Shamshad Begum with 3G

April 14, 2017

A tribute on Shamshad Begum’s 98th birth anniversary (14 April 1919 – 23 April 2013), and  wishing the readers a very happy Baisakhi, Vishu, Bihu and Tamil New Year.

Shamshad BegumShamshad Begum has been a perennial favourite on SoY. Earlier, there was a reference to the great trinity of Naushad, C Ramchandra and OP Nayyar who arguably gave the best songs for her. (Incidentally, besides these three I also wrote a post on her best songs by SD Burman, under the title “East meets West”.) If you look a little earlier, and a little more carefully, there was another trinity who composed great songs for her. I call them the 3G, for Ghulam Haider, Ghulam Mohammad and Pt Govind Ram.  I am presenting her best songs by the 3G as my tribute to her on her 98th birth anniversary.

Ghulam Haider

Ghulam HaiderBorn in 1908, Ghulam Haider was originally from Sindh (now in Pakistan). He was trained as a dentist, but he was interested more in the theatre, playing the harmonium there. After getting training from Babu Ganesh Lal, he joined the Alfred and Alexandra Theatre Company in Calcutta as a harmonium player. Thereafter, he moved to Lahore where he worked as the chief composer for the Xenophone Record Company in Anarkali bazaar. He married Umra Zia Begum who was a singer in some early films for which he gave music. His initial films were not very successful. Ghulam Haider achieved great fame with the Punjabi film. Gul-e-Bakavali (1939) in which a new singer, Noorjehan, went on to become a legend.

To Ghulam Haider goes the credit of discovering Shamshad Begum’s talent, polishing her singing and bringing her to limelight. Born on April 14, 1919 to conservative Muslim parents, Miya Hussain Bakhsh Maan and Ghulam Fatima in Lahore in a large family, Shamshad Begum’s naturally-gifted talent for music was discovered early when her voice soared over others in school prayers. The principal assigned her to lead the prayers at the age of ten. Her father did not like Shamshad to take up music seriously, but her uncle Amiruddin persuaded him to let him take her to a recording company. The father reluctantly allowed her, but with strict conditions that she would sing under veil, and she would never let herself be photographed. She gave her audition before Ghulam Haider, popularly known as the Materji, who was the music director of Xenophone. Masterji was so impressed that he instantly signed her for 12 songs at Rs 12.50 per song, a big sum that time. She was about 13 then.

Shamshad Begum’s debut in Hindi films came in 1941 in Khazanchi, a year before Noorjehan’s in Hindi films in Khandan (1942), both under Ghulam Haider. Khazanchi became a milestone in Hindi film music, establishing Masterji as the doyen of what came be known as the Punjabi school of music. Shamshad Begum always had the highest regard to Masterji. This is what she says in an interview to Gajendra Khanna published on

“Master sahab was a great man. He took personal interest in ensuring that we were able to absorb the nuances of singing and music. He himself was very knowledgeable in the use of instruments and his musicians looked up to him. He had his own unique style of training where, while making us sing various kind of songs, he was able to chisel our voices to be able to sing any kind of song. His method of training was hundred times more effective than formal method of training and was akin to polishing of a diamond. I can never forget all that he has done. Mera ustaad jannat mein jhoole (I pray that he enjoy all benefits in heaven). He used to call me his Chaumukhiya (versatile) artist who could do justice to any song. He taught me two very important things. First, be a good person and second, just like water takes shape of the utensil, you should also mould yourself according to the situation.”

Ghulam Mohammad

Ghulam MohammadGhulam Mohammad’s name is inextricably linked with Naushad. The latter went on to become one of the greatest mughals of film music. Ghulam Mohammd was 16 years his senior, he was no less talented, and was his benefactor in his struggling years, but in one of the ironies of showbizz, he had to work as Naushad’s assistant for several years. Concurrently, he gave music independently which was as good as any. Though highly respected for his talent and outstanding music, big commercial success eluded him until his swan song Pakeezah (1972), which was released a few years after his death. This film also brought his association with Naushad to the fore, as the latter was entrusted with completing the background music for the film. The film promos gave a prominent billing to Naushad, relegating Ghulam Mohammad to secondary place. Hints were also dropped that some songs were actually composed by Naushad. Regardless of the controversy, music lovers always held Ghulam Mohammad in very high esteem.

Born in 1903 in Bikaner in a family with music as vocation, Ghulam Mohammad received training from his father in khayal and thumri, and developed expertise in the tabla. He was also influenced by the Rajasthani folk music and became an adept dholak player. After doing odd musical assignments with travelling theatre companies, he came to Bombay in 1924. After some initial struggle, he became a tabla player with the Saroj Movietone in 1932 for Bharthrihari (1932), in which he got acclaim for his tabla playing. He continued to play the dholak and the tabla throughout his career. He got his break as independent music director in Baanke Sipahi (1937), but its songs are not available. His next assignment as music director was Mera Khwab (1943). Meanwhile, he joined Naushad as his assistant with Sanjog (1943) which continued up to Aan (1952). Along the way, his own career as an independent music director started getting wide acclaim, if not great commercial success, from 1948 onwards. SoY has featured several of his outstanding songs in different categories. He worked with all the great singers of the era, Shamshad Begum being one for whom he gave some of her career best songs.

Pt. Govind Ram

Govind Ram 2Pt. Govind Ram is another music director from the Punjab school who brought Shamshad Begum into prominence. He debuted with Jeevan Jyoti (1937), but the film went unnoticed. His next film Khooni Jadugar (1939), too, went largely unnoticed. But he became a prominent music director in the 1940s. His Himmat (1941) is famous for the original Inhi logo ne le leena dupata mora in the voice of Shamshad Begum, which was, more than three decades later, sung by Lata Mangeshkar in Pakeezah. Himmat was the second film in Shamshad Begum’s career. Govind Ram repeated the song, picturising it on Yaqub in drag in Aabroo (1943). He worked with a large number of singers, but Shamshad Begum was his most favourite singer, for whom he composed 86 songs in 19 films (as per this article). He played an important role in shaping the career of several singers in their early years, such as Zeenat Begum and Zohrabai Ambalewali. He gave music for about 30 films, continuing into the 50s, his last film being Naqab (1955). It is said that when K Asif first planned Mughal-e-Azam in the 40s, he had chosen Pt Govind Ram for its music. It is surprising that among the early era stalwarts, Pt Govind Ram remains the least familiar to music lovers.

1. Inhi logon ne le leena dupatta mora by Shamshad Begum from Himmat (1941), lyrics traditional, music Pt Govind Ram

I start this post with the least known among the three G’s. This song has become enormously popular with Pakeezah, but the Internet has allowed us to enjoy the original version composed by Pt Govind Ram. Probably, the video is from another film, Hyderabad Ki Nazneen (1952), as mentioned in the comments in the YT link.

While at this, let us enjoy this delightful version by Pt Govind Ram two years later in Aabroo (1943), picturised on Yaqub in drag. The singer is probably Yaqub himself.

2. Hum kisse karein shikwa rona hai muqaddar mein from Hamara Sansar (1945), lyrics Ramesh Gupta, music Pt Govind Ram

Shamshad Begum sings this soulful ghazal in her open, metallic voice.

3. Man bhooli kathayein yaad na kar phir saawan ke din ayenge from Doosri Shadi (1947), lyrics Ishwar Chand Kapoor, music Pt Govind Ram

Now comes the song which should rank among the all-time best of Shamshad Begum.

4. Jawani na aati na dil hi lagaate from Rangeen Zamana (1948), lyrics Pandit Fani, music Pt Govind Ram

Surprisingly, another song with almost identical words, but written by Pt Ramanand and composed by Anil Biswas, came in the same year, both sung by Shamshad Begum. You can compare the different styles of tune making of two different schools.

Jawani na aati na dil hum lagaate from Veena (1948), lyrics Ramanad, music Anil Biswas

Now I come to the Masterji Ghulam Haider who has the credit of bringing Shamshad Begum to the world of Hindi film music with Khazanchi (1941), and with that setting a new style of music. When Anil Biswas said in an interview that on coming to Bombay from Calcutta he felt like a koopmandook (a frog in the well), he was referring to Ghulam Haider’s style of music.

5. Nainon ke baan ki reet anokhi (with Ghulam Haider) from Khazanchi (1941), lyrics Wali Saheb, music Ghulam Haider

The most famous song from this film is perhaps Sawan ke nazaare hain which is always quoted as an iconic cycle song. Another song, Diwali phir aa gayi sajni, often finds mention in any list of Diwali songs, as it did in DP Rangan’s post on Diwali songs. Nainon ke baan ki is a lovely romantic duet picturised on SD Narang and Ramola. Shamshad Begum was not only a singer of Punjabi-folk based songs with fast rhythm, but was equally good at soft and slow numbers. The male voice of Ghulam Haider himself is minimal and you are left with a feeling of it being a Shamshad solo.

6. Duniya mein garibon ko aaram nahi milta from Zameendar (1942), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi & Behzad Lakhanavi, music Ghulam Haider

A nice philosophical song. As for the two lyricists, HFGK explains that the film’s booklet mentioned Behzad Lakhanavi, but Qamar Jalabadi claimed that the song was written by him, Behzad had only added the last two lines.

7. Gaaadiwale dupatta uda liya jaye re (with Zeenat Begum?) from Poonji (1943), lyrics (?), music Ghulam Haider

Now we come to a song which has everything for which Ghulam Haider and Shamshad Begum were famous: Punjabi folk, fast-paced rhythm and full of vigour. The YT link also mentions Zeenat Begum as a singer with Shamshad Begum. Even though it may not be a pure Shamshad solo, the song is too good to be left out.

8. Naina bhar aye neer from Humayun (1945), lyrics Anjum Pilibhiti, music Ghulam Haider

I move back to a soft, melodious song. This Mehboob Productions film had a big star cast of Ashok Kumar, Veena, Nargis, Chandramohan etc. Shamshad Begum was the lead singer having songs of a wide range. This sad song is my special favourite.

9. Ek tera sahara from Shama (1946), lyrics Ehsan Rizvi, music Ghulam Haider

The most famous song from this film is Ek yaad kisi ki yaad rahi. However, I associate it more with GM Durrani as the song had a solo version in his voice and a duet with Shamshad Begum. But we have this fabulous solo in the voice of Shamshad Bgeum, again a soft and soulful song.  I must here say in passing that another film by the name Shama was made in 1961, whose music was given by Ghulam Mohammad. Internet is full of bloomers mixing up between the two films and the two music directors.

The YT has another version in the voice of Suraiya with a background explanation in the comment section that Suraiya was initially playing the lead role and this song was sung by and picturised on her. But she left the film because of some rift, after which she was replaced by Mehtab on whom this version by Shamshad Begum was picturised. My vote goes for Shasmhad Begum as I find more depth in her song.

Ek tera sahara by Suraiya from Shama (1946)

Ghulam Mohmmad would rank among the top composers who gave the best songs for Shamshad Begum. He is so highly respected, his several compositions have already figured on SoY rubbing shoulders with greats like Naushad and C Ramchandra. He would equally rank among the greats who gave the best songs for Talat Mahmood. Readers would recall his compositions for Shamshad Begum which have been mentioned very prominently, such as Ye duniya hai yahan dil ka lagan kisko aata hai (duet with Mukesh; Shair, 1949), Mere ghungharwale baal ho (Pardes, 1950), La de mohe baalma asmani chudiyan (duet with Rafi; Rail Ka Dibba, 1953) etc. He was very prolific with her, and we still have a large number of superlative gems given by him to be covered. Let us sample some songs from this great talent who did not get commensurate rewards by the lady luck.

10. Wah ri duniya wah re zamane from Grihasthi (1948), lyrics Wahid Qureshi, music Ghulam Mohammad

This was a period when Shamshad Begum used to be the lead singer for the heroines in many films. She had seven songs in Grihasthi including a lovely duet with Mukesh, Tere naaz uthane ko ji chahta hai.

Here is its video, though of a somewhat poor quality.

11. Barbaadi-e-dil ko kya royein from Paras (1949), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Ghulam Mohammad

While the last song was of cynicism at the ways of the world, here is a pure sad song.

12. Chhod chale rajaji rahun kaise akeli from Hanste Ansoo (1950), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Ghulam Mohammad

Let us come back to Sahmshad Begum’s real métier which was full-throated, lively, and slightly naughty songs.

13. Jiya bechain mera din rain, kahun kya laage kahan more nain from Sheesha (1952), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Ghulam Mohammad

This song lies somewhere in-between with fast-paced mukhada but slow-paced recital-style antara.

14. Thandi thandi hawa mein jiya dole ho khaye hichkole from Hazaar Raatein (1953), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Ghulam Mohammad

Back to folk-style peppy song.

15. Ae sanam ye zindagi ayi hai lekar khushi from Laila Majnu (1953), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Ghulam Mohammad

16. Chali pi ke nagar ab kahe ka dar more baanke balam kotwal from Mirza Ghalib (1954), lyrics Shakeel Badyuni, music Ghulam Mohammad

Mirza Ghalib is a prime example of how fate gave Ghulam Mohammad a raw deal. The film got all the critical acclaim, including the most honourable President’s Award for the best film of the year. The film was a commercial failure, despite outstanding music by Ghulam Mohammad. The film is known more for Suraiya and Talat Mahmood songs, but we have this very lively solo by Shamshad Begum, picturised on Kumkum whose dance enhances the beauty of the song.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 D P Rangan April 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

You seem to have proved the saying ‘jack of all trades but master of none’ as false so far as you are concerned. Novelty of approach at its pinnacle is what I would call this latest post of yours. All know the saying – Kill two birds with one stone. But you have excelled it and laid to rest four – three music directors who led the field at the nascent stage of Hindi films and a canttatrice. The challenge would be to post more songs of these music directors only. Otherwise Bhatiaji would break the record of Chris Gayle.

2 AK April 14, 2017 at 6:18 am

DP Rangan
Thanks a lot for your generous words. I remember a dialogue from a film: ‘कुछ ज्यादा नहीं हो गया ?’ 🙂

3 N Venkataraman April 14, 2017 at 7:10 am

A Wonderful Start to a New Year.
This post is not only a tribute to Shamshad Begum but also to the three of the great stalwarts of the vintage era. Thank you for the wonderful post and presenting some of the great songs rendered by her for the three stalwarts.
You have mentioned that the figure mentioned in the linked article (Pt. Govind Ram composed 86 songs in 19 films for Shamshad Begum) seems to be an exaggeration. I think the figures are correct. to be sure,I will check again. As far as I know she had rendered 84 ( 44 solos, 36 duets and 4 triads) songs in 20 films and my figures include two songs from the film Pagli. I am not sure whether these two songs were composed by Pt Govindram or by any of the other two MDs of this film, namely Jande Khan and Rashid Atre.
May come back again after listening to the songs
Wishing you and all the readers a very happy Baisakhi, Vishu, Bihu and Tamil New Year.

4 Praveen April 14, 2017 at 7:20 am

When moving from the deep voices and open throated singing of 30s and 40s to the refined singing of the Lata/Asha era and afterwards, I always get a feeling that there is something missing – the range, the depth, the twists and turns that the vintage singers were able to give…

Shamsad Begum was a singer of cabaret and naughty songs for me till I stumbled upon SOY

Thanks for the introduction to Pt Govind Ram and Ghulam Haider – never knew about them before this day

5 AK April 14, 2017 at 8:54 am

Thanks a lot for your appreciation and also thanks for correcting my erroneous presumption. I was too lazy to verify it myself.

I am happy that you liked it and got to know the songs of the vintage era by the three stawarts. Among them I consider Ghulam Mohammad more versatile. One can find his best across singers which are all-time landmarks.

6 KB April 14, 2017 at 9:08 am

Indeed she did sing under almost all composers only a few of them could really bring out her talents and SD and OP are among them.It was a pity that many of the other composers barring the old timers mentioned in the article could not use her for their compositions effectively although she was actively there for three decades or even more.

7 AK April 14, 2017 at 11:06 am

I think one reason was she was always Shamshad Begum, and many composers 50s onwards did not look beyond Lata Mangeshkar.

8 mumbaikar8 April 14, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Happt Baisakhi to all!
Confession! I appreciate Shamshad Begum much more post SOY. Indeed one of the most versatile singer.
Very good tribute to Shamshad Begum and the 3 Gs.
Very informative as well.
Liked the similarity as well as the difference in jawani na aati na dil hum lagate.
As D P Ranjan said posting more songs might be challenging,
Before it gets worse.
With Govind Ram
Ghulam Haider
My mom’s favorite from Humayun
Main To Odhoon Gulaabi Chunariya (Video Song) – Humayum
Ghulam Mohammad
SHAMSHAD BEGUM-Film-PARDES-1950-Ik Rut Aaye,Ik Rut Jaye

9 KB April 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Sri AK,
I fully agree with you. A talented person needs to be encouraged and that will also ensure the success of the composers.

10 AK April 14, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Nice songs. I especially liked Ik rut aye, ik rut jaye.

11 ksbhatia April 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

AK ji ; A beautiful new year gift for all of us . A great idea sir ji on 3G . Over all a nice frame work where all the music wizards positioned to show best of their talent with One singer holding the stage . The journey of 40s thru 60s is going to be interesting .

Shamshad Begum ‘s songs are very well known to many as spectrum of range from soft to high fast pitch songs . In one song where Ghulam Mohd., Shamshad excelled in a very fast high pitched gypsy number is from Pardes …..More Ghunghaar walle baal [ you have mentioned in yuor write up too ] . Being my I am opening my account with that number…

More ghunghaar wale baal……

12 AK April 15, 2017 at 12:52 am

KS Bhatiaji,
You are welcome. Looking forward to your additions that have not yet appeared on the blog.

13 Mahesh April 15, 2017 at 1:32 am

AK ji.
I am not able to keep pace. Though I know many more additions to the last 2-3 posts, I am simply not able to find time.
Shamshad Begum stands very tall in my list of favourite singers. ( I once had forced my way to crown her Best Singer in one of your posts ).
This 3G is a good concept. I was wondering if you could have upgraded it to 4G by including Gyan Dutt. Again I dont have the numbers.

Many Thanks.

14 Ashok M Vaishnav April 15, 2017 at 3:43 am

I fully endorse N. Venkataramanji in paying my tributes to Shamshad Begum, 3 G music directors and of course SoY for adding one more dimension of Shamshad Begum’s singing.
In our parallel discourse of year-wise songs journey, we do find enough opportunities to revisit many songs of Shamshad Begum. But, that kind of omnibus review can not have the kind of focus that such dedicated articles would have. However, those studies give several leads for detailed posts.

15 AK April 15, 2017 at 7:11 am

I am happy that you were able to visit the blog in spite of your busy schedule. The 3G for Shamshad Begum instantly comes to mind. I don’t instantly recall Gyan Dutt’s songs for her, though Amirbai Karnataki is an important presence in his music.

16 Ashwin Bhandarkar April 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

Got to know a little while back that the ‘Vishesh Jaymala’ program on the Vividh Bharati channel of AIR at 7:05 pm IST this evening (April 15) will feature the rebroadcast of a program hosted by Shamshad Begum.

17 Shalan Lal April 15, 2017 at 10:13 am

All the sweet songs of Samshaad Bai are here in one good post and the shapers of her sharp voice are too.

A one more and very informative and memorable article on one of the great voice s of thirties, forties and fifties.


18 AK April 15, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

19 Arunkumar Deshmukh April 15, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Film- Doosri shadi-47
Song- O bhangiyon ke raja…
Singers- Shamshad and Ram kamlani
MD- Govind Ram

20 Hans April 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Anything on Shamshad is always welcome and you have sampled her songs for three greats. I think there should be no doubt left about why she was the leader among pre-Lata playback singers after so much sampling done on SOY.

Arunji has posted one of my favourite songs. The wordings need to be noticed. Blessed were the times when one could cut a joke or make a song on castes and communities without facing riot like situations.

I would second Mahesh on the 4G issue and also sample some songs. Gyan Dutt was kept away from Shamshad for most of his career because he was on contract and some other singers were having contracts with those companies or may be those companies did not like Shamshad. Shamshad perhaps remained out of the contract business and also only restricted herself to playback. Lal Dupatta was perhaps the first film when he used Shamshad in 3 duets. Later he used her for 12 more songs – to my knowledge – in 4 films. He got major success with her in one film with a sixer, but with just one solo which was in fact a super solo. AK, you say you do not remember his songs with her, but I am sure you will scratch your head when I mention the name. It was Sunehre Din 1949. I am posting five songs of the six to promote his case for 4G.

1. thandi-thandi hawa jo aaye – solo
2. maine dekhi jag ki reet meet sab – with Mukesh
3. dil lagakar unse yaro poore ghate me rahe – with Kalyani
4. umangon ke din beete jayen – with Geeta and Sulochana Kadam
5. hum mast dilon ko lekar – with Kalyani, Durrani and Khan Mastana

21 AK April 17, 2017 at 12:21 am

I think Thandi thandi hawa jo aye was sung by Surinder Kaur. Her voice is clearly recognisable. I do remember Maine dekhi jag ki reet. But I think Gyan Dutt did not have too many songs for Shamshad Begum to be bracketted with the 3G. I liked Dil lagakar unse yaro.

22 N Venkataraman April 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

Listened and enjoyed the songs posted by you. Nice selection. In all Shamshad Begum sang roughly 220 songs for the 3Gs. She rendered about 50 songs for Ghulam Hyder and the rest equally distributed between Pt.Govind Ram and Ghulam Mohammad. And nearly 50% of the songs must be solos and I presume most of them may not be available for our listening.
I find only 5 more songs have been added to the 16 songs (4-Pt.Govind Ram,5-Ghulam Haider and 7- Ghulam Mohammad) posted by you. May be Bhatiaji is finding it to be a bad pitch to bat, with an unpredictable bounce. Let me start with a cautious single.
Jhum Raha Aaj Saara Ban, film Bholi (1949), lyrics I C Kapoor, music Pt.Govind Ram

23 AK April 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I am happy that my instinct of the 3G being very important for Shamshad Begum has proved to be correct. Ghulam Mohammad’s songs are easy to find. Pt Govind Ram is a major challenge. I think I have included their best known songs. But if she sang about 85 songs each for Pt Govind Ram, there should be many hidden memorable songs. KS Bhatiaji must be still taking his guard.

24 N Venkataraman April 18, 2017 at 12:25 pm

It seems Bhatiaji, is busy moving towards his triple century in a much amiable batting condition. In the meantime let me keep the score-board moving with a couple. First a repeat-word song
Piya Piya Tu Bol Papiha Din Phagun Ke Aaye, film Bholi (1949), lyrics I C Kapoor
Mera Khenu Rang Rangeela, film Chor (1950), lyrics (?)

25 Subodh Agrawal April 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm

I have really enjoyed this post. Most of the songs were unfamiliar to me and transported me to the halcyon days of the forties. The bonus was getting to know Pt. Govind Ram. Pity that someone so good has been forgotten. Hope to hear more of his songs in your next forgotten composers post.

26 AK April 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I am happy you enjoyed it. I have confined ‘Forgotten Composers’ to the familiar period of 50s and 60s, when the songs are well known, but composers are forgotten. But, hopefully we may have more opportunity of hearing Pt Govind Ram’s songs.

27 Hans April 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Yes, it is Surinder Kaur. I had gone by the HFGK and had listened to the mukhda and thought that Shamshad was modulating. When you pointed at it I listened the whole song carefully and found that there were no features of the famed Shamshad voice. Normally, whe modulating to change voice can hide features for some lines but not the full song. Even Surinder Kaur has in this song shown a lot of modulation. What a singer she was and what a shame she left hindi world to fulfil her ambition to rediscover panjabi folk.

I have gone through the records of HFGK and found that Govind Ram has the most number of songs 86(44+42), followed by Ghulam Mohammad 75 (44+31) and then Ghulam Haider 56 (44+12). About availability of songs on you tube Govind Ram has quite a good percentage and has about 60 songs. Ghulam Mohammad has about the same number, therefore a slightly better percentage than Govind Ram. I have not checked out availability of all his songs but his tally for Shamshad is likely to be badly hit because bulk of the songs he gave to Shamshad came from 1941 to 1947. After that he gave only two songs to her in Kaneez.

Another interesting thing I found was that during the two hears of 1949 and 1950 – before the start of next decade – when Lata emerged, both GM and Naushad composed for 6 films each. Naushad tally was 18 songs each for Lata and Shamshad, but GM had given 13 to Shamshad and 23 to Lata. Then in the next two years Naushad shifted more towards Lata and GM gave equal numbers to both. Then suddenly Lata stopped singing for GM in 1953. In that year, which was the best year for GM filmwise, because he had six films, there is only one duet in Laila Majnu which might have been recorded earlier. Then in in 1954 she reappeared for him in Guzara. In 1955 for the three GM films Shamshad was given only 4 songs (1 solo and 3 duets) and Lata got 16 of which 13 were solo. The readers can draw their own conclusions, but the same thing happened to Datta Ram when he started giving songs to Suman Kalyanpur.

Now I am posting some Govind Ram songs who needs better coverage as everybody agrees.

1. main mali ka chhokra – sarkar (1951) – with rafi (this is again mali ka chhokra after bhangion ka raja)
2. o dil men basanewale – jeevan nauka – with rafi
3. ye phoolon ka mausam – jeevan nauka – with rafi
(this song was sung by Zohra in Nisbat (1949) as solo. Another song from Nisbat ‘khate hain thokaren’ was repeated in Jeevan Nauka (1952). but this was sung by Shamshad as solo in both the films)
4. dar dar ki thokaren hain – ghar ki izzat (1948)
5. chandani raat hai – dil ki duniya (1949)

28 Hans April 18, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the song ‘mera khenu rang rangeela’. I had listened to this earlier and then it had disappeared from youtube. By the way, do you know the meaning of ‘khenu’ which is a panjabi word. This in fact is a panjabi song.

29 AK April 19, 2017 at 1:53 am

This is solid analysis. Thanks a lot. It is interesting that the less heralded 3G far outnumber the more celebrated three greats, Naushad, C Ramchandra and OP Nayyar, in Shamshad Begum songs. And the least known Pt Govind Ram is miles ahead of them. What does it show? Talent, luck, nothing succeeds like success?

I know what you are driving at with your statistics of Lata Mangeshkar and other female singers. Your presumption may be correct, but I don’t think that it is ‘proved’ by statistics.

30 N Venkataraman April 19, 2017 at 9:23 am

Although, I am not familiar with the Punjabi tongue I know it is a Punjabi song. Does the word “khenu” means something round/ ball, made of cloth. Please correct me if am wrong.
I am in agreement with number of songs Shamshad Begum rendered for Pt.Govind Ram and Master Ghulam Hyder. But I feel Shamshad sang 80+ songs for Ghulam Mohammad. But that does not make much difference or take anything away from your excellent analysis. I am happy that you have posted some nice songs of PGR-SB. Let me add a few more.

Apna Nahi Hai Koi Apna Kise Banau, film Dil Ki Duniya (1949), lyrics Zia Sarhadi

Dil Ki Duniya Ko Barbad Karke Wo Chala, film Dil Ki Duniya (1949), lyrics Zia Sarhadi

Fariyad Meri Sun Le, film Ghar Ki Izzat, lyrics I C Kapoor

O Dil Matwale Ga, film Shaadi Ki Raat (1950), lyrics Sarshar Sailani

Dilki Basti Istarah Barbaad,Haye Kya Socha Thha, film Shaadi Ki Raat (1950), lyrics Sarshar Sailani

31 Shalan Lal April 20, 2017 at 9:44 am

Subodhji @ 23

“…… and transported me to the halcyon days of the forties. ”

“the halcyon days of the forties?”

I thought “forties ” was one of the most violent decades in the subcontinent and not “halcyon”. But if it was then it should have been very personal.

It was politically agiataing period of “Challe-Jaao” and Subhash Chandra daring to invade India with his army”

Morning, noon and evening “Prabhat Feris”! Political rallies and communal riots from Kashmir to Kanya Kumarim etc.

Pershaps you wanted to say ” Salad Days” of your youth!

Do not take it seriously. I just wanted to pull your leg.


32 Arunkumar Deshmukh April 21, 2017 at 6:19 am

here is one more rare song-
Song- O jaanewaale thehar jaa
Singers- Shamshad, Hameeda, Raja Gul and chorus
Lyricist- Shevan Razvi
MD-Ghulam mohd.
Film- Hanste aansoo-50


33 Hans April 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm

You have passed the panjabi test with flying colours. You are indeed a genius, I can say, because this word is not commonly used even in panjabi nowadays. We have played a lot with cloth balls in our childhood. In haryanvi some call it khinnu others call it geendo or geendi. Since I passed my early childhood playing with panjabi boys, I knew what they call it. The common games played with it were catch ball or maar dhadeeka (Bhatiaji and Sharmaji will also remember it). Later when rubber balls replaced them, maar dhadeeka really became kind of violent and there were blue spots to hide from parents if someone was hit from close quarters. We used to play hockey and cricket also with these cloth balls, but for that they were made smaller and were covered around with a net made of sutlis to make them hard so that they could bounce. One of my cousins was quite adept at making these hard small cloth balls.

Regarding the Shamshad-GM numbers, I would have objected if you had placed it at a lesser number. Higher number is always possible and I can never claim to have the correct number. It seems more probable that GM had more than 80 because he used her a lot. I will give you an example. I had made a list of Rafi songs upto 1950 and had revised it 4 or 5 times, but when AK gave the link to Muveen’s list and I compared, I could add nine more songs to my list.

I have since checked out the availability of Ghulam Haider-Shamshad songs and I have added 4 more songs to the list. The number is 60 now and the most surprising thing is that 59 of them are available on youtube. Even that number can increase because out of about 190 songs he composed in the 40s, details of about 50 are not available and Shamshad may have sung some of them.

34 Hans April 22, 2017 at 6:45 pm

I agree with you. In fact Ghulam Haider and Govind Ram were the two MDs who made her and GM later joined with Naushad to further elevate her career. Govind Ram with such a pivotal role and having 32 films to his credit is hardly remembered, while the three others have varied degree of fame.

Regarding the Lata matter, I would only say that it is right next to impossible to convince and prove anything against her, but being yourself having served in semi-judicial capacity, you know that these are very relevant facts and combined with other stories in the public domain are enough to convince most of the people.

35 Hans April 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm

Since almost one-third of the Govind Ram songs available on youtube having been posted, it should naturally be the turn of others.

So here is a fiver from Ghulam Haider. We know Khazanchi was Shamshad’s first film. In that film she sang nine songs out of which two were duets with Ghulam Haider. One of them has been posted by AK. The other I am posting as no. 1. This song is in tappa style and this being a video song we can see the collision of cycles, a scene which was repeated in Dhool Ka Phool. Of all the songs 4 each were picturised on Ramola the heroine and Manorama ( of Moti and cruel Chachi fame from Seeta aur Geeta ) who played Ramola’s nanad. Song no 4 is also from the same film and I am posting it because the voice and style looks to me that of Noor Jehan. I know it is not her because a master like Haider will not make such a mistake when he was launching her the next year. In 2 or 3 other songs also SB has sung in the same style. Perhaps GH was very fond of that style.

1. sawan ke nazare hain – with Ghulam Haider
2. laut gayi paapan andhiyari – on Ramola
3. ek kali nazon ki pali – on Manorama
4. peene ke din aaye piye ja
5. jhalak dikha kar chhupi chandani – poonji

36 arvindersharma April 23, 2017 at 6:14 am

Venkataraman Ji and Hans Ji,
Thanks for reviving the childhood memories of very rustic games played amongst the mohalla boys, and to tell the truth, even I was not aware of the meaning of Khenu, and was waiting for Hans Ji to confirm.
About Venkataraman Ji’s multiple talents, i fully endorse Hans Ji’s observations

37 ksbhatia April 28, 2017 at 10:18 am

Hans, Arvinder Sharma , Venkatraman ….and many other Ji’s ;

Coming back from other pavilion utilising the time out and am performing my role as leg umpire . Thoroughly enjoying the post as well as observations and comments .

Hans ji , your screenplay have brought out many childhood memories in all of us . Like Khenu there were many version of cricket balls that we used to play with ; all local made like …Kirmich ball , cork ball , repaired rubber ball [ damaged cracked rubber ball refilled with compressed newspaper cuttings made tight with black rubber rings cut from old cycle tubes ] , old wooden latoo [top] without its nail etc. Playing with cork ball and latoo ball was fav. as it produced nice cracking shots . It was fun bowling with latoo ball…. as with its oblique shape one could never guess which way it will go after striking the pitch . During our childhood we never knew the shape of the latoo was sexy . We got enlightened only when we saw Yogita Balli singing ……kamar meri latoo… one of Dev Anand movie [ Banarsi Babu ? ] ….bollywood Answer to Sophia Loren’s hollywood song …Italiano and Americano .

Like cracking sound that bat makes while hitting a straight drive Shamshad Begum too had a distinctive voice that could easily get noted on its first hearing …….but for this song …..Ek kali naazoan ki palli….posted by Hans ji @35 ….where the voice is a dip on a sweet side . A beautiful song really . Hans ji note the punjabi actor …Khairati [ the famous dee’d akhaa actor of Bhangra and Do Lachiyaan ] in the beginning of the song .

Will come again after going thru the post.

38 N Venkataraman April 28, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Hansji & Arvinderji.
I am flattered (@33 &@36) by your explicit praise. I am sure you enjoyed the song. And the added bonus was the sharing of your childhood memories on the subject by you and Bhatiaji. Enjoyed your musings. Is there any connection between the Hindi word Gend (ball) and Khenu?
I am emboldened to post one more Punjabi song by Shamshad Begum
Kankaan Diyaan Fasalaan Pakiyaan Ne, film Yamla jat (1940), lyrics Wali Saheb, music Ghulam Hyder

39 Hans April 29, 2017 at 8:20 pm

What a listing of various types of balls we used in childhood. The two most common uses of the worn out cycle tubes were using them for holding on to loads on cycle careers and making of balls. I still remember that on one Holi when I was about 14-15 I had gone to my mama’s village. You know in Haryana on Holi, bhabhi hits devar with a lash made of cloth. So my bhabhi not finding anything around and in a hurry to surprise me picked up the cycle tube and hit me with that. My cousin was furious with her aur usne do char jama diye aur galiyan to dee hi. I and others calmed him down with difficulty. Hitting with these tubes was also resorted to in fights.

You talk about the cracking shots the harder balls made, but dont you remember they also made cracking sounds on on our ankles, shins and knees. You have mentioned the balls but forgot the bats we improvised, because there was scarcity of the bats which is not experienced nowadays. We used sometimes the thapi used for washing clothes by our mother. But, the most common material came from the wood which came from ara machine for burning in the chulha. We would choose from that stock and get them maulded as bats from the carpenter. Some of our improvised bats went in the chulha when we overdid the playing act and reached home very late. But, soon we became smarter and hid them outside the house before coming in.

Your mention of ‘kamar meri lattoo’ reminded me of your elder brother. I think this sense of humour goes in the family. You still have some spice left.

40 Hans April 29, 2017 at 8:28 pm

I think you really deserve the praise, because it is really hard for a person with maika in south and sasural in bengal to learn panjabi. The song was really tops and also showed how the lyricist wrote songs on such subjects in those days which added a lot of variety. I had mentioned various words used for the ball and I am sure they came out of the same source. Which came first cannot be known. Gend certainly originated in that area.

41 ksbhatia May 2, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Hans ji ;
Were we neighbours at any point of time in the past ? What you have described of your childhood is what we all have gone thru in our lives too .

It was really fun utillising the material which was handy and improvising it to make it to look alike of the original and playing with it proudly to show of your innovation too. For this the hindi sulekh damaged thaappis were very useful as it carried triangular hand at one end . Yes , the cloth washing domestic wooden thappies were very handy but it had a great drawback when hitting hard . As the handle was monolithic and was not carrying any shock obsorvent , the vibratory current and consequent pain used to travel thru your hand and arms right upto your neck . All these materials finally set to flames in a tandoor after living their useful period.

The worn out cycle tubes were extensively used by the loaders… specially the home delivery ones …like bread , butter and pastery suppliers for tying their trunk to their cycles , the bulky ice suppliers , the fruit wallas etc. For us collecting them for games like gulael [ Y ] was the best supporting material. Of course the single rotten spoked cycle wheel were also not spared as we all make it run using a handy stick .

Yes , the England -Australia body attack was popular in our domestic cricket as well , resulting it number of purple marks on our feet , ankles and knees . There was only one purple colored ink type liquid medicine those days which our mother used to apply on our wounds by dipping cotton tied to one end of the jadhhu ka teila .

Remembring the old song……..Those were the days my friend…..we lived the life we choose , fight and never loose…… on so on .

I miss my brother . He was really a live wire of jokes and laughter .

42 ksbhatia May 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Venkatraman ji;

Its a fun watching south indian trying to speak punjabi and punjabi trying to speak south indian language . For this fun , the best option is to watch the old Kishore , vyjanti starer movie….New Delhi .

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