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

Archive for the ‘Songs of 1940s (1941 to 1950)’ Category


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

Blog Day :

4810 Post No. : 16579 Movie Count :

4516

Today’s song is from the film Dillagi-1942.

The title of the film seemed to attract the filmmakers and starting with Dillagi-1942, few more similarly titled films were made like, Dillagi-49, Dillagi-66, Dillagi-78 and Dillagi-99. Of these films, Dillagi-49 became quite successful and a film to remember because of the famous song ” Tu mera chand main teri chandni” sung by Suraiya and Shyam Kumar.

This also happened to be the first well known case of ” Same Name Confusions”, because singer Shyam Kumar had sung this song for actor Shyam and to complicate the issue, both were acting in that film. For the next 70 years, old film music lovers went on discussing vehemently whether the actor Shyam was the singer. Many authors, Internet sites and few books too credited the song to actor Shyam. Poor Shyam Kumar the singer !

Finally many film historians, genuine workers and writers dug up information details about singer Shyam Kumar and it was proved that the singer was Shyam Kumar and NOT actor Shyam. I have also discussed this case in my book published in 2018. I feel very sad that despite all this commotion about the confusion and the final clarification, many young lovers of old songs still assert and credit the song to actor Shyam !

Inspite of trying very hard, I could not get any information about this film, its story etc. However, in one of the 1942 issues of Film India Magazine, in one article, the Editor- Baburao Patel had said ” Recently I saw a picture- Dillagi. It was supposed to be a comedy, but the situations were far from being comic to evoke a laugh. Throughout the picture, I did not laugh even once, but at the end when the lights were on, I looked at Pt. Indra, writer of that comedy film ( he had invited us to see this film) and the tragedy of frustration reflected in his face excited real laughter. But then every Cinegoer can’t be lucky to have the writer sitting next to him ! ”

Film Dillagi-42 was made by Pragati Chitra, Bombay and was directed by Balwant Bhatt. The elder brother of Nanabhai Bhatt- Balwant Bhatt was born at Porbandar,Gujarat on 13-1-1909. Balwant started his career by assisting Naval Gandhi in 1930-31 and Pesi Karani at Imperial Film company and then N.B.Vakil at Sagar Studios in 1932.

A prolific director of second tier, action oriented films, Bhatt’s first film as a director was Royal Film Company’s 1932 silent thriller PASSING SHOW which featured popular stunt-film actor Navinchandra. He turned Director with the advent of Talkie films and joined Prakash Pictures with BAMBAI KI MOHINI [1934; aka: ACTRESS] starring Miss Panna and Miss Alaknanda. His last one was Nagin aur Sapera-1966. He directed 33 films, mostly stunt and C grade films.

Bhatt directed action star Fearless Nadia in DELHI EXPRESS (1949) and CIRCUSWALE (1950) as well as the comedian Bhagwan in JOKER (1949) and JODIDAR (1950), and even had opportunities to work with bigger name’s such as Bibbo in SUHAAG (1940), Maya Banerjee in MADHU SUDAN (1941), and Prithviraj Kapoor in AANKH KI SHARAM (1943). But the vast majority of Bhatt’s output were in the category of B-grade films.

He directed some Gujarati films like Sansar Leela, Seth Sagsha, Divadandi, Snehlata etc. He was the producer of Dillagi-1942, Gunehgar-53, Alif Laila-53, Sinbad the sailor-52, Son of Sinbad-58, Police Detective-60 etc. etc. Diwadandi-1950 became famous for its song-“Tari aankhni afini”, sung by Dilip Dholakia with music by Ajit Merchant. His film Mordhwaj-52 was the Debut film for MD Narayan Dutt. Balwant Bhatt died on 7-2-1965,at Bombay.

The cast of the film Dillagi-42 was Kumar, Hansa Wadkar, Anuradha, Gulab, Agha and Sushil Kumar.

The Music Director of Dillagi-42 was Pratap Mukherjee. I do not have any information about him except that he directed only 3 films, namely Dillagi-42, Tamasha-42 and Kisise na kehna-42 . Actress gulab was from kashmir. She can be called the first girl from Kashmir to work in Hindi films. Her real name was Saraswati Devi. She was born on 10-6-1908 at Jammu. She joined Krishna Film Company in 1924. Her first silent film ‘Krishna Kumar’ came in 1925. She worked in 60 silent films. Her last silent film was ‘Dagabaz Dushman’-32, made by East India Film co.Bombay.

Her first Talkie film was Suryakumari-33, made by Vishnu Cinetone. It was directed by Dhirubhai Desai. She sang one song ‘more preetam jab ghar aaye’ composed bu Kikubhai Yagnik. Then came Baburao Patel’s ‘Bala Joban’-34, Sewa Sadan-34 and Nai Duniya-34 ( Debut film of Rajkumari and Jayant). In this film Gulab sang 2 songs.

Gulab was very beautiful and quite popular in the film industry. Some of her films were Bambai ki sethani-35, Challenge-37, Bharosa-40, Pyas-41, Ek Raat-42, Station master-42, Gaali-44, Rattan-44, Mann ki jeet-44, Mirza Sahibaan-47, Lahore-49, Badi Behan-49, stage-51, Post Box 999-58, Chhabili-60 etc etc. She acted in 160 films. Her last film seems to be Haqeeqat-64. She also sang 22 songs in 11 films.

Today’s song is sung by Rafiq Ghaznavi and Anuradha. They were husband and wife. Actually Rafiq was not a known playback singer. I wonder how he came to sing a song in this film even though he was not working in it. May be due to the recommendation of his wife Anuradha, he got this song. Anuradha’s real name was Khurshid Akhtar and pet name was Sheedan. She was the younger sister of actress Zohra Jaan, who was Rafiq’s wife before her. Later, Rafiq left Anuradha also and married someone else.

Anyway, the song is nothing to write home about, because the singers were not professional singers. With this song film Dillagi-1942 makes its Debut on the Blog.


Song-Jab saamne tum aate ho (Dillagi)(1942) Singers-Rafiq Ghaznavi, Anuradha, Lyrics-Unknown, MD-Pratap Mukherjee

Lyrics

Jab saamne tum aate ho
Jab saamne tum aate ho
nainon se man mein samaate ho
nainon se man mein samaate ho
jab saamne tum aate ho
jab saamne tum aate ho
jeewan ka dukh sahna hai
jeewan ka dukh sahna hai
joban ke madhu(?) baina se
joban ke madhu (?) baina se
tumko dekha nain hanse ye
kya jaadoo kar jaate ho
tumko dekha nain hanse ye
kya jaadoo kar jaate ho
Jab saamne tum aate ho
Jab saamne tum aate ho

nainon se man mein samaate ho
nainon se man mein samaate ho
jab saamne tum aate ho
jab saamne tum aate ho

main kahna chaahoon kah na sakoon
main kahna chaahoon kah na sakoon
aur bina kahe main rah na sakoon
aur bina kahe main rah na sakoon
man ki meethhi meethhi baaten
man ki meethhi meethhi baaten

in aankhon ko sajaati ho kitnon ka ?? jagaati ho
in aankhon ko sajaati ho kitno ka ?? jagaati ho
jab saamne tum aate ho
jab saamne tum aate ho

nainon se man mein samaate ho
nainon se man mein samaate ho
jab saamne tum aate ho


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4808 Post No. : 16576

Few days back, I came across an obscure song rendered by Janardan Tanjorkar from the film ‘Kuchh Naya’ (1948). The surname ‘Tanjorkar’ sounded odd to me. It was apparent that Janardan was from Tanjore (now Thanjavur). But why did he use a Maharashtrian sounding surname? Was he a Maharashtrian whose family migrated to Thanjavur during the reign of Marathas in the 17th and 18th centuries? A search on the internet revealed a very interesting family background of Janardan Tanjorkar.

Janardan Tanjorkar (1913-1980) was born in Baroda (now Vadodara) to Devdasi Kantimathi Amma and Appaswamy Pillai. Kantimathi was a Bharatnatyam dancer attached to Brihdhiswara temple in Thanjavur and her husband, Appaswamy Pillai was the Nattuvanar, a kind of a Guru and a Choreographer who accompanied the devdasi dancers as a dance master, the music conductor and the vocal percussionist. Janardan got his initial training from Kumbakonam Narayanswamy Iyer and Palghat Mani Iyer and learnt Mirdangam and Carnatic vocal.

Sometime in 1880-81, a troupe of two devdasi Bharatnatyam dancers, along with two Nattuvanars and musicians were sent to Baroda as a part of dowry during the marriage of Princess Chimanabai (born Laxmibai) of Thanjavur with Prince Sayajirao (III) Gaekwad of Baroda. Kantimathi Amma as a Bharatnatyam dancer and her husband, Appaswamy Pillai as Nattuvanar joined the troupe after a couple of years as replacement for an earlier dancer and Nattuvanar respectively. Kantimanthi and her cousin, Gowri performed the Bharatnatyam dance in the court of the Maharaja of Baroda on Wednesdays and Saturdays. That was the beginning of introducing Bharatnatyam outside the Madras Presidency to the western and later to the northern India. In Baroda, Appaswamy Pillai adopted the family name of ‘Tanjorkar’ in keeping with the Maharashtrian tradition.

In Baroda, Janardan Tanjorkar learnt violin and became a violin player in the court of the Maharaja of Baroda. Here, he came into contact with Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, a Hindustani classical vocalist with Baroda court who trained him as a Hindustani classical vocalist. Janardan also learnt playing other musical instruments like Saraswati Veena while in Baroda. Over a period of time, he learnt both Carnatic and Hindustani classical music and became experts in playing multiple musical instruments.

Janardan Tanjorkar moved to Mumbai sometime during the second half of 1940s and became a graded artist of All India Radio as a violinist and vocalist. He also taught violin to music students and accompanied the Bharatnatyam dancers as a violinist.

Janardan’s younger brother, Kubernath Tanjorkar was an exponent of Bharatnatyam and became Nattuvanar in the court of Maharaja of Baroda. Later, he was appointed as the Professor of Dance at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad University, Vadodara. After retirement, he established Tanjore Dance Music and Art Research Centre in Vadodara, Presently, his third generation is involved with the propagation of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic music at this centre.

Janardan Tanjorkar had three sons and five daughters. All the three sons – Venugopal, Shekhar and Dayanand are based in Mumbai and are connected with Bharatnatyam dance and music. His grand-daughter, Dr. Madhu Tanjorkar (daughter of Shekhar), is a solo violinist and vocalist, both in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music. She has taken Bharatnatyam and the classical music to Manchester and the northern part of the UK where she runs music schools besides participating in concerts in India and abroad.

This is an unique case where a dowry in the form of Bharatnatyam dance troupe resulted in the propagation of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic music, probably for the first time outside the then Madras Presidency in Vadodara. The troupe created the Thanjavur legacy of Bharatnatyam dance in the pure traditional form in the midst of a different cultural setting.

Janardan Tanjorkar had shifted his base in Mumbai during the second half of 1940s. However, it seems, he had no interest in singing in films. The only film song he sang during his life time was in ‘Kuchh Naya’ (1948). Probably, Ninu Mazumdar, the music director of the film knew Janardan as both were associated with All India Radio, Mumbai.

‘Kuchh Naya’ (1948) was produced by Kantilal Acharya under the banner of Shanti Pictures and was directed by Ninu Mazumdar who also wrote the story and was also the music director for the film. The star cast comprised of mostly newcomers with Sudha Rao and Ramesh Arora in the lead roles. They were supported by Ramesh Sinha, Purnima Chowdhary and Dube. It was a maiden film for Kantilal Acharya as a producer, Ninu Mazumdar as a director, Ramesh Arora and Purnima Chowdhary as actors.

I have no idea about the story of the film. As per the report on Filmindia magazine, the film was privately screened in August 1948 for Morarji Desai, the then Home Minister of Bombay State and other dignitaries. The home minister had congratulated the producer for the novelty of the theme. In the absence of the film, it is difficult to know as to what was the novelty in the story of the film. The title of the film would, however, suggest that the theme of the story may be something to do with the fresh thinking for the people of the post-independent India as to how to move forward to rebuild India.

The film had 10 songs of which one song has been covered on the Blog. Except for two songs – one each accredited to Meerabai and Amir Khusrau, the lyricist/s for the rest of the songs are not known. I am presenting the second song, ‘aisa desh hamaara santon’ rendered by Janardan Tanjorkar to appear on the Blog. The song is set to music by Ninu Mazumdar. From the lyrics of the song, iI guess it to be a background song.

Acknowledgement: The information on Janardhan Tanjorkar and family for the article is sourced from:

1. madhutanjorkar.wixsite.com

2. sangeethas.wordpress,com

3. Tanjore Dance Music and Art Research Centre

Audio Clip:

Song-Aisa des hamaara santon (Kuchh Naya)(1948) Singer-Janardan Tanjorkar, Lyrics-Unknown, MD-Ninu Majumdar

Lyrics

aisa des hamaara..aa
san n n ……ton
aisa des hamaara
aisa des hamaara
aisa des hamaara
santon
aisa des hamaara jee..ee
aisa des hamaara

ved kitaab jahaan nahin pahunche
ved kitaab jahaan nahin pahunche
kahat sunat se(??) nyaara
santon
aisa des hamaara jee..ee
aisa des hamaara

jaat varan kachhu
priya aa naahin
?? sandhya ?? man ??
jaat varan kachhu
priya aa naahin
?? sandhya ?? man ??
bin baadal kya bijli chamke
bin ravi ?? ujiyaara
aisaa..aa des hamaara…aa
san n n ……ton
aisa des hamaara


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 :

4807 Post No. : 16575

Today’s song is from the film Armaan-1942.

I have found many times that film titles are given on the basis of the essence of the story – the result, the effort or even the relationship etc. It is expected that from the title itself, the movie fan should be able to guess the type of film or the story of the film. Some titles are straight forward like Baiju Bawra, Tansen, Jhansi ki Rani etc. Such films do not call for intelligence work to know about the film’s content. But when the titles like Armaan, Laalach, or Ladki are given, the fan has to scratch his head about the type of the story. Next help is from the cast of the film. Cast of a Stunt film is absolutely distinctive. The actors are fixed, not known to the general public and includes at least some actors with strange names like Chemis, Manchi Toothy or Bajarbattu etc. Initially, a Dilip kumar film used to be equated with a sad end due to Hero’s death. Nirupa Roy indicated a Religious film etc.

Even from the names of Directors one could guess about the type of films.For example, a film directed by Sohrab Modi meant extra long dialogues in pure urdu or Hindi, Historical story. Mehboob Khan meant a film on Nehruvian Socialism etc. From the names of Music Directors also one could fairly guess the type of film. Avinash Vyas or S.N.Tripathi means a Mythological film, Naushad or C.Ramchandra means musical entertainment etc.

There have hardly been any directors who handled films of different Genres. Tragedy, Comedy, Family film directors never tried historical and any Stunt film director never tried a family tear jerker. I can think of only one film director who directed films of different Genres like, Comedy, Tragedy, Family, Musical, Social evils and even a Mythological film. His name is Franz Osten- a Director from Bombay Talkies stable. And mind you, he did not know Hindi language-he had come from Germany ( he thought Bulbul means 2 Bulls !). May be that is why he could do it.

Film Armaan’s director was Kidar Sharma. He mostly did social films. I came to know about this autobiography much later than it was published posthumously – by his son in 2002. I bought the book sometime in 2015 or so. During the period 2012 to 2018, I bought books on cinema like a mad person. The result was, I ended up with 50 % useless books ! Initially I had no discretion and no knowledge as to which could be an useful book for me. Shortly ( and after spending a Ton !), I learnt the trick and became very selective. By the year 2018-2019, I became known to many writers and Historians. This resulted in getting recently published good books as gifts from various authors. This way I now have a reasonably good number of useful books. Some books I value very much like the Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema by Rajadhyaksha and a few rare books. I have a collection of 6700 songs from films of the 30s and 40s only, some of them very rare. These are also gifted to me by friends and collectors across the continents. I got some books xeroxed. Our dear friend (late) Bharatbhai Upadhyay, Harish Raghuwanshi ji, Deepak Chaudhari and few more have been very helpful in xeroxing old, rare books.

The cast of the film Armaan-42 was Motilal, Shameem, Nagendra, Meera, Rajkumari, Rewa Shankar etc . Kedar Sharma mentioned in his book that Sardar Chandulal Shah, owner of Ranjit had warned him not to take Shameem as Heroine. The reason was, Shameem was the niece of actress-singer Khursheed, who was very jealous of Shameem. He feared that Khursheed may not work with Kidar, if she is taken as Heroine. Kidar was firm and took Shameem. However, Khursheed did work in Kidar’s film later on without any complaint.

Shamim was variously billed as Shamim, Miss Shamim, Shamim Bano and Shamim Akhtar, in different films. She was born on 11th September 1926 in Lahore. Her father was a General Merchant. She used to sing and act in school dramas. She completed her matriculation from Islamia Girls school, Lahore. In 1939, she visited Bombay along with her father. They accidentally met director G.R.Sethi, who encouraged Shamim to join films. She too was keen on joining films.

She debuted in the film Imaandar-1939. Then came Baghi-39, Niraali Duniya-40, Kanyadan-40,Jadui Nagari-40, Pyas-41, Dhandhora-41, Return of Toofan Mail-42, Mehmaan-42, Fariyaad-42, Armaan-42, Gauri-43, Bansari-43, Pehle Aap-44, Jwar Bhata-44, Sanyasi-45, Laaj-46, Samrat Ashok-47, Sindoor-47, Bhanwar-47, Shikarpri-47, Ratan Manjiri-48,Toote Taare-48 and Desh sewa-48. She also sang about 30 songs in 11 films.

After partition, she migrated to Pakistan with the family. There, she acted in 8 films- 6 Urdu and 2 Punjabi. Her first film Shahida-49 was a hit film and celebrated Silver jubilee. Even Do Ansoo-50 and Ghulam-53 were hit films. Shamim married Producer/Director Anwar Kemal Pasha. Shamim died on 23-10-1982 in Lahore. Shamim was niece of actress singer Khursheed Begum. Shamim’s younger sister Naseem was also an actress in India, but she died quite young, on 17-11-1946 at Bombay, in India only. This was reported in Film India magazine also.

The other interesting name in the cast is of Nagendra Majumdar-father of Ninu Majumdar, MD. Nagendra was born in a happy family in the year 1894 in Bombay. After his father died, “Pearl Dairy’ established by his father ran very well doing good business. Suddenly, Nagendra’s wife fell seriously ill and despite taking her full care, she expired. Due to neglect of the Dairy in this period, Dairy also closed down.

He shifted to Baroda and worked as a State Police Inspector.Later he worked as Watch and Ward Inspector in Baroda Railways. He left the job and started working as a hero in dramas of famous dramatist R.V.Desai. Heeralal, the owner of Laxmi Film Company, Bombay was impressed with his personality and took him to Bombay in 1926 to act in his silent films. Thus started his film career. In those days Silent films used to be completed within a month. He worked as a Hero in films of Laxmi, Jagdish and Imperial film companies.

In the same year, he directed a film ‘Paani mein aag’-1926, made by Royal Arts. Then came two more films made by Kaiser E Hind films. He also directed films for other companies. In all, he directed 15 Silent films by 1932. By then the Talkie had arrived. In the next 14 years he directed 12 Talkie films like – Ras Vilas-32, Sassi Punnu-32, Patit Pawan-33, mirza Sahibaan-33, Mera Imaan-34, Kala Wagh-34, Rangila nawab-35, Kimiyagar-36, Aaj ka Aladdin aka Aladdin II-36, Lehri lutera-37, Talwarwala-46 and Swadesh Sewa-46.

When offers for direction became few, he started acting in films. He acted in 12 films. When K L Saigal came to Bombay, Nagendra wanted to work with him. In the film Tansen-43, he did the role of Tansen’s (Saigal’s) father and he was very happy. Other films that he acted in were Kanchan-41,Beti-41, Khilauna-42, Bhakt Surdas-42, Armaan-42, Tansen-43, Gauri-43, Adab Arz-43, Bharthari-44, Prabhu ka Ghar-45, Ghazal-45 and Dhanna Bhagat-45.

His last 2 films came in 1946, but his health was not cooperating for quite a few years. He gave up work and took a rest. However, he suffered from paralysis and died on 22-8-1951. His son Ninu Majumdar worked in Bombay A.I.R. as head of Gujarati programmes, since 1937. By the time Nagendra died, Ninu had already started working as a Music Director.

As a Director, Nagendra had worked with the best of his times like, Master Vithal, Zubeida, Jillo, Billimorea brothers, Madhuri, Navinchandra, Durga Khote, Jairaj, Sultana, Noorjehan sr and such luminaries of those days. He had worked for Ranjit, Imperial, Sharda, Lakshmi, Jayant Desai films, Yagnik films etc etc.

( Information for this article is collated from various sources like Listener’s Bulletins No. 40 of Feb-80 and No.145 of July 2010, HFGK, muVyz, Sapnon ke Saudagar by Vithal Pandya, Silent films by Dr.Verma, Lost Treasures by Kamlakar P. and my notes.)

Today’s song is the second song from the film Armaan-42 to feature here.


Song- Raat suhani re raat suhaani (Armaan)(1942) Singer- Shamim Bano, Lyricist- Kedar Sharma, MD- Gyan Dutt

Lyrics

raat suhaani re
Raat suhaani
raat suhaani re
Raat suhaani
aao guniyyaan aao
aao guniyyaan aao
sunaayen prem kahaani re
kahaani
aao guniyyaan aao
sunaayen prem kahaani re
prem kahaani

Chaand sittaare re
chaand
Chaand sittaare re
chaand sitaare
hum saajan se door
hum saajan se door
sajanwa paas hamaare re
hamaare
hum saajan se door
sajanwa paas hamaare re
paas hamaare

sard hawaayen re
hawaayen
sard hawaayen re
sard hawaayen
phoonk(??) rahin hain tanman
phoonk(??) rahin hain tanman
saajan
thhandi aahen re
aahen
phoonk(??) rahin hain tanman
saajan
thhandi aahen re
thhandi aahen

mast jawaani re
mast
mast jawaani re
mast jawaani
bhanwron ka paighaam suno
bhanwron ka paighaam suno
kaliyon ki zabaani re
zabaani
bhanwron ka paighaam suno
kaliyon ki zabaani re
kaliyon ki zabaani
raat suhaani re
raat
raat suhaani re
raat suhaani


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4805 Post No. : 16573

‘Main Kya Karoon’ (1945) was produced under the banner of Flora Films and was directed by Sudhir Sen. The star cast included Suraiya, Hansa Wadkar, Pahadi Sanyal, Bikram Kapoor, Anil Kumar, Agha, Shah Nawaz, E Billimoria, Gulab, Cuckoo, Sunetra, Motibai, Ratan Piya etc. The film was released on July 12, 1946.

It is interesting to note from the advertisement of this film (which I have included in the video clip of the song) is that Cuckoo’s name appears in the cast list as ‘Kukoo’. The name of the dance director, ‘Prof. More’ appears prominently in the advertisement which is bolder than that of names of the supporting actors like Pahadi Sanyal, Shah Nawaz etc. I guess, ‘Prof. More’ is the same person as K S More (also spelled as ‘Moray’ or ‘Morey’) who was also the Dance Director to whom Cuckoo had married.

‘Filmindia’ in its October 1946 issue, had written a favourable review. While noting that the film had an usual story of a marriage tangle, the review had commended the work of the dialogue-writer in making an ordinary story into a fast-paced narratives thus sustaining the audience interest in the film. The gist of the story is as under:

Two head-strong fathers (Shah Nawaz and Bikram Kapoor) get their boy and the girl married in their childhood. Soon the fathers start quarrelling eventually cutting off their relationship. The girl comes back to her father house.

Both the boy and the girl lose sight of each other over a period of time. They have grown up in their own environments. One day both of them meet each other without knowing that they were married in their childhood. The hero (Agha) falls in love with the heroine (Suraiya) who is a bit hesitant because she thinks that she was a child widow. However, the hero convinces her for the marriage.

In the meanwhile, there is another development. The hero’s friend is in love with his sister (Hansa Wadkar) who is the friend of the heroine. Multiple misunderstandings develop between all the four main characters resulting in some humorous situations. Finally, the marriage tangle is solved to the satisfaction of all.

The fact that the film was released on July 12, 1946 and the review was published after about 3 months indicates that the film must have run for at least 3 months.

‘Main Kya Karoon’ (1945) had 8 songs – written by D N Madhok (7) and Rammurti Chaturvedi (1) which were set to music by Ninu Mazumdar. The Blog has so far covered 5 songs from the film. I am presenting the 6th song, ‘baamna ki chhori dil le gayi, baniye ka poot jiya le gaya’ rendered by Ninu Mazumdar and Hamida Bano. The song is written by D N Madhok.

This is a love song as a tete a tete between lovers in which there is a bit of teasing as well as the assessment of the then prevailing situation in India where inter-caste marriages were frowned upon. The boy admits that his heart has been taken away by a daughter of a brahmin. The girl retorts that her heart has been taken away by a baniya’s (trader’s) son. Then they talk about how they lost their heart to each other. The girl says that her beloved’s magical eyes, his fair complexion and smiles cast spell on her. The boy reminds his beloved that they have yet to cross the stumbling block of the respective families as both of them belong to different castes. The girl is confident that more than the caste and the family, it is the mutual love for each other that matters the most in the marriage.

I heard this song for the first time only a couple of days back and I immensely liked both the tune and the orchestration. Both the prelude and interlude orchestrations enhance the mood of the song. Another innovative use of the orchestration is instead of the short ‘musical fillers’ in-between lines of the song, there is what I would call it as ‘extra interlude’ orchestrations after the first four lines of the antara of the song to avoid monotony of the repeat of the lines thereafter.

With this song, only two songs from the film remain to be covered on the Blog:

1. Mai-e-gulgun hai jawaani hai by Rajkumari Dubey and Hamida Bano

2. Jaaniyaan maano hamri rasiya maano hamri by Hamida Bano

Audio Clip:

Song-Baamna ki chhori dil le gayi (Main Kya Karoon)(1945) Singers-Ninu Mazumdar, Hamida Bano, Lyrics-D N Madhok, MD-Ninu Majumdar

Lyrics

baamna ki chhori dil le gayi
ho o o o
baniye ka poot jiya le gaya..aa

baamna ki chhori dil le gayi
ho o o o
baniye ka poot jiya le gaya

gaagri utaaye jaaye
gaagri utaaye jaaye
pag to le
o kamar do bal khaaye
jaadu bhari aankh rang hai gora
jaadu bhari aankh rang hai gora

ho o o o
hans hans ke moh liya man mora
ho o o o
hans hans ke moh liya man mora
sukh lekar dukh de gaya

haay
sukh lekar dukh de gaya
ho o o o
baniye ka poot jiya le gaya..aa

baamna ki chhori dil le gayi
ho o o o
baniye ka poot jiya le gaya..aa

jaat begaani biraadari ka dar
ho ham pe lagi hai jaani sab ki nazar
pyaar mein biraadari na jaat koi
ho neh laga liya jo wo kare so hoi

jaat begaani biraadari ka dar
ho ham pe lagi hai jaan sab ki nazar
pyaar mein biraadari na jaat koi
o neh laga liya jo wo kare so hoi
sukh lekar dukh de gaya

haay
sukh lekar dukh de gaya
ho o o
baniye ka poot jiya le gaya..aa
baamna ki chhori dil le gayi
ho o o
baniye ka poot jiya le gaya..aa


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4803 Post No. : 16570

‘Chunariya’ (1948) was produced under the banner of Kuldeep Pictures of Lahore-based Kuldeep Sehgal which was his first film in Mumbai after partition. The film was directed by Ravindra Dave. The story, dialogues, screen-play and lyrics were written by Mulk Raj Bhakri. The production controller was his brother, Lekh Raj Bhakri. The star cast included Manorama and Wasti in the lead role with Randhir, Pran, Sophia, Cuckoo, Narbada Shankar, Mehdi Raza, Chand Burque, Baij Sharma etc in subsidiary roles.

It is interesting to note as to how the box office success of ‘Chunariya’ (1948) helped the career revival of some of the displaced persons from the Lahore film industry. Most of them had shifted to Mumbai after partition in 1947 almost penniless. Although the film was produced by Kuldeep Sehgal, according to character actor Janaki Das, it was Mulk Raj Bhakri along with his brother, Lekh Raj Bhakri who organized the actors and the crew, mostly among the displaced from Lahore film industry. Later, both Bhakri brothers floated their own film production companies and became producers/director.

The film’s director, Ravindra Dave was also a displaced person from Lahore film industry who came to Mumbai along with his brother Ramnarayan Dave and their maternal uncle, Dalsukh Pancholi. ‘Chunariya’ (1948) was his first directorial film in Mumbai. Ravindra Dave also floated his own film production company and became the producer-director of Hindi and Gujarati films. The acting career of Manorama and Pran, both from Lahore, took off in Mumbai from the success of ‘Chunariya’ (1948).

Music Director, Hansraj Bahl who started his career as the music director in Mumbai with ‘Pujaari’ (1946), was on the downhill after the continuous failures of about half-a-dozen films. He bounced back with good compositions of the songs for ‘Chunariya’ (1948) some of which became popular. Although, Geeta Dutt was the main female playback singer for the film, it was Lata Mangeshkar’ song, dil-e-naashaad ko jeene ki hasrat ho gayi tumse which became very popular. Similary, Mohammed Rafi’s song, sab kuchh lutaaya hamne aakar teri gali mein also became very popular.

‘Chunariya’ (1948) has the distinction of becoming a film in which Asha Bhosle sang her first song in Hindi film, ‘saawan aaya re saawan aaya jaage more bhaag’ along with Geeta Dutt and Zohrabai Ambalewaali in this film. However, according to Raju Bharatan who wrote Asha Bhosle’s musical biography, Asha Bhosle sang her first Hindi film song, ‘gareebon ke data gareebon ke waali’ in ‘Andhon Ki Duniya (1947) along with Zohrabai Ambalewaali. Unfortunately, as of now, both the songs are not available on any of the video sharing platforms. There may be some story as to why many on-line articles on Asha Bhosle consider the song in ‘Chunariya’ (1948) being her first Hindi film song rather than her song from ‘Andhon Ki Duniya’ (1947).

‘Chunariya’ (1948) had 10 songs – all written by Mulk Raj Bhakri of which 8 songs have already been covered on the Blog. The remaining two songs were not available on video sharing platforms for quite some time. Very recently, I am able to get mp3 clip of one of the two ‘missing’ songs which I have uploaded on a video sharing platform.

I am presenting the 9th song, ‘daaman se bandh gayi choli re, meri sakhi paraayi ho li re’ which is rendered by Geeta Dutt and chorus. From the wordings of the lyrics, it is apparent that it is a ‘Bidaai Song’ sung by bride’s friends.

Audio Clip:

Song-Daaman se bandh gayi choli re (Chunariya)(1948) Singer-Geeta Dutt, Lyrics-Mulkraj Bhakri, MD-Hansraj Bahl
Chorus

Lyrics

daaman se bandh gayi choli re
choli re daaman se
ho daaman se bandh gayi choli re
daaman se bandh gayi choli re..ae
choli re daaman se
ho daaman se bandh gayi choli re

em>mori sakhi paraayi ho li re..ae
ho li re daaman se
ho daaman se bandh gayi choli re

baabul kaa ghar chhod sakhi
kar pi kaa ghar aabaad
hoooooooo
piya prem mein kho na jaana
hamein bhi rakhna yaad
man har lenaa
saanwariya kaa
aa aa aa aa aaa
bol ke meethhi boli re..ae
boli re daaman se
ho daaman se bandh gayi choli re
daaman se bandh gayi choli re..ae
choli re daaman se
ho daaman se bandh gayi choli re

pi charanan mein baith sakhi
tum swarg ka sukh nit paana
ho ooo oo
unki charan dhool ka nis din
maathhe tilak lagaana
haan haan
har raat teri bane deewaali
ee ee ee ee eee
har din ho tera holi re
holi re daaman se
ho daaman se bandh gayi choli re
daaman se bandh gayi choli re..ae
choli re daaman se
ho daaman se bandh gayi choli re


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 :

4802 Post No. : 16568

Today’s song is from the film Ladli-1949. This was one of the popular films of MD Anil Biswas in those times. He was still in his prime, but on the downward curve past his prime. By mid 50’s, films came at a snail’s pace to him and then in a few years he left Mumbai, shifted to New Delhi and his life took a 90 degree turn, personally and professionally.

Anil Biswas,the Bhishma Pitamaha of HFM, was a respected person in the industry.He started from the mid 30s and for the next 25 years or so,he created many everlasting gems in film songs. In Bombay, Playback was first started by him in the film Mahageet-1937. By the mid 50s his magic started waning and by 1960, he was almost gone from the industry. Initially he did 10-11 films with Sagar, then with Mehboob for National studios and then in Bombay talkies- where his name became immortal with the film Kismet-1943.

He married Ashalata in 1936. Along with her he started variety pictures and they produced films like Laadli-49,Laajawab-50 Badi bahu-51, Hamdard-53 and Bajuband-54. ( a less known fact is-Anil da had made a Guest appearance in the film Hamdard-53 as a barber.) He also acted in the film Mehman-53 (produced by Ashalata),as a Pujari and a song was shot on him.In both cases he did not get any payments. As a Producer he lost heavily, because Ashalata usurped all the money. Frustrated, he gave up everything and separated from her in 1954. By now, sweet links were established with singer Meena Kapoor-25 years younger to him, since 1948 itself. They got married with each other on 19-3-1957. The death of Brother in law and close friend Pannalal Ghosh in 1960 and younger brother Sunil in 1961 as well as his eldest son- Pradeep,broke his heart. He left Bombay and joined A.I.R. at Delhi on 1-3-1963,where he worked upto 27-6-1975. Later he was a consultant for Nehru University for a few years.

However,hardly anything is known about his eldest son Pradeep,anywhere. Here is some information,hitherto not known much,brought specially for our readers.
Pradeep was a very bright student and always topped in school and college. He passed his entrance exam and the interview,with flying colours for entry to NDA college at Poona,to join armed forces. He excelled even in NDA training.Not only was he very popular there but sang well too. He participated in the music Festival of Khadakwasla NDA and sang 3 songs,winning all prizes. He was also a NDA Topper.

Shri Gopinath Talwalkar,an A.I.R. Programmer at Delhi,used to interview the Toppers of NDA every year. That year Pradeep was the Topper, so he was interviewed. Though the interview was in Hindi, after the recording,Pradeep asked Talwalkar,in pure Marathi,whether his interview had been good. Talwalkar was shocked. Pradeep then explained that he was Anil Biswas’s son and he had learnt Marathi from his actress mother Ashalata. Pradeep knew Hindi,Marathi,English and Gujarati languages.

After completing his NDA training,he was posted as Flight cadet at Jodhpur. He was further promoted and became Pilot Officer in 1957. During one Training flight some altitude problems occurred and his plane crashed at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad, killing Pradeep instantly. This happened in 1961.

This was also the time of crisis for Anil da. He was struggling to survive. Films were not coming to him. Since he married Meena Kapoor, Lata Mangeshkar-a fast close friend of Ashalata , had gone against him and Meena’s singing career was suppressed. He had already lost Pannalal Ghosh and Sunil-his brother and now Pradeep’s death devastated him and he was literally forced to seek employment with Delhi A.I.R., when the opportunity came. After retirement, till his death on 31-5-2003, he spent his life in total anonymity and recluse. So sad for a composer, who was once a fountain of enthusiasm and who was considered Mentor by leading contemporary composers like C.Ramchandra.

By 1949, the Indian film industry had reasonably stabilised having gone through the rigours of the war period and total shake up of the industry due to the Partition blues. 1949 was the best year in the Golden Era of HFM. There were so many films offering evergreen, out of this world songs, that the audience did not know which film to see and which song to hear. The sale of records registered a Record of Sales in 1949. 157 films were made in 1949. Barring the figure of 181 films in 1947 ( we know the reasons), 1949 produced the maximum films from 1931 to 1984 – a period of 50++ years. What’s more, almost every alternate film gave superb songs. Nearly every Music Director of Hindi films was present in 1949, with his film.

This was also a transition period, when older composers were giving way to newer ones. Additionally, the competition between Naushad and C Ramchandra for the Number One position was at its peak. Though CR is my favourite composer, during the period 47 to 49, it was all the way Naushad who was the undisputed Numero Uno as far as quality and number of hit films were concerned.

In this period Naushad’s strike rate of Hit films was more than double, compared to C R, percentage wise. Naushad had 8 Hits from his 9 films in the period 1947 to 1949. For the same period, CR had only 4 Hits in his 18 films.

The year 1949 had absolutely heavenly showers of Musical Films. Some of such films were Andaz, Badi Behan, Barsaat, Bazaar, Dulari, Jeet, Apna Desh, Chandni Raat, Chaar Din, Sunehre Din, Shayar, Dillagi, Ek thi ladki, Kaneez, Laadli, Lahore, Mahal, Namoona, Patanga etc etc. The year 1949 also witnessed the introduction of A and U Censor certificates, the establishment of Films Division, the start of Navketan productions of Anand brothers and a few other landmarks in Hindi film industry.

Today’s song is an excellent song but rarely heard and not so popular for reasons difficult to fathom. It’s singer was Shiv Dayal aka S.D. Batish. I have a lot of respect for S D Batish,who did a marvellous job of promoting Indian Music in the UK and USA. He is one of those rare people who left the film world, but continued serving the Music,by turning a corner in Life. Such people are few in this world. The monumental work he did for Indian Music in foreign lands is unparalleled. An important point is that he did not do this service to Music for his personal gains. For his sustenance,he had opened a Restaurant in Santa Cruz,California,which was providing him enough for a comfortable living in the USA.

Born December 14, 1914, in Patiala, India, Shiv Dayal Batish abandoned a career in the nascent telephone industry to study devotional song, folk drama, and Indian classical music under his guru Hakim Chandan Ram Charan. In 1934, he relocated to Bombay to try his hand at acting, but roles proved scarce and he returned to Patiala two years later, renewing his focus on music. By 1936 Batish was regularly appearing on All India Radio and recording his first sessions for His Master’s Voice. The film industry nevertheless retained its allure for him, and in 1939 he returned to Bombay, working for a spell under broadcasting legend Z.A. Bokhari. After earning his first film work as an assistant musical director in 1942, Batish later graduated to full-fledged Bollywood musical director, in the years to follow working with playback singer greats including Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mohammed Rafi.

Batish also moonlighted as a playback singer in 70 films, singing 115 songs, among them 1944’s Daasi and 1948’s Barsaat ki Raat, before relocating to Britain in 1964. After accepting a position with the BBC Immigration Unit, Batish became a regular in British radio and television, most notably composing “Nai Zindagi Naya Jivan,” the theme song to the Beeb’s classic South Asian series Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye (“Make Yourself at Home”). He also returned to his roots as a live musician, performing Indian folk and classical music on the vichitra veena, a long-necked fretless flute. In 1965 Batish was summoned by percussionist Keshav Sathe to record the Indian-inspired incidental music for the Beatles’ second feature film, Help! — the experience also proved the beginning of his lifelong friendship with Beatle George Harrison, who later hired Batish to teach his then-wife Patti Boyd the stringed dilruba.

In 1969 Batish assembled wife Shanta Devi, daughter Vijay Laxmi and sons Ashwin Kumar and Ravi Kumar to record North Indian Folk and Classical Music, which for decades remained the lone Indian release to appear on the seminal folk label Topic Records. A year later, the family emigrated to the U.S., settling in northern California and founding a restaurant, the Santa Cruz-based Krishna Café. Although the restaurant business remained Batish’s primary focus for the remainder of his life, he continued playing live and also cut the occasional LP, most notably 1980s Raga Todi, 1985’s Om Shanti Meditation on Dilruba and 1997’s The 72 Carnatic Melakhartas.

He founded “Batish Institute of Music and Fine arts” in California and wrote about 12 books on Indian Classical music,like Ragopaedia,Raga Channels,Rasik Raga lakshan Manjiri etc. He had also founded Batish Recording Co.

He died at age 91 on July 29, 2006.

His singing on AIR drew the attention of an older cousin, Pandit Amarnath, who was an accomplished musician in the Punjabi film industry in Lahore. Amarnath gave Batish the opportunity to sing a song – Pagdi Sambhal Jatta – he had composed for the film Gawandi (1942). The song became a hit, making Batish popular. But, all told, the experience was bittersweet. Ashwin says his father did not relish acting in the movie: the frequent takes, the blinding light from mirrors used as reflectors unnerved him.

As Amarnath’s assistant, Batish learned various aspects of music direction: rehearsing with singers, synchronising instruments and working with an orchestra. These learnings opened yet another opportunity for him. He was invited to Bombay by the Marathi writer and film impresario Keshav Prahlad Atre (Acharya Atre) to compose music for the film Paayaachi Daasi. But, in the end, credit was given to Annasaheb Mainkar.

After the Partition in 1947, the year Amarnath died, Batish moved back to Bombay, this time not to try his luck as an actor, but as a singer and composer. Several prominent music directors of the day employed him for their movies – Anil Biswas for Laadli, Husnlal-Bhagatram for Sawan Bhado, Hamari Manzil, and Surajmukhi; Ghulam Mohammad for Kundan; Roshan for Barsat ki Raat and Taksal; and Madan Mohan for Ada and Railway Platform. Some of his more notable songs were sung with Geeta Dutt in films he provided music himself, such as Betaab and Bahu Beti. He was associated with films in Hindi and gave music to 20 films, composing 154 songs, as S.D.Batish,Master Ramesh and Nirmal Kumar. Some of his songs were famous.

Batish, whose musical oeuvre has been described as an “amalgam of classical music and Punjabi folk and popular styles” composed for 20 films, including Har Jeet, Tipu Sultan and Toofan. For two films, he composed under the name Nirmal Kumar – a moniker that Lata Mangeshkar had given him for luck, according to Ashwin.

By this time, Batish had grown disenchanted with the Hindi film world. Ashwin recalls that his father needed a steady income to sustain his young family, but payments were erratic and delayed. Irked by this, Batish worked for a while to set up an artistes’ union to give them a platform to air their grievances and demands. Then the family decided to go to England.

Shanta Devi, like Batish early in his career, had been an artist with the All India Radio at one time. To raise money for the air tickets, the family sold its land in Bombay’s Santa Cruz neighbourhood – now worth a fortune, Ashwin says. Its new home was on Birchington Road, a residential area in London’s West Hampstead.

The move to the US, as with the one to England, was a family decision. Shanta Devi’s initiative led to the Batish India House (at first called the Sri Krishna Café), a restaurant on Santa Cruz’s Mission Street that served Indian food while music was played by members of the Batish family. “I would serve food and then jump on stage to play music,” remembered Ashwin, who like his father plays several instruments, including the sitar and tabla.

The restaurant was featured often in the local paper, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, and ran till 1985, before music became the all-absorbing act, and SD Batish embarked on the “project of a lifetime”. His wish to collate, annotate, and set in writing every known detail of the Hindustani (the Ragopedia compendia) and Carnatic musical systems coincided with Ashwin’s discovery of Gopher, an early internet protocol that enabled files to be recorded, uploaded and distributed easily. It was a project envisioned after their visits to the library of the University of Berkeley yielded barely a few books on Indian music, and mostly on the Carnatic tradition. What was an inspiration for Batish to explain every raga became a boon not merely for music aficionados but also for his students who were familiar only with English.

He regularly performed with his children, Ashwin and daughter Meena, and lived long enough to see his grandchildren, Keshav and Mohini, grow into musicians. ( Thanks to obituary and bio byJason Ankeny and an article by Anu kumar in scroll.in dated 24-6-2021, along with muVyz, HFGK, Wiki and my notes. All excerpts are adapted ).

Today’s song is the 8th song from this film to be posted here. I like this song very much, I hope you too will like it.


Song- Kisi rangeen duniya mein na kya kya zindagi dekhi (Laadli)(1949) singer-S D Batish, Lyrics-Chandrashekhar Pandey, MD-Anil Biswas

Lyrics

kisi rangeen duniya mein
na kya kya zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar
aisi zindagi dekhi
kisi rangeen duniya mein
na roti pet ko
kapde na tan ko
ghar na rahne ko
na roti pet ko
kapde na tan ko
ghar na rahne ko
magar kehlaate hain insaan
aisi zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar

luti duniya kisi ki
ee ee ee ee ee ee
luti duniya kisi ki
par wo sotey bhool kar rona
kafan laaun kahaan se haaaaye
kafan laaun kahaan se haaye
aisi zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar

umar baali phati dhoti
idhar kheenche udhar kheenche
umar baali phati dhoti
idhar kheenche udhar kheenche
jawaani bhookh donon se
sataayi zindagi dekhi
rulaa de gham ko bhi ek baar

Tadapte bhookh se bachche
padi beemaar hai beevi
Tadapte bhookh se bachche
padi beemaar hai beevi
padi beemaar hai beevi
na kuchh paayaa aa aa
na kuchh paaya
to rassi se
lalakti zindagi dekhi
kisi rangeen duniya mein


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4801 Post No. : 16567

‘Parbat Pe Apna Dera’ (1944) was V Shantaram’s second film under his banner, Rajkamal Kala Mandir following a tremendous box office success of his first film ‘Shakuntala’ (1943). The film was released on August 8, 1944. The starcast included Vanmala and Ulhas in the lead roles supported by Shantarin, Madan Mohan, Kanta Kumari, P L Samant, Vijaya, Baby Nalini etc.

The lead actor of the film, Ulhas (real name: M N Kaul) had switched over to character actor’s roles when I started watching films in the theatre. So, it was a new experience to me when I first saw his performance as a lead actor in ‘Basant’ (1942) about 6-7 years back after which I saw his performance in the lead role in ‘Parbat Pe Apna Dera’ (1944). I have noted that Ulhas had worked in some films under V Shantaram – ‘Wahaan’ (1937), ‘Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani’ (1946), ‘Dahej’ (1950), ‘Surang’ (1953), ‘Toofaan Aur Diya’ (1956), ‘Do Aankhen Baarah Haath’ (1957), ‘Navrang’ (1959) and ‘Sehra’ (1963).

Ulhas’s connection with V Shantaram goes back to 1937 when he left his home town, Ajmer and reached Pune to try his luck as an actor. He met his fellow Kashmiri, Chandramohan who has become a well-known actor in Prabhat Film Company. He helped Ulhas in getting a side role in ‘Wahaan’ (1937) in which Chandramohan was a lead actor and V Shantaram was the director. After this, there was no looking back for Ulhas. He acted in over 150 films during his active filmy career of over 3 decades.

V Shantaram who had been making films with progressive themes like in ‘Duniya Na Maane’ (1937). ‘Aadmi’ (1939), ‘Padosi’ (1941) etc, chose a different theme for the film which he had not handled in his previous films. The theme was an unusual romance between an ascetic with a hilltop as his abode sans the worldly pleasure and a blind heiress staying in her palatial home. I have watched the film a couple of months back. The story of the film is as under:

Sadhu Ram Das (Ulhas) has renounced the world and made a hill top his abode Just below his hilltop abode is a Shiva temple. Meera Devi (Vanmala) an heiress who has lost her eyesight in the childhood, often visit Shiva temple along with her father (P L Samant) and her maid (Shantarin) to seek the blessing for curing her eyesight as modern medical science has not been able to restore her eyesight.

During one of her visits to Shiva temple, Meera Devi hears a singing voice from a distance which happens to be that of Sadhu Ram Das. Meera Devi is eager to visit the place to see the singer. Sadhu Ram Das does not like people visiting him as they distract his concentration during the prayer. First, he discourages her to come near him. But finding Meera Devi blind, he offers to cure her blindness within six days through his herbal eye drops.

On the sixth day, Meera Devi’s eyesight is restored. Now she wants to become a devotee of Sadhu Ram Das to serve him in his daily routine. But Sadhu turns her away as he does not want to get affected in his prayer and the concentration. After she leaves, Sadhu Ram Das is restless and feels her absence. Hence, when Meera Devi starts visiting his abode to help him in his daily routine, he does not object her presence. Slowly, he tastes the luxury of someone doing the work for him.

Meera Devi’s daily visit to the abode of Sadhu Ram Das creates a flutter among other sadhus staying nearby. She suggests Sadhu Ram Das to shift to her palatial residence which after some hesitation, he agrees. He soon gets used to the luxuries of life. He shades his beard and sadhu’s outfits. He starts flirting with Meera Devi and soon they get married.

After marriage, Sadhu Ram Das becomes Ram Babu who suddenly develops taste for enjoying the company of other ladies. During a boat ride with Meera Devi, he gets attracted towards a courtesan who is singing in her own boat. He clandestinely visits her boats every day and enjoy her company with wine. During one of his such visits, he is caught red-handed by Meera Devi’s father but decides not to tell his daughter after Ram Babu promises not to repeat the mistake.

Ram Babu’s addiction for the company of females results in breaking his promises to his father-in-law and flirts with a florist in the vicinity of his home itself. He is once again caught red-handed by Meera Devi who is hurt by his behaviour. She debars him from entering her home.

Now that his wife knows about his weakness for women, he now openly flirts with women during the Navratri festival. On the Dusshera day, he flirts with one of Meera Devi’s friends (Kanta Kumari) and attempts to molest her. To save herself, she throws a burning cracker towards Ram Babu which hits him in his eyes resulting in blindness.

When Meera Devi comes to know about the incidence, she goes with her father in search of him. Eventually, they find him in his hilltop abode. Meera Devi suddenly remembers his magic herbal eye drop bottle which she retrieves from his cave. Alas, on the way, it falls and bottle is broken. Finally, it is the continuous ringing of the temple bell by both Meera Devi and Ram Babu which restores his eyesight.

Most of V Shantaram’s films have some message to the society and ‘Parbat Pe Apna Dera’ (1944) is no exception. In the film, he sets out the message that it does not take much time for ascetic to turn hedonist. Afterall, an ascetic is also a human and is subject to the temptation of the worldly pleasures which are addictive in nature. The title of the film did make me hesitant to watch the film. But once I began to watch, the film unfolded like a smooth sailing.

There is nothing much in the story by Diwan Sharar. In fact, the story’s end is a tame affair. But his dialogues are crispy. It is V Shantaram’s direction which makes the story visually interesting. There are a few brilliant streaks of symbolisms in his direction. For instance, the ascetic’s abode on a hilltop conveys that his status is on a high pedestal. When he decides to shift to Meera’s palatial home on the plains and is walking with her to come down, a big bolder with accompanying rocks and stones roll down symbolising that the ascetic is walking down to a lower status to become a householder.

On the performances of the actors in the film, only 4 actors have a large screen presence – Ulhas, Vanmala, Shantarin and Madan Mohan (not to be confused with music director, Madan Mohan). All the four have given a good performance.

Another plus point of this film is the musical compositions of Vasant Desai. Most of the songs have pleasing tunes and good orchestrations which have been nicely picturised. All these three elements of the songs put Vasant Desai’s music being ahead of its time.

So far, six songs (out of 9) have been covered in the Blog. I am presenting the 7th song from the film, ‘sapanon mein aane waale’ rendered by Khan Mastana. The song is written by Diwan Sharar which is set to music by Vasant Desai.

The song is picturised on Ulhas who, after renouncing from asceticism and marrying Vanmala, has become a playboy. He sings this song during a festival gathering to attract female participants.

Video Clip:

Audio Clip:

Song-Sapnon mein aanewaale hamko jaga rahe hain (Parbat Pe Apna Dera)(1944) Singer-Khan Mastana, Lyrics-Dewan Sharar, MD-Vasant Desai

Lyrics

aaa aa aa aa
aa aa aa
aa aa aa aaa

sapanon mein aanewaale
sapanon mein aanewaale
hamko jagaa rahen hain
hamko jagaa rahen hain
ham jinko dhoondhte thhe
ham jinko dhoondhte thhe
wo khud bula rahen hain
wo khud bula rahen hain

mehmaanon ki hai raunaq
mehmaanon ki hai raunaq
taanta sa lag raha hai
taanta sa lag raha hai
do chaar jaa rahen hain
do chaar aa rahen hain
do chaar jaa rahen hain

hairaan hain nighaaein
hairaan hain nighaaein
kya chaahen kya na chaahen
kya chaahen kya na chaahen
wo kuchch dikha rahe hain
aur kuchch chhupa rahe hain
aur kuchch chhupa rahen hain

doley ae
doley hain mann ki naiyya
doley ae
doley hain mann ki naiyya
aur bekhabar khaiwaiyya
aur bekhabar khaiwaiyya
bhooli huyi dagar mein aen
bhooli huyi dagar mein
ham dagmaga rahe hain
ham dagmaga rahe hain
sapanon mein aanewaale
hamko jagaa rahe hain
ham jinko dhoondhte the
wo khud bula rahe hain
sapanon mein aanewaale ae


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4799 Post No. : 16563

Chal ri sajni ab kya soche kajra naa bah jaaye rote rote.

This is one of the immortals ‘bidaai songs’ in Hindi films. The song written by Majrooh Sultanpuri is composed by S D Burman and Mukesh has sung in a sombre mood as if he sang for his daughter’s ‘bidaai’. But many admirers of this song may not be aware (I was one of them until few months back) as to who played the prelude music of this song on Shehnai. Later on, I came to know that it was played on a Taar Shehnai. This prelude music must have facilitated the creation of appropriate mood for Mukesh to render the song.

In tumko to karodon saal huye batlaao gagan ghambhir, the poignant mood of the song is amplified in the interlude of Taar Shehnai.

In megha chhaaye aadhi raat bairan ban gayi nindiya, there are depiction of two moods in the interlude scenes – Shashi Kapoor with Rakhee (Kamini) in joyous mood represented by fast-paced music on electric guitar and Rakhee (Kanchan) alone in a melancholic mood represented by the music on Taar Shehnai.

The name of the Taar Shehnai player in all the three songs is Dakshina Mohan Tagore who was instrumental in introducing Taar Shehnai in Hindustani classical concerts as well as in Hindi and Bangla films.

Before I discuss more about Dakshina Mohan Tagore, let me briefly give some information about Taar Shehnai which I have gathered from the the internet including some videos made by classical musicians. Taar Shehnai is string and bow musical instrument, almost like a Dilruba (also called Esraj in Punjab and Bengal with round sound box) except that a mechanical amplifier in the shape of an old gramophone horn is attached to the sound box of Dilruba/Esraj with a needle touching one of the strings to produce the sound like that of shehnai. Dilruba/Esraj is the combination of Sitar like neck and frets with Sarangi like sound box, played with a bow.

The advantage of Taar Shehnai over traditional Shehnai is that the former has more piercing sound indicating grief and pathos than Shehnai. It is because of this quality of sound that probably Pandit Ravi Shankar decided to use Taar Shehnai for a piece of background music played by Dakshina Mohan Tagore for one of the immortal scenes in ‘Pather Panchali’ (1955). The scene towards the end of the film is that Harihar returns home after a long absence and shows to his wife, Sarbajaya among the purchases made, a saree for their daughter Durga for her marriage. Sarbjaya breaks down after seeing the saree and falls on the ground. At that point, the background music on Taar Shehnai played by Dakshina Mohan Tagore starts and continue to about 2 minutes during which Harihar gets to know that Durga is no more. Noble prize winning author, Saul Bellow calls this piece of Taar Shehnai as ‘hysterical death music’ in his novel ‘Herzog’ (1964). One can watch this heart-rendering scene in the video of the film which is available on video sharing platforms.

Not much information is available about Dakshina Mohan Tagore, one of the innovative musicians. I could get a brief profile of him in February 23, 1958 issue of ‘Aakashvaani Bulletin’ where his programme on the National Programme of Music was listed. Also, I recalled some tits bits which I had read, mainly from the interviews of those artists who had closely worked with him when I was preparing for articles on S D Burman about 2 years back.

Dakshina Mohan Tagore (1916-1986) was born in Kolkata in the illustrious Tagore family. His father was a freedom fighter and a colleague of Sri Aurobindo. After serving a long prison, his father became an ascetic and made the Himalayas his abode. Dakshina Mohan grew up in an environment of music and fine arts. He learnt singing from his mother and Sitar and Esraj from his grandfather and uncle, respectively. Later, he got training from Ustad Chhotey Khan and Suresh Chandra Chakravarty.

At the age of 16, Dakshina Mohan became a member of Indian Radio Orchestra in Kolkata. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore invited him to Shantiniketan to work as an examiner in instrument music which he continued for many years. Sometime in early 1950s, he joined Aakashwani (All India Radio), Kolkata as a musician by which time he had become a concert player of Sitar, Dilruba/Esraj, Taar Shehnai and Tarit Veena.

S D Burman was instrumental in bringing Dakshina Mohan Tagore to Bombay film industry and making use of his Taar Shehnai in Hindi films – both for orchestration of the songs as well as for the background music. Dakshina Mohan Tagore played Taar Shehnai for S D Burman, O P Nayyar and later for R D Burman. He played Taar Shehnai for background music in Bimal Roy’s films. I had also read that he played Tarit Veena along with Santoor played by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma in the interludes of the song, hamne to dil ko aapke qadamon pe rakh diya for O P Nayyar. Note the piece of music which is a hybrid sound of Sitar and Sarod.

According to Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Dakshina Mohan Tagore was known in Mumbai’s film musicians circle as ‘Dukhida’ because he played Taar Shehnai to give mournful and sad moods. Only S D Burman called him with full proper name.

In Mumbai, Dakshina Mohan became the disciple of Annapurna Devi and propagated the Maihar Gharana music in his concerts of Taar Shehnai, Dilruba/Esraj and Tarit Veena all over India. He was the first Hindustani classical musicians who played Taar Shehnai and Tarit Veena in concerts. Later, Pandit Vinayak Vohra (father of Neeraj Vora, actor- writer-director) continued to propagate Taar Shehnai in concerts.

Dakshina Mohan Tagore must be a person keen to develop or modify the traditional music instruments to produce a hybrid sound. He is credited with modifying Esraj to make Taar Shahnai by adding the sound amplifier. From the browsing of some of the issues of ‘The Radio Listeners/Aakaashwani’ fortnightly Bulletins, I observed that often Dakshina Mohan had given Tarit Veena recitals on AIR during 1943-59, a music instruments I heard for the first time. It appears that Dakshina Mohan preferred to play ‘exotic’ musical instruments like Taar Shehnai, Mandar Bahar and Tarit Veena.

Many Hindustani classical musicians like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Allah Rakha Qureshi, Ustad Akbar Ali Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan etc, had been associated with Hindi films as music directors. Dakshina Mohan Tagore association with film industry as a music director was very marginal. ‘Ameeree’ (1944) was his sole released Hindi film for which he was the music director. Unfortunately, this film of the veteran director, P C Barua failed miserably at the box office. After few years, he got an opportunity to compose songs for ‘Ramdoot Hanuman’ (1960s). But this film remained unreleased. Later, six songs were released on records.

One song from ‘Ameeree’ (1945) has been covered on the Blog. I present the second song- ‘aao man bahalaayen saajan’ from the film to appear on the Blog. The name of the singer is not mentioned in HFGK. However, the name of the singer mentioned for this song in http://www.myswar.co is Neelima Banerjee. On the basis of a few of her Bangla songs I have heard, the voice in the song under discussion appears to have some similarity with Bangla songs of Neelima Banerjee. The name of the lyricist of all the 9 songs of the film is unknown.

The tune and the orchestration of the song have typical Bengali flavour.

Audio Clip:

Song-Aao man bahlaayen saajan (Ameeree)(1945) Singer-Neelima Bannerjee, MD-Dakshina Mohan Tagore

Lyrics

aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen
tum man veena ko chhedo
tum man veena ko chhedo
ham raag manohar gaayen
tum man veena ko chhedo
ham raag manohar gaayen
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen

apne man ka sundar vaati(??)
hara-bhara hai aur bedaag
apne man ka sundar vaati(??)
hara-bhara hai aur bedaag
aashaaon ke phool chunen
ham kaanthon mein kyun jaayen
aashaaon ke phool chunen
ham kaanthon mein kyun jaayen
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen

kaliyon ne li angdaayi
phoolon pe masti chhaayi
phoolon pe masti chhaayi
jhoom jhoom ke mast hawaayen
hampe kaise chhaayen(??)
jhoom jhoom ke mast hawaayen
hampo kaise chhaayen(??)
aao man bahlaayen
saajan
aao man bahlaayen


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4796 Post No. : 16557 Movie Count :

4508

‘Aawaaz’ (1942) was produced by Dadasaheb Torne under his banner, Saraswati Cinetone and was directed by Rafique Razvi. The star cast included Maya Bannerji, Wasti, Swarnlata, Danve, Kailash, Shantabai, Baby Anwari etc. Dadasaheb Torne set up Saraswati Cinetone in 1931 after the sound films came into being. His maiden sound film, ‘Shyamsundar’ (1932) completed silver jubilee run in Mumbai. ‘Aawaaz’ (1942) was the last film of Dadasaheb Torne.

I became aware of Dadasaheb Torne when his name had propped up prominently in many newspapers and magazines around the time of closing of the centenary celebrations of Indian films in May 3, 2013. The day was exactly 100 years after Dadasaheb Phalke’s first Indian film. ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was released. Vijay and Anil Torne, the sons of Dadasaheb Torne claimed that it was their father, Dadashaeb Torne who produced India’s first film ‘Shree Pundalik’ (1912) which was released in the Coronation theatre in central Mumbai on May 18, 1912.

A petition signed by many citizens including the family members of Dadasaheb Torne and Vikas Patil, the producer and the then Chairman of IMPPA was submitted to the then President, Pranab Mukherjee and others seeking the status to Dadasaheb Torne as the producer of the first Indian film ‘Shree Pundalik’ (1912). A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was also filed in Bombay High Court seeking the honour to Dadasaheb Torne for producing the first Indian film. Both the petition as well as PIL have cited the advertisement of the film which appeared in the Times of India dated May 25, 1912 and its screening in the Coronation Theatre. The film ran for two weeks.

I could not get to know whether any decision on the petition or the judgement on PIL came out. But judging by the intense debate in the print media those days on this issue, I do not think that the Government of India gave any final response to the petition.

There were many articles which appeared on this issue in various newspapers of that time such as the Times of India, Indian Express, DNA, Mid-Day etc. Based on the articles in these newspapers, I have summarised the points of arguments for and arguments against declaring ‘Shree Pundalik’ to be the first Indian film produced by Dadasaheb Torne which are as under:

Arguments in favour of ‘Shree Pundalik’ as the first Indian film

1. ‘Shree Pundalik’ was shot on a movie camera with a cameraman. The shooting script was written by Dadasaheb Torne and his friends, Ramrao Kirtikar and Nanasaheb Chitre.

2, Dadasaheb Torne directed ‘Shree Pundalik’ beside acting. Tipnis and Joshi also acted along with other actors. The shooting was done at the junction of the then Girgaon Road and Lamington Road. So, it was a location shooting.

3. The length of the film was 4000 feet, So, it was a feature-length film as per the standard of films those days.

4. Dadasaheb Torne was continuously associated with Indian films as a producer, director, editor, sound recordist and film distributors since 1912.

Arguments against ‘Shree Pundalik’ as the first Indian film.

1. ‘Shree Pundalik’ was a recording of a drama of the same name with a camera fixed on the stage. In other words, there were no camera movements, no close-ups and multiple angle shots. As against this, ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was filmed using the cinematic techniques. It was shot with a movie camera with multiple angles and in parts. All the parts were later joined together to make a full film (editing functions).

2. It is claimed that ‘Shree Pundalik’ was 1500 feet in length with a runtime of 22 minutes whereas the length of ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was 3700 feet with a runtime of 40 minutes.

3. For ‘Shree Pundalik’, the camera was operated by a Britisher, Johnson who took the raw film to London for processing. The negatives of the film is not available in India. The film’s positive print along with other related documents was lost during the Panshet dam flooding in Pune in 1961. ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was processed in India. In the words of Dadasheb Phalke, it was a complete swadeshi film.

4. Raja Harishchandra’ was made with a shooting script. Actors were specially selected for the film. Elaborate sets were designed both for indoor and outdoor shootings. Special costumes were designed for the actors. There were shooting schedules of about 4 weeks. In other words, all the important aspects of a film making – direction, camera movements, a couple of trick scenes, art work, costumes, lighting, editing etc were handled while making ‘Raja Harishchandra’.

Government of India continues to recognise ‘Raja Harishchandra’ as the first feature film made in India and Dadasaheb Phalke as the pioneer of Indian films.

A biographical book on Dadasaheb Torne was written in Marathi by Shashikant Kinikar, a film journalist which was published in 2007. After failing to get the book though I got some material from the preview of the book. I came across an article written by Kumar Kadam in Marathi in Maharashtra Times, dated April 23, 2012 giving a short biography of Dadasaheb Torne.

Ramchandra Gopal (Dadasaheb) Torne (13/04/1890 – 19/01/1960) was born in Sukalwad village, near Malwan in Sindhudurg district. At the age of 3, his father passed away plunging the family into poverty. As a result, Dadasaheb Torne did not complete his primary schooling.

Because of poverty, the family shifted to Mumbai. Soon, the young Dadasaheb went to Karachi with a friend and worked there in a shop learning job of an electrician. After about 6 months, he came back to Mumbai and joined Greaves Cotton in their Electric Department.

In Mumbai, once he attended the premier of the Marathi drama ‘Shree Pundalik’ staged by an amateur drama company. Soon, he became attracted to Marathi drama and joined Advocate Kirtikar’s Shripad Natak Mandali. Because of his multiple talents, he became one of the important members of the drama company.

At that time, the silent films from Hollywood were getting released in Mumbai which had become popular. Dadasaheb Torne’s mind was working on the conversion of Marathi drama, ‘Shree Pundalik’ into a silent film. He was in contact with his Hollywood friend to get the knowledge of making a film and the approximate cost thereof. His friend, Advocate Nanasaheb Chitre arranged for a movie camera and a British cameraman, Johnson. Thus, India’s first silent film ‘Shree Pundalik’ was produced and directed by Dadasaheb Torne which was released in Coronation Theatre on May 18, 1912. It ran for 2 weeks.

Soon after the release of ‘Shree Pundalik’, Greaves Cotton transferred Dadasaheb Torne to their Karachi office where he became friendly with Baburao Pai (He was the same Baburao Pai who became one of the partners of Prabhat Film Company and introduced Dev Anand in ‘Hum Ek Hain’, 1946). Both of them started the business of importing silent films from Hollywood for distribution in Karachi.

After a couple of years in Karachi, Dadasaheb Torne returned to Mumbai and spent 3-4 years in Kolhapur probably to learn the nuances of film making. During the first World War period, he came back to Mumbai and started a company dealing in cine equipment like camera, films and other accessories which were required for making films. His business boomed as many had started making silent films. In 1929, Dadasaheb Torne in partnership with Baburao Pai floated ‘Super Pictures’, a film distribution firm which made a lot of profit during the boom period of silent films.

In around 1927, sound films had made their presence in Hollywood. Dadasaheb foresaw the opportunity in doing business in sound equipment. With his American associates, he learnt the use of sound technology in films. When Ardeshir Irani was planning to make India’s first sound film, ‘Alam Ara’ (1931), Dadasaheb Torne provided him Bell & Havel movie camera and the sound equipment. He himself supervised the sound recording of ‘Alam Ara’ (1931) sitting with the Sound Recordist.

In 1932, Dadasaheb floated his own film production company, Saraswati Cinetone with a studio in Pune and produced its maiden sound film, ‘Shyam Sundar’ (1932). Under this banner, Dadasaheb made 20 films in Marathi and Hindi up to 1942.

The financial constraints forced Dadasaheb Torne to rent out his studio premises in Pune to one of his close associates (W Z Ahmed?). In 1947 in the wake of the partition, his associate mortgaged the premises to a bank by forging the signature of Dadasaheb Torne. Thereafter, he ran away to Pakistan with the money he raised and along with the expensive camera and other equipment. A shocked Dadasaheb got his first heart attack after which he decided to completely retire from the films. He stayed with his family in his bungalow in Shivaji Nagar, Pune until his death in January 19, 1960.

I feel very sorry for Dadasaheb Torne as he came so close to becoming the pioneer of Indian films, but lost the honour on technical points. He was a visionary man who foresaw the advent of silent and sound films well in advance and kept himself ready in learning the techniques of film making. His efforts need to be lauded as he came from a very poor family without even completing his primary education.

It is not known whether Dadasaheb Phalke had occasion to see ‘Shree Pundalik’. But he may be aware of the short comings of the film which could have facilitated him to improve upon while planning ‘Raja Harishchandra’. I feel that Dadashaeb Torne’s contributions to Indian cinema need to be recognised some way or the other – say by instituting an award for some film related activities. A road in Pune is named after him.

Coming back to the last film produced by Dadasaheb Torne, ‘Aawaaz’ (1942) had 10 songs written by Ramesh Gupta and Kaabil Amritsari. However, accreditation of lyricist of each song is not available. There were two music directors for the film – K C Verma and Sadashiv Neverekar. Again, accreditation for each song is not available. Sadashiv Narvekar was associated with Marathi films as a music director who composed Lata Mangeshkar’s first ever recorded song in a Marathi film, ‘Kiti Hasaal’ (1942).

I am presenting the first song ‘naach naach re man pankhi’ from ‘Aawaaz’ (1942) to appear on the Blog. The melodious song is sung by Rajkumari Dubey. An almost similar sounding tune was used in the mukhada of the song, nain dwaar se man mein wo aake in ‘Saawan’ (1959). But I guess that this has more to do with the same raag-based songs than getting inspired from the tune of the song under discussion.

With this song, ‘Aawaaz’ (1942) makes its debut on the Blog.
Audio Clip:

Song-Naach naach re man pankhi tere saajan aayenge(Aawaaz)(1942) Singer-Rajkumari, Lyricist-Kabil Amritsari/Ramesh Gupta, MD-K C Verma/ Sadashiv Nevrekar

Lyrics

naach naach re
naach naach re man pankhi
tere saajan aayenge
naach naach re man pankhi
tere saajan aayenge
phoolon ka chaadar sajaa le
phoolon ka chaadar sajaa le
aasha ke ae ae ae ae
aasha ke man deep jalaa le
aasha ke man deep jalaa le
(??) ko dhoond rahi hain ankhiyaan
(??)ko dhoond rahi hai ankhiyaan
kab saajan aayenge.. ae ae
kab saajan aayenge
naach naach re mann pankhi
tere saajan aayenge

jeewan ki ee ee ee
ho…. o
o o o o
aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aaa
jeewan ki ?? lehraaye
?? ankhiyan basaayen
manwa meethhe gaane aaye
gaane gaaye
gaane gaaye
manwa meethhe gaane aaye
kyaa
tere saajan aayenge
haan
aayenge
naach naach re mann pankhi
tere saajan aayenge


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, 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 :

4793 Post No. : 16553 Movie Count :

4507

Leela Desai was one of the top actresses during 1937-47 both in Kolkata and Mumbai. There was a curiosity in me as to why she suddenly disappeared from the film industry after 1947 when her career was at the peak. Thereafter, she lived in almost obscurity. What is surprising about Leela Desai is that information about her date/year of birth, her marital status, what she did after she left the film industry and when she passed away are unknown or sketchy.

Leela Desai was the 4th of the 5 children born to Dr Umedram Desai from Gujarat and Satybala Devi, daughter of a Bengali landlord settled in Bihar. It was a second marriage for both of them as Satyabala Devi lost her husband during the childhood while Dr Umedram Desai got married to his first wife in his childhood through whom he had two sons. Later, Dr Umedram Desai married Gunobati Mitter, a Bengali Christian, for the third time with whom he had 6 children. Before her marriage, Gunobati Mitter worked as a tutor for the children of Dr Umedram Desai and Satyabala Devi in Rampur. So apart from her own 4 siblings, Leela Desai had 8 step brothers/sisters.

Leela Desai was born in Newark when her parents were in the USA for a 3-year stint. She was brought up in Rampur as her father, Dr Umedram Desai became the State Surgeon for the State of Rampur and the personal Physician to the Nawab of Rampur. At the age of six, Leela Desai was sent to Kolkata for her primary schooling and to Kurseong near Darjeeling from where she completed her Matric and Junior College. Thereafter, Leela Desai returned to Lucknow by which time her father had passed away in Mumbai. In Lucknow, she enrolled to learn Kathak from Shambu Maharaj. During her training, she gave a lot of charity dance performances and made a good name as a dancer.

Hemchandra Chunder, one of the film directors in New Theatres who was on a visit to Lucknow, attended one of Leela Desai’s dance performances. He was impressed by her dance performance with her expressive eyes. He offered her a role of a younger sister of Kamlesh Kumari in New Theatre’s ‘President’ (1937) in which she had also a dance performance. At first, she did not show much interest to work in the film. However, after few days when she watched New Theatres’ Krorepati’ (1936), she felt that she could act in the film. She wrote to Hemchandra Chunder about her willingness to work in the film. The fact that Hemchandra along with Nitin Bose rushed to Lucknow with a contract showed their eagerness to take Leela Desai for the film without the screen test.

‘President’ (1937) became a hit on the box office and Leela Desai’s performance in the film was appreciated so much that overnight she became the star. Under New Theatres’ banner, apart from ‘President’ (1937), she worked in ‘Vidyapati’ (1937), ‘Dushman’ (1938), Kapal Kundala’ (1939) and ‘Nartaki’ (1940). Except ‘Kaapal Kundala’, she also acted in Bangla versions of the films and had also dance performances in these films.

After ‘Nartaki’ (1940), Leela Desai left New Theatres and took a year-long all-India tour with her dance troupe which became very successful both in terms of recognition as a dancer as well as in monetary terms. After accepting the attractive offer from Chimanlal Trivedi of Laxmi Productions, she landed in Mumbai to act in their maiden film ‘Tamanna’ (1942). In Mumbai, though Leela Desai worked as a free-lance actor, she was associated with Laxmi Productions for ‘Inkaar’ (1943), ‘Sharaafat’ (1943), ‘Miss Devi’ (1944), ‘Kamala’ (1946), and ‘Maharani Milandevi’ (1946). She also worked with her New Theatres’ colleagues and directors in Mumbai such as Nitin Bose in ‘Paraaya Dhan’ (1943) and ‘Mujrim’ (1944), with Debaki Bose in ‘Meghdoot’ (1945) and with Kidar Sharma in ‘Kaliyaan’ (1944). In addition, she worked with veterans directors like Vishram Bedekar in ‘Nagad Narayan’ (1943), R S Chaudhary in ‘Magadraj’(1946) and with Ramchandra Thakur in ‘Geet Govind’ (1947).

During her short filmy career between 1937-47, Leela Desai worked in 22 films. After 1947, Leela Desai seems to have taken a ‘voluntary retirement’ from the film industry. Her only connection to filmy industry after 1947 was that her name appeared on the credit titles of Bimal Roy’s film, ‘Kabuliwala’ (1961) as Associate Producer. It is said that Leela Desai bought the rights of ‘Kabuliwaala’ (1961, Bangla) from Tapan Sinha with an intention to make the film in Hindi. However, later she sold the rights to Bimal Roy.

Leela Desai’s elder sister, Shanti Desai was married to Bratindranath Tagore, a nephew of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Her younger sister, Monica Desai was also an actress in Bangla and Hindi films who got married to film director, Phani Majumdar in 1947.

As I said earlier, not much information about Leela Desai was available after she left the films. One of the commentators has mentioned on the facebook page that Leela Desai remained unmarried for rearing the children of her elder sister, Shanti who passed away at a young age. If it is true, it is a sacrificial act by her to leave the film industry and remain unmarried to take care of her elder sister’s children.

Another reference I got about Leela Desai after her leaving films was from an obituary of Sumita Sanyal written in 2017 by Shoma A Chatterji, a film scholar and a free-lance journalist. In this article, she has mentioned that Leela Desai was staying in Mumbai at her apartment in Worli Sea Face where she used to conduct acting classes for the prospective actors coming from Kolkata. One of such actors to whom she gave acting training was Sumita Sanyal. It is possible that Leela Desai may have recommended Sumita Sanyal to Hrishikesh Mukherjee for the film ‘Ashirwaad’ (1968).

As per the comment on Upperstall, written by Shoma A Chatterji in the context of yester year stars who passed away in oblivion, it was stated that Leela Desai passed away in Mumbai. But her date/year of death was not mentioned. She further stated that none of the newspapers and film magazines carried the news of her death.

Leela Desai who started her filmy career with her maiden film “president’ (1937) under the direction of Nitin Bose, got the opportunity to work under his direction in ‘Paraaya Dhan’ (1943) and ‘Mujrim’ (1944), later film being also produced by Nitin Bose under the banner of Vishnu Cinetone. The star cast included Motilal, Leela Desai, Jagdish Sethi, Yakub, Veena Kumari, Sunalini Devi, Cuckoo etc.

From a very short synopsis available on-line, the film was a ‘musical crime-thrilling family drama’. Motilal is a kind hearted person who meets Leela Desai and fall in love with her. Both of them want to marry each other but a villain, Yakub comes in the way as Leela Desai would inherit a lot of wealth if she gets married. So, Motilal is framed under a false murder case by Yakub. How the real culprit is traced and Motilal and Leela Desai get united, becomes the part of the thrilling end.

The film had 6 songs written by Kailash Matwala (4) and Rammurti Chaturvedi (2). The songs were set to music by Padmabhushan Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh, one of the greatest Tabla and Harmonium players.

I am presenting the first song ‘mori dukaniya aana baabu’ from ‘Mujrim’ (1944) to appear on the Blog. The song is rendered by Rajkumari Dubey on the words of Rammurti Chaturvedi. It is very melodious song with unusual orchestration. There is also some influence of Rabindra Sangeet in the musical composition of the song.

With this song, ‘Mujrim’ makes a debut on the Blog.

Note: Leela Desai’s early life sketch is based on an article which appeared in July 1942 issue of ‘Filmindia’ magazine after the release of ‘Tamanna’ (1942), her maiden film in Mumbai. Some personal information about Desai family is supplemented from a Blog of Adeel Desai.

Audio Clip:

Song-Mori dukaniya aana baabu (Mujrim)(1944) Singer-Rajkumari, Lyrics-Rammurty Chaturvedi, MD-Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh

Lyrics

mori dukaniya aana baabu
mori dukaniya aana
mori dukaniya aana baabu
mori dukaniya aana aa aa
bhaant bhaant ke phool rangeele
des lekar jaana
haan aan aan
bhaant bhaant ke phool rangeele
des lekar jaana baabu
mori dukaniya aana aa aa

jeth maheena aa aa
raat ki raani ee ee
jeth maheena raat ki raani
phoolen aadhi ratiyaan aan aan
jeth maheena raat ki raani
phoolen aadhi ratiyaan aan aan
bahey paseena jee ghabraaye
saajan karen na batiyaan
karen na batiyaan
karen na batiyaan
aan aan aan aan aan aan
phool ka haar pahan ke sajni
saajan ko lalchaana aa aa
mori dukaniya aana baabu
mori dukaniya aana aa aa

aaya maas ashaadh
chameli phooli kyaari kyaari
aaya maas ashaadh
chameli phooli kyaari kyaari
kali kaliyon mein se khushboo nikli pyaari pyaari
chilla chilla kar baabu mere roothhi naar manaana
chilla chilla kar baabu mere roothhi naar manaana
baabu roothhi naar manaana
mori dukaniya aana baabu
mori dukaniya aana aa aa
bhaant bhaant ke phool rangeele
des lekar jaana
baabu
mori dukaniya aana aa aa


What is this blog all about

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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over THIRTEEN years. This blog has over 16500 song posts by now.

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

Important Announcement

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

Total number of songs posts discussed

16569

Number of movies covered in the blog

Movies with all their songs covered =1280
Total Number of movies covered=4510

Total visits so far

  • 14,739,322 hits

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

Join 1,950 other followers

Bookmark

Bookmark and Share

Category of songs

Current Visitors

Historical dates

Blog Start date: 19 july 2008

Active for more than 4000 days.

Archives

Stumble

visitors whereabouts

blogadda

blogcatalog

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