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 regular 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 :

4834 Post No. : 16617

When I joined this Blog’s activities in 2010, by way of comments, I used to first read the post fully. In one post our ATUL ji had said something which has been carved deep in my mind. He had said that “In India, people are interested in 3 things- Cricket, Films and Politics”. How true it is !

However, based on my experience of so many years in different fields all over India, I could add one more activity to the above three. And the activity is ” Branding”, Not the kind of Brands in the markets, what I mean is ” Labelling “, in other words. We Indians are quick in branding or labelling everything. In fact it is our very faourite pastime.

Some examples will explain what I mean. Take the case of Cinema – we branded Dilip Kumar as the Tragedy King, Meena Kumari as the Tragedy Queen, Jeetendra as the Jumping Jack, Mithun as Poor Man’s AB, AB as the Angry Young man etc etc. The branding did not change even after DK changed the track and acted in films like Azaad, Ram aur Shyam or Naya Daur etc. AB remained the same even after films like Chupke Chupke, Anand, Abhimaan or Amar Akbar Anthony. Same thing about other actors. Branding/Labelling or the Chhappa is for ever !

Take another example. We feel a Sikh must be either a Taxi Driver or in Army or Police, A Gujarati should only do business, A Bihari must only do Kheti, A Bengali must only read a book or write a book, A Marathi must only do a service in some company or Government etc etc. What if Sikhs are big businessmen, actors, singers ? What if a Gujju is a fine actor, Musician or a singer or a Politician ? What if the Biharis are the single largest group in the successful IAS Cadres (25 % in the last 10 years) ? So on so forth. But No – Branding is almost permanent !

Today we are going to talk about a Gujarati Saint. GUJARAT- the name itself evokes thoughts of Trade and Business. Due to their Business talents, Gujarat was known to Romans, Greeks and Persians, since the pre Christ era. Gujarat Maritime merchant history dates back to the First century after Christ.
Gujarat had produced many worthy souls who made the country proud of them. The top being Gandhi ji. Then there were Sardar Patel, Vikram Sarabhai(Space Ace), Morarji Desai, the Ambanis, Azim Prem ji, Parsis of Navsari, Narendra Modi, Amit Shah etc etc. In the religious field, Gujarat had its share with Jalaram Bappa, Narsi Bhagat, Dadu Dayal, Dayanand Saraswati, Rang Avdhoot ji, Rameshbhai oza, Hemchandra Surishwar, Pramukh Swami etc etc. (these are only indicative examples,not exhaustive).

India had been under the Mughal and the British rules for hundreds of years. A Nation of Hindu majority was ruled by the Minority Mughals, who perpetrated a lot of injustice and tried to destroy the Indian Culture with barbaric brutalities. This gave rise to the Bhakti movement to awaken the Indians and make them self conscious about their own strengths.

The Bhakti Movement was India’s own way to combat foreign attackers, cruel rulers and the sleeping people of India. The movement from 1300 to 1600 AD produced many religious Saints and social reformers from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and from Assam to Gujarat. Indian culture is such that the advice given by a religious saint is more acceptable than that given by a social reformer. Thus, in this hour of need, India’s Saints tried to teach message of reforms such as removal of Untouchability, freedom from Varnashram lifestyles, importance of education, Women’s emancipation and other such matters,through their poems, dohas, Abhangs and writings as well as kirtans. They tried to make the masses wake up against the ill effects of social practices that were being observed those days.

Saints appeared in ALL areas of India,during this period. However,due to language problems, knowledge and information about Saints in other regions trickled down very slowly. States which shared the use of Devanagari script were aware about them in a better way. Thus,Maharashtra,Gujarat,Rajasthan and the Northern Hindi belt states exchanged their knowledge about their saints more frequently than other regions such as Bengal, the Eastern states or the southern states where the scripts were different. Andhra and Karnataka were closer as their scripts are similar, except perhaps the alphabet ‘K’. Tamil and Malayalam scripts have Dravidian origins and were not easily accessible for the rest of India.

India is a Multi racial, multilingual and Multi religions country. It is not only one of the largest Democracies in the world, but also the largest Secular state in the world, where people from different faiths have been living together since centuries.

Many saints and religious leaders have played a significant role in keeping the mixed population of India as One Unit, when it was needed the most. A majority of Hindus, ruled by Muslim Mughals was a natural cause for social divisions, but Saints like Kabir, Surdas, Tulsidas, Ramdas, Tukaram, Ramanand, Narsi Mehta, Purandar das,Namdev, Guru Nanak Dev, Eknath, Bhakta Pundarikar, Rohidas, Mrutyunjaya and many such noble souls, did an excellent job of maintaining harmony amongst peoples of different faiths.

Today we will talk about the ADI KAVI of Gujarati-Narsimh Mehta aka Narsi Bhagat (1414 to 1486). He is one of the most popular saints of Gujarat. No wonder then,that the First Talkie in Gujarati was a film called NARSI MEHTA-1932. In Hindi too,”Narsi Bhagat ” was made as early as 1940. Vishnupant Pagnis (Sant Tukaram fame) had done the role of Narsi Bhagat in this film.(In the first Talkie film of Gujarat “Narsi Mehta”-1932 also this role was done by a Marathi actor Maruti Rao Pehelwan.)

The best Bhajan written by Narsi Bhagat is “Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye”. All Indians know that this was the most favourite Bhajan of Gandhi ji. Actually many people thought that he himself wrote this Bhajan !

Here is a short Biography of saint Narsi Bhagat –

Narsinh Mehta was born in Vaishnava Nagar community at Talaja and later shifted to Junagadh (then Jirndurg) in Saurashtra, Gujarat. He lost his parents when he was 5 years old. He could not speak until the age of 8. He was raised by his grandmother Jai Gauri.

He married Manekbai probably in the year 1429. Mehta and his wife stayed at his brother Bansidhar’s place in Junagadh. However, his cousin’s wife (Sister-in-law or bhabhi) did not welcome Narsinh very well. She was an ill-tempered woman, always taunting and insulting Narsinh Mehta for his worship (Bhakti). One day, when Narasinh Mehta had enough of these taunts and insults, he left the house and went to a nearby forest in search of some peace, where he fasted and meditated for seven days by a secluded Shiva lingam until Shiva appeared before him in person. On the poet’s request, the Lord took him to Vrindavan and showed him the eternal raas leela of Krishna and the gopis. A legend has it that the poet transfixed by the spectacle burnt his hand with the torch he was holding but he was so engrossed in the ecstatic vision that he was oblivious of the pain. Mehta, as the popular account goes, at Krishna’s command decided to sing His praises and the nectarous experience of the rasa in this mortal world. He resolved to compose around 22,000 kirtans or compositions.

After this dream-like experience, transformed Mehta returned to his village, touched his bhabhi’s feet, and thanked her for insulting him. In Junagadh, Mehta lived in poverty with his wife and two children, a son named Shamaldas, and a daughter for whom he had special affection, Kunwarbai. He revelled in devotion to his hearts’ content along with sadhus, saints, and all those people who were Hari’s subjects – Harijans – irrespective of their caste, class or sex. It also seems that he must have fallen into a somewhat ill repute for his close relations with Lord’s sakhis and gopis, Narsinh mehta’s women followers, with whom he danced and sang. The Nagars of Junagadh despised him and spared no opportunity to scorn and insult him. By this time, Mehta had already sung about the rasaleela of Radha and Krishna. The compositions are collected under the category of shringar compositions. They are full of intense lyricism, bold in their erotic conception and are not without allegorical dimensions, this saves the compositions from being something of erotic court poetry of medieval India.

Soon after his daughter Kunwarbai’s marriage (around 1447) to Shrirang Mehta of Una’s son, Kunwarbai became pregnant and it was a custom for the girl’s parents to give gifts and presents to all the in-laws during the seventh month of pregnancy. This custom, known as Mameru, was simply out of the reach of poor Narsinh who had hardly anything except intransigent faith in his Lord. How Krishna helped his beloved devotee is a legend depicted in ‘Mameru Na Pada’. This episode is preserved vividly in the memory of Gujarati people by compositions by later poets and films. Other famous legends include ‘Hundi (Bond)’ episode and ‘Har Mala (Garland)’ episode. The episode in which none other than Shamalsha Seth cleared a bond written by poverty stricken beloved, is famous not only in Gujarat but in other parts of India as well. The Har Mala episode deals with the challenge given to Mehta by Ra Mandlik (1451–1472) a Chudasama king, to prove his innocence in the charges of immoral behavior by making the Lord Himself garland Narsinh. Mehta depicts this episode. How Sri Krishna, in the guise of a wealthy merchant, helped Mehta in getting his son married is sung by the poet in ‘Putra Vivah Na Pada’. He went to Mangrol where, at the age of 79, he is believed to have died. The crematorium at Mangrol is called ‘Narsinh Nu Samshan’ where perhaps one of the greatest sons of Gujarat was cremated. He will be forever remembered for his poetic works and devotion to Lord Krishna. He is known as the first poet of Gujarati.

The role of Narsi Bhagat was done by Vishnupant Pagnis, a Marathi actor who became famous due to his role in film ” Sant Tukaram”-1936 by Prabhat Film co. Vishnupant Pagnis was born in a small place Chikodi, near Kolhapur, on 1-11-1892, in a lower middle class family. After formal education, he was assisted by Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur state to join a Drama company at the age of 10 years. He sang naturally, without any training from an expert. He was a popular artiste doing female roles, till his entry in films. He shifted to work in various drama companies including “Lalit Kaladarsh” of Mama Varerkar- a name connected with many Marathi and Hindi films of that time. In 1913, he floated his own company ‘ Jagchitradarsh ‘, only to wind up after two years in 1915. He continued working in dramas and doing female roles, for which he was famous in those times.

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

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

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

Vishnupant Pagnis did the immortal role of Tukaram in his first film and then lived the role throughout his life, though he did 4 more films in the same Genre of Saint films.His name became famous not only in India but also in other countries, when this film was hailed as “one of the 3 Best films in the world”at the Venice Film Festival, where it won accolades.

Records of his Bhajans from this film created records ( we too had these records in our house in the 40s.) Even today this film is shown and discussed in the film Institutes of many countries.Many books, essays and articles are published on this film. His performance as Tukaram has become a major reference-point in debates about Indian performance idioms: e.g. Kumar Shahani’s essay The Saint Poets of Prabhat, 1981; Geeta Kapur’s Mythic Material in Indian Cinema, 1987 etc etc.

Today’s bhajan is a very good Bhajan. I like it very much. You may also like it.


Song- Mori Hundi sweekaaro maharaj re (Narsi Bhagat)(1940) Singer- Vishnupant Pagnis, Lyricist- Not known, MD- Shankar Rao Vyas

Lyrics

Mori Hundi sweekaaro maharaj re
saanvre giridhaari
Mori Hundi sweekaaro maharaj re
saanvre giridhaari
Mori Hundi sweekaaro maharaj re
saanvre giridhaari
mohe ek tihaaro aadhaar re
mohe ek tihaaro aadhaar re
saanwre giridhaari
Mori Hundi sweekaaro maharaj re
saanvre giridhaari

raakhi ?? Prahlad ki
liyo narsinh Avtaar
kamb phaari pargat bhaye
taaro bhoomi ko dhaar re
saanvre giridhaari
Mori Hundi sweekaaro maharaj re
saanvre giridhaari

pooji gopi chandan mori
tulasi kone ko haar
saancha gahna to mero saanwro
mori daulat hai jhaanjh khadtaal re
mori daulat hai jhaanjh khadtaal re
saanvre giridhaari
Mori Hundi sweekaaro maharaj re
saanvre giridhaari
bhajo Radhe Govind bhajo Radhe
bhajo Radhe Govind bhajo Radhe
bhajo Radhe Govind bhajo Radhe
bhajo Radhe Govind bhajo Radhe

bhajo Radhe Govind
bhajo Radhe Govind
bhajo Radhe Govind
bhajo Radhe Govind


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4833 Post No. : 16615

Today I am presenting a Non-Film song by Master Ashraf Khan. Some of you may remember Ashraf Khan, who sang songs in the films Roti-42 and Baaghbaan-38. We all know him mainly as a film actor, who finally became a Sufi Saint, but his contribution to the Gujarati theatre was substantial. Most of us know many things about Cinema, but very little about Theatre and stage dramas.

Prior to films becoming a source of entertainment for the common man, it was the stage drama which diligently and sincerely gave pure and musical entertainment to the commoners. The rich of course could afford private singing jalsas with famous singers and Tawayafs. Stage dramas were popular mainly in Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat, since the early to middle 19th Century. It started a bit late, on a regular scale, in South India, at the beginning of the 20th Century or so.Despite modern means of entertainment like TV and Films, stage dramas are still popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat. These two states have a glorious history and tradition of producing classical singers, many of them through the stage dramas.

Master Ashraf Khan was very popular and famous on the Gujarati stage. He was known as the ” Saigal of Gujarat”. Singing of Gazals in stage dramas started with Ashraf Khan, it is believed. Stage dramas are usually called ” Parsi-Urdu,” ” Parsi-Hindi”, ” Parsi-Gujarati”, because the Parsi community was prominent in this medium. Parsis came from Iran (Persia) into North Konkan, and Gujarat and they merged with the Indian People. All generations of Parsis spoke Hindi and Gujarati (with a typical, recognisable tone) and prospered in various trades and fields of Business.

The Gujarati stage was full of artistes from Saurashtra, North Gujarat and Bombay. They belonged to different castes. Jaishankar Bhojak (Sundari), Amrit Kershav Nayak, Vadilal Nayak, Master Shaani, Master Vikram etc were from Bhojak Nayak caste. From the Meer caste came Himmat Meer, Kasam Meer, Lallubhai Meer etc. -all singer actors. Parsis like Sorabji katrak, Sorabji kerawala, Faredoon irani and some Muslims like Ashraf Khan, Alladdin, Ghulam Sabir, Master Fida hussai, Master nissar, Kumar etc. were some members of this community.

Starting from 1871, these drama companies toured Bombay Presidency, Saurashtra, Calcutta and Bengal and upto Rangoon in Brahmadesh (Burma). Unlike Marathi stage the Parsi and Bangla dramas got women doing female roles sooner than in Maharashtra. Some actresses were, Miss Mary fanten, Miss Fitna, Mehtab, gafooran, Gauhar, Deenabai Mistri etc. In the modern dramas of the 1960 to 1980’s even Saraswati Devi (Vidya Bajpai) and Sandhya(Vijaya Deshmukh) acted on Gujarati stage.

However, in the initial years i.e. from 1890 to 1930, there were actors doing female roles. Anand ji ‘Kabootar’, Vikram, Fakir, Himmat meer and Jaishankar Bhojak were major actors famous in female roles. Jaishankar was popular and did female roles in dramas like Vikram Charitra, Barrister, Vasant Prabha and Saubhagya Sundari. His role as ” Sundari” in drama “Saubhagya Sundari” was so popular that later on his name was changed to Jaishankar “Sundari”. He worked till 1961. In his honour, a Drama Theatre in Ahmedabad is named as Jaishankar Sundari Theatre ! What an honour. He was friendly with Marathi stage actor Bal Gandharva and they both used to see each others’ dramas, without fail.

Orphaned very early, Master Ashraf was brought up by one Baburao, his father’s friend. He was a born singer. His mother tongue was Urdu/Pashto, but he mastered Gujarati so well that people considered him to be a Gujarati actor. Master Himmat meer brought him to the Theatre in 1894. He did only male roles and sang also. many dramas like Prithviraj, Arab ka Sitara, Samudragupta, Sansar Sagar, Ek Abla etc, as its Hero. He did about 3000 shows of his drama ‘ Malavpati”, as it became very popular. In 1960, he was felicitated by the President of India and after that he acted in the same drama once again in 1961, though old. He also worked in Hindi films upto 1941 His Heroines were Zebunnisa, Mehtab, Sardar Akhtar, Iqbal Begum (mother of Meena Kumari). From 1950 onwards he tilted towards Sufism and finally became a Saint.

ASHRAF KHAN was an actor and singer in many films in the 40s. He left films ……..and became……..believe it or not…..a SUFI SAINT !

I had first written about him somewhere 9 years ago…in 2012 or so. Here is his information again, but in a different format with some more information collected later on. My friend shri kamlakar Pasupuleti ji had done a lot of research on this actor. It was from his Blog and his book that I learnt more details about Ashraf Khan.

Ashraf Khan shot to limelight with the film Baghban – 1938 . He played the role of a mendicant and rendered three lovely songs composed by Music Director Mushtaq Husain . Ro ro nain gavanvun ,sajanwa aan milo was the most popular song among the three songs he rendered. The movie was a great hit and all the nine songs in the movie were popular. The movie was directed by AR Kardar. The lyrics were penned by the comedian Mirza Musharraf. He was paid Rs 90 / – for the nine songs he wrote for the movie. It is important to know how he progressed in his life and attained the spiritual powers with which he helped millions of people across the globe .

Ashraf Khan was born in Indore on 22-10-1901. He lost his father at a young age of seven. The burden of taking care of his widowed mother and a young sister fell on his shoulder . Indore was a famous city for wrestling and the wrestling competitions were held for all ages including children. He took up wrestling as a profession for some time . He later became a Shepherd boy and guarded the sheep .

He had a good voice and used to sing while taking the sheep in and out of the city. One evening while returning home from the outskirts he started singing loudly. A Gujarati’s drama company was stationed in a nearby bungalow. The owner of the drama company heard his song and he was called inside. The owner asked the boy if he was willing to work for the drama company. The boy replied Yes. There upon the owner asked him if he can play the role of a girl. The boy daringly replied No, will play the role of a boy . The owner was impressed and he got into the Gujarati drama company.

He started playing small roles and as he grew up was given the role of a hero . His salary increased gradually and by the time he was playing hero roles he was paid Rs 600 / per month. He used to give away his entire earnings to his mother. His mother used to give him four annas a day as his allowance as he had the habit of eating Paan( betel leaf ), but Ashraf Khan used to return back the four annas to his mother in the evening.

Ashraf Khan’s mother tongue was Urdu and Pushtu but he learnt to speak Gujarati with ease and he rendered his dialogues fluently. He gave record breaking performances in Malopati Manjh ( Prithvi Vallabh ). He played the role of a hero Prithvi Vallabh in three thousand shows. Prithvi Raj Chauhan was another stage performance in which he played the hero role of Prithviraj Chauhanbin two thousand shows. Ashraf Khan’s heroine on the Gujarati stage was Sandhya. Ashraf Khan was associated with the Gujarati stage even after joining the films .

With the advent of talkie he moved over to Bombay in 1931. His first film was Shakuntala-31 ( made in Bombay.There was another film Shakuntala made the same year in Calcutta by Madon Theatres) With his experience on stage he was hired for three movies Bhartruhari, Gul-e-Bakavali and Veer Kunal. He played the role of a hero initially and later in life played character roles. He acted in more than a dozen movies. Mehboob Khan portrayed him as a mad professor in his famous film Roti – 1942. It was during the filming of Roti that he came in contact with Peer-o-Murshid ( Spiritual Guide) Ghulam Sarvar. Ghulam Sarvar belonged to Lahore and was employed in railways as a guard. He had many followers in Bombay. Ashraf Khan’s devotion towards his spiritual guide was so great that whenever he visited Bombay he used to carry his luggage on his head and escort him home .

Large crowds used to gather to meet Peer-o-Murshid Ghulam Sarvar in the 1940’s and among the film personalities the notable were A R Kardar, Mehboob Khan, Yaqub, Prithviraj Kapoor , Trilok Kapoor, Sardar Akhtar, Akhtari Faizabadi, Jaddan Bai etc etc to name a few. Akhtari Faizabadi and Jaddan Bai used to sing devotional songs during the assembly .

Taking care of the visitors footwear was the first duty assigned to him by his Peer and Ashraf Khan never thought it was a menial job He knew that the peer is shedding his ego by assigning such tasks. Peer-o-Murshid Ghulam Sarvar was so pleased with his devotion that he handed over his Gaddi ( seat ) to Ashraf Khan. Ashraf Khan became a Peer .

His association with the Gujarati stage lasted till his end. In 1962 after his last stage show at Dhoraji in Gujarat he returned to the Dargah where he was stationed with his family . It was the ninth day of the Gyarhvi Sharif ( the eleventh month of Islamic calendar ). He lay down on his bed and spoke few words to his wife and fell unconscious, but his lips started moving as if he was narrating verses from Ayat Sharif. This situation continued the whole of that night and the next day. His wife , family members and devotees remained at his bedside reading verses from Ayat Sherief He opened his eyes in the evening. His devotees asked him how he was and he replied that wherever he is, he is doing well .

He was brought to the hospital at Rajkot in this condition. Ashraf Khan passed away at eleven PM on the eleventh day of the Gyarhvi Sharif, the eleventh month of Islamic calendar. His mortal remains were brought for funeral to the residence of Dr Malik who was a friend and a devotee. His devotees were chanting holy verses from Ayat Sharif and Darood Sharif . Around 4 O’ clock in the morning he opened his eyes once again, looked all around him with a smile and closed his eyes. This was a surprising moment for all those who were present around him. A dead man opening his eyes and smiling was something strange. The crowd shouted Hazrat is alive, Hazrat is alive, call the doctor. There are several people alive today who witnessed this strange incident. Dr Malik examined him and pronounced him dead. He was buried at Ganj Shahda which is located on the Ahmedabad – Delhi highway . The Urs is celebrated every year and lakhs of devotees all across the globe visit his Mazaar ( Tomb ).

Among the film personalities who used to attend the Urs were Mehboob Khan, Sardar Akhtar, Zaibunissa, Mehtab, Begum Akhtar, Prithviraj Kapoor and Trilok Kapoor etc .

There are hundreds of families in Hyderabad whose vows were fulfilled by the spiritual powers of Hazrat Ashraf Khan. Each family has a different story to narrate. Many sickly people got cured, many got rid of financial troubles, rivals became friends, and many women became mothers after best efforts by doctors failed .

Amirbai Karnataki rendered a couple of devotional songs in his praise. Some disc collectors of Hyderabad had them in their collection .

Ashraf Khan acted in 31 films in all. Some of his films were- Aaiye 1949, Phool 1945, Roti 1942, Baghban 1938, Ajamil 1934, Roop Basant 1933, Malati Madhav 1933, Husn Ka Gulam 1933, Veer Kunal 1932, Gul-e-Bakavali 1932, Bhartruhari 1932. He sang 59 songs in 14 films. Some of the songs rendered by Ashraf Khan were in movies …..Baghban 1938, Baaghi 1939, Aazaadi-E-Vatan 1940, Roti 1942, Pagli Duniya 1944 and Naiya-1947. His last film was Arab ka sitara-1961.

Noted Record Historian, Dr. Suresh Chandvankar also wrote about Ashraf Khan in his book in Marathi ” पूर्वसूरींचे सूर “. He says that after the death of his parents, Ashraf khan was looked after by his father’s Hindu friend Baburao. He learnt Gujarati so well that people thought that he was a Gujarati. He entered the Gujarati stage. Due to his good singing, in later periods he was called Saigal of Gujarat. In 1960, he was felicitated by the President of India. In Bombay he had a bungalow in Girgaon. From 1950 onwards, he inclined towards Sufism, while still working on stage and films.

After his death, his Darga is set up at Dana Limdi, on the Bombay-Gujarat highway, where every year Urs is held and lakhs of visitors come. (Based on information from article by P.Kamalakar ji, book -पूर्वसूरींचे सूर by Dr. Suresh Chandvankar, Gujarati Rangbhumi by K.N.Parekh, HFGK, muVyz and my notes. Thanks to all.)

Six songs of Ashraf Khan are discussed on this Blog. All are film songs. This is perhaps his first Non Film Song to feature here.


Song- Khudi mitaaye na jab tak Khuda nahin milta (Ashraf Khan NFS)(1940) Singer- Master Ashraf Khan Lyricist- Unknown MD- Unknown

Lyrics

Khudi mitaaye na jab tak
Khuda nahin milta
Khudi mitaaye na jab tak
Khuda nahin milta aa
aa aa

?? mein shaakh mein ae ae ae ae
aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
?? mein shaakh mein
gul mein usi ka jalwa hai ae
ke uspe kehte hain
hamko khuda nahin milta aa aa aa
kiya na uska tasawwur
na dhyaan hai dil mein
ae ae ae ae
kiya na uska tasawwur
na dhyaan hai dil mein ae
kisi ko raasta chaltey
Khuda nahin milta aa aa
(??)jabaan dil se alag rakkho
tu tu mai mai se ae ae ae
jahaan hai ??
Khuda nahin milta aa aa

kisi ka dost na paaya
jahaan mein ae makhmoor
kisi ko dost na paaya
jahaan mein ae makhmoor
Khuda to mil bhi sake
aashna nahin miltaa
Khuda to mil bhi sake
aashna nahin miltaa
?? gair kahin
?? to kya nahin milta
aa aa aa


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4825 Post No. : 16603

The human mind is constantly attracted by imaginary things.He would like to have supernatural powers and do things which he only dreams about. He knows he can not do so, so looks out for those who can do them. A normal person likes to see a man do super-human activity like fighting with hungry lions or teaching a lesson to Roadside Romeos or punishing wrong-doers etc. If possible he would like to do these things himself, but it is not possible for an ordinary man. If someone is thrashing a thief or stopping someone from troubling hapless women, the public gathers and cheers him. We have seen it many times.

Secrecy, Puzzles, riddles, Mystery and fantasy are the initiators of curiosity in Human Mind. The mind dreams of the things it wishes, but can not do and knows that it can not do. That is where the seeds of Action films and stunts are sown.

The film makers took advantage of this human nature and made films about supernatural heroes who rode Horses, fought 10 goons at a time, jumped into and out of fire with ease and generally staked their lives to save the poor and the weak in the society. The audience simply loved it and action films established themselves. There is nothing childish about it. These movies help the majority of moviegoers enjoy such superhuman acts vicariously.

When film making started in India, it was but natural, because of our heritage, that most initial films were mythological. With the beginning of silent films from Raja Harishchandra in 1913 to 1921 almost all films were Mythologicals.

The First off-beat film was ”England Returned or Bilet ferat” a Comedy film made by Indo British films, Calcutta, released on 2-2-1921.

The First fantasy film was ‘Princess Badar or The tale of Kamar-al-Zamin’ made in 1922 by Madan Theatres, Calcutta.

The First Costume film was ‘The song of the slave‘-1922,made by Photoplay Syndicate,Calcutta.

The First Crime film was ‘The Kala Naag or Triumph of Justice‘-1924, made by Kohinoor films,Bombay. The First detective film was ‘ Justice or Nyaya’-1925, made by Premier Photoplay, Poona.

And finally the First Action film was ”The choice of a Bride“-1929, made by Surya Film Company, Bangalore.

After this there were many Action films made in Silent movies till the last silent film in India-” Niyoti”-1934, made by Aurora Film Corporation, Calcutta, released on 15-9-1934.

( Thanks to Dr.R K Verma and his book “Silent Cinema”).

When the Talkie films started , here too Mythologicals led the list. However the First Action Film in Talkie was ” Dagabaz Aashiq”-1932, closely followed by another action film “Do Badmash” made by Imperial and Ranjit respectively.

After this there was no looking back. There was enough material available for Mythological, Historical, religious, social, fantasy and Costume films in India,with its rich Heritage, but for Action and Stunt film stories, movie makers looked to the west.

The legendary King Arthur, Robin Hood, William Tell, Zorro and Tarzan etc all became sources of inspiration for action and stunt films in India. Skillful adaptation and Indianization of western Heroes coupled with the fertile imagination of story writers in our studios provided enough fodder. It is through this that emerged the ideas of ‘Masked men’,’Hunterwali’ and various Baghis.

Out of these the Tarzan stories were more popular as they combined Mystery, jungles, superhuman powers and great strengths which tamed the wild animals. Countless films were made with Tarzan as the central character.

The original Tarzan story was written by Sir Edgar Rice Burrows and it was first published in 1912, followed by its 23 sequels. The story proved to be immensely popular. No wonder, then, that it attracted the Hollywood producers.

The First Silent film ” Tarzan of the Apes” was released in 1918 in which Tarzan’s role was done by Elmo Lincoln and Jane Porter was Enid Markey. From 1918 to 2008, Hollywood made 89 Tarzan Films.

The First Talkie film on Tarzan was ” Tarzan-The Ape Man ” in 1932. Johnny Weissmuller was doing Tarzan’s role and Maureen O’Sulivan was Jane in it.

Johnny was a German bred Romanian settled in America. He was an Olympic Swimming Champion with 5 Gold medals. The pair of Johnny and Maurine was very popular. Johnny Weissmuller did 12 films of Tarzan from 1932 to 1948. 6 films with Maureen, 2 without Jane and 4 with Brenda Joyce. After Johnny 5 Tarzan films were done by Lex Barker and 6 were done by Gordon Scot. After 1960, there were different Tarzan actors in every film.

The Chimpanzee “Cheetah” was there in films from 1932 to 1960, when he died.

In most films, the scripts were loyal to the novels. However, in the novel, Tarzan and Jane get married and they have a son too. But in films, they never got married and their son ” BOY ” was found and adopted by Jane.

Tarzan films attracted Indian film makers too.As far back as the first decade of Talkie films in India , an attempt was made to make films like Tarzan. The name was too obvious to be copied, so a new name was invented- ZAMBO. The adventurous producer Mohan Bhavnani always liked to do experiments and he made a film Zambo- The Ape man in 1937 (aka Sher E Jungle). It had almost a similar story like that of Tarzan but it was fully indianised. Obviously, this film became very successful, because Bhavnani made a sequel ” Zambo ka Beta ” in 1939.

In both the films the Hero was the same-Navin Yagnik. Navin was a well known stunt film actor who did social films also with the same ease. Navin was born in Calcutta on 3-10- 1912. His father was from U.P. and mother from Bengal. During school days, he was more interested in sports,dramas and oratory. He did not complete his Matriculation, but ran away to Bombay, to become an actor-against the wishes of his family.

He joined Sagar Films in 1930, as an Extra, without salary. After a few months he got Rs.35 pm, but no credited roles. After an year or so, he left Sagar and joined Mohan Bhavnani’s Ajanta Film company. He first worked in the film ‘ The Mill ‘-34. Unfortunately, this film was banned for 2 years. The film was based on a story by Munshi Premchand and depicted the poor conditions of mill workers in Bombay. The Mill Owners’ Association brought pressure on the Government and got the film banned. After 2 years, the film was released as ” Ghareeb Parivar”-36 aka ‘Daya ki Devi’. Two more films and Navin became Hero in the film ” Pyar ki maar”-35.

In her autobiography, actress Hansa Wadkar says,” My Hero in this film was one Navin Yagnik, a handsome boy from U.P. He was very shy and after the shootings, he would quietly sit in one corner reading something. He never joined our drink parties,nor did he participate in any other group activity. I was attracted towards him but he gave no response. He sent me an invitation card for his marriage, when it was fixed.”

He also worked in Minerva Movietone, Prakash pictures, Filmistan and other good banners. Some of his well known films were, Zambo-The ape Man-37, Meri Bhool-37, Divorce-38, Vaasanti-38, Son of Zambo-39, Main Haari-40, Jhoothi Sharm-40, Vasantsena-42, Raja Rani-42, School Master-43, Prithvi Vallabh-43, Chal chal re Naujawan-44 etc. His last recorded film was Bhagwat Mahima-55. In all, he worked in 30 films.

Navin Yagnik died on 28-10-1977.

Many films were made on Tarzan in India. Though there was a film ‘ Tarzan ki beti’ made by a Calcutta company in 1938, it was not actually a jungle film, belying its title. It took about 25-30 years to see a Hindi film of Tarzan. In the 60s there was a spate of Tarzan films. About 20+ films were made. Tarzan stories were more popular as they combined Mystery, jungles, superhuman powers and great strengths which tamed the wild animals. Countless films were made with Tarzan as the central character.

When the normal titles finished, the imaginative writers combined Tarzan with Aladdin, Delialah, Rocket, Gorilla, Mermaid, King Kong, Hercules, Cobra, Circus and even Fairyland. When this too was exhausted, they joined him with places like Delhi, spies like 303 etc. They gave Tarzan a Daughter also. When the Indianisation of Tarzan was complete, in came ZIMBO !

Whatever the title, the script ideas were more or less the same. It ensured that the Hero’s supernatural powers and strength was used and wild animals were shown in abundance.

There were also Toofani Tarzan (1937), Toofani Tarzan (1962), Tarzan Aur Gorilla (1963), Rocket Tarzan (1963),Tarzan Aur Jalpari (1964), Tarzan Captain Kishore (1964), Tarzan Comes To Delhi (1965),Tarzan And Circus (1965), Tarzan And King Kong (1965); Tarzan Aur Hercules (1966), Tarzan Ki Mehbooba (1966), Tarzan In Fairyland (1968), Tarzan 303 (1970),Tarzan Mera Saathi (1974), Tarzan (1985), Taarzan – The Wonder Car (2004).

Anyway we are talking about the film Zambo-The Ape man-1937 presently. The music was given by an extraordinarily talented artiste- Badri prasad. He was an actor, singer, Music Director, Producer, Director, Lyricist and a Choreographer in his last lap. I have yet to come across another artiste with so much talent. Additionally he was a Sanskrit pandit and wrote dramas for All India Radio also. We don’t find such people these days !

Film actor and a famous compere DAVID ABRAHAM CHEULKAR, popularly known only as David, made his Debut with this film. David Abraham Cheulkar (21-6-1909 to 2-1- 1981), popularly known as David, was a Jewish-Indian Hindi film actor and a member of Mumbai’s Marathi-speaking Bene Israel Jew community. In a career spanning four decades, he played mostly character roles, starting with the 1941 film Naya Sansar, and went on to act in over 110 films, including memorable films such as Gol Maal (1979), Baton Baton Mein (1979) and Boot Polish (1954), for which he was awarded the 1955 Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.

He never married. He died on 2-1- 1981 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada of a heart attack at the age of 73.
Today’s song is sung by Sarla devi. It is the second song from this film here.


Song- Hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee (Zambo The Ape man)(1937) Singer- Sarla Devi, Lyricist- Pt. Badri Prasad, MD- Pt. Badri Prasad

Lyrics

Hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee
Hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee
hamre nainan mein nit aas lagi hai
nainan mein nit aas lagi hai
surat kyon hai chhupaayi
Hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee
hamre kaate katat naahin
birha ki ratiyaan
kaate katat naahin
birha ki ratiyaan
tum bin saajan dhadkat chhatiya
neha lagaa ke
tumne saajan
neha lagaa ke
tumne saajan
birha ki aag lagaayi
hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee
hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee

raat andheri
baadal garje ae ae ae
megh chaaye rahe
bijli chamke

aawo ban mein chhupne waale
aawo ban mein chhupne waale
ab pad jaawo dikhaayee
hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee
hamri sudh budh kyon bisraayee


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4820 Post No. : 16592 Movie Count :

4522

Today’s song is from an obscure old film Jhoothi Sharma-1940. The film was made by Bhavnani Productions, Bombay and was directed by its owner Mohan Bhavnanni himself Music was given by the veteran, multi-talented Badri Prashad and the songs were written by D.N.Madhok.

Though the film was obscure which remained unknown in later years, it was a special film because a German had written its story and screenplay, while another German had provided the background music and the orchestration for the film. Now, where did the Germans come from in this film ?

Very few people know that Indian Cinema had a little known connection with the rise of Hitler in Germany in 1932-33. A group of men , engaged in Cinema in Germany, flocked to India in the 30’s and played a vital role in Indian Cinema and the arts of that time. After Hitler took over Germany in 1933, the German Cine Studio’s glory days were over and they were turned into Nazi Propaganda Machines !

It was at this time that several of its men left the studio and arrived in India, and contributed during the Indian cinema’s formative years.

The foremost among them is Frantz Osten, a German whom Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani met at the UFA when they went to train there (they worked with Lang and Marlene Dietrich). Osten had already been directing films for the couple since 1925, when he made Light of Asia for them from Germany.

In 1934, he came to India and the next year, after Rai founded ‘ Bombay Talkies ‘ the legendary film studio in Malad that now lies in ruins, Osten directed its first film.

He went on to direct the famous Devika Rani-Ashok Kumar starrer, Achhyut Kanya, without much knowledge of Hindi. The film, which featured the song “Main ban ke chiriya”, was shot by Joseph Wirsching; the sets were designed by Karl von Spreti and the laboratory was headed by Zolle, Osten’s team of UFA ex-members who worked for Rai’s state-of-the-art studio.

Osten and his fellow Germans directed 16 films for Rai. It was a remarkable feat for people who knew little Hindi ‘ mistaking the word “bulbul” once for a pair of bulls. While in Bombay, he became a member of the Nazi Party (1936). He was interned by the British at the outbreak of WW2 while shooting his last film there, Kangan. Released and allowed to return to Germany (1940).

“It’s not clear if they had anything to do with the Nazi ideology, either way,” said film historian Amrit Gangar.

“If they did, it did not show in their films. But there were two other people who almost certainly migrated to India because of the persecution of Jews.”

They were Walter Kauffman, a scholar and composer interested in Oriental music, and Wilhelm Haas, a writer and a friend of Franz Kafka.

“Both were Jews, and Haas came to India because of Kauffman, who went on to found the Bombay Chamber Music Society,” Gangar added.

Kauffman arrived in 1934 after meeting director-producer Mohan Bhavnani at the UFA (where V. Shantaram also did a stint).

“Haas was in Czechoslovakia, but left the country for India just after Hitler’s invasion,” Gangar said.

Kauffman, Haas and Bhavnani worked together in Premnagar (1940), Naushad’s first film as music director. Kauffman composed the background score; Haas wrote the screenplay.

“It is debatable, but Kauffman is probably also the person behind the All India Radio signature tune. Haas was a member of the Indian chapter of PEN,” Gangar said. Haas also wrote the script for Bhavnani’s Jhooti Sharam (1939) and Kauffmann provided Orchestration and background music.

The story of Paul Zils ( 1-6-1915 to 30-3-1979 ) stands out, though. Zils, believed to be a Nazi sympathizer, turned up in India under strange circumstances: he was bound for Indonesia in a steamer that got torpedoed by an Indian naval ship during World War II and he was taken prisoner.

After his release, because of his film experiences, the leadership of the sales department in Ezra Mir led government documentary production company, called him to join Information films of India. End of October 1945, he came to Bombay and started his work. In March 1959 he returned to Germany.

Josph Virsching-the Cinematographer, however, stayed back in India till his death in 1967. He did few Hindi films too.

Paul Zils directed 3 Dev Anand films, according to the documents. Hindustan Hamara-50 and Zalzala-52 are found in HFGK, but the third film called ‘ Shabash”, though listed in 1949, gives no details, except the film name. ( Information adapted from the book ” Walter Koffman” by Amit Gangar, with thanks and my notes.)

The cast of the film Jhoothi Sharm-40 was Trilok Kapoor,Bimla Kumari, Shareefa, Navin Yagnik, Nayampally, Girish, Iqbal, Rajkumari and others. The film was directed by Mohan Bhavnani. Most of the new generation readers may not know anything about this pioneer film maker.

Mohan Dayaram Bhavnani was born on 2-10-1903 at Hyderabad-Sindh. He studied at the College of Technology, Manchester (1921-24). After graduation, he went to Germany to study film making at the UFA (Universum Film ArtikenGessel schaft), a German motion picture production company in 1924. He came back to India and joined Kohinoor Film Co. in Bombay. He made several Silent films with actress Sulochana, like Cinema ni rani, Maitri prem, Veer Bala, Bhamto Bhoot, Wild Cat of Bombay ( she played 8 different roles in it) etc. Then he joined Imperial film co. in 1927. In 1931 he became an independent producer with Indian Art Production.

He returned to Germany to study sound film technique, when the advent of the Talkie happened in India. he came back and made his first Talkie Farebi jaal aka The Trapped-1931, a part Talkie film. It flopped but actress Durga Khote debuted with this film and sang 2 songs too. Even his future wife Enakshi Rama Rau also acted in this film in a small role.

He started his Ajanta Cinetone(1933-34) and his own Bhavnani Productions (1935-1948). He hired famous author Premchand to write a story for the film ‘ Mazdoor’ (The Mill)-1934. The film was banned for 2 years. It was followed by the film Jagran-1936- both films on Labourer’s problems. He also produced a film Ajeet-48, the first full length colour film on 16 mm and blown up on 35 mm.

He left filmmaking and joined the Government Films Division as its first Chief producer (48-55). Then he went to China, on the invitation of Chow En Lai to make documentaries for China. He took his cameraman Kishore Rege and S.K.Kulkarni with him.

His wife Enakshi became a famous Dancer and also wrote books on Dances of india. Mohan Bhavnani died on 30-12-1962 at Bombay The 72nd Annual Cannes film Festival was organised from 14th to 25th May 2019 and it was dedicated to short films made by Mohan Bbhavnani of india. What an honour for him to get such a tribute!

Filmography- 1925: Cinema Ni Rani, Matri Prem, Seth Sagalsha, Veer Bala, 1926: Bhamto Bhoot, Diwan Bhamasha, Mena Kumari, Pagal Premi, Ra Kawat, Samrat Shiladitya, 1927: Daya Ni Devi, Gamdeni Gori, Naseeb Ni Lili, Trust Your Wife, Wildcat of Bombay, 1929: Hawai Swar, Khedda, Khwab-e-Hasti, Mysore: Gem City of India, 1930: Vasantsena, 1931: Farebi Jaal, Lafanga Langoor, Shakuntala, 1932: Veer Kunal, 1933: Afzal, Rangila Rajput, 1934: Dard-e-Dil, Mazdoor (Director, Writer), Sair-e-Paristan, 1935: Jung Bahadur, Navjeevan, Shadi Ki Raat, 1936: Dilawar, Garib Parwar, Jagran (Director, Producer), Wrestling, 1937: Zambo the Ape Man, 1938: Double Cross (Director, Producer, Writer), Himalay Ki Beti, Yangrilla, 1939: Zambo Ka Beta, 1940: Jhoothi Sharm, Prem Nagar (Director, Producer), 1945: Biswi Sadi, 1946: Rang Bhoomi, 1948: Ajit (Director, Producer), 1949: Vale of Kashmir, 1950: The Private Life of a Silk Worm, Search For Shelter (Producer), 1951: Lest We Forget, 1952: Kumaon Hills, 1953: Feminine Fashions (Producer), Folk Dances of India, Republic Day Record, Six Years of Freedom (Producer), 1954: Good Manners (Producer), Modest Homes (Producer), 1955: Republic Day 1955, 1956:Operation Khedda, 1957: The Himalayan Tapestry ( Thanks to Encyclopedia of indian Cinema.)

Today’s song is sung by Iqbal Bibi. I do not have any information about this singer/actress.


Song- Phoolon ki main laayee hoon maala (Jhoothhi Sharm)(1940) Singer-Iqbal Bibi, Lyricist- D N Madhok, MD- Badri Prasad

Lyrics

Phoolon ki main laayee hoon maala
Phoolon ki main layee hoon maala
chun chun kali kali
Phoolon ki main laayee hoon maala
chun chun kali kali
koi mohe kahe kahaan
koi mohe kahe kahaan
preet ki hai kaun gali
koi mohe kahe kahaan
preet ki hai kaun gali
Phoolon ki main laayee hoon maala
chun chun kali kali
ab Ghanshyam milo
ho ab Ghanshyam milo
bhayi birha ki gali
ab Ghanshyam milo
ab Ghanshyam milo
bhayi birha ki gali
Phoolon ki main laayee hoon maala
chun chun kali kali
Phoolon ki main layee hoon maala

torey bin chain nahin
torey bin chain nahin
kal bin rain nahin
torey bin chain nahin
kal bin rain nahin
ab Ghanshyam milo
ab Ghanshyam milo
jag hai chalaa chali
ab Ghanshyam milo
ab Ghanshyam milo
jag hai chalaa chali
Phoolon ki main laayee hoon maala
chun chun kali kali
Phoolon ki main laayee hoon maala


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4815 Post No. : 16585 Movie Count :

4519

Today’s song is from an obscure Costume film, Sardar-1940. The film was made by Prakash Pictures, Bombay. It was directed by Dwarka Khosla and the music was by the favourite MD of Prakash Pictures- Shankar Rao Vyas. All the 15 songs were written by Balam Pardesi. However HFGK lists only 12 songs under the film title and 3 more songs are further added through ‘Addenda’, at the end of the Kosh. Today’s song is the first song of this film to be posted here.

Director Dwarka Khosla was born in 1904 at Hoshiarpur, Punjab. He entered the films during the Silent era. His first Talkie films as a director was Josh-E-Jawani-1935. He directed 33 films. His last film was Reporter Raju-1962. The cast of the film was Jayant, Pramila,Shah Nawaz, Amirbai Karnataki, Munshi Khanjar and others. Actor Jayant was a find of Vijay Bhatt. He gave him first chance in Nai Zindagi-1934. He also changed his original name to Jayant.

Jayant was born as Zakaria Khan,on 15-10-1912 at Alwar, Rajasthan. His father Syed Ahmed Khan was originally from Peshawar, but was working as a Sports Coach in the court of the Maharaja of Alwar,Rajasthan. Along with his elder brother Jahangir Khan, Jayant used to sell ‘Makka-Bhutta’ (Maize) on a roadside thela and thus earned his pocket money, with which he used to see films. When he grew up, he was taken by his father to the Maharaja, who recruited him as Second Lieutenant in his Army. Jayant soon got bored with this life, left the job and came to Bombay in search of a job in films. When he met Vijay Bhatt of Prakash pictures, this 6’1″ tall,handsome and young man was liked by him. Jayant also knew Horse riding and swimming. He was named JAYANT by Vijay Bhatt and offered a role in their film Nayi Duniya-1934. Rajkumari Banaraswali also debuted in this film.

Excellent Urdu delivery and handsome personality earned Jayant Hero’s roles in Bambai ki Sethani,Bombay Mail, Lal chithi, Shamsheer-e-Arab, Azadveer, Passing show, Snehlata, Top ka gola, Challenge, His Highness, Khwab ki duniya, Mr.X, State Express, Hero no.1, Sardar and Mala. By now his salary was 3700 per month. He was more at ease in Costume and stunt films than social flicks.

Khwaab ki Duniya-37 was based on the story of Invisible Man and this was the first film as a Director for Vijay Bhatt. Babubhai Mistry from Surat used Trick photography in this film, by using Black Thread on black background.

Jayant was married to 13 year old Kamarbano Sultan. His first son,Imtiaz khan was born on 15-10-42 and second son was born on 21-10-43. He was Amjad Khan (Gabbar singh of Sholay). As a child, Amjad khan was very frail and weak till his second year. Later in his youth, of course he expanded out of proportion. Jayant’s elder brother Jahangir Khan died suddenly in an accident. Jayant was very much attached to him. To forget the sorrow, Jayant started smoking and drinking. After he was out of Prakash Pictures, he was taken by Minerva for Sikander’s role. When Sohrab Modi saw him smoking and drinking on sets, he was summarily thrown out and the role went to Prithwiraj Kapoor, for whom it was a Milestone in his career.

Jayant worked in Aladdin, Laila, Bulbul e Baghdad, Mere saajan, Zewar and Dawat. He even went to Lahore to act in “Poonji” and “Shirin Farhad”. When Shirin Farhad became a resounding flop, Jayant stopped getting roles, but he never went to anyone to ask for roles. P N Arora went to Jayant’s house to sign him for Doli. After Partition, his finances became critical and he had to sell even family jewellery for his drinks. He acted in character roles in Amar ,Insaniyat, Madhumati, Maya, Memdidi, Son of India, Kabli Khan, Hakikat, Leader, Himalay ki God mein, Sangharsh, Do Raaste, Heer Ranjha, Mera Gaon Mera Desh etc. He worked in 105 films. Can you imagine Jayant singing ? Yes, he had sung a song in film State Express-1938, along with Sardar Akhtar.

Jayant was a family man. Till the end he had only one wife and he followed the rule to partake the dinner at home with all family members daily. He contracted Cancer, lost his voice in 1970. His last film was ‘Love and God’,which was released 11 years after his death.

Jayant died on 2-6-1975. ( Thanks to shri Harish Raghuvanshi ji, for Jayant’s profile in his Gujarati book ,Inhe na Bhulana ).

In the last few posts we have seen the brief history of 2 famous studios of yore – Imperial and New Theatres, Calcutta. today we will read the brief history of Prakash Pictures, Bombay.

The success story of the famous Prakash Pictures (1934 to 1971) is also a success and hard work story of two brothers-Vijay and Shankar Bhatt.

The sons of a railway guard, Vijay Bhatt, along with his elder brother and his lifelong partner, Shankar bhai Bhatt, shared a fascination for theatre and films.

The mid twenties brought them to Bombay, where Vijay Bhatt enrolled in St.Xavier’s college and studied upto Inter-Science. While Shankarbhai took up a job in a store selling readymade garments. In order to secure a steady, lucrative job, he obtained a Diploma in Electrical Lighting and Traction from the International Correspondence School, London. Quitting college, he joined the BEST and worked for 3 years rising to be an officer with the designation of Drawing Office Superintendent.

He quit his job after two months and both the brothers decided to take on the world of showbiz.

A flair for writing led him to get involved in a humble way as a storywriter.

It was Ardeshir Irani, the ‘Father of Indian Talkies’ and the maker of ‘Alam Ara’, who would show them the way. At that time, he was the managing director of The Royal Studios. He glanced through the stories, selected one of them and asked the brothers to meet the proprietor of the studio, Seth Aboo Hussein. ‘Show him the story and then come back to me. If it is all right for him, it is all right for me’ they were told.

The story was approved and Ardeshir Irani took it upon himself to teach Vijay Bhatt how to write Screenplay. Every evening after the day’s work and dinner, the Bhatt brothers would make their way to Majestic Cinema, built by Ardeshir Irani in 1918 in partnership with the exhibitor, Abdulaly Yusoofaly. Irani would be here every evening with his friends. And it was here that Vijay Bhatt scripted his very first screenplay, ‘Vidhika Vidhan’, which was made into a film by director K.P.Bhave.

Ardeshir Irani made two more films based on the stories of Bhatt brothers. They were ‘ Paani mein Aag’ and ‘ Ghulam’-1929, both of which were directed by Nagendra Muzumdar. Their third film featured a newly recruited actor from Peshavar, Prithviraj kapoor.

By now, Ardeshir Irani had founded his own Imperial Studios and drawn to it a host of artists and technicians. The Bhatt brothers too had gathered enough experience and ventured to make films on their own.They soon founded the Royal Film Co., in partnership with a cousin and the first film to be produced under this banner was Black Ghost. It starred Master Vithal and Madhuri and was photographed by V. M.Vyas. With Vijay Bhatt at the helm of the creative affairs and Shankarbhai in charge of the business aspect, they made seven silent films under the banner of The Royal Film Company in an open air studio in Juhu. Among them was ‘Heer Ranjha’, where Vijay Bhatt gave A.R. Kardar, a poster maker for foreign film distributors, his first acting assignment.

Then came the year of Talkies and the Bhatts too switched over to this new medium with ‘Alif Laila’-1933, which was based on an Arabian Nights story and made under the banner ofRoyal Cinetone. This was followed by 3 other talkies made under the banner of Kardar Studios. He then founded a film distribution concern, Royal Pictures Corporation, which acquired the distribution rights of ‘Sohni Mahiwal’ for North India for Rs. 11,000 – a sensational amount at that time. For, as he often used to say, “In those days, it cost just about Rs. 8000 to make a film 8 -9 thousand feet in length!”

By now Vijay Bhatt had evolved into a director to be reckoned with. It was time to set up his own production company. And Prakash Pictures was born. Prakash Studios was built in 1934 at Andheri. That time Andheri was an undeveloped suburb of Bombay and not many facilities like roads, Lights etc were available easily there. The place where the studio was to come up was a very big open area. Except for huge open grounds, there was one double storey bungalow. All offices were kept in that. The first film to be made there was the film ‘Actress’-1934 ( Bambai ki Mohini), written and produced by Vijay Bhatt.

After a few more stunt films, a shooting floor was constructed and they made ” Khwaab ki duniya” in 1937. In 1938 they made State Express, Passing show, Challenge and Top ka Gola etc. By that time their reserves for stars included Sardar Akhtar, Pramila, Ratnamala, Ranjana, Jayant, Umakant, Prem Adeeb etc. Harsukh Bhatt and Raja Nawathe were assistant directors. By making stunt films they made good money and completed the second shooting floor also with that money. The famed torch of Prakash Pictures continued to shine over decades and in all, 64 films were made in various Genres, in black and white as well as colour. Vijay Bhatt directed 23 films. He also wrote lyrics for the film Snehlata-1936.

Because of hectic activities in the studio and the traffic to the studio,that part of Andheri became developed with street lights, cement roads, Bus stops etc. Their next film Purnima-38 made excellent business. Bhatt brothers were impressed with Gandhi’s favourite bhajan ” Vaishnav jan to “. They made a film ‘ Narsi Bhagat’ in 1942 with Vishnupant Pagnis and Durga Khote. It ran so well that Prakash made ‘ Bharat Milap’ in Hindi and ( भरत भेट ) in Marathi. The tremendous success made them make ‘Ram Rajya’ ( again in Hindi and marathi) and Prakash became famous all over India, making name, fame and a lot of money.

From 1945 to 1948, Prakash faced a spate of flop films. Bhatta brothers kept silent for 4 years, renting its studio to other producers. Prakash was planning a Love story. Their friend Naushad suggested them Baiju Bawra. They made the film with less famous Bharat Bhushan and Meena Kumari. The film created Box office records.

Goonj uthi Shehnai-59, Hariyali aur Rasta-62 and Himalay ki God mein-65 did well but again few flop films…. Bhatt brothers decided to stop making films from 1971 and sold the studio and all the land.

Vijay Bhatt died on 17-10-1993 at Bombay. Vijay Bhatt played an important role in the careers of some major stars. He was the person who gave Mehzabeen (Meena kumari),the name Baby Meena. He also gave her the first major heroine’s role in Baiju Bawra-52.Till then she did roles in B and C grade films.
O K Dhar Kashmiri was given the name ” JEEWAN “,when he did Narad’s role in Bharat Milap. Later he did Narad’s role in over 100 films.
Suraiyya got her big singing role in Station master-42.
Manoj Kumar was made hero in Himalaya ki God mein-65

Today on that land many factories are erected. Few Housing societies and a Marriage Hall ” Vishal” came up too. Thus ended a glorious chapter of a film making studio called “Prakash Pictures”- a guarantee for wholesome entertainment ! (information for this article is used from vijaybhatt.com, and a book ” तीन भिंतींची दुनिया ” by Bhai Bhagat, with thanks and my notes.)

Today’s song is sung by Amirbai Karnataki (alongwith an unknown male voice, since identified as Sheetal Ghosh). With this song, film Sardar-1940 makes its Debut on this Blog.


Song- Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara (Sardaar)(1940) Singer- Amirbai Karnataki, Lyricist- Balam, MD- Shankar Rao Vyas
Amirbai Karnataki + Sheetal Ghosh

Lyrics

Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara aa aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara

bhakt ki naiyya ka sahaara
bhakt ki naiyya ka sahaara
andhon ka ujiyaara aa aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara

Bhagwaan bhajan pyara aa aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara

Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara aa aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara aa aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara

Pandav aur Prahlad ubaare
bhakt aajaa milte hain saare
Pandav aur Prahlad ubaare
bhakt aajaa milte hain saare
?? nahin hamaara aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara

Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara aa aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara

sakal vishw mein goonje hardam
Meera ka iktaara
sakal vishw mein goonje hardam
Meera ka iktaara
Bhaj Raam
Ghanshyam
gaaye baarambaar
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara

Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara aa aa
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara
Bhagwaan bhajan pyaara


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4813 Post No. : 16583

Today’s song is from an 84 year old film- Duniya Na Mane-1937.

The film is considered as a Landmark film in India and a major milestone for its director V. Shantaram. The film was made by Prabhat Film Company of Poona. In those days Prabhat was considered as one of the leading film companies, which gave meaningful yet entertaining films. Many of its films were based on Social evils like Child marriages, Dowry, life of Prostitutes in society etc.

Shanta Apte, Heroine of today’s film had a role of a rebellious bride who is forced to marry an old widower with grown up children. In her personal life alsoshe was a rebellion. In the beginning of her career, her Mentor was her elder brother Baburao Apte, who not only looted her money but also had a daughter from her- as per many sources.Later on after her death, Nayana Apte- a Marathi stage and stage actress of B grade, had announced openly that she was the daughter of Shanta Apte. Very soon, in her career, Shanta Apte had thrown her brother out of her life.

Another example of her fiery nature is when Baburao Patel of Film India Magazine wrote an objectionable comment about her, she entered forcefully in his cabin, with a cane and beat him in presence of his staff. Next day, baburao patel wrote about it in his magazine ! Prabhat film company which had supported her by giving her roles in 6 films for the beginning of her career, tried to punish her by not allowing her to work outside Prabhat and they were not giving her any work here also. Shanta Apte sat for a ” Fast unto Death” near the gates of the company, giving interviews to newspapers and magazines, till the management bowed to her and released her from their contract !

Film Duniya na mane-37 was a very successful film. In those days, there was a healthy competition between Calcutta’s New Theatres and Poona’s Prabhat. Both were giving good, clean and successful films. But there was a difference. In that period films directed by P.C.Barua were quite popular. Unfortunately, most of his initial films were Tragedy films wherein the hero used to die at the end. Starting with Devdas-1935 films came with tragic ends. Though these films fared well at the Box office, V.Shantaram was of the view that these films were making young people pessimistic. To counter this trend, Shanataram coined a slogan ” Life is for Living” and his films ended with this type of message. ( In the next decade, something like this happened to Dilip Kumar, when in most of his films during the late 40’s to the mid 50’s His film hero died in the end. In this case the audience was not affected. Dilip kumar himself was depressed psychologically so much that he had to consult a Psychiatrist from London! ).

The cast of the film Duniya na maane-37 (Kunku in Marathi) was Shanta Apte, Keshavrao Datey, Shakuntala Paranjpye, Raja Nene, Vasanti, Parshuram etc etc.

I wish to draw your attention to one actress here and she is SHAKUNTALA PARANJPYE. Hardly anyone knows about this lady. She was one of the highly qualified actresses from a very prestigious lineage. She had achieved many laurels before joining films and after leaving films. She was an actress, author, Politician, Film, TV and stage actor, Radio artiste and a lady educated in the U.K. She had worked internationally. She is probably the only film artiste to get Padma Bhushan and her daughter too got Padma Bhushan later on. I know of only one more film artiste in the film industry, who had done work at the International level, was an author, actor, director, writer and lyricist…Dewan Sharar.

Let us take a look at the life story, in brief, of Shakunatala Paranjpye.

Shakuntalā Parānjpye (17 January 1906 – 3 May 2000) was a writer and a prominent social worker. She was a member of Maharashtra Legislative Council during 1958–64, and was a nominated member of Indian Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) during 1964–70. In 1991, the Government of India awarded her the Padma Bhushan title in recognition of her pioneering work in the field of family planning since 1938.

Shakuntala Paranjpye was the daughter of Sir R.P.Paranjpye the first Indian to be Senior Wrangler at the University of Cambridge, an educationist, and India’s High Commissioner to Australia during 1944–1947.
Shakuntala studied for the Mathematical Tripos at Newnham College, Cambridge. She graduated there in 1929. She received a Diploma in Education from London University the next year.

Shakuntala worked in the 1930s with the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. In the same decade and in the 1940s,, she also acted in some Marathi and Hindi movies.

Shakuntala wrote many plays, sketches, and novels in Marathi. Some of her work was in English.

A Hindi children’s movie, Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bumbe Bo, which was based on a Marathi story by Shakuntala was released in 2003.

Shakuntala was married for a short time to a Russian painter, Youra Sleptzoff. She had a daughter, Sai Paranjpye, by him in 1938. Soon after Sai’s birth, she divorced Youra, and reared Sai in her own father’s household.
Sai Paranjpye is a noted Hindi movie director and screenwriter. She is known for her comedies and children’s movies. In 1991, the Government of India awarded her the Padma Bhushan title in recognition of her artistic talents.

She wrote many books. Some of them are….
1.Three years in Australia
2. Sense and Non sense
3. Kahi ambat kahi goad (Marathi)
4.Desh Videshichya Lok katha (Marathi)

She acted in 13 films- Sairandhri-33, Parth Kumar-34, Bhedi Rajkumar-34,Bhakta Prahlad-34, Typist Girl-35, Sone ka Shahar-35, Kali Waghan-35, Bahadur Beti-35, Duniya na maane-37, Sultana Chand Bibi-38, Jeevan Jyoti-38, Stree-38 and Paisa-41. She sang 9 songs in 4 films-Typist Girl,Sone ka shahar, Stree and Paisa.
Shanta Apte (23-11-1916 to 24-2-1964) worked in 22 films and she sang 84 songs in 20 films.She gave music to film-Main abla nahin hoon-1949.

The story of film duniya na mane-37 was……..

Neera [Marathi]/Nirmala [Hindi](Apte) is trapped into marrying the old widower Kakasaheb (Date). He is a progressive lawyer with a son and a daughter of Neera’s age. She refuses to consummate the union, claiming repeatedly that while suffering can be borne, injustice cannot. After facing many hurdles including an aunt (Vasishta), her mother-in-law, and a lascivious stepson Pandit[M]/Jugal[H] (Nene), her husband has a change of heart and magnanimously commits suicide, enjoining Neera to marry someone more suitable. The change occurs mainly through his widowed daughter Chitra[M]/Sushila[H] (Paranjpye, a noted social worker off screen) who provides a forcefully feminist movement in a speech to the young bride.

As many as six songs from “Duniya Na Maane”(1937) have been covered i the blog. Out of 12 songs in the movie, only seven songs are available.Here is the seventh song from “Duniya Na Maane”(1937). This song is sung by Vasanti. Munshi Aziz is the lyricist. Music is composed by Keshavrao Bhole.


Song-Bharat shobha mein hai sabse aala (Duniya Na Maane)(1937) Singer-Vasanti, Lyricist-Munshi Aziz, MD- Keshavrao Bhole

Lyrics

Bharat shobha mein hai sabse aala
har maheene mein rang niraala
Bharat shobha mein hai sabse aala
har maheene mein rang niraala
vasant mein rangraliyaan manaa ke
baishaakh bhi chala hanste hansaate
vasant mein rangraliyaan manaa ke
baishaakh bhi chala hanste hansaate
Bharat shobha mein hai sabse aala

har maheene mein rang niraala
ras bhara joban dharti pe jhoome
sooraj ?? se shobha ko choome
prem se kiran laga isi ne (?)
jeth ashaadh ke kitne maheene
bijli chamke baadal bhaage
dekh ke moran naachan laage
Bharat shobha mein hai sabse aala
har maheene mein rang niraala

saawan mein har mukh pe hansi thhi
Krishna janam ki man mein khushi thhi
?? ki paawan jhoola ke jhoola
baag hara bhara phoolon se phhoola
?? ki paawan jhoola ke jhoola
baag hara bhara phoolon se phhoola
Bharat shobha mein hai sabse aala aa aa aa
har maheene mein rang niraala
Bharat shobha mein hai sabse aala aa


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4804 Post No. : 16571

Today’s song is from a Saigal film- Zindagi-1940. The film was made by New Theatres, Calcutta.

At one time New Theatres (NT) was the most successful film production company in India. It was not only prestigious,but it also shaped up and discovered many artistes who made their marks in the Hindi film industry. New Theatres, Calcutta was one of the top 5 film companies in India – the others being Imperial, Prabhat, Ranjit and Bombay Talkies.

The rise and fall of the giant company was a glorious yet a sad chapter. Besides other factors, I feel the ego-conflicts and the obstinate and adamant behaviour of the people coupled with false prestige led the artistes to desert the company leading it to its end. Of course other reasons were equally responsible.

New Theatres operated from 1931 to 1955 and made 177 films, slightly more than Ranjit film co.-with 175 films. B.N.Sircar established New Theatres in Tollygunge, Calcutta on 10-2-1931, as a family concern, where all shares were held by the family members and He was the managing Director. Same year it built its studios in the same area. It had 3 fully equipped units for shooting, with the best technicians and musicians. Like other studios they had salaried staff in all departments, on a monthly basis. In this period there were other studios also in Calcutta, like Bharat Laxmi pictures, Devdutt films, East India Film company, Kali Films and Radha Film co.

Their first talkie film was in Bangla-Chandidas-32. For the North Indian market Hindi film Puran Bhagat-32 was made. NT had markets in East India, North, North west and South, but none in Bombay or western India. Sircar, along with I.A. Hafis ji, toured the unrepresented areas himself and appointed distributors in Madras, Madurai,Trichannapally,Erode, Bangalore, Poona, Bombay, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Kangra Valley and Lahore. Puran Bhagat-32 and Yahudi ki ladli-33 were distributed here.

NT became popular in Non Bangla areas due to its Music, which became their main strength. They popularised Robindra Sangeet, with songs by Pankaj Mullick. Miss Panna Rai ji, the first ever woman to do Ph.D in Indian Cinema, wrote on NT films without knowing Bangla language. WB, EB, Burma and Eastern states were their strongholds.

1940 was the Best year for the company with films Doctor, Zindagi and Nartaki. It was an year of beginning of the end also. The first to leave was director P.C.Barua. The Second World war gave a big jolt with the quota system for Raw film. NT was allowed only 6 films per year. Income reduced. Their monthly salary bill was 45000 rupees. Communal riots in 1946 and Partition in 1947 were great setbacks. Due to Partition, NT’s markets were shrunk and due to curfew, huge losses incurred. In the early 40’s many artistes left for Bombay.

By 1951, son Dilip Sircar said,” people left, finance lost, court cases. My father virtually closed the shop.” Liquidation of Calcutta National Bank, NT’s chief financer, was the last shock. The company was handed over to Arora Film company between June to December-1954. From Jan 55 to Aug 55, it was managed by Deluxe Film company. Then a Court Receiver was appointed. In Jan-56, NT was closed down. In Mar-62 NT went into liquidation. The Liquidation was revoked and NT revived by Dilip Sircar on 8-8-1991. However, no activity was seen except that a 5 part serial on NT was made.

B.N.SIRCAR-Birendranath Sircar( 5-7-1901 to 28-11-1980 ), was the son of Shri Nripendranath Sircar-a well known Jurist and a member of the Viceroy’s committee. B.N.Sircar was a Civil Engineer from U.K. who developed an interest in film making. He left his very lucrative job at Martin Burn and Co. in 1928-29 and made 2 silent films,under the banner of International Film Craft.These were Directed by his First colleague Premankur Atorthy. After testing the film market this way, he founded New Theatres.

NEW THEATRES ( NT ) was established by B.N. Sircar, on 10-2-1931,in Tollygunge, Calcutta. It had 3 studio floors for shooting. It had the best Technicians, the best actors and the best Musicians. He acquired the Tanar equipment and services of Wilfred Denis,imported from Hollywood by Ardeshir Irani. New Theatres attracted major Technical and creative talents from silent studios,which were on collapse now. Thus,”Indian Kinema” provided Directors Nitin Bose and Premankur Atorthy and stars Durgadas Bannerjee,Amar Mullick,Jiban Ganguly etc,” Barua Pics ” gave P.C.Barua and Sushil Mujumdar,” British Dominion Films ‘ gave Dhiren Ganguly etc.

B.N.Sircar was a firm believer that Cinema is a medium between a Novel and a Drama,so he depended upon Bangla famous literature for his films. The first Talkie of new Theatres, “Dena Paona”-31,was based on Sharat babu’s works. Though this film was a flop,he continued to depend upon novels by Sharat babu and Tagore to make his films.His first seven films were flops in a row. Their first big film was Chandidas-1934. New Theatres had many Directors on its payroll and used technological advances with recordist Mukul Bose.

From 1931 to 1955,NT produced 177 films, a Record unlikely to be broken in future by any single production house. The nearest rival was Ranjit studios, with 175 films produced. It is not that there was no competition in Bengal. In 1935,there were 14 production houses in Calcutta and in 1938, there were 18 of them, though some , like Madon Theatres, closed down sooner.

NT was mammoth, peopled by giants. Through the 30s and early 40s,NT had the biggest names in Indian cinema, on their payrolls. K L Saigal, Pahadi Sanyal, Jamuna Devi and Leela Desai were ‘discovered’ by NT. Others like P C Barua, Kanan Devi, Umashashi, Molina and Chandrabati emerged as stars at NT. Some like Durgadas Bandopadyaya and Prithviraj Kapoor had been stars before coming to NT. They had directors like Premankur Attorthy, Debaki Bose, Madhu Bose, D N Ganguly, Nitin Bose, Hiren Bose, R C Boral (only Bangla), Profulla Roy, Phani Mujumdar, Bimal Roy, Hemchandra Chunder, sound recordist Mukul Bose and Musical giants like R C Boral, Pankaj Mullick, Timir Baran and K C Dey.

B N Sircar was the Patriarch, the disciplinarian, who held them together like in a big family. NT had a veritable galaxy and clashes between the Titans were inevitable. NT had its own share of fallouts, peer rivalries, squabbles and scandals. Due to the stern and uncompromising nature of B N Sircar, the first to leave was Pramathesh Barua, then Nitin Bose, and Kanan Devi. There was that famous spat between Debki Bose and Nitin Bose on the sets of Meerabai-1933 itself and they stopped talking to each other. Add to this the heavy drinking of Saigal and Umashashi’s elopement with the heir of Shova bazar palace. Each of these has an independent story.

The political situation in Bengal after the WWII, i.e. 1945 also caused the journey of NT towards its downfall and eventual closure in 1956. If only B N Sircar had changed his attitude, NT would not have died so soon, at least not without a fight and not so tamely, in the face of the competition. The biggest bank of Bengal, which financed NT- The National bank also went into liquidation at the same time to add to their woes further.

Personally, I would not hold B N Sircar alone responsible for the decline of NT, which was Hindi cinema from Bengal itself in reality. Another very important factor was,while many stalwarts like Saigal, Prithviraj Kapoor, Kidar Sharma, R C Boral, etc made a beeline for Bombay, Hindi cinema music in Calcutta remained the same, where it was in 1931,without any change. On the other hand, Bombay had enriched its music by adapting to the changing times with a mix of music from Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Lahore and the south. The music of the 40s in Bombay had become Vibrant, whereas there was no change whatsoever in Bengal Hindi music. It kept on hankering on Robindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti. Maybe, the extreme variety of Regional pride of Bengal came in the way of adopting and adapting to the changes. (This Pride has, even Today, kept Bengal much behind the rest of India.) Thus Bombay became the undisputed capital of Hindi Cinema and Music.

New Theatres was established in 1931,as a family business, with B.N. Sircar as the Managing Director. Once NT started growing, the local regional pride almost forced Madan Theatres-belonging to a Parsee family from the western India-to pack up. By 1938,Madan Theatres had produced over 154 films-silent and Talkie. They made their last Talkie, ” Khatarnak Aurat”-1938 and the company closed down.

New Theatres had the Best actors, best Directors, Best composers and the very best Technical staff in India. They had 4 distinct strengths….

1. Right from the beginning, Bengal had an edge over Bombay and Lahore etc in that the Educated and Respectable family members did not hesitate to join the Film Industry in Bengal. In fact, over 90% of its people were educated-some of them even Foreign educated too. In this ,Bengal was very Progressive. On the contrary, the western centres of film making were confined to Courtesans, Tawayafs and uneducated run-aways in its film industry.

2. NT or the Bengali film industry had a very wide market spread out over the entire West and East Bengal, Bihar, orissa, Assam, the N-E states and Burma. Their Distribution network included Madras,Madurai,Erode,Trichannapally,Bangalore,Mysore,Poona,Bombay,Cawnpore(Kanpur),Kangra valley and Lahore circuits.

3.People who worked for NT were like a united family. Feelings of Goodwill and Happiness permeated the studio. Workers came in the morning and worked till it was finished. Discipline and adherence to deadlines and principles regulated their lives. projects were, therefore, completed always as planned and in time.
( Only Madras of the 40s and 50s came near this. Bombay and Lahore were exactly the opposite, where discipline and punctuality were never a Virtue (Tradition continues…)

4. Almost all films made in Bengal by NT or any other company, were based on either stories or dramas or Novels, by renowned authors from the East(read Bengal). Thus, the film’s story content was so solid that they did not need appendages of comedians or a CSP (comic side plot) or too many songs.
( IN other parts like Bombay and Lahore, studios had what was called “The Story Departments”, consisting of 4-5 writers, the owners, directors, who would work up a story in unison !)

NT popularised a new brand of Music.i.e. Rabindra Sangeet, which was hitherto confined to only Shantiniketan. With all this in place,NT was on its peak in 1940,when their slide started. One of their pillars P.C.Barua left NT. This was the beginning. Debki Bose left. Nitin Bose left after completing ‘Kashinath’ in 1943. Kanan Devi left to join Barua and Uma Shashi eloped with her lover.
Pankaj Mallick, though unhappy over the treatment meted out to him in NT, did not leave till the end. He did Bombay film music at Calcutta-like Kasturi or Zalzala etc. He always considered NT as his Alma Mater.
The ongoing II world war, the communal riots of 1946.the Partition of 1947 and the deteriorating civil conditions of Bengal (specially Calcutta),due to the influx of Refugees, broke NT completely. The Govt. had regulated supply of Raw Film, East Bengal market was lost totally, artistes left for Dhaka or Bombay…all this took NT to its end rapidly.

In such worsening conditions in 1944/45,Sircar tried to mend things by replacing the II and III level artistes to fill up gaps left by departed people. Thus, Bimal Roy, who was a Cinematographer and an Editor, got an opportunity to sit in the Director’s Chair. They made an ambitious film ” Udayer Pathe” -44. A Hindi version was made as ‘ Hamraahi”-45. It was Bimal Roy’s First brush with a Hindi Film Direction. Both versions were successful. But with major things remaining the same for years, without any changes, the house of New Theatres became a dilapidated, colourless, tattered big empty Palace. It’s sad to write about the fall of an Empire- a Giant !
(Article is based on information from “The glory that was New Theatres” by Sharmishtha Gooptu, ” सुंदर ती दुसरी दुनिया ” a Marathi book by Ambarish Mishra, The Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, with thanks, along with my old writings and my notes.)

Today we will know for the first time more about an artiste who was with NT from almost the beginning. The name is strange and uncommon-NEMO.

Nemo (Mirza Muhammad Begg) was born on 27th December 1903 at Calcutta. He passed his Senior Cambridge. One day he, along with some friends, visited New Theatres to see a film shooting. Mirza Muhammad Begg merely wanted to watch the shooting of ‘Yahoodi Ki Larki’ (1933) but, as luck would have it, his visit to the New Theatres studio in Calcutta led to a small role in the same film. The part was that of a Roman king and little did Begg know back then that he’d soon be turning to Latin to fish out a lasting identity.

A year later, he was invited by New Theatres’ founder B.N. Sircar to work as the production manager of ‘Karwan-e-Hayat’ (1935) and another chance role beckoned. A female actor who was supposed to play an old witch in the film failed to turn up for the shooting and Begg volunteered for the part. The make-up department stepped up to the challenge and Begg, unrecognisable in the get-up, did the job (and always considered it his best effort). What happened next is even more interesting. Once the film was ready, the makers felt apprehensive about revealing to the public that a man had played the witch’s role. Begg came up with a solution – a gender-ambiguous screen name for himself. And in a delightfully wacky move, he picked a name that means ‘nobody/nothing’ in Latin – ‘Nemo’.

The name stuck on and this was the beginning of Nemo’s steadfast association with New Theatres – one that resulted in a string of features like ‘Karodpati’, ‘Dushman’, ‘Doctor’ and ‘Zindagi’. He was Vidushak, the royal jester, in ‘Vidyapati’, a rigid but caring father in ‘Jawani Ki Reet’ and the devoted caretaker Dharamdas in P.C. Barua’s ‘Devdas’. These diverse characters earned him appreciation from audiences and critics alike. Further, the story of the Saigal hit ‘The President’ (1937) was based on his idea and he was duly credited for the same. Alongside his work in films, he also edited and published ‘Akkas’ – a very popular Urdu (and later, Urdu-English bilingual) film magazine in those days. Its surviving copies now serve as an important archive of the early talkies. His last film with New Theatres was Kashinath. When Calcutta was bombed by Japan in late 1942, Nemo migrated with his family to his ancestral hometown, Lucknow. He later went over to Bombay for a short while to work in Mazhar Khan’s ‘Pehli Nazar’ (1945), and then returned to Lucknow to settle into a life far removed from the studio lights.

In the middle of it all lies an extraordinary fact – at the time he entered the movies, M.M. Begg was a national billiards champion! He won the inaugural Indian Open Billiards Championship in 1931 and never left the game thereon, despite a busy and flourishing film career. He won the trophy again in 1937, and between the 2 wins, he was the runner-up thrice. Not to mention, he represented the country at international tournaments and also headed various administrative organisations related to the game. His contributions towards establishing and popularising billiards and snooker in India are widely mentioned, and always in glowing terms. He was also obsessed with Racing.

It was nearly a decade after ‘Pehli Nazar’ that Raj Kapoor managed to pull Nemo out of his sabbatical for 2 memorable final acts in ‘Shree 420’ and ‘Jagte Raho’. In both, Nemo played similar roles of manipulative, corrupt seths who hide their sinister designs behind a facade of respectability. If he was jittery about facing the camera after a long gap, it doesn’t show (unless Seth Sonachand’s trembling chin is not a mannerism 😄). He was particularly effective in ‘Shree 420’, where he puts on the most evil smile possible and hisses to Raj Kapoor, “Aap se mulaqaat ho gayi, is mein fayda hi fayda hai.” He also did 2 more films- Raja Vikram-57 and Naag Champa-58.

Nemo worked for 19 films of New Theatres and 4 others totalling 23 films in all. His Filmography – Yahudi ki ladki-33, Karwaan E Hayat-35, Devdas-35, Karodpati-36, Manzil-36, Vidyapati-37, Anath Ashram-37, President-37, Dushman-38, Dharati Mata-38, Abhagin-38, Jawani ki reet-39, Badi Didi-39, Zindagi-40, Haar Jeet-40, Doctor-40, Aandhi-40, Lagan-41, Saugandh-42, Shri 420-55, Jaagte Raho-56, Raja Vikram-57 and Naag Champa-55. It is believed that he died in Bombay on 18-8-1960.

Cinema, publishing, sports – Mirza Muhammad Begg distinguished himself in everything he touched. And chose to call himself NEMO – a nobody. ( based on information from Filmdom-1946, HFGK, muVyz and mainly an article by Yasir Abbasi, with thanks.)

Today’s song is sung by Aruna.


Song- Aaj mila hai bichhada saajan(Zindagi)(1940) Singer- Aruna, Lyricist- Kidar Sharma, MD- Pankaj Mullick

Lyrics

Aaj mila hai
Aaj mila hai ae
Aaj mila hai
bichhda saajan
aaj mila hai ae
Aaj mila hai
mre man ka
mere man ka
phool khila hai
Aaj mila hai
Aaj mila hai

jaag uthhi hai
aaj jawaani
yaad aayi hai
apni kahaani
jaag uthhi hai
aaj jawaani
yaad aayi hai
apni kahaani
apni kahaani
Aaj mila hai
Aaj mila hai

Aaj mila hai ae
Aaj mila hai
kaise koi dil mein aaya
kaise kuchh khoya
kuchh paaya
kaise koi dil mein aaya
kaise kuchh khoya
kuchh paaya
hamne
hamne jee ko khud banaaya
hamne jee ko khud banaaya
dil se dil ko ?? samjhaaya
Aaj mila hai ae
Aaj mila hai
mere man ka aa
mere man ka phool khila hai
bichhda saajan
bichhda saajan
aaj mila hai ae
aaj mila hai


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4800 Post No. : 16564 Movie Count :

4511

Today’s song is from an old film – actually a very old film, which is 84 years old – Dhanwan-aka Mazdoor ki beti-1937.

The film was made under the banner of the Imperial Film Company, Bombay and was shot in its studio. It was directed by Premankur Atorthy and the Music was by Harshchandra Bali or H.C.Bali. The cast of the film was Rattanbai, Jamshed ji, Hafisji, W.M.Khan and others. This was the last film made by the Imperial Film Company.

From 1913 to around 1945 upwards, it was strictly a period of Studio Culture. Names of Heroes and Heroines were less important than the name of the studio making the film During the Silent film era films used to be made within a span of a month or even less than that.Most films were shot during day time in the studios where there used to be no roof to its 4 walls, because they needed Sunlight for shooting. An improvement on this was a Glass Ceiling in Imperial studio to filter the strong sunlight in summer.

Studios used to employ people needed to make films, like Actors-M and F, Directors, MDs, Lyricists, Writers, Cinematographers etc on monthly basis pay. For big studios, the Pay-roll lists would have artistes and others in hundreds. Ranjit studio boasted to have more than 900 people on its monthly Pay list at one time. The Government had opened a Ration shop inside the studio premises for their families. Bombay Talkies had made Entertainment and play areas (like Tennis, Badminton courts etc) for use by its employees. Every studio used to have a Canteen for the workers and the other people. Prabhat had appointed some Extra actresses, who used to sweep, do Housekeeping and cook for the studio staff as well as work in small roles in the films, whenever needed.

While there were 20 film companies in Calcutta, at the same time in Bombay there were 31 film companies with studios ( as on today, there are just 13 film studios which are given on rent for shootings). Over a period, the studio system ended, every artiste became a Freelancer and studios remained only for renting out for shootings to independent producers. Films stopped being sold on studio names and actors and directors became the attraction for the audiences to see the films.

Studio system was one of the biggest factors in the evolving and development of the Indian film industry. From this onwards, I plan to write on different well known studios, in my future posts, whenever possible. Today we will know more about the Imperial Film Company. Being the first to make a Talkie film in Hindi, it deserves this honour !

Ardeshir Irani (5-12-1886 to 14-10-1969) built the Imperial Studio of the Imperial Film company, near Kennedy Bridge in Nana Chowk, Bombay, in 1922. At the same time he built another studio, near Chowpatty for Sagar Movietone. All the studios used to be without a roof. These were the days of Silent films.Most Stunt films were shot outdoors but others like Mythologicals were shot in the studios. Films made here were released in Irani’s own Majestic Theatre.

India’s first Talkie film ” Alam Ara” was made in 1931. There was a Processing lab also in the premises. Imperial made some Marathi films also like ‘ Rukmini Haran’ and ‘ Devki’ etc. Till 1937, Imperial was a leading studio. In 1937, Imperial made India’s First indegenous Colour film “ Kisan Kanya”. Irani had not spared any effort to make it technically superb. Unfortunately this film flopped leaving a heavy loan on Irani’s head. He first sold Sagar Studio and then some more land also. In 1938, Ardeshir irani mortgaged Imperial Studio to Kapurchand Mehta against a big sum, but could never redeem it again. Mehta later changed its name to ” Jyoti Studio” and started renting it to other companies for shootings. Some land was sold to Motor garages. After the death of Ardeshir Irani, his legal heir Shapurji looks after whatever land and buildings are left over.

In 1925, Ardeshir Irani founded Imperial Films ( Imperial studio, Imperial Film Company and Imperial Films are all different – legally), where he made sixty-two films. By the age of forty, Irani was an established filmmaker of Indian cinema. Ardeshir Irani became the father of talkie films with the release of his sound feature film, Alam Ara on 14 March 1931. Many of the films he produced were later made into talkie films with the same cast and crew. He is also credited with making the first Indian English feature film, Noor Jahan (1931). He completed his hat-trick of earning fame when he made the first colour feature film of India, Kisan Kanya (1937). His contribution does not end only with giving voice to the silent cinema and colour to black-and-white films. He gave a new courageous outlook to filmmaking in India and provided such a wide range of choice for stories in films that till date, there are films being made which have a theme relating to one of the one hundred fifty-eight films made by Irani.

In 1933, Irani produced and directed the first Persian talkie, Dokhtar-e-Lor. The script was written by Abdolhossein Sepanta who also acted in the film along with members of the local Parsi community.

Irani’s Imperial Films introduced a number of new actors to Indian Cinema, including Prithviraj Kapoor and Mehboob Khan. He also interfered with the medium. He produced Kalidas in Tamil on the sets of Alam Ara, with songs in Telugu. Also, Irani visited London, England for fifteen days to study sound recording and recorded the sounds of Alam Ara on the basis of this knowledge. In the process, he created a whole new trend unknowingly. In those days, outdoor shootings were shot in sunlight with the help of reflectors. However, the outdoor undesirable sounds were disturbing him so greatly that he shot the entire sequence in the studio under heavy lights. Thus, he began the trend of shooting under artificial light.

Imperial Films Company Est: 1926. Successor to the Majestic and Royal Art Film companies set up by Ardeshir Irani as a diversification of his exhibition interests in partnership with Esoofally, Mohammed Ali and Dawoodji Rangwala. Organised as a vertically integrated combine with its own exhibition infrastructure. Started following the decline of Kohinoor, it continued many of the latter’s Mohanlal Dave-inspired genres, often with the same stars and film-makers. Imperial became closely associated with the costumed historical genre launched with Anarkali (1928), shot and released almost overnight in direct competition to Charu Roy’s The Loves of a Mughal Prince (1928).

Irani also rushed out Alam Ara (1931), released as India’s first full talkie narrowly beating Madan Theatres’ Shirin Farhad (1931). Imperial was the first studio to shoot scenes at night (in Khwab-e- Hasti, 1929) using incandescent lamps. It owned India’s top silent star, Sulochana, and promoted her along with Zubeida, Jilloo and, for a while, the young Prithviraj Kapoor. This was perhaps the first major instance of a deliberate manufacturing of a star-cult as a marketing strategy.

Top Imperial film-makers include R.S. Choudhury, B.P. Mishra and Mohan Bhavnani, whose film-making set the house style, as did Nandlal Jaswantlal’s sound films. A fair number of the studio’s talkies were remakes of its own silent hits with Sulochana (Anarkali, 1928 & 1935), Wildcat of Bombay (1927) became Bambai Ki Billi (1936), etc. It made films in at least nine languages: Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Burmese, Malay, Pushtu and Urdu. The first Iranian sound film, Dukhtar-e-Lur (aka Dokhtare Lor Ya Irane Diruz Va Emruz, 1932) was also made here. Kisan Kanya (1937) by Gidwani was India’s first indigenously manufactured colour film, made with the Cinecolour process. When it closed in 1938, its economic and generic inheritance was continued by Sagar Movietone.

Film Kisan Kanya-1937 was famous as the First indigenously made colour film of India, made by Ardeshir Irani’s company- Imperial Film Company. Film pioneer Irani was the first to make an International Co-Production, with Italy, film Nala Damayanti- a silent film of 1920. Secondly, he had the honour of making and releasing India’s First Talkie Film ” Alam Ara-1931″. And with the film Kisan Kanya, he achieved a Hat Trick of ‘ First in India’ credit in film making.

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

Similarly, Irani studied why Prabhat’s first colour film ‘ Sairandhri-33″ failed technically and decided to do all technical processes in India, for his colour film Kisan Kanya-37. Thus his colour film came out much better than Prabhat’s film.”Irani perhaps was the world’s first multilingual film maker,having made forays into English, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Persian, Burmese, Indonesian and Pashto. He is credited with launching the Talkie era in countries like Burma, Indonesia and Iran. He made nearly 120 Talkies in a span of just 8 years. He was also the first to establish a colour laboratory imported from Hollywood.

Irani made one hundred fifty-eight films in a long and illustrious career of twenty-five years, between the First and Second World Wars. He made his last film, Pujari, in 1945, under the banner of Ardeshir M. Irani Productions ltd. The film was shot in Jyoti Studios, ironically ( it was his own Imperial studios earlier). Irani was not compelled to live like Dadasaheb Phalke for he realised that the war was a time not suitable for film business and therefore he suspended his film business during that time. He died on 14 October 1969 at the age of eighty-two, in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Noted film director Mehboob Khan had a little story about his connection with Imperial Film company. After the successful film Ek hi Raasta-39, Mehboob started work on Alibaba. He had made the beginning of his film career by acting in the silent film on Alibaba, at the Imperial film company. 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 C M 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 the 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 the first five months- had now become an acclaimed top class successful Director. Irani was proud of Mehboob. He gladly permitted him to shoot his entire film there. (Thanks to wikipedia, Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, The formative phase of Indian Cinema-Ashok Raj in Hero-I ,article by D.B.Samant, Shirish Kanekar, Bhai Bhagat’s book ‘ Teen bhintinchi Duniya ‘ (तीन भिंतींची दुनिया ) and my own notes. )

One of the names in the cast is peculiar- Jamshed ji. His full name was Jamshed ji Bairam ji, Khan Saheb. In some films, he was credited as Khan saheb also. He was born in Bombay in 1889 as a typical Parsee. He was one of the oldest and most experienced actors having worked with several directors and over 25 years of acting.

He started with Silent films like Pyari Mamta, Madhuri, Sohni Mahiwal, pooran Bhagat, Gulshan E Arab, Hoor E Baghdad and Indira. His first talkie films were Daulat ka nasha-31 and Noorjahan-31. He acted in about 50 films. His last known film was Andaz-1949.

Jamshed ji, also gave music to 3 films- Naya Zamana-35, Zaate Shareef-36 and Jagat kesari-37.

With today’s song by Rattanbai, film dhanwan-37 makes its Debut on this Blog.


Song-Tum bhi kitne raseele (Dhanwaan)(1937) Singer- Ratanbai, Lyricist- Not known, MD- H C Bali

Lyrics

aa
haay aa aa haay
haay haay
haa aa aa haay haaay

tum bhi kitne ae ae raseele
haa aa aa aa aa
tum bhi kitne raseele
bane baabu raaja
bane baabu raaja
aa aa aa
tum bhi kitne raseele
haan aan aan aan
khade morey dwaare
haan aan aan aan
khade morey dwaare
bane baabu raaja
bane baabu raaja
aa aa aa
tum bhi kitne raseele
haan aan aan aan
malmal ka kurta
makhmal ki jaackit
haan haan
makhmal ki jaackit
haan
malmal ka kurta
makhmal ki jaackit
haan haan
makhmal ki jaackit
Lucknow ka palla pahne
han aan aan aan
Lucknow ka palla pahne
pahne baabu raaja
pahne baabu raaja
aa aa aaa
tum bhi kitne raseele

pahne baabu raaja
pahne baabu raaja
aa aa aa
tum bhi kitne raseele
haan aan aan aan
sone ka kangana
chaandi ki jhaanjhar
haan
chaandi ki jhaanjhar
haan aan aan
sone ka kangana
chaandi ki jhaanjhar
haan
chaandi ki jhaanjhar
laaye kahaan se gahne
haan
laaye kahaan se gahne
gahne baabu raaja
gahne baabu raaja
aan aan
tum bhi kitne raseele
haan aan aan aan
tum bhi kitne raseele


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4786 Post No. : 16542 Movie Count :

4503

Today’s song is from the film Milaap-1937.

Consequent to this film, two more films were made with the same title – Milaap-1955 and Milaap-1972. Milaap-55 was the Debut film for Music Director N.Datta. There were some very good songs by Geeta Dutt and an excellent song by my favourite singer-Hemant Kumar…Ye baharon ka samaa…. Unfortunately this song was summarily removed from the film for whatever reasons best known to the producers. The lead pair was Dev Anand and Geeta Bali. Film Milaap-1972 was one of those ” also ran’ films, starring Shatrughna Sinha and Reena Roy. Music Director Brij Bhushan gave mediocre music- no memorable songs. It is difficult to assess today’s film on these lines, because only one song is available and we do not know anything else about this film. Writing on old films is like walking in the dark with a stick.As long as the stick does not touch anything, you do not know that there is something in your way.

The Indian film industry was worth 183 Billion rupees in the year 2020. However, it was below an expectation of 238 billion expected to grow at 11% over 2017 every year. Corona obviously played the villain.few people would know that the Hindi film industry had crossed the Hollywood business first time in the 60’s, but it went down again. however from 2007 onwards, we have always been ahead of american film industry turnover.

There is a major difference between Hollywood and Bollywood. There, a fixed amount every year is invested in documentation of the history of American Cinema, but in India, no such funds are allocated either by the industry or the Government. It is a very sorry state of affairs.

forget about the industry, even the common people are not aware of what old films are. When someone talks about old films, it is presumed that the talk is about old film songs. no one believes that there is much more beyond songs and music to old films. In this connection I would again quote what transpired between me and one of my old friends. he had settled down in the US for more than 30 years. Few years back, when he visited Bombay we met and this was the following discussion between us…

He – So, kya chal raha hai. You are retired now. How do you spend your time ?
Me – I write articles on old films.
he – OH,WOW ! Superb. Old films means old songs etc /
Me – Beyond that. About people working behind the camera, artistes, studios and such matters. I write specially on films from the 30’s to the 60’s.
He – Is it ? And so who reads them? I don’t think people are interested in such age-old matters.
Me – It is not true. There are many people who read these things.
He – So you must be making a lot of money.
Me – No. Money is not involved. It is all free. I do it for the love of old films.
He – Don’t waste your time on this Rubbish.

I got upset with his approach and I changed the topic. But I started thinking. As of today, the visitors to the Blog have grossed a figure of about 1,46,82,000 ( that’s close to 15 Million), which works out to about 3140 visitors per day on an average. Even if 10% of them read my articles, I have more than 9000 readers. I would be very happy with this. Forget my friend. There are always people who think differently. Their priorities in life never cross monetary boundaries. They miss out on Celestial pleasures one can have without money !

Coming back to film Milaap-1937, the film was made in Calcutta by Moti Mahal Theatres. It was directed by A.R.Kardar, who had come from Lahore, leaving his own production company and studio. from calcutta he shifted to Bombay and had his own bigger studio and company. This film’s music director was K.C.Dey ( he was the first blind MD. Later Ravindra Jain also was a blind MD). The Lyricist’s name is not known. The cast of the film was Prithviraj Kapoor, M.Ismail, Mazhar Khan, Yaqub,Bimla Kumari, Ram Pyari, Anis Khatun etc etc.

Actress Rampyari’s life story is interesting. Though from a singinging family(Tawaif) from Hyderabad, she was quite educated. Fluent in English and Urdu, besides Hindi and mother tongue Telugu, she used to reply in chaste English or Urdu to her fan’s letters. She is also one of the earliest film artistes who did programmes in other countries, in those days. Additionally, she became famous in Calcutta when there was a letter-war between her and the New Theatres. Local newspapers tastily published the correspondence. Let’s take a look at her Life.

Rampyari was from Low cast and profession, but was a highly polished and sophisticated actress in those days. Rampyari hailed from a Telugu family of highly skilled professional dancers and singers. She lived in Nagulchinta area of old Hyderabad city.

She was born on 27-8-1908. That year Hyderabad witnessed devastating floods.She was taught Urdu and English. Apart from her mother tongue Telugu she was also proficient in Marathi and Kannada. She was trained in Dancing and singing. In 1918, at the age of 10 years, she was taken to Madras by her aunt, who trained her in Bharatanatyam. After 4 years of rigorous training, she became the best dancer of Madras.

In 1926, a film producer from Kohinoor Film company, Bombay ,visiting Madras, saw her dancing and invited her to Bombay.It was the era of Silent movies. Her first film was Gunsundari, with Miss Gauhar and Raja Sandow. It was directed by Chandulal Shah and was released in 1927. Her supporting role as a dancer in the film was lauded by the audience. Next film Vile woman was also successful. She acted in more than 20 films as a Heroine and dancer and established her name as a seasoned actress of the 30s.

With the advent of Talkies, she easily switched over. She had no difficulty in delivering Urdu dialogues. In 1931, she acted in Paak Daman, Laila Majnu and Ghar ki laxmi, Gunsundari in 1934 and Azad Abla,Meethi Nazar and Hamlet in 1935.

Famous director Debki Bose from New Theatres, Calcutta invited her and signed up for ” Sunehra Sansar”-36 and Vidyapati-37, which was a mega hit. She had a big dispute with new Theatres and there was mudslinging through legal letters between her and the company, which called her ‘ a street singer ‘ who was helped by the company. She refuted their charges successfully. After this, she did few films in Calcutta with other companies. Her film Milap-37 was famous for being the first to show the prototype of a “vamp” in Indian Cinema. Rampyari was shown wearing “an off-shoulder dress” and using a cigarette-holder, with the intent of seducing the hero Prithwiraj Kapoor, the scene was later used by Raj Kapoor on Nadira in his film Shree 420 (1955) for the song “Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh”.

She toured the entire south India and gave dance performances in major cities. She became so famous that the Ceylon Labour Union invited her to Ceylon and presented her with Gold Mementos. She was greatly inspired by the acting of Sulochana aka Ruby Meyers and Miss Gauhar of Ranjit, with whom she acted in many films.

She shifted to Bombay permanently in the 30s. Her family also moved out of Hyderabad and came to Bombay. She had a large fan following in Hyderabad. She had a great fan mail too, which she replied in fluent Urdu and English. Later she got married and retired from films.

She acted in 30 films. Her last film was Dak bungla-47. She sang 14 songs in 8 films.

She died on 28-8-1970 at Bombay. There was no news in any paper.

Today’s song is sung by Akbar khan Peshawari. With this song, film Milaap-1937 will make its Debut on this Blog.


Song-Pila raha hai koi kuchh (Milaap)(1937) Singer- Akbar Khan Peshawari, Lyricist- Unknown, MD- K C Dey

Lyrics

aa aaa aa
Pila raha hai koi
kuchh lutf e mai
badha ke pila
aa aa aa aa
khuda ka waaste
saaqi ??
mila ke pilaa aa aa aa
pilaa saaqi ek ??
dheere dheere
chale jaane baaba
chale jaane baaba
?? dheere dheere

rahe ismein ??
?? yoon na thha ??
aa aa aa aa
rahe ismein ??
?? yoon na thha ??
aa aa aa
chala hai ?? dheere dheere
chala hai ?? dheere dheere

shab e gham meri ??
nabz ki chaal baaba
aa aa aa aa aa
shab e gham meri ??
nabz ki chaal baaba
aa aa aa aa
chale jaate koi
udhar dheere dheere
chale jaate koi
udhar dheere dheere

tahalta aa hua aa aa aa koi
aata hai maayoos
tahalta hua aa koi
aata hai maayoos
uthho sar se baandho
kafan dheere dheere
uthho sar se baandho
kafan dheere dheere


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular 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 :

4782 Post No. : 16535 Movie Count :

4499

Today’s song is from a film which is 86 years old- Pardesi Sainya-1935.

When I choose a film song for a post, there is always a thought behind it. Sometimes the cast consists of some actor who spilled over from the silent era and is on the verge of ending his career now. Sometimes the Director or the Music Director is absolutely unknown or a first timer on our Blog. Such and similar matters arouse my interest and I start gathering information about these people. Many times, I am the first person to write about that actor or director etc.

Not many people understand the importance of these things but from a Historical point of view, it is very important. Sometimes information of just one paragraph also has to be culled from half a dozen sources. perseverance and consistency are required to get such information. Even today’s film is one such film where some revealing names are there.

Film Pardesi Sainya alias My Darling aka Chaand ka Tukda-1935 was made by Gandharva Cinetone. In those days two names for a film was a common matter, but here there are 3 names. This was a company owned and floated by Baburao patel, before he started his famous Film Magazi8ne-” Film India”. Patel began this banner in the Silent Era and his first Directorial venture was a Silent film-” Kismat”-1931…the year India had entered the Talkie Era. His first Talkie film was Mahananda-33. Then came maharani-34, Bala Joban-34 and last in the first segment was Pardesi Sainya-35. The banner had a second segment after 9 years, with films Draupadi-44 and Gwalan-46, both to promote Susheela Rani- a Konkani good looking singer/dancer and a journalist of sorts. She failed in films, but joined Film India magazine as a Sub Editor, only to become a Sub-kuchh by marrying Baburao Patel !

The music was composed by one Dinkar Rao Amembal – a name hardly anybody has heard. Not only now but even in those days. later on he became famous is another thing. His elder brother A.Sunder Rao was a good Harmonium player and younger brother A Bhaskar Rao was already in the film line as a composer.

Collecting information about Dinkar Rao has been a tiring job and I had to take extra efforts.Finally I collated information on Dinkar Rao from several sources. I present here today, for the first time-as far as I know, information on Dinkarrao Amembal On any Blog discussing old films and music.

DINKAR RAO AMEMBAL AKA D’ AMEL…….Dinkar Rao was born on 24-9-1909 in Guwahati (Assam) in a CXhitrapur Saraswat Bramhin family of South Canara. The family was known as a Music loving family. He studied upto Matriculation in Ganapati High School at Mangalore. After that his family shifted to Bombay.

Dinkar was never trained in classical music by any expert. He had a sweet voice and he was self taught. He started his B.Sc. studies in Fergusson College, Poona. In the final year, he left studies and returned to Bombay. He joined Indian States Broadcasting company ( a precursor to All India Radio), as a singer and instrument player on contract basis in 1927. He was a Harmonium expert like his elder brother A.Sunder Rao- who had a Music career in south India. Dinkar Rao had master Krishnarao Phulambrikar as his Idol. After 1947, when Harmonium was banned in India by the Congress Government, he learnt Flute and Violin. He became an expert in Brass Flute.

In 1935, he started V.U.B. Orchestra. He used his name as D’Amel and broadcast several self made musical melodies on Radio. After establishment of All India Radio, his orchestra was taken over and became Akashvani Orchestra. In 1935, Dinkar Rao entered the film line.

As a Music Director he gave music to 3 films independently. They were Rangeela Nawab-35. In this film he did a small role and sang one song also. Then came Pardesi Sainya-35 and Bombshell-35, which he also directed. After 12 years, he gave music to film Beete Din along with another composer M.Rauf Osmania. His younger brother A.Bhaskar Rao was already a Music Director in Hindi films.

In 1936. Dinkar Rao was appointed Programme Director in the newly formed All India Radio, Bombay station, wherein he served till 1967. As a Director he worked with Shridhar parsekar, Alla Rakha Khan, Master Ibrahim etc etc. He was famous for creatively introducing several new popular musical programmes. While in All India Radio, he worked closely with the German Jew Walter Kauffmann, who is credited to be the inventor of the famous A.I.R. Signature tune, which is played before a Station starts on All India Radio.

He worked with many poets of Marathi and presented their songs. He served A.I.R. for 35 years including his earlier services. He was awarded by Music Research Academy of Calcutta. he was a devotee of Sufi Saint Ashraf Khan (this Sufi Saint was a Hindi film actor and singer. He had also been a popular actor on Gujarati stage dramas).

In later years Dinkar Rao became totally deaf in one year’s time. He died suddenly on 6-2-1990 at Bombay. ( I thank parrikar.org, kamath.com, Prakash Burde and Madhav Imarte for the above information.)

The cast of the film was Mubarak, Padma Devi, Shirin bano,Azurie, Raja pandit, Kamal Bhivandkar, Vaskar, nandu khote and many others. Actress padma devi was from Bengal and a spill over from the Silent Era into the Talkie films. She had a special relationship with Baburao patel. She used to move around in his magazine office at will in later times. When Susheela Ranitook over as a Sub Editor of the magazine initially and then as the ‘ Sub Kuchh’ of Patel, she cleverly cut off the association of padma Devi and baburao patel to have total control.

Raja pandit was an actor and a singer. His first film was Sati mahananda, then came Maharani-34, bala joban-34, Bhikaran-35 and Pardesi Sainya-35-his last film in Hindi. he sang songs in every film. After this he turned to marathi films and became a producer/Director. Kamal Bhivandkar did a child role in this film. She was about 12 years of age. She became friendly with Raja Pandit. Kamal became a popular big Heroine, with a new name Ratnamala and acted in big banner films in Hindi. Raja pandit and Ratnamala got married when she was hardly 16 year old. She continued to be a successful actress inb Hindi and later in Marathi films. Raja Pandit was a failed producer/director. After a few years they separated. They had a son-Jay Kumar, who died young, in an accident.

Shirin bano was the eldest sister of actress Poornima (Meher Bano). She acted in 18 films and then got married to director Nanabhai Bhatt. Mahest Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt are their sons. Nandu Khote was the father of Shubha khote- the bubbly actress of the 50’s and 60’s, in Hindi and Marathi films.

I have written short notes on these actors because their full details would have made this post unwieldy and very long, which normally readers avoid to read. I also dislike long posts. While there is no rule on the ideal length of a post, I try to remain within an average of 40 to 50 lines or near to it.

No information on the storyline or other details of this film. Today’s song is a duet of Shirin Bano and Raja Pandit. The Lyricist is not mentioned in HFGK, but the MD was Dinkar Rao Amembal.

With this song the film Pardesi Sainya-35 and the Music Director Dinkar Rao Amembal make their Debut on this Blog.


Song-Na chhedo mohe ro doongi Piyarwa (Pardesi Sainyya)(1935) Singers- Shirin Bano, Raja Pandit, Lyricist- Unknown, MD- Dinkar Rao Amembal

Lyrics

Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa

apni garaj kahat lahal
hamri baari munh phulaat
apni garaj kahat lahal
hamri baari munh phulaat
apni garaj kahat lahal
hamri baari munh phulaat
Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
Na chhedo mohe
ro doongi

aisa baanka naujawaan
kya hai koi doosra
aisa baanka naujawaan
kya hai koi doosra
aisa baanka naujawaan
kya hai koi doosra
mastaana deewaana
parwaana meri jaan
mastaana deewaana
parwaana meri jaan
mastaana deewaana
parwaana meri jaan

chhatiya dikhat
daani doobat
balma kaahe hansat jaat
chhatiya dikhat
daani doobat
balma kaahe hansat jaat
chhatiya dikhat
daani doobat
balma kaahe hansat jaat
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
Apni garaj kahat lahal
hamri baari munh phulaat
Apni garaj kahat lahal
hamri baari munh phulaat
Apni garaj kahat lahal
hamri baari munh phulaat
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi
piyarwa
na chhedo mohe
ro doongi


What is this blog all about

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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over THIRTEEN years. This blog has over 16600 song posts by now.

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

Important Announcement

(© 2008 - 2021) atulsongaday.me The content of this site is copyrighted and it may not be reproduced elsewhere without prior consent from the site/ author of the content.

Total number of songs posts discussed

16615

Number of movies covered in the blog

Movies with all their songs covered =1280
Total Number of movies covered=4520

Total visits so far

  • 14,800,333 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,943 other followers

Bookmark

Bookmark and Share

Category of songs

Current Visitors

Historical dates

Blog Start date: 19 july 2008

Active for more than 4000 days.

Archives

Stumble

visitors whereabouts

blogadda

blogcatalog

Music Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
%d bloggers like this: