Remembering Krishna Kalle


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 30, 2015           06.20 P.M.

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Let me admit that to most of the readers of my blog , the name Krishna Kalle means nothing . Her name doesn’t ring a familiar sound . To general public also , Krishna Kalle remains almost unknown. But for few people like me , who grew in the 60s , Krishna Kalle was a known name in the Hindi film music world. Her name does ring a familiar sound for the music buffs. So when I read about her death, I was saddened. She went unwept and unsung.

She died on March 15, 2015 at the age of 74 in Mumbai.

In the era of Lata Mangeshkar , she , along with Suman Kalyanpur , Mubarak Begam , Kamal Barot and Sharda tried hard to be in the limelight. All the above mentioned five playback singers , who were good in their own way , failed to make any significant mark in the era of a colossus known as Lata Mangeshkar. When even a giant like Asha Bhosle was also struggling to make her mark, what would anyone expect from the likes of Krishna Kalle , Suman Kalyanpur , Mubarak Begam , Kamal Barot and Sharda ?

For me Krishna Kalle is synonymous with few hit songs of 60s and early 70s. Meri Hasraton Ki Duniya  , her duet with Mohammad Rafi in a film called  ” Gaal Gulabi Nain Sharabi ” [ 1974 ]   and Hume Toh Maar Diya  , a duet with Mahendra Kapoor from the film ” Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain ” [ 1966 ] are still fresh in my memory. For the connoisseurs of old Hindi film songs, these are unforgettable gems. Other famous films of that era , which have her memorable songs ,  are : Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain  [ 1966 ] , Bambai Raat Ki Bahon Mein [ 1967 ] , Raaz [ 1967 ] , Naunihal [ 1967 ] , Shikar [ 1968 ] , Sati Sulochana [ 1969 ] and Gaal Gulabi Nain Sharabi  [ 1974 ]

She was born in Karwar. As her father were serving at Kanpur, she completed her schooling from there . She got the sanskar of Hindi and Urdu over there. At the age of 16, she started singing at Kanpur Radio Station. She sung in various Yatra singeet mahotsav in Uttar Pradesh and got popularity. In 1957, she was honoured with national level youth singing awards by India’s first president Rajendra Prasad and first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The following year, she bagged the All India Sugam Sangeet Award first prize , K.L. Sehgal Memorial’s Golden Voice Award and many others. And after this she got a job with All India Radio in 1960.

Arun Date first heard her voice, when she visited Mumbai . He introduced her to music director Yashwant Dev. This started her journey as Marathi singer.

She was active in the Hindi film industry for about a decade from 1960s to the 1970s. She sang over 200 Bollywood songs, 100 Marathi movie songs, 100 bhajans, ghazals and devotional songs . She also released non-film albums with famous singers like Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi.

Krishna Kalle has been named for the ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’ instituted by the Maharashtra government. Some other personalities who bagged the ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’ include : Manna Dey, Anil Biswas, Sudhir Phadke, Khayyam, Mahendra Kapoor, Suman Kalyanpur, Sulochana Chavan, Kalyanji (Shah), Manik Verma and Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Thus getting the above mentioned prestigious award shows her calibre as an artiste.

After her death, I tried to remember other hit songs of Krishna Kalle , apart from above mentioned two ,  but my memory failed me. Suddenly I found a website, where link of some of the songs are given . URL of the website is :

https://www.lyricsbogie.com/singer/krishna-kalle

Here I am posting links of some of her songs from that website :

Songs Sung by Krishna Kalle

 

 

It is sad that today’s generation doesn’t know or remember Krishna Kalle. It is very easy for any upstart to write what Shabana Azmi says about Dilip Kumar and post it on his timeline . They both are legends. everyone knows everything about them . But knowing and writing about a lesser known artiste like Krishna Kalle is the job of a fan , a lover of old film songs and a connoisseur. For people like me she was one of the representatives of the golden era of Hindi film music.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my heartfelt condolences and pray that her near and dear ones get strength to bear this loss.

May God bless you Krishna ji ! In this life you never got the kind of success you deserved . I pray to God to be more kind to you in your next birth.

 

Farewell madam !! Accept this tribute from an ardent fan .

[ I have quoted some facts of Krishna Kalle’s life from Wikipedia . List of her songs are taken from the website : https://www.lyricsbogie.com/singer/krishna-kalle

I express my gratitude . ]

 

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New Female Playback Singers of Hindi Films


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 10 , 2012           00.35 A.M.

When ” Alam Ara ” , the first Indian talkie , hit the screen in 1931 , an era started , which could easily be called the era of singing stars . All the actors sang their own songs on the screen . Well known female stars of that era were no exception . From Devika Rani to Leela Chitnis and from Kanan Devi to lesser known starlets, every heroine worth the name sang their own songs .

English: Alam Ara poster, 1931.

Alam Ara poster, 1931. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani in a Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kanan Devi

Kanan Devi (Photo credit: tonymitra)

Then came the era of Noor Jahan and Suraiya . Both were immensely popular stars and huge singers of their generation . Their songs and their films are still popular . Their retirement from the films finally brought an end to the glorious era of singing stars . Salma Agha , another singing star , came in ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ]  but it was an exception . Singing stars era had ended much earlier .

After the end of singing stars era , playback singing in films became popular . Rajkumari Dubey could be called the first female playback singer . She started her singing career in 1940 . Her songs with Mukesh in ” Bawre Nain “[ 1950 ]  are still famous and they are memorable . Modern day movie goer are familiar with her song from ” Pakeeza “[ 1972 ]  . It is ….. najaria ki mari mari more saiyan …….

Another playback singer from that era was Shamshad Begum . She rose to prominence with ” Khazanchi ” [ 1941 ] and ” Khandaan ” [ 1942 ] . Her career suffered major set back with the advent and subsequent supremacy of Lata Mangeshkar andAsha Bhosle . Amirbai Karnataki was another famous playback singer from that era .

Then began an era which is known as Lata Mangeshkar Era . She , along with her younger sibling Asha Bhosle , dominated the playback scene of Hindi films like a colossus for almost 5 decades .

English: Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Indian singer Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During their era many singers came and went into oblivion . Geeta Dutt , Suman Kalyanpur , Kamal Barot ,  Sudha Malhotra , Mubarak Begum and Sharda came and eclipsed quickly without leaving a mark .

In 70s , while Lata Mangeshkar was still reigning supreme , again a new crop of female playback singers emerged . Alka Yagnik , Sadhana Sargam , Kavita Krishnamurty andAnuradha Paudwal came , gave some memorable hits and faded into oblivion . Lata Mangeshkar still ruled and gave memorable hits like ; Yash Chopra directed  ” Veer – Zaara ” [ 2004 ] .

Now a new crop of playback singers are hovering on the horizon . Shreya Ghoshal has become numero Uno like Lata Mangeshkar and Sunidhi Chauhan has almost taken Asha Bhosle’s place . But there are other female playback singers  also . They are fast emerging on the scene .

ADITI SINGH SHARMA : With chart – busters like ; ” Aali Re …. ” & ” Dilli , Dilli …… ” in ” No One Killed Jessica “ and ” Chhoomantar ….. ” in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan , she became a singer to watch in future .

ALYSSA MENDONSA : Daughter of Loy Mendonsa of Shankar – Ahsan – Loy fame , she sang ” Uff Teri Ada ……. ” in ” Karthik Calling Karthik “ and immensely popular ” Khwabon Ke Parindey ….. ” in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara .

ANUSHKA MANCHANDA : She sang re-mix version of ” Dum Maro Dum …… ” with a rare conviction and forced everyone to take notice of her talent .

HARSHDEEP KAUR : With ” Katiya Karoon ….. ” of  ” Rockstar “ and ” Jugni ………….. ” of ” Cocktail “ , she hit big and is surely on her way to the top .

MAHALAXMI IYER : She hit the bull’s-eye with ” Ae Ajnabee ……….. ” in ” Dil Se ” , ” Sadka Kiya ………… ” in ” I Hate Luv Storys “ and hugely popular Punjabi numbers like ; ” Laung Da Lashkara ……. ” & ” Rola Pe Gaya …….. ” in ” Patiala House ” .

NEHA BHASIN : ” Kuchh Khas Hai …….. ” in ” Fashion “ and ” Dhunki Dhunki ……. ” in ” Mere Brother Ki Dulhan “ brought her on the top .

SHIPLA RAO : In a hit number like : ” Khuda Jane …………… ” of ” Bachna Ae Haseenon “ , she found her moorings .

SHRUTI PATHAK : With ” Marjaawan …………… ” in ” Fashion “ and ” Payaliya ………… ” in ” Dev D “ , she arrived and made her presence felt .

SHWETA PANDIT : She made her debut in Yash Raj Films ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] . From ” Mohabbatein “ to ” Mere Brother Ki Dulhan ” [ 2011 ]  , she had sung several hits in Hindi . She regularly performs with A. R. Rehman‘s stage shows also . She is extremely popular singer in Telugu films also .

With Shweta Pandit in My Office

With Shweta Pandit in My Office

In a way she is my student . Though she never took admission in my Acting Institute and didn’t come to my regular batch . But still she come to my institute whenever she is free and participates in the improvisation classes of my institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

I am happy for her and wish her greater success . I am sure in years to come she will be top playback singer of India .

I am happy that I have at least one student in playback singing field also .

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80 Years of ” Alam Ara ” : India’s First Talkie


NIGHT……………………………….11.00

On March 14 , 1931 Indian cinema created history . First Hindi talkie ” ALAM ARA “ made by Ardeshir Irani was released on this very day in the Majestic cinema of Bombay [ now Mumbai ] Though , ” RAJA HARISCHANDRA ” , first ever full – length silent feature film of India was made by Dada Saheb Phalke , the pioneer of Indian cinema , in 1913.

scanned from personal collection Removed from ...

Dada Saheb Phalke - Father of Indian Cinema

A scene from indian movie

A scene from Indian movie Raja Harishchandra

A still of a scene from the first full-length ...

A scene from Indian movie Raja Harishchandra

It took almost 18 years to produce a talkie film and Ardeshir Irani became the pioneer. ” ALAM ARA ” made under the banner of Imperial Movietone had Master Vithal and Zubeida as the leading stars of the film and the movie had 7 memorable songs including DE DE KHUDA KE NAAM PAR sung by Wazir Mohammad Khan , who also played a faqir in the film . In those early years of talkie era there were no system of recording the song , Ardeshir Irani recorded it live with harmonium and tabla . This particular song is considered as the first ever song of not only Hindi films but Indian films as well. Music of ” ALAM ARA “ was given by Ferozshah M. Mistri and B. Irani .When released in the Majestic cinema hall of Bombay [ now Mumbai ] it created history . Public frenzy was to be seen to be believed , and finally police had to be summoned to control the crowd .

Director, Ardeshir Irani recording, Alam Ara f...

Ardeshir Irani recording a Song of Alam Ara

Alam Ara poster, 1931.

Alam Ara poster, 1931.

The film is a love story between a prince and a gypsy girl, based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David. David later served as a writer at Irani’s film company. The story centers on an imaginary, historical royal family in the kingdom of Kumarpur. The main characters are the king and his two warring wives Dilbahar and Navbahar. Their rivalry escalates when a fakir predicts that Navbahar will bear the king’s heir. Dilbahar, in revenge, attempts to have an affair with the kingdom’s chief minister Adil. The affair goes sour and a vengeful Dilbahar imprisons him and exiles his daughter, Alam Ara (Zubeida). In exile, Alam Ara is brought up by Gypsies. Upon returning to the palace at Kumarpur, Alam Ara meets and falls in love with the charming young prince (Master Vithal). In the end, Adil is released, Dilbahar is punished and the lovers marry.

A rare still from Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara, t...

A rare still from Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara

Description: Low-resolution reproduction of pu...

A Scene fron Alam Ara

After the fire at National Film Archive of India, Pune, in 2003, which destroyed the last surviving prints of several classics such as Raja Harishchandra and Achhut Kanya, this film is no longer available in its original format.

Master Vithal and Zubeida in Alam Ara, 1931.

Master Vithal and Zubeida in Alam Ara, 1931.

Newpaper advertisement for first Indian talkie...

Newspaper advertisement for Alam Ara

The name of the actors , who played major role in ” ALAM ARA ” , is worthy of notice for the today’s film connoisseurs. Apart from Master Vithal and Zubeida Begum Dhanrajgir [ known as Zubeida ] , it had singer Wazir Mohammad Khan as a faqir. Three prominent actors , who were part of the cast of ” ALAM ARA ” and who played major role in the talkie era and are known to today’s generation also , were Prithvi Raj Kapoor , Jillo Bai and L. V. Prasad .

Prithvi Raj Kapoor went on to play major roles in many films , won many awards and created an empire. His legacy was carried forward by his sons ; Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kpoor. Later on legacy was carried forward by his grandsons ; Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajeev Kapoor. Now fourth generation of Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s family is working in films. They are Kareena Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor’s daughter manages Prithvi Theatre , made to commemorate  Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s memory.

Jillo Bai was seen as Madhubala’s mother in ” Mughal – E – Azam “ and as mother – in law of Nargis in ” Mother India “ .

Case of L. V. Prasad is more curious. He worked as an actor in first Hindi talkie ” ALAM ARA ” , first Tamil talkie ” KALIDAS ” and first Telugu talkie ” BHAKT PRAHLAD ” , all released in 1931. Later on he stablished a major production company named as Prasad Productions and made hits like ; ” SHARDA ” , ” CHHOTI BAHAN ” , ” BETI BETE ” , ” DADI MAA ” , ” MILAN ” , ” JEENE KI RAH ” , ” RAJA AUR RANK ” ,  ” KHILONA ” and ” EK DUJE KE LIYE ” .

It is sad that no print of the epic movie ” ALAM ARA “ is available today. This part of our history is lost for ever and no one is bothered . Ardeshir Irani’s path-breaking film is lost forever.

Ardeshir Irani, (1886 - 1969)

Ardeshir Irani, (1886 - 1969)

Ardeshir Irani died in 1969 , when I was studying in intermediate and Zubeida Begum Dhanrajgir a.k.a. Zubeida died in 1988, one year before I came to Mumbai to make a career in films.

Zubeida, a silent era actress in Indian Cinema...

Zubeida, a silent era actress

[ Synopsis of ” ALAM ARA “ is taken from Wikipedia. I have not seen the film , so for the story I have to rely on Wikipedia. I express my gratitude . ]

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