My Journey through Films and Film Songs 10

Continued from Previous Page

Film Music of 1952

Naushad dominated the film music scene with Aan, Baiju Bawra and Diwana, with most of the songs of the first two films being hits. Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi were firmly established as Naushad's most preferred playback singers. Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj and O Duniya Ke Rakhwale from Baiju Bawra became smash hits. From Diwana, Teer khate jayenge by Lata Mangeshkar and Tasveer banata hoon teri by Mohammed Rafi became hits. In the Filmfare Awards there was a prize for best song of the year chosen by popular vote. Tu ganga ki mauj won the award. An expert panel would have possibly found Mohe bhool gaye sanwariya as well as Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj and O duniya ke rakhwale from Baiju Bawra and Aaj mere man men sakhi from Aan more deserving of the award. In the two songs from Baiju Bawra, Mohammed Rafi showcased his knowledge of classical music and his remarkable voice range. Among playback singers in Hindi films, only Manna Dey, and in later years, Mahendra Kapoor could match it. Reminiscing about Mohammed Rafi in a TV interview, Lata Mangeshkar recalled that Mohammed Rafi’s power and glory were in full force in Baiju Bawra. She also revealed that her brother, fifteen years old Hridaynath Mangeshkar, who was close to Mohammed Rafi, was invited by Naushad to sing the duet Sacho tero naam with Rafi, in which Hridaynath lent his voice to the young Baiju.

Shakeel Badayuni wrote the lyrics for all the three films. Wikipedia mentions that he had to forgo Urdu, and write lyrics in pure Hindi for Baiju Bawra. Not quite. In Insan bano that Baiju sings addressing the dacoit queen, played by Kuldip Kaur, and her men, Shakeel freely uses words like gham, shabnam, maatham and zulm. In O Duniya ke rakhwale use of the Urdu word nale to rhyme with rakhwale bemused us. For Nagpurians like my friend Mahesh and I, with our limited Urdu vocabulary, Nale meant drains, exemplified by the stinking, pig ridden, Nag nala known as the sorrow of Nagpur. It took us a while to realise that the reference was to the lamentations of a heartbroken lover. Vijay Bhatt was apprehensive about Urdu poet Shakeel Badayuni’s ability to reorient his talents to the bhajan mode of Baiju Bawra, despite the fact that Shakeel, like Naushad, was from Uttar Pradesh, known for its confluence of cultures. According to Raju Bharatan, Shakeel wrote so disarmingly, in Hindi, that Vijay Bhatt had to salute that sensitive poet. However, at times, Shakeel appears to be struggling to find words to suit the mood, the meter and rhyme, coming up with lyrics that look more like aberrations than poetic licence. In Jhoole mein pavan ke, he writes,

koyal kookti jaye
ban me mor bhi gaye.

The hoarse call of the peacock is hardly the stuff of romance!

Similarly in man tadapath hari darshan Ko aaj, he says

suno more vyakul
man ka baaz.

The baaz (eagle) is a symbol of keen sight and speed not vyakulata (agitation).

In O Duniya ke rakhwale he starts a stanza loftily with

chand ko dhoonde pagal suraj,

but brings the listener rudely down to earth with a thud with

bhagwan bhala ho tera.

Returning to the refrain in the same stanza, the phrase

paon mein pad gaye chhale


kismet phooti
aas na tooti

appears pedestrian (pun intended). Compare this with the endings of other stanzas in the same song,

lut gayi mere pyaar ki nagari,
ab to neer bahaa le
jiivan apanaa vaapas le le
jiivan dene vaale,
mandir girataa phir ban jaataa
dil ko kaun sambhaale

Nevertheless, the lyrics suited the songs and aided their popularity.

Shin Shinaaki Boobla Boo was the first and last film produced by Pyare Lal Santoshi, lyricist, writer, director, and producer who had, in combination with Rehana as heroine and C Ramchnadra as music director, given hit films like Shehnai (1947), Khidki (1948) and Sargam (1950). P L Santoshi, who started as a song writer in 1936, wrote the dialogues and lyrics for hit films of Bombay Talkies like Jhoola (1941), Basant (1942) and Kismet (1943). The resounding success of Shehnai and Sargam prompted him to produce Shin Shinaki Boobla Boo. >It was the first film to be banned by the Central Government because of its low moral tone, even when it was certified for unrestricted public viewing by the censor board of India. It was accused of glorifying criminal characters, and irreverence to sacred objects, which are inimical to public decency and morality. The ban was lifted through the intervention of the court, but the film failed miserably at the box office. C Ramchandra experimented with jazz and Latin American rhythms for Shin Shinaki Boobla Boo, the title song of the film but in tum kya jano tumhari yad mein, he created what he considered the finest thumri he ever composed for Lata. C Ramchandra’s tunes in the other films were not so popular except for one song from Saqi, a duet by Talat Mehmood and Lata Mangeshkar Kise maloom tha ek din.

Most of the songs of Shankar-Jaikishan's two films Daag and Poonam boomed over loudspeakers everywhere and were played on the radio in listeners’ requests. Talat Mehmood’s Ae mere dil kahin aur chal remains our all-time favourite.

The compositions of SD Burman for Jaal were distinguished by the quality of their lyrics penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. Ye raat ye chandni phir kahan, beautifully rendered by Hemant Kumar and Gita Roy was a megahit. Sahir’s choice of words in this song, like sun ja dil ki dastan, khul ne de ab dhadkanon ki zabaan etc. amazed us. Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, himself an accomplished lyricist said in an interview that for the given tune most lyricists would have written Aaja aaja baalma instead of the more poetic expression sun ja dil ki dastan chosen by Sahir. Hemant Kumar’s melodious voice lent the song an exquisite sweetness. With this song, Hemant made a mark as a playback singer in Hindi films. Pighla hai sona door gagan par had such beautiful lyrics that it found a place in a Hindi textbook in Kendriya Vidyalaya.

Pighla hai sona dur gagan par
Fail rahe hai shaam ke saaye

Bhagavan teri sundar rachna kitani pyaari hai
Teri mahimaa ke gun gaata har nar naari hai

Khaamoshi kuchh bol rahi hai
Bhed anokhe khol rahi hai
Pankh pakheru soch me gum hain

Ped khade hain sir jhukaae, Pighla hai sona

Dhundale dhundale mast nazaare
Udate baadal mudate dhaare
Chhup ke nazar se jaane ye kis ne
Hasarati ye khel rachaye, Pighla hai sona

Koi bhi uthataa raaz na jaane
Ek haqiqat laakh fasaane
Ek hi jalavaa shaam savere
Bhes badal kar saamane aaye, Pighla hai sona

Surprisingly, Burman’s other film Lal Kunwar, starring Suraiya, did not have anything to match the songs of Jaal, despite Sahir’s lyrics.

Roshan with four films, Anhonee, Nau Bahar, Raag Rang and Sanskar was quite successful and composed some memorable tunes. Anhonee had another of Talat Mehmood’s evergreen melodies in Main dil hoon ek arman bhara. It also has a delightful duet in which Raj Kapoor and Nargis sing a song Mere Dil Ki Dhadkan Kya Bole< over telephones, a first in Hindi films.<

Roshan showcased some beautiful tunes in Naubahar. The tour de force was a Mira bhajan Ae ree main to prem diwani, sung by Lata Mangeshkar that took the country by storm. The song had additional verses by lyricist Satyendra Athaiya, husband of Bhanu Athaiya who won an Academy Award for Costume Design for Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1983). My favourite is Dekhoji mora jiya churaye liyo jay filmed on beautiful Nalini Jaywant looking her best.<

From Raag Rang, Kaheen dil lagaane ka saamaan kar le sung by Rajkumari, Yehi Bahar Hai Duniya by Lata Mangeshkar and Mat chhed zindagi ke khamosh taar so ja, a duet by Talat Mehmood and Lata Mangeshkar became popular. Ae ree aali piya bin drew applause from critics and masses. In Sanskar, we liked Talat Mehmood’s ghazal Muhabbat ke jhoote baharon ne loota. Hridaynath Mangeshkar rendered his second song, Badlegi ye duniya in this film.

Among veteran music directors, Anil Biswas composed music for Do Raha, Husanlal Bhagat Ram for Kafila, Ghulam Mohammed for Ajeeb Ladki and Amber, and Hansraj Behl for Apni izzat and Jaggu, Parbat, Moti Mahal, and Resham. I mentioned the controversy around Mohabbat tark ki maine from Doraha being Sahir Ludhianvi’s first song for films in the fourth article in this series. In Kafila, apart from woh meri taraf yun mentioned by me earlier, there was lehron se poochh lo, a lilting duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. In Apni izzat, Hansraj Behl introduced a new female playback singer in Madhubala Zaveri. Dil mera tera deewana, her duet with Talat Mehmood became a hit. She had another hit with Yaralil yaralilla from Jaggu. Madhubala Zaveri had a short career in films, during which she sang a few popular duets. Hansraj Behl had another hit in Parbat, Hothon pe Tarane aa gaye, a duet by Talat Mehmood and Lata Mangeshkar. Other popular tunes of Hansraj Behl were, Jayega jab jahan se duet by Mohammed Rafi & Madhubala Zaveri and a Suraiya solo Jab teri meri in Moti Mahal.

Madan Mohan created some very popular tunes for Ashiana and in Khubsurat, but his tunes for Anjaam, Vyjayantimala’s first film from Mumbai, were comparatively inane. I could never have enough of his songs in Ashiana, Mera qarar leja and the unforgettable Main pagal mera manuva pagal, but in the midst of mournful numbers, there was a light Lata Mangeshkar number Main na janoon that we enjoyed.

Anil Biswas believed that Sajjad Hussain, music director of Sangdil belonged to a class of his own. A gifted musician, he could play sixteen instruments, specialising in the mandolin. His compositions often contained difficult passages with which singers had to struggle. And he had a mercurial temper that did not spare anyone, be it Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mehmood or Dilip Kumar. My favourite song from Sangdil was Ye hawa ye raat ye chandni but the flow of the duet Dharti se door gore badalon ke paar sung by Asha Bhonsle and Geeta Roy is irresistible.

Two greats of Hindustani classical music composed music for two Hindi films in 1952. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan for Aandhiyan and Allah Rakha, the tabla player who accompanied Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and father of Ustad Zakir Hussain, for Bewafa using his full name of AR Qureishi. Bewafa had some memorable Talat Mehmood numbers, Dil matwala lakh samhala and Tumko phursat ho among them. Aandhiyan, on the other hand, had no comparable hits.

SK Pal, music director of Bombay Talkies film Maa had been around for some time, having scored music for films like, Prithviraj Samyukta (1946), Meerabai (1947) and Bhishma Pratigya (1950). In Maa there was a delightful Geeta Roy number Main na bolun na bolungi. There was also a comedy group song jiyo jiyo mere lal that became a favourite of my younger siblings.

S Mohinder was the music director for Filmistan’s film Shrimatiji starring Shyama in a leading role opposite Dilip Kumar’s brother Nasir Khan. Mohinder, whose full name was Bakshi Mohinder Singh Sarna was well trained in classical music, specialising in Sikh religious music. In 1969 he won the National Award for his music in Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai. Shyama, who was first seen as the young dholak player in the qawwali sequence of Aahen na bhari shikwe na kiye from Zeenat (1945), along with Rehana, Shashikala and others, had remained confined to side roles so far. With Shrimatiji, she attained the status of a heroine. Two of S Mohinder’s tunes, Do naina tumhare pyare pyare a duet by Hemant Kumar and Geeta Roy and Nain milalo another duet by Shamshad Begum and Kishore Kumar, gained popularity.

Readers would have noticed that in this narration of film songs the name of Mukesh is missing. In 1952, he sang only for one film, Sheesham in which he sang two songs, Ek jhooti si Kasam and Satayega kise tu aasmanwale which were moderately popular. This was mainly because he had decided to be an actor. Even for Raj Kapoor, who was known to prefer Mukesh as his singing voice, Talat Mehmood sang in Anhonee and Ashiana, and Mohammad Rafi in Amber.

Talat Mehmood became the most sought-after male playback singer, for heroes, producers, and music directors, except for Naushad. Talat sang some of the best songs of his career in 1952. At the same time, we heard many of Talat Mehmood’s non-film geets and ghazals that left us spellbound. My brother AVR Murty and I became his ardent fans.

Mohammed Rafi sang for Naushad (Aan, Baiju Bawra, Diwana), Ghulam Mohammed (Amber) and several other music directors but Shanker-Jaikishen, Roshan and Madan Mohan preferred Talat Mehmood while SD Burman chose Hemant Kumar. Kishore was still the fun singer no one took seriously, but had the satisfaction of singing several popular duets, including De bhi chuke hum with Geeta Roy in Jaal. Lata Mangeshkar was now the prima donna of playback singing followed by Shamshad Begum, Gita Roy, Raj Kumari and Asha Bhonsle.

In 1952, the Government of India banned the broadcasting of film music on All India Radio. More about that and subsequent developments in my next.

To be Continued


More by :  Ramarao Annavarapu

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Views: 428      Comments: 1

Comment Excellent work as always.i salute you.

19-Nov-2023 03:47 AM

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