Celebrating the 100th post on my blog.
Today I’m presenting the fourth part of ‘C Ramchandra’ series. I will highlight his films from 1956- 1960.
In comparison to the previous half of the decade, where he had thirty films to his credit, the last half had only sixteen. The percentage of hit songs or popular songs per film also decreased. In 1957- 58, two of his close associates broke off from him. The first person was lyricist, Rajendra Krishan. The second one was Lata Mangeshkar. And he suffered a major setback in his career. Barring the exception of Navrang (1959), he couldn’t recreate his magic on silver screen. Of course, I take it as most unfortunate event. He used to weave his tunes considering Lata Mangeshkar as his muse. When she was not a part of his team, his creativity suffered. His lively, peppy, fun songs disappeared from his films. Even though, Asha Bhosle, who was as excellent as Lata Mangeshkar, was available.
The causes for this fallout were different, according to different sources. Lata Mangeshkar says, Chitalkar insisted for a certain recordist, who used to talk rubbish about her in his friend circle and so she refused to sing for him. I read this in a book, which was based on an interview with Lata Mangeshkar, by the author of the book. Whereas no clear-cut explanation is available from the other side. I came across an article by Arunkumar Deshmukh, which is based on Chitalkar’s Marathi autobiography, ‘माझ्या जीवनाची सरगम’. You can read it here and form an opinion.
Now it’s up-to an individual to believe in one of them. Personally I don’t believe in any of these explanations. As the author of the second article says, the incidents appear exaggerated. And it doesn’t show Chitalkar in good light as well.
Anyway, as far as the second fallout is concerned, in 1958, a film, Raj Tilak was released. The film had songs written by P L Santoshi, Chitalkar’s favourite in the late 40s. It is said that, he recommended Santoshi to the producers, as the former was out of work and in financially bad condition too. His previous production wasn’t successful and he ran in debt. Rajendra Krishan was hurt and he didn’t work with Chitalkar for a long time. Rajendra Krishan had a series of successful films with Chitalkar, right from Patanga in 1949.
And Chitalkar had problems due to alcohol, and he lost his creativity. It is evident as well in the songs. Except Navrang, the other films had few memorable songs.
Today we won’t have yearwise look at his films. There are sixteen films to consider and fifteen of them feature on the list. The only film that is left, is Talaash. It was released in 1957. Ashok kumar, Bina Rai were the actors and it had four Lata Mangeshkar solos. Asha Bhosle had a duet with Chitalkar and a solo to her credit. I don’t know any popular song from the movie, in fact I came to know about it, while researching for the post. I have no particular favourite from the movie.
Chitalkar’s Playback singers in the late 50s –
His association with Lata Mangeshkar continued during the early years of the late 50s. They delivered hits till 1958. We have seen Asha Bhosle entering into his team in 1954. She was offered mainly the songs of other characters. In the late 50s however, her share of songs slowly increased (had Chitalkar foreseen his breakup with Lata Mangeshkar?). Till 1957, Asha Bhosle sang the songs of other characters. She was not offered songs for the main lead. For Devta, she sang for Vaijayanti Mala, who played a vamp. For the film Aasha (1957) however a Rock N Roll song, Ina Mina Dika demanded a different kind of singer. Asha Bhosle was a perfect choice. So she sang for Vaijayanti Mala. But majority of Vaijayanti Mala songs from Aasha were sung by Lata Mangeshkar. In Sharda, Asha Bhosle sang for Shyama and Anita Guha. Again Meena Kumari was the main lead, and all her songs were sung by Lata Mangeshkar. In 1958, Lata’s songs started dwindling and slowly Asha took over. Finally in Talaaq, Lata Mangeshkar completely disappeared from the team and didn’t sing for him till the end of the decade. In 1958 as well, except Amardeep, other songs by Lata Mangeshkar for C Ramchandra were not much popular.
In my opinion, C Ramchandra lost all his magic, when Lata Mangeshkar left his musical team. Suman Kalyanpur joined the team with Paigham in 1959, which was a duet with Asha Bhosle. In 1960, for Aanchal, Suman Kalyanpur sang her first solo for Chitalkar and the film is mainly remembered for the song. Aarti Mukherji was also given a chance for a duet in a film. But later, they didn’t work together.
And, as far as the male playback singers were concerned, Talat was reduced to just a duet or so in a couple of films. A duet in Devta for the main lead, and a quadruple song in Barish, where Rafi, Chitalkar and Francis Waz accompanied him and it was picturised on other characters. Hemant Kumar was given just one duet for the main lead in Shatranj and that’s all. For Barish and Sarhad, Chitalkar again sang himself for Dev Anand. In Barish, he sang all the songs for Dev Anand, but in Sarhad, few of the songs were also offered to Rafi. Rafi got his place back in the late 50s. By that time, pairing of Dev Anand and Rafi was strong enough. So in Amardeep and Sarhad, he was an obvious choice. But for Nausherwan E Adil and Paigham, he got to sing for Raj Kumar and Dilip Kumar respectively. Of course, Dilip Kumar had a strong bonding with Rafi. But In Karigar amd Raj Tilak as well, he was offred songs. Manna Dey entered in his team in 1955, and was a part for the next five years. While, Chitalkar offered him a background song in Devta, he sang for Raj Kapoor in Sharda. In Talaaq and Navrang, he again got to sing good songs. Mahendra Kapoor entered the industry after winning a singing competition and C Ramchandra was one of the judges. He instantly got Mahendra Kapoor sing for Navrang and later as well maintained him in the team. In Aanchal, he made Sudhir Phadke sing a song under his baton, perhaps the latter’s only Hindi film song for any other composer. In short, he never relied on one singer and his favourites or his preferences went on changing throughout the career.
Chitalkar and lyricists in the late 1950s –
The decade of the 1950s opened a new relationship between Chitalkar and Rajendra Krishan, that continued throughout the early 50s into the late 50s. And all the films they worked together were successful, at least musically. Except, for Nausherwan E Adil (for Minerva Movietone) he worked with Parwaiz Shamsi, perhaps because of Sohrab Modi. Otherwise all his films till 1957 had Rajendra Krishan. I have already highlighted their break up in the introduction. After Amardeep and Karigar, they never worked together. For Karigar, Bharat Vyas perhaps wrote for him for the first time. The song on the list is the only song by Vyas for Karigar. After the success of ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’, V Shantaram always insisted for Bharat Vyas, and for Navrang, Pandit ji’s pure Hindi was set to tune by Chitalkar and it was Chitalkar’s major successful film in the late 50s. Later we can see him working with Pradeep for other films in the late 50s. For Sarhad, Chitalkar had Majrooh (perhaps their only film together, as far as the 50s were concerned)
We can very clearly see the changes in his songs in the late 50s, after his major fallout with Lata Mangeshkar and Rajendra Krishan. The number of memorable songs decreased, passable sons are more in number. He didn’t compromise with the melody, but the tunes were not popular.
Coming to the song list. My favourites from the films by C Ramchandra (1956 – 1960), in chronological order,
1. Woh Mera Watan Hai – 26 January (1956) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishan
A lesser heard patriotic song. It talks about our great country. It’s a simple song woven in a simple but sweet melody. I couldn’t get much info about the film, except that Ajit and Nalini Jaywant were the main leads and it was directed by Ramesh Sehgal. Another song, ‘Aankh Royi Magar Muskurana Pada’ is worth listening to.
2. Kaise Aaoon Jamuna Ke Teer – Devta (1956) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishan
A popular classical based song from the movie. Anjali Devi and Gemini Ganeshan were the main lead, while Vaijayanti Mala was in a negative role. It was a costume drama and had a scope for classical based songs. Chitalkar was of course fluent with Indian classical music and composed the songs aptly.
3. Kahin Se Sham Hote Hi – Shatranj (1956) Asha Bhosle / Lyrics – Rajnedra Krishan
Though the movie had Lata Mangeshkar solos, I am presenting my favorite. For me this is the best song of the movie. Such softly rendered, soft melody, with subtle instrumentation. It is picturised on Vijay Laxmi and Ashok Kumar. A good song, with meaningful lyrics. Here’s the video.
4. Ina Mina Dika – Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle (Sung Separately) Aasha (1957) / Lyrics – Rajnedra Krishan
The song has two versions, male and female. It was an inspired song, and the words of the mukhada are the same along with the tune. It’s fun to watch. Chitalkar was always attracted to western tunes, the drums and other instruments create a very lovable orchestra. It was one of the first few rock n roll songs of Hindi movies.
And, the male version,
5. Phir Wohi Chand Wohi Hum – Barish (1957) Lata Mangeshkar & Chitalkar / Lyrics – Rajnedra Krishan
Chitalkar sang all the songs of Dev Anand in Barish. The film was full of melodious songs, with great solos by Lata Mangeshkar and Chitalkar. The said song has a typical soft melody. The movie was however better known for the Helen number, sung by Asha Bhosle, ‘Mr John Ya Baba Khan’.
It was again a rock n roll song, and Asha Bhosle sang it like an expert.
I also want to mention about ‘Surat Ho To Aisi Ho’ by Rafi, Talat, Chitalkar & Francis Waz. It’s again a fun song picturised on the other characters. One of them is young Mehmood, who sings in a Goan tune, in Francis Waz’s playback. Four friends from different backgrounds fantasising about Nutan. She looks gorgeous in all the outfits. The friends are commenting about her, as she fetches water from a hand pump.
6. Bhool Jaye Sare Gham – Nausherwan E Adil (1957) Lata Mangeshkar & Rafi / Lyrics – Parwaiz Shamsi
It was an historical film, by Sohraab Modi, who himself played the title role. Rajkumar played the prince and Mala Sinha his beloved. It’s not usual to find Rajkumar smiling and behaving like a romantic hero. But he played the romantic lead and looked good too. Mala Sinha looks beautiful too. The film had Irani background and Chitalkar opted for a suitable music. While Rafi sang for the main lead, Chitalkar himself sang for Agha, who played sidekick to Rajkumar. Lata Mangeshkar was the obvious choice for Mala Sinha. A romantic duet, full of Urdu words.
7. Jap Jap Jap Jap Re – Sharda (1957) Mukesh / Lyrics – Rajnedra Krishan
I chose the song because Chitalkar hardly called Mukesh for his songs. He had reservations about Mukesh’s voice. He first sang for Chitalkar in 1948, which was a duet with Lalita Deulkar. After nearly a decade, he was called again. Raj Kapoor was the protagonist in Sharda and perhaps he insisted for Mukesh. Still out of the three songs, picturised on Raj Kapoor, only one was offered to Mukesh. As Manna Dey’s voice equally suits Raj Kapoor, he sang the other two songs. Manna Dey had recently joined Chitalkar’s team and he later sang for Chitalkar for a few more films.
8. Dekh Humen Aawaz Na Dena – Amardeep (1958) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Lyrics – Rajnedra Krishan
It is my absolute favourite song from the film. It’s tune is somewhat similar to Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai. The song has two parts, both by Asha and Rafi. The first part is in a happy mood, the second part starts with a gloomy mood. Dev Anand has amnesia and Vaijayanti Mala tries to jolt his memory. She starts the song and he soon joins her. The song has a catchy tune.
As the year progressed, Lata’s songs started dwindling. Take an example of the film, Amardeep. Asha Bhosle had four solos, a couple of duets and a trio with Rafi and Manna Dey. Lata Mangeshkar had only a couple of solos, one for Padmini and other for Vaijayanti Mala. Those songs were classical based. Here are the video links of both the parts, Part I and Part II
9. Aaj Na Jane – Raj Tilak (1958) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – P L Santoshi
This could be one of Lata’s last songs with Chitalkar in the late 50s. She has sung a couple of songs for the movie. The song has a typical Chitalkar melody, and the pauses in the song adds a charm to it. Lata’s honey sweet voice and C Ramchandra’s music really had a different magic. If only they hadn’t separated! Very clearly Chitalkar couldn’t compose with the same energy and vigour with any other singer. No doubt he created memorable songs in Navrang. But it’s just an exception!
I have already told about P L Santoshi and the resultant separation between Chitalkar and Rajendra Krishan. Unfortunately the film flopped badly and couldn’t help Santoshi regain anything. And C Ramchandra also lost his friend forever. I also want to mention the dance sequence between Padmini and Vaijayanti Mala. The song is sung by Asha Bhosle and Sudha Malhotra. It could have been sung by the Mangeshkar sisters. But that wasn’t destiny. A sort of dance competition, both dance very well.
10. Badi Atpati Badi Chatpati Chat Hai Yeh Choupati Ki – Karigar (1958) Rafi & Chitalkar / Lyrics – Bharat Vyas
Based on a story of a carpenter, the film had Maharashtrian backdrop. A man living in a chawl in Mumbai, women fighting for water added a touch of reality to it. Ashok Kumar, Nirupa Roy, Lalita Pawar featured in it. It wasn’t very popular, though Chitalkar as usual had a number of light hearted fun songs in it. My selection for the list, is also one of such songs. A Chaatwala promoting his chaat on a Chowpati. A professional song, that I missed when I had such a list. Lata Mangeshkar had four songs, all devotional, Bhajan like. Some of those are really worth listening to. Asha had other songs like duets with Usha Mangeshkar and Chitalkar.
I would also mention ‘Shabab Aane Se Pehle’ by a singer named Chand / Chandar Agarwal. Her voice is perfect for a Mujra, raw, expressive but सुरीला. Reminds me of Zohrabai Ambalewali. I’m adding the link. Minu Mumtaz dances on the tune.
11. Mere Jeevan Mein Kiran Ban Ke – Talaaq (1958) Asha Bhosle & Manna Dey / Lyrics – Pradeep
A soft romantic song, with good tune and orchestration. The song has a different type of picturisation, where the lead couple actually doesn’t sing, but their feelings are expressed by someone else. Hindi films have a lot of such songs.
With the movie, Lata Mangeshkar disappeared completely from Chitalkar’s movies. Asha Bhosle got an opportunity to sing all the female songs. Kamini Kadam and Rajendra Kumar acted in the movie, and the responsibility of male songs was on Manna Dey, who had a solo and a couple of duets, in the movie. Kavi Pradeep joined Chitalkar’s team and had a few films with him in a row. I must mention ‘Sambhal Ke Rehna Apne Ghar Mein Chhupe Gaddaron Se’ by Manna Dey. It is a notable patriotic song. It warns the listeners against the enemies hidden in our own country. The song holds true today, and it suits the situation even today. What a great imagination and foresight Pradeep had. And the tune and rendition by Manna Dey should be equally felicitated.
12. Are Jare Hat Natkhat – Navrang (1959) Asha Bhosle, Chitalkar & Mahendra Kapoor / Lyrics – Bharat Vyas
It was challenging for me to select a song from the film, full of gems. Some of the songs had already featured on my Bharat Vyas list. Finally, I selected the Holi song, with excellent orchestration and fantastic dance by Sandhya.
What can I say about the song? It’s an audiovisual treat! The opening lines sung by Chitalkar in a breathless rap like fashion also shows an innovative side of the composer. Usually old Hindi film songs last for 3 minutes. But the song, extending beyond seven minutes doesn’t give us an opportunity of boredom. It’s refreshingly melodious and energetic.
13. Jawani Mein Akelepan Ki Ghadiya – Paigham (1959) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Lyrics – Pradeep
A romantic duet shot around picturesque scenery. Perhaps, ‘O Ameeron Ke Parameshwar’ would be the most popular song from the movie. An interesting fact is that the songs had two parts and one of the parts was picturised on Vasundhara Devi. She was Vaijayanti Mala’s real mother and played the same role in the movie. Rafi sang for Dilip Kumar and Johnny Walker both. Manna Dey had only one song, which was the title song and was played in the background. Lata Mangeshkar was not a part of the movie. Here’s the video.
14. Sawariya Re Apni Meera Ko Bhool Na Jana – Aanchal (1960) Suman Kalyanpur / Lyrics – Pradeep
It was Suman Kalyanpur’s first solo for Chitalkar. The song had a happy and a sad version. The happy version brings the sweetness of Suman’s voice woven in a simple tune. It was picturised on Nirupa Roy and Ashok Kumar. The sad version also has Nanda, who plays their daughter. The link has both the versions together. I think the movie is mainly remembered for the song.
Asha Bhosle lend her voice to Nanda. She had two duets with Mahendra Kapoor that were picturised on Nanda and Sudesh Kumar. In addition Asha Bhosle sang a solo and one duet with Suman Kalyanpur. I would also mention about Sudhir Phadke’s ‘Tu Har Ek Musibat Ka’ from the film. Perhaps his only Hindi film song for any other composer. It’s a philosophical song, sung in his sombre voice. Most suitable for such song! The film was directed by Vasantrao Jogalekar.
15. Aa Gaya Maza Pyar Ka Nasha – Sarhad (1960) Asha Bhosle & Chitalkar / Lyrics – Majrooh
The movie had Dev Anand, Suchitra Sen and Ragini. Suchitra Sen was reduced to just a solo, whereas Ragini got dance numbers and she could showcase her dancing talent. Chitalkar sang again for Dev Anand after the movie, Barish. Still Rafi got an opportunity to sing a song for Dev Anand.
I would add a song, ‘Aaja Re More Piya’, which is also a popular song from the movie. Once again he used western styled compositions, and they stand out prominently in the movie. Still the opening music piece of the song reminds of his earlier hits in the 50s. Click here for the video.
Would you like to add your favourite to the list?
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.