Suraiya, the queen nightingale of Hindi cinema, was a charmingly beautiful lady and an excellent singer of her times. Her fans were used to waiting for hours just to catch her glimpse, near her home at Krishna Mahal, Marine Drive, Mumbai. Her stardom and huge fan following made her the highest paid actress in her heydays.
Today I pay a humble tribute on her 18th death anniversary, by revisiting some of her songs and having a look at her career in short. In her career spanning over two decades, she sang around 340 songs for 65+ movies, a large percentage of her songs being solos. Though she is mainly remembered for her sad songs, she has sung romantic songs, bhajans, ghazals, lullabies etc. Perhaps she never sang mujra, cabaret or a club song, at least offhand I don’t remember any.
As Naushad was the one to shape her career, no wonder he was among the top three composers she sang for. But she recorded the maximum number of songs with the duo, Husnalal Bhagatram (55+ songs for ten films), Naushad was in second position with around 50 songs. Anil Biswas, Ghulam Mohammad and Hansraj Behl were also among her top five associations. Her other popular associations were with S D Burman, Khurshid Anwar, C Ramchandra, Shyamsundar and Ghulam Haider. She sang for Madan Mohan, O P Nayyar, Roshan, S N Tripathi, N Dutta, Sardul Kwatra for just one film.
Born as Suraiya Jamal Shaikh on 15th June 1929 in Lahore, she liked to sing even in her childhood. She was brought to Bombay (now Mumbai) in early 30s by her mother with her grandma, Badshah Begum and maternal uncle, M Zahoor accompanying. The latter was a well known villain in Hindi films.
Suraiya acted as a child artiste in the film Usne Kya Socha in 1937. Her uncle, M. Zahoor once took little Suraiya on the sets of the movie, Taj Mahal. It was directed by Nanubhai Vakil. He must have found a spark in her charismatic eyes. He selected her for the childhood role of Mumtaz Mahal in the film. The film was released in 1941.
The next year saw her singing for Naushad for two more films, Nai Duniya and Sharda. Though both the films were censored in 1942, the film Sharda was released first. Hence, though the song, Boot Karoon Main Polish from Nai Duniya is Suraiya’s first recorded song, her debut song is still, Panchhi Ja Peechhe Raha Hai from Sharda. She sang as a playback singer for both the songs.
Here is what Arunkumar Deshmukh says about it.
Let’s listen to Suraiya’s first recorded song,
Boot Karoon Main Polish – Nai Duniya (1942) / Naushad – Tanveer Naqvi
Quite a fun song ! A good start for a newcomer like Suraiya. The film had G M Durrani and Rajkumari singing for the main lead, while Suraiya’s song must have been picturised on a supporting character. She has sung the song really well considering her age at the time. Her diction is good, and so is her pronunciation.
The song, Panchhi Ja Peechhe Raha Hai, was picturised on the actress, Mehtab, who initially was not ready to accept a child’s playback. But after she listened to the song, she insisted that Suraiya would sing her songs henceforth. And Suraiya was her preferred playback for the films, Kanoon (1943) and Sanjog (1943). Let me add a song from one of the films.
Udte Hue Panchhi – Sanjog (1943) with Noor Mohammad Charlie / Naushad – D N Madhok
Noor Mohammad Charlie was a popular comedian of his times, who played the main lead opposite Mehtab in the movie. As it was a comedy movie, the songs also had a touch of humour. Suraiya and Charlie both have sung the light hearted song well. At least before joining films as an actress, Suraiya got to sing such fun songs. Otherwise all the composers made her sing sad songs one after the other.
Meanwhile, Suraiya also sang with Manna Dey for the film Tamanna (1942) under the baton of K C Dey. Incidentally it was Manna Dey’s first Hindi film song.
Suraiya’s first film as a main lead was opposite Prithviraj Kapoor. She was hardly 13 at the time of its release. Let’s listen to a melodious song from the movie,
Panghat Pe Muraliya Baaje – Ishara (1943) / Khurshid Anwar – D N Madhok
A good song though not great. The historical importance being her first film as a heroine.
I always remember Parul Ghosh when someone mentions the film, Hamari Baat (1943). But Suraiya had four duets with Arun Kumar and this light hearted song, Bistar Bichha Liya Hai is a real fun to listen to.
After Saigal listened to Suraiya’s songs, he was impressed. Suraiya acted with him in three movies, Tadbeer (1945), Omar Khayyam (1946) and Parwana (1947). Tadbeer had a couple of their duetss, though the last two movies had none. It’s time to listen to one of the beautiful duets,
Milne Ka Din Aa Gaya – Tadbeer (1945) with Saigal / Lal Mohammad – Swami Ramanand
What a beautiful romantic song! I could literally imagine a loving and caring man and a shy, demure girl singing the song. Though it is said that Suraiya used to get nervous while singing duets with Saigal, she sounds quite confident. I was going to add it in my last post but saved it for today’s.
And, let’s listen to another gem by Suraiya from Parwana.
Mere Mundere Na Bol – Parwana (1947) / Khurshid Anwar – D N Madhok
What a great pathos! I must admit, I haven’t heard much of Khurshid Anwar. But he seems to have excelled in many of his songs. I not only liked the tune, but the orchestration is good too. Suraiya’s rendition in the song is really impressive, her voice modulation is perfect. I kept on humming it the whole day.
Talking about the year 1946, at least three of her films need a mention. In addition to Omar Khayyam with Saigal, ‘1857’ and ‘Anmol Ghadi’ were released. In the latter, she shared the screen with the superstars, Noorjahan and Surendra. Though she was a second lead, she had three beautiful solos to her credit. It’s a pity, she never sang a duet with Noorjahan.
Main Dil Mein Dard Basa Layi – Anmol Ghadi (1946) / Naushad – Tanveer Naqvi
What a delight to watch a smiling and singing gorgeous Suraiya, playing piano! And her expressions are so good, she really seems to be in an elated mood. Though her on screen chemistry with Noorjahan seems good, it is said that off-screen she wasn’t at all friendly with Suraiya.
Jeet production’s Vidya was Suraiya’s first film with Dev Anand. Also it was her first film with the composer, S D Burman. It was during the shooting of this film that the newcomer, Dev Anand was smitten with the superstar Suraiya’s beauty. Though the film wasn’t great, the songs are still popular. Amirbai Karnataki as Suraiya’s mother also got to sing three solos, which are my favourites too. Anyway, concentrating on Suraiya’s songs. She had four solos and one duet with Mukesh. Although I like most of these, some of the songs have already appeared on my blog in different posts. So my today’s pick would be,
Kise Maloom Tha Do Din Mein – Vidya (1948) / S D Burman – Shanti Swaroop Madhukar
A sad song with a great emotional quotient. The tune is good, and a bit tricky in antara. But Suraiya manages it so well. It was during the shooting of a boat song from Vidya, that Dev Anand saved Suraiya from drowning. The love story had strong roots. He was in awe of her simplicity, while she fell for his charm.
Anil Biswas composed for Suraiya in quite a few films. Hamari Baat, Gajre, Jeet, Do Sitare, Waris, etc. As I had to limit the number of songs, I’m adding rather an obvious song,
Door Papiha Bola – Gajre (1948) / Anil Biswas – G S Nepali
I take it as one of their most popular associations. The song has an unmistakable deep pathos, the one that trickles in your heart to make it sombre. There is a touch of happiness in the second antara when she remembers the past. Suraiya has sung the nuances splendidly. The film also had a few of her other solos, but this song has overshadowed the other songs.
As I said in the beginning, Suraiya recorded maximum songs with Husnalal Bhagatram. They worked together for the first time in 1948 for a couple of films, Pyar Ki Jeet and Aaj Ki Raat. Pyar Ki Jeet was a musical blockbuster of the year. ‘O Door Janewale’ was the most popular song of the movie. But I’m adding,
Tere Nainon Ne Chori Kiya – Pyar Ki Jeet (1948) / Husnalal Bhagatram – Rajendra Krishan
What a delight! Suraiya’s romantic songs are so sweet. Her voice is so clean, we can clearly hear each word, not to mention it’s expressive too.
And though not popular, the song, Kali Ghatao Jao, Sajan Ko Samjhao from Shakti (1948) is also a memorable song.
The most popular songs from the movie, Dillagi (1949) would be Tu Mera Chand Main Teri Chandni and Murli Wale Murli Baja. But in addition to these songs, my another favourite is,
Tera Khayal Dil Se – Dillagi (1949) / Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni
A typical sad song composed by Naushad.
Badi Behen was another smashing hit of the year 1949. While I like all the Suraiya solos from the movie, my personal favourites include, Tum Mujhko Bhool Jao, Bigadi Banane Wale and,
Woh Paas Rahe Ya Door Rahe – Badi Behen (1949) Husnalal Bhagatram – Qamar Jalalabadi
A shy lady, confessing her love to herself, is wondering about her sleepless nights, while the rest of the world is fast asleep. Suraiya pours her heart out in the simple melody, creating a masterpiece. For me, all her solos from Badi Behen are among her bests.
In addition to these songs, Naya Nainon Mein Rang from Singar (1949) is my favourite too. In Singar, she shared the silver screen with the gorgeous Madhubala. My other favourite from the year, 1949 is from the movie, Char Din, Ek Bewafa Ki Yaad Ne by the composer, Shyam Sunder.
Another landmark for Suraiya in 1949 was her duets with Lata Mangeshkar. They sang together for the first time for the film, Balam. There were a couple of duets in the film. In all, they sang together for three films contributing five duets. In addition to the film Balam, they sang one duet each in Sanam (1951), Shokhiyan (1951) and Deewana (1952). Here’s a link for all the five duets.
After Vidya, S D Burman composed for Suraiya again in Afsar. Suraiya’s solos from Afsar are my great favourites, and in addition to the most popular solos, this one’s good too.
Gun Gun Gun Gun Bole Re Bhanwar – Afsar (1950) / S D Burman – Narendra Sharma
Suraiya is in such a joyous mood in the song. Her voice exudes exuberance and delight. The lady has been waiting for her love and he has entered her life, making her life colourful.
Dastan was her only movie with Raj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor used to sing with her on AIR in a children’s program. Suraiya was a part of all the nine songs of the movie, including three duets with Rafi. I’m adding a duet which I like a lot,
Tara Ri Aara Ri – Dastan (1950) with Rafi / Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni
I’m in love with the song with the waltz rhythm the moment I heard it. Though Naushad is better known for his songs based on Indian classical music, he has composed this song with western style very nicely. I love it, it flows smoothly without giving a moment of boredom. The couple dances to the tune in a romantic mood.
In addition to these songs, Suraiya’s ‘Sazaa Mili Hai Kisi Se’ from Kamal Ke Phool composed by Shyamsundar is my favourite too.
1951 saw her four films getting released. Though Shokhiyan would not be one of her popular films, her solo from the movie is my favourite. It’s certainly one of her bests.
Raaton Ki Neend Chheen Lee – Shokhiyan (1951) / Jamal Sen – Kidar Sharma
Just listen to the song by the genius composer, Jamal Sen. Such a sublime composition! Suraiya sings it with apt expressions and skillfully bestows it with minute details of the tune.
Out of her six films that were released in 1952, Deewana was the most popular and it was a Silver Jubilee hit. But I’m not very fond of Suraiya’s solos from the movie. The same year, Madan Mohan composed for Suraiya for the first and the last time in the film, Khoobsurat. Madan Mohan was also her companion on AIR along with Raj Kapoor in her childhood.
Kwatra production’s Goonj was also released in 1952, and featured some of her good solos. It is said that Sardul Kwatra was a fan of Suraiya’s and always wanted to compose for her. His dream was fulfilled, though he got the opportunity only once.
Moti Mahal was her other release that year, which couldn’t at all create magic at the box office. The film is mainly remembered for the soulful duet by Rafi and Madhubala Jhaveri, though it had Suraiya’s rare duet with Shamshad Begum. Offhand however I don’t remember any of their duets, surely they were not popular. And the song I’m adding is,
Kabhi Na Bigade Kisi Ki Motor – Moti Mahal (1952) / Hansraj Behl – Prem Dhawan
It’s a delight to listen to Suraiya in this peppy, light hearted, fun song. Only if she would have sung more of such songs. Definitely a surprise for Suraiya’s fans, who are die hard fans of her sad songs. Listen to the way she sings, motorrrrrr. She must have enjoyed herself so much while rehearsing and finally singing. It’s also one of the few songs where the singer takes her name in the song. I wish the video of the song was available!
By the beginning of the 50s decade, it seems she started accepting a much smaller number of films. Manek Premchand’s book mentions that she was totally fade-up of her hectic schedule. She would shoot in the morning hours and would record at night, the surroundings being quieter. I think after her break up, the heart broken lady couldn’t really enjoy her work.
Perhaps that’s the reason why in 1953, she had only one release that too, a box office failure! Singer Mukesh produced a film, Mashuqa, casting himself opposite Suraiya. The songs were composed by Roshan, his only film with Suraiya. Though not popular, Mere Man Mein Uthe Umang is a very sweet song.
The next year brought four of her releases, this time in full vigour, singing a few memorable songs. Some of the songs can be considered her career bests.
I’ll start with Waris, where she was paired with Talat Mahmood and sang outstanding songs. Their duets from Waris are really wonderful, so is her lullaby, Taaron Ki Nagari Se Chanda Ne. I’m adding the most popular song, which has three parts in the movie. The video shared has all the parts.
Rahi Matwale – Waris (1954) with Talat Mahmood / Anil Biswas – Qamar Jalalabadi
The first happy version is a duet, while the other two solo versions are sad ones, sung by Suraiya. For me, the song was a must on today’s list. Not only was Suraiya a good singer, but also a good actress. You can watch yourself.
Mirza Ghalib was a movie by Sohrab Modi’s Minerva Movietone. Suraiya was acclaimed for her songs and acting in the movie. Her portrayal of Moti Begum was appreciated by Jawaharlal Nehru, who said, “तुमने मिर्जा ग़ालिब की रुह को जिंदा कर दिया”. The film received the best feature film award in Hindi at the 2nd National Award ceremony. The film had four of Suraiya’s solos and one duet with Talat Mahmood. I adore Aah Ko Chahiye Ek Umar and Nukta Cheen Hai Gham e Dil and Dil e Nadan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai
And I’ll add the soulful,
Ye Na Thi Hamari Qismat – Mirza Ghalib (1954) / Ghulam Mohammad – Mirza Ghalib
Moti Begum is desperate for Ghalib, and the song portrays intense emotions. Again, Suraiya’s talent as an actress can be well appreciated. I’ve heard a few other singer’s versions, but for me this is the best.
Shama Parwana brought Shammi Kapoor and Suraiya together. While the former was a struggling actor, later had her heydays and was slowly withdrawing from the Hindi film industry. It is worth mentioning that she acted with Prithviraj Kapoor and her two sons, Raj and Shammi Kapoor in her career. Very few of the actresses of Hindi cinema have such a record. The songs however are my personal favourites, and the most favourite is,
Beqarar Hai Koi – Shama Parwana (1954) with Rafi / Husnalal Bhagatram – Majrooh
I always get enchanted by the aalap in the song. Such a beautifully rendered one! And if you note carefully, Suraiya singsit all in a single breath on all the occasions. Not only is the tune very beautiful, the singers also add much to the glory.
The years 1955 and 1956 were very average for Suraiya with no particularly good song, though her solos from Mr Lambu were good. And it’s her only film with the composer, O P Nayyar.
With no releases in 1957, she had three releases in 1958. None of the movies were popular. I don’t have my personal favourites from these movies, except for the film, Malik. The latter had the beautiful duet, Man Dheere Dheere Gaye Re.
Suraiya signed very few new films, as evident from the fact that she had no releases for a couple of years. And when she was back again in the 60s, she had only four solos in a couple of films. Though her voice maintained the freshness and sweetness, it was her own decision to cut back and finish the already accepted films only. No new assignments! Let me add a wonderful solo from Shama.
Mast Aankhon Mein Shararat – Shama (1961) / Ghulam Mohammad – Kaifi Azmi
A very beautifully written song, expressing a lady’s shy acceptance of her love. Very well executed.
And, to end the list, I’ll add her swan song from Rustam Sohrab. It seems, the song speaks more or less about her own personal journey.
Ye Kaisi Ajab Dastan Ho Gayi Hai – Rustam Sohrab (1963) / Sajjad – Qamar Jalalabadi
We can appreciate the freshness of her voice and her dedication.
She chose to retire from Hindi films completely, not even continuing her singing career. She lived in her rented accommodation in Marine Drive, Mumbai with her mother, completely away from the limelight. But she was in touch with her friends. Occasionally her interviews would be published and she would be talked about for a while. After her mother’s death in 1987, she was completely lonely. An empty house and no one to share your feelings with! What a tragic thing! But that was her destiny.
In her last days, she was taken care of by her lawyer and family friend, Mr Thakkar. She was admitted in Harkisandas hospital where she died on 31st January 2004 at the age of 75.
It was difficult to choose even a list of twenty songs, I had to drop a few songs to limit the number. I know the list hasn’t got many duets, but her solos outnumber her duets. I think the most of her duets are with Rafi, followed by Talat Mahmood. While there’s only one duet with Manna Dey, I wonder if she ever sang with Kishore Kumar.
Before I end the post, let me put some interesting aspects of Suraiya’s career
- She was the highest paid actress in the late 40s and early 50s. The years 1948 (7 films) – 49 (11 films) – 50 (6 films) would be the peak of her career.
- In her first film as the main lead, Ishara, and the last film, Rustam Sohrab, she was opposite Prithviraj Kapoor.
- She acted in ‘Shama (1961)’ ‘Parwana (1947)’ and ‘Shama Parwana (1954)’
Suraiya offered playback only for a single actress, Mehtab, she otherwise sang for herself
- Shamshad Begum sang for Mehtab in Shama (1946) . Suraiya didn’t act in the movie, but on Mehtab’s request, Suraiya sang for the record versions of the songs.
- Curiously, in the film, Shama (1961), the song Dhadakte Dil Ki Tamanna was lip synced by both Suraiya and Nimmi.
- For a 1958 film, Taqdeer, a couple of her songs were included by the composer Dhani Ram, which were recorded earlier for another film. The songs were lip synched by Shyama on screen, inadvertently making her a playback singer.
- Her love story with Dev Anand came to an end when her grandma opposed it, because he belonged to a different religion. She also thought Dev Anand would be after Suraiya’s money, as she was a superstar then, while he was a beginner.
- It is said that her parents were in her favour, but grandma was too strong and stubborn. On top of that, if the stories are to be believed, film director A R Kardar and composer Naushad also supported her grandma. Perhaps they did have a right to interfere but they were her mentors and helped shape her career. Still, one should not control or nose around in other people’s lives, or so I believe. After finishing the already accepted projects, Suraiya never worked with them.
- Though she couldn’t gather courage to go against her family, she stuck to her decision of not marrying anyone else and rejected all the marriage proposals from wealthy actors and directors.
- Dev Anand and Suraiya acted together in seven films, perhaps her most frequent co-star. The films were, Vidya (1948), Shair (1949), Jeet (1949), Afsar (1950, Neeli (1950), Sanam (1951) and Do Sitare (1951).
- She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Screen in 1996.
- In 2013, a postage stamp was released bearing her images in various roles, on the occasion of 100 years of Indian Cinema. The same year she was voted as the ‘Best on screen Beauty with the most Ethnic look’.
I pay my tribute to Suraiya, but I feel a little sad about her incomplete love story and her loneliness in her late years. Only if she would have continued as a playback singer, the story might have had a different turn! But that wasn’t the destiny!
Please add your favourite song by Suraiya.
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 convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.
24 Replies to “Yeh Kaisi Ajab Dastan Ho Gayi – Remembering Suraiya”
Very well researched and equally well-penned post. Suraiya was no doubt one of the top names in those days. She was an acclaimed singer and actress. I was expecting some information about her education, especially in music. Did she sing so well without any formal training in music? Was it completely god fifted? Thanks again for a great article.
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Thank you for your appreciation. Though not mentioned everywhere, some of the sources do talk about her training in music in childhood, though the name of the teacher is not mentioned. Later Naushad further polished the gem for singing in films.
So she had certainly a god gifted talent, that recieved training as well to come up as a polished singer.
Dear Anup ji,
Wow, wow and a triple Wow! Before someone mistakes me for a dog, let me take my hat off again for a superb Post. And the clever Magician that you are, you weave Magic with your words. I was looking for any omissions, for covering someone’s life in a short essay can leave things out. The only ones I got were some Typo Errors, which we all make from time to time.
If you permit, I would like to add one song from the Film SANAM (1951) where she has sung a trio with Shamshad Begum and Amirbai Karnataki
I think you deliberately left that one out for someone to add 🙂
And many, like me, would join issue with your praise of her rendition of Mirza Ghalib’s “Yeh Na Thi Hamari Qismat”. Most would agree that Rafi Saab’s rendition, composed by Khayyam, is way up there!
In any case, we all are entitled to our opinions.
Thanks again for reminding us of a great Singer-Actress, a child hood heartthrob for many of us, I dare say.
With warm regards
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Thank you so much for your praise and kind words of appreciation.
The song from Sanam was a part of my post on Amirbai Karnataki. So I preferred not to repeat it. But it’s of course a good song. While compiling the list, I had to reject a number of films to come to a final 20. And in the process, many of her films with Husnalal Bhagatram were omitted.
About Yeh Na Thi Hamari Qismat by Rafi, I must confess I heard it for the first time after you mentioned it in the comments. I had no idea otherwise. I liked it. And as you say, each of us would have his / her own opinions, so the selection would differ. I agree.
And, Suraiya was really beautiful I agree completely.
Fabulous collection of songs, Anupji, and a great tribute to Suraiya. All my favourite Suraiya songs you have already listed, but here’s another one from Mirza Ghalib that I love, Aah ko chaahiye ek umr asar hone tak:
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Thank you for your appreciation Madhuji.
And Yes, Aah ko chahiye is among my favourites too.
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This is a very nice overview of Suraiya’s career. As you said even 50 songs would not be enough for her. One favourite is ‘Patwanon se preet seekh le, shama se seekho sharmana’ from Bilwamangal.
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Thank you for the appreciation. Given an opportunity I would have added 50 songs.
And thanks a lot for adding one of my favourites from Bilwamangal. I knew someone would definitely add it.
Dear Anup ji ,
क्या बात ! क्या बात !! क्या बात !!!
सुरैया के स्मृतिदिवस पर एकदम लाजवाब गीतांजली ।
Queen Nightingale .. सही फर्माया आपने
एक से एक मधुर गानें चुने आपनें और उन पर आपकी टिपण्णी भी बढिया ।
मोती महल के गानें की motarrrr , सुरैया के जीवनमें उठा हुआ तूफान , उस पर उन्होने लिया हुआ फैसला और अंत में interesting aspects of career … सबकुछ बेहद बारीकीसे बखूबी बयाँ किया आपने ।
I would like to add a very very sweet no. of मिर्झा गालिब ..
शुरुआत के आलाप , मुखडे और अंतरेमें सुरैया ने पिरोयी हुई मिठास और सोने पे सुहागा समान सुरैया का पर्देपर रुप .. हर चीज़ वाह वाह के काबिल ..
” नुक्ता चि हैं गम ए दिल ”
Njoyed the post . आपका लिखा पढते पढते , गानें सुनते सुनते , साथमें गुनगुनातें आज बहोत सारा समय आनंदमें बीत गया
Thnx a lot Anup ji .
With lots of blessings ,
Pramod Godbole .
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Thank you so much Parmod Ji for visiting and commenting. Now a days, I have been missing your comments.
I’m glad I could bring joy to your day. And thanks for adding Nuktacheen Hai Gham e Dil. The sweetness Suraiya adds to it is really wonderful.
Whenever I think of Mirza Ghalib ghazals, the ones by Suraiya and Talat Mahmood from the film come to my mind.
Can’t think of any other rendition.
Nice compilation including link for five Suraiya-Lata duets
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Thank you Ravindra ji. I was also glad to find all of their duets together in a single video.
Listening to these in chronological order was an interesting exercise. It seems like in her early songs, Suraiya’s voice (or the portion of it she most often used) was comparatively deep, whereas in those from the end of her career it’s higher. Certainly people’s voices change with age—all the more overtly for someone who began recording songs so young—but more typically from high to low. Therefore, I wonder if the change in her register was more a matter of what was fashionable at a given time. Certainly Lata’s voice is quite high… perhaps her entry into the industry encouraged other singers to use the higher parts of their registers.
I noticed that TommyDan had posted “Waris” to YouTube, but had presumed from the title that it was going to be a yet another adaptation of “Heer Ranjha.” Needless to say, starting the clip and seeing a scene set train was a bit of a surprise—and then the song itself incorporates the rhythm of the running train! What a delight.
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In the 40s, the trend was of deep voices indeed. With Lata Mangeshkar entering the film industry, the thin voices reaching higher scales was in. So I think your observations are correct.
I haven’t watched Waris, but it isn’t an adaptation of Heer Ranjha. But the songs are beautiful, all are masterpieces, at least the ones rendered by Suraiya and Talat Mahmood.
The song with train rhythm are always a delight. I’m wondering if you have read my posts on train songs. Last year I dedicated an entire month to the train songs, splitting them in few parts.
Here’s the link for all the parts.
I hope you enjoy the songs.
For those not in the know, the tune of the song RAHI MATWALE is based on a Rabindra Sangeet O REY GRIHABASI (sung during Holi)
Another song by Suraiyya from the Film “Afsar”, namely NAIN DEEWANE is based on the song SEDIN DUJONEY
With warm regards
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Partha ji, thank you for sharing the sweet Bengali songs. I had read about this song when I wrote my Anil Biswas posts a couple of years back.
And the same with shedin dujoney. I read about it a few years back. Though I had heard these songs, I wasn’t exactly remembering the songs. Thank you for reminding me.
I had forgotten about your train song posts. That’s today’s worktime listening sorted : )
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I hope you would add songs to the list.
A very good post indeed.
Suraiya’s songs are evergreen. You have selected good songs, however, there is
no limit to her good songs. almost every alternate song she sang became popular.
I am surprised how the famous song of film Dillagi-1949, sung by Suraiya and Shyam kumar has not been posted here so far- (though you mentioned it) “Tu mera chand main teri chandni…”.
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Thank you Arunji for your appreciation.
Thank you for adding one of her popular songs from Dillagi. It’s certainly the most popular song from the movie.
Anupji, this is a comprehensive post covering her entire career. You have put in a lot of effort!! I want to add a song – sach hui sach – which she sang under C.Ramchandra’s music direction from Duniya (1949). She acted in the film of course.
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Thank you so much for your appreciation. Yes, it did demand a lot of efforts.
I like the song from Duniya. It was on my list of C Ramchandra post. So I was expecting someone to add it. Thanks for adding it.
I love Suraiya, and I love this list! I don’t feel any need to add more songs in comments, especially considering that you have posted great songs from so many of the films that she was in (and other commenters added yet more songs right after you posted this while I am – sorry – two weeks late 🙂 ). But I did want to say thank you for this, Anup.
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You are welcome!
There’s no need to say sorry just because you commented late. That’s not an issue.
I’m glad you liked the list.