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

Posts Tagged ‘Kabir


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

Blog Day :

4835 Post No. : 16618

koi aaghe aaghe thhi venu vaay chhe

Thus sang the Nightingale of Gujarat, Kaumudi Munshi, who is regarded as the pioneer in popularising the semi-classical non-filmy songs in Gujarati.

Today, October 13, 2021 is first Remembrance Day of vocalist, Kaumudi Munshi, the Gujarat Kokila who regaled her Gujarati admirers spread all over the world with her beautiful renditions of semi-classical non-film songs. She sang in the genres of bhajans, ghazals, thumris, dadras and other forms of ‘sugam sangeet’ in Gujarati and Hindi for over 6 decades.

I had watched the videos of the facilitations to Kaumudi Munshi on the occasion her 90th birth day, held sometime in 2019 during which she also rendered a few of her popular non-film songs. She looked hale and hearty even in her 90s with clear diction. Unfortunately, she became one of the victims of Covid and left for her heavenly abode in the early morning of October 13, 2020 at the age of 91. Aakashvaani, Rajkot paid a special tribute to Kaumudi Munshi by playing some of her non-filmy Gujarati songs on the same day.

Kaumudi Munshi (1929 – 13/10/2020) was the sixth child of Kunwar Nandlal Munshi and Anuben Munshi, born in Varanasi in a landlord family. Her forefathers belonged to Vadnagar in Gujarat but they had settled in Varanasi 6-7 generations back. Hence the family members mostly spoke in Hindi. Because of the servants in the house who spoke in Awadhi and Bhojpuri, she was proficient in speaking these dialects also.

From the childhood, Kaumudi was exposed to classical music as there used to be regular musical soirees in her house. After completion of graduation in music from Banaras Hindu University in 1950, she came to Mumbai where her brothers were settled. Her maternal uncle and Gujarati laureate, Ramanlal Desai and his son Akshay Desai helped her in pursuing a career in music. Akshay Desai taught her Gujarati in which she was not proficient due to her upbringing in Varanasi.

After passing the audition test, Kaumudi Munshi joined All India Radio (AIR) as a singer in 1951. Starting as a chorus singer, she graduated to singing solo songs on AIR, mostly composed by Ninu Mazumdar, the music director of Hindi films of 40s and early 50s who was also a music producer in AIR. This relationship developed into her marriage with Ninu Mazumdar in 1954.

Generally, training for vocalists in classical music starts in the childhood so that by the time, they attain adulthood, they are well trained to perform as concert vocalists. But in the case of Kaumudi Munshi, though she was interested in classical music, her family did not encourage her as singing was not regarded as honourable career for a girl. However, after the marriage, Ninu Mazumdar encouraged her to take a formal training in Hindustani classical music as a vocalist. She had two options to take training – Siddeshwari Devi, the thumri queen and Begum Akhtar, the ghazal queen. Kaumudi Munshi chose Siddeshwari Devi over Begum Akhtar purely from the logistic point of view as the former was staying in Varanasi and Kaumudi had the parental house in Varanasi.

During 1955-60, Kaumudi Munshi mostly stayed in Varanasi for her training and accompanied Siddeshwari Devi on her concerts and the music conferences. Later, she also took training from Ustad Taj Ahmed Khan for ghazal singing.

After returning to Mumbai in early 1960s, she concentrated on singing thumri, dadra, ghazal, bhajan, and folk songs mainly from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Most of her songs were composed by her husband, Ninu Mazumdar though she also worked with other music director like Avinash Vyas, Dilip Dholkiya, Ajit Merchant etc. She sang semi-classical songs mainly in Gujarati and Hindi Probably, Kaumudi Munshi may be the first to popularise the Hindustani semi-classical songs in Gujarati. She also composed and sung children’s songs both in Hindi and Gujarati.

Kaumudi Munshi’s association with Hindi films was very limited. It started and virtually ended in 1954 with two films – ‘Bhai Saheb’ (1954) and ‘Teen Tasveeren’ (1954) for which her husband, Ninu Mazumdar was the music director. The reason was that she started singing in Hindi films only after her marriage with Ninu Mazumdar in 1954. In the same year, she left for Varanasi to be the disciple of Siddeshwari Devi. After her return to Mumbai in early 1960s, she and her husband concentrated on non-filmy semi-classical and folk songs though she sang in two Hindi films, ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ (1961) and ‘Raja Aur Rank’ (1968) besides singing a song in a Bhojpuri film ‘Bidesiya’ (1963).

On the occasion of the first Remembrance Day of Kaumudi Munshi, I have chosen one of her songs from the film ‘Teen Tasveeren’ (1954). The song is ‘kar ke singaar chali, saajan ke dwaar chali’. The song is in two parts. The part of the song sung by Kaumudi Munshi and chorus is written by Prem Dhawan while remaining part-1 and the full pat-2 of the song sung by Ninu Mazumdar is mainly based on Sant Kabir Das’s nirgun bhajan.

‘Teen Tasveeren’ (1954) was a very obscure film with not so well-known cast. I have no idea about the story of the film. Hence, it is difficult to know the context in which the song under discussion was picturised. What I can surmise is that while the first part of the song rendered by Kaumudi Munshi and Chorus is pre-wedding ‘bidaai’ song, the part of the song sung by Ninu Mazumdar which continues in Part-2 is, in the broader context of ‘bidaai’ from this world. In a way, part-2 of the song is philosophical. The word, ‘saajan’ has been used metaphorically to mean the Lord of the universe in Ninu Mazumdar’s version.

The broad meaning of the Ninu Mazumdar’s version of the song is as under:

O clever woman, be ready with make-up and the best dresses. You have to go to the God’s house. Do wash, bathe and braid your hairs. There is no returning from God’s house where the shroud will be of earth; the bed will be of earth and thus you will have to get united with the earth.

————————————————————————————-

Note: The life sketch of Kaumudi Munshi is based on https://www.kaumudimunshi.com/about.html and the video of her interview taken in Gujarati on the occasion of her 90th birthday celebration.

Audio Clip (Parts-1&2):

Song-Kar ke singaar chali saajan ke dwaar chali (Teen Tasweeren)(1954) Singers-Kaumudi Munshi, Ninu Majumdar, Lyrics-Kabeer, MD-Ninu Majumdar
Chorus

Lyrics

————————-
Part-1
————————-

kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li
kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li
chhanan chhanan mori ghunghroo baaje
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa re
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa
chhanan chhanan mori ghunghroo baaje
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa re
jhanan jhanan paayaliyaa
sanan sanan gaaye re pawan ghan
ghanan ghanan baadaliyaa
sanan sanan gaaye re pawan ghan
ghanan ghanan baadaliyaa
o o o o o o
kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li

dhin ta thai thai
dhin ta thai thai
dhin dha ki ta dhaki ta dha
dhin ta thai thai
dhin ta thai thai
dhin ta thai thai
dhin dha ki ta dhaki ta dha
dhaki ta dha
ta thai thai

gori teri saajan kaun albela
khel kahaan preet ka khela aa
gori teri saajan kaun albela
khel kahaan preet ka khela

o o o o o
mujhse na poochho
poochho in nainan se..ae
jaane ye kya kah baithe ae saajan se
thhaam ke mori bainyyaan
chupke se bole sainyaan
thhaam ke mori bainyyaan
chupke se bole sainyaan
ab raha jaaye na akela
o o o o o o
saj dhaj ke naar chali
ban ke bahaar chali
chatura albe..li
kar ke singaar chali
saajan ke dwaar chali
chatura albe..li

kar le singaa….ar
chatura albeli ee ee
saajan ke ghar jaana hoga
kar le singaa….ar

————————–
Part-2
————————–

kar le singaa….ar
chatura albeli ee ee
saajan ke ghar jaana hogaa
kar le singaa…aar

naha le dho le
sheesh gunthha le
naha le dho le
sheesh gunthha le
phir wahaan se nahin aana hogaa…aa
saajan ke ghar jaana hogaa
kar le singaa…ar
chatura albeli..ee ee
saajan ke ghar jaana hogaa
kar le singa….ar

mitti odhaawan mitti bichhaawan
mitti odhaawan mitti bichhaawan
mitti mein mil jaana hogaa…aa
mitti mein mil jaana hogaa
mitti mein mil jaana hogaa


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 : 3796 Post No. : 14784

Today’s song is from the film Mahatma Kabir-54.

India has been attacked and ruled by outsiders for centuries. Religions other than Hinduism ruled this country and at times it was feared if our religion will become extinct. Perhaps, from this feeling Bhakti Movement started in India in one part and over the years it engulfed the entire Bharatvarsha. During this period, many saints, teachers and holy figures came up and helped the country to be strong once again in matters of religion.

The Bhakti movement refers to the theistic devotional trend that emerged in medieval Hinduism and later revolutionised in Sikhism. It originated in eighth-century south India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century.

The Bhakti movement regionally developed around different gods and goddesses, and some sub-religions were Vaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaivism (Shiva), Shaktism (Shakti goddesses), and Smartism. The movement was inspired by many poet-saints, who championed a wide range of philosophical positions ranging from theistic dualism of Dvaita to absolute monism of Advaita Vedanta.

The movement has traditionally been considered as an influential social reformation in Hinduism, and provided an individual-focused alternative path to spirituality regardless of one’s caste of birth or gender. Postmodern scholars question this traditional view and whether the Bhakti movement ever was a reform or rebellion of any kind.

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

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

Kabirdas ji is one saint who is revered equally by Hindus and Muslims as well as Sikhs. He belonged, in fact, to all Indian masses.

Kabir was born near Kashi (Varanasi) to a Bramhin widow, who deserted him, for fear of social boycott. He was found and brought up by a Muslim weaver couple-Niru and Naima. Vaishnava Saint Ramanand accepted him as his disciple. Unlike some other saints, Kabir did not become a Sadhu or a Fakir, but he married and led a normal life earning from his Loom works. He had 1 son and 1 daughter also.

Kabir campaigned against social discrimination and economic exploitation. He vehemently opposed dogmas in Hinduism and Islam. His language was straight from the heart, using common vernacular words, which appealed to the masses. He was against Moorti-puja and believed in Bhakti and Sufi ideas. He was an illiterate person. His poems and Dohas were heard ,noted and written by his followers. His works are included in the Guru Granth Sahib of the Sikhs also. His dohas were in Awadhi, Brij and Bhojpuri languages. Through his philosophies, he spread the message of unity during his times. For him Ram and Rahim were the same.

While the authentic period of kabir is 1440 to 1518, there are popular legends about him living for 120 years and after death, his body turning into Flowers.

More than anything else, Mahatma Kabir is remembered for the courage of his convictions. He was a religious reformer who slashed down the orthodox bigotism of Hindus and Muslims alike. He denounced with a touch of satire, the whole apparatus of piety of the temple and the mosque, the idol and the holy water scriptures and the priests, labelling them as cults that vainly tried to replace Reality with Ritual. And thus it was that while courting bitterness from the accepted monopolists of Faith, he tried to eliminate the bitterness that then existed between Hindu and Muslims of that day. The life story of Kabir saheb is surrounded by numerous contradictory legends, on many of which reliance cannot be placed. It is therefore not to be expected that any one version of his life could satisfy all such sections of people who claim to know anything about him.

Mahatma Kabir-54 was made by New premier Films, Bombay and it was directed by Gajanan Jahagirdar. The music was by Anil Biswas and the cast included Surendra, Sulochana, Jahagirdar, Randhir, Lalita Pawar and others. The story of the film is…

The story of Mahatma Kabir begins with the unfolding of a lotus as divine light penetrates through its petals. The infant that lay within, stretched out its chubby arms to Nooru and Naima, a weaver couple of Benares, who brought him up as Kabir, their foster son. But Kabir grew into a strange boy, dreamy and listless, curious of matters spiritual, until one day he saw in Swami Ramananda his destine teacher. Eager to meet his Guru alone, he lay upon the steps of the Ganges, where Ramananda was accustomed to bath. The master trod upon his body unexpectedly and exclaimed “Ram Ram”. Accepting this as a token of the mantra of initiation, and with inspiring words of the Guru, Kabir stepped forth in pursuit of his mystic mission.

As a youth, he found his opposition from the orthodox groups increasing in the threatening proportions. His family was ostracised socially and economically, a calamity to which his foster father Nooru succumbed. All legends agree that Kabir a simple unlettered weaver relied in work as a means of living independently of any charity and earned his livelihood from the loom. The work of his hands helped him rather than hindered the impassioned meditation of his heart from the depths of which he sang the rapturous lyrics of divine love.

Kabir Saheb was constantly harassed by the Mahajan for the repayment of his foster father’s debt which on account of his economic boycott he was not able to repay. He was involved in a theft charge and presented before the Ruler of Kashi who ordered him to be whipped. The sentence was executed but Kabir smiled at the foolishness of those trying to punish him for the offence he had not committed, while the real offender on whom the lashes were actually falling cried in pain. The repentant Kashi Naresh honoured and feted Kabir and the entire ensemble shouted Kabirji ki jai. Returning home Kabir found his ancestral home attached by his Mahajan. People offered to pay off the debt but Kabir declined their offer. He thought that Ram was taking him closer to Himself by removing slowly the barriers of worldly possessions.

With the ancestral house gone, Kabir walked away to the ruins in the outskirts of the Kashi with his foster mother Naima and wife Loi. From there, this apostle of Universal Love, travelled through the length and breadth of the land and the countries beyond, spreading his gospel far and wide while his foster-mother and wife Loi suffered the privations of life. After many years he returned to Benares, where his ailing mother held her breath only to see him for the last time. Now Kabir was an old man, but much revered and still more opposed. This opposition culminated in his being presented before Sikander Lodi on a charge that he was not only an enemy of Islam but also a traitor to the throne of Delhi. Sikander referred the matters to the Kazi of Benares, who ordered him to be thrown into the Ganges tied hand and foot. The cruel sentenced was carried out, while a vast multitude, thronging the Benares Ghats looked on with throbbing hearts and streaming eyes.

As expected Kabir survives and the Kazi and Sikander bow their heads in respect. Finally when Kabir dies, his body turns into flowers and Hindus and Muslims share it for their respective last rites.

The music for this film was given by Anil Biswas. C.H.Atma, who unsuccessfully tried to become a singing star in films like Bhai sahab-54 and Bilwamangal-54, had sung a Bhajan ” Ram Ras Barse re manwa ” in this film as a playback-in Saigal style. Anil Biswas and Saigal were good friends. Whenever Saigal wanted to avoid any unwanted visitor to him, he would escape to Anilda’s home and take his afternoon siesta. Unfortunately, Saigal never sang for Anilda, though he had kept one tune ready for him. This was later used for a song by Mukesh in another film.

Not Saigal, but singers who liked Saigal, sang for Anil Biswas…like Mukeh in Pehli Nazar-45 (dil jalata hai to jalne de), Kishore kumar in film Fareb-53 ( husn bhi hai udas) and C.H.Atma in the film Mahatma Kabir-54 (Ram ras barse re Manwa).

The Hero of Mahatma Kabir was Surendra. At one time he was projected as Bombay’s answer to Calcutta’s Saigal, by Sagar Movietone. While working in Sagar and National, Anil Biswas had used Surendra’s voice in films like Jagirdar, Mahageet, Gramophone singer, Comrade, Aurat and Jawani. Sagar Movietone always tried to compete with New Theatres, Calcutta. When they made President-37, Sagar made Jagirdar-37 and when Street singer-38 was made, Sagar made Gramophone singer-38. Though Surendra was popular, he could never match Saigal. It is to the credit of Surendra, that personally he revered Saigal and never thought of competing with him.

It was Naushad, who first stopped Surendra’s singing and gave him playback of Ustad Amir khan in film Baiju Bawra-52. When he was sporadically heard in films Gharbar-53 and Gawaiya-53, Anil Biswas bloked his singing again and all songs for Surendra in film Mahatma kabir were sung by Manna Dey as playback. After this Surendra only sang in film Pati patni-66. It was rumoured that Surendra himself requested the producer to allow him to sing his last song. He did it free too !

Amirbai Karnataki , who sang in this film was also in her last phase of film singing and after Mahatma Kabir-54, she sang only one song each in 57,61,64 and 72. Thus ended her singing career.

HFGK mentions that today’s song is written by Kabir himself. However, I find that except the Mukhda ‘ Ram Rahima ‘(repeated several times till last), the antara words are from a famous song by Wajid Ali Shah- ‘ Babul mora ‘, which was used in films like The trapped-31, Nachwali-34, Street singer-38 and Shatranj ke khiladi-77.

The song by Manna Dey and Chorus is very good. As such Anil Biswas was an expert in composing chorus songs, in his films. You may find at least one or two chorus songs in most of his films.


Song-Ram Rahima Ram Rahim (Mahatma Kabir)(1954) Singer- Manna Dey, Lyrics- Kabir Das , MD- Anil Biswas
Chorus

Lyrics

ram rahimaa
ram rahim
ram rahimaa
ram rahim
ram rahimaa
ram rahim
ram rahimaa
ram rahim

baabul mora
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
naihar chhuta hi jaaye
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
baabul mora
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
naihar chhuto hi jaaye
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim

chaar kahaar mil ab doliya aa aa sajaawen
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
mora apna begaana aa aa chhuto jaaye
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
baabul mora aa aa aa aa aa aa aa
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
naihar chhuto hi jaaye
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
baabul mora aa baabul mora
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
baabul mora aa aa baabul mora aa aa
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)
baabul mora aa aa aa
(ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
ram rahimaa ram rahim
)


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 : 3458 Post No. : 13873

Today’s song is from film Aazaad-40, made by the famous Bombay Talkies.

Bombay Talkies was one of the premiere production companies of India in those times. Its films became very popular and the music was lapped up by the audience. There were other equally famous production houses like Prabhat Films,Ranjit studios and New Theatres of Calcutta, all churning out block busters. While Ranjit showed how to make money, Bombay Talkies added prestige to films.
Read more on this topic…


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.

From today, a new Series is starting. The title is ” The Great Souls of India”. In this series, I propose to discuss songs from films made on the lives of Prominent Saints and Bhakts of India.
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.

In the Hindu mythology, Gandharvas are stated to be the male heavenly spirit and in the context of music, the term is used for a highly skilled vocalist. Maharashtra had the privilege of having four ‘Gandharvas’. First, Sawai Gandharva (real name : Rambahu Kundgolkar – 19/01/1886 – 12/09/1952). He was a popular Hindustani classical vocalist and Marathi stage actor-singer. He was the first disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana gharana. One of the disciples of Sawai Gandharva was Pandit Bhimsen Joshi who later started the annual Sawai Gandharva Festival at Pune in the memory of his guru.
Read more on this topic…


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