A Year in Hindi Movies 1940


1940 - Naushad's first movie all by himself

Great Naushad gave music for the movie Prem Nagar by himself,
after being an assistant MD for many years. There were 13 songs
including 4 choruses, a style for which he is justifiably famous. Songs
were written by Dina Nath Madhok. There are excellent articles on
Naushad available on the RMIM automailer, get numbers 16, 41 and 44. I
will just quote his opinion on the comparison between classical and movie

Dr. B. V. Keskar became minister of information and broadcasting
in 1952. He was a devotee of classical music and wanted to "force" it on
the Indian public. He hated film music and in 1954, which is smack in
the middle of the golden age of film music, said that "except for raw and
immature people like children and adolescents, householders in general
detested film music." He greatly reduced the time given to film music,
and, banned the mentioning of the name of the movie saying that that
amounts to advertising! Movie indutry protested.

I am paraphrasing what Naushad said in 1956. Classical sangeet
has never been the province of the masses. It was born in sacred temples
and flourished in the courts of Rajas and Nawabs. The attempt to
make this highly specialized music a part of everyday environment was an
artificial imposition. To many millions of Indians it was almost as
remote as the music of British string ensembles. The film music, on the
other hand, a spontaneous and exuberant growth, emerging from much older
folk music traditions and adapting itself to a new era and its
influences was the real folk music of modern India.

As everybody knows, Radio Ceylon flourished due to lack of film
music on All India Radio. Of course the government gave in later by
establishing Vividh Bharati, a channel devoted almost entirely to film

The number of Hindi movies produced in 1940 remained below 100
for the third year in a row. Some notable ones are:

aflaatuun aurat - It has an English song that begins,"My dear Indian
ladies no mind no brain ..." It was written by Munshi Aziz
Nagpuri. I don't know what happened to him.

aurat - This was the famous Mehboob movie that was remade in color as
Mother India later. Kanhayyalal played exactly the same role in
both versions.

bandhan - a very popular movie strring the pair Ashok Kumar, Leela
Chitnis. Has beautiful songs by Pandit Pradeep. "Chal chal re
naujavaa.n" was the big hit and my grandmother still sings,
"chane jor garam baabuu mai.N laayaa mazedaar".

nartakii - has the almost modern numbers, "madabharii rut javaan hai" and
"ye kaun aayaa savere savere" by inimitable Pankaj Mullick.
zindagii - Saigal shines again. Sings an absolutely enchanting lori, "so
jaa raajakumaarii so jaa", a lori that Lata used to practice as a
child. Two more songs are famous, "mai.N kyaa jaanu.n kya jaaduu
hai, in do matavale ...", and, "diivaanaa hu.N diivaanaa hu.N,
raahat se mai.N begaanaa hu.N". This was his 18th movie, he will
make 10 more.

Much of the info comes from:

1. The Encyclopaedia, volume 1, compiled by Mr. Har Mandir Singh
"Hamraaz", published by Mrs. Satinder Kaur, his wife.

2. Listeners' Bulletin, a monthly, edited by Hamraaz Saahib and
published by the Secretary, the Flying Listener's Club, Kanpur.

Surjit Singh, a movie fan period.
is my preferred address.

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