A Year in Hindi Movies 1946 Part I

1946 - So many firsts!!!

This was the year of the firsts. Nirupa Roy, Geeta Bali,
Geeta Roy, K. A. Abbas, Ravi Shankar, Balraj Sahani, Damay-
anti Sahani, Mina Kapoor, Sudhir Phadke, P. L. Santoshi, Dev
Anand, Rahaman, Rehana, Chitragupt, Ram Ganguly, Abhi Bhat-
tacharya, Chetan Anand, Uma Anand, Kamini Kaushal, Hans Raj
Bahal, Majrooh, S. D. Burman, and, Kishore Kumar started
their career in Hindi movies in 1946.

Here a summary of the various firsts of Hindi cinema that
happened this year. Some of the details will be provided

amar raaj

This was the first Hindi movie to be released, starring
Nirupa Roy, the goddess of the silver screen. She was
born as Kokila on Jan. 4, 1931 in Bulsar (Gujarat).
She married Kishorechand Lallubhai Bulsara in 1945 and
they came to Bombay. She was so successful in the
gujarati picture, "guNasundarii" that she soon became a
top-notch gujarati star. Her husband gave her the
screen name, Nirupa Roy, and changed his name to Kamal
Kishore Roy. After the monumental success of "har har
mahaadev" (1950) in which she played paarvatii to shiv
played by Trilok Kapoor, Prithviraj's younger brother,
she was a goddess in dozens of movies.


A solo dance in this movie introduced Geeta Bali. She
was born in Amritsar on Nov. 30, 1930 to Sardar Kartar
Singh, a well-known Sikh missionary preacher. Geeta,
whose real name was Harikirtan Kaur, took dancing les-
sons and did stage shows and sang on the Radio as a
child artiste. She shot to fame in Kidar Sharma's
"suhaag raat" (1948) with bhaarat bhuushaN as the hero.
She hit the headlines after her marriage to Shammi
Kapoor and their son Mickey (aadityaraaj) made his
debut at the age of four months in the arms of Prith-
viraj Kapoor in the popular stage production, "kisaan".

bhakta prahlaad

Geeta Roy (later Dutt) made her debut in a song in this
movie, under the musical direction of Hanuman Prasad.
She was 16 at the time. She became famous with her
songs in "do bhaaii" (1947) with S. D. Burman (a god)
as MD. She married Guru Dutt (another god) in 1953 and
died in July 1972.

dharatii ke laal

K. A. Abbas (director), Ravi Shankar (MD and a god),
Balraj Sahani (hero) and his wife, Damayanti Sahani
(heroine) got a break in this movie, although Balraj
had a small role in "insaaf" (1946). Was the first of
the three movies backed by Indian People's Theatre
Association (IPTA), a leftist drama company, this year.

Abbas, a grandson of the well-known Urdu poet, haalii,
was born in Panipat (Harayana) in 1914. Was a journal-
ist who ran the longest running weekly political
column, the Last Page, in the Bombay Chronicle and
Blitz (1941-86). Sold his first screenplay "nayaa san-
saar" (1941) to Bombay Talkies. He brought Amitabh
Bachchan into Hindi movies.

Ravi Shankar, the famous sitarist known all over the
world, also gave music for "niichaa nagar" (1946),
"anuraadhaa" (1960), "godaan" (1963) and "miiraa"
(1979). Other well-known classical musicians who gave
music for Hindi movies include, Panna Lal Ghosh, Ali
Akbar Khan, Alla Rakha Qureshi, Ustad Vlilayat Khan,
Professor Nararayan Rao Vyas, Gyan Prakash Ghosh,
Vijaya Raghav Rao, Anand Shankar, Raghunath Seth, Shiv
Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

Balraj Sahani was born at Rawalpindi (Pakistan!) on May
1 (!), 1913 to a staunch Arya Samaji Harbans Lal
Sahani. At D. A. V. College Rawalpindi, two things
happened. One of his teachers, Prof. Jaswant Rai,
transformed him into a leftist and, secondly, he
started to play female roles in college dramas. (Don't
laugh, one of my uncles, Om Prakash Rahi Jamalpuri, a
keshadhari Sikh, despite the name, played female roles
in his drama club as late as 1956.) He married Jaswant
Rai's daughter, Damayanti, who may have been one of the
first few girls in Panjab to act in dramas in those
days [Check!].

He took no interest in the family business and
became a writer of short stories in Hindi. Later, in
1937, he and his wife landed in Calcutta in search of a
suitable career. He ran out of money. His father sent
him a hundred rupees (like lakhs now) and ordered him
to come home. He went to Shantiniketan and landed a job
as a teacher of Hindi and English. Here, Tagore (also a
god) told him something that he never forgot. He said
that if you, a panjabi, do not care for your mother-
tongue, nobody else will. In 1940, he took up a job in
the Indian service of BBC in London. He came back to
India in 1947. Damayanti died in 1947. More later.

eight days

Mina Kapoor, who married Anil Biswas (also a god), made
her debut by singing a solo,"kisii se merii priit lagii
ab kyaa karu.N", written by Gopal Singh Nepali and MD'd
by S. D. Burman.


Sudhir Phadke's first Hindi movie all by himself as an
MD. Produced by Prabhat, lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi,
had five songs, sung by G. M. Durrani, Mohanatara
Ajinkya and Manik Varma.

hum ek hai.n

Pyare Lal Santoshi (director), Dev Anand, Rahman,
Rehana debuted with this movie. Santoshi started his
career as an assistant to Jaddan Bai and later esta-
blished himself as a lyricist in "basant" (1942). He
also wrote a Hindi qavaalii, " mai.N musaafir huu.N
merii subah kahi.n shaam kahi.n" in the Marathi movie,

"dhanaJNjay" (1966).

For Dev Anand, see Intro to Chitrahar 8, coming soon.
Rahman was a popular hero at one time, changed to char-
acter acting later. Rehana did not act in too many
movies, I will mention some later.

lady robinhood

The first Hindi movie as an independent music director
by Chitragupt. He used to entertain his friends by
singing songs when he was a college student in Bihar.
After finishing his M. A. he came to Bombay vowing to
himself that if he did not get work in 365 days, he
would go back to Bihar. He sang in a chorus under Hari
Prasann Das and acted as assistant to S. N. Tripathy
before landing his own film. His complete filmography
is available from the RMIM automailer maintained by
Prince and Satish.

mahaaraaNaa prataap

Music director Ram Ganguli made his debut in this
movie. Songs were written by Swami Ramanand and sung
mostly by Khurshiid. He became famous with Raj Kapoor's
"aag" (1948). He was born on Aug. 5, 1928 and learnt
music from Ustad Allaudin Khan. At age 17, he played
sitar in an All India Congress Function. He was assis-
tant to R. C. Boral and gave music for many dramas of
Prithviraj Kapoor's theater comapny.


Abhi Bhattacharya's first Hindi movie, was also a turn-
ing point in Dilip Kumar (another god)'s career. He
says that before this movie, acting for him was, 'turn
this side', 'smile', 'heave a sigh of relief', 'laugh
heartily' etc. Nitin Bose taught him a new conception
of acting which Dilip has not forgotten to this day.

niichaa nagar

Another IPTAbacked film, launched the careers of Chetan
Anand, his wife Uma, and Kamini Kaushal. Chetan, the
elder bother of Dev, and of the young kid of the family
Vijay (nicknamed Goldie), was born in Lahore (like so
many other famous people) in 1915. He worked for BBC,
played the leading man in Abbas's "zubaidaa", a stage
play directed by Balraj Sahani. "niichaa nagar" was the
first Indian movie to be given the prestigious Grand
Prix (French for Grand Prize) at the first Cannes film
festival in 1946. More about him later. Kamini Kaushal
(real name Uma Kashyap) was also born in Lahore on Feb.
24, 1927 to Rai Bahadur S. R. Kashyap, Dean of the
University of Punjab. She played leading roles in col-
lege dramas and married B. S. Sood, an Engineer with
Bombay Port Trust. Chetan, who was an old family friend
from Lahore, asked her to play an important role in his
first movie. She did. She shot to fame in Filmistan's
"shahiid" (1948) with Dilip Kumar and Bombay Talkies
"ziddii" (1948) with Dev Anand. Kids may remember her
as the mother of Manoj Kumar (one of a number of people
who, early in their carrer, were influenced by Dilip
Kumar's acting) in many movies.

Posted by SS=Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.
and formatted by SS=Satish Subramanian

A Year in Hindi Movies 1946 Part II

1946 - So many firsts!!!

This is the second part of my earlier writeup on 1946.


The first movie of the well-known MD, Hans Raj Bahal. He was
born on Nov. 19, 1916. Learnt music from Pandit Chunilal of
Ambala and opened a music school in, where else, Lahore.
Also made some records for HMV. He was an assistant to
Gobind Ram, Rashid Atre and Khemchandra Prakash, before
landing "pujaarii".

Baby Mumtaaz (later Madhubala, a goddess) sang a song,
bhagavaan mere pyaar ke diipak ko jalaa de, under his
direction in this movie. He gave music to many famous
panjabi movies in which Hindi-movie-singers sang. Some of
them are, "lachchhii" (1949), "chhaii" (1950), "juganii"
(1953), "bhanga.Daa" (1959), "do lachchhiaa.n" (1960) and
"pinD dii ku.Dii" (1963).

Asha Bhosle sang her first song in a chorus in 1948 and, her
first solo in 1949, for ha.Ns raaj bahal.


The first movie for the lyricist, Majrooh Sultanpuri. Has
excellent music by Naushad (yet another god). It appears
that Naushad managed to get extremely succesful songs out of
Saigal without Saigal having to touch even a drop of ethyl
alcohol. Saigal told Naushad, kaash, aap mujhe pahale mile
hote. Perhaps the most famous Saigal song, jab dil hii TuuT
gayaa, written by Majrooh is from this movie. There was, and
still may be, a radio program from the Ceylon Broadcasting
Company's foreign service. It was called puraanii filmo.n ke
giit and started at 7:30 a.m. On every weekday, at exactly
three minutes and fifteen seconds before eight, a Saigal
song erupted on shortwave radios all over India. Most of the
time, it was, jab dil hii TuuT gayaa. This tradition of
having a Saigal song to end the program was started by the
announcer, Vijay Kumar Dubey in 1954. After Rafi died, they
replaced Saigal by Rafi, on the day of his death once each
year. Much info on Majrooh is available on the automailer.


The first Hindi movie by S. D. Burman (real name Kumar
Sachin Dev Burman) and Kishor Kumar, one of the trinity of
the latter-day singing gods of Hindi movies. SDB's father,
Nabdveep Chandra Dev Burman Bahadur, Raja of Tripura state,
was an accomplished singer and sitarist. SDB was born on
Oct. 10, 1902 in Komilla (Bangladesh) and his gurus were K.
C. Dey and Badal Khan. He sang in many music programs and
became music director of bangali dramas around 1932. He
gave his first radio program and first ever musical
direction, in a bangali movie "raajashrii" in 1937.
He gave music for four more bangali movies before doing
Hindi movies. It appears that he seldom sat down with a
harmonium to compose music. He used to roam around on the
roads to get inspiration for his tunes. He got lost once
and composed, jaaye.n to jaaye.n kahaa.n. Looking through
a window on a moonlit night, he gave us, ye raat ye
chaa.ndanii phir kahaa.n. Looking far away at nothing in
particular, as if looking for some lost treasure, he gave us
the treasure, tum naa jaane kis jahaa.n me.n kho gaye. More
about him later.

Kishore Kumar was born on Aug. 4, 1929 at Khandwa (M.P.),
the youngest of the three Ganguly brothers, the other two
being Ashok and Anup. His father wanted him to become a
lawyer. He went to college at Indore and carried a harmonium
singing, imitating his brother Ashok Kumar's voice. After
finishing college, he went to Bombay and announced to Ashok
that he wanted to become a famous stunt-movie actor. Ashok
consulted his horoscope and told him that he could never be
an actor of any kind. Nevertheless, he got acting jobs and
his first was in "shikaarii" (1946). He was listed at number
7, his brother was the hero. He gave his first sound test
for Khemchandra Prakash to sing for "ziddii" (1948) and was
allowed to sing only after his brother approved too. In
"ziddii" he sang for Dev Anand. His very first songs, a
solo, marane kii duaae.n kyo.n maa.ngu.n, and a duet with
Lata, ye kaun aayaa re kar ke ye solah singaar, became
immensely popular. He appears uncredited in "ziddi" a few
times as a gardener, makes a funny remark or two and then
disappears. He sang and appeared in many movies but his
biggest break as an actor came with AVM's "la.Dakii" (1953)
with Vyajyantimala. It was a box office hit. He made many
hit movies after that, but kept giving playback for Dev
Anand. More later.

Some other movies of 1946 now follow.


Lata, a newcomer sang with an established Shanta Apte, in a
duet, mai.n khilii khilii phulavaarii. She did quite well.

anamol gha.Dii

Another top-notch movie produced by Mehboob, with nusic by
Naushad. Had immensely popular songs. Four solos by Noor

aa jaa merii barabaad mohabbat ke sahaare,
mere bachapan ke saathii mujhe bhuul naa jaanaa,
javaa.n hai mohabbat hasii.n hai zamaanaa,
kyaa mil gayaa bhagavaan tumhe.n dil ko dukhaa ke,
three solos by Surayya:
mai.n dil me.n dard basaa laaii,
man letaa hai ang.Daaii,
sochaa thaa kyaa kyaa ho gayaa,
two solos by Surendra:
kyo.n yaad aa rahe hai.n guzare huye zamaane,
ab kaun hai meraa,
and a duet by Surendra and Noor Jahan,
aavaaz de kahaa.n hai,
a solo by Rafi:
teraa khilaunaa TuuTaa balak,
and, finally, a duet by Shamshaad and Zoharabai,
u.Dan khaTole pe u.D jaauu.n.

All songs were written by tanaviir naqvii, except kyaa mil
gayaa bhagavaan, which was by anjum piiliibhiitii.

doctor koTaniis kii amar kahaani

The third movie produced by IPTA in 1946. It is based on a
novel, "And One Did Not Come Back" by Abbas, and tells the
story of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis (played by V. Shantaram) who went to
China to help the chinese against the Japanese invaders, and
got married to a chinese girl (Jayashrii).


Noor Jahan sang 6 out of 10 songs. Among them are:
raaz khulataa nazar nahii.n aataa,
dukh dard se jag me.n koii aazaad nahii.n hai,
ye desh hamaaraa pyaaraa hindustaan jahaa.n se nyaaraa.
Music was by Hafiz Khan (Khan Mastana) and lyrics by anjum
piiliibhiitii. Mehboob, who did not direct this movie, sang
a song, jag kii sevaa kar le bande.

jiivan yaatraa

Lata appears in the movie and is mentioned at number 5. She
sang one solo, chi.Diyaa bole chuu.n chuu.n chuu.n. Music by
Vasant Desai and lyrics by diivaan sharar.


First of the four original Hindii movies I know that are
named after their stars [Check!]. Kids, name the other three now.
Nargis was the heroine and Rahaman the hero. The duo Husnlal
-Bhagtram provided the music. Most of the songs were sung by
amiirbaai, who also played a role.

umar Kayyaam

Second movie pairing Saigal and Surayya. Music by Lal
Mohammad and lyrics by Dr. Safdar Aah. 7 songs, three by
Saigal and 4 by Surayya.

Most of the info comes from the following:

"The Encyclopaedia of Hindi Film Songs," vol. II

"Listeners' Bulletin"


"Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema"

"Limca Book of Records 1993"

Posted by Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.

PS: I finally learnt how to format my posts.

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