Arunji has been a loyal follower of this blog and has always been very much encouraging with his comments and suggestions. This is his second post here on this blog in the role of an author. It is an honour for me that he agreed to do this post. His personal reminiscences as usual makes this post more dear to me. Thank you Arunji!
Arunkumar Deshmukh’s ten favourite songs with “interesting” lyrics
Words like ‘Dumbak dumba’ or ‘chidi chapata ‘ or Ding dong etc always attracted me in Hindi songs. In the early 50s I was an avid listener of Radio Ceylon. They used to have a weekly programme of ‘ Anokhe Bol ‘ for 15 minutes. I waited thru the week for this programme. it was my favourite programme. Songs played in this programme had odd words in it and those songs haunted me for the entire week till the next programme, when next set of songs took over.
From my early childhood i was very fond of seeing films and enjoying its music. We were in Hyderabad State. This being a Muslim ruled state; there were many peculiar things in those days. For example, in most Theatres, there used to be a class called “ZANANA “(Ladies Only). This was like a balcony. It was meant for those Burkha-clad Muslim women who wanted to see the films, without being seen by the men folk. A huge cloth curtain was dividing the Zanana Class and the rest of the Theatre. A She-male or a He-female (I don’t know which! ) was appointed with the exclusive duty of removing the huge curtain once the film started and closing it before or as soon as the Interval or the end of the film, so that the women could see the film and still not get exposed to the prying eyes of the men folk in the theatre.
In those days there was no seat numbers and seats used to be reserved by keeping a hanky, or a bag or simply a small child. In the Zanana class, sometimes there used to be quarrels in loud voices. In such cases the curtain was hastily drawn, lights put on, and the film stopped, till the quarrelling sides were pacified! This class used to admit children with women ranging from 1 to 8 years. The women and children used to make so much noise many times, that people were avoiding that side of the theatre to sit. These Zanana classes continued 2 to 3 years even after Hyderabad was liberated from Nizam and merged with India.
my father was a criminal lawyer(means, he used to take only criminal cases) and had no time to see films, but my mother was fond of films. Once in every year, in the summer holidays, we used to go to mother’s ‘Mayaka’, a small Tauka place, with only 1 theatre. The rates of these theatres in those day would seem unbelievable today-4 annas, 6 annas, 10 annas and the Dress Circle of 1 rupee. In 1 Rupee we enjoyed cushioned chairs (without hand rests) and Fans. There were only 2 shows, 6 pm and 9 pm. On Friday to Sunday morning shows the rates were half, and old films were shown.
Once I had the opportunity to go to my MAMI’s Mayaka, which was a small village nearby. The attraction was that there was a ‘Touring Talkies (Open Theatre)’ in that town. On the first evening we went to see the film, which was ‘Badi Behan”-1949. It was almost a new film in 1951. I can never forget the experience of Open Theatre with almost 100 people seeing the film in pindrop silence. Later when I went to the Drive-In Theatre in Bombay, I remembered this experience.
From these Anokhe experiences to Anokhe Bol Songs now. . . . Film songs with strange, meaningless words were quite common in films of 50s and 60s. But the First Anokhe Bol song was from HATIM TAI-1933, sung by a chorus. The Anokhe Bol were Donga Donga Dum Dum, Daka Adam Boka, masham maka… This was written by G. R. Sethi with music by Madholal Master.
C. Ramchandra was a composer who was fond of such songs. We find many songs from him. Similarly Kishore Kumar was given such songs as it suited his style and yodelling. By the way, do you know that Yodelling was taught to Kishore Kumar by a small time composer of India-JIMMY or James Singh ?(Thanks to DUSTEDOFF for this trivia).
It is not surprising that most Anokhe Bol songs were popular, after all some masala with melody is always welcome!
When I started thinking about these songs I found most songs from 50s and 60s. The funniest thing is, it’s not only C. Ramchandra alone, almost every composer (including SDB, Naushad, Salil etc)
and almost all lyricists and all singers were into it. Hai na Anokhi Baat?
The 10 Anokhe Bol songs selected today may not be the Best, but some are iconic, evergreen and some are, maybe , unknown to some of you.
So, enjoy Anokhe Bol. . . . . . . . . . .
1. Film – Ek Thi Ladki-1949; Song-Lara Lappa
Singer-Lata, Rafi, Satish Batra and Chorus
This is an Iconic song of Indian Hindi films. In-spite of being as old as about 60 years,it is still very popular. This is shot on Meena Shorey. She looks so young and naughty here.
This song gave her a permanent identity as the Lara Lappa Girl. This tune is based on a Pahadi-Punjabi tune of Kangra District.
2. Film-Bawre Nain-1950; Song- Aye Ichak Beechak Churr
Shot on Raj Kapoor, Geeta Bali and Cuckoo
3.Film- Dholak-51 Song- Halla Gulla Layilla
Singer-Shamshad Begum, Satish Batra, Rafi, Chorus
This is a song where live orchestra is playing. The song is shot on Meena Shorey, Majnu, Ajit and others.
4. Film- Sazaa-51 Song-Gupchup gupchup pyar karen
Singers-Hemant Kumar and Sandhya Mukherjee
This song is shot on Dev Anand and Nimmi (for once she is smiling and not weeping-as always!).
This was also the debut song for Sandhya Mukherjee. The song is simply fabulous. Just close your eyes and listen to the melody.
5. Film- Funtoosh-56 Song- Denewala Jab bhi deta
Singer- Kishore Kumar, Chorus
Lyricist- Sahir Ludhiyanvi
This is one of my favourites from Kishore/Dev Anand duo. The song is shot on Dev Anand,making merry and entertaining the guests. You can also see Mehmood, Sheila Ramani, K.N.Singh and Bhagwan Sinha (doing the Shayar’s role). Just see the range of Kishore’s voice.
6. Film- Asha-57 Song- Eena Meena Dika…
Singer- Kishore Kumar
Shot on Kishore Kumar, you can also see Vyjayantimala. It is said that the tune and wording of this song was found by C.Ramchandra, when he heard some children playing and uttering these words.
7. Film- Do Bigha Zameen-53 Song- Haryala sawan aaya…
Singers-Lata, Manna Dey,chorus
Composer- Salil Chaudhary
This is a lovely joy song from a land mark film of India by Bimal Roy. It is shot on a group of farmers, who have come to the city to earn, welcoming the first rains of the season.
8. Film- Aawaz-56 Song- Dhitang Dhitang bole
Composer- Salil Chaudhary
This is only an audio. The tune is based on a Bengali song of Hemant Kumar, composed by Salilda himself (auto-plagiarism ?)
9. Film- Ek Do Teen-51 Song- Aka baaka chidi chadaka
This is song item done by young girls just before a function. Shot on Meena Shorey.
10. film- Savera-58 Song- chhupa chhupi agad bagad
Singers- Lata/Manna Dey/chorus
This is a memorable song from a less known composer. Sailesh was a multi faceted person. He has acted as a hero in 2-3 films, he has sung several songs and also given music to few films.
Enjoy the playlist!