Songs of Yore completes three years

June 7, 2013

Celebrating with three triad songs

Songs of Yore Third AnniversaryToday SoY completes three years. When I look back, it is not merely more of the same. To be sure, the frequency has increased from the preceding two years. Thirty-three posts in the year gone by, i.e. a post every 11 days, is far more than the preceding two years. But more important is the variety. With songs on themes like River, Naiya, Kinare, Jigar; personalities like Asit Baran, Mubarak Begum, Minoo Mumtaz, some potpourri like Wrap Up of Songs of 1955, Mahamoorkhon ke gaane, and historical-musical travelogue of Rangoon/Burma, I have indulged in my freewheeling wanderings. I have to admit, as I have said earlier, that there is an element of स्वान्तः सुखाय here, borne out of the fact that I am the host of the blog. But what is really gratifying is that a lot many people with tremendous amount of knowledge have joined me in sharing my delights.

The year was also remarkable for the galaxy of guest authors who agreed to write for SoY. Beisdes Subodh Agrawal’s continuing series on classical music, Mr Ashok Vaishnav came up with the idea of multiple version songs, which has grown into a mega series, spanning similar songs across different languages and genres. Naturally it needed a collaborative effort, and quite effortlessly we had contributions from Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh on Hindi-Marathi, Mr N Venkataraman on Hindi-Tamil, Ashokji himself on Hindi-Gujarati, besides his articles on Hindi songs, and Anuradha Warrier on Hindi-Malayalam. With 4 articles by Subodh, and 11 in the mega series, the year belonged to the guest authors. They are people with awesome knowledge and generosity. I can’t thank them enough. And the readers too, with the standard of their comments, are as good as guest authors. Without any false modesty I can say that the SoY has been immeasurably enhanced by the readers and guest authors.

On the last two anniversaries I did not write a substantive article, I limited myself to a general overview and what was in my mind for future. In a departure from the past such occasions, let me also ‘write’ something on the anniversary. Let us celebrate this day with three triad songs, which are not merely songs, but represent three different eras and trends in the trajectory of our film music.

1. Duniya rang rangili baba by KC Dey/Pankaj Mullick, Uma Shashi and KL Saigal from Dhartimata (1938), lyrics Pt Sudarshan, music Pankaj Mullick

Once upon a time there was New Theatres which created eternal gems like this, and they were rightly the Gold Standard of music. The world is awash with colour is apparently a song of joy, but Pankaj Mullick gives it a poignant touch which is enhanced by KC Dey singing the first stanza.  A blind person himself, his Ye duiniya ek sundar bagiya shobha iski nyari hai/ Har daari par jadoo chhaya har daari matwari hai is a reminder to us to be grateful to have been born on this earth, which is bestowed with so much beauty. Before he tapers off, Uma Shashi joins in with a completely different tune. And before her stanza finishes, the mellifluous voice of Saigal flows in with yet another tune with very philosophical lyrics:

This world is like a river of sorrow in which our life is a boat
With the sail of hope, O boatman (My Lord)
Would you ferry us across
To a world beyond, which is delightful and joyous
This world is awash with colour

(KC Dey)
दुनिया रंग रंगीली बाबा दुनिया रंग रंगीली
ये दुनिया एक सुंदर बगिया शोभा जिसकी न्यारी है
हर डारी पे जादू छाया हर डारी मतवारी है
अद्भुत पंछी फूल मनोहर कली कली चटकीली बाबा
दुनिया रंग रंगीली
दुनिया रंग रंगीली बाबा दुनिया रंग रंगीली

(Uma Shashi)
कदम कदम पर आशा अपना रूप अनूप दिखाती है
बिगड़े काज बनती है जीवन के गीत सुनाती है
इसका सुर मिश्री से मीठा इसकी तान रसीली बाबा
दुनिया रंग रंगीली
दुनिया रंग रंगीली बाबा दुनिया रंग रंगीली

(KL Saigal)
दुख की नदिया जीवन नैया आशा के पतवार लगे
ओ नैया के खेनेवाले नैया तेरी पार लगे
पार बसत है देस सुनहरा किस्मत छैल छबीली बाबा
दुनिया रंग रंगीली
दुनिया रंग रंगीली बाबा दुनिया रंग रंगीली

This is the first time ever that counter-melody was used in Hindi film songs. After 75 years the song still remains evergreen. Please notice Pankaj Mullick’s signature style of composing each of the three stanzas in a different tune, which requires a great deal of virtuosity.  The record version has Pankaj Mullick’s voice in place of KC Dey. We find many such examples of the record version in a different voice than the film version. (A sub-category of Mr Ashok Vaishnav’s mega-series?)   I am presenting both the versions here.

KC Dey-Uma Shashi-KL Saigal version of Duniya rang rangili


Pankaj Mullick-Uma Shashi-KL Saigal version of Duniya rang rangili


2. Challa de ja nishani teri meharbani by Shamshad Begum, Mohammad Rafi and SD Batish from Bazaar (1949), music Shyam Sundar

All good things have to come to an end. By the end of the 1940s Bombay had prevailed over Kolkata. Among several reasons mentioned by scholars for the decline of New Theatres was the ability of Bombay to assimilate everything, while the former was stuck in its classicism. Bombay’s ascendancy was spearheaded in the mid-30s by Anil Biswas among others. A Bengali to the core himself, he was also open to other forms and influences. Bombay had its own very strong classical and Marathi Natya Sangeet tradition. Then it welcomed every genre – folk, ghazal, qawwali, Western, and music from every region. The most representative example of this syncretism is Ana meri jaan Sunday ke Sunday (Chitalkar, Meena Kapoor and Shamshad Begum; Shehnai, 1947 by C Ramchandra). But since this song is too well known, I choose a less known gem which represents another powerful force in film music. The beginning of the 40s saw a storm from Punjab (Lahore) hit the music scene in the voice of Shamshad Begum and composer Ghulam Hyder, which was full throated and joyous with beats of the tabla. Shyam Sundar was another stalwart of Punjab School. Rafi and SD Batish also came from the Punjab tradition. So you have pure Punjab in this song, which has no time for deep philosophy or social message. This is a song of undiluted delight. Shamshad Begum soars over the other two in this triad song as usual, even though the uploader has given Mohammad Rafi’s picture as the thumbnail. So let us pay our tribute to this great legend, whom we lost recently, with this song.  With this song, it is a unique coincidence that in my last three consecutive posts I have greeted or paid a tribute to her; not quite planned that way, but because she is such a great favourite that she keeps on appearing.


3. O Ramaiya vastavaiya by Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh from Shree 420 (1957), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

The transition from the 40s to 50s, i.e. 1949 was an important watershed year when even a greater tornado than Shamshad Begum hit the film music. That was a girl twenty years old, named Lata Mangeshkar, who swept every one aside, and soon became a byword for female playback singing. Another landmark of that year was the young duo Shankar Jaikishan, who caused a sensation with their very first film Barsaat. Raj Kapoor became an institution with the ‘RK team’ which also had Mukesh, Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. This song is a definitive celebration of Bomaby – Shankar from Hyderabad seamlessly using Telugu refrain O Ramaiya vastavaiya (O Lord Ram, when would you come), Jaikishan from Gujarat, Lata Mangeshkar from Maharashtra, Rafi from Punjab, Mukesh from Delhi and Shailendra from Bihar. The baton has passed on to the new generation of great singers and composers. Bombay is the place where Raj (a man from nowhere and everywhere) comes to seek his future. There are streets, poor people and innocence, and there is a dark, greedy and unscrupulous metropolis where the good Raj had strayed. He comes back to the street where he belongs, where he is embraced again by his people and joins in the song in the last stanza in the voice of Mukesh with a contrasting poignancy.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

AK Ji,
HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS on completion of 3 years of Musical Yatra.
Though you have been saying that it is for ” Swaant sukhayah”, no wonder that Honey-bees will swarm where there is Honey !
Your readers,commentators and guest writers are a testimony to the quality of the fare you have been providing to the Music lovers.
Selection of subjects for posts and your heartfetlt desire to provide the ‘bestest’ possible,on your Blog has reflected in the fame of SOY as a quality reference point for many music related matters.
I for one,stumbled on it 2 years ago and has been attached to it like
“Fevicol ka atoot jod”.
Congrats once again and here is wishing you many more milestones,Anniversaries and further prestige in the Blogosphere.

2 dustedoff June 7, 2013 at 11:01 am

Happy birthday to your blog, AK! May you continue to educate and entertain us for many may more years to come!

Thank you, also, for those three triad songs. I loved them, all – the Shamshad one was new to me, and it was so quintessentially Shamshad. 🙂

3 AK June 7, 2013 at 11:17 am

You have been a major pillar of not only SoY, but several blogs writing on old film songs. So your association and your praise means a lot. When I started three years back, I didn’t know what blogging entailed. The only reason was that I had passion for old film music, and this would give me a means to put forth whatever comes to me. In that sense, it started ‘swaantah sukhaay‘. But now it belongs to a lot more people. I know that what I write is going to be read by many people with immense knowledge and scholarship. That you and so many others have joined in my journey is a great reward for me. Thanks a lot for your good wishes and your kind words.

4 AK June 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks a lot for your good wishes and kind words. I would never presume to ‘educate’ anyone. I do learn from your blog and some others which I visit regularly, as well as readers and guest authors at SoY, who have such awesome knowledge.

I also came across Challa de ja nishani quite recently, and got hooked to it. It so fitted what I wanted to say, and an unknown gem to boot.

5 gaddeswarup June 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I do not know how I got into this. I know very little about film songs though I always liked and remembered a few. There is an obsession with music for the common man, not just for the elite with all its lists and classifications. May be I was drawn to ‘Songs on the Footpath’ for that reason and probably came here through one of the comments. Off and on, after one of the posts about a ragaa and some list, I feel that I do ot know this stuff and must get out but then some thing hooks me. It may be a beautiful song that I have not hear before or connected with some thing that I know or some idea about the appeal of these songs in many places around the world. Then I start wondering about how these were able to withstand the might of Hollywood and that we really do not understand what works and may be one can get glimpses through what experts say here some of the things that endured. Whether it was original intention or not, now it is a very eclectic blog where I learn not only about songs but also interesting facts and ideas. it must have some thing to do with the personality of AKji and I hope that it will continue for many more years.

6 AK June 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I do see SoY continuing for many years to come, because there is so much beautiful music still to share. In spite of your disclaimers, whatever you contribute is of enormous value, which comes from your academic background. You also have a knack of coming up with some unknown great music.

7 N Venkataraman June 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Hearty congratulations on completion of three years of melodious journey.
Last year, in September, I accidentally discovered your site, while looking for some HFS in Raag Yaman. From then on I started visiting your previous articles. I was fascinated by the quality and variety of contents provided by SoY. Now I am deeply entrenched with SoY and delighted to be a partaker in this wonderful journey.
During the course of the last three years SoY has grown from strength to strength. SoY initially started serving appetizers and starters, moved on to main courses and classical recipes, with the right quality of desserts and beverages served. With more experts joining the fray, SoY has become one of the most sought after Le Cordon Bleu for Indian film music lovers. The frequency of serve increased, SoY comes in several courses. It can be savoured and enjoyed at leisurely pace at a single sitting, taking a course at a time or dipped into from time to time by snackers.
Anyway I do not want to hold things up. The waiters are hovering, the tables are set.
Let the celebrations start.
Wishing you and SoY many more years of happy and fruitful blogging.
Congratulations once again.

8 AK June 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm

It is difficult to believe that you joined less than a year ago, you have become such an important and indispensable part of the family. Thanks a lot for your good wishes, kind words and valuable contributions in comments and as guest author.

9 ASHOK M VAISHNAV June 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

It is said that those who take up on a journey without a destination in mind are likely to get lost.
And there are some who start the journey as solo effort, and before it becomes known, the company swells so much and so well, that the person probably wonders whether the start of journey was ever a solo effort?
Oh, you thought I am writing this about SoY?
As I started writing this, the realization dawned that it is applicable to me as well as a mirror age.
If AKji thought he would write a blog for स्वान्तः सुखाय, within a wink of Three Years in the Potential 1000s of Years, he has a so much a swelling rank of committed and active followers from as diverse walk of life as can be ever be possible.
Similarly, having started reading the blog, about 15 18 months ago, I never knew when I started commenting freely and, now, even contributing, in my own small way, to the blog!
So much so, that not only reading and savoring articles and the nuances therein, as well as commenting and also savoring other comments has become a die-hard habit, even waiting for the next article, and next comment, literally without betting the ye lid, also become a hobby in itself.
And AKji, as AKji could now comes up a three gems of triad songs on the third birth anniversary, but we will not restrict our adulation to only Hip, Hip , and a Hurray, but will unleash a mexican wave of adulation………………………………….

10 AK June 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Posterity would associate you with “Multiple Version Songs”. This bandwagon has grown with many genres, languages, guest authors, a dozen articles and still growing. I am privileged that I and SoY became a partner in this enterprise. Your comments are not comments, but a gold mine of information. You have added a great deal right since you joined SoY. Thanks a lot.

11 Anu Warrier June 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Happy Birthday to your blog, AK. May it celebrate many more such birthdays. I do not remember how I stumbled onto this blog, but I have learnt a lot about old Hindi films songs and its associations from your posts, and from the free-wheeling discussions in the comments sections from your very knowledgeable readers.

I look forward to new posts, new comments, new discussions. Thank you for hosting a site where this is possible.

12 mumbaikar8 June 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Congratulations on your 3rd birthday may you prosper and have many more birthdays and have a lots members debating and discussing music. I am being selfish in wishing for you because I enjoy it to the core of my heart, music is my life and SOY provides me with Oxygen
In fact when I contemplate my retirement SOY adds a reason in favor.
So keep it on and give many more people reason to retire.
Good Luck!

13 AK June 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation and good wishes. You have been a very important member of SoY family. I myself learn a lot from your blog.

14 AK June 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

You are very generous. There are many firsts to your credit at SoY – many gems I came to know for the first time from your comments. Thanks a lot for your kind words, and looking forward to your continued support.

15 Mahesh Mamadapur June 7, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Congratulations !!!!.

The praise of Shamshad Begum made me wonder if all three songs could have been dedicated with her at the helm as an important era came to an end with her passing away. May her soul rest in peace.

Thanks for all the wonderful stuff and looking forward for more.

16 jignesh kotadia June 8, 2013 at 1:22 am

How i came here…exactly b4 six mnths on 7th dec i was bz in my main hobby that is to search unlistened songs on yt,,convert them online to mp3,,dwnld and listen them at leisure. At that time i was searching lataji’s songs list of 1949. I typed ‘lata songs lists 1949’ in google. Search result showed many links. 1st one was cineplot’s list..and second immediate link was ” MY FAVOURITE LATA MANGESHKAR SONGS BY C.RAMCHANDRA ” at I got some interest to see those songs and clicked the link with curiousity…i read the interesting post and posted some songs too…later in return comments i knew the admin’s name is ‘AK’. Thenafter i visited most of the posts gradually and bcm addicted to this golden era site..THANX AND CONGRATULATIONS TO AKJI AND ALL TEAM MEMBERS AND HOPE THIS SITE WILL EXIST FOR MANY YEARS.

Recently i have dwnlded songs of Muqabala 1942, and added some marvellous songs in my fav songs. One of them i want to post today on soy’s bday.
”Mujrim hun muhabbat ka, jo chahe sazaa dena
Par yaad rahe itna, dil se na bhula dena” singer n actor is yakub, md is Khan Mastana.

17 AK June 8, 2013 at 5:59 am

Thanks a lot. Shamshad Begum was great. I am sure we will have more of her on this site.

18 AK June 8, 2013 at 8:05 am

Can’t believe that you joined us just six months back, because if I count the number of songs you have posted, probably it would be more than what I did in three months!

You have given a great vintage song from Muqabala. Heard it for the first time. I didn’t know that Yaqub was also a singer. The comments in YT have expressed doubt about the singer, and some have speculated that it could be Khan Mastana. From this film I had heard Khan Mastana’s song Hum pane dard ka kiss sunaye jate hain, I regarded it as his best. It is also there on YT. His voice is very different, and it is clear he is not the singer of Mujrim hun mohabbat ka.

Thanks a lot for your compliments and for the absolute gem you have posted.

19 Canasya June 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm

My felicitations. More than half of all new blogs fold within 3 months. And here is SoY celebrating its 3rd anniversary and still vigorously spreading the joys of HFM goldies. The credit, of course, goes to AKji’s resourcefulness in coming up with an unending stream of innovative themes, his skill in delegating specialized topics to uniquely knowledgeable guest bloggers such as Arunkumar Deshmukh ji, N. Venkataraman ji, Anuradha Warrier ji, Ashok M. Vaishnav ji, Subodh Agrawal ji, and his supreme gift of neutrality in a domain that passionately promotes extremes of loyalty.
I became acquainted with SoY only recently looking for information on a debate I was having with a friend on Kishore vs Rafi. When I went through the top half of SoY’s Kishore vs Rafi page I began having a sense of desperation. Such a well written blog that appeared so knowledgeable seemed to be rooting for Kishore. Then came the last few paragraphs that revealed AKji’s true colours. Here was an extremely balanced, non-partisan picture of the debate written in a style as gripping as a mystery story. I was hooked.
“Bar bar din ye aaye.”

20 AK June 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Thanks a lot. In many ways I have been lucky to get so many knowledgeable people join SoY and write for it unselfishly – except Subodh, whom I knew personally, all the Guest Authors and the readers I know only in the virtual world.

Now that you mention my article on Rafi-Kishore Kumar, at least you ware able to see that I was non-partisan. Frankly, I left no one in doubt that my own favorite is Rafi over Kishore Kumar. Yet many readers completely misread it that I was trying to put down Rafi. Some comments even cast aspersions on me. I learnt that that is one of the hazards of blogging – in the free virtual media, the lowest common denominator can be really very low. But finally every blog finds its own level. I think in the end we need to thank the wonderful technology of the internet, which has allowed me and so many others to express ourselves and interact in real time on topics of our interest.

21 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

AK Ji,
I remember what Majrooh Sultanpuri had said….

Main akela hi chala tha janibe-e-manzil magar
Log sath aate gaye aur karavan banta gaya

I started all alone towards the goal/(but)
people kept joining and it began to turn into a caravan


22 Siddharth June 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Congratulations on completing three years of SoY. I also stumbled on your blog a year back like most of the others and have been a regular visitor since then. Its been a pleasure to read your posts and its getting better and better with so many articulate and knowledgeable people contributing. Apart from the interesting and informative articles, the comments section is a unique part which provide so much insight and adds tremendous value. The comments section can go really nasty as people have diverse views and preferences but you have handled them very well. Once again thanks to all the people contributing to this blog. I know its not possible but i wait for new posts on your blog everyday :-). Such is the addiction.

23 AK June 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

Very well said, and what a caravan! May the tribe grow.

Thanks a lot for your kind words. About the frequency of the blog, I think I will have to disappoint you :). There are times when I have so many themes in my mind that I could write every day for a stretch. But I think there is a point in treating each piece with some seriousness. As you have said, the comments are an extremely valuable part of the blog. That means I have to give a reasonable gap between posts.

24 jignesh kotadia June 10, 2013 at 1:31 am

Akji, i have also some doubt in my mind that perhaps yakub is misnamed for ‘mujrim hun muhabbat ka’ … But since that era was of singing actors and acting singers, it is quite possible that yakub might also have taken classical singing training. Further example delivering same amazement is in the same film ‘muqabala’, the song sung by a least known singer ‘Rajni’. I havent listened this singing name be4 this but the performance is supreme and the song is really a diamond. The peculiarity of that era was, regardless of singer and md the end product was always superclass !
Listen this fantastic product of khan mastana from ‘muqabala’ sung by rajni.

‘piya naino men aan samaaye
ab bairan neend na aaye’

25 AK June 10, 2013 at 5:54 am

This is a gem. Heard for the first time. Thanks a lot.

26 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 10, 2013 at 10:48 am

Jignesh ji,
1942 had some ‘singing actors and acting singers’ as you say,but by 1940 playback singing was well entrenched. However,because Yaqub was a good singer himself,that is why he was given songs in films.
As far as RAJANI is concerned,if I am not mistaken,she was the daughter or comedian Bhudo Advani.Advani never wanted his children to join films,but Rajni had been seeing many actors etc,when Advani was staying in Tardev(in Central Studio compound) in her childhood,she was hooked to films and against Advani’s wishes she joined films. She too used to sing songs reasonable well. This was told to me by Advani’s son and Rajani’s brother,when i was interviewing him about Bhudo Advani.(If interested,this interview was posted on as a Guest post 2 years back.).

27 Subodh Agrawal June 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Happy birthday SoY! I am so proud and honoured to be part of this wonderful initiative by you AK. You gave people like me a forum to share our love for music with like minded persons. Your ‘swantah sukhay’ has evolved into ‘bahujan sukhay’ thanks to your commitment, knowledge and open-mindedness. Through SoY I also became familiar with Dustedoff, Harveypam, ‘Conversations over Chai’ and other blogs dealing with old film songs. This exposure turned me from a self-appointed ‘expert’ in old Hindi film songs to a willing learner. I love this transformation!

Through SoY posts and comments one has come to know and appreciate people like Mr Vaishnav, Mr Deshmukh, Mr Venkataraman, Mr Gaddeswarup, Jignesh Kotadia, Mr Vaishampayan; and of course Madhulika Liddle, Anuradha Warrier, Richard S and Harvey. I wonder if it is possible to have some net-enabled video conference of all of us so that we can also see the faces and hear the voices behind these names. I don’t know much about Google hangout, but it could be the right forum for this kind of interaction.

Thanks also for the three triple songs. Let me close by recalling one triple from my first post – ‘Darshan do Ghanshyam nath.’ Thanks and best wishes.

28 AK June 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Thanks a lot. You have been a part of SoY from the very beginning, and in fact your guest articles set the path for other guest authors.

It would be really fascinating to meet and know the great people on the blogosphere you have mentioned. It seems all of us started about 3-4 years back, and some of us chose to be anonymous and are now enjoying it. May be some years down the line, in some way your wish comes true. (I should mention, I have been privileged to meet two from your list during my travels).

29 jignesh kotadia June 11, 2013 at 1:05 am

@Arunji…..pehle to aap mujhe sirf jignesh hi kahiye…thoda uncomfortable lagta hai kyunki aap mujhse bade hai…..’rajni’ ke baare me valuable information share karne ke liye bahot bahot dhanyavaad. I visited that nice site . Serving very well abt our interest. But i cudnt find that particular interview amongst too many posts there. I have seen a whole post abt the film ”muqabala” 1942 there with ur comment beneath. I will try to listen more songs of rajni and yaqub if available on yt. Thanx very much Arunji.

@Akji…thank u for warm responses
@Subodhji.. Aap ka khat mila..aap ka shukriya…aapne yaad humko kiya…shukriya shukriya

30 jignesh kotadia June 11, 2013 at 1:40 am

@Arunji…yes, i found it ! … I read ur interview with RAMESH ADVANI (bhudo advani’s son). A very very nice article.. First time knew abt bhudo advani. Thank u very much for gathering and sharing such precious informations to enthusiast ppl.

31 Soumya Banerji June 11, 2013 at 6:07 am

Happy Birthday SOY! Like many of your fans I came across you when a Google search pointed me towards you. And, boy, am I glad I clicked on the link. May there be many such birthdays.
AK, another gem from you. I really liked the Duniya Rang Rangili song. The way Pankaj Mullick merged the three different versions seamlessly shows what a great master he was.
I believe another reason for the decline of New Theaters was the flight of capital from Calcutta to Bombay. New Theaters slowly lost its financiers when management became a huge problem.

32 AK June 11, 2013 at 7:33 am

Thanks a lot. I am thankful that you dropped by, and now are as much a part of SoY family as others.

Yes, flight of capital was an important reason for the decline of the New Theatres. Bombay was street smart, and did not care about the kind of money that was coming in the wake of the war economy or the kind films that were made. BN Sircar could not handle this kind of competition.

33 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

Soumya ji / Ak ji,

I think,more than capital flight,it was the flight of Artistes from New Theatres,that was a greater Blow. Start counting from Prithwiraj kapoor,K L Saigal,Kidar Sharma and a long list of people probably culminating with Pankaj Mallick and co. put the last nail on new Theatres.
The reason for the flight of Artistes,was not only Money,but a Free lance atmosphere,choice of working with desired people,variety of roles and ever changing scenario of New actresses,actors and Directors,was also the cause.
Bombay was always an attraction for people from outside and the modern living conditions and a more free thinking society were other causes,I think.

34 gaddeswarup June 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I just read a dissertation about dance in Pakistan, mainly about Indu Mitha (nee Banerjee), at one time one of the two bharatanatyam teachers in Pakistan. She was married to a Pakistani general, did not change her religion (christian) and her female students were from elite families and male students poor christians. At one stage in the book there is a quote of her vision:
(page 246, )

“My “jihad” in the promotion and acceptance of dance in Pakistan is based on my belief that no art form worth its name is narrowly confined to any religion, faith, historical time or lifestyle. Art evolves like language. For example, Britons today do not easily understand the King James Bible, once considered a literary standard, or even speak “the King’s English” which was dinned into me in my school days.

Dance in Pakistan needs to be understood by people of our time; hence it must have understandable lyrics, gestures and costumes that hold meaning for us.”

I wonder whether this blog will be a spring board for similar research.

35 Anu Warrier June 12, 2013 at 12:35 am

Echoing Subodh here – I have made so many ‘friends’ on this blog and the others that I frequent, even to the point of exchanging emails and telephone conversations with some of you, and meeting a couple of others in real life.

This tiny part of the blogosphere, which includes the blogs we frequent, their hosts, and our/their readers, is like an ‘adda’ of sorts – the discussions, debates, hotly contested viewpoints are all there; all that is missing is the cutting chai and the samosas. 🙂

36 AK June 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

I have started reading the dissertation you have linked. The author is addressing the tension between national/religious identity and the love for a dance form identified with the contrarian other. Very interesting to read that. It would be a revelation for many – at least it was for me – that a muslim woman from Pakistan could be a trained and performing Bharatanatyam dancer.

SoY, like other blogs in this genre, is primarily recreational. While I do see SoY discussing dance in films at some time, I doubt if it can presume to venture into research of academic level.

At least you have been offering ‘Conversations over chai’. Very smart idea! Na harrey lagey na fitkiri aur rang chokha. Why don’t you make it ‘Conversations over chai and samosa’? It won’t cost you anything.

37 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

Heard this saying about Fitkiri after many years !

38 gaddeswarup June 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I was trying to find about Azuri supposed to be one of the first item singers in Hindi films (Richard Singer showed interest in knowing more about her). There is some information about her on pages 39 and 99-100 of the dissertation. It seems that she was well versed in some classical dances and was a teacher.

39 AK June 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I must have myself used it after ages.

I aw your comments on Richard’s blog. Suddenly I find there is enormous material on Azurie, whom I was not aware of a few months ago. Some chronology is not clear about her. If she migrated to Pakistan after 1947 events, how come she acted in some films in India later?

40 gaddeswarup June 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Richard’s post says that she migrated in 1960. I too read somewhere that she migrated late but do not remember the source.

41 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Anand ji / AK ji,

As far as I know,Bahana -1960, was Azuri’s last released film,before she migrated to Pakistan and appeared in Pakistani film Jhoomer in 1959.

42 gaddeswarup June 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I am not sure about the information from Richard’s blog. From
by Sheema Kermani
“Soon after 1947, dancer Madame Azurie moved from Bombay and set up an academy of dance in Rawalpindi but this was short lived due to lack of financial funds. Madam Azurie then moved to Karachi where she met Rafi Anwer, another dancer who had migrated from Bombay. Madame Azurie and Rafi Anwer paired up and choreographed and presented many performances as duets for many years. Both Rafi Anwer and Madame Azurie taught students and continued to teach as long as they lived. ”
I think that Sheema Kermani still teaches bharatanatam and odissi in Pakistan and is also an activist. It is possible that Azurie kept visiting India to meet some commitments. It is possible that the dates given above by Shri Arunkumar Deshmukh confused Richard.

43 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

There are many cases when artistes from Bombay and Lahore/karachi travelled across to complete their committments and films. Also many artistes kept visiting the other country for settling property matters. For example,pran and manorama went back to Pakistan and completed their 2 films,in 1948/49.
Sheila Ramani went to pak to do film Anokhi,somewhere in 1956 or so. Similarly,Meena Shorey also came to India (she used to stay with Roop k Shorey) to do some films,many times.
So it is possible that Azuri might have gone after 1947 to find out the possibilities of business,then came back and went back again etc.
I have not provided any dates to Richard ji.

44 gaddeswarup June 13, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I meant that that Richard seems to have used the cineplot post which gave the same dates. He refers to it in his post. The dissertation mentioned above also gives the year 1947. I understand that unto 1965, there were not that many travel restrictions between the countries. Possibly Richard and Minai (who mentioned that she was gathering information on Azurie) will come up with more comprehensive posts later on.

45 AK June 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Arunji, Gaddeswarupji,
With so much interest about Azuri at this point of time (which is itself amazing), I am sure we would have some definitive information on the chronology.

The discussion on Richard’s blog was in the context of O janewale balamwa. I have recently ‘discovered’ some exciting information about the song, and Azuri. Since the discussion took place on his blog, I am going to first post it there.

46 Mohan Lal July 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

New Delhi, July 1, 2013.


In the heading CATEGORIES (on the right side) under sub-heading “Singers”, I do not find the names of Shyam Sunder, Khan Mastana and Shiv Dayal Batish. It is surprising. Or may be there is any special reason?

The information, on the Maestro Jamal Sen is revealing and superb for music lovers of the old songs specially of the Golden Years years 50s and 40s. It is great.

Mohan Lal

47 AK July 2, 2013 at 10:08 am

Mohan Lal,
The reason why Shyam Sundar, Khan Mastana and SD Batish are not mentioned in the ‘Categories’ is because I have not yet written a post on them. The structure of the blog is that only those categories/themes are mentioned on which some articles have been posted.

Thanks for your appreciation of the post on Jamal Sen.

48 Mohan Lal July 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

New Delhi, 2nd July 2013.

Thank you AK Ji for your prompt clarification.

Best regards,
Mohan Lal

49 Jignesh Kotadia October 27, 2013 at 2:58 am

RIP Manna da,

‘badi cheez hai tujhe kya pata
teri ek adaa teri ek sadaa
jo tadap rahe the bahal gaye
jo gire the gir ke sambhal gaye
tera hath hath men aa gaya
ke charaag raah men jal gaye’

Yes, indeed, your devine voice has given us too much life…

Tribute to manna da
This wonderful classic of him is from ‘Archana’ (1974)

Shankar shows the glimpse of golden era in 70’s…waah waah

‘Jiya men laga mohe baan preet ka
Ghayal hai armaan preet ka’

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