Dilip Dholakia: A Singer
That Dilip Dholakia (Birth: 15th October, 1921 \ Death: 2nd January, 2011) was a multi-talented music personality has been universally accepted. He was a singer, a music director, a music arranger, a lyricist, all rolled into one persona.
We have looked at the music directorial side of his talent in our article on 10th January, 2017. For our present episode we will focus on the singing Dilip Dholakia.
Dilip Dholakia had his first exposure to singing in his early childhood when he would accompany his grandfather to Swaminarayan temple and join the singing of the temple prayers. His father used to play flute and his grandfather used to sing songs of God’s praise and hymns at the temple. Later he learnt classical singing from Pandurang Amberkar, a disciple of Khan Saheb Aman Ali Khan. He had shifted to Bombay in his. After he was selected as an artist on All India Radio, in Mumbai, he got the offer to sing a song for the film Kismatwala (1944). The composer Ratanlal, younger brother of composer Khemchand Prakash, had Dilip Dholakia sing ‘Gori Chalo Na Sina Ubharke’ and ‘Dekho Hamse Na Ankhe Ladaya Karo’. He also got chance to sing in chorus for a K L Saigal song Thukra Rahi Hai Duniya for Bhanvra (1944). In 1946, he got to sing ‘Dukh Ki Is Nagri Mein Baba Koi Na Puchhe Baat’ in ‘Laaj’ under Ramchandra Pal’s baton.
By this time Dilip Dholakia was introduced to Snehal Bhatkar at HMV studio, Bombay. Snehal Bhatkar helped him to cut his first record. Dilip Dholakia recorded two solos, penned by Gujarat’s well-known poet and lyricist, Venubahi Purohit. These songs were[i]:
Bhint Phadi Ne Piplo Re Ugyo, Jiran Eni Kaya Re, Kankari Chuno Roj Khare Ne Dhruje Vajar Kaya Re
Aadha Tel Aur Adha Paani, Em Gujarati Jaaye Javani, Em Gujarati Aa Jindagani
Another the then emerging Gujarati music director, Avinash Vyas gave him a couple of duets with the prominent playback singer Amirbai Karnataki in Gujarati film , Sati Sone (1948). One of these two, Shravani Vadaladi Tu Ja…Ja Sandesho Lai, is available on YT:
He got his first major break with Divadandi’s(1950). Ajit Merchant’s solo composition in his voice Taari Aankh No Afini Tara Bol No Bandhani was an instant hit. It has acquired a cult status among Gujarati songs and has had have covers and versions till now. Dilip Dholakia sings the first line of the song, without any accompanying instrument, to enjoy in his bare voice:
We will listen to another duet from this film. Dilip Dholakia sings his lines in lower scales –
Vagda Vachche Talavadi Ne Talavadi Ne Kor – with Rohini Roy – Lyricist: Balmukund Dave
Apparently, Dilip Dholakia could make out that he would not be able to carve out his space in the field of playback singing. So he switched over to playing the role of assistant to S N Tripathi, when Chitragupta took to his independent career and then to even Chitragupta as well. It was during this association that he could lay his hands onto some more of playback singing assignments.
Dur Gagan Pe Chamke Sitare.. Paas Hamare Chamke Chand Hamare – Ram Hanuman Yuddha, (1957) – with Geeta Dutt – S N Tripathi – Ramesh Chandra Pandey
SN Tripathi’s one of the signature melodious tunes. Dilip Dholakia has to play with his voice in sort of an undertone to match the tonal chords of Geeta Dutt.
Aaj Agar Meri Laaj Gayi, Samaz Le Teri Laaj Gayi – Ram Hanuman Yuddha (1957) – with Lata Mangeshkar – S N Tripathi – Ramesh Chandra Pandey
Dilip Dholakia sings for a playful king on his boat tour on a river even his queen is prayerfully demanding protection of her dutiful rights … Both the singers depict two entirely different moods, in the setting of different scales on the same tune.
Run Jhun Baaje Penjaniya – Sakshi Gopal (1957) – Chitragupta – Bharat Vyas
The song is set to a slow rhythm of a traditional stray DUHA style of Charan poets of the Kathiawar (a part of Gujarat’s Suarshatra region), obviously Dilip Dholakia’s ancestral heritage instincts influencing the composition of the song. .
Khanke Kangana Khan Khan Re, Chhanake Ghungharu Chhan Chhan Re – Saugandh (1961) – with Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi in the lead.
This appears to be the only Hindi song that Dilip Dholakia has chosen to sing under his own music direction. But when he has chosen to do so, not lonely music director, (Dilip Dholakia), but the lyricist (Prem Dhawan) also joins Lata and Rafi @ 2.21 to 2.24 in an innovative experiment in this song.
After a long hiatus, Dilip Dholakia he came back to singing and recording non-filmy songs only at the very end of his active career. I have picked up two representative songs from this crop.
Ten Puchhyo Prem No Marm Ne Hun Dai Betho Alingan
Dilip Dholakia seems to be rekindling memories of his visits to Swaminarayan temple in this bhajan –
Lagi Re Mohe Nain Najariya…
We will continue with our tradition of ending our episode with Mohammad Rafi Songs.
I have selected two so-well-composed Dilip Dholakia songs that not only stand out as a few of Rafi’s best everm, but do present Dilip Dholakia’s range as a music director.
One is a Bhaskar Vora’s song for Satyavan Savitri (1963) –
Mithadi Nazaroon Vaagi
[Sweet glance has hit me..]
and the other on is a non-film song, written by Barakat Virani ‘Befam’
Milan Na Deepak Buzai Gaya Chhe
[Lamps of our meeting have now gone off..]
We will continue our search for Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month……..
Disclaimer: All images are sourced from net. All copyrights of the respective image remain with the original owner of the image.
[i] I most sincerely thank Shri Biren Kothari for providing the soft copies of these songs.