Pacifist’s Ek Gaon Ki Kahani (A village story)

27 Jul

Dear Pacifist has agreed once again to honour this blog with a post of hers. Thank you, Pacifist!

10 beautiful village songs

Poos ki sard raat thi…, chilchilati dhoop mein nange paon…, (it was a freezing winter night…, bare feet in the blistering heat…,) are phrases I associate Munshi Premchand with. Though we used the term chilchilati dhoop , poos ki raat was new. Village life in the north, as depicted in his novels, was very harsh as these two terms indicate. My interest in his novels branched into reading some of his short stories too, so when Harvey asked me to write a post I thought of Munshi Premchand and villages.

Now we all know that the village life as depicted in our films is nothing like the real thing, but some of the older films did manage to get some sort of realism, simplicity, though in some cases burdensome (Mother India). Whatever the case they always give me a feeling of being purified. Blame it on the pollution inducing contemporary films. Dilip Kumar, Balraj Sahni, even Raj Kumar made convincing villagers. The heroines all looked good enough. Not only that, but the folksy songs were great.
Thank you Harvey for this pleasure in going over some of these wonderful songs. 🙂

So here are 10 beautiful songs depicting village life in all its various moods with fields, fairs, harvest, celebrations, village children, the gaon ka rasiya, and the village belle, hay stacks, sickle, and what have you. Some of Munshi Premchand’s novels/stories were adapted to films and I’ve taken two songs each from the two represented here, otherwise it’s one song per film.

The songs have been chosen on the basis of their involvement in village life. The Singers don’t just appear dressed as villagers running around in the fields, but are an integral part of their background. The songs are not in any order, …except the first one which feels special.

1. Tilling the ground
Dharti kahe pukar ke  Do Bigha Zameen (1953)
MD: Salil Choudhary, Lyrics: Shailendra, Singers: Manna Dey & Lata Mangeshkar

One of Manna Dey’s best songs. Every time I hear and watch the clip it never fails to touch me deeply. Balraj Sahni’s walk across the field of working farmers, the woman telling him Apni kahani chhod ja kucch to nishani chhod ja (leave back your story, leave some memento behind)always brings a lump to my throat. We know how uprooted he’s going to get. It is so effective. Balraj Sahni’s body language adds to it. The plaintive high note at the end of the song gives me goose pimples.
There is a lot going on in the background. Women carrying water pots and walking towards the well, where a woman is already drawing water. The farmers tilling the ground also includes women. One man with another is piling up hay. All in harmony.

2. Harvesting
Naach re dharti ke pyare pyare
  Heera Moti (1959)
MD: Roshan, Lyrics: Shailendra, Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & Hemant Kumar

The film is based on Munshi Premchand’s short story “Do Bailon Ki Katha”. If anyone’s interested you can read this short story in Hindi here.
A happy song with raised sickles 🙂 jaise taise kat gayi gam ki raat kali (somehow the dark night of sorrow has passed by). The tune is lively yet soft and smooth. Nirupa Roy looks very pretty, ably supported in the song by Balraj Sahni and other farmers.
One can see the whole process of getting the corn following the harvesting of the crop. Cutting, husking (beneath the hooves of bullocks going round and round or by beating the stalks), winnowing. Very interesting.
The bit of trivia provided with this clip says that though the music director of the film is Roshan this particular song was composed by Salil Choudhary (actually from a Bengali film) when he was ill while visiting USSR. Wonder if that has anything to do with the raised sickle 😉 and at about 1:53 it doesn’t sound Indian (must be Russian).

3(A). The village backbone: Rain
Heeya jarat rahat din rain
– Godan (1963)
MD: Pt. Ravi Shankar, Lyrics: Anjaan, Singer: Mukesh

The film is based on Munshi Premchand’s novel of the same name. Hope and despair – Raj Kumar’s happiness in the knowledge of life bursting around him in spring, later turns to despair as months pass by without rain. Mukesh’s voice sounds rich. Love this song. The adaptation brings out the struggle quite well, and Raj Kumar’s expressions are great, of a man not really having things going well in his life.
The village ‘activity’ here is the age old one – hopeful before the rains – scanning the sky for clouds – despair when seeing none.

3(B) …AND ground water!!
Peetal ki meri gaagri 
Do Boond Pani (1971)
MD: Jaidev, Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi, Singers: Parveen Sultana & Minoo Purshottam

The film Do Boond Paani dealt with the water scarcity faced by the villagers in the deserts of Rajasthan. The long trek to the well, happy at the thought of their ghaagris and the water they will bring back in it.
Note the end of the clip carefully, the ghaagri (pot) hits the dried bottom of the well.
A sadder version of the song showing the long trek back by the sad women without water. Singer: only Parveen Sultana.

4. The village rasiya (Don Juan)
Har haseen cheez ka  Saudagar (1971)
MD: Ravindra Jain, Lyrics: Ravindra Jain, Singer: Kishore Kumar

I’m sure every village has one, and Amitabh seems certain he’s the one (me too,). He sings quite confidently sara gaanv mujhe rasiya kahe (the whole village calls me Don Juan). If it wasn’t Amitabh singing I would have thought the Singer overestimates himself. What an attitude, such brashness, all turned into something very charming by Amitabh – I have Anu Warrier to vouch for it. 😀
The wonderfully shot scenes with coconut palms, green fields, and of course Amitabh with that lock of hair falling on his forehead, make it so vibrant.
The village activity – collecting coconut ‘ras’ (ras is the name of the Bengali novel it is adapted from), farmer working in the field, stacks of hay in the cart and people going about their business.

5. The village gori (belle)
O bedardi aa mil jaldi  Heera Moti (1959)
MD: Roshan, Lyrics: Shailendra, Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

If there’s a rasiya in every village there’s the gaanv ki gori too. Shubha Khote makes a lovely one while waiting for her lover to appear. I chose this song because the village goings on in the background are great.
Women busily carrying food for their husbands in the field, little girls playing hopscotch, don’t miss the ‘shadow’ of the women carrying pots at :15 on their heads, man and woman making hay stacks, but getting distracted midway, kahars (bearers) carrying a doli (palanquin), a village talab (pond), women winnowing the husk from the grain, bullocks crushing ears of corn to get the grain out (or is it cotton), bullocks turning the water wheel to water the fields, the woman slinging stones to keep the birds away, and at one point other girls are picking what looks like cotton (?). In the midst of all this our dear gaanv ki gori is running around sweetly singing this lovely song.

6. Village children
Lali lali dolia mein lali  Teesri Kasam (1966)
MD: Shankar Jaikishan, Lyrics:  Shailendra, Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Who doesn’t know of little children running behind anything new/different that might turn up in their village? This is exactly what happens when Waheeda arrives in the cart driven by Raj Kapoor in this village. Love that little boy in a black kurta who runs down from his house to join the rest of the kids. Later one can see him skipping along with them.
The song starts at about 1:29 with beautiful flute music.

7. Leisure time in the village
Nain lad jainhe 
Gunga Jamuna (1961)
MD: Naushad, Lyrics: Shaqeel Badayuni, Singer: Mohammad Rafi

At least our Hindi films would have us believe that the people in the villages are not far behind their brethren in the city when it comes to entertainment – village style. Here we see Dilip Kumar, looking ever so cute doing those quaint dance steps while using the moment to tell all about the condition of his manva. The language, the setting, the atmosphere is all so well picturised. It’s a great song (also the film – where everyone spoke brij bhasha except the educated). Beautiful images!

8. Village celebration – wedding
Jab se lagan lagayi re
  Reshma aur Shera (1971)
MD: Jaidev, Lyrics:Neeraj, Singer: Asha Bhonsle

A village in Rajasthan. The cinematography is breathtaking. There’s a marriage in the family (Rakhee’s) and the women are busy about it. The occasion makes Waheeda miss her lover very keenly, and so she sings about it in the guise of wedding revelries. Clever! She looks lovely. The whole atmosphere is so authentic. The film was very good too. Lovely music by Jaidev.

9. A village *must*, mela (fair)
Julmi sang aankh ladiMadhumati (1958)
MD: Salil Choudhary, Lyrics: Shailendra; Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

I love this song. A short narration of what has gone before.
It is at a thrilling point in the film. The hero and the heroine have met only for a few seconds in the forest amidst the swirling mist around them, creating mystery. Now, Vyjayanthimala sees Dilip Kumar here at the mela (fair), and recognizes him as the man whose sketches she had stolen, while he stares at her trying to read her expression. They both stare from some distance (quite breathlessly I should say) when someone passes in between them with a rolled up long mat. While he is passing by Vyjayanthimala ducks behind the bullock cart standing there.
The clip starts at this point showing Vyjayanthimala peeping through the space in the cart wheel, while a perplexed Dilip Kumar searches for her. (I’ve copied and pasted this from Dustedoff’s post about ten memorable scenes, where I had mentioned this as a memorable scene).
I love the shot through the wheels of the cart. It is a bustling mela and the camera captures the various goings on very well. Unfortunately during the song we don’t see much of it.
The music has the lovely flowing tune typical of Salil Choudhary, especially like the bit of music while she’s looking at him ducked behind the cart.

10. Village family -their womenfolk
Jaane kahe jiya more dole  Godan (1964)
MD: Pt. Ravi Shankar, Lyrics: Anjaan, Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

A simple village house with the older womenfolk pounding grain, winnowing, while Shubha Khote runs around singing a very musical composition of Pt. Ravi Shankar which sounds extremely pleasing with a classical bent, and of course the sitar has been used excellently, something I miss in contemporary music. She does pick flowers at one point, J in addition to looking very pretty, and suitable.

I couldn’t end here even though the list has, without a nod to a contemporary village as shown in the film Welcome to Sajjanpur which has more modern activities in addition to harvesting, etc.

I enjoyed the satirical take on a modern village. I like change, but for the better, and not just for the sake of it. Sajjanpur is a village (The character played by Shreyas Talpade says so, in the beginning). The village of Sajjanpur was known as Durjanpur, but when Pt Nehru visited he asked the name to be changed to Sajjanpur. Name changes don’t really bring about a change, but here it did. Pehle yahan sab Sajjan log the jab se naam sajjanpur pada hai, durjan hi durjan [earlier when the name was Durjanpur (village of scoundrels), there were well behaved people living here, but ever since the name changed to Sajjanpur (village of well behaved people) there are only scoundrals here]. LOL!
Democracy has reached villages, and they are more aware of it than ever. In this village it is election time. The song covers different parties canvassing, an explosion – and the result of the election 😀 This village activity is new (as compared to the films of the time mentioned in the list).

Which are you favourite village songs?

Enjoy the playlist here!


Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Bollywood, Guest Post, Lists


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92 responses to “Pacifist’s Ek Gaon Ki Kahani (A village story)

  1. harveypam

    July 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

    This is one of the best things of being a host to a guest post: I get to leave the first comment!!!!

    Fantastic second post, dear Pacifist!
    Had fun reading it. Many songs were totally new for me.

    From which novel of Premchand are the lines: Poos ki sard raat thi…, chilchilati dhoop mein nange paon?

    dharti kahe pukar ke from Do Bigha Zameen is a beautiful song. I like it a lot as well. Thanks to your description, I noticed for the first time the details of the song.

    The film Heera Moti is totally new for me and so are both the songs, which you mentioned. The hiya jarat rahat din rain is so sweet and melodious. So typical Ravi Shankar!

    I remember seeing Do Boond Paani sometime in the late 80s on DD. I remember the opening scene, where Jalal Agha brings his new bride (Simi) home and her first words are ‘ tu pi’. He chastises her for saying tu to him. But she points out that she is only reading what is written on the stone. He is surprised that she can read, since he himself is illiterate. It had lovely songs.

    Har haseen cheez ka doesn’t really fall in my fav songs list but O bedardi aa mil jaldi could!

    I had nearly forgotten lali lali dolia mein lali. It was nice to see it again. They seemed to have taken the children from the location.

    nain lad jain hai is such a cute song. Rafi and Dilip make it a pleasure to listen and watch the song.

    Madhumati is one of those films with all hit songs. All really good songs!

    I always forget that Shubha Khote had some films with her in lead. One remembers her more as Nutan’s sakhi or Mehmood’s partner.

    • pacifist

      July 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      >From which novel of Premchand are the lines: Poos ki sard raat thi…, chilchilati dhoop mein nange paon

      Harvey, these are typical phrases used and you can find them in any novel of his if it’s dealing with a village. Chillchillati dhoop is one which we used all the time every summer. If you haven’t lived in the North you’ll Know nothing about it 🙂

      Interesting fact about Do Boon Pani – Literate wife and illiterate husband.

      >Har haseen cheez ka doesn’t really fall in my fav songs list but O bedardi aa mil jaldi could!

      Amitabh ko meri nazron se dekho, aur gaana jo woh ga raha hai mere kanon se suno 😉

      >I had nearly forgotten lali lali dolia mein lali. It was nice to see it again. They seemed to have taken the children from the location.

      Exactly. The depiction of village life here made it a must for it’s inclusion in the list.

      >I always forget that Shubha Khote had some films with her in lead. One remembers her more as Nutan’s sakhi or Mehmood’s partner.

      Shubha Khote was not exactly the lead in Godaan. Raj KUmar and Kamini Kaushal were. And she was with Mehmood here too – but not in their usual roles. You could say they were the romantic lead of the film.
      Mehmood was not in his usual role of a comedian. Quite villainous in fact.

      • harveypam

        July 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        Thanks for the info on Godaan and Premchand!

        “Amitabh ko meri nazron se dekho, aur gaana jo woh ga raha hai mere kanon se suno ;-)”
        Na ji na, apne amitabh ko tum tumhare hi aankhon me rehne do: aankhons e jo utari hai dil me…

        • Anu Warrier

          July 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

          Harvey, like Kumbhakarna, you have awakened from your hibernation! (Even if it is only to host a post.) First to you – When are you going to post??


          Amitabh ko meri nazaron se bhi dekho… 🙂…

          Pacifist, great post, great songs! And you have stolen a march over me – I had a ‘village songs’ list all planned – though thankfully, my selections are (mostly) different from yours. (So I won’t list any favourites here today. :)) Hats off to you for coming up with such a unique theme – I loved the way you listed the songs under the various aspects of village life. Very, very nice. Do keep posting.

          My special favourites from your list: Dharti kahe pukar ke, Julmi sang aankh ladi, Peetal ki meri gaagri and Nain lad gayi re

          And thank you for the shout out to my blog. 🙂
          *going off to listen to all the songs one by one*

          • harveypam

            July 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

            Kumbhakarna! Arre baap re!
            That was just a short nap, yaar! What would you say, when I really go to sleep? 😉

            “Amitabh ko meri nazaron se bhi dekho… 🙂 …”
            Aap ki nazron ne samjha pyar ke kabil…

            Aur next post aayega, zaroor aayega

          • pacifist

            July 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm

            Anu, I’m really interested and looking forward to your post on village songs. There are a whole lot of them out there and each a gem.
            I’m glad you like the list of songs here. Thank you.

    • Shilpi Bose

      July 31, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Lack of time always makes me a late comer Pacifist. Even as I am typing this I am looking at the clock, loads of stuff to do. But here is some inside info for both you and Harvey. Harvey is guessing that in the song from Teesri Kasam the kids may have been taken from the village, quite likely but not the girl lip synching to the song. She is none other than Shailendra’s daughter, after all the film was produced by Shailendra. I have never seen Shailendra’s daughter, however a lady whose husband happened to be connected to the music industry and who knew Shailendra’s family quite well gave me this information.

      • harveypam

        July 31, 2012 at 11:37 am

        That is really an interesting piece of information. And I was thinking the children looked all so unkempt and real-village like, that they might be from the location.
        Thank you Shilpi, you are really a gold-mine of information! 🙂

      • pacifist

        August 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

        That’s really amazing, Shilpi!! And how authentic they made her look. Thank you for being the treasure trove of information that you are 🙂

  2. harveypam

    July 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

    The song pital ki mori gaagari reminds me of mara gaon katha pare from Manthan which recounts the real-life story of Amul.

    And what is a gaon without its pardesi?
    pardesi aaya desh mein from Pratiggya. I remember my sister humming this all the time.

    and the pardesi can sing to the gaon ki gori how beautiful her village is:
    gori tera gaon bada pyara from Chitchor

    And the gaon ki gori would like the pardesi guess his name
    bujh mera kya naam re from C.I.D

    and then they would sing together
    gori gori gaon ki gori re from Yeh Gulistan Hamara

    In the mela of the gaon is the nautanki
    aaya aaya atariya pe koi chor from Mera Gaon Mera Desh

    We city-dwellers always long for the gaon
    door kahin ek aam ki bagiya from Zubeidaa

    • pacifist

      July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      Oh yes, the pardesi angle in a village is a major one, with many films having that as their central plot, which make the songs of Pratigya and Chitchor very suitable for the Kahani, but the song with Sharmila and Dev Anand just has the words, hai na?
      Sharmila is as far from being a gaon ki gori as ice should be from the sun. Even when she did act as one it was so artificial and OTT.

      Chitchor of course was a beautiful film set in a village with fabulous songs.
      The song from Zubeida is new. Lata’s voice spoils it.

      • harveypam

        July 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

        Sharmila plays in fact a member of a local tribe from the NE States in it. You just can’t have more gaon than that. Yeah but she looks anything but gaon ki gori or what we have in mind! 🙂

        In the Zubeidaa song, Lata sounds very tired and worn out, but she gives it the right emotion and longing.

        What I liked about Chitchor, was that it doesn’t show the girl to be submissive, she is shown as naughty and feisty girl, who makes her own decisions and stands by it.

        Talking of gaon, the entertainment is not only nautanki but also theatre in form of Ram-Lila in N. India
        pal pal hai bhari from Swades

        As a botanist, I am naturally thrilled to see that they used real Asoka tree (Saraca indica) branches rather than the false Asoka tree (Polyalthia longifolia), which is used quite often to depict the Asoka tree of Asoka vatica.

        • pacifist

          July 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

          Swades is one of the few contemporary films I love, and have watched it more than once, something I normally don’t do with most Contemporary films that I like.

        • pacifist

          July 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

          >Sharmila plays in fact a member of a local tribe from the NE States in it. You just can’t have more gaon than that.

          Oh! I see. Well, I’ve never been to the NE side of India though I’ve had the chance of being all over elsewhere, but I’ve heard that the NE part is quite different and has a better standard so perhaps the villages are very modern, though I still feel her hairstyle is ridiculous in general and especially for a gaon ki gori. 😀

  3. dustedoff

    July 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Harvey, thank you for getting pacifist to do another post on your blog! 😉 And, pacifist: thank you for a wonderful (and unusual) post: this was a really offbeat theme, though (considering that villages have been a fairly integral part of Indian films) I suppose it’s not completely odd. And yes, you’ve posted some lovely songs (the ones from Madhumati, Do Bigha Zameen and Ganga Jamuna are special favourites of mine. I really love them – and you’ve expressed so perfectly what i feel about Dharti pukaarke… so poignant.

    Here are two more village songs that I like. One, about rain – Hariyala saawan dhol bajaata aaya from Do Bigha Zameen:

    And Aao jhoomein gaayein, from Paraya Dhan:

    • pacifist

      July 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you, DO:
      Your choice of song from Do Bheega Zameen is very good. I like it as much as the one I have listed. I had to take the other one because it fitted the ‘harvest’ so well.
      I’m glad you mentioned it. 🙂

      I do love the pyara dhan song. Hema Malini makes a very modern gaon ki gori :-D, unable to help in the work going around, just running around (like Shubha Khote in the last song of the list).

    • harveypam

      July 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Pacifist is taking to blogging like fish to water!
      And I’m really happy about it! 🙂

      • pacifist

        July 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

        I’m not harvey. If it wasn’t for your corrections and editing, where would I be? 🙂

        • harveypam

          July 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm

          Of course you are!
          Don’t contradict me! 😉
          Together we’ll manage it!

          • dustedoff

            July 28, 2012 at 3:27 am

            Make this a two-person blog, both Harvey and Pacifist as collaborators. 😉 That way, we’ll have at least one of you posting something interesting while the other one’s busy!

            • pacifist

              July 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm


              • harveypam

                July 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm

                That is surely an idea to be considered!

  4. chitrapatsangeet

    July 27, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Nce topic!!
    I also like “Mere Des me Pawan chale purvaayi” from Jigri dost

    • pacifist

      July 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you, chtrapatsangeet.
      Quite a lively song, but of course, it’s Jeetender. 🙂

      The link to the song

  5. raja

    July 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Absolutely outstanding post, pacifist. Not just the selection of songs (which is a treasure-trove in itself) but the way you’ve bunched them under different categories of village life. Just terrific!!!

    There are lots of village songs out there which I like. One of them is this one (I know Harvey doesn’t care too much for this. :-)). It is a quintessential village tank scene with village belles and their pots. And the sahelis teasing the heroine.

    There are other songs also, of course. Songs of Milan (bol gori bol tera kaun piya), Aan Milo Sajna (rang rang ke phool khile), Prem Pujari (doongi tainu reshmi rumaal),

    But I think the one’s you’ve selected are just wonderful. Love the Do Bigha Zamin song.

    • pacifist

      July 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      >Not just the selection of songs (which is a treasure-trove in itself) but the way you’ve bunched them under different categories of village life. Just terrific!!!

      Makes me happy to be appreciated for that, raja. I had to do a lot of research to come up with the various suitable songs and headings.

      > (I know Harvey doesn’t care too much for this. 🙂 ).

      Really!! Harvey, yeh main kya sun rahi hoon? I love this song and Geeta Dutt singing it adds to it’s good qualities. Khair, there are other songs which we agree upon.

      >t is a quintessential village tank scene with village belles and their pots. And the sahelis teasing the heroine.

      Yes, very very villagey. THe filmwallas took this act to come up with songs and intrigue and gossip – all at the village talab (pond), well, river etc.

      A link to one of the songs you’ve mentioned.

      I like this film a lot.

    • harveypam

      July 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      Raja, you have the memory of an elephant! 🙂

      • dustedoff

        July 28, 2012 at 3:29 am

        I was eating my breakfast while reading that comment, and (because my attention was divided), I read ‘eggplant’ instead of ‘elephant’. Now I’m sitting and cleaning my keyboard… 😦

        • pacifist

          July 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

          Hahaha. Were you eating egg..scrambled or some other way? 😀

  6. Subodh Agrawal

    July 27, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Thank you Harvey and Pacifist for choosing an interesting theme and handling it well. ‘Hiya jarat rahat din rain’ and ‘Nain lad jaihen’ are among my top favourites in folk based film songs. Some more that I could add would be ‘Kaun rang mundwa’ from Hira Moti and practically every song from Teesri Kasam – ‘Sajanwa bairi ho gaye’, ‘Duniya banane wale’, ‘Sajan re jhoot mat bolo’ and ‘Chalat musafir moh liya re’. Interesting observation on the modern village Sajjanpur. As roads, TV and phones penetrate the rural areas, the quaint village life is going away. The same thing is there in Peepli Live. It is good for the villagers that they are getting a share of the economic pie, but one wishes that they would not lose their distinctive culture in the process.

    • harveypam

      July 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      I just provided the space and the pics. Everything else is Pacifist ka kaam. So all thanks go to her.

  7. pacifist

    July 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you Subodh Aggarwal.

    >‘Hiya jarat rahat din rain’ and ‘Nain lad jaihen’ are among my top favourites in folk based film songs.

    Mine too. I didn’t know the meaning of hiya jarat rahat so searched around and found out that it meant that ‘there is this turmoil day and night in the hiya/jiya ( I can’t find a suitable word for it. Heart doesn’t seem that good).

    >It is good for the villagers that they are getting a share of the economic pie, but one wishes that they would not lose their distinctive culture in the process.

    As I mentioned in my post – I don’t mind change at all. It is very very welcome if it’s for the better. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen that way.

  8. pacifist

    July 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Harvey do you notice something starnge with what’s happening with the links to the songs in the comments section.

    • harveypam

      July 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      no, what is happening?

      • pacifist

        July 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        Bhoooot! I swear your link of swades song was DO’s Heera Moti song, and raja’s ‘akhiyan bhool gayi hain’ had changed to jigri dost link I gave for chitrapatsangeet’s song, and raja’s link was of ‘jigri dost’.

        I swear I’m not mistaken. I checked several time to make sure.

        But NOW it’s all OK. So I feel like a fool.

        • harveypam

          July 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm

          No, you don’t have to feel like a fool. That happened to me once as well. This is the WordPress bhoot!

          • pacifist

            July 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

            *sigh of relief*

            I really thought I must be going nuts……. or in other words the situation was getting worse 😀

  9. chitrapatsangeet

    July 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Would “Dukh Bhare Din” from Mother India count?

    • pacifist

      July 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Oh yes, certainly.

  10. Arunkumar Deshmukh

    July 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    pacifist ji,
    ” Poos ki raat thi…..”
    Here Poos means the Indian 10th month of the year PAUNSH.
    This normally comes around December end-January period every year and hence ‘sard raat,as it is winter in India.
    Indian films are full of villege scenes,since the 30s onwards.
    Your choice of songs is good.
    Thanks again for a novel theme-like always.
    -Arunkumar Deshmukh

    • pacifist

      July 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

      Arunji, Thank you for the information, and for your appreciation of the selection of songs.
      Yes, since the 30s they had been making films based on village life, but it doesn’t seem to be a popular theme anymore 😦

  11. Arunkumar Deshmukh

    July 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Harvey ji,
    Good to see your Blog active again after a long holiday.

    • harveypam

      July 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Yes in this soona blog ka aangan me bahar aa gayi! Thanks to Pacifist!

  12. Suchi

    July 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    One of my most favourite village song with a feisty gaon ki gori. I remember watching this movie because it was one my mom’s favourite.

    • pacifist

      July 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Yes, every song from Mother India could be taken for this list. What lovely music it had, and Nargis was so good.

  13. Suchi

    July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    An award winning movie of my favourite actress Nargis, it must be your favourite too, again my mom’s favourite. We watched this movie on sunday that too in our neighbour’s place those days everyone couldn’t afford television set.

    • harveypam

      July 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      I remember watching Mother India and Do Aankhen Barah Haath at mai’s place. It was fun, eh?

  14. Richard S.

    July 28, 2012 at 9:23 am

    A fine and enjoyable list, with some of my favorites here. But a list like this doesn’t seem right to me without a selection from Gaon Ki Gori aka Village Girl.

    • pacifist

      July 28, 2012 at 11:47 am

      That’s a very sweet song, Richard. After all it’s Noor Jehan 🙂

      Her swinging of the sling with a stone was/is (?) so typical in a village to frighten the birds away from the crops…..but ouch!! Beginning of a romance here, I think 😀

    • harveypam

      July 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Trust Richard to bring up new Noorjehan songs for us to enjoy! Thanks Richard!

  15. thandapani

    July 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I love each and everyone of the songs you have selected here Pacifist. 🙂 I have read several of Premchand’s stories. There actually was one titled Poos ki Raat, about the poor farmer having to shiver through a cold night keeping watch on his little farm. Idgah ALWAYS makes me cry.

    Do Boond Paani was a lovely film with lovely songs. 🙂 i wish I could see it again.

    • pacifist

      July 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      I’m glad you like the songs Ava.
      Yes, I discovered ‘Poos ki Raat’ in the list of his short stories, but unfortunately never got to read it those days. Will look for it on the net. Perhaps the site I’ve linked for ‘Do Bailon Ki Katha’ would have it. I had read Shatranj Ke Khilari and looked forward to Ray’s film, but though well made it changed the ending which was very important for the effect of the story to sink in.
      Unfortunately I haven’t seen Do Boond Pani, and there are no chances as it seems to be unavailable. 😦

  16. Samir

    July 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Like Harvey, I too learnt more about your #1 song, and appreciated it much more. My respect and liking for Manna Dey also increased a lot. That song certainly sets the tone for a brilliant post, thanks for doing such. I found some new songs, and the rest (#1, #4, #7, #9) are my favorites.

    It is hard to match your #1 song, so I shall take the easy way out by posting some romantic songs

    First Sadhana in Parakh

    Next Nutan in Bandini

    And Harvey, how did you select 70’s Dev & Sharmila for a village song !!!, yes they look like they are in a NE village, if that NE is NE United States or NE France :). Nevertheless, that was a good song.
    It is hard to find Dev in a village song, but here is one I like a lot (and is in an actual Indian village)

    Also, my 70’s contribution, how can I forget that the most successful Hindi movie of all time was set in a village.

    • pacifist

      July 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Samir, that I’ve been able to enhance your appreciation of the song and Manna De makes it worth writing this post. 🙂

      Manna DE is an underrated singer. There are so many beautiful songs sung by him.
      Another of my favourites is the one from Anand – Zindagi kaisi hai paheli hai. The recent passing away of Rajesh Khanna brought this song back into circulation.
      A post over at dustedoff’s celebrated his songs in a post. Here’s the link.

      Bandini and Parakh songs are among my favourites, and the Teen Deviyan song with Dev is really a rare DEv in a village 😀

    • pacifist

      July 30, 2012 at 9:17 am

      Samir, I’m glad, that I could help enhance your appreciation of the song and Manna De makes it worth writing the post 🙂

      Another Manna De favourite is zindagi kaisi hai paheli hai from Anand.
      I love the Parakh and Bandini songs. It is rare to see DEV in a village let alone as a villager. In the same film there’s another one of his with Nanda. An older film with Nutan also had him visiting her village for a short time.
      And your 1970s contribution is great.

      BTW here’s a link at dustedoff’s where there was a great celebration of Manna De songs, also in the comments section.

    • harveypam

      July 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Arre yaar, Samir! I just took inspiration from you! 😉
      Basically he plays a dehati in Prem Pujari as well no? Or is he visiting his native village after ‘college’. If former is the case then this song will be appropriate as well.

      A village couple reforming the village is the young pair of Suraiya-Dev

      But you are right for Dev it is hard to pass off as a convincing dehati!

  17. sunheriyaadein

    July 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Terrific post, Pacifist! What a theme it was. Loved each and every song you have listed. When I saw the post on PKK, the first song that came to my mind was that of Do Bigha Zameen followed by Godan. There something so pure and charming about all these village songs.
    The song from Do Boond Pani was new to me.
    I’ve never lived in a village as such but used to visit grandparents during school vacations. It used to be so much fun watching everybody around planting crops during monsoon. I’ve tried my hand at it a couple of times, my sister and I used to wait for an opportunity to get our feet in the muddy fields – it used to be so thrilling, more so because everybody else thought we were too delicate for these things and would try to stop us from going anywhere near the fields. I have never witnessed anything this musical, but have tried doing what they do at 1:30 in this video –

    Usually each house/family declares a day when they want to plant their crops. And the rest of the village goes and helps them. Same happens during the harvest as well.
    Earlier, not everybody had a private well. They used to either get water from a common well which few families shared or from a river near by. We didnt even know how to carry the gagris properly but then we always used to insist on going with our cousins or neighbours to get water. Our granny used to give us these small gagris and we used to carry them on our hips half way and on our head the other half, spilling water all over.
    I used to find taking cattles to the forest for grazing interesting too and used to accompany them sometimes. They usually used to take them in the morning and leave them in the woods near by, take them to a river in the afternoon for water and go in the evenings to get them back home. I always used to find it surprising that the cattles would never wander away on their own and sometimes would come home in the evenings on their own too. I even remember being put on a buffalo’s back once and I was dead scared. It was one of the most uncomfortable rides ever.
    It used to be fun cutting grass for them as well. We were never allowed to even hold a sickle when we were young but I did my bit of cutting grass and churning curd, the traditional way ( – but instead of matkas, we used to have wooden vessel called Theki) once I grew up a little, when I was 14-15.
    Oh, and during the harvest, we would be warned not to play with hay, but that’s what we would do most of the time – jump on hay stacks, play hide and seek and ride bullock carts carrying hay. And we used to get such bad rashes that we would end up scratching ourselves and being powdered the rest of the day.
    I just realized that I have witnessed a little bit of village life and this post has kind of made me feel nostalgic with all these childhood memories.
    Could neither attend a typical mela or celebrate any festival or weddings, nor noticed the rasiyas and goris but we used to have loads of fun and used to wait for vacations every year.

    Few songs that I can think of at the moment are –
    Aanki chali, baanki chali – Namkeen

    Allah megh de – Palkon Ke Chhaon Mein

    Sanchi kahe tohre aawan se hamre – Nadiya Ke Paar

    • pacifist

      July 30, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Dear dear sunheriyaadein. This was so wonderful. Great great anecdotes. Loved them.
      The songs are full of ‘village’ activities which was what I was looking for.

      The new ones, among the different songs posted by you,
      – the washing of clothes at the well,
      -the potter with his wheel (great one) and
      – the man shredding cotton (for lack of the exact word – is it dhunna – kapas dhunna?), and
      -of course the other method of watering the fields (not with bullocks going round and round ).
      -the nadiya ke paar song is another lovely *village family* song
      -and there is a village postman (though of course that’s not limited to a village 😀 )

      The first song in nepali is absolutely gorgeous, and to think you were doing that!! Planting rice. I’d love to experience all this. I haven’t lived in a village to be exact, but small towns where some of the activities were still going on.
      We lived in a house in Bidar with a tap in the front garden where the neighbours were allowed to come and fill water when the muncipal turned it on.
      But there was a communal well too from where they filled up for washing clothes etc and I tried my hand at pilling up the bucket of water.
      When my neighbour friend filled the water from our tap in her gaagri I too carried it on my hips, never head, till her house 😀
      I have also sat in a bailgaadi.

      When I was doing my BSc we had to recognise and collect specimens of families of plants we were learning about, especially for the exams. So once we friends planned to make it a day together and went gangapaar (dacoit infested area) over the bridge on ganga. There was this remote village after a couple of hours of walking, with just a few huts, very clean – and empty 😦 The children, like in lali lali dolia, followed us around and offered to break ‘ber’ from the tree. It was a humbling experience and one which I always remeber with emotion.
      My brothers were of course horrified that we went that far into the hinterland of this dangerous area 😀 (we didn’t know, that’s why, and not because we were so bahadur, hahaha)

      • harveypam

        July 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

        Those are some nice anecdotes, Pacifist!

        You were in Bidar and sat in a bailgaadi (ox-cart)? Wonderful! I have often travelled through Bidar, though never alighted there.

        So you are a fellow biologist, eh? You also made herbaria like Sharmila in Chupke Chupke!
        Yeh gende ka phool phool hothe huwe bhi phool kyun nahin hota? (Why is the Tagetes flower not a true flower?)

        So we missed having a Daku Raani Pacifist, eh? 😉

        • pacifist

          August 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

          >You were in Bidar and sat in a bailgaadi (ox-cart)?

          Actually it was in a village in punjab where I sat in a bailgaadi. It was a village across the ganga in Kanpur where I had the lali lali dolia moment, and it was in Bidar where I experienced drawing water from the well as well as carrying a gagri on my hips 😀

    • harveypam

      July 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you Sunehriyaadein, for this wonderful comment with autobiographical notes!
      Loved every line of it.
      You do seem to have lots of experience of village life!

      I also have never lived in villages. My uncle had a farm in the vicinity of Bangalore, which we visited in the summer vacation when we were small, but we hardly any contact with the villagers or their work.

      Planting rice saplings must be an hard task, what with the back bent all the time! The Nepali video was fantastic! Loved it!

      Carrying water is one thing which I have done as well, but neither on my head nor on my hips! 😉
      When I used to liven in Bombay, there were often water cuts or the water didn’t have enough pressure to reach the taps, thus we had to collect it from a tank and then transfer it to the water drum which we had at home and we chidlren helped our mother to collect water.
      But we did it in buckets, plastic buckets to be precise! 🙂

      I like aake chali banke chali from Namkeen very much, though I don’t understand much of it!

  18. Shilpi Bose

    July 31, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Thanks Harvey and Pacifist for the wonderful song selection, and all those anecdotes Pacifist about your experience in a village very interesting. I love all the songs you have listed and all I can do is add to that– this one is from Mujhe Jeene Do and it is my favourite song

    • pacifist

      August 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Lovely song, Shilpi. Lots and lots of village activities going on here. Fits very well in this list.

  19. Shilpi Bose

    July 31, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Here is another one from Naya Daur, isn’t Vyjantimala a graceful dancer?

    • harveypam

      July 31, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Dear Shilpi, I presume you meant ude jab jab zulfein teri, but somehow ab koi gulshan na ujhde got embedded in your comment that is why I’ve changed the link. I hope it is okay.

    • pacifist

      August 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Hahaha. This would be the ‘gaon ka rasiya’ and ‘gaon ki gori’ coming face to face.

  20. pacifist

    August 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Harvey, would you be making a playlist of the songs? Please do.

    • harveypam

      August 3, 2012 at 9:54 am


      • pacifist

        August 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm

        Harvey, thanks a lot. 🙂

  21. Prakashchandra

    August 3, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Whether these songs :
    from Us paar:SDBurman:Yogesh fits into this category:
    (Basu Chatterjee)

    Nayee Imaarat:Bappi lahiri:vidya Sinha:Lata

    Ek Chaadar Maili si:Anu Malik:Asha Bhonsle:Sukhwant Dadda

    Jawab:1970:Laxmipyare:Aruna Irani,JyotiLakshmi(South)Jeetendra:Rafi,Asha,Hemalata

    • harveypam

      August 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Prakashji! You always manage to bring forth songs, which I have long forgotten and listening to them makes me feel very nostalgic!
      Thank you once again!

    • pacifist

      August 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Oh yes. The Us Paar song shows the mela in more detail, and definitely fits the list.

      Nayee Imarat songs has a couple of village activities going on, like filling/carrying gaagris. washing/drying clothes at the river, so does the Jawab song.

      Ek Chaadar maili si seems like a female version of the ‘nain lad jayihe’ 🙂

      Nice songs Prakashchandra. Thank you.

  22. Prakashchandra

    August 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

    This favourite songs of mine,somehow gives me a feeling of “Gaaon”
    Satyam Shivam Sundaram


    Mahananda:(Music by Manas Mukherjee-Playback Singer Shaan`s father)

    Gautam govinda:

    kuchche dhaage

    Jeevan Jyoti:Kishore Kumar:Salil Chaudhary:anand Bakshi

    Jeevan Jyoti: Lata:

    Abhi aur pakaaoongaa nahin, 🙂 thodi der ke liye

    • pacifist

      August 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Maujon ki doli is really beautiful. The songs mentioned in this list of yours are all wonderful, though some look more like having been sung ‘in a village’, which is very acceptable of course.

      Err…the ‘other’ Jeevan Jyoti song must have been sung in the Zamindar of the village haveli 😉

    • harveypam

      August 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

      This song from SSS was unknown to me till now! Interesting!

      Jab tak rahe tan me jiya is a nice one. Normally a song like kaanta laga would go to Asha and a song like this to Lata. RDB changed this here.

      Mahananda is the film, where Moushumi plays a devdasi, right? I remember watching it on DD in the late 80s.
      I didn’t understand “Playback Singer Shaan`s father”

      Darogaji chori ho gayi was very popular in the 70s and early 80s. I was often aired on Vividh Bharati.
      The same with mere bachpan du jaa

      Maujo ki doli chali re is such a pleasant song. Makes me feel all nostalgic. Reminds me of summer vacation, when we had time to listen to the radio.

      Thank you for all these wonderful songs, Prakashji!

  23. Prakashchandra

    August 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Abhi,continuing with My Moushumi Chatterjee special, (Not Ek gaanv ki kahaani special, woh toh main bhool hi gayaa hoon 🙂

    I want to push another one:

    Raftar:1974:sonik omi:Varma malik:Asha,Mohammed Rafi
    (Gaanv factor is not that apparent, But somehow Sonik omi`s music & the locations where this favourite song of mine picturised, give me this gaanv feeling:

    • harveypam

      August 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Listening to this for the first time. Nice orchards and palm groves!

  24. pacifist

    August 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    >Abhi,continuing with My Moushumi Chatterjee special, (Not Ek gaanv ki kahaani special, woh toh main bhool hi gayaa hoon 🙂

    Singing in the field of standing crop (Kachche dhaage) and in the coconut grove can make one forget what one is about 😀 so you are forgiven.

    >(Gaanv factor is not that apparent, But somehow Sonik omi`s music & the locations where this favourite song of mine picturised, give me this gaanv feeling:

    Well, there’s hay, a bailgadi without the bail was shown in the beginning, and then there’s the field. Above all Moushumi is dressed in a gaon ki gori clothes – so we’ll take it as a village song 🙂

  25. Prakashchandra

    August 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    🙂 🙂
    Enjoyed your comments thouroughly.

    Now we will start Leena Chadavarkar special,
    Imaan:R.D.Burman:Anand Bakshi Gaon ki gori outfits and the langauage, that`s all)

    No I am not getting more Leena Songs in village outfits, there is one in Qaid,(yahaan kaun hai asli-lata),but its only village belle outfit.

    • pacifist

      August 4, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Leena Chandavarkar would have made a cute gaon ki gori, but it would seem she hardly did any village belle roles in films.

      As a matter of fact she hardly figures in any lists of favourite songs, village or otherwise. Hmmmmm.

      • harveypam

        August 4, 2012 at 11:29 am

        How about this, Pacifist?
        Her first film: Man ka Meet
        apni aankhon ki jharonkhon me
        but they soon look very urban

        And here is a lullaby from Yaaron Ka Yaar with Leena as rustical mother

        • pacifist

          August 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm

          Thank you for fishing out this song, harvey, with Leena and ?? turning city folk later – must be punar janam story.
          They were born and grew up together in the same village, but destiny tore them apart only to reunite in a city in their next birth. 😀

          The lullaby is good, would suit your list.
          Shatrughan Sinha seems to play the role of a ghost since Leena doesn’t notice him around.

          • harveypam

            August 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

            With your understanding of Hindi films you should consider seriously taking up scriptwriting. I am sure it is a punar janam story. I also wonder who the guy is. Maybe he is Som Dutt.

            I never thought that Shotgun could be a ghost in the film, but yeah, why not?

    • harveypam

      August 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Wonderful song this!
      Love RDB’s orchestration! Great piece of music!
      Leena’s chatpata-ness is cute!


    January 30, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Here is a typical “garba’ in Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala –
    The film is totally based rural story and filmed on ‘rustic’ setting. But, a closer look at the ‘pressed’ clean’ dresses of the protagonsts create a slight uneasy ‘urban-culture’ feeling in an otherwise off-beat film.

    • harveypam

      January 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks for this song Ashok! Love the songs in this film and also the story!
      The MD is Rajat Dholakia, son of Dilip Dholakia, who composed for Private Secretary (1962). I like the following song from that film ver ymuch.


        January 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm

        I fully agree.
        Dilip Dholakia has composed some wonderful songs for Gujarati films as well, e.g. Satyavan Savitri – Mohammad Rafi’s Mithadi Nazrun Vaagi can find place in Rafi’s all time greats.
        He was associate music director to LP (at least) in Sargam and is said to have composed Payal Ki Jhankar by Rafi and Lata.

        • harveypam

          January 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm

          I didn’t know that he was an assistant to L-P. Interesting to know that he composed parbat ke us paar… payal ki jhankar. Thanks for the very interesting info Ashok!

  27. pacifist

    February 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I found this song with lovely music from Mirza Sahiban.


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