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

Posts Tagged ‘Renuka Devi

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.

Blog Day : 4040 Post No. : 15165

Today’s song is from film Gulami-45. It was a film made by Shalimar Pictures, Poona. Directed by M.Wadhwani, its music was by S.K.Pal. Songs were written by Bharat Vyas, Josh Malihabadi, Akhtar-ul-iman and Majaj. Film Gulami aka Rape of Burma-45 was not a great film. The cast of the film was Renuka Devi, Masood Pervez, David, Tiwari, Bharat Vyas, H. Prakash, Kathana, Balraj Mehta, Neelam etc etc.

The Heroine Renuka Devi was an extraordinary woman, considering the times in which she was living. Renuka Devi ( Begum Khursheed Mirza) was perhaps one of the most educated, upper class, sophisticated and highly cultured Muslim lady, who ever joined the film industry then. One more striking feature of Renuka Devi was that she was one of the very few actresses, who joined films after their marriage. The other such examples I remember off hand are those of Meenakshi Shirodkar (Bramhachari-38 fame), Shobhana Samarth and actress Neena ( real name Shahida-wife of Mohsin Abdulla, brother of Renuka Devi).

Renuka Devi (4-3-1918 to 8-2-1989) had studied up to Masters degree in English Literature, from Aligarh Muslim University. The only other nearest example I remember off hand is that of actress Vanmala (real name Susheela Devi Pawar), who had done B.A., B.T. and was a Teacher in the college before joining films,at the behest of writer, journalist and Director P.K.Atre.

Back in the Thirties, acting in films was not considered an honourable profession for anybody. And for a married woman from a well-educated and respectable upper-middle class Muslim family, it was forbidden to even think about it. But Khurshid Mirza, the daughter of the founders of the Aligarh Women’s College, the wife of a police officer and already a mother of two, was too free-spirited to be tied down by any social norm. She took the plunge and soon a star named Renuka Devi was born.

In those days,popular actresses used to earn quite a lot. For example, Shobhana Samarth earned 36000 ( about 18 lakhs at today’s rate) rupees every year. Other actresses like Shanta Apte, Naseem Bano, Sardar Akhtar, Madhuri etc got about 30000 or so. This was a time when a Chiffon Saree was for Rs.9 and a brand New Studbaker car was for Rs. 5000 only. Renuka Devi also was interested in earning money. However Renuka Devi did only few films in her career. She worked with Bombay Talkies, New Theatres, Shalimar and such big banners. Her films are Jeevan Prabhat-37, Bhabhi-38, Badi didi-39, Naya Sansar-41, Shri Ramanuja-43, Sahara-43, Samrat Chandragupta-45, and Gulami-45 .

After partition, her family migrated to Pakistan. In Pakistan, though in demand, she refused to do any films. Instead, she decided to devote her time for women’s uplift, education, welfare and social work. She also did some work on Pakistan Radio,and Pakistan TV.

She published 9 instalments of her autobiography in the popular magazine ” Herald ” from August 1982 to April 1983, under the title ” The uprooted sapling”. This was,later on edited and published by her daughter Lubna as a Book, in 2004, titled- ” A woman of substance- the memoirs of Begum Khursheed Mirza “.

In her book she included a chapter of 24 pages ” Renuka Devi-my celluloid identity”, in which she has described many interesting anecdotes. Her detailed description of the times of the 30s and 40s is a lovely chronicle of the history of Bombay film industry.

Renuka Devi died on 8-2-1989 at Lahore after a prolonged illness. ( As her bio has already been given earlier in this Blog by me and Sadanand Kamath ji, I am not repeating it here).

Film Gulami-45 was a film without the regular Heroine of Shalimar pictures-Neena- real name Shahida. She was Mohsin Abdulla’s wife before W.Z.Ahmed lured her in his net. Abdulla was Renuka Devi’s younger brother. it is said that during the shooting of the film in the studio, Neena never ever visited the studio, as she was too embarrassed to face her sister-in-law.

Bharat Vyas (18-12-1918 to 5-7-82) -who wrote the story,songs and even acted in it, was spotted by W. Z.Ahmed and he offered Vyas a lucrative salary which was hard to refuse, to join Shalimar. Vyas was happy to join because, in Shalimar, he had the company of Josh Malihabaqdi,Akhtar-ul-iman, Kishen Chander, Ramanand Sagar and Sagar Nizami-all employed by Shalimar.He started by writing all 12 songs for film Prem Sangeet-43.Then came Mann ki jeet-44 and Prithwiraj Sanyogita-46. His last film here, Meerabai-47, was also the last film of Shalimar. His job was to adapt Meera bhajans in song form.

After Partition,Neena and Ahmed migrated to Pakistan, taking along with them all the prints of their films and Shalimar became an orphan. Vyas went to Madras to work for S S Vasan for his film ‘ Chandralekha’-48. When he came back, he was approached by some ex-workers of Shalimar. They wanted to revive Shalimar by completing the incomplete film ‘ Rangila Rajasthan. Actually, in 1946 itself, Ahmed had entrusted this film’s direction to Bharat Vyas and some shooting was also done. However due to several reasons, this film was stopped and Meerabai was completed.

They wanted like minded ex-employees to work free to produce the film.Bharat Vyas agreed.He not only wrote songs,but also composed few songs, along with MDs S K Pal and B S Kalla. Further he directed film ‘Rangeela Rajasthan’-49.However, despite all efforts, the film flopped and Shalimar closed down for ever.

In film Gulami, Vyas wrote some songs and aslo sang a duet and a solo song, besides acting in it.Bharat Vyas wrote 1247 songs in a85 films. He acted in 3 films- Gulami-45, Prithviraj Sanyogita-46 and Maa-52. He sang 8 songs in 6 films- Prem sangeet-43, Mann ki jeet-44, Gulami-45, Chandralekhs-48, Navrang-59 and Bharat ki santan-80.

A very odd name in the cast can be seen- Balraj Mehta. I am sure,hardly anyone has ever heard his name, but he was a very active person in his life. Born on 22-4-1918 at Lahore, he was the son of Sukh Dayal Mehta – Superintendent in the Commissioner’s office at Lahore. He completed Matriculation from Central Model High School and B.A. from Dayal Singh College of Lahore in 1939.

He was active in Students’ union and held General Secretary’s post of Punjab University Students’ Union, in 35-37. He organised All India Student Federation conference in 36/37. He was a born Leader. He was interested in acting on stage. In 1944, he founded Indian National Theatre (I.N.T.), which is a very famous institution in India now also. He wrote, directed and produced its first stage drama ” Aawaaz’ in 1945.

By now he was married and needed to earn money. He joined film line. He acted first in ‘ Dulla Batti’ in 1939-40. Then came Sajjan-41,Panna-44, Parakh-44, Patharon ka Saudagar-44, Gulami-45 and lastly Pul-47.In the period 1944-45, he also became Secretary of Film Artistes’ Association and served it for a long time. In 1947, he entered Politics. After Independence, he became a journalist. There is no information about him after this.

Though, film Gulami-45 was completed and certified by Censors in 45, it was released somewhere in the mid 46, as per news item found in Film India magazine. Though the magazine did not publish its full review, a short note, as usual, criticised the lead pair’s acting and praised the direction. It had no good words about the music also. Some readers’ comments also criticised the film.

It was pointed out by one reader that the film was a copy of Hollywood film ” Dragon Seed “-1944. The film ,in its advertisement, described it to be a ‘ Thrilling Patriotic story’. The parallel title of the film was ” Rape of Burma”, indicating a love story in Burma with the war background. However,when the film was released in or around May 1946, the War had ended long back and the film had lost its advantage of Topicality. Baburao Patel also ridiculed showing the married and a mother of 2 kids (Renuka Devi) as an 18 year old girl in the movie.

Renuka Devi was not a singer, nor is there any evidence that she received training is Music. Same case was with Bharat Vyas. Still,they sang this duet in a well balanced way. Though the songs of this film ( I have 4 songs of this film with me) are not that well tuned to remain in memory, but they were of average standard. Even otherwise the MD-S.K.Pal ( nephew of Ramchandra Pal,MD with Bombay Talkies), was not famous to have created any memorable song in his career.

So, here is the duet of Bharat Vyas and Renuka Devi.

(Some information in this article is used, with thanks, from the book ” A woman of substance” by Renuka Devi,, Who’s who in Film Industry-46, issues of Film India for 1945 and 1946 and my own notes.)

Song-Aajaa aajaa aajaa re O Geeta ke Bhagwaan (Ghulaami)(1945) Singers-Bharat Vyas, Renuka Devi, Lyrics-Bharat Vyas, MD-S K Pal


aaja aaja aaja re
aaja aaja aaja re
aaja aaja aaja re
aaja aaja aaja re
o geeta ke bhagwaan
wo apna vachan nibha ja re
o krishn shiv aajaa aajaa re
aaja aaja aaja re

kab se naina pyaase hain
pal bhar to pyaas bujha jaa
kab se naina pyaase hain
pal bhar to pyaas bujha jaa

ham laakh baar aayen mohan
tu ek baar to aa jaa
ham laakh baar aayen mohan
tu ek baar to aa jaa
aaja aaja aaja re
aaja aaja aaja re

ek baar phir braj mein raas racha ja
ek baar phir braj mein raas racha ja

sang tumhaare naachen ham
ban kar gokul ke gwaale
sang tumhaare naachen ham
ban kar gokul ke gwaale

bas ek baar phir braj ki wo
bas ek baar phir braj ki wo
jhaanki dikhla jaa re
?? dikhlaa jaa re
phir usi baansuri ki sundar wo
taan suna jaa re ae ae
seeta ke bhagwaan wo apna
vachan nibha jaa re
o krishn phir aaja aajaa re
aaja aajaa aajaa re

brij baalaayen roti hain
rote hain gokul waale
brij baalaayen roti hain
rote hain gokul waale

jamuna ki lahren roti hain
kyun roothhe bansi waale
bansi waale ham roton ko
kuchh dheer bandhaa jaa re ae
bansi waale ham roton ko
kuchh dheer bandhaa jaa re

hamen ye to samjha jaa re
kya bhool huyi jo bhool gaya
kya bhool huyi jo bhool gaya
ye bhed bataa jaa re
geeta ke bhagwaan ho apna vachan nibha jaa re
o krishn phir aajaa aajaa re
aajaa aajaa aajaa re

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 If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Forgotten Melodies of the 1940s – 6

GHULAAMI (1945) was produced under the banner of Shalimar Pictures owned by W Z Ahmad and directed by Mohan Wadhwani. The star cast included Renuka Devi, Masud Parvez in the lead role with the supporting cast of Tiwari, Rajkumari Shukla, David, Bharat Vyas, Mumtaz, Anwar, Ramavatar etc. The film had 9 songs written by 4 lyricists – Bharat Vyas (5), Akhtar-ul-Iman (2), Majaaz Lucknawi (1) and Josh Malihabadi (1) which were set to music by S K Pal. The DVD/VCD of the film is not available. All I know about the film from a photograph was that it was a patriotic film.
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This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This write up contains hard to find details on this obscure movie. This is the 400th obscure movie whose details have been provided by him in this blog.

I was very fond of seeing movies and listening to the songs since childhood. Those days, children were not allowed to see films, unlike today (only the other day I saw my neighbour taking his family of wife and 2 sons aged 10 and 14 to see the film “The Dirty picture”. I became sqeamish, but these are current trends). If at all a film was to be seen, the children had to go with their mother, aunt, grandmother or some such female relative and the film would invariably be “Ram Ravan Yudh” or “Bakasur ki Maut”.
Read more on this topic…

Music was introduced in Hindi movies as soon as these movies began to talk (viz 1931). The first decade of talking movies saw actors singing their own songs, though playback singing too had started by 1935.
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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 more than 15300 song posts by now.

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