Anil Biswas – the concluding post

Today I’m presenting the fourth and the last part of the series. Till now we visited the glorious years of his career. He was very busy in the early part of the 1950s. But after 1955, he didn’t get much work. But he was composing for Hindi films even in the 60s. But the period between 1961- 65 was not so good. He did compose for a few films for children, but he had only a couple of films with popular songs. But the songs were so wonderful, they have maintained their iconic status till date. Actually this period was full of ups and downs, he finally separated himself from the Hindi film industry to join All India Radio in Delhi.

Now let’s begin our musical journey yearwise. In these years as well, Lata Mangeshkar was his choice, though he did also offer a good number of songs to Meena Kapoor. He was inclined to Manna Dey and Mukesh, somehow Talat was surprisingly missing from his team, except for a memorable song from Jasoos. Shankar Dasgupta continued, Hemant Kumar also sang for a couple of films. The combination of Anil da and Rafi was not successful. It is said that he didn’t consider Rafi suitable for his songs. Still post 1955, Rafi sang for him in a few of the films. I don’t think we should make an issue of the point. Every composer had his favourites, and we can say, Rafi wasn’t Anil da’s favourite. That doesn’t take away any credentials from Rafi.
He had a few lyricists making a prominent appearance in his films. Indeevar, Sarshar Sailani penned a few good songs for him. Majrooh continued, whereas Sahir made a comeback for only a film. Prem Dhawan had a share in this period, and Shailendra wrote for a couple of films. Unfortunately those were Anil da’s last films and we couldn’t listen to more of Shailendra’s songs set to tune by Anil da. Bharat Vyas wrote for Angulimal, a perfect choice for such a film, and Anand Bakshi also penned songs for a few films, though his heydays were yet to begin.

1956 –

Mehboob didn’t particularly help Anil Biswas when he needed films, though he was fully aware of Anil da’s potential. Still in 1956, Anil Biswas composed for a film produced by Mehboob Productions.
The film was Paisa Hi Paisa, which was directed by Mehboob’s assistant, Mehrish.
It was a comedy film and the director wanted Anil da to compose for his first film. Mehboob also allowed him to offer the film to Anil da. Anil Biswas had an inclination to serious films and comedy film wasn’t his forte. But he accepted the project. He did compose a few good songs for the movie, which was otherwise average and wasn’t commercially successful. After Fareb, Kishore Kumar sang for him again. It is said that one of the songs was recorded in Rafi’s voice, because Kishore Kumar’s availability was a problem those days. But ultimately Kishore Kumar sang his own songs. But Rafi sang a few songs for the movie, mostly duets. Lata Mangeshkar sang a couple of solos, the songs, though not extraordinary, are good and worth mentioning.

Lad Gayi Aankhiyan
And,
Payal Mori Baje

Paise Ka Mantar Paise Ka Jantar – Paisa Hi Paisa (1956) Kishore Kumar / Lyrics – Majrooh
A song talking about the power of money, but in a comical way. He claims money to be superior to Penicillin. It cures the illness in a magical way. Chhoo Mantar……….
Though comedy film was not his forte, Anil Biswas did show his lighter, funny side in the film. The fun song features Kishore Kumar, Mukri and Radhakishan. The song reminded me of ‘Chup Ho Ja’ from Bandi.

Nutan and Pradeep Kumar starrer Heer was his second release in 1956. He offered songs to Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle for Nutan whereas Hemant Kumar and Rafi were chosen for Pradeep Kumar. The songs are good and I’ve chosen a couple of songs,

O Saajna Chhuta Hai Jo Daman – Heer (1956) Geeta Dutt & Hemant Kumar / Lyrics – Majrooh
I think the song has a Punjabi folk base. The tune is very catchy and sweet. Mainly the chorus singing on a different scale adds a charm to the song. And Hemant Kumar is a perfect choice. His sombre yet soothing voice suits. The song reminded me of Shirin Farhad songs by him. I don’t exactly know how the Heer Ranjha story goes, so I couldn’t guess the exact situation in the song.
Anil Biswas offered Geeta Dutt songs in a couple of films in 1957. Listen to her expressive sweet voice, it’s so unfortunate that she was forgotten in the 60s by the majority of the composers. The reasons could be diverse, but ultimately her career and music lovers suffered.

Leja Uski Duwayen – Heer (1956) Rafi / Lyrics – Majrooh
I think for a film with Punjabi background, Anil Biswas had to select Rafi for his open throated voice. Whatever it might be, he sang the songs with equal devotion. The other song Rafi sang for the film is, ‘Allah Teri Khair Kare’ and is equally good. (https://youtu.be/zwhikuaexJ0)

1957 –

Before we start discussing his films in 1957, let me first tell about an important turning point of his life.

Anil Biswas - Meena Kapoor
Image from the book, Ritu Aaye Ritu Jaye

According to the book, Ritu Aaye Ritu Jaye by Sharad Dutt, Anil Biswas met Meena Kapoor for the first time during the song recordings of the movie, Anokha Pyar. He was very much impressed by her voice. She was very young at that time. But her father, Bikram Kapoor already knew Anil Biswas. When they moved to Mumbai from Kolkata, Anil da used to visit their home. Slowly their friendship started budding, until ultimately they fell in love. He decided to marry Meena Kapoor. But Bikram Kapoor wasn’t ready. He was actually shocked and angry. The reason was a big age difference between the two. He sent Meena Kapoor to her maternal uncle. But she managed to come back to Mumbai and they got married on 19th March 1957. Angry Bikram Kapoor severed all the ties with Meena, which was very unexpected to her. Later he approved their marriage, catalyzed by one of his family friends. Bikram Kapoor and his family accepted the relationship and Meena Kapoor was relieved of a big emotional burden.

Let’s discuss about his films in 1957,

Pardesi was K A Abbas’s third film with Anil Biswas. It was a joint venture by K A Abbas’s Naya Sansaar and Mosfilm Studios. The story was based on a travelogue, ‘A Journey Beyond Three Seas’ by a Russian traveller, Afnasi Nikitin. He came to India for business, before Vasco de Gama. But he fell in love with the country, and its rich heritage and culture. One day he had to return to his country. K A Abbas was assisted by V M Pronin from Russia. Nargis was the heroine, who played a Maharashtrian character and Russian actor, Oleg Strizhenov, was the hero. Balraj Sahni, Padmini, Prithviraj Kapoor, David played supporting characters.
Anil Biswas proposed to follow Maharashtrian folk for a beautiful rain song by Meena Kapoor & Manna Dey. The latter also had three solos in the movie.

Rasiya Re Man Basia Re – Pardesi (1957) Meena Kapoor / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
It’s perhaps her most popular song. Decorated with beautiful Flute, Sarangi and Sarod pieces in the interludes, the song captures attention. Is it possible that Meena Kapoor was actually going through the same emotions as that of Nargis’s character? Her expressions are superb and there is sincerity and dedication in the rendition. The tune and the lyrics are equally good.

Na Dir Dim Tana Der Na – Pardesi (1957) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
The brilliant classical based song was a dance number by Padmini. Needless to say, Padmini has performed impressively in the dance. What can I say about Lata Mangeshkar! She is absolutely amazing and flawless. I think tabla, dholak and ghungaroo all amalgamate very well as instrumental support.

Rooth Ke Tum To Chal Diye – Jalti Nishani (1957) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Qamar Jalalabadi
Lata Mangeshkar sang a few solos for the film. The mentioned one is among the most popular songs by Lata – Anil Biswas duo. Lata has sung with deeply felt emotions, highlighting the pathos in the Ghazal. Though the film was not successful commercially, the songs were popular. I think the flute is used for the counter melody in the song.
Chand Pe Badal Chha Gaya is also a good song with anokhe bol.
Mukesh’s share was reduced to a duet, so was Meena Kapoor’s, who sang just a duet with Shamshad Begum. Hemant Kumar had a duet and a solo.

Keh Rahi Hai Zindagi – Jalti Nishani (1957) Hemant Kumar / Lyrics – Qamar Jalalabadi
A western style composition with chorus singing nearly throughout the song. That makes it different from other songs. Hemant Kumar’s voice nicely portrays the carefree attitude, it spreads positive energy. The song underlines Anil da’s versatility as a composer. He never had reservations for western instruments or western oriented compositions, in fact he used the former in all types of songs.

Kal Raat Piya Ne Baat Kahin – Abhiman (1957) Geeta Dutt / – Lyrics – Indeevar
I heard the song for the first time during the research for the post. Such a different song from Anil da’s usual style! I can call it one of the best by Anil da – Geeta Dutt duo. The latter has very cutely portrayed the emotions of a newly married girl.

Akado Na Humse Piya – Abhiman (1957) Asha Bhosle / Lyrics – Indeevar
Asha Bhosle sang for Amita in the movie. Though the song doesn’t appear to be popular, it’s quite interesting! Amita has passed B A and declares herself proficient in singing, acting, dancing, writing, painting etc. She is a liberated young woman, who’s not lesser than a man. She can earn herself and even run the home. So he better not act a snob.

Jeevan Hai Madhuban – Jasoos (1957) Talat / Lyrics – lndeevar
The movie was perhaps never released, though the song is extremely popular.
The song is said to be inspired by Que Sera Sera. But Anil da made it Indian before using it for a film. Anil da had many songs opening with just soft piano pieces, bursting into a pleasant orchestration as the lyrics started. The song is one of those.
On Atul’s blog, in an article, I found that it was a ‘c grade’ stunt movie.

1958 –
The year saw only a single film, Sanskar. Asha Bhosle was his choice for the film along with Manna Dey. Rafi also had a song.

Dil Sham Se Dooba Jata Hai – Sanskar (1958) Asha Bhosle / Lyrics – Sarshar Sailani
Asha Bhosle was the only female singer for the film. The song is among the most popular songs by Asha Bhosle for Anil Biswas. The tune, the orchestration and Asha’s rendition all are good.

Bhagwan Bhi Khush Khush, Shaitan Bhi Ho – Sanskar (1958) Rafi / Lyrics – Indeevar
It’s a fun song that describes the advantages of तिकडमबाज़ी. You may not expect such a song from Anil Biswas, but why not! And Rafi is obviously a perfect candidate for the song. So we shouldn’t think that Anil da didn’t compose comic songs. He did a few and did it very well. I kept on remembering, ‘Bada Hi CID Hai’ from Chandan, while listening to the song.
It was Rafi’s last song for Anil Biswas and his only song for the movie. The other songs were sung by Manna Dey.

1959 –

This year as well only one film was released, K A Abbas’s, Char Dil Char Raahen. It was a prestigious and ambitious project, and was an offbeat film. It was Abbas’s only multi-starrer film, Raj Kapoor, Meena Kumari, Kumkum, Ajit, Nimmi, Shammi Kapoor etc. Sahir and Anil Biswas were together after a long gap.
The film had a song of socialism, which was picturised on all the starcast.
Kadam Kadam Se Dil Se Dil – by Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Mukesh, Meena Kapoor & Chorus

Kachchi Hai Umariya – Char Dil Char Raahen (1959) Meena Kapoor & Chorus / Lyrics – Sahir
The song combines Meena Kapoor and Meena Kumari. The song is based on a folk tune, and Meena Kumari manages to dance well.

Intezar Aur Abhi – Char Dil Char Raahen (1959) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Sahir
The song incorporates Indian classical raagas, Yaman Kalyan, Beehag, Bhairav. The raag has been chosen according to the time of the night and dawn. The song has appeared on one of my earlier lists, but I like it a lot so it made yet another appearance. Lata Mangeshkar sang a few more songs for the movie. The song also incorporates the striking sound of the clock. It was very apt as far as the situation in the song goes.

1960 –
Vijay Bhatt directed Angulimal was his most important release of the year. The film has managed to leave an impact. It was based on the story of Ahinsak, who turns from an assassin to a monk after meeting Buddha. The film was produced by Thai information services Co Ltd. Bharat Bhushan, Nimmi, Anita Guha were the lead actors. The film is today remembered for its wonderful and memorable songs, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle and Meena Kapoor. The film introduced Aarti Mukherjee who sang a beautiful song, Dheere Dheere Dhal Re Chanda.
In spite of composing excellent classical based songs, the movie didn’t help boost Anil Biswas’s career.

Buddham Sarnam Gachchhami – Angulimal (1960) Manna Dey & Asha Bhosle / Lyrics – Bharat Vyas
It seems the song appears in the film on several occasions. It enlightens the listener about the peaceful path shown by Lord Buddha. It can be called the theme song of the movie.

Aayi Aayi Basanti Bela – Angulimal (1960) Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Meena Kapoor & Chorus / Lyrics – Bharat Vyas
The song is based on raag Basant and incorporates raag Khamaj for a dance sequence. The song describes Basant Ritu’s richness and how it transforms nature. It also has a verse dedicated to Holi. The song is very attractive and melodious, the part sung by Lata Mangeshkar is full of energy with enchanting Sitar pieces.

Tere Man Mein Kaun – Angulimal (1960) Lata Mangeshkar, Meena Kapoor & Chorus / Lyrics – Bharat Vyas
A very melodious and captivating tune. The tune and the singer’s voices both are extremely sweet. Meena Kapoor also sang a solo for the movie.

At the turning of the decade, Anil Biswas had to accept b grade movies as well. Return of Mr Superman was one of those movies. But even for such a film, just listen to what he has composed!

Dil Hum Ko Dhoondhta Hai – Return of Mr Superman (1960) Shankar Dasgupta & Meena Kapoor / Lyrics – Manmohan Sabir
A song without any instrumental support. The singers very easily manage to engage the listeners by their expressive voices.

It should be noted that during this period Anil Biswas composed for four films for Children’s Film Society.
The films were,
Meera Ka Chitra (1960)
Savitri (1961)
Humen Khelne Do (1962)
Raju Aur Gangaram (1964)

1961 –

Anil Biswas composed only for one film by Manmohan films, directed by Manmohan Sabir. Bhagwan, David, Helen, Tun Tun, Amita were the actors in the film. It sounds like a comedy film. The film had a few songs by Lata Mangeshkar, Meena Kapoor and Mubarak Begum.

Khatmal Aan Baso Khatian Mein – Lucky number (1961) Anil Biswas / Lyrics – David
The song is based on Balam Aan Baso More Man Mein from Devdas. It’s my guess that Anil Biswas himself sang the song. The lyrics are quite funny though it’s not a great song.

1962 –

Mahesh Kaul directed Sautela Bhai was acclaimed for the songs. The songs have stood the test of time and are considered among Anil Biswas’s best. Let me add a couple of my favourites,

Ja Main Tose Nahi Bolun – Sautela Bhai (1962) Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Shailendra
A special feature of the song is that Lata Mangeshkar sings for both the dancers, one of whom is Jeevankala. What can I say about Lata’s expressions! The word Excellent would be inadequate. Listen to the ‘हं’ in the second verse.
It’s one of the best songs based on classical music.

Lagi Nahi Chhute Rama – Sautela Bhai (1962) Lata Mangeshkar & Meena Kapoor / Lyrics – Shailendra
One of Lata’s best duets with a female singer. The song sounds like a mix of Mujra and qawwali.

1965 –

Chhoti Chhoti Baatein was the last film Anil Biswas composed for. It was also the last film of actor, director Motilal, who also produced the film. Motilal’s most natural acting was the attraction along with great songs by Anil da. The film starred Motilal himself, Nadira, Leela Mishra etc. Motilal died before the film released, and Anil Biswas completed the background score in a haste just a day before Motilal’s death. The film had a few memorable songs and Mukesh also sang his last song for Anil da.

Kuchh Aur Zamana Kehta Hai – Chhoti Chhoti Baatein (1965) Meena Kapoor / Lyrics – Shailendra
The song is my favourite. Not only for the lyrics and a good tune and orchestration, but for Meena Kapoor’s heart touching rendition as well. So it’s a perfect package. Interestingly enough Meena Kapoor was passing through a similar stage in real life. She was getting offers for playback and at the same time, Anil da was thinking of leaving for Delhi. And Meena Kapoor was strongly supporting him in the decision. I think that’s the reason she could relate well to the lyrics.

Zindagi Ka Ajab Fasana Hai – Chhoti Chhoti Baatein (1965) Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh / Lyrics – Shailendra
A good Ghazal like composition, sung with befitting emotions.

Zindagi Khwab Hai Tha Humen Bhi Pata – Chhoti Chhoti Baatein (1965) Mukesh / Lyrics – Shailendra
The song definitely suits Motilal’s character in the film, but I guess it suits his real life as well. The film was released posthumously and the song became quite touching. As if it was a tribute to Motilal. There is minimal orchestration, mainly a flute in the interludes. Full marks to Mukesh for excellent rendition.

In March 1963, Anil Biswas joined All India Radio in Delhi as the director of the national orchestra. He left the Hindi film Industry forever. The musical trends were changing very fast. There was no place for soft, soulful songs. Western influence was slowly taking over. Anil Biswas didn’t like the changes. He was getting very few offers and for a man of his calibre, it was the most undesirable situation.

He lost his elder son Pradeep, his younger brother Sunil also passed away in the same period. His childhood friend and brother in law, Pannalal Ghosh left for heavenly abode in 1960. In a short span of time, he lost people who were very near and dear to him. The deaths made him weak emotionally. He further lost interest due to some producers asking him to lift foreign tunes. It was not that he wasn’t inspired by a foreign tune, but he always had his inputs to the tune. He suffered from a sense of ennui. There was another attraction for him. He wanted to create an orchestra of Indian instruments and there were chances to get it fulfilled there. Still he was unable to make a final decision. But one day he received a call from the authorities, they wanted his final decision then and there on telephone. Confused, Anil da asked Meena Kapoor about it, she instantly told him to accept the offer. Even though she was getting offers of playback singing, her family was always her priority.

But he couldn’t fulfill his dream of Indian orchestra. After working there for two-three years, he was appointed as chief producer, which he continued till 1975. He resigned from All India Radio. He was offered a post of cultural advisor in Jawaharlal Nehru University which he continued for a couple of years.

Naach Re Mayura – Manna Dey / Lyrics – Narendra Sharma
The song was aired during the first broadcast of Vividh Bharati. It’s a beautiful song of monsoon. Excellent composition, very good use of ghungaroo. It feels as if a dancer is performing.

He also composed for the soap opera Humlog, which was very popular. He later also composed for television serials, Baisakhi and Phir Wohi Talash.
I couldn’t get the title track of Humlog, but when I searched for other title tracks, I found this one,

Anil Biswas shown to user

Phir Wohi Talash – Title Song / Singer – Chandan Das / Lyrics – Shabab Merathi
When I was watching the song, memories of the serial and my childhood resurfaced in my mind. The serial was very popular and though Nilima Azim was a supporting actress, her lively presence used to overshadow the main lead actress. The serial also had a full length song but I didn’t get the details about its composer. Enjoy the song for nostalgia.

I started the series on Anil Biswas’s death anniversary, 31st May. It’s now exactly one month that I am happily enjoying Anil da’s melodious songs. And while I was mesmerized by the songs, it was sad that his personal life wasn’t much happier. I’m really very happy to end the series with one of the title tracks that connect me with my childhood. I still remember the serial, though I was hardly ten.
It was really challenging for me to overview Anil da’s entire career in a series of posts.
Before I end the post, I want to mention Anil da’s participation as a judge at Sa Re Ga Ma singing competition. He was a popular judge of the show.

My series is based on Marathi translation of Anil Biswas’s biography by Sharad Dutt. But from time to time, Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh helped me clear my confusion. He was helpful as always. Thank you Arunji!

Would you add your favourite to the list? Please keep in mind the timeline.

Disclaimer –
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.

14 Replies to “Anil Biswas – the concluding post”

  1. हम होंगे कामय़ाब song inspired from “We shall overcome “which is popular even today, is significant contribution by Anil Bishwas during his AIR job.

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      1. Anil da’s role is as arranger in this song.

        Additional information
        As it happens, Carawan’s contribution with the song didn’t end with music. In the 1960s, Carawan, Seeger, Hamilton, and Horton’s estate obtained a copyright for the song—mostly, Seeger said, to prevent anyone else from doing it. The proceeds from the song go to a fund black cultural expression in the South, through Highland. As for Carawan, he stayed at Highlander until retiring in the late 1980s. He died at home, where he lived next door to the center. His legacy in introducing “We Shall Overcome” to the American people is as timeless as the song feels.

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  2. Kuchh aur zamaana kehta hai is my favourite of Anil Biswas’s songs too! It’s so beautiful. 🙂 And you’ve selected some other lovely songs too – I was especially happy to see Intezaar aur abhi here.

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  3. Anupji,
    Thanks for the well written concluding part covering his personal life as well as his career. Glad to find the song ‘Naach Re Mayura ‘, one of my favourites.
    Posting a song,
    Andhi Hai Duniya Pyaare , Manna Dey, Chhoti Chhoti Baaten (1965), Shailendra, Anil Biswas.

    I once again congratulate you for the tribute to Anil Biswas.

    Like

  4. There are mentions at a few places that Zindagi Khwab Hai Tha Humen Bhi Pata was composed by Mukesh, but he never took credit for it.

    Anup ji,

    Many Thanks for this exhaustive series on Anil Biswas.

    Like

    1. Maheshji thanks for your appreciation.
      And you are welcome. 🙂

      “There are mentions at a few places that Zindagi Khwab Hai Tha Humen Bhi Pata was composed by Mukesh, but he never took credit for it”

      I came across the information in another book named Dhunon Ki Yatra. But there was no way to confirm it. So I didn’t mention it.

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  5. Itgre was so sad to observe how he was gradually being phased out of music composition after 60s. With the change of trend, he was probably a misfit. Being a genius, even during this period, there were several instances of its surfacing through delectable songs. I do not think he was also happy in his stint of working with All India Radio. Taking his career as a whole, I will rate him with more of success.

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    1. Yes,
      The book by Sharad Dutt also mentions that He wasn’t happy with his job at AIR. Firstly his dream of forming an Indian orchestra did not get fulfilled. And he became aware of it soon after joining the job. So after a couple of years or so he got his department changed but there also he was not happy or satisfied.
      As a whole he should be counted among successful composers, because even though he had very less films in the late 50s and early 60s, the songs from Char Dil Char Raahen, Angulimal, <em Sautela Bhai and chhoti Chhoti Baatein were very good, or as you say, delectable. He always maintained his high standards and quality.
      It was indeed very sad that he was sidetracked in the later years of his career.

      Like

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