Welcome everybody to the second part of the series. I hope you all are following the safety rules for covid-19 and staying safe at home.
As per my original plan, I was going to overview the next ten years of his career. I think 1946 to 1955 can be taken as the peak of his career. Almost all the songs from the majority of the films are hugely popular, with some of the songs maintaining the popularity till date. But when I started collecting the information I realized that it would be better to divide it in two parts.
So today’s post deals with the period between 1946 to 1950.
This period was of transition. Many things happened. New playback singers entered Anil da’s musical team, new lyricists made their way in his team. He offered songs to Shankar Dasgupta, who has some of his most popular songs with Anil Biswas. Talat entered his team in 1950, and became his favourite for the years to come. Similarly Lata Mangeshkar entered Hindi cinema and the entire world of female playback singers was shaken. Anil da helped her shape her career and a number of immortal songs emerged out of the association. He got acquainted with Meena Kapoor in this period.
Prem Dhawan wrote for him during the period and had a long and successful association with him. He also started his own production house, Variety Pictures. Few of its releases were in the period.
Instead of going to a long song list at the end, I would prefer to go year wise, adding the songs then and there.
So without a further ado, let’s get started.
Milan was one of his films which were bilingual, it was also made in Bengali as ‘Nauka Doobi’. Anil da of course composed for both the films. The film was directed by Nitin Bose, who directed it for Bombay Talkies after he left New Theatre Kolkata. Dilip Kumar, Ranjana, Pahadi Sanyal were the main actors in the film.
The film has a few of Parul Ghosh’s good songs, so has songs by very young Geeta Dutt. I would add,
Upar Hai Badaria Kari – Milan (1946) Shankar Dasgupta & Chorus / Lyrics – P L Santoshi
A good boat song, perhaps it has a Bengali folk base to it. The boatman expresses emotions of a newly wed girl, and it’s nicely woven into an interesting melody.
The first part of the series had a number of songs by Surendra, this part has Shankar Dasgupta. I think, before Anil da chose Talat for his songs, Shankar Dasgupta had a share in his songs. Along with Mukesh, he appears his favourite, though for a short period of time.
Gungun Bole Bhanwarwa – Milan (1946) Parul Ghosh / Lyrics – P L Santoshi
It was the last time Parul Ghosh sang under his baton. She later disappeared from his songs. But she sang some wonderful songs for her brother in their last film association.
Anil Biswas left Bombay Talkies after the release of Milan, and decided to work as a freelance composer.
The first film he composed for as a freelance composer was ‘Bhookh’ under the banner of ‘Rangmahal Limited’. It was directed by Dr Safdar Aah, who obviously penned songs for it. The story was based on communism and the songs also talk about it. Both of them used to believe in it and hence the songs came out good.
Is Jag Mein Gharibon Ka Nahin Koi – Bhookh (1947) Geeta Dutt / Lyrics – Dr Safdar Aah
The song portrays a clash between the rich and the poor. Geeta Dutt had so much intensity in her voice even at a tender age. Geeta Dutt did sing for Anil da for a few movies. But she wasn’t a regular singer in his team.
The film Naiya was made under the banner of Mohan Pictures. After Roti, Ashraf Khan also sang a couple of songs for the movie.
Aai Milan Ki Bahar Re – Naiya (1947) Zohrabai Ambalewali / Lyrics – Pandit Indra Chandra & Dr Safdar Aah
A song that displays the row and somewhat rough quality of Zohrabai’s voice. Though all the female playback singers of the 40s had a nasal voice, each one had a special quality of her own. Zohrabai’s row quality appeals so much to me. Next year I will definitely write about her songs.
Anil Biswas composed only one song for the movie, Majhdhar. But it happens to be the most memorable song of the movie.
Mera Chand Aa Gaya Mere Dware – Majhdhar (1947) Surendra & Khurshid / Lyrics – Shams Lukhnowi
A soothing melody. It was the last song Surendra sang for Anil da. Also it’s the only song Khurshid sang for him. I don’t know if it was picturised as a lullaby at least in a part.
Anil Biswas, along with wife, Ashalata and friend, J P Adwani, founded a production house and named it ‘Variety Pictures’. It was in the last half of the year 1948. The main finance was by Anil da himself, but Ashalata was appointed as producer, as Anil da thought she would feel safe that way. He himself was limited to a composer’s post. However the book mentions that he didn’t get his pay for any of the films made under the banner. The producer threw a lot of excuses, like, the film didn’t do well, so no profit, or the income has been put into next production, so can’t pay you. The first of their productions was started in the later half of 1948, to be released next year.
Anil da holds an important place in Lata’s early days. When Ghulam Haider was impressed with Lata’s voice, he told about her to Anil da and Khemchand Prakash. All of them were the ones to give her a chance in her early days. Anil da’s Anokha Pyar, Ghulam Haider’s Majboor and Khemchand Prakash’s Ziddi, all released in 1948.
Anil da was impressed with her voice and he was sure about her potential. He was the one who taught her the breathing techniques while recording a song, so that the microphone is highly unlikely to catch your breath sounds. He taught her the fading in and out techniques during the recordings. He also emphasized the importance of correct and clear pronunciation of a word. He insisted that it is as important as the tune of the song. He helped her get rid of her Marathi accent. He also encouraged her to be original, develop her own style and not to follow Noorjahan.
Anil da mentions that Lata had a great understanding ability, she would catch a thing very fast and immediately incorporate it into her singing. She worked hard with dedication to achieve her place in playback singing.
Anil Biswas composed for three films in 1948, all of which are my personal favourites.
Anokha Pyar deserves a separate mention as all the songs are still popular. Anil da chose Lata for Nalini Jaywant, while Meena Kapoor sang for Nargis. In that era, the songs had to be recorded twice, once for the movie and then again for the 78 rpm records. Meena Kapoor wasn’t available for the latter, so the records were released in Lata’s voice. I’m very much used to listening to Lata’s versions.
Meena Kapoor was very young when she sang for Anil da for the first time in Anokha Pyar. He was very much impressed with the young lady’s tender but expressive voice. Then slowly their friendship developed. After Anokha Pyar, he consistently offered songs to Meena Kapoor, though in my opinion, Lata Mangeshkar was his first choice always.
The book mentions that the song Jeevan Sapna Toot Gaya was actually composed by Anil da for a movie starring Saigal and Noorjahan. It was a dream come true for Anil da. But unfortunately the film was never made and his dream of composing at least once for Saigal was broken. But he liked the tune so much that he used it for the film Anokha Pyar, and the song was sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar. It’s a wonderful song, with excellent tune and heart touching rendition by the singers. (See the comments)
Ek Dil Ka Lagana – Anokha Pyar (1948) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Zia Sarhadi
For me, Lata’s version is better. Such a deep pathos it portrays. And Zia Sarhadi deserves compliments for a wonderful Ghazal. Here’s Meena Kapoor’s song. Listen to her pronunciation of the word, दिल, though she sings perfect otherwise.
The lyrics are so full of pathos, the tune and Lata’s perfect rendition make them even more pronounced.
Yaad Rakhna Chand Taaron – Anokha Pyar (1948) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Zia Sarhadi
It was the first song that I came across, when I explored the film, a few years ago. I was completely mesmerized. Later I got to know about Meena Kapoor’s version and the duet version as well. And all the three versions are there in the movie. But my favourite is still Lata’s version. It’s all too subjective.
Lata Mangeshkar also sang fout solos for Nalini Jaywant, which for me are equally enchanting. However the songs don’t seem to be very popular. But I’ll add, Mere Phoolon Mein Chhipi Hai.
Door Papiha Bola – Gajre (1948) Suraiya / Lyrics – G S Nepali
Suraiya sang for Anil Biswas in just five films, and three of the films have memorable songs. I take the song from Gajre as their best song together.
I love the arrangement in the song, and the tune and Suraiya’s rendition. The incompleteness that the song talks about is really touchy. The night is half over, but our rendezvous is yet to begin. G S Nepali is not considered among the best lyricists, but at least this song deserves applause. Very beautiful and apt lyrics.
Baras Baras Badli Bhi – Gajre (1948) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – G S Nepali
A slow paced song with a deep pathos. Lata Mangeshkar was a newcomer then, but her songs from Gajre are equally enchanting and popular to Suraiya’s songs.
It is said that Raj Kapoor was present during its recording and so much impressed he was, that he finalized Lata Mangeshkar for his forthcoming film Barsaat. And as they say, the rest is history!
The third film was Veena. It was Anil da’s last film with Narendra Sharma.
It is perhaps more popular for the songs of Mukesh and Shamshad Begum. But after hearing all the songs, I found myself choosing,
Koi Sham Rang Koi Gori – Veena (1948) Chitalkar / Lyrics – Narendra Sharma
Majority of the male solos from the movie appear devoted in praise of a lady’s charm and beauty. This song is not an exception. The man compares all the ladies, he comes across, to his beloved and finally inferences the latter’s superiority over others. The lyrics are interesting and though the tune is not so great, in all the song manages to entertain.
Dard Mandon Ka Jahan Mein – Veena (1948) Amirbai Karnataki / Lyrics – ?
A beautiful Ghazal in Amirbai’s soulful voice. Superb! How expressively she portrays the deep agony of the character. Backed with simple instrumentation, the song focuses on her voice and expressions. I found an interesting word, बावफा in the song. The meaning of it was obvious from the lyrics, but I tried searching for the word. It’s a फारसी word that means, वफादार.
I must confess I’m slightly partial to Amirabai’s songs. Though this is her only song for the movie, I liked it more than other songs. It was also one of the last songs she sang for Anil da. The latter called her for her last song, a duet, for Mahatma Kabir (1954), after a gap of six years.
Anil Biswas was strongly connected with Bengali folk and Indian classical music. But he did use a lot of western instruments in his songs. Not in the late 1940s, but since the beginning of his career. But he played them on Indian tunes, even in Indian classical based songs sometimes.
Suraiya and Dev Anand starrer Jeet is mainly remembered for the music. But it was a progressive movie portraying Suraiya as a strong female character. The film also had Shyambabu Pathak as a co composer.
Mast Pawan Hai Chanchal Dhara – Jeet (1949) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
Picturised on Madan Puri and Suraiya Choudhari, it’s a melodious song. Utterly romantic and pleasant. The sound of Jaltarang instantly adds a sweetness to the song. And I must confess, I’m more in love with the Lata solos than Suraiya’s songs from the movie. Here’s another Lata solo, which is equally enchanting, Hans Le Gaa Le O Chand.
Chahe Kitni Kathin Dagar Ho – Jeet (1949) Suraiya & Shankar Dasgupta / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
I think the song is quite popular. Though the song starts at a personal level, where she promises to be with him forever, helping him out with his problems, the last verse makes it a universal song. The pair dedicates themselves to humanity and making the world a better place to live.
Ladli was the first film released under the banner of Variety Pictures, Anil da’s own production house.
He of course composed good songs for the movie, though I think it wasn’t a hit at the box office. The film is mainly remembered today for a beautiful solo by Lata Mangeshkar, though her other solo, ‘Kaise Keh Doon Bajaria Ke Beech‘ is good too.
Aankhen Keh Gayi Dil Ki Baat – Ladli (1949) S D Batish / Lyrics – Dr Safdar Aah
One of the popular songs by Batish. It’s quite a nice tune.
Tumhare Bulane Ko Jee Chahta Hai – Ladli (1949) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Behzad Lakhnavi
The song is wonderfully backed by absolutely enchanting piano pieces, and the interludes have different pieces, there is no repetition. Lata’s fresh, young and tender voice has a mesmerizing effect on the listeners.
1949 also saw the release of the movie, Girl’s School. A special mention, as it is said that Lata’s first song for Anil Biswas was, ‘Tumhi Kaho Mera Man Kyun‘. But the film was released late, when Anokha Pyar and Jeet were released already in 1948. He composed four songs for the movie, the other songs were composed by C Ramchandra. Anil da offered all the songs to Lata Mangeshkar, whereas C Ramchandra called Shamshad for the songs.
Kuchh Sharmate Hue Aur Kuchh Saham – Girl’s School (1949) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Pradeep
What a delightful song it is! I heard it for the first time and instantly liked it. It’s quite a bold expression of confession of love. The lady is excited as well as nervous, as she steps into an entire new magical world of love. Woven into a simple melody, Lata Mangeshkar sings it with spot on expressions.
Baar Baar Tum Soch Rahi Ho – Girl’s School (1949) Lata Mangeshkar & Shankar Dasgupta / Lyrics – Pradeep
Yet another song by Shankar Dasgupta, a duet with Lata Mangeshkar. It’s a serious conversation between the lovers about their future. Initial days of falling in love appear heavenly, but when reality strikes, all dreams seem to be broken. But he is hopeful. Hope and despair are the two sides of the coin of love. The tune is soft without much instrumentation. But I think he has used counter melody in the song.
Talat’s success story in Hindi films started with Anil Biswas, when he offered him a soulful number for the movie, Aarzoo. It was Talat’s first hit Hindi film song, though he had sung for a few Hindi movies earlier. Lata Mangeshkar also had her share, with some beautiful and memorable songs. It’s actually difficult to add only one song by Lata.
Ae Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah – Aarzoo (1950) Talat / Lyrics – Majrooh
The song helped Dilip Kumar build his image of tragedy king. Talat has poured deep agony and anguish into it. And though it’s a sad song, what an interesting rhythm it has!
It was Talat’s first hit Hindi film song, so later he was mainly considered for sentimental or soulful songs. No doubt, his expressions are superb and the characteristic quiver boosts them many folds. Though he has sung happy and romantic songs as well, he is mainly remembered for his sad songs.
Jana Na Dil Se Door – Aarzoo (1950) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Majrooh
It was really difficult to choose a song from Lata’s songs. Though it sounds like a song of separation, it also has hopes of reunion. The much lengthened ‘दूर’ also sounds quite sweet and apt.
Mila Gaye Nain – Aarzoo (1950) Sudha Malhotra / Lyrics – Majrooh
Like Talat ,it was Sudha Malhotra’s first popular Hindi film song. She was very young then, hardly 13-14 years, and that’s evident from the voice quality. So not only the tune is sweet, but her voice is also very sweet.
I saw the video for the first time, and was surprised to see a very young Shashikala lip syncing to it.
The second film was Lajawab, which was the second release by Anil da’s Variety Pictures. Lata Mangeshkar was now his obvious choice, though he also offered a song to Meena Kapoor. She sang a beautiful song, ‘Jab Kari Badaria Chhayegi‘ for the film.
Lata Mangeshkar also sang a couple of duets with Anil Biswas.
Zamane Ka Dastur Hai Ye Purana – Lajawab (1950) Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
A well known duet, full of pathos. The singers, the composer and the lyricist all are at their best. (Blog reader, Mahesh pointed out that, the song Anil da composed for Saigal and Noorjahan, was actually the mentioned duet from Lajawab. I got it confirmed by our living encyclopedia of Hindi films, Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh. The film, Anil da originally composed for, was never made, but he liked the tune so much that he used it for the Lajawab. Thanks to Mahesh ji and Arunji)
Ek Mera Dil Ek Unka Dil – Lajawab (1950) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Dr Safdar Aah
Can you find a song sweeter than this? And listen to Lata’s voice. What expressions! It’s a typical Anil da’s composition.
Beqasoor was the third film released in 1950. The Madhubala starrer was directed by K Amarnath. The film also featured Ajit, Gope and Yakub.
Man Mein Nache Man Ki Umange – Beqasoor (1950) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Ehsaan Rizvi
A dance performance at a party. Madhubala singing the song and a dancer (?) performing a classical dance form. Listen to the wonderful piece of tabla after Lata’s opening aalap. I don’t know the raag involved in the song, but it sounds very good.
Matwale Nainon Wale Ke Main – Beqasoor (1950) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Aarzoo Lukhnowi
I’m very curious about the film after watching the video of the song. Madhubala singing in sorrow, a Mujra like song. But her expressions and the lyrics support a sad song, where she is made to sing and dance against her will.
The song opens with the lines,
‘गोरे गोरे चाँद से मुखपर
काली काली आँखें हैं।
देखके जिनको नींद उड जाए
वो मतवाली आँखें हैं।’
were incorporated as mukhda in a song from the movie, Anita.
Would you like to add a song 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.
25 Replies to “(Part – II) Anil Biswas – The Maestro”
Thanks for the second part, again a good effort within a short time
Anil Biswas worked in 13 Hindi films and composed a little over 100 songs, between 1946 and 1950. And you have covered all the films in your post. Naukadubi was his only Bengali film in his entire career and 25 songs which is a fair representation.
Parul Ghosh was his main female voice till 1946.During the period under discussion he tried a few female voice for the first time. Geeta Roy (Dutt), Shamshad Begum, and Meena Kapoor. About Lata you have covered their association extensively and almost 50% of songs posted are of Lata Mangeshkar.
Similarly, Surendra was his main male voice till 1945. He had only one song ( two versions) during this period. Anil Biswas rendered a lot of songs in his films till 1945 and the trend continued during this period. During this period it appeared he tried a few male voices like Shankar Dasgupta, Manna Dey Mukesh (from 1945), and Talat Mahmood. But later it appears that he had a preference for Manna Dey. It is surprising that Md. Rafi sang a very few songs for him.
Posting song from Veena (1948) by Mukesh
Wo tikhi nazro se mere dil par, kuch aise bijli gira rahe hai
Thanks once again for the good post and fine selection of songs.
Thank you Venkataramanji for the appreciation. Your comment was in spam folder, so it appeared late.
You have given a nice summary of his choices for female and male playback singers. Till 1950, Rafi hasn’t sung for him at all. Mukesh has sung a few songs, while Shankar Dasgupta also has a good share in the period discussed. As you have pointed out, Manna Dey is there after 1953, from the movie, Humdard.
Lata obviously has a lot of excellent songs in the period. But I wonder why Parul Ghosh disappeared altogether? Geeta dutt though sang for him, after Lata’s entry, she also is seen sparingly.
It was difficult to choose songs for the post, each film had a number of very good to excellent songs. I was really confused about Veena, but finally I chose the songs. Mukesh has three solos, and Shamshad six songs. But as I said in the post, I have a weakness for Amirbai’s voice. I think I could have added a Shamshad song as well.
Many Thanks for this post.
The story of Anil da composing a duet for Saigal and Noorjahan…. Well, I seem to have read this context for the duet from Lajawab and not Anokha Pyar.
Could you please confirm. ?
The book by Sharad Dutt mentions the story in connection with the song from Anokha Pyar.
The book is based on the memories told by the maestro himself.
Do you remember where you read the story in connection with Lajawab song?
Here you go. I have read another 2-3 such references all pointing to the duet from Lajawab.
Your comment was in spam folder, so wasn’t visible earlier.
Yes, the article posted by you does mention it in connection with the Lajawab song, Zamane Ka Dastur Hai
Then, the issue remains unsolved mystery. Another book that I have, again mentions it with Anokha Pyar song.
One more thing in your support is that, the Anokha Pyar song, Jeevan Sapna Toot Gaya is not a duet, it’s sung separately by Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh.
May be other readers have knowledge about it!
Now when I asked the living encyclopedia of Hindi films, Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh, he confirms that the song in question was from Lajawab.
I thank you Maheshji for pointing out the mistake and following it up. I’ll make the necessary corrections in the post as well.
Very nice post. Proper balance between Lata songs and other established singers as well as new comers. Waiting eagerly for next one or two parts.
Thank you Ravindra ji.
Your comment was in the spam folder as well (along with Venkataramanji’s comment).
Glad you liked the post. 🙂
The second part is as good as the first part. Surveying Anil Biswas’s career chronologically is a very good idea. It ensures you don’t miss any significant song. My special favourite is Zohrabai Ambalewali’s ‘Ayi milan ki bahar re, aa ja sanwariya’.
Thank you AKji. The Naiya song by Zohrabai is very good indeed.
A minor correction.
Md.Rafi rendered a song under Anil Biswas’s baton in 1950 for the film Beqasoor. It was triad in the voices of Md.Rafi, G M Durrani and Mukesh
Khabar kisi ko nahin wo kidhar ko dekhte hain
I forgot about it. Actually there were so many songs to choose from, I had to ignore the lesser known ones. But it seems I shouldn’y have done so. No one will think of a Qawwali by Anil Biswas. It’s a good song. It’s worth noting that Mukesh sings for the hero, Ajit. Thanks for correcting Venkataramanji.
Dear Anup ji,
You keep exceeding your own standards. Superlative, is the only word I can think of. One is at a loss to add any comments.
But I have one question. We know that Md. Rafi sang those two dance numbers in the film “BEQASOOR” where Music was scored by HANSRAJ BEHL. My question is, does anyone know the reason why Anil-da left the project? I believe even the background Music was provided by Hansraj Behl.
Would be grateful for your reply and as always, eagerly looking forward to the next Post.
With warmest regards
Thank you for the praise Parthaji!
And, for your question, I have to say sorry. I don’t know about it. The books that I’m referring don’t talk about it. And I couldn’t get anything either on the net, at least in the first attempt.
Let’s see if Mr Deshmukh adds anything.
The next post is in progress, I hope you will find it equally interesting.
Brilliant posts, both the parts, Anup ji.
Thoroughly researched and well presented. Kudos.
Parul Ghosh withdrew from the scene of playback singing by her own will. She chose the life of ‘ an average Indian housewife’ , looking after the household, caring for her illustrious husband Pannalal Ghosh and bringing up her two daughters, Sudha and Noopur. She was loved dearly by her husband’s disciples and was fondly called as Mata ji.
Her last playback singing was under her husband Pannalal Ghosh, for ANDOLAN, 1952. She sang two songs:
Radha ne kiya singar kyon….solo.
Vande Mataram… with Manna Dey, Sudha Malhotra and chorus.
Thanks Pradeepji for appreciation.
Parul Ghosh is a forgotten name for most of the music lovers. Thanks for the information about her.
Actually the Vande Mataram song from Aandolan (1951) was a part of my post, in my series based on classical music giants contributing to Hindi cinema. It’s a wonderful song.
Read as 1951.
Actually, Parul Ghosh sang a third song as well in ANDOLAN (1951). It was
(Prabhu Charno mein aaya Pujari….)
Listen to Naushad talking about her
With warm regards
Thanks for sharing the third song from Aandolan.
Thanks for sharing Aaye Bhi Woh Gaye Bhi Woh
It is a very good song, Parul Ghosh has poured such a deep pathos into it. It touches heart. What Great expressions!
Part II is distinctly more pleasing to the ears. M D had substantially improved upon his previous decade performance and gave iconic songs in many films. I knew about the reason behind same song sung by two playbacks. I collected all the 13 songs as mp3. in the pre internet era days and it was quite a struggle to compile all of them. I liked the very first song by the flower girl Nalini Jaywant at the beginning of the film. Dilip Kumar and Nargis ending up as a romantic pair is very rare and this is one such film. Let me add the song:
Mere phoolein mein he chupi
In Arzoo he encouraged Talat Mahmood to sing in his own voice without fear having recognised its uniqueness and Talat rose in his career.
The period discussed in the post sounds certainly more pleasant than the previous one! The style of composing songs was changed, so were the ways of pronunciation of words. And the songs are more familiar to us than the previous post.
Mere Phoolon Mein Chhipi Hai is my favourite too.
Thanks for visiting the post Ranganji.
Both the posts were wonderful. Many-2 of the songs were new to me.
I read in a couple of places that Anil Biswas did not consider Md. Rafi’s voice good enough for or to be successful in playback. I do not it for a fact though, so don’t know what to make of Anil Biswas’s prophecy.
Thanks for appreciation Aditiji.
It is said that Anil Biswas didn’t consider Rafi suitable for his songs. What I think is that, Anil Biswas always preferred soft voices, and Rafi didn’t fit in his criteria. Every composer had his favourite singers. So as you say, we need not take any composer’s opinion as a fact.
Rafi didn’t sing much for him for the period so far covered in the series. The fourth part will have his songs.
The third part (1951-55) will be published soon, may be in a couple of days.