D N Madhok – A Tribute

Dinanath Madhok (22 October 1902 – 9 July 1982) was a prominent lyricist of Hindi Films during 1940s – 1960s. D N Madhok has major hits in 1940s and early 50s.
My attempt for today is to throw light on career of this all rounder personality. He is a well known lyricist and also worked as a dialogue writer, screenplay writer and director for several movies.

D N Madhok
D. N. Madhok was born on 22 October 1902 in Gujranwala, British India (present day Pakistan) in a middle-class family. His father was a first class post master.
He came to Bombay (Now Mumbai) in 1931. His debut film was ‘Radhe Shyam'(1932), in which he worked as a lyricist and screenplay writer, and had a small role in it.
It is said that, he helped in composing songs in the film though remained uncredited.
He worked as a director throughout 30s for films like Dilfarosh aka Three Warriors (1932), Sharafi Loot aka Lure of Gold (1932), Flame of Love (1932), Khubsurat Bala (1934), Watan Parasta (1934), Master Fakir (1934), Diwani (1934), Baghdad Ka Chor (1934), Jwalamukhi (1936), Dil Ka Daku (1936), Sharafi Loot (1937), Shama Parwana (1937), Dil Farosh (1937), Sneh Lagna (1938), Mirza Sahiban (1939).
He is regarded as one of the “First Generation” of lyricists (1930s to 1950s) along with Kedar Sharma and Kavi Pradeep. His lyrics used to be simple, but had some magical touch that the songs appealed to everyone. I think, that was key to his success. The lyrics which we can easily understand and remember, appeal to us more. To his luck and fortune, the composers and singers also contributed with equal devotion to make the song a success. Some sources also mention that Madhok ‘helped’ many music composers with tunes to his own lyrics. It is said that, Sajjad Hussein, who never allowed anyone to interfere with his work, also had a row with him.

Madhok was instrumental in introducing the famous composer Naushad to Bollywood. He appointed Naushad as an assistant music director in his directorial venture, a Punjabi film Mirza Sahiban (1939).
The first film which Naushad composed for, as an independent music director was ‘Prem Nagar’ (1940). This time also, Madhok penned the lyrics for the film. After this they worked together in many films with successful contribution to Indian Cinema. Their pairing culminated in Rattan (1944), which was a block buster at the box-office & is especially cherished for its music. Till the introduction of Shakil Badayuni, Naushad mainly worked with him.

It is said that, at one point, he was so busy, that he used to convey the songs on telephone to the music directors. He became so famous, started acting like an emperor, and started delaying his projects . The songs never used to arrive on time, and producer used to suffer a financial loss.
This is believed to be a cause for his downfall; also new generation lyricists were upcoming in late 40s and early 50s. So music directors now had equally good or better lyricists.
(It is said that, Rajendra Krishna wanted to become famous like Madhok, when he came to Bombay to work as a lyricist. He finally achieved it of course, and he was such a big name in south Indian production houses like AVM, that he used to finalize the Music Director for a film)
In 50s also he directed films like, Khamosh Sipahi (1950), Bilwamangal (1954), Naata (1955), the last one starring Madhubala in a lead role. The lyricist was Tanveer Naqvi for Naata.
He worked with almost every prominent music director of the 40s and 50s such as Gyan Dutt, Khemchand Prakash, S. N. Tripathi, Bulo C Rani, Khurshid Anwar, Pandit
Amarnath, Sardul Kwatra, Anil Biswas, R. C. Boral, Robin Chatterjee, C. Ramchandra, Sajjad Hussain, Ghulam Haider, Vinod, Gobind Ram, Husnlal Bhagatram, A. R. Qureshi, Roshan, Sardar Malik, Ghulam Mohammad, and Hansraj Behl.
Though he continued working till late 1960s, none of his songs were popular . He penned lyrics for at least three films in 60s, Maharani Padmini (1964), Tasveer (1966) Samay Bada Balwan (1969).
He will always be remembered as a lyricist, but his other contributions to Indian Cinema, whether popular or not, should also be honoured.
Today, I am paying a tribute, by making a list of the songs, penned by him.

1. Beimaan Tore Nainwa- Tarana (1951) Lata Mangeshkar – Anil Biswas
The song stands out even against two most popular duets by Lata-Talat, both penned by Prem Dhawan (Seene Mein sulagate Hai & Nain Mile Nain Hue Baware). The on screen chemistry between Madhubala & Dilip Kumar is sizzling; they worked together for the first time. A sensuous, romantic song yet somehow maintains innocence, both in Lata’s voice and Madhubala’s face.

2. O Janewale Balmwa- Rattan (1944) Amirbai Karnataki & Shyamkumar – Naushad
Though Johrabai was the lead singer in the movie, this song by Amirbai & Shyam Kumar is equally melodious. A cute ‘Ruthana-Manana’ song where, she is requesting him to come back and he won’t have any of it and calls her disloyal. A well orchestrated song, the interlude music having sounds of Ghungaru makes the song cheerful and rhythmic.
A performance by gardener and his wife, as a part of Diwali celebration, in the film. A break from the otherwise serious atmosphere of the film.
A crisp review of ‘Rattan’ is read on Dusted off, Also a detailed song list along with story is presented on SoY

3. Ghata Ghan Ghor- Tansen (1943) Khurshid – Khemchand Prakash
Two lyricists worked for the movie, Pandit Indra And Madhok. The film has gems sung by Saigal & Khurshid. It was difficult to choose a song, finally I settled for this one. Diya Jalao (By Saigal) , Baraso Re ( By Khurshid) and More Balapan Ke Sathi (Saigal & Khurshid) are my other favourites from the movie. Tansen follows the voice of Tani and asks her to sing a Raag instead of any random song.

4. Ari O Mohe Chhed Gaya- Singaar (1949) Rajkumari & Lalita Deulkar – Khurshid Anwar
A light hearted song. To me, Rajkumari carries the song so well that we don’t get a chance to look at other aspects of the song. Absolutely wonderful and adorable! The dancers in the song are Cuckoo and Prem Dhawan.

5. Woh Hum Se Chup Hai- Rasiya (1950/Unreleased) Lata Mangeshkar – Bulo C Rani
Some sources mention it an unreleased film. The song is my favourite and if you haven’t listened to it,please do. Here again, the lyrics also play an important part for the overall impact of the song.

6. Na To Din Hi Din Woh Rahe Mere- Dard E Dil (1953) Lata Mangeshkar – R C Boral
Here, poignant lyrics by Madhok along with anguish in Lata’s voice, very well convey the feeling of helplessness and emptiness. Lata worked with Boral only in two films, ‘Dard E Dil’ & ‘Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’. The composition is a little complex, according to me, doesn’t reveal itself first time. Repeated hearing makes us understand the exact structure of the composition.

7. Meri Zindagi Mein Tum Kyon Aaye- Goonj (1952) Suraiyya – Sardul Kwatra
A song with poignant lyrics. The song has punjabi folk touch to it. A memorable song by Suraiyya. Sardul Kwatra was a great admiror of Suraiyya and upon his request, she acted in this film. He has a few hindi films to his credit, though he was a popular name in punjabi films.He introduced Asha Bhosle & Jagjit Kaur to punjabi film songs.

8. Aaye Bhi Woh Gaye Bhi Woh- Namaste (1943) Parul Ghosh – Naushad
Parul Ghosh is believed to be the first playback singer, though supportive data is not available. I’m a fan of her voice and she is amongest the first generation of female playback singers in Hindi films. Here the lyrics and the singer together carry the song on their shoulders. Her expressions reflect the emptiness in her life, in an amazing way.
Aaye Bhi Woh Gaye Bhi Woh,
Khatm Fasna Ho Gaya,
Mere Liye To Maut Ka Hay Bahana Ho Gaya!

9. Maine Dekhi Jag Ki Reet- Sunahare Din (1949) Mukesh & Shamshad Begum – Gyan Datt
A duet with very odd picturisation. I’m not aware of the situation of this song; the hero is singing live on the radio, while the heroine sings listening him at home. But I like this song very much.

10. Madhukar Shyam Hamare Chor- Bhakta Surdas (1944) K L Saigal – Gyan Datt
Another song by Gyan Datt. A popular bhajan by K L Saigal. Its not my place to say anything about the legendary singer. The more I hear of him, the more I fell in love with his voice. It’s very unfortunate that today’s youth is only aware of his voice associated with mockery of his style of singing.

11. Parwanon Se Seekh Seekh Le- Bilwamangal (1954) Suraiyya – Bulo C Rani
Madhok worked as a lyricist and director for this movie. It has some of the gems sung by Suariyya. This one being the most popular.

12. Taare Wohi Hai- Anmol Ratan (1950) Lata Mangeshkar – Vinod
My favourite track from the movie, though two Lata-Talat duets (Yaad Aanewale Phir Yaad & Shikwa Tera Main Gaaoon) are equally adorable. The song creates such a gloomy atmosphere that we can relate to the grief of the character. Here again, the high pitched part conveys the anguish effectively.

13. Mohobbat Ke Sarkar Samjho Ishare- Maharni Padmini (1964) Suman Kalyanpur – Sardar Malik
A film based on Rani Padmini, with Anita Guha & Jairaj as lead pair. Madhok was screenplay & dialogue writer in addition. This particular song is very melodious and Suman Kalyanpur sings this Mujra song with ‘Nazaqat’ and Ada. The other song, ‘Naina Re Dekhe Unke Nain‘ is also worth mentioning. Rafi has three solos in this film (a credits song and other patriotic songs). ‘Ral Mil Sakhiyon Ne‘ is a song sung by Usha Timothy, the first solo of the singer that I came across.

14. Bhoole Afasane Phir Se Yaad Aaye- Samay Bada Balwan (1969) Rafi – Usha Khanna
A typical Usha Khanna song, as far as the orchestration and style goes. The major attraction of the song is Rafi. He makes the song lively and enjoyable. The song leaves us wanting more just for his voice. The other song worth listening from the movie is ‘Teri Tasveer Se Aanjhen Kyun‘ by Asha & Rafi

Lastly a Bonus track from Khamosh Sipahi………………..
15. Mera Bhola Sa Balma Re- Khamosh Sipahi (1950) Rajkumari & Lalita Deulkar – Hansraj Behl
This was a directorial venture for the legendary song writer . A very catchy song. Both the singers have done their job wonderfully well, so has the music director.

Have I missed your favourite?

10 Replies to “D N Madhok – A Tribute”

    1. Thanks AKji,
      Glad you liked the post. I was searching for the situation of the song’O Janewale Balmwa’ which I got on SoY.
      I went through the whole article and it was remarkably informative and interesting. So i decided to include its link, so that the interested ones can get it easily.
      I actually wanted you to see my previous posts as well.
      But may be next time!


  1. Anup , how do you get time to do the research in hindi film songs in your busy practice as a dermatologist , I wonder . And these songs are even before our birth and 30 years before your birth . It is very creditable .


    1. Thanks Dr Javadekar.
      I somehow manage to get some time for this! And it doesn’t take too long.
      I hope you enjoyed the songs, in the same way, i enjoyed posting them,
      Thank you again for your praising comment.


  2. Awesome. Never much heard about this Lyricist. Thanks much.

    Have you made a blog on S H Bihari lyricist happens to be one of my fav.


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