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

Archive for the ‘Songs of 1930s (1931 to 1940)’ 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 :

3799 Post No. : 14789 Movie Count :

4044

Today’s song is from a very old film of the early talkie cinema – ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’ (1937) aka ‘Dreamland’.

This was the first film directed by Vijay Bhatt, after he and his brother Shankar Bhatt established Prakash Pictures. In those days, the trend was to make films on mythology, folk tales or social issues. Instead, Prakash Pictures took up a totally new and untried topic like Science Fiction story to make a movie. Film ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’ was based on – or took inspiration from the Hollywood popular film, Universal Studio’s ‘The Invisible Man’ (1933). This film was a cinematic adaptation of the famous novel ‘The Invisible Man’ written by HG Wells in 1897.

Originally, this novel was published serially in the ‘Pearson’s Weekly’ in the early part of 1897. At the end of the year 1897, it was published as a novel and very soon it became a best seller. Translated in almost every language in the world, the novel attracted the film makers of the early era and a film was made in 1933. The film also became a hit and in subsequent years several adaptations and film versions in different languages came up. India too did not lag behind and the adventurous duo of brothers made a film on this story, adapting it to Indian context. Several films in many languages using this as a central theme and adapting the story in various ways, were made in India. Some names I remember off hand are ‘Mr X’ (1957), ‘Mr X’ (1938), ‘Mr X In Bombay’ (1964), ‘Mr X’ (2015), and ‘Mr India’ (1987).

Basic problem was how to show the ‘invisible‘ man. There was no special effect technique available in India till then, like in Hollywood. Vijay Bhatt had an assistant called Babubhai Mistri, who accepted the challenge and using a dim light, a black curtain and a black thread to move articles, he achieved the desired results. This made the film not only a hit and popular one, but also a unique one. Babubhai Mistri, thus, became the father of the trick scenes and special effects in India. In the process Babubhai also earned a moniker of ‘kaala dhaaga‘ (black thread) for rest of his life, in the film industry.

Babubhai Mistri was born on 5th September 1918 in Surat, Gujarat. His father – a building contractor, died suddenly when Babubhai was just 14 year old. Being the eldest he had to take care of his mother and 9 younger siblings. He came to Bombay, where his uncle was working for Krishna Cinetone. With his help, he became an assistant in Bharat Movietone. Starting from making posters and helping in set designing, he learnt from every department of film making.

When he learnt that Prakash Pictures faced a difficulty in special effects he volunteered and made history. Impressed with his skill, Wadia Movietone, famous for fantasy and stunt films, took him in for special effects. During his career, Babubhai not only gave special effects to more than 300 mythological, stunt and fantasy films, but also entered the field of direction. Wadia brothers gave him first opportunity to direct their film ‘Muqabala’ (1942), a Nadia film about twin sisters.

Along with co-director Batuk Bhai i.e. Nanabhai Bhatt, he experimented some new special effects. This film was first in India to use ‘split-screen method’ for double roles, where both sisters could cross each others, shake hands and talk together. Another feature for this film was the night club set, which, in case of a police raid, could be converted into respectable home – on screen for the audience to see. It simply mesmerised the people.

In 1942 Wadia Movietone broke up and Homi Wadia started Basant Pictures. Babubhai directed a film ‘Mauj’ (1943) for him too. He became a free lancer and he directed 48 Hindi films. His last film was ‘Hatim Tai’ (1990). He also directed one Telugu and nine Gujarati films. Many of his assistants became famous as trick masters and special effects experts.

After his retirement he suffered from cancer. His voice box was removed and he had to use an artificial devise for speaking. Tata Cancer Hospital made a film on his courage and will power to overcome cancer, to inspire other cancer patients.

Babubhai won many awards and rewards, for his work in films. He died on 20-12-2010, at the age of 92 years. (Thanks to ‘Beete Huey Din‘ blog for some information used here.)

Film ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’ had a cast of Jayant, Sardar Akhtar, Lallubhai, Umakant, Shirin Bano, Ismail, Jahoor, Madhav Marathe etc. In the early phase of film making, it was difficult to get good looking female actors from educated or respected families for working in films. That is because, it was considered a ‘below the dignity’ job. For silent films, many Anglo Indian and Jew girls became heroines because for them it was not a question of dignity and acting was considered like any other vocation.

Dadasaheb Phalke had described an incident. While making his first film (‘Raja Harishchandra’, 1913), he needed a female actor for Taramati’s role. He found it very difficult to get one. Those days, even in stage plays, the female roles were done by handsome (and sometimes, not so handsome also) males. But even they were not ready. He became desperate and went finally to red light area and talked to some prostitutes. Even they refused to do this ‘lowly’ job. Reluctantly, Dadasaheb settled for Salunke, a male impersonator to do this role.

As the talkie films started, the number of Anglo Indian girls rapidly went down as most of them did not know Hindi nor could they sing. Only a few hard working Anglo Indian girls survived and progressed from silent to talkie films, like Savita Devi (Iris Gasper – who learnt Hindi/Urdu and singing, with efforts), Sulochana (Ruby Myers), Indira Devi (Effie Hippolet), Lalita Devi (Bonnie Bird), Pramila (Esher Abrahams), Seeta Devi (Renee Smith), Madhuri (Beryl Classen), Manorama (Winnie Stewart) etc. Since singing was an important requisite, the field was now open to singing girls from kothas, tawaayafs and professional singers. Reasonably good looks and singing ability was what made them actresses. These girls, who came from kothas and professional singer families used the suffix ‘Bai’ to their names to differentiate their specialty. Thus you had Jaddan Bai, Amirbai, Johrabai, Rattan Bai etc.

Many young singing girls considered cinema as a place where they could get (catch ? ) a good husband from a better family background, earning respectability (forget religion). Many starlets married producers, directors, actors, singers and composers, left acting and settled as respectable housewives. Some girls got husbands from Nawabs and the Royalty, as they were patrons of arts. Many examples from early era can be cited in this connection like,

Gulab Bai alias Kamla Devi married S Fatelal – director in Prabhat Films.

Jaddan Bai married Uttamchand – a medical student and a jaagirdar.

Fatima Bai (mother of Zubeida, of Alam Ara fame) married Nawab of Sachin, Guajarat.

Sultana married Yusuf Laljee, businessman and chief of Bombay Municipal Corporation.

Actress Sarojini (Roshan) married Nanubhai Vakil – producer / director (their daughter was actress Azra).

Actress Indurani (Ishrat) – sister of Sarojini – married Ramniklal Shah – producer / director.

Actress Shirin Bai married Nanabhai Bhatt (their sons are Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt).

Actress Zubeida (of Alam Ara) married Raja Dhanrajgir of Hyderabad (Deccan).

The other actress Zubeida (on whose life, the film ‘Zubeida’ (2001) was made) married Maharaja Hanwant singh of Jodhpur.

etc.

This trend continued in the industry even after things changed and educated and respected family people entered the industry. Now, one could see marriages were taking place between people of film industry itself like Rattanbai and Director Hafiz, Jyoti and Durrani, Nalini Jaywant and Virendra Desai, Noorjahan and Shaukat Hussain Rizvi, Meena Kumari, Sardar Akhtar, Snehprabha Pradhan, Anil Biswas, Lalita Deulkar etc.

In recent era instances are Waheeda Rehman, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle, Hemant Kumar, Manik Verma, Premlata, Geeta Dutt, Geeta Bali, Rishi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan etc.

In the cast you find a name Shirin Bano. Yes, she too is one of the above listed artistes who joined films to get a suitable husband and lead a respectable and comfortable life. Shirin, Shirin Bai or Shirin Bano was from a tawaayaf mother from Lucknow. Her father was a Tamil Brahmin – Ram Seshadri Aiyar, who worked as an accountant with Kikubhai Desai (father of Manmohan Desai) in his distribution department. They were 5 sisters and 1 brother. Shirin joined films at an early age. Her first film was ‘Maharani’ (1934). The same year she worked in ‘Vehmi Duniya’, ‘Sewa Sadan’ and ‘Bala Joban’. In 1935 her films were ‘Shamsher e Arab’, ‘Pardesi Sainya’ and ‘Bambai Ki Sethani’. In 1936, she worked in ‘Tope Ka Gola’, ‘Snehlata’, ‘Passing Show’ and ‘Azaad Veer’. ‘Khwab Ki Duniya’, ‘His Highness’ and ‘Challenge’ are her films from 1937, ‘State Express’ and ‘Purnima’ in 1938, and ‘Leather Face’ and ‘Hero No. 1’ from 1939. Total 18 films only.

Her youngest sister Meher Bano also joined films with the name Purnima (she also married a producer / director Bhagwandas Varma). Shirin married producer / director Nanabhai Bhatt, who already had a wife and 9 children. They had 2 sons – Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt.

Very surprisingly, Prakash Pictures themselves brought out another film immediately in the next year i.e. 1938, titled ‘Mr. X’. I do not know if this film was based on the same theme. Today’s song is sung by Shirin Bano and Ranjit Roy. I could not get any information on singer Ranjit Roy, even from my Kolkata contacts. MuVyz says that he sang 23 songs in 10 films, from 1936 to 1946. With this song, the film makes its debut on the blog.

 


Song – Chhaai Aayi Saawan Ki Ghata  (Khwaab Ki Duniya) (1937) Singer – Shirin Bano, Ranjit Roy, Lyrics – Sampatlal Srivastav Anuj, Music – Lallubhai Nayak
Shirin Bano + Ranjit Roy

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata
chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata
baag mein boley papiha
baag mein boley papiha
pee..oo..u ka raag sunaave
pee..oo..u ka raag sunaave
chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata
chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata

mand sameer ki lehren aayin
hey. . .
mand sameer ki lehren aayin
mand sameer ki lehren aayin
hey. . .
mand sameer ki lehren aayin
lehren aayin
gaane lagi chidiya jee ki
gaane lagi chidiya jee ki
baadal se barsat hai paani
baadal se barsat hai paani
sab sarita jal bhar aayin
sab sarita jal bhar aayin

chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata. . .

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

छाई आई सावन की घटा
छाई आई सावन की घटा
बाग में बोले पपीहा
बाग में बोले पपीहा
पी॰॰ऊ॰॰ऊ का राग सुनावे
पी॰॰ऊ॰॰ऊ का राग सुनावे
छाई आई सावन की घाटा
छाई आई सावन की घाटा

मंद समीर की लहरें आयीं
हे॰॰॰
मंद समीर की लहरें आईं
मंद समीर की लहरें आईं
हे॰॰॰
मंद समीर की लहरें आयीं
लहरें आयीं
गाने लगा चिड़िया जी की
गाने लगा चिड़िया जी की
बादल से बरसत है पानी
बादल से बरसत है पानी
सब सरिता जल भर आईं
सब सरिता जल भर आईं

छाई आई सावन की घटा॰ ॰ ॰

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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 : 3792 Post No. : 14776

I was very fond of seeing movies and listening to the songs since childhood.Those days,children were not allowed to see films,unlike today. If at all a film is to be seen,the children had to go with their mother,aunt, grandmother or some such female relative and the film would invariably be something like Ram Ravan Yudh or Bakasur ki Maut.

Hyderabad state,where I spent my early years was ruled by a Muslim king-The Nizam(Ala Hazarat).There were some social customs,like Burkha,which reflected in the social lives of the citizen.

For example, in almost every theatre,there used to be a special class-“Zanana Class”.It was made out of the half of the Balcony class with a wall partition between them.The frontal portion facing the screen had a thick curtain,which was removed after the film started and covered again after the film ended,thus protecting the women spectators from the prying eyes of the public.

Same procedure was for Interval period also.Only women and small children were allowed in this subsidised class.A special ‘Curtain Mover’ used to be the in charge of this and the Zanana Class.

Usually a She -Male or a He -Female (don’t know which) was appointed for women’s safety.This type of arrangement was also available in other Muslim states like,Junagarh,Bhawalpur,Lucknow,Bhopal etc.Women used to make lot of noise and at times there were big quarrels,when the films were stopped,curtain moved, peace restored and the films were restarted.

I was lucky to start seeing films independently from the end of 40s. Usually,it was from the school directly. Every Friday to Sunday,there used to be a Morning show from 11 am. In this,the tickets were almost half rates, like 4 annas, 6 annas, 12 annas etc. Thus I was able to see many films of 30s and 40s, till about 1955-56 or so.

Once I went to college, then took up the job and other priorities of life,I saw less films,but never missing an opportunity to see older films and making notes. From 1980 onwards, I stopped seeing films, and when I retired in 1998, I dug out my old collections. I have not visited a theatre after 1980 and yet to see how a Multiplex looks like. I saw few films on TV and players.

In the initial era of Talkie films, Calcutta’s New Theatres and Poona’s Prabhat were the most well known film makers. They used to make films on social issues. Particularly, Prabhat was famous for keeping their films centred on the Reform themes like,Dowry, Child Marriage, Second Marriage, Cast difference etc.From the mid 30s one more company came into limelight and that was Bombay Talkies- founded by Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani. They also followed the trend and films on social issues like Untouchability, illiteracy etc were made. Today’s song is from a film made by Bombay Talkies- Jeewan Prabhat-37.

This was also a film dealing with Caste differences and second marriage. In this film,however, it was shown that the Caste difference stayed and the proposed second marriage got cancelled. I would say, it was quite a realistic depiction of the Indian mindset, because even after hundreds of years, the caste differences exist today, while the other social ills like child marriage, dowry, illiteracy etc are controlled to a greater extent. It would not be wrong to say that as long as the Reservation Policies exist, caste differences will continue to exist-with official support !

Film Jeewan Prabhat-37 was directed by the German Director Franz Osten. The Music Director was Saraswati Devi and lyrics and dialogues were by J.S.Casshyap. The screen play was by Niranjan Pal- Himanshu Rai’s friend since their London days. Kishor Sahu and Renuka Devi made their Debut in this film. Others in the cast were Mumtaz Ali,Prithwiraj kapoor, Maya Devi and M.Nazeer etc etc. The film was released on 2-11-1937 at Minerva Talkies in Bombay. Baburao Patel of Film India, in its December 1937 issue had not much good about this film. He, in fact, criticised both the Debutantes, for their acting calling them as ‘ disappointments ‘. However, the film did good business and ran for 17 weeks in Bombay.

Unlike Prabhat or New Theatres, Bombay Talkies produced their films in quick time. This film-Jeewan prabhat- was made in just 2 months. Their most popular film Achhut kanya-36 was made in 6 months. This was possible due to self sufficient facilities, good planning, modern equipment and total involvement of the staff. Franz Osten’s speed and his planning was such that in the span of just 4 years, Franz directed 16 films for Bombay Talkies !

The Debut making actress Renuka Devi was one of a kind. I am not only surprised,but awed and terribly impressed,when I went through her Autobiography ” A woman of substance-Begum Khursheed Mirza “.

Begum Khursheed Mirza is none other than the famous Heroine of the 30s and 40s-Renuka Devi ( 4-3-1918 to 8-2-1989 ). She was perhaps one of the most educated, upper class, sophisticated and highly cultured Muslim lady, who ever joined the film industry then. One more striking feature of Renuka Devi was that she was one of the very few actresses,who joined the films after their marriage. The other such examples I remember offhand is that of Meenakshi Shirodkar (Bramhachari-38 fame), Shobhana Samarth and actress Neena ( real name Shahida-wife of Mohsin Abdulla, brother of Renuka Devi and later wife of W.Z.Ahmed) in those times.

Renuka Devi had studied upto Masters degree in English Literature,from Aligarh Muslim University. The only other nearest example I remember offhand is that of actress Vanmala (real name Susheela Devi Pawar), who had done B.A and B.T. and was a Teacher in the college before joining films,at the behest of writer,journalist and Director P.K.Atre.

The story of Renuka Devi is quite interesting. Khursheed Jehan was born in Aligarh on 4-3-1918, to Shaikh Abdulla and his wife Waheed Jehan Beg. She was the 6th of the 7 siblings. Her father Shaikh Abdulla (1874-1965) was originally a Hindu. He was the son of a rich Jahagirdar and Landlord from Poonch,Kashmir. They were Kashmiri Brahmins. His name was Thakur Das. He embraced Islam in 1890, while studying in Aligarh. When his family learnt about it, he was disowned by them. He took the name Shaikh Abdulla.

He became a leading Advocate of Aligarh. After he married Waheed Jehan Beg,they both- being of progressive thinking- decided to work for the Muslim women’s education. They faced lot of resistance from the fundamentalists,but they established a Muslim women’s college in Aligarh. To provide students for this college,a school was also started for Muslim girls. soon the girls started joining the school and college. Shaikh Abdulla ensured that all his children were educated. One daughter became a Doctor,another Advocate and two daughters did master’s degrees and later on became Principals of the women’s college. Khursheed also studied upto masters but due to her marriage could not complete it. ( she completed her Masters in English Litterateur in 1963,at the age of 45 years,later).
Khursheed Jehan was married to Akbar Mirza,a Police Officer in Aligarh. Soon she gave birth to 2 sons also.

Her brother Mohsin Abdulla was working in Bombay Talkies,at Bombay. He used to describe how professional these studios were. Khursheed was 21 year old and beautiful. She desired to work in films. She wrote a letter to Devika Rani expressing her desire. This she did, without informing her husband. She received a letter from Devika Rani, inviting her to Bombay for an interview. Now she confided in her husband and he wholeheartedly supported her.

Thus started her acting career. She was 21 years,married and had 2 children too. Her first film was ‘ Jeewan Prabhat”-37. She was given the name RENUKA DEVI. This was a Debut film for Kishore Sahu. Bombay Talkies bosses were very happy with her performance and she was offered a Heroine’s role opposite Jairaj in film ” Bhabhi”-1939. Jairaj was also from a rich background,cultured and highly educated. Their tuning was excellent and the film was a grand success. Renuka also sang few songs in Bhabhi-39. ( when the news of her acting in films reached Aligarh,there was a hue and cry. Her mother wrote to Renuka,’not to visit Aligarh for now’. Renuka did not go to Aligarh for next 2 years).

She was invited to Calcutta By New Theatres to act in film, Badi Didi-39. Her other films were Naya Sansar-41 (Ashok kumar), Sahara-43 (S D Narang), Ghulami-45 ( Masood Parvez) and Samrat Chandragupta-45 ( Ishwarlal ). her film career was very short. She announced her retirement from films in February 1944,while shooting for her last films. She did only 7 films and sang only 3 songs in 3 films.

After partition,her family migrated to Pakistan. In Pakistan,though in demand,she refused to do any films. Instead,she decided to devote her time for women’s uplift,education,welfare and social work. She also did some work on Pakistan Radio.

When TV came to Pakistan,she became very active and for next 15-20 years she was a popular figure on Pak TV. In 1963,she completed her Master’s degree,at the age of 45 years. From August 1982 to April 1983,she published 9 instalments of her autobiography in the popular magazine ” Herald ” as ” The uprooted sapling”. This was,later on,edited and published as a Book, ” A woman of substance- the memoirs of Begum Khursheed Mirza “, by her daughter Lubna,in 2004. Renuka Devi died on 8-2-1989 at Lahore after a prolonged illness.

In her book she included a chapter of 24 pages ” Renuka Devi-my celluloid identity”,in which she has described many interesting anecdotes. her detailed description of the times of the 30s and 40s is a lovely chronicle of history of Bombay film industry. here are some excerpts from her book, for you…

1) Back in the Thirties, acting in films was not considered an honourable profession for anybody. And for a married woman from a well-educated and respectable upper-middle class Muslim family, it was forbidden to even think about it. But Khurshid Mirza, the daughter of the founders of the Aligarh Women’s College, the wife of a police officer and already a mother of two, was too free-spirited to be tied down by any social norm. I took the plunge and soon a star named Renuka Devi was born.

2) In 1939, Shanta Apte wrote that she received four or five letters each day from young girls wanting to join the movies “due perhaps to this monetary attraction”. Actresses themselves acknowledged in interviews that the money was substantial and more than one actress claimed that her salary rivalled that of the Governor of Bombay! But aside from several myth-building exercises, it is now apparent that film acting was a uniquely high-paying profession for women. According to Filmindia, Shobhana Samarth’s approximate total income in 1942 was Rs 36,000 while Sardar Akhtar, Naseem Banu, and Madhuri earned about Rs 30,000 each. These figures indicate that leading heroines of the day averaged an income of Rs 3,000-4,000 per month (some actresses were freelancers and did not work through the year), at a time when a French chiffon sari cost Rs 9, and a brand new imported Studebaker cost Rs 6,000. It is hardly surprising then, that I would want to make “a little dough”.

3) Akbar stood by me in the face of stiff opposition from both our families. Nevertheless, he maintained a strange attitude towards my work. He enjoyed the benefits the money brought us, such as a new car, expensive game-hunts, and pleasure trips to fashionable Mussoorie in summer and excellent schooling for our children. And, yet, he treated my work as a hobby, instead of giving it its due importance.

( My thanks to the book,”A woman of substance “, some information from ” Free Library”,Cineplot and my own notes).

One more name Maya Devi may be new to readers. Maya Devi was from Bombay and started her career from silent films in 1928 with Anarkali by imperial. Her first Talkie film was Kunwari ya widhva-35. Her real name was Leela. She became a favourite of Bombay Talkies and she did 6 films with them in 37 and 38. In all she did 5 silent films and 31 Talkie films till 1949. She got married with a Muslim and then migrated to Pakistan, where she did 19 films and then retired in 1964. She died in Lahore on 1-2-67. She did films in Gujarati and Punjabi also.( info from pakfilms.com).

The story of film Jeewan Prabhat-37 was……..

In this film Uma (Devika Rani) is born in a high caste Brahmin family,but falls in love with a boy of Kumhar caste(Potters).Her love with Ramu (Kishore Sahu) leads them nowhere as there is a great opposition to this from all sides. They realise that their love will lead them nowhere. Finally Uma is married off to Nandlal (Prithviraj kapoor), a Brahmin boy and Ramu accepts the reality.

The marriage makes the potters very happy too. Later it is rumoured that Nandlal is about to marry Padma (Chandraprabha),because Uma is a ‘ baanjh’ (infertile). Ramu meets Uma and their meeting is seen by Nandlal. He sends Uma back to her parents. Few days later, Uma discovers that she is pregnant,but Nandlal doubts her fidelity. At the end Padma, herself understands how much Uma loves Nandlal. She withdraws from the proposed marriage. Not only this,she also convinces Nandlal about Uma’s purity.

Finally, Nandlal and Uma begin a new life a new Jeevan Prabhat.


Song-Paalna mero munwa jhoole (Jeewan Prabhat)(1937) Singer-Chorus, Lyrics-J S Kashyap, MD-Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

bado bado ?? jhoola
dole it ut ??
bado bado ?? jhoola
dole it ut ??

baat banaawe bhori bhori
baat banaawe bhori bhori
bhookh lage par daudo aawe
kare ??
bhookh lage par daudo aawe
kare ??

ma ma
oti de
ma ma
dudhu de
ma daudo aawe doodh pilaawe
ma daudo aawe doodh pilaawe
paalna mero munwa jhoole
paalna mero lalna jhoole
paalna mero munna jhoole
paalna

?? ghar mein aawe
maatha peete
daud lagaawe
?? ghar mein aawe
maatha peete
daud lagaawe

arre kinne maara
baabu
babuwa kaun laaya
baabu
doodu kaun pilaaya
amma
paala kiska beta
amma

mere maara raajdulaara
amma amma karta pyaara
mere maara raajdulaara
amma amma karta pyaara
laalna mero jhulwa jhoole
paalna mero lalna jhoole
paalna mero munwa jhoole
paalna


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 : 3788 Post No. : 14772

SONGS FROM ARTISTE NAME FILMS….Song No. 11
——————————————————————————

Today’s song is from the film Sitara-1939.

About 4 years ago, I had run a series of songs from films with Artiste’s names. I had discussed songs from films like, Madhubala-50, Nargis-46, Veena-48, Usha kiran-52, Renuka-47, Madhuri-32, Hurricane Hansa-37, Zubeida-2000, Kamla-46 and Aasha-38 ( A to Z ). When the series ended discussing 10 songs, I found that I had few more songs from similar titled films like, Nirmala-38, Sitara-39, Vasanti-38, Poornima-38, Meenakshi-42 and Durga-39. Today’s song is from this collection.

Film Sitara was made and directed by Ezra Mir, under his own banner, Everest pictures Corporation. The music was by Rafiq Ghaznavi for songs written by Munshi Dil. The cast of the film was Ratanbai, Khursheed, Nazeer, Mubarak, K N Singh, Sunalini Devi, Violet Cooer, Mirza musharraf and many others. There was, however, no artiste of name Sitara in it.

Senior readers in the bracket of 55 to 75 years of age would recollect the Indian Documentaries made by Ezra Mir, shown before almost every film in the theatres. Indian News Reel and these documentaries on various subjects were actually used as a facility to enter the theatre late and still catch the whole movie from the beginning. These documentaries were made mostly by Ezra Mir and the voice over used to be that of Pratap Sharma usually. ( his younger brother Mahesh Sharma was my good friend in those days).

Ezra Mir was one of the rare persons who worked in the famous Hollywood studios for a considerable time, before he came to India and got involved in making films here. He was also a rare person who, despite being in great demand in the commercial cinema, chose to join a Government organisation and did a monumental significant work for the future generations. For a long time, I was thinking him to be a Muslim man, but at a much later date, I came to know that he was a Jew person.

Ezra Mir ( real name Edwyn Meyers) was born on 26-10-1902 at Calcutta. After completing his education, he joined Madon Theatres in 1921. In 1923, he left for Europe and America to work in film industry. After doing bit roles in Rudolph Valentino’s films in Long Island, New York and working for First National Biograph Studios, he joined the Universal studios as a ” Film Cutter ” and later as a Scenario writer. By his diligent and hard work he became the chief of story Department in United Artistes. In 1929, he wrote and directed a film ‘ Simbolisque ‘, which created a sensation in the film circle there.

With the advent of the Talkie, he came back to India , joined Imperial Film co. and made film Noorjehan-31 in Hindi and English. In 32-33, he joined Sagar movietone and directed Zarina-32, Pagal premee-33 and Farzand e Hind-34. Then Ezra went to Calcutta. After doing some films he came back and made documentaries on second world war. In 1940, he was appointed by the Govt. on Film Advisory Board. In 1942, when V.Shantaram left as its head, he became the head. From 1942 to 1946, he made 170 documentaries.

In 1951 he joined Films Division and in 1956, became its President. In his tenure here, he made 400 documentaries. In 1970 he got ‘ Padmashri ‘. Ezra Mir died on 7-3-1993. His Filmography is Noorjehan-31, Zarine-32, Pagal premi-33, Farzand e Hind-34, Mera Pyara and Rasheeda-35,Jeevan Sangram, Parivartan,Rajdulari and Shaitan ka pash-36, Rikshawala-38,Sitara-39, Beete din-47, pamposh-54 and Raju aur gangaram-64.

The Music Director of film Sitara-39 was Rafiq Ghaznavi, who was a multi faceted artiste. He acted in 18 films, directed 1 film, sang 30 songs in 15 films and gave music to 22 films and composed 191 songs, according to MuVyz.com.

Private life of a celebrity has always been a matter of curiosity for the common man and if the celebrity is from the show world like films ,then there are all attempts to dig out the ‘ behind the scene’ stories about the famous people.

In the early era, the female artistes were from the courtesan or the singing families. Most males too were not much educated. Thus there were many cases of illicit relationships and children out of wed locks. For the rich producers, having an ‘extra facility’ was a matter of a few thousands. In those days the social medias and the film magazines were not common, hence such matters hardly came into the open. The insiders, however, knew many stories. Few personalities like actor Shyam, Rafiq Ghaznavi, Prem Adeeb,C.Ramchandra were some of the artistes who were claimed to be involved in ‘ extra-curricular activities ‘. So were some Producers and Directors.

When careers are on the rise,talents are bright and the work is extraordinary, it hardly matters what the artistes do in their private lives. People are happy with their work. Yesteryear Actor,Singer and Music Director RAFIQ GHAZANAVI was one such person.

Rafiq was a singer from his school days and he became famous by the time he completed his Matriculation. He had learnt music from a blind expert. He was called by H.M.V. to Lucknow and several records were made of his songs. He completed his graduation. He was an expert in Hindi, Urdu, English, Punjabi, Pushtu and Afghan Persian languages fluently. He was a voracious reader of English books. He edited a magazine “Raavee”. His stage shows were always housefull. He was honoured by the American Art Society with a Gold Medal. He was famous in the art circles of Lahore.

His first film as a composer was ” Pavitra Ganga”-1932. Then came Prithviraj Sanyogita-33 and Deewaani-34 etc. He was a good friend of producer Director Mehboob Khan. The voice accompanying the Mehboob Productions Logo is that of Rafiq Ghazanavi, “Muddai lakh bura chaahe to kya hota hai, wohi hota hai jo manzoor-e-Khuda hota hai”. The famous Logo consisted of a Hammer and Sickle, indicating the socialistic inclination of Mehboob Khan, who was a great follower of Pandit Nehru’s idealogy. When 14 year old Nargis was offered the heroine’s role in Mehboob’s ” Taqdeer ” the music was entrusted to Rafiq Ghaznavi. Shamshad Begum was brought from Lahore specially to sing her first songs in Bombay for “Taqdeer” and Rafiq Ghaznavi was directing her songs.

Famous writer Saadat Hasan Manto, in his book “Stars from another sky “, had devoted a full chapter to Rafiq. Manto, in his inimitable style has described all his ‘extra ‘ activities in details,as he was an observer for most of them. Rafiq was tall and handsome and had the magical quality to attract women. Wine and women were his weaknesses. But there was much more to Rafiq than only running after lowly women. He was never a one woman man. He had married 3 sisters, one after another, but never remained faithful to any one of them. As far as his music was concerned, he was very strict and never mixed these two things. He always tried to give his best in every film. Here is a short Bio from a Pakistani source-pakfilms.net, some years ago.

Born to an enlightened family in 1907, in Rawalpindi, Rafiq Ghaznavi was full of life since his earliest days. He passed his childhood amidst scenic, natural beauty, surrounded by mountains, valleys and lakes.

After receiving his matriculation examination degree, Rafiq Ghaznavi moved to Lahore. In Lahore, he completed his intermediate examination from Islamia College, Lahore. Then he graduated from the Punjab University.

During those days if a handsome, enthusiastic young man was endowed with acting talents, he was more inclined towards the glamorous movie business. Rafiq Ghaznavi was no exception. Let us go seventy-five years back in time and see how movies were made in that time period.

Those were the days of silent movies. Though the vocal film ‘Alam Ara’ was released in 1931, still silent movies were in vogue for quite sometime, just like black and white movies continued to flood the market after the advent of color movies.

Visionary movie director, Mian A.R. Kardar, is considered the discoverer or ‘Columbus’ of the Lahore film industry. Moved by Rafiq Ghaznavi’s powerful voice and good looks, Kardar signed him as hero for his silent movie, ‘Brave heart’, while the latter was studying in college.

Thus, Rafiq Ghaznavi debuted in the film ‘Brave heart’ in 1931 at the age of twenty-four. Soon Rafiq Ghaznavi began to outlive his town and his time while his companions were thinking what to make of their lives.

Director A.R. Kardar, on the other hand, made his first talking film, ‘Hoor Punjab’ in 1932. Later, he changed its name to ‘Heer Ranjha’ and it was released under the banner of Play art photo tone.

Handsome, as Rafiq Ghaznavi was, Kardar picked him up for the romantic lead role of ‘Ranjha.’ While actress Anwari played the lead romantic role of ‘Heer Seyaal’. Additionally, Rafiq Ghaznavi composed music and lent his impressive voice to all the songs. Hence, he was the hero-composer-singer in the film ‘Heer Ranjha.’ Since all the songs were pictured on him he was also the singing star.

After working in ‘Heer Ranjha’, Rafiq Ghaznavi migrated to Bombay and worked diligently for the Bombay film industry. Rafiq was a multi talented man. He acted in 18 films. He directed 1 film-Prem pujari-35. He sang 30 songs in 15 films and he gave music to 22 films, composing 191 songs. (all statistics from MuVyz.com)

Dwelling on his personal life, Rafiq Ghaznavi married film actress Zehra and had a daughter, Shahina, from her. Shahina grew up and made her mark as an actress in movies like ‘Beli’, ‘Nigar’, ‘Aankh ka nasha’, ‘Bharosa’, and ‘Intiqaam.’

Rafiq Ghaznavi also had a son, Murad, from his first wife, Zehra. In due course of time, Rafiq Ghaznavi divorced Zehra. She married director A.M. Mirza and was known as Zehra Mirza.

Actress Anwari was the second wife of Rafiq Ghaznavi with whom he had a daughter, Zarina Agha. Later, Zarina changed her name to Nasreen and worked in director A.R. Kardar’s movie, ‘Shah Jehan’ and Daud Chand’s movie, ‘Aik Roaz.’
After Rafiq left Anwaribai, she married Jugal Kishore Mehra ( Raj kapoor’s Mama), who converted to Islam and became Ahmed Salman. He was also the director of Radio Pakistan. He adopted Nasreen and got her married to Agha Liyaqat Gul Tajik. He settled in London doing Diamond business.

Further, Nasreen Agha’s daughter, Salma Agha, achieved great name and fame as a singing star.

Actress Anuradha, whose real name was Khursheed Akhtar, was the third wife of Rafiq Ghaznavi, with whom he had a son, Ayaz Mehmood. Furthermore, one of Rafiq Ghaznavi’s daughter married popular writer-director, Zia Sarhadi. Zia Sarhadi’s two sons, Khayam Sarhadi and Bilal Sarhadi attained fame in show business.

Interestingly enough, all three wives of Rafiq Ghaznavi were real sisters and they hailed from Amritsar.

Rafiq Ghaznavi, who was such a charismatic figure, a talented composer of the highest grade and a visionary, passed away on 2-3-1974, in Karachi, at the age of sixty-seven.

Today’s song is sung by Rafiq himself. In those days, films used to have many songs. Even this film had 13 songs. There were 5 singers who sang these songs. I first heard few songs of this film and I selected this song as it is better than the other songs.


Song- Main sadke tere nigaahe muhabbat (Sitaara)(1939) Singer- Rafiq Ghaznavi, Lyrics- Munshi Dil, MD- Rafiq Ghaznavi

Lyrics

main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat
main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat

banaaya mujhe baa
banaaya mujhe baa
banaaya mujhe baa
aadshaah e muhabbat
haaye
main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat
main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat

taaron ki hansi hai meri
taaron ki hansi hai meri
kaliyon ki khushi hai meri
kaliyon ki khushi hai meri
phoolon ki pari hai meri
phoolon ki pari hai meri
ye jungle hai aaraamgaah e muhabbat
ye jungle hai aaraamgaah e muhabbat
haaye
main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat
main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat

banaaya mujhe baa
banaaya mujhe baa
banaaya mujhe baa
aadshaah e muhabbat
main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat
main sadqe tere ae
nigaahe mohabbat


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 :

3783 Post No. : 14764 Movie Count :

4037

Today’s song is from film ‘Holi’ (1940). It is written by DN Madhok and composed by Khemchand Prakash. This duet is sung by Sitara Devi and Kantilal.

When silent films started talking, it became imperative for the film makers to recruit only those artistes who could sing on screen. In this compulsion, most of the times, the composers had to compromise on the singing ability of the artistes, because for the artistes, acting was primary and singing was secondary. Barring the born, natural singers like Noorjehan, KL Saigal, Khursheed, Surendra and few others, the rest of the singers in the film industry were all ‘make do’ types. In the early era, till about the beginning of the 40’s decade, the music directors had a tough time getting songs sung by these so called ‘singers’. May be, that is the reason why we find that many composers also sang when the playback started.

Almost all the heroes and heroines (with the sole exception of Jairaj – who was an ‘Aurangzeb’ in music) willy-nilly sang even after the playback singing had firmly set in. Pure and exclusive singers like Lata, Asha, Geeta, Rafi, Mukesh and Talat started occupying their legitimate place in playback singing in films from the mid 1940s onward. At the same time, slowly and steadily singing by the actors and actresses diminished, and by the dawn of the 1950’s decade, playback singing was rooted firmly. In my opinion, this was also one of the major reasons of ‘Golden Period of Film Music’ blossoming from around 1947-48 onward. Due to the availability of playback singers, actors started acting wholeheartedly and composers got new energy and they concentrated on making good music rather than breaking their heads on teaching the ‘pseudo-singers’ how to sing their songs ! In one of the interviews, Naushad had expressed his relief from getting song sung by non-singers !!

Singers like Ishwarlal, Kantilal, AR Oza, Vatsala Kumthekar etc were part actors and part singers. Thus we find that very rarely any song sung by these part time singers became an evergreen song. I can, however, think of only one song- “Zindagi Ka Saaz Bhi Kya Saaz Hai, Baj Raha Hai Aur Be-awaaz Hai” by Naseem Bano in film ‘Pukar’ (1939). She had sung it well and the composer Meer Sahab too should get some credit for its composition. But such cases are rare. Mohd. Rafi’s case in this connection can be quoted. After the regular playback singers became composers’ first choice, one by one the ‘part time’ singers closed their shops ! See here how Rafi did it.

Mohd. Rafi, no doubt, was a versatile singer. Like Lata, when he came on the scene of playback singing – after considerable hard work and struggle, he replaced the old singers who sang in the films, one by one.

  • Ashok kumar’s singing spree stopped when Rafi sang for him in film ‘Saajan’ (1947).
  • Ishwarlal stopped singing when Rafi sang for him in film ‘Sharbati Aankhen’ (1945).
  • Shahu Modak stopped after ‘Chakradhari’ (1954).
  • WM Khan after ‘Aalam Ara’ (1956).
  • Master Nissar after ‘Boot Polish’ (1954)
  • GM Durrani after ‘Lal Pathar’ (1971)
  • Karan Dewan after ‘Duniya’ (1949).
  • Noor Mohammed Charlie after ‘Zameen Ke Taare’ (1960).
  • Balak Ram after ‘Shri Ram Bharat Milan’ (1965).
  • Moti Sagar after ‘Paak Daman’ (1957).
  • Man Mohan Krishna after ‘Basant Bahar’ (1956).

Mohd. Rafi even sang for some composers who used to sing in films,

  • SN Tripathi – ‘Pawanputra Hanuman’ (1957).
  • Snehal Bhatkar – ‘Baawre Nain’ (1950) (he was doing a beggar’s role in this film)
  • Sudhir Sen – ‘Saat Phere’ (1970).

By the way, Rafi was the only male playback singer who sang with all 3 major singer actresses

  • Noorjehan – ‘Jugnu’ (1947).
  • Khursheed – ‘Aage Badho’ (1947)
  • Suraiya – they have sung together in 13 films

The female singer in today’s song is Sitara Devi (8-11-1920 to 25-11-2014), the well known Kathak dancer. Her life story is available freely on the internet. She was bestowed the title of ‘Nritya Samragni’  by Ravindranath Tagore, in 1936, when she was just 16 year old. Sitara is also famous for her multiple marriages. She was the one who refused to accept ‘Padma Bhushan’ honour, stating that she deserves nothing less than ‘Bharat Ratna’ alone ! She had taught Kathak Dance to younger actresses like Madhubala, Rekha, Mala Sinha and Kajol.

The male singer in today’s song is Kantilal. KANTILAL CHHAGANLAL PACHCHIGAR was born on 18-4-1907 in Surat, Gujarat. Due to inherent interest in music, after college education he came to Bombay to try film singing. His first film was ‘Bulbul e Paristan’ (1934) from Vishnu Cinetone. Kikubhai Yagnik was the MD. Kantilal sang 2 songs in it. In 1935, he acted, sang and gave music to ‘Preet Ki Reet’ (1935). He sang 6 songs. He also gave music in ‘Punjab Ka Sinh’ (1936) and also in ‘Gul Badan’ (1937). From 1937 to 1941, he was with Ranjit Movietone and acted and sang in 16 films. He sang 40 songs under Khemchand Prakash and Gyan Dutt.

Then came ‘Gazi Salahuddin’, ‘Kangan’, ‘Holiday In Bombay’ and ‘Kanchan’. Kantilal sang 60 songs in 24 films under 5 MDs. Some of his films were, ‘Toofaani Toli’, ‘Ban Ki Chidiya’, ‘Billi’, ‘Gorakh Aaya’, ‘Prithviputra’, ‘Adhoori Kahaani’, ‘Nadi Kinaare’, ‘Aaj Ka Hindusthan’, ‘Achhoot’, ‘Diwali’, ‘Holi’, ‘Musafir’, ‘Pardesi’, ‘Sasural’, ‘Shaadi’ etc.

In 1943, he married Ushaben and acted in Gujarati films and dramas. He passed away on 17-6-1971.

Khemchand Prakash (12-12-1907 to 10-8-1950) was a very talented composer, but unfortunately  most of his career, he dealt with average singers. Whenever he got opportunity to make songs for real singers like Saigal (‘Tansen’ and ‘Bhanwara’), Khursheed, Kishore ( ‘Ziddi’ and ‘Muqaddar’), Lata (‘Mahal’) and Rajkumari, his songs became famous and very popular. Today’s song is sung by the so called part time singers, but they have tried their best in it.

With this song film ‘Holi’ (1940) makes its debut on the blog.

 


Song – Dhanwaalon Ki Duniya Hai Ye, Nirdhan Ke Bhagwaan  (Holi) (1940) Singer – Kantilal, Sitara Devi, Lyrics – DN Madhok, Music – Khemchand Prakash
Kantilal + Sitara Devi

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

dhanwaalon ki duniya hai ye
nirdhan ke bhagwan
dhanwaalon ki duniya hai ye
nirdhan ke bhagwan

nirdhan teri
nirdhan ka main
nirdhan teri
nirdhan ka main
ek anokhi shaan
ek anokhi shaan

do din ki ye mast jawaani
do din ki ye mast jawaani
do din ka ye roo..oop
ek mundere chaanv hai aayi
ek mundere dhoo..oop
bhole panchhi is pinjre ka
bhole panchhi is pinjre ka
jhootha tere maan
haa..aan
jhootha tere maan
haa..aan
dhanwaalon ki duniya hai ye
nirdhan ke bhagwan

ret ke mahal bana kar moorakh
ret ke mahal bana kar moorakh
in mein kiya baseraa. . .
ek fanaa ke jhonka aaya
kooch hua sab dera
ret ke mahal bana kar moorakh
ret ke mahal bana kar moorakh
in mein kiya baseraa. . .
ek fanaa ke jhonka aaya
kooch hua sab dera
jhootha jeevan ka iktaara
jhootha jeevan ka iktaara
jhoothi us ki taa..aan
dhanwaalon ki duniya hai ye
nirdhan ke bhagwan
dhanwaalon ki duniya hai ye
nirdhan ke bhagwan

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

धनवालों की दुनिया है ये
निर्धन के भगवान
धनवालों की दुनिया है ये
निर्धन के भगवान

निर्धन तेरी
निर्धन का मैं
निर्धन तेरी
निर्धन का मैं
एक अनोखी शान
एक अनोखी शान

दो दिन की ये मस्त जवानी
दो दिन की ये मस्त जवानी
दो दिन का ये रू॰॰प
एक मुंडेरे छाँव है आई
एक मुंडेरे धू॰॰प
भोले पंछी इस पिंजरे का
भोले पंछी इस पिंजरे का
झूठा तेरे मान
हाँ॰॰आँ
झूठा तेरे मान
हाँ॰॰आँ
धनवालों की दुनिया है ये
निर्धन के भगवान

रेत के महल बना कर मूरख
रेत के महल बना कर मूरख
इन में किया बसेरा॰ ॰ ॰
एक फना का झोंका आया
कूच हुआ सब डेरा
रेत के महल बना कर मूरख
रेत के महल बना कर मूरख
इन में किया बसेरा॰ ॰ ॰
एक फना का झोंका आया
कूच हुआ सब डेरा
झूठा जीवन का इकतारा
झूठा जीवन का इकतारा
झूठी उसकी ता॰॰आन
धनवालों की दुनिया है ये
निर्धन के भगवान
धनवालों की दुनिया है ये
निर्धन के भगवान


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 : 3778 Post No. : 14756

Today’s song is truly a rare song. It is from a film called Romantic India-1936. It was a C grade costume film, directed by veteran Mohan Sinha. Looking at the film’s cast of Jeevan, Shyamsunder, Noorjehan, Radharani, Pt. Badri pershad, Gulab etc etc., it is confirmed that it was one of those C grade films which had its own audience in almost every village, town and city in India.

During the 20s, 30s and the 40s decades, films catered to all types of movie goers. Various Genres were used like Mythological, Religious, Stunt, Adventure, Folk tales, Historical, Social, Mystery, Family, Drama, Fantasy, Costume, Comedy, Tragedy and every other conceivable Genre possible. These films catered to all age groups as well as all social divisions like the poor, middle class and the rich. The daily earners, workers and lower strata of the society were avid viewers of stunt films.

When I started seeing stunt films, the first choice was of course films of Fearless Nadia. However, by that time most of her films were unavailable and I could see only a few of them. Stunt films of Shankar rao Vazre, Master Bhagwan, Chandrarao Kadam, Kamran, Dalpat, Navin Yagnik, John Cavas, Boman Shroff, Billimorea brothers, Prakash, khaleel, Master Vithal, Baburao pehelwan etc were lapped up by me and my like minded friends. Most of these films were seen at the cost of attending school.

These stunt films had not only their own fixed audience, but also these films were shown in particular theatres of the towns. usually, these were situated in poor areas and the owners never believed in its maintenance. Perhaps, even the audience was uncomfortable in well maintained, soft cushioned, airy and clean theatres ! Like the audience and the theatres, the cast of stunt films, the directors and the producers were fixed and usual. The Music Directors had not much work, since the audience considered songs as a hindrance to the film story. Rarely commercial records of stunt film songs were made. Master Bhagwan once revealed that a stunt film was made completely in Rs. 50,000 easily, all expenses included ! Therefore, these films used to give good profits to the producers and investors.

Collecting information on actors working in such films was and is a tough task. In general, collecting details of any actor of yesteryear is very challenging. When I started writing on old films and its artistes, I realised that doing research on old time cine artistes is a very tedious task. The kind of sources one has to tap is simply unimaginable. If you happen to meet a close relative or a family member, who has the knowledge about the old timer, then you are lucky. This was precisely what happened in case of Bhudo Advani ( his son), Parshuram (his daughter), Mirza Musharraf ( his daughter/son in law ), Indurani (her son), Latika ( her daughter), Vasant kumar Naidu ( his Nephew) and Shankar rao Vazre( his grandson) who met/contacted me and I could get enough Bio data on them. But this is by and large by pure Luck only. Otherwise hard work in such searches is the only way and one does not know how much time it will take and what will be the final outcome.
A case in point is that of yesteryear Heroine Mrudula. I came to know some information and the address of Mrudula, by chance, and I was very happy. Mrudula was the First Heroine of Dilip Kumar in his Debut film Jwar Bhata-1944. She was staying in a building near Arey Dairy in Worli, Bombay. I immediately contacted Shishir krishna Sharma ji, who is an expert in interviewing such old timers and gave him the information. At the first opportunity, he went to that address. Unfortunately, she had left that place and with great difficulty, he got her current address. He reached that building- Samudra Mahal in Worli. However, to his dismay, the watchman at the gate did not allow him to enter, despite explaining to him. He was not even allowed to talk to her on intercom. The matter ended there only. Now we know where she lives, since 2 years but cant contact her. She is already above 90 years of age. Such are the unseen difficulties in meeting the surviving old artistes.

Similarly, when I started work on different Radharani named actresses, initially I thought that there were 3 Radha Ranis. Sadanand ji Kamath helped me by providing some clues and I reworked on the whole matter, finally arriving at the correct information. This is really hard work.

In case of Radha Rani, most important point is, there are only Two of them and NOT three as believed earlier. One was operating only in Calcutta and the other was from Bombay. Here are the details. Here, I am making it a concise version to avoid too long an article. Since the Radha Rani who worked in film Romantic India-1936 was from Bombay, here is only her information.

RADHA RANI (BOMBAYWALI) –

She was the daughter of a Military Officer. Born at Quetta, Baluchistan, in or around 1920-21, she had a British father and Indian mother. She had total Indian looks. Her initial education and schooling was done in Bombay. She became an expert in Horse Riding, swimming, cycling, driving and skating. She was very beautiful and attractive. At the age 15, she looked quite grown up with distinct features. While in school final itself, she got offers from films. Her first film was Romantic India-36. Being an expert singer, she started singing in films. Next she acted in Badhe Chalo-37.

She was called to Calcutta to act in film ‘ Swaraj ke Sipahi ‘-37. From Calcutta, she went to Madras to do a role in a Telugu film ‘ Bhakta Jaidev ‘-38. Returning to Bombay, Radha Rani acted in Sunehra Baal-38 and then joined Wadia movietone. Here she did 7 stunt/action films.

After this she became a freelancer and acted in 18 more films of different banners. She also acted in Punjabi film ‘ Kurmai’-41. Her achievements in films were amazing. Stepping directly from school classroom onto the Silver screen, in her first 5 years of career itself, she had bagged 15 feature films. This was mainly due to to her striking screen beauty, linguistic dexterity and histrionic versatility. She was a consummate actress, singer and dancer. She was very fond of reading English literature and would spend time reading books during shooting breaks.

She made a good pair with actor Zahoor Raja in 8 films. She acted in 3 films of his production company and in film Badal-42, he directed her. her last film was Rasilee-46. After this film she got married and went to England.

Filmography- Romantic India-36, Badhe Chalo-37, Swaraj ke sipahi-37, Bhakta Jaydev-38(Telugu), Sunehra Baal-38, kahan hai manzil teri-39, Hind ka lal-40, Diamond queen-40, Jai swadesh-40, Bambaiwali-41, Manthan-41, Safed sawar-41, Seedha Rasta-41, Darpan-41, Kurmai-41(Punjabi), Swami-41, Badal-42, Motorwali-42, Sewa-42, Suhagan-42, Jungle Princess-42, Mazaq-43, Mr.Jhatpat-43, Paraya Dhan-43, Sawal-43, Bhai-43, O Panchhi-44, Ghazal-45, Laaj-46 and Rasilee-46.

By a sheer coincidence, there was another ‘Same Name Confusion’ artiste in this film- Noorjehan. This was Noorjehan Sr. Her career spanned from the silent era to 1953. To add to the confusion, she also sang few songs. A part of her career clashed with the more famous singer actress Malika-E-Tarannum, Noorjehan. This created confusion in the minds of those interested in the history of Hindi films. After a study of long time spent in gathering information about the Senior Noorjehan, we are now able to distinguish between the two artistes. For our readers, here is information on the senior Noorjehan, who had worked in film Romantic India-36.

Noorjehan-Sr.’s real name was Zebunnisa,but since there were already many Zebs in the film line,she took the name of Noorjehan. She was from a Tawayaf family of Lahore. She started with Silent film Gulnar-1930,then came All for love,chandramani,Hind ke tare,Shaliwahan etc. After doing about 10 silent films,she first appeared in a Talkie Mirza Sahibaan-1933. (The silent films were produced till sept.1934).

She was actually not a professional singer,but in those days it was compulsory for the Lady actors to sing songs also,since playback had not started. That is the reason she sang also. She did about 57 Talkie films like patit pawan,Kala wagh,Kismet ki kasauti,Vaaman avtaar,Delhi Express,Jaane aalam,karvaan e husn,Rangeela Nawab,Sati toral, Stree dharma,Romantic India,Shaahu chor,tope ka Gola,Adarsh mahila etc. After 1937,she did not get major roles and songs also diminished. Her last film was Anarkali-53.
The confusion causing films of Noorjehan Sr. are…. 1941- Radhika- sang 2 songs, Sasural- 3 songs, Ummeed-1 song. She also worked in Sikander and Red signal.
1942- Dhiraj- sang 1 song. Also acted in Chandni
1943- Adab Arz-sang 1 song. Also acted in Vish kanya
1944-No film
1945-Ghazal
1946-Jadugar, Eight days, Gwalan, Maharana Pratap, Sofia, Talwarwala
1947- Aabida, Do Bhai, Meerabai.
After retirement from films, she lived in Bombay, Dadar area. She knew Driving, so she became a Lady Driver instructor in a Driving School, to sustain for some time. Thereafter no information on her.

Coming back to today’s film Romantic India-36, it was directed by Mohan Sinha . He was born on 2-12-1903 at Indore. He studied upto matriculation in Indore. His uncle was General Bhavnani Singh, who was in the Indore state army. With his help, Mohan got in state army as a Lieutenant. However, he did not continue for long and left the army. In 1933, he started a film company at Indore-Navyug films. But due to lack of opportunities in Indore, it was closed soon.

Mohan came to Bombay, floated Krishna Films and made and directed a film ” Fashionable India”-35. It was a hit film and he got offers from Rajputana films,General FPictures, Circo and National. He worked with all of them. Sinha went to Calcutta and started Murli pictures. he made ” Swaraj ke sipahi”-37, which was a flop. he came back to Bombay and directed Industrial India-38, for General films. Then came Swastik-39, Laxmi-40,Anuradha-40 and Vanmala-41. He floated Murari Pictures in 1942 and made badlati Duniya-43 and krishnarjuna yudha-45 ( This film was appreciated by Dr. Rajendra prasad, Dr. Shamaprasad Mukherji, Veer Savarkar and Acharya kriplani also). One interesting fact about Mohan Sinha was that he directed 3 films describing India of those days, namely Fashionable India-35, Romantic india-36 and Industrial India-38.

In 1946, Mohan Sinha directed K L Saigal in Omar khayyam and Surendra in 1857, Raj kapoor in Dil ki Rani-47 and Dev Anand in Jeet-49. Mohan Sinha directed in all 32 films. He wrote lyrics for 62 songs in 7 films. His last film was Shaan E Hind-60. He died in 1984. Mohan Sinha’s granddaughter Vidya Sinha was an actress.

Today’s song is sung by Noorjehan Sr. In the song there is a long talk by a male person. It seems, the singer is trying to motivate that person not to lose hopes and stop drinking.


Song-Mat hona behosh (Romantic India)(1936) Singer-Noorjahaan Sr, Unknown male voice, MD-Pt Badri Prasad

Lyrics

mat hona behosh
kabhi haan
mat hona behosh kabhi
tum prem sudha
peete rahna
tum prem sudha
peete rahna
haan aan aan aan
mat hona behosh
kabhi haan
mat hona behosh

prem nasha hai sabse niraala
prem nasha hai sabse niraala
kar dega tumko matwaala
kar dega tumko matwaala
amras ka hai sundar pyaala
amras ka hai sundar pyaala

ye tum kya kah rahi ho chandrakala
tum nahin jaanti
tum jaanti ho main sharaab nahin chhod sakta
mujhe peena padti hai
mujhe majbooran peena padti hai
bahut martaba maine koshish ki
ke main ise chhod doon
lekin main nahin chhod saka
aur ab
ab to main ise chhodna chaahta hi nahin
lekin tum kahti ho
ki sharaab se badh kar bhi koi cheez hai
to wo kya hai
kaisi hai
bataao
chandrakala mujhe bataao wo kya cheez hai
bolo
bolo chandrakala
chandrakala

amras ka hai sundar pyaala
amras ka hai sundar pyaala
pee ke ise peete rahna
haan
pee ke ise peete rahna
aa aa aa
mat hona behosh
kabhi
haan haa haa
mat hona besudh
kabhi haan
mat hona behosh


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 : 3774 Post No. : 14752

Today’s song is a very melodious duet by Surendra and Waheedan Bai, in film Alibaba-1940.

Alibaba’s story is from Arabian Nights stories and is one of the most popular stories around the world. No wonder, our film makers took up this story. Films with ‘Alibaba’ title were made in 1940, 1946 and 1976. Films with ‘Alibaba and 40 Thieves’ title were made in 1932, 54, 66, 80 and 2004. ‘Alibaba and Marjina’ was made in 1977. There may be some more which I have missed. Comparatively, more films were made on Alladin and his Magic Lamp. After all magic has its own attraction. Even in silent era films were made on these two characters.

After the successful film ‘Ek Hi Rasta’ (1939), Mehboob started work on ‘Alibaba’. He had made the beginning of his film career by acting in the silent film on Alibaba. He was one of the 40 thieves ! By now, due to his continuous success, Sagar Movietone had benefited much and he was highly respected in the company. Besides Mehboob, Sagar Movietone had a team of other directors like CM Luhar, Sarvottam Badami, Hiren Bose, Ramchandra Thakur etc. They too were making films for Sagar. However, their films were not as successful as those by Mehboob. In addition, the onset of Second World War had a negative impact on Sagar and it went into loss. Soon, the owners decided to close the company.

By this time, Mehboob was ready with all the arrangements to start the shooting of ‘Alibaba’. Closing down of Sagar was a shock to him. He approached Ardeshir Irani of Imperial and asked for permission to shoot his film there. Irani was very happy. The novice ‘extra’ who had worked in his company – without pay for first five months – had now become acclaimed top class successful Director. Irani was proud of Mehboob. He gladly permitted him to shoot his entire film there.

In the film ‘Alibaba’, Surendra was to do the double role of Alibaba and his son. Now, Mehboob needed two heroines. He selected Waheedan Bai and Sardar Akhtar. Akhtar was the youner sister of Bahar – wife of AR Kardar. In an article in Filmfare dated 16-8-1957, Mehboob wrote “the moment I saw Sardar Akhtar, I fell for her and knew that one day she will be my wife.” Sure enough, he married her later.

It was during the shooting of film ‘Aurat’ (1940), Mehboob was attracted towards Jyoti – sister of Waheedan Bai and one of the cast of Aurat – and he started spending time with her, having tea together, lunch together etc. Sardar Akhtar noticed this and played her cards well. She encouraged Jyoti to accept outside film offers lest she would be out of circulation. Then she poisoned Mehboob by telling him that Jyoti was not a good girl and that she was more interested in outside film roles. Consequently, Jyoti’s role in film ‘Aurat’ was reduced. By the time film ‘Aurat’ was completed, Akhtar had fully influenced Mehboob and then insisted on getting married. He too wanted it and they got married just before the film was released.

Mehboob had wanted to make ‘Alibaba’ in Hindi and Punjabi. Anil Biswas was his pet MD for so many films. He asked Anil da to do the music of Hindi and Punjabi versions. Anil da flatly refused saying that he did not know Punjabi. Even after lot of discussion, he was not ready. Mehboob left the matter as it is. After a week or so, there appeared a news in papers that “. . . Anil Biswas, a Bengali, gives music to Hindi films but can not give music to Punjabi films”. Someone showed this news to Anil Biswas. He was agitated and ran to Mehboob. Anil da said, “OK, I will give music in any language that you make films in. French, English, Arabic, Spanish – any language, but stop spoiling my reputation.”  Mehboob just smiled and said, “Ja Bangali ja. Punjabi gaanon ko music de “. Anil Biswas sought assistance from a Punjabi technician Shahji, who helped him to understand the basic naunces of Punjabi music. The music he ended up composing for the Punjabi version was much better than the one given to Hindi version, according to Anil Biswas himself !

Basic Arabian Night story was adapted for Hindi by Dr. Safdar Aah and for Punjabi, it was Lala Yaqub. The Punjabi lyrics were by Shah Aziz. For film ‘Alibaba’, Mehboob had 4 assistant directors, Chimankant Gandhi, Jagdish Coopal (he also did a small role in the film), Narwekar and Gazi Banwali.

Mehboob Khan came up from a very poor family and he had to struggle hard to reach this stage. So he knew how it feels to miss opportunities to make it big. He himself had lost the opportunity to become a hero twice. First when he was almost selected for ‘Alam Ara’ (1931), vacating for Master Vithal and second time for film ‘Shehar Ka Jaadu’ (1934), this time making way for debutante Motilal.

Mehboob helped many actors to start their careers or do a memorable role first time, in his films, like Sitara Devi, Aruna, Surendra, Maya Banerjee, Arun Ahuja, Harish Taranath, Sheikh Mukhtar, Jyoti, Waheedan Bai, Sardar Akhtar, Veena and Nargis. Mehboob also gave Raj Kapoor his first big and famous film – ‘Andaz’ (1949).

Mehboob was very strict but also kind hearted when it came to remembering people who had helped him in some way. Much of the shooting of ‘Mother India’ (1957) was in rural area of Bilimora, Kolhapur and Nashik. In village Shiroli, near Kolhapur, when the shooting was going on, a major portion of the harvest in the field of a farmer was destroyed. Mehboob Khan met that farmer, apologized and paid fully for all damages. Not only that, when he learnt that the farmer and his family has never seen Bombay, he brought all of them to Bombay , at company’s expenses, and showed them around for a week. In addition, when film ‘Mother India’ was to be released in Rajaram Talkies in Kolhapur, Mehboob wrote to the distributor at Kolhapur to invite the farmer’s family as a special guest for the film premier !

Mehboob Khan’s life is nothing short of a film story. There are many things which have to be brought to people to focus on his qualities. An illiterate village boy touching the sky with hard work and determination is his life story.

Today’s song is very melodious and I liked it. I am sure you too will like it.

[Acknowledgement: Most part of the write up uses the information from the books, ‘Mehboob Khan’ by Shashikant Kinikar and ‘Cinemacha Cinema’ by Isak Mujawar).


Song – Dil Ka Saaz Bajaaye Jaa  (Alibaba) (1940) Singer – Surendra, Waheedan Bai, Lyrics – Dr Aah Sitapuri, Music – Anil Biswas

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

hmmmm mmmmm

aaaa aaaa
dil ka saaz bajaaye ja
aaaaaaa
dil ka saaz bajaaye ja
jis taar mein tere naghme hain
jis taar mein tere naghme hain
mizraab usi pe lagaaye ja
mizraab usi pe lagaaye ja
dil ka saaz bajaaye ja
aaaaaa
dil ka saaz bajaaye ja

ae. . . pyaare geet sunaaye ja
ae. . . pyaare geet sunaaye ja
baithi hoon ishq ke jhoole mein
baithi hoon ishq ke jhoole mein
main sadqe peeng badhaaye ja
main sadqe peeng badhaaye ja
ae. . . pyaare geet sunaaye ja
ae. . . pyaare geet sunaaye ja

ye beda paar lagaaye ja
ye beda paar lagaaye ja
dariya e mohabbat gehra hai
dariya e mohabbat gehra hai
haaaa aaa
dil ki naav chalaaye ja..aa..aa
dil ki naav chalaaye ja
har baar mujhe apnaaye ja
har baar mujhe apnaaye ja
ye mera tera farq mitey
ye mera tera farq mitey
tu dil mein yun hi samaaye ja
tu dil mein yun hi samaaye ja
ye mera tera farq mitey
ye mera tera farq mitey
tu dil mein yun hi samaaye ja
tu dil mein yun hi samaaye ja..aa..aa

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

हम्ममम मम्ममम

आsss आsss
दिल का साज बजाए जा
आsss
दिल का साज बजाए जा
जिस तार में तेरे नग़में हैं
जिस तार में तेरे नग़में हैं
मिज़राब उसी पे लगाए जा
मिज़राब उसी पे लगाए जा
दिल का साज बजाए जा
आsss
दिल का साज बजाए जा

ए॰॰॰ प्यारे गीत सुनाये जा
ए॰॰॰ प्यारे गीत सुनाये जा
बैठी हूँ इश्क़ के झूले में
बैठी हूँ इश्क़ के झूले में
मैं सदक़े पींग बढ़ाए जा
मैं सदक़े पींग बढ़ाए जा
ए॰॰॰ प्यारे गीत सुनाये जा
ए॰॰॰ प्यारे गीत सुनाये जा

ये बेड़ा पार लगाए जा
ये बेड़ा पार लगाए जा
दरिया ए मोहब्बत गहरा है
दरिया ए मोहब्बत गहरा है
हाsss आsss
दिल की नाव चलाये जा॰॰आ॰॰आ
दिल की नाव चलाये जा
हर बार मुझे अपनाए जा
हर बार मुझे अपनाए जा
ये मेरा तेरा फ़र्क मिटे
ये मेरा तेरा फ़र्क मिटे
तू दिल में यूं ही समाये जा
तू दिल में यूं ही समाये जा
ये मेरा तेरा फ़र्क मिटे
ये मेरा तेरा फ़र्क मिटे
तू दिल में यूं ही समाये जा
तू दिल में यूं ही समाये जा॰॰आ॰॰आ


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 :

3765 Post No. : 14738 Movie Count :

4028

Today’s song is from the first decade of the Talkie films, viz 1930s. This song is from “Hum,Tum aur Woh”(1938). This was a film made under the banner of Sagar Movietone, a highly prestigious and famous film company of the times. This company was riding on waves of popularity and fame during those days of 1938.

Shri Biren kothari ji has written a wonderful book on Sagar Movietone. It is based on interactions with the surviving members of the Desai clan as well as several contemporary documents and is regarded as an authentic volume on Sagar Movietone. However, oday’s article is based on another book, “Mehboob Khan” written by Shashikant Kinikar, published in 2015, 2 years after Kothari ji’s book. This 300+ page book, in Marathi, has plenty of original photos and articles on Mehboob Khan written by Anil Biswas, Sitara Devi, Shamshad Begum, P.K.Nair, Wazahat Mirza, Naushad and Shakeel Badayuni and therefore it is full of several anecdotes which are unknown to many. The book also contains 4 articles by Mehboob Khan himself. The book is an excellent treatise on Mehboob Khan-the Director and the Human Being, with 230 pages dedicated on him and his films.

However, Mehboob’s story is incomplete without Sagar’s story.

Hindi film industry has produced some great directors who, besides having a commercial outlook, also served the society by making films on burning social issues. On their parts, they contributed their “Two Cents” to serve the Nation. Such directors included Raj Kapoor, V.Shantaram, Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray and Mehboob Khan-to name a few.

Born as Ramzan Khan in 1907 in Bilimora, Gujarat, Mehboob was from a Gujarati Muslim family. He never got a formal education in his young age, but he was keen on two things-5 times Namaz and seeing films. His father being in Police Department, films were free for him. One day he ran away to Bombay to become an actor. However his father found him out and brought him back. He was immediately married off, with a belief that he would improve.

Two years after marriage and one child, he ran to Bombay again and worked in Imperial film co. as an extra for Rs.30 pm. This too after he worked without any pay for 5 months due to the mistake of the clerk ! He worked in crowd scenes and sundry roles-without a dialogue, of course, starting as one of the 40 thieves of Alibaba. He worked in several films uncredited. His first, big and credited role came in the film “Shirin Khushru”-1929.

In 1927, after the Talkie film “The Jazz Singer” was shown in US, the world started making Talkie films. India too jumped into the bandwagon. In 1931, Imperial-competing with Madon Theatres of Calcutta- wanted to make a Talkie and started work fast. Mehboob Khan was almost finalised as the Hero. Even his costumes were made ready, but he was destined for something different, and Master Vithal was made the Hero of India’s first Talkie. Ardeshir Irani’s safety valve of minimizing the risk of the first venture by selecting the existing popular Hero, scuttled Mehboob’s dream.

Meanwhile, Imperial started a new company,’Sagar Movietone’, along with Dr. Patel and Chiman Desai. Some artistes and techies were shifted to Sagar-including Mehboob- from Imperial. Mehboob continued to work in 12 silent films. Here, he met Faredoon Irani, Cinematographer and they became thick friends. Irani was with Mehboob till the end.

During this period, Mehboob wrote a film story and convinced the owners to allow him to direct this film. Owners were hesitant, naturally, to allow this young extra actor to direct a film. Lastly a deal was struck, that Mehboob and Faredoon should be allowed to shoot one reel film. If they like it, continue or else, scrap it and recover money from these two chaps. After one reel shooting the owners realised that they had struck Gold in the process and Mehboob completed his first Directorial venture ” Al Hilaal “-35. The film was a great success and Mehboob ‘chal pada’. Mehboob went on to direct 7 more films for Sagar. All his films were successful.

From film Jageerdar-37 Mehboob and Anil Biswas pair teamed up for 8 films-till Roti-42.

When Mehboob was making arrangements for his next film, Alibaba, the sudden news that Sagar is closing down hit them. Mehboob Khan contacted Imperial to allow him to shoot for his film in their studio, which Ardeshir gladly permitted. The film shooting proceeded til Sagar became National studios. Mehboob made 3 important films of his career in National studio, namely Aurat-40, Behan-41 and Roti-42.

When National studio also closed down all workers came on road. However, Mehboob decided to start his own company. One Mr. Lalaji of Manoranjan Distributors of Delhi promised capital. National studio was renamed as Central studio by the owner, K.K.Modi-elder brother of Sohrab Modi. He allowed Mehboob to use the studio till his own studio came up. Mehboob took a place nearby to start his office. In this period there was a rift between Mehboob and Anil Biswas and they separated for ever-albeit bitterly.

Mehboob wanted a Logo for Mehboob Productions. He selected a sher written by Agha Jani kashmiri for film “Al Hilal”….” Muddai lakh bura chahe to kya hota hai, vahi hota hai jo manjur e Khuda hota hai”. It was recorded in the voice of Rafiq Ghaznavi with appropriate prelude music and sound of lightening and clouds. He also took Sickle and Hammer for the Logo, and clarified that because he respected workers and certainly he was not a communist.

His first film Najma-43 ( his daughter’s name was Najma), with Ashok Kumar and Veena was a Hit film. It was followed by Taqdeer-43, Humayun-45,Anmol Ghadi-46, Elaan-47, Anokhi Ada-48, Andaaz-49, Aan-52, Amar-54 and his Magnum Opus Mother India-57. After the high of Mother India, Mehboob aimed to fly even higher with Son of India (1962) but the film was a total misfire and, in fact, his weakest film. Mehboob had been neglecting health inspite of suffering Heart attacks. In May 1964, he suffered another attack but survived. His financiers were after him for repayment and he was worried. He called Rajendra Kumar and asked for a loan of 4 lakh rupees against his studio to be made in his name. Rajendrakumar refused to take the studio and promised to give him the amount next day at 11 am, without any mortgage. In the evening, news of Nehru’s heart attack came. Mehboob became restless. Soon the death news came and Mehboob became grief stricken. Akhtar gave him sleeping pills, but he had to be admitted to Nanavati Hospital. He too died at 2 am on 28th May 1964. At the time of his death, Mehboob Khan was harboring ambitions to make a film on the life of Habba Khatoon, the 16th century poetess-queen of Kashmir.

Mehboob Khan directed 8 films for Sagar, 3 films for National and 11 films for Mehboob productions.( based on information from Upperstall, Mehboob Khan by Shashikant Kinikar and my notes).

One advantage of reading a Biography is that you get to know the person’s version on controversies. As far as Mehboob and Anil Biswas’s split is concerned, Mehboob’s version is 180 degrees opposite to what Anil Biswas gave. Difficult to side anyone. But this split did help first Rafiq Ghaznavi and then Naushad.

In the cast of the film, one finds a name Sunalini Devi. Now let us know something about Sunalini Devi, the actress. She was born on 1-1-1896 in Hyderabad Deccan. Her father, Aghornath Chattopadhyay-a Bengali settled in Hyderabad – was a Sanskrit scholar, was proficient in 27 languages and was the first Indian to get the D.Sc. honour. Sunalini was the elder sister of Sarojini, who became Sarojini Naidu after her marriage, and Harindranath Chattopadhyaya-renowned poet.

Sunalini learnt Music and Dance from her third year of age itself. Due to her sweet voice, she was called ‘ Kokila ‘. It is to be noted that her younger sister Saojini naidu was called ‘ Nightingale of India’ ! It is unfortunate that the film industry did not use Sunalini’s music skill in her films and she sang just one song in her career in film ‘ Raja Rani-42’.

Sunalini started acting in stage dramas from 1918. her first movie was ” Light of Asia”-released initially in Germany and Poland in 1925 ( its restored version was released on 5th July 2001, in India. This film was made by Himanshu Rai. The film was shot in Lahore. It was a silent film on Gautama the Buddha. Her first Talkie film was ‘ veer Kunal-32’. She acted in 56 films. Mostly she was known for motherly roles only. She had, like her more eminent sister, married a south Indian- mr.A.S.Rajan, a writer from Madras.

Some of her more known films are, Aurat, Lalaji, Inkaar, Nai roshni, Talaash, Bairam khan, Tamasha, Dilruba, Malhar etc etc. She retired from films in 1956.

Let us now listen to the song of today. It is sung by Maya Banerjee and Harish. The music was by Anil Biswas. I find the tune of this song a little unusual. It looks like the lady is stressing her point with fists hammered on a desk.

With this song, this film “Hum Tum aur Woh” (1938) makes its Debut in the Blog.


Song-Hamen preet kisi se nahin karni (Ham Tum Aur Wo)(1938) Singers-Maya Banerjee, Harish, MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics

hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen likh likh chithhiyaan mat bhejo
hamen likh likh chithhiyaan mat bhejo
hamen jamuna kinaare bulaao nahin
hamen jamuna kinaare bulaao nahin
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni

ham likhh likhh chithhiyaan bhejenge
tumhen apne paas bulaayenge
ham likhh likhh chithhiyaan bhejenge
tumhen apne paas bulaayenge

ham roothhenge
ham jhagdenge
ham roothhenge
ham jhagdenge
ham dor se kheench ke laayenge
ham dor se kheench ke laayenge
in baaton se hamko daraao nahin
in baaton se hamko daraao nahin

hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet ki reet bataao nahin
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni
hamen preet kisi se nahin karni


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 :

3750 Post No. : 14715 Movie Count :

4020

Today’s song is a devotional chorus song from an old film, ” Prithvi Putra”-38. HFGK indicates that it was a Mythological film. I could not get a clue anywhere what the story was about. The film was made by the film factory, Ranjit Movietone- where, at a time, at least 4 to 5 films used to be on the floors doing shooting, not counting if any team was on outdoor shooting schedule.

As per the available 1938 issues of Film India, when Prithvi Putra’s shooting was going on, some more film shootings, planning meetings and scheduling were underway at the same time. Films like Gorakh Aaya, Achhut, Sant Tulsidas, Taxiwali, The Cat (Billi) and Prof. Waman, M.Sc. were the films involved in the studio activity. It is sad that review of this film is not available to us since all issues of 1938 are not available on Internet.That review could have at least told us what the story of this movie was.

The director was Jayant Desai, Lyricist was P.L.Santoshi and Gyan Dutt was the music director. Gyan Dutt did 15 films for Ranjit , during his stint from 1937 to 1940 period. After him, it was Khemchand Prakash and after him it was Bulo C. Rani as Ranjit’s resident Music director.

The cast of the film was truly a Nationalistic combination, confirming how the film industry was actually a secular activity. Madhuri was a Christian, Billimoria was a Parsee, Mazhar khan was a Muslim, Kantilal was a Hindu and the other actors were also a mix of different religions.

One of the names in the cast is Waheedan Bai. Not much information is available on her. Her younger sister Sitara Bai aka Jyoti and her own daughter Nawab Banoo aka Nimmi were actresses. Waheedan Bai was from a Tawayef family. Her daughter Nimmi, had always denied this-understandably too, but Waheedan Bai’s name gave away the true story.

In the initial stage of the Indian films, whether silent or talkie, it was difficult to get girls from good families and background. Slowly this picture changed.When Talkie started many Tawaifs,singing girls and girls from such families joined films as they fulfilled the requirement of singing and looking good,in addition to their ease on Hindi/urdu language. At this time slowly many educated and girls from high society as well as middle class families started joining films.So,to distinguish these women from each others, a system of nomenclature was followed. All the Girls coming from singing families and Tawaif background added the suffix “Bai” to their names, like Jaddanbai,Waheedan bai,Zohrabai,Amirbai etc. The Anglo-Indian and middle class girls took the prefix of “Miss” like Miss Moti, Miss Rose, Miss Tara, Miss Ajmat, Miss Pearl etc. Those girls who were from high society were called Devi like Sabita Devi, Kamla Devi, etc. All Marathi actresses used their full names like Shanta Apte, Minaxi Shirodkar etc.

Another point, this nomenclature was only unofficial and traditional. So some Tawaif actresses took advantage of this to hide their roots. Like, Rampyari who was from a singing family of Hyderabad, sometimes called herself as Miss Rampyari.

There were 565 Princely states in India before Partition. Due to patronising of fine arts like music and dance by these Princes, a new class of Nautch Girls emerged in the 19th century. All Nautch Girls were not the same. Author Michael Kinnear, in his book “The Gramophone company’s first Indian Recordings 1899-1908 “, has explained the classification and Nomenclatures of these Nautch Girls. As per that, there were 4 types…

Lowest Class…..IV Name – Khanki Prostitutes/Sex workers
Class III Name – Kaneez Daasi or servant
Class II Name – Bai ji Singing/Dancing
Class I Name – Jaan Top class singers

They all were called collectively as Tawayafs. The readers will now understand the difference between Amirbai, Waheedanbai, Jaddanbai and Tamancha Jaan, Gauhar Jaan, Malika Jaan etc etc.

Waheedan Bai belonged to a small town Fatehabad, near Agra. Her father’s name was Basheer Khan. She was second among 4 sisters. The youngest was Sitara Bai aka Jyoti. Waheedan was a trained and good singer, but Tawayafs did not get social status, so she got married early to one Abdul Hakeem from Nasirabad, settled in Meerut. He had met Waheedan in a shrine in Agra, where she recited verses from Koran.

Soon after their marriage, his father, a contractor with Military, died and Hakim inherited the business. He was a novice and was cheated by his manager and they lost everything. The family moved to Calcutta to start a Leather business. Here also he failed. In Calcutta, their neighbour was director A.R.Kardar. Through his wife, Bahar, Kardar was contacted and he gave a small role to him in a film. Here again he got terrified and ran away, at the time of shooting.

Waheedan came forward and after hearing her singing, she was given a song in the film and it was recorded. Meanwhile Chandulal Shah offered her roles in his films. They shifted to Bombay and she joined Ranjit Movietone. Her first film was Toofani Toli-37. Prithvi Putra was just the second film. Her songs in her films were liked and became famous.She worked in other films like Prof. Waman,M.Sc.-38, Rikshawala-38, The Secretary-38 and Thokar-39.

She got acquainted with Mehboob Khan and he offered her lead role opposite Surendra in film Alibaba-40, a Sagar Movietone film initially, but later on sold to Ranjit of Chandulal Shah, in a game of gambling. Film Alibaba-40 was made in Hindi and Punjabi. The film songs became very popular. When Sagar merged into National Studios, she worked in film Sanskar-40.

Waheedan contracted T.B. and left films. She acted in only 8 films and sang 26 songs in 11 films-including her 8 films. She died in 1942.( based on information from Sagar movietone by Biren kothari ji and my notes)

Another name was Mazhar Khan in the cast of Prithvi putra-38. Khans have always dominated Hindi film industry, since Talkie films started. The very first Talkie, Alam Ara-31 also had the first actor singer W.M. Khan in it. The famous compiler and author, Shri Harish Raghuwanshi ji has enumerated as many as 57 names of Khans in Hindi films, in his book Inhe na Bhulana in Gujarati in 2003.

Mazhar Khan was born in 1907 in Dhar state. After matriculation, he joined Police force and rose up to Inspector’s rank. Due to attraction of becoming actor, he resigned from the job and reached Bombay.He went from studio to studio, in search of a job. Finally. Director B.P.Mishra from Imperial saw him and called for film roles. From 1927 to 1931, he worked in 19 silent films. His first Talkie was ‘ Noorjehan”-31 directed by Ezra Mir ( real name Edwyn Meyers). he went to Calcutta and worked in New theatres films with Sehgal and Begum Akhtar. He also acted in film Raat ka Raja-34, in which he reportedly did 8 different roles.After Sunehra Sansar-36 and some more films with other companies, he returned to Bombay and joined Ranjit, and later Minerva. His memorable film role was in Prabhat’s Padosi-41, in which he did the role of a Hindu pandit, while his Muslim friend’s role was done by Gajanan jahagirdar. Their roles were much appreciated in those periods.

In 1942 he started his own company, Asiatic pictures and then Mazhar Art productions. he produced and directed 6 films. he introduced actress Veena in film Yaad-42 and gave opportunity to Mukesh to sing in film Pehli Nazar- which made him very popular. Mazhar acted in 44 films. He married a Hindu girl, who did not convert after the marriage. They had 2 sons. Mazhar Khan died on 24-9-1950.
(adapted from wiki and Inhe na Bhulana).

Let us now listen to this melodious bhajan which is sung by chorus.

With this song, “Prithvi Putra”(1938) makes its debut in the blog.


Song- Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam (Prithvi Putra)(1938) Singer-Chorus, Lyrics-P L Santoshi, MD-Gyan Dutt

Lyrics

Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan,Leelakaari Shyaam
bhav bhaybhanjan ??niranjan sankathaari raam
bhav bhaybhanjan ??niranjan sankathaari raam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam

cheerharaiyya laajrakhaiyya raas rachaiyya krishn kanhaiyya
cheerharaiyya laajrakhaiyya raas rachaiyya krishn kanhaiyya
sau sau baar pranaam
sau sau baar pranaam

jai avinaashi jag ke swaami
ghat ghat vaasi antaryaami
jai avinaashi jag ke swaami
ghat ghat vaasi antaryaami
sau sau baar pranaam
sau sau baar pranaam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam
Jai Brijnandan Gopichandan Leelakaari Shyaam


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 :

3721 Post No. : 14657 Movie Count :

4005

Today’s song is from a very old film, Raja Gopichand-1938. The film was made by Saraswati Cinetone, Poone in Hindi and Marathi. The film was directed by Bhal G Pendharkar. The music director was C.Balaji. Name of the Lyricist is not mentioned in HFGK. The cast of the film was Chandrakant, Ranade, Chandraprabha, Miss Leela, Usha, Dinkar Kamanna etc.etc. The story was written by Pendharkar and it was translated by Shri Arun, B.A., for film’s Hindi version.

Saraswati Cinetone was a film making company owned by one of the Pioneers of Talkie films in India- Dadasaheb Torne. He is one of those less fortunate people in the film industry, who failed to get the credit of being the First to make a full length Silent film in India. But there are a large number of people in India, who believe that the first film in India was made by Torne and not Phalke. Torne achieved that feat one year before Phalke released his film in 1913. Saraswati Cinetone was one of the major film making company in India in those days.

The young man who migrated from Konkan to Mumbai in search of a new horizon was the pioneer of Indian cinema, Ramchandra Gopal alias Dadasaheb Torne. Unfortunately, this name did not find its rightful place in the history of Indian cinema. Dadasaheb Torne, who had a flood of accolades for his various achievements in the film industry, lost his life’s work in real floods that occurred on July 12, 1961, when the swollen waters of Mutha River destroyed all the valuable negatives, photographs, documents after bursting from Panshet dam near Pune.

The forgotten father of Indian Cinema Ramchandra Gopal alias Dadasaheb Torne made the first ever Indian film ‘Pundalik’ which was screened at the Coronation Cinematograph in Mumbai on May 18, 1912. That was one year prior to Dhundiraj Govind alias Dadasaheb Phalke’s ‘Raja Harishchandra’ which was released at the same venue on May 3, 1913.

Born on April 13, 1890, at Sukalwad in Malvan taluka of (undivided) Ratnagiri district (now Sindhudurg district) Dadasaheb Torne lost his father when he was three years old. His mother Radhabai brought him up. Due to financial difficulties he could not get higher education.

After being involved in the distribution of full-length (30-40 minute long) English films in India, he hit upon the idea of film making, and founded his own studio ‘Saraswati Cinetone’ (1931) in Pune. Under Saraswati’s banner he produced memorable movies like ‘Shyamsundar’, ‘Aut Ghatkecha Raja’, ‘Bhakt Pralhad’, ‘Chhatrapati Sambhaji’, ‘Thaksen Rajputra’, ‘Savitri’, ‘Raja Gopichand’, ‘Bhagva Jhenda’, ‘Majhi Ladki’, ‘Devyani’.

‘Shyamsundar’-32 was the first ever Indian movie to celebrate silver jubilee. Dadasaheb Torne introduced the first ever double role in ‘Aut Ghatkecha Raja’. He was equally proficient in editing and sound recording. He successfully experimented trick scenes in ‘Bhakt Pralhad’ and ‘Savitri’ in the decade of 1930-1940 when the film technique was not advanced.

He gave first break to artists like Rose, Shahu Modak, Dada Salvi, Jayashri (Shantaram), Dinkar Kamanna (Dhere), Ratnamala (Kamal Desai) and Indurani.

Many famous music directors of the earlier years, such as Annasaheb Mainkar, Sureshbabu Mane, C. Balaji and Vinayakbuwa Patwardhan were introduced by Torne.

Dadasaheb Torne also worked as a manager at Maharashtra Film Company, Kolhapur from 1920 to 1924, and worked as a general manager at Laxmi Cinetone, Royal Art Company, Imperial Film Company and Sagar Movietone, later.

Dadasaheb Torne breathed his last on January 19, 1960 in Pune.

Movies produced: ‘Pundlik’ (1912), ‘Sati ka Shaap’ (1923), ‘Prithvivallabh’ (1924), ‘Neera’ (1926), ‘Sindbad Khalasi’ (1930).

Movies produced under the banner of ‘Saraswati Cinetone’: ‘Shyamsundar’ (1932), ‘Aut Ghatkecha Raja’ (1933), ‘Bhakt Pralhad‘ (1933), ‘Chhatrapati Sambhaji’ (1934), ‘Thaksen Rajputra (1934), ‘Krishna shishtai’ (1935), ’Savitri’ (1936), ‘Raja Gopichand’ (1938), ‘Sach Hai’ (Hindi-1939), ‘Bhagva Jhenda’ (1939), ‘Majhi Laadki’ (1939), ‘Devyani’ (1940), ‘Narad Naradi’ (1941), ‘Navardev’ (1941), ‘Awaz’ (Hindi-1942).

As far as the star cast is concerned,lead actor Chandrakant ( father of today’s award winning actor Vikram Gokhale) was given this name by pendharkar. His real name was Gopal. The lead Heroine Leela was Leela Chandragiri, about whom I have written in details in my article on film Alakh Niranjan-40. Dinkar Kamanna( Dhere) was a famous and popular comedian on Marathi drama stage.

Let us now come to the Music Director C.Balaji. I am sure, hardly anyone has ever heard his name so far. it is natural also, because Balaji gave music only to 2 Hindi films. The other film was Paisa-41. Both his films were bilingual-in Hindi and Marathi. Basically Balaji was a marathi film composer. He was the first music director to change his name to look like a South indian name. C.Ramchandra came much later.

His real name was Balaji Gopal Chougule. Originally his family was from Kolhapur, but he was born at Varanashi on 12-10-1913. After the death of his maternal grandfather Balaji came to Kolhapur. here he learnt music from Ustad Manji khan (son of Ustad Alladiya khan), Shankarrao Sarnaik and Govindrao Tembe. Tembe taught him the skill to give music to films.

He started working with some drama companies like Kirloskar natak mandali and Yeshwant Sangeet mandali, as a Harmonium player. In 1937, he became assistant to Govindrao Tembe for film ‘Pratibha'(Hindi/marathi). When Tembe left the film halfway, he completed its music, but his name was not credited. He got his first Marathi film independently, Kanhopatra. Its songs became very popular. Pendharkar gave him Raja Gopichand-38 as an independent MD. Later he did another film in Hindi/Marathi, Paisa-41.

In 1945, Balaji started learning music again, this time under Bhurji khan(youngest son of Alladiya Khan). Balaji gave music to 5 Marathi films and 2 Hidi/Marathi films. When Shivaji University started in Kolhapur in 1962, he started an agitation for inclusion of Music in its curriculum. His efforts bore fruits and it was done in 1964. He gave tutions of Music in his last days. C.Balaji expired on 11-9-1984 at his home town, Kolhapur.

The story of Raja Gopichand is from Navnath Pothi.

When I was about 6 to 7 year old, during the visits to my Naani’s (maternal grandmother’s) home in a village, I used to hear a typical call, ‘ Alakh Niranjan ‘ from the gossain, who stood outside the door. Someone from the house used to give uncooked food material like rice, wheat or jowar. Even wheat atta was given. These gossains had a jholi (a spacious carrying bag made of cloth), having 4-5 compartments and they would expertly add the bhiksha to the appropriate compartment. They never took money. These people were the desciples of Nath Sampraday and used to visit a fixed number of houses for Bhiksha. They were also called by the name avadhoot (अवधूत) (a mystic or a saint who is beyond ego-consciousness, duality and common worldly concerns).

A brief description of the Nath Sampradaay . It is likely that some of our readers may not be familiar with the details behind these names. In the Hindu Sanaatan traditions the worship of Lord Shiva is called Shaivism and the worshippers and followers of Lord Shiva are called Shaivs. Nath Sampradaay is a sub tradition within Shaivism. The followers of this tradition consider Adinath or Lord Shiva as their first Lord. The word Nathimplies Master. In this tradition, there is a lineage of nine Gurus or Teachers. The form of sadhna practiced by the followers of this tradition is called Hath Yog (हठ योग).

The first Guru in this lineage is Matsyendra Nath, who is better known as Machhindra Nath (मच्छिंद्रनाथ). The traditional history recounts that Matsyendra was born under an inauspicious star. This warranted his parents to throw the baby into the ocean. In the ocean the baby was swallowed by a large fish, and he lived and grew up inside the belly of the fish, for many years. The fish swam to the bottom of the ocean where Lord Shiva was imparting the secrets of yoga to Mata Parvati. Matsyendra overheard this discourse and learnt the secrets of yoga. He began to practice this yog sadhana inside the fish’s belly. After twelve years he finally emerged as an enlightened Siddha.

There is a list of Nine Nath Gurus, who are called Navnath. The first Nath Guru is Machhindra. The complete list is as follows

Machhindranath
Gorakhnath
Jalandhar Nath
Kanif Nath (Kanhoba)
Gahini Nath
Raja Bhartrihari Nath (Bharthari)
Revan Sidha Nath
Charpati Nath and
Naag Nath.

The stories surrounding every Nath Guru, especially the earlier ones, are very exciting, thrilling and entertaining. One must read them from the original Nath Puraan or Nav Nath Pothi. I have read all of them. These stories are in no way less than any Arabian Night stories. Due to their entertainment value, several films in several languages have been made on the early Gurus like Machhindranath and Gorakhnath. Films on Machhindranath were made as ‘Maaya Machhindra’ in Hindi, in 1932, 1951, 1960 and 1975. Films on Gorakhnath as ‘Alakh Niranjan’, were made in 1940, 1950 and 1975. Films on Bharthari were made in 1932 and 1944. Films on other Naths were made as ‘Raja Gopichand’ in 1933, 1938 and 1950. Same way films on Naths in Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati and other languages were also made. There could be some more films also on this subject.

Raja Gopichand was the son of Raja Bharthari nath’s sister and was blessed by him and Gorakhnath. The story of Raja Gopichand is..

King Padmasen and queen Mainavati had a son Gopichand and a daughter Chandravali. In due course, Gopichand got married. He got a daughter. He was married again and now also a daughter was born. He was married 16 times and he got everytime a daughter only. Queen Mainavati requested her brother Bharthari nath to help. He advies Gopichand to go to forest and do Penance for 5 years. He did the penance. After the 5 years, once he went , as usual , to get Bhiksha and by chance he visited his sister Chandravali’s home. Seeing her brother as a Gossain, she died in grief. Gopichand met Gorakhnath and requested him to make his sister alive again. Pleased by his love for sister, Gorakhnath not only brought alive Chandravali, but also blessed Gopichand for a Son.

Gopichand returned to his kingdom. He was crowned the king and in due course he got a son also.

Today’s song is sung by Leela Chandragiri. This is a rare song. With this song, MD C.Balaji and the film Raja Gopichand-38 are making its debut on the Blog.

( Credits- Marathi Sangeetkar Kosh, marathisanman.com, theneutralview.com, amarujala.com, wiki, HFGK,and my notes)


Song-Laalan tum ho bade hathheele (Raja Gopichand)(1938) Singer-Leela Chandragiri, MD-C Balaji

Lyrics

bade hathheele
laalan tum ho bade hathheele
laalan tum ho bade hathheele
bade hathheele
laaj lajeele
laalan tum ho bade hathheele

roothh gaye kya
tumhen manaaun
roothh gaye kya
tumhen manaaun
aao
tum par bali bali jaaun
aao
tum par bali bali jaaun
laalan tum ho saaj sajeele
bade hathheele
laaj lajeele
laalan tum ho
bade hathheele
laalan
bade hathheel

kyon chup ho
kuchh bolo bolo
bolo bolo
maa ki mamta man se tolo
maa ki mamta man se tolo
laalan
tum bin naina geele
bade hathheele
laaj lajeele

laalan tum ho
laalan tum ho
laalan tum ho
bade hathheele


This article is written by Sudhir, 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 : 3719 Post No. : 14653

When ‘Bawarchi ‘ was released in 1972, I had seen it on the big screen in the theatre with family. In this film, Hrishikesh Mukherji has woven a remarkable story of a joint family and their interesting interactions. The head of the family (a widower), his three sons, two daughters in law, third son still a bachelor, and three children. The roles of the two daughters in law were played by Durga Khote and Usha Kiran. Being quite un-exposed to cinema otherwise (it was school years for me) I was quite unfamiliar with these two ladies when I saw this film for the first time.

I was later to recall these two senior actresses, when I would get to see their earlier, older films. The first such re-introduction was when I saw ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ (1960) on TV for the first time. Then I came to recognize Durga Khote in her role as Jodha Bai, and connected her with her role in ‘Baawarchi’. The two films had a difference of 12 years, and decidedly, she is looking much younger and sweeter in her role as Badi Maa in ‘Baawarchi’, compared to her royal appearance as the empress of India and wife of Emperor Akbar. One scene (from ‘Baawarchi’) that really amazed me and mesmerized me, is the family song situation from an early morning impromptu get together of the family members – “Bhor Aayee Gaya Andhiyaara”. During the course of this song, the two supposedly middle aged daughters in law perform the rapid pace thaap steps dance to the rapid taal – “dhiga tum naa naa naa naa naa” being rendered by the family help Raghu (role played by Rajesh Khanna). It was a real wonder to see the two ladies perform that sequence. A quick check reminded me that Durga Khote was, goodness, 67 years of age, when she performed in ‘Bawarchi’.

Remembering Durga Khote on the anniversary of her passing away (22nd September).

The first and the top most lady luminary of the Hindi cinema, Durga Khote was born on 14th January, 1905, in a well­ known family of Bombay. The family hailed from Goa and spoke Konkani at home. Her mother’s name was Manjulabai. Her father, Pandurang Shamrao Laud, was a famous lawyer and her brother was also a well known barrister. The young Vita Laud (her maiden before marriage) was educated, like her siblings, at Cathedral High School and St. Xavier’s College from where she did her B.A. While still in college, she was married into the Khote family, graduated and settled down with her husband. By the age of 26, she was a widowed mother of two sons – Bakul and Harin.

Into this scenario, and a life of a very traditional family, plopped in something utterly new – the world of cinema. Durga Khote wanted to work to support her children. In doing so, she became a pioneer of sorts. It was a time when the film industry was regarded as the preserve of the base and the bawdy. Also, most of the female characters were played by men at the time.

It all came about through her sister Shalini, also married and having amongst her circle of friends, a gentleman by the name JBH Wadia. At the time JBH was working with Mohan Bhavnani as the latter’s assistant. The talkies had just made their appearance on the silver screen. Bhavnani who had just made a picture, wanted to give it the box office appeal of a “talkie” ending. The picture starred Mrs. Bhavnani and her husband was  looking out for a girl who would feature with his wife in the climax scenes of the film. Approached by JBH, Shalini refused. But knowing Durga as a person who would try anything once, she recommended her. Durga was ready to have a go at the part, accepted the role and went off to the studios the same day. Mr. Bhavnani’s heterogeneous production was soon completed, printed and made ready for release.

The film flopped. And for the beautiful young housewife and mother there followed a period of embarrassment at being connected with a filmy disaster. The film was ‘Farebi Jaal’ (also titled as ‘Trapped’ in English). “That is just how I felt when I saw it. It was a terrible film,” Durga Khote recalls in an earlier interview. She goes on to say that, “. . . my position was more than awkward. I had suddenly achieved a fair measure of notoriety. I just couldn’t walk around in Girgaum without people pointing at me.”

Looking back on it she laughed at the by-gone crisis. Through all this turmoil and unease there was one solid consolation: both the Laud and the Khote families were far too intelligent and sophisticated to be worried by the affair. On the contrary “My families stood up for me” declared Durga Khote with a proud smile of affection.

Amongst those who saw the film ‘Trapped’, was the then up and coming producer and director V Shantaram. After seeing her performance, he offered her the female lead role of Taramati in the bilingual film ‘Ayodhyache Raaja’ – ‘Ayodhya Ka Raja’ (1932). Durga Khote saw in it an opportunity to vindicate herself. Once again encouraged by the families, she accepted the role and played it beautifully. The film was not only good but a big hit, in both the Hindi and Marathi versions.

V Shantaram simultaneously cast her also in ‘Maya Machhindra’ (again 1932). This was a also a smash hit. These two top successful films established her straight off as a top star. Following came a number of films that won her acclaim from the public and from the film industry. After the two fabulous successes in 1932, what followed is no less dazzling a repertoire of well known films and famous roles.

In 1933, she appeared opposite to Prithviraj Kapoor in the New Theatres Production from Calcutta – ‘Raajrani Meera’. This year also saw her play the lead role opposite to a very young and handsome new entrant into the industry – P Jairaj, in the film ‘Patit Paavan’ (Pratima Phototone, Bombay).

1934, and she is paired opposite to Prithviraj once again in ‘Seeta’, from East India Film Company in Calcutta.

1935, another production from New Theatres – ‘After The Earthquake’, as the female lead opposite to Syed Mohammed Nawab. And once again, paired with Jairaj in ‘Jeevan Natak’ – a Debaki Bose Production in Bombay.

In 1936 came one of her many superlative roles on the screen – ‘Amar Jyoti’ from the production house of Prabhat, with co stars Chandramohan, Vasanti and B Nandrekar.

She played the lead role in ‘Pratibha’ in 1937, opposite to Master Shyam; film by Shalini Cinetone.

1938, and she appeared in two films – ‘Nand Kumar’ (Jaishree Films), working with Govindrao Tembe and ‘Saathi’ from Natraj Films, paired with Mubarak – another popular hero of that era.

1939 saw her appearing with Prithviraj once again in the Ranjeet Studios production – ‘Adhoori Kahaani’.

In 1940 it is Chandramohan and the film is ‘Geeta’ from Circo Productions. Also in 1940 came the famous and popular hit film, ‘Narsi Bhagat’ working with Vishnupant Pagnis.

1941 and it is ‘Charnon Ki Daasi’ from Atre Pictures, paired with Gajanan Jagirdar.

In 1942, she appeared in 2 films, ‘Bharat Milap’ of Prakash Pictures, with co stars Prem Adeeb, Shahu Modak and Shobhana Samarth; and in ‘Vijay’ from National Studios, opposite to Harish.

1943 turned out to be a blockbuster year for her, appearing in the lead role in six films. She was seen in ‘Qurbani’ opposite to Ishwar Lal, ‘Mahasati Anusuya’ with Shahu Modak, E Billimoria and Shobhana Samarth; ‘Mahatama Vidur’ with Vishnupant Pagnis; ‘Tasveer’ – paired with the young newcomer Motilal; and ‘Zameen’, paired with Biswas. The listing for 1943 is complete only when we talk about the mega film from Minerva Movietone – ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ in which she is paired with Sohrab Modi.

In 1944, it is ‘Maharathi Karn’ paired with Prithviraj Kapoor once again, and ‘Dil Ki Baat’ a romantic social, working opposite to Ishwar Lal.

In 1945, it is ‘Lakahrani’ from Prabhat, working opposite to Sapru; ‘Panna Dai’ working with Chandramohan and Mubarak; and ‘Veer Kunal’ with Mubarak, Kishore Sahu and Shobhana Samarth.

In 1945, we also see a major qualitative shift in her career. She stepped away from lead roles and very gracefully migrated towards support roles as a character artist. ‘Village Girl’ was probably the first such film, in which she does not play the lead role. But her films and her roles continue to be significant and powerful.  She had already stated to play non-romantic lead roles in films like ‘Charnon Ki Daasi’ (1941) and ‘Bharat Milap’ (1942). Her filmography beyond 1945 speaks volumes of her prowess as an actress, and her ability to command the scenes, and the films. Moving to character roles, her assignments continue to increase, and she continued to be a busy and an in demand artist for another almost four decades. During her career, she has appeared in more than 200 films.

A special mentions needs to be made of the 1953 film ‘Chacha Chaudhry’ – a comedienne performance which took the industry and the public by storm. The brilliant timing of her expression, gestures, movement and dialogue combined to make that role such a scintillating comedy portrayal that she all but stole the picture from the consummate actor Raja Paranjpe – who doubled as director and lead player – and Dhumal. The three of them made it a slick, hilarious romp.

Durga Khote’s portrayals have been sensitive and consummate. Notable mentions must be made of some of her performances;

as Queen Kaikeyi in the 1942 film ‘Bharat Milap, jealously coveting the throne for her own son – her personification of the grasping queen made one understand if not quite condone the old king’s doting weakness;

as Shachi Devi, mother of Chaitanuya Mahaprabu in the 1953 biopic ‘Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’ – a heart-rending performance of a mother torn between her love for her son and the gratification she feels in his single-minded devotion to God, and her heartbreak for his bewildered, forsaken girl-bride, and her gradual resignation, made for a portrayal which was a gem of histrionic art;

as Jodha Bai, the empress of India, wife of Akbar – once again called upon to make a dreadful choice of loyalties, torn between the warring father and son – at first unable to invoke the blessings for her husband leaving for the battlefield, with the certainty of the fear that her son will be killed, and then when Akbar challenges her by attempting to erase the sindoor from her forehead, very sternly and studiously she performs the pooja giving the due honor to her suhaag even in the face of an eventuality of possibly losing her only child.

These and many other such power packed performances have made Durga Khote the dame thespian of the Indian cinema. She was honored with the Padam Shri award in 1968 and the coveted Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1983.

In 1950, Durga Khote naturally gravitated towards the stage and she joined the Marathi Sahitya Sangh, starting her long association with the theatre also. She kept busy acting in, producing and directing plays. She also founded Durga Khote Productions which produced short films – advertising, documentary, educational and industrial.

She continued to be active both in films and in theatre till the mid 1980s. After that, she moved into semi-retirement. She passed away this day, in 1991, in Bombay.

The film ‘Amar Jyoti’ has been acclaimed as a film much, much ahead of its time, both in terms of handling of the subject matter as well as in terms of technical finesse and special effects. The film represented India in the Venice film festival in 1937 and won praises and accolades as one of the best three films at the festival.

The film deals with the theme of suppression and negation of the role of the woman in the society, and one lady’s rebellion against it. As a subject, this was a daring endeavor by V Shantaram, given the prevalent sentiments in the society of that era. Nevertheless, this film was much acclaimed and became very popular at the box office too. Since the story revolves around pirates, scenes related to sailing ships and ships in conflict, it was a major accomplishment for the director, to be able to create the necessary environment within the studio, and film all the naval scenes using advanced special effects techniques, within the confines of the studio itself.

The film pertains to an undefined historical period. A queen (role played by Karuna Devi) and her cruel minister Durjay (role played by Chandramohan) are challenged by a woman turning a pirate and terrorizing the coastal provinces of the kingdom. This woman, Saudamini (role played by Durga Khote), has been much wronged by her husband. But when she pleads for justice from the royal court, Durjay decrees that a husband was the complete master of his wife, whom he could ill-treat, use as a chattel or dispose of as a slave. She is denied custody of her son by the queen, after she refuses to return to her matrimonial home. This greatly enrages Saudamini and drives her to revolt and seek revenge. She takes on the mantle of a male role and gets into a commanding position, as the captain of a pirate ship. She is assisted by her associate, Rekha (role played by Vasanti).

Durjay is captured and is kept as a prisoner with one of his legs cut off, to make him realize the eternally enslaved condition of women. Her next big catch is the princess Nandini (role played by Shanta Apte), the queen’s daughter. In her relationship with the princess, Saudamini plays an even bigger game by converting the princess to her creed of female emancipation, which considers love and marriage as a bondage. The princess suppresses her feelings for a shepherd boy, Sudhir (role played by B Nandrekar), whom she had met during her days in the pirate’s den. Unknown to even Saudamini, this shepherd boy is actually her own son, who was separated from her years ago.

In the continued sequence of events, Durjaya escapes with the help of Sudhir and returns to arrest Saudamini. Saudamini is captured, but the others, along with Nandini and Rekha, escape. It is finally revealed that Sudhir is Saudamini’s long-lost son. Nandini and Sudhir are married and Rekha carries forward Saudamini’s legacy.

Shantaram has used the symbol of the lamp and the flame very effectively. He deployed many other techniques that were considered path-breaking at that time. The film’s real success is in bringing out the inner conflicts of women, who may become male-like rebels, at the cost of suppressing their natural urges as wife or mother. In one of the most moving scenes in the film, we see Saudamini secretly fondling the tiny garments of her son, who has been separated from her.

In this song, we see this brief interlude, as Saudamini is remembering her child. The brief song is written by Pt Narottam Vyas, and the music is composed by Master Krishna Rao Phumblikar. The playback singing voice is that of Vasanti.

Remembering and honoring the enduring legacy of this fine actress – Durga Khote.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements – This article has adapted material from online sources viz., Cineplot and Wikipedia. Filmography details have been prepared using the Geet Kosh voumes 1 and 2.]

Song – Ankhiyan Ke Tum Taare Pyaare (Amar Jyoti) (1936) Singer – Vasanti, Lyrics – Pt Narottam Vyas, MD – Master Krishna Rao
Durga Khote

Lyrics

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

[sudhir. . .]
[main teri maa. . .]

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

aansoo nainan mein se

aansoo nainan mein se
aansoo nainan mein se
kaahu tohey pukaarun
kaahu tohey pukaarun
waaroon sukh dukh saare
waaroon sukh dukh saare
waaroon sukh dukh saare

akhiyan ke tum taare pyaare
chhod mohey mat jaa re
ab mat jaa re

[ab mat jaa re]

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

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

[सुधीर॰ ॰ ॰]
[मैं तेरी माँ॰ ॰ ॰]

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

आँसू नैनन में से

आँसू नैनन में से
आँसू नैनन में से
काहू तोहे पुकारूँ
काहू तोहे पुकारूँ
वारूँ सुख दुख सारे
वारूँ सुख दुख सारे
वारूँ सुख दुख सारे

अखियन के तुम तारे प्यारे
छोड़ मोहे मत जा रे
अब मत जा रे

[अब मत जा रे]


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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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