Coming to the final post of the series. So far we considered his Hindi film career. Today’s post throws light on his Marathi film and non-film songs.
After separating from Lata Mangeshkar and Rajendra Krishan, his Hindi film career suffered a setback and slowly he disappeared from the popular Hindi cinema. It was in this phase that he entered the Marathi films. I should actually say, he re-entered because, in 1952, he composed for छत्रपती शिवाजी. I think the film can be considered as his debut in Marathi films.
I could not get much information about it on the internet. So may be, I won’t be able to summarise it in chronological order.
His first Marathi film would be Chhatrapati Shivaji (1952) which I think was also released in Hindi. The songs were popular and still are. Bhalaji Pendharkar was the writer, producer and director of the movie. But he was already so busy in Hindi films that he didn’t compose for Marathi films for a long time. Next film that I could get was ‘Sant Nivrutti Dyandev’ (संत निवृत्ती ज्ञानदेव)1964, which had a lot of devotional songs. I had not heard of the movie before, though the songs are fabulous.
I found mentioned on a site that in all he composed for seven Marathi films, though I couldn’t find the remaining three movies.
As far as his later Marathi films are concerned, he not only composed for the films, but also produced and acted in the movies. He produced a couple of Marathi films.
The first movie was Dhananjay (1966), which was based on a detective character, Dhananjay, from Marathi literature. Baburao Arnalkar was the original author of the detective series and it was quite popular in Marathi households. Chitalkar played the title role and he must have looked quite handsome in the attire. I could see his gate-up with a pipe in his mouth.
I could not get the film or a video song from the film on the net. The film was directed by Raja Thakur, and featured Uma Bhende, Arun Sarnaik, Ashalata. The film was an average on the box office. The film had one song in Hindi and I could get a couple of songs in Marathi. The songs are not particularly popular, though the Hindi song which was in Qawwali style appears a bit more known than the other songs. I won’t call them great songs.
The second film was Gharkul (1970). The songs from the movie are popular till date. The film featured Jayashree Gadkar, Arun Sarnaik, Om Prakash, Sharad Talwalkar, Master Alankar, Nayantara etc. The film was directed by Raja Thakur again.
Besides the films, he also composed a number of non film songs too. His versatility is quite evident from his Marathi songs. Still the majority of his non film songs are devotional or children’s songs.
The songs he composed for children are quite popular till date, and I was glad to revisit many of the songs after a long time. I used to hear the songs, when I was a little boy. So it was a kind of nostalgic for me.
But I wasn’t aware of his devotional songs at all. In fact, I wasn’t able to associate him with devotional songs. But the songs are really good and he has sung them with deep emotions and concentration.
Geet Ramayan (गीत रामायण) is very popular among Marathi households. It was written by G D Madgulkar and composed by Sudhir Phadke. Similar poems were written by G D Madgulkar in praise of Lord Krishna. It has stories woven into songs that describe entire life story of Lord Krishna. It was named Geet Gopal (गीत गोपाळ). Though it wasn’t as popular as Geet Ramayan, it’s worth listening. The first two volumes of Geet Gopal were composed by C Ramchandra in the 70s. The songs were sung by, Chitalkar himself, Pramila Datar, Rani Verma, Faiyyaz etc. The songs are very well written and composed. But it was not popular. To confess, I came to know about it when I researched for the post.
Similarly, he also set to tune songs written by G D Madgulkar, in praise of Sai Baba. The album was named Sai Darbar, and it is said that a couple of songs from the album, are still sung in Sai Mandir at Shirdi.
In all, though his Marathi film career or non film songs were not as popular as his Hindi songs. But this aspect of his career can’t be overlooked. So I decided to dedicate an entire post in his honour. I hope the readers would welcome the post, though primarily my blog is dedicated to Hindi cinema.
So here we go, my favourite Marathi songs (some well known, some heard for the first time) composed by Chitalkar. The list includes film and non film songs. The songs are in no particular order.
1. मलमली तारुण्य माझे – घरकुल (१९७०) गायिका – आशा भोसले / गीत – सुरेश भट
It was obviously the first song that I thought of for the list. It’s a बैठकीची लावणी. That means the singer sings it in a Mehfil, with just a couple of musicians. All the expressions are conveyed through the emotions, the singer pours into the song. The facial expressions of the singer and the lyrics are more important. It is full of शृंगार रस. No dance would be performed by the singer. The song is very much popular till date and deserves the first place on the list. It’s thoroughly romantic, without any hint of vulgarity. Excellent use of tabla and sitar. I couldn’t identify the instrument, the singer plays herself.
2. पाचोळे आम्ही हो पाचोळे – चितळकर / गीत – आण्णा जोशी
The song was perhaps inspired by a song in Swahili by Miriam Makeba in 1974. Chitalkar’s song was most probably recorded in the 70s. So it could be so. The tune was later reused in Damini as ‘Gawah Hai Chand Taare’.
3. आचंद्रसूर्य नांदो स्वातंत्र्य भारताचे – घरकुल (१९७०) / गायिका – राणी वर्मा व कोरस, गीत – ग दि माडगूळकर
Though it’s a film song, it was quite popular during my school days and we used to sing it in chorus on the Independence Day. It talks about India’s great heritage and culture. But I saw its video for the first time during the research for the post. It’s a good patriotic song. May the Indian independence last, till there are moon and the sun in the sky. That is forever!
4. House of the Bamboo – घरकुल (१९७०) मन्ना डे, प्रमिला दातार आणि कोरस / गीत – शांता शेळके
Inspired by the song by the same name, the Marathi version
is also quite popular. I won’t call it a great favourite, but still it found a place on the list.
5. लहान सुद्धा महान असती – चितळकर / गीत – शांताराम नांदगावकर
The song tells the tale of lion and mouse. How a small creature like mouse helps strong, big lion get out of a hunter’s trap. Even though a number of animated versions of the song are available, this one has maintained its popularity. Enjoy the song.
6. प्रभू तुझ्या दारी आलो – चितळकर / गीत – आण्णा जोशी
Chitalkar’s devotional songs along with the other songs were recorded in the mid 60s. I couldn’t get the release year of the songs. The site mentions it 1965. He has sung with great dedication and devotion. Tears roll down my face, when I listen to it. How tiny and insignificant we humans are when we completely dedicate us to the almighty God.
7. आई बघ ना कसा हा दादा – बालगीत (१९७२) / गायिका – सुषमा श्रेष्ठ, गीत – शांता शेळके
The song again reminds me of my childhood, when it used to get aired on radio. A girl complains about her elder brother to their mother. He always teases and irritates her, as if that’s his motto. The way Sushma Shreshtha sings the word, ‘आsssई’ with a prolonged ‘आ’, makes the song completely realistic. Such a cute song!
8. दूध नको पाजू हरीला – गीत गोपाळ / गायिका – राणी वर्मा, गीत – ग दि माडगूळकर
The album Geet Gopal describes the life story of Lord Krishna in a poetic way. There are many songs in the album. The first two parts were composed by Chitalkar. The chosen song portrays the dilemma, little Balram faces. All of the family members are so fair, but only to little Krishna. The little boy tries to uncover the mystery in his own way. Little Krishna drinks milk of a black cow, that must be turning him dark. Also he sleeps in the darkness that makes him more darker. Really a child’s innocent imaginations are unparalleled.
The singer sings it in a language of a child with imperfect pronunciation (बोबडे बोल). It’s such a cute idea!
9. काकड आरती करितो साईनाथ देवा – श्री साई दरबार / गायक – वासुदेव भाटकर, गीत – ग दि माडगूळकर
It is said that the day at Sai Mandir, Shirdi starts with the song. It is still played there every morning. It is sung by Snehal alias Vasudev alias V G Bhatkar. He was an ace Bhajan singer. The emotions he puts into a Bhajan are divine.
10. जीवाच्या सखीला किती हाक मारू – धनंजय (१९६६) उषा मंगेशकर आणि महेंद्र कपूर / संगीत – सी रामचंद्र
Again, not a great song. But it’s a good song among the available Marathi songs from the movie. The expressions of the singers actually make the song enjoyable.
The movie also had a few Hindi songs. ‘Na Mila Hai Na Milega Mujhe Aaram Kahin’ written by P L Santoshi is a bit popular.
11. आज शिवाजी राजा झाला – छत्रपती शिवाजी (१९५२) / गायक – लता मंगेशकर आणि कोरस, गीत – पी सावळाराम
One of the highlights of the song is that Lata Mangeshkar herself sings it on screen. The chorus sing a significant part of the song and the verses are sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The song is popular till date, as it describes the coronation ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It praises various qualities of Shivaji Maharaj as a King and as a person. It depicts the celebrations going on, on the fort for the coronation ceremony.
12. रूप पाहता लोचनी – संत निवृत्ती ज्ञानदेव (१९६४) / गायिका – आशा भोसले, गीत – संत ज्ञानेश्वर
The film has very good abhangas (अभंग), a type of devotional songs, by Dnyaneshwar and his siblings. It was difficult to select a single. Finally, I chose this one, as it’s immensely popular and meaningful. It requires a different approach to compose such songs. While Chitalkar composed the funny light hearted Hindi songs very successfully, he composed the abhangas in the film very efficiently. If he would have concentrated more on Marathi films in the later part of his career, things could have been different. But now this makes no sense. No point in saying so today.
Would you add a song to the list?
With the post, I am announcing the end of the series. It was a wonderful experience going through his career in Hindi and Marathi films. Though he composed very late for Marathi films, his films and non film songs will always be remembered. I was a little tense before I started the series. How would I be able to complete five posts? But I could actually publish six posts. So I’m very happy. The posts were published in quick succession. Hopefully it wasn’t an overdose.
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.