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Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions : Female songs – Bengali female playback singers

We have covered Hemant Kumar’s Female compositions in the form of Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle’s song  and ‘Other’ Singers’ songs previously.

Other than these, he has also chosen to experiment with Bengali female playback singers, like Ratna Gupta, Pratima Banerjee, Aarti Mukherjee, his wife Bela Mukherjee and his daughter Ranu Mukhrtjee, Bula Gupta etc.

Ratna Gupta

Ratna Gupta was the wife of film director, Hemen Gupta.  She has rendered songs only in the films which Hemen Gupta had directed, viz.– Bhuli Nai (1948) in Bengali and Ferry (1954) and Taksaal (1956; Music by Roshan) in Hindi

Yehi Hai Mere Sapno Ka Sansar – Ferry (1954) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna

Geeta Bali, with her two children, is on a joy tour to her beautiful world of dreams. Ratna Gupta’s pleasant Bengali-intoned voice adds to the refreshing charm of the situation.

The song also has a sad, twin, version.

In the clip here, we get to listen a soft call of a boatmen to keep pushing the boat – the metaphor for the life – in the voice of Hemant Kumar. The main song is composed on a high scale, to reflect the anguish of Geeta Bali as the moments of her past happy family life flash in her memory.

Pratima Banerjee

Ek Baat Kahu Tumse….. Mehfil Men Tere Husn Ke Diwane, , –  Sahara (1958) – Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

Kamal Barot and Nileema Chatterjee

We have one more just one- off experiment in so far as use of these two singers is concerned.

Main Laal Laal Gujkoonn – Majli Didi (1967) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Neeraj

The song is a children’s song, based on quiz game. Kamal Barot sings lines for a child artist who we can now recognise as Baby Sarika. Nileema Chatterjee sings for a boy, identified as Master Khalid.

Ranu Mukherjee

Hemant Kumar has used Ranu Mukherje’s voice in different moods, in different situations, at different stages of her age.

Nani Teri Morni Ko Mor Le Gaye – Masoom 1960 – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi

Ranu Mukherjee must be five/six years old when the song must have been recorded. So, the natural childlike discordant notes in her voice can be felt, but otherwise this as virtuoso performance as any professional would have rendered!

Mera Qatil Hai Jee Qatil JavaN Qatil Hai – Farar(1965)  – Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

This is mother of all scoops. Just five years after that childlike innocent song, Ranu Mukherjee comes up with this full-fledged western club song, in an equally virtuoso performance.

Ab To Muskuraiye, Muskuraiye Zara, Aapki Sharatein Gul Khila Chukee – Do Dooni Chaar (1968) – Lyrics: Gulzar

Hemant Kumar’s bag of scoops has still more surprises. Three more years down the line, and Ranu Mukherjee now comes up trump as a lead singer – in a film that is pure comedy, giving playback to a vivacious, mischievous sister-in-law character so lively enacted by Tanuja and, to enliven the lyrics of Gulzar with that correct throw of a given word.

Ranu Mukherjee had two more, equally interesting, solos in the film.

Asides Trivia for the records: Gulzar seemed to have made up his mind to remake this Shakespeare’s play, ‘Comedy of Errors ‘-inspired version under the banner of Bimal Roy Production. He went to onto make a classic, in the form of Angoor (1982).

Bela Mukherjee

It should be redundant to state that Bela Mukherjee is the wife of Hemant Kumar and quite a singer on her own. Hemant Kumar has used her voice for just handful songs which at best can be classified as special situation songs.

Ae Din Dayal Daya Do Hame – Farar (1965) – Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

This is a school prayer song. Hemant Kumar has deftly used voice of Bela Mukherjee for a, boy, child artist

Bula Gupta

There is reference to a name Bula as ‘Baby Bula’ in Ferry (1954). Knowledgeable co-bloggers had identified her as daughter of the director of that film Hemen Gupta. In fact, there is mention of a child duet song in that film, where in this Baby Bula has joined Master Jayant (Hemant Kumar’s son). If we put two and two together, this Bula Gupta seems to be the same person, now a young lady.

Jaam Utha Ke Tod Ke Tauba Pee – Us Raat Ke Baad (1970) – Lyrics: Gulzar

Hemant Kumar has persisted with experimenting with Bengali singers to sing ‘special’ songs. Hemant Kumar has blended use of mid-east string instruments with western instruments in the orchestration.

Aarti Mukherjee

Aarti Mukherjee is a trained singer, who has worked as playback singers more in Bengali films then in Hindi films.

Billi Bajaye Baja, Gaye Chuhiyon Ka Raaja, Nache Bandariya Lahenga Dal Ke– Sahara (1958) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

After Aarti Mukherjee won the All-India Murphy Metro Music contest held in Mumbai, in 157, this is her reward. She was in the school in those days, so she gets to sing for the child artist in this song.

Do Do Pankh Laga Ke Panchi Banenge – Rahgeer (1969) – with Hemlata and chorus – Lyrics: Gulzar

It seems the song may have been rendered by some character in the adolescent age on the screen.

Aaj Ki Raat Chargon Ki Raat – Khamoshi (1970) – Lyrics: Gulzar

The film carries a shortened version of the song

Sharon Prabhakar

Love’s Reflections – Love in Canada (1980) – Lyrics: Sharon Prabhakar

Love in Canada is the swan song of Hemant Kumar in so far as Hindi film music is concerned, but his experimental streak is still as alive and as sharp as ever.

Hemant Kumar’s female songs has so many shades that one article by any one person will never be able to do full justice to the subject. If I were to do this article once again, even I may choose some other songs over what I have chosen here. There is always that hope for that next time…..

Originally published on SoY as Hemant Kumar’s Female Playback Singers . This is the edited and improved-on-the-inputs-of-discussions thereupon version


A single file collated version of the three parts of Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Song Compositions: Female songs is available for download by clicking on the hyper link.