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

Archive for the ‘Song of 1939’ Category


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 :

5000 Post No. : 16898

“Durga”(1939) was produced by Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai and directed by Franz Osten for Bombay Talkies, Bombay. The movie had Devika Rani, Rama Shukul, V H Desai, Mumtaz Ali, Peethawala, Saroj Borkar, Balwant singh, Lalita Deulkar etc in it.

“Durga”(1939) had ten songs in it. Two songs have been covered in the blog so far.

Here is the third song from “Durga”(1939) to appear in the blog.

Devika Rani is the singer. Lyrics are penned by Narendranath Tuli. Saraswati Devi is the music director.

Only the audio of this rare song is available. It is clear that the song was picturised on Devika Rani herself.

From the lyrics it is seen that the song is a “wedding” song. Whether it is a gudda gudiya wedding song or a real wedding song is not known, seeing that video of the song is not available.

Nevertheless, the fact that this song came to my notice just now and it is getting discussed today validates the oft made observation that some higher forces are overseeing this blog and it is these higher forces that often decide what songs are covered in this blog on what day. 🙂 The daughter of one of our regulars got married today and fate ordained that the blog celebrates the occasion with this song from the yore.

So we take this occasion to greet the recently wedded daughter of our regular contributor Avinash Scrapwala. We all wish Shivani and Jeegar a very happy, prosperous and long married life.


Song-Nanhi Bitiya Byaah Rachaaye (Durga) (1939) Singer-Devika Rani, Lyrics-Narendranath Tuli, MD-Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Nanhi bitiya byaah rachaaye
dulha chadh haathi par aaye
Nanhi bitiya byaah rachaaye
dulha chadh haathi par aaye
baaje dhol mridang
?? rah jaaye dang
baaje dhol mridang
?? rah jaaye dang
laal chunariya kesari choli
sheesh chadhe chandal aur roli
laal chunariya kesari choli
sheesh chadhe chandal aur roli
kumkum pushp ka phool
maang bhare sindoor
kumkum pushp ka phool
maang bhare sindoor

baapu aaye doli chadhaaye
naina chham chham neer bahaaye
baapu aaye doli chadhaaye
naina chham chham neer bahaaye
maa ko bhaari ??
ghar ko ??
nanhi bitiya byaah rachaaye
dulha chadh haathi par aaye
baaje dhol mridang
chhalakat ??


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 :

4899 Post No. : 16701

Songs from Artiste Name Films….Second Season….No. 10
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Today this series ends with a song from film Durga-1939. No prizes for guessing the name of the star of today’s post. Of course it is Durga Khote. Though she was not a part of this film, still I chose her, because lovers of old films know her too well, but as she ended her career almost 40 years ago, readers in the age group of 50-60 may not know her too well.

Film Durga – 1939 was made by Bombay Talkies, owned by Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai. The cast of the film Durga-39 consisted of Devika Rani, Rama Shukul, V H Desai, Mumtaz Ali, Peethawala, Saroj Borkar, Balwant singh, Lalita Deulkar etc. The film was directed by Franz Osten and the music was by Saraswati Devi. The year was 1939 and inits month of September, the World War started. It did affect Indian film industry too, but the effects were felt from 1940 onwards. In 1939, the industry was trying to free itself from the shackles of stage drama type music, an unnecessary stress on making films on Mythology and Folk tales and old styles of loud acting. New blood had flown in, replacing the spill over of silent movie actors and themes.

The year was 1939 and the British Government had declared war against Germany and Japan, as soon as the WW II began. All countries ruled by Britain were – willingly or unwillingly, drawn into the war efforts and its effects. The war began in the month of September and soon various restrictions came into operation – like rationing, blackouts, shortages etc. The film industry which was still under its development stage suffered. It also realised the importance of remaining united as one industry. However, all that came after 1 or 2 years. In 1939 there was not much effect seen on the film industry.

The industry had its own problems. In spite of the playback system in operation, their problem was that because there was no technique of recording from the film negative yet, the singers had to sing twice. Once for the actual film shooting of the song, and later, with the same set of orchestra, for commercial records. Sometimes, the original singer was not available due to any reason, some other singer had to sing for commercial records. Thus we have many such examples, where the singer in the film song and the record is different. However, this problem continued only till mid 50’s when the Tape and the required technique became available. With just one time recording, the film and commercial recording were taken care of.

Khemchand Prakash. K.Datta (Datta Koregaonkar), Rafiq Ghaznavi and Anupam Ghatak made their Debut as Music Directors. Kavi Pradeep wrote his first film song for film Kangan. In 1939, 2 most Unusual songs were presented, for the first time ( and this record is not yet broken even after more than 80 years.). One was a Multi-Lingual song from film Aadmi-39, a film by Prabhat….Kis liye kal ki baat. This song was in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Tamil and Telugu. ( In its Marathi film version-” माणूस “, this song was only in one language-Marathi.) Different Lyricists and MDs were used for each language. The song became very popular.

Second unusual song was from film ‘ Ghareeb ka Laal’-1939. The song lyrics had the names of 32 artistes, operating in Hindi films that time. Top Heroes and Heroines were mentioned in this song. The beginning of the song was ” Tuze Bibbo kahoon ya Sulochana, Uma shashi kahoon ki Jamuna “. This song was sung by the comedian Mirza Musharraf. In later years many songs with film artistes’ names came but none had so many names. Thus this record is still unbroken, in case of both songs.

Besides these songs, let us quickly take a look at some films of 1939….

Aadmi – Prabhat’s hit film, a remake of the Marathi film ” माणूस “. It had some good songs by Shanta Hublikar, Sundarabai Jadhav and Ram Marathe.

Adhuri Kahani – a trend of Tragedy films set by the effect of film ‘Devdas’. All the 3 main characters of this film commit suicide in the end.

Badi Didi – A New Theatres film.

Brandy ki Botal – Master Vinayak’s comedy remake of Marathi film ‘ ब्रॅंडीची बाटली ‘.

Dil hi to hai – Debut of Kidar Sharma as a Director and Ramola as a Heroine in a Hindi film.

Dushman – New Theatres’ film of Saigal, with only his 4 songs.

Ek hi Raasta – Sagar presents first film with 3 Heroes in one film.

Ghazi Salauddin – Debut of Khemchand Prakash as M.D.

Hukum ka Ikka – First film with a Triple role by Umakant Desai ( who later specialised as Lakshman in 7 films, including Ramrajya-43).

Imaandaar – Debut of actress Shamim Akhtar.

India in Africa – This was the First Hindi film to be shot abroad (in Africa). The Hero B. Nandrekar had also gone to Africa for its shooting. Naaz-54 was not the first such film, though HFGK mentions it so.( Ref – pp 69, Maharashtra-The Birthplace of Indian cinema by Isak Mujawar)

Kangan – First of the 4 Hit films of Ashok kumar and Leela Chitnis, made by Bombay Talkies. Kavi Pradeep’s Debut as a Lyricist in this film.

Kapal kundala – New Theatres. Pankaj mullick’s hit song ‘ Piya milan ko jaana ‘.

Leather Face – Debut of Meena kumari as a child artiste.

Navjeevan – Debut of Hansa Wadkar as a Heroine- Bombay Talkies film.

Pukar – Hit film from Minerva Movietone. Naseem Bano sings ” Zindagi ka saaz bhi kya saaz hai….”

As stated in the beginning, today’s star is Durga Khote. She was one of the most respected artistes from the early cinema. In her glorious and non-controversial career of over 50 years, she acted in 183 films and sang 35 songs in 14 early cinemas. At the end of her career, she wrote her autobiography in Marathi ” मी दुर्गा खोटे “, which was later translated into English by Shanta Gokhale. This book ( along with ” चंदेरी दुनियेत ” by Leela Chitnis ) is an authentic chronicle of Indian film industry development from infancy to adulthood, in addition to personal details.

Durga Khote (14 January 1905 − 22 September 1991) was one of the foremost leading ladies of her times, she remained active in Hindi and Marathi cinema, as well as theatre, for over 50 years, starring in 182 Hindi films and numerous theatre productions. In 2000, in a millennium issue, India Today named her among “100 People Who Shaped India”, noting: “Durga Khote marks the pioneering phase for women in Indian Cinema” as she was one of the first women from respectable families to enter the film industry, thus breaking a social taboo.

She also ranks among the top ten actresses in mother roles in Hindi cinema, most notable among them were as Jodhabai in K. Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam (1960); as Kaikeyi in Vijay Bhatt’s classic Bharat Milap (1942); her other memorable roles as mother were in Charnon Ki Dasi (1941); Mirza Ghalib; Bobby (1973) and Bidaai (1974). She has received the highest award in Indian cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1983), for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.

Khote was born as Vitha Lad, to a family which hailed from Goa and spoke Konkani at home. Her father’s name was Pandurang Shamrao Lad and her mother’s name was Manjulabai. She grew up in a large joint family in Kandewadi. She was educated at Cathedral High School and St. Xavier’s College where she studied for B.A. While still a college-going teenager, she married into the Khote family and settled down with her husband. By the age of 26, Durga Khote was a widowed mother with two young sons; Bakul and Harin. She had to seek work in film to support her children. In doing so, she became a pioneer of sorts: She hailed from a traditional family and the film industry was regarded as the preserve of the base and the bawdy. Also, most of the female characters were played by men at the time.

Durga Khote debuted in a minor role in the obscure 1931 Talkie film Farebi Jaal or trapped, by M. Bhavnani. She had to sing 3 songs also in this film. Followed by Maya Machindra (1932) by Prabhat Film company.. She was soon promoted to play heroine in the 1932 double version (Hindi and Marathi) Ayodhyecha Raja, another Prabhat film, which was the first ever Marathi talkie, and proved to be a runaway hit, where she played the role of Rani Taramati. Indeed, she ventured yet another pioneering trend: Despite working closely with the Prabhat Film Company, she broke away from the “studio system” (exclusive contract with a studio to work in its films on a monthly salary) then in vogue and became one of the first “freelance” artistes of that era by working occasionally with the New Theatres, East India Film Co. (both at Calcutta), and Prakash Pictures.

In 1936, she played Saudamini in Amar Jyoti, which is one of her most memorable roles. The characters played by her were very much like her regal personality and she commanded a screen presence even in front of legendary actors like Chandra Mohan, Sohrab Modi and Prithviraj Kapoor. In 1937, she produced and directed a film titled Saathi ( Sawangadi in Marathi), making her one of the first women to step into this role in Indian cinema. The 40s opened for her in a big way, with award-winning performances in Aacharya Atre’s Payachi Dasi (Marathi) and Charnon Ki Dasi (Hindi) (1941) and Vijay Bhatt’s classic Bharat Milap (1942), both of which got her the BFJA Best Actress Award for two consecutive years.

Durga Khote remained active in the theatre circuit for many years, especially the Marathi theatre in Mumbai. She was actively associated with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and worked in several plays for the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh. In 1954, she famously performed the role of Lady Macbeth in V.V. Shirwadkar’s Marathi adaptations of Macbeth, as Rajmukut, (The Royal Crown), along with Nanasaheb Phatak.

Durga Khote played a wide variety of roles over a career that was not only long, but also untouched by scandal. She was the inspiration for several generations of Indian actresses, including veterans such as the late Shobhna Samarth, who frequently spoke of how she had been inspired by Khote’s example. During later years, she played several important character roles, such as the mother of the protagonist. Her portrayal of Jodhabai, the queen of Akbar torn between duty towards her husband and love towards her son in Mughal-e-Azam (1960) was well received. In 1963, she acted in Merchant Ivory’s debut film The Householder (1963).

She went on to play other widely appreciated character roles in later movies, such as the role of the grandmother of the heroine in Bobby (1973), the hero’s aunt in Abhimaan (1973), and the very memorable Bidaai (1974), where she played a mother, a very sensitive role that can make one cry and received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. Her final memorable role was in Subhash Ghai’s Karz (1980), where she played the role of the mother of Raj Kiran and later, mother to Rishi Kapoor, who played the role of Raj Kiran’s reincarnation after the screen death of Raj Kiran in the movie.

She acted in 182 Hindi films in her career. Her last film as an actress was Daulat ka Dushman-1983. She had also sung 32 songs in 13 films. Her last song was in the film Panna Dai-1945. By the 1980s she successfully diversified into production of short films, ad films and documentaries by setting up Fact Films and later, Durga Khote Productions, which produced the Doordarshan TV series Wagle Ki Duniya.

Durga Khote was married when she was a teenager to Vishwanath Khote, a gentleman of her own caste and similar social background, in a match arranged by their parents in the usual Indian manner. It was a traditional marriage into an orthodox family, the couple lived a harmonious and happy life, and the marriage was blessed with two sons. Vishwanath was a mechanical engineer who had graduated from Banaras Hindu University. His family was upper middle class and professional, with modern English education and high social standing; his ancestors had been prominent bankers.

Unfortunately, Vishwanath Khote died young, when Durga was barely into her 20s. She and her sons continued to reside with her in-laws, as is traditional in India, but she was not comfortable with her dependent position, especially because her father-in-law was no more, and they were dependent on other family members for their expenses. She thus felt impelled to make a living any which way she could, and the opening in films happened entirely by chance. The fact that she came from a modern and English-educated family meant that, even as a widow, she was able to act in films, which was derided as a disreputable profession in those days.

She thus raised her two sons, Bakul and Harin, single-handedly. Both of them went on to become well-settled in life. But she suffered the loss of her son Harin, who predeceased her and died in his 40s. Harin was married to Vijaya Jaywant, and they were the parents of two sons. After Harin’s early death, his widow married a Parsi man named Farrokh Mehta and became famous as the film-maker Vijaya Mehta.

Durga Khote’s grandchildren (children of Bakul and Harin) include her grandson Ravi, a filmmaker; granddaughter Anjali Khote, an actress; and grandson Deven Khote, a successful producer who is one of the co-founders of UTV, and who has also directed a film. Deven Khote is noted for producing films such as Jodhaa Akbar and Life in a Metro.

Durga Khote’s brother-in-law, Nandu Khote (brother of Vishwanath), was a noted stage and silent movie actor. Two of Nandu’s children also became actors in the film industry. His son Viju Khote (1941-2019) was an actor perhaps best known for his role of “Kalia” in Sholay (1975). Nandu’s daughter is the actress Shubha Khote, who debuted in Seema (1955) and worked as a heroine in several films before moving to character roles. Still later, she moved to directing and producing Marathi films and also entered television in the 90s. Shubha’s daughter, Bhavana Balsavar, is also an award-winning TV actress who appeared in sitcoms like Dekh Bhai Dekh and Zabaan Sambhalke before deciding to settle down and raise a family. Thus, the acting profession which was pioneered by Durga Khote in her family has been fully embraced by her late husband’s family.

Later in life, Durga Khote wrote an autobiography in Marathi, entitled Mee, Durga Khote, which was translated into English as I, Durga Khote, and moved to Alibaug, near Mumbai. Durga Khote died in Mumbai on 22 September 1991. ( Thanks to her autobiography, wiki,muVyz and my notes.)

This ends my series on Artistes, on whose names film titles existed. This is of course only indicative and not exhaustive one. I wrote only on 20 such artistes, but still about 30+ such films are remaining, most of which are not available with their songs on the social media.

I had plans to revive some more old series again, but readers’ poor response does not motivate me to do so. Still, who knows…….


Song- Ab jaago Radha Rani (Durga)(1939) Singer- Balwant Singh, Lyricist- Narottam Vyas, MD-Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Ab jaago Radha Rani
Ab jaago Radha Rani

?? bhayi ab hua sawera
jage jagat ke praani
ab jaago Radha Rani

?? bhayi ab hua sawera
jage jagat ke praani
ab jaago Radha Rani
ab jaago Radha Rani

sapne mein ??
sapne mein ??
?? prem kahaani
sapne mein ??
?? prem kahaani
ab jaago Radha Rani
ab jaago Radha Rani

nadi kinaare Kaanh tumhaare
nadi kinaare Kaanh tumhaare
bhar bansi mein baani
nadi kinaare ?? tumhaare
bhar bansi mein baani
?? aaye ??
ab jaago Radha Rani

?? des mein ??
??
ab jaago Radha Rani
ab jaago Radha Rani


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 :

4883 Post No. : 16679

Songs from Artiste Name Films….Second Season….No. 4
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Today’s song is from the film Saadhana-1939, made by Sagar Movietone. The name Sadhana today, immediately brings to mind the face of the famous actress Sadhana, who debuted as a Heroine in the film “Love in Simla”-1960. Her lovely face and unique haircut- which was fashioned in the style of Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn, was carved in the minds of the audience in her heydays. Sadhana was a craze during the 60’s and early 70’s. In this period, according to one source, she was the highest paid Heroine in Hindi cinema.

However, we are not going to talk about that Sadhana, who was named after the famous dancer actress of the 40’s, from Bengal. We will talk about the original Sadhana…( the Bangla pronunciation Sadhona ), who made her Debut in Hindi films with the film ” Kumkum-The Dancer ” in 1940.

Sadhana Bose did not act in the film Sadhana-1939 made by Sagar. Her debut Hindi film was made by Sagar only, just one year later….. the film Kumkum-The Dancer-40. This was the only film she did for Sagar Movietone. Anyway, Sagar movietone itself got merged with National Studios in 1940. In those days Bangla artistes were reluctant to act in Hindi films because of their weakness in talking in Hindi language. Of course, there were some actors like Pankaj Mullik, Ashit Baran, K C Dey and a few others who did act in Hindi films. But their Bangla accent in speaking Hindi was unmistakable. ” Kumkum-The Dancer” was a Bi-lingual film in Hindi and Bangla. It had a Bengali cast and its director as well as Music Director were Bengalee.

Granddaughter of Brahmakesari Keshab Chandra Sen, Sadhona was born on 20-4-1914, in a prosperous Brahmo family and received education as was common with Brahmo girls of those days. Her father was Saral Chandra Sen and she was the second of his three daughters. Her elder sister Binita was married into a royal family of Chittagong (now Bangladesh)and settled into household life, while the youngest Nilina pursued a career in Indian Classical music and earned herself a position of eminence and was known in record circles as Naina Devi.

Sadhona married Madhu Bose, film maker working in Bengal, British India, at a young age, and joined the Calcutta Art Players, a theatrical company owned by husband Modhu Bose and took part as heroine in the plays produced by the unit. Later on Sadhona joined films and played Marjina in Alibaba (1937), made in Bengali under the banner of Bharata Lakshmi Pictures. This film was a runaway hit and is remembered well by film enthusiasts. Modhu Bose had earlier directed a number of films but he tasted real success with Alibaba. For Sadhona this film meant a permanent place in the history of Bengali films. This was followed by Abhinoy (Bengali-1938), another major success for the couple.

They migrated to Bombay and again created history with the immensely popular Kumkum (1940), made in two languages, Hindi and Bengali and thereafter went on to create the first triple version (English, Bengali, Hindi) film of India, Rajnartaki (1941). Sadhona did come back to Calcutta for a double version Bengali movie Meenakshi (1942)with the handsome Jyoti Prakash as the hero. Going back to Bombay soon after the completion of this film where she starred in major films like Shankar Parvati, Vishkanya, Paigham, For Ladies Only, Bhola Shankar and Shin shinaki Boobla Boo.She also sang 7 songs in 2 films, namely Paigham and Shankar Parvati- both in 1943. She firmly established herself as a heroine in her own right without the backing of husband Modhu Bose.

In fact they had fallen quite apart by the mid forties and most unfortunately Sadhona started living much too abandoned a life heavily engaged in drinks,parties and men and slowly lost her carefully earned position. She came back to calcutta after a reconciliation with Modhu Bose but had by this time lost her magic hold over the audiences and acted in films again directed by her husband like Shesher Kabita and Maa O Chhele, without remarkable success.

Sadhona was a dancer in the first place and all her film successes were in dancing roles, although she was also a very fine actress and sang her own songs in some of her films including her first Alibaba.With film offers becoming too infrequent, she formed a dance troupe of her own and made all India tours with plays like Wither now, Hunger and others and met with success again as she was bound to be as a personality trained in dancing. She passed into oblivion slowly.

Even in retired life she could not part with the bottle and without any income worth the name she found herself in the most difficult conditions financially. Modhu bose was ill and it was difficult to get treatment for him. She lost her husband in 1969 and had no money to sustain herself and thereafter came the greatest tragic period of her life when she had to resort to begging in the streets, in and around Park Street of calcutta. It was during this phase of her life that passers by and street walkers came across an old lady, looking distinguished, dressed in clothes that were expensive at one time but now showing the wear and tear asking for help. Some recognised her and gave her enough to go on for some days while some others gave her a rude rebuff. She took all that with a smile.

Sadhana Bose was responsible for the names of at least 2 actresses in Bombay.

Actress Sadhana Shivdasani’s mother was very much impressed with the dancing skills of Sadhana Bose. She was her fan and saw her films repeatedly. When she was carrying for Sadhana, she had decided that if she gets a girl, her name would be Sadhana only. Thus Bombay Sadhana got the Calcutta Sadhana’s name.
Secondly, actress/Dancer Kumkum’s real name was Zebunnisa. When she was selected by Director Shahid Lateef, for his film Sheesha-1952, first time for Debut, there was already an actress Zebunnisa existing. What’s more, this Zebunnisa was also in the film Sheesha-52, so Shaheed was thinking of a new name for the newcomer. He remembered that his favourite Sadhana Bose had acted in a film by the name ‘Kumkum-the Dancer”-1940, so he selected the name Kumkum for this new Dancer and Kumkum got her name.

After Sadhona stopped her dance films as a Heroine, she resumed her work as a Choreographer. In the early 50s, she choreographed in films like Bhola shankar-51, Nandkishore-51, Shinshinaki Boobla Boo-52. She used to do bit roles too in these films to earn money.

Just before her death she got appointed as dance trainer in Calcutta’s prestigious Star Theatre, courtesy her one time boy friend Timir Baran. She trained junior artistes for the play Janapad Badhu and once again her name featured in the newspapers in the advertisements of the play. However, the end had come very near and she passed away on 3-10-1973. A very tragic and unfortunate way indeed for an all India star who at a time had captured the heart and imagination of millions. It is very sad that she died in penury and neglect, but artistes in the 40s and 50s-many of them- had similar stories. (Based on an article by Dr.J.P.Guha, ‘Nayika’ by Babu Moshai, muVyz, HFGK with thanks and my notes).

Film Sadhana-1939 was quite a successful film and its songs also were popular. The MD was Anupam Ghatak, whose name may not be even heard by the new generation readers, because he died in 1947 itself. The music Director Anupam Ghatak – the second-generation Bengali-Hindi composer (after Rai Chand Boral and Pankaj Mullick) was born on 4-12-1911 at Mymensingh(now in Bangladesh). He took music lessons from father Atul Ghatak and Keshav ganesh Dhekan. He became an excellent Flautist. After a short stint in AIR,as a singer in 1930, he joined as asst. to Bishen Chand Boral (brother of Raichand Boral) and later to R C Boral himself for Vidyapati-1937

First independent film score: Payer Dhulo. Later worked at Sagar Film in Bombay, composing Zia Sarhadi’s Bhole Bhale and a series of films for Badami, Luhar et al. (1939). Returned to Calcutta, notably for Barua’s Shapmukti; thereafter had assignments in both Calcutta and Lahore. Known for his wide range, from the sentimental Ekti paisa dao go babu in Shape Mukti to the experimental Gane mor kon indradhanu in Agni Pareeksha.

His Hindi film career started with ‘Tarzan ki Beti’-38 and Bhole Bhale-39. He gave music to only 17 Hindi films,which included Ladies Only, Service Ltd., Sadhana, Uski tamanna, Civil marriage, Sri ramanuj etc. In Lahore he did Champa, Badnami and Shalimar, before Partition. His other films as MD were, Khush Naseeb-46, Aai bahar-46, faisla-47, Aisa Kyun-47 and Banjare-48. He had also sung 4 songs in his first film Tarzan ki beti-1938. His last Hindi film was Shamsheer, which was released only in 1953,after he died on 5-2-1947 itself.

The story of film Sadhana-1939 was ……

Ganesh kaka was a renowned judge .people from his and surrounding villages used to come to solve their disputes. His widowed sister’s son Yogesh studied in a Bombay college.He loved his village but he loved more Sadhana, the moneylender’s daughter.Ramesh the Mukhiya’s son also loved her.The moneylender is pressurised by the Mukhiya to declare the marriage of Sadhana and Ramesh.Sadhan’s mother does not like it as she too favours Yogesh.Ganesh kaka is also helpless.

Few days prior to the marriage, an unwed mother Prema comes to Ganesh kaka, with a complaint that Ramesh is the father of her child. On enquiries, it is proved that the culprit is Ramesh only. Ganesh kaka pronounces his verdict-Prema and Ramesh and Sadhana and Yogesh should get married in the same Mandap.

Today’s song is sung by Prem Adeeb. This was his second film with Shobhana Samarth. The first was Industrial India-1938, They worked in total 13 films together as lead pair. They had become famous all over India, after they had done the roles of Shri Ram and Seeta in films like Bharat Milap-42 and Ram Rajya-43.


Song- Prem yog ab karna yogi (Saadhna)(1939) Singer- Prem Adib, Lyricist- Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi, MD- Anupam Ghatak

Lyrics

Prem yog ab karna yogi
Prem yog ab karna
sab kuchh sahna
kuchh mat kehna
sab kuchh sahna
kuchh mat kehna
ankhiyan tum na chhalakna yogi
ankhiyan tum na chhalakna yogi
Prem yog ab karna yogi
Prem yog ab karna

sab kuchh sahna
kuchh mat kehna
sab kuchh sahna
kuchh mat kehna
ankhiyan tum na chhalakna yogi
ankhiyan tum na chhalakna yogi
Prem yog ab karna yogi
Prem yog ab karna

yaad kiyaa thha ab tak jisko
ab se yaad na karna yogi
ab se yaad na karna
yaad kiyaa thha ab tak jisko
ab se yaad na karna yogi
ab se yaad na karna

yogi
jo kuchh bhi ?? bhool mujhse
yogi
yogi
?? kisi ki bhool ??
sab kuch khatm samajhna yogi
sab kuch khatm samajhna yogi
Prem yog ab karna yogi
Prem yog ab karna


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 :

4717 Post No. : 16425 Movie Count :

4462

Today’s song is from a film called Daughters of India-1939. The film was made by Super Pictures, Bombay. It was directed by V M Vyas and the Music Director was Pt. Ram Gopal Pandey. Twelve songs of this film were written by Munshi A. Shah ‘Aziz’. The cast of the film was Khursheed, Ashiq Hussain,Radha Devi, Vimla Devi, Shah Ali, Leela etc.etc.

Film’s Hero Ashiq Hussain hailed from U.P. He was a Handsome person. He could act and also sing reasonably well. He was selected by Jaddanbai as a side Hero in her first film “Talash E Haq”-1935, wherein, her own daughter Nargis also made a Debut as a Child Artiste with the name Baby Rani. Jaddanbai was in the female lead opposite Yaqub, who also hailed from a Tawayef family. Ashiq hussain acted in all the 5 films made by jaddanbai, namely Madame fashion-36, Hriday manthan-36, Moti ka Haar and Jeevan Swapna-37- all directed by her. Ashiq hussain acted in 25 films. His last film was ‘ Utho Jaago”-1947, in which he was cast opposite actress Shahzadi. She was also the producer of the film. After the film was released, Ashiq Hussain married Shahzadi and they both migrated to Pakistan.

I do not know what was the story of the film Daughters of india-39. I had seen an advertisement of this film in Film India magazine, wherein they said ” after Mother India-38, another social film “. However I found that both films were made by different banners and different Directors too. The Music Director was the same.

I have heard 3 songs from the film Daughters of india-39 and frankly I was disillusioned. The songs are so drab and have almost the same style and same tune-with slight variation. I also happened to listen to some songs from other films of Ram Gopal pandey, like Kisan kanya-37 and mother india. They are so unmusical. No wonder Ram Gopal got only C grade action and stunt films.

Music Director Ram Gopal Pande was variously credited as R G Pande, Ram Gopal, Ram Gopal Pandey etc. He hailed from U.P. After trying to become a singer unsuccessfully, he became assistant to many well known composers and learned the methods.

His first break came in 1936 with ‘ Matwali Jogan’ aka A girl from Lahore. Then he was called by the Imperial film company for its first colour film Kisan Kanya-37. Master Nisar and Padma Devi’s songs became popular, so he was given two more films- Mere Laal-37 and Vasant Bangalee-38.

Then came Mother india-38, Actress kyon bani-39, Flying Rani-39, Perfect man-38, Daughters of India-39 and Chalti Duniya-40. He was then connected with Mohan Pictures. He did other movies like Tatar ka chor-40, Deepak Mahal-40, Captain Kishore-40, Jadui Bandhan-41, Shahzadi-41, Bulbul E Baghdad-41, Bandukwali-44, Hoor E Jungle-46, Baghdad ka Chor-46, Arab ka chand-46, Ali Baba-46.

His last film seems to be Angoorbala-47. He was left behind as his music was stage and drama type only. He did not change the style either. In all he gave music to 22 films and composed 203 songs. None of his songs are remembered today. No other information is available on him.

Even the director of this film was V M Vyas who specialised in films of low budgets and C grade films generally. Vishnukumar Maganlal Vyas was born on 4-11-1905 in Ahmedabad. He started his career in 1927 as a Cinematographer. His company, Sunrise films, was started in 1941. He produced and directed 30 Hindi ( 3 Silent and 27 Talkie films) and many Gujarati films . He died on 24-1-1962 at Bombay. Vyas was a very hardworking person and a man of ‘ never say die ‘ spirit. He was disciplined and did not tolerate any nonsense. He was also known as a very miser. Being a Vaishnav, his stars would get only vegetarian food during shootings. If they wanted Non Veg food, they had to pay for it.

His first Talkie film was Saubhagya Lakshmi-34 and the last was Naag Devta-81.

Famous writer Manto has described in his book an incident about Noorjehan and V.M.Vyas.

At the time of film Naukar-43, the pair of Shaukat Hussain and Nur jehan troubled Vyas to no end. Not attending the shoots on time, asking for extra money on some pretext or the other and in general giving trouble and mental torture to Vyas were common. Not only this, additionally Nur jehan and Shaukat used to take interesting property materials from the sets to their house-like furniture, decorative vase, cupboards etc. Vyas kept quiet till the film was complete.

Once the film was completed and released, he registered an F.I.R against both of them for stealing studio equipment. To utter dishonour of Noor jehan, a police raid was made on her residence and all the furniture, tables, decorative pieces etc. , which she had taken from the sets were confiscated and the court fined her also.

Thus Vyas did not keep quiet when it was his turn and taught a lesson to Noor jehan and Shaukat Hussain, for troubling him.

After listening to songs of early era films made in Bombay, no wonder the film songs from Calcutta films became more popular. It must have been a breath of fresh air to the audience.

This song was given to me by Shri Abhay Jain jee (US) and it was uploaded by Sadanand Kamath jee for me. I thank both.
With this song, the film Daughters of India-39 makes its debut on the Blog.


Song-Tum ho sajni meri tamanna(Daughters of India)(1939) Singers- Ashiq Hussain, Khursheed Bano, Lyricist-Munshi A Shah ‘ Aziz’, MD- Pandit Ram Gopal Pandey
Both

Lyrics

Tum ho o sajni meri tamanna
sajni ee meri tamanna
tum ho saajan mera sahaara
tum ho saajan mera sahaara

aao nayi ek duniya basaa kar
aao nayi ek duniya basaa kar
us mein prem ka baag lagaayen
hum roothhen aen
tum hamko manaao

tum roothho ham tumko manaayen
tum roothho ham tumko manaayen

jahaan sadiyaan haan jahaan sadiyaan
jahaan sadiyaan
jahaan sadiyaan khil khil jaati hon
jahaan prem ki neenden aati hon
haan

jahaan koyal boley koo koo koo
jahaan ?? boley choon choon choon
prem badariya chhaayi ho sajni ee
barse amrit dhaara aa aa
prem badariya chhaayi ho sajni ee
barse amrit dhaara aa
tum ho
tum ho
tum ho o o


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

Blog Day :

4655 Post No. : 16322

Today’s song is from the film “Mera Haque aka In search of Happiness”. This was made by Master Vinayak’s Huns Pictures, Bombay. Directed by Parshwanath Alatekar, it had music by D.P.Korgaonkar , popularly known to us as K.Datta. The story writer and lyricist was Pt. Anand kumar. This film was a remake of Marathi hit film ” सुखाचा शोध ”. The common cast of the film was Baburao Pendharkar, Minakshi, Damuanna Malwankar, Vimal Sardesai, Usha Mantri, Dinkar Rao alias Dada Salvi, V S Jog, Shanta Thaker etc etc.

In the early era of the cinema there was a trend to make films in 2 languages – Local and Hindi. Therefore most films made by Marathi filmmakers at Bombay, Poona and Kolhapur were made in Marathi and Hindi. The consideration was only commercial.Local language for local audience and Hindi for All India market. Similarly, in the South too Bilinguals were made. However here the languages were Tamil and Telugu. The other two Language films Malayalam and Kannada started a bit late. Some films, however, were made even in 3 languages or sometimes dubbed in other languages. Hindi films from south started quite late,in 1948, with Chandralekha made by S S Vasan. After its success, for the next 8 to 10 years southern bilinguals were made in Local and Hindi languages.

Even in Calcutta, films were made in Bangla and Hindi, with the same commercial angle. In Calcutta, some Hindi films too were made by film companies other than New Theatres. This trend of Bilinguals from Calcutta was a regular feature since 1935 for about 15 years – longer than south or Marathi films.

One feature of these Bilinguals was that Local language actors appeared in the Hindi version. For Marathi actors, speaking dialogues in Hindi was not much of a problem, so many such local actors worked in Hindi versions. Comparatively, southern and Bangla actors found it difficult to speak Hindi, so less number of local artistes appeared in Bilinguals. many times their dialogues had to be dubbed by some other artiste.

From Marathi, one such local popular artiste was Damuanna Malvankar. His full name was Damodar Rajaram Malvankar. He was born in a poor Bramhin family at Nippani (near kolhapur) on 8-3-1893. He had only the basic education. In those days, there were no films, but stage dramas were very popular. Getting a job as an actor was easy. Damu had a natural squint and he skillfully used it as his best weapon.

At the age of 15 or so, he joined Keshav Rao Datey’s theatrical company ” Maharashtra Natak mandali”. He used to get only comedy roles. After a few years, he joined Deenanath Mangeshkar’s ” Balwant Sangeet Mandali’. When Talkie films started, he joined cinema along with director Vishram Bedekar. He did films with master Vinayak and Acharya Atre.

Like all others, he too worked in the Hindi versions of Marathi’s successful films. In all, he acted in 11 Hindi films. They were Krishnarjun Yuddha-34, Andheri Duniya-36, Bramhachary-38, Mera Haque-39, Ghar ki Rani-40, Amrit-41, Sangam-41, Badi Maa-45, Jeevan yatra -46, Subhadra-46 and Main tera Hoon-47.

Damuanna was a very popular comedy actor in Marathi films. He worked in over 50 Marathi films. At one time he used to get more than double of what the Hero of the film used to get for his role. His most famous film role was that of ” Chimanrao” a fictional character in Marathi literature. His companion used to be ‘ Gundyabhau” acted by V.S.Jog. This comedy pair was a household name during their peak time.

His only daughter Bharati Malavankar was a Heroine in Marathi films. Damuanna had very cordial family relations with the Mangeshkar family, from the days he had worked for Deenanath’s drama company, when all these children were too young. This culminated in Hridaynath Mangeshkar marrying Bharathi Malvankar. This comedian, Damuanna Malavankar died on 14-5-1975.

The other Marathi actor in this film and the singer of today’s song is Vimal Sardesai. The lead actress Vimal Sardesai hailed from the Konkan area and started her film career as baby Vimal. She acted in only 7 Hindi films. Her first film was Saathi-38. This was the Hindi version of Marathi film Savangadi-38, starring Durga khote and Mubarak Merchant. Her second film was Mera haq-39. It was her first film as a Heroine. This too was a Hindi version of Marathi film ‘ Sukhacha Shodh”. Then came Narsi Bhjagat-40 made by Prakash pictures, Alakh Niranjan-40 was a Hindi version of Marathi film Gorakhnath-40, Apna Ghar-42 was a Hindi version of Marathi film Aaple Ghar-40- directed by Debaki Bose, his first film in Bombay, Wadia’s Shobha-42 and her last film was Mahatma Vidur-43, a Hindi version of Marathi film of the same name. This was also the last film of Parshwanath Altekar the director.
After this film Vimal Sardesai was traceless. Probably she got married and left films.

The story writer and the Lyricist of this film was Pt. Anand Kumar. Pt.Anand Kumar was born in Delhi in 1907. He was a producer, director, writer and Lyricist. From childhood, he was not interested in studies in English medium. He was taught Urdu, Hindi and Sanskrit by his poor Brahmin Shastri father. When he was 15 year old, he entered a business. He was always discontented. He wanted to become an actor, but family resisted. He tried fasting and even suicide. Then he stole some money and ran to Bombay. He could not get into any studio and after money finished, he returned to Delhi, only to take more money and run to Bombay again. Even after this failure, he went back to Delhi and started writing stories.

His first book ‘Mera Huq‘ became a hot seller and he started earning money. He was invited by film people and he went to Bombay nth time. He wrote stories, dialogues and Lyrics of scores of films and earned name and money. He produced a film ‘Zameen’-43, under his own banner Anand Brothers. He directed 5 films,including a Hit marathi film, Gora Kumbhar-42. Some of his films as a Lyricist were Suvarn Mandir-34,Katle aam-35, Pratibha-37, Divorce-38, Saathi-38, Alakh Niranjan-40, Punarmilan-40, Charnon ki Dasi-41, Raja Rani-42 etc. As a writer some films were, Divorce-38, Honhaar-36, Saathi-38, Vasant sena-42, Rang mahal-48 etc etc.

Now let us enjoy the song by Vimal Sardesai.


Song-Jhun jhun jhun jhun baje jhunjhuna (Mera Haque)(1939) Singer- Vimal Sardesai, Lyricist-Pt. Anand Kumar, MD- D P Korgaonkar

Lyrics

Jhun jhun jhun jhun baje jhunjhuna
sun sun bhanvra Naache ae
Jhun jhun jhun jhun baje jhunjhuna
sun sun bhanvra Naache
bole pihu pihu ke bol
bole pihu pihu ke bol
bhanvra pihu pihu ke bol
bhanvra pihu pihu ke bol
Jhun jhun jhun jhun baje jhunjhuna
sun sun bhanvra Naache ae
sun sun bhanvra Naache
naache
sun sun bhanvra Naache ae ae
sun sun bhanvra Naache
naache
sun sun bhanvra Naache ae ae

??
aisi baani bol
??
aisi baani bol
?? se
?? se
leke nindiyaa ghol
leke nindiyaa ghol
bhanvra
aisi baani bol
bhanvra
aisi baani bol
Jhun jhun jhun jhun baje jhunjhuna
sun sun bhanvra Naache ae
Jhun jhun jhun jhun baje jhunjhuna
sun sun bhanvra Naache ae


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

Blog Day :

4652 Post No. : 16317

Today’s song is from a ‘not so famous’ film from New Theatres – which had been making popular and musical films for the last few years. The song belongs to the film ” Sapera aka The Snake Charmer”-1939. The song was written by Kidar Sharma and the music was by R C Boral-The Doyen of Film music in India. The film was directed by Debaki Bose and the cast was Nawab, Kanan Devi, Pahadi Sanyal,Prithviraj Kapoor, K C Dey, Menaka Devi and others.

Today’s song is sung by Kanan Devi. I have memories that I first heard her singing “Toofan Mail” from the film Jawab-42, sometime in the end of the 40s, when I was about 10 year old. We had a “Phono” (Gramophone) with a lot of records in 2-3 Record boxes. My father was fond of Pankaj Mullick songs, so we had many records of his film and non-film songs. Also Saigal songs, but I only remember vividly the song of Kanan Devi-Toofan mail, ye duniya hai Toofan mail. Later on, as I grew older, other film songs took over, but even today, whenever I hear this song, I get a nostalgic feeling. That was the magic of her singing !

Kanan Devi is a true example of “Rags to Riches” story. She rose from a very low level, but ended up with earning all the honours and respect a successful artiste can have ! When I first read her autobiography-‘ My Homage to all’, tears came to my eyes. Famous film writer late Pran Neville called her “an unlettered slum girl, who rose to become a much sought after social celebrity”. She did not know who her father was, she faced a failed love affair and a broken marriage, but won over all these things to become the winner.

If one sees the history of early cinema in Bengal, about 70% of the cine artistes (in all departments of filmmaking) were educated and from well to do families. Some were foreign returned, some were very rich and very few came from low level. Kanan was an example. In her childhood, she faced days when she had nowhere to go, but in the end, she led the way to other strugglers.

Kanan Devi, the melody queen and superstar of the 1930s and 40s, was a remarkable personality. An epitome of beauty, glamour and grace and the recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1976), Kanan’s life story (1916-1992) transcends that of Eliza Doolittle in “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady”. Her memoir “Sabare Ami Nami” (I pay my respect to everyone) provides a fascinating account of her transformation from an unlettered slum girl into a much sought after social celebrity. The most astounding aspect of her persona was her grit, determination and courage which led her to attain the pinnacle of fame and glory and thus become a legend and an institution in her lifetime.

Kanan was born on 22 April 1916 in Howrah, West Bengal. In her autobiography, entitled ” My Homage to all”, Kanan has observed that those she considered as her parents were Ratan Chandra Das and Rajobala, who lived together. After the death of her adoptive father, Ratan Chandra Das, young Kanan and Rajobala were simply left to fend for themselves. Her life story is a true tale of rags to riches. Some say she did her schooling (not completed) from Howrah’s St. Agnes’ Convent School.

A well wisher, Tulsi Banerji, whom she called Kaka babu, introduced Kanan when she was only ten to Madan Theatres/Jyoti Studios, where she was cast in a small role in Jaidev (1926), followed by Shankaracharya in 1927. She was known as Kanan Bala.

By now, she was known as a good singer. By 1929, she was recording several songs. In this year, Kanan Bala met handsome Hiren Bose and a new chapter in her life seemed to be blooming. Hiren Bose was highly educated and had earned titles of “Vidya Bhushan” and “Sangeet Ratna”. In the years 1928 to 1932, Hiren had joined HMV as a Music Director. Here he became a close friend of Kazi Nazrul Islam and Dhiren Das. Both Kazi and Hiren wrote lyrics for songs in HMV .

Around 1929,a new , young and attractive singer came to HMV. Her name was KANAN BALA. She came to record songs. Soon the handsome Hiren cast his spell on Kanan and she started considering him as her mentor in HMV. They were a quartet of friends, Kanan, Hiren, Kazi and Dhiren. In HMV Kanan recorded many songs set to tune or written by Hiren Bose. In 1932,this team left HMV, on the issue of Royalty and joined the newly formed Megaphone Recording company. Here too after 2 years, this team left Megaphone and joined Columbia recording company. By 1934,Hiren wrote in his autobiography- JATI SMAR (My memories)-later that he had lost interest in Kananbala. She was broken-hearted.

Kanan did at least five films with Madan Theatres productions, (1926–1932) Rishir Prem (1931), Jorebarat (1931), Vishnu Maya (1932) and Prahlad, playing even male leads in the last two. She then worked with Radha Films from 1933 to 1936, then with New Theatres from 1937 to 1941, with MP Productions 1942 to 1948 and finally set up her own label Shrimati Pictures, 1949 to 1965.

From silent film roles as a child artist, Kanan made the successful transition into talkie films and was noticed with Jorebarat (1931), Manomoyee Girls School, Khooni Kaun and Maa (1934).

Her films with Jyotish Bannerjee included Joydev (1926), Rishir Prem (1931), Jorebarat (1931), Vishnumaya (1932), Kantahaar (1935) and Manomoyee Girls School (1935). Her films with Prafulla Ghosh were Sree Gouranga (1933), Char Darvesh (1933), Maa (1934) and Hari Bhakti. Others with Radha Film Company were Kanthahar (1935), Krishna Sudama (1936), Bishabriksha (1936) and Char Darvesh (1933).

New Theatres’s P.C. Barua wanted her to play the lead in his Devdas (1935), but, due to contractual reasons with Radha, she could not act in the film, a factor she regretted all her life.

The films of New Theatres, owned by Biren Sircar, established her as a superhit singer and her films ran to packed audiences. She had to travel under constant protection, given her huge fan following. During her years with New Theatres, Calcutta from 1937, she played the lead in Barua’s Mukti (1937), which was perhaps her finest performance, making her the studio’s top star. Apart from Mukti, she did Vidyapati, Saathi (1938), Street Singer (1938), Sapera (1939), Jawani Ki Reet (1939), Parajay (1939), Abhinetri (1940), Lagan (1941), Parichay (1941) and Jawab (1942). She became known as Kanan Devi from this point.

She came in contact with the music maestro Rai Chand Boral, who not only coached and familiarized her in the Hindi accent, but experimented with many classical Western and Indian forms in his music. She received her initial musical training under Alla Rakha. She was employed as a singer at the Megaphone Gramophone Company, receiving further training under Bhishmadev Chatterjee. She later learnt Rabindra Sangeet under Anadi Dastidar. Kanan remained the top star of New Theatres until she resigned her contract in 1941 and began to freelance in Bengali and Hindi films.

She worked with the biggest names in Indian cinema with K. L. Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, Pramathesh Barua, Pahari Sanyal, Chabi Biswas and Ashok Kumar.

M.P. Productions’ Jawaab was perhaps her biggest hit. Her song Duniya Yeh Duniya, Hai Toofan Mail was well received. She repeated the same feat in Hospital (1943), Banphool (1945) and Rajlakshmi (1946). Kanan Devi’s last Hindi film was Chandrashekhar (1948), with Ashok Kumar. In all, she worked in 20 Hindi films. She also sang 86 songs in 16 Hindi films.

In 1947, she went abroad to educate herself with the goings on in the western world of cinema. She was glad to visit Hollywood and meet legends like Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Robert Taylor and others. On her return she resumed her professional career and worked in some films before setting up her own Shrimati Productions. Kanan turned producer with Shrimati Pictures in 1949 and later launched the Sabyasachi Collective with the film Ananya (1949). Her own productions were mainly based on the stories of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay.

Kanan married Ashok Maitra in December 1940. He was the son of the staunch Brahmo Samaj educationist Heramba Chandra Maitra. Despite their best intentions, the marriage could not withstand the severe condemnation by the then conservative society. Even the poet Rabindranath Tagore, who sent a token gift to the married couple received scathing criticism for blessing the couple. The main issue was that Kanan was not expected to be working in films after her marriage. She filed for divorce in 1945. Despite the pain of the divorce, Kanan expressed her immense gratitude towards her first husband for giving her social recognition through marriage for the first time in her life. To Kanan’s credit, she maintained excellent relations with Rani Mahalanobis, sister to Ashok Maitra and her husband, the famous social scientist P.C. Mahalanobis and with Kusumkumari Devi, Ashok Maitra’s mother, even after the marriage was severed.

Kanan married Haridas Bhattacharjee around 1949. Haridas Bhattacharjee was then ADC to the Governor of Bengal. He eventually left the naval service to join Kanan in her filmmaking venture and became a competent director. While raising their son Siddharth in Calcutta, she also formed and worked as the president of Mahila Shilpi Mahal, an organization to help senior female artists and other charitable and community causes, including those for the betterment of Bengali cinema.

It was quite an uphill task for Kanan Bala to transform herself into Kanan Devi in those days when women liberation was unheard of. She had to struggle and with her strong determination and independent personality, she virtually forced the society to shower their respect and esteem on her when she became a celebrity in her own right. In her old age, she fondly remembered her days at New Theatres, full of joy and laughter. She was deeply impressed with K.L. Saigal and had the greatest regard for him.

Kanan Devi virtually stopped singing after 1947. Her last concert was at the India House in London when she was invited by Shri Krishna Menon, the High Commissioner, to perform on 15th August 1947. She mentioned it as the greatest moment in her life as a singer. Kanan inspired a whole generation of later day singers, the foremost being Lata Mangeshkar. She lived a full life both as an artiste as well as a woman. A great devotee of Lord Krishna, during her last years she spent most of her time in worshipping her lord and reading Geeta for her self-realisation and inner peace.

Kanan Devi, as the first lady of the Bengali screen, received many honours for her contribution to Indian cinema. An honorary degree from Vishwabharati, the Padma Shree in 1968 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1976.

She died on 17 July 1992 in Bellevue Clinic, Calcutta when she was around seventy-six years of age. ( based on some information from Wiki, an article by Pran Neville, book ‘ My homage to all’ by Kanan Devi, muVyz, and my notes, with thanks.)

In the film’s cast the name Menaka Devi appears. She is a part of Same Name Confusion, as another Menaka was also active at the same time. Luckily this was from Calcutta and the other one was from Bombay. However, by working in Bombay films and Calcutta films, both Menakas did create enough confusion. Let us know more about this Manaka Devi- Calcuttewali.

Menaka Devi was born in Varanasi on 23-1-1921. Her mother was a resident of the holy city although her father was from Bengal. She studied upto Matriculation. She could speak fluent English and Hindi, but not much of Bangla, having been raised in Varanasi. Her interest in music and dance took her to Bombay where she starred in a couple of films like Prince Thaksen (1929), Uttara Abhimanyu, Ishwar Ki Maut and others as a child artiste. When the Talkie started she acted and sang in Bhedi Rajkumar-34, Pyara Dushman-35 and Krishna Shishtai – 35.

Reportedly, she met the legendary film director Debaki Bose of Bengal during a train journey and he was so impressed by her that he decided to cast her in the lead role of his next venture in the Hindi version of the bilingual Sonar Sansar (1936 in Bangla and Sunehra Sansar-36 in Hindi) and thus began the illustrious career of Menaka Devi.

Her devotion to work was such that she learnt Bengali, her mother tongue although she was anything but fluent in it having spent all her life till then outside Bengal, so that she could play the same role (that of Alka) in the Bengali version also. Dhiraj Bhattacharya was her first hero on the screen. P.C.Barua, who was on the lookout for a young and fresh face to play Jharna in his forthcoming production Mukti (1937) selected her for both the versions ( Bangla and Hindi) and a flow started whereby she starred in films like Adhikar (1939), Abhigyan (1938), Bardidi (1939 in Bangla and Badi Didi in Hindi), Rajat Jayanti (1940) and others.

She decided to try her luck in Bombay around 1944 and starred in a few films there and definitely made her presence felt although playing the second lead most of the time. Kishore Sahu procured her services for Hamari Duniya (1952). She was married to Pannalal Shrivastav and had 1 daughter ( Jaya Ganguly). She turned producer also and this proved her undoing. Both her films as producer, Apna na Huye Apne (No information of this film,probably incomplete) and Jeene Do-48, both starring herself with prominent Bombay stars flopped.

She returned to Calcutta a broken woman and found to her dismay that roles were not coming to her. She joined the MG Enterprise, a drama group of Molina Devi and performed on the stage to continue to live as an actress. She even arranged magic shows along with husband Pannalal Srivastava while small roles came pouring in films like Ekti Raat (1956) and others. The feature that strikes even today while seeing her performance is the spontaneous nature of her acting. Why good roles eluded her is a mystery. She was last seen on the screen in Bhombal Sardar (1983). In all, she acted in 60 films-Bangla and Hindi together.

Her end came on 22-1- 2004 after a prolonged fight not only against poor health but also poverty. Her death was reported only in one Bengali daily although her death news received good coverage on television.

Filmography- Only Hindi
——————————–

Title Place of production Comments
Bhedi Rajkumar-34 in Bombay Acted and sang 1 solo
Pyara Dushman-35 Acted and sang 2 solos
Krishna Shishtai-35 Acted and sang 2 solos
Sunehra Sansar-36 in Calcutta Acted and sang 1 solo
Mukti-37 Acted and sang 1 solo
Abhagin-38 Acted
Badi Didi-39
Sapera-39
Mahakavi Kalidas-42
Shrikrishna Arjun yuddha-45 Bombay Acted
Shravan Kumar-46
1857-46
Chitod Vijay-47
Jeene Do-48 ”( produced also)
Hamari Duniya-52
Do Bigha Zamin-53 Calcutta

Now that we have seen the life stories of Kanan Devi and Menaka Devi-Calcutta Wali, let us enjoy the song from the film Sapera-1939.


Song-Morey ghar aao saajan re (Sapera)(1939) Singer- Kanan Devi, Lyricist- Kidar Sharma, MD- R C Boral

Lyrics

Morey ghar aao sajan re
ae morey pyaare sajan
Morey ghar aao sajan re
ae morey pyaare sajan
roop ki bagiyaa
baras(?) rahi hai
roop ki bagiyaa
baras(?) rahi hai
man ki maina chahak rahi hai
haan aan aan aan
man ki maina chahak rahi hai
ae morey pyaare sajan
Morey ghar aao sajan re
ae morey pyaare sajan
Morey ghar aao sajan re

leti hai angdaiyaan
piyaa aa
aa aa aa aa aa
leti hai angdaiyaan
pi ee
sooni hai hirday ki basti ee
sooni hai hirday ki basti ee
aao ab aan baso re
ae morey pyaare sajan
aao ab aan baso re
ae morey pyaare sajan
Morey ghar aao sajan

leti hai angdaiyaan
piyaa aa aa aa
aa aa aa
leti hai angdaiyaan
pi ee
sooni hai hirday ki basti ee
aao ab aan baso re
ae morey pyaare sajan
Morey ghar aao sajan re
ae morey pyaare sajan
Morey ghar aao sajan re


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

Blog Day :

4642 Post No. : 16304 Movie Count :

4429

Today’s song is a duet from film Uski Tamanna aka Her last desire-39. Have you ever heard about this film ? I have also never known this film. But then, barring a few well known, successful film names, one really does not know any other film names in a specific year. Majority of films are like this only.

The year was 1939 and the British Government had declared war against Germany and japan, as soon as the WW II began. All countries ruled by Britain were – willingly or unwillingly, drawn into the war efforts and its effects. The war began in the month of September and soon various restrictions came into operation – like rationing, blackouts, shortages etc. The film industry which was still under its development stage suffered. It also realised the importance of remaining united as one industry. However, all that came after 1 or 2 years. In 1939 there was not much effect seen on the film industry.

The industry had its own problems. In spite of the playback system in operation, their problem was that because there was no technique of recording from the film negative yet, the singers had to sing twice. Once for the actual film shooting of the song, and later, with the same set of orchestra, for commercial records. Sometimes, the original singer was not available due to any reason, some other singer had to sing for commercial records. Thus we have many such examples, where the singer in the film song and the record is different. However, this problem continued only till mid 50’s when the Tape and the required technique became available. With just one time recording, the film and commercial recording were taken care of.

Khemchand Prakash. K.Datta (Datta Koregaonkar), Rafiq Ghaznavi and Anupam Ghatak made their Debut as Music Directors. Kavi Pradeep wrote his first film song for film Kangan. In 1939, 2 most Unusual songs were presented, for the first time ( and this record is not yet broken even after more than 80 years.). One was a Multi-Lingual song from film Aadmi-39, a film by Prabhat….Kis liye kal ki baat. This song was in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Tamil and Telugu. ( In its Marathi film version-” माणूस “, this song was only in one language-Marathi.) Different Lyricists and MDs were used for each language. The song became very popular.

Second unusual song was from film ‘ Ghareeb ka Laal’-1939. The song lyrics had the names of 32 artistes, operating in Hindi films that time. Top Heroes and Heroines were mentioned in this song. The beginning of the song was ” Tuze Bibbo kahoon ya Sulochana, Uma shashi kahoon ki Jamuna “. This song was sung by the comedian Mirza Musharraf. In later years many songs with film artistes’ names came but none had so many names. Thus this record is still unbroken, in case of both songs.

Besides these songs, let us quickly take a look at some films of 1939….

Aadmi – Prabhat’s hit film, a remake of the Marathi film ” माणूस “. It had some good songs by Shanta Hublikar, Sundarabai Jadhav and Ram Marathe.

Adhuri Kahani – a trend of Tragedy films set by the effect of film ‘Devdas’. All the 3 main characters of this film commit suicide in the end.

Badi Didi – A New Theatres film.

Brandy ki Botal – Master Vinayak’s comedy remake of Marathi film ‘ ब्रॅंडीची बाटली ‘.

Dil hi to hai – Debut of Kidar Sharma as a Director and Ramola as a Heroine in a Hindi film.

Dushman – New Theatres’ film of Saigal, with only his 4 songs.

Ek hi Raasta – Sagar presents first film with 3 Heroes in one film.

Ghazi Salauddin – Debut of Khemchand Prakash as M.D.

Hukum ka Ikka – First film with a Triple role by Umakant Desai ( who later specialised as Lakshman in 7 films, including Ramrajya-43).

Imaandaar – Debut of actress Shamim Akhtar.

India in Africa – This was the First Hindi film to be shot abroad (in Africa). The Hero B. Nandrekar had also gone to Africa for its shooting. Naaz-54 was not the first such film, though HFGK mentions it so.( Ref – pp 69, Maharashtra-The Birthplace of Indian cinema by Isak Mujawar)

Kangan – First of the 4 Hit films of Ashok kumar and Leela Chitnis, made by Bombay Talkies. Kavi Pradeep’s Debut as a Lyricist in this film.

Kapal kundala – New Theatres. Pankaj mullick’s hit song ‘ Piya milan ko jaana ‘.

Leather Face – Debut of Meena kumari as a child artiste.

Navjeevan – Debut of Hansa Wadkar as a Heroine- Bombay Talkies film.

Pukar – Hit film from Minerva Movietone. Naseem Bano sings ” Zindagi ka saaz bhi kya saaz hai….”

Film Uski Tamanna aka Her last desire-1939 was directed by Yakub and the music was by Anupam Ghatak. he was employed by Sagar movietone and gave music to its 6 films.he was one artiste who died quite young.

The music Director Anupam Ghatak – the second-generation Bengali-Hindi composer (after Rai Chand Boral and Pankaj Mullick) was born in 1911 at Mymensingh(now in Bangladesh). He took music lessons from father Atul Ghatak and Keshav Ganesh Dhekan. He became an excellent Flautist. After a short stint in AIR,as a singer in 1930, he joined as assistant to Bishen Chand Boral (brother of Raichand Boral) and later to R C Boral himself for Vidyapati-1937
First independent film score: Payer Dhulo. Later worked at Sagar Film in Bombay, composing Zia Sarhadi’s Bhole Bhale and a series of films for Badami, Luhar et al. (1939). Returned to Calcutta, notably for Barua’s Shapmukti; thereafter had assignments in both Calcutta and Lahore. Known for his wide range, from the sentimental Ekti paisa dao go babu in Shapmukti to the experimental Gane more kon indradhanu in Agni Pareeksha.

His Hindi film career started with ‘Tarzan ki Beti-38 and Bhole Bhale-39. He gave music to only 17 Hindi films, which included Ladies Only, Service Ltd.,Sadhana, Uski tamanna, Civil marriage, Sri Ramanuj etc. In Lahore he did Champa, Badnami and Shalimar, before Partition. His last Hindi film was Shamsheer, which was released only in 1953,after he died in 1947 itself.

The cast of the film was Yakub, Maya Banerjee, Jyoti, Bhudo Advani, Putlibai etc etc. The name Putlibai may be unknown to many. There was a famous dacoit in Chambal Ghati, by this name in the decade of the 50’s, but actress Putlibai has no connection with that. Mothers and daughters acted as leading ladies in the same era….Miss Putli or Putlibai and Miss Gohar Mamajiwala (the term Miss was used not merely to state the marital status of the leading ladies of those days)….

Like Miss Sharifa and Husna Banu , Putli and Gohar were mother and daughter. Putli was an accomplished actress of the silent screen who championed in the Talkies because of her extraordinary singing talents. Gohar was born in 1910 and entered the screen in 1926, where her mother Miss Putli too entered more or less the same time. Information about Miss Putli is very limited however, Gohar became India’s popular iconic star and is still remembered today.

Miss Putli acted in 33 Talkie films. Her first Talkie was Ratan Manjiri-35 and her last film was Dhoke baaz-46. She sang one song each in the film Lehri Badmash-44 and Dhokebaaz-46.

Today’s song is a duet sung by Harish and Maya Banerjee. With this song, film Uski Tamanna makes its Debut on our Blog. Including this film, my last 5 posts were from films which made Debut on the Blog. Today’s rare song was given to me by shri Abhay Jain ji (USA) and was uploaded kindly by our Sadanand Kamath ji. Thanks to both.


Song- O mast nazar diljaani teri taaza rahe jawaani (Uski Tamanna)(1939) Singers- Harish, Maya Banerjee, Lyricist- Pt. Indra, MD- Anupam Ghatak

Lyrics

O mast nazar diljaani ee ee
mast nazar diljaani
o mast nazar diljaani
mast nazar diljaani
teri taaza rahe jawaani ee
teri taaza rahe jawaani ee
mast nazar diljaani
o mast nazar diljaani
hai hamko pyaas bujhaani ee
hamko pyaas bujhaani ee
hai hamko pyaas bujhaani ee
piye aankhon ka paani ee
piye aankhon ka paani ee

mast nazar diljaani
o mast nazar diljaani
mast nazar diljaani

chaar nazar hai hone waali
aaa ha haha
ha ha ha ha ha
kuchh paa ke
kuchh khone waale

aaa ha haha
ha ha ha ha ha
chaar nazar hai hone waali
aaa ha haha
ha ha ha ha ha
kuchh paa ke
kuchh khone waale

aaa ha haha
ha ha ha ha ha

jeevan ki ee ee
jeevan ki ee phulvaari mein
jeevan ki ee ee
jeevan ki ee phulvaari mein
seenche aasha ka paani
seenche aasha ka paani
madhur prem veena ki dhun se
gaaye prem kahaani
gaaye
gaaye prem kahaani
madhur prem veena ki dhun se
gaaye prem kahaani
gaaye
gaaye prem kahaani


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

Blog Day :

4637 Post No. : 16292

Today, March 29th 2021, we are celebrating Holi, the festival of joy and merry-making albeit in a subdued manner due to COVID-19 guidelines, banning public and private celebrations of Holi.

During Holi, the most popular genre of Hindustani semi-classical music is Hori which, in Brajbhasha means ‘happiness’. (I understand that in Brajbhasha region, people pronounce holi as ‘hori’). The ‘hori’ songs are written mostly in Brajbhasha or Awadhi. Obviously, hori singing is popular in Uttar Pradesh and a part of Bihar. The joy and merry-making mood come in the background of the expectation of a good Rabi harvest. The blooming of flowers in the spring season (Phagun) and the mustard fields with yellow flowers create a colourful atmosphere in North India. The mood of the rejoice among the farmers and villagers create the spirit behind the Holi celebration which has, over a period of time, percolated all over the country.

The tradition of playing with colours during Holi is linked to Radha-Krishna Leela (divine play) especially in Brajbhasha region of Uttar Pradesh. Hori singing reflects Krishna’s revelries and playing pranks with Radha. Hori is generally rendered in Thumri style and conventionally, the song will have a mukhda and an antara. One of the various names of Krishna such as Shyam, Kaanha, Nandlala, Banwari, Baanke-Bihari etc would appear either in mukhda or antara part of the hori song.

In the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh and the Mithila region of Bihar and Jharkhand (also some part of Nepal), hori singing also centres around Lord Ram. The earliest recorded hori song which I have come across is ‘Jamuna tath Ram khelen hori’ by Janaki Bai of Allahabad (Chappan Churi), recorded in 1910 which is a ‘Ram Hori’ song. Pandit Chunnilal Mishra has rendered even ‘Shiv Ki Hori’.

The traditional hori songs are based on the folk singing of the particular region and are thus embedded with the rural atmosphere. I guess, over the years, the folk songs rendered during the holi festival became so popular that some of the Hindustani classical vocalists adapted the traditional hori songs in their concerts, rendering mostly in the form of Thumris. On the video sharing platforms, some of the hori thumris rendered by Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, Kesarbai Kerkar, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Kumar Gandharv, Begum Akhtar, Shobha Gurtu, Girija Devi, Siddheswari Devi etc are available.

The popularity of hori songs attracted Hindi films when talkies came in 1931. The hori songs in Hindi films have now been adopted as holi festival songs, written and sung in typical Bollywood style. There are hundreds of holi songs picturised in Hindi films. As of now, we have on our Blog as many as 62 songs tagged as ‘Holi Songs’. On the basis of the movie-wise listing of the songs available on-line, the credit for the first traditional hori song used in Hindi film was ‘mope daar gayo saari rang ki gagar’ in ‘Ghar Ki Laxmi’ (1931). Probably, in the film, this song may have been rendered by Rampyari, the then famous singer-actor-dancer whose name I found in the star-cast. Unfortunately, neither the film nor the gramophone records of the songs from this film are available. It may be noted that in the early years of talkies, many film songs were not released on the gramophone records.

Luckily, I got a rare mp3 clip of the traditional hori song with the same mukhda as in ‘Ghar Ki Laxmi’ (1931) in the film ‘Comrades’ (1939) which I am presenting on the occasion of the Holi festival. The song is rendered by Wahidan Bai, the mother of Nimmi. The lyrics are traditional but it has been attributed to Dr. Safdar Aah Sitapuri. Probably, he may have changed a few words. For example, in my view, the line ‘kaisa dhokha diya’ seems to have been added in the traditional lyrics as these are in pure Hindi. The song is set to music by Anil Biswas.

The song is a typical hori thumri having a mukhda and an antara with the name of Krishna appearing as ‘Shyam’ in the antara. Being trained in Hindustani classical singing, Wahidan Bai has tendered this hori thumri with elaborations and ornamentations. It is worthwbhile to note that as to how elaborately she has rendered the line ‘bin rang daare jaane na doongi’ with ornamentations. The ‘murki’ element in the song while singing jaa….ne na doongi..ee, jaa…..ne na doongi..eeeee is my favourite.

This song becomes the earliest ‘holi song’ from Hindi films to be covered in the Blog though are a few more ‘holi songs’ pertaining to the Hindi films were released prior to 1939.

Audio Clip:

Song- Mo pe daar gaye saari rang ki gagar (Comrades)(1939) Singer-Wahidan Bai, Lyrics-Safdar Aah Sitapuri, MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics

aaaaaaaa aaaaa
aaaaa aaaa aaaaaaaaa
aaaaa aaaa aaaa
aaa

mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
kaisa dhokha diya aa aa aa
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
main to bhool se dekhan laagi udhar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar

bin rang daare jaane na doongi
bin rang daare…ae
jaa….ne na doongi..ee
jaa…..ne na doongi..eeeee
haa…n
jaane na doo…ngi
bin rang daare jaane na doongi
bin rang daare jaane na doongi
Shyam kaho ab jaat kidhar
Shyam kaho ab jaat kidhar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
kaisa dhokha diya aa aa aa
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar
mope daar gaye saari rang ki gagar


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

Blog Day : 4635 Post No. : 16290 Movie Count : 4426

Today’s song is from the film Durga-1939, a film made by the prestigious Bombay Talkies. The film was directed by the studio’s German Director – Franz Osten. Some readers may wonder, how a German could direct a Hindi film, without knowing or understanding the language ? For such readers, let me tell you that Franz Osten directed not just 1 or 2 but a total of 16 films for Bombay Talkies, from its beginning. Till the end, he never learnt Hindi language ! He was not the lone German , but there was a whole team of Germans who worked in Bombay Talkies !

Not only in Bombay talkies, but Germans contributed to Indian Cinema elsewhere too and in different segments of filmmaking. Let us take a quick look at Germans in Indian Cinema, in general. Germany had a very good name in India during the olden days i.e. during the early part of the last century. I remember my Grandfather ( who expired in 1975 at the age of 91 years) always praising Germany for so many things. In India,all things German, were considered to be the Best- even better than the Vilayati or the British things !

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 Studios’ 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, Achhut Kanya, without much knowledge of Hindi. The film, which featured the song “Main ban ki 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 in 1939, 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).

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.

As the studio system came to an end and individual producers took over, the days of the Germans in Indian cinema were over. Many, including Osten, went back to Germany. Set designer Spreti was appointed German ambassador to Guatemala and was later shot dead by terrorists. Josef Virsching-the Cinematographer, however, stayed back in India till his death in 1967. He did few more Hindi films too.

Most of the others remained associated with the film world abroad.

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 Kauffman” by Amit Gangar, with thanks and my notes.)

It’s not just the Germans alone, but there was an American who contributed to Tamil Cinema as a Director, during the same period i.e. 1935 to 1950. He directed not just 14 Tamil films….without understanding the language….but also a Hindi film, ‘ Meera’ in 1947…..without knowing Hindi language ! On top of it this Hindi film featured the legendary Carnatic Classical singer M.S.Subbulakshmi. This American’s name was Ellis R. Dungan (11-5-1909 to 1-12-2001).

When Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani decided to establish a modern, well equipped cinema studio in Bombay, they started getting the right persons for different departments of filmmaking. While in London, he had met Niranjan Pal (son of the great patriot Bipin Chandra Pal)-a writer of stage dramas and films. They became friends. Soon after Himanshu Rai, Niranjan also returned to India. Rai called Niranjan to Bombay to work as a writer on a very attractive salary. He arrived and he wrote stories, screen plays and dialogues for the first 8 films of Bombay Talkies. He was assisted by J S Casshyap, Najam Naqvi, and S J Hasan. Their films used simple, day to day Hindi language. Prabhat Hindi films had a profound Marathi tilt, and New Theatre Hindi films were all round and round words- too much bookish Hindi. Naturally, Bombay Talkies Hindi was acceptable in the Hindi belt easily.

After Devika Rani’s elopement episode, Himanshu Rai’s male ego and Bangla Bhadralok prestige was shattered and he had lost his peace of mind. Later he also suffered from tantrums. Once Niranjan Pal wrote an article in an outside magazine, which Rai did not like and he quarrelled with Niranjan on this. They stopped talking. Then one day, when Niranjan was about to go home in his car, Rai came running and holding the car door, started arguing with Niranjan. Finally Niranjan left-never to come back to Bombay talkies again !

Niranjan Pal was one of the very important members of the team. He had written stories of the early films. One of his hits was Achhut kanya also. He proved to be a master in recreating Village atmosphere. After he left, Himanshu Rai immediately called Saradindu Bandopadhyaya from Calcutta. He was the one who had created the famous film and TV character Byomkesh Bakshi. He joined Bombay Talkies and wrote stories of 7 films.

Film Durga’s story was also by him. This is what “Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema ” says about the film Durga…..” Rural melodrama about Durga (Devika Rani), an adolescent child of nature, living with her aged mother Heera. Unable to get the medicine required to prevent her mother’s death, one misfortune after another befalls the heroine in spite of the sympathies of the newly arrived village doctor, Jawahar (Shukul). In the absence of Niranjan Pal, the studio’s main scenarist and author of its best-known rural dramas (Achhut Kanya, Janmabhoomi, both 1936), the tale reduces itself to a purely familial narrative. It is nevertheless a key production in Devika Rani’s self-projection of urbane charm clothed in primal innocence. Osten followed it with Leela Chitnis’s first big film, Kangan (1939). Wadkar was promoted to lead actress again opposite Shukul in her next big film, Navjeevan (1939).”

Today’s song is sung by Devika Rani and Rama Shukul. With this song, film Durga-39 makes its Debut on this Blog.

Audio

Video

Song-Shankar arpan maala koyi haath na ise lagaana (Durga)(1939) Singers- Devika Rani, Rama Shukul, Lyricist- Narendranath Tuli, MD- Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Shankar arpan maala
koyi haath ise na lagaana
haan dil bhi na tarsaana
kali kali ko man se goondha
maala to hai meri
haan koi hathh hai teri
neer neer ki rajni jaisi
neer neer ki rajni jaisi
main jungle ki cheri (??)
haan main jungle ki cheri(??)
main devi ka daas
mujhe nahin vishvaas
main devi ka daas
mujhe nahin vishvaas
Shankar(?) sunke laaj karo
kuchh bhool gayi saugandhh
main thhaa tujhe pasand

jhhagdaa chhodo milkar baithhen
jhhagdaa chhodo milkar baithhen
Shankar se li thhi maange var ki bheekh
Shankar se li thhi maange var ki bheekh

hey yogiraaj mahaan
do teri bhanvarjaal
sun yogi chatur sujaan mujhe teri de do shaan


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

Blog Day :

4633 Post No. : 16287 Movie Count :

4425

Today’s song is from an obscure ‘never heard of’ type film of the early times of the Talkie era – Kaun Kisi ka-1939. The film was made by Hindustan Cinetone. It was directed by Chimanlal Luhar, a talented person. He was a rarity in those days as he was a Science graduate. In times when there were very few educated people in the film industry, he was respected everywhere.

Director CHIMANLAL MULJIBHOY LUHAR ( 1901-1948) was a Chemistry graduate from Bombay University. He started writing as a critic and author in journals like Beesvin sadee, Navchetan and Bombay Chronicle. He joined the film line as a lab Assistant in Kohinoor studios in his early 20s. Soon he became a noted cameraman for several documentaries, with K.D.Brothers, Bombay,under a British cameraman of Prince of Wales’ official entourage. After a brief stint at Rajkot with Saurashtra Films and a longer one at Krishna Films-where he shot 20 films, he joined Sharada Studios with ‘Dagabaz Duniya-1926 and several stunt films by Master Vithal. He turned a producer for a few stunt films.

Later he was a partner in Sharda films and a Director with Sagar Movietone(1934-1940). From 1941 to 46 he worked for Prakash Pictures. He directed Sassi Punnu-32,Silver King-35 Talash-E-haq (first film of Nargis, made by Jaddanbai)-35, Do deewane, Kharab Jaan, Capt. Kirtikumar, Dynamite, Kaun kisika, Sewa Samaj, Saubhagya, Darshan, Station master, School Master, Uss paar and Bindiya. He died at the young age of 47 years,in 1948. He had established his own production outfit ‘Sun Art Pictures’ in 1943, but he made only 3 films with it -School Master-43, Uss Paar-44 and Bindiya-46, before he died, after a prolonged illness.

FILMOGRAPHY: 1932: Sassi Punnu; 1935: Silver King; Talash-e-Haq; 1936: Do Diwane/Be Kharab Jan; 1937: Captain Kirti Kumar; 1938: Dynamite; 1939: Kaun Kisika; Seva Samaj; 1940: Saubhagya; 1941: Darshan; 1942: Station Master; 1943: School Master; 1944: Us Paar; 1946: Bindiya.

The Music Director of this film was Rafiq Ghaznavi, Lyricist was Munshi Dil and the cast of the film was Padma Devi, Shobhana Samarth, Khurshid, Nazir Ahmed, Mubarak, K N Singh, Maruti Rao, Khalil Ahmed, Gope etc.etc. Most of these actors, director and the MD disappeared by the end of the 40’s, because many of them were the spill overs from the Silent Era. Except a few like K.N.Singh, Gope, Mubarak or Shobhana Samarth, none of the other names will mean anything to our readers in the age bracket of 40 to 60 years. The Partition further precipitated this condition and made matters difficult to track old artistes and get their information. Considering the poor conditions in India of preserving and documenting events, information and life stories of old time artistes, it became a Herculean task to collect information on such persons.

I have written articles on films of the early cinema i.e. from the decade of the 1930s. In these articles, I have introduced few unknown or less known heroes and heroines of those times, to our readers. Some of these are Vijay Kumar, Ram Singh, Shankar Rao Vazare, Gul Hamid, Prakash and heroines like Shamim, Nazma, Anjali Devi, Shahzadi, Menaka, Radha Rani, Meera Mishra, Meera Devi etc. Today also we will talk about yet another less known artiste of the silent and early talkie films – Master Khalil Ahmed.

From the lot of the “brought forward” actors and actresses from the silent to the talkie films, two heroes were the true super stars. Master Khalil and Master Vithal. Since they had started their careers from the silent era of the 1920’s, they did not go beyond the 1940’s, when their competition increased and the newer breed of heroes took over with ease!

Though world’s first first feature film, originally presented as a talkie ,’The Jazz Singer’, released in October 1927, it took about 4 years more for talkie films to come to India. When it did come in March 1931, there was tremendous enthusiasm amongst the film makers. Initially, however, there was skepticism in the minds of well established silent film makers. Famous film makers like Dadasaheb Phalke and even V Shantaram are on record having expressed their views that talkie films will not survive. However, the same people later on, not only supported the talkie, but V Shantaram became one of the best proponents of Hindi talkie films. Even Dada Saheb Phalke ended his career by making his only Talkie, ‘Gangavataran’ in 1937. (Leela Mishra had acted in it.)

The coming of sound to films changed the film making for ever. Till then what was a fragmented production activity, slowly became an industry. Earlier, silent films were made at a cost of 8 to 10 thousand rupees. Now the talkie needed 25 to 50 thousand per film. Automatically, the hobbyists and poorer film makers disappeared. So did the acting crew who could not speak Hindi fluently or sing a song.

One finds that suddenly, there was a deluge of talented, creative and enterprising people from various professions and different backgrounds to take up the challenges of this new industry. The changing society in India is partly responsible for this deluge. Due to education and attraction to cities, many people were rapidly getting uprooted from their traditional occupations and they looked forward to these opportunities. For example a motor mechanic Sarvottam Badami became a sound recordist (and later, a director too) and a traditional carpenter like S Fattelal became the great set designer in Prabhat films. An ordinary poster painter, Baburao Painter became a director. Many such examples are available. The deluge was made up of producers, directors, sound recordists, writers, lyricists, singers, technical staff and of course the actors and actresses.

Among the first generation of heroes, namely Khalil, Sandow, Sohrab Modi, Master Nissar, Chandramohan, Prithviraj Kapoor, Motilal, Ashok Kumar, Master Vithal, Jal Merchant, Bilimoria brothers and Saigal emerged as the main players. Among actresses Mehtab, Bibbo, Kajjan, Gauhar, Sitara, Sita Devi, Zubeida, Cooper sisters, Sabita Devi, Leela Chitnis, Durga Khote, Devika Rani, Naseem, Jamuna, Kanan Bala etc. became popular.

Master Khalil Ahmed (variously mentioned as Khalil, Master Khalil, and Khalil Ahmed) was the first ever star of the silent era as well as talkie films from 1920 to 1940s. Born in 1903, he became a hero in Kohinoor’s ‘Gul E Bakavali’ (1924), opposite Zubeida. He was the first handsome and macho hero of those times. He acted with all top heroines of his time. Some of his 30 silent films are, ‘Kaala Naag, ‘Kulin Kanta’, ‘Lanka Ni Laadi’, ‘Cinema Queen’ etc.

He featured in his first talkie film, ‘Draupadi’ (1931), made by Imperial, opposite Ermeline (aka Sudhabala ). Then came ‘Daulat Ka Nasha’ (1931), ‘Bharati Mata’ (1932), ‘Niti Vijay’ (1932), Do Rangi Duniya’ (1933) and ‘Saubhagya Sundari’ (1933). In 1934 Khalil went to Calcutta on the invitation of East India Films. His first film in Calcutta was ‘Kismet Ki Kasauti’ (1934). Then he joined Tollywood Studio (Madon Theatres). Here his first film was ‘ Gaibi Gola’ (1935), in which Baby Noorjehan made her debut as a child star.

He was in great demand in Bombay also, so Khalil started doing films in Calcutta and Bombay, by frequently travelling between the two cities. This caused a lot of stress on him, but he always kept his commitments. During this period, he also got married and got children. He settled in Calcutta and travelled often to Bombay to do films there.

Khalil did different roles, including Hindu Gods. He never changed his name. in those days very few Muslim actors kept their real names. Incidentally, during his peak time, there were two more artists named Khalil. One was Khalil Aftab, who was a lyricist and he acted in film ‘Dard E Dil’ (1934) and ‘ The Mill’ (1934) (this latter film was banned and was released later in 1936 as ‘ Ghareeb Parwar’). The other actor was Khalil Khan, who had acted in film ‘Deepak Mahal’ (1940). In all, Khalil acted in 28 Talkie films. He died quite young, on 28-11-1941, at Calcutta. Too much travelling and stress must have taken its toll on him. He was only 38 year old. He left behind a wife with 5 children.

Khalil did 13 films in Calcutta – ‘Kismet Ki Kasauti (1934), ‘Gaibi Gola’ (1935), ‘Miss Manorama’ (1935), ‘Jawaani Ka Nasha’ (1935), ‘Divine Sacrifice’ (1935), ‘Raj Dulari (1936), ‘Bulbul e Iran’ (1936), ‘Parivartan’ (1936), ‘Adarsh Mahila’ (1937), ‘Aflatoon’ (1937), ‘Karmaveer’ (1938), ‘Abla Ki Shakti’ (1941) and ‘Merchant Of Venice’ (1941).

In Bombay, he did 15 films in Bombay – ‘Draupadi’ (1931), Daulat Ka Nasha’ (1931), ‘Bharati Mata’ (1932), ‘Niti Vijay’ (1932), ‘Do Rangi Duniya’ (1933), ‘Saubhagya Sundari’ (1933), Typist Girl (1935), ‘Shaitan Ka Paash’ (1936), ‘Khudai Khidamadgar’ (1937), ‘Kiski Pyaari’ (1937), ‘Kaun Kisi Ka'(1939), ‘Hamara Desh’ (1940), ‘Pyaar’ (1940), ‘Waayada’ (1940) and ‘Taj Mahal’ (1941).

Khalil acted with most of the leading heroines of his time like, Noorjehan (Sr), Jilloo (Zulekha Ibrahim – she was known by Jilloo Bai in her later career), Kajjan- 6 films, Mushtari – 3 films (She died too young, in her teens only), Miss Rose – 2 films, Violet Cooper – 2 films, Radha Rani, Ram Pyari, Begum Akhtar (she was then known as Akhtari Faizabadi), Sulochana, Ameena, Leela Desai, Indurani, Gulab, Ermelin and Sheela etc. Khalil was very good natured and a popular actor among his co stars and producers.

A Muslim by birth, he performed a variety of roles in films. His initial acting phase included roles of Shri Krishna and Shri Ram. Disenchanted by the communal riots during those times, he gave a speech in the Indian Motion Picture Congress, on 4th May 1939. Baburao Patel’s Film India published this extract from his speech- “I have played Hindu Gods in films. I worked under Hindu producers only. I am disturbed by these riots. I am popular among Hindus and Muslims. We are the devotees of Art and Art has no religion.” Indian Film Industry is perhaps the only industry which is mostly a secular one, since its inception. Master Khalil Ahmed was an example of that.

I could not get any information about this film, its story or other details. I was surprised that this song was available on the You Tube channel. The song is sung by Khurshid, Nazir Ahmed and chorus. With this song, film Kaun Kisi Ka-39 makes its Debut on this Blog.


Song-Phool le lo phool (Kaun Kisi Ka)(1939) Singers-Khursheed, Nazeer Ahmad, Lyrics-Munshi Dil, MD-Rafiq Ghaznavi
Chorus

Lyrics

Phool le lo phool
Phool le lo phool
aayi basant ki saari bahaar
joban barsaaya hai singaar
ae man ??
jhoole jhool
ae man ??
jhoole jhool
Phool le lo phool
Phool le lo phool

kaisa ?? hai tera singaar
phoolon mein lipti ho jaise talwaar

madam jee sadqe
hum donon ??
joban ke badle
hum donon ??

haaan
aankhon mein teri daaloon dhool
aankhon mein teri daaloon dhool
Phool le lo phool
Phool le lo phool

aayi basant ki saari bahaar
aayi basant ki saari bahaar
gali gali par barse phuhaar
gali gali par barse phuhaar
aayi basant ki saari bahaar
aayi basant ki saari bahaar

baaghon se maalan laayi sandes
baaghon se maalan laayi sandes
aate hain preetam apne des
hey ae ae es
aate hain preetam apne des
sun sun kaliyaan sej sajaawo o o
sun sun kaliyaan sej sajaawo o o
phool bechaaron ho na malool
phool bechaaron ho na malool
Phool le lo phool
Phool le lo phool
aayi basant ki saari bahaar
aayi basant ki saari bahaar
kali kali par barse ??
kali kali par barse ??
aayi basant ki saari bahaar
aayi basant ki saari bahaar


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

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