7 comments on “Happy May Day, and Happy Birthday, Balraj Sahni!

  1. Wonderful list, Richard – there was one song there (Tanne tandaane) which I hadn’t heard before, but the others included some old favourites – and Ae mere pyaare watan and Tu pyaar ka saagar hai are among my favourite Manna Dey songs (and favourite Balraj Sahni) songs. What a fine actor he was. Happy birthday, Mr Sahni!

    P.S.: May 1 is also Manna Dey’s birthday. I think he turned 92 yesterday, if I’m not mistaken…

  2. I love Balraj Sahni!
    I like him since my teenage years. I remember when we were talking at the college about our favourite film heroes and I would mention Balraj Shani, it would often lead to people (mostly girls) wrinkle their noses.
    Thank God, in the blogosphere, he is loved very dearly!
    Loved all the songs!
    Isn’t that a coincidence that his birthday should fall on May Day!
    BTW is it true that their is no memorial for 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago? Maybe I should pose this last question in your alternative blog?

  3. Dustedoff, thanks for the nice words. It’s good to see that two of these songs rank among your favorite Manna Dey songs – that is beautiful music. And that is a remarkable coincidence that Manna Dey had a May 1 birthday too! Plus, he’s still around…

    I guess that makes him the second oldest living playback singer next to Shamshad Begum? I also learned that Juthika Roy, whom I’ve heard in a couple of very nice, very old soundtracks, had a 90+ birthday in the past month too (91, I think).

  4. Harvey, that is a shame that those girls were wrinkling their noses about Balraj Sahni. (And, as I think I mentioned before, judging from some lines in Balraj Sahni’s autobiography, Geeta Bali did the same. :) ) But, yes, I have noticed too that he is quite well loved in the blogosphere. (And since I don’t have any past lived in India, that’s the main place where I’ve been able to get opinions on such matters (outside of a stray conversation here or there, mostly in the Jackson Heights DVD stores).)

    It is so perfect that he was born on May Day…

    Regarding your question about memorial to the Haymarket martyrs, yes there is one, and there have been a few over the years. And actually, there is a good amount of information about that in Wikepedia, under Haymarket affair.

    And why not discuss the question in this post? The “Haymarket affair” marked the real beginning of May Day, part of the subject here. But I’m glad that you’ve been checking out my “alternative” blog too. (Not many people are… Though, often, I sort of like to keep it that way. :) )

  5. I agree with your post. I love Balraj Sahni, he is so graceful. His voice is amazing (no wonder he was on BBC). Whether he is playing a lover, an older brother or a father, he is perfect.

    Manna Dey is probably my best loved playback singer (could tie with Talat Mehmood).

    And they both share a birthday! Wow!

    I remember another great Manna/Balraj tract – Ai meri Zohra Zabeen from Waqt.

  6. I love Ae meri zohrajabeen too, Ava. Such a wonderful song, and such an unusual (for Hindi cinema) romantic song, in which the lovers are a little past their prime…

  7. Ava, I am glad you also love Balraj Sahni – and Manna Dey too! The song that you (and now Dustedoff) are talking about is, according to Wikipedia, the one for which Balraj Sahni is best remembered (at least for the “current generation,” whoever they are :) ). Specifically, Wikipedia says:

    “However, he is perhaps best remembered by the current generation for the picturization of the legendary song Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen from the movie Waqt (1965) on him.”

    And it is a good one (though not one of the first ones that I remembered :) ):

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