Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #19

Before I begin today, let me tell you about the Annual Navy Veterans Lunch hosted by the C-in-C (West) that Lyn and I attended four days ago, on Sunday the 26th Nov 17 that is. I was pleasantly surprised to know many people access my blog daily for these songs and also those in Raaga Based Songs of the Day series. It also came out that people know me more as Sunbyanyname than my real name. Thank you for your abiding interest, ladies and gentlemen.

The nineteenth day of songs in this series.

In the last eighteen days, we have taken up songs of nine male singers: Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, SD Burman and KL Saigal. We also took up songs of nine female singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Suman Kalyanpur, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, Uma Devi (Tun Tun), Suraiya and Zohrabai Ambalewali and Sudha Malhotra.

Tonight, we shall take up a song of our tenth male singer: Pankaj Mullick and the song is my most favourite: Tere mandir ka hoon deepak jal raha, a bhajan.

Pankaj Mullick was one of the first few of Indian Cinema personalities who was awarded the highest: the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. As a matter of interest, the award was introduced in 1969 and was won by Devika Rani, the first lady of Indian Cinema. In 1970, it went to Birendranath Sircar (founder of two production companies International Filmcraft and New Theatres) followed by Prithviraj Kapoor in 1971. That makes Pankaj Mulick the fourth ever recipient of this award in 1972.

Pankaj Mullick was a composer, music director, one of the earliest playback singers and he also acted in a few movies. He was born in Calcutta on 10 May 1905 and he died on 19 Feb 1978. An important turning point in his life came when, after finishing his studies, he came in contact with Dinendranath Tagore, who was Rabindranath Tagore’s great-nephew. This led to Pankaj Mullick’s lasting interest in Rabindra Sangeet. Rabindranath Tagore, in turn, grew fond of him, and soon Mullick became known as one of the leading exponents of Tagore’s songs.

Some of my favourite songs that Pankaj Mullick either composed or sang are: Aayi bahaar aaj aayi bahaar (Doctor, 1940), Ai qaatib-e-taqadiir mujhe itnaa bata de, Do naina matwaare tihaare (Sung by KL Saigal on his composition in Meri Behan, 1944), Chale pawan ki chaal (an all time favourite from Doctor, 1941, sung and composed by him on Kavi Pradeep’s lyrics), Duniya rang rangeeli baba (Dharmatama, 1938), Jeevan naiya behati jaaye (beautiful song on the lyrics of Ali Sardar Jafri for Zalzalaa, 1952), Karun kyaa aas niraas bhayi (Kl Saigal in Dushman, 1939), Mehak rahi phulwari hamaari (Doctor, 1941 again. Incidentally, Pankaj Mullick also acted in the movie), Main kyaa jaanu jaadu hai (KL Saigal in Zindagi, 1940), Pawan chale zor lahar machaaye shor (again from Zalzalaa but penned by Satya Kumar; it was a Dev Anand starrer), Piya milan ko jaana (an all time favourite of mine from Kapala Kundala, 1939. It was Pankaj Mullick all the way as Lyricist, Composer, Singer and Actor), Ye kaun aaj aaya savere savere (lyrics by Munshi Arzoo, sung and composed by Pankaj Mullick, 1940. He acted in the movie too), Jab chaand mera nikala chhayin thi ghataayen (Non-film, penned by Faiyyaz Hashmi and composed by F Casanovas), Kaun des hai jaana baabu (Mukti, 1937; once again Pnkaj Mullick all the way), and Ye raaten ye mausam hasna hasaana (Non film, another all time favourite).

Piya milan ko jaana, one of my all time favourites of Pankaj Mullick. Song was penned, composed, sung and acted on by Pankaj Mullick in Kapala Kundala, 1939. Leela Desai shared the lead with him in the movie

Not many people know that Pankaj Mullick sacrificed his own interests in favour of KL Saigal. For example, the 1944 movie Meri Nehan songs that I have listed above were actually recorded in the voice of Pankaj Mulick and he was already playing the lead role in the movie. Half way through, BN Sircar, the owner of New Theatres (I have already told you above that Sircar received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award two years before Pankaj Mullick) asked Pankaj Mullick to let KL Saigal sing the songs and be the lead actor in the movie. Pnakaj Mullick was more famous than KL Saigal at that time but he gracefully agreed.

The song Tere mandir ka hoon deepak was penned by Pt. Madhur. He was a writer, lyricist and producer. He wrote the following movies’ stories: Tulsidas (1954), Banjarin (1960), Parasmani (1963) and Mahabharat (1965). Some of his popular songs are: Chanda re mori patiya le jaa and Ek baar dharti pe aake dekh Bhagwan (Banjarin, 1960), Duniya ye duniya Toofan Mail, Rona hai bekaar pagli (Song sung by Kanan Devi in Jawab, 1942 on the composition of Kamal Dasgupta), Ho chand chamka andhere mein aaj hai (Humayun, 1945; song sung by Shamshad Begum on the composition by Ghulam Haider), Sanjh bhaye ghar aaya panchhi (Sanyasi, 1945; song composed by Naushad and sung by Shaam Kumar), Suno ji pyaari koyaliya bole (Also from Sanyasi, 1945 but sung by Zohrabai Ambalewali and Amar), and Zaara bolo kyaa logi is dil ka kiraaya (Song sung by Mukesh and Kusum and composed by Firoz Nizami in Us Paar, 1944).

The most popular song penned by Pt. Madhur was picturised on Kanchan Kamini and Manhar Desai in 1960 movie Banjaran and sung by Lata and Mukesh

The bhajan that I am giving you (this is the first song in the series that is a bhajan anbd a non-film one at that) is sung for Lord Krishna and talks about deep and abiding devotion to Him. In the first stanza, the devotee (Pankaj Mullick) asks the Lord if He is a stranger to the devotee’s ache for Him; if he is new to Him? In the second stanza, the devotee is longing to obtain just one glimpse of Krishna. The third stanza is by far the best. The devotee wants to change his destiny with that of Krishna’s Bansuri (Flute) since she is so close to the Lord.

Curiously, all the favourites of Krishna are in the lyrics of the song: the Kadamb tree in the second stanza, the Jamuna river in the last stanza, and thje Batasha sweet in the first stanza. Naturally, the song has lyrics that have been penned by Pt. Madhur who knew the history well. On top of that, Pankaj Mullick’s singing and composition not just bring out the dard of the devotee but instantly take you to the scenes that Krishna was popular for.

Please enjoy Pankaj Mullick sing on his own composition a non-film bhajan: Tere mandir ka hoon deepak jal raha….

तेरे मन्दिर का हूँ दीपक जल रहा
आग जीवन में मैं भर कर जल रहा, जल रहा
तेरे मन्दिर का हूँ दीपक जल रहा

क्या तू मेरे ददर् से अन्जान है
तेरी मेरी क्या नयी पहचान है
जो बिना पानी बताशा ढल रहा
आग जीवन में मैं भर कर …

इक झलक मुझ को दिखा दे साँवरे, साँवरे
मुझ को ले चल तू गधुम की छाँव रे, साँवरे
और छलिया आ आ आ
और छलिया क्यों मुझे तू छल रहा
आग जीवन में मैं भर कर …

मैं तो क़िसमत बाँसुरी के बाँछता
एक धुन से सौ तरह से नाचता
आँख से जमुना का पानी डल रहा
आग जीवन में मैं भर कर …

Bhajans are and have been my favourite genre of songs. I must be really passionate about this that I have always chosen this over Pankaj Mullick’s Piya milan ko jaana. Lord Krishna is not just our most beloved avatar of God but also close to my heart. There must be something that makes people of all ages, sex, religions and positions in life reach out to Him, long for Him and go through the pain (dard or peedha) of not having a glimpse of Him. I guess amongst various reasons for it, one prominent one is that Krishna as avatar of God is not on a high platform in heavens but lived the life in ordinary human form. All His extraordinary abilities run parallel with his ordinary, humane antics.

The bhajan is my favourite song of this great singer and composer. Another great, Lata Mangeshkar, paid tribute to Pankaj Mullick by singing the same bhajan on Pankaj Mulick’s composition. In the following video, Lata’s tribute starts from minute 3:14:

I hope you enjoyed it too.

Please await tomorrow’s song.

© 2017, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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