By Bishwanath Chatterjee
I feel delighted in handing over ‘Volume-5’ (1971–80) of ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh’ to my friends, well-wishers and music lovers. I would also like to thank those who gave me selfless support in the preparation of this Volume directly or indirectly.
To let you know as to how my interest in Hindi Film songs and music developed, one has to visit the ‘Flash back’ of my life around 3 decades ago as my introduction to the same has been almost that old though I wasn’t much aware about the grammar of music and the sweetness of it at that time.
It all happened in the year 1962. At that time, a film titled ‘Baat Ek Raat Ki’ and produced under the banner of Alankar Chitra included a song ‘Na Tum Humein Jaano...‘ which was very popular in those days. I asked my brother’s friend Shri Krishnarao Naidu to write down full text of the song and give it to me so that I could hum it. At that time, I wasn’t aware that a booklet of each film used to get released. Anyway, Mr.Naidu not only wrote full text of the song but also mentioned the singer name (Hemant Kumar), lyricist (Majrooh Sultanpuri) and composer (Sachin Dev Burman) as well. When I asked him about these three names, he explained to me how the singer, lyricist and composer come together to give birth to a song. That was the first time I came to know the importance and role of these 3 contributors.
Now, another incident of the same year. I was a student of 11th standard. There were 2 cinema halls on the way from my residence to school. Whenever there was a film being shown, nearby hotels used to play gramophone records from those films only. I used to listen to those songs while going to and fro. Good songs and melodious compositions attracted me. On the pretext of drinking a cup of tea at hotel, I started noting down details of the singer, lyricist and composer of songs from the gramophone records as I wanted to know the names of all the persons connected therewith. While writing this testimony, I am reminded of another film produced by Padmini Pictures under the title ‘Dil Tera Deewana’. When I came across ‘Columbia Label’ of the film’s record (GE 33556), I came to know that there were Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar duet songs on both sides of the Record but for one song the name of Shailendra (Jaan-E-Wafa Jaan-E-Jahaan, Jaan-E-Tamanna Kahun) while the other song is written by Hasrat Jaipuri (Masoom Chehra Ye Qaatil Adaayein). Thus I came to know for the first time that there could be even more than one song writers for a film !!
The last incident relates to the year 1964. I had gone to see a film titled ‘Zindagi’, produced by Gemini. I still remember how excited I was when I heard the song ‘Muskura Laadle Muskura...’ which was seen and heard after the picturization of a Mohammed Rafi song on Rajendra Kumar. At that time, I could make out only that the voice did not belong to Mohammed Rafi. I got to know later only that it was Manna Dey’s vocals.
Thus, I started getting lots of information of songs from various films and I started ‘noting’ down the details. This was just the beginning (but not the end !!). The Film music continued to hypnotize me to the extent that I missed getting first class in the matric examination. But as I remember, it didn’t have any deep impact on me and I started listening music more keenly. I understood many things and came to know also many things. You can imagine as if the sea of music was like the waves that touched my feet so that I could get the sense of the same. The result of deviating from studies was in front of me. Somehow, I was able to pass the first year of B.Sc. but after that, I left studies almost.
Around the year 1968, it struck to me to compile a list of Hindi film songs, first starting from the year 1951 till date and after getting support and inspiration from music lovers, the period 1931–1950 would be taken up. But due to lack of resources, this remained a dream only. However, I continued writing down details of songs heard from Radio and other sources. As luck would have it, I got a government job when I was 24 years' old (presently posted at the Office of The Director Of Accounts (Postal), Administration – 1, A.I.R. Square, Nagpur 440 001 ; Phone : (0712) 531 541). Hence, I had to leave Nagpur and go to Jaipur to join thereat. At Jaipur, on going through an advertisement in ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ and somehow collecting the amount desired for the book through a limited income, I ordered for the book ‘Indian Filmography’ written by well known film journalist Feroze Rangoonwalla and started the process of compiling song details systematically.
I came in touch with Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ of Kanpur in December 1975 through the weekly newspaper ‘Screen’. During the exchange of letters, when I came to know that he had almost completed 50% of the compiling task (which had been dreamt by me) from 1931 to 1971, I was very happy and I decided to give him selfless support in this regard. There was a reason behind it as it was my earnest desire that a reference book like ‘Geet Kosh’ must be prepared. For the past 15 years, how I became his closest aide has been mentioned by Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ in all the 4 Volumes of this 'Geet Kosh'.
As I had keen interest in Hindi Film songs and music, I formed a ‘Saurabh Radio Shrota Sangh’ in Bhopal in the year 1977. Being himself associated with a listeners' club, I became well aware of lots of publications in which sarcastic remarks appeared for other listeners' clubs scattered all ovar. I felt pity on going through such publications. To give a new direction to such associations, I along with my friend Brijesh Krishna, launched ‘Saurabh – 77 (An yearly magazine carrying articles on film songs and music) which proved best among similar publications of other clubs but after releasing the first issue, I could never publish another issue due to financial constraints which I regret till now.
During the release function of ‘Volume-2’ of ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh held on 25 February, 1984, when ‘Hamraaz’ indicated that due to lack of interest, he has restricted his work upto 1970 only in 4 Volumes, I came forward to undertake the compilation of the songs from the point where he left as I believed that since a task of compiling has started, SHOW MUST GO ON. ‘Hamraaz’ was very happy on knowing that his own compatriot was ready to forward the ‘Geet Kosh’ series. During our various trips undertaken in the last 6-7 years for collecting information of earlier published volumes, we also started gathering information about the songs of the films released after 1970 as well.
One Mr. Anurag Mishra from Itawah provided lot of booklets for Volumes 5 and 6 of ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh’. With the efforts of Harish Raghuvanshi (Surat), the compiler of ‘Mukesh Geet Kosh’, many booklets of films or copies thereof were acquired from Shashi Zariwala and Harshvadan Bhagat. Some booklets were also received from film and cricket enthusiast Raju Bharatan. In April-May 1987, during our Bombay-Poona trip, with the active support of Sanjit Narvekar who was working with ‘Screen’ weekly, we got permission from its editor B.K.Karanjia to make photocopies of some of the booklets of films available thereat. We got imilar help from ‘National Films Archive of India’ in Poona and also from Shashikant Kinikar and Narayan Balkrishna Phadke. Music lovers from other cities who contributed include Piyush Vyas and Ramesh Rawal (Ahmedabad), Madhusudhan Bhatt and Arvind Shah (Rajkot), Murlidhar Soni (Jethana, Ajmer), Sushil Kumar Khatri (Kanpur) et al. Other than this, Vishwas Nerurkar, Prasad Sinkar, Chandravadan Desai, Chandubhai Modi, Subhash Bhatt, Dr Prakash Joshi, Sheel Kumar Sharma and many other music lovers of Bombay also helped us a lot. I want to remember specially Tejinder Miglani of Ludhiana. I am thankful to Miglani for providing gramophone disc catalogues of many companies and also for gathering correct and authentic information. I would like to thank Hasmukh Dalwadi (Nagpur) and his wife who contributed a lot for the compilation of songs for ‘Volume-5’. Other than these music lovers, I would also like to mention one more music lover Veerbhadra Singh Jhala (Narwar, Distt. Ujjain, M.P.). He had noted down information of good number of Gramophone records from the catalogues thereof in thick exercise books along with collecting information of songs from Hindi films released between 1962 and 1973. All the information collected by him has been carefully embedded in various volumes of ‘Geet Kosh’.
During our visit to Bombay in December 1989, we were introduced to Shri Kailashnath Jaiswal and Vijay Bandekar who were the Recording Officers in the ‘Gramophone Company Of India Limited’ office situated at Sir Pherozeshah Mehta Road. During the conversations with them, we came to know that even now the ‘instruction memo’ published by their ‘A & R Department’ were available thereat. On these memos, details of gramophone records released from 1938, be it for film or non-film, are given. After getting permission and visiting the office daily for about 10 days, I noted down the details directly on the manuscript of proposed ‘Volume-5’ and 'Hamraaz' also updated earlier published volumes of Geet Kosh accordingly with the information he found thereat. I wish to put on record the cooperation extended so generously by the said recording officers of HMV. Here, it is worth to mention that I had finished preparing the manuscript of ‘Volume-5’ in 3 months (May, July and October 1989). I am also grateful to the officers of my section who approved my leave requests whenever I was involved in finishing the task of publication of ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh’.
Whenever we had visited Bombay in connection with the trips for ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh’, Shyam Samant, a music lover, always provided hospitality for which I am thankful to him and his Family. I would always remember the love and affection that they gave us.
I would now like to mention about a local friend Shri Shrikant Vakil who lent us support by mind, body and wealth. Other than typing various information, he also helped in preparing the Title Index and Film Index both in Hindi and English for including the same in ‘Volume-5’. It was due to his constant support that I never felt alone in the tasks undertaken by me.
At the last stage of publication, Murlidhar Soni from Jaipur (he is working on compiling ‘Rajasthani Film Geet Kosh’) checked more than 664 printed pages for preparing ‘Corrigenda’ and 'Addenda' for which I am thankful to him.
It was due to the stubborn hard work of ‘Hamraaz’ that upon taking the full responsibility of releasing this ‘Geet Kosh’, I have been able to present this Volume to music lovers for which I am indebted to him.
And lastly I am thankful to my wife Geeta. She was a good companion during my good and bad moods due to compilation work. She always encouraged me. I am thankful to my only daughter ‘Pratiti’ also whose time I snatched to watch films and kept myself involved in the work of ‘Geet Kosh’.
I am solely responsible for any shortcomings as I am the compiler of this Volume including any errors as well. If readers are able to find out any errors/shortcomings, they should feel free to contact me (either personally or through post). I shall always feel grateful to them.
Here, I would also like to mention that the task of accumulating the missing information from various volumes is still going on. It is my request to all music lovers that they can directly contact ‘Hamraaz’ if they find any information that has been left out or is not found in any of the volumes of the ‘Geet Kosh’.
It is my firm belief that the readers would welcome the present Volume in the way they have valued the previous 4 Volumes of the ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh’.
Before becoming a ‘Compiler’, I am also a music lover first like all of you. Hence, I would like to thank again all those music lovers and well-wishers who have directly or indirectly supported me.
Nagpur : 1st January, 1991 Bishwa Nath Chatterjee