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

Posts Tagged ‘Pt Gauri Shankar Lal Akhtar

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 If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

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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


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

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 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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Movies with all their songs covered =1180
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