक कर चुका
जब अपना उद्धार
जा पहुंची नौका उधर
गंगा जी के पार
जा पहुंची नौका उधर
गंगा जी के पार
जा पहुंची नौका उधर
गंगा जी के पार

केवट ने उधर बिदा मांगी
तीनों को शीश नवा कर के
तीनों को शीश नवा कर के
भगवान उस समय मन ही मन
रह गए ज़रा सकुचा कर के

अपने स्वामी की सकुचाहट
जिस समय निहारी सीता ने
जिस समय निहारी सीता ने
उंगली से अपनी मणि मुद्रि
उस समय उतारी सीता ने

सीता की मुंदरी लगे
देने सीता नाथ
तभी कहा मल्लाह ने
वहीं नवा कर माथ

मजदूरी तो मैंने अपनी
हे नाथ पेशकर ले ली है
और वो भी अपनी मुंह मांगी
अपना जी भर कर ले ली है
चूक गई मजूरी जब मेरी
तो रहा आप पर भार नहीं
उद्धार हो गया जब मेरा
तो कौड़ी रही उधार नहीं

मैं गंगा घाट का मांझी हूँ
तुम भवसागर के केवट हो
मैं इस धारा के तीर पे हूँ
तुम उस दरिया के तट हो

मजदूर कहीं मजदूरों को
मजदूरी देते हैं भैया
मल्लाह कहीं मल्लाहों से
मल्लाही लेते हैं भैया

अपने को ऋणी समझते हो तो
ऋण तुम वहीं चुका देना
अपने को ऋणी समझते हो तो
ऋण तुम वहीं चुका देना
मैंने है तुमको पार किया
तुम मुझको पार लगा देना
मैंने है तुमको पार किया
तुम मुझको पार लगा देना


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

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