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

Posts Tagged ‘Leela Mehta


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

Blog Day :

4872 Post No. : 16667

Today’s song is from the film Hanste Rehna-1950. The film was made by Rajan Pictures, Bombay. It was directed by Mohammed Hussain, about whom no information is available from any source, except for his Filmography. As per HFGK, it seems, he directed 39 films, most of which were B and C grade action films. In the 60’s decade he directed some films featuring Dara Singh. His first film was Sher E Bangal-1947 and his last film was Mandir Masjid-1977. Some well known films he directed were Sipah Salar-56, Aji bas shukriya-58, Rooplekha-49 and 62, Shikar-63, CID 909-67 Faulad-63 and Aaya Toofan-64 etc etc. He was born on 25-2-1918 in Lucknow.

The film had music by Wadhva. His only other film was Dushmani-50, as Ramnath Wadhva. The film lyrics were by Faruk Kaiser and Indivar. Faruk Kaiser (6 June 1918 – 10 November 1987) was an Urdu poet and a renowned lyricist , making a significant contribution to the success of many Bollywood films. He was one of the dominating forces of music in Indian Cinema during the 1950s through the 1980s. He contributed to more than 115 movies and 390 songs.

Faruk Kaiser was born in 1918 into a jeweller’s family. He was to be the second eldest of 12 children and was educated in Bombay (present day Mumbai). Faruk had an enquiring mind and, even as a child, exhibited a keen interest in reading- books and newspapers – and later in the wireless. Faruk’s mother died when he was 18; shortly after that he left his family home and found lodgings in a friend’s tailoring premises. Here, he devoted his time to further learning: immersing himself in poetry, literature, educational books, newspapers, magazines, and almost anything available in print – whilst also learning languages besides his native Urdu.

Faruk’s love for poetry and his friendship with neighbour Kamran Khan (father of Farah Khan and Sajid Khan) were instrumental in his developing an enthusiasm for the creative works of Hindi Cinema. While Kamran Khan produced and acted in films, Faruk was introduced into the Bollywood scene as an assistant director, whose expertise was frequently sought to modify dialogues and revamp scenes. He went on to direct several movies until he found his niche as a lyricist.

Among his many colleagues in the film industry, Faruk was a great friend of actor Kamal Mohan, who was the father of six sons and one daughter. Kamal Mohan proposed his daughter Aisha’s hand in marriage to his dear friend and confidant Faruk- who took an immediate liking for her. During their courtship, he penned the lyrics of Sari Sari Raat Teri Yaad Sataye for the movie Aji Bas Shukriya (1958) while she was stricken with tuberculosis and hospitalised in Bombay for a year. Soon after Aisha’s discharge from hospital in 1959, they married and moved to Bandra. Faruk’s career had developed and his work took him all over India; during his many travels he wrote diligently to his wife and soulmate. It was during his travels, on a shoot in 1963, that he wrote the song Oee Ma Oee Ma Yeh Kya Ho Gaya for the movie Parasmani (1963)

Faruk and Aisha had three children- one son, Shakil (1960) and two daughters – Bilkis Whelan (1962 -2003) and Tabassum (1963-1983).(Thanks to wiki)

The film was made on the famous novel ” Comedy of Errors” by William Shakespear. This story is so interesting that the story and its variations involving Mistaken Identity is used in Hindi as well as regional films, since the beginning of Talkie films. The first such film was Awara Shehzada-33. Later on, some of the well known films made on this story in Hindi are-

Chacha Chaudhari-53

Do dooni chaar-68

Angoor-82

Cirkus-forthcoming in 2022

Some films in other languages-

Bhranti Bilas-Bangla-63

Ulta palta-kannada-97

Ulta Palta-Telugu-98

Double di trouble-2014.

These films used the same theme, but there are many more films in Hindi and other languages, in which the theme has some changes, but centrally it is “Mistaken Identity” only. Films like Ram aur Shyam, Seeta aur Geeta and Chaalbaaz were some films in this category.

Today’s song is sung by Leela Mehta. Leela is a name in Hindi films, which has several Same Name artistes-just like the name Nalini. In case of Nalini these were the artistes-

In Hindi films, as many as 12 NALINIs acted/ sang in films at slightly different times. Add to this list, the name of a Male actor ‘ Nalini Ranjan Roy ‘, who, thankfully, acceded to the suggestion to change his name to ‘Kanu’ Roy. ( It is another matter that even this name clashed with another artiste, Kanu Roy, who was MD, in the same period…causing serious ” Same Name Confusion”. ) The different NALINIs were…

Nalini Tarkhud…..many films

Nalini Jayawant…many films

Baby Nalini…Mera ladka-43

Nalini Nagpurkar…Krishnarjun yuddha-34, Chacha Chaudhari-53

Nalini Chonkar… many films

Nalini Borkar…singer

Nalini Dhere… Nagad Narayan-43

Nalini Gupte…Ankh ki sharm-43

Nalini Mulgaonkar…Didi-48, nakli Baap-49

Nalini Rao…Talash-43

Nalini Saraf (later Seema Deo)… Anand-70

Nalini korgaonkar… singer

Additionally, there were actresses called SuNALINI and MriNALINI too.

These Nalinis did not cause any Same name Confusion, because, being Marathi artistes, they wrote their names with Surnames, so their names remained different always.

Similarly, there were many Leelas, commonly found in HFGK-

Leela Sawant-A/s

Leela Gupte-A

Leela Desai-A/S

Leela Mishra-A

Leela Chitnis-A/S

Leela Mehta-A

Leela Naidu-A and

Leela Chandragiri A/S. There may be some more Leelas, found occasionally.

Like Nalinis, these Leelas (except two-Leela Desai and Leela Chandragiri) did not cause Same Name Confusion as their names were used with surnames.

Today’s singer Leela Mehta was an actress in Gujarati and Marathi films and stage dramas, but she acted in only one Hindi film. She sang 17 songs in 9 films. Her today’s song is her last song in Hindi films.

Daughter of Kanhaiyalal Mehta and Indumati, Leela was born on 10-12-1935 at Borivali in Bombay. She was the elder of the two sisters. Due to loss in business, her family shifted first to Ahmedabad and later to Baroda, where they settled. Leela studied in Marathi medium school- New Era Vidyalaya in Baroda. Leela participated in all functions of the school and acted in dramas, much to the annoyance of their social circle. She developed interest in singing after listening to songs by Khursheed and Kananbala. She started learning music despite the resistance from home and others in their society.

V.M.Vyas, the famous Director and a family friend knew about her interest and offered her the main role in the film Ranak Devi-46. She was just 11 year old and did not suit the role, but she was given another role in it. Kokila Balsara aka Nirupa Roy too acted in it as a Debut film.

Due to her father’s death, the family shifted to Bombay and Leela took the responsibility of being the bread earner by acting and singing in dramas and Radio plays. Meanwhile she learnt further music from Prof. Surendra Rao. She started acting and singing in Gujarati films. Ranjit Movietone offered her a big role in the film Gunsundari-48, but since the role needed her to put on a Sleeveless Blouse, she refused that role. Finally, it went to Dulari. She, however, sang songs in that film and they became quite popular in Gujarat.

Leela Mehta had grown up in a Marathi atmosphere and also was educated in Marathi Medium, so her Marathi was very good. She was invited to work in Marathi dramas. She did roles in famous and popular Marathi dramas and also sang songs. From 1950 onwards, she started acting in Gujarati dramas. Meanwhile she used to sing in Hindi films occasionally. In the early 50s, she made very successful foreign trips with her troupe, to do Gujarati dramas and singing concerts.

In Spite of being successful and acting and singing in Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati films and dramas, her father did not see even one show of hers. This pained her till end. Leela stayed in a Bungalow in Versova in Bombay. Once it was rumoured that there was a Ghost in it, she immediately left that house and shifted to Dadar. Inadvertently, she forgot to inform the industry about her change of address, and this diminished her demand drastically.

Her mother died in 1972. In 1982, she toured the USA. In 1985, the Marathi Natya Parishad honoured her with a cash award. Till 1992, she acted in Marathi and Gujarati TV serials. In all, Leela acted in 300 Gujarati/Marathi dramas, films and serials. Leela was bedridden and unable to speak also.Her house was demolished. She was under the care of a close relative, Nitin Dahisariya. Finally, the news came that Leela Mehta expired in September 2019.

Leela Mehta acted in only one Hindi film- Shri Ram Avatar-50. She sang 17 songs in 9 Hindi films, including 2 Unreleased films.
Her Films are Nai Kahani-43 ( 2 songs), Gaurav-47 (1), Namak-47 (1), Pehli Pehchan-47 (2), Gunsundari-48(2), Satyawan Savitri-48..No information, Chocolate-50..No information, Shri Ram Avatar-50 (4) and Hanste Rehna-50 (1). Her unreleased films were, Apradh-48 (3) and Bidhata-48 (1).
( My thanks to Harish Raghuvanshi ji for some information from his book, ‘ Inhe Na Bhulaana’.)

Let us now listen to her song in this film.


Song- Main to chanda ke sang kheloon aankh michauli(Hanste Rehna)(1950) Singer- Leela Mehta, Lyricist- Farooque Qaiser, MD- Wadhwa

Lyrics

Main to chanda ke
Main to chanda ke sang kheloon aankh michauli
kheloon aankh michauli
Main to chanda ke

chanda ki nazron se khud ko bachaa ke
baadal ke tukde mein chhip jaaun jaa ke
chanda ki nazron se khud ko bachaa ke
baadal ke tukde mein chhip jaaun jaa ke
dhoondhe sitaaron ki toli
main to chanda ke sang
dhoondhe sitaaron ki toli
main to chanda ke sang
kheloon aankh michauli
main to chanda ke
Main to chanda ke sang kheloon aankh michauli
kheloon aankh michauli
Main to chanda ke

duniya hai meri sabse niraali
duniya hai meri sabse niraali
chaand aur sitaaron ki main rehne waali
chaand aur sitaaron ki main rehne waali
ye hai mere humjoli
ho main to chanda ke sang
kheloon aankh michauli
Main to chanda ke
Main to chanda ke sang kheloon aankh michauli
kheloon aankh michauli
Main to chanda ke

khel chukoon main khel apne nyaare
chanda hanse aur muskaayen taare
khel chukoon main khel apne nyaare
chanda hanse aur muskaayen taare
baaten karoon aisi bholi
main to chanda ke sang
baaten karoon aisi bholi
main to chanda ke sang
kheloon aankh michauli
Main to chanda ke
Main to chanda ke sang kheloon aankh michauli
kheloon aankh michauli
Main to chanda ke


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusaist 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 :

4245 Post No. : 15464 Movie Count :

4261

Today’s song is from an obscure film – Namak-47. Not only the film title was obscure but even the production House, the Director and even most of the cast too was practically unknown.

And no wonder. 1947 was an year which saw India’s Partition on religion basis. Pakistan was created and there was a stream of film people wanting to migrate. By the beginning of 1947 itself it was clear that there would be a Partition and those of the film industry who wanted to migrate, were in a great hurry to finish off their projects on hand at any cost before the D Day. Investors and artistes of various fields in film making tried their best to complete their films somehow. In this melee, quality of films became the casualty in most such cases, where migration hungry people were involved. This resulted in an unusually high number of films being completed and censored. The year 1947 recorded the maximum number of films – 181, since films were made. This record remained till 1988 when 185 Hindi films were made. So this record stood for 57 years !

This also reflected in the cast of several films, where to fill up vacancies, actors were recruited thoughtlessly. Most such excess people never appeared in films again ever. Film Namak was an example . The film was directed by Balwant B. Dave. He was actually a Cameraman. With the help of an investor S H Torani, he floated a Production company, Azad Pictures to produce film Namak. He also became a director of this film. It is another matter that this Production Company got dissolved after this one film, but Balwant Dave directed 3 more films – White face-48, Shahi Bazar-57 and Gogola-66. This Azad Pictures had even announced 2 more films, namely Kasturba and Voice of India. These ofcourse remained only on paper.

Similarly, the Music Directors were Shyam Babu Pathak and one Naresh Chandra. Though Pathak was an established composer, who remained active many years thereafter, Naresh Chandra was never heard again. Naresh Chandra even sang a song in this film. I have heard his song in this film and wondered who taught him singing. Looks like he went for recording straight from his bathroom !

The cast of film Namak-47 consisted of Dulari, Bhim, Dilawar, Habib, Neelam, Sharda, Chandrashekhar, and Sugandha. The names of Bhim, Sharada, Chandrashekhar and Sugandha were never heard by me after this film. The lead actress Dulari was a comparatively new one. having worked in small roles hetherto, this film was her first film as a Heroine. Earlier in film Adab Arz-43, she had played a side Heroine and the love interest of Mukesh. The Lyricist was Indivar and there were 5 songs in this film- 4 of them composed by Pathak and 1 by Naresh Chandra, the song being sung by him only. For 5 songs a total of 7 singers were used, out of which 4 were New names. These were, Anika Rizvi,Shabnam Hussaini, Naresh Chandra and R P Sharma. These four singers’ names were not heard by me earlier and never later also. They proved to be One time performers only, as far as I know.

In the cast there were two names, which were a part of “Same name Confusion” list. Those names are Heroine Dulari and singer Leela Mehta. Many times, I wondered why same names were used in the film industry at all ? Names like Nalini and Leela could be counted in as many as 5 to 6 artistes. My observation is , whenever the artistes used their Surnames along with own names, there was no confusion. A case in point is name ‘Leela’.

There were following Leelas in film industry…
Leela Chitnis
Leela Chandragiri or Pendharkar,
Leela Mishra
Leela Sawant and
Leela Mehta.

Similarly, there were Shanta Patel, Shanta Mujumdar, Shanta Apte, Shanta Hublikar and many such examples. Since Maharashtriyan actresses were keen on using their Surnames, they were hardly a part of SNC, with the exception of Leelas. Leela Desai and Leela Chandragiri were actresses who operated in same periods in films. Generally, their names were credited full. However some films listed their names as simply, Leela or Miss Leela. In case of Leela Chandragiri , she was listed variously as Leela, Miss Leela, Leela Chandragiri or Leela Pendharkar. This caused lot of confusion in updating their filmographies.

In film Namak-47, the singer was Leela Mehta. Luckily she was essentially a singer, except for one Hindi film-Shri Ram Avatar-50, in which she had acted also.Since she was almost always credited as Leela Mehta, she was not a part of any SNC. Thank God !

Daughter of Kanhaiyalal Mehta and Indumati, Leela was born on 10-12-1935 at Borivali in Bombay. She was elder of the two sisters. Due to loss in business, her family shifted first to Ahmedabad and later to Baroda, where they settled. Leela studied in Marathi medium school- New Era Vidyalay in Baroda. Leela participated in all functions of the school and acted in dramas, much to the annoyance of their social circle. She developed interest in singing after listening to songs by Khursheed and Kananbala. She started learning music despite the resistance from home and others in their society.

V.M.Vyas, the famous Director and a family friend knew about her interest and offered her main role in film Ranak Devi-46. She was just 11 year old and did not suit the role, but she was given another role in it. Kokila Balsara aka Nirupa Roy too acted in it as a Debut film.

Due to her father’s death, the family shifted to Bombay and Leela took the responsibility of being the bread earner by acting and singing in dramas and Radio plays. Meanwhile she learnt further music from Prof. Surendra Rao. She started acting and singing in Gujarati films. Ranjit Movietone offered her a big role in film Gunsundari-48, but since the role needed her to put on a Sleeveless Blouse, she refused that role. Finally, it went to Dulari. She, however sang songs in that film and they became quite popular in Gujarat.

Leela Mehta had grown up in Marathi atmosphere and also was educated in Marathi Medium, so her Marathi was very good. She was invited to work in Marathi dramas. She did roles in famous and popular Marathi dramas and also sang songs. From 1950 onwards, she started acting in Gujarati dramas. Meanwhile she used to sing in Hindi films occasionally. In early 50s, she mad very successful foreign trips with her troupe, to do Gujarati dramas and singing concerts.

Inspite of being successful and acting and singing in Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati films and dramas, her father did not see even one show of hers. This pained her till end. leela stayed in a Bungalow in Versova in Bombay. Once it was rumoured that there was a Ghost in it, she immediately left that house and shifted to Dadar. Inadvertently, she forgot to inform the industry about her change of address, and this diminished her demand drastically.

Her mother died in 1972. In 1982, she toured USA. In 1985, the Marathi Natya Parishad honoured her with a cash award. Till 1992, she acted in Marathi and Gujarati TV serials. In all, Leela acted in 300 Gujarati/Marathi dramas, films and serials. Leela was bedridden and unable to speak also.Her house was demolished. She was under the care of a close relative, Nitin Dahisariya. Finally, the news came that Leela Mehta expired in September 2019.

Leela Mehta acted in only one Hindi film- Shri Ram Avatar-50. She sang 17 songs in 9 Hindi films, including 2 Unreleased films.
Her Films are Nai Kahani-43 ( 2 songs), Gaurav-47 (1), Namak-47 (1), Pehli Pehchan-47 (2), Gunsundari-48(2), Satyawan Savitri-48..No information, Chocolate-50..No information, Shri Ram Avatar-50 (4) and Hanste Rehna-50 (1). Her unreleased films were, Apradh-48 (3) and Bidhata-48 (1).

The other Same name was that of Dulari. There was one more Dulari, since the silent days into the Talkie, but luckily the Sr. Dulari stopped working much before this Dulari entered films, hence there was no SNC.

The Senior Dulari was in silent films starting with film “Poona Raided”-1924, made by Deccan pictures Corpn,Bombay. She acted opposite Vishnupant Pagnis ( who became famous in the Prabhat Talkie film “Sant Tukaram”-1936 and won award in Venice Festival). The silent films were made till 1934. She continued acting in the silent films and when Talkie films started she did act in few Talkie films too. There is a record that she acted in 11 Talkie films. Her last film was Laylo Nihar-1936. Then there is no trace of her.

The Junior Dulari was born as Ambika Vithalrao Gautam, on 18-4-1928 at Nagpur. Her father was in P and T dept. She was called first as Rajdulari and later only Dulari remained. She had 2 younger brothers. Father left P and T job,and joined “Alfred – Khatau” drama company. They shifted to Bombay in 1939.

She started films with Jhoola in 1941. In “Adab Arz”-43, she was the love interest of Mukesh. In film Paapi-53, she was Raj kapoor’s second heroine. In film Namak-47, she first became a Heroine.
Lee
She got married to Sound Recordist Jagannath Jagtap in 1951. They had one daughter. He died in 1972.
She acted in 171 Hindi, 35 Gujarati and 3 Marathi and 1 Rajasthani film till last film Ziddi-1997.

She died on 19-1-2013 at Pune.

I have not seen this film. I saw few advertisements of this film in some old issues of Film India magazine. According to the ads, the film was a social thriller and Dulari played a Christian Convert in this film. The dialogues were by Pt. Anuj.

With today’s song, film Namak-47 makes its Debut on this Blog.


Song-Do hain naina hon chaar kaise (Namak)(1947) Singers- Leela Mehta, Yeshwant Bhatt, Lyricist-Indeevar, MD- Shyam Babu Pathak
Both

Lyrics

Do hain naina
Do hain naina
hon chaar kaise
Do hain naina
Do hain naina
hon chaar kaise
Do hain naina

koi kahe hamko pyaar hai
koi kahe hamko pyaar hai
Do hain naina
Do hain naina
hon chaar kaise
Do hain naina

kisi ka saath nahin
haathhon mein haath nahin
kisi ka saath nahin
haathhon mein haath nahin
?? sharmaaye aur intzaar kaise
?? sharmaaye aur intzaar kaise
Do hain naina
Do hain naina
hon chaar kaise
Do hain naina

karaar kiya nahin
karaar kiya nahin
karaar kiya nahin
dil bhi diya nahin
dil bhi diya nahin
dil koi(?) ho jaaye taiyyaar(?) kaise
dil koi(?) ho jaaye taiyyaar kaise

Do hain naina
Do hain naina
hon chaar kaise
Do hain naina

ek nazar
ek nazar ?? unko ghoorti(?)
ek nazar ?? unko ghoorti(?)
ek nazar man mein bana leti hoor ki
ek nazar man mein bana leti hoor ki

salaam (?)kar le ab kaise kaise
salaam (?) kar le ab kaise kaise
pranaam ka miley adhikaar kaise
pranaam ka miley adhikaar kaise

Do hain naina
Do hain naina
hon chaar kaise
Do hain naina


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 :

3772 Post No. : 14749 Movie Count :

4033

Since the day making of talkie films started in India, till today, no one knows how many actors have worked in films. Few years back, one gentleman had made a list of 7000 actors up to year 2000 and it was posted on a site, which is now defunct. Ordinary film buffs do not know all the names. The experts, perhaps, may know more. Fact remains that there are only few actors known to all and few known to some.

Some time ago, one of my friends and I took a bet on who knows more names of actors. The time limit fixed was 24 hours and no books etc. were to be referred. Next day, we exchanged our lists. Can you believe, I could not cross even 50 ! My friend was better, he wrote 54 names !! When you have some time, try doing this yourself, at least once.

Same case is with music directors and singers. Though no definite number is available, it is generally presumed that there were 1200 to 1500 music directors. How many can you list ?

As far as singers are concerned, it is a different story. I classify film singers into 4 categories.

  1. Regular playback singers like Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Asha, Mukesh, Lata etc
  2. Those who acted and sang – early era actors till 1950
  3. Accidental singers – These are non singers, who sang few lines or a song in a film, sometimes – like Dilip Kumar, Amitabh, many comedians etc., and
  4. Occasional singers – This is the biggest list. Some of the names in this category are, Ira Nigam, Anima Dasgupta, Balwant Singh, Bharat Vyas, Gopal Patel, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Malti Pande, Jikki, Narendra Chanchal, Pinakin Shah, Ram Marathe, Shobha Gurtu, Seeta Agarwal, Mrs. Vishnilal, Laxmi Kumthekar etc.

It includes those singers, who sang 6-8 songs and disappeared. It also includes those singers who are from other languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil etc, but have sung few songs in Hindi too.

Today’s song is also sung by a singer who was a regular singer in Gujarati and Marathi films and occasional singer in Hindi films. The song is from film ‘Shri Ram Avatar’ (1950) and the singer is Leela Mehta. Leela is not new to our blog. Four of her songs are already discussed here.

Daughter of Kanhaiyalal Mehta and Indumati, Leela was born on 10-12-1935 at Borivali in Bombay. She was elder of the two sisters. Due to loss in business, her family shifted first to Ahmedabad and later to Baroda, where they settled. Leela studied in Marathi medium school – New Era Vidyalay in Baroda. Leela participated in all functions of the school and acted in dramas, much to the annoyance of their social circle. She developed interest in singing after listening to songs by Khursheed and Kananbala. She started learning music despite the resistance from home and others in their society.

VM Vyas, the famous director and a family friend knew about her interest and offered her the main role in film ‘Ranak Devi’ (1946). She was just 11 year old and did not suit the role, but she was given another role in it. Kokila Balsara aka Nirupa Roy too acted in it as a Debut film.

Due to her father’s death, the family shifted to Bombay and Leela took the responsibility of being the bread earner by acting and singing in dramas and radio plays. Meanwhile she learnt further music from Prof. Surendra Rao. She started acting and singing in Gujarati films. Ranjit Movietone offered her a big role in film ‘Gunsundari’ (1948), but since the role needed her to put on a sleeveless blouse, she refused that role. Finally, it went to Dulari. She, however sang songs in that film and they became quite popular in Gujarat.

Leela Mehta had grown up in Marathi atmosphere and also was educated in Marathi Medium, so her Marathi was very good. She was invited to work in Marathi dramas. She did roles in famous and popular Marathi dramas and also sang songs. From 1950 onwards, she started acting in Gujarati dramas. Meanwhile she used to sing in Hindi films occasionally. In early 50s, she made very successful foreign trips with her troupe, to perform Gujarati dramas and singing concerts.

Inspite of being successful and acting and singing in Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati films and dramas, her father did not see even one show of hers. This pained her till end. Leela stayed in a bungalow in Versova in Bombay. Once it was rumoured that there was a ghost in it. She immediately left that house and shifted to Dadar. Inadvertently, she forgot to inform the industry about her change of address, and this diminished her demand drastically.

Her mother died in 1972. In 1982, she toured USA. In 1985, the Marathi Natya Parishad honoured her with a cash award. Till 1992, she acted in Marathi and Gujarati TV serials. In all, Leela acted in 300 Gujarati/Marathi dramas, films and serials. Presently Leela is bedridden and unable to speak also.

Leela Mehta acted in only one Hindi film – ‘Shri Ram Avatar’ (1950). She sang 17 songs in 9 Hindi films, including 2 unreleased films. Her films are  ‘Nai Kahaani’ (1943) (2 songs), ‘Gaurav’ (1947) (1), ‘Namak’ (1947) (1), ‘Pehli Pehchan’ (1947) (2), ‘Gunsundari’ (1948) (2), ‘Satyawan Savitri’ (1948) (no information), ‘Chocolate’ (1950) (no information), ‘Shri Ram Avatar’ (1950) (4) and ‘Hanste Rehna’ (1950) (1). Her unreleased films were, Apradh (1948) (3) and ‘Bidhaata’ (1948) (1).

Film ‘Shri Ram Avtar’ was made under the banner of Praveen Leela Productions. It was directed by W Garcher – a name I have come across first time. He seems to have acted also in this film. The other cast was Shahu Modak, Ratnamala, Leela Mishra, Amarnath, Leela Mehta and others. Lyricist was Pt. Shivraj and the music was by Indravadan Bhatt.

Most names in the cast seem familiar except that of Ratnamala. How many of us really know anything about this actress. It is surprising that a very lovely and beautiful actress, who was heroine of about 20 films in the 40s and has about 300 films (131 Hindi films) to her credit, remains practically unknown. She was the heroine with Saraswati Cinetone, Prabhat Film Company, Sagar, Ranjit, Prakash Pictures etc. – all well known banners. She was in films for 50+ years and was a famous name in Marathi films of Dada Kondke.

Its a great pity that hardly any or no information about her is available in books, encyclopedias, wiki or on internet. When all sources of information come to a dead end, I turn to Harish Raghuwanshi ji of Surat and I am never disappointed. Here, I provide a short bio sketch of Ratnamala, based principally on the articles given by Harish ji. Thanks, Harish ji.

She was born as Kamal Bhivandkar on 22-6-1923 in Bombay. She was good looking and could sing well. From the age of 14 years, she went on the stage of several Ganesh Melas prevalent in those times. She earned 5-10 rupees per performance. In 1938, she was picked up by Dada Torne of Sarswati Cinetone, who cast her as a heroine in Marathi film ‘Bhagwa Zenda’. Seeing her performance, she was taken by Prabhat Film Company for the Marathi version of their film ‘Das Baje’ (1942). Torne had renamed her as Ratnamala.

Vijay Bhatt of Prakash Pictures offered her a role in film ‘Bharat Milap’ (1942), when Kusum Deshpande, selected for the role of Bharat’s wife, fell ill. Seeing her performance, she was selected as a heroine for film ‘Station Master’ (1942). Here too, the original heroine Jyoti fell ill. Then came ‘Panghat’ (1943), ‘Police’ (1944), ‘Kavita’ (1944) etc. She acted in many mythological films also. Some of her well known films were, ‘Dholak’, ‘Maya Bazaar’, ‘Sasural’, ‘Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan’, ‘Faulad’, ‘Woh Kaun Thi’, ‘Nishan’, ‘Bahu Beti’, ‘Mera Sayaa’, ‘Raaz’, ‘Saraswati Chandra’, ‘Brahmachari’, ‘Upahaar’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Nastik’ etc.

She acted in 130 Hindi films and many more in Marathi films. Later she did side roles. She became famous as mother of Dada Kondke in 11 of his films. She was called ‘Aaye‘ (आये) in the Marathi films of Kondke.

Ratnamala was married to Raja Pandit, a Producer Director in Marathi films, when she was very young. As Ratnamala became successful and Raja became a failure, their marriage came on rocks. She had one son – Jaikumar, who had also acted in one film. Unfortunately, he died suddenly in an accident. Ratnamala lived in her own bungalow in Andheri, Bombay, along with her foster son – Ramesh. Ratnamala died of heart attack on 23rd January 1989.

The hero in this film was Shahu Modak. Shahu Modak was a regular actor in many religious films. He did Krishna’s role in over 30 films. He was born in a Christian family of Ahmednagar (Maharashtra), on 25-4-1918. He was trained in music by his Uncle Nivritinath Modak . He also got trained by Ustad Abdul Kareem Khan. There was a gym in his house and he became an expert in wrestling too. He was discovered by Bhal ji Pendharkar. Producer Nanasaheb Sarpotdar gave him his first break in films. He made his debut with a bilingual film from Prabhat – ‘Shyamsundar’ (1932), as a child artist. Shanta Apte also was a child artist debuting in this film. He also sang a song in this film.

In the next year itself he did a hero’s role in another bilingual – ‘Awara Shehzada’ (1933) (‘Ghatkecha Raja’ in Marathi). With this film, he entered the film History books for doing the first double role in a talkie film ever. He was a prince – Rajkumar and a pauper – Bholaram, in this film. The director of this film was Master Vithal, who himself was the first hero to do a double role in a silent film ‘Prisoner of Love’, in 1927.

Shahu became famous when he did the Havaldar Ganapat’s role in the landmark movie of Prabhat – ‘Aadmi’ (1939) (‘Maanus’ in Marathi). From 1932 to 1986 he acted in about 96 films. His last film too was a mythological – ‘Krishna Leela’ (1986), in which he did Krishna’s role for the last time, at the age of 68 years. He featured in many films of Prakash Pictures, which was a mythological film specialist studio. Shahu Modak initially sang his own songs. He must have sung about 54 songs in 18 films. From the film ‘Bhakta Pooran’ (1952), he started taking playback. But in 1971 he sang a song in film ‘Main Sunder Hoon’.

Shahu Modak passed away on 11-5-1993. There are two interesting things about Shahu Modak. One, he was a very accurate Astrologer. It is said that he had predicted his own date of death. Secondly, like Manhar Desai (Malcolm Alfredo Desai), he too was a Christian and both did roles of Hindu Gods in mythological films.

Let us now enjoy the Leela Mehta song from film ‘Shri Ram Avtar’. The movie makes its debut in the blog with this song.

[Acknowledgements: My thanks to Harish Raghuvanshi ji for some information from his book, ‘ Inhe Na Bhulaana’.]


Song – Aayi Aayi Basant Ritu Aayi  (Shri Ram Avtar) (1950) Singer – Leela Mehta, Lyrics – Pt Shivraj, Music – Indravadan Bhatt
Chorus

Lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

aayi aayi
basant ritu aayi
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi
aayi aayi
basant ritu aayi
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi

mere mann ki kali
yug yug ki pali
aaj. . kisi ko dekh muskaai
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi
aayi aayi
basant ritu aayi
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi

chaand hain naina bolo
kis ke liye aaj
solah singaar kiya
kis ke liye
chaand hain naina bolo
kis ke liye aaj
solah singaar kiya
kis ke liye
kaun si surat
kaun wo moorat
kaun si surat
kaun wo moorat
bhole mann mein aaj samaai
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi
aayi aayi
basant ritu aayi
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi

mann vyakul hai
baat mukh pen a aaye
mukh pe jo aaye
laaj kehne na paaye
hoga suraj ya to
chanda sa koi
hoga suraj ya to
hoga suraj ya to
chanda sa koi
raja ?? ?? ?? hoga wo koi
raja ?? ?? ?? hoga wo koi

hoon hoon hoon

aayi aayi
basant ritu aayi
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi
aayi aayi
basant ritu aayi
sunder ritu aayi
daali daali ne li agndaayi

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

आई आई
बसंत ऋतु आई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई
आई आई
बसंत ऋतु आई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई

मेरे मन की काली
युग युग की पाली’
आज॰॰ किसी को देख मुसकाई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई
आई आई
बसंत ऋतु आई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई

चाँद हैं नैना बोलो
किसके लिए आज
सोलह सिंगार किया
किसके लिए
चाँद हैं नैना बोलो
किसके लिए आज
सोलह सिंगार किया
किसके लिए
कौन सी सूरत
कौन वो मूरत
कौन सी सूरत
कौन वो मूरत
भोले मन में आज समाई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई
आई आई
बसंत ऋतु आई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई

मन व्याकुल है
बात मुख पे ना आये
मुख पे जो आए
लाज कहने ना पाये
होगा सूरज या तो
चंदा सा कोई
होगा सूरज या तो
चंदा सा कोई
राजा ?? ?? ?? होगा वो कोई
राजा ?? ?? ?? होगा वो कोई

हूँ हूँ हूँ

आई आई
बसंत ऋतु आई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई
आई आई
बसंत ऋतु आई
सुंदर ऋतु आई
डाली डाली ने ली अंगड़ाई


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.

“Nayi Kahaani”(1943) was directed by D D Kashyap for Prabhat Film Company, Poona. The movie had Rose, Jairaj, Nandrekar, Bannerji, Shalini, Chhotu, Rane, Manji Rao, Ganpat Rao, Karadkar, Pradhan, Thakar, Bhide etc in it.
Read more on this topic…


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.

“Nayi Kahaani”(1943) was directed by D D Kashyap for Prabhat Film Company, Poona. The movie had Rose, Jairaj, Nandrekar, Bannerji, Shalini, Chhotu, Rane, Manji Rao, Ganpat Rao, Karadkar, Pradhan, Thakar, Bhide etc in it.
Read more on this topic…


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.

“Nayi Kahaani”(1943) was directed by D D Kashyap for Prabhat Film Company, Poona. The movie had Rose, Jairaj, Nandrekar, Bannerji, Shalini, Chhotu, Rane, Manji Rao, Ganpat Rao, Karadkar, Pradhan, Thakar, Bhide etc in it.
Read more on this topic…


“Gunsundari” (1948) is an obscure movie by now. But as far as we are concerned, we know a great deal about this movie, thanks to the details provided by Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh, our beloved inhouse encyclopaedia. Here is what he has to say about this movie:
Read more on this topic…


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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over THIRTEEN years. This blog has over 16600 song posts by now.

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

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