Forgotten actor-singer of New Theatres: Asit Baran

November 27, 2012

Asit BaranI often wondered who filled in when New Theatres stalwarts led by KL Saigal headed for Bombay in the early 1940s? I got my answer while searching for songs from the New Theatres era, when an unknown voice held me spellbound for its incredible charm. Then some videos turned up on the YouTube. So here was not only an excellent voice but also a young and handsome face by the name of Asit Baran who had some very successful movies and outstanding songs during 1941-43. For a long time I could not find any material on him – several friends, whose knowledge I admired, seemed to know nothing about him beyond having heard his name. Then sometime back, on my request, Mr Sharad Dutt, a well known writer and short-film maker on music personalities (you would have seen his films on Naushad, Mukesh, Anil Biswas, Talat Mahmood, Pankaj Mullick etc on Doordarshan), was able to locate a very old clipping of the Screen magazine, which contained an obituary on Asit Baran. Thus I am presenting this tribute to Asit Baran, one of the unknown stars of the New Theatres, on his death anniversary November 27 (he passed away on November 27, 1984 at the age of 69).

Born in a lower middle class family, Asit Baran Mukherji could not pursue his studies further because of his family’s difficult circumstances and took up a job in the Telegraph Workshop at Alipore. But music was in his veins. He joined the Orphic Club in Serpentine Lane near Sealdah where he learnt to play the tabla from the leading maestro Jnan Prakash Ghosh. Then he found his way to the Gramophone Company and AIR Calcutta to join as a tabla player. Because of his lilting voice he was often called upon to sing at music performances. At one of such shows he was noticed by Pahari Sanyal, who brought him to the New Theatres. There director Hem Chunder cast him as a romantic hero in Bengali film Pratishruti, which with its Hindi version Saugandh created a sensation. Next four years were a period of great success for him with several super hit films in Bengali and Hindi, some of which were made in double versions. His other notable films were Wapas, Kashinath and Wasiyatnama.

He was very active in Bengali theatre as well. Gradually he switched to character roles. One of his memorable roles was sensitive portrayal of the character of Girin in Bimal Roy’s Parineeta (1953). He earned acclaim for his graceful, easy style of acting and fine singing. In personal life he endeared himself to people around him with his affable temperament and inborn culture.

Here are some of the lilting songs of Asit Baran.

1. Tumne mujhse prem jata kar duniya se begana kiya from Wapas (1943), lyrics Zakir, music RC Boral

This is the kind of song which, if you hear once, sticks to you forever. It is ahead of its times. RC Boral creates a kind of bridge between Saigal and later-to-come Mukesh and Talat Mahmood. It also has a strong resemblance to Jagmohan, especially in the second stanza. With all this, it is surprising how could this song be off the radar screen of All India Radio. AIR’s New Theatres stopped at the quartet Saigal-Pankaj Mullck-KC Dey-Pahadi Sanyal. How lucky we are to have the wonderful gift of the modern era, the Internet without which such gems would have been lost forever.

Tumne mujhse prem jatakar: Wapas (1943)

2. Man phoole nahi samaye from Wasiyatnama (1945), lyrics Zakir Hussain, music RC Boral

The same team creates another romantic song.

Man phoole nahi samaye: Wasiyatnama (1945)

3. Hum chale watan ki ore from Kashinath (1943), lyrics Pt Bushan, music Pankaj Mullick

Pt Bhushan was an important part of the New Theatres team, credited with having penned some of their landmark songs. Here Pankaj Mullick recreates the train song he composed for himself in Doctor (1941), Aha ayi bahar aaj aayi bahar. Another terrific early train song. Burdened by the great legacy, Asit Baran seems to be consciously trying to imitate Pankaj Mullick style.

Hum chale watan ki ore: Kashinath (1943)


4. Hum kochwan hum kochwan from Wapas (1943), lyrics Pt Bhushan, music RC Boral

You would not come across a more handsome and dapper coachwan, a perfect bhadralok, with no pretension of looking the part. Nevertheless the song is outstanding.

Hum kochwan pyare_version 1: Wapas (1943)

Mr Ashok Vaishnav in his last post on multiple version songs mentioned one of the categories as two versions of a song by the same singer in a film, depicting different moods – typically one showing happy and the other sad mood. Lo and behold, now I come across the other version of this song, fitting his definition. If a song could tell a story, this short version of Hum kochwan tells the whole story of the film. Asit Baran is a transformed coachman, now in a designer liveried uniform, which could have been tailored in Saville Row. He is wearing an equally impressive saafa. He excitedly opens the door for Bharati Devi, whom he was apparently expecting. But just behind her, a third person comes in view (Dhiraj Bhattacharya? So we have an early triangle). Without waiting for the guests to climb in, he grumpily goes around and jumps into his seat. Bharati Devi looks surprised at this discourteous behavior, but the third man is indulgent and tells her, the guy is new and otherwise nice, he would soon learn the manners of a coachman. He adds, the coachman is also a good singer and goads him to sing, you guessed it, Hum kochwan. As a tense Asit Baran sings this song, Bharati Devi becomes restless, apparently tormented by the association of this song with her past. Troubled by this turn of events, Asit Baran takes out his silent anger on the poor horses, whiplashing them furiously. The tonga goes out of control and turns turtle, throwing the three of them all around. No one seems to be any worse for this terrible fall. The third man pulls the whiplash to give the coachman a sound thrashing, when Bharati Devi comes in between and tells him she will save him with her life. The third man is now bewildered and gradually comprehends the state of affairs.

Hum kochwan (short and sad version)

Hum kochwan_version 2: Wapas (1943)

5. Ab ayi basant bahar from Saugandh (1942), lyrics Pt Natwar, music RC Boral

One of his earliest Hindi film songs, the tune is simple and the singing style effortless.

Ab ayi basant bahar: Saugandh (1942)

6. Raja beti ke karala gunthlu tu, a duet with Shanti from Saugandh

Asit Baran is more confident in this outstanding duet in folk style with Shanti. It should rank as one of the best RC Boral duets. Considering that this was the first Hindi film of Asit Baran, this is some achievement.

Raja beti ke karala: Saugandh (1943)

7. Bhool na jana aaj ki batein, duet with (?) from Wapas (1943), lyrics Zakir, music RC Boral

I guess the lady voice must should be Binota Roy singing for the heroine Bharati Devi, who was also said to be romantically linked up with Asit Baran off screen.

Bhool na jana aaj ki baatein: Wapas (1943)

8. Jeevan hai bekar bina tumhare, duet with (?), from Wapas (1943), lyrics Pt Bhushan, music RC Boral

Another great New Theatres duet. Hindi Film Geet Kosh does not identify either of the singers. But my guess is they must be Asit Baran and Binota Roy.

Jeevan hai bekar bina tumhare: Wapas (1943)

9. Door desh ka rahnewala aya desh paraye, duet with Kanan Devi from Jawab (1942), lyrics ‘Bekal’, music Kamal Dasgupta

Jawab is famous for Kanan Devi’s iconic train song Toofan Mail, ye duniya Toofn Mail. Here Asit Baran sings a duet with the most famous New Theatres lady, Kanan Devi. Asit Baran’s name does not figure among the film’s actors’ names. This is quite interesting. In that case, contrary to the trend of the time Asit Baran must be giving playback for some other actor (Barua?). Even though the playback technology had evolved, the norm was the actors singing their own songs.

Door desh ka rahnewala: Jawab (1942)

10. Toota hai nata meet ka from Parineeta (1953), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music Arun Kumar Mukherjee

Now it seems he also sang a song in Parineeta (1953), obviously for himself (playing Girin). A sad song, which must have come after the realisation that Lalita (Mena Kumari) belongs to Shekhar (Ashok Kumar). By this time the era of actor-singers was over, and Rafi-Mukesh-Talat Mahmood held sway as independent playback singers (though Talat and Mukesh also forayed into acting, but not with much success though).

Toota hai nata meet ka: Parineeta (1953)

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dustedoff November 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

Thank you for this extremely informative article, AK. I’d heard of Asit Baran, but don’t recall actually hearing any of his songs before. Am listening to the ones you’ve listed here, and enjoying them a lot. Thank you!

Okay, this might be a silly question, but I was curious after I saw that you’d mentioned that by the early 40s, though playback technology had evolved, the norm was for actors to sing their own songs… would you know which film was the first where playback was actually used?

2 ASHOK M VAISHNAV November 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

SoY has raised its own bar of upholding the tradition of pulling out hidden gems from the unfathomable trove of the treasure of Hindi Film Music of the Golden Era in presenting this treatise on Asit Baran. [I have deliberately avoided the term ‘tribute’, since this article goes far beyond the scope of a tribute!].
The article would not only be matter of record for the next generations and a source of knowledge for the current generation about the rich traditions of Film music, it is a great refresher for the X’er Gen too.

3 AK November 27, 2012 at 11:19 am

Madhu (Dustedoff),
I too was unaware of Asit Baran until three years back. His voice is incredibly sweet. What is surprising is his remaining hidden, because I am sure had his song been broadcast on the radio, they would have permanently stuck in my memory. The advent of playbck technology is credited to Nitin Bose in 1935 in Bengali film Bhagyachakra and its Hindi remake in the same year Dhoop Chhaon.

4 AK November 27, 2012 at 11:20 am

Thanks a lot for your kind words. It just shows so many gems may still be hidden from us, waiting to be discovered.

5 n.venkataraman November 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Your post on Asit Baran is a befitting tribute to an artiste of the by-gone era. Listening to his songs and his beautiful voice aroused past memories. I was delighted but at the same time it left me with a sense of remorse. How little I knew about a person with whom I had the good fortune of mingling from close quarters! He used stay near our locality (behind Tollygunge Police station). He was a frequent visitor to “Radhu Babu’s Cha Dhokan” at Janka Road. Simply dressed in “Shirt Punjabi” and Dhoti, he used to have his tea with his friends and admirers. This was in the early seventies. I got acquainted with him much later. I knew him as singer who also acted in Bengali Movies. I have heard him singing Bengali songs and Shyama Sangeet during Kali Puja. He was an unassuming person. Sometimes he used to come with his granddaughter. If my memory serves me right, I thing he lost both his daughter and son in law in an accident. I was not aware of his work in Hindi films as an actor and singer. I think, in one of your earlier post you had made a reference. In his Birth centenary year (Birth date 19th November 1913), you have reintroduced him to the lovers of songs of the yore. Thanks a lot.

6 AK November 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

I envy you for having seen Asit Baran so closely! One did not have the advantage of the modern gadgets (mobile phone etc) in which one could instantly capture photos, videos for posterity. I can relate to your feeling of regret for having missed to capture something of Asit Baran. Now when I think of it, there are a good number of music celebrities I hapened to meet from very close about whom I just have memories.

Since you seem to be familiar with his Bengali songs, do you recall any whose tune was similar to his Hindi songs? He did act in many bilingual movies, in which RC Boral or Pankaj Mullick would have been the common music director. If there are, these would fit in the series on Multiple Version Songs (Hindi/Benagli).

Yes, I have referred to Asit Baran earlier. In New Theatres’ romance with Prem I have included his Tumne mujhse prem jata kar duniya se begana kiya. This is the song which inexorably drew me towards him and made me resolve to write a post on him. I might have also refrred to his name in pasing somewhere in connection with Parineeta.

Now a small quibbling, not that it makes a difference. From the Screen article, which I have referred, his year of birth should be 1915 (it mentioned his age as 69 at the time of his death in 1984). Since you are giving a specific date of birth you must be right. But would be possible to cross check it.

Thanks a lot for sharing your anecdotes about Asit Baran.

7 dustedoff November 28, 2012 at 10:04 am

Thank you for answering my question on playback, AK!

8 n.venkataraman November 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Thank You for your reply. It is true that we have only memories to fall back upon. That too gets kindled when we reminisce about them. As of now, I cannot recall any Bengali tune similar to his Hindi songs. I am sorry to disappoint you. I hope, Arun Kumar Deshmukhji or Atulji can throw some light on this matter. I was expecting comments from them.

As for the date of birth of Asit Baran, my source was the 3rd May 1997 issue of the Anandalok (a Bengali film magazine). His two sons Timir Baran and Rajat Baran were interviewed by Arunendra Mukhopadhyay. Here the author mentions the DoB of Asit Baran as 19th November 1913. So I accepted this date as authentic. But after reading your reply, I made further queries. On the 28th November 1984 (the day after his demise) issue, the Anandabazar Patrika mentions his age as 69, whereas Amritabazar Patrika says it is 68. The Bartaman issue dated 23rd August 1990 carried a half newspaper-page article on Asit Baran, where his year of birth is mentioned as 1916.The Sangsad Bangali Chalchitrabidhan published by Sahitya Parishad gives his year of birth as 1915 with (?) mark against the year. The Chitrabandhu (1952), in a write up on Asit Baran, avoids giving any year or date. Still I would like to accept the date as 13th November 1913, because it was mentioned along with the interview given by his two sons. I presume the author must have confirmed his DoB with his sons.
Incidentally, 27th November 1984 was a Tuesday and yesterday was also a Tuesday.

9 AK November 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Thanks a lot for adding so much more on Asit Baran. Interesting coincidence this Tuesday; Asit Baran should be smiling in heaven that so many people, who may not have been aware about him when he was alive, are remembering him so fondly!

10 Subodh Agrawal November 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

A childhood memory confirms that Asit Baran must have been well known in the late fifties even in UP, my home state. I had a classmate of the same name and everyone called him Aaseet. I mentioned him in some context at home. My mother corrected the pronunciation and also took the name Asit Baran – it has stuck in my mind.

Pity that someone so good disappeared almost completely from public memory. Thank you AK for doing this great service to music lovers. I have heard all the songs once and they are all very sweet and good. I hope to come back with a more thoughtful comment after I have savoured them at leisure. Thanks once again.

11 Nivedita December 1, 2012 at 3:15 am

Loved this post. I am a huge fan of Asit Baran, both his songs and acting. Having been bowled over by him after I first saw and heard him in Wapas (1943), I have, for many years, been looking for his biographical info– and it is wonderful to find it finally.

By the way, I recently came to know that Binota Roy’s maiden name was Binota Bose. So, for songs 7 and 8 from Wapas, assuming she is the female singer, she would still be Binota Bose (she married writer Jyotirmoy Roy sometime after 1944).

12 AK December 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Thanks Nivedita. I was aware of Binota Roy’s maiden name. You have added one more piece of important information about her marriage. I envy you for having watched Wapas. It is so friustrating that our movies of 1930s and 40s are so difficult to find.

13 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

AK ji,
first of all,I enjoyed all the songs.
Secondly,the date of death of Asit Baran is 14-12-1984 according to Hamraz’s Listeners’ Bulletin No.61 of May 1985.I believe his info is beyond any doubt.
Thirdly,after leaving New Theatres,on the invitation of Sailesh Mukherjee,Asit Baran came to Bombay in 1952 and acted in SUHAG SINDOOR-53, as a lead against Shyama.While doing this film,he was unable to sing properly and hence Sailesh Mukherjee gave him playback in every song of the film.
even when you hear his Toota hai naataa from Parineeta,you feel that all was not well with his singing at this stage.
one more thing.Even though the Playback was tried first time with Dhoopchaon-1935,still for few more years actors were still singing their own songs in films till Playback was firmly in saddle with availability of professionsl exclusive singers(who were not acting).It was almost 1939 or so when PB was 100% operative(except those singer actors who were still in films).
these are some thoughts that came to my mind when I saw this post.
I appreciate your efforts in bringing the lost treasures to the fore,so that we enjoy with nostalgia and the younger ones are introduced to the Gems of the past.
-Arunkumar Deshmukh

14 AK December 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I also noticed LB 61. I have the clipping of the Screen dated December 14, 1984 (from which I have taken his thumbnail photo in the article), in which there was an obituary on his passing away on November 27, 1984 (this date is mentioned in the article). Mr Venkatraman (comment #8) also refers to two dailies of November 28, 1984 – Amrit Bazar Patrika and Anand Bazar Patrika – i.e. the day after his demise, which carried obituaries on him. Which means there must be an error in LB, and I think it occurred because the writer may have inadvertently mentioned the Screen’s publication date as the date of Asit Baran’s demise. I have also written to Mr Hamraz. We should be able to settle this soon. However, as you would see from the same comment there does seem to be a doubt about his year of birth.

Your information about Asit Baran’s Bombay stint is very useful. You are right, in Parineeta song he does not sound too good.

On playback finally prevailing, 1946/47 seems to be an important watershed. This coincides with Noorjahan’s migration and the rise of great independent playback singers – Mukesh, Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. I read an interesting story that Ashok Kumar wanted to sing for himself in Saajan (1947), but C Ramchandra put his foot down and had Rafi sing for him. The embers must not have been fully extinguished, and he did get a chance to sing much later in Ashirwaad (1968). I do not know whether he sang between 1947 and 1968.

On the playback singers taking over, the most interesting and puzzling thing I find is Surendra’s singing career ending suddenly. Everyone else had a tapering end, but I do not know any song of Surendra after Anokhi Ada (1948). He did continue to act till many years later, and I am sure his voice would not have suddenly failed. It is almost like the stories we read in history books of a civilisation or a species simply vanishing from the face of the earth all of a sudden.

Another thought. In 1950s the pendulum seems to have started swinging in the other direction. Talat Mahmmod and Mukesh wanted to be like the great actors-singers of the previous generation. While Mukesh’s dismal failure is well known, Talat Mahmood acted in over a dozen movies. I do not know how was he recived as an actor. His ‘official’ web site started by his son suggests he was a roaring success, but I guess there is an element of hagiography in this. I would give more weight to your views on this.

Thanks for your valuable comments and your kind words.

15 n.venkataraman December 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm

There may be ambiguity regarding the DoB of Asit Baran. But, there cannot be any doubt regarding his date of demise. It is 27th November 1984. The Amrita Bazar Patrika, the Anandabazar Patrika and all other English and vernacular dailies of Calcutta carried the news of his death the next day.
The Amrita Bazar Patrika dated 28th November 1984 (date line 27th) reports, “Asit Baran, veteran singer-actor, who was a popular screen hero when Bengali film was in its infancy, died of cardiac arrest in his south Calcutta residence today……..”
The Anandabazar Patrika (date line 27th November 1984) reports, “Bangla Chalachitra Gayak O Nayak Asitbaran aaj 27 November Bikel panchata Ponero (5:15PM) minute taar Protapaditya Placer barite parolok gaman koren….”

16 jignesh kotadia December 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

very nice discovery Akji…tnx…..i will try to find out this man’s songs and i have already some songs of ”wasiyatnama” i will revisit them 4 sure.

Another beautiful site from where i got many rare songs in mp3 in 16kbps size is it should be added in LINKS

17 AK December 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

His voice is indeed very melodious. is a great site. In fact this was the site which led me to many unknown vintage songs.

18 ASOK KUMAR CHAKRABORTI March 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

At first I am giving my hearty congratulations, as you have given
tremendous effort to bring out yester years forgotten film heroes
and their career activities. Asit Baran was such a film hero as well as great singer of this heyday. Although we are living in Bengal and as
our Mother Tongue is Bangla in spite of that we do no very few ofyester years eminent persons like that of greatest film maker, actor, actress, singer etc.etc. Now, I want to his Date of Birth, if possible send thru’ my e-mail.

Again and again Congratulating you, for your hearty efforts.


Ashok Chakraborti

19 AK March 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Thanks a lot. I do not have his date of birth. As you would see, there was some doubt about even his date of death. But since we have contemporaneous papers, there is no doubt that it is what I have mentioned in the article. If someone has his DOB I would be grateful if it is posted here.

20 n.venkataraman May 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Today morning I was pleasantly surprised to find Arun Kumar Deshmukhji posting a duet of Asit Baran and Kanan devi from the film Arabian Nights (1946) in Atul song a day blog.
Here is the link

21 AK May 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Venkataramanji, thanks a lot for this link. I am sure we would discover many more songs of Asit Baran, but it seems his best was with the New Theatres’ pictures I have mentioned above.

22 soumik chatterjee July 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

ASIT BARAN was also known as ‘KALO DA’ in his ‘para'(locality). it was not Kolkata then. It was Calcutta. Santosh Mitra Square (where the famous Durga puja is held) was known as St. James Square. the said puja was held in a bylane then. My grandfather, Sailendranath Chatterjee, (nick name- collin) friend of KALO DA, along with few others, set up the first Durgotsav at St. James Square in 1947 and Ramesh Pal( who was not even a known face then) made the first idol. My grandfather was the right-in-center-forward player of Aryans football club, and Sambhu Mukherjee, the then captain of Aryans was also a regular at the para meetings with Asit Baran. From Kite to pigeon flying competition- they were regulars. My dad still recollect his Kalo kaku. after being the first bengali sports convenor of State Bank of India(then Imperial Bank) and the master of acting (he was the recipient of Dishari Award) and Kite flying (he was the Secretary of Entally Kite Club and founder of Probable Kite Club), Sailendranath started feebling touch with Asit Baran. Oh yes, i remember another thing. Another famous personality was even there in thier friend circle. Chandi Ganguli. the late father of Sourav Ganguli. infact there were 2 friends named Chandi in their group. thats why they were called ‘dui Chandi’. sailen and chandi were regulars of CAB. even this friend circle had codewords for communication. wanna know a bit of it? they used to call 1 as ‘sik’, 2 as ‘dak’, 3 as ‘netro’ and so on. Their stories are still narrated in my Bonedi house of Kolkata, where history stands still.

23 AK July 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm

That is a fantastic personal story involving Asit Baran. Thanks a lot.

24 Arunkumar Deshmukh July 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm

AK ji,
This is in response to your comment No.14 in this column.
I have written an article’Main hoon Alladin’ on 16-th July,on Atul ji’s Blog about talat mehmood. In that I have said about his films-

“While he became a singer much in demand, the idea of becoming Singer/actor prevailed on him and he acted in Dil e nadan, Diwali ki raat, Lala Rukh, Waris, Raftaar, Daak Babu, Ek Gaon ki kahani and Sone ki chidiya. His songs from these films became hit and the films Flopped. He rued afterwards-’ I should have learnt from Samapti itself, but I committed a blunder’. His ill-wishers started spreading rumours that Talat had given up singing to concentrate on acting. He said,” I shouted and shouted that first I was a singer and then an actor, but no one listened to me” and consequently his song offers dwindled. In the 50s Talat sang in 180 films, in 60s in only 39 films and in the 70s just 4 films. ”

As far as Surendra’s singing is concerned,he continued singing after’ Anokhi Ada, in Dukhiyari and meri kahani same year. Further he sang in Imtihan-49- 2 solos,kamal-49-3 solos+1 duet,Hindustan Hamara-50-2 solos,Maya Machindra-51-1solo+2 duets,Gharbar-53-1 duet,Gawaiya-54-3 solos,Naya Paisa-58-1 Duet and his last song-a Triplet was in Pati patni-1966. he last acted in ‘Abhi to jee ley’-1977.
so you will see that his singing stopped gradually with changing times.

25 AK July 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Thanks a lot for all this information. I did come across some songs of Surendra later, but they are so unknown that they give an impression about his vanishing suddenly.

About Talat Mahmood’s ‘great success’ as an actor claimed by his son’s site, I also had my doubts. But the songs are indeed outstanding.

Thanks again.

26 M.D.mathur February 13, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Tumne muj se prem jata kar was a very popular song in my childhood. Also man a kahe phir tarpai.Her other songs from Hamrahi ,hansi Chand ki, Hindi version of Tagore ‘ Chander hansi bandey,were outstanding.Someone should retrieve and post binita Bose / Roy songs
Thanks for write up about Asit baran.

27 AK February 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

MD Mathur
You are welcome. Noted your request for Binita Bose/Roy songs.

28 .charanjit singh June 17, 2015 at 10:42 pm

This article brings to my mind sweet memories of Asit Baran. I saw the picture Wapas in 1945 in Calcutta (Kolkata). His song ‘Tum ne mujh se…” still resounds in my mind, so melodious, so incomparably charming. Many a time over the years I have hummed it to myself. Asit Baran acted opposite actress Bharati (if I remember right), who was also a singing star and they sang the duets in the picture. I also saw the picture “Jawab” during the same period but I didn’t know Asit Baran sang the duet with Kanan bala “door desh ka rahenawala..”. A lovely song with lilting and highly melodious voice of the great Kanan bala (later known as Kanan Devi). Many thanks for posting the above article

29 AK June 18, 2015 at 12:56 am

Charanjit Singh,
It is a pleasure to welcome such a senior person to Songs of Yore. For me Asit Baran was an unknown name until a few years ago. I am happy this post refreshed your old memories.

30 .charanjit singh June 18, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Thank you AK. Please keep posting more of the songs of the great masters of the days gone by. Your efforts are a great service to the music lovers.

Most singers those days sang using minimum of musical instruments; it was their melodious voice that was the essence of the songs, coupled with the wordings of the songs. (I think it was Pankaj Mullick who introduced the orchestra system, e.g. in “pran chaahen nainan chaahen, are tu kyon yoon sharmaen”) . I have been fortunate to listen to most of them- Pankaj Mullick, KL Sehgal, KC Dey, Pahadi Sanyal, Asit Baran, Jagmohan, Kanan Bala, Bharati Devi, Radha Rani, Jotika Roy and many others
Thank you very much once again, AK

31 ksbhatia June 19, 2015 at 12:23 am

AK’ji ; It is giving me a great pleasure to know an elderly person like Charanjit singh joining SoY family . We can surely get benefits from the experience member as time goes by . Thru internet I have come across one Sikh gentleman of the age of about 72+ years who has posted more than 800 songs sung by him [ without reffering to written handouts ] on ‘ Dhoondhli Yaadein ‘ . Moreover the interludes are also hummed by him as well . He has a target of singing 2000 songs this year .

32 ksbhatia June 19, 2015 at 12:34 am

…… continuation …

Mohabbat mein aise bhi …..Talat and Lata … Sagaai

33 rdmurthy June 19, 2015 at 7:53 pm

asit bharan was an excellent and melodious singer and as rightly said a forgotten artist. every song of his is even today as melodius as that of saigal or punkaj mullik.i have all his songs in my collection.however i think the song door deshko from jawab was sung by barua as per radio ceylon anouncements of those days

34 AK June 20, 2015 at 12:05 am

Rd Murthy
Welcome to Songs of Yore. I envy your collection of Asit Baran songs. Today our main source of identifying singers is Hindi Film Geet Kosh. It is not error proof, but it mentions Asit Baran and Kanan Devi as the singers. YT link of this song also mentions these two as the singers. Therefore, we can accept Asit Baran as the singer.

35 Charanjit Singh July 2, 2017 at 3:53 am

I remember seeing WAPAS in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1945. The song “Tum-ne mujh se prem jata kar…” was really thrilling. . Sung in such a melodious voice of Asit Baran that it is still haunting in my memory even after 72 years. The duets he sang in that film were with Bharati the heroine in the film.

36 AK July 2, 2017 at 4:24 am

Mr Singh,
I am very happy to welcome another very senior member to SoY. Thanks for sharing your memory of the film Wapas and the song Tumne mujh se prem jata kar.

37 ksbhatia July 2, 2017 at 10:33 am

AK ji;

Just recalling and testing my memory….. Is Charanjit Singh ji same person who some time back wrote about his association with S. Mohinder and recommended his name for Padma Shree award ?

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