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

Archive for the ‘Vishnupant Pagnis 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 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:

4354 Post No. : 15670

Today’s song is from the film Sant Tulsidas-1939. The first film on Tulsidas came in 1934, the second in 1939 and the third in 1972. In all, there were 13 films on various saints of India. Sant Dnyaneshwar (40, 64, 81), Sant Janabai-49, Sant Raghu-57, Sant Ravidas-2007, Sant Ravidas ki amar kahani–83, Sant Sakhu-41, Sant Tukaram-48 and Sant Tulsidas-34, 39, 72.

Basically, Indians are religious minded, – Indians means, of any religion, be it Hindu, Muslim or Christian or any other faith. Our common culture is like that. Most traditions are similar in all religions in India. For example, Hindus say ” Atithi Devo Bhava ” (अतिथी देवो भव ). Guest is God. All Indians, irrespective of their religions, give due respect to their guests. ” Respect the elders ” is another tradition. This too is followed by every Indian-of any religion- in India. Sometimes I feel, in India, our lives are more governed by the culture than religion. One can occasionally find an Atheist, but you can never find an Indian without following culture and traditions. This is a major difference between an Indian and the other Nationals.

If you take a look at our religion, it is not just ‘ one of the ‘ , but the only tolerant religion in the world, which is also adaptive to times. There is enough elasticity in Hinduism to make suitable changes in the implementation of Karmkand, as per the needs of the times. This has made it survive for thousands of years. For example, once Untouchability was a great ill, but due to the hard work of our saints over the years, this is eradicated. Women’s entry into temples, only Male Pujaris and several such matters are corrected and accepted. The main principle is ” different religions are different roads to reach God “. So, every road is respected. Due to this principle, with 80 % population of one religion, many other religions have happily thrived here. What’s more, in most eras, Minority rulers were accepted by the Majority.

Our culture allows opposition to its principles. It respects the ” other ” point of view too. In which other country would you find temples for its religious enemies ? Only in India, you have not just one, but several temples of villains like Ravan, Duryodhan, Shakuni etc. There is a Ravan temple one each in Bisrakh-U.P., Mandsaur-M.P., Kakinada in A.P. and in Jodhpur-Rajasthan- where Ravan is considered as their Son In Law, because Mandodari was born here.

There is a Duryodhan Temple in Kollam, Kerala and a temple for Shakuni also in the same town. There are also other temples like for Gandhari in Mysore, Karna in Uttarkashi, Hidimba in Manali-H.P., Draupadi in Bangalore and also for Jatayu in Nashik district !

The point I am trying to stress is that in India, several saints came, but none has preached hatred against other religions. They all taught us good ways of living with all and how the ultimate aim should be to be with God. Sant Tulsidas was also no different than others . His biggest work was to translate Valmiki Ramayan into an easy to understand common man’s language.

Film companies developed interest in making saint movies, when Prabhat’s Marathi film ‘ Sant Tukaram ‘-36 became successful. It won praise throughout the world, won several awards and the international Film Festival at Venis declared it as one of the 3 Greatest films of the world ! The film ran for 57 weeks at Central Talkies, Bombay and all over India, it grossed over 7 lakh rupees in those days. The acting of Vishnupant Pagnis in this film was appreciated much.

Considering all this, the commercial potential of such films was understood by Sardar Chandulal Shah of Ranjit Films. He decided to make a Bilingual film on Tulsidas, with Pagnis in the lead role. However Pagnis was on contract with Prabhat films. Chandulal met Shantaram and negotiated a deal to borrow Pagnis and story writer Shivram Vashikar for film Tulsidas.

The director of the film was Jayant Desai and MD for the Hindi version was Gyan Dutt and for Marathi it was Vishnupant himself. As against 14 songs in the Hindi version, there were 21 songs in Marathi version. Almost all songs of this film became popular. The Prabhat film Tukaram was devoid of any Miracles or trick scenes, but Chandulal decided to include as many trick scenes and Miracles, as possible in film Tulsidas.

The songs were written by P L Santoshi and Pt. Indra. For Marathi version, S A Shukla was the lyricist. Naren Mukherji was the assistant to Gyan Mukherjee for this film. The cast of the film was Vishnupant Pagnis, Leela Chitnis, Keshavrao Datey, Bandopant Sohoni, Ram Marathe, Vasanti, Kantilal and others.

Vishnupant Pagnis was born in a small place Chikodi, near Kolhapur, on 1-11-1892, in a lower middle class family. After formal education, he was assisted by Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur state to join a Drama company at the age of 10 years. He sang naturally, without any training from an expert. He was a popular artiste doing female roles, till his entry in films. He shifted to work in various drama companies including “Lalit Kaladarsh” of Mama Varerkar- a name connected with many Marathi and Hindi films of that time. In 1913, he floated his own company ‘Jagchitradarsh’, only to wind up after two years in 1915. He continued working in dramas and doing female roles, for which he was famous in those times.

After a few years, he left drama acting. In 1920, he worked in a silent film, Surekha Haran. In this film V Shantaram had also acted. After this he worked as a Music Teacher in Municipal school at Girgaum in Bombay. After his wife died, he lived with his friend Petkar. They started a Gold Jewellery shop “Pagnis Petkar and Mandali” in Girgaon.

When Prabhat Film company planned to make Sant Tukaram, a search was undertaken for the main role and the main female role. This was in early 1936 and he was selected for the role of Tukaram, while a worker in the Prabhat company-Gauri – was selected as his wife. The Director duo of the film- Damle and Fattelal- were not happy about his selection, because his name was associated with female roles. But this became his strong point for the film in which he portrayed a soft, kind and loving Tukaram. He did the role so well that the film Sant Tukaram became an International Hit, in addition to running to full houses in Non Marathi areas like Madras Presidency, covering Andhra, Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka and also in Bengal and Punjab. He became an actor in great demand for Saint films. After the film Sant Tukaram, hundreds of people used to crowd in his shop at Girgaum to pay respects and touch his feet as Tukaram. He also always dressed like Tukaram thereafter !

Vishnupant Pagnis worked in 4 more such films, namely Sant Tulsidas-39, Narsi Bhagat-43, Bhakta Raj-43 and his last film Mahatma Vidur-43. He also gave music to 2 films, Sant Janabai- 38 and Sant Tulsidas-39 (Marathi). These two and Mahatma Vidur were also made in Marathi language. His most famous film Sant Tukaram was released in Hindi only in 1948, but without his songs, because he had died on 3-10-1943. The MD- Snehal Bhatkar sang his songs in the Hindi version.

Vishnupant Pagnis did the immortal role of Tukaram in his first film and then lived the role throughout his life, though he did 4 more films in the same Genre of Saint films. His name became famous not only in India but also in other countries, when this film was hailed as “one of the 3 Best films in the world” at the Venice Film Festival, where it won accolades. Records of his Bhajans from this film created records ( we too had these records in our house in the 40s.) Even today this film is shown and discussed in the film Institutes of many countries. Many books, essays and articles are published on this film. His performance as Tukaram has become a major reference-point in debates about Indian performance idioms: e.g. Kumar Shahani’s essay The Saint Poets of Prabhat, 1981; Geeta Kapur’s Mythic Material in Indian Cinema, 1987 etc etc.

The story of Tulsidas is well known. Ranjit Studio’s big-budget miracle-laden saint film was on Tulsidas (16th C.), who rewrote Valmiki’s Ramayana in Hindi. To the despair of his teacher Narahari Guru (Sohoni), who hopes that Tulsidas (Pagnis) will make the classic text accessible to the people, the poet spends time with his beloved wife Ratnavali (Chitnis). The dramatic pivot of the story comes when Tulsidas discovers his life’s location amid howling wind and a river in spate. He becomes an ascetic and settles down in Benares where his translation threatens the Brahminical clergy, until then sole proprietors of the wisdom of the Sanskrit text. Their representative, Batteshwar Shastri (Datey), persecutes Tulsidas who is rescued through divine intervention.

Today’s song is a solo song by Vishnupant Pagnis. It is dripping with Bhakti Ras.

(Ack: information for this post is culled, with thanks, from books – ” A Primer of Hinduism” by D S Sarma, Santpatanchi Santwani (संतपटांची संतवाणी ) by Isak Mujawar, Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema and my notes)


Song-Mujhe Raam se koi mila de (Sant Tulsidas)(1939) Singer- Vishnupant Pagnis, Lyricist- P L Santoshi, MD- Gyan Dutt

Lyrics

Raam se koi mila de…
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
bin laathhi ka nikla andha
bin laathhi ka nikla andha
raah se koi lagaa de ae
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
mujhe Raam se koi mila de

koi kahe wo basey Avadh mein
koi kahey Vrindaawan mein

koi kahe wo basey Avadh mein
koi kahey Vrindaawan mein
koi kahey teerath mandir mein
koi kahey milte ban mein

koi kahey teerath mandir mein
koi kahey milte ban mein
dekh sakoon main un ko man mein
dekh sakoon main un ko man mein
aisi jyot jagaa de ae
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
bin laathhi ka nikla andha
bin laathhi ka nikla andha
raah se koi lagaa de ae
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
mujhe Raam se koi mila de
mujhe Raam se koi mila de


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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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