A Year in Hindi Movies 1941


1941 - Mukesh acts and sings!

This note on Mukeshachand Zoraavarachand Maathur should be
read alongside the wonderful info already available on the
RMIM Automailer maintained by Prince Kohli and Satish
Subramanian; get the articles #1, #2, #60 and #78.

Mukesh was born on July 22, 1923. One of the ten siblings,
the handsome young man came to Bombay in 1940 to become an
actor. His bosom buddy Tara Harish gave him a chance as a
hero in "nirdosh" (1941) opposite Nalini Jayawant in her
third movie. His first song was, "dil hii bujhaa huaa ho to
fasle bahaar kyaa", a solo and he also sang two duets with
Nalini Jaywant. The MD of the movie was Ashok Ghosh. On his
death in 1976, Anil Biswas said that he lost one of his

He sang the largest number of songs, 93, for Kalyanji-
Anandji in 60 movies. In the golden age of Hindi movie
music, 1951-1960, he was one of the popular male singers
used by the MD's. Here are the numbers of songs sung by po-
pular male singers in the period 1951-1960:

Rafi             1,236
Talat              306
Mannadey      300
Hemant          182
Mukesh          167
Kishor            165

Interestingly, in the previous decade, the platinum age,
1941- 1950, the numbers for male singers are:

Rafi          270
Mukesh    148
Talat          20
Kishor        13
Hemant       7

The present age is, of course, the iron age, or kaliyug. As
I have mentioned in an earlier post, the total number of
all songs of any kind, including other languages, nonfilmi
stuff etc. recorded by Mukesh is 994.

Here are some other things that happened in 1941.

Bharat Bhushan makes a debut as a disciple in an
aashram, (he was listed at #17 in the credits) in this
historical, first major hit of director Kidar Sharma,
who also provided the screenplay and lyrics. The music
was by Jhande Khan and A. S. Gyani.

Bombay Talkies's third hit in a row starring Ashok
Kumar and Leela Chitnis, after kangan (1939) and ban-
dhan (1940). Sarasvatii devii provided a number of hit
songs, including, "na jaane kidhar aaj meri naav chalii
re (Ashok)", "aaj mausam salonaa salonaa re (Ashok)",
and the fast-paced hilarious song, "mai.n to dillii se
dulhan layyaa re ai baabuu ji (Arun Kumar and Rahmat

Even though prem nagar (1940) was released first,
Naushad Ali recorded his first ever song for a movie
all by himself for this movie. The song, "bataa do koii
kaun galii more shyaam", lyrics by D. N. Madhok and
sung by Leela Chitnis.

A big hit from Pancholi Art Pictures, Lahore, Panjab,
with the famous producer-director-actor S. D. Narang as
hero. Music by Gulaam haidar and lyrics by valii
saahib. It had 9 popular songs, all featuring Shamshad
Begum, in six solos, one duet and two choruses. I have
heard two of them [Now I have the movie], the duet,"nayano.n ke baaN kii riit
anokhii" and my grandma's favorite movie song that is
not a bhajan, "saavan ke nazaare hai.n." According to
Narang Films, owned my the two sons of S. D. Narang,
this was the first Hindi Golden Jubilee Film.

Saigal and kaanan devi had 10 hit songs, music by R. C.
boraal, lyrics by aarazuu lakhanavii. You may have
heard,"kaahe ko raaD machaaii","ye kaisaa anyaay
daataa", "mai.n sote bhaag jagaa duu.ngaa" by saigal
and "madabharii madabharii matavaarii phulavaarii kyaa
nyaarii", "hamarii laaj nibhaao svaamii" by kaanan.

A movie on national integration before this phrase
became a cliche, directed by inimitable Dr. Shantaram,
in which the role of a Muslim was played by gajaanan
jaagiirdar and the role of his Hindu best friend was
played by mazhar Kaa.N.

raaj nartakii
The famous bengali dancer sadhona bose danced and hus-
band, modhu bose directed. The movie was the first mul-
tilingual movie as some characters spoke Hindi, others
Bengali and English. This was a new thing, because so
far many producers had made monolingual versions of the
same movie.

Sohrab Modi directed and played king porus, who said to
sikandar, played by prithviraj kapuur, "buddy, you
treat me as one king treats another", after the brave
Indian king lost everything, and, sikandar had asked
how he should be treated. Astonishingly, according to
the Encyclopaedia Britannica, there are no references
to sikandar's invasion or this famous verbal exchange
in the Indian sources. All of our info about this
famous invasion comes from records kept by sikandar's
companions, whose records are, "fanciful" and "make for
better fiction than history", still quoting the Britan-
nica. Has one famous song that the Greek soldiers sing
in Hindi,"zindagii hai pyaar se pyaar mai.n bitaaye
jaa", main voice is Khan Mastana.

Suraiyya debuts as baby suraiyya, more about her later.
In contrast, baby noorjahan has already made six films,
and, rajesh khanna and amitaabh have probably been con-
ceived and will be born in 1942!

Most of the info comes from the following:

"The Encyclopaedia of Hindi Film Songs," vol. II, com-
piled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh "Hamraaz", published by
Mrs. Satinder Kaur.

"Listeners' Bulletin," a monthly, edited by Hamraaz
Saahib and published by the Secretary, the Flying
Listener's Club, Kanpur.

"Star-Portrait", by Harish S. Booch and Karin Doyle,
published by The Lakhani Book Depot, Girgaon, Bombay in
1962. It cost Rs. 4/- in those days and is probably out
of print now.

"Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema," by A. Rajadhyaksha
and P. Willemen, published by Oxford University Press
in 1994. Amazingly this book has no entry on Mukesh,
whom it calls one of the three most popular male Hindi
singers ever.

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

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