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

Posts Tagged ‘Mehar Sultana


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.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 :

4199 Post No. : 15382 Movie Count :

4241

Today’s song is a very rare song from an obscure and unheard of film – Anjaam-1940. Films with the title Anjaam were made in 1940, 1952, 1968, 1978, 1986 and 1993. Today’s film was the first and then in every decade one film was made on this title. First I thought that this title wins the highest number, but NO. The honour of ‘same title maximum films made’ goes to INSAAF, which was made 7 times !

It gives me a pleasure to write about rare, obscure old films. Mainly because, it is a challenge to gather or literally excavate information from various different sources about the film, director, MD, the actors or the singers. Many times, some names are so obscure that it takes several days or even months to get the information. While reading an article, the readers rarely realise the hard work that has gone into the presentation. Not all information is available on beck and call. Sometimes a windfall comes with plenty of information from unexpected sources, but that is rare. Many times days and months are blank. I call this as a challenge.

Film Anjaam-40, made by Vishnu Cinetone- owned by Dhirubhai Desai, was a Costume drama. The music for the film was by Shanti kumar Desai and the cast was Anil kumar, Meher Sultana, Yeshwant Dave, Rajkumari, Samson, Bulbule, Fazlu etc. All the songs were written by Munshi Qabil. The film was directed by Kanjibhai Rathod.

The name Kanjibhai Rathod will not ring any bells in the ears of any reader. That is because, this was his last film as a director. Since his directorial career ended 80 years ago, it is unlikely that any reader has even heard his name. I had come across this name earlier, but there was no opportunity to write on any song from his films. So, when I finally got hold of this rare song, I knew this was my last chance to write about him as this was his last film as a director. Of course, he was very much in the film industry for another 20 odd years, but as a Production manager.

After I got this song, it took me almost one month to collect enough information about Kanjibhai Rathod. I had to literally dig out information from quite old articles. I knew if at all his bio is available, it had to be in Gujarati alone. So I scanned Gujarati articles. Harish Raghuwanshi ji also helped me in this and also provided his own Gujarati article on Kanjibhai Rathod.

In the Hollywood filmdom, in the early years, Blacks were not given any jobs. Over a period, this changed and Blacks became a part of film industry. Similarly, in early years, in Indian film world, backwards and Dalits were not preferred except for menial jobs. However, it is to the credit of the Gujarati filmdom that they encouraged Kanjibhai Rathod and gave him opportunities to showcase his skills as an actor and a very successful silent film director. Kanjibhai Rathod was a Dalit.

Kanjibhai Rathod from Maroli village in south Gujarat, was considered the first successful commercial director in Indian cinema. His rise to fame was in an era when most people stayed away from films, due to a peculiar stigma attached to the filmdom.

Not much is known about Rathod’s personal life. Film historian Virchand Dharamsey writes, “Kanjibhai was coming from a Dalit family and he can be considered the first successful professional director of India.”

Rathod began as a still photographer with the Oriental Film Company, owned by a U.S. trained film maker Sachet Singh,in Baroda. His experience earned him a job in Kohinoor Film Company and its owner Dwarkadas Sampat made him a director. Till then he worked as an actor in many silent films. In film Narsi Bhagat, he did the Hero’s role.

Rathod’s ‘Bhakta Vidur’ released in 1921, was perhaps the first criticism of the British colonialism in a popular feature film.

This mythological allegory directly alluded to political issues, particularly the controversy over the Rowlatt Act.

An adaptation from a section of the Mahabharata, this film showed the British as the Kauravas and its protagonist Vidur as Gandhi. Sampat himself played the role donning the Gandhi cap and khadi shirt. The film raised a storm – while a big hit in Bombay, it was banned by the British in Karachi and Madras, write historians.

Rathod was the first film-maker to direct a crime thriller in 1920s on contemporary events. His Kala Naag (1924) was based on famous double murder case in Bombay. Rathod introduced Zubaida to film industry with his Gulbakavali.

By the time he left for Saurashtra Film Company in Rajkot in 1924, Rathod had enough work on his name. At the launch of Krishna Film Company, he returned to Mumbai in 1931, the year of first talkies.

Dharamsey writes in his ‘Light of Asia: Indian Silent Cinema 1912–1934’ that Rathod directed five talkies out of 17 made in 1931. The films were, Chintamani, Ghar ki Laxmi, Harischandra, Laila Majnu and Paak Daaman, all for Krishna Movietone. He remained active in the industry even in 1940s, but he was not as successful directing talkies.

In the early film making, the contribution of Gujarati men is substantial. Out of the 1313 silent films made during 1913 to 1934, more than half were made by Gujarati producers. Companies like Sagar, Kohinoor, Shrikrishna, Sharda etc at Bombay and Elphinston Film co. at Calcutta were owned by Gujaratis. They not only did business, but also made many Gujarati and Non Gujarati artistes. Gujarati writers always provided story lines.

From 1921 to 1924, Kanjibhai Rathore directed 31 silent films for Kohinoor Film Co. For Shrikrishna film Co. of Maneklal Patel, he directed 21 silent films. For some time he did work for Saurashtra Film co. at Rajkot also.

Kanjibhai directed total 59 silent films and 16 Hindi Talkie films and 1 Gujarati Talkie film . A grand total of 76 films in all. Quite a substantial number. Kanjibhai Rathod was much ahead of times. In one silent film-Sati Anusuya-1921, an actress, Sakeena, was shown fully naked. During silent film era major actors like Raja Sandow, Jaleel, Fatima Begum, Ermelin, Gohar, Putlibai, Gulab, Rampyari etc worked for him. In Talkie era, actors like Sardar Akhtar, Prem Adib, Charlie, Navinchandra, Azuri, Marutirao pehelwan etc acted in his films.

Kanjibhai joined as Production Manager in Chandrakala Pictures of Dhirubhai Desai, after retiring from direction. Dhirubhai remade several of Kanjibhai silent films as Talkie films, like Bolti Bulbul-42, Devkanya-46, Bhakta Prahlad-46 etc. Kanjibhai had 2 wives. He wedded Kanta Ben in a traditional way and he wed Ganga Ben in Arya Samaj style. Ganga Ben gave him a son, Suresh. unfortunately, he died at the age of just 16 years. Then Kanjibhai retired and lived in village Ponsara in Gujarat. He died peacefully on 31-12-1970. Thus ended a superb career.

Film Anjaam’s hero was Anil kumar. Actor Anil Kumar (Sardar Gul) was born in 1915 at Calcutta.His father had a fruit business. They were from Peshawar (just like Dilip Kumar). He was not much educated but could speak Hindi, Urdu and English fluently. Once he went to Bombay to meet a friend. There he met an old acquaintance, who took him to Sohrab Modi.

The good looking Sardar Gul was liked by Modi and he offered him the lead role in his film ‘ Saed E Havas’-36. Sardar Gul was given a screen name of Chandra Kumar. The film was based on a translation of William Shakespeare’s drama- King John, by Agha Hashra Kashmiri in 1907. Sardar Gul was to get Rs. 200 for this work. The film was a flop and Sohrab Modi refused to pay him more that Rs 50. Annoyed, he left Bombay and returned to Calcutta.

However he came back in 1938 and did his first film with a new screen name Anil Kumar. The film was Talwar ka Dhani-38. Soon he was well known and acted in 10 films in next 3 years. As the decade of the 40s saw many new actors, producers and directors, he was reduced to Character roles and side roles. By 1950, he was almost like an extra. He did work in many films, but only few films credited him, as his roles were negligible. We find his name in just 30 films, where he was credited, the last such film being Tarzan and Deliailah-64.

The side hero in this film was Yeshwant Dave. It was not uncommon during the days of early cinema for people to hang around studios and filming locations in the hopes of being discovered. One such intrepid soul was Yeshwant Dave (or Yashwant Dave), who was at Kohinoor Studios observing a picture being made by producer J.B.H. Wadia. The handsome and athletic Yeshwant cornered Wadia, insisting that he would make a fine hero for an action film.

Wadia agreed to test Yeshwant by having him jump from the roof of one set piece to another. He did so successfully, and J.B.H. decided to cast him in a film that he was to direct for Young United Players, the 1931 silent THUNDERBOLT (aka DILER DAKU) featuring Mumtaz as the heroine.

Yashwant was again directed by Wadia in TOOFAN MAIL (1932) and there after became a sought after action star appearing in the stunt films of other directors like Aspi, Dhirubhai Desai, Nari Ghadiali, Chunilal Parekh, and Harshadrai Mehta. Some of his films include BHARAT VEER (1932), JADUI JUNG (1934), BOMBSHELL (1935), VASANTBENGALI (1937), FLYING RANEE (1939), MAGIC CITY (1940), TORPEDO (1941), ROYAL MAIL (1946), and KAUN PARDESI (1947).

Growing out of the stunt hero persona, he turned to character parts and made infrequent onscreen appearances throughout the 1950s, including in SHEIKH CHILLI and MAKKHEE CHOOS both released in 1956 and starring comedian Bhagwan. What became of Yeshwant Dave afterwards is anybody’s guess, as the once popular action star faded into obscurity and, sadly, is barely remembered today.

Today’s song is sung by Meher Sultana and chorus. Not much information is available on Meher Sultana. From HFGK, we find that she featured in 19 films as an actress and sang 6 songs in 3 films also. Her songs in this film were her last songs. Her first film as an actress was Bhool ka Bhog-1935 and last film was O Jaanewale-1948. Today’s song, though 80 year old is of good quality and pleasantly sung in tune, to listen to. Enjoy…

( Information for this article is culled from 2 Gujarati articles of Shri Urvish Kothari ji, a Gujarati article by Harish Raghuwanshi ji, wiki, Filmdom-1946, cinemajadu.com. muVyz.com and Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. My thanks to all.)


Song- Wo man nagari mein aayenge (Anjaam)(1940) Singer-Meher Sultana, Lyricist-Munshi Qabil, MD- Shanti Kumar

Lyrics

Wo man nagari mein aayenge
man nagri mein aayenge
hans hans ke bhaag jagaayenge
hans hans ke bhaag jagaayenge
wo man nagari mein
man nagari mein
man nagari mein aayenge
main dulhan ban sharmaaungi
main dulhan ban sharmaaungi
munh pher pher ithhlaaungi
munh pher pher ithhlaaungi
aur darshan ko tarsaaungi
aur darshan ko tarsaaungi

wo ghoonghat aap uthaayenge
wo ghoonghat aap uthaayenge
Mohan ki murali baajegi
Mohan ki murali
Mohan ki murali baajegi
chhum chhum chhum Raadha naachegi
chhum chhum chhum Raadha naachegi
mridang jhaanjh bajaayenge
mridang jhaanjh bajaayenge
madhuwan mein raas rachaayenge
madhuwan mein raas rachaayenge
wo man nagari mein
man nagari mein
man nagari mein aayenge
hans hans ke bhaag jagaayenge
hans hans ke bhaag jagaayenge
wo man nagari mein aayenge
wo man nagari mein aayenge


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 :

4038 Post No. : 15162 Movie Count :

4165

Today’s song is from film Talwar ka Dhani-1938. It is a very rare song. The film was made by Vishnu Cinetone and the director was its owner Dhirubhai Desai, who became well known for C grade action / stunt and costume films, later on. The MD for this film was Kikubhai Yagnik. The lyricist was Pt. Gauri shankar lal ‘ Akhtar ‘. The cast of the film was, Anil kumar, Putli, Shaikh, Gulab, Anwari, Moosa Pehelwan, Urmila, Meher Sultana and others. There were 8 songs in the film, Names of Anil kumar, Meher Sultana and Urmila are given for 4 songs. The balance 4 songs remain uncredited in HFGK.

20 years later, there was another film with the same title, Talwar ka Dhani, featuring Manhar Desai, Nadira etc etc. This too was a stunt/Costume film like its earlier version.I remember having read in one interview of Dwarka Khosla, Director of the latter film, that this was a only a remake of the earlier film of the same name. No wonder, because many films were remade from old films of early era. One example I remember off hand is that of film Gunsundari. Original silent film Gunsundari – 27, was remade as Talkie Gunsundari in 1934.The Heroine was same-Gauhar Mamajiwala. Both films were directed by Sardar Chandulal Shah. 14 years later, Chandulal Shah’s nephew Ratilal Punatar made Gunsundari in 1948, with Nirupa Roy in the lead role. The story was same in all 3 versions.

The story of Talwar ka Dhani was woven around a routine, commonly used story of a lone queen, her abandoned son, ambitious and cruel Head of Army, desirous of usrping the throne and how the lost son defeats the Army chief and gives relief to the kingdom’s subjects- while reuniting with the Queen Mother. A love story was also inter woven.

The Hero of the 1938 film, Talwar ka Dhani was Anil kumar. This name is obscure and there is no chance that our readers will know anything about this actor of the 30s and 40s films.His real name was not Anil Kumar, but it was Sardar Gul. He was a Muslim.During the era of Silent films and Talkie films of the early years, it was a trend to take on a Hindu name for films. Whether the actor was Jew, Anglo-Indian, European or a Muslim, a Male or a Female, an actor or a singer, this trend was predominant. Of course, not all artistes changed their names- some continued with their real names, but made them shorter, like Majid, Masood, Rehman etc.

Most name changes were found in actresses. Some examples are Sabita Devi (Irene Gasper), Feroza (Susal Soloman), Indira Devi (Effie Hippolet), Lalita Devi (Bonnie Bird), Pramila (Esther Abraham), Sulochana (Ruby Myers), Seeta Devi (Renee Smith), Madhuri (Berryl Classen), Manorama (Winnie Stewart), Nadira (Florence Ezekiel), Meera (Muriel Alexander), Mohna (Mona Cabral), Kammo (Kamarjehan), Shyama (khurshid Akhtar), Purnima (Meher Bano), Indurani (Ishrat jehan), Ameeta (Qamal Sultana) etc etc.

Some examples of Males- Dilip kumar (Yusouf Khan), Kumar (Syed Ali Hasan Zaidi), Jagdeep (Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed), Ajit (Hamid Ali) etc etc.

Actor Anil Kumar (Sardar Gul) was born in 1915 at Calcutta.His father had a fruit business. They were from Peshawar (just like Dilip Kumar). He was not much educated but could speak Hindi, Urdu and English fluently. Once he went to Bombay to meet a friend. There he met an old acquaintance, who took him to Sohrab Modi.

The good looking Sardar Gul was liked by Modi and he offered him the lead role in his film ‘ Saed E Havas’-36. Sardar Gul was given a screen name of Chandra Kumar. The film was based on a translation of William Shakespeare’s drama- King John, by Agha Hashra Kashmiri in 1907. Sardar Gul was to get Rs. 200 for this work. The film was a flop and Sohrab Modi refused to pay him more that Rs 50. Annoyed, he left Bombay and returned to Calcutta.

However he came back in 1938 and did his first film with a new screen name Anil Kumar. The film was Talwar ka Dhani-38. Soon he was well known and acted in 10 films in next 3 years. As the decade of the 40s saw many new actors, producers and directors, he was reduced to Character roles and side roles. By 1950, he was almost like an extra. He did work in many films, but only few films credited him, as his roles were negligible. We find his name in just 30 films, where he was credited, the last such film being Tarzan and Deliailah-64.

The Heroine of this film was Putli or Putlibai. She was from a Bohra Muslim family of Delhi – originally from Kutch, Gujarat. She started her career by acting in stage dramas, duly shifting to Silent films. She did 23 silent films. She was the mother of Gauhar Mamajiwala- wife of Sardar Chandulal Shah. She entered Talkie films and did 26 films. Some of her films were, Raj Tarang-35, Matwali Jogan, Jungle ka Jawan-38, Farzand E Watan-39, Civil marriage-40, Mere Saajan-41, Inkaar-43, Reporter-46 etc. Her last film was Chunnu Munnu-49.

As I have stated many times, it is very difficult to get information about old time artistes and it entails lot of hard work. From the HFGK, we can get their Filmography easily.

In the cast, you will find a name Urmila- in some films she is named as Urmila Devi, and Urmila Gupta also. She was not a very good looking actress, but she compensated it with her good acting. Urmila Gupta was born in 1921 at Panja Sahib, Rawalpindi district of United Punjab. Her father, who was a Civil Contractor, died when she was only 5 year old. She did not get much education but could read and write as well as talk fluently, Urdu, Hindi and English.

She started her career with a small uncredited role in film Mirza Sahiban-33. She was the younger sister of Mirza in this film. After some more small roles, she got her major role in film Aasuon ki Duniya-36. After this, she did not look back and did Punjab Lancers-37, Talwar ka Dhani-38, Kahan hai manzil Teri-39, Hurricane special-39, Flying Ranee-39, Desh Bhakt-40, Sasural-41, Sajjan-41, Mere Sajan-41, Naari-42, Das Baje-42, Call of youth-42, Badal -42, Apna Paraya-42, Tamasha-42, Kirti-42, Salma-43, Bansari-43 etc etc. Urmila got married to Vinod Talwar, a businessman and stopped working in films, for some time, may be for raising a family. She resumed working in films and acted in another 20 odd films till 1952. She had sung 12 songs. In all, she worked in about 55 films.

Today’s song is a rare song and it appears on You Tube for the first time,kindly uploaded by our Sadanand Kamath ji. I thank him for this. With this song both, singer Meher Sultana and the film Talwar ka Dhani-38 will make a Debut on the Blog. The Lyricist, Pt. Gauri Shankar Lal ‘ Akhtar’ was a well known writer in Hindi and Urdu. Some of his Urdu books are available.

(some information used in this post is courtesy Isuru Udayanga Kariyavasam, Sri Lanka- presently in UK, and from the All India film Directory-46, Statistics are from MuVyz and CITWF. My notes are also used herein).


Song- Chakho prem ka maakhan aay (Talwaar Ka Dhani)(1938) Singer- Meher Sultana, Lyricist- Pt. Gauri Shankar Lal ‘Akhtar’ , MD- Kikubhai Yagnik

Lyrics

??
Chakho prem ka makhan aay
prem prem chhalkaay
maakhan sundar
prem bhi sundar
maakhan sundar
prem bhi sundar
man sundar tarsaaye

sundar man ??
mohan sundar aa man mandir
mohan sundar aa man mandir
?? ter suna
bhavsaagar se tar jaa
chakho prem ka maakhan aay
prem prem chhalkaaye

daras dikha ke
?? chura ke
daras dikha ke
?? chura ke
aaye aaye phir jaaye
aaye aaye phir jaaye
natkhat natwar neha lagaa ke
natkhat natwar neha lagaa ke
darshan ko tarsaaye
sakhi kaun un ko samjhaaye
chakho prem ka maakhan aay
prem prem chhalkaaye
chhalkaaye


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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 ELEVEN years. This blog has over 15400 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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