Sulochana Kadam (Chavan) was a very popular Lawani singer from Maharashtra. She was known as लावणी साम्राज्ञी. She went for heavenly abode on 10th December 2022. Though I wanted to pay a tribute to her, I was unable to do it. So I was eager to grab the opportunity on her birthday. Let’s listen to a few of her songs on her 90th birthday!
Sulochana Mahadev Kadam was born on 13th March 1933 in Girgaon, Mumbai. She was more interested in singing and dancing than her studies. She used to perform at the melas, even at a tender age of 5 or 6. She was accompanied by her elder sister with, Vatsala Deshmukh and Vijaya Deshmukh. The latter took the screen name, Sandhya and acted in a number of films by V Shantaram and later married him. Her performances were well received by the audiences.
One day the make-up man at the mela, named Mr Dandekar, took her to the composer Shyambabu Pathak, who was working on his film, Krishna Sudama. He offered her a couple of solos in the film, marking her debut in 1947. The same year also saw her singing for Shyambabu Pathak in the film, Kismatwali. She again had a couple of songs. Unfortunately I could not find the songs on the internet.
She slowly started getting songs. I couldn’t find her songs from Jungle Mein Mangal (1947), Paro (1947), Chanda Ki Chandni (1948) as of now. Though the majority of the songs were not well known, let’s listen to a few of the songs. Gyan Dutt seems to be the main composer she worked with during the period,
Jahan Koi Na Ho – Laal Dupatta (1948) / Gyan Dutt – D N Madhok
A good song, with perfect expressions. She must have been just a 15 year old girl, when she sang it. The voice sounds mature. Reminds me of Geeta Dutt’s voice.
Umangon Ke Din Beete Jaye – Sunehre Din (1949) with Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt & Chorus / Gyan Dutt – D N Madhok
Though Shamshad Begum is the main singer, the other two ladies do get a chance to sing separate lines. And in general it’s a delight to listen to.
Laut Aaye Piya – Basera (1950) / M A Rauf – Sardar Ilham
What a beautiful song! To confess, I heard the majority of the songs for the first time. But took an instant liking for many. Sulochana Kadam’s voice somewhat resembles that of Geeta Dutt’s, but still it was different from her and she didn’t copy any other’s style either. Though her style somewhat sounds like Shamshad Begum’s. She was in her late teens, still she emoted the feelings so well. Her songs have their own charm!
Matwali Ghatao Zara Tum – Hanste Rahena (1950) with Khan Mastana / V Ramnath Wadhva – Faruq Kaiser
In addition to solos, she also sang duets with all the prominent male playback singers of Hindi films. Here’s her duet with Khan Mastana, who was once a first rung playback singer. The song has a long first interlude.
Zara Sunte Jana Ho – Babuji (1950) with Chitalkar / P Ramakant – Ehsan Rizvi
A cute romantic duet! A cat fight between husband and wife. It’s said that C Ramchandra composed for a few of his films with the name P Ramakant. Ramakant Paingankar was his assistant that time and he composed under the pseudonym due to some reasons. One of the reasons was perhaps he didn’t want to disclose his identity while composing for B grade films, though the style of the song easily discloses the fact.
Nazar Se Nazar Lad Gayi – Babuji (1950) / P Ramakant – Ehsan Rizvi
Though I already had a duet from this film, I couldn’t help myself adding this wonderful solo. Sulochana Kadam succeeds in portraying a lady in love so perfectly. Her expressions are so perfect! It seems as if she’s indeed in a dreamy state, singing the song with a mixture of faux anger and deep love.
Tim Timatim Tim Timate Tare – Har Har Mahadev (1950) with Mukesh / Avinash Vyas – Ramesh Shastri
It’s not a surprise that, even in a mythological film, we get to listen to good melodies. Here’s her duet with Mukesh, a catchy dance number. The couple is perhaps Heera Sawant and choreographer Satyanarayan. The song has a good catchy rhythm and the dance is good too.
Though she was singing for Hindi films, it was not until 1951, that she was prominently noted. It happened with the film, Dholak, when she had the opportunity to sing for Shyam Sunder.
Chori Chori Aag Si Dil Mein – Dholak (1951) / Shyam Sunder – Shyamlal
One of her most popular Hindi film songs. The roaring popularity of the song made Sulochana Kadam a well known name in Hindi films. The song has achieved a vintage classic status. She conveys the anguish of the character very well.
Mausam Aaya Hai Rangeen – Dholak (1951) with Satish Batra & Chorus / Shyam Sunder – Aziz Kashmiri
Another classic! What a beautiful song with captivating orchestration. The tune is well composed and must have received appreciation back then. The song made the climax very special and melodious. The opening piece with Dholak and other instruments is so impressive.
After Dholak, Shyam Sunder also offered her songs in a couple of films. Let’s have a look at a few of those songs,
Ulfat Jise Kehte Hain – Kaale Baadal (1951) / Shyam Sunder – Rajendra Krishan
This one’s one of her bests. I must add that Sulochana Kadam was spot on with her pronunciations. Her diction and style of pronunciation is quite good. The song seems to have two versions, sad and happy, put together. For me, she’s excellent throughout. Perhaps Shyam Sunder was able to extract the best out of her singing.
Ankhiyan Milake Ankhiyon Ke Neend – Mukhda (1951) / Shyam Sunder – Aziz Kashmiri
It was Shyam Sunder’s only song for the movie, the other songs were by Vinod. The song has a typical Punjabi aroma and Sulochana Kadam has captured the perfect mood and expressions. For me, it’s certainly one of her memorable songs.
It’s now time to listen to her songs with other composers of Hindi cinema.
Teri Galiyon Mein Aayi – Actor (1951) with G M Durrani / Aziz Hindi – Nazim Panipati
A fun song! A delight to watch and listen to. Very bold in 1951 to call one’s husband as Mori Sasuji ke chhore or Mori nanadi ke bhai.
Dil Mera Chain Na Paye – Daamad (1951) / Shamoo – Bahar Ajmeri
I felt very sad to realize that such gems were not popular just because those belong to non A grade films and hence considered nonspecific. But a song that belongs to a film of any grade, requires the same dedication and efforts, as required for A grade film! Just an injustice. Shamoo also was a pseudonym taken by C Ramchandra.
Aankhon Se Mili Aankhen – Simba (1951) / D C Dutta – Indeevar
The song doesn’t convey anything different or offbeat, but still it appeals so much. The tune is good, lyrics are good too and to top it all, Sulochana Kadam’s rendition is so impressive. She surely deserved much more fame and fortune than what she actually got.
Tera Mera Mera Tera Pyar – Mamta (1952) with Rafi / Sonik – Shyam Hindi
Here’s a beautiful romantic duet of Sulochana Kadam and Rafi. Sonik, from the popular duo, Sonik Omi, had composed alone for a few films in the 50s. The song is not great, but good to listen to.
Woh Aaye Hain Dil Ko – Malika Salomi (1953) / Krishna Dayal – Faruq Kaiser
The song is cherished by music lovers, and certainly it deserves the salutation. I’m glad I could find it in a better quality. The song sounds like a ghazal and could be her only song of the kind. Sung with perfect expressions, the song instantly captures the listener’s attention.
Mohe Aata Nahin Chain – Farmaish (1953) / Husnalal Bhagatram – Qamar Jalalabadi
I enjoyed the song so much! The lady in the song, unable to bear the heat of summer, asks for a table fan. She further wishes to transform Mumbai into Nainital, so that the summer heat is lessened. And that so aptly suits the current weather! I totally endorse her views. It’s a real pity that the song has been overshadowed by the other popular songs of the movie. Sulochana Kadam really sang songs of all genres. It’s one of the side effects of the Lata tsunami that a number of other voices just vanished from the scenes. I’m so disheartened! The song is so enjoyable!
Yeh Duniya Musafirkhana Hai – Surang (1953) with Manna Dey & Chorus / Shivram Krishna – Shewan Rizvi
An inspirational, spiritual and philosophical song! Very good and meaningful lyrics woven in a folk based tune and ear pleasing orchestration. Perhaps Sulochana Kadam’s only duet with Manna Dey. A must listen if you haven’t heard it already!
After her marriage in the early 50s, she was away from playback singing for 2 to 3 years. When she joined again, she perhaps had lost her place altogether. Still she sang for a few films here and there. In addition to her duet with Meena Kapoor from Akash pari (1958), this one’s her last released Hindi film song.
Humko India Bahut Pasand – Matlabi Duniya (1961) with Chorus / Bharat Mehta – Ramesh Gupta
Another interesting song! The singer declares Mukesh as her favourite singer and also mentions a number of other artists like Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Cuckoo and Shyama. She also praises India as the best in the world. Such songs are always a delight to listen to.
In 1953, she married Actor Director, Shyamrao Chavan, whom she had sung for in the Marathi film, Kalgi Tura. She used to credit her husband for teaching her basics of pronunciation and also for teaching and encouraging her to sing.
After marriage, she mainly focused on her family and was away from Hindi playback singing. When she started her second innings, she devoted herself to Marathi films and sang Lawani. Her first Lawni was a Marathi film with songs by Vasant Desai.
The post is incomplete without her Marathi songs. She has a number of film and non-film lawanis to her credit. So let me add a few of my favourites,
मला हो म्हणतात लवंगी मिरची – रंगल्या रात्री अशा (१९६२) / वसंत पवार – जगदीश खेबूडकर
कसं काय पाटील बरं हाय का – सवाल माझा ऐका (१९६४) / वसंत पवार – जगदीश खेबूडकर
सोळावं वरीस धोक्याचं – सवाल माझा ऐका (१९६४) / वसंत पवार – जगदीश खेबूडकर
तुझ्या उसाला लागलं कोल्हा – मल्हारी मार्तंड (१९६४) / वसंत पवार – ग दि माडगूळकर
पदरावरती जरतारीचा मोर नाचरा हवा – मल्हारी मार्तंड (१९६४) / वसंत पवार – ग दि माडगूळकर
कळीदार कपूरी पान – नाॅन फिल्म लावणी / श्रीनिवास खळे – राजा बढे
The only Lawani composed by Shriniwas Khale
This is just the tip of the iceberg, I would say, she has a number of Marathi songs to her credit.
Before I end, I wanted to share a few more things.
- She never took formal training in singing. She just listened to the songs repeatedly and learnt from it
- In 1948, she acted in the film Refugee (1848) upon the insistence of the director, it was a small role. But she wasn’t interested in it, so never tried again
- She sang duets with the majority of prominent playback singers of HFM, right from Khan Mastana to Rafi and Manna Dey, and from Shamshad Begum to Asha Bhosle. But she never sang with Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar, at least I couldn’t find any duet on the internet
- She also sang Marathi and Gujarati songs for AIR. It’s said that she also recorded ghazals for composers from Pakistan. But I couldn’t get the details of the songs on the net
- After marriage she shifted her focus to Marathi songs and dedicated her life to Lawani singing
- She also arranged charity shows of Lawani singing and raised money for hospitals, temples, orphanages etc to help the needy. So people always remembered her for her songs and her charity
- Her son Vijay Chavan is an ace percussionist and has played for renowned composers of Hindi and Marathi films
- She received Maharashtra state Lata Mangeshkar award in 2011 and Sangeet Natak akademi award in 2013. Last year she received the Padma Shri award, but it was too late.
Please share your favourites by Sulochana Kadam.
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.
7 Replies to “Mausam Aaya Hai Rangeen – Rememberng Sulochana Kadam”
This is a really nice tribute, Anup. I wish I could add a favorite, but you’ve included any that I could think of, myself. 🙂 I’ve loved watching Sunehre Din and Dholak and just about all the songs from those films. (BTW, I’ve watched Sunehre Din multiple times – twice or three times, and have watched some of the song clips much more often than that.) Babuji (1950) is not familiar to me, but the solo song that you included sounds so nice…
I acquainted myself with at least one of Sulochana Chavan’s Marathi songs when I did a post on Lavani about 7 1/2 years ago. (There may have been more, but this is the one I can identify right now.) This song appears in your post here, too: “Solawa Varees Dhokyacha.” At the time, though, I was less focused on the singers in the songs than the dancers. I had become aware of Lavani from being a fan of Sandhya. But here, I became interested in Jayshree Gadkar. (Of course, not to be confused with the Jayashree who was Sandhya’s husband’s prior wife) I suspect there were other songs that she danced to that were also sung by Sulochana Chavan.
Here is that post, by the way. (Some of the clips have disappeared, but I think I can replace most of them – and will soon, now that I know…)
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Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I’m really happy you enjoyed the post. Sulochana Kadam had such a good voice and her expressions were so apt! I wish she would have continued in Hindi films a bit longer.
Did you listen to the song from Farmaish? I mean she has sung it so well.
Thank you for sharing the link to your post. I totally agree with you when you say, Jayashree gadkar should be called the main Jayashree. As the other Jayashree hasn’t acted in Marathi films, at least I’m not aware of it.
The old lawani songs from Marathi films used to be good, with no unnecessary skin show. Of late the lawani songs have lost the charm, still the lawanis from Natrang are good.
Sandhya has excellent lawanis in Pinjra. It was a blockbuster Marathi movie and is still considered a classic.
Wonderful post as usual.
Instead of adding song, I am adding a link of her interview at her middle age.
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Thank you for your appreciation. And thanks for the link too.
Thanks a lot for your post which opens a new window to Sulochana Kadam. My acquaintance about her is limited to the film ‘Dholak’ songs. I am aware she sang more songs, but I have to look up sources.
Now I realise that she was a bigger talent, and she cannot be fully appreciated without her ‘Lavani’ songs and other Marathi songs. Congratulations for a very comprehensive post on Sulochana Kadam.
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Thank you for your appreciation AKji.
I also realised her talent only when I listened to her songs in detail.
She was indeed a wonderful singer.