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

Posts Tagged ‘Saraswati 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 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 :

5277 Post No. : 17288

Today’s song is an ‘Unique and a Special’ duet from the film Parakh-1944.

Why and how this song is ‘Unique and Special’ will come later, but first let me point out another important matter. In recent times, in India, the women are better treated, respected and also honoured for their contribution to running the household as well as earning equally to manage the married life on level fields. Women can be seen practically in every field of activity and have reached the top of the work places in almost every sphere. We have seen them as President, Prime Minister of the country, In Judiciary, Banks and even in Armed forces-be it Army, Navy or Air Force, the police, sports etc. There is hardly any field where women have not put their stamp.

But if you go back in the last 100 years, the conditions were different. Women were not so much independent and in an industry like Film Line, women who joined it would be seen in a very bad light. First of all, getting women to work in films was a Herculean task. The actual, real women who worked in a film was in 1913, when Durgabai kaqmat and her daughter worked in a silent film ” Bhasmasur Mohini”. Till then and even after that for some more time, women’s role were done by good looking young actors in stage dramas and films. As the years passed by, slowly girls started joining films – first the Jews, European and Anglo-Indians and then came girls from singing families (read Tawaifs), before girls from educated and respected families joined films.

By the 30’s and the 40’s there were enough women in films.However, most of them were controlled by their nearest kins like parents (Madhubala’s father and Suraiya’s grandmother) or brothers/sisters (Baburao Apte for Shanta Apte and Sardar Akhtar for Bahar). Many actresses, after their marriage, were prohibited from acting in films by their husbands or in-laws, so they quit films. Some examples are – the first heroine of Talkie films, Zubeida Sr. and also Zubeida Jr. in later times, Monika desai, Latika, Mohana, Shahzadi-both Sr. and jr. etc. Those who continued after marriage followed restrictions put by the Husbands. For example, Mumtaz Shanti had to always remain in a Burkha, except actual shooting. She was not allowed to talk to anyone on the set and had to immediately return home after shootings. Her husband, Lyricist, producer and Director Wali Saheb was a very orthodox Muslim. As long as Shamshad Begum’s father was alive she was not allowed to take her Photo anywhere.

Another example was Shanta Apte. When she joined films, her brother Baburao Apte used to hover around constantly during her shoots to prevent her mixing with others. What’s more, she was not allowed to work with anyone as her husband in the films, except only her brother Baburao- who would do the role of her husband.(only after Baburao’s marriage, Shanta Apte became ‘Free’). Yet another example was Meera Mishra. She was forced to retire after her first film “Milan”-1946, because her husband did not like it. (By coincidence, he died suddenly in a Riot and she did act in some more films, before getting married again).

I have quoted only a few examples, but these things were common and could be seen till almost 1970 or so. On the other hand, in the case of some actresses, their husbands encouraged them to join films ( and earn money for them). Some examples are Meenakshi Shirodkar (Bramhachari-1938), Renuka Devi, Nirupa Roy etc . Now we come to today’s song and why it is a special song.

Today’s song is a duet, sung by Ira Nigam and Hriday Narayan Nigam. Ira Nigam was discovered by Music Director Roshan when he was working for Delhi A.I.R. Ira was only 14 year old when Roshan brought Khurshid Anwar, M.D. to her house. They convinced her father to allow her to sing in films. He agreed but with a condition that she will not sing a duet with any other male singer except himself (he was a Singer in A.I.R.). Thus the first and the only Male-female duet of Ira Nigam in the film Parakh-1944 was sung with her own father ! This makes this song an ‘Unique and special’ song in Hindi film history. Because of this unusual condition of her father, Ira could not get many songs. What’s more, after her marriage with Mr. P.N.Nigam,, she was forbidden to sing in films. Thus her flowering career was nipped in the bud after songs in only 5 more films. The other films were Rakhi-49,Chaar Din-49, Ek Teri Nishani-49, Veer Ghatotkach-49 and Guru Dakshina-50.

The film was directed by Sohrab Modi. Music was by Khurshid Anwar (7 songs) and Saraswati Devi (2 songs). The cast was Mehtab, Balwant Singh, Kaushalya, Shah Nawaz, Latika, Sadiq Ali, Tarapore, Balraj Mehta and others.

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 the Students’ union and held the General Secretary’s post of Punjab University Students’ Union, in 35-37. He organised the 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 the film line. He acted first in ‘Dulla Bhatti’ 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. After this I found his name in the cast of the film Ayodhyapati-56 and then as a Director of the film Trunk Call-1960. However, there is no information about him after this.

So, here is the love duet song, sung by a Father and a Daughter for the film Parakh-1944. Truly an ‘Unique and special’ song ! Enjoy….


Song- Samay tu dheere dheere beet (Parakh)(1944) Singers- Ira Nigam, Hriday Narayan Nigam, Lyricist- Pt. Sudarshan, MD- Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Dheere dheere beet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet
dheere dheere beet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet
duniya ho ik raat chaandni
jeewan ho ik geet
duniya ho ik raat chaandni
jeewan ho ik geet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet

dheere dheere kyun kar ???
baat main teri kaise maanoon
dheere dheere kyun kar ???
baat main teri kaise maanoon
udte jaana
haath na aana
ye hai meri reet
udte jaana
haath na aana
ye hai meri reet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet

Samay tu dheere dheere beet

main pagli tu pagla ban jaana
??? ruk jaa ??
man ka meet rahe nit man mein
???
man ka meet rahe nit man mein
???
Samay tu dheere dheere beet
Dheere dheere beet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet
Samay tu dheere dheere beet


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 :

5170 Post No. : 17139

Today’s song is from the film Naya Sansar-1941. The film was made by Bombay Talkies. It was directed by N.A.Acharya. The cast of the film was Ashok Kumar, Renuka Devi, Mubarak, Shah Nawaz, V.H.Desai, P.F.Pithawala, David and others. The music was given by Saraswati Devi (4 songs) and Ramchandra Pal (6 songs). The songs were written by Kavi Pradeep.

Though this was the 13th film of Ashok Kumar, it was only the 4th film of Renuka Devi. After working with Heroes like Jairaj, Kishore Sahiu and Pahadi Sanyal, it was her first film with the acclaimed Romantic hero Ashok Kumar. By now, Ashok Kumar had got used to acting, but his one problem was not yet solved. Like any new actor, Ashok kumar did not know what to do with his hands and he always felt very awkward and ill at ease while acting. He and his directors tried several ways, but this problem was not solved yet….at least till he acted in the film Naya Sansar-41.

In this film, his role was that of a radical news reporter of a Newspaper called “Sansaar “, run by Mubarak. This newspaper had become popular due to its forward and nationalistic thinking and the paper criticised the leaders, government and the administration for the wrongs they did to the people and the Nation. While doing this role. Ashok Kumar had to smoke. Not that he had never smoked, but he was an occasional smoker. While doing this role, he suddenly realised that this time he had not faced the problem of “what to do with the hands”. With smoking, this problem seemed to disappear automatically and his acting became very natural and more impressive. Even the director noticed this and encouraged Ashok Kumar. This was the beginning of not only the disappearance of his problem but also the beginning of his famous natural acting. He continued smoking till he breathed his last !

Mayanagri – Bombay – attracted people from all over the country. The film world of Bombay had the Glamour, fame and money. This appealed to people from every field- acting, singing, music direction etc. Film Industry mesmerised not only the ordinary, but even the experts in related fields. That is why Internationally famous Sitarist Ravi Shanker, Dancer Uday Shankar, Bade Ghulam ali khan and many other eminents tried their hands with films.

There were two types of Newcomers. One who came, whether successful or not, remained in the film line till their end and the second was Specialists who came , contributed their bit and went back to their comfort zones again. Some names in the second category are Pushpa Hans, Meera Mishra, Shakuntala Paranjpe, Madhusudan Bhatt, Bal Gandharva, G.N.Joshi etc-all actors,lyricists like Moti, B.A.( actually he was M.A.), Dr. Ramesh Shastry etc. Classical singers like Phiroz Dastur, Ram Marathe, Hirabai Badodekar, Manik Verma, Menaka Bai, Ira Nigam etc. and MDs like Kazi Nasrul Islam,Ali Akbar Khan, Allah Rakha, Mohanlal Aima, Pt. Amarnath Chawla etc etc. ( names are only indicative and not exhaustive.)

One name in this category stands out boldly and that is actress Renuka Devi. She came to films as a Hobby, acted only in 7 films, sang 20 songs in 4 films and happily returned to her married life again. A very strong mind and determination is required to forgo fame and money for something you love more in life.

Sometime back, I had bought one book and when I read this book – ” A woman of substance-Begum Khursheed Mirza”’ I was very much impressed.

Begum Khursheed Mirza is none other than the famous Heroine of the 30s and 40s-Renuka Devi. She 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 offhand are that of Meenakshi Shirodkar (Bramhachari-38 fame), Shobhana Samarth and actress Neena ( real name Shahida- first wife of Mohsin Abdulla, brother of Renuka Devi).

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

The story of Renuka Devi is quite interesting. Khursheed jehan was born in Aligarh on 4-3-1918, to Shaikh Abdulla and his wife Waheed jehan Beg. She was the 6th of 7 siblings. Her father Shaikh Abdulla (1874-1965) was originally a Hindu. He was the son of a rich jahagirdar and Landlord from Poonch,Kashmir. They were Kashmiri Brahmins. His name was Thakur Das. He embraced Islam in 1890, while studying in Aligarh. When his family learnt about it he was disowned by them. He took the name Shaikh Abdulla.

He became a leading Advocate of Aligarh. After he married Waheed Jehan Beg, they both- being of progressive thinking- decided to work for the Muslim womens’ education. They faced lot of resistance from the fundamentalists, but they established a Muslim women’s college in Aligarh. To provide students for this college, a school was also started for Muslim girls. Soon girls started joining the school and college. Shaikh Abdulla ensured that all his children were educated. One daughter became a Doctor, another Advocate and two daughters did master’s degrees and later on became Principals of the women’s college. Khursheed also studied upto masters but due to her marriage could not complete it. ( she completed her masters in English Litterateur in 1963, at the age of 45 years, later).

Khursheed jehan was married to Akbar Mirza, a Police Officer in Aligarh. Soon she gave birth to 2 sons. Her husband, Akbar Mirza, was a well-placed official in the colonial police force and she enjoyed playing the part of hostess and homemaker. At a women’s club fundraising event organized by her, a senior British official commented that she had a flair that would be perfect for a film career. This set the 21-year-old Khurshid thinking and when her brother, Mohsin Abdullah, told her about “the professional atmosphere at the [Bombay Talkies] studios and the charming Mr Himansu Rai and his wife Devika Rani”, she could not resist. She wrote to Rai enquiring about a job, even sending him a recent photograph. What ensued was a struggle between the claims of domestic life and the increasing attractions of an independent and lucrative career.

This she did without informing her husband. She received a letter from Devika Rani,inviting her to Bombay for an interview. Now she confided in her husband and he wholeheartedly supported her. Akbar stood by his wife in the face of stiff opposition from both their families. Precisely because she had anticipated controversy, Khurshid had adopted the screen name “Renuka Devi” but it could not protect her identity. In her autobiography she says, “My mother wrote asking me not to visit Aligarh until the hue and cry had died down. As a result, I did not meet my family for nearly two years.”

Thus started her acting career. She was 21 years old, married and had 2 children too. Her first film was “Jeewan Prabhat”-37. She was given the name RENUKA DEVI. This was the Debut film for Kishore Sahu as well. Bombay Talkies bosses were very happy with her performance and she was offered the Heroine’s role opposite Jairaj in the film ” Bhabhi”-1939. Jairaj was also from a rich background, cultured and highly educated. Their tuning was excellent and the film was a grand success. Renuka also sang a few songs in Bhabhi-39. When the news of her acting in films reached Aligarh,there was a hue and cry. Her mother wrote to Renuka,’not to visit Aligarh for now’. Renuka did not go to Aligarh for the next 2 years.

She was invited to Calcutta By New Theatres to act in the film, Dadi Didi-39. Her other films were Naya Sansar-41 (Ashok Kumar), Sahara-43 (S D Narang), Ghulami-45 ( Masood Parvez) and Samrat Chandragupta-45 ( Ishwarlal ). Her film career was very short. She announced her retirement from films in February 1944, while shooting for her last films.

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.

When TV came to Pakistan, she became very active and she was a popular figure on Pak TV for the next 15-20 years. She completed her master’s degree in 1963, at the age of 45 years. 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 “.

Renuka Devi died on 8-2-1989 at Lahore after a prolonged illness.

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. Here are some excerpts from her book…

1) 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.

2) In 1939, Shanta Apte wrote that she received four or five letters each day from young girls wanting to join the movies “due perhaps to this monetary attraction”. Actresses themselves acknowledged in interviews that the money was substantial and more than one actress claimed that her salary rivalled that of the Governor of Bombay! But aside from several myth-building exercises, it is now apparent that film acting was a uniquely high-paying profession for women. According to Filmindia, Shobhana Samarth’s approximate total income in 1942 was Rs 36,000 while Sardar Akhtar, Naseem Banu, and Madhuri earned about Rs 30,000 each. These figures indicate that leading heroines of the day averaged an income of Rs 3,000-4,000 per month (some actresses were freelancers and did not work through the year) at a time when a French chiffon sari cost Rs 9, and a brand new imported Studebaker cost Rs 6,000. It is hardly surprising then, that Khursheed would want to make “a little dough”.

3) ” Akbar stood by me in the face of stiff opposition from both our families. Nevertheless, he maintained a strange attitude towards my work. He enjoyed the benefits the money brought us, such as a new car, expensive game-hunts, and pleasure trips to fashionable Mussoorie in summer and excellent schooling for our children. And, yet, he treated my work as a hobby, instead of giving it its due importance.”

( My thanks to the book, ”A woman of substance “, some information from ” Free Library”,Cineplot and my own notes).

I have not seen this film, but from today’s song, it seems to have been shot on Renuka Devi while playing a game with a child and his friends. Renuka Devi sang 5 songs in this film – 3 songs under the MD-Ramchandra Pal and only 2 songs composed by Saraswati Devi. Today’s song is by these two Devis together. ( In the early era of films, girls coming from educated and well to do families used to use the suffix of Devi to their name- like Sabita Devi, Molina Devi, Meera Devi etc. Girls coming from Tawaif families and singing families used to put the suffix of Bai to their names, like Jaddan Bai, Amir Bai, Waheedan Bai, Kalyani bai, Menaka Bai etc.) Enjoy this song.


Song- Chalo Chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen (Naya Sansaar)(1941) Singer- Renuka devi, Lyricist- Pradeep, MD- Saraswati Devi
Chorus
unknown child voice

Lyrics

chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen

haan haan haan haan
paas ki phool bagiya mein
haan haan haan haan
paas ki phool bagiya mein
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen
kya karogi bolo jab ud jaayengi
haan haan
joban ki chiraiyya
kya karogi bolo jab ud jaayengi
haan haan
joban ki chiraiyya

main tum donon ki khoj karoongi
main tum donon ki khok karoongi
ban pawan purwaiyya aa aa
ban pawan purwaiyya aa aa
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen

phoolon ke van mein tum chhup jaana
ban ke ek papaiyya
phoolon ke van mein tum chhup jaana
ban ke ek papaiyya
phool phool se hum poochhenge
phool phool se hum poochhenge
kahaan hai humra bhaiyya
kaho kaho
kahaan hai humra bhaiyya
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen

aasha didi
aasha didi
main bhi kheloonga

raaja bhaiyya khelega
raaja bhaiya khelega
haan haan haan
ban jaana ek bilaav
chhup jaana patton ki chhaanv
aankh bacha kar karna miyaaun miyaaun
miyaaun miyaaun
donon bahnen dar kar bhaagen
aisi bhaagen aise bhaagen
donon bahnen dar kar bhaagen
aisi bhaagen aise bhaagen
jaise van ki bilaiyya aa aa
jaise van ki bilaiyya aa aa
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen
haan haan haan haan
paas ki phool bagiya mein
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen
chalo chalo bhool bhulaiyya khelen


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 :

5169 Post No. : 17138

“Kangan”(1939) was produced by Sasadhar Mukherjee,Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani and directed by Franz Osten for Bombay Talkies, Bombay. The movie had Leelal Chitnis, Ashok Kumar, V.H.Desai, P.F.Pithawala, Mubarak, Saroj Borkar, Narendranath Tuli, Karuna devi,Ishrat, Nana Palsikar, Arun Kumar, Pratima, Ranibala,Sarla Kumara, Balwant Singh etc in it.

The movie had 12 songs in it. six songs have been covered so far.

Here is the seventh song from “Kangan”(1939) to appear in the blog. The song is sung by Leela Chitnis. Narottam Vyas is the lyricist. Saraswati devi is the music director.

Only the audio of the song is available. it is clear that the song was picturised on Leela Chitnis herself.

Lyrics of the song were sent to me by Prakashchandra.

audio link:

Song-Jogan bhatak rahi hai ban ban (Kangan)(1939) Singer-Leela Chitnis, Lyrics-Pt Narottam Vyas, MD-Saraswati devi

Lyrics(Provided by Prakashchandra)

Jogan
bhatak
rahee ee hai
ban ban
vaa ko o o
paaney ae ae
jaa ko o
denaa aa aa
thhaa aa aa rey ae ae
tan man
jogan
bhatak
rahee ee hai ban ban
jogan
bhatak
rahee hai ban ban

vaa ko o o paaney aey ae ae
jaa ko denaa thhaa aa rey ae ae tan man
jogan bhatak rahee hai ban ban

saawan kee aadhee ee barsaatein aen
paavas ki andhiyaaree raatein aen
raah na paate aey ae ae
dhoondhti phiratee ee ee
raah na paate aey ae
dhoondhti phiratee ee
jo ?? ee woh o o hai ae na mero dhan
jogan bhatak rahee hai ae ae ban ban
jogan bhatak rahee hai ae ae ban ban


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 :

5000 Post No. : 16898

“Durga”(1939) was produced by Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai and directed by Franz Osten for Bombay Talkies, Bombay. The movie had Devika Rani, Rama Shukul, V H Desai, Mumtaz Ali, Peethawala, Saroj Borkar, Balwant singh, Lalita Deulkar etc in it.

“Durga”(1939) had ten songs in it. Two songs have been covered in the blog so far.

Here is the third song from “Durga”(1939) to appear in the blog.

Devika Rani is the singer. Lyrics are penned by Narendranath Tuli. Saraswati Devi is the music director.

Only the audio of this rare song is available. It is clear that the song was picturised on Devika Rani herself.

From the lyrics it is seen that the song is a “wedding” song. Whether it is a gudda gudiya wedding song or a real wedding song is not known, seeing that video of the song is not available.

Nevertheless, the fact that this song came to my notice just now and it is getting discussed today validates the oft made observation that some higher forces are overseeing this blog and it is these higher forces that often decide what songs are covered in this blog on what day. 🙂 The daughter of one of our regulars got married today and fate ordained that the blog celebrates the occasion with this song from the yore.

So we take this occasion to greet the recently wedded daughter of our regular contributor Avinash Scrapwala. We all wish Shivani and Jeegar a very happy, prosperous and long married life.


Song-Nanhi Bitiya Byaah Rachaaye (Durga) (1939) Singer-Devika Rani, Lyrics-Narendranath Tuli, MD-Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Nanhi bitiya byaah rachaaye
dulha chadh haathi par aaye
Nanhi bitiya byaah rachaaye
dulha chadh haathi par aaye
baaje dhol mridang
?? rah jaaye dang
baaje dhol mridang
?? rah jaaye dang
laal chunariya kesari choli
sheesh chadhe chandal aur roli
laal chunariya kesari choli
sheesh chadhe chandal aur roli
kumkum pushp ka phool
maang bhare sindoor
kumkum pushp ka phool
maang bhare sindoor

baapu aaye doli chadhaaye
naina chham chham neer bahaaye
baapu aaye doli chadhaaye
naina chham chham neer bahaaye
maa ko bhaari ??
ghar ko ??
nanhi bitiya byaah rachaaye
dulha chadh haathi par aaye
baaje dhol mridang
chhalakat ??


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 :

4899 Post No. : 16701

Songs from Artiste Name Films….Second Season….No. 10
—————————————————————–

Today this series ends with a song from film Durga-1939. No prizes for guessing the name of the star of today’s post. Of course it is Durga Khote. Though she was not a part of this film, still I chose her, because lovers of old films know her too well, but as she ended her career almost 40 years ago, readers in the age group of 50-60 may not know her too well.

Film Durga – 1939 was made by Bombay Talkies, owned by Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai. The cast of the film Durga-39 consisted of Devika Rani, Rama Shukul, V H Desai, Mumtaz Ali, Peethawala, Saroj Borkar, Balwant singh, Lalita Deulkar etc. The film was directed by Franz Osten and the music was by Saraswati Devi. The year was 1939 and inits month of September, the World War started. It did affect Indian film industry too, but the effects were felt from 1940 onwards. In 1939, the industry was trying to free itself from the shackles of stage drama type music, an unnecessary stress on making films on Mythology and Folk tales and old styles of loud acting. New blood had flown in, replacing the spill over of silent movie actors and themes.

The year was 1939 and the British Government had declared war against Germany and Japan, as soon as the WW II began. All countries ruled by Britain were – willingly or unwillingly, drawn into the war efforts and its effects. The war began in the month of September and soon various restrictions came into operation – like rationing, blackouts, shortages etc. The film industry which was still under its development stage suffered. It also realised the importance of remaining united as one industry. However, all that came after 1 or 2 years. In 1939 there was not much effect seen on the film industry.

The industry had its own problems. In spite of the playback system in operation, their problem was that because there was no technique of recording from the film negative yet, the singers had to sing twice. Once for the actual film shooting of the song, and later, with the same set of orchestra, for commercial records. Sometimes, the original singer was not available due to any reason, some other singer had to sing for commercial records. Thus we have many such examples, where the singer in the film song and the record is different. However, this problem continued only till mid 50’s when the Tape and the required technique became available. With just one time recording, the film and commercial recording were taken care of.

Khemchand Prakash. K.Datta (Datta Koregaonkar), Rafiq Ghaznavi and Anupam Ghatak made their Debut as Music Directors. Kavi Pradeep wrote his first film song for film Kangan. In 1939, 2 most Unusual songs were presented, for the first time ( and this record is not yet broken even after more than 80 years.). One was a Multi-Lingual song from film Aadmi-39, a film by Prabhat….Kis liye kal ki baat. This song was in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Tamil and Telugu. ( In its Marathi film version-” माणूस “, this song was only in one language-Marathi.) Different Lyricists and MDs were used for each language. The song became very popular.

Second unusual song was from film ‘ Ghareeb ka Laal’-1939. The song lyrics had the names of 32 artistes, operating in Hindi films that time. Top Heroes and Heroines were mentioned in this song. The beginning of the song was ” Tuze Bibbo kahoon ya Sulochana, Uma shashi kahoon ki Jamuna “. This song was sung by the comedian Mirza Musharraf. In later years many songs with film artistes’ names came but none had so many names. Thus this record is still unbroken, in case of both songs.

Besides these songs, let us quickly take a look at some films of 1939….

Aadmi – Prabhat’s hit film, a remake of the Marathi film ” माणूस “. It had some good songs by Shanta Hublikar, Sundarabai Jadhav and Ram Marathe.

Adhuri Kahani – a trend of Tragedy films set by the effect of film ‘Devdas’. All the 3 main characters of this film commit suicide in the end.

Badi Didi – A New Theatres film.

Brandy ki Botal – Master Vinayak’s comedy remake of Marathi film ‘ ब्रॅंडीची बाटली ‘.

Dil hi to hai – Debut of Kidar Sharma as a Director and Ramola as a Heroine in a Hindi film.

Dushman – New Theatres’ film of Saigal, with only his 4 songs.

Ek hi Raasta – Sagar presents first film with 3 Heroes in one film.

Ghazi Salauddin – Debut of Khemchand Prakash as M.D.

Hukum ka Ikka – First film with a Triple role by Umakant Desai ( who later specialised as Lakshman in 7 films, including Ramrajya-43).

Imaandaar – Debut of actress Shamim Akhtar.

India in Africa – This was the First Hindi film to be shot abroad (in Africa). The Hero B. Nandrekar had also gone to Africa for its shooting. Naaz-54 was not the first such film, though HFGK mentions it so.( Ref – pp 69, Maharashtra-The Birthplace of Indian cinema by Isak Mujawar)

Kangan – First of the 4 Hit films of Ashok kumar and Leela Chitnis, made by Bombay Talkies. Kavi Pradeep’s Debut as a Lyricist in this film.

Kapal kundala – New Theatres. Pankaj mullick’s hit song ‘ Piya milan ko jaana ‘.

Leather Face – Debut of Meena kumari as a child artiste.

Navjeevan – Debut of Hansa Wadkar as a Heroine- Bombay Talkies film.

Pukar – Hit film from Minerva Movietone. Naseem Bano sings ” Zindagi ka saaz bhi kya saaz hai….”

As stated in the beginning, today’s star is Durga Khote. She was one of the most respected artistes from the early cinema. In her glorious and non-controversial career of over 50 years, she acted in 183 films and sang 35 songs in 14 early cinemas. At the end of her career, she wrote her autobiography in Marathi ” मी दुर्गा खोटे “, which was later translated into English by Shanta Gokhale. This book ( along with ” चंदेरी दुनियेत ” by Leela Chitnis ) is an authentic chronicle of Indian film industry development from infancy to adulthood, in addition to personal details.

Durga Khote (14 January 1905 − 22 September 1991) was one of the foremost leading ladies of her times, she remained active in Hindi and Marathi cinema, as well as theatre, for over 50 years, starring in 182 Hindi films and numerous theatre productions. In 2000, in a millennium issue, India Today named her among “100 People Who Shaped India”, noting: “Durga Khote marks the pioneering phase for women in Indian Cinema” as she was one of the first women from respectable families to enter the film industry, thus breaking a social taboo.

She also ranks among the top ten actresses in mother roles in Hindi cinema, most notable among them were as Jodhabai in K. Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam (1960); as Kaikeyi in Vijay Bhatt’s classic Bharat Milap (1942); her other memorable roles as mother were in Charnon Ki Dasi (1941); Mirza Ghalib; Bobby (1973) and Bidaai (1974). She has received the highest award in Indian cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1983), for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.

Khote was born as Vitha Lad, to a family which hailed from Goa and spoke Konkani at home. Her father’s name was Pandurang Shamrao Lad and her mother’s name was Manjulabai. She grew up in a large joint family in Kandewadi. She was educated at Cathedral High School and St. Xavier’s College where she studied for B.A. While still a college-going teenager, she married into the Khote family and settled down with her husband. By the age of 26, Durga Khote was a widowed mother with two young sons; Bakul and Harin. She had to seek work in film to support her children. In doing so, she became a pioneer of sorts: She hailed from a traditional family and the film industry was regarded as the preserve of the base and the bawdy. Also, most of the female characters were played by men at the time.

Durga Khote debuted in a minor role in the obscure 1931 Talkie film Farebi Jaal or trapped, by M. Bhavnani. She had to sing 3 songs also in this film. Followed by Maya Machindra (1932) by Prabhat Film company.. She was soon promoted to play heroine in the 1932 double version (Hindi and Marathi) Ayodhyecha Raja, another Prabhat film, which was the first ever Marathi talkie, and proved to be a runaway hit, where she played the role of Rani Taramati. Indeed, she ventured yet another pioneering trend: Despite working closely with the Prabhat Film Company, she broke away from the “studio system” (exclusive contract with a studio to work in its films on a monthly salary) then in vogue and became one of the first “freelance” artistes of that era by working occasionally with the New Theatres, East India Film Co. (both at Calcutta), and Prakash Pictures.

In 1936, she played Saudamini in Amar Jyoti, which is one of her most memorable roles. The characters played by her were very much like her regal personality and she commanded a screen presence even in front of legendary actors like Chandra Mohan, Sohrab Modi and Prithviraj Kapoor. In 1937, she produced and directed a film titled Saathi ( Sawangadi in Marathi), making her one of the first women to step into this role in Indian cinema. The 40s opened for her in a big way, with award-winning performances in Aacharya Atre’s Payachi Dasi (Marathi) and Charnon Ki Dasi (Hindi) (1941) and Vijay Bhatt’s classic Bharat Milap (1942), both of which got her the BFJA Best Actress Award for two consecutive years.

Durga Khote remained active in the theatre circuit for many years, especially the Marathi theatre in Mumbai. She was actively associated with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and worked in several plays for the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh. In 1954, she famously performed the role of Lady Macbeth in V.V. Shirwadkar’s Marathi adaptations of Macbeth, as Rajmukut, (The Royal Crown), along with Nanasaheb Phatak.

Durga Khote played a wide variety of roles over a career that was not only long, but also untouched by scandal. She was the inspiration for several generations of Indian actresses, including veterans such as the late Shobhna Samarth, who frequently spoke of how she had been inspired by Khote’s example. During later years, she played several important character roles, such as the mother of the protagonist. Her portrayal of Jodhabai, the queen of Akbar torn between duty towards her husband and love towards her son in Mughal-e-Azam (1960) was well received. In 1963, she acted in Merchant Ivory’s debut film The Householder (1963).

She went on to play other widely appreciated character roles in later movies, such as the role of the grandmother of the heroine in Bobby (1973), the hero’s aunt in Abhimaan (1973), and the very memorable Bidaai (1974), where she played a mother, a very sensitive role that can make one cry and received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. Her final memorable role was in Subhash Ghai’s Karz (1980), where she played the role of the mother of Raj Kiran and later, mother to Rishi Kapoor, who played the role of Raj Kiran’s reincarnation after the screen death of Raj Kiran in the movie.

She acted in 182 Hindi films in her career. Her last film as an actress was Daulat ka Dushman-1983. She had also sung 32 songs in 13 films. Her last song was in the film Panna Dai-1945. By the 1980s she successfully diversified into production of short films, ad films and documentaries by setting up Fact Films and later, Durga Khote Productions, which produced the Doordarshan TV series Wagle Ki Duniya.

Durga Khote was married when she was a teenager to Vishwanath Khote, a gentleman of her own caste and similar social background, in a match arranged by their parents in the usual Indian manner. It was a traditional marriage into an orthodox family, the couple lived a harmonious and happy life, and the marriage was blessed with two sons. Vishwanath was a mechanical engineer who had graduated from Banaras Hindu University. His family was upper middle class and professional, with modern English education and high social standing; his ancestors had been prominent bankers.

Unfortunately, Vishwanath Khote died young, when Durga was barely into her 20s. She and her sons continued to reside with her in-laws, as is traditional in India, but she was not comfortable with her dependent position, especially because her father-in-law was no more, and they were dependent on other family members for their expenses. She thus felt impelled to make a living any which way she could, and the opening in films happened entirely by chance. The fact that she came from a modern and English-educated family meant that, even as a widow, she was able to act in films, which was derided as a disreputable profession in those days.

She thus raised her two sons, Bakul and Harin, single-handedly. Both of them went on to become well-settled in life. But she suffered the loss of her son Harin, who predeceased her and died in his 40s. Harin was married to Vijaya Jaywant, and they were the parents of two sons. After Harin’s early death, his widow married a Parsi man named Farrokh Mehta and became famous as the film-maker Vijaya Mehta.

Durga Khote’s grandchildren (children of Bakul and Harin) include her grandson Ravi, a filmmaker; granddaughter Anjali Khote, an actress; and grandson Deven Khote, a successful producer who is one of the co-founders of UTV, and who has also directed a film. Deven Khote is noted for producing films such as Jodhaa Akbar and Life in a Metro.

Durga Khote’s brother-in-law, Nandu Khote (brother of Vishwanath), was a noted stage and silent movie actor. Two of Nandu’s children also became actors in the film industry. His son Viju Khote (1941-2019) was an actor perhaps best known for his role of “Kalia” in Sholay (1975). Nandu’s daughter is the actress Shubha Khote, who debuted in Seema (1955) and worked as a heroine in several films before moving to character roles. Still later, she moved to directing and producing Marathi films and also entered television in the 90s. Shubha’s daughter, Bhavana Balsavar, is also an award-winning TV actress who appeared in sitcoms like Dekh Bhai Dekh and Zabaan Sambhalke before deciding to settle down and raise a family. Thus, the acting profession which was pioneered by Durga Khote in her family has been fully embraced by her late husband’s family.

Later in life, Durga Khote wrote an autobiography in Marathi, entitled Mee, Durga Khote, which was translated into English as I, Durga Khote, and moved to Alibaug, near Mumbai. Durga Khote died in Mumbai on 22 September 1991. ( Thanks to her autobiography, wiki,muVyz and my notes.)

This ends my series on Artistes, on whose names film titles existed. This is of course only indicative and not exhaustive one. I wrote only on 20 such artistes, but still about 30+ such films are remaining, most of which are not available with their songs on the social media.

I had plans to revive some more old series again, but readers’ poor response does not motivate me to do so. Still, who knows…….


Song- Ab jaago Radha Rani (Durga)(1939) Singer- Balwant Singh, Lyricist- Narottam Vyas, MD-Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Ab jaago Radha Rani
Ab jaago Radha Rani

?? bhayi ab hua sawera
jage jagat ke praani
ab jaago Radha Rani

?? bhayi ab hua sawera
jage jagat ke praani
ab jaago Radha Rani
ab jaago Radha Rani

sapne mein ??
sapne mein ??
?? prem kahaani
sapne mein ??
?? prem kahaani
ab jaago Radha Rani
ab jaago Radha Rani

nadi kinaare Kaanh tumhaare
nadi kinaare Kaanh tumhaare
bhar bansi mein baani
nadi kinaare ?? tumhaare
bhar bansi mein baani
?? aaye ??
ab jaago Radha Rani

?? des mein ??
??
ab jaago Radha Rani
ab jaago Radha Rani


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 :

4895 Post No. : 16694

Songs from Artiste Name Films….Second Season….No. 8
————————————————-

Today’s song is from the film Azad-1940

The film was made by Bombay Talkies. The lead pair was Leela Chitnis and Ashok Kumar. Earlier Ashok Kumar was paired with Devika Rani since 1936 and they did many Hit films together. Devika Rani or Leela Chitnis had joined films by choice. However, Ashok Kumar had never imagined that he would pursue a Film career. He had joined Bombay Talkies with the help of Sashadhar mukherjee, his Brother-in-law, as a Technical staff, after completing his degree education. But fate brought him to films. Everyone knows how.

But then Ashok Kumar’s case is not unique. The film industry has seen some more such cases, where the artistes dramatically entered the filmline in different capacities. Take the case where one Motor Mechanic became a well known film Director (Sarvottam Badami) while the other became a famous poet, lyricist and a Director (Gulzar), a Navy aspirant was made a hero (Motilal), an International wrestler ‘acted’ in several films (Dara Singh), a Typewriter salesman became immortal singer actor (Saigal), an international dramatist and U.N.O. Executive wrote stories, songs and dialogues of Hindi films and acted too (Dewan Sharar), a Mathematician with a prestigious Tripose from Cambridge University and service in I.L.O. Switzerland became an actress in Hindi films (Shakuntala Paranjpye) and an Editor of Dance magazine with high education was taken out of a Bus queue and made a Hero of over 40 films (Ranjan). These are some examples how Fate changes the course of Life !

Leela Chitnis was senior to Ashok Kumar in acting. Azad-40 was her 13th film, whereas for him it was only the 9th film of his career. They did 4 films together. Their first film was kangan-39. Then came Bandhan-40. Azda was 3rd and last film together as lead pair was Jhoola-41. Three films were hits, but Azad-40 was an average film. This happened because in 1940, Bombay Talkies’ original story writer Niranjan Pal had left the company after a spat with the owner Himanshu Rai. In his place, another Bengali – Sardendu Bannerjee wrote the story, which was a weaker one. The story of the film Azad-40 was…..Azad was a story of 3 friends and the age old conflict of conservatism v/s Modernism.Vijay(Ashok kumar) is a wealthy young collegian with modern thinking and rebellion against bad customs.Loknath(Ramchandra Pal) is a conservative while,Jagdish(Arun Kumar) is oscillating between the two.

One day they come across a girl Jamuna(Leela Chitnis) hunted by a badman.Loknath and and Jagdish stay away,but Vijay rescues her and takes her home.She is stamped a fallen woman,but Vijay knows she is pure and courageous.They fall in love,marry and go away to another village Ratanpur,to avoid trouble from society.

After 25 years, Jagdish settles as a Lawyer in Calcutta.He has one motherless daughter Seeta(Hansa Wadkar),who is rescued from Train dacoits,by Anand,the Doctor son of Vijay.Jagdish calls him home and learns that he is Vijay and Jamun’s son.He is in a dilemma now.

However love triumphs and the youngsters finally get married in presence of Vijay,Jamuna,Jagdish and Loknath.

This was a film in the tradition of bringing new thinking through films by Bombay Talkies,for which they were known.

So much about the film. Our today’s hero is Actor AZAD. in Hindi films there were 2 actors with the name AZAD. Luckily the senior Azad acted only in a few films till Partition and then migrated to pakistan. Hence there was no ‘ Same Name Confusion’. The junior Azad became active only from 1958 onwards. Let us first see about the Azad Sr.

There was an actor named Azaad in Hindi films. His real name was Mohd Hanif. He was born on 16th October 1916 at Delhi in a wealthy family. His father was an electrical engineer and a political leader. His elder brother was in the British Army.

Hanif started a motor vehicles business in Delhi. He got married also. Due to his desire to act in films, he came to Bombay. His acting career started with ‘Himalaya Ki Beti’ (1938). During this film he got to know Kalyani Bai, the singer – actress. Soon they got married.

While she did well in films, he was struggling in his career, without credit. In the film ‘Haqdaar’ (1946), he was credited with his film name Azaad. Frustrated, he left films and went back to Delhi to restart his motor vehicles business. Kalyani brought him back and together they started their own production company – Azad Pictures. However, soon after partition, he and his family migrated to Pakistan. Kalyani stayed back.

In Pakistan Azad became a successful supporting actor in over a 100 Urdu and Punjabi films. He died on 12th September 1986 in Karachi.

It is believed that before films, this Azad worked as a Car Driver to Mohammed Ali Jinnah for some time during 1935 to 1940.

The other actor Azad was a Bodybuilder. He entered the films with a new character ‘ Zimbo” in 1958. He did 3 films on Zimbo. In his initial period he became a Tarzan and did 11 films on Tarzan. In those days(1958 to 1970) Tarzan and similar films featured many Bodybuilders like Randhawa, Dara Singh, Hemant Birje, Viju Penkar, Hercules, Indrajeet etc., but only Azad showed staying power. He acted in a total of 82 films. What’s more, 8 songs were filmed on him in which he even sang on screen. Here is a short post on this Azad…

“Tarzan The Most popular fictional character in the world of cinema Both in foreign films and Hindi cinema. The First film on this Character Tarzan was Made in India in Hindi By Homi wadia Production Directed By Homi wadia Himself. The first Actor who portrayed The Role of Tarzan was John Cavas in the 1937 released film Toofani Tarzan .

Thus the series of Tarzan films was Kept on making By Hindi cinema Production House among Which Basant pictures of Homi wadia were the pioneers.

They Made the maximum number of film’s on Tarzan.

He is Azaad Irani popular as Azaad Who was a Zoroastrian Irani. He was born on 23-11-1938 at Bombay.

He first Debuted as Tarzan in Homi wadia Production Film ,1958 zimbo . The Film was Super Hit and thus the series of Tarzan films has been made.

In most of the film’s Azaad played Tarzan. Lady of the lake, Tarzan And Circus, Tarzan ki Mehbooba, Tarzan and Captain Kishore,Tarzan in Town, jungle Boy, Tarzan 303, Toofani Tarzan,Tarzan and Delilah, Tarzan and magic lamp, Jungle ki Hoor, Tarzan in fairyland, Tarzan Ka Beta, Tarzan and the Gorilla,Tarzan Aur jal pari, Tarzan Aur jaadugar Caption Azaad,jadu Mahal ,Shaahi lootera ,And Many many more
All these films were considered B Grade films. Why I could not understand as most of these Films were successful as the audience used to like Such film’s in which there used to be animals, action , jungle adventure, romance, comedy in short full Entertainer.
It was like By all types of audiences right From children to adults.
Azaad in the sixties became a household name And Was mostly popular among audiences as Tarzan .
In His films the heroines were mostly Chitra, Indra Bala,Tabassum,Helen, Sunita .
Apart from Tarzan series AZAAD Acted in film’s of action genres too Along with Dara Singh, Kamran, Randhawa And Hercules.

After the end of sixties the craze of Tarzan film’s got Faded as many film’s started getting flops as the audience’s got exhausted of watching Tarzan films.
As it was not only Azaad who was popular as Tarzan even Dara Singh and Randhawa started playing Tarzan.

Azaad was not a Hero material who could be cast in other genre’s films , So By end of sixties he was left with no work .

He switched on doing supporting And small roles which were not worth mentioning.
He did many film’s Till eighties like inkaar,Naseeb,Dostana, Dharam veer But his roles were not remarkable.From 1958 to 1989, he acted in 82 films.

Atlast he left India and settled down in America at Maryland he got One son Melvin Irani.
Azaad is diagnosed with a disease called Parkinson and he has been fighting with it since the last few decades as a fighter keeping his screen image of Tarzan alive Who always stays in the jungle in the middle of Wild animals And survived.”
(Article by shri Rajnikumar Pandya ji, with thanks.)

Today’s song is sung by Hansa Wadkar (Ratan Salgaonkar in real life).


Song- Saajan Mohan waari tum mere main tumhaari(Aazaad)(1940) Singer- Hansa Wadkar, Lyricist- J S Casshyap ‘Natwan’, MD-Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

saajan mohan waari
tum mere main tumhaari
saajan mohan waari
tum mere main tumhaari
duniya hamaari nyaari
tum mere main tumhaari
duniya hamaari nyaari
tum mere main tumhaari
bano sajan tum ban ke birwa main lata
kahoon kaan mein dheere dheere dukh katha
tum mere main tumhaari

main banoon phool tum bhanwra banakar aana
birha murjhaayi dekh mujhe apnaana
tum mere main tumhaari
tum hi chanda sooraj nis din baithhi aas lagaaye
ro ro naina khoy diye
tab aaye to kya aaye
aawo krishn muraari
tum mere main tumhaari
aawo krishn muraari
tum mere main tumhaari
saajan mohan waari
tum mere main tumhaari


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 :

4784 Post No. : 16539

Today’s song is from the film Prarthana-1943. The film was made by Minerva Movietone. The music was composed by Saraswati Devi. After a vertical rift between a disgruntled group led by S. Mukherjee in Bombay Talkies, the group left Bombay talkies and established their own Filmistan studio. Many people went with them. Some remained with Devika Rani. Saraswati devi also left Bombay Talkies but became a Free-Lance, without joining any group. The cast of the film was Sabita Devi, Motilal, Jahanara Kajjan, Nimbalkar, Menaka, K.N.Singh and many others.

The film was directed by Sarvottam Badami. Badami’s case is an example how strong will and hard work can really help anyone to come up in life. The rise and life of Sarvottam Badami shows how a simple Motor mechanic can reach a high place in the career by mere will to succeed. His life story can become a lesson to all who want to achieve success.

Sarvottam Badami was born in 1910 at Channapatna in Karnataka,to a revenue officer working in Mysore. He passed his SSLC and worked as a garage mechanic and then a projectionist in Select Picture House, Bangalore, both of which were owned by Dr. Ambalal Patel. Patel moved to Bombay and financed Ardeshir Irani of Imperial Film Company, and Chimanlal Desai as a partner forming Sagar Movietone in 1930.
At the age of 19 years, Badami went to Bombay to study automobile engineering. He was asked by Ardeshir Irani who met him at a wedding to help out with the recording equipment he had purchased from abroad.

Badami helped in the sound recording department for the first Talkie in India, Ardeshir Irani’s Alam Ara (1931). Around that time a German director making the film Harishchandra left half-way and Badami offered to complete it, the co-director was Raja Chandrasekhar, although the co-director credit has also been cited as T. C. Vadivelu Naicker. The film turned out to be successful. He was contracted by Sagar Movietone (Sagar Film Company) to direct three films, two in Telugu and one in Tamil: Galava Rishi (Tamil), Rama Paduka Pattabhishekam and Shakuntala in Telugu. The success of these films established him as a director. His working team had people like the cinematographer Faredoon Irani, music director Anil Biswas and the Sagar Movietone favourites Sabita Devi and Motilal.

Initially, to avoid embarrassment to his family he requested not to be credited in the regional language films. He did not know Hindi but from 1932-1947, he worked for Sagar Movietone and also directed nearly 30 films in Hindi, for many others. His first Hindi film was Chandrahasa (1933) starring Noor Mohammed Charlie. He was paid Rs 2000 per film with the complete film being made within Rs 50,000. He worked with most of the top actors of the time like Motilal, Nargis, Ashok Kumar and Pahari Sanyal. He brought Mehboob Khan who was then doing roles as an extra out of obscurity and gave him the role of Sabita Devi’s father in the film Vengeance is mine(1935).

He made several films based on novels. Some of the writers whose work he used were K.M.Munshi, Sarat Chandra and Ramanlal Vasanthlal Desai. The film Aap ki Marzi (1939) was inspired by the Hollywood film Paradise for Three (1938). He became known for his satirical comedies and “socially relevant films”.His film Grihalaxmi (1934), which starred Jal Merchant and Sabita Devi had the woman getting into marriage only if her doctor husband agreed not to want children. The success of the film mitigated the enraged public reaction at the time.

He showed his understanding of media publicity required for films when in 1937, Badami resorted to woo audiences by announcing cash prizes of Rs.500, Rs.200 and Rs.100 for the best reviews of his newly released film Kulvadhu (1937). The promotional gambit worked sending audiences to the theatres. According to an interview, most of Badami’s films didn’t survive as the negatives were burnt to extract the silver from the silver nitrate.

After Aap ki Marzi-38, he followed his mentor, Dr. Patel and joined Sudama Pictures, when in 1939, Sagar Movietone merged into National Films. Badami

also worked in Famous Cine Laboratories, from 46 to 48.

Apparently, in 1948 Deputy Prime Minister Vallabh bhai Patel, who was then also in charge of the Information Ministry, on a visit to the Cine Laboratories Bombay, asked Badami to help set up a NewsReel and Documentary section. The Films Division was established in 1948. He became chief producer in the newsreel department and made several documentaries. He worked in the Films Division making documentaries from 1948-1952. After that he stopped making films and returned to Bangalore to retire as “I was a forgotten man in the feature film world”. He became an industrialist by starting a manufacturing business. Later he worked as a Consultant for Kamani Group of Industries also. He died in 2005 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

FILMOGRAPHY: 1932: Harishchandra; Galava Rishi; Paduka Pattabhishekham; Shakuntala; 1933: Chandrahasa; 1934: Grihalakshmi; 1935: Dr. Madhurika; Vengeance is Mine; 1936: Jeevan Lata; Grama Kanya; 1937: Kokila; Kulavadhu; 1938: Three Hundred Days and After; 1939: Aap Ki Marzi; Ladies Only; 1940: Chingari; Sajani; 1941: Holiday in Bombay; 1942: Khilona; 1943: Prarthana; 1944: Bhagya Lakshmi; 1945: Ramayani; 1946: Uttara Abhimanyu; 1947: Manmani; 1951: Vinoba Bhave (Doc);1952: Roof over the head

(Ack: Sapnon ke saudagar by Vithal Pandya, Sagar Movietone by Biren Kothari, HFGK, muVyz, Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, and my notes)

The film cast includes the name of Jahanara Kajjan. She was one of the last operating successful actresses from the Silent era. From a Tawaif family, Kajjan was counted amongst the elite society of Calcutta. In Bombay, however, she was not having that aura around her name.

JAHAN ARA BEGUM KAJJAN was born in Patna, Bihar, on 15-2-1915. She was the daughter of the courtesan Suggan and the Nawab of Bhagalpur’. Her mother was a famous singer from Lucknow. She grew up in Patna. She got a lot of attention for her education. She was taught Urdu at home and her maternal grandfather Syed Hussain taught her English. She , being very clever ,soon became proficient in both languages. At the same time she learnt household chores also. She learnt music under the guidance of Ustad Husnu Khan of Patna. Singing was in her blood anyway. She was very beautiful.

Kajjan belonged to a family of professional artistes, who carried the tag of tawaifs or courtesans. They were also invited by the princely courts and aristocracy to perform at their private mehfils. With their refined manners they provided stimulating company to the male elite. An established code of conduct ruled out marriage in their profession but they were allowed to have a liaison with a chosen patron. Kajjan’s mother Suggan apparently had one such relationship with her father.

The anti-nautch campaign at the beginning of the 20th Century denigrated the singing and dancing profession. Some, among them, became gramophone singers or theatre stage actors. Kajjan had received education at home and even learnt English. Well versed in Urdu literature, she wrote poetry under the pen name “Ada” and some of her poems were published in Urdu magazines. She received intensive training in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Hussain Khan of Patna. Noting her mastery of ragas, her mellifluous voice and also her charming looks, she was hired by a theatre company at Patna. She is said to have performed on stage for three days at a fee of Rs.250 per show. She enchanted the audience with her golden voice. This paved the way to her joining Alfred Company owned by Madan Theatres of Calcutta. According to Fida Hussain, a Parsi theatre legend, “He worked with actress Jahanara Kajjan becoming her director and leading man”. Kajjan attained name and fame as a very popular singer and actor of the stage.

Because of her beauty and singing skills,she was invited to work on the Urdu stage. Master Fida Hussain, who was a well known actor, singer, composer and director on Urdu stage had joined ‘Alfred Theatre co.’. It was owned by the Madons of calcutta. Kajjan was taken in it and the troupe toured U.P. and M.P. During this period, Kajjan was romantically involved in Master Fida hussain.

She used to appear on stage at the rate of Rs.250 per show per day. Once when she was performing in Patna, one of the owners of Madon Theatres, Calcutta saw her and offered her roles in films. She immediately accepted it and went to Calcutta.

Silent film era was dominated by Parsee, Anglo-Indian and Jew girls, due to their white skin and open attitudes. Once the Talkie films started, they became useless as they did not know how to speak in Hindi or sing. In such circumstances actresses like Kajjan got the opportunities. Her first film was ‘ Shirin Farhad’-1931. paired with Master Nissar she sang 17 songs in this film. This pair became very popular. Her next film was ‘Indrasabha 1932’,having a world record 71 songs in the film. Kajjan sang 29 songs in it. The film was based on the drama by Agha Hasan Amaanat.

In Calcutta kajjan became very famous. She lived a rich and lavish life, mixing among the elite of Calcutta like Prices, Nawabs, High authorities, the mega rich etc. her dresses and jewellery were talk of the women of the rich and the famous. She had instructed her designer to make only such sarees, which no one in India will ever wear ! She was a regular invitee to even Viceroy’s parties.

She worked only with Madon Theatres. Brijlal Verma was the composer of Madon Theatres. It was a favourite quartet of Madon films, Brijlal’s misc kajjan and Master Nissar. Together they ruled the early phase of Talkie films. Films like Shirin farhad-31,Laila majnu-31,Shakuntala-31,Bilwamangal-32,Aankh ka nasha-33,Dhruva charitra-33,Turki sher-33,Zahreela saanp-33 had kajjan songs by brijlal Verma. During this period, she was the highest paid actress in India. Kajjan had a romantic affair with Brijlal Verma too. Kajjan also sang in Roopkumari-34,Sakhi lutera-34,Apradhi abla-35, and Mera Pyara-35 which had her songs.

Kajjan was a good dancer. She learnt dancing from Miss Ruqayya khatoon. She was among the regular dancers in Calcutta Clubs, along with actress Mahazabeen. Kajjan was friendly with westerners. She was fond of pets. For some time she had 2 tiger cubs as her pets and this became the talk of the town in Calcutta.

After Brijlal Verma,it was a rich financer, Seth Karnani, who, just to impress kajjan, bought the entire Madon theatres for a sum of Rs. 24 lakhs in those days ! A very handsome actor of that era Najmul hassa had a torrid affair with Kajjan. He is the same Najmul Hassan, who had eloped with Devika Rani-wife of Himanshu Rai, owner of Bombay Talkies, from Bombay to Calcutta. Devika rani returned to her husband shortly, but he had to remain in Calcutta-for safety.

Kajjan worked in Gulru zarina, Swami Bhakti Alibaba aur chaalis chor and Jahan Ara also. By end of the 30s Madon Theatres closed down and Kajjan also stopped work for few years.

In the early 40s,kajjan worked in Abla shakti and Ghar sansar-42,Prarthana and Prithvi Vallabh-43 and her last film Bharthari-1944. The songs of Bharthari, composed by Khemchand Praksah also became very popular. Due to her sweet voice she was called ” The Lark of Indian Cinema”.

Jahan Ara Kajjan died on 15-12-1945,at the age of only 30 years. 2 films, Jadui putli-46 and tiger man-47 were released after her death. Kajjan acted in 40 films. She sang78 songs in 14 films.

During her lifetime she lived like a queen. She became a Legend. She acted and sang in almost 40 films in her small career. During the period 1931 to 1937 there was a ” Kajjan Mania ” in India. Her styles and fashions were copied by the elite ladies.

Credits and references- with thanks-
1.Stages of life: Indian Theatre Biographies-By Kathryn Hansen
2. Kamalp.blogspot.in
3.Dhunon ki yatra-Pankaj Raag
4.the big Indian picture.com
5.My own notes from diaries.


Song- Aaya saawan aa jaa sajan sooni sejariya (Prarthana)(1943) Singer- Jahanara Kajjan, Lyricist-Dr. Safdar Aah Sitapuri, MD- Saraswati devi

Lyrics

Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya

dheere dheere dol rahi mast hawaayen
dheere dheere dol rahi mast hawaayen
ped hilen galey milen
pushp lataayen
ped hilen galey milen
pushp lataayen
laagi najariya mohe laagi najariya
aa aa aa
laagi najariya mohe laagi najariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya

ban mein udhar pihu pihu mor chinghaade
ban mein udhar pihu pihu mor chinghaade
jiya mora naam tera le ke pukaare
jiya mora naam tera le ke pukaare
haay sanwariya
haay haay sanwariya
haay sanwariya
haay haay sanwariya
aay rahi chhaay rahi kaari badariya
kaari badariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya
Aaya sawan, aa jaa sajan, sooni sejariya


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 :

4751 Post No. : 16486 Movie Count :

4479

Today’s song is from the film Maharani Minal Devi-1946. This film was made by Lakshmi Productions, Bombay, owned by the Director Chimanlal Trivedi. This film was made on a remarkable historical personality from Gujarat.

Bombay film industry has made more than 12000 films so far, on various Genres, but it’s score on making films on Historical Indian personalities is very pathetic. While films on Mughal Kings, Queens and other personalities were made in all decades since the films started talking, not much focus was given on Indian historyHero and Heroines. Not that no films were made at all on them, but if you see its number, there can not be a justification for the large gap.

In the history of India, there were hundreds of such worthy sons and daughters who fought for the country, brought social reforms, did extraordinary work for the people and generally did things for which the country remembers them proudly. Actually,in every state of India, there are Heroes and Heroines who did a lot of good work for the people, in the past few hundred years. Sadly, Hindi films are very poor on this count.

However, I find that regional cinemas are way ahead of Hindi cinema in this matter. Particularly I would quote Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bangla films in the first list. The second list is of Marathi and Oriya films. Mind you, I am not talking about films on religious personalities and saints like Kabir, Tulsida etc. Even in this category, very few are the subject matter of Hindi films.

People like Rana Pratap, Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, Rabindranath Tagore, Dhondo Keshav Karve, Rani Chennamma etc etc deserved Hindi films. The entire focus was on Mughals and those who came from outside.The regional films at least did some justice by making films on their Heroes/heroines. Tamil and Bangla films are leaders in this. The strong Regional Pride was the causal factor essentially but honouring heroes is a matter of appreciation. Films on Babar, Humayun, Shahjehan, Bahadurshah Zafar and the likes of them are made in plenty, for obvious reasons, but how many films were made on Savarkar, Shivaji, Rana Pratap, Ashoka the great, Jhansi ki Rani etc ? Leave the older ones. Are there films on Indira Gandhi, Nehru, Gandhi ? A British person had to come here to make a film on Gandhi !

During the British rule – till 1947 – it was probably not possible, allowed or was risky, but since 1947 till date what was the problem ? I feel sad at this state of affairs in making films. Luckily, in the last few years, some enterprising filmmakers have dared to make films on Indian Heroes. I do hope that the situation will improve further and films on Indian heroes/Heroines (there are plenty of them) will be made.

Film maharani Minal devi-1946 is a film on a brave, intelligent, kind and Patriotic personality from Gujarat. I could not get any information on her, the story of the film or other details. Fortunately, I could find a site http://www.streeshakti.com, wherein I found a note on her. here it is to get an idea who she was and what she did….

“Minal Devi or Mayanalla, a famous queen of eleventh century Gujarat, is remembered as an able and just administrator. She was the daughter of Jayakeshin, a king of the Kadamba dynasty in Karnataka and was married to Karna I, a Chalukya king of Anahillapatanawada who met an early death, leaving his queen and young son Siddharaja Jayasimha. Minal Devi acted as regent for her son, who went on to become a legendary hero. An incident described in Rajashekhar Suri’s Prabandha Kosha testifies to the fact that she inspired him in many of his warlike exploits.
She also managed affairs of state, built several monuments and lakes and was responsible for the remission of the tax on pilgrims visiting the Somnath temple. Two lakes built in her period were Minalasar or Munsar near Viramgam and Malva at Dhavalakka or Dholka in Ahmedabad. According to legend, there was a house owned by a woman at the proposed site of the lake Malva, which needed to be demolished to give the lake a regular shape. The queen offered a big sum of money to the woman for her house, but she refused, saying, ‘I shall be famous with your lake,’ thus threatening to sacrifice her life if her house was touched. The queen did not coerce her, showing herself to be a just ruler. This event led to the Gujarati saying: ‘If you want to see justice, go to Dholka and have a look at Malva lake.’

Minal Devi is mentioned with high esteem in contemporary literature. A Sanskrit play entitled Mudritakumudachandra-prakarana depicts a learned dispute between the Digambaras and Svetambaras, the two major Jain sects. One topic in this dispute is whether a woman can achieve salvation. The Svetambaras here claim that women possessing sattwa (identity: an inner quality of goodness) could attain salvation and cite Sita from mythology and Minal Devi in the court of Siddharaja Jayasimha as examples.”

The film had 7 songs written by two lyricists, composed by Saraswati Devi-the music Director. The film was directed by Chimanlal Trivedi. The cast of the film was Prem Adeeb, Leela desai, Durga Khote, Jagdish bSethi, Agha, Sankatha prasad and many others. Director Chimanlal trivedi was a remarkable enterprising person.

Chimanlal Trivedi, was one of the major filmmakers of the 30s and the 40s decade. He was more a Producer businessman than a Director. While he directed hardly 7 films, he produced close to 50 films- all having A grade actors, directors and composers !

Born on 19-3-1909 at a village near Anand in Gujarat he was from a Brahmin family. He did his schooling in Ahmedabad and technical graduation from Baroda. Being an expert in weaving, he took up a job as a weaving Master in Calcutta. Fond of writing, he started writing Dramas, which were staged in Bengal and Gujarat. He was attracted towards Cinema and tried some work in New Theatres. Knowing that the real playing field is Bombay he reached there. He wrote stories for the film Chevrolet-36 and Danger Signal-37 for Mohan pictures.

He established his own production company CIRCO (Cine Industries Recording COmpany) in 1937. By 1943, he had made 12 films. He preferred not to direct his films, but appointed directors like Mohan Sinha for Laxmi-40, Anuradha-40 and Vanmala-41, Balwant Bhatt for Suhag-40 and Madhusudan-41, A R Kardar for Swami-41 and Nai Duniya-42 and Debki Bose for Apna Ghar-42.

He had the art of getting the most popular stars for his films like, Prithviraj kapoor, Chandramohan, Durga Khote,Mazhar khan, Bibbo,Surendra, Jairaj, Sitara, Jeevan, Yaqub, Shobhana Samarth, Prem Adeeb, Vishnupant Pagnis,Leela Desai, Pahadi Sanyal, Shanta Apte and many others. Even big directors like Debki Bose,Nitin Bose, Kardar,Mohan Sinha, Sarvottam Badami, Nandlal Jaswantlal,Profull Roy, Sudhir Sen, R S Chaudhary, Phani mujumdar, Balwant Bhatt etc. worked for him. From Prabhat he brought Shanta Apte for Rs.1000 pm, and also Chandramohan, Pagnis and Mazhar khan. His friend Chandulal Shah followed his way and brought K L Saigal from New Theatres !

C L Trivedi was an expert in gathering funds for his films. After CIRCO at Parel, he started Laxmi Productions at Andheri, in 1942. He made mera Gaon,Sharafat,Bhagya Laxmi,Kadambari,Tamanna,Inkaar,Mohabbat,Miss Devi etc. In 1951, it was Supreme Pictures, Trivedi Productions was in 1952, Kala Kendra in 1953 and with Chitra Bharati in 1954, he made 13 films upto 1961. Top Composers like Timir Baran,Ashok Ghosh,Rafiq Gaznavi,K C Dey,Saraswati Devi,Husnlal-Bhagatram and Naushad gave music to his films.

In the end, he turned to Stage and started Abhinay Bharati. He staged many dramas in Bombay and Gujarat. Chimanlal always went for big names. He had close relations with Nehru, Menon, Morarji Desai, and other National leaders. His wife Kantaben was a Leader herself. Chimanlal Trivedi died on 25-11-1973. His wife, 3 sons and a daughter settled in the USA.

It may be a coincidence, but Gujarati businessmen like Chimanlal Trivedi, Chimanlal Desai,Chimanlal Luhar, Chaturbhuj Doshi, Chimankant Desai, Chunibhai Desai and Chandulal Shah made sizable contribution to Hindi cinema in the first 20 years of the Talkie era. All names started with CH ( ? ) !

Today’s song is sung by Rajkumari dubey. With this song the film makes its Debut on this Blog.


Song- Ae maina madhubaina tu kehna sajan se (Maharani Minal Devi)(1946) Singer- Rajkumari Dubey, Lyricist- Not known, MD- Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Ae maina
madhubaina
tu kehna sajan se
sapnon mein aaye na
Ae maina
madhubaina
tu kehna sajan se
sapnon mein aaye na
chupke chupke
nindiya churaaye na
chupke chupke
nindiya churaaye na
sapnon mein aaye na

raat ko jab main sudh budh khowoon
nindiya ka main jhoola jhooloon
chanda ki kirnon mein chhupke
muskaata wo aaye
chanda ki kirnon mein chhupke
muskaata wo aaye
dheere dheere man mein samaaye
soye peer jagaaye
main man ki
main man ki us ko poochhoon
wo bhed na kuchh batlaayen
wo bhed na kuchh batlaayen
main pallaa uska pakdoon
main pallaa uska pakdoon
wo apna aap chhudaaye
wo apna aap chhudaaye
isi raar mein sapna toote
aankh meri khul jaaye ae ae
aankh meri khul jaaye

aankh khule to yaad mein unki
gaaun geet piya ke
gaaun geet piya ke
taaron ki aankhon mein chhupke
phir wo kare ishaare
phir wo kare ishaare

sun ree pyaari koyal kaali
sun ree pyaari koyal kaali
jaa ke sajan ko keh de aali ee ee ee
keh de aali
bhola sa man mera
bhola hai man
bhola sa man mera
bhola hai man
kisi ko tarsaaye na
sapnon mein aaye na
kisi ko tarsaaye na
sapnon mein aaye na


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 :

4503 Post No. : 16041

Today’s song is from an early era film- Jeewan Naiya-1936.

The film was produced by Bombay Talkies. This was their just the second full length Talkie film, since the company was started. How Bombay Talkies was conceived, established and became one of the India’s top film studios has been told several times- here and on the Internet. They were pioneers and pall bearers of making films on social evils of Indian society, led by their senior in this field – Prabhat Film Co., which was started a few years earlier.

Himanshu Rai the owner of BT (Bombay Talkies), was born in an illustrious Bengali family in 1892.After graduation, he was sent to England to practice Law. But once he landed in London, he became a participant in London’s Theatre scenes. Devika Rani- the grand niece of Rabindranath Tagore and daughter of Col. M N Chaudhary was born at Waltair (now Vishakhapatanam) in 1908. At the age of 16, she sailed for England on a scholarship from Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and also R.A. of Music-both at London. Rai was introduced to her at a party, He offered her a job of designing Costumes for his films. After 3 years, they got married.

They came back to India and in 1934, Bombay Talkies was established. In 1935, its first Talkie film ” Jawani ki Hawa “-35 was made with Devika Rani and the handsome Najmul Hasan, as the lead pair. During this film, they fell in love. The shooting of the next film started. The film was ” Jeewan Naiya-36′. About 40 % shooting was done and suddenly, the lead pair of Devika Rani and Najmul hasan eloped to Calcutta. BT was shattered. Shashadhar Mukherji rushed to Calcutta and met Devika Rani in Grand Hotel. he managed to convince her to return to Bombay. At this time, she is said to have made a partnership deal with Rai for BT as the price to return. They both came back….without Najmul Hasan !

Actually, Himanshu Rai was already married once to an Austrian girl. They had a son also. He was 16 years older than Devika Rani, but still he married her, considering the benefits his film company would have if a ‘ Home Heroine” was available. He was highly business minded and Devika Rani knew this. She understood that situation and wanted her price to come back to Himanshu Rai’s professional married life. Her shrewdness came out in open after Rai’s death in 1940 and when she handled BT affairs dictatorially.

As a replacement to hero Najmul Hasan, Ashok Kumar was selected. In his screen test the cinematographer Joseph Virsinghe approved him but director Franz Osten had objections. Despite that he was selected by Himanshu Rai. He also changed Kumudlal Ganguly’s name to only ASHOK KUMAR. 4 films – Jeevan Naiya, Achhoot kanya, Izzat and Janmabhoomi were planned for next one year, roughly one film every 3 months. The staff of Bombay Talkies was unhappy with Devika Rani after what she did to Himanshu Rai, but Shashadhar mukherji took a meeting and tried to convince the staff. This had a reverse effect. Devika Rani thought that he instigated the staff against her and their relations soured. This ultimately resulted in Shashadhar and few others leaving BT and starting Filmistan in 1942.

There is another story of the entry of Ashok kumar into the film……Najmul Hussian played the lead role opposite Devika Rani when shooting began. Rani developed a strong crush on her hero, and on a break during the shoot, she ran away with him. The producer Himansu Rai, was Rani’s husband, and he was up in arms at this situation. However, Rani returned to him soon after, but he was in no mood to work with Hussain again. As the film was already half done, this presented a problem. One of his colleagues suggested that he finish the film by casting his laboratory assistant, whose side profile matched that of Najmul Hussain’s, and use creative lighting and shadows for the rest of the scenes so that the audience is not aware of the ‘switch’. This idea clicked with Rai and he successfully completed the film with the new hero. That lucky lab assistant was Ashok Kumar, and thus began his acting career. (Thanks to IMDB)

This was the background of the film Jeewan Naiya-1936. The story was written by Niranjan pal. The story was

“Lata (Devika Rani), daughter of a dancing girl, is brought up by social worker Mathuradas (Prasad) and is engaged to marry the rich Ranjit (Ashok Kumar) when the villain Chand (S.N. Tripathi) arrives to blackmail her with her undisclosed ancestry. Lata is forced to disclose the truth to Ranjit and the assembled wedding guests. Ranjit disowns her but they are reunited when Ranjit, blinded by an explosion, is nursed back to health by a devoted woman who turns out to be his wife. ”
(Thanks to IMDB) .

The film’s dialogues were by J S Casshyap, production incharge was N R Acharya and the film was directed by a German-without knowing Hindi- Franz Osten.

Very few people know that Indian Cinema had a little known connection with the rise of Hitler in Germany in 1932-33. A group of men , engaged in Cinema in Germany, flocked to India in the 30’s and played a vital role in Indian Cinema and the arts of that time. After Hitler took over Germany in 1933, the German Cine Studio’s glory days were over and they were turned into Nazi Propaganda Machines !

It was at this time that several of its men ( mostly persecuted Jews) left the studio and some arrived in India, and contributed to Indian cinema’s formative years.

The foremost among them is Frantz Osten, a German whom Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani met at the UFA when they went to train there (they worked with Lang and Marlene Dietrich). Osten had already been directing films for the couple since 1925, when he made Light of Asia for them from Germany.

In 1934, he came to India and the next year, after Rai founded Bombay Talkies ‘ the legendary film studio in Malad that now lies in ruins,’ Osten directed its first film, ‘ Jawani ki Hawa’-1935.

He went on to direct the famous Devika Rani-Ashok Kumar starrer, Achhut Kanya, without much knowledge of Hindi. The film, which featured the song “Main ban ke chiriya”, was shot by Cinematographer Joseph Wirsching; the sets were designed by Karl von Spreti, the laboratory was headed by Zolle, and the sound recordist was Len Heartley. This was Osten’s team of UFA ex-members who worked for Rai’s state-of-the-art studio.

Osten and his fellow Germans directed 16 films for Rai. It was a remarkable feat for people who knew little Hindi, mistaking the word “bulbul” once, for a pair of bulls.

“It’s not clear if they had anything to do with the Nazi ideology, either way,” said film historian Amrit Gangar.

“If they did, it did not show in their films. But there were two other people who almost certainly migrated to India because of the persecution of Jews.”

Franz Osten(23-12-1876 to 2-12-1956) Hindi director, was born in Munich as Franz Ostermayer, the elder brother of successful producer Peter Ostermayer. They set up a travelling cinema, Original Physograph (1907) and founded Munchner Kunstfilm (1909) after Osten had been making shorts for Pathé, Gaumont and Eclair. Their first feature: Die Wahrheit (1910). Osten’s début as director: Erna Valeska (1911). War correspondent in 1915. Joined Peter’s company Emelka (later Bavaria Film) in 1918. Made Der Ochsenkrieg (1920) with young cameraman Frank Planer of later Hollywood fame, one of Osten’s several contributions to a budding genre that after WW2 became known as the Heimatfilm. In fact, the Ostermayr/Osten brothers claimed to be the originators of the genre.

When Himansu Rai and Emelka made a deal to produce Prem Sanyas aka Light of Asia, Osten was assigned to direct. Continued directing Rai’s productions, often shooting in India as well as in Europe, in addition to directing for numerous companies in Berlin. Moved with cameraman Josef Wirsching and set designer Karl von Spreti to India to work at Himansu Rai’s Bombay Talkies (1934).

While in Bombay, became a member of the Nazi Party (1936). He was interned by the British at the outbreak of WW2 while shooting his last film there, Kangan. Released and allowed to return to Germany (1940). Employed by Bavaria Film until 1945, for casting and setting up its film archive. In addition to Indian films, directed 33 silent features and 10 sound films.

After WW2 became manager of a Bavarian spa. His Indian films, following UFA tradition, were huge Orientalist spectacles with elephants, camels and expansive vistas often shot in deep focus. Effective authorship shared by producer Rai and scenarist Niranjan Pal. Adopted European conventions to introduce main actors, e.g. backlit mid-shots in soft focus gradually becoming more contrasted; also used mobile outdoor shots as in the railway-crossing sequence of Achhut Kanya. Strongly influenced younger Bombay Talkies film-makers Amiya Chakrabarty and Gyan Mukherjee, though they used his techniques for very different purposes.

Filmography-1925: Prem Sanyas, 1928: Shiraz, 1929: Prapancha Pash, 1935: Jawani Ki Hawa, 1936: Achhut Kanya, Janmabhoomi, Jeevan Naiya, Mamata, Miya Bibi, 1937: Izzat, Jeevan Prabhat, Prem Kahani, Savitri, 1938: Bhabhi, Nirmala, Vachan, 1939: Durga, Kangan, Navjeevan.

Who was Najmul Hasan and what happened to him later ? Najmul Hasan was born on 5-9-1910, into a noble family of Lucknow. He was tall and very handsome and was bitten by the urge to act in the films. He left his Law studies and headed for Bombay. He met Sarojini Naidu, who was a family friend. She recommended his name to Himanshu Rai Strongly. His Screen test was taken in which he passed. Though at first sight, Himanshu Rai was not impressed with his manner of behaviour, he still selected him for the First film of Bombay Talkies, opposite Devika Rani in Jawani ki Hawa-1935.

During Jawani ki Hawa-35- which was loosely based on Agatha Christie’s “Murder On The Orient Express”, published in 1934 only- Devika Rani fell in love with Najmul Hasan and they decided to elope. Their second film- Jeewan Naiyya-36 was on floor and the love birds flew to Calcutta. There was a great commotion in Bombay Talkies. Shashdhar Mukherji the production manager was close to his Bengali Boss Himanshu Roy. Mukherjee traced the couple to Calcutta, met Devika Rani and convinced her to return to Himanshu. Devika Rani returned, Himanshu Roy pardoned her, but not Najmul Hasan.

Najmul Hasan did not come back to Bombay. He joined New Theatres in Calcutta and did films like Anath Ashram-37,Dushman-38,Kapal kundala-39,Jawani ki Reet-39 and Nartaki-40. Even in Calcutta, Najmul Hassan had a rocking affair with superstar Jahan Ara Kajjan. After doing film Meenakshi-42, Najmul Hasan decided to migrate to Pakistan in 1947. In Pakistan he did some films like Eid-1951, Ashiyana, Doctor, Mirza Jatt, Taxi Driver and Heer Ranjha etc.

Najmul Hasan, a very bitter man for the treatment he received in Pakistan, died in 1980 in Pakistan.

Today’s song is sung by Chandraprabha. With this song she makes her debut on this Blog as a singer. This is a typical song of the 30’s, fully impacted with Parsi Theatre music.

(information for this post has been taken from thebigindianpicture.com, Bombay Talkies-an article by Ambarish Mishra, indiancine.ma and my notes. Thanks to all.)


Song-Re mann kaahe soch kare (Jeewan Naiyya)(1936) Singer- Chandraprabha, Lyricist- J S Casshyap, MD- Saraswati Devi

Lyrics

Re mann kaahe soch kare ae
Re mann kaahe soch kare ae
ye jeewan hai
hansne ke jiye
ye jeewan hai
hansne ke jiye
re man kaahe
soch kare
hari shyam ghata
ke aanchal se
?? mukhda
?? hai
??
?? ghadiyaan
dil se gham ko
?? jaati hai
dukh jaata hai
sukh aata hai
kat’te hain din hanste hanste
re man kaahe soch kare ae
re man kaahe
re man kaahe soch kare ae
ye jeewan hai hanse ke liye
re man kaahe
re man kaahe
re man kaahe


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 :

4376 Post No. : 15718

Today’s song is from the film Amrapali-1945. The film was made by Murlitone. This historical film was directed by Nandlal Jaswantlal. The music was composed by Saraswati devi, who had left Bombay Talkies, after the exit of Devika Rani. The 11 songs of the film were written by Miss Kamal, B.A.. Most readers who are knowledgeable about the vintage films of the 40’s know that Miss Kamal, B.A. was a pseudonym of Kavi Pradeep. At that time, he was under contract with Bombay Talkies and could not use his real name . Under this Pen name, he wrote lyrics for four films, namely Kadambari-44, Amrapali-45, Sati Toral-47 and Veerangana-47. Incidentally, all these films were directed by Nandlal Jaswantlal.

Nandlal was born on 15-3-1907 at Bardoli in Surat. His father was Admin. Officer in Kohinoor films. He started his career by joining it in 1924. He assisted Chandulal Shah(1926-29) and also directed silent and Talkie films for Ranjit from 1929 to 1933. Nandlal left the job and went to Europe on tour. On his return he joined the Imperial company(34-36) and directed some remakes of silent films of Sulochana into Talkie films. For one year-1937- he went to Madras and ran a Laboratory also.

His first Talkie film as a Director was Pardesi preetam-33 and last was Akeli mat jaiyo-63. Both were Ranjit films. Due to his death in 1961, Akeli mat Jaiyo was delayed and completed by Chandulal Shah himself. Best known for his later Filmistan musicals: Anarkali (with Bina Rai and music by C. Ramchandra) and Nagin (with Vyjayanthimala), one of the biggest post-Independence musical hits. Admired for his sophisticated lighting (with cameraman Pandurang Naik). Used extreme close-ups and unusual angles creating disjointed but dramatic and sensual spaces (e.g. the beginning of Anarkali). Last film Akeli Mat Jaiyo was completed by Chandulal Shah. Apparently filmed many of the famous song sequences of M. Sadiq’s musical Taj Mahal (1963).

FILMOGRAPHY: 1929: Jawani Diwani; Pardesi Saiyan; 1930: Pahadi Kanya; 1931: Premi Jogan; Ghunghatwali (all St); 1933: Pardesi Preetam; 1934: Indira MA; Kashmeera; 1935: Pujarini; 1936: Bambai Ki Billi; Jungle Queen; 1939: Jeevan Saathi; 1941: Kamadhenu; 1943: Pratigya; 1944: Kadambari; 1945: Amrapali; 1945: Sati Toral; Veerangana; 1951: Sanam; 1953: Anarkali; 1954: Nagin; 1956: Taj; 1957: Champakali; 1963: Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963). (Thanks to Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema.)

In film Amrapali-45, the film story was by Ramchandra Thakur. Actually, this was based on Thakur’s own famous novel Amrapali. The dialogues were by Munshi Dil. The film, made under the banner of Murli Cinetone, was shot entirely in the Andheri studios of Lakshmi productions. The story of Amrapali is a real story, which took place in the times of Gautam Buddha. Although the original novel of Tamchandra Thakur depicted the reality in his book very nicely, the film story was twisted and under the guise of taking ‘ Cinematic liberty’, the main events of the story were drastically changed, twisting the history. Comparatively, the film ‘Amrapali’ made later in 1966 was much better. At least it did not change the original story. Amrapali or Ambapalika’s story is mentioned in old Pali language Texts and Buddhist literature.

The cast of the film was Prem Adib, Sabita Devi,Jeevan, Arun Ahuja, Jagdish Sethi, Badri Prasad, Sankatha Prasad, Gulab etc.etc. This film was special for its Heroine, because it was her last film as an actress. In the silent era, many Anglo Indian, Jew and European girls acted in films. They were preferred too, for their free uninhibited acting. Kissing and hugging was no problem for them. However, when the Talkie films arrived, most of these girls had to leave films, because they could not speak Hindi or sing a song. Only some few dedicated actresses from the lot like Sulochana (Ruby Meyers), Sabita Devi (Irina Gasper) etc, continued in films, because they learnt Hindi and singing, with great efforts.

The real name of Sabita Devi was IRINA GASPER. She was an Anglo-Indian,born in an affluent family of Calcutta, in 1914.

After completing education she wanted to join films, but her family objected. Without the family’s knowledge, she sent her resume and Photo to British Dominion Film Co., owned by Dhiren Ganguly in Calcutta. When they informed their consent the family resisted and kept her locked in the house. She fell ill and finally, the family conceded to her wish.

Her first Silent film was Flames of Flesh-1930. Then came Kanthahaar, A touch of Love, After the death, Aparadhi, Money makes what not and Bhagyalaxmi as silent films.

When the talkie came, she determinedly learnt Hindustani and Urdu and also Music.
Her first Talkie film was Radhakrishna-33, in which she sang 16 out of 23 songs in the film, but no records were made. Next was Ek din ka Badshah-33. She shifted to Bombay for better opportunities. In 1934,came Shahar ka Jaadu,with Motilal as a debut actor and this film was a Hit. Later she and Motilal became a popular pair.

She did many films. Her some films were-
300 days and after, Apki marzi, kokila, Kulvadhu, Amrapali, Ladies only, Chandragupta, Chingari, Dr.madhurika, grihalaxmi, holiday in bombay, Jeevan Lata, King for a day, Lagna bandhan, Manmaani, , Phantom Of the hills, Silver king, vengeance is mine, Village Girl etc etc. In all, she acted in 23 Talkie films and sang 15 recorded songs in 7 films.

She was a good Piano and Harmonium player. In later days in 1943 onwards, she stopped singing herself. Her last picture was Amrapali-45.

In 1946, she got married and left for England. She came back again only to die in Calcutta in 1965.

The story of Amrapali or Ambalika as per history and the Pali literature is.. Amrapali was a Nagarvadhu (Public Courtesan) in the kingdom of Vaishali (present day Bihar), and the king of the neighbouring Magadha kingdom fell in her love. To get her, he attacks Vaishali and wins. However, before he approaches Amrapali, she has transformed into an Arihant (a female Monk), after her encounter with Gautam Buddha.

This simple story was twisted and many side plots were added to it, thereby making the filma drab one, without evoking any excitement. Sabita devi in her 30’s and Prem Adib’s growing in size, after his own marriage and huge success of film Ram Rajya in 1943, were not suitable anymore for Romantic roles. All in all, the film was not a successful one. According to Baburao Patel’s review of the film,the technical aspects of the film were excellent. These are, in any way, not of any cognisance by the audience. The film was released on 2-11-1945 at Roxy theatre, Bombay.

Today’s song is a very good Marching song. This must be at the time of motivating Vaishali’s people when Magadh sena attacked them. It reminded me of the Marching song ‘ Zindagi hai pyar se’ from the film Sikandar-1941. This is the third song Aamrapali (1945) to appear on this Blog.


Song-Aaj apne ghar mein lagi aag re (Aamrpaali)(1945) Singer-Ameerbai Karnataki, Lyrics-Kavi Pradeep, MD-Saraswati Devi
Chorus

Lyrics

Aaj apne ghar mein lagi aag re
aag re
naujawaan jaag re
jaag re
jaag re
Aaj apne ghar mein lagi aag re

apne desh ka wo jal raha hai baag re
apne desh ka wo jal raha hai baag re
apni maata ka
apni dharti ka lut raha suhaag re
naujawaan jaag re
Aaj apne ghar mein lagi aag re
aag re
naujawan jaag re
jaag re

jaag re
jaag re
jaag re

?? jo aag chaaron oar
??
takraane do
takraane do
maidaan mein talwaar se talwaar

hey karmveer jaago
hey shoorveer jaago
ranbheri baj rahi hai
praanon ka moh tyaago
aazaadi ke matwaalon
shamsheer ab uthhaalo
aazaadi ke matwaalon
shamsheer ab uthhaalo
apni izzat pe lag na jaaye daag re
naujawaan jaag re
Aaj apne ghar mein lagi aag re
aag re
naujawan jaag re
naujawaanjaag re
naujawaan jaag re

(jaag re
jaag re
jaag re)

hey ae ae
kisi ke aage jhukna mat
jhukna mat
jhukna mat
kadam badhaa ke rukna mat
rukna mat
rukna mat

o naujawaan
naujawaan
desh maangta hai aaj tera balidaan
o naujawaan
desh maangta hai aaj tera balidaan
tera balidaan
tu khud ko mita de
sarwasw lutaa de
aaj dushman se khul ke khel phaag re
naujawaan jaag re

aaj apne ghar mein lagi aag re
aaj apne ghar mein lagi aag re
aag re
naujawaan jaag re
aag re
naujawaan jaag re

aaj apne ghar mein lagai aag re
aaj apne ghar mein lagai aag re
aag re
naujawaan jaag re
aag re
naujawaan jaag re


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 FOURTEEN years. This blog has over 17400 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 5000 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

Important Announcement

(© 2008 - 2023) atulsongaday.me The content of this site is copyrighted and it may not be reproduced elsewhere without prior consent from the site/ author of the content.

Total number of songs posts discussed

17401

Number of movies covered in the blog

Movies with all their songs covered =1341
Total Number of movies covered=4685

Total visits so far

  • 15,647,095 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,970 other subscribers

Bookmark

Bookmark and Share

Category of songs

Current Visitors

Historical dates

Blog Start date: 19 july 2008

Active for more than 5000 days.

Archives

Stumble

visitors whereabouts

blogadda

blogcatalog

Music Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
%d bloggers like this: