Rediscovering classics: C. H. Atma

Daane daane par likkha hai, khaane waale ka naam,
Ticket ticket par likkha hai, concert jaane waale ka naam.

I know that sounds silly. Not only does it borrow a line from a piece of dialog used in countless movies, it also reveals the Hinglish poet in me. Coughing all day today, which means I sadly missed the Zakir Hussain concert that is going on as I write this, and one I was really looking forward to. But the last thing I wanted was to take a chance at being an annoying member of the audience, interfering with the wonderful sounds of the tabla, and being unfair to the ambiance.

My move to the West Coast will dominate most of May. Yes, I am moving to Los Angeles! As I pack up, I have found some interesting material I look forward to sharing. Some of my drawings, a poem, a Mid-Day newspaper clipping, a Neetu Kapoor autograph and picture, and old music cassette sets.

Following up to this post in which I discussed Pankaj Mullick's music. I have promised myself to make a sincere effort to discover Bollywood classics, and this post and events preceding are part of that commitment. Listening to C. H. Atma then. From the HMV Golden Collection Series, an album titled 'C. H. Atma Memorable Hits', and released by The Gramophone Company of India Limited. The album has 22 tracks, 17 of which are from films from the 1950s. My favorite tracks from the album are:

  1. Is Bewafa Jahan Mein; Film: Aasmaan (1952)
  2. Manzil To Badi Door; Film: Bhai Sahib (1954)
  3. Dil Beqaraar Hai; Film: Nagina (1951)
  4. Ro oon Main Saagar Ke Kinaare; Film: Nagina (1951)

Much like I did with my previous instance of Rediscovering Classics, I found this album to be a no-nonsense poetic journey, with some beautiful lyrics, music, and voices. Sample this, from Nagina (1951), with music by Shankar Jaikishan and lyrics by Shailendra. Dil Beqaraar Hai (translated as: 'my heart is anxious'):

Close to five stars for an amazing compilation of pieces that reflects musical/vocal genius by a truly amazing artist.

Album rating: 4.75/5 (Excellent!)


Anonymous said...

I do so love the old Hindi film songs, especially from the 40's (I must read your Pankaj Mullick post!)...

Have discovered more to discover from this, thanks!

Hope you are feeling better and all the best in your move :-)

theBollywoodFan said...

Thank you Memsaab.

There is much more to the old Hindi film songs than I might have imagined. Knew they were good, but never identified them with artists or put them in the context of the films. Watching some will surely make a difference.

But that will have to wait until the move. Thanks for the wishes! The good news is that Los Angeles seems to have a lot more to offer to Bollywood fans than does Miami.

Anonymous said...

i have search the hole web, but you can't download songs of c.h.atma.
in the netherlands they don't know c.h.atma.I'm looking for the albums, geet gaya patharon me, magic moments,dhake ki malmal, preetam an milo,rare moments ghazals & geets, Rare Gems and soul.
where can i buy them
thanks a lot,
paul loetawan, amsterdam-the netherlands

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Paul, and welcome! Thank you for your visit and comment. C. H. Atma's music isn't the most easily available, which is a shame, given the top notch quality. The iTunes online store has quite a few of his songs, including two you mention. Online stores like have CDs too. Hope this helps!