Anil Biswas’s songs for Bombay Saigal: Surendra

November 11, 2014

A tribute to Surendra on his 104th birth anniversary as a part of Anil Biswas’s Centenary Year series

Surendra and Anil BiswasI have mentioned a few times that because of contractual difficulties inherent in the Studio Era, Anil Biswas could not compose for KL Saigal, even though their careers overlapped for over a decade, half of which was in Bombay itself where Saigal shifted from Calcutta in the early 40s. But, when Saigal was becoming a national sensation with the New Theatres in Calcutta, especially after Devdas (1935), Bombay was looking for its own Saigal, and its prayers were soon answered in Surendra – a tall, handsome young man, with a melodious voice, from Lahore.

Born on November 11, 1910 in Batala (Punjab), Surendra, BA, LLB (it was quite common those days to write such degrees with one’s name) was preparing for a career as a lawyer, but he had become quite popular as a singer in private gatherings. He soon came to the notice of the talent hunters from Bombay, and it didn’t take much persuasion from his friends to make him shift from Lahore to Bombay to try his luck in the film world.

In Bombay, he was lucky to get a break with one of the most respected production houses, Sagar Movietone, in Deccan Queen (1936). As a sign of seriousness of Bombay’s Saigal Project, one of the songs Surendra got to sing in the movie, composed by Pransukh Naik, was Biraha ki aag lagi more man mein, which was an exact replica of Baalam aye baso more man mein. In the same year, Surendra got to play a Devdas-type role of a failed and doomed lover in Manmohan, opposite Bibbo, who was one of the most popular actor-singers of the era. Their duet Tumhi ne mujhako prem sikhaya became a national sensation. The film’s music director was Ashok Ghosh, but this song is widely acknowledged as composed by Anil Biswas, who was assisting him.

With this started Surendra’s long association with Anil Biswas. He soon developed his own identity and singing style, distinct from Saigal, and Anil Biswas had a big role in his growth. The legendary filmmaker Mehboob Khan was then a part of the Sagar Movietone (and its successor National Studios) team. Mehboob Khan-Anil Biswas-Surendra created some of the greatest movies and music of our history. When Mehboob Khan moved out to set up his own company, Surendra got to play memorable roles as actor-singer in his Anmol Ghadi (1946), Elaan (1947) and Anokhi Ada (1948), but now under Naushad.

That was the time when the era of actor-singers was coming to an end. With playback singers taking over, Surendra’s singing dwindled drastically in the 1950s, with his last song being in Gawaiya (1954). But his acting career continued as character-actor in some very prominent movies. A unique highlight of this phase of his career was his roles as Tansen in two iconic movies – Baiju Baawra (1952) and Mughal-e-Azam (1960) – in which two of the greatest doyens of classical music, Pt. DV Paluskar and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan respectively, sang playback for him. He passed away on 11/12 September 1987.

Surendra acted in 68 movies, his last movie being Khuda Kasam (1981). He sang over 230 songs, of which about 46 were for Anil Biswas – I believe, his most for a composer. For Anil Biswas too, this represents the most songs by a male singer, barring probably himself, who sang a couple of songs more than Surendra. This composer-singer duo were the most important for each other at the peak of their career. As part of the Centenary Year celebrations of the Bhishm Pitamah of music, I present his best songs for Surendra as a tribute to the great actor-singer on his 104th birth anniversary.

About half of his songs were duets, and some of the duets brought him stupendous popularity. One such duet, a waltz-style composition, said to be the first in Hindi films – Hum aur tum aur ye khushi (with Waheedan Bai) from Alibaba (1940) – has been used in the Inaugural post by Shikha Biswas Vohra. This tribute would also include some duets.

1. Tumhi ne mujhko prem sikhaya (with Bibbo) from Manmohan (1936), lyrics Zia Sarhadi, music Anil Biswas (?)

The music of Manmohan was credited to Ashok Ghosh. But the book “Sagar Movietone”, written and compiled by Biren Kothari mentions (p. 232), “It was Anil Biswas who put his magic in the tune, and the rest is history”. Therefore, I am accepting it as Anil Biswas creation. This must be the first song of this combo, and what magic they create! The book mentions that when Bibbo asks at one point in the song, Kya mai andar aa sakati hun, the audience went crazy.


2. Kyon rovat hai nit moorakh man from Mahageet (1937), lyrics Zia Sarhadi

As Arunji mentioned in his comment on the Inaugural post, Mahageet has an important place in Hindi film history – this was the first time playback was used in Bombay (it has been first used by New Theatres, Calcutta in 1935 in Dhoop Chhaon and its Bengali version Bhagya Chakra). The mukhada has a distinct Jaunpuri flavor (experts to confirm) – one of the sweetest Ragas.


3. Agar deni thi humko hoor-o-jannat to yahan dete from Jagirdar (1937), lyrics Zia Sarhadi

1937 was a big year for Anil Biswas when he was associated with seven films. Jagirdar became a superhit of its time, backed by some superlative music in which he used a number of singers, besides a song by himself. Nadi kinare baith ke aao by Motilal and Maya Banerjee is the most well known, which I have used in my songs on river earlier. Surendra had two solos and a duet (with Bibbo). I find the duet Pujari more mandir mein aao the most melodious, but it is dominated by Bibbo; therefore, let me put it in her account, hoping I may use it on some other occasion. Here is one of the solos, in ghazal style. I don’t know if I am seeing too much into it, but I find a very interesting thing happening here. Surendra, who had started just a year ago, consciously as a Saigal clone, now sounds as if he is struggling to come out of that influence and trying to sing in a different style. Shall we call it a transition point in Surendra breaking free from Saigal, under Anil Biswas’s guidance?


4. Kaahe akela dolat badal from Gramophone Singer (1938), lyrics Zia Sarhadi

The next landmark of Surendra’s career is Gramophone Singer, which had at least his five solos and two duets (with Bibbo). Kaahe akela dolat baadal is an amazing composition by Anil Biswas. We have earlier discussed two-in-one songs, where one song is followed seamlessly by another. Here the first part is in slow tempo, which is followed by another, Ek chhota sa mandir banayenge, in a different tune and faster tempo. Was this the first two-in-one song in films?


5. Madhur milan ka chitra banayein by Surendra (with Maya Banerjee) from Comrades (1939), lyrics (?)

Sagar Movietone-Surendra-Anil Biswas combination continues to roll with some of the sweetest songs. The film has a Surendra solo too, but I find this duet the best that is available from the film.


6. Duet with Waheedan Bai from Alibaba (Punjabi, 1940)

This traditional Panjabi folk tune in Pahadi we have heard in many films. We have discussed at least three earlier, all in Rafi’s voice, one of which is composed by Anil Biswas himself – Kah ke bhi na aaye tum (Safar, 1946, C Ramchandra), Le ja uski duaayein ho (Heer, 1956, Anil Biswas) and Dil le ke daga denge wo (Naya Daur, 1957, OP Nayyar). We have the same tune, now in Punjabi, by the great singer from the vintage era, from Alibaba (Punjabi version). I don’t know if it was a remake, adaptation or dubbed from the Hindi version, but the two versions seem to have songs in different tunes, though the actor-singers were the same. We have heard the first waltz style song in films from the Hindi version – Hum aur tum aur ye khushi. In this Heer song (the first in films?), the maestro creates an absolutely magical effect. I seek help from our Punjabi friends to help us with the words, meaning and socio-cultural history of this tune.


7. Uth sajni khol kiwaade tere saajan aye duaare (with Jyoti) from Aurat (1940), lyrics Dr Safdar ‘Aah’

Aurat is the film which was remade by Mehboob Khan as Mother India seventeen year later. The iconic status of the latter film is well known. The original film is spoken of equally highly, in which Surendra played the role of the nice elder son (played by Rajendra Kumar in the remake). Most of its songs are now available with good quality video – two songs sung by Anil Biswas I have used earlier in the post on him as singerJamuna tat Shyam khele holi and More angana mein laga ambua ka ped. Aurat is a musical landmark too, and many people seriously say that the original was superior as a film and as a musical score. There is no way to compare two geniuses, Anil Biswas and Naushad, from different eras. As music lovers, let us enjoy this delightful duet sung by Surendra and Jyoti.


8. Mujhko jeene ka bahana mil gaya from Gareeb (1942), lyrics Dr Safdar Aah’

In this ghazal, Surendra has fully evolved his own distinct style.


9. Nazaare huye hain ishaare huye hain from Jawani (1942), lyrics Wajahat Mirza

This is now a delightful song, with fast harmonium interludes. I can imagine Anil Biswas fans of SoY going into delirious joy with this song.


10. Mera chand aa gaya mere dware from Manjhdhaar (1947), lyrics Shams Lakhanavi

This seems to be the last song of Surendra-Anil Biswas combination. Many changes were taking place in the film music scene at the same time. By now, Anil Biswas had a new favourite in Mukesh. Naushad was the new star on the scene, with whom Surendra already had the superhit, Anmol Ghadi, a year earlier, and he would continue his association with him for the next two years, with equally great music in Elaan (1947) and Anokhi Ada (1948). And most importantly, the era of actors-singers was coming to an end, with independent playback singers coming to the fore. However, Surendra-Anil Biswas combination gave many memorable songs in over a decade of their association. I end this tribute with their swan song, which has a bonus duet version with Khursheed. As the readers are aware, 2014 happens to be the Birth Centenary of Khursheed too. This unique duet, involving two great Centenarians of our music history, has earlier been included in my last post on Khursheed.


1.  Swaron Ki Yatra: by Anil Bhargava.
2.  Sagar Movietone: written and compiled by Biren Kothari; translated by Parth Pandya.
3.  Shri Arunkumar Deshmukh for clarification of inconsistencies in the above two sources.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ksbhatia November 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm

AK ‘ji , Thanks for the great post on one of my fav singer. I never knew that he started his career so early . It was the Naushad’s Anmol ghadi songs which made me his fan …… ” Kyun yaad aa rahen hain guzre hua zamane ” and ” Kyun uneh dil diya hai yeh kya kiya “. Now that beautiful listing is before me I am slowly switching over to listen to them . AK’ji many many thanks for this wonderful post.

2 AK November 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

KS Bhtiaji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Naushad had this knack of creating such an impact that I realised much later that there was a wonderful Surendra predating him by several years.

3 Arunkumar Deshmukh November 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm

AK ji,

I always wonder how innovative you can be in presenting novel subjects on your Blog !
Surendra was,in my opinion, a very lucky person,besides being very talented. He came from a respectable family,he was highly educated,he was very handsome,he was talented,he became famous all over India and he was very wise in planning his finances and family. He was from an era when many many artistes spent their last days in penury and anonimity,but Surendra was different. He was also lucky in that he got support in his initial career from a composer like Anil Biswas and later on Naushad.
On the occasion of the Publishing ceremony of the book,” Sagar Movietone” by Biren Kothari ji, in Mumbai, I had an opportunity to meet Surendra’s son and other members of his family. Biren kothari ji was kind enough to invite me and introduce me to them. I was more than pleased to meet them.
Anil Biswas-Surendra pair made their most music before the begining of the Golden Period of HFM. However Naushad got that benefit and I personally like Surendra’s song ” kyun unhe dil diya” as his best song.
The style of Anil Biswas was ofcourse different and his music has that undescribable attraction for a music lover,which made him one of the greatest.
Thank you for this post and providing us the nostalgia of Surendra’s songs.

4 AK November 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation, and your help whenever needed.

5 ASHOK M VAISHNAV November 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm

The article does not only adds to the spectrum of Anil Biswas’s composition so deftly classified in the wavelength bands of different singers that performed under his baton, but also goes on to provide a much needed specific perspective for looking at how a singer did perform under different music directors.
The comparisons while presenting as broader a canvas that never do pass the threshold a value judgement, maintain the fundamental spirit of providing entertainment even when the base is that of retrospective research.
I second Arunji in wondering how AKji can continue to remain so innovative….

6 AK November 13, 2014 at 12:38 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. One reason why I am able to do it because I know I have appreciative audience, which is a delight as well as a challenge.

7 N.Venkataraman November 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm

AK Ji,
Anil Biswas gave Surendra some beautiful numbers in 10 films. You have presented songs from all the ten films. Kahe akela dolat baadal and Hum aur tum aur yeh khushi are considered to be among the top 50 songs of the vintage era. Enjoyed listening to some great songs.
Ashok Da Ranade in his book states that
“..There is a story that when Mehboob Khan made his mark with Sagar Movietone’s Manmohan (with actor-singer Surendra and Bibbo playing lead) – a song , ‘Tumhine Mujhko prem sikhaya’ became a hit. In credits Ashok Ghosh’s name appeared as the composer. Years later Anil Biswas claimed credit for the song. Surendra however wrote a letter asserting that it was Ghosh who was the real composer. When Anil Biswas was contacted for his reaction, he said, “Surendra wrote that letter because I had sacked him as a singer, and had engaged Manna Dey to sing his song in Mahatma Kabir”.
It was a wonderful composition.
Besides Baiju Bawra, Surendra had to lyp synch for the Talat Mehmood in the film Gawariya, and for Manna Dey in Mahatma Kabir .
This is the eighth write-up in this series. Will there be any more this year?
Thanks Akji for another great post.

8 AK November 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Thanks a lot for your compliments. I was aware of the counter-story in Ashok Ranade’s book. But I had read elsewhere about Anil Biswas being the composer of Tumne mujhko prem sikhaya. When the book on Sagar Movietone, which has come out recently, also credited Anil Biswas, I decided to go by it.

Your question has two possible answer, ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If yes, there are further questions, about what? Let us leave it unanswered.

9 Hans November 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

AK, we can depend on you to spring frequent surprises. And the selection of the panjabi song from Panjabi version of Alibaba is also well thought out, as it brings into focus his panjabi composition. First I give the lyrics and meanings (in bracket) of this panjabi song because I happen to know some panjab, though I am not a panjabi. The last two lines I could not decipher because audio is not clear. Maybe Bhatiaji can help out and he can also judge my interpretation and translation.

1. nale mud mud wehande ho, nale sathon ghund kadhiya;
(mud mud ke bhi dekhati ho aur mujhse ghunght bhi nikala hai)
2. tun taa kee farmaya je kahe rahe jandiya nun, tok bulaya je kahe rahe jandiya nun. (tune kya kah diya raste jati hui ko, mujhe tok ke bulaya kisliye raste jati ko)
3. sathon mukh na chhupa rani, alla tuhadi khair howe;
(humse mukh na chhupa rani, allah tumhari rakhsha kare)
4. sade kol te aaja nee o hoye, allah tuhadi khair howe.
(hamare paas to aaja ree, allah tumhari rakhsha kare)
5. tuhade kol main kyun aanwan ho, tusi sade kee lagde;
(tumhare paas main kyun aaun, tum mere kya lagte)
6. kahnu gairan nu moonh lawan hoye, tusi sade kee lagde.
(kisliye gairon ko moonh lagaun, tum mere kya lagte)

In my view, the lyrics are not well written for the song and the composition also is not good as compared to the song in hindi version which appears to me to fit the situation in the film. The reason for this appears to me due to Biswas being Bengali otherwise he would have got the words changed. This would become clear after listening to the hindi version song ‘dil chheen ke jata hai’.

You have called the tune based on Pahadi raag. I dont know anything about raagas, but you are right when you say this is a panjabi folk tune. Perhaps these raagas evolved out of such traditional folk music. As far as I know, this style of singing is called heer style. You know Heer-Ranjha is a traditional Panjabi story. Due to passage of time various versions of the story became prevalent. Waris Shah was a panjabi poet who told this story in verse. His story is told in couplets everyone of which follows the same slow tune. You can call it panjabi ghazal or may be ghazal style was derived from this Heer. Waris Shah’s Heer became so popular that it became a singing style. Local singers started singing songs in this style and tune and it became a distinct style. This style suited folk songs because they could add their own paras or padas and fit it into a ready tune. With passage of time some variations also developed and some relatively fast tunes were also accepted as Heer singing. A sample of Waris Shah’s heer is given in the following link.

You have referred to three songs having the same tune. The tune may be the same but the style is not. The only song of them in heer style is ‘dil leke daga denge’. The Surendra-Wahidan song though follows the dictat of using different couplets in the same tune, but the lines are repeated so many times that its beauty is lost. Perhaps Biswas did not know this fact and followed the pattern of the hindi version’s song.

I would give more examples of the Heer style in our hindi films. Nayyar used this style very beautifully in the Phagun Rafi-Asha duet ‘tum rooth ke mat jana’. Shankar Jaikishan used it in Mera Naam Joker in the Rafi solo ‘sadke heer tujhpe hum fakir sadke’ and LP used it in Pratiggya in Rafi-Lata duet ‘uth neend se mirjiya jaag ja’ which immediately follows the song ‘main jat yamla pagla’. Ravi also used it in Ye Raaste Hain Pyar Ke in the Rafi song ‘koi mujhse poochhe’, but he kept inserting ‘koi mujhse poochhe’ in between the other couplets. Madan Mohan used it in Heer Ranjha in the Lata song ‘doli chadhte hi’ but, the accompanying music spoiled the heer.

10 AK November 15, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Thanks a lot for your detailed explanation. I was looking for this. I am sure others would also add to it.

Waris Shah’s Heer has become a stock style. I remember Yash Chopra has used it in some films, if not as full-fledged song, but as background tune or credit titles. It is deeply moving. Khayyam has also this Punjabi tune in some films.

Dil Cheen ke jata hai does not follow the standard Heer tune. Musically, I found the song from the Punjabi version I have included more charming.

11 N Venkataraman November 15, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Hans ji,
Thanks a lot for the translation and the erudite explanation.

12 Anu Warrier November 16, 2014 at 7:16 am

I am neck deep in wedding-madness and haven’t had a chance to listen to all the songs you listed, but I read your write-up with interest. Thank you for an interesting article on a singer that I did not know much about.

13 AK November 16, 2014 at 7:28 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Hope you are able to enjoy the songs after you are free.

14 mumbaikar8 November 16, 2014 at 7:45 am

Almost all the songs were new to me; it took a lot of time and effort to go through each one of them. Enjoyed all the vintage songs and related stories.
When the Anil Biswas centenary year ends this December? We will feel the vacuum as you have filled the year with so many great posts.
Venkataramanji’s anecdote demonstrates the bitterness developed between them in 1950’s, seems Surrendra was the initial victim of Naushad- Anil Biswas rivalry, and Rafi later.
Thanks to Hans for adding the Heers I had no idea Koi mujhse poochhe was Heer style.

15 arvind November 16, 2014 at 11:24 am


Thanks for the hindi version.For the word allah ( the original 3rd n 4 th line) it should be ‘SHAALA”,used to invoke GOD in saraiki dialect mainly spoken in southern punjab (jhang, multan)and northern areas of sindh province.Coming to style of singing,being aware that little knowledge is a dangerous thing ,yet would like to say that the surender waheedan song under reference and the phagun movie song are those sung in ‘TAPPA’ style.

16 arvind November 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm
is a tappa style song from the punjabi movie BAALO (1951).
some key words/phrases:
-jindri da wasah: zindagi may not last long.
-hun jyune di chah: desire to live
-ghum dil nal la lai ni: accept sorrows
(next line not able to decipher)
-bhaide hanju( these undesireable tears(hanju)) sukde nahin(are not drying (sookhna) up)
-umra mukwe diya (life will end ( muk waisi or muk jaayegi))
-adiye:dear friend
-itthe :here

17 AK November 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I am happy you enjoyed the songs. Sitaaron ke aage jahan aur bhi hain. After the end of Anil Biswas Centenary, hopefully we would still have a lot to look forward to.

18 AK November 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Thanks a lot for the Punjabi song you have added. We would have to wait for the experts to explain tappa. From whatever I have heard, tappa is a light classical form based on Punjabi folk. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and other singers used to sing tappa, along with khayal and thumri. I am not sure Tum rooth ke mat jana can be called a tappa. I hope Subodh is listening.

19 Subodh Agrawal November 16, 2014 at 6:30 pm

My internet connection has at last gained some speed. It has been a long wait – nearly two months. So, finally I have been able to enjoy the excellent music you have presented in this post.

I am not very familiar with Surendra and often confuse him with Shyam. The only song I would recall from his repertoire is ‘Awaz de kahan hai’. It was a good education for me to listen to these songs and read your write-up. Thanks.

Tappa is indeed a light classical style with its origin in Punjabi folk. I know very little about it, as light classical has never interested me much – I like regular classical music and I love old film music, but not much in-between. I have heard a few performances of tappa from famous singers in their classical concerts and I associate it with a fast wavy pattern of notes – much like trills. Malini Rajurkar is a well known exponent of this form and here is one piece by her:

20 ksbhatia November 16, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Heer; Yes a very popular on AIR in punjabi prog in the 50s and 60s ; was mastered by Aasa singh mastana , as also by Surinder kaur . Both these singers along with others carried on their shoulders the classic and folk songs of the punjabi culture during that period, which unfortunately slowly got faded away with modernisation . Lataji has also rendered beautiful heer during 60s which is different than that of movie version.

21 AK November 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I hope your Internet now behaves. You must have felt stifled.

Malini Rajurkar’s tappa is the style I associated with this form. Arvind’s mentioning some songs on familiar tunes as tappa created some confusion. I guess the word is also used to describe some other Punjabi folk style.

22 arvind November 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm
jagjit singh n chitra singh singing punjabi tappe (1979)
generally a tappa has enjoyable banter. is a link to a related wikipaedia
page.hope this helps !

23 Hans November 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm

You are right the classical Tappa and panjabi Tappe are different. I will give examples in reply to Arvind.

As to your comment 10, I was not saying that ‘dil chheen ke jata hai’ is heer style. I wanted to say that the hindi version is better composed than the panjabi version. Though the tune of the panjabi version is sweet, yet the composition is faulty and the lyrics contain words from more than one local panjabi dialects and are instead of being helpful to the composition rather hinder a better composition. It appears that Surendra was either not aware of the intricacies of panjabi folk or did not care so much to help out Biswas. On the other hand look at ‘kee main jhoot boliya’ from Jagte Raho where Rafi and Balbir brought the panjabi style to perfection though Salil was also a Bengali. Salil was not so impressive when he used the first line of ‘o gori aaja meri gaddi wich baith ja’ in Sapan Suhane when Manna Dey sang the lines.

You have talked about the standard heer tune. Perhaps the standard heer tune might have passed away with Waris Shah, because these things keep on changing. But, we recognise and accept what is before us. I will give you a recent example. ‘Sada chiriyan da chamba ve’ is a very old and popular panjabi folk song. In its old versions by Surinder Kaur and Munawwar Sultana you will find the word used is ‘babal’ and ‘ud’ in the first line. You know Khayyam used it in Kabhi Kabhi in one of the songs and he used the word ‘babul’ and ‘ur’ and in most of the versions sung after that use the words as used by Khayyam.

Similarly, there is no chance of all folk singers using the same tune for every ‘heer’ or ‘tappa’, but when they appear in films or there are some recordings, our minds start standardising them. I have already given what I understand is the definition of heer and I admit I may be wrong.

24 ksbhatia November 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Arvind’ji , You have given perfect example of TAPPA usually assocaited with punjabi folk singing in the form of duets . I think with same rhythm some solos have also been rendered by Jagjit ……” Kurti mal mal di ” is one example . I dont know if this also comes under TAPPA . I remeber Lataji has also sang Tappa in the old classic movie New delhi ……..” Wari wasi khattan gaya “. In Waqt also there was a Tappa style song ” Din hain bahar ke tere mere iqrar ke “. Punjabi folk songs in every movie has been the mettle of Chopra’ bros .

25 Hans November 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Thanks for the links and other information. You talked about your little knowledge, but have given such great songs and also info to move the topic forward. SOY needs and appreciates such little knowledge.

In content the heer and tappa are not much different. The form of both is the same – couplets following the same tune – but the soul is different. Heer is of a serious type and follows a central idea or theme, while tappa is not so. Tappa is derived from the actual word tappa of panjabi which means to jump. In tappa style public participation is there and people use whatever subject that comes to mind and this is used for fun and is mostly in a fast paced tune – at least faster than heer.

Perhaps the tappa evolved out of heer, which was popularised by Waris Shah, who died more than 200 years ago, so it is possible that tappa evolved out of this. Some people say ghazal also evolved out of Heer, which is quite possible because the format of both is same. It may be said that Waris Shah did not create heer and instead he used some prevalent singing style for his heer – this would bring us to the eternal ‘Anda Murgi Syndrome’ – which is also quite possible.

While accepting that your arguments may be valid, I would still say that the Baalo song as well as the others are heers, because tappa is not meant for serious business. For the beautiful Jagjit and Chitra rendition of the tappas, I would say they used the slow and famous tune because they were Jagjit and Chitra and common people would not have used the same tune for the same tappas.

You can find examples of tappa singing by searching in google word ‘tappay’ and you will find them in a link relating to dailymotion. com.
In films, tappa style was used by Kalyanji-Anandji in Mehndi Lagi Mere Hath (1962) in the song ‘uden panchchi toli men’
Kalyanji-Anandji again used this tune in 1970 in Mere Humsafar in the song ‘mausam hai baharon ka’
This song can be categorised as heer also because it has a basic central idea. Another song in tappa style was ‘ladki cycle wali’ in Pati Patni aur
Woh (music Ravindra Jain).

I hope I have made what I think quite clear. I may also say that I am from Haryana and not panjabi speaking. I learned to read and write panjabi, because in undivided Panjab it was taught upto 8th standard under the three language formula and I happened to live in a panjabi mohalla upto the age of 15 and also have some panjabi friends. I have read some (but not much) panjabi literature but I do not claim any authority over these panjabi things.

26 AK November 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Arvind, Hans,
Thanks a lot for such scholarly explanation. My own knowledge was just familiarity with these terms and some general idea what they could mean. One gain is the confirmation that tappa has two different connotations to denote Punjabi folk and a light classical form.

When I included the song from Punjabi Alibaba, I solicited such information. We have been more than rewarded.

27 Colonel Dr K Prabhakar Rao June 14, 2016 at 11:57 am

This is a very good post on legendary Surendraji who ruled Hindi cinema in his times. He was very handsome, polished, stylish and yet a good man . He had soft voice that suited for love and sad songs. He never ran for crazy songs like yahoo.. ayyayyo.. etc which Rafi sahib did even after getting great name. Thus surendra maintained dignity in songs too. Fondly was known as Bombay Saigal.His songs Teriyaad ka deepak jalta hai although was not under Anil biswas ji was agreat sng indeed. With film Gawaiah he said bye to filmi singing although he acted in Character roles. He lived accomplished life in comfort and passed away. It is sad that we miss him greatly.

28 AK June 14, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Colonel Rao,
Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your detailed comments. We find that whatever he sang sounded melodious.

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