Guest article by Arunkumar Deshmukh
(The Living Encyclopaedia, Arunji, needs no introduction to the readers of SoY or other music related blogs. His first guest article in the series on Multiple Version Songs was on Hindi-Marathi, naturally. When I was struggling to look for someone to write on Hindi-Kannada, Arunji surprised me by doing the favour. Telugu is one of the many languages he is proficient in. So it was only a matter of time that he would write on it. With this, all the four South Indian languages are covered – Venkataramanji and Anuradha Warrier having already done guest articles on Tamil and Malayalam respectively. The series conceptualised by Mr Ashok M Vaishnav has grown way beyond what he may have thought initially. Arunji is known for the depth of his research and capacity for great detail. I thank him, as also Priya Laxmiji, Ambrish Sundaramji and Sudhirji, who have helped him in his endeavour. – AK)
I had the advantage of being born in a multi-language state like Hyderabad. It was a composite state of 8 Telugu speaking districts (which have now become Telangana state), 5 districts of Marathi speakers and 3 districts of Kannadigas. Hyderabad being the Capital city, people from all sectors had settled here. I had many Telugu and Kannada friends. I picked up these two languages easily as a child. Urdu was the medium of instruction till the 5th standard and Marathi was my mother tongue, while Hindi was the language of communication. No wonder I became a multi-language person, with English (and now Gujarati) to boot!
Obsessed with films, I had no qualms of seeing any language film, be it Hindi, Telugu or Kannada or even English or Marathi. I remember in those days, especially in the 50s, we used to find out which films are remakes of other languages. To our surprise we found many such films and similar songs too in Hindi, Telugu and Kannada.
Amongst the South Indian languages, Tamil and Telugu are the elder sisters, next comes Kannada and then Malayalam. The first Talkie film in South was Bhakta Prahlad – a Telugu film which was released on 15-9-1931 (within 6 months of India’s First talkie – Alam Ara, released on 14-3-1931) and then came the Tamil film, Kalidasa, released on 31-10-1931. In both these films, Shri Hanumanth Munjappa Reddy (H.M.Reddy) had a major role to play. He was an associate of Ardeshir Irani, Producer of Alam Ara, in his Imperial Film co. at Bombay.
When Alam Ara was completed, H M Reddy decided to make a Talkie film in Telugu on the same sets. He discussed it with Irani and left for Andhra – his native land. He gathered the entire star cast of a popular drama “Bhakta Prahlad” and brought them to Bombay. The main actors were M. Subbiah as Hiranyakashyapu and S.Kamalabai as Leelavathy. The direction was by H.M.Reddy. He completed shooting, editing etc and the First Talkie film in Telugu was released in Crown theatre in Kakinada, Maruthi in Vijayawada, Gaiety in Madras city and Minerva in Machlipatnam (Bandar). (Note: The thumbnail in this post is the handbill of ‘Bhakta Prahlad’.)
Interestingly, Reddy was also the director of the First Tamil Talkie, Kalidasa (producer was Ardeshir Irani), made at Bombay. Both films had Telugu,Tamil and Hindi actors. The Tamil Talkie was released in Madras city on 31-10-1931. Thus, both Tamil and Telugu Talkie films had their beginnings at Bombay! Mr. L.V. Prasad, who later became a big producer/Director in South, had acted in all the three films – Alam Ara, Bhakta Prahlad and Kalidasa.
The trend soon picked up and director C.Pulliah, with hero, P.Subba Rao, and heroine, Sriranjani (Sr.), made Telugu’s first blockbuster, Lav Kush, in 1934. People rushed to see the film in their bullock carts, coming from nearby villages. Very soon Telugu producers tried to make films on social issues and in 1936, Prem Vijayam was released. Directed by K. Nageshwar Rao, it was followed by ‘ Malapilla (1938) and Rythubidda (1939).
During the Second World War, limit on the raw film allowed was reduced from 20,000+ feet to only 11,000 feet. From the beginning, Telugu film producers were following the trends of Hindi films made at Bombay and Calcutta and in the early era too, some remakes were made. However, it was only after 1947 that the exchange between Telugu and Hindi films increased. The South was always attracted to Bombay rather than Calcutta. According to an expert, the East was very staunch about their regional pride and communication was always a problem in Bengal, whereas Bombay was open to anything and everything and was more cosmopolitan. In any case, Calcutta disappeared from the horizon of Hindi films by the 50s and then it was only Bombay to look up to.
A few films like Chandralekha (1948) were made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Then it became a trend, borrowing freely from Hindi tunes. But sometimes even the Tamil/Telugu tunes were also copied in Hindi films. Later, making films in 2-3 languages diminished and gave way to making remakes in respective places. Thus Hindi remakes of Telugu films were made in Bombay and Telugu remakes of Hindi films were made in South. Similarly, the tunes were also exchanged freely. Popular songs were copied in Telugu (not necessarily in remakes only) to cash in on the popularity. In those days Hindi films were shown freely in South, without any problems.
From 1948 to present times hundreds of song tunes were exchanged between Telugu and Hindi. Hundreds of remakes and dubbed films hit the screens in both areas. Initially, it was Hindi films which were remade into Telugu, but later on the trend reversed and today maximum Telugu films are remade in Hindi. However, the tunes are not copied much these days – may be they are not worth it anymore.
If you see IMDB, you will find list of thousands of films which are remade both ways. I found one list of 2500 films – of course including all southern languages and Hindi. In olden times, Miss Amma was made as Miss Mary, and Manchi Mansulu became Pooja Ke Phool. Albela (1951) was remade as Natakala Rayudu (1969), using almost the same tunes as the original film.
Here are some remakes:
Miss Mary Miss Amma
Swayamvar Gundamma Katha
Dil Aur Deewar Jeewan tarangalu
Maang Bharo Sajna Karthika Deepam
Milan Mooga Manasalu
Chhoti Bahu Muddu Bidda
Sargam Siri siri muwa
Swarga Narak Swargam Narkam
And here are some dubbed films:
Shiva ka insaaf Donga Mogudu
Baarish-season of Love Varsham
Taqdeerwala Adrindi Guru
Main balwaan Shivmani
In the decade of the 50s many mythological films were dubbed into Hindi. In these films, stalwarts like Sivaji Ganeshan, NTR, A Nageshwar Rao etc. acted. Surprisingly, the music or the tunes were not copied and the Hindi composers could work on their own. Some such films were (Tamil/Telugu) – Raaj Mahal, Amar Shaheed, Aai Phir Se Bahar, Chandirani etc. NTR films like Bhoopat Daku, Naya Aadmi and Jaisingh were remakes from Telugu films.
The picture today is entirely different. Now Telugu film industry is firmly on its feet, constantly challenging Hindi films. There are now more Telugu films dubbed and remade in Hindi that Hindi into Telugu. After the first film studio in South – Durga Cinetone- was built in Rajahmundry in 1936, today Hyderabad boasts of the world’s biggest studio with production facilities – Ramoji Rao Film City (Guinness record certified). Hyderabad is the only city in India having 6 functional, all-purpose shooting studios and A.P (i.e. Seemandhra and Telangana states, now) has the maximum theatres (2809 out of India’s total 10167 theatres) in India.
Finally, we come to the tunes used in Telugu/Hindi films. There are many tunes of Hindi songs used in Tamil and Telugu films. Similarly, it was vice versa also. For example, Meow meow meri sakhi – a Madan Mohan number from Pooja Ke Phool is originally a Telugu/Tamil film from which the remake was done. It was a difficult task to make a list of only 10 songs, as there were hundreds of songs. I have a list of about 50 songs myself. I have, however, got the following 10 songs for representational purpose.
My sincere thanks to Shri Ambrish Sundaram ji, USA and Ms. Priya Laxmi ji of Hyderabad, for helping me out by providing film/song details and Shri Sudhir Kapur ji of Delhi for uploading some songs for me on You Tube.
I do hope that you will enjoy these songs. Alert visitors to the blog are requested to make corrections, if any.
1H. Leke pahla pahla pyar by Rfai and Shamshad Begum from CID (1956), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music OP Nayyar
1T. Oho basthi dorassani by Ghantshala and Jikki from Abhimanam (1960), lyrics Samudrala, music Ghantshala
2H. Ae mere dil kahin aur chal by Talat Mahmood/Lata Mangeshkar from Daag (1952), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
2T. Saagnee jeevitham jorugaa by AM Raja from Pratigya (1953), lyrics Sri Sri, music TA Kalyanam
3H. Dheere se aa ja ri nindiyan mein by Lata Mangeshakr from Albela (1951), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra
3T. Neelala knnulu melamellaga by P Susheela from Natakala Rayudu, lyrics Athreya, music GK Venkatesh
4H. Kyun unhe dil diya haaye ye kya kiya by Surendra and Shamshad Begum from Anokhi Ada (1948), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad
4T. Cheliya ee sumamu ye rangu leenuno by G Varlaxmi from Modati Raatri (1950), music P Nageshwar Rao
5H. Saanwle salone aay din bahaar ke by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Ek Hi Raasta (1956), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Hemant Kumar
5T. Therenu korika by Ghantshala and Jikki from Kumkuma Rekha (1960), lyrics Arudra, music Master Venu
6H. Dil Deke Dekho by Rafi from Dil Deke Dekho (1960), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Usha Khanna
6T. Chakkanidana chikkanidana by Peethapuram and Swarnalata from Shanti Nivaasam (1960), lyrics Samudrala, music Ghantshala
7H. Chalud ja re panchhi by Rafi from Bhabhi (1957), lyrics Rajendra Krsihna, music Chitragupta
7T. Payaniche o chilaka by Ghantshala from Kuldaivam (1960), lyrics Kosraju Raghavendra Chowdhary, music Master Venu
8H. Dekhane mein bhola hai dil ka salona by Asha Bhosle and chorus from Bambai Ka Babu (1960), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music SD Burman
This is adapted from Telugu original presented next.
8T. Yeruvaka saagaroi by Jikki from Rojulu Marai (1955), music Master Venu
This is the inspiration for Dekhane mein bhola hai from Waheeda Rehman’s debut Telugu film.
9H. Gaya andhera hua ujala by Tala Mahmood from Subah Ka Tara (1954), lyrics Noor Lakhanavi, music C Ramchndra
9T. Santosham ela sangeetham ela by M Raja and P Susheela from Santhanam (1956), lyrics Anisetty and Penisetty, music S Dakhshinamurthy
10H. Hansta hua noorani chehara by Lata Mangeshkar and Kamal Barot from Parasmani (1963), lyrics Asad Bhopali, music Laxmikant Pyarelal
10T. Neeli kannula needalalona by PB Srinivasa and P Susheela from Gudi Ghantalu (1964), lyrics Narayan Reddy, music Ghantshala