Beena madhur madhur kacchu bol

May 6, 2017

Guest article by Ashwin Bhandarkar

(If we broadly divide the SoY community into two categories – ‘music experts’ and ‘others’ – Ashwin Bhandarkar belongs to the first category. Therefore, it is not surprising that he is appearing as a guest author; the surprise is that it has taken him so long to do so. He explains that he has “had a bee in his bonnet” for long about contributing a guest post; finally it took DP Rangan’s post on flowers to spur him to write on the connected theme of ‘bees’ and ‘honey’.

An expert who can write with a light touch is a treat to read. Ashwin’s content is impressive and shows his deep knowledge of music across genres. But what makes the piece delightful is his unpretentious style peppered with a dash of humour. It gives me great pleasure to welcome and introduce him as a guest author. Ashwin is an alumnus of BITS Pilani and IIM Calcutta, and is working with an IT services major in Pune. – AK)

Bhanwra bada naadanEver since I started following SoY, I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about contributing a guest post, but for the life of me, I could not make up my mind about the topic. Then, all of a sudden, inspiration struck after I read D.P. Rangan’s latest post – if flowers can make their debut on SoY, then it follows that bees should not bee far bee-hind, right? Therefore, busy as a bee though I have bee-n over the past few weeks, I managed to take some time out to type this post on bees – and honey – in Hindi film music and other musical genres, and luckily for me, AK has found it good enough to be published. Hope SoY followers find it interesting.

Bees have been around for millennia and their role in pollination is well known. The organization of a bee colony and the division of labour within it, with the queen bee and her swarm of female worker bees lording (ladying? queening?) it over the male drones, make for fascinating reading. And as far as I know, besides the silkworm, the honey bee is the only insect that human beings breed for its produce – mainly beeswax and honey.

To me, the mention of bees and honey brings back several memories of childhood. The earliest is the one of the beehive on a branch of the mango tree outside the room that I shared with my brother. It was humongous in size and took shape in no time, and we were constantly in fear of the bees invading the house, which meant that we kept all the windows shut, day and night. One fine day, my grandfather hired some people to smoke the bees out of the hive, and we got back to normal life. This happened in Madras, in the days before it became Chennai. A few years back, I encountered the same problem, with a massive beehive materializing in the balcony of my apartment in Pune over the course of a few days. The story had a similar ending – a sad one for the bees. Which is why, I suppose, the riches that are supposed to rain on the man who has a beehive outside his home, have eluded me till date….

Speaking of beehives reminds me of Gomathy Miss, my biology teacher in Classes 6, 7, 9 and 10. A walking encyclopaedia on her subject, she was also the epitome of the strict, no-nonsense teacher. One of her pet peeves was that we called beehives, beehives – according to her, the correct term for a bee’s nest was ‘honeycomb’, and the word ‘beehive’ was supposed to be used only for the artificial nests that apiarists utilize for bee-keeping. Those were the days when the officials from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), to which my school was affiliated, would do an annual inspection of the school to check for themselves whether schools were doing the job they were supposed to do – impart education. I was in Class 10, and the inspector’s visit to my class happened when Gomathy Miss was explaining the female reproductive system to a class of 30 adolescents, mostly boys. She began the class with a remark that she was teaching us about our bodies and that she did not want any giggles. The boys in the class were unusually alert and hyper-participative in class that day – they knew the answers to all the questions that Gomathy Miss threw to them – but the inspector was visibly uncomfortable. Towards the end of the class, he put some tame questions, totally unrelated to the lesson being taught, to a few students. All the questions were answered with aplomb. He then asked Gomathy Miss why she was teaching us about the birds and the bees. Without batting an eyelid, she told him that the topic was in the syllabus and that she was just doing her job. She also opened the text book to the lesson on the human reproductive system and showed it to him. The inspector mumbled something to her and beat a hasty retreat. Happily, Gomathy Miss is still in our midst, and in the tradition of our school alumni, our class felicitated her, along with all the other teachers who had taught us, at our 25th year reunion, a few years ago.

I also have fond memories of the annual Krishna Janmaashtami pooja at home. My paternal grandmother was a very religious woman, who would perform an elaborate pooja every morning, reciting Sanskrit hymns and singing aaratis in Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and even Bengali, thanks to her association with the Ramakrishna Math. The rituals that she followed for the Krishna Janmaashtami pooja, which was performed in the evening, were even more elaborate than the ones for the daily pooja. She went by the instructions laid out in a pooja manual, which would be read out by my mother, who played the role of the acolyte. One of the rituals involved bathing a small idol of the Lord, which was kept in a silver vessel, with panchaamrit, prepared in situ by pouring honey, curds, milk, ghee and sugar from small silver cups. The panchaamrit had a taste to die for (pardon the oxymoron), and would be doled out as prasad by my grandmother. Members of the family who had observed the ritual fast in the afternoon would have the privilege of five servings of panchaamrit instead of the solitary serving for those who had not fasted. Given this incentive, and given that all that was required of the ritual fast in the afternoon was to abstain from eating rice (this temporary sacrifice being amply compensated by the gorging on fluffy pooris served with daalithoy, the Konkani dal staple), I do not remember too many Krishna Janmaashtamis when I did not have my five servings of panchaamrit. Following the pooja, the family would partake of a grand feast with the choicest dishes, each one of which would have already been offered to the Lord as naivedya. Fast forwarding (pun unintended) to present times, my mother is not half as religious as my grandmother was but she still follows some of these traditions, including that of the Krishna Janmaashtami pooja. It has been years since I have had a chance to participate in the festivities though – hopefully I will be able to make it to Chennai for the celebration this year.

The recollections of Krishna Janmaashtami give me an opportunity to segue into the first song in this post – the Madhurashtakam. This is a celebrated Sanskrit work by Vallabhacharya, the 15th century saint-philosopher, who founded the Pushti-marga sect of Vaishnavism. It is a song in which Vallabha describes everything about Krishna – from his physical attributes to his adornments to his actions – as being madhuram i.e. sweet. ‘Madhuram’ is but one of the many words – all of which have something to do with sweetness – in Sanskrit and other languages, that has been derived from the word madhu, which means honey. (Of course, madhu also stands for alcohol but we will ignore this meaning for the purposes of this post). The sweetness of the lyrics of the Madhurashtakam is sweetened a thousand times by MS’s soulful rendition. The raga used is Khamaj, a raga that is ideal for creating the shringaara rasa.

1. Madhurashtakam by Vallabhacharya sung by M.S.Subbulakshmi

The next song is from the vintage era of Hindi films and is the title song of this post 🙂 . The distraught character singing the song implores her beena to say something sweet (madhur). As a Punekar who loves puns, it is but natural that I think of this song sequence as the one ‘in which the distraught character implores a bee NOT to sing something sweet’. And no prizes for guessing the raga on which the song is based – it is Bee-mpalas 🙂 .

2. Beena madhur madhur kachhu bol sung by Saraswati Rane from Ram Rajya (MD – Shankar Rao Vyas, Lyricist – Ramesh Gupta)

The mentions of Raga Khamaj and Raga Bhimpalas give me an excuse to segue into discussing two ragas – Madhuvanti and Madhukauns – that are are no less sweet-sounding.

This haunting filmi ghazal is arguably THE best example of a song in Madhuvanti from outside the realm of Hindustani classical music. The poignancy of the lyrics is heightened by the choice of the raga. What a great composition! The sound track of the song given below is preceded by a short introduction by Madan Mohan.

3. Rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhaaye sung by Lata Mangeshkar from Dil Ki Raahein (MD – Madan Mohan, Lyricist – Naqsh Lyallpuri)

Next, a chhota khayal composed by Kumar Gandharva, and sung by Vasundhara Komkali, his student and wife.

4. Raga Madhuvanti by Vasundhara Komkali

Here is a link to an interesting anecdote about how the composition came to be composed. It speaks volumes about the mutual respect between two great artistes.!topic/

We turn now to Raga Madhukauns. I am not aware of any song from the non-classical genres in this raga, so we go straight to a performance by Vasantrao Deshpande, who had made this raga his own. For those who would not like to listen to the bada khayal, the chhota khayal starts at 34:50. The harmonium accompaniment is by the maestro, Appa Jalgaonkar.

5. Raga Madhukauns by Vasantrao Deshpande

In the English-speaking lands of the West, ‘honey’ is used as a term of address for a loved one. Those of us who grew up in the ‘70s and the ‘80s would surely remember ABBA and this foot-tapping hit number from the group:

6. Honey Honey by ABBA

The mention of honey brings to mind Winnie the Pooh, his Hunny Pot and his encounters with bees in his search for the gooey stuff. The movie rights to this endearing character and the stories around him and his friends, created by A.A. Milne, were licensed to Disney more than 50 years ago. Today, silly Pooh Bear is a money-spinner for the company. Here is a clip on one of Pooh’s honey-collecting adventures:

7. The Little Black Rain Cloud from the Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

Enough of the sweet stuff! Let us now take a look at how bees have been portrayed in Hindi film songs.

In Hindi films, as in films in other Indian languages, a bee hovering over a flower is a metaphor for the dalliance of lovers. The bee is the aggressive male suitor while the flower is the coy female. There are variants to this theme as well, like in this song from ‘Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam’, released in 1962. Here, the bee is called a naadaan and an anaadi by Jaba, the character played by Waheeda Rehman, in what is an obvious allusion to the simpleton Bhootnath, the character played by Guru Dutt. The book ‘Ten Years with Guru Dutt – Abrar Alvi’s Journey’ by author Sathya Saran is a poignant account of the director’s association with his famous mentor, and is a must-read for all lovers of Indian cinema.

8. Bhanwara bada naadaan hai sung by Asha Bhonsle from Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam (MD – Hemant Kumar, Lyricist – Shakeel Badayuni)

Let’s move on to the next song now. The year is 1963 and the naadaan bee has, in the course of a year, transformed into a suitor capable of confidently wooing his lady love.

9. Dil ka bhanwar kare pukaar sung by Mohd. Rafi from Tere Ghar ke Saamne (MD – S.D.Burman, Lyricist – Hasrat Jaipuri)

It is 1965 now and not to be left behind (I will spare readers the tiresome pun this time), the flowers brazenly ask why the bee has not yet visited them even though they are in full bloom. The basic tune is the same as the ones used for ‘Ghadi ghadi mora dil dhadke’, for one of the interludes of ‘Aa ja re pardesi’ from Madhumati (1958), for ‘Saathi re tujh bin jiya udaas re’ from ‘Poonam ki Raat’ (1965) and for ‘Puthen valakkare’ from Chemmeen (1965). Yet, the mood of each of these songs is so different! Only a genius like Salilda could pull such a feat off!

10. Baag mein kali khili sung by Asha Bhonsle from Chaand aur Suraj (MD – Salil Chowdhury, Lyricist – Shailendra)

The next song that I would like to present is from the film Aradhana. We are now in 1969, and the bee has evolved to a state of being in which he is so well-versed in the ways of love that he is characterized as a ‘beimaan’ by the object of his amour. One can only exclaim thus: “You’ve come a long way, ba-bee!” I would also like to point out how nicely SD has evoked the buzzing of the bee in the interludes of this song – for example, at 0.33.

11. Gunguna rahe hain bhanware sung by Asha Bhonsle and Mohd.Rafi from Aradhana (MD – S.D.Burman, Lyricist – Anand Bakshi)

The next song is in the same vein as the one from Tere Ghar ke Saamne. It is from Kal, Aaj aur Kal, the film that starred three generations of the Kapoor clan. If I am not mistaken, KAaK is the only RK Productions film which features Kishore Kumar songs.

12. Bhanware ki gunjan sung by Kishore Kumar from Kal, Aaj aur Kal (MD – Shankar Jaikishan, Lyricist – Hasrat Jaipuri)

Next, I present a set of two songs that has a bee as the central character. Baz Bahadur, the ruler of Malwa, wants to see for himself whether the power of music can set free a bee that is trapped inside a lotus flower. A minstrel sings a song set to the notes of Raga Darbari, to exhort the bee to sever its bonds and fly free. He succeeds in his endeavour only to find Rani Rupmati pleading with the critter, this time in Raga Brindavani Sarang, to change its mind and fly back to the lotus. Needless to say, she succeeds as well.

13. Ud jaa bhanwar and Aaja, aaja bhanwar sung by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar respectively from Rani Rupmati (MD – S.N.Tripathi, Lyricist – Bharat Vyas)

Let us switch genres now and move to the realm of Hindustani classical music. The number of compositions that feature the bee-flower theme, referred to earlier, is legion. Compositions, the textual content of which are about the seasons of spring or summer, invariably have a line or two about the buzzing of bees, their rangreliyaans with the flowers, and the like. I have already cited a few such compositions in the comments on D.P.Rangan’s post on flowers and I will not repeat them here. Here are two more bandishes in the same vein. Both are quite well known. The first one is in Raga Malkauns. The words of the antara are as follows:

Naya kaliyana para goonjata bhanwaraa, Unahi ke sanga karata rangareliyaan, Yehi basanta ke deta sandesawa

14. Raga Maalkauns by Kamalakar Bhat Sirsi

The second one is a virtuoso performance in Raga Kalavati by the great Gangubai Hangal and her daughter, Krishna Hangal. The words of the composition are:

Sthaayi: Bolana laagi koyaliya, Bhramara bana bhramata  madhumaasa aaya
Antara: Kalakooka ki goonjata goonjaara, Ata hi suhaavaat birachana chaiyyaa

The word that is used for ‘bee’ is ‘bhramar’, the tatsam root of the word ‘bhanwar’.

15. Raga Kalavati by Gangubai Hangal

Just like a bee flits from flower to flower savouring their distinct flavours, let me flit across quickly to a few other genres before concluding this post.

The genre of Marathi Natyasangeet has drawn considerably from the vast repository of compositions of Hindustani Art Music. In the following clip, Asha Khadilkar sings the natyapad Madhukara vana vana phirata kari’ (originally sung by the legendary Bal Gandharva) from the sangeet natak ‘Vidyaharan’. She also demonstrates the bandish on which it is based. In the pad, in addition to being referred to as ‘bhramar’, the bee is also referred to as ‘madhukar’ i.e. one who makes honey. The song is in Raga Sorath but nowadays it is sung in Raga Des as well, the two ragas being closely related.

16. Madhukara vana vana phirata kari sung by Asha Khadilkar

Here is a veritable gem from the same genre, sung by none other than the one and only Bhimsen Joshi. In the song, Krishna is described as a bee (milind) that sucks the nectar (madhu) from Radha’s lips (adhara). The natyapad is from the musical ‘Saubhadra’ and is sung by the character of the celestial sage, Narada. The raga that the pad is composed in is Yaman Kalyan. The tabla accompaniment is by the maestro, Chandrakant Kamat.

17. Radhadhara madhu milinda jaya jaya sung by Bhimsen Joshi

I must thank my friends and neighbours, the Kulkarnis, for pointing out to me that the following natyapad , from ‘Katyaar kaalzaat ghusli’, is also about a bee. The situation of the bee in this song is the same as that of the one in the film Rani Rupmati – the poor critter is trapped in a lotus. Worse, it gets so high on the nectar that it is busy sucking that it forgets that it has to fly away before sunset when the lotus closes on itself. The inevitable happens and the bee dies. Interested readers may refer to this page (, which I referred to for the meaning of the song, for the philosophical interpretation of the lyrics. In the play (as well as in the movie based on the play), there are two versions of the song – one, set to the Raga Salagvarali Todi, which is sung by the Panditji character, and the other, which is a riotous one set to a Ragamala, and sung by the Ustad character. I am presenting the first one, sung here by the supremely creative Jitendra Abhisheki, who was the music director for the play.

18. Gheyi chhanda makaranda sung by Jitendra Abhisheki

The next song is an abhang written by Sant Jnaneshwar. The bee that flits from fragrant flower to fragrant flower is a metaphor for the mind that is distracted by sensual pleasures. The saint advises the bee to shed its bad attributes and take refuge in God. The song is based on Raga Yaman Kalyan.  Some of the scenes in the video seem to have been shot in Alandi, the village where the saint attained samadhi.

19. Runu jhunu runu jhunu re bhramaraa sung by Lata Mangeshkar (MD – Hridaynath Mangeshkar)

Indians relate very well to Hollywood musicals and two very successful ones – ‘My Fair Lady’ and The Sound of Music – inspired two Hindi films – Man Pasand and Parichay respectively. Another wildly successful Hollywood musical was Mary Poppins but for some reason, it has not yet inspired a Hindi film. This movie, produced by Disney (Walt was alive and at the helm of affairs at the time) and based on a series written by P.L.Travers, received 13 Academy nominations in 1964, winning 5 Oscars, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews, and Best Original Music and Best Original Song (‘Chim Chim Cheree’) for the Sherman Brothers. Here’s a song from the film in which the second antara alludes to the industry of the honeybee. As always, Dame Julie Andrews does a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious job of singing and acting out this song.

20. A Spoonful of Sugar sung by Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (MD & Lyricists – The Sherman Brothers)

Finally, here is ‘Spring’, the first concerto from the widely popular ‘Four Seasons’ by Antonio Vivaldi. The work was published along with four sonnets, one for each season/concerto. It appears that the music was written to evoke the scenes described in the songs. The four sonnets can be found at Even though there is no mention of bees in the sonnet for ‘Spring’, it is very evident that Vivaldi has tried to evoke the sound of buzzing bees in the corresponding concerto.

21. Spring – Four Seasons (Composer – Antonio Vivaldi)

With that, I come to the end of my maiden post. I hope SoY readers found it interesting and informative. I eagerly look forward to their comments.

P. S. (Before this article, Ashwin had sent me a mail saying he would like to ‘reserve his right’ to write a guest post on theme ‘X’ (I am keeping it a surprise). In our country, we honour if someone keeps a hankie on a bus seat. Therefore, the readers can expect an article from him on ‘X’ sooner than later. AK)

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dipan Bhattacharyya May 6, 2017 at 4:36 am

Fabulous read. I have not read anything that had the sheer breadth of vision to thread through songs / musical pieces from Indian Films, Hollywood films, Hindustani Classical and Western Classical !!

Superbly curated and presented – my only gripe is that apart from MS Subbulakshmi – the rest of the lighter versions fall flat against the classical renditions.

And finally – I think rather than thread through – approaching each genre separately would give readers the space to segue better. ABBA after Vasantrao Deshpande is a little jarring (though the song is a personal favourite)

2 AK May 6, 2017 at 5:00 am

Dipan Bhattacharya,
Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your appreciation. I understand where you are coming from. But, as the blog host, I can say as an explanation that we are quite eclectic in the presentation of a theme. Over to Ashwin.

3 Joydeep May 6, 2017 at 7:52 am

The wide range of musical experiences presented around such an esoteric is delightful. The insights and explanations hold it together. Well done Ashwin on your debut. Look forward to reading more such expositions.

4 Peddadu May 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

I would like to point out that Kishore Kumar sang six out of eight songs in ‘Kal Aaj Aur Kal’ (1975), under R.D.Burman – 2 solos, sduets with Lata and 2 trios with Mukesh and Asha/Sushma.

5 mumbaikar8 May 6, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Your comments were always informative and interesting with this post your ability of humor and wit has come alive.
WIP of listening to the classical songs in small doses. High intake of honey can lead to overweight.
Seems SDB had fascination for bees you have mentioned two of his songs . he had one in 1950 with Suraiya in Afsar
Looking forward to your article on Mr X.
KK had songs with RK production in Dharma Karam wthat had music by RDB. I think Peddadu has mistaken it with KAAK

6 Anu Warrier May 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Bravo, Ashwin. This was a worthy debut indeed. I loved that you interpreted the topic so widely.

As for Kishore singing for RK, he sang in every film that was helmed by Randhir Kapoor, who typically used RD as composer. The three of them were very good friends. So, Kal Aaj Aur Kal, Dharam Karam and Biwi O Biwi all had music by RD and playback by Kishore.

7 SSW May 6, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Ashwin nice to see a new contributor and nice to see a variety of songs. I hope to have time to go through the offerings one by one . Bee-ing one of those tiresome people whose memory is jogged by different things the first song by MS reminded me of this Malayalam song because “adharam madhuram” appears in it too. Of course there are no bees here just a description
“Adharam Madhuram Makaram Dabharam
Komala kesham gana sankasham”
The music director is the Ravi Shankar Sharma of Bombay (Waqt , Gumraah etc.) who found a second lease of life in Malayalam films, though I believe a lot of credit here should be given to the arranger too.

8 SSW May 6, 2017 at 8:20 pm

And just to drift a bit , a poem on Bees by the great Russian poet Osip Mandelstam. Sadly due to Stalin’s brutality fated to die in a Siberian transit camp. I love this translation into English from the Russian by Christian Wiman it gives me goose pimples to think of a circle of dead bees forming a necklace. How prescient was this?

The Necklace

Take, from my palms, for joy, for ease,
A little honey, a little sun,
That we may obey Persephone’s bees.

You can’t untie a boat unmoored.
Fur-shod shadows can’t be heard,
Nor terror, in this life, mastered.

Love, what’s left for us, and of us, is this
Living remnant, loving revenant, brief kiss
Like a bee flying completed dying hiveless

To find in the forest’s heart a home,
Night’s never-ending hum,
Thriving on meadowsweet, mint, and time.

Take, for all that is good, for all that is gone,
That it may lie rough and real against your collarbone,
This string of bees, that once turned honey into sun.

9 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 7, 2017 at 2:12 am

Dipan @ 1:

Thanks for the bouquets and the brickbats, the latter being as sharp as the ‘tirakits’ of your tabla 🙂 . I agree with your point of view on ABBA following Vasantrao. In my defense, I would like to say that while organizing the content, I grouped the songs first by sub-topic and then by genre. Doing it the other way around might have marred the flow of the content. On your gripe about the lighter versions falling flat against the classical compositions, my submission is that just like beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder (and I will not give in to the urge to pun), beauty also lies in the ears of the listener.

Joydeep, Peddadu, mumbaikar8, Anu & SSW:

Thanks for the compliments and for pointing out that KK had indeed sung for more RK films than just KAaK.


Thanks for the Suraiya song from Afsar. In fact, I had come across it for the first time on this very blog in AK’s post on Suraiya songs tuned by SD.

SSW @ 8 & 9:

Thanks for the lovely Malayalam song. It is based on Raga Bageshree. Also, I never knew that Ravi composed for Malayalam films. As for the poem on bees, the idea of a string of dead bees forming a necklace is a bit morbid. But come to think of it, I suppose it is no less morbid than the depiction of Kali wearing a garland of human skulls.

10 Sandeep Bagchee May 7, 2017 at 4:23 am

Great blog covering a wide swathe of the cultural and musical canvas with great erudition. Just a small addition, since you cover the pop genre as well. Sandra Dee & Bobby Darin sang “When you see a gentleman bee round a lady bee buzzin” in Come September- a musical version of Miss Gomathy’s lessons!

11 Peddadu May 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

Ashwin ji @9,
The particular Malayalam song given by SSW @7 is in Khamas (or Kambhoji) raaga and not Bageshree, Late Ravi had composed for at least 14 films (one un-released) and ev en had a non-filmy album in Malayalam. He had srveral awards for Malayalam film compositions. Ravi was given National Awards for Malayalam film-music twice (NOT once for Hindi!).

12 Giri May 7, 2017 at 7:15 am

An excellent post, Ashwin.
In one stroke you have covered from devotional, classical ,HFM to Hollywood! The puns and the breezy style of your writing add spice to the post.
Like Subhodh,you have also introduced me (who doesn’t know much about Hindustani classical) to a few Ragas..
Thank you.
AK, you have unearthed another gem of a guest writer.

13 AK May 7, 2017 at 7:46 am

I did nothing to discover. Ashwin always looked an expert and a good writer. It was a matter of time before he moved on the topline.

14 Ashok M Vaishnav May 7, 2017 at 7:52 am

Before X comes up on SoY, I need to absorb all the ‘madhu’ presented herein!

15 Dprangan May 7, 2017 at 9:28 am

Temporarily out of circulation. Felt like being fed the elixir of life, i.e amrutha churned out of milk sea by devas and asuras, but purloined by devas with connivance of lord Vishnu. Before the song deluge flows let me add one from Mela. Duet by Rafi and Shamshad. – Mein bhanwara thu hai pool.

16 N Venkataraman May 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

There are copious references to Madhumakshika and Madhu in ancient Sanskrit literature, honey being used as food and in rituals. Honey was the only sweetening agent then known to mankind. Rig Veda mentions Honey as the choicest food for Gods and refers to bees as harbingers of wealth, prosperity and sweetness in life. Allusion of bees and honey has been made in the scriptures to explain the philosophy of life by giving several analogies.

Āśvinā sāragheṇa mā madhunāṅktaṁ śubhaspatī .
Yathā varchasvatī vāchamāvadāni janāṅ anu. (Atharvaveda)

Meaning : Asvins Granter of good , anoint me with bee honey ,so that I may address glorious words to the people.

One and the only Ashwin among us has anointed us with so much nectar that the lingering effect of the madhuram is going to last for sometime before being wholly absorbed.

Ashwinji,enjoyed your free flowing narrative style interspersed with anecdotes and well nested puns. Kudos for a well-crafted post. Will listen to the selection of songs from a wide range of musical genre at leisure.
PS: If not for your extensive knowledge on music, just for your love for puns, should I call you a Pundit?

17 SSW May 7, 2017 at 10:50 am

Ashwin, Ravi did compose for a few Malayalam films through the late 80s and 90s , all directed by Hariharan with the script by M T Vasudevan Nair. He adapted well and had excellent assistants. I had the raga of the song as Khamboji and Yesudas had a lot to do with its sweetness.

A couple of things as I am floating at random, the Vivaldi “Spring” concerto actually does not reflect the bees. The very quick tremolo strokes on the spring are supposed to symbolize a spring thunderstorm after which the bird song resumes.

Two famous pieces in western classical music about bees. “The flight of the bumble bee by Rimsky Korsakov”, here played with great dexterity on the classical guitar.
It was written for the violin and orchestra but the larger fingerboard of the guitar demands a different concentration.

A piece called “The Bee” by Francois Schubert

And lastly in honour of Miss Gomathy a Harry Belafonte song on the birds and bees. I used to listen to this record as a little boy there is a long not uninteresting monologue in the begining

18 ksbhatia May 7, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Ashwin Bhandarkar , AK ‘ji[s] ;

A very well presented post covering the wide open topic supplemented by big spectrum of songs covering the entire globe . I liked the referrals to Salil Da’s interludes and to the majestic music ….Springs….by Antonio Vivaldi for the learned and the serious listeners . Of course Abba’s …honey honey honey ….was the craze of 70’s and was famous among the youths of that time….the one that listened to Carpenters and Bonney M too.

I wish to add two more songs on the theme…

Ud ja ud ja pyase bhanware….part 2 of the song ….Bicchde sabhi bari bari….Rafi…..Kagaz ke phool

Ghunghat kali ka na khol o bhanware….Asha….Aanchal

19 SSW May 7, 2017 at 8:46 pm

I have been listening to the Gangubai Hangal piece, it is lovely. I always associate Kalavathi with the rains or at least with running water. I think it is the komal nishad, that pull towards the tonic is like a longing for the rains after a parched summer.

20 AK May 8, 2017 at 4:39 am

SSW #17
YT has removed the link of Harry Belafonte song. It is a beautiful song. Here is another link. One can understand the father stammering and stuttering on the birds and the bees, any idea why did his good friend Einstein, and Freud fob him off?

21 SSW May 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm

AK the link works for me but may not for everybody depending on IP server, gateways etc.
I can’t answer your question, perhaps they did not attend Gomathy Miss’s class. Such a singularly deprived childhood they must have had, no wonder they had to explore gravitation and human psyche. 🙂

22 ksbhatia May 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Ashwin ji ;

The humming of bees / gunjan of bawaras to bunch of flowers , are all art of wooing and consequent wining over each other . The simplest call that a man can think of is ….Main bhanwara tu hai phool , ki yeh mat bhool jawani laut ke aaye na….the sort of instant reactive indexed expression…..karna hai jo bhi karle , wo waqt ja raha hai ….

To many , Flowers are the representation of God and Bhanwara that of humans constantly in search of the God …..ab to chhupa le charno mein charnon mein …. so much so that his constant repetitive action take him to a state of madness that make him …Baura . The love as strong as Sassi punnu , Laila Majnu , Heer Ranjha in the baking …..ranjha ranjha kahke sakhion mein khudh hi ranjha ho gayi , Heer na manu akhiyo koi mein khud hi Ranjha ho gayi …. . So strong are the feelings and baura’pan !

This state of mind beautifully exists in Gurubani….Baba , Mein baura sab khalak siyani …Ram kiyo baura naam kiyo baura…. . Its the name of God that has made me Baura . A must gurubani shabad for complete listening pleasure .

Man mora bawara….is another song that points to the desire of attaining and belonging to the beloved God . Mere dil ka bawra panchhi…..too points to the same line of track .

But the show never stops . The wooing continues……gabharaye akele manuwa jab phool pe bawara dole [ The famous Lata’s Bees Sal Baad song…..Sapne suhaane ladakpan ke….] , O mere bairagi bhanwara mujhe tadpa na…[ Ishq par jor nahi ] and Bhawara beimaan kabhi iss baag mein kabhi uss baag mein [ Manchali] .

For visual delights here are some outset beautiful songs….

Dadhke rah rah ke dil bawara….Rafi, Lata , Usha…..

Jhoome re kali , bhanwara ulhaj gaya kanton mein ….Geeta …Naukari

And the show continues elsewhere too . The Spanish bees / fly when mixed with Honey or Wine produces tremendous libido . The drinks that were famous till 70s.

23 ksbhatia May 8, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Ashwin ji ;

I think you missed SDB ‘s all time hit song in your visual listings….

Dhire se jana bagiyan mein ……SDB, SDB

24 Ashok Kumar Tyagi May 9, 2017 at 6:11 am

Ashwin ji,
Thanks for a magnificent post. Waiting for more post by yourself and others of your kind.

25 Ashok Hebbar May 9, 2017 at 6:57 am

Ashwin ji,
You are the bee’s knees ! Beauty and bewitching will be an understatement for this lovely write- up. I enjoyed it thoroughly and felt a supreme beatitude reading it. It stung me to remember a beautiful song rendered by Habib Wali Mohammed
Raatein thi chandni joban pe thi bahar
baaghon mein phool jhoom rahe the khushi ke saath
Hansta tha paat paat
Itne mein ek Bhanvre ki pyaasi nigahon …………

Will be keenly waiting for more post from you.

26 ksbhatia May 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

Ashwin , AK ji[s];

My pick of the day…..and my fav. listening pleasure of all time …

Bhanworoan ka bolna phooloan ka dolna , aaj mujhe bha raha , o koi ga raha….

chanda ki chhaon mein….Lata….Parchhain ….CR

27 Ashok Hebbar May 9, 2017 at 11:20 am

Ashwin ji
I am giving beelow a couple of songs :

Na bhanwra na koi gul akela hoon main tera bulbul. A duet by Rafi- Asha from film AARTI. This song is picturised in a train on Rajendranath and Vijaya Choudary . Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari are co- passengers.

Main kali bagh ki tu bhanwra kala —– from film PREMNAGAR-1940. Song sung by Husn Bano under the baton of Naushad.

28 Shalan Lal May 9, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Ashwin Bhandarkar
Your post is a pleasant present as a bouquet of scented flowers or on the other hand shall I say a beehive of bees’ murmur with a prospect of sweet stings as Shakespeare found in his last play Tempest:

Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough

It is very interesting that the author is a skilled person in making Puns (or shall I say Funs?)
If the pun-making is the past time of the Pun’ekar people then they must be having a ball of funs (puns) waiting for a bus or if driving waiting in the traffic jam.

After reading this punny article I felt very puny and the punny bee stung me. So I t00k my courage out and now say this post is as good as anything coming out of the “ The “Bhandarkar” Research Institute of Classical, film and light music.”
In case the readers of the SoY would not get the pun they should know now that there is a great Institute in Pune that is called “The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute which is as good as the (Bengal) Asiatic Society in Calcutta or Kolkatta.

Once I saw a part of the Marathi play at the intercollegiate “One act” competitions at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Bombay in the sixties. “The play was called “Kar-grihan” and it was a pun on both getting engaged and also paying taxes. This was written by the veteran writer Mama Varerkar who was very famous about making puns and his plays were full of puns. The play was about then Bombay Government creating a special category called “entertainment” tax that could be extracted from all sorts of entertainments. So the Tax Inspector spy was sent to look around if people were entertained by anything that could be taxed.
In the play there was a young man who had obsessed compulsion of making puns.. And the Taxman jumps on him as soon as he makes a pun and forces him to pay the entertainment tax. I think that play won the competition of the year.

Mama’s one play called “Bhumi-Kanya Sita” was based on the partition of India and was translated in Hindi and done in Delhi and then leader of the Socialist party Dr Lohiya wrote areview with full of praise. Nehru made him a memeber of Rajya Sabha. Mama won many national and Maharastriyan awards.

In Hindi there is a classical “Punny” song from “Achhchut Kanya 1936″. It is a duet song sung by Ashok Kumar and Devika Raani “Mai Ban ki Chidiya Ban, Ban mein Bolu…”

Then there are many Punny dialogues like in Shri 420 when the boss of a Laundry asks newly employed RK ,” Istree Karoge Kya?” RK with Nargis on his mind says, “Jarur lekin Chalis Rupaye Tankha par kaise Jindagi Gujaru?# Laundry boss says woh Istree nahin, Ironing!”

In “Naya Daur” Johnny Walker the reporter from Bombay wanted to take the photo of the group and says “Sub Ismaile Karo” Dilip Kumar says “Aye Ismile, ismile Karo!”

One may find many such gems in the Hindi films. There was one very old film that had one of the Arabian stories in which a character was called “Gaddha” by many. Sadly he walks with his donkey and asks him “Quin Re Gadhe, Main Tere Jaisa Gadha Hun?” And the donkey yanks and yells loudly.

Though I feel the pun on “Bee’na(a) madhur madhur kacchu bol” is stretched too far at the strings or is a strung one, in the light of “smile and Ismile” it is a O.K.!

Shalan Lal

29 Subodh Agrawal May 10, 2017 at 4:49 am

If my memory serves right Ashwin and I got to know each other with his comment on of my posts – I think it was Pilu. It was clear from day one that SoY family had found another member endowed with musical sensibility and understanding. I had at that state itself suggested that he should do a guest post. He made us wait long, but the result is well worth the wait. The post does full justice to the theme and its eclectic nature is ‘sone pe suhaga.’ Eagerly looking forward now to theme ‘X’.

In Indian poetry Madhukar or Bhramar is a metaphor for the unfaithful lover – one who has his fun and then goes away. The gopis of Braj have often compared Krishna to Bhramar, in fact there is a series of verses by the great Surdas – later followed up by others like Ratnakar – titled Bhramar Geet, in which Udhav, the messenger of Krishna, is taken to task by Gopis for bringing Krishna’s message that they should forget him and turn their devotions to the formless God – Nirguna. That also reminds me of Saigal’s ‘Madhukar Shyam hamare chor’ in his favourite raga Bhairavi:

30 Ashok Hebbar May 10, 2017 at 10:45 am

Ashwin ji

A few more songs:

Bhanwra beimaan gaaye mohabbat ke gaane —RAJ RANI -1950….Lata…..Hansraj Behl…..D N Madhok.

Bhanwra madhuban mein mat jaa —-BHARATHARI – 1944….Surendra…Khemchand Prakash….Pt Indra.

Bhanwra ne tere kaan mein kuch gun guna diye ….. Antara of song ” Jeene ki dang sikhaye jaa” ……..PARWANA -1947….K L Saigal… Khurshid Anwar…. D N Madhok .

31 Subodh Agrawal May 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Ashwin, special thanks for reviving the memory of ‘Gheyi chhand makarand’. Took me back to the seventies and the evenings spent with my friends Ashok Gadgil, Hemant Vaidya and Sudhir Chandratreya enjoying this and other classical compositions in Marathi.

32 Shalan Lal May 11, 2017 at 9:32 am

N Venkataraman @ 16 & Subodh @ 29
Copious references
Indeed Mr Venkatraman you are right when you say copious references to Madhumakshika and Madhu in ancient Sanskrit literature and further more when it comes about the “Alankar -Figure of speech” one will find the Sanskrit artists and writers including the philosophers like Aadi Shankaracharya (Vallabha is mentioned in the post) all are at their height of the skills in the literary art. The use of the Bhramar from which the Hindi “Bhawara” comes is a very ancient Upama or comparison. As “Patang” it is mentioned in the chapter 11 verse number 29:


Yăthā prădīptăṃ jvălănăṃ pătăṅgā vĭshăntĭ nāshāyă sămṛĭddhăvègāḥ
Tăthaivă nāshāyă vĭshăntĭ lokā stăvāpi văktrāṇĭ sămṛĭddhăvègāḥ 11.29

Like unto the burning flames, the moths 53 enter racing for self-smouldering,
Hurrying for the obliteration, into thy jaws, the worlds are richly rushing! 11.29

Some say the “Patang” is “Parwana. Yes it is but see these early Sanskrit poets’ observations and wonder how great they were!.

As unfaithful lover in the Kalidasa’s “Abhidnyan Shakuntalam” at the beginning of the play when Dushant prowling behind the bushes waiting for his entry finds it when Shankuntala cries for the help as one “Bhramar” murmur around her lotus like face and intends on tasting the Madhu-Amrit from her lips; that is the right time Dushyant thinks for his entry and loudly says so when he the protector of the woodland and all the people in it, who dares to frighten a pretty person… or something like that. In reality he is a Bhramar.
Dushant proves himself like a Bhawara going from one flower to another in the play only regrets towards the end of the play. I wonder if the whole play is a symbol for the Bhrmara! And it should have been called,” Bhramar-Vibhramam-Shakuntalam”

This beginning is very Shakespearean as it foretells what was going to happen in the oeuvre of the play. Look at the beginning of the play Merchant of Venice:
In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn-
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself

In the film “Deedar” Samshad sings for Nargis “Chaman Mein Rahake Birana Mera Dil Hota Jaata Hai.” This song shows thick influence of the above Antonio’s self expression as the character of Nargis was soon going to have trouble met in the shape of Dilip Kumar. Sad we only remeber DK’s huge performance and do not pay much attaintion to Nargis or Ashok K. They did extremely well in th efilm.
Mr Venkatraman it is true that the Sanskrit literatures contain a lot of all kinds of “Amrit- Madhu” apart from the Adhyatm Amrit-Madhu as it is in the Bhagvad Gita!

Shalan Lal

33 Ashok Hebbar May 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Ashwin ji

Just remembered a beautiful song from SEHRA –Kali kab tak chupengi ek bhanwre ki nigaahon se . Chamak jati hain bijli khud hi in gehri ghataose . These are the starting lines of the famous song ” Ja ja jaare tujhe hum jaan gaye” . —–Ramlal – Rafi -Lata – Hasrat

34 Kanaka May 12, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Thanks Ashwin,

You took me back to my favourite Tamil film song in Madhukauns, Oru naaL iravu, a haunting melody by P. Suseela,, from the movie Kaviya Thalaivi.

35 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 8:46 am

My apologies for not being prompt with responding to the comments left on this page by SoY readers. Before I get on with this job, let me make a fervent request to all those who address me as ‘Ashwinji’: I sincerely request all of you to please drop the honorific – it makes me cringe to be viewed as a ‘ji’; therefore, please address me as ‘Ashwin’. Another suggestion is that you use ‘Ashwin B’ in place of ‘Ashwinji’ –
not only is it a correct alternative but it is also an appropriate one in light of this post 🙂

36 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 8:47 am

Sandeep @ 10:

Honoured that you liked my post! Thanks for the song from ‘Come September’ – it IS a musical version of Gomathy Miss’s class indeed! Have posted the link here for the convenience of readers:

37 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:07 am

Peddadu @ 11 & SSW @ 17:

Thanks for the additional information on Ravi as an MD in Malayalam films. As for the raga/scale which ‘Saamaga sanchaarini’ is set to, it is Bageshri or Kamboji depending on where you place the tonic. For example the opening bars from 0:00 to 0:03 could be interpreted to be

S-, nD, nP, Dm,P- which would make it Kamboji, or as
M-,gR, gS, Rn, S-, which would make it Bageshri

Moorchana at work 🙂

38 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

Giri @ 12:
Thanks for the kind words and for the encouragement!

Ashok @ 14:
Am glad you liked my post!

D.P.Rangan @ 15:
Thanks for your kind words! I owe you my gratitude for your post on flowers, without which I would probably still be racking my brains for a topic for my maiden post! And yes, the song from Mela was a big miss on my part! Have included the link below:

39 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:15 am

Venkataraman @ 15:

The shloka that you have cited proves that the SoYs (Sages of Yore) were indeed very prescient – they had foreseen that I would write on the topic of bees and honey on SoY :). Thanks a ton for your warm appreciation of my post. On the topic of pundits, here’s a very relevant clip that has been doing the rounds of social media over the past week:

And please note that as a quid pro quo to my request to you to stop addressing me as Ashwinji, I have dropped the honorific while addressing you 🙂

40 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:18 am

SSW @ 16:

Thanks for disabusing me of the idea that the tremolo strokes on the spring (shouldn’t it be ‘violin’?) in Vivaldi’s Spring concerto reflect the buzzing of bees. As for ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee’, it has been more than a decade since I last listened to it and it had completely slipped out of my mind till my wife reminded me about it……after the post had been published. ‘The Bee’ by Francois Schubert was new to me – in fact, I had never known about this other Schubert , the only one that I had heard of, and whose works I had listened to being Franz. Last but not least, thanks for the hilarious Belafonte song :). I had had the pleasure of listening to Belafonte live in Baltimore in 1995 – he had sung all his famous numbers but I do not remember if he had sung this one.

41 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:19 am

Sorry – it should have been ‘Venkataraman @ 16’ and ‘SSW @ 17’.

42 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:21 am

KS Bhatia @ 18:

Thanks for your appreciation! What a coincidence that you have cited the ‘Kaagz ke Phool’ song – I watched it for the first time only around a month ago, at an event at the FTII to commemorate V.K.Murthy’s death anniversary. Truth be told, I did not like the film as much as I liked ‘Pyaasa’ and ‘Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam’. The ‘Aanchal’ song was new to me.

43 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

SSW @ 19:

That’s a fascinating take on Kalavati! Initially the popularity of this raga owed a lot to Gangubai as well as to this 33-1/3 rpm record of Salamat Ali Khan and Nazakat Ali Khan, which I grew up listening to:

Of course, in the past three decades, it is the following magnificent rendition of the raga by Prabha Atre, which the ‘rasik’ instantly recalls at the very mention of Kalavati. I am sure you have listened to it.

44 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 9:34 am

KS Bhatia @ 22, 23:

I like the link that you have pointed out between ‘bhanwara’ and ‘baawra’. Also, only someone such as you, with a prodigious knowledge of HFM, could come up with songs that have ‘bhanwar’ as part of their antaras! The two songs that you have picked up for our ‘visual delight’ are aural delights as well but I would like to point out that the 2nd female voice in ‘Dhadke rah rah ke’ is Shamshad’s, not Usha’s. And yes, missing the classic ‘Dheere se jaana bagiyan mein’ by SDB was a colossal miss on my part. And to think that he allowed Kishore Kumar to parody it, not once but twice, is a measure of his sense of humour . Here’s the link to the original :

45 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 10:01 am

Ashok Kumar Tyagi @ 24:

Thanks a lot for the compliments!

Ashok Hebbar @ 25, 27, 30, 33:

Thanks a lot for the compliments! Thanks also for introducing me to a new expression : ‘bee’s knees’! Have included links to the songs that you have cited – all of them were new to me.

‘Na bhanwara na ko gul’:

‘Main kali baag ki’:

‘Bhanwra beimaan gaaye mohabbat ke gaane’:

‘Bhanwra madhuban mein mat jaa’:

‘Jeene ki dhang sikhaye jaa’:

‘Ja ja re hum tujhe jaan gaye’:

46 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

KS Bhatia @ 23 & 44:

My apologies – observed that you had already provided the link for ‘Dheere se jaana bagiyan mein’.

47 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 10:21 am

KS Bhatia @ 26:

Your pick of the day is one of my favourite CR/Lata songs! Thanks for citing it.

Shalan Lala @ 28:

Thanks for the appreciation and the copious information on puns in Marathi plays and Hindi films, and last but not least, for your verdict on the validity of my ‘Beena madhu madhur kacchu bole’ pun!!

PS – I am tempted to pun on the Marathi ‘pun’ (for those who do not know Marathi, ‘ पण’ means ‘but’), pun I will refrain from doing so 🙂

48 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 10:36 am

Shalan Lal @ 47 – My apologies for misspelling your last name.

Subodh @ 29, 31:

Thanks for the warm words of praise! Coming from you, it means a lot to me. Had heard of ‘Uddhav Geeta’ but not about ‘Bhramar Geet’ – a learning for me.

49 Ashwin Bhandarkar May 14, 2017 at 10:38 am

Kanaka @ 34:

Thanks a ton for the P.Suseela song. I remember watching this movie (it seems to be a remake of ‘Mamta’) on DD when I was in school.

50 mumbaikar8 May 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Allama Iqbal ‘s Shahed Ki Makhkhee (In his children’s poem) and our Bee, are we discussing the same entity 🙂 ?

51 Praveen May 15, 2017 at 10:45 am

What a treat this post and the comments have been for a layman like me!!

Beena madhur madhur kachhu bol was always a favourite – great to know the Raga too. (I can flaunt this knowledge it at some less knowledgeable circles)

Udja Bhawar for me, is the top classical based film song by Manna Dey. Never get tired of hearing this


52 ksbhatia May 15, 2017 at 6:20 pm


Thanks for the vintage treats of songs @45 laced with sweet honey for Bees to enjoy . Here are two songs of the likes……

Ek bawara panchhi…..Zeenat Begam….Pagdandi [1947]

Panchhi bawara chand se preet …..Khursheed….Bhagat Surdas [1942]

53 Ashok Hebbar May 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Ashwin B

Thanks a lot for replying my posts and for providing links to songs suggested by me. Here are two more songs on the theme.

A brilliant song from the film SHOLA AUR SHABNAM -1961 ….. Jeet hi lenge Baazi hum tum ……. Rafi …… Lata ……. Khayyam ….. Kaifi Azmi. The bee buzzes in the Saqi of the song

Phool ko doonde pyaasa bhanwra, deepak ko parwane
Duniya apne rab ko pukare tujh ko tera deewana
Aaja aaja aaja aaja
Jeet hi lenge baazi hum tum …………..

K S Bhatia pointed out , one of my favourite SDBURMAN NFS song ” dheere se jaana bhagiyan mein ” . I can recollect another gem.

Ud gaya bhanwra kali udaas, kali udaas kali udaas

Kyon bhanwre ne preet lagayi
Kahe chod gaye harjaai
Abhi bujhi na tha man ki pyaas .

54 Shivram May 18, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Fabulous reading. The connections were fascinating to read!!!

55 AK May 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Welcome to SOY and thanks a lot for your appreciation.

56 ksbhatia May 18, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Ms. Shalan Lal ; @32,

I am glad you brought out the ” Deedar ” factor in your comments . This film made a lasting impression on me…. as a best film made by a very dedicated team of artists of various departments . The crisp direction of Nitin bose , fine characterisation of the lead players and one of the best musical offer from Naushad .

The hidden villain character of Ashok Kumar….his fear of loosing nargis…” main tumehen aankhon ki roshini doonga leeken tum mujhe wada karo ki tum use [ nargis ] bachhpan ki yaaden mat dilaana ” ….summed up his …love vs duty vs fear ….character .

Similarly Dilip , not happy with the world on his restored eyesight sadly opted to get blind again ….” bhujaade in chiragoan ko ” was a strong highlighter symbolic emotional scene where Dilip submit himself as parwana to the flames of shama .
Prior to this scene , Dilip asking Nargis to see in his eyes if there is any thing inside his eyes…. is another passionate symbolic scene as Dilip wanted Nargis to be in mind for ever before he opt for dark world .

” Kaviraj ne aisa kyun kiya “…..Nargis left with unsolved mystery ..

If ” Lady in Black ” is the Film fare trophy then Nargis was ” Lady in White “. Her manners, body language , choice of urban clothing , the art decor , the lavish decent life style , the props used were par excellence . This film I will rate as one of her best and at par with her other RK’s films.

Coming to music , Naushad used instruments ballancing in between the rural and modern culture to its finest details . A superb effort . All songs nicely written and composed . Background music is a treat for class listeners . The title music and its continuity is a heavenly composition indicating the richness of music in store to follow.

If Pyyasa and Three Idiots scripts and screenplays can find its births in hollywood , I think Deedar too deserve international recognition . This film at least needs to be made as refferals in Schools and Institutes of Acting and visual Arts. A full semester is required for its full analysis and appreciation .

57 Rahul Muli May 19, 2017 at 7:42 am

Fantastic theme & equally fantastic write up
I may add 2 SDB songs on the theme
In his own inimitable voice
Dheerese se jana bagiyan mein
& in Lataji’s superlative voice
O mere bairagi bhawanra (IPJN)
By the way it is surprising to find that in some of the comments above Kal aaj aur kal is credited top RD

58 Ashok Hebbar May 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Ashwin B,

A few more buzzing songs :

Woh gun gun bole re bhawarwa humri bagiyan mein aake …. MILAN- 1946 ….. Parul Ghosh …. Anil Biswas ….. P L Santoshi.

Gun gun gunjan karta bhanwra …. HAR HAR MAHADEV … Geeta Roy … Avinash Vyas …. Ramesh Shastri . Incidentally he is the lyricist who wrote the famous BARSAAT song ” hawa mein udta jaaye mora lal dupatta malmal ke .

Arre yaar mere tum bhi ho ghazab ghunghat to zara odho …. TEEN DEVIYAN … Kishore … Asha ….. S D Burman …. Majrooh . The bee stings in the second antara .
Dekh ke tarse lakh yeh bhanwre aur inhe tarsaungi
Teri gali ki ek kali hoon tere gale lag jaoongi.

59 Shalan Lal May 20, 2017 at 11:08 am

kabahtia @ 56

Your review of the film Deedar is very good and also full.

Shalan Lal

60 Manoj May 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Not sure whether the following are covered so far:
Madhukar Shyam Hamare Chor—
by K L Saigal, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Shreya Ghosal respectively
Phool Kahe Bhanwarane Gujarati Bhajan

61 Ashwin Bhandarkar June 26, 2017 at 10:43 am

mumbaikar8@50: Thanks for the song 🙂

Praveen@51: Thanks for the warm praise!

Bhatiaji@52: The Zeenat Begum song is based on Raga Bhairavi. Had never heard it before. As for ‘Panchhi baawara’, it is one of my favourite songs from the Vintage Era and is based on Raga Kedar.

Ashok Hebbar @53: ‘Jeet hi lenge baazi’ is one of the many gems composed by Khayyam. It is based on Raga Bhairavi and seems to have been the inspiration for ‘Zindagi har kadam ik nayi jung hai’ from ‘Meri Jung’ and for ‘/kamli’ from ‘Dhoom 3’.

Am listening to ‘Ud gaya bhawara’ for the first time as I type this. Thanks for the song.

Shivram@54: Thanks a lot 🙂

62 Ashwin Bhandarkar June 26, 2017 at 11:07 am

Rahul Muli@57: Thanks for the appreciation! ‘Dheere se jaana’ has been mentioned by KS Bhatiaji @23. Was listening to the IPZN song after decades – it has a lot of the Raga Dhani in it.

Ashok Hebbar@58: The Parul Ghosh and the Geeta Roy songs are short and sweet! Thanks for introducing me to them. The latter has a lot of Sarang in it. As for ‘Arre yaar mere’, it is one of my favourites. What a zinger of a composition!

63 Ashwin Bhandarkar June 26, 2017 at 11:56 am

I had shared this post with my schoolmates and three of them responded with Tamil songs on the topic of bees and honey. I am posting them here with their permission – none of then wanted to be named though. Incidentally, two of them were present in Gomathy Miss’s class when the inspection happened.

1. ‘Senthamizh naadenum pothinile’ written by Subrahmanya Bharati and sung by MS:

In this song, the poet states that whenever he hears the mention of Tamilnadu, it feels like honey (‘then’) to his ears.

2. ‘Paartthen siritthen’ sung by P.B.Sreenivas and P.Suseela for ‘Veera Abhimanyu’ (MD-K.V.Mahadevan, Lyricist – Kannadasan)

‘Then’ is also the conjugate used for the past tense of many verbs when used for the first person. Every line in this song ends with a verb that contains ‘then’; the song also makes use of ‘then’ to mean honey.

3. Next, a sweet song sung by A.M.Rajah and P.Suseela under the baton of T.Chalapathi Rao for the film ‘Amaradeepam’. The lyrics are by K.P.Kamatchisundaram.

‘Then unnum vandu’:

4. ‘Then sinthuthe vaanam’ by S.P.Balasubramaniam and S.Janaki for ‘Ponnukku Thanh=ga Manasu’. The MD was G.K.Venkatesh.

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