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

Archive for the ‘Song of Introspection’ Category


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

Blog Day :

4346 Post No. : 15656 Movie Count :

4311

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acknowledgements:

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

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

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

Lyrics

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

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


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow 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: 4335 Post No.: 15631

The connoisseurs of Hindi film music of the 1960s and 1970s would recall the four melodious songs sung by Geeta Dutt in ‘Uski Kahaani’ (1966) and ‘Anubhav’ (1971). Fans of Gulzar would know that all these four songs have come from his pen. But I will not be surprised if only few of them would remember that all these four songs had been set to music by Kanu Roy. Among these few persons, most of them would not have known his real identity. In his case, it was not only of the confusion of same name but also the confusion with a wrong family tree.

Most of the websites including Wikipedia says that Kanu Roy was an actor and music director who started his acting career in 1940s and switched over to music direction from 1960 onwards. His filmography in IMDb shows him both as an actor and the music director. In some websites, Kanu Roy as a music director has been discussed with the photograph of the actor, Kanu Roy. He is also been wrongly associated with the family of Geeta Dutt as one of her brothers. The facts are:

1. Kanu Roy, the actor and Kanu Roy, the music director were different persons. Kanu Roy, the actor came to Bombay (Mumbai) in early 1940s to join Bombay Talkies. On the basis of Gulzar’s interview which appeared in a ‘Filmfare’ issue of 2012, Kanu Roy, the music director came to Bombay sometime in mid-1950s. (My guess is that he may have come with Basu Bhattacharya who was his close friend).

2. Kanu Roy, the actor was never a music director. Kanu Roy, the music director never acted in films.

3. Kanu Roy, the music director was not a brother of Geeta Dutt. I have seen a photograph of Geeta Dutt’s full family before her marriage. In this photograph, there is no Kanu Roy. The names of Geeta Dutt’s four brothers are Mihir Roy, Ranjit Roy, Mukul Roy and Milan Roy.

With multiple confusion about his name, even the basic profile of the music director, Kanu Roy is difficult to get. I could get some information from Gulzar’s interview published in one of the Filmfare issues of 2012 which is available on http://www.tanqeed.com . In this interview, Gulzar talked about his association as a lyricist with Kanu Roy which I have summarized below with my marginal inputs.

Kanu Roy had picked up the musical notes from Bengal. He began his career by assisting music director, Salil Choudhury who also had Kanu Ghosh as his Assistant Music Director. It seems Kanu Roy was a Welder by profession and had worked on the upkeeping of the Howrah Bridge. He was an introvert by nature and had in him a mix of timid and humble nature.

Basu Bhattacharya and Kanu Roy were great friends. It was Basu Bhattacharya who gave Kanu Roy his first break as a music director in ‘Uski Kahaani’ (1966) which he produced and directed at shoestring budget. Subsequently, he worked in another five films of Basu Bhattacharya. Because of the low budget films, Basu Bhattacharya would never allow Kanu Roy to have more than 6-8 musicians (as against 50-100 musicians the music directors like Shankar-Jaikishan, Naushad, O P Nayyar etc would have in their orchestra). Also, Kanu Roy would not get the regular shifts in the recording studios for rehearsals of the songs. He had to manage in the early morning hours of the recording studio. He did not have a bargaining power with Basu Bhattacharya to ask for more musicians. (Probably for the same reason, he may not have got the playback singers of his choice). It is remarkable that with these constraints, Kanu Roy could composed melodious songs in Basu Bhattacharya’s films.

Kanu Roy’s career ended with his life on 20/12/1981. He lived in poverty and died in poverty.

During his musical journey from 1966-80, Kanu Roy composed 28 songs in 8 films, of which 6 films were of Basu Bhattacharya. Of the remaining two films, one film ‘Mayuri’ (1970s) remained unreleased. Though his contributions to Hindi film music in terms of numbers were low, many of his melodious songs still linger on. Unfortunately, his name may not ring bell for many who may still enjoy those melodious songs.

Although most of Kanu Roy’s melodious songs have been covered in the Blog, I found one song which I liked for its all-round excellence – lyrics, rendition, melody, composition and the picturization. The song is ‘pahchaan to thhi pahchaana nahi’ from ’Griha Pravesh’ (1979). The song is rendered by Chandrani Mukherjee on the words of Gulzar. Having watched the film, I feel that this song summarises the theme of the film.

Amar (Sanjeev Kumar) and Mansi (Sharmila Tagore) has been married for 10 years with 8-year old boy. During this period, some staleness in their relationship develops. Both are under the illusion that they are in love but in practice, they are just being together under one roof. Now their marriage is in the verge of collapse when Amar develops affairs with his office typist Sapna (Sarika). He is caught in a bind in that while he loves Sapna, in the back of his mind, he is also emotionally attached to his family.

Finally, Amar tells Mansi of his intention to divorce her to marry Sapna. After the initial shock, Mansi agrees for divorce on the condition that he should bring Sapna to the house to meet her. The reason is that Sapna has seen Amar in the office as an Accountant and develop the liking for him in an office environment. But she has not seen him in his house where the environment is different.

Before Sapna visit to her house, Mansi gets her house painted. She undergoes herself to a new make-over. While doing this, the song under discussion plays in the background. Sapna visits her house with Amar. After a brief meeting, Mansi takes Amar aside and tell him that she is ready to leave him for Sapna. After the meeting, Mansi tells Amar to drop Sapna to her house. However, when crossing the road, Sapna walks over to the other side of the road while Amar gets stranded on the opposite side because of a marriage procession on the road. In the midst of the orchestra in the marriage procession playing ‘tu Ganga ki mauj mein Jamuna ki dhara’, both Amar and Sapna take leave by waving hands at each other. The scene is symbolic of conveying the message that Amar has a change of heart. The film ends with Amar returning home having coffee with Mansi and his son with the replaying of the film’s song ‘zindagi phoolon ki nahi, phoolon ki tarah mehkti rahe’.

The lyrics of the song under discussion are simple and convey retrospection on the part of a housewife who forgets to give attention to herself. Instead, much of her time is spent in the kitchen, looking after husband and the child and upkeep of the house. In this milieu, she forgets her own identity.

In keeping with the low budget of the film, Kanu Roy has used only three main musical instruments in this song – Sarod, Sitar and what I believe to be Khol (Bangla Dholak) which one can hear in a low rhythm as the song is rendered. The song starts with a prelude of Sarod and Sitar and the same instruments are used in the interludes of the song. Chandrani Mukherjee, who is the sister-in-law of Bappi Lahiri, has rendered the song with poignant feeling in keeping with the mood of the situation. The Audio clip is longer with the same lyrics because it has the longer prelude music than in the video clip.

This song sums up the story of a housewife in a middle-class society.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Pehchaan to thhi pehchaana nahin(Grih Pravesh)(1979) Singer-Chandrani Mukherjee, Lyrics-Gulzar, MD-Kanu Roy

Lyrics

pehchaan to thhi pehchaana nahin
maine apne aap ko jaana nahin
pehchaan to thhi pehchaana nahin
maine apne aap ko jaana nahin
pehchaan to thhi

jab dhoop barasti hai sar pe to
paanv mein chhaanv khilti hai
main bhool gayi thhi chhaanv agar
milti hai to dhoop mein milti hai
is dhoop aur chhaanv ke khel mein kyun
jeene ka ishaara samjha nahin
pehchaan to thhi pehchaana nahin
maine apne aap ko jaana nahin
pehchaan to thhi

main jaagi rahi kuchh sapnon mein
aur jaagi huyi bhi soyi rahi
jaane kin bhool bhulaiyya mein kuchh
bhatki rahi kuchh khoyi rahi
jeene ke liye main marti rahi
jeene ka ishaara samjha nahin
pehchaan to thhi pehchaana nahin
maine apne aap ko jaana nahin
pehchaan to thhi pehchaana nahin
maine apne aap ko jaana nahin
pehchaan to thhi


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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over TWELVE years. This blog has over 15900 song posts by now.

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

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