11 comments on “So Hard to Decide Which “Chalo Paniya Bharan Ko…” I Like More…

  1. I quite like the Padmini song and dance, though Kumkum’s not bad either.

    Thanks for this new idea (for me) of looking at some dance songs.

    I watched Kangan 1959 some months ago and remembered another such song especially because the dancer seems to be Kumari Naaz.
    The pot is not very evident as it is picked up and put down again and is then out of sight. But the song is very much a ‘paniya bharan song’.

  2. Thanks, Pacifist…

    I guess the “contest” comes down to Padmini vs. Kumkum if we’re looking at the dance (not to mention the quality of the video – the Mr. Sampat one is another Tom special)…but I really like the Ghulam Haider music and Shamshad Begum’s singing in the Khandan clip! (Plus, the visuals are lot of fun…)

    Actually, I have the soundtrack to Khandan, which I have listened to many times apart from the film clips, even going so far as to take it with me on the New York City subways(!)… I mentioned before that I had seen all the song clips from Khandan, but I don’t think I saw the film clip for this song until Vidur posted it the other day.

    But the singing is so great in the other two also, and the Geeta Dutt-Jikki combinaion is something I just don’t get to hear too often. So, as I said, impossible to decide (so let’s just say all of them are great).

    Thanks for the Kangan song… It’s nice… I don’t like it quite as much as the others, but it’s a good addition to the thread, and, yes, this might very well be Kumari Naaz. (I looked at the cast list, and she’s in there…and wow, it’s got Daisy Irani too! :) )

  3. You will be interested to know that I have also fetched water in a pot like this. Not singing and dancing and dressed up but in my jammies and with a grimace. This happened because there was no running water in our house in the small town I grew up in. We had a lady to fill water, who could balance two pots on her head with one held on the waist. But at times the lady took a leave, we had to pitch in. Things are better now, thank you. Even the villages (at least in Punjab) have running water.

  4. I thank you for the Amir Khusrau link. He is my top favorite.

    I am intrigued too about the ‘romance’ associated with fetching water. My guess is that the riverbank was a favorite rendezvous point for lovers. Hence Amir Khusrau says – bahut kathin hai dagar panghat ki. He means, the path of true love is not easy, because ‘panghat’ (riverbank) is equated or associated with love.

  5. Ava, thank you for the real-life “paniyan bharan ko” story… I understand that you didn’t dress up and dance to do this chore, but what about the woman who normally did this for you? If she had two pots on her head and one hand on her waist, did she ever turn that into a dance? After seeing so many old Bollywood movies, it would be disappointing to me to discover that this task was done so often without any song and dance!

    Anyway, I am glad that Amir Khusrau is your top favorite! He is relatively new to me, but I have been enjoying reading some of his poems (even if something might have been lost in some of the translations that I have found) and have gotten even more enjoyment and delight from the musical renditions that I’ve found. (This week, I’ve been delving into a couple of Sufi saint poets – I also have gotten back to Bulleh Shah, whose poems apparently were turned into quite a few great Lollywood song-and-dance scenes.)

    And thanks for the illuminating thoughts about the association of romance with fetching water… I have seen a couple of translations of this poem which say “The road to the well is much too difficult.” Then I saw what I think was a more modern, less literal attempt which said something like “The path to love…”

  6. Thanks Ava for your comments.
    Though I have never carried a pot, I still see several women carrying more than a pot on their heads and walking so upright and staright and gracefully even when not.
    The only difference is its not from the river or the well, but from the community tap where water is pumped at regular hours.
    This is in a fishing village south of Bombay on the coast where I visit my brother often.

    Of course Kumari Naaz’s dance wouldn’t stand a chance against the likes of Padmini and Kumkum.
    I linked it to add to the list :-)
    The khandaan ‘paniya bharan’ song is very good. I like it. The dance not as much as the other two, though it’s interesting to watch.

  7. Thanks Richard and Pacifist.

    No Richard, the water-lady did not dance with the pots on her head. But when I got married and visited my (now ex)husband’s village, my sis-in-law told me that it was a sort of a tradition to take the newlywed bride all decked up to fill water for the first time. Because I was an urban import, they had to bypass this custom.

    Pacifist, their backs are ramrod straight, even in old age. It must have been some exercise!

    BTW, how about this! Whew!

  8. I love sufi poets. But alas, even I find it hard to understand without help. Luckily, there are some online sites that help you out. In fact, rather than go for a full translation, I prefer to find meanings of the words I dont understand and make up my own interpretation. That is the beauty of sufi, it can mean so many different things.

  9. Pacifist and Ava, thanks for sharing more of those real-life “Paniya Bharan Ko”-related memories…

    And Ava, thanks for taking us far away from reality again with that Sandhya/Navrang dance – I was thinking about that one a little too!

    Regarding the Sufi poetry discussion, I really like this idea that you mentioned:

    I prefer to find meanings of the words I dont understand and make up my own interpretation.

    Yes, that works well with a lot of things!

  10. Iam glad you liked the song. I found that three videos from Khandan were missing in Youtube and uploaded. This one was specially for you. I shall upload many more rare gems, hope you will like them. Here Iam highlighting the two Tamil movies’ song I will upload (I told you about them before). I hope you enjoy Shanta Apte at her vocal peak in Savithri.

  11. Vidur, thank you for uploading those three great songs from Khandan! I thought I had seen the two Noor Jehan songs before, but my memory could be playing tricks on me because I have listened to these songs so many times apart from any flim clip…or it could be that I saw them somewhere other than YouTube (or else, maybe someone’s uploads were wiped out in the past, for the usual reasons). In any event, I don’t think I ever had seen “Chalo Paniya Bharan Ko Chalen” before, so double thanks for uploading that specially for me!

    It was very nice also to see and hear those Savithri songs. I do like Shanta Apte’s voice, but I have to say, I liked M.S. Subbulakshmi even more – her voice was heavenly in that song! :)

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