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

Archive for the ‘Padma Devi Songs’ Category


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, 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 : 3564 Post No. : 14287

Today’s song is from the film ‘Kisaan Kanya’ from 1937. This movie is famous for being the first indegenuously made colour film of India, by Ardeshir Irani’s Imperial Film Company. Film pioneer Irani was also the first to make an international co-production, with Italy – the film ‘Nala Damayanti’ – a silent film of 1920. Secondly, and more importantly, he also holds the honour of making and releasing India’s first talkie film ‘Alam Ara’ in 1931. And with film ‘Kisaan Kanya’, he achieved a hat trick of ‘First in India’ credit in film making.

Ardeshir Irani was very keen to become the first to make a talkie film in India. He knew that Madon Theatres of Calcutta too were busy in making their first talkie film, with two popular stars of the day. Irani hastened the speed of his shootings and recordings. Lot of secrecy was maintained in filming the movie. From his secret sources in Calcutta, he was getting information on the progress of Madon Theatres’ film in making. He came to know that their film was to have about 20 songs in the film. Irani decided to limit the number of songs in his film to save on time. Now they would have only 7 songs. Thus he saved on many days of shootings and recordings. His film, ‘Alam Ara’ was released on 14-3-1931. Madon could only release their first talkie film ‘Shirin Farhad’ on 30-5-1931, two and a half months later !

Similarly, Irani studied why Prabhat’s first colour film ‘Sairandhri’ from 1933 failed technically. So when he planned ‘Kisaan Kanya’, he decided to do all technical processes in India. Thus his colour film came out much better than Prabhat’s film. Ashok Raj, in his book ‘Hero-I’, writes the following about Ardeshir Irani.

Irani perhaps was the world’s first multilingual film maker, having made forays into English, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Persian, Burmese, Indonesian and Pushto. He is credited with launching the talkie era in countries like Burma, Indonesia and Iran. He made nearly 120 talkies in a span of just 8 years. He was also the first to establish a colour laboratory imported from Hollywood.

The first song from ‘Kisaan Kanya’ has recently been discussed on our blog, by our Sadanand Kamath ji, so I will not go into its details like story etc. Instead, I will discuss about 3 important persons connected with this film – namely Master Nisar, Padma Devi and Ram Gopal Pande.

Master Nisar was the most popular hero of the early talkie films. He was also one of the most highly paid stars of that era. His popularity was such – it is said that once due to a very large crowd gathered to see him, the Governor of Bengal was forced to divert his car to another road ! When Master Nisar went to Nashik for shooting Bhavnani’s film, he had to be kept closed in a room of his hotel to avoid his fans and hunters from other film companies, who would try to abduct him ! This same person, who enjoyed fame, name, money and fan following once, had to spend his last days in misery, poverty, neglect and pitiable conditions in a one room tenement in a Kamathipura chawl with few aluminum pots and a box full of photographs. During his heydays, he had learnt the art of massaging, as a hobby. This very art came to his help in his last days and he used to work as a masseur and earn few rupees sometimes.

Film historian Isak Mujawar has written in his book ‘Flashback-II’ about several instances of his later years. Here are two of them. When film ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ (1953) was being made, Bimal Roy wanted a masseur for a scene in which the Zamindar (Ulhas) is getting a body massage. Bimal da asked his the then manager Jugal Kishore (who later on became an actor, director and producer) to bring a masseur having solid physique. When Jugal Kishore brought  a very thin, emaciated looking person, Bimal da was very upset. When Jugal Kishore told him that he was Master Nissar, Bimal da was moved and gave him the role.

Those who have seen film ‘Guddi’ (1971), there is a scene in which a lanky, thin person is massaging Om Prakash. Dharmendra tells Guddi, “Do you know who he is ? Master Nissar, one time a great actor who was popular and very rich. Film line is such that riches to rags stories are very common here”. In his final days, Nisar was seen begging on roads.

Nissar Ali Mohammed Ali was born on 5-3-1902 in Delhi. His uncle brought him to Bhopal, when he was 10 year old. Nisar started singing and acting in his uncle’s drama company for Rs. 15 pm. He learnt music from Pt. Betab and Ustaad Jhande Khan. After few roles of girls and heroines, he got a hero’s role in Agha Hashr Kashmiri’s dramas, due to his good looks, fluent Urdu and singing skill.

He joined Madon Theatres for their dramas. When Madon decided to make their drama ‘Shirin Farhad’ into a talkie film, their first choice for hero was Nisar. Jahan Ara Kajjan was called from Bhagalpur, Bihar for the heroine’s role. The pair became very popular. People became mad after Nisar’s songs. The pair proved to be a gold mine They acted in 8 films together. Their songs became a rage all over India.

Master Nisar shifted to Bombay and joined Bhavnani Films at a salary of Rs. 3000 pm, a princely sum in those days. He was the first person in the industry to own a Rolls Royce car. His heroines were many like Padma Devi, Zebunnisa, Bibbo, Haseena, Sardar Akhtar, Kanta etc. He also acted in India’s first home made colour film ‘Kisaan Kanya’ (1937). This was also his last film as a hero. In the wake of the rise of Saigal, Ashok kumar, Surendra etc., in comparison his acting was very theatrical and it paled before the newer heroes. He shifted to character roles after being a hero in 45 films. In all, he appeared in 75 films during his career. The situation came that he would take whatever role came his way.

Master Nisar married 4 times. His first wife served him lovingly till the end. He survived by doing small and sometimes even un-credited roles like extras. He was friendly with Dilip Kumar, so he got small roles in his films. His style suited qawwaalis and he featured in many well known films like ‘Azaad’, ‘Barsat Ki Ek Raat’ etc. He is seen as the on screen lead singer in the qawwaali “Aaj Kyon Hum Se Parda Hai” in the film ‘Sadhna’ (1958). The writer of the qawwaali, Sahir Ludhianvi, came across Master Nisar, begging on the roadside. On recognizing him, he immediately hugged him, and took him to the office of BR Films. He introduced him to BR Chopra, and got him the role.

Nisar was a religious person and performed Namaaz five times a day. He had no bad habits like smoking or drinking or gambling, still he spent life in penury. Being a self respecting person, he never asked for roles from anyone. Born poor, lived rich and died poor. Master Nisar died on 13-7-1980. It is said that his neighbours collected money for his burial.

One of Master Nisar’s heroines was Padma Devi in some films. She was a Bengali actress named Neelima. She made her debut in silent films with ‘Sea God’, a 1931 production from Saroj Films. She acted in about 15 silent films. While moving to the talkie films, she had difficulty with her diction and singing in Hindi language. But she overcame this with grit and determination, and learnt all this. She did all this while working in films like ‘Laal e Yaman’, ‘Kurukshetra’, ‘Prithviraj Sanyogita’ etc. (all films from 1933).

She was introduced to Baburao Patel and in no time they became ‘special friends’. Baburao cast her as a heroine in 4 films in his own Gandharva Cinetone company. She became a part of his office and personal life too. However after Susheela Rani’s entry as Baburao’s secretary, she was pushed first aside and then outside. She returned to Calcutta in 1946 and appeared in many films in character roles. She returned to Bombay in 1961 and was seen in smaller roles in Hindi films till late 1970s. Her last film seems to be in 1979.

The music for ‘Kisaan Kanya’ was composed by Ram Gopal Pande, who was variously credited as RG Pande, Ram Gopal, Ram Gopal Pandey etc. He hailed from UP. After unsuccessfully trying to become a singer, he became assistant to many well known composers and learned their methods. His first break came in 1936 with ‘Matwaali Jogan’ aka ‘A Girl From Lahore’ (directed by K Amarnath). Then he was called by Ardeshir Irani at Imperial Film Company for their first colour film. Master Nisar and Padma Devi’s songs became popular, so he was given two more films viz., ‘Mere Laal’ (1937) and ‘Vasant Bangalee’ (1938).

Then in 1938, came Mother India, ‘Actress Kyon Bani’ (1939), ‘Flying Rani’ (1939), ‘Perfect Man’ (1938), Daughters of India’ (1939) and ‘Chalti Duniya’ (1940). He was then connected with Mohan Pictures and did 10 movies for them. His last film seems to be ‘Angoorbala’ in 1947. He was left behind as his music was stage and drama type only – he did not change his style.

Today’s song is First song of Master Nisar on our blog making a debut as a singer. After hearing his singing, one can get an idea about the public taste in the early 1930s and one wonders how they became so popular. One incident of his popularity – In 1954-55, when Master Nisar was in Coimbtore for shooting of film ‘Azaad’ (1955), he along with others went to the market for shopping. There they met one lady and talk started about songs of early era. She said, “I used to like Master Nisar’s songs, but after he died, I gave up listening to songs.” All were stunned. Then Master Nisar introduced himself to her. She was so pleased that she invited all the visitors from Bombay for a party in Nisar’s honour, with the promise that in return, he had to sing for her!

Let us now enjoy Master Nisar and Padma Devi song from ‘Kisaan Kanya’. It was uploaded by Shalin Bhatt ji only on 16th March 2018. Thanks, Shalin ji.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements and thanks – The above write up refers to and has adapted material from ‘Beete Huye Kal Ke Sitaare’ by Shri Shriram Tamrakar, ‘Hero-1’ by Ashok Raj, Isak Mujavar’s books, Prof. Yadav’s book, muVyz, chiloka.com, HFGK, Listener’s Bulletin, Encyclopedia of Indian Films and my own notes.]

 


Song – Aisa Nagar Basaaya Jis Mein Swarg Utar Kar Aaya (Kisan Kanya) (1937) Singer – Padma Devi, Master Nissar, Lyrics – [Unattributed], Music – Ram Gopal Pandey
Both

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya
jis mein swarg utar kar aaya
jis mein swarg utar kar aaya

aisa nagar basaaya

jahaan subeh ki kirnen aa kar
sona hans barsaayen
yahaan pe pahunche
premi bhanware
amar geet nit gaayen
chahun or sunehri gun paaya hum ne
aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya

is soney ke preet nagar ke
hum donon hain bhikhaari
jab tak suraj chaand rahenge
tab tak preeti hamaari
aisa vardaan hai paaya hum ne
aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya
jis mein swarg utar kar aaya
aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya

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

ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया
जिस में स्वर्ग उतर कर आया
जिस में स्वर्ग उतर कर आया

ऐसा नगर बसाया

जहां सुबह की किरणें आ कर
सोना हंस बरसाएँ
यहाँ पे पहुंचे प्रेमी भँवरे
अमर गीत नित गायें
चहुं ओर सुनहरी गुण पाया हम ने
ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया

इस सोने के प्रीत नगर के
हम दोनों हैं भिखारी
जब तक सूरज चाँद रहेंगे
तब तक प्रीति हमारी
ऐसा वरदान है पाया हम ने
ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया
जिस में स्वर्ग उतर कर आया
ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया

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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 : 3455 Post No. : 13856

Ardeshir Irani and his film production company, Imperial Movietone was associated with India’s first talkie film ‘Alam Ara’ (1931). In the same year, he was also associated with the first Tamil talkie film ‘Kalidas’ (1931) as a producer. Ardeshir Irani had another ‘first’ to his credit. He produced ‘Kisaan Kanya’ (1937) which was the first indigenously processed full colour film in India using Cinecolour process. Ardeshir Irani acquired the processing rights from an American Company. The film was processed in India with Imperial Movietone’s technicians under the supervision of a foreigner, WM Henius.

All these years, I was under the impression that Prabhat Film Company’s Marathi film, ‘Sairandhri’ (1933) directed by V Shantaram was the first Indian colour film. However, it transpired that this film had only some scenes in colour and the film was processed and printed in Germany.

‘Kisaan Kanya’ was directed by Moti B Gidwani. The star cast included Padma Devi, Master Nissar, Ghani, Ghulam Mohammed, Jilloo Bai, Sayed Ahmed etc. The film took one year to complete. The film was released on Saturday, January 8, 1938 at the Majestic Cinema, Mumbai. A report in Filmindia magazine mentions that there was a mad rush around the theatre for the tickets. A large number of cinegoers were disappointed as they could not get tickets. The next day, the Sunday, the scene at the theatres was no different. There was a terrible traffic jam for hours on the road leading to Majestic Cinema. Trams and cars were held up as crowd refused to move away. All the four shows of the day were houseful. The film ran for six weeks in this theatre.

The film was based on a story written by Professor Ziauddin of Shanti Niketan. Sadat Hasan Manto wrote the scenarios and dialogues. The gist of the story of the film based on a review which appeared in January 1938 issue of ‘Filmindia’ magazine is given below:

In a village, a landlord (Ghani) exploits the farmers and leaves no opportunity to rob them of their legitimate earnings. Ramu (Master Nissar), the farmer is no exception. He has been regularly exploited by the landlord. Ramdai (Zilloo Bai), the landlord’s wife is a religiously inclined and resents her husband’s actions. Bansari (Padma Devi) is a maid servant in the house of the landlord who is in love with Ramu. The romance of Bansari and Ramu go on smoothly until Ramu is arrested on a false charge of murdering the landlord. Ramdai, the landlord’s wife is aware as to who had murdered her husband. Realising that the innocent Ramu’s life would be taken away, she goes to Randhir (Ghulam Mohammed), a villain with a heart, who had actually murdered the landlord. Ramdai pleads with him to confess for the sake of Bansari, the girl who is also loved by Randhir.

In the climax, Randhir in the bravado character, confesses his crime of murdering the landlord. Ramu is released. The final scenes of the film depict the the need for the wealthy persons to come forwards to help the poor villagers of India.

The critical part of the film’s review was that the title of the film itself was not reflective of the film’s main theme as it portrayed more of the plights of village life as a whole than just of a ‘kisaan kanya’. Padma Devi had only a limited role in the film. In the film’s publicity, she was portrayed as ‘Colour Queen of India’. In spite of huge publicity drive that preceded the release of the film and superb technical aspects, the film did not meet the high expectation from the cinegoers due to the weak story line and dialogues as the reviewer said. Probably, this film was an early attempt to portray the poverty and crime in Indian villages and the film audience were not ready for this theme.

With this film, things became clear that unless the film had robust story and dialogues to go with it, colouration of the film would not add value for the producers and distributors of the films. Nonetheless, ‘Kisaan Kanya’ was regarded as ‘moderately successful film’ at the box office. Ardeshir Irani once again tried the colour in ‘Mother India’ (1938) after which the colour processing was abandoned. The box office success of Mehboob Khan’s ‘Aan’ (1951) revived the interest of film makers to produce the colour films. However, it took another decade for the film producers to shift to colour films in large numbers.

The film has 10 songs composed by Ram Gopal Pandey. Name of the song writer is not known. None of the songs were available on YT and similar websites until I made a video of one song from the film with mp3 clip with me and uploaded on YT. So, here is the first song “Dil Bas Mein Nahin Hai Mera” from the film sung by Padma Devi who had donned the role of Bansari, the ‘kisaan kanya’ in the film. The prelude to the song starts with a vilambit laya dhun (slow tempo tune) on sitar. The prelude is of the duration of 1:15 which leaves the time for the song of just two stanzas.

I could not get much information on Padma Devi’s background and her later life. I got some tit bits from a letters to the editor column of ‘Filmindia’ magazine. Padma Devi (real name: Neelima) was a Bengali artist who came to Bombay (Mumbai) sometime in 1930. She initially worked in the silent films, first as a junior artist then as a stunt actress. If I go by her early talkie films and the way she got publicity in ‘Filmindia’ magazine, I guess, Baburao Patel had a role in promoting her filmy career. Her first four talkie films were directed by Baburao Patel. Sadat Hasan Manto, in his book ‘Stars from Another Sky’ also mentioned about the ‘puppet on a string’ like relationship between Baburao Patel and Padma Devi. In the 1940s, her filmy career seems to have declined considerably.

With this song, ‘Kisaan Kanya’ (1937) and Padma Devi make debut in the blog.

[Ed Note: Although the name of the music director, Ramgopal Pandey, is also appearing for the first time. However, there is one more music director with the name Ramgopal, who has already made his debut on the blog. A quick scrutiny of the Geet Kosh reveals that starting with 1931, the two music director names viz., Ramgopal and Ramgopal Pandey, appear contemporaneously. We request knowledgable readers to please add more information about this music director(s), and clarify whether these two names are of the same individual, or two different people.]


Song – Dil Bas Mein Nahin Hai Mera (Kisaan Kanya) (1937) Singer – Padma Devi, Lyrics – [Unattributed], MD – Ramgopal Pandey

Lyrics

dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
haan
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
andhiyaare ne aakar gheraa
andhiyaare ne aakar gheraa aa
dil meraa aa
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
haan
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa

bholaai huyi main
chidiya hoon main
bholaai huyi main
chidiya hoon main
dhoond rahi hoon deraa
main dhoond rahi hoon deraa
haan
dil meraa aa
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
haan
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa

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

दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
हाँ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
अँधियारे ने आकर घेरा
अँधियारे ने आकर घेरा॰॰आ
दिल मेरा॰॰आ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
हाँ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा

भुलाई हुई मैं
चिड़िया हूँ मैं
भुलाई हुई मैं
चिड़िया हूँ मैं
ढूंढ रही हूँ डेरा
मैं ढूंढ रही हूँ डेरा
हाँ
दिल मेरा॰॰आ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
हाँ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा


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What is this blog all about

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

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

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

Total number of songs posts discussed

14741

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Movies with all their songs covered =1150
Total Number of movies covered =4028

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