Out of the proposed 4 Volumes of Hindi Film Geet Kosh (1931–70), after the release of ‘Volume-3’ (1951–60) in January 1980, followed by ‘Volume-2’ (1941–50) in February 1984, now ‘Volume-4’ (1961–70) is being presented to music lovers. During these moments, I am happy and thrilled because the way in which the Volumes are getting released one by one and pre-planned project is getting completed, I am feeling self-satisfied as well as burden-free also. After the release of this Volume, I wish to present ‘Volume-1’ (1931–40) as early as possible so that those who composed the songs between 1931 and 1940 and the listeners of that era as well get to see the song details during their lifetime itself.
Before I describe the details of my compilation work from the date of release of ‘Volume-2’ till the period now (roughly 2 and a half years), I would like to keep before the new readers, my old story so that they are able to know how this project started :
"The story is old but not more than 10 years as my age is less than 28 years. Readers can consider this as an interesting story as well.... During 1969-70 as a new regular listener of the programmes of Radio Ceylon, I used to participate in it as well. At that time, along with other programmes, I had a special interest in a programme named ‘Vaakya Geetanjali’. The announcer would announce a meaningful sentence of 7-8 words and wanted the listeners to provide the songs starting from each word of that sentence. Instead of worrying about my name to be announced amongst the listeners who sent correct solution of this puzzle, my interest was more on whatever songs I had quoted were found correct or not. Thus, one can say that indirectly, the thought of a ‘Geet Kosh’ generated from this practice. I used to compile songs in alphabetical order. Volume of compilation thus started increasing slowly day by day. Whenever I used to come across a difficult word in the ‘Vaakya Geetanjali’ programme for which I couldn’t make out a song, I used to get restless. Then I thought as to why not a systematic compilation of Film/Non Film songs produced till date be made. As soon as this thought struck to me, I started focusing more on the compilation of songs. When this idea of compiling the songs related information struck to me, I didn’t think it to be difficult. The compilation work had thus started. The question arose as to the information for which period need to be compiled first and which is to be left out. At that time, non-film song compilation was also started. However considering the magnitude of film songs, the compilation work of non film songs was dropped.
On checking minutely between the period 1931-70, I found that there were around 4,500 Hindi Films made and if I try to concentrate a particular decade or a year and start compiling the songs therefor only, then what would happen to the information of songs that I would come across for other period/years. And if such information is left out to be picked up later, what is the guarantee of getting the same at later stage and that it would not get lost for ever. This thought struck to me quite frequently. After considerable thought, it was decided that all the information for the 4 decades be collected and compiled whatever we come across and once a sizable compilation has been done, it can be decided as to the information relating to which particular decade or years should be published first……………"
(From the preface included in Geet Kosh, Volume-3)
So this was how the compilation work started. Readers might be well aware that with the advent of talkie films in the year 1931, the trend of including the songs therein had also started. Prior to that, silent films used to be made from 1913 but ended by 1934. For the past 16-17 years, I have been trying to collect information for the ‘Geet Kosh’ volumes by meeting countless music lovers, film celebrities and other individuals. From 1931 till 1970, whenever I got any information about the films and its songs released during this period, the information was updated properly on respective paper sheets. Needless to add that the compilation process continues endlessly. Thus, by making a plan to present the information of 40 years into decade-wise 4 volumes (each volume carries information of films of 10 years), first of all, ‘Volume-3’ was released in the January 1980 comprising details of about 9,000 songs of 1,163 Hindi Films certified between 1951 and 1960. 4 years later, ‘Volume-2’ was released which contained details of about 11,000 songs of 1,236 Films certified between 1941 and 1950. ‘Volume-2’ was released in Bombay at Jai Hindi College Auditorium, Bombay by maestro Naushad Ali on 25 February 1984. After that, music lovers expected early publication of the remaining 2 Volumes. I also wanted to publish the remaining ‘Volume 4’ to be followed by ‘Volume 1’. However, it still took 2 and half years for the publication of ‘Volume-4’. There are two main reasons for it – Shri Harish Raguvanshi, who is a keen devotee of the songs of late Mukesh, had been actively involved for the past 5-6 years with body, soul and money with 'Geet Kosh’ project. Hence, the printing work of Mukesh Geet Kosh undertaken by me in Kanpur nearly cost a period of one year. After that, the work of ‘Volume-4’ started again. As usual, my dear colleague Bishwa Nath Chatterjee reached Kanpur from Nagpur on 9 June 1985. We had almost finished preparing manuscript of ‘Volume-4’ by the night of 21st June when my father met with a heart attack at the age of 58. After remaining 22 days in the hospital, when he returned home on 9 July 1985 as per doctor's advice, I thought that the there is no risk of his life now. But who can change the fate. On 11th July 1985 in the morning, he suffered a third heart attack and passed away instantly. I was depressed and felt helpless due to his sudden sad demise. He had never stopped me from compiling information relating to ‘Geet Kosh’. Weeks after bearing the loss, I gradually returned to the task of publication work of ‘Volume-4’. Its printing started by November 1985. I have no regrets in admitting that my colleague Bishwa Nath Chatterjee’s memory and liking about the songs from this decade was much better than that of mine. During the compilation, correction of lots of small mistakes and additional information, has been a result of his listening and gathering information about songs from Radio for the past 15-20 years.
Other than Mr. Chatterjee, one more person whom I would like to mention specially is a music lover as well as an admirer of Suman Kalyanpur’s songs is Veerbhadra Singh Jhala (Narwar, Distt. Ujjain, M.P.). I had never thought that similar to my project of compiling information of Hindi film songs, there exist my competitor who was also devoted to somewhat similar task !!! I remember that after purchasing ‘Volume-3’ in 1982, he had asked me as to when I would publish ‘Volume-4’. My reply given to him was that once the printing of ‘Volume-2’ is over, the work of ‘Volume-4’ would be undertaken. Hence, after the release of ‘Volume-2’ in February 1984, he contacted me again and without mentioning any specific reason, he undertook the long tedious journey and reached Kanpur on 23rd May 1984, accompanied by 3 big trunks which had living (gramophone records) and non living (compilation work) treasures. I couldn’t believe that he came just to gift me his entire collection. Alongwith noting down details of many catalogues of Gramophone records (old and new) in thick exercise books, he had also noted down opening lines of songs from known Hindi Films released between 1962 to 1973. It is worth to mention here that his efforts of many years has been very helpful to me and I have used all the information compiled by him in Geet Kosh Volumes.
While work of printing continued, we tried to contact directly the lyricists, singers and composers who wrote or sang or composed the songs for obtaining the missing information. The difficult task of meeting persons such as Bulo C.Rani, Chitragupta, Hasrat Jaipuri, Qamar Jalalabadi, Kidar Sharma, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Ravi, Manohar Khanna, Naqsh Lyallpuri, S.N.Tripathi, Sardar Malik, Usha Khanna, Suman Kalyanpur to name a few was wonderfully done by Shri Nalin Shah once again. During these personal meetings, he had lots of bitter and sweet experiences. When he went to meet a famous lyricist, he demanded royalty as his name was mentioned in the 3 volumes published earlier as a song writer. One composer advised Nalin Shah that making a Geet Kosh was an easy task. By staying in Bombay for about 3 months and meeting film personalities, all the information can be gathered. But when he was asked to name singers for 2-3 songs tunes whereof were set by him for a film, he couldn’t recall any details. One composer’s wife was annoyed and objected as to why we are approaching his husband for obtaining the information. When she was advised that her husband’s name would appear in the Geet Kosh along with song details, she remarked that they do not want any such credits. (An interesting book can be written with many such anecdotes!). Atul Dutta Phanse from Bombay sent us details he obtained from the composer Robin Banerjee as well as from Basant Pictures and Rajkamal Kala Mandir. Praful D. Patel of Bombay also met some film personalities and passed on to us some clarifications/information over the telephone. It is worth mentioning Vijay Nafde’s efforts also. It goes without saying that even now when I am writing these lines in the last stages of publication, Shri Harish Raguvanshi is meeting with Singer Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Suman Kalyanpur and Usha Mangeshkar to gather the missing information about the singers for this volume. However, readers and music lovers are requested to verify all such information obtained from various film personalities so that authentic information is recorded in this volume.
I am grateful to Ramesh Thanjorkar of Baroda and Om Prakash Pandya of Indore for sending me details of records available with them. A special mention of Shiv Shankar Almal of Calcutta who searched for some 78 rpm gramophone record numbers which were difficult to grab. I am specially thankful to B.V.Dharap, the owner of Alka Talkies, Poona and a senior film historian/compiler of details of silent and talkie films because he promptly sent me photocopies of the song booklets that he has, whenever I have requested him for it. Kaiyyum Abdul Aziz of Gondal (Distt. Rajkot) continued sending me details that were missing in earlier published volumes of ‘Geet Kosh’. For providing details of songs after watching video cassettes, Harish Raghuvanshi remained always in the forefront. I am also grateful to A.Rajmannar of Gulbarga, Prashant Nawathe of Jabalpur, Jagdish Prasad Agarwal of Barnpur, Suleman Kherani of Jamnagar, Shashi Jariwala and Harshvardhan Bhagat of Surat who provided me with song booklets and/or photocopies of the same. Through ‘Listeners Bulletin’, when requested for information that was left out, the music lovers who helped were Arvind Patel (Dhoraji), Vibhash Chandra Mastana (Olpura Village), Chandrahans Khadilkar (Sangli), Gulshan Pamar (Muktasar), Pankaj Kapadia (Bombay), Rajkumar Kukreja (Durg), Bhim Raj Garg (Delhi). Mr.Garg sent me the details of lyricists and composers for many of films produced by ‘Children Film Society’ after going through the film prints with the use of a magnifying glass. Also I cannot forget old/new financial helpers : Bishwa Nath Chatterjee, Harish Raguwanshi, Mahendra Modi ‘Bidesia’ (Ramgarh Cantt.), Gauri Shankar Shukla (Delhi), Gorakh Prasad Gupta (Chaibaasa), Gopal Prasad Gupta (Katihar), Gopal Chand Gupta (Barbil).
I am very much pleased to advise on receipt of the suggestions from Veerbhadra Singh Jhala and Ratan Lal Kataria, song details of 34 films made in regional languages like Avadhi, Bhojpuri, Chattisgarhi, Magadhi, Maithali and Rajasthani which were certified in this decade, have also been included in this volume which are similar to that of Hindi.
On receipt of Harish Raguvanshi’s suggestion and help for the publication of ‘Volume-4’, a good number of film celebrities (around 300) were contacted to obtain their blessings/good wishes by sending them reply paid letters, followed by reminders too. The purpose of this exercise was to let the singers, lyricists and composers know that their contributions are recorded in various volumes of ‘Geet Kosh’. Letters received from celebrities proved inspiration for us which have been preserved for posterity. It was through this exercise that we came in touch with various film personalities like well known Piano player Shri V.Balsara. We note with regrets as to why many film personalities did not find it necessary to convey a few words of blessings whose own creations/work is being recorded in one-of-its kind book titled ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh’ !!
Here, I want to express my feelings also. It is with the help of my music loving friends that I was able to compile this compendium painstakingly for which I feel myself very fortunate. I also feel that had they not contributed generously, it would not have been made possible. I would also like to mention here that I am just a mediator for it because actual and full credit need to be given to the singers, lyricists and composers and it is their hard work that such popular songs were created which give relief in the stressful life of people. Hence I am requesting music lovers to forward me any information not appearing in the ‘Geet Kosh’ volumes so that the vacant spaces in the pages get filled. If the information available with them is not used in these volumes, it is very unlikely that it will be used up in future. Moreover, there will be lots of blanks in these volumes due to lack of information. Even when I want to get details of any particular song, I too refer these volumes of the ‘Geet Kosh’ similar to Murlidhar Soni from Jethana or Anoop Gadodia of Calcutta. At that time, it never strikes me that the various volumes of ‘Geet Kosh’ were created by me. I have only tried to gather the information spread here and there. I succeeded in convincing them for help but sometimes the heart is saddened when some information or help is not received from a known source and I find that the information exist there.
Along with the printing, the work of preparing of Song Index also continued in parallel with the regular help of Harish Raghuwanshi and Satinder Kaur. I am grateful to Shri Pratap Singh Rathaur who has provided timely advices and suggestions. I am also thankful to Raj Bharatan of Bombay and V.A.K. Ranga Rao of Madras who are creating awareness that ‘Geet Kosh’ is one the best ‘Reference Book’ through various periodicals and journals.
As per the proposed 'Geet Kosh’ project, the publication of the fourth flower in the series i.e. ‘Volume-1’ will be published as soon as possible. It is possible that by the end of the next year, ‘Volume-1’ will be available for the readers. Now, it is not important to mention why I ended the compilation work at 1970 starting with the advent of Talkies but rather, it is important to note that Bishwa Nath Chatterjee of Nagpur has already taken over the charge to keep this show on. Under my supervision and support, he is doing the compilation work of ‘Volume-5’ ( 1971–80) and ‘Volume-6’ (1981–90). In the world of ‘Geet Kosh’ volumes, I consider myself very fortunate that with the start of publication of ‘Hindi Film Geet Kosh’, many music lovers have got inspiration to release singer-wise compilations, etc. and followed by ‘Mukesh Geet Kosh’, compilations on Talat Mahmood, Kundan Lal Saigal and Hemant Kumar may also be expected in future.
Now, as the printing of this book has reached at the last stage, preparations for its release have also been started as well. This time, it is expected to be released in Delhi at the hands of one of the stalwarts of Hindi Film Music i.e. by Maestro Anil Biswas on his birthday i.e. 7th July 1986, when he would be completing 72 years of his life. The arrangements in Delhi are being made by Bhim Raj Garg, Amarjit Singh Kohli, Gauri Shankar Shukla, P.K.Gupta and Dr. V.B.Mathur for which I am thankful to all of them.
I will be waiting for any information that is missing in any of the volumes of ‘Geet Kosh’ for which music Lovers can contact me at the below mentioned address (personal/through letter). Earlier, it was planned to come out with a separate book with lot of additional information not included in ‘Volume-3’ and also a Song Index thereof. (For the time being, a ‘Photocopied’ edition has been made available on demand) but looking to the demand of Volume-3 (as its original stock has since been sold out long back) that idea has been dropped now. It is now proposed that after the release of ‘Volume-1’, revised and enlarged edition of ‘Volume-3’ will be published with Song Index and lot of additional information as well.
I hope that music loving readers would keep me advised of their suggestions and thoughts related to this Volume.
Kanpur : Buddha Poornima, 1986 Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’