Murad's Music Hub Juthika Roy - Murad's Music Hub

Archive for the ‘Juthika Roy’ Category

Juthika Roy

Sunday, December 12th, 2010
She started singing at an early age. She has sung many songs for music directors including her first mentor Kazi Nazrul Islam (whom she called Kazi Da) and the great bengali music director Kamal Dasgupta. It is said that Kamal Das Gupta and Kumari Juthika Roy recorded a naat in the late 1930s that impressed Gupta so much that he embraced Islam. Her singing was liked by many including Mahatma Gandhi. She has sung for many Bengali & Hindi movies also but she is most popularly known for her Meera Bhajans. She is now over 85 years old and lives in her Shyampukur Street, Kolkata house with her sisters.
Juthika Roy is a legendary bhajan singer with a very sweet voice. She started singing at the age of seven and recorded her first Hindi bhajan at the age of 12. Her first album was recorded with the guidance of her mentor Kazi Nazrul Islam whom she called Kazi Da. She sang many songs for the great music director Kamal Dasgupta. She went on to sing in Bengali & Hindi movies also but she is best known for her Meera Bhajans. She was awarded the Padmashree in 1972.
On August 15, 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s motorcade rolls down from Teenmurti Bhavan to the Red Fort. Juthika Roy had just finished singing for a 15-minute slot at the All India Radio (AIR) station. A man came running, urging her to return to the studio. The Prime Minister had sent in a request that she was to keep singing till he reached Red Fort and hoisted the Tiranga Jhanda (Tricolour Flag). So she went back and started off with Sone ka Hindustan. I must have sung 7 or 8 songs, the 85-year-old reflects, sitting in a sun-bathed room of her Shyampukur Street house where she stays tucked away from the bustle of north Calcutta, with her two sisters.
Juthika Roy was then at the height of her fame. She had been hailed as ‘adhunik Meera’ and was criss-crossing the country and even beyond to Sri Lanka and East Africa for performances. She says “I would come back to Calcutta from one part of the country and find a telegram waiting at home inviting me to another show elsewhere.”
The Statesman – India – by Juthika Roy – August 6, 2006
Juthika Roy chronicles a historic meeting with the Father of the Nation
A beautiful idiom in the English language is ~ time and tide wait for none. But we fail to understand properly the supreme truth behind it. And so, we weep when we come across the sorrows and pangs of life and spill out our joy when happiness comes. This is our nature. We cannot understand how we can better our lives. For this, we require a genuine guru and ideals, through which we can seek an appropriate path at the appropriate moment.
As a child I used to listen as my mother related the many episodes in the lives of great men. She would tell me about their great lives and deeds.
Mother would say, “The ideals of great men would have to be made the usherers, if one is to make one’s life beautiful ~ great men like Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu and others of their ilk.”
We started living in Calcutta permanently in 1930. My first disc of Bengali songs was released by the Gramaphone Company in 1934. The songs were:
Soon after, my rendition of Bengali and Hindi bhajans were released by the Gramaphone Company. Invitations started pouring from different parts of the country in for me to render bhajans. In 1939 I received the first invitation to sing bhajans at the Allahabad Conference. There, I was invited by Professor Deodhar to sing in Bombay at his municipal school’s charity function. From that year onwards, I travelled to Bombay, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Rajkot and the entire of Gujarat every year.
We went to Hyderabad from Bombay in 1945 to participate in a charity programme there. That was my first visit to Hyderabad. Our stay was arranged at a swanky guest house of a renowned zamindar there. The next day, when I was preparing to rehearse with the accompanist, I heard that Sarojini Naidu had come to listen to me sing bhajans. I was as much scared as elated. Upon entering the hall I saw her sitting on a sofa; her daughter was sitting beside her. I made obeisance to her. She put her hand on my head and made me sit beside her. There was a look of surprise on her face when she saw me.
Then, she gave me some good news. Mahatma Gandhi used to listen to my songs everyday when he was jailed in Pune. He used to start his prayer meeting every morning playing discs that played my bhajans. I would have never known of these happenings. My pride and joy knew no bounds. I made obeisance to the God within myself and said, “My singing of bhajans has been a great accomplishment. I’m blessed.”
Afterwards, Sarojini Naidu asked me if I had ever met Mahatma Gandhi. Ruefully, I said, “No, that I haven’t had that good luck.” She then said, “Try to meet Bapuji and let him listen to his favourite bhajans.” From then I began to try out means of meeting Bapuji.
My respect for Sarojini Naidu went up many notches. I deemed myself blessed by having her as a near one. She was courageous, a scholar, patriot and poet whom I adored from afar. I still cherish this valuable memory.
It was 1947 (sic). The country was simmering with satyagraha, civil disobedience, non-cooperation, Gandhiji’s Quit India movement and so on. A highly-strung atmosphere prevailed. All were on tenterhooks ~ would the British rule really end? And it really ended. But then Hindu-Muslim riots started. A shiver goes down my spine when I recall those days. No one can believe unless one sees those brutalities, murders, beastliness with one’s own eyes.
Mahatma Gandhi came to Calcutta at that time to quell the situation. He put up at a house in Beliaghata with his entourage. Bapuji was so busy with his work that he did not have even one minute to spare. I heard that he would wake up every day at 6 a.m. and go out for a morning walk. He would join the prayer meeting in the morning and evening. Taking Sarojini Naidu’s advice, my parents decided to take me to the Beliaghata house to meet Bapuji. My mother, brothers and sisters, uncle and I reached Beliaghata at 7 a.m. We decided to have his darshan from afar during his morning walk and offer our obeisance to him. But, unfortunately, when we reached the gate we heard that Bapuji had already taken his morning walk and was resting. We would have to wait three hours if we wanted to see him. Finding no other way, we remained standing outside the gate because it had been locked by then. Many others also remained standing along with us.
The sunbeams were brilliant. But suddenly, black clouds appeared and covered the sky. It began to rain heavily. We were completely drenched. My uncle repeatedly requested the gate-keeper to let us in but the keeper kept saying, “No, Bapuji hasn’t ordered me to do so.” But my uncle was not a man to spare any effort. He then sternly said, “All right, go in and say Juthika Roy has come to meet Bapuji.” The gatekeeper went in. We prayed that he would report correctly. Suddenly, we saw Manu Gandhi and some volunteers rushing towards the gate with some umbrellas. Manu Gandhi accosted me, made her obeisance and opened the gate. “Come in, please, all of you. I’m so sorry you are all drenched. Come inside and sit.”
We all went in and took our seats. Then Ava Gandhi came and said to me, “Bapuji has allowed your mother to go in with you.” We went in and saw Gandhiji writing something sitting on a mat. He was bare bodied, his face and his entire body were radiating some strange light. There was no sign of tiredness on his person even after so much of work. There was a smile on her face, his eyes were shining as if they were full of love and were images of peace.
I felt it was our great good luck that for the first time we had darshan of Mahatma Gandhi. I cannot fully express how elated I was. My mother and I made obeisance to Bapuji. He touched our heads to bless us, smiled and asked us to sit down using sign language. He was observing silence on that day, saying everything in writing. Ava Gandhi was reading out his writings for us. She was of great help.
Ava Gandhi informed us that Bapuji was busy but eager to listen to my bhajans. So, he had decided that I would be singing while he was bathing in the next room. Bapuji went into the next room. I went on singing one bhajan after another without the help of any instrument. The songs were ~ “Maine Chakrar rakhi ji”, “Main Ram nam ki churiyan pahenu”, “Gunghukta pat khol re”, “Main to wari jaun Ram”, “Alo main apne Ram”, “Matja yogi mat ja” and “Pyare gungut bangh Meera nachire”.
Bapuji came out after having his bath and stood in front of us. I stopped singing made obeisance to him. He flashed a broad smile and blessed us by raising his hand. I said to myself that my life was blessed today, so was my singing of the bhajan. My mind was filled with bliss.
Later, Ava told us that Bapuji had asked us to join the afternoon prayer at 4 p.m. We arrived at the Maidan from the Beliaghata house soon after 4 p.m. with Bapuji to attend a prayer meeting. There was Ava Gandhi, Manu Gandhi and many others among us. The Maidan was crowded and there was not an iota of space left in the ocean of people.
The two sides of the road were also crowded. Bapuji’s car slowly proceeded towards the Maidan. People welcomed him by throwing flowers and petals. A large number of people were conveying their respect to Bapuji. That was an unforgettable spectacle and cannot be expressed in words ~ it can only be felt. I still remember that living picture of crested reverence and euphoria for a leader of the people.
Our car stopped next to the dais in the Maidan. Bapuji climbed on the dais quickly, flinging his arms on the shoulders of Ava and Manu. I was sitting at a corner of the dais. The prayer meeting started with Ramdhum, then readings from the Gita. Then, Bapuji appealed to people to maintain peace throughout the country. The prayer meeting ended with my singing of a bhajan.
Soon, we came to the Beliaghata house with Bapuji. A car was provided to drop us home. My long cherished ambition to see Bapuji and to see him listen to my bhajans was fulfilled. I still consider that day as an auspicious day in my life.
meri prem ki naiya (sung for Kamal Dasgupta)
darshan bina prabhuji
ghunghat ka pat khol
kanhaiya pe tan man
pag ghungharu bandh meera nachi
tore angse ang milake kanhaii
tulsi mira sur kabir
badal dekh rahi
bolre madhuban mein
chupke chupke bol maina
Roti Ankhiyan
aakash tale jab deep
aankhin mein mathura
Anjaan nagar anjaan dagar
Maine Chakrar rakhi ji
Main Ram nam ki churiyan pahenu
Main to wari jaun Ram
Meri Veena Ro Rahi Hai
Mat ja jogi mat ja
Pag gunghat bandh Meera nachire

She started singing at an early age. She has sung many songs for music directors including her first mentor Kazi Nazrul Islam (whom she called Kazi Da) and the great bengali music director Kamal Dasgupta. It is said that Kamal Das Gupta and Kumari Juthika Roy recorded a naat in the late 1930s that impressed Gupta so much that he embraced Islam. Her singing was liked by many including Mahatma Gandhi. She has sung for many Bengali & Hindi movies also but she is most popularly known for her Meera Bhajans. She is now over 85 years old and lives in her Shyampukur Street, Kolkata house with her sisters.Juthika Roy is a legendary bhajan singer with a very sweet voice. She started singing at the age of seven and recorded her first Hindi bhajan at the age of 12. Her first album was recorded with the guidance of her mentor Kazi Nazrul Islam whom she called Kazi Da. She sang many songs for the great music director Kamal Dasgupta. She went on to sing in Bengali & Hindi movies also but she is best known for her Meera Bhajans. She was awarded the Padmashree in 1972.
On August 15, 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s motorcade rolls down from Teenmurti Bhavan to the Red Fort. Juthika Roy had just finished singing for a 15-minute slot at the All India Radio (AIR) station. A man came running, urging her to return to the studio. The Prime Minister had sent in a request that she was to keep singing till he reached Red Fort and hoisted the Tiranga Jhanda (Tricolour Flag). So she went back and started off with Sone ka Hindustan. I must have sung 7 or 8 songs, the 85-year-old reflects, sitting in a sun-bathed room of her Shyampukur Street house where she stays tucked away from the bustle of north Calcutta, with her two sisters.
Juthika Roy was then at the height of her fame. She had been hailed as ‘adhunik Meera’ and was criss-crossing the country and even beyond to Sri Lanka and East Africa for performances. She says “I would come back to Calcutta from one part of the country and find a telegram waiting at home inviting me to another show elsewhere.”

The Statesman – India – by Juthika Roy – August 6, 2006 Juthika Roy chronicles a historic meeting with the Father of the Nation A beautiful idiom in the English language is ~ time and tide wait for none. But we fail to understand properly the supreme truth behind it. And so, we weep when we come across the sorrows and pangs of life and spill out our joy when happiness comes. This is our nature. We cannot understand how we can better our lives. For this, we require a genuine guru and ideals, through which we can seek an appropriate path at the appropriate moment. As a child I used to listen as my mother related the many episodes in the lives of great men. She would tell me about their great lives and deeds. Mother would say, “The ideals of great men would have to be made the usherers, if one is to make one’s life beautiful ~ great men like Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu and others of their ilk.” We started living in Calcutta permanently in 1930. My first disc of Bengali songs was released by the Gramaphone Company in 1934. The songs were: Soon after, my rendition of Bengali and Hindi bhajans were released by the Gramaphone Company. Invitations started pouring from different parts of the country in for me to render bhajans. In 1939 I received the first invitation to sing bhajans at the Allahabad Conference. There, I was invited by Professor Deodhar to sing in Bombay at his municipal school’s charity function. From that year onwards, I travelled to Bombay, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Rajkot and the entire of Gujarat every year. We went to Hyderabad from Bombay in 1945 to participate in a charity programme there. That was my first visit to Hyderabad. Our stay was arranged at a swanky guest house of a renowned zamindar there. The next day, when I was preparing to rehearse with the accompanist, I heard that Sarojini Naidu had come to listen to me sing bhajans. I was as much scared as elated. Upon entering the hall I saw her sitting on a sofa; her daughter was sitting beside her. I made obeisance to her. She put her hand on my head and made me sit beside her. There was a look of surprise on her face when she saw me. Then, she gave me some good news. Mahatma Gandhi used to listen to my songs everyday when he was jailed in Pune. He used to start his prayer meeting every morning playing discs that played my bhajans. I would have never known of these happenings. My pride and joy knew no bounds. I made obeisance to the God within myself and said, “My singing of bhajans has been a great accomplishment. I’m blessed.” Afterwards, Sarojini Naidu asked me if I had ever met Mahatma Gandhi. Ruefully, I said, “No, that I haven’t had that good luck.” She then said, “Try to meet Bapuji and let him listen to his favourite bhajans.” From then I began to try out means of meeting Bapuji. My respect for Sarojini Naidu went up many notches. I deemed myself blessed by having her as a near one. She was courageous, a scholar, patriot and poet whom I adored from afar. I still cherish this valuable memory. It was 1947 (sic). The country was simmering with satyagraha, civil disobedience, non-cooperation, Gandhiji’s Quit India movement and so on. A highly-strung atmosphere prevailed. All were on tenterhooks ~ would the British rule really end? And it really ended. But then Hindu-Muslim riots started. A shiver goes down my spine when I recall those days. No one can believe unless one sees those brutalities, murders, beastliness with one’s own eyes. Mahatma Gandhi came to Calcutta at that time to quell the situation. He put up at a house in Beliaghata with his entourage. Bapuji was so busy with his work that he did not have even one minute to spare. I heard that he would wake up every day at 6 a.m. and go out for a morning walk. He would join the prayer meeting in the morning and evening. Taking Sarojini Naidu’s advice, my parents decided to take me to the Beliaghata house to meet Bapuji. My mother, brothers and sisters, uncle and I reached Beliaghata at 7 a.m. We decided to have his darshan from afar during his morning walk and offer our obeisance to him. But, unfortunately, when we reached the gate we heard that Bapuji had already taken his morning walk and was resting. We would have to wait three hours if we wanted to see him. Finding no other way, we remained standing outside the gate because it had been locked by then. Many others also remained standing along with us. The sunbeams were brilliant. But suddenly, black clouds appeared and covered the sky. It began to rain heavily. We were completely drenched. My uncle repeatedly requested the gate-keeper to let us in but the keeper kept saying, “No, Bapuji hasn’t ordered me to do so.” But my uncle was not a man to spare any effort. He then sternly said, “All right, go in and say Juthika Roy has come to meet Bapuji.” The gatekeeper went in. We prayed that he would report correctly. Suddenly, we saw Manu Gandhi and some volunteers rushing towards the gate with some umbrellas. Manu Gandhi accosted me, made her obeisance and opened the gate. “Come in, please, all of you. I’m so sorry you are all drenched. Come inside and sit.” We all went in and took our seats. Then Ava Gandhi came and said to me, “Bapuji has allowed your mother to go in with you.” We went in and saw Gandhiji writing something sitting on a mat. He was bare bodied, his face and his entire body were radiating some strange light. There was no sign of tiredness on his person even after so much of work. There was a smile on her face, his eyes were shining as if they were full of love and were images of peace. I felt it was our great good luck that for the first time we had darshan of Mahatma Gandhi. I cannot fully express how elated I was. My mother and I made obeisance to Bapuji. He touched our heads to bless us, smiled and asked us to sit down using sign language. He was observing silence on that day, saying everything in writing. Ava Gandhi was reading out his writings for us. She was of great help. Ava Gandhi informed us that Bapuji was busy but eager to listen to my bhajans. So, he had decided that I would be singing while he was bathing in the next room. Bapuji went into the next room. I went on singing one bhajan after another without the help of any instrument. The songs were ~ “Maine Chakrar rakhi ji”, “Main Ram nam ki churiyan pahenu”, “Gunghukta pat khol re”, “Main to wari jaun Ram”, “Alo main apne Ram”, “Matja yogi mat ja” and “Pyare gungut bangh Meera nachire”. Bapuji came out after having his bath and stood in front of us. I stopped singing made obeisance to him. He flashed a broad smile and blessed us by raising his hand. I said to myself that my life was blessed today, so was my singing of the bhajan. My mind was filled with bliss. Later, Ava told us that Bapuji had asked us to join the afternoon prayer at 4 p.m. We arrived at the Maidan from the Beliaghata house soon after 4 p.m. with Bapuji to attend a prayer meeting. There was Ava Gandhi, Manu Gandhi and many others among us. The Maidan was crowded and there was not an iota of space left in the ocean of people. The two sides of the road were also crowded. Bapuji’s car slowly proceeded towards the Maidan. People welcomed him by throwing flowers and petals. A large number of people were conveying their respect to Bapuji. That was an unforgettable spectacle and cannot be expressed in words ~ it can only be felt. I still remember that living picture of crested reverence and euphoria for a leader of the people. Our car stopped next to the dais in the Maidan. Bapuji climbed on the dais quickly, flinging his arms on the shoulders of Ava and Manu. I was sitting at a corner of the dais. The prayer meeting started with Ramdhum, then readings from the Gita. Then, Bapuji appealed to people to maintain peace throughout the country. The prayer meeting ended with my singing of a bhajan. Soon, we came to the Beliaghata house with Bapuji. A car was provided to drop us home. My long cherished ambition to see Bapuji and to see him listen to my bhajans was fulfilled. I still consider that day as an auspicious day in my life.

meri prem ki naiya (sung for Kamal Dasgupta)darshan bina prabhujighunghat ka pat kholkanhaiya pe tan manpag ghungharu bandh meera nachitore angse ang milake kanhaiitulsi mira sur kabirbadal dekh rahibolre madhuban meinchupke chupke bol mainaRoti Ankhiyanaakash tale jab deepaankhin mein mathuraAnjaan nagar anjaan dagarMaine Chakrar rakhi jiMain Ram nam ki churiyan pahenuMain to wari jaun RamMeri Veena Ro Rahi HaiMat ja jogi mat jaPag gunghat bandh Meera nachire