9 comments on “S.D. Batish singing “‘Khamosh Nigahen” in Daasi (1944)

  1. ‘Daasi’ was scripted by Dalsukh Pancholi, the man who also wrote the script for the highly successful ‘Khazanchi’ (1941).These movies had a right combination of all the elements that shaped the style of future movie making, a departure from that of the movies of New Theatre’s era. Along with these movies came a crop of Music Directors belonging to what has been called as the Punjabi School characterized by innovative orchestrations. Pt.Amarnath,Shyam Sunder,Ghulam Hyder,Khemchand Prakash,Husnlal-Bhagatram represented this style and their compositions differed very much in style than those of Timir Baran, R.C.Boral and Pankaj Mullick who hold the sway till then.

    The story of ‘Daasi’ revolves round a village girl played by Ragini who falls in love with a townsfolk played by Najmal Hussain. Both of them soon tie the knot and the boy decides to live in the village. On an occasion when he goes to the town for some work, he meets with an accident and is nursed back by a wealthy family. But, in the process the memory of the boy fails and he falls in love with the only daughter of the family.

    The father of the girl when spots him on a search, the boy declines to recognize him due to his failed memory. The old man dies of shock on returning to the village. Now, it is left to the heroine of the movie to come to the town along with her child to remain as the maid servant or ‘Daasi’ in the house of her husband. The beautiful rendition by S.D.Batish depicts the scene when Ragini leaves the village in search of her husband to the town. How they reunite is the plot.

  2. Bawa, thank you for the good words.

    Veda, thank you once again for all the added information. Yes, I am very fond of that “Punjabi School” so far. Khemchand Prakash, of course, was the composer of my possibly-favorite soundtrack of all (Mahal) and I’ve so far very much enjoyed what I’ve heard from the others (except, not sure if I’ve heard Husnlal-Bhagatram). How did our favorite composer (and many people’s), Naushad, fit into all of this? (I notice Daasi came out the same year as Ratan.)

    This plot sounds like a few that I can think of in movies that came out at least a dozen years later… The wife-as-maidservant twist happens in Bhai-Bhai; the amnesia part reminds me of Amar Deep (which featured a different Ragini) (btw, Bollyviewer, there’s something for your amnesia list that you called for ), and based on the opening scenes that I saw and posted, I’m wondering if there are similarities in the 1955 film Patey Khan ). Back to the ’40s, by the way, also I recently watched Mela (1948), a very grim story of what happens when a groom-to-be gets in an accident and is missing briefly (but a great soundtrack)…

    I can certainly understand how Daasi might have “shaped the elements” of future films plot-wise. It would be nice to find this (with subtitles) sometime.

  3. The compositions of Naushad do not fit into any straightjacket classification.He extensively used Indian Classical Music as well as rich folk Music of North India.He also introduced western musical instruments and multi-piece orchestrations in his compositions.

    Husnlal-Bhagatram gave a number of sweet compositions.They were co-composers of ‘Mirza Shaiban’.Movies of this period which can be called as their signature compositions are the Suraiya starrer ‘Badi Bahen’ and ‘Pyar ki Jeet’.Here is the link to a popular number from ‘Badi Bahen’ –

  4. Thanks for the extra info. When you say that Husnlal-Bhagatram worked as “co-composers” on Mirza Sahiban, do you mean they worked with Pandit Amarnath? (All of the references I see credit Pt. Amarnath as music director of that one.)

    I see they were music directors of Badi Bahen; I didn’t even notice their names on that one before, or I had forgotten it. Just a short while ago, I was corresponding off-blog with a YouTube friend who’s become something of a Suraiya fan, and he mentioned this movie. I also posted a song from Badi Bahen to this blog back in May (as one of a few Suraiya songs from different films), and it’s is still my favorite from Badi Bahen , at least among those I’ve seen so far:

  5. That’s a lovely song of Suraiya. Husnlal and Bhagatram were younger brothers of Pt.Amarnath and assissted him in a number of movies.The duo infact composed a couple of songs in ‘Mirza Shahiban’.The duo however fell on bad times in the fifties and were said to be have worked as instrumentalists with Laxmikant-Pyarelal.Husnlal was an accomplished violinist and Bhagatram , Harmonium player.

  6. Daasi sounds like a melodramatic version of one my favorite Hollywood romances – Random Harvest – that was remade in Bengali in 1950s (Harano Sur)!

    Interesting re: Husnlal Bhagatram. I just watched (and reviewed) B. R. Chopra’s first film as a producer-director (Afsana) and the music director listed was Husnlal Bhagatram (the songs were beautiful). It sounded like the names of two people, but I wasnt sure of that!

    And I just acquired a copy of Badi Behen, because of its lovely songs and because Rehman looks divine! :-D

  7. Veda, thank you for showing us that album cover for Mirza Sahiban. I want that album! It would also be nice if somebody got the album and put it on MP3 for us to downlad. (Hmm, wonder if Stella_1 is reading this…)

    Bollyviewer, I haven’t seen Random Harvest, but now I have another Dustedoff review that I’m going to have to get back to. I’m going to have to pick up Chopra’s Afsana one day, and it was nice reading your review of that a little while back…

    And I saw a copy of Badi Bahen in the Bollywood store the other day… It was tempting, but I promised myself that I’d buy just one DVD that night, so I opted for Baiju Bawra. I’ll get Badi Bahen sometime soon. Meanwhi.e, I’d be happy to read any thoughts that you have on it.

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