RMIM Archive Article "250".
From the RMIM Article Archive maintained by Satish Subramanian
# RMIM Archives..
# Subject: Suman Kalyanpur
# Posted in two parts. Both parts are included below.
# Posted by: ADhareshwar@worldbank.org (Ashok)
# Author: ADhareshwar@worldbank.org (Ashok)
From the RMIM Article Archive maintained by Satish Subramanian
Suman Kalyanpur Part -I
In getting a reading on Suman's quality output, it would be
interesting to use some P-statistical criteria (kind of high-pass
filter) and see if any song comes through:
1. Composed by an acknowledged maestro, known for great Lata songs.
2. Did not use Suman under duress (example of use under duress would be:
the MD or the producer or the male singer for a duet had a tiff going
with Lata at the time). Can't be sure of this criterion for the
mid-60s when Rafi and Lata weren't singing together.
3. There should be Lata songs in the film.
4. Suman's songs should be picturized on the heroine.
Please note, these criteria are by mo means necessary conditions for
the emergence of a great Suman song! Most of her best songs violate
one or more of these criteria. (I wonder if these conditions might,
however, be sufficient for a great song! Gets into murky territory,
such as whether a S-J composition meets the first criterion. :))
* Unfortunately, couldn't think of many songs that meet all the conditions!
The clearest case that does meet them is the film 'Noorjehan', with music
by Roshan and lyrics by Shakeel. Interestingly, the film has more songs
by Suman (2) than Lata (1)! They are picturized on Meena Kumari. The
Suman solo from the film is one of the finest ever for the singer:
sharaabi sharaabi ye saavan ka mausam
khudaa ki qasam khoobsoorat na hota
agar is me.n rang-e-mohabbat na hota
Although it's from the late 60s, by which time Suman's voice had thickened
and lost its earlier sweetness, Suman sounds very young and fresh here.
As you are captivated by the song, from the relatively less open way
of singing, you can tell it is not Lata. Looks like as clear-cut a case
as we are ever going to get of an MD preferring Suman over Lata for a song.
The other song in the film, by Suman and chorus, is also very nice:
aai baad-e-bahaari le ke dard jawaani
allah allah kitane pyaare din aa gaye
Let me remark that the sole Lata song in the film is very good, as we
woule expect from Roshan:
raat ki mehfil sooni sooni
aankh pur_nam, dil naakaam
* The next song to meet all the criteria is the Mukesh-Suman duet from
"Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen' (SDB, Shailendra): "ye kis ne geet chheDaa".
Suman comes in for just this song, Lata handling the rest.
* The final example is similar to the above. In 'Saathi', Naushad brought
Suman for the duet with Mukesh "mera pyar bhi tu hai", but Lata for the
I hope RMIMers will come with more examples that meet the criteria.
* If we relax the conditions, other songs come through. In 'Dil Hi To Hai',
Roshan has a lovely sad solo by Suman and a happy duet by Mukesh and
Suman. Interestingly, both songs have very similar tunes!
yu.n hi dil ne chaaha thaa rona rulaana
chura le na tum ko ye mausam suhaana
khuli vaadiyo.n me.n akeli na jaana.
As far as I know, there are no Lata songs in 'Dil Hi To Hai.'
* Then there is the wonderful Suman-Kamal Baarot duet that Roshan composed
for 'Barsaat Ki Raat': "garajat barasat saawan aayo ri". I think, Suman's
voice is on Shyama. Anyway, Lata is used for Madhubala and Shyama in the
* Madan Mohan has this superb slow-paced Rafi-Suman duet in 'Jahan Ara':
baad muddat pe ye ghaDi aai
aap aae to zindagi aai
ishq marmar (?) ke kaam_yaab hua
aaj ek zarra bhi aafataab hua
It does meet the other conditions, but the song is from the mid-60s and
one doesn't know if the choice of Suman was forced.
* Two of Khayyam's 60s films, 'Shagoon' and 'Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain' have
no Lata songs, but are loaded with Suman gems. Two topnotch Rafi-Suman
duets from these films would head the hit parade:
parbato.n ke peDo.n par shaam ka baseraa hai
surmayi ujaala hai, chamkayi andhera hai ('Shagoon')
Thehariye hosh me.n aa lu.n, to chale jaayiega (MIKH)
I think these songs came in the no-Lata-Rafi-duets period, but I like
the tunes and the singing so much that I have no incentive to speculate
on how they would be with Lata. In any case, Khayyam used Suman for
many solos in these films:
bujha diye hai.n khud apane haatho.n ('Shagoon'),
zindagi zulm sahi, jabar sahi, Gam hi sahi ( " )
jo ham pe guzarti hai ....(muddled about words here) (MIKH).
* You can read about the Suman K. gems composed by Ghulam Mohammad
for his last film 'Shama', in the RJGK 32 answers post.
* There are a couple of instances of very good Suman songs from MDs
who perhaps used Suman because they had fallen out with Lata at that
time. Two great Suman songs came from C. Ramchandra, perhaps the
greatest MD for Lata songs, in a 1960 film, 'Aanchal.' One is a
marvellous solo, which has two versions (lyrics by Pradeep):
saawariyaa re, apani meera ko bhool na jaana
The other one is one of the best group-dance songs I have heard. It
is sung by Asha, Suman K. and chorus:
naache re, naache re, naachere, raadha naache
sakhiyaa.n naache, gopiyaa.n naache
naache kanhaiyaa ke gaao.n me.n
sarbhar kar bijaliyaa.n paao.n me.n
Another CR film of the same period was 'Amar Rahe Yeh Pyar' (incidentally,
a very good film, with Nalini Jaywant, Rajendra Kumar, and Nanda), which
had the following song, sung by Pradeep and Suman K.:
mai.n teri koi nahi.n re, beTa
(Not a proper duet. Pradeep sings the prelude and Suman K., the main song.)
My guess is that CR would have used Lata for these songs under normal
* A similar case is perhaps SD Burman's 'Miya Biwi Raazi.' It has two
exquitsite Suman K. solos:
khuli hai aankh magar, khwaab hai wahi ka wahi
chhoDo, chhoDo more baiyaa.n, saaware
"Baat Ek Raat Ki' with "na tum hame.n jaano" perhaps falls into this
* Finally, this intriguing song is from V. Shantaram's 'Ladki Sahyadri Ki'
with music by Vasant Desai. The film is perhaps a dub from Marathi and the
tune also has that flavour:
tohri ungali se krishna, kaise jhar rahi rakt ki ye dhaara
In order to strike the really rich vein of Suman hits, one will have to
abandon condition 1 above, and go for the relatively obscure MDs. I'll
mention just a few favorites, but before that let me quickly dispose of
the murky territory. I'm sure mediocre MDs like Chitragupta, S-J, L-P,
K-A, Ravi, and Usha Khanna have a bunch of Suman hits; I'll leave it to
the fans of these MDs to dig them up. (I'll offer to do Chitragupta. :))
One of the earliest Suman K. (Suman Hemmadi then) songs I have heard is
this duet with Talat from 'Darwaza' (1954, I think):
ek dil do hai.n talab_daar baDi mushkil hai
kashmakash me.n hai meraa pyar baDi mushkil hai.
He later composed this catchy solo from 'Rooplekha':
tu ne churaai mere maathe ki bindiyaa
beimaan rasiyaa o beimaan rasiyaa
One of the all-time great songs of Suman K. is this much-neglected gem from
"Sara Jahaan Hamaara':
ye phoolo.n ka gajaraa, ye meraa singaar
ho koi leke aaya hai sapane hazaar
o phoolo.n ka gajaraa o o
He also composed this delightful Manna Dey-Suman duet for 'Reshmi Rumaal':
aankh me.n shokhi, lab pe jaadu
chaal qayaamat, toba toba
Here's an example which would meet all the conditions above, if we agree
to consider him great, whcih he certainly was for this film, at least.
Yes, the superb soundtrack is enriched by this lovely Suman song, slow-
likh de piyaa ka naam, sakhi ri
He also composed a lovely Mukesh-Suman duet, of the calibre of the
SDB and Naushad ones mentioned above, for 'Madan Manjari':
sun more rasiyaa, sun man basiyaa, chhoD ke ab nahi.n jaana
pyar nibhaaunga, dil se na jaaunga, mai.n to tera hi deewaana
I am not sure I want to have anything to do with a film, with the title
"Rocket Tarzan', except that surprisingly good songs can be lurking in
any Hindi film. This one has one of the earliest songs penned by Yogesh
GauD, where he seems to have drawn inspiration from Rajinder Krishan's
"Adalat' song. Be that as it may, the song is an absolute beauty:
un ko ham se baDi shikaayat hai
pyar karanaa hamaari aadat hai
I wanted to include this song in RJGK 28, but don't remember any stanzas!
A Manna Dey song from 'Sapera' did get included there. But the film is
chockful of lovely Suman songs:
bairi chheD na aisi raag,
jis se laage dil ko aag.
????? kya hoga
o re piyaa, mora taDape jiya
bolo bolo bolo piya, kyo.n liyaa mera jiya.
Also a duet with Manna Dey:
raat ne gesu bikharaae, mera dil mujh ko taDapaae
kis ne chheena hai bolo mere chaand ko
He certainly was better than his masters here. Witness the lovely solos:
beete hue din kuchh aise hi hai.n
yaad aate hi dil machal jaae ('First Love')
kehti hai jhuki jhuki nazar ('Zindagi Aur Khwab')
itani baDi jahaa.n me.n apna bhi koi hota
ham bhi to muskurate, apana use banaate ('Dark Street')
Suman Kalyanpur Part -II
> In order to strike the really rich vein of Suman hits, one will have to
> abandon condition 1 above, and go for the relatively obscure MDs. I'll
> mention just a few favorites, but before that let me quickly dispose of
> the murky territory. I'm sure mediocre MDs like Chitragupta, S-J, L-P,
> K-A, Ravi, and Usha Khanna have a bunch of Suman hits; I'll leave it to
> the fans of these MDs to dig them up. (I'll offer to do Chitragupta. :))
Reason for following up on my own article is: I was roundly taken to task
through e-mail by Arun Verma and Balaji for one particular inclusion in
the above list of mediocre MDs. I must say no criticism ever felt sweeter!
The choice of the word 'mediocre' was perhaps unfortunate. I had in mind
MDs one league below SDB, CR, Naushad, et al. Plus, I had thought that
ranking Chitragupta ahead of Shankar-Jaikishan was heresy enough for RMIM! :)
But, no! Perhaps, as Ajay Nerukar said "your campaign has created the
impression that you rate him highly, hence the surprise, shock, amazement and
I stand chastized and here goes:
Perhpas the most interesting Chitragupta film, from the point of view of
Suman K. songs, is 'Main Shadi Karne Chala.' It has Suman K. as the main
female singer and no Lata songs. Intriguingly, it is of the same vintage
as 'Main Chup Rahungi' where all the female songs are by Lata. 'Main Shadi
Karne Chala' is an IS Johar, Saeeda Khan starrer, with lyrics by Majrooh.
Has that rarity, a Rafi/Suman tandem song:
jazbaa-e-dil jo salaamat hai, to insha allah
Nice song, but I think more popular Suman solo from the film was picturized
on Mumtaz or Praveen Choudhury:
mai.n hu.n akeli kis kis ko samajhaoo.n haai rabba
(Is the continuation "dil naadaa.n, dil maasoom, kya hoga, or am I mixing
The most ambitious effort on behalf of Suman K. was perhaps the duet with
jab se ham tum, bahaaro.n me.n
ho baiThe gum, nazaaro.n me.n
jaise ye zindagi, jaage aa.nkho.n kaa khwaab hai
Very nice song, but interestingly, as it turned out, it got upstaged by
its tandem, which was picturized on the many (six actually!) side pairs
in the film. The tandem duet was sung by Mukesh and Kamal Barot and was
by far the more popular of the two on the radio.
For 'Adhi Raat Ke Baad', Chitragupta composed the Rafi-Suman duet:
bahut hasee.n hai.n tumaari aa.nkhe.n
kaho to mai.n in se pyaar kar lu.n
baDaa hai dhokha teri nazar me.n
mai.n kis tarhaa etbaar kar lu.n
I suspect it belongs to the period when Lata and Rafi didn't sing together.
The other female songs are by Lata, one of them a great one:
meraa dil bahaaro.n ka vo phool hai
jise gulsitaa.n ki nazar lag gayi hai.
A lovely Suman K. solo comes from 'Mera Qasoor Kya Hai' a Bharat Bhushan and
mujhe kabhi kabhi sapna ye aae
ke shyaam meri galiyo.n me.n bansuri bajaae
Lata has the other songs, including the title song:
dar dar ki Thokaro.n, itanaa mujhe bataa do, mera qasoor kya hai
My favourite from the film is, though, a duet with Lata and, who else,
Mahendra Kapoor :) :
koi aanevaala hai, koi aanevaala hai
chaand hi Doliyaa me.n ho ke savaar
Finally, let me mention a strangely forgotten film of Chitragupta: 'Aulad',
with Jeetendra and Babita. Strangely because the songs are nice and the
film was quite a sucess in its time (mid-to-late 60s, I think). From
Suman, comes the solo
dagaabaazi piya, tere, dil me.n hai
somewhat reminiscent of his own Lata-Usha beauty from 'Burma Road' (I think):
dagaabaaz ho, baanke piya.
Lata monopolizes the other female songs of 'Aulaad' with a solo:
kab tak huzoor, rooThe rahoge
le ke ghusse me.n pyaar balam ji ab to ha.nso (approx. words),
a duet with Rafi:
aramaa.n tha hame.n jin ka, vo pyar ke din aae
and a lovely bucolic chorus song with Rafi:
naazuk naazuk badan mora,
haaye chubh chubh jaae tore nain saawariya.
> One of the all-time great songs of Suman K. is this much-neglected gem from
> 'Sara Jahaan Hamaara':
> ye phoolo.n ka gajaraa, ye meraa singaar
> ho koi leke aaya hai sapane hazaar
> o phoolo.n ka gajaraa o o
> He also composed this delightful Manna Dey-Suman duet for 'Reshmi Rumaal':
> aankh me.n shokhi, lab pe jaadu
> chaal qayaamat, toba toba
Turns out I was all wet with the words here. Thanks to Balaji, here
are the correct words:
aankh mein shokhi, lab pe tabassum
dil mein shararat, tauba tauba
gaal pe laali, chaal mastaani
us pe nazaaqat, tauba tauba
> *Sardar Malik
> Here's an example which would meet all the conditions above, if we agree
> to consider him great, whcih he certainly was for this film, at least.
> Yes, the superb soundtrack is enriched by this lovely Suman song, slow-
> paced, contemplative:
likh de piyaa ka naam, sakhi ri
In my excitement, I forgot to mention the name of the film itself! The song
is apparently well-known. :)) Yes, the film is 'Saaranga', which would
certainly make my shortlist at least as a contender for desert-island-ten!
Lata does get the majority of female songs here, with two chorus songs:
dayyaa re dayyaa, ek kanahiyaa
koi ghar aayega, pyar jataaega
sach_much keh de kaun hai vo tera kaun hai (approx. words)
one duet with Mukesh:
laagi tum se lagan saathi chhooTe na
and one with Rafi:
piya kaise miloo.n tujh se, mere paao.n paDe zanjeer.
Interestingly, the two slow-paced and sad songs are by Suman and Asha.
The Asha song goes somewhat like
chali re chali re mai.n to dekh (?) paraai
bheegi bheegi palako.n me.n pyaar chhupaai
Lovely song. Needless to say, with the Mukesh and Rafi songs in addition
to the above, 'Saaranga' was one hell of a soundtrack.