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
more. 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.

  1. ham aaj kahii.N dil kho baiThe mukesh
  2. Dar naa muhabbat kar le lata, shamashad
  3. tuu kahe agar jiivan bhar mukesh
  4. koii mere dil me.n Kushii ban lata
  5. TuuTe naa dil TuuTe naa mukesh
  6. jhuum jhuum ke naacho aaj mukesh
  7. yuu.n to aapas me.n biga.Date lata, rafi
  8. merii laaDalii rii banii hai lata, chorus
  9. uthaaye jaa un ke sitam aur lata
  10. 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).

  1. chup chup kha.De ho zaruur koii lata, premalataa
  2. vo paas rahe.n yaa duur rahe.n suraiyaa
  3. chale jaanaa nahii.n nain milaa lata
  4. jo dil me.n Kushii ban kar aa-e lata
  5. tum mujhako bhuul jaao suraiyaa
  6. likhane vaale ne likh dii suraiyaa
  7. muhabbat ke dhokhe me.n koii rafi
  8. 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.

  1. havaa me.n u.Dataa jaa-e - lata
  2. jiyaa beqaraar hai chhaaii bahaar - lata
  3. barasaat me.n, hamase mile tum - lata, chorus
  4. prem nagar me.n basane vaalo - lata
  5. o o o o mujhe kisii se pyaar ho - lata
  6. merii aa.Nkho.n me.n bas gayaa - lata
  7. tirachhii nazar hai patalii kamar - lata, mukesh
  8. mai.n zindagii me.n haradam rotaa - rafi
  9. ab meraa kaun sahaaraa - lata
  10. chho.D gaye baalam mujhe haay - lata, mukesh
  11. 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.

  1. do din kii bahaar pyaare do din - lata, chorus
  2. taqadiir jagaa kar aa-ii huu.n - lata
  3. ai dil tujhe qasam hai tuu himmat - lata
  4. aa.Nkho.n me.n aa jaa dil me.n - lata
  5. naa vo ham se judaa ho.nge - lata
  6. muhabbat hamaarii zamaanaa hamaaraa - lata
  7. kaun sune fariyaad hamaarii - lata
  8. raat rangiilii mast nazaare - lata, rafi
  9. mil mil ke gaa-enge ho do dil - lata, rafi
  10. suhaanii raat Dhal chukii - rafi
  11. chaa.Ndanii aa-ii ban ke pyaar - shamashaad
  12. 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.

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