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

Posts Tagged ‘1937


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

Blog Day :

3799 Post No. : 14789 Movie Count :

4044

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

etc.

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

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

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

chhaai aayi saawan ki ghata. . .

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

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

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

छाई आई सावन की घटा॰ ॰ ॰

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This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog.This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3792 Post No. : 14776

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Lyrics

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

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

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

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

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

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


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3607 Post No. : 14389

Today’s song is from an obscure, unknown film the early era – ‘Pratibha’ (1937).

Any industry, to develop into a profitable one, requires hard work by the pioneers. This applies totally to Hindi Film Industry in India. The original initiators of the film industry were not any rich people, but the industry took the seeds from ordinary, middle class people.They had no riches, but their zeal, dedication, ambition and desire to achieve goals overtook their poverty and they toiled and moiled to raise the required finance for their projects. We all know about  the great Dadasaheb Phalke, who staked everything he owned to achieve his goals and became a name to remember for ever. In this endeavour, he was not alone. There was one more person from Kolhapur, who took Phalke’s dream much ahead from silent to talkie films. His name is taken today with awe and respect by film historians. He was Baburao Painter.

Kala Maharshi Baburao Painter ( real name Baburao Krishnarao Mestri) was born on 3rd June 1890 at Kolhapur. The success of Dadasaheb Phalke in making films in India inspired Baburao and his cousin brother Anandrao immensely. They too wanted to make films, but it was not possible in Kolhapur. Phalke had gone to England to learn the film making and had brought machinery from England. This was beyond the reach of these poor young men.

Anandrao found that a second hand projector was for sale in Null Bazar in Bombay. Crazily, he decided to change the projector into a film camera, by making some structural changes. They sold the gold ornaments of family and bought the projector. To start with and to get further finance they used it to show films in theatres. They even showed some Hollywood films here. After several attempts, Anandrao was successful in converting the projector into a film camera. Baburao was also with him in this. Unfortunately, Anandrao died suddenly giving a set back to the project.

Baburao now needed finance to go ahead. Luckily a famous classical singer of those days, Tanibai Kagalkar – wife of Bapusaheb Kagalkar and the sister of Vinayakrao Ghorpade (who was the father of child actress and singer Vasanti), invested Rs. 15,000 – an astronomical figure for those times. Baburao established Maharashtra Film Company in Kolhapur and started preparations for making his film ‘Sairandhri’, released in 1919. The cast of this film included 2 women, Gulab Bai aka Kamla Devi and Anusuya Bai aka Susheela Devi. These women were promptly thrown out of their homes and society. They remained with the company and even cooked and washed clothes of artistes, besides acting in the films other times. (This Gulab Bai aka Kamla Devi later posed for the symbol of Prabhat Film company- playing Tutari with bent body. She married Fattelal, one of the directors of Prabhat Films.)

‘Sairandhri’ was a tremendous success. Enthused Baburao Painter made another 15 films. Lokmanya Tilak was so impressed with Baburao’s dedication, he awarded him the title of ‘Cinema Kesari’. Baburao Pendharkar was the General Manager of the company, mainly because he could speak fluent English, with customers. Others were V Shantaram, Dhaiber, Damle and Fattelal as his assistants in different departments. Sarpotdar, NH Apte and Vashikar were the script writers and Prof NS Phadke, the novelist, wrote film titles. In 1920 second half, there was a big fire in the company and all films were burnt.

Baburao Painter started afresh in 1921. He made many mythological and historical films. Baburao was the first to make a social film, ‘Savkari Pash’ on the issue of exploitation of  poor farmers by money lenders in the villages. In 1928, a foreign trained film director was appointed from Bombay – Moti B Gidwani, on a fat salary. (He was later to direct the film ‘Khazanchi’ (1941) in Lahore). This caused unrest in the company and resulted in Shantaram, Dhaiber, Damle and Fattelal leaving the company. They established Prabhat Film Company. In 1930, Baburao also left Maharashtra Film company. When talkie films started he made 7 talkie films, including 2 Hindi films – ‘Pratibha’ (1937) and ‘Matwala Shaayar Ramjoshi’ (1947) along with Shantaram. He then left films and concentrated on his painting and sculpture. Baburao Painter died on 16-1-1954 at Kolhapur.

Baburao’s contribution to Indian film industry-

  1. He was the first to use coloured screens and clothes for realistic effect.
  2. Indoor filming with artificial lighting.
  3. Fade out and fade in techniques
  4. Outdoor shootings; Debaki Bose, in his visit to studio, was amazed to see Baburao’s working techniques.
  5. Making sketches of scenes and costumes before shooting.
  6. Advertising posters. film booklets with film story and pictures.

All assistants of Baburao painter became big people. He was simply a God sent gift to Hindi film industry.

‘Pratibha’ was also one of the 2 Hindi films in which the great classical singer of India, Hirabai Badodekar acted. The other film was ‘Suvarn Mandir’ (1934). She, however, sang 9 songs in 3 films, namely ‘Pratibha’,  ‘Lalat’ (1947) (‘Lalat’ was the debut film of Usha Kiron, who used her real name Usha Marathe in this film) and ‘Dolti Naiya’ (1950). The cast of the film was Durga Khote, K Datey, Miss Heera, Master Shyam, Hirabai, Nanasaheb Phatak, Vishupant Jog, Raja Paranjpe etc.

Nanasaheb Phatak was one of the greatest stage actor of Marathi dramas. He was called ‘Natwarya’ ( नटवर्य ), euphemism for “the greatest among actors”. This was the only Hindi film he ever acted in his lifetime. Raja Paranjpe (24.4.1910 – 9.2.1979), one of the big names in Marathi films later was in the making in the 30s. He acted in 15 Hindi films and also directed 5 Hindi films. ‘Pratibha’ was his first film as an actor. His last film was ‘Us Paar’ (1974).

Hirabai Badodekar (29-5-1905 to 20-11-1989) was the daughter of Ustad Abdul Kareem Khan and Tarabai aka Tahirabibi. She was never interested in acting in films, but she did it for Baburao Painter.

Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Tarabai Mane, had fled from the city of Baroda to settle in Bombay after their affair was not accepted by the extended families. However, their fleeing away from their roots did not mean the end of the road to the music career that Hirabai Barodekar would eventually become a part of. According to archives in history, Tarabai Mane was the daughter of Sardar Maruti Rao Mane, one of the brothers of the Rajmata of Baroda. During her childhood years in the early 19th century, Tarabai Mane used to learn music from Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, who was a mere court musician in Baroda. The two gradually fell in love, a feeling that was not supported by any of the family members precisely because of the gap between their status and ranks in the society. The couple had no other option but to flee Baroda to settle in Bombay city. Tarabai Mane and Abdul Karim Khan married in Bombay and gave birth to five children, two sons and three daughters. The third child was named Champakali, who was later renamed to Hirabai Badodekar in her adult years.

After about 1920, Khansaheb became very busy with his many tasks and concert tours throughout India. As a result, he could not attend to the needs and music education of his children. Compounded with some household family problems, Tarabai decided to separate from him and left him in 1918. In the beginning, she stayed in Bombay for some time and then moved to Pune with her five children.

She decided to change their Muslim names. She was the daughter of Sardar Mane of Badoda state. She used Mane and Badodekar as the surnames. Badodekar was derived from the name of her native place whereas Mane was her surname before marrying Khan Saheb. Thus Abdul Rahman became Suresh (God of music notes) Babu Mane. Out of her 5 children, Champakali became Hirabai Badodekar, Sakina or Chhotu Tai became Saraswati Mane and after marriage Sarawati Rane. Tarabai opened up new music school ‘Nutan Sangeet Vidyalaya’ with Sureshbabu as a teacher along with other teachers and students. Sureshbabu also began to teach his sister Champakali (later Hirabai). However, they were all in their teens, and hence Tarabai persuaded and appointed uncle Abdul Wahid Khan as the teacher for children. Later on, with the help of Sawai Gandharva (Rambhau Kundgolkar) she opened up drama wing of Nutan Sangeet Vidyalaya. They staged several old and new drama and all brothers and sisters played various roles. Sureshbabu and Hirabai also played roles in Hindi and Marathi films during 1930s and 40s. Sureshbabu also composed music for films – ‘Sant Tulsidas’ (1934) and ‘Sach Hai’ (1939).

The training under her brother and uncle proved to be very beneficial for Hirabai Badodekar, and was soon able to perform for a larger audience. Her voice had always been praised and was a source of inspiration to many in her generation and subsequent generations to come. Hirabai Badodekar’s first step into the world of classical Hindustani music was in the year 1920 when she started performing in public concerts. It was the early 20th century and though women had already stepped out of their homes by this time, the idea of an Indian woman performing on the world stage was still a less heard concept. Therefore, Hirabai Badodekar was not only a renowned classical singer, she was also a pioneer in the field of classical singing by women on a world stage. She was the first woman to stage a ticketed concert in India. Needless to say, this drive popularized Hindustani classical music not only among connoisseurs of music, but also the common man in search of new entertainment opportunities.

Till today, classical music experts refer to Hirabai Badodekar’s voice as melodious and soulful. Her rendition of the ‘Taar Sa’ raga became the benchmark of her concerts. She was asked to perform the particular music in every concert appearance. The Kirana Gharana was already a very popular house of classical music during the 20th century and the success of Hirabai Badodekar only helped to make it more famous among the masses. She was an expert in the fields of khayal, thumri, bhajan and Marathi natya sangeet. Hirabai Badodekar’s career as a classical music singer did not remain enclosed within stage performances. It was only after a few years in stage singing that she started to work as a recording artist, largely responsible because of her growing popularity among the common man. After her phenomenal success as a recording artist, following her stint on the stage, Hirabai Barodekar came to be known as ‘Gaanhira’, a diamond in the world of singing.

Hirabai had participated in several plays during her early school years. The stage too was not a new place for her. Therefore, she progressed from being a classical music singer and recording artist to a film actress. Her career as a movie artist though was not as glorious as compared to the one in Hindustani classical music. Nevertheless her contribution to movies like ‘Janabai’, ‘Municipality’, ‘Suvarna Mandir’ and ‘Pratibha’ are still etched in history. Apart from a prosperous career in classical singing and a memorable one in movies, Hirabai also set up a music school for young girls to learn Hindustani classical music. Her school Nutan Sangeet Vidyalaya, was successful in popularizing the concept of classical music through the plays that it staged.

She became such a well known name in the field of classical Indian music that she was showered with a number of awards and prizes given to her by the Government of India. The highest honor which came her way was probably the offer to sing the national song Vande Mataram in the programme held in Red Fort on the 15th of August 1947, the day that India got its independence from the British. Her voice won her the title of ‘Gaansaraswati’ bestowed upon her by Jagadguru Shankaracharya. She was referred to as ‘Gaan Kokila’ by the nightingale herself, Sarojini Naidu. In the year 1953, she was one of the prominent members of a delegation which was sent from India to China and several countries across East Africa. The delegation performed to a world audience to present the cultural heritage of India. Over subsequent years, she became one of the most prominent classical singers that India had ever witnessed, with the government conferring the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award upon her in 1955 and Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards, in 1970.

She was successful in grooming a set of students who continued to contribute to the field of Hindustani classical music after her death. Prabha Atre is one of the most prominent students that Hirabai has left behind to carry on her legacy. Ever since 1992, the genius of Hirabai Badodekar has been celebrated through the Sureshbabu – Hirabai Smruti Sangeet Samaaroh, a music festival held every year in Mumbai.  She passed away on 20-11-1989.

‘Pratibha’ was a bilingual film – Hindi/Marathi – produced by Shalini Cinetone of Kolhapur. When Baburao Painter left Maharashtra Film Co., and others left to start Prabhat at Pune, the king of Kolhapur – Shahu Maharaj was disturbed. He wanted kolhapur to remain a hub of film production. He himself established Kolhapur Shalini Cinetone, mainly to keep Painter employed. Baburao, Bhalji Pendharkar and Master Vinayak also came back to make films here. After few films like ‘Akashvaani’ (1934), ‘Vilasi Ishwar’ (1935) (in Hindi it was ‘Nigaah e Nafrat’ (1935), a Debut film for Shobhana Shilotri, who became Shobhana Samarth later on), ‘Pratibha’ and Phalke’s only talkie film ‘Gangavataran’ (1937) (debut film of Leela Mishra aka Leela Mausi), ‘Gangavataran’ was made on lavish scale spending lot of money. However the film flopped and Kolhapur Shalini Cinetone was closed down forever.

The story of film ‘Pratibha’,

Poet Prasad (Datey) lives far from the city in a forest, enjoying only the company of wife Pratibha (Khote). The court poet Kaveeshwar (Phatak) of the neighbouring kingdom learns about his poetry and beautiful wife and invites them to his palace, promising glory and fame. Against Pratibha’s advise, Prasad  succumbs to the temptation, only to find that his poetry is plagiarized and his wife is harassed.

Baburao Painter excelled in this film shooting with his classical touch, deftly handling the crowd scenes etc. The highlight of the film was when Prasad and Pratibha leave the palace in a raging storm.

Here is a rare film song of Hirabai Badodekar from this film.

Here is a tribute to Baburao Painter on his Birth Anniversary.

(Credits – Maharashtra- Birthplace of Indian Film Industry, by Isak Mujawar, iloveindia.com, wiki, HFGK, Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema and my notes )


Song – Bharamuva Kaahe Pe Baawre (Pratibha) (1937) Singer – Hirabai Barodkar, Lyrics – Pt Anand Kumar, Music – Gobind Rao Tembe

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

bharamuva kaahe pe baawre
bharamuva kaahe pe baawre
bhole manava
aa aa aaa
bharamuva kaahe pe baawre
bhole manava
aa aa aaa
bharamuva kaahe pe baa.aawre
bhole manava..aa..aa
bharamuva kaahe pe

rang birange. . .
aaa aaaa aaaa aaa
rang birange. . .
aaaaaa
aaaaaa aaaa aaaa
aaaa aaaa aaa aaaaaa
rang birange. . .
aaa
aaaa aaaa aaa aaaaaa
rang birange
aaa aaaa aaaa aaa
aaaa aaaa aaa aaaaaa
rang birange baag bageeche
hey
saaj sajeele sab phal mere (??)
bhole manava
aaa aaaa aaaa
bharamuva kaahe pe baawre

bharamuva kaahe pe baa..aawre
bharamuva kaahe pe baawre
bharamuva kaahe pe baa..aawre
bhole manava
aaa aaaa aaaa
bharamuva kaahe pe baawre
bharamuva kaahe pe baa..aawre
haaan aaaa
bharamuva kaahe pe baawre
bhole manava
aaa aaaa aaaa
haaan aaaa
haaan aaaa
bharamuva kaahe pe baawre
bhole manava

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

भरमवा काहे पे बावरे
भरमवा काहे पे बावरे
भोले मनवा
आ आ आss
भरमवा काहे पे बावरे
भोले मनवा
आ आ आss
भरमवा काहे पे बा॰॰आ॰॰वरे
भोले मनवा॰॰आ॰॰आ
भरमवा काहे पे

रंग बिरंगे॰ ॰ ॰
आ आsss आss आs
रंग बिरंगे॰ ॰ ॰
आsss
आsss आss आs
आ आsss आss आs
रंग बिरंगे॰ ॰ ॰
आsss
आ आsss आss आs
रंग बिरंगे॰ ॰ ॰
आsss आss आs
आ आsss आss आs
रंग बिरंगे बाग बगीचे
हे
साज सजीले सब फल मेरे (??)
भोले मनवा॰॰आ॰॰आ
आsss आss आss
भरमवा काहे पे बावरे

भरमवा काहे पे बा॰॰आ॰॰वरे
भरमवा काहे पे बावरे
भरमवा काहे पे बा॰॰आ॰॰वरे
भोले मनवा
आsss आss आss
भरमवा काहे पे बावरे
भरमवा काहे पे बा॰॰आ॰॰वरे
हाँ’ आsss
भरमवा काहे पे बावरे
भोले मनवा
आsss आss आss
हाँ’ आsss
हाँ’ आsss
भरमवा काहे पे बावरे
भोले मनवा


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3564 Post No. : 14287

Today’s song is from the film ‘Kisaan Kanya’ from 1937. This movie is famous for being the first indegenuously made colour film of India, by Ardeshir Irani’s Imperial Film Company. Film pioneer Irani was also the first to make an international co-production, with Italy – the film ‘Nala Damayanti’ – a silent film of 1920. Secondly, and more importantly, he also holds the honour of making and releasing India’s first talkie film ‘Alam Ara’ in 1931. And with film ‘Kisaan Kanya’, he achieved a hat trick of ‘First in India’ credit in film making.

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

Similarly, Irani studied why Prabhat’s first colour film ‘Sairandhri’ from 1933 failed technically. So when he planned ‘Kisaan Kanya’, he decided to do all technical processes in India. Thus his colour film came out much better than Prabhat’s film. Ashok Raj, in his book ‘Hero-I’, writes the following about Ardeshir Irani.

Irani perhaps was the world’s first multilingual film maker, having made forays into English, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Persian, Burmese, Indonesian and Pushto. He is credited with launching the talkie era in countries like Burma, Indonesia and Iran. He made nearly 120 talkies in a span of just 8 years. He was also the first to establish a colour laboratory imported from Hollywood.

The first song from ‘Kisaan Kanya’ has recently been discussed on our blog, by our Sadanand Kamath ji, so I will not go into its details like story etc. Instead, I will discuss about 3 important persons connected with this film – namely Master Nisar, Padma Devi and Ram Gopal Pande.

Master Nisar was the most popular hero of the early talkie films. He was also one of the most highly paid stars of that era. His popularity was such – it is said that once due to a very large crowd gathered to see him, the Governor of Bengal was forced to divert his car to another road ! When Master Nisar went to Nashik for shooting Bhavnani’s film, he had to be kept closed in a room of his hotel to avoid his fans and hunters from other film companies, who would try to abduct him ! This same person, who enjoyed fame, name, money and fan following once, had to spend his last days in misery, poverty, neglect and pitiable conditions in a one room tenement in a Kamathipura chawl with few aluminum pots and a box full of photographs. During his heydays, he had learnt the art of massaging, as a hobby. This very art came to his help in his last days and he used to work as a masseur and earn few rupees sometimes.

Film historian Isak Mujawar has written in his book ‘Flashback-II’ about several instances of his later years. Here are two of them. When film ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ (1953) was being made, Bimal Roy wanted a masseur for a scene in which the Zamindar (Ulhas) is getting a body massage. Bimal da asked his the then manager Jugal Kishore (who later on became an actor, director and producer) to bring a masseur having solid physique. When Jugal Kishore brought  a very thin, emaciated looking person, Bimal da was very upset. When Jugal Kishore told him that he was Master Nissar, Bimal da was moved and gave him the role.

Those who have seen film ‘Guddi’ (1971), there is a scene in which a lanky, thin person is massaging Om Prakash. Dharmendra tells Guddi, “Do you know who he is ? Master Nissar, one time a great actor who was popular and very rich. Film line is such that riches to rags stories are very common here”. In his final days, Nisar was seen begging on roads.

Nissar Ali Mohammed Ali was born on 5-3-1902 in Delhi. His uncle brought him to Bhopal, when he was 10 year old. Nisar started singing and acting in his uncle’s drama company for Rs. 15 pm. He learnt music from Pt. Betab and Ustaad Jhande Khan. After few roles of girls and heroines, he got a hero’s role in Agha Hashr Kashmiri’s dramas, due to his good looks, fluent Urdu and singing skill.

He joined Madon Theatres for their dramas. When Madon decided to make their drama ‘Shirin Farhad’ into a talkie film, their first choice for hero was Nisar. Jahan Ara Kajjan was called from Bhagalpur, Bihar for the heroine’s role. The pair became very popular. People became mad after Nisar’s songs. The pair proved to be a gold mine They acted in 8 films together. Their songs became a rage all over India.

Master Nisar shifted to Bombay and joined Bhavnani Films at a salary of Rs. 3000 pm, a princely sum in those days. He was the first person in the industry to own a Rolls Royce car. His heroines were many like Padma Devi, Zebunnisa, Bibbo, Haseena, Sardar Akhtar, Kanta etc. He also acted in India’s first home made colour film ‘Kisaan Kanya’ (1937). This was also his last film as a hero. In the wake of the rise of Saigal, Ashok kumar, Surendra etc., in comparison his acting was very theatrical and it paled before the newer heroes. He shifted to character roles after being a hero in 45 films. In all, he appeared in 75 films during his career. The situation came that he would take whatever role came his way.

Master Nisar married 4 times. His first wife served him lovingly till the end. He survived by doing small and sometimes even un-credited roles like extras. He was friendly with Dilip Kumar, so he got small roles in his films. His style suited qawwaalis and he featured in many well known films like ‘Azaad’, ‘Barsat Ki Ek Raat’ etc. He is seen as the on screen lead singer in the qawwaali “Aaj Kyon Hum Se Parda Hai” in the film ‘Sadhna’ (1958). The writer of the qawwaali, Sahir Ludhianvi, came across Master Nisar, begging on the roadside. On recognizing him, he immediately hugged him, and took him to the office of BR Films. He introduced him to BR Chopra, and got him the role.

Nisar was a religious person and performed Namaaz five times a day. He had no bad habits like smoking or drinking or gambling, still he spent life in penury. Being a self respecting person, he never asked for roles from anyone. Born poor, lived rich and died poor. Master Nisar died on 13-7-1980. It is said that his neighbours collected money for his burial.

One of Master Nisar’s heroines was Padma Devi in some films. She was a Bengali actress named Neelima. She made her debut in silent films with ‘Sea God’, a 1931 production from Saroj Films. She acted in about 15 silent films. While moving to the talkie films, she had difficulty with her diction and singing in Hindi language. But she overcame this with grit and determination, and learnt all this. She did all this while working in films like ‘Laal e Yaman’, ‘Kurukshetra’, ‘Prithviraj Sanyogita’ etc. (all films from 1933).

She was introduced to Baburao Patel and in no time they became ‘special friends’. Baburao cast her as a heroine in 4 films in his own Gandharva Cinetone company. She became a part of his office and personal life too. However after Susheela Rani’s entry as Baburao’s secretary, she was pushed first aside and then outside. She returned to Calcutta in 1946 and appeared in many films in character roles. She returned to Bombay in 1961 and was seen in smaller roles in Hindi films till late 1970s. Her last film seems to be in 1979.

The music for ‘Kisaan Kanya’ was composed by Ram Gopal Pande, who was variously credited as RG Pande, Ram Gopal, Ram Gopal Pandey etc. He hailed from UP. After unsuccessfully trying to become a singer, he became assistant to many well known composers and learned their methods. His first break came in 1936 with ‘Matwaali Jogan’ aka ‘A Girl From Lahore’ (directed by K Amarnath). Then he was called by Ardeshir Irani at Imperial Film Company for their first colour film. Master Nisar and Padma Devi’s songs became popular, so he was given two more films viz., ‘Mere Laal’ (1937) and ‘Vasant Bangalee’ (1938).

Then in 1938, came Mother India, ‘Actress Kyon Bani’ (1939), ‘Flying Rani’ (1939), ‘Perfect Man’ (1938), Daughters of India’ (1939) and ‘Chalti Duniya’ (1940). He was then connected with Mohan Pictures and did 10 movies for them. His last film seems to be ‘Angoorbala’ in 1947. He was left behind as his music was stage and drama type only – he did not change his style.

Today’s song is First song of Master Nisar on our blog making a debut as a singer. After hearing his singing, one can get an idea about the public taste in the early 1930s and one wonders how they became so popular. One incident of his popularity – In 1954-55, when Master Nisar was in Coimbtore for shooting of film ‘Azaad’ (1955), he along with others went to the market for shopping. There they met one lady and talk started about songs of early era. She said, “I used to like Master Nisar’s songs, but after he died, I gave up listening to songs.” All were stunned. Then Master Nisar introduced himself to her. She was so pleased that she invited all the visitors from Bombay for a party in Nisar’s honour, with the promise that in return, he had to sing for her!

Let us now enjoy Master Nisar and Padma Devi song from ‘Kisaan Kanya’. It was uploaded by Shalin Bhatt ji only on 16th March 2018. Thanks, Shalin ji.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements and thanks – The above write up refers to and has adapted material from ‘Beete Huye Kal Ke Sitaare’ by Shri Shriram Tamrakar, ‘Hero-1’ by Ashok Raj, Isak Mujavar’s books, Prof. Yadav’s book, muVyz, chiloka.com, HFGK, Listener’s Bulletin, Encyclopedia of Indian Films and my own notes.]

 


Song – Aisa Nagar Basaaya Jis Mein Swarg Utar Kar Aaya (Kisan Kanya) (1937) Singer – Padma Devi, Master Nissar, Lyrics – [Unattributed], Music – Ram Gopal Pandey
Both

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya
jis mein swarg utar kar aaya
jis mein swarg utar kar aaya

aisa nagar basaaya

jahaan subeh ki kirnen aa kar
sona hans barsaayen
yahaan pe pahunche
premi bhanware
amar geet nit gaayen
chahun or sunehri gun paaya hum ne
aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya

is soney ke preet nagar ke
hum donon hain bhikhaari
jab tak suraj chaand rahenge
tab tak preeti hamaari
aisa vardaan hai paaya hum ne
aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya
jis mein swarg utar kar aaya
aisa nagar basaaya
aisa nagar basaaya

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

ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया
जिस में स्वर्ग उतर कर आया
जिस में स्वर्ग उतर कर आया

ऐसा नगर बसाया

जहां सुबह की किरणें आ कर
सोना हंस बरसाएँ
यहाँ पे पहुंचे प्रेमी भँवरे
अमर गीत नित गायें
चहुं ओर सुनहरी गुण पाया हम ने
ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया

इस सोने के प्रीत नगर के
हम दोनों हैं भिखारी
जब तक सूरज चाँद रहेंगे
तब तक प्रीति हमारी
ऐसा वरदान है पाया हम ने
ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया
जिस में स्वर्ग उतर कर आया
ऐसा नगर बसाया
ऐसा नगर बसाया


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3541 Post No. : 14215

Today’s song is from the film ‘Asiai Sitara’ (1937) aka ‘Star Of Asia’.

The film was made by Harshad and Jagtap. It was distributed by Wadia Movietone. The director was Haribhai Desai, the music was by Master Mohammed and the lyricist was Pt. Anuj. The film cast was master Vithal, Jenabai Pawar, Minoo the Mystique, Vasant pehelwan, Master Dhulia etc.

After the initial surge of the films made on mythology, parsi fantasies and folk tales, the adventurous film makers moved on to make films on social issues, comedy, stunts, social reforms, history, love stories and religious personalities. From 1935, the rise of stunt films in talkie version (thanks to Fearless Nadia) gave rise to a genre, which lasted till the 1950’s. After that, it faded to a natural death. Nowadays, all the heroes do the stunts themselves, but their films are not called stunt films.

However, the audience, which was accustomed to films of fantasy, costume and folk tales, still existed, so on and off such films too were made by older film makers. The film ‘Asiai Sitara’ was also one such costume film. This was a film originally made by Haribhai Desai of Surya Film Company, Bangalore, as a silent film in 1932. In those days, Bangalore was the main city in South Circuit, so many big film distributors (mostly Gujaratis) had their offices in Bangalore. After the demise of silent films, most of them closed their distribution offices and jumped into talkie film making in Bombay. Some prominent distributors were, Dr. Ambalal Patel and Chimanlal Desai (started Sagar Movietone), Ramniklal Shah (started Mohan Pictures, Ramnik Films etc.) and Haribhai Raghunath ji Desai (started Surya Film Company in Bangalore itself).

The story of Haribhai Desai is very interesting. He was born in a very wealthy family of a village near Kutch area of Gujarat. He was very intelligent and completed his graduation in Bombay. The silent film industry was developing very fast. Haribhai decided to jump into it. To get his fundamentals strong, he went to America and did his graduation from New York Institute of Cinematography. Coming back to India, he took up a job as a manager in Laxmi Pictures and later in Suvarna Pictures of Poona. With this experience and few distribution contracts, Haribhai landed in Bangalore and set up his shop as a distributor.

Very shortly, in 1929, he established his own film production company – Surya Film Company at Bangalore, which was his main aim in life. He went to Kolhapur, hunting for talent. Kolhapur was an important film making centre in those times. There, he found Ganapatrao Baakre (गणपतराव बाकरे) –  a very handsome, well built wrestler and a daredevil stunt actor working in Baburao Painter’s  Maharashtra Film Co. He also noticed another very good looking young man, with good physique, working in stunt films for free (he was from a rich family). He was Zunzar Rao Pawar  झुंझार राव पवार). His real name was DK Pawar, but was called by this name after his role in a successful company. Haribhai needed  good and well known actors. He lured them with higher salaries and brought them to Bangalore. Ganpat Rao was paid Rs.1000 pm in those days.

Production of silent films started rapidly. Their first film was ‘Raj Hriday’ (1929). It was released in four theatres in Bombay in October 1929. The publicity of this film was handled by Kikubhai Desai (father of Manmohan Desai). Film pamphlets were showered on Bombay city from an aeroplane, as an advertisement gimmick! No doubt the film ran to houseful audiences in all theatres. In a very short time both actors from Kolhapur became very popular and famous. Surya Films made about 40 silent films.

Meanwhile Zunzar Rao Pawar fell in love with an Anglo-Indian girl – Jena Lawson, who was looking for an entry in films. They got married and she became Jenabai Pawar. Haribhai was not the one to lose such opportunities. He made two films with Jenabai Pawar as a heroine. The first was ‘The Hawk’ (aka ‘Baaz Bahadur’, 1931) and the other was ‘Asiai Sitara’ (1932). She did not work in more films. Soon Baakre and Pawar family returned to Kolhapur, after four years in Bangalore.

When the silent era ended and talkie films flourished, Haribhai closed Surya Films and went to Bombay. There, he remade his two successful silent films, made with Jenabai Pawar, as talkie films, with the same heroine. ‘Baaz Bahadur’ was made in 1936 and ‘Asiai Sitara’ was made in 1937. Now that these were talkie films, Jenabai also sang in the film. She sang four songs in each film. Considering she was not Indian, the songs were reasonably good. Earlier the silent films had Ganapat Rao Baakre as the hero, now in talkie films, Master Vithal was the hero.

Master Vithal (1906-1969) was the first superstar of silent films. He also has the credit of being the hero of the first talkie film of India ‘Aalam Ara’ (1931). He got this role only because of his un-paralleled popularity in silent films. He was the first ‘Angry Young Man’ of Indian cinema in the 1920s and the 1930s. His films were full of stunts, fighting and daredevil acts. Master Vithal was very handsome with a very muscular physique. He was the ideal of many aspiring young actors like Bhagwan.

So, when Bhagwan became stunt film hero and a director, his ardent wish was to act with Master Vithal or direct him. By 1940, Master Vithal was almost a gone actor, with very few Hindi films. So when Bhagwan got him to act in his film ‘Naghma e Sehra’ (1945), both Bhagwan and his close friend C Ramchandra were extremely excited. CR not only gave music to this film, but also did playback singing for Master Vithal and fulfilled his wish.

Today’s generation has no idea what position Master Vithal held in the minds of Indian audience in those days. Stunt films were very popular and Master Vithal, with his handsome looks, muscular physique and daredevil stunts was extremely popular. I am perhaps one of the very few remaining now, who has seen his film. I only remember one scene from that film, in which Master Vithal jumps from a tree onto an open car, fights with the goons and takes away the heroine, who promptly embraces him. I neither remember the name of the film nor of the heroine. She might be Zebunnisa.

Master Vithal (Vithal Raghunath Desai) made his début on the stage as a child artist with Raja Pur Natak Mandali. He then started his career as a film editor with Maharashtra Films, Kolhapur which was owned by Baburao Painter. His first film role was as a female dancer in ‘Kalyancha Khajina’, a silent era film directed by Painter. He continued to work as film editor and a dancer and played minor roles in films. His first break as a male lead was in the film ‘Ratna Manjari’ (1926) produced by Sharda Studios, which he had joined earlier in 1925. After ‘Ratna Manjari’, he was a permanent fixture in the role of a hero and he was the star attraction of the films from Sharda Studios.

Sharda Studios was owned by Nanubhai Desai, Anand Prasad Kapoor and Harshadrai Mehta.  Nanubhai Desai was the studio founder and director of many stunt films produced by the company in which Vithal appeared in swashbuckling roles with Zebunnisa as his heroine. A professional wrestler, he became a very popular fearless hero acting in films on historical themes related to Rajasthan and Maharashtra; thus giving him the title ‘the Indian Douglas Fairbanks, a title Vithal hated. Audience adored him in his stunt hero role, which became his ‘forte’. By 1930, he was the highest paid male star in Indian cinema industry.

In 1930, Vithal’s popularity in stunt films attracted Ardeshir Irani of Imperial Film Company to invite him to join his company to make India’s first talkie, though Mehboob Khan was also vying for the role. Vithal, who was quite excited by Irani’s offer, accepted and moved to Irani’s newly formed film company Sagar Studios in Bombay, breaking his contract with Sharda Studios, only by few days. Nanubhai Desai was furious and he kidnapped Master Vithal. He was kept a captive, forcing him to extend the contract with Sharda Films. When Irani came to know this, he went to the court against Sharda films. Eminent lawyers like Setalwad and Mohmmed Ali Jinnah were employed by the litigating parties.

When the case started in the court, the judge asked Master Vithal, where he would like to join. That time Sharada was paying him Rs. 300 pm. Master Vithal replied that whichever company gave him more salary, he would join them. After this, there was an auction in the court and sums were spelt for master Vithal. Imperial Film company won when they offered Rs. 1200 pm as salary. The judge gave his judgement and Master Vithal joined Imperial. Thus he became the first actor to get a four figure salary in Indian Films. He was also the first actor in the industry, to own a car. After losing Master Vithal, Sharada Film company wanted a replacement for him.  They appointed P. Jairaj, an upcoming handsome and muscular actor, on a salary of Rs. 100 pm!

The following year, Master Vithal played the hero in the first Indian talkie ‘Aalam Ara’ with Zubeida as the female lead. ‘Alam Ara’ was also the first film in which music was introduced, as many as seven music scores were part of the film. As his Hindi diction was poor, he could not deliver the dialogues properly; his acting quality in histrionic roles was also questioned. He was  shown mostly in a state of trance or semi consciousness in the film and hardly had any dialogue. It is said that Vithal could not adopt himself to the new genre of talking-singing films in Hindi as he was “reduced to a hero who is (was) magically struck dumb in Alam Ara”. In 1932, he did some more silent films, which were no longer preferred by the audience. The talkies led to the decline of his career in Hindi films. Vithal would never get a major role in Hindi films again. From 1934 onward, he started doing some Marathi films realizing his limitations. From the 1940s onward, he regularly appeared in films by Bhalji Pendharkar and those featuring Lalita Pawar and Durga Khote. He also played in a side role in the 1944 blockbuster film ‘Ramshashtri’Towards the end, he played only minor roles in Marathi films; his last film appearance was in 1966.

A lot has been said about his inability to speak Urdu dialogues and there is a popular myth, that after ‘Aalam Ara’, he did not get any talkie film and he left the Bombay film industry for Kolhapur to continue his career in Marathi films. Nothing can be farther from truth, because not only Master Vithal was cast as a hero in another talkie film, by Imperial Film Company itself – ‘Anangsena’ (1931), but many other well known production houses like Wadia, Mohan, Pradeep, BK Dave, Ranjit etc. engaged him for talkie films.

However, Master Vithal who was not very comfortable with Urdu dialogues, was no more interested in doing Hindi films anymore, so he did films very selectively. He acted in 8 silent films till 1934 and 16 talkie Hindi films till 1946. He even gave music to a film ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ (1946), and also acted in it. All this after ‘Aalam Ara’.

Master Vithal is in history books as the first hero of the first Hindi talkie film and also has to his credit the introduction of a double role (by Shahu Modak) in a Bilingual film ‘Aawaara Shehzada’ (1933), which he directed (‘Autghatkecha Raja’ in Marathi). Master Vithal himself was the first to do a double role in silent film,’Prisoner of Love’ (aka ‘Raj Tarang’, 1927), made by Sharada Films.

Master Vithal acted in a total of 92 films – Hindi, Marathi, talkie and silent. He also directed two talkie films – one each in Hindi and Marathi. In one of his interviews, he regretted his decision to shift to Kolhapur in 1946 permanently as, he felt, this reduced his Hindi film participation. He had constructed a big chawl in Kolhapur and in his retirement years, he lived on its rental income. He died in 1969.

Haribhai Desai did not do anymore Hindi films. He was active in Gujarati films as a writer and director. He even made a Telugu film as a director. The film was ‘Bhaktimala’ (1941). It was made on the theme of Devdasi tradition of Maharashtra, where maidens are married to God. Actress P Bhanumathi did the main role. The film proved to be a great hit in south and remakes in southern languages were also made. This is considered a milestone movie in Telugu films.

‘Asiai Sitara’ has 8 songs. This song is sung by Master Dhulia, a famous Gujarati folk singer of repute. This song was composed as a parody of Saigal’s famous song “Balam Aaye Baso More Mann Mein” from film ‘Devdas’ (1935). The composer Master Mohammed, was famous for his patriotic songs. He had earlier composed another parody song, “Gaawo Gaawo Ae Mere Saadhu“, in the film ‘Miss Frontier Mail’ (1936), which was a parody of the KC Dey song ‘Jaao Jaao Ae Mere Sadho, Raho Guru Ke Sang‘ from film ‘Pooran Bhagat’ (1933).

The film ‘Asiai Sitara’ and singer ‘Master Dhulia’, both make a debut on the blog today.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements and thanks – The above write up refers to and has adapted material from books by Shri Vithal Pandya, Isak Mujawar, Dr RK Verma, and from Harish Raghuwanshi ji, CITWF, MuVyz.com, HFGK, Encyclopedia of Indian Films and my own notes.]

 


Song – Aan Phanse Ab Ban Mein Bhaiya (Asiai Sitara) (1937) Singer – Master Dhulia, Lyrics – Pandit Sampat Lal Shrivastav ‘Anuj’, Music – Master Mohammed
Unidentified Male Voice

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

aan phanse ab ban mein bhaeee..yyaa
aan phanse ab ban mein bhaieee..yyaa
aan phanse
aan phanse
bhai..ee..ee..ee..yaaaaaaa

aan phanse ab ban mein bhaiya
aan phanse ab ban mein
bhai..ee..ee..ee..yaaaaaaa

ye kya kar raha hai

taan maar raha hoon

jhoothe ke laaye
saanche gawaaye
jhoothe ke laaye
saanche gawaaye
sach bin lutiaa kaun piraaye
sach bin lutiaa kaun piraaye
kaari badariya barsan laagi
kaari badariya barsan laagi
baitha gar saawan mein bhaiya
baitha gar saawan mein
bhai..ee..ee..ee..yaaaaaaa

suratiya kaisi bhai kaari
kaari
kaari
suratiya kaisi bhai kaari
ab to kamariya tootan lagi
tootan laagi
tootan laagi
reh gayi mann ki mann mein bhaiyyaaa
reh gayi mann ki mann mein
bhai..ee..ee..ee..yaaaaaaa

nainanwa paayo nirbhaagi
nainanwa paayo nirbhaagi
tab hi pawanva phootan laagi
phootan laagi
phootan laagi
dhool pari nainan mein bhaiyyaaa
dhool pari nainan mein
bhai..ee..ee..ee..yaaaaaaa

kaisi bhai ye harkat

kalaam le raha hoon

———————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————
आन फंसे अब बन में भईsय्याआ
आन फंसे अब बन में भईsय्याआ
आन फंसे
आन फंसे
भई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰य्याआआआआ

आन फंसे अब बन में भइय्या
आन फंसे अब बन में
भई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰य्याआआआआ

ये क्या कर रहा है

तान मार रहा हूँ

झूठे के लाये
साँचे गवाए
झूठे के लाये
साँचे गवाए
सच बिन लुटिया काऊ पिराये
सच बिन लुटिया काऊ पिराये
कारी बदरिया बरसन लागी
कारी बदरिया बरसन लागी
बैठा गर सावन में भइय्या
बैठा गर सावन में
भई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰य्याआआआआ

सूरतीया कैसी भई कारी
कारी
कारी
सूरतीया कैसी भई कारी
अब तो कमरीया टूटन लागि
टूटन लागि
टूटन लागि
रह गई मन की मन में भइय्या
रह गई मन की मन में
भई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰य्याआआआआ

नैननवा पायो निरभागी
नैननवा पायो निरभागी
तब ही पवनवा फूटन लागि
फूटन लागि
फूटन लागि
धूल परी नैनन में भइय्या
धूल परी नैनन में
भई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰ई॰॰य्याआआआआ

कैसी भई ये हरकत

कलाम ले रहा हूँ


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3537 Post No. : 14203

Today’s song is from the film ‘Captain Kirti Kumar’ (1937). The song is sung by a child star of yore – Ram Marathe.

Do you ever wonder, what happens to child stars when they grow up or what must be adult actors doing when they stop getting roles or get retired ? In the early years of films, anyone looking good and was a tolerably good singer could become actor or an actress. Education was not necessary. Working in films was not considered good those days. So, those who joined film line, in their early years, had no other skill or education. The payments were dismal, there was no guarantee of continuation and temptations were too many.

As a result, many of the first generation of actors, singers and others in the film world, ended up in poverty, loneliness and met a sad end. Many such heart breaking stories are well known. However, not all ended up like this. There were cases, where the artist left the film industry even when they were getting ample work, changed their course of life and achieved greater success or happiness.

The child stars were of two types. One type  who had no relatives or a godfather to help them when they passed the age of being a child actor. Such actors got lost in the merciless world of film industry and ended up doing work as a junior artist or an extra or at the most doing character roles. Examples are Junior Mehmood and Jagdeep etc. The other type was, who had someone in their family or a close relative well established in the film world. When they crossed their child actor age, they got into adult roles easily. Many of them became top class heroes and heroines. Some examples are Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Shashi Kapoor and many other Kapoors, Nargis, etc.

Of course, there were exceptions. I know of at least two examples of successful and in demand child stars – with a godfather, who left the film industry midway to pursue their ambition in some other fields. One case is that of Shashi Kapoor senior. Starting as a child star from 1944 he did child roles in 21 films up to 1955. Then he left films, completed his graduation and post graduation in science, and worked as a lecturer in Bombay. Then he went to USA to do his PhD in Maths. He worked in an American university as a Professor of Maths for 30 years. What a life, indeed !

The second case is of child actor Ramchandra (Ram) Marathe. He was born on 23-10-1924 in Poona and studied in Bhave school up to 10th class. He and his brother (Anant Marathe aka Anant kumar) worked in films as child actors, due to family conditions. They started work from 1936 onwards. Ram Marathe had an edge over his brother, in that he could sing too. Starting with ‘Shahu Chor’ in 1936, he worked in Sagar movietone (6 films), Ranjit (3 films) and Prabhat (2 films), in addition to other companies like Prakash, Mohan Pictures, Imperial etc. He acted as a child star in 16 films and sang 11 songs in 6 films. After this Ram left films and started training in classical music – his liking. Here is a short bio of Ram Marathe, adapted from meetkalakar.com,

Ramchandra Purshottam Marathe was born on 23rd October, 1924. He began his early career as an actor singer in films produced by the Prabhat company. His formal training in music assumed a definite direction when he came under the tutelage of Master Krishnarao (Phulambrikar). Later, he trained under accomplished musicians such as Mirashibuwa of Gwalior and Vamanrao Sadolikar of Atrauli-Jaipur. His quest for widening his musical horizons culminated in a long-lasting discipleship (15 years) under Jagannathbuwa Purohit (‘Gunidas’). As a consequence of his broad training and background, Rambhau’s music integrated the best of Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur styles. Rambhau was a stalwart in the field of Marathi natyasangeet. He was also known as a composer. Among his pupils is Ulhas Kashalkar.

Pt. Ram Marathe had performed in all the prestigious musical festivals at various places like Jalandhar, Patna, Lahore, Delhi, Gwalior, Calcutta, Banaras, Amritsar and almost all over the Maharashtra. His contribution to Indian classical music was recognized with several Awards for his unique and successful performances.  He was ‘A Top Grade’ Hindustani classical artist of All India Radio.

Since he had undergone a proper Tabla training, he had a great command on taal and layakari. He had special command on rare – Anvat Raags and Jod Raags and he was highly recognized for his clear and fast tankriyas and also for purity of Raags. He always used to enrich his audience with various semi-classical forms like khayal, tarana, tappa, natyasangeet, thumri, dadra and bhajans in his concerts. Unlike the present classical singers, his concerts used to last more than 5 hours with powerful intensity and stamina.

He started his stage career under the perusal of Natvarya Shri Ganapatrao Bodas in 1950 as a leading character in old classical musical dramas like Saubhadra, Sanshaya Kallol, Swayamvar, Ekach Pyaala, Maan Apmaan etc. with veteran actors and actresses such as Balgandharva, Hirabai Badodekar, Vinayakbuwa Patwardhan, Nanasaheb Phatak etc. Despite of his busy schedule in concerts, he performed in 22 old and new Sangeet Natak with more than 5000 stage shows. This is purely out of his dedication and commitment towards Sangeet Rangbhoomi.

He composed music for more than 10 dramas such as – Mandarmala, Suvarntula, Megh Malhaar, Tansen, Baiju etc. and acted in them as the leading charter role.

His disciples includes many (more than 50) eminent classical singers like Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Sudhir Datar, Ram Pratham, Vishwanath Kanhere, Vishwanath Bagul, Yogini Joglekar, Shashikant Oak, Madhuwanti Dandekar, Sanjay Marathe and Mukund Marathe etc. who have got training from him under the traditional Gurukul way of learning.

Maharashtra Government honoured him with the ‘Sangeet Bhushan’ degree in 1961.  In 1981, he again got recognition from the Government of Maharashtra, for successful completion and continuous 30 years of career in Marathi Sangeet Rangbhoomi. He was also bestowed the honoured title of ‘Sangeet Chudamani’ by Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Puri.

He was appointed by AIR, New Delhi on Northern (Hindustani) Music Audition Board Committee. He was also on the Advisory Board of Nagpur University and other universities in India. He has more than 100 gramophone records and a number of CDs and LPs to his credit and composed more than 50 bandish in various Raags.

Ram Marathe died on 4-10-1989.

The film ‘Captain Kirti Kumar’ had a cast consisting of Motilal, Bibbo, Yaqub, Sankatha Prasad, Pandey, Bhudo Advani and VH Desai. Comedian VH Desai made his debut with this film. He was a famous and extremely popular comedian from late 30s to 40s. He was a law graduate from Baroda, but instead of pursuing a career in courts, he opted for films. His style was typical-fast delivery of dialogues. He was very poor in remembering dialogues and required many retakes. As per Ashok Kumar, in ‘Kangan’ (1939), a Bombay Talkies film, he took as many as 75 retakes. The German director Franz Osten was so furious that he told Desai “If you were not so popular a comedian in India, I would have thrown you out long back”.

Starting with Sagar Movietone, he appeared in ‘Captain Kirti Kumar’, ‘Bhabhi’ and ‘Navjeevan’, and then joined Bombay Talkies, appearing in ‘Jhoola’, ‘Kangan’, ‘Naya Sansaar’, ‘Kismet’ etc. He acted in initial films of Filmistan, from where he was taken by PL Santoshi for ‘Shehnai’ and ‘Khidki’. Later he also appeared in ‘Shaheed’ (1948) and ‘Andaz’ (1949). In ‘Andaz’ he did the funny role of DDT – Prof. Devdas Dharamdas Trivedi. The role was specially written for him. Desai died of heart attack in 1949.

Another regular actor of Sagar Movietone was Sankatha Prasad. He was the elder brother of the more famous character actor Kanhaiyalal (who was initially only a lyricist). Sankatha Prasad was born in UP in February 1903. He came to Bombay and started working in films in 1929. From the beginning of his career, he was a regular actor in the silent and talkie films of Sagar Movietone, and also of National Studios and Amar Pictures. Sankatha Prasad worked as a character actor for his entire career. He featured in all the three talkie films of Sagar in 1931. His first talkie film was ‘Veer Abhimanyu’ (1931) and the last film was ‘Do Mastaane’ (1958). In all, he worked in 65 films.

The film’s director, Chimanlal Muljibhoy Luhar (1901 to 1948 ) was a graduate in chemistry. He was a noted author and critic with various journals in the early 1920’s. He joined Kohinoor as a lab assitant, but soon learnt photography and became an expert cameraman. He shot about 20 films with Krishna Cinetone, and then joined Sharda Pictures. Later, he joined Sagar as a Director from 1934 to 1940. He also worked with Prakash Pictures from 1941 to 1946. He directed 15 films including film ‘Talaash e Haq’ (1936), in which Baby Rashida made her debut. She later became famous as Nargis.

The film has 10 songs, composed by A Bhasker Rao. This was his only film as an MD. He was a writer (‘Aadmi’, 1939) and assistant director (‘Padosi’, 1941) in Prabhat. Hailing from south Karnataka, Amembal Bhasker Rao’s elder brother A Sunder Rao was an expert Harmonium player.  His younger brother A Dinkar Rao aka D Amel, was with AIR as a Musician for 40 years. A Bhasker Rao was a tabla player and a disciple of Master Krishna Rao Phulambrikar.

With this song, the film ‘Captain Kirti Kumar’ makes its debut on our blog today.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements and thanks – The above write up refers to and has adapted material from ‘Sagar Movietone’ by Shri Biren Kothari ji, ‘Eena Meena Deeka’ by Sanjit Narwekar, books written by Isak Mujawar, MuVyz.com, HFGK and my own notes.]


Song – Jagat Mein Dhoom Hai Teri (Captain Kirti Kumar) (1937) Singer – Ram Marathe, Lyrics – [Unattributed], Music – A Bhaskar Rao

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

jagat mein dhoom hai teri
daya ki wo mere bhagwan
sunaa deta hoon sun le ??
daya ki wo mere bhagwan
sunaa deta hoon sun le ??
daya ki wo mere bhagwan

bura hoon ya bhala hoon
jo bhi hoon tera pujaari hoon
bura hoon ya bhala hoon
jo bhi hoon. . .

. . . bhala hoon
jo bhi hoon tera pujaari hoon
suna deta hoon main gham ki
kahaani wo mere bhagwan
jagat mein dhoom hai teri
daya ki wo mere bhagwan

wo raja hi nahin
sab bekason ka aasra bhi hai
wo raja hi nahin
sab bekason ka aasra bhi hai
unhin ke dam se hai mera
?? wo mere bhagwan
unhin ke dam se hai mera
?? wo mere bhagwan
jagat mein dhoom hai teri
daya ki o mere bhagwan

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

जगत में धूम है तेरी
दया की वो मेरे भगवन्
सुना देता हूँ सुन ले ??
दया की वो मेरे भगवन्
सुना देता हूँ सुन ले ??
दया की वो मेरे भगवन्

बुरा हूँ या भला हूँ
जो भी हूँ तेरा पुजारी हूँ
बुरा हूँ या भला हूँ
जो भी हूँ॰ ॰ ॰

॰ ॰ ॰ भला हूँ
जो भी हूँ तेरा पुजारी हूँ
सुना देता हूँ मैं ग़म की
कहानी वो मेरे भगवन्
जगत में धूम है तेरी
दया की वो मेरे भगवन्

वो राजा ही नहीं
सब बेकसों का आसरा भी है
वो राजा ही नहीं
सब बेकसों का आसरा भी है
उन्हीं के दम से है मेरा
?? वो मेरे भगवन्
उन्हीं के दम से है मेरा
?? वो मेरे भगवन्
जगत में धूम है तेरी
दया की वो मेरे भगवन्


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3526 Post No. : 14163

Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betaab’ (1872-1945), Agha Hashr Kashmiri (1879-1935) and Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak (1890-1963) are regarded as a troika of Parsi theatre. They were the most popular among the playwrights of their time. Their works took the Parsi theatre to the zenith of its glory. This is well recognised in most of the literature on the history of Indian theatres. While Betaab and Radhe Shyam have been credited for popularising plays in Hindi, Agha Hashr Kashmiri had done the pioneering work in Urdu drama.

However, all the three playwrights switched over to Hindustani in the peak of their careers in theatres for easy understanding as they found larger audience for such plays than before. Probably, this might be the one of the reasons as to why in the era of talkies, most of the films were made in Hindustani instead of pure Hindi or Urdu. In fact, in the initial period, talkie films were an extension of Parsi theatre dramas.

I have already covered in our blog, the life sketches of Pandit Narayan Prasad ‘Betaab’ in Abroo Ki Kamaanon Mein and of Agha Hashr Kashmiri in Yaad Mein Teri Jahaan Ko Bhoolta Jaata Hoon Main. In today’s post, I propose to cover the biography of Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak, which is very interesting.

Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak (25/11/1890 – 26/08/1963) was born in Bareilly in a poor Brahmin family. His father, Pandit Bankelal was a good singer and used to sing in Ram Lila. From the childhood, Radhe Shyam used to accompany his father to Ram Lila. At the age of 8, Radhe Shyam learnt playing harmonium from his father and started singing during Ram Lila along with his father.  Most of the time, Ramayan and other mythological stories were sung. Growing up in this environment made the young Radhe Shyam to pursue the vocation of Katha Vaachak (story-teller).

Though Radhe Shyam seems to have left the school before completing his primary level, he was well versed with Urdu, Awadhi and Brijbhasha besides Hindi . By the age of 12, Radhe Shyam started composing poems and also performing as a Katha Vaachak. Simultaneously, he learnt music from Ustad Rahat Ali Khan.

By the turn of the 20th Century, theatre companies in India had made their presence felt, mostly in urban and semi-urban centres. The Parsi theatres played an important role in staging dramas all over India. The New Alfred Theatrical Company of Bombay (now Mumbai) used to visit Bareilly every year  to stage their popular plays. The themes of the plays were mostly historical and mythological stories though some time social and political issues were also covered in the plays. Radhe Shyam was exposed to these types of  plays as his father usually took him to watch the plays staged by The New Alfred Theatrical Company.

Meanwhile, Radhe Shyam’s performance as a Katha Vaachak and his father’s singing drew attention of Pandit Motilal Nehru who was looking for a Ramayan singer to entertain his ailing wife. Both father and son spent over a month in Pandit Motilal Nehru’s residence, Anand Bhawan in Allahabad singing the story of Ramayan. With this kind of accreditation, Radhe Shyam started performing as  Katha Vaachak at various places in North India.

Around 1910, Radhe Shyam’s career as story-teller took a turn when he got interested in theatre. The inspiration for this change came from the play ’Khoobsoorat Bala’ written by Agha Hashr Kashmiri and directed by Soharabji Ogra. He liked the play so much that he decided to become a playwright. An opportunity came to him when The New Albert Company of Punjab came to Bareilly and visited Radhe Shyam’s house to enlist his services for revising the script of their play ‘Ramayan’. While staging this play in the royal palace, the Maharaja of Jaipur had found faults and his secretary had recommended Radhe Shyam’s name  for the revision.

After a month’s work, The New Albert staged the revised ‘Ramayan’ for which Radhe Shyam was given the additional responsibility of directing the play in place of Abdul Rehman Kabuli who was an actor in the play.  Master Nisaar played the role of Seeta. The play became successful and Radhe Shyam’s name became well known in the theatre circle.

Some of Radhe Shyam’s famous and hit Hindi/Hindustani plays were ‘Veer Abhimanyu’ (1916), ‘Shravan Kumar’ (1916), ‘Parivartan’ (1925), ‘Shri Krishnavtaar’ (1926), ‘Rukmini Mangal’ (1927), ‘Ishwar Bhakti’ (1928), and ‘Draupadi Swaymvar’ (1929). He also wrote an Urdu play ‘Mashriqui Hoor’ (1926). Most of his plays were staged by The New Alfred Theatrical Company. He became New Alfred’s full time employee as a playwright. During his theatre days, Pandit Radhe Shyam continued to perform as Katha Vaachak. In fact, he  used to devote time for the theatre works only when he was free from his main vocation.

However, due to his frequent bout of illness, Pandit Radhe Shyam’s long stint with New Alfred ended in August 1930 when he resigned from the Company. After recovery from his illness, Pandit Radhe Shyam got the offer from Maadan Theatres (of Calcutta (now Kolkatta)) to write dialogues and songs from their second talkie film ‘Shankutala’ (1931). The film was directed by JJ Maadan who wanted as many songs in this film, as in their first talkie film ‘Shirin Farhad’ (1931).  Pandit Radhe Shyam had to work the long hours for writing the songs which were picturised on the same day as he completed each song of the

Being a puritan in nature Pandit Radhe Shyam could not adjust to the working environment in the theatre and film studios, in which actors were smoking and drinking. In 1933, Pandit Radhe Shyam left Calcutta for Bareilly. Though offers were coming to him from the film production companies, he selected very few films such as ‘Shri Sataynarayan’ (1935) ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ (1937), ‘Usha Haran’ (1940, as story and screen-play writer), ‘Jhansi Ki Raani’ (1952) and ‘Krishna Sudama’  (1957). He took all  these assignments when he was on private visits to Bombay.

In 1940, Pandit Radhe Shyam decided to stop earning money and to devote most of his time as Katha Vaachak free of cost. He became the disciple of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in pursuit of his social activities including Ganga Mahasabha. He toured the entire north India to propagate the use of Hindi. After the death of his elder son in October 1947 and of his wife sometime in 1957 Pandit Radhe Shyam fully devoted his time to the reading of Holy Scriptures and performing as a Katha Vaachak.

Pandit Radhe Shyam left for the heavenly abode on 26th August 1963 in Bareilly leaving his legacy in Radhe Shyam Ramayan and a dozens of his popular dramas.

Sometime in 1920s, Pandit Radhe Shyam Katha Vaachak,  wrote the epic poem ‘Ramayan’ for the masses in the simple language (in Hindustani). He wrote the epic poem in 24 parts and got published in his own printing press set up for this purpose in 1939. To make the print copies of his version of Ramayan affordable to the masses, he fixed a nominal price of  Re.1/-. The Radhe Shyam Ramayan as it is known today became so popular that almost all Ramlilas were staged based on his Ramayan in the Hindi belt.  In Ramanand Sagar’s TV serial ‘Ramayan’ telecast during 1987-88, one of the sources mentioned in the credit title was Radhe Syham Ramayan. Later on. with his involvement in propagating Hindi, Pandit Radhe Shyam converted the language from Hindustani to pure Hindi.

In 1947, Pandit Radhe Shyam thought of producing a film based on his Ramayan, titled ‘Ram Janm’. He had roped in his close friends Prithviraj Kapoor and Chandramohan for the main roles who had agreed to work free of cost  for him. First, the film was to be shot in the studios of Kolhapur/Poona. The cost worked out much higher than the budget. On the suggestion of some of his well-wishers, he decided to produce the film in a Calcutta studio where the cost would have worked out within his budget. A financier from Calcutta was found and Rameshwar Sharma was taken as the director.

Before, the film’s shooting could commence, Hindu-Muslim riots broke out in Bengal. After a few days, Pandit Radhe Shyam had to rush back to Bareilly to attend to his elder son who was seriously ill. He later died of illness. Around the same time, his film’s financier as well as the director, Rameshwar Sharma, also passed away. Ultimately, the film ‘Ram Janm’ was scrapped. Pandit Radhe Shyam’s wish to produce a film on Ramayan story remained unfulfilled.

Today’s generation may not know much about Pandit Radhe Shyam  Katha Vaachak of  his contributions to the Indian theatre. However, I am sure he is well known especially in the Hindi belt for his Radhe Shyam Ramayan through Ram Leela.

As mentioned earlier, Pandit Radhe Shyam  had decided in 1940 that he would stop working for money. So the films for which he worked as a dialogue writer/lyricist in 1940 and thereafter was free of charge to the producers.

One of Pandit Radhe Shyam’s earliest films in Bombay was ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ (1937). The film was produced under the banner of Bharat Lakshmi Pictures and was directed by Vithaldas Panchotia. The star cast included Mazhar Khan, Sarla Devi, Vithaldas Panchotia, Khalil Ahmed,  JN Dar (Kashmiri), Shayam Sunder, Rampiyari, Radha Rani, Fida Hussain, Nand Kishore, Vilayat Hussain etc. The film had 10 songs, out of which this one is written by Pandit Radhe Shyam. As for the remaining nine, the Geet Kosh lists the lyricist name as Tanveer. However, some online sources credit the songwriting of these 9 songs to Aarzoo Lakhnavi. The songs were set to music by Nagar Das Nayak.

I am presenting the first song ‘Ye Suna Hai Maine Jaadu Hai Rajaji Ke Pad Pankaj Mein’ written by Pandit Radhe Shyam. The complete song is of the duration of more than 6 minutes, and it is published on two sides of the 78 rpm record no. N 16020.

It is in the fitness of thing that this song has been sung by Fida Hussain who was discovered by none other than Pandit Radhe Shyam in 1918 as actor-singer for female roles for plays staged by The New Alfred Theatrical Company.  An autobiography of  Fida Hussain was written by Pratibha Agrawal under the title  ‘My 50 Years in Parsi Theatre’ (1986) on the basis of a series of interviews with him. Since this article has already become too long, I will not add the life sketch of Fida Hussain. One important note about him – in 1939 he donned the title role of Narsi Mehta in the play ‘Narsi Mehta’. The play became a hugely popular hit and it ran for over 1000 nights. Because of this, Fida Hussain was honoured with the title ‘Narsi’ which he proudly used as suffix to his name as  Fida Hussain ‘Narsi’.

The song under discussion is one episode taken from Radhe Shyam Ki Ramayan and it has been rendered as katha vaachan (story-telling). It describes the episode from the initial days of banwaas when Lord Ramchandra, Seeta and Lakshman were required to cross the river Ganga. The boatman recognising Lord Ram said that he would like to wash Lord Ram’s feet before he allowed Him to step on to his boat as he had heard that with the dust of His feet, a statue made of stone turned into a woman. So he does not want his wooden boat turned into many women. With his meagre earnings as a boatman, he does not have enough to take care of them. Pleased with the innocence of the boatman, Lord Ram permitted him to wash His feet.

After washing Lord Ram’s feet, the boatman ferried them across the Ganga river. As they alighted, Seeta Maata handed over Her ring to Lord Ram to pass on to the boatman as the payment for ferry as they had no money to offer. The boatman refused to accept the ring. He then explained to Lord Rama that people from the same profession do not take the payment for the services rendered to each other. A labourer would not accept payment from another labourer and a boatman would not accept payment from another boatman.

Lord Ram responded that He and the boatman were not in the same profession. To which, the boatman further explained that both of them did the same service. The boatman ferried people from one shore to another and Lord Ram ferried people across the ocean of this world (bhavsaagar) during the journey of life. The boatman further said that if Lord Ram did not want to feel obligated to him, He can pay His debt by taking the boatman across the ocean of world.

Since Fida Hussain acted in this film, it is apparent that the song was picturised on him. Incidentally, the role of Fida Hussain in the film was that of a Hindu Commander to the Muslim King.

With this song, ‘Khudai Khidmatgar’ (1937) makes its debut on our blog.

[Author’s Note: Acknowledgements: The bio sketch of Pandit Radheshyam Kathavaachak is based on the English translation of his autobiography ‘Mera Natak Kaal’ (1957), incorporated in the book, ‘Stages of Life – Indian Theatre Autobiographies’ (2011) by Kathryn Hansen; plus inputs from a couple of articles on him which appeared in Hindi/English newspapers.]


Song – Ye Suna Hai Maine Jaadu Hai Raja Ji Ke Pad Pankaj Mein (Khudai Khidmatgaar) (1937) Singer – Master Fida Hussain, Lyrics – Radheyshyam Kathaavaacha, MD – Nagar Das Nayak
Unidentified Male Voice

Lyrics

kevat yun kehne lagaa..aa
zara sakuch ke saath
kehni to hai baat par
kahi na jaati naath
 
ye suna hai maine jaadoo hai
raja ji ke pad pankaj mein
raja ji ke pad pankaj mein
pathhar mein jaan daalne ki
hai shakti mahaan charan raj mein
 
jo hai so. . .
ramji ki ichchaa se phir kya hua
 
nahi jab tak charan loon pakhaar
chadhaaun na raja
chaahe roothho karo chaahe pyaar
chadhaaun na raja
 
rahe jo bhed to howe mujhe aadi ganga
tumhaare mere hain dono ke agaadi ganga
ghule jab tak na mann ka vikaar
chadhaaun na raja
 
jo hai so phir kyaa hua?
 
tab shri ramchandra ji ne kaha
kaho tumhaara jaaye yadi
sanshay isi prakaar
to hum bhi taiyyaar hain
lo ye charan pakhaar
 
unn charon kaa mal kyaa dhoya
dhoya kevat ne mal apna
kar liya janm janmaantar tak
us kevat ne ujawwal apna
jo charan anekon tap kar ke
muniyon ko drishti na aaate hain
kyaa taajjub hai kevat dwaara
is prakaar dhoye jaate hain
 
yun hi naavik kar chuka
jab apna uddhaar
jaa pahunchi nauka udhar
ganga ji ke paar
jaa pahunchi nauka udhar
ganga ji ke paar
jaa pahunchi nauka udhar
ganga ji ke paar
 
kevat ne udhar bida maangi
teenon ko sheesh nawaa kar ke
teenon ko sheesh nawaa kar ke
bhagwaan us samay mann hi mann
rah gaye zara sakucha kar ke
 
apne swami ki sakuchaahat
jis samay nihaari seeta ne
jis samay nihaari seeta ne
ungli se apni mani mundri
us samay utaari seeta ne
 
seeta ki mundri lage ae
dene seeta nath
tabhi kahaa mallaah ne
wahin nawaa kar maath
 
mazdoori to main ne apni
hey nath peshkar le li hai
aur wo bhi apni muhn maangi
apna jee bhar kar le li hai
chuk gayi mazoori jab  meri
to raha aap par bhaar nahi
uddhaar ho gaya jab mera
to kaudi rahi udhaar nahi
 
main ganga ghaat kaa maanjhi hoon
tum bhavsaagar ke kevat ho
main is dhaara ke teer pe hoon
aur tum us dariya ke tat ho
 
mazdoor kahin mazdooron ko
mazdoori dete hain bhaiyya
mallaah kahin mallaahon se
mallaahi lete hain bhaiyya
 
apne ko rini samajhte ho to
rin tum wahin chukaa dena
apne ko rini samajhte ho to
rin tum wahin chukaa dena
maine hai tumko paar kiya
tum mujhko paar lagaa dena
maine hai tumko paar kiya
tum mujhko paar lagaa dena
 
———————————————————
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————
केवट यूं कहने लगा
ज़रा सकुच के साथ
कहनी तो है बात पर
कही ना जाती नाथ

ये सुना है मैंने जादू है
राजा जी के पद पंकज में
राजा जी के पद पंकज में
पत्थर में जान डालने की
है शक्ति महान चरण राज में

जो हैं सो॰॰॰
रामजी की इच्छा से फिर क्या हुआ

नहीं जब तक चरण लूँ पखार
चढ़ाऊँ ना राजा
चाहे रूठो करो चाहे प्यार
चढ़ाऊँ ना राजा

रहे जो भेद तो होवे मुझे आड़ी गंगा
तुम्हारे मेरे है दोनों के अगाड़ी गंगा
घुले जब तक ना मन का विकार
चढ़ाऊँ ना राजा

जो है सो फिर क्या हुआ

तब श्री रामचंद्रा जी ने कहा
कहो तुम्हारा जाये यदि
संशय इसी प्रकार
तो हम भी तैयार हैं
लो ये चरण पखार

उन चरणों का मल क्या धोया
धोया केवट ने मल अपना
कर लिया जन्म जन्मांतर तक
उस केवट ने उज्ज्वल अपना
जो चरण अनेकों तप कर के
मुनियों की दृष्टि ना आते हैं
क्या ताज्जुब है केवट द्वारा
इस प्रकार धोये जाते हैं

यूं ही नाविक कर चुका
जब अपना उद्धार
जा पहुंची नौका उधर
गंगा जी के पार
जा पहुंची नौका उधर
गंगा जी के पार
जा पहुंची नौका उधर
गंगा जी के पार

केवट ने उधर बिदा मांगी
तीनों को शीश नवा कर के
तीनों को शीश नवा कर के
भगवान उस समय मन ही मन
रह गए ज़रा सकुचा कर के

अपने स्वामी की सकुचाहट
जिस समय निहारी सीता ने
जिस समय निहारी सीता ने
उंगली से अपनी मणि मुद्रि
उस समय उतारी सीता ने

सीता की मुंदरी लगे
देने सीता नाथ
तभी कहा मल्लाह ने
वहीं नवा कर माथ

मजदूरी तो मैंने अपनी
हे नाथ पेशकर ले ली है
और वो भी अपनी मुंह मांगी
अपना जी भर कर ले ली है
चूक गई मजूरी जब मेरी
तो रहा आप पर भार नहीं
उद्धार हो गया जब मेरा
तो कौड़ी रही उधार नहीं

मैं गंगा घाट का मांझी हूँ
तुम भवसागर के केवट हो
मैं इस धारा के तीर पे हूँ
तुम उस दरिया के तट हो

मजदूर कहीं मजदूरों को
मजदूरी देते हैं भैया
मल्लाह कहीं मल्लाहों से
मल्लाही लेते हैं भैया

अपने को ऋणी समझते हो तो
ऋण तुम वहीं चुका देना
अपने को ऋणी समझते हो तो
ऋण तुम वहीं चुका देना
मैंने है तुमको पार किया
तुम मुझको पार लगा देना
मैंने है तुमको पार किया
तुम मुझको पार लगा देना


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day : 3455 Post No. : 13856

Ardeshir Irani and his film production company, Imperial Movietone was associated with India’s first talkie film ‘Alam Ara’ (1931). In the same year, he was also associated with the first Tamil talkie film ‘Kalidas’ (1931) as a producer. Ardeshir Irani had another ‘first’ to his credit. He produced ‘Kisaan Kanya’ (1937) which was the first indigenously processed full colour film in India using Cinecolour process. Ardeshir Irani acquired the processing rights from an American Company. The film was processed in India with Imperial Movietone’s technicians under the supervision of a foreigner, WM Henius.

All these years, I was under the impression that Prabhat Film Company’s Marathi film, ‘Sairandhri’ (1933) directed by V Shantaram was the first Indian colour film. However, it transpired that this film had only some scenes in colour and the film was processed and printed in Germany.

‘Kisaan Kanya’ was directed by Moti B Gidwani. The star cast included Padma Devi, Master Nissar, Ghani, Ghulam Mohammed, Jilloo Bai, Sayed Ahmed etc. The film took one year to complete. The film was released on Saturday, January 8, 1938 at the Majestic Cinema, Mumbai. A report in Filmindia magazine mentions that there was a mad rush around the theatre for the tickets. A large number of cinegoers were disappointed as they could not get tickets. The next day, the Sunday, the scene at the theatres was no different. There was a terrible traffic jam for hours on the road leading to Majestic Cinema. Trams and cars were held up as crowd refused to move away. All the four shows of the day were houseful. The film ran for six weeks in this theatre.

The film was based on a story written by Professor Ziauddin of Shanti Niketan. Sadat Hasan Manto wrote the scenarios and dialogues. The gist of the story of the film based on a review which appeared in January 1938 issue of ‘Filmindia’ magazine is given below:

In a village, a landlord (Ghani) exploits the farmers and leaves no opportunity to rob them of their legitimate earnings. Ramu (Master Nissar), the farmer is no exception. He has been regularly exploited by the landlord. Ramdai (Zilloo Bai), the landlord’s wife is a religiously inclined and resents her husband’s actions. Bansari (Padma Devi) is a maid servant in the house of the landlord who is in love with Ramu. The romance of Bansari and Ramu go on smoothly until Ramu is arrested on a false charge of murdering the landlord. Ramdai, the landlord’s wife is aware as to who had murdered her husband. Realising that the innocent Ramu’s life would be taken away, she goes to Randhir (Ghulam Mohammed), a villain with a heart, who had actually murdered the landlord. Ramdai pleads with him to confess for the sake of Bansari, the girl who is also loved by Randhir.

In the climax, Randhir in the bravado character, confesses his crime of murdering the landlord. Ramu is released. The final scenes of the film depict the the need for the wealthy persons to come forwards to help the poor villagers of India.

The critical part of the film’s review was that the title of the film itself was not reflective of the film’s main theme as it portrayed more of the plights of village life as a whole than just of a ‘kisaan kanya’. Padma Devi had only a limited role in the film. In the film’s publicity, she was portrayed as ‘Colour Queen of India’. In spite of huge publicity drive that preceded the release of the film and superb technical aspects, the film did not meet the high expectation from the cinegoers due to the weak story line and dialogues as the reviewer said. Probably, this film was an early attempt to portray the poverty and crime in Indian villages and the film audience were not ready for this theme.

With this film, things became clear that unless the film had robust story and dialogues to go with it, colouration of the film would not add value for the producers and distributors of the films. Nonetheless, ‘Kisaan Kanya’ was regarded as ‘moderately successful film’ at the box office. Ardeshir Irani once again tried the colour in ‘Mother India’ (1938) after which the colour processing was abandoned. The box office success of Mehboob Khan’s ‘Aan’ (1951) revived the interest of film makers to produce the colour films. However, it took another decade for the film producers to shift to colour films in large numbers.

The film has 10 songs composed by Ram Gopal Pandey. Name of the song writer is not known. None of the songs were available on YT and similar websites until I made a video of one song from the film with mp3 clip with me and uploaded on YT. So, here is the first song “Dil Bas Mein Nahin Hai Mera” from the film sung by Padma Devi who had donned the role of Bansari, the ‘kisaan kanya’ in the film. The prelude to the song starts with a vilambit laya dhun (slow tempo tune) on sitar. The prelude is of the duration of 1:15 which leaves the time for the song of just two stanzas.

I could not get much information on Padma Devi’s background and her later life. I got some tit bits from a letters to the editor column of ‘Filmindia’ magazine. Padma Devi (real name: Neelima) was a Bengali artist who came to Bombay (Mumbai) sometime in 1930. She initially worked in the silent films, first as a junior artist then as a stunt actress. If I go by her early talkie films and the way she got publicity in ‘Filmindia’ magazine, I guess, Baburao Patel had a role in promoting her filmy career. Her first four talkie films were directed by Baburao Patel. Sadat Hasan Manto, in his book ‘Stars from Another Sky’ also mentioned about the ‘puppet on a string’ like relationship between Baburao Patel and Padma Devi. In the 1940s, her filmy career seems to have declined considerably.

With this song, ‘Kisaan Kanya’ (1937) and Padma Devi make debut in the blog.

[Ed Note: Although the name of the music director, Ramgopal Pandey, is also appearing for the first time. However, there is one more music director with the name Ramgopal, who has already made his debut on the blog. A quick scrutiny of the Geet Kosh reveals that starting with 1931, the two music director names viz., Ramgopal and Ramgopal Pandey, appear contemporaneously. We request knowledgable readers to please add more information about this music director(s), and clarify whether these two names are of the same individual, or two different people.]


Song – Dil Bas Mein Nahin Hai Mera (Kisaan Kanya) (1937) Singer – Padma Devi, Lyrics – [Unattributed], MD – Ramgopal Pandey

Lyrics

dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
haan
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
andhiyaare ne aakar gheraa
andhiyaare ne aakar gheraa aa
dil meraa aa
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
haan
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa

bholaai huyi main
chidiya hoon main
bholaai huyi main
chidiya hoon main
dhoond rahi hoon deraa
main dhoond rahi hoon deraa
haan
dil meraa aa
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa
haan
dil bas mein nahi hai meraa
dil meraa

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

दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
हाँ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
अँधियारे ने आकर घेरा
अँधियारे ने आकर घेरा॰॰आ
दिल मेरा॰॰आ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
हाँ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा

भुलाई हुई मैं
चिड़िया हूँ मैं
भुलाई हुई मैं
चिड़िया हूँ मैं
ढूंढ रही हूँ डेरा
मैं ढूंढ रही हूँ डेरा
हाँ
दिल मेरा॰॰आ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा
हाँ
दिल बस में नहीं है मेरा
दिल मेरा


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Today’s song is from the film Jagirdar-1937. The film was made by Sagar Movietone.

In the first decade after the Talkie Era started, Sagar Movietone was one of the major film making companies in Bombay. The Desai family, along with Dr. Ambalal Patel, were originally in Film Distribution business, but decided to enter the actual film production. Sagar Film Company, which had produced 12 silent films, was converted to Sagar Movietone in 1931, after Desai and Patel joined it.
Read more on this topic…


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 sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Recently, Tommydan55 has uploaded the film PREM KAHAANI (1937) with some cleaning and restoration works relating to both the video and the audio. The full film is here. The result was that I got motivated to watch the movie without much of the strain on my eyes. What a film! As against my expectation of a slow moving story of the film which was my experience in most of the films of the 30s, this film was different. The slick editing of the film ensured that the story moved in a pace comfortable for viewing. This may be the reason as to why I could watch the movie in one sitting which I seldom do especially in respect of old classic Hindi films of 30s and 40s. The DVD/VCD of the movie is of 1 hour 30 minutes which means that the film has been heavily edited for DD/VCD including a couple of songs. But I did not find much issue with the continuity of the story.
Read more on this topic…


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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 TEN years. This blog has over 14700 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 3800 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

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