Advertisements

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

Posts Tagged ‘Hill Station


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

Blog Day : 3831 Post No. : 14838

Today, January 13th 2019 is the 92nd birth anniversary of one of the prominent Hindi film producers-directors who debuted in early 1950s as a director. In the 1960s, he mostly produced and directed romantic and musical films. In the 1970s and thereafter, he produced and directed films with emotional contents. He is Shakti Samanta, a self-made man after struggling for almost a decade to get a firm foothold in Hindi film industry. He had made immense contributions to Hindi film industry.

Shakti Samanta (13/01/1926 – 09/04/2009) was born in Burdwan (now Bardhaman in West Bengal). His father was an engineer who died in an accident while Shakti Samanta was a child. So, he was sent to his uncle’s place in Dehradun where he did the schooling. After completion of his intermediate, he came back to Calcutta (Kolkata) and completed his graduation in 1944.

Shakti Samanta went back to his uncle’s place to help him in his business. During his school days, he had become a fan of films produced by New Theatres and Bombay Talkies for their emotional and romantic contents respectively. So he had a fascination for becoming an singer-actor in Hindi films. Obviously, he spent more time in acting in local drama theatres than in the business work for which he was reprimanded by his uncle. Sometime in early 1947, he decided to leave his uncle’s house for Bombay (Mumbai) to pursue his wish to become a singer-actor. He took a job of a teacher in a Urdu school in Dapoli, about 200 kms from Mumbai to sustain himself while he scouted for acting roles in Mumbai.

Since it was a Muslim-run school, every Friday, Shakti Samanta would visit Mumbai to take a round of studios and return to Dapoli by late evening. There were many Bengalis in the Bombay Talkies which enabled him at least to gain entry into Bombay Talkies studio. Eventually, he got a free-lance job without pay but with free food at the canteen of the Bombay Talkies. Since he was proficient in Hindi and Urdu in addition to Bengali, he got work of translating the scripts written in Bengali into Hindi for director, Phani Majumdar for which he was paid.

One day, he met S D Burman who was composing music for ‘Do Bhai’ (1947), to get a playback singing work. S D Burman told him that though his voice was good, it was not good enough for the playback singing. So he advised Shakti Samanta to look for work in some other departments though he offered to take him for chorus singing. With this, it was the end of his dream of becoming a singer but the acting bug in him remained.

It was Ashok Kumar who told him to forget about becoming an actor and instead concentrate on film direction. In Bombay Talkies, he became the First Assistant to Director, Phani Majumdar. At that time, Guru Dutt was the First Assistant to Director, Gyan Mukherjee. When Phani Majumdar had no assignment, Shakti Samanta used to work as Second Assistant to Gyan Mukherjee. On the other hand, when Gyan Mukherjee had no assignments, Guru Dutt used to work as Second Assistant to Phani Majumdar. So in 1947, Guru Dutt and Shakti Samanta were familiar with each other. While Guru Dutt could get his first directorial assignment for ‘Baazi’ (1951), it was a long wait for Shakti Samanta to make a debut as a director in 1955.

Post-partition, after the initial hiccups due to migration of film artists and technicians, Shakti Samanta got some assignments like assistant to the director Satish Nigam in ‘Sunhere Din’ (1948) and to Phani Majumdar in ‘Tamasha’ (1952) and ‘Dhobi Doctor’ (1954). He wrote script and dialogues for Bombay Talkies ‘Baadbaan’ (1954).

Shakti Samanta’s debut film as a director was ‘Bahu’ (1955) which he got by a sheer luck. The film was produced by Bikram Pahwa which was to be directed by the writer, Vijendra Gaud. However, he had already signed his first directorial venture, ‘Kasturi’ (1954) and Shakti Samanta was his Assistant Director for this film. Vijendra Gurd was under contract not to take up direction in any other film until ‘Kasturi’ 1954) was released. Shakti Samanta got the opportunity to direct his debut film ‘Bahu’ (1955) as director. The film did not do well on the box office.

During the making of the ‘Bahu’ (1955), Shakti Samanta was signed to direct A. A. Nadiadwala’s film ‘Inspector’ (1956) in which his mentor, Ashok Kumar was paired with Geeta Bali. The film became a hit and with this film, Shakti Samanta was tagged as a successful director for the crime thrillers. After directing ‘Hill Station’ 1957 and ‘Sheroo’ (1957), Shakri Samanta floated his own banner, Shakti Films in 1957.

The first film under his banner, Shakti Films was ‘Howrah Bridge’ (1958) in which his mentor, Ashok Kumar was paired with Madhubala. The film was also a crime thriller and became hugely successful in terms of box office. This gave him enough money to produce and direct a film in the genre of social drama, ‘Insaan Jaag Utha’ (1959). The film did the average business despite some excellent song compositions by S D Burman.

Shakti Samanta directed next two successful thrillers, ‘Jalli Notes’ (1960) and ‘Singapore’ 1960) for other producers. His association with Shammi Kapoor and Jaikishan of Shankar-Jaikishan started with the film ‘Singapore’ (1960) and thereafter they became close friends. The trios were known as Shammi, Shakki and Jackie.

With ‘Naughty Boy’ (1962), Shakti Samanta entered into his first romantic comedy genre with Kishore Kumar and Madhubala in the lead roles. When about 10 reels of film were shot, Madhubala fell ill. She was taken to London for treatment. Since there was some uncertainty in her resuming shooting, Shakti Samanta replaced her with Kalpana. All shots of Madhubala were reshot with Kalpana. The film took a long time to complete as Kishore Kumar also got busy with taking care of Madhubala. To make the matter worst, S D Burman, the film’s music director, also fell ill. As a result, except for one song, rest of the songs of the film were recorded by R D Burman and Jaidev.

The delay in the completion of the film put Shakti Samanta in financial difficulties. He approached his good friend, Shammi Kapoor for finance who advised him to produce a new film in which he would act and partly finance the film. So ‘China Town’ (1962) was conceived. The film was released in August 1962 and became a box office hit. With money flowing in from the success of ‘China Town’ (1962), Shakti Samanta completed ‘Naughty Boy’ (1962) and got released in November 1962. The film failed at the box office.

After the debacle of ‘Naughty Boy’ (1962), Shakti Samanta seems to have shifted the focus on producing and directing the genre of romantic and musical films. He had with him now Shammi Kapoor and Jaikishan to support such a genre of films. The film ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ (1964) was conceptualized with his two friends in mind. He had roped in a new comer, Sharmila Tagore whose parents were the family friend of Shakti Samanta, to act opposite Shammi Kapoor. It was a foregone conclusion that Shankar-Jaikishan would be the music director.

When O P Nayyar came to know about the new film, he requested Shakti Samanta to at least listen to his tunes before deciding on the music director. He also invited Shammi Kapoor for a musical sitting. Both were so much impressed with some 40 odds tunes O P Nayyar churned out, that both Shakti Samanta and Shammi Kapoor decided to take O P Nayyar as music director for ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ (1964) and selected 12 tunes out of which 9 tunes were used in the film and remaining 3 tunes were used in ‘Saawan KI Ghata’ (1966). The film was a blockbuster on the box office chart.

Shakti Samanta had lined up 3 films with Shammi Kapoor and Jaikishan combination. The first film, ‘Evening In Paris’ (1967) was a high budget film which were partly shot abroad. The film became successful at the box office. The second film ‘Pagla Kahin Ka’ (1970) was directed by Shakti Samanta for Ajit Chakravarty. The film was an average success. The third film, ‘Jaane Anjaane’ (1971) was in the planning stage when Shakti Samanta felt that Shammi Kapoor needed to reduce his weight before he started shooting for the film. He gave Shammi Kapoor six months’ time to reduce his weight. In the interregnum, Shakti Samanta decided to produce and direct a low budget social film ‘Aradhana’ (1969) which was his favourite genre inspired from the films of New Theatre. The saga of making of ‘Aradhana’ (1969) is interesting one.

Sometime in early 1960s, Sachin Bhowmik, the story, screen-play and dialogue writer had read out the story of Aradhana to Shakti Samanta. While he liked the story very much, he did not venture to make a film on the story as he felt that it would be difficult to get the lead actors to the roles envisaged in the story. This was also the views of Hrishikesh Mukherjee when Sachin Bhowmik had read out the story to him also. Since Shakti Samanta had now time to make a low budget film, he recalled the story of Aradhana and decided to make a low budget film.

Sharmila Tagore who was introduced in Hindi films by Shakti Samanta and Rajesh Khanna who was the discovery of United Producers-Filmfare Talent Contest (1965) in which Shakti Samanta was one of the judges, were taken for the lead roles. Sharmila Tagore was apprehensive of doing the mother’s role in her early filmy career. Rajesh Khanna had felt that his role had considerably lesser length than that of Sharmila Tagore whose presence in the film was from first to last frames. Shakti Samanta had to do a hard work to convince both the actors to remove their apprehensions as the roles were challenging from the acting point of view.

Since the story of the film was akin to the Bengali type of stories with emotional contents, Shakti Samanta was keen on S D Burman to take up the music direction of the film. However, here also he had to convince S D Burman to take up the music direction for the film. S D Burman rued that Shakti Samanta had so far engaged him as a music director only for his low budget films.

Just a day before ‘Aradhana’ (1969) was to start shooting, Surinder Kapoor, the producer of ‘Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati’ (1969) starring Shashi Kapoor and Babita invited Shakti Samanta to see rushes of the final climax of his film. He was shocked to see that the climax was the same as that was written for Aradhana. This was possible because both films were written by Sachin Bhowmick. The next day, Shakti Samanta had made up his mind to scrap Aradhana and asked Gulshan Nanda to work on his story, ‘Kati Patang’. But Gulshan Nanda along with another writer, Madhusudan Kalelkar convinced him that instead of scrapping the film, let there be some changes the second half of the story. Both of them reworked the second half of Aradhana in the next few hours and saved the film being scrapped.

When everything was set to start the shooting ‘Aradhana’, film distributors were not happy with casting the lead roles. They were of the view that the audience would not accept Sharmila Tagare in the role of mother who had so far done the glamorous roles. They also felt risky to give a new comer Rajesh Khanna the double role in the film. Again, Shakti Samanta was required to convince them that the lead actors would justify their roles.

‘Aradhana’ (1969) was completed in less than 6 months and was released sometime in October 1969. I had watched this film during the first week of its release as tickets were easily available. However, the box office collections of the film picked up from the second week onward mainly through words of mouth publicity. The film became the top grosser among the Hindi films released in 1969. The box office success of this film and later of ‘Bandhan’ (1969) and ‘Do Raaste’ (1970) made Rajesh Khanna a super star. In a print media interview, Shakti Samanta had acknowledged that from the gramophone record sales of ‘Aradhana’ only, he produced next five films. The records were dubbed and released in 5 languages, and were hits in every language.

With the success of ‘Aradhana’, Shakti Samanta ventured into producing more of social genre of films like ‘Kati Patang’ (1971), ‘Amar Prem’ (1972), ‘Anuraag’ (1972) which were also successful at the box office. However, after mid-1970, except for ‘Great Gambler’ (1979), Shakti Samanta could not get as much success at the box office as he got for his films in early 1970s. Just to balance the box office earnings, Shakti Samanta started producing bilingual films which were made in Hindi as well as in Bengali. He produced and directed the first bilingual film, ‘Amanush’ (1975) followed by ‘Anand Asharam’ (1979), ‘Barsaat Ki Ek Raat’ (1981), ‘Aar Paar’ (1985) etc.

In the 1990s, Shakti Samanta’s films could not match with the changing taste of the film audience. ‘Geetanjali’ (1993) was his last film as a director which failed at he box office. During this period, he had also become busy with his role as Chairman of the Film Censor Board for 7 years (1991-98) and as a Chairman of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata for 2 years. Hence, some of the films produced under the banner of Shakti Films were directed by his son, Ashim Samanta.

During his 5 decades of long filmy career, Shakti Samanta directed 37 films and produced 43 films under his banner, Shakti Films. He also co-produced and directed an Indo-Bangla Desh Bengali film in 1984 which became a super hit. He set up Aradhana Sound Service, the digital audio post-production facilities films. He received Filmfare Award for ‘Aradhana’ (1969), ‘Anuraag’ (1972) and ‘Amaanush’ (1975) under ‘Best Films’ category.

Shakti Samanta breathed his last on April 9, 2009 after a brief illness due to stroke.

For the occasion, I have selected a song from one of the films from Shakti Samanta’s struggling years to establish himself in the Hindi film industry. The song is ‘ye maara wo maara koi jeeta koi haara’ from ‘Hill Station’ (1957). The song is sung by Geeta Dutt on the lyrics of S H Bihari which is set to music by Hemant Kumar. From the lyrics and the tone of the song, it appears to be a club song probably picturised on Sheila Vaz.

——————————————————————————————————————-
Note: The information on Shakti Samanta with some associated anecdotes have been sourced from many interviews he gave both to the print media as well as to the electronic media, mostly during the 1990s. Some information has also been sourced from the interview Ashim Samanta gave for a FM Radio Channel in 2016.


Song-Ye maara wo maara (Hill Station)(1957) Singer-Geeta Dutt, Lyrics-S H Bihari, MD-Hemant Kumar

Lyrics

ye maara
wo maara

ye maara
wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet kaa khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ye maara

teri zindagi mein
aise mauke suhaane naa aayenge
teri zindagi mein
aise mauke suhaane naa aayenge
tere yahi patte
tera bigda muqaddar banaayenge
yahi chamkega teri naseeb ka taara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
o maara
ye maara wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ye maara

dekh o matwaale
aaj se apna daaman bachaaye jaa
dekh o matwaale
aaj se apna daaman bachaaye jaa
sun ae bhole bhaale
kabhi kismat se dhokha bhi khaaye jaa
rona hansna to jeevan ka khel hai saara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ho maara
ye maara wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ho maara
ye maara
wo maara
koi jeeta aur koi haara
haar jeet ka khel ye dekho
kitna hai pyaara
ye maara

Advertisements

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.

“Hill Station”(1957) was produced by A A Nadiadwala and directed by Shakti samanta for Pushpa Pictures, Bombay. The movie had Bina Rai, Pradeep Kumar, K N singh, Maruti, Protima Devi, Krishnkant, Shyama, Sangeeta, Kundan, Ridku, Kathana, Nirmal Kumar, Laxman Rao, Sheila Vaz, Seema, Nazeer, Kashmiri, Tiger (dog) etc in it.
Read more on this topic…


“Hill Station” (1957) was a Pushpa Pictures presentation. It was directed by Shakti Samanta. The movie had Pradeep Kumar, Bina Rai, Shyama, Pratima Devi, K. N. Singh, Maruti etc in it.
Read more on this topic…


I keep repeating ad nauseum in these pages that there are many great gems lying forgotten out there as far as Hindi movie songs are concerned. I keep discovering such songs almost on a daily basis.
Read more on this topic…


Advertisements

Important Announcement

(© 2008 - 2019) atulsongaday.me The content of this site is copyrighted and it may not be reproduced elsewhere without prior consent from the site/ author of the content.

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 14900 song posts by now.

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

Total number of songs posts discussed

14949

Number of movies covered in the blog

Movies with all their songs covered =1164
Total Number of movies covered =4085

Total visits so far

  • 11,471,371 hits

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

Join 1,691 other followers

Bookmark

Bookmark and Share

Category of songs

Current Visitors

Archives

Stumble

visitors whereabouts

blogcatalog

Music Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

blogadda

Historical dates

Blog Start date: 19 july 2008

Active for more than 4000 days.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: