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

Posts Tagged ‘Sant Janabai


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 : 4071 Post No. : 15208

Today’s song is from film Sant Janabai-49.

This was a film made by Prabhat Film Company, Poona. It was produced by S.(Saheb mama) Fattelal and it was directed by a Noted Marathi Director- Goving Ghanekar, who also directed one more Hindi film Shiv Leela-52. Both the films were Bilingual,made in Hindi and Marathi. The lyrics for the Hindi version were written by Pt.Narendra Sharma and the music was composed by Sudhir Phadke. The story of the film and the screenplay was by G.D.Madgulkar – a very famous Marathi writer and poet from Maharashtra. The cast of the film was Hansa Wadkar, Shakuntala, Ganesh Abhyankar, Gauri, Balakram, Javdekar, Kumar Ashok etc.

During the period 30s to mid 40s, Indian Film Industry was dominated by film production giants like New Theatres, Bombay Talkies, Ranjit, Prabhat and Wadia. Films were sold and seen just on the name of the film company. Diverse subjects were handled by these film makers and they contributed to maintaining Indian culture and traditions. This was the period when films with a message were made. Actors and directors had not yet become rule-makers. The studio system had a discipline.

However, after the second world war,lot of money came into the film line and slowly the priorities and values changed. Profits from the films became the major issue and this diverted most producers to make what they thought the audience wanted.The capable and talented film makers separated from their present organisations to have their own set ups. Actors no more stuck to any specific studio and ‘Free-lancing’ became the password. This also prompted the collapse of the studios. New Theatres, Bombay Talkies, Ranjit, Wadia and Prabhat not only split but also closed down, over a period, due to their own reasons.

Prabhat was no exception. It is popularly believed that when Shantaram left Prabhat, that was the point of its disintegration,but it is actually not so. Prabhat shifted from kolhapur to Poona in 1933 and that time all the Five partners had made a rule that in future, if any director/partner falls in love or has an affair with any of the staff members, he will have to leave Prabhat. ( This was initiated, because the Art Director Saheb mama Fattelal had married Gulab aka kamla Devi,an actress of Prabhat, in 1931.She is the same girl who bends backwards and blows the Tutari or Trombone, in Prabhat’s famous Logo) Under this rule, the first to go was Keshavrao Dhaiber, who fell in love with the heroine Nalini Tarkhad and married her in 1937. After his exit, in his place, Prabhat’s long time distributor Baburao Pai was appointed a Partner/Director.

V. Shantaram married Heroine Jaishree (Kamulkar) on 22-10-1941.He was continuously prodded to leave Prabhat. Finally he left and founded his own Rajkamal Kala Mandir. One more director V.Damle died in 1945. Prabhat started crumbling and after its last film Sant Janabai-1949, it stopped production. The studio and the properties were auctioned in 1952, and the company was officially closed on 13-10-1953.

Prabhat had made many films on Marathi saints like Sant Sakhu, Sant Tukaram, Sant Dnyaneshwar, Maya Machhindra, Dharmatma etc .Maharashtra had a rich tradition of Saints. During the period 13th Century to 17th Century, many saints guided the people of Maharashtra. Most saints of Maharashtra were from lower Castes, but they had followers in every section of the society, including Brahmins. There were saints like Namdev-Tailor, Tukaram-Vaishya, Pundalik-Varkari, Goroba-Potter, Janabai-Shudra, Kanhopatra- S.C., Sant Sena- Barber, Savata mali and Chokha Mela – Gardeners, Narhari-Goldsmith and many such more.

Almost every saint film brought in lot of profits to Prabhat. The most famous one was of course Sant Tukaram (Marathi)-1936, which brought money and fame. This film is taught in many Film courses all over the world even today.Its Hindi version came in 1948. No wonder the Prabhat chapter closed with a saint film- Sant Janabai-49.

The story of Janabai is intertwined with the story of Namdev, because Namdev had given her shelter in his home. So, Prabhat first wanted to make this film as a Sant Namdev film. Prabhat’s in house writer Shivram Vashikar wrote the story and Vasant painter was to direct the film. But the plan changed and film on Janabai’s name was decided. Now, G.D.Madgulkar, eminent writer and Poet of Marathi wrote the story. The director was also changed. Govind Ghanekar was the production chief in Prabhat. He was named as the director.Later, he directed and produced many famous and hit Marathi films in 50s and 60s. Earlier actor Ganesh Abhyankar aka Vivek was to become Namdev. In this film also he was retained as Namdev. This actor Vivek, in later years, became one of the most successful actors on Marathi screen. Films used to be sold on his name alone.

While shooting this film, there was a very touching but interesting incident. The last scene of the film Sant Janabai-49 was that Janabai is taken to the Gallows to be hanged on a false accusation of stealing gold ornaments of Lord Vitthal. The shooting was being done in a village near Kolhapur. The big procession of people was going with the handcuffed Janabai in the centre, chanting Vithal Vithal.The people also chanted and some were weeping and falling on her feet (for shooting purpose only). The villagers had gathered in huge numbers, to see the shooting.Many of them thought that this was all real. They too wept and fell on Janabai’s feet. The studio workers had a tough time to remove and restrain them during the shooting.

One name in the cast is that of Gauri. Her real name was Tanibai Dawari. In this film she played Namdev’s mother. She was with Prabhat since its inception and did small roles in silent films. She was totally illiterate and could not read or write. After the advent of the Talkie films, she continued doing small roles in Prabhat films. When film Sant Tukaram was being conceived, Shantaram started searching for an actress to do the role of Tukaram’s wife-Avali…who loved Tukaram but was sort of a shrew because she felt Vithoba bhakti was spoiling Tukaram. Suddenly Shantaram saw Gauri and he called her. Giving a copy of the script to her, he said,” you are selected to do the role of Avali. Now read the dialogues and be prepared.”

Gauri was stunned. She did not know how to react. She could not read. She was sure that now she will be exposed and removed from service, as Prabhat did not employ illiterate people. This was their rule for employment. She took the script and went out of the room. Music Director Keshavrao Bhole found her in a corner, weeping. When he enquired repeatedly, Gauri explained everything frankly. Bhole pacified her and said, ‘ Dont worry ‘. From that day onwards he taught Gauri reading and writing for 8 hours a day for 15 days. Being a sharp student Gauri picked it up very quickly, as it was a Do or Die status for her.

Her role in film Sant Tukaram was lauded by one and all. It was praised even in Venice festival. Prabhat gave her a special award also. Gauri continued with Prabhat till it was making films. Then she retired from films and settled in Poona, doing some household jobs for survival. Unfortunately the Panshet flood debacle in Poona in 1961, washed out everything she had. She returned to her hometown,Kagal,near Kolhapur. In 1964,a film on Tukaram ” Tuka zalase kalas” in Marathi was launched. Sulochana Latkar was to do the role of Tukaram’s wife, Avali. She wanted to take blessings from Gauri-the original Avali. Sulochana went to Kagal and took her blessings. She gave her a Sari and some money too. Soon after this, Gauri aka Tanibai Dawari died.

In spite of good direction, acting and good music by Sudhir Phadke, the film could not escape being the last stone on the samadhi of Prabhat and a Golden Chapter of Hindi cinema came to a close.

The Music Director Sudhir Phadke may not have been a notable composer in Hindi films,but he was a big gun in Marathi cinema. Sudhir Phadke ( July 25, 1919 – July 29, 2002) was an accomplished Marathi singer-composer. He was regarded as an icon of the Marathi film industry and Marathi Sugam Sangeet i.e. Bhavgeet (light music) for five decades. Apart from Marathi, Phadke sang and composed songs in several Hindi films as well. Phadke was affectionately known as Babuji (an honorary title given to respected gentlemen in India).

Sudhir Phadke was born in Kolhapur on July 25, 1919. His birth name was Ram Phadke, but he later changed his name to ‘Sudhir’ when he composed a song for HMV because he thought ‘Sudhir Phadke’ sounded more ‘weighty’. Phadke acquired his primary tutelage in vocal classical music from the late Vamanrao Padhye in Kolhapur. After beginning his career with HMV in 1941, he joined the Prabhat Film Company as music director in 1946. During his long career, he composed for many Marathi and Hindi films. He was also an immaculate playback singer. Phadke married his fellow singer Lalita Deulkar. Their son Shridhar Phadke (born 1951) is also a composer and singer.

Geet Ramayana, based on poet G D Madgulkar’s verses, is one of Phadke’s most popular works. The programme ran on All India Radio for a year, 1954-55. Stage performances of the program continue to draw huge crowds even today. Phadke set to music all 56 songs, and they were sung by different singers for radio (Manik Verma, Lata Mangeshkar, Phadke himself, Vasantrao Deshpande etc). All 56 songs were also recorded in Phadke’s own voice.
In last days of his life, Phadke was involved in producing a Hindi film on the life of the Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The movie Veer Savarkar was funded by public donations. Sudhir Phadke last sang and composed music for this movie.
Phadke was connected with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for over 60 years. He was the main inspiration and founder member of India Heritage Foundation in the United States.

Sudhir Phadke gave music to 19 Hindi films from 1946 (Rukmini Swayamvar) to 1972 (Daraar). His famous film is Pehli Tarikh -54, in which he had composed the famous Kishore Kumar song- Din hai suhana aaj pehli tarikh hai. He also sang 14 songs in 9 Hindi films. A noteworthy fact about Sudhir Phadke is that during his peak period in Marathi films, he created a World Record. He teamed up with writer/poet G.D.Madgulkar (गदिमा , as he was known fondly in Maharashtra) and director Raja Paranjape. Together, as a team, they gave a total of 11 Hit films,in a row in 18 years- from 1948 to 1966 … a record for a Team.

The story of film Sant Janabai-49, adapted from aumamen.com is…

Jana, a little girl whose mother before dying told her to go to Pandharpur where she will be protected by Lord Vitthal, A merchant who is the father of Sant Namdev accidentally steps on Jana’s hand and asks for her forgiveness. He asks what she was doing in the temple alone, she tells him her story, being a good devotee of Vitthal he adopts her.

Little Namdev likes her from the instant he sees her and accepts her as his elder sister with joy. But the mother of Namdev wasn’t too happy with another person being in the family, but later she too melts to the love and simplicity of the little girl who would become a great saint as we know today.

Jana was assigned the work of washing the clothes by Namdev’s mother. Jana and Namdev hear a group of pilgrims singing in praise of Lord Vitthal and they start singing and dancing. Children in the group who are very thirsty run to Janabai to beg for water from her. “There are many wells in the village, go get your own water” says Namdev. “But we are outcastes, nobody gives us water” says the one of the pilgrims.

Janabai pours them water from her pot, the satisfied devotees bless her for giving them water to drink. She gets scolded and beaten by Namdev’s mother for her act of charity towards the outcastes, which was considered a terrible thing during those times.

Namdev being a very devotional man, always sings and dances and forgets the duties of an householder. Janabai works hard for the food of Namdev’s family (wife and two children). Janabai prays to Vitthal for the food, when Vitthal gives her food she only takes what she needed for a day or two.

Namdev had a big debt to be settled, but he was on a pilgrimage to North India. the wealthy man who had lent him money decides to take Namdev’s property into possession. Jana pleads with him and agrees that she would pay all the money back. Jana works night and day to gather the money she needed.

One night she was very tired and falls asleep while working, but when she wakes up she sees a blanket on her and also sees that the work has been finished. Next night she pretends to be sleeping so that she could catch the person who did it. As soon as she sleeps she sees Lord Vitthal appear and do her work for her.

She catches him while working, from then on Lord Vitthal helps her in her work, he sings for her. He fetches water for her and does many things around

One day Lord Vitthal feels very tired, seeing that Jana puts him to sleep. In the morning when he wakes up, he walks back to the temple with the blanket around his body, his ornament falls from his neck and falls on the floor of Janabai’s house.

In the morning when priests see the statue of Lord Vitthal they come to the conclusion that somebody must have stolen the ornament of Lord. They see a blanket nearby and assume it must belong to the thief. They start questioning everyone to find out to whom that belonged.

Janabai tells them that it belonged to her, priests search her house and when they find the ornament they accuse her of the theft, she tells them that the Lord was sleeping in her house yesterday and he must have left the ornament. People laugh at her, and thinking of her to be a liar, they decide to hang her to death.

They march her on streets, and just before the time to kill her, she prays to Lord Vitthal and he appears.

(Information from book “Santpatanchi Santwani” ( संतपटांची संतवाणी )by Isak Mujawar, sites last.fm, MuVyz,wiki, HFGK and my notes has been used herein, with thanks.)


Song-Ram ras barse re bhai (Sant Janabai)( 1949) Singer-Unknown male voice, Lyrics-Pt Narendra Sharma, MD-Sudhir Phadke
Chorus

Lyrics

Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram ras barse re bhai

daaku bhi harinaam kare
kyun tarse re bhai
arre kyun tarse se bhai
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram ras barse re bhai

nirbal ke bal Ram hamaare
garveele Ravan maare
ho garveele Ravan maare
gautam naari shilaa bechaari
charanan se Raghav taare
charanan se Raghav taare
khaaye jhoothe ber
ho khaaye jhoothhe ber
shabar ke kar se re bhai
shabar ke kar se re bhai
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram ras barse re bhai

??
dhanush tod jeeti seeta
ho dhanush tod jeeti seeta
mohan ko ye ardh na roye
hari ne rach daayi geeta
hari ne rach daayi geeta
chamke chakr sudarshan
manuwa harshe re bhai
o manuwa harshe re bhai
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram ras barse re bhai

soory vansh jab ??
ho ho ho ho
soory vansh jab ??
gwaal baal ke sang khela
ho gwaal baal ke sang khela

pandurang peetaambhar dhaari
pandharpur prabhu ka mela
pandharpur prabhu ka mela
mukh se bolo Ram
ho
mukh se bolo Ram
kaho to ham sab se bhai
kaho to ham sab se bhai
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram wahi jo ghat ghat ramta re ae
Ram wahi jo ghat ghat ramta
?? ko ek hari
?? ko ek hari
Ram Shyam mein sab Narayan
peer deen ki door kare
peer deen ki door kare

jaise man ke saath
ho jaise man ke saath
jaise hari darse re bhai
jaise hari darse re bhai
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram ras barse re bhai

daaku bhi hari naam kare kyun
tarse re bhai
arre kyun tarse re bhai
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse
Ram ras barse re bhai
Ram ras barse re bhai

jai jai vitthal
jai hari vitthal
jai jai vitthal
jai hari vitthal
jai jai vitthal
jai hari vitthal
jai jai vitthal
jai hari vitthal
jai jai vitthal
jai hari vitthal
hari sharnam

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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.

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