Today morning I was crossing Mahim station when I saw a middle aged man beating a young guy severely with his belt. I didnt know the reason, and traffic didnt allowed me to stop there. luckily just 10 feets ahead a 3 policemen were standing, I went to them and told about the incident. They ran towards that and caught hold of that man. He just had a doubt that young guy was trying to pick his pocket. The young guy was crying and pleading, he didnt do that, but he was beaten brutally. I had to move on, as I was getting late, but that scene made me remind of a scene in the song Ganga behti ho kyun?
I suddenly started singing the song and whole day I was humming it. I had heard it many years ago and still remember its tune, Bhupen Hazarika’s voice and video. So, when I returned back first thing I did was Youtubing (when there’s googling, why not youtubing :-)). I found the song:
The Lyrics made me listen the song 3-4 times and the lyrics really is awesome! I did some Googling and found that the lyrics are written by Gulzar. Though I doubt cos, Gulzar, as far as I know, hasnt written such Vishudhh Hindi Lyrics before. But if he has, which he can, He’s done a marvellous job, very few people know of! Here are the lyrics:
LYRICS: GANGA BEHTI HO KYUN? (Bhupen Hazarika)
Bisterno parorey, afankhya janore, hahakar sunio nisabdth nirovey,
Bhural hui tumhi, bhural hui bura ki aur……….
After reading, listening again, made me more curious about the song. And then I found this 1939’s video named -” Ol’ Man River” (music by Jerome Kern, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstien II)
This song, which has the same tune as ‘Ganga Behti ho kyun‘ has a great history behind it. This is a song in the 1927 musical Show Boat, that contrasts African American hardship and struggles of the time with the endless, uncaring flow of the Mississippi River, from the view of a dock worker on a showboat.
The song is notable for several aspects: the lyrical pentatonic-scale melody, the subjects of toil and social class & metaphor to the Mississippi.
The most famous rendition of it, one that is still noted today, was sung by Paul Robeson in James Whale’s 1936 film version of Show Boat.
The song also has versions in the Indian languages Hindi, Bengali and Assamese sung by Bhupen Hazarika, who met Robeson while studying at Columbia University. The Assamese song is called Bistirno Parore, the Bengali version is Bistirno Dupare. The Hindi composition is known as “Ganga Behti Ho Kyon.” Instead of the Mississippi, the song is dedicated to the Brahmaputra river in the Assamese version and the Ganges river in the Bengali and Hindi versions. Whatever it may be, Ganga or Mississipi, the song delivers the message very well.
I am still looking for the Lyricist (if not Gulzar), & music director. Do you have any idea?