Salil Chowdhury’s Hindi Film Songs in Other Languages
Salil Chowdhury (b: 19 November 1922; d: 5 September 1995) was as multifaceted as was talented.
We know the gems he has created as a music director. But he was a poet and playwright too. He has composed many of his Bengali poems as NFS Bengali songs. Songs like Gnaayer bodhu, which he composed at the age of 20, brought about a new wave of Bengali music. Almost every notable singer of that time from West Bengal had sung at least one of his songs. That he wrote story for Do Bigha Zameen, based on his short story Rickshawalla is now a well-known detail of his writing abilities trivia.
His interest in music made his cast his net wide from Western classics like Mozart to folk songs of Europe to folk songs of East India to enable him to innovate a d experiment. For example, his Dil Tadap Tadap Ke Kah Raha Hai (Madhumati 1958) does seem to have a very strong influence of a150+ years old Silesian (South-Western) Polish folk song Szla dzieweczka do laseczka ( The girl was walking to the forest)
He was one of the music directors of the school who would so much accord high priority to the music that they would they were insistent upon setting the music first and then set the lyrics of the song to it. Salil Chowdhury was an excellent arranger who was proficient in several musical instruments, including flute, the piano, and the esraj.
We may know that he has composed music for over 75 Hindi and over 40 Bengali films. Many of us may further know that he composed songs for around 27 Malayalam films. And of course, some of us may also know that he did compose music for even Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Assamese, a Marathi and Gujarati film as well.
In this tribute post to Salil Chowdhury we have chosen to bring on one page his Hindi songs that have been transposed to other languages. Such songs are so very large number that they would need several posts to cover them all. So we have chosen here the Hindi songs that have receded from our memory such that we get at least one song form each of the languages he composed songs.
(Note of credit for the core information for this post: I have sourced the other language song version-links as well description about these other language songs from the one the most complete online data base of Salil Chowdury’s work, World of Salil Chowdhury. Gautam Choudhury has so painstakingly and lovingly built up the entire collection. Gautam Choudhury himself has recorded several instrumental albums on which he plays harmonica, recorded tribute albums to Salil Chowdhury’s legacy:
So here is our tribute to Salil Chowdhury:
One of many Hindi to-from Bengali songs:
Dil Mera….Na Jaane Re Naa Jaane Re Biraj Bahu (1954) – Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Prem Dhawan
Gayatri Basu’s “Naa Jaani re” in Bengali ‘Aaj Sandhaay’ (1954) is as haunting and appealing as Shamsaad Begum’s rendering.
(Bengali-)Hindi – Malayamam connection
Dhitang Dhitang Bolay, Dil Tere Liye Dolay – Awaz (1956) – Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Prem Dhawan
The Malayalam version is “Thaiyam Thaiyam” (Neelaponman (1975) a duet by P.Susheela and P.Jayachandran.
The source for both these is a 1954 Hemant Kumar’s NFS – a Salil classic – “Dhitang Dhitang Bole” with a totally new arrangement
(Bengali-)Hindi – Telugu connection
Kai Baar Yoon Bhi Dekha Hai Ye Man Ki Jo Seema Rekha Hai – Rajanigandha (1974) – Mukesh – Lyrics: Yogesh
This one had quite a contemporary Telugu version – Nayanalu Kalise Toli Saari – a duet by P.Susheela and S.P.Balasubramaniam in Chairman Chalamayya (1974).
It had three Bengali versions as well:
- Aami cholte cholte theme gechhi – Pinki Bhattacharya
- Kotobaar chhondo bodlaabey – Gautam Daspupta
- Aami cholte cholte themey gechhi – Lata Mangeshkar
Hindi –Tamil connection
Ay Mere Dil Gaa Pyaar Ki Dhun Par –Dil Kaa Saathi Dil (1982) – S Janaki, Chorus – Lyrics: Manohar
This film is Hindi dubbed version of Malayalam film, which had become so popular that its Tamil and Telugu versions were also dubbed.
The Tamil version of in this film-dubbing chain was Paruvamazhai (1978) which had the equivalent of the above song Thenmalar Kannikal which is also in S Janaki’s voice.
Here are the Malayalam and Telugu versions as well.
- Eemalarkayakal – Madanolsavam (1977) (Malayalam) – S Janaki and Chorus
- Ne Priyuraliki – Amara Prema (1978) (Telugu) – P Susheela
If this was not enough, out of nowhere appears another ‘unknown’ film called Mera Damaad (release date 1995) with another Hindi version of this song. Gautam Choudhury writes: Sometimes I think Salil just lost the track (no pun intended) of his version table! – Jhir Jhir Barse Aaj Gagan Se – Anuradha Paudwal, Sabita Chowdhury, Amit Kumar and Shailendra Singh
It seems the root source is a 1977 Usha Mangeshakr NFS, O phooler dal, in Bengali.
(Bengali-)Hindi – Kannada Connection
Naam Mera Nimmo Muqaam Ludhiyaana – Sapan Suhaane (1961) – Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Day, Dwijen Mukherji – Lyrics: Shailendra
A very fast-paced song wherein male leads Manna Dey and Dwijen Mukherjee aby support Lata Mangeshkar who so ably does the justice to the tempo and the mood of the song.
It appears that opportunity to re-use this tune came up when Kannada film had a situation for a cabaret dance. The case in point is: Dooradinda Bandhantha for film Samasayaphala (1971) by L R Eswari . The song has undergone changes in all spheres except the basic structure of the tune. Guatam Choudhury notes that a regular column writer on Kannada film songs, Sridhar Rajanna writes that: “Dooradinda bandanta sundaraanga jANa” ….is the best cabaret ever, sung by LR Eswari, has excellent rock and roll style guitar music. It is still popular in orchestras and is frequently played on A-I-R.
At the back of the tune must be some Bengal folk tune. So a Bengali version probably was called for to record the nuances of the original tune. The result is Sabita Chowdhury’s NFS of 1963 – Jhilmil jhauer boney.
(Bengali-)Hindi – Oriya Connection
Salil Chowdhury has composed music for only one Oriya film – Batasi Jhada (1981). The film had a Sabita Chowdhury song Rimjhimi Nishaa Bharaaye Raakhi.
Bengali film Antarghaat (1980) has a chronologically earlier version – Jaanina jaanina – in Asha Bhosle’s voice.
Its Hindi version came up in an obscure 1989 film Aakhari Badla. The song was Jaane Kaisaa Jaadoo Ye Chal Gayaa. This version was too in Asha Bhosle’s voice. Its video clip shows that it is a cabaret-type dance number. That leads us to believe that Bengali and Oriya versions would have been filmed for similar situations.
(Bengali-)Hindi – Marathi Connection
The only Marathi film that Salil Chowdhury did was Sunbai (1982), produced by Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Guautam Choudhaury writes: Lata wanted to sing her favourite song once again in Marathi. She finally got to sing the same song three times in as many languages! I must say that the Marathi version ‘Preet Khule Maanjhi Soneri’ is equally beautiful.
The original Bengali song, recorded in 1961 – ‘Saat Bhaai Champaa Jaago Re’ is a classic and every Bengali knows it. This song seems to have been based on a Sihalese folk tune.
It’s slow hindi version in Mere Bhaiyaa “Pyaas Liye Manwaa” is also wonderful and also sung by Lata.
Salil Chaowdhury has done two Assamese films – Aparajeyo in 1970 and Manas Kanya in 1985. Gautam Chowdhury has not mentioned any Hindi connection to the songs of these films.
Salil Chowdhury’s only Guajarati film was Ghar Sansar (1978).
This film had a Guajarati folk tune based Prafull Dave song – Ho Halo Re Hansa- penned by a noted Gujarati poet Venibhai Purohit.
This song has only Bengali version in a 1980 film ‘Parabesh’ – O Ghoomer Moyna Paakhi by Asha Bhosle
and a Malayalam version in a 1975 film ‘Ragam’- Omanathinkal by P. Susheela .
We will end our post with a couple of Salil Chowdhaury’s Mohammad Rafi’s songs in other languages.
Zindagi Hai Kya Sum Meri Jaan Pyar Bhar Dil Meethi Juban – Maaya (1961) – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
It is said that this song is based on the theme of Charlie Chaplin’s very wellknown film Lime Light.
Salil Chowdhury had recorded a Bengali NFS – Jhar Jhar More – in the then Bengali and Hindi film hero Biswajeet. Biswajeet had made his Hindi Film debut with Bees Saal Baad.
Like his other contemporary Bengali music director S D Burman, Salil Chowdhury also had an inherent dislike for Mohammad Rafi’s natural Punjabi loudness as against a Bengali voice’s ‘tenderness’. SDB had had to use Rafi for a good many of songs from Pyasa (1957) till Aradhana (1969). In contrast, Salil Chowdhury seems to have used Rafi only when he had to. Dil Tadape Tadapaye, Unke Milan Ko Rarase Woh To Na Aaye (Poonam Ki Raat (1965) – Lyrics: Shailendra) is said to be one such case.
Salil Chaudhury had recorded this song in Bengali by Shyamal Mitra
and by Debabrat Biswas.
I personally feel that each of the singers has done justice to the delivery of the song in his own style.
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.