The ‘other’ Madan Mohan

March 3, 2011

Humse nain milana BA pass kar ke

Madan Mohan Commuting to your office could be a pain, but if your driver’s musical taste goes back to the Golden Era, ranging from Mukesh to Hemant Kumar to Talat Mehmood to Shamshad Begum to Suraiya, you look forward to the drive; the traffic jam is no longer an irritant, in fact it only lets you linger over the melodies a little longer.

I had become accustomed to these melodies playing on the car stereo. One day it was the turn of Shamshad Begum. After the familiar Kabhi aar kabhi paar, Saiyan dil mein ana re, Chandni ayee ban ke pyar, Kahe koel shor machaye re etc, I was struck by a very peppy, very light hearted number Humse nain milana BA pass kar ke.

I had never heard this song before, and for a lover of old film music, any new discovery brings tremendous excitement. The cheap MP3 cover of the CD, the kind you get in Palika Bazar for 30 rupees having 120 songs, did not mention anything besides the mukhada of the song. But the search for its roots did not take long, thanks to the modern wonder of the internet. In the olden days I remember the restless yearning after hearing a beautiful song for the first time, not knowing when I would hear that again or how I would be able to place its film, singer and composer. It is only now that I am able to place many songs of that era which were deeply etched in memory.

What was so special about Humse nain milana? It was typical Shamshad Begum (as a matter of fact Shamshad Begum-Mukesh duet, but Shamshad Begum obviously leaves a strong impact); and stumbling upon an unheard song is nothing extraordinary. No matter how deep you are into music of that era, there would be hundreds of gems hidden, waiting to be discovered, brought out and appreciated. What, however, came as a big surprise for me, and which I could have never guessed, was that the composer was Madan Mohan of the Madan Mohan – Lata Mangeshkar fame known for the ‘Madan Mohan style’ of music, the Madan Mohan known for his signature songs like Unko ye shikayat hai, Yun hasraton ke daag mohabbat mein dho liye etc.

Humse nain milana is from Madan Mohan’s debut film Aankhen (1950). It was written by Raja Menhdi Ali Khan, who was the lyricist behind many of the Madan Mohan’s greatest compositions, including the songs of Mera Saya and Who Kaun Thi. This song is quite unlike Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, in fact you rarely come across a more playful and zany song:

Humse nain milana BA pass karke
Humse preet lagana BA pass karke

BA pass karke mohe degree dikhaao ji
Mohe degree dikhaao
Ye hai BA ki degree gori gusse me na aao
Ho gori gusse me na aao
Apni ye char sau beesee kisi aur pe chalaao
Jaao ye hai jhoothi degree
Isko koode me phenk aao
Ki isko koode me phenk aao
Jaye bhaad me aisa pyaar
Tere ye nakhre hain bekaar
Humko gussa na dilaanaa bakwaas kar ke
Humse preet lagana BA pass kar ke

BA nahin hoon lekin main hoon ishq mein MA pass
Aji tum kya jaano Mr Majnu dost hain mere khaas
Aji ustaad the mere khaas
Jungle me tum dono jaakar charo ikatthi ghaas
Chale aaye ho tum akal ka satyanash kar ke
Humse preet lagana BA pass karke

Ishq ki hae tune qadar na jani
Degree ke peeche tu to huyi hai deewani
Good bye good bye
Good bye o meri rani
Maine marne ki hai thani
Mere baalmaa na jana dil udaas karke
Humse preet lagana BA pass karke

Humse nain milana BA pass karke
Humse preet lagana BA pass karke

This song belongs to the sweet and innocent era when passing BA was the apogee of academic achievement for most persons; you proudly displayed “BA” after your name on your door plate or letter head. The lady is quite clear the hero has to pass BA before he can court her. Also it is perhaps for the first time that chaaloo words like satyanash (सत्यानाश), bakwaas (बकवास), char sau beesee (चार सौ बीसी), kooda (कूड़ा), bhaad (भांड़), ghaas charnaa (घास चरना) have been used in a film song. I never gave a second thought to the word Shree 420 as the title of the famous RK film. But use of chaar sau beesee in this song set me thinking why out of over 500 provisions of the Indian Penal Code only section 420 entered our lexicon and became so much a part of popular culture ascribing to the word a much more colourful and romanticised view of chicanery not intended by the British lawmakers. You do not hear anyone say Mujhe gussa mat dilaao, main tumhara 302 kar doonga or Woh bada 302 hai. Leaving that to etymologists, enjoy this humorous song from the film Aankhen (1950).

1.  Humse nain milana BA pass kar ke by Shamshad Begum and Mukesh from the film Aankhen (1950), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

 

Aankhen had some more surprises. Lata Mangeshkar was missing from the film. Even though they had known each other for a couple of years, it is likely Lata might have refused to sing for this rookie – by that time she had already achieved spectacular success with songs in Mahal, Barsaat, Andaaz etc. (see Lata Mangeshkar vs Noorjehan), though the ‘’official’’ web site of Madan Mohan www.madanmaohan.in quotes him very charitably absolving Lata Mangshkar and blaming some unknown persons of having misled her into not singing for this movie. So you have songs by other singers, some outstanding and very famous such as, Meena Kapur’s Mori ataiya pe kaga bole, Mukesh’s Preet laga ke maine ye phal paya and Shamshad Begum’s solo Mohabat karne walon ka yahi anjaam hota hai.

The musical success of Aankhen must have created a big impact, because the following year you have Lata teaming with Madan Mohan in a big way with everlasting melodies such as Sanwri soorat man bhayee re piya, Preetam meri duniya mein (film Adaa), followed soon after with Mere piya se koi ja ke kah de, Sama hai bahar ka, Main na janu mere dil ko ye kya ho gaya (film Ashiana). In spite of a faint C Ramchandra tinge in early Madan Mohan, these songs are a clear foundation of the famed Madan Mohan-Lata Mangeshkar style of music.

But there was another Madan Mohan of Humse nain milana style with a great sense of fun. So you have nestling among these great Madan Mohan-Lata style songs, this zany duet by Kishore Kumar-Shamshad Begum in Ashiana:

2.  O madam o madam do se ho gaye ek hum by KK-Shamshad Beguam from Ashiana (1952), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

When you think of Madhosh (1951) you think of Talat Mahmood’s iconic meloncholic song Meri yaad mein tum na aansoo bahaanaBut you also have the other Madan Mohan coming up with this zany song in which a gang of naughty girls led by, of all persons Meena Kumari, is teasing the city boy come to the village, in Shamshad Begums’s voice:

3.  Shamshad Begum sings Pagri pahan ke turredaar in Madhosh (1951), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

 

You see the dual Madan Mohan throughout his career. In Bhai Bhai (1956) if you have his signature Lata song Kadar jane na, the other Madan Mohan gives a completely different, typical Geeta Dutt song Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kis pe aa gaya hai. 

4.  Geeta Dutt sings Ae dil mujhe bata de from Bhai Bhai (1956), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

 

Dekh Kabira Roya (1957) is known for Madan Mohan’s iconic songs such as Talat Mahmood’s Humse aya na gaya unse bulaya na gaya, Manna Dey’s Kaun aya mere man ke dware and Lata’s Meri veena tum bin roye. But you also have the other Madan Mohan come up with this breezy song by two carefree girls dancing and singing down the Marine Drive (in saris if you notice – those days the girls could wear sari and be hep):

5.  Geeta Dutt and Lata sing Hum panchhi mastane in Dekh kabira Roya (1957), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

 

Adalat (1958) established the famed Madan Mohan-Lata Mangeshkar style of music, with songs like Yun hasraton ke daag mohabbat mein dho liye and Unko ye shikayat hai ki hum kuchh nahin kahte. These songs must have cemented his reputation as the Ghazal King. Yet in the midst of his signature songs, you have this song in a typical OP Nayyar style:

6.  Dupatta mera malmal ka by Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt in Adalat (1958), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

 

Mohammad Rafi singing for Johnny Walker had become a stock genre of comedy songs those days. In this too the other Madan Mohan creates this classic:

7. Rafi sings Bada hi CID hai wo neelee chhatriwala in Chandan (1958), Rajendra Krishna

 

But nothing can beat Kishore Kumar singing for Kishore Kumar in whacky comedy. The other Madan Mohan has created several Kishore Kumar classics in light hearted comic style. Chacha Zindabad (1959) is known for the quintessential MM-Lata song Bairan neend na aye. You also have this funny Kishore Kumar song in the film:

8.  Ae haseeno naazneeno main dil hatheli pe la ke aa raha hun from Chacha Zindabad (1959), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

 

 

Manmauji (1962) had the eternal MM-Lata classic Main to tum sang nain mila ke haar gayee sajnaa, and the other Madan Mohan also gave this funny Kishore Kumar classic:

9.  Zaroorat hai zaroorat hai shrimati ki by Kishore Kumar in Manmauji (1962), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

In spite of great critical acclaim, big commercial success eluded him. With Woh Kaun Thi (1964), he achieved both, again with everlasting Lata melodies such as Jo humne dastaan apni sunayee, Lag ja gale and Naina barse rim jhim rim jhim. And then you have the other Madan Mohan create this playful Asha Bhosle song:

10. Shokh nazar ki bijliyan by Asha Bhosle in Woh Kaun Thi (1964), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

This duality in Madan Mohan we see also in his next big musical and commercial success Mera Saaya (1966). With his signature Lata songs Naino mein badra chhaye, Tu jahan jahan chalega mera saya saath hoga, you have this classic street dancer song by Asha Bhosle:

11. Jhumka gira re by Asha Bhosle in Mera Saaya (1966), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

 

Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1966) had the signature MM-Lata song Maine rang li aaj chunariya sajna tore rang mein. Yet the playful Madan Mohan gives this peppy duet dancing song:

12. Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar sing O Rajaji hamar kaha mano ji in Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1966), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan

It is said Madan Mohan’s forays into peppy light hearted songs was due to the demands of producers to create something in Shankar Jaikishan or OP Nayyar style – they were the reigning kings of commercial success for a number of years. This cannot be a complete explanation. The kind of classics he created in the ‘other’ style throughout his career parallel to the famed MM-Lata style, could come only if there was another Madan Mohan, playful, light-hearted inside him. His known life history does show a colourful personality with diverse interests in games and sports, reading, clubs, cooking and having varied upbringing and background in Iraq, Army, Lucknow, Lahore, Bombay, All India Radio, besides a deep interest in classical music. The work of Madan Mohan is not complete without ‘the other’ Madan Mohan.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gaby March 10, 2011 at 1:00 am

What about Dil dil se milakar dekho ( a twin song by the way with an Asha and a Kishore version- both peppy and frothy) from Mem shaib with an utterly delightful Meena Kumari?

Then there was Balma anadi manga de ghoda gaadi from Pocketmaar – flamenco beaths on a folksy tune.

Ae bach gaye from Chacha zindabad, Ek tha abdul rehman from Manmauji, Bhor aayi gaya andhiyaara from Bawarchi, Aeingan Baingan Talee Taleingan from Duniya na mane. I for one believe that madanmohan worked as much under the influence of Thalia as he did for Melpomene. That is why he remains such a star while many stars have faded away!

2 AK March 10, 2011 at 11:40 am

@Gaby
Thanks for your comments and wonderful Thalia and Melpomene metaphor.

Indeed Dil dil se mila kar dekho is a fantastic example of the “other” Madan Mohan, considering that Mem Sahib also had the soulful Madan Mohan’s Kahta hai dil tum ho mere liye by Talat and Asha Bhosle.

Balma anadi manga de ghoda gaadi is again my big favourite. But I put it in melody class, somehow it reminds me of Chitragupta style of Lata’s sweet songs. A peppy MM-Lata which I instantly recall is Naino waali ne hae mera dil toda from Mera Saya, which I would easily put in the other MM class.

In fact there are so many peppy, funny songs composed by Madan Mohan for Kishore Kumar singing for himself in his typical wild style that I believe he also had a wild side to him like KK. Browsing the Youtube I came across this wildest of wild KK song from Chacha Zindabaad, Des chhudaaye bhes chhudaaye kya kya kare na preet which opens with Kishore Kumar’s alaap and goes to bhangra to bhajan to Hinglish to nursery rhyme Jack and jill went up the hill, and along with the song he transforms from a serious classical singer with tanpura to a jumping, dancing wild comic.

MM shows the same flair in Rafi songs for Johnny Walker. I came across a quintessential Rafi-Johnny Walker Idhar to hath la pyare dikhaaun din ko bhi taare from Aakhri Dao (1958), which had soulful MM’s Tujhe kya sunaaun main dilruba by Rafi (my admiration for this song is not lessened in spite of the apparent lifting from Talat’s Ye hawa ye raat ye chandni from Sangdil composed by Sjjad Husaain) and Manna Dey-Lata duet Wo chand muskaya sitare sharmaye.

3 jyotinshah August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am

sir
I am curious about 2 songs .. one hemant’s neend na mujh ko aaye and the other hum se aya na gaya of talat.. if you can analyse these 2 with the instruments used in the songs, I would appreciate it
thanks

4 AK August 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm

@jyotinshah
I must confess I am not a musician. I enjoy music and both the songs you have mentioned are my great favourites. Humse aya na gaya seems to be using only the sitar and tabla. Talat Mahmood’s velvety voice comes out clearly unencumbered by music which enhances its beauty. Neend na mujhko aye has Kalyanji Anandji’s typical melodious orchestration. The dominant instrument seems to be accordion, you can also hear flute, and tabla of course. I would suggest ask someone who himself plays some instrument. In the meanwhile enjoy the two great songs:

Neend na mujhko aye by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Post Box No. 999, music Kalyanji Anandji

Humse aya na gaya by Talat Mahmood from Dekh Kabira Roya, music Madan Mohan

5 jignesh kotadia December 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Nice collection of the ‘other’ madanji

6 AK December 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Thanks a lot Jignesh.

7 jignesh kotadia December 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

AK ji…good afnoon…thanks a lot 4 this wndrful site…nice sharing of our precious treasure…thanks to internet again for regathering of lost diamonds.

AK ji….i request u to start a thread abt K.Dutta (dutta korgaonkar) the music director of 40’s…i m very eager to know more about the maker of ‘diya jalaakar aap bujhaya'(noorjahan, badi maa,1945)

8 AK December 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I do plan to take up 40s and 30s in due course. Thanks a lot.

9 ksbhatia March 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm

AK’ji, There is no doubt that the famous Sajjad hussain and Madan mohan’s song are very nearly similar as mentioned @2 above . There has been some sort of other similar songs like Madan mohan’s “talam tol karre rahe pichhe pichhe ” from Khajjanchi and N Dutta’s “lal lal gaal” from Mr X . Possibly as they are based on Rock & Roll song of Elvis Prisley . Another song of MM “dli dil se milakkar dekho ” is totally based on the english movie “Isle of capri “. Well this is a passing abservation on other side of the great Madan Mohan. Just now i am switching over to youtube to listen my favourites MM songs starting with “hum safar saath apna chhod chaalle “.

10 AK March 11, 2014 at 8:05 am

KS Bhatia
There is a huge body of ‘inspired’ songs. I know one site has mentioned hundreds of such songs of all the great composers. One music director had a very straightforward answer: everyone is creating music from the same seven notes, therefore, there are bound to be some similarities.

11 ksbhatia March 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Thanks AK . Some times we come thru such similarities when we are in a process of enjoying a melody and and suddenly your mind is diverted to another quite similar song and you have to listen that one also . I think if one listen to the great Naushad’s series of songs from …… mother india , amar , kohinoor , leader , mere mehboob …… one can feel the merging and continuity of songs .

12 mumbaikar8 March 29, 2014 at 10:49 pm

AK,
In this song from From Fifty, we see, not only the” other” MD Madan Mohan, but the “other” singer MM making merry with two buffoons Rafi and Kishore.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQcjXWtCZ6A&feature=player_embedded

13 AK March 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

Mumbaikar8,
This is very funny. I wish its video was available. I find from the cast, the picture had Gope, David and Om Prakash. We can visualise the three yesteryear comedians having great fun.

14 Ashwin Bhandarkar June 20, 2015 at 8:21 am

AKji,

I cannot agree more with what you have stated in the first paragraph of this delightful – and enlightening – post. I have a commute which usually takes me an hour each way, and I actually look forward to it since I am captive to my music collection/Vividh Bharati the entire distance! Sometimes, I use the opportunity to do some riyaaz with the tanpura/tabla accompaniment provided by the iTablaPro app on my iPhone :).

In fact, it was only last evening, while on my commute back home, that I got to listen to ‘Sikandar ne Porus se ki thi ladaayi’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0xBa8kr7TI

for the first time on a Vividh Bharati program, and I was pleasantly surprised on two counts: (1) that it is from ‘Anpadh’ and (2) that the singer is Mahendra Kapoor – I was under the impression that it was Rafi. … And today, I come across this post – what a coincidence!

15 AK June 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Ashwin Bhandarkar,
Shows the other side of MM. This film also had Aapki nazaron ne samajha. Interesting coincidence indeed.

16 Jignesh Kotadia January 2, 2016 at 12:22 am

Akji
as you mention Desh chhudaye bhes chhudaye is really wildest ever piece of Kishorda. I recently came across this song. KK’s talent is not our planet’s talent , sure !!

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