Since 1999

A Year in Hindi Movies 1949 Part I

 1949: The Golden Age Begins: A

By definition, the golden age of Hindi film music is a
period of time that satisfies two conditions. You must be
mad about 75% or more of the songs that you have heard. And
you must fall in love with any previously unheard songs that
you hear for the first time, with a probability of 0.75 or

How can you tell if you are mad about a song? My
grandfather repeatedly went to see Saigal's devadaas (1935)
because he wanted to hear "dukh ke din ab biitat naahii.n".
Well-known singer raaj kumaarii saw daasii (1944) 15 times
to listen to songs sung by ziinat begam and MDed by
amaranaath, elder brother of husnalaal-bhagataraam. A
certain student wore out a record by playing his gramophone
all night under a quilt in a hostel. I keep two copies of
every golden (and platinum) age song I have, one for
archival purposes and another for wearing out the cassette
tapes and for repeatedly dirtying heads and capstans.
I have heard only 95 songs (out of about 9,000) from the
thirties and about 700 (out of 11,000) from the forties. [I have more now.]

For me the golden age begins and ends with lataa. From 1945 to
1948, she sang only 66 songs, but in 1949, she sang 161, out
of which I have heard and love 63. There is no doubt in my
mind that I will instantaneously fall in love with the
remaining 161-63=98 should I happen to hear them.

On the other hand, let us a take a typical year from
kaliyug, 1979. She sang 66, I remember hearing 12, of which
I could listen to a few just once. Perhaps, "baaho.n me.n
terii mastii ke ghere" from kaalaa patthar (1979) twice. Not
one song I will hum again and again or risk ruining my
cassette player for. If you think some song from 1979 (it
was 18 years ago) is a classic, please let me know.
Let us get right down, in alphabetical order, to the 11
movies in 1949 in which lataa shines.

1. andaaz

Featuring a love triangle, produced and directed by
mahabuub, starring nargis, diliip and raaj, had music by
naushaad and lyrics by majaruuh, was a major musical hit and
formed the basis of raaj's sangam (1964). All 4 mukesh solos
are classics. Nos. 9 and 10 by lata can be heard forever.
No. 2 was the first lata-shamashaad duet. Naushaad gave
music for 4 movies, andaaz, chha.Ndanii raat, dulaarii, and
dillagii, his peak in a single year. He did the same just
once more in 1944 with giit, jiivan, pahale aap and ratan.
ham aaj kahii.N dil kho baiThe mukesh Dar naa muhabbat kar le lata, shamashad tuu kahe agar jiivan bhar mukesh koii mere dil me.n Kushii ban lata TuuTe naa dil TuuTe naa mukesh jhuum jhuum ke naacho aaj mukesh yuu.n to aapas me.n biga.Date lata, rafi merii laaDalii rii banii hai lata, chorus uthaaye jaa un ke sitam aur lata to.D diyaa dil meraa tuune are lata

2. ba.Dii bahan

Story of the sacrifice of a ba.Dii bahan (suraiyaa) for
her chhoTii bahan (giitaa baalii), had everlasting music by
husnalaal-bhagataraam; they did it again! The two ladies
were at the peak of their popularity this year, suraiyaa
acting in 11 and giitaa in 10 movies. Giitaa baalii acted in
10 movies again in 1952. The music-duo were also at their
peak, giving music for 9 movies in 1949 and again in 1950.
Streetsingers sing song 1 when rahamaan is lovingly
eyeing suraiyaa. I adore so many songs of lataa that it is
impossible for me to make a top ten list for her. But if
forced at gun point, I will have to include this duet, her
only one with premalataa, in the list of my top ten favorite
female duets of lataabaaii, for the year 1949. Lyricist of
songs 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 is raajendra krishan and for the rest
it is qamar jalaalaabaadii. All 4 suraiyaa solos are well-
known to her fans. The tune for song 4 was the inspiration
for "daaman me.n aag lagaa baiThe" dhuul kaa phuul (1959).
chup chup kha.De ho zaruur koii lata, premalataa vo paas rahe.n yaa duur rahe.n suraiyaa chale jaanaa nahii.n nain milaa lata jo dil me.n Kushii ban kar aa-e lata tum mujhako bhuul jaao suraiyaa likhane vaale ne likh dii suraiyaa muhabbat ke dhokhe me.n koii rafi biga.Dii banaane vaale biga.Dii suraiyaa

3. barasaat

A super film by raaj kapuur, contrasting two different
ideas about love, starring himself, nargis, his real-life
brother-in-law premanaath and introducing nimmii, shankar-
sinh raghuwanshi-jaikishen dayabhai panchal, iqbal hasarat
jaipuri and shailendr. All songs are classics.
havaa me.n u.Dataa jaa-e - lata jiyaa beqaraar hai chhaaii bahaar - lata barasaat me.n, hamase mile tum - lata, chorus prem nagar me.n basane vaalo - lata o o o o mujhe kisii se pyaar ho - lata merii aa.Nkho.n me.n bas gayaa - lata tirachhii nazar hai patalii kamar - lata, mukesh mai.n zindagii me.n haradam rotaa - rafi ab meraa kaun sahaaraa - lata chho.D gaye baalam mujhe haay - lata, mukesh bichha.De hu-e paradesii ik baar - lata Navaab baanuu, daughter of the famous movie star and
singer vahiidan baaii [remember the surendr-vahiidan song,
"ham aur tum aur ye Kushii" from aliibaabaa (1940), MD
anildaa, lyrics Dr. aah siitaapurii] was born at Agra, came
to Bombay after the 1947 tragedy and met mahabuub, an old
family friend, for work. Raj saw her at mahabuub studios
while working on andaaz (1949) and selected her to be the
tragedienne in barasaat. He also gave her the stage name,
nimmi, after the name of his dreamgirl in aag (1948). With
the success of her first picture, she was able to fulfil her
lifelong dream of owning a Cadillac.

Shankar was born in Hyderabad and Jaikishen in Bulsar,
Gujarat. They, met Raj Kapoor when they were orchestra
musicians for Prithvi Theaters, assisted Ram Ganguly in aag
(1948). Shankar used to play tabalaa and Dholak for husna-
laal-bhagatraam. I adore most of their songs from early days
and some from later times, but they gave music to so many
films that the percentage of great songs fell well below 75%
too soon. I remember, when I was in primary school, my uncle
(10 years older) and his drama party friends arguing
endlessly whether naushaad or SJ or whether OPN or naushaad
is better. In my college days, I remember friends coming to
blows over naushaad and SJ, again. So, kids, this thread has
been there for a long time.

SJ were undoubtedly the most popular MD's in the suvarN
and the rajat yugas. Did they just cater to or actively
contribute to the decreasing sensitivity to great music?
This question is as old as art itself, you know the endless
debate about high art and popular art and is algebraically
the same as the discussion about whether people who can sing
opera masterfully are better than others who have no
training to do so but can excite the masses into buying
their CD's. This question can never be really settled. This
is why. If you extrapolate all such arguments backwards to
their logical beginnings, they boil down to two or three
basic axiomatic opinionated positions. It is impossible to
decide among axioms. Still, discussions are the life of
RMIM, and should be encouraged as long as they are clean,
full of experimentally verifiable data and do not fall into
logical fallacies.

Iqabaal husain, whose naanaajii fidaa husain fida was
an accomplished poet, studied urduu and faarsii, and left
jaipur for Bombay in 1940. To pay the bills, he remained a
bus conductor for 6 years and then met Raj Kapoor. According
to hasarat jaipurii, most of his songs were written for
jaikishen. Unfortunately, I do not have much info on

Shailendar. [ I do now!]
The violin piece that Raj Kapoor plays in the movie is
"Anniversary Song" from The Jolson Story (1946).

4. baazaar

A social movie directed by K. Amarnath, MD shyaam

sundar, lyrics qamar jalaalaabaadii, starring nigaar, shyaam
and gop. Kids probably have heard number 10, which was
chosen by lata to be singled out in a recent book. I, of
course, love the 11 songs that I am lucky to have.

1. raam qasam mai.n ghuu.ghaT ke - raajakumaarii,  satiish batraa
2. basaa lo apanii nigaaho.n - lata
3. chhallaa de jaa nishanii terii - shamashaad, rafi, batraa
4. o jaane vaale chaa.Nd zaraa - rafi
5. yah hai duniyaa kaa baazaar - rafi
6. ai muhabbat unase milane kaa - lata, rafi
7. nazar se mil hii jaayegii nazar ?
8. pii aa-e aa kar chal bhii di-e - shamashaad
9. zaraa sun lo ham apane pyaar - lata, raajakumaarii, chorus
10. saajaan kii galiyaa.N chho.D - lata
11. mere bhagavaan tuu mujhako - rafi
12. apanii nazar se duur vo - lata, rafi
13. ai dil unako yaad naa karanaa - lata
14. maa.Ng rahaa hai hindustaan - rafi
15. pii aa-e aa kar chal bhii diye - durraanii, chorus
16. shahiido tumako meraa salaam ?

5. dulaarii

A girl-kidnapped-and-found-later story, by kaaradaar,
had music by naushaad, lyrics by shakiil, starring
madhubaalaa, suresh, giitaa baalii, jayant, and shyaam
kumaar. Madubaalaa acted in 9 movies in 1949, her peak year.
The most famous song is the rafi solo. When I get to play
songs from this movie on my car stereo, the cassette stays
there for months and months.
do din kii bahaar pyaare do din - lata, chorus taqadiir jagaa kar aa-ii huu.n - lata ai dil tujhe qasam hai tuu himmat - lata aa.Nkho.n me.n aa jaa dil me.n - lata naa vo ham se judaa ho.nge - lata muhabbat hamaarii zamaanaa hamaaraa - lata kaun sune fariyaad hamaarii - lata raat rangiilii mast nazaare - lata, rafi mil mil ke gaa-enge ho do dil - lata, rafi suhaanii raat Dhal chukii - rafi chaa.Ndanii aa-ii ban ke pyaar - shamashaad naa bol pii pii more anganaa - shamashaad

6. jiit

A dev-suraiyaa samaaj-sudhaaro-type movie, directed by
mohan sinhaa. Lyricist was prem dhavan and music was given
by anil bisvaas for all songs except 1, 5, 9 and 10 for
which shyaam baabuu paaThak was used. Madan puri was the
westernized brother, who is to be sudhaaroed by dev. You
should resign from the suraiyaa fan club if you have not
heard her solos 3 and 8. The two lata solos were amazing.

1. ban jaa-o hindustaanii suraiyaa, chorus
2. chaahe kitanii kaThin Dagar ho suraiyaa, shankar daasguptaa
3. tum miit mere tum praaN mere suraiyaa
4. hans le gaa le o chaa.Nd mere lata
5. suno suno banavaarii more giitaa
6. mast pavan hai chanchal dhaaraa lata
7. kuchh phuul khile aramaano.n ke suraiyaa
8. tum man kii pii.Daa kyaa samajho suraiyaa
9. kaam karo bhaii kaam karo suriyaa, chorus
10. kaam karo bhaii kaam karo giitaa, vinod

We are nowhere close to finishing the first year of the
Golden age. Next part will follow soon.

Surjit Singh, a diehard movie fan(atic), period.

A Year in Hindi Movies 1949 Part II

1949: The Golden Age Begins: B

First, let me add a few things to Part A. Full names of
the lyricists of barasaat are ramesh shaastrii for song 1
and jalaal maliihaabaadii for 5. Barasaat is reported to
have collected nearly a crore (10 million) rupees during its
initial release. Continuing the info on 1949, more movies in which lata
excelled follow:

7. laahaur

A social starring nargis, karan diivaan and kuladiip
kaur was a musical hit by MD shyam sundar (for songs 3, 4,
6, 8 and 9) and vinod (for the rest). Lyrics are by
raajendra krishaN except for 2, which is written by aziiz
kashmiirii. This is another cassette I have worn out. I am
lucky to have songs 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10. The two duets
of lata with karan diivaan compare with the best duets of
any kind. Lata's 3 solos that I have heard send me to nuur-
jahaanland. Mannaa De's complaint asking where god is
probably brought god out from hiding.
duniyaa hamaare pyaar kii - lata, karan diivaan sun lo sajan merii baat - lata, karan diivaan ham jahaa.N me.n aa-e hai.n - karan diivaan bahaare.n phir bhii aa-e.ngii - lata TuuTe hu-e aramaano.n kii ik - lata hamane sarakas me.n naukarii kar - durranii ummiid ke rangii.n jhuule me.n - lata duniyaa to yah kahatii hai insaan - manaa De, chorus vahii rotaa hu-aa ik dil - karan diivaan us dil kii qismat kyaa kahiye - lata

8. mahal

A complicated ghost story suspenseful psychodrama,
extremely successful debut by kamaal amarohii and produced
by Bombay Talkies is a genuine classic of Hindi cinema. It
starred Ashok (his only movie in 1949 since he was busy
governing Bombay Talkies), madhubaalaa, vijaylaxmi and
kumar, had haunting music by khemachandra prakaash and
lyrics by naKshab jaarachavii mostly (see later). Ashok and
madhu are at their career best in serious roles. This movie
was a turning point in her career and her fame sky-rocketed
making her the front-rank star.

According to the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, song 1
was a turning point in lata's career. I disagree. I believe
that the songs of barasaat played this role. The other lata
solo is considered one of her best. The 3 raajakumaarii
solos are classics and the duet is simply mesmerizing as is
the dancing during its picturization. The choreography was
by lachchhuu mahaaraaj and deep focus photography by the
German cameraman Josef Wirsching.

Ashok Kumar wanted miinaa kumaarii to play the lead,
but amarohii insisted on madhu. According to kamaal amarohii
(in an interview with Har Mandir Singh) he wrote the opening
lines of song 1 (Kaamosh hai zamaanaa etc.), naKshab wrote
the rest. On song 4, he said that he wrote the opening line
and the rest of the song whereas aarzuu lakhanavii wrote the
para "is jiine me.n sau dukh hai.n", even though naKshab's
name is mentioned as a writer in all sources.
1. aayegaa 3, aayegaa aane vaalaa - lata
2. ye raat phir naa aayegii - zoharaa, raajakumarii
3. mushkil hai bahut mushkil - lata
4. ghabraa ke jo ham sar ko - raajakumaarii
5. mai.n vo ha.nsii huu.N lab pe jo - raajakumaarii
6. ek tiir chalaa, dil pe lagaa - raajakumaarii
7. dil ne phir yaad kiyaa - lata

9. namuunaa

An almost incestuous story of an illegitimate child
turned motorvaalii-rich girl kaaminii kaushal, refugee-poor-
M.A. student dev and rich philanthropist barrister kishor
saahuu, had music by c. raamachandra and lyrics by pyaare
laal santoshii (songs 1, 2, 7, 8), naKshab jaarachavii (3,
6), A. aah shikaarapurii (4), gulashan jalaalaabaadii (5)
and raajaa me.hadii alii Kaa.N (9). The lata-rafi duet
should be a classic. Lata solos are typical CR creations.
CR was at his peak this year giving music to 9 hindi movies.
do gharo.n kii aag me.n ghar - shamashaad, chorus mhaarii galii maa.N aav jo re - lata jiyaa moraa Dole - shamashaad, chorus aanaa balam more aanaa - shamashaad ta.Dapaa ke mujhe ab chho.D diyaa - lata, rafi ik Thes lagii - lata TamaTam se jhaa.nko naa ranii jii - shamashaad ajii sambhal ke aanaa ho laalaa - lata mujhako sazaa-en de ke kisii ke - lata

10. patangaa

One of the three pre-anaarakalii musical marvels by CR,
the other two being sagaaii and albelaa (both 1951), a
social starring nigaar, shyaam and gop. Reportedly, this was
the first movie of the future jubilee kumar, raajendra
kumar, although I could not find him. Lyrics were by
raajendra krishan. Kids must remember the Tailiifuun song,
but lata fans can never forget the 3 solos. Shamashaad seems
to be in full swing in the usual CR light-hearted nok-jhonk

1. gore gore mukha.De pe gesuu jo - shamashaad
2. duniyaa ko pyaare phuul aur - shamashaad
3. o dil vaalo dil kaa lagaanaa - shamashaad, chitalakar
4. mere piyaa ga-e ra.nguun kiyaa - shamashaad, chitalakar
5. pyaar ke jahaan kii niraalii - lata, shamashaad, chorus
6. namaste 4, pahale to ho ga-ii - mohanataaraa, shamashaad, chitalakar, rafi, chorus
7. bolo jii dil loge kyaa kyaa doge - shamashaad, rafi
8. dil se bhulaa do tum hame.n - lata
9. o jaane vaale tuune aramaano.n kii - lata
10. kabhii Kaamosh hoo jaanaa - lata

11. shaayar

Yet another triangle involving village girl suraiyaa,
city girl kaaminii kaushal and poet dev. The music is by
Gulaam muhammad and lyrics by shakiil. The best known song
is the lata-mukesh duet, but the other songs are equally
great gems that need to be discovered and appreciated by
lovers of the music from the golden age. Video is available.
aaj koii hai aane vaalaa - suraiyaa kyaa chiiz hai muhabbat - suraiyaa tuu duur hai aa.Nkho.n se - lata dil kii duniyaa uja.D gaii - suraiyaa muhabbat par bahaar aatii - lata o o more baalamaa kaahe maarii - shamashaad, rafi hame.n tum bhuul baiThe ho - suraiyaa do bichha.De hu-e dil - lata, durraanii ye duniyaa hai 3, yahaa.N dil - lata, mukesh o qismat teraa ho buraa - suraiyaa

Some other movies of 1949 follow.


mubarak begam acted and sang for the first time in this
movie for MD shaukat haidarii, lyrics (all except one, see
below) by naKshab. Her first song was a solo,
mohe aane lagii a.nga.Daaii, aajaa aajaa balam harajaaii
She had one more song in the movie with lata and chorus,
aaiiye ahaahaa ahaahaa aao chale.n chale.n vahaa.N
written by shamasul hudaa bihaarii.

chaa.Ndanii raat

Starring nasiim, shyaam and david, had wonderful music
by naushaad and lyrics by shakiil. Here are all the songs:
chaa.Ndanii raat hai - umaa devii, chorus aa.Nkh milii dil chalaa gayaa - shamashaad chhiin ke dil kyuu.N pher - shamashaad, rafi kaise baje dil kaa sitaar - shamashaad, rafi haay chhore kii jaat ba.Dii - lata, durraanii Kabar kyaa thii ki Gam khaanaa - shamashaad, rafi do din kii Kushii raas naa - shamashaad chhaayaa merii ummiid kii duniyaa - shamashaad saiyaa.n se bichhu.D ga-ii ho more - amiirabaaii, saadat dil ho unhe.n mubaaraq jo - rafi


A musical hit by kaaradaar, MD naushaad, lyricist
shakiil, starring suraiyaa, shyaam, shaam kumaar. The first
actor shyaam was just that. He starred in many popular
movies in the late forties-early fifties.
The other actor shayaam kumaar (real name:sayyad gul
haamid) was a hero (in 5 movies), a villain (in many movies)
and a playback singer of hindi movies. His songs were never
picturized on him. In 1942, bhagavaan gave him a role in
sukhii jiivan (1942). Apart from dillagii, some other movies
for which his playback singing is remembered are namaste
(1943), ratan (1944) and chaachaa chaudharii (1953). As a
villain kids may remember him from johny meraa naam (1970).
What a great music this movie has and there is no lata.
I just love every single one of the 11 songs, kamaal kar dii
naushaad miyaa.N.
muralii vaale muralii bajaa - suraiyaa le ke dil chupake se kiiyaa - suraiyaa merii pyaarii patang chalii - uma, shamashad, chorus duniyaa kyaa jaane meraa afsaanaa - suraiyaa tuu meraa chaa.Nd mai.n terii - suraiyaa, shyaam teraa Kayaal dil se bhulayaa naa - suraiyaa is duniyaa me.n ai dil vaalo - rafi chaar din kii chaa.Ndanii phir - suraiyaa niraalaa muhabbat kaa dastuur - suraiyaa tere kuuche me.n aramaano.n kii - rafi zaalim zamaanaa mujhako tumase - suraiyaa, shyaam


This is the first movie for which the lyricist asad
bhopaalii wrote songs alongwith 4 others. Music was by C.
Ramchandra. I have heard only one wonderful suraiyaa solo
mere dil me.n aavo aur bas jaavo

ek thii la.Dakii

A suspense drama was a major hit by ruup k. shorii,
starring his wife miinaa shorii (real name: Kurshiid), motii
laal, i. s. jauhar and kuldiip kaur. I have heard two songs,  [I haved all now.]
laaraa lappaa laaraa lappaa laaii rakhadaa by lata, durraanii, rafii and chorus
and a lata-rafii duet ab haale dil yaa haale jigar kuchh naa puuchhiye
The MD was vinod and lyricist aziiz kashmiirii.
Because of the popularity of the first song, miinaa shorii was forever
known as the laaraa lappa girl.

iraan kii ek raat

The last hindi movie directed by the legendary pramath-
esh chandra barua. It starred jamunaa [paaro of devadaas
(1935)] and [kanval of Kazaanchii (1941)]. He was
born on October 24, 1903 in gouripur (bangladesh) as the son
of the local mahaaraajaa and died on November 29, 1951 in
Calcutta. Another brilliant scholar from the Presidency
College, he obtained B. Sc. with honors in mathematics in
1924 (I did the same from Govt. College, Ludhiana, another
famous college, in 1966). He was the first Indian producer
to use artificial lighting for indoor shooting in aparaadhii
(1931, silent) with Krishna Gopal as cameraman. He directed
9 bengali and 12 hindi movies. He is best remembered as the
devadaas (1935) in the bengali version.

We will continue the saga of 1949 in the last part of
this post.

Surjit Singh, a diehard movie fan(atic), period.

August 14, 2014: I never wrote the 3rd part and discontinued the series. SS

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